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attempting to read this week…

December 1st, 2009

now on my nightstand (and the coffee table, and stacked up on the floor, and in my car:

“Child Sense: From Birth to Age 5, How to Use the 5 Senses” was just released. It was written by Priscilla J. Dunstan (Bantam Books, 2009, $26, 303 pages). According to her press packet, Dunstan “burst onto the parenting scene” when she appeared on the Oprah show to reveal her “revolutionary discovery” that all babies make about five sounds to communicate their needs.

OK. I’ll tell you everything I know about parenting, and it all adds up to five, too:

1) Nurse if you can; don’t nurse if you can’t.
2) It’s not the terrible 2’s, it’s the terrible 10’s. Remember: They’re all different. They’re all the same, but oh my goodness, they are all different.
3) Try to find common ground with your partner, because eventually (if all goes according to plan), the kids will move out and it would be nice if you knew the person you were left living with.
4) First you’re thinking, oh my gosh! First teeth! She’s finally walking! We’re going to give her a pony for her birthday! Then before you know it, they’re screaming for money. My son, honest to Christ, just yelled at me, “We’d spend more money if you’d give us more.”

(Let us just pause for a moment to mull over that statement. “We’d spend more money if you’d give us more.” I am thinking, these are not children who deserve an allowance. Oh, no. Especially since their dad and I are the ones who got stuck cleaning out the frickin’ guinea pig cage last night.) (The class guinea pig is with us for the holidays. She is awfully cute, but the cage gets stinky.)

Where was I? Oh, yes.

5) They break your heart every day because they fill your heart every day. What with the guinea pigs and murderous African dwarf frogs and all.

And one more thing — as a parent, I firmly believe that you should take all of the credit, none of the guilt.

Next? “Sugar Blues,” by William Duffy (Warner Books, 1975, 255 pages). I have been wanting to read this book for years — Steve and others have highly recommended it to me, the lil sugar junkie. So I finally reserved a copy from the library, and it is a shredded paperback with the teensiest, tiniest print you have ever seen. I can’t read this thing. In fact, as I type this, I have to keep taking my glasses off and putting them back on, just to type and edit.

Pathetic, really.

OK. I’ll break down and buy a copy.


“Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids” was written by Kim John Payne, M.Ed. (Ballantine Books, 2009, $25, 235 pages). Really great book — I’m about halfway through, and have found several of the passages to be moving. I especially liked his comparison between the children of Asian refugee camps and the British children Payne worked with in the early ’90s. He has some insights that I appreciated about issues of control involving sleep, food and play. This one is going out on loan, along with the Dunstan book.

I’m still finishing “Water for Elephants,” it’s awfully good.

Have a great week.

— wm


  1. Nan says

    Simplicity Parenting sounds like my kind of thing. Will get “Water For Elephants”, I need something good.

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  2. Wacky Mommy says

    Nan, i think you’ll like both. Are you a Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood fan? I’m re-reading some of their stuff — always a pleasure. have a super-fine, super-fine day.

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

  3. Jennymcb says

    Seriously, I think some parenting books are written by Buffy’s that have a responsibility and all of a sudden think that they are mothering goddesses b/c their kids are still alive at the end of the day. I like your parenting thoughts, b/c duh, we all know what the five sounds are to communicate, two involve eating, one involves passing gas, another is I need a nap and the other is just leave me alone. I now look at babies and melt, b/c I know now that those were the best years of my life with my kids. We are in the spreading the wings and leaving the nest stage now. Not always the easiest.

    December 2nd, 2009 | #

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