I came across a blog post last night that suggested not everyone sees the humor in this book, while I didn't pay too much attention to the blog post itself (the auther is entitled to her opinion), the ensuing discussion caught my attention. There were a few commenters who agreed with the author, but the majority did not (no surprise there!). What caught me offguard were the disclaimers most (all?) women seemed compelled to inject into their comments, that while they might *feel* frustrated with their children, they most certainly would never act on those feelings, they would never want to make their children feel like a burden. Sure, we can laugh at the frustration we all feel internally, but heaven forbid any of us externalize it, I mean, can you even imagine? Once again, the myth of the 'perfect parent' has been restored, phew!
Well, I'm going to go on public record and admit that not only do I feel frustration in certain situations with my kids, but sometimes (now, brace yourself!), I act on it (the horror, the horror!). I am not a perfect parent, in fact, I am far from it. Sometimes I yell at our kids. Sometimes I say things that I regret (and yes, I often feel absolutely horrible about it afterwards). As much as I wish I could count to ten and breathe deeply when I feel the frustration coming on, I don't seem to be equipped with that particular coping mechanism. When I was pregnant with our first child, if anyone would have ever told me how impatient I could be as a parent, I would have never (ever!) believed them.
I think it's an absolute shame that parents, particularly mothers, hold themselves up to a standard of perfection that's unattainable (and it is). If anyone suggests they never get frustrated with their kids, they're either lying, or they don't spend a whole lot of time around them (Gwyneth Paltrow, I'm looking at you!). I think it's good to be honest about everything parenting entails, the good, the bad, and the ugly, Mansbach's humorous approach to bedtime woes is a great way to ease new parents into the reality that parenting is not always fun or easy, for that reason, I think it would make a fabulous shower gift -- watch out Sophie the Giraffe, you've got competition!