This is not a marriage-saving manual, however!
Schickel’s sometimes outrageous and sometimes reflective collection of essays isn’t your standard issue “momoir” — as a parent living in the shadow of Hollywood, she’s got a unique spin on navigating her way through motherhood, from her struggle with whether she can be a true “Alterna-mom” to becoming one with her post-pregnancy body and what she calls her “Pussy Belly.”
Sure, she gets around to more familiar topics like potty training and whether to succumb to the mommy van, but Schickel also shares her experiences that all moms fear, as well — what if your child is turning blue and the Heimlich Manuever isn’t working, and how do you deal with the residual panic and fear? And what do you do if your child throws up all over the grill on your birthday outing to Benihana?
Schickel has an amazing way of capturing the serious and outrageous moments of parenthood that are familiar to so many of us, yet she also sheds light on her somewhat enviable career as an actress mom and the benefits of being paid to have an ideal dream pregnancy on TV:
“The wardrobe mistress enters and has me put on my first costume: a black wool skirt and blue cashmere sweater set from A Pea in the Pod. My outlook brightens; these are the clothes I jonesed for, but couldn’t afford when I was pregnant in real life. The finely tailored separates slide sumptuously over my padded form. I turn to get the side view. In this pregnancy I am carrying all my weight in front. My rear is small and my breasts and belly are picturesquely huge. In the real world I packed my ballooning tush into cheap, badly pilling stretch pants from Target. In this world, I am fashionably fecund. So maybe I won’t get to be glamorous in this role, but I will get to have the pregnancy I always dreamed of!”