MotherTalk Book Tour –You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Mon, March 12, 2007

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What do you say about a book that slyly suggests that lap dances for moms can spice things up in the bedroom at home?

You heard me right — take it from Erika Schickel, the author of You’re Not the Boss of Me: Adventures of a Modern Mom, a little unorthodox girl’s night out can be just the thing to keep the marital bed interesting!

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!”

My only disappointment in this book was the somewhat sudden shift in tone of the essays toward the end of the book — the more off-beat stories are mostly included in the first half of the book and her more serious and reflective essays are saved for the end, which I found a bit jarring. But if you’re looking for a read about the mommy experience and how to be at peace with learning about undergarments that support, as well as the childhood memories that inform our mothering experiences, then spend some time with You’re Not the Boss of Me — just don’t have a mouth full of your favorite diet soft drink as you read, because you may find that you’ll be snorting it out your nose!

Also, make sure to stop by MotherTalk to see what else we are reading, what other moms are saying about this book, and to get info on upcoming book “salons!”

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9 Responses to “MotherTalk Book Tour –You’re Not the Boss of Me!”

  1. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    I agree with you completely. I’m getting to the end of that book right now and the differences between essays makes my head spin. One minute she’s getting a lap dance, the next she’s talking about video games. WTH? But I am enjoying it. It’s a nice change from the other “mommy” books I own.

  2. Pecos Blue Says:

    okay i will check it out.

  3. scribbit Says:

    Sounds like not-your-average-soccer-mom essays.

  4. nutmeg Says:

    I only read books that make me spray liquids out of my nose. I’m ordering it today…thanks.

  5. CrankMama Says:

    Hey Pundit,
    You should do the Meme over at my site…. In fact, consider yourself tagged.

    And don’t forget to link back to Kristen’s momtrap link.

    Rachael

  6. Queen of the Mayhem Says:

    Sounds like I may need to check this out. Of course, I have to finish the James Dobson “The Strong Willed Child” first. I am desperately searching for answers to solving Junior Mayhem’s defiance issues!

    Maybe I need to scrap the Dobson and head straight for the lap dance! :)

  7. Erika Schickel Says:

    Hey PunditMom and Audience,
    It’s me, Erika Schickel, obsessively keeping tabs on my book and what y’all are saying about it. I have to kick in my two cents here. First of all THANK YOU THANK YOU for all the nice things you said. I love that you enjoyed the book, and I want to say for the record that I am totally feeling you on the weird, often abrupt shift between essays. I shuffled those pieces so many times it made MY head spin. Imagine me on the living room floor, index cards, cursing, tears, spilled wine. I got NO editing help from my editor (who also never even returned my emails begging for help in ordering the pieces), so it was all up to me, the one person who had lost all objectivity (and by the time I had to hand in my manuscript could barely stand to read a word of it). But you make a totally valid point and I wish I could reel the book back in and do another shuffle. Ah…publishing. Try it girls, it’ll make mothering a toddler seem like a walk in the park! Anyway, thanks for caring! And reading!

  8. PunditMom Says:

    Hi Erika, Thanks so much for stoppng by! I loved all the essays in your book and I hear what you’re saying … I can’t imagine having to put a book together and trying to sort out how different essays would work together. My thoughts on the organization of the book wasn’t meant as a criticism, just my gut reaction as I was reading.

  9. Sarcasta-Mom Says:

    I’m going to pick this up. I love essay collections. Thanks for the review, and the fun comment by Ms. Shickel herself :)


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