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Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos Hardcover – April 6, 2010


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Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos + Handmade Chic: Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345516370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345516374
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lee Woodruff Reviews Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?

Lee Woodruff is the life and family contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America and a freelance writer. She is on the board of trustees of the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides critical resources and support to our nation’s injured service members, veterans, and their families--especially those affected by the signature hidden injuries of war: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and combat stress. Lee Woodruff lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, and their four children. Read her guest review of Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?:

As the mother of four, I am sick to death of watching "helicopter moms" all around me over-parent and over-worry about every aspect of their kids’ lives.

It was refreshing to open Laura Bennett's book Didn't I Feed You Yesterday? and laugh out loud at some of the witty observations she has about parenting and her tongue-in-cheek look at all of us who give in to today’s competitive parenting trends.

With six children of her own, her un-PC philosophy is that if she loses a kid, she has extras. Or, she looks at root canal as a chance to escape from the kids for a while. Go ahead--stifle the laugh, tsk tsk if you will, but Bennett writes what so many of us think in our lowest and most exasperated moments but are afraid to say out loud.

I am a huge fan of essay books like this in today’s completely fractured world. Bennett’s book allowed me to read a little slice of something fun in between taking care of everyone else. And what a bonus to discover a book that is both witty, sarcastic and laugh-out-loud funny.

(Lee Woodruff photo © Stefan Radtke)


Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Laura Bennett

Don’t Make Me Pull This Car Over

Vehicular discipline used to be so easy. Once my boys start with the "he’s touching me" which moves on to a screaming match and ultimately escalates to them getting out of their seat belts to duke it out, making the van look like a mobile version of Fight Club, I would simply pull over to the side of the road and put the worst offender out of the car. Suddenly the brothers who hated him seconds before tearfully beg me to spare his life.

"No Mom, don’t leave him!" One brother begs.

"Please Mom, we’ll be good. Let him back in." Another boy declares in defense of his brother standing roadside on Route 22.

"You... can’t... just... go...” says my tearful seven-year-old, only able to speak in sobbing spurts.

The fleeting solidarity is quite touching. I pretend to be immune to their pleas, then after a few moments feign repent and allow their brother back in the car. We finish our journey in relative silence with just the sound of an occasional snivel coming from the back. Mission accomplished. The entire episode basically has the effect of an emotional stun gun. No one got hurt, but they are too drained to misbehave. For a couple of blocks anyway.

Phrases like "Stop that fighting or I will leave you right here," "I hope you know your way home because you will be walking," or the perennial "Don’t make me pull this car over" are the stuff of motherhood. Idle threats administered by us, our mothers, and their mothers before them. But thanks to Madlyn Primoff, the Scarsdale mother arrested for putting her two children out of her car and actually driving away, we can no longer use them.

These threats loose all effectiveness now that our children are armed with the knowledge that we could be arrested for following through. It is imperative that kids believe they narrowly escaped hiking home only because they let go of a sibling’s hair or agreed not to sing Banana Nana Bo Bana for the seven hundredth time.

How is this going to work when my own children turn the entire thing around and threaten to call the cops on me? When they smugly announce, "you can’t put us out, you know you’ll be arrested like that woman from Scarsdale."

We have already lost the threat to spank or otherwise inflict bodily harm. Children have figured out that actual physical abuse is an arraignment waiting to happen. My mother was allowed to brandish effective weapons such as, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out," or "I will slap that expression right off your face." Not only did these threats scare me straight, they instilled in me the wisdom not to jump off the Mississippi River Bridge with the rest of my friends.

Child rearing is war, and children are worthy opponents. How are parents expected to succeed with such a depleted arsenal? What is next to go? You are going to bed without dinner? I’m going to tell your father when he gets home? I will wash your filthy mouth out with soap? When I lose the right to tell them that, yes, they should run away and I will help them pack, I surrender. --Laura Bennett


Review

"As an author, Laura Bennett exudes the qualities that she demonstrates as a designer: high style and sophistication married to wit and whimsy. Laura gives Schiaparelli a run for her money!"—Tim Gunn, host of Project Runway and author of A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style

"What all mothers are thinking but much, much, much funnier. Laura Bennett is deft, witty and brilliant."—Molly Jong-Fast, author of The Sex Doctors in the Basement and Normal Girl

"Charming, sophisticated and hilarious. The only thing wrong with this book is that I did not write it."—Patricia Heaton, star of Everybody Loves Raymond

More About the Author

Laura Bennett wowed viewers of Project Runway's Season Three with her own politically incorrect brand of humor and sophisticated designs. She has a large and growing fan thanks to Project Runway, MSN's "Glam Squad" StyleStudio, and QVC, which sells her designs. Bennett's writes a Case Clothed comic strip for iVillage and a column for The Daily Beast. She lives in Manhattan.

Customer Reviews

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All in all, this was a very entertaining read.
MikOmShanti
I can't say that she is voicing "all the things that all mothers really think but don't dare say", since I just don't agree with her myself on many points.
L. J. Schrader
She has a knack for seeing the humor in any situation, and her writing is quite funny.
Rushmore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Schrader on February 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Laura Bennett's MOTHER'S GUIDE TO SANITY IN STILETTOS speaks less about child rearing and more about remaining fabulous despite your children. I can best sum up her parenting philosophy using her own words. "I have a genetic predisposition to laissez-faire parenting"..."The truth is my children are a bit LORD OF THE FLIES...I like it that way". She is most definitely of the school of thought that kids learn best when they are left to themselves, and certainly mommy is happier when left to herself, too.

So, who would be interested in what she has to say? My guess is that anyone who spots a book that asks "Didn't I feed you yesterday?" on the cover would be expecting some entertainment on the subject of families, likely not P.C. and probably pretty funny. That is just what you will get. This is a humorous look at life from the point of view of a somewhat narcissistic, modern mom of six with an attitude.

I had never heard Laura's name before, and was unaware of her stint on Project Runway, but my guess is that she made a name for herself based on her candor. She talks about her reality show adventure and subsequent forays with interviews and online forums and alludes to the fact that she earned herself the unflattering nickname of "bad mommy". She also states that she is no stranger to angry comments and takes full responsibility for everything that she says and the wrath that comes along with it. She just might want to be prepared for a bit more criticism based on this book. Those who can't understand her style will be up in arms more than ever. But, those of us who can take her with a grain of salt will find her interesting, if nothing else.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By W. Easley VINE VOICE on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Didn't I Feed You Yesterday" is one of the most entertaining books I have read in many months. Laura Bennett presents the reader with a narrative of events in her life. She discusses her husband (a very patient man), each of her children, and her work, both at home and in her career. As she narrates she quips about her acquaintances and the places around her, making observations like a trained tour guide while offering comic statements about the people and events she encounters.

This book, written like a diary, is a very funny commentary on life as a wife and mother of six, with a husband who hasn't really grown up himself. The interactions among this unlikely family group are very laughable, while helping us understand how a mother can survive with a career, six children, and numerous pets while remaining sane.

Laura devotes part of her book to a dress design competition she entered called Project Runway. This section is a must read for anyone who contemplates entering a TV reality show contest. She may be exaggerating, but if even half of it is true, there is no way I could survive to the finals of such events.

The children use profanity, and, in an attempt to appear as a cool, composed parent, Laura overlooks her children's language. Profanity is something I have always seen as evidence of a poor vocabulary. Maybe she tolerates their language and believes that by ignoring it the profanity may decrease. Laura also tolerates rude conduct by labeling it as masculine. Yes, compared with girls, boys may be more violent and more of a threat to furniture and guests than girls, but that doesn't mean we allow discourteous behavior.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Gold VINE VOICE on March 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Laura Bennett is the type of mother whose young son, upon arriving at their converted dairy barn in the Berkshires, notes that the working barn next door "smells like ass." She is proud that the woman at the airport who complained about her poor parenting skills got it wrong when she accused Laura of dressing the boys in varying hues of Ralph Lauren shirts when in fact, she dressed them in L.L. Bean for half the price and used the rest to buy a new pair of Manolos.

How many women refuse to feel guilty over hiring nannies and mannies...can actually handle having one of their children refer to her as "Lawa" while calling one of those nannies "Mom?" If that makes you cringe a little, her reasoning makes a certain kind of sense: "If I'm going to entrust my children to another woman, I'm glad they love her."

In addition to dispensing her brand of parenting - follow the airline oxygen mask rule and put yourself first - she provides wardrobe and diet tips, although I don't know many non-smoking women who take up the chewing of Nicorette because it helps them maintain their girlish figures.

Bennett's style of parenting takes laissez faire to the next level, but she makes some cogent points. About peanut allergy hysteria she offers this theory: It's really Munchausen's by Peanut. After all, as she points out, "where were all those [allergic] kids when I was growing up? Did they just fall dead under the cafeteria table, swept up with the dropped spaghetti?" If that sounds at all familiar, Bennett wrote shorter versions of some of these essays for The Daily Beast. She has taken to the longer form with panache.

I may not live a life like Laura Bennett, though sometimes I also wish I were Auntie Mame, descending a sweeping staircase while dispensing bon mots.
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