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Dirt is Good for You: True Stories of Surviving Parenthood Paperback – September 9, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811871185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811871181
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,164,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

With over 1.5 million unique readers per month, Babble.com is the premier online magazine for a new generation of parents. Babble recently won Folio's 2008 Silver Eddie Award for Best Website.

Customer Reviews

All in all, a fun, easy book to read in snippits.
Senora Gose
Many of these stories just felt like parents were trying to justify odd choices that they made or practices that they weren't really so comfortable with having used.
Chipmunk Paw
When I read the title to this book I had to laugh.
Holly K. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rhianna Walker VINE VOICE on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It isn't often I feel overly critical or snarky toward people writing about parenting. It ain't an easy job and until babies are born with instruction manuals tied around their ankles the phrase "bad parent" can't in good conscience fly from my own lips. But when a group of self-proclaimed "bad parents" come together to contribute to a book of anecdotes about their experiences as moms and dads I expect to be reading something that has humor, a little poking fun at the misjudgements we make as parents and something a little uplifting to remind the reader that the experience of parenting may not be flawless but can make one a better person.

Instead of being uplifting or even encouraging, DIRT IS GOOD FOR YOU, collects tales from what practically reads like the same author over and over and over. Whines about the standards of "normal" parents, groans about being stay-at-home parents and moans about the kids themselves vie for the crown of worst parent ever. But are these parents really that bad? Only in their own minds.

Not every tale is without wit or humor, I found a couple of them to be amusing and even endearing. On the whole though these authors just honestly digusted me. I can only think of one who actually sounded as if they were not some Manhattanite free-lance writer engaging in masturbatory overindulgence of the ego. Where are the real moms and dads? Sure, some of these woes are very real. Fretting over a child who only eats macaroni and cheese or struggling to bond with a newborn are very real, very common issues. But do these make the writers bad parents? Even the woman breastfeeding a child old enough to be lifting her shirt and demanding his 'nah-nahs' isn't so horrid, though I personally found it a bit disturbing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ladybug TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was expecting some really shocking stories about parenting when I read this book's description. But, really, these stories are relatively tame. (Although, a story by Jennifer Baumgardner about letting her friend breastfeed her child did kind of gross me out.) I agree with other reviewers that most of the parents who wrote for this book seemed to make a big deal over nothing. Is it so strange that a person would be disappointed at first by a surprise pregnancy? Or that a parent doesn't use all the proper medical terms for body parts when potty training her young daughter? Further, even when the parents express "wrong" emotions or thoughts, most wrap up their essays with a cheery little "but all's well that ends well" message. Overall, this book was disappointing and even boring. For a more thoughtful, humorous collection of essays on parenting, I would recommend _Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves_.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T Rose on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Have you ever been trapped in a conversation with a parent who spews endlessly about how their way of parenting is the best? Someone who takes their views to extreme? I had that same feeling when I was reading this book.

Not all chapters are braggy and annoying, but enough are that I didn't enjoy the book. I was expecting lighthearted stories about parenting. That's not what I got out of it.

If I wanted to hear people bragging about not letting kids disrupt their lives or people bragging that they let their kids do whatever they wanted, I'd join another playgroup.

While I found some stories refreshingly honest, I feel that most were exaggerated in an attempt to be different from every other parent out there. As one author put it "We don't celebrate Average Joe or Jane. We're bored with Average. We pity it." Perhaps that's the need many of these parents had for one-upping traditional parenting views.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on October 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Parenting can be exciting, scary, frustrating, and stressful--and everything in between. This book tells those stories. And they're told by very good writers who make you want to write all your own stories down for posterity, although you know yours won't turn out nearly as well.

Are some of the stories outrageous? Yes.
Do some of them hit home? Yes.
Are some of them crazy? Yes.
Do some of them sound like you could have written them? Probably.
Should this book be read and enjoyed as a comedic break from parenting? Sure.
Might you glean some helpful thoughts from this book? Sure.
Should this book be taken as advice? No.

I do like that the stories are short--something you can read quickly and easily in between the hundreds of things you have to do as a new parent, being exhausted, and needing a small break.

I would recommend getting this book and sharing it with all your other new mom (or, heck, old mom friends!) because once you read it, there is no reason to keep it (i.e. it's not a reference book or self help book by any stretch of the imagination), so it is a good book to pass around--share the wealth, so-to-speak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Sullivan VINE VOICE on October 21, 2009
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I'm a working mother of two little boys and reading the essays was like going through a fun and hilarious form of therapy. On one hand, it gave me the sense that I'm not the only parent out there who isn't necessarily at home making homemade organic meals every night and sheltering my kids from anything related to a television or wishing with all my might that my kids would just stop talking sometimes. On the other hand, I also found myself saying, "well at least I didn't do _that_ to my kids!", so no matter what the essay was about, it just made me feel good.

These essays are funny, short, well-written and heart-felt, on topics that most parents won't cop to, like "To Hell with Baby-Proofing", "I Didn't Fall in Love with My Baby the First Minute - or the First Month" and "I Cross-Nursed with my Friend". There are an endless supply of laughs, disbelief as well as support and camaraderie for parents who may wonder whether they are doing a good job.

This book is going to be my gift to new parents, because I found it not only more entertaining, but also potentially more helpful than "real" parenting books as we all struggle to figure out how to raise good kids.
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