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Dirt is Good for You: True Stories of Surviving Parenthood Paperback – Bargain Price, September 9, 2009
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Generically, each essay says about the same thing: I'm a bad parent because I do x, but I'm not really a bad parent because it's actually a good idea to breast-feed a 17-month old, demand a present from your husband just for giving birth, not use a baby monitor, warm your sons clothes in the dryer before they get dressed in the morning; not buy your kids toys; give your kid a pacifier; despise other new moms; yell at your kids; overspend on birthday parties; ad nauseum. I'm pretty sure every parent has had a moment that wouldn't land them on the cover of Parenting magazine; it's just that most of us don't turn these mis-steps into virtues.
There's an underlying tone of, "Wow, how cool, we are the first people to ever raise kids!" which is completely nonsensical, given that homo sapiens goes back about 200,000 years, and "urban" life at least 10,000. Being the first generation of parents who can pause and rewind live TV doesn't make you any more special than being the first parents to use draft animals or gas lamps. Get back to me when you're really pioneering by raising kids in zero-g or on the moon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this book for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I did enjoy the book, there were some stories that I did not agree with the feelings of the author, but that's okay! Read morePublished 14 months ago by scoxwell
This is a wonderful and refreshing book, perfect for any parent who wonders what is good and what is bad for your child, in the end you have to trust your own judgment and what you... Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Brandy Fortune
Got this book awhile ago and finally got around to reading it. Some of the stories were intriguing but most were not. I do like Babble and read the blog occasionally. Read morePublished on January 26, 2011 by spanakopita NJ
Yet another blog turned book, and yet another disappointment.
A collection of parents complaining and/or feeling sorry for themselves. Read more
This is a book of flippant stories by parents who want to justify their laziness. I was not impressed by the first few essays and couldn't finish reading it. Read morePublished on March 25, 2010 by Samuel Sonne
I thought this book would be stories of bad things parents have done "because it seemed like a good idea at the time" or through misjudgment, mistake, or new-parent senility. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by D. S.
Most of these stories aren't terribly "extreme"; unless you're the kind of parent who cuts your 2-year-old's Cheerios in half, you probably won't be shocked by much in here. Read morePublished on February 18, 2010 by Alexis Coxon
Parenting can be full of compromise and unexpected events. We all have to choose the things that we find important and let go of the things that don't matter. Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by whitewave
The reviews for this book so surprised me that they've prompted me, after years of interaction with Amazon, to write my first review. Read morePublished on January 4, 2010 by S. J. Poorman