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on October 19, 2004
Finally, a book about being an effective, responsible parent without losing your sense of humor along the way! If you think that today's parents let their kids run the household and the whole family's lives, and if you long for the days when children behaved in public, when parents weren't constantly excusing their kids' lack of manners, and when parents actually had their own lives, then read this book! Full of humor (some of it slightly acidic), the book does yield some practical advice and offers tips on how to parent well and not create monster children in the process. Read parts of it out loud to your spouse or friends for added fun -- I had my husband laughing his (...)off with some of the funnier parts.
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on June 21, 2008
First, for those who missed it, the comments about martinis are tongue-in-cheek.

I laughed out loud over some of the reviews which describe the author as not liking children or being intolerant of other parenting techniques, because I *KNOW* what those people's kids are like. The author does not dislike children nor is it alternate parenting techniques she is intolerant of--it's the whiny, spoiled rotten brats they produce she doesn't like.

I'm pediatrician who's been in practice a long time, and I spend all day with kids who cover the spectrum. I love kids. I hate whining. Here's a news flash for some parents--most kids are not actually whiny! Find that hard to believe? Then yours probably are.

This is actually my single favorite parenting manual. Yes, there's a lot of hyperbole, but the underlying message, that kids should join your world and not take over the universe, is one that a lot of parents don't seem to understand these days. This book gives parents permission to set boundries, to actually take some personal time and to plan activities for themselves, not just their kids, without feeling guilty about it. Happier adults with balanced interesting lives make much better parents.

So, if you want to raise a self-centered, whiny pill of a child incapable of entertaining himself, sleeping in his own bed or calming himself down without breast feeding when he's four or five, who thinks that saying the words "excuse me" is a free pass to interrupting adult conversation, and who believes the entire adult population was put on the world to cater to his every whim (and god knows apparently a lot of you do, because you seem to put a lot of time and energy into it) this really isn't the book for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to raise a happy, healthy, responsible, self-confident child who understands that life should be balanced, doesn't argue endlessly when you say "no", says "please" and "thank you" when you're at friends' houses, who you can take to a restaurant without worrying about how she's going to behave, who eats the well-balanced dinner you've spent a chunk of your evening preparing, who is capable of entertaining herself for an hour or so (without turning on the television!) while you do other things, who goes to bed at night without tantrums and most of all who your friends and family enjoy being around, then you're going to love this book.

And no, I don't expect kids to be perfect--far from it! But I do expect them to be raised with some modicum of boundaries and manners. And I expect parents not to completely give up their adult lives and relationships. For what it's worth, there are far more pleasant than unpleasant children around, but boy, can the unpleasant ones ruin an afternoon, dinner out, or a family gathering!!

No, it's not a manual of precise techniques (for that, check out the Super Nanny website--Jo has a lot of good videos there) to suddenly tame the child you've let run your life for however many years, but it's an important book about the role children should play in a family.

As I tell my patients' parents, yes, your child should BE the center of your universe, and they should feel safe and secure in life and in their relationship with you, but they shouldn't BELIEVE they're the center of the universe. Otherwise, they're in for a really rude awakening later. Raising children other people don't enjoy being around does the kids a huge disservice. Not to mention the rest of society who has to interact with them.
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on March 6, 2005
With tongue firmly in cheek, Mellor deftly explodes all of the anxious mythology about modern, over-attentive parenting. Her book's not really an advice book, but a humorous riposte, even though there is a simple, fundamental message--relax, this isn't rocket science--hidden in plain sight. A welcome antidote to all the craziness. I'm much more appreciative of parenting/family books that use humor. I'd also urge you to read "I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets," by Bruce Stockler, a laugh-out-loud memoir about trying to juggle, well, everything.
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on April 22, 2004
Finally, a grownup view of parenting, delivered with humor and insight. Christie Mellor delivers a subtle message of fairness and balance, envisioning an ideal household where grownups' wishes are given equal time with those of children. This means raising children not only to behave well, but to develop a working sense of justice. As comical as the book is, I think Mellor has given voice to an important set of values that deserve our attention. I hope the issues raised in The Three-Martini Playdate will be discussed in the media.
From a delighted parent.
p.s. As a big fan of Miss Manners (and now Miss Mellor), I was surprised to see the [comparison]. Judith Martin's humor relies on an imperturbably ladylike primness and pedantry; Mellor is far more slapstick, loopy and fun. Buy both, and see for yourself!!
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on July 9, 2004
I love this book!!! As a first time parent of a now seven month old baby girl, many people are surprised at my laid back yet firm approach to parenting. This book captures my feel for the way I want to raise my child with so much wit and humor, I find myself laughing out loud while reading it!!! I have reccomended this book to every parent and parent-to-be that I know. Any "uptight" mom and dad should read this!! We were here first!! We get so overwhelmed as parents trying to raise smart, healthy, and safe children we forget to take time for ourselves and RELAX and enjoy our children. We also forget that WE are the PARENTS and WE run the show. Even if you don't have kids this book should be read.
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on April 9, 2004
This book is right on! It's a humerous look at child-rearing. I am eight months pregnant and I work in education. I am constantly exposed to spoiled kids, over-the-top parents, and many of the stereotypes Mellor writes about in the book. I already know what kind of parent I DON'T want to be, and Mellor's book just confirms it. It's a great laugh!
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on April 6, 2004
i read this during my son's naptime as my four-year-old was insisting I help dress her Polly Pockets...and laughed so hard i nearly wet my pants! A must-read for anyone with children! Cheers!
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on May 22, 2004
Christie Mellor provides a wonderfully funny view of life with children then and now. Seeing the reality of the now makes you yearn for the good old days of our youth. She also provides the delightful illustrations on the cover and throughout the book.
She's right on when it comes to the parents of today and hilarious in her reminicences of the child rearing of the past. A great read. Highly recommended to anyone with kids AND a sense of humor.
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on February 26, 2005
If you're looking for a sweet book about the precious moments of motherhood, "The Three-Martini Playdate" is not it. This clever book takes a hilarious look at hyper-parenting today, wraps it up with a retro tone and spits it out with sarcasm. Warning: This book is not for the humorless. But if the title makes you snicker, it's for you and the other exhausted moms in your playgroup.
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on April 6, 2004
Finally a no-nonsense book about raising children: Spare the snark, spoil the child. The author gives a hilarious discourse on such topics as school projects, manners, and bedtime. Her children will likely grow up to be self-sufficient - will yours? Read this book and they'll have a chance...or at least they'll grow up to be good bartenders.
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