Look what I brought to Hawaii! It's Karen Alpert's book, "I Heart My Little A-Holes"! I thought it would be the perfect book to scare Mike's co-worker's away from talking to me on the beach.
Plus, if I start to miss Mazzy and Harlow while on vacation, I can just read a chapter like "Bundle of Joy My Ass" or "The Truth, the Whole Truth, and None of that Bullshit You See on Pinterest" and feel a whole lot better about my decision to leave the kids at home.
Karen, a personal friend of mine (is there any other kind?) and the blogger behind the ridiculously popular facebook page, Baby Sideburns, self-published this book last year, turned it into a New York Times bestseller on her own (that's a lot of people who can't stand their kids!) and then promptly sold the book to Harper Collins.
It's being re-released this week in hardcover with a few new chapters plus a "verrrrrry serious" book club section with questions like, "What do you call vaginas and penises in your house? Please discuss. And what words do you use for passing gas and bowel movements?"
Here are my answers:
Passing Gas: Passing Gas
Bowel Movements: Bowel Movements (just kidding, we say "pooping")
Also, I'm starting to question the "passing gas" thing because now that Mazzy is using the term herself, she sounds like an 80-year-old grandmother or something. I almost feel bad for her every time she says it because it's like I tricked her out of using the 'fun word' that all the other kids are saying. "Fart" just seems too crude though, you know?
Wow, this really does make for a riveting book club discussion! Perhaps I would actually join a book club if this is what we would be discussing!
I reviewed "I Heart My Little A-Holes" when it came out last year, so if you'd like to read why I think everyone needs a Karen Alpert in their lives, you should read "Baby Sideburns Calls Her Kids A-Holes So You Don't Have To".
For the new release, I think the best way to sell Karen's book, is by giving you Karen herself.
She's too busy though, because (DUH!) she is promoting a very important New York Times bestseller, but that doesn't mean I can't lift her words straight from her own book.
Below are five of my favorite quotes from "I Heart My Little A-Holes".
Karen Alpert on video monitors:
"I don't think it's a coincidence that my baby's eyes glow like the devil's on the video monitor. He thinks we can't see him and he's like muahahahahaha, I don't have to conceal my real identity now!"
Karen Alpert on strangers saying her daughter looks like her husband:
Random Stranger: She looks just like her daddy!
Me: Yeah, but she got my genitalia!
Karen Alpert on Mommy and Me classes:
"You know that moment when you're holding on to the parachute and walking around in a circle and all the kiddos are smiling (except for the one kid who always cries) and you're singing "Pop Goes the Weasel" and you can't help but think, WTF has my life come to?"
Karen Alpert on artwork that kids bring home from school:
Sometimes when my daughter isn't looking I bury her artwork at the bottom of the trash can. Especially when she's like, "Here. Mommy, it's a snake," and then I'm like no it's not, it's an F'ing line."
Karen Alpert on mommy friends:
"Just so you know, when I see your kids throw a temper tantrum I don't judge you. It just makes me want to be friends with you so my kids will look better."
Karen is more than a funny quote. When I got to the chapter called "A Letter to My Daughter in the Future, But None of that Sappy Crap You See on Huffpost", in which Karen brings up really tough topics in a way that will totally position her as a parent her daughter will come talk to when she is in trouble, I was like— WAIT. This is actually a really good letter that every parent should give to their daughter. Maybe remove some of the f-bombs so they don't think Tony Soprano wrote it, but valuable none the less.
FYI- I totally wrote one of the sappy letters to my daughters in the future that might or might not have been published on Huffpost. And I wrote it on Valentine's Day to make it even sappier. I'm sure Karen just threw up in her mouth a little because another chapter in her book is, "Ten Things that Suck About Valentine's Day (easiest list I've ever come up with)".
So, in a nutshell— "I Heart My Little A-holes" is crude, crass and hilarious. There is more cursing in this book than in Good Fellas. If you are looking for an important piece of literature to impress your old English teacher, this is not the book for you. BUT— this book will also make you feel less alone. You are not the only mom who can't stand their kids sometimes. You are not the only mom hiding in your bathroom with fake stomach cramps. You are not the only mom who wants the kids to disappear for Mother's Day.
Here's another favorite quote of mine from Karen's book:
"If you see another mom whose child is throwing a tantrum, the proper way to act is not to roll your eyes and think to yourself that they are obviously doing something wrong as a parent. From now on you should walk by and quietly mention to her, "That was me yesterday," even if your kiddo has been in one of those angelic phases all week. Just make her feel better."
See? Valuable. You can buy "I Heart My Little A-Holes" here.
Oh! Wait! I just had an idea! Let's continue the book club discussion in the comments. Give me your household names for vagina, penis, peeing, passing gas and bowel movements. I'll pick three comments at random to win a copy of "I Heart My Little A-Holes."
Winners announced Friday, the 18th. Let the discussion commence!