Thursday, June 12th, 2014
If you’re looking for a parenting book to teach you the best, scientifically-proven methods for raising a smart, healthy, self-sufficient human being, Johanna Stein’s new book is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a down-to-earth voice that lets you know you’re not alone in a world of tough questions and embarrassing moments, How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane (And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source) might become your new best friend.
In Stein’s book debut, her self-deprecating humor will make you laugh out loud and inspire you to take the heart-stopping, forehead-slapping, blush-inducing moments of parenting a little more lightly. A television writer, comedian, and Parents contributor, she brings her blunt honesty to the forefront of her relatable parental anecdotes, like watching her own birth video and connecting with a pregnant stranger (who ended up not being pregnant).
In one memorable scene (excerpted in full here), Stein and her husband are abruptly snapped out of sexy time and into damage control mode when their four-year-old walks in on the action — on more than one occasion:
“I heard a slow click, looked up, and saw my kid standing in the doorway. This time she was holding an armful of dolls and giggling in a high creepy voice that, in movies, usually signals the arrival of the Antichrist.
It was even more shocking the second time around. It was as though she had developed some sort of pervy sixth sense that, combined with her 4-year-old fighting weight (which meant she was not quite heavy enough to make the floors creak), allowed her to simply materialize like the sex-murdering specter that she was.
One week later, we installed a lock on the door. It seemed a perfect solution — and it was, in that it kept her out of eyeball’s reach. But it also prompted her to sit outside our door and wail — and FYI, it is darn near impossible to achieve any sense of ‘closure’ when someone is pounding her tiny fists on your bedroom door and yelling, ‘No bounce! No bounce!’”
How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is packed with brutally honest stories that will comfort any parents who sometimes feel inadequate (i.e. all parents) and will have even non-parents cracking up. And the fun isn’t just for moms: Stein recorded a book trailer called “Dad, You’re My Hero” just in time for Father’s Day.
As she writes in the book, “Parenthood is a minefield of unpredictability: sometimes the mines are made of tears; sometimes they’re made of undigested food.” While Stein may not be able to offer concrete, expert-approved solutions for either of those scenarios, her voice is an ally for parents who just might learn to laugh at themselves too.Add a Comment