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on August 16, 2000
I used to occasionally pick up my mother's Erma Bombeck books when I was a young teenager and read some of it -- I found it funny but didn't quite understand it.
I am now the stay-at-home mother of a three year old with the second baby on the way. What she writes about is as true in 2000 as it was in the 1970s. The environment may have changed -- not nearly as many stay-at-home moms, and the ones that are tend to be working from home, et cetera.
But there are still husbands who decide to fix the plumbing themselves, there are still kids who want cupcakes and a costume for the school play on Sunday night, and there are still women with college educations who haven't gotten to read a book other than the Dr. Seuss series since before the kids were born.
I understand now. I comprehend fully why my mother told me, when I asked as a naïve teenager what was so funny about Erma Bombeck, I'd understand later. There is no better author to make mothers feel like they're not the only person in the world that puts up with this . . . because their kids and husbands haven't noticed yet.
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This is Erma Bombeck's first book and you can see all that talent, all that material ready to make its mark on the world.
But it doesn't read as a "first book" - all the stuff is there - the kids letting you know on Sunday night they need a costume for the school play - this happens in 2002 just the same as it happened in the 1970s - and of course, mom has no idea what she's supposed to do about a costume. That part is worht the price of admission alone.
So find a quiet spot, maybe after the kids have gone to school and you're wondering if you relaly should have sent them since it's snowing and school will probably close early - get a cup of coffee and read about what it's really like to be a mom.
Oh, and keep the radio on, too - they'll be announcing the school closings for you - and of course, the bus won't be available to pick them up;)
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on March 1, 1999
This was Erma Bombeck's first book, and it is hilarious! It takes her through a one-year period, with all the trials and tribulations of housewivery. She tells a great story . . . and explains who she wrote this book for! It is a marvelous pick-me-up book. Read it! "My children have an imagination straight from the pages of Frankenstein. Once they put a live hamster on my chest to wake me up in the morning. As I bolted upright, my throat muscles paralyzed by fear, they asked, "Can we have the cardboard that comes with Daddy's shirts?"
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