Two nights ago I found my husband sitting in the hall in one corner giggling to himself. I was busy clearing up after dinner so didn’t stop to ask him why he was giggling. A few minutes later when I came back to the vicinity I found him laughing. I just wanted to finish clearing up and get to bed so that I could catch some sleep before my 15 month old woke up for his night feed, and so I continued to do my chores. As I finished up in the kitchen and came out, I found him on the floor and laughing so much that he had tears in his eyes. Seeing my curiously amused face, he pointed to the book in his hand and invited me over to see it.
“I don’t have the time to read any book now,” I said to him irritated. I nonetheless walked over and sat down beside him, and trust me when I say that reading Amber Dusick’s Parenting – Illustrated with Crappy Pictures was like reading the pages right out of my life. Hooked on, it took me an hour to read this book cover and cover and it was the most hilarious one hour I have experienced in recent times.
If you are a parent, then Amber Dusick, through this book of illustrations, takes you on a roller coaster ride and makes you relive some of those crazy moments you may have experienced. She talks of being sleep deprived, of perennially being tired, and of poop and diapers, and so much more. It is all done through irreverent stick figure illustrations and amazingly honest and witty writing. You find a lot of material and books that talk about parenting techniques and styles, but this book has thankfully stayed away from sermonizing. Amber says it as it is and in the bargain all you do throughout reading the book is Laugh Out Loud (LOL).
I have two favourite chapters in this book. The first one is on Sleep, or rather the lack of it. The situation she describes sounded exactly like what happens in my home. After a night of multiple feeds, possibly a diaper change, some lullaby singing, and also some vigorous hamstring exercise with my son on my lap, to ensure that he sleeps, the last thing I want to hear in the morning is my husband waking up well rested after a good 8 hour sleep exclaiming, “Oh, I feel so tired.”
The other chapter that had me in splits is on Poop and Diapers. Becoming a parent automatically means there is no embarrassment in using these words in a public place. Amber describes how in the initial days of being a mother, all one does is change diapers and clean the bottom. Eventually one moves on to the next phase which feels like you are amidst a nuclear explosion. Then ofcourse once your child graduates to walking/running you have to run behind him with the diaper in hand in the hope that no poop gets out during this entire game your child is playing. Again, Amber describes all this wonderfully with just the stick figures.
What is fascinating are the emotions that the author brings out with just illustrations. She has resorted to using prose in a few places but most of the talking is done by the illustrations. If you are a parent or intend to be one someday or know of people who are parents or just want a good laugh, this is the book you might want to pick up.
Thank you for a good laugh, Amber Dusick.