1. I am so unfunny. I'd like to think I have my (few and far-between) moments, but even when I'm at the top of my game, I reach about 20% of Teresa's everyday humour. This girl is hilarious...and in a smart, witty, relatable way. (Even when you desperately want to deny that you can relate.) From her invented words (pregatory: "the three month no-man's-land during which your soul lurks between being an expectant mom and being who you were before") and the between chapters "People I Want To Punch" monologues (Bummer Ladies, Great Sleep People), Strasser had me laughing out loud the whole way through.
2. I have TMI issues. She clearly does not. Read this book to learn about Teresa's private parts and bodily functions..... because believe me, you'll never read about mine.
3. My chapter on giving up toxins in pregnancy would be much shorter and less interesting. I cut back on...wait for it...Diet Coke. She takes ten pages to summarize her prenatal sacrifices, from Advil to Xanax and everything in between.
4. My exploitation of my children is on a much smaller scale, right here on This Mom Loves. That is, until I get my own book deal.
5. L.A. is a much more fascinating setting than rural Ontario. (Now, in all fairness, I spent many pregnant days in Toronto, where in-utero Maggie experienced a Bon Jovi concert. I also went on a fantastic family vacation in Montreal right before Frannie's birth. I do get out.) Even her neighbours (like the Asian transsexual prostitute) are much more exotic than the ones next door to me. You know, my in-laws. (Wait...maybe THAT could get me the book deal!)
6. I got the girl I was secretly hoping for...both times. I love Strasser's section on her irritation with the "Just Grateful for a Healthy Baby" people. OF COURSE you want a healthy baby! But if you could pick a healthy boy or a healthy girl, which would you really choose????
7. Her job sacrifices seem a lot cooler. She lost the opportunity to cohost the view (Elisabeth Hasselbeck got the job) and to star on Jerry Seinfeld's new reality show. Me? I lost the chance to convene the interschool Battle of the Books competition. Arguably not as devastating.
8. I couldn't offer you "The Ten Worst Moms in History" (a list which, in Strasser's opinion includes Kate Gosselin, the Octomom and Demi Moore) because I'd be afraid of offending someone. (I'm sure Kate, Nadya and Demi follow my work faithfully.)
9. On a related note, I've never, ever called anyone "the c-word". Least of all Nancy O'Dell. Read the book for the details.
10. I have a great relationship with my Mom. Honestly. Teresa has issues that, if nothing else, spur me to further bond with and appreciate my own precious daughters. Negligence, neglect, humiliation: Strasser seems to have turned out impossibly well in spite of it all. My story? Growing up I always wanted my mom's approval (which I usually had), and didn't want her guilt trips (which she occasionally gave). Explosive memoir fodder it's not.
So, maybe my book deal days are but a dream...that is, if I'm going with the 'exploiting my baby' angle. Perhaps I just need to think harder about who or what else (besides the tragically overused parentheses in this blog post) I could exploit....
If you're pregnant, you obviously need a medical reference book, and even a sweet, yay-for-the-miracle-of-birth mommy memoir sitting on your nightstand. I would argue that you also need a copy of Exploiting My Baby by Teresa Strasser. That is, until my book comes out to replace it.
Check out Teresa's website and her Exploiting My Baby blog.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own. Though I often wish I could blame someone else.
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