Monday, April 8, 2013

Mondays on the Margins: Parenting Illustrated With Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick OR I TOTALLY Knew Her When

I met Amber Dusick (virtually) when she was still Wood Mouse. I think I met her through this other Amber, and sometimes on my blog I would get double Amber comments. That was cool.

Sometimes Amber Dusick makes stuff. I have a little house that she made.


That's cool too.

Then she made something else. A funny blog post with hastily-drawn pictures. And people really, really liked that blog post. And then I was suddenly in that position where someone you sort of know gets really famous really quickly, and you'd hate them if they weren't so freaking nice and talented and richly deserving of all of it.

And then she emailed me and said I was on her "send a book to this awesome person" list and ASKED if she could send me a copy of her book to review. Objectively, of course.

So now that I've made this all about ME..... you really need to read this book. And then share it with all your friends who are parents. Buy it for a baby shower gift. Pass it around at playgroup. Leave it on your coffee table. Because Amber just freaking gets it, you know? How having kids is kind of like inviting a nuclear weapon to blow up your life. Sure, the nuclear weapon is frequently charming, endearing, adorable and quite entertaining, but it still makes your days and nights a smoking crater of confusion and sleeplessness.

And damned if her simple line drawings don't make her devastatingly true assessment of parenting funnier by an inestimable factor. In fact, I'm a little afraid to even try having someone read me a post without being able to see the pictures because I have a sneaking suspicion it might not be funny AT ALL (this is a complete lie, I don't really suspect that at all, but there's something about the pictures - the wiggly single curl on Crappy Baby's head, the kids' curiously alien eyes, the way food and Lego and bodily fluids are all reduced to representative smudges). Occasionally she illustrates other people's blog posts and really hits it out of the park.

She just strikes the exact right note for me - how kids are hilarious and wonderful, but how it can really suck trying to get them to sleep, or eat, or not embarrass you half to death in front of perfect strangers. In the book, there's more writing to connect the pictures, and some of the anecdotes are longer. The one where they go on vacation and everyone gets diarrhea on the plane and then the last picture is of the whole family peeing (in little yellow dotted lines) on the side of the road and getting caught in another car's headlights brought me to my knees.

Amber is a hilarious writer and crappy-picture-maker and a genuinely nice person. I'm buying extra copies of the book because it feels like cheating that I got this one for free. My kids have also enthusiastically endorsed the book. So has Mayim Bialik - it's right there on the front cover - but my kids are brilliant AND in favour of vaccines, so...

7 comments:

Nicole said...

As my Uncle Harvey used to say "Another hometown boy makes good." Except, instead of boy it's girl, and instead of hometown it's...whatever the equivalent in blog talk.

Did that make sense? I'm guessing no. Anyway, this book looks awesome and I'm glad you reviewed it. I may just have to pick it up for Mark's teacher who is pregnant. Well, it's her fourth kid, but that's what would make it more awesome.

Hannah said...

I LOVE her blog! When I'm really in the doldrums I'll just go read one of her posts at random and it never fails to make me laugh.

I'll have to pick up a copy of her book for my sister-in-law - she's pregnant with #2. I figure that's far enough along the parenting continuum to find this hilarious. ;)

harriet glynn said...

So funny!~ Everyone likes the truth sometimes!

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

She's awesome.

Amber said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You will always be on my awesome person list, despite how infrequently I have time to comment on blogs anymore.

Anonymous said...

Even just 15 minutes a day keeps your piano playing ability in tune.
-- Chord Symbol: Dm. Pretend that we are palming an egg and keep your arms relaxed and fingers curled.


Here is my blog post: Right Here Waiting Piano Chords And Tabs

Nan | Wrath Of Mom said...

I have never heard of this woman before. I'm so out of the loop.

So has Mayim Bialik - it's right there on the front cover - but my kids are brilliant AND in favour of vaccines, so... BAM! SAID THE LADY! Brilliant.