HOW DO YOU TUCK IN A SUPERHERO? And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys
Rachel Balducci is the mother of five boys, with another baby on the way. She is also a newspaper columnist and a former staff writer for the Augusta Chronicle. In this book on the foibles and fun of mothering five lively kids, Balducci's winsome spirit of adventure never wanes. Consistently throughout this book of personal essays, she tells life like it is as a mom and as a mom specifically to the male gender. As the sole female voice in the house, Balducci has found a way (the perfect way) to live life from the opposite side of the fence. She has decided to become a friendly neighbor, inviting her boys to join her in life (while feeding them good food and helping them grow up to be young men with character and strength).
Readers will find lots of common parenting themes in this seven-part resource, but Balducci always serves up the common in a delightfully fresh and uncommon way. Moms and dads will learn about the proper care and feeding of boys; how to identify important markers that signify boys are present; what family togetherness means with five boys under the same roof; how other heroes impact a boy's life and perception; what it looks like on the outside of things with an all-boy home; discovering the essentials for boys; and recognizing (and reveling in) the sweet side of parenting.
Some of the more comical notions of male bonding and parenting from the wilder side include a bunch of rules Balducci still doesn't believe she had to create after having sons. A few of these include: "Boys, you must never crawl into the trunk of someone's car. Never shut your brother in the refrigerator. Never play with fire. Do not open second story windows. Be very careful with power tools, and only use those with permission and when I am in earshot. The spray paint rule --- don't forget it (spray paint is only for art projects and can only be used when I say yes...). Do not hogtie your brother and drag him across the yard on the back of your bicycle, even if he claims he is having a blast."
Aside from the rules Balducci felt required to make up and enforce, she offers parents a sound working list of gear recommended for boys as well. "One old couch; blankets of every sort; Legos...lots of Legos; access to a large tree; twine and/or fishing line; duct tape; blue jeans; wooden blocks; a good pediatrician; and a tattletale.” (Admittedly, Balducci says she doesn't have the last one but would love access to one at times).
Lest anyone think that having so many boys has dimmed Balducci's grip on reality, never fear. She offers much in the way of life wisdom on more serious topics as well. HOW DO YOU TUCK IN A SUPERHERO? has something for everyone here, no matter if you're a mom or dad of sons, sons and daughters, or just daughters.
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe, author of BURDENS DO A BODY GOOD and Single Parenting Columnist (http://michelehowe.wordpress.com/)
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