I started cleaning out our spare room (aka the room that in the last two months had became the receptacle of any and all kinds of junk that I didn't want to deal with or didn't know how to deal with).
I finally started putting things into piles: to sell, to give away, and to keep.
I needed to get rid of two bookcases of books. Some I am going to pack up but some I finally decided to part with. The reality is I don't reread books anymore. There was a time that there were books that were like old friends. I would pull them off the shelf and read them again and again usually when I was troubled about something because there was something calming about knowing how the story turned out.
Not to mention all the parenting books that I accumulated before Emily was born and that I never touched after she arrived. They have to go. When a book's only purpose is to collect dust, it's time to go has arrived.
I lugged a bag of the books to a local used book store and while they were sorting them I perused the shelves. I ended up buying a few books.
I am a sucker for romantic comedies. Sometimes I need something light, easy to follow, easy to read, and entertaining. I know I will be up a lot in the coming months and I usually read when I am up at night. They'll be the perfect company.
Then I found myself in the parenting aisle. I had to hold in a laugh at the impressive number of books on the shelves. What to Expect the First Year, The Scientist in the Crib, The Portable Pediatrician and myriad others all sat on the shelves proclaiming to have all the answers. If only those books and most of the other books sitting there really had all the answers as I had once thought.
I did walk away with two books from that section though.
Confessions of a Slacker Mom and The Sweet Potato's Queen's Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit* ended up coming home with me to sit on my nightstand because they looked....well, hilarious.
Because let's face it, with motherhood sometimes a good laugh is more sorely needed than a how-to from an expert.
With chapters like "There Goes Harvard", "Has Anyone Seen my Instinct", "How to Talk to a Pregnant Woman", and "Brother's Keeper. Low Pay, Few Benefits", how could I not take them home with me? I'm sure I'll be nodding my head and chuckling as I read along.
That is the one thing that the how-to books forget to mention. You need to laugh about it. All the mom fails (not noticing that your child went to school with her shoes on the wrong feet), all the sleepless nights that cause you to do uncharacteristic things (like putting the box of cereal in the fridge), and all the things that your kids do that you never taught them (like picking their nose in public) are in their own way funny.
As I eat my breakfast this morning after being up until 3:30 am after Emily woke her sister up, I'll be eating a bowl of cereal and cracking open the Sweet Potato's Guide. Not only do I need a good laugh but I really need something to keep me from falling asleep in my cereal.
*This title is tongue in cheek since every mom knows that motherhood is really hard work and your more likely to end up in the poorhouse. The titles of the chapters were to funny to resist and are full of funny takes on motherhood.