Dead body discovery.
Foul-mouthed, pot-smoking parents (well, mostly Dad).
A smuggled placenta.
What’s this, you ask? The next episode of Pretty Little Liars? (Does that reference work here? ‘Cause I’ve truthfully never seen the show and had to Google “popular TV series” in the name of a relevant comparison. How’d I do? I shoulda went with The Good Wife, huh?)
What was I saying?
Oh yeah. Vomit, death, F-bombs, and illegal placentas. ALL part of the gut-busting book, How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane and Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source by the absolute riot of a woman and writer, Johanna Stein. You know how Buddy the Elf‘s favorite is smiling? Well, my favorite is laughing, and Johanna made me do just that on almost every page of her book. I love me a strong voice in writing, and that’s exactly why I couldn’t put How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane down. I even abandoned my good friends Jonathan and Drew Scott a few nights and opted to read instead of salivate over Property Brothers. The brothers and their seemingly nonchalant coiffed heads aren’t bad, but their kitchen designs are orgasmic.
Anyway, Johanna doesn’t write; she creates. She creates this world with vivid colors and hilarious characters and describes them in such a way that you feel like you’re on this acid trip of funny with her. And as a mom, I appreciate that she is honest about this thing called parenting. It’s full of love, upchuck, laughs, and nipples that will never again point in the same direction. <— just one of the 29 things she has lost since pushing out a human.
Johanna gets parents; she wrote this book for us. She captured the mama in me with the traumatic “Binky War Diaries,” and her genius “Marriage Quotient” had the wife in me pumping my fists like, THIS FALSE MATH MAKES TOTAL SENSE! And if you want to cringe along with her (then giggle because thankgod it’s not me), don’t skip “The Talk” she had with her semi-voyeuristic toddler. Note to parents: lock your bedroom door, mmmkay?
Nothing I write can do the brilliance that is this woman’s voice justice, so I’m giving you a sneak peek into the afternoon we spent together so you can appreciate her irreverent humor for yourself.*
*afternoon together, brief email communications–what’s the difference, really?
Johanna was kind enough to entertain my crazy (because she is emphatically crazier than I; just love that about her), and answer some very pressing questions pertaining to some very important topics like how GD leaf blowers are so annoying and why she would wear a rubber suit with built-in ladyscaping again.
Fill-in-the-blank fun with Johanna Stein
1. The first thing I think of when I wake in the morning is Why does my mouth taste like the inside of an elderly man’s sock?
2. If I could rid the world of one thing it would be Leaf blowers, the high-pitched droning sound of which makes me want to crawl up inside my rectum. A close 2nd: Poverty.
3. Given the opportunity, I would go back into time and change the perm I got in 1984. I think the stylist must have over-shot the timer by about 4 days – I say that based on the fact that my head looked like a torso illustration from a 1970’s Sex Education handbook.
4. My favorite part of being a Mom is The built-in excuse generator. “Sorry, we can’t make it, the babysitter just cancelled!” (Though it occurs to me now that I probably shouldn’t have revealed that…. so let’s go with “it allows me to access a primal form of love that I never knew was within me”. Or some crap like that.)
5. The part of my book I like the most is The cover! It’s so soft and silky, I don’t know what it’s made of but it feels like the soft underbelly of a newborn puppy. (Seriously, if you find yourself in a Barnes & Noble, go cop a feel. You’ll thank me.) I sincerely hope that they didn’t make it out of the skin of newborn puppies — but if they did, I have to say it was worth it.
6. If I could have one parenting super power, it would be the ability to talk to inanimate objects and apologize to them for the indignities they are forced to suffer. Like that Barbie shoe that my daughter shoved up her nose when she was a toddler. No tiny, adorable piece of plastic footwear deserves that.
7. I knew I wanted to write a book when I realized that I could wear the same pair of sweatpants for 3 days straight and still call it “working”.
8. My favorite adult beverage is I rarely drink but when I do I LOVE a St. Germain Gin & Tonic. I can only handle a half glass before I find myself in the fetal position under a coffee table, but dear Heaven, it is delicious.
9. I hate the trend/cliche _“Because: (blank).”_______ in writing because: Lazy frickin writer.
10. I felt _proud, invincible, and like I just might be a teeny bit psychotic after smuggling my placenta out of the hospital.
11. The only thing worse than a child freaking out on a plane is sticking your hand into a barfbag filled with the fresh vomit of a total stranger.
12. If I teach my daughter only one thing, I want it to be how to give an old woman the best foot massage of her life. (Just planning for my future.)
13. My unnatural fear of uncovering dead bodies originated from my parents taking me to see “Night of the Living Dead” when I was seven. But I guess that was an honest mistake on their part – the title is so misleading. They probably thought it was a sequel to “Herbie the Lovebug”, or “That Darn Cat.”
14. I wouldn’t be caught dead… this is difficult to answer, as I have no shame whatsoever, and there aren’t many things I wouldn’t be caught dead doing. Cases in point, THIS:
To purchase her book through Amazon, B&N or Indiebound, hit up: http://jojostein.
Full Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post, nor did Johanna ask me to write it. I was, however, contacted by a lovely lady at her camp and asked to read the book. I was all, yeah lady, sure, like I have the time. Then I got it, read it, and peed the bed. I peed the bed because I sneezed, so that’s pretty much an irrelevant detail, but this is about full-disclosure, right?