Jessica Ziegler, one of the co-authors of The Science Of Parenthood, sent a copy of her book to my P.O. box. I picked it up with my 8-year-old son, who immediately started flipping through the book as we drove home. Most of the drive he had a red-faced little grin, and he laughed out loud several times, a snotty giggle that really only happens when a little boy is being exposed to some hilarious new element of the adult world. Once home, he tried to take the book into his room, but I confiscated it.
I sent Jessica a message letting her know what happened, and she said, “Ha! Well… he’s going to have questions.”
He didn’t have any questions… at least not yet… I’m sure they are coming.
But the fact that he was so willing to pick up the book really is part of it’s easy going charm. My son was the first to try and steal it from me. But he wasn’t the last. It was on my desk and my coworker snuck it into her office and giggled for a good 20 minutes. Then she bought a copy. Almost everyone that saw the damn thing, young or old, tried to steal it from me, making it very difficult to write this review.
The Science of Parenthood is a play on a textbook for parenting, and although when I write that, it sounds boring, it’s far from it.
This book is, hands down, relatable and hilarious.
The Science Of Parenthood presents itself to have all the answers, as if parenting really has answers, because it doesn’t. Parenting is chaos and confusion, and one of the best things a parent can do is sit back and attempt to make sense of it. And ultimately that’s what this book does. It attempts to make sense of parenting. It attempts to make something that couldn’t possibly be a science, into a science.
It lists wonderfully hilarious definitions on parenting that remind me of the raw humor and originality of The Onion.
“Car seat Carbon Dating: advanced technology used to determine how old the foodstuff collected under the baby seat actually is.”
“Quantum Carpool Mechanics: why moms are able to drop off two kids at separate activities on opposite ends of town at exactly the same time.”
There are graphs, tables, and flow charts that show everything from how many alcoholic beverages a parent must consume to get through their child’s favorite TV show, to how to find where your toddler hid your cellphone. I particularly enjoyed these charts because they took a serious format and mixed them with the madness and ridiculousness that is parenting. Reading them almost helped me find order where there is no order.
Most of the humor is tongue in cheek. It pokes fun at marriage, toddlers, husbands, wives… all element of family life are captured in this book sarcastically, and genuinely, and hilariously. One section in particular presented a graph that illustrated a husband’s action in relation to his chances for sex.
I laughed out loud. But then I read it again and took a few notes.
The sections in this book are short and simple. It’s easy to pick up and put down. Anyone with children will appreciate that, considering sitting down to a long captivating read really only happens when the children are well… you know what… it just doesn’t happen.
This book is for pondering parents, new parents, old parents, and grandparents. I’m planning to give it away at the next baby shower so they can start laughing early.
Unless you are crusty and shitty and bitter about parenting, buy this book. It will give you a good laugh. It will make you think. It will help you realize that parenthood couldn’t possibly be a science, but it sure is fun to pretend.