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Pamela Brill

Call of the Wild: The Intrepid Parent’s Field Guide to the Baby Kingdom

February 6, 2013

Parents Field GuideEight-plus years into the parenting game, and I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Whenever I think I've finally figured things out with my 8- and 4-year-old, WHAM!-they go and pull a fast one on me. The younger one lovvvves Double Noodle soup? I stock up at the store...only to have her tell me she "no longer likes the noodles 'cause they're too long." The older one showing signs of being more independent? Suddenly she can't go 15 minutes by herself without wandering into the kitchen to "find out what you're doing." (Laundry, kid. It's just not that exciting.) I know I should feel like a pro after this many years on the job, but I continue to live and learn...and take comfort in the fact that I've been feeling this way since Day One, with only my sense of humor still intact. That's probably why the cleverly titled parenting book The Intrepid Parent's Field Guide to the Baby Kingdom jumped out at me when it crossed my desk. With each chapter, author Jennifer Byrne embraces the wackiness that is parenting, while packaging in some hands-on advice between the laughter. One of the more poignant parts appears in Chapter 9, "Grooming the Wild Infant," featuring practical tips on how to trim your baby's fingernails without biting off yours in the process. (One of the few areas of babycare I relegated to my husband, I could never manage manage the nail clippers while holding on to a baby escapee.) Byrne offers up some rather blunt suggestions, but never loses her knack for injecting subtle chuckles (I admittedly fall into the "be a wimp" category). For the crazy ride that is parenting, this book makes a great gift for a new mom or dad who doesn't claim to be an expert-and doesn't plan to check her sense of humor at the door.

In a Nutshell: Attention don't-know-it-all's: This tell-all parenting book tells it likes it is, without taking itself (or the job) too seriously. The perfect approach to modern child-rearing.