I’m finishing up Bringing Up Bebe. If you’ve not heard of this book, it’s about French parenting. I think I’m a bit out of the parenting book arena at this point, but will dive back in when Arch is in his teens. But he has a few habits that I’d like help breaking. And also, this seemed like a good book to confirm my desire to not be a helicopter parent and, if I was lucky, confirm the fact that my son won’t be permanently damaged because I could, at no point, be bothered to play on the play structure with him. Zuckerman covers this very topic and to my relief, French parents also sit on the sidelines of the playground. I also refuse to have him in a ton of activities and he’s pretty much forced to play with random crap because we don’t buy him a lot of toys. I’m relieved that this is totally acceptable in other countries. But I’m about 80% finished with the book and I’m so ready for it to be over. By now, I’m exhausted by Zuckerman’s petty troubles: OMG! I approved a plan for my new French apartment that makes it look so ugly! OMG! I say bad things about my husband and I’m crabby with him a lot! OMG! I have free day care so I can write books about living in Paris and not really doing much else!
I think I need to put the book down because I’m starting to hate her. I recently finished Blood Bones and Butter, which I loved. I loved that Hamilton got ugly in the book. Sometimes it was a bit hard to take, but she just stared the ugly down and wrote it out. It felt so much more honest to me than Zuckerman’s poor-me-I-don’t-understand-French attitude. And then I saw the cartoon above and I realized I’d shopped from the wrong memoir section.
Zuckerman’s life seems pretty ideal to me. I’d like to live in Paris and have an office where I could write about subjects at my leisure all the while having three children. I’d have just one child, of course. And it’s annoying because that is so far from my life currently, I have to laugh. It’s a resentful, angry laugh but still.
And then I think what would Hamilton think of Zuckerman’s book? Well, she’d likely not read it because who cares? Also who has the time to read stupid books about bored housewives? Apparently I do. But I’m taking a stand and saying I’m only shopping in the memoir section of stories that are worse than mine. (Not saying mine is bad, but it’s not Paris and leisure and free childcare.)