-posted by Meghan
Just in time for Mother’s Day, I discovered a fantastic new book. We were at a local children’s bookstore, and Molly picked out a book the way she often does (by color – it is bright green, her favorite). It was called Monsters Eat Whiny Children, written and illustrated by Bruce Eric Kaplan. I knew I’d like it just from the title and the illustrations (Kaplan is a cartoonist for New Yorker Magazine) are delightful (they remind me of Quentin Blake, with a hint of Edward Gorey). But the more we read it, the more I felt myself relaxing, as if exorcising some of my bad parent demons. Harping on how annoying it is to hear children whine to the very children who whine to you the most is cathartic. Talking about how monsters will eat them sort of lets you feel as if you are yelling at the kids and telling them they can make you crazy, but far from actually doing that (and scarring them – and yourself – for life), you are curling up with them on your lap, snuggling and laughing and enjoying a moment! You get the best of both worlds.
So my gift to you this mother’s day is recommending this book. It’s cheaper, and a whole lot more fun, than therapy. Enjoy. The best part is, it’ll be sitting there on the shelf waiting to perk you up the next time the kids deserve to be eaten. (And the next, and the next…)
(And if you missed it, last year on Mother’s Day I posted one of my favorite passages about one of the things a mother does for her children. What’s your favorite writing about being a mother?)