Friday, December 28, 2007

The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Of course, I received many lovely books as gifts this year which will keep me reading and posting for quite some time to come. I got a short little book called The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life which I read Christmas evening in about 30 minutes. I wanted it because the subtitle is "What I've Learned in my Never-Ending Quest to Become a Dalai Mama." Dalai Mama--I love it! Aside from that little touch of genius, I didn't really glean a whole lot from the actual book. Kind of funny with a lot of cute little line illustrations (like of her "Palm Pilot"--the palm of her hand with lots of notes written on it. ;-) I have one of those too!) She talked briefly about questing for perfection--"if you really were a perfect mother, everyone would hate you"--and quoted The Mother Dance author Harriet Lerner regarding perfectionism as the archenemy of mothers. Coincidentally, I also got The Mother Dance for Christmas and later in the evening when I opened it up to skim through I randomly opened to that same quote about perfectionism. Funny, eh?!

I also read Riddle of the Prairie Bride. This was a predictable "history mystery" for preteen girls (I bought it on clearance from American Girl and gave it to my mom to stuff my stocking with). Widowed father of 12 year old Ida Kate sends for a mail order bride. She arrives with her one year old baby and it soon becomes clear that something is amiss. She does not meet her description from her letters, gives inconsistent answers and so forth. Ida Kate investigates, mystery is solved, and true love reigns on the prairie. Why am I bothering to blog about this you may ask? Because, I keep an eye out for "breastfeeding as normal" content in kids books and I loved that in this mystery the first clue that the prairie bride is not who she says she is is that she didn't nurse her baby! (and, a one-year-old baby at that! Wow!) "She feeds him milk from a cup rather than nursing him as mothers do..." (Ida Kate notices the baby patting on the front of the mystery woman's dress and instead of nursing him, she gets a cup of milk for him). I also liked the use of the word "nurse" instead of "breastfeed." Cozy, familiar, desirable, and NORMAL. (With the emphasis on the process and not the product as Diane Wiessinger would say.)

The children's books the Royal Diaries and the other historical fictional diaries in that series of books also often mention breastfeeding and I like that about them (I appreciate it because it is NOT necessary for the content of the book, but it adds a nice touch of realism and normalness). Also, I just remembered that in one of the AG short stories--Josefina's Reward I think---her older sister has to hurry back from what she is doing to "nurse the baby" (who is also over one year old and walks and talks in the book).

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