Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Raise a Smart Ass

This autobiographical nonfiction book about author Lucia Walinchus’s experiences with raising young children opens with a prologue describing that her oldest daughter Chloe snuck out of the house at just five years old to visit a friend’s house, carelessly leaving the front door ajar. She opens the main chapters with mention of the celebration of her first pregnancy with “fat clothes,” and how she and her husband moved to Rochester, New York three weeks after the birth of their initial daughter. Her naval spouse ultimately gets a job necessitating they move to Virginia, where she becomes pregnant again, noting that the second time is usually more dreaded than the first.

The author briefly breaks from the main action to tell a story about her Italian heritage dating back to the winter of 1919, before returning to the modern era and telling about the birth of her second daughter, fast labor, and passage of the Virginia bar exam. She follows with how she toilet-trained Chloe, remodeled her bathroom after said instruction, and how she grew impatient with her children’s cleaning, feeling that she could do a quicker job. The fecal sections and humor were a bit of a turnoff for this reader, although she mercifully moves to other matters such as children’s television and literature, not to mention the potential horror of shopping with kids.

She proceeds on how adult norms can confuse children, her enrollment of Chloe in preschool, and how children tend to be fairly inquisitive. Then comes the potential stress relief of “crying rooms” in churches, how she wanted to get her daughter into sports by enrolling her in gymnastics, and how driving with children can be chaotic. Next comes the author’s move to Oklahoma, where she finds her husband wants to get back into engineering, discusses her second daughter Concetta, and pregnancy with her first son. Overall, this is a fairly humorous tale recommended to most parents, although this reviewer didn’t care much for the occasional and somewhat offensive fecal humor.
Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.

​Upcoming event:  Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter

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