July 31, 2009 Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
It's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of babies or new parents (with few, very rare exceptions), so I was little bit skeptical when one of my co-workers suggested I borrow this book from her. But she assured me that she also does not find babies universally cute, so I figured I would give it a chance. Plus the author is from the Bay Area, so it couldn't be too bad.

It was a very enjoyable read. It was great to read something so visceral about having a brand-new baby, even if I didn't always agree with her decisions. The stream of consciousness style of the first few weeks was really compelling. Colic was like "Vietnam."

While I was reading it, I alternated between laughing, scoffing (sometimes the "my baby is the most beautiful that ever was" gets a little old) and tearing up. My favorite part was the story of the older couple from her church that just showed up at her house one day. They wanted to give her a gift - tell them something that she really wants but would be too embarrassed to ask for. At first she refused, but finally admitted - "clean the bathroom." And they did.

About halfway through the book, it changes focus. Since it's a memoir, you can't fault the story - it's just what happened. However, the tone and everything changed and it was much less amusing, fun and enjoyable to read. Again, understandable, but unexpected. Much like what happened.

Still, it was a nice read and even though I'm a long ways off (if I ever do have kids), it was good to a read something "real" about being a mother and having a baby for once.

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