Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice Paperback
by James Lileks (Author)
Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!
Ahhhh, the 1940s and ’50s . . . a time when parents everywhere strove for the American Dream—manicured lawns, a shiny car in the driveway, and perfect children playing in the yard. Raising kids was simpler back then, or was it?
In Mommy Knows Worst, you’ll be treated to a visual feast of past parenting neuroses—as well as insight into why concerned moms and dads were driven to buy “delicious” baby laxatives, douse their baby in oil and put him in the sun, and strap Junior into a car seat that bore a strange resemblance to scrap metal. If you’re a baby boomer who lived through this childhood torture, well, we’re sorry. But if humor really is the best medicine (rather than bicarbonate of curd and mustard plaster, as was previously recommended for childhood ailments), then Mommy Knows Worst is cheaper than therapy.
Photographs, advertisements, magazine articles, and government-issue parenting guides, which seemed so helpful in their day, are given a whole new slant by the master of the genre, James Lileks. Mommy Knows Worst is a rollicking tribute to old-fashioned parenting that gives us a whole new reason not to forget our past—it’s hilarious!
From the author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food comes a horrifying-yet-hysterical book dedicated to the expert parenting advice from previous generations. Each glossy page includes vintage print ads and photos accompanied by James Lilek’s mean comments. But then, what other response is possible, when faced with cough syrup advertisement with a happy child exclaiming, “A cough syrup good enough to eat with ice cream”!
General categories include “Clothing and Accessories” (including a pattern to make a headband that binds protruding ears to babies’ heads), “Bowels” (featuring an ad with the text, “If he spanks me again, I’m going to run away from home”), and “The Good Old Days”, which offers several detailed options for creating a home delivery center. In every chapter, Lilek’s comments are the equivalent of cracks from your most sarcastic friend.
For any new parent who’s tired of modern advice books, or expecting parents in need of a touch of humor amidst the stress of pregnancy, look no further. Every page has a laugh, and every page will remind the reader that sooner or later, almost all parenting advice will end up having the same worth as what’s included here. Jill Lightner
About the Author
James Lileks is a columnist for the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis. He is the author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Interior Desecrations. His website, lileks.com, is among the most popular humor sites on the Internet.
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (October 25, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches