Today, I have news even more exciting than poop in the toilet. Yes!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Amy Wilson's book, When Did I Get Like This: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget Buyer, & Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be. (You can read my review over at SheKnows.com.) When I was originally asked to review the book, I suggested that I also run an interview with Amy over here -- and I asked to be able to give away a copy of the book. I wanted to suggest that Amy's publisher give me a contract to write a memoir of raising a child with special needs, but I sensed it might be too soon in our relationship. I'm going to save that for when we get our hair braided or something.
Anyway, Amy was gracious enough to answer my questions as if they were actual, relevant questions, which was incredibly kind and good-humored of her. Take a look at how funny and charming she is.
WG: Amy, you claim to have three small children. But if that's true, then tell us: when and how did you find the time to write such a funny book that features complete sentences, poly-syllabic words, and essays that every mother can relate to?
Amy: I have several "secrets" which are not so incredibly original, but they worked for me:
- A supportive partner, willing to get up with the kids every weekend morning (rather than taking turns sleeping in) so I could write from 6:30 to 9:30 am at the Starbucks
- A great babysitter for my youngest during the week, from 9 am to 3 pm, and two boys in day camp last summer.
- A terrifying, looming, and very tight manuscript deadline.
- Most of all: I didn't have all day every day to write. So I wrote when I could. Twenty minutes here, half an hour there. We moms can get a LOT done in the scraps of time we have.
WG: Do you want to scream as much as I do when your husband says he is "babysitting" his own children?
Amy: Oh my goodness, yes. Now I just said how supportive my husband is, but he has of course made a few male missteps along the way. He has a female co-worker who kicks his ass in these cases, so I don't have to. She was the one to let him have it when he (or so I heard later) said casually at work one afternoon that he couldn't hit the pub after work because he had to go home and "babysit." He has chosen his words more carefully since then.
WG: Could you please tell us the rules for Cut the Cucumber?
Amy: Well, as I say in the book, "Cut the Cucumber" is a very free-form sort of game. All you need to play is to be a little boy with your hands down your pants after bathtime, and with just a little imagination, there you are.
The really funny thing about "Cut the Cucumber" is that I actually asked Seamus for a follow-up recently on that game and how it's played, and he stared at me blankly. He had NO recollection of having ever said those words, let alone having been world champion at said game. This is why you have to write down all the cute/adorable/slightly scary stuff your kids say: they will all too soon forget, and so will you.
WG: What's the one thing you want people to ask you about mothering, because you have a great answer, but no one ever asks you?
Amy: What a good question! Honestly, I feel like, in doing so many interviews for this book, I've gotten tons of great questions- and really had the chance to say what I want to say. So here's my favorite question that I was asked, by Gretchen Rubin on her Happiness Project blog -- and my answer. Her question didn't relate directly to mothering, but my answer did:
Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful?
When a friend of mine had just had her first baby -- and was in the whirlwind of stress and sleep deprivation that comes with it -- she told me that her mother told her: "This isn't forever. This is just right now." How I wish someone had told me that when I was a new mother! I've carried that with me ever since, and it cuts both ways. In a difficult moment, remembering "this is just right now" gives me permission to be there, and take a deep breath, and know that it won't last forever. In a wonderful moment, "this is just right now" helps me remember to savor my happiness, and have gratitude.
Dude, Amy is awesome. I'm seriously hoping she comes to Houston so we can hang out.
And, I have a copy of her book to give away to one lucky reader! And since there are probably about 6 of you who read this blog, your chances of winning are pretty high. To enter, you can just leave a comment below with the one sentence you swore you'd never say -- but now mention at least once daily. Mine? "Life isn't fair."
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