cover image Sleeping Through the Night . . . and Other Lies: The Mysteries, Marvels, and Mayhem in the First Three Years of Parenthood

Sleeping Through the Night . . . and Other Lies: The Mysteries, Marvels, and Mayhem in the First Three Years of Parenthood

Sandi Kahn Shelton, Author, Shelton, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-20362-7

Shelton's humorous look at the first three years of parenthood is so honest that it may be appreciated only by those who are already parents. Others will either dismiss the book as a pack of lies, because they can't believe anyone would ever be so tired that she would catch a quick nap in the car waiting at a red light, or they will run to the medicine cabinet and check their birth control very carefully. With a breezy style that belies a sophisticated wit, Shelton (You Might As Well Laugh: Surviving the Joys of Parenthood) exaggerates daily life with a baby, but only just a little. Readers will need to pay attention to realize when she crosses the line from vaguely absurd reality to hyperbole. A humor columnist for Working Mother, Shelton touches on almost every parenting topic imaginable, with brief essays grouped by subjects such as sleeping, crying, nursing, dressing, feeding, talking, worrying, calming, separating and, of course, potty training. The book's format works well for the most part, although there are some sections, such as the one about ""sneaky sleep""--the 15-minute nap that can sabotage a child's sleep patterns for days--that could have been longer. And while some chapters are funnier than others, Shelton's book is a welcome addition to the parenting bookshelf. Author tour. (May)