If we ever decide, here at eParenting, to give out 'Parenting in the Real World' awards one of the first recipients would have to be Penny Wilson. 'Wipe' expresses with wit and humour many of the hidden truths of pregnancy, birth and living with children. You know, the stuff they don't put in the glossy magazines.
WIPE was originally a magazine started by Wilson and friends as a magazine for real parents by real parents. Here was a place to share your frustration with the kids, your life or to just plain rant at how the world treats you once you have kids! The magazine is sadly no longer, but this book puts the best of it in one place with articles from the original magazine and liberal doses of Wilson 's sideways spin on life.
A former social worker, Penny Wilson has battled with single parenthood, a disabled child as well as the necessity of working from home. This experience qualifies her amply to write this book, and there are equally engaging contributions from others where she is not qualified to comment, such as where a father's eye view is required.
The book covers a wide variety of subjects from the prosaic (advice on how to do battle with the authorities if you have a disabled child, how to help your child at school) to the downright eclectic (Yes! A Porsche 911 could work perfectly well as a family car!)
The best thing about this book however is the huge sense of humour which pervades it. Each chapter ends with a collection of pithy bullet points summarising that chapter, or not as the case may be. I laughed out loud reading this book. A Lot . You may get strange looks if you read this book in public - once you pick yourself off the floor that is! For example, the chapter on birth ends with a glossary of terms which will make you groan - with stitch from laughing too much. For example I quote;
"Linea Nigra - Dark line appearing down middle of abdomen. Combined with a caesarean scar, greatly increases the likelihood of being mistaken for a Hot Cross Bun."
Every page offers a laugh, from gentle chuckle to mild hysteria. This book is a great antidote to some of the more po-faced or downright scary parenting books, is great for dipping into or for a long read (if you ever get the time for such a thing), and is a must for anyone who has to remember to lighten up occasionally.