If I hadn’t read a couple of reviews on this book I might have started this post a bit differently. The first reviewer said she enjoyed it and thought it was funny. The second reviewer, who I believe robbed me a little of the magic, said the chapters felt as if they were short two minute bits of his stand-up. DON’T. READ. THE REVIEWS.
The truth is that they are bits. They’re not bad but they are clean comedy. He admits and owns his “clean comedy” and I respect that; it works for him. Jim Gaffigan talks about the struggle and the joy that is parenthood. He speaks on its takeover and it’s embrace.
I appreciate his opening chapter because it truly sets the stage on the notion that he doesn’t consider himself an expert and how in parenthood there is no real way of doing it right. He and his wife, Jeannie, are raising five kids in a metropolitan city in a walk-up apartment building- somewhere in New York, I can’t remember if it’s Manhattan.
He brings up interesting points on etiquette regarding pregnancy questions and how much of an anomaly it is to have such a large family. He calls it, “Five kids, Catholic.” As if the Catholic part absolves them of any sexual judgement. He talks on how friends have been distanced by their large family and how much sleep he has lost. He praises his wife, which is always nice to read.
Reading this book reminds me of all the things my sister tells me she wouldn’t trade for not having her two baby girls. It also reaminds me of the feelings my mom has said her daughters bring her. Pretty much, it reminds me of anything any parent answers naive, unaware, childless individuals. These responses include: how awesome it was to see his first child be born; how he, lover of sleep, has been able to accept their breakup for his children. He goes over how he copes with the unforeseen events of dad-hood in the playground, at restaurants, in the subway, and in his cramped apartment.
The people I would recommend this book to is the parent that is adiment on being “text book”. There are events that are completely out of the parents control and you just have to make due. For example, one day my sister and I were on our way to the store with my then three year old niece. All of a sudden her tummy wasn’t feeling well, and she chunked.bsrk Barf everywhere, no extra clothes, no napkins or wipes in the car. We got the kid naked and clean with whatever extra dry clothes there was. A quick detour to a department store and done. I see the struggle of the crying two year old and I also see the joy of seeing another human being grow and mature and all of the laughs they create. For Jim Gaffigan… They create endless material.