Karen Alpert Delivers New Book on ‘Great Pain’ of Having Kids
So what if the kids have a television for a babysitter and a Big Mac for dinner—five nights in a row? They're alive. And safe-ish, right? These are the hilarious confessions of Chicago mommy blogger Karen Alpert, who is out with her second book, "I Want My Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting."
Her inspiration for the title came from the realization that raising a child is harder than giving birth.
“Before you have kids, you think the hard part is going to be actually getting the child out of your body. And it’s not,” she said. “That’s the easy part because that lasts only a day, maybe less, maybe a little more. But after that you’ve got years and years of pain ahead of you. And it’s awesome. It’s great pain. I wouldn’t take it back for the world, but it’s pain.”
Alpert gives her hilarious take on parenting, including how it can be similar to prison, dreaming about her kids becoming nerds and how she loves the little rugrats to pieces.
“Occasionally I write the sweet stuff, but I write about the bad stuff so people will know that it’s going on and that it’s not hidden behind some curtain somewhere where you can’t see it,” Alpert said. “The truth of the matter is I’m writing what’s in my head.
"And there’s not a day that goes by where you don’t step on a Lego, or a kid doesn’t draw on something, or something doesn’t go wrong that you weren’t expecting, and something goes through your head that probably shouldn’t. So that’s what I write down and share it with other parents so they don’t feel like they’re being bad for having those thoughts.”
Below, an excerpt from the book.
Dear Sesame Street, I LOVVVVVVE You
Dear Sesame Street,
Hi! How are you? So I’ve been meaning to write you for a long time, but my to-do list is always like nine miles long, and I’m finally just getting a chance to sit down and do it. I just wanted to say thank you. Hmm, that doesn’t quite do it justice. What I mean is THANK YOUUUU!!!!!!!! You are single-handedly responsible for sooooo much awesome s--t in my life. (S--t, did I just curse to Sesame Street? That can’t be right.)
Anyways, here goes. Thank you so much for letting me shower like a million times. Well, not a million, but at least once every three days for the past five years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve plopped my kids in front of a good episode of Sesame Street so that I can stand under the hot water knowing they probably won’t barge in to ask me for something annoying or to point at my tush and laugh or to build a log cabin out of my tampons (wrapped UNused ones, in case you have the wrong image in your head). I thank you and so do all the people who sit within a ten-foot radius of me at Starbucks.
Also thank you so much for teaching my kids their numbers. Before I had kiddos, I always thought I’d be one of those moms who’d sit at the kitchen table (actually, I always pictured a giant granite island in a big fancy mansion, but that didn’t happen) with my rugrats and we’d do math and reading and flash cards together, but alas, I am not that mom. I mean once I bought this big kindergarten workbook at Costco, but the spine has yet to be cracked. But thanks to the Count and Feist’s counting song on Sesame Street, my kids weren’t total idiots when they started school.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of THS (Television Homeschooling), thank you for teaching my kiddos some awesome vocab words. Words like camouflage, absorb, and identical. If it weren’t for Word on the Street, all my kids would know are bad four-letter words that aren’t gonna do jack s--t for them on the SATs. Although come to think of it, I actually did say the F word quite a bit when I was taking the SATs.
Oh yeah, here’s another thing I need to thank you for. Thank you SOOOO much for keeping me somewhat up to date on Hollywood. Because here’s the thing. When you’ve got little kiddos, you don’t see movies anymore, so you have no F’ing clue who the big celebs are. I mean, I open up People magazine these days and I’m like, “Don’t know her,” “Who the hell is that?” and “I can’t believe they don’t have a single picture of Shannen Doherty in this issue.” And then I turn on Sesame Street for my rugrats and I’m like, “Ohhhhh, that’s who Anna Kendrick is.” Someone was talking about her the other day and I was like, who? The next time I’ll actually be able to say something and not stand there looking like a mute codfish.
Oh, and Ses? Can I call you that? Thank you so much for NOT being a cartoon. There are wayyyy too many cartoons these days and I know it’s just my opinion but cartoons pretty much suck ass. Like here are some of the cartoons that are out there: Caillou, the Whiniest Douchenugget on earth; Bubble Guppies, whose name alone grates on my every nerve; and Dora the Explorer, who sounds like a broken record and who speaks with giant . . . . . . . . . annoying . . . . . . . . . pauses. I mean yeah, that little Abby Crap-dabby stuff is in there, but she’ll always play second fiddle to Elmo. La la la, this is my song, I love Elmooo.
Anyways, that’s it. You F’ing rock, Sesame Street. I’d kiss you but kissing a TV set is kinda weird and yeah, I’m a little wacky but I’m not a total wackjob.
A mom who couldn’t do it without you
Related 'Chicago Tonight' content
Sept. 1, 2015: What is the secret to narrowing the achievement gap that exists between kids from different socioeconomic groups? Research shows it may be all about small talk, that is: talking to the little ones as soon as they enter the world.
May 29, 2012: The author of a new book tells us how to keep kids safe in the digital age. James Steyer is the founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that studies the impact of media on kids and families.
Feb. 17, 2011: Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, joins us to discuss her controversial book about Chinese mothering. The topic has generated heated discussions about parenting and ethnicity across the country.