Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The Way We Were!, 6 May 2004
This review is from: How to Eat Like a Child: And Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-up (Paperback)
Caution: Although this book might at first seem like it is made for children as one of the audiences, be aware that How to Eat Like a Child contains two instances of a vulgar four letter word beginning with "f."
How to Eat Like a Child would be a great gift to new parents . . . especially from their own parents!
This book has two appeals. First, to those who wish to remember their own youth. Second, for those who wish to remember what their children were like. In either case, you will find yourself feeling the situations in your body, in your mind, and in your emotions.
Ms. Ephron is a very good observer, and has a good memory for the way things work.
The title is actually just referring to one five-hundred word essay, that leads the book off. Ms. Ephron wrote this for The New York Times Magazine in 1977 and got a tremendous response, including an invitation to write more material. The result is this book which is filled with wit, wisdom, and love. I've captured a few brief excerpts to give you a flavor of how you will eat up the contents of this book:
Eating: "Cooked carrots: On way to mouth, drop in lap. Smuggle to garbage in napkin."
Watching television: "Your mother is calling you. Do not hear her . . . ."
Hanging up the telephone: "Are you still there?"
Playing: "After using your bed as a trampoline, transform your room into a giant spider web . . . ."
How to laugh: "Call a pizza parlor and send your teacher seven pizzas."
Caring for a pet dog: "Each day, procrastinate and complain until your mother finds it easier to feet it and walk it herself."
Birthday party guest: "If reminded, say thank you.
Go home.
Throw up."
School: "Tell your teacher for the second time this week, that you do not have your homework because the dog ate it."
Arranging to be excused from the dinner table: "Lean back until your chair rests precariously on its two back legs. Fall over."
Being sent to room: "Slam door."
How to torture sister: "Pretend to eat shaving cream . . . . Wanna try some?"
Ride in car: "Ask if you are almost there yet."
How to sleep: "Fall out of bed and don't wake up."
This book really deserves a sequel that focuses on how to be the parent of the child who is behaving like a child. I suspect that subject would be a lot funnier!
Think back. How would you behave if you were not constrained by so much socialization, guilt, and desire to please? Where would it be appropriate to adopt some of that wonderful freedom of childhood?
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