I have a confession to make. Before I had the kidlets, I was often annoyed when someone else’s kid acted up in public, imposing their caterwauling on my annoyed ears at the supermarket, post office, or especially an airplane. At restaurants, I’d request a table away from children the way people would request Non Smoking.
Now? I’m just relieved when the meltdown isn’t my child, and as soon as that registers, I abruptly tune it out like a mild, background static. Even when my kids aren’t with me, I turn around automatically at the word, “Mommy.” For that has been my name these past few years.
So it is with Carolyn Coppola, author of Minivans, Meltdowns & Merlot. This woman is So Relatable personified, and her chronicles as a mother to two small children and step-mom to two teens are filled with hilarious irony. She manages to describe the nuts and bolts of motherhood without descending into the woe-is-me pathos so commonly seen on many mommy blogs, and heard in so many mommy conversations I’m often privy to.
Here’s an awesome photo of her book next to my bottle of bubbly:
|(c) Mommy Needs Vodka|
Perfect Mother’s Day Gift – Minivans, Meltdowns & Merlot
So….Mother’s Day is coming up SOON. If you are a mom, you’ll want this and I’ll tell you why below. If you have a mom, you’ll want to get this for her, and if you’re a dad who happens to be reading this, get this for your wife and she’ll love you forever.
Thou Shalt Not Judge A Mom
What I love about this book is that Carolyn, through her series of vignettes averaging 8 pages each, reveals herself without trying, as a mom I would happily drink a Merlot (or of course, Vodka) with, because she’s not Judgey. I also want to add that, this is definitely written for moms of young’uns, because, how many of us have the attention span to read a dense novel cover to cover without being interrupted? Before the kids, I used to read dense novels. Now? These 8 page stories were perfect for the precious little time I’m actually able to devote to reading.
Carolyn is a Fun Mom, which to me is practically an oxymoron. It’s damn hard to find a mom like that anywhere, in my experience, whether online or IRL. She never thinks, “I can’t believe she did that,” about another mom. Instead she basks in her friends’ triumphs and sympathizes with their woes, developing a strong network of female friends along the way.
Maybe the reason the author doesn’t judge other moms is because, despite the fact that she’s a damn good wife and mom devoted to her family who even took her kids to church and occasionally wears a cross necklace, she chronicles her own mis-steps with such biting candor, it leaves no room for her to do much more than be amused at her friend Ann’s “Klonopin induced haze” or Sue’s drunken antics at her husband’s company Christmas party that left her with a pounding headache and “a huge wad of gum stuck in her hair” the next morning, or even Janie’s “vodka induced brain storming session” that inspired one of the most outrageous stories in the book: “Percocet & Potpourri.”
Merlot, Purple Vodka, Percocet & Potpourri
Percocet & Potpourri is the next to last story of the book. The stories become progressively more wild and batshit crazy as you proceed! Which is fucking brilliant because if the book started with this one, many moms would cluck in horror and run to return the book after reading about Carolyn hosing purple vomit off her driveway the morning after she accidentally swallowed two Percocets (thinking they were Motrin) and downed a raspberry martini and copious amounts of wine at her friend’s jewelry party before blacking out and puking in Chrissy’s minivan on the ride home (hence the need for a potpourri air freshener.
Carolyn narrowly escaped the minivan fate with her husband’s purchase of this beauty, a GMC Envoy, which “technically isn’t considered a minivan, even though it really does look and act a lot like one.” Nevertheless, she escaped a dire statistic: “Four out of Five in our circle of mom friends now drive a minivan: the company car that comes with the job of motherhood.”
|Photo taken by Carolyn Coppola, graphic by www.mommyneedsvodka.com|
Mommy Public Embarrassment
One main “theme” of the book, so to speak, is Mommy Embarrassment. I’ve written about it a few times on this blog, most notably with the Show and Tell Sock Debacle, but Carolyn steals the show by creating a hilarious world for us.
Mr. Trash Mouth Meets Mr. Crisp Suit
Which is no easy feat when you’re on an airplane sitting next to Mr. Perfect Suit, an uptight businessman wearing gold cuff links who was lucky enough to sit next to this mom and her swearing tot! There they were, trapped in confined quarters thousands of miles in the air, when “Mr. Trash Mouth” became agitated and caused his mom a “hell ride in the sky.”