Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bringing Up Bébé...

How sick are you of hearing about this book?

It's been reviewed, revered, and reviled everywhere from the New York Times, and Forbes, to the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post - not to mention every mommy blog in-between...

I bought it last week.  

I'll spare you another in-depth review, but I'll give you my brief opinion of it.  First, you should know that I had pretty low expectations.  I read all of the above, and about 300 reader comments about the book, many of whom came from French mother's themselves, who really couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  Many were offended by the notion that even their parenting could be reduced to a fad by an American author.  Most of them couldn't grasp the idea that these common sense ideals could be a revelation in motherhood.  In the first chapter Druckerman addresses this, by stating outright that the French mothers she interviewed insisted that they weren't doing anything special.  I realized in reading this that one mother's/country's/culture's common sense is another's  epiphany!  As an American, living and raising children in France, Druckerman found herself in a unique perspective- with the opportunity to observe both her American and French friends with their children and she found remarkable disparities in their parenting styles and focus, and these are the observations she shares with us in Bringing Up Bébé.  

You guys, I LOVE THIS BOOK!  

I had every intention of flipping through it, reading a chapter or two over a cup of cocoa in the Barnes & Noble Cafe, and promptly returning it to the shelf.  I was prepared to dismiss it with a super ambivalent "Yeah, I started to read it- it was crap".  But it's fantastic!  I found it really informative and objective; more anthropological than instructional.  Take what you want from it, but this is what she learned.  What works for one mother may not work for another, but I fully appreciate the idea of a woman sharing something that worked well for her, and spreading the word.  Plus, this all plays out in Paris!  The exact same parenting methods might be happening in Japan, Africa, Argentina...  but oh, Paris.  Paris just makes it all that much more intriguing, doesn't it?  

Tonight I fed my baby braised leeks for dinner- because of this book.  He loved them! Braised leeks for my 8 month old boy wouldn't even have occurred to me last week. Voila!

Merci, Ms. Druckerman.

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