Sarah's Reviews > Alternadad

Alternadad by Neal Pollack
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's review
Jun 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: library-book, memoir, iu-libraries, other-campus-library
Read from May 12 to June 03, 2011

Being of an age wherein I possess the twin desires to be a carefree adult rolling in money and a vigorous pincher of baby cheeks, I thought this book would be something I could identify with. This man has decided he will have children while retaining his "cool" personhood. Naturally this is not as simple as he thinks. Which was, at first, upsetting. Then I remembered that I'm not that cool to begin with and I calmed down and enjoyed reading this neurotic man's journey into Responsible Adulthood, Fatherhood Level 2.

While the effort Pollack and his wife put into feeding, educating, and molding the aesthetic tastes of their youngster was exhausting, these were the actions of people with pre-conceived notions of what is good and healthy for a child. What made me squirm, of course, was that they were explicitly trying to avoid the norms of modern American child-rearing at the same time. It all comes out as a wash in the end and they end up like every parent since the dawn of time: They Do The Best They Can. For an underachiever such as myself, this is comforting.

Bonus points! While reading the chapter on the delivery of the baby, my womb actually, physically, ached. Truly, a gut-wrenching account and a lesson on trying to plan things in an uncertain world.
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Ellen Keim Great review!

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