Rob's Reviews > Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice

Mommy Knows Worst by James Lileks
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Apr 14, 07

bookshelves: humor, 2007
Recommended for: Fans of The Gallery of Regrettable Food
Read in January, 2007

A look back at products for babies and children from early 20th-century America through skeptical, modern-age lenses. These folks had their children's best interests at heart, but what they did to the poor tykes leaves 21st-century parents aghast. Done in the same style as The Gallery of Regrettable Food and Interior Desecrations. I have to say I was disappointed with this one. The book has a few classic moments, such as the magical baby-flinging car seat, but overall the material here was far weaker than in Lileks's previous satire of post-war Americana.
Even the section on laxatives let me down; he has a completely different—and far more hilarious—example of the 1950s obsession with juvenile regularity on his Web site: [http://www.lileks.com/comics/misc/ind...]. Perhaps the author, recently inducted to parenthood himself, was trying a little too hard to integrate his new hobby with his old one. Nevertheless, if you laughed yourself to near-asphyxiation reading The Gallery of Regrettable Food as I did, you'll find this one worth owning, as well, especially if you have a young child.
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