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Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids
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Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  581 ratings  ·  128 reviews
"Leanne Shirtliffe writes with hilarity and poignancy as to the trials and pains (literally) of motherhood. She is our new Erma Bombeck!" —Elizabeth Boyle, New York Times best-selling author


As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia's sin city. But in spite
Hardcover, 1st, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Skyhorse Publishing
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Emma Sea
A mildly humorous look at highly-privileged child rearing. I didn't connect at all with the pregnancy and babyhood sections, but enjoyed it more once Vivian and Will were small human beings.

2.5 stars
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

Now, let me begin my emphasizing that this is NOT my genre and I am NOT in the target audience for this book. I’m sure that if you have raised twins, you will probably find things to laugh about in it.

So, why did I read it, you ask? Well, the author is going to be a key-note speaker at a conference that I’m attending in August. I like to have some familiarity with the work of these folks before I attend. So I’ve also read a children’s book by Shirtliffe.

I also hasten to a
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a long time follower of Leanne's blog (, I read the PDF version of this book. All I can say is it is just absolutely Leanne at her finest. As the mother to one son, I have always marveled at people with multiples and wonder how they do it. Now I know. They HAVE to have a sense of humor. There is simply no other way to get through it all.

After a very brief bout of postpartum depression (and a whole helluva lot of anxiety), Leanne -- along with her husband, Chris -- starts to fin
Jun 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
This could have been funny, but it just wasn't. Okay, so it could have been a memoir about raising twins. That's hard, right? Especially if you live in a foreign country thousands of miles from family, right ? Well, not if you have a nanny, a maid who cooks and cleans, a driver, and a husband who seems to always be home. Why was the author in Thailand and what did her husband do for work that he was home all the time and able to afford so much help? Don't know. Oh, but she had post-partum depres ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
I finished the book this morning, and I couldn't stop laughing at some points, best exercise read in a long time. Leanne Shirtliffe completely captures what it is like to be a parent of twins in Don't Lick the Minivan .

As she struggled with delayed postpartum depression, she was able to come through it all with laughter. Laughter being the key to raising children/twins. Don't Lick the Minivan is a must read for those considering becoming parents for the first time and for those who are alrea
Aimee Ferguson
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
I adored this book. Full disclosure: I had the fantastic experience of being a student of Ms. Shirtliffe's for two years. I am not currently her student, so there's no extra credit attached for being nice. Reading a book about someone that you are so familiar with is a unique experience, and I found she came across on the page in much the same way she does in real life - witty, down to earth, and hilarious. I was laughing aloud at the mastery of humour used here. It was easy to tell that thought ...more
Carrie Jessica
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was such a great read for moms who love to laugh. I was lucky to get my hands on it early. Great Mother's Day gift.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
After a rotten week, what could be better than the healing medicine of laughter? And so I am (lucky me!) reading an advance copy of Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe. Of all the nice things that have started to happen to me since I began blogging this is pretty way in front the nicest and I was delighted to get an invite to be part of the book launch and to "meet" Leanne on Facebook.

I am on page 71. I promised Leanne I would read and review it. And my internet goes down on May 7th. For
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Leanne and her husband while living in Bangkok, Thailand find they are going to be the parents of twins. She manages to find so many ways to keep up her spirits while gestating two babes along the way.

But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe enriches her life with the help of a Coca-Cola deliveryman, waitresses who engage her, and of all things... a bra factory. Their return back to Canada after such an adventure abroad is antic
Leanne Shirtliffe
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'm the author, so I should likely rate it 5 stars...
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Parenting hilarity. The first seven years.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an easy and occasionally amusing read. The author's voice was just OK for me; I didn't find her hilarious, but she wasn't annoying, either. I actually enjoyed hearing about her experiences living in Thailand (and having her twins born there) more than I did the later parts of the book, but like I said, a quick read, and I'm sure any parent would relate to the ridiculous things you find coming out of your mouth in response to your kids
One minor complaint is that the whole
Paige Norman
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've followed Leanne online since I first discovered her blog while reading some random parenting article. I immediately signed up to get the "feed" and have never really stopped laughing. When I found out she had published a book, I directly ordered in IN ADVANCE from (I hardly ever buy NEW BOOKS). And I waited. And waited...and...

Then I got it and it sat on my bedside table for a couple of months because, well, I had to find something else to divert my attention while I can't sleep
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is parenthood at it's most raw and realistic. I feel so much better about my parenting style (not that I ever thought I was a horrible mother) because I know that I'm not the only one who feels too tired or lazy or stressed out by the antics of their kids. With 2 preschool/toddler boys, many of her experiences have been my experiences, and I know now that I have to learn to laugh at the crazy moments so that I don't get sucked up in them and become so furious that I want to ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'd had this book for quite a while, and I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner! Leanne recounts specific tales of raising twins, along with the funny statements that have come out of her mouth in response to interesting parenting situations.

While the stories are specific to her life, including a long stay in Thailand, her themes are universal. I related entirely to the challenges of motherhood, attempts at humor to relieve tension, strange things you find yourself saying, and (perhaps
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this funny book on child-rearing. A true-to-life nonfiction that will make you laugh-out-loud! I was reading the other reviews before I started this one, and I saw every rating from 1 through 5. That means either everyone did not read the same book, or that everyone perceived the book differently. Maybe.
Overall, I think most people who read this book could relate to the mishaps of raising kids. Maybe you learned something by it also.
Anyway, it's a fun read and it kept me laug
Bradley Somer
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Leanne Shirtliffe is the perfect answer to the perfect parent. Point and counter point are hilariously covered, turned inside out and reconnected. This book is an insightful look at birthing and raising twins while trying to keep a modicum of sanity. Shirtliffe artfully dances along that fine line of humour and sentimentality, leaving you both laughing and feeling her struggles. And, honestly, sometimes just laughing at her struggles.
Ruth Stevens
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I usually love these types of books, but I have put this one down several times and haven't felt a pull to pick it back up. It's mildly humorous, but I never caught myself laughing or even chuckling out loud. I'll finish it at some point, but can't say I recommend it.
Nov 25, 2013 added it
man! this took forever... I guess this was funny-I didn't really get it, tho.. didn't laugh out loud until p.269(there were 274 pages total)-I guess if you have kids, maybe it'd be funnier???
error p. 258
Amber Garabrandt
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I laughed so hard I farted. Seriously I was afraid to read this in public.
Angela Sorenson
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book for moms.

This book is for any mom who feels frazzled in her moments of being a mom and the joys and hiccups that come from being a mom.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
A fun look at parenting twins, but I got kind of bored with the language.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Entertaining take on parenting. Full of humour. The first chapter describes pregnancy as the truly awful experience I remember. (To potential moms: don't worry; it's not that way for everyone; just me and the author :-) ) The remaining chapters carry you through the kids growing up from baby stage to kindergarten age - and all the chaos that ensues.

Certainly, the author lives a fairly privileged life (nannies at certain stages, etc.) but she really isn't playing a "woe is me" card so it didn't
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick, quirky, funny read.

I thought it might not appeal to me, since I'm past the age of birthing babies and raising small children. Happy to be wrong. Her insights into different cultures were fun, but the honesty about day-to-day life when she gets back to Canada is extremely relatable. Well, unless you're a Type A, super-organized, domestic goddess type. You won't relate, but the rest of us will think it's a hoot.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Started off strong... imagine having newborn twins in Bangkok. Oh the heat. Oh the traffic. Oh the auspicious little Anglo babies. But their move back to Canada took a turn for the mundane. And while there’s comedy of errors in raising cute kids in suburbia, this author seemed to trail off into a string of antidotes that were neither interesting nor funny🤷‍♀️
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
She’s not a terrible writer which might be the only thing this book has going for it. It’s not funny or original. Summary: parenting is hard, and lying to your kids is ok, even recommended. I give this woman utmost credit: twins are probably twice as hard, twice the work. But the book just isn’t something I’d recommend.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun, true, take of motherhood! I laughed throughout the whole book. There are so many things I have said to my kids that I never thought I would! I saw some reviews that were upset the book didn't focus more on her difficult moments (PPD and other), but that wasn't the point of the book. It is about moments with her children and the things she never thought she would say.
Kathryn Welch
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was scrolling through included in my audible membership and saw this book. I looked at the reviews. They were mixed. But sometimes you just have a hunch it’s going to be good. And it was hilarious!!! Leanne’s writing with Trudy’s voice...I laughed and laughed. I’ll probably listen to it again when I need a good laugh. Thank you Will and Vivian for all of your adventures!
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was cracking up so much during the reading of this book. I look forward, to reading the next installment about this adventure some family. I can’t wait, to read more stories about life with the set of active twins.🤣
Syd Crosby
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was laugh at loud hilarious with literal tears of joy streaming on your face. It made me work hard on being silent because I read this in school. Loved every part, except for tongues stuck to things. That is my biggest fear in the world.
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