Congratulations to…

David, the winner of a new copy of The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting.

You can read more about the book here. I highly recommend it, whether you’re a parent or not.

To choose a winner, I assigned a number to every entry (both a comment on this blog and a share of any kind qualified), then used a random number generator to select the winner.

Congratulations, David, and enjoy the new book! I wish you the best in your toddler adventures.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. You can subscribe to this blog using the “Follow” button on the right sidebar, or follow me on Twitter.

Honest Toddler: Free Book Giveaway (last day)

HT book cover

Today you can still leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy of the new Honest Toddler book.

To enter, simply comment on this blog post with the best (brief) parenting tip you can come up with. Or just say hi. For a second entry, share the link to this post on FB, Twitter, via mind meld, etc., and let me know in the comments section that you did.

I’ll announce the winner tonight. In the meantime, my review of this wonderful, creative, hilarious, and therapeutic book is here.

The Honest Toddler: A Book Review

Being a parent is very simple. There is no reason for you to constantly go to other adults who do not know your toddler for advice or conspiring. What happens at home stays at home. …When it comes to being a good parent, the most important resources are the words that come out of your child’s amazing mouth. If your child is too young to speak, guess accurately on the first try.

–Honest Toddler

Honest Toddler, under the supervision of mom Bunmi Laditan, has now added a full-length book to a popular and cathartic Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog/Website. I’ve posted quite a bit about HT at Words on the Word already.

Real-life Honest Toddler is a girl, but HT is “asexual,” which makes the whole thing more universal.

And now, s/he has written a parenting guide. The chapter titles alone produce enough laughs to make the book worth the price:

  • Chapter 1: “Why Did You Do That?”: The Ins and Outs of Toddler Behavior and How to Leave It Alone
  • Chapter 5: Sleep: Weaning Yourself Off It
  • Chapter 18: Potty Training Simplified/Eliminated

Bunmi has tapped into the psyches of Every Parent because HT, in all the quirky specifics of his/her behavior, is Every Toddler. (“Give a toddler a rag and a spray bottle, and your house will be sparkling before you know it. First it will be soaking, and your mobile phone may have water damage, but after a thorough wipe-down, the results will please you.”)

This Child’s Guide to Parenting is thorough–HT includes everything from media recommendations (music, books, TV) to hygiene (“leave well enough alone”), from restaurant behavior to grandmas and grandpas (“you should learn as much as possible from your child’s grandparents”). Interspersed between chapters are letters from parents to HT and homework assignments (sample: “Visit the toy store and get all the things. Next, go to a field. Run until nightfall”).

The Honest Toddler is hilarious, brilliantly written, and often pointed in its humor (see: HT’s disdain for Pinterest). I was impressed by how much this little toddler had to say. Although, now that I think about it, my toddlers have always had a lot to say.

The open parent who reads this book will be perhaps re-conditioned: temper tantrums are just “loud responses,” toddler ignoring is simply “selective acknowledgement,” and whining is “a legitimate form of speech.”

Honest Toddler, for all his/her impossible demands (duh), has some great advice. Facebook, for example: “Toddlers are tired of hearing Facebook notifications during story time. We’re sick of having to sit in parked cars, fully strapped in, while you make sure you get the last word on a virtual dispute with an acquaintance. This website is a distraction. Log off. Permanently.” 

Communication: “Did you know that there are more than four hundred different meanings for ‘no’ in Toddler English?” (with a sample chart). Packing for vacation: “There’s no such thing as minimalism when it comes to packing for a trip with small children.”

Readers of HT’s blog, FB, and Twitter feed will recognize some material here (the “toddler-approved recipes” and physics breakdown of car napping), but not much. This is 256 pages of sheer, highly original, creative genius.

There are occasional moments of dark-ish humor (“There’s nothing special about a child [i.e., infant] who can’t go anywhere without a blanket over her legs”), but, then again, this was written by a toddler.

And, HT, if you’re reading: make sure your mom lets you watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. You’ll like it way better than Caillou.

If you’re a parent of a toddler or know one, The Honest Toddler is essential reading, if only to relax and laugh enough to keep one’s head in the game of toddler parenting. (If you’re interested in the possibility of a free copy, I’m giving one away here.)

I have to stop now; my own two-year-old just woke up to join us in watching the late-night basketball game and blogging, and now is requesting–you guessed it–Daniel Tiger and some water.

Many thanks to Scribner (imprint of Simon & Schuster) for the review copy, given to me for the purposes of an honest review. Find the book’s product page here. It’s on Amazon here.

And thanks especially to Bunmi/HT for making me a better parent. Or at least a parent who is able to laugh a little bit more and cry a little bit less as I raise my little ones.

Honest Toddler: Free Book Giveaway

HT book cover

Honest Toddler, under the supervision of mom Bunmi Laditan, has now added a full-length book to a popular and cathartic Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog/Website. HT’s mom blogs here.

Thanks to Scribner (imprint of Simon & Schuster), Words on the Word has a copy of Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting to give away.

To enter, simply comment on this blog post with the best (brief) parenting tip you can come up with. Or just say hi. For a second entry, share the link to this post on FB, Twitter, via mind meld, etc., and let me know in the comments section that you did.

I’ll announce the winner right here some time next Monday.

And tomorrow I’ll post my review of the book on the book’s official release date. UPDATE: Review is here.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

daniel tiger


How do you follow Mr. Rogers? Well, you don’t, really. Which helps to explain PBS’s decision to move to an animated tiger as the leading host and tour guide of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

I’ll admit: I was skeptical of Daniel Tiger at first. So is my five-year-old, every time we turn it on for our two-year-old to watch. (The former sits down with the latter for every episode, though, every time.)

Mr. Rogers’s pastoral sense and uncanny ability to love, honor, and celebrate children is not quite replicated by Daniel Tiger, but Daniel does pretty well–better than I thought an animated character could do. Here’s a short clip (30 seconds) that represents how Daniel models dealing with disappointment:



It’s not uncommon for my two-year-old to answer Daniel Tiger’s questions and comments, which Daniel puts to the viewer in much the same way that Mr. Rogers did.

Daniel Tiger mp3Best of all–there’s a soundtrack for the show. This has a noticeably positive effect on our two-year-old and his assessment of life in the early morning, without having him in front of a screen. Nearly every morning at our house now begins with a collective listen through this album. The music is catchy! I have to try really hard not to sing these songs to people around me.

The big hit lately around our house has been these printable pages of the characters in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Unfortunately, my quoting, “When something seems bad, turn it around–find something good!” doesn’t always work for my two-year-old when he’s really grumpy. But it’s hard being two! And Daniel Tiger seems to get that, keeping a positive outlook throughout all the vicissitudes of toddlerdom.

Who is the author of Honest Toddler? Identity revealed…

HT book cover

Her name is Bunmi Laditan. As recently as a week ago, the author of the forthcoming Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting was “anonymous.” But now the book cover (above, from Amazon) shows that HT is “written under the supervision of Bunmi Laditan.” Awesome. I’ve been curious about this since reading HT, as have hundreds of thousands of others. Here is her bio from the HT Google Books page:

BUNMI LADITAN started her first media company at age eighteen. Soon after, she launched and sold a social networking site geared toward moms and began a social media agency, working with Fortune 500 companies. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Mothering and, where her satirical pieces on parenting and politics have often gone viral. In May 2012, she created The Honest Toddler, a character based on her youngest child. She lives with her family near Montreal.

Love it. It looks like she’s just started her own blog, too, which I plan to read regularly. See, too, if you notice another difference in the cover above compared to what was on Amazon when I posted here.

I’ll be reviewing the book as soon as it comes out. Read much more about it (including the table of contents) here at HT’s blog.

Bunmi, thank you. Thank you for HT and for the laughter that little toddler has brought. You live far away, but if you ever want to bring HT over for a play-date, our 2-year-old will be happy to lead an expedition to the beach… or to the fridge.

UPDATE 5/6/13: Go here for a chance to win a free copy of Honest Toddler.

UPDATE 2: I review Honest Toddler here.

A Day in my Facebook News Feed: Google Glass vs. Knitting in the Wild

Google Glass

Within minutes of each other I had Facebook connections posting on Google Glass and linking to Luci Shaw’s poem “Knitting in the Wild.”

First I watched the trailer for a new Google-pioneered technology. It’s sort of like having a smartphone on your face, which is perhaps best experienced through this clip rather than described:

The technology is astounding. To be able to see where I’m supposed to drive without having to touch or click on anything? I’d benefit from that. But I got a little sad at 0:36 when I saw a special moment between father and daughter recorded by Glass. Not because I don’t value taking photos and videos of my kids (I do it a lot here and on Facebook), but because there was something about Google Glass–a physical and technological object standing between, recording, mediating–that seemed to interrupt the here-ness of that moment, the now-ness of it.

Having flight info show up in my glasses when I’m at the airport would be cool, but this feels a little too much like the apocalyptic Overbrain my friends David and Tim keep warning us about. (I.e., when all of our thoughts, actions, and moments are connected to and subsumed by one giant Cloud.)

Minutes earlier someone in my news feed had posted a link to Luci Shaw’s “Knitting in the Wild”:

The pale bits—twigs, fibers,
pine needles—sun-struck,
fall through the lazy air
as if yearning to be embodied in
my knitting, like gold flecks woven into
a ceremonial robe.

Then surprise—a new marvel!
Like a parachutist, a very small beetle
lands on the greeny stitch I have just
passed from left needle to right;
the creature’s burnished carapace
mirrors precisely the loop of glowing,
silky yarn that he has chosen.

When this shawl ends up
warming someone’s shoulders,
will she sense the unexpected—
this glance, this gleam,
this life spark?

I don’t know how to knit. But, amazing as Google’s new technology is, I imagine that I will pick up a pair of single-point needles long before I put on Google Glass.