Don't Make Me Stop This Car! Adventures in Fatherhood

Overview

In Don't Make Me Stop This Car!, Al Roker takes us home. Here we meet his wife, Deborah, and his daughters, Courtney and Leila. Just like men all over the country, Al is a modern father, and in this book, he takes an affectionate look at the joys and perils of fatherhood. Al provides an unprecedented, intimate look into his experiences with infertility treatments, adoption, and the normal fears and wonders of an expecting parent. As Al manages the needs of his daughters from two marriages and the demands of a ...
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Overview

In Don't Make Me Stop This Car!, Al Roker takes us home. Here we meet his wife, Deborah, and his daughters, Courtney and Leila. Just like men all over the country, Al is a modern father, and in this book, he takes an affectionate look at the joys and perils of fatherhood. Al provides an unprecedented, intimate look into his experiences with infertility treatments, adoption, and the normal fears and wonders of an expecting parent. As Al manages the needs of his daughters from two marriages and the demands of a high-profile career, he is like millions of others who fantasize about the newest sport utility vehicle, struggle with a GapKids addiction, and bask in the golden moments of first steps and special Father's Day meals. Of course, being a father brings back memories of his own childhood, and Al reminisces about riding his father's bus route in Brooklyn, disobeying his parents' command "Do not let Andrew watch Psycho," and the beginnings of his passion for cartooning. Along the way, Al comes to a deeper understanding of his parents' love for him and a whole new appreciation of them as grandparents.

Heartwarming, honest, and funny, Don't Make Me Stop This Car! is a sneak peek into the heart of the guy in the driver's seat, the modern American dad.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Beloved Today show weatherman Al Roker delivers a warm and humorous look at fatherhood with Don't Make Me Stop This Car! And Roker knows whereof he speaks: He is the father of two girls, grew up with five younger siblings, and his "Today's Dad" segments are a popular feature on the Today show. Roker leaves no stone unturned in this collection of essays, covering everything from fertility treatments to Ricky Martin mania.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
TV weatherman Roker comes across as affable, humorously self-deprecating and immensely likable in this memoir of parenthood. His voice is warm and affectionate as he describes his two daughters, Courtney and Leila, and his years of talking into the camera give him an ease behind the microphone that makes him sound as if he is chatting personally with the listener. The material itself, however, is uneven. His struggles to become a father--once through infertility treatments, once through adoption--are truly compelling, and his reflections about his own father, a bus driver who raised several foster children in addition to his own, are sweet and poignant. But when Roker talks about his own experiences of being a father, he sounds like every other proud parent in the world. He was thrilled when he witnessed his daughters' first steps; he enjoys buying cute little-girl clothes from Baby Gap. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Forecasts, June 19). (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Weatherman and commentator Roker engages millions of NBC TV viewers every weekday. He narrates this story of parenting genially, having become a loving father when he and his first wife adopted a baby girl in 1987; in 1998 his second wife, after consulting doctors and a fertility clinic, delivered their daughter. Delicately and emotionally, Roker describes conception and the painful, rewarding birth. His folksy style includes ironic quotes, e.g., "I hate doctors who are always right" and "I'm a couch potato." Roker's message here is to cherish children, who enrich the home, with his professional life incidental. Some of his dislikes are revealed humorously: if you approach him in New York City, where he often walks with or without a daughter, do not joke about weather predictions, baldness, or weight. Let him do that, as he does here. Recommended for popular collections where parents or prospective parents want light listening.--Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Susan Shapiro
...it's easy to be won over by Roker's enthusiasm and self-deprecating sense of humor.
—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743510035
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 3 CDs, 3 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 4.88 (w) x 5.62 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Al Roker
Al Roker

Al Roker began working at NBC in 1983. He is the author of the bestsellers Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue and Don't Make Me Stop This Car! He lives in New York City with his wife, ABC news correspondent Deborah Roberts, and their three children. You can reach Al Roker at his website www.alroker.com.

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Read an Excerpt

An Excerpt from Don't Make Me Stop This Car!

The best reason for buying this book is that I think you'll be able to relate to it. I'm a dad, and if you're a father, we can share our dadhood.

And I have a mother, so if you're a mother, well, maybe you can get some insights as to why your husband is such a bonehead. See, my wife thinks I'm a Grade A bonehead.

Are you a single guy? Reading this book will either scare the bejeebers out of you and make you swear allegiance to your single lifestyle, or it will so enamor you of the kind of life we fathers lead that you will want to make a commitment to the woman you're seeing, get married, and raise a family. Pronto.

Maybe you're a teenager. Here's proof that your father isn't the only clueless geek out there. Or perhaps this book will make your own father look great by comparison.

So you see, there is something for everybody here. Did I mention it makes a fabulous Father's Day/Mother's Day/Christmas/Arbor Day gift?

Seriously, I think we all have something to learn as fathers. I think I've always wanted to be a father. It's what I was born to do. Being the oldest of six kids, I felt like a surrogate dad to my younger siblings. I enjoyed being the father figure. When you're the oldest, you get to perform many of the 'dad' functions without the responsibility.

Ordering your kid brother or sister around is a definite perk. Having them pick up after you, fetch you a cold soda from the fridge, or perform some menial task you didn't want to do was a real plus. In return, you, as the oldest, could impart much in the way of knowledge and insight. "I wouldn't do that if I were you; Mom will go crazy!" Or, "Go ahead, take the cookies, Mom is downstairs doing the laundry. She won't hear you." Advice like that is better than "Dear Abby" or "Hints from Heloise" any day of the week.

In the ensuing pages, you'll find out how I became a father twice. I consider myself a blessed man. Both of my kids are the best a father could hope for. Each is a beautiful, considerate, loving, and funny child. I am amazed at how much better my life is now that I'm a dad.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I'm bragging about my kids. What parent doesn't? That's why Sony invented the camcorder. They knew that the main reason people would buy these things would be to videotape every move their children make. Technology marches on, creating new and better ways for proud daddies to bore every person who walks into their family room. For my father's generation, it was slides and grainy 8mm movies. For my generation, it's digital snapshots you can e-mail and Hi-8 video.

I guess that's why fatherhood looked so appealing to me. My dad was and continues to be the consummate father. A teacher, a friend, a buddy, and a disciplinarian, he always made time for each of his six children. I think I can honestly say there were no favorites when it came to his kids.

As I got older, I really came to appreciate exactly what he did for us. Why he worked back-to-back shifts as a bus driver. Why he worked odd jobs on the side. Some might say being out of the house was the only way he could get any peace and quiet. I know better. It was because he wanted the best for his children.

Maybe you want to be a dad. Hey, I know what that's like. I've been there. I enjoy being a dad, but it took a while before I was able to be one.

Eventually, I did. I had to travel a couple of different roads to get there, but it was worth the trip. The destination is two wonderful kids who mean the world to me.

I hope you enjoy what I've written and pick up something useful from it. If not, you could always use another book to make your bookcase look balanced. It has a wonderful cover, no?

Copyright (c) 2000 by Al Roker

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Table of Contents

Introduction 13
We're Pregnant!
The Odds 19
The Test 23
Who to Tell First 25
The Official Word 28
Telling Courtney 31
The End 34
Fun with Fertility 38
The Baby Boys 50
The Dreaded Question 53
Feeling Bad? That's Good! 56
Picture This 60
Matters of the Heart 63
Our Ever-Changing World 66
Keep On Growing 70
Baby Decor 74
The Guessing Game 77
Home Stretch 80
Special Delivery 86
Special Delivery, Part 2 97
Father's Day
Don't Make Me Stop This Car! 117
Baby-Proofing 122
I'm a Dad, Not a Baby-sitter 127
Baby Germs 133
A Whole Lot of Firsts 136
We Are Family 149
The Crying Game 152
Sibling Sitting 156
Off to Work 161
The Way It Is 163
"GapKids Addict" 169
Ballpark Plumping 173
So What's the Deal with These TV Ratings? 175
Daddy-in-a-Box 178
Toon Questions 183
The Most Important of Rooms 186
The Great Vehicle Debate 190
How Quickly We Forget 194
It's Hip to Be Square 198
Where's Rod Serling When You Need Him? 203
Golden Time 209
Grandparents 214
The Girlz 222
A Sense of Loss 225
Boys 228
Recital Fever 232
Performance Anxiety 236
Nurturing Those Talents 239
A Great Father's Day 245
Happy Birthday 247
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Introduction

First of all, thanks for picking up this book. I feel like the flight attendant at the end of a trip from, say, Cleveland to New York. They give that spiel just before you disembark. "We know you have a choice when it comes to air travel, so thank you for choosing Air Cheapo."

I know when it comes to buying books, you have a choice. Lord knows, there's the latest John Grisham book on the shelf. Or bam! A cookbook by Emeril can satisfy your hunger. Suze Orman could make you richer, and Richard Carlson will keep you from sweating something. (When he works out, does he sweat?)

What's my point? My point is, I am glad you chose my book. Perhaps you're flipping through it right now, trying to decide whether to buy it. What will it take to get you to go ahead and reach for your wallet? A free forecast? My putting you on TV when you come down to visit me at the Today show?

Sorry, I can't promise those things. The good news is, there are two other morning shows with windows that you can get on if you don't make it to ours. Well, one other. I hear that Good Morning America is going off the air and ABC is putting on reruns of Sea Hunt to take its place.

The best reason for buying this book is that I think you'll be able to relate to it. I'm a dad, and if you're a father, we can share our dadhood.

And I have a mother, so if you're a mother, well, maybe you can get some insights as to why your husband is such a bonehead. See, my wife thinks I'm a Grade A bonehead.

Are you a single guy? Reading this book will either scare the bejeebers out of you and make you swear allegiance to your single lifestyle, or it will so enamor you of the kind of life we fathers lead that you will want to make a commitment to the woman you're seeing, get married, and raise a family. Pronto.

Maybe you're a teenager. Here's proof that your father isn't the only clueless geek out there. Or perhaps this book will make your own father look great by comparison.

So you see, there is something for everybody here. Did I mention it makes a fabulous Father's Day/Mother's Day/Christmas/Arbor Day gift?

Seriously, I think we all have something to learn as fathers. I think I've always wanted to be a father. It's what I was born to do. Being the oldest of six kids, I felt like a surrogate dad to my younger siblings. I enjoyed being the father figure. When you're the oldest, you get to perform many of the "dad" functions without the responsibility.

Ordering your kid brother or sister around is a definite perk. Having them pick up after you, fetch you a cold soda from the fridge, or perform some menial task you didn't want to do was a real plus. In return, you, as the oldest, could impart much in the way of knowledge and insight. "I wouldn't do that if I were you; Mom will go crazy!" Or, "Go ahead, take the cookies, Mom is downstairs doing the laundry. She won't hear you." Advice like that is better than "Dear Abby" or "Hints from Heloise" any day of the week.

In the ensuing pages, you'll find out how I became a father twice. I consider myself a blessed man. Both of my kids are the best a father could hope for. Each is a beautiful, considerate, loving, and funny child. I am amazed at how much better my life is now that I'm a dad.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I'm bragging about my kids. What parent doesn't? That's why Sony invented the camcorder. They knew that the main reason people would buy these things would be to videotape every move their children make. Technology marches on, creating new and better ways for proud daddies to bore every person who walks into their family room. For my father's generation, it was slides and grainy 8mm movies. For my generation, it's digital snapshots you can e-mail and Hi-8 video.

I guess that's why fatherhood looked so appealing to me. My dad was and continues to be the consummate father. A teacher, a friend, a buddy, and a disciplinarian, he always made time for each of his six children. I think I can honestly say there were no favorites when it came to his kids.

As I got older, I really came to appreciate exactly what he did for us. Why he worked back-to-back shifts as a bus driver. Why he worked odd jobs on the side. Some might say being out of the house was the only way he could get any peace and quiet. I know better. It was because he wanted the best for his children.

Maybe you want to be a dad. Hey, I know what that's like. I've been there. I enjoy being a dad, but it took a while before I was able to be one.

Eventually, I did. I had to travel a couple of different roads to get there, but it was worth the trip. The destination is two wonderful kids who mean the world to me.

I hope you enjoy what I've written and pick up something useful from it. If not, you could always use another book to make your bookcase look balanced. It has a wonderful cover, no?

Copyright (c) 2000 by Al Roker

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    what can i say al roker's funny

    al roker is 100% amazing i have one of his books i gave it to my mom on her b'day

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2000

    TOO CUTE

    I THOUGHT THIS BOOK WAS GREAT, MY SON WHO IS NOT A FATHER YET, WILL LIKE THESE STORIES. MY SON WENT THROUGH CHILD BIRTH ALRIGHT, WITH HIS PET CHIHUAHUA,LOL. CAN'T WAIT TIL HE HAVE TO GO THROUGH CHILD BIRTH WITH HIS FIRST BABY. HE SAID, THANKS AL FOR ALL THE BASIC WARNING HE MIGHT HAVE TO ENDURE TOO. OH MY! I'LL BE A GRANDMA !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2000

    Worst book I have read in a LONG time

    I really like Al Roker on the Today show and was looking forward to reading a funny book by him. The first half of the book is horrible and not at all funny. The second half picks up slightly. I am sorry that I picked this book up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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