What the Other Mothers Know: A Practical Guide to Child Rearing Told in a Really Nice, Funny Way That Won't Make You Feel Like a Complete Idiot the Way All Those Other Parenting Books Do


Written by three mothers who've been through it all, What the Other Mothers Know gives you straight, funny, realistic talk on:

  • getting drool stains out of clothing
  • finding the perfect babysitter and ...
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What the Other Mothers Know

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Written by three mothers who've been through it all, What the Other Mothers Know gives you straight, funny, realistic talk on:

  • getting drool stains out of clothing
  • finding the perfect babysitter and maintaining her loyalty
  • taking car trips with toddlers
  • recognizing how to set limits and holding to them
  • sucking up to preschool directors
  • keeping your child off ihatemymom.com
  • And much, much more

The maternal wisdom of the ages is right in your hands—delivered with a heaping spoonful of humor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Gendelman, a comedy writer; Graff, a singer and actress; and Rosenstein, a casting director (combined mothers of four children), put their heads together to create this jaunty volume about the secrets "other mothers" know. Interviewing friends, colleagues, relatives and acquaintances in an intimate, casual manner, the three authors seek to provide a "maternal E-Z Pass" for inexperienced mothers. Advising novice moms to "always ask other moms for guidance, even if you don't know them personally," the authors believe that experienced parents will harbor tips and methods that new moms can't possibly know. Indeed, the authors do unearth plenty of worthy nuggets, such as sharing babysitting with another mom to get the grocery shopping done solo, or keeping a car seat in each family vehicle. But they also stumble upon some advice that, while original, seems questionable (e.g., use a speakerphone while expressing milk in the office (why not just take a time-out?); offer a toddler Daddy's ancient outdated baby underwear as a potty-training incentive). Written in a breezy, fun-loving style, the authors concentrate on the early years, working their way up to school-age kids. This self-described "mother of all mothering books" contains some useful and unique ideas, but it certainly won't stand alone on the parenting shelf. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061139864
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/10/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Gendelman is a comedy writer, with credits on “Newhart,” “Facts of Life,” and “Ghost Stories,” among many other shows. A part-time professor of screenwriting and film history at Los Angeles City College, she also writes animated series for Cartoon Network and PBS, and is married to writer/producer Andrew Guerdat. Her crowning achievement is having instilled a strong sense of humor in her children, Marc and Abby, and, above all, teaching them to laugh at themselves. Marc and Abby, however, prefer to laugh at their mother. And as far as they’re concerned, her greatest accomplishment is her mashed potatoes.

Ilene Graff is an actress and singer, best known for the six seasons she spent as the mom in the ABC-TV comedy, “Mr. Belvedere.” Her Broadway stage work includes “Promises, Promises,” “Grease,” and “I Love My Wife.” She co-starred with Glenn Close in a film version of “South Pacific,” and has appeared in mini-series and feature films; her CD, “Baby’s Broadway Lullabies,” was nominated for a Grammy. Married to composer Ben Lanzarone, her finest production is their daughter Nikka, who is a musical theater performer in New York. Ilene is shocked but grateful to suddenly be one of the “other mothers.”

Donna Rosenstein is a television casting director in Los Angeles, currently working on “The Ghost Whisperer,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, and numerous other television and film projects. As a Senior Vice-President at ABC Television for many years, she oversaw the casting of such hits as “NYPD Blue,” “Roseanne,” “thirtysomething,” “The Practice,” and “Twin Peaks.” She has worked with Sylvester Stallone, Oprah Winfrey, and the Muppets, but her most successful project to date is her 16-year old daughter, Georgi. A single mom, Donna has juggled full-time work and hands-on parenting; never missed a teacher conference, recital, or buying a pair of pointe shoes; and lived to tell the tale due largely to an entire village of “other mothers.” She is thrilled to be able to pass along their sound, loving advice.

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Read an Excerpt

What the Other Mothers Know A Practical Guide to Child Rearing Told in a Really Nice, Funny Way That Won't Make You Feel Like a Complete Idiot the Way All Those Other Parenting Books Do
By Michele Gendelman Ilene Graff Donna Rosenstein Harper Copyright © 2007 Michele Gendelman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-06-113986-4

Chapter One Bringin' My Baby Back Home

You're nine months pregnant. It's down to the zero hour. You've checked off your list of things to do:

Paint nursery Interview pediatrician Buy car seat

Apologize to store manager for breaking water on aisle 5

So far, so good. But you forgot one little thing. Whether they're two minutes old or two years, babies are messy. Have you ever looked-really looked-at the backseat of a car where an infant has been riding for longer than five seconds? Milk contains calcium. What happens when milk dries? It leaves calcium deposits. Before you know it, the backseat of your lovely new cloth-upholstered Camry or Volvo wagon will look like someone coated it with ricotta cheese, then baked it with a blowtorch.

True, you can always hook your super-sucking Bissell 1200B SpotBot Hands-Free Compact Deep-Cleaning Carpet Cleaner up to an extra-long extension cord, and see if it reaches into the backseat. That'll be a neat trick while you're postpartum. Then how about taking it to the local car wash? Sorry, girls, but they won't get near Baby-Barf Guano.

What the Other Mothers Know

Buy or lease a car that's upholstered in vinyl or leather. Both materials are virtually indestructible, not to mention, leather just looks so darned cool. The leather package will set you back around $650 on a new car, but trust us, it's worth every penny. And did we mention that leather looks cool? It looks so cool, in fact, that your husband will probably go for it even without hearing about the increased resale value.

If your car is a two-door, you're better off trading it in for a four-door anyway. You won't want to have to bend and twist when you're still recovering from childbirth; between the sutures and sore nipples, just the mere thought of bending is an oucher. Later, as the baby gets bigger and heavier (they gain approximately twenty-seven pounds per day that whole first year-no, not really, it only feels like it), you'll practically break your back every time you put her in or take her out of the seat. Whether it's new or "previously owned," a four-door vehicle is indispensable for traveling in comfort after your baby arrives.

Does That High Chair Come in Leather?

We're not exactly biker chicks, but as long as we're on the subject ... we decided that if we could've upholstered our entire homes in car leather, we would have. Because everything your baby does to the backseat of your car, he or she will do a million times more to your sofas, your chairs, your carpet-oh, heck, just go ahead and have the entire house covered in car leather.

What the Other Mothers Know

If your sofas and chairs are upholstered in fabric, see if the material can be Fiber-Sealed or treated with some similar type of stain- and dirt-repellent. If you are considering leather furniture, you'll probably want to go with finished leather, which has a top coat that will resist staining from liquids ("liquids" being the operative word here). Think of your baby as a puppy that doesn't shed, but drips.

Car Seats a Go-Go-Go

Okay, you buy the car. You buy the car seat. You and your spouse take the car seat out to the car with the instruction manual. You take one look at it and suddenly remember you promised your father that you'd organize Great-great-uncle Jasper's priceless collection of antique Moldavian fishing lures, and back you go inside the house, leaving the installation to your beloved, who is scratching his head in utter bewilderment at instructions that resemble blueprints for a space station. Unless you or your husband majored in quantum physics, you're going to waste the better part of a Saturday trying to figure it out-and your Saturday night arguing over whose fault it all was.

What the Other Mothers Know

Slipping some cash to the kid at the baby-furniture store to install and demonstrate how to use the car seat is the wisest investment you'll ever make. The Other Mothers also know that if yours is a two-vehicle family, you should keep a car seat in each one, so that you won't be constantly schlepping and reinstalling, schlepping and reinstalling. You can also tell whomever's hosting your baby shower that you need a car seat. (See below.) There's also nothing wrong with buying a "previously owned" car seat at a garage sale, so long as it's up to current regulations. Keep that one in the vehicle that your baby rides in the least. And if your parents or in-laws live in your town, pick up a third one for them too.

Baby Showers

So called because your friends and relatives shower you with presents of both the practical and frivolous sort, plus that third-trimester gift no girl can do without: a striptease by a George Clooney look-alike. You can register for shower gifts at national chains, such as Babies "R" Us, or give your shower hostess a list of items you'd be happy to receive.

But some women are superstitious about having a shower before the baby is born, much like they are about not announcing their pregnancy until the first trimester is over. What to do?

What the Other Mothers Know

Superstition aside, there are pros and cons to the pre- vs. postpartum shower debate. If you have the shower after you've given birth, you can enjoy a glass of champagne when the guests toast your beautiful new baby. Of course, since the baby is already here, you won't be able to join them, because that's the moment he'll pick to become hungry or need his diaper changed. And exchanging gifts won't be as easy to do with a baby in tow.

If the shower is held while you're still pregnant, you can't drink champagne; but no matter what you drink you'll be in and out of the bathroom ten times an hour getting rid of it, thanks to your fetus-mashed bladder. If something needs to be exchanged, you'll be the size of a Salt Lake City McMansion and probably won't fit between the seat and the wheel, but that's one of those times when husbands can come in handy. Our advice? If two friends offer to host showers for you, have one of them give you a shower before the baby's born, and the other, after.


Excerpted from What the Other Mothers Know by Michele Gendelman Ilene Graff Donna Rosenstein Copyright © 2007 by Michele Gendelman . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Bringin' My Baby Back Home     9
"Take Good Care of My Baby"     32
"Baby, We Were Born to Run"     57
"Cry Like a Baby"     86
"I Found a Million-dollar Baby"     118
"Since You Left Me, Baby"     154
"You Don't Have to Be a Star, Baby"     191
"It's My Party"     232
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"     258
"Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love in My Tummy"     294
Epilogue     317
Acknowledgments     319
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