Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Happy Parents Do by Carol J. Bruess & Anna D.H. Kudak

What Happy Parents Do: Ninety-Three Cents and a Little 'Humpty Dumpty'--The Loving Little Rituals of a Child-Proof Marriage by Carol J. Bruess, Ph.D., and Anna D.H. Kudak, M.A., is a cute book with 50 tips on how to maintain a loving marriage after having children. I was drawn to the book right away by its brown and blue color scheme, and it comes with one of those attached cloth bookmarks, which is a nice touch.

Each tip starts with a story from a happy couple, and the authors provide some advice about putting the story to use in your own marriage. One story features a couple with a private stash of frozen cookie dough and ice cream that is pulled out only after the kids are asleep. Others talk about constructive ways to express anger, how to find time to talk when children are running all over the house, rituals couples can start as a way to spend more time together, and ways for couples to celebrate their marriage more than once a year.

The most entertaining part of the book is about developing a secret language for sex that is safe for children's ears. The authors list numerous sayings that can be used to let your partner know you're in the mood. "Want to take a porking?" and "Frank wants to go swimming" made me laugh so hard I nearly cried. Seriously, if my husband said either of those to me, he wouldn't get very far or score any points in the romance department. There also was a page of nicknames for certain male and female body parts, and I just about died when I got to "USDA Choice." I can't believe someone would name their privates that, but it certainly is funny.

Overall, I thought this was a cute book, and it would make a great gift for new parents. (I'll be passing mine on to my sister, who gave birth to my nephew in October.) While I'm not sure how many of these tips I'll put to use (certainly not the aforementioned sex sayings), it got me thinking about the routines and rituals my husband and I have and other things we could do to strengthen our relationship. Raising a child is hard work, and there are so many things that pop up day to day and add stress to our relationship. It's important that we take time for ourselves, constantly show our love for one another, and try to set a good example for our daughter. We're far from perfect (it's so easy to bicker over the littlest things), but we're happy. What Happy Parents Do shows how even the smallest of gestures can mean a lot.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of What Happy Parents Do from Wesman PR for review purposes.


Alyce said...

This sounds like a very entertaining book! I can't imagine using those sayings either. :)

Serena said...

Those sayings are hilarious.

Anna said...

Alyce: My husband thought they were funny, but I told him not to get any ideas.

Serena: They certainly are!

Wendi said...

What a great review - sounds like I need that book! Our son is so much a part of our focus now - yikes!! :)

:) Wendi

You've just been tagged for
Some Christmas Fun

Anna said...

Wendi: You should check it out! You'd probably find it useful. There were a lot of good ideas in there.

Thanks for tagging me! I'll try to get to it this weekend.

The Bookworm said...

this does sound really good.
that private stash of icecream sounds like a good

oh my gosh, the secret language is hysterical!

great review :)

Anonymous said...

:) LOL!! cute book :)

Jeannie said...

Hey there. Sorry I've been a stranger.

I can see where this would be a fun book for new parents. I'm just a parent of a dog, so I don't think I'll be picking this one up, but then again, maybe there's a couple of suggestions that could help my little terror. :D

Shana said...

Those code words are too funny, Anna. Not exactly sexy, but definitely funny!


Anonymous said...

"Frank wants to go swimming" ?!? OMG!! I was laughing as I read your review.

We've learned to make the effort to take time for us as a couple ... even if it's not a romantic date night out with a nice dinner, we try to set time aside for just the two of us (then struggle to keep the conversation on something other than the kids!)

Anna said...

Naida: Even my husband couldn't take the secret language seriously, and he usually doesn't have much to say when I talk about books. Well, actually, he didn't say much, he just burst out laughing!

Veens: It definitely was cute.

Jeannie: LOL I'll have to flip through it again and let you know. ;)

Shana: They'll certainly get a couple laughing together!

Dawn: That's the one thing we need to do, take more time just for the two of us. Unfortunately, one of us always conks out on the couch after our daughter goes to bed. LOL