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Wiped!: life with a pint-size dictator    by Rebecca Eckler order for
by Rebecca Eckler
Order:  USA  Can
Villard, 2007 (2007)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Journalist Rebecca Eckler, the author of Knocked Up brings us her journal form - organized into trimesters - take on the outcome, in her amusing Wiped!: life with a pint-size dictator. In the Preface, she explains how the night of the engagement party with the FiancÚ (she continues to call him this through the book as they didn't bother marrying) turned into a 'conception party'.

They did move in together, and Eckler tells us how that played out, making it all amusing from attempts to lose the pregnancy weight gain and feeling 'like a walking, talking zombie' to annoying in-laws, serious post-partum depression, and worrisome hair loss (her own) and baldness (the baby's). Though the author, a self-styled 'drama queen', had the daytime help of Nanny Mimi, Rowan - whom they called Devil Child - kept the couple up most nights (something I remember well with both my sons!) At the end of each trimester's journal entries is a funny but true summary of Ten Mommy Moments People "Forget" To Mention, such as 'You will look around your home and wonder when it turned into a daycare' and 'You will find Cheerios in your underwear.'

I enjoyed Eckler's comments on: the Diaper Genie (which she never figured out how to use); changing relationships with friends (both single friends and those who were already parents) and family; frustration with strangers who continually assumed a baby dressed all in pink to be a little boy; airline travel with an infant (how it feels before and after having your own); dealing with unwanted advice; playdates and baby-off comparisons; excitement over early milestones; use of swimmers in the baby pool (Eckler calls it a Pee Pool); Mommy & Me classes; dining out with screaming infants; the joys (not) of getting photographed with Santa; a couple's date nights; and the anxiety of the first separation.

I learned a lot too - about the addiction of Baby Einstein DVDs, about professional babyproofers, and the essential nature of portable DVD players (unavailable when my kids were small) for quiet dinners out. Though Rebecca Eckler obviously has more disposable income to spend on infant items, nanny care, and holidays in Maui than most new parents, she covers all the bases in Wiped!, which brought back for me painful recollections of severe sleep deprivation, but also joyous memories of special moments I had long forgotten.

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