Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? by Rachel Balducci

This is one of those books that was annoying to the rest of my family, because as I was reading it, I would bust out laughing and, of course, they had no idea what I was laughing about. Finally two of my children asked me, "What is so funny?" So I read some of the paragraphs to them. Like this one:

How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys"One afternoon, eight-year-old Charlie was standing in the doorway of the laundry room. Suddenly, he turned his back to me, stuck out his behind, and loudly passed gas. Before I could chide him for such rude behavior, he invited me to do the same.

'Do you think you could do that, Mom?' he asked.

'Charlie,' I said, 'mothers don't play that with their sons.'

'Do they play it with their friends?'

I'm not sure how long it will take until this boy learns that most ladies don't roll like that. I hope he won't be too disappointed."

You can see how I was greatly entertained by this book.

Mrs. Balducci has five sons. Five boisterous, crazy, adventurous, funny and fearless sons. Their world consists of Legos, Calvin and Hobbes, water balloons, Star Wars, Boy Scouts, and (my son's favorite) Chuck Norris. They love watching Walker, Texas Ranger and, when they are not gathered around the TV for that, you can probably find them in their backyard digging hole after hole, having competitions to see who can dig the biggest, deepest, or perhaps, the most.

Their mother takes it all in stride (mostly). She smiles when she hears other mothers of only girls marvel at her mothering skills and her ability to remain calm when her boys are climbing the walls (literally!) or jumping out of windows. She responds well to chaos:

"'Are there any odd goings-on?' asks six-year-old Augie as he walks into the room.

Well. let's see, I think to myself. There's your baby brother who keeps climbing on the dining room table trying to swing from the chandelier. There's Charlie tied up in a blanket, being dragged by Elliott, who is declaring him the victim of a very large, deadly spider. 'He has been stung by She-lob,' says Elliott sadly. And where is Ethan? Oh yes, he is standing in the front room trying to spin a plate on a skinny wooden stick.

'Nope,' I tell Augie as I survey the scene, 'no odd goings-on. Nothing out of the ordinary here at all.'"

I saw many similarities between her boys and mine (I have two):

"One morningwhen Augie was four, he had field day at his preschool. Children were encouraged to wear red, white, and blue. Easy enough, I thought. I surveyed my son's wardrobe and honed in on a crisp red T-shirt and newish blue soccer shorts. 

But the morning of school, he came downstairs wearing a two-sizes-too-small Atlanta Braves T-shirt and some worn-out shorts. The oversized shorts hung well below his knees, while the T-shirt didn't even cover his belly button."

The one page chapter on comparing her life to living in a frat house, entitled It's All Greek to Me" is worth the price of the book alone. (I won't share it here. You'll have to get the book.)

There are "tender" moments in the author's life as well:

"One day we were discussing the life of Jesus and how he left his grand home in heaven to come to earth. Instead of being a king in a grand castle, he spent his time on earth in a very humble environment.

'Why do you think the King of the entire universe came to earth and was born in a stable?' I asked them.

'To show he could take it,' said one of the boys, 'kinda like Chuck Norris.'"

But one of the most telling statements comes near the end of the book:

"A boy's life in a three-word chapter: 'I'm bleeding again.'"

Enough said. Go buy the book. Read it. Then buy one for all your friends and celebrate God's great gift of boys.

Rachel Balducci can be found on the internet at http://www.testosterhome.net/. (By the way, she just had her sixth child. A girl! See her picture on Mrs. Balducci's blog. She's beautiful!)

How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? is available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

(I received a complementary copy of this book from Revell for the purposes of this review. I received no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.)


Carrie said...

This book sounds AWESOME! I'll try to land a copy of it soon!

Thanks for the recommendation! =)

Toystory said...

My boys are older - but my sisters used to call me everyday to ask "What did they do today?" and I would say, it's not funny. And they would say back to me "Oh, yes it is." So to give you an idea - They washed the inside of my car, using the hose, the one painted the others ears(inside and out) with nail polish. They took all the white powdery stuff they could find and dumped it in the living room to make snow (think baby powder, laundry detergent, flour, sugar, etc). They found old rusty darts at grandmothers house and yes, threw them at each other till they had a few sticking out when they finally got to me. They turned the lawnmower over, and the one "convinced" the other he should "spin the wheel"...that one resulted in a few stitches. They blew up my mailbox, and after we got a new one, shot that one up with a bb gun they borrowed for that purpose, just to see what a bb gun could do to a mailbox. UG. I wanted girls when I married, but I now know I was meant to be the mom of boys. I don't think girls would have been as much fun.