Life with a Pint-Size Dictator
by Rebecca Eckler

Columnist Rebecca Eckler, seemingly the first woman in Canada to both carry and birth a child, has naturally deemed it appropriate to document every stultifying moment of her experience in book form. Readers who didn’t get enough of this in the first book, Knocked Up: Confessions of a Modern Mother-to-Be, needn’t fear: the caterwauling continues in Wiped!, a diaristic account of her first two years of motherhood.

Eckler_WipedEckler has all the parenting skills her impressive credit limit will allow. She and her partner (called only “The Fiancé”) hire a full-time Filipino nanny, whom Eckler resents for being skinnier than she. She chooses not to breastfeed to avoid being the only one getting up at night to feed the baby (referred to, ironically, as “The Dictator”), although she is intrigued by the prospect of more rapid weight loss. She whines about having to spend two months in Maui and begrudges her fiancé’s frustration as he forks out for endless new portable DVD players after the baby destroys them. She inadvertently spends $400 on a jean skirt for the child on a weekend trip to Paris and $1,500 on her second birthday party – all of which makes it hard to credit her platitudinous cries that motherhood is the hardest job of all.

The rest of the book is a series of tired clichés about parenthood (you don’t get any sleep! your life changes forever!), each delivered with the same astonishing lack of embarrassment.

Wiped! is intended to be funny. Whiny self-interest works, after all, for comedians like Joan Rivers or Woody Allen. What’s missing here is any intelligent self-analysis that might convince the reader that the book’s title is anything other than a declaration of how its pages might best have been used.

—Emily Donaldson