I don't ordinarily read parenting books (I prefer to flail around in blind ignorance....we've only made the trip to the ER once, so I must be doing something right). But I started thumbing through Stop Second-Guessing Yourself: the toddler years by blogger and author Jen Singer, and I found myself laughing at page after page.
The advice that is dispensed in this book is pretty sound common-sense and boils down to basically: choose your battles. Don't ruin mealtimes for the entire family by getting into a battle of wills with your 2-year-old about eating their carrots. But don't let them fling spoonfuls of applesauce at their sister. Don't be an anal parent - don't be a lazy parent.
The real value I found in this book is the sense of camaraderie. We're all in this together, and how nice to hear from someone else that they've distracted their toddler with a Backyardigans DVD while they check their email. How nice to hear from someone else that their toddler had a drop-down, floor-kicking, fist-pounding tantrum because you wouldn't let him spend 20 minutes trying to zip up his coat. And how funny to read about the mom who got locked out of her house by her toddler daughter, so that she had to call 911 to break open the door (fortunately, that one's never happened to me!).
If you are a parent that desperately needs the information in this book, you probably won't find it that funny because you're already too miserable. But if you regard toddlerhood as a tunnel, with preschool being the light at the end of it, you'll get a lot of chuckles out of this book and you'll find yourself reading it out loud to any other parents you run into. And the next time someone at the store tells you what a little angel you have in your stroller, have them read this book.