As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia’s sin city. But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe manages to keep her babies alive for a year with help from a Coca-Cola deliveryman, several waitresses, and a bra factory. Then she and her husband return home to the isolation of North American suburbia.
In Don’t Lick the Minivan, Shirtliffe captures the bizarre aspects of parenting in her edgy, honest voice. She explores the hazards of everyday life with children such as:
The birthday party where neighborhood kids took home skin rashes from the second-hand face paint she applied. The time she discovered her twins carving their names into her minivan’s paint with rocks. The funeral she officiated for Stripper Barbie.” The horror of glitter. And much more!
Shirtliffe eventually realizes that even if she can’t teach her kids how to tie their shoelaces, she’s a good enough mom. At least good enough to start saving for her twins’ therapy fund. And possibly her own. Shirtliffe’s memoir might not replace a therapist, but it is a lot cheaper.