The Lighter Side of Marriage, Pregnancy, and Parenthood
It was difficult to read Charles Dowdy's "I Wear the Shorts in This Family", not because it was actually difficult to read, but because I kept doubling over laughing. In this book the author takes us on a tour of his experiences in courtship, marriage, pregnancy, and parenthood, but he does it with a keen eye for finding the humorous amidst the mundane. Charles has a knack for making the circus of bringing four kids (two of them twins) into this world, and parenting them, come to life in all its glorious lunacy.
Among the topics that are touched in this book are: thank you note writing for wedding presents, maternity clothing, visits to the doctor, the kids destroying the house, in-laws, family functions and vacations, puppies, oversized lawnmowers, letters to Santa, an attempt to change the neighborhood constitution, and even that close call with the pickle jar that all men dread and have nightmares about. But not everything is fun and games. Towards the end of the book in the chapters "Beaks and Freaks" and "Crawfish in the Family" Charles presents deep and true reflections on the ways in which having children changes parents.
The book is very well laid out with a working table of contents that links to the 24 individual stories, and it is very well written. There is a typo or two but this does not detract from the enjoyment of the stories. Now the pressure is on the author, as he acknowledges in the preface, to deliver a second book that is just as good. But the teenage years should provide him with enough material for that!