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The Big Rumpus:
Of the many stay-at-home mommies who dream of writing the Great American Novel, few actually try; fewer still get published. Though not a novel, The Big Rumpus certainly is the Great American Tale of one woman's schlep through early motherhood--honest, hilarious, and irresistibly naughty. Ayun Halliday, a highly caffeinated and refreshingly immodest city gal, acknowledges that motherhood is pretty much like contending with a cloud of locusts swarming toward one's wheat--then laughs her "heiner" off about it.
Under her gifted muse's care, stories about childbirth, holiday acrobatics (sans religious ties), and raising two kids in a tiny New York apartment read like standup comedy routines; they also give way to bittersweet reflections on her own youth--goofy boyfriends, repressed sexual behavior, and all. Yes, she swears; yes, she delves deeply into issues anatomical, gastronomical, and diaporial. But for hip stay-at-homers who find sustenance in friendships honed at neighborhood playgrounds (not slapped together like cold deli meats at those contrived mommy-and-me meetings), Ayun Halliday might just become the patron saint of blissfully imperfect motherhood. Even mommies who lack Halliday's affinity for "unhusking" their breasts in public will find moments of empathy in this mirthful sprint through life as the family "Milk Monkey." --Liane Thomas [via]