Thursday, October 21, 2010

Slummy Mummies & Gucci Mamas Inspire Chick Lit

     When my sister and I were kids, we used to play on our swing set and sing songs. Our favorite one was one we made up and the only lyrics to it were, “Mommy made me new clothes.” I don’t remember singing any songs about my dad, but I remember seeing my little brother in pictures with his playschool lawn mower “mowing” the lawn in the same fashion, just a few steps behind my dad – dad was his idol. If that doesn’t give you an idea of the love that we had for our parents, and the love they had for us, I don’t know what else would. They always supported everything we did, all that we wanted to be and more…

     One day, I hope to be a well-balanced parent to a couple of kids. In the meantime, I suppose, we have Honey, our practice child, a little Calico kitten. She is just like an infant – in need of time, love, attention, food, water and medical care. She is vulnerable when she’s tired or sick. She’ll watch over us at night while we sleep (or even during an afternoon catnap). She is so easily entertained and okay, she’s a little spoiled; but so far, she’s our only and we want her to always be happy, safe and healthy – just like any parent would do for their child.

     It’s funny, but in many of the books I read, there is no mention of parent, especially in the ones about single, dating young women. Unless there is a wedding in the air – the perfect opportunity for the mother of bridezilla or overeager wedding planning mother character to appear – parents are usually all but obsolete. I know this is not true of all books – in fact, chick lit has many sub-genres dedicated to the many different sides of mothers, from Mommy Lit to Mommy and Baby Lit and more. Look at Lucy Sweeney as the post-baby Bridget Jones type mom in Fiona Neill’s Slummy Mummy, which showed the hilarious side one toddler-juggling PTA wife and mother. Or there was Claudia, the could-be mom in Emily Giffin’s Baby Proof, in which a thirty-ish woman and wife was so sure she didn’t want to have any children – that was of course, until she got divorced, missed her husband and spent more time in the role of Auntie to her favorite niece. In another exaggerated take on mothers, there are the ones who garnish their infants in all the latest designer fads, as in Gucci Gucci Coo by Sue Margolis or even the latest from Sophie Kinsella, Mini-Shopaholic. Who could forget when Becky Bloomwood's 2-year old Minnie demanded her Balenciaga bag to tote around? What are your parents like? What are you like as a parent? Or how do you see yourself as a future-parent?

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