You know a book is good when you start reading it again by accident.

I picked up ‘dummy’ to refresh my memory before committing myself to starting this review…and emerged midway through chapter two, having giggled and chuckled so much that my husband felt compelled to leave the comfort of the sofa and TV to find out what on earth I was doing.

So, there you have it. Instantly engaging, ensuring your complete immersion in the sweary chaos of new parenthood and laugh out loud hilarious. Go read it, parent people.

What’s it about?

Matt Coyne’s experiences of and personal take on becoming a parent.

This is parenting for real people, who might be vaguely interested in the medical and scientific recommendations around having a baby and bringing up children, but who mostly just want to get some sleep and not f*** their child up too much.

Matt is better known as Man Vs Baby, parenting blogger, father and author of many profanities.

The preface gives you a great taster of Matt’s style:

UNDIVIDED ATTENTION. Yes. That would be a much more accurate fridge magnet.

What’s it like?

Hilarious, ranty and rude. Matt believes in being honest with parents-to-be and opens his book by outlining what the ‘Lying b******s’ (TV/films, books and ante-natal classes) failed to mention about childbirth – mainly that it really, really hurts and a spot of gas and air doesn’t help much. (Those may not have been his *exact* words. In fact, they definitely weren’t.)

Chapters include, but are not limited to, ‘Arrivals’, ‘Waste’, ‘Maintenance’ and ‘Judgements and Revelations’. Expect an irreverent tone, interspersed with moments of recognition of the intense feelings parenting can provoke. This isn’t a ‘how to’ guide or even a ‘here’s what I did’ memoir. Instead it is pretty much exactly like Matt’s blog: a sweary, humorous take on the surprises, joys and horrors of parenting.

Like many slightly tongue-in-cheek books, this is probably best appreciated when you’re feeling fairly upbeat already, and should probably be avoided if you’re easily offended.

Final thoughts

Read this if you want to court tears of laughter, experience moments of complete parent-to-parent recognition (my children were all great fans of The Sausage Roll clothing avoidance technique*) and to feel like you’re probably doing alright with the whole parenting thing.

Advertised as ‘perfect for fans of The Unmumsy Mum‘, ‘dummy’ is another hugely funny read from one of the growing genre of ‘tell it like it is’ parenting bloggers. (See also ‘Hurrah for Gin‘ and ‘Peter and Jane and Mummy Too’.) Highly recommended for all parents possessed of a sense of humour. And those who think they probably would have one, if only they could somehow get enough bloody sleep.

[Come on, Matt, where’s book 2? I need something to keep my eyes open and my sense of humour functioning when The Toddler Who Does Not Sleep gets up for the day at 4.45 am. Again.]

Matt Coyne,
2017, Wildfire, Hardback
*I wrote ‘were’….the truth is that they still are, but can now seriously spice up that move with their ability to run away and their newly developing ability to actually hide. Not “toddler hiding”, otherwise known as “I can see your feet poking out and hear your demented chuckling but I’m still going to try very hard to pretend that you aren’t curled up under that mysteriously located and strangely shaking blanket in the middle of the kitchen floor, mostly so that I can finish this cup of tea in peace” (or “shit hiding”). Proper hiding, where you aren’t quite sure what room they’re in, let alone where they’ve stashed themselves in it, and they’ve actually managed to not giggle insanely for a whole two minutes. This adds a whole new level of challenge to the Getting The Children Dressed Game, especially on a school day.