Review: Who Peed on My Yoga Mat

When I heard that my friend Lela Davidson was writing another book- I immediately began badgering her for a review copy…. I loved her first book “Blacklisted from the PTA“, the pieces that she writes for TodayMoms crack me up, so I couldn’t wait to read her latest essays on the trials and tribulations of motherhood- and of turning 40! Lela’s latest book is titled “Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?” (and I’ll give you a hint… the culprit is not a cute toy poodle lurking in the corner), and it is a collection of funny stories and reflections by someone that you’ll immediately feel is like a good girlfriend that you would love to share a latte with- or better yet, a big glass of wine on a rare Mom’s Night Out!

After devouring this book (sitting by fire in a house with no heat while waiting for the power to come back on after Hurricane Sandy), I decided that I had a few questions for my friend Lela- to get a little inside scoop on life as a Mommy-humortist-essayist-girlfriend!

1. Why do you think we all find tales of Mommyhood to be so entertaining? Is it that we need to laugh to someone else’s mistakes, or is it that it gives us this feeling “of all being in it together”?

“I think when we are in the heat of the type of family moments I write about, they often do not seem funny. But come on, we let people take a dump on us–literally. If that’s not funny, it’s just insane. I think moms need the reassurance that we are all doing it wrong, and that the “right” way often just unrealistic perfectionist BS.”

2. You recently turned 40 and celebrated by wearing a tiara for an entire month…. everywhere! So now that you’ve reached this milestone birthday- what wisdom have you achieved and what would you tell your 20-year old self if you could?

“Ooooh… that’s tough. I would tell her to stop using a straw. Lip lines suck. I would tell her that she will grow up to enjoy jogging, and that she would love living in Arkansas. She will not believe me, and will be pissed because she thinks she is already grown up.”

3. One of my favorite chapters in your book was when you joined your 5th grade son for lunch at school and upon arrival realized that talking privileges had already been taken away for his table. You became the hero that day when you told the kids “Talk it up, I’ll take the heat.” A clear Mommy- superwoman moment. And then you took it a step further and became one of those overly-involved-in-the-school-details-Moms that you and I both usually roll our eyes at. You went and talked to the principal. Does this change your Mom-as-a-crusader view of “pain in the ass” parents?

“Crusaders are always a pain in the ass. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight for our kids, but we need to be discriminating. The trajectory of your kid’s life is not going to be altered because he didn’t make the cut for the advanced math class in the first grade. Parents who are overly involved need a job, or a Pinterest addiction.”

4. And finally, a cotillion class for your kids? Really? Explain this to me…. because as someone who grew up in the Midwest but now lives in the Northeast- this is something I thought went away along with petticoats and parasols….

“Ah, yes, cotillion is alive and well in my pocket of the world. I think it’s really a southern thing. It teaches social etiquette. And dancing! What I like most about cotillion is that it offers a structured and group alternative to “dating.” What I like least is everything else. I have called it the Southern tradition I might have skipped, and written about it here and here, too. But all my eye-rolling aside, I’d say cotillion has been good for my kids. However, I’m still trying to explain “Mr. and Mrs. John Davidson” to my 12-year-old daughter.”

So while you are in the midst of knocking off items on your holiday shopping list for everyone else in your life…. why not treat yourself to “Who Peed On My Yoga Mat?”….. I think you’ll love it as much as I do!

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