Monday, August 24, 2015

Naked in the Driveway: Memoirs of a Motherhood Gone Wrong

Do you know the fastest way to cool down eight chicken nuggets at the same time? If you said, 'wedge them into the air conditioning vents of your car', then you’re sure to find a mom you can relate to in Naked in the Driveway. Find out how one unlikely mother has seized the teachable moment in just about every Disney movie ever made, why you should always check your kids’ shoes to see what they've stepped in and why some days it’s just about impossible to keep them from running around the front yard wearing nothing but a smile. Naked in the Driveway is partly a collection of columns that appeared in Abu Dhabi Week magazine during 2011. It also includes harrowing accounts of giving birth, singehandedly travelling around the world with two small kids, snagging a really cute Australian guy and surviving the childhood club of her own invention called The Bob Whites. It also provides other useful information for parents and parents-to-be including 100 Things to Say to a Woman in Labour Other Than "Just Breathe", how to conduct a successful tequila night and why Barbie is a whore.

Laura Fulton is a full time writer, mother, wife and PTA dodger. The former staff writer for Abu Dhabi Week magazine left her native USA for the United Arab Emirates in 2002 where she inexplicably convinced the tallest, best looking Australian guy at the bar to marry her. She has recently moved to a small town near Melbourne where she spends her time ironing, writing and trying to convince the PTA president that she's much too busy to bake pastries for the next school fundraiser. Before turning to full-time journalism, Laura taught high school English in Dallas, Texas and at an international in Abu Dhabi. While on maternity leave with her first child, she took on her first freelance job, finally giving her masters degree in writing a work out. Laura's forthcoming project One Moment in Time is a collection of firsthand accounts of the lives of grandmothers from around the world, stories that show how - more often than not - the experiences of women transcend time, place, language, culture and religion. Laura is also working on a novel scheduled for completion in 2013. She is still astounded that she's married with children and thinks she was a much better mother before she had kids.

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Funny, warm and well written
By Dennis Jarrett
Seems to me it's almost possible to teach parenting skills: you just have to go with what you think will work, or what you think you can get away with, and somewhere between the two you'll probably end up with kids that turn out ok. That's the subtext of Laura Fulton's book, despite the self-deprecating subtitle, and her children are going to turn out just fine if her parenting is as warm, entertaining and (sorry about this but sometimes you just have to use a word you'd rather avoid in a book review) wise as this book, a collection of anecdotes most of which originally appeared in some form in a weekly newspaper.

The thing about writing a column for a weekly publication is that you have to have subject matter that is interesting or entertaining or hopefully both, week in week out, and Laura clearly had very little trouble with that. It's not that her kids or her parenting are especially quirky; but you do need a particular way of looking at life to be a good columnist, to see the diamonds in the dust (and to be able to laugh when they turn out to be glass). Laura has that.

She also has a natural, conversational style which works well for the (generally) short pieces that make up the book. It feels like a series of fun conversations with a good friend, possibly over a glass of reviving Pinot Grigio (or maybe a mid morning latte into which a fly has just blundered to hilarious effect).

Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5wonderful journey
By Roberta Martin
I was amazed at the many things that the world could do to help parents in the world travel with children.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Warm and funny memoir about motherhood, kids and love...
I love this author; I recall reading some of her columns while I lived in Abu Dhabi and like this book they were observant, smart and laugh out loud funny. Motherhood isn't easy and sometimes we get it wrong, and what I love about this book is that the author is unashamed about this. Thank you Ms Fulton for making that ok.

I've read that this author is now living in Australia. I really hope she writes a follow up to this book about moving down under, that's a book I would buy!

I bought this book on Kindle, but am now going to buy the hard copy, just so I can laugh all over again!

Buy this book!

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