Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: I Should Have Seen It Coming When the Rabbit Died

A Book You Can Buy From Me

Book Title: I Should Have Seen It Coming When the Rabbit Died

Author: Teresa Bloomingdale

Date: 1979

Publisher: Doubleday & Company

ISBN: 0-385-14057-6

Length: 222 pages

Quote: "My Cause, that winter of 1956, was to have a big family."

So they had ten children. (They were Catholic.) And what could Mrs. Bloomingdale do but write a newspaper column about the trials of raising ten children...the time the parents loaded the children into two cars for a trip and left one child behind, or the experience of a "broken home" in which everything was broken because there wasn't time or money to fix it.

She was partial to numbered lists, like "Rules for Surviving Your Teenagers" (Rule 2 was "Impose an exact curfew. 'Come in early' will be interpreted to mean 'early in the morning.'") She also had some unusual tips to offer: "I have become a professional worrier, a fact which panics my husband since he read some place that 'worriers tend to die younger than non-worriers.' This, of course, is nonsense. If that were true, there wouldn't be any living grandmothers."

The book is amusing, and a nice nostalgic look back through the 1950s and 1960s. In recommending this book to those who enjoy the "cheer up, it could be worse" genre of humor, however, I intend no endorsement of the idea of having ten children. The way Irish Catholics avoid this, in Ireland, is to postpone marriage until they can afford children, which usually takes long enough that a couple's hyperfertile years are over, so typically only a reasonable number of children are born. If you don't believe in other means of birth control, I recommend that one.