I follow parenting author and humorist Kathy Buckworth on Twitter, and I find her both entertaining and truly funny. (She has even made it on to my "Celebs" Twitter list of people whose tweets I don't want to miss.)
Her newest (and sixth, btw) book is called "I Am So The Boss Of You", and a couple of weeks ago I saw a tweet promoting a giveaway of tickets to the official book launch. It was taking place on a Wednesday night (you people know how seriously I take my sleep, especially on school nights, and Toronto is 90 minutes away at the best of times) but I figured I'd throw my name in, and if I won, it was meant to be. Which clearly it was!
And who best to take with me to such a fete? My former "boss", of course...my mom!
We met after school and headed downtown. The drive was uneventful, and we found ourselves at the venue (Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens) with time to spare.
I have to admit that when I first learned of the location of the party (never having been there, mind you) I was a bit surprised. I was picturing the upstairs room at my local Loblaws, and while there's nothing wrong with it (for my children's birthday parties), it certainly isn't what I would envision for a major book launch.
Yeah, I was naive. This Loblaws is a Loblaws like you have never seen before. (Well, unless you've been there. Duh.) There's an Tea Emporium, Sushi Bar and an 18 foot wall of cheese, for heaven's sake! Mom and I had no trouble finding hot meals for ourselves (and I eyed the patisserie offerings for later) before following the signs to the "Private Event". (Yes, fine, it was exciting to be "on the list". You come here for honesty, not sophistication, right?)
The Launch was being held in the "Canteen" area - which again is much classier than the word would imply. The event was cordoned off by black curtains, and actually did feel very private and intimate - even though it was right in the middle of the store.
Other than an ill-timed photo right as the remarks were beginning (see above), I didn't get a chance to chat with Kathy, but certainly learned a lot about her as we had a lengthy and very enjoyable conversation with her parents! (Hope those bunny-folded Easter napkins worked out for you, Mrs. Buckworth!)
We managed to meet some other new people too, like the lovely Paula Wagner of Highview Communications with whom we spent much of the evening.
While I don't imagine book launches are considered celeb hangouts by most people's standards, I did see some talented TV personalities like Cityline's host Tracy Moore and design expert Kimberley Seldon (Kathy's mom was excited about her as well), and was starstruck by Karine Ewart, Editor in Chief of Today's Parent magazine. (Just as cool in my mind as Sarah Jessica Parker, who was also in town for the Target Canada Grand Opening. And this coming from a woman who took her four day old baby to the Stars and Strollers screening of Sex and the City: The Movie. Yes, that says four days.)
Kathy spoke briefly, and then we enjoyed some beverages and hors d'oeuvres (actually I passed on the hors d'oeuvres because I was too excited but they looked delish) and I ended the evening by purchasing the new book, but didn't get it signed as I couldn't decide whether or not that would be nerdy. (I didn't want to look like a "fan", I wanted to look like I belonged there!) It took me only a couple of days to devour the book, and I'm relieved to say that I loved it...otherwise this post might have been a bit awkward. Or wouldn't have happened at all. (My blog's not called 'This Mom Feels Ambivalent About", remember.)
"I Am So The Boss Of You" is a hilarious step-by-step guide to running your family like a business (think job descriptions, promotions and branding) and while tongue-in-cheek (or whatever the typing equivalent of that is) there are actually tons of practical parenting ideas to be gleaned from the book.
I am so on board with Kathy's autocratic parenting style, so if you're more of a democratic parent (a phrase that Kathy proves to be an oxymoron, just so you know) you may find yourself up in arms about some tenets of her philosophy, but you certainly can't argue with the entertainment value.
As a child, it was made very clear to my brother and me that my parents - okay fine, my mom - was the boss. We were respected and valued and given age-appropriate choices and freedom, but "Because I said so, that's why" was the end of many an argument. Actually, just a look from my mom was the end of many an argument. I looked forward to becoming a grownup, so I could be the boss and make the decisions...and I'm not giving that up now just because parenting styles have changed and I'm supposed to be swinging towards serving the whims of my daughters.
I can also relate to the idea of having people at work following my instructions (for me, that's my students) and then having difficulty getting my own flesh and blood at home to do what I tell them. I'm really liking the whole family-as-business model. We might not have called it "job descriptions", but the girls have visual checklists on the fridge listing all of their daily tasks, and they won't get "paid" (in TV time before bed) if their duties have not been fulfilled.
No matter your parenting style, you'll recognize yourself and your kids in many of Kathy's anecdotes and tips, and whether you think of it as humor or wholeheartedly jump on board with the approach, you'll definitely enjoy the read. Pick up "I Am So The Boss Of You" today. Because I said so.