Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Chicken Nuggets are Better than Prozac By Kirk Enright Book Review

From one dad to another: Over-Caffeinated Dad takes on the real Father’s Day, Oprah, and preschool in the new book, Why Chicken Nuggets are Better Than Prozac

When Father’s Day starts at 12:01 a.m. and sleeping in is not an option, give the father in your life a dose of humor this year with the new collection of essays and anecdotes, Why Chicken Nuggets are Better than Prozac and Other Observations from an Over-Caffeinated Dad.  Written by humorist and blogger Kirk Enright, the book pokes fun at the occasionally absurd realities of 21st Century parenting.
Any parent who has ever witnessed an act of bad parenting, struggled to actually implement the advice of an afternoon talk-show expert, or just visited the Department of Motor Vehicles on a typical Tuesday morning, will find this book a fun read and a relatable release for our overly-scheduled lives.
“This book is for anyone who ever feels like parenting would be a whole lot easier if it weren’t for kids,” explained Enright.  “When you think about it, every day is Father’s Day.  This just happens to be the one time of year we get cake, cards and presents, which is probably good, because who needs the calories?”
“Enright tackles parenting issues with a funny twist that will bring a smile to your face,” wrote Amy Mendenhall of MOV Parent.  “ From a conversation with a 4-year-old about why it’s not polite to talk about whether or not a stranger is fat, to reminiscing about family trips of yore, to parents complaining about never going out (but not wanting to go out either)… There’s plenty of funny and relatable stories inside this little book for both moms and dads and will give you that extra boost of cheer for the day.”

About the Author
Kirk Enright writes on a variety of topics including relationships, parenting, business, and politics in his blog  After spending 11 years, 10 months, 15 days, 7 hours and 29 minutes in Hollywood writing, producing and directing various television projects, he escaped to the Pacific Northwest where he lives with his wife, their three children and their dog. 
 Why Chicken Nuggets are Better Than Prozac is available for $14.99 online at and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.
Why Chicken Nuggets are Better Than Prozac and Other Observations from an Over-Caffeinated Dad
Author: Kirk Enright
Publication: December 4, 2009
Trade Paperback: $14.99; 148 Pages; 5.5” x 8.25”  cf 
ISBN-13: 978-1439258101

Book Excerpts

12:01 am
KID #1: Dad? Dad? Are you awake?
DAD: What? Huh? Who’s there?
KID #1: Me.

DAD: Why are you still awake?
KID #1: I wanted to wish you “Happy Father’s Day.”

DAD: Oh.
KID #1: Happy Father’s Day!
DAD: Oh… right… thanks. Now get some sleep. We’ve got a big day tomorrow.

4:20 am
KID #2: Dad? Dad? Are you awake?
DAD: Huh? What!?!? What time is it?
KID #2: I dunno. But the sun’s just coming up.
DAD: Did you have a bad dream?
KID #2: No.

DAD: Did you have an accident?
KID #2: No.

DAD: Why did you wake me up then?
KID #2: I just wanted to be the first to say “Happy Father’s Day.”

DAD: Why don’t you do it in the morning?
KID #2: It is morning.
DAD: Well then… Thanks. Now why don’t you go back to bed, it’s way too early to get up.

4:25 am
KID #1: Dad? Dad!
KID #1: I was the first to wish you “Happy Father’s Day,” right?
DAD: I guess.

4:31 am
KID #2: Dad? Dad!

DAD: WHAT!?!?!??!??!?!?

KID #2: I was the first to wish you “Happy Father’s Day” because if you do it before you go to sleep it doesn’t count.
DAD: Huh?

4:47 am
KID #1: Dad?
DAD: What?
KID #1: It does count because it was today when I said it, right?
DAD: I don’t know.
KID #1: But it was.
DAD: Okay, fine. Whatever you say.

4:54 am
DAD: Why are you crying?
KID #2: Because I wanted to be the first to wish you “Happy Father’s Day.”
 5:02 am
MOM: Why are you getting dressed?
DAD: I’m going to Starbucks.
MOM: I thought you were going to sleep in?
DAD: I was.
MOM: Oh… well… as long as you’re going out, will you get me a grande Chai latte?
DAD: Sure.
MOM: Non-fat, extra hot?
DAD: Anything else?
MOM: Donuts. I didn’t think you’d be up in time for breakfast, so I didn’t get anything special.
DAD: I don’t need anything special, I just need coffee.
MOM: And… “Happy Father’s Day.
DAD: Gee, thanks.

PRE-SCHOOLER: Hit. Bit. Fit. (Expletive.) Hit. Bit. Fit. (Expletive.)
DAD: Did he just say what I think he said?
MOM: Sweetie, you shouldn’t say that.
DAD: That word.
PRE-SCHOOLER: What word? Hit? Bit? Fit? (Expletive?)
DAD: Stop!
MOM: How are we gonna tell him not to say S-H-I-T without saying S-H-I-T?
DAD: Why don’t you make a different rhyme?
PRE-SCHOOLER: Mass. Class. Bass. (Expletive.)
MOM: I have a better idea: let’s talk about this. See, there are some words you can’t say out loud.
MOM: Because they’re bad words.
PRE-SCHOOLER: Why are they bad? Did they do something to get in trouble, like leave their toys in the hallway?
MOM: No, the words didn’t do anything, they’re just bad.
DAD: And if you say them you’ll get in trouble.
PRE-SCHOOLER: Why are you using your angry voice?
MOM: Daddy’s not using his angry voice. He’s just trying to tell you there are some words that are bad and good boys don’t say them.
PRE-SCHOOLER: But Daddy says them when he drives us to school, and sometimes after he talks to Grandma.
MOM: Look... Let’s just take a break from rhyming and you and I will go play with your fire truck.
PRE-SCHOOLER: Okay – Truck. Duck. Muck. F –


God bless Oprah and all the good she does in the world, but sometimes she – or, perhaps more accurately, her editors – get it wrong.

Case in point: the 10-point family guide to getting more sleep, which starts out sensibly enough, but quickly takes an impractical turn:

1. Make sleep a family priority.

2. Recognize sleep problems in your children.

For most parents, the problem isn’t recognizing the problem – it’s pretty obvious that kids don’t like going to sleep, ever, no matter how late it is or how tired they are – it’s figuring out what to do about it, other than turning to Benadryl.

3. Parents need to work together.

But we don’t.

It’s not “divide and conquer” so much as it is “You deal with it while I relax for a while and watch TV ‘cause I’ve had a rough day.”

4. Be consistent.


5. Set a regular bedtime and wake time.

Parents already do this all the time, we’re just not very good at it. Because while most of us realize that bedtime should be 15 to 30 minutes before we finally reach the breaking point, and wake time should be whenever we finally get enough sleep to feel rested and alert – say 8:09 pm and 7:51 am – the reality is that bedtime is usually 15 minutes after the breaking point, and wake time is whatever time you absolutely, positively have to leave the house in the morning so you’re not late minus half the time you need to make breakfast, make lunches, make coffee, take a shower, get everyone dressed, settle whatever random fight breaks out that morning and kiss your spouse. (Unless you’re still fighting because you didn’t work together.)

6. Routine. Routine. Routine.

In your dreams. In your dreams. In your dreams – unless a “routine” can consist of a carefully planned series of random, unpredictable events to which no timeframe can ever logically be applied.

7. Dress and room temperature – not too hot, not too cold.

Oh, please – if one kid is too hot, the other is too cold, and if they’re fine, you’re uncomfortable. The only one who ever got anything “just right” was Goldilocks and she was make-believe.

8. Transitional object to ease separation – doll, stuffed animal, blanket.

Okay, but what do you do when the “transitional object” is mom?

9. Don’t share your room or your bed with your child.

Anyone with parents who weren’t hippies has heard this, but let’s examine the way it works in real life:

CHILD: Can I sleep with you?    
PARENT: No.    
CHILD: But I’m scared.
PARENT: No.    
CHILD: And I don’t like being by myself.
CHILD: Why not?    
 PARENT: Because Oprah says you can’t.   
CHILD: I hate Oprah. Oprah is mean. I’m never going to watch Oprah on TV again. (Unless she gives me a car.)

10. There’s always one last thing with kids, so anticipate.

Anticipate? One last thing? How about 10 last things? Or 20? Any parent who can do that is clearly psychic and should just hit the Atlantic City casinos and hire an army of nannies with the winnings.

For most parents, the most practical suggestion for getting more family sleep is to just be patient for 18 years or so, at which time the kids will finally be old enough to move on and sleep by themselves.

-Courtesy of Over Caffeinated Dad 

I was excited to review Kirk Enright's (the Over Caffeinated Dad) book Why Chicken Nuggets are Better than Prozac because I knew the book's humor and sarcasm would be right up my alley! And my husband's too, for that matter. But I'm thinking this book might be another gem to pass along to my older brother, who is going to be a first time dad soon!

The book is chock full of essays, anecdotes, tips, and dialogue that show off Enright's wit and hilarious view on parenting. Enright asks: Why is the morning drop off so hard to get right? If you give your pre-schooler a time-out and then forget about him, does that make you a bad parent? What do you do if your kids reject your politics? These musings and more can be found in Why Chicken Nuggets are better than Prozac. My favorite part of the book covers Oprah's (Im)Practical Guide to Getting More Sleep. (Excerpt above) What does Oprah know about children and getting more sleep? Nothing! She doesn't have kids!

Kirk Enright writes the popular parenting blog He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife, three children and dog.  

Thanks to the Over Caffeinated Dad for the book sample! Why Chicken Nuggets are Better than Prozac is available on
*I received a sample of Why Chicken Nuggets... to facilitate my candid and honest review. No other form of compensation was or will be given. All personal views are my own!

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Jeanette Huston


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