By: Andi Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
I had the chance to connect with Andi Buchanan when I was living near Philly and read about her book, Mother Shock in Philadelphia magazine. I was like, “Wow! She’s got kids! She’s written a book! She says it’s not all fun and games, this parenting thing!” I wanna be her!
But, Andi IS all fun and games because she and co-author, Miriam Peskowitz, have written a book on fun and games, on being a girl, a daring girl, and it’s called The Daring Book for Girls, and if you have not yet seen this book in a store, or in an advertisement, or on the Today Show, or in a magazine, or at the store, then surely, you are living under a rock. And, guess who got a copy?
Well, yeah, me. But guess who snagged the copy the minute I got it and called up her two little girlfriends and hoarded it up in her room and then laughed and giggled and wouldn’t even let me see the book for the first two weeks it lived in our home! Yep, my own Daring Daughter Diva!
Although, now that I think about it, she's not very daring because THIS TOOTH HAS STILL NOT BEEN EXTRACTED FROM HER MOUTH! Yep, since the dentist tried to yank it in May. I think there needs to be a chapter on extracting teeth for these daring young women! Just a sidenote. So, let's get back to the topic at hand, shall we?
So, I’ve had a chance to look through the book, believe it or not, me being the cell-phone-abusing-busy-executive that I am, and I had a few questions of my own for Andi. I figured I’m a bit behind in the Minute With Manic forums, and I promise on the death of this blog that I will feature those four of you I promised, but since Andi is a best-selling author, a mother, and a cyber friend (can I say that Andi? I mean, I’ve been email
Andi: Someone who has enthusiasm and spirit and isn't afraid to get in the game.
Manic: Hmmm… Sounds like a cheerleader could be a daring girl. Or an athlete, or a scholarly girl, or a musician… I’m getting a bigger picture. Like ALL girls can be a daring girl! What age of a daring girl would enjoy this book?
Andi: Eight to 80! Well, actually 90 because Miriam’s 90-year-old grandmother loves the book!
Manic: Major shout-out to Miriam’s 90-year-old daring grammy! Mine is 93, and she is still kicking it! Love that lady, my little granny! Ninety-year-old girls sure are daring! Now, regarding the chapters, of course I flipped straight to the BOYS section. Don't you think that's where all girls will go first?
Andi: Depends on the girl! For some girls, that's the last place they'd look!
Manic: Is there anything you didn't include in the BOYS section that maybe you should have? First kiss would not be appropriate, you think?
Andi: No and no. Our motto for the book was "no sex, no body stuff." There are plenty of books that do a great job of navigating girls through their changing bodies as new teenagers…
Manic: Can somebody suggest a book to navigate me through MINE!?!?!?
Andi:… and of course current pop culture itself is an unfortunate primer for what's expected of girls in terms of how they present themselves, how they look, and how they interact with boys. The Daring Book offers a refreshing alternative to all that.
Manic: Would you consider your nine-year-old self a daring girl?
Andi: Absolutely! I did things at nine I might be nervous to do now!
Manic: Me too! Like the time I hit the neighbor kid over the head with my lime green skateboard cuz he called me a baboon. I think that was pretty daring. Boy, I ran like heck after that! So, what were you like? Tomboy? Girly-Girl? Bookworm? Diva? Somewhere in the middle?
Andi: A little from column A, a little from column B. As a nine-year-old, I'd alternate between wearing my Sears Toughskins and running with the boys, and wearing a flouncy dress and Mary Janes and hanging with the girls. As a 15-year-old I was a definite bookworm.
Manic: Me too! I had a ton of books and spent so much time holed up in my room reading. Being a lover of words, I especially enjoyed the Words To Impress chapter. What are some of your most favorite words that you like to slip into conversation to bamboozle the person you're speaking with (kinda like I just did with the word "bamboozle!").
Andi: Oh gosh, I think we covered most of them in that list!
Manic: You’re gonna make me look up the list aren’t ya? OK, I did it. And I know like two words from that list. Those are definitely impressive words!
So, here’s what I need, and not in light of yesterday’s post, but I need a book called Daring Book for Moms©™*... You know, like chapters on how to cook for your family. How to fold laundry. How to unfold the ironing board – who are we kidding – how to find the ironing board! How to clean the toilets…
Andi, do you think I've got a best-seller on my hands with this idea? So many moms could benefit! Like for instance, a chapter on How To Pretend You've Spent The Day Cleaning… my tip is to spray Pledge all around the house and sprinkle Carpet Fresh deodorant on the floors. Oh, and I could also put blue food coloring into the toilet so Mr. Manic thinks I've deodorized it! Good one, huh?
Andi: I think a Daring Book for Moms would have to be all about learning to be comfortable in your own skin as you figure out parenthood – whether or not you're good at all the "practical" stuff. (Also: perhaps a truly daring thing would be to have Mr. Manic do the deodorizing himself! I'm just saying...)
Manic: Oh Andi, don’t get me started on Mr. Manic. We’re actually friends again. He was totally on my “you-know-what” list yesterday. Anyway, back to the book! While Diva likes the How To Be a Spy and Putting Your Hair Up with a Pencil chapters, I myself gravitated toward the Slumber Party Games chapter. What other slumber party games did you play as a young, daring girl?
Andi: The ones in the book were the basic ones we did as kids.
Manic: We used to steal the bra of the one girl who had boobies and we’d wet it and then stick it into the freezer. Or we’d try to put a sleeping girl’s hand in a cup of warm water in the hopes she’d pee in her sleeping bag.
And, when we got around to Truth or Dare, we were pretty daring, I think! I remember having to eat rabbit pellets mixed with peanut butter and milk, and also running down the street in the birthday girl’s mom’s bra and yelling at the top of my lungs as a dare… that is pretty daring! And, Light as a Feather, well, no one could really lift me.
And what about Bloody Mary? You’ve listed that one in the book! Have you seen her? That one always frightened me!
Andi: I remember playing Bloody Mary and freaking myself out, but I never actually saw anyone in the mirror other than myself and my freaked-out friends!
Manic: The only Bloody Mary I've ever seen had a celery stalk and vodka in it. And now that I think about it, the only scary ones were the ones without vodka!
Andi, thanks for playing Minute With Manic. I’ve been a little stressed lately, if you can’t tell from previous posts, and just taking some time with Diva to peruse (ooh, that’s another impressive word!) through the fun chapters of The Daring Book for Girls has brought me back down to reality a bit.
It’s a great book for girls truly of all ages – daring ones, ones on the verge of being daring, not-so-daring ones, and even ones that are so daring they may need some daring instructions to keep them from being TOO daring!
Everyone should add this book to their holiday gift list – the little girls, and not-so-little girls in your life will cherish it!
Go ahead, I dare ya!
In fact, I double-dog dare ya!
*Notice how I trademarked and copywrited my idea for the Daring Book for Moms? All mine!