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Book Tour: Days 4 to 10

Saturday, May 13, 2006
As the subject line indicates, I'm a little behind in posting. But you already knew that. I just fell off the blogosphere for what's got to be the longest time ever for me: an unprecedented ten days.

Some days I couldn't get an Internet connection to save my life. (What some hotels pass off as "wireless Internet" is really "Internet that works if you're standing in the lobby" or "Internet that works as long as not too many of our hotel guests log on at any one time." That's only marginally useful.)

Other days I was too exhausted from the book tour pace to do anything but drop my luggage on the hotel room floor, deal with "emergency emails," and see if there was anything mindless on TV. (That's how I caught the snippet in which Britney announced her pregnancy on Letterman after stumbling her way through Dave's Top 10 List. I bet it will be a while before Dave lets any other guests read the Top 10 list for him. It was painful.)

Day 4 (last Thursday to the rest of you) saw me doing back-to-back radio interviews all day long, plus trying to finish some magazine articles, and pack so that I could get out of town for BabyTime, which started the following day.

Then I spent three crazy but exhilarating days (Days 5, 6, and 7) at BabyTime, talking to parents on the show floor (I lived at the Wiley booth when I wasn't giving my presentations on "sleep solutions" or "mealtime solutions" or participating in "Canada's biggest baby shower." CTV sent out a news crew to interview me about kids and sleep, and I also had the thrill of being a guest on CBC's Fresh Air early Saturday morning. (If you're a CBC junkie like I am, having the chance to walk inside the hallowed halls of the CBC is always a truly magical experience. And Jeff Goodes is just as nice and down to earth in real life as he sounds on the airwaves.)

Most memorable moment at BabyTime? It's almost the end of the show, at which point I'm so tired I'm getting giddy. Really giddy. This guy pushing a toddler in a stroller walks up to the Wiley booth, points to a copy of Parenting for Dummies (another Wiley title) and says, "Only a dummy would read parenting books. You know your child best. What could a book tell you about your child?" I cover up my name tag with my scarf so that I won't be mistaken for a parenting author, and I just smile and nod at the guy, not just because it's the easiest thing to do, but also because I happen to believe that there's a lot of truth in what he's saying -- although I also think parenting books can be helpful to parents, or I wouldn't be writing them. But I've always hated the very same kind of parenting books that this fellow objects to so strongly -- the books in the "I have all the answers to your family's problems -- even though I've never met you or your child" school of parenting books.

I spent Monday (Day 8) in Hamilton doing media: an appearance on CH Morning Live, and then an interview with Denise Davy of The Hamilton Spectator, who wrote this piece called "The Mother of All Parenting Experts" based on our interview, followed by spots on CHTV's Smith and Hayes and AM 900's The Jamie West Show). I also did two phoners with Eve Morgan on CFGX radio in Sarnia and CBC Radio's The Noon Edition with Jennifer Gibson in Saskatchewan. (I think this show will go down in history as the only time I've had the same caller call the same radio call-in show twice. The caller in question had one sleep question and one mealtime question. So either the person was hitting redial the entire time -- or the phone lines were empty!)

Then I headed back to Toronto on Tuesday (Day 9) to sign the book panel members' copies of Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage, which is now hitting the bookstore shelves. (Your books should have hit the mail Wednesday morning, book panel moms and dads.)

My Toronto media is happening in bits and pieces all over the place. I'm going to be the featured guest on the special Mother's Day edition of CFRB's The Parent Coach with Connie Sinclair tomorrow morning (May 14th) and I'm going to be on Canada AM on May 25th. And I'm going to be taping an episode of The Mom Show in early June.

On Wednesday (Day 10), I was in Kitchener/Waterloo. I was a guest on Daytime, CKGL's The Gary Doyle Show, and CKCO TV's Provincewide. Note: The Provincewide segment will air on Sunday at 6:30 pm.

On Thursday (Day 11), I was in London, Ontario. I started my day at the Covent Garden Market, where A-Channel Morning broadcasts live. One of the co-hosts, Jeremy, was kind enough to mention that my books have been in his house longer than he's been a parent. (Apparently his wife read my pregnancy book when they were at the pre-pregnancy stage.) Talk about making an author feel welcome -- that and the endless supply of coffee both on-set and in the immediate vicinity. (There were two gourmet coffee bars right next to the set.) And the producer, Morgan, was way too nice to be working in the TV field. Where was the grumpiness, the edge, the get-off-our-set-now body language? Morgan actually babysat my laptop while I went to scrounge up some breakfast. Wow.

And speaking of the nice people of London, I had the chance to meet with Jennifer McCallum of Parent Guide Inc, founder of a new parent resource guide that started in London, but that has been expanding regionally and nationally. She's also added a school-age resource guide to meet the needs of parents of older children. I've worked with Jennifer for a number of years, but this is only the second time we've had the chance we've had the chance to meet in person -- and definitely the only chance we had the chance to meet in a non-hurried way. Jennifer treated me to dinner at The Tasting Room Bar and Bistro in London, one of the city's newer restaurants, apparently. The food was delicious and the service was great. I highly recommend it, if you're looking for a place to dine in a relax and unhurried way. (And isn't that what dining is supposed to be all about anyway?)

Okay, back to tales from the book tour. Where were we? London. Day 11. The morning. Oh yeah. After the early morning TV interview, I headed over to CFPL AM 980 for an interview with John Wilson. John has apparently made a career out of proudly boasting to his radio audience that he has 500 reasons for not having children. I think my sleep book allowed him to add to his repertoire. ("500 hours of missed sleep during the first year of parenting? And I thought morning radio hosts were the most sleep-deprived people on the planet.") We had a great time during the hour-long interview -- John is a lot of fun -- and he's invited me back so we can get to the mealtime book the next time. By the time we're finished getting through the material in that book, he may be up to 550 reasons....

After my interview with John, I headed over the London Free Press offices, to do an interview with parenting columnist Kathy Rumleski, who immediately put me at ease. Jennifer has a young family herself, so sleep deprivation and kids' mealtime theatrics aren't abstract concepts for her at her current life stage, something that makes an interview a whole lot easier for both the interviewer and the interviewee. It's not like you have to explain the concept of "tired" to someone who thinks being a tired parent means getting 5 hours of sleep in a row one night. (Actually, that's the definition of sleeping through the night. That's sleep nirvana, in the eyes of a new parent.)

I drove back to Peterborough late Thursday night and did another Hamilton interview from home on Friday morning. Since then I've been doing laundry, catching up on some email (I am massively behind again), and packing. I hop a train to Montreal tomorrow. But before I leave, I'll be doing a half-hour interview at 7:30 am on CBC radio tomorrow morning on CBC Montreal's All in a Weekend.

Here's where I'll be next week:

Monday: Montreal (Global's This Morning Live @ 8:15 am; CFCF TV 12 Noon New at 12:30 pm; CBC Radio Noon one hour phone-in; plus some print interviews and taped radio interviews)

Tuesday: Ottawa (schedule TBA)

Wednesday: Calgary (schedule TBA)

Thursday and Friday: Vancouver. (Thursday: City TV Breakfast; CBC Radio Almanac, plus some radio tapings; Friday: Global TV Morning, Shaw TV - Studio 4 with the amazing Fanny Keifer)

Then, home to open the cottage. Yeah!

Okay, on to my belated book blogging on behalf of my buddies. (How's that for alliteration?) But because this post is getting way too long, I'm going to start fresh in two new posts.

But before I sign off, check out this news story that hit the news wire on Tuesday: "Parenting guru says best gift is kids who eat and sleep well." Other that feeling a bit weird about the "guru" thing -- and the fact that I seem to have lived out that awful dream about leaving one child in the grocery store (I'm down to three kids rather than four, according to the story), the story seems to capture what I'm trying to say really well.

Oh yeah: There are magazine excerpts of Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stagein the works (mom's the word for now, but I'll tell you more as soon as I can).

[BTW -- If you read an early draft of this message and then came back and thought, "That looks longer, you're right. I kept expanding it -- and expanding it as I remembered more and more things about the tour. That's why I never write in ink in a journal. I'd have to keep ripping out pages and starting my entries again from scratch. I'd never finish a single entry.]

| posted by Ann D @ 10:52 AM