You may recall that last fall I mentioned I’d finished a “big project,” but I didn’t go into any details about it. Well, I can finally tell you guys what the project is: Mike and I wrote a book! It’s called The Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Whiny Unfed, and it will be released August 1st by Quarto Publishing.

the toddler survival guide

So what’s it about? Well, here’s the blurb that will appear on the back of the book:

The Toddler Survival Guide is a hilarious parody of Max Brooks’s The Zombie Survival Guide (and survival guides in general) that will leave parents laughing out loud even as it provides practical advice on how they can make it to the other side of toddlerhood intact. Written by parents who have studied toddlers up-close in their natural habitat, the book will cover survival skills including how you can outfit your home to outlast a toddler occupation (baby gate, cabinet locks, wine), how you can subdue an angry toddler (“Elmo’s Song,” mac and cheese, smartphone) and even how you can safely venture out in public together without your toddler–or you–bursting into tears.

The whole experience of writing a book has been fascinating. One of the coolest parts was getting to see the artwork by the book’s illustrator, Ted Slampyak (whose work you may be familiar with from The Art of Manliness). Throughout the manuscript we wrote seventy or so notations along the line of: “Illustration here — In a family’s dining room spaghetti and spaghetti sauce are everywhere — even dripping off the walls — as a toddler eats it.” And then one day all of these incredible (and totally hilarious) illustrations showed up that were even more perfect than we’d hoped. It was really awesome.

Obviously, writing a book isn’t easy — and it’s probably even harder writing one with your spouse! It’s honestly a freaking miracle that Mike didn’t murder me. He’s a good worker who would diligently come home from BuzzFeed every night and write a few hundred words…and I would usually wait until the day before a deadline to bang out my thousands of words. What can I say? I work better under pressure. The whole process (along with how this all came to be) is something I will definitely write about here, if you all are interested!

Annabel and James, thankfully, were a huge help with the book. Annie was full of enthusiasm about it, and will be the first person to tell you that she came up with a couple of the jokes in the book (which is true!). As for James, well, his toddler status was a source of endless inspiration. Every day he’d do something and we’d be like, “oh, that needs to be addressed in the guide.” It might be the only positive thing about his frenetic toddler days!

We have a lot of fun stuff to share with you leading up to August 1st (a book trailer, give-a-ways, release party, and more) but if you want to pre-order the book now, you can! Here’s the info:

The Toddler Survival Guide is available at your favorite local bookstore, and at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indiebound, Powells, QuartoKnows, and in Canada at Indigo-Chapters