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On Parenting
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Alexis and Martha Stewart: Memoirs are not always a ‘good thing’

Alexis Stewart has turned hiding from trick-or-treaters into the new wire-hanger tantrum.

Martha Stewart (Chip East - Reuters)
Her new book, “Whateverland: Learning to Live Here,” written with her friend and radio and TV co-star, Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, (Wiley, October) is a broadside on her famous mother Martha. The book is not officially due to be released until later this month, but the best tidbits are unspooling already.

The book is said to contain a litany of complaints about Martha’s generally inattentive parenting, such as not bothering to prepare food or wrap presents, (actually forcing little Alexis to wrap her own). Worse, for a woman whose empire has been built on persona, it lists a series of embarrassing indignities. Alexis claims her mother routinely left the bathroom door open when she relieved herself, and that she annually avoided trick-or-treaters by turning the lights off in the home, essentially, hiding from kids. (The Daily Mail reported the details with exuberance after nabbing an early review copy.)

It’s not exactly our generation’s “Mommy Dearest,” because Alexis dedicates the book to Martha and much of the, for lack of a better word, reminisces are laced between tongue-and-check lifestyle advice.

Martha publicly came out Tuesday to laugh it all off. She called the book an obvious exaggeration. She went so far as to urge people to buy the book, as if it was all in good fun.

The episode, sordid as it is, does raise the issue of a child’s resentments. Which of our parenting mistakes — big or little — will be most remembered by our kids?

Will my utter lack of cooking skills scar them? Or my quick temper? Will it be the future choices my husband and I make for them, the places we live, the schools they attend, the vacations we don’t take? Or will it be that my lack of domestic diva status will rob them of this future best-seller?

Which of your missteps might make a memoir?

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Tags:  Martha Stewart, Alexis Stewart, Whateverland

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