If "poop factory" comes to mind when you see a diaper-clad toddler, or you think "yard ape" is the best description for a child playing outside, perhaps you've decided parenthood isn't for you. Jennifer L. Shawne also pooh-poohs the encumbered life. Her humorous paperback, "Baby Not on Board" (Chronicle Books, $14.95), celebrates child-free living. Shawne's response to the when-are-you-having-kids question: "When minivans are sexy and day care is free."
For those who like OPCs (Other People's Children), Shawne gives tips on being the cool aunt or uncle; for those who don't, she suggests plopping Junior down in a litter box if you don't want to be asked to baby-sit again. Most of the laughs come in conjunction with the witty illustrations by Anoushka Matus: The image of a grown-up holding a cooked steak out to an infant on the floor is a riot (trust me, you have to see it).
The book acknowledges that people decide not to have kids for different reasons, but this isn't an intellectual study (for that, try "The Childless Revolution" by Madelyn Cain). Rather, Shawne glorifies the life of what she terms "unparents." Once the no-breeding decision has been made, she suggests throwing an "unbaby shower" with anti-kiddie movies ("Children of the Corn," "Mommie Dearest"), pink and blue cocktails in baby bottles -- and a stork pinata.
Nicole M. Miller