Ketchup Is a Vegetable and Wine Can Come Out Your Nose

by Abby on January 6, 2012

Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves, by Robin O'BryantSpeaking of funny books about parenting, it is scary how much I related to Robin O’Bryant’s Ketchup Is A Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves, which she sent me after reaching out to me online. (Note to budding authors: this is a smart strategy!) Sure, some aspects of motherhood are universal – sleep deprivation, potty training, dealing with sick kids – but there were certain places where the resemblance to my own life was downright uncanny.

Like how you might end up with coleslaw in your bra. Or being tracked down on the treadmill by the gym daycare worker when your baby drops a bomb in his diaper. And the sheer terror of taking small children to a wedding. (Remember this post?)

But Robin, author of the self-syndicated humor column and blog Robin’s Chicks, takes it a step further than simply relating the trials and tribulations of motherhood. She writes – hilariously and colorfully – what other people would dare only think. I see her as that girlfriend you go out for drinks with and after a glass or two of wine (or “Mommy Juice,” as Robin calls it), you’re thinking, “OMG, I can’t believe she just SAID that!” But you’re so glad she did even if you did just wet your pants a little and spray wine out your nose from laughing so hard. Besides, it’s probably the best ab workout you’ve had all week.

I burst out laughing (and, OK, possibly snorted if you must know) more times than I can count while reading this book. Specifically the parts where she describes what happens when a child goes to bed with a cheese stick, trying to keep her girls from buying the Barbie House-o-Skanks with their allowance, being verbally assaulted by aggressive vendors at the mall while her child’s having a meltdown, and explaining the facts of life to a 5yo.

Believe me when I tell you that people who write about parenthood, and especially those who do so humorously, walk a fine line. You have only to sample a handful of the explosion of post-Dooce mommy blogs to realize how easy it is to come across as too sappy, too raunchy, too sarcastic, too superficial, too serious, or just plain not a good writer. Robin manages to walk this line nicely. One chapter had me cringing, the next guffawing, the next tearing up. That’s a skilled writer, people! Not to mention that this emotional rollercoaster exactly mirrors my experience with motherhood.

Robin O'Bryant, author of Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell ThemselvesFor some funny and insightful interviews with the author, check out “Buzzing On Ketchup” and “You had me at page one.” And I love Robin’s post, “10 Ways Writing a Book is Like Having a Baby.”

You can buy the paperback version of Ketchup on Amazon. The Kindle version is free to Amazon Prime members.

GIVEAWAY O’ THE DAY: To win your very own signed paperback copy of Robin’s book, leave a comment below by Sun. 1/8 midnight EST and I’ll pick a winner at random.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Mizzell January 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

You described Robin perfectly!

No need to enter me in the drawing.. I have my own signed copy and bought a couple for my friends! Robin is an example of a “real-life” mom who made a dream come true simply by being herself. I know I can be one of those moms who can come across sappy at times… but it really doesn’t get any more inspiring than that! Go girl!


neena January 6, 2012 at 10:34 am

I’d love to read this book!!


Robin O'Bryant January 6, 2012 at 11:56 am

WOW! Thank you so much!! Reading your review was a great way to start my day!!


Teresa Renau January 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Miss you girl! Can’t wait to read it. Enter me in the drawing! I want a signed copy!!
I’m so happy about your book success. Thanks for letting moms like me know we don’t have to be perfect—what fun would that be???? lol
Blessings in the new year,
Teresa Renau


Lisa January 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

There are so many “mommy” books out there that it can be hard to know what to choose for those precious few moments of reading. Thanks for the recommendation.


Sandra Nobile January 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I would love a signed copy!


Frume Sarah January 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

OK — this is definitely being added to my “to-read” list.

Why is it that these things seem so much funnier when they happen to other people??


Mandy Garola January 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I love Robin and cannot get enough of her humor! I’d love a copy!


LuckyGirl Gankee January 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Would love a copy of this book! Have been reading about it and anxious to read. Definatly could use a good laugh(s)!!!!


Abby January 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Congrats, you are the winner of the giveaway! Please email me ASAP and let me know how I can get in touch w/ you: abbyGF (at)


Lou Mello January 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

YEAY!! another chance to get me some Robin goodies!! Love her blog, her weekly column in the local neighborhood paper and her descriptions of her daughters just crack me up.

As Sarah comments, it really is sooooo much funnier when this stuff happens to other people.


It's Not Like a Cat January 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Great review! I would love to read this book!


Laura Kay January 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Would love a chance to win and read it! Sounds great!

Laura Kay


Merrie Knight January 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Loved the really “fun book” and am happy for your success. Such a delight to meet you! Don’t forget my offer.


Holly Rose January 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I’m so lucky because I snagged a copy of this on my kindle for free but having a signed copy would be icing on the cake! I took a short break from reading that book to check some blogs and found this. Woo hoo!! This is a great read and makes me feel understood as a mom!


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