The Clothesline Collection is a compilation of parenting and life columns
from The Kings County Advertiser that spins positive New Age village mythos,
offering understanding and help on a wide range of Community and family-based
topics. Lila Hope-Simpson is a writer, childcare worker, adult educator, Life
Coach, wife and mother. She has worked in daycares, operating Home and Heart
Child Development Centre for 18 years in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and has had
various political appointments re: daycare policy. She has written a children’s
book Fiddle & Spoons: Journey of an Acadian Mouse and a novel Stepping Out and
is currently writing children’s book’s.
A first person narrative that draws the reader in and illuminates on a wide range of contemporary topics, often with a subtle cast of humor. The topics are well chosen and present concise short reads with everything you need to know often with a followup for further questions. As well as being a parenting and daycare guide, the author talks about her life, life in Nova Scotia and the columns are an underground guide to events Nova Scotia.
Parenting topics with titles, Wear your baby (on the benefits of wearing your baby tied to your body), Children grieve too (on how to deal with the death of a family member, friend or pet), Let’s talk about sex (on how to give young children basic info, “mommy and daddy make babies” and boundaries around touch), Cry baby (on how different cries communicate different things), From diapers to pants (on toilet training tips), Bed-wetting (usually children outgrow eneuresis), Behaviour contract (how to change the negative behaviour of a teenager), Sorry ‘bout that (teaching a child how to ask to play with other children’s toys rather than taking them) and more.
She also reaches out in a personal way and includes the Reader in her life. The author talks about how staying in touch with an elderly aunt enriches her and her families life in Blue tattoo and chocolate, on her youngest 18 year old daughter leaving home in The Empty Nest, she talks about how the children listen to the radio for school cancellation on winter days in Snow day and she jokes “Always make sure you have chocolate in the house for snow days”, how parents worry and imagine fantasies of dread about their children from the time of pregnancy to adulthood in Don’t worry be happy, about being in the Dominican Republic with her 6 month old grandchild in Travels with Max and about living with breast cancer in Breast cancer hits home.
Life in Nova Scotia includes stories of Frenchy’s, the local secondhand purveyor of clothing, and in Supermarket enounters she not only runs into friends but she chats people up about the products they are buying, and From vegetarian to vegan about cooking vegetarian meals for her daughter.
The family themes are great for ideas for activities with your children and are a primer on raising children. Often the stories of life Nova Scotia will include ideas for family outings including the annual pumpkin regatta on Lake Pesaquid, Windsor, Nova Scotia; the Annual Eagle Watch in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia in an article about teaching the children about birding, family fun at the open-air market and researching the story of her family coming from Poland at Pier 21 Museum – “the Ellis Island of Canada in Halifax”.
The columns also deal with contemporary and sometimes controversial topics giving insight and an overview in a summarized form. The work or stay home dilemma is about being a working mum or a stay at home mum, Date rape beware is an article on how to prevent rape, and in The shopping moratorium, “since I’ve decided that I already have what I need, I decided to put a stop to unnecessary shopping and consumerism” so she only buys what she really needs or sales “too good to pass up.” And she writes about a trip to Cuba in Viva Cuba! where she gives the local people clothes, school supplies, toiletries and how it is a family oriented place.
Not unlike Reader’s Digest but more interesting and a personal view of the author and her family Canadiana. The Clothesline Collection: a compilation of Positive Parenting columns, a primer on parenting and family, a day in the life of Lila Hope-Simpson.
Genre: Parenting, Family, Women's Literature
Available @ Amazon Canada. Amazon.ca.