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Needs Adult Supervision by Emily Writes

Ever thought 'I wish there was an adult around', then realised you're the adult? Emily Writes, who has published two books on parenting, one of which has been adapted as a play, shares stories of growing up as your children grow up.

Writes' first book Rants in the Dark was released in 2017 and carried me through some long nights with my then 15-month-old and newborn. Needs Adult Supervision reflects the growth of our babies in the intervening five years; a little older, a little wiser, still sleep deprived.

'Charging', just 36 pages in, had me in tears. We too have a 'pāua baby' and Writes' acknowledgment that it can be such hard work broke me. It might not seem like a lot, but having someone else put in words what you feel is immense.

This is a common theme through the book, and Writes' vulnerability and resilience, her acknowledgment of failure and feeling, gives parents and whānau reassurance that they are not alone.

In 'Call Me By My Name' Writes grapples with something every new parent does - the shift of identity and how we reinvent ourselves with our family. She lists just some of the roles she inhabits - mother, sister, activist, friend - allowing readers space to examine their own identity.

Raising children puts you out of your comfort zone - enormous highs and enormous lows and even just surviving the day is enough to leave you breathless. In 'Adventure' Writes discusses bereavement and medically fragile children and how every day is living life on the edge. It is deep and profound, and a story that should be bookmarked for families to read on those hard, hard days.

In between the deeply moving and profound anecdotes, there is humour and fun. From trying to convince your child's teachers on Zoom that your house isn't falling apart around you, to drinking farts, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments Writes shares.

Needs Adult Supervision is funny, sad, thoughtful and inspiring. Writes's adoration and respect for her whānau, her village, and her community shines throughout.

Writes brings the reader into her village, making it clear that she has your back, that she sees you, that you're doing a great job growing up while your children grow up. Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell RandomHouse NZ


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