Fey begins and ends her essay with a book that her preschool daughter brings home from the library. It's a picture book called My Working Mom, and it sends Fey into a tizzy. Did her daughter select the book because she is traumatized by the hours she works?
First published in 1994, My Working Mom tells the story of a witch mother kept busy experimenting in her lab and flying off on her broomstick to meetings. The witch's child isn't crazy that her mother has to work, but she accepts it. Reviews of the book on Amazon speak volumes. Readers (mostly working moms, surprise, surprise) seem to love it ("a great book" "conveys the message without being too preachy") or hate it ("working moms beware" "offended and disgusted"). I don't have a copy, but I intend to pick one up asap.
Fey goes on to explore the pros and cons of having a second child relatively late in life. After many anxious, sleepless nights, she takes her worries to her gynecologist, who assures her that, "Either way, everything will be fine." Fey finds comfort in this, and that night, asks her daughter why she choose My Working Mom. Fey asks:
"Did you pick this book because your mommy works? Did it make you feel better about it?" She looked at me matter-of-factly and said, "Mommy, I can't read. I thought it was a Halloween book."