Sharp, funny, cautionary memoirs of a thirtysomething free- lance writer (Parents, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, etc.). She was the blonde, beautiful female half of an ideal DINK (double income no kids) couple. She enjoyed vacations in Europe, a house in the suburbs, and an Italian husband who adored her. Then one Christmas mornings as Leonard and her mate relaxed in front of the tree with their expensive presents and their fresh- ground coffee in porcelain mugs, they knew the time had come to spoil it all with children. Leonard's daughter and son were born within 18 months of each other, and faster than it takes to become pregnant, both she and her house took on the appearance of a third-world battlefield. Her litany of parental pitfalls (the first plane trip, the first baby-sitter, the first encounter with an impeccably groomed, childless best friend, the first twinge of working-mother guilt) is a familiar one--they're pitfalls that have by now become virtual stations of the cross to baby-boom readers--but Leonard's sophisticated humor and fully adult perspective add a refreshing twist to accounts of a Venetian holiday endured with offspring and a birthday weekend spent without them. Leonard's hard-won cheerfulness makes this surprisingly reassuring reading for apprehensive mothers-to-be, and promises to brighten up naptime for some mothers-in-the-trenches as well.