Alexis Stewart and Martha Stewart
On TV and in her magazines, Martha Stewart is the picture of domestic bliss, but according to a new book by her daughter, Alexis, things were far from perfect growing up in the Stewart household.
"If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again," Alexis, 46, writes in her book, Whateverland: Learning to Live Here, in excerpts obtained by The Daily Mail. "I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head."
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The radio and TV host writes that she couldn't win because "Martha does everything better," and says that holidays were rarely times of celebration. "She used to make me wrap my own presents. She would hand me things right before Christmas and say, 'Now wrap these but don't look inside,'" Alexis writes. As for Halloween? "There were no costumes. There was no anything. We turned off all the lights and pretended we weren't home."
In the book, Alexis also recalls standing out from her friends, both because there was never anything to eat despite the wealth of ingredients, and because of one of her mother's particularly embarrassing habits. "Mother always peed with the door open," she writes. "I remember saying, 'You know, now I have friends over! You can't do that anymore! It's gotta stop! My friends' parents don't do it! Give me a break here! I don't feel like being embarrassed! It's exhausting! I'm a kid! Stop!'"
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Alexis later accuses her mother of having "bra issues" because Martha refused to buy her a bra when she was growing up."[She] told me that her mother wouldn't let her buy a bra when she needed one," Alexis writers, "So some of her friends gave her some bras. When my grandmother found the bras in the closet, she screamed at my mother and slapped her for having them."
Although Alexis' childhood sounds far from ideal, she dedicated the book to Martha and doesn't seem to blame her mom for her unique parenting tactics. "Martha was one of six kids - she didn't have anything growing up - which is probably the way she parented the way she did," she writes. "'And when I say parented, I use the term very loosely, as in a very hands-off approach to child rearing."
Whateverland: Learning to Live Here hits stores on Oct. 18.