Back when Mrs. Trump was Ivana Trump, the household had a poodle, which Donald Trump didn’t like. While the poodle was more Ivana’s than his, this was the only time Trump had a dog, according to reports. Ivana Trump didn’t shy away from sharing the details of her marriage to the man who would go on to become president of the nation, and she certainly wasn’t shy about sharing some of the different tactics she used while rearing the three oldest Trump children.
The first Mrs. Trump talks about how Donald Trump was apprehensive about naming his firstborn son Donald, after him. He was afraid to do so just in case the child turned out to be “a loser,” according to the New York Times’ critique of Raising Trump.
According to the Times, the “book is supposed to be about good parenting,” but the article suggests for Donald Trump Jr. that “it sounds like the worst childhood ever.” Ivana shares in her book how a young Donald Jr. and Eric called Ivana one day “hysterical” while she was out of town. The kids found their nanny unconscious in the basement. That nanny died, writes the New York Times. They didn’t say if the nanny’s death was the result of this particular event, but they did say she was deceased.
Another incident that Donald Trump Jr. endured as a kid occurred during Ivana’s divorce from Trump. At one point Donald Trump sent a bodyguard over to Ivana’s house to get Donald Jr. with Trump Senior telling his soon-to-be ex that he is taking his son and raising him.
Ivana conveys in her book that she told Trump Sr., who was adamant at keeping Donald Jr. with him, “O.K., keep him. I have two other kids to raise.” She looked at her response as basically calling his bluff.
She said there was total silence on Trump’s end, and then 10 minutes later Donald Jr. was returned to her by the bodyguard. Ivana said that Trump’s attempt at taking Donald Jr. was “a tactic to upset me.” The Times reports that this incident happened around that time that Donald Jr. stopped talking to his dad and he was “shipped to boarding school.”
Gail Collins, who wrote about Ivana’s book Raising Trump as an opinion piece in the New York Times, conveyed how she can now point out an important thought to walk away with from those 293 pages. She said the “most important thing you learn is that we can never say another mean thing about Donald Jr. again. Really, it sounds like the worst childhood ever.”
That childhood started with Donald Trump’s resistance to having Donald Trump Jr. named after him, due to worries about what might happen if the kid should turn out to be “a loser.” Of course, history has indicated his concerns were unfounded, but now the younger Donald Trump knows about the controversy back when he was born, if he didn’t hear his mother tell that story before.
Donald Trump Jr. broke his leg when he was a young child and the blame went to a “negligent babysitter,” which is another musing offered in Ivana’s book, Raising Trump. After college Don Jr. moved to Colorado and became a bartender, much to the disdain of his mother. She writes how she decided to show her disapproval by “cutting him off.” This was Ivana’s way of making her disapproval very clear.
She continued her “cutting off” strategy until he “gave up,” moved back to New York City, and joined the family business — the Trump Organization. Collins writes in her opinion piece that she will never attack Donald Jr. again, except for his “elephant hunting.” Collins also writes that you find yourself plodding along in her book, knowing she will eventually get to the Marla Maples affair.
Ivana was approached by a young woman while she was in Aspen, back in 1989, who said, “I’m Marla and I love your husband. Do you?” The name she uses for Marla Maples in her book is “showgirl.” In her final thoughts about the book, Collins closes with a quip on that poodle, who happens to be named “Chappy.” Saying, “The happiest person in the family was probably Chappy.”
CNN News suggests that Ivana “stirred the pot in her new memoir.” She started this during her book promotion tour, even before her book went on sale. The first sign of friction was when she deemed herself the “first lady” during an interview, which hit the headlines almost immediately.
In just 293 pages Ivana, 68, recounts her childhood in communist Czechoslovakia, romance with Donald Trump and subsequent boyfriends and husbands, the tumultuous divorce and bringing up her children. This CNN critique offers just what you can expect from reading this book.
It is an “entertaining, and sometimes embarrassing, set of anecdotes and musings about bringing up the three eldest Trump children.”
[Featured Image by Marty Lederhandler/AP Images]