“I got to see the art I wanted to see and eat what I wanted to eat when I wanted to eat it,” my friend said of her recent jaunt to New York. “I’d had so much kid time, I really needed the…chance to do things for myself.” “That’s great,” I affirmed. I hoped I sounded completely sincere. I was, honestly, pretty sincere, and I wished I was even more so. Her end-of-summer divorced parent schedule had given her a long stretch with her kids followed by a long stretch without them. That trip to New York… >> Read More
The chocolate cookie was the last straw. My 5-year-old rejected the plain cookie. Before that, she decided she had to stage two things in the dollhouse. And just before that, she’d delayed our…departure--she to her friend’s house down the street, me to the Y for Zumba class--by three apple slices. Although the only thing at stake was my on-time arrival to class, at that moment, I felt as if the sole request I’d made on behalf of myself all morning was strategically being buried by a conniving… >> Read More
From the outside, it might seem as if we set out to dismantle Passover seders one stalwart tradition at a time.
However, when I think back, Passover and seders have always had iconoclastic twists,…although early on I wasn't aware there was anything questionable about ours; we just had seder in this particular way, with this particular group of folks. For me, seder was always a woman-run affair; my mother and her good friend, Flora, did a second night seder together all through growing up and into adulthood (and… >> Read More
A few weeks ago, my preschooler daughter wore her blue, green, and yellow bathing suit all day long, the one with the bunches of bananas print. Mind you, this was in New England, during one of those…frigidly freezing spells, and note, too, that she didn't wear the entire bathing suit--just the ruffle-banded bikini top. "This," she explained as she put it on, "is my bra." She paraded around the house in just her "bra" for an hour or so--until she got cold. Then, she pulled her shirt over that and continued… >> Read More
One of my favorite pictures I ever took of my daughter came during a tantrum.
She wasn't quite 3. We were in the middle of a family party with our best friends--and their two kids, the de facto…cousins. My daughter had just hit her BFF. I scooped her into my arms and carried her upstairs for a time-out. A photographer friend once advised me that photos of crying people were always good to take, aesthetically (you can quibble about the morals). There my daughter stood in her crib in a white satin… >> Read More
Back when my bigger boys were small, it seemed we had plenty of time at home to hang around. What we needed was stuff to do.
So, along with reading and doing puzzles and playing with trains, I took…my cue from cookbooks like Molly Katzen's Pretend Soup , a bright cornucopia of recipes explained with words and pictures like those simple picture books that preview reading with images in the place of certain words. Together, we made bagel faces and carrot pennies. We baked. We sampled the batter. As the boys got bigger,… >> Read More
That line about how you're a great parent until you have kids has its kernel of truth--or at least of good intention. I started off--umpteen years ago, as my eldest is 17--very clear: no guns, no…Barbies, no blue-for-boys, pink-for-girls, no television. I'll cut to the chase: the mighty have so fallen. And also, phew, the mighty have fallen. I don't regret no screens or my attempt to ensure my firstborn boy had a truck and a doll. It turned out he played with neither of those toys. He lacked the… >> Read More
Last autumn, nestled near my preschool daughter's scalp and obscured by her thick hair, were lice. Our immediate desire was to rid her--and the household--of the pesky critters. Out came the clippers.…Her hair was buzzed short enough to glimpse her scalp. From birth, she's been admired for her dark hair, which never fell away. Instead, it grew fast, first curly, and then it pitched itself right down her slight toddler back. More recently (when the formerly equally longhaired brother got lice, then a buzz cut) she… >> Read More