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Apr 4 2014

The Transformative Powers of Bath Time–for Mama and Child

By at 10:22 am

needs-bath

This post is part of our Torah MOMentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Metzora. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Bath time. It’s so simple, yet so transformative.

Most evenings around 7 p.m., Sylvie enters the tub covered in the evidence of a day well spent. You know the look: pasta sauce in her curls, a thin layer of dried snot on her cheeks, dirt on her knees, lint between her toes, and streaks of green finger paint in random places.

Come to think of it, by the end of dinnertime she brings to mind my fashion preferences as a teenager in the 90’s. You know the look: torn jacket, messy hair, smudged eyeliner, chipped nail polish. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 31 2014

When It’s Not a Total Disaster, Bath Time Can Be a Beautiful Thing

By at 11:06 am

bathtime2

Some nights, it is a literal shit show. Nothing quite matches the moment when I looked down at the shower floor and saw a giant blob of poop. My oblivious toddler looked at me, puzzled, clearly wondering, “How’d that get there?”

Thankfully, most nights, we deal with more metaphorical bath time messes. Like the nights when the 3-year-old commandeers all toys like she’s auditioning for an episode of “Hoarders,” and the toddler cries pitifully at the injustice. There was also the memorable evening when the toddler chomped down on my arm. Her four brand-new teeth broke skin and bruised me. And then there’s “The Scream.” My 3-year-old has perfected a sound that’s an earsplitting blend of Screeching Brakes and Angry Cat. From experience, I know she can keep this up for a long, long time.

I keep a bottle of wine on standby for those occasions. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 31 2013

Acting the Fool for the Sake of My Daughter

By at 3:57 pm

ducky

When I was giving my 11-month-old a bath the other night I immediately flashed back to an evening I spent with my then boyfriend, now husband, about seven years ago.

We had made plans to have a low-key evening in. I headed over to his apartment to find him going for a night swim with his roommates. I felt uncomfortable, out of place, and awkward. I thought this was going to be a night for the two of us. As I watched my guy and his pals having a great time in the pool, while I stood there dumbfounded, I saw five options:

1. Calmly express my frustration at the situation and request that my boyfriend get out of the pool and spend time with me.

2. Demand some respect and request that my boyfriend get out of the pool and spend time with me.

3. Head home in a huff, frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed.

4. Passive-aggressively tell my boyfriend to have fun with his friends…that it’s no big deal, I just drove over expecting us to have some alone time, but I’ll just go home and eat my feelings. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2013

When Do I Stop Being Naked in Front of My Kids?

By at 2:42 pm

bathrobe

Sarah Tuttle-Singer’s recent post on why she lets her kids see her naked reminded me of a piece I wrote almost two years ago about my family’s nudity policy (or lack thereof).

Unlike Sarah, I didn’t have a poetic, thoughtful, and profound reason for my decision to let my children see me (and their father) naked. My reason was pretty much the same reason I do all things; my belief that what’s easiest for me to do is ultimately best for my kids (a.k.a. I am Occam’s Mother).

But, when I wrote the above post, my oldest son was 12. And now he’s 14. There’s a big difference between 12 and 14–especially when he’s a boy. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 29 2013

Feeding My Daughter Bathtub Peanut Butter

By at 2:37 pm

Our 16-month-old daughter has always been on the low end of the weight percentile scales for her age. She dipped down to 0-3% a few months ago, but averages around 9%. She’s normal if not a tad above average for her height.

She’s a noodle. We get really excited when she moves up a diaper size. She’s up to size 4. As if I didn’t have enough to be anxious about as a new mom, the percentile game added a number value to my self-perceived success as a parent. Though a bit underweight, the doctors assure us that she is doing just great developmentally, and suggest we mix butter into her food to get some extra calories into her. Read the rest of this entry →

May 7 2012

Our Family Nudity Policy, or Lack Thereof

By at 11:47 am

gypsy stripperMy middle son is 8 years old. My daughter is 5. They’ve been taking baths together since she was old enough to sit up in the big tub without drowning. And they still do. (My 12-year-old son now prefers manly showers but, every once in a while, all three of them still jump in.)

They also, up until a year ago, shared a single bedroom, which meant plenty of running around in various states of undress and, periodically, re-enactments of the stripping scene from the musical “Gypsy,” while singing “You’ve Got to Have a Gimmick.”

They’re not the only ones. In a household with five people and one and a half bathrooms, sharing is a must. Which means if either my husband or I are in the shower and a kid’s got to go–the kid’s got to go, everyone’s modesty be damned. And this doesn’t even include all the times I’m in the shower and my children suddenly discover they need me to negotiate a critical cease-fire or solve a burning dilemma like whether or not lizards have eyelids immediately. Read the rest of this entry →

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