Jul 29 2014
Like a lot of primates, I really don’t like snakes. In Maine, we only have non-venomous, ecologically beneficial, pest-eating garter snakes and rat snakes, but the unexpected sight of one gliding eerily past my feet in the garden gives me major willies.
This wasn’t always true. I remember happily holding a little red-bellied snake that a preschool classmate brought in for show and tell. I was 3 or 4 years old. Shortly thereafter, I was playing outside when my Birkenstock-clad mother nearly stepped on a snake on the way to the mailbox. She reacted like many people would–an operatic shriek and a leap backwards. And from that moment on, I reacted the same way.
As outlined in this article from Parenting Science, some fears have to be taught. And some are learned very quickly, whether by baby humans or baby monkeys. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 20 2014
It’s my first job interview after a two year lull (because in the corporate world, birthing two children in 20 months, moving continents twice, and pursuing a law degree in a foreign language is considered a lull).
But first, some serious sprucing is in order, if only to help mask the “I breastfeed for a living” I imagine emblazoned across my forehead. I have only one chance to convince them I can make it in this ruthless, three-inch heel environment. One new suit from Ann Taylor and visit to a salon for a new hairdo later, I’m not quite a corporate superwoman, but close enough. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 10 2014
When you think of Hawaii, you think beautiful beaches, hula dancers, volcanoes, and– perhaps most importantly–ROMANCE!
There’s a reason the tropical islands are among the top honeymoon destinations year after year, right? Lying on the sand, snuggling up with the love of your life, watching a beautiful sunset while drinking your fourth Mai Tai–it is paradise.
But that’s not how it panned out when I went to Hawaii with my husband, my 13-month-old daughter, and my parents recently. Actually, “romantic” was the last adjective that came to mind. Somehow the getaway felt more like a business trip. Just as a business trip can include a gorgeous location, phenomenal people, and delicious food where you leave learning a bit more about yourself, a trip like this was–for me–more than a bit of work. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 8 2013
I recently returned from a trip to Boston for a good friend’s baby shower. I got to reminisce with friends I hadn’t seen in years as we cheered on our beloved Michigan Wolverines football team over beers and takeout, just as we did in grad school. And although all the togetherness and nostalgia was wonderful, can I tell you what I enjoyed most about my trip? The flight.
I have no particular love for flying. But since I became a parent few years ago, I’ve discovered the sheer bliss of being on a plane without my children. I’ve even half-joked to my husband that someday, when I really need a break, I’m going to buy the cheapest airline ticket I can find, just to indulge in the experience of flying alone. “I can come right home as soon as I get there,” I tell him, “all I need is the flight.”
Both my children are in daycare, so it’s not as if I lack time away from them. But that time is usually spent working, doing chores around the house, running errands–or, on the occasions when I allow myself some leisure time, feeling guilty that I’m not doing one of the above. Read the rest of this entry →
May 22 2013
I’ve been an uncle officially for 17 years, since my sister had her first son. Since then, three more nieces and nephews have popped out, giving me at least four reasons to bring gifts from Israel.
As more and more of my friends have had kids over the years (and there have been at least a few of those years, with my somewhat impending arrival to the age which rhymes with “sporty”), an increasing number of children have called me “Uncle Benji” despite a lack of blood relation. I have perfected animal impressions (which includes my personal and undisputed favorite, “the chicken”), I have become quite good at “online babysitting” (entertaining little kids with an Ernie puppet), and I am not ashamed to admit that I have developed such entertaining material that I have been caught recycling it across families in both English and (albeit, broken) Hebrew.
But I have never actually been a father. Until last week. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 24 2012
Flying internationally can be rough. It’s a lot of hours to be cooped up in an oversized bus with 300 strangers, stale air, and chicken or beef. But flying internationally with children is not unlike the process of childbirth itself. Hours of torture followed by sleepless nights and only a fleeting sense of accomplishment.
It begins many months before. You buy your tickets knowing there will be some amount of discomfort involved though you figure, how hard could it be? People have been flying with their kids for at least half a century. But seasoned parents are frank with you. Get your sleep now. Don’t get too excited about your personal video player since you’ll be nursing your baby the entire flight. You nod but secretly you think it will be different for you. Read the rest of this entry →