Apr 29 2013
I gave birth to my daughter six months ago, and, a few sleep-deprived weeks later, I realized it was right around the 10th “anniversary” of when I was admitted to a hospital for an eating disorders inpatient program.
When I try to reconcile the memory of my scared, enervated teen self with myself today, as a (somewhat) confident mother of two with visibly muscled biceps from lugging around a giant purse, a diaper bag, a breast pump, a baby, and sometimes a 38-pound 3-year-old, it’s difficult. But I still vividly remember the feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and physical weakness. As it turns out, you can be too thin after all. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 11 2013
While the world of autism is talking, blogging, and arguing about Autism Awareness Month, over here we have been dealing with another kind of awareness. One in which autism, like with a lot of other things, brings challenges, not just to Maya, but to me as her mom.
A few months ago I wrote a post about how I and everyone around me were noticing changes in my daughter and my fears about how to talk about it with her. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 29 2013
All the Jewish celebrity parent gossip you (n)ever wanted to know.
- Canadian rapper Drake Instagrammed his family’s seder with the caption, “Talking matzah and plagues…Happy Passover.” (Instagram)
- Tori Spelling shared her favorite Passover recipes on her website, and of course, they all look perfect and amazing and Pinterest-approved. Charoset cupcakes, anyone? (ediTORIal)
- Zach Braff singing one of the four questions in a never-ending loop. You’re welcome. (Vine)
- Check out celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe’s seder set up, which she captioned, “Calm before the storm #passover.” (Instagram)
- Joan Rivers was definitely kvelling over her family, tweeting, “Had a great time at our Seder last night. Love spending Passover with
@MelRivers and Cooper! Perfect Perfect Perfect!” Cute picture attached. (Twitter)
- The Four Daughters of the Passover seder, in the style of HBO’s GIRLS. (The Anti-Girlfriend)
Mar 1 2013
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 onward. She wore the getup to the co-op and she made sure to show our 20-something housemates the strap peeking out from beneath her shirt. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 30 2013
My daughter turned 6 in January. She’s been going to kindergarten since September, and three years of preschool before that. She can bathe herself and put on her own coat and set the table for dinner and literally shimmy up the front door to click the top lock. She’s learning to read and she takes ballet and she knows the lyrics to several Stephen Sondheim musicals (no, not “Sweeny Todd” or “Passion”).
And yet, despite all her big girl accomplishments, my 6-year-old daughter insists on talking like a baby.
I don’t mean the adorable, natural mistakes, like saying,”We love each others” instead of “We love each other” (anyone could mis-conjugate like that; English isn’t exactly known for its grammatical logic), or getting her two languages mixed up and, as we step outside, using the Russian word for snow (sneg) to tell me, “Mama, it’s sneg-ing!” Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 9 2013
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 so-called “transportation gene” I’d been assured all boys had. He wasn’t terribly interested in nurturing a baby doll or his stuffed animals. He liked books. I’m a writer and his dad is an antiquarian book dealer. We were fine with books, lots of them. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 3 2013
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 sported a sassy bob. Post-buzz, she may have had less hair than at any time in her entire life. It shouldn’t have surprised me that the sudden buzz cut revealed how primary a role her hair played in people’s perception of her. What surprised me more was her own reaction to her self-perception. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 15 2012
Fellow baby name fanatics: We have an assignment, and we can’t waste any time. Kveller’s editor, Deborah Kolben, is due in early November, and she wants our help. This baby girl will not go without the perfect name. Not on my watch.
Friends and family know that I’m something of a baby name enthusiast, to put it mildly. At one point I seriously considered changing our third child’s name when she was already 2 years old. Things got so out of hand that my husband demanded full naming rights to baby #4. Then, unlike with our other children, we adhered to the Jewish custom of waiting until the bris to announce our baby’s name. It was all very exciting and a great source of traffic to my blog. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 10 2012
If college was my Renaissance, high school was my Dark Ages. While there were some bright spots, I mostly loathed my four years of high school. It’s not that I was picked on, but I danced to a different drummer than most of my classmates.
As a 30-something, I’m blissfully disconnected from high school in my daily life. The only younger demographic I typically interact with is toddlers, and that’s fine by me. Over Rosh Hashanah, though, I found myself face-to-face with some teens at the synagogue where I grew up, attending nursery school, day camp, and religious services. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 7 2012
It all started with the arrival of the Ariel bathing suit.
I was whipping a cart through Target when my 2-year-old spotted the suit. “Oooh, so pretty,” she said. “And her hair is exactly the same color as mine.” My daughter has dark brown hair and Ariel’s hair is a shade of red you don’t actually find naturally. Something about her bubbly delight combined with her hilarious use of the word “exactly” softened me to mush and the suit went right in the cart.
Back in the days when parenting was still a theoretical concept for me, I was firmly in the anti-princess camp. Why would we want to expose our children to old fashioned and limiting stories of frilly girls waiting to be saved by a prince? Read the rest of this entry →