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Jan 3 2013

My Preschool Daughter’s Buzz Cut

By at 11:47 am

hair clipperLast 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

Name the Next Kveller Baby

By at 5:24 pm

debbie kolben pregnantFellow 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

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be “Froshwhores”

By at 10:16 am

teenage girl in heelsIf 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

Letting the Princess into the Farm House

By at 11:09 am

ariel bathing suit little mermaidIt 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 →

Jul 30 2012

Why Am I at War with My Post-Baby Body?

By at 6:03 am

mom and baby yogaIn baby and me yoga class, the instructor asks that we each introduce ourselves, our babies, and then share how we’re feeling today, both physically and emotionally. A small but lovely gesture–she wants to help us create a community of new mamas.

Yet, as we go around the room, I realize that the thread running through each introduction is self-criticism. Moms with babies as young as 6 weeks are embarrassed to explain why they haven’t yet been able to tighten their abdominal muscles, saying, “I want to better access my core but with everything going on in my life, remembering to hold in my abs is a constant battle.” Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 2 2012

Waxing My Lady Parts for the Sake of My Kids

By at 12:26 pm
waxing supplies

They make the pain look so pretty.

I got waxed today. For the first time ever.

Yes, I will be 35 years old in just over a month, and I have never before had the pleasure of having a complete stranger (in adult braces, no less) rub hot wax frighteningly close to my lady bits before ripping it off with a huge grin on her face.

Now, you may be wondering what prompted me to engage in such masochistic behavior (or perhaps that part is obvious–I did have two kids in less than two years, after all, so I’m no stranger to self-inflicted pain and misery). It’s true, we are going to the beach next week, and my Jewish-Italian heritage presented itself in a rather hairy way after a long New England winter. I decided it was time to take decisive action. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 26 2012

How an Orthodox College Helped Me Face My Fear of Pink

By at 4:44 pm

twin girls dressed like princesses

I just read Melissa Langasam Braunstein’s defense of pink and purple, and it got me thinking about my own fear of dressing my baby girls in pink. When I was pregnant, the thought of having girls terrified me. I rode the subway to work every day and cringed at the young girls headed to school wearing skin-tight jeans and low cut shirts. I watched girls who couldn’t be more than 12 or 13 wearing makeup, flipping their hair, trying to look hot. I remember wearing sweatpants to school and spending entire summers with my hair in a ponytail. That is what I wanted for my daughters. Or at least, some sort of a balance. I would sit there and agonize about how we were going to keep our girls from feeling like they have to dress provocatively to be noticed. Should we just raise them in a bunker upstate? Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 22 2012

My Baby Girl Wears Pink, So What?

By at 1:33 pm

pink baby socksI wasn’t one of those people who wanted to wait until the day my baby was born to find out the gender. So the day Lila was born was exhilarating–and exhausting–but the birth drama never included the doctor’s calling out, “It’s a Girl!” The delivering doctor didn’t need to, since we already knew. And since that time, I’ve made an effort to ensure everyone else knows, too.

Last spring, I invited pink and purple into our home in a big way. I know another mother who is glad she had a boy, so she doesn’t have to live amidst a pink explosion, but I rather like it. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 20 2012

Positive Girl Role Models (Who Can Fly)

By at 1:37 pm

I seriously suspect the reason I had kids was so that I didn’t have to feel like I was the only one in the room reading comic books and hoping we get to have pizza for dinner every night. I’ve gotten toughened up on the pizza front, but comics are still close to my heart. And I am so freaking happy that Super Best Friends Forever now exists–that it’s about superheroes who are giddy and good-natured and a little bit snarky, and are Positive Girl Role Models that my daughters can get down with.

A few months ago, DC Nation, the animated wing of DC Comics, put out a call for proposals for new DC animated adaptations. One of the people who replied was Lauren Faust, a former producer on Powerpuff Girls and the creator of the unnervingly popular new My Little Pony series. The first brief episode, which you just watched (what? you didn’t? go back and watch it like now) was just posted two days ago.

Once I interviewed Matisyahu and he sort of admitted that his favorite part of parenting was watching Kung-Fu Panda with his kids so that he gets to watch it himself. I kind of feel the same way about Super Best Friends.

And can I just say how TOTALLY AWESOME it is that Batgirl is a short and skinny little stick and Supergirl is a little chubby? I mean, it doesn’t negate 53 years of creepily inappropriate outfits, but it’s good to know they’re headed in the right direction. (And as a former drastically underweight kid who was faced with images of He-Man all over the place, it’s nice to know that superheroes can be scrawny, too.)

And, hey, there’s some inappropriate stuff for kids in the Torah, too, but does that mean I’m confiscating their Dovid the Little Shepherd Boy books? NO WAY. Super best friends forever!

Feb 16 2012

Is My Daughter Doomed Because I Can’t Play Barbie?

By at 3:14 pm

barbie and friendsEvery weekday morning, after my husband and two older sons leave for work and school, my 5-year-old daughter and I are left alone for about 45 minutes.

And, every weekday morning, I promise her that if she eats breakfast and brushes her teeth and gets dressed and there is time left over, we will play whatever game she wants until it’s time to go to preschool.

For the last few days, she’s wanted to “play Barbie.” Read the rest of this entry →


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