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Aug 27 2014

I Think It’s OK That My Daughter is a Brat

By at 3:10 pm


The other day I was sitting in the dentist office with my daughter. For the first half hour, she looked at books and fiddled around with the spattering of baby toys in the waiting room. And then it began.

“I’m bored, Mama!”

“It will be our turn soon.” Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 19 2013

At What Age Can Kids be Left Home Alone?

By at 9:57 am

at what age do you leave your kids home alone?

It’s a big year at our house. This September, for the first time, my 14-year-old began taking the subway to school by himself, my 10-year-old began taking the city bus to school by himself, and I began leaving my 6-year-old at home alone for short stretches.

As with many of our previous milestones, all came about due to necessity. My oldest first started coming home by himself on the bus at the age of 9. His toddler sister had just transitioned from two naps to one, and the time she chose to do it in was exactly during his school pick up. Trying to put her down any earlier would have been too early, and any later would have been too late. So we armed our 4th grader with a Metro Card and a cell phone and assured him he was ready for this grand adventure. (Several parents in his class disagreed with our assessment and generously let us know how they felt.)

A year later, we decreed that not only was he experienced enough to also take the bus to school, but that he could bring along his kindergarten-aged brother. Now he was the one who disagreed with our assessment. Not because my oldest thought he couldn’t handle it, but because his brother was, to quote, annoying and obnoxious and refused to hold his hand while crossing the street, even though we’d mandated that he must. In that case, a stern talking-to with the younger made the older more amenable. That and my agreeing, despite being against allowances, to pay him for his pain and suffering. It was still less than what an adult babysitter would have cost. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 19 2013

Momma’s First Girdle

By at 11:59 am

girdle illustrationMy father’s mother had two constants in her life. The first was coffee, several cups a day. The other was her girdle, which kept her looking as slim as she did when she was a nurse in the Navy, before she gave birth to four boys.

Exercise and diet fads came and went, but Bubbe had her girdle. We made fun, my sisters and I, until the unthinkable happened. I bought one, too.

It all happened so fast. It was a week before my younger sister’s wedding and I took a dress to be altered. As I adjusted the fabric around my hips, the dressmaker smiled and nodded at my mid-section, asking if I was pregnant. Nuh-uh. Nope.

Obviously, I sobbed when I got to my car.

It wasn’t so much that she misinterpreted the little pooch that’s stubbornly stuck with me after having two babies in two-and-a-half years. It was the swift blow to my confidence, previously on the upswing thanks to hitting the gym three times a week and on weekends.

So I did what any practical momma would do.  Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2013

I Hate All Women’s Magazines

By at 9:53 am

women's health magazine coverTo say that my husband is an avid magazine reader would be an understatement. He amasses magazine subscriptions the same way my 4-year-old devours candy at his grandma’s house–indiscriminately and in extremely large doses.

Bloomberg, Businessweek, Popular Science, Architectural Digest, Rolling Stone–my dear man is receptive to any periodical that makes its way into our mailbox.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 5 2013

The Spinning Instructor’s Post-Baby Body

By at 2:09 pm

spinning classLast week at my daughter’s gymnastics class, a friend introduced me to another mom as a “Spinning Instructor.” Before she could say anything, I blurted, “I am. I don’t look like it right now, but I am.”

Instead of saying, “Nice to meet you,” I went with that. Way to show self-confidence and make a good first impression. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 12 2012

Don’t Do Your Kids’ Homework

By at 11:55 am

colored pencilsThough our kids typically take the bus to school, not long ago I was one of the many 4th grade parents on the elementary school campus.

Parental chauffeuring was necessary in order to safely transport book projects from home to school. As I walked down the hallway, I was treated to an eyeful of lovely, highly-decorated, well-designed dioramas. Sophisticated and polished. Ones that looked NOTHING like the one Lilly had made. Read the rest of this entry →

May 14 2012

I’m a Failure… and So Are My Kids!

By at 2:47 pm

failed stampI didn’t sell any books last week. This may not seem like such a big deal. Except for the fact that I’ve pretty much bet the house and staked my reputation as a writer on the brand new, as yet untested notion that readers are ready for enhanced ebooks, i.e. my previously published novels “pimped out” with video, audio, and other multimedia features. Guess not.

In addition, a magazine pitch of mine was rejected as being too much like something they’d just assigned to someone else, while a completed piece was more or less re-written prior to publication.

I can’t wait to tell my kids about it. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 17 2012

Dealing With the Jerks of Your (Kid’s) Life

By at 4:33 pm

It was hot yesterday–serious, in-the-upper-80’s hot. Not normal for suburban New Jersey in mid-April. I haven’t put the winter coats away that we were wearing last week. I can’t keep up with the weather, and can’t sort my kids’ drawers and closets: after all, tomorrow may bring either a blizzard or a typhoon. So clothing for every temperature is easily within reach of each of my kids’ grasps. (Fine, not the baby’s.)

My younger son, R, came dancing downstairs to breakfast in shorts and a t-shirt. My older one, Z, came down more slowly in a t-shirt and jeans.

“Hey, you might want to change into shorts,” I said over my shoulder as I made coffee. “It’s going to be really hot today.” Read the rest of this entry →


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