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Dec 2 2014

The 5 Types of People You’ll Meet When at the Grocery Store with Kids

By at 9:43 am

The 5 Types You’ll Meet at the Checkout While Your Kids Are Misbehaving

Grocery shopping with kids is always an adventure–sometimes amusing and other times downright traumatic, like the time I sat the children in front of a television in the food court, grabbed three slices of pizza, and returned to find my kids openmouthed and watching a man commit suicide in a Tarantino film. (Apparently someone had changed the channel despite store policy. We received balloons and free cookies that day which made everything better. Well, not really.)

As a divorced, working mom I simply do not have the freedom to shop alone. The task is daunting enough with the twins demanding everything in sight and the baby struggling to free himself from the shopping cart. However, the reception we get from fellow shoppers, compounded by physical challenges we face as a family in the store, makes the task even more unpleasant. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 4 2014

Another Woman Scolded My Son

By at 11:43 am

Another Woman Scolded My Son

During a recent trip to the supermarket, my normally well-behaved son (or as well-behaved as a 2.5-year-old gets) started acting out while we were on the checkout line. I’ll admit it wasn’t pretty. As we waited for the woman in front of us to finish bagging and organizing her groceries, my son started grabbing candy bars off the nearby display (why do they have to put them so close to the checkout counters anyway?), yanking random items off the checkout counter, and throwing them back into our cart.

In his defense, he was overdue for both lunch and a nap, and also, he’s 2.5. At that age, you can’t always expect perfect behavior. Still, my son was certainly acting out in a public place, and so I did my best to appease him while we waited our turn. In this sort of situation, I suppose yelling or very firmly scolding is an option if you’re the parent. But instead, I tried soothing my son and calming him down, recognizing that his behavior was likely the result of being hungry and tired (not a great combination). Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 17 2013

When Doing a Good Deed Backfires Completely

By at 1:56 pm

swervy road signI have a habit of always wanting to help people out, and it’s a habit I want to pass on to my children. But, how do I explain that doing good doesn’t always pay off like you think it will? Like the time I tried to help a guy who ran off the road nearby by our house…

I saw it all happen from my porch and I’m all, “Let’s go help him!” while shoving my feet into whatever shoes I find laying in the foyer. My husband usually thinks a tad bit more rationally but he knows there is no sense arguing because I’m going out there, with or without him.

“Hey, do you need some help there buddy?” my husband asks. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2013

A Man Named Justin, a Pony Named Besty & an Important Lesson Learned

By at 2:16 pm

young girl on pony rideLast Sunday, I learned a very important lesson while attending an event with my 4-year-old daughter, Adi.

At the event there were many engaging activities for children, including a pet farm, bouncing houses, a mini carousel, and face-painting. Adi lit up when she saw all her options and was especially eager to get a unicorn painted on her face. My focus, like many parents there I’m sure, was simply to let my child have fun with her friends, mingle with the other parents there, and enjoy the warm sunny beautiful day outside. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 14 2012

I Shouldn’t Have to Explain Why I Homeschool

By at 11:26 am

This year, when all of the kids our son’s age were entering pre-k, my husband and I made the final preparations on our plan to homeschool.

We looked into all of our options and decided that, while homeschooling is by far not the only good way to educate a child, it is how we have decided to educate ours.

I thought that my explanation would need to go no further. I assumed that most people would give the same response I give whenever a friend tells me their child is going to the local school, “That’s great!”

I was wrong. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 17 2012

I’m an Amazing Mom, Sometimes

By at 3:57 pm

mom holding twin babiesI was attending a small community gathering last week when a mom, who was holding a baby on her lap and watching a 3-year-old shake her sillies out, asked me if those two small people at my feet were my kids.

“Um, yep. All mine,” I said.

“Are they twins?” Her eyes grew big.

“Yes. And that’s my 6-year-old,” I said pointing at the kid who was pacing nearby.

“Wow,” she said. “All boys?” Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2012

Letting My Daughter Talk to Strange Men

By at 10:05 am

little girl in ballet tutuMy 3-year-old daughter likes to talk to strange men.

She approaches them without any trepidation, outside of her preschool, at the park, at the grocery store, at ballet class. She’s fairly savvy when it comes to social interactions, so she’ll often start with a question designed to engage the man-of-the-moment in a conversation before launching into her own monologue:

“Hi! Is that your motorcycle? I like it! I have a baby doll! Do you want to see her? She had a headband, but I left it at school. We’re going to get it tomorrow. My little sister has the same baby. Grandma Dede gave it to me.”

“Hi! Are you putting that cereal there? I’m going to ballet class. That’s why I’m wearing a pink leotard and pink tights. I don’t get to put on my tutu until we get to ballet school. We’re getting chocolate bunny crackers for a special treat because today is the last day of ballet.” Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 7 2011

It’s Amazing What Happens When You’re Nice to my Kid

By at 10:00 am

baby girl with shopping bags

If you're not nice to my baby, I'll take my business elsewhere.

“If someone is nice to your child, you can forgive a lot,” my mother said. Seven months into motherhood, I consider that the ultimate truism.

If Lila and I meet you, this mother’s Jewish eyes may be smiling, but they’ll also be watching you like a hawk. Have you acknowledged Lila, and if so, are you treating her nicely? Those who bend over backward for Lila win my admiration, while those who ill-treat her may earn glares.

During our apartment search in July, the people who showed us around doted on Lila. That was a smart sales move on their part. However, at the fanciest building we visited, our guide ignored Lila. It could be that he was not bewitched by Lila’s big eyes and enchanting smile, or perhaps he doesn’t consider cooing part of his job. Still, this mother noticed, and that became the first of several demerits for his building. We passed on that address.

By contrast, we ended our whirlwind weekend in one of Washington’s tony shopping districts. While we sipped smoothies at the mall, a woman spotted Lila in her stroller and screamed as if she had just seen Justin Bieber. Lila, who already understood enough to know that “cute,” “beautiful,” and “gorgeous” were good words, listened nonchalantly to the woman’s effusive attention. This Mama Bear took note, though. I had never met that woman before, and I still don’t know her, but I already like her.

When we went furniture shopping in September, my opinions about furniture were similarly colored by reactions to my girl. Lila patiently endured visits to 11 specialty and department stores. At one shop, the saleswoman complained I was restricting too many design options because of Lila. Yes, it’s true that Lila won’t always be a baby, but we also have many years of small stature and paint handprints ahead of us. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 21 2011

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Just Stop Talking

By at 11:47 am

bare feet in stroller

I took my little one to get his hair cut last week.  I wanted so badly to wait until his third birthday for an upsherin but having him mistaken for a girl (or worse – Justin Bieber) was starting to get to my husband.  I cannot fathom a day when the clippers come out to buzz my little boy, but a trim was in order. Once he was done, I plopped him in the stroller and headed to the desk. A middle-aged woman sitting in the waiting area looked down at him and said, “Did this little boy just get a haircut? It must have been really long, because it’s still kind of… long.”

I chose to ignore the comment but watched as she surveyed him from his hair all the way down his body. Her eyes widened in horror once she reached his dangling feet.

“I’m not a neglectful mother if that’s what you’re thinking,” I said. “He just refuses to wear shoes right now.”

She gasped. “Well, (harumph!) At least the boy has socks on. I see these mothers running around in the cold all bundled up while their poor baby has bare toes.”

I thought about keeping my mouth shut and quietly leaving. Clearly this lady needed to be punched was a barrel of fun, but I added this before walking out: Read the rest of this entry →


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