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Essay

Photo: Moyan Brenn

The Forgetting

My husband recently came up with a piece of parenting wisdom that I am trying to live by. “Most of what we do is going to be wrong,” he said, “so let’s try to do as little as possible.”

It was brilliant. It was also shorter and simpler than the advice from all those parenting books I was reading.

He came up with this aphorism while I was engaged in a power struggle with my oldest son, Ari. I am often engaged in a power struggle with Ari. To say that Ari is stubborn is putting it mildly. He came out of the womb with his own agenda and there hasn’t been a moment when his persistence and determination (read: stubbornness) is not fiercely asserted.

This one was over piano practice. Doing the practice, practicing long enough, practicing with concentration, practicing without complaining. Nothing worked—not asking nicely, not threatening, not keeping him from

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Moments

Lost the Battle, Not the War!

Photo: Flickr CC: Krystian Olszanski

There I am. Standing in the budget section of the grocery store. Arms piled high in frozen dinners I’ll be lucky enough to enjoy, let alone cook, the remainder of the week. I’ve missed at least two shifts in two days of my two part time jobs, and these are the groceries this week. The

Poop Happens

Photo: Randy Chiu (Flickr CC)

I remember that night last October better than I recall what I had for lunch yesterday. I learned an invaluable lesson in mommyhood. If you are crouched next to the shower spraying poop off of your daughter’s behind, you should be mindful of where you rest your arm. Because if you accidentally lean into the

Good Intentions

boy questions

In the rush of getting the kids into the van, to travel to three different places in order to make it to work on time, My middle son, notorious for wanting to play in the driver’s seat (much to my chagrin) had opened the driver’s side door.

I felt an instantaneous surge of discontent and as

Parenting Lessons: Take One

Parenting Lessons Learned

Our son gave me a funny look as he sat across the table from me. We were eating breakfast when he sneezed.

A huge glob of nasty nose fluid hung suspended in mid-air from the tip of his face.

He started to freak out. He cried as if the world were ending. He was on the brink of hysteria.

I sprang

30 Ways To Offend Your Toddler

dreamstime_s_25847625

After years of triggering tantrums from doing just about nothing, I’ve finally realized that toddlers are probably the most easily offended people on the planet. The general rule of thumb is to stay away controversial topics like religion and politics. To avoid offending toddlers, you have to stay away from a much broader spectrum of

The Talk

girl with lightbulb

I’ve been reading a lot of posts on Facebook from parents struggling to have “the talk” with their children.

I didn’t find it that hard.

My daughter started asking questions when she was nine, always when we were in the car with her three-year-old sister. I had the best educated three-year-old in the country.

I kept expecting to

Sticky Fingers

funny parenting moment

What’s the last text you want to get from your husband when you’re away from home? “We really shouldn’t leave the Super Glue where the kids can reach it.”

Can I Have a Popsicle?

Photo by: Eden, Janine and Jim

When my foster daughter was about four we were in a super store at the cashier. She reached into my purse, pulled out a tampon and holding it high in the air, yelled, “Hey Mom, can I have this popsicle?”

Good thing other shoppers have a good sense of humor and children of their own.

Photo: Eden,

It’s Not You, It’s the Zipper!

photo by Arek Olek

I ordered a dress in a size smaller than I am for my daughter’s wedding, because:
A. I plan to lose weight before the wedding and
B. I didn’t want to have to hem it
So when it arrived I tried it on and asked my sweet little man, Tommy, to zip me up. As he struggled getting

This is What the Oregon Trail Prepared Me For

Photo: Lovelorm Poets

Day 07 of the fever sickness. It’s not the sickness but the isolation that will get you.

Nina has definitely had some flashes of being out of touch. I can only hope she will regain her social identity and leave this behind at some point. She has taken to pulling out hair (first from my head

These Are the Days

photo copyright of Freckled Cat Photography, http://www.freckledcatphoto.com/

My favorite days at home with my girls–ages 5 and 8-months–are the days when we go slowly. The days we lie on the floor of our kitchen and try to teach Annie to crawl by crawling around ourselves. The days I sit in the rocking chair in Annie’s sunlit room, with both girls on my

Text to Self

Text to Self

It was dark, too dark to be out on a walk with a toddler. We had been in search of a playground and it was just a day or two after the daylight savings time change.

I had misjudged both the time and the distance. It was past dinnertime and I was tired, my baby cranky.

I

Just Say Yes

Photo: Traci Shannon

With all the craziness of downsizing from 1600 sq. ft. home to a 320 sq. ft. trailer to see the lower 48 states in a year-long family road trip, I’ve had some control issues. This has caused the word “No” to come out of my mouth more often than I would like.

So when my daughter mentioned

When You Least Expect It

Photo Credit: el7bara

I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. When I opened the door to the hallway, there was my seven-year-old son waiting for his turn.

And seeing him, standing in his boy-sized underwear in the glow of the nightlight, my heart split right open and my throat caught.

There was something in

Don’t Judge Me, I’m a Mom

photo submitted by youbabyandi author

Moms are judged too frequently.

I had an incident with my daughter not too long ago at a lodge we visited for a weekend. It was 8 PM at night and we were at dinner shortly after we arrived. She normally sleeps at 8, so she was tired and grumpy.

At this point, I’m starving and so

The Moment My Children’s Fashion Sense Blindsided Me

photo by Jen Preiss

I believe I have a good fashion sense. I have clothed all my children without someone questioning my taste. Even my own clothing has earned occasional positive reviews.

So I wasn’t prepared for my children to rebel, making shopping a grueling nightmare. I’ve had more fun at my yearly OB/GYN visits.

My thirteen-year-old son refused to wear

No Return Policy

baby's bracelet tag

My three-year-old son stared in horror as I delicately cut my newborn twins’ hospital ID bracelets off with a manicuring scissors so I could scrapbook them.

As he burst into tears, I calmly reassured him that I hadn’t harmed his new siblings and, in fact, they slept through the whole thing. But that wasn’t the problem

Stepping Off the Parent Treadmill

Photo by: Leslie Gordon

Ever since having children, I’ve felt like I’m on a treadmill: getting through the days, trying to keep up with who needs what when (usually: everyone, all the time), all the while wondering what this is for, how it really works, and, of course, if I’m doing it right.

But

More Like the Sun Than the Sun That Day

More Liek the Sun Than the Sun That Day

It was a perfect day with a bright sun and a cool breeze. My one year old in the stroller was pointing and yelling “Ba!” at each bird, squirrel, dog, butterfly, and live creature he saw along the way.

My three and four year olds raced down the sidewalk smelling every flower they could find. “Smell

The Last Gift

Photo by Tot Schlor (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tatjanaschloer/7880375974/)

This text came from my seven-year-old granddaughter: “Nina died. We had to put her down. 🙁 ”
Without knowing it, my youngest granddaughter had told me that my amazing daughter and son-in-law had prepared their daughters for the death of their beloved dog.

How did I gage this from an 8-word-text? The word ‘died’ said it all.