Showing posts from February, 2011

Where the family gathers

I’m thinking that if I marketed it correctly, I could get a pretty penny if I put my kitchen table up for sale on an online auction site. Not only is it a well-made and well-loved table, but also because on one side, near the edge, there is a distinct image of the Virgin Mary. Because it is the Virgin Mary, or what’s left of an imprint of her in window cling form. A few years ago when my children were younger and there were going through a particularly ferocious window cling phase, we were gifted a set of gel-like clings representing the manger scene at Christmas. There was a small stable, Joseph, Jesus, a few animals, and Mary. A red Mary, to be exact. At some point, a child who will remain nameless removed the window cling from our back sliding door and placed it on our beloved table. There it sat, overnight, quite innocently until the next morning when I went to put Mary back in the stable. Lo and behold, she left a lovely image of herself right there, in bright

Remembering rabbit ears (Back in my day...)

You know what they say: don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his loafers. Or maybe it was judging a woman by the color of her pocketbook? In any case, I say don't judge a person by how outdated they seem. Take for instance the way I used to roll my eyes every time my grandparents would sit on their davenport wearing a housecoat before going to get some oleo from the icebox. "Grandma, you're on a COUCH wearing a ROBE and it's MARGARINE in the REFRIGERATOR!" But my parents were only so much better, because while growing up in a world of cassette tapes, they still called them "records" and said things like "pedal pushers" and helped classify my friends as "jocks, nerds, or burnouts." (This was way cool...NOT!) I swear at one point they even tried to put letters in our phone number. And so it goes that I now find myself having aged well beyond my time, purely based upon the things that my children ask me about. Today

Long-time habits wind up in the bathroom

Like most children, I watched my parents and grandparents drink coffee and I swore it was the most disgusting substance on Earth. “I’ll never drink it!” I said, and somewhere a young coffee farmer in South America chuckled. There were a million things wrong with the most popular beverage in the western world. For one, it stained your teeth and made your breath reek, as I learned every day of school in first period when I sat in the front row. Surely my teachers knew what kind of rancid air they were breathing on us as they strutted around with their giant mugs of joe. Surely they must be aware of how terrible it was. But then I hit high school and the homework piled up and my life as a working girl started. Juggling the two and extracurricular activities soon left me pinching myself between the covers of my government textbook and using saxophone reeds to prop my eyes open as I drove home from my work shift. There must be an answer, I thought to myself. It was, sadly enough, instant va

Snowed in, hair out (and the world's best playdoh)

In these woods, we've got winter. Lots of winter. With snow and ice and frigid temperatures, it's tempting to send the kids out but that only means that you, the mother will have to: properly dress them, go out with them, make everyone hot chocolate, and deal with a mudroom full of drippy snow clothes all stained from road cinders and the gunk that colors our world gray from November through April. So we stay in, couped up in our home, climbing the walls and inevitably I will have pulled out every last hair on my head before the sun shines again. We're in such a vitamin D deficiency that even the kids are dragging and pasty white. Speaking of pasty white, if you've got cabin fever and want to try a few good crafts, here's the ticket to your happiness. (Also, have a glass of wine if it suits.) Pleasant play dough Note: I was never a believer in homemade play dough, but this stuff feels so good in your hands, it's well worth it. Kids tend to just mix the color

Tiger Mother, meet Dog Mama

There has been more hoopla about poor Amy Chua’s book entitled “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother” than anyone could have imagined. In an article she wrote about her book in the Wall Street Journal, she stated that her teenage daughters have been raised in a “tiger mother” style home with exceptionally strict rules. Her rules include no sleepovers, no TV, no computer games, no school plays, nothing less than an A, and copious amount of instrument practice each day. The instruments must be either piano or violin. No exceptions. No whining. Her daughters have appeared on many media clips saying they find nothing wrong with their upbringing, especially since they know no other way of life. The Tiger Mom herself has appeared over and over, defending her book and proclaiming that it was never meant to be a how-to book, just the way she does things. But that doesn’t mean that a zillion mommy blogs out there aren’t doing their best to trash this poor woman who has put her own life out there fo