Category / parenting

January 30, 2017

Standardized Testing in elementary school

He is swiveling gently in our cow chair knee socks up to his shins. I like the knee socks, a gift from his grandma, they remind me of my own time in fourth grade, but I wonder why I can see them. “Shorts?” I ask him in a tone that is neither instructive nor nagging. “I’m staying in for recess.” He explains. His tone is neutral like mine but quickly his face crumbles. “I hate iReady” he tells me. It is the refrain of his fourth grade year. At the beginning he was love and light. It was his best Read more […]

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January 18, 2017

Sharenting…what we are saying about our kids online.

My livelihood depends on me sharing secrets. Loyal readers know my bra size, that I cheated on my first husband, and the brand of pill that I take for my mental illness. The details, often intimate, that I share on my blog and in articles are a part of the stories that I tell. My most popular posts are about parenting. Steve and I have a free range parenting style that I call “lazy.” My writing is personal narrative, so even when I am creating a “listicle” for an outside website I tell stories Read more […]

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December 14, 2016

Just Desserts

Last night I hosted a dessert party for families that might choose our middle school. Students and parents, teachers and principal stood at my kitchen island and pitched our school. Kids talked about theatre and orchestra and sports. They raved about their STEM class and how they felt each teacher cared about them as people, not just as student ID numbers. The young math teacher glowed as she recalled a fight in her classroom…over the answer to a math problem. She interrupted her flash lesson to Read more […]

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December 7, 2016

New Math, Old Misery

He enters the bedroom at 7:45 in the morning. He has squeezed himself into last year’s hoodie footie pajamas and pulled the hood up over his newly short hair. Seven forty five would be a civilized time of day if it weren’t the hour that he was beginning his math homework. There have been three occasions in the ten collective years of elementary school that I have been pulled down the rabbit hole. I consider this a combination of incredible luck and parenting prowess. Luck because my boys are Read more […]

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December 6, 2016

No more f’ing stuff. Holiday shopping for kids who have what they need

If your house is like mine you navigate a Lego minefield and dine amongst art supplies. You sniff stuffed animals for cat pee, refold unworn sweaters and search fruitlessly for the dice of a thousand board games. We don’t need any more stuff. Yet the season of giving is steamrolling towards us. Our house features both eight nights of Hannukah and a visit from Santa. This means we are overcome with 9 days of wrapping paper and stuff to store and ignore. This year things are going to be different. With Read more […]

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October 7, 2016

Sick Day

His voice is so small stretching across the line. I am only a few streets away but I feel the distance between his school world and my home life, his sickness and my wellness. “My ears hurt.” In his decade on earth this child has never uttered those words. I am thinking about my anti-anti-biotic stance and missed spelling tests and then I am called back to the little voice. “Mama” he asks “do you think I should come home?” It is only 25 minutes until the end of school. It would be easy to ask Read more […]

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September 26, 2016

Five Fabulous Family Games you can play in Fifteen Minutes.

Every Wednesday we sit down for family game night. If you are like me the very phrase causes you to break out in a cold sweat. It will start out all fun and, well, games. It will inevitable evolve into catatonic boredom or shrieking accusations of cheating. If we are lucky it can be both of the above. Happily we are finally past the life stage where we play the game of Life, that endless game with no strategy. We are not yet ready for full on gambling although we have begun the process of Read more […]

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September 22, 2016

Euphemism, Youth-emism

I don’t mean to brag but my kids already understand penis jokes. Yesterday Oliver was selecting a banana from the bunch and held up his choice. “I like this one, it is long and hard.” Like any good role model I snickered. Leo looked at me from his kitchen stool. First his eyes were slanted quizzically. Then they opened wide with understanding. “You are laughing because a banana is like a penis.” Why yes I was. The solid grasp of penis humor (see what I did there) began, as it should have, Read more […]

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September 13, 2016

Not Just One thing

Dear Leo, Today marks a decade of having you in my life. It is hard to remember a time without you. A time before your almond eyed smile. A time before the special snacks you bring me. A time before you showed me what it meant to love and torture your brother in equal measure. A time before each animal represented a possible friend and each object on earth could be treasure. There was a time when I didn’t think a garbage can could be a hat or a belt could be a skirt in and of itself. But you Read more […]

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September 12, 2016

Make friends not cupcakes

This morning I stood at the counter slicing an apple with a very sharp knife. I love this knife. If I had to escape my burning house I would grab this knife. It is totally replaceable and still it makes the cut. Literally. The two boys are across from me. One casually stealing my apple slices while dodging the slicer. The other chattering about what a “weird” family we are. His evidence? That he likes red apples and I like green. I don’t find it particularly noteworthy but I am enjoying his Read more […]

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