Free labor: The case for childhood chores

Here's why I don't like Batman: He has Alfred. Because Bruce Wayne is well off, he doesn't have to sort his own socks or cook his own meals or really do any chores. He is a horrible role model for my son. I like Spiderman. Peter Parker has to get good grades, maintain an after-school job, save the world and still take out the trash. That takes good time management skills.  ...more

Blinding them with science

One day far into the future, when my son accepts his Nobel Prize in chemistry, I fully expect him to thank his Mom for doing all those "way cool" egg experiments with him on that one rainy Saturday afternoon. "Because of her," he will say, "I learned to look at the world as a place filled with answers. You just have to know the right questions to ask." And I will tear up, and it will be lovely. (Trust me.)...more

The case for more cuddling

One day when I dropped my son off to school, a little girl in his class came over to greet him with a giant hug and some happy words. My son bared it, the girl walked off and my son looked up at me and said, "These girls - they always want to hug me." ...more

You aren't that good at this; and that's OK

You're at a party. Not a children's birthday party (for a change) but a party with only grownups. Some of the guests are talking about politics, others are talking about their new hobbies or careers and still others are discussing literature. You find yourself chatting with a person who has lived an extraordinary life. As they continue talking you learn how they have had success at sports, in the business world and in their family life. They tell you about the places they've traveled to....more

Taking your coffee in a sippy cup

My son is not a morning person. I am fine with that. I am fine with talking gently to him in the morning, making his room brighter and even helping him get dressed on the days when he is really not into getting out of bed. I'll do whatever it takes to help him start his day....more

Why I'm "mean" to Girl Scouts

I was getting some exercise with coworkers a few weeks ago when I saw a Girl Scout. She was about eight years old and with her daddy and absolutely adorable. She was also selling cookies....more

The cost of family planning

Well-meaning friends and family members always have questions. When you start dating someone for a while, they want to know when you are getting married. When you get married, they want to know when you are going to have a baby. When you have a baby, they want to know if you are going to have another baby. (And, if several years go by, they really want to know if you are going to have another baby. If you hedge at all, they are happy to remind you that you should do it now.)...more

You are your father's child

Once a baby is born, all parents/friends/relatives start playing the same game: Who does the baby look more like? Mothers will point out that the baby has her chin or her eyes. Fathers will point out the baby has his hair color or his lips. Serious players will pull out old baby photos and do side-by-side comparisons....more

Bring on the peanut butter

I recently introduced my son to the joys of peanut butter and banana sandwiches (he wasn't ready to switch up his jelly game for a long time.) Upon trying a bite of mine, he declared me to be the best Mom ever. Then he stole my sandwich....more

Dealing with that stubborn parent

My parents are relatively young. They had my brother and me in their early 20s, and I am fortunate that they are both in good health and should be with me for many more years. Some of my friends, however, are later-in-life children. I hear the guilt/sorrow/frustration in their voices as they discuss their parents. One of the topics that comes up the most often is when they have a parent that doesn't want to change their routines. ...more