Month: February 2015

I Love FROZEN

I’ve written a variation on this theme, before, but it’s the greatest hope I have for my kids. “Daddy? You be ‘Anna’ and I’m going to run away from you with my cape and you say, ‘No, Elsa! Don’t go!’ Ok?” “OK, buddy.” Role-play ensues. Even Colton, who’s words are limited to “pee-pee” and “nana” gets into it. When he sees anything Frozen, he shouts “Anna!” As already discussed, our household is ruled by Frozen. (Actually, Thomas the Train still rules, but there’s a lot of Disney princessifying going on.) Frozen thrills Ellison. He plays all the rolls: Kristoff, Sven and (especially) the sisters. I’ve gotten good at fashioning dresses out of old swaddlers (blankets, not Pampers.) The other day I figured, “Eh, he hasn’t watched it in two weeks. Why not?” As we waited for the movie to load on my computer, Ellison jumped on the bed shouting, “Hooray! Hooray! I’m so excited to watch Frozen!” He shouts “hooray” sans irony. I mean, who talks like that? It’s so…earnest, so…“Barney” dialogue. After a recent …

I was a (Sleep-Deprived) Mother

When Colton was 7 months old, his #tearlesscrying teamed up with three wake-ups at night, making me unrecognizable to myself. At the time, my partner was busy preparing symphonic concerts and was in desperate need of rest. Because I didn’t need to think beyond mere “survival” and hitting my sounds as a tap-dancing Santa Claus in Annie, I felt responsible to get up those three times/night. Mercifully, Colton never stayed awake, he just squawked. I re-plugged him with a pacifier and he went back to sleep. By that seven-month mark in December, I had not slept more than three hours at a time for 9 months. I. DO. NOT. KNOW. HOW. BREAST-FEEDING. MOTHERS. DO. IT. It was the time in my parenting life when I most related to sleep-deprived mothers. Disclaimer: No, I did not carry that child for 9 months. No, I did not push something the size of a melon through a hole the size of a carrot. No, I did not have hormones raging through my body. I did not suffer more …

Force-feeding my kids…lovingly

So I’m starting a new section in the blog: recipes. I’m going to post the basics I feed my kids all the time. I would love your contributions, as well. Post some simple ideas in comments? Maybe we can figure out a new kids’ simple recipes book? I’ll give the billions of proceeds to a general parents’ wine fund. Cool? I’m proud of the way my kids eat. I expose them to as many flavors as possible: steamed vegetables, smoked salmon, curry, garlic, lamb, Szechuan noodles, fried tofu. So far, so good. Some people might roll their eyes. Please. Roll away. I have never (and will never) make two different meals. If they eat a majority of what’s on their plate and still protest “I don’t like it” and put their hands over their mouths (it’s hilarious when they do this), fine. They can have cereal and yogurt. But I’m raising kids to appreciate food. And I’m more stubborn than them. If they go to bed without a meal, no biggie. And because I’ve never …

Potty Control

“Ellison, please don’t put your penis on the dining table.” Since potty-training, Ellison’s “nakedy time” has increased. Can you blame him? We find ourselves saying hilarious things. “Ellison? Did you put your penis in your undies?” is a regular inquiry. Sometimes he answers, “Yes”, when the snake is clearly peeking out of the garden. So potty training went well. For 39 months, we sweated it. In alpha-parent Manhattan, potty training takes on the same competitive comparison as toddlers mastering speech and yoga classes: every other kid seems to be faster than your own. And that might actually be a problem. Non-New Yorkers assured me Ellison was on track. “Calm down. No one goes to college in diapers.” But college and kindergarten are different things. When Ellison was 18 months old, during a particularly pissed-off diaper change, he nodded his assent when I asked, “Do you want to say bye-be diapers?” For three days he peed all over the apartment, only twice on the baby potty. While standing (naked) in front of my partner at the …

Parentood is Easy: 3 Rules

PARENTS! (Yes, I am YELLING at YOU!) Parenthood is easy. The nuts and bolts of parenting are simple. Below are the rules to avoid raising an emperor who ruins your life and annoys me at Starbucks. Get these basics down, and then you can deal with what makes parenthood enjoyable (as opposed to barely tolerable.) FOLLOW THROUGH (I had to yell this one.) If you say, “Timmy, don’t do X, or we will have to do Y” you best be ready to follow through with play Y. IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH PLAN Y, YOU’RE SETTING YOURSELF UP TO BECOME A HUMAN TREADMILL FOR A TYRANT. It drives me nuts to hear open threats in public. “If you don’t stop throwing truffle cavatelli, Bunky, you won’t get to watch Real Housewives, on my iPhone.” (And two seconds later, Bunky is watching the iPhone. Because the parents gave up.) “Don’t puncture the heirloom tomatoes, Bordeaux, or you won’t get an heirloom cookie.” (And two stalls later at the farmer’s market, mischievous Bordeaux sports gluten-full crumbs …