All posts filed under: blog

Maintaining an Ancient Wardrobe

Growing up, I marveled at my mom’s commitment to maintaining an ancient wardrobe hidden in her bedroom. She was famously nostalgic and her closet was no exception. In her bedroom, hidden under the bed, bursting out of her closets and poking out of the dressers were: Costume jewelry from the 60’s and 70’s “Oh, just in case they ever come back in style!” Pants that were just…old. “Well? They’re perfectly good and they still fit!” Shoes she never, ever wore “Well, I know they’re dated but they’re still just so comfortable!” I’ll never forget a pair of underwear she had for decades that barely stayed up for its lack of elastic. But “I just think they’re funny and I’ve never found ‘dancing skeleton’ underwear to replace them!” (Yes Dancing skeletons.) There were tons of unopened items she’d probably bought on sale – all underwear and socks (but no dancing skeletons). Ugly Christmas sweater upon ugly Christmas sweater, never purchased or worn for its ironic ugliness. Each one would make an appearance at some point in …

Parenting: It's Hard Y'all

I crossed another Rubicon, with my kid. Ugh. Parenting: it’s hard y’all. Both my kids were running around in the twilight in blissful imaginary play. They were both wearing dresses (cuz that’s how we roll – and luckily the younger doesn’t mind being occasionally treated like a dress-up doll by his older sibling.) So there was a lot of squealing and laughing and I noticed a couple times my older kid lifted up her sibling’s dress revealing that he was commando. (Quick side note – can we all just agree that running around commando in a dress is the way we should all be living regardless our gender expression?) The younger one laughed but yelled “stop!” and kept running and laughing. But it happened a few more times, specifically just after I called them in for bedtime. And as they continued squealing and ignoring me and playing “lift the dress”, for some dumbass reason, in that moment, I was furious. I read the riot act to my older kid about how she was crossing boundaries …

It's Christmas – So Why Don't I Feel Carefree Joy?

It’s Christmas. So why don’t I feel more carefree joy? I ask this of myself a lot during this time of year. I’ve got kids who still believe, we’ve decorated, we do cookies, I craft experiences for them up the damn wazoo. And still – it’s just kind of a pain in the ass for me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not depressed nor a pessimist. My glass is half full, in life. But the holidays are just so…ugh. Further, it’s a time that good cheer is forced upon all of us and we are expected, cajoled, guilted into feeling merry and jolly and happy happy happy! But for years, I’ve felt like a grumpy elf railing against consumerism and being generally annoyed by the lack of simplicity. And hell – I’m not even much of a believer in a virgin birth. But that aspect of Christmas means more to me than the expectation of feeling so goddamn happy for decorations and work. At least…that’s the case since my mom died. Eleven years ago, …

Y’All – Unleash Your Gerrymandering Fury

Y’All? I don’t like to stir up drama over politics. But I have my limits. Bring your gerrymandering fury and get your pitchforks. Did you know American democracy experienced its third strike out, this week? I’m not sure if that means if the inning is over, but god DAMN it was a doozy line-drive straight into the catcher’s mit of corruption. We the people swung and missed big time and the pitcher was Chief Justice Roberts. “Enough of the metaphors, dude. Get to the point,” you’re saying? This week, the Supreme Court legalized, validated and excused partisan gerrymandering. “Wait, what?” you say. “I might’ve heard something about it. And wait – what’s gerrymandering, again?” This epic news was buried in the morning-after de-briefing of the absurdist Democratic debates and Trump’s latest morning ablution tweeting.  How was this not front page news everywhere for ten days? Where were the protests? Why didn’t I start my own protest?  Ugh. Idealism and activism are so tiring. Also – protesting Supreme Court rulings right afterward might feel particularly pointless. …

A Return to My Baby Foodie Roots…

Long ago, I wrote about my favorite recipe that introduced veggies into my kids’ daily routines. I’ve expanded upon it, here. Won’t you take a gander? I’m proud of these basic blends that I fed my kids constantly exposing them to tastes, spices, textures, not to mention a variety of foods. I’m a big believer in “Just feed your kids what you would eat” (within reason.) Here’s how we do it: https://www.ecknox.com/blog/2019/5/23/the-5-recipes-you-need-to-make-your-baby-a-foodie-for-life

“Second Grade” Makes Me Shudder

I’m astounded at the level of learning my second grader is experiencing. I don’t remember reading chapter books in second grade. I barely remember knowing my ABC’s. I certainly didn’t know how to calculate complicated word problems with the inexplicable American coin system, and I sure as hell wasn’t doing multiplication. So I’m impressed. As my second grader grows every more independent (read: irascibly defiant), I constantly think, “Was I this way in second grade at age seven?” And then I remember: I have very little recollection of second grade, because for me, second grade was dealing with a father who was at death’s door from his long-suffering cancer and a mother who was loving but tremendously distracted, as well. And after my father’s death in November of second grade, the rest of the year was dealing with being “Gavin, the kid whose dad died, this year.” That’s quite a realization I’m trying to absorb. Every single time I say the two words, “second grade” I’m transported to a year of sickness, accidents, falling, crying, …

Kids: Bend the Rules

I’m a rule-follower because I think society operates better when we are all on the same page. And at the same time, life’s tough; we all need to give each other a little help from time to time, right? And sometimes rules need to be bent. Check out my entitled rant… I rode my kid to a swimming lesson on our Yuba bike. For once, we were on time. The swimming lesson takes place in a community college swimming pool, so 7 year-olds and their dads are not the top priority. Upon arrival, I realized I’d forgotten my bike lock key. (Long story, but I ride this bike so rarely I stupidly took the key off my keychain thinking “I’ll definitely never forget to bring this.” And for me to ever say “’l’ll definitely never forget this” is a laugh line to beat all laugh lines.”) Anywho. I walked into the pool entrance and charmingly asked the security guard, “Could I please stash my bike in the corner, here?” Readers – I promise you, it …

Ignoring My Little One

My blog started out as a fashion/parenting blog of unsolicited opinions. Then, I got distracted by just complaining about how difficult and needy was my youngest son. For the last year, or so, all I do is talk about my older kid. And not one of you has requested updates on my younger, needy little tyke. How dare you. But so I don’t seem like my entire world is consumed by my older kiddo, let me report to you: my youngest is the bee’s knees, the cutest, the cuddliest, the most sickeningly adorablest, smiling-est, most wonderful little kiddo in the world. I’ve never been the type to state, “I could just eat him up.” But truly: I wish I could devour this little guy. I love both my children equally.  (Yeah, right, you’re snidely thinking….and justifiably.) But my little one gets extra points for sheer cuteness. He sits in our laps to read books, climbs in bed and snuggles in the morning,  has an impish grin that melts hearts the world round. Years ago, my …