All posts tagged: parents

London With Kids: Don’t.

Day 2 in London (or was it 3 or 1? I’m confused) had the kids begging to return to the playground where we ended up after seeing ancient mummies and marble breasts. (That playground had a kid-friendly zip-line.) I had other plans in mind to torture them (and myself). I took them to the science museum because everyone says it’s spectacular. After a fairly quick Tube ride (do I put “Tube” in quotes?), I told the information desk, “I’ve got 2 hours to kill with two kids who collectively have 24 minutes of attention span. What should we do?” “Well…you could walk through the center.” “Um…OK. Just…let the science lead us?” “Precisely.” I listened to her instead of to my instincts screaming “ASK SOMEONE ELSE!” We walked through the center. On that ground floor there were feats of engineering – 1950’s Citroens, experimental airplanes, antique locomotives, space capsules (stolen?) from the USA, space suits (stolen?) from the USSR, and a laughable replication of the American lunar lander that – I shit you not – was …

#itgetsworse

Half way along a 5-hour road-trip with my boys when they were ages 3 and 1, I made a stop at Ikea. It was a “good enough” way to eat and run around. I mean…Ikea. It’s a blast for parents and kids. (Insert suicidal emoji, here.) Other families had my same idea: use the kids’ area as a playground. Not the supervised play area. Like: bedroom set-ups and display toys. As I parented diligently (scrolling Facebook), the woman next to me asked, “19 months apart?” “Yep. Good guess.” Pointing at her 5 and 3 year-olds, she said, “I have the same age difference.” Then, stretching her neck and sighing, she added, “I’m sorry. It gets so much worse.” Cue: spit take. I reflected on my anti-#itgetsbetter moment when talking with a friend who called, crying, “My baby’s crying in the crib, my 6-year-old is on his 3rd hour of TV, and I’m just crying as I clean up spilled milk. Am I a terrible mother?” “No,” I sympathetically laughed with her. “I know it’ll get …

9 Helpful Suggestions for Partners of Stay-at-Home Parents

Having commiserated for hours with every other stay-at-home parent (SAHP) on the playground, I’ve learned my complaints about the “home front” are the same as every other stay-at-home parent (SAHP). Since we SAHPs are on the same page, this helpful list is for our partners to help our families stay happy. (Cuz when SAHP’s happy, the family’s happy.) Please, partner parents: avoid saying the following… 1. “Wow. The place is kind of a mess.” Really? I’ve cleaned the apartment three times, already. Those trains have been in and out of baskets twice, those Legos have been constructed and deconstructed thrice. I used 7 of my normally-inconsequential 22 minutes of decompression during nap-time to CLEAN. Meanwhile, do you have any idea where the race cars even go? It’s not my fault you haven’t adapted to stepping on Thomas the Train barefoot without whining…like a baby. Instead of commenting, how about quietly grabbing the kitchen spray and wiping down the table, yourself…while entertaining the kids. I’ll be doing shots on the john. 2. “What did you do …

A 3rd Few Words about Surrogacy

So we got paired with this amazing woman who was willing to get knocked up by us. Our surrogacy agency had a thorough protocol for making matches-made-in-heaven between surrogate carriers and parents-to-be: 1. Phone interview, 2. Home visit, 3. One day spent hanging out. The agency understandably wanted all parties to feel comfortable with each other. In our phone interview, the mediator asked “How much contact do you want with the surrogate during and after the pregnancy?” Obviously the agreement we’re forging is profound and involved, but I didn’t think we needed to force a family bond. An un-forced, organic friendship would be ideal. During the interview, Sheryl said, “If we’re friends during and after, that’s great. But we don’t need to force anything.” This vegetarian, non-smoking, non-drinking, non-caffeine-drinking, marathon runner was my kinda organic friend. As luck would have it, two weeks after our phone conversation, I was in Denver. I arranged to have lunch with her family in Colorado Springs, her hometown. Hers was the same highway exit as the national headquarters of …