All posts tagged: toddler

The happy meal place (or: the time I took a side of parentheses with that)

First of all, if there was any question in your minds, let me shuffle-ball-change out of the closet loud and proud: I’m a food snob. I wholeheartedly embrace Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” When I was the perfect parent (meaning: before kids), I knew fast food would never touch the lips of my precious snowflakes. Admittedly, it’s easy to avoid fast food living in New York City. You’re never in a car, the kids haven’t fallen asleep in the back, and all food is fast. But I understand that fast food drive-thrus are a godsend…in desperate situations… zombee armageddons, heavy thunderstorms and refugees. Oh, and when Daddy flirts with jail time during a road trip due to a desperate yearning for “friesandashake” and considers* leaving the kids asleep in the backseat cuz who’s gonna know and you’ll be really fast and besides the dog’s in there with them. But we all know (don’t we???) that McD’s is responsible, in part, for the destruction of now-infertile fields from Fargo to Fresno, the …

A Little Poop. (And Other Stuff)

Last night, both my sons were taking part in a favorite activity: dancing naked after a bath. They aren’t nudists. Some kids drop trou (trow?) the second they walk in the door. Ours merely love shaking their hips and slapping their hynies to “When Will My Life Begin?” My older son sort of twerks and slaps each butt cheek chanting, “Look at my body! Look at my body!” I can’t help but laugh. (Also, he does it perfectly in time to the music. So: nudist, lewdest musical genius.) And then my youngest son sat on one of his riding trains, grinned at me and ripped an epic fart that (due to his spread-cheek placement on the plastic vehicle), echoed throughout our apartment. I laughed. Hard. But then there’s the constant verbalizing of bodily functions. Stopping my kids from saying “poop”, “penis” and “pee” are not an issue. It’s more than that. They chant and scream and change song lyrics to the aforementioned taboos. My youngest recently screamed, “Daddy! Need napkin!” Me: “Buddy? How do you …

Broadway Shames My Parenthood

Yes, Broadway can affect a parent in profound ways, and not just making your insides churn into knots at the prices of the friggin’ drinks at The Lion King. Finding Neverland –What irks me is the most popular song: “Believe”. In the song, the JM Barrie character “inspires” imagination in the kids. While Barrie is jumping around being a pirate or a dog or some shit, I feel guilty that I’ll choose washing dishes over playing monster/princess/whatever with my kids. I loathe make-believe. What kind of beast have I become? Of course comparing one’s self to Peter Pan’s author won’t help anyone feel good about imagination…except that I don’t live in fantasyland and I need to get the damn laundry done. Screw you and your vivid imagination, Finding Neverland. I don’t have time for child’s play. (I have totally let go of the fact that I auditioned for this show 77 times and should have been Matthew Morrison’s understudy. Totally.) Hamilton Will I ever, ever perform in (let alone write) something so epic? Lin Manuel …

OMG. I’m on the Other Side

Last night, a good friend texted, “I hate everything and everyone.” We aren’t in regular contact, but we trade messages when we’ve reached the ends of our ropes. She has a 5-year-old and a 9-month-old. She continued, “Am I a bad parent if I want to give my children away? The oldest one does not stop whining. Ever. And the youngest doesn’t stop crying. I may have to commit myself.” I responded, “Yes. You’re a bad parent. And you’re on the bad parent bus with me as the driver. And let’s face it – do you really wanna be on a ‘good parenting’ bus with someone who can’t say a bad thing about their kids?” Her husband was home watching TV with their older son, the baby was in the crib (crying). I told her “Go scream into a pillow. Go outside and lie on the sidewalk and stare at the sky. Go. You have the right. Have a drink. You’ve earned it.” Then texting felt silly and I called her and said, “Vent. Vent …

Melancholic Thanksgiving

When I think “Thanksgiving”, I also think “melancholy”. When I was 8, my dad died about ten days before Thanksgiving. And for the following 12 years, other family losses bunched up in November and December, culminating with my mom in December, 2007. For most of my childhood, Thanksgiving felt like a tremendous effort to ignore loss while meeting idealized (commercialized) celebration standards. My mother succeeded in creating a Norman Rockwell fest, even for our family of 2. Frenzied joy trumped her sadness (usually). But the pall of loss lingered. Now, this year, there are some health concerns in our family. And of course, it’s all timed around Thanksgiving. Do I bring this on, myself? I suppose Thanksgiving is a holiday of dualities: we celebrate our bounty at the same time nature turns cold and brown around us. Under dreary November skies, we fill our dining rooms with a feast. It’s also the first time of the year we’re expected to sit down as a family. For ten months there’s been summer BBQ’s and a few …

Catty Commentary on Halloween Costumes

My kids are still not old enough (at ages 4 and 2) to have moved into the age of pimp/slut Halloween costumes. But even “cute” Halloween costume catalogs deserve to be criticized and laughed at because, well, over-the-top anything deserves ridicule. And nowhere else do I find such derisive pleasure (and headaches from eye-rolling) as from the Catching Fireflies Halloween catalog. Ergo, I give you: This poor child didn’t understand when his daddy said, “I’ll throw some things together and make you a costume” that he’d dress as a ragged rug riddled with small pox. Chasing Fireflies. OK. The production value of the costumes in this catalog is pretty high. But this girl’s passé is horrendous. Point those toes, girls. Make those hands even. Circus ponies need better posture to be hired in Vegas. Chasing Fireflies Being cast as Brunhilda at age 7 is not cute. This is called a 3rd-grade school play costume…in Lappland. Not Halloween. There’s nothing glamorous about vikings. They had to live by pillaging reindeer jerky and salted cod, not Red …

Marathon Training: Not for My Mental Health

Ain’t that a cute video? Romantic shots of NYC during an evening run? So I’m training for the NYC marathon. I’m not a born long-distance runner, but I’m having fun. And I do enjoy my runs (afterward). A few weeks ago, I cranked out one of my 4-milers on a gorgeous fall evening along the Hudson River Park. I’ve been running with an action camera clipped to my visor to make silly videos like the one above. Here was my train of thought during the run: Nights like these I love New York; the weather, lit buildings, everyone exercising together. Tons of joggers. So. Many. Hotties. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be out in public around kids’ bedtime. There’s life going on while I’m herding cats, brushing teeth, collapsing. But I feel so alive among the nighttime masses. Nice pace. I could keep this up for awhile. I’m not gonna let anyone pass me, this time. No more slow running. And the smell of the river. Hmmm. Sewage-y. Love that Lackawanna ferry terminal …

Boys’ Pink Revolution?

A dear friend recently wrote to share her stress that her son wanted a pink backpack for school. Her son’s a wonderful, mathematically and mechanically-inclined little boy. Nothing “princess” about him. (I’m making myself nauseous dancing around gender cliches.) Brass tacks: he likes wearing his sister’s tutus from time to time, plays with lots of girls at school AND loves building space ships and cars –and the occasional toaster – out of Legos. So. He wanted a pink backpack for school. My friend agonized over it. Of course she’s 100% supportive of her son sporting a pink backpack and couldn’t give a rat’s ass if he becomes a drag queen or a mechanical engineer. But even she couldn’t stop herself from warning , “Okay. We’ll get this backpack…but just be aware…some kids might says it’s for girls.” “Uh-huh,” he responded, undaunted. “Because it’s pink,” she emphasized. “Uh-huh.” After she hit “purchase”, she sent me the link for the backpack. Yeah. It was girly. My friend and I discussed the backpack and laughed at ourselves about …

Scorecard: Daddy vs. Back-to-School

0:1 We didn’t start breakfast or moving until 45 minutes before we needed to be out the door…like…actually walking briskly to school, not just posing for pictures. 1 point: B2S 0:2 Ellison orders “toast, cereal, eggs, yogurt” for breakfast. When I place in front of him pampered eggs and golden toast, he cries because there’s no damn cereal. B2S gets one point. 0:3 Dog shits on the floor by the door. 1:3 No fight over what to wear. Ellison chooses one of my two optioned shirts. Score one for daddy. 1:4 Colton melts down when he realizes he has to stay at home. 0:4 I offer an iPad to muzzle him ( I lose a point) 0:5 I scramble, frantically, with 3 minutes to spare (before we will need to officially RUN on the first day of school) to find the fucking vintage chalkboard (weighing 10 pounds) to write our stupid facebook picture first-day stats. 0:6 Colton has been running around…naked. (I’m leaving him to my partner to manage.) He comes to me with poop …