All posts tagged: toddlers

I Lie to My Kids. It’s Cool.

There are a lot of behaviors I didn’t expect from my kids for another four or five years: Rolling their eyes at me. Telling me they don’t love me, anymore. Saying “Nothing! And stop asking me!” when I ask “What’d you do at school?” And, “You’re going out in that?” And I definitely didn’t expect lies for another few years. I guess it’s my bad – after all, I began lying to them at a young age. It began with the stellar (unsolicited) advice I received from an old lady at the playground (who writes her own blog, Life Lessons From an Old Bitch. Seriously.) Her: You want some advice? Me (in my head): No, crazy lady. Her: Lie to them. Me: Jigga-what? Her: Just tell them…“I don’t know who made the rules. But those are the rules.” Me: Laugh. Dispense with my disrespect for a wiser generation. Her: I mean it. I don’t know why it works. But it works. Just lie to them. They believe everything. Me: For example? Her: When they say …

A Little Santa, a Little Jesus

During this Santa-obsessed time, I’ve been thinking a lot about how things have changed for our family holiday since last year. Christmas 2014 was the first for my older son to obsess over receiving presents. It made me nervous to think he’d become an unappreciative, acquisitive kid lacking any appreciation for the reason for the season. I fretted about it, but we made little progress beyond, “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” “To get presents!” This year, we’re reading books about Jesus, as well as Santa and Rudolph. As I’ve alluded, I’m a believer in a higher power, a worldly energy, a united human spirit. But I don’t think there’s a grandfatherly figure with a white beard deciding whether or not we get into pearly gates. And Biblical stories?, word-for-word?…not so much. Of course we embrace the spirit of Christmas, spreading joy and good tidings and all that jazz. But (as with appreciating Veterans’ sacrifices on Veteran’s Day – and that it’s not just a day off from school, and that Labor Day celebrates sacrifices made …

This Just in…From Hollywood

I’m sitting on a bag of ice in my corporate housing and sipping some booze as I document a little of my week. We’ve had eight intense days of rehearsal in the un-air conditioned gymnasium of Hollywood Methodist Church. I’m falling in love, all over again, with this hilarious musical, Spamalot. Among the stars are Jesse Tyler Ferguson, of Modern Family, (who’s hysterically dry) and Christian Slater. Yes. Christian Slater. He’s infectiously playful with a perma-grin…just a guy who can’t believe he’s being paid to screw around on stage in a Monty Python sketch/musical. And then there’s Warwick Davis. Now. I’m a terrible celeb keeper-upper. I knew he looked familiar, but I was like….”yeah, yeah, yeah. The little person who’s done a bunch of stuff, but who isn’t Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones.” Then, one of my cast members tells me, “Yeah, but Gavin…not only was he in the Harry Potter movies, he was also in Star Wars.” Y’all: this child-of-the-80’s is soon to be tap-dancing alongside Wicket Fucking Warrior. Like: no shit. I …

Thomas the Train Rage

Well that blew. It was our “Day Out With Thomas”, when a rail-riding, full-size “Thomas the Train” visits sleepy train stations with operable train tracks. In our case, the Essex, CT, train station attaches some coaches to a locomotive, followed by Thomas, and makes a 20-minute trip to the local dump, and then back to the station. Last year, our trip was idyllic. Ellison bounced along to the songs during the ride, thrilled at hugging a dressed-up “Sir Topham Hat” and riding a jankety fair rides dotting the parking lot. This year’s day out started out euphorically. For the entirety of our fifteen minute drive, Ellison chanted, “I want to ride Thomas!” The cuteness drove me crazy. At the station entrance, he skipped and chanted, “I’m so excited to see Thomas! Hooray!” I love it when he talks like he’s reading a “Dick and Jane” book. Colton was equal parts confused and excited. We cheered Thomas’ arrival from the previous trip to the dump. As we proceeded toward the boarding area, Ellison noticed a table …

La Croix: My Love for You is Pure

A few months ago, the re-vamped NY Times magazine ran a “letter of recommendation” (really just a blog posting, right?) about La Croix seltzer. I was shocked to read a silly, literary endorsement for something I already hold very dear. But when I’d finished the article, I realized the writer (Mary H.K. Choi) struck me as a cynic justifying her need to be cool. Her much cooler co-workers were addicted to my favorite drink, and Mary followed that crowd, but still needing to get in her self-serving jokes about her partying ways. (“Don’t worry. I’m not THAT uncool.”) Filled with millenial cliches lamenting her poverty and fabulosity, Choi didn’t write an ode to La Croix, she wrote an embarrassed confession. Eh, get over yourself, Gavin. You aren’t published in the NY Times. Brass tacks: I’m bitter because I loved LaCroix seltzer first; and my love is pure. I stumbled upon La Croix on the bottom shelf of Target. Immediate addiction followed. I conceded that Choi’s nod to the in-crowd is correct, “Everyone knows pamplemousse is …

A Little Bit of Politics. Trust Me.

I’ll try to make this super quick and simple, though it’s complicated for 500 words. Combining politics and parenting? Why not? Politics is about managing our country so that our kids can have better lives. We can make it a civil dialogue. I’m a single-issue voter. In our era of broken government, I feel the only issue that matters is campaign finance reform. It’s the silver bullet that would make government efficient because separating money and politics would make elected officials represent the people, not the powerful. With few exceptions, our politicians are beholden to special interests and rich people. The politicians beg for money to run their campaigns to keep them in office. In turn, they vote the way rich people would wish. I’ve witnessed it first-hand. A candidate I worked for (who didn’t even need to raise money) was forced to kiss the ring of a local mover-and-shaker. In front of me, this Mr. Moneybags maxed out a contribution check, but held it back, saying, “And I’m sure you know what I care …

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 …

Dear Mr. Dolce & Mr. Gabbana,

“I wish I had some Dolce & Gabbana crap so I could burn it.” – One of my witty Facebook friends I usually don’t get worked up by stupidity. Luckily, there are enough hotheads in the news and social media that I can sit back and enjoy the public stoning of broadcast faux pas. Instead I get worked up about nerdier stuff. Like campaign finance reform. But many people have asked me what I think of the recent comments by fashion moguls (and gay partners of 23 years), Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. First off, I roll my eyes at their “bling” with gold logos splashed all over tacky glasses, bags and clothes. But then I really rolled my eyes when I read their statement that children of IVF are “children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteruses for rent, seeds chosen from a catalog.” D&G later stated, “Our views are traditional, not judgmental.” I give them credit for sticking their ground and not making public apologies to rectify the vicious backlash against their brand. And semantically …

A Few Words about Surrogacy: Finding our Carrier

When I told my (gay) doctor we were researching surrogacy, he said, “Ugh. I can’t condone that.” I was shocked. I figured this guy would be all for gays and babies. “It’s not about gays and babies,” he said, reading my mind, “it’s exploitation of underprivileged women.” Actually, he said “trailer trash,” which I couldn’t bring myself to write above. But here I go, again…quoting others’ jaw-dropping comments about saintly surrogates. (Quick side not: I KNOW I should be using the term “gestational carrier”. But I’m simplifying to keep this post shorter.) He continued, “You’re exploiting a desperate woman by renting her uterus. Don’t get me started on using women in impoverished countries.” That gave me pause. But it was before my afore-blogged interview, where we learned our agency required surrogacy applicants to fulfill three criteria : Financial comfort. They couldn’t be in need of the money earned for their labors (pun intended). Married. (And their husbands complicit with the process.) Two children. All the women already had families of four (or more). And to …

Judd Apatow’s Pioneer Woman

I don’t know if I make the disclaimer often enough that my complaints about my kids are generated from the 10% of the time they are (Colton is a) monsters. The 85% of the rest of the day, they’re wonderful, fun, happy boys. Of course, 40% of that 90% they’re sleeping. Or, I mean 50% of the original, so that’s really…whatever. Never mind. Math is hard. But still. There are demonic toddlers in the world. Colton is not one of those. He is scarily charming. My French mother says, “He is a seducer. Like Bill Clinton.” That’s a compliment for the French. And he’s easy to calm. Just pick him up and he’s happy. Now that I’ve confessed (absolved?) my guilt for his future therapy…let me complain some more. Over the past year, two metaphors craft my self-image: a lonely pioneer woman and a loser Judd Apatow protagonist. Wonderful, whiny Colton wants to be held all day long. I can’t and I won’t. Colton gets upset when he doesn’t get his way. #tearlesscrying ensues if …