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People love to tell parents the cute things their kids do while they’re not with them. But when another adult starts a sentence with “your little one said the funniest thing today” my body usually seizes in fear. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past several years, it’s that children love reporting what their parents say and do in the privacy of their home. So when my child’s remark is about to be revealed, my first thought is “he definitely told...

Most parents of school age kids have heard of Montessori. An educational method founded by Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s, her namesake schools focus on learning through independence and allowing children freedom of activity within the classroom. Dedicated to the principle of learning without strict instruction, one of her key mottos was “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” Maria Montessori would hate me. Yes, I desperately want my children...

A trip to the pediatrician can be filled with stress – and I’m not even talking about the sick kid part. With so many tough questions and anxiety, by the time my kids actually see the doctor, I’m the one feeling feverish. Here’s a little of what I’m talking about. “Am I getting a shot?” I hear it 6 times before we hit the waiting room. When the answer is no, there’s no problem.  “Of course not dude!” I say as though I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous...

There was a time when I looked forward to putting my kids in the car and taking a relaxing drive. When my oldest were babies, I would tuck them into their car seats, throw on my radio and watch them fall asleep to the throwbacks of 90’s on 9 or the smooth soul of the Slow Jams station. But as my kids have grown older, things have changed.  Not only do they stay awake the entire ride, but I’ve lost control of my radio. When I was a kid, my father was in charge of music in...

I have such fond memories of swimming as a kid. That’s why I’m so amazed at how little I enjoy being at a pool with my own children. Now before you start thinking I’m some cold hearted monster (too late?) let me clarify. I love watching my children when they are playing nicely in a pool, splashing around on a sunny day. I just don’t like any other part of it. Here’s what I mean… It starts when you have to actually get into the pool. Besides the obvious issue of stripping...

When I was a little girl, there was a streetlight outside of my bedroom. The city had the light on timer, turning it on each night at precisely 9 p.m. Most nights, when I complained about going to sleep, my father would tell me a story about the light. He called it the “Darth Vader light,” and when it went on, it meant Darth Vader was looking for kids who weren’t asleep, and when he found them, he bit off their limbs.  So every night at bedtime, and all through the night,...

I remember the first time I got caught. I was cleaning out my kids’ backpacks on a winter evening when I pulled out yet another piece of construction paper with feathers glued on and a cotton ball sky. My son wrote his name on it in a messy scribble and there was a heart next to the word “mom.” “Mommy, I made that for you,” said my son with pride as I glanced at it and tossed it aside.  “Oh baby its beautiful,” I said as I picked it back up.  “Do you love it?”...

As much as I adore my kids, they often do things that make me cringe. Like when they tell Grandma what I said about her cooking or inform their teachers about my potty mouth.  While I’m sure my little angels mean no actual harm, I cringe nonetheless. But few things make me squirm as much as when my child innocently insults a stranger. Yes, we all know that kids say the darndest things, but when your little one observes the world out loud without the benefit of the filter that...

I’ve learned many things since my children have started school, like the process of photosynthesis and the history of colonial times. But in the several years since my kids entered nursery and grade school, no lesson has resonated more than this… I could never be a teacher.  There are just fundamental differences between the human being I am and teachers. Here’s what I mean: Every morning, by the time I finish waking, dressing, feeding, packing and driving my 4 little ones...

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