I'm a writer living in Brooklyn with my husband, two daughters, one bird named Marvin, and a tank of snails. I've written regularly for Babble and What They Play, contributed essays about my very large family for two recent anthologies, What I Would Tell Her and Be Thrifty, and edited the book If You Really Want to Hear About It: Writers on J.D. Salinger and His Work. I love dancing around my living room to The Pogues and/or Max Raabe (with or without my kids), sleeping through the night, attending dinner parties, and a good bourbon.
coffee with milk and a little sugar, as well as the aforementioned good bourbon
Every Sunday morning for the first 18 years of my life I was expected to go to church with my family. If I had a Sunday soccer game that might interfere, I had to arrange for the Saturday evening mass or the 7:30 a.m. I HATED IT.
I tried a lot of things to get out of going, including creating imitation barf in the blender and pretending to have a soccer game so that I could go to an earlier service unattended --- and slip out undetected.
When I saw a video of a 7-year-old in Utah, so desperate to get out of going to church that he swiped his dad’s car keys and ended up trying to outrun a cop, I kind of understood.
But, no way would I have had the balls or the skills that this kid has at such a young age.
My kids have been chewing gum for so long that I can’t remember any more when I first allowed them to begin. I am certain that many of my friends would say it was WAY TOO EARLY. These are the friends that don’t hide their eye rolls (directed at me) very well when my kids are chomping away in front of theirs, prompting an inevitable round of begging and pleading. I feel pretty guilty about this, as though my inability to govern my kids has put my pals in a tight spot. But the truth is, of all the annoying things my kids beg for, I find gum low on the list of offenders. Then, I recently read about a school in Germany that actually encourages young students to chew gum to improve learning. Vindication is mine!
Ever since my husband and I gave up our land line (because we NEVER used it) and decided to rely only on our cell phones, I’ve been obsessed about the possibility that cell phones could cause hurt my kids' brains. Cancer and tumors are totally uncool, and I may have return to my Luddite ways just so I can sleep at night. Then, the other day I had a thought that made me even further nostalgic for the home main line --- the art of crank calling.
A couple of Sundays ago, I got a phone call and urgent plea to come and pick up my daughter early from a Harry Potter-themedbirthday party. Apparently, the movie was too much for her 6-year-old psyche to take, and the birthday boy’s mother explained that she was very upset. By the time I got there, the movie was already over, but my girl was still distraught -- enough so that she wanted to leave before cake (translation: she was freaking out). Having never seen any of the Harry Potter movies myself, I didn’t think to worry that it would be inappropriate for my kid -- I mean, another mom found it suitable enough to build a party around. Of course, in hindsight I felt like cretin, like I’d put my kid into scalding bathwater because I forgot to test it first.
I figured it was Harry Potter not Hooters. But apparently Hooters parties are also popular.
We’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately because of the less than ideal temperature outside. The togetherness is lovely and all that, but there is a byproduct of cozy living that’s not. It can get a little stinky. I like work out videos, my kids like jumping on the bed, we all have feet -- each one of which contributes to an occasional funk.
I had such high hopes for incense to make the house smell nice, and then comes news that kids from incense-burning homes have an increased risk of asthma. Damn!