Thursday, September 26, 2013


I’ve been out of school for a few years now, but every so often I still have THE DREAM. I arrive at school and suddenly realize that I haven’t studied for the big test that has somehow completely slipped my mind. All these years after graduating, why am I still having nightmares about homework and test taking?! Recently it hit me: Parents have homework too 

Case in point: my math skills were put to the test when my son came home from school with a slip for ordering school pictures. The task seemed simple enough. After all, I only wanted to order a couple of pictures for us and the grandparents. Then I noticed that you could not purchase anything a la carte without getting one of the packages. And somehow none of the packages included what I wanted. And with each price increase it seemed as if all I would be getting were more wallet-sized photos. (Meanwhile, the last time I saw someone pull out a wallet-sized photo was around the same time I purchased my trusty StarTAC phone). I had to do some quick calculations to figure out which package would be the best bang for my buck. The cheapest option only got me a couple of the pictures I wanted, plus eight wallet sized photos. Did it make sense to order more a la carte, or should I just purchase the more expensive package that came with a lot more photos that I really didn’t need? After putting my limited math skills to the test I think I may have accidentally ended up purchasing one 5x7 and 79 wallet sized photos for $299. But the photo package also came with a brand new StarTAC phone, so everyone was a winner.

As a parent you are also constantly quizzed on creativity. Throughout the year these tests present themselves in various forms, such as during birthdays when you have to bring in a fabulous snack for school, plan the ultimate party and find the perfect present. They also pop up during holidays such as Valentine’s Day when you must prepare cute little Valentine’s for all of your child’s classmates. But the final exam is definitely Halloween. Forget about creepy ghosts and goblins, if you really want to be scared out of your mind try putting together a unique homemade costume for your child(ren) every single year. Extra bonus points if you come up with a family theme. A++ for finding a hat that will stay on your child for the duration of trick-or-treating. (Let me save you some time. This hat does not exist). Thankfully, I have already had an honest conversation with myself and admitted that I will never be the mom who whips together the amazing Halloween costume from a few random things that happen to be lying around the house. So the pressure is off (a little).   

Another challenge that parents face is proper nutrition for their children. It doesn’t help that there is an obscene amount of literature available online about every single thing that can harm your child if ingested. Most of these articles close with, “While there is no conclusive evidence that this will harm your child, there is also no evidence that this won’t harm your child.” Perfect! Meanwhile, for the first time this year I have to pack a snack every day for my son to take to school. Before school started I dutifully headed to the supermarket to stock up on some goodies. On his first day, I sent my little man off to school with a few organic carrot sticks and a mini bag of pretzels shaped like Planes (Dusty, his favorite!) I felt proud all morning knowing that my son had been sent off with a snack that was the perfect mix of wholesome goodness and timely playfulness. Then at school pick-up my son informed me that I had forgotten to pack a drink. I gently reminded him about the adorable pretzels shaped like planes and he not so gently reminded me that he really could have used a few sips of water that morning. Fail.

Finally, let’s not forget all of the physical education we have to endure as parents of young children. I spend my days schlepping around a heavy car seat, throwing overflowing diaper bags over my weary shoulders and lugging a hefty double stroller in and out of my car trunk. My one-year-old spends his mornings demanding to be lifted up, then put down, then up again…finally I put him down for a nap and my four-year old decides he wants to play basketball, baseball, volleyball and tag, in that order. I always knew that parenthood would test my emotions, but no one prepares you for how physically demanding it will be. Seriously, why aren’t the pounds just falling off of me?! (No, seriously, why?!?!?)

What homework does your child bring home for you? Do you usually pass or fail?
Your homework for the day: follow me on Twitter and 'like' me on Facebook.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


New parents receive a lot of conflicting advice on how to best care for their children. We all know what to expect when we’re expecting, but what about after that? Thankfully, mom-fiction is here with solutions for your most pressing parenting questions.

It takes a modicum of mental strength but with enough practice anyone can master this method. Little ones crave routine, so establish one early on. After the nighttime feeding, turn on soft music and switch on a nightlight to indicate to the baby that it’s time to settle down. If your infant is still young enough, swaddle. Quietly close the door and head downstairs. Sit on the living room couch. Do not attempt to eat dinner. Stay away from books, magazines, newspapers, work, etc. Do not call ANYONE. If you move even a muscle, your baby will sense that you are trying to accomplish something and will begin to stir.  If you can master sleeping while sitting up on the couch you’ve got it made.

This one is a little simpler. Put your plate of dinner in front of your child. As per usual, the child will refuse to eat anything on the plate. Proceed to the kitchen and retrieve their plate and bring it to the table, placing it in front of you. Attempt to take a bite from this plate. Your toddler will begin to plea, nay beg, for whatever is in front of you. At first, refuse to give them anything off this plate. After a couple of minutes, finally agree to switch plates. N.B. This method works even if you have identical meals.

Announce that you are about to do some chores and that you don’t want any help. Your child will immediately start following you around the house and demand to help with whatever you are doing. This is when you start putting away their cars and crayons.

There really is no easy way to potty train your child so your best bet is to focus on taking preventative measures to ensure that clean-up is a breeze. This means that you should rip up every single rug in your house (don’t forget the bath rug!) and get rid of any furniture that cannot be easily wiped down. For six months, it’s probably not a good idea to go anywhere if you are going to be more than 20 seconds away from a bathroom. Also, it’s smart to have at least five backup sets of sheets.

Are you crazy?!?!?!

What is the best advice for new parents? To follow me on Twitter and ‘Like’ me on Facebook.