Friday’s four things: teenage girls, family dinners, Houston, and the obits

That's Miss T.

And because five was too many. A birthday. Miss T turned thirteen yesterday – one-three, 13, XIII – which means we now have three teenage girls living in our house. Sometimes I don’t know who they are, but mostly I do. They’re fantastic, except when they’re not, which ends up being the problem, if there is a problem. I wake up not certain of whom I will face, either over breakfast or picking up in the afternoon, though Goldie is driving herself now. (That’s a blessing, not a curse.) The … [Read more...]

Wednesday words on parenting: psychobabble and raising the perfect child

Mother Teresa

When the girls were younger and another mother would say, either to them or to her own child, “Use your inside voice please”, it had the same effect on me as hearing nails on a chalkboard.  I’d cringe, often visibly.  To a lesser degree, I’d shiver after hearing: It’s a teachable moment. Boundaries. In a restaurant, turning to a 3-year-old: What would you like to order? How did it make you feel after Susie took your toy/poked you in the eye/spat in your food? Gifted, as in, My … [Read more...]

Tuesday’s ten things, because I’ve been away so long…

jack the dog

…and none of these deserve their own post. Separation of church and state – fine! – but most Americans celebrate Easter or Passover and they fall within the same time frame this year, April 14-22, so what the hell are all these school districts thinking scheduling spring break in March?  Goldie goes to Catholic school and so is off late next week and the week after.  Bun Bun and Miss T attend a secular, libertine, hedonistic institution that has turned their back on God and family, so were … [Read more...]

Teaching kids that failure = success (with help from the Olympics)

olympic rings copy

The girls are 14-, 12-, and 11-years old.  By virtue of luck, good genes, and effort, there has been little ‘falling down’ in which they’ve needed to get up and brush themselves off.  This is not a result of helicopter parenting either, though I’ve certainly been known to drop off a forgotten lunch and occasional homework assignment to school because I can.  The girls know ‘it should never happen again’ and so it rarely does. As wise participants of life, we know that all the good stuff … [Read more...]

Friday’s five things: the weather, the Bieb, never say ‘never’, cell phone etiquette, and solving problems

frogs falling from the sky

1.  “Global warming is scientific fact.” “No, it’s not.” “Then how do you explain the frogs falling from the sky?” “That’s simply God’s way of punishing us for homosexuality.” I’m not sure that’s exactly how the conversation goes, but it’s often nonsensical.  In today’s New York Times, Coral Davenport covers how the effects of climate change are affecting the economy worldwide, making it more costly for Coco-Cola and Nike to churn out their wares.  That’s good news!  Why?  Because if … [Read more...]

Monday motherhood: another return, a lunch-time epiphany

Where were we? I received a text two weeks ago from my sister, informing me that she couldn’t access an old recipe on Daily Cup of Jo because the site was gone!  Poof!  “I’m sad,” she wrote.  For me, it was sorrow mixed with fear, as if a small animal had found itself inside my abdomen (don’t know how it got there), and kicked really hard.  The sadness was a reaction to feeling that the part of me (the Daily Cup part) separate from my life as a chauffeur and chef to three children, was over.  … [Read more...]