Posts filed under ‘Kids’

The End of Vacation: Ahhh!

traveling-mom-logoSure vacation is over, but it isn’t all bad.  After all, the kids are back in school, I am back at the gym, and Zabars is right around the corner.

Read what else is OK about being back from vacation by clicking over to my weekly post on TravelingMom.com.

September 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Mean Mommy Confessions

The whining, the nagging, the rudeness, the backtalk.  Ah, yes.  The joys of parenting.

I’m sure that whoever you are, your kids are PERFECT.  But it can’t be just me.  Can it?

Please tell me it’s not just me.  That I am not the only mother being driven crazy by her own kids.

Mama, mama, did you see my drawing, mama?
Do you like it, mama?
Mama, mama, I made my own bed, come see, mama.
Mama, mama, I ate all of my lunch.  Isn’t that good mama?
Mama mama mama mama….

It’s enough to make me want to change my name to…Dada.

This summer, my son has decided that he is going to call me mama.  And he is going to call me that twice at the beginning of each sentence, and once at the end.  Basically, the format is:
“Mama. mama (insert need for approval) Mama.”

Then there’s the food.  His favorite used to be grilled chicken.  Suddenly, he deems it “gross.”  He used to eat watermelon.  Now it’s too wet for him.  He used to like cheese sticks.  Now, only fine French cheese will do.  He’s even turning down most types of cookies.  Can you say “control issue?” Meal time has become a game of Russian Roulette — and I’m the one with the gun at my head.

nyc moms blog logoClick here to read the rest of this post at NYC Moms Blog.com.

August 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm 1 comment

NYC Moms Blog Post: My Daughter Thinks She’s Fat and It’s all my Fault

Swimsuit season is upon us.  And with it the onslaught of diet ads on tv, magazines with pics of celebs caught having actual cellulite, and me, bemoaning my post-partum, post-forty, past passing for anything but middle-aged body.

Though I am, if I am completely, intellectually honest, neither truly fat, or particularly unattractive, I have made a life (and something of a writing career) of comically dissecting my physical flaws.  I’m the self-appointed Queen of Bad Body Image, chronicling on line and in print my twenty year quest to lose the same ten pounds.  I’ve joked about the fact that my belly button seems to be frowning, that the only men who find me attractive are septuagenarians, that I’ve chosen to paint my daughter’s room the same lavender color as my newly acquired varicose veins.

Ha Ha.  Nudge nudge.  Wink Wink. Very funny.  Until this morning, when my daughter refused to eat breakfast because, she told me through her tears, the boys in her class had told her she was fat.

Want to read the rest of this post?  Click here to go to NYC Moms Blog. (and while you’re there, leave a comment, wouldja?)

June 4, 2009 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Can I Have Mothers Day Off?

Here’s a typical day for me:

Wake up. Check mirror. Cringe. But realize there’s no time to shower. I’ve got to get the kids to school no later than 8:25. Since this is NYC, I do not have the option to get in my car in my pajamas, drop off my kids, and drive home before anyone notices me. I have to get dressed and try to achieve some semblance of presentability before leaving the house. I also have to get my kids ready, which means endless repetitions of “get dressed, brush your teeth, put your socks on, where’s your homework, sit down while you eat, you have to go to the bathroom now?, where’s your other shoe, hit the elevator button, and do you have your Metrocard?” Once we finally achieve the impossible and leave the house on time, we have to walk the four blocks to the city bus stop, hope the bus comes, hope when it does come the dispatcher doesn’t hold it there while he yacks about the Yankees with the driver and leaves all us parents and commuters seething, ride the bus across town, walk the six blocks to school from the bus stop, climb five flights of stairs to their classrooms, and then do the whole thing in reverse. All before 9am.

Once I’m home, do the breakfast dishes, make the beds, pick up their toys, check my email, look in the refrigerator for something to eat, try to get some writing done, procrastinate by cleaning out the linen closet (really just a few shelves in my bedroom cabinet, but it makes me feel better to call it a linen closet), realize that the crack in the living room ceiling is getting ominously bigger, make mental note to do something about it…eventually, open the refrigerator again as if expecting new food to have magically appeared since the last time I opened it forty minutes ago, run some errands, go to the gym, shower (finally), prepare dinner, prepare snacks, pick up kids, serve snacks, help with homework, greet the husband, serve the dinner, clean the dishes, tuck in the kids, pay some bills, do some online shopping (my son is growing at an alarming rate), knit a few rows of the sweater I’ve been working on for three years, collapse in front of the TV, converse with husband, (monosyllables, at best), wash up, put on pajamas, get into bed, and try to get enough sleep so I can do it all again the next day.

So you know what I want for Mother’s Day? A day off. I want to wake up in a nether world where my kids don’t want anything from me other than to shower me with praise and love. I want to live in an apartment where the beds are made by invisible imps who don’t come to you with their problems, don’t put away your favorite jeans somewhere you can’t find them, and never ever ask for a raise. I want to go to the gym and not worry about how soon I have to be back, or whether or not it’s fair to my husband to have to stay home with the kids when he’s been working all week and I’ve been able to go to the gym whenever I want to (Ha!). I want to shower in the morning, and have time to blow-dry my hair. I want to make one thing for dinner and have everyone eat it. Or better yet, have someone else make it, and do the dishes afterward.

It’s not that I don’t realize that I’m lucky. My children are healthy. We are not poor, or starving, or displaced by war, or floods, or fire. I have a loving husband, a caring family, a comfortable home. I am not ill, or in peril. I get it: I’m one of the lucky ones. Which makes me feel all the worse that all I really want for Mother’s Day is a day off.

I want a Mother’s Day Off. A day off from the guilt, and the worry, and the responsibility. A day off from the whining and complaining, and instant refusal to try any new food, even if it’s just a different brand of chicken nugget. I want to have a day where no one talks back, everyone does as they’re told and my breasts miraculously return to their pre-I’ve-breast-fed-two-kids state, and pass the pencil test with ease.

I want a bouquet of freshly picked flowers, sunshine and warmth without that

New York

humidity. I want to be like a character in an old Fred Astaire movie, burst into song, know all the words, have a full orchestra accompanying me, and dance the foxtrot like nobody’s business.

Ok, well, maybe I’m getting carried away.

How about I just knock it down to wanting to sleep in and not have to do the breakfast dishes? Oh, and if I do decide to burst into song, I don’t want anybody to laugh.

Hey, it’s Mother’s Day. Is that really so much to ask?

May 10, 2009 at 7:00 am 2 comments

My 8 Year Old Economist

The other night, my eight year old daughter couldn’t sleep. “I’m worried,” she said.

“What are you worried about?” I asked.

“I’m worried about the economy.”

You know things have gotten bad when your eight year old is losing sleep over the economy.

“Don’t worry, sweetie,” I said. “Daddy’s job is fine. And Mommy is working more now, and we’ll be fine.“

“You know, Mommy,” she said disdainfully “I don’t just worry about myself. I’m worried about all the people.”

Well, make me feel a little self-referential, why don’t you?

In fairness to me, it did seem logical to assume that an eight year old who is losing sleep over the economy would be worried about how it would affect her: Would her Daddy lose his job? Would she have to move? Would she have enough to eat?

But not my little girl. She’s worried about all of the people she sees on the news who are losing their jobs, her friends at school who have both parents at home all of the sudden, and since this is New York City, about all of the homeless people that seem, suddenly, to have multiplied right outside our door.

I wish I could shield her from all of this. An eight year old shouldn’t be losing sleep over an economic meltdown that hasn’t – at least not yet – markedly changed her life. An eight year old should live in a bubble of innocent bliss, not fret over the bursting of a financial bubble. She should escape into a world of her own devising – where being a princess, a movie star, and president is possible — all at the same time.  Where worry is reserved for missing the school bus, not missing a mortgage payment, and financial woes are measured by the weight of a piggy bank – not the weight of the world.

But this economic crisis is inescapable – even for an eight year old. Stores we passed every day on our way to school are closed. Friends and relatives have lost their jobs. The giant Circuit City around the corner is going out of business. In a surreal Depression flashback, men in sandwich boards are all over the neighborhood advertising the sell-off of the store’s last stock. My kids see the noticeably longer lines each day for free breakfast at Trinity Church, and can’t help but notice that the crowds at the Park Avenue Synagogue food pantry we pass on the way home from school every Friday have grown.

People disagree about how to fix this problem. Regulate more, regulate less. Bail out the banks, don’t bail out the banks. People disagree, too, about how we ended up here. Some people see the problem as a result of years of greed. For some, it’s clearly corporate America’s fault. For others, it looks like the government holds the blame.

What I see is that my daughter, in her innocent wisdom, precisely captured how we all should be looking at this problem: It isn’t about bankers, or lawyers, or lawmakers. It isn’t about your job, or your home. It isn’t about you. It’s about all of the people.

It’s what she said to me the other night, when, with worry and compassion, my little eight year old in princess pajamas looked up at me from her bed: “It’s about the economy, Mommy.”

March 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Valentine Schmalentine

kiss_cutoutMy High School sold carnations on Valentines Day to raise money.  Girls like Cynthia Gerardi (the most beautiful girl in 10th grade) and Courtney Funston (the blondest and cheerleader-est) got ten, twenty, I don’t know, eighty-seven flowers each, either from boys hoping to capture their hearts, or girls hoping to ride their wave of popularity.

I got two.  One from my  gay friend David, and one from my best girlfriend, both of whom understood all-to-well what it was like being the only kid in school who didn’t get ANY flowers at all.

When I was in college, my boyfriend couldn’t win.  If he sent flowers, I thought it was  a cliche, that he didn’t care enough to be creative.  The Shakespearean sonnet he sent one year was great…but when he tried it again the next year…not so much.  Lingerie was a lose/lose prospect.  If he bought my actual size, I’d be insulted that he saw me as so big.  If he bought it too small…well, it would be too small, and trust me, a big girl in a little teddy is nobody’s idea of a good time. I finally had an actual non-gay boyfriend and I turned Valentines Day into a tightrope of Hallmark Cards strung over a vat of bubbling chocolate.  And there were rose thorns everywhere.

In my post college single days, every Valentine’s day was fraught with meaning.
Would the guy I was seeing take me out that night and if he didn’t what did that mean?  Should I give a Valentine to that cute guy at the coffee shop, or would that be like wearing a sign that read desperate and dorky?  If there was no date, was going out with friends pathetic or a statement of our independence?  Would I  run from the office screaming if I had to  hear the receptionist at work gush loudly over yet another flower delivery that wasn’t for me?

But now, I’m married.  I don’t really care about getting flowers, I don’t want candy (post 40-spread, anyone?), and I don’t expect much romance.  Love, consideration, affection, support.  That’s enough for me.  At least from my husband.  So last year, from my kids, I wanted something more. (more…)

February 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Blah Blah Blah: Why won’t my kids Listen?

Years ago, my sister got my father a t-shirt that read: I’m not deaf, I’m just ignoring you.
I think my 8 year old son has somehow, through the miracle of genetic osmosis, absorbed that message.
Here is a typical exchange:
Me: Time to get off the computer.
He: I am getting off. (continues exactly as before)
Me: Time to get off the computer.
He: I am. Right now. (continues exactly as before)
Me: Computer. Off.
He: (continues on)
Me: Hello?
He: (continues on)
and on and on and on.

It’s kind of an audiological phenomenon. As if getting so old that I’m invisible to men under the age of 70 wasn’t bad enough, now I’m inaudible to boys under ten.

I’m going to start manufacturing a line of mom-hearing aids. Hearing aids that make kids hear their moms all the time, even over the ambient noise of computer games. I’ll call it The Momplifyer.
Now if I could just get someone to listen to my pitch….

January 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm 4 comments

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