A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles in 9to5to9

Learning to be 4
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:18 | Comments Off

When a preschool teacher heads toward you, she’s usually not coming to tell you your kid played nice and listened all day. With Big Guy, I’ve had plenty of teachers head toward me in the past year.

Not that he’s always a brat – more like Dr. Freckle/ Mr. Make Mommy Wanna Hide.

At times, he can be the most cheerful, cooperative 3-year-old on earth. He also can be an over-the-top, incessantly chatty, whirling dervish. Those are some of the things I love most about him.

They’re also the things that get on my last nerve, particularly when you throw in a side order of stubborn. So I understand the need to rein him in – heck, I’ve been tempted to hogtie and gag him. And

Survivor: Daylight savings time
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:16 | Comments Off

It’s amazing the tricks your mind can play. Like this morning, when Big Guy bounced into my bed at 8:30, according to the cable box. Wow. Ten hours’ sleep. No wonder I’m so refreshed!

Euphoria lasted as far as the kitchen, where it was 7:30. Then I remembered. The cable box adjusts itself for daylight savings time. Microwaves do not. Drat. I didn’t get extra sleep. Where are the coffee filters …

It’s amazing, too, that I could forget something I read a story about early onset daylight savings time.

Boon: I wouldn’t call myself a fanatical environmentalist, but I like to do my part. And if extra weeks of daylight-saving time would help, fine.

That was normal-person thinking. Soon Mommy thinking took over

You can’t get sick — you’re a mommy!
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:15 | Comments Off

Tonight’s episode of “9 to 5 to 9″ is being pre-empted by a sniveling, whiny pity party. Please tune it at the regular time and URL Sunday, when “9 to 5 to 9″ will return with a less self-absorbed episode.

I felt cruddy all day today. My eyelids were sandpaper, my nose was triple its usual, and an alien kept pounding on my forehead, trying to escape. Tomorrow morning I’ll have whiplash.

It was nothing fatal. Just an allergy attack. Except I don’t have little allergy attacks – I have sneeze tsunamis. Strings of five or six head-snapping, body-rocking spasms at a time. No kidding — I once spent months seeing a chiropractor after I threw out my back during a sneezing fit.

I ah-chooed my

Food fight!
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:13 | Comments Off

The Mupcake Scam started around Halloween.

I had made muffins for a party and, just for fun and to pretend I still had time to decorate pastries, I topped each with a squiggle of purple icing and a smattering of ghost sprinkles. I put the leftovers on a cake plate, figuring I’d take them to work.

It took Big Guy 3.6 seconds to lock on the next morning.

“Cupcakes! I want cupcakes!”

Though I hadn’t finished my first cup of coffee, I had enough wits about me to run with it.”

“Cupcakes for breakfast? I don’t think so.”

“Please, Mommy, pleeeeeeeease!””

“Oh, all right. But only this once.””

Every morning since, he’s had mupcakes. Mupcakes made with evil things. Banana or pumpkin. Whole-wheat or graham flour. Low sugar and low fat.

I’m the baby — gotta love me!
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:12 | Comments Off

Do not dump the stroller with your brother in it!

Take your hands off your brother’s throat right now!

Please don’t feed Little Guy dirt.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of Big Guy as the criminal, Little Guy as the victim. In the early months, it’s not without reason. Little Guy is helpless, and Big Guy resents That Baby Who Ruined His Life. He even used to call him That Baby. “Mommy, please put That Baby down!”

But what happened at our neighborhood park a few hours ago belongs in the Baby Worship Hall of Fame.

A girl, probably 10 or 11, was pushing her little sister in a swing when the younger girl slipped from the seat, hitting her chin on the way down. “Oh

The reality of reality discipline
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:10 | Comments Off

I started with “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” and quit after “I’m OK, You’re a Brat”.

The premise of “Happiest Toddler:” Kids are cavepeople, without verbal and coping skills needed in our world. I’ll buy that. But then it suggests going caveman back at them, getting as loud and as animated as they do.

It’s supposed to empathetic. Problem: Big Guy wanted to be a bigger and better caveman, amping up the tantrum every time I tried it. Guess he took it as a challenge.

The premise of “I’m OK:” Some children really are difficult, and that’s not your fault. True, and strangely comforting. But then there’s the part about how some people just aren’t cut out to be parents. Oh my God!

The cookie conundrum
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:07 | Comments Off

It was 10 p.m. Valentine’s Day eve, and I was having a stare-down with 48 naked heart-shaped cookies. They needed icing – pink icing to be exact, with pink and purple sprinkles, as per Big Guy’s request – for a preschool party the next day. But the question was, how?

I did some quick calculations. It takes two minutes per cookie to spread frosting with a knife. With a decorating bag, though, I could do five cookies in two minutes. Finish in an hour and a half, or take less than 20 minutes and get an extra hour’s sleep? Not a tough call – I was near brain-dead, but not totally gone. I hunted my kitchen stool (where DID I hide it from the kids?)

Little Guy and lovey obsession
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 18:38 | Comments Off

Some kids easily give up their blankies, lovies, whatever. I was that type, heartlessly abandoning blanky around age 3 or 4.

There are others who hold on until the object of the obsession is in so many shreds that continued cuddling is impossible. My older brother falls into that category. I think the last shards of his blanky went on his honeymoon.

Seems that Little Guy has

A really useful recall
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 17:00 | Comments Off

Originally published June 13, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled 1.5 million Thomas & Friends toys, imported and distributed by the RC2 Corporation, because paint on the toys contains lead that can be toxic if ingested. No injuries have been reported.

The recall includes wooden vehicles, buildings and other train set parts sold from January 2005 through June 2007.

More information is available at the Consumer Product