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 tagged with: parenting problems

Taking orders from a toothbrush
Wednesday, 14 Jan, 2009 – 12:52 | Comments Off
Taking orders from a toothbrush

The best parenting advice I’ve heard lately came from a woman restocking a grocery-store shelf as she overheard the guys vacillate over toothbrushes.
“Check out the Fire Fly. My daughter loves it,” she said in the …

No-present party a new parent trap
Wednesday, 7 Jan, 2009 – 11:40 | Comments Off
No-present party a new parent trap

First thing Big Guy wanted to know after he came home with a coveted party invitation in his backpack was what we were going to buy Birthday Girl.
“It says not to bring presents,” I told  …

9to5to9: Liar, liar, pants on fire
Thursday, 13 Nov, 2008 – 0:17 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Liar, liar, pants on fire

Take one pint-size prevaricator, mix with a dash of “need to be right” and marinate in an active imagination.
The result: Big Guy’s current truth-challenged state.
In recent weeks, it’s advanced past the “cute but not remotely …

How marketing creeps into the kitchen cabinet
Monday, 13 Oct, 2008 – 11:20 | Comments Off
How marketing creeps into the kitchen cabinet

Some things simply sneak into your life when you’re not looking. Kind of like that stealth move-in a boyfriend pulled once. It started with a razor, morphed into “I’ll just throw my laundry in with …

9to5to9: Wearing me out over what to wear
Sunday, 12 Oct, 2008 – 0:04 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Wearing me out over what to wear

The unusual nip in the air here the past couple days meant I had to hit head-on this morning an issue I usually can delay for at least three more weeks: Big Guy’s resistance to changing his clothes.

I don’t mean on a day-in, day-out basis. He’s usually OK with that, though he’s been known to cling to his favorite Batman pajamas until they can stand up by themselves.

I mean the type of change that comes after you box up the shorts and haul out the sweaters.

The second I stuck my head out the door this morning, I knew that day had arrived.

“It’s cold outside. Let’s find a T-shirt to go under your soccer uniform,” I said casually, but not casually enough. The anti-change missile defense system activated anyway.

9to5to9: So Big Guy wants to write about food
Saturday, 4 Oct, 2008 – 1:04 | Comments Off
9to5to9: So Big Guy wants to write about food

At least he'll still eat pizza
Arggghh, I groaned a few hours ago, my head in my hands.
“What’s the matter, Mommy,” Big Guy asked.
“I need an idea. I don’t have any ideas to write about tonight.”
“I’ll …

9to5to9: Reality discipline gets Big Guy to school on time
Wednesday, 1 Oct, 2008 – 23:51 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Reality discipline gets Big Guy to school on time

Two events the neighborhood’s been able to rock-solid set watches by of late:

  • The school bus rumbling down the street, its brakes squeaking to a halt at the stop sign at 7:50 a.m.
  • Big Guy stumbling out our door 10 minutes later in tearful panic, shrieking “But I don’t want to be late.”

The problem in part is that Big Guy is the victim of a bad genetic mix.

His father know two speeds: Mosey and feet in molasses. He makes lackadaisical seem like a rush job.

I, on the other hand, relax by slowing to a frenzy. I’ve never mastered the “wait” part of “hurry up and wait,” though I’ve nailed “hurry up.”

Big Guy meets the Milk Lady
Friday, 11 Jul, 2008 – 6:21 | Comments Off

Day Three for Big Guy at the Big Kids School, and he bounded out of the cafeteria to greet me with his classic bear hug around the knees. Whew! Signs of my sweet 4-year-old. I’d feared the backpack-toting stranger who was too cool for kisses had permanently replaced him.

“”Mommy! I had chocolate milk for lunch!”"

“”Chocolate milk?”" I gasped. “”You’re kidding! They have that at your school? Sheesh, I wish they’d had that at school when I was a kid.”"

He nodded, once and firmly. “”Yes. And I bought it myself!”"

I already knew that, because I’d peeked through a window as he finished lunch, just as I’d done the previous two days. Except this time, I saw a tiny brown carton in front of him. At last, Big Guy had figured out the Milk Lady.

For Big

Big Guy’s autumn awfuls
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 21:04 | Comments Off

Big Guy’s Best Girl ran up as I got to the preschool this evening, yelling my name. She’s done that daily for the past few weeks – it’s a Big Thing when you’re a kid and learn an adult’s name. Except today, she looked serious.

“Debra,” she said, hands on hips. “He’s weird to me.”

I was afraid to ask, but I did. “How’s he weird?”

“He’s just so goofy! ” she giggled. Right on cue, Big Guy bounced up, doing his favorite new dance, the one that makes him look like Pinocchio without strings.

“I was nice to my friends today!” he whispered.

It wasn’t that way for a while. By mid-September, he’d realized that many 5-year-old friends wouldn’t be back. Preschool resumed, except it now involved sitting and

It stinks to be 2
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:58 | Comments Off

Three weeks into my career as a soccer mom, I was ready to call it quits. I’d had enough of the constant complaining at practice. The incessant crying during the games had flat worn me out. Forget the fact that we’d already invested $100. I just wanted out.

The problem wasn’t Big Guy. He’s taken to soccer quite well – even ran toward the right goal for most of the game Saturday.

I’m talking about Little Guy, who was crushed to the depths of his little soul because Big Guy could play and he wasn’t allowed.

To make it even worse, there’s a player on Big Guy’s team with the same first name as Little Guy. And for three solid weeks, every time a coach yelled, “hey, Little