Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's cold. It's raining. Got a kid nursing some low-level yuckiness in the form of yet another cold. Time to cheer myself up with some THINGS ALISHA LOVES!

- A Day on the Farm by Nancy Fielding Hulick and John P. Miller

Yes it totally perpetuates gender stereotypes and negates the day-to-day struggles of farm life but curling up with this Little Golden Book is like sinking into a warm tub of Americana. I could spend hours with Farmer Brown and his family and their bucolic, Leave It To Beaver-y life. ("The big folks sit and chat on the front porch while the children play hide-and-go-seek. A harvest moon is rising over the fields.") Even if you aren't a sucker for nostalgia, the illustrations alone are worth a look. (10 points if you can identify half of the utensils in Mrs. Brown's kitchen.)

- Time Out New York Kids
And not just because they recently gave me an assignment. (April issue, here I come!)

- Awkward Family Photos
I could spend hours here. Hooooooours.

- Will Ferrell sunscreen
SPF 30 and Will Farrell's bare ass? Yes.

- Antique quilts...
like the one featured behind these two totally intimidating shop owners.

- Totally intimidating shop owners
As a rule, handlebar mustaches don't inspire me. But paired with the glasses and the slicked back 'do? I'm in. (Maybe it's the resemblance to Malcolm McDowell in Time After Time. I'll ask Freud.)

- J.D. Salinger
I'm currently re-reading The Catcher In The Rye and while I find Holden as aggravating as ever, there's something about the petulance of Salinger's characters that warms my heart. Plus I'm a sucker for any description of New York in the 40's. (E.B. White's Here Is New York, anyone?) But mostly I love J.D. for writing my favorite book of all time. (20 points if you can guess which one.)

- The dustbowl-meets-circus aesthetic of HBO's (sadly defunct) Carnivale

- Which is why I'm itching to try this place.

- Bangs.
Mostly because I can't have them.

- The new Stella McCartney line for GapKids
Why yes, I will be waiting in line (along with every other mommy in Manhattan) when these looks are unleashed. Just because I look like crap doesn't mean my kid has to.

- Pretty much anything Wade Robson choreographs on SYTYCD

- This awesome, awesome shirt.

Okay, off to do some real (read: paid) writing. Or take a nap. (Cue waking toddler...)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Who wouldn't want to play with this guy?

Whelp, my little brush with internet fame is over - for now. (GRAND PLANS, PEEPS! GRAND PLANS! And by that I mean that I have no plans.)

It was fun while it lasted, though. Well, it was mostly fun. Comment boards really bring out the wingnuts. I didn't have it too bad (it's not like I was writing about circumcision*) but a few people took my article way, way too much to heart. I thought I was writing a heartfelt-but-comedic piece about playground politics but some parents weren't seeing the funny.

At all.

I've decided that anonymity and the internet don't mix. There's something about not having to publish your real name that turns people into bullies. And I don't even think that it makes people more honest - it's like it triggers some deep, primal aggression. I understand the critical comments I received from those raising autistic/developmentally disabled kids. Valid, all. But I'm pretty sure some of the other ones were written by bored, lonely folks who needed something to complain about and their neighbors/delivery people/kickable pets weren't around. I actually found myself feeling sorry for Paris Hilton. Being disliked, even by people who don't know you, feels rotten.

Speaking of not letting small people hurt your feelings, today after nap time my todder - my sweet, angel boy - told me, in no uncertain terms, to go away.

Go away? Where did he learn that batch of awfulness? I blame those little bastards at the playground. The obnoxious "big" kids (usually Kindergarteners) who take over the toddler boat and declare it off-limits to boys or babies or kids they don't know. As a mother who's prone to hovering, I constantly struggle with letting Owen claim independence, and part of being independent is learning how to handle some inevitable rejection. But when I hear those little jerks tell at my boy to leave them alone I want to do unspeakable violence. He's a baby! He shouldn't have to feel rejection yet! I know that innocence has to wear off and that it's totally normal for kids at this age to start losing their purity and gentleness, but he's a BAAAABY! And even though he doesn't understand exactly what they're saying, he understands enough. (Apparently he understands what "go away" means now too, which breaks my heart.)


Anybody got tips for what to tell a toddler when kids are mean? I usually do some variation on "that child doesn't want to play right now" but that's not dulling the hurt these days. What can I tell this little guy?

*All the circumcision articles - pro and con - in this week's NY Mag were fascinating, by the way.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Maybe we should start substituting the Dictionary

It's articles like this that make me want to punch something. Not that I condone punching, or any sort of aggressive physicality (you paying attention, kid?) but... ugh.


Check me out on Babble's Bad Parent column! I promise not to let the fame go to my head. Or my upper lip. (I've got to get my kid a fake mustache.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This may come as a shock but if you throw your back and out and can't sit for a week, it makes typing awful damn tricky.

But now that I'm in physical therapy, I'm ready to rock and roll! (Or sit and stare, as the case may be.) Lucky for me I'm ramped on half-price Halloween candy (you know the economy's bad when they put the candy on sale before the holiday) and trying very hard to remember that eating my weight in Kit Kats is a Don't. I can't wait for Halloween! Since the boy's favorite word is "bee" his costume was a no-brainer. He's been breaking it in for the last few weeks, parading about with his chubby legs and Look At Me grin. The hat's a little small (more like a yarmulke with antennae) but that don't stop the cute. Rumor has it the guy who plays Alan on Sesame Street (he's the new Mr. Hooper, for those sans pre-Ks) lives in our building so we'll be making a pilgrimage to his place come Halloween as soon as I stalk out his apartment number.

Let me tell you, the kids make out good in this building. 46 floors, 15 apartments on each floor. And that's just one building! Even if only half the people offer candy, that's a lot of loot. This time of year always makes me crave a house. My happiest memories are of running from house to house, seeing the kids up ahead, finding out who gave pennies (or - gasp! - FULL SIZED BARS). Now kids just go to the mall, I guess. Do your kids still go house to house? Anybody collecting for UNICEF? (I totally thought about doing that this year. It's not like Owen will be eating the candy anyway.)

In other news, I'm learning that soon-to-be-2-year-olds cry a lot. Seems like everything makes Owen fritz these days. Pancakes aren't ready fast enough, the world ends. Toy car won't roll in the right direction? Smack it, then cry. Crayon isn't the right color? Wail, bang on table, then toss it. He's not tantruming exactly, but there's a definite shift. And why is it suddenly so hard to diaper this kid? I know the diaper-while-standing trick but I've always found it difficult at best (and if there's a poop, neigh on impossible). Anybody else's kid start refusing the changing table? Any good solutions? Because I am going to sell this kid to the gypsies if he doesn't stop kicking. (I've babysat kids who actually aimed for my face. Needless to say, it did not end pretty.)

Tears aside, he's still a ball of sunshine. He's talking up a storm and managing to put together some pretty great sentences, mostly having to do with things he deems awesome. ("See dat cool car?", "Eat pancake! Mmm!") But he still can't pronounce his H's so I get to pretend that I have a French baby for a little while longer. ("Daddy 'ave a 'at!") Is it wrong to hope that he never learns the correct way to say "bubbles"?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've totally thrown my back out again but this is tooootally easing my pain.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tell me how you really feel, kid.

In other news, my son is wandering around the apartment muttering, "Mama be POOP."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I know how ya feel, kid.

I've never understood how attachment parents do it. I'm not saying that I don't understand attachment parents - hell, I was one (at least inadvertently) for the first 6 months of Owen's life. I just don't know how they survive. Maybe it's because the boy has been sleeping with me on the saggy, baggy loveseat most nights (still so sick! Still!) or perhaps I'm just going stir crazy from our housebound state but I am seriously twitchy for break from the babe. I say this knowing full well how lucky I am, that there are women who work full-time who that would gladly trade places with me. But really, there's only so much baby I can take. And sleeping with him (especially on a Barbie-sized sofa) sucks the life out of me.

Right now parenting feels a touch tedious. I try to remind myself that he's only little once and that some day he'll shove me away when I go to cuddle him and think that playing with me is akin to punishment, but there are days when I would gladly sell him to the gypsies for 5 minutes on Facebook. Sometimes I get irrationally angry. Especially in the middle of the night. Especially nights like last night where he was awake for 3. solid. hours. (At 4 am I gave myself a time out after announcing that our son was staying awake on purpose, and that I no longer wanted any more children.) I should really cut the kid some slack. He can't breathe and feels crummy and the sheets feel scratchy and the plastic cover we've put on his mattress makes loud crinkly noises every time he moves and his body aches and he probably has a fever. But I still get pissed.

I know this isn't an uncommon complaint. Parenting mags devote heavy ink to the "I'm sick of my kids" contingent. I just haven't figured out a solution. What do you do when you're feeling DONE, aside from stenciling "This Too Shall Pass" over the crib? (Feel free to chime in with your own tales of woe so I d0n't feel quite so crummy.)