When it comes to parenting, I want to say two words to you. Just two words. Are you listening? Rubber sheets.
Don’t let the last few strawberries shrivel in the fridge. Wash, slice, quick freeze on waxed paper, then store in freezer bags for milkshakes and smoothies. #parenthacks
You’re probably already following this amazing blog — but if somehow you aren’t, then consider this your lucky day. There are GREAT ideas on here. And, the picture is pretty but this ain’t Pinterest, folks.
Julia Lavigne is an illustrator and my new favorite person in the world. (Sorry husband and kids.)
I wrote some words — and Julia turned the words into ART. Virtual high five to Julia! And a hug! And a smooch! And then one more high five! There are seven more of our cartoons featured on the Huffington Post right now so please go look and then, if you like them, share them with people you love. If you don’t like them, share them with people you hate. I don’t care. Just share them.
I wrote this essay for Babble in 2011 and every once in a while a friend will ask me about “the toddler thing” I wrote. Here it is again. Well, here’s some of it and a link to the rest on Babble.
One morning, my then one-and-a-half-year-old son unlocked the child-safety latch of our bottom bathroom drawer. Upon finding my makeup, he began breathing heavily with excitement and staggering around. What a haul! What loot! Imagine his disappointment when, just as he was about to pry the shiny cap off a red lipstick, I picked him up and carried him out of the bathroom. I didn’t congratulate him on his discovery. I didn’t point him in the direction of the hallway’s white walls and say, “My home is your canvas. Go forth and create.” Instead, I ruined everything.
Before I had children, when I’d go to the grocery store and see a little kid in the cereal aisle screaming and crying, I’d shake my head. Why was it that every time I saw a toddler, he or she was throwing some kind of fit? What could be so difficult about spending the day playing, napping, and eating? Now, after living among their kind, I should apologize. Not to you, but to them. Here’s the sad truth: for toddlers, the world is a rough place full of squelched mysteries, restrained freedoms, and nonsensical commands. I think I’d rather be fourteen again than be a toddler.
What does an old, forgotten Goldfish cracker from the bottom of a car seat taste like? What kind of pattern does yogurt make when it splatters onto the floor? What sound do cookbook pages make as they are torn in half? These and many other great discoveries are often stopped by us, the big people in our toddlers’ lives.
How frustrating! What must it be like to get stopped by a security guard time and time again? To be constantly redirected and rerouted as you tried to go about your day, without an understanding of what you had done wrong? What if you sat down to read the newspaper and drink your coffee when suddenly – out of nowhere – some giant swooped down and plopped you in front of a pile of plastic blocks? You bet you’d protest. You’d holler your tush off.
So what’s the reward for a toddler’s natural curiosity? A little freedom and encouragement? No, just the opposite. Oppression! We pin them to furniture all day long: the stroller, the car seat, the high chair. All of the straps! All of the restraints! How maddening it must be to sit, captive, in front of a tray covered with food you can’t identify or don’t remember liking. No wonder it’s so often tossed to the floor.
Urban Outfitters is currently selling something called “Mom Jeans” on their website. So, yes, Hell has frozen over.
The weird thing about the fact that I just threw out a plastic whistle my son got at a party last week is that it took me a week to do it.
I love that LeanIn.org and the Girl Scouts have partnered to help empower girls and encourage them to lead. I love what they’re doing. I just don’t love how they’ve chosen to word their message. I don’t like the decision to build the campaign around “ban bossy.”
My number one problem with the campaign is that being bossy is not a bad thing. Being a leader is a good thing. Thus, banning a word like “bossy” trivializes the effort in recent years to stop (not ban) people from carelessly using words in a way that is truly derogatory, offensive and cruel.
Actress Jane Lynch, who is part of the “ban bossy” campaign, is also one of the most visible members of the end-the-R-word effort. And, quite honestly, I think that’s unfortunate. If you look at the two campaigns head to head… Well, one seems quite silly in comparison to the other.
And what does “banning bossy” mean? Is a student supposed to raise her hand and complain to the teacher if someone calls her “bossy?” Are we going to hear about some 5-year-old kid getting kicked out of Kindergarten because he called a classmate “the B-word”?
The “ban bossy” campaign features bossy AND amazing women like Condoleezza Rice, Diane von Furstenberg, Jennifer Garner and Beyonce. (Condoleezza Rice is the former Secretary of State. I assume she’s quite bossy. And I mean that in the best possible way.)
Instead of having the powerful women talk about “banning bossy,” I would have liked a still simple and hashtag-able campaign such as, “#IAmBossy” or “#ThisIsBossy” or “#Don’tYouWantToBeLikeBeyonce?” or “#BossypantsIsOneOfMyFavoriteBooksEver.”
It’s easier to change how WE react to a word than to change words that OTHERS use. The message I would have preferred is take ‘bossy’ as a compliment. Hillary Clinton is bossy. Oprah is bossy. Tina Fey is bossy. And Sheryl Sandberg is bossy too. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Fun fact about my post: "If Toddlers Answered the Proust Questionnaire" that’s now on the Huffington Post… If you click on it, you live longer.