Tag Archives: children

Yes, It’s a Thing. 

Took three of the kids to the dentist last week for cleanings and checkups. It broke my heart when my ten year old girl had two (small) cavities. It broke my heart because she spends 45 minutes brushing and flossing twice a day. The heartbreak was especially acute because my twelve and fourteen year old boys once again had no cavities. 

I don’t know if my fourteen year old actually brushes his teeth, but I know that something is going on because on most days he smells like a combination of deodorant and mouthwash. As for my twelve year old, it’s less clear. He brushes his teeth at night if I remind him, but I know for a fact that he does not believe that brushing his teeth in the morning is “a thing.” How do I know this? 

Me: “Brush your teeth after breakfast.”

Him: “I don’t think that’s a thing.” 

Me: “What’s not a thing?” 

Him: “Brushing your teeth in the morning.” 

Yup, as far as he is concerned, the morning brushing falls into the same dodgy category as the daily shower, the winter coat and utensils. (I’ll take Things That Exist, But Not For Me, for 500 please, Alex.)

Hence my heartbreak as those two boys high-fived each other in the waiting room while Little Miss Dental Hygiene made an appointment for a follow up. 

The dentist assured me that dental chickens always come home to roost. I’m not so sure. I’m not paranoid or anything, really I’m not. But let’s just say that girls who work hard only to be bested by boys who wing it…. Let’s just say that THAT better not become a thing. 

Unless it already is.   

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Filed under children, Dentist

Snow Job

Yesterday it snowed. Because all of Seattle would come to a polite, but screeching halt with an inch of snow (and because snow in LA is as common as visible signs of aging), after fifteen years on the west coast, I’d never really had to drive in it.

Not so in New York City.

I told a friend that I was going to cancel an appointment I had later in the day and she looked at me as though I had just said, “I’m sorry. I’d open that jar of baby food and feed your starving infant, but I’m afraid to chip a nail.”

Still, while I was prepared to brave the elements, my minivan was not. I piled out of the driveway and immediately got stuck on this hill:


(Do not judge. Yesterday it was covered in snow.)

I’m not sure how, but I got the car back in the garage and walked Sidney to school, which means I carried her after she fell in the snow and soaked her capri pants (again, with the seasonally inappropriate clothing).

The kids wore themselves out playing in the snow after school (that’s right Seattleites: School!) which meant we only had to yell at them for 30 minutes to get them to sleep instead of the usually 90. (When the annoying gratitude people get me to make a list, remind to say bedtimes on snow days.)

Still, I was once again up before the sun. Sid seems to have shifted her DPT to five-something in the morning, because she trotted on in and asked me to watch her do it. I told her that if she’s blessed enough to have a Daily Poop Time, she should have the good sense and decency not to request a bloody audience.

Before I knew it, she and Fi were in our bed, fighting because someone’s feet were touching someone’s leg.

Wars have been fought over less, I’m sure.

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Filed under children, New York City, school, Seattle, Uncategorized, weather, winter

What the Flock?

Really, I don’t know why I thought moving from Seattle to NYC would mean less nature in our lives. If anything there has been more, and I’m not just talking about the Wide World of Bugs with whom we seem to be sharing the house.

This past weekend Bennett and some friends were in the house when a bird flew in. A bird. For a boy who is desperate for a pet and who has been trying to catch a nasty black New York squirrel, this was like Hannukah and his birthday rolled into one. The boys chased the bird all over the house and literally scared the shit out of it because we had to remove droppings from several surfaces. (By “we” I am referring to M.)

Eventually Bennett caught the bird … with his hands. He put the poor little critter into the hamster cage that has been unoccupied since Tracy, our little rodent, passed on over the summer.

I told him that catching birds was just like fishing, and he needed to catch and release, which he did.

The bird couldn’t get away fast enough and I can’t say I blame him. Sometimes I feel the same way…

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Filed under children, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized

In bed with the flu, a moron, and a bunch of pedophiles.

This was supposed to be the week I got a flu shot. Instead, this is the week I got the stomach flu.

Yesterday, while delirious and bed-ridden, I got to watch some daytime TV. Wow. Who let Jenny McCarthy on the View? The woman is a complete moron. Even if I didn’t know about her toxic views on vaccination, I’d still have been shocked by her ignorance. Watching her was almost more unpleasant than the stomach flu. I suspect she wears glasses to seem less unintelligent, but if that’s her goal, she could consider taping up her mouth. Shame on you, Barbara Walters.


I also discovered that somewhere in TV-land there is Law and Order SVU playing at ALL TIMES. I could not watch much of the daytime drivel (Rachel Ray gives me indigestion, looking at Kelly Ripa makes me want to slather on some sunscreen and then eat a big meal, which doesn’t go over well with the stomach flu), so I watched Law and Order for about 13 hours in a row. By the end of my marathon, I wanted to install extra locks on all the doors and hire a security guard full time to keep out the pedophiles.


This morning I woke up able to get out of bed. M, who had been playing sick nurse, looked green. He made several proclamations, most of them to the effect of: “I’m not feeling well, but I won’t be getting this as badly as you did” and “this is nothing I can’t work though.” He kept saying this as he doubled over and fell into bed, even as he broke out into shivers. He kept on saying it as he tried to take work calls horizontally, wearing his Judy-from-Time-Life headset. I have stopped correcting him. I’m going to let him have his moment in the macho-sun.

Apparently, Francie came into my room in the middle of the night and told me that she threw up. It seems I told her to have a glass of water and go back to bed. I’m trying not to feel badly about it. In case she thought I didn’t believe her, she came into my room this morning and threw up all over the place. Point taken.

Luckily, this was only the week I was supposed to get a flu shot, and not the week I was supposed to change the world.


Filed under children, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized

… say it soft and it’s almost like praying.

Nothing feels as wonderful as dropping all the kids off at school on a Monday morning. Nothing. It is especially gratifying after a week of having them all home for some reason or another. When several of them had already come down with the stomach flu, I got an email from Francie’s teacher that she’d hurt her neck during recess. Not wanting to look bad (hey, we’re new here), I went to get her. Rubbed arnica into her scrawny little neck and let her rest. She seemed to forget about the pain until someone mentioned it, or until I asked her to do something other than watch TV or try on my shoes. It was a long week.

I told Sidney, as I dropped her off this morning, that Maria, our babysitter would be picking her up today because I had to take Francie to the ENT in Manhattan. (Consequently, I started to shvitz about the driving and parking in the middle of the night.) I asked her not to pitch a fit like she did last week when Maria picked her up and she threw a full on hissy in front of her teachers.

As Maria told it, she yelled for a while in school and then continued to do so as Maria pushed her stroller down the street. At some point Maria took her into a drug store. There may have been a promise of lip gloss, because (again, this is Maria’s telling) Sidney stopped hollering looked up at her and sang, at full volume:

“Maria! I’ve just met a girl named Maria! And suddenly that name has never been the same to me! Maria! I’ve just kissed a girl named Maria! And suddenly I’ve found how wonderful a sound can be!”


Maria said all her embarrassment and frustration melted away as that bossy little three year old belted out a show tune in her honor.

I’m not usually one to share cute things my kids do. Honestly, it annoys the crap out of me when other people do it. But I realized that kids do these things so that you keep them and don’t give them away even though they yell at you in public, don’t sleep at night (this one in particular has basically been awake for eight weeks solid), or throw bowls of cereal at their sisters.

So, Sidney successfully bought herself some time with that little number.


Filed under children, parenting, school, Uncategorized

Puke in a Box…

There a few things I know for certain. One of them is that whenever M travels, one of the kids will bring home the stomach flu. There are many snippets of these years that I know I’ll forget one day, but among them is NOT the time that Efram threw up directly into my mouth.

I know I tend to exaggerate, but this actually did happen, and not just in my imagination (as Fiona would say, “Is this for real life?”). M was away on some trip or other. Efram was not yet two. He cried. I picked him up. He pointed to his mouth, so I put my face right near it to have a look inside and bada-bing, he projectiled right into mine. He’s nine now, but I’ve never been able to look at him the same way since.

This time around it was Sidney. She’s been puking on and off all week. Today, I thought she was over the worst of it, and I desperately needed to get out, so I did what all morons do when they are stuck with sick, cranky, depleted three year olds, I headed to Target. In my defense, I went for a flu shot. But on the way there, she announced that she had to puke again, so I grabbed an lidless Tupperware that had been sitting in the car for a few good weeks. (If you must know, I only own Tupperware of the lidless variety. I can keep a container and a lid together for about two weeks max.)

She yacked into the container and shoved it at me. So there I was, driving around the Bronx carrying a open container of brown, lumpy vomit.

Needless to say, although I had planned on it, I did not make lentil soup for dinner.

Fortunately for me, one does not need to see the doctor for stomach flu. I say this because we haven’t yet been accepted by the pediatrician.

That’s right. Accepted.

Although most of my fears about New York City have NOT been confirmed, it is slightly more competitive here than the Pacific NW. Shocking, I know. It seems that just like the New York Marathon (this Sunday!), before some NYC pediatricians will see you, you need to be accepted first. I therefore had to have an entire medical history for each kid sent in and reviewed. I filled out all the paperwork and sent it to our pediatrician in Seattle. Weeks went by. At some point I got on the phone, “Listen Seattleites, put down the coffee in the cup you brought from home, roll up the sleeves of your effing Polartech, and get me those files.”

Sadly, unlike New Yorkers, Seattleites do not respond well to threats. The files are trickling in. I think three of the kids have been accepted. I do not know if Sidney is among them. I’m considering getting some letters of recommendation, maybe even writing a personal statement. Perhaps I’ll even bake a cake for the admissions officer.

Now I’m really getting carried away.


Filed under children, health, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized