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Stand by your woman

Mothering reports on an important new study: The best chance of forming a long lasting relationship with an unmarried father and building the foundations for a stable family life are the critical months of pregnancy, says new research from the University of Maryland. Marriage itself is not a guarantee, the study adds. "Unmarried dads are less likely to drift away if they are involved with their partner during this vital period when a family can begin to bond," says University of Maryland human development professor Natasha J. Cabrera, the principal investigator... read more

Closing the gap

Inspiring news: Researchers have documented what they call an Obama effect, showing that a performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a 20-question test administered before Mr. Obama’s nomination all but disappeared when the exam was administered after his acceptance speech and again after the presidential election. The inspiring role model that Mr. Obama projected helped blacks overcome anxieties about racial stereotypes that had been shown, in earlier research, to lower the test-taking proficiency of African-Americans, the researchers conclude in... read more

cretinism, mother-style

When it comes to opera, I’m basically a cretin. And right now, a very proud cretin. Reeve’s in the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama’s production of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Love of Three Oranges,” which opened last night. He called after the show, giddy with the excitement of community, collaboration, and a show well done. He sent photos, and my heart swelled. So forgive me for getting a little braggy here about my boy’s part in a realm I know little about. It’s one of those things we cretin moms do best. . . # Photo courtesy of RSAMD.... read more

The Failure of Success

I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success while at the same time applying to kindergartens for Liko. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. The message of Gladwell’s book is simple: Success is the product of environment plus practice plus accidents of birth; intrinsic talent is a factor—mostly because it allows a person to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise—but not the most important one, not even close. In one chapter, Gladwell explores a classic study by sociologist Annette Lareau of childrearing in working-class with middle- and... read more

and, now, for a word about . . .

Mauthority.My nephew Nick, who is visiting us this week, was sick last night. Sick, as in hurling up his guts every half hour or so. All night long. And I was reminded (it’s been years since I’ve done the all-night sickbed vigil—so quickly we forget!) how, in the middle of the night, the welfare of a loved one in pain and in need occludes everything: deadweight exhaustion, ice-cold bare feet, even the tremendous urgency of the need to pee after those cups of tea intended to address the aforementioned exhaustion.I also was re-marveling at the old familiar awareness that I... read more

Owwwww. And perspective.

Tim and I just put our boy on a plane back to Scotland, and I am feeling the ache. A huge hole in my gut and in our house.As I was walking back to the office, though, I got hit by a big surprising wave of perspective: But, wait. Reeve is independent, on his own now, and . . . potty-trained! And he falls asleep at night by himself! He plays well with others, and when he eats spaghetti, he no longer tosses the noodles onto his head but uses silverware and puts the stuff right into his mouth! He (often) says please and thank you and doesn’t complain about homework or throw... read more

temporary home-front normalcy restored

  • by admin

Our boy Reeve is home from Scotland for three weeks, and once again the house is filled with the pitter patter of . . . double kick pedal drums. (Although studying classical voice these days, Reeve is still part metalhead.)And, despite the fact that he can now fix his own dinner and launder his own clothes, some other things remain unchanged. I came home last night to find Reeve and his longtime (since third grade!) friend Evan sitting at our kitchen table, COLORING.Life is good.#### Tags: Evan, reeve ... read more

homecoming!

  • by admin

The bird has flown home. Got in Saturday night, and there was jubilation.Photo here of Reeve carrying home the Christmas tree we picked out yesterday (his dad’s on the other end). His old friends Evan and Justen joined us for what was a really festive day.Now, finally, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. . .#PS Am also including a photo of our fake fireplace, just to share the festive fun.############### Tags: christmas=, fireplace, reeve, tree ... read more

Who knew?

Turns out many dinosaurs were stay-at-home dads:   Dinosaur dads played an active role in raising their young and often served as single parents, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science. The researchers examined bones belonging to eight different dinosaurs that were fossilized in "brooding postures" near clutches of eggs. None of them included medullary bone, a form of bone tissue found in female birds and some female dinosaurs that is mined for calcium when they lay eggs, the researchers reported... Dino daddies may have evolved as active... read more

Chrismahanukwanzukah Daddy Books

I'll be taking the rest of December off from blogging, but just in time for the holidays, I'm posting a revised, updated version my list of children's books that depict men as caregivers (originally written back in June). If you're looking for books to buy, you might also take a look at my family's list of most-loved children's books. Have a nice Chrismahanukwanzukah! See you in January!It's an empirical fact that fathers are comparatively rare in children's books — when economist David A. Anderson and psychologist Mykol Hamilton studied 200 children's books in 2005,... read more

Mothering › Child Articles