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Closing Up Shop: Life After Vasectomy

My husband gave me permission to write about him so to start, I’d like to talk about his genitals. More specifically, his vas deferens. That’s right, the Big V, the ol’ snip-snip. Vasectomy.   We are done reproducing, clocking in with a final score of three children. My baby is five and fiercely independent (unless she needs juice, then she’s as helpless as a newborn koala) meaning I must now focus all of my more intense mothering urges on our twelve-pound chihuahua mix.    I’m not exactly happy about it, though. Not the coddling the dog thing (although,... read more

Bang Bang

By Jenny KnuthIssue 139, November/December 2006 My husband, Greg, vividly remembers the "no weapons" policy at his preschool. It was 1970, the height of the Vietnam War, and his Montessori school was part of the counterculture. Another boy was playing next to him with a wholesome bowl of toy fruit as Greg pieced together a wooden map of the world, when "Bang!" Greg looked up to see that he'd been shot by the short end of a banana. Stunned, Greg grabbed the continent of North America. Holding Florida in one hand and Mexico in the other, he aimed Maine at the... read more

Five Things I Want My Daughters To Know

My baby, my fourteen month old, is walking.  She’s doing that little drunken sailor walk where she is able to somehow get from one end of the room to the other without actually bending her knees.  How toddlers do this is beyond me.     She is our third child.  We’ve been through this before.  But no matter how many times I see a baby learn to walk and thus march strong into the world of toddlerhood, it still amazes me, and in no small part because it is mind boggling just how often a toddler will fall down and then just simply get right back up to try again.   It... read more

Bored - Nothing to Do!

  By Sheryl Paul Everest and I have been reading a wonderful book we picked up at the library called, “Bored – Nothing to Do!” by Peter Spier. It’s a picture book about two adolescent brothers who, after being ordered by their mother to “Go do something! I was never bored at your age!” decide to build an airplane using materials that require them to completely dismantle their house. Everest, the consummate mess-maker and destruction artist, thinks the book is hysterically funny and laughs at every page. But I wonder if he’s also responding to the book’s subtext:... read more

Cry for Connection

By Patty Wipfler Issue 115, November/December 2002 The man at my parenting talk is exasperated by his two-year-old son's behavior. "First, he wants a glass of milk," he tells me. "I pour the glass and hand it to him, and he gets upset and says he doesn't want it. So I say, 'Okay, then, I'll drink the milk.' I'm trying to show him I'm flexible. But he fusses and says, 'No, don't drink it, I want it!' I offer it to him again, and he swats it away! What in the world is going on?" He adds that these episodes are increasing. What could end this cycle of contradictory wants... read more

Standing Up: Mom on Mom Bullying

For the past few days I've been working on a story as part of my freelance writing work with The Huffington Post. The topic is one I've covered before: online mom bullying. Due to increased awareness about the prevalence of bullying in our schools the term "bully" has been applied to everything from expressing dissent to actual harassment. My personal opinion is that disagreeing becomes bullying when it crosses the line into the realm of repeated personal attacks and/or directly impacts someone's quality of life.     I've written about this topic... read more

Why Birthdays Matter

                  I remember my eldest daughter’s second birthday.  I bought her one of those adorable little birthday tutu’s and a little happy birthday shirt with tulle all over it.  We decorated the entire house.  My husband left late for work that day because he wanted to see her expression when she came down the stairs into her birthday wonderland.  Her favorite part was the balloons, and I have a very clear and vivid picture in my head of her staring up at the balloons, a look of pure joy written all over her face.   We do holidays big in our... read more

Teaching Science at Home: A Guide for Parents

As more and more parents, educators and politicians recognize the importance of strong science and engineering education for our youth, increased opportunities are appearing for kids at school and in the community. A growing focus on these subjects in some schools and after school programs like STEM offer young children an educational boost: preparing them for future learning.    But what about teaching science at home? According to many parents, one of the hardest subjects to tackle themselves is science--especially once you start moving past the life... read more

Sibling Roughhousing: The Benefits of the Wrestling Ring

                      Growing up in a family of three sisters, there have been many things about raising boys that I have adjusted to along the way. The "VROOM! VROOM!!!" that erupted spontaneously from my one-year-old as his chunky toddler hands drove the toy car around the coffee table. The innate need to jump on and off the couch day after day, despite constant reminders of safety. The obsession with Star Wars and Batman. The physical response to happiness, excitement, frustration, anger...or need for connection. Some of these traits can be seen in little... read more

Isn't age 11 old enough to be crossing the street alone?

  By Suzanne Leigh   Picking up my younger daughter from a summer camp, we passed a middle school camp where cars were double and triple parked. A familiar sight and one that has always surprised me. Here’s what happens: school or camp gets out at 3:30 p.m. and parents that miss a spot in the parking lot, patrol the area at 10 mph until they catch sight of their child dawdling down the street. Then they punch the hazard lights, exit their vehicle and wave their child into the backseat. These kids are ages 11 to 14.   As one who walked to and from school years... read more

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