Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Monday, September 24, 2012

School Lockers: The New Design Frontier

This year my 4th graders got lockers.

If you have kids who don’t have lockers yet, you know this is a really big deal. 

Thanks to Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, my kids have spent hundreds (thousands?) of hours watching good-looking teens and their fascinating lives unfold against a backdrop of these mysterious, stacked metal cubicles.  They’re not just ‘lockers,’ they’re totems of maturity.  A sign that your fascinating life is about to begin!

Livi was so excited.  “I can’t wait to decorate it!”

“You mean pick out a combination lock?  Sure!  You can have any color you want.  Would you like green?  I know you love green.”

“No.  Decorate it!  With wallpaper, and a lamp, and a carpet…”

WTF?  Excuse me?  We’re talking about your locker, right?” 

Welcome to "Better Schools and Lockers."
Forget the whiteboard and matching magnets.  Kids are pimping out their lockers (I smell a TLC show, "Pimp My Locker!") and there’s a whole new generation of décor available; chandeliers, shag rugs and matching vanity sets that transform your locker from a dumping ground for heavy books and old lunches into a “Hallway Haven.”

It's insane.  Some of these lockers could grace the pages of Elle Decor.
I mean, is this really necessary?  Wallpaper?  Lighting fixtures?  And this stuff ain’t cheap.  The chandelier was $25.  Sure it lit up, but unless I can find tiny Barbie sized chandelier bulbs at Target I’m pretty sure once that sucker goes out it’ll cost me another fortune.

My friends and I imagine how we'd outfit our lockers.  One friend suggested a miniature DJ booth in hers and a disco ball so that every time your locker door opens, it's like a party in there; I think mine might be more like a spa outfitted in teak wood and smelling of eucalyptus.  You lift the finger latch and are caressed with the sounds of ocean waves, chirping birds and wood instruments; Kind of like at the gym...but without the old sneaker smell.

I'm okay with a little self-expression, but I can't help wondering what's next (and how much it's going to cost me); battery powered mini-fridges; tiny minibars, little velvet ropes to put around your math book?  How much decorated personal space does a kid need?

On second thought, maybe if I buy her that shag carpet she so desperately wants, she'll stop nagging me about getting her own room.

(Livi's locker. )

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Shiny Vagina

(TMI ALERT!!!...You know, in case you didn't get that from the title.  TURN BACK NOW if you don't like to talk 'vaginas').

It's been a while since I've had a bikini wax.

Not like a "few weeks" kind of 'while' - more like a "few seasons."  Okay, I'm exaggerating, but my point is you need a GPS to find anything down there.

Last night this was dinner conversation for me and my boyfriend at one of our favorite Italian restaurants.  Over torta della nonna - AMAZING torta della nonna - I shared "I need a wax."  As if he wasn't already aware of this fact.

No response. 

"You think so too, obviously."

He looked up from cake. "I didn't say anything."

"I know.  That's how I know you think so."

"I didn't SAY a word!"  He'd deny it, but I totally saw a smirk.

"I know you prefer it when I have a shiny vagina.  I'll go tomorrow.  It's okay.  You can say it."

He put down his fork. (Wouldn't you?) "Say what?  I didn't say anything."

I ignored his false protests.  "Why can't I just let it all go.  And none of this 'landing strip' stuff either.  What if I just went all 'native'?  You know, it would be like landing a plane in the Amazon forest."


"Come on.  It could be so retro!"

"I thought you liked to get bikini waxes?"

"What?!  NO!  Would you like hot wax poured on your balls and ripped off?"

"Well no.  Not when you put it like that."

"What do you think happens in there?  Do you picture some hot Eastern European woman lovingly slathering wax on my privates while a small grouping of angels delicately pat then lift the congealing wax from my netherlands resulting is a lovely shiny vagina that sparkles in the sunlight.  Little 'tings' of light glittering here and there like bright clean teeth in a toothpaste ad?"

"That sounds nice."

"Well it's not."

"Okay...Then don't do it."

"What?!  EW!  I have to!!  I'm creeping out of my swimsuit."

The couple at the table next to us looked over.  And squirmed.

"Okay.  Enough."

"Just saying.  It just sucks that as women it's ONE MORE thing we need to do.  Don't men know we're busy?"

"I don't know what you want me to say here."

"Just admit you like nicely-kept vagina.  Not all hairy."

"Uh.  Okay."

"That's all I'm sayin'.  You eating your dessert?"

"It's all yours."

And that ladies, is how you get the torta della nonna all to yourself.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tori Spelling says "NEVER BE BORED AGAIN!"

Just a REMINDER that there is still time to be a part of Tori Spelling's and Lunchable's Never Be Bored Again" campaign and make a difference to Boy's and Girl's Clubs across America!

The star of "Craft Wars" and mother of 4 (I got to interview her THE DAY BEFORE she had her 4th - THAT'S a trooper...) INVITES ALL OF YOU to take pictures of YOUR boredom-busting activities and share them with her and Kraft at! 

Now here's the REALLY awesome part!  EVERY PICTURE that's uploaded from today through October 15, 2012 will generate a $1 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs across America (up to $100,000).  How great is that??!!

ALSO (yes there's more!) AFTER you upload your photo, you will receive a $1-off coupon for new Lunchables with Smoothie (while supplies last of course).

So SNAP to it and GET SNAPPIN'!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A 9 Year Old's POV on the Presidential Campaign

Interior scene.  Nighttime.  Dinner is on the table.  Hungry children dig in (yet still manage to complain I put out the wrong grated cheese):

Scott:  Ben, who are the presidential candidates?
Ben:  Mitt and Barack…Obama.
Scott:  Right.  And which is republican and which is democrat?
Ben:  Mitt is republican.  Obama is democrat.
Scott:   And how can you tell the difference? 
Ben:  One is a total maniac and one is decent.

I guess it’s just a matter of perspective from there.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget - 9/11

This morning Isabel said "You know what today is, Mom?"

I expected her to say "It's math quiz day." or  "It's Sloane's Birthday."  That's the sort of stuff that seems worthy of pre-cereal note.  But when I said "What day is today?"

She said "9/11."

I don't know why it surprised me.  Maybe because she didn't say it with with the enthusiasm attached to a holiday that gives her a break from school, but with the solemnity of a day that's important and should be noted.

I'm glad she thought it was worthy of mentioning.  But what pleased me most was the fact that she seemed to understand that it was a day that meant something - that it was a day to be remembered.

As my kids (achem...and I ) get older it's so weird to see how my past becomes her "history."   That 9/11 to her is kind of how I feel about Kennedy's assassination - touched but removed.

I had already moved from NYC to LA when the towers went down.   I remember waking up that morning and getting in the shower for work.  My husband at the time knocked on the shower door.  "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!!  Get out here!!!!"


Soaking wet and still covered in soap and shampoo I jumped out of the shower, grabbing a towel to run into the living room.

I stood in a wet soapy puddle watching the news roll the same footage over and over.  I imagine this was a necessary evil for all the people who, like me, just couldn't believe what they were seeing.  A hole in the seemingly impenetrable monolith - surreal, frightening and smoking.  Then a sudden explosion in the second tower after a passenger plane barely noticeable at first glance is seen flying at an oddly low and seamlessly straight line toward the site - slicing through the side of the tower like a knife through butter.  The horror was palpable.  You could feel the snuffing of life. There was a moment of realization - "this was intentional."

We just watched with our mouths gaping at the TV.  Watching the carnage.  The burning.  The desperation as people - people just like you and me - chose jumping over burning.

We watched waiting for something to make it better.  To see how they/SOMEBODY would make it OK.  But they didn't.  Nobody did.  All you could see were flames and ashes and terror. 

I was just sobbing.  I had never in my life witnessed actual death.  This was what real horror looked like. 

I looked at Steven who looked like somebody was pointing a loaded gun at him.  "Doug Gardner is in there!  HALF my lawyers league are in there!"


I tried to call our friends and family in NY to see what was happening.  We got through on my mom's cell phone and she was fine.  My cousin was in Tribeca though and couldn't get out.  But at least she was safe.

Our friend, Doug Gardner, was not.  He was in the towers that morning and I still can't bring myself to think what that morning was like for him...or his family.  His wife, Jennifer Gardner (now Jennifer Gardner Trulson), wrote a book titled Where You Left Me last year about her experience losing the love of her life, and father of her two children, in this tragic disaster.  I don't know if I'd have been so brave. 

9/11 was a tragic, horrific day that redefined our nation's sense of security.  It not only made us realize our vulnerabilities, but it lifted a veil for many head-in-the-sand-Americans - myself included - who had gone their whole lives feeling like the world's problems were somewhere else.  Somewhere far away.  The reality is, the world's problems are right here.  And we need to be the change we want to see.

So hearing my daughter take note of the importance of the day and even asking me to sit and watch YouTube videos of the disaster with her is comforting in the strangest and most unexpected of ways.  People say we need to "Remember 9/11"  And I can honestly say that from what I see, history is being passed on effectively, and that our children will, indeed, remember.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just Because - Chicks in Hats

Ever since we hatched chickens in Mrs. Climan's 4th grade class and Alison Eisenberg's mother let her take home two of the teensy, tiny, fluffy, cheeping chickadees (while my OWN mother denied me the peeping poultry...) I've loved baby chicks.   So, had to share.

Photo Credit: Julie Persons / Barcroft Media via Landov

Want more chicks in hats?   Just go to for "Just Because: 11 Pictures of Chicks in Hats". in MSNBC's morning show.  Apparently they find chicks in hats newsworthy.  And I kind of love them for it.

And if you're wondering, " seem like you'd be such a fun mom!  Would you let your kids bring home baby chicks now?" 

The answer is no.  Absolutely not.  I remember going to Alison's house a few months later and the chickens were full grown.  I thought "Wow.  So glad I didn't get a chicken.  Thems is some ugly *ss birds."

So.  No full grown chickens for our family.

Click HERE for more pictures of chicks in hats.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Could Your Child Be S.T.U.U.P.I.D.?

Scientists are baffled by the recent discovery of a disturbing and potentially fatal childhood disorder known as “Suicidal Tikes Under-Utilizing Protective Indicators Dysfunction”, or S.T.U.U.P.I.D

Diagnosis of S.T.U.U.P.I.D. children is on the rise and no one can figure out why.   Some experts say it is the result of environmental toxins.  Others argue it has been around for years.

Karen Lahey’s daughter was diagnosed as S.T.U.U.P.I.D. last December.   “It all happened so fast.  At first we noticed she liked to climb up on the kitchen counters then we caught her hanging out the second story window waving at the neighbor’s kitty.   She could have killed herself! It was devastating.”

What are the signs a child is S.T.U.U.P.I.D.?  We asked Dr. Emily Nolan a prominent pediatrician from Beverly Hills to explain.  “Children’s brains work like a game of marbles. Each marble has the ability to tell another marble where to go.   What to do.  Each marble reacts naturally to another. When a child is S.T.U.U.P.I.D., they don’t make connections.  They don’t see the indicators of danger all around them and their brains don’t trigger the crucial instinct to protect themselves.  For S.T.U.U.P.I.D. children, some marbles are missing. “

How can you tell if your child is S.T.U.U.P.I.D.?  Despite the fact that their parents tell them “no,” S.T.U.U.P.I.D. children feel the need to hurl their bodies through space, across slippery floors and into wall units containing crystal, limoge and other breakable objects.  They are unable to control their impulses and are oblivious to potential risk.

“My grandson, Kyle, could see a wall right in front of him and just keep running. It’s heartbreaking really.” Said a grandmother of a S.T.U.U.P.I.D. child who asked not to be identified.

We interviewed one child who was born S.T.U.U.P.I.D. and asked him “What is it that compels you to jump off the sofa over a glass coffee table and onto a slick hardwood floor right in front of a lit fireplace.   The child simply answered, “I want to.”  Apparently, total disregard for safety is the most common theme among children who are S.T.U.U.P.I.D..

“There is still so little we know about this disorder and we’re learning more every day.   There doesn’t seem to be any correlation between race or religion and children who are S.T.U.U.P.I.D.. In fact, studies show that children of all races are susceptible to being S.T.U.U.P.I.D..

As of now, there is no known cure. Experts recommend that if you see signs your child is S.T.U.U.P.I.D., the best way to proceed is find a S.T.U.U.P.I.D. support group in your area, hide sharp objects, and put your local fire department on speed dial.

Disclaimer: No stupid children were harmed in researching this piece.  But a good laugh was had at their expense.

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