A decade ago, I worked at an invention marketing company, whose services were intended to help people who had ideas for new products hook up with companies who would manufacture those products. Some really cool stuff came through, but there were also a lot of silly ideas. The Federal Trade Commission forced the company to … Continue reading Invention Marketing Claims
Counting to three is a discipline technique used different ways by different parents. I've seen it used as a gentle way to assert authority, which is what I'm going to talk about here. I've also seen it used as a threat ("Do it before I count to three or I'll whip you!") and as a … Continue reading Counting to Three
Disclaimer: This is one of those "This is what works for my family" type articles. We have only one child. All children are different. These are some ideas that have been useful to us that we hope will be helpful to other parents. My favorite online source of information about all things child-related is Mothering Magazine's huge array of … Continue reading Tips for Expectant Parents
One of the people to whom I e-mailed this story in 1998 requested that I post it. At the time this was written, Daniel and I were sharing a house with two friends, Bill and Steph. Lest any of you may be feeling that your housekeeping skills are deficient, here's a story to demonstrate that … Continue reading The Horror of the Porch!
As of last August, I've lived in Pittsburgh longer than in any other town. Sixteen years, and I still love it! Pittsburgh is the #1 most livable city in America. I grew up in Oklahoma, so that's my basis for comparison, and Pittsburgh wins in many ways: I like walkable neighborhoods, not spread-out ranch houses and strip … Continue reading Pittsburgh: A Love Letter
SCENE I: our dining room, a couple of weeks ago NICK (age 3): I want a plum! MAMA: (picking up plate with toast crumbs that has been on table all day) Okay, I'll put it on this plate. NICK: No! That plate has crumbs on it! MAMA: I will brush off the crumbs. NICK: NO!!! … Continue reading The Yogurt of Christ???
It was around this time last year that I suddenly questioned my use of ballpoint pens. You know, those ubiquitous plastic-cased pens that--if they don't jam--keep writing until they run out of ink and have to be thrown away. They were my usual type of writing implement at work and at home, and I carried … Continue reading A Year of Pencils
I was a shy child. I liked to be around people and was very interested in them, but for some reason I found it difficult to talk to unfamiliar people or even to feel that they were looking at me, and I was nervous that I might do something "wrong" that would make people yell at or laugh … Continue reading Breaking the shell of shyness