In the past few months, I've mostly been rereading novels I had read before--most notably, I was already midway through Snow Crash [reviewed here] when Facebook announced its intention to create the Metaverse, so that was chillingly appropriate! Let's hope we don't all catch a brain-stem virus. Anyway, I also read two excellent nonfiction books … Continue reading Growing Sustainable Together, Ramona’s World, and The Vagina Bible [book reviews]
15 Ways to Build a Smarter Kid
I said that in 2019 I was going to write a series on this topic, and here it is New Year's Eve and I haven't! So here's my outline, and feel free to comment with questions about these topics, and I'll get to work on this in 2020! UPDATE: I've now filled in the outline … Continue reading 15 Ways to Build a Smarter Kid
Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 2
This is a guest post by Jill Exman Tedlock. Read Part 1 here! What do I feed my kid? We follow Kids Eat in Color's recommendation of feeding kids exactly what adults are served. Kids Eat in Color toes a pretty hard line: Kids eat “adult food”. In our house, we serve both things the … Continue reading Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 2
Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 1
This is a guest post by Jill Exman Tedlock, whom I met through New Mom's Coffee, an absolutely wonderful resource here in metropolitan Pittsburgh. Once you've attended this in-person discussion group, you can join several affiliated Facebook groups to discuss raising children of different ages or to discuss related topics, like cooking for your family. … Continue reading Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 1
Cutting Back on Car Snacks
My family spends a lot less time in the car than the American average, but we get into our car for hours-long errand binges some weekends and several long road trips each year. For the past three school years, my son had to be driven through urban rush-hour traffic to a weekly activity at dinnertime. … Continue reading Cutting Back on Car Snacks
How to Get Preschoolers to Help with Housework
There are various methods for teaching a child how to do household tasks and motivating her to be involved in the daily work of maintaining the family home. One that's worked well for me is this: Show the child how to solve a problem she created, and then extend her new skill into routine maintenance. … Continue reading How to Get Preschoolers to Help with Housework
Two Books for Me, Two for My Four-Year-Old
Next week, I'll be starting a new job! That's great news in general, but it means I only have two days left to savor my daily bus ride with my four-year-old Lydia, bringing her home from preschool. My new job's location makes it too difficult and time-consuming for me to get to Lydia's school by … Continue reading Two Books for Me, Two for My Four-Year-Old
Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder
After I wrote about a stranger's astonishment that my four-year-old daughter understands what I read to her, and the book involved happened to be On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, my mom sent me a link to an article about the recent controversy over whether Wilder's books are appropriate for today's … Continue reading Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder
Our kids understand books because we read them books!
Well, it's happened with the second child: That moment when a total stranger interrupts my reading aloud to voice the opinion that the child is too young to understand what I'm reading. Here's how I described this phenomenon when my first child was 4 years old: I must say, I got far less flak from … Continue reading Our kids understand books because we read them books!
Tater-Totter: A 4-year-old’s Traffic Safety Invention
Lydia and I were riding in the back seat of our car, along the highway at the beginning of our family's Memorial Day vacation. Lydia was looking out the window at the passing cars and suddenly turned to me. LYDIA: Mama, do you know about a tater-totter? That's a car but with two wheels in … Continue reading Tater-Totter: A 4-year-old’s Traffic Safety Invention
My 3-year-old’s 3 Favorite Foods
Both of my children have gone through a sequence of behavior toward food that's familiar to a lot of parents: They started out eagerly sampling the foods their parents eat and liking almost everything! Then, around the third birthday, they became much more particular and soon established a short list of acceptable foods, just a … Continue reading My 3-year-old’s 3 Favorite Foods
Little House on the Prairie: Too racist for children?
I love the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and have treasured the experience of sharing them with my children. Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book that interested Nicholas enough for me to read it to him. His sister Lydia's first chapter book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of … Continue reading Little House on the Prairie: Too racist for children?
The Urban Nature Experience All Children Deserve
On the way home from preschool on Monday, after we got off the bus in our neighborhood, Lydia stopped to examine a pine tree in the tiny yard of an apartment building. I took this opportunity to get some photos of her looking cute in her winter gear (she'd insisted on wearing two hooded cardigans … Continue reading The Urban Nature Experience All Children Deserve
Easy Costume for Dr. Seuss Day
It's Dr. Seuss's birthday! This is the day to enjoy reading a Dr. Seuss book, no matter how old you are. Stop by your local library and look for one you haven't read before! That's how we found Scrambled Eggs Super! (reviewed here). If you've never read I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew … Continue reading Easy Costume for Dr. Seuss Day
Top 17 Articles of 2017
This isn’t really a blog. It’s a constantly expanding reference book. Most years, the most popular articles are more than a year old--they've had more time for other sites to link to them. I've made two Top 17 lists here: The articles written in 2017 that were most popular, and the articles that were overall … Continue reading Top 17 Articles of 2017
Coping with a Clingy Child
Are you the parent struggling to leave your child's school each day as he clings to your legs, screaming and crying? Is every morning a struggle to get yourself ready for work and your kid ready for childcare, while she delays in every way imaginable until you're shrieking in frustration, and then she looks at … Continue reading Coping with a Clingy Child
Every school needs a Jacob!
My three-year-old Lydia and I recently enjoyed a picture book from our local library, Jacob's New Dress by Sarah & Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. Jacob is a preschool boy who enjoys wearing dresses from the costume box but is criticized by his classmate Christopher. His mom is kind about his hurt feelings, but when … Continue reading Every school needs a Jacob!
Horses don’t dance in the bathtub.
Lydia, three years old, informed me that this is NOT called a soap dish. It is a soap bench. You can see her point. Immediately after this pronouncement, she stood up and started dancing. MAMA: Don't dance in the bathtub. It's slippery. LYDIA: I am just showing you how horses dance. (slips a little; casually … Continue reading Horses don’t dance in the bathtub.
The Dishwasher Ladybug
Many things in our home previously belonged to our relatives. I claimed many books, dishes, pieces of furniture, and framed artwork from my grandparents' homes after they died. Daniel's parents and grandparents have given us household items that they don't need anymore but that are still useful. Making use of these things in our home is a way … Continue reading The Dishwasher Ladybug
Bedtime List: How to organize a child’s routine
Our two-year-old Lydia has always been the type who takes a while to wind down, but in the late spring after she stopped nursing, she went pretty easily into a relatively smooth routine of listening to several stories and then saying good night and lying alone in her bed in the dark listening to a … Continue reading Bedtime List: How to organize a child’s routine