My Doctor Dilemma: Guilt Trips Don’t Work on Me

Mar 31, 2014 by

I went to the dentist last week to get a couple fillings.  (I’m 31 years old, how am I not past getting cavities??)  I was gathering up my things at the end of the appointment, and the dentist was making small talk with me.  This was awkward since I’d had Novocain on both sides and was basically drooling all over myself.  I made some lame crack about how hopefully I wouldn’t have to do this again any time soon, and the dentist was all, “Yeahhh about that.  Your gums are looking pretty red.  And plaque-tartar-buildup-irritation, so you really need to be brushing-flossing-mouthwash-fluoride [insert Charlie Brown teacher voice].  So see you in August!”  Ok maybe that’s not a direct quote.

Here’s to Healthy Living!

Jan 14, 2014 by

Our family has tried to live healthier for at least the past year. I freely admit to arriving late to this change. Ok, so it was kicking and screaming…but arrive I have. We eat more fruits and vegetables, order less take-out, and spend a lot of time being active in nature.

I realized our lives had really changed when my five-year old passed the mirror in the shoe department, dropped to the floor, and started a set of leg raises and side bends. “1…and 2…and 3…good job Momma!” Other shoppers started moving towards our future Jillian Michaels, as I tried to both compliment her form and distract her from the next set of exercises. Once she starts, it can be hard to redirect her scripted activities.

Ten Important Things To Ask A Mother

Jul 15, 2013 by

Here are ten important things to ask a mother of three…well, really these questions are applicable to ANY mother. But, as a mother to three daughters under the age of five, I sometimes day-dream about the simple ways in which my friends, relatives and colleagues can help me out, give me a boost, or make a part of my day just a little easier. Conversely, as a friend, sister, and Aunt I try to offer help to the fellow mothers in my life who might need a quick breather. Here are some key questions to ask a mother who seems frazzled:

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(1) When was the last time you showered? I am never offended when someone asks me this (usually it’s my husband.) Sometimes the day gets away from you and before long you are crawling into bed wondering what smells like onions. Don’t be afraid to ask your friend this question, maybe you can keep an eye on her kids just long enough for her to wash her hair and brush her teeth.

A Letter to My Younger Sister: The Amazing and Horrible Truth About Becoming a Mother

Jun 28, 2013 by

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[Photo Copyright: M. Dunn]

My sister is in town from Chicago this week, for a last visit to Connecticut before moving to California to take a tenure-track assistant professor position.  She is dissertating (is that a verb?) this summer to get her Ph.D. in political science.  She is 29, and I am 34.  At 29, I was getting married and had my sights set on a house and kids.  At 29, my sister is moving across the country with her boyfriend who works on motorcycles for a living, starting an exciting career in which she will be referred to as “Doctor,” and generally being fabulous while also working her tail off to obtain tenure.

She was over here the other day.  “So,” she said, “it’s not like . . . you’re not completely miserable everyday, right?”  We were talking about what it is like to have children.  I stopped to think about it, but only for a moment.  “Oh, no, of course not,” I said, and then I gave her some line about fulfillment.

Vagina is Not a Bad Word

Apr 29, 2013 by

My four and almost three-year old are obsessed with body parts. They are inquisitive about bodily functions, they want to understand how and why people are different shapes and sizes; we have had lengthy conversations about why Mom pees sitting down and Dad pees standing up. My daughters can properly identify their body parts.

The other day the two of them were playing on the porch. My four-year old has a strict policy at her school about using potty words inappropriately, and she has been working on refraining from using these words inappropriately at home and around her younger sisters. In the middle of playing my oldest daughter said something about changing her baby doll and having to wipe the baby’s vagina. My almost three-year old used this as a chance to tattle and came running inside, accusing her sister of using a “bad word.” This, of course, resulted in the classic argument: “did not,” “did too,” “did not.” I intervened and helped to guide the argument into a productive conversation about why vagina is not a bad word.

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