For many years, I’ve been filling out school forms for my children. Forms for preschool. Forms for kindergarten. Forms for new schools. And many of times, I’ve answered the question… Type of birth? Vaginal? Or C-section?
And unbelievably I never thought to NOT answer it.
Well, one mother did think to absolutely not answer it. Cara Paiuk recently wrote a piece for the New York Times and said, “The ‘baby’ who had resulted from that birth was 5 years old and well over any possible ramifications of it I could imagine. I thought it was obvious that this question was absurdly inappropriate, and said so.”
And this mom started asking why this question was asked at all. And she was told “the form was stored in the school nurse’s files so that if a teacher or other administrator perceives an issue with a child (presumably, a learning disability or behavioral problem), that person could pull the file and look for clues in the medical record that might explain the cause.”
So let’s say, a kid throws a globe at a teacher. School officials might pull his file and say, “ohhh, vaginal birth. You know traumatic it can be to come out of a vagina. Poor kiddo has a lot of stifled rage.”
Cara Paiuk wasn’t convinced either. She pointed out that birth traumas could happen via a vaginal birth or C-section. Plus, why not ask about other things that could impact a child’s behavior or learning – like diet. And she was told, “We don’t like to ask questions about food. Parents are very sensitive to that.”
But not to questions about their vaginas?! I think I can speak on behalf of all women that we are sensitive to questions about our vaginas, especially when it comes from people outside the medical profession.
Which is why I can’t figure out why I never thought to leave this question blank when filling out school forms. I just answered it like some kind of parental robot. In my defense, I’ve filled out a lot of mind numbing forms and I’d probably tell them my bra size if I thought it would move the process along faster.
The thing is – I don’t mind sharing birth information with doctors. I don’t mind sharing it with friends or anyone who asks. But it doesn’t need to be stamped on my kids’ school forms. And I’m glad a mom finally pointed this out to me.
My children took a week off from camp last week.
Which means we did a lot of outings, the kids did a lot of creative projects at home and I did a lot of drinking, I mean, cleaning up.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Not every activity was a winner. For example – one morning, I took my 5 year old son Chase to the pediatrician for a wart on his foot that has been bothering him – and the four other kids got to come along for the fun of it!
The pediatrician put some kind of magical wart medicine on Chase’s foot and said, “Just don’t get his foot wet until 4 pm this afternoon. At 4, wipe off the medicine.”
No problem! Because I didn’t want to leave anything up to chance, I set my phone to remind me at 4 pm.
We went home and as soon as we arrived my son Chase said, “Can I go in the neighbor’s pool?”
I, because I apparently had no recollection of my morning activity, said, “Sure! I’ll come over and watch you swim.” So of course, all the medicine got washed off and now we get to go back to the pediatrician and do it all over again. I really know how to plan a fabulous summer.
Also last week, my very creative 10 year old printed her own newspaper. It’s called Camp Wapponocca News as a nod to our former New York street.
Notice the first upbeat line… “This week, we have a lot of exciting things going on. Like on Monday, we had mommy’s birthday!!”
Along with a photo of me.
Then it says… “She is way younger in that picture.”
Wait, what?! First of all, the picture isn’t that old. It was taken at my friend Adam’s wedding and that was only – okay maybe the picture is a bit dated.
But my gosh, does her first foray into journalism have to involve throwing me under the bus. I guess so.
I’ll let you know when the next issue comes out. I heard the future of journalism is in newspapers.
Not long ago, I told you about a big box that arrived at my house.
It was my birthday present. From my husband. I hyperventilated. I stressed. I did a lot of hand wringing. Because I don’t like stuff. Especially big stuff. Especially big stuff that I don’t know anything about.
I knew in all likelihood it was one of 4 things.
A hand painted spice rack
A wagon wheel coffee table
A gold plated abacus
Or a framed photo of Ryan Gosling.
To my surprise, it was none of these things. It was instead, this…
Those are the streets from our old neighborhood in the West Village in Manhattan.
Damn, I still miss that neighborhood.
And as for the gift… I love it.
I absolutely love it.
But here’s the problem. My husband doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to buying me gifts.
Let me remind you about the red onesie he gave me for Valentine’s Day one year.
But for some reason, he’s still incredibly optimistic when it comes to picking out presents for me. And now with this current success, he is absolutely bursting with unbridled confidence.
I’ll be owning a wagon wheel coffee table in no time.
It’s bathing suit season! That time of year when you get to think a lot about the state of your body, ingrown hairs and your bikini line.
You get to plop down on the beach next to your friends only to look down and realize you should have scheduled some sort of bikini maintenance before the weekend. And not – sadly – on Monday.
You get to answer questions from your kids like, “What is cellulite?” and “Why do your boobs hang so low?”
If you are ambitious enough to go bathing suit shopping, you endure florescent lighting, changing rooms with flimsy curtains barely protecting your privacy and mirrors that seem to enlarge rather than reduce.
And if you’re like me, you’ve probably marveled at the men’s speedo and thought to yourself, why can’t we women have a bathing suit option that is so sleek and simple?
Well, wonder no more my dear friends because the c-string bikini is apparently here.
This thing is insane.
It looks like some sort of colorful maxi pad and it seems to defy gravity.
That’s the whole bottom. And somehow it stays on. People are wearing this! In Europe mostly. But it’s just a matter of time before it hits our shoreline.
The upside of the c-string bikini? No tan lines! No panty lines! You can use it as a head band! Or an eye patch!
The downside? You have to wear this crazy thing and people will actually see you.
Because I am a serious journalist, I decided to try it out.
Okay, I didn’t. Come on. I have five kids. When am I sporting a c-string bikini?!
If you really want to check out how it looks (although no one can explain how it actually stays in place), click here.
But I don’t care if some day it does sweep our nation, they won’t take my one-piece away from me.
Back when I had my first baby, I was attempting to breastfeed when all kinds of crazy stuff started to happen. Like my breasts suddenly turned into hard watermelons and hurt like mofos.
And then I got a sore on one of my breasts (sorry – motherhood is hard core) because I wasn’t alternating my breastfeeding position and I couldn’t get the latch right. And gosh, I was thirsty – WHERE WAS MY ICE COFFEE?!!
I was desperate for a lactation consultant and I remember stalking a bunch of them. Well, I just learned about a new app called Maven Clinic that is super cool (especially for pregnant women and first time moms) and man, do I wish this thing existed when I was having a baby.
You can book video appointments with a lactation consultant, doula, nutritionist, mental health specialist, midwife, etc and then do a face to face appointment on your phone. It’s like face timing your Aunt Lucy who likes to think of herself as a doctor because she took a CPR class in high school but these Maven practitioners are actually experts in their fields.
They are often available when traditional offices are closed – like at night and on weekends. (You know, when you always need them.) And it’s cheap – I love cheap! About $25 for 20 minutes which is pretty much the cost of a co-pay.
Even though the app is focused on women’s health care needs, you don’t have to be a mom to get the benefits. My husband Rick booked an appointment with a nutritionist. He has Crohn’s Disease (an inflammatory bowel disease) and he’d like to lose some weight.
But Crohn’s patients have to avoid certain foods that are healthy for the rest of us, plus Rick likes to think of a steak and mashed potatoes as diet food so he needed some guidance.
He did a 20 minutes session with a nutritionist and she gave him some great ideas. He’s going to do another session in two weeks. The truth is – with his work schedule and 5 kids, there was no way he would have made it to a nutritionist’s office.
On Maven, there is also a free forum, where you can post questions and get answers from health care professionals and others in the forum.
Want to try out Maven? I’m giving away a $25 appointment with the health practitioner of your choice! Just leave a comment and you are entered. Right now, the app is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Note: This is a sponsored post for Maven. All ideas are my own. Please know I am very picky about the sponsored posts I choose, so when I do one it’s because I have really tried out the product and believe in it. I don’t waste your time or mine. Now go enter that giveaway!