Last weekend I went to New York City with my 2 1/2 year old son. Which meant that I left my four other kids with my husband Rick. It was actually a nice chance for Rick to spend some toddler free time with the four older ones. And I think they really liked the quality time with their dad.
At least I know 5 year old Harlowe did. Because she wrote me this thank you note (transcribed by Rick)…
A child’s appreciation is a beautiful thing.
Prior to learning about the Paris attacks, I was feeling very good about humanity.
You see – in one week, I had lost my wallet and cell phone. In separate incidents. I didn’t even know I lost my wallet until I showed up at the Miami Children’s Museum and didn’t have it. And you’ll be surprised to learn they don’t let you pay for tickets with cheddar goldfish. Thankfully, my dad met me there and loaned me that money museums like so much.
The last time I could remember having my wallet was at a kids’ playspace 24 hours earlier. I was troubled by this realization.
I immediately called them. And they said, “Oh yes. You left it here. We’ve got it.”
Later that day, I picked it up and it still had about $100 worth of cash in it. Wow. We live in a wonderful world.
A few days later, I was visiting New York City and I left my cell phone in an Uber car in Manhattan. Of course, I immediately went to use my cell to call the Uber driver so I could try to get my phone back. Do you see why that scenario didn’t work out so well? (Hint: Because you can’t make a call on a phone you don’t have.)
I didn’t know what the hell to do. I finally used my computer to access my Uber account and then borrowed a phone to call the driver. And you know what?! He was already on his way back to me. Hallelujah.
When he gave me back the cellphone, I gave him $20 bucks because that seemed like the right amount for “THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME SO MUCH MONEY AND STRESS AND INCONVENIENCE.” Maybe I should have given him $40. Or one of my kids. Again, wonderful world.
But hold on, I have more. On the plane to New York City, my 2 1/2 year old son Cash was kicking the seat in front of us. Not a few times. Not a hundred times. About 40,000 times. Unless the woman in front of us was in a coma (which she wasn’t), it was very annoying for her.
I couldn’t get him to stop. I told her to pick anything off the JetBlue menu or bar and I would buy it for her. She declined and then proceeded to help me entertain Cash.
I was so touched by her graciousness.
We landed. And then I learned of the Paris attacks. And it broke my heart. It broke everyone’s heart.
If you lived in New York City during 9-11. Actually scratch that. If you were an American during 9-11, you know what the Parisians are feeling. It’s complete devastation, unbearable sadness and incredible fear. But what the French must understand is that this week, this month, this year, we are all French.
Americans don’t back down from anything. An attack on France is an attack on us. We should stop at nothing to defeat ISIS so that people around the world can live peaceful lives.
Because most people are gracious, loving and will do whatever they can to help some mom whose son is kicking the hell out of their airline seat.
Most people are good. And France, you are not alone. We are with you. And we always will be.
There is apparently a coffee controversy going on. It’s because the Starbucks’ holiday cup now looks like this…
It’s so offensive, right?! The so-called problem? No ornaments, reindeer, snowflakes, Christmas trees or other holiday symbols.
A group of Christian evangelists is accusing Starbucks of waging a war on Christmas by removing the holiday images.
“I think Christians are at a point that they are fed up with the PC police who are demanding that Christ, and Christmas, be removed from the public eye for concern that it might offend people,” said Joshua Feuerstein, who has posted on Facebook and spoken to the media about the issue.
Wow. Someone really liked reindeers on his coffee cup.
He also contends that Starbucks hates Jesus.
You know what Starbucks really hates? People who make coffee at home.
In response to the controversy, Starbucks has maintained they are a company that is committed to creating “a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.” They also say the red cup mimics a blank canvas so coffee drinkers can create their own Christmas stories on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
I will totally do that once I can get the permanent marker off my wall where my 2 1/2 year old created his own “story.”
Nobody is waging a war on Christmas. Or at least winning that war.
I was raised Christian and when I started dating my future Jewish husband – I started to realize that Christmas is everywhere. From now until New Year’s, you can’t take three steps without tripping over Santa Claus. Christmas songs will ring in your ears. Joyous greetings of “Merry Christmas” abound.
If you can rest easy about one thing – Christmas is thriving!
I love the magic of Christmas. I really do. But perhaps it’s okay to wish someone a happy holidays because you know, they might not celebrate Christmas. And it’s not an assault on the Christian holiday – it’s just a nice cheery way of saying, “Hey, whatever you celebrate, hope it kicks ass!”
Because it’s a beautiful thing to be inclusive. And to honor the fact that not everyone shares the same beliefs. And to celebrate that no matter what each of us believes, we are in this amazing, crazy world together.
And I think that is the spirit of the holidays. Not some coffee cup.
As a parent, I’m always looking for fresh things to worry about. I mean, I cover the usual. Are my kids okay? Am I a good parent? Did I lock the doors? Are they properly buckled in the car? Did I unplug my flat iron? Am I eating too much candy? Will my dentist know? That sort of thing.
But today, I found something new to worry about when I saw the headline…. “Pediatricians’ new warning: Limit children’s exposure to cellphones.”
Here’s the deal. Children are not little adults. Their skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation from cellphones. So we need to limit their exposure to radiation as much as possible.
Here’s the good news. Ryan Gosling is coming to your house tomorrow!
Okay, that’s not the good news. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to reduce your kids (and your exposure) to radiation.
1. Keep your phone at a distance. For every inch you keep your phone away from the body, the amount of radiation your body or head absorbs goes down exponentially. So don’t keep your phone or let your kids keep a phone close to their body – like a back pocket.
2. Use a wired earpiece or talk on speakerphone. You don’t want to be pressing it to your ear because you’re absorbing more radiation.
3. If you plan to watch a movie, download it first. Then switch your device to airplane mode and watch it. The reason? If a device is connected to wifi or the internet, it is always transmitting radiation.
4. Avoid using a cellphone where the signal is weak. The weaker your cell signal is, the harder your phone has to work and the more radiation it gives off.
5. Don’t sleep with your phone next to your bed. And it’s best to shut off the phone or put it into airplane mode when you’re sleeping.
So are you starting to long for the days when you were just nervous about the radiation from your microwave?
But at least we can do something to reduce our exposure to cellphone radiation because we certainly aren’t going to stop using that glorious, magical microwave.
Oh and I’m sorry Ryan Gosling isn’t coming to your house tomorrow.
But here he is saying, “Hey girl, Don’t be afraid to use a landline now and then.”
There are some weeks that feel like a real parenting fail. You mess up one thing and it becomes a chain reaction of mishaps.
Like the day I forgot to show up for 5 year old Chase’s teacher conference, yet I somehow remembered to take a nap.
But no worries because Chase got me back when he borrowed my phone to play games over the weekend. After he was done, I put my phone away. A few hours later, I took it out again and noticed all these random photos posted to my Facebook account.
How did this happen?
But it didn’t take a super sleuth because I also saw this posted…
And the same day I missed Chase’s teacher conference, I was hurrying with dinner so I could pick up two of my daughters from gymnastics. As I was rushing, I accidentally dropped a glass measuring cup on the counter which shattered into my turkey tacos.
Since I’d rather not give my kids shards of glass for dinner, I had to toss the whole thing. I resorted to giving my children taco shells with melted cheese. Which is kind of like a quesadilla. I think.
I also had to go to the grocery store three times that day partly because I miscounted the amount of candy I needed for treat bags for various children’s Halloween parties at school.
And the next morning, I brought my 2 1/2 year old to his swim lesson and forgot to bring a towel for him.
(Let me know when I’m starting to make you feel better about your own parenting?! Now? Great, I’ll stop.)
It all got me thinking about an incident that happened a couple weeks ago. I was leaving my children’s school when I decided to go around another car because the mom was sitting in her car texting.
I was going to beep but that somehow seemed impolite in a school setting. As I pulled around her, she suddenly looked up and started to pull forward. She thankfully did not hit my car. I mouthed the words, “You were texting” and she gave me the middle finger.
The middle finger. At another parent. At 8:05 AM. Wow. Ballsy.
I think I mouthed something back like, “Are you serious?!”
But now I’ve had some time to think about this, I’m going to assume that she was having a crap week. A really bad missing your kid’s conference/ruin dinner/go to the grocery store way too many times/ forget everything – kind of week.
Because sometimes life is just like that.