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I’ve always had a bit of doctor envy. In my head, I imagine these scenarios where someone is hit by a car or suddenly passes out or is in labor and I come running to their side. “I’m a doctor, please stand back. I know what I’m doing,” I say as I quickly stabilize them. Sometimes I can fashion medical supplies out of random things on the sidewalk. “Hey you, hand me your belt. Stat!” Or there is a medical emergency on an airplane and the flight attendant urgently asks, “Is there a doctor on board?” Yes. Yes. That’s me. I’m one of those cool, fabulous doctors.

Of course, I’m not. I hated science classes. I don’t actually want to be a doctor. I just like the idea of it. It’s like you are some kind of super hero. My friend Adam is a doctor. Or at least he claims to be. I met the guy in a crowded hot tub in Crested Butte, Colorado in my twenties so it’s hard to imagine he really practices emergency pediatrics. But I’ve actually seen him in his scrubs up at Mt. Sinai Hospital and he uses big medical words so it’s either a really elaborate hoax or he’s legit.

Doctors are just so darn helpful. I mean I’m a stay-at-home mom/journalist. What can I do for you in an emergency situation? Let’s see. I could write about it after someone else saves your ass. Or I know, I could use my secret mommy powers and give you kisses and promise your boo boo will go away. I even have Elmo band-aids if things really get serious. You see? Not that helpful. Not at all.

I could earn a Phd and then call myself Dr. Kintner. But that’s a lot of school and I will have come no closer to saving anyone. I could pretend to be a doctor but apparently you can get yourself in quite a bit of legal trouble practicing medicine without a license. I guess at the very least I can call 911 if I witness some kind of emergency situation. It’s not much but it’s a little something. I’m keeping my cell phone handy.






Everybody has their own pet peeves. I hate when someone does the dishes and then leaves bits of food in the drain trap. It just wigs me out to see soggy cheerios and little pieces of unrecognizable food abandoned and looking for a proper home.

What I didn’t realize is that it’s possible to acquire someone else’s pet peeve. My husband Rick has a thing about toilet paper rolls. He’s a pretty laid back guy about most things so it’s strange that he gets his calvins in a bunch over toilet paper. So let me explain (this might not be as exciting as the “The Hills” but hang in there with me).

The paper has to roll from the top (not the bottom). I’ve never spent two seconds in my life thinking about whether I’m pulling the sheets from the top or the bottom (I’m just happy the toilet paper is there). But once I started living with Rick, I made an effort to make sure the toilet paper was unrolling his preferred way. It’s the least I can do for my husband – right?

Last week, I must have been in a hurry because I put the roll on the wrong way. I noticed it immediately. It was actually annoying me that it was unrolling from the bottom. And then I was annoyed that I was annoyed. Why did I suddenly care about this? Out of principle, I refused to fix the situation. Why didn’t Rick fix it? I have no idea. But I do know that somehow Rick had cleverly transferred his pet peeve to me. Very crafty of that guy.

I guess people can have enormous power over each other’s thinking. I can still remember how much I loved orange juliuses in high school. A trip to the mall just wasn’t complete without one – so frothy and orangy delicious. Until one day, my girlfriend Jordana innocently (or maybe not so innocently) remarked, “don’t you think they taste like baby aspirin?” I considered this. She was right. They did taste like baby aspirin. Yuck. That was the last orange julius I ever had.

But she is forgiven because Jordana is also the girl who introduced me to sushi, one of my food obsessions. The same goes for Rick. He may have turned me into a crazy girl obsessed with toilet paper rolls but being married to an incredible guy like him is more than worth the trade off.


The folks over at MTV are geniuses. I finally tuned into the reality show “The Hills.” Why is this show addictive? Everything feels so hokey (hokey is the lamest word ever but it really fits). For example, last week our girl Heidi who seems secretly evil or maybe just not that smart (I never saw the other seasons so I’m not sure) is upset that her new fiance Spencer makes big decisions without her. Are you addicted yet? I’ll continue with the suspenseful tale.

One of his latest romantic surprises is a tacky graffiti Hollywood mural on their apartment wall. But the 20-year-old blond Heidi won’t be pushed around any longer. Spencer walks into their apartment to find Heidi, with a paint roller in her hand, covering up the mural. Does anyone really believe that Heidi would paint the wall herself without seeking the assistance of a professional painter? At the very least, wouldn’t one of the MTV staffers do it for her?

Then to conclude this staged scene, Spencer takes the roller and finishes painting the wall himself to demonstrate that he now understands relationships are about compromise. Some production assistant at MTV must have thought this up. It all sounds pretty ridiculous and a bit like actually watching paint dry. So why is “The Hills” so entertaining? If you can explain it to me, I would love to know.

While on the subject of shows I hate to love, “Scott Baio is 45 and Single” is finally over. Chachi is engaged (at least for now) with a pregnant bride-to-be. That show was painful but there was something so compelling about watching the former teen star agonize over his commitment phobia. Plus, I love that Scott Baio has had the same haircut since the early 80’s. He may have trouble committing to one woman but he can go the distance with a hairstyle. Oh god (a.k.a. VH1), please let him do another season.

mama bird notes:
There’s really no way to smoothly transition from bad TV to toxic plastics but here I go. I’ve done some more research on bisphenol A, a potentially toxic chemical found in many brands of plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. Here is a great link that clearly lists safe and potentially unsafe bottles and sippy cups. Click on the link and scroll down to the bottom right hand side.


I like to be clean. Taking a shower each morning is really one of my non negotiables. I can go without a full night’s sleep. I can make it without coffee. But I really need a quick spritz with a little soap to embark on the day. If I have a few bonus minutes to shave my legs, then I really can rock it into high gear.

Keeping kids clean is entirely different. You really have to lower your standards. I try to make sure they are clean enough. My “clean enough” threshold means they might appear a bit messy and sticky but they still look cared for by loving parents. Often my baby Presley has bits of food stuck to her ears or cheeks (at my house we call this “cleaned daddy style”). And my toddler Dylan can spend a half hour at the sink putting on her makeup. That stuff doesn’t fully come off until a good scrub down at the end of the day.


Before I had kids, I never understood why a parent would let snot pour out of their child’s nose. Why don’t they just wipe it and keep the poor kid clean? It’s so gross. Of course, now I know better. The parents are wiping their child’s nose. They just can’t keep up with the non-stop faucet.

Nearly three year-old Dylan is learning the rituals of cleanliness. She regularly brushes her teeth (she does not always put on the protective eyewear).


She is also learning to wash her hands each time she goes to the potty. Well, sort of. I admit that I don’t make her wash her hands every time she goes to the potty. Gosh, I feel so guilty just writing it. Honestly, I don’t know how the girl pees so much. In addition to peeing in her pull-ups regularly, she is able to pee in her potty a million (o.k. eight or nine) times a day. Maybe those M&M bribes have something to do with it. I do try to insist on hand washing at least fifty percent of the time. And I always wash my own hands. Aren’t I the one who is wiping her anyway?

Given my natural tendency to be a neat freak, I’ve come a long way in accepting messy faces, stained t-shirts and sticky walls. I know now that when Dylan drops a tortilla chip on the city sidewalk, it is definitely still clean and ready for consumption (no matter how many dogs have peed there before).


Everyone is trying to scare the crap out of me. Every few days I receive an email warning me of yet another risk to my innocent, sweet children. There have been several major toy recalls with long lists of toys featuring characters like Dora the Explorer and Elmo. Elmo is so darling with that red, matty hair and perky personality. Now I find out he is just lurking in my toy bin waiting to share a little lead paint with my unsuspecting children.

Apparently, my baby bottles and sippy cups can’t be trusted either. How is that possible when they all have those cute little butterfly and teddy bear designs in such fun colors? But apparently many of them contain a possibly toxic ingredient called bisphenol A which can leach into the bottle’s contents (especially when they are heated in a microwave or dishwasher). Depending on what you read, bisphenol A is either completely harmless or quite dangerous. Who wants to take chances? So I rush off to Whole Foods to invest in a safer plastic bottle.

I’m barely back from Whole Foods when I have a new email warning me of the dangers of a magic eraser sponge. There are even pictures of a poor little boy who got serious burns on his face after using this cleaning product. I have never even heard of this Mr. Clean sponge that promises to magically erase crayon and marker from your walls but it sure looks evil. I’m thankful that I only use all natural cleaning products in my home. Phew. Looks like I escaped that one.

It can all make a mom crazy. Isn’t it enough to live in Manhattan where I jump into taxis without car seats and can’t avoid constantly hearing about the next potential terrorist attack on soft targets like the subway system? I do want to know about all these potential dangers but the knowing is also making me nuts. Plus, I pass these scary emails along to my friends. Am I forwarding important alerts or just ratcheting up the panic?

Luckily, my kids don’t know about all of this. My daughter Dylan still thinks that little redhead Elmo is the nicest guy in the world. Now that I’ve checked his product number and he’s in the clear, I guess I still like him too.

kelcey kintner


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