As You Leave Me For Kindergarten

Maybe it’s because you draw me rainbows when I’m sad. Or use your entire body to stir the banana bread batter. It’s probably because you put veggies in the shopping cart and ask for hugs and brush my hair. You’re also the only kid that lets me play my own music in the car. And…

Why Early Kindergarten Is Not For Us

“Because…really…what’s the rush?” It’s a canned response I’ve dished out lately when parents have asked about testing my four-year-old daughter for early admittance into kindergarten. Willa bakes cakes, packs her own lunch for preschool, and has been picking out ensembles and dressing herself since she was three. She’ll be five in October, which means she…

We Bought Our Kids Sheep…and Why You Should Too

I had visions of us all slipping on our matching Hunter boots and walking hand-in-hand to the barn where the sheep are patiently waiting. Five months after purchasing two Shetland yearlings, I’m realizing this will never happen. Ever. Let me be frank: my kids are spoiled. They live in a huge house, have their own…

To My Firstborn’s Kindergarten Teacher

Dear Mrs. Roberto, You don’t know me yet but you’ll notice me at kindergarten orientation. I’ll be overdressed. That’s because I don’t get out much. About a year and a half ago I quit to become a full-time mom. My oldest of three is about to start kindergarten in your class. I was nervous about…

5 Ways to Make Your House Look Like You Don’t Have Kids

“Where’s all your stuff?” It’s a question I’ve treated as rhetorical since the first of my three kiddos was born. We’ve lived in a cookie-cutter suburbia home, an 800 square-foot cottage and a completely open timberframe in the sticks. But one thing remains the same with each location: I’ve learned how to manage the mess….

My Pledge as a Parent on Social Media

Like so many other mornings, we played in the lake. Only this time we let the baby out of his pac n play. Ryker, my oldest, is behind Van making sure he doesn’t fall backwards. Willa is telling him to smile. Van can’t wait for me to take the picture so he can resume sneaking…

5 Lessons Learned from Preschool Graduation

It’s okay not to smile. By the time the hour-and-a-half ceremony ended, the shiny polyester robe had run its course. Ryker was clawing it off when he exited the stage. He wanted to go home, sit in his underwear and eat cake. But mom had no less than 30 pictures to take. As you can…

5 Steps to Prevent a Birthday Party Blowout

“When’s Spider-man coming”? My almost five-year-old asked, matter-of-factly, just a few days shy of his birthday. I immediately bristled at his question. Are you kidding—I thought—what a brat? Until, I started doing a rundown in my head. Two superheroes last year, a costume party for his little sister’s birthday, bouncy houses, hayrides, balloon animals, face…

Travel Tantrum Tips for Kids (Grown and Little)

Paris, Alaska, Canada, Amsterdam and several flights to Florida—almost all before their third birthdays. While I had visions of my toddlers reclined in their seats, sipping chocolate milk as they tapped away on their tablets, our jet setting has been anything but smooth. As a well-traveled parent, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the…