Stories from November 2010

A Declaration of Spicy Food

Karrie McAllister

Children, hear me out.

I have, for a large number of years, caved when it comes to cuisine.  I have catered to your every whim, to your phase of eating just Ramen noodles with peas, to the year of the processed cheese, to those disgusting mini meat sticks you devoured as toddlers.  I have eaten French fries at more than one meal a day and subsisted entirely off of chicken nuggets and grapes for weeks at a time.

I’ve taken the peppers out of our foods, eaten many a recipe without any sort of cheese topping thanks to your little sister’s inconvenient dairy allergy.  For those of you who don’t care for tomatoes, I have gone without mixing them in to foods that generally are tomato based.

And onions?  I’m not even going there until you can tell me how on this green Earth you can love an onion ring but heaven forbid I dice one into the soup and you actually have to look at it and eat it.

But listen up, kids, and listen good.  If I eat one more bland, tasteless, textureless, cheeseless meal, I might not stick around enough to cut up your hot dogs.  I need taste.  I crave flavor.  Bring me the spices that burn my nasal passages and enough acid to have me groaning after our meal.  For Pete’s sake, I’ll even gladly take gas forming foods because deep down, I know the bloating and the pains and the quiet retreats to the restroom will be worth it. (Read more…)

Nightmare on Toddler Fashion Street

Lisa Douglas

Girls are inherently born with a sense for fashion (most girls, anyway). By the time they reach their teen years, it’s about putting together an ensemble, hair and make-up just so. You can’t pick out their clothes anymore, much less buying without their thumbs-up, they have to choose for themselves, to be in-style or “what’s cool” (because, parents are, like, so totally not cool).

But in the early years - toddler, to be exact - at the age where you want to dress them like little dolls, do their hair in pigtails and sweet barrettes, is when they begin to become more independent in wanting to try dressing themselves.

And by dressing themselves, I mean, picking out their own outfits to wear.

Toddlerdom is when they suddenly like to dress-up, have purses, pretend jewelry, fake make-up, playing and dressing their dollies and clickety-cloppity plastic sparkle, light-up heels with princess dresses and tea time. But why, why is it when it comes to their incessant whining to take over the reigns and dress themselves, why can’t they at least try to put something together that matches? (Read more…)

Men Are From Mars. Kids Are From Pluto.

Sarah Logan

Following the birth of Caveman, my cousin shared something with me that helped her through having her own little caveman. She said to remember that kids were “new” here. As such, treat them kind of like aliens. When they do things that make you think, “WTF??” just remember that they’re new here. They don’t know that’s not the way we do things on Earth.

I keep that thought in mind, and it’s more helpful than you might think.

Princess licks the fire truck on our tour of a fire department? Well, maybe that’s how it’s done on Pluto. Caveman responds to being denied a cookie right before dinner by eating a handful of dog food? Clearly, on Pluto, dog food is a good cookie substitute. Princess cries that her banana is gone after SHE ate the banana? On Pluto, bananas must regenerate as you eat them.

I don’t waste my time wondering why any more. Why did Princess think it was a good idea to sprinkle milk all over the carpet? On Pluto, milk must be carpet freshener. Why is Caveman wearing pants on his head? Must be a Pluto thing. No sense in puzzling over it. On Pluto, “clean your room” translates to “go play.” Sometimes, Plutonians get so excited they just have to bite something. Unfortunately, sometimes that “something” is my shoulder, but I’m getting better at spotting that particular brand of Plutonian excitement. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.