parenting
422

That Baby Wants to Break You Up

“The baby is trying to break us up,” my husband announced. “And we have to work together to defeat him.” Once he put it like that, I actually felt better about the whole thing. While I was pregnant, I felt closer to Steve than I ever had before, and that was saying something. Together for 10 years, we'd always been best friends, and we looked forward to what lay ahead with a gratitude that we’d be going through it together. But once the kid was outside of me, that warm anticipation frayed away to raw nerves, irritability, and fear. I had always been so confident in my relationship with my [...]

38

They Need to Do Way Instain Mother

Hairpin contributor L.A. Pintea and her lesbian partner had a son and it turns out people (still) have lots questions for her about that. She made a list of the more irksome ones, including "Which of you is the mother?" (Don't worry, there's an answer key.)

108

"He doesn't have attention deficit. We're not going to medicate him."

"It was like I was inside the book." —Some pros and cons of Ritalin.

162

[Dear Internet]

"So. The world hates you. You are considered the worst thing to be compared to. Throw like a girl. Talk like a girl. Cry like a girl. God forbid we ever be girls. … So what can we do, dear daughter? When you get a little older, I will be honest with you and tell you — fuck ‘em. You will not change their mind by arguing, by telling them they are wrong. You change their mind by showing them how being a girl is awesome. You show them by not hiding, by not being demure." —Mur Lafferty, "Dear Daughter."

154

Vigilance vs. Obsession

"I’ve never walked in Weiss’s shoes. I am not the parent of a child with weight issues at this stage of the game, and weight isn’t my particular obsession. … Instead of making a judgment call that I’m not at all qualified to make about Weiss’s tactics, I decided to talk to her."

139

Toy Guns, Barbies, Open Pill Bottles…

Andie Fox, on her failed toy gun ban:

Since that night I have been either giving up or making well-considered peace with him; I never can tell with my parenting. In my head I played with some of the moratoriums I saw other parents use: no assault rifle toys, but ninja swords and pirate muskets could be historically charming enough to be okay. I also considered the rule some parents have made about not allowing toy guns, but turning a blind eye to sticks and pieces of toast that make pew pew noises.

What was/is verboten in your home? My husband was welcome to pick off squirrels, unsupervised, [...]

124

Homesickness, the Worst Feeling in the World

Independence, development, blah blah. It's part of the human compact: if your damn kid calls and begs to come home? Get in the car.

This, from the comments:

We have a family story in my family: one of my aunts went to summer camp and when her father visited she cried and cried that she wanted to go home. The camp director told him to leave her, that she would get over it. He replied "I'd rather leave my right arm."

My aunt grew up into one of the most independent people I have ever known.

Taking them home from the sleepover? Don't even hesitate? Camp? DO YOU [...]

125

Get Your Own Flat Ginger Ale

"For one thing, it means that if you are a child feeling your very rottenest, your tender mother — the same one who puts her loving lips to your feverish forehead and brings you poached eggs and toast on a tray and combs lice from your hair for friendly hours on end — is likely to bolt out of the room with her fingers in her ears. Out of the room and down the stairs and into the living room, where she will crouch on the couch with her eyes squinched shut and a pillow pressed over her head." Parenting while emetophobic. Even worse than parenting while normally-grossed-out-by-vomit.

50

On Raising Prodigies

“He was reading textbooks this big, and they’re in class holding up a blowup M,” she said. Drew, who is now 18, said: “At first, it felt lonely. Then you accept that, yes, you’re different from everyone else, but people will be your friends anyway.” Drew’s parents moved him to a private school. They bought him a new piano, because he announced at 7 that their upright lacked dynamic contrast. “It cost more money than we’d ever paid for anything except a down payment on a house,” Sue said.

A long-read on parenting a child prodigy. (Also: "Parenting a Prodigy Is Less Fun Than It Looks.")

239

A Touchy Subject

"I would like you to hug Grandma, but I won't make you do it," I told her recently.

"I don't have to?" she asked, cuddling up to me at bedtime, confirming the facts to be sure.

No, she doesn't have to. And just to be clear, there is no passive-aggressive, conditional, manipulative nonsense behind my statement. I mean what I say. She doesn't have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me.

Where was this lady when we were kids? Oh, right, probably also being a kid forced to hug creepy people. Nicole, your stance? Here's Brak's.