Let’s work it out

A young woman dressed in stylish new workout gear saunters over to a row of exercise machines and waves hello to her friend, who is jogging on a treadmill. Casually, she steps to the side of the treadmill to chat. Unfortunately, her foot lands squarely on the conveyor belt. Like a cartoon character, her feet … Continued

Monkey butt

As I navigated my son’s stroller through the press of holiday shoppers a few weeks ago, I could hear the high-pitched shrieks of a small boy in the midst of one very loud tantrum. “You better shut it,” the kid’s father said from somewhere behind me, “or yer gonna become a statistic!” I turned to … Continued

Bad Santa

“OK Punky, it’s time!” I kneel down beside my 4-year-old daughter, who is freshly scrubbed, beribboned and dressed in her holiday best. “Do you remember what you’re asking for?” “A pink horse and a Peekaboo Barbie shop,” my daughter recites solemnly, “and a house for my princess dolls.” We’ve been discussing Punky’s annual rendezvous with … Continued

A holiday to remember

“A girl starts walkin’, guys start gawkin’, sits down next to you and starts talkin’!” I’m rapping into a microphone before an audience consisting of my parents and my 84-year-old grandmother. They’re all smiling politely and looking bewildered. Seeing this, I step up my game, throwing in a moonwalk and a few Eminem-style hand gestures … Continued

Good housekeeping

Growing up in a museum isn’t easy. Oh, on the surface it seems exciting, particularly if you read that book that spawned a thousand juvenile fantasies, “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” in which a brother and sister run away and hide out in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. But in that … Continued

Turkey tradition

Thanksgiving has never been my cup of cider.   As a kid, it meant putting on the mom-ordained outfit of scratchy wool shorts, argyle knee socks, penny loafers and a stiff button-down shirt, topped off with a floppy bow cinched tight around my neck. I know, it sounds like we were in the circus. But … Continued

The PIRCS of parenthood

I’m following my 4-year-old daughter on a nature trail at the park when a woman pushes past me, stepping on my toe. “Ouch!” I yelp, stumbling.   “Hey, that’s a great song!” she shouts, not even noticing me. “Sing it again!” She’s gazing rapturously at the naturalist ahead, who’s teaching my daughter and eight other … Continued

Dads. Who needs ’em?

I learned something interesting this week: Men are becoming obsolete. This, of course, is due entirely to the undaunted tenacity and sheer brilliance of womankind. I mean, think about it. In the last hundred or so years, what male-dominated strongholds haven’t we infiltrated? While the guys have been busy swaggering around declaring war, shouting about … Continued

Trick or treat?

Each Halloween, I find I’m better at handling little monsters than I was the year before. That’s why last year I was more than ready for the first kid who showed up on our doorstep. Dressed in dime-store wings and a tutu sloppily pulled over a tracksuit, she grabbed at my basket of candy the … Continued

What I did for love

I wouldn’t call it my favorite way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. I’m lying on an examining table with my feet in stirrups and a sheet over my lap.  As the doctor brandishes an enormous scissor-like instrument, I take a deep breath and focus my attention on the mother-and-child mobile hanging from the ceiling. The … Continued