Parenting Blog Tag

  The school year had come to an end. It had been an absolutely great year and the teachers were as sad as the children to say goodbye. Fortunately for the teachers and the children who were able to stay on, there was a little three week summer camp. This was essentially an extension of the school year along with sprinklers and more time for everything, because of the longer day. It was heaven for all. The...

  During the Thanksgiving holiday, four-year-old John Colligan became tearful at every turn. He was feeling extra attached to his mother, Liz, and wanted to be with her all the time. She did make special times for each of her four children but loved time with all of them as well. The children were happy altogether too. Yet John suddenly began to separate himself from the board games, the family fun outdoors and even the cozy movie...

  The school year had come to an end. It had been an absolutely great year and the teachers were as sad as the children to say goodbye. Fortunately for the teachers and the children who were able to stay on, there was a little three week summer camp. This was essentially an extension of the school year along with sprinklers and more time for everything, because of the longer day. It was heaven for all. The...

  “I just want to say goodnight to my lady b… I mean desk. Then I will go right to sleep.” Not really listening to her daughter, Lexi replied, “Okay, Alice. Remember, tomorrow is a school day and you need extra sleep.” “I am back in bed now. Goodnight Mommy.” Alice couldn’t stop thinking about her ladybug, which was in a little jam jar with holes in the metal top. Earlier in the year, the jar had housed a...

  In case you missed Part 1  Quinn slept all night. His father had carried him up to his bed without awakening him. As the sun came up, Quinn was just beginning to stir. His father looked into his room just as Quinn sat up. “Hi Daddy!” “There’s my boy! I missed you last night, sweetie. You must have been zonked." “Oh yeah. That’s right, I fell asleep on the couch. I had a terrible afternoon with a crabby man named...

  Rosie and Quinn were very good friends. Both children were in Mrs. Randall’s Nursery class at the Little Farm School. They had been in class together last year as well and were overjoyed to be sharing another year of school together. Given free time, the two children almost always ran to the dress up area of their classroom. “I’ll be the dog,” said Quinn predictably. He almost always wanted to play a dog. “Let’s pretend you hurt...

  The late day sun felt great in the play yard of Little Farm Nursery School. The day had that perfect Thursday afternoon feeling. Children and parents were getting into cars. “Could you and Timmy come over for an early supper tonight? Mike won’t be home until late,” Meredith Ford asked Jane Mathews. “We’d love that!” Jane answered. “Dave is late tonight too. What time is good?” “Luke and I are off to the grocery store to pick up...

  Ozzie was waking up. His four-year old eyes looked at his Grandfather’s blue bottle sitting on a white shelf by his window. He loved looking at this bottle every morning. As the morning light passed through it, he realized there was another bit of blue on the white wall opposite the bottle. “Ozzie,” his little brother Davey called, “Come here.” Ozzie left his blue images and ran to Davey’s room just down the hall. Davey sat in his...

  In case you missed, Children Teaching Parents, Part 1 Sam was excited, knowing Nick and his parents were coming over. He had been gathering little sticks since early morning so that he and Nick could add onto their houses the second he arrived. Julie was working on a small pastel of trees while Philip swept the sunny terrace. “It will be so nice to have Nick over,” Sam said to his mother. “I hope his parents are...

  Sam and Nick were four-year-old best friends. Life with each other was all they knew and that was just fine. Sam’s mother and father were Julie and Philip, slightly older parents who felt so lucky to have Sam. Julie was a landscape artist and Philip was a veterinarian. They loved time together and marveled at their little boy’s openheartedness. Nick’s father, Ron was a rather serious insurance salesman. His wife Lois had recently found a part...

  “Things just shouldn’t be so hard, Paul. You’re the kid and I’m your father. You get in the car when you are asked to and that’s that.” Russ’ voice was exasperated. Paul climbed into the jeep and tried to buckle his car seat. “That’s more like it. Try harder. You’re four now, or did you forget?” Paul’s hands were suddenly putty and he couldn’t get the metal things in their slots. Russ yanked open the back door of the...

  Patty Lawson looked through the wide doorway between her kitchen and family room at her little boy playing on the floor. She felt like the only mother alive. The enormous love she had for her ten month old and her life as his mother made her feel incredibly fortunate. Listening to his bits of Donald Duck language made cleaning the messy kitchen almost pleasurable. Patty was older than many first time mothers. She had been surprised...

  I was sitting at my desk when I heard my mother say, “There’s my Sealy.” “Hi, Mommy. I’m going to color a little,” I called to her. “Oh my beautiful Seal. Look at you!” Kate Barnes cooed, wrapping her baby girl in a big white towel. I realized my mother wasn’t talking to me, but to Julia, my eight-month old sister. She had always called me her Sealy when she dried me off after my bath. “Maybe she...

With the very best intentions, mothers often take too long to say goodbye. Hoping to give a child that extra bit of tenderness, they instead inadvertently make things harder for their child and themselves. Trying to leave and actually leaving are very different. Here is a classic case. A mother walks her son Johnny into his school. Johnny is about to do something he wants to do, something he is very capable of doing. What can...

Reaching to shut off the alarm clock, John thought, “That was the shortest night of my life.” He was in a B & B in the state of Washington, a long way from his home on the East Coast. After a quick shower, he went to the desk to pay for his room. He grabbed coffee in a paper cup and said, “Thank you very much. I’ll see you again,” as he went out the big...

Dara and Dave Thompson had moved out of New York a month ago and settled in Lakewood, Connecticut with their children, Davey, 4, Teddy, 2 and Eva, four months. Dara wrote for a parenting magazine, now on a very reduced schedule. Dave worked for a small investment firm, which had just moved to Lakewood. Their new neighbors were considerably older and not really used to having young people on their street. Mary, recently widowed, a retired nursery school teacher,...

“Carrie! Tommy! You aren’t sitting on a stone wall in your nice clothes, are you?” The children jumped down off the wall and looked at their clothes. “We’re still clean,” Tommy called. “Mommy is so weird. A stone wall is now like a monster,” Carrie said. Blanche heard her. “Really? If we’re going out for dinner, sitting on a wall is a pain. You now look grubby.” “We like the way we look. Can’t you?” asked Carrie. Blanche had had...

There are many touching common threads that run through the experiences of very young children. One is their sudden infatuation with ordinary items they discover on the floor or on the ground. I am always intrigued and peacefully startled when a child becomes fascinated with a found object: a very old metal washer, a pretty rock, a tiny spring from a ballpoint pen, a small pointy stick, a pine cone, an orange bottle top. Each...

Charlie threw his coat into his cubby. Bridget, Charlie’s mother called into the room, “Hi all. Charlie will be bringing Finn home. See ya!” “Hi Charlie,” greeted Miss Carter, cheerfully. “Hi. Where’s Finn?” “He isn’t here yet. I have some new cars. Would you like to see them? ” “I want to see Finn. We’re having a play date today.” “Remember, try your hardest to not talk about your nice after school plan. Others might feel left out.”  “Oh,...

Sally and James were being extra quiet. They didn’t want their mother and father to know they were awake. It was Saturday and the children were planning to draw and make cards for their Grandmother whose birthday was coming up. Then they heard their father talking in the hall.   “Ginny, let’s make a quick breakfast and go right to the aquarium. After that, we can take the children to The Plunge. James really needs to...

Lizzy walked behind her mother as they approached the door of her nursery school. Just inside, the principal, Mrs. Carmichael was waiting to greet them. “Good morning Lizzy. Good morning Margaret. How are you today?” She put her hand out to Lizzy, but Lizzy ducked behind Margaret and looked down at the floor. “Good morning, Mrs. Carmichael,” Margaret smiled. “I think Lizzy is feeling a bit shy again today. Lizzy, will you shake hands? No? Okay, let’s...

“Mommy, the birds’ nests are blowing a lot in the wind. I feel sorry for the birds.”  Marian and her son, Denny were driving to the Farnsworth’s for a simple supper. It was very windy. They both saw how much the branches were bending. “Oh dear Denny, birds know how to build their nests so they are perfect for them, wherever they live. I really think they will be fine.”  They pulled into the driveway and in seconds...

“In the car, Patty. We’re late. I mean now. All that dawdling is going to cost you.” “You’re not the boss of me,” four-year old Patty squawked. “Wanna bet?” Patty tried to resist her father’s grasp. Jeb picked up his daughter, put her in her car seat, and snapped down its lock. “Getting the picture now, right Patty? I AM the boss of you.” Jeb got into his seat quickly. He looked in the rear view mirror. Patty was sticking...

“What are you doing in there, Colin?” Denise barked from the hallway. “That’s my room. Keep out.” “Oh Denise, I was just looking for you. Sorry.”  “Then call me. Sneaking into my room is wrong. What do you want?”  “I wanted to ask when Mommy’s coming back. I really wasn’t sneaking. I’m hungry.”  Denise was looking at her phone. “If it looks like sneaking, it is. No clue when your mother is coming back. She’s always later than she...

Betsy had been awake for a while when she heard “Whaaah!” coming from Charlie’s room. She threw on her pink terry cloth robe and went to the six-month old she took care of.  “There you are! Hi Charlie. How’s my adorable boy?” She picked Charlie up and held him tightly. Charlie snuggled into her robe.  “Let’s get you some breakfast.” Betsy warmed a bottle of Charlie’s mother, Lucy’s milk. Charlie was smiling and gurgling as he looked...

Becky was happy that her new classroom was sunny and the staff was so friendly.  She did have butterflies and yet she knew once her job actually began, she’d feel calmer.  On the Sunday night before the first day of school, her clothes were already out for the next day and she had packed her lunch.  She decided to go back over her class list to become familiar with the names of the children and...

Right after Labor Day, the teachers went in to school to prepare their classrooms. Becky was new to the faculty, having just moved to town from Maine. When it was time for lunch, she felt awkward joining the groups of obvious friends who gathered in several rooms for lunch. Leaving the pretty old building for a nearby park, she found a bench in the sun and opened her small brown paper bag. She was ravenous...

Jane and Lizzy had been close friends in high school and, as both recently moved back to their hometown, their friendship felt current and even stronger.  Both were married with young children and they often shared parenting notes with each other. On one bright morning, they met at the local beach.  They settled into their beach chairs, sipping iced coffee as they looked at the beautiful still water of the Sound.  They were happyto be together. “So...

[caption id="attachment_4870" align="aligncenter" width="608"] Anne in Southwestern France[/caption] I recently returned from a trip to France.  I keep thinking of all that I saw and ate and drank and felt. By some extra piece of good fortune, I have been given something new and wonderful to think about. As my sister and I walked through the crowded streets of a very old, beautiful seaside town, it was incredible to see so many grandparents carrying small children or...

“Come on Quinn, let’s get the show on the road.  Eat something.  No more just staring at your broccoli.”  Carrie Griffiths was clearly out of patience with her son. Dod Griffiths came over to Quinn and patted his dark curls.  “Quinnie, have a little nibble.  It is bath time and you’ve barely eaten.”  “I am not hungry tonight.  I’ll just get in the tub now.”  “Quinn, have you been snacking?”  Carrie asked.  “Sometimes I wonder why I go...