Lessons on the Picket Line

My second grader has only been out of school for two days, but I think she has learned more from the teacher’s strike than an entire year’s worth of social studies curriculum.

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How Wrapping Paper Derailed My Holidays – Parts I & II

Part I: Holiday Season 2017

I’m a northern California Jew, born and bred in sunny San Jose, and now a proud Oakland resident. So what do I know about winter, let alone the snow? My parents emigrated from “Back East,” and my dad was actually born in a Siberian work camp, so it’s not surprising that they had little interest in taking me and my sister to the snow every February for “ski week” like the rest of my classmates. Read More

Renegade Shoes

I had an altercation over the weekend at the local YMCA. Altercation might be a tad overstated, but for a conflict-avoider like me, it was kind of a big deal. Read More

Harry Potter & the Daughter of Terror

Summer “break” began six days ago, and for my 7-year-old daughter, that means more time to read and play Harry Potter. She would scold me for saying “play,” because this is real life; it’s not a game. And after today’s Harry Potter pentathlon, I can assure you, it is for real. Read More

No One is Fine; Everyone is Busy

I am embarking on a personal mission – to kick out “busy” and “fine” from my casual interactions. So, if you ask me how I am, you will no longer receive these robotic responses. Instead, you will receive an earful of truth. Because while everyone is busy, no one is fine; and in the end, neither word means anything anymore to anyone. Read More

The Productivity Conundrum

As soon as the baby goes down for her nap, it’s time to be “productive.” Unload the dishes. Switch the laundry. Reply to emails. Place an order on Amazon. Sweep up the never-ending sea of crumbs under the dining room table. Prep dinner. Pack afternoon snacks. I have approximately two hours before she wakes up, at which point I will struggle to extract her from the house to pick up her siblings from school.

Why is taking care of children not productive? Why does it eat into worthwhile and necessary activities and chores? And am I the only one who just noticed how fucked up that is? Read More

Of Lice and Men

If you have dealt with this scourge to humanity, then your nerves are flashing on high alert. If you’re lucky enough to have avoided the insanity-provoking critters from infesting your children’s hair, then you can just think back to your childhood of school lice checks, smelly shampoo, and possibly a too-short haircut. Whether or not you have nuked the little fuckers on your precious babies’ hair or resorted to bribes you thought were beneath you just to comb them out, your scalp is likely itching just thinking about them. Read More