Second Act

Five Second Rule

Dear Scientific Community,

I heard something on the radio last week that sent me into a spiral of despair, rocking my parental philosophies to their very core.

The five second rule isn’t real.

Apparently, you have again set out to prove that just as much bacteria can collect on a piece of food that has sat on the ground for five seconds as would collect on a piece of food sitting there for, say, 30 seconds. Or five minutes.

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I Should Have Majored in Homework

I have discovered yet another form of parenting torture.  Homework.

I used to have a sort of romantic notion of homework.  Cozy afternoons spent around the kitchen table as we drink hot chocolate and I help my children form the habits and organizational skills that will help them become successful adults.

Well, I’m over it.

Never in my life have I had to endure something that can simultaneously make me feel so stupid and at the same time test my patience to such a level that I’m trying to remember what happened to that Vicodin prescription from The Hub’s root canal last year.  This dual level of anguish is brought on by the fact that we have both a sixth grader and a second grader.  On the one hand we have the Monkey, whose math homework is beginning to resemble something I once saw on a tour of the Air and Space Museum.  On the other hand is the ladybug.  Sweet, sweet ladybug, who is taking her sweet sweet time learning to read and write.

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Wear Pants While Visiting Rabbits

I’ve noticed lately that many books for children, especially those aimed at 3-6 year-olds, are a little light on creativity and a little heavy on messages. Perhaps it’s time and age, but I don’t remember the authors of yesteryear taking it upon themselves to cram as many life lessons into our bedtime reading as possible.  Sure, there were always morals and parallels that could be drawn, but as the reader we were allowed to use our imagination and sensibility to interpret as we might.

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Who Says Oreos Aren’t for Breakfast?

We are only two days into summer, and already I can feel my standards slipping.  Bedtime has gone out the window, the Monkey has already watched two PG-13 movies that he’s NEVER been allowed to see before, and, most notably, we’ve eaten Oreos for breakfast.

Oreos.  For Breakfast.

Now, while I’m lax about a lot of things, I do try to maintain some healthy influence over my children’s eating habits.  But something about summer makes poor choices easier to justify.   I try to ease my guilty conscience with a little game I like to call “Find the Food Groups”.

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Second Act: “And the Award Goes to….”

Last Sunday brought with it one of my favorite days of the year – Oscar Day!  The Academy Awards have long been sacred in my house; the day when I can live vicariously through the glamorous actors and actresses that I admire.  There were many years, growing up and into my young adulthood, when I would fantasize that I, svelte and glamorous, would walk the red carpet amongst the famous and fabulous.

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Second Act: Five Signs

In the vast sea of the internet, one can find “authoritative” articles on just about any subject.  Who knew how to use mayonnaise to clean your furniture?  Are you aware of the 103 warning signals that your spouse is addicted to Dr. Who?  Up to speed on the best slow-cooker, gluten-free, pasteurized, kosher macaroni and cheese recipes? I am literally dizzy with all I should know, but don’t, from the internet.

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Second Act: Confessions to Our Son on his Sixteenth Birthday:

I am writing this on the eve of your sixteenth birthday.  I have to admit this milestone has me feeling a little weepy and very sentimental.   I promise not to display any hysterical-like emotions within a 50-foot radius of your friends, per our contract.  However, here, in the safe confines of the Moms Who Need Wine (your future therapist will thank me for that one), I feel the need to emote.

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Second Act: I Took My Big Butt to My High School Reunion and Here’s What Happened

I recently wrote of my dear high school drama club friends, and the fact that I was in the midst of organizing a reunion, bringing us all back together from points across the country.  In truth, there’s a little more to that story.  I have a long and challenging relationship with the whole reunion concept.  The fact of the matter is that, since high school, I’ve put on some serious weight.  Enough to make a significant difference.  Plenty.  In Starbucks terms, I went from a tall to a venti.  So I have spent the better part of the last decade letting the shame of my weight gain dictate my decisions.  This means avoiding reunions at all costs.  From the big class get-togethers, to invitations for small visits, I declined, double-booked and basically ignored all such requests.  I was in hiding.  But now, NOW was the time – I mean, I was a reunion organizer and I had a plan!

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Second Act: On Becoming a Drama Geek

This month, we are celebrating Kids and the Arts with our sponsor, KRIS Wines. KRIS and Americans for the Arts are teaming up to grant up to $25,000 to Arts Education programs in the U.S. Vote for your school today at www.facebook.com/kriswines.

When I was first asked to write about the arts in our lives and the lives of our kids, I thought, “This will be a no-brainer”.  No one is ever surprised to learn that I have spent most of my life as a “drama geek,” given my flair for the melodramatic, my outlandish outbursts, my delight in a costume party.  And there could be no better timing as I am in the midst of planning a reunion of my fellow high school thespians (pause for giggles) this coming November.  “Yes,” thought I, “I’ve got this.”

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Second Act: On Becoming My Parents

I’ve noticed a dark trend lately.   I’ve begun displaying certain behaviors.   Quirks, really.   Quirks that are strangely familiar.   Quirks that bring out distant memories of my youth; memories of annoyance or frustration, or sheer humiliation.  Quirks that I once swore I would never engage in.  And yet, as if surrounded by some geriatric vortex, I find myself getting sucked in.

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