Fire Drills, Farting, and the Role of the Principal

We do a lot of fire drills in schools. Sometimes I feel like it's enough to make a fitness regiment, "Conquer childhood obesity with the Fire Drill Workout!" There are many categories of drills to learn from the good old-fashioned fire drill to evacuations and...

The First Snow in New England

Yesterday was the first cold day up here--I knew because everyone's social media stream said, "SNOW!" Those posts that saved me the effort of turning my head to look out the window. Still, I looked, because that's what the first snow in New England does to a person....

Today, You’d Be a Sex Offender

I'm having a nice night with my husband. We're sitting on the couch watching Grease, one of the best movies of all time. Couch movie watching is the pinnacle of good nights when you have a mutant six-year old who doesn't go to sleep. "Mommy!" "What!" "I need a pen for...

Not Dead Yet. But Decaf Is Close

"I have a confession to make," I said. "I'm drinking decaf coffee.  And it $%^% sucks." Decaf coffee is what doctors sentence a person to when they have no more medical hope or advice for them. "Start drinking decaf." It means "I've gone to 15 extra years of medical...

“Spank Me!”

"That's the problem with kids today. You don't have the authority to discipline them," said one person who did not wish to be identified because (s)he will never be allowed to join the PTO and bake cookies again. "I've spanked my son," said one mom, lowering her...

Don’t Need to “Get a Sweater”

The wood stove is on. Rural New England's got "the-leaves-have-turned" chill that sparks my competitive spirit. It's five degrees colder than urban New England where the collective effects of the sun beating off the black pavement and all the car exhaust produces...

Changing My Name to “Hey, Mom”

"Hey, Mom, are you late?" He knows when to get up. He picks the precise moment that will disturb me the most. Not that I don't love to cuddle, but it's deliberate, and amazingly precise. How can a six-year old inflict such collateral damage on the morning schedule? He...

Why You Should Buy Your Kids Whatever They Want

"MOM! Brittany's got a gaming system!" Declan came running into the room. Here's the part in the conversation where I'm supposed to be indignant. "Yeah. She has a gaming system." "Why don't I have a gaming system?" "This is America, kid. You want to keep up with the...

How to Be a Stalker

I'm about to teach a lesson about researching and connecting. Who wants to learn about researching? Exactly nobody. I survey my audience. Teenaged Facebook fiends drifting off into space. Think quick. We need excitement. The best theatre is performed live...on the...

Looking into the Artists’ Eyes

It's easy to give feedback. But there's something about giving honest and genuine feedback while looking into the eyes of an artist that's emotional, different. The Scituate Art Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the nation. We've been coming for...

No More “Cookie Mom”

I'm baking for the bake sale. Declan's school has a table at the Scituate Art Festival. This is my first opportunity to raise money for the elementary school. I'm not good at fundraising but on days where I pay attention, I can cook. On days I don't, I burn outlines...