This Old Mom - Wingman For My 5 Year Old

Wingman for My 5 Year Old

Posted: September 20, 2017

As a kid, I was such an arts n’ crafts nerd, I thought that emphasizing the ‘n’ in ‘arts n’ crafts’ made it sound way cooler than it already was. Spirograph was my gateway drug into rug hooking kits (6 inch square rugs, mind you). Craving a harder high, rock tumbling fed my Irish Catholic/German Jew propensity to martyr myself by turning dirty rocks for…

This Old Mom - Happy Interdependence Day

Happy Interdependence Day

Posted: July 3, 2017

Just this morning Grace passionately apologized to her Olaf crayon when she broke his tip off. (She tends to color hard.) GRACE: Olaf. I am sorry I broke you because I love you Olaf. (Whispers to her Olaf crayon) You are my favorite. More than that reindeer. ME: Why do you like Olaf so much? GRACE: Because he’s white. And because the one thing he…

This Old Mom - Hide the Knives

Hide the Knives

Posted: March 1, 2017

Our first clues that fostering a teenager would be absurdly terrifying occurred while Canada and I were fingerprinted. Absurd? The fingerprinting form had two sections, the top for adopting an animal and the bottom for adopting a human. Our finger-printer was an exhausted, distracted woman who paled when her cellphone rang. She apologized as she answered. FINGER-PRINTER: I have to answer. My son’s been missing…

This Old Mom - But He Doesn't Like Brown Skin

But He Doesn’t Like Brown Skin

Posted: November 22, 2016

Grace is the only one able to speak as the adults watch Florida sink from a pale hopeful pink into Shark Week red in it’s haste to elect the reality star of White Male Privilege. Grace: But Donald Trump doesn’t like brown people. While Canada (my husband, personal salvation and possible new address) tries to soothe Grace about her skin color being wrong for our…

This Old Mom - Hypochondria, Part Deux

Hypochondria, Part Deux

Posted: October 25, 2016

While losing my already threadbare patience over Grace’s mourning the loss of an entire hand due to a hangnail, I can’t help wonder if she somehow caught hypochondria (My Hypochondriac, Myself) from me. Around age 6 I became convinced something was terribly wrong with me, despite what doctors and everyone else said. Undeterred, armed with stacks of Ladies Home Journal, People and Redbook, it was…

This Old Mom - My Hypochondriac, Myself

My Hypochondriac, Myself

Posted: July 7, 2016

Do all mothers Gypsy-Curse their kids? My mother, who I miss thoroughly, Gypsy-Cursed me when I was a wee raging ball of eczema and dozens more inflated or imaginary medical symptoms. When I was seven, I’d routinely wake up at 4am, screaming from a charley horse, which if you are not a child or a hypochondriac, is a spasming calf muscle. ME: I HAVE POLIO!!!!!…

This Old Man - The Long Game

The Long Game (of Parenting)

Posted: June 28, 2016

What we’ve taught our four year old (so far): We don’t clean rocks in our mouth (even pretty rocks). We don’t blow our noses in our shirts, unless Mom forgot Kleenex (which is often). We don’t NOT wipe our butts because we need to resume playing. How to snap (her fingers). What I’ve learned? Kids teach us much more. If we let them. Filled with…

This Old Mom - I made a Black Friend

I Made A Black Friend! (trigger warning: irony)

Posted: May 19, 2016

Words cannot fully convey the embarrassment, shame and helplessness one feels when adoption lawyers, social workers and even one’s own mother urges one to ‘make black friends’. Of course, one does know black people and consider them friends, or friend-ish… and one has phone numbers and emails and Instagram and Twitter accounts to back this assertion up, but when one examines one’s soul, especially after…

This Old Mom - The Circle of Life Isn't

The Circle of Life Isn’t

Posted: May 12, 2016

Why does every teachable moment in my poor kid’s life begin with This Old Mom making a ginormous mistake? Either I’m not listening or listening while multi-tasking which is basically not listening or it’s impossible to understand what Grace is saying because her current stabs at English give her an accent that veers from Brooklyn to Boston to Creole- sometimes in the same word. One…

This Old Mom Kneeling in Ethnic

Kneeling in Ethnic

Posted: April 27, 2016

It’s the aisle I’ve never been in before. Actually it’s not even a whole aisle. Somewhere after the Do-Rags, one is suddenly intently staring at replacement wiper blades. Odd how abruptly Ethnic morphs into Automotive. I’m kneeling in the Ethnic Aisle because my mother cursed me, long ago. As a kid, I begged my mom to let my limp, fine hair grow long like the…