The Metamorphosis of Small Bear

Babyman's favorite books are the Berenstain Bears series.  Most of us remember the Berenstain family thusly: Mama, Papa, Sister and Brother.  (Later on, Stan and Jan Berenstain's son Mike muscled his way into the family franchise and created third sibling Honey Bear, as well as a number of more commercial books and the animated television series, but we are purists.) A closer look at the canon reveals that in the first book (and the early readers, like Old Hat, New Hat) there are actually only three bears living in the tree-house deep in Bear County: Mama, Papa, and Small Bear.  The story ... [READ MORE]

A Week in a Day

My husband has taken up yoga on Saturday mornings, which means Sunday mornings are my gym time, and I am quite liking it.  In particular, while I am gasping away on the Stairmaster I like watching Meet the Press to get my comprehensive week-in-review for news and current events, followed by a new Food Network program called Week in a Day hosted by Rachael Ray.  The former program wraps up the week, the latter kicks it off.  Symmetry in TV-land. Love her or hate her (and I confess I oscillate on that one), Ms. Ray has landed quite a concept with her new show, and while I haven't actually ... [READ MORE]

Me Time, Tea Time

My Facebook feed the other day contained two articles about the disenchantment of parenthood: one analyzed how little "me-time" the average parent gets in a 24-hour period (90 minutes), and the other discussed the cognitive dissonance of parenthood, i.e. that we delude ourselves into thinking that this whole enterprise is rewarding in order to cope with the stress. Hmmm.  I can't help but wonder what purpose is served by these types of studies.  Is the human race to stop reproducing?  Should we be focused on the endless pursuit of personal pleasure and ignore an innate instinct to propagate ... [READ MORE]

The Half-Time Report

The other day my husband was describing Babyman to a friend and used a new analogy that I liked quite a bit.  In honor of the impending Superbowl, I will share it with you here: "It's like being a football coach," he explained.  (In this analogy, my husband and I are one coach and Babyman is the entire opposing team, because yes, he's that big of a force.)  "Basically, every few weeks -- not all the time, but on a cycle -- he mounts a really tough offense.  He's got a new game and we're just falling for it for a few days.  Then about two or three days in, we huddle -- it's like half-time -- ... [READ MORE]


Mealtimes are once again a battlefield.  This is a cyclical occurrence.  Sleep and food are the two things Babyman can control, so when he is transitioning through a hard-core Testing Twos phase, nap strikes and high-chair tantrums are his tools of choice.  They are effective, too, when it comes to cutting a parent off at the knees.  Both are deeply psychological weapons, as the parent knows what even the toddler himself can't grasp: that an infuriating mealtime or a missed nap is but the first phase; it is invariably followed by the Exhausted and Famished Toddler phase, a phase in which all ... [READ MORE]

All Good Things…

Did you ever see that Friends episode where Joey and Chandler's TV gets stuck on the porn channel?  Not to ruin the plot if you haven't, but the upshot is that they love it, until they realize all that porn is warping their sense of reality. Babyman appears to be experiencing a similar struggle surrounding the end of the Christmas season.  The past month has totally messed with his expectations: he wakes in the morning expecting chocolate at the breakfast table (the inevitable Advent calendar hangover); he studies every piece of mail, every package, and every decorative store display before ... [READ MORE]

The Sound

I know I make a big deal about Babyman's distaste for vegetables, but actually I'm not being entirely accurate.  The truth is, he will eat a limited variety of vegetables, provided they are pureed beyond recognition.  The slightest hint of a lump and he'll reject it, but if prepared to taste he will happily eat broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach (though I have more success with the latter when mixed into "green eggs").  Perhaps I am giving him too much control by catering to this foible, but the sorry fact of the matter is that I want the little guy to eat his darn veggies, so if I must puree ... [READ MORE]