The Tooth Fairy Intervention

I think the Tooth Fairy might have a problem.

Now, I’m not saying she’s drinking too much or doing drugs, but there are some warning signs, and I just wouldn’t be a very good friend if I ignore them and assume all’s well. Since you may be friends with the Tooth Fairy, too, I thought we might talk about our experiences and decide together whether we need to intervene. ...  read more

Looking in the Rearview Mirror & Finding Mercy

My kids got to meet paramedics and police officers today. I’m sure there are events more humiliating and humbling than a car accident that’s my fault, but right at the moment, I’m hard-pressed to think of one.

Well, maybe the time I was the trained facilitator leading a trust-fall activity when I let the person falling toward me plummet to the earth and land on her hiney. That was pretty embarrassing. ...  read more

FAQ and Other Stuff I Shouldn’t Say

FYI, I say “FYI” a lot.

You know.  FYI.  Meaning “for your information.”

I was talking to my 12-year-old one day, and she mimicked me by saying, “FYI, Mom, I want a laptop.”

And I responded, “F your I, Abby, you’re not getting one.”

F your I, I’m a parenting genius.

Sometimes I have conversations with myself as though I’m more than one person.  They go like this: ...  read more

Don’t Puke

Abby:  Mom, say you’re sorry.

That’s a common request these days from my 12-year-old daughter.

So is my response.

Me:  Now what?

Abby:  For embarrassing me.


For that.

The only problem is I’m not sure which of these embarrassing things to apologize for:

  1. Making up the “Don’t Puke” song as my special way to discourage Abby’s carsickness on a long ride home.
  2. Singing it a few days later for Abby’s friends.
  3. Embellishing it operatically, for which the friends likened me to a dying walrus.

Before I offer an apology, I usually question whether I can do so authentically.

In this case, though, and pretty much any “you embarrassed me” situation, I’m pretty certain I owe her the apology. ...  read more


As our “loving conversation” deteriorated tonight, I said to my 12-year-old: Do you want to talk calmly to me about this, or do you want to accuse me?

Her response? Both!

Well, I can’t fault the kid for honesty.  Ask a stupid question, right?

Pretty much gonna just give her kudos for transparency and move on.

In case you’re curious, here’s what moving on looks like: ...  read more

This is parenting. Not sense-making.

Abby (12) got in trouble recently.  That’s fairly unusual for her.  She typically leaves that to the other, younger children at our house.  Then, when they’re distracting me with their blatant misbehavior, she does whatever she wants.  I’m terrified the other kids will catch on to her tricks and move their own nefarious deeds under the radar.  I’ve never been very good at detecting Subtle. ...  read more