5 Do’s and Don’ts for Raising Middle Schoolers: What To Do When You Can’t Drop-Kick Them Over the Fence

Oh, man.

His body is too big for his brain right now, you guys. It’s one-half Bambi On Ice around here and one-half T-Rex Takes Manhattan. The holes in the wall are, I feel, simply an outward symbol of an inward reality.

It’s okay, though, this Parenting a Middle Schooler thing. It is. It’s normal, right? Normal and exhausting and exhilarating and consuming and every day. Relentless, like all of parenting. Harder in some ways than parenting littles because I can’t tuck this kid under my arm and bodily move him to a timeout chair. Easier in some ways than parenting littles because he can clean my whole laundry room which is AWESOME on toast with a side of butter. So it’s okay, see? Some days, I even believe we’ll all survive this. ...  read more

Take THAT, Worry. We are FINE.

Emergency rules, you guys. Our family has them.

I don’t know. Maybe we honed them from necessity during all the times my kids have taken a wall to the head or embedded a sewing needle in the leg or lost a fight with the monkey bars — stitches and surgeries and breaks, oh my — or maybe we developed them because I’ve always been a freaker who can’t stand emergency suspense. Go ahead and share the spoilers, I think. It’s OK; I need to know how this ends. It’s hard to say, really, whether the freak-out chicken or the emergency-rule egg came first, but, regardless, we have rules...  read more

On Getting My Butt(s) Kicked

I didn’t literally get my butt kicked, although I might know a certain 5-year-old who lives at my house who likes to beat his mama’s cheeks like bongos.

Your butts make beautiful music, Mom. Plus — bonus! — they jiggle wiggle jiggle wiggle.

No, I’m talking more about a figurative butt kicking.

As in, I am pooped, y’all. ...  read more

Reflections on Back-to-School from a Both/And Mom

It’s back-to-school Tuesday, and I’m just not sure. I’m a little lost. A touch uncertain. I’m not so much confused as I am, well, complicated. So I wonder…

Is today an OK day to be a Both/And mom?

Is it?

Because, you know, I read articles and blogs and Facebook posts and they’re kind of Either/Or about this whole back-to-school thing, and I admit, I’m a wallflower at the party, trying to stand quietly in the corner and not say too much, ’cause I’m not sure exactly where I fit, and I don’t know how to pick a side. ...  read more