big kids

3 age-appropriate ways to talk to kids and teens about media portrayals of sexual assault

I have this super awesome talent for thinking of the perfect thing to say hours later. A talent which is not in any way useful — unless you have a blog. In which case you can blog about it and get it all out. So here are three possible, age-appropriate, conversations you can have with your children about rape that I came up with.

No, I’m not pregnant — and I never want to be again

A friend of mine (the mother of one of my daughter’s classmates) said hello to me at a school function a few weeks ago. After pleasantries were exchanged and she noticed I was on my way out with one of my kids in tow, she asked a seemingly harmless question.

An AT-AT walker designed for a four-year-old

My four-year-old son had a scheduled surgery on both his legs last Tuesday, and was sent home with a walker and knee immobilizers — neither of which he enjoys. A friend of mine designed an AT-AT out of cardboard for our son’s walker, and the rest is pure post-op recovery magic.

We’re still co-sleeping at 6… with no end in sight

Fifteen years ago when I became a parent for the first time, I wasn’t familiar with the term Attachment Parenting or co-sleeping. I did know that my son was my world, and never having him far from me made sense. Also, let’s be honest — as a single mama who was wiped out most of the time, letting my baby come into my bed where we both slept peacefully seemed like a no-brainer.

Talking “the talk” with my daughters: I accidentally avoided talking about sex with my kids

At this point I was feeling pretty good about myself and the conversation. I felt I’d taken a stand for equal rights and promised to defend my daughters’ reproductive rights. I was feeling much like a bona fide father of the year candidate when I was blind sided by the next question. “So, how do they get in there then?” she asked.

I am the parent of a weird kid, and I know I’m not alone

Life with a weird kid is isolating. You spend a lot of time tamping down that parental anxiety when your kid is freaking out and it seems like all the other kids are sitting nicely and cooperating. You explain over and over that your kid just doesn’t like circle time or story time or most organized activities. I’ve learned over time to respect my son and the way he functions, and there are a lot of activities we simply cannot do because he can’t handle them. I’ve learned that the reason it seems like all the other kids can cope is that the parents with the weird kids are staying home. I’ve felt completely and utterly alone as seemingly everyone else went around with their perfectly normal, average kid.

On figuring out when a kid is old enough to be left alone

I saw my son with a mug of hot cocoa, piled high with marshmallows of course, concentrating furiously over his newest level of Angry Birds. As if in a mental split screen, I also saw him running around the ski lodge, frantically calling for my husband while nearby adults tried to help.

Rewind to autumn with this Canadian engagement-meets-family-meets-maternity session

Not so long ago, temperatures were significantly warmer in much of the Northern hemisphere. Like, warm enough to wear a dress WITHOUT A COAT, if that’s your thing. Since those days are gone and it sometimes seems like winter will never release its icy grip (see also: I live in the Pacific Northwest), this sunny family portrait session from Samantha Clarke Photography seems like just the thing to warm your cold, bitter bones.