School’s Almost Out: It’s Time to Start Lying

School is almost out. I can tell because my son took dead flies for Show & Tell yesterday, and he brought a hoe to school today. There’s nothing that screams we’re drinking the dregs of the school year like the kindergartner hauling around desecrated insects and shouting “Mom! Hurry up with that hoe!” across the parking lot of the nice Christian school. ...  read more

Thoughts on Quiet and Where I Went Wrong

ID-10070669My parents left our house on Saturday after a lovely and loud family dinner. They laughed on their way out and said they were going home to greet the Quiet.

I stood on the front porch, frozen for a moment with sudden longing, watching them walk away.

Because Quiet? I remember Quiet.

And I think I understand now why he left. I understand why he thought Chaos was my favorite. I understand that I showered Chaos with attention and that Quiet was hurt by my neglect. ...  read more

Passport Mug Shot: Jacoba Alderink on Parenting and Imperfection

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Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

Today, I’m very pleased to introduce you to Jacoba Alderink, the writer behind A Yankee Mom in Texas. I love Jacoba because, in short, she cracks me up. She tags her posts things like “Questionable Parenting,” “Spawn of Satan” and “Unseemly Confessions.” And she writes about gonorrhea. So, you know; what’s not to love? ...  read more

How to Choose the Perfect Banana

I sent out a cry for help on Facebook last night:

Am holed up in the bathroom. Poorly organized but enthusiastic oppositional forces are assembling to attempt a siege. My supplies = a good book, a threadbare towel, limited toilet paper, plentiful water, 16 oz. raw almonds, 2 tootsie pops, and a partially used banana. Could hold out for days, except I forgot my phone cord; am considering making a dash for that, a pillow & several pairs of earplugs while the opposition is distracted by infighting. What would you advise? Over. ...  read more

Hormones. Kids Have Them.

Hormones. Kids have them. Both genders. Which was a real disappointment, let me tell you, because I was pretty invested in the sexist idea that I’d only have to deal with wild mood swings in my girl children. But no. Boys have hormones, too. And we often see the effects way, way earlier than we expect.

I remember sitting around with other mothers of 9-year-old boys several years ago. Not to be dramatic, but we were shocky and confused as we stumbled out of the smoldering wreck with minor lacerations and ash on our faces, struggling for air. We all sat there a little pale with eyes too wide, stumbling over our words, most of which came out, “The ??” Swear to God, it was like trying to parent Honey Badger, except maybe regressive Honey Badger with bonus tantrum material. ...  read more

Broken: Heather Bowie on Parenting and Imperfection

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Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

I can’t remember precisely when I started reading Heather Bowie’s blog, Team Aidan, but I know her list of what we, the parents of kids with special needs, wish you, the others, knew about our lives made me cheer and cemented my love of her writing. As a mama of a kid with special needs myself, I particularly resonated with “I’m mostly over it, and sometimes I’m not,” and “I constantly teeter on the edge of gratitude and insanity.” <— OH MY WORD, YES; ME, TOO!  ...  read more

Advice on Raising Me

I received a message this week from a new reader. She wrote:

My daughter shares the same name as you. Beth Woolsey! What are the chances? I thought for sure my Beth was the only Beth Woolsey in the world.

And I thought, “Finally! A namesake!” After my brother and his wife named their first daughter after their mothers, I figured their sisters’ names were shoe-ins for the next kids. Katie Beth? COME ON. Isn’t that the sweetest? But no. They thought their boys should have more masculine names. Whatever. ...  read more