Category Archives: Juli

Learning to fall

By Juli

This week I took my children skating. Because, you see, they will both be having skating lessons through their school soon, and I wanted to take my youngest (who has never been skating) before her lessons start in a few weeks time, just as I did three years ago with her brother before her. My plan was simple — I didn’t take them so they could learn how to skate, I took them so they could learn how to fall.

I have full confidence in the skating teachers’ abilities to teach my kids how to skate. They will teach them how to weave around the little cones, and how to hold their arms out for balance, and even how to get up from the ice. But I know my kids pretty well by now, and they’re kind of like me, which I guess makes some genetic sense. Without support, without encouragement, without someone big telling them it’s okay, they are quite likely to give up. And stay given up. I remember the day I tried to learn snowboarding. Continue reading

A Not-Bad Morning

By Juli

Now that the school year is in full swing, I’ve been thinking about the way we start the weekday around my house. Today, for example, was a day that did not start especially well. It was picture day (of course), so my first task was to attempt to coax my youngest child into some adorable clothes while she declared mightily that she did NOT want to go to Kindergarten, except okay, actually she did want to go. Then I spent half an hour following her around with a hairbrush trying to convince her to let me put pigtails in her hair for picture day, so that we might remember these days as we wish they were, instead of how they actually are (I’m lucky if my child allows a brush to run through her hair once, let alone some kind of “do”). She tolerates having her hair brushed, but she despises having her hair put up in any fashion. She prefers to look like a ragamuffin child that nobody cares about — it is an angle that works for her, as I think it makes people take pity on her and give her treats.  Continue reading

The Curse Of The Low FODMAP Diet, and How I’m Gonna Get Through 6 Weeks of It

By Juli

Recently my doctor put me on a special diet called the “Low FODMAP” diet, to resolve some stomach irritation problems I have been having for a while. You know those health issues that are minor to moderate that you never go to get checked out or at least not enough to get them resolved because you are a parent and responsible for the lives of small people who are constantly trying to kill themselves, so their health requires your full attention on a consistent basis? Yes — that’s the reason you haven’t gone to get those things checked out — you and me both. But eventually the annoyance of my stomach hurting pretty much every night drove me to my doctor’s office, and like a good doctor should, he sent me for blood work and put me on a restrictive diet to see if that would do anything. And I have been on this diet for a little over a week now, so of course I am already an expert on it. And in my “expert” opinion, it stinks. Continue reading

Asking For Help

By Juli

Something I’ve always been terrible at is asking for help. From little things to big things, it’s always been a challenge for me.

As I reflect upon it, I think I have realized that somewhere inside me I believe it is bad to even ask. I don’t know where this comes from. Perhaps it is the emphasis our culture places on being self-sufficient. Maybe it’s because I’ve always heard other people around me, especially women, ladle apologies on and around their requests, as if to say; “I’m so sorry to ask … I’m even sorry that you have to be in the presence of someone so PATHETIC … but would you mind feeding my cat this weekend while I’m away? I’m so sorry! You’re probably busy! If you can’t it’s no problem at ALL! Ahhhhhh!” Continue reading

The Facts and Fictions You Should Know Before You Become a Parent

By Juli
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Fact: If you sit down to use the bathroom, your child will suddenly have to wash their hands/their stuffed pet’s hands, and will knock on the door/jiggle the handle until you let her in, and because you can’t GO under those conditions you might as well open the door. It will be a long time before you will urinate or defecate in complete privacy again.

Fiction: You will be able to sleep in again one day. Continue reading

That Time I Built “The Enterprise” with My 7-year-old

By Juli

I’ve always been a fan of Star Trek, specifically the “Next Generation” series, so when my son got a build-your-own toy-brick U.S.S. Enterprise last Christmas I was pretty excited, because I figured it was something that he and I could have fun doing together. Like many of our toys (lest we be overwhelmed by them), it was put up on a shelf for future use, and according to the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” rule it was promptly forgotten. Fast-forward to a few days ago, when I found it in the closet and my eyes lit up. “Hey!” I said to my boy, “Let’s build THIS tomorrow!” “Yeeeah!” He said. It was a date. Continue reading

The Lice Busters

By Juli

Years ago I remember announcing, with some confidence, that if I ever got lice I would immediately shave my head. This was in my early twenties, during a lice outbreak at the camp I was working at at the time. During that outbreak, luckily, I never got lice, so my long brunette locks remained afixed to my oddly-shaped head. I was perhaps not thinking of the shape of my head when I made that promise, but it is one reason I am glad I didn’t follow through with that at the time. Having a child who has the same head (it is flat on the top with two corners. If we ever cross paths in real life, remind me of this post and I’ll let you feel it so you can see what I mean) has reinforced for me the fact that shaving my head would not be a good idea, but I digress. Continue reading

The OTHER Packing To-Do List

By Juli

My kids and I are leaving tomorrow to go work at a camp for a week, and we are all very, very excited. Camp means so many wonderful things — fun with friends, crafts, activities, good conversations and hopefully spending quality time together as a family. Unsurprisingly, however, I have a packing and to-do list that are each a mile long, and I ended up with a lot more to do today than I bargained for.

My regular to-do list has the usual things on it around packing and preparing for the week away. However, I also have ANOTHER to-do list, which I don’t often articulate or write down, mostly because I don’t usually have to think of these things, I automatically just DO them because I have learned the HARD WAY. However, today I wrote them down, because I figured that they might help somebody else out there who is also planning a summer trip. Continue reading

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