All posts tagged: Kids

Choosing Calm Over Chaos Made Me Less of an Asshole Mom

(Image: Isabella Giancarlo) For a long time, I couldn’t relate to mother-daughter relationship drama stories. I was way too preoccupied with an operatic level of paternal drama for that. My father’s attentions, and the absence thereof, consumed my childhood. I was too busy being adored, smacked, screamed at, and gaslighted by my dad to have any emotional space left to hate my mom. My own daughter, Amira, was born 11 days after my 30th birthday. Four and a half years later, my son Lev was born. I did the stay-at-home-mom thing for 10 years, throughout my 30s. My job performance was fair. In the “pro” column: I think I gave my kids pretty good advice about how to stand down bullies. “If someone teases you,” I said, “squint real hard, look totally grossed out and say: ‘Ewww…! What’s that green stuff coming out of your nose?!?’” They both say it never came to that, but I know they knew what I was getting at: Don’t dignify shitty behavior. You’re bigger than that. My temper, however, …

The Day I Stopped Trusting My Memory

“I don’t have time for this shit,” I grumbled to myself as I searched the apartment for my keys. Moving piles of unopened mail around on the kitchen table, I felt the familiar pit in my stomach begin to grow. “Why didn’t I put the keys on its porcelain dish as usual?” I chastised myself. “And why was this happening so often lately?” Just last week, I went searching for my iPhone and found it in the freezer. In the freezer. Don’t even ask me how I did that because — guess what — I don’t remember. Back in my years before Impending Cronehood, I had a remarkable memory — almost photographic. Dates, names, and intimate details were etched into my brain so clearly that I could recall them vividly, and I was often used as my friend’s journals, to be opened when their own recollections of the past grew hazy. “Hey, Issa, what was the name of that guy I used to date our freshman year in college? You know, the one who was …

When I Lost Weight, My Daughter Didn’t Recognize Me

I am watching home videos with my daughter, who is nearly 15 and prone to bouts of nostalgia. She likes to remind herself of a time when life was simpler — when she received toys instead of gift cards for her birthday, when her little brother still idolized her, when her favorite thing about the science museum was the diorama room and she could run freely through the exhibit since no one else’s favorite thing about the science museum is the diorama room. On the television screen, my children’s cheeks are still rosy and full, their smiles silly and unguarded. I love watching their skinny little legs kicking in the pool, their pudgy fingers picking up one goldfish cracker at a time. The only thing I don’t like about these old home movies is seeing myself on camera. The me I see onscreen is quite heavy – 40 pounds heavier than my current weight, to be exact. Because I am short – only 4’9” – a gain or loss of even three pounds is visible …

When My 4-Year-Old Punched Another Kid, I Became That Mom

So. My kid punched a kid. Let’s just start there. It happened at preschool, on an unassuming, every-day kind of a day. But at pick-up, the teacher slid next to me on the sectioned colored rug and delicately started in, “…so, your son was a little off today…” What’s that? She then unveiled my son’s litany of attacks that day: a shove, a push to the cement and the whopper finale of three sucker punches to the ribs of his classmate. Oh. Oh, God… When she asked him why he did it, he stared blankly into space and said, “For no reason”. Quick backstory on my kid: He’s a hyper dude — but not a violent one. His body goes before his brain, and sometimes it’s a struggle to calm him or focus him or get him to put on his shoes (putonyourshoeswillyoujustputonyourshoesyourshoesrightthere…), but he is usually a keep-his-hands-to-himself kind of a kid. Until today. The teacher excused herself to talk to the parents picking up their wounded children. “So, Jasper was pushed…Markus was shoved…Michael was punched …

Silly Things People Have Said to Me When I Tell Them I’m Not Having Kids

There will be no children in my future. Ever. Yes, I am married. Yes, my husband knows that I do not want children. Yes, we both realize we’re extremely fortunate to be able to elect to live childfree. He doesn’t want kids either. It’s part of the reason I married him. (That, and he has excellent hair.) He married me knowing that and also because I always clean the litter box. I probably brought up the topic of kids on the second date — it would have been a deal breaker. My husband would make the world’s greatest father. But that alone isn’t reason enough for me to become the mother I’ve never wanted to be, to take on a crushing financial burden or to add more to my already too-full plate. I love my friends’ children. Because I don’t have to take care of them. Their cuteness is there to fulfill my need to see cute things. I don’t expect them to behave for me, and they don’t expect 18 years of dinner from …

10 Ways to Keep From Retiring in a Cardboard Box

I’ve never had access to a 401(k) plan — I’ve been working full-time freelance since 2006. I’ve always wanted to retire, no matter how anathema that sounds in workaholic America. Maybe it’s because I’ve also lived in countries where people actually look forward to — and many can afford — a labor-free later life: England, France, Mexico and my native Canada. Not coincidentally, fear of medical bankruptcy  — the greatest single destroyer of Americans’ finances — isn’t an issue there either because they offer single-payer government healthcare from cradle to grave, working or not. I’ve been saving hard for years. I’m married, so I do have the advantage of an additional income and shared costs. If I were single, I’d probably sell my home and rent or use a reverse mortgage. As a journalist who’s been covering personal finance for years for outlets like The New York Times, Reuters, Investopedia and others, I’ve learned a lot about the common financial mistakes people make. I’ve also handled my own money for decades, moving out of my …

Making Room for an Older, Adopted Son

When you renovate a home, you tear down walls, gut rooms, rip out old pipes and wires. You empty out to rebuild and refill it. When you renovate a family, you push, stretch, pull and shift, too. You push past fears of it “not being the right time” or of you “not having enough money.” You stretch your thinking about the structure of your family and where everyone will fit in with a new addition. You stretch the shape of your heart to fit a new child into it, one that didn’t come from inside of you but is placed with you. You shift the space within your mind, your heart and your home to make room. “I want a baby brother,” my 9-year-old daughter told me for the umpteenth time. My “bio” daughter, or “biological daughter,” as she would soon be known, was eager for a sibling and no amount of “Mommy can’t have any more babies” satisfied her want. And then one day, something shifted. “I want a baby brother,” she said. And …

The Season of Giving In

I’m just going to come out and say it: I am not doing well. I am spent. I am drained. And now we are entering the season of giving? Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I am tapped out. I’m a mom of two boys, two and four years old. They are brilliant little crazed monkey lunatics. My heart is on my sleeve and in my throat every minute of the day. It’s exhausting. Strangers see my tight face in the grocery store as my boys have a screaming match in aisle 9 and offer me, “These are the days! You don’t want to miss them!” Seriously? Cause I gotta tell ya, if I ever have a moment to myself, I am daydreaming about dropping them both off at a highly-rated Charter school with after-hour yoga care while I, I don’t know, take a hike or finish reading a paragraph in a magazine or simply do the dishes without someone clinging to my leg or wiping their nose on my jeans. I’m also gut-wrenchingly …

Boys Will Be Boys — If We Say So

When I was kid, I lived in a suburban neighborhood, down the street from a boy in my class. He was an athlete, crude and a bit rowdy — the kind of kid who gets his name written on the chalkboard. Though we went on to become friends in high school, we weren’t close as kids. My family has a tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween, and I remember this one year in grade school, my younger sister and I were particularly proud of our little jack-o-lanterns. My mom placed them on the steps in front of our house with candles inside, and as we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood with friends, we couldn’t wait to walk by our house later to show them our pumpkins. But when my sister and I returned home, the glowing faces of our jack-o-lanterns were nowhere to be found. Instead, the splattered remains of our pumpkins were strewn across the sidewalk and the street. Someone had kicked them off the stairs and stomped them to pieces. There had always been rumors about …

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Mother of One: The Fertility Choice That Changed My Life

I got married late compared to others I know. At 34, after several rejected proposals and broken engagements, it was finally time. We both wanted children, and, after a year or so, we began trying to conceive. I’d always thought I’d be a mother of three. Before I ever wanted to get married, I wanted to be a mom and three was the magic number in my head. We came up with first and middle names for both boys and girls. We quickly agreed on a boy name: Daniel Patrick*. The others took discussion. We settled on Zoe June and Luke Bradford. Thus began our four-year conception journey — and it was terrible. As a young woman, I was sick with ulcerative colitis and, after five years of illness, underwent a multi-stage, major surgery that left me with an abdomen full of scar tissue. As a result, nothing worked to get us pregnant. We went from “not trying” to “trying” to “charting and temping” to fertility doctors. We threw more money, time and science at …

Nightmare On Dream Street: When Your House Falls Down

After 23 years of living on a street that I loved — and after swearing that I would never be frightened or intimidated into leaving — I fled my neighborhood in fear for my life and the life of my family. A month later, the house that was the focus of my fear collapsed in the middle of the night, trapping everyone on our end of the block in their homes as electric wires sparked over piles of splintered plywood. Nice job, city of Philadelphia. My story — essentially one of governmental ennui — begins about two and half years ago when a lovely young couple bought a property on our quiet, dead-end street in the center of the fifth largest city in the U.S. Honestly, you couldn’t find a better street in any town. We’re a half-block from Broad Street and some of the greatest cultural institutions in the world. We have five of Zagat’s top ten restaurants in Philly within a few blocks of our front door. We have great schools, great coffee …

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In Praise of the Midlife Crisis — on a Motorcycle

We should avoid excess risk as we age. So says conventional wisdom. After all, it takes longer to heal a bone broken learning to ski in our 50s than in our 20s. There won’t be time to regain a financial loss suffered past our early 40s if we become too aggressive with our investments. Going back to school later in life to embark on a new career seems a waste of time and energy. And don’t get me started on those folks who leave long-term marriages for the greener pastures of a new relationship. I believed all these things. Until, at age 48, I fell in love with a matte black, brawny beast of a machine. I took a motorcycle safety class as research for a book I was writing and surprised myself with the depth of feeling that burbled up. My father was dying at the time and I felt entombed in a marriage that, after 25 years, had lost all its verve. I had raised three on-the-cusp-of-adulthood children, served as a professor of …

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Learning About Bravery from My 10-Year-Old Daughter

I watch my daughter come out of a long, twisting water slide, arms thrown out triumphantly, eyes and mouth wide open, soaring for a moment through space before crashing into the pool with a loud splash. We are on a two-week family road trip and are at a hotel pool. She turned 10 just a few days into the journey. And she is brave. I’m afraid of water slides and afraid of this one. I marvel at how one moment, my daughter can be fearless, climbing to the top of a water slide and jumping into it without a second thought, laughing all the way down and going back up and down again. Then the next moment, she wants to be held, comforted and protected. At one truck stop on the trip, she strides into the convenience store, insisting that she can go to the restroom on her own. My eyes dart vigilantly about as I try not to follow her too closely, try to give her a wide enough berth so she doesn’t feel …

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The Drug Talk I Never Needed to Have

I’ve never had the drug talk with my twelve and fifteen year old daughters because I’ve never felt like I had to. So many people in our lives have died from alcohol and drug addiction that discussing the point seems moot. Death has been talking loud and clear. My daughters’ first life and death lesson with addiction came when they were eight and eleven. I was picking up the youngest, Dev, from an after school activity one early fall afternoon. A bunch of us parents were waiting in the school parking lot for the kids to be dismissed, when a young girl ran up to me. “Excuse me, Dezi’s mom,” she said, tears about to spill out of her eyes. “My dad drove me here to pick up my brother, but he was driving weird.” Her dad was drunk, she said, and she didn’t want her or her brother to have to get back in the car with him. Stacy was a sixth grader like my daughter, Dezi. Her brother and my youngest daughter were …

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A Conversation with My Teenage Son About Drugs

When my 16-year-old son came into our family room to play a video game, I was delighted. I don’t get a chance to sit and talk with him often, so I quickly turned off the episode of Intervention I’d been watching. He sat down beside me. “What do you think makes a person try their very first drug?” I asked him. “Been watching drug addicts again?” he asked in return. I admitted I had. “After however many years of saying no, they one day say yes. What makes them do it?” “I have no idea, Mom,” he answered, taking off his sneakers. “Of course not,” I countered, “but try anyway.” Tactics I’ve used with middle school students in my classroom for 14 years work just as well on my son. First, acknowledge they may not have an answer, and then demand one nonetheless. I’ve learned you can’t assume to know what’s going on inside a teenage brain. “Okay,” he said. “I guess they want to escape and feel good.” He chewed at the edge of a fingernail. …

The Things No One Tells You About Divorce

We had just had sex. One minute, we were kissing and pressed against each other and I was in the safest place in the world. The next minute, I was lying alongside him crying and asking, “What do people do in a situation like this?” And he was saying: “Get divorced.” When I met Erik, I had never been in love with anyone. I was 31, and I saw him across the room at a party. My first thought was that he looked endearing, gentle, like he would never hurt me. We talked about his art and my job as a writer, and when we had our first date on a bench in Union Square we kissed for hours and held hands. I felt like a kid, giddy with excitement that someone wanted me on their team. By the time he told me a few dates later that he didn’t want children, I was already hooked. My thinking went something like this: Some people are never lucky enough to fall in love. I found an …

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A Prayer for Everyday Things

There’s a secular kind of prayer I make when I fear something in my life is about to be lost. It goes like this: Please, please, please, please. On an everyday basis, that thing is my phone and I am asking the Maker (of Apple Products) to reveal it to me as not lost after all. Please, please, please, please, I think. And there it is: my phone, tossed heedlessly into my bag, hidden in the black recesses among sundry other black things. I feel a little spangle of relief; it’s a company-issued phone, and I simply can’t tell the tech-support guy I lost another one. On most occasions, I remember to send up a thank you to the Maker that goes something like this: “You have saved me so much inconvenience (not to mention groveling) on this day, and for that I am grateful.” As a mother of two “children” now in their 20s, I’ve had far too many occasions to send up that prayer to another Maker, who, although not well known to …

The Most Important Part of My Job

As a Guidance Dean at a middle school in Illinois, my office life is very different from what it used to be when I was a classroom teacher. Meetings, phone calls and e-mails between parents and teachers and me seem to take up a significant amount of time. As far as being out of the office goes, I’m not in it all day, either. Each day a full hour and a half is devoted to doing lunchroom supervision. The lunchroom is where I do some of my best work. Though I will complain about that huge chunk of time when I’m not visiting classrooms where teaching and learning is happening, nor is it time spent in my office, it is uppermost in building relationships with students. If they don’t see me regularly, how will they trust me when they need a confidante? Now, more than ever, this important part of my job becomes known. My students are tech-savvy and all have cell phones with access to social media. Yet social media norms are something about …

A 9th Grader “Bros and Hos” Dance? You Must Be Kidding

Tina Fey said “Bitches get stuff done,” and I couldn’t agree more. I always say, if you want something done, ask a stressed out mom. She’ll growl at you — but she’ll do it. Just don’t actually call her a bitch when you ask because most of us are still coming around to that word as a term of endearment. There’s one word, however, that’s been trying desperately to work its way into the parlance that most of us will never, ever accept. Ho. I recently moved out of center city Philadelphia and into the countryside of Central Jersey. When I wake up in the morning and open the blinds, I spy bald eagles soaring over tall pines rather than crack vials scattered over someone’s emptied-out purse. I sort of hate it, but I’m getting used to it. I came here for my son. He’s in 6th grade now and totally blown away by the amenities of his new middle school. He comes home with wonder in his eyes: “Mom, I ran on a track …

#SoProud Moms on Facebook, We Need to Talk

Dear Moms on Facebook With Above-Average Kids (hereafter referred to as MOF-WAACs), Your children are unique in their accomplishments. They exceed in a wide range of sports: soccer, basketball, field hockey and then soccer again, but of the “travel team” variety. They are given baffling-to-me-and-perhaps-other-people-who-don’t-live-in-your-town awards like “regional,” “all-city” and “division champ” (I say choose one geographical designation and go with it, but I don’t live in your town.) They always get A’s, and you, as a MOF-WAAC, have never failed to photograph their report cards and upload them to Facebook with the hashtag #soproud. In fact, from their post-natal APGAR score (perfect 10s, scanned and uploaded) to their college diplomas (magna cum laude, ditto), they’ve done nothing but made you #soproud. One noteworthy example (and I’m not making this up): Your toddler photographed mid-defecation, straddling a low plastic toilet with the caption “First poop in a big-girl potty!” And the hashtag #poophappens. On this point I couldn’t agree more: Poop does happen. But ask yourselves, MOF-WAACs, do we need photos of it online? Setting …

Peeing on Sticks: When Your Body Just Won’t Comply

I’ve learned on my journey to parenthood that I have fertility issues and it’s very hard for me to get pregnant. Also, I am prone to miscarriage. After my most recent (third) miscarriage, I asked the doctor if there’s a correlation to having both issues, like maybe one makes you more likely to have the other. She replied with a simple and direct “No.” My uterus gets a big fat C-.  It gave me one beautiful, intelligent son, so it doesn’t get a total fail, but I did nearly lose him at 17 weeks. This third miscarriage was just brutal, both physically and emotionally. I was just about to enter 10 weeks in my pregnancy when I received the awful news that there wasn’t a heartbeat any more. Getting pregnant in the first place was difficult because I don’t ovulate monthly. It’s more like quarterly. And after that pregnancy had ended I begun the cycle of getting pregnant all over again. Seriously, how can my reproductive organs just not work? It’s unknown why! They just …

Mommy Hottest: Why I’m Not Sacrificing My Sexy for My Kids

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” —Victor Hugo “Stacy’s mom has got it going on.” —Fountains of Wayne Last month, my husband came home after a week of work travel. He brought me this incredible dress from a street market in London — a steampunk mashup of leather and lace with a thin brass chain dangling from the neckline that somehow reads as both sweet and sexual. It’s the kind of completely impractical piece of provocative clothing he knows I adore but would never buy for myself. I went into the bathroom, slipped it on, then walked back into our bedroom. His face lit up. “I love it,” he said quietly, looking at me like I was the only person on the planet. Our two boys, who’d been busy opening the souvenirs he’d brought them, stared at me. “Awkward silence,” the 8-year-old stage-whispered. And then this, from the 12-year-old: “Mom,” he said, “you don’t look like you.” Lately, that’s the problem. Society has finally caught up with the fact …

Margit’s Note: The Language of Siblings

There we are: a trio of Detweiler kids, rolling around in the back of a Ford Country Squire, seatbelt-free, chanting nonsense-filled songs we’d make up on the fly: “Apple tree, apple pee!” Potty talk makes everything better. We pinch, kick, cry shriek with laughter until one exasperated parent yells, “Stop your blather.” Which makes us laugh even harder. BLATHER?? We repeat in a fancy pants voice,  “BLAAAATHER?” Stifling our hysterics is impossible. Hopefully this doesn’t result in the car being stopped. Because after all, I’m the oldest, and the one perennially, “in charge.” *** I read somewhere that when you have one cat, the cat bonds with its owner, but with two cats, the cats bond with each other —the impact siblings have is something like that.  My sister, brother and I speak a language we share with no one else — words and memories to make us gasp with laughter, innocuous-seeming phrases that will turn us red with anger.  No one else can get under your skin quite like a sibling. One of 1,000 examples: I used to joke …

Mom, Interrupted: Let Me Finish My Sentence

“Mom, can the new kid in my class come over sometime and…” Click. “The new kid in MY class from Japan brought in this candy today that tasted like…” Click. “Somebody said there was a bug in the noodles today, and my whole class was, like, screaming…” “Tristan’s mom is having a baby…” “Sweetheart, can you please get my watch fixed before… “ Click. Click. Click. Somehow my entire existence has become a live-action website. Each day hurtles at me at warp speed. But it’s not like it was when I was growing up, when life seemed to unfold in a forward motion not unlike the 1970s TV shows I watched after school. Instead, life in my family today seems as if it’s its own social network of bang-bang status updates – an unyielding series of nested hyperlinks, one after another, mouse click after mouse click after mouse click. They carry me, like a cognitive tidal wave, away from whatever it is that I’m trying to say and think. [pullquote]Perhaps we’re afraid our overscheduled 40-something …

Teaching My Son to Be Nice to the Robots

“Siri. Siri, you’re stupid.” My son — the most polite, sweetest, kindest little boy I know — is at it again. “Siri, I think you’re ugly.” I cringe. I yell from my office, “CALVIN! Stop being mean to Siri!” “But Mom, she’s not human!” he yells back from his nest of pillows on the couch. Yeah, I think to myself. That’s exactly what people said about their slaves 150 years ago, isn’t it? It’s what the Nazi’s said about their victims in the ‘40s and what ISIS says about Yazidi women today. Is that where the bar lies in this household? Is this our acceptable level of conduct? Calvin, like many children of his generation, learned the word “acceptable” even before he learned to walk. He used to toddle around and scold his stuffed animals with that big, grown-up word. “No ass-ET-ball,” he’d chastise, wagging his chubby finger at Elephant, who is, unsurprisingly, a stuffed elephant. “NO ASS-ET-BALL!” [pullquote]“But if you can’t learn to be nice to the robots, then you can just…just…FORGET about having a robot. …

Mother of Game: Lessons from the Sidelines

I sat in the gym with my ass flattening on the wood bleacher. This occasionally alternated with sitting on soccer fields where the same ass is suspended more forgivingly in a camp chair. It’s a butt-annihilator, but I prefer the gym. I have no memory of what I did during weekends before basketball and soccer fused themselves to my being like an exoskeleton. Was I at the theater? Pickling breakfast radishes? Whatever I was doing didn’t include camp chairs — a product both nifty and humiliating. My son’s team was getting crushed. This was local basketball and different from the travel team he also plays for — this one has volunteer coaches with a gentle vibe. Not harrowing. But feelings creep in. There are impotent frustrations. If only they did this, they’d be winning. If only I could shout some advice to my son, Griffin and the other kids, this game would turn around. I’ve never played basketball, not a single game, but I’m convinced I’d coach to victory. The previous time I’d given in …

Why I Finally Got My Very Own Minecraft Account

One day several years ago, the kids are playing Minecraft and I hear this from the other room: “Okay! Meet you at the head shop!” My parental ears perk up, and I casually call, “Wow, they have head shops in Minecraft? What do they sell?” “Heads, Mom. What do you think?” Then and there I decided it was worth the investment for me to get a Minecraft account too. My kids have been playing Minecraft for almost four years, but aside from installing “mods” (software modifications) for them and playing all-around IT support, I just wasn’t that interested in it. I tried it but mostly for their safety, to see what was going on. The kids were thrilled I had joined, but my first experience just wasn’t that exciting so I bailed. No real head shops. I just remember punching trees to get wood, killing sheep to make a bed and gathering seeds to grow food. I really found it boring. At the time I didn’t know that that was just a tiny part of how …

Virgin Cocktail Cooler: The “Fizzy Lifting Drink” (Recipe)

  Before I had children, my friends would bring their kids to my home — and I was sometimes ill-prepared. As the only non-alcoholic beverages in our home were coffee and margarita mix, I needed to think fast. Since I’m a huge Willy Wonka fan, I invented this drink to encourage everyone to stay hydrated. Thankfully, this was the most popular and refreshing drink of the day for both the grownups and the little ones.   Ingredients: 1 can lemonade concentrate 2 of the empty cans of concentrate filled with club soda 1 of the empty cans of concentrate filled with ginger ale 1 lemon’s worth of lemon slices 1/4 cup sugar 1 1-gallon Ziploc-type bag of ice that has been smashed a few times with a mallet straws   Slice the lemon into round slices. Sprinkle both sides with sugar. Gently stir the concentrate, club soda and ginger ale together in a pitcher. Add smashed ice. Add the sugared lemon slices to the glasses and pour the lemonade concentrate mixture into the glasses. Serve with …

This Story May Actually Make You Want to Buy a Pet Rat — or Two

Here is a tale about two tails. Two long, scaly grayish-pink tails that skeeved me so hard I could barely look at them the first time I saw them. Two hairless appendages that caused me to backpedal furiously on my promise to my son that today was the day that he could finally choose his very own pet rats. We were at the pet store, thanks to my cousin, whose son had a rat of his own. When he showed me a photo of it, I drew back a bit, gave a sidewise look at my cuz and said, “Really? A rat?” She nodded firmly and said, “Annette, it costs six dollars, lives three years, and eats whatever you have lying around in the fridge.” Hmmmm. My son was nine years old at the time and aching to take on the responsibility of a pet. We already had a dog, but she’s always been my baby and barely gives him the time of day unless he happens to have bacon stapled to his shirt. He …

Why I Kind of Hate Disney World

If you asked me to describe my worst vacation scenario, it would go something like this: The destination is perpetually crowded, it’s hot and noisy, the accommodations are bland at best, the food is unhealthy and unappetizing, I must wait in line to do anything, and I have to pay a sizable sum of money to have the crap scared out of me several times a day. Sound like fun to you? Then you must be a fan of Disney World. As you might have guessed, I am not. But it’s not Disney’s fault. On the contrary, I believe that for those who are so inclined, the place is top-notch. I don’t get the appeal, but I know that even grown-ups without children visit the park regularly. Some couples even honeymoon with Goofy. And for those people, Disney definitely hits the spot. You might assume I have shunned The Mouse’s kingdom, refusing to set foot near a single spinning teacup. But you would be wrong. For not only have I stomped my boots at the Country …