Before the CrossFit haters sharpen their knives, let me just preface this piece by saying that neither burpees nor deadlifts have helped me to become a better parent. I’m a mother, not a meathead, so in order to understand how CrossFit has helped me, you’re going to have to trust that I’m not proselytizing right now.
So last week the Wall Street Journal filled me in on Dahlia Mahmood, an interior designer who created a lovely princess-themed bedroom for a Virginia client’s 2-year-old daughter a while back. The centerpiece of the $200,000 extravaganza is a bed shaped like a castle, complete with a walk-across parapet and turrets in which the toddler can store her dolls. It has its own elfin door, sized too small for adults but perfect for the girl, at least at the time it was built. (I assume there’s some other way for, say, the help to get in and change the linens.) The walls of the bathroom are painted by hand and adorned with Swarovski crystals. The … oh, hell, why don’t I just show you a photo? Here.
Ms. Mahmood’s work was just one exhibit in an article devoted to such grand excesses. Lindsay Dickhout, chief executive of the mobile spray-tanning company Million Dollar Tan, is building her girls, Stella, 4, and Presley, 2, a $70,000 princess playroom. It’s not going to be finished until next month, but it’s going to include a faux-gem-covered stage, a treehouse loft, and — oh, the wondrous whimsicality! — a miniature French café. “It’s going to be a pink explosion,” Dickhout told WJS, “with hearts and bows and crowns and tassels.” For now, Stella must make do with her $6,000 custom-made castle bed.
The bad news: If you’re reading this, it probably means it’s freezing outside. The good news: The city and suburbs are full of awesome places to hang out indoors with little ones. Here, a bunch of stellar family-friendly indoor fun zones, all with easy hours, distinct vibes and different attributes. (That’s our way of saying that there are some at which you’ll romp around with your kid inside a sprawling playground, others where you can sit on the sidelines and thumb through your phone while they throw themselves into a giant foam pit. And in some cases, all that fun is even free! Check individual sites for admission and pricing details.)
This post originally appeared on Wee Wander, a website dedicated to helping parents navigate Philadelphia.
I can’t imagine what the parents of missing West Chester University student Shane Montgomery went through this past weekend as the search for their son spread throughout Manayunk — and thank God for that. It’s any parent’s worst nightmare: a child vanished into thin air. And while we may tell ourselves it hardly ever happens, the truth is, it does, more often than we’re willing to let ourselves admit.
Montgomery had been at Kildare’s pub celebrating “Thanksgiving Eve,” the unofficial (but popular) holiday before the holiday, when college kids return to their hometowns and go out drinking with their old friends. My colleague Monica Weymouth recently wrote a lovely, poignant and funny ode to the occasion as observed in the Great Northeast. We used to observe Thanksgiving Eve where I grew up, in Doylestown; my kids do it now, in the far western suburb where we live.
And I hold my breath.
So you’re going shopping for a donor egg. What traits of the donor would be most important to you?
A new study in the Journal of Women’s Health reveals some fascinating changes in trends among those using donor eggs to become pregnant. The researchers, from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, studied which donor characteristics more than 400 would-become-moms at the Reproductive Medical Associates of New York fertility clinic said mattered most to them.
Payton’s mother, Jennifer Cramblett, has said that she and her partner will now have to relocate from their Uniontown, Ohio, farm town to a more diverse area in order to ensure that Payton is comfortable. Cramblett cites that their current community is mostly white and conservative, and notes racial intolerance in her own family.
Baby Payton is two years old. While it is admirable that her parents have noted their own shortcomings in their ability to care for a child of color (cultural understandings, or even more basic needs like hair care) the lawsuit is about a little more than negligence. And let us be clear, Midwest Sperm Bank certainly seems grossly negligent.
Payton’s parents want compensation for the inconvenience of living a black life. Read more »
Margo Kaplan is not very popular today. In the Monday edition of the New York Times, the Rutgers-Camden law professor, an NYU and Harvard graduate, takes to the op-ed pages to argue that we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to pedophilia. She writes that pedophiles don’t necessarily turn out to be child molesters and that pedophilia is not a choice, i.e. a pedophile might be born that way. We reached her in her office in Camden to discuss.
You really lit up the comments section of the op-ed page today.
Yes, but I have to be honest. I am getting more emails of support than I ever expected. I’m shocked. I expected to get maybe 95% negative emails, but I’ve gotten so many positive ones. The online comments, though, are pretty uniformly negative, and a lot of people haven’t even read the article. Read more »
Back in 2011, Action News ran a story about ComputerCop, which was described as “a new Internet monitoring software designed to protect young people from online predators.” Police departments and other authorities around the country were distributing ComputerCop to freaked out To Catch a Predator-bingeing parents, including, according to a new report, in Abington Township and Delaware County. But now we’re learning that ComputerCop may have done far more harm than good. Read more »
I wrote a story for the September issue of the magazine about some very nice dogs. I started working on the story back in February, so for a long time, whenever anyone asked me what I was writing, I would tell them about these dogs. This provided an opportunity for people who knew me to say, “So! I guess you’re thinking about getting another dog!”
This was especially true of my two kids, who, when they were growing up, frequently accused me of loving our dog more than I loved them. There was some truth to this. Homer, the collie/shepherd mix who shared our lives for 12 years, never once kept me waiting, never couldn’t find his shoes, never talked back, never got arrested. It’s been five years now since we had to have him put to sleep, and I guess that’s considered a suitable length of time for mourning, because suddenly everybody is convinced I must want another dog.
“Don’t you miss when we used to take Homer for walks?” my daughter Marcy will ask, apparently forgetting that she frequently had to be hauled out of the house kicking and screaming when it was time for those walks. “A dog would make it easier for you to make new friends,” my son Jake will say. He’s become convinced I need to “make some new friends your own age,” as he puts it, like I’m a socially inept sixth-grader and he’s the parent. He recently guilted me into paying $220 for a special tailgating parking pass at his college, to fulfill some fantasy he has of me clinking highball glasses with the parents of his football teammates before the games. But he’s not going to guilt me into getting another dog.
I don’t want another dog. Read more »