My Children’s Stubborn Commitment to Ritual Can Be Frustrating, But I Admire Their Resolve

My Children’s Stubborn Commitment to Ritual Can Be Frustrating, But I Admire Their Resolve

Recently my 3-year-old daughter asked me to play a game with her. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse — literally, she was holding me hostage — so we went into her brother’s rooms because that’s where we keep the board games scattered around on the floor.

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We've Graduated: After More Than Seven Years, I’m Done with Diapers

We've Graduated: After More Than Seven Years, I’m Done with Diapers

Some graduations don’t require caps and gowns. Rather, all it takes is some comfortable toilet paper, a copious supply of Peppa Pig underwear, and a pile of very absorbent towels.

As of this week, I’m done with diapers. It’s been more than seven years, but now it’s over.

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First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

First Family Beach Day Means Summer is Here

Around these parts, summer doesn’t officially start until our first family beach day.

I wrote last year about how we had to wait out a week of subtropical rain storms before we could kick off our summer. This year, there were no such weather delays.

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Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Sibling Bike Riding Rivalry

Learning to ride a bike is a big event in every child’s life but it’s an even bigger event when you just turned three a few days before and your five-year-old brother just learned to ride without training wheels a couple weeks before that.

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They Say You Should Meet Your Children Where They Are, I Think

They Say You Should Meet Your Children Where They Are, I Think

They say to meet your children where they are. Anyway, I think that’s what they say.

While I was playing with my kids recently, silently bemoaning my fate as I often do when they rope me into some confounding activity that I barely understand, this mantra popped into my head.

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Soccer. It’s in Our Blood.

Soccer. It’s in Our Blood.

I didn’t play youth soccer for long, but I made a huge impact. I played just one season when I was five or six, but my unique style and flair is still widely talked about. By my mom, mostly, but still, talked about.

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An England Adventure - Part I: Knott in a Rush

An England Adventure - Part I: Knott in a Rush

The line snaked around in front of us, chasing its tail slowly. It was like the queue for Disney ride but the reward for making it through was confusion about where to go next. We assured the kids it would move quickly but we were lying. It was slow. Slower than slow.

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My Daughter Threw Up in Walgreens and Now I’m a Drug Store Nomad

My Daughter Threw Up in Walgreens and Now I’m a Drug Store Nomad

I had just picked out my purchases when my daughter coughed once, hesitated for a moment, and emptied the contents of her stomach onto her tulle (maybe?) skirt and the linoleum floor

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Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Maybe Dirt Isn’t My Parenting Kryptonite Anymore

Change is an inevitable part of life. Time makes you bolder. Children get older. The soreness you experience after playing a tennis tournament lingers for several extra days. On the other hand, things that used to bother you, suddenly don't seem so important anymore. Like dirt. In particular, your children's fascination with it.

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Do I Have Time for This?

Do I Have Time for This?

This year I've taken a new tact when my kids are arguing with each other or whining to me. I say to them in my most serious voice, "That's enough. It's 2019. No one has time for this!"

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Exorcising Chuck E. Cheese Demons

Exorcising Chuck E. Cheese Demons

You might find this hard to believe, but I wasn’t a big fan of Chuck E. Cheese even when I was a kid. There was just something about it. I’m not sure what. Perhaps the fact that it’s a life-sized petri dish filled with every strain of virus and bacteria known to man? Yes, that’s probably it. Fun fact: There are a couple of bacterial strains that exist only inside Chuck E. Cheese. The “E” stands for Escherichia.

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The Importance of Finding a Park Beside a Railroad Track

The Importance of Finding a Park Beside a Railroad Track

I’m sure things like having an important job and fancy cars and a lot of money are nice, but they certainly pale in comparison to finding a park that is right next to a railroad track.

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The Art of Making My Son’s Bed Without Being Found Out

The Art of Making My Son’s Bed Without Being Found Out

Well, sure, there are many things you have to hide from your children, but making beds isn’t one of them, right? Wrong.

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The Art of Taking Pictures in Front of Other People’s Decorations

The Art of Taking Pictures in Front of Other People’s Decorations

You might remember that one of my children’s shared passions used to be wandering around the neighborhood looking at children to stare at. Well, we’ve taken our game to the next level this holiday season. Their new passion? Wandering around the neighborhood after dark and stopping to pose for photos in front of other people’s decorations.

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A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Around these parts, school is out for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Kids have it so easy these days. Back in my day, we got Thursday and Friday off. That was it.

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Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 2

Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 2

Our second day in the mountains started with me picking sopping wet trash off the gravel driveway and placing it in a fresh trash bag. Apparently, we had a visitor during the night. The entire wooden container that housed two trash cans was turned over on its side. After I had cleaned up the trash, I went to flip the container up off its side, but it didn’t budge.

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Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 1

Reconnecting with My Mountain Roots: Day 1

The kids had a couple days off for fall break last week, and so, because we are rugged people, we made a dash to the mountains of North Carolina.

Having grown up and lived almost my whole life in Florida, you might not expect me to be a mountain man, but I most definitely am. In fact, many years ago when I went away to law school in Virginia for six weeks, I bought a pair of hiking boots, which still sit in my closet under a pile of pillows to this very day. It’s not so much that you live in the mountains, it’s that the mountains live inside you.

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Driving by Houses in Cars: Passing Down a Favorite Pastime

Driving by Houses in Cars: Passing Down a Favorite Pastime

One of my four-year-old’s favorite activities is driving by houses of people we know. Not going to their houses, of course, just driving by casually. Peak drive-by time can vary, but it is typically right before or after school.

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I’ve Never Juggled Bowls While Riding a Unicycle, But I Do Have Children

I’ve Never Juggled Bowls While Riding a Unicycle, But I Do Have Children

An acrobat known as Red Panda has been a staple of basketball halftime shows across the country for more than twenty years. I once saw her in person at an NBA game years before I had children. I was stunned by her simple in concept, yet seemingly impossible in practice, act. In short, she rides a very tall unicycle, places an increasing numbers of bowls onto her foot and leg, flips the bowls into the air, and catches them in a stack on her head.

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