Category Archives: Guest Posts

K-Pants’s Halloween Scare Fest, Part 1

K-Pants has been churning out books at the speed of Mercedes Lackey. It’s hard to keep paper stocked and chubby pencils sharpened. I’m pretty stoked because last year I was like, “Literacy may not be his thang.”

There are two Halloween titles in his library. Today we bring you the first:

HALAWEEN

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

A mysterious guy gets pulled apart by happy guys. Or so you think…

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“Was it was Halloween so the pumpkins went trick-or-treating.” (Was it was the best of times. Was it was the worst of times.)

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“And then the pumpkins saw a ghost and the pumpkins dropped their candies and they were so sad.” (Note the droopy stems of sadness.)

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“But the pumpkins got their candies back.” (Wahooo!!! Viagra pumpkin stems.)

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“And the pumpkins ate six million candies and they wanted more.”

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“And the pumpkins got trick-or-treating but after the pumpkins got back they didn’t have any candy and they didn’t want any candy.” (Probably because they ate six million candies.)

Halloween by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

“The end” (A collaborative page with my sister Chloë.)

STAY TUNED NEXT TIME FORRRRRR

THE EEVOL SKELATIN

The Eevol Skelatin by K-Pants. MomsicleBlog

Yes, that is a jedi taking his lightsaber to the groin of the eevol skeleton. But I don’t want to give away too much…

Santa’s Excellent Return Policy (Guest Post by David Ozab)

David Ozab is a Eugene, Oregon, freelance writer; and his blog is one of the few I keep up with during these busy holiday months. David introduced me to the hilarious Glove and Boots video blog posts, and his spoof on tiger moms was recently published in Australia’s Mother & Baby magazine.

David’s writing has a knack for capturing the subtle soul of everyday life. You’ll enjoy reading about his daughter Anna and her diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech here. But in the meantime, I’m happy to welcome David to Momsicle to give us some holiday cheer.

Santa’s Excellent Return Policy

Anna, photo copyright Julia Ozab 2011

“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!”

Anna’s excited voice woke us both up. She stood at our bedroom door, grinning and jumping up and down with excitement, her long brown hair half in her face.

“Time to get up! It’s Christmas!”

Normally, we need to go in her room and wake her each morning, but Christmas is the one day that a five-year-old is guaranteed to be up before anyone.

“We’re coming, Anna,” my wife Julia said as she sat up and gave me a nudge. “You’re coming too.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.”

I staggered out of bed—I’ve never been a morning person—and headed straight for the coffee pot that I programmed the night before. Anna beat both of us to the kitchen and caught sight of the empty plate and glass on the counter.

“Santa came! Santa came!”

“Sure looks like it,” Julia said.

“He ate the cookies and drank the milk, and the carrot for the reindeer is gone too!”

I took a sip of coffee. “So what did he bring you, Anna?”

She ran excitedly into the living room, skidding to a sudden stop as she saw the pile of wrapped presents that weren’t there when she went to bed last night.

“Wow!”

“Let me get my video camera,” I said, “and you can start unwrapping.”

“Hurry, Dad! I want to see what Santa brought.”

“I’m sure he got you everything you asked for,” Julia added.

Julia helps Anna with her list each year. In the past, she wrote down what Anna wanted, but this year Anna wanted to make her own list. Not quite ready to write yet, she cut pictures out of a toy catalogue and glued them to a sheet of purple paper—Anna’s favorite color.

She picked out four pictures on her list: a toddler Tiana doll, a set of fairies, an electronic toy dog named Cookie, and a new Curious George video. Underneath the pictures, Julia wrote down some other gift ideas:

I like princesses.
I like fairies.
I like Pumba from The Lion King.
Surprise me!

Then, a couple of weeks before Christmas, we visited Santa at our local mall. Anna waited patiently in line until it was her turn to sit in his lap. She’s never been shy.

“Hi Santa, I’m Anna.”

“Hello, Anna.” Santa said.

“Here’s my list.”

“Ah, right down to business. Have you been a good girl this year?”

“Of course.”

“Mostly,” I said under my breath. Julia smiled.

“And you made this list yourself?” Santa asked. “You’re very talented.”

“Yes, I know.”

“And very humble,” I added.

Santa chuckled. “Well, I think you’ve been a very good girl this year. Can I keep this?”

“Do you mind if we scan a copy?” Julia asked. “So we can keep the original.”

“Of course, just give it to my elf and she’ll take care of it. You did such a nice job on this list. It’s definitely worth keeping.”

Before she climbed down, she gave Santa a kiss on the cheek.

“Love you, Santa.”

“I love you too, Anna.”

Santa brought her everything she asked for. Just like he said he would. The four gifts on her list, plus a flying Tinkerbell, a set of princess lip glosses, and a talking, burping, and farting Pumba.

She tilted his tail. PFFFRRT!!!

She laughed uproariously, and tilted his tail again. PFFFRRRRT!!!

“How long until that gets annoying?” I wondered aloud.

“Gets?” Julia asked.

It was a magical morning. Anna loved all her gifts. But there was one problem. Cookie—the toy dog—didn’t work. Would Christmas be ruined?

Nope.

Because, as I explained to Anna, “Santa Claus has an excellent return policy.”

“First stop,” Julia said. “Santa’s webpage.”

“Santa has a webpage?” Anna asked.

Everyone has a webpage.” Julia replied as she sat at her computer desk and started typing.

“The elves do almost everything on computer now.” I added. “Remember how we scanned your list?”

“Oh yeah!” Anna answered.

“Well now we have a receipt.” Julia said, turning to take it off the printer. “This one’s for our local Toys R Us so we can trade in our Cookie there for a new one.”

Anna pouted “What happens to the old Cookie?” she asked. “Will she be okay?”

“Oh they’ll fix her,” Julia said.

“You remember the Island of Misfit Toys?” I asked. We’d watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer a few days earlier. “Well that is Santa’s repair shop now.”

“Really?” Anna climbed up on my lap, fascinated.

“Really. The elves don’t make as many toys as they used to since kids mostly want stuff they see in stores. Instead, they spend most of the time on a special computer network that connects Santa to toy manufacturers all over the world. It’s more efficient, but the workmanship isn’t as good as it used to be so the toys break more often.”

“Oh no!” Anna said.

“But the elves are still handy enough to fix them,” I added.

Julia slipped out of the room smiling. She knew I had the situation under control.

“That sounds like hard work,” Anna said.

“It is,” I said. “But the elves are union so they get paid well. Plus excellent benefits.”

“Benefits?” Anna asked.

“Like dental.” I replied. “You remember Hermie the elf?”

“Yeah. He’s a dentist!” Anna said.

“That’s right.” I said. “They get a nice salary, a month off in the spring, and a visit from Hermie to check their teeth every six months.”

“To make sure they brush and floss!” Anna added.

So on the day after Christmas, we took our old Cookie to the local Toys R Us, but they were sold out. She was a very popular dog that year. Next, we called around. It took about a week, but Santa finally tracked one down for us in a store about a hundred miles or so away. Julia made sure that the elves checked her out before they shipped her to us. We didn’t want another defective one.

The new Cookie arrived one weekday afternoon in early January, while Anna was in her kindergarten class. I freed Cookie from her packaging—not an easy feat—and tried her out. She barked, she wagged her tail, she turned her head, and she begged for her toy. Perfect. I set her on Anna’s bed before I drove over to her school to pick her up.

I didn’t say a word the whole drive home.

She walked into the house, dropped off her backpack, and headed straight for her room.

“It’s Cookie! She’s here!”

“See I told you we’d get a new one,” I said as I walked into the room behind her.

“Did Santa bring him?” She asked.

“No, it was a delivery guy.”

“Do you think he was an elf?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “But he did have pointed ears.”

Taking Your Kids to the Nudist Beach on Sauvie Island

K-Pants has a pal we call Luke. You may remember Luke from his enormous, camouflaged brain. Or you may not.

Anyhow, Luke’s mother has a sardonic sense of humor, which I love. After finding out about a recent beach trip where their crew ended up hanging out at a local nudist beach, I asked her let me share the story.

Exposing Your Kids to Sauvie Island (by brita)

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. Momsicle Blog

[Editor’s note: This is Irna, Luke’s sister. She’s very into fashion. I thought you should meet her. Okay, on to the story….]

You can really see a lot of Portland on display if you visit Sauvie Island. Particularly if you inadvertently end up at the clothing-optional beach.

I followed a friend’s recommendation and since the clothing-optional and clothing-required beaches are adjacent to one another, it’s easy to land in the wrong spot.

In our defense, I’ll say that when we got there it was overcast, windy and everyone there was fully clothed.

Of the many things I’ve learned about public nudity, the first is that it is an activity people ease into. Secondly, nude beaches seem to appeal exclusively to men over fifty. Thirdly, it involves a lot of standing around, presumably to 
avoid sand entrapment in unfortunate places (but given that the problem 
could be remedied with a bathing suit, I can only guess the purpose of
 standing is to obtain the full effect of the resulting exhibition).

The kids didn’t much notice, although Irna (our own resident nudist) 
would occasionally look up from her work, laugh–and say, “Naked.”

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I think
 it actually was a great beach, but I spent most of my time politely averting
 my eyes.

By the end of our outing, the clouds had burned off, and the sun was 
out, and suddenly, we were outflanked by… flanks.

We packed up our
 gear, the kids bringing half of the beach’s sand with them, and
started for the car.  As we left, some of the more inhibited patrons 
began dropping trou–probably having spent the last two hours wondering 
why we were there and what social convention dictated when a fully clothed family takes over your nudist beach.

Sauvie Island Nudist Beach Guest Post. MomsicleBlog

I asked Irna at bedtime what her favorite part of the day was and she
 mimicked a “thinking about it” face, complete with, “hmm” expressions.

It’s adorable, you should see it.

Anyway, she gave a three word
 reply, “Park.  Naked. Grandpa.”

So, yeah.  We’ll be more careful where we set up shop next time.

***

A note on Irna’s name:

The online pseudonym for my daughter came to me in a dream following
 Evelyn’s invitation to post on her blog.  My dream self was very 
insistent that the spelling was I-r-n-a and pronounced “Eirene,” like a
 character in the HBO series Rome (and according to Google, the Greek 
goddess of peace). This proves that, at least in my specific case, the 
subconscious mind is neither imbued with any particular wisdom nor is 
it a super great speller.

Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Boat Ride

I recently received the “dispatch from the field” below via email.

I love getting stories like this, because they usually arrive just when I need a pick-me-up. Like right after receiving a note from the bank saying, “We’re sorry. At this time we can’t take the PMI off your loan because we reviewed your last five years of Netflix records and there were not enough action movies in your viewing history.” Or some other stupid excuse that proves they will never, ever do what I’m asking. (I wrote more about my bank paperwork depression here.)

So…. If you need a pick-me-up, or a show of solidarity in parenting chaos, read this from my friend M:

Hello, Evelyn, my dear,

As a fellow momma of small boys, I thought you would find this funny. We went on vacation to San Diego last week. Our hotel stay included a boat ride on a Mississippi sternwheeler. Makes sense. San Diego = Mark Twain. Or something.

Cam loves all forms of transportation, so we were excited about this. Only we boarded the boat and noticed large, toddler-sized gaps in the railings on the lower deck. We pictured him pitching himself off into the bay.

It was scary.

Toddler Eating Sternwheeler. MomsicleBlog

We tried to find an isolated part of the boat where we could cordon him off for safety, but this got tough because once we were on the boat, Cam became extremely excited and wouldn’t stop running around while screaming “ME ON A BOAT!!!!”

Photo is attached. I believe I captured total psychosis setting in.

Toddler Psychosis Setting In. MomsicleBlog

Longest 90 minutes of our lives. Beware the phrase FREE BOAT RIDE. Ain’t no such thing.

xoxo,

M

***

Please send me your own dispatches (momsicleblog [at] gmail.com). I love them.

Oh yeah, and have you liked Momsicle on Facebook? I make a face like the picture above every time there’s a new like.

The Guilt of the Working Mother (Guest Post)

One thing’s for sure in parenting: There’s no perfect way to raise your family.

Full-time, part-time, flex-time… however your time is stitched together, it’s never perfect. Perfect is really just a figment of our imaginations. Life’s more about living into our choices, and looking for ways to soften the hard edges.

My friend Bridget works in the semiconductor industry in Ireland. She’s had a year off with her beautiful daughter Isobel (we’re all jealous of the European year off, aren’t we?!?). But as you’ll see, even after a long maternity leave, the tearing-at-your-heart about what’s best for your child is still the same.

BridgetAndIsobel

The Guilt of the Working Mother 

By Isobel’s Mom, Bridget

There’s a dark grey cloud looming overhead. I try to pretend it’s not really there, but it just won’t go away. It follows me around most of the day. A gloomy, depressing, miserable cloud. Something is tormenting me. Tugging at my heart. Making me feel sad and lonely. After a 12 month break, I’m about to return to work. I’ll be returning to a job I love, colleagues whose company I enjoy and a warm friendly workplace atmosphere…. But I don’t want to go back.

I don’t want to go back at all.

On May 5, 2012 my husband and I welcomed our first-born beautiful baby daughter Isobel into the world, and I’ve spent every day since then at home caring for her with all the love in the world. It’s been the most joyous & special time of our lives.

But now my return to work is fast approaching – like a super-storm on the horizon – and I’m feeling so emotional about it.

There’s a knot in the pit of my stomach. I can almost feel my heart sink when I think about it. Tears well up in my eyes. I’m leaving my baby behind and I’m filled with guilt, worry, and loneliness. Guilt that someone else will be spending the day with Isobel and not me. Someone else will spend more waking hours with her than me…. (I’ve done the calculation).

Will Isobel miss me? Will she wonder where I am in the morning when she wakes up and “No Mama”?  And the most anxious question of all: Will she start to forget about me when I’m not home every day until 5.30 p.m. and someone else is caring for her?

I’ve obviously given lots of thought to NOT going back to work. Hubby & I have weighed up the pro’s and con’s and for now the decision rests to go back, give it time to settle into the new routine and see how it goes.

Who knows, maybe the time away from me will be good for Isobel as she becomes more social and used to other people. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t take away from the fact that while I’m at work (thinking about her), someone else will wipe away her tears when she cries, someone else will pick her up when she falls, someone else will play and have fun with her and someone else will change her dirty, smelly nappies, that I wish I could do every day.

For now, I’m going to treasure these last few weeks with her and hope and pray that the transition goes well and we both adapt.

For my little star Isobel, Mama loves you, even though she’s working and not at home with you every day. xxx

Isobel

***

Thank you so much for sharing your emotions with us, Bridget!! I’ve asked her to write a follow-up, and in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences about finding the right family path in your house.

Broken by Paperwork, or The Basement Drones Try to Steal My Doctorate

I knew you were out there! You smart, savvy friends who’ve been slowly overtaken by the fog of indecipherable bureaucracy! I feel better already sharing some champagne out of a can with you from afar (thanks, Esther, for that new find!).

After Broken by Paperwork part one, a dear friend who is in the home stretch of the marathon to get her Ph.D. wrote to tell me this story. We’re going to call it….

The Basement Drones Try to Steal my Doctorate, And I Wrestle it Back at the Mouth of Hello

In my Ph.D. program, when you are about to graduate, you have to “apply” to graduate.

This means that in March, you run around and get all of these papers signed and filed saying that you have done everything you needed to in order to be ready to graduate. [Editor’s note: I know that this generally involves hunting down half-time, troll-like department assistants to validate your paperwork with a special wax stamp that must be sealed onto goatskin.]

I did this.

Then the system booted me out. Chewed me up. Spit me out.

I got a panicked phone call from the secretary in my office last Wednesday. She was shocked that I had decided to quit.

I had no idea what she was talking about. I checked my email, then got very panicky myself.

I got an email from the grad school with the header: “Application for Degree Withdrawn by Student.”

I am less than 30 days from graduating. I am NOT quitting now. 

So then I made some phone calls.

One to a Ms. Cheeryface, who sounded suspiciously like our old friend Saul in Americorps. Y’know: bureacratic basement dweller, never does anything quickly, requires forms in triplicate, etc.

She looked through my file and then said,” Oh, I accidentally hit ‘withdraw from degree program.'”

It turned out that some of my paperwork had been filed incorrectly, and this needed revising. Instead of revising, SHE HIT WITHDRAW!

What the flip?!!!

Had this error not been caught by my secretary friend, I would have been KICKED OUT OF MY DOCTORAL PROGRAM.

Like you, I wanted to cry. It is the only logical thing to do.

Later that day I also received a hefty fine from the library for some technology equipment I had checked out (and returned on time!). I went in there and read the riot act. It was not pretty. I am not proud of my actions. I got my dollars back. But I am sleep deprived and annoyed, and my fightin’ energy has to go someplace.

Yours in the struggle,
M

Guest Post: Living at the End of the Bell Curve

Scott Brennan is a friend and wonderful writer. Or a wonderful friend and writer. In either case, I think he would tell you that first he’s a husband and father (he and his wife Mary Elizabeth have a teenage daughter and preteen twins). I consider him a mentor parent.

I was blessed–truly blessed–to cross paths with him at Trinity Church Wall Street in Manhattan and I thank the Internet for keeping us connected.

In 2009, Scott’s wife Mary Elizabeth collapsed on a train platform in London, while Scott, Mary Elizabeth, and their oldest daughter Charlotte were on a trip. Mary Elizabeth suffered an internal bleed in her brainstem that she miraculously survived. But it put her in a coma for two months, and Mary Elizabeth and Scott have been adjusting to life on the recovery path ever since.

Scott writes at Get Better Mary Elizabeth about their story. His posts can be raw and open and I’m always thrilled by his candor.

Today he’s here at Momsicle talking about parenting after one parent changes.

Living at the End of the Bell Curve

Several weeks before she gave birth to our first child,  Mary Elizabeth shared with me the very serious concern that I would be a lousy parent and that she would have to do everything. While it would be easy to chalk this up to hormones, or pregnancy jitters, she had a point.

I was adopted at 3 months old, and raised by two alcoholics, with at best, very poor parenting skills, and at worst, abusive and schizophrenic behavior. My life as an only child was filled with neglect, rage, and situations that no child should have to endure.

But still, I turned out ok, and was a reasonable spouse, colleague and friend.

But I understood Mary Elizabeth’s fear: With role models like my parents, how would I be as a parent? Would I be capable of providing the tenderness which was withheld from me while growing up? Could I cope with the stresses of parenthood without reaching for a bottle?

As it turned out, her fears were unfounded.

I took to parenting like a fish takes to water.  I doted on Charlotte, getting up in the night, bathing, swaddling, and diapering like a pro. She was our light and joy and we showered love on her in rich abundance. Two years later, we found out we were having twins–a wonderful surprise that unnerved us a bit given the prospect of being outnumbered.

We had a few harrowing years where we didn’t go out much except to work and church, and would more than likely have a patch of spit-up somewhere on our clothes no matter how hard we tried to avoid it.

But our kids were happy and healthy and again I rose to the occasion, despite my difficult upbringing. We led a hectic, but happy and fairly conventional family life–filled with good humor and love.

All that changed late in 2009 when Mary Elizabeth collapsed on a train platform in London while she and Charlotte and I were there for a week.

She was rushed to Royal London Hospital and diagnosed with what the doctors thought was a fatal bleed in her brainstem. It was indeed a bleed in her brainstem, but it wasn’t fatal. After being in a coma for two months and hospitalized for another two months, she came home to us and is an integral part of our family life.

But that rainy dark night changed everything. Standing in that grimy little family room in Royal London Hospital, as the nurse handed me my wife’s engagement ring and wedding band taped together and the doctor gave us the dire prognosis, my parental status changed dramatically–and forever.

As soon as an hour after we got that news, Charlotte turned her tear-stained face to me and uttered the plangent cry, “Don’t you die, too!”

Suddenly there was a lot more on the line.

I had almost immediately felt Mary Elizabeth’s absence since we relied on one another in situations like this, but it hadn’t hit me until Charlotte spoke that this family now depended on me and me alone. While before, one of us could always relieve the other one–or even take a day off–that was now a much more difficult prospect.

Several days later, while breaking the news over the phone to eight-year-olds Clark and Louisa who were back in New York, I felt the enormity and surrealism of the situation overwhelm me again. These poor kids, lacking at least for the time being a mother, have one parent, and that parent is me.

After I sent Charlotte home a week later, and stayed on in London for 3-and-a-half more months, I became a parent without children.  Family and community at home enveloped them in warm and loving arms and when I spoke to them, they seemed absolutely fine–happy to speak to me, but not apparently needing me so much.

I on the other hand was not fine, as I realized poignantly that perhaps I needed them more than they needed me.

Keeping a nightly vigil by my sometimes-conscious-but-mostly-unresponsive wife in a hospital 3,000 miles away from home, I felt disconnected, adrift and most certainly bereft.

And part of that void was not being able to take care of my kids, or my wife–those responsibilities taken up by family, friends, and nursing staff. Thank God for my old and new friends in London who embraced me with good cheer, kept me busy and supported me through those dark cold London winter months.

But soon enough, it was springtime and Mary Elizabeth recovered sufficiently to travel back to the States, and then rehabilitated enough to come home.

It was of course awkward at first and as I found out from attending several caregiver support groups, ours was a fairly unique demographic. Children taking care of their elderly parents, or elderly spouses caring for each other were common scenarios at these groups.  But a middle-aged husband, caring for his incapacitated wife and three school-aged children wasn’t a model that I had seen anywhere.

But I was used to living at the far edges of the bell curve.

Shortly after I turned 40, Mary Elizabeth and I found my birthmother and reunited with her, along with a half brother and two half sisters. It turned out to be joyful, fulfilling, and ultimately redemptive–but again not a common situation.

There was no blueprint for this kind of relationship–we had to feel our way, and in essence do what felt right for the situation.

As anyone who has read my blog knows, I’ve struggled to accept our situation and have had a hard time feeling good about what happened to us, and where we are.

While Mary Elizabeth’s intellect and memory are completely intact and anybody who hasn’t seen her since before the stroke will see in her the old Mary Elizabeth, there have been significant changes. She is physically dependent on other people, and likely will always be–to an extent.  She is not easily understood by strangers, and while her new aspiration is being a stay-at-home mother, she can’t drive, cook, or do many of the things commonly associated with that role.

Our family dynamic has changed. What had been shared responsibilities are now completely on my shoulders.

Like any family, there have been significant challenges, which are now borne by me alone. I’ve done a good job meeting them, but at time feel wracked by the uncertainty that I’m doing a bad job, and the guilt of resenting that I’m overburdened.

This is difficult to say, but sometimes I feel like I am the parent of four kids–two 11-year-olds, a 14-year-old, and a 51-year-old who requires more support than the other three.

But that’s ultimately an unfair and shallow assessment because if I look beyond Mary Elizabeth’s physical and cognitive disabilities, I see the vibrant, independent, and loving woman I married 20 years ago.

Our kids have taken all of this in stride, but I think their relationships with me as their father have changed as well in unexpected ways.

They’ve become much more aware of the needs of others, and have learned through necessity to be helpful and solicitous. I recognize this when comments come home from school about how helpful they are in class.  There’s a maturity that has been thrust upon them–particularly on Charlotte–and there’s a candor in our relationship which I didn’t see before.

I am the first to admit to them that I’m struggling and need help–not in a pathetic or even weak way–but in a straightforward, honest way. I think they respect that I’m not all-knowing and omnipotent and admitting that I make mistakes robs them (the mistakes, not the children) of their power.

At the same time, I have to maintain some authority and dominion over them, since they are still kids–although my 14-year-old might be reluctant to recognize this.

It’s incredibly poignant and touching to see my kids interacting with Mary Elizabeth in a perfectly natural way, although I think the dynamics of that relationship have changed as well.

Mary Elizabeth feels that the kids don’t listen to her, or don’t take her seriously because of her limitations.  This may be true, but I’m not entirely sure that they listen to me any more than they listen to her. But I do sense frustration sometimes from the kids that communication isn’t what it used to be, and that Mary Elizabeth can sometimes seem demanding.  I am hopeful that this frustration will give way to a deeper understanding of compassion and empathy as they get older, and that they continue to listen to their hearts.

So thinking of Mary Elizabeth’s fears expressed to me in 1993…

I think that I’ve turned out to be a reasonable father, tempering love and affection with guidance and yes, discipline–ever more conscious of the new context of our family life. 

I do the best I can as a parent–acknowledging the bare truth that I am neither an angel nor a devil–but a human, through and through.

***

Thank you, Scott! I hope you’ll be back on the blog again.

If you want to find out more about Scott’s story, check out his linked timeline at Get Better Mary Elizabeth. 

Scott also collaborated with me on a travel post about road trips with kids. You can find his great tips here.