where the heart is

Rule 1: NO KETCHUP ON HOT DOGS!

This is going to be a controversial post. Many of you will disagree with me. Some will be offended. I’m sorry, but this just has to be said: ketchup does not belong on hot dogs.

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Grocery Shopping with Kids: A Tale of Two Ladies

The other day, I took my 2 boys grocery shopping at Aldi. The second we got in the car, R announced, “I don’t want to go to Aldi!”

“Sorry, Bud,” I said. “We have to.”

“Nooooo!” he wailed from the back seat. I simply drove.

When we arrived at Aldi, I grabbed my purse and my shopping bags, pulled the baby from his car seat, and stood by the open van door waiting on R. “Come on, Buddy. Let’s go.”

“I’m not going!”

“You have to,” I said.

“No I don’t!”

“Fine. Come on in when you’re ready.” A power struggle with a 5-year-old isn’t really my thing, so I walked off toward the store. And just like I knew he would, R followed me. (At a distance. He had to save face, obvs.)

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Invented by Satan, Because Driving Was Just Not Terrifying Enough

My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Go us! To mark the occasion, we spent the weekend in a beautiful bed and breakfast on Kent Island. If you’ve never been, Maryland’s Eastern Shore is gorgeous. It’s home to several famous beaches, as well as a sprinkling of charming and quaint small towns where locals go to fish, crab, kayak, walk in untamed primeval forests, see a plethora of wildlife, pan for gold or ride a stage coach in an Old West Frontier town, walk in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman, and eat in some outstanding restaurants.

Unfortunately, this little corner of Maryland (that I am rather fond of) is…across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Several weeks ago, I published an article about a woman who criticized my parenting at a Starbucks. I think she might have beenthe Starbucks Ambassador for Keeping Children off of Stools. (Stools, as you know, are a top cause of childhood mortality and maiming.) This is a follow up to that article in which I offer advice to my Starbucks critic and anyone else who believes they know everything and the rest of us are doing it wrong.

Parent Judging: Advice Guide for Experts on Other People’s Kids

Several weeks ago, I published an article about a woman who criticized my parenting at a Starbucks. To jog your memory, she stared at me with a petrified look of helpless horror normally reserved for kidnapping victims or people being eaten by fire ants. She might also have been the Starbucks Ambassador for Keeping Children off of Stools. (Stools, as you know, are a top cause of childhood mortality and maiming.)

Parent Judging: Why Is Everyone an Expert on Other People’s Kids?

I was sitting with my family in the little cafe area at Target. (Naturally.) My husband was waiting in line at Starbucks, and my four kids, miraculously, were sitting and/or playing quietly while I worked on my grocery list.

A mom and her two young boys were sitting at the table next to us, and at one point I looked up, caught her eye, and smiled. She did not smile back. That should’ve been my first clue that something was wrong with her.