Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wanted: A Wife

Last week, I made not one, not two, but three trips to my daughter's high school — and school doesn't start for another three days! First, I had to drop off the emergency contact card so I could pick up my daughter's schedule (they finally fixed it, btw, she's no longer expected in two different classes at the same time). Then, I had to make another trip because I forgot a signed copy of the "Massachusetts Anti-Hazing Policy." (Note to self: read emails from principal more closely prior to driving over there.) Finally, I had to submit a formal request to change a course (it was later denied).

As I marched across the school parking lot for the umpteenth time, it occurred to me (again) that what we need is a wife.

A good old-fashioned, circa 1950s, housewife.

Trips to the school aren't the only reason. A wife would be very helpful in the grocery shopping department. Here's a (by no means complete) list of the foodstuffs and staples that we are currently out of: toilet paper, deli meat, furniture polish, milk, dishwashing detergent, butter, hamburger rolls and produce of any kind. (Note to local readers: my life (outside of "wife") isn't the only reason the cupboard's so bare. We're waiting for the return of Artie T! Google "Market Basket.")

Laundry also could use some attention. When my daughter was little, we got away with three modest once-a-week loads: whites, darks, delicates. I always marveled at my friends who somehow kept multiple children (including softball players and boys) in clean clothes. Then, my daughter discovered horseback riding. Now, we pretty much fill a hamper every other day and the bathroom smells like a barn.

And, then there are errands. Currently, we have clothes that need tailoring, boots that need mending, three huge packages that need to be returned via UPS, checks to be deposited, stamps to be purchased, and a perpetual trophy (the "Lockwood Bowl" from a recent equestrian event) that needs to be engraved. Where's my wife?

Finally, of course, there's the house. Our crooked antique accumulates dust faster than a teenager texts. We have so many nooks and crannies, so little time. It is not just a losing battle, it's a losing battle that makes me sneeze. In fact, with Halloween on the horizon, I might just stop trying and watch the whole place disappear under cobwebs. I'll put on some creepy music and maybe we can charge admission.

Here's a fantasy of mine ... I arrive home from a long but productive afternoon with clients. Lo and behold, my house is spotlessly clean. My child is upstairs, obediently finishing her homework. The dining table is beautifully set and the kitchen is fragrant with a succulent home-cooked meal. My dear wife meets me at the door, wearing pearls and a sweater set, not a hair out of place. She takes my briefcase and hands me a martini.

Yes, please. I would like a wife. 

The pearls and the sweater set are optional.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good Web Hunting

On our way home from last week's sailing trip in Maine, we passed a number of outdoor flea markets and cobwebby antique shops. We were in a hurry to get on home (and get into an actual shower), so we didn't stop. But, there was a time when we would have. 

Pre-parenthood. And, more importantly, pre-internet.

Our family doesn't buy new furniture often. In fact, I was once nearly stymied when asked about the "style" of our home decor. I couldn't name any particular genre: "modern" or "mid-century" or "French provincial" or "Victorian." Our rambling colonial house is filled with a hodge-podge of different things. Some family heirlooms (although not of any great value, except to us), some restored pieces (at least a couple found curbside). When we had free time, long ago, my husband and I enjoyed visiting antique shops and finding new ways to use funky old things.

A few months ago, I broke down and bought a chunky velvet sectional for our TV room. (Sometimes we call it a "family room," but there really isn't a whole lot of room left after the TV, the new couch and the family.) Lounging on the chaise portion became a great luxury that I looked forward to. And, to her credit, my teenage daughter hasn't challenged me for it yet. 

Our old coffee table didn't fit anymore and we're temporarily (very temporarily, since my husband hates it) using a contemporary square from Ikea decorated with vintage Ouija board graphics. (I found this odd object on Etsy and it used to live in my attic office.) Anyway, not to worry. My husband is handy and he decided to build a new table.

In line with our quirky aesthetic, his plans called for reclaimed barn board and some repurposed industrial base. Like a wrought iron sewing machine, maybe. A little bit steampunk, but not exactly. In the days before the web, this project would have been more difficult to implement. We might have visited antique stores, scoured architectural salvage places. We certainly would have stopped at the roadside flea markets we passed last weekend.

Instead, my husband found a base on eBay. (Actually, he found two. The first was snatched out from under him in the auction's final five seconds. BTW, how does that happen???) Two wrought iron legs from a vintage school desk. Unique, quirky, adjustable. Thank you, worldwide web. (Thank you, Al Gore.)

Building a table is one thing. (Have I mentioned how much my husband hates the Ouija one?) We need it. We'll use it. The sooner the better. But, I do sometimes think about how the web has taken away all the thrill of the hunt. Before we were all online, collectors spent hours browsing through bins of other people's treasures. Now, we simply Google "limited edition Hummel figurine" or "signed copy of Interview with the Vampire" or "World War II purple heart medal" and voila! It's ours.

And, collectibles aside, nothing's ever gone forever. Missing your favorite tee shirt? Left your camera at the beach? If my daughter loses something, she assumes (rightly most of the time) that we can find another in a handful of keystrokes or the click of a mouse. Everything is simultaneously disposable and recoverable.

It's fast. It's easy. But, it's not much fun.

Times change, and I admit I practically live on the worldwide web. But, I still feel a little wistful when I pass a flea market.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It Can Wait ... Can't it?

On our recent endlessly exhausting drive across New York, my teenage daughter and I noticed a number of signs on the thruway:


At first, I read it as "I.T. can wait." I.T. is the acronym for Information Technology, and in larger companies the I.T. department provides tech support. (Okay, I already said that the drive was endlessly exhausting, didn't I?) Of course, what they were referring to was "it," not "I.T." — "it" being that oh-so-urgent communication, practically burning a hole in your pocket, and demanding to be sent STAT.

Essentially, the new signs and the 100 or so new designated rest areas are the Empire State's concerted effort to curb texting and driving.

Texting and driving ranks high on the list of the stupidest, most self-destructive things we can do these days. It should have its own separate division of The Darwin Awards, which recognize individuals who have contributed to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool. In other words, they really die because they're really dumb.

Really funny, right?

Not really.

We all know not to text and drive. We've seen the deeply disturbing commercials warning us (in many cases with the most graphical depictions) of the consequences. As parents of new drivers, we anxiously (frantically) remind our teens to put away the phones when they're behind the wheel.

Nevertheless, when that little "ding" goes off, alerting you to an incoming — no doubt, mission-critical — text, it's very hard not to check and see what it is. My daughter has promised to keep her phone on "airplane mode" whenever she's driving. I trust her intention, but I also know she's human. So, I nag and nag and nag, and then sometimes I pray a little too.

It's become as dangerous as drinking and driving. Don't believe me?

In 2011, at least 23% of all auto collisions — 1.3 million of them — involved a cell phone.

A typical text requires the driver to take their eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds — if they're going 55 mph, that means driving the length of a football field without looking.

Teens are at greater risk than adults: 82% own cell phones; 52% admit to talking on those phones while driving; and 34% admit to texting.

Yet, they don't recognize the dangers: 77% are "somewhat confident" that they can text and drive; in fact, 55% say "it's easy."

Despite my elevated anxiety level, I'm not as concerned about my daughter making a mistake now. Her license is still fairly new and she isn't on "automatic pilot" yet. She doesn't drive too often or too far yet. And she still pays at least some attention to the rules we make. I worry more about the future, when driving is old hat. 

Because I understand, first hand, that the siren's song of the cell phone doesn't just lure teenagers.

Last week, I had a client meeting in a town about 45 minutes from my office. As per usual (go ahead and nod, fellow moms), I was running a touch later than I had hoped because I was trying to do too many things in too little time. As I pulled out and up the street, I realized that my cell phone was still charging next to my desk.


It was tempting to turn around, but I wasn't sure I had the minutes to spare. So, I continued ... without it. That's right, I knowingly moved ahead and faced a 2-hour meeting plus a 45-minute drive each way, sans mobile device. OMG.

I can laugh about it now, but I felt like an amputee. What if someone needed me? What if I missed something? What if I actually arrived at the client's office early? 

I see it with my daughter and her friends. But, I see it in myself and my friends too. Texting means we have something to do every single solitary moment. 

But, that doesn't mean we're living in the moment. And, as I will continue to remind my daughter again and again, if you choose the wrong time to text, you may not be living at all.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time Mismanagement for Moms

Running a boutique ad agency, I get a lot of urgent requests. Many of our clients have a larger "agency of record," but turn to us for smaller jobs or projects that are a little bit quirky (like building a tradeshow booth that looks like the Mad Men set and then finding actors to staff it). Or, they turn to us when their timeframe is too tight for a more cumbersome agency to handle. It's all about time, and we somehow get it done.

Just like parenting a teenager.

Time is even more valuable than money. As in any transaction, this currency flows one of two ways. It's a "give vs. get" thing. For example, this past weekend, my daughter competed in the USEA Regional Championships. (Waitaminute, you don't know what the USEA Regional Championships are? Don't feel bad. I wouldn't either.)

Anyway, the event was in Genesee Valley, New York, a lovely area outside of Rochester — and a mere 8 hours from our house. We had to meet the horse (he was traveling separately) at 1:00 pm Friday. My husband couldn't take the day off and I'm my own boss, so ... chauffeur for the weekend? C'est moi. Comme toujours. (Audible sigh.)

Then again, what's an 8-hour drive, leaving at 4:30 am, when you have a chance to make your daughter happy? I'll tell you. It's a ...


The roads were empty all the way to Boston and we got on the Mass Turnpike in short order. The Mass Turnpike is Interstate Route 90. Geneseo, NY is also on Interstate Route 90. So, logic might suggest that the best way to get there would be to stay on Interstate Route 90, yes? 

Noooooooooooooo. That would be way too easy.

For whatever reason, the gods of the GPS system told us to get off 90 and get on 87 for about 15 miles, then get back on 90. At the exit to 87, there was construction and confusion (their construction, my confusion). I misread a sign and got on 87 going the wrong way. Next exit 23 miles. Between traffic, getting gas and a bathroom break, I was back where I started in about an hour.

Quick question: What's worse than an 8-hour drive, leaving at 4:30 in the morning? An 8-hour drive, leaving at 4:30 in the morning with an unexpected (and wholly unnecessary) 1-hour detour. Shoot. Me. Now.

But, we made it. In fact, we pulled in right ahead of my daughter's teammate and right behind our horse's trailer. And, chances are, I had only aged about 6 or 7 years in the process.

The entire journey (minus the scenic wrong-way roundtrip on Route 87) was repeated in reverse Sunday night. After loading the trailer and our sedan (and cleaning out our temporary stall), we left New York at about 4:00 pm, and with only one rest stop, pulled in just after midnight. It had been a very exciting and successful journey. My daughter came in 4th place overall (in a tough class of qualifying competitors) and also received a special Champion Connemara award for top score in her breed.

But, did the math really add up?

We were on the road 16+ hours. (I won't even include to and from the motel or the various trips to sub shops and a tractor supply store — don't ask.) My daughter was in the dressage ring 5 minutes. She was on the cross-country course 4 minutes, 40 seconds. She was in the stadium for jumping 2 minutes. Total time judged on horse (other than warm-ups and pleasure riding): 11 minutes 40 seconds.

Hmmmmm ...

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I give my daughter a lot of stuff. But, the most valuable thing I have to give her is time. And I know she appreciated it.

She stayed awake the whole drive home, just to keep me company.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Tale of Two Dinners

As so often (all right, as always, the word would be always) happens these days, my schedule recently had a conflict. It was time for the annual board of directors meeting for a professional association of which I am ... you guessed it ... on the board of directors. AND, it was time for a summer visit from my darling niece. 

For the past few years, we've had the meeting in Boston at the Harvard Club (that's the "Hah-vahd Club" to you and me). And, for the past few years, one of my esteemed colleagues has hosted a small private party of like-minded middle-aged (but fabulous) women the evening before. We check into the club, sip signature cocktails in the bar, go out for a lovely dinner, stay overnight in one of the club's historic guest suites, enjoy a delightful breakfast in the dining room and head to our meeting feeling oh-so-to-the-manor-born. It's always a wonderful time and a much-needed break from work and family and suburban life.

Not this year.

Of course, I'm not complaining about my young visitor. We have our beloved traditions too, and I always marvel at how quickly she's growing up — yet how willing she still is to play with dolls together and do art projects and snuggle. This time around, we dug out my now teenage daughter's old collection of American Girl movies (Samantha and Felicity and Molly, oh my!). It was a warm and wonderful trip down DVD memory lane.

So, it was with mixed emotions that I declined an invitation to join the other women the evening before the meeting. They went on without me, enjoying dinner at the Capitol Grill in the Back Bay. 

I went to Friendly's.

They started off with a Pear Martini and succulent Shrimp Cocktail, Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, or Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.

I started off with ... well ... tap water. It was tap water. But there was ice. And a straw.

They savored Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter or Chilean Sea Bass with Heirloom Tomatoes and Saffron Tomato Broth.

I went for the Asian Chicken Salad (the menu promised it would be "fresh, zesty and delicious"). Sesame ginger dressing on the side, please.

And for dessert? My friends probably shared Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake or the Classic Crème Brûlée.

I was too full for dessert, but I did have the pleasure of watching my daughter devour three-scoops of cookies and cream, while my niece tackled the infamous Monster Mash Sundae. Mint chocolate chip ice cream, cherry nose, M&M eyes and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ears.

Did my friends at the Capitol Grill have peanut butter cup ears? I sincerely doubt it.

Was it fun? Okay, yes. Was I surrounded by young women I cherish and admire? Yes. Was it how I pictured my glamorous grownup life? No.

An elegant evening in Boston? Absolutely. Friendly's on Route 114? No, no. No. 

But, did I make the right choice? Of course.

There's a reason Friendly's calls it a "Happy Ending Sundae."

(Oh, and the Capitol Grill will still be there next year.)

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summertime Homework or ... WTF???

Quick! Call The Times

My teenage daughter and I are in complete agreement about something.


These days, this state of harmony is a rare and wondrous phenomenon. There's no doubt that I've raised an independent thinker. She has her own opinions about pretty much everything, and they differ from mine ... well .. pretty much all the time. What to watch on TV. What to have for dinner. The intrinsic value of a well-made bed. We don't see eye-to-eye too often.

But, we are both in accordance right now. We both feel strongly that homework over the summer is unfair, unjust, cruel and unusual punishment. It's a bum rap. It's a double-dealing, dirty pool of a scam. A travesty of justice, a sheer and utter misuse of authority.

And, given that it's mid-August and school starts two weeks from Tuesday, the summer homework heat is on.


Lest you think I'm (we're!) complaining about some silly little reading assignment, try this on for size:

1. A 181-page book about the English language, on which my daughter needs to be prepared for a "rigorous test" day one.

2. Another 248-page book, also on the English language, on which my daughter has to write a 2-page analytical essay.

3. Two hand-outs (36 pages and 21 pages), supplementing the above volumes (because — apparently — 429 pages aren't enough), which will provide the guidelines for 2 more 2-page papers.

4. A final 524-page book on Thomas Jefferson, a 5 to 7-page paper and at least 3 blog posts about it.

In case you weren't doing the math, my daughter is expected to read 1,010 pages (that's serious, non-fiction pages; we ain't talkin' Gossip Girl, Twilight or Divergent) and write 4 analog papers plus 3 digital ones.

Did I mention it's mid-August?

Of course, if we were to complain, either of the offending teachers would ask a simple question. Could she have started sooner? Yes and no. She certainly had the assignments, and we ordered the books fairly promptly. But, she was away the first three weeks of the summer. Soon after, we had back-to-back-to-back houseguests. She's had multiple horse shows (some out of state), SAT prep and she holds down a part-time retail job.

Trust me, she hasn't been twiddling her thumbs. She also hasn't had a moment to enjoy a pool, a beach or much of a social life. And, perhaps most importantly, she wrapped up sophomore year (finals and papers and subject matter SATs, oh my!) and she was burned out. She was t-o-a-s-t.

I understand that teachers may worry about students losing momentum or forgetting what they were taught. And, no, I don't want my daughter's brain to turn to jelly while she watches reality TV reruns on our iPad. But, there has to be some happy medium. Couldn't the assignments be a little more open-ended? "Read 4 books. Your choice."

The classic song from Porgy & Bess tells us "Summertime and the livin' is easy." 

My daughter and I agree to disagree with that one.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Farewell, Mrs. Doubtfire. God Speed.

I have more than 500 friends on Facebook. (I guess, technically, I should say "more than 500 Facebook friends" — the meaning is slightly, but significantly, different.) It's rare that all these people agree on anything. But, last night and this morning, they did. Everyone I know is mourning the loss of Robin Williams.

From his frenetic standup comedy to his heartfelt dramas, from Mork to John Keating, from Aladdin's Genie to Dr. Maguire, he showed us unparalleled range as an actor. He touched everyone. He was so generous with his gifts, yet suffered from addiction and depression.

For me, he'll always be Mrs. Doubtfire.

I saw the movie in the theatre when it came out. The following year, my husband's company was acquired by Rupert Murdoch and the "goody bag" we received, welcoming us to the Fox family, included a VHS tape of it. About a decade later, my daughter discovered the movie at a ski house we had rented. She was thrilled to learn that we owned a copy and preceded to watch it. And watch it. And watch it.

The tape wore out long ago, but — happily — Mrs. Doubtfire is on fairly frequently. I always stop whatever I'm doing for a few minutes when I stumble upon it. There's so much to love — his transformation through the make-up mastery of brother Harvey Fierstein, how he tries to sabotage his wife's would-be suitor Pierce Brosnan, the inspired use of Aerosmith's "Dude looks like a lady." And all the brilliant lines that we always assumed (we just knew!) Williams must have improvised on the spot.

By far, my favorite part comes at the very end. Daniel has finally found success with his own public television series. He and his ex-wife have reached a peace, and he's reunited with his beloved children. As Mrs. Doubtfire, he reads and responds to a letter from a young viewer.

I can hear his voice, clear as day. It was this combination of tenderness and humor that remains uniquely his. He could bring us to tears even as he made us laugh until our sides ached.

“Dear Mrs. Doubtfire, two months ago, my mom and dad decided to separate. Now they live in different houses. My brother Andrew says that we aren’t to be a family anymore. Is this true? Did I lose my family? Is there anything I can do to get my parents back together? Sincerely, Katie McCormick.” 

Oh, my dear Katie. You know, some parents, when they’re angry, they get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t, don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other anymore, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. There are all sorts of different families, Katie. Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. And some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. And some live in separate homes, in separate neighborhoods, in different areas of the country – and they may not see each other for days, or weeks, months… even years at a time. But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right… bye-bye.

Robin Williams will be in our hearts forever. And, we're going to be all right.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Women on Top

Many moons ago (however many moons ten years would equate to — would that be 120?), I was the president of a professional association. It was a big deal, although not quite as big a deal as my then first grade daughter thought. I remember her wondering aloud if we would have to move to the White House. 

The year I was president, I was supported by an executive board: immediate past president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. They were all men.

At monthly board meetings, we would catch up on news from each other's companies. And, I would also serve up funny stories about my daughter. All of my officers were fathers, but they rarely brought up their own children unless I asked. 

So, I made it a point to ask.

Even before running my own agency, I've always blended career and family. The way I look at it, if I'm willing to bring work home (and, believe me, I have done so — a lot!), then my employers, colleagues and staff need to understand that I also have to bring home to work. So, a story about a particular client job might be followed by a tale of a third grade science project. It all felt very natural to me. Yet, because I was so often the only woman at the table, I seemed to be the only one bridging that work/family divide.

It didn't stop me, but I sometimes felt like the odd woman out.

Fast forward to the current day, and I still serve on the board of directors for that same association. The board has grown and now includes several directors as well as officers. My role, happily, is as a "director at large." I offer guidance and serve on some committees, but my formal responsibilities are fewer. 

These days, our board comprises more women than men. So, at our recent annual retreat, the conversations very naturally blended work and family, policy and parenting. As we set strategic goals for the coming year, we also heard about one director's toddler and another's twenty-one year old. At breaks, we pulled out smart phones to share recent photos. I was the recipient of college search advice from one mother and offered insights on potty training to another. At various times, these executive  moms complained about fatigue, sleepless nights, conflicting commitments ... things we all related to.

If this sounds to you like one big coffee klatch, you'd be mistaken. My fellow board members are exceptionally accomplished professionals. The bulk of our meeting was focused on membership goals and programming for the coming year. Having served on the board for more than a decade, I can't remember a more productive session.

Women bemoan that, despite their subscriptions to Oprah's magazine, they can't do it all. Run a company, run a family, run a 10K for cancer research on the weekend. It often — okay, always — feels like too much. Yet the women I'm privileged to work with, do manage. These days, I think that much of what helps harried working mothers succeed is the camaraderie they are finally feeling because so many of their peers at the top are also harried working mothers.

As more and more women reach the corner office and the head of the conference room table, we're not just taking care of business. We're changing it. In order to accomplish great things, we need each other's support. Whether that's in regard to marketing plans or motherhood. The more we see other women who have "been there, done that," the more confidence we have in our own ability to take care of ... well ... everything.

Who says it has to be lonely at the top? In my industry at least, women are rewriting the rules.

And I for one am loving it. 

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Fine Line Between

My daughter hates me.

This in and of itself isn't particularly newsworthy. Or unique to me. In fact, my mom mafia and I exchange texts to that effect fairly frequently. If you don't believe the old adage "there's a fine line between love and hate," just have a teenager. And wait a minute.

So, this time I'm the target of her anger and ire because I'm forcing my daughter (practically at gunpoint, if you ask her) to go to SAT prep classes. That's right, I've actually spent significant money to assure that she does well on her standardized tests so she can get into a good college and acquire a fine education which will help her build a more productive, profitable and pleasurable life. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Man, I suck.

She says "It's not fair." Guess what? I totally agree. But, guess what else? I didn't create the system. 

If it were up to me, things would be different. I wish colleges had the luxury to look at people before numbers. That they could put individual strengths and passions and personality ahead of quantitative scores. IMHO, the only thing the so-called "aptitude test" measures is a student's skill at taking aptitude tests.

Another thing, I hate the fact that the system contributes to the chasm between haves and have-nots in our society. Let's face it, there are many students out there who don't have access to these dreaded prep programs. They are expensive and as such, they are exclusionary. In essence, students who probably already have an advantage based on where they live and the schools they have access to also end up with better test scores.

I felt the sting of this myself way back when. I went to a fabulous school, and my own test scores were absolutely respectable. But, some friends who were more affluent were able to afford private tutoring and raise their scores. Academically competitive by nature, I resented this to no end. In fact, I sounded exactly like my daughter.

"It's not fair."

So, thirty-five years later, my daughter is hating me for something that I feel absolutely trapped into doing. I don't believe in the system; I think it's grossly biased and I resent spending the money (believe me, even if my daughter doesn't, I can think of many, many, many things I would have rather used the money for).

Kids in our upper middle-class Boston suburb do test prep. It's just a given. And, yes, I'm going along with it. Because, until the system changes, the stakes are too high. I'll be the first to admit that I'm being a wimp about this. But, I'll also know that I've done what I could to ensure that my daughter gets into the best school she can.

I'm sorry that the summer classes, practice tests, homework problems and fairly incompetent instructor are so tedious and frustrating. I'm sorry that my daughter hates me. However, as I recently reminded her, if she made a list of all the reasons she has to love me and lined it up against a list of reasons to hate me, I'm fairly confident that the first column would be longer. Like, a lot longer.

When she was a couple of weeks old (and I was still suffering some postpartum blues), I worried that her newborn unresponsiveness was a reflection of her (lack of) affection for me. A compassionate coworker of mine had more parenting experience than I did; he had a teenage daughter at home.

"I think she hates me," I confided. 

"No," he told me gently "She doesn't hate you ..."

"... But, she will."

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at