All of Growing Pains:
The Ides and Crooked Teeth of March
According to the old saying, the month of March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and becomes much more agreeable – atmospherically speaking, of course.
“We don’t have ANY days off from school in March!”
Yes,... read more
Would You Be, Could You Be, My Neighbor?
We live on a very busy street, used by commuters as a through-way between the train station and county road, so my husband Garth [not his real name] and I have always tried to remain vigilant about keeping the kids safely secluded in our very own big backyard.
“Can So-and-So... read more
Old Ghosts of Halloweens Past
My kids love Halloween and start planning their respective costumes soon after the first day of summer vacation.
“I’m going to be a dead cheerleader!”
However, now that they’re getting older, I’m having a hard time finding the idea... read more
Facing Unemployment in the Carpool Lane
I remember when Labor Day simply meant being allowed to sleep in late and then watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon, all day, in our pajamas.
I mean, it was only last year, right?
This year, however, my kids started school early (before Labor Day) and it’s funny... read more
When Every Day is Independence Day
On a late autumn day in 1956, a young man gazes out into the city streets and sees that the political turn of events have left the country reeling in uncertainty. There is a change coming for the young man; he feels it in the... read more
In His and Her Shoes
I grew up living with a couple of pack rats; my mother collects fine porcelains and dolls, while my father looks forward to getting a new watch, every year. Without exaggeration, the man has a drawer full of every conceivable size, shape and style of time piece, pocket watch and a steam engine... read more
I Remember Mama
I remember when this picture was taken. The year was 1971. I was my youngest daughter's age (she’s 7) although, I look a lot... you know... bigger. My parents have tons of pictures like this. ... read more
Dirty Hands, Smart Mouth
I come from a long line of agriculturists -- my father was a landscaper, my grandfather and both my great-grandfathers were master gardeners to noble families in Europe - and I often tell my children that gardening is in their blood.
"Ewww, get it out!"
My 10-year-old... read more
Pretty Good Housekeeping
It’s that time of year, again. Yep, spring cleaning is just around the corner and at our house it is also used as a metaphor for enlightenment in unlocking the secrets of keeping peace and harmony in our home.
You see, as far as I’m concerned, there are three types of cleaning... read more
A Brother's Love
I haven't spoken to my twin brother in a while. We seem to be missing each other, a lot. The last few Sundays, at my parents' house. My sister-in-law was sick. My kids were sick. He was sick. Their empty casserole dish is still sitting on a chair in the kitchen and... read more
So, how old should a kid be before he/she is ready for a sleep-over?
In my opinion, sleep-overs are like stay-at-home-moms (an oxymoron, really) because (having hosted a few, all-nighters) no one EVER sleeps!
January makes for great sleeping weather... read more
The Christmas House
I've been thinking, lately -- a dangerous habit, I know -- about how my husband Garth (not his real name) and I have started to downsize our family celebrations.
Not that they were HUGE, to begin with -- if you have kids, then you know -- but, our children enjoy spending time with both... read more
Take a Parent, Add Politics and Mix
This is my favorite picture of my parents – it was taken shortly after their engagement in 1963 – and is a perfect depiction of a young couple, living in America, at that... read more
I love watching scary movies - especially, at this time of year - but, I’m not talking about the slice and dice slasher films, where the body count is higher than the I.Q. of the teenagers prancing around half-naked in them.
“Just don’t answer the phone and stay... read more
This time last year, my dear friend, Dana Tuske (who also is a columnist here at the Imperfect Parent) asked me if I would consider being one of her guest bloggers at The Dana Files and I was very honored... read more
I'm Just Blogging My Summers Away
Where has the summer gone?
Well, I'll tell you. Besides the fact that I’ve been busy traveling and desperately seeking some sort of part-time work that allows me to keep my stay-at-home status (if I do, you WILL be the first to know) I can't seem to get you (yes, YOU!) out of my... read more
No More Trips to Disney For You!
Wrapped tightly in a light comforter and waking to crispy blue skies reminiscent of a morning in early October, a blessed relief from the wetness of a typical summer in New Jersey, I considered the day a gift.
Then, I remembered that we had plans to go somewhere that I swore we would never... read more
Humanizing under the influence of children
My parents have very close friends who recently lost their dog, unexpectedly. The kids and I were at a family picnic celebrating a graduation of some sort (with so many kids, I forget) and we happened to run into them.
Literally, I tripped over air and nearly dropped a whole platter of... read more
What Do May Flowers Bring?
Signifying happiness, this tiny belle of a flower carpeted the forests and landscape of Europe in the spring, and my grandmother often times would tell tales of fairies using the tiny flowers as tea cups and party hats.
... read more
Remembering Virginia Tech and How I have NOT Stopped Worrying, Since.
We each have a special place in our house -- small and cramped as it may be -- where the children and I like to go and disconnect...from each other. I also think it's important that each of my children understand that they can NOT expect to do everything together and insist that each of them have... read more
One Mother's Comfort Is Another Child's Misfortune
It’s been a rather warm winter -- we fired up the barbecue more in December, than we did all summer, it seems -- and now they’re calling for an unusually cold spring, here in Jersey. What is up with the weather, lately? Yeah, you too? I know! It’s taken a toll on my children's respiratory... read more
Our Dirty Little Secret
My husband and I have been together for a long time (we’ll be married 18 years, this summer) and -- though, I refuse to believe that we look anything alike -- Garth (not his real name) and I have grown comfortable with each other and often times find ourselves finishing each others sentences.... read more
Achy, Breaky Suburban New Year’s Eve
It is... was... just another achy, breaky suburban New Year’s Eve, after all!
I often times associate songs with certain times in my life -- you know, the good and the not so much -- and I believe it was Karen Carpenter (yes, I’m old, shuddup!) who sang about holidays being... read more
The Sanity Clause
As a stay-at-home-mom -- who happens to spend a large portion of the day in the car, just so you know -- if you're a parent...then you know...a vast majority of my time is committed going to (and from) practices, or meetings and paying for teacher gifts, or class parties (seriously, enough already) and... read more
The Autumn Wife
I lowered my window, breathed in the brisk autumn air and enjoyed the fact that I was sitting on the passenger side of our minivan, for once. I listened to my children happily trying to out-talk each other, behind me, and I leaned my head a little to the right, inhaled deeply and smiled, as I am instantly... read more
Like Sands Through An Hourglass...
...these are some scary days, my friend!
I’ve been going through some photo boxes -- in my neverending quest to downsize, organize and exorcize the humungous amount of STUFF I’ve accumulated over the years -- when I came across a picture of my grandmother and me.
... read more
Skating Through Life, Talking Street and Living with Almost Etnies
With school having started I’ve had to finally face the fact that my kids have outgrown EVERYTHING and perhaps consider that we may actually have to, you know, get out of the house!
Thank goodness the mall is air-conditioned, but -- here’s the thing -- I hate back-to-school... read more
Waiting room stories: stranger than family.
I sat in the stuffy room, drank another cup of bad coffee and threw a fleeting look towards the two women sitting at the table across from me as they continued to leaf through about a thousand greeting cards.
Strange: “Um, where do you want me to put this?”
Stranger:... read more
Remembering "The Old Country" in a whole new way
My father and mother have been living in the United States for over 50 years -- they escaped Hungary during the Revolution of 1956 -- but, often times still like to refer to their homeland as “the old country.”
You see, on our street, everyone came from somewhere.
... read more
A man's place.
My father was your average "waiting room husband" - the father-to-be you’d typically find in a hospital during the early 1960’s - he paced, he sat, and he chain smoked his Marlboros.
For hours, my dad shared cigarettes and stories with men, and watched one after another... read more
Mommy's little soldier.
Most parents would perhaps agree that boys and girls are different -- they look different, they behave differently and often times dance to the beat of a different drum -- yes, the thought of raising a little boy pretty much scared me, too!
Until I had one.
Having mostly... read more
Having faith and eating meat, too.
My parents were not regular church-goers for various reasons -- personally, I believe that a large part was due to their trouble getting married in the eyes of the church because they were not being able to prove, conclusively (having defected from a communist state), that they were never married before... read more
Wake me up when puberty ends.
My daughter (the middle girl child) woke up one morning, not too long ago, and was telling me about the dream she had concerning a certain rock-star-who-shall-not-be-named.
[nods head and yawns]
“You know,... read more
CAUTION: I Brake For Heaven’s Sake!
My husband and I spent weekends shopping around for our “starter home,” never expecting that the street in front of our new house would resemble a stock car race. Living those first few months as weekend warriors, the constant stream of weekday traffic didn’t make that much... read more
Chicken Soup for the Aspetic Soul
"So, how bad is it? Do you need me to take a sick day?"
My husband’s eyes were fixed on the television as he continued to iron his dress shirt while waiting for my answer.
He didn’t get... read more
A Christmas without Uncle Bud.
The headline read, “Hotel Blast in Baghdad Kills Two.”
I felt compelled to click on the “raw video” icon and it wasn’t due to some morbid sense of curiosity. I saw the quick flash of a face…a face of a soldier who looked... read more
Save a dog -- adopt a mommy!
I have this problem.
Actually, I didn’t know it was a problem -- isn’t that how it typically goes? -- I mean, at least I didn’t feel it was such a big deal in thinking:
“No sweat; I could handle it!”
I was wrong.
Then... read more
Scare thy neighbor.
“…suddenly there came a tapping,
as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
... read more
The End Of Summer And Resurrection Of A SAHM
"It's quiet -- too quiet!"
I'm reminded of that phrase most often heard in western movies, television and suspense novels – not to mention expressed with trepidation by perhaps every parent of a three-year-old wondering, “What’s... read more
Motor CYCLE mama.
“Damn thing’s leaking oil again!”
I threw the wrench back into my tool box and squatted down closer to the engine for a better look. The wind began to pick up and the latest gust blew my short flowered skirt up over my hips. I jumped and quickly looked down both sides of... read more
Me and my Mother-tounge.
I grew up speaking Hungarian with my parents and learned to read and write the language, thanks to my maternal grandmother who insisted that at least one of her 18 grandchildren learn the "mother-tongue".
Even more so today, as a Mom to four beautiful growing... read more
Breathless in the saddle.
You’ve seen this -- haven’t you?
Ever... read more
Ask me how old I am...go ahead...ask me!
**smiling in gratitude and turning towards husband**
"Um...what is it...this year?"
No lie! I stopped counting a long time ago, but -- I don't mean to sound flippant – I really have to stop... read more
What's a señor citizen?
“How old do you hafta be to be a señor citizen?”
The funny thing about having kids -- well, besides the crack about having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain -- is that they really do say the funniest things, sometimes.
“It’s... read more
Sort of like the DIY Channel, but for Imperfect Parents.
My addiction started about a month before the birth of my oldest daughter – heavy with child and achy with sciatica – I was obsessed with do-it-yourself-type television, especially anything that had to do with everything…baby.
For me -- nearly twelve years ago and before internet parenting community... read more
Flirtations in the meat aisle.
It was bound to happen – sooner rather than later, I suppose – when I swear, on all things sacred in the parenting world, “That is never going to happen to me,” and it does leaving me to wonder once again, “WTF?”
Have I actually turn into one of those mothers that I swore I would never become?!?
Have... read more
The year I fed my husband chicken.
My twin brother and I grew up in an ethnic neighborhood; a tapestry of cultures intersecting east of Roosevelt Avenue and as far away from Main Street as one can get. It had its advantages. Everyone knew each other and – even though our families and traditions were as different as the color of our skin... read more
'Tis the season to be S.A.D.
It starts somewhere around mid- September, when the weather starts to cool and mums begin to appear on the neighbors’ front stoop. Just about the same time when the playgrounds are packed with fresh pine mulch and are filled with drunken honeybees. It takes place soon after the first soccer game and... read more
What if... A Spoonful of Sugar Doesn’t Help!?!
Growing up in an age of modern and advanced medical technology -- together with a medicine cabinet crammed full of prescriptions -- causes me to question when, in the name of all things therapeutic, are my children going to start feeling better?!? Winter isn’t even here yet, and we’ve gone through a... read more
My two breast friends.
“Oh I should think I will never see anything droopier than the two of these!”
My husband walked by our bathroom and caught a quick glimpse of me staring at my naked reflection. He snapped his head back into view and gave me a perplexed, “What the hell are you doing now?” sort of look.
I... read more
The Color People.
The curtain swayed and as I watched her feet move back and forth I notice that she had taken the time to paint her toes a pretty pearly shade of light pink and imagined how it must of hurt like hell.
“I need help with these darn ties,” and I jumped up a little too quickly and knocked into both her... read more
Counting my alligators before they're hatched.
I am what my doctors have clinically, yet delicately, labeled as a “fainter.”
As a child, and unfortunately as do my children, I suffered from high fevers and persistent tonsillitis. Back then (no, not when dinosaurs ruled the earth, but closer to around the time man invented the wheel) nearly every... read more
Bath tub fantasies and rusty pipe dreams.
The bathtub was packed of dirty dishes. My legs spread wide and bending in an awkward position, I carefully placed the clothes basket filled with glassware in front of the toilet. Groaning, I reached backwards for a towel to cushion my aching knees and couldn’t decide if they hurt more than my sore back.... read more
Looking for love -- and sore muscle relief
“Have you decided…I need to give them an answer; would you prefer a guy or girl?”
I watched my husband tap the pastel colored piece of paper pinned to the already jam-packed bulletin board. I felt my cheeks flush and the tiniest rush of thrill ran through me as I replied, “I don’t know. I’ve never... read more
**knocking on wood**
Nope. It doesn’t take much to make my day, anymore. Like a good cup of coffee and the morning mail devoid of bills. Or, a rainy day spent in pajamas with no place to go, receiving that unexpected phone call just to say hi and a husband who knows when to come in close... read more
But then again, what else could I say?
The endless rain left us little choice; it was well past ten in the morning and we were all still messing about the house in our pajamas. I don’t plan much for the Saturdays that my husband works and I felt blessed to have children who were perfectly happy with spending a quiet day close to home, and... read more
Weighing in and measuring up.
"Okay Mrs. Thompson…we’re learning about weights and measures today. As you’re the snack mom, you can help me out with that project, and Mrs. J. can go next door and help the children with a writing project. The children will be starting a journal."
I gave my son’s teacher a mental, "Huh?"
I’m... read more
When just a little bit more is just enough.
My 3-year-old daughter turned the corner of the lot and bolted ahead of her 11-year-old sister. Her two sisters and big brother easily caught up and together they climbed the construction model’s front porch, where Mama and Papa were ready and waiting for the big entrance. Their youngest grandchild asked... read more
Ms. Independent meets Mr. Mom
I remember collecting my last paycheck, nearly 11 years ago. I was eight months pregnant with my oldest child and commuting from New Jersey into the financial center in New York City. It wasn’t an easy commute -- traveling pregnant made it downright despicable. I was accustomed to working 60 hour weeks... read more