Rugrat Reprieve

Rachael Brownell offers thoughts and advice on reclaiming a little bit of adult time in our parenting lives.

All of Rugrat Reprieve:

A Supposedly Slim Person I'll Never Be Again
It's not as though one day I put away the high heels, threw down the cute panties and bras and embraced the muu muus and late-night candy, but it feels that way. The time-warping devolution from slim pretty thing to puffy 40-something started... read more

F*ck Staycations! Bring on the real thing!
These are hard times: unemployment, foreclosures, food and gas prices, and children gnawing on lead-laced toys. Add to that kids home for the summer, cranky need-to-get-laid-spouses, the treadmill that sits gathering dust under a laundry pile, and skinny jeans that won’t even fit your right... read more

Threesome: Why Mommy and Daddy Need a Special Helper
The concept of threesomes has been employed by unhappy spouses (or marriage partners with superior imaginations, depending on your view) since time immemorial.  As an antidote to the occasional doldrums of monogamy, it seems perfectly wise and preferable to adultery. Why then can’t we imagine... read more

Home for Wayward Mothers
Some signs that you might be becoming a wayward mother: You laugh in derision at everything your partner suggests about childcare, politics, or anything. The thought of running away somewhere with a young Italian manny begins to seem highly likely ... read more

Spring is in Their Hair: The Joys of Making Them Play Outside
In my neck of the woods weather is relatively mild, but even so, the rain and mist and gory grey makes a person (no matter how tall) want to curl up with a good Diego episode and eat a cookie. With all the evidence that our kids are the fattest, least active, most addicted to... read more

Now We Are Six: Why Older Children Rule
When it comes to babies, parents are given a predictable list of things they should attempt in order to keep healthy and well-rested: sleep when baby does, go to bed early, sleep late, get enough exercise and fresh air, sufficient time alone and time as a couple. But let’s face it, very young children... read more

It Takes a City and a State
We are grandparent rich in my house. What with the remarriages and divorces and remarriages and reconfigurations, we’re a regular people soup of a family. While I occasionally still feel guilty that I wasn’t able to keep everything all nuclear and white picket fence-ish for my daughters,... read more

How to Enjoy Your Holidays without Going to a Home
Nothing says “dream on about having any time ‘off’, sucker” like the holidays. The perfect storm of in-laws, family, food preparation, alcohol, simmering resentment and lead-filled statuary, Thanksgiving and Christmas (or Xmas, if you prefer) test even the most zen... read more

The Ultimate Rugrat Reprieve
For parents with younger than school-age children, the concept of school readiness can evoke nervous hand wringing in even the most laid-back, no-toys-in-the-living-room among us. Measuring how our kids do or don’t jive with expectations of various structured environments is a tough business and... read more

Fantasy Vacations
Is it possible to take a truly restful vacation with children under 10 years old (and more than one of them)? Perhaps, though I think it involves 10 nannies, a hotel suite with separate bedrooms for each child, and vats of whine wine. Sometimes I like to watch... read more

Itís Hot. Itís Tired. Itís Summer.
Let’s say (hypothetically) that your kids are bored, hot, and eating too much junk food and watching too much television this Summer. You’ve used all your vacation time and don’t have the money to take time off of work to go to the beach, much less schedule a spa... read more

This one's for the boys.
Fathers are frequently under-appreciated hardworking, dishes-cleaning-up, bottle-getting, paycheck-bringing-home sports-watching, wife-angering confused-heads. Honestly, you could not pay me enough to swap my lady bits for a man package… no matter how privileged and easily orgasmed the... read more

Rest here for a minute.
Signs that it might be time to have a Mommy Break include but are not limited to: Laughing inappropriately when your kids get hurt, hoping your husband trips on the wet towel he left on the floor, burgeoning rage when you see that someone moved your special spoon, sensation that ... read more

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"We all suffer from the preoccupation that there exists... in the loved one, perfection." -- Sidney Poitier