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back to school 2015
Best o’ the Bitch, Humor, Parenting

Ask Bitch’in Suburbia: Back to School 2015


Hey kids — it’s that time of year: More pencils, more books, and presumably more teachers’ dirty looks. But then again, who could blame them? In a world of Common Core, overly involved parents, undersized budgets, tests to teach to, and a lack of necessary tools (especially time and trust, not to mention those new fangled devices called computers), it’s impossible not to look at least a little pissed off.  Lucky for everyone, your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia has the cheat sheet ready with all the snappy answers you need for your back to school questions. Just raise your hand and read on…

Dear Bitch’in Suburbia,

I have this recurring nightmare: I’m in a classroom, and the teacher hands out a test. Everyone around me dives right in, but I can’t read the words. Then the bell rings, and I’m still not done. I wake up every morning in a sweat, and I barely have the energy to get my kids off to school. What do you think it means? read more

let go of sentimental clutter
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Bye, Bye Baby — Letting Go of Sentimental Clutter


It was 1997, and I was in upstate New York, hanging with my BBFs for a fun and relaxing girls’ weekend.

I was young enough to have not yet experienced the verb “parenting,” but old enough to enjoy an afternoon of the somewhat pretentious verb “antiquing.”

In a dusty little shop all the way in the back, I spied a vintage sideboard. It was a distressed “shabby chic” piece with a modern twist — it had been painted a sweet blue and had grass-green doors with a pair of faded coral flower appliqués on either side.

That would be a really cute changing table, I thought.

Let me just say I was not that baby-crazy girl. I never cradled my dolls as a kid — hell, I didn’t even own dolls because I am afraid of them (along with puppets, clowns, and carnies) — and avoided sitting actual babies like the plague. I didn’t even particularly like caring for little children; my go-to bunks as a camp counselor were any that had kids ages 13 and up. read more

bitchin answers to stupid questions
Humor, Parenting

Bitch’in Answers to 10 Stupid Questions


Have you tried asking Siri what zero divided by zero is yet?

Before you do, please be forewarned that after all these years, Siri is done with stupid questions and has gone to the dark side.

In short, Siri is now a punishing bitch.

While “indeterminate” is her “straight” answer, if you’re lucky, Siri will tell you this:

“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get?

See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies. And you are sad that you have no friends.”

Oh, snap, Siri! When this kinda shade is thrown by a disembodied robot voice, it’s somehow even more damning. And endearing.

Which is the perfect combination for an excellent comeback. It’s what Mad magazine’s Al Jaffee perfected with “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.” (Remember those? I believe your Mad magazine collection is hidden under your shoebox full of Wacky Pack stickers.) read more

26 essential things dads provide
Bitch’in Life, Parenting

26 Essential Things Dads Provide


Once upon a time, what a mother did and what a father did was very clear — moms would hold down the household fort, and dads went off into the world to fight the good fight and provide for the family.

Lucky for GenX, the feminist movement kicked in when we were still in diapers, and that paved the way to lighten (well, at least shift) the load for X- and Y-totin’ humans.

It turns out that moms can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan, and dads often are the best moms.

Cut to today, where tasks according to gender lines are extremely fluid (just ask Caitlyn Jenner, whose kids still call her dad, at least for now!), and it’s all hands on deck for all aspects of the very active verb parenting.

And the verb provide is also a shared responsibility in our über-expensive, über-competitive, über-everything world.

Still, there are some things that dads provide that nobody else can — or will, or can do in the same way, depending on the situation. So whether you are a father or simply have one, in honor of Father’s Day, here’s an alphabetical look at all the many things that dudes supply: read more

resist the racket

How to Resist The Latest Parenting Racket


They say that there’s a sucker born every minute, so what does that say about the people that brought that thar sucker into the world?

That’s right — it takes one (or more accurately, two) to make one.

And today’s parents that are so fully devoted to providing our precious offspring with “the perfect life” and getting a do-over for perceived deficiencies in our own upbringings are perhaps the biggest chumps ever created.

Don’t believe me? Let’s review for a minute your childhood vs. your child’s/children’s:

YOU: When you were born, your parents took you home in an outfit provided by the hospital. Later, the blanket you were swaddled in became the perfect rag to clean off your spit-up and sponge down your changing table.

YOUR KID(S): Your child(ren) came home in a photo-shoot-ready coordinated outfit from the Gap or better. Baby’s first blanket was as much a fashion statement as it was a lovey.

YOU: You rode home from the hospital in your mom’s arms. As you grew, you bumped around in the back of the family sedan, or if you were fancy, a station wagon — no seatbelts required. Extra points if mom or dad or both chain-smoked with the windows up and the heat on during the winter. Outside of the car, you were moved from place to place in a simple stroller that you graduated from the second you could walk. read more


Graduation & The End of an Era


It’s graduation season, and even if you don’t have anyone culminating, you can’t help but feel the bittersweet vibe of moving on. I can get teary-eyed just by looking at pics on social media of other people’s kids tossing caps in the air, posing in their gowns, and holding up diplomas for the world to see.

This year, though, graduation is personal — yesterday, my daughter culminated from her K-8 school, and where we live, the kids will now scatter far and wide, as there is no one neighborhood high school. So for the weeks leading up to this auspicious event, she and her friends have been ramping up for an emotional parting. We’ve had torturous sentimental Adele songs on endless repeat, learned to qualify nearly everything as “the last… [fill in pretty much every daily activity]” and on more than one night, I’ve had to tell her to dry her tears, because her friendships aren’t over — they’ll just morph into a new phase. And assure her that she can always go back and visit her teachers and the ol’ schoolyard. read more

kvell in public
Bitch’in Life, Parenting

How to Kvell in Public


There are lots of words that have made their way from Yiddish into the English vernacular that regardless of your denomination, you know what they mean: maven, chutzpah, shtick, nosh, schlep, schmuck — to name a few.

But there’s one word that you might not know, but I can say with 100% certainty, you probably (hopefully) do on a regular basis: kvell.

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines kvell as “to be extraordinarily proud; rejoice,” and while that’s a good start, it goes a lot deeper than that.

Kvelling, much like its kissing cousins, bragging and boasting, is something that ranges from casual to a high art form. In this age of social media, we all know how that goes. From the people who document every wondrous move their children make starting with breathing, to the humble-braggers that moan about their shin splints from running their third marathon this year, and to the people that over-use the phrase “This happened” or plain old, “This,” to accompany photos they take (i.e., views from a mountain top they just biked/hiked up, fancy meals they’ve “effortlessly” whipped up, shots of themselves or their kids with celebs, etc.) and everyone in between, the ability to publicly tell your stories of all-time highs is at an all-time high. read more

where the time goes
Best o’ the Bitch, Parenting

Moms, Here’s Where the Time Goes


Where did the time go?

You know what I’m saying — it feels like just yesterday that gorgeous girl who looks like a princess in her strapless prom gown was a toddler playing dress-up. That handsome young dude holding up his driver’s license was last seen playing with trucks on the living room floor. Even the dog who used to have a thick, dark coat that gleamed in the sun when she romped and played is sporting grays and spends hot days napping instead of frolicking.

Where does the time go? is the popular refrain when we look at pictures of our growing, growing, (sniff) gone babies.

As we age especially, time feels like an over-caffeinated bitch, speeding away and laughing at you as it leaves you in the dust desperately trying to figure out where the hell it went.

Neuroscientists like David Eagleman have good explanations for why this is  — beginning with the fact that the passage of time is a perception, not a clear-cut sensory experience like smell, touch, taste, and sight. While these faculties reside in distinct areas in the brain, time is embedded throughout the senses  — for example, in the persistence of a smelly diaper, the eternity of a screaming child’s temper tantrum, or the endless throb of a finger burnt when hurrying to make dinner. read more

Breakfast club
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting, Pop Culture

Are We Still in The Breakfast Club?


Remember The Breakfast Club?

Thirty years later, and the question remains: which high school trope were you — the princess? The athlete? The brain? The basket case? Or the criminal?

Better question: which high school trope are you still?

Sometimes when I am writing my blog, I troll Facebook looking for inspiration. What I love about social media is it shows me that no matter how disparate the groups of friends I am looking at — peeps from childhood, high school, camp, college, post-college, early mommy group, parenting buds, or “other” — we have so much in common.

And not just the urge to take and share pictures of frosty cocktails, our feet at the beach, our kids/pets/significant other (not in that order — pets usually come first =), cooking/baking gone good/bad, and/or inspirational/funny quotes.

The human experience has a lot of overlap, especially the emotional components. The exteriors may look different, but the interior impulses are all the same. We’re just looking for connection to soothe the rough spots and know that we’re not alone in our suffering. (#Buddha, #tbt) read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting

Date Night Disaster


It’s official: I’ve lost all confidence in date nights.

Before I give you the latest blow to the ever-popular, eagerly anticipated weekly(ish) ritual, let’s backtrack a minute and explore the evolution of the date night.

BC (forget before kids, I’m going all the way back to before commitment), there was no such thing as date night. There were nights, and some of those evenings had dates, and as I recall, those things ran the gamut from awkward and painful to hot and amazing.

The one thing that dates have going over date night is the element of surprise. Moments of mystery. And the best of them have an unanticipated happy ending (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more).

Once you’re in a long-term relationship, date nights take on new meaning. Sure they’re a little forced, and of course the fact that you already know your date intimately saps some of the electric energy, but without the ritual, the chances of an awesome, albeit anticipated, happy ending decrease accordingly (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, etc.). read more