Not a Bad Word

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, my best friend and I created a list of secret swear words.

These were made-up words, each corresponding to a real curse word—the ones we weren’t allowed to say.

Bad Words-M&R photo

…but we were so cute!

I don’t remember using our secret swears in front of other people, we’d mostly just “curse” at each other and crack up at our clever defiance of little girl rules. It made for endless hours of inside-joke silliness. We even made them into a song. We would belt out this nonsense-word melody while walking to school, confident that no one knew we were actually singing a litany of really rude things. We thought it was hilarious. (Sorry, Mom) Read More

Opening Doors

[Writer’s note: This is one of the first full essays I wrote about my kid. It’s an old story from ten years back now, and is still one of my favorite memories.]

Standing on my back patio, I watch my five-year-old son through the sliding glass door. He bounces around the kitchen on his large blue exercise ball, happily unaware that he has just locked his mother out of the house.

Opening Doors_lockHe didn’t mean to lock me out. I stepped out—just for a moment—to throw something away, and I left the door open. Read More

Tough Love

I torture my child on a fairly regular basis.

Every time I indulge in this behavior, my son’s screams of aggravation and my husband’s entreaties to “stop being so mean” convince me to back off, and I am able to refrain for a few days.

But soon enough I am at it again.  I can’t help it.

I tell him:  “I am a mom, this is what we do.”

And, “You are my son and I will kiss you if I want to.”


Oh, he hates that.


Read More

2013 Quirky Year-in-Review

Where did a year go? I’m still trying to come to grips with it being December, and here we are at the end of it. How can it be time for reflections and resolutions already?

I will be making some sort of resolution about writing more this next year. According to a nifty WordPress report, in 2013, Stay Quirky, My Friends was viewed 7,200 times by readers in 41 countries. I know that is a miniscule amount of traffic in the blogging world, but it still feels like a lot to little ol’ me. I’m just thrilled to have carved out a space to write about my parenting adventures and that some of you care enough to read about them sometimes! I hope to add more to this in 2014.

To close out the year properly, I thought I’d share some of the highlights of Stay Quirky from 2013 – pulled from the blog as well as Stay Quirky’s Facebook page (launched in March 2013), with a handful of my own parenting-related Facebook status updates thrown in the mix. I’ve written and learned quite a bit about parenting my kid this year. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Read More