Posts filed under ‘Children’

Grocery Store Wars

membership-1At the beginning of the year, my grocery store broke up with me. It wasn’t planned. It was sudden, painful and frankly unnecessary. They had me at “hello” when as a preschooler, they let my class fieldtrip go behind the scenes and watch the bread bake and the sausage machine magically produce tubes of meat. As an adult, part of the draw for me was that it was always empty which of course turned out to be its downfall.

An uncommitted shopper with two tots in tow, I’ve wiped the slate clean and have ventured far and wide to claim a new store of my own. This period of time coincided with the last season of The Bachelor and I can’t help but compare myself to Jason Mesnick as he dealt with overly flirtateous and desperate women vying for his business.

Some of the grocery stores have been so aggressive in their courtship, it’s as uncomfortable as watching Jillian make out with Jason in the hot tub for 10 minutes of ABC prime time. When Safeway gives away four 12-packs of Diet Coke for $7, you feel a little unclean. When Shoppers Food Warehouse tosses free cereal boxes at you AND a coupon for $5 off a $15 purchase, you question your worth.

BJ’s, the poor man’s Costco, gave me over a year’s membership for half the price of a Costco renewal AND a membership for a friend. Harris Teeter has given me a coupon for the last twelve weeks for $10 off a purchase of $40 or more AND given my children free cookies and balloons on each visit. The only thing we’re missing is painted butterflies on our faces. And on it goes as I accumulate frequent shopper cards on my key chain and scope out my prospects.

Wegmann’s, the Rochester-based wonder chain, is the only one that’s played hard to get and I’ve fallen hard. Underground parking, double decker carts with seating for two, a functioning toy train track cascading above the dairy section, and pre-made meals to beat the band. They may be receiving the rose at the Final Rose Ceremony, but I trust in Jason’s example knowing I can always go back to Safeway if the first option falls through. All Wegmann’s has to do to seal the deal is open a child-care center like they offer in New York and I’m all theirs.


April 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm 7 comments

A Tale of Two Six-Year Olds

Rarely do six-year olds make the news. What’s even more rare is when two of their stories provide the perfect back drop for the polar opposite ways one can raise her child.

Tiernan Paul, a kindergartener, is still breastfed by his mother, Robyn.  She feels it creates a closer bond between them and allows her to soothe her son. Tiernan’s two older siblings also breastfed until the age of six and they have only fond memories of their days being nursed. Robyn says she enjoys very open communication and strong relationships with her kids, due in part to their prolonged breastfeeding.

Six is definitely too old in my book for this, but you can’t argue that this mom has earned a medal of valor for her efforts in being there for her kids. (We complained to my sister that her two and a half year old was too old for it, since he was eating hot dogs in one hand and leaning in for sips in between bites. She might have been on ABC News in Robyn’s place had she not thrown in the towel shortly after she became pregnant around her son’s third birthday).

In the other corner, we have a first grader who feels like he has to fend for himself.This poor little guy missed the school bus and  hopped in mom’s Taurus and drove himself 10 miles to get there.  He slammed into a utility pole and told the sheriff “he did not want to miss breakfast and PE.” The boy’s  father had been under court order not to leave his two sons alone with their mother, so sadly, the boys have now been placed in foster care. The mom is in jail.

Even though Tiernan is poised for some tortuous years of teenage teasing and some embarrassing slides in his wedding slide show, he he has nothing on what our little Taurus driver is going to have to deal with if this is the kind of supervision and parental involvement to which he’s grown accustomed.

January 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm 9 comments

Not So Much in the Trenches

While on the topic of celebrities, does it bother anyone else that Angelina Jolie is probably the only mother in the world commended for bringing a fifth and sixth child into the world? During an interview on the Today show, Jack Black said to Angelina that she and Brad would “have as many as [the] ‘Brady Bunch’ when you have these,” making official all the twin rumors swirling around her protruding navel.

Normal citizens in metropolitan areas typically face ridicule and downward glances when strangers find out #6 is on the way. But society is expected to bask in the glow of Angelina and Brad’s children and hearken the arrival of more jutting cheek bones and pouty lips. Yes, the Jolie-Pitts support more humanitarian causes than the average celebrity. Yes, it’s noble of her to adopt children from impoverished countries and endure pregnancy.

But when educated, married mothers who are handling six children without a staff of twelve, (as in no night nurses, full-time nannies, cooks, personal trainers, drivers and stylists), are demeaned for “irresponsibly” populating the earth, it’s such a double standard.

No doubt the new Brady Bunch will get photographed by Annie Liebovitz for the cover of Vanity Fair after Angelina delivers. Just be sure at that time to recognize the unsung heroes who are scrubbing macaroni and cheese and nail polish out of their kid’s hair themselves.

May 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm 3 comments

Tub Time

My brother-in-law’s father kept a yearly log while all of his kids were growing up to track their activities, funny sayings and attitudes. This one was a keeper and came from my brother-in-law’s mouth when he was seven years old.

You were just out of the bathtub tonight when [your older sister] came walking in. Your words were, “Get out of here–I’m completely nude!” You also called Mom a “sex maniac,” because you claimed she was always coming in on you when you were getting dressed from your bath.

April 25, 2008 at 10:51 am 5 comments

Litany of Excuses

Two new babies have arrived at IRF in the past few weeks. This baby mayhem has definitely contributed to the recent absence of one Joe Miller and myself. That sounds like we may have had twins, so to clarify, Joe Miller’s wife gave birth to their daughter three weeks ago and I had a girl seven weeks ago. No doubt they’ll carry on the IRF torch to future generations when the time is right.

Also, my sisters and I welcomed our new adopted brother from Guatemala (not unlike the Bluths’ brother Annyong, 20 years younger than the next oldest sibling).

New jobs for some IRF contributors, tax season and March Madness have also detracted from frequent posting. And to make some future excuses, you can expect a prolonged absence of posting from LeMare, who is bravely forging a journey to Sweden to pick up her new vehicle.

If Mitt Romney were still in the presidential race, the rate of posting just might have been higher.  Rooting on Mormon American Idol contestants just doesn’t seem as compelling as getting Mitt in the White House to turn around our economy.  But, rah, rah, David Archuleta and Brooke White.  We hope you still do well and that Huckabee doesn’t sabotage your chance right as you make the top three!

April 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm 5 comments


Only after toppling over the babysitter’s mailbox Saturday night while backing up in her driveway did I realize I’ve hit the point of no return with this pregnancy.  The point where I’m a hazard to myself and others the more I’m out and about in public.  The point where even the back up “beep” on my Jeep can’t prevent me from hitting inanimate objects.  The point where I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in a primary.  Yes, it’s time to start my maternity leave from the world even though the baby’s not even here yet.

When grocery store clerks and strangers begin commenting, “Whoa, any day now,” you know it’s obvious to the world you’ve had it and you just want to be delivered from your 40 week (physical and mental) state of pregnancy.


So what other choice do I have but to try to self-induce with black licorice, raspberry leaf herbal tea, power walks around the mall, Mexican bean pizza with extra jalepenos and shocking exposés about Joran Van Der Sloot featuring a fired up Greta Van Susteren?  Nothing is working! I’m saving the castor oil for next week.

February 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm 8 comments

Lessons in Maturity Courtesy of a Packers Dad

While we can blame many disturbing incidents on the Brits, this one is hard to sweep under the rug. Furious that his seven-year old son wouldn’t wear a Packers jersey while watching the playoff game at home, a father duct taped the jersey to the boy. The son had been refusing to wear it so the dad restrained him for over an hour as he taped the jersey on. The mother called the police two days later and had her husband arrested for his deviant behavior and had the tenacity to capture the abuse on her cell phone camera.

First of all, the son must be very strong if it took a man 29 years his senior to get him pinned down long enough to effectively trap him into the jersey.

Second of all, does it come to a surprise to anyone that the fanaticism (and rage issues) displayed here came from a Packers fan?

Lastly, while LeMare’s mother has been accused of such boldness in her parenting in verbalizing her thoughts (i.e. “Oh my, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN EATING HERE AT COLLEGE?” and “You need mascara. Your eyes look non-existent”), she was and is motivated by a fierce love for her kids. There’s no excuse for this dad’s outburst taken out on his unsuspecting little boy.  And for years to come, this boy will be able to respond to his dad, “No, I’m not going to my room.  But you can go back to jail for acting like a moron.”

Will there ever be a chance of getting this kid to don a Cheesehead again in his life?

January 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm 4 comments

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