How Babies Are Different From Us

MGM’s (8) third grade teacher recently asked me to come and speak to his class, since they were studying a unit on the human body.

My immediate response, “You know I’m a gynecologist, right?”

We finally settled on a talk entitled “How babies are different from us,” with emphasis on an in utero baby, a.k.a. a fetus.

What we covered:

  • Before they are born, babies are connected to their mothers by an umbilical cord and placenta
  • Babies depend on their mothers to get their blood
  • Babies do not eat food the way we do; they get their nutrition from what their mother eats
  • Babies do not breathe oxygen. They essentially live underwater and breathe amniotic fluid in and out of their lungs
  • Speaking of amniotic fluid, it is mostly baby pee (This brought down the house! I was killing it at this point)
  • A baby has about 300 bones but an adult only has about 206. This is because some of the baby’s bones join together like a puzzle after it is born.
  • Even before a it’s born, a baby can recognize voices, open and shut its eyes, roll/punch/kick (MGM demonstrated this in class), sleep and get the hiccups
  • A baby usually does not poop before it’s born (another fact that resulted in gales of laughter)

The floor was also open to questions. Conservatively speaking, one kid alone asked about 80. He was so into it!

MGM repeatedly asked if he could use my laser pointer.

And while you might expect inevitable questions resulting in inflammatory emails from other parents about how a baby got there in the first place, it never came up.


first day of school 2015

MGM and Trixie First day, 2015

P.S. If you would ever like to practice your stand-up comedy skills, I highly advise a test audience of third graders.

One More Thing, #30

Both of my kids have taken to wearing makeup lately, but the reasons seem to be different.

MGM (now 8) reported that he saw a character use makeup “to disguise himself as a phantom on Scooby Doo,” and now he wants to trick our babysitter.

Spoiler alert: I think she’ll still know it’s you, MGM.

Trixie (6) just loves to borrow anything that’s mine, which is why my lipsticks are all mysteriously smushed into their caps and a David Yurman bracelet went AWOL for over a year.

In general, I’m fine with all of this as long as it doesn’t negatively impact me.

But I was distressed to discover a brand new makeup brush that had been thoroughly destroyed by one dual kid session:


The bristles used to be completely white, people.

I underestimated the saturation of the residual blush and when I went to put my own makeup on, I ended up looking something like this:


I lamented the outcome to our babysitter and she was sweet enough to surprise my by cleaning the brush back to snowy perfection with some mild soap and warm water. Merci!

P.S. Made me laugh:





Beezus and Ramona Writing Prompt

Trixie’s (6) kindergarten class is reading Beezus and Ramona, a book series I loved as a child.


Last week her teacher sent me this picture that Trixie drew after a writing prompt:

uncle hobart

Caption: I think Uncle Hobart will marry Aunt Bea


Here’s what she wrote about it:

We are reading the Ramona books and we are reading the one where Ramona and Beezus’ aunt marries Uncle Hobart, and I decided to have a writing prompt about it. When I reviewed all of them this morning, I laughed when I got to Trixie’s. I love how Uncle Hobart has the ring and the box, and how Aunt Beatrice has a surprised look on her face. But most of all, I really dig Uncle Hobart’s beard.

You raging hipster, Uncle Hobart!

P.S. Writing prompt on the next page reads: “If I could wish on a shooting start I would wish for an American Girl doll.” No surprise there.


Fake Swear Words

One thing I clearly remember about my dear father – who died nearly 13 years ago – was that he never, ever swore.

Personally, I find that well-timed profanity can really punctuate a conversation and/or emphasize a point, but if I’m honest, sailor-talk just really isn’t all that classy.


Wear an animal? Yes. Use a four-letter word? Not on your life.

Don’t get me wrong, my Dad would occasionally get angry or frustrated – especially when the Green Bay Packers were losing – but when pushed to the brink, he would use his favorite non-swear curse word, one I think he entirely made up on his own: Ratchin’-fatchin’.

Ratchin’-fatchin’ doesn’t really have a definition and wasn’t a stand-in (a la “Shut the front door!”) for a similar profane word or phrase. It stood alone and proved to be quite versatile.

I stumbled across this list of fake swear words earlier this week (my favorite? Blurgh, as uttered by one of the all-time best female characters on TV, “30 Rock’s” Liz Lemon), and I had to laugh out loud.

However, I would respectfully like to submit “ratchin’-fatchin” to the list. TV writers, you’re welcome!

The Moth Podcast

Have you listened to The Moth Podcast?

Tagline: “True stories told live.”

The tales are a real mix; some from hosted story slams featuring amateurs, some from noted writers or storytellers.

Some are funny.

Some are sad.

All are usually poignant.

I caught up on a few episodes during my recent work trip to Florida, including one from writer/actor/director Andre Gregory (he of My Dinner with Andre fame, and I am embarrassed to say I have not seen this film, which is a situation I hope to rectify soon), in which he says that as a child, he was never touched, hugged or kissed. 

The story isn’t a particularly sad one, but that line haunted me. Listen to it here.

Even though I often tell others that my own kids are driving me nuts, I make a big point every day to individually tell them that they are loved and that I am the Luckiest Mom in the World. 

(This universally elicits eye rolls from said children).

Another great piece on human connection is Starlee Kine’s “Waiting for Marina Abramovic.”  Way different from the piece by Andre Gregory, it’s funny and New York-y, and I absolutely loved it.



Mini Me

Sometimes the conversations with my kids steer off in a direction I’d never considered.

Like this one time.

And today.

I was rushing around, per usual, and Trixie (6) was leisurely eating a (pretty gross) mixture of about three different breakfast cereals.

(Her choice here, People! I was not forcing her to have little random bits of cereal dust from several boxes. At least not today).

Trixie: Dad said I’m your clone. What does that mean?

Me: Well, it means we’re almost exactly alike.

Me: We both like fancy things.

Me: We both like sparkly jewelry.

Me: We both like lip gloss.

Trixie: And we both loooooooove to eat!

Parenting is so repeatedly humbling.

Happy weekend!