How To Do Things

knock knock: who's in the pot?

Knock Knock


“Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Your daughter.” “Your daughter who?” “Your daughter who knows more jokes than you do.” Of course your five-year-old knows more jokes than you. How could she not? You’ve told her every single joke you know, a dozen times over. And be honest: You don’t know as many jokes as you used to. You spend… Read More »

A lament for the terminally self-conscious hipster dad. photo (c) 2013 Helen Spitzer

Am I Doing This Right?


A Lament For (and By) The Terminally Self-conscious Dad. Rationally, I understand that no one is paying attention to me or my daughter when we’re out together. That is, unless she muscles in ahead of another toddler in the queue for the slide, hunkers down with somebody else’s favourite shovel or makes an impassioned plea for… Read More »

love Disney. love it

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Disneyland


My husband’s company sends our whole family to a trade convention once a year. It’s always in the United States, usually in a resort town on one of the coasts. This year it was in Anaheim, California. So I asked my Californian girlfriend what people with small children do in Anaheim, like an idiot. “Uh, Disneyland?!”… Read More »

accidental princess culture

The Accidental Princess Culture of Anti-Princessery


Does the world need another article about Princess Culture? Yes, it does. Because sometimes I think we forget why we are anti-Princess Culture — or maybe it’s just not the same for all of us. For some, it’s probably the fact that endless pink glittery shit is annoying. It reinforces terrible ideas of what a… Read More »

be kind to curly-headed girls. You never know when they'll be this sweet to you again.

Be Kind to Curly-Headed Girls


Tara-Michelle Ziniuk is reminded of being a little girl with wild hair. I was a 30-year-old woman before I owned a hair dryer of my own. Until that time, I would borrow someone’s hair dryer once a year to put plastic up on my windows. I never thought to use one on my hair, except… Read More »

Toddler skiing can be no big deal: kids can start as young as 18 months old

Toddler Ski: Tips for Tots


Did the amazing Alexandre Bilodeau and his Olympic success inspire you to get your kids on the slopes? Beginner skiing is way more about balance and getting comfortable on skis than it is about going fast downhill. Here are a few quick tips for good times with the tinies – on skis.    1. Let them get used… Read More »


Swaddle Me Until It’s Over


I’m usually pretty sanguine about winter. That wasn’t the case when I first moved here as a child from damp ol’ England. But southern Alberta’s relentless sunshine — and its well-timed Chinook winds (able to melt a snowbank in an afternoon!) — changed my mind. As an adult, I learned that making myself go outside and play was key to making it through,… Read More »

Doorknob Tooth Extraction

Wiggly Tooth — Doorknob Method


In our favourite post of 2014 thus far, Slate writer Paul Lukas stumbled on the heretofore unremarked-upon video sub-genre of kids’ wiggly teeth removed using the Doorknob Method. We have to admit: growing up, we weren’t aware there was any other way. We were stunned to learn, after most of our baby teeth were already dispatched… Read More »

Making reasonable resolutions

Making Reasonable Resolutions


I have a new theory about New Year’s resolutions: They need to be fun. A few years ago, in an attempt to make a resolution I’d actually remember enough to stick to, I vowed to start leaving parties at Peak Fun. That light bulb went off during a particularly great New Year’s party: “This is the… Read More »

how not to apologize

How Not To Apologize


I’m not much of a political animal; I vote and I keep somewhat current with the issues of the day, but my husband cares a lot more than I do. The humorist Calvin Trillin once wrote that he was keeping track of the Middle East as a birthday present for his wife. This is the… Read More »

sympathy for the teacher

Sympathy For The Teacher


You might think only a whacked-out tiger mom in a helicopter calls to complain daily about the teacher, or sues the school over grades deemed too low (A instead of A+), but I think the phenomenon is pretty common. I’ve heard of parents suing the Toronto District School Board for the same reason. It’s not that… Read More »

Flipped Parenting - how to use video to help with your morning routine

Flipped Parenting: Using Video to Establish Routine


Raise your hand if you LOVE getting your kids ready in the morning! Yeah, me neither. There’s a club and we’re all in it. However, remember the piece I wrote about how being a teacher has made me a terrible parent? I can redeem myself somewhat: In June I learned about a hot new teaching… Read More »


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