THIS WEEK IN MOM…Lil kids, BIG MESSES! Oh dear, you only turned your back for a second…

  • "Nooooo!" I heard my son, then four years old, wail. Reflexively, I turned around, my arms full of artwork from his preschool cubby. He was still sitting at the table with his friend, the bin of Barbie dolls, clothing, and accessories tipped over and strewn all over like the aftermath of some tragic explosion at a miniature Filene's basement.

    "We need a PRINCE!" his friend was insisting, her cheeks flushed with anger. She was holding one of the dolls, nattily dressed in a swimsuit, fur stole, and mismatched heels, away from the Big Kahuna's flailing grasp. "You can't have a wedding without a PRINCE!"

    "That's NOT FAIR." My boy stopped dead, glaring at her with an indignation I only see from him when I'm breaking the bad news that his million-plus toy horses cannot remain scattered overnight across the expansive ranch he's constructed on the living room carpet. "Two princesses can have a wedding if they want to."

    I stood there, shuffling my feet, torn between intervening before blo

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  • I called him yesterday to ask him about this post. "Do you mind if I write about our relationship? In honor of Valentine's Day, and first love."

    He didn't hesitate. "Of course. Sure."

    We hadn't talked in over six months. It didn't matter. He picked up the phone, like he has for the last ten years, as if we just talked yesterday. "Hey, Sarah!," like he expected me to call at that very second. He made me laugh, like he always does. The conversation flowed easily, naturally, like we've known each other forever.

    We have, really. That's the thing about your first love. There are just so many firsts about it. First kiss, (for me) first "I love you's," first heartbreak, first total trust in someone other than your family. It's the first time you allow yourself to fall into someone else, to imagine the way your life might look, to give away all your secrets.

    It isn't perfect. There's fighting, there's tension. For most first loves, eventually, you grow up and apart and the relati

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  • There's a reason that I'm not (now or ever) going to be a room mom. I know what my limit is, know how (dis)organized I am, and know myself well enough to know that it's simply not a job I'm interested in taking on. Don't get me wrong. I love my children and enjoy volunteering at school. I always send things for parties and occasionally make a field trip. I simply am not the one who should plan the next holiday party.

    Watching other parents do it has been a teachable moment for me, though. Some room parents have it, and others don't. What are some common mistakes that room parents make?

    Not communicating with the teacher

    This is not your classroom; you are a guest in a teacher's classroom -- her home base. How would you feel if someone came into your home or office and took over without even a word to you? While I'd like it if they came to clean, I wouldn't like it in most other circumstances. Your teacher should be your very first point of contact for every room activity you

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  • When my kids were little, they used to love hearing the story of how my husband and I met. I told them we were in kindergarten and we were having lunch in the sandbox. Instead of pulling my hair to get my attention, he dropped my peanut butter and jelly sandwich into the sand. Our eyes met. It has been true love ever since.

    They thought that was hysterical, and despite the fact my hubby and I are four years apart, they never doubted for a minute that it was true until years later. Rather than tell them we were set up on a blind date by my brother, I thought I'd have a little fun, besides it really does feel like we've grown up together.

    If I trace back the events that finally led to our first meeting, it is amazing to discover than our paths crossed many times before we were ever formally introduced. When we were children, our parents ate at the same restaurant every Saturday night. On Sundays, we both went to the same Hungarian restaurant and waited for what seemed like hours

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  • One of the more challenging aspects of single parenting is figuring out how to balance life as a single woman with life as a single mama. It's tricky.

    It is important to me to have an adult life outside of the life I have with my twelve-year-old daughter, Sarah. I want to set that example for her. I want her to know when she is my age, and has her own children, she can also have friends and interests outside of them. And in my case, in addition to friends and interests, there are love interests. In the 10 years I have been single there have been a couple of serious boyfriends, and she has met them when I felt the time was right. But mostly? I've just been single. With many guy friends, and plenty of dates, but as I've explained to my daughter, and as she sees every day, I am very happy and content single, so until and unless the right man comes along, I will stay happy and content single. I don't think my daughter has ever heard me say anything like, "I wish I had a boyfriend."

    The

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