Wednesday, January 31, 2007

MOMS Club of Dudley -- Friendship Party

Editor's Note: From time-to-time, events miss our printing deadline. This event missed publication in our February issue. Feel free to e-mail events that miss an issue deadline to or and we can post here on this blog.

The MOMS Club of Dudley is hosting a FRIENDSHIP PARTY for current & prospective members on Wednesday, February 21st at 10 a.m. in Dudley.
MOMS or Moms Offering Moms Support is an international, non-denominational, non-profit group for stay-at-home mothers.
Club activities include play groups, park days, library visits, Moms' Night Out, and visits to child-friendly attractions.
This Friendship Party will consist of a cookie swap, treats for the kids, crafts & more.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Theo at or call 508-943-9398

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Becoming Their Own Persons

I have a dirty little secret: My children, now 10 and a half and almost 13, no longer want to go exploring with me. At least not very often. The little darlings who were my inspiration and excuse to discover the trails less traveled are now putting their collective feet down and saying they’d rather stay home and do their own thing, thank you very much.

At this age, Dana and Colin can stay home alone. But it’s surprisingly lonely for us parents to be out and about without sharing their wide-eyed perspective and excitement.

As childhood progresses into adolescence, our parental role shifts from a benign dictatorship to an authoritative democracy. Gone are the days when my husband and I would decide what the family would be doing, strap the kids in the car seats and go. Just like when we were parenting toddlers, we’re learning to pick our battles, saving the “you have to go” commands for the times when it really matters.

We’re also learning to negotiate. And good negotiation means listening to what the other person is saying. Dana likes shopping, especially for clothes, accessories, and books. Colin likes computers, movies and video games. I’m learning to respect their preferences as part of the overall wonderful young people they’re becoming, even if they’re not the same as mine.

So we work on compromising: If they’ll willingly go on a National Seashore hike, we’ll stop at the bookstore or rent a new movie on the way home.

They’re just doing their job, after all. Adolescence is the slow process of becoming not you.

New and Improved Disney Princesses

"Fetch me my blanket at once!”

My three-year-old daughter Caroline is barking orders using her “princess words.”

Today she is Princess Jasmin, but all Disney Princesses are in her rotation. Her closet full of tulle and satin leaves little room for regular clothing and she’d wear her dress-up gowns to preschool every day were it allowed. She is currently hosting a “royal ball” in her room with two of her friends and her two-year-old brother Paul, who is content in his recurring role as Tinkerbell. From what I can hear, Tinkerbell has just committed a royal faux pas – passing gas – and Princess Jasmin is outraged: “No tooting at the royal ball, Paulie! To the dungeon!”

It’s a typical scene here and anywhere there are little girls. It's Disney Princess Overload. D.P.O.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A princess.
Favorite place? Disney on Ice, the princess parts.
Favorite books? Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc.
Movies: Ditto

I have to admit I sometimes worry about all of these Disney rescue fantasies. All of these stories occur in a dated realm where you only live “happily ever after” if you get married. I want teach my daughter to be strong-willed and independent and not get hung up on all of that. I want her to see beyond the fairy tales.

I also don’t want to suck the whimsy out of her childhood.

A few weeks ago she received an invitation to a birthday party for one of her preschool classmates. “Come dressed as your favorite princess!” Here we go. D.P.O. – it’s epidemic.

At the party, the little-girl gaggle of Ariels, Belles, and Snow Whites feasted on Disney Princess cake off Disney Princess plates and guzzled milk from Disney Princess cups. In Caroline’s princess words: “They were having a wonderfully delightful time.”

Then came Story Time where the birthday girl’s mother did something absolutely brilliant: She provided alternate endings to all of the princess tales.

For instance:
And after she and Prince Eric escaped the Sea Witch, Ariel decided to go to medical school.
Snow White decided to backpack through Europe.
Belle launched an Internet company
Cinderella wrote 10 novels.

What a wonderfully delightful idea.

Obviously we can’t do this with the movie versions but I am enjoying this newfound artistic license. Every little bit helps. Now, I am bracing myself for the next phase -- that dolly prostitute craze known as Bratz.

Stage Mom?

I promise here -- in writing -- not to be a stage mom, if my daughter heads down the performance path in life,
My daughter loves to sing, dance, and if what she does to her stuffed animals and dolls is any indication, to direct, too. I think we need to find her a theatre class. (Any recommendations?)
This week, she performed in her first musical - "Snow Biz."
The Cornerstone Academy musical featured students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Bella, 5, was in the opening number and a skit about ice fisherman (check out the photo).
However, it is not what she did yesterday at school, but what she has been doing for the past three weeks and continues to do today at home, that tells me she could someday be Broadway or Hollywood bound. She can recite every line of the musical from start to finish. She loves to act out stories. She needs to wear a costume when performing - ALWAYS. She sets up her dolls and animals to play the different rolls, and then she directs them on where to stand and how to act.
She doesn't get this acting or musical gene from me. I can't sing. In fact, I rival some of those contestants trying out for American Idol.
Theatre may not be my first choice for her, -- but if it makes her happy -- I'm all for it.
I 100% support my HAPPY child, in what ever path she chooses.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What Kind of Parent Will She Make?

What does it say about a woman's parenting skills when her first act -- on the way to motherhood -- is a lie?
A 67-year old woman from Spain told a British newspaper yesterday that she lied to the California fertility clinic in order to become pregnant with her twin boys, who were born on Dec. 29. (
The cut off age for the fertility clinic's in vitro fertilization procedure is 55. She told the clinic she was 55.
SHE LIED! She was 66 at the time of the procedure.
While the twin boys, born premature, are doing well; the clinic says it never would have agreed to do the procedure, if they knew the woman's real age.
The woman, who sold her house to pay for the $50,000+ procedure, said she lied because every woman has the right to give birth.
True, but not every woman is worthy of being a "mommy."
Think of it -- she lied to become pregnant.
And soon, this single mom will need to teach her boys that they should be "fair & honest," and follow rules to be good citizens.
Shouldn't a mom practice what she preaches?
Now, she is considered to be the oldest mom in the world. I had a hard time in my mid-30s, keeping up with my daughter when she was a toddler. Can you imagine chasing two boys all over the house in your 60s?
Think about it for a moment -- when her boys enter first grade, she'll be in her 70s; and if she is lucky to live to see her twins graduate from high school, she'll be 84 or 85 years old.
In the U.S., about 500 women, between 1997 and 1999, gave birth at age 50 or older. Not a lot.( And the vast majority of those births involved egg donation from younger women and conception via in vitro fertilization
But women who give birth later in life (many post-menopausal) typically were hospitalzed almost three times as often and delivered twice as many low-birth-weight babies.
So, what age is too old to give birth?

Families In the Dark

Yesterday, my daughter attended yet another birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. While my daughter LOVES this place - especially the tunnels above my head; I'm not as fond. The place is usually loud and often crowded (especially on the weekends.) It's hard to keep track of a busy 5 year old. Everytime, I've attended a party (four times - hopefully, there will not be a fifth), there is at least one child, who loses his parent, and is crying hysterically.
Chuck E. Cheese ( does have a great policy in place for parents that no child can leave the building unless the stamp (parent & child received upon entering) matches the adult with him.
I'm not sure that would have helped yesterday in Methuen.
Families at that Chuck E. Cheese were literally in the dark, as the lights went out and the generator failed to turn on. (
I can't image the panic those families felt, considering how chaotic the place is, when every light is on.
According to the Methuen Fire Department who inspected the sysem last year and found it in good working condition, the battery operating the generator had failed.
In today's world, businesses that cater to children and families need to ensure the safety of those who frequent their establishment. Families need to know their children will be safe and not panic when the lights go out and fail to come back on.
If Chuck E. Cheese employees had taken 5 minutes to check the battery once a month, just like many parents do with smoke detectors, they would have helped create a memorable day for many families, not a fearful atmosphere.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Missing Mittens & Hats

I was astonished by what I saw this morning driving Bella to school.
Street after street and community after community, there were many children (I lost count after 18) waiting for the bus without hats and mittens.
It was 3 degrees this morning - not factoring in the 20 mph winds.
But it shouldn't have surprised me to see children not dressed for this extreme cold.
All month long, I have been commenting to everyone about how many children I see with their coats wide open, no hats, no scarf, and no mittens.
I can't imagine parents let their children out of the house on a day like today, without hats & mittens.
I realize it is important to teach your children to dress themselves and take responsibility for themselves, but it is also important for parents to make sure when their child is not properly dressed for the weather, to help them or to argue with them to "button up" and "put that hat on," or they can't go out and wait for the bus.
-- Susan

Thursday, January 25, 2007

February issue off to the printers

We completed the February issue today and sent it to the printers.
I hope you love it as much as we do!
Inside the issue, you'll find the:
* 4th Annual Family Finance Guide
* Preschool Guide:
Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Child Enrolled
* Winners of our 4th Annual Amateur Photo Contest
plus all the great columns and features you've come to expect from us.
Pondering Parenting Columnist Dr. Kerri Augusto talks about her adoration for American Girl dolls and Parenting 1-2-3 Columnist Dr. Robyn Silverman offers tips on how parents can teach children to plant money trees.
Please check out Calendar Editor Carrie Wattu's & my 10 picks for things to do during school vacation week, including our 10th birthday party at Frog Pond in Boston. Spend an evening ice skating under the lights Monday, Feb. 19 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is free (skate rentals are extra), if you bring a new and unwrapped toy for our charity - Smiling Kids Inc. (
The February issue should be at your favorite location beginning Feb. 1.
Feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts at
Take care,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Announcing OUR 10th Birthday Party at the EcoTarium

Wear your green to the EcoTarium on Saturday, March 17, and join us in celebrating our 10th birthday. We've finalized the details for our ninth 10th birthday party.
Learn about the green around us at the EcoTarium and celebrate all things Irish by wearing green on St. Patricks' Day.
Thanks to the EcoTarium for their support with a fabulous purchase one ticket get one ticket free deal that day.
Event starts at 11 a.m.
See you there!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Welcome to Our Blog!

Welcome! You must be a fan of Bay State Parent magazine, if you are reading this. We're glad you are and we are thrilled about our new venture - this blog! Here you'll meet the editors & writers, who produce Massachusetts' premier magazine for families. We'll welcome you into both our professional & personal families. Future posts will offer insight into how the magazine is produced, what we have planned for future issues, exclusive BLOG contests, recommendations for great family outings, intelligent discussions and ancedotes on raising a family, commentary on news articles, information parents need to know that we can't squeeze into an issue, trendy product recommendations, and so much more. (We are allowing the freelance writers of Bay State Parent, invited to contribute to this blog, the option of using a "blog name" or their first name. ) We welcome your feedback and comments. So post often and feel free to e-mail me with ideas, complaints, suggestions, etc.