I love to read your stories. The last one today reminds me of the first airplane trip in which Penelope was finally enthralled by TV (she was 3). I had brought my usual backpack of fun and sugar, and then, instead, she just watched Frozen three times in a row. My only regret was I didn’t pack anything for me to do. Kids do seem to get easier with age, but the journey looks different for everyone.

We also have a reader question about keeping quiet time, well … quiet. As always, leave a comment if you have advice or a message for any of our parents today! And share your own stories here.

Acing After-school 

—Happily Cutting the Cheese

In our house, the “witching hour” is definitely from 4 to 5 p.m. The school day and workday are over, and my kiddos (ages 5 and 6) and I get home ornery and — in their case especially — very, very hungry. I used to have them jump right into homework to knock it out, but this just exacerbated the bad moods all around. Then we implemented Happy Hour. Now when we get home, they help cut vegetables and arrange olives and cheese etc. on a tray and we trot out to the patio to eat it. They have juice and I have wine. Sometimes it is a very big glass. It’s a whole thing now, and we shop for “fancy cheeses” and happy-hour fare at the grocery store. Once my son grabbed a jar of fig spread and gleefully announced it would be perfect for happy hour, causing many heads to turn. When happy hour is over, we crush that homework and generally have a nice evening!



My six-month-old wears a hearing aid in his right ear. Such a struggle! First we got a mold taken of his ear and, three weeks later, picked up the new device. Next, realized it already didn’t fit his ear, causing constant feedback-loop noise (which annoyed him and us). Got a new mold made a week later. Picked it up two weeks later. Then, although it fit his ear, it would not stay on his head. Ordered special headbands from Etsy. Got headbands from Etsy and enjoyed one glorious week. Lastly, went to the park: 900 feet of sidewalk, cross one road, another 600 feet of sidewalk, and arrive at park. Realized hearing aid had fallen off. Backtracked to find crushed hearing aid on the road with tire marks on it. Sigh.

It Takes Time

—Just the Two of Us

I used to dread full days alone with baby — the immense responsibility terrified me to handle by myself all day. Now she is almost 2 years old, and over the past six months or so the dread has dissipated and I feel truly excited on days where it is the two of us (I work FT, so they happen only occasionally). Starting to feel like I can handle this mom thing.

This week’s reader question

My 4-year-old son is done napping, but we still do quiet time after lunch, just like he does at preschool. The issue is he wreaks havoc during this time. Clothes thrown around the room, ALL the toys out, diapers/pull-ups on his head. He also grabs stuff from the bathroom. We had water all over the floor, contact solution sprayed everywhere, foaming soap smeared on the floor. How can I get him to be more calm then? We’ve tried books, podcasts, music. I’m not ready to give up quiet time!
—Quiet Time Chaos

What do you think?

Leave a comment

Want to see your story featured here? We always love to hear from you.

Share your story