23 April 2013


Current obsession:  Basketball

He can't sit still but seriously, how many other kids his age can do this? (I'm impartial I swear)

22 April 2013


My friend Kristy sent me this link to an article on a very apropos topic around here, about what the author calls AITP syndrome (Ants in the Pants syndrome), which Roan suffers from incessantly. 

Having grown up in a small Manhattan apartment my concept of a normal, spacious childhood is fairly skewed.  I pretty much didn't go outside unescorted by an adult until I was 10.  I hated gym class and favored hand clapping games over tag. But I am sure the contrast of city vs country childhoods resonates strongly with Sam, who moved to the Scottish countryside from London at age 7.  He had the kind of unfettered scale-a-tree or build-a-mudslide type of childhood that most city boys would envy.  There was far less structured lesson time and far more wander-in-a-field-and-hunt-rabbits time.

Roan is a kid who has to move.  All the time.  So it's been a challenge to find ways to give him the space and the freedom that he physically seems to crave daily.  I think the other issue, aside from space, is the value judgements that adults - especially teachers and administrators - place on physical expression.  It's almost as if they see no link between moving your body and using your brain.  We've already heard the complaint many times "he can't still", to which I replied "what is so important to him about sitting still?" to which no one has a clear answer.  It's important to them  because it's much easier to manage 15 or 30 (or 900) kids when they are sitting still, but that really isn't about what's best for the kids is it?

I went to NYC public school and always felt confident that my kids would go (and let's face it, there's no way I'm sending my kid to some school for $40,000 a year so they can learn to snort coke at the rich kids' houses while their parents are in the Hamptons).  But I am starting to become concerned that a kid like Roan is going to have a really, really hard time in a system that values stillness above all else. And where all acknowledged intelligence is associated with books and computers.  

To me Sam is the perfect example of how not everyone is meant to learn in the same way because not everyone is meant to have the same skills or the same jobs.  I took Roan to visit Sam's studio, which he shares with his business partner Ben, and he was enamoured of every single thing. 

You can see their work at http://samandbenmakethings.blogspot.com/

Going for a ride of the freight elevator

This is the first thing I saw when i got there.  Charming

Band saw

Paint and more paint

Safety first

Studio Mantra

Everything is organized in such a "Sam" way

Diaper change on the table saw (pre potty training)

Daddy's boy

Every inch of the space is used cleverly

Studio art

Another day at the office

Sam gave Roan a tour of all the tools and toys.  Not a bad "Take your Son to Work" experience.

Then Sam put Roan to work in the back yard.

15 April 2013


Upon emailing my mom about potty training progress, she responded with this little nugget of history that I just couldn't keep all to myself.  

Peach (that's what she calls me - OK now you know, don't tease me),
I forgot to say congratulations on the way potty training is going.  Pooping in the potty is a big deal, and believe it or not, I remember the first time I pooped in the big potty.  I was very proud of myself, and then my Mom flushed.  I remember feeling devastated that something that belonged to me had just disappeared forever.  Ah, childhood.


My mother, the woman who still occasionally gets lost on the way to my house from the subway but can remember this moment from when she was a toddler.  The mind is mysterious indeed.

Also, let it be known that she was potty trained at 16 months by my grandmother who, as a farm child at the tail end of 12 kids probably potty trained herself, and I assure you there was no "No Cry Potty Solution" shit going on there. 

Grandma Soup, when she was still little Susie Odgers, and Mr. Chips

14 April 2013


Today was day 1 of potty training.  It was a long day but we got through it.

Nerd that I am, I made posters with lists of potty training tips- techniques to lure, encourage, and cajole the little man to the loo. I thought they would be handy in the coming weeks to occasionally refer to when we are having difficulty. We ran through all of them in the first hour.

Here is one of our finer moments.  I know this is way TMI and Roan will kill me when he's a teenager, but I can't resist. Video courtesy of Sam.

06 April 2013


My dear friend Lior, who immortalized Lula with her very own spice, is in the New York Times Magazine this week! 


This is pretty fantastic and much deserved.

02 April 2013


I had the most divinely luxurious day all to myself. There was no school for spring break and the idea of 5 straight days of unstructured time with Roan made me queasy, so I booked my mom to watch Roan on Friday (thank you mom).

I met my mom at Grand Central Terminal for the handover.  She took him to Nick Cave's horse exhibit there while I started my day of decadence by hitting Jo Malone up for some free samples.  Then I went uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was a perfect, crisp spring day. The Met is my old stomping ground.  My elementary school was a block away and my best friend Cecelia and I used to go to the Met during lunch period and run around the exhibits until we got shooed out by the guards.

There was a Willian Eggleston exhibit that I was intrigued to see because he's not someone you would expect to be at the Met.  It was a nice show but I'd already seen most of the prints elsewhere. The piece I was really blown away by was Street by James Nares.  It was completely mesmerizing. Any description I give will not do it justice, so all I will say is that it is amazing how compelling ordinary life is when you slow it way way down.  I wandered through the insane medieval gates and into the meticulously recreated European palace rooms, where the tea sets are out on the gilded tables as if waiting for guests.

Grand Staircase at the Met

I needed a bit of an antidote to all the high art so I left and went to H & M (I am amazed at how much time I used to spend wandering through shops not even buying things, just perusing,  before I had kids.  Such a luxury!) and then to the famous Grey's Papaya on 86th and 3rd Ave for lunch.  I was inspired to take some photos in homage to Eggleston.

Next I went for the ultimate in Upper East Side indulgences - although on the UES they're not really a luxury, they're pretty much standard issue.  However, I made a pact with myself that I could only go for the mani/pedi if I did some reading I have been putting off - desperately overdue!

Lastly, to maximize my ultimate "me" day I went and saw a matinee movie by myself.  It was perfect- not an earth shattering movie but a decent psychological thriller.  I even got Reeses Pieces. 

After, in a daze of day darkness and refined sugar I went to pick up Roan at my moms.  He had blue hands from dying Easter eggs.  She let him have pancakes AND waffles for lunch.


To all you busy moms and dads out there, I cannot recommend having a day like this enough.  Call in sick from work, blackmail the babysitter, anything you can do to get an entire day to yourself and just do it.  It helps you to remember that you are a person, an entirely separate entity from all of your beloved dependents.