The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: Family and Parenting

Hashtag This!

From time to time we are made aware of things our oldest does on the internet. For example, the Father’s Day tribute she paid to her Grandfather and Uncle, calling them the men who raised her. Ouch. That was not a flesh wound. Or this… #MyTendencyToCallMyselfADadisRootedInADeepLackofFatherlyAcceptance #Freud #Heck What to make of this, I thought. My […]

Trigger this!

Actually, no part of your classroom education should be intellectually “safe”. This is how I began my semester last week, by reminding a new crew of Freshman that if you’re practicing “safety” in the classroom, then you are not stretching your intellectual boundaries. Let me explain… Over the past several years or so colleges, universities and […]

Let them Be

According to a recent study out of MIT, your friends don’t like you. You’ve probably already suspected as much. Your family probably doesn’t like you all that much either, they just tolerate you because of the shared DNA and the money you owe them. This MIT study suggests that, at least in terms of friendship, […]

Did you sign the waiver?

At the beach the other day, I saw something familiar play out . A mother was trying to coax her daughter into the rough surf at the Charlestown Breachway Beach. “Look,” the mom said, “your father and sister are out there, and I’m going because it’s too hot to sit here. So, let’s go!” The little girl, about […]

Traveling Mom-isms

We spent a recent weekend with family friends in New York City. My family has been numerous times but this was the first that I actually “listened” to what the moms were saying to our kids — and not just the two moms we travelled with. Mother’s and wives from all over — Germany, England, […]

Beware the Millennial Apocalypse

Not so long ago I had to face the fact that I fathered a narcissist with a capital “N”. I am not alone. It would seem that many of us responsible for bringing children into the world over the past twenty years have raised, well, assholes. We didn’t do this on purpose. We had the […]

Nerve Endings

My daughter is at the kitchen table a bundle of nerves. Finals week. Soccer tryouts. There doesn’t seem to be enough time. The phrases, “I’m not” and “I can’t” are tossed about. At some point the tears start. We reply with the old standards: “You have to” and “You will” and “It will be fine”. […]

Having fun yet?

I sit on the couch looking out the open windows onto the front porch. My daughter is supposedly out there studying, but mostly she seems to be fiddling with my Macbook trying to get Youtube to offer her a better John Mayer playlist and complaining about bugs assaulting her. In between busting her chops about […]

Slow Learner

For months I have been struggling in yoga class with certain poses, one of them being “half moon”. Consistently I have fallen out of this pose, much like several others that plague me — eagle pose, warrior three, crow pose and wheel. But for what ever reason half moon pose has become one of the […]

Growing Season

My front yard now inspires me. This had not been the case prior to last Friday. For years the front of our house has been a mess. On one side of the front porch the pine tree that started out small was crowding out the Pee Gee hydrangea, as well as encroaching on the corner […]

Prisoners of the Mind

The emails start almost immediately. It makes sense; I threw my students a curve by combining the last two essays into one that will receive a double grade. The topics shared a connection anyway — captivity — so I figured it’s really no big deal. Still, it got them panicked. After a number of class conversations, and responding […]

The Mother’s Day Gift You Didn’t Know You Needed

The last towel from our first house is fraying. It was part of a set, maroon to match the odd tanish-yellow bathroom. A shower present? Maybe. Whatever the occasion it had a pretty long run, almost 24 years. It got me thinking though about Last Firsts. We make such a big deal out of firsts. Our first […]

Announcement

This morning I dropped my daughter off at school. In and of itself this is not unusual but the reason for taking her in this morning is — she may have a broken tibial bone in her ankle. I know, sucks right. When I returned home my wife and I had a discussion about how […]

The Power of Perception; or… Men are Stupid

In Season 3 of House of Cards, Claire Underwood changed her hair. She colored her blonde hair a darker brown to match her natural color. Fans of the Netflix original drama can see this as a pivotal point for Claire’s character — her husband has weaseled (literally) his way into the Oval Office, she is […]

Walking the Mobius Highway

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time from The Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot   For the past six months or so I have struggled. Because a family is a system, if one person struggles […]

Why Listen to Us?

The first time it came to my attention was when my wife paused a commercial and replayed it. “You’ve got to see this,” she said. The commercial was for BED — Binge Eating Disorder — and made a point of stressing that the condition was a real thing. The television spot went on to say that, […]

In Search of the New Normal

Yesterday I went through my nightstand in search of some paperwork from years past that could save us a whole bunch of money if we were an organized household that filed things correctly. I never did find the paperwork. What I did find was a treasure trove of memories. Birthday cards from my children, drawings, […]

Daydreams and Molotov Cocktails

What do you do when life hands you a really shitty situation completely out of your control? Many of you know our story, for the past seventeen months our lives have been a drama of epic proportions. Recently I was talking with a good friend who said to me, “I don’t even know how you […]

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