The Plagued Parent

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

High Dive

It takes a certain degree of fearlessness to grab the step ladder from the garage, drag the inflatable pool to the middle of the yard, fill the pool with the garden hose, and ascend for the ultimate-super-duper-triple-spiral-back-flippy-thing. As with any daredevil-like stunt planning is involved. And by planning I mean moving nonchalantly through the engineering […]


The game in question is… In order to play the game of Calvinball you need all, some or none of the following equipment: tennis rackets, croquet mallets, wickets, volleyballs, water balloons, assorted flags or any other sports items you might think of. There are no rules except for the only permanent rule that Calvin mentions — […]


Existentialism can be defined as “a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will”; translated from the Dutch “existents-forhold” or ‘condition of existence’. Calvin is nothing if not a sheer force of will personified. It should be natural […]


The equation is simple — in theory. You cook it, they eat it. Yea, right. Actually, we’ve been lucky. Our children never really gave us too much grief at the dinner table. They’ve always eaten just about anything you put in front of them. My almost-16-year-old actually has greater moments of difficulty at the dinner […]


No, not that Calvin. Not the 16th century theological reformer. No this Calvin is the one in need of reform.   Yes, that’s the Calvin I’m talking about. He defies authority and is addicted to television and Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs cereal. He eschews formal education for the experiential kind. He borders on the brink […]


“Because!” This is the parenting go-to when our limit has been reached. When the teeth are still unbrushed ten minutes past bedtime; when the muddy sneakers have made it un-wiped past the door mat; when the same muddy shoes are left blocking the door; when the bathroom is covered in wet towels and laundry; and the bedroom, the […]


Anthropomorphism is attirbuting human traits, emotions, and intentions onto non-human entities and this act of cognition is considered by some to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Psychologists consider the concept a form of cognitive bias. We use brain patterns (schemas) to layer human qualities upon the non-human based on what we’ve come believe about […]

64 Days? That’s it? Oy vey!

This isn’t like me… For the first time in my adult life, I am actually rooting for a politician, a president, to fail. I’ve never felt this way before and I grew up in the Reagan years — which oddly enough many seen to pine nostalgically for. Some want to blame government for the muck […]

Theme Revealed!

April 1 begins the Blogging from A to Z challenge. For anyone not familiar with this, bloggers accept the challenge of writing daily posts that correspond with a letter from the alphabet. Typically, most bloggers select a central theme around which to build their alphabetically oriented posts. I did this last year and focused posts […]

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

If you had seen him for yourself, you’d likely dispute his fantasticalness. He was worn, thin with a faded and thinning coat, ashen nose, dark and darting eyes, and… no tail.  Yes, his tail was missing.   Because of this I decided he was indeed a fantastic fox. Last week our dog Beckham, a Welsh Corgi […]

The Specter of Sacrifice

I forgot Ash Wednesday. No big surprise; I forgot last year too. I probably could have swung into the church I only haphazardly attend. I dropped my daughter off at school for 7 am so I could have stopped in… but I didn’t. So begins a stretch of 40 days and nights where my family […]

Browned and Tan Cookies

If you are looking for a cookie chock full of flavor and chips this is the one for you! Browned butter deepens the flavor and butterscotch chips and toffee bits add a little ‘tan’ to the mix. Browned and Tan Cookies Ingredients: 2 sticks of unsalted butter 1 1/2c. all purpose flour 1c. bread flour […]

Of Mice or (Hu)Men?

The other night I walked in the door just after 6 PM. Before my bag even hit the floor, my daughter blurted out from the dining room, “I need help with my English homework.” I sighed, took off my shoes and headed to where my daughter had all manner of study materials fanned across the […]

Time See What’s Become of Me

Mother Nature has a bit of a cruel streak when it comes to New England weather. Last week she dumped 14 inches of snow on us and today she come back with another 3-5. My wife checks weather on her phone and says with regret, “Well, I guess this isn’t actually going to keep me […]

No Bake Dark Chocolate Oreo Tart

The Patriots playing in their 7th Super Bowl with Tom Brady at the helm deserved a special dessert. This tart is no bake and uses a microwave to melt the chocolate, what is easier than that?!   No Bake Dark Chocolate Oreo Tart Ingredients: For the tart: 60 Oreo cookies 1 stick unsalted butter, melted […]

Open Hands of Sharing

A Samaritan confronts a man beaten and bloodied by the side of the road, an opposing candidate’s sign splintered on the ground — one enemy reaches for the other when he could, when every fiber of his being demands he should, turn his back and walk the hell away. “Why should I help,” he asks himself, “Why should I bother […]

Good Night and Good Luck

Curiouser and Curiouser. Here’s how slippery these bastards are. Five hours after the inauguration, Donald J Trump for President, Inc, filed FEC Form 99 declaring Trump’s candidacy in the 2020 Presidential Election. Why is this significant? Simply put: it limits dissent, chiefly dissent from non-profit organizations. An election lawyer in DC Tweeting with the handle The Resisterhood  broke […]

Raging Into This Brave New World

Women's March 2017

My wife and I were having lunch at a restaurant in Mohican Sun Casino as they swore Trump in. The images seemed surreal, his speech unreal. For me the scene fit because casinos are the epitome of surreality with their absence of light, their carnival-like sounds and colors surrounding the bent denizens hunched over flicking buttons […]

Taking Turns

“You’re too little,” was what he kept telling his sister Trudy each time he leveled the air rifle at the makeshift targets lined up near the stone wall out back. “But Dad says to share,” she reminded and that much was true but Trudy was, well, Trudy and anything he could do to aggravate her he took full advantage […]

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