elevating child care

A Jar Not Opened (Babies Solving Problems)

A recent parent/toddler class was a jarring experience. While I was setting up the classroom with simple toys, platforms, climbing structures and objects, I decided to include a large, white plastic jar with a wide screw-on lid. I put several plastic chain links inside the jar and, as I later realized, closed it a bit too tightly.  The parents and toddlers started to arrive and I welcomed Jenna, a twenty-month-old...

Surprise Ending

Motherhood was going to be my “Happily Ever After.” For many women, love and marriage are the envisioned happy ending. For me, the dream was not riding off on a white horse with prince charming; it was skipping into the sunset behind the wheels of a baby stroller. I never liked riding horses anyway! Luckily I did find a prince (or close enough), love and marriage, and nearly two years into the marriage, after...

Smelling Roses (Taking Babies on Errands)

I can relate to babies. I get over-stimulated in the supermarket the way babies do. I have a strange aversion to making lists and always believe I’ll be able to take a few minutes to march down each aisle, recognizing all I need to buy. Twenty minutes later, I’m in a zombie trance and have covered less than half the store. (The hidden benefit to this is that my husband now prefers to get-it-and-go himself,...

Creative Spirits – Making the Most out of Halloween

When a child is two or three years old he experiences one of life’s biggest miracles. He rings a doorbell, calls out a simple phrase and a grown-up hands him candy! What could be more divine? The miracle of candy is undoubtedly the bedrock of a child’s love for Halloween. But there are other elements of Halloween in which a child can delight, and they will give him more to savor than just sugary sweets. When...

A Toddler’s Need for Boundaries – No Walk in the Park

When an infant approaches the end of his first year, parents begin to struggle with boundaries. Soft-hearted parents allow a child to climb all over them in my parent/infant class. The child is searching for limits and boundaries for his behavior. But moms and dads are often afraid to say, “I don’t want you to climb on me. You can sit with me. If you need to climb, there is a climbing structure over there.”...

Book Journeys

There are two books I would like to write. One is the saga of my misspent late teens and twenties. Ungrounded and insecure, I navigated my way through the entertainment business as a model and actress. It was a profession with huge ups and downs, and one for which I was ill-suited. This tale would depict experiences I had that epitomized a hedonistic era, living with international models at Eileen Ford’s Upper...

When Kids Need Help With Homework (And Other Projects)

On Monday afternoon my eight year old son asked me to help with his homework. His class is reading the novel, Stone Fox, and his assignment was to answer the question, “Does the grandfather have a sense of humor?” The students were asked to make an argument, cite an example from the text, and finally, to draw a picture of the dog in the story, Searchlight. I admired my son’s decision to complete this work on...

Blue Sky Thinking

“Take the mobile off the bed, take care of their needs, and leave them alone.” This odd sentence was my introduction to Magda Gerber and the child care philosophy that would become my passion. I had given birth a few months before reading this quotation, the only one by Gerber, in an article in L.A. Parent magazine about raising a creative child. I remember nothing else about the article, but I could not get...

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