5 Motherhood Dos and Don'ts Gleaned From Home Alone's Kate McCallister

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Photo Via

If you were alive in 1990 and watched Home Alone almost every day for, say, six years after it came out like I did, I'm guessing you've seen it at least once since Thanksgiving. This is the first year I've watched it as a mom, and I was struck by some of the parenting decisions in a new way. I mean, I always knew I couldn't get away with saying something like "Hang up the phone and make me, why don't ya?" to my own mother, but this time I found myself questioning a handful of the more subtle mom moves that Kate McCallister makes. So here they are - my top five dos and don'ts gleaned from Home Alone's Kate McCallister. 

1: Don’t tell your child to repeat something you’ve just said you hope he doesn’t mean. It's easy to see why this could be confusing. 

2: Don’t trust one of your children to account for the rest of your (ELEVEN) children when embarking on international air travel. Even if said child is actually 25 years old.

3: Do pay attention when your spidey sense tells you that sitting in first class while your kids are in coach kind of makes you a heel. And then maybe go check to make sure all of your kids boarded the plane.

4: Do stay at the airport - even if it means you're separate from the rest of your family on Christmas Eve and don't sleep for 60 hours - in case you find a way to get back to your eight-year-old who you left at home alone in freaking Chicago.

5: Do communicate with the other members of your family who are trying to get home, in case it turns out you could catch a flight with the rest of them and arrive home 30 seconds later than you would have if you rode from Scranton to Chicago in the van with the polka king of the midwest.

Some Favorite Podcasts

   Click an image to visit the pod's URL!


Click an image to visit the pod's URL!

Since I currently get to stay home with baby Abe and he's not supposed to have screen time in the same room until he's two years old, we do a lot of listening during the day. Lots of music (this is a particular favorite at the moment), but also lots of podcasts. Do you have any idea how many podcast options there are these days? Truly there's something for everyone!

I'm still listening to This American Life and Nerdist regularly, but the other pods pictured above are some newer discoveries. Rachel tipped me off about The Writer's Almanac, which I love. Each episode is only about five minutes long, so it's not too much of a commitment even though it's intended for daily listening. I downloaded this episode of On Being based on Molly Wizenberg's recommendation, and I found at least ten others I'm excited to listen to as I scrolled through the archives. I think Chelsea Peretti's pod is the only one I've heard every episode of, and I'm not ashamed to tell you I've tried calling in a handful of times. She's hilarious and insightful and just fantastically entertaining.

I started listening to The Longest Shortest Time while I was pregnant, and it continues to be a source of encouragement and solidarity in the day-to-day newness of motherhood. The Nerdist Writer's Panel is interesting because of all the insider information it allows the listener to glean, and OMG, if you listen to no other podcast for the rest of 2015, please God give Another Round a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed.

What about you? Got any favorite podcasts? 

So Happy It Hurts

The title of this post may have led you to believe that it was going to be about the fact that Missy Elliott just dropped a new video (gah! the puppets!), but alas, it's actually about my baby.

Abe hit seven months old on Tuesday and I found myself in tears that morning, telling Dann how sad I was that he seems to be getting older so fast. As I tried to articulate why the realization that our son is growing and changing and basically doing exactly what he's supposed to do made me feel so so sad, these are the words that tumbled out: "I'm sad because he's a little bit less connected to me each day, that as he grows up he'll separate himself from us in order to become a healthy, functional adult. And I'm sad that one day death will separate us." Now, I do sometimes have a slight tendency to put the proverbial cart before the horse and worry needlessly about the future. I fully believe that Dann and I will grow old together as Abe's mom and dad, and I have a deeply rooted hope that we will see him do things like graduate from high school, get married, and one day have kids of his own. I also believe in the general idea of life after death and eternity and all that, so I don't believe that death has the final word, just that it comes with a very real sadness.

But on Tuesday morning, in that moment at the kitchen sink, as I realized where the sadness was coming from, I looked at my husband and my baby boy and I had to catch my breath. Because, I thought, this is it. This is my life. It's happening now. The reason the prospect of being separated from my baby makes me so sad is because he is such a true gift. Because when I see him smile or hear him giggle, it's almost too much for me to handle. Because I feel a literal, physical ache in my chest when I think about how much I love him. Because the other night when I couldn't sleep and, again, tried to articulate what I was feeling to Dann, the only words I could muster were "I'm so happy it hurts". I didn't know, you guys. I didn't know that becoming a mom would make me feel such feelings

The truth is that last seven months have not been what I would call 'easy', but they have been so so good and today I want to proclaim it. Amen?

Playlist: October Seattle Soundtrack

It's gray and rainy in Seattle this week, so I figured we needed a soundtrack. You know, the kind of songs you want to hear when you're bundled up in your autumn cozies, drinking coffee and reading a book while your baby naps? This is my life right now. What? Too good to be true, I tell you. Let me never forget to count all my dang blessings.

The week's highlights so far: meeting two new babies, dinner at Serious Pie, baby Abe started crawling AND got his second tooth (!!), lunch fron The Fat Hen, and pumpkin pie for breakfast, courtesy of a lady known in certain circles as D-Tron.  

I didn't know it was possible to miss a place so intensely after living in it for just one year, but I'm sentimental as all get out just driving down certain streets with my little travel buddy. May this collection of songs be a reminder to me in the coming weeks, months, and years that we were here, that it felt a little bit like coming home to be back in this place where my baby boy was born.