Raising Devils

I No Like You!

By KJ / Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rory told me she “no like you” for the first time today. It was totally ok, because at that moment, I didn’t like her much, either. She’d thrown a massive, all out temper tantrum at the swimming pool–the kind people date from–remember that time the naked kid screamed in the grass for 20 minutes? Oh, yeah, that was the day they had adult swim… Ah, adult swim. I mocked it at first–who wants to haul their kids out of the […]

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At Dinner, again

By KJ / Wednesday, August 12, 2009

At Dinner, again Originally uploaded by kjda This time she’s out for the night. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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First, there was ice cream.

By KJ / Monday, August 31, 2009

First, there was ice cream. Originally uploaded by kjda And now–a moonlit playground. How are things going? Brilliantly, actually. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a family like this? (that’s not even sarcasm, I add, mindful of the day I wrote something like "I love reading trip trap trip trap in this version of the Billy Goats Gruff" and and my editor said whoa, that’s a little too snarky even for you and I said oh, no, actually I […]

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On Double X Today

By KJ / Friday, September 11, 2009

Is giving to art and cultural charites moral when 24,000 kids die every day from easily preventable, poverty-related causes like diarrhea and pneumonia? Discuss. But on DoubleX, please, not here!

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Updates and the Tattle Brigade

By KJ / Monday, September 21, 2009

Inspired by Guo Ji Mama, who updated her blog header the day her last daughter came home, I have FINALLY updated mine. Call it what you will. Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe I’d just forgotten how to use Cyberduck to upload the file to my theme, or more importantly to resize the picture. Maybe I’m just lazy, and the kind of hostess who leaves the giant bottle of nature’s miracle (used to remove the scent of doggie “accidents”) on the […]

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Personal Failings, We’ve Got a Few

By KJ / Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The BPS invited a bunch of psychologists to name things they didn’t understand about themselves, and while some of them took it as an opportunity to muse about consciousness and neurons, a bunch kept it real, and said, in essence–if I KNOW why people make certain mistakes, and I even studied it–why do I keep making the same mistakes? We’ve all got tropes we keep repeating even when we know what we do, why we do it and why we […]

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What, Exactly, is Complaining?

By KJ / Monday, October 19, 2009

Two DoubleX friends are embarking on a month-long attempt to quit their kvetching that they have dubbed the Whiners’ Guide to Not Complaining. In it, they agree that although their wry, sarcastic style has led them to great personal and professional success, they could perhaps consider altering it just a tad–just a smidgen, perhaps–in an attempt not so much to alter their own black-humored, cynical personas but just to be more mindful of what’s hipster veneer and what’s becoming more […]

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Happy Halloween

By KJ / Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Never Best Left Unspoken

By KJ / Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let us say, for example, that you have something you would prefer the children not discuss at this precise moment. In our house, that list could include: Monkey Bars The book “Snuggle Puppy” Izzy’s upcoming birthday party Chinese class Rory’s Mama Deena and Baba Mike baths The one thing we are guaranteed to talk about is exactly whatever you–or, in this case, obviously I–would prefer that we just not, at that particular moment. I am happy at any moment of […]

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Mockery and the American Girl Doll

By KJ / Monday, December 7, 2009

I have just been mocked, mocked. So mocked. I told a friend–mother of a 4th grade girl–that this coming Wednesday, I will be taking Lily to Boston to the American Girl Doll store, to buy her a doll. We do not own an American Girl Doll. We do not own one, and Lily has been asking, for the past year, when she would be old enough for one. Soon, I kept saying. Her friends began to acquire them, one by […]

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The Failure of the Living Classroom

By KJ / Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Caitlin Flanagan just published a provocative piece in the Atlantic about why the “garden curriculum” created by Alice Waters and running rampant in California is a bad idea. I agreed with her (here on DoubleX)–not because I think there’s anything wrong with a garden in a school, or because I think the school gardens represent a particular affront to immigrants and migrant workers (her token inflammatory hook–man, she’s good at that–I’ve yet to master it)–but because, as she finally says […]

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Friday Festival of Sugar and Fat

By KJ / Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Festival of Sugar and Fat Originally uploaded by kjda What, you don’t celebrate that? KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Plane Travel: Piece o’ Cake (thanks Nintendo!)

By KJ / Friday, February 19, 2010

Today we flew home from DFW to BOS, just me and the gang of four–and we were fine. Dandy, even. Got to the airport, checked our bag and the little bag of coats, went through security, ate breakfast, got on the plane, seized our portable electronic devices (in my case, the Kindle) and went to town. Thanks to my policy of forbidding all access to said portables while visiting Grandma (well, ok, not for me), we were delighted to see […]

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A New Family Holiday: Light Stuff on Fire Day!

By KJ / Monday, March 22, 2010

A Originally uploaded by kjda So, I think this makes a fine addition to the Friday Festival of Sugar and Fat. I had cardboard that would never fit into recycling (in our world, it it’s bigger than 2′ by 2′ the recycling guys throw it back on your driveway, and I think they pee on it first, because they hate their lives), and I thought, well, why not burn it? And while we are out it, why not put some […]

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In Which I have a Very Weird Day

By KJ / Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Since no one can talk to Torry Hansen, currently in the running for worst parent ever, and I’m the author of I Did Not Love My Adopted Child  (please note that a) I did not write the title and b) past tense! Past tense! I wanted to call it Adoption sucks. But that’s no reason not to do it.), a bunch of people wanted to talk to me, which is how I ended up on CNN tonight. Mostly it was in […]

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The One Thing Rory’s Siblings Have that She Doesn’t, Still

By KJ / Monday, May 17, 2010

Friends. That’s not entirely accurate–Rory has friends at school, and she has plenty of kids her age who come over often and romp through our house for various family events and family playdates–but she has no friends of her very own, who would invite her and only her over for a playdate or…the ultimate…a birthday party. Sam goes to birthday parties (he’s 8). Lily goes to birthday parties (she’s 5). Wyatt goes to birthday parties, and this is the unkindest […]

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Happy Birthday to Sam

By KJ / Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to Sam Originally uploaded by kjda Not really his birthday yet, but we will be traveling…so today was his full on, all out Mad Science Birthday, and it was awesome. This was his volcano cake. With melted Jolly Rancher lava. KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone

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Cyberbully Parent, Behaving Badly

By KJ / Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cyberbully students are causing endless angst for schools who feel obligated to interfere when students bully and are bullied–but aren’t sure where the limitations of their authority lie. Legal wrangling about cyberbullying goes on–and so does the debate about what a parent’s role should be when it’s his kid on one side or the other of the online equation. Last week’s New York Times article spotlighted one parent who sued on behalf of his daughter, who was suspended from her […]

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The Five Worst States for Kids

By KJ / Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. If you’re an NPR listener, you’ve heard the name. The Foundation just released its annual KIDS COUNT Data book, in which it compiles markers for child-well-being in all fifty states. This is the 2008 data, and overall, things are looking bleak for the youngest citizens. The number of children living in poverty rose to 18% in 2008, […]

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What Really Intellectual Familes

By KJ / Monday, August 2, 2010

What Really Intellectual Familes Originally uploaded by kjda Do on Vacation

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By KJ / Friday, August 20, 2010

You know your grocery store is indulging in multiple tricks, nudges and persuasion to get you to spend more. We’re all educated consumers, and we’re much harder to fool with that whole Oreos on the end-of-the-aisle display, store brands in the middle thing than we once were. But some of the manipulation plays out beneath the radar: who knew the pattern on the carpet was set up to lead you deeper into the store? Women’s Day magazine has an article […]

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Kids on Bikes

By KJ / Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kids on Bikes Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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Hockey. Damn It.

By KJ / Friday, October 1, 2010

It’s been a tough night around here. Hockey tryouts are over, and Sam skated his best. His dad, who watched, expected him to make one of the two middle of the four teams (that would be white or blue). He rode home in the car anticipating looking at the roster–would it be up? Who would be on his team? He was so excited. You can tell this is going to end badly, can’t you? It does. He made the red […]

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Proof Positive We Live in Paradise

By KJ / Saturday, November 20, 2010

Proof Positive We Live in Paradise Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone — KJ Dell’Antonia www.kjdellantonia.com 917-647-6600 Contributing Editor, Kiwi Magazine Read me on Slate’s XXFactor blog www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/xxfactor Twitter.com/kjda

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Be My, Be My Baby

By KJ / Friday, December 17, 2010

Last week, inspired by lots of things–one parenting guru (Vicki Hoefle, of Parenting on Track, whose cult I am totally joining), one excellent book that purports to be about parenting the ADHD child, but is really about examining your parenting style in the middle of your kid’s childhood and figuring out who you really want to be as your grade schooler turns into a teen (that would be Katherine Ellison’s Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention), my feeling of relative […]

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What I Do Better Now

By KJ / Friday, January 21, 2011

Am I getting older? Wiser? More experienced? Well, yes to the first, certainly. And I’ve been working hard at making myself more the person I’d like to be in the past few years. It’s funny, but it started when I wrote this article (from Parenting) about my efforts not to be late all the time. I honestly didn’t like being late, but I wasn’t sure I could change. But writing about it made me take the effort seriously. And I […]

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Independent Packing

By KJ / Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What does it say about me that up until now, for every trip, I have made myself insane completing every last detail of every bit of the packing? As in, I charge their Nintendos. I pack their carry-ons. I make sure each kid has just the right workbook or crayons, or every member of the mini SuperWhy team. I put carefully distributed snacks in them. I pack their clothes, matched, clean, suitable. Etc. I micro-manage the whole process, and it […]

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2 Minutes of Wild Hockey Action

By KJ / Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rory is #10, black helmet, black ponytail. Wyatt is white helmet, #19 (both in yellow tied-on pinneys). The video was created by the proud dad of #14 in red. They played hockey for 2 straight hours Sunday in a wild end-of-season “jamboree.” And now they are mad that it’s over.

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By KJ / Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yes, even though it has been a long day home with all of you and we have made paper mâché and so on and endless so forth, I will read Ramona the Pest to you. Spring “break.”

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And You Let Them Drink Coke?

By KJ / Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This has never happened to me before, and I’m so happy that it waited until I was ready. Last night, Guo Ji Mama and I were at her son’s lacrosse game on our local fields. We ate a picnic from the Mexican place, left most of our respective broods happily playing in the park and sauntered over to sort of semi-watch the game. After a while, a largish blonde woman approached. “Are zose your kids alone in ze playground?” she […]

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Iced Coffee: The Life-Giving Specialty of the House

By KJ / Saturday, May 28, 2011

I love iced coffee. I am so not a coffee person otherwise, in that I really can’t distinguish good coffee from bad (although a really great cup might catch my attention), don’t care how it’s brewed, won’t notice if you stew it for a while and really, really can’t tell where you got your beans or how and when they were ground. When it comes to hot coffee, I’m a philistine, and I drink it with plenty of milk and […]

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Everything in a Name

By KJ / Friday, June 17, 2011

What’s in a name? Everything. Every thought your parents had about who you might be. A goodly dose of who your father’s family was, and possibly, depending on your circumstances, your mother’s as well. If you’re adopted, what’s in a name? Maybe everything, maybe nothing. Casually (as in the non-legal name you’d give, say, a gymnastics class), Rory’s name says nothing much about her except that she’s the child of two people who liked the name Rory. Her name is […]

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There’s Something Familiar About This Place

By KJ / Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another post from France… We’ve done the drive from Barcelona to Cazo before. As we headed into Narbonne, Rob reminded me that we’d missed the turn in some way last time. “That’s how we ended up at the Carrefours, remember?” I did, and although we’d liked the Carrefours, with all four kids asleep in the back of the car in the middle of the day and Rob and I each running on about an hour’s poor sleep on the plane, […]

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Immediate Gratification

By KJ / Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Immediate Gratification Originally uploaded by kjda Sam has been saving. And this weekend, he found that he had enough for the lowest end iTouch, the 8G. Of course we have, as a family, a reasonably large quantity of iThisandThats. With EXTREMELY limited access, Partly because I don’t want them wired up during the week, and partly because of the competition allowing one to play the iPad entails. Everyone has accepted that the iFamily is for travel only. But if he […]

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Will Wishing Make it So?

By KJ / Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I really don’t want Rory to have a language issue. I go back and forth on whether I think the things I posted about yesterday–her srtuggles with nouns, her mixing up words within categories–mean anything more than, as Gina said yesterday, that she’s “just a girl trying to learn SO Much. Yes, she wasn’t only learning language but learning social cues, learning how to be in a family, learning so much more than kids brought up here at an earlier […]

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Get Up! Get Up!

By KJ / Saturday, September 10, 2011

It really bothers my children to see me sit on the sofa. This may be because for many years, I did not have any opportunity to sit down. I kept us so busy that we were rarely home, in part because I was a little afraid to be alone with all of these kids, who might want me to play Candyland. I hate Candyland. And then when we were home, it was all very active. We were baking! We were […]

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Always the Mom Who’s Behind

By KJ / Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tonight was “open school night” or “back to school” night or something like that at Sam and Lily’s school. No kids, just parents in the classroom. Don’t tell Lily, but because we’ve been second grade parents before, we defaulted more towards Sam’s class, although Rob went to her teacher’s main presentation, and I rolled in for the tail end and to ask a key question. In Sam’s class, though, I focused. I listened to the lovely, lovely teacher. I copied […]

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By KJ / Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dinner Originally uploaded by kjda Let it never be said that Rory’s KFC meal did not include vegetables.

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Surprise! The Kitten Would be a SURPRISE!

By KJ / Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I always forget I know some of you IRL. So–it’s a Christmas surprise. More anon.

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Helping the Dentist Out

By KJ / Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Helping the Dentist Out Originally uploaded by kjda KJ Dell’Antonia sent from my iPhone —

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The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds

By KJ / Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Perils of Hangman With 7-Year-Olds Originally uploaded by kjda

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All in My Head

By KJ / Wednesday, March 16, 2005

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Cariboo, Caribad

By KJ / Friday, March 4, 2005

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Nothing like a Skull & Crossbones Crib Bumper

By KJ / Thursday, March 31, 2005

This might very well have changed my entire nursery decorating scheme. Or maybe not. But who knew the whole cool-baby thing had gone so far? You all know my views on decking babies out in parental political views (or if you don’t, click here). And Babywit.com certainly has enough of those. But I think I’ve found just the right look for Lily. Perfect. country free ringtones India expects to reach 500 million subscribers by end of 2010. ringtones band [citation […]

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Just a Few More Steps, and

By KJ / Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I have seen the new food pyramid, and the news is good–apparently, if you run up just a few steps a day, you can eat anything you want at the top of the pyramid! At least, that’s what I heard someone on NPR say. She seemed worried that all of us graphic sign-people would take xanax buy pharmacy phentermine On the 20 March 2008 xanax buy pharmacy phentermine flight was the first time voice calls have been allowed in-flight on […]

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Happy Birthday to Lily

By KJ / Friday, June 10, 2005

Lily’s one today, glorious one. She walked her first step on Memorial day, four steps two days later–and hasn’t repeated it since. She’s the Queen Mum of waving, standing at the train table, greeting me with a frantic wave when I come to release her from her car seat. She likes putting things in things, then taking them out, then putting them back in again (I could go on…). She likes bags to carry and hats to put on her […]

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Lily is not sure this is a good idea.

By KJ / Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lily is not sure this is a good idea., originally uploaded by kjda. She tried it later. Also the kibble, yum. Moments after this was taken, the goat came over to explore her, and she placed her fat little hand firmly between his little horn stubs and shoved him away. accrington hotelsringtone allenfighting ringtone 100 five for50 cent candy shop ringtones8390 ringtone nokiasamsung free a920 ringtonerage ringtone against machineringtone wilson cell al phone Map

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In which I clear up the Mork from Ork reference

By KJ / Thursday, November 10, 2005

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All Manuscripts MUST…

By KJ / Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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The House that Got Away

By KJ / Friday, March 3, 2006

Oh, well. Someone willing to pay more for it than we were bought the house we wanted. I’m dejected and disappointed, but we bid the right amount…you know, it probably feels worse to overpay than to not get the house. I’m partly just disappointed because I was revved up for it to HAPPEN. And I hate it when I want something and don’t get it. I’m not good at that at all. I know, a better house will come rolling […]

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