A Quick Tip


I’m really too busy right now to post a post.

Too busy to bother editing a sentence with the word “post” in it twice.

But I don’t want to deprive other parents who are desperate to corral their kids and get some work done. It’s important to keep the community abreast of new ideas and solutions:

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I can’t take credit for this… this… whatever “this” is… I wandered out of the house and discovered the boy in this state of confinement. (Actually, this was Martin’s brainchild. The other kids were clambering to be next.)

Need I highlight the virtues of this invention?

It requires minimal supplies. It offers containment, yet ease of portability.

Just be sure to rest the child on his back, rather than face down… especially if you intend to leave the dollified kid unattended with siblings nearby.


Ski Report Finale


If you missed the first ski installment, check out part one.

Otherwise, let’s wrap up this chapter.

The highlights — or low-lights of the trip? They can be summed up in photos.

Here’s day one, on the Deer Valley slopes:




Here’s Martin, approximately 30 minutes later:



This, my friends, is not a broken collarbone.

It’s a separated shoulder.

I know this because the Park City Clinic provided the diagnosis.

And I farmed out the radiograph to virtually every veterinarian in my personal network.

Horse vets are like regular MDs — they just have furrier patients.

My friend Sarah has a son who is a real doctor — he actually treats people — and he summed up the diagnosis succinctly:

“It’s not a broken bone; it’s torn ligaments. The gap you see is between the acromion and the clavicle, which are two different bones. Recovery varies; when you’re no longer in pain, you can take off the sling.”

He was right.

In Sundance Film Festival fashion, I’m giving out awards.

Martin earns the “down but not out” award.

Despite his separated shoulder, four days later, he was back on skis.

Behold, evidence of his recovery:



Understandably, Martin was a wee-bit tentative.

I tried to bolster his confidence by leading him through “the enchanted forest” — a narrow, mogul-ridden trail squeezed between a narrow stand of trees.

What can I say?

It is a path preferred by little kids, parked on short, stout skis.

My cousin and I navigated the challenges and emerged. We awaited Martin.

Eventually, he appeared.

That was NOT F-ing Enchanting!” he shouted, skis tossed over his good shoulder, as he trudged down a nearby logging road.

Martin: I offer you both the “down but not out” award and the “good sport” award.


Brynn receives the “most improved” award. Zilla set out as a newbie, edging along the bunny slope bottom, at a glacial pace. But she wrapped the week rocketing down the green runs, from the top of the mountain.

Her story isn’t remarkable. Often children adapt to skiing, thanks to fearlessness and close proximity to the ground.

Still, it’s a marvel to watch.


Zilla and her miscreant crew…




City mouse, country mouse

When it comes to race, religion, color and creed, our kids are fairly open-minded.

They are nonjudgemental. I’d hazard to say that they are “colorblind,” concerning race and ethnicity.

(Let’s hope they retain these views.)

Now that I’ve logged these niceties, I must add the following:

The kids are not without bias. They discriminate against a group of people.

Who’s caught in their crosshairs? Whom do they stereotype? Whom do they disparage?

City folk.

You people who deign to dwell in a townhouse.

Even you guys who own a quarter-acre in the suburbs.

You’re guilty as well.



Martin and I first learned of this disparity last year, while we were all staying in a hotel in Washington, DC. It was an unusually warm December day, and kids of all ages were careening down a steep, grassy hill that adjoined the hotel courtyard.

Cayden led the charge down the slope and when he reached the bottom, he shouted to his sister: “Hey, Hadley!  DON’T KNOCK OVER THE CITY KIDS! They don’t know how to FALL like farm kids, and their parents will FREAK out!”

Okay! Got it!” Hadley shouted in response, suspiciously eyeing the kids beside her.

Martin and I exchanged looks. And we slouched down in our seats.

Just like that, a stereotype was born. City kids versus country kids. And our children continue to feed it, vocalizing apparent inadequacies of urban dwelling individuals.

In case you’re keeping track, urbanites are fragile, weak, easily injured and incapable of handling stressful situations. 

Last summer — after I encountered a deer with my car — I told the kids about the accident. And I mentioned that another driver was equally unlucky: she also struck the same deer with her car, and was unhinged by the event.

Hadley nodded at me knowingly. “That other driver,” she said. “Was she…you know… city folk?”


The irony of all of this? Our kids aren’t as country as they think. We don’t own a working farm. Our kids can’t drive a tractor or milk a cow. Their agriculture roots are thin.

Still, they are loyal to rural life.

A few weeks ago, I had to run some errands in downtown DC, and Cayden and Hadley tagged along. We’d barely crossed a street before it became clear that the kids were out of their element. I shepherded them between traffic and yelled as they strayed outside the crosswalk.

“Jeez!” I said, grabbing their collars. “You country kids can barely cross the street! You wouldn’t survive a day in the city!”

“Huh,” Cayden snorted. “Who would want to?”