Baby-tossing dads are on to something

A playground near my house has a zipline-style swing. You (um, I mean, the kids) sit or stand on a little disc-shaped seat dangling from a rope, grab ahold of the rope, and have someone swing you down the zipline. One day, a boy, maybe 3 years old, perched on the swing at one end of the line. His dad gripped the […]

Girls don’t need pink blocks

My toddler got some pink and purple Lego Duplo blocks as a gift. Around that time, GoldiBlox came out with pink construction toys designed to interest girls in engineering. I thought it was all a bit silly, the idea that girls needed their own girly color of blocks to pique their interest in the toy. […]

Can we trust our parenting instincts?

“I shouldn’t even admit this to you,” my husband began, as he relayed the afternoon’s struggle: how our toddler pushed on the screen door, he told her not to, she pushed on the screen door, he told her not to, she pushed on the screen door, and he lightly slapped her on the wrist. Minor as the punishment seemed […]

10 easy activities you can do with an infant

“Umm … now what do we do?” I distinctly remember having this thought a couple weeks after my baby was born. Her first days home were a flurry of us trying to figure out how, basically, to keep her alive. How to sleep. Where to sleep. How the heck to feed her. Trips to the doctor to check her […]

‘I was a bad mom’? Gimme a break

The process of becoming a parent makes me think of one of those guys in a spy movie who gets an urgent call, within 24 hours is slipped a new passport with his photo but an utterly unfamiliar identity, and walks out the door attempting to seamlessly adopt this new persona. One day you are who you’ve always been. The next day your […]

How to get toddlers to share toys

A friend and I were sitting on the floor with our 18-month-olds as they played with a kids’ construction set, and you can guess what happened next. My kid tried to bogart the hammer from her playmate, and her playmate declined to hand it over. My friend said, “No, no, we need to share.” She tried to take […]

How to escalate tears into a tantrum

“I want to wear the Mickey Mouse pajamas!” our toddler announced. My husband fished out the top, but the Mickey Mouse bottoms were in hiding. “Look, here are your shark pajamas!” my husband tried, cheerfully. “I want to wear the Mickey Mouse pajamas!” our toddler repeated, whining. “The shark pajamas are from your good friend,” my […]

My favorite way to get a kid to eat greens

“I can’t get my 1-year-old to eat produce anymore,” a stranger said, with a hint of desperation, as we stared at the frozen blueberries in Costco. “He used to like bananas, avocados … now he doesn’t! I don’t know what to do.” Mama, I don’t know what made you ask me, but you are asking the right person! I have a […]

The one phrase that saves the day

The scene: We’re at the playground, having a ball. My toddler screeches with joy at meeting another 2-year-old. She holds his hand as they take big steps up the stairs to the slide, the picture of cuteness. She waits at the top of the slide for her new friend to sit down, too, so they can slide down together. They […]

How Zero to Five came to be

The latest issue of Seattle’s Child magazine includes a Q & A with me, along with excerpts of a few tips from Zero to Five. Here’s a bit of the book’s back story: Why did you decide to write Zero to Five? I wrote Zero to Five for several reasons. I wished I’d had a book like this when […]


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