Erin Zammett Ruddy

    Erin Zammett Ruddy

  • 10 Ways My Third Child Is a True Third Child

    I had my third child in November and, as expected, it’s a very different experience than with my first and even second. The baby is simultaneously spoiled and deprived, both doted on more and ignored more. In some ways I feel like she’s getting the best of me. In other ways, the worst. Though there are many reasons, it basically boils down to the fact that this time around — which is my last time around — I’m more confident, capable, and calm about the whole thing. I’m also way busier and, occasionally, more overwhelmed.

  • So, It’s Wrong to Put Babies in Playpens?!

    Last week I posted this photo (left) on Facebook. It’s of my three children hanging out in the baby’s new playpen. The caption: “Unfortunately, only one of them doesn’t know how to get out.” I was just making a joke, obviously, but the post sparked a conversation about parents and playpens and it came to my attention that there are people out there who do not and would not put their kids in one. I did a little web research and, yup, apparently some feel like using a playpen is cruel — akin to sticking your child in cage. Interesting.

  • So Is This How 6-Year-Olds Talk These Days?

    I’m going to skip the wind up here and just get to it: Over lunch yesterday, my 6-year-old son said, "Mom, is D-O-O-S-H a bad word?" I resisted my knee-jerk reaction — to say, “OMG! Yes! Who said that to you?! WTF! (By the way, bud, you spelled it wrong …”) — and played it cool so I could get more info out of him. “Um, yes it is, bud,” I replied, “and you shouldn’t say it … but where did you hear that word?” I didn’t want to put him on the defensive so we chatted a bit and when he dodged the question, I didn’t push. I was basically trying to avoid being Ralphie’s mom from A Christmas Story (read: I didn’t want him to make up an answer just to get me off his back or protect the guilty). Finally, he said:

  • The One Game I Actually Enjoy Playing With My Kids

    First, a confession: I don’t really like playing Chutes and Ladders or Connect 4 or Uno with my children. There are a number of reasons but it comes down to the fact that my older two are only 6 and 4 and don’t always get along or understand the rules, which translates to fighting and whining.

  • Is It Wrong to Steer Your Kid Away From a Sport You Don’t Like?

    My six-year-old son is obsessed with pretty much any activity involving contact and a ball. Or really any sport at all. He wants to try everything and he loves everything he tries.

  • The 10 Most Disturbing Things My 4-Year-Old Has Said (This Week)

    If you’ve read my posts in the past, you may have picked up on a theme: My 4-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Nora, is kind of a handful. She’s spunky, sassy, smart, spirited, whiney, defiant, and pretty much constantly testing my mettle as a mother and a human. She is also my middle child. The stuff that comes out of her mouth can be infuriating (and sometimes, I’ll admit, hilarious) but lately her chatter has been particularly shocking. And, maybe I’m giving her too much credit here, but I’m pretty sure says most of these things on purpose just to see my reaction. Here’s a list of the current top 10:

  • The Baby-Naming Dilemma No Mom Wants to Face

    Yesterday a pregnant friend sent an email looking for advice on some pretty serious mom drama. The problem: She found out her husband’s pregnant cousin is planning to give her daughter the name my friend had already settled on for her daughter-to-be.

  • The Camp Activity I Would Never Stand For

    The day camp my son goes to has a strict no electronics policy — kids can’t bring them and they don’t provide them. The director sent an email home saying so.

  • Five Signs My Middle Child Is Turning Into a 'Middle Child'

    My four-year-old drew on my seven-month-old yesterday. It was the latest in a series of crimes that all point to her becoming a classic middle child.

  • Why I Won't Ever Let My Kids Have TVs in Their Rooms

    Last night we were at the dinner table discussing my six-year-old son possibly moving into his own bedroom. He’s been sharing with his four-year-old sister since we had our third child last fall. He said, “Yeah, sounds good. As long as I can have a TV in my room…?”

  • I Took My Three Kids With Me to the Nail Salon and Lived to Tell the Tale

    The other day I did something I’ve never done before: I took my three little kids with me to the nail salon.

  • One Coach’s Genius Response to a Rude Parent

    My son recently joined a travel soccer team. It’s a new, small program but I'm still nervous about how much more intense it's going to be — both on the field and on the sidelines. My number one worry: The parents.

  • Easy, DIY Teacher Gift That Keeps on Giving

    The last-minute scramble for teacher gifts is on. My daughter’s preschool crew is getting gift cards at this point but for my son’s first grade teacher I want something a little more thoughtful — and representative of the kid she gracefully put up with all year.

  • The Outrageous School Policy That Gives Parents Way Too Much Say

    A family member of mine works in a K-4 school in the Northeast where they recently implemented a new policy for class selection. Parents received an email from the principal stating that the staff was preparing to place students in their sections for the coming 2014/2015 school year.

  • The Kid ‘Milestone’ I’ve Been Dreading

    It happened. As I was driving my three kids home from dinner at my parents’ house, we experienced a family first.* But rather than it being the kind you jot down in the baby book, it was the kind that makes you feel like you’re not really excelling at this whole parenting thing. Love those, right?

  • The Teacher-Appreciation Gift That Might Not Be Appropriate

    ’Tis the season to buy the “school’s-over, thanks-for-putting-up-with-my-kid” tokens of appreciation. But what do teachers really want? I polled some elementary-school educator friends of mine for ideas (thumbs up on gift cards; thumbs down on homemade baked goods), and a few actually said they’ve gotten bottles of wine in the past, which surprised me.

  • The Post-Baby Question No Mother Should Ever Ask

    I’ve been seeing a plastic surgeon but it’s not what you think. I have a pretty bad keloid on my upper arm — from a mole removal scar — so I decided to see a plastic surgeon for cortisone injections. The guy takes my insurance, he’s local and after three simple shots, the keloid is almost gone.

  • Why Every Parent Needs to See 'Fed Up'

    Yesterday I saw the documentary “Fed Up” and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s the Katie Couric-narrated exposé about how the processed food products American kids live on are basically killing them. Seriously, our children are the first generation who may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

  • The ‘Nice’ Mom Gesture That Kind of Irks Me

    I know I’ll probably come off as a petty you-know-what here, but I also know that other women have complained to me about this seemingly-benign mom move, so I’m going to proceed with this post, despite the consequences…

  • All of the Totally Selfish Reasons Why I Love Parenting in the Summer

    OK, so it’s not technically summer yet but Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to the season and it feels like the bearable temps might actually, finally be here to stay.