The Day Kids Brought "The 'N' Word" into My House and What I Said to My Six-Year-O

I froze. Standing in my kitchen, working on an assembly line of sandwiches for five children, I heard it: the "N" word. It came out of a tablet that one of the kids from the neighborhood had brought over. Usually, I have a "no screens" policy when kids come over to play. My house has an open door and I regularly have at least two to three other children at my house. They know that when they come to my house, they play with real toys and real games: Legos, make-believe, hide and seek, etc. That day, one of the kids was so excited about a new tablet that they had gotten for their birthday, and they asked if they could show it to my kids. "Only for a minute, while I'm making lunch. After

Appendix, Schmappendix

When I woke up yesterday, I thought, "Hmm. Today feels like a great day for appendicitis!" (I kid! I kid! (Sigh.) There is no good day for appendicitis. "Ain't nobody got time for that!") The bottom line is that I am now in a hospital bed, one appendix lighter (and one hernia repaired that I didn't even know I had). As a child, someone read me Ludwig Bemelmans's story, Madeline, and I was obsessed. I would lie awake in my bed at night acting out the story as the title character, imagining what it would feel like to ride in an ambulance, being at the hospital, having your appendix removed. It seemed very glamourous and dramatic to my six-year-old self. My six-year-old self would be so d

The Tooth the Fairy Forgot

He jumped out of our bed, where he had been curled up like a tired Weimaraner for most of the night, and went running for his bed. My husband sat straight up like a sprung Jack-in-the-box. "I forgot about the tooth! Did you get it?!" he frantically whispered. Now it was my turn for Jack-in-the-box duty. "No! Dang it!" I sank back into bed, while my husband went into try to do some damage control. I lay there quietly, with another little boy who had just woken up, ready to nurse, and listened. In the quiet of my room, the voice in my head was deafening: I had failed. Yes, Saturday morning started with a very disappointed boy whom the tooth fairy had forgotten. "Maybe she has the th

And for her next trick ...

She blogs! So, I've been thinking about this for a while. I've had business advisors tell me that I need to be blogging. Friends telling me I need to be blogging. My husband telling me that I need to be blogging. And I have fought it and fought it and fought it. Here's the thing: I like privacy. I don't like the idea of strangers knowing too much about my family.* I don't like the idea of putting too much out there. I don't like the idea that I may put something out there that will be widely ridiculed, resulting in my total withdrawal from society. Really, I just don't like the idea that all sorts of people will get to see my own brand of crazy. I mean, we're all a little bit crazy,

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Allison Harvey