Friday, March 27, 2009

why? why? why?

Josh's aunt is FOREVER calling me and offering me opportunities for part-time or short-term jobs, and I am FOREVER turning her down because I had a baby, and then a toddler, and then when I finally got my life together and started taking work, whoops! I got pregnant again, and then the morning sickness, and then the placenta previa, and then the breech baby, and then I gave birth, and now I have a newborn, and blah blah blah. Suffice to say, I've said no about 9 times to different job offers.

The other day, she called to ask whether I'd be willing to proofread someone's dissertation for him. English is apparently his second language, he needs help, and he's willing to pay for it. I looked around at the chaos of my life, and eyed the dust bunnies and the dirty windows and started calculating how many hours of house cleanings I could hire with one proofreading, and I said yes.

Unfortunately, I forgot about that whole poor student part of the equation, so he's only paying me $2 a page to proof them, but still, $2 is $2. I work out of my house during naps and while Gabe is at school, and if I am working then I can totally justify buying a soy latte at Starbucks because it helps my muse, you know?

What I did not consider, though, is that I have no time these days. Like seriously, no time. I barely have time to eat and shower and do laundry, and fitting in 200 pages of dissertation is no piece of cake. Plus, did I mention it is a dissertation in ENGINEERING? To be specific, supply chain management and engineering and equations and stochastic models of blahbity blah blah blah. I sometimes have to reread the same sentence 4 times just to get through it, because hello? I am a lawyer, not so much with the engineering. But again, $2 is $2, and he is a lovely young man, and very nice and he does need help, so I push my way through and make my word changes and slight revisions and gloss over the way-too-complex-equations and graphs.

All of this is to say that between the proofreading and the fact that we are leaving for California and Florida on Monday for 3 weeks, I barely have time to breathe, and I certainly do not have time to be writing out this blog post. Hi, my name is procrastination.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It was two years ago, almost to the day. Spring just emerging in New England. One of the first warm days of the year, one of the first warm days of Gabriel's short life. Josh and I decided to load up the stroller and drive to Newport, Rhode Island. Newport always feels like summer and fun and freedom to me, and we were almost giddy as we packed our diaper bag and got the car seat into the car. It was our first road trip as a family of three and we hardly knew what to bring- we were so clumsy and awkward and NEW at this parenting life.

He woke up when we still had a while to go, so we stopped at a Starbucks in Providence for me to nurse, still feeling a little embarrassed whenever I'd pull out the nursing cover and hide his little body underneath. I felt people's eyes on me, so I focused instead on Gabe's ear and the way his hair curled around the edges. Even today, I can picture that tiny ear as if it were in front of me, I can feel the way his little body curved around my waist.

Back in the car, we approached the long arching bridge into town and could see the scenery changing from industrial to beach life. We pushed our stroller proudly down the narrow streets, stopping to look in store windows, stopping even more often to exclaim about some tiny change of expression in his sleeping face that no one noticed but us. We could scarcely believe this precious cargo we had with us, this new life as a family of three.

We stopped again at a dim coffee shop for me to feed him again- it seemed like Gabe nursed more often than he didn't in those days. We sat in overstuffed chairs next to the window, sipping hot chocolates as the glass fogged up in front of us, watching and listening to the college students and teenagers around us sharing stories of competing gossip. I remember feeling so tightly wound in those days, full of fear, anxiety, adoration, exhaustion, and happiness, all mixed up and impossible to separate. Having your first child is almost like a flavor on your tongue. You can remember what it was like, but that taste never quite returns.

When we emerged from the coffee shop, the temperature had dropped sharply and the wind whipped in from the ocean. We hurried down the streets, new parents concerned that the baby would get cold, even though he was wrapped in blankets and a sleeping bag and huddled under a blue hat. Our dinner was quick, both of us anxious to get on the road before it became too late.

I drove while Josh sat in back and entertained Gabriel, which seems laughable now, but that was life with one child. Innumerable moments spent admiring him, enjoying him, absorbing every little detail about him. Learning how to love someone more than your own life. Figuring out how to be a parent. Eating up every minute.

Spring is arriving in New England again these days, and the weight of Josie in my arms reminds me of Newport, but life today is very different. Moments spent inhaling her newness are stolen moments. Life is filled with toddler squeals and enthusiasm over everything. Rather than learning how to love, I am learning how to survive this swelling of my heart that threatens to explode from the beauty of my two children.

At lunch today, I knew my friend must be newly pregnant. Her hand curved over her mostly flat stomach, just starting to bulge. The way she picked at her food. Her husband's eyes on her as we ate. Sooner than she realizes, she'll have her own memory of walking the streets of an off-season vacation town. And even sooner, that memory will be written over by the chubby hands of her two year old tugging at her jeans, saying "Mommy! Watch me!" as he runs around the table. That ache is the price of time passing. The privilege of being around to see it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

now I'm an expert at knowing that I know nothing

Before I had kids, I was the BEST parent. I had all kind of brilliant ideas about parenting children, and I could clearly tell you what other people were doing wrong. I had such insight into everyone else's mistakes- I had real skillz.

Then I had a baby.

Luckily, my first child ended up being incredibly accommodating, calm, sweet, and easy-going. He rarely cried, he ate like a champ, and best of all, he reinforced all of my previously held opinions about how easy parenting could be. Sure, there were some bumps in the road (like not sleeping through the night until he was a YEAR OLD), but the truth is that Gabe is a pretty flexible and reasonable kid.

Then I had ANOTHER baby.

Well. I'll wait here for you to stop laughing.

I'm pretty sure this child has been sent here to take me down a notch. Or 27 notches, maybe. She's probably going to eat nothing except white bread and cheetos, throw tantrums in the aisles of Target, and let herself out of the house and run around the neighborhood naked. I am soooo looking forward to the teenage years.

Luckily, she is pretty cute, and I have been humbled. Today we ran out of Josh's office after lunch with her SCREAMING like we were peeling her fingernails off. She screamed in the office, in the hallway, in the elevator, in the lobby, and all the way to the car until I started the engine and pulled away from the curb. She'd been fed, changed, tucked into her car seat, and she just didn't feel like sitting idly, so she screamed. Last year? I would have wondered what was wrong with that mother that didn't do anything. Today? I knew it wouldn't make a difference to attempt to comfort her, so I just walked faster until I reached the car.

Parenting is just a kick in the pants, huh?

Friday, March 20, 2009

party 'til the babes go to bed!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
Welcome! If you're visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party, I'm happy to meet you! If you're a regular, I'm happy to see you again! Pull up a blog post! Hang out for a while! Cupcake while you're here?

I am a (former) lawyer who fled the law firm life to stay at home with my two kids (23 months apart) and live the glamorous life. Okay, not so glamorous, really, but we do have fun.

My son, Gabriel, is a little over 2. He's a bit of a lunatic, but he makes us laugh so we keep him around.

My daughter, Josie, just turned 3 months old. I write quite a bit about the stresses joys of life with a newborn these days. We're just now exiting the haze of sleepless nights and colicky screams and entering the world of smiles and naps. We're probably going to keep her too.

My husband, Josh, and I met waaayyy back during our college years and we've been driving each other crazy ever since. There are a lot of days (especially these days) when he is the only thing keeping me sane.

We also have two dogs, Tango and Murray, who used to feature prominently on this blog. Unfortunately for them, these days they are more often the subject of complaining on my part. Despite that, they really are very sweet and I'm sure one day my patience will come back. I hope.

So... That's the whole family! Nice to meet you! Feel free to poke around! Ignore the goldfish crackers on the floor and the pile of laundry on the couch. I hope to see you around sometime!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

happiness is...

Sunflower shoes!

Seriously people, this is why I needed to have a little girl. My life is now complete. Now I need to find these in adult sizes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

where's the beef?

The other day I received coupons in one of those "value pack" envelopes. You know, the ones that give you all kinds of coupons for vendors in your area/state? One of the coupons was for Omaha Steaks, which I'd never even heard of, but it seemed like a good deal. I think it was for 4 filet mignons, 4 flank steaks, 4 hot dogs, 4 chicken breasts, 4 baked stuffed potatoes, 4 of some other cut of beef I'm forgetting, and 4 hamburgers, all for $49.99. Plus, if you took the deal, they'd also give you 6 more free hamburgers. I don't normally pay attention to any of those coupons, but this really did seem like a good deal so I loaded Josie into the car after dropping Gabe off at school and we headed over to Omaha Steaks.

As soon as we walked through the door, I realized they must not be doing well in this economy. The store was completely deserted, and the salesperson actually looked shocked to have a customer. He jumped up from where he was sitting on the floor behind the counter and then set about making a sale. By the time we walked out of there, he'd pretty much given me half of a cow. Literally.

He offered to double the deal and then knock $20 off the price of the order. Then he threw in 6 more free hamburgers. Then for $10 he gave us 2 boxes of salisbury steak over noodles plus 2 boxes of garlic roasted mashed potatoes. He gave us free cookbooks, free spice packets, extra coupons for us to come back, and then carried everything to the car for me.

It was only when I got home that I realized I'd never be able to fit everything into our freezer. I came home with 3 gigantic bags of food, all requiring immediate refrigeration. We pretty much don't need to go grocery shopping for the next month and a half, but I felt so badly for how excited the salesman looked when he saw us walk through the door that I couldn't say no to his offers. I've since learned that Omaha Steaks is more of a splurge/gift giving store, and these days, people aren't doing much splurging.

We don't even eat much beef these days, but we're going to have to start, if I ever want to be able to buy any other frozen foods. I will say, we made 4 of the chicken breasts and one of the salisbury steaks, and hot damn, they were pretty good! Only 79 pieces of beef to go! Anyone want to come over for dinner?

Monday, March 16, 2009


I told Josh today that I feel like I am just plugging up holes with bubble gum or something. Once I get one kid under control, another one sprouts another leak! Last night Josh noticed Murray (the dog) shaking his head and when he checked his ears, one of them was red and inflamed and generally looking icky. I wish he hadn't shown it to me, because it looked so awful that it took me ages to fall asleep last night because I felt so guilty I hadn't noticed it before.

This morning, I took him to the vet and it turns out he has allergies. He is currently on ear drops, ear ointment, a strict ear washing regimen, eye ointment, and Benadryl. Both of his ears have yeast infections, and his eyes and skin are inflamed from some kind of allergy. Obviously, what I really needed these days was more work for me, but such is life with 2 kids and 2 dogs. The "check engine" light to my car also came on over the weekend, but thankfully it was nothing major.

I did make what I hope is a major discovery for Josie today, though. Over the last few weeks I've noticed that Josie rarely sleeps. We might wake up in the morning, run multiple errands, get in and out of the car, drive for up to 20 minutes at a time, and she won't nap. Everyone comments on how alert and awake she is, and how long that alertness lasts, but it is truly excessive. Getting her to nap is such an ordeal- it can take up to an hour and a half just to get her to nap for 15-25 minutes. Bedtime is beyond absurd. Yesterday I started the routine at 7:30 and she was down at 10pm. By the time 10pm rolled around, I was cross-eyed from exhaustion, but I hate to put her down and go to bed immediately afterward. I need a least a little bit of downtime before turning in for the night.

Today it occurred to me to check the side effects for the ranitidine she has been taking for the acid reflux. Guess what one of the side effects is? Insomnia.

So today I took a risk, and didn't give her the medicine. She has been faithfully taking the probiotics for about a week now, and I figured that if she got incredibly fussy, I'd just catch her up on the ranitidine dose.

Miracle of miracles, she did great. She napped. Really napped, like a regular baby. First in the car, then in her stroller, then in her bassinet for TWO HOURS this afternoon! It's been weeks since she's taken a halfway decent nap. She was totally well-rested, which meant she hardly cried today and smiled repeatedly and easily. She sat in her swing and bouncy chair and didn't even scream! It was an excellent day.

Now, I know it could be a fluke, and trust me, I've been let down before when I think we've turned a corner when we haven't, but I can't help hoping. I know this child is dangerously overtired, and I HAVE to figure out a way to get her to sleep. It still took me FOREVER to get her down for each of those naps, and especially down for bed tonight, but at least I didn't have to do it 4 times in a row for a 20 minute break. Once I find some way to get her to nap regularly, then I can work on getting some semblance of a schedule and maybe she'll even start sleeping at night again! If I'm going to hope, I might as well shoot for the moon!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

file this under: DUH

If you're sick of listening to me moan, then you might want to move along. Nothing but whining to see here this evening.


I've been reading some books lately, trying to figure out what is wrong with my pain in the ass sweet precious flower of a daughter. Last week, I started to think that things were getting so much better. She was sleeping through (most) of the night. She was crying less during the day. Gabe was still scrumptious, and (thank you thank you thank you) still sleeps beautifully.

This week, however, has been a disaster. Nighttime sleeping has gone down the tubes. It takes me HOURS to get her to go to sleep at night. It something takes me over an hour to get her to take a 20 minute nap during the day. She fluctuates between wild smiles and raging unhappiness constantly. I'm exhausted.

There. I said it. I'm really fucking tired.

And then, while I was reading one of the books, I skipped ahead to the chapter on "fussy babies" and right there, in black and white:

Persistent low-intensity fussing, rather than intense crying, characterizes infants diagnosed as having colic... it is usually described as an unsettled, agitated, wakeful state that would lead to crying if ignored by parents... Even if they [parents] spend more than three additional hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks "feeding" them at night to prevent crying, these parents do not think their baby is colicky because there is so little crying... they had long and frequent bouts of fussing, which did not lead to crying because of intense parental intervention.

Folks? Josie definitely has colic.

I almost laughed out loud when the book characterized colic as having to spend more than three hours a day, three days a week, for more than three weeks, soothing my child. Three hours a day? I might spend 8 hours, 10 hours, sometimes it feels like 24 hours, soothing her. I rock her, feed her, talk to her, sing to her, bounce her around the house, let her nurse to pacify herself for hours in the wee hours of the morning. We try baby Zantac and probiotics. I cut out dairy, vegetables, chocolate, spices, soy, and I even try to limit my wheat intake, just in case.

All this time, I kept thinking that because she didn't scream and scream for hours on end, she couldn't possibly have colic. I know, though, that if I didn't do handstands to make her happy, she would spend hours out of every day screaming. As it is, I've had to come home from the movies because she won't stop crying. I never go anywhere without her. I'm dreading a dinner date tomorrow night (our first) with Josh because I know she is going to cry endlessly with my mother in law for those 2 hours while we are gone.

The relief that I felt when I read those sentences is indescribable. It makes no sense to me, why would I be happy to learn that there is no solution? Why would it make me feel better? But it does. I feel almost a sort of validation. I'm crying all over again writing this, but reading that chapter makes me feel like maybe it isn't my fault. Maybe it isn't what I'm eating. Maybe it isn't the antibiotics I took for the mastitis (my pediatrician's suggestion). Maybe it isn't my breastmilk (my mother's CONSTANT suggestion). Maybe it is, but maybe it is just colic.

Maybe she is going to get better soon, just because of age. She is turning 3 months old on Saturday, and although I dread the passage of time with a ridiculous intensity because I don't want my babies to get bigger, maybe, just maybe, things will get better. Maybe I won't have to sit here for 3 hours rocking her to sleep next week. Maybe she won't be up fussing from 1am until 8am. Maybe she'll show me her beautiful smile more often. Maybe I'll be able to play with Gabe for a while every day without holding her in my arms. Crazy, for that to sound like a luxury, but it does.

I love Josie so much, I don't even have the words to describe to you how having her in our lives makes me feel. I look down at her and wonder how I could have made this beautiful, perfect, sweet little creature. I press my face against her cheeks or into her neck and I cannot imagine not feeling her glorious weight in my arms all the time. It is like falling in love all over again. I thought my heart would burst with adoration when we had Gabe, but somehow I love her just as much. Somehow it feels like I love them both MORE. With this unsettling intensity that throws me for a loop daily. I want to swallow her whole.

It'd be nice, though, to be able to get a coffee with a friend without feeling tense. It'd be nice to not check my phone obsessively in the darkness of the movie theater. It'd be nice if she was just happy. If she felt well all the time. So for now, I'll be hoping for her to feel better. Soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

still gagging

I caught Gabe dipping cheddar goldfish into his potty and then eating them.

The potty.

Filled with pee pee.

I screamed so much I think he'll be talking about it in therapy for years.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

he can sort his own damn socks

I took Josie to the pediatrician this morning because she has been so fussy over the last couple of days, I was convinced she must have an ear infection (she doesn't). Gabe and I played nonstop today. We made cookies from scratch (hamentaschen, for those of you who celebrate Purim). I dusted the whole house. I did 3 loads of laundry. I folded the laundry. I put dinner together (grilled salmon, rice, salad, and butternut squash soup). I cleaned the kitchen after dinner. I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. I did all of this while wearing Josie in the sling, and intermittently comforting and nursing her.

After dinner and loading the dishwasher and bringing all the loads of laundry up for folding, I was sitting on the floor sorting all the folded clothes into the different baskets. Josh was lying across the couch with the dogs lying across him. I would pause in my sorting to fast forward through the commercials as we watched our recorded show, when Josh reached his arms out and (in this "I'm doing you the biggest favor ever" voice) said he'd be happy to fast forward for me so I didn't have to stop my folding.

I stared at the piles of clothes around me... looked at him lying comfortably on the couch... smelled the spit-up all over me... the exhaustion oozing out of my pores... and then I threw the remote at his head.

Okay, not really. But I wanted to.

Monday, March 09, 2009

he makes yummy pancakes too

I don't know what it was about this weekend, but Josh and I were just at odds with each other. All snappy and snippity and argumenty, and OH LORDY, it was a long weekend. It was never enough to start a full-on fight, but always just enough to leave me annoyed at him for the particular way he said something. But how many times can you yell at someone for their TONE before it starts to sound ridiculous.

I think it was a combination of general tiredness from a busy week, plus Gabe caught another plague from someone else at his toddler program, so we were woken up multiple times in the wee hours before Josie's wakeup times. So although Josie slept from 9pm to 4am, Gabe was up at midnight, and 1:30am and 2:30am, wheezing and crying and needing his nose wiped. When she finally woke up at 4am, which was a perfectly respectable time to wake up, I stumbled into her room with an ARE YOU KIDDING ME? attitude. Totally unfair to her, but whatever.

Also, whenever I'm tired, I start getting all up in arms about how much I do around the house in comparison to how much Josh does around the house, and perhaps I should just mention it as we go along instead of flipping out all at once, particularly at 1am when we're trying to go back to sleep. Perhaps. I'll consider it for the future. Shockingly, there isn't much he can do about the fact that he didn't put his dishes into the dishwasher when we're lying in bed. I will note, however, that this morning when I got up he'd cleaned up the kitchen, loaded and run the dishwasher. Apparently hysteria has it's benefits.

Moving on.

I hesitate to say, but we seem to have turned a corner with our youngest family member. I was about to say tiniest, but I realize that at upwards of 12 pounds, she has left Tango and Murray in the dust (Tango is 6 pounds, Murray is 10). Josie has reduced her screaming considerably, and sometimes even waits patiently for a few minutes while I do a quick little something around the house. She takes a couple of naps a day, most importantly, AT THE SAME TIME as Gabe for the last 6 days in a row. I tuck Gabe into his bed, then sit in her rocker and nurse her until she falls asleep, put her in her crib, and she sleeps. Alone. Not on top of me. It's amazing. At nighttime, we have developed a little routine, and she regularly sleeps from 9pm until at least 3am, sometimes 4 or even 5am.

Also, she suddenly seems, for lack of a better term, to have "arrived". She's just "with it" these days. Josh commented last night, that she is smiley and alert and laughs when we wave her arms around or bounce her up and down. Nothing is perfect, by any means, but things are much better. I have less moments of impatience or edginess and I'm able to get a few things done around the house without having to listen to screaming.

Hopefully this is the start of more good things and the cuteness continues, because they are both really, ridiculously cute. I'm sure everyone thinks their children are absurdly gorgeous, but mine really are. Really. I mean, look at those cheeks!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

gotta hide the bald patches

The Great Hair Loss of 2009 has begun.


I remembered this from Gabe's postpartum period, but it is still shocking for it to happen again. I pulled clumps and clumps of hair from my head in the shower, cleared the drain multiple times, and STILL I've pulled stray hairs off of Josie and my shirt repeatedly during the day. I cannot believe this is going to go on for the next few months. I know, logically, that I won't actually go bald. But still. It feels like it. Helloooo ponytail.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

more of that guilt I mentioned

We had some highs and some lows today.

Some of the highs included getting Josie to take an actual nap in her own personal crib as opposed to napping in my arms. That was a huge high. She even stayed there for 45 minutes. It was exhilarating. After waking up to eat, I was able to get her to nap again in the moses basket in our living room. Another amazing occurrence.

I took the time she gave me to attack the house with a vengeance. I did some crazy cleaning- scrubbed the stove, the inside and outside and vents of the microwave, the front of the dishwasher and refrigerator, some of the cabinets and the sink. I dusted every surface in the house, even moving books and picture frames and climbing on top of chairs and beds to reach all the surfaces. I can't recall the last time I did that, maybe never. I cleaned all the mirrors and windows. I picked up all the errant toys and clothes and put them away. I vacuumed the whole downstairs. I did some laundry. I loaded the dishwasher. I took absolutely no time to myself, but it felt good. The house is starting to look halfway decent, and I'm working out a plan to keep up the organization and cleaning, but on a step by step basis. Doing a little bit every day to keep the chaos under control.

Another high- I got a call while I was cleaning for a short term contract job, and all I kept thinking while we were talking money was how many visits from a cleaning lady that would buy. Can you tell I enjoyed the cleaning?

There was a lot of screaming today, however, courtesy of Josie. Except for those brief shining periods of time where she slept on her own, she REFUSED to be put down. Like, at all. Not in her swing, not in her exercauser, not in her bouncy chair, not under the mobile, not for 30 seconds for me to assemble the sling. It was rough. The screaming puts me on edge, and so my temper was short with Gabe. Just as I was clearing the floor and turning on the vacuum, Gabe dumped out his huge basket of balls and his bag of toy trains and I lost it. I screamed at him to STOP DUMPING OUT THE TOYS and apparently got the message through to him, because he turned around and started putting the toys away immediately.

I hate feeling like that kind of mom, the mom that doesn't let her kids play with toys because it makes a mess, and I'm really really really not that kind of mom, but everyone has their limits and I seem to be hitting mine. Gabe's sole purpose in life these days is to make messes. He walks over to his bookcase and dumps every single book out onto the floor in mere minutes. He throws all his balls all over the house. He empties every drawer in his play kitchen onto the floor. He goes into my diaper bag, takes out my wallet and throws my credit cards around the house. He throws trains behind the radiator, down the stairs, tries to flush them down the toilet. He has to be watched like a hawk, every second of the day.

At the same time, he was unbelievably cute today. He sang to me, danced along with music, brought books to Josie and "read" them to her. He ate everything I put in front of him with gusto and told me that my cooking was "yummy yummy". He is adorable, but sometimes I wonder how people do it.

Live life with a baby that screams SO FREAKING MUCH, and a toddler that is sweet and funny but busy busy busy. I found myself asking Josie under my breath to please just shut up for a few minutes, and I feel HORRIBLE about that, but really, I do have my limits. It is so exhausting to spend all day comforting her, bouncing her, holding her, and still have her screaming in my ear.

She laughed today, though. A real little laugh while I was pumping her legs and counting in a high pitched voice. We've heard her give a few "heh heh hehs" when we do something funny, but today sounded like a real miniature laugh. It was delicious. And I do love her to death, I just wish the fussiness would end. Soon.

It didn't help that we were homebound because Josh can't get his car out of the driveway because of all the snow, so he borrowed my car and accidentally took the car seats AND MY STROLLER with him. I had to cancel two plans with friends because we couldn't leave the house, and two snow days, two days in a row are never good for anyone.

Like I said. Highs and lows today. I'm hoping that a few hours of sleep will bring with it some of that patience I'm lacking around here.

minding their beeswax

I'm glad to hear that all of you are equally as outraged by this, because I was starting to wonder if maybe I was insane to think that all of this policing was getting out of hand. Under these laws, it would be illegal to leave kids strapped into the car while you run back into your house, pay for gas at the pump, put your cart back in the cart corral, walk your child to the front door of the school. This can't possibly be right. Shouldn't we should reserve our efforts for those people who leave their children in the car while they go shopping at the mall or go grab a drink at a bar? Sheesh.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, there is no official "can't leave your kid in your car" law in Massachusetts, but an officer has the power to charge you under existing Child Endangerment statutes if he or she feels that you are endangering your child, and that includes leaving a child unattended in the car. He scoffed at a couple of my examples, and said that we should use "common sense" when leaving children.

It's funny, though, because he stressed that younger children shouldn't be left alone, but I feel much safer leaving Gabe and Josie because neither one of them can move from their car seats. I don't have to worry about Gabe releasing the emergency brake or putting the car into drive. I'll worry more when he can get loose in the car and climb around.

The truth is that I'll be reconsidering what I do before I do it out of fear that a nosy neighbor might call the police on me. Let's hope they have enough to worry about without paying attention to my children.