Bittersweet Edition

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate Plus membership. The following podcast contains explicit language.

S2: Welcome to Mom and Dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday September 5th.

S3: The bitter sweet addition I’m Jamilah Lemieux a writer and cultural critic and mother to Naima who is six and a brand new almost Inglewood California resident. I’m Rebecca Lavoy.

S4: I’m a journalist and podcast are living in New Hampshire and I’m Mom to Henry who is 18 and my son Teddy who is 16 and a half and my step daughter Lily who is 19 and I’m Faith Smith executive producer of Slate life living in Virginia.

S3: I’m the mom of Benjamin who is 6 with 2 today on the show we have two very different questions one regarding a devastating family open secret the other from someone who isn’t a parent but once very badly to figure out just how she can be more helpful to those of her friends who are and on Slate Plus we’re talking about every parent’s absolute favorite time of the year back to school season if you want to hear that conversation come on over and join us on Slate Plus at Slate that com backslash mom and dad. Plus as we always do we’re kicking off the show with triumphs and fails. Looking back at how we’ve succeeded and how we’ve completely bombed parenting in the past week Rebecca do you have a triumph or fail. Last week you had a triumph.

S5: Thank you for keeping score. I know I just had to focus on the positive. I have a kid triumph and Amy fails so it’s a pairing. Teddy it’s his first year going to school by himself. His brother is now college so he’s been getting up every morning so far of the school year and driving himself to school getting up without being woken up taking a shower without being asked getting his stuff together brushing his teeth and just like heading out the door all by himself. Huge triumph because that was a huge thing we worried about because last year and the year before when Henry was driving to school it was always like Where’s Teddy. Is he up has he brushed his teeth. Has he in breakfast why is he watching YouTube on the couch. All that stuff but he seems really into it. He seems really like he’s like into the whole thing where he owns this and he wants to just like show he can do it which is cool but the fail on my part is that every single morning of the school year that we’ve been together keep in mind is with his dad some of the time with me some of the time every single morning I have said to him like I really want to make you a sandwich today. And it’s it’s actually something I enjoy doing. I love when the kids just do their own lunch. But like I actually really like making the sandwiches still. So I’m like every single day I’m like I’m going to go for a walk with the dogs when I come back on make your sandwich cool. And he’s always like Yeah. And then every single time I’ve come back from a walk with a dog he’s gone. So I actually I actually think he’s leaving on purpose like I keep like Facebook my walk I got yesterday morning I’d like left the house I go to this local park I go dropped the sidewalk walk the dogs off leash on this trail and I’m there and I’m like Oh right he’s. I know that he would typically leave at 730 but he’s been leaving it like 725 for some reason so I’m actually going to like run part of this so I can get home at like 7 18 and just catch him and tell him not to leave. And I did on my by the way broken leg like double run like after the walk drove back to the house got home at exactly 7 18 he was gone. So he has successfully avoided my one attempt at parenting and thus I have failed at not just making the damn sandwich the night before or somehow otherwise forcing him to accept my love. So I need to figure out a new strategy for next week and I’ll think about that because in the meantime this whole I’ll make you a sandwich. Please don’t leave yet. Thing has been a failure.

S6: Have you considered maybe making a few in advance and hanging them in the freezer. It’s a good thing really. You had to hide them. They’re like behind like put it behind something he wouldn’t he.

S5: I know you being. I just think he’s he’s really just rejecting my like he is Isaac Cusack rejecting the thing I’m trying to do and I it’s fine. He’s allowed to do that and I would. I’ll take the independents over if it means he’s rejecting my sandwich or whatever I’ll take that if as long as it means he’s leaving for school. But still I’m like Damn it. Got it.

S7: Is it cooler to buy lunch in the cafeteria than to bring something your mom made is not the issue he’s trying to be cool.

S5: No I wrote my sandwich is pretty awesome. I’ve never had any complaints about them. I think that he just like wants to just get out that when he’s done it like he’s ready to go he just wants to go. Like he’s like I’m committed to doing this and I’m just doing it. And if that means rejecting my mother’s love an awesome sandwich that’s what I’m doing. So anyway you’re doing your best.

S8: You’re doing your best Rebecca. How about you Faith.

S7: Have you one lost a little bit of both. Every day I’m sure I felt it today because it’s the only thing I’m thinking about lately. Somehow I have two children who are terrible morning people which I’m sure one day when they’re teenagers and adults is gonna be like an amazing thing that I’m proud of but they wake up by 530 every morning every day of the week. And as I mentioned in my oldest child is 6. So I am like years and I’m just being tired and if we happen to sleep till like six thirty or seven it’s like a huge victory. And I’ve tried everything. We have the puppy. Okay to wake up clock where its tummy turns from red to green when they’re allowed to get out of bed. And it worked for about three months spring and summer and we went away for two days only two days. And since then they do not care if puppy is red or green. 530 am. They’re in our room telling us puppy screen telling us it’s wake up time going into the kitchen and helping themselves to food. So we have to like get up because there’s a 2 year old involved. They can’t just like roam the house on their own. So my feel is I do not know how to get my children to stay in bed. They do go to bed pretty good at night. So in one regard that’s a triumph. But whenever I talk to a new parent and they ask when the sleeplessness ends I have no hope to offer because I don’t know yet when the sleeplessness ends and when you actually can get a good night’s sleep. So fail time do they go to bed. They do. They go to bed around 8 8. I mean they should they go to bed at 8:00. They should wake up around 6:00 like a 30 wake up around six thirty. So I am when they stay up late. If like we’re doing a thing and they’re up late there’s no sleep again. Like their internal clock is like get out of bed. It’s five thirty in the morning. Life is waiting for you.

S9: Oh I’m sorry. Yeah. That’s what I was thinking. Like well maybe if you just you know let them stay up a little bit later and watch SNL or something.

S7: You know I might just try it out of desperation out of having tried everything else. But yeah. They we stay up every now and then. I might get 15 extra minutes out of it or none at all. It’s wild.

S9: No no.

S6: I think we all can relate on some level. Well those of you who don’t let your kids stay up and watch us now. But most parents that’s the whole thing. So this week I actually I think I’ve been you know I maybe I I don’t know maybe I have some points on the board at this at this juncture. I think I had one last week but I know this week that I have a triumph because as I’ve been sharing with our dear listeners this summer since I got here I’m in transition between New York and the Los Angeles area and my little one. Her dad or step mom and her brother moved out there from Brooklyn in July and I am the last man standing.

S10: It’s taking me longer to get there than anyone else which was kind of always the plan but I think infinitely more traumatic once it actually began being executed particularly for me who every night feels like everyone hates me and my daughter you know she’s not even going to know me anymore because we’ve spent the summer apart even though I’ve been there twice and I’ll be there twice more before I’m there for good. But anyway I just feel like everyone hates me and I’ve ruined the whole family and you know because her dad and step mom had to like just be her parents this summer and not have you know shared custody thing. And anyway I have found an apartment. I am signing a lease today. There was an error on the one that they sent. So I hope that this. I hope this episode ages well and then next week. I’m not saying I have a big fail because I told you about my apartment before the ink was dry on the lease but I am at this point believe that I have an apartment and I’m actually leaving and I’m done with New York at the end of this month and I’m going to spend half of it out there anyway. But it’s I am going to be a parent again is what I’m saying. So I hope you all listening. Look forward to me actually having stories about my child to tell because I’m going to be getting to know her again after a few weeks away.

S5: That’s awesome. Congratulations. Thank you. Indeed I’ve been enjoying following your rage tweets about people stop asking me if I have an apartment.

S11: Oh my God it was so. Oh it’s. And I feel bad in his majesty of.

S6: It was like the whole move. You know I know it literally especially if I was like stressed out about life because I do freelance writing and consulting work. So those are contract jobs you know or one of things. So that’s a dance. It’s a delicate balance of you know sometimes high sometimes low when you’re trying to take this action on the road that can be kind of scary. So I love everyone and I’m very grateful. Anyone who thought to ask me about you know did this big huge life transition that we’re making as a unit but the. Are you nervous. Are you ready. Are you scared. Do you have an apartment. I bet it’s hard to find a apartment. Do you have a car. You don’t have a car. We have. Everybody has have car in L.A. I’m like. Have you ever left New York. You know. Well no. But then how do you know that everyone in L.A. has a car that I have to have a car the day I get there anyway. The movie The the speculation and the inquiries and the well intended anxiety inducing questions and offers of support can come to an end very soon because I’m getting out of here.

S8: I’m excited I’m handling business. And before we get into our questions for this week let’s handle a little business of our own. Slate’s parenting newsletter is the best place to be notified by all of our fantastic parenting content including this podcast. Mom and Dad are fighting the care and feeding column. I’m one of the contributors for that one. Ask a teacher and much much more. You want to stay in touch with us. Sign up at Slate that com backslash parenting email. And as usual if you have a question that you would like for us to consider answering on the podcast leave us a message. Old school style at 4 2 4 2 5 5 7 8 3 3. Dan listens to all of the messages himself and transcribes them and chooses the questions that we’re going to ask every week 4 2 4 2 5 5 7 8 3 3. Or you can send us an email at mom and dad at Slate dot com. And if you’re one of the fortunate few to have your questions selected it might even be read by the fabulous Sasha Lennard. You can also check out our Facebook group argue and celebrate all the fantastic things that my colleagues and I have talked about and care and feeding. You can weigh in on episodes of Mom and Dad are fighting. You can connect with your fellow parents and make new friends and set up play dates. It’s wonderful. It’s a great community and it is also moderated so it doesn’t get out of control. We’re not gonna let anyone abuse you or us so just search. Slate parenting on Facebook. You might even see me in there every once in a while but not too often because Facebook scares me and I’ve allowed my family to have it in Slate Plus. Today we’re going to be talking about back to school time sitting off the little ones. Or perhaps the big ones as Rebecca had to do this year off to college off to kindergarten. Off your couch and out the door and we’re going to talk about all the good bad and ugly things that go with it all while all the ones that we could fit in a few minutes.

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S9: Go to Slate. That come back slash mom and dad plus and join the cool kids at Slate Plus to day so we are starting off the conversation on a very serious note.

S6: I want to give you a warning that this is a difficult question that we received today is was sent to us via Mom and Dad at Slate that com Hi Mom and Dad are fighting.

S13: I live out of the country with my toddler daughter but my mom and dad brother and sister in law and niece and nephew all live in the small town of 3000 people where I grew up. Recently my brother and sister in law were over at their sister’s house who runs a daycare and their 9 year old son grabbed my 5 year old niece pulled her into his bedroom lock the door pulled all of her clothes off and no one knows everyone saw him pull her into the room were banging on a door for him to unlock it and when he finally did he was pulling up his pants. Neither he nor my niece have talked about exactly what happened. My niece has since been waking up sobbing at night but I think her parents are figuring out the best way to deal with the situation. They’ve already put their house up for sale and I’m working on a way to move as soon as possible. My sister in law has informed her sister that there won’t be any shared family time for the foreseeable future. I think she’s looking into taking her to see someone but it’s a small town and options are limited.

S14: It turns out that the 9 year old’s grandfather was sexually abusive to some of his children. Details are scarce and he’s no longer living. The kid’s mom my sister in law sister refuses to send him to a therapist or counselor and refuses to address the fact that in running a daycare she’s putting other kids at risk. This is the heart of the question. Both my mom and I feel like she cannot continue to run to daycare and something needs to be done. But it’s a small town and I don’t see anyone besides myself being comfortable enough a confrontation to insist she close it down or else on my instincts even right.

S15: I mean of course they’re right. Right. Thanks.

S9: Well as I said this is a very difficult question but not really that difficult but a difficult to process and certainly to experience a set of events that have happened. Rebecca. You want to weigh in first.

S16: Yeah this is really difficult because it involves people you know. This is one of those situations where you have to imagine it involves people you don’t know and what you would do in that situation at least that’s how I think of it. This is beyond whether or not your sister in law. This is beyond whether or not this woman and her family should have a daycare in their home. They clearly should not. And it does not matter how small of a town they’re in. There are regulatory agencies that oversee whether or not someone should have a daycare or not. And it is cut and dry that these people should not have a daycare in their home. I’m also very concerned that it sounds like your niece was sexually assaulted by this other kid. And the solution here is moving away maybe taking them to see a counselor and nobody is really addressing what’s going on here is that this 9 year old kid who as it’s laid out here we don’t really know but was very likely the victim of the abuse himself which is not uncommon for kids who are the victim of abuse to then become abusers on their own. That is something that is you know known that there needs to be an intervention here a legal intervention if you were in any profession that made you a mandatory reporter you would be legally required to contact the police in a situation where everybody in the family witnessed the sexual assault happening somebody. And yes it can and should be you if no one else is willing to do it needs to contact the police. What will typically happen obviously depends on jurisdiction depends on the state is that this will be treated as a juvenile matter. There will be interviews there will be an investigation some sort of child services agency will become involved and it will be difficult but it is also critical and it’s not black or white. This is I’m sorry. And it is also critical and it’s not gray area. This is black or white. There are other kids besides your niece and besides the kids in this daycare at peril. If a child who is abusing other kids is not gotten help immediately and aggressively and if the situation is not uncovered and looked into. This is a incredibly serious matter and yes it can and probably will cause difficulties for everyone involved yourself included. But I think given that the fact that you told us and the fact that you already sounds like you’re leaning in this direction you know it’s the right thing to do. It’s not just about threatening shutting down the daycare. It’s about taking action. Call the local police in this town if you don’t get if you don’t get any reaction if they don’t follow back up with you call a mandatory reporter call the school counselor at one of the kids schools call somebody who is required to follow up. This is really serious and you need to intervene.

S7: Faith what do you think. Yeah I agree with Rebecca on the seriousness of the matter. I’m so sorry this happened to you there. There needs to something really terrible situation and I am glad to hear that it sounds like her brother and sister La are taking it very seriously. I’m there’s a lot to unpack rashly moving away. Seems like a slightly odd reaction. And I wonder if there’s like a history of family conflict there. So the letter writer specifically asks if if she should confront them directly and threaten to shut down the daycare and I think I think that no you should probably not do it but you definitely need to report it.

S17: I don’t tend to think going to the police is always the first and best response especially when children are involved. But every state has local licensing agency responsible for in-home day care even if the person is operating a licensed daycare then somebody will immediately come and check out and investigate the situation hopefully a social worker somebody with training in situations like this if they’re not licensed then they will immediately be shut down. So I think like that should be the number one step.

S18: And I think reaching out to maybe the local school is is probably a good idea especially if any of the children at the local school are going there that they know of.

S17: I also I I kind of want like a family tree so I can figure out a little what’s happening because the grandfather of the nephew and what I don’t understand if that is the father of the sister in law or not and if it is I will just say that she probably should go seek counseling herself because if she herself has been a victim of child abuse this is probably reawakening a lot of trauma and fear that she might be that she might have had in her past. So I think like the families should really think about this is like a family trauma. You know we don’t know what happened in those few minutes but we know the daughter’s privacy was invaded. We know that something bad happened and inappropriate and that needs to be addressed. I also if I may while am a soap box I should say that it is I would like everybody all the parents listening to calmly and regularly talk to their children about body autonomy and privacy and it is never too early. I talk about it with my two and sexual all the time even when I’m changing my 2 year old time for I talk about private areas who’s not allowed to touch it touch it who’s not allowed to look at it I just think like you don’t wait for something scary and happen to have that conversation it just needs to be a part of everyday life.

S6: I agree. I know for me growing up it was certainly so much a part of my everyday life. That it could be a little bit overwhelming at times.

S12: But yeah we had to remind our children over and over again that we have a right to our bodies and there is a way that people who are you know are not our parents or a select number of trusted adults are able to touch us or bathe us or clean us or otherwise engage with us and that anyone else that attempts to violate that is violating US and that we insofar as we can. You know we had to let our kids know we had to teach them to defend themselves which is difficult because of the size difference between a 9 year old and a 5 year old can be a tremendous one or could be one that’s not that substantial you know or significant and it could be also a matter of the trust that this little girl may have had for her cousin. I believe this is her cousin until this incident took place.

S6: You know if hopefully this was the first and only time that something like this has happened between the two of them or that has happened to her. But you know I would want and it makes me think about some some conversations I need to resurface with my 6 year old. You know that that delicate balance between trying to protect yourself try to you know fence someone off as you can without subjecting yourself to the possibility of more physical violence.

S12: But before I even think about what they should be doing in response to what’s already taken place I don’t know about you all but I’m so stuck on their 9 year old son grab my 5 year old niece pulled her into a bedroom locked the door in front of everyone saw him pull her into the room where banging on the door for him to unlock it. So and when he finally did he was pulling up his pants. Number one.

S19: How how I want to see the family tree as well like how many people you know make up this everybody. How many people watched this happen and you know is this the first sign of trouble from this kid.

S6: It’s hard for me to imagine that a child who would think to drag you know not not say Hey you want to come play with me or not just simply close the door to a room where he and his cousin were already seated and maybe watching a video or something but that he would pull her into the room for the explicit person purpose of seemingly doing some sort of act of sexual abuse and that would nothing like this has happened before.

S9: Yeah. Number two considering how unlikely I think it is that this is the first sign of inappropriate or you know if nothing else a wildly aggressive behavior from this little boy you’re banging on the door. What what’s the disconnect between this child and authority the authority of his family.

S19: You know I mean it at 9 years old if you so much as particularly people who are my parents like I maybe I guess certainly I mouth off to my mother and sometimes to my father you know roll my eyes or you know deliberately disobey but it was rare that they watched me do it. You’re doing it directly in front of you and doing something as messed up. Is this in front of more than one per everybody so that’s I’m going to assume at least three people right watched this happen.

S9: I I would just think that a child that distrustful. I’d be trying to knock the door down. I I’m very suspicious of what might be going on. The daycare center not just with her son but with other adults in this family possibly her.

S5: Well these people aren’t getting any. I mean they’re not getting this kid any help. And while it’s your and how to like think about calling I mean I still stand by that calling the police or are calling you know calling a mandatory reporter who has to call the police that sometimes a good way to do it because then it’s not you that has to give the police report. But you know this is why it’s important because there’s something going on with this kid too. And it’s more than about getting this 9 year old in trouble. It’s about uncovering what is likely a systemic problem that is putting other kids at risk at school at church at the daycare other neighbors. I mean this kid behaved aggressively in front of adults without care for consequence. That is far more obvious a thing to report than hey these two kids were alone together a while and we suspect something may have happened but we don’t really know. And this is creating an uncomfortable dynamic. This is this is like I mean that’s also bad. And that is also something that needs to be vetted in its own way. This to me is just much much more clear cut and you. Very effectively pointed to all the reasons why I had that reaction.

S9: OK well that was quite a.

S6: That was quite a thing that was not necessarily the easiest conversation that we’ve had to have here on this show.

S5: It’s important though you know it really is I think is the kind of kind of conversations that if we had more often not just on this show but in our own families we might not find ourselves in these situations if people were comfortable talking about their own experiences with molestation if we were comfortable talking about this is clearly the right thing to do and the fraught dynamics at Thanksgiving are not as important as this. You know what I mean. So I’m glad I’m glad we answered it.

S7: Absolutely.

S12: I’m glad we did to me to a second question this week comes from someone who isn’t a parent and is also raising an issue that I think we should talk about a little bit more. I’ll be at one that’s a lot lighter and easier to process.

S9: And she came to us I believe via e-mail. The letter says Dear Mom and Dad are fighting. I need an honest answer to a seemingly simple question due to health reasons and personal choices I am and will remain childless but I love and respect my friends and value being a part of their babies and their children’s lives. My question is what is the most helpful thing I can do to support my friends and family members who have kids. Honestly First I would like to just say thank you for your question my friend.

S12: Thank you for making peace with what’s going on with you and you and your dad the fact that you are not interested and will not be pursuing parenthood on your own but that you still care about what we go through and that you love the children in your village and feel a sense of responsibility to support their parents.

S19: Most people do not think they do. I don’t know if they do. What do you think.

S7: I love this letter writer. I agree. I think that I wish more people had this mentality or talked about her felt open to talk about it. I I love it. We we should say that this letter was unsigned but we’ve nicknamed this letter writer supportive auntie and I think everybody needs the support of Auntie in their life.

S20: And you know the way we live now a lot of people are raising their families far away from grandparents and aunts and uncles and we don’t have a village and so if I had any wonderful volunteers to join my village I would happily accept like I’m always taking applications.

S5: I think this letter writer is perfectly primed to do exactly what I would have wanted my childless friends to do especially my kids were little one is keep trying to make plans with me and don’t take any. Like my saying no to things as if you should never call me again when you’re doing something fun just like keep trying keep me on your list keep me in your rolodex keep inviting me eat your barbecues keep asking me out for a glass of wine I’ll be grateful for the invite be I will feel good to no longer be like you know off the list I really wanted to stay on the list and then always get put off the list 100 percent yes it’s hard so yes keep asking me ask me first ask me among the first wave don’t assume I can’t do things I don’t assume I don’t want to and going hand-in-hand with that is don’t take you know the things that do get lost when you have little kids and you’re negotiating all those you know mostly transactional B.S. things like kids you need to go to bed at seven thirty or eight o’clock at night which means you can’t go anywhere don’t take that as your friendship isn’t valuable to me so find ways to connect in the little spaces in between that do work you know coffee during front half of the day kindergarten or you know the Sunday morning breakfast like some new tradition or even just a phone call or you know a text thread it can even be like real thankful those spaces.

S6: So that’s what I’d say do what you’re doing and be understanding and don’t take your friends with the kids off your socialists please please don’t do it I would like to triple emphasize that that it took me a year and I didn’t make it back on all the list unfortunately but because I’m a co parenting mom and many married and partner moms get nights off or negotiate you know a time where they can go do their thing and their partner and go do their thing another night.

S19: But you know I’ve always had a more like a somewhat of a routine or like regularly having two days to myself each week you know. And so that I would sometimes just be at home bored because you know nobody invited me out and then I’d look on Instagram and be like but you all are out you know. Yeah well we thought you were with the baby you know. So yes don’t leave people off the list.

S17: I think like new moms or new parents what they feel they have to offer. It feels so much less so than what they used to be able to offer there’s less time less energy less coolness and I think that. I look back at when I had my first my first son and a friend of mine would come by on Monday nights with a bottle of wine occasionally a toy for the baby and I would put the baby down and we’d watch the bachelor together and it was so great.

S20: And that’s exactly what I needed I think I would not have put it out there that I just wanted to come to my house and put the bed and watch The Bachelor with me when the baby sleeps.

S18: But I think like Oprah acknowledging verbally that you would like to hang out with them and their children when applicable is key it will go a really long way because I don’t feel cool in finding a friend to like come to the park with me and watch my kid play but it’s the time I have.

S20: So I think exactly Yeah I think this friend every friend out there who wants to be supportive who wants to continue and build the friendship with the children and the growing family involved I think just say it put it out there make the offer call and say What are you guys doing on Saturday I’d love to see you. Not something that’s going to be demanding and see if they can incorporate you into it. And I I personally would love to hear that from my friends.

S5: Tag along tag along to the playground at the museum or Chucky Cheese or whatever why not just do it.

S9: Well before we wrap things up it’s my favorite time of the podcast where we share something that we like something our kids likes something that we think you might like. It is time for recommendations. Let’s start with you Faith.

S12: What do you recommend to our mom and dad or fighting listeners to day. You see I was giving you a little time to get ready.

S20: I like that. Thank you. So my recommendation is I think very out of character if anybody knows me but I’m going to recommend join a fancy gym. I finally did it when my a year ago we joined a gym near our house. It’s like a sports club and they have like a kid room and there’s like a steam room and I can use all the towels I want and I wash them when I take a shower and it’s been the best thing ever. And I’m not recommending anybody go for exercise or to get in shape but I have found that investment that monthly investment in a gym membership for me and my family has like changed my life for the better. I have alone time I mean a long time when I’m not like working or commuting and I have my time and the kids are engaged while I’m doing my own thing and even my husband is enjoying it. And so go out there find a fancy gym if you can afford it. And honestly if you’re playing if you’re paying for kids to do like Gymboree or whatever it just save that money and do the family gym and if you’re in the DMV I’m going to recommend you go to St. James which is my gym that I love so much.

S9: Nice. Very nice. OK. What about you Rebecca. What do you recommend.

S5: I’m going to recommend making your kids when they set up their own checking account. I sign up with Venmo so it’s easy to give them money when they’re on the fly and out and about and doing things is just like immediately in their checking account. Plus it’s a super fun way of spying on them and their financial transactions with other people. And while I do not generally advocate spying on my kids it is super fun to see what they’re sending people other money other people money for and what they’re calling it. Like my half of the pizza or that thing I told you I would pay for the one thing I would not recommend is reminding your kids that you can see their transactions Venmo go right with you then they’ll change your settings to private but for me especially with Henry at college it’s been a couple of times where it’s like things I want to pay for like 20 bucks for this 20 bucks for that. It’s just been a super awesome tool and I used it the other night with Teddy when he was just out with his friends and realized that he didn’t have enough cash to leave a tip at a restaurant and that is very fucking important to me that my kids not be shitty tippers. So I was like lemons venue 20 bucks right now so you can make sure that your stupid friends and you don’t leave with a terrible tip for this poor server who had to deal with you for the last hour.

S6: That is very good. It’s I. Reminisce my very brief stint as a waitress at Red Lobster today on the phone. My mom and then I cried on the floor during English shrimp because my hips were so bad. It’s the worst. Yes. In addition to getting your kids set up on them please teach them to tip and to tip well. I would recommend. There are so many things that I like at this point in my life and so many of them are so inaccessible. I would say to me. That’s who you are. I’m not saying I’m I’m I’m high.

S11: I’m not hiding my wealthy habits. It’s like I was too busy to take care of myself. OK I’ve got what I’m going to recommend coworking spaces right.

S10: I say I feel very like Kramer showing up with an idea from ten years ago.

S3: Like you’ve tried frozen yogurt. Not really.

S6: I like like like many people as I spent a good majority of my career working in an office or you know for a place that provided me with the space you know where I did the thing that I get paid to do.

S11: And now I don’t have that and so I am in fact they don’t even want to let me in the Slate office when I have to explain myself to people like no really I know but I’m glad I’m going.

S6: I might be dressing like I’m going to the beach but I’m actually here to talk about fair and saying yes I am the lady you haven’t seen with the child in a really long time. How did you know. But now I like to recommend coworking spaces. I’ve been saying I want to join one for a long time and I just got into a habit of going to a coffee shop. Then you always end up having to spend money on food or drinks and then there’s a bar by my house where I bring my laptop sometimes and they probably think I’m super lonely and have no friends even though I’ve brought dates and stuff in there or whatever but I’m there more often than not with my laptop. But then that means that I’m you know I’m drinking and so with coworking spaces you of course have a place that you pay a monthly fee for and you can go oftentimes very late hours. Some of them are 24 hours a day some of them close at eleven or twelve o’clock at night. And you know you have a typically well ventilated comfortable place to sit maybe with couches and chairs and one coworking. App I guess or platform in particular Chris site allows you to pay a weekly or monthly rate or to buy blocks of hours and you have your choice of a lot of different coworking spaces. So I’d open up the app now and say look okay it’s three o’clock. You know I I needs to go somewhere in the financial district or I want to go back over to Bushwick. You know what’s open. Who has seats. And I have my choice of tons of coworking spaces as opposed to belonging to just one which I was kind of a little bit weird about when I decide that I want to do it because I was like well does that just kind of become an office. Is it like the same you know boring. You know just kind of monotony of the same views and the same air and the same sea and all that stuff every day. But like I go to different coworking spaces around the city pretty much every day during the week and sometimes on the weekends and I get to see new people that I nod my head at and not speak. And it’s great.

S21: I recommend coworking and if you want to co-worker around like the little coworking slit that you are trying and that you guys is our show the first episode of Mom and Dad are fighting that was hosted by me. Thank you for listening. If you have a question that you would like for us to talk about on the air leave us a message at 4 2 4 2 5 5 7 8 3 3 or send an email to Mom and Dad at Slate that com and of course join us on Facebook by searching for Slate parenting and hopefully one of us.

S6: Evil moderator overlords will be kind enough to allow you to get in. It took a long time for me to gain the group to their questions. They make you dance and I just wrote I’m one of the writers. Can I just Please whoever was moderating wasn’t tickled by that even though I think it was Dan.

S21: Mom and Dad are fighting. It’s produced by the one and only just Jupiter. I’m Jimmy Little and the half on Rebecca and faith.

S22: Thank you so much for joining us this week and we’ll talk to you soon.

S8: Hello. Sleep less listeners use supportive bunch you. You are still listening to Mom and Dad are fighting and our guests Faith Smith and I are gonna be talking about our I don’t know how you where you stand on the matter of faith but my lease slash most favorite time of the year sending the kids back to school. Tell us a little bit about what back to school has been like for your kids this year. Faith have they start again. Are you getting ready.

S7: So I my son went back to school for first grade on August 1st actually. So we’re a month in. I know it’s crazy we are local public schools. I’m like you around school more or less than they take five weeks off in the summer and I have to tell you I feel very blessed that the the way the counter works the break is so short. The flow never really breaks up not much. I didn’t go by a bunch of new clothes because he was storing the stuff he was asking go ended in June. Yeah exactly. And that I didn’t have to buy supplies I ordered them from the PTA which is something that isn’t an option when you’re like starting your first year because by the time you get there and show up and get enrolled it’s like that opportunity is passed. So this year has been a breeze for me and I like wish upon everyone that it was such a breeze when when we started kindergarten last year it was like hours and hours and hours of thought and preparation and nervousness on my part. He was more than excited. And this year has been such a breeze I feel guilty for I feel guilty because I know it’s so traumatic for somebody’s parents and we only have one in scoring now so it makes it super simple. So how has it been for you.

S6: This has been a very different back to school season for me. I also have one child who’s six and also a first grader and we are in the middle of this cross-country move so she made out with her dad’s household to California in July and school start on August 20th. I don’t get there for good. I’ll be there tomorrow but I don’t get there for good until the 30th. So I’ve been back and forth a bit but this is you know the back and school process and the new uniform and the new school. I went up there and registered her and all that stuff with her dad. But like I haven’t met her teacher yet. She’s been in school for two weeks she’s got a whole life without me isn’t it. It’s been weird and you know we face time and I’ve seen pictures and she looks so keener uniform and I’ve bought her son you know I sent her a uniform that thought she would find to be really cute and some special pink sneakers that look just like the ones her dad bought her for the first day of school. But that’s OK because she you know it was the thought that counts and it’s six years since it’s thought still counts for something but. But it’s been weird but I’d I would say it has been good for me to watch the enthusiasm and joy that my child and her little friends and other kids that I you know get to engage with a bit have for the beginning of the school year and seeing all the bright smiling faces Instagram and Facebook because I don’t know I think I may have been around third grade.

S2: But back to school time for me I face I hated it so much. Oh no.

S9: My one year I wrote a letter like two to the mayor.

S19: No I wasn’t that staff. I wrote a letter. I must at eight or nine to Walgreen’s asking them to stop for the love of all that is only advertising. Back to School sales in July when you know practice you know a likely verbatim quote when we kids are trying to enjoy our summer and be.

S7: Doreen and our parents don’t rein in our pride. I love that complaint. I know. I think school is so much more play bass now than it used to be like it used to be such a drag and maybe like one day it will be but kids love school right now at least young ones and I definitely want to do everything I can to like keep that feeling alive for him.

S6: Absolutely. I am I think part of it is like you said to play bass and the technology you know they enjoy screens like they’re not share. You know many schools you know not all schools are so fortunate. But even public schools in areas that you know are moderate to low income typically have some sort of technology presence in them that exceeds anything that we had back in the day. So if you could give our listeners just one tip that you have for parents that might be struggling either getting ready for school to start or have just got back in the swing of things and are having a hard time. What’s one thing that you suggest that they do to make this transition back into the more normal day to day life.

S7: A little bit easier I think at the beginning. It’s very easy. We parents get overwhelmed and we overthink everything and we want our children I’m the most perfect social life and activities in mobile and I think honestly like don’t do that like focus on this huge thing that’s happening and let all the other stuff kind of go by the wayside for a while. If they need to take a break from karate or piano for like the first six weeks to get you and the family back in the rhythm do it also order some roasted chicken on the way home. Don’t kill yourself making dinner every night because you are only human and your children are pretty tired. Men really care what they eat.

S6: Don’t overdo it don’t overdo it. I absolutely agree. I would definitely suggest stopping and ordering something or picking up something from the grocery store and saving yourself the headache of having to cook especially if that’ll push you to take the time to pack a lunch. I don’t know like I’ve yet to have a school year where you know we’re in first grade now so we’ve been at school for a few years at this point. I have not made it through an entire school year where like I was a consistent lunch maker we have you know there’s ebbs and flows but I think that starting off the school year on that note with the things that you really want to at least try to do all year round be it from enforcing an appropriate bedtime where your kids get enough sleep and you know if there’s a rule about we don’t use screens or tablets in the morning during breakfast that we you know we start the school year that way and that you kind of outline your intentions and what do I want and need from our routine what is our you know my child or our children or our kid need to to have a successful year and let’s really be intentional about like setting things in motion now. And I’d also say because some of the kids might be feeling a let down from the transition from summer time and perhaps camp or grandma’s house or the couch to a classroom and maybe a uniform to let the weekends really be fun. You know don’t absolutely not fill them simply with school related things like oh you know we’ve got to get more uniforms and we’ve gotta get your shots and we’ll get the please give me shots please get the shots as kids go to school my kids definitely don’t skip that don’t really don’t get the shot but take the time to do something fun maybe go to Chuckie Cheese take him to see a movie go for a special dinner on Friday night on the first week of school but just absolutely make time for good fun not school related activities for your family because it’s going to be all homework and report cards and yes sleepy heads and misery soon enough or not maybe you’ll be good it’ll be good because that’s how we’re starting the year with her start strong.

S8: A good added to add and excitement and enthusiasm and that’s it for Slate Plus. Thank you so much for joining us and for supporting the important work that we do at Slate and we will talk to you again next week.