The “Is Elmo Petty?” Edition

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S1: The following podcast contains explicit language.

S2: Welcome to mom and dad are fighting late parenting podcast for Thursday, January 13, the is Elmo Petit Edition. I’m Jamilah Lemieux, a writer contributor to Slate’s care and feeding parenting column, and mom to Naima, who’s eight and a half. And we live in Los Angeles.

S1: I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. I write the homeschool and family travel blogs attached. Excuse I’m the mom to three Littles Henry, who’s nine, Oliver, who’s seven, and Teddy, who’s five, and we live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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S3: And I’m Zack Rosen. I host the Best Advice Show podcast, and I live in Detroit with my family. Noah is for an army is one

S2: on today’s show. Grab a knife and some veggies. We’re heading into the kitchen to help one mom sort out some meatless meals that her kids won’t completely hate. And then we’re diving into one of life’s most complicated relationships. The one you have with your siblings is their secrets to raising kids who form lifelong bonds versus ones that spend the rest of their lives tearing each other apart. And then we’ve got some special guest joining us the great Rachel and Madison from In Case You Missed It. Slate’s podcast on Internet Culture Hour, stopping by to explain Elmo feud with Iraq. Confused. I’m not because I’m a smoking hot millennial, and I saw the whole thing play out from the beginning, so I know exactly what’s going on with Elmo and the Rock. But I believe at least one of my co-hosts is, I don’t know a damn thing. You all maybe, too. So don’t worry, we got the four one one for you later in the show. And on Slate Plus, we’re talking about family activities that we’re currently enjoying around the house these days. As always, we’re going to get the show started with a round of triumphs and failed Zak. Can you kick things off?

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S3: Sure. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of triumphs lately. It’s not because my life is so great, but it’s because the world is in need of just some small triumphs. So I just want to assure you, listener, I’m, you know, I’m struggling just as much as as the next parent, but I’m going to offer a triumph because yet again, my my daughter’s school is not open. We’ve been delayed two weeks. We were supposed to go back, you know, originally on the third, and they thought because of COVID, let’s push it a week and there are more cases, so they’ve pushed it to week. So she has been home now for more than a month and it’s freezing. I live in Detroit, it’s freezing right now. It’s so cold we can’t go to the park, it’s just too cold. And so my triumph is she’s super into climbing trees and climbing at the park. So we knew that she might be interested in this. There’s a climbing gym that opened very close to our house, like two miles away, and my wife took Noah, our four year old, for the first time last week, and she really took to it. It’s this amazing thing that you can do if you are in a cold weather place and your kid needs to expend some energy, a climbing gym, it’s safe. It’s so cool. And we took her twice last week. I just got back taking her for the third time in two weeks and she’s like climbing up that wall and she’s got the cutest little harness and it’s been a great way to not go. So stir crazy in our house and to kind of have something to look forward to during these days when we’re not seeing other humans inside and it’s too cold to go outside. So, uh, little little climber, we got over here.

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S1: I love some rock climbing. Now is your gym. The South Ballet’s like the automatic blazer. You blaming her.

S3: They have both options and because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. She’s doing the auto ballet and I’m just taking pictures and like pushing her butt up when she asks for boost.

S1: I love it. A lot of pictures, some bouldering as well, because that’s very posh. Yes, sir. And that’s like, great for this age. And it’s I feel like it’s so much safer. I mean, I let my kids do all kinds of things outside. That’s probably not incredibly safe. But at the gym, it feels like there’s so much less supervision required that it’s super nice.

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S3: The ground is so soft, right?

S1: Yeah, exactly. It’s not really falling onto the rocks.

S3: That’s so cool.

S2: That’s awesome. Cool.

S1: So I’m climbing kind of a similar I’m taking a triumph because I can’t take any more fails. But my triumph is really just surviving the shit show that my house has become. So school went back last week sometime, but due to numbers here and no mask mandates in school and just, you know, 30 percent of the class being out, we decided that we would not send Henry, who has this autoimmune disorder back to school this week and kind of watch numbers, which means that I am taking my first foray into virtual learning, synchronous learning, whatever you want to call it, whereby I am not in control of the material. But I have to supervise the material, and I feel like the only advantage and the reason that we are surviving this is because learn from all of all of your fails, dear listeners, in doing this, that I was very proactive about which things I thought we actually needed this kind of virtual learning. So like, for example, he called in today to reading because they have a storyteller there. They’re working on indigenous stories and the tradition of that. And so they have someone that comes in and does this. That is something that I can’t recreate at home. So he called in on Microsoft Teams and one of his little friends carried his laptop to the auditorium where they’re all sitting and doing this, and we watch on on video, which was really cool. But I also was able to email his amazing math teacher and just say, Listen, I’ve been teaching math for the last couple of years, homeschooling. I have the books home. I actually have our own curriculum that we were planning to use before we decided to do this, this full time outdoor school this year. And is that OK with you? How do you want me to check in? And he was like, That’s great. If you want to call in, I will set up a teams meeting. But if you want to just handle it, here’s what we’re covering. And obviously, I’ve built I’m there a lot at school volunteering, so the teachers all know me and I have a good relationship with them. But it has been nice to be able to say like, these are the things and the teachers that I know he needs to be present for. This is the stuff that really we can do at home and half the time and just cover. But of course, I also have my other kids home, and this has really thrown Oliver off just being kind of off cycle. We’re not sending Teddy into his preschool either, just for the same reasons. And it seems like if we’re trying to keep, you know, Henry healthy, we should keep as many people home as we can. So that’s what we’re doing this week. Oliver had kind of this massive meltdown. He has ADHD and so things can become overwhelming very quickly. And he ended up somehow it was like we just lost control of a dinner situation. He threw some chickpeas and we were trying to like, talk about, don’t throw the chickpeas and the next thing I know. He slammed a plate on the counter and it shattered. And that just like I think he thought we were going to kick him out of the house, even though that’s not something we’ve ever done or would do. He, like, completely lost his mind was like running around the house screaming, and I was just so proud that Jeff and I were like, This is a shit show. It’s totally fine. You are just going to calm everyone down. We ended up just like getting out a board game and all playing together once he calmed down and then having him clean up after that. And then he voluntarily asked if he could pay for the plate. So I felt like that was a really good, you know, like, OK, he’s still not totally in control of his emotions, but at least we’re we’re we’re making it through. But in the in the moment, it was like, OK, now we’re now we’re slamming plates on the ground. It’s great. So we’re still here.

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S3: What did you tell him when he offered to pay?

S1: We accepted the money because I feel like he did break the plate, and this is like his money that he uses for spending on, you know, little toys and stuff he wants. And I think that’s an important lesson. He he did break the plate on purpose. Like he said, I was trying to break the plate and it’s like, OK, that’s very different than if you drop a plate by accident, right? Cody, yes, he even went online and saw exactly how much, you know, the IKEA versus $400. Yeah, that will be all of your money. No, but I mean, I think it ended up being, you know, like three something because the plate is legitimately from IKEA, the ones the kids eat off of. And he I think it’s a good for him to understand the value of of things, you know, and we made sure to just say we still really love you, but I really appreciate how this helps make me feel like you understood what you did and replace, you know, my plate that you broke. So.

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S2: That’s the triumph, I totally claim the fact that one of your kids broke a plate and was willing to pay for it as a triumph.

S1: Let’s let’s be clear, though, that the offer to pay came like an hour and a half fine.

S2: Think of it.

S1: So be the getting there was difficult.

S2: The journey.

S1: It was a journey. Jamilah what about you?

S2: Well, I’m going to keep it simple. Naima got to school today. Today was the first day back in three weeks and one day and she was on time. That is a triumph enough? Nothing else matters. Hmm.

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S1: That’s great. The great thing you did, she had all her stuff on time, all her stuff.

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S2: I believe that her tablet made its way into her book bag. I am not going to ruin my day by finding your problem otherwise.

S1: Now no one’s called you for it, right? Not me. OK, listen, I know you’re you’re. You’re holding

S2: Odinga. I’m doing good you. She had her negative COVID test. She was ready to go. We made it. We’re back in school. Thank God, thank God. That’s that’s great. The long time I like Zak, I understand, and I just know it’s a matter. I hate to say it, but like any day now, we’re going to. It’s going to be our turn to sit down for two weeks. It’s just, you know, like it’s just too common. Like, I’m getting notifications pretty frequently about positive cases within the school. You know, it just hasn’t hit her class yet. So we’ve been really lucky. I hope we’re, you know, continuing to be lucky, but I’m not going to take for granted that we’re going to have school. You know, one day at a time.

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S3: Totally one day, one hour at a time

S2: when we’re essentially one hour at a time, literally one hour at a time. All right, let’s move on to our first listener question. Read by Joshua Leonhard.

S4: Dear mom and Dad, what are your favorite kid friendly? Vegetarian recipes can be, but doesn’t need to be vegan for veggie nights. We tend to prefer meals that are meatless versus substitute meats, things like grilled cheese with lentil soup or enchiladas with potatoes and beans instead of using beyond ground beef. Our family’s New Year resolution, once again, is to eat meatless three days a week. I’ve accomplished this in the past with Blue Apron slash gobble deliveries, but they’re just not the kid’s favorite dinner nights. I want to come up with a simple rotation of six meals this year, thanks in advance for your ideas. Meatless mom.

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S2: All right, Zak, let’s start with you. How many great meatless suggestions can you churn out really quickly?

S3: You want me just to list them?

S2: No, I think you go, OK.

S3: In fact, I’m actually cooking one of our favorite meatless meals right now. I can smell. I can smell the stuff coming from the oven. So I find that squash is just a great thing to kind of add to pasta as a kind of creamy situation you can add cheese to because you’re not trying to be cheese less, you just trying to to be meatless. But right now I’m roasting some some butternut squash and using that as an excuse to sneak in some other vegetables too, that I’ll later puree. So I’m I’m roasting butternut squash with onions, tomatoes, garlic and a little bit of Rosemary, and I’m just going to puree that and just pour it on pasta, and it’s going to be this really creamy. I’m actually going to add some ricotta, too, because you only live once, you know? So that’s just like a great creamy pasta thing. You could also add it to farro or barley if you’re trying to be less carb. But like, why would you be less curvy? We had a lot of pasta in our house, so that’s a perennial favorite. Black bean burgers is another good one. It’s meat ish but and full of protein and might be able to kind of give you the same, you know, hamburger vibes. But but while remaining super healthy and vegetarian, so I’m not often going back to the same recipe. Sometimes I’ll just like Google best and then fill in the blank like best Black Bean Burger, Best Squash Pasta. And I find that best often yields some of the best recipes. So Black Bean Burgers is a big one. Creamy pasta and then a third one that folks may or may not be as familiar with is shakshuka. It’s like a tomato stew with poached eggs. I think it’s from Tunisia. I learned about it in Tel Aviv, where my wife’s family is from, and we we do that all the time. So it’s basically just like a really good tomato pasta sauce with poached eggs and make some garlic bread on the side. And then basically, I think no matter what you make, if your kids are a little bit reluctant to try new things, I think you should invoke the advice we got in our Thanksgiving show from the chef and cookbook author Jenni Rosenstock, who just talks about when her kids ask her, like, what’s for dinner? She just delays telling them until it’s on the table, and somehow that works. That gets them to try stuff that they wouldn’t otherwise try. So what’s for dinner tonight? Instead of saying, like, Oh, I’m making this butternut squash puree thing with a bunch of vegetables? Just be like I and I’m just like whipping something up. And then once they smell how good it smells and see that it actually looks kind of good, they might be more likely to eat it. So that’s that’s, you know, just advice having to do with meat or not meat. But I think kids can sometimes I mean, you know, kids can be annoying. Like one night my daughter will literally eat a salad like with raw vegetables. And then the next night she’ll say it’s gross. So don’t tell them what’s for dinner until they see it in front of them.

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S2: Yeah, in food love, in food

S1: therapy, which Oliver said, they don’t give them the name of anything like they don’t use any of the names in food therapy. They just describe things or let the kids describe them. So for a long time, blackberries in our house were like the bumpy black fruit, you know, or like because they would just talk about, like, how does it feel? How does it feel? So then they end up calling things like squash, like, Oh, that’s the sweet orange thing. Because if I had called it squash, right, he never would touch it because squash sounds yucky. But the sweet orange thing that you like to eat, you know that roasts or or whatever. So I think that that’s great advice. I don’t have a ton of functional advice for this question. We do eat mostly meat free, but Jeff is like our chef extraordinaire in the house and I’m the ideas person. Like, I’m always finding new recipes, and he’s sort of like, yes or no, we do like four hour rotation. We really like things with roasted chickpeas, the kids really like those, and we do something called roasted chickpea wraps, which can sometimes look more like tacos and sometimes look more like kind of a Caesar wrap, depending on what kind of base we’re using. But that’s kind of always a hit. And when I do things like that, it’s nice because they’re things that are kind of separated. So we use these separated plates for the kids and then give them so they have like different like kind of like a bento box. And I give them all the elements and then they get a plain plate at the table. So they’ve got every element that was up at the counter that we’re eating, but then they can kind of play with it on this plain plate. And we’ve just found that they are much more willing to eat things and try different combinations and dip things into like if we made kind of like an avocado dip, they’ll try different things in there. We also sometimes just offer olive like a huge eater of peanut butter. And so just no matter what we’re serving, I offer a little dip of peanut butter and it’s super gross because he dips all kinds of things in it. But he’s so the

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S3: growth thing he dips and peanut butter.

S1: Yeah, he’s just like more willing to like broccoli. Yeah, he’s dipped broccoli in there. He dipped in there. We also give him a little thing of salt. And so he dips things just in the salt. But I mean, he’s dipped like like squash in peanut butter, like just anything because he likes the peanut butter taste. Yeah. And so but it at least gets it in his mouth, and that’s like half the battle. Probably like my favorite cookbook is called The Forest Feast by Aaron Gleason. And it’s a wonderful vegetarian cookbook. They have the forest feast for kids as well. I would recommend getting that one from the library because it has probably 40 recipes in it, but they’re all super simple that if you made them twice with your kids, you would know exactly how to make them. But the pictures are beautiful and everything is very colorful, and she sets out all the different ingredients and so my kids really love to cook from it. I’m also a huge fan of America’s Test Kitchen, and they have a entirely plant based cookbook. And what I like about those is it explains to you why you’re cooking a vegetable a particular way, which means that then if you go to make something else, you know why. Like for me, who doesn’t cook a lot? I need to understand why the squash needs to roast and what the difference is if I roast it with a little bit of brown sugar, if I roast it with something else, you know? So I would recommend those. I also have to really great Instagram accounts that I like and feel kind of inspired by in terms of this and again, beautiful pictures that that make kind of fun stuff. So when I show it to my kids, they’re kind of excited about it. And one is called the master chef mom, and this is Ooma, and she’s from India and makes all these wonderful Indian dishes, which tend to be already meatless. And then another one is called organic and happy, and that’s Natasha. And she’s making beautiful vegan meals that all of these are very approachable. Like, it’s all stuff that when I look out, I think, OK, I could I could actually make that even though I just hand it over to Jeff. But I feel like Jamilah, you probably have a lot of advice here.

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S2: No, I think you all have probably more than I have to offer. I’m guilty of putting. I cook with me, even though we don’t eat red meat or pork. I do cook with turkey and poultry pretty frequently, and it’s like permeated a lot of my veggies here at once vegetarian dishes. But I will say, I know that a writer that you’re not into meat substitutes per se like beyond or impossible. But one thing that I find to be helpful when I’m making meatless meals is increasing the number of vegetables or like putting them in places where they wouldn’t normally be. So like, I love grilled sandwiches, period, especially if you’re a cheese person. And they’re great with grilled cheese. Or, you know, if you found a good vegan cheese that you like, some of them do melt really well and make great sandwiches. I don’t have a brand that I love at the moment, so I can’t recommend one. But like a grill, instead of just doing a grilled cheese sandwich, you can wheel to little spinach, some tomato. You could add pesto. You know you could do tomato sauce and cheese and make it kind of like a pizza you can do, you know, whatever type of vegetables your kids would be cool having on like a sandwich? You know what I mean? Like even a little wilted lettuce and tomato to me is really good on a grilled cheese sandwich you can do. Broccoli is good with mozzarella, and that would actually that actually makes a surprisingly good grilled sandwich. So the squash, you know, like zucchini or yellow squash, like maybe with a little tomato, you could do a little olive oil in the pan as opposed to better season the bread a little bit. That would be super good. One of my favorite meatless meals to make is lasagna. You can make it the regular way with noodles, or you can use vegetables as noodles, which I love to do.

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S1: You mentioned like. Making something like pizza, but I we found like, make your own pizza night to be a great meatless meal because you can offer so many cool toppings and let the kids make a really small pizza however they want and try different things. And it’s not that much like food waste, right? And they’ve gotten to participate. We really like that. We make our own pizza crusts from a book called American Pie that has all different kinds, and we just freeze them. So like, we’ll do a big day where we make all the crust and then we have the crust available. So that actually ends up being kind of like a quick meal. And the other thing you mentioned that made me think of something is we do a lot of that mostly when I’m in charge of the meal like charcuterie plates, but with no meat like just put out all the vegetables, all the fruit, some olives, some pickles, a bunch of dips and just like, put it in the middle of the table and let everyone make a plate. And that’s always a big hit, and I feel like the kids try so much more because there’s so much out there and they can just take one of something so nuts and all of that. That’s a really good like Friday or Sunday meal when you just can’t anymore and you just want to kind of leave it out and people can kind of graze. Or if you’re going to do a board game or something, then to I don’t know if those are those are like my easy meals for me.

S2: I just want to add one quick thing. Be sensitive to how your kid reacts to sauces, marinades and seasonings because you may think that they don’t like vegetables or that they don’t like a particular kind of vegetable. But really, they just don’t like the way that you’ve prepared it or seasoned it. You know, like, I grew up thinking I didn’t like greens, but I didn’t really like the way that my mother cooked grains. I love greens now. I’ve had them in other ways, and I’ve come to light the way she made them, too. But it just, you know, had I had other options aside from, you know, that I might have realized that a long time ago. Like, sometimes I’ll think my aim is really just like turning up her nose at a new food. And it’s like, No, I used too much garlic and she’s sensitive to garlic. Hmm.

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S3: That’s a great point. That’s yeah, that’s great. And just the last thing I was going to say is when you involve your kids in the prep, they’re more likely to eat whatever it is, you’re making your Zak.

S1: You do a lot of that. Do you have any like are are you like, are they cutting the food? Are they? You have them have their hands, like mixing. Do you have any tips?

S3: Yeah, yeah. I mean, we got kids knives for now. So like for third cut, you know, she can’t cut a squash, but she can cut tomatoes and softer things and cheeses. So yeah, she she chops, she she mixes. I started letting her flip pancakes recently under my supervision, so I feel like the more responsibility I give her, the more she’s likely to embrace the the finished result, the end result.

S1: I totally agree anything that’s like getting the kids buying. I think it’s great.

S3: Yeah, I’m hungry.

S2: Yeah, definitely hungry, definitely thinking about grilled cheese sandwiches,

S3: grilled cheese pizza sandwich. I’m going to try that.

S2: Yeah, I’m like, Guess super good. Sounds so good. Good luck to you, meatless mom. We’d love to hear from you if you give any of our suggestions a try. We love update everyone else. If you have a parenting question, send us a line at mom and dad at Slate that come on to question number two. Let’s hear it, Shasha.

S4: Dear mom and dad, can you talk about siblings like as a parenting concept? I have a six year old and twin two year olds, all girls. The twins were a surprise, so while I knew I was trying for one sibling relationship as they’ve gotten older and can actually play, fight, interact with their older sister, I realized I have a whole web of sibling relationships under my roof. I know I can’t guarantee they’ll be besties for life as my own relationship with my adult sibling shows. But I’m just reflecting a lot on how I could set them up for success or at least let them enjoy each other now. Aside from the basics, don’t compare them to each other. Don’t play favorites. Be a coach, not a referee, whatever that means. Do you have any thoughts or advice on raising siblings to share? Thanks. Love the show, mom of sisters.

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S2: OK, well, that’s something that our two hosts have in common that I do not with you, letter writer. They’re raising siblings. So let’s start with you, Elizabeth. What sort of advice do you have about trying to keep your kids connected long term?

S1: So one, I think, is that I’ve tried to let myself feel a little bit off the hook with this like, this is something I thought about a lot because one of the reasons that I wanted to have three kids or I wanted my family to look like this was this idea that like we would be a unit later in life because I have one sibling and it sometimes feels like there’s a lot of burden with just one other person, like just with everything, with our parents, with making decisions like there’s just two of us. I wanted a little bit larger than that, but I realized like I was putting all that pressure on on myself and the things I’m doing, like here in the house for something that I can’t necessarily control, like I can’t control a lot of what divides families. But what I can do is try to make in our house as a unit that cares and lives for each other as a family. And if that carries on great right, so having it be all of our responsibility to help out with each member of the family, not just that, it’s like Jeff and I ministering to three children, but that we are a unit. And I will say that that’s something that, like COVID really helped was like if we weren’t a unit before Jerry, you’re like, we are now like we have each other. And also all the moving that we do has really made us a unit because no matter where we go, they have each other. First, I want to say that the the book that really changed my mind on this was siblings without rivalry, and it’s just packed with real solutions. Lots of research. If you really want to kind of read what you know, be a coach, not a referee means this is a great book for you. But the two things that I sort of see happening in our family is that making sure that the kids feel like the treatment is fair, not necessarily equal, but that each kid is getting what they what they need. And this goes particularly, I think, to how, like warm is the word I’m going to use. You are with each child and so on days when I’m really struggling with a particular one because listen, there are days when you do have favorites and when you’re just like, this kid is easier today to really make sure that I am being just as warm to the kid that’s driving me crazy and and meeting them where they are, because it’s a lot easier to be warm to the kid that’s doing exactly what you ask and is easier in each parenting phase is is that way. The other thing is that. Now with a two year old, you have to be involved some, but as the kids get older, I try to have them manage their relationships themselves and their conflict. And I’m coaching each of them on how to do that, but I’m not going in and solving the problem. So if they’re and I do think that’s kind of like be a coach and not a referee, like if I’m always the one that fixes all the problems, I’m forever going to be the person that fixes all the problems. If I’m the person who says, like, you know, to Henry, Hey, I heard you say these things from a place of anger about your brother. Do you really think those things? How do you think that made him feel? He’s going to go to Oliver to apologize because he feels that in here and he wants to make it right, as opposed to me saying, like, Go give this back right now and say, you’re sorry. Right? So trying to be the coach of their relationship, which sometimes means letting them sit in some anger at home, like letting them be mad at another one of them for a time, much longer. You know, like, I don’t want to sit in the car next to them because they did this to me. It’s like, OK, well, we need to work through those feelings, but I’m not going to fix it. So those are the two things we’re doing. Of course, I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but letting myself off the hook and just saying, like, can I try to create this cohesive unit here that I think is is hopefully helpful.

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S3: Yeah. No, I’m sure that’s helpful. I haven’t even thought so much about like the long term success of my kids relationship. I’m just, I think also just because we’re kind of in the thick of, you know, baby and toddler right now. But I think a lot about my wife’s family. She comes from four siblings, and I’m not suggesting that you become observant Jews like they are. But the thing that I think has bonded them so close to one another, one of the things is the Sabbath every week, growing up from Friday evening at sundown to Saturday evening at sundown. Their family didn’t have the TV on. They didn’t go out on Friday nights, even when they were teenagers, like their friends could come there if they wanted, but they didn’t go out and they didn’t drive. And so what that did was that they built in every week, 24 hours where the family just had to be together. There was no other choice. And so every week they played games, you know, they did puzzles together again, like into into their teens. They did other stuff together because, you know, whereas whereas, you know, my sister was a little bit older, but like, I just like she just started leaving the house when she was a teenager on Friday nights and Saturday nights and Saturdays during the day. You know, I had my friends over. I could be in my room. I could be playing video games. When you take all that stuff out, what you have is just like intense bonding time. And you know, my wife’s probably on the phone with one of her siblings right now. There’s a good chance of that because I don’t know if it was because of the Sabbath, but I think that they just really prioritized spending time together in the moment. And I don’t think they had an agenda of like, we want to be best friends later in life. It was just like, This is important to us now and we are going to do that. And so, you know, again, you don’t have to observe Shabbat, but you could block out time every week where it’s just going to be like, we’re going to just hang, we’re just going to hang, we’re going to put our phones away. Phones would be another thing that you wouldn’t use on Shabbat. So I think that would set that kids up for success and for long term, you know, friendships, success and for sharing with one another.

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S1: I think that’s great.

S2: Mm. I will just add, I am a younger sibling, I was the only child in my household, though, so I had a little bit of, you know, the best of both worlds of being spoiled like an only child and being a baby sister. But I didn’t have the privilege of growing up with siblings in the house. But what I can say through observation of my siblings who did grow up together. Don’t let stuff go unresolved. You know, like you do have to pay attention and put a lot of care into maintaining the quality of this relationship while your kids are under your roof. You know, like if they are going through something, if there’s a long term, you know, source of tension that you can observe, you need to deal with it. You know, like you, you don’t want these things to spill over into adulthood and they very well can, even with siblings that are close, you know, and who would say that they have a good relationship? You know, many of them carry over childhood stuff. And I think that that can be because parents do want to be, you know, not coaches nor referees. They want to be outside of it, you know, especially when you start talking about teenagers, you know, and oftentimes teenage girls, I think there’s an instinct to stay out of their things and drama. It’s emotional, but like, no, these are young people that are having valid experiences and, you know, dealing with high velocity emotions and real stuff. And they have conflicts and problems amongst each other as siblings that may seem very small and trivial to us as adults, but to young people, they mean the world. And if it’s not resolved in youth, it can continue into adulthood. And it might have really been something that would be small or trivial for an adult. But it’s plain it’s laid the ground for, you know, negative engagement between, you know, two or more people for a long time. So.

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S1: Jamilah, I feel it, too. I don’t want you to sell yourself short because I I do feel like you do a lot of things to help Naima, his relationship with her brother, like it feels like sometimes you’re intentional about that as well, even though that’s not extended family, but not in their little group. So although she’s not a sibling, necessarily at your house all the time, I just saw like you made sure to make sure that relationship was still intact, like during COVID and making sure she has that support. And do you ever think about like. Like, do you have these feelings of like, I hope they stay friends,

S5: you know,

S2: forever, holy shit. Like they are really close then like 18 months apart. You know, like they’re buddies and you know, they’re at their dad’s house, their brother and sister bear, you know, and I really want them to have that relationship forever. And I know they fight a lot, you know, and my mom, who grew up with a lot of brothers and sisters, you know, has confirmed, as have other people, that that’s completely normal. That’s what siblings do. And they love each other really hard, too. But yeah, like, you know, I envisioned them, you know, hopefully going to school together when they get older and, you know, having each other’s backs, then it means a lot to her that he’s had a little brother and that he knows that she cares about him. And I think that is something that you want to say to your children. You know that like, why does this relationship matter? Like, we just assume that like they should know that they should love each other because their brother and sister or just like, Hey, that’s your brother, that’s just there. What does that mean? You know, like, don’t be mean, she’s your sister. Like, we have to make real brotherhood and sisterhood and family bonds for them so they can, you know, really have them.

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S1: And a lot of times it feels like they say the meanest things to their siblings or do it because they know that they’re still loved, you know, like, I wouldn’t say this to my friend because they might run away. Yeah, this person can go away. But I think coaching them through that to say like, but at some point they may like, they may just grow tired of that. You know, that’s kind of the coaching that I think is important to do with your kids.

S2: Well, thank you, mama’s sisters, and good luck to you. Please keep us posted on how your trio is doing. We love updates and for the rest of our listeners. Again, you can email us at mom and dad at Slate.com. With any kind of parenting question, you may have any kind at all. We’re moving on to a segment we affectionately call in case you missed that mom and dad. And that is because the wonderful Rachel Hampton and Madison Malone Kircher, host of Slate’s podcast on Internet Culture, has stopped by to fill us in on the Elmo feud that is all over social media. I’m so proud because I know all about this. I thought, I think from a moment with just very few retweets, that was a little funny before it became a thing. So I feel very young and very with it for knowing exactly what’s going on. But for our listeners who are unclear what is going on with sweet little Elmo, he’s fighting with somebody.

S3: He’s out of control.

S5: I feel like we have to begin with a call and response, which is an oatmeal container, a wooden bowl. And you say. Oh, we have a lot of work to do, Rachel. I was like, I can’t answer because we already know. All right, we’re going to start right there. This is the precursor to the pet rock situation. This is why you know about the pet rock is because for weeks on tick tock, there was a secondary level of Elmo virality building to springboard the rock of you to your Twitter feeds. Mm hmm. Yes. OK, so very, very briefly. In December, there is this audio of Elmo uploaded to TikTok, and it goes a little something like an oatmeal container, a wooden bowl, a plastic water bottle and paper towel roll, and you’re welcome and ratable. Incredible impression once again.

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S2: Sound just like it.

S5: Yeah, I’m available, but this goes viral because the way Elmo says paper towel roll really resonates with people. A. New container I would involve a plastic water bottle and a paper towel, which leads us to more Elmo clips surfacing. Enter Zoe, another Muppet, and her pet rock Rocco Rachel. Yeah, so basically people seem to be noticing is that Elmo is kind of a savage, a little bit sassy. Very much kind of. I mean, Madison is kind of a bully. I don’t use those words in this household. But you know, he he seems to not enjoy Zoe’s pet rock Rocco. And by not enjoy. I mean, he repeatedly says that she’s not that the rock’s not alive, which is true. But are any of them alive? Is another question that we could be asking. Here you go, Rocco. Oh, I hope you realize it, but that’s

S6: almost five in. Oh, Gaby, can I be a reserve cookie, please?

S5: Oh g Elmo. That was my last one. That’s a your job. I don’t want you to guess one. No, no, no. Wait, wait, Elmo. Rocco says that he watched the oatmeal raisin cookie Newcamp. Charlie Parker will know the difference. Yes, he will. You can’t have that cookie Elmo. Rocco wants to eat it.

S6: I’m going to let the cookies. Yummy, I know. Markers, just markers.

S5: And so a lot of these clips of Elmo feuding with Rocco resurfaced because everyone on the internet is full of nostalgia and also because I feel like all of us as adults forgot that Elmo is kind of a little bitch a little bit and just we’re like, Oh, Elmo teaching us about ABCDE Eve, and then you’re like, Oh, wait, no, here he is, telling Zoe that her pet rock does not deserve a cookie. And so this is part of why these clips are going viral. Elmo is three, though, like he’s supposed

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S1: to be three if you have a three year old in your house.

S5: This is who you’re living with. You are living with the person, right? But insists that the

S1: rock doesn’t get a cookie and loses their mind. Yeah. They actually insist that you don’t get a cookie because you’re a mom and moms are, you know, not allowed to have cookie three or they’re completely insane.

S2: Elmo is a bitch until you have a three year old, then you’re like, Oh, okay, got it. Got it, got it.

S1: And you can use the transitive property there. The three year old, you know.

S5: Yeah, I was like, I don’t think this denies the fact that Elmo is in fact a little bitch. Y’all are just living with little monsters, tiny bullies in your houses. So yeah, what I’m hearing is you all are getting bullied by three year olds on a consistent basis.

S2: True, we did. True, this

S1: mine continues to bully me. He’s five still happening.

S2: Oh yeah, that is almost nine. It’s worse.

S1: So it was a it was a parenting account, a mama account that first started sharing this.

S5: It seems like.

S1: Then how did it come across like, y’all, are you guys following a lot of mom bloggers?

S5: No, but you’re underestimating the power of the hashtag. And of mom talk. These tick tock, tick tock doesn’t understand that a thing that is viral about, say, content for three year olds doesn’t interest me as someone who doesn’t a three year old, they just know that I’m interested in things that are going viral. Hello, Elmo. But then you are interested in the mom content. So it worked. They got me. They totally got me.

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S3: What’s so compelling about the way he says paper towel?

S5: Everything’s really chill. It’s like an oatmeal container, a wooden bowl, and then Elmo comes in just kind of just yelling a little bit like he just he sounds really high. Like, Imagine Yeah, yeah, kind of D.J. in the song saying, like Maybach Music or like DJ Khalid screaming DJ Khalid. That’s kind of how Elmo comes in.

S2: And in the middle of his own sentence, he interrupts himself with excitement about paper towels.

S5: Exactly. It’s like the Kool-Aid man busting into the song and you’re like, Whoa, OK, I guess we’re excited about a plastic water bottle and a paper towel roll.

S2: It’s like, where is Elmo supposed to be from Harlem?

S5: Great question from Elmo to me. Street? Yes, which is Harlem. Yeah, she’s Harlem. I mean, he sounds a bit. I mean, have you heard Elmo say balsamic vinegar? Well, he says it like a man from the Bronx, specifically a black man from the Bronx, which means that black Twitter has claimed Elmo as a member of the African diaspora, which I feel like if you look at his mother, the woman has voiced the curls. So clearly, clearly Elmo somewhere out there is is rockin’ in the Bronx with his black puffer jacket.

S1: So we had Elmo on the show. Do you guys know this that in the spring of 2020, we actually Elmo the Elmo are the Elmo. OK, Elmo is here. Yes. Yes, it’s set the the Facebook group on fire.

S5: Love hate you.

S1: But had a lovely time with him like he was surprisingly funny. So I guess I’m wondering like, is he just playing to the audience

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S5: based on everything you’ve said about Elmo being a bully and Three-year-olds being a bully, I’m not convinced that Elmo didn’t put you up to saying all of these nice things about Elmo to begin with. He’s outside my door, just like thumping a paper towel rail against his open, very palm. Blink twice if you need help.

S2: All adults report the Elmo he like half raised our kids. Elmo taught my daughter about line dances, which is something she might not have learned easily because she’s not being raised in Chicago or both her parents are from. I’m talking about like the Cha-Cha Slide and the Dukes Lie and all that stuff. Zak. You may know this to being from Detroit. Sure, she didn’t get a lot of exposure to them, like unless we were at somebody. I mean, I don’t bring her to weddings, though. They’re that the basically one with my child going to learn the African-American out of the line dance and Elmo had a slide. And my daughter was obsessed with it. People don’t know. Like, I want black, like I never used Tic TAC. Like, I just watch it. I never like I’m going to upload the Elmo slides and six hot and fake. Oh yes, bring that back. Slasher Elmo, he’s sliding like slide to the left side, to the right Elmo it’s amazing and I can’t believe people haven’t found it yet.

S5: It’s probably going to come up. We’re really fully in the Elmo nostalgia cycle. People are discovering all these things about Elmo that they didn’t know. I mean, most of us, I mean by us, most of the people who are listening to our show and me and Madison have not seen children’s content in a long time. And so everything feels new and exciting, and I’m just like, Give me all of it bring back like between the lines, I’m ready for all of it.

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S2: Thank you both so much for being here. Rachel and Madison and listeners, if you want to dive deeper into the Elmo web, check out in case you missed this episode where they talk more about this and they take a closer look into the theory that Elmo is in fact a member of the black community. I’ve just given you a gift. Basically, I like there’s more evidence. It’s a really good episode, and we’re going to link it in the show notes, and we will also link to the episode where we had Elmo on the show. He’s probably never coming back now. It was a lot of fun if you need some good, wholesome content around our red furry friend as well. Again, Rachel and Madison, thank you so much for keeping us in the loop. Thank you, guys. It’s finally time for recommendations. This is when we tell you about something that we’re currently enjoying. I will start with you, Elizabeth. What are you recommending this week?

S1: OK, well, I come on here all the time and tell you all that you should be doing poetry, Teatime and reading poetry to your kids. I’m still a huge fan of that. But I also think it’s good to have them write some poetry, and our local library is actually hosting a poetry contest for fourth graders. So we were I had printed that out and was working on that with Henry, and then my other kids were interested. So I Googled poetry contests for kids, and it turns out there’s a ton of them, but one that actually is for kids. K through 12 is the Sarah Muk poetry contest will put a link in the show. Notes and entries are due in March, so there’s plenty of time. But my kids were so excited about the idea of writing something and sending it in and having someone else read it, and they put some up online that you can share and seeing poetry written by other like, especially Teddy, who was like kindergarteners, write poetry. And it’s like, Well, anyone can write poetry. So I really, if you’re looking for something to do, the great part about writing poetry and is that it really doesn’t take that long, like writing stories can be very involved, but you can choose a very simple form of poetry that you can sit down and do in an hour and produce something that they can be proud of. And if you want to send it off, great poetry Time.com has a list of a ton of other ones. If you’re in Colorado Springs and have a fourth grader, you know the public library is doing one and they display all the poems. Last year in the windows of the library so that people could come by and see them. So I just really encourage. My kids were so excited about it, and I was like, This is so fun. I never would have thought of this. So I encourage you if this sounds like something that might be fun to to enter a poetry contest. And they have ones listed for adults too. So if you want to get in on the fun and to your, you know, sending it off feels so fun and official and getting to put it in an envelope, I don’t know my kids like that stuff for sure.

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S2: That’s great. Very nice. Zak.

S3: Yes. In a past episode, I don’t remember when, but I expressed my frustration and trying to get my kids to like good music when no, I will do really just demand listening to these days. It’s Elena of Avalor on Disney. We listen to that album. It’s it’s kind of good, but it’s not great. And so I got a recommendation from the Facebook group from the Slate Parenting Facebook Group, which I just recently joined. Slate Parenting Group member Robert told me that he has had success getting his then four year old to love grown up music by getting her to watch funny musical movies such as Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman, etc. He says she also likes catchy Euro Pop and like Aqua. And so I think that that’s a great idea for a kind of gateway drug like, all right, maybe they’re not quite ready for the Beatles, but if they watch, you know, Annie or whatever, that might be a way for them to leave the kiddie stuff behind and try something a little more sophisticated. So, Robert, thanks. I really appreciate that I’m going to try this. We actually watched any of the other day, and no, I liked it. And music in Annie is great. And so maybe, you know, maybe we’ll move on to Sondheim from there, but we’ll see.

S2: Have you done Encanto yet?

S3: Oh, yes.

S1: So you’re playing at your house, the playing right? Yes. That’s all we’re hearing all the time. Yes. Which isn’t so bad. The music is great.

S2: The music. I mean,

S3: thank you, Lynn. You know.

S2: Yeah, that’s OK.

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S3: That guy won’t stop. Like, I won’t stop writing good music,

S1: which is great because mono was great until it was played a bazillion times, so I’m glad to have him

S2: standing there,

S3: looking at my spots, looking at my Spotify wrapped at the end of the year is so sad. Like you listen to Doc McStuffins five million times.

S2: Oh my gosh.

S3: What about you, Jamilah?

S2: OK, so my recommendation is to go follow me on Instagram like today, because I mean, you’ll have to follow me like, just go because today, Thursday is the day that the show actually airs at some point. A story that I wrote was coming out. I’m very excited about it, and I want to just say who, what it’s about and where it’s for and all that stuff. But like with my look, it’s like, Oh, sorry, it’s coming out next Monday, and then I’ll feel like a fool and I can’t like tease it. You know, like, I am very excited about this story. I worked very hard on it. I have to say, I think this is definitely like one of the biggest stories of my career by far, and I’m nervous about it. I’m excited about it coming on Thursday, so I’m going to share it on my Instagram and maybe on Twitter so I can find me there if you want to see it.

S1: You should follow Jamilah on Instagram anyway, because you’re missing out, if

S2: you’re very sure I don’t push you off, you

S1: don’t post often, but when you do, I’m always like, I’m just so excited to see your your

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S5: stuff.

S1: I think I send you like the heart eyes I like. I see. I feel like it’s so exciting, but this OK, Zak, and I know know what

S2: they know the thing.

S1: Yes, we know the thing. And so we are both going to say, hit the follow. You’re not going to follow.

S2: Yeah. How exciting for me. Thank you. Thank you. I am somewhere right now, not on social media. Hopefully, I have posted it and moved on with my day thing. Distracted and focused otherwise. But yeah, and if you’ve seen it by now, then you know exactly what I mean. But that’s it. And that is our show. Before you go, please subscribe to the show and leave us a review on Apple or Spotify, which now has reviews. And if you have a question for us again, that is an email at Mom and dad at Slate.com or posted to the Slate Parenting Facebook group, which you can find by just searching for slate parenting on Facebook. This episode of Mom and Dad Are Fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson for Elisabeth Newcamp and Zak Rosen and Jamilah Lemieux. Thank you for listening. All right. Let’s listen, there is let’s keep this party going. So this late parenting Facebook group, so I’ve heard, has been buzzing with parents looking for recommendations for non screen time activities that the whole family can truly enjoy together. Now, depending on the age range in your household, it can be pretty hard to find things that everybody likes. So we thought we would share what is working for all of us. We start with you, Elizabeth, because you’ve got a range of ages in your household. What are you playing and watching and doing together right now?

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S1: So I’ll start with our with our board games and I can come back to our read aloud. But I had really struggled because Teddy. It feels like the difference between five and even our middle seven is so, so large, sometimes in terms of all sitting down to play. And the worst possible thing is like if we all sit down and he’s the only one that can’t play. So we have gotten really into flux, which is kind of a card game series. They come in all different topics. We own nature flux and chemistry flux and nature flux is like very playable by even Teddy. It’s a game in which the rules are really simple, but you play everything in your hand and the rules are kind of always changing. But the nice part is it’s played kind of all cards face up like it doesn’t really matter if anyone else sees your cards. So that means that we can all coach him to have a really good game and he gets to put the cards down. And it’s mostly like pick up five, put down two and cards are color coded as to where you put them. And so we actually have a really good time now. Is it very competitive when he plays? No, but honestly, we’re just so excited to all be sitting down. They have superhero versions they have. It comes in like every possible thing and each version teaches you a little something. The rules and the chemistry one are specific to making different compounds the nature one, you’re maybe dealing with different habitats and things. So it’s it’s fun semi educational. We’re also really liking a game called Carcassonne, which is you build roads in these little villages and claim them. Teddy can absolutely play this. He has no concept of the scoring, but it doesn’t really matter. It actually makes the game more competitive for the rest of us because he is like an outlier in terms of what he’s going to do. But he can match the city pieces and match the road pieces and put his little piece on it. And so it’s actually like a great game and we all laugh when he does something that just totally screws up the whole game and makes it really hard for everyone. So it’s it’s super fun and those are just good kind of family games that you can all sit down and play.

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S2: Barry, what about you, Zak?

S3: Well, to build upon the the climbing work that Noah is interested in, my mom a couple of years ago got us the nugget. You all know what the nugget is.

S1: We love it.

S3: How do you describe it, Elizabeth?

S1: It’s like a if a couch could be taken apart and made into just the cushions to play with. But the cushions are so you can, like, set it up like a couch. Build forts. It can be a crash pad. It can be. Yeah, exactly. Amazing.

S3: Yeah. So we like make obstacle courses out of the nugget, build forts out of it, and it’s a way for her to bounce off the walls a little a little more safely. And so. And her brother her. How old is army now? He’s a COVID baby. Know he’s almost one. He’s almost one and a half. He’s climbing up there, too. So it’s it’s another great way to burn some energy indoors. Also, memory, we got Noah into memory recently, and she is truly, honestly just smoking us now. And she’s four. She’s very good at memory. That’s a fun one. We’re like the parents can kind of zone out if they if they want to. But you know, she can be engaged and puzzles just like old school stuff, man puzzles and memory like it’s it still works

S1: and memory comes in like every whatever you’re into. Yeah, there’s a memory.

S3: Yeah, we’ve got animal illustrations, but. And the rooster, I don’t know if I should say this, but it’s just I just find it kind of odd. The rooster in our memory is, as they call it, a cock like I know roosters are a cock, but like, why are you putting cock on a? And yeah, the peacock is powerful. I think it might be British, OK? But like, yeah, there’s a cock and a fowl and a bunch of other cool animals. But memory is great, like we can play 10 times a day and it’s stimulating. And it’s also. Like you can, you can get into it as a parent to it, like it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to. It’s not like war where it’s like all. I can’t play any more war, but it does get taxing. After 10 10 games in a row,

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S5: we’ve been going

S2: old school to Nyima one it. Guess who for Christmas, so much that she asked everyone to get it for her, like she got it at her dad’s house. She got it at my house. Her grandmother had her wine like she was very pressed about guess who? And I had like, declined to buy her gifts to a few weeks ago because I thought like a few weeks before Christmas, because I thought it was boring. I was like, You’re going to tire of this game in no time. And like, she’s super into it. So like, we’re playing the hell out of guess who? We’ve been playing Jenga. Oh, I love Jenga gravel.

S1: Scrabble, because I have you started like those with the kids yet, because I’m like, do I want to get into this? I don’t know.

S2: It’s a little tricky. Like, we’re not playing it 100 percent correctly. I know that I’m like, Wait, there’s supposed to be like no formation of letters on this board. That is not a word. And like that is just such a high bar to hold a child her age to family rules.

S1: I’m all about family

S2: rules are very important to playing Scrabble with and almost nine year old. I think I know she’s been playing monopoly at her dad’s house, too, and we’re watching TV. I don’t know about you guys if you have any shows that you are watching together with your kids that you really like right now. But we’re really into and this is, you know, if you have older kids or a Naima Abbott elementary queens, how is it?

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S1: We can we back up? Because I the promos just came up on something I was watching and I was like, This looks like it would be really entertaining, is it?

S2: I have an elementary is really good. It’s kind of like, you know, it’s very much office style humor that, you know, struggling public school. It’s funny. We love the wonder years, which I’ve talked about on the show before. It’s really, really the new one. Mm yeah. We watched a couple of episodes of the Oh, when it didn’t really capture her, I think you might try it again at some point. I remember it being a little sad. At times this was a lot lighter on its feet, even though it deals with some heavy issues, as did the first one. But the tone of it is still a lot. It’s funnier. It’s just the funnier show than the last one.

S1: I’m cataloging those. We’re big, like read aloud, both because for homeschool, I do a lot of real outs. But that’s also kind of like what we enjoy doing is all sitting around and either Jeff or I reading aloud and everybody else doing something with our hands, coloring, knitting, whatever it is. Oh, that’s nice. But we read Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH, which I read growing up and my kids were so into it, even the little ones. So that was awesome. And then we also read from the mixed-up files of Mrs. Beasley, Frank Wyler, where they spend the night in the museum. It’s actually many nights and the kids really like that. So that was that was really fun. We just started this new book that I’m loving called The Sea and Winter by Christine Day, and it’s sort of this like, meditative story. It’s very like in her head, but about a middle schooler who has her her leg and can no longer do gymnastics. She’s from an indigenous tribe and they’re taking this road trip. So it’s got all these like cool elements and we’re learning about new things. And it’s just like dealing with this idea that of loss of of doing this thing that she loves. And so I was a little worried that it would be too lofty. But it’s so beautifully written that the five year old is really liking, just like the road trip elements and the nine year old is really able to kind of deal with some of the emotional stuff and how they’re processing it. So we’re we’re we’re really enjoying that and we also because I we drive so much heavy. We’re always listening to audiobooks in the car, but it’s like I reserve the audio books just for the drives. And we just we’re about halfway through this fun jungle series by Stuart Gibbs. And we got into it because they’re mysteries about animals and the first one that we listen to, which is actually the last in the series, of course, right is about Yellowstone. And so the kids were into that and then really liked. The main character’s name is Theodore. So the five year olds in a that. But he solves these like mysteries, and they’re a little bit intense because wow, Theodore gets himself into into some shenanigans. You know, he has a shark tank collapsed on him and he was in with the sharks and things like that. So a little a little bit intense, like the five year old will sometimes say, like, I’m a little scared, but the other kids love it and I don’t mind listening to them like they’re interesting and well-written. They’re not too formulaic, so I don’t mind turning them on in the car

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S3: for the read aloud because I would love to do that at our house. Is there some work that you had to do to get buy-in from the kids?

S1: Yes, and there’s a wonderful blogger. She wrote some books. She has a podcast called The Rita Long Revival, and she basically says, push through, start with shorter books and just push through the kids kind of talking over you and asking questions. But the thing that made the biggest difference for us is that when we started, it was like we read at a meal. So like why the kids were eating breakfast. I read so they’re already quiet and reading. And then as soon as they were done eating, they went to coloring or clay or something. I had out till we finished the chapter or finished like I kind of knew that it was about, you know, we started like five minutes was the tops that we could read, OK. But my little ones, like Teddy, has never known a time when we haven’t done that. So I actually feel like even though he’s my wild one, he he was my best behave at the little ages reading because we had always been doing it.

S3: Very cool. I’m excited to try this.

S1: If you have older kids, Jamilah and I talked about this at some point, but we did like a reading Happy Hour where we pour special drinks and like make drinks

S5: or

S1: read and have like a fun

S5: mom cocktail of a child

S1: like, you know, the bubble of bubbly mocktail, apple cider, Michael. So I think you can make it fun.

S2: We still haven’t done the reading a happy hour. And now we’re going to because Niamh is into mocktails now like she or she likes sparkling cider. Yeah, I think she’ll be more excited than when I first suggested Judith. I like, What’s the big deal now? She’s like, Oh, I can drink out of my fancy cup, so maybe we’ll do that this weekend.

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S3: Come for the cocktail. Stay for the literature. Yes, exactly.

S2: It. Let’s get lit.

S3: Yes, it. I love

S1: it. Yes.

S2: Well, listeners, we are certainly open to suggestions and would love to hear what you’re watching, reading, doing to keep yourself occupy. We know that most of you are spending more time in the house probably than you’d like to these days. Let us know on Facebook or send us a note at mom and dad at Slate.com. Thank you so much for your support and we will talk to you next week.