Two women in uniform are depicted breast feeding their infants in a campaign to promote (What else?) breast feeding. Objections have been made that these women will lose respect because that image will be in people’s minds. (Sal’s mind, not Sally’s).

These pictures were much less provocative than most Victoria’s Secret ads we see on our streets, in magazines and on TV.

Personally, I think more mothers should be in combat. For the most part, there is nothing as fierce as a mother who is fighting for her children or fighting so she can return to her children.

Get over it America! We have breasts primarily to feed our babies. Everything else is an add on.

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I grew up in the Catskill Mountains in the “Borscht Belt” where comedians such as Alan King, Joey Bishop and, later, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling (The Howard Stern Show) routinely got up on stage and made fun of wives and, the big prize, mothers-in-law.

While your mother-in-law might now be a doctor, lawyer or executive chief, she is still a topic of movies – Jane Fonda in “Monster-In-Law” – and reality shows “Monster In-Laws” on A & E. In the first two episodes, the “Monster” is the mother-in-law and in the 3rd, it is the sister-in-law. Is the Wicked Witch of the West always a she?

I suspect that while the situations may be similar, roles have shifted and expanded. Now, the monster might be the daughter-in-law or the father-in-law. Daughters-in-law, in an attempt to establish themselves as the alpha female, sometimes try to isolate the mother and the sister. They build wedges between brother and sister and control when mom can visit, what they can buy – no more bringing that horrible old teapot out of the closet when “Mom comes. Now, there are shower registries, wedding registries and baby registries.

And sons believe that they must switch their total allegiance to their wife, even if she has taken on the role of the wicked witch.

As people marry at an older age, having lived alone or cohabited rather than married, they are more set in their ways and not so ready to acquire another mother. It’s first names and visits are short.

Fathers-in-law also have difficulty. They forget that this is not their daughter, and they don’t have the right to make the same demands. Your daughter may be used to your requesting that she interrupt her sun bathing to make you a chicken salad sandwich, but your daughter-in-law thinks you are crossing the line.

The truth is that we don’t know which one of the piggies is the monster. Maybe the monsters are partially in all of us.


Two articles in today’s New York Times made me angry.

One was the hopeless situation of Native American women who are raped on reservations. Most are not reported. Those that are don’t wind up in convictions, most times not even arrests. There aren’t enough nurses to do rape kits, even if there were enough kits to do them. And Congress is slow to do anything about it. Maybe our conservative friends would pay for guns so that these helpless women can just shoot their rapists in the head.

Many schools have eliminated gym programs. Perhaps, we should make sure that girls get classes in self protection, a finger in the eye, a palm thrust upward to the nose. Maybe, I’ve been watching Ashley Judd on “Missing” too much.

The second thing that angered me was the report that 2 elementary schools in Brooklyn (NY) which received top ratings are suspected of cheating. P.S. 31 and PS 257 are being investigated by Richard J Condon, a special commissioner.

The staff at Intermediate School 318 became suspicious after 6th grade scores dropped sharply from 5th grade scores.

These two schools ranked numbers 1 and 2 respectively on city report cards, which consider income, language proficiency and other factors in formulating the scores. This, in itself, is misleading. If I were a parent who was moving to New York City, and looking at the schools before I purchased or rented a home, I would certainly look for the top rated schools. I wouldn’t necessarily realize that the number 1 school was number 1 because of the amount scored had gone up in a school with low income, English language learners. I would think the children in those schools knew how to read and do math. This is a phony system.

PARENTS BEWARE! SCORES ARE NOT SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO JUDGE SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS BY THEMSELVES. Mom replace that poster of Britney Spears with one of Ashley Judd (Hopefully one showing her defending herself against some guy.)


Lady Emma Jane Beazley, is our rescue Cheagle (Chihuahua – Beagle mix), whom we have had for almost 2 years.  She had one day to live at a California shelter.  Amazingly, a young woman from the Upper West Side who brings California shelter dogs to NYC decided to save her, even though she had already fulfilled her quota for that trip.

It didn’t take long for her to learn to jump on the Ottoman and then the antique leather rocker (It used to be my husband’s chair, but actually, lately, I’m getting along much better with Lady Emma).  She started out sleeping with us, but she burrowed under the blankets.  I don’t have problem sleeping with my Maltese. sometimes, who sleeps on top of the duvet.  But I don’t like the feel of Lady Emma on clean sheets next to my bare legs.

So, she gets on to the rocker and paws at the throw until she is covered.  I must get a picture of her “I’m having a problem with the throw. Can you help me?” look.

Here she is today on what is trying to be a sunny day almost reflecting on my feeling exactly.







Been to Barcelona? It’s a fun walkable city that’s bringing their stroller to America in the fall. Expect to see Jane strollers on our streets.


The Nong umbrellas stroller will sell for around $220. It has a peek-a-boo rain cover, a removable bar and an under seat basket. Your child will be able to lie flat. It folds easily, but the kick stand doesn’t prevent it from tipping.


The Mum, comes in at around $450. It has a better padded seat and comes with a 5 part connection safety belt and a hand brake. It folds easily and is stable when standing. The frame comes up with one hand. The wheels are big and provide a very smooth ride.


The Rider at $700 has a hand brake, a smooth cover on the handles and a bigger basket underneath the seat. There is no peek-a-boo window, but the hood zippers off with ease. The seat is plush and soft as is the interior of the hood, one of the nicest I have felt.


The bassinet, the price of which has yet to be determined, fits any of the frames and is also a car seat. Press a button on the handle, and it comes right off.


Look forward to their 3 wheeled running stroller.


The Quinny Moodd is what you might expect to be the celebrity stroller. It’s pink and white and very girly. $699 buys you a “push of a button” hydraulic unfolding system. Another push reclines the pink seat to a 35 degree angle. The handle is adjustable, and the air tires make for a smooth ride.


Unlike the seat, the $149 bassinet is not reversible, but it is simple to remove with a press of a button. Adapters for the bassinet, the Maxi Cosi infant seat, are included. It adapts to fit several other car seats. It also comes in black on black for a classic girl or guy.


The Quinny Buzz at $579 also has a hydraulic folding system, but if you use two hands, the seat, which is not as comfortable as the Mood, folds down flat. Air filled tires make for a smooth ride. It also accepts the bassinet, which comes off with the push of a button, and a car seat.


The Quinny Zapp Xtra is for the “Oh the places you’ll go” parent and child. It’s perfect for the plane if you buy the travel bag too. The rear and forward facing seat removes easily. The stroller folds in 2 steps, and the accompanying strap makes it into a tight slender package. The four wheels, which revolve 360 degrees, make for quick and easy turning. It adapts to fit several different car seats. It has a sleek style with a black and silver frame and fabrics shades of black, grey, red and pink. The Zapp Xtra is the perfect stroller for grandma’s house.


Sunday was Stroller Day. I went to the New York  Family Baby Show at Pier 92 to check out what’s new in strollers. I spoke in depth with representative of three companies,  Mamas and Pappas, an English company, currently available at 50 locations throughout the U.S., Jane from Barcelona, which will be available in the U.S. this fall and Quinny Mood,  that is currently widely available in the U.S., to discover new features and pick a favorite. All of the strollers hold a child weighing up to 50 pounds.


The top of the line at Mamas and Pappas is the “Mylo” at $699, with a bassinet available at an additional $299. This stroller lies completely flat so you could avoid buying the bassinet. If you do get the bassinet, it comes with a ventilated hood, but the great thing is that you can remove it with one hand. It has a stabilizer so it sits flat on the ground, and it also has a rocker.


What’s new for baby is a memory foam pad – very cushy.  The Mylo rides like a Mercedes  and is the choice of Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys. 


There’s a magnetic peek-a-boo window. This is a good choice for parents of the tall variety.  It has an adjustable handle and no crossbar in front to hit legs. The brake is on the handle, requiring no footwork or bending.  It’s easy to fold up with one hand.  The gate bar opens so you don’t have to lift a toddler in.


The “Urbo” model has a lot of the same features at $529 and $194 for the bassinet. This is a narrower stroller – the wheels are in line with the frame, rather than on the sides, making it a good choice for city dwellers.


Baby might miss the memory foam cushion, but you will love the fact that you can fold up the stroller and wheel it while holding your child’s hand.


The gate comes completely off for older toddlers. It has an extra large sun canopy with a peek-a-boo window, and it is easy to push and turn.


The “Sola”, coming in at $399 and $194 for the bassinet is wider with bigger wheels on the outside, but it has all around suspension for bumpy roads.


All three models are compatible with Greyco, Maxi Cosi and several other car seats.


I’m with Alicia and Gwen and will go for the Mylo, it’s sturdy, it’s easy and it rolls like “California Dreamin’”.


See you tomorrow with reviews of the other two stroller companies.


Tell me about your experience with your stroller – favorite and most disliked features, etc. The best post by a follower of the blog gets a free Scholastic book. If you are not already following us, go to the bottom right hand corner and sign up.


As an educator for 30 years, I can’t believe the selfishness of current parents of young children. Yes, I said selfishness. Babble.com recently reported on a mother who likes to shop, but she is talking on the cell phone and enjoying looking at cute kids’ clothes, while her 4 year old runs and climbs around store by herself. The child ends up standing on a table, and all her mother can do is say, ” Maybe you should get down.” She endangered her child’s safety and maybe that of another child or adult in the store if something fell (could be you or your kid).

She set a poor role model for other parents’ kids who will also want to run and climb around the store. She is also a bad role model for the parents, and she’s not the only one.

Another mom let her 5 year old go to the bathroom alone while she was in line at Costco. She said she could see the bathroom door, but she also had a 2 year old with her. When she got to the cashier, her attention was divided even further. The child could have been kidnapped or worse. Yet this mom could not take the time to tell her daughter to wait until she could stand by the bathroom door.

Asking your child if they are insane is not the right approach either. A four year old needs to have limits set before they go anyplace ( for their own development and safety and the peace of others sharing their space.)

1. Go over the appropriate rules before you get to the destination. At the playground – no throwing no hitting. When I call your name you come to me. I will give you a 10 minute and then a 5minute warning when we have to leave. At 5 minutes start gathering your toys and brush the sand off. Come to me. This is not negotiable. At 3 minutes if the child hasn’t started to get themselves ready you go over and help them. You both are leaving at the end of the 5 minutes. I say to my 6 year old 7 lb. Maltese “I’m the boss.” She gets it. Your children should know it too.

2. If your child gives you a problem, the conversation goes like this: ” Since you didn’t do what I said, next time we come here, I will have to give you a 15 minute warning and you will lose some playtime, because I need to leave at a certain time. If you listen quickly, next time you can earn the time back.

3. Follow through. Never say anything you won’t do. You need to coach your child to make good choices.
As far as Shopper mom, she is insane if in this age of child abductions, she let her child get out of her sight. I hope she taught her daughter to scream as she is being carried off, “this is not my mom. Call 911. Help me.” If a mother is going to be that irresponsible when shopping, at least her children should be taught how to react in an emergency.