Clothing manufacturers and department stores are creating special sizes and sections for tots through pre-teens to accommodate tall and overweight kids.  Putting pretty in front of plus is not going to make little ones or older children feel any better as they shop for fall and back to school wardrobes.

Why can’t they just put a size – a number – on them in the regular racks?  Moms and dads know how to count.  They know 14 is larger than 10.  They’ll find it, and their child won’t be stigmatized by going to a separate section.

Sometimes, children need a larger size because they are tall, not because they are overweight.  One sized does not fit all, no matter how hard manufacturers try to tell us it’s so.   How about some extra material so hems can be let down?

Obesity in children is now a national problem, one that affects us all, if not personally, in greater health care costs.

The federal government sponsors many studies that seem absolutely ridiculous (Does cocaine use increase sexually risky behavior in Japanese rats?)  I wouldn’t mind seeing one that compares the cost of cuts to school physical education programs to increased health care costs resulting from children being overweight.   It’s a penny wise pound foolish situation.  Instead of bringing her to the Pretty Plus section, maybe Honey Boo Boo’s mom could get her started on a fun exercise program.  She’d be cute and healthy too.

Please support our Doodle Noodle Shelter Kids Project.  Buy a School Doodle or a Clothes Doodle at a 10% discount and we will send your purchase and a free children’s book to a child living in a shelter.  Just type SHELTER into the coupon box when you check out, and we’ll take it from there.  The shelter closest to my home has 50 families with children between the ages of 3 and 10.  They need your help.  You can donate by clicking the Doodle icon on the right, or the Our Store banner below, and placing your order.

And don’t forget to click the Vote For Me Icon to help us get back into the top 10 on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the banner below or the icon on the upper right.  Please recommend us to your friends and ask them to visit the Doodle, help our Shelter Kids Project and vote for us.





Imagine.  Imagine a 6 year old getting ready for first grade.  Some of his clothes are in a plastic bag, some in his mom’s suitcase stuffed with all their belongings.  Maybe his underpants are sharing room with pencils, broken crayons and cookie crumbs in his backpack.  He is homeless and living in a shelter.

Gail Paris, an award winning educator and founder of Doodle Noodle, LLC, designed The School Doodle and The Clothes Doodle to help children live more organized lives and parents have less stress.  Although her products will benefit all children and families, they are of critical importance to homeless children.

Retired as an Assistant Principal from the New York City School System, she chose to spend her career working in schools where children did not have the financial or educational benefits of kids in more affluent neighborhoods.  She understands what children need.

The School Doodle consists of two panels designed to fit into any standard backpack or to be used independently as a “desk.”  It is an organizer which features pockets designed to hold standard school supplies, such as rulers, pencils and other school needs.  The Messenger part, with one pocket marked “To School” and the other “To Home,” has enough room to hold a notebook, library book or tablet.  Notes from the teacher will get to parents and notes and permission slips from parents will get to school. The School Doodle is the perfect organizational product for elementary school age children.   The retail price for the School Doodle set is $19.95.


The Clothes Doodle has pockets labeled for each day of the week and will hold an entire day’s clothing securely. .   It consists of 2 organizers which can be hung by their handles on hangars or hooks.  It relieves stress in the morning as kids get their own clothes, or mom easily gets them for younger kids


Unlike “shelf” organizers, it saves precious closet rod space, and, because of its closed pocket design, clothes won’t fall out.  There is even a “Sleep Noodle” pocket containing a tote bag to keep a toothbrush and other necessities for a sleep over or short trip.    The retail price for the Clothes Doodle is $29.95.

Unfortunately, for homeless children, every night is a “sleep over.”  For them, The Clothes Doodle can be folded and placed in whatever space the shelter provides.  The School Doodle has a place for everything they need, whether they are doing homework on a bed or on the floor.

The bright and cheerful colors are bound to bring a smile to their faces.  The fact that they can manage their school stuff and their clothing will give them a sense of independence and responsibility.  They are going to “own” their attractive well made organizers literally and figuratively.

We are starting The Doodle Noodle Shelter Kids’ Program to bring these unique products to children who need them most but whose parents can’t afford to buy them.  You can purchase one or more School Doodles and Clothes Doodles on our website ( and indicate that you want them to be donated to deserving children in a family shelters in New York City by typing in SHELTER when you check out.  We will tell the shelter that you gave them this gift, and a letter indicating that they have received it will be sent to you for tax purposes.  You can click the link to “OUR STORE” at the bottom of this post to go right to the Doodle Noodle Shop, and don’t forget to click the Vote For Us link to help us get back into the top 10 at Top Mommy Blogs.

We know that all children can learn.  Some need a little extra help because their families cannot provide the things they need to be like other kids to learn skills and have a sense of self worth.   We are offering a 10% discount for each donation, plus we will include a new children’s book with each School Doodle and Clothes Doodle.  Just type SHELTER in the discount section of your order, and we’ll take it from there.

Thank you for joining Doodle Noodle in this effort to support homeless children and their families. 


Now, we’ve really gone too far. Discussing Christmas and kids in June? I can’t understand why The Today Show, in discussing spoiled children in a survey of 6,000 moms, concentrated so much on Christmas gifts, but they did, on both the main part of the show and on the Kathy Lee and Hoda segment.

I don’t have to do a survey to know that today’s kids are spoiled. Just look around you, Toddlers run around restaurants or stand in the booth facing you banging on it. They wear Diane von Furstenberg outfits that cost as much as a poorer child’s clothes budget for the season.

I had my first manicure when I got engaged. Okay, I should factor in that I bit my nails. Up till know, I usually still didn’t have nails. Manicures were for special occasions, or mani-pedis were gifts from my slightly spoiled daughter. Now, when I’m at a nail or hair place, I see eight year olds get mani-pedis and blow outs.

When I was ten, even as the words were forming on my lips, my mom would be saying, “Thank you, Mrs. ________.” Please was a word my mother used at all times, and it became a natural part of my vocabulary.

Today, I still can’t leave the house without making my bed, because my mom did so every day until she was 80, and even then, if she just didn’t pull the bed spread all the way up, everything was neat.

As an educator of 30 years, I can tell you that young children are sponges and mimics. They want to do what we do. When was the last time you said please and thank you, mommy and daddy?


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. 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.

Parents Magazine Article On Conquering Morning Chaos

As a former assistant principal of a pre – k through 8th grade school, and a mom who went back to work when her children were 3 and 6, I can certainly empathize with the moms in the recent Parents Magazine article, “Make Over Your Morning Routine.”  I must take issue with the coaches’ advice to take your child to school in pajamas.  As schools will not allow a child to attend class wearing sleepwear, mom will have to take the child home again.  Arriving late and having the child explain to the secretary that he was watching TV doesn’t always embarrass the child.  Both of the aforementioned tactics, however, do disrupt classes when the child enters late, takes up the time of school administrators and wastes mom’s time while making her feel  inadequate.None of your professionals came up with organizers that could make this a win/win situation.  Having spent 40 years watching students and my own children, as well as those of my friends, I came to the realization that there was a need for children’s organizers and founded Doodle Noodle, LLC to meet that need.

Mom would never have a problem with Jane if she had the Clothes Doodle, an organizer with each day written at the top on an interior 12 inch pocket which holds underwear, tops and bottoms or dresses, socks and accessories for the day.

The age of the child will help determine how much assistance he or she will require, but come Sunday, the clothes can be organized for the entire week, including shorts for gym on Thursday.  An eighth pocket called the Sleep Noodle has a tote bag to carry needed items for sleep overs.

The Clothes Doodle comes in two parts and has a handle at each end.  It can be hung from a hook or a hanger convenient to the child’s height.  It also folds over and can be carried like a mini suitcase, great for trips to grandma’s and vacations.

The School Doodle is a backpack insert with plastic pockets for all those necessary tools – ruler, scissors, crayon, markers, etc.  It even has a pocket with a Velcro closure for lunch or bake sale money. 

The School Doodle has pockets on both sides and a handle at the top allows it to be easily taken out of a back pack.  An additional one can be hung near the child’s desk or taken wherever homework is done thus avoiding lost time looking for supplies

Finally, the Messenger Doodle, another back pack insert, is imprinted with “To School” on one side and “To Home” on the other.  Each side has a large plastic pocket for permission slips, notices and homework sheets.  Mom looks at the papers, signs what she has to, puts it back in the “To School” pocket and the Messenger Doodle goes back into the child’s backpack.

Organization becomes a shared responsibility of child and parent and eases the stress of both.