Wee Bits: Rat Attacks, the Best City Strollers, Diastatis Recti Solutions, and Proof That You Should Order More Takeout

News, reads, happenings and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

wee bits philadelphia news

WHAT? No, no, no, no, no. 

The Strategist catalogs the best city strollers, and there’s a lot here that seems right. (Also: One stroller is $1,300!)

While I have no doubt that stories like this one from Parents.com are both true and important, I have to say, I’m getting really tired of reading about how many of us can’t properly operate our car seats. 95 percent of us are doing it wrong? Really!?! Perhaps the problem at this point is that car seats are obviously too hard to use correctly, and perhaps someone should fix that.

The Fall 2017 schedule for Hall-Mercer classes is up, and registration is open now! There’s a bunch of classes for parents of variously aged children (cruising babies, terrific twos, young toddlers), a postpartum fitness class, and more.

Guys! A Philly mom has started a (very wide-reaching!) petition to get a lactation room or nursing pod in Union Station in D.C., Amtrak’s second busiest station in the country. (Currently, all that’s available is … wait for it … public bathrooms.) You can read about it — and sign it — here! 

Awesome story from NPR about special exercises to help fix diastasis recti. 

Speaking of exercising: Great piece from Runner’s World on getting back to running post-baby. (And it quotes Crystal Widmann from Philly’s own Y2BFit!)

Deal alert: Kids 12 and under get in FREE at the Museum of the American Revolution throughout Labor Day weekend, September 2 to the 4. (There will also be a bunch of kid-focused activities happening, too!)

This feels like the permission I need, via the NYT: “Want To Be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests” 

Just a really lovely obit for Judith Jones — the editor who first flagged The Diary of Anne Frank as a book that should be published in English, and who later edited Julia Child — from the New York Times. 

From Philly.com: Will private funding (lots of it!) help save music education in our public schools? 

The Atlantic just ran a very graphic, very tragic photo essay about the (now closed-down) Kensington heroin camp, El Campamento. Sad and scary.

Wee Experts: How to Talk To Your Kids About Sexual Abuse

We asked local therapist Perri Shaw Borish for a little guidance Read more

perri borish, philadelphia

For all of us parents, protecting and educating our children is always — always — at top of mind, but any time there’s any scary, sad, infuriating news about abuse that hits close to home, it raises fresh questions for most of us about how to address sexual abuse with our young kids. We asked Wee friend, mom of three and respected psychotherapist Perri Shaw Borish her thoughts on the matter, and here, she weighs in with useful advice. (You can read about Perri’s practice here.)


Thinking about how to communicate to our children about safety and boundaries and their bodies can feel really scary and overwhelming as a parent. But I’ve found that approaching it simply and honestly and at a developmentally appropriate level for the age of one’s child is the best way to go. Avoiding it entirely or being vague can lead to more confusion and misunderstanding, and it can send the message to your child that you’re not comfortable talking about this stuff with them — and you want them to be able to talk with you about anything.

So how do we do go about starting this conversation? You might consider talking about how there are good kinds of touch and not-good kinds. You know: The good touch is a hug from your mom. The not-good kind is a touch from a stranger or even someone you know who makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid. Be clear with children about boundaries and body safety — it is just as important to tell children not to touch others as it is to tell them not to let people touch them.

You can emphasize that our bodies are our own, and that they are private. No one has the right to touch us in a way that makes us uncomfortable or scares us. Even if that person is someone in our family or someone we know very well, he or she still doesn’t have the right to touch us in our private parts.

Furthermore, you can say that if someone does try to touch them in a way that doesn’t feel right, they should say No or Stop and then tell mom, dad or another adult they trust right away. Emphasize to your child that no matter what that person may say to them, they must tell a trusted adult as soon as possible. Even if somebody tells them to keep it a secret — DON’T. And they should also know that if something does happen, if someone does touch them or try to touch them, it’s not their fault, they won’t be in trouble, and they are not to blame if an adult doesn’t respect private areas.

There are also a few books I like for young kids on this subject: There’s I Said No: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Kimberly Kind, Zach King, as well as Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Spelman.

Finally, if you have questions or are looking for more information, here are a few easy-to-access resources for parents — and these places are also good spots to find referrals for other experts in the city:
The Joseph J. Peters Institute
The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance
The City’s Office of the District Attorney


Adorable Newborn Photos

Some of the most precious pictures you’ll ever have of your little nugget Read more

newborn photos elanna d

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We’ve written before about Elanna Sesink-Clee of Elanna D Photography: The Philly-based photographer, you may recall, does beautiful work with families, kids, moms-to-be, and — a particular specialty — newborns. Elanna loves the artistic element of newborn photography, she says, and the fact that it allows her to show off her “vintage-loving” side.

“I also love that I can spend time planning for a newborn session — getting sets and props ready, picking out colors and that sort of thing — and I love the fact that newborns are so sweet and innocent. Capturing them like this for their families to remember brings me such joy.” What’s more: In addition to being a photographer, Elanna is also a professional nanny, so she’s very used to little ones, and has the gentleness and patience that it takes to get the sweetest shots.

Anyway. Elanna’s newborn sessions come in a couple of different package options: The more basic of the two ($275) focuses on just the baby, and you get up to two hours of shooting, as well as a private online viewing gallery, 15 to 20 digital images (with printing rights), and your choice of one birth announcement design. The second package ($375) can include the whole family in a lifestyle session at your house or in Elanna’s University City-based studio. (Home visits are an option for the first package, too, actually — but in both cases, you’ll pay a little extra for the travel.) This package includes 25 to 30 downloadable, printable pictures and the birth announcement, as well.

Interested in learning more about the newborn sessions, or getting inspiration for your photos? Check out the site, Elanna’s Instagram (Elannadphotography) or her blog, where there are a whole bunch of lovely examples of her work (and also, tons of cute newborns, squeeeee!)

Wee Bits: Blue Apron Gets Real, Healthier Food at Target, the Horridness of That Emoji Movie and New Outdoor Play Classes

News, happenings, reads and other fun tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

wee bits

This roundup of the meanest lines from reviews of that Emoji movie is pretty hilarious. Via the Vulture.

Well this is nice news coming out of Target. (Parents.com)

Hahahahahaaaaa. This faux note from the Blue Apron people is the best possible break from — and realistic riff on — the fresh hell that is the news every day. Brilliant. (Via McSweeneys.)

From TinyBop: 13 books to help teach kids about empathy. A nice selection.

Helpful piece from The Cut on buying the best, chiropractor-approved backpacks for kids. 

Fascinating piece from the NYT, but I must admit that I have major problems with focusing on self-expression and artistry in writing at the expense of teaching basics, like grammar. If nobody can understand you, it doesn’t matter what you’re trying to express. Anyway, it’s not either/or, it’s both/and, in my humble opinion.

The city’s first protected bike lane is coming to Philly, according to Curbed.

Hey, here’s a great list of all the festivals happening in and around the city in August, courtesy of uwishunu.

Parents: Tinkergarten classes — focused on play-based, outdoor learning — are gearing up to start again this fall, and if you hurry, you can still snag a spot!

As a native Nashvillian, I am VERY interested in Shake Shack’s newest addition: The hot chick’n sandwich.

Dorothy Robinson at the Tankini Files says we all need to buy this cardboard playhouse from Amazon, and I believe her.

Liked this New Zealand politician’s reaction to a problematic perspective on employers having a “right” to ask women about their childbearing plans. Via the Guardian.

7 Things at Trader Joe’s That Have Made Mealtime Much (Much!) Easier

Thanks, TJ’s. Read more

trader joe's dinners

Some nights — okay, fine, most nights — there’s no way that I’m actually putting a reasonably healthy dinner on the table unless I make take some major (major) shortcuts. At times, that’s been Blue Apron (a service I’ve written about liking before, although I’ll admit, even that isn’t as much of a shortcut as I usually need); sometimes that’s the slow cooker; sometimes it’s relying on a handful of Trader Joe’s go-tos I’ve started keeping around the house as a safeguard from just giving up and ordering noodles. (Because let’s be honest: I’m always just one minuscule mealtime hardship away from just giving up and ordering noodles.)  Here, those TJ favorite shortcuts: Read more →

Wee Musings: What, Exactly, Is Princess Kate Doing?

I must know the royal parents’ secret Read more

will and kate

It is well-documented that I am no fan of celebrity journalism as it relates to parenting —  though that’s also slightly ironic, as I generally like to indulge in regular celebrity journalism, and I obviously care about reading about parenting (to a point). But something always rubs me the wrong way when People or Parenting.com or whomever gives that sort of awestruck, sycophantic coverage to a celebrity’s “parenting wisdom” or “post-baby body” (ew), or when any outlet in any way suggests that some random actress represents #parentinggoals because said actress says something halfway reasonable or, you know … normal. It’s just all so much BS to me.

ALL THAT SAID, I always think about how HARD it must be to be William and Kate, parenting small children in the public eye as they do (and in a role where protocol and manners matter way more than they do for most of us). To wit: Much ado was made over little Charlotte’s recent “tantrum” during a long journey, which looked to me like a very small moment of whining and two-year-old stubbornness, as opposed to any sort of knock-down-drag-out that most of us think of when we think of tantrums. But in any case, all I could think was: What’s going through Kate’s mind in that moment? I basically break into a flop sweat when my three-year-old misbehaves in front of strangers at Target — I can’t imagine facing that possibility in front of the prime minister of Canada (even though he actually seems like he’d be cool with it) and 1,564 photographers. 

Sorry if this seems like a frivolous topic for a post. But I have to say that I find it hard to fathom the pressure to parent on the world’s stage, and deeply I hope those two write a book one day and spill their secrets as to how they deal with that pressure with what appears to be both a smiling calm and an also ability to shut it down. (What do they have? A royal parent coach? Hypnosis? A shot of tequila before they deplane?) How is it we never see those kids face-down on the tarmac? (Royal-level bribery? New ponies? What!?) Forget Beyonce’s post-baby exercise regimen (yawn) or some reality star’s take on vaccines — I want a Vanity Fair story about this, please.