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TiffinTalk Blog

Sunday, 30 April 2017 15:26

4 (+1) Rules for the Summer of the College Kid Featured

Enter, stage front and center*, the child-now-young adult home from college for summer break with a carload of “schtuff” to be unloaded and then repacked (with even more absolutely necessary "schtuff") in just 3 months. Oh joy. Tis the return of the prodigal son/daughter/brother/sister. Possibly in plural form. You can’t wait. No. Hold on a second . . . Yes. Yes, you can. Others – including pets – can’t wait either. Actually, they can, too. Everyone is feeling the return with growing anticipation and with rising confusion. Excitement or fear? Happiness or frustration? It’ll be a shift. An adjustment. There…
Sunday, 27 November 2016 16:44

Mom Knows Best . . . Do Not Listen to Mom Featured

    I’m old enough to be a mom and blessed enough to still have my own mom close by. Here’s how being a mom and having a mom works: My teens don’t listen to their mom (me) and I, in turn, don’t listen to my mom. It’s not intentional. It’s a mom thing. It’s a kid thing. The truth of it is: Moms do know best. They are brilliant. They have experience. And they know (and try to accept) that their children actually do hear them even if they are not listening in the moment. Or maybe children are…
  If you haven’t read it already (and you haven’t just eaten), you might skim the last blog about the vermin-vomiting dog. It’ll get you in the right dog mind. Or left one. (Is there actually room for two?) Unexpectedly, I’m riffing on the service dog. Turns out that animals (and kids) actually do provide a fodder for stories that I never thought I’d tell. Those poop stories I listened to when I was not a parent – the very stories I swore I would never, NEVER, be reduced to even whispering aloud when I became a parent – were…
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 22:58

Real Parenting Stories: The Dog Ate a Mouse Featured

Not just a mouse. A dead mouse. Not really freshly dead, but not exactly shriveled up and odor-free, either. And not just an almost fresh dead mouse, but a dead mouse who may have ingested rat poison that the landlord used in our newly rented home while the house was between tenants. And there’s more. Because Rory-the-mouse-eating-dog is not just a dog. She’s a service dog-in-training. A 6-month old puppy who just passed round 1 of her service dog tests. This is one brilliant dog. (Mouse consumption notwithstanding.) However, she has become the gold-plated dog. The dog who costs just…
Saturday, 31 December 2016 20:40

We’ve Just Survived the Holiday Sandwich Featured

  For many around the world - but certainly not all – the month of December has turned into this chaotic time warp. And time, as we once knew it, has turned into “Apple time” – you know when the time for installation and upgrades alternates (versus counts down) from 75 seconds to 43 days to 27 minutes and so on and then . . . TA DA! Done! What the hell? Who counts like that? And how did the holiday time become some sort of “iTime”? The rush into the holiday season has turned into a crush of the…
Monday, 19 December 2016 17:59

Making the News! Did You Hear the Latest?!

The original start of this post: Not only have we relaunched our website (Again? Yes!! AGAIN!) but we are also in the news and on the road at showsand festivals and conferences and giving talks and being featured in blogs and online holiday gift guides and . . . and . . . and . . .  But it just got better.   Today, Monday, December 19, we were featured on the front page of the business section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. (also here at How's that for exciting news? Go there – but come back here because there's…
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 15:48

Politics – Conversations to Avoid Avoiding

Politics suck. That may be the only political fact we can depend on. (Check that out with Politifact.) Conversationally speaking, of course, politics are great. Usually. But the general rule is: Don’t engage. Stay clear of political chatter if it appears at the family reunion or holiday dinner with relatives who clearly were born on the other branches of the same (?) family tree. It's not worth pruning your tree over politics. Honestly. There’s a lot more to life. A lot. Take a few more breaths. Attempt a polite change of the impolite political topic. Then focus on quietly counting how…
Where is death one year later? The truth is I don’t know. My nephew died. It’s been a year. Emotionally, it was yesterday. I screamed so loudly and fell to my knees when his brother called that day and said ... I actually cannot recall exactly what he said. Odd how you think you'll never forget. But I simply couldn’t comprehend the words coming through the phone. Nothing made sense. My body knew what my mind refused to know. The impossible. At an impossible age. For impossible reasons. Danny had died of a seizure. How insane was that? Enough that…
When we send our kids to college, we pack everything they own, then immediately unpack ½ of it, and repack some critical college must-haves (including the damnable x-long twin sheets for beds that only college dorm rooms have). AND then we attempt to squeeze in all the advice that we can force them to listen to, plus toss in a few handwritten notes (to reinforce anything they couldn’t hear because they were distracted by the necessity to roll their eyes and tap a foot impatiently). All those notes get tucked into the odd places to be found while they are…
Tuesday, 09 August 2016 14:08

College Children and Addlebrained Parents

It’s that time of year. We are in urgent need of PACCAPs (Public Announcements from College Children for Addlebrained Parents). We can save the breath of anxious college-bound children and the going-deaf ears of their anxious parents. Hundreds of thousands of parents will no longer feel the compulsion to shoot the human messenger (aka: their children). Let’s just save on anxiety levels (on both sides), overuse of sighs, whiny toddlerlike tones, and unspoken “duhs”. Believe me – I’ve paid my “duhs”. This system delivers the same, reliable message at regular intervals – automatically. Painlessly. Aloud. Over secret wireless technology that…
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