Two Cents
Leslie Morgan Steiner is the editor of the best-selling anthology Mommy Wars and the brand new memoir Crazy Love. Steiner is a frequent guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, and regularly contributes to The New York Times, Newsweek and Vanity Fair. She lives with her husband and 3 kids in Washington, DC.  In this column, she will offer her Two Cents on issues relating to modern motherhood. 

Holiday Hate

I spent this week gingerly checking in with all my married girlfriends.  It felt like that first call you make to someone after the funeral of a relative.  Important but dreaded.  My calls were to see how they survived the first hurdle of the annual holiday marathon.

 

“So….how was your Thanksgiving?” I asked J. as we went for a power walk in the woods near my childhood home yesterday.

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Moms Who Can't Cook

In college I had a friend who adored cooking for me. She said she put love in the food while she chopped, cooked, and served.  I swear, the simple meals she made for me in her family’s kitchen tasted better than anything I’d ever eaten.

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Rats 'R' Us

What can a rat tell us about good parenting?

 

Actually, a lot.

 

New York Times Magazine writer Paul Tough spent the last few years researching rats and humans for his latest book, “How Children Succeed."

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Are They Kids or Piglets?

I grew up in a chaotically messy home, with a busy mom who disdained cleaning AND cleaning women.  Our cat’s litter box was changed approximately every three years.  If the screen door ripped, it stayed ripped.  Half the food in the fridge was covered in green and white fuzzy mold.

 

My little corner room was my oasis. You could eat off the polished wood floor. My four-poster bed had hospital corners. The three windows sparkled with Windex. I scrubbed the toilet adjacent to my room once a week (sometimes twice).

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Halloween Costume Choices

When I was in elementary school, my favorite Halloween costume was a cat.  Every year.  Now that I am an adult I still have a strong feline proclivity - extra black eyeliner, cat ears, and a tail tied to my jeans.  1-2-3 meow!

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Playground Politics

Two weeks ago, I happened to call an old friend who lives in Ohio, with whom I speak once a year or so.  Before I could even ask how the kids were, my friend launched into a fiery political diatribe that caught me by surprise.

 

“Why don’t you do something about those idiots in your town?”  (I live in Washington, about two miles from the White House, but I’m not exactly on a first-name basis with the president.)  “I’m busy working my butt off to pay for the other 47% that’s too lazy to work!”

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Free Birth Control - In Your Home?

Not surprisingly, recent headlines about free birth control really caught America’s attention.  A St. Louis research team tracked more than 9,000 women, many of them poor or uninsured, from 2008 to 2010. The women were given their choice of contraception at no cost - from birth control pills to foolproof, long-term options like the IUD or implants.

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Kids and Cars

When my kids were little, I worried about three critical safety factors, which in fact were the top three causes of preventable deaths in children ages 1 to 14:

 

  • Accidental drownings
  • Traffic accidents
  • Bicycle, skateboard and scooter-related head injuries

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Candidate Wives Debate

President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney’s first debate is scheduled for this Wednesday, October 3.  The vice presidential debate kicks off Thursday, October 11.

 

However I, for one, think we’d probably glean more insights about what America needs by watching Modern Family reruns than by hearing rhetoric from the four male candidates. 

 

The people I’d like to hear debate?  Their wives.

 

Michelle Obama vs. Ann Romney.  Jill Biden vs. Janna Ryan.  Woo hoo! more

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