2021年1月2日 星期六

Surprise Kittens, Drunk Babies and a Jimmy Buffett Dad

The funniest and most delightful NYT Parenting stories from 2020.

Editor’s note: Apologies for sending the vacation fantasy email twice — we must really love fantasizing about vacations. Here’s the email we meant to send today! Happy New Year.

A roundup of new guidance and stories from NYT Parenting.

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Golden Cosmos

Instead of dwelling on the absolute trash fire that was 2020, I wanted to spend the first newsletter of this hopefully improved new year reminding you of the funniest and most delightful pieces we published last year.

NYT Parenting had everything: a pandemic cat with a secret, a Jimmy Buffett dad, terrible old-timey parenting advice about drunk babies, creepy children, the magic of impulse buys, a sleepwalker and an insomniac’s sleepless kid, criticism as love language, and mind games you can play with your children.

Here’s to a healthier and happier 2021, and thank you for enduring 2020 with us.

— Jessica Grose, columnist, NYT Parenting

THIS YEAR IN NYT PARENTING

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Nan Lee

My Pandemic Cat Had a Secret

First of all, she wasn’t a kitten …

By Carla Bruce-Eddings

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Peyton Fulford for The New York Times

Helicopter Mom vs. Jimmy Buffett Dad

Comedian Michelle Buteau thought the hard part was over when she and her husband welcomed twins after struggling with infertility. Little did she know.

By Michelle Buteau

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Celeste Sloman for The New York Times

A Sleepwalker and an Insomniac Walk Into a Bed

What happens when two people who can’t sleep have a baby who … also doesn’t sleep? Mike Birbiglia found out.

By Mike Birbiglia

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Ping Zhu

Criticism Is My Love Language

Nine years into my marriage, it’s taken a global crisis to make me a nicer person.

By Priyanka Mattoo

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Adriana Bellet

When Impulse Buys Make You Feel Safe

A toddler-sized vacuum can’t fix the world. But it can make my kid smile, and help soothe my uncertainty.

By Kaitlyn Greenidge

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Eugenia Loli

NYT PARENTING

A Brief History of Questionable Parenting Advice

Wine is good for children but bananas are bad, according to the Times archives.

By Jessica Grose

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Janik Söllner

Forget Halloween. Children Are Frightening Year-Round.

Why little kids have a special ability to creep out their parents.

By Christina Caron

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Igor Bastidas

The Brain Test You Want Your Kid to Fail

The Conservation Test

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Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let’s celebrate the tiny victories.

To help engage our 1.5-year-old toddler twins with brushing their teeth, we started a family tooth-brushing circle. The boys LOVE getting to copy us with their own toothbrushes. — Carla Vassilos, Chicago

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.

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Alone in a Fancy Hotel Bathroom

Parents’ solo-vacation fantasies, hopefully realized in 2021.

Alone in a Fancy Hotel Bathroom

Tiago Majuelos

When I’m having trouble falling asleep, I think about a paddle boat ride I took in 2010. My husband and I were on our honeymoon, staying at a hotel in Portugal that was right on the bay. I have a visceral memory of raising my face to the sun, lazily paddling around while the sea breeze gently flowed around me. I recall that moment when I’m tossing and turning in these pandemic times; I felt so relaxed and free then … because I didn’t have kids.

I had this reverie in mind (and also this viral tweet about the desire to open a bed-and-breakfast for burned-out women with an unprintable yet irresistible name) when I asked readers for their fantasy child-free solo trips. These are the kinds of vacations you would take if money and child care were no object, and the coronavirus miraculously disappeared tomorrow.

Here’s a sampling of the most hilarious and relatable responses. I hope that you all get to do these things in 2021, or at least find some time for yourself, even if it’s hiding in your bathroom.

The All-Inclusive Experience

“My fantasy solo vacation would be at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. I would revel in not having to cook, clean, do laundry or pay for anything on the spot. I would take naps on the beach beds while listening to the ocean and let my mind empty. I would have a frozen drink at a swim-up bar, that intoxicating sensory overload of the water, sun and diluted sugary frozen cocktail. I would read whole pages of books without interruption. I would be away long enough to miss my kids, which I am guessing would be about two full weeks.” — Valerie Sprout, Shawnee, Kan.

Please Just Leave Me Alone in This Bathroom

“I will travel across an ocean for a good bath soak. Specifically, I would go back to the Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh, Scotland, and soak in one of their gorgeous, metallic claw-foot tubs in the bay window of a hotel suite overlooking the city. The bubbly bath soak would last for an entire morning while I sip an espresso and munch on treats from their curated mini bar, all while reading. Then I would spend the day taking in the gorgeous architecture of Edinburgh and wandering in and out of the city’s best bookstores and museums, and of course grab high tea. I would then cap the day off with a room service dinner and another leisurely bath soak.” — Zahra Nawaz Curtin, Manhattan, N.Y.

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I Want to Do All the Things

“I would travel to a perfect combination of a place to visit and learn new things (like museums/ruins or just lovely towns to walk and explore), and a retreat spa where I could enjoy hot tubs and cold immersion pools, practice yoga and also drink a nice cup of coffee whilst catching up on the 2,347 books I desperately want to read! Athens in Greece, Nusa Dua in Bali, Oaxaca in Mexico … I am flexible with location!” — Mariana Delgado, Cambridge, England.

“I’d go to Europe and hit every art museum possible. Here’s the fantasy part: I’d stand in front of the pieces I found intriguing for as long as I wanted, without having to rush on to the next thing because I was ‘taking too long’ or because ‘this is SO boring.’ I would revel in just standing still and looking. For hours and hours.” — Krista Harmon, Portland, Ore.

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Accessible Dreams

“I would go to Barnes & Noble. Sitting in one of the Barnes & Noble chairs with a coffee from Starbucks and getting some me-and-books time was something I would promise myself to mark milestones: landing that very first gig, wrapping up an important project, seeking comfort from the low of missing loved ones back home and so on. My Barnes & Noble therapy worked each time, and I can see no other way to commemorate an event such as the end of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic than by transporting myself to my once favorite comfort place.” — Shruta Satam, Sydney, Australia.

“My fantasy solo vacation is actually a week alone in my house without my kids and husband. I can eat when I want to, go to sleep as early as I want to and eat bagels with cream cheese for dinner. Alone. In silence.” — Jessica Hajee, Nairobi, Kenya

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“Is it terrible if my fantasy is just ‘anywhere my kids aren’t’?” — Sarah Maniscalco, Brampton, Ontario

P.S. Follow us on Instagram @NYTParenting. If this was forwarded to you, sign up for the NYT Parenting newsletter here.

Tiny Victories

Parenting can be a grind. Let’s celebrate the tiny victories.

My 14-month-old is a wriggling escape artist during diaper changes, so now we ask Google Home to make different animal sounds, “Hey, Google, what does a dolphin say?” He’ll stop moving to listen, we get to finish the diaper change drama-free and sometimes even get a good chuckle from him on a particularly funny animal. — Tina Groff, San Francisco

If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; email us; or enter your Tiny Victory at the bottom of this page. Include your full name and location. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. Your name, location and comments may be published, but your contact information will not. By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us.

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