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The other day, while I was putting lotion on in the bathroom, my son stood on his tiptoes in front of the full-length mirror just outside the door and considered himself.


“I’m tall!” he shouted.

He let his heels drop, walked over to me, and asked, “Is time going to pass and I’m just going to get older and older?”

That was when my heels also dropped to the floor, so to speak.

“Um,” I said.

It only took a moment for me to get where this was coming from. He’d been recently asking for two books to be read to him over and over. The first, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore“, is a lovely meditation on the immortality of the written word and the way storytelling shapes our lives. The second, “The Giving Tree“, about a boy who loves a tree but treats it like garbage so he can achieve his standard-issue dreams, is a book I respect for its poetry but despise for what I consider its totally absent heart. In both, the boy telling the story grows and ages and, ultimately, dies or gets as close to death as one can in a children’s book. I didn’t realize how much he’d been thinking about that stuff. I didn’t realize he knew it could happen to him – the frightening effects of time – but of course I should have. So how, I wondered before the bathroom mirror, would I tell my son the truth without scaring him?

Time will pass. He will get older and older. So will I and so will his dad and so will everyone he knows and loves, and someday, if he is lucky, his face will not look like the face of the baby I gave birth to three-and-a-half years ago, but of a man on whom life has taken all of its magnificent and terrible tolls.

“Well, yeah,” I said, squatting down to meet him eye to eye. “But it takes a long time.”

“I don’t want to get old,” he said. He looked scared.

“You will,” I told him, trying to sound not scared. “But that’s a good thing! Someday, you’ll get to grow a beard, like Daddy.”

I don’t know why this seemed to me then to be a real enticing reason to become a grown-up. I could’ve come up with a million better ones, like that you can have ice cream for breakfast or drive a car or stay up all night, but he’d asked before about the beard on the man in “The Giving Tree”. It just came out!

He shook his head with certainty.

“I don’t want a beard.”

“Because Daddy’s beard scratches your face?” He nodded soberly. “Yeah, I hear that. You don’t have to have one.”

“I want to grow up to be a pig,” he said.

Right.

He’d already told my mom this pig thing – that rather than growing up to be a man, a pig would be better. So I wasn’t shocked to hear it. It seemed ill-advised at that moment for me to let him know that some boys grow up to both. Instead I said that was great, and we moved on.

For the next day or so, I thought about what more I could have said, about how I could have better put his mind at ease about the inevitability of time. I remembered reading the trippy, haunting “The Lonely Doll” as a very young girl and considering, for the first time, the whole notion of loneliness. Flipping through that book – I don’t think I could read yet – I started worrying about what happens after you die and that breathless whirling terror would seize my stomach and I’d have to distract myself, fast, before the panic immobilized me. I remember this so well! It was so scary. It still is.

And yet, I’m OK. There might not be a special trick to talking to your kid about time and aging, probably because both are unavoidable. But I learned how to extract myself from wading around in the unknown. Hopefully, my son will too. And if he doesn’t, I’ll be there.

Right after I tuck those books into the back of a closet. And tell my husband to shave his beard.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

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Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

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As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

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