How It’s Done Blog


A Solid Guess on Travel Dates

Here’s what I think: I think we’ll head out around 6/11. Here’s the tentative schedule I’ve planned for us: Day 1: leave Day 2: Arrive Beijing Days 3-4: Sightsee in Beijing. Lily tries to throw Wyatt off Great Wall. International incident narrowly averted. Day 5: Fly to Fuzhou City Days 6-9 Get used to Rory, one way or another. Day 10 Fly to Guangzhou Days 11-13 Various appointments Day 14 Fly home. I may have the whole date line mixed […]

A New Take on the Temper Tantrum

Last night was windy–and where we live, that means it sounds like a freight train is coming over the hill. We lay in bed, listening, and began to hear, periodically, another sound: BANG BANG BANG. Or sometimes BANG. Or BANG BANG. It was not rhythmic, or constant, as you would expect of something the wind was blowing. And it not eventually result in the reappearance of a child, as you would expect from a kid-created noise. It just kept periodically […]

Being means WAY more than acting.

There’s been a shift again. Emotion is nothing if not seismic in this family, but this has been a nice, gradual drifting of continents. Rory likes to perform, but sometimes I have felt that she was putting on a father frantic show for us–a show of happiness, a show of belonging, as if her performing it would convince us all. Sometimes she’d be just sitting there, kind of expressionless, and I’d look at her, and I’d get this frantic grin—not […]

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…

I came in from clearing out the garden for winter a few days ago and found Rory–who’d been outside a few minutes before–sobbing at the top of the stairs. Wailing. I ran up–I thought she was hurt–and she took one look at me and ran away, shouting no! No! Well, that’s never happened before. So I followed her. No! No! I don’t want you! This is dreadful. Did she come in and feel like she couldn’t find us? Did something […]

The Parenting on Track Car Playout

Last week, I described the plot my friend Mimi and I laid to get my three littles to STOP MAKING ME CRAZY in the car.  How did it play out? So far, so damn good. I’m always a little embarrassed when these very simple things–courtesy of Parenting on Track–work over all the far more complicated strategies I’ve tried, and for the car, I’ve had more than a few. Let’s see, there were the stars that I took away for fighting […]

What to Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

This afternoon Sam had a hockey game. The three littler ones declared a preference for staying home, which seemed reasonable. They’ve watched a lot of hockey this year. For once, I could stay home. I run the clock for home games, but this was “away” even though it was our home rink. At the last possible minute Wyatt shouted “No, wait, I want to go too!” and raced out the door. Rory barely had time to contemplate his departure….and he […]

A Cake for the Cake-Hater

I’m really, really proud of myself. I made a birthday cake that even my cake-hating Rory, she of the licked-off-frosting on the $3 cupcakes, loved. I’ve noticed lots of kids are like that—they’re either cake kids or frosting kids. (Me, I was and still am a cake kid, so I do sympathize.) And I’ve noticed that our China-raised kids are often really not cake-eaters. So I’m pretty excited to share this: It’s the perfect cake for Rory. It combines three […]

Happy Birthday Rory!

Rory’s birthday was Friday, actually. (I think I begin to see why that word showed up in my wordle.) And it was also a little bit Saturday, when we skyped with Grandma Jo and opened HER presents, and then it will be a little bit Monday, when we take treats to class because you cannot take treats to class on muffin day, seriously, people, what are you thinking? It’s muffin day. And then even more NEXT Saturday, which is her […]