What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Month: January 2018

Episode 35: What is Up With Toddlers?

Have you a short fat dictator in your home? Do you cower before a 24-pound child demanding pizza– no, not THAT kind of pizza! the other kind, the kind she likes NOW, which apparently has neither sauce nor cheese? 

What is *UP* with toddlers?

In this episode we discuss

  • why toddlers’ tantrums may have, at least at one time, been biologically necessary
  • why taking your toddler’s french toast sticks away makes him feel like he’s suddenly swimming alone in open ocean
  • how expecting a toddler to be “magically cute” is extremely problematic
  • why, if you really must ice-skate with a toddler, you must always, always take your own skates off first

And here’s links to some fascinating research, helpful tips, and funny toddler stuff we reference:

Kate Gammon for Popular Science: Birth Of Memory: Why Kids Forget What Happened Before Age 7

Patrick Sauer for Fatherly: What’s Going On Inside A Toddler’s Brain, According To Science

Alison Gopnik’s TED talk: What Do Babies Think? 

Mo Willems and his perfect description of how a toddler goes “boneless”

Toddlerography with James Corden and Jennifer Lopez

…and from England’s First Steps Research, a study indicating that a toddler’s daily caloric output is the equivalent of going 83 rounds in a boxing ring.

This episode also features our interview with Heather Spohr, co-author of the new book The Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Whiny Unfed. Spohr’s book is hilarious *and* has practical advice (our favorite combo) for surviving the inevitable onslaught of the Toddler Apocalypse in your own household. Take heart, and plan ahead.

Episode 34: We’re Feeling Goal-y (Our Resolutions for the New Year)

It’s a new year, and we’ve got goals. Some of them are perhaps the same as last year, but Margaret says that 2018 is all about Widening the Window of Acceptability. Isn’t that a lovely notion? If redefined to include regular ambulatory activity, “get in shape” might indeed be something we accomplish this year.

Either way, we are here to *win 2018*, whether through Amy’s Word For the Year (“Clarify”) or Margaret’s Phrase For These Times (“Say Yes to Less”).  In this episode we both agree to avoid the Cookie Committee, or whatever it is we really don’t want to get roped into this year, by taking Brené Brown’s advice of choosing discomfort over resentment.

Here’s what else one or both of us hereby swears to do on the record in this episode:

  • read more books (Margaret says she’ll read 30 in 2018)
  • drink two glasses of water with lemon every morning (okay this one might be just Amy)
  • meditate
  • organize kid-free time
  • soften into with-kids time
  • dock our phones in the kitchen at night

Here’s links to some other sources of inspiration discussed in this episode:

for stuck creatives: Jon Acuff’s book  Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

for those in a tough moment: David Foster Wallace’s  “This is Water”

for those of us who tend to conflate busy-ness with worthiness: this clip of Joan Rivers from “A Piece of Work” 

to make meditation easier: the Headspace app

to read more articles instead of your Facebook feed: the Pocket app

What are your 2018 goals? We want to hear from you! Tell us in the comments!



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