Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Angry Mom, the Heroic Flight Attendant

Last week, while one flight attendant was getting all the attention for his dramatic "not going to take this anymore" antics, a real in-flight hero went virtually ignored. Aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, flight attendant Beverly Kay McCurley witnessed an agitated mother strike her crying thirteen-month-old baby on the face with an open hand. In an attempt to help the mother - and bring calm to an escalating situation that was disturbing other passengers - Beverly intervened by taking the baby and calming her, also enabling the father to leave his seat to comfort his child at the back of the plane. 

But Beverly cared more than simply for her passengers comfort; she could not rest after what she saw. She reported the mother's behavior to the head-crew, who arranged for law enforcement to meet the family when they landed. After a welfare check - during which police inquired about the baby's black eye which the parents pinned on a dog bite - the parents were allowed to go. The mother defended her actions, saying she "popped" her because "that's the only way I can get her to stop." As if it gave her all the freedom in the world, she added, "She’s my daughter." 

Shockingly, Beverly's actions spurred a debate about whether it was right to interfere in another mother's parenting. Shocking, because, quite simply, no one actually believes that hitting a baby - not a child, a baby - is an actual parenting method. Experts on both sides of the corporal punishment debate believe that it's wrong to hit a child that young. Most parents hear this story and think, "That’s awful." And yet, oddly, most parents would refrain from getting involved. 

But why? Where is the room for debate over Beverly's involvement? How can it possibly be argued that she should have let the mother continue "popping" her tired and upset baby? Mind your own whose expense? 

I would posit that most parents are uncomfortable with the idea that our individual parenting can be subject to a stranger's scrutiny. So when it comes to other parents choices, we choose our involvement carefully. But is all this so-called sensitivity always appropriate? While some may be unwilling to accept interference over normative methods of parenting to which there are valid and healthy takes on both sides, no mother should be so confident to think that passersby will accept her out-of-control moments that may endanger her young. 

In my eyes, the world of motherhood can use a few more Beverlys. She didn't heed the voices saying "don't get involved." In stark contrast to our "to each his own" society, she jumped right in where she new she was needed. 

Every mother can be this kind of hero. Instead of turning your head out of embarrassment for a struggling and agitated mother, kindly offer your help. It will go a long way for a burdened parent, much further than our silent stares and teeming judgment. If more parents looked out for each other and stepped in when it was absolutely necessary, maybe there wouldn't be so many mothers who feel comfortable slapping their kids in the line at Target or dragging their two year olds by the ear to get them to leave the park. 

Thank you Beverly for reminding us that we are all each other's keepers. To the out of control mother who said, "She’s my daughter," you answered, "Yes, but right now she's my responsibility." Because of your heroism, there is one mother who has a lot to think about while vacationing in New Mexico. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Becky's Bottom Line: Disaster Zone B

Becky's Bottom Line

By Becky Brownstien


I have a rare condition. Yes, it was self diagnosed. My condition is, if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. I’m not talking about faith or religious thoughts or anything like that. I’m talking about messes. Huge, ginormous, larger than life disaster areas that make you stop breathing if you think about the act of cleaning it. Like, the basement/playroom, otherwise known as disaster zone B. (Disaster zone A is another post altogether)

In an act to regain control of the playroom, I did a major makeover in the basement. I painted, bought really cute shelving, made a chalkboard on the wall with a really cute boarder, organized the books and toys. I made it adorable!

The kids were so excited about it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birth Propaganda

Birth Propaganda
By Mimi Hecht 

Over the course of my pregnancy, during which I lived in two different countries and three different cities, I saw three doctors, three birth-center midwives and spoke at length to two prominent home-birth advocates. I was one of those expectant mothers who came prepared with a plethora of questions, eager to hear various opinions that would help shape my own still forming view. 

But as my child gestated within, the questions too grew larger. Every one I consulted has scripted and predictable answers about what they considered a prime birthing situation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Neshama & Nourishment: Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes

Neshama and Nourishment
By Liorah Abrams 

Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes
Neshama: Sometimes in life as in cooking, you will find things you can not accomplish, for one reason or another.  That does not mean that you can not have what you want, only that you must look at things in a different way in order to accomplish your desire.


1 Small saucepan
1 Small corning ware (or similar) dish


1 Pint of Coffee Rich Non-Dairy Creamer
3 Tbsp. Osem Onion Soup Mix
4 - 5 Large Potatoes, Peeled and sliced thin across the width (making "circles", not long ovals)
2 - 3 Tbsp. Margarine, softened
Pam Spray

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Becky's Bottom Line: Date Night

Becky's Bottom Line
By Becky Brownstein

"Her emotions are so fragile. But I can’t stop my relationship 
with my husband for a daughter who misunderstands the whole point of a date."


My kids are getting older. With them getting older, life has given me much more space to breathe. But with more breathing space comes many more hardships. For one, date night. You might be thinking, “What the heck is this woman writing about? Date nights making things harder? Seriously?!”

Calm down. Let me explain.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

To Have a Sister

In Honor of National Sister's Day, August 1st

"At the wedding, Mushky wept like a baby and danced like a nut."

My relationship with my sister got off to a bad start. As an only girl with five brothers, I had spent months awaiting my mother’s birth, praying for a sister. It was the first pregnancy that I had been cognitive enough to realize my mother was expecting and, let’s just say, my hopes and dreams were no secret. Perhaps if I had a sister, I would have more solid defense when my brothers wanted to wreak havoc on my dolls and it would certainly mean one more female to reckon with when playtime debates were whether to wrestle or play basketball. Never mind the fact that I deeply felt I could use a companion to share the brunt of my mother subjecting me to an overabundance of pink and bows (which totally backfired, by the way).

Marriage Musings: Delicate Speech

Marriage Musings
By Russi Wachtel

"We were given the gift of speech so that we could embrace others through words. 
Yet, many of us thoughtlessly push others away with the absence of verbal concern."


Silly folks, say silly things, akin to the infamous quote “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.” The founder of such a saying must have had a midget mind or a deprived temporal lobe.
Words are far more powerful than people give credit – it is our speech that can harm or help build a relationship, especially a relationship between a husband and wife.

How many times have you said something to your husband that you regretted only moment’s later, wishing that you could reel your words back into your mouth in order to make a slight alteration?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Mom Tips: Coupons: Friend of Foe?

Happy Mom Tips
By Rivka Caroline

Happy Mom Tip #9

Here are my golden rules for using coupons effectively:

1) Only clip coupons for items you already buy. 

2) Don't waste time by dividing them into coupon holders; simply keep them in a ziploc bag.

3) Keep your coupons in your car (not on your desk!) and quickly look them through before you jump out of the car (rather than as you shop).

4) Discard expired coupons as you wait online.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Becky's Bottom Line: I Hate Winter

Becky's Bottom Line
By Becky Brownstein

Somewhere over the rainbow....
...there's something Becky calls, "real summer." 


Growing up in Southern California had many perks. The number one perk is the weather. It took me having to move to Pennsylvania to appreciate the weather I lived with for 18 years of my life. Now that it’s summer and school is out, the kids are home a lot. Yes, they do have camp but the days are long. The days are even longer when it rains. I never knew it rained in the summer until I moved here. What the heck is spring for then?

On the pesky rainy days, when the kids are locked inside, I find myself humming little tunes here and there.