Posts Tagged ‘libations’

Dio Mio — Mommy Prayers in Italian?

June 4, 2011

Here at the Mommy Prayers world headquarters and pizza capricciosa takeout bar, we are wiping away tears of joy with one hand and pouring a small glass of prosecco with the other: Le Preghiere delle Mamme has arrived.

That’s right, gente, Mommy Prayers has been translated to Italian. I could not be happier. No, wait, I could be happier. I could be happier if I were reading Le Preghiere delle Mamme on a balcony of Le Sirenuse in Positano. Then I could not be happier.

But even stuck in the under-dusted Mommy Prayers home office from hell, I’m still pretty happy. Mr. Mommy Prayers and I, back when he was only my intended and I was years away from being anyone’s mommy, spent six glorious months in Italy, the memory of which will sustain us both till the day we die.

We were broke, parceling out our small savings 10,000 lire at a time, living in a series of studio sublets (Florence, Rome, Positano, Trevi, Venice) — and absolutely, positively drunk in love with Italy and the Italiani.

Even in our non-childed state, it was a wonder to see how enraptured Italians are with children — theirs, strangers’, any child, any nationality, any time day or night. I will never forget finishing up a lovely and modest dinner one night at 10:30 or so, only to have a family of 15, including toddlers and a babe-in-arms, pile in and take over the joint. (The joke here, if you have not had the fortune of traveling in Italy, is that only foreigners eat before, say, 11 at night. Early bird is 9:30, 10 p.m., maybe.)

Immediately a waiter swept up the baby, to nobody’s consternation, and showed him off  to every other table in the place one by one, before disappearing with him behind the swinging double-doors of the kitchen. That mother ate an entire, dizzyingly delicious meal with not one care for her baby and not one peep out of the little ragazzo.

It’s standard operating procedure in Italy — babies are from heaven, welcomed everywhere at any hour, as much a part of life as al dente pasta, beautiful tailoring, and the Pope.

So the thought of those mothers, those parents, reading Mommy Prayers Italian-style? What can I say? Dio mio.

Nearly naked Barbie and other stealth toys

December 22, 2010

The shopping is winding down here at the Mommy Prayers strip mall as we coast into the really fun part of the holiday, the part where we eat and drink and wrap presents in joyful secrecy only to watch them get unceremoniously — nay, even violently — unwrapped a few hours later. Oh what fun.

Then there are the presents you didn’t wrap — the ones your parents, or your in-laws, or your brother, or your spouse’s best friend from grade school, have generously bought and brought for your babies. Think of them as little landmines that can blow up your entire year of careful parenting in one big sparkling shower of inappropriateness.

I’m talking about Grammy giving Nearly Naked Barbie (so pink and pretty!) to your preschool daughter, Uncle toting an ultra-violent (and ultra-plastic) Nerf machine gun for a four-year-old, or your stylin’ and child-free best friend wrapping up black skinny jeans for your little girl who still has a toddler tummy, long may it pudge out over the top of her modest and comfy sweatpants.

‘Tis the season when those closest to you seem to feel all bets are off — your annoying parenting rules are there to be broken with gifts your kids will luvvvvvv and you will haaaaate for all of 2011.

For you, and for them, we offer up some choice excerpts from Prayer for Barbie:

Dear God, well, here she is in all her ponytailed plastic glory, Barbie herself. She of the freakish 36-18-33 body measurements and the Malibu tan and the 10,000 pink accessories sold separately, including tiny stiletto heels that get sucked up by the vacuum in no time flat.

The doll I swore would never darken our doorstep is inside, unpackaged, and currently having her Hot Tub Party House play set assembled, all thanks to my in-laws. So much for that moratorium.

God, I know this is only the beginning of a long struggle with toxic popular culture. Please give me the patience to endure these fads without over-reacting, and please give me the wisdom to know when I should react.

Also the foresight not to vacuum up those expensive accessories. Amen.


The van that de-sands: If only this were true…

July 18, 2010

The Mommy Prayers summer outpost (i.e., our same old house, only now with 70% more wet towels moldering the place up) is under siege from the season — ants, compost that’s decomposing a bit too enthusiastically, endless laundry as the heat wave causes us all to change t-shirts six times a day… Don’t get me wrong, I love love love summer, but I can’t be the only one thinking, whoever wrote that song about “summertime and the livin’ is easy” probably didn’t have kids.*

What we all really need? This: a van that de-sands. And that’s not even mentioning the frosty cocktail for mama:


(From the Summer 2002 issue of Brain,Child Magazine, for all you archivists out there.)

* actually the lyricist was DuBose Heyward and I just spent a long Google-y time trying to figure out if he did have kids, because the Mommy Prayers copy desk is nothing if not scrupulous about accuracy. We turned up nothin’. If you know, let me know!

Hot mamas, cool talk, fried cole slaw

May 27, 2010

The Mommy Prayers welcome wagon is finally putting itself into park and turning off the key, which is a tortured way of saying my house, which was temporarily clean both upstairs and down to receive guests, is back to its usual state (that is, a mess, upstairs and down).

The guests were Stephanie Wilkinson and Jennifer Niesslein, co-founders of Brain,Child Magazine, BFFs and business partners, and my friends, even though I hadn’t before met Jennifer in the flesh, and that’s after +/- ten years of working together.

We dined sublime (at the staggeringly delicious Via Matta) and otherwise (at the iconic North Shore tourist joint Woodman’s, where the fried clam was invented and everything, including the cole slaw, comes from the Fry-o-lator); we chatted it up with the neo-nerd-God Fake Steve Jobs (the ex-B.F. of one of us, ain’t saying who) and his lovely wife, who is not in any way fake; and we tore about like chickens with our heads off getting ready for our big Sunday shindig.

Which was amazing. Vital. Vigorous. Boiling hot. Fifty people – including two guy people (thanks, men!) – packed into the steamy yet pleasing fourth-floor digs at Grub Street writing center to hear a red-hot roster of mamas talk about writing and parenthood.

Thank you thank you thank you Nell Beram, Sarah Buttenwieser, Karen Dempsey, Catherine Newman, Katherine Ozment, Norah Piehl, Robin Schoenthaler, Audrey Schulman and Patricia Stacey.

Just as I do when I write/edit/proof or just curl up and read any issue of Brain,Child, I laughed (Catherine), I cried (Katherine), and I ate too many brownies.

At least they weren’t fried.

Boston-area party for smart(-mouthed) mamas

May 20, 2010

Did you know? Mommy Prayers had its debut on the back humor page of the fabulous, multiple-award-winning, psychofunkadelic Brain,Child, proudly subtitled, The Magazine for Thinking Mothers (we like Thinking Dads too, but that was going to make things too long, so we stuck with the moms). 

The original conceit was three prayers – Prayer Before the Grocery Store, Prayer at Preschool Pickup, and Prayer before Sex.

From that, all kinds of good things happened, most notably agent + publisher, and I’m far from the only Brain,Child contributor to have found very good luck in taking the smaller-but-deeply-more-excellent path to publishing.

 So imagine the breadth, depth, and color saturation of my joy when I tell you Brain,Child ‘s editors are heading north (from Va.) in the next 48 hours for a Boston Party! (more…)