THE FD.COM REVIEW: "MOTHER LOAD"

016We regrettably missed old friend Amy Wilson's one-woman show, "Mother Load," during its initial run this past summer. But we were able to catch the performance at a special showcase last night as Amy prepares to take her monologue on the road. If the show should come to your town (follow its itinerary here), don't miss it.

In a tight, frequently hilarious 70 minutes, Wilson takes us on a sometimes painfully frank tour through fertility treatments, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, reflux, play groups and nursery-school aps, without ever losing her sense of humor. (Best line: An admissions director trumpeting her nursery school's diversity, which runs the gamut from "families who have summer homes in the Hamptons. . . to families who have summer homes in the Catskills.")

The true focus of the show is how an insecure new mother is pushed and pulled by the incessant (and here, offstage) voices of parenting books, magazines, researchers and coaches, constantly telling her she's a bad parent if she does X or doesn't do Y. In the end, happily, our heroine decides to listen to her own voice and find her own way.  . . In other words, this is the show the Park Slope Moms don't want you to see!

(Amy also blogs about her family and her show here.)

THANKS, COMMENTERS!

Freelance Dad's latest piece for Disney's Family.com, "Guests at the Funeral," continues its run today as that site's showcased "Comment Mania!" essay. The response has been terrific so far, so our thanks to anyone who has gone from this site to that one to post their own comment (and potentially win a fabulous cash-equivalent prize!).

IN JUST UNDER THE WIRE, THE 2007 PARENTING STORY OF THE YEAR   

ArthannahmontanaapWe're late to the game posting this one, we admit, but if there's even a small chance you missed the Christmas-week story about the 6-year-old Texas girl whose mom helped her win a makeover and a pair of "Hannah Montana"/Miley Cyrus tour tickets by penning an essay for a national contest about her dad losing his life to a roadside bomb in Iraq, then we want to share it with you. Of course, the girl's father is not dead, not a soldier, and not in Iraq. So the tickets went to someone else, and the little girl's mom non-apologized while sitting beside her lawyer and psychiatrist on The TODAY Show, insisting that she meant "no disrespect":

". . . . It was not my intention to mislead. I just wanted to help my daughter write a compelling story. There is no more compelling story than the struggle and sacrifices of our military and their families. I apologize to our military and their families.”

But here's the highlight for us [emphasis added]:

Asked how she explained the events to her daughter, she said, “I told my daughter the truth. I told her we wrote an essay and they said it was a lie. And I refused to accept the tickets. I told her there will be another time.”

IN OTHER DISNEY CHANNEL-RELATED NEWS

Iconator_db895a9e9fa91c1d033130c17fDisturbingly, Tiny recently used some of her holiday Toys R Us gift-card money on a Sharpay dress-up doll from HSM2.

We've long been troubled that Sharpay is Tiny's favorite character from the series, and once tried to explain to her that Sharpay is, you know, is bitch on wheels (well, words to that effect). But then Tiny asked us if we thought she should like Gabriella the most instead. Never wanting to dictate role models to her, and frankly not finding Gabriella to be a vastly better choice than Sharpay, we told her that no, she can choose to like whoever she wants. We did tell her that our own favorite character is the earnest and talented songwriter Kelsi, but that's been a hard sell.

For one thing, there's no Kelsi doll. . .

ADMIRABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD NODS

611g8hmie2l_aa240_The Washington Post has a nice piece on this year's Newbery and Caldecott award winners, announced yesterday. The Newbery went to school librarian Laura Amy Schlitz of Baltimore for "Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village," a collection of monologues published by Candlewick several years after it was pulled off the slush pile, and which will now become a best-seller. (The holiday-season rave from the Times Book Review won't hurt that cause, either.) We haven't read it ourselves, but plan to pick it up ASAP, along with Caldecott winner "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick, an ambitious, semi-graphic novel about an orphan who lives in a Paris train station. (See Times review here.)

MANHATTAN'S ELITE PRIVATE SCHOOLS: SCREWING WITH THE RICH FOLKS' HEADS SINCE 1804

The gatekeepers at the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York want parents to know that "first choice letters" to their offices this season will absolutely, definitely "not be encouraged." "Not be encouraged"!? Oh, do we love these guys. As the Sun reports today on page one, where they place a private-school admissions story about once a week, this edict's vague language, during an admissions season that promsies to be the toughest ever, has hedge-fund wives in a tizzy: Should they follow the new guidance and refrain from sending a first-choice letter? Or would they be suckers for doing that because everyone else is still going to do it? Delicious. And as the Sun correctly points out, if most parents do withhold first-choice letters, then their nursery-school directors' recommendations to private schools becomes all the more critical. Hope the amaryllis plants you gave your directors for Christmas have bloomed by now, ladies!

January 15, 2008 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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