Falling in Love All Over Again


Life sometimes seems surreal when you are a parent. Just when you are done navigating the sea that is eating, (not) sleeping and pooping you are thrown in without notice into potty training, preschool selection and sippy cups. The phases change so fast you often miss things and find yourself falling in love with your kids. All over again.

You remember when it first happened. Their creased skin, monkey toes and little grunts. You first fell in love with a little being that you couldn’t even yet imagine as a walking, talking, thinking being. You first fell in love with a sleepy smile, bright eyes, cooing trills and the way they would nuzzle, so deeply, into your chest to sleep.

Falling in love with a newborn baby is one of the easiest things to do in life. A fuzzy head, little pouty lips, long fingers balled up in fists at their lips. Breaths and sighs and piggy snorts. The first kiss, the first hug, the first I love you. At every new turn, you find another new part of them to love.

Confession: Even with this painfully nostalgic baby talk, I think I’m done having kids. I don’t get flutters in my belly when I see a baby. I don’t have a name picked out that will never be. I have gotten rid of every burp cloth, bottle nipple and receiving blanket with no second thought. I won’t smell the new baby smell of a Gallagher baby. I won’t touch little fingers and toes. I won’t sleep with a person perfectly snuggled on my chest on the couch. I won’t change those little newborn size diapers where you can’t even really tell if they’re wet or dry. I won’t sway in the dark at 3 am in the nursery. Ever again.

We’re out of baby zone, out of the formula and diaper car payment equivalent. We’re the parents of toddlers. Mobile, loud, boisterous, destructive toddlers.

And, even though I have been in this place for months now, I haven’t really stopped and smelled the roses. I’ve been so worried about the beginning of one phase and the end of the other that I haven’t stopped and said, “Hey– hey you, kid. What’s the coolest thing you do these days?”

Because apparently, I was waiting for Spring break to figure it all out.

Tonight, Parker marched into the living room, very concerned, and asked his father one question. “Daddy, does Celia have boobies and nipples?” I looked at my husband and saw him casually assure Parker that yes, Celia had nipples, would someday have boobies and that all girls had them. We double checked that he hadn’t gotten onto some unfortunate videos on you tube, but, no, he was just that curious.

Today, spot in the middle of a time out meltdown, Parker shouted, “Mommy, your pajama pants match my PLAY-DOH!”

And yesterday, twice, on the way home from his Nana’s he said, “We had a great time at Nana’s, right?” We had the most wonderful visit with my mother and even a three year old could tell that the family was on a holiday-high.

My little boy is turning into a person who is connecting his world in a multitude of ways. I can’t even keep up with the ways his spider web of thoughts intertwine. But still, he reveals his innocence, his purity and his perfect little outlook on the world every day. “Thanks, we had a great time!” He exclaimed to the desk attendant as we left the zoo on Easter Sunday. Just a little person in a checkered hat having a great time at the zoo.

And little Celia. Time alone with her has become so special. She putters around when it’s just her and I– plays independently and really delights in being on her own. She assembles wonderful play costumes, constantly babbles to herself and occasionally sings her favorite song, “Highway” from Cars. She has become my best friend. We cuddle together in the morning and after nap. She listens to every directive I give (I realize this phase will be very brief) and loves to cuddle. Tonight we ran errands together and it was the most enjoyable little Mommy/daughter shopping trip ever (One of many to come? Yay!). She’s just–so—cool.

And I realized as I was going through my array of photos taken today that: Wow, not working means I get to find all these little peccadilloes about my little man and little lady.

And, as I put them to bed, not nearly as tired and tattered and harried as usual, I said to Parker, “You’re my best boy, you know that?”

“Yes, Mommy, and you’re my best guhhhl.”

And it’s only Monday:)


Guest Post From Parker: The Car Wash and Other Ways My Mom Tried to Kill Me


Smiling with ridiculous pajamas on. It’s the only way to get her to stop.


I don’t want to incriminate anyone but I am pretty sure my Mommy has some issues and might, secretly, be bearing some unfortunate resentment of me. I can’t say I blame her, I did yell, “My Mommy has a vagina kind of penis!” at the grocery store the other day, but she really needs to look into some parenting classes or something. She’s a little bereft of the Mommy skillz.

Case in point, our trip to the car wash yesterday. Now, she KNOWS I don’t like the car wash. She might even delight in the fact that I get a little nervous when we go through it. She refers to the giant spaghetti monsters as “octopuses” and “sea creatures.” Well, all I know is that I am pretty sure we will one day die in a car wash. Especially since my Mom left the window open a crack yesterday when we went through it.


More Like Death Wash

“Close it! Close it! Close it!” I cried. Petrified of the sea monsters that were going to come into the car and eat me. She just kept saying, “I can’t close the car wash, buddy, don’t be scared.” Once the soap bubbles started flying all around the car and little pretty Celia was covered in suds, Mom the genius was singing a different tune. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Parker.” And she rolled the window up. Thanks, Mom. I already am pretty sure that there is a man living under my bed at home while I sleep but now I have absolutely NO FAITH in you keeping me alive in a car wash. Great job there with the parental supervision. Maybe try to be a little more observant while you chat up your former student car wash attendant. Maybe take a second to keep your children out of harm’s way?

Arsenic in my Applesauce

As if that was not life altering enough, Sweet little Bridgette tried to serve me orange apple sauce. Orange. Applesauce. Do you know why? Because that little health nut thought that mixing in sweet potatoes might help me have a healthier meal. Does she know that I survive basically on milk and slices of white bread? Doesn’t she get that I have a sophisticated palette that only really enjoys the delicacies of popcorn, cookies and vanilla ice cream? I mean what kind of animal eats ORANGE applesauce? Seriously.

Eye Acid

As I am sure you can tell by now, I wear glasses. One unfortunate catch of this cute accessory is that some lame doctor has said I need eye drops twice a week. Yeah, that’s a lot of fun. Watching Mr. and Mrs. Tricky try to give me these things while I thrash, kick, pinch and bite is always interesting. I am convinced that they do it just to torture me. No matter the bribes or silly games they play, one thing is evident: clearly, they enjoy seeing me cry.

Humiliation via Pajamas

Since my Mom apparently wants more days off in order to better ruin my life- she was really, really hoping for a snow day last week. So much that she MADE ME put my clothes on backwards and inside out for good luck. I mean, it’s not bad enough she just wants to make me look stupid (more about that coming up;) but then she wants to go all Instagram photoshoot on me after. I swear that woman just capitalizes on my cuteness. When she’s not inventing new made up ways to get days off from work, that is.

Shampoo Death

And then, after I endure about all I can of the car wash and the applesauce and the eye drops, Mommy Dearest wants to put SOAP in my HAIR. From the time it touches my scalp, I can feel it running down my face headed for: you know where— my eyes. It’s like she doesn’t even want me to be happy. She just chooses a different torture based on her mood. Tough love doesn’t even describe it. This is the work of a devil.

Talking Back

So, I let her have it after all of this. I told her two things this weekend that really put her in her place.

“Here’s the thing, Mom. If you give me another time out, you will be a bad girl.” I just laid it all out there on the table. She should know her reputation is plummeting by the day.

and (my personal favorite):

“What words start with C? Celia! And STUPID! STUPID STARTS WITH C!” Now, this is funny on multiple levels. First, my mother is an English teacher. Whenever I don’t recognize a letter she goes all “Hooked on Phonics ” on me and starts talking in her teacher voice. Thinking that I have mixed up C and S actually bothers her. Which means she has to engage in a conversation with me and repeat the word stupid over and over again. And, do you see the irony her? Priceless.

If you can learn anything from this post, it’s how you should really, really not subject your children to the absolutely terrible parenting that Bridgette Gallagher is guilty of. Guaranteed your kids will be well-adjusted to car washes, enjoy foods where the ingredients are identifiable and might even have a bath without a nervous breakdown. If you are interested in helping me stage an intervention with my Mom, please contact me because I am really starting to get concerned for my baby sister at this point.

My Valentine : The Snow Day


I don’t need to discuss the perks of being a teacher. I do understand that I am lucky to have a great job and work with kids. But, by far, one of the best hidden surprises of being a teacher living in the northeast is the wonderment of an “unexpected” day off: the snow day.

And if you ever have talked to a teacher the week of an impending storm, you might learn that we all have a small meteorologist who lives inside of us. Who talks about “good timing” and “bad timing” [good timing is heavy snow that starts about 2 am] and constantly try to do the reverse jinx on the snow day. I learned the reverse jinx from a friend. You constantly refer to things as if the snow day is not going to happen. Complete with the, “see you all tomorrow!” when you leave work the day before an impending storm.

But, snow days are one of the true gems of teaching. And a snow day on a Friday which makes a three day weekend? Even better.

When my husband and I were childless, we used to meet other teacher friends for lunch on snow days. Man, those were the days. I wonder what else we did all day and how late we slept in. Can you remember sleeping in? I can’t.

Today, I am just happy to be in my jammies, a big mug of coffee in my hand, listening to my children possibly making a big mess in the other room. I have morning talk TV on and am looking forward to naptime like it is Christmas. I have a date with Damian Lewis all afternoon and all evening. My husband is out of town which kind of stinks, but I’m not going to complain with a three day weekend.

So an early Valentines present for me is this very lovely, very well-timed snow day. Best. Day. Ever.


10 Ways to Manage Your Picky Eater: A Satire


This is Weenie Man. Toothpick not edible.


For the record, He would not eat this grape smiley face.

1. Deception: I bought chocolate Chobani and tried to pawn it off as “yummy pudding.” Ultimate fail? When he said, “I don’t like this pudding, can I have plain yogurt?” God Dammit.

2. Celebrating Mini Victories: Last night he had grapes, broccoli and olives for dinner. This was a major coup. He got a sticker, a prize and got to watch a show. I mean— my kid ate BROCCOLI! And he LIKED IT!

3. Parenting Skillz: When he doesn’t eat something, we threaten to give it to his sister. Officially giving him sibling issues and possibly causing our daughter’s future chubby phase. Amazing parenting right there.

4. Preventative Deception: Afraid of causing a “I don’t YIKE that!” meltdown, we have developed code words for certain foods. English muffins are called “circle toast,” almonds are called peanuts, cranberries are called raisins. You get the idea. Everything else he eats is called “just plain.” Just plain waffles, just plain bagels, just plain vegetables, just plain cereal, just plain yogurt— everything— just plain. I almost bludgeoned my husband with a frying pan the day he referred to the pumpkin pancakes I was making as, well, pumpkin pancakes. “They are JUST PLAIN!” [Imagine slow motion wide eyes as we look, in horror, to see if the toddler heard him say the word pumpkin]

5. HOLY CRAP! HE’S EATING! The few times I have actually gotten him a happy meal, I have sat, mouth agape, watching at how he tears through fries, nuggets and apple slices like he’s some “I eat like this all the time” toddler. I mean, it’s incredible. He eats ALL of it!

6. Creativity Counts: I made a hot dog into a person and called it a Weenie Man. And he still didn’t eat it.

7. Sweets: When we go to my mother’s, she lets him have three helpings of ice cream because “you should see how well he eats it!!!!” Yeah Mom, ice cream isn’t really the problem.

8. Choose your battles: One day I caught him drinking syrup. And I paused to think if syrup actually satisfied any of the four food groups. Then I offered him a straw to drink it faster. I mean, there’s got to be some calories in there, right?

9. The plain train: The only sandwich I can get him to bring to day care is a butter sandwich. JUST PLAIN, of course. My kid doesn’t even like peanut butter. Or jelly. Or meat. Or cream cheese. I mean, whose kid IS he?

10. Don’t you. Dare. Look at him: I buy into the “don’t look at him” mentality while he is eating. The second he catches you watching him take a bite, he stops and remembers to maintain full control over all meal times. Therefore you do a lot of looking away from your toddler during a meal. This is only weird when you are at Friendly’s and people see you openly trying to ignore your child. They probably wouldn’t understand if you said, “Well, if you look at him, he stops eating.” No, that sounds crazy. I’d rather be perceived as the ignoring parent with the well fed child.