Supersisters posted “25 Things I Know Now as a Parent” and invited other parents to chime in with their own lists. Well all right. I think I’ve learned a few things in the past six years.

1. Sleep deprivation can make parents insane. Count to 10 to avoid going postal on parents who brag about their all-night-sleepers.

2. Sift through grandparents’ advice for the good stuff. Nod and smile and ignore the rest.

3. It’s okay to let kids watch more than one hour of TV on rainy days.

4. If you can, walk your kids to their classrooms on their first day of school every year. It means a lot to them. But when they get old enough to beg you not to, comply.

5. An occasional donut is not poison (for kids or for you). Continue Reading »


My name is Jayne Denker, and I’m hypothyroid.

It’s not like I wanted to be; I didn’t have a choice. Thyroid problems run in the family (I found out way late in my life, after contracting the disease myself) and also runs rampant in my part of the country, although no one knows quite why.

See, that’s the problem: Nobody knows much about thyroid disease, not even endocrinologists, who are supposed to specialize in fighting this particular form of evil. Why is it so hard to understand the workings of the thyroid? Theories abound. Mainly it’s because the thyroid is pretty complex. Plus (getting cynical now), because thyroid disease affects mostly women, for decades—hell, racking up centuries now—it’s been dismissed as a “woman’s problem”…that is, when it’s recognized at all. Too frequently doctors see an overweight, miserable, distraught woman in their exam room and figure she’s looking for a “diet pill” so she can continue to eat 12 boxes of Ring-Dings every night. They tell her to get lost, clamp her mouth shut, and go get her fat ass to the gym.

I know. It happened to me.

You can read more about it at a fantastic Web site called DearThyroid.com. My article was published today, only one in a long line of personal accounts of thyroid disease (and thyroid cancer) that the Wonder Women at DearThyroid publish every day. They also post tons of articles that help thyroid sufferers cope with the myriad ways this terrible disease manifests.

The word needs to get out; there are too many women (and men) out there who might very well have thyroid problems and not even know it. So check it out. DearThyroid could help you or someone you love…before it’s too late.

Update 5/2/10: FYI, the DearThyroid site has been having some technical difficulties, and my link may not work. They hope to have everything restored by later in the week, fingers crossed, so please try to get to my piece later. Thanks!

Update 5/6/10: The DearThyroid site is back up and running and safe to visit. My letter has been reposted, so the links above are working fine. Go check it out!

Sonsabitches. This is too much—in fact, it was enough to get me off my butt and write an emergency mid-month entry on this blog. Usually I agonize over what to write about and have to open a vein to come up with a topic once a month, but this one damn near wrote itself.

As all three of my regular blog readers know (hi mom!—oh wait, my mom doesn’t have a computer)…as all two of my regular blog readers know, I have written about Top Gear fairly frequently, here and here. This is not a Top Gear blog—although, judging by all those entries, it sure looks like it—but if the TG wonks keep up this nonsense, it might turn into one.

What am I on about? Why, the recent news that the ill-fated American version of Top Gear, the concept of which has been kicked around for…what is it, years now?…has reared its ugly head again. Just yesterday it was announced all over the intertubes that the History Channel (what?) is going to pick up the show and air at least 10 episodes this fall.

All I have to say is…is TG staffed by raving lunatics? Is the BBC office filled with lead paint fumes? Who in the world needs an American version of Top Gear?

Continue Reading »

Okay, the time has come. I’ve gotta write about Lost, especially after Tuesday night’s episode, “Happily Ever After.” I suppose at this point I should put in a Spoiler Warning, but…dude. Come on. If you haven’t caught up by now, in this pivotal time of Only A Few Remaining Episodes Before The End, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Suck it up.

So the reason I’m writing about Lost for the first time in all these years, even though I’ve been a diehard fan since the very first episode, is because I nearly drowned in tears watching “Happily Ever After”…and because, to be totally self-centered for a moment (yeah yeah when is this blog not, but hey, when did I ever promise it was going to be about establishing peace in the Middle East?), the big revelation from the episode is one of only two things that I have EVER guessed right about this mindbender of a show.

The first one was that the island was a “cork” stoppering up…something bad, as explained by Jacob in the recent episode “Ab Aeterno,” and the second one was from Tuesday night. Yay me. I guess I’m a late bloomer, finally figuring things out at the very end. Or I need stuff handed to me on a platter. Whatev’.

The revelation that was in this most recent, Desmond-centric episode (yum) was one I had figured out a while back, but I thought “Naaahhh—can’t be.” But it was. And it was this: Continue Reading »

Personal Miracles

I feel like ruminating on miracles. Anybody experience one? Bet you have…and you might not even know it. Not all miracles are of the “someone in peril snatched from the jaws of death” stripe. There are everyday miracles. Of course, most people would say that they consider their children everyday miracles, but let’s be honest—we think that only when they’re sleeping. The rest of the time we’re usually seriously considering selling them to the circus or sending them off to apprentice with a ship full of pirates or something.

Anyway, to miracles. I’ve got a miracle story. At the time I didn’t think of it as one, of course, but now I recognize it for what it was. This is my personal miracle:

Continue Reading »

My Son, The Stig

Some say he’s only 6 years old…and that he sleeps in SpongeBob pajamas….All we know is that if he isn’t The Stig, I don’t know who is.

Heard of The Stig? You should have. He’s part of the great TV show Top Gear. Yeah, I’ve written about Top Gear on my blog before (it’s one of the best shows on television, I said—so go watch it!) and—look out now—I’m gonna do it again.

Along with the three co-presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, there is The Stig, their “tame racing driver” who wears all white, including a white helmet, and nobody knows who’s under the visor. True fans of Top Gear prefer to think of The Stig as a superhuman entity that test drives supercars in every episode, does not speak, has no knowledge of the London public transit system, and won’t give an award back once he’s received it (waiting on the video to be posted for that one—it’s a good ‘un). And sure, a little while ago The Stig was revealed on the show to be race-car driver Michael Schumacher, but I call shenanigans. I know better. Continue Reading »

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Usually I love waking in predawn darkness to the sound of rain. Most of the time, in this area, our rain comes in the form of drizzle, so on the occasion that it really, truly rains, I revel in the drumming sound of a steady shower. This morning, however, I found myself tensely focusing on another noise.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

I looked around my son’s bedroom from my pretzel position in his car bed. He was nowhere to be found, of course; as per usual, he had made his way into “the big bed” in the middle of the night—this time I think he was on the move around 2:30-ish—and proceeded to crowd me right off the queen-size mattress. And, as per usual, instead of being all tough and parental and kicking his 5-year-old butt back to his bedroom, I took the (admittedly well-traveled) path of least resistance—the one that leads up the hall to his unoccupied bed.

Good thing I did retreat instead of standing my ground this time, though; if I hadn’t slept in his room, I wouldn’t have heard that persistent noise, which sounded alarmingly like…

Continue Reading »