Jessica Gottlieb

I am not (often) a narcissist

Posts Tagged ‘Parenting

Adolf Redux

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As I lay in bed this morning I felt little feet and soft skin pressed against my calves, and some not so quiet whispering.

“But Dad, won’t you ground me?” Alexander asked.

“No, I’ll buy you a present.” There was a long pause while my boys both let the news sink in. “If you ever have another boy say anything bad about your sister to her your face I want you to punch him as had as you can, right in his face. Got it? Then you come home and tell me and I’ll buy you a present.” My husband asserted to our little one.

“Okay, so you’ll buy me a present after I’m grounded?” Alexander sounded confused.

“No son. I won’t ground you, there are two times you get to hit first. If someone says anything bad about Jews and if a boy says something bad about your sister to you. Then you punch them and you get a present.”

I couldn’t agree, and I couldn’t disagree so I laid in bed listening to what fathers tell their sons when mothers aren’t listening.

Our boy is named Alexander after my Grandfather Adolf who flirted with death by telling the guards at Sachsenhausen that he had worked and should now be free. He was the meanest, toughest, scrappiest man I’ve ever met and I’m thinking he’s delighted by my son and my husband today.


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

December 20, 2008 at 9:57 am

Jane & Alexander: Disguising Your Children Online

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First off, I’d like to welcome all the SITS girls. If you don’t know what SITS is, you should, go read about them over there. They’re cute and they’re saucy and they understand the import of women joining together.

I digress.

When I run into girlfriends about town then say to me, “I read your blog, who is Alexander?” “My son.” I say. They stare at me blankly, puzzled.

Despite the fact that this blog is just a few months old, I am not new to the realm of Mommy Blogging. There are many reasons to disguise your children, and they vary with age. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jessica Gottlieb

December 14, 2008 at 9:07 am

We Raised A Bunch Of Sissies: Yes, I’m Politicking

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APTOPIX Congress AutosAutomakers went to DC and asked for money. The government said, “no, you’ve been irresponsible. File bankruptcy and restructure.”

That same day.

My daughter Jane asked me for money for iTunes. “Take it from your allowance jar.” I told her. “It’s empty.” She replied. “I’m sorry, you’ll need to save more next week.”

Time passes
Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

December 12, 2008 at 10:59 am

The Benefit of Being a Lawyer’s Daughter

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Even in second grade I knew to never put anything in writing.

love-notebmpIn case you’re having a hard time reading this it says:

I love you
I am a girl
I am at the front table

It was handed to Alexander* from Laura who got it from Liz who got it from someone who won’t tell (but sits at the front table). Alexander promptly handed the note to his sister who screamed and enlisted the help of her classmates. Jane* and a gaggle of 4th grade girls were busy collecting writing samples from unsuspecting 2nd grade girls when I picked the kids up from school today.

There’s a theory in my house that it’s the little girl with the sequin belt. I don’t know who it is, but I know she’s one smart cookie.

*Alexander is 7 in 2nd grade, Jane is 10 and in the 4th.


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

December 3, 2008 at 12:01 am

I. Am. Exhausted.

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This morning I was up at 6.30 to shower. OhMyGawd a shower? You’re thinking. Yeah, usually I roll outta bed at 7, bring the kids to school in sweats at 7.45 and then work out before getting ready to face the day at the lovely hour of 11am.

I suppose I should thank my husband a little more heartily for that.

This morning I had to get up, shower, blow dry and put on a skirt not meant for tennis in order to go to the LA Auto Show. Why? I don’t know. What was I thinking?

I really wanted to go last night because I’m a total sucker for a soldier and I’d heard that Ford was giving a 2010 Mustang to a soldier. I didn’t get there last night, but I did see the Mustang reveal today and it was incredibly dramatic and beautiful. I drove a Flex and learned a ton about driving.

The Ford training guy told me I’m a hooker and tomorrow I’ll tell you why I am. It’s actually kinda funny. The ecodriving was wonderful and if you could spend a whole day doing it; I’d recommend it to anyone. That’s not really the point today. After Ford and ecodriving and a little Lexus I got tired and hungry and I just wanted to be with my kids. As I was leaving there was a tide of suits exiting the Porsche room and I realized they’d just had their reveal. I think we all know what that means.

Food. Swanky food.

So I took a few pictures, pretended to care about super expensive fast cars (Flex v. Fusion was more compelling for this blogger) and had a sandwich along with some asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon on tiny potato pancakes topped with a dollop of light hollandaise, gorgeous watermelon, a glass of white wine and a rest.

Ah, luxury.

Someone whispered in my ear that Ferrari had the best coffee in the place. So I followed my nose and landed a steamy black cup of espresso. I sat down on a swanky white sofa and saw Derek Bell. Yes! The Derek Bell, the 5 time champion at Le Mans, the freakin’ driver for Ferrari.

Jessica Gottlieb Derek Bell

Jessica Gottlieb Derek Bell

How cool is it for him when a middle aged housewife says, “Oh my gawd I grew up on you!” (Yeah I know, bad hair day, bags under my eyes – good thing I’m a blogger not an actress)

Of course I sat down next to his son Justin Bell, who is an actual active racer, and should be a bigger draw. Sorry Justin, I didn’t grow up watching you. I did manage to sit next to him though and behave like a starstruck child in front of his father. Mr. Bell was ever the gentleman and said something to the effect of, “in Britain they just sort of stare at you, they don’t whip cameras out of their handbags.” Oh, those poor British girls, it’s unlikely they’ll ever have a picture.

Keeping in mind that everything I need to know, I’ve learned on Seinfeld; I decided to leave on a high note.

Right out of downtown Los Angeles and into rush hour traffic. Thank goodness the Eco Guy’s words were fresh in my mind. I went home and was stunned to see how relaxing it could be to concentrate on not revving the engine, and ignore the fact that I wanted to get home fast.

Kids, ophthalmologist, orthodontist, homework, hamburgers out with the kids, and guess what? I’m beat.

I came home and put these on a plate because ya’ know what? I’m getting in my fuzzy jammies and I’m not sharing. otherwise known as Heaven otherwise known as Heaven

I’m just that tired.


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

November 19, 2008 at 7:41 pm

John Dewey and BevMo Educate My Son

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Unless you are Mormon live under a rock, you know that right now is the BevMo 5 cent wine sale. It’s not a national holiday, yet, but it is a reason to celebrate. Go ahead, take a look at your office Holiday Gift List, if it’s a nice sized department you’ve got 40 gifts to buy. Well, a few times a year, the folks at BevMo have a 5 cent wine sale. The fall sale is when I stock up, big time. The first bottle of wine is full price and the second bottle is five cents.

I could almost afford to have The Virgin over for cocktail hour.

I’d been meaning to go to the wine sale, since I need 3-4 cases to get me through until the beginning of the year, but I’ve been too busy. Alexander and I were on our way to pick up a replacement hamster, ugh don’t ask, when I realized that Petco and Bevmo shared a parking lot. Aha! I thought, let’s put all this math hooey to some practical use.

“Alexander, we’re going into that store and I want you to find me every bottle of wine that has 90 or more Wine Spectator Points and is part of the 5 cent wine sale.” I gave him the mission.

“Mo-om!”, he wailed, “I just want to get a hamster.”

“Dude, I love you but you don’t get a hamster until I get wine.” Shaddup, you’re no better!

We strolled through the store with Alexander occassionally declaring, “It’s a PeeNoo GreeGeeOO and it’s got 89 points. Is that close enough?”

“No Sugar, it’s got to be 90 or higher, and see if you can find one with a pretty label too.”

Yes, every head in the store would turn to examine the red headed, spectacled child in his school uniform who couldn’t quite say Pinot Grigio. They snickered a little, but no one finger wagged. Why? Well folks, it’s obviously called homeschooling. Alexander learned price comparison, numerical values and he appreciated some art work along the way.

I think John Dewey would be pleased.


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

November 13, 2008 at 9:10 pm

I Am a Cruel Woman

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At last night’s dinner party a mother was talking about her son’s inability to gauge depth. At two years old it was discovered that he had amblyopia (a condition my son has fought since 5 months of age) and the doctors recommended patching.

She couldn’t bear to hear him cry.
She didn’t want to deal with the fits.
Her toddler didn’t like the glasses.

She decided against the patching and the glasses because it was too difficult and her son would be teased.

And as she spoke I slowly nodded my head and said, “I understand, it’s difficult.” And I let her ramble on as she detailed the story of her son’s blindness.

I didn’t tell her about the moment where I shook and vomited as I handed my infant son to the surgeon
Or how I passed out when they gave him back and he was crying blood.
I never told her how I learned to leave a gap for the tears when I’d put the patch on my boy.
Or how I’d hold his hands by his side, restraining him each and every day.
I didn’t disclose the tips and tricks to patch removal, so you don’t tear away the precious baby skin.

I didn’t tell her that all these years later my son sees out of two eyes, can hit a baseball and will likely outgrow his glasses. I didn’t tell her that time heals many wounds but may only amplify our failures.

I never stood straight up at the table and said, “Asshole, you did this to him.”


Written by Jessica Gottlieb

November 9, 2008 at 9:27 am