Just a spoonful of sugar…not sickly sweet4

Posted by Deirdre // 05-10-2012


When I was pregnant with my first child, I was so dead-set against being a “regular mom” that I went out of my way to be different. I guess I assumed that I’d somehow lose my edge (that growing up in Manhattan was necessary for survival) and identity and become – essentially, soft. So in my quest to be what I considered different, I did countless ridiculous things. I bought this horrific Maclaren that was their first reclining stroller that was so heavy and bulky and sucky that I ended up selling it on craigslist a few months later and just getting the Bugaboo I had fought so hard against (albeit the “cheap” Gecko). I stayed up until 3 o’clock in the morning a few nights while very pregnant driving myself crazy picking out custom crib bedding instead of getting something off the shelf. This is not crazy for some, but I am just so bad at making decisions that it was insane for me.

I was also vehemently against joining a mommy group because I just didn’t think I would have anything in common with anyone, besides of course living in relatively the same neighborhood and having a newborn the same age. Which actually, is kind of a lot and actually would have helped me – a LOT. I lost out on making friends during that crazy time for not just me but my son. And I think meeting some other women who had to go back to an office job after a measly three month maternity leave would have been incredibly good for me. Of course parenting is never what you thought it would be, and things that seemed so important aren’t and those you thought you could easily go without end up being the most useful and helpful to your sanity.

makes. my. skin. crawl.

Never the less, I had an equally naive view of “mommy blogs” which I assumed were all about pink and blue and yellow and green and gingham and basically would be like an episode of Caillou – bad style, bad humor and filled with people who were just not like me. I didn’t know there was an entire world where a gazillion awesome men and women were writing about parenting in a funny, stylish, frank and at times raunchy way. Thank GOD. And yes of course there was – I was a loser and basically a snob to assume there wouldn’t be. And even the ones that weren’t exactly my style still had a great deal of wisdom and humor and most of all, there was a sense of camaraderie.

Yet when I first heard of Mommy Poppins, I bristled because of that ‘mommy’ word again. But it was from a member of the list serve whose company had been recommended by the site. I trusted her taste and intelligence so I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find dopey craft projects and excessive monogramming (sorry-that snob thing is rearing its ugly head again! I have good friends who monogram). Whatever the name, the site is a treasure trove of information, with gross cutseyness (if any) pretty well hidden.

Theo and the Beluga whale checking each other out at the Mystic Aquarium

There are four main sections; one dedicated to each of the three tri-state outposts – NJ, CT and LI – and one for NYC (actually separated by boroughs). Plus, they have information by county that goes well beyond suburban limits. There are day trips, like strawberry picking in NJ; restaurant and shop reviews, like this list of places to go for Mother’s Day brunch on LI; things like 120 things to do with kids in CT, including a trip to the Mystic Aquarium, which my kids LOVED (see evidence at left). There’s also recommendations for all manner of parental needs – like finding camps, classes or museums — and kid-stuff calendars by area. Like a Time Out Kids, but for points burbs and beyond. For researching towns or finding stuff to do once you’ve moved, it is kind of a must.

And when I think about it, what is not to love about Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins, hanging with Dick Van Dyke and a cartoon band, is actually pretty bad-ass


One Response

  1. October 24th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    […] But the chatter amongst parents is that the schools are not good. After seeing this Mommypoppins post about where to eat with kids in the neighborhood (which includes Five Leaves, where my husband ate that day and loved), I looked closer. I learned that they did a month-long focus on Greenpoint, with a parks and playgrounds and indoor playspaces and everything you’d expect to find in a good neighborhood guide for parents and kids (it’s what they do). […]