Washable Workwear Wednesday: Knit Blazer

Machine-washable blazers can be tough to find, so I was excited to see this one from workwear brand Nic & Zoe — I always think of the brand for having a ton of popular, classic pieces for workwear (such as this 4-way cardigan, this skirt/dress, or these pants) — and as a bonus many of them are machine washable. I like the simple lines of this blazer, the light lines, and the fact that it’s not only machine wash — it’s tumble dry. Whoa. It’s $158, at Nordstrom. Knit Blazer

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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  1. anon in nyc says:

    FTM here – is it worth getting a second pump? I’m getting a free one through insurance, but Amazon has a great price on the S1. Just not sure whether it will be useful and would appreciate thoughts from others!

    • I only had one and am breastfeeding into toddlerhood. I did replace my tubing and parts at about one year, which I highly recommend doing periodically. It made a big difference for me. I also only have the one child and live in an area with an easy commute by car/parking lot/etc. I can imagine if I was commuting by bus or train or had lots of kiddos to wrangle, I might have wanted a second one to keep at the office. I often considered getting an inexpensive, single, manual pump for travel. But I don’t travel often for work, so it would have just been for car trips with my child. It was easy enough to throw my regular pump in. If I flew a lot with my child at a younger age, I would have done that.

    • Depends on how much you think you will pump. I found that I rarely pumped outside of work because what I got at work was enough for the next day and I never felt compelled to build up a huge freezer stash. I’d only bring the pump home at the end of the week and pump once or twice on the weekend to have “extra” for when I went out without baby, etc. I also had a manual pump and an old pump from a friend (new parts) in case I needed to pump at home and my pump was at work. So for me, a second serious pump was not really necessary. I’m expecting my second now and excited to get a new pump only so that I never have to carry the pump back and forth at all.

      That said, I have friends who needed more milk than what they produced at work and others who just felt anxious without a large stash (I never felt compelled to have more than a week or two’s worth). I do think if you have friends who are done having kids, it may be worth asking them if they still have/need their pump and just getting new parts for those.

      • Anonymous says:

        A week of two’s worth is what, 100-150 ounces? Is that not considered a large stash? How are people getting that much milk without lots of extra pumping? Just a huge oversupply? I’m on kid no. 2 and in all my many months of pumping, I’ve never been more than maybe 10-20 ounces ahead (and I’ve often been behind!).

        • Anonymous says:

          I get an extra 10 oz a day by pumping as soon as I wake up in the morning (I wake up a couple hours before baby). Don’t know if that will last, but I could get to 100 oz in under two weeks that way.

        • For me it was always a work week – so 5 days, not 7. When I initially went back to work, I pumped once or twice a day for about a week or two ahead of my time back, which turned out to be largely unnecessary after the first day back. That gave me about a week of a buffer and at that time my kid was taking 3 feedings of about 3.5-4 oz each while I was gone so I often ended up with some extra from day to day, which ended up as another week over time. After a couple of months, she started to need more milk and the “reserves” slowly depleted and were never replenished at the same rate, so by the end I had maybe an extra day or two for emergencies. But some friends had deep freezers full of extra milk. One friend who exclusively pumped had somewhere between a month and two saved up at various times. So I always thought my “stash” was not so significant, but I guess it really depends? And I think the answer to your question is lots of extra pumping! I almost never pumped extra save for the period before I was returning to work or if I knew we had some special event coming up where I needed extra milk.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I had 1 pump for child #1, but I will definitely get a second for child #2. I tried to pump some on weekends to build up my stash, and I HATED lugging that pump back and forth to work. (I commute via public transit and walking.)

    • I would hold off until you see how much you use it (there will be more sales/good deals in the future). Are you getting a Spectra pump through insurance? If so, I would highly recommend considering the S9 as a second pump, if you need/want one. It is battery operated (like the S1) but much smaller, and since it’s also Spectra, easy to use the same parts if you have an S1 or S2 through insurance. I ended up exclusively pumping. I have an S2 from insurance and bought an S9 from Amazon a few months after my baby was born that I use for travel and in the office.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      You didn’t ask this, but you should have a hand pump in addition to your electric pump. Mine was small enough that I could throw it in a purse if I was going to be away from kiddo for a few hours and worried that I would get uncomfortable. I could also use it in a pinch if she slept more than expected. They aren’t very expensive; I liked the Medela one better than the Avent one I started with.

    • Anon CPA says:

      I’m on my third kid, and I’ve never used more than one pump. Even if you leave one at work, you’re still going to be carting milk, bottles, flanges, etc. back and forth – I find it’s easier to have everything all in one bag so there’s no chance of forgetting something important somewhere.

      I pump every morning when I wake up for a freezer stash, and then three times at work.

      • Anonymous says:

        To counter– I bought a second for my second kid and am so glad I did. I leave the pump, my hands-free [email protected], and a ton of storage bags at work. Every Monday, I bring in 2 flanges and bottles. I leave the flanges and bottles in the fridge all week, bring home Friday to wash, so 8 out of the 10 commutes each week, I only have a small cooler to lug, with the day’s milk on the walk home.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Can you get a hand-me-down from a friend to use as your backup?

      • Cornellian says:

        SEcond this recommendation, although not technically medically recommended.

        I would buy a hand pump that works with the parts from your main pump (ie is of the same brand). I have pumped on airplanes with that. They’re basically silent, and I sometimes find them more effective than the machine pump as you can control the speed/strength more easily.

      • This is what I did. Voids the warranty, not recommended, use your own judgement, etc. But it was free.

        Although the first comment from J highlights the reasons you would or wouldn’t need a second one at all. I travel without baby and like that I have a second pump setup that’s easily mobile (and I store my battery pack, wipes, extra bags, sharpie, etc in there so I only have to restock every once in awhile). I don’t have to detach the tubing, unplug and pack everything up for travel – I just grab the bag.

        I leave my main one set up at work 24/7. The one at home is the travel or weekend pump.

        But if you rarely or never travel, and don’t care about a big freezer stash, one is probably fine, plus a hand pump for emergencies.

    • Knope says:

      I bought a second pump (the S1) because I travel a lot and the battery is very helpful. I also went through a (thankfully short) period where I had to get up in the middle of the night to pump to be comfortable, so having a pump at home helped then too. Not sure if it’s essential otherwise though.

  2. Is there anything you would do in this situation to improve bedtime? My 2 year old gave up the pacifier a month or so ago, which she used to only use for bedtime, and although she no longer asks for it, it now takes her an hour to hour and a half to fall asleep. As a result of this, she has been sleeping in a bit later and sometimes that pushes her nap later and then if she takes a long nap, we end up pushing back bedtime a bit. I love the later mornings but not the later evenings. We basically went from a fairly consistent 7 pm bedtime and her being asleep by 730 most nights, if not before, to now 730 to 745 bedtime and asleep around 9 most nights, although sometimes later than that. She spends the night in bed alternating lying down or quietly playing and calling for us with random requests for water, or to be tucked in, or a nightlight or a stuffed animal, etc. We’ve tried letting her go to sleep closer to 8 and it didn’t help. Should we move bedtime back to 7? Just ignore this and let it resolve itself? Last night, I made it a point to get her down at exactly 730 and she was asleep by 8:15 with only 2 or 3 requests for random things, which is progress.

    • Momata says:

      I think the pacifier is a red herring and that the real issue is some inconsistency in routine. I would stick with a 7:30 bedtime and not respond to the random requests. My kids get one request and then I tell them I’m not coming back. This takes some tolerance for toddler CIO but for us these reminders about bedtime only take one or two nights. I sometimes find that a later bedtime means the kid is overtired and I’ve missed the “window” for an easy transition to sleep.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with this. Go ahead and make turning on the nightlight, last hug/kiss, drink of water, etc. part of the routine to be done before lights out. Once you leave, she needs to be quiet and in bed. I didn’t worry about playing so long as he was quiet and in bed and not attempting to interact with us since he would eventually get tired/bored and fall asleep.

      • porcupine says:

        I also agree with this. A set routine with firm limits worked with my 2 year old. We had done CIO a while ago but our routine got off track due to illness, etc. I always struggled with CIO and found myself giving in to her requests and it was a mess. Once I introduced a set routine again, she cried and protested a bit for a few nights but everything went smoothly after that and she seems to fall asleep within 10-20 minutes of me leaving her room.

        The main point of my post though is to share that the Janet Lansbury podcast “Solving Toddler Sleep Issues with Sleep Expert Lisa Sunbury” really helped me fine tune my approach with what to say, how to communicate limits and really helped me to understand that by setting limits I was really helping her (whereas before I always felt bad, didn’t want her to cry or be upset and found myself giving in).

    • NOVA Anon says:

      We also used a sticker chart to cut the number of requests down to one – we put our son down and he is allowed to call us one time. We did this shortly after potty training, so he was about 2 years and 5 months, give or take. Once he got his one time, any time after that he would be informed that he would not get a sticker the next morning, and then the next morning we followed through. He hated not getting a sticker, so the number of times he called us fell from 5+ to 1 very very quickly (though still a few nights where he’d call us multiple times here and there). We made a chart with 20 slots; after 5 stickers he got a “special surprise” (these were not very well thought out; often me stopping at CVS and getting a small toy). We did two charts; after the last slot on the second chart was filled in, he got an actual well-thought out special surprise, which was a toy he really wanted. Leading up to that one, we previewed that would be his last sticker b/c he’s a big boy and didn’t need a sticker chart anymore. We probably could have done that a bit sooner, not quite after the first sticker chart but a couple weeks into the second one.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My memory is that age 2.5 was the hardest bedtime struggle – kiddos are starting to flex their manipulative muscles and see what they can get away with. I don’t have an answer, except that it gets better? Be consistent, time-outs can be helpful (both timeouts for your kid and for you), and get the OK to Wake clock.

      • Thanks all! She’s just turned 2 so I am not sure if she’s still too young for OK to Wake and stuff like that?
        I feel like the rules change every month so having a bit of a hard time in the latest transition.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Definitely not too young for OK to Wake clock. I started kiddo with it when she was 18 months. If she knows colors, she can understand OK to Wake.

        • Anonymous says:

          We’ve started to use OK to wake with my just-turned-two year old, albeit in a slightly different context: It means it’s OK to go wake me up! Kiddo and dad play in his room quietly until the light turns green, then we can go wake up momma. He watches the clock and then says GREEN SEE MAMA. It’s adorable, and it works.

          Also, I’ve seen lots of plugs for OK to Wake here, with the caveat that you have to be willing to stick to your guns on going in. We got the Hatch Rest and you can control the time the light changes from your phone. It’s been great for adapting on the fly without ruining the system (“Oh, we actually need to go in but don’t want to confuse him”– just change the light to green immediately and go in a few seconds later).

    • Anonymous says:

      We wake our 2 year old kiddo from nap at 3:30 NO MATTER WHAT. She sleeps a second later than that an life goes down hill. She only gets an hour of napping or 30 minutes? It sucks, but bedtime doesn’t change, so naptime must end.

  3. Kat, I really appreciated the earlier morning post at the main s&te today (as did others, I think). Would it be possible to also have this s*te’s posts up closer to 9 am? It often feels like this place is a bit of the “red headed stepchild” to the main s*te (for example, if you click from there to here, there stays open but if you click from here to there, you just get redirected as if you couldn’t possibly be interested in both) but I think a lot of people would appreciate it. Sometimes I just want to post a quick question and then get to work and checking to see if a new thread is up is distracting enough that I feel like I just need to not visit here at all if I want to be productive. Just a thought.

  4. anon for this— elder care and young kids says:

    I posted yesterday afternoon at the main site, but am posting here for additional advice.

    I have two young kids (one still nursing) and have just jumped into managing care for my parent who lives on the other side of the country. My parent is terminally ill, just moved to assisted living (prompted by a hospitalization), and on heavy pain medication.

    Handling everything, particularly the crises, feels like the worst of biglaw, but with higher stakes.

    Any advice from those who have been there? Parent is in Northern Virginia if anyone has recommendations for service providers who might help (I don’t know what that would be—another me?).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m so sorry. Are you in touch with your parent’s doctors / have a handle on their care, expected next steps, etc.? It might help you feel more in control if you have a sense of what’s coming next (even if it is sad and scary). I also wonder if there is a point person in the assisted living facility who would be able to get on the phone with you and walk you through some of their procedures and protocols – specifically, how they handle day to day care and crises. My GMIL was in an assisted living facility and the medical staff there was good and would handle a lot of day to day care but did not hesitate to send her to the hospital when needed.

      Do you have siblings / relatives who are physically closer who can share some of this burden? Are you able to move your parent to be closer to you? Is it possible to take some time (and your youngest) to go to VA to be closer to your parent?

    • avocado says:

      Internet hugs–elder care is very challenging, both logistically and emotionally. In my experience the crises tend to come in waves alternating with periods of relative calm, so do not despair–it is entirely possible that things will stabilize at a “new normal” after your parent settles in to the new living situation.

      In terms of types of service providers that could help, the concept of a geriatric care manager has always intrigued me (no personal experience as I am not the decision-maker in our family’s elder care situation and therefore haven’t hired one). Hospice is another option, but our family has had negative experiences with multiple hospice providers in terms of coordination of care. Is there a social worker or family liaison at the assisted living facility who can help you navigate the transition and deal with crises?

    • EB0220 says:

      You may check with your employer to see if they offer any support. My company offers elder care counseling, support groups and assistance with finding care providers/facilities/etc.

    • Anon for this says:

      Thank you anon, avocado, and EB0220!

  5. avocado says:

    The next person who tells me that the reason school is closed for the fifth day since winter break is that the district is “afraid of lawyers” is going to get a huge lecture on the real problems with our tort system complete with statistics. This means you, my dear husband.

    • What legal issue are they hypothetically afraid of? Kids getting injured in a snowy bus accident?

      • avocado says:


        • Anonymous says:

          Then they are not scared of lawyers, they are scared of increased insurance premiums.

          Tell your husband he better figure out who really runs the world (it’s plumbers by the way) if he’s going to teach your kids anything.

    • Marilla says:

      My Canadian version of this is launching into a rant/”informative lecture” on joint and several liability!

  6. Infant Bedding Qs from FTM says:

    Yay/nay on the quick zip crib sheets from those that have been there? They look like they’ll be so much easier to change quickly in the middle of the night, especially as I am petite and thus anticipate reaching down to mattress may be tricky especially once it’s lowered.

    Drawback is I bet I’ll then have to buy regular sheets once we’re at the post crib toddler bed stage, but what would the likelihood of crib sheets surviving that long anyway? (We do have our own washer/dryer, but in a rental, and it’s hard on everything.)

    Last – reality check – how many sheets/mattress covers should I be buying for bassinet (anticipate sleeping 1-4 months?), pac n play (anticipate sleeping for naps, and then post bassinet until we are ready to move to nursery) and then crib?

    • avocado says:

      We had three sets of sheets and waterproof pads for each sleeping surface, which is plenty if you are willing to do laundry the day after each accident. Our PB crib sheets were still in good shape after four years, including two years of crib + day care cot usage and two more years at day care.

    • AwayEmily says:

      My guess is the need for sheet-changes varies a lot between kids, so it might make sense to wait and see what kind of baby you get, then order what you end up needing. Mine is 22 months and so far we have had to do a middle-of-the-night sheet change exactly one time (she threw up). We only had two sets of crib sheets (basic $13 jersey ones from Amazon) and that’s been plenty — I change them once a week unless she’s particularly snotty.

      But I suspect that given how much other parents talk about changing sheets some babies have a lot more leaky diapers/vomiting/etc?

      • Cosign.

        I always heard that the zip-off sheets and/or multi-layered sheets and mattress protectors was the best parenting hack, but 13 months in with twins and we’ve never needed to change their sheets in the middle of the night. We have 2 per crib and that’s been plenty.

        • Granted, by posting this I’m sure I’ve doomed myself to a weekend of both toddlers having their first stomach virus, but oh well.

      • +1. We rarely need to change sheets and having two was plenty, and this is coming from someone in an apartment without a W/D. I would buy two sheets and take it from there (PB often has them on sale for $10-14).

      • +1

    • I got the quick zip sheets based on Lucie’s List recommendations, but I hated them and only used them once. I didn’t think they were any easier than regular crib sheets. I’m also very short and can’t reach the far side of the mattress, which means trying to zip all the way around was way harder than just grabbing the mattress out and quickly changing the sheet and mattress pad. And I’m sure this is baby-specific, but my daughter started sleeping in her crib at 5 1/2 months and it was well over a year before we had any middle of the night bedding changes. She’s 27 months now and I think we’ve only changed at night 3 times.

      For her crib, we have 3 crib sheets and two mattress pads. They’ve lasted just fine for almost two years. For our bassinet/cradle, we had two. I think we had 4-5 pack and play sheets, but that was because daycare used that size (they’re similar to mini-crib size) and they did get sent home more frequently.

      • Infant Bedding Qs from FTM says:

        Thanks all! For regular crib sheets, other than Pottery Barn, any favorites? Baby Bargains suggests Pinzon ($11, Amazon) Carousel ($29) and Aden and Anais ($29+).

        • Anonymous says:

          Our Serena and Lily sheets lasted for 2.5 years (at the end, we had 4 sheets).

        • Ours all came from Target for $10-$15. I don’t see any reason to spend more. When she moved to the toddler room in daycare and needed a crib sheet there, the one we sent in did tear, but I think that was more a function of the cots than the sheet itself – I wouldn’t spend more money not knowing which might hold up best.

          • FTMinFL says:

            Cosign $10 Target sheets. Ours have made it through 3 years/2 babies and are still going strong.

          • +1, though I think I had some nicer Burts Bees Baby Organic ones on my registry that someone got me.

            I have two sets of sheets and two protectors. In the early bassinet days, there were many more middle of the night changes but I chalk that up to the terrible diapers we used (7th generation newborn).

            In the crib Ive only had one night where we had a major leak and again, that was because we needed to move up diaper sizes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Target has some super cute ones on the website (robots!) but we went with Ikea jersey ones. Very cheap, pretty soft, white (for bleaching). If you get an Ikea crib/mattress just toss a few in your cart (I think we have 6 — but some live at daycare).

      • Anonymous says:

        I purchased sheets from Land of Nod. They lasted until my child switched to a twin bed. If you are worried about being able to switch sheets in the middle of the night, try layering: mattress pad, sheet, mattress pad 2, sheet 2. If you have to swap out sheet, you remove one sheet and mattress pad and you are done! We did not need it often, but we appreciated the upfront effort in the middle of the night

    • Mama Llama says:

      I have never used quick zip sheets, but we always double layered sheets and waterproof mattress pads, so if there was a diaper leak we just removed the top layers. All our crib sheets and mattress pads are still going strong after nearly 4 years. The sheets are American Baby Company brand.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I had to take the entire mattress out to change crib sheets no matter how high or low the mattress was. I had three normal crib sheets, two mattress protectors, two pack n play sheets (intended to use it as a bassinet, otherwise would have just had one), and one pack n play “mattress” cover.

      I’ve had the crib sheets for 3+ years and they’re still going strong through the toddler bed conversion. I got a carters sheet, a target sheet, and one of those expensive shmancy aden & anais ones. The carters one has held up the best.

      • Infant Bedding Qs from FTM says:

        And thanks again for yet more input.

        Seems like this is a place I can save – and then upgrade / buy additional only if needed.

  7. funky milk smell says:

    I know from the LLL site and maybe kellymom that some people produce funky-smelling milk. It’s OK to start with, but after 12 hours, I feel like the smell begins to set in (this is refrigerated / chilled). The one time I froze extra and thawed, it was nasty. I know it doesn’t harm the nutritional value, but I wouldn’t want to drink it (and worry that teachers at day care would think something has gone wrong / it is spoiled). I could see kiddo rejecting it.

    OTOH, this is the excuse I’ve wanted to not build up any sort of stash / competitively pump (I know it’s not a thing, but it feels like a thing) and just pump for the next day (so Monday is now a formula day since I don’t pump on weekends or when I am with kiddo) and to relieve discomfort.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Not sure if you want to do this, but you can briefly scald BM before freezing and it will get rid of the excess lipase.

      • funky milk smell says:

        I tried that. Lots of user error — accidentally boiling it; too many dirty items; needing to find a funnel device on the fly; not sure that so much handling was worth the milk loss / didn’t remove more nutrients. For any chilled milk (from pumping at work), the fat clings to the container and I think that that is where all the nutrients reside? Do you lose that or let the milk get warm, then scald, then re-chill? The cure was truly worse than the disease.

        • Somewhere I read about how you can scald it at work in the microwave, so before it’s even chilled. I never had the issue, though.

          • rosie says:

            I thought I read somewhere you can scald in a bottle warmer. You could get one to keep at work and I assume that would be fairly straightforward (esp if you used the kiinde system to eliminate lots of transfers). But otherwise I would let it warm a bit & swirl to dissolve the fat.

    • FTMinFL says:

      I’m not sure if you’re asking a specific question, but I’m reading a request for permission not to have a freezer stash and/or to combo feed your baby. Permission granted! Do whatever works for you and your family.

      That said, I have had a high lipase issue while bfing/pumping for both of my babies. There is a lot of information online about scalding milk to mitigate the issue. However, neither of my kids rejected bottles for that reason so I didn’t put forth the effort. I do have a freezer stash because my parents are the best ever and keep our kids for a weekend every few months so DH and I can get away, but if you don’t see the need for one, don’t bother!

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 – my son didn’t seem to care about my soapy milk (at least most of the time) and daycare never said anything, so I left it alone. Spoiled milk smelled different IME.

        That said, don’t build a freezer stash if you don’t want to and if your baby accepts formula. I had a freezer stash accidentally due to oversupply early on; I had to pump some from the get-go because my son was in the NICU for a week. It was kind of reassuring at the time but in hindsight completely unnecessary.

    • rosie says:

      On the topic of high lipase/freezer stashes/etc., this was kind of a nice read https://medium.com/@daniellegraham_67919/the-emotional-burden-of-breast-milk-1ab6b2762f07

      • funky milk smell says:

        Oh, I totally agree. This was a rude initiation for me. Pumping seems to be the ultimate martyrdom. Have been planning all sorts of Office-Space-Fax-Machine types of endings for my pump.

  8. Just wanted to say how grateful I am for this community. I post infrequently but I get so much great advice from you ladies. Most recently, this community — especially Cb! — gave me the guts to go ahead with round two of CIO with my 9 month old. His sleep had gotten so bad after a string of illnesses, but I was really waffling on whether to try sleep training again. We are on night 5, with such an improvement — only two, predictable middle of the night wakeups compared to, oh, every hour?, sleeping in the crib rather than my bed, sleeping for 12+ hrs, etc.

    Anyway, who knows how long this improvement will last, but you ladies are the best.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      That’s amazing! Before I became a mom, I’m sure if I read about CIO I would have thought it was crazy. But now as a mom, I have done CIO for both boys and my kids are now champion sleepers. If anyone gives you grief about it, remind them that well rested kids that sleep for 12+ hours is about the best thing you can do for your child, since so much brain development happens when they sleep.

    • Two predictable wakeups sounds amazing to me right now!! Congrats!

    • Everlong says:

      I agree! There are so many things I feel like I know how to deal with pretty well and upon reflection, I realize it’s only because I’ve read about it here. Example: splitting childcare and work duties with my husband when our one and only care provider fell ill this week.

  9. EP-er says:

    Parents of elementary kids: What’s the deal with swearing where you are? The upper-el kids swear like sailors on the playground. 4th graders say the F-word! Repeatedly! I have spent a fair share of my time in manufacturing plants and swearing is the norm. It took a lot of effort to not swear in front of my kids and I don’t say those words at home (although they might slip out at work still… I’m not anti-swearing.) So I was shocked that my 4th grader knows the f-word already. He refuses to use it and is getting teased because he won’t swear?!?

    Growing up is fun.

    • avocado says:

      I have a sixth-grader, and am honestly shocked that swearing does not seem to be a big thing among kids where we live. Based on my own childhood, I expected it to become very popular on the playground around the fourth grade. I figured this was generational thing and today’s kids were finding different ways to flout authority, but maybe we just live in an odd area or my kid is totally oblivious. She does enjoy singing songs with swear words and conspicuously omitting the swear words. “I am Hercules Mulligan….”

      Sorry to hear your kid is getting teased for standing up for himself and his principles. It is so easy to say “just stand your ground and ignore them,” and so difficult for kids actually to do it. Hopefully the kids will lose interest in swearing and move on to something else pretty soon.

    • I don’t think swear words are all that bad, honestly.

      I taught my kids that saying it as an emotion was fine, but saying it as a slur (against a person or group of people) was not. So “F this” is okay, but “You M-Fer” is not. We also don’t use a person’s name as an insult or swear, so shy away from OMG but are okay with OMGosh. We already talk about using language (and dress and mannerisms and on and on) that is appropriate to the situation, so it was easy to explain that we don’t do this around young people or people in authority, or anyone who acts uncomfortable with it. And you absolutely apologize if you offend someone with your words or actions, even if you didn’t know ahead of time and didn’t mean to do it.

      But there’s just nothing that works quite as well as “Oh S#1+” when you realize you forgot something, or “F’n A” when you’re frustrated. I know people have tried, but I don’t think we have great words to express intense negative emotions other than swear words.

      • I love this. My DH and I have generally decided that we don’t want to make an issue about swearing (we do it as an emotion in our house), but I wasn’t sure how to differentiate between that and using it as a slur. The way you articulated it above is perfect, thanks! My kids are still too young to notice, but as they get older we will start helping them understand the “proper usage”.

      • EP-er says:

        I don’t disagree with you about swearing in situationally appropriate places and we have had that conversation. I am just surprised that it so common in the 9/10 year old set.

        This is more kids running up to him and saying F-you or just F, because they know he doesn’t like it. It should lose its interest, but he isn’t game for saying it back to them.

        • avocado says:

          If somebody did that to me I would say “Bless your heart,” but somehow I don’t think that would work for a fourth-grade boy.

        • avocado says:

          Also, if it’s targeted at your son in this way it seems to be more about typical fourth-grade obnoxiousness than about swearing in particular. If swearing didn’t bug him, they’d find something else to pick on him or someone else about. A lot of fourth-graders are just mean.

          • EP-er says:

            Yes, this is totally what it is. The mean kids will keep being mean in a different way, to different kids.

            I remember this thing from the 80s “You are what you were when you were 10.” And I think about it a lot now that my kids are getting older — Who are they now? Do they have the right values to get them through the rest of their teen years? What kind of adult will they be? Hopefully the mean kids can still course-correct!

    • Anonymous says:

      Our school doesn’t allow swearing – public school in Canada if that makes a difference. Not saying it doesn’t happen – I’m sure it does, but the clear message is that this behaviour is not okay which is consistent with our messaging at home.

      • EP-er says:

        Oh, ours doesn’t allow it either… but I guess they aren’t doing it in front of teachers so they don’t know? My kids don’t ride the bus, but I understand that it is pretty rowdy on there.

    • Meiqi says:

      I live in Northern NJ where the f word is ubiquitous and basically means “very.” The other day when I was stuck in traffic with my son, he said “Mommy look at this F-in guy! He’s blocking us. Gooo! I’m upset!” He’s only two and a half and he already sounds like Tony Soprano. I tried my best not to laugh and explained to him that you only use that word when you’re very, very upset and to never use it at school.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Bahahaha, that’s so funny. Yeah, I think this may be a regional thing– and maybe a class thing too? I went to a blue collar public elementary school and knew every single bad word by the end of first grade. This was circa 1991.

  10. NewMomAnon says:

    Sanity check please – I distributed invites for kiddo’s birthday party on Monday. Some were distributed at school, and a couple went out via e-mail/text. The only RSVP I’ve received was one (adorable) little kiddo lisping “I can come to da par-tee” to me when I picked up kiddo yesterday. Is this normal? I haven’t done a kiddo birthday party yet, but I would’ve expected that at least the text/e-mail invitees would have responded by now.

    Also, kiddo saw another daycare friend distributing invites, and was sure she had gotten one, so she asked to give that friend an invite. Turns out that friend didn’t give kiddo an invitation (which makes sense; I don’t think they are actually friends). I’m worried kiddo is going to have some hurt feelings about that….

    • Anon in NYC says:

      You just distributed them on Monday? I wouldn’t think too much of it yet, unless the party was really soon. As for the text/email, sometimes it takes me a day or two to coordinate with my husband on scheduling, but I do generally try to get back to people asap. Did you have an RSVP date on the invite? I’ve found that some people will wait until the RSVP date to get back to you.

    • It’s still pretty early, so I wouldn’t worry yet. For my daughter’s 4th birthday party back in Sept, I put an invitation in each kid’s cubby (20 total). Responses tricked in very slowly and I had to follow up directly with some of the families whose contact info I had, which surprised me since I consider them friends/friendly acquaintances, i.e., I figured those families, at least, would respond. I hated having to harass people, but dang it, I needed to know how much cake to order! A couple people did show up without RSVPing, so be aware that might happen. All told, maybe 12 out of 20 responded?

    • EP-er says:

      People just don’t RSVP. Sometimes they still show up! Sometimes they disregard the due date and RSVP the day before. It is frustrating — how much notice did you give? I wouldn’t start to worry too much until the RSVP by date.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gut check — would you let a kid come to your house when you know the parents found bedbugs in the house?

    Back story — I am supposed to host a playdate tonight with a good friend, who’s daughter has been at school at day. Mom just texted that they found a bedbug at their house and are exterminating tomorrow. Mom recently had surgery, and I think is fried and exhausted and in need of a night off. Would you still let the child come to your house for the playdate, or postpone until after extermination is complete?

    • Momata says:

      Nope nope nope. Nope. If she’s a good friend, she’ll understand. My friends and I regularly cancel family get togethers when a kid has a cough or fever. This is the same but worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not really the same though, because bed bugs are not spread from person-to-person like germs. As someone who had bed bugs in my house a year or so ago, I did a lot of research on this and spoke extensively with our pest control guy and he assured me that it was basically impossible for us to bring them into work, daycare or a friend’s home on our clothes. They fall off your hair and skin easily when you shower. They stick right next to sleeping areas, so they’re unlikely to infest a closet, but any that did get on your clothes would be killed by the heat of the washer/dryer. They are difficult to eradicate from inside furniture, but if you are bathing daily and wearing clean clothes, you do not have bed bugs on your person except when you’re sleeping. Also, when you pick them up from a hotel it’s usually because the hotel has a very extensive infestation. Unless you’ve ignored the problem for months, a home infestation is going to be way smaller scale than a hotel infestation. My family and I lived our lives as normal during the week or two we were waiting for our house to be treated and nobody we know got bed bugs.

        I would not let someone with bed bugs in their home show up at my house with suitcases that might be the source of the infestation and I might ask people to take shoes off near the door (I do that anyway, even though it’s apparently very controversial here), but that’s about it. Anything that takes a shower (bodies) or can be put in the washer/dryer (clothes) is safe.

    • this is a tough one. i am super paranoid about bed bugs so there is a part of me that would want to say no, but then the part of me that would feel really guilty since the mom just had surgery. i’m pretty sure that bed bugs are not typically transferred through clothes, but can be transferred through shoes/luggage/back packs. not sure if you live in a warm or cold place, but instead of taking them to your house, could you go to a playground? i suppose that does not solve the issue of kiddo bringing back back into your car…

      • Anonymous says:

        Ugh, yeah the surgery is what complicates it for me. Mom is just done, and I feel super badly for her. This evening was intended to give her a much needed break from an especially hard weekend after a rough few weeks.

        Issue seems to be resolved, as there is one other family involved in this playdate, and it was a hard no for her. I still feel guilty bc I probably would have ultimately took the risk (and I feel badly for this child, who will know she’s not coming over as planned….), but I guess we’re calling it at this point.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Maybe the kid can come over on Friday or a day this weekend? This way Mom still gets a much-needed break, but it’s post-extermination.

          • Meiqi says:

            I have first hand experience with bed bugs. My answer would be- it depends. To avoid carrying the bugs/eggs outside the infested area, you are supposed to put all your fabric items in the dryer on high heat for at least half an hour and then seal them in Ziploc bags. If the family has done that with their things and kiddo is pulling clothes out of a bag, putting them on and coming straight over, it shouldn’t be an issue.

            FYI after just one extermination you won’t know for certain that the bed bugs are gone for at least two weeks. Two weeks after the spray, the dog can come to do the inspection. If the dog doesn’t smell any, you have reasonable assurance that they’re gone, but nothing is guaranteed. Bed bugs can live for an entire year without eating and can survive pretty extreme temps. The most effective pesticides for them are now illegal because they may cause cancer. I swear, those things could survive a nuclear holocaust.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please offer to go over and help this poor woman with all the heat treating and supervise your kids at her house. we’ve had bedbugs 1.5 times and encountered them in a hotel another time. It isn’t that hard to avoid bringing them home, just put all of your clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes and spray your shoes with rubbing alcohol. All of the heat treating is a lot of work, and people are so paranoid about catching bed bugs it is easy to feel like a pariah if you have them.

      • Isn’t she more likely to get them going to the woman’s house than having the kid at her house? I guess not because they can make sure they treat everything properly as soon as they get home.

    • Can you offer to take the kids out for pizza? Something else to give the other mom a break?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I thought it would be easier to treat her own stuff after leaving than enforcing per visit rules for her friend. Honestly bed bugs are tiny, soft bodied, slowing moving nocturnal bugs that tend to stay close to their food source (usually the bed). People are so paranoid about them now, but they aren’t dangerous, do not carry diseases, and really are not the end if the world. Treating them is a PITA but more of a laundry problem than anything else.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Pre visit, not per visit

  14. EB0220 says:

    Anyone else amused by how late today’s post is, the day after a bunch of people asked for an earlier post?

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