Monday, November 13, 2006

Three of These Things Have Something in Common

Can you guess what it is?

Are there clues here, or here? No.
But maybe here.


  1. Anonymous10:26 PM

    I think that the top three are all presents that you've gotten for Ben for his past birthdays. I remember the Hello Kitty from years ago in your blog and the hand made doll. I don't remember the spirograph, though. Anyway, he's getting so big! I've read your entire journal from babycenter and followed hot on your heels over here. You do such a great job and I want you to know I actually got teary just reading about how you felt when you heard Ben singing. I feel the same way about my kids. So, don't feel like a freak. You're a good mom who is a little emotional. Me too. More power to us;-)


  3. Anonymous10:52 PM

    OMG, I woke my husband I laughed so hard at the comparison of the birth story to PTSD. You are totally right as always. Thank you so much for giggles to guffaws on a day I really really needed them. And happy birthday to Ben, who may never know what a miracle he is to so many he'll never meet...after all, it's thanks to him that we all found you.
    Wishing you an invisibility cloak for your birthday!

  4. Anonymous11:19 PM

    Happy Birthday Ben!!! Seven is so big (and our daughter is close on his heels). But I don't understand the photos. The bra especially. The column was great as usual. I'm so happy for you all. If if's possible to love a little guy that you've never met across the country, then I love little Ben!
    Really, really, I'm not a stalker.

  5. Oh how you can make me laugh and cry with mere words.

  6. Anonymous11:36 PM

    The bra held the Nursings, of course!

  7. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Yes he is beautiful. And being insanely proud of our kids is one of the rewards we enjoy in this parenting game. I got teary when my daughters school had a 'wearable arts' fashion parade, and all these 5 and 6 year olds danced out on the actual catwalk they'd put up and beamed like their faces would split from happiness at all the 300 clapping cheering parents out in the audience. They had made their costumes themselves, and they were so funny and special. I frequently feel like a freak. I'm trying to be proud of that too.

  8. Anonymous11:46 PM

    I don't even have to cheat. THE pink suitcase, the dollgate doll, spirograph (probably a used, er, vintage one) and the bra--as in the booty or booby shaped pinata. Happy birthday Ben!

  9. Anonymous11:47 PM

    the column was good, but the bit about the OB nurses hurt my feelings a little.

  10. First thing I thought about the pictures : they all come from Value Village! (a simple and perfect case of projection, here.) And what a nice bra, I should have one like this, to replace my nursing ones, that don't fit me anymore, (and that I don't really need anymore, I thought with sadness just this week). And I remember the suitcase, from a previous birthday. And the doll.
    The Spirograph?
    I will look at the other blogger's comments to see if I'm a complete idiot.
    And I am grateful for the link you put for the text about Birdy's tantrum. I had never read it and thought it was so rich and profound (and funny, of course). You are such an expert at describing a situation with all its components of events and feelings. You really stop the time. Thank you again.

  11. Anonymous12:46 AM

    I too remember the infamous pink Hello Kitty suitcase, "dollgate" and the fabulous boob pinata--not to mention all the misplaced grief you were given over Ben's choice of toys/clothing colors. I always admired how much of yourself you put out there, and how vulnerable and accessible that made you, so it made me so sad and angry when people would react so meanspiritedly to such tender, personal stuff. Glad that's over with! Nothing but love over here!
    Anyway, happy birthday to dear Ben! This one made me laugh and cry. I know just how you feel. And the part about the chorus--I could totally relate. My 6-year-old daughter is also in chorus, and to hear their sweet, shrill voices when I go to pick her up just kills me. Now she sings herself to sleep with her earnest little off-key voice and it is quite possibly the sweetest thing I've ever heard.

  12. Hmm Im gonna go with they are all Bens bday presents. Well except the bra. Unless that relates to the boobie pinata but then it wouldnt be a birthday related thing so lets go with Bens bday presents over the past couple years!

    Also: Feliz Cumpleanos Ben!!!

  13. Anonymous8:09 AM

    Happy Birthay to Ben! It's hard to believe that he is seven already. Flashing back a couple of years, I loved the article on Birdy and tantrums -- with a two year old in the house it made me laugh because we go through that all of the time!
    Love the pics -- flashbacks to several years of columns!

  14. Anonymous9:00 AM


    Not sure why my comment is linked to another username has always been Jen...

    Best Birthday wishes to Ben again.


  15. Ha, I forgot about the pink suitcase. This probably would have comforted me a bity as my son insisted on the pink Dora one. The one he proudly carried to preschool. Every. Day. : )

  16. I think the odd one out is the dolly, and the other three are Things Ben Has Put On His Head.
    Happy Birthday to Ben! What a big boy. (Tell him everyone's knitting looks like cellulite at the beginning. He knits! I love him even more.)

  17. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Happy Birthday to your sweet Benny, and Happy Momiversary to you! :)


  18. That was such a beautiful description of Ben's class, and the "out loud" presents. It made me cry. It makes me excited for when my own daughter turns 7, and also for the time in between.


  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. spirograph

    Because they're all containers for something.

    Oh wait, the spirograph isn't right.


    Because they're all made for girls?

    Except the bra is really for women.

    And the luggage was a gift for your son.

    How about:


    Because you just never get tired of playing, or using, any of these items. Whereas the luggage really isn't a toy, and if you're using luggage a lot you tend to really get tired of using it, that is, tired of traveling.

  21. Anonymous12:12 PM


    I read your article on Wondertime and you had me all weepy over here! My own "baby" will be 6 at the end of the month and just trying to remember all the little things (his first words, remember Evan singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star",etc) just gets me. It's like you want to just bottle up all those memories and as the kids grow, just pull them out so you can experience it, all over again. Anyway, I'm rambling over here. Great article and happy b-day Ben :-)

    Amy, Evan & Aidan's mom

  22. Anonymous12:59 PM

    So I am guessing the Spirograph is THIS YEAR's birthday present for Ben because he is now big enough to manipulate the incredibly complicated toy. And the others are presents from years gone by... (nursing being his first real present). What a great school he attends.

  23. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Happy happy birthday Ben. Catherine, loved your description of Ben swimming. My oldest daughter will be 7 in March and she swims exactly like Ben. She's sooooo proud of being a "swimmer" and jumps right in the pool; meanwhile I take slow deep breaths as if to provide her with oxygen as I try to convince myself she isn't really drowning while she flails around making no perceptible forward progress. I have to confess I'm not really sure about the connection between the pictures. I remember the pink suitcase and the dolly, but the spirograph and the bra????? Hmmm, have to think about those.

  24. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Oh My Gosh What a wonderful post about Ben's birthday. You always sum up exactly how I feel about my kids.

    Happy 7th Birthday Ben!

  25. Happy Anniversary! A mom for 7 years! Congratulations. It's funny--you write about how you wish you could be more Ms. Pye, but when I read, I wish I could be more Ms. Newman. I feel like the constant griping mom --always telling my poor son to do this or pick up that. Telling Ben on his birthday that he makes your lives sparkle sent me over the edge, and I am now sitting here sniffling, eyes watering as I type (and pump for my lovely 6 month old) while I pretend to get work done here at my desk.

    I can't believe Ben's already 7! I remember reading when he was like 2 or 3. It's crazy.


  26. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Long time reader, first time poster! I discovered your journal at BC shortly after you began and have been "strung out" on Ben and Birdy stories ever since! Seriously, I have enjoyed and been grateful for your humor, humility, and honest grace. Maybe not so much graceful...hahaha, but certainly more so than I. My guess echoes many other of your blog buddies I have realized after reading through their posts. I definitely feel that the Hello Kitty case and "dolly-gate" indicate previous b'day presents - who could forget those crazy comment-posters? Maybe the Spirograph was the one from last year that you wouldn't reveal because of all the flak. And the bra? Ben's favorite things for his first couple of years (and Birdie's!) NURSINGS! :-)

  27. Anonymous5:23 PM

    The top three all have pink and are gifts Ben received for birthday at some point. I love your writing. It makes me feel at home. My eyes mist quite a bit when I read your writing about your kids, Ben especially (because I parent girls yet).
    Keep writing and thank you!

  28. Anonymous6:15 PM

    now I'm all misty-eyed. Loved it!

  29. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Happy birthday Ben! I read your birthday journal last night and it triggered an odd memory - I blogged about it here .

    What a wonderful and sweet class he must be in. The picture of the bar made me realize I had forgotten that our children used the same name for breasts. My 3 year old looked down my shirt yesterday and yelled "hello nursings! I miss you!"

    Seven is so big. I still remember the post you wrote describing his birth. How after he arrived everyone was crowded around Michael as he held the baby - all the while you were quietly vomiting in the background. Ahh, the first days of motherhood really let us know what we are in for. Congratulations to you on seven years of Mommyhood.

  30. Anonymous8:53 PM

    OMIGOD! Ben's birthday post was amazing. I, too, would have been misting over the geese. You are my grown-up Anne of Green Gables. She was my first kindred spirit!

    As I was reading the article about Birdy's tantrum, my own almost three-year-old Ryder (named before Kate's, not that I feel like I'm being judged or anything) was upstairs tantruming because apparently his bed bumped his head last night.


  31. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Love the columns. Okay, the bra that seems to mystify everyone could be for the nursings or for that infamous pinata. But, I seem to recall you once wrote about going to a certain lingerie shop (VS) and discovered the miracle of the demi bra. I hate that store as well, but I admit your column propelled me to go get a couple, and I am a convert. Praise be to the demi bra.

    Even if this has nothing to do with the photos, I at least got the chance to thank you for sharing your bra experience.


  32. Okay, not to shamelessly ask for advice or suggestions here, buttttttttt we're throwing our daughter a Hello-Kitty themed birthday party, so Catherine, if you have any tips on how to go about it, I'd really really appreciate them....

    The blogs are still Uber-Fantastique by the way!!!! Such a fantastic way to relax and take time just for me!

  33. Anonymous11:38 PM

    Happy Birthday to Ben.
    mom to Erin and Emma

  34. Anonymous11:52 PM

    I'm going to guess the Spirograph is the odd one out. I think the other three were Ben's favorite past presents (including his "nursings," although that doesn't look like a nursing bra), and the Spirograph was your favorite present when you were a kid. Though other people's ideas sound good too!

    I just have to add it's great to see how well-loved the suitcase and doll seem to be. Take THAT, judgmental posters ;)

  35. Anonymous1:15 AM

    Catherine - my goodness how you get me to sign up for all these things - wow now i have my own google account! and i didn't even know what wondertime was prior to following you over there.

    well today your wondertime entry touched my soul. my son's birhtday is tomorrow and your thoughts really echoed my feelings tonight as i stayed up after the kids went to sleep to decorate the cake and wrap his present.

    motherhood is such a strange priceless gift.

    thank you for sharing.

    meg s. (meglet from parent center)

  36. Catherine,

    Happy Birthday! To you and Michael as well as to Ben. Without you two, Ben wouldn't be here, so you deserve the Happy Birthday just as much as he does. Isn't it so hard to believe that he is 7 already? My son turned 8 in July and it just blows me away at how fast the time has gone. I am happy to say though, that I am still filled with the wild magic of the love I have for him every time I look into his beautiful eyes and I have been told that I will always feel that way, no matter how old he gets. I know you understand.

    I sometimes have trouble believing that I am somebody's MOM. It's just overwhelming sometimes.

    Here's wishing you all countless more Happy Birthday's!!

  37. Anonymous9:44 AM

    In the 3 years I read your column, I missed something???? What was dollgate? Someone tell me, please!

    Anyway, I, like everyone else cried when I read the Wondertime column this week, for reasons too detailed to get into here. (My son is 17) I actually made him read it. I have gone over the edge, clearly!!! Next, I'll be stopping dog-walkers on my street- "Hey, come inside, you've GOT to read this!"

  38. Anonymous10:08 AM

    The HK backpack, the doll and the bra all relate to Ben's birthdays. The spirograph is the odd man out.

    Loved this column. IT amde me feel all nostalgic. I miss my babies and I'm so thankful for our newest addition, due May 29th, to get one last chance at the baby stuff.


  39. Oh, my God! Much as I love ya, Catherine, I am truly hoping that the black bra is the odd, er, thing out. The others are all birthday gifts. Although I do know a family that gave their son a wedding dress as a gift - but that is a reallllllly different story...

  40. Anonymous2:04 PM

    If the bra is a nursing bra then the bra, suitcase and doll are favorite things from Ben's childhood and the Spirograph is from your seventh year.

  41. What a wonderful tradition...the cards! I am going to try to remember to do that one this time around. I love what you said to him about how he makes your family sparkle....I feel the same way about our boy. You are such a great mom.

  42. My son will be six this Saturday, and I feel the same way about him as you describe your feelings about Ben! And I'm very emotional too, maybe it's the preganancy hormones, or having this deja vu of my first pregnancy six years ago. Feliz Cumple Ben! How this kids grow! and how we grow with them too! My life is a before and after Julian, and I wouldn't go back to the before for anything in this world.
    Happy holidays Catherine and thanks again for your beautiful writing.

  43. Anonymous3:16 AM

    Pretty perceptive of the blogger who realized the Spirograph was probably your 7th birthday present, or maybe the cover only looks slightly dingy in the picture and it is destined to be one of Ben's gifts for his 7th. Oddly (or maybe not so oddly?) enough, when I first saw the items and before I had read any of the blogs, I thought you might subtly be saying that those items were destined for use again and that you were pregnant. Yes? No? Anyway, I really loved you whole column this week - the Anatomy of a Tantrum is so classic. My 4 1/2 year olds are right in the middle of Ben and Birdy, so I get to revel in the past and look forward to the future whenever I read your writings. Thank you for that.

  44. I think the spirograph must be the present you refused to tell us about due to "dollgate" and the pink suitcase incidents. And I had totally forgotten about the booby pinata. Remembering had me giggling over it all over again. Thanks for the memories! tee hee hee!

  45. In the wondertime article, you mentioned your "husband." But I thought you and Michael were not married? Did I miss something? Just curious!

  46. Here is the thing I talk about to anyone who will listen (when I am not raving about Catherine Newman's writing) "And he is still exactly who he's been for his whole entire life" - I am astonished at how they are who they are at birth and we ultimately have so little to do with it. Watching them grow up and stay the same is nothing short of amazing.

  47. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Oh, happy birthday to Ben! I hope one day he realises how much his own special wisdom and kindess have meant to so many people who will never even meet him.
    And the birthday presents of years gone past...ha ha it made me laugh all over again remembering them! As the mother of a son who chose pink sheets for his bed, and a baby boy who wears a lot of his sister's old PINK
    And I loved the tantrum story, which I'd not read before. Reminded me of my own little girl throwing a fit because she was unable to make her Winnie the Pooh hat be simultaneously ON her head keeping her warm, and OFF her head so she could look at it....ah, the memories!
    Thanks again for sharing so honestly, and giving me reasons to smile and laugh today!

  48. Anonymous9:31 PM

    You should have put the popcorn popper in there too, to really confuse people!!

  49. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Oh Catherine,

    I just read your post about people hurting Ben's feelings. Oh how I cried. I knowwwww the ache, the ache, when you teach these dear little people to be such perfect little angels. To consider others feelings, to carry their heart outside their little bodies and then someone, often one of their little friends comes and squashes it. Even just a little bit. And you think. Why didn't I just teach them to push and grab physically and meterphorically so they can survive in the world. But we know if we did it over we would do the same thing otherwise he wouldn't be your Ben or my little boy Beau. I wish you protection for your heart.

  50. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Catherine, I just caught up on the last 3 weeks of Wondertime columns...I so enjoyed your babycenter journal, it often brought me to tears- usually of laughter, and it made me feel sane. But Dalai Mama is just *beautiful*. It still has your humor and wit, but speaks to my soul in a way the old journal didn't. How great that you can get paid to create something that is ultimately a wonderful gift to your children and yourself. I envy the voice you have found to express these Mama insights. On the flip side (so you don't feel pressure to be perfect over here), I love knowing I can check here for your quick and dirty real life notes- sort of a backstage pass!