Jane Roper

Writer. Blogger. Hater of Olives.

Tag: Baby Squared (page 1 of 2)

Ye Olde Blog Archives

Summer, 2008

Summer, 2008

Every so often, people ask me if there’s a way to go back and read my old blog posts from my blog Baby Squared on Babble, where I blogged from mid-2007 (when my girls were 6 months old) through Summer 2012 (when they were 5-1/2 and, you know, we got cancer and all.) And the posts even before that, before I moved to Babble.

There’s never been a terribly easy way to to find and go through the old posts, and I kept meaning to build an archive here and never got around to it. But finally – FINALLY! — I’m doing it.

Below are word documents with the blog posts for each year. Be forewarned: They’re not carefully formatted. Most of the pictures aren’t included. Some content may be missing. Any links left in may or may not work. But it’s the best I can do on limited time.

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Everything Has Changed: A Long-Winded Goodbye to Babble

This post originally appeared on my now defunct blog, Baby Squared, at Babble.com

A little over a week ago, I was about to start on a big video project for one of my clients. I was putting the finishing touches on an essay summarizing the themes of my memoir, Double Time for another website. I was also planning to dive into work on a new novel.

We had three summer vacation trips planned — to Maine, to the Jersey Shore (no no, a tasteful part of it), and New Hampshire. Elsa was about to start tap dance classes, too. The girls were going to start kindergarten in the Fall. Clio was going to start playing soccer.

I was hoping to do a writing residency somewhere at some point this year. Alastair was planning to expand his work doing kids’ music shows and educational assemblies in schools.

In other words, our lives were (we thought) going to go along exactly as we expected they would. And then, last week, we were suddenly in the hospital and finding out that Clio had leukemia. And our life as we know it was dramatically changed.

No trips this summer — at least not for all four of us — while we’re in and out of the hospital. No kindergarten in the fall for Clio; it would be too dangerous for her compromised immune system. Our ability to work as many hours as we do now, uncertain. Clio’s going to basically have to be home-schooled for a while — plus there will be clinic visits and periodic inpatient stays. And that’s assuming no unforeseen complications or setbacks.

As for the novel I was planning to write? Well, I’m just hoping I can finish it in this decade.

And, of course, in all of this, there is the constant uncertainty about Clio’s health. The success rates for her form of leukemia — ALL Pre-B — are the highest of all pediatric leukemias, so we’re very optimistic. But I hate the idea of her not feeling well and missing out on things. I hate the fact that we’ll always be watching, waiting, hoping things don’t get worse. Most of all, I hate the thought that we could end up being the unlucky ones.

Since we got here to the hospital last week, Alastair and I have been switching back and forth at night, with one of us staying in the room with Clio and the other one staying in the parent room we’ve been assigned. Getting ready for bed and waking up in that room — the only time when there’s a bit of distance for reflection — is when it tends to hit me the hardest:  just how completely and irrevocably our lives as we planned and imagined them over the next several years have changed. And how sad / scared / angry that makes me.

But I firmly believe — I have to believe — that there will be good changes and realizations that come of this unexpected turn of events as well. I don’t entirely know what those will be yet. But I do know that I haven’t had a lousy or trying experience in my life yet that didn’t teach me something or make me see more clearly or feel more deeply or, if nothing else, simply make me more grateful for the not-so-lousy times.

And sometimes, a “bad” life-changing experience like this can make previously hazy choices seem suddenly clear-cut and simple.

Which is my long-winded and overly-dramatic way of saying that it’s time for me to say a fond farewell to Baby Squared and Babble.

When I started this blog here a little over five years ago, I was in a very different place, and Babble was a pretty different place, too. It’s become increasingly clear to me over the last year or so that it would make more sense — given my priorities and preferences and style when it comes to blogging — for me to take my writing to a more personal, non-commercial venue. Clio’s diagnosis, and what it would mean for our family, was the clincher.

So, I’m moving my blogging efforts over to humbler waters.

It’s been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of Babble for the past five years. Blogging here has not only helped me “find my voice,” as we say in the biz, but has introduced me to tons of wonderful readers, many of whom I now consider friends in spite of the fact that we’ve never met: April, Lena, Michele, Stephanie, RossTwinMom, Nutterbutter, Voice of Reason, Hippygoth, EG, Gualojote, Korinthia, Oz, Dawn, Fernanda, Lin….others I’m surely forgetting, and others I don’t “know” as well. Plus all those who have offered their thoughts and prayers and support since we got this diagnosis. Thank you, all of you.

And whether you’ve been reading Baby Squared for five years or five minutes, I hope you’ll continue to read my words (and share yours) over at my new blog, Jane’s Calamity (janeroper.com or janes-calamity.com),  join my Facebook page (the Baby Squared FB page will soon be defunct) and/or follow me on Twitter.

As Bob Dylan would say,

Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow

Things should start to get interestin’ right about now.





When is it OK to abandon your kids?

OK, OK, not abandon them per se. (Jeez, Jane, way to write a provocative and misleading headline just to get people to read the post.) But at what age is it appropriate for them to leave the confines of your house or backyard unsupervised? Seven? Nine? Fourteen?

As the fabulous Madeline Holler wrote about on Strollerderby and as my fellow Babble Voices blogger Stefanie-Wilder Taylor discussed/debated last night on the Dr. Drew show, last Saturday was national “Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There” Day, as declared by Lenore Skenazy, author of Free Range Kids.

Skenazy suggested that parents drop their kids aged 7 or older off at a local park and let them play with other kids, unsupervised, for a while, arguing that experiences like this are important for kids — to foster their independence and to let them create the kind of fond childhood memories many of us have of being on our own. No planned activities, no hovering parents.

Read the rest of this post over at Baby Squared


My Life as a Blog: Why I chose to write openly about my depression

“…shortly after I weaned my daughters, when they were 14 months old, I was hit with an episode of major depression worse than any I’d experienced before. And I was faced with a dilemma. Should I write about it on my blog—where I’d been sharing my life so openly over the previous nine months—or keep it to myself?”

I’m delighted to be a guest poster over at Blogstar, as part of their “My Life as a Blog” series. Click here to read the rest of my post about how and why I began blogging about my struggles with depression. (Short answer: hey, if I was willing to tell the world about my boobs and my kids’ poop, why not tell the truth about my mental health, too?)



Mommy, what does “gay” mean?

My girls are constantly asking me what words mean. Words that they used to just ignore or whose meaning they got well enough in context, they’re now stopping to inquire about. (Maybe it’s a five-year-old thing.) What does “assume” mean? How about “agitated”? Or “express”?

And then, about a week ago: “What does ‘gay’ mean?”

The song  “Jamaica Farewell” is on a new kids’ CD we have, and it begins: “Down the way, where the nights are gay, and the sun shines daily on the mountain top…”  The girls love it, and sing it constantly. (So constantly that their preschool teacher decided to teach it to the whole class for their graduation ceremony in June.) But it was only after a few weeks of obsession that they stopped to ask about that one particular word.

Read the rest of this post over at Baby Squared on Babble.

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