Jane Roper

Writer. Blogger. Hater of Olives.

Tag: parenting (page 1 of 2)

Empowered & Helpless

1. Empowered

For a long time, Clio has stated her desire and intention to be a professional musician, just like her dad. Actually, as far as she’s concerned, she is a professional musician.

And she has always loved rocking out in the privacy of her own home. Observe:  (Taken a little over a year ago. In the era B.C.)


But she’s always been a bit shy about singing on stage with her dad, when given the opportunity. And he does give her — and Elsa — the opportunity from time to time at his shows. Elsa is a natural performer. You’d think we’ve been entering her in toddler-in-tiara-type pageants all her life. She loves to smile and flirt with the audience. But Clio has always been reserved on stage — if she’ll go at all. Continue reading


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.

Continue reading


Am I bringing you down?

2259As you may have noticed, I’m pretty open when it comes to talking about the fact that my daughter has cancer, and don’t hesitate to share some of the specifics. This is true offline as well as online.

But I’ve also learned to make judicious choices about if and when to drop the “C-bomb” on people who don’t know about our situation. When an acquaintance or client casually asks how I am, and how my family is doing, for example, my blithely saying “Oh fine, but one of our daughters has cancer, actually,” would just be cruel. You can’t do that to people.

In some situations I don’t bring it up at all. Other times I use the catch-all, “well, we’ve had some tough family stuff going on.” Occasionally, when a little more explanation is necessary, I’ve gone with “my daughter is ill,” but it sounds kind of weird and old-fashioned. I think if someone said that to me I’d picture their daughter coughing up blood into a handkerchief held by a turn-of-the-century nurse in a white pinafore. If I do choose to be more forthright, I sometimes apologize in advance: “Sorry to drop a bombshell, but the thing is….” Continue reading


Our Little Cancer Foodie

I rue the day I bought these for a special occasion. Now, no cheaper cracker will do.

I rue the day I bought these for a special occasion. Now, no cheaper cracker will do as far as Clio’s concerned.

One of the (many) unexpected challenges of having a child with cancer: Feeding her.

Clio has always been a picky eater. Despite our persistent efforts to get her to eat a more diverse diet, the only things we’ve ever been able to get her to eat with any regularity are pasta, white rice, rye bread, plain or sesame bagels, English muffins, quesadillas, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, yogurt, fruit, pizza, cheese (mozzarella or mild cheddar), peanut butter, and raisins. Hot dogs, chicken, bacon, and scrambled eggs also work — sometimes. And she indulges us in an occasional carrot stick or small piece of broccoli. And pickles. She likes pickles.

OK, that sounds like a lot, actually. But what the above doesn’t convey is that she is extremely picky when it comes to variations in texture, consistency and flavor. And cancer is really not helping matters. Continue reading


That ever-elusive one-on-one time

It seriously is one of the biggest “I wish we could do more of it but how?”s of parenting, whether you’ve got twins or kids of different ages: How do you carve out time to spend with each kid separately, so you can focus fully on them, instead of dividing your attention between them and their sibling(s)? And so they, in turn, get you all to themselves for a bit?

I feel like it’s especially important for twins, who are together so much of the time. At least, in our family it’s been the case. As hard as we try to recognize Elsa and Clio’s very different personalities and foster their individuality, the fact is, they’ve basically been joined at the hip (figuratively speaking, mind you) since they were in utero.

Honestly, the extent of our typical one-on-one time is, basically, I’ll take one with me to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon while Alastair stays home and plays with the other one. Within two hours, we’re all back together again. Woo hoo. Let’s hear it for quality alone time.

Read the rest of this post over on Baby Squared


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