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Boston March for Babies Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017 Registration: 9:00AM | Start: 10:00 AM Walk distance: 3 miles DCR Hatch Memorial Shell 45 David G. Mugar Way Boston, MA 02108 DOMESTIC PLACEMENTS Live In or Out Nannies • Housekeepers

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Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

We're getting ready to walk in March for Babies! It promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. Join our event and walk with us to raise money for babies right here in our community!

Contents |

May/June 2017

Volume 32 • Number 10


What’s Inside

Temporary Mom The Reflections of a Foster Mother


Please Don’t Call Me a Single Mother

Directories 15 Camps and Summer Programs 24 Schools & Childcare Centers 24 Farms 26 Entertainment & Party Needs 28 Classes and Enrichment TM

Boston Parent 841 Worcester Street Suite 344 Natick, MA 01760 Tel/Fax 617-522-1515 Visit us online at

PUBLISHERS Robert and Tracy McKean ART DIRECTOR Debbi Murzyn ADVERTISING SALES Holly Castro, David Morney

4 10 Media Titles

Happy Family Summer Road Trip

Freezable Lunch Bag Helmet Safety Pregnancy Safety

6 Family F.Y.I

10 Teen Talk

Summer Jobs

16 First Year Boston Parents Paper is published monthly by Parenting Media Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. 60,000 copies of Boston Parents Paper are distributed to more than 1600 locations in the region. Past issues are available on our website,

Decoding Baby’s Temperment

20 Family Calendar

Calendar Focus.......29

30 Raising Dad Spiderman

Send letters to the editor or article submissions to editor@bostonparent. com. Submit events to our Family Friendly Calendar at

May/June 2017 |


10 Media Titles


for a Happy Family Summer Road Trip


ith the onset of warm weather, most everybody starts planning for a family vacation, a weekendgetaway or even a day trip. And if it ends up being a road trip adventure with kids in tow, it could either be the craziest thing you’ll ever undertake or it could result in blissful family time, with some careful planning on your part. It can get very frustrating for kids to stay confined in a moving vehicle for endless hours unless they have something interesting to keep them occupied. In today’s digital age, with the advent of smartphones and handheld devices, parents can make use of the innumerable digital media options available for kids. But this does not have to be a mindless distraction, rather make it an educational experience for children by giving them access to positive, quality-curated media resources. Find below some noteworthy e-Books and apps put together by the experts at SmartFeed ( and be rest assured that you will be much less likely to hear that most dreaded question, “are we there yet?” For a more extensive list of media choices, check out theSmartFeed’s Travel playlist ( travel) and e-Books for the Road playlist ( ebooks-for-the-road). NOTABLE E-BOOKS Charlotte’s Web (ages 6+) charlotte-s-web A true children’s literature classic, this book showcases friendship, love, empathy and loss. A must-read story of a tender bond between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider.


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (ages 10+) https://www.thesmartfeed. com/creations/diary-of-awimpy-kid-cabin-fever Greg Heffley is a master of bad choices and boy, is he in big trouble! Find out why in this sixth book of the immensely popular series. NOTABLE APPS The Tale of Despereaux (ages 7+) Four storylines, that of a mouse, a princess, a serving girl and a rat are intertwined and presented in this charming book which will captivate the reader.

Dora and Diego’s Vacation Adventure (ages 3+) Read along with Dora and Diego in this story app and explore all the features and thrills of their vacation adventure. Reading can be so much fun!

Clementine (ages 8+) clementine A hilarious story of a fun-loving girl who has quite the knack for getting into trouble, unintentionally of course.

Cool Mad Libs (ages 6+) Create, save and share your fun stories using the world’s greatest word game in this engaging digital version.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (ages 9-12) Tag along with Calpurnia Tate on her adventures exploring the natural world around her as she tries to make her mark in a maledominated society; best example of a positive female role model for kids.

License Plate Travel Game (ages 7+) license-plate-travel-game Spot a State License Plate and score a point. Download the app on your smartphone to keep tab of the scores. A perfect game for the whole family to join in.

The Mysterious Benedict Society (ages 8-13) Four gifted children (two boys and two girls) are chosen after passing through several mindbending tests to go on a challenging, secret mission. Join them on this wild adventure and solve the mystery together.

State Bingo and Road Trip US (ages 9+) state-bingo-and-road-trip-us Enhance your state geography knowledge, practice your map reading skills, answer questions, solve riddles and bingo! - travel time becomes fun, learning time.

P WR I TE L F M ACT A G Y SUMMER I N E Education Programs June 26 -August 11 CLASSES FOR AGES 4-18!


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✼ Family F.Y.I.

National Bike Month


ay marks National Bike Month and there’s no better time to strap on those helmets and go for a family ride. According to the League of American Bicyclists, Massachusetts is the 10th most bicycle-friendly state in the country. Brush up on your bike safety with these tips: • Obey the rules of the trail you’re riding on and yield to slower users. •

• If you’re riding as a family and get separated, pull off the trail completely so you can regroup. Blocking a trail is a major no-no. • Ensure your helmet (and your child’s) fit properly. It should fit on top of the head and be parallel to the ground. See helmet safety tips (Pg 7)

When passing another cyclist or a pedestrian use a bell, horn or your voice to let them know you’re coming up behind or to the side of them.

• Keep right as much as possible except when passing. Leave two bike lengths of room before moving back to the right after passing another rider on the left. • If riding at night, use a white front light and a red rear light to make yourself noticeable to others.




id you know that 2017 marks the 103rd anniversary of Mother’s Day? While you’re celebrating with your brood on May 14, know you’re in good company. According to Hallmark, who began selling greeting cards to celebrate the occasion in the 1920s, approximately 133 million Mother’s Day cards are sold each year. The National Restaurant Association also cites it as the number one holiday for dining out.


ow here’s a wacky holiday parents can get behind – Clean Up Your Room Day. The orderly occasion falls on May 10 and is the perfect opportunity to enlist kids in picking up after themselves to make those rooms spotless (or at least a couple of notches above pigsty). After all, you never know when the Clean Up Your Room Day Fairy might bump into Santa while he’s making his naughty or nice list.

Perfect for Summer Camp Lunches! Freezable Lunch Bag


he original PackIt lunch bag has helped millions of people take safe, healthy meals everywhere. Cooling technology is built into the walls of the bag so you’ll never waste money on ice packs again. PackIt’s cooling power makes it the smartest alternative to conventional lunch boxes and one of the best lunch bags for kids. Nontoxic, PVC-, BPA-, phthalate- and lead-free. $19.99-$24.99.



ooking for the sweetest parade in town? Boston welcomes the Duckling Day Parade on May 14 in honor of the beloved children’s book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, which was published in 1941. It’s a fitting setting to celebrate a book that centers around a family of ducks that live in a lagoon in Boston Public Garden. The story is a Caldecott Medal winner and has sold more than 2 million copies.


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

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Helmet Safety By Barbara DiGirolamo, M.Ed, BA, CPSTI

Dr. Maura G. Marks Ph.D., AuD., CCC-A/SLP., Director MEDFIELD 5 N. Meadows Road • 508-359-4532 PLAINVILLE 30 Man-Mar Dr. • 508-695-6848


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Serving Children and Adults

Injury Prevention Specialist, Boston Children’s Hospital


pring has sprung and the kids are outside in full force, riding their wheeled devices to the park, friend’s houses and sport practices. Though we at Boston Children’s highly endorse these great activities, we want to ensure children are taking the proper steps for a safe ride! Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind to prepare for this much anticipated time of year! Before taking your children’s wheeled devices out for their first ride of the season, be sure their helmet is still good from the previous year! This includes ensuring that it still fits securely on their head, can properly buckle, that it does not contain any cracks or bumps and that it is less than four years old. A helmet can only withstand one significant crash, so if your child fell while using it last year, it is best to purchase a new one! In Massachusetts, all persons sixteen years of age or younger, are required by law to be wearing a helmet on a bicycle, however a helmet should be worn while on any wheeled device! Not all helmets are equal, so be sure your child is wearing the appropriate helmet for the activity they are taking part in. A bike helmet should only be worn when on a bicycle, because it only protects the front of the head in a crash. A multi-sport helmet protects the whole head and is the proper choice when rollerblading, riding a scooter and skateboarding. A helmet should sit snugly all the way onto your child’s head and should not move side to side or front to back if they shake their head yes and no. The buckle should fit securely under the chin with only two fingers worth of space between it and the child’s chin and a V should form on each side of the ears. Also, the sun may be out now, but don’t forget to buy a helmet for your child’s winter activities! When skiing, sledding, snowboarding and even ice skating, your child’s head should be completely protected to avoid injury. Winter sport helmets provide proper warmth from the frigid temperatures, while also safely guarding the head from a potentially devastating injury! Helmets can prevent up to 85% of head injuries when worn properly, so ensure your child is safe during every ride!

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he Boston Dragon Boat Festival, taking place on June 10 and 11, is a weekend like no other, with boat race trials running on Saturday and the finals taking place on Sunday. Your kids will marvel at the super cool 39-foot-Hong Kong style dragon boats and will love cheering on the competitors. Enjoy a cultural festival on Sunday, which boasts tons of tasty Asian foods, fun arts and crafts, and performances including Chinese Traditional Dance, Bhangra and Bollywood Dance, and Japanese Taiko Drumming. Taking place near Harvard Square, the festival commemorates the life and death of Qu Yuan, an ancient patriot-poet who was exiled from his home state of Chu after fighting for reforms. For more information, visit

Pregnancy Safety By Laura Moriarty, RN Boston Children’s Hospital Emergency Department


rom the very moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, it’s usually an immediate instinct to want to do everything possible to keep herself and her baby healthy. It can feel overwhelming, and you may wonder ‘where do I begin’?  One of the first steps to take is call your OB/GYN office to schedule your first appointment. You may be surprised that in most instances, you doctor will recommend having your first appointment at between 9 and 12 weeks. It may seem like that is very far away, and you may be looking for advice before then. Here are a few basic topics to start thinking about. While these are generalized recommendations, it is best to discuss your unique medical needs with your physician.  In the early days of pregnancy, you may feel tired and nauseous. Don’t feel stressed if you can’t eat or are vomiting after eating. Mild nausea and vomiting is quite common, especially in the first trimester, but call your doctor if it is severe. It may help to eat small amounts frequently throughout the day. As best you can, try to eat nutritious foods that are balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid alcohol, deli meats, anything undercooked or unpasteurized. Limit your intake of caffeine and mercury-containing seafood. It is important to be taking a daily prenatal vitamin that has folic acid and DHA. Take with food, and if the vitamin makes you more nauseous, consider taking with a snack before bed. It is recommended to perform regular exercise throughout pregnancy. It most instances it is safe to continue doing your

As a mother, it is so important to remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally, starting from the early days of pregnancy.


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

exercise regimen into your pregnancy that you were doing prior to pregnancy. If you hadn’t been exercising previously, you may think about starting an activity like walking or prenatal yoga (no “hot” yoga, saunas, or hot tubs). Do take it easy, drink plenty of water, and listen to your body.   Keep up with your appointments with your doctor. As the pregnancy progresses, you will need to go more frequently for exams. It is important to go to these appointments and bring with you a list of any questions you might have. Also, keep up with routine dental cleanings, just inform the hygienist of your pregnancy. Consult with your physician prior to taking any medications during pregnancy. The second trimester is oftentimes when pregnant women feel best. This makes it a good time to do things like taking a labor and delivery class with your support person (your hospital may offer these free of cost), meeting with the pediatrician you would like for your baby and getting your car seat properly installed (Boston Children’s Hospital offers a weekly fitting station, call 617-355-7332 to schedule an appointment). One topic not discussed nearly as often as it should is mental health in pregnancy. Many women may experience some form of anxiety or depression while pregnant or after giving birth. If this is something you experience, talk with your physician. You should not feel any shame or embarrassment if you are feeling down. While it is a wonderful and exciting time, hormone changes of pregnancy can affect women in many different ways. As a mother, it is so important to remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally, starting from the early days of pregnancy. Your good health is the first ingredient in your children’s well-being.


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✼ Teen Talk

The Best Summer Jobs for Teens By Peggy Spear


very other day last summer, I watched as my college-bound teen put on slacks and a shirt — definitely not his usual uniform — and follow his father out the door to work. My son was a temporary file clerk in my husband’s office, a job that was not exciting but paid well. The other two days of the week he donned swim trunks, sunscreen and a whistle and headed out to our neighborhood pool to be a lifeguard. He ended up at the end of the summer with a nice chunk of change to take to college, as well as invaluable experience that has helped him secure a job as an Orientation Leader at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this summer. He was one of the lucky ones. But the share of highschoolers working summer jobs has dwindled since the early 1990s, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Since 1948, which is as far back as the data go, teen summer employment followed a fairly regular pattern: rising during economic good times and falling during and after recessions, but generally fluctuating between 46 percent (the low, in 1963) and 58 percent (the peak, in 1978). That pattern began to change after the 1990-91 recession, when the teen summer employment rate barely rebounded. Teen summer employment again fell sharply after the 2001 recession and again failed to rebound, and fell even more sharply during and after the Great Recession of 2007-09. After bottoming out in 2010 and 2011 at 29.6 percent, the teen summer employment rate has barely budged. It’s not easy to pinpoint why: Maybe jobs are being taken over by fulltime employees, or the recession hadn’t rebounded enough by the time this Pew report was written. Or maybe more teens are working year-round, which will skew summer employment statistics. At any rate, my son was fortunate to secure not one but two summer jobs. Not only was he a known quantity at the swim club where he worked — he had spent every summer there on swim team since he was 3 — but his father helped him get his office intern job.


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Not everyone has those advantages, but there are plenty of opportunities for teen employment during the long summer months. According to parents, teens and employers I polled, here are the Top 5 summer jobs for teens:


Lifeguard: Every private and public pool around is in need of good, certified lifeguards. The cost of training averages about $200-$300 but is worth it, since your teen will be learning CPR and valuable lifesaving skills. The one complaint I heard from my teen is that it sometimes gets boring — which is what you want when your job is saving lives. The pay is decent, anywhere from minimum wage to $13-$14 per hour.


Temporary shop employee: We live in an area with many colleges, and many of those college kids leave for the summer. That opens up lots of possibilities for seasonal employment at apparel stores, boutiques, restaurants and movie theaters, to name a few. Sometimes, just an afternoon of browsing the mall will reveal many “Help Wanted” signs, and often no experience is necessary. These are usually minimum wage jobs, but the experience looks great on future resumes.


Freelance “helper”: Thanks to the proliferation of sites, teens have an easy way to offer their services to neighbors, usually in the form of house and pet sitting, dog walking and yardwork. Or students can put their inherent computer skills to work by helping older neighbors navigate their electronics. I know I could use one of those around the house. The advantage of these jobs is that they generally pay well — $15-$20 an hour or around $100 a day or more for house sitting. And kids can usually work around their busy social schedules.


Temporary office worker: My son made a bundle of money scanning and filing last summer, but he also learned a valuable lesson: how the “real world looks.” Sometimes it was a bit like Dunder

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Mifflin in “The Office,” but more times than not, it gave him a glimpse of an industry he knew nothing about. And as an aspiring business major, the lessons he learned were not lost on him. The best thing a teen can do is contact friends and associates of his parents to see what types of youth internships are being offered at their companies. While many are reserved for college-age kids, some offices need a clerk like my son to do menial work and will pay anywhere from minimum wage to $15-$18 per hour. The worst thing about these jobs is dressing like a grown-up.


Camp counselor: The best teen employment opportunity, in my opinion, is that of a camp counselor. This job allows teens to interact with youth and other like-minded teens, get valuable experience in responsibility, and be in a fun and engaging environment. Most camps require counselors to be CPR-certified — which is what parents of campers want. If your child has gone to a camp and enjoyed it, check with the staff as to when they will be hiring. If your child has an interest in something, such as computer coding, sports or a faith-based environment, check out many of the camp directories available or do a simple Google search for camp counselor positions. Local city-run daycamps are also great opportunities. Again, the pay varies, from minimum wage to $18-$20 an hour for the most experienced counselors, but your child will have a summer he or she will never forget. Peggy Spear is a freelance writer and the mother of a teenager and two post-college kids.

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May/June 2017 |


Temporary Mom:

The Reflections of a Foster Mother By Susan Solomon Yem


few weeks ago my youngest son, Jake, and I went out to grab dinner. On the way, he asked me about our family life before he was born. Jake is quite a bit younger than his siblings and did not know that when there were only three children in our household, we provided foster care. Over the course of seven years we welcomed 18 children into our home. At one point, we had eight children ranging in age from a few months to 16 years under our roof. It was not a big house, but we occupied every square inch of it! Jake’s questions about this phase of our family life reminded me of an article I wrote years ago, reprinted here. Why is it when a Department of Children and Families homefinder calls requesting placement for a foster child, or two or three, I eagerly answer, “Yes, bring them right over”? And why is it that after the first day, sometimes mere hours or minutes later, I start questioning, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” I begin my mental tally of the damage the house is suffering – the wallpaper torn off the newly redecorated living room wall, the broken goblet, an irreplaceable wedding gift my own children have never touched, the tiles pulled out of the bathroom, and the broken window in the bedroom. I don’t like it when people say, “You’re such a saint for


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

doing this.” I’m not a saint. They never hear me muttering under my breath, “Lord, I hate this!” Never mind the disruption of daily schedules, the unacceptable dinner invitations or the missed vacations. What about the teenager who sleeps until 3:00 in the afternoon, and when he is awake runs the electric bill up an extra $45.00 a month? Then there are the hundreds of dollars worth of groceries expected to last a week, but gone in two days. The first few weeks of a foster care placement can be difficult for both parent and child. You rarely have time to prepare to receive a child into your home. I was still assembling bedroom furniture, which had just arrived that morning, when our first set of four foster children entered our lives. It was baptism by fire! Two days before Christmas, four siblings, aged 18 months to nine years, came to stay with us for two weeks while their mother recovered from the birth of her most recent child. They were four of the most undisciplined, unruly, dirty kids I had ever see. Their mismatched clothes were ragged and filthy. The six-yearold girl had on a pair of boys’ underwear that was at least three sizes too big. They hit the floor running and never slower down: “Where’s my room, what do you have to eat, will you be giving us any presents?” It was at that point that I made the decision to never

do this again. Week One seemed to last forever. I thought, “Maybe if I just try to survive 10 minutes at a time we’ll make it through.” What truly made the difference was the willingness of my own three boys, then aged four, six and nine, to accept these children encroaching on their space. They organized nightly games of Indian Chief and Simon Says to pass the time between dinner and bed. They teased each other, laughed together, danced and played like they had been best friends all their lives. By the end of their stay, which stretched to six weeks, we all felt very close, and we knew that yes, we would do it all over again. It is hard to bring a child out of home with little or no discipline – where it may be OK to go outside in the winter with no shoes on, or drip ice cream on the living room couch or sleep on the floor in front of the TV all night – into a structured environment. Our second foster son, a single placement, cried the first day he was with us because I told him he had to put the bike back in the garage when he was finished riding it. An 8:30 p.m. bedtime sounded ridiculous to this streetwise kid of nine, who was rarely home before 11:00 most nights. But once again, the love and acceptance of my own children brought him around. A week after he arrived, he asked if we could adopt him so he could change his name to ours. Once he realized someone cared about such things as what time he went to bed, he felt valued. He went back home six months later, much to our protests that it was not time yet. He is back on the streets again, shuttling from mother to grandfather just like before. His mother has a new boyfriend and a new baby. She calls us often to ask us to take him back, even offering to pay for his care. Sometimes foster care can be so exasperating. Just when you feel that you are making headway with a child in providing a little encouragement and helping to mold a better self image, he is plucked from your arms and returned to the same old situation. Maybe we are being presumptuous in assuming a stay in our home will result in long-lasting changes in the lives of all the members of our foster family. Maybe foster care is just meant to be a time of respite for that child, a retreat from the harsh realities of his life. That is what we are now providing for the teenage boy and baby girl who have lived with us for almost two years. We had never had a teenager in the house before. When he first arrived, I was not quite sure I could handle this sullen, withdrawn 16-year-old boy. He was tough. He had been a member of a street gang. He smoked and carried a knife. He had trouble in school. You had to say something to him at least three times before he would answer. But deep down, he was just a little boy in need of love, attention and acceptance.


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He is learning disabled, but in many ways he is life disabled, too. He has a problem with lying, and as I confronted him for the umpteenth time about it, I realized that no one ever told him it was wrong to lie. We had to start with the basics – teaching him to use a toilet rather than urinate out the window, to shower daily and to wash his clothes. He is learning how to make and keep friends and the importance of commitment in relationships. After lengthy academic and psychological evaluations that have helped to label some of his disabilities, he eagerly prepares for school each day. He willingly helps my oldest son straighten up the kitchen after dinner and takes care of his younger sibling. He is opening up and sharing some of the difficulties he has with his mother. He has found someone to listen and offer consolation, most often my own children. They provide so much of what he needs – the friends to play marathon Monopoly games with or listen to the latest rap song. Sometimes he talks to my 10 year old about his latest girlfriend or the abuses he suffered at home – things he would never tell me. He and the baby will probably be with us for quite a while, but the goal is almost always family reunification. I often wonder how we will all feel when they do go home after such a long time together. Not every child is this responsive, though. There is no magic formula for reaching those who consider themselves unreachable, like the teenage girl who came to us and wrote in her journal, “I know I will die in my teens. Please understand that I can’t redo what I’ve done in the past and present.” She ran away twice. I felt so helpless when this happened and I wondered if a master’s degree in social work would have helped us to reach her. Our 10-week foster care training program did not prepare us to deal with her situation. Some of our social workers have not been too helpful either. Visits may be irregular or infrequent. My questions about what will happen to the children often go unanswered and I wonder, is it because they don’t know or they don’t care or are they so overwhelmed they can’t even figure out which child I’m talking about?


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Recently we went to visit our first four kids. They are just as wild as ever. I sat there watching them bounce off the walls and kick box each other and asked myself if we had done them any good. I felt defeated. I had hoped that what we had taught them had sunk in, but I was not sure we had made any significant impression on them. The eldest sister, now 13, escorted us to our car when it was time to go. On the way out, she accidentally (on purpose) dropped a piece of paper on the ground in front of me. It was a postcard from the library informing the recipient that a book was overdue. It was addressed to me, but at her street address. She must have taken my name as her own, at least to get a library card. And this was her way of showing me that I did get to her. Why is it that when the next call comes to take in another child, I will most likely say, “Bring them right over”? It isn’t because I think the foster care system is particularly good. And it isn’t because I’ll be able to retire on the pittance foster families are paid monthly. It is because despite the damage our home may suffer and despite the sleepless nights we may endure comforting a troubled child, we know we are providing a sanctuary and a training ground for children who will too soon be challenged into rebuilding shattered lives. We may not be changing them forever. We may only be giving them a taste of what family life should be. If I can help to provide a sense of security and belonging to strengthen and prepare them for what lies ahead, then I’ll continue to invite them in. Postscript: The teenaged boy described in this story is now a grown man. He left our home when he turned 18. He’s a father now. One of my most treasured mementos is a clay jar he made for me when he still lived with us. In it is a note that asks my forgiveness for some misbehavior I no longer remember. It concludes, “Thank you for all the things you do for me, especially all the great food!!!! Your Son, . . . ”We adopted his baby sibling. She’s a college graduate now with a degree in psychology and the goal of providing animal-assisted therapy to children in trauma. Susan Solwwmon Yem is singleminded about raising her five children to adulthood. She’d like to hear your stories about single parenting. Contact her at


Duckling Day on Mother’s Day!

Sunday May 8, May 14, 2017 Sunday, ly entertainment at Registration and 10:00beginsam


family entertainment begins at the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common. Enjoy magic, rough Boston Common and crafts, circus games, and more! Public Garden. . Enjoy magic, , puppet shows, crafts, cus games, and more!


Noon Duckling Day parade through Boston Common and Public Garden. duckling-day/ $35 per family (register online ore May 6th) ly at event

Register online duckling-day/ $35 per family in advance (register online by May 12th) $40 per family at event In partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events.

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MAY COOP KIDS SATURDAY, MAY 6 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Stories about growing featuring a visit from Piotr Parda with his new book, Graduation

SATURDAY, MAY 13 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Mother’s Day stories and craft with a visit from Maisy SATURDAY, MAY 13 at 2:00 PM We will host a poetry reading for All Contest Participants. In appreciation of everyone’s efforts, a complete anthology of entries will go on exhibit in the Children’s Department SATURDAY, MAY 20 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Bee Kind w/ Kindness books & a bee craft SATURDAY, MAY 27 at 11:00 AM STORYTIME & CRAFT Play outside

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EVERY TUESDAY AT 11:00 AM STORYTIME Children ages 1 to 6 and their caregivers are welcome to join us for stories and snacks. All events are free, open to the public and are held in the Children’s Book Department.


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May/June 2017 |


✼ First Year

Decoding Baby’s Temperament Serious, funny, passionate — what kind of baby do you have? By Meg Zwiebeck

Question: How can you tell if a baby is happy? Our baby Josh is 6-months old. He seems quite alert and intelligent. Sometimes I worry that he doesn’t seem as happy as other babies I’ve seen. He often has a very serious expression on his face. His grandmother thinks he’s grumpy, even though she’s seen him laugh, just not with her. He needs time and a little bit of playfulness before he warms up. Is there anything we can do to make him more cheerful?

Answer: Isn’t it funny how until you become a parent you don’t really notice how different one baby is from another? A year ago, you may have thought that most babies looked at least somewhat alike. Now, if you walked into a room of 20 babies you would be able to spot Josh immediately, right? That’s because the more you tune into your own baby’s unique characteristics — the curve of his cheek, the cowlick, the way he holds his head — the more you see him for himself. Sometimes, of course, a parent might notice a differences between her own baby and another and wonder, “Is my baby okay?” And sometimes, a parent might also entertain the idea that what is unique about her baby may be a sign that that there is something to worry about. It is natural to wonder if a baby’s usual expression is a clue to his inner feelings, and then to wonder if that is something that might be a problem. Babies don’t all look like the round jolly-faced cherubs we see in advertisements. In fact, some babies, just like some adults, seem to be naturally serious in just the way you are describing Josh. They reserve their smiles and laughter for times when they are really amused. If you see a smile you know that they’re absolutely delighted, and a laugh means that something is really, really funny. A serious baby like Josh may not give parents or grandparents the kind of instant feedback that a more


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

cheerful or outgoing baby delivers with every interaction. Parents of a serious child sometimes worry that they are doing something wrong or that their child isn’t responding to them. We tend to think that if a baby isn’t smiling he isn’t noticing (or appreciating) what we say or do. But some babies show their interest by watching and listening, and the signs that they are engaged are subtle — eyes widening, tracking conversations, turning to hear a parents’ voice or moving up and down when you sing to them. As you start to tune into Josh’s unique way of relating to you and the world you’ll be better able to understand who he is as a person and describe him to others. You’ll become more aware of what is pleasing to him without waiting for a smile to let you know if he is happy or amused. Look for the cues that tell you when he’s in a good mood or he is enjoying the way you are playing with him. Does he lean forward when he’s interested? Does he wiggle his toes or wave his hands when you bring out a toy he likes? How does he let you know when he wants to eat, and how does he let you know if he likes what you’ve offered him? If Josh is not happy — fussy or fretful — how does he let you know the way he wants to be soothed?  Does he quiet gradually or can you distract him by giving him something to capture his attention? 

Different Temperaments Some babies have temperamental characteristics that can make them more puzzling for adults to figure out. Josh’s serious expression is just one example. Temperament is a child’s behavioral style that seems to be inborn. This style is as much a part of your child as the color of his eyes. There are other styles of infant temperament that can be challenging: The “non-cuddly” active baby: Some babies prefer to move around rather than be held. They may seem to stiffen a little when you hold them close. A baby who acts

It is natural to wonder if a baby’s usual expression is a clue to his inner feelings, and then to wonder if that is something that might be a problem.

as though he needs “space” may make a parent feel as though he doesn’t want love and attention. That’s not true, of course. He may prefer that you talk to him or show him things rather than cuddle him. A non-cuddly baby needs to be held, but usually in certain ways, and you have to figure out what works. The “unpredictable” arrhythmic baby: Some babies sleep in very irregular patterns, acting tired one evening and staying up late the next, or having short or long or no naps during the day. An unpredictable baby can become grouchy from fatigue and act unhappy when he is really just sleepy. Parents of these babies may wind up exhausted and grouchy themselves from trying to react to the baby’s unpredictable schedule. You may have to impose a schedule and hope that your baby will gradually adapt to it. The “intense” or “passionate” baby: An intense baby may scream or cry loudly whenever he feels distressed, unlike a milder baby who might simply frown or whimper. If a baby reacts strongly to anything he doesn’t like, it can be hard to know how to respond. You can’t quiet the baby every time he gets worked up, since he probably needs to blow off steam. You have to learn how much distress is just normal for that particular baby. The “slow-to-warm-up” baby:  Some babies take a while to get used to new people or places. These babies smile much more often at home than when they are in a new environment. Parents of a “slow-to-warm-up” baby may feel as though their friends and family don’t understand how delightful their baby is most of the time, because he acts so differently when he is out. “Letting go of judgment” is a useful phrase to consider. I find that when parents learn to observe their babies without comparing them to others it’s easier for them to feel comfortable with the baby they have. Babies like Josh don’t need to be fixed, they just need to be understood and valued for who they are.  Of course, if your baby has any characteristics that continue to worry you, be sure to talk to your pediatrician or and infant care specialist. Someone who has seen lots of different babies is usually able to help you distinguish between differences in development that matter and those that do not.

Meg Zweiback is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who counsels parents about children’s behavior and development. Her website, has more articles and information about children of different ages.




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88 Wells Avenue • Newton 617-244-3300 • May/June 2017 |



Please don’t call me a single mother Susan Solomon Yem


colleague and I were chatting the other day about workplace challenges. He mentioned some conflicts he is having with a perpetually cranky co-worker and said, “Well, she’s a single mom and I know that’s hard.” Wait a minute! I’m a single mom and I am rarely cranky. Eighteen million children are being raised by single mothers. That’s a quarter of all children residing in the United States. Interestingly, in the research I did for this article, I could not find a common definition for the term single mother. The most comprehensive, and logical, is: an unmarried woman raising children. But some commentators said it could mean women whose children were born out of wedlock or widows who do not have the assistance and support of a husband. In fact, I read a posting on one website stating that a woman who is divorced is not a single mother, because she is co-parenting with the children’s father. I am divorced Although I am a single mother, I hate to identify myself that way. My five children were not born out of wedlock, nor am I a widow. I am divorced. Even in this day and age, when more than 50 percent of American marriages fail, the label single mother, especially when it is associated with divorce, is perceived negatively. It makes me think of the scorned women


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

of 1930s movie melodramas, like Stella Dallas. Even in the 1970s, no good mothers on television were divorced. Lucille Ball was a widow in every incarnation of her sitcom. In the original storyline for The Brady Bunch either Mike or Carol Brady was divorced, but when the show aired, both were widowed. And even though Mary Tyler Moore was a divorced mother in real life, her character, Mary Richards of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, was a never-married career gal. Today’s TV moms are still rarely divorced. Those who are, are struggling or working hard to reconcile with separated spouses. My friend Lynn is a widow. People in her world are solicitous and gracious. They offer to clean the leaves out of her gutters, paint the trim on her house and mow her lawn. I remember sitting with a group of Lynn’s friends discussing how we could support her. Although everyone knew I was alone, no one offered to help me. There is a perception that widows are more deserving than divorcees. And Lynn agrees. Her first marriage ended in divorce. “People treat me so differently now as a widow than they did when they found out I was divorced. That’s why I was reluctant to let people know.” Less than supportive friends The day my husband moved out, I sought solace from the woman I thought was my closest friend. We had known each other for more than a decade. Our children, constant companions, were close in age. We spoke on the phone daily, sharing the intimate details of our lives. We took power walks every evening after dinner. But the day I told her my marriage ended was the last day of our friendship. She did not speak to me for six months. When we finally reconnected, I asked her why she cut me off. “I think that’s when I started a new job,” was her response. Like the co-worker I mentioned earlier, sometimes people just don’t realize what they are saying. (I’m changing some names in this next story.) As a family, we have always been active church-goers. My children attended Sunday School and youth group weekly. When the pastor asked for help organizing an ice cream social, I was one of the parents who volunteered. At the end of the evening he acknowledged all of us; “I’d like to thank the Smith Family, the Wilson Family and Susan Yem for organizing this event.” I was really hurt that he did not recognize my children and me as a family and I let him know, “We’re a family, too.”

Just a few weeks prior to this event, I overheard a mom in that same church’s lobby telling a friend, “We’re taking John home with us tonight to sleep over. After all, we are the two-parent household.” John (again, not his real name) is being raised—quite admirably—by his single mother. A universal snub. The snub is deeper, almost universal. I just read this headline on : Auto Insurers Charge Single Women More. quotes an actuary with

the Insurance Information Institute who says, “married people are less likely to be in an accident.” And even when communicating good news about great accomplishments, that reference to being a single mother or being raised by a single mother gives the news the air of this happened against all odds. When I am asked to describe what it feels like to be divorced, I usually use this example: Take two pieces of construction paper, glue them together and let them dry. Now try to pull them apart. They may come apart, but they will not look the same as they did before you glued them together. Add to this insensitive comments made by friends and colleagues and it is difficult to not feel diminished. And this is why I am reluctant to call myself a single mother. Susan Solomon Yem is singleminded about raising her five children to adulthood. She’d like to hear your stories about single parenting. Contact her at


10 WEEKS OF SUMMER Drawing, painting, clay, & performing arts Grades K-11









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May/June 2017 |




Wednesday, June 21

Summer Solstice: Night at the Museums

Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

5-9pm, Harvard Museums, Cambridge. Enjoy hands-on activities, dance performances, live music and free evening admission to the Harvard Semitic Museum (above), Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (left) and Harvard Museum. of Natural History. FREE. 617-495-3045; hmnh.harvard.eduw

All events are subject to change or cancellation. We recommend calling first to confirm and purchasing tickets in advance whenever possible.

MAY 1 Monday

At the heart of New England.

At the heart of the morning.

ArtWeek Boston Various locations, Boston. A twice-annual 10-day collection of events throughout the city, featuring interactive and creative experiences. Through May 7. Full schedule at

ArtWeek at the Children’s Museum, Boston

At the heart of the home.

Throughout the week we’ll focus on Claude Monet and his love of his water lily pond. Through May 7. Full schedule at artweekboston. org

Art in Bloom 10am – 4pm, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. An annual event featuring floral arrangements inspired by the MFA’s collection, with family activities and entertainment. Free with admission. 617-267-9330;

At the heart of the kitchen.

MFA Playdates 10:15am, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time, art making and looking activities in the galleries. Theme: Flower Power. Free with admission. 617-2679300;

At the heart of it all.

2 Tuesday ArtWeek at the Children’s Museum Old Fire Station at 9 Sullivan Avenue in North Easton. Throughout the week the focus will be on Claude Monet and his love of his water lily pond. Through May 7. Full schedule at

3 Wednesday Muddy Mud 10am, Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. Through stories, games and hands-on activities, explore the properties of mud and how it is made. Ages 3-4. Registration required. Youth, $10. 781-894-2798;

I’m a Little Tadpole 3:30pm, Drumlin Farm, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln. Investigate the ponds, looking for frogs, listening for their songs and discovering their babies. Ages 0-7. Registration required. $15. 781259-2206;

5 Friday

For more than 160 years, New England families have welcomed Hood® Milk into the heart of their homes. And it is an honor to have a seat at the table.

BrickFair New England 11am – 4pm, Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road W., Marlborough. A LEGO fan festival with models, displays and creations sprawled out over 30,000 square feet. Repeats Saturday $15.

6 Saturday Wake up the Earth Festival 11am – 6pm, Southwest Corridor Park, Jamaica Plain. The parade begins at 11am, followed by multiple stages of entertainment, craft and food vendors, and much more. FREE. 617-524-6373; May/June 2017 |


MFA, Make Way For Ducklings Read-A-Thon 10:30am, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Listen to local celebrities read amazing animal stories, make some ducky art and visit “Make Way for Ducklings The Art of Robert McCloskey.” Free with admission. 617-267-9300;

Boston By Little Feet 10am, Park Street MBTA Station, Boston. This child’s-eye view of the Freedom Trail’s architecture and history is especially designed for young walkers from 6-12 years of age..$12. 617-367-2345;

“Brave,” a concert by the Boston Children’s Chorus 3pm, Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport. With

a focus on issues of identity and gender equity, BCC singers and guest artist Shea Rose will share reflections on what it means to find voice and claim empowerment as a young person in the twenty-first century. $15.

Wake up the Earth Festival 11am – 6pm, Southwest Corridor Park, Jamaica Plain. The parade begins at 11am, followed by multiple stages of entertainment, craft and food vendors, and much more. FREE. 617-524-6373;

7 Sunday New England Right Whale Festival 11am – 3pm, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston. Hear from scientists and researchers about efforts to protect this highly endangered species and take part in family activities. FREE. 617-9735200;

MayFair Noon to 6pm, Harvard Square, Cambridge. This annual spring festival includes multiple stages of music and dance, food, vendors, children’s activities and very cool sidewalk chalk art. FREE. 617-4913434;

Water Wonder 3:30pm, Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. Created and produced by Mayyim Hayyim and PJ Library: the perfect Sunday afternoon program for you and your family.. Family, $18, 508-405-2787;

What’s Your Favorite Color? Book Party The Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Join us


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Book your “Down on the Farm” Birthday Party.

Annual 2017 Strawberry Festival

Sat., June 17 • 9am-6pm (rain date June 18) See website for details for this fun annual event!!

30 Valley Road • Danvers • MA • 978-777-1245

RUSSELL ORCHARDS Strawberry Festival June 24th & 25th • 11-4

*Strawberry Picking, Hayrides, Live Music, Homemade Strawberry Shortcake, Pony Rides and much more! 143 Argilla Rd. • off Routes 133 & 1A in Ipswich, MA Open daily, 9-6 • *Crop permitting; please check the picking status online.

978-356-5366 • 22

Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Join Our Research! 617-324-9725

Celebrating 25 years of growing certified organic produce. Come join us!

CAMPS AND SUMMER PROGRAMS for an afternoon celebrating the new Eric Carle & Friends book, What’s Your Favorite Color? Free with admission. 413-658-1100;

9 Tuesday Peek a Blue Hike 11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. A free, onehour guided hike for kids, including a simple scavenger hunt and refreshments. FREE. 781-828-1805;

10 Wednesday Flower Power Week Full Moon, 10:30am, The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Celebrate May’s full moon, the Flower Moon! The Flower Moon gets its name from the abundance of May flowers that spring up this time of year! Free with admission. 978-264-4200; discoverymuseums. org

12 Friday

Juntos Exploramos Vengan y Exploren con nosotros!

A Bilingual Spanish Summer Program for children ages 15 mos. to 5 yrs. Un programa bilingüe de verano para niños de 15 mos. a 7 yrs. School-age program for Kindergarteners to rising 3rd graders (5-8 yrs.) Limited space still available!

Preschool Story and Nature Hour – Chickens 10:30am Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy an hour of nature-themed fun with your youngster. Read an engaging storybook, make a craft to take home, and go for a walk on one of the sanctuary’s beautiful trails with lead educator Chris Eaton. For ages 2.5 to 5 yrs. Adults- Free, $3.50 Child. For more information and to register, call 978.464.2712.

13 Saturday March for Babies 9am, DCR Hatch Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston. Join Boston Parents Paper in a scenic walk along the Charles while raising


let us show you WHY

Session I: July 5th - July 28th Session 2: July 31st - August 25th Join us on the Pine Village “Avión Imaginario” for the adventure of a lifetime as we explore and discover Spanish- speaking countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean.

A sampling of activities may include: learning dances from Cuba and Mexico, creating clothing from Peru, cooking a traditional Mayan feast, and participating in traditional Venezuelan children's games! We will have special visitors sharing their customs and traditions with us from many of these Spanish-speaking countries. 2016 For more information visit our website WINNER or email 2015 WINNER 617-416-7763





money for the March of Dimes. Registration required. 508-366-9066;

Festival of Dance 10am – 5pm, Newton Centre Green, Newton. This community festival features kiddie amusement rides, face painting, craft and food vendors as well as dance performances. FREE.

(Before) Mother’s Day Garden Walk and the Blessing of the Fields 1-3pm, Chestnut Hill Farm, Chestnut Hill Road, Southborough. Guided walks through the meadow, flower planting, refreshments and activities. $10; moms, free. 978-356-4351;

Celebrate Azize’s Second Birthday!, 10am – 2pm, Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston. Azize, the baby of the gorilla troop, turns two. Sign a card, have some cake and learn more about gorillas. Free with admission. 617-989-3742;

Boston Pops Mamma Mia! Mother’s Day with the Music of ABBA, 3pm, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. You’ll be singing and dancing along to Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Waterloo, Fernando and all your favorites! $32 and up; 50% off youth tickets. 888-266-1200;

Mother’s Day Spring Alpen Celebration 10am, Appleton Farms, 219 County Road, Ipswich. A tradition originating in the Alps, enjoy traditional Swiss treats, a fondue bar, live music, a cow parade and more. Registration required. Moms, free; adults, $30; youth, $15. 978-356-5728;

Mother’s Day 9:30am- 4pm, Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge. Visit the Village to learn about 19th century parenting, watch cooking demos and partake in hands-on crafts. Free with admission; moms, free. 800-733-1830;

Ethnic Heritage Festival and KidsFEST 10am – 5pm, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. Take part in Indian folk-art painting, try out calligraphy or origami or hit up the kiddie rides and face painting. FREE.

14 Sunday Mother’s Day Lilac Sunday, 10am – 3pm, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston. The lilac is celebrated with tours, activities and food trucks. Stay for lunch – it’s the one day picnicking is allowed on the grounds. FREE. 617-384-5253;

Duckling Day 10am – 12:30pm, Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, Boston. Dress up as a Make Way for Duckling character and parade through the Common. After, enjoy games, music, magic and more. Family, $40. 617-599-8509;

Celebrate Mother’s Day at the Zoo 10am – 6 pm, Franklin Park Zoo & Stone Zoo,, Boston. Help us celebrate your mom (and all of ours!) with FREE ADMISSION for all mothers throughout the day. Bring Mom along with the entire family to the Zoo for a memorable day spent discovering incredible animals! Moms free, free with admission. 617-989-3742;




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Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Hands on History 1-4pm, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord. Take a spin at colonial era games inside and outside the museum. Free with admission. 978-369-9763;

farm work as you play. Ages 2-3. Registration required. Youth, $10. 781-894-2798;

20 Saturday MuckFest MS

17 Wednesday

Toddler Time on the Farm 10am, Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. A monthly morning of outdoor fun and education on a farm. Meet animals and help with

9am, Willard Athletic Complex, Antietam St. & Sherman Ave., Boston. A 5K muddy obstacle course (ages 12 and up) supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Younger kids (ages 5-11) will enjoy the free mucky play area.


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Varying times, Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston & Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. Learn about the incredible endangered animals at both zoos (jaguars, gibbons, gorillas and more!) through special zookeeper encounters. Free with admission. WEST 617-541-5466; Valentine Card Making Party, 10am, The Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Pop in to make Family Design Day special valentines for290 your family, St., friends or classmates. 10:30am, BSA Space, Congress Boston. A design and Registration recommended. $12 per pair or trio. architecture workshop for families, this month looking at green 413-658-1100; design. Registration required. $10. 617-391-4023;

Peek a Blue Hike 11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. A free, onehour guided hike for kids, including a simple scavenger hunt and refreshments. FREE. 781-828-1805;

24 Wednesday Fairyborough Trail Hunt 10am – 4:30pm, The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton.

ENTERTAINMENT & PARTY NEEDS Celebrate National Scavenger Hunt Day with an outdoor hunt. Free 29 Sunday with admission. 978-264-4200; 21 Sunday Make Your Party MOVE The Enchanted Forest, 10:30am, Coolidge Corner with THE FORCE Special Storytime: Hyde Costello The Eric Carle Theatre, 290DANCE Harvard David St., Brookline. Artbarn, aat youth 27 Saturday Museum community Games & theater Contestscompany, presents the tale of a



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& Fun! ls r. DJ!

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family vacation gone wrong. Join Adults, $13; youth, $10. 125 West BayAll Road, Amherst. author/illustrator David Hyde Prizes for Guests 617-734-2501; Costello for for a sweetly told intergenerational story about how even Available All Occasions Dancea big difference. Free with admission. 413-658theProfessional littlest can make NORTH Instructors 1100; Ward Winter Fest, noon to 3pm, Ward Reservation, Party atExplore our place or yours!on a guided hike, or Andover. the property Rosalita's Puppets Fast &your Furriest 5K –and Run.sled Walk. Wag bring snowshoes to play. Then warm up Norwood 781.762.2288 8am, Baxter Park, Assembly Row, Somerville. A617-633-2832 new family-friendly with refreshments by the fire. $10 per car. 978-886-5297; fundraiser for the MSPCA including a timed 5K fun run, walk and kids’ fun run – each including dogs. Adults, $30; youth, $10. 978-687Try Something 7453; KE HE ATM

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Certified instructors Green Up the Blue Hills

29 Monday Gourmet Ice Cream


Really Different! 31 Tuesday

BayState Archery Center

55 Providence Hwy., Norwood 781-352-0643





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Lot, Lexington. A street fair with food, fun, clowns, exhibits from town departments and more. FREE. 781-862-1034;


Bowling Memorial&Day

•Bumper Commemorate theBowling holiday by attending a local Memorial Day •Parties parade. Several towns, including Somerville, Sudbury, Stoneham days and Quincy,Open hold7annual parades. Check your town’s website for 1231 Hyde Park Ave.Hyde Park details.

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Peter is Peter r O’Malley O’Malley O is Magic! Magic! BIG JOE

Fran Friedman

Children’s Musician & Instructor

Preschool & Elementary Music Specialist

Animal Shows w w Lexington Discovery Day 556-5353 10am – (978) 3pm, Muzzey Street/Waltham Street Municipal Parking


Featuring yourConcerts, choice of 9 reptiles Schools, such as water dragon, cornsnake, Libraries box turtle, desert king snake. Preschool & Elementary Schools • Birthdays • Other Events

Birthday Parties, Schools, Concerts, Libraries


Noon to 3:30pm, Castle Island, Day Boulevard, Boston. Free onehour tours of the fort. Round out the day with lunch at Sullivan’s Interactive r on the Educational and a romp playground. FREE.



“On Target For Fun for 20 Years”



music, dancing, balloon fun & more!



WEST For kids agesAMC 8 and up 1-3:30pm, Ponkapoag Cabins, 1060 Randolph St., Canton. Backwards Storytime, Safe indoor shooting10am, range The Discovery Museums, Volunteers will enjoy music, face painting, crafts and a scavenger 177Have Main St., Acton. Celebrate your next Birthday Party at National Backwards Day hunt pulling invasive weeds. FREE. 617-696-8248; with while silly stories and activities. FreeBring withgloves. admission. 978-264-4200;



23 Tuesday

Endangered Species Day

Birthday Parties Special Events

the Storyteller

Original & classic stories Props, puppets, & surprises Birthday Parties Schools Libraries Special Events

ipation & Fun for All!


Magic, Music, Fun and Laughs Call 617-822-2292 TM

2016 Fran Friedman Now offering ® t’s e L s GLUTEN-FREE items LLeett’s’sy! BirthdayyParties, ! tOurConcerts, ppets • BubblerShows ! t r y a Schools, “Come Bounce Off Walls” Cakes, Cookies, t a P P ar Inflatable Fun P s & • Decor Libraries 100% Private Indoor signs Candies, Gift Baskets & Simply p ysSilly y Events ent Par Children’s Musician & Instructor ysa allys.c ice Award Chowww.sillysall er ner nne Win Wiinn W


Pump It Up

Reserve Your Event Now! ds! • Open Bounce & Family Fun Preschool & Elementary All Your Party Needs! Peabody, MA ties • Catering • Birthday Parties • Glow Parties & Tween Nights Music Specialist 5 B Webster 978-532-5868 ine • Field Trip Programs 1356 BeaconSt. St.,Peabody Brookline • Birthday Parties & Special Events ing 2016 978-532-JUMP(5867) • Glow & Rock Star Parties • Pop-In Playtime & Field Trips TOP 10 617-566-3330 Lots of Participation & Fun for All! • Sports Teams & Scout Troops .com 508-358-1614 • Today! Call 617-639-5657 TM


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

NEW! Host your

FIND MORE ENTERTAINERS ONLINE AT: BostonParents entertainers

MFA Memorial Day 10am-5pm, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Free general admission, drop-in family art-making activities, and tours. FREE. 617-267-9300;

Newburyport Spring Festival 10am – 5pm, Downtown Newburyport. Enjoy live music, art, fine crafts and food from Newburyport’s best restaurants. Kid’s entertainment, live music and more. FREE. 978-462-6680; business.

Powisset Farm Trail Run 8:30am, Powisset Farm, 37 Powisset Street, Dover. All races begin and end at Powisset Farm near the main barn and utilize Powisset Farm’s scenic Meadow Loop trail which is a very flat and grassy trail characterized by views of the farm, rock walls, hundred plus year old fencing and numerous bird boxes. Registration req. www.

30 Tuesday Spring Spirit Day Noon to 4:30pm, New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville. A fun-filled day of exhibitions, demos and participatory art activities. FREE. 617-964-3424;


these performances that critics are saying “mesmerize adults and children,” with “a breathtaking display of agility and incomparable beauty.”$29 and up. 888-266-1200;

Salem Arts Festival, Downtown Salem A family-friendly festival celebrating all the arts: painting, photography, sculpture, dance, music, film, theatre, poetry, culinary and more. Through June 4. FREE. 978-744-0004; salemartsfestival. com

3 Saturday Fort Independence Tours Noon to 3:30pm, Castle Island, Day Boulevard, Boston. Free onehour tours of the fort. Round out the day with lunch at Sullivan’s and a romp on the playground. FREE.

Cambridge Arts River Festival 11am – 6pm, East Cambridge waterfront. A vibrant celebration of the arts, with six stages of music, theater and dance, storytelling, roving performances, food, crafts and more. FREE. 617-349-4380;

National Learn to Row Day 9am to noon, Bellegarde Boathouse, 500 Pawtucket Blvd., Lowell. Tour the boathouse, row on the barge, try out an erg and learn about summer programs. FREE. 978-746-7023;

Ice Cream Social 1-3pm, Historic New England Phillips House, 34 Chestnut St., Salem. Kick off summer with ice cream, music and lawn games. $5. 617-2273956;

1 Thursday Boston By Little Feet 1pm, Park Street MBTA Station, Boston. This child’s-eye view of the Freedom Trail’s architecture and history is especially designed for young walkers from 6-12 years of age, $12. 617-367-2345;

2 Friday

ICC Irish Festival The Irish Cultural Centre of New England, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton. Live Celtic music, children’s activities, food, workshops and more. Through June 4. Adults $20; youth, free. 781-821-8291;

4 Sunday

Boston Pops Cirque de la Symphonie 8pm, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen are among the talented artists who take the stage as the Boston Pops perform their own spectacular musical feats. Don’t miss

Bike-A-Thon SW Corridor Park, Jamaica Plain. This annual fundraiser includes a ride along a variety of scenic routes and an after party with food, music and games. 617-522-0222;


• • • •

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J & J Pony Rentals “Come Bounce Off Our Walls”

Open Bounce & Family Fun Birthday Parties Field Trip Programs Glow & Rock Star Parties


2016 TOP 10

Peabody, MA 978-532-5868

• Quiet, gentle, lovable ponies; large and small available for any occasion. • Pony parties at your place or at the farm. • Customized packages at reasonable rates


Find more camps online…

Search Our New & Improved Kids Camps Site!

HUNTERS HAVEN FARM 104 King St., Groveland, MA

978-373-1300 May/June 2017 |


World Oceans Day 11am – 3pm, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston. A family friendly festival on Central Wharf focusing on environmental programs and ocean animals. FREE, does not include Aquarium admission. 617-973-5200;

5 Monday MFA Playdates 10:15am, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time, art making and looking activities in the galleries. Theme: Flower Power. Free with admission. 617267-9300;

6 Tuesday Peek a Blue Hike

fresh strawberries, whipped cream and piles of shortcakes await, alongside artisans, games and live music. FREE.

Flag Day Parade & Celebration 7pm, Pageant Field, Quincy. Pay tribute to Old Glory with a parade, flag raising and dazzling fireworks display. FREE. 617-376-1000;

11 Sunday The Color Run 10am, Gillette Stadium, 1 Patriot Place, Foxboro. A unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. Kids under age 5 run/walk free with an adult. $20 and up. thecolorrun. com/boston

Hands on History

11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. A free, onehour guided hike for kids, including a simple scavenger hunt and refreshments. FREE. 781-828-1805;

1-4pm, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord. Take a spin at colonial era games inside and outside the museum. Free with admission. 978-369-9763;

Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl

13 Tuesday

Noon to 8pm, City Hall Plaza, Boston. An all-you-can-eat ice cream extravaganza raising money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through June 8. Adults, $15; youth, $10. 617-632-3863;

Little Naturalists: Butterflies

Brookline Porchfest

9:30-10:30 am. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main Street, Marshfield Learn about New England animals and how they live through walks, stories, songs, and crafts. Preregistration is required. 781-837-9400. For children ages 3-5 with caregiver; $7/$5 member child (no charge for accompanying adults). southshore

Noon to 6pm, various locations, Brookline. Stroll around Brookline, watching live music on porches and lawns. FREE.

16 Friday

Boston Dragon Boat Festival

Nantucket Book Festival

10 Saturday

7am – 2pm, MIT Boathouse, Cambridge. Watch the colorful 39-footHong Kong-style dragon boats as they complete time trials for Sunday’s race. FREE.

Dance for World Community Festival Noon to 8pm, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Dance performances, exhibitors, food trucks and free dance classes throughout the Square. FREE. 617-354-7467;

Topsfield Strawberry Festival 10am – 4pm, Topsfield Common, Topsfield. Bowls and bowls of

Various locations, Nantucket. A multi-day cultural event celebrating Nantucket’s rich literary history. Children’s storytimes are a

Now Enrolling

Fresh Pond Summer classes • June 26 - Aug 5


Nina Alonso, Director, FPB 1798a Mass Ave Cambridge • 617.491.5865


GET THE BEST REPORT CARD YET! GET AHEAD IN MATH & READING. Join us as we play math games, read books and apply our studies to our daily lives. Call in today to reserve a slot! TM

2016 TOP 5

32 South Fairview St., Roslindale, MA

617-323-2566 SPACE AVAILABLE

We bring the instrument and the instructor. Private in-home lessons available Contact Molly Howard at 617-999-8794


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

Enrollment Down? Advertise Here!



Calendar Focus May 13 March for Babies

Harvard’s Marching Band leads the duck parade around the Common.

Join sponsor Boston Parents Paper May 13 as we walk to raise money for the March of Dimes. The event returns this year to the DCR Hatch Shell, with a scenic three mile walk along the Charles River. Can’t make the Boston event? Walk May 7 at the Merrimack Premium Outlets in Merrimack, N.H, or June 17 at Pilgrim Memorial State Park in Plymouth. Visit for details. The March of Dimes supports mothers and babies by funding research to prevent birth defects and premature birth.

highlight. Through June 18. Many events free. 508-919-6230;

May 14 Just Ducky Unofficially Boston’s cutest annual event, Duckling Day celebrates the classic book Make Way for Ducklings with springtime festivities on Boston Common. Children dress as characters from the book and march in an adorable parade and enjoy games, magic, face painting and much more. 10am – 12:30pm, Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common. Family, $40. 617-599-8509;

Father’s Day Road Race and Family Fun Walk

17 Saturday

9-11am, The Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. Walk or run the picturesque course then join the post-race party. $10 and up. 508-230-3789;

Strawberry Festival

Father’s Day Walk on the Emerson—Thoreau Amble

9am – 6pm, Connors Farm, Connors Farm - 30 Valley Road (Rt. 35) Danvers. Strawberry picking, LIVE Music with the Boston Rockabilly Band, Jumping Pillow, Farm Animals, Hayrides, Cow Train, Grain Train, Duck Races, Pedal Carts & more! $9.50, 2 and under free. 978777-1245;

Strawberry Festival 10am – 5pm, Marini Farm, 259 Linebrook Road, Ipswich. Strawberry picking, shortcake, bounce houses and more. 978-356-0430;

Family Design Day

1pm, Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord. Follow the footsteps of writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau on a walk through the woods. Registration required. FREE. 978-3699763;

20 Tuesday Peek a Blue Hike 11am, Houghton’s Pond, 840 Hillside St., Milton. A free, onehour guided hike for kids, including a simple scavenger hunt and refreshments. FREE. 781-828-1805;

10:30am, BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Boston. A design and architecture workshop for families. Registration required. $10. 617391-4023;

21 Wednesday


5-9pm, Harvard Museums, Cambridge. Enjoy hands-on activities, dance performances, live music and free evening admission to the Harvard Semitic Museum, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and Harvard Museum of Natural History. FREE. 617-495-3045; hmnh.

11am-4:30pm, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston. Watch and cheer on high school students from around the country as they compete in randomly matched teams to design, build, and test a wind-powered device. Free with admission. 617-723-2500;

Waltham Riverfest Various locations, Waltham. Bands, vendors, canoeing, kayaking and a pet parade on Saturday. Through June 18. FREE. 781-856-7165;

Arts Fest Beverly 10am – 4pm, Downtown Beverly. More than 100 juried fine artists and crafters, music and entertainment, kids’ activities, art-on-thespot creations and local food trucks fill downtown. FREE. 978-9228558;

18 Sunday Father’s Day Father’s Day Family Hike 11am – noon, Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard. Get outside and celebrate Dad this Father’s Day with a guided hike on the Fruitlands grounds, full of fun activity and exploration for all ages. Space is limited. $10. 978-456-3924;

Summer Solstice: Night at the Museums

24 Saturday Strawberry Festival 11am – 3pm, Verrill Farm, 11 Wheeler Road, Concord. Pick-your-own strawberries and enjoy music, entertainment and pony rides. Enter the strawberry dessert contest. FREE. 978-369-4494;

25 Sunday 12th Annual Children’s Book Festival: Dig It! Build It! Dream It! at The Eric Carle Museum 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Exhibitions, book signings, storytimes and art projects with artists complete this day of family fun. Free with admission. 413-658-1100;

29 Thursday Frog Pond Opening Times TBD, Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston. Kick off summer under the 30-foot spray flume with giveaways, food, science experiments, face painting, magicians and more. FREE. 617-6352120; May/June 2017 |


✼ Raising Dad

Spider Hunter By Tony Hicks


’m Spider Man. Well ... sort of. Like the real one (I know he’s not real - you know what I mean), I respond to damsels in distress. When a female screams, I’m the one who comes to the rescue. I’m the hero that removes the danger and allows everyone to regain control over their lives. Because when there’s a spider in my house, all sorts of hell break loose. I have a daughter whom we’ll call Olivia — ­ because that’s her name. Olivia doesn’t like bugs. Most people don’t really, but they don’t lose their minds when they see one. Her sister doesn’t like them either, but the DEFCON level isn’t quite the same for her. My wife—who used to hunt real animals as a youngster with her father —would just as soon shrug and squash. But I’m the tree hugger in the family, the one who will put down my chicken leg to take 17 minutes trying to catch a wandering insect and usher it outside (right—hypocrisy, let’s move on). I’m the one who announces that life can never be returned once taken (which sounded really awesome when Mr. Spock said it in “Star Trek,” so I’ve kept it in my bag of wise dad sayings).     I personally don’t care if there are a few spiders in the house. I’m old enough to have seen “Charlotte’s


Boston Parents Paper | May/June 2017

outside in an unhurried manner, sending him on his way with a pat on the head, a drop of milk, and a few words of encouragement. If it’s in the late afternoon or evening, I may skip the paper, because I don’t feel as patient. That may involve running and a bit of screaming, but the job gets done. If it’s late at night—and yes,

I know that spiders —when not conspiring with pigs—eat a lot of the other bugs that infiltrate homes, while not biting humans nearly as much as we think they do. Web” in the theater. I spent a few years sitting next to animal columnist, Gary Bogue. I know that spiders —when not conspiring with pigs—eat a lot of the other bugs that infiltrate homes, while not biting humans nearly as much as we think they do. But, like many things I say, my children simply don’t care. So I’ve become the spider hunter. There’s different ways of catching a spider, depending on the time of day. If it’s morning and I feel refreshed and (relatively) patient, I’ll use the glass and paper method, trapping Mr. Spider in a glass, sliding paper over the opening, and delivering him

Olivia has interrupted my sleep because there’s a spider on the top of her wall at the other end of the room that wants nothing to do with her—everything changes. In those cases, I stumble into the room, grab the stupid thing, stomp out, chuck it out the front door, and bounce down the hallway until I trip and fall into bed. Later, I make the kids watch documentaries about people who may come home to alligators in their dwellings, just to give them some perspective. But enough about Florida ... Tony Hicks is a freelance journalist and the father of four daughters.

Celebrate at The Carle

Boston Baby Nurse Overnight Newborn Care & Nanny Placements • Overnight Newborn Care

Children’s Book Festival: Dig It! Build It! Dream It! Sunday, June 25 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Extended Hours! Construct at The Carle! What can you build with different materials? Join us for a day celebrating creativity, construction, and imagination. Dress for mess!

• Daytime Newborn Care • Sleep Coaching • Lactation Consults

Activities include:

• Nanny Placements

• Storytime and book signing with illustrator Tom Lichtenheld • Fun and silly improv with Happier Family Comedy Show • Special groundbreaking for Bobbie’s Garden • Cupcakes celebrating Eric Carle’s birthday! Visit for full schedule.

781-444-4063 |

125 West Bay Road, Amherst MA 413.559.6300







July & August Classes for toddlers to adults Boston


North Shore

Enroll online today! Photo by Igor Burlak Photography

May/June 2017 |


Memorial Day Open House at the MFA Free Admission for All! Monday, May 29, 2017 | 10 am–5 pm Join us for family art-making activities, and get inspired by “Matisse in the Studio.” Memorial Day Open House generously supported by MFA Associates/MFA Senior Associates.

Boston Parent May 2017  
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