My Daughter Has Made an Unsettling Transformation

My daughter has become a cat. She turns 13 years old in six days, but she began the shift to coy feline about two months ago.

Read More

Advocating for Public Education

I want your child to come to our neighborhood middle school, Emerson Community Charter. So there’s my agenda right out there in the open. And part of getting you to do that is convincing you that Emerson middle school is

Read More

How I Made My Daughter A Better Athlete!

I stalked left field like a panther, my stride sinuous. Predatory.

Read More

Can You Guess Which Movie?

Sunday night I took a hard, violent fall, kinda pin-balled down there. Hit a lot of railings, broke a lot of shit! …

Read More

A Plea to the Overachieving Mothers!

I’m a terrible mother! For all I know the drama kid’s really staying at school till four playing craps against the side of the handball court with a coupla middle schoolers named Vinnie and Jett …

Read More

10 Things NOT to do on Your Child’s School Field Trip

When the Bossy Docent yells at a child for pulling a pine cone off a tree, yelling, “Leave this land exactly as you found it,” do not whisper to your child’s teacher …

Read More

Zen and the Art of Sailing During A Small Craft Advisory Warning

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to barf. I didn’t want to get salty. I didn’t want to smell feces. I didn’t want to be dominated by forces beyond my control. I was invited to take a sailing

Read More

My Kids Don’t Rebel Against Me, I Rebel Against Them!

12-year-old Clare looks at me as I’m getting ready to go to the gym. Clare: Shannon, you can’t wear those shorts. Me: I am not Shannon, I am Mom. Clare: You are Shannon when you wear those shorts. Me: Is

Read More

If Corrupting My Child Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right

We’re the parents who allowed our 12-year old daughter to watch two R-rated movies. Is it my imagination, or have our phones stopped ringing for play dates? Because we’re the libertines leading our child down the inglorious path of foul-mouthed,

Read More

5 Summer Camp Activities My Kids Hated

I did something that totally pissed my kids off. I sent them to summer sports camp so I could work and try to make money to pay for their braces and college. That’s right, I’m an asshole. After camp, when

Read More

My Daughters They Would Never Speak to me Again (Funny)

Okay. This is funny even if you’re having period cramps. Don’t want to publish any spoilers, so all I can really write about this is: #flocomestotown #theredbadgeofcourage #surfingthecrimsonwave #thecurse #therearecommunistsinthefunhouse #reddotspecial First Menstruation. Enjoy!

Read More

Daughters are from Venus, Daddies are from Mars

 The Father Daughter Relationship Daddies value quiet, calm, cool-headedness, solutions to problems and a frothy lager. Daughters value love, acceptance, patience and a safe place to dump their volcanic, spuming, flesh-incinerating emotions. If an unsuspecting Daddy doesn’t understand how a

Read More

I’m a Tween’s Worst Nightmare

Bridget just turned 10. Claire has 12 in her sniper sights. I’ve had a few epic fails recently, which I won’t detail in order to protect tween privacy. But one of my less epic fails was attempting to kiss Bridget

Read More

10 Ways Having Kids Changed My Life

When the nurse placed my first swaddled newborn on my chest right after I gave birth, I believe the first words out of my mouth to my husband were, “I am so f#@ked.” And I still feel that way. Because

Read More

Experts Say, “Don’t Tell Your Daughter She’s Pretty!”

There’s a trend in parenting to compliment our children’s abilities rather than their appearance. The lead in a recent Daily Telegraph article states: “Parents should stop telling their children they look beautiful because it places too much emphasis on appearance

Read More

The Thing That Put This Soccer Mom In Her Place

I’ve been reveling in some bragging rights about my daughter Bridget’s prowess as a soccer goalie. She made the All-Star team this year and I heard people whispering she was the best goalie in the 10-and-under age group. (I know

Read More

The Post In Which I Fail As A Mother

Me to Bridget (aged 9) when I fail as a mother: Honey, I’m sorry I lost it with daddy in front of you today. Bridget: You mean when you yelled you were sick of his fucking napping all the time

Read More

What Makes Me Feel Optimistic In A World Full Of Bad News

If you read my blog you know I’m capable of catastrophic Irish morbidity. Case in point. When my daughters strike an aloof attitude toward me as I leave the house, I have to muzzle myself from saying:   “You should

Read More

6 Ways to Keep Kids Happy on Vacation in Paris While Enjoying It Yourself

Welcome to my Traveling With Kids In Paris series: This year our vacation has been to Paris over the kids’ winter break. Here are my 6 tried-and-true ways to keep your kids happy on vacation while still being able to

Read More

Traveling With Kids in Paris

Shhh. I’m hiding in an internet cafe on Rue Thouin across the street from the apartment we’re renting on the Left Bank in the Latin Quarter in Paris. Henry left us for the day to travel to Verdun. He’s meeting

Read More

In Defense of a Commercial Christmas

We Collearys are not a religious people. Henry’s a recovering Catholic. I was raised Mormon and love them dearly, but simply could not commit to “One True Church” or give up wine. (The Mormon age for baptism is 8, but

Read More

The Boy I Tutor Doesn’t Appreciate Me aka It’s Not About You, Shannon!

I’m embarrassing the pubescent testosterone right out of Miguel just by standing in the doorway of his homeroom class. Miguel’s a 13-year old 8th grader trying desperately to cultivate a mustache that looks like a black caterpillar, an attitude that

Read More

My Name Is Tom

Last week I picked my daughters and a friend of theirs up from school. We made a pitstop at our favorite taco truck in front of a car wash on Westwood and Santa Monica Boulevards. As we waited in line

Read More

How I Ended Up Holding A Package of Brains

Why You Should Support Public Education I was a little startled to find myself holding a package containing twelve vacuum-packed brains last Wednesday. “Please tell me these aren’t what I think they are,” I asked Mr. Bishop, a sixth grade

Read More

Yea, Though I Walk Through The Valley Of Lice

It hath come to pass that a plague hath beset the Colleary family whereupon we were ravaged by lice. No, they were not any of the particular louses that Shannon hath, in the past, lain with like the Whore of

Read More