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POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011, 11:50 AM

There’s a restaurant in the Pittsburgh area that’s banning children under age 6. I won’t mention it because I don’t want to give them publicity of any kind.

This is not haute cuisine: $9.95 for ravioli, $10.95 for cod. Apple sauce and potato chips are side dishes. It would never be mistaken for Barclay Prime or Vetri.

The owner has said that kids are disturbing, and that people want to eat in peace.

POSTED: Thursday, July 14, 2011, 9:30 AM

So, because life isn’t confounding enough, now comes the Breast Milk Baby doll, made by a toy manufacturer from Spain, over there in Europe, from whence high falutin’ ideas about how to live have originated for multiple millennia. (www.thebreastmilkbaby.com).

The doll is meant to teach little girls how to breast feed, at $89 or so per unit.

Breast Milk Baby doll comes with a halter top that a girl puts on over her clothes like a vest. When a girl brings the Breast Milk Baby doll’s mouth to certain positions on the vest, embedded sensors cause the baby to make suckling sounds.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:35 AM

It was a day off to be at the beach, and to let the Little Girl just play.

Her summer days are too often as scheduled as first grade. I wanted to let her romp. So I took a personal day and, with my girlfriend, drove to Sea Isle City.

My daughter was as peripatetic as the ocean: digging in the sand, jumping over waves. She doesn’t get that kind of crazy playtime at her school day camp. It reminded me of how much better I had it as a kid, roaming the streets of my New York neighborhood, free to play and think and use my imagination.

POSTED: Friday, July 8, 2011, 7:37 AM

Before I was a parent, I’d hear moms and dads discipline their kids in public, and I’d recoil at the tone and vitriol:

“What did I just tell you?”

“Put it down.”

POSTED: Tuesday, July 5, 2011, 2:40 PM

A child recently made a racist remark to my daughter.

As bigoted utterances go, what the kid said was not only ignorant, but inaccurate: It was a slur against people from India, not little girls from Guatemala.

Still, my daughter recognized the hatred in the verbal blast, and was puzzled, and hurt.

POSTED: Friday, July 1, 2011, 8:41 AM

At a dollar store the other day, the Little Girl asked me to buy her a tiara.

She's still into princess stuff, so I paid it no mind. But then she tried it on and said, "Look, I'm Miss America."

That's when I started to worry.

POSTED: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 7:28 AM

I have a friend, let’s call him Dudley.

He went through an especially bitter divorce, replete with multiple attorneys and years of firefight skirmishes with the ex-wife over custody of their two boys and a girl. It was a kind of ugliness that takes your breath away, making you question marriage, procreation, or life in general.

Lawyers will tell you that anyone who wants to take your money and your children is not a friend. Dudley took that counsel to heart. The point is, after Dudley lost much of his money and a good deal of access to his children, he took to bad-mouthing the ex any chance he could.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 7:22 AM

I read parenting books from time to time, just to make sure I’m not too far off the beam as I raise my daughter.

Much of what I read, by the way, is either common sense or contradictory, so the parenting canon becomes just so much noise for me. I get all the real advice I need from older relatives and friends who’ve been there and done it well – their great, shining kids being the proof of parenting prowess.

Still, once in a while, a book stands out, for its epic, uh, unusual-ness. One such example is Jessica Denay’s “The Hot Mom’s Handbook: Laugh and Feel Great from Play Date to Date Night.” Denay is also responsible for “The Hot Mom to Be Handbook: Look and Feel Great from Bump to Baby.”

About this blog
A New York City native, Lubrano has written for newspapers since 1980. He's the author of a book, "Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams," and was a commentator for National Public Radio for 16 years. His work has appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. He lives with his daughter in South Jersey, and has worked for the Inquirer since 1995. Reach Alfred at alubrano@phillynews.com.

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
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