The East Village Mamele

I Am My Own Child (Aesthetically Speaking)

By Marjorie Ingall

In the not-a-news-flash department: We live in an era in which children are accessories. They are like fabulous Birkin bags, only stickier. Now more than ever before, you can express your aesthetic, whatever it may be, through your child’s clothing and gear. Are you a nasal Juicy Couture-clad label whore? A hip-hop hoodio who covets anRead More

(Un)Sleeping Beauties

By Marjorie Ingall

You know that part in “The Shining” when Shelley Duvall thinks that her husband, Jack Nicholson, has been working on his novel all winter, and she sneaks a peek at his manuscript and all he’s written over and over is “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? That’s pretty much the caliber of work I’ve been producing lately.Read More

Unleavened Dread: Setting the Seder Table’s Empty Places

By Marjorie Ingall

I could measure my halting, lurching progress toward adulthood through Seders.Three years ago, we were at my parents’ house in Providence, R.I. Tiny Josie dozed on my lap. My dad and my mom each ran one Seder — my dad’s traditional, my mom’s egalitarian — and jockeyed good-naturedly over whose was better.Two years ago, my parentsRead More

Traveling The World — By Proxy

By Marjorie Ingall

Right now, I feel tethered. I’m always holding someone, wiping someone, feeding someone. Someone is always sick. I go to the fridge, I lift my shirt, I put away the laundry, I type, I TiVo. There are days that I don’t go outside. (Seasons? What are these seasons of which you speak?)’Twas not ever thus. The summer I graduated fromRead More

Funny Ladies

By Marjorie Ingall

So I had an evening out, for the first time since Maxine’s birth. I attended “So Laugh a Little,” an evening of Jewish women’s comedy benefiting the Jewish Women’s Archive (, an organization that supports research, fosters chick-power activism, and creates curricula about American Jewish women in history and today. MyRead More

Goodbye to an Old Friend

By Marjorie Ingall

March 1, 2005. My cat, Sebastian, died early this morning. He’d been in my life for 15 years. When I was single, I cried into his fur after every heartbreak. When I moved cross-country to live with my new boyfriend, Jonathan, Sebastian came, too. When Jonathan and I, now married, moved back to New York, so did Sebastian. He toleratedRead More

The Bad Mommy Awards

By Marjorie Ingall

There are times when you know, with absolute certainty, that you are the worst parent ever to walk the earth. These epic Bad Mommy Moments aren’t, like, Susan Smith or Andrea Yates-level crises, DefCon Five. Your kids live. But after a Bad Mommy Moment, you aren’t sure you want to.A couple of weeks back, I met my Bad Mommy Waterloo. My husbandRead More

Who Is Maxine? What Is She?

By Marjorie Ingall

Comparisons are odious. As the touchy-feely therapist who led my new mom’s group used to say, “Compare and despair!” (I find it fun to repeat this in the flat, nerdy Midwestern accent used by the school principal on “South Park,” despite the fact that the therapist was from Queens.) Yet how can the mother of two girls not compareRead More

Josie and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Marjorie Ingall

As Josie ages, her relationship with media and culture changes. Everything seems to be a source of both joy and anxiety for her. Case in point: As part of our nightly bedtime ritual, I always sing Josie a couple of show tunes. (Yes, I am a gay man.) She’s always loved this special time, and I treasure the fact that she is still youngRead More

The Mamele Returns

By Marjorie Ingall

Hi, I’m back. Don’t hug me; I am caked in sputum and sticky with breast milk. I am also angsting over how to file a column between bouts of nursing Maxine, who still won’t take a bottle with any predictability after 2.5 months on Earth; doing endless loads of laundry; pinching Josie’s nosebleeds, and deferring endless big-sisterly requestsRead More

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