Author Archives: NewBourne Identity

The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 27: Weird Names Becoming the Norm

Gerald used to be a good ol’ name for a kid. But now, it seems, everyone has to outdo each other with a more odd-ball child name. In 50 years, there will be no more Geralds. It’s important to remember that this is a child’s identity, not a boat. Malcolm Gladwell has gone to great…

The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 26: Thud Sounds

I live in a cantaloupe-free home. Whole cantaloupe is no longer allowed because when it rolls off the counter and hits the hardwood floor, it sounds exactly like my daughter’s head doing the same. As parents, we’ve all been told that kids are built to withstand falls, but it doesn’t change the fact that my…

The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 25: First Jobs

At a cousin’s recent eighth grade graduation, there was a moment of pause when dessert came out because no one was sure what to do. So everyone broke into a chorus of, “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and ate cheesecake. There’s really nothing that seems right to celebrate this momentous occasion. Maybe the best…

The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 24: The Extinction of The Bozo Show

In the spirit of June and Father’s Day, NewBourne Identity will be posting every Tuesday this month. You may be thrilled or terrified – both are valid responses. Enjoy! The Bozo Show was a clown-based variety show for kids that aired nationally on WGN for decades. I know you know that, but that’s an important…

Clothes Make the (INSERT JOB HERE)

These days, a lot more people are working from home. Not only does it make economic sense for the employer, but most employees like it too. It’s a rare win-win in the workplace. I know some people who can be more productive at home. It’s tough for me, but I’ve learned over the years that…

Worst Things About Parenting No. 23: Impossibly Fit Parents

This was an actual conversation that took place when I coached a youth baseball team on the north side of Chicago.  This was at an extremely competitive park, which meant that there were some local celebrity offspring playing in the league. (Note: the names are changed) Me: Who’s that? (pointing to man who looked like…

Freeway Contortionist

Great Moments in Parenting History is a semi-regular feature that chronicles the miraculous displays of physical and emotional strength routinely performed by everyday parents, described using highly over-dramatic prose. Today’s art is the dramatic non-fiction account of one author’s near-death wrestling match with his own body called “Freeway Contortionist.” Leona screamed once more, then paused….

The Worst Things About Parenting, No. 22: Jenny McCarthy

One of the biggest lightning rods in parenting talk these days is vaccinations. It’s a very serious issue with a variety of viewpoints, one of which should be ignored entirely: Jenny McCarthy’s. I’m well aware that wisdom can come in surprising forms, but there is none in the plastic shell of Jenny McCarthy. Yet, this…