Barbie and her townhouse

Pop Culture

That’s me with my Barbie townhouse from the early ’80s. It’s still at my parents’ and my daughter plays with it when she visits. My dad made wooden furniture for my dolls to go with the inflatable pieces I bought, probably at Kmart.

Today, the furniture is all new, from Target. Instead of Western Barbie or Beauty Secrets Barbie (I still have both, but Western is missing a blue-shadowed eyelid and Beauty is missing a hand), my daughter has Space Camp Barbie and Hard Rock Cafe Barbie and Veterinarian Barbie and Ballerina Barbie … a Barbie for every dream.

To offset all the blonde, she also has the Disney Princesses, including Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine and multi-ethnic Barbie dolls. She doesn’t care about color; she just loves the dolls and the clothes.

I’m glad we can share memories of Barbie, who turned 50 this year and continues to makes little girls’ dreams closer to reality.

You throw like a girl

Health, Parenting, Sports/Fitness

Saturday at Riley’s softball practice, a different coach was running things because our regular coach was out of town.

As he was hitting grounders to the girls, this other dad walks by and jokingly says, “That guy in the red shirt throws like a girl,” and our coach turned around and tossed the ball at the fence where the other guy was.

First of all, what a STUPID thing to say in front of a team of 7- and 8-year-old GIRLS! Most of them can throw and throw well. And those who can’t are just learning.

Second, why does that putdown have to reference a girl? Why can’t they say, “You throw like a sissy”?

Third, I wanted to say, “And you sound like an idiot.” But I didn’t. I did say fairly loud, “Nothing wrong with throwing like a girl.”

It bothered me mostly because the guy saying it was obviously a dad (probably to boys) and the guy taking offense is a dad to GIRLS. I wish he’d said, “Yeah, and I’ll throw you out at the plate anytime.”

Girls are trashed for “throwing like girls,” and they’re trashed for being tomboys. We just can’t win.

That’s why I tell Riley she can play with Barbies and trucks. And there’s nothing wrong with a boy playing with trucks and dolls, either. They’ve got to learn how to care for children somewhere, right? 😉

Try to hit off this girl: Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch

Game On: Running Matters

Health, sports

If you’re at Dick’s Sporting Goods anytime soon, grab a copy of Game On and read my article “Running Matters.” It’s about how running is good for your mind and body. And it’s my first national article.

It’s not online, but I will scan it soon and upload it to my here. In the meantime, I’ve landed two more national assignments … turned one in Friday and another is due this Friday. I’m also working on two features for Birmingham Parent.

My latest story in Birmingham Parent is about siblings of children with special needs. It’s about how to make sure siblings get adequate time with their parents, too.

My story on Baby Myths is featured in Cincinnati Family, MetroFamily, Montana Parent and Nashville Parent this month.

Also, my piece on plastic surgery and teens is online at Charlotte Parent.

If you haven’t checked in with Sound Check Mama lately, please do. Lots of interesting stuff going on there.

And if you like baseball, visit Braving the Diamond, my blog at I started it as a way to get back into Major League Baseball and keep up with the Atlanta Braves.