11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun. 1. The 24th 007 movie will feature the first 50-year-old “Bond Girl.” (Learn more at AARP) 2. President Obama has acid reflux. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Your flu shot might not protect you from half the varieties of this season’s bugs. (Learn more at AARP) 4. When the president of Ukraine seeks advice, he sometimes turns to a doll. (Learn more at Buzzfeed) How Far Could You Travel With $10,000? Enter Our Winter Escapes …

Not Nice Words at Any Age

I was in Von’s the other day shopping for cat food and cheap wine when the wild screeching of a toddler pierced the afternoon boredom. It sounded very much like a kid going through the “terrible twos,” perhaps stimulated by a mommy who has had it up to here with him and was beating him with a loaf of sourdough bread. I could tell the direction of the screaming by the number of shoppers emerging from the aisle with their hands …

New Grandparent Shocker: This Is Fun!

“What’s it like for you, coming over here?” my daughter asks when I stop by her house for a visit. “It must be like entering the gates of hell.” She’s joking — sort of. For starters, she’s tethered to that medieval torture device known as a breast pump. If you last encountered one of these things in the ’80s, you may be surprised to learn that they’re as clunky and loud as ever. Perhaps when men can lactate we’ll see …

When Grandma’s Called to Take Over

Calling all grandmas, calling all grandmas, they’re after you again, the people who have babies but don’t or can’t actually raise them. You are being tested once more on your ability to care for the children of your children in an age that is altering the dynamics of family at the speed of a thunderclap. It is a warning gleaned from reports indicating that more and more grandparents are going to be called upon to raise their grandchildren, stirring the …

Why Your College Grad Moved Back Home

At a party last weekend, I met a new college grad who had just moved back home. His plans: a camp counselor job this summer followed by a teaching assistant job come fall. Over the next year or so he plans to save money and figure out his future; maybe an M.S. in social work or a Ph.D. in psychology. He was looking forward to reconnecting with his parents after four years away. “It’s the last time I’ll live at …

A Grandpa’s Dream, a Child’s Nightmare

There’s a tendency among us grandpas to control, or at least direct, the lives of our grandchildren, theoretically filtering into their futures what we wish we had accomplished on our own. I see it in relation to my granddaughter Nicole, a gifted painter who, at 27, is working hard to win notice in the art world. She is accomplishing that slowly but too slowly to suit me, so I’m pushing her to ramp up the tempo, to haunt the galleries, …