Plus: A sibling fight manual |

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belinda-luscombe
Hello guardians of the galactically annoying,

Thirty four. 34. Two score and ten. That is the number of single socks I washed for one of my children this week. As parents who work outside the home, we generally expect our kids to wash their own clothes. It's a simple task with (usually) no sharp objects. And if they don't do it, they don't have any clean undies, so you (usually) don't even have to keep reminding them. The downside is, however, that only the most urgent items ever make it to the washing machine. The less favored items—gifts from relatives, the swimsuits parents approve of, random socks—just sit unwashed for months. Since one child is out of town, I took the opportunity to get to the very bottom of the laundry pile. I reunited a lot of socks (if there's a more satisfying feeling I'm not aware of it), but still found 34 singletons. Is that a record? Can anyone beat that? While on the subject of going out of town, this newsletter will take a brief summer hiatus so my family can travel somewhere with no internet. You should try it, it's glorious. See you in a few weeks!

If you have any ideas you want to share, I’m still at belinda.luscombe@time.com or @luscombeland on Twitter.

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roundup

Another study comes out in favor of piano lessons. Apparently it also helps with language acquisition. TIME

Lovely but heartrending essay from a mother who intended to adopt but got adopted by the family of children she fostered instead. It's a reminder that nobody's family is exactly what they hoped it would be. Washington Post.

Anthony Bourdain sent a sweet letter to the daughter of a rock star, who saw him smash what she thought was her dad's guitar on stage. Fatherly.

What does having a family do to women's ambition? Does the oft-given advice to "follow your passion" sometimes backfire for women? Here's an interesting excerpt from a new book on the subject. The Atlantic

Why has public policy been so slow to adapt to the increasing role of fathers in family life? Why are so many parenting classes only set up for mothers, while fathers sit in the parking lot? What can be done about it? Some long time family therapists weigh in. Child & Family Blog

Since it's summer and the children may be at home together, I thought this might come in handy. It's a siblings' fight survival guide. (And if none of these tips work, bear in mind that most people grow up to love their siblings despite how they bickered as kids. On a related note, shoutout to my three lovely/horrible brothers! ) New York Times

PFFT: Parenting from Famous Types

Chritina Ricci,  actor and mother of one, on showing her three year old son her movie Caspar

"He started asking me about my childhood with my best friend, the ghost. And we were like, ‘Oh! Too soon.’ For a while, he was asking me a lot about ghosts and living alone with my dad and being a ghost and we were just like, ‘Oh no!"

 
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