The Playroom: Sound and fury

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I am sitting on cement bleachers at an ice rink southeast of Chicago’s O’Hare airport, our home ice. The kids and I are nearing the end of our day, I am tired and my butt is cold. I would like for the women seated near me to stop talking. Endless, mindless chatter about nothing. What merit is left to silence?

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The Playroom: Time to believe

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

“Believe you can and you are halfway there,” said Theodore Roosevelt. That may be good advice if you are running for president or you’re a little engine trying to bring toys to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain, but children’s stories don’t always work out that way.

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The Playroom: The beer equation

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I have kids and they knock over everything, including my beer. There seems to be some direct proportional relationship to the amount I spend on a beer and how fast it ends up in my shoe. Beer at the ball park, two sips and yup, I’ve got soggy socks.

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The Playroom: Stroller miles

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

My daughter and I took a walk to the park today. An ordinary day and ordinary walk, except that today is the last day of our summer vacation. Her hair bleached by the sun and chlorine from the pool, days at the lake and afternoons at the park.

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The Playroom: Flowa blankie

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

This morning my 4-year-old daughter and I went to visit my 106-year-old aunt. I held my daughter’s hand as we walked down the long hallway to my aunt’s room and told her not to be afraid. As we walked, I also noticed the personal objects in people’s rooms.

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The Playroom: In my room

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Last night I was putting the world’s best pizza wheel away in the drawer full of all those kitchen utensils that don’t go anywhere else, and my son asked, “Hey, can I play with that?” He was reaching inside the drawer for a yellow plastic funnel.

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The Playroom: 4 ever

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I want to remember 4. Blond curls, blue eyes and the excitement of a lollipop. Princess dresses, tutus and bangs that are too long. I want to remember what you said in the car that was so perfect, just a few hours ago, but now I can’t remember.

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The Playroom: Parents on deck

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I have spent hours today on college savings accounts. I messed up the automatic deductions so they were coming from this account and they are supposed to be out of that account. With my oldest, somehow I messed up the portfolio allocations, and not in a good way.

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The Playroom: The buy

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I’m sitting in the church parking lot, in a car with the engine running, waiting for a drop. I’ve got 40 bucks clenched in my fist, nervous that I won’t have it ready once she gets here. I’m worried that she won’t show.

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The Playroom: Bumpy penance

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Before I had children of my own, I made certain judgments about other people’s parenting. I mean, really, how hard could it possibly be to travel with a young child on an airplane? My penance for not being more compassionate? God is really sticking it to me on this one.

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The Playroom: ER

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

My son is standing on the sidewalk covered in blood. He’s got a gash on his chin and a tongue that looks like someone took a steak knife to it. Pogo stick. I’m trying to decide if I have to take him to the emergency room. I am grappling with the conflict between my role as parent and the truth: I don’t want to go.

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The Playroom: One who hovered

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Today is James’ birthday party. “Choo Choo James is turning Two!” read the invitation. This morning I received a text from his mother. “James has a cold and cough and totally understand if you don’t want to expose your children!” I remember when I used to send out similar messages, back when I was a new mother, one who hovered.

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The Playroom: Easter story

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

When my first child was an infant, I had fantasies about motherhood and parenting that were sweet and gentle. One of my fantasies had to do with books. I decided that for holidays I would buy books relative to the celebration and keep them in a decorative basket in the front room. Then at story time we would sit together and read.

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The Playroom: The Roadster

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

As I am predictably running late getting my kid to the ice rink, I notice the license plate on the BMW Roadster in the parking space behind me. “40 BDAY.” I roll my eyes, thinking, “You have got to be kidding me,” and try not to hit it as I parallel park my minivan.

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