Thursday’s Workwear Report: The Perfect Wrinkle-Resistant Popover Shirt

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

A lot of readers have noted that they prefer a popover style blouse vs. a button-front blouse, which I think makes sense — it’s easier to iron and to care for, and there are fewer buttons to worry about. If you’re looking for a wrinkle-resistant popover, this one from Talbots looks nice. It’s machine washable and has a little bit of stretch, which will also help prevent wrinkles. The color options are blue and white stripes, black and white stripes, and white, and the blouse is available in four size ranges: misses 2–20, petite 0P–14P, woman 12W–24W, and woman petite 12WP–22WP. Right now it’s on sale from $89 to $74. (If you’re looking for a silkier, short-sleeved version, Talbots’ ruffled popover is also on sale.) The Perfect Wrinkle-Resistant Popover Shirt – Stripes

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  1. Quebec City :

    DH and I are thinking of escaping to Quebec City the week before Christmas with DH for a 4-5 night winter getaway. I’m early in my second trimester (would love to otherwise drink all the wine and eat all the cheese…), and we’re coming from a New England town so the cold doesn’t faze us. Thinking of staying at the Chateau Frontenac.

    Apart from the Christmas markets, which I’ve already seen a lot of info about online, what are the other ‘must dos’ in the city? Would love a massage at some point, some relaxation, good food, wandering and shopping.

    • Canuck anon :

      Do stay at the Chateau Frontenac. It’s iconic and a great location.

      Wander around Old Quebec.
      Eat at Aux Anciens Canadiens.
      If you like museums, go to the Musee de Civilisation or Musee des Beaux Arts (fine arts).
      I think there are a lot of little bars/venues with live music at night if you’re into that.

      It’s been a while since I was there so hopefully others will chime in with more specific suggestions.

    • First Year Anon :

      QC is just a fun city to explore. See if the Ice Hotel is operational at that point- worth checking out.

      I would be careful because the Frontenac is located on a hill, and it gets quite icy in the city- you could slip and fall (you’ll see people wipeout while you’re there for sure). Being pregnant, that would make me nervous. Some food for thought.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Chateau Frotenac is so great!

      Kind of niche, but I loved the Hotel Dieu.–hotel-dieu-hospital-/

      We ate like kings, but I can’t remember where. And there was great music too. Ah, you’ll have such fun!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’m super late to the conversation, but I loved the restaurant Le Lapin Sauté. We stayed at the Château Frontenac for part of our honeymoon, and while the building and lobby are very impressive, the rooms look just like any other Fairmont hotel (so nice, but not anything special). We were there during the high season, and I think our basic queen room was somewhere around $400- $450 per night. You might be able to find something more luxurious at the same price point, or save money and go elsewhere. Spend a night or two there if you really want to.

  2. Anonymous :

    Could use some advice from the Hive on anyone who has been there, done that with a similar neighborhood problem.

    An erot*c massage parlor just opened up in our neighborhood. We found out because the business was listed on a website for men seeking out those kinds of “services” from massage parlors. Other than emailing our city councilor and filing a report with the police, how do neighbors get these kinds of businesses shut down? The business in question is about 1000 yards from a school in one direction and 500 feet from a daycare in another. I have no moral problem with what happens in these places – I actually think pr*s tituti*n should be legalized – but I know with these parlors, many times the “therapists” have been trafficked and are basically enslaved. We’re all just generally concerned about having an illegal business in the neighborhood – we’d feel the same if this was a pill mill, or something.

    • Check your zoning regulations and attend zoning board and city council meetings.

    • You might call an anti-trafficking organization and ask their advice and let them know about it.

    • Curious why you were on that website in the first place tbh

      • Frozen Peach :

        oh please

      • Metallica :

        It was probably Craigs_list, overly concerned Anon at 1220.

      • Anonymous :

        Glad you asked, Anonymous! We Googled the business name – because in this day and age, most new local independent businesses put up a website with their information, and we wanted to know more about the new neighbors – and all that came up was the review site with a bunch of “mongers” (I’ve learned all kinds of things in the last two days) posting reviews of their “happy endings.” I’d never had known without Google, so thanks to them!

  3. I’m meeting someone for lunch for career advice and I’m updating my resume. Should I have hobbies/interests on there or not? That section was specifically requested when I applied for my last job (recently) so it’s already on there.

    • if you’re in law, I say NOOOOOOOO. Nothing good can come from it and that real estate on your resume can be better used on your actual experience.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 However, if you have community service that is relevant to the position, e.g., in law, Wills for Heroes or VITA, then I say that can be included so long as you have real estate for it without taking substantive things off.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Wouldn’t that be under pro bono section?

          • Yes, I suppose it would. I’m not traditionally practicing, so I don’t tend to think of it that way!

        • Right after finishing grad school I had a “Community Involvement” section on my resume that had the student group I was president of and a volunteer activity I did regularly that was fairly relevant to the jobs I was applying to.

      • Agreed. I think *maybe* there is an exception to be made here if you do something truly extraordinary in your spare time but putting down that you like to cook, travel and take pictures is not worth the space it takes up.

        • I agree with this — I agree with the 2 exceptions of (1) community service relevant the position; and (2) truly remarkable skill set (e.g., olympic-level athlete).

      • Anonattorney :

        Disagree. On the hiring committee at my law firm and these sections are always discussed. Your hobby needs to be interesting, however, and you better have a nice anecdote to talk about when you’re asked about it at your interview.

        • Hiring Committee Member :

          Disagree as well. Though think it’s a know-your-market sort of thing. I’m in a secondary market (big on sports, outdoors-y things) and we definitely discuss this kind of stuff. It can also help hit if off with the people interviewing you, which results in great reviews that then come to us and make our decision easy.

          However, like Anonattorney said, have a nice anecdote and don’t make it up or fake your interest. You’d be surprised how many interviewees start sweating when they see that I fluently speak a language they listed proficiency in simply because they took a spring break trip somewhere. We are also a sports heavy area, so pretending you like a team and then not knowing about it is an easy way to get bad reviews.

          • “so pretending you like a team and then not knowing about it is an easy way to get bad reviews”

            This seems like policing somebody’s fandom, honestly. I like my local football team well enough, but if you started quizzing me on players’ stats or whatever I’d have no idea. I still call myself a fan, though.

          • Different Anon. I read this more like the candidate says they love X sports team but can’t name any players on the team or talk at all about any recent games/matches.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          Also a hiring committee member and disagree. Not in a secondary market, but on the west coast.

    • Not in law but I can’t see giving valuable space to interests/hobbies on my resume nor would I find this information useful when hiring someone. Is this something commonly asked for in your field?

    • anon associate :

      Only if you’re a brand new lawyer with space on your resume to spare. It’s pretty common to have hobbies listed if you’re at that stage- it gives you something to talk about with your interviewer. But make sure that it’s a hobby you actually do, and ideally, it will be something interesting. Do not put running and then state that you haven’t done a 5k in years. It must lead to an interesting and flattering discussion.

    • If you’re in finance, it’s viewed favorably to include that info in my part of that world, but you’ll want it to be interesting. . . not just cooking, but “interest in central Mexican cuisine”. . . that kind of thing.

      • In corporate finance, I wouldn’t include it unless you’re JUST out of school, and it also includes something noteworthy like “Scaled 5 of the top 10 mountain peaks in the world” or “Currently 3rd place worldwide in Sugar Molding” or whatever.

        • +1, also in finance. It won’t hurt you unless you include something weird, but it’s entirely unnecessary.

    • If you are in the law, then no. No one cares. Interviewers rarely even ask if I have a hobby.

      • FWIW, I’ve been interviewed by a few different firms (and not just boutique firms) for a mid-level lateral hire and every single one has asked me what I do when I’m not at work. Maybe it’s a location thing?

        • I’m in DC. Maybe people don’t really care here?

          • I’ve interviewed in NYC and DC and never has anyone asked that question at a firm. I am from Philly though and I can see it coming up there – maybe at not the biggest biglaw firm in that market but at the rest of them; I feel like in smaller cities — esp if you’d be moving there for a job — people want to know that you want to be part of the community, they want to sell their city etc. and a lot of it has to do with finding candidates that they feel will want to stay there for the long haul rather than running back to NYC in a yr. Whereas in NYC/DC it is a known fact that people move there for jobs so whether you find a “home” there is not their problem bc they know most people are doing it for the money and resume.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          TO Lawyer, based on the things I read here, I think the entire Canadian model is quite different even in BigLaw.

    • I will be the voice of keep it.

      I interview a ton of largely fungible entry-level people. If it is vanilla, it gives you something else to discuss in a lull and helps keep people straight.

      But keep it vanilla and maybe a bit relevant / do-gooder. Like “hiking” or “visiting national parks” or “canoing” or “volunteering as a junior high softball coach” or “alto in church / community choir”. Not “cosplay” or “tattoos” or “blogging” unless it is somehow relevant.

      • I’m in Medicine. My CV contains info re: my music degree/instrument. It is a topic of conversation in the majority of my interviews, and when my interviewer is also a classical musician (not uncommon in medicine)…. it makes me memorable.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I like it too. Feels rude to say this, but… lots of people can DO [whatever job] just fine. Like my job for instance. I don’t have this job because I’m a genius at being a generalist. I have it because I work hard and I’m reliable *and* I’m pleasant and relatable and fun. Out of the thousands of people who could probably do this job, why should someone pick you? Maybe the answer lies in the happy things in your ‘hobbies/interest’ section?

      • I think it depends, too. Both in biglaw and in-house most of my interviews are consumed with talking about non-professional accomplishments. I think to get the interview they knew you had the basic credentials and qualifications, so it was more a test of how much they would like working with me.

        My resume had one line at the bottom like Languages Spoken: fluent in X , proficient in Y. Interests include: golf, tennis, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly every.single.interview — especially in biglaw — zeroed in right away to the golf and talked about that pretty much the entire interview. That made them like me and definitely set me apart from other candidates that were more fungible. Maybe 10% of the time SCOTUS came up and I’m a huge nerd about it so that worked, too. I found pretty much the same in in-house.

        These hobbies though were chosen as things I could actually talk substantively about but also were benign and more in common with the people I was interviewing with. I mean I can also quote movies like it’s nobody’s business and have no issue marathoning seasons on Netflix all weekend, but those aren’t things I would bring up with an interviewer. If you don’t feel like your ‘thing’ is something that would be in common with the people you are interviewing, avoid it altogether. And if you can’t talk to the talk on it, avoid it, too, or else you might be asked to join the firm’s IM basketball/golf scramble/a cappella group/etc. and not know what you are doing.

  4. Joshua Tree with Kids? :

    Has anyone here done this and do you have advice? It looks from the internet like it can in fact be done – we are thinking of two days away in December, short hikes, staying in a motel or something. (Basically we’re looking to get out of LA, and we aren’t into wine or beachy stuff.) We have one child who will be about 1 at the time and we have a good quality hiking backpack for him to ride in. Any tips/ warnings/ challenges appreciated. Thanks.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yes yes yes!

      I would suggest an Air BnB (will reply with a link that’s kind of splurgey, and one that’s ridiculous where I’ll be going in December with my sister + her kids for a cousin party). With a kid it’s so nice to have a home base and a kitchen. And if you stay at a good one, in the middle of nowhere-ish, you can spend a day exploring around the AirBnB instead of in the park itself.

      I took my kid there right before her first birthday. It was hard for her in the way that any trip is — lack of familiar stuff around her — and it was my first (though surely not my last) “actuallycanwejusthavethedinnertogoTHANKS?!” scene with me running out of the restaurant with an irate baby while husband stayed to pay. But that can happen anywhere.

      AND it’s so beautiful! The park itself has stroller friendly hikes that are totally worth doing. Oh I have so many pictures of Kiddo wearing her Xmas jammies and laughing with joy in the beautiful scenery… When Kiddo fell asleep in the car we just drove around the park a bit. Even that was lovely. The sky is so clear at night, and you can see a bajillion stars. In the morning we would make coffee and go sit outside and just bask in the scenery while we woke up. So great.

      Also you should go to Pioneer Town. Sometimes they have animals, like a mule!!!, that your kid can see and visit with. And even if not, you can go to Pappy and Harriet’s! <3

      I also really love Cactus Mart … It's on your way. You just kind of have to trust me that it's delightful and weird and worth visiting.

      The whole main drag has cute antique stores and such, too, if that's your jam.

    • Absolutely it can be done! I live here and December is a gorgeous month to visit. I’m attaching a link in a separate post with recommended hikes for families.

      I don’t want to discourage you, but these last few years the high desert has become an insanely popular destination. The wait to get into the National Park entrances can be an hour or longer on weekends. We only have a handful of wonderful, local restaurants and the wait to sit can also be an hour plus. My advice would be to come during the week if you can, pack food/snacks in case you have to wait at restaurants. Reserve an Airbnb now. And if you want a table at Pappy and Harriets, call to reserve now.

      In December our temperatures swing wide throughout the day. Very cold/near freezing nights, and warm sunny days (60s or 70s in the lower elevations.) You’ll need to pack for winter and spring weather just to make sure kiddos are comfortable.


      • Please do! I appreciate any recommendations – I really have very little idea of where to start and it’ll be our first attempt at a real outdoor trip with the little guy.

        • My link is in mod.

          Please check back. So, funny story, since I posted this morning I went for my usual run in my “neighborhood” and I just encountered the most beautiful bobcat. I was thinking that you might want to check for an Airbnb in this area. It looks just like the national park but without the crowds. Look for Pipes Canyon in your search. You can hike around boulders and Joshua Trees for miles without seeing another soul.

          My warning about Airbnb’s here. There are a lot of alternative places, think yurts and the like. They post gorgeous photos online when in reality the places are dumps. Then people don’t leave bad reviews b/c they’ve gotten to know the host and feel bad. If you see any hint of negativity in the reviews, believe them!

          An SUV is good for driving on all of our dirt roads, but not necessary. Pro tip – if you get stuck in loose sand, use the car floor mats and place them behind your tires. Works every time.

          • This is the area I’m talking about- Pioneertown/Pipes Canyon. (This cabin is on the road where I just saw the bobcat.)


            My friends run this place. They’re lovely, though I’ve never been inside this guest cabin so I can’t vouch for it. I can vouch for the area- it’s breathtaking.

          • Thank you SO much for all of this. This community rocks!

  5. Let’s talk vacations. What time of year do you take vacation(s)? Do you always take the same week(s), i.e., a week over 4th of July? How long do you take off for each vacation? How many times a year?

    I’m finally past that stage in my life where most of my vacation time was committed to weddings and related events. I’m excited to plan a vacation for myself! I’m just wondering how and when do you actually do that? It seems like most people do a summer vacation and take time off around the holidays. What about spring and fall? If you take a big spring/fall vacation do you not take a summer vacation?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My replies are getting eaten, but here are the links I promised in my now missing post: (yes this is almost terrifying, but i think it will blow the toddlers’ minds!)

    • This SO depends on where you want to go and your work schedule and whether kids’ school schedules impact it at all.

      No kids here, so we’re totally flexible on when to travel, so we avoid the crowds and save money by NOT traveling for the 4th or holidays. We take 1 or 2 “major” vacations per year, along with 1 week at the beach with family in August (my in-laws live in SC). Of the other vacations, one is always winter/spring Caribbean because we are total beach lovers, and if we take a 2nd, it’s typically an early fall city vacation.

    • Biglaw transactional here. Our busy seasons are based on quarter and year end, so I rarely take off during the holidays. I take two 7 to 10 day vacations a year, in February when our practice is generally dead, and in October after Q3 right be fore the Q4 craziness hits- usually around Colombus Day. I find these are also good shoulder seasons to visit places. During the summer I will take one or two long weekends to do a hiking trip.

    • I usually take one in late spring and one either in fall or winter. It sometimes varies depending on the destinations and their weather patterns (like my home country is miserable in Oct/Nov due to endless rain and flood, and too hot any time after February so I tend to go there during December). I mostly avoid peak seasons.

    • I prefer May/September vacations. I’m single. Those months are pretty good weather wise…. world wide. And since school is in session, you see fewer travelers in general since most families don’t travel then. And in general, slightly off season so better flights/hotel prices.

    • My husband and I pick where we want to go, and the location will often dictate when we go. We look at the weather, and if there are any local holidays or festivals we should avoid or maybe want to join in. Because our daughter isn’t in school yet, we can travel in the “off-season” and save money and have fewer crowds.

  6. Sweater hunt :

    I saw the cutest outfit on a woman on the street yesterday and I’m wondering if anyone can help me find the top? It was a mock neck sweater in bright cobalt blue. It looked like a thick knit material. It had this neckline but the sleeves were three quarter length and the bottom was a bit more tapered, but maybe it was just tucked in?

    The woman styled it with a black pencil and open toed booties and she looked so put together!

    • To my surprise, the best options I found are from BR. These don’t come in cobalt blue (bummer) but they look like the have the shape and feel of what you’re describing and would be great styled with a pencil skirt and booties.

      • Oops one of the links was supposed to be:

    • I have an older mock-neck sweater from Boden with 3/4 sleeves with a tailored fit in a fuschia pink. I didn’t see something like what I have on their website right now, though.

    • Oh this one is more of a turtleneck, but it is blue and three quarter sleeves!

    • Maybe this one?

  7. I cannot concentrate at work for the life of me. Is this a postpartum thing (8 months PP)? The other day, I looked at my timesheet (atty with billable hours) and wondered what on earth I was doing all day. I’ve never been great at concentrating, but it’s next level difficult right now. It hasn’t come up as a performance issue at work yet, mostly because I put a lot of hours in in the evening and on weekends to make up for it, but I’d love to be able to just relax at night for once or have a weekend where I don’t need to leave for a coffeeshop for the afternoon to catch up. Any thoughts on what I can do? Can you talk to your doctor about this? I only have my OB, so wouldn’t even know where to start.

    • How much sleep are you getting, and how often are you up during the night?

      • Try to go to sleep between 10:30 and 11:00 and wake up at 5:30 to exercise. Rarely have to wake up during the night. So 6ish? I don’t feel tired…I had a similar sleep routine pre baby.

        • Well you’re not getting nearly enough sleep so maybe fix that?

        • Getting that little sleep on a regular basis will totally destroy your cognitive functioning.

          • Really? Yikes. Ok, well that seems like a good place to start.

          • Co-signed. I need 7.5-8 to be a fully functioning human. I routinely got 6 in BigLaw and have a better memory (and looks) since I left…

          • Flats Only :

            Yup. Even if you don’t feel tired.

        • If you’re in bed at 11 and up at 5:30 then you’re not getting 6 hours of sleep, not that 6 hours is enough anyway. You’re not accounting for the time it takes to fall asleep and time you lose while “asleep.” You don’t feel tired because you’ve gotten so used to feeling chronically exhausted that you don’t know what it’s like to feel normal anymore.

          Anecdotal, but I started wearing a fitbit that tracks my sleep and was astonished at how often it says I’m “awake” (I almost never actually wake up at night) or restless throughout the night. I lose about 30 minutes/night on average.

    • This was a sign of PPD/A for me, but I don’t think that is the case for everyone. I didn’t recognize it as that, but one amazing side effect of being on Zoloft now is that I can finally concentrate again.

      • Did you talk to your OB about it or someone else?

        • Also a sign of PPD/A for me as well, at around the same month PP. I called my OB and they gave me meds and a referral for a therapist that specialized in post partum issues.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          My sister had PPA and her OB gave her progesterone shots, which she said were the greatest thing ever.
          Well, not the getting-shots-regularly part, but they helped A LOT.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Same. I saw a psychiatrist because I had moved away from my OB and my gyn’s office told me “it can’t be PPD if it’s more than 6 months out” (FALSE). But anyway, psych worked fine.

    • I don’t have any advice but I am right there with you. I cannot focus on anything other than the kids and managing all the things they can’t manage themselves (preschooler and a baby; they can manage almost nothing). It just seems to chew up all my energy.

  8. Any ideas for dealing with a child who is, for lack of a better description, a lazy perfectionist? My 6th-grader knows and understands all the material she’s learning in school, but when it comes time for tests and quizzes she makes careless errors–copying the wrong numbers on math problems, not reading directions, etc. Then she gets upset, sometimes very upset, when she doesn’t get the grades she wants. I have had her practice reading directions and double-checking on her homework, but it doesn’t seem to sink in. The issue is especially problematic in the easiest courses, where she is bored and tends to rush the most. She seems to believe that because she understands the material she should just automatically get 100% on everything without even bothering to read the directions or make sure she’s answering the right questions. Reasoning with her is useless. Help?

    • First Year Anon :

      Sounds like she may have a mild form of ADD?

      • This was my first thought. I had the same issues, but didn’t give them any attention until grad school when it was totally impossible to coast.

    • Is there any way she could have ADHD (inattentive type)? Look up symptoms online and maybe ask your pediatrician. It’s often underdiagnosed in girls and 6th grade is prime time when some of these symptoms can come out, due to the increased demands for organization and such in schoolwork.

      • Possibly. In the past the school has been very dismissive of the idea, but the pediatrician says maybe. Whether or not she’s got it, I think some of the behavioral and organizational strategies used by kids with ADHD to support executive functioning could help, but I don’t really know what those are or where to start. All the books and webs i t e s I’ve read basically just say to have the kid keep an assignment notebook, which is not helpful since she already does that.

        • I have a kid like this and I’ve tried to get here into more non-academic things so that she doesn’t develop in only one dimension and also gets enough activity. We do Girls on the Run (which is running and mentoring) at school 2x/week. Maybe something like that is an option?

          She has an ADHD diagnosis (and it is mixed type). She’s very quick but also drifts off in her concentration. And also needs to zoom around several times a day to deal with her energy. She is pleasant and not disruptive at school, so no one really cared as long as she wasn’t failing or throwing chairs in the classroom.

          There is a great book on ADHD in girls that I got on Amazon and it was fantastic in helping me be a good parent for her.

          • My kid is a pretty serious athlete, which has definitely helped. Can you remember the title or author of the book?

          • I can totally relate to this: “no one really cared as long as she wasn’t failing or throwing chairs in the classroom.”

          • Me again. I can’t remember the name of it but it was recommended by someone here. I think it is the #1 or 2 hit on amazon for ADHD and girls.

          • Thanks–I will search.

        • Get her evaluated for ADHD. I was your daughter, right down to the getting moved up a grade and skating by because I knew the material, but didn’t want to do the work. I was the girl reading a novel under my desk because I wasn’t interested in doing whatever we were doing in class. Everyone just through I was bored and needed to be challenged more. As everyone else has said, ADHD often presents very differently for girls. I didn’t get a diagnosis until earlier this year at age 41. The diagnosis explained so much about my education.

          Also, I would encourage you to think about how you describe her (e.g. “lazy”). I internalized all of those messages (and I heard them constantly from my parents and teachers): lazy, flighty, “If you would just apply yourself,” etc. Eventually, “stupid” became part of my narrative, too. I am just now unpacking all of that. If she, indeed, has ADHD, she isn’t any of those things, her brain just works differently and she needs help to figure out how to deal with that.

          Good luck!

          • Same here. And it was true that I was bored and needed to be challenged more – but even when I was, I had massive organization/attention problems that didn’t get properly diagnosed and dealt with until I was well into my Ph.D. program.

          • Same here – diagnosed with ADHD at 32.

            I was always in trouble at school because I was “so bright, but didn’t apply myself”. I was always reading or daydreaming, couldn’t keep track of my homework, etc. I was a very good test-taker which is probably the only reason I got into college. (I entered my freshman year of college with both an academic scholarship and on academic probation, simultaneously, which pretty much sums up my academic experience.)

            Please get her tested regardless of what the school says. The fact that I could focus well under high-stakes situations made my parents and teachers sure that I didn’t have a focus issue – I didn’t understand until I was diagnosed that additional adrenaline probably acted as a stimulant to get my focus to a more normal level. Now I take a light dose of Adderall and it has been life-changing – I spent a lot of my young adult life fighting anxiety and depression issues, largely brought on by a lot of self-hatred about my “laziness”.

          • Metallica :

            Me too–I was diagnosed at age 35 and up to then the constant bombardment of the “you’re lazy and irresponsible” narrative had succeeded in giving me a whopper case of imposter syndrome. It turned out that my parents had known all along–my pediatrician and several of my teachers mentioned ADHD multiple times– but given their generational and cultural conditioning, they were adamantly opposed to both the diagnosis and treatment. How they handled it (or didn’t) created problems that bled over into every single aspect of my life until I was diagnosed and was able to pursue treatment on my own. Adults with ADHD have higher rates of legal problems, divorce, psychological problems, etc. With apologies for the novel-length reply, I hope your daughter gets the appropriate help!

    • Ask your school for support.

      • The school doesn’t think it’s an issue because she is “so smart and so sweet.”

        • HA — maybe our kids are at the same school?

          I hired a teacher as a babysitter for slightly younger kids. Really she is there to be Someone Who Is Not Me to supervise homework for exactly this.

    • I think she may need a more challenging environment. Could she be moved to a school that would make her work harder? Is there any way she could have longer and more difficult tests? My school district does not advance kids by a grade since they say there is differentiation in each classroom. But if your district does allow kids to skip grades that could also be an option.

      • She is already advanced a grade plus two additional levels in math, and there is no differentiation until high school.

    • AnonMidwest :

      Could she actually be bored with her work? This was me as a kid, it was really only once I was challenged in school that I directed attention to my work.

      • She says she’s bored in everything but math. I just can’t figure out how to get it through her head that no one will believe she’s bored if she doesn’t show what she knows.

        • Tech Comm Geek :

          This is VERY tough for a kid that age to understand. This was SO me at that age. I would add to the chorus of having her evaluated for ADHD. I was diagnosed as an adult, and it has revolutionized my life. The therapist I’m working with says that teaching the coping skills I’m learning now at her age could physically change a kid’s brain to improve functioning. Girls present radically differently for ADHD. And the more intelligent a girl is, the more likely she is to be able to cover for the ADHD until college or early adulthood.

          • Thanks. Can you describe how you found a therapist to teach coping skills? One reason we haven’t pursued an evaluation is that we were told the only option we’d be offered would be medication.

          • Adding: We are not categorically opposed to medication, we just think it’s strange not to offer training in coping skills as a first step and/or in conjunction with medication. In this case there are also concerns about side effects.

          • I left a longer reply above. OP: When I was looking for someone, I just started googling things like, “therapist ADHD” for my area. It isn’t the easiest way to find a medical provider, but I managed to find one. If you are in the DC area, the Chesapeake ADHD Center would be a good place to start. I haven’t gone to them, but they have a good reputation. If you aren’t, they still have some resources that may be useful on their site.

    • In junior high school and had kind of a rush through it/whatever attitude but would also beat myself up if I didn’t get straight A’s. I was also starting to skip school.

      I was in a “future problem solvers of America” program after school. The coach noticed I spent an obsessive amount of time thinking through and working with the group.

      My parents pulled me out of the public school I was in and put me in a private school associated with one of the colleges in town. I started doing well and stopped making the kind of rushed/inattentive mistakes I was making before.

      I didn’t have the self awareness at that time to realize I was bored. I’m not sure my parents realized it either. The teacher/coach is the one who picked up on it. Maybe a meeting with a teacher that seems to “get” your child would help?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Woah, this was so much like me. My parents got me ‘enrichment’ at Kumon but they just had me do multiplication tables really fast — which didn’t stimulate my mind at all. So don’t do that, I guess.

      • We’ve done Mathnasium and liked it (kids AND me, which is key).

        One kid is bored and ahead in math (but just under the “gifted” threshold so no enrichment except on our dime). The other kid does the minimum and relies on being charming (and this is the one that scored higher on the WIPSI) ; oh hell no.

  9. Is this petty or legit? There are a LOT of issues I have with my job and workplace (I’m an attorney in private practice in a big city). But my #1 gripe is the fact that I don’t have an office, and my desk is 3×2. So tiny that it’s physically hard to work (and LOUD!)

    • This is legit. I don’t understand — I assumed you were going to say you were in an open concept office for a tech company. But an attorney in private practice?? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Is this just your situation or is this all attorneys? I know I’ve had friends go to boutique firms and initially be ticked off that they got a cube bc there weren’t any private offices left but ultimately within a few months all got the same kind of private office as their peers and the cubes were pretty huge with huge desks.

    • Yea that’s legit. I can’t imagine trying to work with that little space. Do you have a cube? I honestly can’t even picture this. Is it a super tiny firm?

      • No cube! We’re a tiny firm, 4 associates and 2 partners in a space that is not meant for a law firm. Unfortunately the firm has been in this space for almost 10 years.

    • What sort of workspace do your colleagues have?

      • Pretty much the same. Partners have giant offices though.

        • Okay, so do your colleagues feel this way as well? Is there a second workspace you can adopt as your own so that you have space for storage, etc.?

    • Legit. Your job requires a lot of concentration. You need quite and space to spread out your papers.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      As I’ve moved through my career, I’ve learned that my physical work space is very important in my ability to do my job and to enjoy my life while doing it. That kind of environment would make me start job hunting. To balance, I’m in tech, so job hunting is not the production and challenge it is in law. But that is appalling.

    • anon associate :

      This is insane. I’d quit. I require 30 sq feet to work, apparently, but this is absolutely not standard in law. I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this.

  10. Any recommendations for books about couples conflict resolution?
    In this case, conflict is not related to differing love languages.

    • … What is the conflict related to?

    • Hard to give great advice without more context for what you need, but I read “The 10-Second Miracle” by Gay Hendricks over the summer and found it pretty useful while my partner and I were in a rough patch. I had to turn off a lot of my regular snobbishness to read it–the writing is pretty hokey and some of the claims (not to mention the title) are absurd–but the basic premise was sound.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Anything by John Gottman is great. The Relationship Cure is about all relationships, not just marriages. Not focused on conflict, per se, but just a lot of good solid advice about how to improve your interaction.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I recently read Crucial Conversations and found it incredibly helpful in working out better ways to talk through tough things with my wife. I recommend it.

    • Anonymous :

      thanks everyone! I will check out these books

  11. At the risk of sounding like borrowing trouble, I was wondering if anyone had any promotion/salary/annual review advice for me. I joined my company at an entry level 1.5 years ago and now am in the process of my first annual review. From my talks with my mgr a consideration for a promotion to Sr. [title] is on the table based on my work, and raises/promotion raises are all worked out and approved before being presented to me (probably in dec). I have a good idea of the market rate of what sr. [title] should be getting based on research, but if my raise falls short of that, what’s a diplomatic way to ask for more $? Request an off cycle evaluation after making a task list of goals to reach that? Or bring up market rate/COL/my own accomplishments and ask to meet sooner?

    • I’d be interested to hear thoughts on this as well. I’m in a similar situation where I may be receiving a promotion plus a raise. If I receive a promotion, my raise will be more, but either way, I’m in line for a raise.

      My thought is that it may be useful to present your salary expectations in advance. Rather than waiting until the meeting where it’s presented to you, could it be helpful to present your thoughts when the raise/promotion is being worked out and approved, rather than after it’s been presented?

      But then, if you present your salary expectations as if you’re getting the promotion, and then you DON’T get the promotion, how does that work? Does a company view you unfavorably?

      The feminist in me wants to advocate for myself and ask for the raise I think is justified, but I’m embarrassingly scared of how that would be perceived, which is holding me back.

      • Thank you that is what I was thinking and more. I really thought about bringing it up but I’m leaning against it, for the reasons you mentioned. My mgr’s decisions go up 2 more levels for approval so it’s not like I would get a clear answer either way.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Keep in mind that most decisions about raises and promotions occur at least 1-2 levels above you, and during the time when annual budgets are set. If you wait until “the meeting” you are too late, and there’s not often much that can be done.

        Make your case ahead of the budgeting process, whenever that is at your company. Note that this may be MONTHS before any announcements or notifications.

    • While I am fully in support of advocating for yourself & making as much as you can, I’d caution you to tread a little lightly on this one. It sounds like you just started working, and most companies don’t pay based on market data – they have their own salary structure, and asking for a raise based on the market or COLA after a year and change is a little tone deaf in most places. Even if they’re giving you a “senior” title, you’re not really “senior” with less than 2 years under your belt. What I’d recommend is talking about your salary/bonus when you have the promotion conversation with your manager and getting a sense for how your organization does things. You should also just talk to your coworkers/colleagues & try to figure out if you’re being compensated similarly to those at your level. If you discover a huge discrepancy, then bring it up.

    • The way to go on this can vary a lot based on office culture. In my organization (large not-for-profit academic medical center), raises are gauged to annual performance reviews, but are fairly small. Promotions are the only way to get larger raises, but even those tend to be in the 10% range. I’ve promoted a team member, and I’ve had a team member promoted into another business unit. For the internal promotion, there was no opportunity to negotiate. For the promotion across business units, there was.

      I would advise that you ask your manager about the whole annual performance review process. You can ask her to walk you through the timeline and help you understand what to expect. When you discuss the possibility of promotion, you can ask how your organization generally handles salary increases for promotions. There may be strict guidelines in place, and it’s better for you to understand that from the outset.

      Also, no matter what you learn in that conversation, I can advise you to never bring up COL when discussing your salary. Talk about your accomplishments. Talk about the value you bring to the company. Talk about market rate. If COL were enough, everyone would get a bigger raise. As your manager, I need to know why you should get a bigger raise.

      • JuniorMinion :

        +1 The only time ive done COLA successfully is when moving to a higher COL area for a job….

  12. Has anyone tried the Everlane pull on GoWeave skirt? I like the casual way it hangs – sort of like a skirt Madewell used to make. There aren’t many reviews out there though and would love to hear firsthand. Thanks!

    • I have a GoWeave dress that I LOVE. The fabric isn’t as magically wrinkle-repelling as Everlane suggests, but it moves beautifully, feels great, and so far seems very sturdy.

  13. Can I ask for help, especially for the fashionable ladies here who are over 40? I need to be talked out of the mentality that this is when I should spend more on clothes because this is when “my body looks good.” I’m around 30. It feels like something I’ve been programmed to think, and I’d like to make an alternative narrative.

    • Actually please strike “fashionable ladies” and insert “women.” I miss the edit button.

    • Flats Only :

      This is confusing. If you look great now, spend whatever you want on clothes. If you don’t feel like you look so great 10 years from now, spend whatever you want on clothes. My experience is that when I was young and “thin” I didn’t have as much money as I would have liked for clothes, and now that I am old and “fat” I have plenty to spend. Oh well. You may find, as many do, that your body does not change radically between 30 and 40. Also keep in mind that even with “investment pieces” styles change and so that classic, high-quality blazer you buy now may be in great shape in 10 years, but the styling may be all wrong.

    • Alternate narrative: time value of money means every dollar you save now is more valuable for your retirement than every dollar you save at 45. What you decide to spend on clothing should be based on what your retirement and savings goals, not based on some narrative that you look good in expensive clothes. Expensive =/= looks good.

    • I am also confused. Who is telling you that you must spend lots of money on clothes in your 30s before you get old and fat? The message I am getting from the marketing machine is just that everyone should spend all their money on clothes, not specifically that the 30s are the best decade in which to do so.

      • Probably the “do it now” is my own layer to justify the expenditure :). And what’s changed is I finally have disposable income (though not enough that I feel like retirement and kids’ college are in the bag), so now there’s actually a choice of where to put the money, as opposed to not very much money anyway. I have an emergency fund, am maxing retirement, and am 1/3 toward a down payment, for context; clothes money comes out of any “extra” retirement savings.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Do it if it’s the way you want to spend your money. If retirement is covered and you don’t have anything you’d rather spend on, then knock yourself out.

          But the whole subtext about “I’m gonna be old and ugly later” is making me twitch, I have to admit. Ugh.

          • Yes, I hate that subtext, too, and I think that’s what’s giving me pause. Maybe all I need to do is remember that I plan to be as fabulous as you are when I’m in my 50s and beyond, and there will be plenty of clothes to adore then, too.

          • Also, I’m honored that I got a Senior Attorney response! Thank you :)

        • Anonymous :

          Why not just budget an amount for clothes, like you do for vacations, rather than feel like you’re having to decide against your retirement every time you want to buy a sweater?

      • Anonymous :

        I’m also confused. I’ve never heard any message that tie how much money should be spent on clothes to an age — particularly if that idea is based on the thought that “old people” don’t have the bodies to look good in more expensive clothes. Wut?

    • IMO, spending $ on clothes is for when your body *doesn’t* look good.

      And I think that those days are before me, not now. When those days are here, I plan to be very regal and/or fantastic (Akris?) and will budget for that.

      • Haha, thank you. That helps.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Ha! Funny you should mention that. I’m reasonably happy with my body but I’ve decided that this year I’m going to bite the bullet and get some fantastic Akris!

        • Akrisophile :

          There is a resale market for Akris (therealreal e.g.). Literally the only reason I swagger around in a fabulous Akris blazer.

      • I couldn’t agree more. When I was more trim and fit, I could walk in any discount store, outlet, or fast fashion purveyor and find something off the rack that looked good on me. Now, having let myself go, I need a lot more structure, tailoring, and quality in cut and fabric to really look good in clothes. I also regret having a bunch of clothes in good condition that no longer fit rather than having purchased fewer, worn them to death, and having more $$ in the bank. I regret that a lot. My best advice — spend your time, effort, and money now on physical and financial fitness. It’s hard to go backwards on those.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Sing it, sister.

        Signed, shortly turning 45.

    • I’m your age and have never heard that. The fact that your “body looks good” has zero to do with what you should spend on clothes. I looked amazing when I was 22 but bought $10 sweaters at Forever 21. I don’t even begin to understand the mindset you’ve described.

      • I think there is something that happens when you’re in your early 30s and it’s maybe less that you should spend money while you still look good and more than you should buy all the things you can while you still look good. I agree that the time to spend money is when less things look good. When I was in my 20s I bought the most random stuff for $3 and it looked amazing.

        For OP, spend what you’re comfortable spending given your budget. I’m 36 and at around 30 I probably upgraded a few things that needed upgrading from my 20s. One thing I noticed is there were some things that I felt comfortable wearing at 30 that feel a bit twee on me 5-6 years later. It’s hard to pinpoint why, maybe styles changed. It’s not like turning 35 makes you dress like an old person. But maybe something to keep in mind as far as how you choose to spend your money. My cashmere sweaters are still going strong. My fun print dresses from Anthropologie are hit or miss.

    • I am a few years older than you. You do not “need” to spend more on clothes, ever. You do need to save and pay down any debt.

      When you get older, it’s harder to find clothes that flatter, and it is very easy to look frumpy or the bad matronly. At your age, a black pencil skirt and a nice t-shirt looks great for most offices. Why spend more money when you would look good in anything?

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I actually think you ~should~ spend on clothes now (as in, buy all the clothes, not spend more for each piece), and care about being fashioanble, when you are in shape. I would buy all the clothes I can get away with now. I wish I had worn more form-fitting stuff more frequently before I had a baby and the mom-pooch to go with it.

  14. Florida Keys :

    Please tell me about the Florida keys! I am thinking of taking my mom there for her 75th birthday in February (I have to be in Miami for a conference right after, and she loves Florida but has never been to the Keys (and neither have I – I don’t even know where to start)). Looks like the drive from Miami is 3.5 hours – would you recommend flying, or is it a pretty drive? Which area should we go to? Key West? I’m hoping to find an Airbnb as I think my sibling will be joining too. She’s pretty active and will probably enjoy walking around, going out on a fishing trip, and drinking many margaritas (because when you’re turning 75 you can do whatever you want).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      If I recall, Key West emerged pretty OK after the hurricane, but the roads and bridges to get there were not so great. I flew in from Miami and it was a lovely flight. No other particular advice: (I was just there for a meeting, but) I drank margaritas and wandered around looking at pretty buildings and I saw the Hemingway cats.

    • A few years ago, I stayed at a lovely place called Tranquility Bay in Marathon. They have some normal hotel rooms, but we got a place that was more like a condo/townhouse with a kitchen. There are grocery stores nearby and a convenience store right across the street. It is not nearly as far from Miami as Key West. It’s next door to a turtle hospital (the tour was really good), has a few pools, a beach and a few restaurants, although we did breakfast and lunch in our kitchen every day. We also chartered a boat nearby for fishing one day.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Yes, I would do research on the status of the roads and bridges before making your travel plans. I have friends who love Key West and go every couple of years. I’d have some very specific questions for any AirBnB about hurricane damage as well.

    • Hi – I visited the Keys with 2 of my girl friends several years ago as sort of a “mini bar trip” and it was great. I would definitely recommend the drive rather than flying as we turned it into a bit of a road trip and saw all sorts of interesting things on the way — stopped at a famous fruit stand, some sort of “castle” made out of coral, a few parks in the Keys, etc.

      We stayed in Key West but away from the main main strip a few blocks, which is more pleasant — it was very walkable, which is always something I enjoy in my vacations. No housing recommendations because we just stayed at a hotel — probably a Hilton or something similarly corporate.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I’ve never been all the way to Key West, but have driven from Ft Lauderdale out to Islamorada. If I were going to KW, I’d probably try to fly. I didn’t think the drive was great— it’s a 2-lane road nearly the whole way and if there’s any traffic, or an accident, it can easily get backed up for miles and miles… with no alternative route.

      I’m on Team Fly.

  15. I am in my late 30s. I am nearsighted and have an astigmatism. I wear glasses during the week, contacts on the weekends. I also need to start wearing reading glasses. I had tried wearing a progressive lens glasses, and a multi-focus contact, but I was finding it was correcting my distance vision but making my near vision too blurry. At my last eye exam, I switched to regular lenses and contacts, but I also got a pair of prescription reading glasses to use at work, and I need to wear non-prescription readers with my contacts. It’s just a lot of accessories. My eye doctor said I was a good candidate for LASIK, but I would still need to wear reading glasses, and my vision would still deteriorate in the next ten years or so (although I would be deteriorating from better vision, as opposed to continuing to deteriorate from my poor vision). I am debating if it is worth it. I would love to only wear readers when needed, as opposed to the whole slew of glasses I am wearing now. But I am concerned with having a procedure done on my eyes, particularly experiencing side effects like halos and dryness. Anyone have experience, good or bad, with LASIK?

    • My only regret about LASIK in my late 30’s was that I hadn’t gotten it done sooner. I had some dryness and allergy issues in the first few months post-surgery, but those have since resolved. My doctor said that my night vision should stay about the same as it was pre-surgery and that’s been the case- slight increase in halos, but some of that is normal with age, I think. I just started wearing readers, but that’s not something that LASIK can fix. Overall, I’d do it again.

    • I had a similar laser-correction surgery that isn’t LASIK (PRK) done in February. Previous to that, I was extremely nearsighted with an astigmatism. Also, over the last decade, I gradually developed allergies to all contact solutions, including the fancy hypoallergenic ones, so I’m also familiar with a complicated correction strategy.

      You are right to be cautious: you only get one set of eyes, after all. But my surgery has been genuinely life-changing. 10/10 would recommend. Go to the very best doctor you can, someone who has performed thousands of these surgeries, and talk to them in detail about exactly what’s going to happen, what the risks are, and why they recommend what they recommend.

    • (Apologies if repost.)

      I had a similar laser-correction surgery that isn’t LASIK (PRK) done in February. Previous to that, I was extremely nearsighted with an astigmatism. Also, over the last decade, I gradually developed allergies to all contact solutions, including the fancy hypoallergenic ones, so I’m also familiar with a complicated correction strategy.

      You are right to be cautious: you only get one set of eyes, after all. But my surgery has been genuinely life-changing. 10/10 would recommend. Go to the very best doctor you can, someone who has performed thousands of these surgeries, and talk to them in detail about exactly what’s going to happen, what the risks are, and why they recommend what they recommend.

    • I had LASIK when I was 50 after years of struggling with multifocal contacts/progressives. I just got sick of the dance and tired of being unable to wear regular cute sunglasses.

      My only regret – NOT DOING IT SOONER!

      I needed reading glasses immediately but I don’t mind – my work is such that I can use the bit of gravitas that I feel they give me, and I can buy fun pairs for next to nothing.

      I complied with the recovery plan pretty diligently, resting, using eye drops and wearing sunglasses for the first month outdoors and have had ZERO problems.

      My brother had your same vision issues and had LASIK when he was about 40. LOVES IT.

      I say go for it!

    • Delta Dawn :

      I had LASIK and it was one of the best things I ever did. I have had no side effects with halos– I think the week after the procedure as my eyes adjusted, there were some, but after that, no problems. I do have more dryness than I did before, but the tradeoff, to me, is completely worth it. I keep a bottle of Renu rewetting saline drops in my bag, in my desk, and by my bed. I really only dependably need them in the morning when I wake up, when my eyes have been closed (and getting progressively more dry) overnight.

      IMPORTANT: I have learned to put a few drops in the corner of each eye every morning, while they are still closed, before I open them. This helps keep them from sticking to your eyelid and scratching your cornea when you first open your eyes in the morning. I learned this the hard way the first winter after I had LASIK, when the drier air made my eyelids stick to my eyeballs and cause scratching when I opened them in the mornings. The optometrist explained to me that this created a scratch much like how I might scratch my arm with my fingernail and that it would heal the same way my skin did (before she told me that, I was really freaked out about scratching my eye and thought it was a permanent damage situation– it’s not).

      That is my biggest (only?) side effect. I will need readers eventually, as most people do, but there’s no procedure (yet) to keep that from happening as we age. I cannot express how amazing it is, after years of waking up to blurry shapes, to open my eyes– my own eyes!! no contacts!– and be able to SEE. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    • Best thing I ever did in my life after marrying husband. Life changing.

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      Do it now! I was in the exact same situation two years ago and I went for the Lasik rather than contacts plus readers. Within two days of having the surgery completed I could see at a distance and read perfectly – much better than I had with glasses in a few years. A couple of days off work and that was it. Took a few weeks for the night vision to return (I was seeing a lot of halos) but that was the only thing I noticed past putting in all the eye drops for the month after surgery.

      You can do the traditional Lasik or you can do an alternative one called ASA, that actually does each eye a bit differently so one focuses on short vision and one long. My boyfriend had this version done at 48 (and wearing reading glasses over contacts) to not needing any correction to his vision.

      Hands down this was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and I wish I done it several years before.

    • Wow, thanks for the feedback! Time to start researching doctors!!!

    • Lasik was the closest thing to a miracle that I have ever personally experienced. And I’ve been in love and birthed children. Do it.

  16. Kids and "giftedness" scores :

    Private schools in our area make you get a WIPSI test for kids for entering kindergarten. We did that and both kids were in the 95-99% range. They went to a daycare that was very nurturing and sweet but not terribly academically focused. We went to public school anyway (large urban system, but we were supposed to be in a good district).

    We just got some “giftedness” screening results back and the kid with the higher entering-K score is now scoring below the school’s gifted threshold (which impacts enrichment activities and eventually middle school choices). Kid is only in second grade. The 15 point drop is really concerning though. In 3 years, did they somehow break her? Was the earlier score an outlier? The school will retest in a year.

    I’m all sorts of conflicted. Maybe get her tested privately just to see if she doesn’t have some latent learning challenge? Maybe give the school some side-eye? What would you do?

    Kid’s personality is just to coast, so I can see where kid is getting overlooked (obvious high flyers and troublemakers get the attention) may be something where we may be paying a high price for later.

    • Please don’t put your kid in gifted classes just out of some kind of imagined prestige thing. There is an entire curriculum designed specifically for neuro-typical kids. Gifted kids learn better with different teaching methods, but in far too many districts—particularly in upper-income areas—they are drowned out by upper average IQ kids whose parents wish they were “better”, so they push them into gifted classes where they either don’t fit in or make such a fuss that the curriculum is changed so the kids who are gifted, and therefor misfits in mainstream classrooms, are once again the misfits.

      • YES. This is a huge problem. I have a kid who is not just gifted but “exceptionally gifted,” and her district’s gifted services are completely useless to her because they are tailored to non-gifted high achievers.

        • I guess the bigger problem is that the parents of the high achievers aren’t wrong, you know? Their kids’ needs aren’t being met, either. And there are a lot more kids who are merely high achievers than there are ones who are exceptionally gifted, so I can totally see why a school district would be serving that group.

          I think that the closer to either end of the spectrum you are, the more you are probably better off for you kid going outside of public schools unless you are in a city big enough to have a good program just for that (mine has two for kids three standard deviations above some cut-off score, but both of which would require 45-min commutes both ways and have start times that keep you from doing any after school activities (9:30-4:30) (and never mind if you have siblings who don’t want that or don’t place into it)). 100% of the people I know who go there are either only kids, the mom doesn’t work, or both.

          • Anonymous :

            High achievers who are not gifted don’t belong in a gifted program.

          • Anonymous :

            But they belong somewhere. The label is a red herring. If a school district doesn’t meet the needs of the top 25% of its students, that is a big number and if the “gifted” program is better than nothing, then it will have to do.

            A district that isn’t meeting the needs of its to 20-25% of kids probably isn’t meeting the needs of the top 1% of students either, but my guess is that “your kid is going just fine” is what you get told (just like the mom here).

            It’s not right or fair. But it seems to be what is (universally).

      • Kids and "giftedness" scores :

        I have a friend’s wife who is “that parent,” so I’m pretty sure I’m not. But even if the prior score were 80 and the new score was 60, that is concerning, no?

        I have a sibling with a learning disability, and that was where my mind went first actually. Like something is not trending in the right direction and I’m not sure what is up. And given that she’s not failing, the school is unlikely to care and very likely to be dismissive.

        I am starting to think that this is where public schools really fail kids — the middle of the pack who are drifting and don’t get attention. The top is usually fine regardless. And the worst stuff they just want to keep from getting them on the late news. Ugh.

        If the only response you get is “give it another year and then we retest everyone,” what would you do in the year besides wait???

        • I don’t think some variance in the score is automatically concerning. There’s a lot of randomness in the tests from year to year and your child may have been out of it or under the weather on the test day(s) this ho round. If it went from 90 to 10 or something that might be troubling (although in the absence of concerning reports from the teacher, I’d immediately suspect kid just misaligned the bubbles on the scantron) but I certainly wouldn’t worry about 10-20 point drop, especially if the teacher hasn’t brought it up.

          • Kids and "giftedness" scores :

            Actually, the teacher has been out on leave. The class has just been having subs all month. I think with one dedicated sub, I might have some meaningful feedback, but no one person is there enough to really knows what is going on except that she isn’t being disruptive or getting sent to the office.

    • You realize not everyone can be gifted right? So your kid who scored 99% is now scoring 85%? It’s not the end of the world and it’s possible that as the work has gotten harder, it’s likely that your kid isn’t as much of a genius anymore.

    • I wouldn’t worry about the score alone – all the evidence seems to say intelligence test scores don’t stabilise until age 10 or so. Is she happy? Healthy? If her personality is to coast (or be bored or be a perfectionist, etc – I ran into all sorts at the middle school gifted programs I attended), is she developing strategies to address those issues?

    • Professionals with whom I have spoken seem to believe that the WPPSI results tend to be overly generous, especially for kids who are about 5 and older. It’s possible that a kid might not score as high if administered the WISC when older.

      That said, however, most school districts do a terrible job of identifying gifted kids. First, they often use screening tests such as the OLSAT for diagnostic purposes. These tests were only designed to identify a larger group of kids who might be gifted, who should then be tested with IQ tests such as the WISC to find out which ones are truly gifted. OLSAT scores correlate well with IQ scores near the mean, but not for gifted kids. On some of the screening tests, gifted kids who are early readers are actually at a disadvantage because the instructions are given only out loud and the kids are focusing on the written material. Our elementary school actively discouraged parents from having kids tested until about the third grade, and many kids who “failed” the test in first or second grade were restested and identified in third or fourth grade.

      If you believe your child is gifted, based not only on academic performance but also on personality traits and behavior, the only things you have to lose by having her privately tested are time and money. Depending on your district’s policy, you may or may not be able to submit the results of private testing as a supplement to the school’s testing. You should also be able to request a conference with the gifted coordinator, test administrator, or guidance counselor to review the results in detail and ask questions. If you want to try to prep her for next year’s retest, the Critical Thinking Company has some books that can help.

    • Kindly, I think you need to get some perspective. A kid in the 80th-85th percentile in no way has a “latent learning challenge.” That is WELL above average. Just because your kid is no longer testing as ubergifted doesn’t mean she will not do well in school or be very successful in life. I was “gifted” and I’m not sure I really turned out any different than the “normal” B+/A students. Did the C students do worse in life? Yeah, probably. But you kid is miles away from that.

      • Anonymous :

        As a gentle counter to this, when you test before a kid can read, you avoid any tipoff of reading challenges, etc. that often start showing up in early elementary school.

        I used to teach at a private school that is just for kids with learning disabilities (like dyslexia, ADHD, etc.). If an early screening says X and a later one once they can read says X minus a concerning amount, this is often what drove people who ultimately put their kid in our school. It’s something you can screen for and overcome. Watch for a kid who starts to hate school, is frustrated but can’t explain why to you, acts up, who hadn’t previously.

        Also, it is sometimes helpful to test your kid privately and then meet with the school (vs hoping that they will screen a kid who seems to be “fine”). Listen to your gut — you know your child best. If for nothing else, if you screen and restest, everything might be fine (or the kid had the sniffles, etc.).

        If it’s a catastrophic drop, to me, that is likely that they filled in an answer sheet wrong.

      • Anonymous :

        Look up the term “twice excepted”. I’ve been fighting with yet another guidance counselor to get her to understand that it is possible to have one issue with a type of learning or way of showing what you know, even when your overall abilities are far above average.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly it sounds like you are looking for reasons to get your kid out of the large urban supposed good district bc your kid isn’t being taught 1:1 and that has “broken” them. So get them out if you can afford it — go to a private school. If you are really the type of parent that equates better education with smaller class sizes, teachers who know you (the parent) personally, and upper income kids — private school is better for you. If you stay in this district you will spend the next 10 yrs questioning whether your kid could have gone to an Ivy had you put them in private school day 1.

    • My understanding is that testing for giftedness is not particularly reliable before 3rd grade (roughly). Up until then, it’s hard to tell whether a kid is actually gifted, or is just momentarily ahead of the curve but will regress to the mean over time. For that reason, I would not worry about the drop in test scores.

    • There’s no harm in private testing. I’m in the midwest and our school had no gifted program whatsoever, so we did Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development. Once my kids tested in, they could take weekend/summer classes there, plus advanced grade testing at an early age. The program offers other services to parents, such as seminars and help with advocacy. If your kid doesn’t test in, at least you will understand, as they will explain the results to you. I still don’t get the difference between the various labels, and I suspect the administrators at your schools don’t get it either. My kids are in high school now and we did eventually get a gifted program of sorts at our elementary school, and an advanced math track at the high school, just in time.

    • PatsyStone :

      I tested in and out of gifted programs. Elementary- out/Middle-in/High school-out. My parents basically told me that it was no big deal, I took it at that. I was jealous of my older, “certified gifted” sister, but now, 25-30 years later I turned out to be much more successful academically and professionally. In sum: it really doesn’t f***ing matter.

      • Anonymous :

        A gifted designation actually does matter if the kid is actually gifted and the gifted program is designed to meet the unique needs of gifted learners. If the “gifted program” consists of a one-hour weekly pull-out session or extra busywork, it doesn’t matter.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop testing your babies for intelligence.

  17. Subtle Halloween :

    So my kid is doing well in school, has been moved back up to one honors class after last years illness took him down a notch, and is working hard to move up in other classes. I don’t want to undermine that or violate the school’s policy of no distracting Halloween costumes. Buuuuuuuuut, it would be fun to wear a subtle nod to the day. I can almost recall great “costumes” that were really just one perfect accessory, color combo, or hair style. Almost but not quite.

    Can you help jar my memory?

    • Subtle Halloween :

      Since posting that, I’ve thought of two—

      Baggy green T-shirt, snacks sticking out of his backpack= Shaggy. But he won’t like the idea of being a drug user.

      White collared shirt and glasses = Clark Kent. But he’d rebel at the stiffness and uncomfortableness.

      So I’m still looking for more ideas, please!

    • Aw, this is sweet! How old is he? Favourite shows, hobbies, cultural references?

      • Subtle Halloween :

        Thanks for asking! He’s a high school sophomore. A total geek but doesn’t want to admit it. His favorite thing is the online game TF2, which is pretty obscure, I think. He plays basketball at the Y. He used to like LEGO a lot, and did a bunch of the robotics-type programs and camps. Idk if he’d want to out himself that way or if the cuteness of a subtle LEGO tie-in could win him over.

        • If he’s 15 years old maybe let him dress himself?

        • lawsuited :

          A friend recently silkscreened (but I’m sure a sharpie would work as well) some t-shirts in primary colours with 6 circles – each with “LEGO” written inside it – so he can be a LEGO brick.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Check out Disneybounding for inspiration! (I just learned about it and am fascinated!) Adults aren’t supposed to wear costume-costumes to Disneyland, so they make regular clothes that allude to their favorite characters.

      • Subtle Halloween :

        That sound promising. Thanks!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Some of these are so fun!

          • Subtle Halloween :

            Hahaha—earlier this week, he put on a new shirt in the dark, didn’t realize til lunchtime that it wasn’t black. It was exactly the color of that Quasimodo costume.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Also look for “casual cosplay (insert character name),” since Disneybounding does focus on Disney characters.

    • I am sure you mean well. But I think there are lots of ways to make your kid’s Halloween fun at home without coming up with an almost-costume that puts him in a tricky spot at school. If I’m misunderstanding and he’s driving this train, then good for him! But I’d divert your almost-costume brainstorming into what *you* can wear that day–it sounds like this is fun for you, too–and only help him if he’s looking to use this outlet.

      That said, my mother is a middle-school teacher in a no-costumes-allowed district, and every Halloween she wears vampire teeth all day. She has a very good poker face and doesn’t do anything to draw attention to the fangs, but the kids *love* it. Vampire teeth may be too much for a kid to navigate all day in a similar situation (though easily removed if someone tsks him), but in principle I agree with your notion that a single element can go a long way.

      • Subtle Halloween :

        Your second paragraph is dead-on target. A single element that works well would be great, but vampire teeth would probably be too much

        What he wears is his choice. We’ve talked about this, and come up empty, because our ideas (Mario Bros, minions) were all too overt.

    • How old is your son? Does he even want to wear a costume? It sounds like he is old enough to make this decision himself…

      • Subtle Halloween :

        It’s been his decision for a long time. I’m “that Mom” whose kid wore striped pants, shirt, and jacket, all different colors, to first grade when he wanted to. He knows he doesn’t want to wear anything too costume-y (like the Superman T-shirt under a white oxford), and we haven’t been able to come up with anything subtler. So I’m hoping to get some ideas from the hive mind and then let him take it from there.

        • Anonymous :

          The striped shirt comment made me think of Where’s Waldo. That could be fun and easy and deniable!

    • A nod to Halloween that isn’t a costume – why not a pumpkin t shirt or skeleton t shirt? I doubt anyone would have a problem with it. If they did, he could always throw a sweatshirt over top.

      • Subtle Halloween :

        Sounds good to me! I’ll mention it to him, but wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks they sound “little kiddish”. (Eyeroll!)

    • Do kids his age like The Office? You could tape 3 black circles up and down the side of his shirt and he could be Three Hole Punch Jim :P

  18. I had a similar laser-correction surgery that isn’t LASIK (PRK) done in February. Previous to that, I was extremely nearsighted with an astigmatism. Also, over the last decade, I gradually developed allergies to all contact solutions, including the fancy hypoallergenic ones, so I’m also familiar with a complicated correction strategy.

    You are right to be cautious: you only get one set of eyes, after all. But my surgery has been genuinely life-changing. 10/10 would recommend. Go to the very best doctor you can, someone who has performed thousands of these surgeries, and talk to them in detail about exactly what’s going to happen, what the risks are, and why they recommend what they recommend.

  19. How do you reach your spouse in an emergency? I was in a (thankfully minor) car accident early this morning and couldn’t get ahold of DH for 4 hours because he was asleep and we sleep with our cell phones on silent and don’t have a landline. It made me realize we need a better system in case something more serious happens. Should we get a landline and not give anyone the #? If we don’t silence our phones, we regularly get bothered late at night by spam calls and also calls from family who don’t respect “don’t call between 10 pm and 8 am” but maybe we need to deal with the occasional annoyance in exchange for being reachable in an emergency.

    • depending on your phone – I know iPhones have like, an emergency bypass/DND setting you can arrange. where the phone will still be silent for all the calls you don’t want, but you can allow certain contacts (Mom, Dad, Spouse, Kids) telephone calls to get through.

      that way you know if the certain contact is calling, it’s important and you will receive the phone call.

    • The Frenchie Is My Favorite Kid :

      I have both iPhone and Android phones and they both have a setting that allows you to choose: (1) a list of people whose calls are always rung through, even if the phone is on Do Not Disturb (side note, you should set Do Not Disturb settings instead of putting your phone on silent while you are sleeping; mine is set for 10 pm – 7 am and during this time my phone automatically mutes notifications/calls/etc); and/or (2) a “repeat call” feature designed for THIS purpose whereby if a call comes from the same number within a certain number of minutes the phone rings (the idea being that in an emergency people will try to call multiple times in a row).

      There is readily available technology to help you :)

      I have these settings in case my older parents or one of our children calls while I’m sleeping, for example – they’d only call then if it was an emergency.

    • You should be able to set Do Not Disturbs that let who is on your favorites ring through if they call a certain number of times.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I use an app called Nights Keeper. It has a feature where you can “whitelist” certain contacts who will override the silent setting. You can also set an emergency setting where if someone calls x times in x minutes, it will audibly ring.

    • I’m the only 37 yr old I know with a landline – but yeah – a landline. About 3 people have that number and I never give out that number anywhere, made it unlisted, and signed up for do not call so it’s not like I’m getting telemarketers all the time either.

    • See if your phone has a function that provides for specified phone numbers to break through the silent setting. Most do. (Note that if you are people who need to silence phones for, say, the courtroom, you’ll need to actually turn the phone off rather than to silent to avoid any potential interruptions.)

    • Put your phones on Do Not Disturb mode rather than full-silent, and make sure anyone whose call you would want to hear no matter what hour is in your Favorites list.

      If you get a landline, even if you don’t give anyone the number, you will receive constant spam calls.

    • I think I wouldn’t be quite as concerned about this considering your situation and that true emergencies are likely a rarity for you/your family and most things can wait a few hours. BUT….

      I take care of a disabled family member. We never, ever turn off our phones except when we are at a concert/performance, and then turn them back on immediately afterwards (and check during intermission) and we alert everyone in the family when this time of phones off will be. When I am in a work situation where I should have the phone off (conference), I still keep it with me and check it regularly.

      It is a pain in the butt for me to remember all the time to check my phone/texts regularly through the day and to really look every time I receive one. But I don’t get a lot of random calls/texts during the day from friends etc… for this reason. They should not be bothering me during the day anyway when I’m at work, right? That’s my personality though and do not encourage this with friends. I know the younger generation is different.

      But we have a rule… that if family try to call me and I don’t respond, call again immediately and text immediately. Hopefully I will pick up/hear multiple calls in a row and know that is the family calling. Other than having your sleeping husband wear some sort of alerting system, I don’t know of another option.

      For me, a family member needing to go the ER or being critically ill is a really high possibility, so my stress response is really heightened and I every time my phone rings I have a minor stress response. It really, really, really, really sucks, and I don’t recommend it as a way to live.

      • Wow. Ignore this.

        All of the other posts are really helpful!

        • Subtle Halloween :

          Why the negativity? She made it very clear that there are circumstances that require this. Anyone who’s had a baby in daycare can probably relate to it.

          • Triangle Pose :

            I think both the above are the same Anonymous – she posted about her circumstances then realized the other answers are more applicable/what the OP is looking for.

    • If the disability settings on an phone, there is the option to flash the light (the lights that’s flashing when you take a picture with flash or when you turn on the flashlight) as a notification when the phone rings or receives a text. I like this because it’s more noticeable to me than a noise- and it will definitely wake me up if the phone is on my bedstand. Fair warning that if you work in close proximity to other people, it will drive them bananas.

    • I have do not disturb on my iPhone set so that certain calls come through (husband, parents, brother, brother’s partner, etc.).

  20. Baconpancakes :

    I have a dark pumpkin-colored cashmere sweater I love, but I usually feel a little awkward pairing it with anything other than jeans, and obviously I don’t wear it with black. Can anyone give me outfit ideas?

  21. Had a minor fender bender a few months ago. My fault and my car insurance paid. Now the person I hit (who is a lawyer I found out through google) is calling me demanding $3,000 for diminishied value of his car. Says he will take me to small claims court to get it if I don’t pay immediately. Is this a thing? So annoying. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Anonymous :

      Diminished value is a thing, but insurance companies don’t like to pay it and it’s a pain to try to get and I think up to him to prove the diminished value. He should have filed a specific claim for it with your insurance company.

    • Anonymous :

      Call your insurer and tell them; they will handle as related to the claim stemming from the accident a few months ago. Don’t talk to him directly again.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      If the insurance paid him, then he probably signed a release so can’t sue you anymore. Report it to your insurance company.

    • Call your insurance company & have them deal with it. That’s not a thing, but they should step in for you.

      • Anonymous :

        It definitely is a thing in some jurisdictions. In my state, the paying insurer is required to pay it. The amount offered can be substantially lower than the actual loss, though, so you have to negotiate. Also see the note above about release if the claim has been settled, which may or may not apply here.

  22. Looking for Montreal recommendations. Headed there with 2 girlfriends next week for 3 nights. Staying in Old Quebec. TIA!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Eat all the poutine! And bagels! And smoked meat from Schwartz’s deli!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Old Montreal is such a great place for walking around for hours. If you like to shop, check out Delano Boutique – they have a great range of stuff and the stylists will make you look amazing (70 Rue Saint Paul Ouest).

      I also recently had a great dinner at Salumi Vino.

      In downtown Montreal, wonderful breakfast at Universel (on Peel), also loved the upscale diner vibe at Deville Dinerbar (on Stanley) and amazing time (the funghi pizza!) at Wienstein and Gavino (on Crescent).

      Also, the de rigeur trip to Schwartz’s for smoked meat.

    • Senior Attorney :

      By all means go to the Basilica, and make sure you venture behind the main altar and see the beautiful, beautiful little chapel in back. My husband won’t even set foot in most churches/cathedrals because he says they’re all alike, but he says the Montreal Basilica is in his top two with the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

      We did a fun bicycle tour with Fitz and Follwell and really enjoyed it.

    • OMG – I went there this past May with a group of girls and it is my new favorite city. We did a bike tour with Fitz & Follwell and that was a fantastic way to learn about the city, some history, and just generally explore. I hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years, so that was also part of the adventure. Besides eating all of the food, I highly recommend the bike tour.

    • Anonymous :

      Eat at Nora Gray. Everything was good, but especially recommend the pastas, if you like pasta.

    • Anonymous :

      Eat at Nora Gray. Sorry if this is a duplicate. My last post seems to have gotten lost and it is too good not to try twice to recommend.

  23. Bostonian :


    I am there 2nd week of November and quite annoyed to see that Fall colors would be gone and winter won’t be quite there yet in its beauty, so folks I asked said I am going to get bored for my 10 days there :( Any tips in or around Montreal VERY welcome!

    • Bostonian :

      this was in response to LHW re Montreal, sorry!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      10 days might be a lot, to be honest. Do you have to stay in Montreal the entire time?

      It is about 3 hours drive to Quebec City or a little more than 2 hours to Ottawa, both of which are great places to visit. Alternatively, even though it will not yet be ski season, you might enjoy Mont Tremblant (about 1.5 hours) or, my personal suggestion, the Eastern Townships. North Hatley is lovely (the Clintons spent some time there in the summer) and there are other cute towns around, including Lennoxville (Go Bishop’s!).

    • Anonymous :

      Visit Mont Tremblant and Ottawa or Quebec City – easy 1-2 day side trips.

      In Montreal I like Simons for shopping and I love the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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