Tag Archives: wisdom


The “Wisdom” series presents observations spoken by experienced grandmothers that should be heard by all mothers.


“Did you ever think about how many nursery rhymes include the action of falling in them?,” a wise grandmother asked me.  She confidently replied that it is because “we all fall down,” which also happens to be the last line in “Ring around the Rosie.”  She explained that through singing these rhymes over and over again, children get familiar with the reality that we all fall.  This familiarity may provide comfort and diminish fear.  Even one of the earliest rhymes sung to an infant, “Rock A Bye Baby,” includes this theme.  Through these rhymes the mother is also reminded that falling is part of growing up and playing.  Even mothers need to be reminded that “we all fall down!


So much of babies’ motor skill development includes falling.  Falling when learning to crawl, falling when learning to sit, and falling when learning to walk.  The falling is part of the learning process.  As balance, strength, and coordination improve the falling decreases.  Below are some of the favorite nursery rhymes which include the movement of falling in them. If you think of another one, please send it to me and we will add it to the list.


Rock a bye baby
on the tree tops
when the wind blows
the cradle will rock
when the bow breaks
the cradle will fall
and down will come baby
cradle and all.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Jack and Jill went up a hill
to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down
and broke his crown
and Jill came tumbling after.

Ring around the Rosie
pocket full of posie
ashes to ashes
we all fall down!



“How About Better Parents?” by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, 11/19/11.

Thomas L. Friedman, three time Pulitzer Prize winning author for The New York Times, recently published an opinion article on the subject of parenting.  In recent times we hear and read so much about the need for better teachers, Friedman begins, but new studies show “parents more focused on their children’s education can also make a huge difference in a student’s achievement.”  The op-ed article, “How about better parents,” discusses how current research indicates that students who perform better in school do so because of parent involvement at home.

“How do we know?,” Friedman asks.   “Every three years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., conducts exams as part of the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in the world’s leading industrialized nations on their reading comprehension and ability to use what they’ve learned in math and science to solve real problems — the most important skills for succeeding in college and life.”  Compared with students in Singapore, Finland and Shanghai, America’s 15-year-olds have not been performing as well in the PISA exams.

A PISA research team was formed to better understand why some students thrive taking the PISA tests and others do not.  A study was conducted with 5,000 parents spanning 18 industrialized countries.  Encouraged to look beyond the classroom, researchers asked parents about how they raised their kids and then compared that with test results.  One of the main findings of this research revealed the parent who read to their child early on improved the school performance of their child more so than the parent who just played with the child, regardless of socioeconomic background.  Friedman’s point is that parents more involved at home make the teacher more effective and results in improved learning.

We embrace this philosophy with Stellar Caterpillar lessons.  From the first days of the infant’s life, parents learn to guide their baby at home in a way that improves motor skill.  Parents become the babies’ first teachers through gentle and consistent movements at home.  In time, baby emerges coordinated, confident, and strong!





The “Wisdom” series presents observations spoken by experienced grandmothers that should be heard by all mothers.


“I always put my baby down for a nap at the same time everyday in the playpen with a soft book,” firmly stated my friend who is a mother of four, grandmother of nine, and great-grandmother of one.  In our discussions about babies over the last couple of years, I think she emphasized this statement at least fifty times.  Her point was always the same:  babies need routine and a space of their own to unwind and eventually nap.  She insisted that babies get used to the cues of being put in a playpen and handed a soft book which signal “nap time.”  She was fortunate that it worked so well for each of her four children.

She discussed the importance of allowing the baby some time to quiet himself with a soft book and ease himself to sleep.  Some babies can only fall asleep when held, and when they get bigger and heavier this is very difficult for the mother.  It is valuable to teach baby to ease into a nap while in his own protected space where the distractions are minimized and the surroundings are familiar.  Of course, not all babies will adapt to this method, but it is worth trying.  If it works, it becomes a very healthy ritual for both the mother and the baby.


  • putting baby down at the same time each day
  • placing him in the playpen
  • handing him a familiar soft book



The “Wisdom” series presents observations spoken by experienced grandmothers that should be heard by all mothers.


I went to a party in Hollywood on Saturday night.  It was a birthday party for a friend who had just won a couple of Grammys for his music.  When I attend a party, everyone I meet is intrigued by this work with babies and eager to learn about it.  This party was no exception.  I struck up a conversation with a lovely British woman named Hazel, another kind of “Grammy,” who has raised two children and now has four grandchildren.  Hazel recounted one of her own stories that contained a pearl of wisdom I would like to share.  While an infant, her first born daughter developed a rash on her upper back near her shoulder.  It would not go away and Hazel took her to the pediatrician to get a prescription ointment of some kind.

She was shocked when the wise doctor looked first at her baby girl, then turned to her and asked, “Have you been buying her expensive clothes?”  Hazel recounted her embarrassed reply, “I sheepishly smiled at him and said a quiet “Yes”.”  He then instructed her, “I want you to go out and buy a few simple cotton dresses – very plain dresses made of cotton with no embroidery, no ribbons, no snaps, and no buttons.  Those are the things that are irritating her skin when she moves.”  Hazel said, “He was right.  I did exactly as he told me and the rash went away.  From that day forward, I dressed her in designer baby clothing only for taking pictures and plain cotton dresses for moving around.  She was much happier because she was more comfortable.  And I was happier as well.”

P.S.  As I shared this story with another experienced Grandmother, she said, “Oh, and the labels!  I used to always cut them out because they can be irritating as well.”


The “Wisdom” series presents observations spoken by experienced grandmothers that should be heard by all mothers.


While I was visiting a friend in her mid-70′s who raised four children and has nine grandchildren, she recounted an incident from the previous evening.  While out at dinner with her husband they were distracted by a family nearby.  The crying baby and fussy toddler jostled my friends’ focus away from reading menus.  Soon, the family stood up and left the restaurant with their unhappy children.  My friend recounted the story in a very matter-of-fact voice, “I saw these fussy children after 8:00 at night, and I turned to [my husband] and said “Those children ought to be home in bed!  It is PAST their bedtime!”  She proceeded to explain the routine of putting her babies to sleep.  She proudly described  how careful she was to put them down in a playpen for naps at about the same time every day.  “This generation,” she mused while shaking her head “wants to continue doing everything they did before they had a baby.”