Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Last week on The Bold & the Beautiful, what everyone who has ever watched a soap before expected to happen… happened. Newlywed Ridge learned that the vasectomy he’d neglected to mention to his much younger, baby-rabies infected wife, Caroline, was irreversible. While Caroline learned that she was pregnant.

She flashed back to the night she accidentally spent with Ridge’s son, Thomas. (Hey, Ridge and Caroline were on a break! And Caroline had taken some anxiety medication. And drunk alcohol on top of it.)

“Oops,” Caroline thought.

B&B does deserve kudos for flipping the script here somewhat. While the pregnancy was a done deal from the moment Caroline suddenly developed an all-encompassing interest in procreation, Ridge confessed his vasectomy to Brooke, and the virile (and very tall) Thomas (Caroline’s ex) returned to town, the traditional, soap-opera narrative would have had Caroline passing the baby off as Ridge’s, while Ridge secretly fumed and plotted revenge against his son and wife (and/or clung to her by accepting the baby as his own and never letting Thomas or Caroline know the truth. Though, of course, on soaps, never is usually about a year.)

Instead, on Monday, Ridge confessed about the vasectomy to Caroline, telling her that he knew how important having a child was to her and, if she wanted, under the circumstances, they could pretend that their marriage had never happened. (But we all had such a good time at the reception!)

Now the ball – and the lies – are in Caroline’s court. What will she do, what will she do?

It’s a fresh twist on an old story.

On the other hand, Caroline shouldn’t despair quite yet. The show did buy itself some paternity wiggle room by having Caroline say she’d gotten her period in between sleeping with Thomas and marrying Ridge. (Fun fact: Ridge’s mother, Stephanie, convinced Eric to marry her because she was pregnant with the baby who grew up to be Ridge. Stephanie was convinced Eric was Ridge’s father, and not Massimo, whom Stephanie had also slept with, because she’d gotten her period in between. But that turned out to have only been implantation bleeding, and Ridge was Massimo’s, after all. And now don’t you feel like you know way too much about the menstrual cycles of imaginary people?)

But the most important fact Ridge and Caroline have going for them is that, on soap-operas, vasectomies… don’t exactly… take.

Read all about it at:

Friday, September 25, 2015


Believe it or not, I wrote this post the day before Yom Kippur, and didn't see the connection until the next day... duh....


Last week on General Hospital, Sonny got shot. A common occupational hazard with mobsters, even ones who’ve somehow become the town’s moral center and most-beloved citizen. Sonny was shot while trying to rescue TJ, who’d been kidnapped due to his association with Sonny. When TJ’s mom, the police commissioner, tried to point this out, TJ got huffy and reminded his mother that Sonny was the greatest person who ever lived – end of discussion.

Meanwhile, over at the hospital (before it was all about mobsters, General Hospital used to be about a… hospital), Carly, the woman Sonny was about to marry for the fifth time (see: Couples Who Can’t StayTogether… or Apart), was holding bedside vigil alongside Sonny’s three sons.

Said sons included:

  • Dante, whom Sonny once shot in the chest for the crime of being a cop carrying out his duties and trying to serve Sonny with an arrest warrant (but this was before Sonny knew Dante was his son, so the shooting was totally justified, just as long as the cop was somebody else’s child)
  • Michael, whom Sonny adopted after hanging Michael’s biological father, AJ, on a meat-hook and forcing him to sign the papers then, years later, killed AJ in cold blood
  • Morgan, whose girlfriend, Ava, Sonny slept with and fathered a child by, then accused Morgan of murdering the man who was about to reveal Morgan’s affair with Denise, whom Morgan thought was Ava’s twin sister but was, in fact, Ava herself.
Prior to Sonny’s latest shooting, Morgan was spitting mad at his dad about the whole, he thinks I’m a killer thing, while Michael had gone so far as to sue Sonny for custody of his and Ava’s daughter, Avery, because of the danger Sonny’s lifestyle posed to a little girl. (Michael should know, being Sonny’s child got him a bullet to the head and a coma that turned himfrom red-headed pre-teen to blond, broody young adult.)

But then, Sonny’s life was in danger, and, in the blink of an eye, it was time to let bygones be bygones! Both Michael and Morgan were, all of a sudden, pledging their devotion to Sonny, with Morgan swearing to avenge him. This is just like when Darth Vader, after a lifetime of killing Tusken Raiders and younglings and rebels, saves Luke’s life that one time, and now he’s got a free pass to shimmery, Ewok party afterlife alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda! It’s not like Sonny even did anything to redeem himself to his sons. He just stepped in front of a bullet! By accident! Even Darth Vader flung the Emperor into a bottomless pit!

Read the entire post, including examples from Y&R, B&B, DOOL and more at:

Sunday, September 20, 2015


First came the Getting Into NYC Kindergarten workshops. Sign up for upcoming dates and times at:

Next came the Getting Into NYC Kindergarten book. Check it out, here.

And now, we're proud to present Accepted! Secrets of NYC School Admissions podcast where, every week, we'll tackle topics ranging from Kindergarten admissions to high-school, the pros and cons of gifted, single-sex, co-ed, progressive and traditional education, the differences between public, private and charter schools, and everything else you've always wondered - but didn't know whom to ask (and the Department of Education deliberately won't tell you).

Listen to our first episode below now:

Or download it as an mp3 or an mp4 to listen later!

Got a question you'd like answered on an upcoming podcast? Drop me a line at: and stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


On Monday, September 14, The Bold & the Beautiful’s Ridge and Caroline exchanged wedding vows and rings in a private ceremony in Malibu (shot on location at the real-life home of B&B Executive Producer and Head Writer Bradley Bell’s brother, Bill Bell Jr., and his wife, former The Young & the Restless Executive Producer and Head Writer Maria Arena Bell. Here’s an aerial view of said humble abode.)

Of course, without witnesses, anyone to officiate or a marriage license, the ceremony was hardly legal. (Something to keep in mind when what we all suspect is about to happen, happens.) But that’s how Ridge and Caroline wanted it. Something totally private, just for themselves.

Then again, also on Monday, September 14, a the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, B&B held a “wedding reception” for a few hundred of Ridge and Caroline’s closest friends, a.k.a. real-life fans of the fictional couple.

Get your exclusive behind the scenes pass with Entertainment Weekly at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Can Neil Patrick Harris break through multiple decades of viewer habits and convince them to watch television live again by promising The Best Time Ever?

The celebrated Oscar, Tony, Emmy, TV Land, Spike Video Game and World Magic Awards host aims to parlay his performing without a safety net (and only a five second broadcasting delay) into a live variety show, The Best Time Ever (though the available preview clip suggests plenty of pre-taped segments, too), premiering Tuesday, September 15 on NBC.

Not only is Harris hoping to make Americans give up recording a show to watch later at their own convenience, he’s also determined to make us fall in love with primetime variety programs again.

It’s a pretty tall order on both counts.

Once upon a time, America couldn’t get enough of variety shows. Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater was credited with literally doubling the sales of television sets in 1949. A single appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971) could launch a performer’s career (Yitzhak Perlman first popped up at the age of 13 on his way to becoming the best-known classical violinist in the world), sell out a Broadway show (it made Camelot a hit when the newspaper critics dismissed it) or start a nationwide discussion of Elvis’ suggestively gyrating pelvis (despite popular belief, he wasn’t merely shot from the waist up). And then there were The Beatles....

To read more about the history of variety shows in America, including The Smothers Brothers, Sonny & Cher and The Brady Bunch, as well as Neil Patrick Harris' chances of leading their comeback, go to my post on BlogHer at:

Friday, September 11, 2015


Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA says, "It is important for parents today to talk with their children about wildlife conservation and animal welfare. It never needs to be graphic or scary, as you can see at the new website,! As a father of an 11-year-old, I know firsthand how open-minded and inquisitive young children are, and how much they innately love animals and want to do what’s right for them. Elephants today are suffering tremendously and populations are dwindling fast. Our kids and our grandkids can make a difference. But, we have to start the conversation early and not be afraid. Make it fascinating and upbeat, and use the proper language and tools. Our children are future conservationists and it is critical that we speak with them about wildlife and how these beautiful animals deserve to be free."

Not sure how to get started, especially with particularly sensitive kids? Get helpful tips at the NY Gifted Education Examiner website.

And for Soap Opera 451 readers, we've got an added bonus!

Win a FREE, paperback copy of the book, "What Elephants Like," as well as a cuddly plush toy to remind you of what you're fighting for.

Just send an email to with the headline "Win Elephant Book & Toy" and you will be entered in a raffle. Winner will be notified on Friday, September 25, 2015.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Last week on The Bold & the Beautiful, just as Ridge was telling Brooke that he broke up with the much younger Caroline because she wanted to have a baby and Ridge had secretly undergone a vasectomy, Caroline was hitting the sheets with Ridge’s son, Thomas (she blamed it on having taken some pills to relax and deal with Ridge’s rejection, but, you know what? It still counts).

Anyone want to guess where this is going? Anyone?

One can only hope that, when the inevitable happens, Ridge and Brooke, prior to getting on their moral high horses, will remember a time when Brooke slept with both Ridge and his dad, Eric, and wasn’t sure which one fathered her daughter, Bridget. (At first, the baby was believed to be Ridge’s, which is how she ended up with her name. Brooke + Ridge = Bridget. He raised her for several years, but then she turned out to be Eric’s, after all. This made Ridge and Bridget half-siblings. Later, everyone learned that Eric wasn’t Ridge’s biological father. So Ridge and the now-grown Bridget flirted with a romantic relationship. Which was icky on multiple levels. Like I said, not a lot of room for high-horses in the family’s stable.)

The Forresters, however, are hardly daytime’s first family when it comes to fathers and sons sharing women.

Read Entertainment Weekly's round up of classic examples from General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young & the Restless, Guiding Light, Santa Barbara and more, here!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


A pair of philosophers have found a completely new way to make parents feel guilty about how they're raising kids. Instead of the usual guilt over what you might have failed to do for your own children, Adam Swift and Harry Brighouse say you should be feeling guilty for giving your kid a "loving family" when other kids don't have one.

According to Swift and Brighouse, parents who strive to provide the best for their children are creating an uneven playing field for those with less capable mothers and fathers. It’s fundamentally unfair. And you should feel guilty about that. According to Swift, “If the family is this source of unfairness in society then it looks plausible to think that if we abolished the family there would be a more level playing field."

The uneven playing field Swift and Brighouse ponder isn’t limited to issues like private school, which the pair would like to see banned (though how that would solve the bigger issue, the achievement gap between wealthy and poor school districts, isn’t addressed; won’t the influx of formerly private school families actually make the divide worse, not better?). They also point out that every night, when you read to your child, some other child somewhere is not being read to. Your child is on the path to a better future. They are unfairly pulling ahead in the Race of Life. Shouldn’t somebody be doing something about that?

Click here to read more about how you being a good parent is bad for society. And if you agree, then that's that.

On the other hand, if are not about to base your child-rearing on what other parents are not doing and are still determined to find the best school for your son or daughter, then make sure you sign up for one of my upcoming FREE "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" workshops at a time, date and location convenient for you! (Space is limited so RSVP today!)

Sign up for September 16 (Kips Bay), here.

Sign up for September 24 (East Side), here.
Sign up for September 29 (Chelsea), here.
Sign up for October 16 (Brooklyn), here.
Sign up for October 21 (Upper West Side), here.

But first, check out the book, "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten," prior to the workshops. Reading it might prompt you to ask questions at the workshop you didn't even know you wanted to know!

Monday, September 07, 2015


The kindergarten admissions process can be a daunting one, but Alina Adams assuages city parents’ fears with her book, “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten.”
A mother of three, she found herself regularly fielding questions about her experience with getting her children into school. This led her to start a column in the Examiner and give talks at River Park Nursery School on the Upper West Side. “There’s just so much information and after each talk, people would say, ‘I wish I had this all in one unified place.’ So that’s when I decided to write a book,” she explained.
The complete resource, which is the only one of its kind, offers information and advice on everything from admission essays that require you to ‘list your child’s greatest achievements up to this point’ to how you should never refer to your child as ‘truly advanced.’ The book is electronic, which not only allows Adams to update it with any changes the Department of Education or private schools may make, but also enables parents to click on links to pertinent articles or sections on the DOE’s website.
At the start of the book, you outline questions parents must ask themselves before starting the process.
Whenever people ask me about the best school- besides the fact that I say the best school is the school that’s best for your child- it really has to do with what you consider is important about a school. For some parents I’ve worked with, it’s academics. They want a school that has the best test scores and prepares their child for a rigorous workload. For other parents, it’s completely different. They want a school where a child may discover their own particular passion, whatever that might be. Or a school that nurtures the joy of learning or a school that’s very much into social action. So the reason that I don’t give answers to those questions is because you need to provide those answers because you know what you want.

Read my entire interview at:

And if you'd like to learn more, then make sure you sign up for one of my upcoming FREE "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" workshops at a time, date and location convenient for you! (Space is limited so RSVP today!)

Sign up for September 16 (Kips Bay), here.

Sign up for September 24 (East Side), here.
Sign up for September 29 (Chelsea), here.
Sign up for October 16 (Brooklyn), here.
Sign up for October 21 (Upper West Side), here.

And make sure you check out the book, "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten," prior to the workshops. Reading it might prompt you to ask questions at the workshop you didn't even know you wanted to know!

See you there!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


“I wish I could say it was nice knowing you, but it wasn’t,” quipped General Hospital’s Madeline (played by 2015 Daytime Emmy winner and Knots Landing star Donna Mills), right after plunging a knife into the back of thorn-in-her side Silas (Michael Eston), bringing to an end the month-long murder mystery.

The suspects had been plentiful. There was Morgan, who wanted to keep Silas from spilling the beans about Morgan cheating on his girlfriend, Kiki, with Kiki’s presumed aunt (really her secretly back from the dead mother). There was Franco, the former serial killer who actually confessed to the crime in order to protect Nina, Silas’ equally unstable ex-wife, freshly out of a 20 year coma. There was Nina’s new husband, Ric, who’d only married Nina for her money. And then there was Nina’s mother, Madeline. She and Ric were in cahoots to steal Nina’s trust fund.

Madeline needed Silas’ signature on some documents to carry out her insidious plan, so killing him really wasn’t very smart on her part.

In spite of that, Madeline nevertheless had a darn good reason for being the one to knock off Silas. Every other suspect was a contract player. Donna Mills is recurring.

In soap-land, that’s the best reason of all.


Last summer, I wrote a post for Mommy Poppins called DIY Kid-Lit Camp: Summer Fun Inspired By Children's Books, focusing on classics like the Little House series, All of a Kind Family, Ramona, and new classics like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ivy & Bean.

This year, also on Mommy Poppins, I've got a post on the best and brightest in new children's literature, from picture books to YA, with a special emphasis on diversity of characters.

Check it out at, here, and let me know what you think!