The Parents Behind Science of Parenthood

Norine and Jessica

Norine and Jessica

When I first met Norine and Jessica at Blog U in 2014, I instantly admired them.  Their blog, Science of Parenthood was, and is, the most unique blog I have ever seen.  Their clever cartoons put everyday parenting issues into a humorous and “scientific” format.  It is brilliant.  Now, Jessica and Norine are publishing a Science of Parenthood book.  In preparation for this exciting event, they agreed to an old fashioned Q and A session.


What’s Science of Parenthood all about?

Science of Parenthood started nearly three years ago as an illustrated humor blog. We use fake math and science to “explain” the stuff that puzzles parents every day. Things like …

Why are broken cookies “ruined?”

Why does it matter what color the sippy cup is?

Why can’t you put the straw in the juice box without your kid having a melt down?

Why will a kid whine-whine-whine for a toy, then lose all interest in that toy once they have it? 

Where the eff is my phone?  

We’ve come up with some pretty hilarious theories.

Our book, Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations, is like our blog … but like our blog on STEROIDS! We utilized the blog to road test–perhaps we should say “field test”–material, and now the book contains the kinds of cartoons and writing that fans love to find at Science of Parenthood, along with all new cartoons, infographics, flowcharts pie charts and quizzes that we created just for the book. About 90 percent of the book is brand new material.

Divided into four sections–biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics–the book lives in the chasm that exists between our collective hopes and dreams and expectations of what parenting will be like … and the brutal, slap-you-upside-the-head reality of what parenting actually is. We cover all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the hilarious frustrations that come with early childhood (tantrums, picky eating, diaper blowouts, illness, sleep issues, play dates, toy creep, homework battles and encounters with crazy parents (not you, of course, we mean other parents). And you know what? You don’t even need to be a scientist to “get” it.

Our goal is just to make parents laugh. Because when you’re a parent, you NEED to laugh. Humor is a survival tool. After your tot has gotten the top off a jar of Vaseline and smeared every surface within reach–as happened to our friend Gail–or tried to “help” you paint a room and ended up covered in blue paint–as happened to Norine’s sister Shari–you have to laugh. Or you’ll end up sobbing. Or wearing one of those fancy white jackets that buckles up in the back.


Is any of the book autobiographical?

Pretty much all of the book reflects through our experiences as parents. Take the piece “Experimental Gastronomy: A Study in Potatoes” from the Chemistry section. It’s written like a scientific paper about an experiment in which a researcher tries to determine if a preschooler who likes French fries will eat mashed potatoes. Raise your hand if you can hypothesize the outcome (see what we did there?) The piece is completely based on Norine’s inability to get her five-year-old, who loves fries, to even taste mashed potatoes. Says Norine: “I tried everything! I even offered him extra chocolate for dessert, and he still refused to take even one tiny nibble.”


Why science? Are either of you scientists?

Not at all. We’re moms dealing with the same kind of crazy stuff everyone else is. Science just makes a great metaphor for the frustration, exasperation and humiliation that comes with everyday parenting. Think about Einstein and how he explained his theory of relativity: “Sit on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour; sit with a pretty girl with an hour and it feels like a minute. That’s relativity.” Well, that’s parenthood too. One minute you’ve got a newborn covered in goo and then next, you’re watching teary-eyed as they skip into kindergarten without even a backward glance or a kiss goodbye. And yet, when you’re into your third hour of Candy Land on a rainy day, time seems to stand still. (If you haven’t played Candy Land with your toddler yet, trust us on this. The scars never really heal.)


Where did you get the idea for Science of Parenthood?

Our “eureka” moment came when Norine’s son, Fletcher, came home from school talking about one of Newton’s laws of force and motion: An object at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an external force.

Says Norine: “That instantly reminded me of Fletcher with his video games. He’d sit on the couch and play games all day if I didn’t confiscate the iPad. I jotted down, Newton’s First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest until you want your iPad back. Later, I posted that on Facebook. It got a good response, so I started posting other parenting observations and giving them a math or science twist, like Sleep Geometry Theorem: A child will always sleep perpendicular to any adult laying next to them. Both of these are fan favorites and two of the very few cartoons we pulled from the blog to include in the book.

“As a writer, I’m always looking for new ways to tell stories. And in that eureka moment, it struck me that math and science make fantastic metaphors for telling the universal stories of parenting. Like scientists, we parents are always fumbling in the dark, searching for answers, wondering if we’re on the right track and second-guessing our methods. And because a picture is still worth a thousand words, I knew that these science-y quips would be a lot more popular on social media if they were illustrated. So I called Jessica and asked if she wanted to illustrate a book of these funny observations.

“Jessica was the one who saw that Science of Parenthood could be much bigger than a single book. She saw the potential for a blog and a social media presence and ancillary products. She quickly secured a domain name for us and created a Facebook page and Twitter feed. She began illustrating the observations I had already banked. Two weeks later, we debuted on Facebook; a week after that we rolled out the blog. Now we’re three years in, and along with Science of Parenthood, the book, we have mugs and magnets and posters featuring our images. Earlier this year we published two collections of humorous parenting tweets—The Big Book of Parenting Tweets and The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets.  


Where can readers find Science of Parenthood?

Science of Parenthood is available for pre-order as a soft-cover and e-book on Amazon right now. ( When it’s released November 17th, readers will be able to find it on Amazon and in bookstores.

And you can always find Science of Parenthood on Facebook (, Twitter (, Pinterest (http://www.pinterest/sciofparenthood) and Instagram (


About The Authors

Norine is the primary writer for Science of Parenthood, the blog, and Science of Parenthood,the book. A longtime freelance magazine writer, Norine’s articles have appeared in just about every women’s magazine you can buy at supermarket checkout as well as on The Huffington Post,, iVillage, Lifescript and Scary Mommy websites. Norine is the co-author of You Know He’s a Keeper…You Know He’s a Loser: Happy Endings and Horror Stories from Real Life Relationships (Perigee), Food Cures (Reader’s Digest) and a contributor to several humor anthologies, including Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding(Demeter Press). She lives with her husband and 9-year-old son in Orlando.

The daughter of famed New Yorker cartoonist Jack Ziegler, Jessica is Science of Parenthood’s co-creator, illustrator, web designer and contributing writer. In her “off hours,” Jessica is the director of social web design for VestorLogic and the writer/illustrator of StoryTots, a series of customizable children’s books. Her writing and illustration have been published on The Huffington Post,, and in Las Vegas Life and Las Vegas Weekly. Jessica was named a 2014 Humor Voice of the Year by BlogHer/SheKnows Media. She lives with her husband and 11-year-old son in Denver.

Together Jessica and Norine published The Big Book of Parenting Tweets and The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets earlier in 2015.


I can't wait to read this!

I can’t wait to read this!

Feliz Thanksgiving!

sorry-hungryThe first Thanksgiving I was with my now ex-husband we were invited to his aunt and uncle’s house for dinner. Growing up in South Florida, I had heard the phrase Cuban time a lot, but I never really got it. Basically, the theory is that Cuban people are usually late. So, I should have known to have a snack or lunch before going to their house, but I didn’t. Since it was Thanksgiving, I assumed we would eat early, like at dunch or linner time. I didn’t truly understand Cuban time until that Thanksgiving in 1992.

Ask any of my family or close friends and they will tell you epic tales of my hanger. I don’t do meal skipping well. I’m pretty sure that I could become a mafia henchman if I just skipped a meal or two. Breaking legs would be therapeutic with my level of hanger. So, it was a huge mistake to skip lunch. Huge.

Want to read more about my HANGRY, bilingual Thanksgiving? Come on over to Knot So Subtle. 

Depo Provera is FABULOUS!

A few months ago, I had to have a D and C to figure out the cause of some rather nifty cramping and crime scene level bleeding. After the surgery, I met with my doctor to discuss options for eliminating the horrific perimenopausal symptoms. Since I had a DVT a few years ago, and since I am a few years over forty, I’m not allowed to take estrogen at all. So, progesterone medications were my only non-surgical options. After talking with my doctor, I decided that the Depo Provera shot was the best option for me.

Like most people, I decided to do a Google search to see what others had to say about Depo. Big mistake. It seems like there are nothing but horror stories out there. Then, I made another mistake, I reached out to my Facebook friends. Most people told me I would bleed to death, binge on Skittles, and growl. So, I was really nervous when I went in for my first shot, because I DID get the shot. In fact, I just had my second shot, and guess what? I have not gained ANY weight at all, and I feel happier, not angrier. In addition to the overall sense of well-being, I have noticed a few more great side effects of the Depo shot.

Come on over to In The Powder Room to read about my POSITIVE experience with Depo Provera.

Amish in my Old Age

When I was a teenager, like most other teenagers, I thought I would be young forever. I thought I could get away with wearing tiny skirts and shorts forever. I thought I would be staying out until after midnight and going out to breakfast at 3:00am forever. I never thought I would tire of being young because I never imagined myself being older. Teachers and parents in their forties seemed SO OLD. I would certainly never be FORTY. Well, now that I am forty-four, things are a little different. It seems the older I get, the more Amish I get.

Come on over to Knot So Subtle to read the rest of this.  There is even a picture of me.  :)

Facebook is my crack.

Mark Zuckerberg was on to something when he sat in his tiny dorm room and created THE Facebook. He didn’t just create a site where people could keep up with friends and roll their eyes at acquaintances. He created a drug more addictive than crack. I should know because I am a Facebook Crackwhore. I’m one notification short from standing on a corner and offering services for a quicker Wi-Fi connection. Just like that scary scrawny woman standing on the corner, I need my fix multiple times a day.

Read more over on Knot So Subtle.

Are you a Hermit?

I’m an online college English instructor, and most of the time I LOVE working from home. I mean I don’t have to wear a bra, like ever. Well, I do put one on if my son’s band comes over for practice and it’s too hot for me to put a sweater on. You know, because nipple outlines and all. Nobody needs to see that. Also, I rarely wear real pants with an actual button and zipper. Such discomfort is reserved for when I leave the house. Each year that passes, I become more and more of a hermit.  Some of you out there reading this may fit the bill. In fact, I have compiled a list of signs that signal hermithood. If you would like to read more about hermit life come on over to Knot So Subtle, a great new magazine launching TODAY.

My work pants

My work pants


Back to the Future Shocks for 80’s Teens

October 21, 2015


Dear Teen Lisa,

I’m your future self, and I have some news for you. First of all, Prince was SO WRONG. We all lived just fine after 1999. In fact, it is now October 21, 2015, that magical Back to the Future Day when Marty McFly saved the world on a hover board, or something like that.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie. Well, since I’m actually in 2015 right now, I can tell you that is bullshit. We do have fancy phones, computers, and TV’s that are super flat and hung on walls, but no hover boards. Hold on to your size 27 Edwins (by the way, you are SO NOT fat), things are way different here in 2015.

You are NOT fat!!

You are NOT fat!!

Speaking of Marty McFly, I’ve got some sort of sad news for you. You will meet Michael J. Fox at Y-100 in a few years. Now, instead of being a total stuttering idiot, please just talk to him. I mean he is YOUR height, so how intimidating can he be. Also, being nice to him would be good as unbeknownst to anyone, he discovers a tremor in his hand around the time you meet him. No, it’s not your fault. He soon learns he has Parkinson’s disease. If you don’t know what that is walk down to the library and look it up in an encyclopedia. I would tell you to Google it, but you don’t have that yet. Google is this super cool search engine. You will love it. I’ve probably confused you. Never mind. Any way, in 2015, Michael is still acting, and he is speaking about Parkinson’s and raising money for research. He handles the whole thing pretty well, but it is still odd to see him shake like that.

You know all of those people in high school you are looking forward to never seeing again? Well, you’re screwed. You’re going to see them every damn day on Facebook. Facebook is this web site on the computer where people post pictures of their kids and cats and random things that don’t matter every four seconds. Now, I know you know what a computer is because you saw War Games, but a web site is hard to explain. You know how on War Games when he is able to log into the Pentagon’s computers from his home? Well, we will be able to see a bunch of stuff on our computers from home. Yes, everyone will have a computer. You will work on the computer as a college instructor. From home. You will love it. There will also be phones that are like computers. You will have a few of those. You will also love them. I will get to that later.

Here’s something crazy. You know the dad on the Cosby Show? That nice guy from the Pudding pop commercials? The one who was on Fat Albert when you were a kid? Hold on to your Keds. That guy is probably drugging some woman right now so he can rape her. Crazy, right? We won’t really find out about this until 2015. Of course some people will say all 50 women are lying. People would rather believe victims are lying than believe the Cosby dad is a sexual predator.

Speaking of sickos, Michael Jackson was accused of molesting children. A lot of people believe he is innocent even though he admitted to inviting kids over for sleepovers in his bed. Again, people would rather believe that people are lying than believe a celebrity could be anything but stellar. Michael Jackson ends up dying in 2009 from a drug overdose. You always liked Prince better anyway.

Pretty much everything you joke about or find entertaining now will be highly offensive in 2015.  In fact, they just stopped showing the Dukes of Hazzard because there is a Confederate flag on the General Lee.  Yes, they still show reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard.  No, Bo did not age well.

Speaking of TV, you will LOVE Netflix.  It’s this Internet site that allows you to watch shows and movies without using a VCR or going to the movies. VCRs are pretty much dead now anyway. People either stream movies on Netflix or another web site, or they watch DVDs. DVDs look just like CDs but they have movies on them. I know it’s a lot to take in, so I will stop here.

You know how the phone rings, and you’re all like “Shit. I hate talking on the phone. I’m afraid to answer it.” Well, here in the future you will know who is calling before you pick up the phone. There is a little screen on all phones that displays callers’ names and phone numbers. It’s called Caller ID, and it is fabulous!  You will never be trapped by a windbag again.

Also, you will never answer your phone again because you can send text messages. You know how you write notes to Theresa, Cory, Marilyn and all of your friends, and you fold the paper into a little square with a pull-tab. Well, here in 2015, you can type messages on your cell phone (little phone that you take with you everywhere). You don’t ever have to actually talk on the phone. You will love this!

That same phone that shows you who is calling and lets you send and receive text messages does a lot of stuff. It has a calendar, a calculator, games, that annoying Facebook thing, and lots of other stuff. This phone would totally be banned in Mr. Scott’s class.

We have moved forward with technology but backwards with other things, like being nice to each other. People are often really mean to each other on Facebook and other Internet sites. They insult each other and argue about Jesus, politics, gay people being allowed to get married (They are finally allowed to get married in 2015. Too bad Uncle Bobby did not live to see this. ) and guns. Guns are a big issue now because there have been a lot of shootings. Some have been in schools, and others have been in malls and movies theaters. Now, some movie theaters search your bags before you go in.

We no longer fear Russians; it’s the Middle East that we are at war with now, and it’s not such a cold war. There has been so much violence. Middle eastern terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Thousands of people died.

We also moved backwards with our writing skills. People use Facebook and other sites like that on those phones that are like computers that I was telling you about. They are called smart phones but the people who use them are not smart. They are too lazy to spell out words so they use what I call Prince spelling. You know, like Nothing Compares 2 U, instead of TO YOU. It’s like the schools have stopped teaching first grade grammar. This will drive you nutty, especially because you are an English instructor.

So, that’s 2015 in a nutshell. I mean there’s more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I just wanted to let you know that you won’t have a hover board, which is probably good because you will be 44 in 2015. I know that seems super old now, but just you wait young Lisa. Just you wait.


Older, chubbier you



Zyrtec — For When You Can’t Afford Street Drugs

On Saturday night, I took Zyrtec for my combination can’t sleep/can’t breathe due to allergies middle age syndrome. I usually take a Benedryl for this condition, but my husband takes Zyrtec so I decided to try that. I learned never to do that again. This stuff is over the counter allergy medicine, in case you are not familiar with Zyrtec. That’s right; I said “over the counter” not “on the corner,” as it should be. It is not even behind the counter, and I didn’t have to show an ID or sign over my first born like I do when I buy Sudafed. Having done exactly zero hard-core illegal drugs, I now know with great authority that Zyrtec is not just an allergy medicine; it is really heroin and LSD.

First of all, if you don’t have a spare 14 hours or so to sleep, don’t take Zyrtec. This shit will knock you out. I slept a solid 10 hours, woke up drooling, and then took a 3-hour nap after breakfast. I could not concentrate on anything Sunday morning other than eating breakfast and petting cats. Coffee was useless. Useless. I took to my couch and closed my eyes, slipping back into the acid trip Zyrtec sleep.

The dreams you have with Zyrtec are trippy. I’m pretty sure that the people who created Teletubbies were on a Zyrtec binge. I had so many strange naptime visions, even a dream within a dream. In that one, I was trying to wake up, but couldn’t because I was in a coma. The quilt I was under on my couch in real life became the doctor’s coat in my coma dream. After that, I dreamed there was a farm behind my house. A cow was on the roof of a barn and was jumping off. I thought to myself, in my sleep, “I guess that cow jumped over the moon thing is real. That cow didn’t even break a leg or anything.” Even after I woke, I wasn’t sure if there was really a jumping cow out back or not. I decided not to check.

I’m surprised teenagers aren’t selling Zyrtec in school. They can buy it with no ID or fanfare of any kind. I’m also surprised that drug dealers haven’t started making Crystal Zyrt, or something like that. I can imagine people on corners yelling, “Got that Z.” I bet a lot of people would buy it. I’m not trying to suggest that people START doing this. I’m just really shocked it isn’t already happening.

Have any of you had a similar experience with Zyrtec? What about other over the counter drugs? Let me hear your story. Leave me a comment.



Facebook Buttons We Really Need

Off your meds-A while back, there was talk of Facebook developing a “dislike” button. I really don’t think we need a button like that. It’s not because I’m Suzy Sunshine and I think the world has enough dislike or anything unicorn and glittery like that. I just think that a dislike button is not specific enough. We need Facebook buttons for a variety of posts that make us want to hate everyone and delete the Facebook app. I thought of four just sitting here drinking my basic white girl pumpkin latte.

OH THE DRAMA! — This button could be used when one of your “friends” posts yet another long tirade about how the world is against him or her. These people always have some kind of trashy reality show level happenings in their lives. They always SAY they hate drama, but continue to wave their crazy flag as if a big puppet master forced them to spaz out.

NOT BULLIED – Some people are bullied, and that sucks. If someone uses mental or physical intimidation to make someone’s life a living hell, they are a bully. We can all agree on that. In social media, the term bully is overused. So, if someone spray paints “fat bitch” on your garage, you have been bullied. If someone declines your invitation to dinner, you have NOT been bullied. You have been rejected. Shit happens. Get over it.

OFF YOUR MEDS? — This one is for when your “friend”  “likes” pages that he or she used to hate, or all of the sudden invites you to a number of Jamberry or Mary Kay virtual parties. A similar version called “Get on Some Meds” could also be used for our friends in the Drama and Not Bullied groups.

NOPE — This one is for when people post videos of hang gliding, zip lining, eating raw octopus, or holding huge snakes. Nope. Nope. Nope. And Nope.

Since I only had one shot of espresso in my coffee that is all I could think of. I figured there had to be more necessary Facebook buttons, so I asked some Facebook friends to share their ideas. Here is what they had to say:


“Rolled my eyes so hard gave myself a migraine.”

“Unbunch your knickers.”

Alex F.


“You’re an idiot.”
“Please don’t reproduce.”

Julie M.


“Do you think I give a rat’s ass?”

Jackie C.



“How’s that working for you?”

Eric B.


“Check your Privilege.” (For clueless folks complaining about minimum wage workers and not CEO salaries)

Cristal K.


“Are you for real?”

Suzanne R.


“Stop trying to sell me shit!”
“Stop tagging me in passive-aggressive ‘thanks for being my friend’ posts designed to praise me and punish others and vice-versa.”
“Why would you post this racist bullshit after shouting ‘amen’ when my husband preached on Sunday about fighting racism with our Middle-Eastern Jewish friend Jesus?”

Molly S.


“You’re not a victim.”

Amy M.


“I was there; it wasn’t that good.”

“We get it. Your husband adores you.”

“That isn’t what you said about her the last time you talked trash.”

“I secretly hate you, but it would make for a socially awkward relationship if I don’t hit the like button.”

“Congratulations On That Ugly Kid!”

Jamie C.


My friends and I have thought of a lot of Facebook buttons, but I bet there are more. Grab your coffee, or whisky, or whatever helps you think, and post your most needed Facebook button in the comment section.

Living in Deliverance

I’m a neat freak. I love cleaning and getting rid of trash. So, I was just going through all of my blog files, and I found this little gem.  By gem I mean you might hate me after you read it.  When I first published it on my old Salon blog about five years ago, my entire book club, even that one other liberal person who had the misfortune of living in a bright red state, told me what an asshole I was for picking on hunters.  So, I thought I would be an even bigger asshole and publish it again.

A frigging winter wonderland!

A frigging winter wonderland!

In the style of Sophia Petrillo, picture it, Fort Wayne Indiana, 2010.


I feel like I should hear banjos whenever I leave the house. The sound track for this town should just be an endless stream of banjos, played by people with straw hanging out of their mouths, firmly lodged between their two front teeth. Seriously, living in Fort Wayne, IN, when you’ve been brought up in a larger city, one with arts, culture and a real airport can be challenging. We moved here for the husband’s job, but secretly I came here looking for Mayberry, and got a whole other kind of stereotypical town, without the warmer climate and southern charm.

South Florida had gotten too gritty, too ghetto and too foreign. It just wasn’t the place it used to be. So, when the job opportunity popped up for my husband, I fully supported a move up north. We first got here in January of 2007, and it was a winter wonderland. There was glistening snow everywhere, and our neighbors brought us cookies when we moved in. Stuff like this just didn’t happen “back home”. At first, I loved it here.

I remember the first time I saw a child’s picture in the paper holding up the head of a dead deer with a rifle laying next to him. I was horrified. If my son killed an animal, I would punish him, not put it in the paper. My friends who have been brought up in the Midwest tell me that this is common. It’s common to hunt, and common to take children hunting. It’s common to congratulate them when they kill something. Seriously?

Months later, while looking at a new friend’s Facebook page, I saw that she had a picture of her young daughter holding a gun and a dead turkey. Seriously? This is such a foreign concept to a South Florida girl. We don’t go hunting. We go dancing and shopping. We go to the beach and the deli, the REAL deli, not McAlister’s or Big Apple Bagels.

In today’s paper, someone from the ASPCA wrote in to support a ban on “penning” foxes and coyotes. I had no clue what they were talking about until I read the entire letter. Man, was I horrified. I’m pasting a link here, but, in a nutshell, some goobers in this country, in an effort to train their huntin’ dawgs, capture foxes and coyotes and put them in a fenced area. Then, probably after they crack open a fine can of Old Milwaukee, they release the dogs. The dogs, of course, beat the crap out of the foxes and coyotes. When they are done with them, if the wild animals are still alive, they simply dump the animals in a wooded area and leave them to die.

These are probably the same people who beat their wives and children and scratch their privates in public. Seriously! Why would anyone want to hunt and or torture animals FOR FUN.   Is there nothing good on the Dish network?   No Mountain Dew sponsored sporting events to watch?

Yes, I eat meat, and yes I get where it comes from. If I HAD To go kill my own dinner, I would be a vegan. The good news is that I don’t HAVE to kill anything because there are these things called grocery stores. Yes, a new concept I know. No one HAS to kill their own food as we are not out on the prairie or trapped in The Hunger Games.

Please tell me where I have to live because I really do not fit in here. Is there an internet quiz I can take or something?



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