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Devon Corneal
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Devon Corneal is a lawyer, mother, and step-mother who lives, outnumbered, in a loud and wonderful home in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband, two boys, and a dog named Max. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services developing, coordinating and analyzing policies relating to children, youth and families. She’s also written on issues involving individual rights, child and adolescent development, children and the law, and now, parenting. She received a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, and a B.A. from The College of William and Mary. When not working or writing, she can be found puttering around the garden, cheering on the sidelines, swinging at the playground, or if she’s really lucky, hiding in the hammock with a good book.

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Entries by Devon Corneal

The Tools My Father Gave Me

(6) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 4:53 PM

I've spent the better part of three days in our basement tool room, or, as I've come to call it "the pit of despair." A few months ago, my husband, frustrated that he couldn't locate a simple screwdriver in the mess that had accumulated over the past seven...

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The Gwynnie Wars

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 4:39 PM

Several weeks ago I wrote a pointed post in response to a comment Gwyneth Paltrow made in an interview which suggested that having a 9-5 job was easier than working on a film set once a year. I found her statement callous and lacking an acknowledgement of the...

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Goop, She Did It Again

(80) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 9:59 AM

I do not know Gwyneth Paltrow. I've never met her, don't have friends who hang with her, and have no personal insight into what makes her tick. I should treat her with the same indifference I feel for most celebrities, and I would, if only she would stop giving me...

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The Bittersweet Milestone I Didn't See Coming

(9) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 11:16 AM

My addiction started early. What began as an innocent desire to escape into fantasy and find some calm in the midst of chaos turned into a lifelong habit. I ran with crowds that accepted my behavior, only cutting back when I got my first real job and realized my extracurricular...

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The Real Tragedy of the Rachel Canning Case

(46) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 3:17 PM

You gotta love Jersey. Because here in the Garden State teenagers sue their parents for child support. Yep, you heard that right. Eighteen-year-old Rachel Canning is suing her parents for child support and a few other things too. Here's the basic gist: teenager starts fighting with...

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Promises, Promises

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 1:42 PM

As a general rule, I'm not one for big New Year's resolutions. I dislike the pressure involved in reinventing myself between December 31st and January 1st and every time I've tried, I've either forgotten what I've promised to do or given up within days. Regardless of the outcome, I end...

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A Little Piece of Heaven

(8) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 12:06 PM

My son, like every other child in the world, is a complete mystery to me. He interval trains with bursts of sweet, snuggly, thoughtful, kind, funny, and loving juxtaposed with obstinate, forgetful, melty and annoying. The days can seesaw wildly from extremes, which is why I treasure bedtime. Not because...

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One Honest Christmas Card

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 10:03 AM

Today I finished our annual Christmas card. This is no small task. It involves picking out just the right design, choosing an array of photos that gives recipients a taste of what we did with our 360-odd days, and drafting a concise, witty and informative note that doesn't veer into...

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Thanks, Birth Control

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 9:35 AM

Everywhere I turn this week, people are telling me what they're grateful for. These seem to be the same people who spend the rest of the year, like me, complaining about stuff on Facebook, but I'm all for the change, even if it's only for the month of November. I...

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Escape from Alcatraz

(37) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Help!

I am being held hostage by a 4-foot-tall emotional terrorist who has been lecturing me for days about not using my "mad voice." I'm losing hope in the face of his expert interrogation techniques, which often include tears, puppy dog eyes and pointed reminders that, "You promised Mommy, and...

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The Best Kids' Halloween Books of 2013

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 3:52 PM

It's almost time for monsters, ninjas, fairies, witches and hobos to hit the streets and start begging for candy. HuffPost Parents blogger Devon Corneal has stocked up on mini-chocolate bars and lollipops in the hopes that Halloween doesn't get postponed this year by another freak October storm. On...

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Everything I Want My Son To Learn Before Kindergarten

(131) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 11:24 AM

Yesterday, my 5-year-old came down the stairs naked. Explaining his missing clothes, he said, "Mommy, I wanted to get naked." I had no problem with that. Until I noticed he was still wearing his socks. White athletic socks, pulled up to mid-shin. It was chilly, but style cannot be sacrificed...

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We Are Each Other's Keepers

(67) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 12:53 PM

Yesterday, I was a horrible mother.

I was the least pleasant version of myself that I have ever been with my 5-year-old. I was snappish, impatient, short-tempered, dismissive, frustrated and cold. I failed to see his point of view, I overreacted and stormed out of a room. I whined....

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Lessons in Futility

(87) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 11:05 AM

Doing laundry last night, it occurred to me that I am an idiot. I'm a reasonably competent woman with a job and a college degree and yet, it is possible that I am dumber than a box of rocks. I know this because I have a 5-year-old boy and I...

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What I Know About Stress In My 40s

(25) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 11:52 AM

I just got back from a four-day vacation with my young son who vomits in moving vehicles. During our trip the two of us travelled on planes, boats, streetcars, cabs, buses, carousels, vans, and trains. We stayed with friends who have two small children and a big dog, all of...

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The Talk My Preschooler Wasn't Too Young To Have

(356) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 3:29 PM

We have an old farmhouse table in our kitchen. Nothing fancy, but its sturdy legs and pitted top give us a place to eat family meals, do homework, and create Play Doh sculptures. On any given day it is covered with mason jars of crayons, piles of magazines and drawings,...

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Life Lessons

(115) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 10:44 AM

Last week my husband, Little Dude and I went on vacation. We tried to bring Sporty Stepson, but he wanted to stay home so he wouldn't miss school or lacrosse practice, and it's hard to argue with a kid who would choose calculus over room service in Boston. So he...

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What's Worse Than 'Attacking Other Women'

(196) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 10:48 AM

I can get lost on the Internet. I log on for a short break and three hours later realize I'm up way past my bedtime because I've found another trove of amazing women writers. Women across the Web are writing glorious, touching, funny, controversial, insightful, frustrating, clever, sad, nuanced, direct,...

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A Marriage of Equals

(19) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 12:42 PM

We're getting ready to send our oldest boy off to college next year, which has me reminiscing about my undergraduate days. Before I left home, my father warned me to keep up my grades, stay out of trouble and call once a week. Friends and family encouraged me to take...

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Why You'll Never See Me At A 'Yo Gabba Gabba' Show Again

(187) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 1:54 PM

Dear DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofa,
Brobee, Toodee and Plex,

I took my son and his friend to a "Yo Gabba Gabba Live" show a few weeks ago and have been meaning to write to you ever since, but it has taken me a while to put...

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