July 29, 2008

Jonas Brothers, Baby Brother Are Big News in Kathy Hart’s House

CHICAGO _ Annika, 7, just figured out exactly what her mom does for a living.

"She wants me to say 'hi' to her, and to play the Jonas Brothers, and have them call her," said Kathy Hart, co-host of "Eric and Kathy" on WTMX-FM 101.9, in a recent phone interview. "She doesn't understand why she can't meet them, and she thinks they live in Chicago."

Thankfully, Mom secured tickets to the Disney heartthrobs' August concert.

Still, the Jonas Brothers concert isn't the only excitement in the Hart home.

In March, Hart and her husband, Bert, adopted baby boy Allen (now 7 months) domestically through The Cradle adoption agency. The Harts, of Chicago's northwest suburbs, chose an open adoption with his birth mother. "I always call and give her an update and tell her about milestones," Hart said, adding that the families will get together at the end of the summer.

Allen's siblings Annika and Xander, 8, surprised their parents by adjusting so well to a little brother. "They fight over who gets to take care of Allen. They'll sing to him or read him a book," Hart said. Though, she added, the big sibs don't exactly volunteer to change diapers.

As for songs and music, "they've gone through stages; there was the Elvis stage, the '50s and now they listen to music on the Mix," Hart said.

And, let's not forget, the Jonas Brothers stage.

Hart, over e-mail, shared more parenting moments:

Our toughest parenting challenge: "Teaching them patience in a society that's become so accustomed to instant gratification."

Something you wish you could go back and do over: "Follow the age recommendations for watching TV and movies ... i.e. 'Zoey 101.' My 7-year-old daughter is already acting like a teenager! (Not to mention I had to explain why 'Zoey' is pregnant.)"

Favorite way to stay connected with your kids: "I make sure that among all the play dates, gymnastics, karate and piano lessons, we eat together every night. During dinner, we play Hi-Lo, where the kids tell me the high point of their day and the low point of their day. For some quiet time, we walk to a nearby pond for an afternoon of fishing. Fortunately, the fish bite every couple of minutes so the kids don't get bored too easily."

The product you absolutely couldn't live without: "Gripe water. It's an herbal supplement containing ginger and fennel extract, which is used to ease gas in babies. It has been our liquid gold with all three of the kids."

Your secret managing-a-meltdown trick: "While bribery is the all-too-convenient way to deal (which I've used), I like to capture the moment on film to show them their 'tantrum face.'"

Your child is old enough to stay home alone when: "Hey, if Macaulay Culkin can do it ..."


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