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Archive for January 8th, 2009

It Should Be Called “TiredParentTV”

Thursday, January 8th, 2009
By Glinda


We only recently started getting satellite television (welcome to the 21st Century, Glinda!) and one night I was clicking through and noticed the abbreviation “BABY” and the program title was something like “For Infants” or something of the such. But the problem was, it was midnight.

According to BabyTV’s official website, their purpose is thusly stated:

BabyTV was conceived following a sleepless night spent rewinding a baby video at the demand of an unrelenting toddler. Our creators imagined a service which offered easy access to programming specifically designed for babies around the clock.

But let’s just cut to the chase here. BabyTV is not really for babies at all. It’s for parents.

When the Munchkin was an infant, the Baby Einstein DVD’s were the hottest things around. If you didn’t own the whole set, you were a mother that didn’t care about your child’s exposure to classical music. And, uh, little puppets. Which in retrospect, would probably have been a good thing, because there is truly nothing educationally redeeming about them.

But when I needed to use the bathroom, take a shower, or conduct a phone conference when I was still working part time, in went Baby Einstein. And for those few minutes a day, the DVD’s were a godsend. So I understand the impulse to turn on the TV so that your infant is occupied while you need to perform important tasks. But notice I said important, which wouldn’t include folding the laundry or dusting, at least in my book. Well, to be honest, even now that he is growing up, I still don’t consider laundry or dusting as priorities. But I preferred spending every moment that I could being involved with him.

So let’s just agree that BabyTV is for parents who want to keep their kids entertained while they are doing something else. It’s not for kids, especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics has this recommendation:

Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged.

In my mind, the less TV, the better.

And maybe, just maybe, we should think of a sleepless toddler falling asleep to the television as being a bad thing?

Wedding Planning Made Easy

Thursday, January 8th, 2009
By raincoaster

Well, they say the Germans are a highly efficient people. Not ones to sit on their hands, waiting for the time to pass. Why, just look at the uniquely successful Karl Lagerfeld; oh, Odin knows there is no shortage of strangely androgynous and Satanic Renaissance MeissenMen in Hamburg or Heidelberg, although it must be admitted there are perhaps not as many as there could be in, say, Frankfurt. Something to do with the weather, or the shortage of good S&M clubs.

Where was I?

Ah yes. Germans, I say, don’t mess around when they know what they want. They go out and they get it. And if it takes some doing, they just up and get doing it.

So it was with the now-famous German lovebirds Mika and Anna-Bell, ages six and five, respectively.

Mika and Anna-Bell

From the Guardian:

It is a dream that has been shared by lovers across the centuries – the chance to elope to exotic lands. But few would have been as bold and spontaneous as six-year-old Mika and his five-year-old sweetheart Anna-Bell who, after mulling over their options in secret, packed their suitcases on New Year’s Eve and set off from the German city of Hanover to tie the knot under the heat of the African sun.

The children left their homes at dawn while their unwitting parents were apparently sleeping, and took along Mika’s seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena, as a witness to the wedding…

Donning sunglasses, swimming armbands and dragging a pink blow-up lilo and suitcases on wheels packed with summer clothes, cuddly toys and a few provisions, they walked a kilometre up the road, boarded a tram to Hanover train station and got as far as the express train that would take them to the airport before a suspicious station guard alerted police…

Mika said: “We wanted to take the train to the airport, then we wanted to get on a plane and when we arrived we wanted to unpack the summer things and then we wanted to go for a bit of a stroll in the sun…”

[Police Spokesman] Jureczko said: “They’ll have the chance to put their plan into action at a later date”.

They took along a witness. Now that, my friends, is German efficiency at its best!

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