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Why I Didn’t Get My Son an XBox

Because man, did he ever beg for one for his birthday.

And I get it, I really do.  He wants to be cool, video games that are not Wii-related are cool, and he loves video games in general.  I was in a similar situation back in the caveman days when the Atari first came out.

Except naively, my parents bought us one, not fully realizing the addictive powers of the video game.  How could they?  But my generation, we know better.

And really, I think my son can get addicted to playing his video games. The more time he spends with games, the shorter his attention span and the less willing he is to listen and do his schoolwork and chores.

Besides, his Kindle has no shortage of them, his most favorite being Minecraft. Now Minecraft is actually a game I don’t mind as much.  You have to use your brain and your imagination a bit, and even though there are apparently zombies out to kill you, you at least have to work and create things in order to stay alive.

Which is to say that it is absolutely nothing like a game such as the Halo series, which I believe is just people killing the crap out of other people just for the heck of it.

I could be wrong.

My husband and I were actually going to get my 10 year old an Xbox as an easy way out.  We had nothing else we could really think of getting for him, and we felt that the first double-digit birthday should be treated as a bit of an occasion.

But then we got to talking about the whole uncensored XBox Live thing, because apparently it isn’t worth playing unless you can be online,  how he doesn’t even have a television in his room, how many of the XBox games are fairly violence-prone, and some other stuff.

So about a week before his actual birthday, we called off the XBox purchase.  As I said before, he has plenty of mind-numbing things loaded onto his Kindle, and when he is truly bored, he can come and kick his parents’ butts at Mario Kart.

Instead we will take him on a trip somewhere.  Somewhere where he gets on a plane and experiences something unlike he’s ever experienced before.

I’m glad we changed our minds.

Things I’m Not Necessarily Looking Forward To

When my daughter gets older, it is almost certain that she will have an unreasonable, all-consuming crush on some sort of horrible boy band.

I’m not a huge modern pop music fan, and the thought of having to listen to that type of stuff already makes my ears want to shrivel.

Huh.

Maybe that’s what iPods and headphones are for.

And, that poor guy second from the left has been forever immortalized as the one with crop pants and no socks.  In fact, that entire outfit wouldn’t look out of place in a Land’s End catalogue.  For women.

Teeny Weeny Bikinis

I don’t like these.

And I don’t just mean the bad Photoshopping of the backgrounds.

Little girls in bikinis are a big pet peeve of mine, even before I had a daughter.  And now Liz Hurley has decided to jump on the early sexualization of young girls bandwagon with her own clothing line.  I think the purple one, with the ring on the top piece, is especially egregious.  Little girls are not women, nor should they dress exactly like them!

I just don’t get the whole little girls in bikinis thing.  If anything, we should be covering our kids’ skin as much as possible, not exposing most of it to the sun.  I don’t do a long sleeve rash guard, but both of my kids wear short-sleeved ones.

I know that Jessica Simpson also took some heat for posting photos of her infant in a bikini, which although the baby is cute as a button, I’m not totally down with it.  I read that it was supposed to be a retort on how Simpson should be in “bikini body” shape after giving birth, but still.

Fight the bikinis, girls, fight the bikinis!

Oh God, It’s Halloween Costume Time Again

Is your tween girl hankering to dress like a literary character?

Well, she’d better be prepared to slut it up as Hermione Granger, because tight, short, and shiny is most of what is out there on the store-bought costume front.  I’m sure you can find some that aren’t, but all of those listed as “most popular” are the ones that show the most skin.

This is called Robyn Da Hood Tween Costume, and I just can’t with the name.  Perhaps it has its origins in some movie that my seriously unhip 41 year old self does not know about, but I still can’t no matter where it is from.

Hermione certainly is looking grown up.  May I interest you in a shirt, Hermione? Shirts are your friend.

She certainly looks ready for a party, although I’m not sure it will include tea.

The list is practically endless.

And extremely depressing for us non-sewers.

 

 

Monday Teeny Poll

90% of you do not agree with the rather heavy-handed tactics planned by New York City to promote breastfeeding to new moms.  While I think we can all agree that it would be ideal if everybody could breastfeed, the harsh reality is that no, not every single mother can breastfeed.   Whether it be due to health conditions, failure to latch properly, failure to produce enough milk, or simply having to go back to work, breastfeeding is difficult for many.  To assume all mothers should breastfeed exclusively is to not live in reality.

Today I’m sort of excited about this.

Monday Teeny Poll

88% of you were not affected by the Aurora shooting in making your movie-going decisions.  Although from the comments, it just might be because you don’t really attend the movies a lot as a general rule.  8% said you were reluctant to attend a movie, and it made 4% of you hesitant to send your older kids.  I have to say that my  husband and I saw The Dark Knight Rises last Wednesday and I was definitely keeping a closer eye than normal on my fellow audience members.  Side note: babysitting is expensive!

Today I am all about the kerfuffle in New York over a supposedly well-meaning health initiative that treats bottles of baby formula like prescription medicine.

The Joys of Professional Photography

Today I took my 9 and 2.5 year old to a “professional” photographer because I am a horrible mother who hardly ever takes pictures of my children.  Or, at least that is what I am basically told by the grandmas.  Well, maybe not exactly in those terms, but you can feel the disapproval at the lack of photos from a mile away.

I also put professional in quotations because I don’t think the studio we went to employs people who have MFA’s in photography, or whatever.  More like a high school diploma.  At least a GED. So it is definitely a hit-or-miss type of thing and it all depends on who you get.

My 2.5 year old, who 98% of the time shows no fear of anything, freaked the hell out at getting up on the little platform they have the children stand/sit on.  Why, of course she did.  I tried to get her individual photos first because I figured she had the highest burnout potential, but the shrieks of “No, no, no, noooooooooooooooo,” and the requisite dead man’s lift that goes with them enticed me into having her brother go first.

After brother was posed, in rather stupid ways for a 9 year old, I must say, she couldn’t wait to get up there and hog the spotlight.

Then came the challenge of getting both of them to look semi-decent at the same time, which failed rather miserably.  My nine year old was sacrificed.  He looks as if he is going to eat his sister as an appetizer as soon as the pesky camera goes away, but whatever.

My daughter doesn’t like to sit still for more than a few minutes, so kudos to the photographer for actually getting me at least three suitable photos to choose from.

And then I had to pay them over a hundred bucks for the privilege.

And, and, in this day and age of things like computers and printers, the photos won’t be ready until the end of May.  WTF?

I think I might be in the wrong business.

 

 

No “It” Toy This Year

Has retailers crying into their beers and parents doing a happy dance.

I have tried never to buy into the whole “must have” toy thing, although I know a lot of people do because of peer pressure and the like.  If the popular toy happens to coincide with the interests of my child, then great.  But if it doesn’t, I will feel not even a tiny pang of regret.

And is it just me, or am I the only one surprised to read in that article that layaway is back?

Maybe I come from a place of privilege when I say that I’m not a big fan of layaway.

If we can’t afford something, we don’t buy it.  We have had more than one Christmas when we told our son that Mommy and Daddy simply did not have the money to buy him oodles of things.  That he gets a lot from his extended family and we see no need to put ourselves in debt for some toys.  Did he get something? Yes, but one year it was pretty thin.

Again, maybe I know not of what I speak.

Anybody want to set me straight?

 

 

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