International Flair | Teeny Manolo - Part 2

Archive for the 'International Flair' Category

It’s You Again…

Thursday, January 13th, 2011
By Glinda


When the Munchkin left toddlerhood, I packed away many of his DVD’s as he considered them too “babyish.”

I heaved a sigh of regret as I boxed up The Wiggles.

You see, for many a mom, Anthony the Blue Wiggle is the bright spot in a sea of mind-numbing toddler programming.  When your choices boil down to screechy red monsters, blue dogs that don’t talk, purple dinosaurs and trains with faces that don’t move, The Wiggles start looking mighty appealing.

You’ve got Murray, the earnest, goofy one.   Then you’ve got Jeff, the serial narcoleptic.  Then comes the lead singer, which used to be Greg, the nice tall one.  Now you’ve got Sam, who has a fine tenor and is light on his toes.  Anthony?  Well, he’s the hot one.

He made watching four grown men do aerobics to songs like “Hot Potato” and “Get Ready to Wiggle” semi-bearable. 

But my son refused to watch the DVD’s once he hit preschool, and there was no point in having them take up space in the house, so banished to the garage they were.

My pregnancy with our daughter six years later caught us by surprise. I had thought I would never experience another toddlerhood again.

Yet, here I am.  My daughter loves to dance and loves music.  So what else fits as naturally for her as The Wiggles, I ask?  I eagerly dug the DVD’s out of the garage, not to mention bookmarked a couple of the vidoes on YouTube. 

And there he was, in all his glory.

Anthony of the blue eyes and salt and pepper hair.

Hello, gorgeous.

Tiger Mother Versus Sloth Mother

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
By Glinda

Much ado is being made about Amy Chua’s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior.” Tell us how you really feel, Ms. Chua.

I have to say upfront that I truly know nothing about Chinese parenting methods, and the little I do know comes from reading Amy Tan novels.  Which could possibly be the same as nothing.

But what strikes me about the article is the strident nature of Ms. Chua’s superiority.  And in a sense, I suppose she is correct in saying her parenting style has produced results.  Her daughter has apparently played piano at Carnegie Hall, which is a wonderful accomplishment. My son, on the other hand, has played the tambourine (badly) for an audience comprised solely of his baby sister. So I suppose she is at least one up on me there.

She does say that the term “Chinese mother” does not necessarily apply only to people of Chinese ancestry, but is rather describing a certain parenting style.  This is opposed to “Western parenting” which she says can also be anyone of any ancestry.

That being said, I fall firmly in the Western category, and I’m not ashamed of it.

I cannot bring myself to dictate to my son what his interests should or shouldn’t be.  Ms. Chua states that she only allowed her daughters to study piano or violin, no other instruments were considered.  I can’t imagine doing that to my son.  I mean, I might be depriving the world of a world-class tambourine player if I did so.

This part of her story, though, did resonate with me:

First, I’ve noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children’s self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children’s psyches. Chinese parents aren’t. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.

I think she might have a little something there.  It is possible that Western parents are too worried about self-esteem.  I mean, hello everybody-gets-a-trophy sports!

The way in which she describes going about motivating her youngest child to master a particularly different piano piece, however, seem a bit over the top to me.   But, a book needs to be sold, does it not?

But that must be the sloth mother in me.

I’m going to overcome my weak Western parenting style, ASAP.

Tambourine practice, seven days a week.  I hope the Munchkin is ready for it.

Things I Hate: Toys that Pretend to Teach My Child Another Language

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
By Glinda

Do I think it is a good idea for my children to learn another language? Emphatically, yes. I, along with almost every other parent I know, do not wish to see my child crushed in whatever future global competitive job market that is coming.  An acquaintance of mine has a child that is tri-lingual, speaking English, Arabic, and Spanish.  This, of course, makes me  feel anxiety that my kids are going to be left in the multi-cultural dust.

And that is why toy manufacturers have jumped on the bilingual bandwagon with toys like this, this and of course, this.

Of course you can buy them just for simple exposure to another language (and by extension, another culture), but if you are truly looking to teach your child another language, don’t fool yourself that these will do the trick. 

You might be better off getting some flashcards, but I would recommend a) having someone fluent in the language speak to your child on a regular basis or failing that, b) classes.  If your child is a bit older, something like this will probably do the trick, as second language courses in public elementary/middle schools have already gone the way of the dodo due to budget cuts, if they were ever there to begin with.

Let’s face it, your child is not going to become fluent in Spanish just because she presses a few buttons once or twice a day that sing “rojo” and “verde.” Trust me on this one.

Things I Love: Mustela PhysiObebe

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
By Glinda

My love affair with this product began with the Munchkin, and has continued with the Munchkinette. 

Where to start?  It is a no-rinse wash for babies that is perfect for (ahem) the holidays when you are staying out later than normal and possibly skipping baths, yet still needing to cleanse sensitive areas.  It is ridiculously easy to use, smells fabulous, and if you just make sure it isn’t cold before applying to baby, then everyone is happy as a clam.  This is one of my favorite shower gifts to give to new moms. 

 It comes in handy way more often than you would think.  Got a kid who gets carsick often?  This is the product for you.  I used it more times than I can count on the Munchkin, who was famous for his ability to get sick in the car on even the shortest of trips.  Takes the smell right off them.  Same for a diaper explosion or any other of the three thousand things that happen to kids that make them dirty and smell not-so-superfantastic.

If you have a baby or know someone that does, get it.  You won’t regret it.  It’s also paraben, triclosan, and pthalate-free.

Helena Bonham Carter- Full of Awesome

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
By Glinda

You know, she may be a bit on the cray-cray side of the fashion spectrum, but there is no denying that this quote, given in this interview, is refreshingly down-to-earth:

“The parenting bit is much harder than the acting bit,” Bonham Carter said. “You just never know what to do. So me and Tim were sort of fed up with getting hurt. ‘What do we now?’ But the parenting class has been really useful. It’s a bit like Parenting Anonymous. There’s a group of parents just spewing out their latest trauma of the week. ’I’m Helena, and I’m a mother.’

Can you imagine many other famous actresses uttering something so humble?  I mean, there are quite a few who do the old “fake humble” thing where they gush about how their kids’ poopy diapers keep them grounded, but to attend a parenting class with other parents?  And sit there and say, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing?”


Helena, I will have tea with you any day of the week, and trust me, I’ve got lots of parenting trauma stories to share.

And we can also talk about how your son looks exactly like your husband.

Monday Teeny Poll

Monday, November 29th, 2010
By Glinda

48% of you are doing just fine with your holiday shopping, while 31% of you are eyeing them in a  fit of jealousy.  Not to mention the 11% who are already done, and the 8% of you who don’t do any holiday shopping.  I’ve not really started yet, but I know pretty much exactly what I’m getting for those I’m buying for.   For others, it’s just a matter of deciding to give them my homemade cranberry almond scones or the chocolate chip.

Today, I want you to look at the photo of the young ladies above.  Apparently this is what happens when you allow Tom Ford to take over French Vogue.

Sunday Night Links

Monday, November 15th, 2010
By Glinda


Mainly because I love this song.

Can you spot the fake smile? I got 16/20!


Ur stressin’ ur kid out with ur stress.

Kids + Kinect = Ouch.

In Which Gisele Bundchen Needs to Shut Her Pie Hole

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
By Glinda

Before Glinda decides to give Ms. Thang a smack upside the head with her wand.

I’ve tried to keep quiet, I really have.

I didn’t say anything when she gloated about how easy her drugless water birth was. I also refrained from commmenting when she claimed to have “potty trained” her six month old son.

But the newest tidbit to fall from her pouty lips?

I cannot be silent.

Ms. Judgy McJudgerson has been quoted as saying that breastfeeding an infant for the first six months should be “the law”.

Oh really?

So what are you going to do with people like me, who had the experience of trying, but could not produce enough milk, no matter how many hours I hooked myself up to the damn pump? Or what about those people who are taking lifesaving medication, which may preclude them from breastfeeding due to the medication being secreted in their milk and harming the baby? How about adoptive mothers? Or mothers who, like my aunt, had successfully breastfed one child, only to have the other steadfastly refuse?  Or women whose workplace does not provide them a proper place in which to pump during work hours, thus making it ever so much easier to go to formula?  Or the million and one other valid reasons women decide that breastfeeding is not the right choice for them.

What are you going to do then, Ms. Charter Member of the Breastfeeding Police?

Throw them in jail? Oh, yes, that makes so much sense.

Or how about giving them a large fine, thus possibly taking away money for necessities, because all of us cannot be super wealthy supermodels married to super wealthy football players.

That was so well thought out, wasn’t it Gisele?

You, ma’am, are no Christy Turlington.

Why don’t you do everyone a big favor and go back to giving your sexyface looks into the camera while getting paid bajillions of dollars and spare us your poorly conceived inanities?

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