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Things They Don’t Make Like They Used To: Band Aids

Oh, or in case I’m pulling a “Xerox,” adhesive bandages.

A couple of days ago, I rather stupidly grated the top part of my finger along with the block of medium cheddar cheese.  Note to self, next time you get close to the end of the block, just throw the damn thing out instead of trying to get every last shred out of it! 

Anyhoo, I wound up needed to put a bandage on that sucker because it just would not stop bleeding. 

After dinner I washed my hands, and what do you know, the bandage practically leaped off my finger.  Cursing the fact that my husband had seen fit to buy a cheap drugstore brand, off I went in search of the good stuff.

Good stuff, applied. 

Washed my face before going to bed.  Needed another freaking bandage.

The next day I went through no fewer than six bandages, all of them committing hara kiri when I even so much as waved my hands in the direction of the sink.

As a kid, I remember having bandages applied to my skinned knees and actually dreading the moment I would have to rip it off.  Unless it was reeaallly bad, I wouldn’t even want a bandage.  Because back in the day, the bandages literally became one with your skin.  Your cut would be totally healed and yet days later, extreme measures still had to be taken to get the bandage off.  

 The best place to bring the pain was the bathtub after you’d been in it for a while.  Then, with your knee submerged, you would start to rip off one corner, and then yelp in pain.  You knew you needed to just do it in one grand swoop, as your mother would remind you, but the pain of doing so was enough to almost make you pass out.  Then, after much grimacing and the dramatic sucking in of air through teeth, you finally managed to remove it, along with the top three layers of epidermis. Then you would also have to deal with some of the little dark adhesive nubs (for lack of a better word) that refused to come off, unless you were willing to apply some elbow grease and alcohol.  Which I never was. 

Am I remembering things correctly, my friends?  Were band aids indeed super-glued to your skin in the good old days?

Or have I stumbled off Memory Lane and onto Delusional Drive?

Priorities, People, Priorities

So, a mother in New York paid a preschool $19,000 to prep her four year old for an Ivy League education.  She then claimed that the preschool did nothing of the sort, and is suing them.

There are just so many things wrong with the sentences above, I don’t even know where to start.

Let me say this, though, that if there was any doubt that there is a huge (and growing!) class divide here in the United States, this is a prime example of it. We’ve got middle class families fighting for their right to collectively bargain for their working conditions, and then we have people paying exorbitant sums of money for a preschool.

But let’s get back to that four year old and her future illustrious educational career.   The woman was upset that her daughter was placed in “a big playroom” instead of being drilled on how to take the ERB.  The ERB is technically an IQ test, and I want to know how a school is going to increase your child’s IQ, especially at such a young age.  Or, are wealthy parents expecting the schools and tutors to show them the actual test questions and coaching them on the answers?  I’m sure I don’t really want to know the answer to that.

Now, I know that parenting is all about pushing your children to succeed, because if you don’t do it, who will? There aren’t too many self-motivated middle schoolers out there.   But there is wanting your children to succeed and then being pathological about it, a la your friend and mine, Tiger Mother

Newsflash for all those type A moms, many four year olds, they like to play.  A lot. Much more than studying for a test. Most educational experts agree that at such a young age, children learn just as much by playing , if not more, than they do by sitting at a desk and filling in bubbles.

And tell me, is an Ivy League education all it is cracked up to be any more?

I’ve read quite a few articles claiming that an Ivy League education may not be worth the price any more, especially factoring in paying off student loans.

Yet here we have people shelling out almost twenty thousand dollars for preschool, which I’m sorry, sounds a bit insane.  That’s only about fifteen thousand less than the tuition at one of the vaunted Ivy Leagues, yet all little Lucia will get is a certificate saying that she was proficient in, well, preschool.

As I watch my own very bright son whack the daylights out of his friend with a Nerf sword in the front yard instead of learning French, I wonder which of us moms is making the right decisions.

Only time will tell.

Suri Cruise and the Pacifier

If you haven’t heard already, the internets is abuzz over the photos of Suri Cruise, aged 5, sucking on a pacifier.  Simply Google “Suri Cruise pacifier” and pages and pages of commentary will pop up.

Because it is perfectly fine for the foibles of a five year old, presumably the most fashionable one on the planet, to be subject to the judgement of the world!

Listen, anyone who has had a kid, and I wonder about some of the people doing all of the pearl-clutching and their experience with children, knows that kids have quirks.  Neither of my children had any interest in a pacifier whatsoever, so I’ve never had to wean them off of one.  But all children have their comfort objects, and as long as it isn’t hurting them, I’m not going to say anything about it.

And I sure as hell know that I am beyond glad that there aren’t a million paparazzi chasing after my daughter every second she is out in public.  Because man, I would probably be proclaimed the world’s second-worst mother, right behind this woman.

But who knows what Suri does with her pacifier?  Maybe it was a one-day deal.  Maybe she found it between the cushions of the car seat and decided to haul it out for old time’s sake.  Maybe the photographers constantly following and shouting at her and her mother stress her out and she needs a binky.  This actually distresses me just thinking about it.

Or maybe, just maybe, the all-knowing internet could just lay off a five year old that they don’t even know.

Ya think?

Because goodness knows that if anyone has the money to pay for any dental bills, it is Tom Cruise.

It’s All My Fault (As Usual)

Here come the fine folks at the University of Minnesota to reassure us moms that yes, we have the ability to screw up our children, and good.

Among other things found in the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, researchers found that:

The strength of the bond you formed with Mom during the first two years of life strongly affects how efficiently you and your partner will move beyond a fight and join forces to accomplish mutual goals.

Those people who had formed a strong bond with their mothers were better able to resolve conflicts with their partners, and those who were not as fortunate tended to not play nice in a fight. 

Not all is lost for those who didn’t resolve conflicts as quickly.  The study found that if they had a partner who was able to “get over it” quickly, then the relationship fared better.

But wait, couldn’t that be said of any relationship?   If your partner doesn’t really care, I  would think it would be easy to move on from conflict no matter how much you hate your Mom. Jebus.

I swear, every psychiatrist should have a plaque in their office saying, “Thanks, Mom!”

Don’t you think?

Teachers are People, Too…

I’m only now hearing about the teacher who blogged about her work environment and some of her students.  It seems to have made quite a splash on the blogosphere and the news, and I have no excuse for not finding it earlier, other than I have a tiny, demanding human being who willfully bites electric cords and opens the trash can and all manner of other things that could potentially land her in the ER if  don’t watch her every single second.  Thus, I have about two hours at night in which to cram in all of the things I need to do.  I’m lucky I even know about Bahrain at this point.

Anyhoo, a teacher wrote about her school, and some of her administrators, and some of her students.  And yes, she complained about them and some of her job duties on a few of her posts.  She didn’t name any of them, and didn’t name the school.  She blogged under her first name and last initial, and didn’t even make her location known. I’d say other than blogging under a pseudonym (which I’m sure she wishes she had done now)  there isn’t much else she could have done to make it more anonymous.  Basically this was a personal blog that sometimes mentioned things about her job, it wasn’t set up to deliberately bash her students or co-workers.

One of her students supposedly stumbled across her blog, reported it to the school, and she was sent home and suspended for a week.

Is it just me, or did the school and the district overreact?

I know that it is a general rule not to blog about work, but usually that applies to people who name names. 

She didn’t.

By some twist of fate, someone who was able to recognize her found her blog amongst the thousands out there, and reported it.

Maybe I’ve just got a soft spot for teachers, but why wouldn’t she be allowed to complain about the general state of her class?  Goodness knows I read blogs that constantly talk about their jobs and co-workers and say much worse than what Ms. Munroe did.  Add to that the district has no Internet or blogging policies in place, so I would like to think she and her First Amendment rights get a pass on this one.

Ms. Munroe is unapologetic for her blog, and I for one, support her fully.

She actually hopes that her complaints about her students and their lack of engagement and responsibility will spark a discussion about accountability and where that accountability should be placed.  I think this is an idea that has merit, as teachers have definitely become huge scapegoats in the education game.   Not much talk is made of parents who don’t care, which there are more of than you would like to think.

Those among us who have never complained about their job, feel free to set that stone aloft.

The Other “S” Word

I found out today that using the adjective “stupid” in any context will get you in trouble at the public school my son attends.

Doesn’t matter if you call yourself stupid or if you are struggling with a backpack zipper that won’t open.  If you utter the “s-word” (the one with six letters, not four) the teacher will formally punish you.

Glinda is not happy.

While I fully understand that stupid is a word with an inherently negative connotation, since when do schools get to go around with a list of forbidden words that aren’t considered curse words?

If someone were to insult a classmate by calling them stupid, then those circumstances certainly warrant discipline.  An insult of any kind should have swift repercussions, regardless of the words chosen.  However, merely describing a situation as stupid and getting into trouble for it seems… stupid. 

You know I had to go there, didn’t you?

Forget book banning, schools are now effectively selectively banning common words they don’t like.

I personally don’t think the term “ugly” is any better than “stupid.”  I can’t think of many situations in which one can use the word ugly in a positive way. Let’s ban that one next! How about “fat?” ” Emaciated”  doesn’t conjure up a big smile, either.

Hell, let’s just pool together a list of words that aren’t nice and forbid kids from saying them.  Then school is guaranteed to be a place that is always affirming and uplifting! 

Tomorrow, the Munchkin and I are going to sit down with a thesaurus.  I’m going to teach him the myriad ways in which you can convey the exact same meaning as the word stupid.  Some of them might even technically be worse than the word stupid.

Except those won’t automatically get him into trouble.

Monday Teeny Poll

We are recovering here from what I like to call “VomitFest 2011″ wherein my daughter threw up three times in less than two hours just before bedtime. It equaled three outfit changes, three baths, two bedsheet changes, two changes of outfit and showers for mommy, and three floor cleanings.  Fun times, my friends, fun times.  Actually, this is the only time I appreciate the marble floors that make up most of the flooring in the house.  Much easier to clean than a carpet.

Anyhoo, enough about the travails of my poor toddler’s stomach. 

Last week we had what I thought was a very interesting poll, and 60% of you felt that people who refuse to have their children vaccinated should pay higher health insurance premiums.  27% of you said that if we had universal healthcare, we wouldn’t be talking about raising health insurance premiums at all, and only 12% thought that vaccine-refusers should not have to pay higher premiums.  To be honest, I was a little shocked at the final outcome.  Not that I disagree, but I certainly thought more people would be against it.

Today via the Washington Post comes the story of poor Zoe, who was kicked out of a Montessori school at the tender age of 3 because she had too many potty accidents at school.

Monday Teeny Poll

Last week I asked if a 17 year old was too young to be Miss America, and 72% of you think just that.  I agree.  The funny thing is, I don’t really have any “facts” to back that up with, it’s just my gut feeling.  I will be honest, I was fairly selfish and self-centered at 17, and I can’t imagine having to do all of the things a Miss America is supposed to do at that age.  However, maybe I was just an immature brat.  Not completely out of the realm of possibility, I’m afraid.

Today, I wanted to point you to a fascinating discussion going on over at BoingBoing and find out what your views are on the topic, which come from an article written by pediatrician Rahul K. Parikh on CNN.

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