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Teeny Manolo: Celebrating the Joys of Parenting and Childhood - Part 283

The Cupcake Needs to Stage a Coup

Watch Out! It’s Bad!

Do you like cupcakes? I like cupcakes. In fact, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t. Especially kids. Even if they won’t eat the cake part, the icing is always a goner.

Via Serious Eats we learn that school districts across this great land of ours are having our kids “Just Say No.”

Glinda, you ask, what are they saying “no” to? Drugs? Alcohol? My friends, the answer is that they are learning the dangers of a food that is the root of all evil, the cupcake. Sure it looks all sweet and innocent, but lurking beneath that yummy exterior is a lifetime of obesity! Cupcakes are a gateway food, didn’t you know?

It seems that with all the warranted concern over childhood obesity and rising Type II diabetes in children, schools are now looking to ban sweet treats in school. Even for special occasions such as a birthday.

I can see it now, “Boys and girls, it’s Natasha’s birthday, so her mom brought us all brussels sprouts and cabbage!” Can you hear the shouts of joy? I thought not.

I understand that with larger class sizes now being the norm (hey, why not a ban on that?) bringing treats to class for a birthday can result in what seems like many days of sugar-and-butter-fueled parties.

And yet again, we as a nation try to blame the majority of our societal ills on our school system.

I’m here to tell you that a child just does not gain significant amounts of weight from eating birthday cupcakes. Too many video games? Check. Not enough physical activity? Check. A lack of healthy foods consumed at home? Check-o-rama.  A grocery store filled to the brim with foods that have high fructose corn syrup? What do you think?

Now to be honest, I don’t always agree with the good folks in Texas, but they were actually able to pass a “Safe Cupcake Amendment” in the state’s nutritional school guidelines to retain the cupcake’s place in our national birthday psyches. Don’t mess with Texas, and hands off their cupcakes!

Why, why do we keep trying to take things away from our children instead of teaching them proper nutrition and most of all, moderation?  There has got to be a better way to do it, rather than an all-out ban.

But I’m guessing that what the cupcake really needs is a good publicist. It needs to focus on “charity” and being photographed holding a Bible. Hey, it worked for Paris Hilton, didn’t it?

Reasons to Stay in School #2,083,857,309

So you can take this guy’s job away from him:

Shcool
Welcome to the Kalamazoo Shcool District. That’s one helluva accent they got down there!

The Unicorn Chaser

Our own version of BoingBoing’s patented Unicorn Chaser.

We’ve had some complaints about the post below this (and it is indeed strong stuff if you came here looking for tips on back to school shopping), so we are offering, in lieu of smelling salts, recourse to our #1 favorite mindwash of all time: the ever-popular, mindless, yet irresistible force of nature that is We Like tha Moon, by the Spongmonkeys (and no, that’s not a spelling mistake). This is so strange, yet so cute in a Terry Gilliam Was My Babysitter kind of way, that it gets both the “That’s Just Wrong” tag and the “The Cuteness Abounds” tag.

Toddlers like this song even better than stoners do. Not that I know any stoners. Oh, perish the thought!

And lookie: here’s the lyrics.

We like the moon
coz it is close to us.
We like the MOOOOOON!
But not as much as a spoon
coz that’s more use for eating soup
and a fork isn’t very useful for that
unless it has got many vegetables
and then you might be better off with a chopstick.
Unlike the moon
It is up in the sky
It’s up there very high
but not as high as maybe dirigibles or zeppelins
or lightbulbs
and maybe clouds
and puffins also I think maybe they go quite high too
maybe not as high as the moon.
Coz the moon is very high.
We like tha moon
Tha moon is very useful everyone.
Everybody like the moon.
Because it light up the sky as night and it lovely and it make the tide go
and we like it
but not as much as cheese.
We really like cheese
we like zeppelins
We really like them
and we like kelp
and we like moose
and we like deer
and we like marmots
and we like all the fluffy animals.
We really like tha moon.

Return of the Babyhaters: Kip and Dana Smith

Yes, TeenyManolo is rapidly becoming the Internet’s #1 go-to site for the very latest in Baby Hater news. In this case, we bring you news of a couple of not-so-much-Baby-Haters as Kids-of-All-Ages-Haters, dream couple Kip and Dana Smith.

Kip and Dana Smith

Not tasers, nor automatic weapons; in this case, they are alleged to have used the rather hillbillyesque electric cattle prod.

I’m sure you’re well aware of the “it’s a Freudian response to my upbringing” excuse, and surely these two must have some backstory; why, their parents couldn’t even be bothered to pay enough attention to give them gender-specific names. Maybe they’re brother and sister? It’s no wonder they’re messed up, poor things!

Funny, he doesn’t look Preppy.

Let’s go to the transcript:

Officers say the incidents happened in June and July. They say the couple repeatedly used an electric hand-held cattle prod on the boys, who are ages 12 and 14.

Officers also say Kip Smith struck the victims with a cane across the buttocks and legs back in March.

If you happen to be near 398 New Bridge Road, Aiken, South Carolina any time soon, do drop in and say hello to this fun couple and let them know they made the blog!

Since they’re out on bail, I’m sure they can’t be too hard to find, nudge, nudge.

Monday Teeny Poll

Vanessa Hudgens

Drop the Baby: the new challengers!

Longtime TeenyManolo readers will recall our play-by-play of the first round of the hotly-contested (and, apparently, hyphen-generating) playoffs in the international Drop the Baby league. Indeed, as with the great Secretariat winning the Belmont in ’73, who could forget the way the untouchable Britney effortlessly pulled ahead of upstart newbie Kat(i)e HolmesCruiseBot? An easy win for a truly legendary thoroughbred.

Here are two fresh competitors late out of the gate, but who show great promise. While it’s true that neither Gwen Stefani nor Larry Birkhead have actually dropped the baby (subject to updates TK) we figure between his habits and her heels, it’s just a matter of time. Let’s break down the challenges these two represent, shall we?

First up, Golden Gwen Stefani out of Orange County, California, whose husband so ably displayed secure baby-handling technique all this week at the fashion shows. Realizing that such attention to baby safety and anti-splat measures is directly antagonistic to the paparazzi-attracting imperative, Gwen decided to take teeny, adorable things into her own hands.

Gwen Stefani drop the baby

Kingston: I like that Kingston is rocking the Seventies headphones; he’s probably grooving to some totally happenin’ Steely Dan right at this very moment. And his sweatshirt and coordinated bright (easy to find if dropped) pacifier are cute, although low-rider jeans are not a good idea on anyone who wears a diaper. A full Pampers is not exactly a jeweled thong, you know? Decent enough shoes, not the foot-truncating ballet flats of the earlier appearance.

Gwen: THOSE SHOES! These are, without question, the highest shoes yet to make an appearance in Drop the Baby. She needs oxygen at that altitude! An excellent choice for round two, really ramping it up and showing that this challenger is one not afraid to make the daring, if painful, stretch. While not unacquainted with flats, she knows this is what it takes to catch the leaders and she’s willing to do what it takes, whatever it takes. Brava.

That dress! Seriously, folks, it’s pretty and it fits and I heart well-made pave sequin fabric and all (oh, no-one hearts it more than me!) but if she actually does drop the baby some day, it’s either say ah, hellwithit and just let him BASE jump from that height or show everyone in the world exactly where babies come from.

Gavin: Who cares what he’s wearing, he’s hawt! He’d look best nekkid.

Note: Stefani loses points because despite a solid effort, she, in fact and in actuality, failed to drop the baby.

On to the second challenger.

Larry Birkhead birthday balloon

Boy, this guy doesn’t fool around, does he?

Round Two: Birkhead!

Sundays: Operating Instructions

Car TripSummer weekends are increasingly rare occurrences, and not to be taken lightly. Truly, there are only a couple left before everyone starts wearing pumpkin-adorned Shetland sweaters and olive cords and talking about snowshoes. It is strongly to be hoped that you have prepared adequately for two days in the uninterrupted company of those you love or to whom you are irrevocably related. The scenario is fraught with pitfalls, and as more than one wise man has noted, in such unpredictable situations it’s best to learn from the mistakes of others, for lo, ye shall never live long enough to make them all yourself, right?

Right.

So, what do we here at TeenyManolo recommend for your basic Lazy Sunday?

We suggest going old-skool.

Summer weekends are exactly those periods of time when it’s best to fall back on things your grandparents would have found delightful, when they were about four. This is both cheaper and easier than flying to Paris for a shopping spree, scaling Everest to “show those snotty Scouts,” or renting a theme park for Timmy-Billy-Bob’s birthday party.

Old-skool summer weekend activities include:

  • camping; yes, even in the backyard, but it only counts if you make s’mores and tell at least one ghost story
  • playing pleasantly dopey games like charades, hangman, Life or anything using the Pop-O-Matic
  • making and/or consuming lemonade and sun tea
  • lemonade stands (particularly lucrative if you live near a bike path; raincoaster is generally good for buying five rounds)
  • the zoo
  • pony rides/hay rides
  • making popcorn the old-fashioned way, whether or not you use the magically enchanted brand that poufs into a silvery turban (but come on: why wouldn’t you?)
  • reading to each other, particularly kids to parents, for lo, kids always think you’re reading crap and have better stuff they could show you, if they thought you wanted to know
  • cooking together. NOT reheating together
  • pointless wandering around, either in a car or human-powered (bikes, skates, or pedestrianization).

Things to avoid:

  • anything one of you has done before and knows s/he actively hates
  • anything mildly pleasant that you do in a typical weekday anyway. A weekend is a moderately special occasion, and kids deserve to have fun on special occasions. And so do adults
  • anything demanding batteries or extension cords
  • anything chosen primarily for its photo possibilities. What good are memorable pictures of forgettable experiences?

And now we will leave you with the image that most perfectly sums up the perfect weekend afternoon with the wee ones, stolen from wanderlust, via Bridlepath.

ponies in the park

Caption Me: Katie-Lee Webster

Katie-Lee Webster

We at TeenyManolo humbly express our greatest thanks to SpiritFingers, who passes from the Daily Mail along this eminently captionable pic of the sweet, yet very furry, ten-week-old Katie-Lee Webster.

Her mother, Stephanie Pleasance, said: “Most people when they see a baby say ‘Isn’t she cute?’. When people see her, they say “Look at her hair!’.”

Katie-Lee’s father, Danny Webster, added: “No one we’ve met has ever seen anything like it – we’re forever being stopped in the street and asked, ‘Is that a wig?’.”

Okay, folks, that’s right up there with patting pregnant strangers on the belly. If you can’t tell new parents their baby is cute, then please, my friends, just STFU.

Caption suggestions in the comments, please. Here’s mine:

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
is proud to announce its youngest student in history:
Elvis Weasley.”