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Teeny Manolo: Celebrating the Joys of Parenting and Childhood - Part 287

Germaine Greer Wants YOUR Teddy!

Well, she doesn’t want it for herself; she simply wants to take it away from your child.
Germaine Greer, Angry Teddy Bear Hater
As she explains in her article in yesterday’s Guardian (titled Cuddly toys are ugly monstrosities – and it’s time we stopped our kids from fetishising them, I kid you not) she grew up without teddies, and just look how she turned out! Why, her interpersonal socialization skills are legendary.

Children haven’t always screamed themselves into conniptions if Teddy or Bunny or Cuddles got left behind. Nowadays, cutesy effigies of animals are apt to turn up almost anywhere; they gaze soulfully from car dashboards, loll in heaps on undergraduate beds, peep out of rucksacks and grace restaurant tables. Teddies and bunnies are taken into exams and sat on the desks, as if to be without them for three hours would induce hysteria and fainting spells. Soft toys are left along with the flowers at the scenes of fatalities. Wherever they are, they are truly hideous, beyond kitsch. By making our children fall in love with such ugliness, we are preparing them for a life without taste…

How to respond…and yes, she’s obviously hoping for a response; for someone so famously elitist, she is startlingly dependent on the masses, otherwise she’d have published that screed at Blogspot, not in the Guardian, or just done what most other people of such inclinations do: xerox a hundred copies at the drop-in centre and hand them out at intersections.

Manni Teddy by Gund

Well, I have puzzled and puzzed till my puzzler was sore, and I think I have come up with the proper response. My first, contrarian impulse was to suggest we pummel the bitter old weasel with an avalanche of sock monkeys and teddys whenever she appears in public.

My second, better suggestion is this: that, to save future generations from turning out the way Germaine Greer has, that we toddle ourselves off to the local toystore (or craft store, if you’re crafty) and purchase/make a stuffed toy, which we donate to a local children’s charity.

eg:

Any Children’s Hospital

Project NightNight

Artists Helping Children

Additional suggestions in the comments, plzthxkbai.

There is No Known Cure

I hadn’t expected it really.

 

But it is that time of year, and of course, there it was.

 

The Back-to-School sale.

 

Now, my son is still in preschool, so I had planned on carrying over into fall the majority of his summer clothing. Because where I live, you can wear shorts during the day well into October and sometimes November. But, he had the nerve to go through a growth spurt just at the wrong time.  I scolded him on the way over to the store. “Don’t you know,”  I glared at him through the rear-view mirror “that you are only allowed to grow when the weather has changed?  No more growing in the off-season, Mister!”

 

When we arrived, I begin looking through the racks, and suddenly, I was no longer aware of my surroundings.  My son could have climbed out of his stroller and attempted to hitchhike his way across the state, and I would have been none the wiser.

 

The colors and styles of the clothes began to blur, all I could comprehend was that they were 60% off.

And before I knew it, I was standing there with six shirts, four pairs of shorts, a sweater, and a waffled long sleeved Henley.

Nervously, I looked across the rack and saw another mother clutching even more clothes than me.  Her breathing was shallow, and she looked as if she didn’t know exactly where she was.

 

We had both fallen victim to what experts like to term the “Sale Induced Trance” or SIT for short.  SIT gives us the ability to sort through dozens of items placed in the wrong section with lightning speed.  It also gives us an almost superhuman ability to work out proper percentages in our brains, even if we have to use a calculator to tip at a restaurant.

 

By some stroke of fortune or perhaps just too much caffeine, I was able to shake off the effects of SIT.  Because even though the Ralph Lauren shirt was only six bucks, it was pink, orange and blue.   Even Mr. Lauren can’t make me purchase something so badly color-coordinated. I put it back on the rack to join its fellow ugly brethren, of which there were more than just a few.

 

At the checkout register, I caught a glimpse of that same orange, pink and blue combination.  It was my fellow shopper.  I sighed and walked out of the store. SIT had claimed yet another victim.

 

Sale Induced Trance

Woman exhibiting a classic SIT symptom: the glassy-eyed stare

 

 

Drop the Baby: Celebrity Moms Edition

Honestly, once you’ve done the vag flash, where do you go from there when you’re looking to drive the fans wild? How to ramp up the publicity machine? Well, these two celebrity moms know exactly how: you put on your best pair of nosebleed heels and play Drop the Baby!

First onto the field was highly experienced paparazzi-inciter Britney Spears.

Britney Spears drops the baby

Wearing bottoms (that’s a technical fashion blogger term) that (for once) were too long, with what appear to be either platform flip flops or peep-toe stripper heels, she left the Ritz Carleton in New York and promptly did a prat-curtsey when her shoes caught in the trailing jeans. Ah, leaving the Ritz; more than one celebrity mom has left, only to encounter tragedy. My suggestion is the same as Glen Frey‘s: if you’re a celebrity mom you can check out, but for god’s sake, never leave!

Britney gets extra points for being pregnant at the time and managing, despite the no doubt unbalancing effect of playing snap the whip with her toddler’s head, not to let go of her drink. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a professional in action. Yes, she was carrying both the apparently indestructable Sean Preston Does-Daddy-Still-Have-Custody-Of-The-Surname? and a rocks glass of mysterious clear liquid, which she was careful not to spill. The bodyguards steadied the baby.

Britney’s shoes of deathBritney: frazzled bottle blonde ponytail, smeared eyeliner, black bra, white eyelet babydoll top, low-slung, far-too-long jeans, hooker/trailer park shoes. Something on the rocks. Look: trailer trash, y’all!
Sean Preston Whatever: slightly greyed white overalls, striped Mork&Mindy socks, eye-ripping orange hat that flew off, no shirt, no shoes. Look: redneck, y’all.

Seriously, an awesome performance by a real pro.

Now let us turn to this past weekend’s performance by relative newcomer Katie Holmes/Kate Cruise/Stepford Wife #3.

Katie Holmes trips

Katie earns points for staging the baby drop on a rainy Parisian sidewalk, which makes a much prettier backdrop than a hotel parking lot. She loses points because she saved the baby and hit the pavement herself, bloodying her knee rather than say, tossing the baby to the help, steadying herself, and attempting to chug the pink blankie.

Katie Holmes trips: the shoesThen again, those are hideous shoes; girl deserved to go down.

Katie: perfect makeup, this year’s Posh haircut, olive trench, invisible dress (the Barbara Amiel look), high double-strap pumps that, it must be admitted, do have pretty heels even if they’re the colour of oxbarf. They don’t even look good when Peter Fox does them. Yes, they make your feet look shorter. They make the rest of you look shorter, too, when you’re kneeling on the sidewalk because you fell over. Look: 2007 meets 1927

Suri ShoesSuri: adorable, classic dress, immaculate and cosy white cardigan, cute variation of the baby pageboy, hideous Baby Birkenstocks with massive straps that could hitch a Clydesdale to a beer wagon. Does Katie have restraint issues, par chance? Look: BCBGeekChic.

Verdict: round goes to Spears, y’all. Cheers!
May a humble blogger suggest that, should celebrity or other moms wish to avoid being featured in future Drop the Baby posts, when they are carrying something as precious as these two babies, they A) put the damn drink down and B) choose footwear more like what these relatively sensible toddlers are wearing, and less like a truck stop honey or an extra in Bugsy Malone?

And So It Begins

Ahhhh, kids.

 

They are the most wonderful and joyous things to touch our lives. Let’s not focus right now on the tantrums or the ability to shriek “No!” and slam their bedroom door. Let’s just keep our focus on the positive, of sweet baby gurgles and chubby cheeks.

 

We glowed with joy when we found out there would be a new arrival, whether it was our child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or the child of a good friend. We beamed, even as in the back of our heads we thought, “Yesssss, now I totally have an excuse to go into that baby boutique down the street!”

 

You can’t deny the tiny thrill we enjoyed, knowing that another being would be entering the world. This innocent would be totally dependent upon us and our good taste to pick out items of clothing that are both fashionable yet able to serve adequately as barriers against the elements, as well as various spilled fluids. And this being has no choice whatsoever in what it wears! For at least a few years, they are completely at our mercy!

 

Then, hopefully our fine sense of color and design will have worn off on them so as to keep the fighting over what to wear to school at a minimum. But still, our influence is always there, whether or not they acknowledge it, or even actively seek to rebel against it.

 

Talk about a feeling of power.

 

And, shall we use that for good?

 

Gap Girl’s Back to School

 

Or for evil?

 

 

horriblehalloween.jpg

 

It’s a choice we must live with every day.

 

My name is Glinda, and I am here to persuade you to use your powers for good.

 

Welcome to Teeny Manolo! I want this to be a place where anyone, not just parents, can find something funny and interesting every single day. So my friends, click your heels together three times and say it with me, “There’s no place like Teeny Manolo!”

who’s that girl?

raincoaster!I am not the kind of girl who would be at a blog like this at this time of the morning, and in fact I am not, being safely tucked up in bed till the bell rings for lunch, as all good bloggers should be. The Autopost button is my friend.

I’m raincoaster, and it seems the best way for me to introduce myself to you is the same way I introduced myself to the Manolo: with attitude. This is the email that got me this cushy gig in burgeoning Manolopolis.

Greetings to the illustrious Manolo, whose growing empire rivals those of the Ottomans and Romanovs, except better-dressed and without the bloody revolution part.

To say that I was excited by the blog job opening at Teeny Manolo would be to understate the case to a near-criminal degree. I am a longtime acolyte of the Manolo (and grateful recipient of the Manolo’s linkie luv) as well as a highly experienced blogger, blogging instructor and consultant, and former nanny and retailer of clothes for teenies. During my time in the totwear trade, I was sometimes delighted by clever, practical, and attractive clothes, but more often (it must be confessed) I was appalled and shocked into bitter sarcasm by the vast tide of bogswill being passed off as proper clothing for youngsters, boys in particular.

What did little boys ever do to get stuck with SAILOR SUITS for Tinky Winky’s sake? And cheap, shiny nylon sailor suits with scratchy seams that make the baby Jesus cry, or would, if he had to wear those instead of the lovely robes that Mary picked out for him on that trip to Jerusalem.

Please accept this application for the position of Teeny Manolo Blogger. Currently I have three active blogs: raincoaster, for my bitter ravings; running through rain for students of my courses on blogging for personal growth; and the Shebeen Club, for my literary group (who would love to host the Manolo for an evening, should he pass through Vancouver). I average between four and twelve posts a day, and yes, I can modulate the snark at will.

I hope to hear from you soon: if you need an old-skool resume, just let me know. You can also check out my profile on LinkedIn.

Actually, you cannot, because I’m really terribly, terribly shy. With the encouragement of my readers and the support of my magically self-replenishing mug of Sumatra Full City Roast, I’m slowly coming out of my shell. Alas, those who get a look at me in broad daylight not infrequently request that I return to it, but that is neither here nor there.

Being hired by the Manolo is a thrilling time in any young blogger’s life. The limos, the clubs, the private planes to Paris! As newly-minted secret agents reporting to M, it’s hard to decide if Glinda and I are the James Blondes of the Teeny world, the Charlie’s Angels (I get to be Kate Jackson, okay?) or the twin Laura Holts of Remington Steele Investigations.

Rest assured that with us on the case, your Teenys are in good hands. Indeed, like another great detective force, we always get our Manolos.

(sorry)

(ok, not really)

Teeny Manolo

Manolo says, welcome to Teeny Manolo!

The Manolo wishes to introduce you to the two bloggers who will be writing in this place, the Glinda and the Raincoaster.

Here are two excellent and witty bloggers whom you will want to read every day, not only because they write well and can make you laugh, but also for the useful information and important advice they will dispense to you.

Naturally, the Glinda and the Raincoaster are also ardent believers in the Manolo’s Philosophy of the Super Fantastic, especially as it can be applied to the children and the child-rearing.

“But Manolo,” you may ask, “how can the little childrens be super fantastic?”

To which the Manolo can only reply, “Children are naturally super fantastic! They are curious about the world, are able to delight in small pleasures, and have the potential for innocent joy. Are these not important characteristics of Super Fantasticness?”

For the example, the Manolo well remembers his his own childhood, how the teeny Manolo spent hours making the tiny shoes to be placed upon the tiny feets of the lizards that had been captured in the dusty refuse that ringed the encampment. Using the scraps of the twine and the ribbon and bits of foil recovered from discarded packets of the low-quality Spanish cigarettes, the Manolo would construct the most beautiful D’Orsay pumps for these reptiles, handsome shoes designed to account for their inhuman toes.

Thus you may see what the Manolo means by the childish capacity for Super Fantasticness, that even the smallest, dirtiest, and poorest child (all things the teeny Manolo was at the time) can still take intense pleasure in the most trivial of things.

This is why the Manolo started this blog, because he wanted to celebrate childhood as the time of joy and pleasure, for both the child and the parent. And so, let the Teeny Manolo blogging begin!

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