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Archive for January, 2011

Don’t Drop Out of School, Kids!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
By Glinda


Else you might find your badly spelled internet comment being made fun of by millions!

I’m guessing that showing this video at school would be more effective at convincing students to watch what they write more than any lecture from a teacher.


Liar, Liar

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
By Glinda

As Jezebel reports, there was an (informal) survey done in Britain in which basically a bunch of moms admitted they lie about their parenting.

This is supposedly news.

Are you kidding me?

Lying about your parenting skills is practically an Olympic sport.

Nobody is going to admit that they let their kids play the Wii for an  hour while they surfed on the internets so they could have some alone time.  Oh no.  In their version, the computer was never even on, and instead she and her precious offspring sat around a table and discussed the finer points of music theory.

Also, nobody will admit to having a house that needs cleaned.  There is always a good reason why they should be somewhere else, like a park!  Because then the kids can run around in the fresh air! Then no one will be the wiser as to the dishes still sitting in the sink from last night and the toilet that your son cannot seem to aim into properly.  No matter how many Cheerios you try to float in there.

Also, everyone’s child is a fantastic reader.  In fact, their child cannot get enough of books, and they are forced to rip them out of their hands and tell them to go outside and bounce a ball or something.  Because saying your kid would rather make his bed than read means you are a bad, bad mother who doesn’t take education seriously. 

Oh, and of course their marriage is heavenly, and the sex is fantastic, and their finances are in perfect order.  Nobody fights about folding the laundry, has unsatisfying sex, or hides a credit card bill. 


And why is this surprising?  Parents are being constantly judged by others, whether it is a fellow PTA parent or someone in Starbucks who sees your child the one day out of the month when she didn’t nap and threw a tantrum in the store and so you will forever be branded in their mind as a parent who is sorely lacking.  In what, they aren’t quite sure, they just know from the ten minutes of your life they viewed that you don’t have it.  So whenever the context of their parenting (or often their life in general) is able to be controlled, it’s hard for people not to leap at the chance to control it.

I, for one, have a couple of acquaintances who would qualify for at least the silver.

Monday Teeny Poll

Monday, January 17th, 2011
By Glinda

Last week I asked about children and their exposure to news, and 68% of you responded that it depended on the child and their ability to comprehend what was happening.  I suppose this is where parents are free to make the decision that they feel is best for their children, but I honestly didn’t see the need for my 8 year old to know about a mass murder.   Maybe I was wrong, but I’ll take my chances on that one.  15% said about third or fourth grade, and 8% said middle school. 

Today I am curious to see what you think about the newly crowned Miss America.

Celebrity Dad Faceoff 2.0

Friday, January 14th, 2011
By Glinda

You have spoken, and I have heard you loud and clear.  It seems you are ladies after my own heart, who enjoy ending the week on a masculine, possibly shirtless note.  Brava, ladies, brava! Continuing CDF received 80% of the vote, so onward and upward we go.

I will pick up where I left off, not giving Jamie Oliver his due as the last winner of CDF. 

His challenger this week? Someone who typically plays bad boys, and whom I’ve never really connected with as an actor.  But his dedication to situps definitely has my appreciation.



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.

One Toddler to Rule Them All…

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
By Glinda

One of the joys of dealing wth a toddler is setting boundaries.

Except it’s hard to set boundaries when the person you are attempting to set them with has a limited understanding of English, an insatiable curiosity, and a penchant for ignoring you completely.  But in the cutest way possible, of course.

When we first moved into this house, I adored the open floorplan.  The space!

Now, I curse the open floorplan with every fiber of my being as I would be spending thousands of dollars on baby gates to keep my toddler out of places she shouldn’t be. So instead I chase after her as she makes a circuit of the rooms, hitting every spot of vulnerability with alarming accuracy.  The two kitchen drawers that can’t be latched? Check.  The fireplace? Check.  The cord of the little vacuum I keep in the kitchen? Check.  Around and around we go, always with me trying to block her before she gets there, and redirecting if she does. 

But you know what?  She knows she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing, limited speaking ability be damned. 

Except, I can’t prove it.

Hmphf.  A Balrog might be easier to deal with…

Monday Teeny Poll

Monday, January 10th, 2011
By Glinda

A full 50% of you are optimistic that 2011 will be better than 2010.  God, I hope you’re right.  21% think it will be the same, and 15% predict doom and gloom with it being worse.  And 12% of you took yourselves out of the running completely by refusing to gamble.  Boo.

All right, normally on a Monday I try to talk about light issues, but the shooting incident that happened this weekend has upset me.  I imagine it has upset, many, many people, and rightly so.  I had been reading about it on the computer, and the Munchkin walked up behind me (as the computer is in our kitchen) and I quickly minimized the screen so that he wouldn’t be able to read the headline.  I don’t allow him to watch the news or read newspaper sites unless supervised, but I’m wondering if I’m sheltering him, or doing him a favor.

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