Every once in awhile I come across one of those articles on the net warning us that we're pumping our kids' heads full of too much praise.
Is there such a thing? Of course. You hear it at the park when the mom tells Jr. that he really didn't HAVE to share the tricycle even though that other kid's big mean mommy pointed out that it's a public park and he hasn't actually used the darn thing for the past 45 minutes. You hear it in the grocery store when the mom pushing the cart one aisle over tells her little Einstein that he's good enough, strong enough, and doggone it, why can't people just agree that the capital of Ohio is Kansas City?
People love to blow smoke up their respective kids' you-know-whats.
But as much as I want to jump on the "OMG, not EVERY kid needs a trophy" bandwagon, I can only manage to hoist one foot up there.
Some kids get entirely too much praise. For other kids, that little trophy is the only sign that someone thinks they're special.
There are two types of people in this world. The ones who are crafty ... and the ones who have friends who are crafty. I'm the latter.
I am the reason the word Pinterest Fail exists. But my friend Mike Adamick(you might know him as the dad behind Cry It Out -- the blog, not the parenting method) more or less looks at a needle and thread and unicorns and kittens pop out. His daughter is so lucky.
And you and I? Well, we're close. Mike isn't going to fly in with a superhero cape he just Macguyvered up flapping in the breeze behind him to save you from that unfortunate glue gun accident. But he does have a book out: Dad's Book of Awesome Projects.
I've read it, and I can assure you, this is not hyperbole on behalf of the book publishers who really just want to move some product. It is indeed awesome in the way that only books that provide you with the means to make your kid a fruit crate scooter can be. This is not another book filled with baking soda volcanoes and pipe cleaner flowers. Mike has come up with projects you can do with your kids, and they'll actually want to play with after.
Oh, and the awesomeness isn't just in the creativity of the projects, but in the detailed instructions that you'd have to be an idiot (or you know, me) to screw up.
And because I am ALSO awesome, I've got a copy to give away!
Part of being a writer is being really jealous that your other fabulous writer friends get book deals ... and bitching that you haven't gotten one yet. OK, so maybe it's because you haven't actually written a book yet. Or, well, even come up with your idea. But you get the point. My fabulous writer friends are all getting book deals ... and in the case of one fabulous April Peveteaux, aka the funny behind the blog Gluten Is My Bitch, that book is now out on shelves!
If the word gluten made your eyes just glaze over, please come back to me. Didn't you read the rest of that title? The hilarity that comes out of her head is enough to actually make this gluten-loving non-celiac read her blog on the regular.
As a vegetarian, I can't help getting into people who really understand
alternative eating lifestyles, and my girl April has gone full bore into
gluten-free since being diagnosed as a celiac (nope, she's not trendy
... just unfortunate).
And my friends, it's good. Good enough to make me try eating a gluten-free donut kind of good.
Oh wait, where was I? Oh right, fabulous writer friends and their fabulous books.
Being friends and what not means I got the hook up for a copy of Gluten Is My Bitch ... the book. And of course I have to share. The book, that is, not the donuts.
Just about every warning you read about preparing for kids includes
a cost analysis. The latest figure from the USDA (which keeps track of
such things) puts the cost of raising a kid to adulthood at around
$234,900. That's not factoring in inflation.
It's just for food, shelter, and necessities.
Something tells me
that doesn't include paying for a steady supply of Littlest Pet Shops
(if you don't know, don't ask ... you're better for not knowing), packs
of chewing gum, or Oreos.
But you get the point. Kids cost money. A lot of it.
the older mine gets, the more I wonder if the economists and the
pregnancy book authors aren't coming at this the wrong way. They tell us
to save and save, and then go save some more before deciding to have
Maybe they should be telling us to spend or rather, invest.
amount of toilet paper the average toddler goes through in a week, for
example, is sure to play an ample role in the size of a dividend check
for a paper company stockholder.
And that's just one product!
I can't imagine the money I'd be sitting on now if I'd just invested wisely in the following:
I don't know how my husband and I ended up on the topic, but we were debating whether or not we're "boring" parents the other day. We don't do anything outlandish in this house; no mom in a rock band or dad in a motorcycle gang. But we realized our daughter has had a pretty steady diet of out-on-the-town experiences.
She's been to Major League baseball games, minor league baseball games, minor league hockey games, and major league soccer games ... and a whole lot more.
And at the risk of tooting my own horn (ahem, it is MY blog), I have to admit it's worth it.
This is why I became a Mets mom this summer. Because I believe in getting your kids out to baseball games and the like. Because kids need to get out, explore the world, experience big things!
And the latest offering from the Mets fits right in with that theme ... and I've got a big discount deal for Inside Out readers. Here's the deal:
Of all the things I dread about my child growing older -- and there are many -- I dread her growing out of The Children's Place.
Go figure ... the mom who wears jeans and a sweatshirt EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. cares about kid fashion.
The truth is, I've started to dread shopping for clothes for my daughter. Not because of anything she's done -- she's begun to develop her own taste and asserts herself, but manages to do it politely -- but because of the clothes in half the stores that cater to young girls.
You know what I'm talking about, Moms and Dads (and grandmas and aunts and uncles and ... ). The t-shirts with slogans that tell girls they're too dumb to do homework. The pants with the writing across the behind, drawing the eyes to a young girl's derriere.
If anyone wonders why 7-year-olds are dressing like tramps these days, it's because there are slim pickings on the shelves.
My friend Marshall -- and I didn't steal it; I took it
It's been a rough week in the blogosphere. The Wall Street Journal infantilized grown women with its ridiculous mommy business trip article. And a blogger set off a firestorm with her assessment of a dear friend and Disney publicist Marshall Weinbaum as a "raging douche bag" for an allegedly sexist photo of him (which she edited) standing with several women huddled at his feet.
The former was troubling, but if I had to be honest, was something I've come to expect from the Murdoch-owned Journal. I was once interviewed by a reporter from the paper who had clearly written her article (on "bad" parenting) before she even spoke with me. I was cut from the piece, no doubt because as a seasoned journalist, I knew better than to take her bait.
The latter, however, has upset me in more ways than one. First, of course, there's a friendship with Marshall.
Second, I've noticed a troubling tendency as Americans to assume offense is meant where none is intended. While I won't excuse, for example, a racist joke from someone simply because, "aww man, I didn't mean to hurt someone's feelings," at some point we have to draw the line. At some point we have to acknowledge that people do not always have a secret agenda.
This is my trouble with using an innocent photo of Marshall Weinbaum to ruin his life.
To be fair, it wasn't right on the site. A friend had shared the piece on Reddit's TwoXChromsomes, a site I love, and I was curious to hear what the women over there had to say. And that's where I found a comment that spoke to one of my biggest problems raising a girl in America today.
Women who agreed with me that they recall being friends with more boys than girls, women who cited the cattiness of females they've encountered over the years, were called out for "internalized misogyny."
It's a trend I've noticed more than a few times in feminist readings. There seems to be a trend among feminists to insist that any words spoken against women are not feminist and must be stopped.
But what happens when the words are true? Who is the misogynist then?
America endured a
nightmare last week along with the people of Boston, and in the midst of
national tragedy came a debate about the media.
CNN, in its haste to be first with the news of a much awaited arrest of
one of the murderers responsible for Marathon Monday's cowardly attacks,
came out quickly with an announcement that a bomber was in custody. Too
quickly. At that point, the names Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had
yet to even be associated with photos of the bombing suspects, the
photos yet to be released.
The response from an American people already on edge was furious, and rightfully so. CNN got it wrong.
yet, now that time has passed, now that the more immediate matter of
finding the suspects and providing Bostonians with their much-needed
safety is over, it's time we as Americans sit down and talk about the
role we all play in how rumors are spread.
I realized I had to add one of these because people let their minds run away with them sometimes. Wait, where was I?
The reviews I put up on this site are NOT paid for by any company. They come from my little ol' head. Some of the products I found myself - on the 'net, at the store, or from other moms. Some were sent my way by publicists. Usually they didn't fit the mold of another project I was working on, but I thought they were so cool I couldn't help sharing!
As for what happens to the products I didn't care for - you'll never know! Because I won't write about them on here. So if you see it, I liked it. 'Nuff said!