Monday, March 29, 2010

Parenting Advice

Apparently, you can get parenting advice for free simply by taking your child out in public. I have heard numerous stories from acquaintances about unsolicited advice from strangers of the "you're doing it wrong" sort of nature. These stories are remarkably intrusive. I have been sheltered from these incidents because babywhumpus spent most of his first year out of public places, and even now, I don't take him out a lot because he's a handful, and I know how much can suck for other people to have your child out in public.

You can also buy parenting advice in the form of books galore. We have a few books, but they are not about behavioral issues; they are of the baby-owner's manual variety. I have one book entitled "Nurture Shock." I bought it because I heard the author twice on NPR, and he seemed to be giving research-based advice, which appealed to me, plus, he that advice was interesting.

In the intervening months, I have completely forgotten what that advice was, and I have not read the book yet, but this article reminded me. Thankfully, it's short.

It's a point/counter-point between two authors: one who wrote a book entitled "Instinctive Parenting," and the author of "Nurture Shock." She says "close the book and go with your gut" and had to write a book to say that, which seems contradictory. He says that instinct can tell us to do something, but not necessarily what to do.

"It probably seems to people out there like one scientist says this and the other scientist says that," Bronson says. "That is not the case. The scientists have been reproducing each other's research and been saying one thing for 10 or 20 years. And we as a society haven't been listening to that."

I think the important thing to remember as regards this quote is that people are not necessarily listening to the science, they are listening to the "experts," who may or may not be scientists and who may or may not have a specific agenda. This is what led me to his book in particular, as he seems to be doing work based on the science, which interests me.

Hopefully, I can get to this book soon, and it will give me more interesting things to say here. Until then, you may have to put up with random pictures and annoying links.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chores Ate My Weekend

I hosed out poopy diapers. I planned the menu and went to the co-op. I cooked four meals. I did laundry, including the part where you fold it and put it away. I swept and scrubbed the kitchen floor. I scoured the stove. I did dishes. I did dishes. I did dishes. I picked it up and put it away, whatever it was. I took out the compost. I took out the compost. I wiped the counters and scrubbed the sink.

I knitted a little and went to a play, but otherwise, it was housewifey drudgery all the way. Pete took the boy to the park. I scrubbed the stove with a toothbrush.

And it's still not done. I didn't get to the catboxes; I didn't vaccuum or sweep the livingroom. Our room needs a cleaning. Pete's attitude is "You'll never be done, so just sit down."

If I took that attitude, we'd be on the news.

National Parks Essay Contest for Junior Rangers

I am just a wee bit too old for this, but maybe you know someone who could enter.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Memories of The Met

Most people will probably talk about how they gazed in awe at "Madame X" or  reenacted the "paprikash" scene from "When Harry Met Sally" in the Temple of Dendur. I remember racing through the Temple of Dendur, looking for a bathroom because I thought I was having bladder control issues. In reality, I had ruptured, and the odyssey to babywhumpus' premature birth had begun.

Even so, I loved our visit to The Met, and I'll go back again the next time we visit New York City because I didn't even come close to seeing everything I wanted to see. In the meantime, this puzzle (or poster, or map) is an excellent substitute (and a bargain).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frailty, Thy Name is Toddler

Circumstances for meltdowns correspond with age. You touched my raisins. I will now crumble into weepy bits. You added more yogurt, which I was happily eating seconds ago, to my bowl. I must flail and burst into tears. Mama left the room. I shall wail. Mama returned and sat down at the table. Commence crying. You got too close to my face. There is nothing in the world that was ever so terrible as this. Oh, woe is me. I have been forsaken and will never be understood...


oh, ok.

Uncalled for, Unnecessary, and Just Plain Wrong

I was innocently searching for patterns for next year's Halloween costumes, and stumbled across THIS monstrosity. Why on earth does this even exist? There's no call for it, no reason. I mean, much of the world is this way, we find ourselves wondering Why, but Halloween should not be cause for an existential crisis. What would you do if this came to your door on a dark, autumn evening? Would you give this four-headed monster a treat? Or would your neighbors be calling 911 to get an emergency team to attend to your horror-induced brain seizure?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Slings Warning

I just read an article regarding baby slings. It's cautionary, regarding the possibility if suffocation if used improperly and warns that some carriers put infants into positions that are incompatible with proper breathing. I have no problem with that. I am sure that this warning will cause all sorts of outcries from baby-wearers and "natural parents," but I don't see it as a lifestyle attack, though it will certainly be turned into one because that's far more interesting. One thing I have learned in this so-far-short parenting journey is that everyone has an opinion, and people like to fight/be self righteous.

But that's not what I am here about. I want to point out language use. The first page rumbles along quite objectively and with journalistic word choices for the most part. Then, on the second page, it shivers into obsequious mommy bits, ending with the paragraph:

"Speck recommends that babies in slings remain in an upright position, with the baby's tummy facing mommy's tummy."

It's not a direct quote, apparently, so why those words? It jarred me out of the article. First of all, plenty of fathers wear their babies. Secondly, what the hell? "Baby's tummy facing mommy's tummy?" Really? The reporter may as well have added the word "widdle" to the article.

kittywhumpus mumbles aside "Post-feminist world, my ass."

In the absence of real content...

Look at this! It was taken by one of Finn's grandparents (not sure which), and I can't STAND it.

I made that. I mean, I had help and all, but it's pretty cool. Most of the stuff I make tends to fall far short of the picture I have in my mind. This is not one of those times.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Think I Love Craig Ferguson

At this point, mainly because he had Peter Sagal on his show, and during this appearance, Mr. Sagal said this:

"If you have small children, as you know, they tend to destroy everything. Basically, children are agents of entropy. And they continue acting and moving and breaking things until every object in your house is reduced to its maximum number of component parts, and then they are distributed evenly around the home. And that is maximum entropy. It's the second law of thermodynamics as applied to the household."

This nine minute clip gave me:

-personal reference to plight of surviving toddlerhood;
-references to English Literature and being an English major;
-reminder of one of my favorite authors, Jasper Fforde, who also uses entropy in his fiction;
-current events;
-naughty subtext; and,
-Peter Sagal.


Plus, we get to go see a taping of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" in June, right here in merry old Minnesota!

Crazy Knitter Lady

I couldn't just stop. I was in the middle of a row, for goodness' sake. So there I was, standing on the corner of University and Fairview during rush hour, knitting.

I have not had much knitting time lately. I was putting together some headpieces for the Renaissance Festival, and knitting has been relegated to the bus. Thankfully, I have been on the bus every day this week. Getting our taxes done and working on this year's spreadsheet was eye-opening in that area. So far this year, in only two months, we have spent $196.50 on parking simply because we could not get it together to catch the bus from day care. That could total almost $1200 if we kept it up, and that's not acceptable.

I've been getting up and getting out, taking Finn to day care in time to catch the bus, where I then get to sit and knit. Right now, I am working on a Clapotis because everyone else has one, using yarn from my stash because I don't need to buy anything new (I spent $466 dollars on yarn last year, and I was supposed to spend zero).

When I get off the bus, in the middle of a row, you will find me, standing in a lobby or on a streetcorner, knitting.

Today, I also have to use paper clips as stitch markers because I left my notions tin at home.