Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Urban Scavenger Hunt, Part One

The theme of this past week was most definitely "DON'T put that in your mouth!"

On Thursday, while juggling Luke and the double stroller and attempting to maneuver both Jill & Drew through the turnstile of the W. 4th subway station I accidentally knocked Jill's cinnamon raisin bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese (a combination which brings to my elementary school friend Mindy Wissman, who loved the equally disgusting raisin bread with cheese Whiz, oh Mindy Wissman, I wonder where you are today & if you still have such strange tastes) onto the floor of the subway station. Jill picked it up, brushed off the little bits of paper that had stuck to it and proceeded to chow down. I think I actually screamed. Then I told her a cardinal NYC rule: if it hits the ground of the subway it must be dead to you. No exceptions.

Luke, who no longer likes to just sit passively in his stroller, has taken to walking beside me as we go about our daily errands and to the park. It's kind of cute, although it takes us 5 times as long to get anywhere. What isn't cute is his habit of picking up every little thing that he sees on the street and attempting to taste it.

So, to combat this little habit I got creative. I've taught Luke how to operate my camera and now, instead of picking up the garbage we pass, we just document it and move on. Here are a few gems from our weeks collection:

A styrofoam cup in the grass

Lottery ticket

Cigarette butt (I've got more than 20 pictures of similar butts)

A sickly pigeon

And finally, a picture that shouldn't need any explanation:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Land of the Rising Sun



People often ask me, both here in New York, and when I'm out of town, if I feel that raising kids in the city is a good idea and if it's the choice I'll make. I've developed a kind of rote answer to both questions. I usually point out that by raising your kids in the city, you (to a large extent) limit your children's exposure to the top two killers: cars and privately owned swimming pools. (The statistics are fuzzy, some sites say airway obstruction is the number two and drowning is third--but either way, both are high on the list.) But ultimately, kids are happiest when their parents are happiest, so live where you want to live.

That being said, it's better here.

Why? Today's reason is International Exposure, or more specifically, Asian markets.

Now, I know, kids all over the country (ok, kids all over certain parts of the country--I guess I can't comment on those reddest of states) are snacking on sushi and edamame at that's being sold in their local grocery stores and ballparks, and that's a great thing. But suburbia doesn't come close to the kind of Japanese snack nirvana that the Asian markets of Manhattan, in and out of Chinatown, offer.

Pocky sticks are a staple snack item in the G. household. They're a crowd pleaser, travel well, come in tons of flavors, and aren't overwhelming (meaning, I can hand some out at 5pm when the whining frequently starts and not worry too much about spoiling dinner appetites). They can, on occasion, be used as a kind of weapon, but you could say that about a lot of different snack items. Also, the Asian markets are the place to go for innovative gummy candies. You name it, they've made it into a gummy candy. Admittedly, some of the flavors aren't suited to your average American kid, but it's easy to avoid all of the "black sesame", "bean paste" and "green tea" flavored goodies.

Today's find, however, was the greatest Japanese snack food find yet, at least according to those with me when we discovered it. Yan Yan is like a deconstructed Pocky Stick--but so much better than the original because of the element of control. Basically, you get the sticks (oddly enough, they are made with cheddar cheese) and then the "cream" to dip them in. We chose the chocolate/strawberry combo. They made me think of Fun Dip (one thing I dare not ever introduce to the G. children, unless I decided I don't want this job any longer). Basically, I'm all for any snack that will also occupy the kids for a couple of minutes. We're always in need of "something to do". (Although, is it that kind of thinking that's gotten the country into an obesity epidemic? Uh-oh.)

Anyway, on the bright side, the Yan Yan ingredients list read much better than your average store bought cookie. There is no partially hydrogenated whattsit or monosodium glutate. The most suspicious ingredient on the list was "vegetable fat" which, in my mind, is avocado. The Yan Yan didn't taste like avocado, though, so I'm guessing that I'm just not up on cookie ingredient lingo. I'm not going to lose much sleep over that, though.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Joy

I stole this from Dooce because it amused me and my own photoshop skills are non-existent. Also, I thought it was a pretty good lead in to a discussion of an upcoming "joy" of child rearing that is steadily heading my way: POTTY TRAINING.

Let's be honest for a moment. I don't want to potty train my own children. I'd really love to farm the whole process out to someone like this lady if I wasn't troubled by things like self respect and skepticism. Anyway, it was kind of a rude awakening when I realized that this unpleasant task will soon be completely on my shoulders for a child who I didn't have the "joy" of physically bringing into this world.

Now, don't worry, Luke and I will get through this together. I've long ago learned that no matter how messy things get everything can be washed and sanitized and, as a last resort, thrown out--so I'm not all that turned off by the physical processes involved. My problems are more with the mental and emotional steps, and more importantly, all those emotional "don't's". There are so many ways you can go wrong!

Here's my biggest hurdle: shame. You don't want the kid to be ashamed by the whole ordeal, right? You want him to know that Everyone Poops and he is just doing what comes naturally. Wonderful sentiment, I'll admit, but here is where it goes wrong: Shame happens naturally! Luke is the product of a nurturing, caring family and a loving nanny. No one has ever even implied to him that the little packages he produces are abhorrent and dirty. (I do, often, tell him that he's a stinky boy--but he loves that! Nothing makes him laugh harder. Sometimes he comes and presents his little behind to me with a questioning look & a maniacal grin. "Stinky?" he asks, and there is only one appropriate response.) But even so, he now disappears to behind the sofa every time he needs to have a BM. He gets angry with me if I come and look for him while he's doing his business. Even though a bathroom door (unfortunately) is never closed in the G.s apartment, Luke has very definitely gotten the message that his little presents to us are unwanted.



And you want the truth about this? IT'S A GOOD THING. Shame is a motivator. Yes, what you made is stinky & disgusting. Yes, it is wrong that I have to clean it up. Yes, it belongs in the potty where it can be flushed away and not thought of again. Yes, everyone poops and yes, everyone hides it.

That being said, I'm now going to backpedal a bit. I'm all for instilling a certain amount of shame over the act of defecation, but mothers of America should try their hardest not to make their poor little boys ashamed of their special little boy parts.

But, if there are any of you mothers out there who disagree with me, this product is for you: Pee-Pee Teepees.. I know that necessity is the mother of invention, and I will admit that there is a tiny, miniscule, infinitesimal need for this product. I've been hit twice by an unwanted spray in my long & venerable career (well, ok, in my career). It wasn't pleasant, I'll admit, but was it so terrible that I'm going to keep Luke's wee-wee tented at all times, sending the message that his little member is something I never want looking me in the eye because it's unpredictable, mischievous, and potentially very messy? Perhaps I'm just coddling him, but I really think that's a message much more appropriately delivered by his first girlfriend in 16 years or so.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

In the Groove

I have held several different kinds of jobs in my life. I've worked as a cashier, a waitress, a psychometrist, and the obligatory range of administrative assistant jobs--in addition to having worked with children since I was about thirteen. In each one of these jobs, no matter how mindnumbing they may have been, I experienced times when I was truly "in the groove". It's a wonderful feeling, like a melding of you and your job to the extent that you become seamless for a few moments or hours. As I've never worked in any field where I'm isolated from other people, the "in the groove" feeling is increased by the fact that other people feed off the feeling.

As great as ITG felt in all of those jobs above, nothing compares to being ITG as a nanny. I think it's mainly because, in those few moments (and believe me, they don't come that frequently) when everything is clicking I experience such a feeling of wholesomeness that everything in the world seems right and good.

Yesterday, after school, I took all four G. kids and two of Sam's friends out to what we call the River Park (technically Hudson River Park, or Battery Park, I think). The three boys had their mits, balls and bats and they ran out on the lawn immediately on arriving at the park. (They're all on the same little league team, and they are super serious about baseball.) Jill and I spread out the picnic blanket and took out all of the various snack items (Annie-nanny's personal rule: never leave home without food to feed at least twice the number of people you are actually responsible for) and the miscellaneous balls, wiffle bats, bubble blowers, buckets, etc. that we'd brought with us. (I would so love to show you how the stroller looks when we leave the house on trips like these. I'm sure we way exceed factory recommended weight loads.)

Jill and I threw balls to Luke & Drew while we chatted about school and her upcoming first summer of SUMMER CAMP!! (much anticipated). Luke and Drew rooted through the flower beds and I ignored the glares of Parks Dept. employees. We went and got popsicles from the ice cream truck and for a few minutes there was blessed silence as everyone dutifully sucked and licked their respective frozen treats (and once or twice their brother's).

It was heaven, it was perfect, and therefore, but the laws that govern children, there was no way it could have ended except badly.

I'd packed up everything that we'd brought, given out 10, 5, 2 and 1 minute warnings that WE ARE LEAVING THE PARK, and everyone was moving in the proper direction. It seemed like, for once in my time with the G.'s I might manage to bring the peace and goodwill of a happy park outing back into the apartment so that Mrs. G. doesn't continue to believe that I fabricate all my tales of harmony among her offspring. But of course there was a ill-timed swing of a baseball bat which struck the remains of Jill's Kimpossible popsicle (the kind with bubble gum for eyes) and splattered it across the pavement.

For a few seconds, it was as if everything moved in slow motion. Jill turned to see the ice cream mess on the ground, then swung her head around to glare at her brother who still held the bat which dripped purple ice cream. She took a deep breath in which I swear to you, she grew a few inches and her teeth got longer, and then she lunged. I thank god that the bat Sam was holding was just a wiffle bat, because I can't really blame him for defending himself against the 40 lbs. of flaming rage that was Jill at that moment. He hit her upon her head approximately 4-6 times before I was able to dump Luke roughly in the stroller (where he'd refused to go before) and grab both the bat and Jill. She screamed and struggled in my arms for what seemed like ages, but which was probably only a minute or two. This was more than enough time for Luke to realize that he was not strapped in and pitch himself head first onto the sidewalk. Sam decided that since I was comforting Jill & had de-batted him, that I was taking her side, and he burst into angry, self-righteous tears as well. David & Creed (Sam's friends), increasingly uncomfortable by this scene, tried to head on to the apartment by themselves and just narrowly escaped being hit by the same ice cream truck that I blame for this entire mess.

When we finally made it home to the calm, but (to my mind) clearly judgmental, Mrs. G. we were, as a group, tearstained, bruised and angry and I had to say the same words that I say so frequently, "We were having a wonderful time . . . until"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Harmful UV Rays vs. Harmful Social Stigma

Everyday Urbanbaby sends me an email. I usually ignore them, and when I make the mistake of actually reading I frequently regret it. That was the case a few days ago when I learned about Frubis, a product UB would like me to believe is truly essential.



Now, I'm sure I could apply myself to my job a tad bit more and go that extra mile to make sure that Luke's retinas are protected from the sun's harmful rays at all times. But I have to tell you, I would keep him wrapped up in a blanket from head to foot long before I subjected him to the shame of Frubis baby sunglasses. No self respecting baby would be seen dead in them. Look at the kid in the ad! That baby is going to be pulling it's head out of a locker room toilet in 8 or 9 years, you mark my word.

The Frubis ads are a bit sensational as well:
Last year, I saw a young 6-year-old boy on a Friday afternoon that was poked in the eye by a branch while playing in the yard. When I examined him under the microscope, I was expecting to see a scratched cornea, but was disheartened to find that the branch had completely penetrated through the cornea and had severely damaged the lens, causing a white cataract to form. Frubi Shades are made with a tough polycarbonate material that offers great protection from flying objects and lenses made of glass are usually tempered and treated so as not to shatter when struck. The bottom line is that wearing good sunglasses can prevent serious injuries, so wear them!

Perhaps I should ask Mrs. G. if she'd like me to encase Luke, and the other kids while I'm at it, in a coating of stainless steel. They'll be the most indestructible kids at the park.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

At the Zoo, Part Two

Monkey Butts.

Why do we love them so?



Jill & Sam (and even Drew lately) prefer not to say "butt", instead they say "bootie". But however you say it, monkey posteriori are hysterical. I'm afraid that my (mental) notes are not very complete, and I don't remember the name of this particular monkey species, but they have snowy white butts that they can display fairly well from both in front and behind. Now, to an eight year old boy, that is a skill to be envied!

At the Zoo, Part One

This is a Giant Elephant Shrew:


I have a great fondness for them because a year or so ago my father took me to the Zoo while I was home visiting. He was very eager to show me something, but he kept it a secret until we arrived in front of the GES habitat. Then he reavealed the GESes to me with great gusto. They stared at me. I stared at them. Then my dad told me that he believes that I will be reincarnated as a GES. He grinned, like this knowledge was a gift, something to cherish.


Jill & Sam absolutely loved this story. Although, it took a good long time to explain reincarnation and they now believe my father is some kind of warlock.

Here's what you get . . .

. . . when you turn your camera over to a 4-year-old:



The pavement



The pavement seen under Drew's tummy



The (rather unorganized) closet



Hummus on my ass

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Holy Week--Easter Sunday Edition


So last week I went through all the machinations of trying to resolve my deep seeded Easter Bunny guilt, with really very little provocation other than a cross-denominational request for egg dyeing. (Yes, that's my SAT vocabulary sentence for the day.) And now that it's Easter Sunday and the Easter Bunny has actually visited my home (well, to be honest, he hasn't so much "visited"--it would be considerably more accurate to say that my mother begrudgingly put out a hastily put together bowl full of Jelly Bellys while muttering to herself that all her children are over 20 and she shouldn't have to do these asinine things anymore, but I digress) I really wonder what exactly I was fussing about.

I think mainly I would like to see myself as contributing to the G. children's education, including their religious education, in every way I can. Possessing a more appealing religion seems to me almost like a transgression, when viewed with that goal in mind.

This is a big deal to absolutely no one involved with these children except me, and I think the reason has much more to do with my own children than the Gs. I'm still at the point where I fancy that I'll be able to control my children's education with an iron fist. In the part of my brain that listens to reason occasionally, I know that by the time I have these mythical children, I'll be older, wiser, and much more inclined to delegate. Or at least, that's the generally accepted knowledge, right?

But what if I don't get older & wiser? What if I stay the person who wants control every detail of her children's existence? Gosh, this post was supposed to clear up my questions from a couple days ago, and now I've just brought up a bunch of new questions I have no time to answer. Oh well, the "Easter Bunny" is requesting my presence for breakfast . . .

But before I go: The "Passover Bunny" courtesy of Jack McTamney.



Saturday, April 15, 2006

I will not be replaced by a robot!!

Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction writer who I was not formerly familiar with, wrote a short story (published in the collection The Book of Philip K Dick, 1973) about a robotic "nanny". The story describes the "nanny" as having
been built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom. Her surface had been sprayed with a dull green enamel, which had become chipped and gouged through wear. There was not much visible in addition to the eye stalks. The treads could not be seen. On each side of the hull was the outline of a door. From these the magnetic grapples came, when they were needed.
Now, (as much as I absolutely adore the idea of grapples!) this story is way too science-fiction-ey to be believed, right?

No, wrong! (Why else would I be writing this?) According to Technovelgy.com, a website devoted to the convergence of science and fiction, "Yujin Robotics of Korea, among other companies, will be introducing nanny robots this fall".


These "robo-nannies" seem to really just be the next step in the popular TV-as-nanny device employed in many, many American homes as I write this.
One such product, the iRobi, is described as an internet-based family robot. iRobi can take and edit photos, combine nursery rhymes with robot dances, provide fairy tale-based tutoring and even accept your custom programming.
Ultimately, it doesn't sound like they're coming anywhere close to Rosie, but still--I feel like it's almost pointless to voice my problems with this. Believe me, I'll be the first one to tell you that I heart Robots--but there is a huge difference between vacuuming under the bed & keeping Jr. from sticking his fingers in the socket.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Holy Week

I regularly do blog searches for simple terms such as "nanny" or "mommy" or "stop the screaming" to see what other child care givers are writing about and every once and a while I come up with a rather interesting post, or better yet, someone who actually is writing interesting things on a regular basis about their adventures in Munchkinland. (All to often I find angry right-wingers from all over the world who are writing about their respective "Nanny-States", but that's been kind of informative in a different way.)

Today I found Mommy Life in which a "montessori megamom serves up smorgasbord of parenting, cultural, political, and spiritual wisdom. Because she can." Frankly, this site is considerably more religion than parenting, so I'm not sure that I will stop back all that frequently, but I thought it was somewhat poignant for this rather religious week.

Religion can be a tricky issue with nannies and the families they work for, largely because religion can be just plain tricky in general. First of all, it seems rare that two people, regardless of how much they may love each other, rarely have matching religious views, so families frequently start out with friction in this area. It often happens that mom & dad settle their own differences just in time to begin to educate (or not) their children and the arrival of a new person on the scene with potentially alternate beliefs can be disconcerting.

I feel pretty lucky, then, not to be a crazy prostletizing nanny. It would be much harder to get a job. For the most part I am fascinated by the way other people celebrate their religion--especially the things they do in their homes, which is what you really don't get to witness as a member of a different faith. I have no qualms with helping to raise children in any religion (ok, within reason--I have some problems with human sacrifice) and I would never want to distract from a parent's determined effort to raise their children both in the religion they've chosen and the way they've chosen to teach it.

So what do I do when my (Jewish) charge asks (Christian) me to dye eggs with her? Well, I'm not sure what the "perfect Annie" would do, but here's what the real Annie did. First, obfuscate. I said, "Ummmm . . . eggs are very expensive these days. We'll have to see." And then I went right to the source: mom.

Really, this isn't such a big deal, and Mrs. G. didn't find it one, for the most part. But the trappings of our religion, even the fairly commercial aspects, are symbols, and inherently problematic because kids pick up on the fact that eggs and bunnies or matzah and wine mean more than meets they eye, but beyond that they're a bit of a mystery (intentionally). I don't want to be in the position of holding up my symbols and asserting that they're better--but let's be honest, Christian symbols seem pretty much designed to be more appealing to children than their counterparts in any of the other major religions.

Am I just feeling the guilt associated with being a member of the majority? I must admit that if our roles were reversed, I'd have no problem with Mrs. G. teaching my kids (when they choose to exist) to play dradle. So what's my real problem? I'm not sure, and I'm late for dinner. More on this later.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Movie Night

When I worked as a live-in nanny while I was in college, I made a very common rookie nanny mistake. I was very passionate about a few children's movies, and I very much wanted to share those movies with A. and N. In retrospect, it's so clearly a "What was I thinking?" decision, as the kids were only 5 and 7 (at the oldest, they might have been 4 and 6). The first movie I showed them was The Labyrinth with Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie. This is probably (although I don't admit to it in mixed company) my all time favorite movie, and basically, I ruined it for N forever. Although I associate that movie with sleep over parties and reciting all the lines with my best friends--she will always associate those goblins and other Henson creatures with dark thoughts and nightmares alone in her bed.

Now, has this scarred her for life? No, of course not. But I still kick myself for allowing my own enthusiasm to deprive her of what could have been a great movie viewing experience. It is, however, a lesson I learned fairly well (although, there was a Jumanji incident as well, but I'm not sure where it fell in time, it could have happened before I showed then The Labyrinth). When I wanted to show A. The Neverending Story I chose a night when N. was away on a sleep over, despite the fact that she's considerably older and probably could have handled it.

And when I pick movies to offer up to N. I do still tend to err on the side of caution. We've watched and loved some Hailey Mills movies that I adored as a kid like The Parent Trap and (my all time favorite Mills movie) The Trouble with Angels (a "habit" forming comedy for the whole family), and now that she's growing up she's a wonderful excuse to indulge myself in movies that watching on my own my involve a small sacrifice of pride, like The Princess Diaries

Now that I have a new set of guinea pigs in the G. children, I really hesitate before I bring a movie into work. I also wonder about what kind of balance should be struck between the classics, movies like The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz and National Velvet, pop culture favorites from my own youth like The Muppet Movie and E.T. and the movies that are forming the cultural lexicon for Sam & Jill's own generation such as Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away and the fabulous Pixar films.

I think that perhaps the "correct balance" should change as they grow up. The emphasis should be more on classics when the kids are very young. They might not understand everything that's going on in, say, Oliver! when they're 4 years old, but those movies were created to be acceptable fare for all ages. Then, as they get older, it seems natural to want to share what you liked when you were their age. (I can't wait, for example, to show Sam Back to the Future.) And finally, one assumes that unless you're raising them as Jehovah's Witnesses, kids will start making their own decisions about the movies they want to see, based on what they hear at school and from friends.

Is it just me, or do other caregivers and parents feel a little jealousy over movies and other elements of pop culture that they don't get to share with their kids? I'm not saying this is a strong feeling for me, it's more of a twinge of regret that they place more importance on what is new and cool than on what I love and wish that they would love. But, this is, I suppose, as it should be.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Google

Relatively speaking, I'm new to blogging. I've had a great time this month, and I hope those of you who have been reading during these weeks have been enjoying yourself as well.

One really addictive thing that I added to my site very early on was the Site Meter. I love useless statistics & Site Meter provides plenty. I absolutely love looking at where people who visit me came from. And today had the best referral ever! (Although, don't get excited, it's not really all that remarkable, relatively speaking.) Apparently I come up number three on a google search for: "Katie Lee Joel" "complaint". I wonder what the searcher was really looking for. I assume it was not my musings on Mrs. Joel combined with parental complaints about too strict nannies, but who knows.

Self Righteous Children Are So Adorable

I'm about to relay a little joke that I read recently and really loved. Before doing so, I'd like to point out that I would not consider myself a religious person (sorry to all family members who just read that and began to pray for my eternal soul). I was, however, given a comprehensive religious education which I am grateful for, if only because I kick ass in the Bible category that Jeopardy seems to find obligatory.

Here it is: A little girl is having a conversation with her teacher about whales. The teacher says that, although whales are the largest mammals on earth, no one need fear being eaten by one, because the throat of a whale is incredibly narrow. The little girl says, "But Jonah was swallowed by a whale." Her teacher, patronizing, reiterates that it is impossible for a whale to swallow a human being. Disbelieving, the girl states, "Well, when I get to heaven, I'm going to ask Jonah myself." Smugly, the teacher retorts, "What if Jonah went to hell?" To which the little girl replies, "Then you ask him."


Is it wrong that I love sanctimonious child humor?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

New York Nanny in the News (no shaking)

Here's a recent news item where a nanny was mentioned prominently in a news story for actually doing something rather heroic.

The nanny of an upper east side child who was choking on an orange ran out into the street with the baby (I assume in a panic to get help) and was struck by a truck.
The 1-year-old boy was listed in guarded condition at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital where he was rushed on Tuesday in the arms of a police officer who had grabbed him as the nanny cried, "Save the baby."
I did wonder, after reading the article, if the nanny in question had ever received CPR training (which would include the Heimlich Maneuver). I can't simply assume that she hadn't, because just knowing what to do doesn't mean that in a moment of panic you won't, well, panic. I do think, however, it's worth noting that it's a pretty good thing for every single person dealing with young children to know.

Let's hope both nanny & little Nicholas have a speedy recovery.

Blue day

On this crazy day of April snow, I am off of work & feeling, frankly, a little blue. The enotions that come hand in hand with caring for children are frequently contradictory. It's great to have a day off in the middle of the week but at the same time I miss Luke. Yesterday, when he was screaming & crying for absolutely no reason that I could figure out, other than suspecting that he had figured out that I had a headache and wanted to feel he had at least contributed in some small part to my pain, I did not think I would miss him at all today. Of course, you can always be wrong about these things.

Not being a mother to these children o'mine, I have no problem confessing (here at least) that Luke is my absolute favorite. There simply is no better or cuter kid. You may think yours is cuter, but you are wrong. I can't, however, prove that. Instead I've posted the picture above of a one day old baby goat. I've always wanted a baby goat. I even asked my mother once to bring one back from a trip to Nepal. She said that by the time it got out of customs (if it ever did) it would no longer be a baby.

Babys grow up. I miss my 'lil Lukester. It's snowing in April.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I have an odd schedule.

Like the title of this posting would suggest, I have an odd schedule. Sometimes I work very early in the morning, sometimes very late in the evening. It doesn't really bother me, and in fact it has a few unexpected perks.

One of those perks is drinking in the mid-afternoon.

Maybe that's not what you expected to read, having tuned into a Nanny-blog (tuned in isn't really the appropriate phrase, is it? logged on would be more fitting, but I don't like it as much), but it's the truth. One the occasional day when I find myself done working for the day at 2 pm, and have a willing friend, it's absolutely the best time to go to a bar (of course, avoid the bars that don't open until after 5, they'll only make you sad).

That is what happened today, and I'm so glad it did because my friend A. clued me into a blog that I so should have been reading for quite some time now. I know I"m very late to the party on this one, but I've simply been loving dooce.com for several reasons. Here's two:

It's some of the best writing on actually interacting with children that I've ever read. So many mommy-blogs are gushy and gooey, and while I believe that those mommies do in fact love their children and want the world to know it, I also find myself wondering what deep, dark secret they're hiding. A world with children in it is not gushy-gooey all the time, it's just as frequently the opposite, like trying to serve spaghetti dinner in the psychotic ward at Bellvue (not that I know from experience, but that's the first image that came to mind, strangely). Ms. Armstrong clearly gets it. Today's installment began with this gem of a paragraph:
Yesterday you turned twenty-six months old. I would characterize the last month of your life as That One Time You Refused To Eat Anything, with [One Time] being a variable X where X = [Every Single Day]. We have come to realize that food is an area in your life where you are trying to exercise control and the best way to deal with this is to make it a non-issue. So we give you options, and one of those options is always the choice of not eating. If you don't want to eat then I'm not going to make you eat although I may grab a fork and jab it into the flesh on the back of my hand.


Also, clearly Armstrong is a mother who doesn't suffer all that much from mommy-guilt, and I find that refreshing. Here she is lamenting her stubborn two year-old's lack of use for the idiot box.
In other news of our degenerate parenting, this month has also seen the return of television. You used to be a huge fan of Sesame Street but once you learned to walk you had no use for that nonsense, and this made me terribly sad for a few reasons. One, we all stopped sitting still, which is fine for you, you're two and you have the energy. But I'm 30 and my body is ravaged from having handed it over to Satan. Two, I really started to worry that we were missing out on what was going down on the Street. I imagined that while you and I were running around the house checking all your stuffed animals for poopy diapers that other kids were watching as Telly Monster discovered he had a venereal disease. Or that Zoe was considering a boob job. You never know. But you can always hope.


Finally, she's already clued me into a fabulous site. It's called Subversive Cross Stitch and it sells exactly what the title leads you to expect. If, like myself, you're both a little bit crafty and a little bit sick, you may enjoy it as well. I'm having a hard time trying to decide if I'd rather cross stitch "Bite Me", "Fuck Cancer", or "People are Cattle". All three would definitely be rewarding projects that would look great hanging on my wall or make a wonderful gift. I'm going to remeber this site for Christmas presents.

Monday, April 03, 2006

For the first time . . .

. . . I've got banner ads that have nothing to do with "find a nanny" or "install nanny-cams"!

I'm not sure what I did to generate "Look Sexy Naked" but I'm kinda proud of myself nonetheless.