Just because something’s “real” doesn’t mean it should be watched
If you haven’t heard, MTV has a new show called Skins. It’s basically Cinemax-style soft porn in the guise of a teen drama. Many of the participants/actors are fifteen years old. As can be expected, the show’s getting a ton of criticism, and advertisers such as Taco Bell have pulled out. Although, I don’t know why? I’ve always thought of fast food as the official cuisine of bad decisions. I’d think that nothing would better complement the corruption of morals like food one can order with extra volcano sauce.
Can you be a good Mommy or Daddy if you work in the muck?
Many of the tools of my craft, such as sarcasm, exaggeration, and calling bull on things that I deem to be bull are great for the adult world. We want to be distracted, entertained, enlightened, and informed. But if my kids used these tools in their everyday lives, it certainly wouldn’t earn them any student of the month awards. My nightmare is that one of my sons will stand up in class and do a bit criticizing the teacher’s dictatorial approach to multiplication tables.
The day will come when my kids catch a glimpse of who I am to the non-child world. What will happen then? How will I control the damage?
Because it’s okay to be weird if you’re rich
A person’s name is like a tattoo: you can only afford to have a weird one if you’re rich and insulated. Multimillionaire professional athletes might have crazy neck tattoos, but that’s because they will never have to interview for jobs at Best Buy. Movie stars are similarly enabled to name their kids whatever they feel like. Gwyneth Paltrow is the example that comes to mind. Her two children are named Apple and Moses. The only baby naming books you’ll find those in were written by publicists.
But I actually love the exotic baby names. To me, they’re a sign of celebrity consumer confidence. Gwyneth Paltrow is clearly not worried about her family’s long term economic outlook. However, a celebrity who gives her kids a more pedestrian name such as David, Jeremy, or Barbara is clearly afraid to be bullish on baby names.
They aren’t always trying to drive you crazy—it just feels that way
So, the other day we all went over to my mother-in-law’s house for a visit. Occasionally we do this because a) my mother-in-law’s a great cook, and b) she’s our best babysitting option. Thus, she’s too important to ignore. She has a cat, and because of this my dog has to stay outside or she’ll eat all of the cat’s food and then spend the next day constantly banging her paw on the back door.
What to do when kids see their first examples of insanity
(Note: This piece is a bit on the serious side. You’d be surprised how hard it is to make fun of senseless acts of violence. But it’s an important topic, and parents will dig it.)
Perhaps the worst thing parents have to do is explain tragedies to kids. Childhood is magical precisely because it’s the brief moment in life when murder and misery aren’t part of reality. Thankfully my kids are too young to know about the Tucson shooting. The biggest heartbreak in their lives is when they find out we’re having homemade pizza instead of delivery. That’s how it should be. But the day will come when the televised actions of a psychopath will intersect with my kids’ understanding of the world. How am I going to handle it?
It may drive parents crazy when kids won’t nap, but it does make sense
My kids have decided that they’re done with naptime. As a parent, it is inconceivable how someone could resist the opportunity to rest. It would be a dream come true if someone would stop me in the middle of my day, read me a story, and then not let me out of my room for an hour or two. The only difference is that, instead of wanting some Dr. Seuss before naptime, I’d probably go for the new Jonathan Franzen.
A new book can teach us all a thing or two about torturing children towards excellence
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it has officially been decided that “Chinese mothers” are better than any other kind. Why are they better? Because they aren’t afraid to be manically strict and verbally abusive. A new book has hit the shelves called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It describes how one Asian mother has on occasion called her child “garbage,” and that she learned this loving form of parenting from her parents, who once told her that she disgraced her family by getting less than a perfect grade.
Obviously this book is right on. I’ve always believed that nothing leaves a lasting impression on a child like verbal abuse. Frankly, if your child doesn’t wet herself when she hears the words, “It’s time for your piano lesson,” you’re doing something wrong.
Toddlers shouldn’t leave the bank thinking they need a money market account
I understand that people need to make a living. I’m not against someone offering me services, and sometimes I actually want whatever it is that person is trying to sell me. However, the list of shady business practices such as predatory payday loans and college campus credit card offers must be expanded to include using kids to upsell.