Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kids' intestinal tracts are extremly resilient

I really won't elaborate too much on this one, except to say that given the variety 'foreign objects' that have made their way through Kuruna's digestive tract and have evidenced themselves to me (forgive the verbiage) without any signs of distress to his system, I am checking 'swallowing dangers' off the list of things to worry about -- for now.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Would Gandhi have embraced a cyber-based legal system?

I spent Saturday night re-watching Gandhi. I have resolved this year to read all of his writings - unfortunately haven't gotten through any yet. Ok, I haven't bought any, either. Somehow, I feel like buying books on Gandhi from is counter-intuitive.

I just got an article from my bro about what happened to prisoners in New Orleans and Mississippi during and post -Katrina. I think I am going to vomit. (The article basically chronicles the abuse and neglect of incarcerated children and adults--many arrested without charge-- during this period.)
I don't understand how humans can systematically destroy other humans this way...I don't know where to begin to address the cruelty that exists in our prison "system."

I was reading this weekend a First Monday article about the growing use of Internet / SW based Online Dispute Resolution in the cyber world - where most of the process is automated. I wonder whether we could take care of some of the backlog of criminal cases this way.

No really. How much worse would a computer interface be for a black prisoner in the South than a disinterested public defender in front of a racially biased judge with a backlog of thousands of cases?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Who??? is the Surgeon General?

I was writing a comment to Sassypants on her blog post about Sex Ed, much on my mind as my four year old begins her journey as a sexual being.
So I have thought for a long time as I wrote in September that the ideal sex ed for teens -- especially girls -- would "consist mostly of my showing all of my stretch marks (no, they do not become silvery almost invisible "trophies") and discussing the joys of morning sickness, sleep deprivation (yes, I am still talking about pregnancy) and 'sharing' space within your own body that you never really thought you would have to sublet."
I agree that discussing the awkwardness of the sexual encounter (What's your name again? How many partners? Ever treated for an STD? Birth control? You're into WHAT???) would also go a long way both in prevention of teen pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy and in promotion of good sexual health -- mental and physical -- among our young people. I have given up on the rest of us. So, you write something up. I'll present it to Bill Frist and ...who is out Surgeon General these days??? Oh, Carmona. Yeah, there's a name we've heard a lot in the news during our "National healthcare crisis!"
I'm sorry, but has anyone heard word-one from this Surgeon General? There is certainly no lack of subject matter for this leader of our country to tackle! Avian Flu, for instance. Umm, mental health of children affected by Katrina. How about the Crystal Meth crisis sweeping the nation. I could go on and I don't even have an inkling about healthcare.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Really tough questions...

Satya asked with a quite a bit of frustration yesterday: "Mom, how can we say that Mercury is 'near the Sun,' if it is actually millions and millions of miles from the Sun?"

Anyone have a good way to visualize the enormity of space???

My new found alto-ism

Parenting is finding the strongest harmony to support and develop the melodies of our children.
Pre-parenting life in pursuit of my professional (what else was there?) and personal growth was spent trying to out-sing my peers in one way or another. Literally and figuratively -- I spent much of my youth in the performing arts -- I sought to lead everyone else.
How is it that I am a leader to my children, but find myself taking the back-seat? I know instinctually that is the right place for me to be--singing a strong but subtle and complementary harmony. Of course, finding the right notes can be its own challenge. I have to listen...and practice a lot more.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Needed: Magical Kingdom antidote

This is it. I am done. Disney has gone too far. And, I am declaring war. I have been quietly disgusted at the Disney Princess craze, hoping that its marketability would die down, or become passe after being overhyped. But now I am horrified. Disney has announced that in early April it will open the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Here's a short description:

"The boutique is to open in April at a Downtown Disney store and will include 10 chairs where girls can get fancy up-dos or hair extensions. With Kiddie spa treatments increasingly popular here, Disney currently offers kid primping including "my first facial" and "my first pedicure," and we hear that the highest-end package will include the works - hair, make-up, nails, a princess gown and a glam photo - and will probably be around $100. But, for your Princess that's not a lot of Mickey dollars!"

I had no idea that kiddie spa treatments existed much less that they were growing in popularity. What, do kids need a break from all the stress of pretend play? No, they need a break from the non-stop din of Disney programming on digital TV!, marketing at Wal-Mart and lifestyle invasion.

My objection is not to princesses and fairy tales per se. Pretend play is great. It helps children sort out their emotional and social roles. But Disney has taken all of the pretend out of the play. It prescribes the scenarios; it sanctions the props. Why does the princess have to be Sleeping Beauty? Why can't she be Princess Joanie? Why can't she be a royal wizard, chief architect or court composer? And, whatever happend to making a princess robe out of an old towel, a crown out of construction paper? And, while we are at it, where are the boys???? Is there a black Cinderella?

I am generally pretty laissez-faire. I don't believe in protecting children from every unpleasantry of modern life. I just need an alternative. And I need it to have the reach and capital backing of Disney.

Oprah...Are you out there? We need to talk!

(Look I realize that I am being incredibly simplistic in this rant, but what do you expect? It's a blog! If you want to have an intelligent conversation about sociology, child psychology and economics, I welcome your comments. If you have any resources for a mother desperate to give a daughter positive images and experiences, please share.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Written on a cut-out section of cardboard box and sent to a friend via U.S. PO:
"Hullo there...You know they have Star Wars fruit snacks?! Yes, you , too, can get blueberry molded head of Darth Vadar and Chewy Chew-bacca. They are not as yummy as those cute and lovable Pixar trademarked fruit snacks, like Nemo.
I think we need "Fossil Snacks" like: Head of Lucy, Austrolopithicus (that would be in a distinctive smoked mammoth flavor). The bummer flavor - you know the "less-preferred" one that no one wants -- would be trilobites in either a vaguely vanilla rootbeer flavor or imitation Philly-cheesesteak."