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Showing posts from June, 2014

If you've watched enough Sprout TV, you've seen these ads. I hope they bother you too.

We watch a fair amount of Sprout TV in our house (in fact, probably a little too much), specifically the Good Night Show. It seems that every time an episode of a show like The Chica Show or Sarah and Duck end, you can expect the next two minutes of airtime to be devoted to an ABCmouse advertisement.

While the advertisement shows you the stories of parents who are convinced their budding scholars are better prepared for school, the underlying message is that your child will be left behind if you don't subscribe right away.

This disturbs me.

For starters, children already stare at screens long enough each day, and it will only get worse as they grow into adults and adjust to a digitally driven world. The eye strain caused by all screens is great, and researchers are just beginning to learn about the long-term effects of excessive screen time. I can't help but wonder what programs like this, which encourage even more screen-time, will do to the physical health of children.  

Gumpy Bear is more than just another Teddy Bear

When my Grandfather passed away, one of the Hospice nurses asked Ema for one of his favorite shirts so she could make a memorial gift of him for our family. The nurse trimmed down one of his flannel shirts to fit a Teddy Bear, and pinned a horse lapel pin to it for good measure. That little act of kindness was a cute reminder of Gumpy that sat on the wall where the old Ben Franklin stove was in the living room of the farmhouse.

Gumpy Bear sat there for a few years until The Kid came along. Last summer, Ema brought the bear down from his perch for The Kid to play with. She dragged that bear, along with a few others, all over the house each time we visited.

When Ema passed away, The Kid was able to take Gumpy Bear home with her. She was happy because she has another bear to hug, one who's pretend diaper needs frequent changing. I was happy because she has something of Gumpy's to remember him by. She never had the chance to meet him, but I hope she will always feel she knew him…

The trust our daughter places in us

When Gladys and I met The Kid for the first time, we were nervous about how she would react. We promised ourselves that we wouldn't be disappointed if she didn't crawl over to us, or if she cried incessantly when she met us because that is what seven month olds do. Much to our surprise, our strategy of waiting for her to approach us worked well, because The Kid eventually creeped over to Gladys and fell asleep in her arms.

I never thought about how much she trusted us then, and how much she trusts us now until I read an iReport on CNN. The author, MamaHappyBee said this toward the end of her post:

Imagine if the moment that you met a new person – literally, the first moment you laid eyes on them – you were expected to live with them, trust them, rely on them for your every need, respect them, bond with them emotionally, and follow their rules. This is what children in care go through when they’re placed in a new foster home.As adults, we don’t build relationships that way, not…

Conversations with a toddler in a backpack carrier

The Kid has been joining Barney and I for our evening walks a lot lately. Once the weather broke, and I was convinced she would stop trying to climb out of her backpack carrier in the middle of our walk, adding her to our nightly routine has been amusing.

Our walk Monday night was a great example. Sunday was the first time she poo-poo'd in her Big Girl Potty, and she was still excited by her accomplishment the next night. She was so excited, she went down the list of her friends from daycare and told me if they pee-pee'd and/or poo-poo'd by themselves.

That conversation got us to the crosswalk, where she pushed the button so the cars would stop and we would walk across the seven lanes of Jefferson Ave. She doesn't yell at the cars to stop anymore, but she still waves as we walk by and yells, "Thank you car!" to every car we pass.

Once we cross the street, Barney usually has to relieve himself, which fascinates The Kid. She always begs to see his poo-poo, and …