This coming weekend, the New York Times magazine looks at our children and what private and charter schools are doing for/to them! It raises so many questions for those of us who are concerned about our babies and if they will go to top-tier colleges after top-tier primary and secondary education, which is something you really do worry about especially if you're dropping half a million on K-12 and then having to make a sizable donation to an Ivy League to make sure that little Crayson, Effexor and Randomly get to go to the right college! Here's the top ten questions that a parent may form whilst reading [...]
I had not noticed that Dreamworks has been renouncing product placement in movies for young people! This is heartening. What's more? "Megamind also has no product placement 'jokes,' the likes of which were so prevalent in the Shrek series—that is, until the most recent Shrek film, another brand-less children's film that signaled the trend that Megamind now confirms. Product placement in animated children's films might be dead."
Some years back, my daughter wanted to attend a mommy-and-me girls' reading group with her best friend, and I said okay, fine. It emerged that this was a "women of color" mommy-and-me girls' reading group. I'm kind of honorary "of color," because I am Cuban, though loads of my milk-white relations were born in Spain. I've often thought how [...]
How To Get Into The "Times": All You Need Is A Tumblr And A Friend (And An Adorable, Messy Child Helps Too)
BREAKING: Kids sure are messy! Luckily, there's a blog devoted to that very fact, in case you weren't sure! (And even more luckily for its author, she's friends with a Times writer who can give said blog a glowing comparison to Erma Bombeck in the Grey Lady's hallowed pages, thus paving the way for Yet Another Crowdsourced Blog That Might Become Something Resembling A Book. Hooray, Internet! Keep breaking down those walls!)
On a Sunday last fall, I was working downstairs with the space heater on and the office doors closed when the phone rang. The caller ID read DAN KOIS, which meant that it was my wife, upstairs, calling our home phone from my cell phone. As is often the case on weekends, we were trading carefully-negotiated Work Periods. I was writing while she looked after the children; later, I would take the kids while she worked. Later still, we would maybe eat dinner together and then put the kids in the bath.
I answered the phone. In the background I could hear crying. Alia said, "You have to come [...]
"Keep calling back," the receptionist at the pediatrician's office said, ringing off. They were out of H1N1 flu vaccine, she had told me, and they didn't know when the next batch might be coming. So keep calling.
I would rather not keep calling. That was my third or fourth or fifth inquiry about the swine-flu vaccine, by phone or in person at the office while getting other shots for the kid. This is not because I am a hysterical parent, unable to bear the thought of my child going without medical intervention. I do not snap awake at three in the morning with flu panic, worrying that some filthy [...]
A YouTube video making the rounds-most recently posted on the entertainment news blog Crazydaysandnights, since disappeared-shows a two-year-old boy lighting and smoking a cigarette while a group of surrounding adults laugh and clap and cheer. This is less okay than those already not-really-okay Etrade commercials. And much less okay than the forever-awesome cover of Dinosaur Jr.'s 1991 album, Green Mind.
If you think that Sims and FarmVille are evil tools to acclimate people into capitalist tedium and corporate consumption and a life of low expectations, then you'll love KidZania—"a multinational chain of family entertainment centers, where kids try out professions that have been downsized, simplified, and made fun." And it is dark! It's a nation-state of "trying on adult jobs" while consuming McNuggets and Chevrolets. "Children do not create their own stories at KidZania. The story that some children are tasked with writing for the journalism activity at many franchises is a report on the how great the police are. Meanwhile, in the painting activity at KidZania Dubai, [...]
I've made it well-known that I'm not a huge fan of children. So now that parents have been lulled by science and journalism into finally believing that "there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger's Halloween candy," I'm finally going to strike.
Disclosure! I will begin by stating that, at the age 31, I currently have no children. Which, in and of itself, will be a driver for many parents to click the "BACK" button on their browsers while muttering that I have nothing resembling a fucking clue about this topic. Click away, self-righteous parents! No doubt you have a poop-flinging banshee destroying your living room at this very moment. Go handle your business. No hard feelings.
Despite not having children, I think about them. A lot. In recent years, the full teeming strength of my biology has been consumed with a single, driving goal: to produce babies. And now that [...]
â€¢ "Brave New Boutique: Baby Sex Selection Sold On East Side," July 24, 2006: "Given the aggressive fertility of New York's breeding set, it was only a matter of time before the joys of elective sex-selection took root in the Land of Milk and Bugaboos, the epicenter of the Gen-X/Y baby boomlet, New York City."
â€¢ "Genetic Engineering for the Preteen Set," March 30, 2010: "Atlas, a Boulder, Colo., company that previously specialized in growth supplements, last year introduced a take-at-home test that detects the presence of a variant of the ACTN3 gene that blocks the expression of the alpha-actinin-e protein. This protein, expressed in both copies of [...]
There was a loud but muffled scream, and when I looked up, the kid was gone.
It wasn't that scary for me; I did know where he was, more or less. But this was what I was leaving my wife with, on the other end of the phone:
[Child's screaming.] Fuck! Shit. Uh, I gotta call you back- [Screaming continues in background.] [Call disconnects.]
I was standing by the elevator bank, all by myself. The screaming was coming from the other side of a closed elevator door.
Via Fark, there's this: No one has ever told 7-year-old Dominic Osorio that he has brain cancer. Instead, his mother devised a story and made him the lead character. When Dominic undergoes surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, he is not a patient; he is the Dominator, waging war with an evil enemy that he calls a megazoid.
His grandmother, Monique Spagna, recalled the day Dominic finished weeks of daily radiation treatments at Johns Hopkins Children's Center that required the Bel Air boy to wear a mask and remain motionless for what seemed an eternity to a child.
"He could not move, so he would change identities and be the Dominator [...]
TouchMateÃ‚Â® Interactive Solutions today announced that it will bring a new level of protection to our country's innocent and highly touchable children, with its new SchoolDefender™ system! This handy system interrogates all school visitors, checks them against databases (using the PassagePointEDU™ from STOPware™!), and ejects all people from the school that might be on any number of hastily-assembled lists from any number of government or private contractor agencies. How can this not be a good idea?
All over America, investigative reporter Evan Fleischer has noted, children's lemonade stands are being shut down. It's true! From Haverford Township, PA, to Tulare, CA, even to liberal godless San Francisco, the war on children selling lemonade is in full swing. In Newbury Park, MA, there was a police investigation of a lemonade-vending child, who, cannily, only accepts "donations" instead of a set price. America's tween and teens: learning how to skirt the Marxist Obama Laws That Are Against Free Enterprise.
"Out of the money that strangers donated for a Manville toddler whose mother and siblings died in a 2007 fire, thousands of it went for expenses that had nothing to do with the boy, like the $7,107 his father spent on an escort service, a detective testified today." It's very sad, really. Also, Liz Phair, I smell the title of a comeback album.
What exactly is going on in that new Kodak Gallery commercial? A creepy piano tinkles as a little girl and a grandma shout to each other across the span of an absurdly large couch. Little girl says something stupid, grandma laughs at her stupidity. But the mood darkens when little girl asks grandma, "Were you ever in love?" Grandma answers with a cryptic, "Well…" The music intensifies, takes on an almost maniacal quality. Then the little girl says something about magic sea horses, grandma seems confused and, wait a minute-that couch is definitely getting smaller! Is this like an Alice In Wonderland thing? Or they're trying to convey the horror [...]
It's been seventy years since Operation Pied Piper, which evacuated the children of London to the English countryside in advance of the Battle of Britain. The Times of London reports from an anniversary service today at St. Paul's Cathedral, where one evacuee explains the emotion: "We all look at each other, these old geezers, and see ourselves as children."