Posts Tagged: Children

English Lessons

In case you missed it, this is pretty great: "The short video captures young Gabriel deep in thought as he takes in some sage sisterly advice on the perils of spitting, fighting and disobeying one's parents. Defying her own youth, Gabriel's sister delivers a minute-long park bench lecture, telling him in no uncertain terms that he should 'toughen up a bit' before walking off and leaving the words 'think about it, Gabriel' ringing in her brother's ears."


The Coming Real Estate Disaster for White-People Brooklyn

So the Brooklyn baby boom for the white hipster crowd is in full amazing swing. Saturday in Carroll Gardens is Dadurday! So many bearded tattooed dads in cool kicks. And this crowd (ages 26 to 35, essentially) is relentlessly nuclear. These couples live alone with their one-and-a-half kids. So many scooters with matching helmets. And they are split between renters and owners.

Now, what I can tell you about this amazingly traditional set is that, as they approach 40, about half of them will be getting divorced. I'm sorry! But yes.

The stages of urban young adult life are: marriage boom, baby boom, divorce boom, believe it. It happens [...]


KidZania: The Magical World of a Child's Indoctrination Into Drudgery

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, [...]


This Is My Year To Finally Poison Some Children

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.


In Defense of Having Children

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 [...]


'Observer' Lessons in Home Eugenics Grow Ever Less-Shocking

• "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."

• "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 [...]


The Misplaced Child

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.


Maurice Sendak And His Editor Ursula Nordstrom: A Cautionary Tale

Today is the 50th anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s The Nutshell Library, which is an excellent collection (anything that features "a cautionary tale" deserves reading) and well worth purchasing if you have or know any children or are feeling especially fragile just now. It contains, among other books, Alligators All Around, notable for being perhaps the greatest book about alligators ever written. Children ought to know more about alligators and be properly frightened of them. When I was a child every night my father would sing to us the same song:

Sooner or later I’ll be an alligator and I’ll eat all of my children, every one Oh, I’m a [...]


Farting Puppets: The Terrific, Bizarre World of Danish Kids' TV

A little more than two years ago, Denmark’s absurdly well-funded public-television network DR spun off some of its children’s programming and launched a separate station just for kids. The new station was named “Ramasjang,” which means something like “hullabaloo” in Danish, and it’s amazing. I can’t get enough.

Ramasjang has everything you’d want in a children’s television network. It’s got a fake news program called "Gepetto News," starring a talking purse named Babe and a whole cast of puppets that look like drug-addled Jim Henson bizarros. It’s got earnest dance lessons meant for preteens that somehow don’t make you cringe while you’re watching them. It’s got a show [...]


A Gallery of Misplaced Objects


Canada Scandalized by Intentionally Scandalous Photographs

Because it's coming down from Canada, we're not sure everyone saw this photo series by Jonathan Hobin that just closed in Canada and was published online last month.


America Out of Control: The War Against Children's Lemonade Stands

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.


Jersey Mayhem: Greetings From Manville

"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.


New Kodak Commercial More Like 'Poltergeist' Than Presumably Intended

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 [...]


Children Stupid

"[U]ntil the age of seven, children are, at least in some respects, no brainier than birds."


Ten Questions Parents Should Frantically Ask About Schooling

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 [...]


Dreamworks Done Pimping Brands to Kids

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."


'The Phantom Tollbooth,' or, The Democratizing Principle of Literature

"I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal-as we are!" -Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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!)


Church: Prologue, "This Is a Song"

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 [...]