Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slow on the uptake

Sometimes technology and I completely click. Other times - not so much. I just spend a truly inordinate amount of time compiling the charming list of book titles in the left column of this site. I am positive it is not supposed to be as difficult as I made it. But there you are.

The books listed in "The Reading List" are ones my kiddos have heartily approved. Part of my goal for this weblog is to advance the cause of children's literature, and one way of doing that is showing titles that my family of six has found to be particularly engaging, fun to look at, touching or just plain a great read.

So please view at will, and be aware that it will change as our library grows. In general, if a book is on that list, we likely already own it. In hardback. Because I just cannot seem to help myself.

That being said, though, I am a HUGE advocate of public libraries, and oftentimes, a book is checked out a multitude of times from the library (a good example is the Mo Willems' "The Pigeon Finds/Eats/Gets..." series) prior to being added to the permanent library.

And oddly enough, almost 100% of my grown-up reading list is from the library. Apparently I reserve the book purchases for those under the age of....well, under my age.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Put your thinking caps on

Two items I ran across on the web today have me thinking.

1. The first is a story about the cable channel named PBS Sprout. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/03/11-11

If you are not familiar with it, just think "All PBS, all the time". Well, make that all PBS children's programming, all the time. Literally - it runs 24/7. A charming little show is on in the evening hours called (aptly) The Good Night Show. It seems to be built around the idea that a slower pace of programming with a host to guide the viewer along might be conducive to sleepy-time. Well, because so many American parents have apparently become a bit dependent on the show, now a whole contingent of parents are saying "PBS, stop showing this progam, because now my children are STAYING UP TOO LATE watching it".

I have to be honest and say I had one, singular reaction to this story:
If you don't like your kiddo watching t.v. at bedtime, find that switch that turned the t.v. on and reverse the process. Turn. It. Off.

But no - instead, a vocal group of parents is requesting that the show be taken off the air. "Advocates for children" are stating that Sprout is exploiting the trust of parents by the mere fact they have a show designed - by all appearances - to be sleep-provoking.
My children do not have t.v.s in their bedrooms, and they do not watch t.v. while going to sleep (unless they happen to nod off during an episode of "Big Love" -- I jest, I jest). So this is not a problem I can readily identify with. However - if any one has an argument to make in favor of removing a harmless t.v. show rather than simply shutting the blasted t.v. off - please be my guest and make it. I'd love to shoot arrows through it. Again, just kidding - but honestly, I cannot see a justification for this argument. Am I being thick-headed?

2. I subscribe to Google Reader, and one of the blogs/sites I follow is "Metrodad". I ran across one of his posts today, and perhaps as a result of having been on this parenting road for the last 14+ years, I found myself absolutely howling with laughter at his responses to many parenting questions he states folks shoot his way. See for yourself: http://metrodad.typepad.com/index/2009/03/all-your-parenting-questions-answered.html

I particularly like the idea of encouraging newly minted married couples who believe they are ready for a kiddo to get a puppy first. I do just that - folks who say "Oh, we just cannot wait to start a family!" after having been married for 15 minutes are prime candidates for me to say "You know, a puppy is a great way to gradually accustom yourself to what life is like with an infant - up to a point". And usually that point comes when the new parent realizes that the baby cannot be put into a crate like a puppy - at least, not in any states I know of...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Findings 3/16/09

Stumbled upon websites, books and bits of information:

1. Eric Carle, an all-time favorite author of ours, has a blog. Did you know? It was news to me.
Read what the author of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has to say here: http://ericcarleblog.blogspot.com/

2. For anyone who loves smooth round river/ocean rocks, check these out-- made of renewable bamboo. I am wishing I had a bowl of them, waiting to sift through my hands: http://www.branchhome.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=490

3. Children's book recommendation for today: The Happy Hocky Family, by Lane Smith.
A book with visual and story appeal, this is an ongoing favorite in our house. It is on great manilla-looking paper, with illustrations that you almost feel like you could at least dream of drawing, and snapshot stories of the Hocky Family, including Mr/Mrs. Hocky, Baby Hocky, Henry and Holly Hocky, and Newton - the cat.

Introductions are in order

Greetings from my corner of the world. My corner is in northern Virginia, although I have also lived in corners in Missouri (St. Louis/Kansas City/Columbia), Ohio (Cincinnati area), and Colorado (Castle Rock) prior to this corner.

I have thoughts and issues and topics I believe to be worth discussing, and I got tired of hearing my own responses to my own ideas - so now the ideas have a new home. I like to think of things having homes. Around my house, things have places they live. So the kids ask "Where does the spatula live?" instead of "Where does the spatula go?"

Of course, that scenario requires the kids to a) be able to identify a spatula, and b) be in a position where said child would actually be displaying responsibility in terms of putting things away. I'll have to do a quick mental review to see if these things happen with any degree of regularity in my house.

Answer? Not often enough, thank you very much.

I am a parent - and also a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a pet owner, and a friend. Doesn't everyone have a multitude of roles to play? But it is funny how the "parent" role impacts every thing else, more than any other role. There is no getting away from it once you have kiddos. It is a permanent role, a permanent connection, and a permanent source of amusement, irritation and emotion. And frustration. And humor. 

You get the idea.

So off we go.