That’s What She Said: Parenting Edition

I’ve been finding a lot of really cool articles tonight, and catching up on others I had put off. So I’m going to put a bunch of them together and call it a post.

(Oh, and I, unfortunately, cannot take credit for the “That’s what she said” reference. I totally stole it from Kristen, author of one of my favorite blogs, Rage Against the Minivan. Go check her out, too!)

Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldeman on mentally ill parents

This is a great piece on raising children while one parent has a chronic mental illness. I love their open approach. To my mind, nothing makes something taboo like refusing to discuss it, be it race, adoption or mental illness.

Chabon and Waldeman try to treat her mental illness like any illness: something the family deals with together, without shame or guilt.

It’s a simple little piece, but I also love one of the comments:

I think there are generally different attitudes about mental vs. physical illness, though. Women with chronic illnesses that impact daily life (diabetes, MS, cancer, mobility impairments) are often encouraged and supported to have children – whereas women with mental illness are met with reactions such as “you are damaging your kids!” No one has ever told me I’m damaging my kids by forcing them to have a mom with juvenile diabetes – but they have told my bipolar friend the same thing. Yet, my diabetes makes me unavailable to care for my children at times, leads me to inexplicable (to them) tears on occasion, and can even be dangerous if I don’t manage it. Yet people have castigated her for doing the same things they praise me for. To me, this is one of the best examples of how mental illness is stigmatized. If you want to say that only the supremely fit should parent – I’m actually fine with your making that argument. But you damned well better include me in it, and not only my friend – we’re neither of us supremely fit, and so you should either exclude us both on that ground, or ntiehr.

Amen, sister.

Molehill Meet The Mountain Makers

This post by Naptime  Writing, another blogger I love to follow, so very well sums up my feelings on the whole J. Crew toenail story. And the links! Oh, the links in this article are FABULOUS. Click them all. Especially The Daily Show one, because you know how I love The Daily Show. And the one behind “arbitrary as gender clothing rules,” which brings you to a story referencing this picture:

of…any guesses? Anyone? Very famous historical figure? That, my dear friends, is a photo of FDR at age 2 1/2.

Yeah…pretty sure he wasn’t gay.

(And pretty sure if he was, IT DOESN’T MATTER).

She writes gems like this:

Regular readers know my 5 year old paints his nails with his Dad every weekend. They vary color, they vary number of nails painted. But generally, Peanut paints all twenty digits and Spouse paints twelve (all toes plus thumbs). You also know I think this is a delightful bit of bonding that teaches both of them to do what they enjoy rather than what they’re supposed to do. Because there are enough supposed tos in life, it’s never too young to learn to ignore the lame rules.

And most rules are lame.

Love it.

Oh, and click on the link in that paragraph, too. It takes you to her previous post about her son painting nails with his father, and how that is just. fine. And how toddlers? Like fun things.

My parents gave me a dump truck when I was in the hospital at age 2, and the nurses thought we were from some cult. I liked freaking trucks, y’all. And I didn’t turn out anything except open minded. All toddlers like trucks and trains and bugs and dolls, so why do we have to be wiping half of that off the map-o’-funness for them based on their plumbing?

I’ll stop quoting her, now, just go read the whole things. Or both of them. And all the links. It’s OK, I’ll wait.

Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps

Love this article. It’s not as controversial as the other two. Or at least, I hope it isn’t. It starts out like this:

I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.

Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie “10” (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her “Xtina” phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.

You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word “Juicy” was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. …

*facepalm*

He brings up great points about how we can get mad at manufacturers for making such products…but they wouldn’t make them if there wasn’t a market, so the buck should really stop with the parents who create the demand for, oh, say, padded bikini tops for kindergarteners. *shudder*

And finally, let’s end with some completely non-parenting nerdy goodness in honor of the release of Portal 2 today. :

It’s 53 seconds long. Enjoy!

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