Frozen, finally.

theslip.jpg

Remember how I said this was the Winter That Wasn’t? Well, it’s winter now. Here’s a picture of our boat slip. In five more months, there’ll be a boat there.

I took Kate and a friend to the park today, because finally there was ice to skate on, and skate they did. Every time she puts her new skates on, she gets better at it; it’s a pleasure to watch, at least until the wind off the lake strips off all my mascara and I have to step inside the rec center to warm up a bit. There were two teenage girls in there with their mother, complaining that there was snow on the ice and why wasn’t anyone shoveling it off?

“It’s just a dusting, really,” I said, gesturing to the several skaters already out there, gliding around unimpeded. They glared at me. OK, don’t mind me. The fancy-shmancy private-school indoor rink a couple miles away opens to the public every Sunday for two hours; I’m sure they’d be more comfortable there anyway. I went back to watching Kate and her friend write their names in the ice and felt grateful they won’t be teenagers for a few more years.

I guess when they are, I’ll be back to watching them the way I did when they were toddlers, but in this nice in-between period I was free to take a little stroll along the lake, which was just like “Stranger Than Paradise,” only with maybe a little more blue and gray in the shot. I couldn’t really take the time to frame it because the wind was pretty strong and my eyes kept tearing.

I admit to getting tired of it by March, but all things considered, I sorta like winter.

And now it’s Monday, yet another of the days that make me suspect the Grosse Pointe Public Schools hate working parents — it’s an in-service day for teachers, so no school. Last week was the MLK holiday. Next month will be a one-week winter break, followed six weeks later by spring break. It’s hard to imagine that two weeks ago I daydreamed of going back to work in an actual office, with adults and everything. Not until it’s legal to kennel 10-year-olds. (You can kennel infants and toddlers, but once they grow up a little, the deal’s off.)

So, bloggage:

A young man was released from prison here last week. I wasn’t here for the full length of this story, but I gather it went like this: Nathaniel Abraham, at 11, was the youngest person in Michigan convicted of homicide, back in 1997. He was released from prison last week, the day before his 21st birthday. For his final court date, he chose an understated, I’m-ready-to-go-straight costume — an ivory suit with pink pinstriping, accented with pink shirt and pink alligator shoes, a matching fedora, the whole ensemble topped with a rabbit-fur coat.

Of course, in Detroit, a city where racism is the bass note of every song we hear, from hip-hop right down to the Muzak in grocery stores, this image was greeted with …not quite hysteria, but the sort of calm, reasoned discussion you see on lunatic-politics discussion boards. From across the metro area, a million voices rose as one and shouted: Pimp.

But at least it gave the columnists something to gnash over. This one includes a photo. This one doesn’t.

Eric Zorn had one of his very entertaining, supremely time-wasting Lank of Linkin’ roundups today, including this entry: Before you click on The Beast’s annual list of 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2006 (raw language warning), see if you can guess who’s number one from these excerpts: “… nakedly self-serving … has so successfully snowed America that he could go around kicking puppies all day and he’d be applauded for his authenticity. In reality (he) is as phony as slimeballs come.”

I guessed Donald Trump. It wasn’t him (although he was on the list, at No. 21). I must be losing my touch.

And now Monday begins in earnest. I guess we’ll go skating again.

Posted at 11:41 am in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |
 

55 responses to “Frozen, finally.”

  1. brian stouder said on January 22, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I got a kick out of the quizz; but I disagree with the self-satisfied shrillness within the explanation of the #1 pick for The Beast’s annual list of 50 Most Loathsome People

    Whoever wrote that bilge personifies the sun-deprived geeks that populate lunatic-politics discussion boards

    ….at least, in my opinion. btw – went and saw Flags of Our Fathers at the dollar movie yesterday, and I think my eyes were probably more teary than Nance’s. (I guess I’m getting soft in my old age!)

  2. alex said on January 22, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I thought O.J. Simpson and John McCain should have swapped places on that list. Otherwise heartily concur that Dubya’s “as dumb as Paris Hilton and almost as popular.”

    Zorn’s other linkage today was also fun. I really think Eveready needs to replace the Energizer Bunny with a new mascot: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4024457809967804989

  3. Marcia said on January 22, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    One more year, Nance, and you can send your girlie to the Children’s Hospital babysitting class, where they also teach first aid and what to do when home alone. I had all of my older kids take it when they turned 11.

  4. Kirk said on January 22, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    my favorites on that “loathsome” list: glenn beck and james carville

  5. Danny said on January 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    For his final court date, he chose an understated, I’m-ready-to-go-straight costume — an ivory suit with pink pinstriping, accented with pink shirt and pink alligator shoes, a matching fedora, the whole ensemble topped with a rabbit-fur coat.

    Wow, even Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch thinks this outfit is a little over-the-top.

  6. Mary O said on January 22, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I feel your pain with regard to the inability to kennel 10 year olds. I’m working from home today because it’s an in-service day for kids in the Montgomery County, Md., school system. We have about one of these days a month. When we don’t have week-long holidays or some other such thing. And snow days — don’t even get me started. Today would have been one had it not already been an in-service day. We got a dusting topped off by a “wintry mix” that freaks everyone out here.

    Middle school and babysitting can’t come soon enough!

  7. LA mary said on January 22, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    I worked from home until younger son was 12, then I had a back up plan with a neighbor for the dreaded in-service days or minimum days. The elementary school my kids went to was the worst for seemingly random days off. Thank goodness they had an afterschool program on the playground. I could send the kids to chess class or basketball or something.

  8. brian stouder said on January 22, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Years ago, Pam and I did the daycare thing; eventually we were fortunate enough to be able to run our household on one income. Now, our vehicles are older (but paid for) and our house needs a new roof (and windows) which we will get to, eventually….but keeping the young folks with mom has turned out to be one of the best things we have been able to achieve, and it has paid many dividends, and in many ways.

    It is certainly a joint effort, and a big key to it (from my perspective) is treating any plans Pam makes with friends, or with regard to the PTA (or whatever else) as priority A1A.

    By way of saying, when the weather delays and snow days and ‘in service days’ (etc) come, we breathe a sigh of relief that we’re at least immune to THAT particular aggravation!

  9. Carolyn said on January 22, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Nancy,
    Passing references to things like that 20-year-old flick “Stranger Than Paradise” are what keep me coming back!! Where else am I going to get that?
    Lord, I haven’t thought of that movie in a decade!
    Sent me straight to Wikipedia.

  10. Danny said on January 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Good choice, Brian. Robin and I have done the same when we’ve had children in the house. There’s been a few women at work who’ve had a baby, taken the maternity leave, came back to work and then decided that home is where they want to be, raising their child.

    I know not everyone has this choice, but if you can swing it, it is the wise way to go.

  11. LA mary said on January 22, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Danny
    I think for some people it’s not the wise way to go even if they can afford it. I think I might still be married if I had not stayed home for ten years with two kids. How it well it works is dependent on a lot of things. My life changed 100% when I had kids. My ex’s changed approximately zero. Still lots of travel, still lots of playing golf on the weekends and pool at the neighbor’s house on the weeknights when he was home. Zero evenings out without the kids. Zero support system for me since his job moved us around. I could afford financially to stay home, but it nearly killed me.

  12. Marcia said on January 22, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    I think LA mary is pretty wise. Yeah, in the moment, it may seem swell to have someone at home, but in the long run, you’ve given up years of retirement income.

    Not to mention that in a society where divorce is prevalent, at least some of the time for good reason, I’m not sure it’s all that wise to put all the eggs in the basket of one person’s good character.

    No offense to you, Brian or Danny, but not all guys are worth giving up a lifetime of income potential for.

    And I’ll give any of you five bucks if you can go to any of my children’s classrooms (2nd, 8th, 9th, and 12th grades) and pick out the kids who had moms at home. Go ahead.

  13. brian stouder said on January 22, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Well indeed – major choices like that are not ‘one-size-fits-all’. I suppose the secret is finding the situation that fits your specific situation.

    Subjects like this one call to mind the great breast-feeding-versus-formula one – wherein some people are always ready to tell you just exactly what you really ought to be doing.

    LA Mary makes the salient point, at least from my perspective, which is that if people are really married, than priorities must change for both, as circumstances change. A divorce cliche is “we grew apart”. I think life equals growth, and a successful marriage equals mutual growth toward some common point – and an unsuccessful one equals growth toward different points.

    If I understand Marcia’s point about kids who had moms at home – then I think I agree with it. That is – I am not trying to assert that our kids necessarily have a leg-up on others, owing to having one of their parents home with them; instead I’m making the much more selfish point that WE have a clearer idea of what is going on in their lives than we otherwise would

  14. Connie said on January 22, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    We had a parent at home full time starting when our daughter was 9, and it wasn’t me. Worked for us. Nice to have one parent who can go to everything.

    As for ice skating, I grew up skating on neighborhood ponds, we shoveled them ourselves. Actually we swept them clean with the beat-up brooms we then used to play hockey. At least we called it hockey, there was a puck. The only ice skating pond I remembered being shoveled regularly was the big one in the middle of the old city cemetery. On Saturdays there was even a fire in a barrel. (Where I grew up one did not skate on Sunday.)

  15. basset said on January 23, 2007 at 12:06 am

    I am a southwest Indiana Hoosier boy with next to no athletic talent and never attempted to ice-skate until I was 23 or 24 and up in Cadillac, Michigan on my first job out of school. significant other, now wife, was from Michigan and grew up skating, so she got me a pair of hockey skates and off we went to the outdoor rink.

    I showed an embarrassing lack of aptitude. Only tried even roller-skating once and that did not go well, this was even worse. So I’m flailing around trying to get up, my pants are split, can’t even drag myself onto all fours and this little girl maybe three years old skates by. Backward. Pointing at me.

    The skates are hanging on a nail down by the water heater, and that’s where they’re gonna stay.

    Meanwhile, the NHL team here in Nashville is starting to make noises about what might happen if they don’t start drawing bigger crowds. Oh, the shame.

  16. John said on January 23, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I started skating when I was 10 on a neighborhood farm pond (the subdivision had grown around it) that had a fence (barbed wire, naturally) cutting a chord across a quarter of it. We kept a fire going (old tires) to keep warm. There were always older teens there (17 or 18 year olds) who keep an eye out for the little ones, but I can’t ever recall any adult supervision. I do recall a couple of grass fires that got out of hand, but the fire department was only called once. Hard to imagine that this ever happened sometimes. This would never ever be allowed in today’s society.

  17. LA mary said on January 23, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Connie
    We had a pond across the street from the house where I grew up, and we skated all winter. In the next town over, a little more Dutch Reformed than where I was, there was no skating on Sundays. I was never very good at skating but it didn’t stop me from going to the pond every afternoon after school and all day all weekend. I don’t think my kids can get their heads around the idea of feet so cold they have no feeling, followed by agony when they thaw out.

  18. Marcia said on January 23, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Brian–I agree with you that every family has to make their own choice. My point is that I’m not so certain that parents, especially mothers, consider all of the consequences of not working.

    It’s funny you brought up the breastfeeding/formula feeding choice. My first experience with an online forum was Babycenter’s Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding Debate board.

    I saw myself as the voice of reason, as I fed my babies both ways, but I didn’t make any friends with the zealots of either side. Probably this is because my feeding philosophy was pretty much use whichever nipple is most convenient at the moment.

  19. John said on January 23, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Zealots? On internet posting boards? Say it ain’t so Marcia!

  20. LA mary said on January 23, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Marcia
    One thing that’s really charming about the stay at home mom/working mom question is how willing both sides are to make the other side feel bad about their choice.

  21. brian stouder said on January 23, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    ‘Any port in a storm’, I say!

    My first experience with an online forum was the Indianapolis Star’s racing forum – back in 1996. That was when the IRL was born, and ruined the Indy 500 (according to the folks on my side) – or saved ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ (according to the dark side!).

    What I learned was that the most rabid people quickly overwhelm the people closest to the middle, and eventually discourage more and more people from the center out, until all that’s left are the genuine cranks.

  22. Marcia said on January 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Yes, Brian, absolutely.

    The rabid baby-feeding folks would kill me with their misspelled, horribly punctuated ramblings. Sometimes I just wanted to say, you know, what your kid is eating is most likely the least of his issues.

    LA Mary, yeah. For some reason it makes people feel better about their own choices if they can put someone else’s down.

    I hope you weren’t talking about me. Becasue I work!!! AND PEOPLE WHO DONT WORK DONT KNOW WHAT THERE TALKING ABOUT! My kid’s love there daycare!!

  23. Casey said on January 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    I am guessing what’s his face married/kinda to Jolie…. name escapes me… there it is Brad Pitts! or is it Pitt?

  24. Casey said on January 23, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    just kidding…. although he could kick a puppy and get away with it.

  25. Danny said on January 23, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I’ve been a bit busy to respond, but the whole question of pitting the success of a marriage against that of the choice of parent to stay home and raise a child is basically a non sequitur. It is inarguable that spending as much time as possible with your child is best (for children and parents), especially during the younger years.

    Marriage and the success thereof can be interconnected, but so can any number of issues like who does the chores around the house or who puts the toilet seat down.

    Mary, I’m sure you’ll disagree for some reason, but keeping a job to force a spouse to do their share of the child rearing duties seems like it would have been a convoluted way to save a marriage. Direct communication is the only answer (but only if both parties are willing). And if one feels the need to develop contingency plans in case of a failed marriage, they may have one foot out the door already, committment-wise.

  26. LA mary said on January 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Danny
    I would not have kept a job to force my ex to share duties. For one thing it wouldn’t have worked, but more to the point, I like working. I get more than a paycheck from it. Part of what I use to define myself is my work. I will not for a minute put down what stay at home moms do, but for some people, including me, I needed something else as well. I did tons of PTA and AYSO and volunteering in the classroom and even subbing for teachers at the younger son’s pre-school. It wasn’t enough.

    Two things I hope are evident about me from my messages in here: I am a mother above all else, and I love dogs. I truly believe a happier mother makes for happier kids. If working had made me happier, my kids would have benefitted.
    Secondly, on a very basic level, some of us need to work. If you’ve ever owned a herding dog or a hunting dog or any working dog, you know. They need to do a job specific to them. I needed to do a job specific to me, as well as being a mother. Having kids is absolutely the best thing in my life, but I wish now I had stayed in grad school, finished the MFA, stayed in the marketplace and had relationships with adults that were not entirely about my children.

  27. Marcia said on January 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    And if one feels the need to develop contingency plans in case of a failed marriage, they may have one foot out the door already, committment-wise.

    Oh, come on. No one goes into a marriage looking for a divorce. And yet 50% of them will end in one.

  28. Susan said on January 23, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Word of warning about the stay-at-home issue:

    Empty Nest–it’s a killer nobody really warns you about…it suddenly sneaks up on you and bam! Your children are off to college and the house is eerily empty. The depression and “what do I do now?” feelings hit both working parents and stay-at-homers equally hard, but having an outside career and adult friends certainly helps make the transition less lonely. You look back and realize they were only yours for a “moment” and are now out on their own, while you are still home and have to “create” a new normal for yourself without children to revolve around. Any outside interests, jobs, and friends you can develop now, while your kids are still at home, will help you sustain your sanity when this time comes. Prepare yourselves so that when they are gone, you still “have a life”!

  29. michaelj said on January 24, 2007 at 4:34 am

    I knew if there is God in heaven and any shred of justice left in the world that the single most odious American had to be John McCain. On the money, so betting the farm on the Colts.

    McCain is a political hypocrite almost without equal. Is he4 still spending Keating money? But, you know, what separates this whited sepulcher from William Jefferson and Mark Foley are skin color and sexual predilection.

    The real deal is his absolute, abject failure to come to Kerry’s side in the Swift Boat farrago. McCain hid behind Kerry in the effort to normalize diplomatic relations with VietNam, presumably to preserve reactionary bona fides. Kerry got that job done, and McCain took credit.

    This sanctimonious sonofabitch was a victim of the Atwater-Rove chickenhawk axis of slime. The half-black bastard campaign. So he keeps his mouth shut when Nixon’s scumbag zombie rises from the grave to slander somebody that served in service to somebody that fell down on the job of keeping the O Club in booze because of a crank addiction.

    Stupidity, intolerance, drug addiction, avarice, mindless hatred–human failings. Self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing hypocrisy–deadly sin.

    Oh, and speaking of onanism as worldview, how in the world does Ralph Nader not make this list?

  30. Dorothy said on January 24, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I’ve been watching this debate about motherhood/working/etc. from the sidelines and finally feel ready to chime in.

    For the record, I stayed home with my kids but also babysat in my home to bring in income. I started doing that when my son was 3 and my daughter 5, just starting kindergarden. (I also breastfed, exclusively, because it’s what I wanted to do. My kids refused bottles and went right to sippy cups.) I did other jobs here and there (tour guide at Three Rivers, worked in a quilt store) but made sure I could be home when they got home from school until the youngest was about 11 or 12. I gradually moved to working 40 hours a week, but I always thought of myself as a stay at home mom until I was working 40 hours a week. What worked for me might not work for others.

    Above all, I don’t believe in judging others because no one can know all the facts of each situation. “Live and let live” is my motto, and I hate when debates get ugly and accusations fly. No one should be made to justify their choices to strangers.

    Marcia I understand your point when you bet anyone to pick out the stay at home moms among your children’s classmates. But I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Differences are more subtle, I think, among kids and it comes down to how a child is raised, not whether they had a parent in the home full time rather than go to day care.

    I wish I were as talented as many of you readers are to express my ideas. I always worry that things I say here will be taken out of context.

  31. brian stouder said on January 24, 2007 at 9:23 am

    I always worry that things I say here will be taken out of context.

    Fear not! And, to me anyway, your writing is as clear and resonant as a bell.

  32. Dorothy said on January 24, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Thanks Brian! I’m not a shy person but sometimes I feel shy about speaking up here. That’s so out of character for me. In person I can’t shut up.

  33. Marcia said on January 24, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Dorothy, I’m exactly the opposite. I can’t shut up online, but in person, I’m a closed-mouthed introvert.

    But yeah, what Brian said about your writing.

  34. LA mary said on January 24, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Dorothy
    It is the subtle things, not whether the parents are at home or not. I know a mom in my neighborhood who stays home with her 3 year old. She said the following to me just yesterday, “He’s only quiet when he has food in front of the television. He ate 6 pancakes this morning. As long I as keep putting his movies on, he’s ok.”
    I’m going to admit to being judgmental about that. There’s a pretty huge range of parenting styles I can accept, but shoveling food into a little kids mouth and keeping him in a state of partial conciousness isn’t ok.

  35. Danny said on January 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    For the record, I am not trying to be judgmental about anyone nor do I want anyone here to justify themselves to me concerning their parental choices.

    This started out with me praising Brian for what I thought was a wise decision. After that it just kinda devolved (in my eyes) to people disagreeing for the sake of an argument. That is all.

  36. nancy said on January 24, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Bottom line: Whatever works for you, that’s what you should do. (That’s what I do, anyway.)

  37. Marcia said on January 24, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Hey Danny–I didn’t mean to be judgmental or argumentative. I thought it was just a discussion. I did say I thought it was a family’s personal choice.

    (And please tell me y’all knew I was kidding with the caps thing.)

  38. LA mary said on January 24, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Danny
    I wasn’t disagreeing for the sake of argument. I’m disagreeing from personal experience.
    Mary

  39. brian stouder said on January 24, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    I think this is one of those deals where everyone might ‘disagree’, and yet no one is more ‘wrong’ or ‘right’.

    A great (and now dated) book, written by Heinz Pagels for normal people (ie – no math!) about quantum physics introduced me to the concept of the ‘observer created reality’…which is to say, in the micro-world you cannot ask “what does an atom look like?” UNLESS you specify by what means you intend to ‘see’ it….because trying to observe it necessarily affects what you will see.

    A parallel to that in the macro-world we inhabit might well be the question “what does healthy family life look like?” (whereas a somewhat easier question might be “what does dysfunctional family life look like?” !)

  40. Danny said on January 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Professor Heisenberg is rolling over in is grave (but positive or nagative spin we cannot determine). LOL!

  41. Mitch Harper said on January 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    I picked up a Detroit newspaper when I stopped in Toledo last Saturday.

    That was quite an outfit Mr. Abraham was wearing. He could not be ignored.

    As for ice-skating – my last foray resulted in a fractured elbow. It has been over 16 years ago but I still retain my 12 narrow ice skates for the day that … well, actually for a day that will never come.

  42. brian stouder said on January 24, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Professor Heisenberg is rolling over in is grave

    I’m uncertain about that!

  43. LA mary said on January 24, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    Trader Joes used to sell cups of mixed or unidentified coffee beans labeled, “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Blend.” It was always good. And really cheap.

  44. Dorothy said on January 25, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Yikes, Mary, that mother story (pancakes, etc.) gave me the willies. Wonder if she’s ever tried taking him to the library, or to the park to play outside, rather than plop him in front of the t.v.? How did you keep your mouth shut when she said that?!?!?!

  45. nancy said on January 25, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    I hear stories like that and I think of that great scene in “Casino,” where Sharon Stone bends over to snort some lines in front of her kid, pauses, looks up at her and says, “Don’t EVER do this” and then goes ahead and snorts the line. Cracks me up.

  46. Danny said on January 25, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Nancy, that is funny. Unfortunately, I have a sister-in-law who would do something like that.

  47. nancy said on January 25, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    See, that just goes to show you the game is rigged. Don’t stay home with your kid and some people will call you a bad parent, but that sort of pales in comparison to the coke-snorting mom. Most of us limit our inconsistencies to counseling against swearing, then yelling SHIT! when we spill coffee on our pants. Do we get any credit? No.

  48. LA mary said on January 25, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    I suggested to the pancake mom that my kids always loved going for walks at that age. We used to do things like count how many cats we saw or how many volkswagens or whatever. This mom could use a few brisk strolls herself. She’s in her twenties and has high blood pressure. I offered to take her kid to walk my dogs with me. He could hold Poppy’s leash since she doesn’t pull at all.

  49. LA mary said on January 25, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Taking tantrummy restless kids for a walk seems sort of old and quaint, doesn’t it? I used to schlep mine all over our hill just to burn off excess energy. It was also nice to get out of the house, but do people still do this?

  50. Danny said on January 25, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I do! In fact, when we visit our nephews who lived with us for several years, they know the drill with Ol’ Uncle Danny. Let’s get up, get dressed, get fed and get out!

    I was really proud of them this last Christmas. We spent three weeks together. They are now 8 and 9 years old and they both hiked Table Rock twice with me. This is a 7.2 mile roundtrip that goes up to about 3200 ft. We did it in about 4h40m, powered by choclate chip cokies and PB&J’s. Then we went swimming at the YMCA and played soccer. They were yawning at 8PM most nights.

    We also did a lot of other hiking, collecting specimens for study under their microscope and we did a good bit of fishing. My stepfather has been stocking the ponds in his area and everyone (and I mean like almost as soon as your hook hit the water) caught large mouth bass between 2 and 5 pounds. Travis, the 8 year old, caught a catfish that was about 6 lbs.

    Mmmm..good times.

  51. brian stouder said on January 26, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Our membership at Fort Wayne’s Science Central has turned into one of our best investments; when it is grey and rainy or windy and cold, the young folks can easily spend several hours in motion there, and there are plenty of things to engage the grown-ups, too.

    And then as Danny says – when the end of the day is upon us, the young folks are ready for bed

  52. LA mary said on January 26, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Thinking back on my sons’ little kid days, I never had any big issues with getting them to bed and to sleep. I guess I kept them moving enough. Now that they’re teengers or very close to being teenagers (two weeks away) it’s more difficult.
    I never had any picky eater issues either. One of them doesn’t like raw tomatoes. That’s about it. I had a very wise pediatrician back when they were babies.

  53. brian stouder said on January 26, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    A good baby-doctor is worth her weight in gold.

    the baby in our family (Chloe – 21/2) will eat anything – uncooked vegetables, cooked vegetables, rice, southwestern fare, Chinese (especially Chinese noodles, but including everything else), gloppy caseroles, beef, chicken…basically everything.

    Her older sister Shelby is finicky to a fault- picks at everything, and quite often she almost imperceptibly turns up her nose when she sees supper. I say ‘almost’ because I never see it, but MOM always does; touches off a brief mother-daughter dust-up everytime.

    Really, such moments serve to remind me how clueless I truly am…

  54. LA mary said on January 26, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    I’m thinking maybe boys are less likely to be picky. Certainly when they hit their teens they eat anything and in large quantities.

  55. Danny said on January 27, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I think as a rule you are correct about the girls being more picky, but the 9 year old nephew is going through a growth spurt and eating large quantities and yet he has some intersteing dislikes about certain foods and foods touching one another. He currently doesn’t care for onions, but he eats salad without dressing. And both nephews will eat the carb heavy stuff with the least nutritional virtue first (and fill up only on that) unless you keep an eye on them.