One of the things I really regret about not having a second child was missing the whole second-kid experience, from the neglected baby book right on through the casual attitude toward the necessity of properly supportive infant footwear and software that will develop a child’s “mouse skills” on the computer. (Both representing products someone tried to sell me during Kate’s infancy.) Even though I caught on early to this racket, I still feel like I flushed many dollars down the drain for no good reason, and I have the Infant Sleep Wedge to show for it. When you’re a parent, someone is always trying to sell you something. I looked forward to smiling and saying, “No sale.”
In this case, a little more is called for than just a flap of the hand. “Psycho” violins, maybe:
As a fitness coach in Grand Rapids, Mich., Doreen Bolhuis has a passion for developing exercises for children. The younger, it seems, the better. “With the babies in our family,” she said, “I start working them out in the hospital.”
What an amazing country we live in. I’d chase this woman away from my house with a gun, but she has identified a market niche, and is making a killing. Not only that, she’s killing childhood. And she’s being rewarded with flattering publicity. Sure, there are sports doctors and child-development experts in there disapproving, but she won’t read them, and even if she did, they won’t matter. Her business was just launched like a rocket. Her next brand extension will be fetal workouts, some simple manipulations done by mom, coupled with the soundtrack of NFL films piped in through belly speakers.
Today, half my Facebook friends have informed me, is Pay it Forward Day. Well, I’m doing my best.
I was reminded of the lasting power of the country’s rapidly dwindling major-newspaper presence last week, when I wrote a piece for my other website on John Durant, urban caveman. He was featured in a Sunday Styles section last January, another ridiculous trend story, joining the ranks of the Man Date and the Great Unwashed. Being featured in a story like that is like being hit by a freight train full of money, and he got extraordinarily lucky, landing on Stephen Colbert’s show as well. Now he has a book deal, with an advance “big enough to live on” (in Manhattan), and a burgeoning career as a lifestyle guru, with a lifestyle that essentially boils down to low-carb eating, interval training and barefoot running, with, admittedly, some thoughtful consideration of how our bodies evolved and what they’re adapted for. Still. I think it’s pretty obvious that stepping into that diorama at the Museum of Natural History for a dumb picture was the smartest thing he ever did. And he graduated from Harvard. So there.
Mama’s feeling a little testy this morning. Need more coffee.
People who are making me testy, coffee or no:
John Conyers. The conventional wisdom around here is that the venerable (81) congressman took a wife (Monica, currently imprisoned) late in life to quash persistent rumors about his sexuality, and that he is otherwise a saint, but I’m sorry, just because your kids came as add-ons to the deal doesn’t absolve you of any responsibility for them. And what the–? His personal, taxpayer-paid vehicle is a Cadillac Escalade? I believe in supporting the home team, but show a little restraint, man. You can tell how widespread the conventional wisdom is by all the snark in comments about the fruit not falling far from the tree.
Glenn Beck. He opposes the new food-safety law because he senses, yes, another government plot, “to raise the price of meat and convert more consumers to vegetarianism.” If he stuck to clowning it would be one thing, but…
Maybe a shift to the pleasing? OK:
One of these days, we’ll say the best journalism about the Great Recession was done by second-tier cable reality shows. Thanks, Hank, for this review of “Storage Wars,” which I think I’m going to have to watch.
This is very cool: Deconstructing “Gimme Shelter.” Of course, it doesn’t explain how, exactly, they unwound the individual audio tracks on the Stones classic, but it’s fun to listen to, especially Keith Richards’ part. Fun fact to know and tell: As I was 12 when this record was released, I believe I heard the Merry Clayton cover that came out a year later, first. For some reason it was played on Top 40 radio, briefly, and the Stones’ version only went on the prog-rock station. A great, respectful cover, but like the song says, the original is still the greatest.
Off to Wayne State. Feeling less testy after two cups of coffee. Better have a third.