Friday, September 08, 2006

Midweek melange . . . or Friday fricassee

Yes, I know, we're past the middle of the week, but we're finding that on time is not nearly as important these days as happy, well fed, and well rested. Wednesday I was sick, and I didn't have a chance to write anything last night because I had a company softball game, which 3B came to. Despite my getting four hits, including one to the fence, and digging out an extra base a coupla' times (OK, OK--and dropping two easy fly balls. Two stinkin' easy freakin' fly balls.), guess who the star of the show was?

Right. The boy was.

As it should be.

Sorry, no pictures of his royal cuteness at the ballgame. I was too busy hitting the oxygen tank between innings and Mama was too busy passing 3B from one fan of his to another. I think most people who came to the game actually came out based on the rumors that 3B would be there. If he wasn't only seven weeks old, I think they would have demanded that he throw out the first pitch of the season. And yes, we did have them all sanitize their hands before touching the little bean.

3B performed like the rock star that he is, staying fairly mellow, despite going a little past a meal time and not getting much good sleep during the game, due to all the handling. He did signal his desire to depart by having a blowout on a friend from the other team who came over to hold him after the game. So we headed out, feeding him in the car before driving the 15 minutes it takes to get home, where we could change him, walk Barky, soothe 3B to bed, clean up Papa's skinned shin (sliding in shorts has disadvantages), and try to get some fast sleep ourselves.

That brings us up-to-date. Without further ado, let the fricassee begin . . .

Pregnant with Humor
No matter what this study found, I still don't think that a clown suit in bed is going to become a turn on.

A Father's Ode to His Lost Son
As the new father of a son, who lost his father at 16 and spoke at his memorial service, it's hard for me to believe the strength of this father, to not only write this eloquent eulogy, but to deliver it as well. Then again, I find that as a parent, I summon the strength, drawing on the energy of my love, to do whatever I must for my son. Still, I am amazed by this father, who has my respect.

Discovering a World Beyond the Front Yard
As Cat Stevens asked, where do the children play? Increasingly, they play under the watchful eye of parents. Gone are the days of my youth, when I would yell, "I'm going outside to play!" as I ran out of the house, often with my last words getting cut off by the door slamming behind me (or when my mother would ask, "Why don't you go outside and play?"). However, some parents think that, given that statistics show it's about as safe as it ever was for kids to play unsupervised, it's safe to go back to the future.

Too Often, Family Leave Leaves Much To Be Desired
On the other hand, who can afford to have and raise a family these days? While the government is willing to give paltry tax breaks to parents, the government won't provide any support to parents in the form of time. Apparently, we're supposed to have kids who, like animals, can walk in a few days, fend for themselves in a few months, and start on their most important duty to society--increasing the GDP---soon after that. A waste of your tax money, you say? Ah, yes, and who's going to pay your Social Security bills when you're older if these kids aren't smart or stable enough to find gainful employment? For that matter, aren't you going to end up paying their welfare bills if that's the case? So, wouldn't you rather spend a little now to get a lot later? I know, I know . . . you'd love to, but not in an election year. Is it just me, or is there something about becoming a parent that reduces tolerance for this kind of myopic BS?

It's All Chinese to Your Toddler

OK, yeah, there's this whole fad now to get Chinese-speaking nannies for babies, so that they'll have an advantage getting jobs in the new, flat world. A few years ago, the fad was Spanish-speaking nannies. I'm thinking that perhaps education shouldn't be driven by fads. As it turns out, your baby may already speak Chinese anyway.

Cutting Where It Hurts
And, as a new father, and as one who does believe in education--even one driven by fads is better than none at all--I'm dismayed that the state I live in (I can't call it "my state") is willing to cut so many parents and kids loose without a second thought for the personal and long-term repercussions.

School Fundraising? Phooey!
Then again, it seems that many people aren't so concerned about proper funding for education. To be fair, she does support her kids' schools, but I feel that she's dreadfully remiss for not mentioning that schools wouldn't be forced to beg for money if they were properly funded, and even to exhort her readers to put some pressure on politicians to do so. Of all people, she should be pushing for it because it ends up saving her tax money since it's far cheaper to put a kid through school than to house them in prison, which is where so many kids who don't get a good education end up. [UPDATE: There are people who are concerned about how schools are funded and who are interested in finding ways to better fund them. That is, there are those people in New Jersey.]


  1. Clown during artificial insemination? NO.

    Good article about children playing outside...I think humans are hard-wired to remember bad things more/better than good things, so when we hear about child abductions we think they are way more prevalent or likely than they truly are. I'm guilty of it, though since the Huntlings are both under 4 years old I think it's reasonable to keep them in sight. Once Duncan hits 5 though, I'm sending him to the store for ice cream!

    I think it's funny that people think taxes are bad, yet they want public benefits like schools, roads, etc. Now, it's true that governments don't automatically do a good job allocating funds just because they get more money. But why do we spend time with relatively asinine methods like giftwrap sales, when we could just properly fund schools in the first place?

    Of course, my kids will go to Waldorf schools which take no public funding at all...meaning we get to pay tuition AND fundraise! And if we ever finally own a home, we get to fund public schools with our property taxes, too. Ah well, it's all for the public good. Less people in prison, as you say, or to put it in a more positive light, a better educated citizenry.

    As for funding low-income child care, I'm not surprised. I don't like to point political fingers, but it seems that recently the trend has been to cut loose anyone who isn't increasing the GDP. Why should it be that someone is advised by a public servant that they might get more financial assistance if they abuse or neglect their child? Why isn't that completely beyond the pale?

  2. Wait 'till you show up somewhere without the boy and the only thing anyone says to you is, "where's 3B?"

    My patented response goes something like, "Well, they're 3 and 1 now, so pretty much able to handle themselves just fine. And how are you?"