Tag Archive: Overinvolved Mom

Do this! No, do THAT! The ultimate guide to parenting healthy kids (parody)

Eat more fish!
But make sure it’s not one of the five bad types or you’ll get brain failure. Eating fish is wonderfully filling, though, and it can be quite slimming.

Eat as many vegetables as you can for your baby!
But make sure it’s not any form of sprout or pre-washed baby carrots, or you will get e. coli and die, or even suffer from suboptimal nutrition.

Eat more honey to fight allergies!
But make sure it is produced within 20 yards of your house. Also, make sure it actually is honey. The organic label is not enough. If you can, chat with the beekeeper and one or two local bears.

Fish is also wonderfully healthy for pregnant women.
But make sure it’s not on the mercury list. If it is, it will make you crazy and kill the fetus as well as any children you have yet to conceive. You may continue to play with your existent children, but only once the glowing stops.

Don’t overbathe your children and wreck their skin by putting them in the tub every single day. But if you don’t, they will look like they have cradle cap, and everyone will think they have lice.

When your children appear to have lice, don’t dump lice shampoo on their heads because it’s poison that doesn’t work. Pay a local nit-salon lady $200 an hour instead. Return every other month as the kids at school reinfect you and your children without hope of any insurance company covering this. (It’s only cosmetic to get rid of bugs living on your head, after all.)

Getting your hands dirty in the garden is good for you — body, brain and soul. But whatever you do, wear gloves or you’ll get toxoplasmosis from cat poop stuck in your fingernails, ingest it, and become schizophrenic, as will your kids. Make sure you wear a face mask, too. You don’t want to breathe in those particles from the soil, although the latest reports last week did claim it was a potent antidepressant.

Sunscreen will not effectively protect you from melanoma. Wear it daily to protect you from the most potent form of skin cancer, melanoma.

Give your kids a large variety of stimulating toys in bright colors. But not red, yellow or orange since those are all tainted with lead if they are not made in the U.S. But don’t worry, there are two known toys that are currently made in the U.S.

Most importantly, have fun as a parent and keep up with the news!

What oh-so-helpful suggestions for parents are driving you mad? Share them in the comments section.

Plaything of the damned

Every parent has that one toy in the house that they’d put a mob hit on.

For me, it’s called Alphabet Pal. And it’s purple. And chirpy. And a caterpillar. And vile.

For one, it tries to wake up the kids, even when we don’t know it’s on. And it’s been doing this for five years. Why do I let it live with me? I’m not really sure.

photo11

But every once in a while, it senses a human walking near it and shrieks, “HI! I’M ALPHABET PAL! WANT TO PUNCH ME IN THE FACE?” Well, no, it doesn’t really say that, but that doesn’t mean I really refrain from doing that, either.

The irony — or rather lack of irony — is that we received this gift on The Elder’s first birthday with a note from my father-in-law, instructing the darling child, “Drive your dad nuts with this.”

But, in fact, it drives us both over the edge. And the batteries just don’t run out.

Someday, both kids will be done with it, and we’ll throw it away. Or recycle it. Or something. We’ll probably never be rid of it, since interpreting Seattle rules for throwing molded plastic detritus out requires at least a master’s degree in waste management.

So the mob hit may be our only recourse in the end.

What toy in your house would you most like to kill? I’d love to hear about it. 

This post is a throwback to 2012, and was first printed at The Two Boys Club (http://twoboysclub.com).

 

Too chicken to say what they really feed the poultry

“Raised without antibiotics” is a nice label to see on a package of chicken.

As of yesterday, even McDonald’s is joining the pack and pledging to phase out the use of human antibiotics in chicken — gradually — over the next two years. Yes, they won’t use any more HUMAN antibiotics . So that really tells us nothing of the other antibiotics, for OTHER ANIMALS, that they might see fit to continue to pump into their flocks. Feeding chickens fistfuls of chicken antibiotics would still be fair play under the terms they stated in their announcement, of course.

I would like to know why I don’t ever see packages of chicken, or chicken listed on menus, that announces that the poultry has been “Raised WITH antibiotics.” You know, since it’s believed to be an OK practice and healthful and all, let’s just have that info out there for all of us to see.

Like me, for instance. Since I’m allergic to penicillin and sulfa drugs, I would really appreciate that information. Since I’m able to find out lots of fun facts about peanuts and tree nuts in food on FDA-mandated packaging, I’d like to know if penicillin is in the bird I’m going to eat, just in case there’s potential for, say, a life-threatening penicillin reaction with those nuggets.

As well as the potential for destroying the effectiveness of antibiotics in general and thereby hastening the demise of humanity as we know it. But since the industry likes to keep the use of antibiotics in chicken very, very quiet, that’s pretty unlikely to happen any time soon.

One might also wonder why the chickens were so sick in the first place. What have they been using these antibiotics for? Did they all have sinus infections? Bronchitis? Chicken syphilis?

No, it turns out that livestock farmers figured out years ago that animals would gain 3 percent more weight per year if they got pumped full of the drugs that finally gave humanity some mastery over tuberculosis, gonorrhea, diphtheria and other merciless killers. In other words, industry thought it was OK to squander potential life-saving drugs in the food supply, wantonly, to make some chickens fat. (There are other ways to do that, too — namely, feeding the chickens more food. But that would be more expensive, and it’s not like the public or politicians or regulators were trying to stop them from drugging the fat chickens.)

As the FDA points out on its website, “Antibiotics are added to the animal feed or drinking water of cattle, hogs, poultry and other food-producing animals to help them gain weight faster or use less food to gain weight.” Right. So the producers spend less on food, and you get more traces of antibiotics.

The FDA introduced a voluntary plan in December 2013 to phase out key human antibiotics in livestock. The deputy director for science policy at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Flynn said that the participation was voluntary because it was a more efficient way to change manufacturers’ approach.

But I beg to differ. I think industry might volunteer to get the drugs out of the food animals faster if they all got nice little mandatory stickers advertising what was really in the meat. “Fed with antibiotic water.” “Now with even more pharmaceutical feed.”

If they label the antibiotic-tainted meats with their real origins, the companies will see what the market will bear pretty darn fast.

People might not be excited to shell out extra money for organic poultry, but most families are not willing to spend a dime on drumsticks if they’re reminded they have extra pharmaceuticals.

Am I in a tizzy over nothing? How do you feel about drugs being fed to livestock you will eat later so that companies can save money on feed?

 

 

Are smartphones a dumb move for grade-schoolers?

My eight-year-old thinks he should have a smartphone so he can play Minecraft whenever he wants. I think that he shouldn’t have a smartphone because then he will play Minecraft whenever he wants.

Back in my day, a kid that age would call his friends on tin can “phones” attached by a string. (OK, maybe that wasn’t my day, but I sure did see that on reruns from the ’60s a lot.)

And back in my day, it was character building to sit and wait in a panic, with no phone in sight, when a parent was late picking you up from the bus.

Nonetheless, it seems I am way out of step with trendsetters in the children’s fashion world, who find it not only desirable but essential that my five-year-old’s winter coat have a cellphone pocket. (What five-year-old doesn’t have a need for a cellphone? It leaves me to wonder where he’s going to store his car keys and his cigarettes when he’s out on the slopes.)

But seriously, I do resent being nudged toward completely immersing my kids in the world of iPhones, Androids, iPads and Nintendo 3DSes before they’ve even formed a proper sense of what intersection they live near. They barely understand how to talk into a phone when it isn’t in speaker mode, which other parents tell me is now a grave epidemic among today’s under-10 set. The last thing we need is autocomplete messing with their newfound spelling ability.

But the products keep coming. There are little gloves for four-year-olds with touch-screen-friendly fingers — just in case your child wants to play Minion Rush while out in a blizzard. A tiny coat pocket is tagged with a picture of a phone so your preschooler knows, before he can read, that you are depriving him of valuable technology that he could be carrying on his person at this very instant, even though he is struggling with the concept of having to carry his very own nearly empty backpack to school each day.

My question is whether parents are really doing this: Are adults buying kids as young as grade-schoolers their own phones now? And are people actually buying young children smartphones? (And requiring pockets for them?)

Sure, the kids can call you when you mess up and accidentally forget to pick them up at school. The down side is that they might be surfing porn and watching bomb-making videos when you get there.

What are your thoughts on smartphones for kids? Are they too much, too soon, or just right?

Top 10 reasons why you (maybe) don’t want measles

 

  1. Unsightly red spots.

  2. Might get pesky brain inflammation.

  3. Eyes could stop working.

  4. You’ll look like a throwback to the mid-1960s.

  5. Doctors younger than 70 won’t even know what you have.

  6. Makes it easier to pick up ebola when that hits.

  7. Anti-vax families will keep inviting you over for playdates (so they can inoculate the old-fashioned way — by catching it).

  8. Probably have to stay home from Disneyland.

  9. Eyes hurt and you feel like you might die.

  10. Oh, yeah. You could die.

The real reason kids’ pajamas are ridiculously tight

Every parent learns that you have to buy kids’ cotton pajamas two sizes too big. We’re not supposed to, according to the yellow hang tags from an unidentified authority, but that is how it’s done in reality.

Otherwise, kids look and feel like they’re wearing too-tight body stockings, and no one wants to sleep that way. (What if you get an itch? You’d then need to completely undress, sliding off that clingy cotton peel just to scratch your thigh.)

If the pajamas you buy in your kid’s size fit more reasonably, it’s because they are made of synthetic fibers (which may or may not have been chemically treated long before the fabric became pajamas) or have been made thoroughly coated in flame retardants that must make it through at least 50 washes in all their chemical goodness.

How did these pajama rules come about? And how many kids in loose cotton jammies were truly in danger before these regulations first came into effect in the 1970s? (And couldn’t that risk have a lot to do with the vastly greater numbers of parents who had cigarettes dangling from their lips in 1975?)

The tight fit is considered protective because no loose fabric means less of a chance that a sleeve or pant leg will be set ablaze.

And the rule change in the 1970s did result in a significant reduction in fire injuries to children. That was back when the manufacturers were using a few flame retardants that were so obviously hazardous to health that they were swiftly banned in 1977.

Today, I can safely say I seldom hold my children over an open flame. Particularly not when they are wearing pajamas. But then again, mine hardly ever wear pajamas anymore since they’re are so darned uncomfortable. The synthetic fibers are too heavy, and the cotton versions are too clingy. I like fire safety, but I also like having kids who will fall asleep at night.

But these fire-safe jammie laws mean nothing if everyone buys a bigger size or ditches the clothes for loose T-shirts and shorts. It’s common sense to avoid clothes that smell like chemicals. It’s common sense to buy clothes that fit. And it’s common sense to keep the kids away from things that make fire.

Until recently I was under the impression that these laws existed to protect kids who woke up in burning homes, but I was wrong. In 2000, a memo from the Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that children should only wear cotton pajamas when they are snug because loose garments catch fire fast. The press release notes, “Children are most at risk from burn injuries that result from playing with fire (matches, lighters, candles, burners on stoves) just before bedtime and just after rising in the morning.”

It sounds to me that rather than changing the clothes, fire prevention experts need to work on looking into households where kids routinely play with fire before bedtime. Limiting access to matches and lighters and teaching kids not to turn on the stove might be, say, a whole lot more effective. Guards that prevent young children from being able to turn on the stove would be a good move, too.

And maybe the parents could just make sure they occasionally look in on the kids. (Sadly, I know, that’s sometimes too much to ask.) I’d have to say that tight cotton pajamas and chemical-coated polyester blends certainly do seem to be a Band-Aid here.

They aren’t really doing the job, either, if most people avoid buying the products. It’s a little like banning brown wooly coats so children don’t get shot by hunters. It’s the free-ranging gun that’s the problem! Just like it’s the free-ranging fire sources that prompted these rules.

Let’s start a movement instead to get the lighters and matches away from kids, and outfit every home with a stove guard.

Do you break the fire safety regulations, too, or do you follow every last rule to the letter? Let’s discuss that in the comments.

Bathe yourself in divine lighting

There are some new mirrors on the market that make you look like you’re well, Jesus Christ. And, much like him (according to some reports), they are everywhere at once.

At first, I was excited to see these frames that evoke a medieval or renaissance look. They’re in pretty much every store that sells anything vaguely decorative.

“Gee, that sacred mirror would look swell in my dining room!”

But then it dawned on me that it looked like any user would look like, well, an aspiring deity. (As far as I know, even Kim Kardashian has not made it to that level yet.)

According to Wikipedia, halos reportedly went out of fashion by the 19th century in Western art, but they’re back, baby. It’s the ultimate DIY project, and just perfect for the Internet:

“How to look divine in two easy steps.”

“You won’t believe this new saint life-hack!”

“I went to Crate and Barrel, and you won’t believe how holy I look now.”

So, despite the kooky “Game of Thrones” vibe they might give to an otherwise drab dining room or ungodly bathroom, I passed on getting a mirror.

I don’t need my already confident kids to get heads that big.

It’s probably somewhere in the kid manual that they not view themselves with halos at all times.

%d bloggers like this: