Mommy Juice

Klara and I went to a really great restaurant for dinner tonight.

“A glass of water for the little one,” said the waitress. “And some mommy juice for you?”

“Huh?” I asked.

Turns out that “mommy juice” stands for wine. I’m part of an interesting subculture now.

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Canadian Literature Exists

I’m reading Robertson Davies’ The Deptford Trilogy because a friend of mine said he was reading it. I never get to see him, so this was a way to connect with him.

After reading the first 100 pages, I’m happy to report that there is, in fact, such a thing as Canadian literature, which is very good news. I get the feeling that the entirety of Canadian literature happened in the 1970s but it’s better than nothing.

Another piece of good news is that the first novel in the trilogy is a male Bildungsroman and I don’t detest it. It’s a dead genre but Davies did great things with it just as it was expiring.

It’s beautifully written, very Freudian but in unobtrusive ways, so if you aren’t into Freud you won’t notice. And did I say it was beautifully written? If you love the English language, forget the plot, the pleasure of the beautiful text alone makes it worth it.

It’s amazing that the sixth book in a row I’m reading on this vacation is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a pretty long stretch.

It’s All About Appearances

The University of Chicago on Thursday morning announced that it was dropping the requirement that all undergraduate applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. . . In addition, the university announced a new program in which it will invite students to submit a two-minute video introduction of themselves.

The videos are needed to make completely sure applicants are not Asian, I guess. Or is the school too dumpy to discriminate against Asians?

I truly pity the poor admissions folks who’ll have to go through thousands of videos made by teenagers about themselves. Are they unionized and is the union doing anything to get them compensated for severe damage experienced in the workplace?

Consuming Fathers

And then there is this kind of father who can’t distinguish between a child and an accessory. Mind you, I don’t blame these TV stars as much as I blame us all. They perform for us because this is what sells. Humiliating women for fun and treating children like critters is good business. This is precisely what Deneen and Bauman, from their polar opposite political camps, describe as the triumph of consumerism over everything else.

Father’s Day Spending

Father’s Day spending is forecasted to reach $15.3 billion this year with 77 percent of Americans celebrating the holiday and spending an average of $133 per person.

Oy. We were planning to celebrate with an Indian takeout and a picture drawn by Klara as a gift. What is it that people buy with $133 for Father’s Day? Electric drills and grilling equipment? It’s a new holiday for us, so we are confused.

The really sad part of it, though, is this:

Yet one in three American children is growing up in a household without a father.

In Ukraine it’s a lot more, but this is very bad, too.

P.S. I’m not linking to the source because aside from these two excerpts, it’s deeply stupid.

Adult Battles

People are so weird. This is from a father of a 3-year-old:

I confess, though, my reaction has shocked me. Each time I see him slip into his dress — it has Elsa’s face on the bodice — I pray that she uses her magic to zap my tongue with frostbite. I don’t want to tell him, “Dresses are for girls,” but I’ve had the impulse to do so.

I have already explained to Klara that dresses and makeup are for ladies and gentlemen can’t have them. And that gentlemen have moustaches and beards that ladies can’t have. Three is precisely the age when a child begins to learn about gender differences. A parent shouldn’t abdicate the role of guiding the child through these discoveries.

A parent’s role is to socialize a child into the existing world. If for some deeply bizarre reason one thinks “dresses are for ladies” is a custom that needs to be abolished, one should fight for that in the adult world and not expect a toddler to wage this battle for him.