Why Are You So Tired?

So I had a full day of work with three hours of office hours and then class, raced home, cut out and glued all pieces of the trunk-or-treat design, raced to the school, picked Klara up, took her out to dinner, brought her back to school, decorated the car while making sure that Klara didn’t wander off into the candy-dispensing crowd, then convinced her to leave the happy candy-dispensing place early because it was her bedtime, took apart the design, raced home, and finally put her to bed after two books and a long story about a zombie and a crocodile.

Now a question for everybody: which question is it not a good idea to ask me tonight?

Great Ideas

More experienced parents brought other things than candy. One genius mom, for instance, brought bottles of water. Everybody loved her for it. Another mom brought bead necklaces and bracelets.

This is what I’ll do next time because one gets tired of all the candy.

Tomorrow we will be trick-or-treating, and on Wednesday there’ll be a parade and a school party.

Really Creepy

The creepiest thing I have seen on any Halloween is the design one family created today.

They made an elaborate design that just drew you in, wanting to see it in more detail. Part of the design was a cage decorated with skeletons. And they put a severely disabled kid inside the cage. Which at first you don’t understand and think you are gaping at a doll or something. Because the kid is quadriplegic and not aware of the surroundings.

I understand that they want to include the kid, and that’s great. But I now feel horrible because I stood right in front of the cage and exclaimed, “Look, Klara, this is a really spooky monster!” Because I had no idea there was a kid inside. Again, I realize it’s not about me but I feel kind of horrible.

Sam’s Has a Stupid Idea

So instead of cashiers checking out items, Sam’s Club wants to introduce a model where you scan each item with your phone as you pick it up and then pay with the phone, as well. Which will make it impossible to shop with kids because while your nose is stuck in your phone, your toddler is galloping across the maze-like store, making you freak out every five seconds that you won’t be able to locate her before she pitches a mega tantrum, tears into a pack of candy, or collapses a stack of doll houses on herself.

About the worst thing you can do while you shop at Sam’s is take your eyes off your kid for longer than a second. The other day I saw a mom of three, and every one of her kids sprinted in a different direction the moment they came in. The last thing she wanted to be doing was futz with her phone. I only shop with one kid but I need to train for it like a marathoner.

Thank you so much for coming up with a way to make my shopping even harder, Sam’s.

Holiday Cards

The author of the linked article frets that men’s names always appear before women’s on holiday cards and then details the process by which the cards are created:

Does a man appear in your head when reading any of the following tasks…

1/ Picking out and coordinating the color theme for the holiday cards.

2/ Calling and negotiating with a local photographer (must be done in September because they book up by October.)

3/ Finding a Saturday morning where the whole family is free and then driving the family to the beach / mountains / somewhere 20-30mins away from their house that is both scenic and rustic that was pre-determined by her and the photographer.

4/ Ironing said clothes for the chosen color scheme, including the dog bandana found on Etsy.

5/ Writing copy to include a politically correct, but mass-appeal joke so everyone knows their family is the “fun” one.

6/ Addressing every envelope in the calligraphy from that class they took four years ago before they had kids and realized that hobbies no longer had a place in their life.

7/ And finally…signing the cards.

And I’m like, God, I put less effort into writing an article for publication than these folks put in their Christmas cards. These people have much greater issues than whose name is signed first. And how old are they, anyway? You can do all this with an app that will even do calligraphy for you if you want. I have a friend who does the kind of thing outlined in the quote but she is almost 70 and her kids are all older than me. I don’t think she did any of it when her 5 kids were little.

Cigarettes for Preschoolers

OK, now I’m against state-funded preschool. Because no preschool at all is better than this kind of atrocity:

This year, more than 6,600 children are learning by logging on to laptops at home in a taxpayer-funded online preschool program. This is preschool without circle time on the carpet, free play with friends and real, live teachers. In online preschool, children navigate through a series of lessons, games and songs with the help of a computer mouse and two animated raccoons named Rusty and Rosy. The Obama administration last year awarded an $11.5 million grant to expand the online program into rural communities.

Fuck you, Obama. And fuck you, Rusty and Rosy.

Rural communities! It’s like poisoning the water supply in these rural communities and using taxpayer money to do it. I see no difference between this and giving cigarettes to preschoolers.

And here is a predictor of academic underachievement for racial minorities:

White children are exposed to screens significantly less than African-American and Hispanic children.

This is extremely troubling. And this is exactly why I keep saying that it’s not true that there is too much talk about race. There are almost no conversations about what really matters in terms of race, and this is an example.

By the way, today – the Monday after a very busy news week and days before the election – articles #1, 3, and 6 on the NYTimes most popular list are about the dangers of technology for children. This is what people care about.