Friday, August 31, 2007

Mommy Quote of the Week

"As a child, my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it, or leave it."

-- Buddy Hackett

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dinner Table Topics

Set the table! It's time for Dinner Table Topics: current news and indings that can keep the conversation alive at dinner. Participation is mandatory for the parents as well as the kids too -- it's important that everyone has a say, and that we all learn to listen.

A new study finds that children whose mothers are depressed are less likely to develop problem behaviors if their husbands are actively engaged in their family life. Duh. Didn't we all know that two parents are better than one?

Another study shows that U.S. mothers are still the ones most likely to take off work to care for a sick child or because of a school closing. "Men put work first and women adapt their work around the family, including both their children’s and husband’s schedules." Seems like women know where their priorities are at, even if they can't be full-time moms. Bravo!

And lastly, yet another study found that childhood obesity may affect school attendance. "As the rate of childhood obesity increases, parallel increases in school absenteeism should be expected," warn Temple University's Andrew Geier, PhD, and colleagues in the journal Obesity. This means that, ironically, school programs to promote childhood fitness and nutrition won't reach the kids that are absent from school. It becomes a vicious cycle. Maybe we as parents should be more responsible for our child's eating and exercise habits.

Some things to think about as you eat your dinner. Bon appetite!

Monday, August 27, 2007

What's in a Name?

Unlike the unfortunate hyphenated last names worn by poor, unsuspecting brides (found on my post on How to Get the Guy), baby names are actually chosen by their parents. They are not the result of circumstance, the victims of Cupid's sense of humor. Instead, parents have had to sit down and think about how to ruin their child's lives.

A couple in Sweden is currently fighting to name their baby "Metallica." A New Zealand couple actually named their son "Superman." And, according to a recent news report, a Chinese couple tried to name their child "@."

There is also an urban legend that reports that a couple named their baby "Yahoo," but this turned out to be false. Yet, the story was believable. Considering all the baby names we've heard in the press lately, it would make sense. The blog Bad Baby Names is dedicated to the subject, as well as a forum for discussion on Not Without My Handbag.*

Celebrities, it seems, are in the business of out-doing each other, and their baby's name becomes a victim of their quest for dominance. The cable channel VH1 even aired a special called Awesomely, Wacky Celebrity Baby Names to celebrate this phenomenon. Here are a few that make Gwyneth's "Apple" look like child's play:

Singer Toni Braxton named one of her children "Denim" and the other "Diezel." Don't these sound like great clothing lines?

Rapper Lil'Mo named her daughter "God'iss Love Stone," and her sister "Heaven." Will this make their diapers smell better?

Singer Jermaine Jackson named his child "Jermajesty." I guess he wanted his namesake to sound more royal.

Korn frontman Jonathan Davis and his porn star wife Deven Davis named their son "Pirate." Is he a Johnny Depp fan, perhaps?

Robert Rodriguez and his wife named their kids "Racer," "Rocket," "Rogue," and "Rebel." They do all sound good with "Rodriguez," but they're just begging for misbehavior.

My personal favorite (for being the worst) is actor Jason Lee's son "Pilot Inspektor." Where did he come up with that?

And lastly, Live Aid founder Bob Geldof & UK TV personality Paula Yates named their child "Fifi Trixibell" and her siblings "Peaches Honeyblossom" and "Pixie."

Wait. Come to think of it, that last one's not so bad.

*Also see the blog Celebrity Baby Names. (I love the post about baby Suri Cruise!) If you know of or have a blog about bad baby names, let me know and I'll link to it here!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mommy Quote of the Week

"I used to be excellent, but now I have a baby and I couldn't tell you what day it is." -- Gwyneth Paltrow

Monday, August 20, 2007

Are You Smarter Than an 11-Year-Old?

I tried watching that show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader, but it was way too annoying. If I got the question wrong, I'm an idiot. But if I got the question right, I'm only as smart as whatever grade they're on. So what's the point?

Well, a recent survey on BBC News compares an adult's knowledge to that of a child. Of course, results showed that an average 11-year-old knows more than their own parents. "In some subjects in a quiz taken by more than 1,500 parents and children aged eight to 12, the youngsters did actually know more."

Duh. That's because we adults have processed and discarded any knowledge we deem irrelevant. If I don't need it, my brain tosses it away. Kids on the other hand, don't know what they're going to need, so they keep it all. Plus, they're learning these facts more recently than we did. I personally think that's why I get so frustrated with the never-ending question "Why?" Because I probably don't know, that's why!

So why the big concern? I guess some parents are struggling to help their own children with their homework, and this is causing more and more children to have problems with their education. "Parental involvement is known to be a crucial factor in how well children do at school." But I think what we, as adults, have the knowledge of how to find the information we need -- we know which resources can help us attain whatever it is we need to know. And that, I feel, is what is most relevant when you need the facts.

Just for fun, take the test, and see how you measure up. I actually got an 11, which means "top of the class." So there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mommy Quote of the Week

"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good Cops, Bad Parents

In the town of York, more than 60 children and teenagers were rounded up over the weekend for violating the city's midnight curfew. The curfew affects children 17 and under, and runs from midnight to 6 a.m. "It causes me concern whenever you have 62 kids that are picked up out on the street, unsupervised, no parents or guardian, running around at their own free will," said Officer William Wentz.

Why the big deal? Well, police said some of the youngsters were only 7 years old. Can you believe that? I remember when I was 7. I had to be home by 6 for dinner, in bed by 8.

But maybe these parents can't think of any toys their kids would want to play with. It must be hard to find something for your 7-year-old to do. And it's not like children need a certain amount of sleep. Why should they be stuck at home with their family instead of wandering the streets with their pals at night?

First-time offenders received warnings, parents of repeat offenders were cited. But while some parents were happy that police picked up their children, others were angry with the police.

Well, of course they were. No one likes being called a bad parent.