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Archive for August, 2008

Yay!  My new digital camera has arrived!

Perhaps now I can make my blog a little prettier with fun photos and turn all my lurkers into warmly-embraced, frequently-commenting readers.  😉

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I just read an article that stated that the French government has banned television programs made for children under the age of 3.  I get it, I understand what they’re saying but…man…folks need to calm down about this TV stuff.  Why is television always the bad guy? 

Maybe I’ll get some flack for saying so but my Little One has always been allowed to watch Noggin and PBS Sprout and those other “educational” stations.  I draw the line at channels that show commercials, but it’s my personal opinion that a little Dora never hurt anyone.  Apparently a lot of people think it does.  These are the reasons for the ban, according to some kind of expert on something:

“Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.”

I have to disagree.  Maybe excessive television viewing can do those things, but parents who use the TV as a babysitter are just going to find some other way to neglect their kids.  I guarantee it.  Those kind of blanket statements dont take into account kids like mine who spend 2/3 of their time outside running around and interacting with people but once in a while sit down for a movie or some Playhouse Disney.  I can’t even tell you all the things she has learned from those shows, words I wouldn’t have thought to use around her, the difference between a puma and a lion, shapes, colors, songs.  She knows the alphabet and her colors and how to count to 15.  Now, I might have taught her those things eventually but, to be honest, I wasn’t even aware that she had the ability to remember that kind of information yet.  I probably would have waited a year to start working on it.  But she surprised me, and her little cartoony friends helped.  So how can that be bad?  Just because some mom somewhere, who would rather be doing anything but spending time with her own little one, plops a kid in front of the tube and goes about her business…as far as I’m concerned that’s a completely different thing.  It sucks that the rest of us – meaning anyone at all who doesn’t stick up their nose and cry “I don’t even own a television” but who uses it sparingly and responsibly and not as a substitute for proper parenting – get lumped into that group.

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I’m not the type to write a really long post and then delete it.  But the answer to my question above sank in about 20 minutes after I posted the original. 

So what now?  Three very obvious words: write something new.

Seems so simple once the sting wears off.

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Silence

A rare moment in this house – it is just me and The Little One.  TLO is napping.  The dogs are nowhere to be seen (probably also napping but, thankfully, quietly and in another part of the house). 

It is silent.

I get at least an hour (fingers crossed) to play online and shop for swimsuits and mala beads.  Heavenly.

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In 2003 Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, uttered some very famous words.  Infamous, actually.  At the time I was still in college, still living with my extreme right-wing, Bush-voting, all-military-all-the-time, iron-fisted family.  That makes them sound much worse than they are but you can imagine what their reaction to a statement like Natalie Maines’s was.  They threw away their Dixie Chicks CDs, they went to pro-US rallies and cheered as other patriotic folks set their Dixie Chicks concert tickets on fire.

And I went with them.  Because I was young and I hadn’t gotten out of that environment.  I wasn’t raised to consider my own opinions.  There were, in fact, no opinions in that house at all.  There was right (what my parents told me) and idiocy (whatever came from the mouths of people who disagreed with my parents’ viewpoints).  And that was that.  I didn’t know any different.  I didn’t even think to question it.  I was successfully programmed to be as outraged as they were that anyone would dare speak ill of our country or its leadership.

And I love my family, dont get me wrong.  I still agree with them…sometimes.  But not about this.

Three years later the song Not Ready To Make Nice came out, followed by a beautiful video that stayed on the charts for some incredible length of time.  The first time I saw it, I was either pregnant or sitting at home with a newborn (those months sort of blend together in my memory so I’m not sure exactly when it was).  But I knew I was a mother to a little girl.  And when I saw this video and listened to the lyrics I burst into tears.  That I remember clearly.  I had a moment of clarity or a shift in awareness.  Whatever it was I learned a great deal in that one brief moment – about compassion, about the crucial need to refrain from making judgements of others, about who I really was and what I really believed.  And, most importantly, about who I hoped my daughter would be.  Every time I hear this song I turn up the volume as loud as it can go and say a little prayer that I never forget how I felt the first time it played.

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Gratitude

You know when plan after plan falls through and you just want to stomp your feet and scream or maybe switch careers and become a professional grocery-bagger because that seems like a low stress job with flexible hours and you know that you could pull off the requisite pleated trousers with flair to spare?  You know that feeling?

I’m fighting it.  And winning, amazingly enough! 

The dance studio classes that I had sooooooo been looking forward to were supposed to start tomorrow.  I hadn’t spoken to the owner of the studio since the day I met her (weeks ago).  I hadn’t worked out any of the details or found out if anyone had even signed up.  So I emailed her.  Then I called her.  Then tonight, after a few patiently silent days, I dropped by the studio.  I live close enough to play it off like, “Oh, I was just around the corner and thought I’d stop in.”  As soon as I opened the door the office manager smiled and was all, “Oh, hiiiiiiiiii.  Not yet!  But I was just about to call you.”  Yeah, sure.

So no one has signed up yet, for either of my class times.  And I turned down another offer this morning to teach somewhere else because it would have been a conflict with my Saturday class there.  And they probably weren’t “just about” to call me or answer my email.  That would have been the polite, professional thing to do but I doubt they were going to do it.

But I’m fine.  I’m actually totally fine with it.  I told her I would keep the times open and keep it up on my website and she said they would do the same.  And part of me thinks it’s, technically, a bummer.  Part of me thinks I would be justified if I pouted about it or thrashed around in frustration instead of sleeping well tonight.  But I won’t.  I’ll be fine.  Because I know there is a reason.  I know it.  There always is.  And I am grateful for that.

This definitely calls for a little dancing Ganesha.

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Go World

I have to say, all politics aside, some of these Olympics commercials are really quite wonderful.  This is my personal favorite.  It literally makes me tear up just a bit.  I guess I’m a little sappier than I knew.

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