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Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

  “This sounds like The Clash!” (It was.)

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“This sounds like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!” (It was Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke, which also starts with a nice thick blast of horns.)

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“Who is this?”   “Steven Tyler.”    “That sounds like Stevie Wonder!”

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“Why is he yelling?” (It was Steven Tyler.)

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“This is the Rolling Stones. It’s called ‘Time is On My Side. What do you think?”

“It’s yucky.”

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“I want Red Vines!”

“It’s my turn to pick.”

“Okay Mama. You pick Red Vines.”

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We are lucky to have a theater-style circus where we live. This year, we took the Boo for the first time — they have an hour-long kids’ show. There were trained cats, an acrobatic troupe doing human pyramids and using each other as jump ropes, a stunning trapeze duo, and of course a high-wire act. 

My mother and I gasped and exclaimed. The kiddo sat on our laps (he had woken up early) and gazed at everything. Occasionally he would ask questions about the set, the lights, or the action in the ring.

When the Boo woke up from his nap, I asked him if he liked the circus. He said yes. I asked what he liked best about it. 

“Cotton candy.” <huge smile>

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Even if you don’t actually sit down to watch kiddie shows with your kid, you will be within earshot of a considerable amount of treacly kiddietainment. After six long months of exposure, I’ve come up with the best way to cope with the despair that inevitably arises on hearing the Ice Skating episode of Caillou for the umpteenth time: Figure out what drugs the main characters are on.

Taking Caillou as an example, the mom is clearly on Valium. No other way she could remain that cheery throughout days of thoughtfully disciplining her four-year-old while wrangling a toddler. Dad is tripping — how else to explain his ability to flip between Zen and zaniness?

Over on the island of Sodor, Thomas and his friends are partaking of something that makes them simpleminded in the extreme. I’m going with weed. And Sir Topham Hatt? Clearly a raving drunk — why else would he talk to steam engines — and believe that they talk back to him?

And finally, Super Why. Collective hallucinations among friends who believe themselves to have super powers, including the ability to enter books and talk to the main characters they find therein. Three words: group Peyote trip.

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I am lucky enough to belong to the kind of book club that is more concerned with food and wine and friendship than books and the intense discussion thereof. We’ve been meeting for long enough that we’ve developed our own traditions, one of which is the baby book shower.

When it was my turn, I was delighted to receive a small library’s worth of road-tested baby and children’s books. Many of them have become favorites (of both Baboo and mine), and Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton is currently in heavy rotation at nap times.

The concept is simple:

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The theme continues apace on the next spread:

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It goes on from there, the turkey reliably providing comic relief to the earnestness of the elephant, moose and bear. In the middle, the rhythm is broken so that the parent doing the reading doesn’t fall asleep. Conveniently, this switch-up also keeps the baby engaged. “What will come next?” the baby thinks. “Will we return to the 1-2-3 oops form, or move on to something even more exciting?”

Both, little reader. Both. After a spread discussing the various colors of shoes favored by plump animals, we get the big payoff:

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Baboo likes to hear about the bathing costumes of the animals watching from the side of the pool, so we discuss that before noting how silly that turkey is. And that’s what I really love about this book: Despite the simplicity of the idea, there’s quite a bit to discuss beyond colors and items of clothing. Also, it’s just funny — a definite parental bonus when you’re reading to an overtired toddler.

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I’m so sure! Like, she’s totally rad in that blazer!

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And she went to college, so she totally knows not to flush that dirty diaper down the toilet:

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The other day I received my (free!) introductory copy of Parents magazine. It was bundled with a few promotional pieces, including this one:

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Let’s take a closer look at that middle ad, for a free nursing cover (prior to 2005, they were called receiving blankets).

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For the record: I’m all for breastfeeding. In fact, I used to do it myself and I can tell you, every single time I popped my nursing bra open, I made damn sure I had my Bump-It in and my sparkly stilettos on. And then I perched on my pale green nursing chaise longue and made bedroom eyes at the corner of the room.

See, that’s our dirty little secret: Motherhood really *is* terribly glamorous.

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Comic Relief

For the most part, the baby is very reasonable, but there are days when he decides that he doesn’t want to nap because he’s too hungry and can’t eat because he’s too tired. That’s when I seek a bit of comic relief to give me the energy to get back to the work of raising the baby when he’s having an off day. I don’t need to laugh for hours; a brief giggle is often enough to shift my perspective.

One of my favorite sites for this purpose is Dooce.com. Now, if you’re familiar, you’re thinking, “isn’t that the lady with post-partum depression who lives in Utah and has anxiety attacks about small rodents?”

Yes, that’s her. But she also posts photos of her friend, Camilla Combs, wearing kooky outfits. And that’s the part that makes me laugh. Hard. Because while I admire the chutzpah of a woman who dresses like that in Salt Lake City, there’s just something deeply amusing about a person in a polyester floral jumpsuit.

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I'm over 40. I'm at home with a preschooler. Hear me roar.

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