Produced by Gary Drevitch
STILL, YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE THEIR PLUCK
Just like you, we plan to raise our children to believe that, if they work hard, they can become whatever they want - except an anchor of "Eyewitness News Kids." A credulous Lloyd Grove yesterday trumpeted the arrival of "broadcast news' hottest phenoms" to the New York TV market. And just who are the tweenagers who host the news show, those enterprising young reporters who surely beat out thousands of other hard-working students with journalistic aspirations, based entirely on their poise, intelligence and skills? Why, they're the sons and daughters of Kathie Lee Gifford, Paula Zahn, and Fox News' Rosanna Scotto . . .
FIRST IN A SERIES
There Are Two Kinds of Parents in the World, Part I:
Parents who call references for their babysitters, and us.
And wouldn't the world be a finer place if the former just stopped calling the latter?
THE TRACKING DEBATE RAGED EVEN IN THE 12TH CENTURY
We always look forward to the arrival of the Jewish Theological Seminary's Quote of the Week in our e-mail box each Monday. While we were away, we received this adage from Judah the Pious (1150 - 1217):
When a person teaches children - some of whom are more brilliant than others - and sees that it is disadvantageous for all of them to study together inasmuch as the brilliant children need a teacher for themselves alone, one should not keep quiet. One ought to say to the parents, "These children need a separate teacher," even if one loses by making the division. -- Book of the Pious, Section 823
If he was alive today, Judah would doubtless be the president of an Upper West Side parents group, and I'd doubtless have voted for him.
CAN EVERYONE SEE WHERE THIS TRACT . . . JUMPS THE SHARK?
Friendly Neighbor invited us to join his family at the Old Home Days parade in East Hampton, CT, the other day, a rousing, hour-long march featuring antique fire engines, amphibious military vehicles, and Shriners on Harleys.
One of the things that made it a great experience for Small Fellow was that many marchers tossed candy to the young children in the crowd. Someone also handed us a copy of this religious pamphlet, fronted with a bright picture of everyone’s favorite clownfish (is there a preteen left in America who still calls it a clownfish and not a Nemo fish?) and the promise that "Finding Nemo Can Help Us Understand God."
How? Well, turns out that when Nemo disobeyed Albert Brooks and swam beyond that reef, he committed "a sin" that "separated him from his father." And just like Nemo, we "all have sinned," but if we take a leap of faith, our Father will save us. Alright, I follow, but what's with the mandatory-sentencing law here? I mean, some of us have sinned, as adults, by robbing banks or clubbing seals. Nemo, a preschooler, threw a little tantrum and ran out of the yard.
I ask you, American Tract Society, was the problem that this movie wasn't scary ENOUGH – when we screened it for Small Fellow, he just kept asking, "Why are they trying to hurt that fish?" Do we now have to brand Nemo a sinner, cut off from God, yea, from eternal salvation, because he didn’t listen to his daddy? And so, what, that dentist is supposed to be Old Scratch? How does that help? Do you not want our children to sleep through the night – ever? Do you get kickbacks from rubber-sheet manufacturers?
SO NOW WE REALLY DO KNOW WHAT BOYS LIKE
Speaking of Albert Brooks, a group of Aussie scientists has risen to the challenge he set down in "Broadcast News." They’ve blown the lid off of nookie.
Using just a batch of chocolate chip cookies, a hidden camera, and a stack of Australian Maxims, they’ve discovered that boys as young as 10 show a marked preference for women with hourglass figures. (Younger boys seem to prefer thinner women, which explains why so many of Small Fellow’s nursery school classmates carry Celine Dion backpacks.)
According to the lab chief, one theory for the boys' eventual preference for shapelier gals is that "the release of pubertal hormones could trigger evolutionary pre-wired preferences for body shape." Wow, do you think?
I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE, I CAN HEAR YOU PARENTING
Two weeks of vacation - with a jumpy laptop and a crude communications device fashioned from coconuts and tin cans - took all the momentum out of our little community. But we're in the home office again, and returning to the daily routine. So welcome back, and stay with us.
Also, please note that the good people at BlogCo have enabled comments on this site. For the uninitiated, when you see that little orange "Comments" line under a post or set of posts, just click on and share your thoughts, which will always be welcome.
A NETWORK FAILURE HAS OCCURRED
As part of TV sports behemoth ESPN's 25th anniversary, the network is tracking down children who have been named after it. So far, they've found three. Pass the link to your in-laws to get them off your back about the names you've chosen for your own children.
And now if you'll excuse me, I need to post some new photos of my nephews, Noggin Oberlander, Lifetime Real Women Harris, and BLACK STARZ! Drevitch.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, HE GOT A FREE ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO THE KABBALAH TREEHOUSE
Madonna’s latest children’s book for children is in fine stores now. And what appears most interesting about "Yakov and the Seven Thieves" is that it’s the first picture book I’ve seen in a long time that fails to credit the illustrator on the cover. So here’s to you, Gennadii Spirin, and may you have better luck getting your name on the cover of your next project, Nicole Kidman’s "Pippi and the Seven Scientologists."
WHY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A THREE-AND-HALF-YEAR-OLD
Small Fellow: Daddy, I want to see "Spider-Man" with you. Can you wait to see it until I’m big?
[Sadly, not a chance.]
WHY ONE-AND-HALF-YEAR-OLDS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE AN ACQUIRED TASTE
We cut them and cut them, but Tiny Girl’s talons remain razor sharp, as evidenced by the odd, lightning-shaped scar she’s etched on my forehead, which has left me looking like the lead character of "Harry Potter and the Really Far-Away Gym."
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW (OK, THIS PAST THURSDAY)
We had a piece in the New York SUN the other day (not yet available online) about the art of bookplates, the research for which led us to the New York Society Library, which Manhattan parents should know has a terrific children’s room. Our research also led us to these gentlemen and their gallery of bookplate worthies.
The bookplate is a miscellaneous and private art, with a proud history dating back to Durer and beyond. In fact, FD would commission a plate for himself, but the technology doesn’t yet exist to safely affix them to comic books.