"FREELANCE DAD, YOU'RE A PARENTING

"FREELANCE DAD, YOU'RE A PARENTING EXPERT WHO HAS HELPED MILLIONS OF MOMS AND DADS MAKE THEIR CHILDREN SMARTER, HAPPIER, AND HEALTHIER. BUT WHERE DO YOU GO FOR ADVICE?"

The other morning, we tuned into "Caillou," enjoying as always the shockingly tame exploits of the bald French-Canadian Fellow. When we joined the episode, already in progress, Caillou was pretending to be a toddler like his little sister Rosie, making a mess with his food, speaking in baby-talk, and otherwise annoying his mother. So she came up with a brilliant idea: If he was going to act like a baby, he would have to be treated like a baby, and that meant he'd have to take a nap, even though he didn't want one. As he so often does, Caillou said, "I don't want to," but his sage mother responded in a firm but soothing tone, "Oh, yes, Caillou, I really think you should," and he immediately acquiesced - and soon enough learned a valuable lesson about acting his age.

Now, Caillou is 4, the same age as Small Fellow, so we thought this strategy would succeed for us as well. So the next time Fellow acted like his troublesome toddler sister, we tried the same approach, and requested that our "big toddler" take a nap. At first, he said, no, just like Caillou, but we were prepared for that, and we said, "Oh, yes, Fellow, I really think you should." But he continued to protest, and, thrown off our script, we were thoroughly stymied.

Were we really inferior as a parent to Caillou's mom? This was truly a crisis of confidence. But then we realized that there must be an awful truth behind the TV family's placid French-Canadian facade. We know how Caillou's mom always gets him to do what she wants - put on his shoes, take his medicine, clean up his room - without ever having to ask three times. Back when Caillou was 3, before his show went on the air, he regularly protested about the things he didn't want to do, for hours on end, just like other three-year-olds. And then, one day, his mom put out a cigarette on the back of his hand. And he's never done it again.

We don't think we can ever watch the show again. . .


HE WAS DELIVERED BY CAESAREAN? NO KIDDING?

A mom in Brazil just gave birth to a 17-pound baby boy, and the Associated Press goes inside the story to tell us how the family feels:

The boy's father and four sibilings were reportedly surprised at the news.

DID YOU JUST HAVE A 17-POUND BABY? NOW, YOU CAN ACTUALLY TELL SOMEONE

The Journal reports this week that hospitals are easing their policies against using cell phones on their campuses, as the current generation of digital phones have been found to radiate less power, making them less of a (potential) threat to sensitive hospital equipment. Which is wonderful news for new dads who have too often been forced to keep the biggest news of their lives to themselves - at least until they can leave their wife and baby's side - or to tell friends and family from inside bathroom stalls.

And no matter how many studies they roll out about the risks cellphones were believed to pose in hospitals, FD will always be convinced that the ban was in place solely to drive patients to use hospitals' own exorbitantly priced in-room telephone networks.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, THESE ARE THE BOOKS THAT WILL HAVE THOSE OVERISIZE GOLD-AND-SILVER-FOIL STICKERS ON THEM THIS YEAR

The American Library Association announced the winners of this year's Newbery and Caldecott Medals earlier this week at their convention in Boston. Cynthia Kadohata and Kevin Henkes took home the prizes, respectively, for “Kira-Kira” and “Kitten’s First Full Moon.” As with any prize, the top winners may not be to everyone's taste, but it's worth using that first link and scrolling down for the list of runners-up, which includes fan favorites like Mo Willems, author of past Caldecott runner-up "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus," and the new honoree, “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale." New York City parents, by the way, can meet Willems this weekend at the JCC in Manhattan.

January 21, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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