THANK NO ONE FOR LITTLE GIRLS

Tiny Girl, fortunately, is not too tiny, but if she were, would she get any help? Maybe not.

GIMME A U, GIMME A T, GIMME AN A-H! UTAH! UTAH! RAH RAH RAH!

For the first time since - OK, for the first time - we find ourselves cheering Utah's right-wing politicians, now that they have mounted a major challenge to the President's misguided, onerous No Child Left Behind Act. We wish them well, and we're encouraged that a number of other states are mounting legal challenges to the act, since we can think of many better things for Small Fellow to do between the ages of 8 and 12 than spend half of each school year prepping for a standardized test.

THIS IS EVEN SCARIER THAN 7,500 ORANGE GATES ALL OVER CENTRAL PARK

New York City readers probably saw this column from Judith Warner in the Times on Valentine's Day. (It's a major Daily Double for Warner this week, as her new book is on the cover of Newsweek.) But if you didn't see it, it's worth a read. Warner's message is sobering:

Is our national romance with our children sucking the emotional life out of our marriages? . . . .

Marital romance has dried up. Real intimacy has gone the way of bottle-feeding and playpens. In fact, the whole ideal of marriage as a union of soul mates, friends and lovers that's as essential to a happy family life as, say, unconditional love for the children, has taken a direct hit. And in its place has come the reality of a utilitarian relationship dedicated to staying afloat financially and child-rearing of a sort we tend to associate with frontier marriages, arranged marriages, marriages of convenience - marriages far removed, in time and place, from our lives, our parents' lives and even our grandparents' lives.

Warner's concerns touch a nerve here, although we don't necessarily come to the same dramatic and terrifying conclusions she does. At FD.com headquarters, we have always rejected the family bed and other elements of what Warner calls "attachment parenting," but small children are in fact extraordinarily snuggly and no parent should pass up that snuggling for political reasons. We know the pangs we will feel in the coming post-snuggling adolescent and teenage years, but for now, Small and Tiny are more inspiration than "impediment" to romance, to borrow Warner's term. (Now, kitchen renovation? THAT's an impediment to romance. But that's an issue for another day. . .)

THE FAMILY THAT STEALS TOGETHER DOES NOT IN FACT STAY TOGETHER

A New York appeals court has ruled that involving your 12-year-old child in a bank robbery is a form of abuse, overturning a Family Court decision and setting the stage for a mother/stick-up artist to lose her parental rights.

So this weekend, we guess we'll just take Small Fellow to the playground.

February 18, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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