BREAST-FED CHILDREN ALSO FLY UNDER THEIR OWN POWER, CONVERT LIGHT TO ENERGY, AND NEVER FORGET THEIR MOTHERS' BIRTHDAYS

Science Times collects every piece of research ever conducted - old, new, dubious, reliable, and otherwise - on the advantages breast-fed babies hold over formula-fed babies. The conclusion? A senior science adviser at the federal Department of Health and Human Services may be correct when she speculates, "Just like it's risky to smoke during pregnancy, it's risky not to breast-feed after." That's right: If you use baby formula, you're no better than a smoker. You might as well leave your baby sitting alone in a meadow during a lightning storm for all you apparently care about her. You might as well bring her to a drop-off play date at Britney Spears' house. It's all part of the Times' corporate sponsorship of "Make a Formula Feeding Mother Want to Kill Herself Month." E-mail the Times now to get your commemorative bookmark.

AND CHILDREN EXPOSED TO "TUESDAY NIGHT BOOK CLUB" ON CBS LAST NIGHT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO SLEEP FOR A WEEK

Five- and 6-year-old children  who watch television, especially police dramas, news broadcasts and movies directed at adults, have a markedly increased risk for sleep problems, a new study suggests.

This explains a lot, but it's terrible news for Tiny Girl, a perennially poor sleeper who often finds herself lying on the couch late in the evening, watching perps do unspeakable things on "Law and Order" and keeping herself awake with questions like, "Mommy, why did they shoot that lady?"

FOR YOUR CHILD'S SAFETY THIS SUMMER, FD.COM RECOMMENDS CHUTES AND LADDERS

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has come out with a list of the summer sports which injure the most kids. Basketball is number one, with about a million annual summer injuries. However, the study doesn't tell us what percentage of kids playing a given sport suffer injuries. For example, trampoline caused only about 211,000 injuries - but we're thinking that sounds like about a 100% injury rate. Stay off those things.

ALSO, MACARONI AND CHEESE FOUND MORE FILLING THAN BROCCOLI

No, the Times breaks no new ground with this story:

Child Restraint Seats Found Safer Than Seat Belts

But there is one piece of useful information here. People often ask us, "Freelance Dad, you must know: How long does my child need to remain in a front-facing car seat or booster seat?" The answer: Until he or she is 4 feet, 9 inches tall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

CONSTRUCTION SITES HAVE ALSO REPORTED A RASH OF CINDER BLOCK THEFTS, AND POLICE SAY THERE COULD BE A CONNECTION

Hundreds of thousands of milk crates and plastic trays are stolen from dairies and bakeries across the country each year - not to decorate dorm rooms, but to get at the recyclable petroleum-based resin used to make them.

WHAT THE HELL WAS SHE DOING TAKING HER KIDS TO SEE "RV," ANYWAY? WE THOUGHT SHE HIRED PEOPLE TO DO THAT

Give Caitlin Flanagan credit: She could have criticized the execrable Robin Williams vehicle "RV" just for sucking, like everyone else did, but in the Wall Street Journal (article not available online) she blasts the film on religious grounds. Apparently there's a fundamentalist Christian family encountered along Williams' RV journey whose beliefs are sent up as an object of ridicule, offending Flanagan, who was sitting with her two boys:

At one point, as the Munros [Williams' family] attempt to escape the Gornickes [the fundamentalists], Mrs. G. calls after them, “Do you wanna hear about the time Jesus saved us from a hurricane?” . . . .

I felt anxious because Mrs. G. was expressing a concept — that Jesus has the power to spare people from disaster — that my children hear regularly in our home and at our church. Fortunately, as with so much of the movie, nobody laughed, and I was not forced to explain why our faith was being mocked.

I felt angry that I had paid good money to have my children exposed to the comedic potential of religious intolerance. If the joke had been anti-semitic I would have stood up and taken them out of the theater. If the joke had been anti-Muslim, I would have called the fire marshal. But it was just a joke about us — dopey old suck-it-up Christians — so I stayed put.

Point well taken, Caitlin. Honestly. But now let's explore the religious tolerance being displayed in your line, "If the joke had been anti-Muslim, I would have called the fire marshal."

HAPPY FLAG DAY - FROM YOUR CO-OP BOARD 

Today is Flag Day, which for this flag buff is one of the nation's great minor holidays. We've always secretly dreamed of having a home with our own flagpole on which we could display the stars and stripes, in strict adherence to the Flag Code, and only on authorized days. It had actually never occurred to us that we could fly the star-spangled banner outside of our co-op apartment, until we read this piece in the Times the other day - which, sadly, is mostly about why our co-op board could probably force us to take the flag down. If we were half the man we were 10 years ago, we'd drop everything and go to work pro bono for the Community Associations Institute in Alexandria, Va., a national organization of homeowners' associations seeking to overturn rules that prevent Americans from displaying Old Glory:

"The Community Associations Institute strongly believes that all Americans should have the opportunity to display the U.S. flag to demonstrate their patriotism and support of our country," [spokesman Frank] Rathbun said.

Huzzah!

PRESIDENT BUSH: FILTHY LICE LOVER. (TRY TO SPIN THAT, ROVE)

In one of our favorite articles in a while, The Wall Street Journal blames President Bush and his No Child Left Behind policy for leaving America's children defenseless in the face of lice infestations. The Journal claims that NCLB rules, which mandate 95% attendance on standardized testing days (which, of course, now means most school days) are forcing schools nationwide to reconsider longstanding policies requiring infested students to stay home as long as a week to get lice-free, and to then provide a doctor's note verifying that they are fully deloused. Some districts now allow students to return to school as soon as they can produce a box top from an over-the-counter remedy, whether or not they're completely lice-free. (With five box tops, they get a free Louie the Louse bobble-head doll, for just $3.95 shipping and handling.) While some medical authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have gone on record declaring lice to be more a nuisance than a public-health issue, and therefore beneath their interest, the Newton, MA-based National Pediculosis Association will have none of it, and calls the new policies tantamount to neglect: "It's not prudent, it's not sensible and it's not logical to turn away."

HOPEFULLY, THE SITUATION WILL RESOLVE ITSELF ONE WAY OR ANOTHER BY THE TIME SHE TURNS 12

Tiny Girl has been having some nether-region rashes and discomfort lately. So her pediatrician advised that she no longer wear anything under her pajama shorts when she goes to bed. Simultaneously, however, she's taken an interest in wearing some hand-me-down little-girl nightgowns to bed. So you can see the problem we now face . . .

PESKY CHILD-REARING PROBLEMS LIKE WHAT, BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY CARIBBEAN WOMEN?

From the New York Sun:

An investment banker from London is importing a small team of well trained British nannies to help with Manhattan's most pesky child-rearing problems.

Instead of going to work full-time for one family, Urban Nurture's nannies will go from apartment to apartment, consulting with parents about specific concerns. It's just like having "Supernanny" come into your home, but without the nationally televised embarrassment - that is, unless people find out what you're paying these guys. . . or unless they read between the lines of the company's publicity material:

Urban Nurture is offering New York City parents . . . the world-class childcare services they have long deserved . . . . where the best of proven childcare traditions, like the British nanny institution, are reinvented for 21st century New York.

Thanks, but no thanks: We don't want any uppity tart showin' up on our doorstep, whisking away the kids in 'er umbrella, and associatin' 'em wi' filthy chimney sweeps and the like. No, sir, we're a good Dad, we are.

June 14, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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