Posted in Serious Reading

if you’re bored and need something to read ….


3 Things Little Girls Need from their Fathers – this article reads very much "of the time" to me right now, but also timeless. This things have always been true.  To summarise

  1. Respect her body and its capacities
  2. She needs to feel close to you throughout your lives together
  3. She needs you as a role model for how she should be treated by boys and men

Being Left Out Hurts – the title gives the topic of the article away, but it also includes one of things that infurates me the most (adult women acting like their still in junior high school) and something that I am really supportive of (advocasy for children). 

Learning to Love Criticism – my husband saw this open in a tab in my web browser, and hassled me some over the title, but this article caught my attention because the first paragraph stated that 74% of negative feedback given to women contains a personal attack, while only 2% does for men. This gender imbalance is truly abhorrant.

Posted in Idle Chatter, Serious Reading


Back in December while we were on our Christmas holiday, one of my friends on Facebook linked to "One Teacher's Approach to Preventing Gender Bullying in the Classroom", and I quickly scanned it, liked it, and bookmarked it to get back to later, when I was back home. It took me about six weeks to get back to it. I shouldn't have ignored it for so long, though – it's really thoughtful and the best thing I've read about children and the gender spectrum. I'm not sure that anyone was paying much attention to this stuff when I was the same age as the kids in the article. 

I was thinking out the article again, the next day as I was drying our dinner dished, and all of a sudden, I remembered Anita.

Anita's grandfather lived next door to my grandparents (who always called him "The Dutchman", which I never understood and always felt a little uncomfortable about; they were all friendly and had a shared interest in vegetable gardening). Sometimes, when I'd be spending a Saturday afternoon at my grandparents' house, Anita would be doing the same thing, and we'd play together. 

Anita and I made mudpies and played on the aluminum swingset in my grandparents' backyard. We raced up the sidewalk in front of the houses, me on an ancient green tricycle and Anita on a Big Wheel (which I secretly coveted). And Anita would always say to me, "I'm actually a boy, you know. Even if I have a girl's name."

Anita wasn't like the girls that I played with at school, at all. I remember Anita showing off some impressive climbing skills by reaching the top of the posts supporting the awning over the concrete patio.

I was six years old and didn't think that girls were supposed to climb that high (or pedal a Big Wheel that fast), but I would still argue with Anita, babbling things like, "Of course you're a girl, Anita. Why do you say that you're not?" I was six years old and confused, so I echoed what the adults in my life told me about my friend. And I remember the calmness about Anita, repeating "I'm actually a boy, you know" with certainty like it was something that had been practiced a lot.

It's thirty years later, and after reading that article, I remembered my old friend, and I wonder if Anita is still saying "I"m actually a boy, you know."

Posted in Idle Chatter, Parenting, Serious Reading

cost of convenience

I have vowed that come next winter, I will no longer be driving my trusty 1993 Ford Tempo around Calgary. This shouldn’t be too hard to achieve – I’ll either be working and able to make a car payment, or else I’ll be living somewhere where I won’t be driving. My basic motivation for wanting a new car is to get something with some safety features.  Most of the time, to me, that means airbags, stability control, and even good tires (gosh, do I ever regret always buying the cheapest tires for my car. I drove all around Calgary for two winters with Madeline in the back!), but something happened to a Calgary toddler yesterday that reminded me to take a good look at the window controls while I’m test-driving station wagons and hatchbacks. There’s an article from Consumer Reports that goes into the different styles of power window controls, and explains that ones that require a user to pull upward on a recessed switch to close the window are the least likely to contribute to a tragedy similar to what happened to that little girl yesterday. Frankly, I wonder whatever happened to having to *roll* a window down and then up again. Was that too much trouble for the average motorist?

I am also sad that a parent left her children unattended in a vehicle, but that’s another story …

Elsewhere around the ‘net, I laughed after reading Amalah’s post today about her efforts to welcome a Gymboree mini parachute into her home.  I was also pleased to find a discussion of 1-2-3 Magic over at The Mom Trap – I’ve been debating about buying that one for awhile, and now I wish that I had so that I could read along!

Posted in Serious Reading

Have you hugged your landfill today?

Yesterday my friend Chris (not my husband Chris, but my friend with a keen interest in placenta art!) brought this article from Wired to my attention: The Poop on Eco-Friendly Diapers. It’s full of little factoids on the so-called eco-friendly disposables, regular disposables, and cloth. Manages to slam Proctor & Gamble a few times, too. Funny how P&G claims to have studied the amount of water used in laundering cloth diapers in a diaper-service setting, but didn’t mention how much of the precious resource is used in the production of it’s own goods and services …

Also, my co-workers have lately taken to either telling me a) that I’ve become really big or b) that I’m looking really good and no one would suspect I’m pregnant if midsection was invisible. Anyway, happy for once that weight gain has occured in the proper spot, instead of all going my to hips.

Posted in Serious Reading

Who’s doing the catching?

Chris called me to mentioned that the Globe and Mail ran this article on c-sections yesterday. I would have presumed that they were increasing in numbers, anyways – that’s the trend in the US, and it just makes sense that our physicians would join the bandwagon eventually.

One of the doulas that we interviewed had mentioned that she thought that obstetricians take a more medical/surgical perspective on childbirth than family doctors do … wonder if it’s true?