Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A child's view

This morning, my wife, Amy, was talking with my oldest daughter (4 yo) about going to the local library for a weeky (monthly?) reading time program. But, being since they've not gone before, she'd had to call first to see if any preregistration is required.

Mom/Amy: We'll plan to go, but first I have to call the library to see if we have to register first.

Daughter: Do you mean call the library the building or the library the people?

First, as a parent, I'm amazed at how often children constantly remind us about being literal. Say what you mean, not what adults know what you mean.

Secondly, I wonder about the thought process of my daughter when she heard my wife. She processed that, the library is a building, but you can't ask a building. So, she sought clarification on what my wife really meant.

There is nothing more fun (nor rewarding, of course) than being a parent.

-- Michael

Monday, September 03, 2007

Frustratingly heart-warming

There is nothing more frustratingly heart-warming than trying to give your newborn a bottle in the wee hours of the morning, and she smiles the biggest smile right back at you -- as she refuses the bottle.

-- Michael

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Learning from our children

As parents, one of our responsibilities is teaching our children. Imparting our life's lessons and knowledge onto them.

While that's true, we should not be blind to the lessons they can -- and do -- teach us.

My youngest son (age 6+) and I were playing Tuesday evening, and he "invented" a new game. The game was throwing Whiffle Balls into a plastic basket (kind of looks like a small, round clothes basket, but with a handle) from a few feet away. The object of course, was to see who could throw the most balls in during our respective turns.

After the first rounds, neither one could keep a ball in the basket -- they'd hit inside, but bounce off and out.

Plastic on plastic can make for a too-bouncy of a game.

So, my thought to try to resolve the problem was for us to throw lighter. Don't toss them too high so they bounce out; just a gentle toss.


While I was coming up with my own solution, my son wondered away a bit and gathered some of the fresh grass clippings and laid them at the bottom of the basket.

Problem solved!

No longer were the balls bouncing out. They landed softly (at least the ones that made it into the basket) and stayed.

So, he taught me a lesson.

To solve a problem, sometimes you have to change the situation rather than change your approach.
-- Michael

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What is it with husbands killing their wives & families?

Here's the latest, about former pro-wrestler Chris Benoit.

Of course, there's the recent Jesse Davis and her unborn baby tragedy. (Yeah, technically, Cutts wasn't Davis' husband, but still the two had two children together.)

Others include:
Laci Peterson and her unborn baby

Lori Hacking

Tara Lynn Grant

Kimberly Vaughn

Brandi Dunn

What? Can't today's man control his rage, his drinking, his temper, his behavior?

Has it been this common for husbands to kill their wives, but media coverage has magnified it?

It blows my mind. How can you murder your wife? The one you pledged your love and life to?

Today's man needs to "man up" -- and I mean it seriously. No beer commercials here. Just be a man.

-- Michael

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Children pay for parents' stupidity

My heart definitely goes out to the family and friends of Madeleine McCann, the four-year-old British girl supposedly abducted from a Portugal resort. Hoping with all my hope that she is alive, I can't imagine what she may be going through.

It definitely breaks my heart.

And what outrages me nearly as much is how that little girl is paying the price for the STUPIDITY of her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann.

Madeleine McCann disappeared May 3 when her parents left her and her 2-year-old twin siblings alone in their hotel room while they went to a restaurant in their hotel complex in Praia da Luz, a resort town in Portugal's Algarve region.

(Above, taken from a story about the McCann's meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.)

I know the story is not new, but I've yet to see any many (any?) comments about the careless way the McCanns treated their children. From an earlier story, I read that, while at the restaurant, the McCanns checked on their children "every half hour or so."

Only by God's grace did the other two children remain safe.


Isn't that just common sense?

Not for the McCanns.

And, unfortunately, their daughter Madeleine is paying the price of their stupidity.

-- Michael
(the father of three children eight and under, with my wife expecting #4 in July)

P.S. For a thought-provoking and well-worth-the-read commentary, please see Dani Garavelli's story in the Scotsman.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm pro choice. Are you?

Yes, I'm pro choice. I admit it.

When one chooses to have sex, then you've made a choice.


If that means, as a woman -- you become pregnant -- or as a man -- you become a father -- you accept that outcome. You allow that life that was created -- that person, that human being -- to be born and live, and you support it.

Because you made a choice.

So, yes, I'm pro choice.

Are you man enough/woman enough to live by your choices?

You need to be, because you made a choice, and created a human being.

-- Michael

Monday, January 15, 2007

Recess under attack?

Today's Toledo (OH) Blade has a great article about how a growing number of schools -- but still a minority -- are eliminating recess from our children's school day: Local schools serious about keeping recess. (Though, looks like a lot of information in the story is from May 2006 -- still worth knowing if you didn't hear about it then.)

According to the article, Mark Schneider, the commissioner of the National Center of Education Statistics, presented his group's recess findings that: The proportion of U.S. schools that don't have recess ranges from 7 percent for first and second grades to 13 percent by sixth grade.

Oakdale Elmentary in East Toledo is the only NW Ohio school mentioned that does not have recess, despite the fact that it's a new building with new playground equipment!
Principal Tracy Knight said there isn't time for playing outside.

"With what we have to do in terms of achievement testing, and since the school day hasn't been extended, you can't eat valuable instructional time," Mr. Knight said.
I know our schools and teachers are under a lot of pressure, but that does not justify not allowing students the chance to blow off energy and play with their friends.

Fortunately, Cartoon Network, with assistance from groups like the PTA, launched a Rescuing Recess campaign. The week of Sept. 18, 2006, was National Recess Week.

Banning recess is just a bad idea. I know first that, when we have a busy day or weekend and there's no time for the kids to let off steam and just play, they get mischievous
or don't behave.

Well, at least for those schools who ban recess, they don't have to worry about banning tag (another silly idea).

Why can't today's kids just be kids?! Adults are taking a lot of fun out of growing up.

-- Michael