Monday, April 4, 2011

Princesses, gummies and other crap

So, I told you I had several things percolating. I'm just going to spit it out in one go.

First up, the princess discussion Michelle's been having: I've loved reading all your comments, and every single one has just bolstered my argument, which is that the princess worry we all have -- and trust me, I have it for my boys, too -- is all a red herring. We worry because we want our girls to be strong and to feel like they can do anything. We worry because we want our boys to know what real women look like. But the thing is, the kids are OK. The girls especially are great. Girls, on average, get better grades in school than boys these days. At colleges, women out number men. Right out of school, young women in urban areas out-earn their male counterparts. The girls are not the problem, despite the Disney princesses, though I agree it is a creepy, money-sucking empire.

The girls are OK; it's the women who still are struggling. We still have a 20-cent wage gap between men and women in the same professions. Women still make up less than 10 percent of top executives. We still don't have decent family leave. These are the things that are curtailing women's choices, not princesses. I applaud every one of you mothers of girls who are thinking about those princesses and their effects on your daughters. Because you're thinking about it, your girls are going to be OK. I just think the real fight is not against Disney, specifically, but our lawmakers and culture in general.


Now, about the gummies: Lisa asked on Facebook if I was going to ask the daycare to stop giving The Boy gummies as treats now that the dentist has identified them as a possible cause of his cavities. I'll be honest. That thought crossed my mind for just a second when I listened to the doctor.

But here's the thing: Those cavities are my fault, too. I could have been more vigilant in supervising his toothbrushing. And I have been since our last dentist visit. (Nothing like shutting the barn door after the horse already has escaped.) I'm not willing to make The Boy miss out on a treat -- basically, punish him -- when a preventive measure might fix the situation. We told The Boy that gummies will make his teeth hurt if he eats too many, and he needs to be sure to tell us when he's had some at school so we can brush his teeth extra good. But I don't want to tell him we NEVER eat gummies. Never just means he'll want it more, in my opinion.

It's funny. Right before the dentist visit and the gummy conversation, I posted on Facebook this essay from Anna Quindlen about the best part of parenting. In the introduction, Lisa Belkin mentioned Quindlen's column, Life in the 30s, and I went and read an old one she linked to. (The one I just linked to.) It's all about food, and the politics of feeding your kid the "right stuff," organic stuff, preservative-free stuff, etc. I nodded along in agreement -- go. read it. I bet you do, too. -- then I looked at the publish date.

Quindlen wrote that in 1987. Twenty years later and we're still worrying about the same things. What does that tell you? It tells me that my kids can have a few damn gummies.


So, here's a funny after all that ranting: The husband asked The Boy how to spell The Lad's name. His real name. The Boy said, "L-A-D."

Really. He spelled "Lad."

And we don't even call Beastie that normally. I'm suspicious that The Boy has learned to read and secretly is following Not Raising Brats.


It's nearly Easter. Do you know what that means? PEEPS! I love Peeps. But only the yellow ones. Other colors just taste off. I am a Peep Purist.

However. Someone today showed me a recipe for S'meeps, s'mores made with Peeps. Guess what I'm going to be doing soon?


Speaking of Easter, what are your traditions? Real eggs or plastic? Hidden outside or in? What's your favorite candy? (real; outside now, inside growing up; other than Peeps: Robin's eggs, which are malted milk balls)


Erin said...

"But I don't want to tell him we NEVER eat gummies. Never just means he'll want it more, in my opinion"

Wise words, Hillary. Very wise.

d e v a n said...

Have you tried the chocolate covered peeps? i don't even like peeps, but those are delicious!

k said...

For me, Peeps--in theory--are lovely. In reality, they make my tummy hurt. I do love a good jelly bean, though, and will eat them until I have sweaters on my teeth.

Last year we did a small basket for Ezra and bunny and new jammies for Iris. We also hid empty, plastic eggs around the house and E LOVED IT. I have two small baskets ready for them (a book, bouncy balls, small treat) and will do the eggs again. Maybe even outside since Easter falls so late.

Yay for holidays! Holidays that involve HAM!

Erica said...

Oh woe is me. I am really terrible with the tooth brushing. I know we're going to have cavities when we first go to the dentist. Some days we don't even get in one tooth brushing.

Smeeps. Wow.

Timothy Eastwood said...

We must always listen to our doctors and dentists because they absolutely know what's right for us. In my case, I let my kids eat sweets once in a while. Just as long as they eat in moderation and brush their teeth every after meal.