Who Are You Thursday Feedreaders Anyway?

I am a little obsessed with statistics about my blog. That’s part of the fun of blogging right? There are two ways in which I check statistics about my blog: through Feedburner and Google Analytics. Feedburner tells me how many subscribers I have. Instead of keeping a static list of people who have subscribed, Feedburner reports the number of subscribers I have each day. This changes because although some feedreaders request feeds from Feedburner regardless of whether the user is using her computer or reading her feeds, other feedreaders pull feeds only when the computer is turned on or the feedreader activated. This means that my subscriber numbers can go both up and down. For example, on the weekends when fewer people are using their computers, I have fewer subscribers. On weekdays, the number is fairly consistent.

So, here’s what I want to know: who are you Thursday-only Feedreader people? My Thursday Feedreader stats are consistently higher. Are there a couple of you out there who only turn your computer on on Thursdays? You are a mystery to me.

My Toothbrush

Colgate 360 Toothbrush*

Grade: A

Purchase Again: Yes

Highlights: Feels pleasant when you brush. Teeth seem very clean afterwards.

Limitations: I would like more color choices and more distinct colors–when the colors are too similar it makes us more likely to accidentally share toothbrushes!

I brush my teeth for relaxation. When I feel stressed, I find it very calming to brush my teeth. Strange as it sounds, a pleasant toothbrushing session is a deeply satisfying experience for me. So, I am interested in toothbrushes.

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“My doll is a boy!”

This past Sunday some friends invited us over to dinner. While the adults were still talking, the children tired of eating and began to disperse to go play. Duncan wanted to go play in 4 yr old Annie’s room, but she was marooned at the table waiting for her vegetables to magically disappear. Annie’s dad explained that the only thing to play with in Annie’s room was dress-ups.

“What would you like to play with?” he said. “A sword, a football, trucks, maybe some blocks?” Duncan paused, and then answered, with a huge smile: “You know what I like to play with?” “A doll. But my doll is a boy! His name is Da-da [daw daw]!” He then ran off to play, and later we observed him pushing a big tractor around with undisguised pleasure.

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The Pushy Parent

Why is it so hard not to be pushy . . .?
because I want so much for my child
because I am her biggest fan

because I am afraid

If I don’t push her, what will happen?
what if she fails?


fail is such a harsh word

fail = miss out on fun she could have had
fail = miss out on accomplishing what she is capable of
fail = not do what I had imagined or planned

So what?

She is her. That’s enough.

2 Boys and 2 Girls– fairness and gender

Amelia’s school spelling bee is this next week.  Each teacher is supposed to send the top two male and female spellers from the class for a total of four.  By contrast, last year each teacher simply sent the top four spellers from the class.  So this year, if the top four spellers in the class are girls, then two of the four best spellers will not get to go to the bee.  This change seems like a mistake.*

Two questions need to be answered—What does the school hope to accomplish by: 1) Sponsoring a schoolwide spelling bee? 2) Sending some students to the bee and not others?

I would suggest that the purpose of a spelling bee is to encourage students to devote more time and attention to their spelling. Spelling bees do this by encouraging appreciation of excellent spelling as a skill–a skill at which some are able to excel (spelling truly difficult and impressive words) through both talent and study.

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How to Parent a 4 Year Old

Yesterday, at My Imaginary Blog, Zina mentioned what she termed some “some less-than-shining parenting moments.”  Honestly, her post disturbed me, because the “moments” she described seemed perfectly normal to me and I was hard-pressed to think of what a better parent would have done in her situation.  Please share your ideas for how to handle these common Mommy Shopping situations.

To simplify, I will recap here: Mom does desperation visit to Target with two small children in tow. Special circumstances: Mom is sick, kids are sick.  Mom is also pregnant and therefore mobility impaired.

1. RESTROOM VISIT: Mom needs to use the restroom.  She takes the small children inside the stall with her and instructs them not to open the door until she’s ready.  They open the door (before she’s ready, of course) and she says, “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.”  The other child opens the door: “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.” The first child then opens the door again.  “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR.”

Advice?  What could a Mom do better in this situation?  Obviously, it’s optimal to avoid using the restroom while bearing solitary responsibility for two small children.  But often this is not possible. Then what?

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The Day After

I woke up this morning with that feeling of waking from a dream.  The dim memory of something wonderful fading, a too bright sunlight arresting my reverie and calling me to the reality of the day. What happened?  Was it real?  Is it over?  Will it last?

Oh, yes.  Barack Obama was inaugurated as our 44th president yesterday.  Four years ago, I heard his voice for the first time; it was exciting, but he was an unknown.  Two years later he announced his candidacy; he was promising, but was he prepared?  Yesterday he became my president.  Oddly, I find that my misgivings related to his lack of experience have dropped away.  After two years of watching him, my confidence in his ability to handle himself and to represent me has grown.  My trust in his capacities is signficant. And yet—will his capacities be sufficient? Am I right about who he is and how he will behave?

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Preparing for the Inauguration

We can take this moment and savor the opportunity we have of witnessing a peaceful transition to power.  Our nation faces many troubles, but we can take a day or two away from worrying about that to be thankful for what we have: our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our rule of law, and for the most part, peace at home.

There are other things to do as Inauguration Day approaches.

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What I Think about our President-Elect

This was originally meant to be part of my Preparing for the Inauguration post, but it seemed distracting so I moved it here.  I thought about deleting it, but my blog was on hiatus during the general election, and my earlier political posts didn’t reflect the later shift in my views.  I wanted to go on the record, so here I go:

I voted for Obama.  Of course I have reservations about him.  I would have much rather voted for someone who shared my views on abortion (pro-life), and Supreme Court judges (I thought John Roberts was an ideal nominee, Obama didn’t).  I would have preferred someone who didn’t show such an obvious anti-corporate bias.  Additionally, I worry that Obama’s views on free trade will take us backwards. However, the ideal candidate is never available and I saw a lot about Obama to admire and appreciate: I look forward to having a president who is an inspirational and eloquent speaker.  As the (several greats) granddaughter both of those who opposed slavery and those who held slaves, I know my legacy.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to support an African American president, someone who can tell our youth that what they become is up to them.  Also, Obama gives us the chance to start over with the world, and we desperately need that.  I hope that his peace-oriented approach, his openness and desire for dialogue will bear fruit.

Fairy Tales

The New York Times parenting blog Motherlode had an intriguing topic the day before last: Fairytales.  Do you think it’s true that parents are choosing to read their children fewer fairytales?  If so, why?  Is it political correctness or some other reason?  What is your own family’s practice?  Do you read fairytales to your children?  Why or why not?

Amelia as Snow White

Amelia as Snow White

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