How Dare You Think Your Child is Special!

Vox ran an article called “This is how parents turn their kids into narcissists.” Other than getting that Montell Jordan song in my head, it ticked me off a bit. It’s been in vogue recently to bag on positive parenting, saying that constant reassurances are turning our children into arrogant monsters.

Show me a parent who thinks their child is better than every other child and I’ll show almost every parent.  If you don’t think this about your child, then I feel sorry for you. But this doesn’t mean they will grow up to be a narcissist. Life has a way of beating most parents, and children out of the delusion they are better than everyone else.

Granted, like everything else, too much of anything can be a bad thing, including affirmations. But compared with known negative effects of growing up with low self-esteem, I’ll take my chances with the possibility of my child being a douche.

Advertisements

18% of Kindergarteners at PS 107 Brooklyn Will Be Twins?!

One of the lucky ones accepted to PS 107 kindergarten

UPDATE:(see below)

Everyone in Park Slope is freaking out about the kindergarten waiting list fiasco. The NY Times says that nearly 1000 more students were wait-listed this year than last year.

But the part of the NY Times story that amazed me was this quote, “(PS 107 principal) Cynthia Holton, said that among the 100 kindergarten applicants who have been accepted are nine sets of twins.”

18% of 2011 PS 107 kindergarten class will be twins!!

Either there is Clomid in the South Slope’s water supply, or Brooklyn fertility docs were working overtime in 2006.

UPDATE: NY Times City Room must have read my post, but the 18% of the entering class didn’t catch their eye in their original story.

Baby Slings: Mothering Bond or Smothering Bind?

After a sling trip to the Met, my back felt like I built the pyramids.

Apparently, wearing your baby is either  an in vogue way to bond with your child, or incredibly irresponsible, depending on which article you read in the New York Times this week.

The Latest in Strollers, Mom and Dad” talks about how more parents are getting baby carriers and eschewing strollers.  In addition to “fostering a strong attachment,” baby carriers are popular with parenteratti, “with celebrities like Brad Pitt and Keri Russell” seen wearing their children. (I guess this helps justify buying a $540 designer sling ?!, which is essentially a piece of cloth.)

Yet a few pages deeper in the paper was the article, “Govt to Warn on Baby Slings Because of Deaths.” The Consumer Product Safety Commission is about to issue a warning about the possible suffocation risks with certain baby slings.

It’s enough to make an overprotective parents head explode!

From my own experience, a slings are safe and great for short trips, but would never replace my stroller.

I know other babies love the child to parent contact, but my son rarely slept while strapped on, and we tried 3 different carriers.  But he always napped soundly (and still does) in the stroller.

He outgrew his Baby Bjorn at 13 months(the Bjorn has 25 lb weight limit , you’d think the strapping Swedes would accomodate a bigger baby), he kept slipping through the Moby (you need to take a lesson from the Merchant Marine Acadamy to make sure that thing is secure,) and by the time we got the Ergo, which mom, dad and baby all liked, he was just too heavy to carry around for any extended periods.

And the usefulness of a carrier diminishes after tour child is a year old.  Maybe the mothers of !Kung San tribe in the Kalahari can carry 25+ pounds strapped to their body all day, but my back can’t take more than a couple of hours max. I leaned this the hard way. “We don’t need the stroller,” I arrogantly told my wife before a trip to the  Metropolitan Museum of Art when my son was less than 6 month old.  The next day my back was so sore I could barely get out of bed (although Nate did really like the Egyptian wing.)

Quasimodo never used a stoller

Maybe all these people who never use a stroller and call them “isolation pods” are all married to chiropractors. Because if I had to rely on a sling to get my son around, I’d look like Quasimodo after the first 6 months.

I am interested to see what the official Consumer Product Safety Commission warning says, but I’m guessing common sense will apply, ie. make sure your baby’s airway is always clear, and don’t let them curl up in a ball at the bottom of a rucksack.

http://www.brooklynbrood.com

It’s All Sweetness and Light, Until Mother Overreacts

Another innocent bystander!

There was an article in the New York Times yesterday that got me thinking.  Times columnist Susan Dominus had taken her 3 year old twins to the Ancient Playground in Central Park, and as they were enjoying the winter wonderland, a snowball fight broke with some of the older children. Ms. Dominus was struck by a snowball, was inscensed and demanded to know who the guilty culprits were.  The tweens were ratted out, and she proceeded to berate the children’s babysitter, who eventually left the playground in shame with angry children in tow, and Ms. Dominus was left to wonder if she was a spoil-sport or the last responsible parent.

Commenters on the article were torn between “kid-will-be-kids” and “you go mom,” with a number of digs at Susan’s multiple name drops of Dean & DeLuca that screamed elitist.

As a tween I’d been involved in my share of snowball melees, but this was in the genteel suburbs, not the hard scrabble mean streets between the gang den called The Metropolitan Museum of Art and thug training ground known as Marymount Prepatory School for Girls.

But it did raise the question of how do you handle the inevitable age conflicts at the playground?  With the exception of tot lots, playgrounds are there for kids 2-12, all running pell mell. My 2 1/2 year old son often wants to play with the older kids, and I find myself torn in letting him have fun, and pulling him out of harms way.  I tend to have a philosophy that he’ll learn his limitations quicker from a knock on his keaster than he would with from his dad explaining that he’s too small to play with the big kids. Of course this means occasionally plucking him out when he’s in over his head, but I think he learns from that as well.

As far as other kids behavior is concerned, unless a child is being overtly aggressive, I try not to get involved; I may be on squirrel patrol, but I’m not the playground police.

This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!

<span How did I get here?
In the back of my head, I always thought I'd be a father someday…the key word is someday.  But in the meantime I was just going to enjoy life. And being an indie J.A. in New York, there is a lot to enjoy.  As I was floating through my existence, I woke wand realized I now had a beautiful wife, 2 beautiful cats, an beautiful son, and a beautiful home.  It was very anti-kafkaesque, I was the same, but everything else was different, and better. More Frank Capra than Franz Kafka. In any event, raising a brood in Brooklyn has been a trip.  Turns out I really really like being a dad and a husband, a lot more than I i liked being a hipster doofus, and I'd like to share my discoveries and observations, and get yours.
My entourage then…  and now!