Thursday, April 19, 2007

Three for Thursday

It’s school vacation week. We’ve had mostly cruddy weather here in the Northeast. Snow. Driving rain. Wind. The Spouse kindly worked from home to watch the three rug rats one day so I could go to work and discuss journalism with my students.

Meanwhile, my trio have spent most of their vacation time either hounding me while I’m trying to work or engaging in battles for control over everything (the remote control, Legos, books, toothpaste, etc.). And I’m starting to get that pre-summer vacation panic that parents who work from home experience around this time of year.

On top of that, today The Girl has a consultation with a second orthodontist to see if it’s really necessary for her to be outfitted with a metal contraption in her mouth for the next year, and whether The Spouse and I really have to cough up one of our kidneys in order to pay for it (we’ll be offering up part of our lungs when it comes time for both of the twins to have braces at the same time when they’re 12).

Thus, I bring my harried mood to my weekly Thursday round-up:

Item #1: Daddy Needs a Drink

I’ve been reading Daddy Needs a Drink, by Robert Wilder. And I’ve been laughing. Out loud. (And not just because I’m overtired and undercaffeinated.) I’d definitely recommend this collection of essays for any dad (or mom) with a sense of humor. I’m going to see if I can wrangle Wilder to do a Q&A with me about his book. If you’ve got any suggestions for questions, post ‘em below.

Item #2: Ronald McDonald-Breastfeeding Brouhaha

Did you hear about the recent breastfeeding dust-up at the Houston Ronald McDonald House, the place where parents with very sick children stay while their children are receiving medical care? Well a mom of a 17-month-old wanted to nurse her child, who’d been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, in a common area. But some people were offended by her breastfeeding, prompting a staffer to ask the mother to go someplace private to nurse. The story has grown as blogs have been picking it up. Today’s New York Times had a big piece on it.

I know some people get uncomfortable when toddlers are nursed, but honestly, can’t you just turn away and not look? I see plenty of things that make me uncomfortable on a daily basis, but I’m not going to demand that they be removed from my sight. By this logic (that breastfeeders should have to retreat in shame) the next time I see someone in a really bad outfit in a restaurant, or I see someone chewing with their mouth open, or cannot help but overhear a really insipid conversation between nitwits, should I get up and demand that a restaurant manager make them stop or do whatever they’re doing in private because I’m offended, even though they’re not hurting me or directing any of their behavior toward me?

Item #3: Mommies All Over the Boob Tube

The San Francisco Chronicle has an interesting piece about the portrayal on moms on TV, focusing on the new comedy, “Notes from the Underbelly,” based on the book by my fellow Mommy Track’d writer Risa Green. The show’s cute. It has potential. I’m just waiting for it to really spread its wings and fly if ABC displays enough patience. When I look back at the first few episodes of “Sex and the City,” they weren’t the best, most crisply episodes the show had to offer over its run. That series needed a little time to blossom. That’s what I hope happens with this one.

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