Friday, August 29, 2008

Real World Backtalk? Go Virtual: Relevant Tips

A few items that fall under the heading, "News You Can Use":
  • Something annoying and cute that my son does: he wants to touch anything and everything having to do with my computer. He has singular tenacity and focus when it comes to achieving this objective that I, on my least sleep deprived days, have to admire. In fact, I can tell that he's made it through my defenses when my office/library, which also doubles as Chateau Toddler, becomes suspiciously quiet. Experienced moms are chorusing a this moment, "he is up to no good," and they would be correct. Usually he's fished the mouse out, and it speedily working to get to that coveted keyboard. A special yelp of glee is especially reserved for the rare instances he makes it into my desk chair. Little surprise since I use the computer rather a lot as a writer, and he gets that it is my equivalent of his massive dump truck, and I get rather testy if he touches it. I don't share well. I foresee that some savvy parental computer stewardship is on the horizon, until the day, probably not that far off, that he can out hack me and his father. The Internet is fantastic, and the Internet can make a parent sweat. A nifty free downloadable toolbar can help direct your kids to age appropriate websites. It's not a complete guard, but it helps.
  • Parenting goes hi-tech, where the real and virtual mesh in some interesting ways. A new subscription service,, offers scheduling tools and other resources to manage the family; but not just meetings, activities, but also chores, homework, and even discipline. The concept is no nagging, but delegation to a virtual nanny. Does this work for husbands as well?
  • You are no longer a bad mother if you don't fish the wax out of your children's ears. Evidently it is best to leave it alone, and that goes for us adults as well. Yes, yes I am very smart, it has nothing to do with not having the energy to hold my toddler down to perform yet another personal care task he regards as torture worthy of a congressional hearing or a war crimes tribunal.
  • In CA at the moment this is hard to believe, but someplace it actually rains and challenges parents to keep the kids from writing your commitment papers to the loony bin. So some rainy day activities are in order to keep the natives happy. In my case, with the temperatures soaring outside, my toddler and I are inside doing a rather enthusiastic rain dance.
  • Finally, in the world of marketing, setting yourself apart from the competition is essential. When trying to find a decent nanny, I'm told, it's cut throat. A mom recently placed an ad on Craigslist that gives new meaning to the phrase, "truth in advertising." My favorite line, "I can be a tad difficult to work for. I'm loud, pushy and while I used to think we paid well, I am no longer sure."

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