You can buy a string bikini for a six month old. Suri Cruise has been spotted around Tinsel Town teetering in two-inch heels. And the TLC show Toddlers and Tiaras is now in its fifth season. So I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised when my girlfriend announced she'd just read that Walmart was launching a line of cosmetics aimed at 8-12 year olds. I was pretty sure she must have read it in The Onion, but she emailed me mainstream media confirmation. The But Walmart has said in a statement that, "The geo-girl line was developed in partnership with our customers to give parents a healthier, age-appropriate option for their tween girls who ask about wearing makeup." Do some 9 year olds seriously ask their mothers if they can wear make-up? And worse yet, are some mothers looking for a way to be able to say yes?
With inviting "green" packaging, "texty"-cute names (a lipshine called GR8), and special formulations for "soft, young skin," Walmart is touting the line up as a "safe" cosmetic choice for fourth graders; it's like a KidzBop version of Britney Spears' If U Seek Amy. They are telling a nine-year-old that her eyelashes really do need some enhancement, but that this option is far more "appropriate" than the stuff in the pink and green tube. Are they encouraging your fifth-grader to consider an anti-oxidant or two to get a leg (lip?) up on father time--all under the auspices of good old-fashioned hygiene?
We don't let our daughters take pole dancing for pre-teens because it seems like good exercise. We don't give 11 year-olds non-alcoholic beer to wind down and relax after a tough day of fifth grade. There are some things that kids should just hold off on until they are ready for the real thing.
Sadly, this isn't the mass merchandiser's first foray into cosmetics for kids. GeoGIRL will be replacing the failing Olsen Twins product line in Walmart stores. I guess, at the very advanced age of 25, Mary-Kate and Ashley are over-the-hill has-beens. Talk about the end of an era. But I won't even let my eight-year-old get her ears pierced because it seems too grown up, so maybe I am just being a prude. What are your thoughts on geoGIRL--harmless fun or license to grow up too soon?comments powered by Disqus
After sleep patterns, I think the next biggest parenting concern I have and hear about revolves around the topic of food. How can I make sure my kids are eating enough vegetables? Did I pack them a lunch that is healthy enough? What can I feed them after school that doesn't come from a box? How many gripes am I going to get about the dinner I'm about to prepare?
As far as places to embark on Baby's First Air Travel go, Dane County Regional Airport is a pretty sound choice, especially at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night. My biggest fear was that my nine-month-old son would start screaming in the airport; my second biggest fear was that my son would start screaming and some of my former Epic colleagues would be around to hear it.
The recent shift in the weather is just another sign that autumn is fast approaching. That means one of my favorite activities is just around the corner -- apple picking. My husband and I have been picking apples every fall since before our kids were born.
I have a lot of questions about what to put on my eight-month-olds' plates -- and, if I'm honest, a deep and abiding fear of putting the wrong thing there. Did I start them on solid foods at the right time? What's the deal with baby-led weaning -- how much self-feeding should they be doing? At what age should I give them potential allergens like shellfish or nut products?
Lily the potbellied pig arrived at Heartland Farm Sanctuary blind, lethargic and too overweight to walk. The children of Heartland's summer day camp program took it upon themselves to put the curl back in her tail.
Is it just me or does each summer seem to go by quicker than the last? The end of summer is upon us and for many families this means the start of a new school year.
This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?"
Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words.
This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front.
"Kids spend so much time in and around school, it's the only place where some have a chance to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle," says Katie Hensel, founder and executive director of Tri 4 Schools.
"I'm envious, mom," said my twelve-year-old daughter as she hopped in the car after theater camp last week. "All the other kids in my group seem to really like, and to be really good at, singing, dancing and acting. But I think all those things are just okay."
"People are looking to book space here all the time," says Remy Fernández-O'Brien, communications and facilities coordinator for the Lussier Community Education Center, a private, nonprofit community center on Madison's west side. "They want to throw their child's first birthday party here or hold a Girl Scout meeting. We're really busy year-round, but it's especially lively here in the summer."
Last week, in response to the county-wide Sleep Safe, Sleep Well public health campaign that encourages parents to "share the room, not the bed" with their sleeping infants, Isthmus contributor Ruth Conniff penned a lovely opinion piece in defense of bed sharing entitled "Confessions of a Co-Sleeper."
As much as I'd like to believe there is latent genius in my daughter's early finger paintings, I'm pretty sure her works are not distinguishable from those created by the pointer fingers and pinkies of thousands of other children from across the world.
Seeing Romeo and Juliet this past weekend was a definite reminder that I need to prepare for something that might resemble a (near) West Side Story around our place pretty soon.
All during childhood, we calmly tell our kids they don't need to be afraid of the dark, thunder or the monster under the bed. But it's pretty hard to keep your parental cool when your kid is about to embark on the one thing that terrifies you. I knew the problem wasn't really with him. It was with me.
Last January, when temperatures dipped below minus 30 and most people between the ages of 16 and 24 did anything to stay inside, a small yet sturdy group of at-risk teenage boys and young men stacked wood and managed controlled burns at Festge County Park near Cross Plains. Five months later, following a temperature swing of more than 100 degrees, Isthmus found some of those same guys removing invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn at Lake View Hill County Park on Madison's north side.
The first week of summer break at our place usually comes and goes without incident. At times, one could argue, it even verges on pleasant. I have no school lunches to pack and the kids have no 7 a.m. buses to catch.
Have you tried getting anywhere on either Verona Road or East Johnson lately? I'm pretty sure a six-month old could crawl to Fitchburg, or across the isthmus, in less time that it takes me to drive there these days.
As soon as the door closed behind him, I poured myself a cup of the coffee he had made and took a moment to let the enormity of what just happened sink in. My son was ready that morning despite my inability to properly set an alarm clock. My kid was ready that morning without nudging, cajoling, or reminding. He was ready, even when I wasn't.