posted a video of herself feeding her six month old son pre-chewed food. And not by spoon or fork, mind you, but directly from her mouth to his.">
Actress Alicia Silverstone, best known for the 1995 film classic Clueless (and I'm not sure what else), unleashed quite a media storm last week when she posted a video of herself feeding her six month old son pre-chewed food. And not by spoon or fork, mind you, but directly from her mouth to his.
There is no question this practice is unusual -- I can't say I know a single girlfriend who used this food processing method with her kid, but hey, we all owned blenders. And while feeding children like baby birds (or in Silverstone's case cubs -- her son's name is Bear Blu) may be a meaningful way for some parents to bond with their offspring, I doubt this practice will be going mainstream.
Interestingly, there are experts in the field of maternal and child nutrition that have studied the health benefits of premastication (the fancy word for chewing your kid's food for him) and have found that the practice potentially provides both immunological and digestive benefits . And there are other studies that feel it's risky due to the potential of passing along dangerous viruses. But I don't think genuine health concerns were at the root of why this video touched an Internet nerve. I think the story outlived its 15 minutes because the practice, to our "civilized" eyes, seems just plain gross. Swapping spit is just not something we are used to doing with our children.
But I am certainly not going to judge Ms. Silverstone's choice. Because let's just say when it comes to the parent-child gross-o-meter this one barely registers for me.
I have let my child use either his or her own sleeves and then move onto mine for nose blowing during cold and flu season. I have sat smiling while my toddler vomited on an unsuspecting passenger seated next to us on an airplane. I have wiped the poopy tushies of not just my own children, but of countless neighbor children as well.
I have fished Matchbox cars out of unflushed toilets (to my kid's credit, I think they may have been Matchbox boats -- makes sense he thought they could float). I've also fished carefully placed rocks out of snotty nasal cavities. We have closed down the baby pool more than once at more than one area swim club.
The five-second rule for eating things off the floor is more like the five-day rule at our house. I think my middle child once ate an M&M, with my permission, found in the corner of the basement. It probably fell more into the five-year rule. I have knowingly shared my toothbrush with my kids on vacation. I was just too lazy to search out the closest drugstore. This probably isn't a whole lot different from premasticating, from an exchange of bodily fluids perspective.
No, I am probably not the mom to call out another mom on her decision to do something a bit, and for some very, gross.
But hey, I didn't get into this parenthood business because I expected it to be antiseptic or pristine.
For me, it's often the little messes and missteps along the way, while not always hygienic, that give me something to chew on.
Although usually not literally.comments powered by Disqus
This past week, against both my will and better judgement, I accompanied 50 or so middle school kids to the Future Problem Solvers Wisconsin State Bowl, a popular academic and skit-writing competition.
It may be a bigger waste of breath than electricity to ask my kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room. If I've nagged them once, I've nagged them a thousand times. No, I've never noticed anything amiss with their fingers. But it appears they are physically incapable of flipping a switch to the "off" position.
I want to say thank you to the Board of Education for allowing Maia to return to class, unquestionably the place she belongs, as well as to thank them for adopting the new policies. But just as importantly, I also want to thank Maia and her family for their willingness to come forward with their story.
Some clever-clogs is playing Rachmaninoff on the piano at a party, and there it is again, that oft-heard adult lament of lost opportunity from a dejected onlooker: "I wish I could play. I wish my parents hadn't let me quit music lessons. I was just a kid -- how was I to know?" It's a reasonable complaint.
If you're checking out summer camps for your child, there are many issues -- some obvious, some less so -- to keep in mind. Here's a list to keep handy when you contact camps and camp directors, looking for the perfect spot for your kids to have fun, relax, and learn this summer.
I know, in the grand scheme of things, that my kid issues, when it comes to dining out, absolutely pale in comparison to those of parents whose kids have special needs. Many kids, especially those who are on the autism spectrum, are disturbed by changes in their routine, or anxious around noisy places. They may not be able tolerate waiting for a table or standing in line. So unfortunately, many of these families just avoid eating out at restaurants altogether.
It's weird to admit this, especially in a city surrounded by as much outdoor beauty as Madison. But frankly, I'm just not that into nature. I'm more of an indoor kind of gal. Give me an afternoon at the Chazen or the Wisconsin Historical Museum over the Arboretum or Olbrich Gardens any day.
Lavish costumes, gorgeous sets, a full orchestra and a concession stand where nothing cost more than two bucks and you have a pitch perfect experience at the theater. Oh, and did I mention the ticket prices were just $10 dollars apiece? One could afford to take the whole family for a live theater experience for less than an evening at the Lego movie would cost including popcorn.
I think the first time in recent years that I've felt a real sense of shame, as both a parent and community member, was last Tuesday evening as I sat in a crowded elementary school LMC to listen to Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and his colleague, Torry Wynn, present key findings from the 2013 Race to Equity report to our PTO group.
It's Wednesday morning at Allis Elementary School on Madison's east side, and 16 third-graders -- 10 boys and six girls -- enter into an open-space classroom in typical wiggly, giggly style. Some are making goofy faces at one another, some are bouncing around hand-in-hand with friends, and others are just trying to stay out of the whirling-dervish path of activity.
Of the 789 poorly-composed, way-too-dark and out-of-focus photos currently living on my iPhone, I can count on two hands the number that show my kids and me together. And my husband is in probably no more than three or four of those.
Something kind of magical has happened these past two weeks during the Sochi Olympics. There is no question, debate or disagreement on what will be watched on television once all homework is done. Everyone in the family makes time to sit down together to watch an hour of so of the primetime televised games.
Truth be told, though, this month I'm feeling a bit cinematically fried. In some ways, I already feel like I've spent the last week or so at a film festival. A festival specializing in minute-long glimpses of ordinary lives all ending with credits that feature the ubiquitous blue thumbs-up. Yes, it's been the February of the Facebook movie.
Just last week, on precisely the same day the Momastery post was getting over a million well-deserved views, Madison mom Suzanne Buchko was telling a similar story. Not on a blog but instead in the confines of the modestly circulated Franklin-Randall Elementary School weekly newsletter.
Late last month, the Madison Metropolitan School District adopted a five-year, $27.7 million technology plan calling for all district students, including those in the primary grades, to have significantly increased access to their very own tablet or notebook computer by 2019. Some parents, as well as education professionals, questioned whether elementary-aged kids, especially kindergarteners who aren't even able to read or write yet, will gain much benefit from introducing yet another screen into their lives.
This past Monday, had winter's unrelenting weather allowed, Middleton Cross Plains School District teacher Andrew Harris would have once again been at the helm of a classroom. After nearly four years of fighting his dismissal from Glacier Creek Middle School for viewing and passing on sexually explicit material on district computers, MCPSD has been legally forced to reinstate Herris, this time as a seventh-grade science teacher at Kromrey Middle School.
In a study published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, academics have found that the 16 and Pregnant series may have played a significant role in the recent decrease in U.S. teen pregnancies.
In our house, sad but true, we've rarely spent the Martin Luther King holiday discussing race, social justice or the power of non-violent civil disobedience. Instead, the third Monday in January has historically been treated as just another day off school, just another long weekend. And it's been a missed opportunity.
It's not something that happens very often, but last Friday, as news of the impending arctic cold snap reached our house, my kids were rooting for Governor Scott Walker. They were rooting for him to take Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's lead and cancel school throughout the state. They couldn't care less if he had the authority to do such a thing -- if he called off school, he'd be their hero.
Late last semester, as students were packing up their backpacks one final time before winter break, Middleton High School principal Denise Herrmann and assistant principal Lisa Jondle were co-authoring a note home to parents informing them of a widespread cheating scandal involving nearly 250 calculus students at the school.