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01 February 2012

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Are you implying that learning “The Wheels on the Bus” is the gateway drug to slavish social conformity and consumerism? :-) I do think you are over-thinking this a bit, but I don’t have kids, so I really don’t have any authority to say so. It sounds to me like a fun thing for small children to enjoy. Have you read/heard of the book called “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” by Peggy Orenstein? You might like it, even though it focuses more on the socialization of girls rather than boys. I haven’t read it myself, but I did listen to the author interviewed on NPR. It sounded pretty interesting.

Ruthiella,
Oh, I laughed when I read your first sentence. But then I thought--that IS what I'm implying!
You're right, I've got to keep my eyes on the prize: fun for CRjr. I'll keep going.
I really enjoyed "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" (http://www.citizenreader.com/citizen/2011/05/peggy_orenstein_cinderella.html) and Orenstein's earlier book, "Waiting for Daisy." Thanks for suggesting it--I heard her the other day on NPR and just really enjoy her as a thinker and a writer.

CRjr is -- what -- 16 months old? Speaking as a mom of three young adults, worrying about this stuff is the sure way to the looney bin. What the kids need is hearing your voice in reading and song and to have some interaction with other kids. Library story time is a guilt-free way for you to get to the library and pick out some books for yourself knowing that you are "really there for the kid." He interacts with babies, you get books: a win-win. Maybe about age 3 hew will actually start paying attention to the stories themselves. And maybe about age 4 he can go to story time without mom and you get 20 minutes to yourself. Don't overthink this.

Oh, Donna, you're sweet, but you're starting with the assumption that I wasn't ready for the looney bin years and years ago. :)
No, seriously, I appreciate your comment. I'm at sea with this modern parenting stuff--I am not a product of it myself and I loved my childhood, so I just don't place any value on this "go to the library and interact with other kids" stuff. It's hard to get yourself to do something you fundamentally don't believe in.
We go to the library all the time, particularly walking there in the summer, so that's not the issue. Likewise CRjr gets plenty of reading and books here, so at least I can do that for him.

Erm, are you sure you've learned to "interact just fine?" ;)

I'm with Donna - YOU are your child's first teacher and YOU are singing and making shapes in the sand or pudding or whatever. I'm quoting Every Child Ready to Read here. Singing and dancing and "drawing" and . . . some other things. I believe fridge magnets were mentioned. You have all that stuff in place at home and the library storytime is a nice adjunct if you're both interested.

I took Ben to a couple of musical programs (not at the library) and we were both a little intimidated. The nannies were much better dressed than I was. But we read together and listened to music and played with blocks. He is a Dave Matthews fan to this day.

Robin,
Ha! Touche. A good point, well made. I guess it all depends on your definition of "fine."

Roberta,
That's a very nice way of thinking of things, with library time as supplementation. But no one around here makes shapes in pudding--we EAT our puddings. As fast as we can, typically.
I got a real charge out of your nannies comment (although you can't fool me--you forget I know you and have seen you and you're a stunner). I did think that today, that some of the mothers were very nicely turned out. At 9:30 in the morning! And some of them with more than one child! How on earth do they still have the energy to accessorize with jewelry, makeup, scarves, etc.?

Library story time for a 16-month old? Really?

Remember when there was preschool? Wait--

Remember when there was kindergarten? Wait--

Remember when there was half-day kindergarten? Wait--

Remember when there was 1st grade?

Eventually your child will check off the college degree box and never read a book again. (Unless perhaps he is the child of a librarian.) He will be too busy interacting.

Hmm. I have no children but I did storytimes for various ages for years. CR, you are already "up" on things in that you read to and with CRJr. I agree with Donna and Roberta. CRJr is probably absorbing it all; not all children that age are busy interacting with each other (in fact, at that age storytime, it's not assumed). He'll probably one day start telling everyone how to figure out Fermat's equation or something, and helping them with the calculations.

Here's another parenting trope gathering steam - the superiority of the French method of raising children:

BRINGING UP BEBE: ONE AMERICAN MOTHER DISCOVERS THE WISDOM OF FRENCH PARENTING (pub 2/7/12)

FRENCH KIDS EAT EVERYTHING: HOW OUR FAMILY MOVED TO FRANCE, CURED PICKY EATING, BANNED SNACKING, AND DISCOVERED 10 SIMPLE RULES FOR RAISING HAPPY, HEALTHY EATERS (4/24/12)

And to totally depress you:

THE BONNE FEMME COOKBOOK: SIMPLE, SPLENDID FOOD THAT FRENCH WOMEN COOK EVERY DAY (I have this at home but haven't cracked it open).

I think you and CRJr need a trip to Paris!!

BTN,
I DO remember half-day kindergarten; it was too long! My childhood was great with the exception of school, so of course I bring my own baggage to this.

Sarah,
I do think CRjr is a little fellow who likes to absorb; I hope that's what he's doing. I'd be so happy if he understands math someday--maybe he could finally help me understand fractions. Forget Fermat's equation. :)

Huh, raising children in the French method. Maybe I should find a nice French lady to hire and do that for me. Ha! Thanks for identifying the trend though--sounds more interesting than "tiger mothering" in that at least it should involve more info on food.

One of my fondest memories as a child was having my mom take me and my brother and sister to the library every Saturday. We didn't participate in any organized activity. We wandered the children's section of the library to do and read as we pleased. At 16 months, CRjr might be too young to let loose anywhere but your home, but he has a great mom who is doing a wonderful job raising him - except she worries too much...

There are LOTS of little fellows who are busy absorbing. Don't girls tend to be more social and verbal at his age? I think it's all being filed away for future reference.

Dearest Venta,
Yes, I can see how that would be a nice memory. I used to enjoy watching the kids play around in the kids' stacks when I worked at the library, just pulling books out to see what they wanted. I didn't mind reshelving those, really, that seemed like one of the more practical work duties I had.

Thanks also for the kind words re: my raising of CRjr. Wonderful overshoots the mark, though, as most days I am just desperately aiming for "adequate." And as for worry--I was never athletic, so I consider worry my contact sport! :)

Sarah,
I'm not really worried about HIM being social. I think being social is overrated, myself. I'm worried about him feeling like he has to be social. Particularly so if his mother is dragging him to storytime and a) making him fall in with the other little kids, and b) worrying about him not keeping up. I guess what I have to do is work on containing my own baggage so he doesn't see it. That'll be a trick. I haven't learned yet how to hide my own baggage!

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