Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Picasso Perhaps?

On the back of Little Bun's German test, influenced by Picasso. Dh doesn't see a problem with the sketch, but I worry that it's the beginning of a series of drawings like Seth's (Superbad).

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They still don't miss a trick

A family member recently suggested to me that we might be *making* our daughter think about race too much with "all the talk about it" at our house. Dawn's most recent post gives excellent reasons why this isn't so, and why the talk and the problem-solving are good things.
Rather than giving my own well-thought out response (it's been a long weekend and I'm kind of beyond well-thought out anything) I'll share this anecdote:

Miss I has made a new friend. Her friend Rose is one of four sisters who all look alike, and all look like their parents. Rose has seen us at the soccer field twice per week for three weeks now, yet she asked yesterday, "Where's Miss I's Daddy?" "He's on the field," I said. "In the khaki shorts." "Where?" "There." "Where?" "There . . . Dr.Bloom, wave to Rose," I called. Dr.Bloom obliged, and Rose waved back. Yes, he was familiar to her, but . . . "Does Miss I look like you?" she asked seriously.
Later I explained to Dr.Bloom why I had had him wave. Miss I added, "But I said 'No!' I'm not pink! I'm brown!" and she chuckled as if she were years wiser than dear Rose.

And a bonus Little Bun anecdote:
I had to go to a "retreat" on Friday. "Does this look retreat-ish?" I asked dh, gesturing to clothes. "No!" Little Bun answered brightly. After a pause, he asked "Did you want a 'No' answer? 'Cause I don't even know what 'retreat-ish' means." Smart boy on the way to being a very smart man. He'll make someone very happy someday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh, Pennsylvania.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Apparently Our Children Have Been Listening

to the national news and Charlie Gibson-hosted debates, because they're demonstrating the same level of sophistication in their political debates. This morning I overheard one kindergartener telling another that he should support Obama because "Obama wants to stop the war and cares about homeless people."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

To B

You can remark to the mother of children of color that you're worried about the "make up" of a particular neighborhood -- that you think the street might be mostly "black" and are wondering if that means "unsafe" -- but if you do, she will likely be offended. And she will not be being "overly sensitive" when blood rushes to her cheeks.

Note that ultimately she doesn't sweat whether you think the neighborhood is too "black," however much she wishes people didn't think like this anymore. She is a pragmatist, and she believes that she cannot change your mind, what happens between you and you. She will be most disturbed by what you say, by the fact that you have managed to miss that her family is multiracial, decided to wonder "black" and "unsafe" in front of her children, and refuse to understand why she is bothered.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"If reality tv has taught us anything, it's that you can't keep people with no shame down."
If you haven't seen Jeff Scher's animation, you should check it out. I love Trigger Happy and Grand Central Terminal, but for those of you who have parented young babies, take a look at You Won't Remember This.

Monday, April 14, 2008

In the News

Across the bottom of the screen, CNN called the election campaign season "Ballot Bowl '08." Then they reduced McCain's speech to the press association to bullets like "Hope . . . . is not based in delusion" and "People didn't turn to faith, hunting, through bitterness" while he was talking about the tendency of the media to reduce a politician's sentiments to bullet points and bullets to dodge. Shouldn't we be offended by that?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Of Course People are Frustrated!

Note: I've expanded on comments posted on another blogger's page here:

But that doesn't make them bigoted. It DOES however often lead to displacement. Yet when Obama calls displacement displacement, the media wants "us" to get up in arms about bigotry!

These latest comments have not been given a free pass at all . . .

Having grown up in rural agricultural areas and former steel cities I don't think Obama's remarks that people have turned from the potential of Washington and national fiscal policy to have real (positive) impact on their daily lives are offensive. I DO know these people, farm people and steel people, agricultural people and urban people, many people, many very good people -- white and black , old and young and middle-aged -- who have displaced real concerns about the economy and the disappearance of viable non-corporate ways of life and the decline of the real purchasing power of the dollar since the 1970s onto other issues that have "us" fighting one another rather than challenging the rise of the economic top five percent. Obama is by no means the first person to have observed that -- many academics in many disciplines have perceived this for some time. Compare it to ethnic conflicts within a colonized people who divide themselves further rather than organizing to change the balance of power against a colonizer. Ask who benefits most from disguising the fact that our interests are actually aligned. Don't miss the fact that the economic right strategically commandeered the values and religiosity of middle America for capital gains. Note that reflecting on this is not the same as rejecting the values and religion of this mythic-imaginary middle America!

I don't think it is at all "obvious" what we ought to do with Obama's thoughts on the displacement of economic anxieties onto social ones.

But in any case, the term "free pass" here [as a way of describing seeming low-levels of scrutiny for Obama] is of concern to me. I have *never* seen it used in a context that was not intentionally racially divisive itself (one would not say that a woman is getting a "free pass" as a woman in the same way that one would not say "gender card".)

In our house we might say that as a good orator (he is) and as a charismatic figure (he is) and as a viable racial minority candidate Obama has become a media darling and could seem to do no wrong for some time (which would be a fair criticism -- of our media!), BUT that time has passed

And not for the benefit of the electorate necessarily but because a prolonged democratic race makes for better news ratings. No one is getting a free pass anymore (one has only to look at CNN to know this is the case; certainly FOX is giving no one a free pass) because free passes don't suit capitalism.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Go Before You Go

It's been such a long time since I wrote an entry in this category! But this story is too much fun not to share, and it seems that Po-pos are the talk of the moment.

I was teaching on Monday night, so dh decided to take Miss I and Little Bun to the playground. Due to recent events at the soccer field, dh insisted that Miss I use the potty before leaving for the playground. She refused, insisting that her "bladder wasn't full" (recall that these are doctor's kids); he waited, sure that if it wasn't yet, it would be as soon as they stepped out the door. She denied this.
He was very firm: "We will not go to the playground until you go to the bathroom."

Finally Miss I gave in, and went in to the bathroom. After a pause, the toilet flushed, the sink ran, and Miss I trotted out to put on her shoes. Little Bun remarked, "I don't think she really went." "Sure she did," dh responded. "I heard her flush." Still, Little Bun was not convinced.

Little Bun was right. Miss I, who really did have to go after all but had faked the whole thing, had to admit this to dh and return from the playground in defeat.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I just read a post that, at another time, would have set my teeth on edge. But at this point, I am too content, too secure that in fact my life DOES cheerfully revolve around my children and their needs, that always I am mindful of what they will need to grow them into healthy adults independent of me and their father.
I am not sure what has resulted in this confidence -- perhaps it is the way my daughter is growing and glowing, her infectious exuberance. Perhaps it is that I do not think there exists on earth a more socially conscious or compassionate six year old than Little Bun. Perhaps it is how incredibly average their sibling rivalry is, how uneventful our evenings are, how delightful our mornings (even when I awake to a high straining version of "Chubby Checker" -- again with the Chubby Checker! but she identifies songs by artists and loves Chubby Checker like she loves KC and the Sunshine Band -- at six o'clock in the morning).
Perhaps it is simply time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"Is it harder for someone black or for a woman?" strikes me as an unbelievably stupid question (I hope a black woman runs next time and reveals the stupidity of it) and a strategically problematic one (if you want to argue that you are capable of defeating McCain) and again, a distraction from the real matters at hand.