SL 709

“There’s one in every neighborhood: a parent who allows unlimited screen time. They exist to make the rest of us feel better.” Meh. That was probably me. I gave up at some point.  Two new books on cellphones and kids.

I got totally sucked into this Swedish kitchen design website this week. Clean, minimalist lines. Everything in black and white. Total love.

Last Saturday, Steve and I had a date night at the Brooklyn Museum. A friend gave us her Bowie tickets, because her flight into the city was cancelled for the snow storm. The show was awesome. And so were the artisanal sausages down the block. The kitchen was backed up, so they gave me too much free wine in compensate. Drunk date night.

Can’t wait to take Ian to see Fantastic Beasts, part two.

How crazy is our White House?

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38 thoughts on “SL 709

  1. I want to hide in a swedish designed house on a big field somewhere. But I’m too worried.

    What I would really like is for those of you who have historical data of equally crazy white houses to share. It’s rarely the case that something now is the craziest thing ever.

    1. bj said,

      “What I would really like is for those of you who have historical data of equally crazy white houses to share. It’s rarely the case that something now is the craziest thing ever.”

      Craziest nuclear White House?

    2. “I want to hide in a swedish designed house on a big field somewhere.”

      Hide. In a Swedish house. On a big field. That’s… not what hide means.

    1. MH said,

      “One of my neighbors is selling a 1965 kitchen. Stainless steal counter top, metal cabinets, oven and stove built in.”

      WOW!

  2. My youngest is currently reading an RPG fanfic novel translated from the Chinese, on a friend’s recommendation. He reads flat earth blogs for fun. He probably reads other strange things online. I’m not going to try to control his curiosity.

    He also follows gamers on YouTube, which is apparently popular with the young. https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/01/12/more-people-watch-esports-than-x-dont-get-here-basics/1017054001/

    “eSports” had more unique viewers than the NFL.

    I’m old enough now to roll my eyes at parenting books. It’s neither a beautiful future nor the end of the world. It seems in the genre it’s always the mother’s fault; I’ve stopped being impressed. As long as a mother’s not striving to get her kid on a reality show, nor cited for abuse, don’t worry, be happy.

  3. I’m feeling reasonably cheered by PA18, especially given the amount of money the Republicans threw into the race. It looks like the unions stayed with Lamb and plenty of people in the well-off suburbs moved away from Trump. That is, the people being pandered to with the proposed steel tariff and the tax cuts have noticed Trump doesn’t deliver on his promises.

  4. I’m fairly restrictive about screen time, but agree with you that people pat themselves on the back thinking they are upholding “higher” standards than some other parent (on screen time, curfews, chores, makeup, short skirts, parties, . . . ).

    I really think all of those issues are quite personal and that absent abusive relationships, a parent is the right one to make them. Your kid is not my kid and you are so obviously the right one to decide the right amount of screen time for your kid.

    Now mind you, I don’t think that precludes a school or an author arguing that one set of guidelines are better than another set. But, ultimately a parent gets to decide and I should pretty much seal my lips unless I think something really tragic will happen as a result of the choice.

    1. I would never gratuitous advice to other parents (or anyone else, really) about how they are doing things, but that has certainly never precluded me from talking to family members and friends about how crazy other parents are.

      There is also the issue of bonding with other parents to establish and enforce common standards, so the children can’t arbitrage. I don’t know if parents in most communities are close enough to do this.

      1. y81 said,

        “There is also the issue of bonding with other parents to establish and enforce common standards, so the children can’t arbitrage. I don’t know if parents in most communities are close enough to do this.”

        I once had a funny conversation with a couple moms where it turned out that each of us had the ONLY kids at the same school who only got hot lunch once a week.

        So, yes, it does pay to compare notes with other parents.

        No cell phone for the 15-year-old and still counting. She gets a phone for overnight school trips and we’re promising her one when she’s 18, but so far so good.

        I believe she may actually be the only kid in the high school without a personal cell phone, but she gets plenty of other screen time–mostly Star Trek Online. Her young brother just turned 13 and has just gotten his Star Trek Online privileges.

      2. We’ll probably get our son a phone for his upcoming birthday (12). We’ll see how he uses it and takes care of it before we let him carry it without a specific reason. He’ll also have to promise not to download the pee tape when that comes out.

  5. bj said,

    “I’m fairly restrictive about screen time, but agree with you that people pat themselves on the back thinking they are upholding “higher” standards than some other parent (on screen time, curfews, chores, makeup, short skirts, parties, . . . ).”

    Corollary: Every kid (except maybe the ones that smoke pot with their parents) thinks that their parents are super strict.

    “But, ultimately a parent gets to decide and I should pretty much seal my lips unless I think something really tragic will happen as a result of the choice.”

    The Worst Mom on the Internet now lives within likely commuting distance of you, but screen time is not even on the top 5 of the worst things she’s ever done to her kids.

    (My candidate for Worst Mom on the Internet is ThatWife, who years ago put photos on the internet of her kids playing with a marital aid. They recently moved to the Seattle area.)

    1. “My candidate for Worst Mom on the Internet is ThatWife, who years ago put photos on the internet of her kids playing with a marital aid.”

      Reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from The Mindy Project. Danny is going through Mindy’s nightstand looking for something, pulls out a vibrator and says “Oh, Ma* has the same neck massager!”
      *Ma is of course his mother, eventually played by the great Rhea Perlman.

    2. presuming that they weren’t using the “marital aids” rather than playing with them, I really couldn’t care less about the posting of them. The Worst (presumably not otherwise evil) Moms on the internet are the ones who leave guns lying around so that their two year old kills their one year old.

      1. bj said,

        “presuming that they weren’t using the “marital aids” rather than playing with them, I really couldn’t care less about the posting of them. The Worst (presumably not otherwise evil) Moms on the internet are the ones who leave guns lying around so that their two year old kills their one year old.”

        It’s funny you mention that.

        There’s an LDS hair blogger mom-of-five that immediately popped into my head. Her husband died, she remarried a new guy within 90 days after her first husband died, and then within their first year of marriage, her first husband managed to shoot himself and then her in the knee accidentally while cleaning her first husband’s guns in the dining room.

        http://www.freckled-fox.com/2017/03/accident-update-and-healing-progress.html

        One of her little kids could easily have been killed in that incident.

        They had a new baby after that.

        ThatWife isn’t eligible for the Internet Gun Mom category but she is a pretty strong contender for Worst Upper Middle Class Internet Mom Not Breaking the Law or Currently Endangering Kids’ Lives.

        She’s about to get a dog. Poor dog!

        Jenna-watching is not a hobby I’m proud of, but I think she does demonstrate that too much screen time can be the least of someone’s parental failings.

  6. The school administration discouraged a walkout today (it’s hard to catch up) and our kids went to school.

    I did buy them a Pi Day apple pie, though.

    1. I just passed by my colleague’s office and saw her son, who is a sophomore in HS, in there with her. I inquired and she said “My son has been suspended for an act of civil disobedience.” I might have gushed over him. He attends a private Catholic school around here. In fact, I had read about the suspensions in local news this morning; I just didn’t know he was one of them.

      Our school’s walkout went smoothly.

      I am pretty disturbed by how many people in my town oppose peaceful protest, though.

      1. Wendy said,

        “I am pretty disturbed by how many people in my town oppose peaceful protest, though.”

        I’m opposed to truancy and unsupervised minors.

        Peaceful protest is fine.

      2. The comments I’m referring to were definitely directed at any peaceful protest. At one point someone asked if they supported the Boston Tea Party, and they couldn’t answer yes or no. I think they wanted to say No, but this is MA, and you don’t diss the Boston Tea Party around here without Consequences.

      3. Wendy said,

        “The comments I’m referring to were definitely directed at any peaceful protest. At one point someone asked if they supported the Boston Tea Party, and they couldn’t answer yes or no. I think they wanted to say No, but this is MA, and you don’t diss the Boston Tea Party around here without Consequences.”

        Hee!

      4. It’s strange to me that 17 minutes alone for a bunch of high school sophomores now counts as “unsupervised”, but I agree that it is now regarded that way by most. It’s truancy by definition, but I didn’t get suspended for cutting out of school because I wanted something different for lunch. I did get a detention, which I knew I would get if I got caught. It just hadn’t occurred to me that in a school with barely over 100 students, there’s no way to hide that you aren’t in the lunchroom.

      5. MH said,

        “It’s strange to me that 17 minutes alone for a bunch of high school sophomores now counts as “unsupervised”,”

        I wasn’t talking about that specific event.

      6. I didn’t really look at it carefully at the time because I wasn’t going to allow our kids to participate in any walkouts, but the junior/senior high school sent us the following info the day before:

        –School “cannot and does not endorse student walkouts of any kind for any purpose”
        –“For a number of reasons, leaving class without permission is explicitly forbidden by [the Big Book O’Rules]. The school simply cannot guarantee the safety of students who leave campus and venture downtown unsupervised, especially given the high volume of foot traffic due to [Major Downtown Event].
        –“Furthermore, as [School’s] instruction is progressive and sequential, every class contributes to the educational objectives. Consistent school attendance is therefore essential for intellectual and academic flourishing.”
        –School offered two different options to students during mid-morning break: a) letter-writing to public officials or b) 17 minutes of prayer.
        –“Students who feel compelled by conscience to walk out of class must also accept the disciplinary consequences assigned thereof. Please note: any student who walks out at 10:00 a.m. will receive a zero on any assessments or class work in progress during the 3rd period. Students who walk out but remain on campus and within eyesight of the [School] building will be given a demerit for an unexcused absence. Any student who walks out of 3rd period class at 10:00am and leaves campus without the school’s expressed permission will be assigned two Saturday detentions.”

        Pretty fair, I think.

        We have a downtown campus and are in the middle of a major multi-day city event involving thousands of visitors, and as I’ve mentioned before, our school has gotten threats.

      7. Amy — does your school send that document out every time there’s a student protest? Or did this one penetrate further? For example, there were student walkouts on inauguration day in 2016 — did the school send out a reminder about walkouts then?

      8. bj said:

        “Amy — does your school send that document out every time there’s a student protest? Or did this one penetrate further? For example, there were student walkouts on inauguration day in 2016 — did the school send out a reminder about walkouts then?”

        I can’t recall if there was one in 2016–I’m leaning toward no.

        It’s a 200 kid private 7-12 grade school in TX, not Berkeley in the 60s.

        “Oh, and did anyone walk out?”

        I asked C. She didn’t think so.

        If there was a protest for every possible cause, they’d never do any school. Not to sound like Amy Chua/Archie Bunker, but I’m not wearing t-shirts and worn out shoes, sharing one car with my husband and vacationing at grandma’s to pay for private school so my kids can skip the classes that we’ve already paid for.

      9. Not to be a thread hog, but I asked the kids what they chose to do on March 14 during mid-morning snack at school (the choices were snack, write letters or pray–school provided writing materials and names and addresses of officials).

        D had midmorning snack and prayed.

        C had midmorning snack.

      10. My son was given the choice of staying inside and reading or going outside. He picked reading, which he pretty much always picks over anything else that doesn’t involve screen time.

  7. The April issue of HGTV Magazine has some very nice and reasonably subtle white-and-black color schemes–some of it is more brown black.

  8. How in the world did you manage to access Swedish-language design pages? Can you tell me the secret? Is there a central design aggregator page?

    I’ve been trying to access pages outside of the US, and now Google is saying I might be violating terms of service. (I have no idea why.)

      1. Thank you. I suppose it was something of the combination of our family interests online that made us seem like bots. That and the fact that we all read very quickly, so we might be scrolling through pages at unnatural rates.

        I’m trying to figure out a home renovation project. The Scandinavian designers are interesting, and it fits with minimalism. It could be too cold and severe for the long term, though.

      2. Cranberry said,

        ” I suppose it was something of the combination of our family interests online that made us seem like bots.”

        Funny!

        “I’m trying to figure out a home renovation project. The Scandinavian designers are interesting, and it fits with minimalism. It could be too cold and severe for the long term, though.”

        You might be able to warm it up with appropriate textiles.

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