Tag Archives | Parenting

I Love My Children — I Hate My Life

Photo: Jessica Todd Harper

Photo: Jessica Todd Harper

Jennifer Senior writes in New York magazine:

There was a day a few weeks ago when I found my 2½-year-old son sitting on our building doorstep, waiting for me to come home. He spotted me as I was rounding the corner, and the scene that followed was one of inexpressible loveliness, right out of the movie I’d played to myself before actually having a child, with him popping out of his babysitter’s arms and barreling down the street to greet me.

This happy moment, though, was about to be cut short, and in retrospect felt more like a tranquil lull in a slasher film. When I opened our apartment door, I discovered that my son had broken part of the wooden parking garage I’d spent about an hour assembling that morning.

This wouldn’t have been a problem per se, except that as I attempted to fix it, he grew impatient and began throwing its various parts at the walls, with one plank very narrowly missing my eye.

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Earth Day: Save The Planet By Not Having Children?

With Earth Day 2010 on this 22nd of April, I wonder how much the Green movement and the greater media at large will debate this opinion from Lisa Hymas on Grist:
Starchild

In 1969, graduating college senior Stephanie Mills made national headlines with a commencement address exclaiming that, in the face of impending ecological devastation, she was choosing to forgo parenthood. “I am terribly saddened by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all,” she told her classmates.

I come here before you today to make the same proclamation — with a twist. I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all.

Making the green choice too often feels like a sacrifice or a hassle or an expense. In this case, it feels like a luxurious indulgence that just so happens to cost a lot less for me and weigh a lot less on the carbon-bloated atmosphere.

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Bill Ayers On Radical Parenting

Bill Ayers. Photo: Supercomputer12 (CC)

Bill Ayers. Photo: Supercomputer12 (CC)

Pirate Papa interviews Bill Ayers, Professor at the University of Illinois and former member of the infamous Weather Underground:

PP: As a father, what were your personal reasons for having kids and how did this decision alter or reinforce your political ideals?

BA: Reason isn’t the exact register. Passion, desire, ecstasy, exuberance, awe…But raising these children was the best thing we’ve ever done, the least conflicted and the purest, the most astonishing and energizing, surprising and humanizing (followed by the experience of caring for our elderly and finally dying parents in our home for many years after our kids had left home).

PP: What were those last few years like living underground with kids? What were some of the ways this affected your family? I would imagine you had strict guidelines that all parties had to live by, structured fictions to deliver under certain circumstances?

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The Evolutionary Cost of Being Extremely Sexy

DeadSexyAnnalee Newitz writes on io9.com:
It's a classic tale of how mediocrity is maintained. Evolutionary biologists in California have discovered that when males shower attractive females with attention, it actually undermines those females' fitness as mothers. That means fit females don't pass their genes on. Today PLoS Biology published a study of fruit flies, a species where the male flies show a marked preference for mating with larger females because they are more fecund. The problem is that the males show such aggressive preferences that they basically badger the females constantly to mate. What this means is that the females are so harried that they have less time to search for food, which degrades their health. Also, among fruit flies, the mating process is itself damaging to the health of the females — fruit fly sperm is toxic. As a result, the most-desired females become far less capable of generating healthy offspring. And the smaller, less fit females wind up bearing as many offspring as the fitter ones. In the end, the males' aggressive mating with the fittest females ends up preventing their species from evolving into a much fitter group...
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Minnesota Dad Spoke Only Klingon to Child for Three Years

WorfYes, Mr. Worf. That does sound bonkers. Hart Van Denburg writes in Minneapolis / St. Paul City Pages:
Is this taking the whole Star Trek thing a teensie weensie bit too far? d'Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life. Klingon? Not Spanish, French, Mandarin? Not some gutteral genuflecting concoction from the deepest recesses of Borneo? Klingon? You heard it right. (And if you don't know about the Klingon Empire, look it up.) "I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language," Speers told the Minnesota Daily. "He was definitely starting to learn it." And get this, Speers says he isn't really a huge Star Trek fan.
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