Marriage Equality

I am so proud to be the nanny for a same-sex family. (Just like I was so proud to stand by my best friend as he went from an awkward confused teen to a gorgeous, slightly less awkward (lol) openly gay man) It is such a joy to go to work everyday and getting to spend time in their loving, happy, frequently hilarious home.
But everyday I get so incredibly sad when I look at their sweet, brilliant, innocent little girl and think there are people out there who would prefer to see her family destroyed.
I’m trying to work on my anger issues, but I’ve decided not to fight the rage I feel towards the people and policies that discriminate against many of the most significant, loving, kind and amazing people in my life.
Anyone who believes this is a truly free county is sadly disillusioned. And anyone who believes this is okay should be ashamed of themselves, and I hope one day they feel what it is like to have their basic liberties and rights denied.
I am ashamed of my country for allowing these civil injustices to continue for so long.

If Swift keeps talking shit about my Tina I’m going to lose my cool…

Dear Taylor Swift,

Ignore the fact I think you are ridiculous and that Kanye interrupting your acceptance speech was one of my favorite moments of all time. But when two of the most talented female comedians of our time (perhaps of ALL time) make a joke at your expense during an award show and you get mad it’s because you are too stupid to understand the true meaning of the joke or have too great of an ego to accept that putting yourself in the public eye leaves you wide open for this type of criticism (and, knowing Tina Fey, it could have been WAY worse).

For you to have the audacity to suggest Tina Fey deserves to go to hell for what she said about you makes you a terrible, petty person…. not that we didn’t already know that.

Tina Fey is a goddess and you do not have the right to utter her name, let alone say one bad word towards her.

Tina is feminist. You are not.

Please, understand this.

Erin Burnett’s recap of the situation

One of those little things that drive me up the wall

I don’t own an ipod (I did, at one point. But during more desperate times it was one of the first items permanently borrowed to my local pawn shop). I also spend a great deal of my time in my car, so subsequently I spend a lot of time listening to the radio (good old-fashioned, no nonsense broadcast radio. None of that fancy satellite or Pandora silliness) and I love it. Most of the time.

I’m aware most people have become unfamiliar with the ways of music that isn’t on demand, but during certain times of day most radio stations will play more continuous (and generally better) music; for example during the commuting hours or weekend evenings. But right before and after it’s possible to hit these “odd” minutes. When every station tries to fit in all of their commercials before their bulk music sessions.

Driving to work today I hit one of these times. Every single station preset on my car’s radio was airing a marathon of commercials. I was forced to resort to the “seek” button, leading me into another great annoyance of mine; thinking you have found a decent sounding song only to realize a few seconds later it’s the intro to a comercial for a carpet cleaning service or some shit like that.

By the time I got to work I was pulling my hair out.

#firstworldproblems

Things I Believe In

1) Love; all kinds of love, crazy-stupid love, love of art, love of animals, love of self and country, love of everything/everywhere/everyone.

2) Freedom of press.

3) Taking hundreds upon thousands of unnecessary photos of cats.

4) Mental Health Days.

5) Day dreaming.

6) Karma.

7) Watching an entire television series in one day.

8) Cuddling as many animals, as many times as possible every single day.

9) A higher power.

10) All education should be free to all (as should all health care).

11) Bacon is a phenomenal food of the gods, and should be served at every meal.

12) Reincarnation.

13) Equality. For everyone, everywhere. No exceptions.

14) Marijuana should be regulated, taxed and completely legal.

15) Diet Coke should be illegal (though if this were to ever happen I would be the first to start bootlegging it).

16) Minneapolis, Minnesota is the greatest city in the world.

Kids and television

I was really happy to see a study highlighted on CNN this morning that determined there are possible benefits to young children watching television.

The key is what they are watching.

I love television. I love it, and I am not ashamed. Despite my mother calling it a “boob tube” my entire childhood (Why? There aren’t even any boobs on basic broadcast television… my mom always said we didn’t “need” cable, and she has stood by that………) I have always believed television has the power to be a phenomenal teaching tool.

As a nanny I have had parents who don’t allow any television the house, parents who allow some television and parents who let their kids watch whatever they want whenever they want for as long as they want, and I have been able to observe the affect their TV watching habits appear to have.

Obviously constant television time has a negative impact. The kids I’ve seen who are used to having their favorite shows playing during all their waking hours are much more irritable on a more frequent basis. Most of them throw tantrums as soon as the TV is turned off (even if they weren’t paying attention to it at the time).  There is also a great lack of creativity in their play, and a decrease in play overall.

Kids who watch more of your traditional “cartoonie”, action-driven shows (you know, the type usually on Saturday mornings which lots of flashing bright colors and usually someone getting hit over the head with something) tend to crave this fast-paced entertainment, even outside of their television programs and demand constant stimulation be provided for them. They sometimes behave too intensely during play times and occasionally perturb other children.

On the other hand there are negative repercussions to denying television entirely as well. I’ve noticed that the children denied TV don’t know how to moderate themselves once they are in an environment where their parents’ restrictions don’t apply (try, as some parents might, you cannot keep kids within a specific bubble of restrictions at all times). When these kids finally get to a friend’s house who has Mickey Mouse DVD they will sit glued to it (on repeat) for hours on end. The entire time, if allowed.

Another thing I’ve noticed is children denied all television have a tendency to be more socially awkward. While this is not always the case I have seen a very strong correlation between kids who are not allowed any TV and having difficulties interacting with and making friends with other children.

Let me make it clear I am all for being an “oddball” and I kind of have a theory that if you’re a kid that gets made fun of you are probably doing something right. But I’m not talking about being more into reading nonfiction than playing soccer, I’m talking about the basic building blocks that make up our social structure; how to share, how to take turns, how to listen to others. Most, if not all, the children I have taken care of or observed for an extended period of time who were forbidden from ever watching TV struggled in these areas (though this isn’t to imply none of the children who do watch television don’t struggle with this issues at one point or another as well).

Yes, this could just be a coincidence. And it is a fact that there are many contributing factors to a child’s social behavior.

Margs loves Dora. Like, a lot, as do many kids I know.

Dora says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ every single time. As a result Margs said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at every possible occasion (until she grew up a little and observed that in the “real world” people are not always so polite…. so why should she?). One afternoon we were counting blocks and she counts “uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco!”… neither of her parents speak spanish.

These are two of many examples.

While I believe TV time should be limited, I don’t think putting a specific limit (for example thirty minutes or an hour a day only) is necessarily the best method for small children. Putting a specific and constant limit on television instantly turns it into a battle and kids (no matter how little) will instantly be thinking of ways to get around it, be it through begging or crying or sneaking.

What I have noticed is the most effective when it comes to television time is simply playing it day by day. One day it may be sunny and beautiful and the child may be full of energy and spend the entire day outside, watching no television. Other days a kid might not be feeling so well and want to spend most of the day huddled up on the couch with Barney.  I don’t believe, when it comes to kids, that consistency needs to mean doing the exact same thing every day. I don’t see how that prepares them at all for life. I think consistency means the children knowing when they are told “only one more episode” it means only one more episode.

Parents should spend more time actively concerning themselves with what their children are watching instead of how long. I have spent more of my life watching early childhood television shows than I would care to count, and it is easy to tell the education versus entertainment oriented programs.

I think (like most everything) it’s all about balance.

Article from CNN