GREAT THINGS ABOUT WATCHING THE OLYMPICS WITH A THREE-YEAR-OLD, PART ONE

At the end of the third quarter of a game, you can tell him it's over and turn it off.

DEEP OBSERVATIONS MADE BY A THREE-YEAR-OLD WATCHING THE OLYMPICS, PART ONE

At the end of a one-sided boxing match, he decided the red-trunked victor was the loser because he hit the other guy too much.

THIS ONE GOES OUT TO ALL OF YOU FEELING LIKE BAD PARENTS BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T GET YOUR KIDS TO FINISH THEIR BROCCOLI LAST NIGHT.

A San Diego woman locks her seven-year-old in the trunk of her Volvo while she celebrates her birthday. (Note: The boy's fine.)

MEANWHILE, AT GLENGARRY HIGH SCHOOL, THE KID WHO GETS THE BEST GRADES WINS A CADILLAC ELDORADO. SECOND PRIZE IS A SET OF STEAK KNIVES. THIRD PRIZE IS YOU'RE EXPELLED.

The Palm Beach school board is up in arms over promotion in which Krispy Kreme rewards children with free doughnuts for getting A's, up to six free treats per grading period:

School board member Debra Robinson said, "I am a victim of food as a reward, and I don't think we should continue to do that. Then you end up fat . . . Krispy Kreme doughnuts are very good, especially when the 'hot' lights are on, but I can't say that there's anything healthy about them. Can't we find something else? . . . Chocolate-covered raisins have raisins in them."

It's hard to argue with Robinson's central point: Chocolate-covered raisins DO have raisins in them. On the other hand, this noble food-incentive victim may be ignoring a couple of other key issues: One, kids who don't study are not going to start studying just so they can get a 65-cent doughnut. Two, kids who don't eat a lot of doughnuts, or who already get their doughnuts by stealing them, couldn't care less about the incentive program. And, three, shouldn't she be, like, passing a budget or hiring a crossing guard instead of fixating on a handful of sweet . . . delicious . . . doughnuts . . . What's that? The "HOT" light is on right now? Move to adjourn!

THE SHAME ISN'T IN POTTY TRAINING YOUR CHILDREN TOO LATE. THE SHAME IS IN KEEPING POMPOMS IN YOUR BATHROOM TO CHEER THEM ON AS THEY POOP.

Front page article in the Wall Street Journal today (registration required) details the enormous stress parents of preschoolers face as they struggle to get their kids potty-trained in time for September at schools that require students to be potty-trained. It's a great piece in that it gets parents to admit to some outlandish strategies: keeping pompoms in the bathroom to cheer on a daughter starting to use the toilet; having friends call a son pretending to be baseball stars and encouraging him to go to the potty . . . they even have a woman who teaches potty training admit to violating her own rules by giving her child candy as a prize for using the john.

[The latter is no surprise to FD; watch this space for more on how parenting writers live the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mantra.]

We were fortunate to send Small Fellow to a preschool that did not require potty-training (happily, he was fully trained by about six weeks after the start of school last fall), but we can certainly sympathize with schools that do require it, especially as we read the strict sanitary and insurance regulations that school diaper-changers must follow.

In the article, P&G and Kimberly-Clark (that's Pampers and Huggies to you) decry potty-training "deadlines" that cut into their business by "driving away good customers every year." But the conglomerates get no sympathy from us, especially since they've recently and inexplicably stopped mailing us any coupons.

AND ANOTHER THING

Our own unscientific research has found that there are no models or sizes of Huggies or Pampers available anywhere in America that are not branded, front and back, with a Sesame Street, Disney or other cartoon character. Huggies' Little Swimmers swim diapers line used to be an oasis of non-branded items, simply blue, green, purple or pink. No more. As of a couple of months ago, they're now available only in different shades of Disney: Nemo, Little Princess, and Pooh. We suggest a consumer boycott, at least until they put Pete's Dragon on a package.

August 27, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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