Monday, 28 November 2011

"Much Too Good For Children"

I've never felt any kind of guilt in denying my children top shelf stuff. For example, when having a barbecue, I don't hesitate throwing on some hot dogs for the kids while the grown ups have rib eye-steaks. At restaurants, kids order from the lame children's menu which invariably offers wooden-like chicken nuggets, overcooked mac and cheese and possibly a limp "cheese" pizza as their choices while we adults sample their $15 a plate specialties. They can have the Yoplait fat free yogurt and I get the thick, creamy, Australian yoghurt. Yes, it's even spelled differently, it's THAT good. I know that sounds like I'm a bad parent, but I was given carte blanche to continue in this vein earlier this week.

Our lovely friends from England, the Martins, sent some Hotel Chocolat for the kids. For us peasants who've never heard of Hotel Chocolat (please say with me, "Ho-tel Sho-ko-LAUD"), it is not made in a candy shop. Noooo, the artisans who create these edible miracles are bona fide "chocolatiers"... I know, fancy. Allow me to put this in lay man's terms, it is like high grade crack to those who know their way around premium chocolates. Anyway, I handed over these confectionery masterpieces to the children and Hannah came back to croon, "These are SOO good! They're just like Hershey's chocolate."

Bam. I'm in the clear. I could have kept the high dollar, black label chocolat for myself, handed over a Hershey's bar and they would have never. known. the difference. So parents, keep the steaks, the expensive entrees, the gourmet yoghurt to yourselves and give the kids the sorry substitutions, they are completely oblivious.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Thanksgiving Story

So, now that it's November, the 2nd grade curriculum has included the Thanksgiving story to share with their impressionable, young students. You know the one, about how the Native Americans befriended the helpless Pilgrims, teaching them how to survive in a strange, new and hostile world (it was pre-Starbucks, if that helps you set the harshness of the environment into perspective).

Logan came home with a picture of what he had learned. I asked him to narrate it for me and he pointed out the pentagon shape and told me this was the house. Inside, one stick figure had lines coming out of his head, which he informed me was an Indian. Okay, I can imagine that those lines are the feathers worn by an indigenous person. Logan then pointed to the other stick figure which hadn't any lines on its head, and I was told that this was the human.

Of COURSE I told him that Indians and Pilgrims are both humans, but he didn't buy it. He looked at me like I was terribly and tragically under informed. After all, he is the one attending school and I am the one who grew up without cell phones, Internet or electronics with an "i" in front of their name. What could I possibly know?

So Children, as you read this when you become older and realize how RIGHT I was and how MISTAKEN you were, please apply that understanding to when we tell you that a certain person is all wrong for you, or that continuing your education is more important than getting a job right out of high school or any one of a number of things we're going to disagree upon. The proof is in this Thanksgiving Story pudding.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A Post Where I Write about Someone Else's Writing

I hate clutter. If it is not vital to my life, it will probably end up in a land fill. I don't save kids' art projects or test papers; anything come to think of it. If there is any scrap or shred of memorabilia in our home, it is because Dan has snatched it from the trash can. However, as I was plowing through the latest pallet of children's school work that threatened to engulf the kitchen counter, I found a paper written by Hannah dated October 10th entitled, "Early Jamestown: Why Did So Many Colonists Die?" I may not ever throw this one out because one day, those people who write Social Studies books will be paying me a king's ransom for the original to put on display in a glass case.

Here it is for your enlightenment:

"In 1607, some colonists from England decided to settle in a place they called Jamestown. It wasn't long before things started to go wrong.

One of the major problems was the water. Because of the way the stream flowed, when human waste was dumped, it flushed away, at first. Then later in the day, the tides came in, bringing the waste with it. Another reason why the water wasn't good, was because, since the stream flowed into the ocean, the water became brackish, which means that salt water and freshwater mixed to make brackish water. Therefore, you couldn't drink it (Mom's observation: Never mind that tiny issue of the water having poop in it).

Another problem; those colonists had NO skills. As in zip, zero, NONE. The(re) was [sic] NO females, and back then the females usually treat(ed) the sick and wounded. They didn't even have FARMERS, for Pete's sake! No farmers, no crops.

There is yet ANOTHER reason why the colonists died. They had a TERRIBLE relationship with the Powhatan Indians. When the Powhatans (Po-HAT-tuns) offered friendship, the colonists declined, then attacked, slaghtering [sic] a chief as well. That is NOT the best way to introduce yourself!

I hope this info answered all your questions!"

I never learned so much so easily! Despite minor glitches with grammar and spelling, the teacher recognized the value of this concise, hard-hitting report and gave her the 100% it deserved.