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January 22, 2007



I think people rely on the TV too much. I also think some parents have gotten lazy and don’t want to take the time to teach their children. They just leave the teaching to the schools, which in general are not staffed to meet all the children’s needs.


Hi Lisa,

That is a hard situation with your dad. It must be something about men in that generation. They have these filters that don't allow them to ever see or realize the immense power and competence of being a good mother or adult woman. They have to be in the role of teacher all the time and their daughters as the students. Maybe it scares the crap out of him on some subconscious level that you are so competent despite unusual challenges. But i really get how hard it can be when your family and father does not see who you, who you really are and instead project some less powerful, smart, competent person on you. It's worth a rant or two now and then. Good rant!


According to my mother, when my brother and I were small, people told her we would grow up dumb if she didn't get a tv so we could watch Sesame Street.


Sometimes I think Cole thinks I want to deprive Nat of kid culture. She taught Nat about Elmo--as if kids need their parents to teach them about kid culture!

But I get your frustration with your dad. I was so pissed when my mom showed up on my doorstep last week, on 24 hours' notice and then when I cooked her a beautiful dinner, pushed it around on her plate and later talked about how we should have gone out. She likes and trusts restaurant kitchens more than mine! She told me she couldn't have any MSG! I dared her to find MSG in my kitchen.

Then yesterday, I asked her what five fruits or vegetables she'd had that day (we were talking about Nat's diet and favorite foods) and she said "2 kinds of chicken" I said "mother, chicken is not a vegetable." "But it was served with rice!" she insisted. "Mother, rice is not a vegetable," I explained. "Well then, what is it?" she asked, baffled.

She never cooked anything but frozen fishsticks when I was growing up. Fine. I don't care, but I am a frickin' self-taught nutritionist and pretty darned good home cook and saving my family money and feeding them healthy and my child has never had a fever and all she can do is complain about nonexistent MSG.

Bleah. Cole tells me that in my absence, my father compliments my parenting, but I have yet to hear a word of this myself. Do you think your dad might be impressed but afraid that if he tells you, you'll get a "big head" and he shouldn't let that happen, as your father and all...

I think sometimes maybe that's going on with my parents.

Not that it's any excuse to be a jerk. Or that you shouldn't be pissed.


Just one data point.My daughter had figured out her colors before she was two, read at a fifth-grade level when she was five, and is about to graduate with a degree in astrophysics. We've never had a TV. All she knew about Sesame Street characters she learned from books. I think your kids aren't missing anything.

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