Buying Time

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

A couple of years ago Mike, one of my local at-home dad buddies, received a burst of attention when he was featured in a couple of national media outlets detailing his theory on at-home parenthood. It's a simple theory: If you decide that you are going to leave the workforce and stay home with the kids, raising the kids should be your prime concern. Not the cooking. Not the floors. Not the toilets.

So Mike outsourced pretty much everything he could. Dinner, most nights, was takeout. And the soap or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach was someone else's problem -- he happily paid for housecleaning. After all, his logic goes, if both spouses are dog tired after a long day, why should at the at-home parent automatically be saddled with assembling the chicken cacciatore?

The big objection to this kind of thinking, of course, is that the great mass of American families simply can't afford to have cleaning people or eat Boston Market three times a week, but Mike claimed it was all about priorities. There is always a little more money if you're willing to forgo your iPod or your trip to Disney or your cellphone or your nights out with the boys (or girls). So, if time with the kids is the really the absolute, primary goal, you should be able find the cash for a quick Chipotle run. (A family of four can probably feast on a single burrito, anyway.)

I admire the logic, but I just can't make it work in practice, at least not to the degree that Mike did. Maybe it's because my iTunes habit is worth chopping up carrots every once in a while. Maybe it's that -- by 5 p.m. -- a little change in focus is welcome. Maybe it's my deep suspicion of the nutritional value of take-out food.

Still, it's a great and provocative way of looking at things. Mike believes that if more parents understood child-rearing shouldn't automatically commit them to cleaning toilets, parents would spend a lot more time with their kids. Is that a fair way of looking at things? Is buying out of household tasks to hang with the kids a good investment?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  June 14, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Childcare , Division of Labor
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Comments

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I don't have kids, but I'd like to think that part of taking care of kids is to at least try to feed them in a way that helps their bodies. Take out, in most cases, does not do that. Kids need to learn, and part of that learning is to learn of proper nutrition. Just my two cents, from someone who is still struggling with her obesity after my father bought take out a few times each week when I was growing up.

Posted by: nutrition? | June 14, 2007 7:08 AM

Mike's theory is so very appealing and I daydream that we can afford at least the housekeeping service. BUT if the mundane tasks of cooking and cleaning are outsourced, then how do kids learn how to clean up after themselves, eat nutritiously, and contribute to the household? I don't think it's coincidence that the roommmates I had who grew up with housekeepers were a mess in the house.

Posted by: baltimore | June 14, 2007 7:11 AM

I would never argue about hiring a cleaner every other week, but kids still need to see their parents doing household chores and cleanup. Kids also need to have chores of their own so they don't go out into the world thinking someone will always clean up after them.

I draw the line at eating take out every night. Cooking with kids is fun and instructional and there's a greater chance they'll eat what they help to prepare.

I'm pretty sure the response would have been different if a woman had made the statements Mike did. I truly think that people were easier on him because he's a man. A SAHM who outsourced cooking and cleaning would just be viewed as lazy and spoiled.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 14, 2007 7:23 AM

WorkingMomX has nailed exactly what's wrong with this theory: children need to see parents taking physical responsibility for the household (not just paying others to), and need to learn gradually how to do chores in order to be competent adults. Besides the actual skills imparted -- everything from cooking and gardening to cleaning and laundry, to household and auto repairs -- time that children spend with parents is its own kind of "quality time," time when they can converse in a free-form way, with time to ask and answer questions, and impart/absorb family values. The same also applies for time that children spend with grandparents (who, if they're immigrants, may be able to teach their native language and culture), aunts/uncles and other relatives.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 7:37 AM

I think it's worth outsourcing some tasks, but others provide a function beyond drudgery, and skipping them, I suspect, can actually be worse for the kids in the long run.

Besides, a stay-at-home-parent gets plenty of time with the kids. Not even the clingiest of kids needs mommy or daddy at his or her constant beck and call. And when they are demanding attention, well, the laundry can wait a day or two. There's no real need to outsource household tasks entirely.

Posted by: NewSAHM | June 14, 2007 7:43 AM

I echo all the comments about parents taking the responsibility to teach their kids how to do daily chores that need to be done. No favors are done when the young adult who leave the nest not knowing how to do laundry or make a basic meal (or clean a toilet right Fred?).
Taking the kids along when you go grocery shopping when they are old enough to appreciate pricing and meal planning is a good way to teach them that the food doesn't magically appear on the table (like it does from Boston Market) and to appreciate the efforts of the hardworking cook.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 7:45 AM

Amen, WorkingMomX and baltimore. I'll also point out that the pious protests of some stay at home parents notwithstanding, children after the first few months of life don't actually need their parents to entertain, educate, or otherwise hover over them 24-7. Heck, I don't think they even benefit from it. Children actually benefit from having to entertain themselves in the living room or on the kitchen floor while mommy or daddy prepare dinner, vacuum, or just talk on the phone for a half hour. They learn a) independence and b) that they are not the center of the universe. Those two or three hours a day you spend doing housework and preparing dinner (an hour, max) doesn't detract at all from your ability to parent or make your children your first prority.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 7:45 AM

I agree with the previous posters, but it sure is nice to hear about someone outsourcing tasks so they can spend more time with the kids as opposed to outsourcing the child rearing so they can do more of what they want to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 7:48 AM

Yes, buying of household tasks is sometimes a good investment. Husband and I work full time, so our time with the kiddies is limited already. We have someone deep clean our house every other week. We eat take out or fast-prep meals probably 3 times a week. We still clean the house, cook meals about half the time, and take care of the yard. Kids still see us be responsible for our surroundings. -- On the flip side, even now with our girls aged 2 and 4, they do not need constant parental attention. It is good for them to play without us hovering. Why couldn't stay at home Mike cook or clean while kids get a good dose of imaginative play alone or with siblings or friends?

Posted by: Anothermom | June 14, 2007 7:48 AM

I think anyone that considers feeding kids crap from Chipolte and Boston Market as good parenting needs a serious smack upside the head.

Posted by: Me | June 14, 2007 7:49 AM

Your friend Mike sounds really lazy! Take out every night? Way to contribute to the nation's already out of control obesity epidemic.

Posted by: Say What? | June 14, 2007 7:50 AM

The guy outsourced work he didn't want to do. Nothing new here.

Takeout food is bad and overpriced.
Very poor example for kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 7:50 AM

Once children are older than infants, they can help with household tasks, so you're multi-tasking! Plus, the kids think it's fun. It also might give a parent the opportunity to give a kid allowance. Kids should definitely be helping with food preparation by 6 or 7.

Posted by: dynagirl | June 14, 2007 7:53 AM

7:45 AM, I wish you'd signed your post because you make excellent points all around. You're right that, as age appropriate, children need to start learning to become self-reliant when it comes to entertaining themselves, instead of perpetually being the center of their parents' universe.

KLB, you're so right that children need to start learning about nutrition in the home (and grocery store and farmers' market). And for those who are able to garden and raise their own food -- Father of 4, e.g. -- the teaching opportunities with kids are boundless, not only nutritionally but in terms of planning, goals and subgoals, the dignity of labor, etc.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 7:54 AM

Actually, it is a nice idea but I don't think it is a financial reality for most SAH families. At least the ones I know with one professional worker and one SAH parent, there is just enough money for the bills, a modest house fund, and a few extras. Also in the long run, kids might enjoy trips to the acquarium occassionally rather then take out food every night. Also even take out gets very boring over time. One healthy alternative, if you have the money, is to hire a part time food consultant. My friend has one (they both work by the way). But if you have the income, no matter what your work status is, this a good solution. A food consultant spends a few hours a week shopping, preparing foods, and menus. Then the food is froze or left in the fridge. All you have to do is defrost and heat it up. It doesn't have any preservatives because it is made fresh for you. Because they are professionals, they can do a weeks worth of tasty meals and shop in about 6 hours a week. My friend has shared some of the food and it is quite tastey. It doesn't taste like Stouffers frozen food. Maybe because it is only frozen for at most 5-7 days. Most people do not do 7 dinners a week. Maybe they do 5 to cover the week work and go out or actually cook on the weekends. They also do vegetarian and vegan meals (my friend is a vegan). But they give you a complete menu to choose from. I think the only thing you might do is cut up a salad and add fresh bread. It also comes with an optional dessert add on.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 7:55 AM

Anonymous at 7:48 AM wrote: "outsourcing tasks so they can spend more time with the kids as opposed to outsourcing the child rearing so they can do more of what they want to do."

You miss the point. Parents and children can spend time together while doing household tasks. It's a great opportunity to converse and to teach.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 7:57 AM

Working parents (and I'm one of them) outsource child care....and we have been down that road a million times. Outsourcing cleaning is ok too if it is affordable and a priority in your household. There is plenty of cleaning to do in between and it isn't going to make your kids grow up messy or lazy. It is called balance and priorities. If a SAHP wants to outsource cleaning who really cares...but the people on this blog. Sounds more like you want to punish the SAHP by making them do cleaning. Lighten up.

Posted by: The Irony | June 14, 2007 8:00 AM

I have to echo the previous posters about the value of making a nutritious dinner at home. We eat out or do take-out once a week, usually weekends, occasionally twice if my husband is travelling for work. I do outsource my housecleaning too and LOVE it! It's such a great feeling to have a clean house and still have time for the kids. I do clean in between too. But, the dinners are mostly on me and I like it.

During my dinner prep time, my daughter does her homework at the kitchen table so I can lend a hand when she needs it, quiz her on spelling, etc. My son plays happily by himself in the family room. I get great pleasure hearing him muttering to himself about putting his cars in the garage or whatever game he's invented. He has a good time and comes up to visit me here and there, get a quick hug and goes right back. It's a lovely time of day that I look forward to.

Posted by: PT Fed Mof2 | June 14, 2007 8:01 AM

When I took on the job of stay-at-home mom, the job description said applicate must take care of all aspects of the family's well-being. So, hey, if you can outsource the cleaning, good for you.

However, I think when I tell my daughter that I have some work to do first thing, then we can play, she is learning several great lessons. One, she's learning responsibility - everybody needs to clean up after themselves. Two, she's learning patience - I'll be with you in a minute. Finally, she's learning priorities - get it done and then relax.

While I find any food I don't have to cook to be a four-star experience, nutrition is huge for me. I want my daughter to make good choices for life. So, fat-laden, hfcs dripping take-out isn't what I think of as a good choice every day. Occasionally is great, but you have to think of the future.

So, as Rachael Ray says, if you can wait 30 mins for the pizza guy, you can make a heathly, flavorful meal. Here's the bonus, if your kid becomes a "cooker", you are having a great experience with the child plus teaching self reliance and food science.

Posted by: SAHM | June 14, 2007 8:01 AM

http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2005-06-15-stay-at-home-dad_x.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:01 AM

To The Irony: Children learn by family example -- or lack thereof.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 8:02 AM

"I agree with the previous posters, but it sure is nice to hear about someone outsourcing tasks so they can spend more time with the kids as opposed to outsourcing the child rearing so they can do more of what they want to do."

Why? It's none of your business.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:04 AM

We get the "deep clean" every 2 weeks - it saved our lives. Neither my husband or I are particularly organized - and with his crazy schedule we finally decided that if we wanted some order in our house we needed to outsource. Even if you get a cleaner every other week you still have to pick up and put away clutter and maintain - which is the hard part for us. The cleaner actually forces us to keep things organized. The night before the cleaner comes we spend 2-3 hours just getting the house ready to scrub.

The kids have chores and responsibilities and they see us constantly hustling. It was a sanity issue for us - either spend a whole weekend trying to clean the house or enjoy the kids - we wanted to have the free time.

As for eating out - not very often. It is too expensive and a trade off for the cleaner. Going out to eat is usually just for special occasions.

Posted by: cmac | June 14, 2007 8:07 AM

Wow. If you've got the disposable income to throw out on takeout food, maid services and whatever else, go for it; you're stimulating the economy!

But, for most everyone that is a fantasy that is simply not possible, even if you stop spending disposable income on everything else.

I don't seem to recall my mom needing to spend all her waking time finding ways to entertain us kids; she'd shoo us out the door, or if that didn't work, she'd hand us a broom and tell us to get busy!

Posted by: John L | June 14, 2007 8:07 AM

Why? It's none of your business.

If you put it out there, then I'm entitled to comment. Don't want someone to comment on your life, then don't post about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:08 AM

McDonalds and Burger King are bad for the kids, generally speaking.

But it is really unfair to imply that there are no take out foods that won't damage your kids, for those 1-2 nights/week where the unexpected happens and you can't cook, clean, bathe the kids and get them to sleep on the normal schedule.

Cooking is the easiest thing to outsource on those nights, and some baja fresh or chipotle:
http://www.dietfacts.com/search.asp?searchkey=Chipotle&page=2
isn't salad-type-healthy, but it ain't gonna kill you.

It is more nutritious than Hamburger Helper or Mac & Cheese or whatever other stuff you would slap together in a hurry on the nights you are running behind schedule.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:09 AM

To CMAC: Your example is what "balance" is about, especially when one parent has a non-traditional schedule -- "The kids have chores and responsibilities and they see us constantly hustling" -- whereas Brian said his friend "outsourced pretty much everything he could."

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 8:11 AM

I have a feeling this article is really going to tick people off.

There's an argument to be made for both sides. I'm a fan of 2x per month cleaning lady to do a deep clean, then do the basic upkeep yourself. That way, your kids (or spouse) still must do a fair amount of housework, but twice a month, you know your house will be really clean.

Posted by: notamom | June 14, 2007 8:32 AM

"I'm a fan of 2x per month cleaning lady to do a deep clean, then do the basic upkeep yourself. "

Why limit the cleaning lady to 2x per month?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:34 AM

I too think that children need chores, to feel like they are a part of the family and to feel like they are capable. As opposed to being a burden, having responsibility tells them that they are big kids who can be in charge of something. For people who aren't often in charge of much, it makes them feel good. They also learn the value of a job well done. I don't like scrubbing the toilets or the floors, but I want my kids to understand that someone has to do these things, fairies don't come and make everything nice. As far as the food is concerned, I'm not even going to enter the I feed my kids all organic you are poisoning them competition. I do my best.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 8:37 AM

I have to agree with what pretty much everybody else has said. I have my own spin, though: I *like* to cook, so breakfast prep and dinner prep is fun time - I see no reason to outsource that. (Yes, we do eat out once a week or so, for the break.) There have been periods where we've hired a service to come in and clean once a week; it was when I was traveling a lot so it let DW do the light cleaning daily and have the heavy stuff taken care of.

But the kids have always seen both of us cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, etc. They've seen me with the vegetable garden (my hobby; the rest of the family is told to keep their cotton-pickin' hands off my cucumbers unless I'm out of town) and DW with all of her flowerbeds (her hobby; I'll water if necessary but that's about it). They know that they there are always chores to be done; it's a part of living.

(Okay, so three of them are teenagers and you often have to kick-start them with their chores, but I was the same way at that age. :-)

Bottom line: outsourcing some stuff, if you can afford it, is understandable. Outsourcing everything, even if you can afford it, is totally ridiculous. And never, ever, outsource the fun stuff.

Posted by: Army Brat | June 14, 2007 8:38 AM

McDonalds and Burger King are bad for the kids, generally speaking.

"But it is really unfair to imply that there are no take out foods that won't damage your kids, for those 1-2 nights/week where the unexpected happens and you can't cook, clean, bathe the kids and get them to sleep on the normal schedule.

"It is more nutritious than Hamburger Helper or Mac & Cheese or whatever other stuff you would slap together in a hurry on the nights you are running behind schedule."

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 08:09 AM

That's because the employees put the hamburgers together. What we need is a new type of fast food franchise, run like a salad bar. The customer would start out by picking a bun from an assortment that included healthy whole wheat rolls as well as Squwooshy's 60%-air whitebread buns. Next, he would select one or two patties: red meat, or ground turkey, or textured soy protein. Then would come the toppings bar, featuring alfalfa sprouts and lettuce as well as sliced onions, relish, mustard, ketchup and yes, "special sauce." At the end of the bar would be the checkout, where the clerk would price the customer's creation.

There is a place in Towson called, "Build-a-Bear," where the customer can select a "skin," various items of clothing and accessories, shoes and the like. Then the staff stuff the bear, and the customer goes home with her own creation.

My fast food franchise would be called, "Build-a-Burger," in honor of the Bilderberg Hotel in Amsterdam, Holland. It would make the customers happy, but drive the conspiracy theorists nuts.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 8:40 AM

I think this presents an extreme example. I agree with the idea of doing what you can to minimize your workload and allow more time for the things you love.

We have a cleaning service every two weeks like CMAC described. We do have to do a good bit of de-cluttering and organizing before the crew comes to scrub the floors and bathrooms. We still have to clean the house in between the bi-weekly service so we parents get a break from some of the housework and the kids still get to help out with the in-between cleaning.

We don't do much in the way of takeout or dining out. We do use some convenience foods and I've also learned to make several items that will keep in the freezer for a couple of weeks and can be warmed up quickly.

I think buying your way out of household tasks is a good idea when you can afford it but like everything else, there is a balance to be achieved.

Posted by: Mom to 3 | June 14, 2007 8:40 AM

Why limit the cleaning lady to 2x per month?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 08:34 AM

Uh, money?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:41 AM

I really enjoy cooking - as does my DH - so we try to limit take out. I don't view cooking as a chore like I do cleaning and I'll admit, we have a cleaning service that comes in 2x/week.

And even then - I feel like we do a good amount of cleaning up. Even with a cleaner, we still pcik up toys/books/etc., do laundry, clean dishes, sweep up after our messy, sandbox-loving son, etc. Our children will therefore learn to clean up after themselves from that. But let's face it - how many children really should be cleaning toilets, mopping/sweeping floors, etc.? Maybe when they are older, but my children are still really young. They can't do these things and those are the things that our cleaner does.

I'm a big advocate for hiring cleaning people to the extent that people can afford it - with or without kids. Otherwise, you spend all your free time just trying to keep your house clean. Why not outsource so you can do the things you really enjoy?

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 8:47 AM

"Parents and children can spend time together while doing household tasks. It's a great opportunity to converse and to teach."

Hahahahahaha. Ah. So, catlady, when's the last time you scrubbed toilets with a screaming 4 month old and a toddler? "Gee Johnny, let's discuss the merits of the back and forth scrub. Isn't this a wonderous and joyous time for us all? If you'll just hold Jessica a moment, I'll sing you the 'let's fight bacteria' song over her 420 decibal crying!!! Yeah!!!!"

Posted by: Maybe on Fantasy Island | June 14, 2007 8:48 AM

Love the "Free To Be You And Me" reference! I have been know to say "Your father hates housework, your mother hates housework, and some day so will you." :-)

Having said that, of course, we go on to say "Hey, this family is a team and we all work together to get the chores done." And that includes cleaning, cooking, etc.

Posted by: dsb | June 14, 2007 8:49 AM

We are very fortunate and have a nanny, a cleaning service and a lawn service so that family time is not consumed by work around the house. That being said, our kids have chores, help with the cooking and other odds and ends. When they get old enough, they will do some laundry, some cooking, some yardwork etc. I believe that kids need to learn how to clean, cook, do laundry etc so that if they are not so fortunate to have the money that we do, they will be able to do what they need to do. We are also trying to teach our kids good financial sense too.

Just because you have someone(s) doing certain work around the house does not mean that kids do not learn to do things on their own

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:50 AM

"I'm a fan of 2x per month cleaning lady to do a deep clean, then do the basic upkeep yourself. "

Why limit the cleaning lady to 2x per month?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 08:34 AM

A decent cleaning service isn't cheap in many areas. I had the every-two-weeks service for the first year I went back to work, but it was about the same amount as a car payment, and I decided that I would prefer to spend that money on other things.

Also, take-out is expensive and, generally, unhealthy. Maybe it's just because I like to cook, but we only did take-out, or went out, once a week.

And the dad is not doing his kids any favors by spending all his waking moments catering to their every whim. He has the makings of a classic helicopter parent. Children benefit from having time to play creatively, alone. I wonder if his parents were overly attentive, or overly distant (which is something I wonder in general when I see helicopter parents in action).

I agree with WorkingMomX -- Brian's friend seems to get away with behavior that would be seen as laziness in a SAHM.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 8:51 AM

To Maybe on Fantasy Island: You think that millions of families with small children have never had clean toilets? Get real!

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 8:52 AM

No, I think it's not a 'great opportunity to converse and teach'.

Posted by: Fantasy Island | June 14, 2007 8:54 AM

"Cooking with kids is fun" - I hate cooking and doing it with kids doesn't make it fun.

While I agree with the idea that children need to learn to take care of themselves, I also agree with outsourcing. DH and I both work and can't afford to outsource cleaning or lawn service. We do grab take-out a few times per week. A fully cooked rotisserie chicken and salad bar from Giant or Safeway is nutritious. Take-out doesn't have to be fast food.

"So, as Rachael Ray says, if you can wait 30 mins for the pizza guy, you can make a heathly, flavorful meal" or you can use that 30 mins for something else. We both work and I would rather spend that time with the children I haven't seen all day than cooking - remember, I hate cooking, although I do it most of the time.

Actually, I find that most of the dual worker couples I know who can afford cleaning help do have it, and the families I know with SAHP can't usually afford it. For those who can't afford help and don't have a lot of time to do it themselves, well, we just live with a little more dirt and disorder in our lives :).

A different sort of outsourcing - car maintenance. I know only one person who actually changes their own oil- everyone else uses JiffyLube. Do you also think that everyone should change their own oil so that the kids see you doing it? I personally don't think so. My kids will learn that they should only get a car for which they can afford the upkeep, or learn to do it themselves later. Not everything we learn has to be learned in childhood.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:55 AM

catlady

"To Maybe on Fantasy Island: You think that millions of families with small children have never had clean toilets? Get real!"

Since you don't have any children, how do you know what goes in homes with small children?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:57 AM

Your attitudes reflect adversely on you. Kids need to learn the importance of taking responsibility for household cleanliness, as is age-appropriate.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 8:58 AM

OY! Who would want to spend ALL of their time all day every day caring for kids?????? And is it good for the kids to think that they are 100% the center of attention. Maybe outsource the work and eat take-out, if that's what you can afford, and if you want to. But volunteer, take a class, get out with friends and do some grown-up things! It's not healthy to focus ALL of your time and attention on the kids.

Posted by: Kattoo | June 14, 2007 8:58 AM

I think part of child rearing is giving them nutritous food and teaching them about healthy eating. If the guy has enough money for a cleaning service, good on him. But eating out most night a week is just abdication of parnetal duty (unless, of course, for some strange reason you literally have no other choice).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 8:59 AM

"But eating out most night a week is just abdication of parnetal duty (unless, of course, for some strange reason you literally have no other choice)."

Eating out and eating healthily are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:01 AM

"But let's face it - how many children really should be cleaning toilets, mopping/sweeping floors, etc.? Maybe when they are older, but my children are still really young"

They probably shouldn't be cleaning toilets, but there are a lot of organic cleaners out there that are safe for kids so my 6 year old can clean the counters. You could also give them swiffers to do the floors (my kids actually fight over that), swiffers are also good for the baseboards and since the kids are low its easier for them. A wet sponge can be used to wipe down the bathroom counter and for some unknown reason, they like doing windows. Granted the quality of the work often leaves soemthing to be desired. My kids are 4 and 6. I just wanted to give you tips, no snark intended at all in this post.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:02 AM

"If the guy has enough money for a cleaning service, good on him. But eating out most night a week is just abdication of parnetal "

I sincerely hope that English is not your first language...

Posted by: Elaine | June 14, 2007 9:02 AM

Also, I began teaching the boys to help out at a pretty young age. They were making their beds in kindergarten, dusting their rooms by second grade, running a vacuum by fourth, and cleaning the bathroom they use by sixth.

By high school, we had divided the house into zones, and they each had their areas to clean -- and they did NOT get allowance for cleaning the house, or for cutting the grass. Around here, chores were what each of us did to maintain our living space.

They did get an allowance, but it was not tied to helping out around the house. I gave them allowance to help them understand money management and budgeting. The money from me stopped when they became able to earn money on their own.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:03 AM

educmom

You sound like a barrel of laughs to live with! Sheesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:07 AM

Well actually some parents have the opposite view about out sourcing. One of my friends, who comes from a dual income household, out sources her cleaning tasks. When her 6 year old daughter asked her why she doesn't scrub toilets like the women on TV, she said because I am spend my time doing something more important (ie her paid work). Her daughter's reply was, " I want to do something more important when I grow up too." Again, her lesson for her daughter was, you can spend the little time on your earth doing something mentally stimulating (paid professional work) or something menial (labor work). Not my opinion on the subject but I just throw it out there that people view this very differently. BTW, her daughter does clean her room and does other chores around the house. Having a cleaning lady once a week has not interferred with her daughter learning how to do some basic cleaning tasks.

Posted by: adoptee | June 14, 2007 9:07 AM

Geez, we both work, and we still can't afford to outsource everything like that. How does a family with one income afford all these services?

Posted by: ratgirlny | June 14, 2007 9:07 AM

"Hahahahahaha. Ah. So, catlady, when's the last time you scrubbed toilets with a screaming 4 month old and a toddler? "

Of course with infants and toddlers, cleaning the bathroom with the children isn't a good idea. But it won't be long before the children CAN and WANT tohelp. My 4 year old son likes to fold towels - who am I to deny him? When he was 2, he wanted to vacuum, so I found a Bissell working vacuum cleaner and he vacuumed when I vacuumed.

Including them in the household chores doesn't just teach them specific skills, it helps them feel like a necessary part of the family unit - they feel important. The focus shifts from the child to the family whereas if you offload all the chores so you can spend time with the children, the focus is on the children.

Even now, both children (now 9 and 4) help with polishing, sweeping, mopping (!) and dusting. My daughter and I have started going to My Girlfriend's Kitchen together to put together some dinners. It's actually an extremely fun activity to do with your school-aged child and we get "fast food" dinners for a few nights.

With just one income, 2x a month maid service isn't a high priority. I'd rather use the money for other things but I can definitely see using one.

Posted by: Slacker Mom | June 14, 2007 9:07 AM

Interesting topic, but also applicable to dual income parents. My wife and I struggle with this at times as she likes to cook elaborate dinners and also makes organic meals for the baby. I appreciate it, but sometimes would rather she just hang out with me and/or baby since we have such limited time together. We do outsource cleaning which helps. I also feel guilty at times when we leave the baby alone to play while we do other things- it's just harder knowing you have only a few hours together, but at the same time you're tired from work...

Posted by: JDS | June 14, 2007 9:07 AM

My kids are 4 and 6. I just wanted to give you tips, no snark intended at all in this post.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:02 AM

Serious question for 9:02 - Are you SAH? I ask because I work full time and by the time kids are picked up from day care, everyone is hungry and it is so much easier and faster to do it by yourself, that is what we tend to do most of the time during the week. Weekends are spent running errands, grocery shopping (one goes without kids, the other stays home for one-on-one fun time with kids), time with grandparents, etc. I know there are a lot of transplanted people, but when you have grown up here and all friends and family are here, then there tends to be more time spent with them - see someone every weekend, not every few months.

I feel like we see our kids so little as it is that the time we do have with them, we don't want it all to be work.

Posted by: serious question | June 14, 2007 9:08 AM

Off topic, but a HUGE revelation for me. I'm a working mom. I work full-time, have to. But I was always lamenting the fact that I can't stay home...I'd clean, bake cookies, whatever! Well, lately, I've had some time off and have gotten a taste of staying at home. And what I realized is that the grass isn't always greener. If I'm home I'm a lot less productive. I procrastinate, things are messier, and just take me longer than if I have less time to do them. Plus, it's very isolating to be at home all the time...and there's only so much visiting with the neighbors that you can do. Of course, if I was truly a stay at home mom, I would volunteer, take classes, and find other interests to do. So...would my child be better off with me home (he's in school, and camp in the summer...so probably not)? Would the house be better off with me home? Probably not. Would I feel better being at home all the time? Probably not. So my revelation is that I'm going to appreciate the life I have! I have a good job, nice pay, some regularly scheduled work at home days, good hours, nice co-workers, and a short commute. I have a cleaning person, which we can afford because I work. We can outsource some of the heavy yard work, carpet, cleaning, etc. because I work and we have the money to do that. And I know my child isn't suffering! In fact, yesterday I saw a stay at home mom and lamented for a second that I wish I was a stay at home mom, too. Then, I stopped myself and said--NO I DON'T!!!!!! I have a very good life...and instead of wishing I had what I don't have...I'm going to enjoy it!!!!!!!

Posted by: Kattoo | June 14, 2007 9:09 AM

In the same vein as outsourcing cooking...

Has anyone in the DC area tried Let's Dish (I think that's what it's called) or the similar places? You go and compile maybe 8 or however many meals, enough to feed 4-6 people, and then you go home and freeze them until they're needed? I think the dollar value of the meals increase if you buy more meals. But I'm reluctant to shell out a bunch of money upfront if the food is bad.

Anyone done this? Thanks!

Posted by: APL | June 14, 2007 9:10 AM

We have someone come clean twice a wk and that started when I was a sahm. Dh knew that wasn't my strong suit and we did that so we could have a clean house. It is great. The house is big and as my mom said: if I couldn't afford to have someone clean it, I wouldn't have the big house.

As for the eating, when I sah'd, I started to cook more. Now it's a little less healthy, but we don't eat out so much-maybe even less now. It's a huge hassle with two kids- I might as well cook something than wrestle with them.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 9:11 AM

To serious question - sorry, I forgot to "sign" my post. Yes, I'm a SAHM. I can't speak for how dual income families structure their work. But, if you are loading the dishwasher, then put a cloth on the swiffer or give them a wet mop and let them go to it. I'm continually surprised at how much they like it and how good they feel when they have helped.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 9:13 AM

Yeah, I was a real b***. Imagine asking children to devote one whole hour a week to cleaning up the house! And ANOTHER whole hour to taking care of the lawn in the summer! I even occasionally asked them to empty the pool filter baskets and -- horrors -- clean up dog poop!!!

And I didn't just hand them everything they asked for! I made them learn the difference between need and want!

In fact, I was SUCH an awful mother that the actually thank me for all the life lessons they learned from their Dickensian upbringing! I'm sure I have damaged them for life!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:14 AM

I think Mike's approach sends the wrong message to his kids: life IS NOT always all about them. Parents won't always be there every second of every day. How will the kids ever learn to cook or clean? What will happen when they graduate H.S. and head off to college or their job? I think Mike's approach is harming his kids, giving them the message that it is all about them. Once his kids get in the real world, they won't be able to cope, because they weren't taught how.

Posted by: Not a good balance | June 14, 2007 9:14 AM

"Has anyone in the DC area tried Let's Dish (I think that's what it's called) or the similar places? "

Good grief! How hard can it be to learn how to cook and freeze nutritious meals yourself? The public library and the Net are loaded with FREE info!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:16 AM

I think Mike just found a way to justify not doing all the junk he doesn't feel like doing. Hmmmm...the kids are getting more quality time, and I don't have to cook or scrub bathrooms.

Posted by: TO: Not a good balance | June 14, 2007 9:16 AM

Check the Post's archive of food articles.

Posted by: To APL | June 14, 2007 9:17 AM

Edumom - I'm with you! Its important to be family centered not child centered.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 9:17 AM

"The focus shifts from the child to the family whereas if you offload all the chores so you can spend time with the children, the focus is on the children"

If you are spending time with the children, how is that not focusing on the family? Spending that time doing only what the children want might be focusing on the children, but spending time doing things that are not necessarily child-centered would be focusing on the family. for example, if you are biking, walking, reading, visiting library, exploring the state park, those would be family activities not just child activities. I would rather spend my time doing those things than cleaning house.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:18 AM

In reality, we all do what we feel like doing. If we like to clean, cook, and teach the kids how to do the same, we do. Or, if you're like someone I know, you find reasons to sit on your butt, let trees and weeds galore grow in your yard...and referee the kids fights!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:19 AM

educmom

You sound like a barrel of laughs to live with! Sheesh!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:07 AM

Of course! Parents are supposed to spend all their time amusing the children.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:19 AM

catlady, with all due respect, I think you must not realize how much cleaning still needs to be done even with a cleaning service. Do you think cleaners do laundry, pick up toys every night, etc.? Cleaners do things like vacuum, dust, clean the toilets, mop. I still do those things as well - I just can do "surface" cleaning in 5-10 minutes. A cleaning service just makes it so that I don't need to spend one of my two days off each week doing hard core cleaning (or - leaving my home a complete mess). And for those of you who say - gee, a teenager needs to learn to clean toilets. Give me a break. How hard to you people think it is to clean a toilet? Is it really something that children need to learn at an early age in order to understand the virtues of hard work? IMO, no.

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 9:20 AM

Ignore the naysayers...you sould like a VERY GOOD MOM!!!!! Keep up the good parenting. :-)

Posted by: to educmom | June 14, 2007 9:21 AM

Dual income, with kids.

They have chores. One child has mastered the art of self-defensive cooking.

No cleaning service, I'm afraid. Very rarely do we go out to eat. I'm not afraid to have people come over, but I do appreciate a heads-up so we can get in some touch-up vacuuming and setting a fire under children's butts to remove their detritus from public display. (What's this? A debris field? Pick it up or I'm throwing it away!)

I was noting that I sometimes hit pitches that only the dogs can hear, #1 child promptly gave me a new nickname, "Old Yeller". I like it! The book and the audiotape always made me cry (I didn't care much for the movie).

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 9:21 AM

Good grief! How hard can it be to learn how to cook and freeze nutritious meals yourself? The public library and the Net are loaded with FREE info!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:16 AM

Maybe the person had Mike and his wife for parents, so never learned at home while growing up.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:22 AM

We have always had a cleaning lady once/month. We can barely afford that, but I'd really rather not scrub toilets and baseboards.
We do the routine cleaning together each day- Swiffer (we have a cat) our hardwood floors, clean up the toys, wipe down the kitchen counter and bathroom surfaces.

But the heavy stuff can be done by professional!

As far as take -out goes- if a SAHM were getting take out each night she'd be burned at the stake!!
Only SAHDs have the luxury to even THINK of not cleaning and cooking each day.

We get take out once/week and go out to a restaurant once/week. Pizza night we make it ourselves.

It's really not that difficult to come up w/ 4 other options each week: Pasta, baked chicken, Mexican taco night, Asian stir fry night.

Th above things take 10 minutes of prep, at most and cook in 10-20 m inutes.

Kids love to cook, as well, so it's more fun than a "chore" for them!

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | June 14, 2007 9:24 AM

I think Mike just found a way to justify not doing all the junk he doesn't feel like doing.

What a sweet racket. And his wife fell for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:24 AM

I have done Let's Dish a few times. The food is actually very good, and it's fun. You can leave out ingredients or add a bit more spice, and most recipes can be easily split in half.

My dad is a tax accountant, and my mom works for him, and March is the businest month in the busy season. They both have late February birthdays, so my sister and I went to Let's Dish & made dinners for them for March. The idea was a big hit, so I think we're going to do it next year as well. I think sis goes once a month. On Saturday mornings, they even have free scones and coffee or tea.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:24 AM

Y'know if you don't want to cook meals, don't cook! Will that mean the kids will grow up not knowing how to, or not liking to cook? Who the heck knows, and who the heck cares. Either they'll follow in dads footsteps and eat takeout for the rest of their lives. Or, they'll decide they would rather eat homemade meals, and they'll take a cooking course. BUT it surely doesn't matter how a parent feeds their children as long as they feed them...and it's reasonably nutritious!

Posted by: Jeez... | June 14, 2007 9:24 AM

"Ignore the naysayers...you sould like a VERY GOOD MOM!!!!! Keep up the good parenting. :-)

And the moral judging!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:26 AM

"If the guy has enough money for a cleaning service, good on him. But eating out most night a week is just abdication of parnetal "

I sincerely hope that English is not your first language...

How rude, I like you better when you are not here.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:26 AM

Has anyone in the DC area tried Let's Dish (I think that's what it's called) or the similar places? You go and compile maybe 8 or however many meals, enough to feed 4-6 people, and then you go home and freeze them until they're needed? I think the dollar value of the meals increase if you buy more meals. But I'm reluctant to shell out a bunch of money upfront if the food is bad.

Good grief! How hard can it be to learn how to cook and freeze nutritious meals yourself? The public library and the Net are loaded with FREE info!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:16 AM

Easy with the hysteria. It sounds as though they have all the ingredients there, prepped and ready to assemble. Some people may not trust themselves with knives. Maybe there are people who can give you tips on what works with other ingredients and what doesn't. It even sounds as though it COULD have some social value. It may be a nice intermediate step for someone who is really unsure of their culinary skills (or is saddled with extraordinarily picky eaters [I say they aren't hungry enough!]).

But no, I haven't used it or done it.

Why not go check it out for yourself before you try it? If it looks like a dive, don't bother. Always check out the bathrooms--if they are scary, keep going! If they'll let you see their kitchen and where/how they prep the food, that is a plus. Check out the refrigeration & freezers. Make certain that the raw chicken is on the BOTTOM shelf, not dripping blood from above, for example.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 9:27 AM

Kattoo-i hear ya! I was sah for 3 1/2 yrs and couldn't wait to go bakc to work. And sometimes at work I thin: wouldn't it be nice to sah? But then I remember, it wasn't that much fun. *and* yes, I am way more productive now. I don't go to the supermarket 10 x a week or target 2x a wk or whatever-we're way more efficient. And the kids like to do that anyway-so we take them along. It's that I'm actually *less* stressed. Of course we had a nanny until recently and now we have an au pair but if those things didn't make sense, I don't think I'd have gone back to work.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 9:28 AM

"Ignore the naysayers...you sould like a VERY GOOD MOM!!!!! Keep up the good parenting. :-)

And the moral judging!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:26 AM

THAT WAS MY COMPLIMENT...AND YOU RUINED IT!!!!! NOW, STOP IT!

Posted by: stop it... | June 14, 2007 9:28 AM

Maryland Mother:
One child has mastered the art of self-defensive cooking.

LOL! I assume the culinary arts aren't exactly your thing...

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:29 AM

Educmom's approach sounds like the one my parents used, except we were cleaning bathrooms younger (definitely by the time I was 8). We also had a rotating system of chores to do each day, as well as our chores on the weekend. Somehow, we still managed to find time to spend together, we all learned how to do chores well and all learned how to cook. (Both parents were involved in housekeeping; Dad tended to cook more often than Mom, and Dad was the former cleaner who showed us how to REALLY clean a bathroom.)

I think Mike's approach is terrible. He's spending every ounce of energy on the kids? Somehow, I doubt he can without driving them (and himself) crazy. I'd like to get a 2x/month cleaner to help, but I agree with those who say that you can't eat nothing but takeout and get a healthy and varied diet. And where will the kids learn to cook?

Posted by: Clever moniker | June 14, 2007 9:32 AM

I love to cook. I dont have the time that I would love to devote to it, but there have been weekends where the kids help me make homemade pasta. They really like that and my husband and I love the results!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:32 AM

Hey...I was just thinking about you, and wondering if you'd be posting today. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

For me, it was a HUGE eureka moment to realize that being at home all the time isn't eutopia! And so much better to realize that I can enjoy the life I have, instead of lamenting.

In fact, I often wondered why the next-door-neighbor (a SAHM's) house is always a wreck, her gardens are overgrown with weeds, and she's at home! BUT...give me a few days at home, and boy do I become a slob, too :-) I think I'm just one of those people that needs a little time pressure to get my butt in gear. Plus, I like the social aspect of work.

Posted by: to: Atlmom | June 14, 2007 9:32 AM

To APL:

Yes, I've done Let's Dish in the past. Some dishes are better than others. You do have flexibility in preparing the dishes so you can tailor them to your tastes to a certain extent. The downside for me was remembering to take the meal out of the freezer the day before and two of my kids have food allergy and I'm not comfortable just leaving out the nuts in the dish.

I have found it just as easy to make stuff at home and freeze it. Lasagna, quesadillas, meatloaf, meatballs & tomato sauce, buffalo-style chicken, etc.

Posted by: Mom to 3 | June 14, 2007 9:33 AM

Hey...I was just thinking about you, and wondering if you'd be posting today. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

For me, it was a HUGE eureka moment to realize that being at home all the time isn't eutopia! And so much better to realize that I can enjoy the life I have, instead of lamenting.

In fact, I often wondered why the next-door-neighbor (a SAHM's) house is always a wreck, her gardens are overgrown with weeds, and she's at home! BUT...give me a few days at home, and boy do I become a slob, too :-) I think I'm just one of those people that needs a little time pressure to get my butt in gear. Plus, I like the social aspect of work.

Posted by: to: Atlmom | June 14, 2007 09:32 AM

Posted by: I meant to sign my name: Kattoo | June 14, 2007 9:34 AM

"Good grief! How hard can it be to learn how to cook and freeze nutritious meals yourself?"

Good grief, anonymous person! I didn't say I don't know how to cook! It's a convenience thing (my husband and I both work outside the home).

Thank YOU, Educmom, for your detailed response to my question.

Posted by: APL | June 14, 2007 9:35 AM

I'm a very good baker, but day-to-day cooking bores me to tears. And since their father used to like to cook, it was his thing. He has since abdicated it in favour of...I don't know what, exactly. Sulking. I do wish he would go back to taking his lithium and lamictal. But I digress.

Anyway, I prefer spicy food, the kids don't. I hate macaroni and cheese, one of them can't get enough of it.

When I was growing up, I would open the fridge door and see a grilled cheese sandwich. My father would open it up, see the same ingredients, find an old bottle of beer, and we'd have welsh rarebit (rabbit?).

No, I'm not a creative cook. I'm just as happy with steamed vegetables and a sandwich as I would be with the fanciest of foods. Or lentil soup. I do like sushi, and that is one thing I do not want to make at home. Well, not the sushi with fish inside. I do make some of the other rolls, with no raw ingredients.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 9:36 AM

It's funny how one tends to get lazy, instead of being productive, when one has more free time. I go through that during the summers. I have all these projects I'm going to tackle...tomorrow, because the sun's out today, and the pool looks so inviting, and they're calling for rain later this week, and...it's all I can do to complete my planning overview for the upcoming school year.

I remember something Jerry Seinfeld said to an interviewer after his show ended -- he said it was amazing how busy he was doing nothing.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:39 AM

I have to scrub the toilet each week so my kids know how? How dumb do you think my children are that they can't learn to scrub a toilet in under 15 seconds?

I'm thinking forward to when my kids are off on their own. I would much rather have them look at their first toilet and think, "Gee, I wonder how you clean this thing?" than to think, "Gee, I wonder who my father was?"

So, yes, I buy time. I do not clean my house. I do not mind that it sends the message: "Daddy would rather play with me than scrub the toilet."

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 9:39 AM

So, if time with the kids is the really the absolute, primary goal, you should be able find the cash for a quick Chipotle run.

Regarding Brian's friend--I find the whole notion of constantly spending time with my children rather stifling.

I would imagine they would appreciate a reprieve from me too.

At least that's what I tell myself when I order them outside to play and lock the doors on them. Do not come back until you're tired. Here's a dog. But you damn well better be within the sound of my voice.

We do have family game night (with another family). The latest game submission is "Kill Doctor Lucky". I still prefer "Run for Your Life, Gingerbread Man!" Or something like that. THAT one was good, clean, twisted fun.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 9:41 AM

Here is my question: The mom who has to work probably still has to do kid stuff at night and on the weekends, plus work a full time job. The dad who doesn't work gets to play with the kids all day and outsource everything using money that could be spent on other things the family may need? The kids learn that if they don't want to do something, they just pay someone else to do it and life is just one big play date after another with dad?

If I was the wife I would not be happy. Also, don't these kids nap, play alone or with other children, watch TV, study, read, etc, etc. What does he do while they are doing these things? I think kids need to learn how to clean the house, do laundry, cook, and in general, help out and work as a team.

The dad has a good deal, but I wonder how everyone would feel if it was the mom who did nothing but take care of the kids all day.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 9:41 AM

My mom was a fabulous cook- but really didn't think it was necessary to teach us (three daughters) to cook. Or clean. Her main goal was that we have the opportunities she did not have and that we go to college. So we'd have gourmet meals nightly but didn't know much about boiling water.
I enjoy cooking if I have the time, but that's rare- but my oldest ds loves to help out in the kitchen.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 9:41 AM

In fact, here's some information on it, including the correct name:

REVIEW OF RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, CANDYMAN

When the concept of Run For Your Life, Candyman! (Smirk & Dagger Games, 2005 - Curt Covert) was explained to me, I just started to laugh. During my first game of it everyone was laughing pretty much the entire time. It's not like Candyman is a great game. In fact, it's not even a good game! It's just that the concept of the game is so ludicrous (Candyland mixed with Battletech) that one cannot help but laugh. The game is downright silly, and I doubt we'll ever see Candyland at the World Boardgaming Championships.

Now as to whether you should own the game or not - that depends. If you're someone who loves the humor in Munchkin and other such games and don't really care about gameplay, then Candyman might be right up your alley. Or, if you want a game on your shelf to sardonically bring out the moment anyone mentions Candyland, again - this may be for you. The latter reason is why I'll hang on to the game - it's just so preposterous in its premise, and the gameplay is a bit over the top. Gamers will most likely despise it; people who like oddities will gladly want it.

Each player plays a gingerbread man and is given a sheet representing their man with a grid of six squares printed on each arm, leg, and chest and seven squares on the head. Players put their man on the Start space of a board that looks like Candyland drawn by someone on drugs. Apparently, players have discovered that the "joy" which is Candyland is really a place of horror, where people eat young cookie guys and must escape to the end. Along the way, they are beating the snot out of each other with whatever weapons they can find and avoiding the pitfalls along the way. Two stacks of cards are shuffled - one "Dash 'n' Bash and one Special Treat deck - and placed face-down by the board. The top card from the Dash deck is flipped over until a card with a single piece of candy is shown. That card is placed near the board to show that if a player draws a card with that piece of candy on it, they receive a Special Treat Card.

The oldest player goes first with each player going clockwise. On a turn a player draws a Dash card for movement, taking a Special Treat card if applicable. Most Dash cards show one or two pieces of candy (same or different). A player must move along the path (either backwards or forwards), moving to a space that matches the candy icon on the card. When there are two different candy icons, the player may move to them in the order of their choice. If a player lands on a candy that has a "drop" (like a chute from "Chutes and Ladders"), they move to the corresponding space.

Now, as a player moves, they may take a potshot at each and every person they pass or land on. For each person they are attacking, a player turns over a Dash card. The candy shown thereupon corresponds to a part of a gingerbread's body (for example, chocolate bars equal the right arm). One square is crossed out for each damage taken; and when all the squares on one section are crossed out, that part of the body is TORN off and thrown away. If a section of the body that has been destroyed is hit again nothing happens. If the Dash card is a special card, the player may do two damage to the body part of their choice.

When moving, if a player turns over a Dash card that shows a character on it, they transport to the matching spot on the board (can't make any attacks unless they land on someone). If a player turns over a "Candy Cage Match", they move to the nearest Cage Match space and initiate one. In a Candy Cage Match the challenger moves any other player to the same spot, and both attack each other by drawing the top card from the Dash deck and applying damage to their opponent. This continues until one of the players draws a card that has a piece of candy on it that matches the space where the Cage Match is occurring - at which point the match ends.

The Special Treat cards can be played whenever indicated on each card. Some of them are weapons that allow extra or special damage. These weapons are often "equipped" on a specific arm, and if that arm is destroyed so is the weapon. Other cards avoid attacks or allow extra movement.

The last nine spaces on the track are the zone of "The Twins" (greedy psychopathic children). Any player whose token is on one of these spaces at the beginning of their turn takes four cards worth of attacks. The first player to make it to the final space wins the game! Also (and more likely), the first player to eliminate all competition also wins.

You really need 4+ players to get this thing rolling. I made our gingerbread cookies beforehand, got the kids to decorate them, and then we got to slaughter them!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 9:43 AM

You can add me to the "Mike is lazy and just found an excuse for stuff he didn't want to do" pile. If all that was involved in keeping a family afloat is watching the children, sounds like a sweet gig. Raising responsible adults is a huge undertaking, and it involves showing them how to keep a family afloat. That involves folding laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and yes - toilets.

I have long had a problem with the attitude of many purportedly "modern" men who only want to do the chores they don't hate, and want to be prodigiously thanked for doing them. So much of what is involved in "at home" is thankless and people do it because it has to be done. The boost that men get from having a wife at home is that EVERYTHING is taken care of so that they can focus. What is Mike's wife getting for the economic cost of having him at home? She's paying for EVERYTHING but a nanny.

I am absolutely all for putting housework on the back burner - our house is not spectacularly clean (dust bunnies have slowly evolved into dust elephants in some places) - and I am also for a maid every other week for the heavy stuff I might not otherwise get time to do.

But who exactly does Mike think he's fooling? I work 50-70 hour weeks, and come home to do laundry, dishes, homework, and all of the other chores that have to get done.

Here's a revelation for Mike: nobody likes cleaning toilets. Especially anybody with a man in the house - they tend to be nasty (in a two foot radius). But I find I can sweep through the house in a concentrated 2 hours and knock out those odious chores while the kids (and yes, usually my lazy husband) are napping. Because I'm not lazy, and don't have to dress up finding some chores beneath me as just "better priorities." Rather than sink to doing the "women's work" he just hired another woman to do it. He might want to examine his "modern sensitive guy" credentials a little more closely.

There, rant finished.

Posted by: bad mommy | June 14, 2007 9:43 AM

What would happen if you stopped cleaning your toilets? Would they get really gross? Or would the flushings keep them clean enough? Now, what if you had that blue flush stuff in the toilets, and kept sanitary wipes on the toilet lid so people could clean the toilets themselves after they use them? Then, would toilets still need to be scrubbed?

Posted by: Question... | June 14, 2007 9:46 AM

In a way Mike is doing what the wealthy have always done - outsourcing the work - except I guess if you are the Hilton's or the Gates it is a live in maid & cook & butler...

I wonder what he plans on doing with his time when the kids are in preschool, school, playing w/ friends, etc.? Or do a I see a helicopter dad in their future?

Comment on let's dish - for my daughter and her father it was a good transition from the very limited cooking he can do and the froz. foods he preferred (he doesn't want to learn to cook). She has become a decent cook, but when she first started I would get these calls around 5-6 with "The recipe says... does that mean I do..." Cooking lessons by phone. Yes she was learning to cook at my place too, but I was usually in the kitchen at the same time making something else, or doing another step so she was used to having me answer questions.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 14, 2007 9:46 AM

Bob

"How dumb do you think my children are that they can't learn to scrub a toilet in under 15 seconds?"

My kids both learned how to clean a bathroom the first week they were in college dorms. You're right. It's not rocket science. There is barely enough room for my fat a$s in my bathroom, without adding pupils.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:47 AM

Are you deliberately dense, or is it that you can't help it? It's not just about teaching your child HOW to do a chore, but the sense of responsibility for it. Your comments are all rationalizations to get out of doing chores you don't like. Be an adult and grow a pair.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 9:48 AM

Bad mommy,

I agree with you completely.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:49 AM

Instructions
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Steps
1Step OneOpen the bathroom windows and door, or turn on the fan. You need good ventilation when working with household cleaners.
2Step TwoPut on rubber gloves and lift the toilet seat. Flush the toilet to wet the sides of the bowl.
3Step Three Click to enlargeApply a generous amount of powder or liquid toilet cleaner to the bowl, focusing on getting it along the sides, not just in the water. Be sure to follow the directions for your type of toilet bowl cleaner.
4Step FourLet the cleaner stand for a minute.
5Step Five Click to enlargeUsing the toilet brush, swab all around the interior of the bowl, paying special attention to the area immediately beneath the rim, and to the water line.
6Step SixFlush the toilet to rinse. As the water in the bowl is replaced, thoroughly rinse the toilet brush in the incoming water.
7Step SevenNotice if the toilet bowl has developed a ring. If it has, scrub the stain with a wet pumice stone. Be sure the pumice remains wet throughout the process.
8Step Eight Click to enlargeSpray the seat, the underside of the seat and the rim with disinfectant.
9Step NineWipe down the base, lid and tank top with disinfectant.
10Step TenAllow the disinfectant to dry before using the toilet.
Tips & Warnings
Never mix cleaners. The fumes could be deadly.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:50 AM

OK, how will Mike justify take out every night and a cleaning service when the kids go to school. I do most of my deep cleaning on the one day of the week I am off and my daughter is in three hours of preschool. I do generally pick up during the week. But I also find I can clean the house pretty well in 2 hours and still have time to run an errand or two. Anyway, Mike sounds like he has a sweet deal. Can't imagine getting away with it.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 9:51 AM

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:50 AM

You forgot to add how long it takes and how many calories it burns!

Feel the burn, Mike!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:52 AM

"Your comments are all rationalizations to get out of doing chores you don't like. Be an adult and grow a pair."

Would you be this harsh on a woman doing exactly the same thing?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:55 AM

When I got married, I was not a good cook -- my mom made my sister and I do chores, but she never let us near the kitchen (except to unload the dishwasher). I did borrow her Mastering the Art of French Cooking book to make "date" dinners. Consequently, I could make coq au vin and coquilles st. Jaques, but I couldn't fry chicken, assemble meat loaf, or cook a roast to any doneness other than shoe leather.

I wanted to learn, so I got the Better Homes & Gardens plaid cookbook and taught myself how to cook everyday food. I'm really good at it now -- so much so that I end up feeding half the neighborhood. I'm the 'mom with a job that cooks.' I don't use recipes anymore, unless it's something new. It's almost a hobby -- I love, love, LOVE to cook, so that's how I choose to spend my time.

When the boys move out permanently, I'm going to give them each a plaid cookbook, so they can understand what I've been doing all these years. They will have to live on something other than grilled cheese, PBJ, EasyMac, dagwoods, fried eggs, and sliced apples.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 9:56 AM

Mike is lazy. There is nothing wrong with having to do things you don't want to do. Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I bet his wife has to do things she doesn't enjoy. like clean up after her lazy husband after working all day on weeks the cleaning lady doesn't come.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 9:56 AM

Okay, I know this is not what Mike said, but changing the scenerio a little, what if Mike stayed at home, outsourced cooking, cleaning and yard work but instead of being a helicopter parent, he volunteered at the school, ran the fundraisers, shuttled kids to all games, helped with homework etc.? Would that make a difference to people's opinions?

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 9:57 AM

educmom

"my mom made my sister and I"

!!!!

Are you really a teacher?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:58 AM

"Here's a revelation for Mike: nobody likes cleaning toilets."

*meekly raises hand* I like cleaning toilets. Seriously, that and laundry are the two chores I actually enjoy. But I do understand and agree with your point. There are chores that nobody likes to do, but we still have to do them. For me, it's cleaning the bathtub and shower stall. Seems like a never-ending, backbreaking chore to me, and I hate it.

Posted by: APL | June 14, 2007 9:58 AM

"Your comments are all rationalizations to get out of doing chores you don't like. Be an adult and grow a pair."

Would you be this harsh on a woman doing exactly the same thing?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 09:55 AM

SOciety would much more harsh on the woman in Mike's situation.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 9:58 AM

Eek! The typo and grammar police are going to get me for that post!

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 9:58 AM

To kattoo: and here I thought I had a secret admirer!

To someone who did the make some meals for mom and dad: my mil used to be a teacher and we were living with them after ds was born due to construction on our house (you think you know what causes babies? It's a contractor and architectural plans). The last few weeks of school she apparently orders out every night cause she is too busy and tired to cook (dh and I made a few meals, but she didn't care if we did or not). Ds only drank formula and breast milk, so he didn't care. So we ate out all those nights for almost a month (we stayed with them for about 3 months).

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 9:59 AM

Are you deliberately dense, or is it that you can't help it? It's not just about teaching your child HOW to do a chore, but the sense of responsibility for it. Your comments are all rationalizations to get out of doing chores you don't like. Be an adult and grow a pair.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 09:48 AM

Let me get this straight. You are telling me to "grow a pair" by donning a maid's uniform, getting down on my hands and knees, and scrubbing the toilet bowl?

What's the weather like on your planet?

Why do I need to teach my kids responsibility for doing a chore? I'm sure that they'll figure out pretty quickly what happens to a toilet if it's not cleaned regularly. Not every single one of life's lessons has to come from daddy.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:00 AM

Marie- That's OK. It envisioning him watching TV and playing video games and making a mess of the house and expecting others to clean up after him that's the problem.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 10:00 AM

instead of being a helicopter parent, he volunteered at the school, ran the fundraisers, shuttled kids to all games, helped with homework etc.? Would that make a difference to people's opinions?

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 09:57 AM

That IS being a helicopter parent!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:01 AM

Hey, atlmom, how's it going with the au pair?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 14, 2007 10:01 AM

I bet you also do a half-a$$ job on any chores you DO take on in hopes your wife will tell you not to bother anymore.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 10:03 AM

I agree with those who think modeling tidy behavior for your kids, like cleaning the bathroom or kitchen, is a good use of parenting time. Kids mimic what they see.

I'm too fussy about food to do takeout that often. However, you can do pretty good food at home without devoting a lot of time to it. It helps if you have a clue about cooking -- a good reason to cook at home so you're kids will also have a clue.

You should do things your love and drag your kids along. I pay for all car maintenance because I don't love it, but if your enjoy working on cars then you'd be doing your kids a favor by letting them see you do it and maybe learn a bit about it.

I find the cleaning service is a good schedule builder with my family. Everybody has to pick-up before she comes, so it gives us a deadline. I feel like it saves me a lot of "why do I have to do this now" grief.

Posted by: RoseG | June 14, 2007 10:04 AM

educmom

"my mom made my sister and I"

!!!!

Are you really a teacher?

F-you it is a blog. Are you really a person? If so, I fear for your children.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:04 AM

Guys there is sort of an in between approach. Live with your house a little less clean then desirable. Your kids will not remember or appreciate that you dusted once a week when they are grown. Personally that is my approach. I would love to get a cleaning lady one day but for now, we can't justify the expense. So I do the deep cleaning while my kid is in preschool and quick clean ups during the week. But frankly, we live with the junk mail piling up in the dining room until I can't stand it and throw it out. DD's art projects often end up on the floor of the rec room, till I throw them out a month later. Again, the best quote ever " I am keeping the bar low for everyone."(moxiemom).

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 10:04 AM

Why do I need to teach my kids responsibility for doing a chore?

Isn't that called parenting? Who does clean the toilet in your house, anyway? Or does anyone clean the toilet?

Enquiring minds, and all that.

Posted by: to Bob | June 14, 2007 10:05 AM

You are telling me to "grow a pair" by donning a maid's uniform, getting down on my hands and knees, and scrubbing the toilet bowl?

I likee!

Posted by: Nigel | June 14, 2007 10:06 AM

Eek! The typo and grammar police are going to get me for that post!

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 09:58 AM

Yeah, they're here -- got me for the ONE time I didn't preview (the sis & I for sis & me) and an error got in...

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:06 AM

catlady, with all due respect, I think you must not realize how much cleaning still needs to be done even with a cleaning service. Do you think cleaners do laundry, pick up toys every night, etc.? Cleaners do things like vacuum, dust, clean the toilets, mop. I still do those things as well - I just can do "surface" cleaning in 5-10 minutes. A cleaning service just makes it so that I don't need to spend one of my two days off each week doing hard core cleaning (or - leaving my home a complete mess). And for those of you who say - gee, a teenager needs to learn to clean toilets. Give me a break. How hard to you people think it is to clean a toilet? Is it really something that children need to learn at an early age in order to understand the virtues of hard work? IMO, no.

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 09:20 AM

londonmom, well said.

If finances allow, spending more active time together as a family, going to museums, biking, walking through the woods, playing musical instruments, learning how to set up or maintain a webpage, even thoughtfully discussing homework instead of doing it as quickly as possible and shoving it in the bookbag -- all are more valuable than having your baby in a playyard while you scrub, scrub away at the bathtub. Kids learn to clean up on a daily basis. They can be taught to garden, work on cars, as well, if that's a family passion, but those aren't routine household cleaning tasks for all families.

We don't have Mike's resources, and spend most evenings and at least one weekend day doing tasks while the kids wait for us to be available to have fun. They already clean up after themselves and have chores, but there is more to running a household than that. To make sweeping generalizations that Mike is raising lazy, obese kids is to bring a whole host of assumptions into very little information.

I suspect many more parents, particularly dads, would like to stay home with their kids but are not interested in becoming the primary housekeeper. If a family has the resources to take the housekeeper-related tasks off the table, all power to them.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 10:11 AM

instead of being a helicopter parent, he volunteered at the school, ran the fundraisers, shuttled kids to all games, helped with homework etc.? Would that make a difference to people's opinions?

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 09:57 AM

That IS being a helicopter parent!!!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 10:01 AM

Okay fair enough. Let me ask it this way, is there any reason a SAHP is allowed to outsource chores or is all outsourcing being lazy?

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 10:12 AM

Why do I need to teach my kids responsibility for doing a chore? I'm sure that they'll figure out pretty quickly what happens to a toilet if it's not cleaned regularly. Not every single one of life's lessons has to come from daddy.

*****

I'm guessing you haven't been in any college dorm bathrooms lately. Sometimes they'll learn; most of the time, they'll figure it's not their problem.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 10:13 AM

Well said Megan's Neighbor!

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 10:13 AM

"instead of being a helicopter parent, he volunteered at the school, ran the fundraisers, shuttled kids to all games, helped with homework etc.? Would that make a difference to people's opinions?

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 09:57 AM

That IS being a helicopter parent!!!"

Really? That is being a helicopter parent? Not in my opinion. That is what I'd call being a SUPPORTIVE, ENGAGED parent.

Personally, I think you guys are being too harsh. I see the value in teaching children hard work and responsibility. I just don't think it has to be done through hard core housework. My chores growing up were doing the dishes nightly, laundry and picking up my room and making my bed every day. These are NOT things that a house cleaner does!!! So why are you guys being so mean?

I do agree that take-out every night is a bit too much, but I can't believe people are saying this person is a bad parent because he actually is trying to spend QUALITY time with his children.

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 10:14 AM

It isn't about the actual scrubbing of the toilet or loading of the dishwasher. It is about prioritizing, scheduling your time and responsibility. You can't teach these in a 5 minute class. Some people never get it no matter how smart they are. They are life skills and the earlier you start the easier it is to learn.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 10:15 AM

I bet you also do a half-a$$ job on any chores you DO take on in hopes your wife will tell you not to bother anymore.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 10:03 AM

What makes you think my wife does the chores, either?

-----------------------------------


Why do I need to teach my kids responsibility for doing a chore?

Isn't that called parenting? Who does clean the toilet in your house, anyway? Or does anyone clean the toilet?

Enquiring minds, and all that.

Posted by: to Bob | June 14, 2007 10:05 AM

Hopefully you realize that there is a lot more to parenting than making the toilet sparkle.

But more specifically, I don't have to teach that the toilet needs cleaning, because when the toilet doesn't get cleaned it gets nasty. A nasty toilet can teach the lesson better than I ever could.

The toilets in my house are cleaned by the cleaning lady. That's the whole point of this discussion: buying time. I pay someone to clean my house so that I don't have to waste time doing it myself (and my wife doesn't have to waste time doing it herself).

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:16 AM

What else is the SAHP doing all day besides being the children's nanny? That's legitimate for infants, but once the kids reach preschool or school the SAHP has a lot of time without the kids around the house anymore. Doing household chores then is a non-monetary way for a SAHP to contribute to the family economy.

Posted by: To Marie | June 14, 2007 10:16 AM

Quality time? Give me a break!

Posted by: To londonmom | June 14, 2007 10:19 AM

Matt in Aberdeen - I would definetly go to a "Build a Burger" - do you have a Fudruckers nearby? It is the same concept, I haven't been to one in years but it was not kid friendly and they brought the burger to you once you special ordered it.

I like the buffet idea though - I often think about if only McD's offered whole grain buns, etc. Mcd's has gotten better in that you can order apple slices and milk as opposed to fries and soda, but the burgers and chicken nuggets are still not very good to eat on a regular basis.

We try to limit fast food to 2-3 times a month, that includes ordering pizza - and it is hard. When we were kids Mcd's was a rare treat!

Posted by: cmac | June 14, 2007 10:19 AM

It's kind of funny that the conversation today is about cleaning and chores and all that. Last night I was at a meeting and we were talking about perfectionism and the 'perfect police' and how we ALL try to make everything perfect to counteract the chaos in our lives and to outrun the negative voices in our heads.

It seems that many of us have a bug about keeping the house perfectly clean, or making it look perfect for visitors, or making the neighbors think we are just perfect wives/moms/husbands -- even the men at the meeting admitted to having the same issue!

Someone said, remember that good enough is good enough. That means, to me, not vacuuming the dog hair every single day and not caring if I don't have time to weed before my parents come over for Father's Day.

In fact, I think I'm going to put that on my message board, so I see it every day!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:21 AM

Why are you so focused on toilets?

Posted by: to Bob | June 14, 2007 10:21 AM

I'm guessing you haven't been in any college dorm bathrooms lately. Sometimes they'll learn; most of the time, they'll figure it's not their problem.

Posted by: To Bob | June 14, 2007 10:13 AM

You know, it's funny that you mention that. I probably shouldn't admit this, but my freshman dorm had a cleaning service that would come by once a week and clean the suite's bathroom and vacuum the floor.

After freshman year I lived in a fraternity house and everyone shared responsibility for keeping the house clean. Imagine the irony of that: I didn't learn how to clean a bathroom until I moved into a fraternity house.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:21 AM

What else is the SAHP doing all day besides being the children's nanny? That's legitimate for infants, but once the kids reach preschool or school the SAHP has a lot of time without the kids around the house anymore. Doing household chores then is a non-monetary way for a SAHP to contribute to the family economy.

Posted by: To Marie | June 14, 2007 10:16 AM


yes, "Doing household chores then is a non-monetary way for a SAHP to contribute to the family economy." I completely agree, but here we have a situation where the SAHP does not need to contribute to the family income because there is enough money to outsource everything. And this is a different argument than saying that SAHP need to do these things to teach children about hardwork. What if the SAHP devoted alot of his/her time to volunteeering at the hospital or an old folks home?

What I am trying to do is differentiate the argument from SAHP needs to do this to teach kids hardwork and SAHP needs to do this because otherwise they are a drain on the house (which if the spouse is contributing something else) it may be okay

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 10:22 AM

A nasty toilet can teach the lesson better than I ever could.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!

Let the kids starve so they'll learn to cook too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:22 AM

i think the poster who said if mike were a stay at home mom the comments would definitely be waaaay harsher. a woman who is not bringing in any money & spending her husband's hard earned money on the chores she should be doing! mike would be raked over the coals if he were a she.

chores teach responsibility. i had a housemate who had no idea how to clean because her parents never taught her. she wasn't a bad housemate once she learned that little fairies didn't clean her chit up while she was sleeping.

Posted by: quark | June 14, 2007 10:23 AM

Imagine the irony of that: I didn't learn how to clean a bathroom until I moved into a fraternity house.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:21 AM

Yea, right. Frat houses are such a model of cleanliness.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:25 AM

I have a friend who went thru 3 or 4 cleaners who didn't do anything as well as she liked (no one does). So she gets the babysitter for a few more hours every 2 wks and cleans the place herself.

It's sad , but that's less expensive in the long run (ie we pay people more to clean than we pay them to watch our kids).

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 10:26 AM

Mike is wrong on many, many levels. He is violently and completely wrong.

First off, fast food, even from Boston Market is not at all healthy for your kids. He is hurting his children by not giving them healthy food and most bizarrely of all:

HE IS NOT TEACHING HIS CHILDREN HOW TO COOK EVERYDAY! HOW LAZY AND UNINVOLVED WITH YOUR KIDS IS THAT???

My son, at 18 months, loved to cook with me. We would do it every night. By the time he was 3 he loved to set the table (we had knives, forks and spoons every night even if we didn't need them). By age 5 he's more interested in playing than helping, but I know he remembers much of what he learned.

My son still helps me fold the laundry, run the washing machine, unload the dishwasher, vaccuum, sweep, use a feather duster, and under duress, clean up toys. Sure, I hired a cleaning woman to come in once a week because for $100 the bathrooms are spotless. It's not like I don't already clean the bathroom 3 days a week as it is.

The idea that somehow these tasks are separate from teaching kids is incredible denial. It's such a dumb idea that I cannot even imagine anyone agreeing with it. It's wrong on every level imaginable.

This is no truer than a guy I knew in college. He moved into our group house not knowing how to do his own laundry, how to cook for himself and how to clean up after himself. At age 21 he would still say things like, "When I was on the football team in high school I practiced all the time and didn't learn how to do this stuff." Needless to say he didn't make the college team and when I knew him was a social cripple who once boiled spaghetti for 45 minutes because that's how long it took to make lasagne! Good going to his parents who neglected to teach him required skills growing up.

Posted by: DCer | June 14, 2007 10:27 AM

We've had full-time help ever since our baby was one month old, even though I am also currently staying home with the baby. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to do without: there were many many days in the first couple of months that I wouldn't have gotten a shower or anything to eat that required more than 30 seconds of one-handed preparation without the helper. It is possible that there are babies that require a little less intense attention than ours -- I hear that there do exist magical babies who like to take naps in increments longer than 25 minutes, and who don't spend the first couple of months eating 45 minutes out of every two hours -- but even if we had one of those magical babies, I wouldn't think that there is anything wrong with having outsourced the cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. It gives me a chance to read about nutrition, child development, parenting philosophies, and so forth, and also to think about how to implement the strategies that appeal to us. In the long run, it just seems to be a better use of my time than the other.

As for paying for full time help... We didn't have a baby until we were in a situation where full-time help was feasible. We created such a situation by moving to a part of the world where the price of help isn't so high as it is in the US, and investing a good deal of effort to learn the local language. (Obviously that strategy won't do for everyone!) We also live aggressively below our means in terms of housing, transportation, entertainment, clothing....

Posted by: rhymes with tequila | June 14, 2007 10:30 AM

If kids already have a stay-at-home parent (and I am one), I would say they are getting all the parental attention they can handle. To have a parent focused like a laser on the child all day to the exclusion of chores, especially on an only child, is just not healthy. I think the guy is just lazy. Plus, how are the kids going to learn any life skills growing up like this? My kids, 4 and 2, love to help with chores.

Posted by: Lynne | June 14, 2007 10:30 AM

You realize that some posters here will consider you a child abuser and terrible parent, don't you?

Posted by: To DCer | June 14, 2007 10:31 AM

Yea, right. Frat houses are such a model of cleanliness.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 10:25 AM

Not all fraternities, nor fraternity houses, are created equal. We cleaned our house from top to bottom weekly, and it showed.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:31 AM

Plus, how are the kids going to learn any life skills growing up like this?

They'll learn how to hire illegal alien cleaning ladies and pay them cheaply under the table, with no health insurance.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:33 AM

A nasty toilet can teach the lesson better than I ever could.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!

Let the kids starve so they'll learn to cook too.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 10:22 AM

No, don't let them starve...but, when they can barge into the kitchen at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon and complain about being hungry, you can show them where the bread, the lunchmeat, the mayo or mustard, the plates and the knives are kept. If they can see over the counter, they can make their OWN d**n sandwich! Mine can do all the frozen convenience food things, cook a few easy things, and even make salads (#2 is my healthy eater -- he loves salad).

______
chores teach responsibility. i had a housemate who had no idea how to clean because her parents never taught her. she wasn't a bad housemate once she learned that little fairies didn't clean her chit up while she was sleeping.

Posted by: quark | June 14, 2007 10:23 AM

True, but even teaching them doesn't mean they will do it, at least in college. When #1 went away, I think he decided that he was not going to put away a single item of clothing all semester. By finals, both semesters, his floor was only a rumor.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:33 AM

I completely agree with Mike. My husband and I have talked (mainly in jest) about whether one of us might stay home with kids if we ever have them, and one thing we are in agreement on is that the calculation of whether we can afford to have a stay at home parent will have to include the cost of housekeeping. Neither of us will be a stay at home parent unless we can afford to have someone come in and do those tasks.

I like cooking, so I don't mind that so much.

Posted by: Kate | June 14, 2007 10:34 AM

hey boys and girls! guess what time it is?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MpraJYnbVtE

Posted by: Mr. Mako | June 14, 2007 10:34 AM

To DCer -- you are a saint and I dont mean that sarcastically. The fact that you can do these tasks with your child day in and day out is amazing to me. I simply dont have the patience for that. This does not mean that my kids will not have life skills (IMO), it just means that I will not do these things day to day with my kids. I remember right before I went to college, my mom gave me the survival skills class. We reviewed how to cook, clean, iron, balance my checkbook, wash clothes etc. I knew how to do these things from over the years but it was helpful.

My opinion is that kids can learn to screw up laundry after they leave. What they cannot screw up is independence. The problem with the football star you talked about was not that he had no life skills it was that he had no independence. I consider those things separate.

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 10:35 AM

"They will have to live on something other than grilled cheese, PBJ, EasyMac, dagwoods, fried eggs, and sliced apples."

Umm...not always true. My husband would live on that diet with occasional eating out thrown in before he would cook and eat the way some people think is mandatory :).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:35 AM

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to do without: there were many many days in the first couple of months that I wouldn't have gotten a shower or anything to eat that required more than 30 seconds of one-handed preparation without the helper.

How did the human race ever survive and multiply for millennia without fulltime help?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:36 AM

To Rhymes with Tequila, "It gives me a chance to read about nutrition, child development, parenting philosophies, and so forth, and also to think about how to implement the strategies that appeal to us. In the long run, it just seems to be a better use of my time than the other."

I laughed out loud when I read this. I was so blitzkrieg exhausted with my first that I don't think I formed a coherent thought for months, nor did I read about parenting philosophies or strategies. We did not have help of any kind, but good for you that you can do it!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 14, 2007 10:37 AM

You realize that some posters here will consider you a child abuser and terrible parent, don't you?

Posted by: To DCer | June 14, 2007 10:31 AM

I know -- she's going to get attacked, and she's right on the money.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:37 AM

To Rhymes with Tequila, "It gives me a chance to read about nutrition, child development, parenting philosophies, and so forth, and also to think about how to implement the strategies that appeal to us. In the long run, it just seems to be a better use of my time than the other."

I laughed out loud when I read this. I was so blitzkrieg exhausted with my first that I don't think I formed a coherent thought for months, nor did I read about parenting philosophies or strategies. We did not have help of any kind, but good for you that you can do it!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 14, 2007 10:38 AM

We cleaned our house from top to bottom weekly, and it showed.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 10:31 AM

Guess who was in the geek house!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:39 AM

So I guess all of you who are saying how important it is to teach your kids to do chores by example must be expecting Melinda Gates to be showing her kids how to clean the toilet?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:39 AM

anon at 10:35:
I should have said that I HOPE, or, EVENTUALLY...I have a feeling that IS what they'll live on for at least the first year they're on their own.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:41 AM

"If you decide that you are going to leave the workforce and stay home with the kids, raising the kids should be your prime concern. Not the cooking. Not the floors. Not the toilets."

Notice he said that raising the kids is the prime concern, not the only concern. that doesn't automatically make him a helicopter parent. Many SAHM think that they must keep an immaculate house since they are the one who is home, and spend extensive energy on housework. I interpreted Mike's statement to mean that he outsourced what he could so that he would be available for the children (different than helicoptering) and for the things that aren't outsourced such as daily cleaning up after yourself, dishes, laundry, etc. Dinner may be outsourced, but there is nothing saying that he doesn't cook breakfast and/or lunch with the children. For all who say that being a SAH is hard work, why is it so wrong for him to not want to cook dinner at the end of the day. Yes, he may outsource some things, but that doesn't mean his day isn't full of other things.

I say, go Mike, and I'm just jealous because not only can we not afford me giving up my job to stay home, we can't afford to outsource either.

Posted by: nona | June 14, 2007 10:42 AM

"How did the human race ever survive and multiply for millennia without fulltime help?"

Multi-generational families living together?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:44 AM

I don't understand all this machismo about you should do this or that. I wouldn't do what the blogger would do, but I consider myself middle class and it smacks to me of elitism. I have friends who do the opposite, pay to clean and do yardwork and spend their free time on what they please. That is what freedom is about.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 10:45 AM

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to do without: there were many many days in the first couple of months that I wouldn't have gotten a shower or anything to eat that required more than 30 seconds of one-handed preparation without the helper.

How did the human race ever survive and multiply for millennia without fulltime help?

Multigenerational households
Monthly baths in a stream
One-handed food (bread, meat chunks, berries, etc)


Posted by: | June 14, 2007 10:36 AM

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:46 AM

"It's kind of funny that the conversation today is about cleaning and chores and all that."

Gawd, it's boring!

And yesterday the conversation was about abortion and all that.......

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:46 AM

Considering the complete and total mess the state of our children are in under current conditions, maybe he has an idea that works.

Posted by: mcewem | June 14, 2007 10:46 AM

My sainted mother taught me to scrub a toilet. WE(brothers and I) were the outsource!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 10:46 AM

Your sainted mother was committing child abuse, she should've been reported to the authorities for not having a cleaning lady.

Who do you suppose the cleaning ladies hire to clean their house?

Posted by: To Fred | June 14, 2007 10:50 AM

First off, fast food, even from Boston Market is not at all healthy for your kids. He is hurting his children by not giving them healthy food and most bizarrely of all:


DC er is a cooking snob. This is what makes women feel like failures. Every meal must be whipped up like Giada or it is fast food. Sorry grilled chicken is grilled chicken. Green beans are green beans etc. Now if you are talking big macs i would see your point.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 10:50 AM

And yesterday the conversation was about abortion and all that.......

And yet not one mind was changed!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:50 AM

Exactly. It's all in which foods you choose.

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 14, 2007 10:52 AM

To DCer -- you are a saint and I dont mean that sarcastically. The fact that you can do these tasks with your child day in and day out is amazing to me. I simply dont have the patience for that.
-------

By the way, everyone thinks I'm a woman, but I'm just a nervous father who is constantly trying to stay one step ahead of his kids, which is why I read this thread on coffee breaks.

I am no saint, quite the opposite, my wife is a saint to put up with me. It's easier to teach a toddler how to cook than change the baby's diaper, heh. That's the magic of two parent families.

My whole take on this stuff was that I did NOT need to have children. I made a conscious decision to have kids and in doing so went in with both eyes open. If I didn't want to be there teaching them things I didn't have to have kids.

I mean, my wife searched and searched for exactly the right daycare while she was pregnant. We found just the right program. Now I'm running from the guilt I have about Pre-K because I KNOW that there's a private school in our area that is the best place for our kids, at $28,000 per year plus "voluntary" donations.

Posted by: DCer | June 14, 2007 10:53 AM

mcewem- I actually think his style of parenting is the problem. If you like the way you turned out, it's probably because your parents kicked you out the door in the morning and told you not to come back except to eat. They probably did all the cooking and cleaning and left you to your devices, rather than insering themselves into your play.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 10:54 AM

"What would happen if you stopped cleaning your toilets? Would they get really gross?"

If I didn't clean my toilet seat on a daily basis while I'm having a period, the Board of Health would come in and condemn the whole bathroom!

Posted by: Elaine | June 14, 2007 10:54 AM

Considering the complete and total mess the state of our children are in under current conditions, maybe he has an idea that works.

Posted by: mcewem | June 14, 2007 10:46 AM

I don't know. I think that kids are a mess today because most parents DON'T expect them to be responsible, or to contribute to the family by doing chores, or to delay gratification. I think the parents here on this blog are probably not a representative sample -- there are a lot of parents out there, who aren't reflected in the postings on this blog, who pass that feeling of entitlement (Johnny is special, Janie is smarter than everyone ELSE in here, Billy has never gotten a B before, and why does he have to get one now) along to the child. Trust me, I teach them!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 10:54 AM

DC er is a cooking snob. This is what makes women feel like failures. Every meal must be whipped up like Giada or it is fast food. Sorry grilled chicken is grilled chicken. Green beans are green beans etc. Now if you are talking big macs i would see your point.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 10:50 AM

And for people that say green beans are not green beans -- the ones at Boston Market have salt added -- do you use canned veggies or always use fresh beans??

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 10:55 AM

If I didn't clean my toilet seat on a daily basis while I'm having a period, the Board of Health would come in and condemn the whole bathroom!

Gross. We did not need to know that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:56 AM

Sorry grilled chicken is grilled chicken. Green beans are green beans etc. Now if you are talking big macs i would see your point.
-----

First off, stop responding to my posts. I find your attentions to me from past threads uncomfortable to the point that I'm asking you to cut it out.

Secondly, what fats do you cook with at home and what fats does Boston Market use? Do you know or are you guessing? If cooking healthy food makes me a snob then I am proudly a snob because "snobbery" like you describe is a virtue that all should have.

Posted by: DCer | June 14, 2007 10:57 AM

pATRICK- Not all green beans are cooked equally. Ditto with grilled chicken. Restaurant food iss coated in oil to make it yummier. It's not healthy.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 10:58 AM

"I have about Pre-K because I KNOW that there's a private school in our area that is the best place for our kids, at $28,000 per year plus "voluntary" donations."

You must be insane to think that you have to spend 28k a year on private school to be doing what is best for your kid.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 10:58 AM

If I didn't clean my toilet seat on a daily basis while I'm having a period, the Board of Health would come in and condemn the whole bathroom!

Gross. We did not need to know that.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 10:56 AM

This is a rhetorical question, please dont answer, but seriously you must be doing something wrong

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 10:59 AM

DCer- Current research shows that even preschool does not have any lasting academic impact on academic achievement pass 3 rd grade. By then there is no statistical difference in the academic preformance of a child who attended preschool and a child who did not. That being said, I still think preschool is a good experience for the first few years of school. But in no way, does anyone NEED a 28K /year preschool. While it might be a great thing to experience, I can bet that they will be just fine without it. Just some food for thoughts.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 10:59 AM

Lots of veggies at take out places also have added butter. I love Chipolte though and don't think that if you get chicken tacos or don't add all the cheese and stuff to it, it is that bad for you.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:00 AM

"First off, stop responding to my posts. I find your attentions to me from past threads uncomfortable to the point that I'm asking you to cut it out."

logoff then, I will do what I damn well please.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:00 AM

DCer:
Sorry, I thought you were a woman. My gender bias is showing!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 11:00 AM

Growing up , I always had chores and when I got older, I worked myriad low wage jobs to make spending money. Not only did working those jobs make me appreicate the education and opportunities available to me but they also taught me to always respect the people working those jobs because it is hard work, little pay and little respect. Kids should know how to clean before they outsource it so they can appreciate the value of the service they are receiving as well as the person providing the service. I hated all of those jobs with a passion, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
Foam, I've missed you - thanks for the nod. I'm still keeping the bar low - summer is harder because we are out so much and a great deal of sand and water are tracked into the house. Oh, well.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 11:01 AM

Trader Joe's calls green beans harticort verts.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 11:02 AM

My DH did not know how to do basic domestic chores like changing a light bulb or loading a dishwasher. I taught him because his parents refused to and know he does most of it better than me.
I do better folding laundry because I know where things go. He usually puts things in the washer or dryer. Five year old DD does her own wash with a little folding help from mom (mostly the hanging
clothes). She has not changed a light bulb yet but she does know how to put her dishes in the dishwasher and with supervision sometimes she puts detergent in and can turn the dishwasher on.

We do some take out especially on dance night but we try to stay healthy. McDonalds has a great ceaser salad which we split. Sometimes we go out for weekend lunch but then stay home at dinner cook a little and eat in our pajamas. That we can enjoy the summer weather including our condo pool.

Posted by: shdd | June 14, 2007 11:03 AM

My DH did not know how to do basic domestic chores like changing a light bulb or loading a dishwasher. I taught him because his parents refused to and know he does most of it better than me.
I do better folding laundry because I know where things go. He usually puts things in the washer or dryer. Five year old DD does her own wash with a little folding help from mom (mostly the hanging
clothes). She has not changed a light bulb yet but she does know how to put her dishes in the dishwasher and with supervision sometimes she puts detergent in and can turn the dishwasher on.

We do some take out especially on dance night but we try to stay healthy. McDonalds has a great ceaser salad which we split. Sometimes we go out for weekend lunch but then stay home at dinner cook a little and eat in our pajamas. That we can enjoy the summer weather including our condo pool.

Posted by: shdd | June 14, 2007 11:03 AM

Haricots verts

Posted by: Mademoiselle | June 14, 2007 11:04 AM

My DH did not know how to do basic domestic chores like changing a light bulb or loading a dishwasher. I taught him because his parents refused to and know he does most of it better than me.
I do better folding laundry because I know where things go. He usually puts things in the washer or dryer. Five year old DD does her own wash with a little folding help from mom (mostly the hanging
clothes). She has not changed a light bulb yet but she does know how to put her dishes in the dishwasher and with supervision sometimes she puts detergent in and can turn the dishwasher on.

We do some take out especially on dance night but we try to stay healthy. McDonalds has a great ceaser salad which we split. Sometimes we go out for weekend lunch but then stay home at dinner cook a little and eat in our pajamas. That we can enjoy the summer weather including our condo pool.

Posted by: shdd | June 14, 2007 11:04 AM

Did anyone see the news story about the kid that proved his school water fountain was dirtier then a toilet? He took samples from both in his school and 2 indepenedent labs came back with the gross news that the water fountain had more bacteria.

Posted by: cmac | June 14, 2007 11:04 AM

Lots of veggies at take out places also have added butter. I love Chipolte though and don't think that if you get chicken tacos or don't add all the cheese and stuff to it, it is that bad for you.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:00 AM

You know what I really hate about places like Chipolte? Portion sizes. I mean, really, I think I could survive for a WEEK off of ONE burrito! And forget eating that stuff after 4:00 or so -- I still feel full at BREAKFAST the next day!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 11:04 AM

Duly noted - thanks. Fingers got away from me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 11:06 AM

To WorkingMomX:

Until the baby was six months old, I fell into the trap of thinking that since I have full time help, I should take full charge of nighttime baby duty and let my gorgeous hubby get enough sleep, so I'm not a stranger to blitzkrieg exhaustion. My theory is that parents can't form new memories during the first few months [new long term memories, of course, require REM sleep], so after a while they start to think "it wasn't sooo bad..." and have another!

Posted by: rhymes with tequila | June 14, 2007 11:06 AM

Butter on green beans is bad??? I guess I wont even tell you what I do with my corn on the cob . . . . mmmmmm

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:07 AM

pommes de terre

Posted by: Madame | June 14, 2007 11:07 AM

Yes, educmom you are right. My husband always gets one of those huge burritos that looks like a loaf of bread. I get the tacos, but since I have been pregnant, I eat mine and some of his.

I know, bad scarry, very bad scarry, but I have only gained five pounds, so I must be doing something right.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:07 AM

"My son, at 18 months, loved to cook with me. We would do it every night."

What did your son do, chop the vegetables or stir whatever was in the pots on the stove?

"when I knew him was a social cripple who once boiled spaghetti for 45 minutes because that's how long it took to make lasagne!"

I'd bet that he never boiled spaghetti for that long again. A lesson can be learned more than one way. Why do you equate not knowing how to cook with being a social cripple?

Posted by: to dcer | June 14, 2007 11:08 AM

pATRICK

"logoff then, I will do what I damn well please"

You tell 'em!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:09 AM

What you do to corn can't be worse than butter and sour cream on a baked potato (not to mention the salt and pepper). At least it is a meal.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 11:09 AM

I'd bet that he never boiled spaghetti for that long again. A lesson can be learned more than one way. Why do you equate not knowing how to cook with being a social cripple?

Welcome to DCer's world of fresh cooking and 28k private schools or you are a social cripple.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

mmmmmm . . . baked potato with sour cream . . yummy. How about cheesy fries with sour cream and bacon . . . now that sounds good

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

Butter on green beans is bad??? I guess I wont even tell you what I do with my corn on the cob . . . . mmmmmm

Well, I didn't say it didn't taste good!

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:13 AM

Great topic. My wife and I have a constant battle over outsourcing. I want to do as much as I can, she wants me to spend more time with her and our son. I was taught as a kid that you spend time doing chores and helping your parents. I am amazed the simple things these days that people hire help for. But the balance q is always there - I am constantly re-evaluating what is important.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 11:13 AM

Great topic. My wife and I have a constant battle over outsourcing. I want to do as much as I can, she wants me to spend more time with her and our son. I was taught as a kid that you spend time doing chores and helping your parents. I am amazed the simple things these days that people hire help for. But the balance q is always there - I am constantly re-evaluating what is important.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2007 11:14 AM

scarry,

I tried to eat that burrito once, but I ended up giving more than half of it to my son. He eats pretty much anything that's not moving. No body fat, either. Life is just not fair!

IMHO, pregnant women should get a free pass from the diet police. As long as you take your vitamins, go ahead and eat what you crave!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 11:15 AM

Eh, I bet the kids aren't totally getting out of chores. I mean, you've got to set the table and do the dishes, even on takeout nights, right? And maybe they clean their rooms, too, who knows.

As for the concept of buying time, my husband and I get takeout a couple times a week for that very reason---but we're DINKs, so we can more easily throw money down the toilet. We could cook together, you say? Well, I'm pretty much banned from the kitchen on account of the last time I boiled water I ended up in the ER (really). Husband's a good cook, but he likes me out of the way. So we get takeout so that we have more time for hanging out minus kitchen-stress. For us, it's worth it.

Posted by: sfgirl | June 14, 2007 11:15 AM

smothered baked potato...
cheesy fries...
corn on the cob with butter, salt, pepper...
burrito...
taco...
OK, now I'm hungry!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 11:18 AM

"IMHO, pregnant women should get a free pass from the diet police"

I think EVERYONE should, what a bunch of budinskies!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:19 AM

"I think EVERYONE should, what a bunch of budinskies!"

CLAP CLAP WHISTLE

Posted by: to pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:21 AM

pATRICK- You're really out of sorts today! You're usually a pain in the butt, but usually you at least have a POINT. I think you need a snack, grumpy pants.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:22 AM

pATRICK- You're really out of sorts today! You're usually a pain in the butt, but usually you at least have a POINT. I think you need a snack, grumpy pants.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:22 AM

May I suggest :

smothered baked potato...
cheesy fries...
corn on the cob with butter, salt, pepper...
burrito...
taco...
OK, now I'm hungry!

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 11:18 AM

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 11:24 AM

mmmmmm . . . baked potato with sour cream . . yummy. How about cheesy fries with sour cream and bacon . . . now that sounds good

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

HELP!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Your arteries | June 14, 2007 11:24 AM

One word - BACON! Pounds and pounds of delicious, salty, crispy BACON!! mmmmmm I can feel my arteries hardening just at the thought of it - oh, dietary porn!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:25 AM

ATB,
pATRICK- You're really out of sorts today! You're usually a pain in the butt, but usually you at least have a POINT. I think you need a snack, grumpy pants.

Funny, I don't feel that way. Could you elaborate? Most of my post have been softballs.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:25 AM

Maybe CATLADY will bring some of her delicious Flan. Now that's yummy!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:26 AM

Random topic - father's day gifts? Dads whadda you want besides peace and quiet? Moms, what have you gotten your husbands?

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 11:28 AM

"IMHO, pregnant women should get a free pass from the diet police"

Unfortuneately I found more people commenting on my diet when I was pregnant. The "how can you eat that food - your baby will suffer kind of comments" The best was that you shouldn't have caffiene (though those studies are mixed) and chocolate has caffiene so how can you be eating that candy bar?

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 14, 2007 11:28 AM

mmmmmm . . . baked potato with sour cream . . yummy. How about cheesy fries with sour cream and bacon . . . now that sounds good

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

HELP!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Your arteries | June 14, 2007 11:24 AM


the key is moderation -- you can eat anything you want in moderation with an otherwised balanced diet and regular exercise

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 11:29 AM

"pATRICK- You're really out of sorts today! You're usually a pain in the butt, but usually you at least have a POINT. I think you need a snack, grumpy pants.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:22 AM

May I suggest :

smothered baked potato...
cheesy fries...
corn on the cob with butter, salt, pepper...
burrito...
taco...
OK, now I'm hungry!"


Umm, is the pepcid included? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:30 AM

pATRICK- This is what you've contributed today:

I don't understand all this machismo about you should do this or that. I wouldn't do what the blogger would do, but I consider myself middle class and it smacks to me of elitism.

DC er is a cooking snob. This is what makes women feel like failures. Every meal must be whipped up like Giada or it is fast food.

You must be insane to think that you have to spend 28k a year on private school to be doing what is best for your kid.

logoff then, I will do what I damn well please.

Welcome to DCer's world of fresh cooking and 28k private schools or you are a social cripple.

I think EVERYONE should, what a bunch of budinskies!

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:31 AM

Umm, is the pepcid included? ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:30 AM


Add lots of margharitas and there will be no need for Pepcid, but if you must . . .

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 11:33 AM

I like pATRICK's posts today. They seem quite resonable.

Posted by: to atb | June 14, 2007 11:33 AM

And I don't like Giada. Her giant ant head is scary.

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:35 AM

The human body needs some fat to be healthy. If you are sweating a little butter on your green beans, then loosen your grip or get yourself checked for an eating disorder.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:35 AM

pATRICK- This is what you've contributed today:

I don't understand all this machismo about you should do this or that. I wouldn't do what the blogger would do, but I consider myself middle class and it smacks to me of elitism.

DC er is a cooking snob. This is what makes women feel like failures. Every meal must be whipped up like Giada or it is fast food.

You must be insane to think that you have to spend 28k a year on private school to be doing what is best for your kid.

logoff then, I will do what I damn well please.

Welcome to DCer's world of fresh cooking and 28k private schools or you are a social cripple.

I think EVERYONE should, what a bunch of budinskies!

1-normal
2-normal
3. necessary, unfortunately
4. responding to an attack
5. snarky
6.fun

plus a flan post.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:36 AM

Divorced mom of 1

Me too, but you know what, my docotor told me to tell them to be quite. I only gained ten pounds with my daughter due to being sick and he told me to eat what I wanted. This time, I can eat more, but I have still ony gained five pounds.

Yes, I have a coke every now and then too.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:36 AM

Isn't this where the person obsessed with the term "jumping the shark" gets all excited?

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:37 AM

I never learned to cook until I got married; even after my mom died my meals consisted of what I could get from the freezer or out of a can.

Once my wife began working later hours than I, however, I had two choices; learn to cook so the meal would be ready when she gets home, or eat around 9:00 in the evening.

I learned to cook, and found out I enjoy doing so (but only for both of us; I HATE cooking for only myself). After a few mishaps (my wife still reminds me about the Rice Incident) I've gotten confident enough to modify existing recipes or just throw something together on the spur of the moment. I also do the grocery shopping so I can prepare for next week's meals.

Posted by: John L | June 14, 2007 11:38 AM

scarry

"Me too, but you know what, my docotor told me to tell them to be quite. I only gained ten pounds with my daughter due to being sick and he told me to eat what I wanted. This time, I can eat more, but I have still ony gained five pounds."

And you still don't know how to spell!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:38 AM

I love to cook as long as it is outside on a grill, fortunately my wife is a great cook.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:40 AM

And you still don't know how to spell!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 11:38 AM

And your still a jerk :)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:41 AM

pATRICK- Maybe it's just because I've added a voice to your "character," and he's a major gumpy pants in need of a snack. Usually you have an anecdote or 2 involving your wife and/or daughters, but today... It just seems different...

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:41 AM

Following in John L.'s storyline, I am a pretty good cook now, but there were still times that I struggled -- did you know that a roast beef can actually burst into flames -- that night we ate Chef Boyardee Pizza from a box because we spent so much money on the roast :(

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 11:41 AM

I kind of agree with this. While I was growing up my parents had a housekeeper and gardner. It meant that my parents were able to do fun things with us and each other after work (I realize we were fortunate). But my mother was a great cook and we all learned to cook and clean and take care of ourselves despite the help. While my husband and I don't have full-time help now, we do have someone clean the house once a week and do the laundry. We don't live lavishly, but it's worth every penny. I realize not everyone can afford this, but what's with all the snide remarks for those who can?

Posted by: DC | June 14, 2007 11:42 AM

And your still a jerk :)

He is also an obsessive jerk.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:43 AM

correction: And you are still a jerk! :)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:43 AM

"And your still a jerk :)"

Grammar Police!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:43 AM

I kind of agree with this. While I was growing up my parents had a housekeeper and gardner. It meant that my parents were able to do fun things with us and each other after work (I realize we were fortunate). But my mother was a great cook and we all learned to cook and clean and take care of ourselves despite the help. While my husband and I don't have full-time help now, we do have someone clean the house once a week and do the laundry. We don't live lavishly, but it's worth every penny. I realize not everyone can afford this, but what's with all the snide remarks for those who can?

Posted by: DC | June 14, 2007 11:42 AM

If you are a parent that has help like the above, I think you as the parent have to be more aware to teach your kids how to cook, clean etc. Thats all

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 11:45 AM

Here's one, my irrepressible daughter bit me on the ear(hard i might add) while riding on my back in the pool. I asked her why she did that and she said she was pretending to be a snake. I then dunked her and she asked why and I said I was pretending to be a wwe wrestler. I have not been bit since. Parenting takes some strange forms.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:45 AM

Wow, not liking butter equals an eating disorder. I will be sure to spread the word!

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:46 AM

"spread the word!"
Was the pun intended scarry? haha

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 11:48 AM

atb

"pATRICK- Maybe it's just because I've added a voice to your "character," and he's a major gumpy pants in need of a snack. Usually you have an anecdote or 2 involving your wife and/or daughters, but today... It just seems different..."

Naw. He's the same creepy weirdo looking for attention from a bunch of cyber strangers on the Net. Pathetic. Give him the old silent treatment and freeze him out, if you like.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:48 AM

spread the word!"
Was the pun intended scarry? haha

Hahah, yeah, I guess I am "quite" clever when I pay attention.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 11:50 AM

"Naw. He's the same creepy weirdo looking for attention from a bunch of cyber strangers on the Net. Pathetic. Give him the old silent treatment and freeze him out, if you like."

ATB, now that is grumpy. And of course, anonymous.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:50 AM

"I realize not everyone can afford this, but what's with all the snide remarks for those who can?"

Some people can't mind their own business. Ignore them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:51 AM

Flan? Did someone mention flan?

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 11:52 AM

Reality check.

It's BS to believe you cannot take care of your children and keep a house. If you've got 10 kids, I understand it might be difficult (and would suggest birth control). But if you are a stay-at-home spouse with someone else making a living, and you have one or two kids...you're telling me you cannot keep up with cooking and cleaning? L-A-Z-Y.

Keep in mind some of us do all of it on our own. It's hard not feel feel contempt for spoiled, lazy whiners. Go visit single moms in low-income housing and see what they are dealing with--even though I am a single parent, I realize just how lucky I am that I have the ability to raise my daughter comfortably, even though I have to scrub my own toilets. Oh, the horror!

Posted by: single western mom | June 14, 2007 11:53 AM

"What we need is a new type of fast food franchise, run like a salad bar."

There is such a chain, growing around the country. It is called Salad Creations. One is coming to my part of the country soon (Michigan) and I am anxious to try it.
www.SaladCreations.net


Posted by: CJB | June 14, 2007 11:53 AM

"spread the word!"
Was the pun intended scarry? haha

Hahah, yeah, I guess I am "quite" clever when I pay attention."

Yeah, make sure you don't veg out! woohoo

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:53 AM

Posted by: single western mom | June 14, 2007 11:53 AM

You are too harsh I think, you can clean up a storm but the kids can be right behind you making new messes. I think the idea of a spotloss house with children is a fool's errand.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 11:55 AM

single western mom

"It's hard not feel feel contempt for spoiled, lazy whiners."

It's none of your business!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:57 AM

DC wrote: "We don't live lavishly, but it's worth every penny. I realize not everyone can afford this, but what's with all the snide remarks for those who can?"

DC, I think it has to do with the fact that those who cannot afford household help, or who choose not to spend money that way, need to find other ways to achieve yet another aspect in life that this blog board is about, namely balance in life between work and home.

It also has to do with the value of children learning to do chores both for the skills they require (whether minimal or more complex), and with the value of their learning responsibility and contributing their efforts to the household as they grow up for its own sake. Some people consider this as part of building character and maturity in kids.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 11:58 AM

Off to get my lunch -- lets see, triple bacon cheeseburger (extra mayo), extra large fries, piece of chocolate cake and . . . . a diet coke (you know because I like the way it tastes) :)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 11:59 AM

In previous comments, many people particularly women have complained that their spouse will not or cannot perform many household chores such as mop the floor, clean the toilet, do the laundry, cook, wash the dishes--er load the dishwasher and such.

If a child is not taught these domestic skills when young and realize that they are indeed a part of life, however boring it may be, the result will be that spouse feel taken advantage of and is resentful of that lazy slob. The little prince or princess will not turn magically into an equal partner upon marriage! The entitlement mentality is deeply ingrained and cannot be easily routed out.

I certainly have no objection to a cleaning service or eating out but do object that a child is never made to understand that life required doing many boring and repetitive tasks.

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 11:59 AM

Fred, What happens if one of these little princes or princesses winds up in the military? Sort of like "Private Benjamin"?

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 12:01 PM

Fred

"do object that a child is never made to understand that life required doing many boring and repetitive tasks."

Life isn't like that for everyone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:02 PM

Right said Fred! Oh, I'm on fire today! Seriously, I wholeheartdly agree with you.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Fred

"do object that a child is never made to understand that life required doing many boring and repetitive tasks."

Life isn't like that for everyone.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 12:02 PM

Adopt me! Adopt me!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:04 PM

Fred, What happens if one of these little princes or princesses winds up in the military? Sort of like "Private Benjamin"?

I had a friend who was a big slob. He went into the marines and I visited him after he got out and his house was SPOTLESS! I was stunned and asked him about it. He said that the marines have many motivational techniques to get rid of slobs. He would not elaborate but they fixed it apparently.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 12:05 PM

single western mom

"It's hard not feel feel contempt for spoiled, lazy whiners."

It's none of your business!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 11:57 AM

If this is posted on a public blog with more than 200 comments already posted, why is this none of my business? And apparently I am not the only person who feels contempt for lazy, spoiled whiners. The judge who sent Paris Hilton back to jail apparently has no use for spoiled, lazy whiners either.

pATRICK: I'm not saying a house should be spotless (mine is certainly not museum quality, but it's not a biohazard, either). But the idea that you cannot throw in a load of laundry and have dinner on the table for your working spouse is silly. I had six months of maternity leave, and I took care of my baby, cleaned the house and mowed the lawn so my husband didn't have to do it on weekends.

Posted by: single western mom | June 14, 2007 12:06 PM

"Fred, What happens if one of these little princes or princesses winds up in the military? Sort of like "Private Benjamin"?"

Then I think you have a very funny movie on your hands! :)

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 12:07 PM

How long do you people think it takes to clean a house? My house is small, or perhaps I'm not that neat, but I'm not spending hours a day on cleaning rather than paying attention to my kid. Maybe one hour, if things are really piggish. My husband isn't an invalid, so if there's something left over, he can handle it. As well as splitting up dinner-making duties. And I like going to the grocery store -- my son gets a balloon and the whole experience is a swift one.

But I don't think Mike should be judged for hiring out cleaning -- that's his right, and if it makes his life easier, that's great. I do think it's lazy to eat out every night. But I like to cook, and I feel like a big blob of goo if I eat too much take-out.

As for kids needing to learn how to cook and clean. Well, it's true kids don't NEED to know how to clean a toilet before heading out on their own. But the point isn't the toilet, the point is that it's good for them to know that they won't be taken care of forever. Having a once every two weeks cleaning person doesn't mean the kids will never be able to pitch in, though. Houses get messy daily. Plenty of opportunity for them to learn the finer points of dusting, etc. Kids learn by example; my son knows that I get the broom and dustpan after a particularly messy meal, and he already tries to "help." It's very cute.

Posted by: writing mommy | June 14, 2007 12:08 PM

Life isn't like that for everyone.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 12:02 PM

Must be nice, but I cannot envision that anyone, however well off, does not have some boring or repetitive task to routinely perform.

Jay Leno said once that people believe that if you have wealth, you have no problems. Leno said, yes you still have problems. (you can fix some of them but others take more than money!)

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 12:08 PM

Fred

"Leno said, yes you still have problems. (you can fix some of them but others take more than money!)"

Great example. Jay Leno's wife nixed the kid idea, so Jay has no children. Money didn't make a bit of difference.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:12 PM

....if Paris Hilton will have to clean the toilet in her jail cell.

Posted by: Just wondering | June 14, 2007 12:12 PM

"Trader Joe's calls green beans harticort verts."

"Haricot verts" is French for "green beans."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:13 PM

....if Paris Hilton will have to clean the toilet in her jail cell


I heard her dad was a big contributor to the sheriff's campaign, which starts to explain a lot.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 12:14 PM

Then I think you have a very funny movie on your hands! :)

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 12:07 PM

No, it was a stupid movie! But having been in the army, maybe my POV is a bit different on this! :)

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 12:14 PM

C'mon Fred. Goldie was adorable in that!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 12:15 PM

He said that the marines have many motivational techniques to get rid of slobs. He would not elaborate but they fixed it apparently.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 12:05 PM

My sainted mother, having been a Marine, was kind enough to share some of those techniques with me while growning up!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 12:18 PM

Moxiemom

"C'mon Fred. Goldie was adorable in that!"

Armand Assante - what a yummy hunk!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:19 PM

Stupid can be funny!

Posted by: To Fred | June 14, 2007 12:20 PM


We had a My Girlfriend's Kitchen open up here in Atlanta this fall . . . I was so looking forward to doing a session with my oldest, trying to establish a few more healthy convenience staples everyone likes . . . and to take relaxed weekend time doing it with dd, instead of the weeknight evening blitz - aftercare pickups, food assembly, homework, pack backpacks, dinner, bath, bed when we're all in divide and conquer, triage mode. Also thought helping prepare foods herself would make her more open to trying them, or tinkering until she finds variants she might like. But then, before it could materialize, she decided to become a vegetarian. Since vegetarian options were basically unsupported, that option was out. DH and I - in alternating fits and spurts - have spent the last year slowly developing a few staple quick vegetarian meals everyone likes, or at least feels neutral about. It's mostly for us adults - the kids would happily eat tortillas with black beans and fixings every night --- and they even prefer the black beans cold, straight out of the can. But when the regular meal rotation gets below about 5 entrees, including some with real and varied flavor/non-blandness options, DH and I start feeling intolerably bored and deprived by the choices . . .

Has anyone had any luck with food assembly chains that do have a full vegetarian option (or have developed them recently)? I sure wish I knew of a 'food consultant' like foamgnome mentions around here . . . getting 3-4 new quick-to-table 'hits' in our rotation would be a huge quality of life improvement around here.

At least becoming a vegetarian made my oldest a little more appreciative and open to new foods. She really recognizes the effort we've made to develop new dinner foods, and she's been willing to hang in and keep trying as we tinker to adjust recipes to ones we all like (as in that sauce was too spicy, but we could try it with a different sauce, pumpkin tastes too strong in the enchiladas, but sweet potato tastes fine, or next time lets try less orange taste in that chickpea-orzo dish, etc etc). DH has been more into the off-the-shelf fake meat replacement items which excite no-one . . . to the extent they often return as leftovers many times before they're eaten . . .

Neither kid is very fussy but their dislikes are disjoint, so there are many options that we're 3 for 4 family members on, and we try to keep as staples only foods that nobody viscerally dislikes . . . which means often we serve bland options like plain pasta that family members can sauce or not to their own taste . . .

So cooking outsourcing is not going too well. Cleaning outsourcing --- we haven't done it mainly because I can't see cleaning to the level that the house would be *ready* for cleaners on a predictable regular basis. We tend to do big event-driven cleaning blitzes (before playdates, guests, slumber parties) with a major effort just for clutter and surface cleanliness. Just clearing the floors to be ready to sweep/mop - and surfaces to be ready to wipe/dust - is already such an undertaking, it's hard for me to see having it done on a routine midweek basis for cleaners to have access. Just keeping up with the daily clear and wipe dining table of daily accumulation of paper and projects, get dinner on the table and cleared, produce clean clothes and dishes as needed, is all we manage well. Have others in this situation adapted well to being able to pre-clean for a cleaner? Somehow I think if we hired a cleaning service right after one of our big blitzes, we might be able to jump on the merry-go-round and keep it up, but so far we've never been able to seize those rare moments . . .

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 12:20 PM

What you do to corn can't be worse than butter and sour cream on a baked potato (not to mention the salt and pepper). At least it is a meal.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 11:09 AM

Try adding a big scoop of cottage cheese to your baked potato instead of sour cream. You won't save much on calories, but you get a nice, big glop of protein that way.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:20 PM

My youngest brother (the 4th and last one to go to college)was attending registration for college this week with our mom and one of the first time parents was asking what school supplies that should sent with their kids. To college. Maybe "school supplies" includes a computer or whatnot for that family, but I immediately thought of pencils and notebooks, and for some reason found the question very funny.

In relation to the post - I agree with everyone else that advocates kids needing to learn how to do for themselves. Just because you can afford to have someone help out with stuff, doesn't mean your kids will when they move out. Good parenting includes preparing your kids for life after they leave you, not just hanging out with them while they are living in your house. And its MUCH easier to teach good habits from the beginning than to correct lazy behaviors later on.

It would be informative to know what Mike considers to be "raising kids". Isn't raising kids about teaching them how to get along in life? Which, in my experience as a living person, includes knowing how to clean the bathroom, cook food and when something is gross enough to require cleaning.

Posted by: MN girl | June 14, 2007 12:22 PM

Chopped green onions or chives on your baked potato, mmmmmmm.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:22 PM

Stupid can be funny!

Posted by: To Fred | June 14, 2007 12:20 PM

Oh, absolutely! Nothing better than seeing Gilligan hit in the head with a coconut!

As I say, I think it was my POV as a soldier in war.

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 12:24 PM

"The human body needs some fat to be healthy. If you are sweating a little butter on your green beans, then loosen your grip or get yourself checked for an eating disorder."

Your first sentence is absolutely correct. However, butter is a cholesterol nightmare compared to healthy fats like olive and canola oil.

And, you know, I've never seen anyone use "a little butter" on anything. Butter is one of those things that people slather on their food with abandon.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:27 PM

Isn't this where the person obsessed with the term "jumping the shark" gets all excited?

Posted by: atb | June 14, 2007 11:37 AM

Look back to 10:34

Posted by: The Fonz | June 14, 2007 12:27 PM

"How did the human race ever survive and multiply for millennia without fulltime help?"

Hazel Burke for the Baxter families
Giles French for the Davis clan
Alice Nelson for the Brady Bunch.

Posted by: Elaine | June 14, 2007 12:28 PM

I'm SO glad I missed yesterday's topic.

I think it's true that SAHMs would get stoned for suggesting this type of thing. If this works for this family, I can't really criticize. I would love to eat moret take-out but can't seem to eat the healthy stuff when I do.

We're DINKs and can't afford to hire a maid, so I'm in awe of a single-income family with kids that can afford it.

I think it's true that the kids will learn how to cook and clean eventually, but wouldn't you want to instill that as early as possible? As an overnight camp counselor, I was amazed at how many 8-year-old girls refused to do their assigned chore or even move the plates down to the end of the table at meal times. Some of them would start crying! It was shocking. The ones who refused to clean usually didn't come back.

Posted by: Meesh | June 14, 2007 12:29 PM

The perfect baked potato dinner also includes chives, cheese and bacon (and if there is gravy around throw some of that on there two please) - how could I have forgotten? Thanks to whoever reminded me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 12:42 PM

8-year-old girls refused to do their assigned chore or even move the plates down to the end of the table at meal times. Some of them would start crying!

I don't blame them a bit. That's just not hot!

Posted by: Paris Hilton | June 14, 2007 12:42 PM

Although there were four children in the house, I don't recall the place being a total disaster even though my mother was 100% responsible for keeping it clean.

Obviously if she could do it with four kids going right behind her messing everything right back up, it should be possible for today's SAH parent to do the same thing with just one or two children.

BTW, she also somehow found the time to cook two meals a day, wash clothes & dishes, make the beds, run errands, do some sewing and crocheting, preserve some fruits and vegetables from the garden, and actually read a book from time to time.

Not saying she did all this every day, but they did all get done and she didn't have very much help for any of it.

So, what's different now? Is it that the children have more "organized activities" that require a parent being a chauffeur, or is it that the parents have more out of home activities that eat up the time spent tending the house?

Posted by: John L | June 14, 2007 12:43 PM

Why do some of you think that having a cleaning service is synonmous with being lazy and a poor parent (e.g.,a person who doesn't teach their children hard work, discipline and how to look/clean up after themselves)? If you want to teach these virtues to your children through cleaning the toilet, more power to you. But I don't. Mostly because I know that at the end of the day, I'd be the one who really had to spend the time doing the cleaning. I can afford a cleaning service (yes, and STILL save for retirement, my children's eduction and all the rest). I'm not saying that people can't survive without help. But what is with all of you thinking that I'm (or that people like me are) lazy or elistist because I have help? I work hard. My DH works hard. And I don't want to spend any more time than necessary cleaning my house.

My feelings also don't change because one spouse stays at home. It probably makes it harder to afford, but if they can - who cares? They are NOT bad parents for it.

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 12:43 PM

You know I meant "too" instead of "two" right? Don't need the spelling police after me today.

Posted by: KLB SSMD | June 14, 2007 12:44 PM

I agree with those who say it's entirely possible to stay home with the kids and keep the house reasonably clean, and cook a decent meal.

But if you can afford to hire some help, why not do it? I wouldn't have done it while on maternity leave (I have 2 kids) - getting some stuff done around the house gave me a certain sense of accomplishment (and, yes, I was bone-tired, too). But now that I work again, I thoroughly enjoy having somebody who cleans the house and does the laundry. It makes me MUCH less stressed with the kids, less tired and, overall happier.

This has nothing to do with kids not learning to do chores. My husband and I still do plenty, and the kids see it. We just aren't up at midnight folding laundry any longer.

Posted by: Nena | June 14, 2007 12:47 PM

Methinks londonmom doth protest too much.

Posted by: Hamlet | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM

KB:

Here's one:

If any of you are looking for help with mealtime: Chef Leslie will
work with you to plan healthy, nutritious, delicious meals that you
and your family can enjoy at home! She will plan, shop and cook the
food in your home and you will have meals to help out on those nights
when you are 'just too busy' to cook. Chef Leslie is a Certified
Personal Chef and affiliated with the US Personal Chef Association.
References are available! I can personally attest that her food is
both healthful and yummy! Contact her at :

www.FightsFeast.com
404.680.1328

Don't know anything about them, it's a rec from the parent's group.

I'm vegetarian (rest of family is not) but basically, since we keep kosher in the home, we typically don't eat much meat. It's a challenge, but DH has definitely learned to use the 'fake' meat stuff - so we make quesadillas, stir frys, pasta, etc.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM

"At least becoming a vegetarian made my oldest a little more appreciative and open to new foods. She really recognizes the effort we've made to develop new dinner foods, and she's been willing to hang in and keep trying as we tinker to adjust recipes to ones we all like"

If my daughter became a vegetarian, she would eat the vegetables served with our regular dinner or learn how to fix her own meals. I'm not changing my eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making multiple meals.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM


Oh, Atlmom, thanks! I will have to investigate this!

>Chef Leslie

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 12:51 PM

"At least becoming a vegetarian made my oldest a little more appreciative and open to new foods. She really recognizes the effort we've made to develop new dinner foods, and she's been willing to hang in and keep trying as we tinker to adjust recipes to ones we all like"

If my daughter became a vegetarian, she would eat the vegetables served with our regular dinner or learn how to fix her own meals. I'm not changing my eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making multiple meals.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM


You know what -- I was thinking the same thing. But if my child came to me and said I want to be a vegetarian because ______ [fill in the blank] and it was a well-reasoned argument, I would do what I could to accomodate, but not just because she wants to be a vegetarian

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 12:51 PM

And really, the biggest reason we don't eat much meat: I do most of the shopping, and meal planning.

When I was a SAH, I would think about what to have for dinner. DH would come home and gladly cook as long as he didn't have to actually figure out what to cook - so it worked out well on those days when I was being lazy and didn't want to do stuff, I'd just say: we're having such and such for dinner, and he'd ask me where stuff was if he didn't know (or what went into it) and he'd prepare it. That's the thing - neither of us really wants to do the *planning* but we're not so upset about the actual *cooking*. My au pair would do more, we just have to do a little more prep (i.e., showing her recipes, etc)...

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 12:52 PM

"It's BS to believe you cannot take care of your children and keep a house"

I think sometimes it's a matter of personal standards. When I was growing up, the kids were responsible for cleaning the kitchen after dinner. In my house, that meant we washed, dried and put away dishes (all by hand, no machine), wiped off stovetop and countertops, wiped off table, swept floor. In my cousin's house, cleaning up after dinner involved everything we did plus wiping down refrigerator and every cabinet in the room as well as wiping baseboards plus wet-mopping the floor after sweeping. Just a small example, but one person's idea of cleaning may be much more involved than another's. Some people believe in daily vacuuming, others are fine with weekly.

No paid help in my house, but we splurge on paper plates to reduce the amount of dishwashing.

Posted by: to single western mom | June 14, 2007 12:56 PM

"I'm not changing my eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making multiple meals."

Would you do these things for a spouse?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 12:56 PM

Me thinks that's what blogs are for - discussion of differing viewpoints. Wouldn't be too interesting to read if we all just agreed with each other, now would it?

Posted by: londonmom | June 14, 2007 12:58 PM

KB: I sent an email to someone who was *asking* for that stuff a couple of months ago, so maybe I can send you more.

You live in Druid Hills, right? Do you have an email list for the neighborhood? Or a parent's group? We have a VERY active parent's group, and I know midtown has one, so I'm just curious (I'm in Morningside).

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 12:58 PM

"I'm not changing my eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making multiple meals."

Would you do these things for a spouse?


NO. I may try a new dish if someone requested it, spouse or child, but I would not change my eating habits because they decide to change theirs. For example, I would try a new vegetable with dinner, but I wouldn't make the entire meal vegetarian.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:01 PM

So I don't know why I put asking in asterisks. Please please, grammar police, don't come and get me!

AND I loved private benjamin. It was great. I recently saw it again cause it was on cable (I had seen it when I was quite young) and I loved it again. And, yes, armand assante is quite yummy.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:02 PM

"And, yes, armand assante is quite yummy."

And......nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:03 PM

You know I meant "too" instead of "two" right? Don't need the spelling police after me today

Well, I think that picky spelling police person is usually just after me, but you can never be too careful.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 1:04 PM

to 1:01:

I had friends where the wife was becoming more religious and she decided she wanted to become kosher, the husband couldn't have cared less. She is the one who cooks and does the shopping, etc, so he thought: that's fine.

So they compromise - if he's cooking in the house (which I don't think ever happens, anyway), he does it kosher. He can bring anything into the house, but he uses paper/plastic - she doesn't dictate what he eats. She eats mainly vegetarian, but cooks meat for him (and sometimes her).

She also keeps shabbat (saturdays) and he does what he wants, but she won't watch tv, he respects what she wants, but she also respects that this religious journey is hers, not his. it's very interesting to watch.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:05 PM

Touchy much?

Posted by: To londonmom | June 14, 2007 1:05 PM

OT to KB (again):

didja hear about the shooting at Amsterdam and Monroe? Very scary (since there was an armed robbery in vahi only a couple of weeks ago)?

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:06 PM

response "to single western mom"

That is the sort of family life that was the norm for so many: the kids all helped out. I grew up in a poor, single parent home. My brother and I always helped with the housework. I was able to cook and do laundry by age 10. My daughter is very responsible--she has her chores and she earns an allowance. I want my daughter to be self-sufficient. By the time she is 18 years old, I want to know I could drop her in any English-speaking metropolis and she will be able to take care of herself.

Posted by: single western mom | June 14, 2007 1:08 PM

People are so judgemental about the take-out thing! Who cares if the family wants to eat take-out. What's the point in going after a good-paying job if you don't use it to make you life easier? You can't take it with you. Maybe all the extravagance will motivate the kids to do well in college and get good paying jobs so they too can afford to avoid cooking and housework. Perhaps they use the extra time they have with their kids on reading, sports, music, art and other worthy pursuits. Personally I like to cook, but I only cook one night during the workweek and on Saturday and Sunday. We cook enough to generate leftovers for three other evening meals and we eat out on Friday. If we cook dinner more often than that I resent it, and it cuts into the time I have for other things I value. I say the guys has made a conscious effort to rank his priorities, and for him time for play, relaxation, and creative pursuits are more important to him than the money he would save cooking and doing housework. Also, Rachel Ray is full of crap! 30 minutes of cooking (if you have the recipe memorized) but don't forget the 15 minutes spent planning and the additional 20-30 minutes of cleanup. She also tends to use expensive ingredients that would make any thrown together meal taste good. Take-out can end up costing you about the same.

Posted by: rumicat | June 14, 2007 1:09 PM

I don't know the rules about keeping kosher, so I don't understand about the paper/plastic, but it does sound like he is not changing because she chose to. That works for me.

Posted by: to atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:09 PM

When I joined the Army I was shown a video by the recruiter. I didn't look hard at all. All the girls wearing what looked like a high school gym outfits and sneakers learning how to walk, do their hair, iron their uniformss, etc. The drill sergeants were so nice. I thought that would be just great so I joined. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at basic and was yelled at, had fatigues and combat boots thrown at me. Gone were the gym clothes and nice drill sergeants. Hello road marches in combat boots. I did feel like PVT Benjamin. After the initial surprise it was fine but those first few hours - whew!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 1:10 PM

Well, he can't have bacon cheeseburgers (unless it's takeout), he has to learn which dishes are milk, which are meat, etc.

Not such a big deal (once you know all the rules), but they've figured out how to make it work for them.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:13 PM

I eat meat in one meal per week; usually Saturday or Sunday dinner. It is like sex for me. I dream about meat. I think about my meat dinner all week. I want my meat!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:15 PM

Ok, I give up. Private B. is the best movie ever made! It should have won 14 Oscars and been the highest grossing movie ever! Goldie Hawn was cute in it!

Just don't take Sela Ward away from me!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 1:15 PM

"We have food, and food is good, and so we will eat together,
So we will eat together,
So we will eat together.
When we eat, 'twill be a treat, and so we will sing together,
As we march along."
-- "Marching to Pretoria"

I really appreciate it now that the tone of the conversation today has shifted from toilet cleaning to good food!

"Has anyone had any luck with food assembly chains that do have a full vegetarian option (or have developed them recently)? "

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 12:20 PM

No, but my proposed "Build-a-Burger" (8:40 AM) would include burgers made of textured soy protein. That might attract the vegetarian trade.

"I'm vegetarian (rest of family is not) but basically, since we keep kosher in the home, we typically don't eat much meat."

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM

What? Trying to run Harris Teeter out of business? ;-)

Seriously, I learned to cook when I moved out of the Hall of Graduate Studies to live with roommates in rented private homes. One lesson I will never forget was the "meatless lasagna." One of my Jewish roommates found a recipe that substituted onions for meat, in combination with the regulation pasta and cheese. Unfortunately, he was not careful enough to notice that the recipe called for a cup of raw chopped onions, and so he put in a cup of dried chopped onions. The resulting lasagna was not edible.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 1:17 PM

Fred, how COULD you?

Posted by: Salma Hayek | June 14, 2007 1:18 PM

Yeah, those drill instructors (DI's) really know how to...motivate...the recruits into getting their gear shipshape.

I always hated those sudden inspections; we knew there would be someone who had his gear stowed incorrectly, which meant that ALL of our gear got thrown on the floor and we then had to put it back.

After the mandatory punishment exercises, of course...

Posted by: John L | June 14, 2007 1:20 PM

KLB - I bet you were just as cute as the "real" Private Benjamin!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 1:20 PM

Fred is fickle.

Posted by: Sela Ward | June 14, 2007 1:20 PM

Fred's Social Comment of the Day
(Why We Hate Lawyers Division)

"Dry Cleaner Calls $54 Million Lawsuit Over Pants a 'Nightmare'" "...Roy L. Pearson Jr., a District of Columbia administrative law judge who is suing the owners of a neighborhood dry-cleaning shop here." from the New York Times today.

Over a $1150 suit, Mr. Pearson is suing a small business for $54 million. This is a shakedown that Tony Soprano would be proud of!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 1:21 PM

La donna e mobile!

Posted by: Giuseppe Verdi | June 14, 2007 1:23 PM

Fred's Social Comment of the Day
(Why We Hate Lawyers Division)

"Dry Cleaner Calls $54 Million Lawsuit Over Pants a 'Nightmare'" "...Roy L. Pearson Jr., a District of Columbia administrative law judge who is suing the owners of a neighborhood dry-cleaning shop here." from the New York Times today.

Over a $1150 suit, Mr. Pearson is suing a small business for $54 million. This is a shakedown that Tony Soprano would be proud of!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 01:21 PM

or

Fred's Social Comment of the Day
(Why We Hate Nutjobs Division)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:24 PM

Marc Fisher just did the better part of an hour's chat on the pants suit. More than you ever wanted to know.

Posted by: To Fred | June 14, 2007 1:25 PM

"Dry Cleaner Calls $54 Million Lawsuit Over Pants a 'Nightmare'" "...Roy L. Pearson Jr., a District of Columbia administrative law judge who is suing the owners of a neighborhood dry-cleaning shop here." from the New York Times today.

Is it a surprise that the person is a DC judge? Maybe he needs money for preschool.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:26 PM

Fred, There is so much more to that crazy story. He is representing himself and wants to be paid between $350-$400/per hour for his services (from the defendents). He supposedly has a history of frivolous lawsuits. It was reported that he has 60 witnesses lined up and that he broke down in tears yesterday.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 1:26 PM

If my daughter became a vegetarian, she would eat the vegetables served with our regular dinner or learn how to fix her own meals. I'm not changing my eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making multiple meals.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 12:48 PM


Great- you can't whip up some tofu for your daughter's decision to be more healthy and maybe to be kind to animals.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:26 PM

"Fred's Social Comment of the Day"


Why is it in the (Why We Hate Lawyers Division)?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:27 PM

altmom: I am kind of curious. Why can't you watch TV on shabbat? Isn't watching TV generally viewed as pleasure and not work? I am certainly not criticizing. I am just curious because I don't know much about the observant Jewish faith.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 1:28 PM

12:48 writes

>If my daughter became a vegetarian, she would eat >the vegetables served with our regular dinner or >learn how to fix her own meals. I'm not changing my >eating habits to suit her style, and I'm not making >multiple meals.

Bully for you, I'm glad your kids have been accommodating.

Since my youngest had severe food allergies, our family has a long history of both. For those years it wasn't a choice --- foods for me (the nursing mom) and the baby-then-toddler avoided dairy, soy, wheat, oats, barley, rye, eggs, nuts, seeds, fish, shellfish. So we went to parallel dishes and a new diet by necessity --- the nonallergic stuff was expensive and not so palatable; the allergic stuff even in trace amounts through breastmilk made her very sick and unable to grow. The oldest's diet ranged beyond the food-allergic youngest, but was still somewhat limited by it. Life throws surprises at you, and sustaining your child trumps all, even ingrained dietary habits you wish your kids would adopt for your own convenience. (*You* already like the foods you cook by habit, I would guess.) My oldest grew up seeing special dietary needs respected and supported.

Her choice to be a vegetarian is a moral choice by her. It may last forever or it may not, but she feels it is viscerally wrong to kill and eat animals and she wants no part of it herself (she does not complain or comment when we eat meat, at restaurants, for example). For me to make her unable to live by her moral choices, by not providing nutritionally complete choices so she can build a meat-free diet, would be extremely disrespectful. (Just the side vegetables at your usual dinner are unlikely to constitute a nutritionally balanced diet, or to feel filling/varied/complete.) I expect my dd to live by her moral views; her reaching a position and making sacrifices to live it is something I don't want to squelch. She's seen us make much deeper adaptations for her sister, why wouldn't we do so for her, when she is serious and making sacrifices herself?

She's too young right now (10) to have responsibility for developing and cooking all her meals herself.

My feeling is that our home is home to every family member, and should be a comfort zone to every family member. No one's preferences should be routinely ignored, so they're regularly limited to food choices they hate for dinner. We all make little concessions to support each member of the family, as each member is loved and each member's well-being is valued. All for one and one for all.

The youngest hasn't complained once about the dietary shifts for her sister.

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 1:30 PM

The most effective way as (Fred surely knows) to straighten out a person in a group is to punish everyone in the group but the offender. Works wonders

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 1:31 PM

"Great- you can't whip up some tofu for your daughter's decision to be more healthy and maybe to be kind to animals."

We eat healthy now. I said that I would not make multiple meals. I also said later that I would consider making a new side dish - I will not make multiple meals. I don't eat tofu now and don't plan to start. Make your decisions for your family and I'll make mine. When the kids are grown, they can make their own decisions and live their own lives.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:31 PM

Rumicat

Living with "extravagances" like take out food all the time doesn't motivate your kid to achieve in order to earn those extras - its just teaches them to expect them because they don't know any differently. Shouldn't the kids be taught some self reliance that doesn't involve throwing money at the situation.

Posted by: MN girl | June 14, 2007 1:31 PM


atlmom,

I've heard about that Morningside parents' group, it seems like a great and active resource. Saw a blurb in the school newsletter that some Druid Hills parents are launching one --- maybe that can grow into a great resource on this side of town, too.

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 1:34 PM

To MN Girl, but if people dont throw money at the problems then think of all of the people out of work -- landscaping people, maid services, fast food workers etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:34 PM

If you eat take out every night, it may not be viewed as a treat. Quite the opposite, I would imagine. We eat take out once a week and even with that frequency it gets boring. Boring beats the alternative of cooking 7 days a week for us but it is certainly not viewed as a great treat. In fact it gets old. So I imagine if a kid eats nothing but the take out menu, they would long for a home cooked meal.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 1:35 PM

Multiple meals are the road to hell. Eat it,put your plate in the sink and go do your homework.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 1:35 PM

My roommate in college grew up with parents that did not cook. She ate out most every meal. She did not like it and in turn, is raising her own kids without eating out hardly at all. Her parents continue to eat out and enjoy it. That did not make them bad parents

Posted by: Marie | June 14, 2007 1:37 PM

The most effective way as (Fred surely knows) to straighten out a person in a group is to punish everyone in the group but the offender. Works wonders

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 01:31 PM

I have two words to say about group dynamics in correcting behavior in the military, "blanket party"

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 1:37 PM

"No one's preferences should be routinely ignored, so they're regularly limited to food choices they hate for dinner"

I do not limit food choices to those they hate. There is always something on the menu that everyone likes.

You are not going to change my mind on this. I provide a healthy balanced meal and I am not going to stop doing that. I am not going to change to vegetarian meals becaue someone decides they want that.

Food allergies are a completely different story - that's a matter of health not preference.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:38 PM

pATRICK

"The most effective way as (Fred surely knows) to straighten out a person in a group is to punish everyone in the group but the offender. Works wonders"

You sure are a mean-spirited S.O.B.!

No wonder you are getting The Big Freeze.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:38 PM

I have two words to say about group dynamics in correcting behavior in the military, "blanket party"

FRED
A LA Full Metal Jacket?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 1:39 PM

Alas, it is true. I must eat take out so the economy doesn't collapse.

I'm not saying you shouldn't spend to buy a little time, but not at the expense of at least teaching self-sufficiency. Like in math - by all means, use the calculator - it's faster and more accurate, but you still need to learn how to do it with out the calculator.

Posted by: MN Girl | June 14, 2007 1:41 PM

"pATRICK

"The most effective way as (Fred surely knows) to straighten out a person in a group is to punish everyone in the group but the offender. Works wonders"

You sure are a mean-spirited S.O.B.!

No wonder you are getting The Big Freeze."


Is that you DCer?, Umm guess FRED is mean spirited too. YAWN

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 1:42 PM

Maryland Mom - you kind of freak me out -- you earned the name Old Yeller, you lock your kids out of the house, and you complain ON AN UNRELATED BLOG about your husband's failure to take medication for psychological problems. I must admit I'm glad you're not my mom, or my spouse.

Posted by: yikes | June 14, 2007 1:42 PM

My friend's parents odered take-out most of the week. Cooking at home meant Hamburger Helper. My friend had pizza weekly. Her house was also filled with processed foods like snack cakes and chips.

I visited her in Miami last year and her fridge was almost empty except for soda and left-over take-out. She does not cook. When she visits me, she asks me to make her food.

This wouldn't be a huge problem except she's not wealthy. She spends all her money on take-out and puts everything else on credit because that's the way she is used to living.

IMO, her parents did her a disservice.

Posted by: Meesh | June 14, 2007 1:44 PM

I don't know where all these great cooks live. In my neighborhood, you can't get into a restaurant and get a table without at least a 20 minute wait and some wait times are up to 2 hours. Someone must be eating out.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:45 PM

going out to eat was a big deal growing up - we rarely did cause we couldn't afford it.

BUT now we go usually once a week (maybe less now?) and DS asks to go out cause he's 'bored' at home.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:47 PM

Fred and John L are right about the group punishment. Peer pressure can be a powerful tool. We are not talking about physical punishment - just removal of privileges (phone, PX run).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 1:47 PM

Meesh,

Why don't you teach her how to cook when she visits - she may enjoy it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:48 PM

Foamgnome: difft strokes for diff folks, actually, it"s very complicated. The very religious typically don't watch tv (it's considered making fire since you are using electricity-and that's a no no). But if you live in a walled city (and you can 'create' one) you can do 'whatever you want' the rules don't apply. So there are some very religious rabbis who *do* watch tv since they're in the walled city (eruv).

But typically, it's no electricity.

We're not that religious, so we follow those rules during the high holy days, but that's all.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 1:52 PM

altmom: Thanks for answering. It is interesting about the walled city. Kind of reminds me of the Amish who have telephones in the barn.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 14, 2007 1:54 PM

"Fred and John L are right about the group punishment"

I have neither the power nor the inclination the power to "punish" any group.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 1:54 PM

Why is it in the (Why We Hate Lawyers Division)?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 01:27 PM

Although I understand and appreciate the difference in career specialization within that vast population that the word "lawyer" encompasses, many people outside D.C., NYC and such, do not. Ask the average joe in Kansas City what an IP lawyer is and does, I don't think that he would know.

The media does sensationalize such stories as the $54 million suit but this case is taking up court time when a "reasonable" person would settle out of court or with arbitration. Cases like these contribute to the perception that the law is an a$$ or that the law only addresses the needs of those who can afford it or that the law has little concern for the common man.

A lot of individuals have no faith in the law or that the legal system, specifically the various bars of the states, effectively discipline egregious behaviors of its members.

Cases such as these contribute to the contempt of the judicial system and the bitter taste that many have for attorneys.

Not all wrongs need to be "redressed."

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 1:56 PM

I said, "The law is a ass."

Posted by: Bill Shakespeare | June 14, 2007 1:59 PM

Fred,

Thanks for distinguishing us IP lawyers from the rest :)

Posted by: An IP Lawyer | June 14, 2007 1:59 PM

Fred

"Cases such as these contribute to the contempt of the judicial system and the bitter taste that many have for attorneys."

Do you really hate lawyers?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:00 PM

"Great- you can't whip up some tofu for your daughter's decision to be more healthy and maybe to be kind to animals."

So much love for the little animals, but the little babies be dammed!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:01 PM

If a child is not taught these domestic skills when young and realize that they are indeed a part of life, however boring it may be, the result will be that spouse feel taken advantage of and is resentful of that lazy slob. The little prince or princess will not turn magically into an equal partner upon marriage! The entitlement mentality is deeply ingrained and cannot be easily routed out.

I certainly have no objection to a cleaning service or eating out but do object that a child is never made to understand that life required doing many boring and repetitive tasks.

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 11:59 AM

Please come to my house and repeat that ad nauseum for my husband (who "forgets" this at his convenience) and #2 child.

My voice is giving out.

I will also point out in the interest of fairness, that it isn't just him, he has older siblings (both genders) who were also very clueless when they got married and set up mess with others. Extraordinarily clueless. They really and truly thought that the bathrooms and kitchen naturally stayed so clean because they were so meticulous. I don't know how they managed to overlook their SAHM who was constantly cleaning up after the family.

(No, his family did not believe in giving their children chores; household work was mom's work.)

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 2:05 PM

When my sister had a bit of money, she basically had no food at home- she ate out 3 meals a day. She spent all her money on food- I think she thought she deserved it. It really freaked my mom out.

when she met her now dh, he would buy food fresh daily and cook for himself cause he wanted to buy a house. Strange concept to sister.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 2:06 PM

That's not an option for many of us. Many families have two parents who work outside the home and some of us still give up our little luxuries just to keep our kids fed and housed.

Our family is one of them. We have two incomes, and we still can't afford a housecleaner or Disney vacations. We can't afford for one of us to stay home, let alone "outsource" undesirable tasks while the other cares for the kids full time. Besides, doing that work teaches your kids something too.

That's really great that Mike can do that. But it takes a high income working spouse to make that happen.

Posted by: Tammy | June 14, 2007 2:07 PM

"Do you really hate lawyers?"

Nah, they make a tasty morsel for lunch! Gotta use a lot of cocktail sauce on them!

No, I don't, I understand about the rule of law but I have a huge problem with the deceit, shenanigans and deceptions that a relatively few pull. I probably have a bigger issue that the respective bar associates do not effectively discipline many who, in my opinion, should be disciplined.

But, don't kid yourself, there are many,many people who do hate lawyers.

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 2:10 PM

Anyone who watches tv knows that many cleaning products do all the work themselves. There is one you put in the shower and just push a button and within a week (a week?) your shower is clean.
Others you spray and wipe - no elbow grease required.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

Tammy


"Besides, doing that work teaches your kids something too."

Such as?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:12 PM

Fred, There is so much more to that crazy story. He is representing himself and wants to be paid between $350-$400/per hour for his services (from the defendents). He supposedly has a history of frivolous lawsuits. It was reported that he has 60 witnesses lined up and that he broke down in tears yesterday.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 01:26 PM

Oh yeah--WTOP is having quite the field day with this one. As is Plotkin!

Personally, I want the guy off the bench and receiving a psych evaluation.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 2:12 PM

Fred

Aren't there bad apples in every profession?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:14 PM

I have two words to say about group dynamics in correcting behavior in the military, "blanket party"

FRED
A LA Full Metal Jacket?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 01:39 PM

I have not viewed Full Metal Jacket so I cannot say for sure but probably! (I do not watch movies on Vietnam for some strange reason!)

Please note that I have NEVER participated in a "blanket party."

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 2:14 PM

"Besides, doing that work teaches your kids something too."

Such as?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:12 PM

After a while, you start to teach the kids to do these chores, so they learn that part of growing up is learning to take care of yourself, not be waited on.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:15 PM

That's why we should go back to dowries. Right? If you don't teach your kids domestic skills, you should pay the future spouse a bunch of money....

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 2:16 PM

"The media does sensationalize such stories as the $54 million suit but this case is taking up court time when a "reasonable" person would settle out of court or with arbitration."

A 'reasonable person' would accept the cost of the lost slacks from the dry cleaner and not even confer with a lawyer and be in a position where 'settling out of court' would be an option.

Posted by: anon | June 14, 2007 2:17 PM

I think most parents are already doing some version of "out-sourcing" of adult duties. Some buy meals, some hire cleaners, some hire nannies, some use daycare, some sign their kids up for multiple lessons/activities, etc. And some of this is certainly okay! Life is busy.

Spending all day, everyday, hanging with your kids might seem like some kind of "ideal" but I can't see it working unless the kids see a real life being modeled for them. Kids should not be treated like the centers of the universe or they wil grow up thinking that they ARE.

How are you "raising" your kids if you aren't teaching them to take care of themselves(cooking and eating healthy), their environment(housework and yardwork) and being productive in general (helping others)?

I had some neighbor MOMS who out-sourced all the work (had nannies, housekeepers or maids,lawn service, etc and never cooked)-despite being "stay-at-home mommies" Hah! Some were at the hairdresser/gym/tennis court/out shopping/out to lunch all day. Some did tons of volunteer work. Some sat at home and watched TV and drank. None of them home-schooled or spent a lot of time with the kids.

Life is apparently a cabaret for those who can afford it.

Posted by: bommerette | June 14, 2007 2:18 PM

Maryland Mom - you kind of freak me out -- you earned the name Old Yeller, you lock your kids out of the house, and you complain ON AN UNRELATED BLOG about your husband's failure to take medication for psychological problems. I must admit I'm glad you're not my mom, or my spouse.

Posted by: yikes | June 14, 2007 01:42 PM

Hurray for me!

"Psychological problems" = mentally ill, by the way. If you think bipolar disorder plus borderline personality disorder is fun, you take him. Please.

And yes, I do periodically lock the kids out of the house to GO PLAY OUTSIDE, rather than watching television. I have 15 acres, horses & dogs. Get out. Go be a kid. Stay within hollering distance.

I'd rather be Old Yeller than try to be my minor childrens' bestest fwiend.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:19 PM

Anyone who watches tv knows that many cleaning products do all the work themselves. There is one you put in the shower and just push a button and within a week (a week?) your shower is clean.

That would be the good fairy, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:20 PM

That was me at 2:19.

I also make my kids do their own homework and do chores.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 2:20 PM

Fred,

Thanks for distinguishing us IP lawyers from the rest :)

Posted by: An IP Lawyer | June 14, 2007 01:59 PM

Also those who deal in family law, maritime law, public defenders, etc. Those damned litigators get the rest of you in trouble every time, don't they?

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 2:21 PM

I know there is a laundry fairy (who won't come back to my house because of a spat with the dish fairy) and a shower fairy. Does the good fairy cover all the rest? I sure could use the vacuum-the-stairs fairy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 2:22 PM

Right on Maryland Mom! Living around someone who is unstable is no picnic. My uncle had to be put in a home due to his violent outbursts.

On the play outside thing, who the hell wants to raise a bunch of lazy, couch potatoes? Not me, go play and run off all the take out food.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 2:23 PM

Fred

Aren't there bad apples in every profession?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:14 PM

Yep, in my business, we simply fire them!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 2:23 PM

I know there is a laundry fairy (who won't come back to my house because of a spat with the dish fairy) and a shower fairy. Does the good fairy cover all the rest? I sure could use the vacuum-the-stairs fairy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 02:22 PM

I'm still waiting for someone to let the Personality Fairy out of the glass chair. Stop shaking her!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 2:25 PM

Also those who deal in family law, maritime law, public defenders, etc. Those damned litigators get the rest of you in trouble every time, don't they?

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 02:21 PM

Yes, but I have to be honest -- its those litigators that are in my cell phone for emergencies. They can be pit bulls :)

Posted by: IP lawyer | June 14, 2007 2:25 PM

They're all a bunch of slackers.

Posted by: To KLB | June 14, 2007 2:26 PM

That was previewed & changed to "glass jar", but it didn't take for some reason.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 2:29 PM

"The very religious typically don't watch tv (it's considered making fire since you are using electricity-and that's a no no)"

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 01:52 PM

Atlmom is right! Indeed, the late Rabbi Avigdor Miller once said that having a television in your home is like having an outlet of the city sewer in your living room.

"But if you live in a walled city (and you can 'create' one) you can do 'whatever you want' the rules don't apply." (atlmom)

What rules don't apply?

/www.myjewishlearning.com/daily_life/Shabbat/Shabbat_in_Community/Eruv.htm

Atlmom, please check out the above Web site. Readers of this blog are relying on you to be "a light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6) and inform them about the Jewish religion.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 2:30 PM

what a bunch of condescending, the sky is falling, the sky is falling ninnies.

It's pretty funny that those most up in arms about Mike assume that "take-out" means high-fat, poor quality food. That assumption says more about them than it does about Mike. "Take-out" for our family means a salad bar with low-fat (if any) dressing, and freshly prepared seafood from a heart-healthy restaurant, not a quick-serve or fast food establishment. I routinely pick up healthy take-out entrees on my way home and the extra time it provides for us as a family is worth every penny.

Eating take-out routinely and having a once a week maid service doesn't mean that you have failed to teach your children how to cook and clean every inch of your house. You teach your children to pick up after themselves. You teach them to clean up their own messes. You teach them to make their beds. It's not rocket science to teach your kids responsibility without spending all available moments dusting, scrubbing, etc. It means that, on a beautiful spring day, you can go white water rafting 3 hours from home without worrying about what we will eat for dinner when we get home. How difficult is it for some of you people to expand your mind out of your own narrow little comfort zone and think about how someone could do something differently than you did it when you had kids? If a woman made the same point, I'd be glad she had the financial resources to do what Mike's doing, and give her credit for having come up with a plan to marry this approach with raising responsible kids.

Posted by: I'm with londonmom | June 14, 2007 2:30 PM

On the other hand -

Stay-at-homes" should not be considered "free labor" by the working spouse or the kids!

I am a woman and when I was working full-time, I still ended up doing the bulk of the housework. cooking, and child care. The money I earned was all for college costs - not maids and take-out. The sacrifice seemed worth it at the time and probably was.

But I have since "wised up"! If I were to take on a full-time job now, I would hire people to do ALL the stuff I do at home. It would probably use up ALL my salary. But why should I do TWO jobs when my spouse does only one?

Posted by: boomerette | June 14, 2007 2:33 PM

Fred

Aren't there bad apples in every profession?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:14 PM

Yep, in my business, we simply fire them!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 02:23 PM

In the legal profession, that happens a few times. Then they hang out their shingle as sole practitioners.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:35 PM

Give a kid boston market; you have fed him for today. Teach a kid to cook; and you have fed him for a lifetime

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:37 PM

MAtt: if you are in an eruv, the rules pertaining to what you can and can't do on shabbat don't apply - i.e., you can watch tv, drive, turn on/off the heat/ac, use electricity, etc.
As said in the URL (that I only glanced at ) it's a legal fiction.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 2:39 PM

exactly!

Posted by: boomerette | June 14, 2007 2:40 PM

"I know there is a laundry fairy (who won't come back to my house because of a spat with the dish fairy) and a shower fairy. Does the good fairy cover all the rest? I sure could use the vacuum-the-stairs fairy."

Fairies, fairies, fairies!!

Posted by: Nigel | June 14, 2007 2:41 PM

"Eating take-out routinely and having a once a week maid service doesn't mean that you have failed to teach your children how to cook and clean every inch of your house. You teach your children to pick up after themselves. ...."


Maybe you should go re-read what was posted. This guy is lazy. I don't think he does any of this stuff. No one cares that he orders take out, they care that he is lazy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:41 PM

How many of you are flying the American flag at your home today?

Posted by: Flag Day | June 14, 2007 2:42 PM

"I was so looking forward to doing a session with my oldest, trying to establish a few more healthy convenience staples everyone likes . . . and to take relaxed weekend time doing it with dd, instead of the weeknight evening blitz"

KB,

I don't understand the appeal of this concept.

You pay someone else to grocery shop, plan your meals, and prepare the ingredients so that you can go in for a few hours on a Saturday and play "kitchen" with your daughter?

Why not spend the same few hours on Saturday with your daughter making up a few multi-use basic recipes that can be modified throughout the week for variety?

For instance, make a huge pot of chili. Then, use it one day for chili on rice, another day for tamale pie, and another day for spicy burritos.

With each variation, you can add a salad and/or another green vegetable, and, voila -- dinner.

On the same Saturday, chop and lightly steam a variety of vegetables (carrots, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, etc.). Store in large plastic bags in the fridge. (It's ok to use frozen ones!) Then, one day after work, throw together a stir fry (add tofu for the veg folks and chicken for the others); another day, make a quick pasta primivera; finally, at the end of the week, use up the rest of the vegetables in a minestrone.

You get to spend the cooking time with your daughter, and she learns valuable skills like planning meals, chopping veggies, and making good nutritional choices. And you both get the satisfaction of a real, honest, warmhearted collaboration in your own kitchen.

How can "assembling" meals in some stranger's kitchen (which you have to pay for) match the real experience? Sounds a lot like Home Ec class.

If you were already committed to spending time on the weekend going to this kitchen place, then you've already set aside the time you need to cook in your own kitchen. Just get a couple of vegetarian cookbooks and go for it!

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 2:43 PM

How does flying a flag make anyone a better person?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:43 PM

Today is Flag Day and the U.S. Army Birthday

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 2:46 PM

The problem with lawyers is that many times it is pretty close to blackmail. A firm with a lot of money can outlast an opponent. I am sure that judge has much more money and ability to drag that business owner through the system. So he will be blackmailed and settle. A question for all lawyers, isn't your purpose to win?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 2:46 PM

"How does flying a flag make anyone a better person?"

It doesn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:47 PM

"Readers of this blog are relying on you to be "a light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6) and inform them about the Jewish religion."

I don't "rely" on anyone on this blog for anything.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:51 PM

Readers of this blog are relying on you to be "a light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6) and inform them about the Jewish religion."

I don't "rely" on anyone on this blog for anything.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:51 PM

Clearly you rely on them for entertainment or you would not be reading this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:53 PM


Maryland Mother ---

The ousting of kids from the house with a "go play! and don't come back til xxx" really rubbed me wrong as a kid. For me it only happened at my grandparents' houses, and was definitely motivated just by not wanting kids underfoot. It's annoying to feel like an exile, and to be cut off from inside activities and people.

Mostly this was to mollify older folks who didn't like their quiet routines disrupted by the mere presence of kids, who felt aggravated even if the kids were constructively occupied. Though one grandma did seem to think kids needed a certain quota of hours outside for satisfactory development :-)

My kids can entertain themselves indoors or out; sometimes they want to spend long hours reading or writing or drawing or crafting or playing pretend games inside; sometimes they want to explore or play more physically outside. I don't see why outside's automatically a better choice, or why they should be limited to it on someone else's schedule. So long as they choose a balance and keep themselves happily and constructively occupied, why dictate the choice, unless it really is to relieve aggravation felt by adults due to the childrens' presence? Or to separate the parent from kid squabbling or requests? Or to clean the room they're occupying? :-)

With a mentally ill spouse, maybe you're trying to create some calm and quiet by ousting the kids? Or are you just insisting that they find some constructive activity instead of TV-watching/video games? If that's it, why not just turn off the TV and video games and insist they do something else (perhaps with the 'or I'll *find* you something to do', chores to materialize)? Why explicitly say you must stay outside now?

I imagine you're not using the get out and stay out as insistently and literally as I took it as a kid . . . just curious why this sounds so appealing to some parents, though?

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 2:54 PM

Cincinnati Chili, served over spaghetti, topped with sour cream or grated cheddar or chopped raw onions.

Posted by: Cincy | June 14, 2007 2:56 PM

"MAtt: if you are in an eruv, the rules pertaining to what you can and can't do on shabbat don't apply - i.e., you can watch tv, drive, turn on/off the heat/ac, use electricity, etc.
As said in the URL (that I only glanced at ) it's a legal fiction."

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 02:39 PM

Atlmom is right about the "legal fiction" part. Paragraph 5 of the URL says:

"To many people, the eruv sounds like a legal fiction, a way to circumvent the spirit and possibly letter of the law against carrying."

But before one gets to Paragraph 5, there is the title of the Web page:

"String Around the City
"The eruv allows observant Jews to carry needed things in public on the Sabbath."

And there is this, in Paragraph 2:

". . . the sages of the Talmud devised a way to allow for carrying in public without breaking the rule. Through this means, called an eruv, communities are able to turn a large area into one that is considered, for Jewish law purposes, a large private domain, in which items may be carried."

The "walled city" allows carrying in the public domain -- that's all. There's nothing in there about driving, turning on/off the heat/ac/radio/tv, or using electricity to change the channel or adjust the volume. One may certainly pre-program the TV so as to watch one's desired channels at various times during Friday night and Saturday -- whether or not one is within a fictional "walled city." Many of the "very religious" -- if they have a TV set in their home at all -- won't do this, and for a very good reason. The TV brings the profane weekday world into your home -- the very weekday world that the Sabbath is supposed to be giving your family a rest from. If the Queen of the Netherlands came to visit your home, would you keep the TV set blaring while she was there? Doesn't the Sabbath Queen deserve the same courtesy?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 2:57 PM

"The ousting of kids from the house with a "go play! and don't come back til xxx" really rubbed me wrong as a kid."

KB, tough crap! You were a kid. C'mon hanging out with the old people was what you wanted? I would have gnawed off my foot to go outside and play instead.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 2:57 PM

bommerette

"Life is apparently a cabaret for those who can afford it."

Yes, indeed! Mission accomplished.

Posted by: Top Cat | June 14, 2007 2:58 PM

Today is Flag Day and the U.S. Army Birthday

It is a sad fact that a lot of flags are made in China.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 2:59 PM

KB - I don't think there is an epidemic of kids being sent outside for the day!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 3:00 PM

"It's annoying to feel like an exile, and to be cut off from inside activities and people."

It can be a lot more than annoying; it can leave deep psychic scars.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:02 PM

KB - I don't think there is an epidemic of kids being sent outside for the day!

Yeah, mine is three and all I meant by it was the kids needed time outside to play away from the TV. I didn't mean send them out and not let them back in.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 3:03 PM

KB, I'm sure Maryland Mother will respond for herself, but here's my response: because my kids are more likely to find something active to do outdoors. I am not interested in being the TV/electronics police, checking up on their every indoor move, and hovering to make sure they've selected a non-electronic passtime. If one of them wants to curl up with a book, I wouldn't stop him, of course, but I would encourage him to enjoy the sun while it's out. My children self-amuse -- and in active ways -- outdoors better than they self-amuse indoors. This time of year, I suggest a visit to the pool and they know that, if they don't follow that suggestion, I will impose limits on their sedentary alternatives with which they might not agree. They skedaddle quickly to the pool which also has the benefit of being a positive social environment.

It's a value judgment as well that reflects our household. We value and emphasize breathing fresh air and risking a potential encounter with poison ivy over breathing stale air, inhaling dog hair, and never meeting a snake you can't identify.

Posted by: MN | June 14, 2007 3:04 PM

It can be a lot more than annoying; it can leave deep psychic scars.


Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:02 PM

If being told to go outside and play hurt you that much, then I suggest therapy. Really and not in a snarky way.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:05 PM

It can be a lot more than annoying; it can leave deep psychic scars.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:02 PM

Mona can cure psychic scars with her Tarot cards.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:07 PM

I work full-time and do not outsource house-keeping, or yard work, we can't afford to. Right now, because of the deluge of recent rain, our lawn is going to seed. I am not going to dedicate every hour which I am not at my highly demanding job deep-cleaning the house. Currently there is a mildew ring threatening to take over the tub. I tell the kids shower rather than sit down in the tub, least they contract something unpleasant. I have two boys, the youngest is newly potty trained and his aim ain't great, so I am reminded to scrub around the base of the toilet whenever the odor threatens to knock us out. Don't drop by my house unexpectedly, you will discover, horror of horrors; laundry baskets with laundry that is waiting to be folded; various cars and toys strewn across the living room floor; a pile of school papers, paid bills and paperwork which needs to be filed; dishes sitting patiently by the sink, rinsed and ready to be loaded into the dishwasher whenever we manage time to unload the clean dishes. You will not find any rodents or cockroaches, and noone in the family has contracted a staf infection to date. My kids manage to miss most of the stomach viruses which go around the school and they do not have asthesma so I figure at least I am improving their immune systems by exposing them to a little dust every now and then. Honestly, the house does manage to get picked up by the weekend, which is when we have the Grandparents over for dinner.

We don't do much carry-out, but I am eternally grateful to Peapod for helping me carve out 3 extra hours each weekend which I can spend with my family. I think that we need to lighten up, the toilet does not need to be sterilized to the point that we can eat off of it, that is not its intended use. We don't need to persecute overworked and stretched parents for trying to carve out some time from their busy schedules to just chill out with family.

Posted by: dcdesigner | June 14, 2007 3:07 PM

With a mentally ill spouse, maybe you're trying to create some calm and quiet by ousting the kids? Or are you just insisting that they find some constructive activity instead of TV-watching/video games? If that's it, why not just turn off the TV and video games and insist they do something else (perhaps with the 'or I'll *find* you something to do', chores to materialize)? Why explicitly say you must stay outside now?

1) Yes, sometimes.
2) When I do that #2 starts throwing such fits that H loses his mind, screams at me, and #2 gets out of doing anything besides watching t.v. or playing video games. Unacceptable in my view.
3) While I do insist that the kids do chores, #2 has habit of being obnoxious and noisy (see point 2) and getting out of it when H is around. So I only have so much time to get the child into compliance. Child #2 knows this and can and HAS used this to #2's advantage. (I recognize manipulation when it's happening, H does not.)

So. Mostly it's because when there is good weather, I want them to go outside and look for salamanders, or something. For crying out loud, we have a resident red-tailed hawk, not to mention bluebirds, bats, orioles, thrashers, catbirds, purple martins and barn swallows that hang around the house. Television is mostly re-runs anyway.

Did you miss my posting about our two new board games? Admittedly we go and play games with other families (as H is not inclined and gets shirty about noise), but we do go out and do things.

I want the kids to learn how to find things to amuse themselves, without my constant input or suggestions. "Boring people are bored" is something I say often. So is, "Fine. You're bored. There's plenty of housework to be done. Stalls to be cleaned. Your bedroom could use your input."

Sometimes I want them to go away so I can have a private adult conversation. Not everything is their business.

They are not toddlers, they are school-aged. Play frisbee with a dog, take a book and read outside, but do not vegetate on a sofa in front of the television.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 3:08 PM

Well, I think that picky spelling police person is usually just after me, but you can never be too careful.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 01:04 PM

Get over yourself, scarry.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:08 PM

The problem with lawyers is that many times it is pretty close to blackmail. A firm with a lot of money can outlast an opponent. I am sure that judge has much more money and ability to drag that business owner through the system. So he will be blackmailed and settle. A question for all lawyers, isn't your purpose to win?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 02:46 PM

Answer -- Yes. That being said, there are ethical rules that lawyers are to play by to do so. Obviously its on the honor system to a degree and judging from the number of criminals in jail, not everyone abides by an honor system.

But absolutely, my job is to win and if I dont win often enough I get fired by my client then my firm.

Posted by: IP Lawyer | June 14, 2007 3:08 PM

How are you "raising" your kids if you aren't teaching them to take care of themselves(cooking and eating healthy), their environment(housework and yardwork) and being productive in general (helping others)?

Posted by: bommerette | June 14, 2007 02:18 PM

There's not one iota of evidence that Mike's kids don't eat healthy, don't know how to cook, don't know how to do housework or yardwork and are not volunteering. These are all assumptions that say more about you than about Mike's choices.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:12 PM

scarry

"Well, I think that picky spelling police person is usually just after me, but you can never be too careful."

The Spelling Police and the Grammar Police may be after you because you make the most errors! You are a repeat offender.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:13 PM

Well, he can't have bacon cheeseburgers

If he's following kosher, he can't have ANY cheeseburgers. And bacon would be out whether it was a meat or a dairy meal.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:13 PM

I must admit I hate the idea of my son (and i know i should include my daughter) not knowing or doing yardwork. I did not like it too much growing up but i find satisfaction now doing the labor. It just seems wrong to have kids playing video games and a hired crew doing the yard. That's just my opinion.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:16 PM

"Life is apparently a cabaret for those who can afford it. "

I believe one of the best way of getting rid of the prejudices, equalizing society and teaching people a lesson in humility is to make them do the work they so despised.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:16 PM

dcdesigner,

do you live in my house?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:18 PM

"Life is apparently a cabaret for those who can afford it. "

"I believe one of the best way of getting rid of the prejudices, equalizing society and teaching people a lesson in humility is to make them do the work they so despised"

Been there, done that. Now, life is a cabaret. Deal with it. It's none of your business how I spend my money.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:20 PM

KB,

I really admire how you're dealing with your daughter's wish to be vegetarian.

That you don't want to "squelch" her developing compassion and curiosity says volumes about your priorities as a parent.

You're allowing your daughter to establish her own moral compass, and that's a huge gift to give a child.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:22 PM

A question for all lawyers, isn't your purpose to win?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 02:46 PM

pATRICK, I'm a transactional attorney. My ethical obligation is to zealously represent my clients. In practical terms, my job is to get the best deal I can for my client. If I don't do that efficiently, or if my behavior causes my clients to lose business opportunities they'd otherwise have, e.g., if I'm difficult to work with or misrepresent the facts or my client's position on an issue, my clients go elsewhere. In my world, bad lawyering is the problem that solves itself.

In the litigation world, sometimes a "win" is a lower judgment than the last settlement offer you rejected. It's a game of poker where those who best evaluate the other guy's hand, give the best settlement and strategic advice, and develop a reputation for being worth every penny.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 3:23 PM

MN, you have me at a disadvantage, what exactly does a transactional attorney do?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:25 PM

"Get over yourself, scarry."


Get a life freak.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:25 PM

Megan's Neighbor

"It's a game of poker where those who best evaluate the other guy's hand, give the best settlement and strategic advice, and develop a reputation for being worth every penny."

Perry Mason couldn't have said it better!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:26 PM

Speaking of snakes, when the kids, dogs and I were going out to the barn to do horse chores, we encountered our first black snake of the season. Decent-sized too, about 5'. #2 was impressed when I was able to grab it and hold it so the kids could touch it, gently. It went slithering away, hopefully to catch many, many rodents.

Hurray for snakes.

Maryland Mother

Posted by: to MN | June 14, 2007 3:27 PM

KB,

I really admire how you're dealing with your daughter's wish to be vegetarian.

That you don't want to "squelch" her developing compassion and curiosity says volumes about your priorities as a parent.

You're allowing your daughter to establish her own moral compass, and that's a huge gift to give a child.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:22 PM

So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:28 PM

to 3:13

My post was about how the WIFE had decided to keep kosher and how it was affecting the HUSBAND, who couldn't care less about it and how they worked it out.

So yes, he CAN have bacon cheeseburgers, if he so chooses, but out of respect to his wife, he only does it either out of the house OR if he brings it in, doesn't use any of their dishes.

Posted by: ATLmom | June 14, 2007 3:28 PM

"Get a life freak."

Get a life, freak.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:29 PM

"So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?"

I believe PITTYPAT is an atheist, aren't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:30 PM

So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:28 PM

No, they should emulate Carrie's mother in the movie.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:30 PM

"So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?"

No, the parents are supposed to hand the child over to the authorities, to be burned at the stake.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:33 PM

KB - I don't think there is an epidemic of kids being sent outside for the day!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 03:00 PM

If there were, the book "Last Child in the Woods" wouldn't be selling half as well as it is.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 3:33 PM

"Get a life freak."

Get a life, freak.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:29 PM

Grow up all of you!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:34 PM

"It is interesting about the walled city."

altmom and foamgnome,

Yes, it is interesting.

My husband and I, while not Jewish, actually do live within an eruv. Our neighborhood is populated primarily by ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the seasons of the year are punctuated for us by the holidays and festivals observed by the community.

A friend who used to live near us, also not Jewish, recounts that, occasionally, his next-door neighbor would come over on a Saturday and ask him to turn on a light switch (also making fire and, therefore, forbidden on the Sabbath).

It's really quite an amazing thing on Saturdays to see all the families out walking together and pushing strollers.

While I could never live such a structured and ritualized life, I am awed by the depth of devotion I see in my neighbors.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:35 PM

NIGEL, I see you have been a naughty boy. I read some of the bloodbath yesterday. Don't you have an anonymous tryst to go to?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:36 PM

"So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?"

My problem was the opposite. Parents were not religious but I started going to church to please born-again boyfriend and family. Sun. AM and eve. worship and afternoon activities and 1 eve. midweek. Tried to get family to say grace at meals, but parents ordered me to do so silently. After I broke up with boyfriend I returned to being unreligious and family was relieved.

Posted by: Regular but no name this time | June 14, 2007 3:37 PM


pittypat,

The appeal (of the assembly kitchens versus your own) for me would be assembling 12 new dishes to try in one shot, in just 2 hours, with everything ready-to-hand without dedicated shopping expeditions, tight space/surface organization/mess afterward issues in my own kitchen. If only 1/3 of those new dishes caught on, that would make a big impact in our meal-planning, as opposed to trying a single new recipe at a time, often requiring multiple attempts/refinements as they're aimed at adults who love novel tastes instead of families who appreciate hearty but less challenging ones. I'm imagining that in fewer iterations/less time we would find more foods that are new and appealing to us. We're pretty good at reproducing foods we like once we've found them (if they're not too complex - veggie pad thai and moo shu are foods we like but which seem too involved in keeping ingredients onhand or in prep time for us), so I'm seeing it as a booster course, a repertoire infusion, to quickly vet some new ideas.

Of course, those are just pie-in-the-sky hopes,

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 3:37 PM

tickles

Posted by: test | June 14, 2007 3:38 PM

Brief blurb about "Last Child in the Woods":

"Instead of passing summer months hiking, swimming and telling stories around the campfire, children these days are more likely to attend computer camps or weight-loss camps: as a result, Louv says, they've come to think of nature as more of an abstraction than a reality. Indeed, a 2002 British study reported that eight-year-olds could identify Pokémon characters far more easily than they could name "otter, beetle, and oak tree."

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 3:39 PM

And yes, I do periodically lock the kids out of the house to GO PLAY OUTSIDE, rather than watching television. I have 15 acres, horses & dogs. Get out. Go be a kid. Stay within hollering distance.

I'd rather be Old Yeller than try to be my minor childrens' bestest fwiend.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:19 PM

Maryland Mom,

Hurray for you. Frankly, I think you sound like a great mom. I'd have loved those 15 acres with the horses and dogs when I was a kid.

Keep it up!

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:40 PM

"Been there, done that. Now, life is a cabaret. Deal with it. It's none of your business how I spend my money."

Yes ma'am, no ma'am!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:40 PM

pATRICK - Transactional attorneys review, negotiate and draft agreements, In that context, we advise clients of risks, and levels of risk, involved in taking various approaches or making certain concessions. We give practical advice regarding their compliance obligations. If they ignore our advice and a regulator or competitor finds out, they get to hire our litigator friends to exit the frying pan.

Posted by: MN | June 14, 2007 3:41 PM

pATRICK - Transactional attorneys review, negotiate and draft agreements. In that context, we advise clients of risks, and levels of risk, involved in taking various approaches or making certain concessions. We give practical advice regarding their compliance obligations. If they ignore our advice and a regulator or competitor finds out, they get to hire our litigator friends to exit the frying pan.

Posted by: MN | June 14, 2007 3:41 PM

I sure could use the vacuum-the-stairs fairy.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 02:22 PM

KB,

You're appealing to the wrong local.

Elves do the vacuuming.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:42 PM

KB,

I really admire how you're dealing with your daughter's wish to be vegetarian.

That you don't want to "squelch" her developing compassion and curiosity says volumes about your priorities as a parent.

You're allowing your daughter to establish her own moral compass, and that's a huge gift to give a child.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:22 PM

what insufferable nonsense.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:43 PM

KB: try the Grit cookbook - from the grit restaurant in Athens. DH bought it for me and it's great. It's worth it for the chili recipe alone.

The grit is a vegetarian restaurant in Athens.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

"It went slithering away, hopefully to catch many, many rodents."

OH, MY GOD!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

Maryland Mom,

Hurray for you. Frankly, I think you sound like a great mom. I'd have loved those 15 acres with the horses and dogs when I was a kid.

Keep it up!

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:40 PM

I'm blushing...

Speaking of kids, I wonder if #1 vacuumed, as asked to do? Or picked up the bedroom?

Place your bets, people! Will "Old Yeller" make an appearance or not?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

"The Spelling Police and the Grammar Police may be after you because you make the most errors! You are a repeat offender."

Is there a reason why spelling police and grammar police are capitalized? I mean what style guide are you following? Most writer/editors will tell you that nouns like that are not capitalized. If they were, every other sentence would read like this:

The Mail Man and the Milk Man got together for lunch with the Janitor. At lunch, they gave the Waitress a hard time so the Cook came out and told them to leave the restaurant.

Here is a re-write on you second sentence too:

You are a repeat offender of spelling and grammar errors, which is probably why the spelling police, who are anal, persist in pointing them out.

Later!

Posted by: no one is perfect | June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

pATRICK, are you bringing the flan this afternoon?

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 3:45 PM

You're allowing your daughter to establish her own moral compass, and that's a huge gift to give a child.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:22 PM

PITTYPAT, I could not disagree with you more. It is the worst thing a parent can do.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:46 PM

on average, how much do you all pay for weeky maid service?

Posted by: question | June 14, 2007 3:47 PM

"It went slithering away, hopefully to catch many, many rodents."

OH, MY GOD!!!!!


Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:44 PM

Squeamish much? What did you think snakes ate? Besides little birdie's eggs and Alvin & his brothers?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:48 PM

pATRICK, are you bringing the flan this afternoon?

That always makes me laugh, what flavor milady? or rather CATLADY?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:49 PM

You're not perfect, either. You should've written, "I mean, what style guide are you following?" (with the comma added).

Posted by: To no one is perfect | June 14, 2007 3:49 PM

"Here is a re-write on you second sentence too: . . . "

Irony, blessed Irony.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:51 PM

pATRICK, I'm a classic kind of gal.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 3:51 PM

If the child lived with vegetarian parents and wanted to start eating meat, would you support that wish also?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:52 PM

KB,

You're appealing to the wrong local.

Elves do the vacuuming.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:42 PM

Okay. THIS is funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:52 PM

MAtt: if you are in an eruv, the rules pertaining to what you can and can't do on shabbat don't apply - i.e., you can watch tv, drive, turn on/off the heat/ac, use electricity, etc.
As said in the URL (that I only glanced at ) it's a legal fiction.

Posted by: atlmom | June 14, 2007 02:39 PM

altmom,

My understanding is that living in the eruv doesn't change the requirement to follow the regular Shabbat laws but does allow, for instance, the pushing of strollers to services.

The eruv was explained to me as expanding the boundaries of your home to include the shul and to allow for pushing strollers and carrying children (things normally permitted only in the home on Shabbat).

In my neighborhood (one of the largest concentrations of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the eastern U.S.), the observant don't drive, and they don't turn electricity on or off. (That is, if the lights are already on, they can stay on; if they're off and it gets dark, they can't be switched on except by a non-Jewish person.) Also, food is prepared in advance and stoves/ovens are kept at a continuous low heat.

I'm sure the degree of observance varies, but this is how it seems to be in our neighborhood.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 3:53 PM

pATRICK, I'm a classic kind of gal.

CATLADY, I think you should have written "I'm a classy kind of gal"..

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 3:54 PM

on average, how much do you all pay for weeky maid service?

Posted by: question | June 14, 2007 03:47 PM

In Alexandria, VA we pay about $100 a week. To be clear, they strictly clean (no laundry etc.) I have paid more and I have paid less (i think I have fired every service in NoVa). I finally realized that no one is going to clean it like me, picked a middle of the road company and lowered my standards

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:55 PM

If California Mother is still around, I want to thank you for recommending "The Dangerous Book for Boys". I've given away two copies thus far, and it's been a hit. I'm keeping a copy for us.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 3:56 PM

You're not perfect, either. You should've written, "I mean, what style guide are you following?" (with the comma added).

That is a matter of style.

Like I said, no one is perfect, which was my point. I guess you are too dense to get it though, so continue on with your harassment of someone you just don't like instead of engaging in the conversation.

Later

Posted by: no one is perfect | June 14, 2007 3:56 PM

Grammar Sheriff is in capital letters because this is a proper noun!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 14, 2007 3:57 PM

Grammar Sheriff is in capital letters because this is a proper noun!

That is not correct.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 3:59 PM

"As I said," not "Like I said."

Posted by: To no one is perfect | June 14, 2007 4:01 PM

Grow up all of you!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:34 PM

You first!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:02 PM

"If California Mother is still around, I want to thank you for recommending "The Dangerous Book for Boys". I've given away two copies thus far, and it's been a hit. I'm keeping a copy for us."

Us too! We spent about 45 minutes the other day working on knots and discussing the hanging gardens of babylon. Excellent book! its my new standard gift!

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 4:02 PM

Oh, pATRICK (blushes prettily)!

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 4:02 PM

So, if a child announces one day that she wants to convert to a different religion, are the parents supposed to support that and provide the tools necessary for that conversion?

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 03:28 PM

You seem to want a single rule that can be applied to every situation. I don't have kids, but I imagine that an awful lot of the issues that come up nowadays are situation-specific and have to be dealt with individually.

As to your specific question, I would probably suggest to the kid that reading and research on the religion of interest would be a good first step. And, if the kid wanted my assistance, I'd help him/her to find a variety of books about the religion.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 4:04 PM

As to your specific question, I would probably suggest to the kid that reading and research on the religion of interest would be a good first step. And, if the kid wanted my assistance, I'd help him/her to find a variety of books about the religion.


I just fell out of my chair

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 4:05 PM

Grammar Sheriff is in capital letters because this is a proper noun!

That is not correct.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 03:59 PM

Grammar Sheriff, with initial caps, is a nom du blog used from time by one or more on this blog. As such it is a proper name. What's your basis for suggesting that it's incorrect to use initial caps to refer to individuals?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:07 PM

I believe PITTYPAT is an atheist, aren't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 03:30 PM

No, pATRICK, I'm not.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:08 PM

Ah, bob is a frat boy! That explains a lot.

Seriously, though, Mike sounds like the opposite of balance. He doesn't have to juggle ANYTHING. He makes it sound like he spends 100% of his waking hours with the kids--and that is not good for mom, dad, OR kids. But I'd venture to say he manages to find time for a few hours of Xbox or SportsCenter a day.

Posted by: Mona | June 14, 2007 4:08 PM

Hey, I think this world would be well served if more of our children were well versed in religions other than their own. Religion is the motivating factor in a great deal of historical and current events.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 4:10 PM

Grammar Sheriff, with initial caps, is a nom du blog used from time by one or more on this blog. As such it is a proper name. What's your basis for suggesting that it's incorrect to use initial caps to refer to individuals?

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 04:07 PM

Correct.

Posted by: To no one is perfect | June 14, 2007 4:10 PM

It is me and I did mean to say proper name.

(signed)

Grammar Sheriff

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 14, 2007 4:12 PM

"I'm seeing it as a booster course, a repertoire infusion, to quickly vet some new ideas."

KB,

Well, that makes sense. It is hard to develop a repetoire of tried-and-true family pleasers.

One thing I do when I want to reproduce Asian meals at home is that I FUDGE.

For instance, I have all these great recipes for Tofu-Yung, but they all require a lot of prep, then shaping patties, then baking or frying. Too much! So, I've taken to doing a tofu scramble with Tofu-Yung ingredients. Tastes as good, and is soooo quick and easy.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 4:14 PM

It is I

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:15 PM


Maryland Mother and all,

I was just asking. Though few kids are sent outside til dinner, lunch, whatever, nowadays, I think of it as an old-fashioned practice that used to be more common. And it seems to cover a range of possibilities, from a habit solely for adult convenience to prompting activity/initiative for kids who are otherwise loafing or squabbling. I do see it as a reasonable consequence for kids who can't find their own entertainment or who through squabbling or rambunctiousness are making inside an insufferable place for others. Was wondering whether MM used it that way -- it sounds like she does :-) -- versus more of a prescriptive, kids should play outside x hours a day, or the house should be freed of kids whenever adults tire of their presence. Basically just asking that kids who behave well and are immersed in their own inside projects and games be exempt, instead of having to abruptly change gears and be banished because of some adult fiat, so long as over time they choose a good balance of indoor/outdoor, physical/quiet activity. The old-fashioned 'go out and play' as I experienced it wasn't so generous to home bodies . . .

I wasn't accusing, just exploring.

I was talking to my very strong-willed youngest about this the other day. How my dad remembers hating having to stay inside and practice piano when he could see his friends playing outside; how I remember hating being sent outside to play when all I wanted to do was play piano, and how I longed for piano lessons; and how my daughter has now come full circle and hates having to practice piano. (If she still balks after a summer off, I think we'll drop it and reconsider when she's older.)

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 4:16 PM

It AM I!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:17 PM

All of you grammar-philes (NOT using the N-word) would HATE icanhascheezburger.com

Or, maybe you'd love it. It's great for a laugh.

Posted by: Mona | June 14, 2007 4:19 PM

KB - your post is a good reminder that we all filter these topics through our own, customized lenses. What most people are reacting to, I think, is these fat kids playing video games all day and teh absence of unstructured play in our kids lives these days.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 14, 2007 4:19 PM

Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion and anything can be disputed because everyone has a different book.

Where I work grammar sheriff would not be capped unless it said "John the Grammar Sheriff was just promoted to grammar czar."

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:21 PM

Well, partner, I will have to unholster my grammar book and shoot myself!

Posted by: Grammar Sheriff | June 14, 2007 4:22 PM

Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion and anything can be disputed because everyone has a different book.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 04:21 PM

You are kidding yourself. Proper usage is not "almost all opinion." The comment above represents a lame excuse for not learning how to use the English language properly.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:24 PM

"I believe PITTYPAT is an atheist, aren't you?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 03:30 PM

No, pATRICK, I'm not."

My apologies

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 4:26 PM

You are kidding yourself. Proper usage is not "almost all opinion." The comment above represents a lame excuse for not learning how to use the English language properly.

This is a joke right?

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:26 PM

Okay, pATRICK, let's talk.

1. "PITTYPAT, I could not disagree with you more. It is the worst thing a parent can do."

If a child doesn't have a part in developing her own set of morals -- that is, if you simply impose yours on her -- she's going to reject them at some point in order to explore for herself. Why not encourage that exploration while you're still in a position to provide guidance (and even limitations) while she does it?

"I believe PITTYPAT is an atheist, aren't you?"

Don't know what your point is here or what relevance it has to the discussion. But, no, I'm not an atheist.

"I just fell out of my chair" [In response to my saying I'd help a kid learn about a religion he/she is interested in.]

I assume that you're saying you were laughing so hard you fell out of your chair, not that you're a clumsy buffoon with poor reflexes. If I'm right, then, what's so funny?

And by the way, where is that list of conservative blogs you promised me?

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 4:29 PM

My book say grammar be all up in you. We might gets along if you was like I, and respects the grammar opinion of others'.

Posted by: Warriner | June 14, 2007 4:31 PM

I would much rather go outside and play all day than be stuck in this cube farm.

Time to go home. Don't feel like cooking, so I guess I'll stop and pick up a pizza.

Posted by: wishful thinking | June 14, 2007 4:32 PM

I agree with pittypat that healthy exploration of other religions is a good thing. I have to say that that if baby 1 or 2 wanted to convert to a religion that was exclusionary. I would be very upset. However, they will all grow up someday and make their own decisions, so why hold them back from learning. I can't say that I would be happy about it, but I would try to be supportive.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:33 PM

"Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion"

scarry- I think we've discovered your problem!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:34 PM

Returning home from work, a blonde was shocked to find her house ransacked
and burglarized. She telephoned the police at once and reported the crime.
The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the radio, and a K-9 unit,
patrolling nearby, was
the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog
on a leash, the blonde ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the
cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps. Putting her face in her hands,
she moaned, "I come home to find all my possessions stolen. I call the
police for help, and what do they do? They send me a BLIND
policeman."

Posted by: Blonde Joke #1 | June 14, 2007 4:35 PM

PITTYPAT, I already apologized to you. I am not clumsy. I just could have sworn you and I had some conversation that led me to believe you were a hardened athiest. So once again I will apologize. I am working on your blogs, I just can't find exactly what I am looking for.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 4:36 PM

"I agree with pittypat that healthy exploration of other religions is a good thing. I have to say that that if baby 1 or 2 wanted to convert to a religion that was exclusionary. I would be very upset. However, they will all grow up someday and make their own decisions, so why hold them back from learning. I can't say that I would be happy about it, but I would try to be supportive."

There is a difference between letting them explore something new and actually participating in it yourself. Would you attend services and say prayers from the other religion? I wouldn't.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:38 PM

"Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion."

Do you feel that way about highway safety laws, too?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:38 PM

pATRICK,

I'm really more interested in your response to the moral compass question. Are you giving it some thought?

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 4:38 PM


"Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion."

Do you feel that way about highway safety laws, too?

A dangling participle has never killed anyone!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:41 PM

Really? If you think that there isn't more than one way to write a sentence or converse with people, then I really don't think I am the one with the problem. People have different dialects, accents, and in our ever changing world of immigration, different ways to spell and write things.

Sure, it is annoying when people use that instead of who when talking about people or do not know which tense to use, but on a blog when people are trying to write fast because they are at work, is it really worth fighting over? I don't think so, but if you want to go ahead. I tend not to correct people's grammar because it is rude and also because I don't get paid to do it on a blog. I think that people who are constantly trying to show the world all their skills are really insecure and need a way to make their selves feel better by trying to make other people feel bad.

I don't feel bad about typos on a blog, just so you know.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:43 PM

Give scarry a break. Yes, English grammar is almost all universally agreed upon constructions, (and therefore not "almost all opinion") but...there is no English language authority, there do exist disputes (i.e. people do have different opinions over the correct constructs), and different grammar textbooks do sometimes give conflicting 'rules'. So there.

Posted by: Warriner's Mom | June 14, 2007 4:44 PM


Thanks for the cookbook pointer, atlmom! I'll check it out. And thanks for the encouragement, pittypat. :-)

Posted by: KB | June 14, 2007 4:44 PM

Maybe you should go re-read what was posted. This guy is lazy. I don't think he does any of this stuff. No one cares that he orders take out, they care that he is lazy.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 02:41 PM

Maybe YOU should read what was posted. The only thing posted was that Mike outsourced everything he could, specifcally stated were "dinner was take most nights" (notice it said most) and it sounded like he hired a cleaning service. That is all the specifics in the original article. All the the other stuff was assumed by everyone else.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 14, 2007 4:45 PM

"Grammar is so much fun. It is almost all opinion."

Do you feel that way about highway safety laws, too?

A dangling participle has never killed anyone!"

This is so silly.

I don't know some of these posters are wound so tight about grammar that I wouldn't be so sure.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:45 PM

What did the blonde ask her doctor when he told her she was pregnant?

"Is it mine?"

Posted by: Blonde Joke #2 | June 14, 2007 4:45 PM

There is a difference between letting them explore something new and actually participating in it yourself. Would you attend services and say prayers from the other religion? I wouldn't.

I do it every three months when I go home. Dad is Catholic mom is Protestant. Now, I don't think I could ever renounce Jesus, but I would have no trouble going to services with my child. God is God as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 4:49 PM

There is a difference between letting them explore something new and actually participating in it yourself. Would you attend services and say prayers from the other religion? I wouldn't.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 04:38 PM

Yes. What's to fear in attending a service of another faith, from time to time? Have you never worshipped at a temple or place of worship of another faith? No one is directing your prayers. Pray to Whomever you typically pray, or keep silent during portions of the service in which participants are praying to a god in which you do not believe.

I can't imagine getting past the age of 25 without having the intellectual curiosity and theological confidence to attend services with one or more friends, or on one's own, that do not conform to my beliefs.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 4:51 PM

PITTYPAT, I have said and still say letting a kid pick their moral compass is wrong for several reasons. First it is a vacuum which must be filled. Who will fill it? The parents who love the child and have years of experience to draw on?. If not them then the people of hollywood and madison avenue and pop culture that children are immersed in will fill it. Their compass is driven by greed, materialism, coolness and beauty. Leaving a kid to do it is like having a garden that you never water, pull weeds from, never fertilize and then hope a beautiful rose grows from it. It won't happen, it will be filled with weeds.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 4:52 PM

I direct your attention to California Penal Code Section 189.

189. All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive
device or explosive, a weapon of mass destruction, knowing use of
ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, deliberate or unintentional misuse of English grammar,...

Posted by: Just the Facts Ma'am | June 14, 2007 4:53 PM

oh no, is Patrick ranting about the village again?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:54 PM

I don't know some of these posters are wound so tight about grammar that I wouldn't be so sure.

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 04:45 PM

Pointing out the ridiculousness of your statement that grammar is "almost all opinion" doesn't indicate that anyone is wound or unwound in any amount of tightness. You can't bear to be proved incorrect, can you?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:54 PM

scarry, both of your parents are Christian. Try a different example such as Muslim or Jewish.

Posted by: to scarry | June 14, 2007 4:55 PM

I am working on your blogs, I just can't find exactly what I am looking for.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 04:36 PM

So now we know. pATRICK is Blog Stats!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 4:55 PM

I made flan for everyone who will not complain about spelling, typos, and grammer. If you must complain, then you can just eat dirt.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 4:56 PM

So now we know. pATRICK is Blog Stats!


GOD NO! I would rather be eaten by fireants!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 4:56 PM

Maybe YOU should read what was posted. The only thing posted was that Mike outsourced everything he could, specifcally stated were "dinner was take most nights" (notice it said most) and it sounded like he hired a cleaning service. That is all the specifics in the original article. All the the other stuff was assumed by everyone else.

Posted by: devils advocate | June 14, 2007 04:45 PM

*claps* *cheers*

Bravo, devils advocate, for closing the circle on the original topic with grace and brevity.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 4:58 PM

"Pointing out the ridiculousness of your statement that grammar is "almost all opinion" doesn't indicate that anyone is wound or unwound in any amount of tightness"

Your repeated and boring harping on grammer is what proves your that you are a grammer-happy, idiot who has nothing better to contribute to this conversation. It's boring and irrelevant. Do you stop and correct people when they are speaking also? This is a blog for goodness sake!! If you want perfect grammer, go read Shrunk and White.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:00 PM

Megan's Neighbor's post at 4:51 for Post of the Day.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 5:01 PM

Marie wrote: "did you know that a roast beef can actually burst into flames"

No, but I've seen baked potatoes explode in the oven. It's like having hashed browns sprayed all over the oven walls.

Posted by: catlady | June 14, 2007 5:03 PM

Emily,

I don't care about grammar. I care about lame generalizations. You seem a bit bent about a conversation no one was having with you. Was it worth an exclamation point?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 5:03 PM

Thanks Megan's Neighbor,

It is amazimg what people will assume when given limited information. These assumptions really tell you a lot about the person making them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 5:04 PM

"scarry, both of your parents are Christian. Try a different example such as Muslim or Jewish"

I'd still go to the religious service but don't know if I would say the prayers.

I am done talking about grammar. You can think what you want and correct what you want until you are blue in the face, but it doesn't change the degree on my wall, the grades I get in grad school, or the money I make. It probably makes you feel better though so here is a freebie:

The girl that eat poporn has an alleric reaction to a butter. Heve at it and hae fun!

Thanks Warriner's Mom!

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 5:04 PM

*blushes* why, thank you, catlady!

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 5:05 PM

"I can't imagine getting past the age of 25 without having the intellectual curiosity and theological confidence to attend services with one or more friends, or on one's own, that do not conform to my beliefs."

I'm not talking about being interested in attending another service as an adult because I was curious or attending with friends. I am talking about a child (pre-teen or early teens) who wants to become another religion. I would let her learn about it on her own, but I would not be saying the prayers, following the customs and traditions, and attending the services because a child decides she wants to. The parents provide the moral compass, not the children. Anything she could learn on her own would be OK, but I would not facilitate in teaching or practicing a faith that is not ours. They are free to follow whatever path they choose as adults.

We are Catholic and my child has attended bat mitzvahs and I attended one with her. If she came home and said that she wanted to convert to Judiasm, i would not take her to temple, or read the Torah, or send her to Hebrew school since we are raising her in the Catholic faith. If she wanted to learn from friends or the library, fine. If she wanted to attend services with friends, I probably would allow it, but I wouldn't take her nor would I attend with her. She would not get out of sunday Mass because she decided to "become Jewish".

What if the child wants to explore a morality that says to throw away all your worldly possessions and live among the poor to help take care of them? Should we encourage that interest in developing their own moral conscience?

The bottom line is that we are the parents. We will most likely encourage any interest that we believe in or don't feel strongly about. Other interests we will discourage no matter how many other people think we are squelching our children.

Posted by: my two cents | June 14, 2007 5:06 PM

Emily probably is bent! Bent over with a baby! How is the baby today Emily? Mine is causing nothing but trouble.

Thanks though for the support. :) It is such a silly argument and dude, I am wrong all the time, so your silly generalization about me not being able to bear being wrong must have you hating yourself.

I second MN for quote of the day, but the post about the dangling participle was kind of good too!

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 5:10 PM

"I can't imagine getting past the age of 25 without having the intellectual curiosity and theological confidence to attend services with one or more friends, or on one's own, that do not conform to my beliefs."

MN - I agree. I find learning about other religions to be fascinating as well as enlightening. My interest was piqued by a class on the anthropology of religion that I took during college. Then I watched Campbell's and Moyers series on Power of Myth. Right now, I am slowly reading the Masks of God series. Great stuff for anyone who is interested.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:11 PM

Thanks TWO CENTS, well said.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 5:11 PM

"First it is a vacuum which must be filled. Who will fill it? The parents who love the child and have years of experience to draw on?"

pATRICK,

I don't think we are so far apart here.

Of course, children need the guidance of loving parents to help them learn decency and integrity. But lessons in morality exist on a continuum, and it seems like it would be better for parents to be less flexible on the BIG issues (hitting people is NOT acceptable behavior) but more flexible on things that are sort of "life-optional."

For instance, KB's daughter is learning several really good lessons from her mother's approach to the vegetarianism thing:

1. Wanting to try something different is good as long as you do it healthfully.

2. Showing compassion for other living things is good, and vegetarianism is one way (not the only way) to do that.

3. Mom respects daughter's interests and curiosities and is willing to consider them.

4. Adults can learn, too. Maybe others in the family will enjoy veg dishes.

Now, if the same daughter came to KB (when she's a teenager) and said, "I want to go on birth control pills," that would be a whole different issue. It raises huge questions about what's happening in daughter's life that parents may not know about. And it certainly would open the door to extensive discussion, during which parents would make clear their feelings and impose whatever limitations/restrictions seem appropriate.

I'm just saying that, if kids are invested in developing their ethical worldview instead of having only their parents' values spoonfed or imposed upon them, then they're much more likely to carry a good ethical foundation with them into adulthood.

Do you see the distinction I'm making?

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 5:13 PM

As for the child finding their own moral compass, changing religions, etc. The way I look at it, eventually my child will be out of my house and on her own. At that point she will have to rely on her own moral compass. I hope that I will have taught her enough of what I believe both by telling and more importantly by example that she will live a life that in my opinion is OK. However if she decides to convert to XXX I won't be able to stop her. If she asks about it before she is on her own, I would try to find out why discuss the philosophy and depending on her age let her do what is appropriate. A child wanting to be a vegitarian, not incomplatable with any of my beliefs so if she had a good reason (compassion for animals for ex>) OK. If I kept kosher for example and she didn't think it was reasonable I would discuss with her why and if she still did not feel that religous I would allow it when I was not affected - this of course is for an older child a teenager for example. For a young child I would say that this is why we do it (again age appropriate) and then say that is the rules. I think the key is the child's age and how far they go. If they want to convert to another religion I guess it depends on your own religious belief and the difference between the religions. I know some who would cut the child out of their lives and others who would just regard it as no big deal.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 14, 2007 5:17 PM

Are you a vegetarian? I'm not, I love meat, I think the protein is wonderful, and I don't think it is cruelty to animals. I also hate cooking. If my child wants to be a vegetarian, i would not tell her no, but I would also not begin preparing vegetarian meals. We have vegetables at every meal if she doesn't want to eat meat. If she wants truly balanced vegetarian meals, she can fix them herself. if I am concerned about her nutrition, then she will eat the meat.

do you see the distinction I am making? I am not here to serve their every whim. I feed them a healthful diet, whether you agree or not.

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 5:18 PM

"...Is that a fair way of looking at things? Is buying out of household tasks to hang with the kids a good investment?" Brian's question.

Notwithstanding what is assumed about Mike's parenting style, my comments of 11:59 still stand. Children should be taught the skills (and responsibility) of homemaking among them cleaning, cooking and laundry. This is a better long term investment than all the cleaning services and take out meals in the world.

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 5:18 PM

"'scarry, both of your parents are Christian. Try a different example such as Muslim or Jewish'"

"I'd still go to the religious service but don't know if I would say the prayers."

Posted by: scarry | June 14, 2007 05:04 PM

Would you -- could you -- say the prayers if they were in Arabic or Hebrew or Aramaic? What about if they were in Sanskrit?

What if the services involved praying to idols made of wood and stone, or of gold and silver? Or to the Sun, or the Moon? Could a serious adherent of one of the Bible-based religions attend such services in good conscience, in the light of the First Commandment's clear prohibition against worshipping other gods?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 5:23 PM

I would agree with your distinctions PITTYPAT. I want my children to be curious and the small stuff wouldn' bother me. I don't want my daughter thinking she has to be like the thin model to have self worth or beauty. Jesus loves her for her own beauty not what some ad agency says.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 5:24 PM

I respectfully disagree with you on this one Fred. I find housekeeping to be completely overrated. My parents taught me all those things when I was a kid. My mother sterilizes her house every day even now. I do my share of cooking, cleaning and laundry, but to me, it is boring drudgery. If I could afford to outsource it, I would in half a heartbeat. My son's chores are to set the table, make his bed, and keep his toys and books picked up, and put away his folded laundry. Occasionally, he runs the vacume in the family room. But the deep cleaning, scrubbing toilets, etc is really just a nuisance job. And frankly, unless you aspire to be Martha Stewart, housecleaning is something that can be learned pretty quickly. Not rocket science by any means.

I would rather spend my time with my family, or even napping, that washing windows. And if that makes me lazy, then I wear the moniker proudly.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:26 PM

I will consider both for Fred's Quote of the Day. I note that the dangling participle was supported by statue! Did Sgt. Friday come back from the dead?

But there can always be a dark horse who comes from behind to win!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 5:26 PM

do you see the distinction I am making? I am not here to serve their every whim. I feed them a healthful diet, whether you agree or not.

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 05:18 PM

Don't know why you're writing to me. My comments on this issue have been directed to KB.

Posted by: pittypat | June 14, 2007 5:33 PM

Scarry,
Why is the baby giving you nothing but trouble? Are you sick?

I am still nauseous, but maybe a little less than a few weeks ago. I can feel my belly growing though. And unfortunately, my allergic asthma has flared up again, so I have to take meds for it, which I hate having to do, but at least what I am taking is catergory B, so it should be okay. But otherwise, all is good.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:36 PM

Emily,

I did not say that children must engage in deep cleaning everyday. I said that children should be taught how do to these activities. Here is the last sentence of my prior post:

"I certainly have no objection to a cleaning service or eating out but do object that a child is never made to understand that life required doing many boring and repetitive tasks."

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 5:36 PM

Sorry Fred. Overlooked that part. In that case, we agree.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:38 PM

MATT, I could go to a synagogue or even a mosque. I could not and would not go to a wiccan,hindu or buddhist service. That would be too much.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 5:39 PM

Would you attend services and say prayers from the other religion? I wouldn't.

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 04:38 PM

The first question you asked, at 4:38, was, "would you attend services and say prayers from the other religion". I responded to that question. Now you're reacting to that response and changing the question to, whether a parent should facilitate in teaching or practicing a different faith.

I wouldn't facilitate in teaching or practicing a different faith, and my children will attend and practice our faith for as long as they are in my household. On the other hand, using the example you cited, I'd have no problem reading the Torah with my child since the Torah is part of the Bible I read anyway. As I recall, it includes the books of Genesis through Chronicles. Knowledge of the theological underpinnings of other religions better positions a parent to address a child's non-belief or questioning phase, if one occurs. The best way to make sure your children are committed to the faith in which they are raised is to give them thoughtful answers to the following questions: Why do we believe what we believe? and How do our beliefs differ from the beliefs of other denominations/religions/non-believers? If you are secure in your belief and can provide answers, they will have less reason to seek answers from others who believe differently. Like yours, this is my 2 cents.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 5:41 PM

Enjoyed my smothered baked potato and nachos...I wish! Actually, my STBX in-laws just sent me an edible arrangement of chocolate-dipped strawberries for my birthday. I think I know what's for dinner tonight!
____
With a mentally ill spouse, maybe you're trying to create some calm and quiet by ousting the kids? Or are you just insisting that they find some constructive activity instead of TV-watching/video games? If that's it, why not just turn off the TV and video games and insist they do something else (perhaps with the 'or I'll *find* you something to do', chores to materialize)? Why explicitly say you must stay outside now?

1) Yes, sometimes.
2) When I do that #2 starts throwing such fits that H loses his mind, screams at me, and #2 gets out of doing anything besides watching t.v. or playing video games. Unacceptable in my view.
3) While I do insist that the kids do chores, #2 has habit of being obnoxious and noisy (see point 2) and getting out of it when H is around. So I only have so much time to get the child into compliance. Child #2 knows this and can and HAS used this to #2's advantage. (I recognize manipulation when it's happening, H does not.)

So. Mostly it's because when there is good weather, I want them to go outside and look for salamanders, or something. For crying out loud, we have a resident red-tailed hawk, not to mention bluebirds, bats, orioles, thrashers, catbirds, purple martins and barn swallows that hang around the house. Television is mostly re-runs anyway.

Did you miss my posting about our two new board games? Admittedly we go and play games with other families (as H is not inclined and gets shirty about noise), but we do go out and do things.

I want the kids to learn how to find things to amuse themselves, without my constant input or suggestions. "Boring people are bored" is something I say often. So is, "Fine. You're bored. There's plenty of housework to be done. Stalls to be cleaned. Your bedroom could use your input."

Sometimes I want them to go away so I can have a private adult conversation. Not everything is their business.

They are not toddlers, they are school-aged. Play frisbee with a dog, take a book and read outside, but do not vegetate on a sofa in front of the television.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 14, 2007 03:08 PM

Maryland Mom, you sound like you have managed to achieve some balance. I imagine having a spouse with mental illness isn't all that different from having one with addiction issues, and I know that finding serenity and some normalcy amid the chaos does become a priority. I think your kids will appreciate the acres, the wildlife, your regular-momness (I can identify with being known as Old Yeller), and your 'benign neglect' parenting style one day.

And the Candyman game -- did your family make that up, or did you actually buy it somewhere? That sounds like a riot!
___
So, what's different now? Is it that the children have more "organized activities" that require a parent being a chauffeur, or is it that the parents have more out of home activities that eat up the time spent tending the house?

Posted by: John L | June 14, 2007 12:43 PM

Both, I think. If both parents work, that's obviously going to eat the time a SAHM in the old days used for cleaning, cooking, etc. Parents enroll their kids in many activities, and nobody lives walking distance from anything anymore.

And, I know I'm going to regret asking...but what is a 'blanket party?' It sounds like it should be fun, but I'm guessing it's not.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 5:42 PM

"I could go to a synagogue or even a mosque. I could not and would not go to a wiccan,hindu or buddhist service."

I have never had occasion to go to a Mosque, but I have gone to various Jewish services and found them to be wonderfully interesting. I would love to experience a Buddhist service as well.

I have never been to a Wiccan service. Don't know any wiccans (but in college, we probably came pretty close when we danced around the maypole and sang to Athena) But of course, that was all in good fun.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:43 PM

nau·seous(nôshs, -z-s)
adj.
Causing nausea; sickening: "the most nauseous offal fit for the gods" John Fowles.

Posted by: Emily, you're not nauseous | June 14, 2007 5:44 PM

To all the people who say they wouldn't go to a service how would you feel if you were at a party and someone said a blessing from that religion?
Would you attend a co-worker's/friend's wedding? For example pATRICK if your next door neighbor was Hindu and invited you to their daughter's wedding would you go?

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 14, 2007 5:44 PM

Pittypat,
Well, the problem is that I have a restraining order against the elves. I had to throw them out of the house as they were having sex with the laundry fairies on top of the washing machine while on spin cycle.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 5:46 PM

Okay - Nauseated then.
PS - Please tell me you are not the grammar police!! :)

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:48 PM

What if the services involved praying to idols made of wood and stone, or of gold and silver? Or to the Sun, or the Moon? Could a serious adherent of one of the Bible-based religions attend such services in good conscience, in the light of the First Commandment's clear prohibition against worshipping other gods?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | June 14, 2007 05:23 PM

I could attend a service of any religion without praying to the god being worshipped. I'd look at it as an anthropological expedition. Lord knows, people visit my church just to see what goes on, and not because they are sincerely engage in worship, and that is fine. Any religion worth practicing welcomes newcomers, including the frankly curious.

Your underlying point, though, is a good one, and it's a slippery slope between visiting and lingering in a place you ought not to be.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 5:51 PM

Not the grammar police. Just didn't want anyone agreeing with what you said ;>)

Posted by: Not the grammar police | June 14, 2007 5:51 PM

For example pATRICK if your next door neighbor was Hindu and invited you to their daughter's wedding would you go?

I honestly don't know. My inclination would be yes. I may ask my pastor about her thoughts about that. That is an interesting question. Jesus sat with the samarian women, so by that example I would go.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 5:52 PM

To 5:44 - Going by your definition, I bet that some people probably think that I'm pretty darn nauseous.

But thanks for saying I'm not.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 5:52 PM

MATT, I could go to a synagogue or even a mosque. I could not and would not go to a wiccan,hindu or buddhist service. That would be too much.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 14, 2007 05:39 PM

pATRICK, I am curious. Why is it that you'd feel comfortable attending a worship service in a mosque, but you would not feel comfortable attending a buddhist or hindu service? Or more precisely, what's your basis for distinguishing between Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism?

Posted by: MN | June 14, 2007 5:57 PM

To 5:44 - Going by your definition, I bet that some people probably think that I'm pretty darn nauseous.

But thanks for saying I'm not.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 05:52 PM

Just feisty!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 5:58 PM

Just feisty!

Posted by: | June 14, 2007 05:58 PM

Thanks. That's probably the nicest thing anybody has said to me today.
Have a great weekend folks. I am off for a long weekend to celebrate the end of the school year with my little monster and my big monster too.

Posted by: Emily | June 14, 2007 6:01 PM

Are you a vegetarian? I'm not, I love meat, I think the protein is wonderful, and I don't think it is cruelty to animals. I also hate cooking. If my child wants to be a vegetarian, i would not tell her no, but I would also not begin preparing vegetarian meals. We have vegetables at every meal if she doesn't want to eat meat. If she wants truly balanced vegetarian meals, she can fix them herself. if I am concerned about her nutrition, then she will eat the meat.

do you see the distinction I am making? I am not here to serve their every whim. I feed them a healthful diet, whether you agree or not.

Posted by: to pittypat | June 14, 2007 05:18 PM

Sheesh. This sort of autocratic, insecure, narrow-minded crankiness almost makes me want to become a vegetarian.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2007 6:08 PM

Pittypat,
Well, the problem is that I have a restraining order against the elves. I had to throw them out of the house as they were having sex with the laundry fairies on top of the washing machine while on spin cycle.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 14, 2007 05:46 PM

If they're vacuuming and floor-mopping elves, they can come to my house anyway, as long as they close the laundry room door when they, you know, get together.

Posted by: educmom | June 14, 2007 6:14 PM

Many, many good entires for the quote of the day, some serious, some sillyious. I loved the faeries & elves, the "dangling participles not killing" was good but without further delay.

Fred's Quote of the Day goes to Maryland Mother.

"One child has mastered the art of self-defensive cooking."

Of course there is no cooking allowed in the creepy van but we can drive by McDonald's for a Big Mac!

To single western mom, you were the runner up but I just could not stomach a quote about cleaning toilets again as I must go clean mine!

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 7:12 PM

Honorable Mention for FQOTD does go to MN but I will give you 54 million reasons why she did not win today!

It's a game of poker where those who best evaluate the other guy's hand, give the best settlement and strategic advice, and develop a reputation for being worth every penny.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 14, 2007 03:23 PM

Posted by: Fred | June 14, 2007 8:04 PM

To MN-- I personally distinguish Islam from Buddhism and Hinduism because it is Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions-- Judaism, Christianity, Islam (in order of development). All three religions (purport to) worship the same G-d that spoke to Abraham, promising him that his descendants would in time outnumber the stars above.

Maybe pATRICK has a different reason, but that is the major reason that most Christians would feel more comfortable in a Jewish or Islamic service-- at least it would be a service dedicated to the same G-d that Jesus prayed to.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 15, 2007 3:44 AM

To MN-- I personally distinguish Islam from Buddhism and Hinduism because it is Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions-- Judaism, Christianity, Islam (in order of development). All three religions (purport to) worship the same G-d that spoke to Abraham, promising him that his descendants would in time outnumber the stars above.

Maybe pATRICK has a different reason, but that is the major reason that most Christians would feel more comfortable in a Jewish or Islamic service-- at least it would be a service dedicated to the same G-d that Jesus prayed to.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 15, 2007 3:44 AM

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