The Kiddy Pool: A Sweet Season

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.As I drive along my winding route to work, I can see the creek rushing along on my right. The water churns and chugs along, lower than in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which collapsed segments of this road, but still flowing briskly. Trees line the narrow lanes, and on a stretching hillside, I notice the white buckets hanging from the tall maples. In my part of the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Food, Food Everywhere – Obesity and Responsibility

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This week, Disney’s Epcot Center closed its controversial new “Habit Heroes” exhibit (intended as anti-obesity education) amid criticism that creating villains with names like “Lead Bottom,” “The Snacker,” and “The Glutton” promoted shame more than health. A number of organizations rejected the simplistic, personal-responsibility focused tone of the exhibit, citing inst … [Read more...]

Uncovering Contraception

I appreciate the irony of writing about birth control while six months pregnant; I keep imagining the looks I might get when I pick up my research from the library. A bit late for this sort of reading, no? But the recent controversy over birth control in the Obama administration’s healthcare reforms illustrates that birth control is about far more than whether or when women get pregnant. The current issue is fraught with legal and religious ideologies that are difficult, if not impossible, to u … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Rise of Single Motherhood

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.The New York Times reported this week that more than half of all children born to women under 30 are born outside of marriage. According to the article, there are a number of causes for this trend, including a generation jaded toward marriage by their parents’ divorces, a preference for cohabitation (which, even with children, is less stable than marriage), and a re … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Salvaging the "Date Night"

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.The University of Virginia’s The National Marriage Project recently released a new study on married couples and “date night.” The study considered the potential effects of regular couple time based on the following five criteria: communication, novelty, sexual and romantic passion, commitment, and stress relief. Not surprisingly, the results consistently show that for b … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Prayers for the Nation

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In the excitement leading up to the Super Bowl (expected to draw its biggest audience ever and banking on 30-second ad slots worth $3.5 million) and Punxsutawney Phil’s unsurprising prediction of more winter, most people probably missed any news related to the National Prayer Breakfast. Granted, the breakfast is essentially a series of political meetings, but the ke … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: What’s in a Name?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Naming a child is perhaps one of the most personal and one of the most challenging decisions that parents face. There are a number of factors to consider—tradition and novelty, spelling and pronunciation, familial and ethnic heritage, relationship to surname and sibling names, and meanings. Then there is the reality that while name changes are possible, most of us keep … [Read more...]

Modern Family’s Cussing Controversy

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This week, Modern Family broadcast a controversial episode in which two-year-old character Lily drops the “f-bomb” (http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/01/18/modern-family-f-word/). The ABC sitcom airs Wednesdays at 9pm (at least in EST), but the episode raised the ire of protest groups before show-time even rolled around. Both the Parents Television Council and a stud … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Pink, Blue, and Shades of Gray

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.For weeks now, we’ve been preparing my daughter for the impending arrival of her sibling (circa June, though I optimistically like to tell people late May). We talk about things that babies do and potential names for her little brother or sister. This time around, we’re hoping to find out the baby’s sex, in part to help prepare my daughter with the official name and lan … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Loving Nature and Our Neighbors

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Our local library is developing a new outdoor playspace for children; their goal is to integrate the design of the play space into the natural landscape. It's already one of my daughter's favorite places to play indoors (thanks to a lot of books and a delightful children's librarian); outdoors, there's a duck pond surrounded by sloping hills, a flowerbed, and a small … [Read more...]


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