The Kiddy Pool: Re-reading Gatsby (Careless People and Beautiful Little Fools)

the-great-gatsby

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I re-read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby this week in anticipation of seeing the new Baz Luhrmann film. The last time I read the book, I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school, and I didn’t much care for the American classic. Reading the text again and seeing the film changed my opinion -- not because the essentials of Fitzgerald’s story have change … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Who Cares for the Care Workers?

CalltheMidwife

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Who cares for the Care Workers? Who looks after the ones who look after everyone else? Sunday night’s episode of Call the Midwife was another intense installment as the Poplar community grappled with a tuberculosis epidemic along with the everyday births, deaths, lives, and loves. In season 2’s episode 6, Sister Bernadette is diagnosed with the disease, and her fel … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Walk in the Woods, with Children

mother-walking-with-a-child-in-the-woods

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Last week, NPR’s Adam Frank published a piece called “Noticing: How to Take a Walk in the Woods.” Frank advises us to tap into our inner scientists by slowing down and taking more time to observe, reflect, and ask questions about the world around us. About a year ago, I discussed a related issue when I reviewed Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods. I want to pul … [Read more...]

Kiddy Pool: Noah’s Ark, or the Apocalypse for Kids

noahs-beaver-problem

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. In Adam Rex’s novel The True Meaning of Smekday, narrator Tip tries to explain the story of Noah’s Ark to her new alien friend J.Lo. Tip describes the wallpaper from her childhood bedroom: “it had cute pictures of Noah’s ark. His boat. Adorable little zebras and elephants and things. It’s a popular story for little kids, I guess because of all the animal … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: In Praise of Ordinary Children

child_genius430x300

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Intelligence in our children, whether normal or advanced, is in no way a virtue. In last week’s The Atlantic, Olga Khazan related a research study about parents’ descriptions of their children; it turns out, unsurprisingly, that the way we describe our children reflects what we value in our respective cultures. As Khazan states: “Americans also seem preoccupied with … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Machiavelli and the Pruning Parent

1slippery

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I have come to believe that the slippery slope, while fallacious when used in writing, applies to parenting. To put it more colloquially, give kids an inch, and they’ll stomp all over you for a mile. I don’t mean to say that I parent tyrannically, but that any exception to the reasonable, memorable, and well-established household behavioral standards requires an i … [Read more...]

Kiddy Pool: Calling All Parenting Experts!

advice_sign

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. This weekend, NY Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote the opinion piece “A Childless Bystander’s Baffled Hymn” to the mingled celebration and chagrin of his audience. Bruni says little that is actually new to the parenting blogosphere; it’s the same old lament about modern parents who supposedly don’t discipline, over-praise, over-negotiate, over-indulge on … [Read more...]

Beyond Steubenville: Rape Culture and Complicity

Image: Seth Hahne

Rape is a culture-wide problem; anyone who does not actively resist rape culture perpetuates it.  I don’t want to write about Steubenville. It’s more that I feel compelled to write about Steubenville. If you don’t know the details, take a look at the coverage by TIME Magazine’s Maia Szalavitz, who asks “How does public exposure affect recovery from a very private, traumatic experience?” Consider the facts: a sixteen-year-old girl was raped by two of her peers, Ma’lik Richmond (age 16) and Trent … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Monster in the Mirror

grover

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. Beware the monster in the mirror; it might just be you. My little one loves to look at her reflection. Few things make her light up like looking at herself. If she gets to a place where there are low mirrors (like the children’s museum or the kids’ space at the library or a nasty public bathroom), she speed-crawls over and tries to lick that little mirr … [Read more...]

Oz: Goodness, Greatness, and Power

20133013.oz

Sometimes the best way to view the man behind the curtain is through the lens of the Fall.  “Quick! I’ll get the spray bottle!” My preschooler runs for the cupboard under the sink, where we store a plastic green spray bottle filled with water. It plays the key roles of keeping the cats off the kitchen table, untangling little girls’ hair, and defeating the Wicked Witch of the West.You see, I do a (wicked) good impression of Margaret Hamilton from Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz. My daughte … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X