The Kiddy Pool: All in the Olympic Family

Olympic_rings_with_white_rims

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. Like so many others around the world, I’m watching the Winter Olympic Games and getting my quadrennial fix of sports like the skeleton. I’m still trying to comprehend the allure of sliding headfirst, at speeds approaching 70-80 miles an hour on what one commentator described as essentially a cookie sheet. Yet while I’m not a daredevil by any definition, I … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: If a Pony Neighs in the Forest

Image- MyBiggestFan via Flickr (CCBY2.0)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. One of the interesting parts of parenting my second child is observing how differently my two girls approach the world around them. I could say they have the same parents, but I doubt very much that they experience us, or that we respond to them, in ways they would someday interpret as the same. Both of my girls are chatterboxes at home, but my toddler’s language … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Marathon Mama

Image- Josiah Mackenzie via Flickr (CCBY2.0)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. Last weekend, I ran my 19th marathon, my 2nd since having children. Before I became a mother, I heard a lot of comparisons of childbirth to running a marathon, but while both can be grueling endurance events, the analogy doesn’t quite work for me. I chose a convenient date for my marathon, followed a training plan, and reviewed the course map before getting to the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Teaching Good Taste

Image- Gudlyf via Flickr (CCBY2.0)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. This weekend, my family hosted a couple of out-of-town guests; we went out to dinner on Saturday evening, with the goal of finding an appropriate place for children with great food for all of us. So my husband and I fell back on our ranking of the top three French fries in the Hudson Valley, and we selected an off-time for our meal at our number one location. The … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Reading The Dark as Children of the Light

Image: Amazon

I’ve been intrigued by The Dark ever since I saw it on a display table at Barnes and Noble around Halloween. Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen, it seemed sure to be a grimly comedic gem. Best known for his Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket tones down the macabre for the younger audience of this picture book. Jon Klassen (whose work I particularly love in Extra Yarn and I Want My Hat Back) provides his typical sparse yet dramatic characters and lots of play … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Free Lunches and Child Labor

Image- Kelly Short6 via Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. This year, I’m a little more obsessed than usual with the Dickens story A Christmas Carol; I started rereading it again this weekend after taking my elder daughter to a performance of the story by The Puppet People. It’s always given me chills when Scrooge inquires about the prisons and the workhouses. After learning that “many would rather die” than go … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Katniss Everdeen and the Greatest Love

© 2013 - Lionsgate

I didn’t see the first Hunger Games movie in the theatre. At the time, I was seven months pregnant with my second daughter, and I had a funny feeling that hormonal fluctuations and dying children would make for an anxiety-inducing film experience. It’s easy enough, without the pregnancy-related crazy, for viewers to interpret the sacrifice Collins’ characters make in light of our own loves and losses. It’s her sacrifice for Prim, and later for Rue, that makes us love Katniss in the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Dr.-Seuss

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.  It’s that dismissal of children, that nostalgic lens for regarding childhood as a state free from the weight of real fears or anxieties, that bothers me. March 2nd marked the 109th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ birth (he died in 1991); this past weekend, readers all over the country celebrated with “Read across America,” an event that honors the beloved … [Read more...]

Hurricane Sandy Checklist: Love Thy Neighbor

hurricane-sandy

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. When I wrote about Hurricane Irene last year, I thought I’d stumbled upon a unique topic, at least given my geographical position. The path of Hurricane Sandy is proving me woefully wrong, and my area is gearing up for a storm of epic proportions, one predicted to be even more ferocious than Irene. My home state of New York is in a state of emergency, along … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Diapers, for the Glory of God

changing diapers

I got pregnant with my first daughter almost 4 years ago now; I subsequently carried her to term, nursed her for 23 months, and, in the same week that I celebrated weaning her, found out I was pregnant again. The cycle began again (or rather continued) with another pregnancy, the birth of another baby girl, and here I am, almost 5 months in to nursing and going strong. Sometimes I wonder when I’ll get my body back to myself, and yet some days I feel like my own body’s basic needs get … [Read more...]


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