The Kiddy Pool: MoMA’s “Century of the Child” Exhibit

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In their book of literary criticism Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults, Carrie Hintz and Elaine Ostry describe Romantic perceptions of childhood in which childhood is viewed as “utopian, a space and time apart from the corruption of everyday adult life” (5). The editors further state, “To the Romantics and their heirs, children were innocent and … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Another Look at “Disappearing Mothers”

Katie Roiphe

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Earlier this week, a colleague sent me a link to Katie Roiphe’s essay "Disappearing Mothers". I’ve found myself grappling with it ever since, trying to reconcile my appreciation for Roiphe’s premise with my intense dislike of her tone. She begins with the foundation of “the trend of women using photographs of their children instead of themselves as the main pictur … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Parenting in the Big Picture

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My elder daughter received The Big Picture Story Bible as a gift from her godparents (fellow CAPC writer Carissa Turner Smith and her husband). The book, written by David Helm and illustrated by Gail Schoonmaker, is beautiful, complete with vibrant images and simple, poetic text. As the title suggests, the book is filled with bright, big pictures, and it also follows … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Letter to My Children’s Future Therapists

Dear Therapists:I don’t know if you’ll ever actually exist, but if you do, it’s unlikely that we’ll meet. If you do end up spending some time with my daughters, and my name comes up, there are a few things I’d like you to know. Things about me, about who I am, and what I’m trying to do with this whole mothering gig.I started thinking about you and your potential existence over dinner with friends -- the first time I got to go out for an evening with my girlfriends (without toting my baby alon … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Teach Your Children Well

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Dr. Madeline Levine’s book Teach Your Children Well (2012) is a refreshing entry in the parenting guidebook genre. She avoids the all-consuming, one-size-fits-all, guilt-ridden parenting standards that seem to flood the current cultural tableau of parenthood. For example, her advice on page 38 consists of these remarkably reasonable words: When we construct our chi … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Olympic Parenting

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.On the court, Kerri Walsh-Jennings is a fierce competitor with 2 Olympic gold medals and 4 World Championship medals (3 gold, 1 silver). Between her victory in 2008 in Beijing and her bid for another medal in London, Walsh-Jennings gave birth to two sons, Joey and Sundance. While I watched Walsh-Jennings tear up the sand this week, the announcers kept her story … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Raising an Olympian

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.As I watched the parade of nations on Friday evening, I noticed how many athletes there were. Athletes who will not advance to the finals of their events. Athletes with no real chance of medaling. Athletes who are, in some cases, the only representative of their country, or who keep company with only a handful of compatriots. The Olympic motto of “stronger, higher, fa … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Christmas in July

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.When my husband and I started dating, we invented a “liturgical scale” to help us find a church that worked for both of us. On the scale, a “1” would be an un-programmed Quaker service and a “10” would be a Roman Catholic high mass (in Latin, naturally). Based on that rubric, I’m an “8” and my husband claims he is a “5”. I love liturgy and find it beautiful and comforti … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: It Takes a Village (of Time-Traveling Dinosaurs)

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My toddler and I watch Dinosaur Train nearly every afternoon after she wakes up from her nap. The PBS show follows the Pteranodon family, a nuclear clan of 5 pteranodons and an adopted Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy. During each episode, Buddy and his family explore the Mesozoic Era, meet its inhabitants while learning about the natural world, sing catchy tunes, and, of … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Waiting on Faith and a Fictional Goose

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My elder daughter has developed a mild obsession with the book Here Comes Gosling, written by Sandy Asher and illustrated by Keith Graves. The story tells the tale of a frog who spends all day eagerly preparing a party to meet his friends’ new baby gosling. Froggie even makes up a song about waiting, and repeats the song and the line “Can’t wait!” until the baby arrives … [Read more...]


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