Thursday, November 06, 2003

Pay Attention to Me!

I didn't touch the blog during the day today. Tons of ridiculous little chores for my class -- find replacement articles for readings that didn't fly from last semester, xerox articles, put them on reserve, change the on-line syllabus.

Also, I've been feeling guilty about being the distracted parent. I've had a lot on my mind lately. Future writing projects. APSA proposals. Comments in the Invisible Adjunct's blog. The shopping list for Target. A cool pair of pants at H & M. Ben and Jen's wedding plans. The plight of the middle class. The aging population in upstate New York. My new black shirt from the GAP. When my kids try to get my attention, I'm often not quite there.

I think my 1-1/2 half year old is trying to tell me that I've been spending too much time on the computer. He's been bending down by my feet and turning the computer off while I'm in mid sentence.

OK. OK. I'm here. I'll play trains and blocks. I get the message.

I wanted to add some additional thoughts to the hyper-parenting discussion and the Annette Lareau book. (I'm beginning to smell a strong anti-family prejudice from academics.)

Middle class parents may have other reasons for over scheduling their kids. It's not only to push their children to Harvard at any cost. Sometimes parents are scheduling their kids for gymnastics and dance, because the parents are lonely.

My cousin, Jen, moved up to Stamford, CT a few years ago. She didn't make any friends, because she didn't meet anybody. The streets were empty. Her mother said, "have a kid. You'll make so many friends at the playground". She had a kid, and ooops, there's no playground in Stamford. She joined a Mommy and Me class, but in Stamford, it should be called Nanny and Me. Since then, she's joined one activity after another because it is one way to have some contact with adults. Because until evening, her town is a ghost town.

I didn't read the Lareau book, but I bet she has some issues with parents. I've been reading recent feminists talk about mothers, and I can taste their disgust and hatred. One author, Joan Tronto, wrote that the only reason that a mother would employ a nanny was so that their child could stay home amongst all their material possessions, that mothers were oppressing nannies, yada yada yada, evil capitalist mommies. BTW Joan doesn't have any kids.

That's it for today. Survivor is on. And the hubbie is home and now he needs attention, too.

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