Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From the Blog-O-Sphere

My Dears,

This one is fairly child-centric today, my apologies.

1. I am a firm believer that an integral part of being a parent to a toddler should involve the realization that your kids are adorable and hilarious to a very small select group of people and intensely annoying to the vast majority of the population. Therefore, I am a huge fan of this: Child-free zones on airplanes. In fact, when traveling without my kid, I would love to be seated in this section. No kiddo kicking the back of my seat? Heck ya.

We do our very, very best to keep Ben quiet on airplanes with new toys, food, and movies but he is an extremely active two year old and, well, s**t happens. As a parent, you feel horrible that your child is disrupting the experience for others and count down the minutes until landing. And you buy your seat mates lunch. Or booze. Lots of booze.

3. Watch an actor come out of the closet and pick a fight with a homophobic president at the same time.  Love this. Short, polite, but brutally spot-on.

4. Anybody else suffer from this? Breeder Guilt: Why having kids is the worst -and best - thing you can do for the planet. I think about this every time we set foot on an airplane, kid in tow. The author has some interesting commentary about how she’s assuaging her guilt with technological advances and lifestyle changes comes across as pretty thin. I still fail to see how having kids, particularly American kids, is generally good for the ecological health of the planet, on a purely numerical basis. I guess I’d argue that parents needs to own up to the fact that they want kids for selfish reasons (which is ok! Most of our lives are dictated by self-serving desires) but to also keep in mind that:

“Each new kid born in America has a climate impact almost 20 times greater than the impact of adopting eco-friendly habits for your entire lifetime — habits that include driving a high-mileage car, recycling, and using efficient appliances."

Ouch. The author is using a number of dire facts and figures about American family consumption as a call to arms - a reason to embrace energy saving technology and reduce one’s carbon footprint - certainly commendable, but I’m not sure I’d characterize it as ‘the best thing you can do for the planet”.

Eh, I’m feeling a bit out of sorts in regards to the above post. And this probably sounds pretty strange coming from a pregnant woman. But just because I want children doesn’t mean it doesn’t weigh heavily upon my mind.  As a parent, I absolutely adore having a child - and am so excited for our second (and probably last) baby. But there is definitely guilt in the thought of adding two more American consumers to an already taxed planet. Add in our flying habits, house size, and commuting routine and we’re a walking environmental disaster. Somehow fastidiously saving my plastic bags seems pretty pathetic, you know? Anyway, lots of unfinished thoughts here, no answers.

Let’s move on because I’m just getting depressed thinking about it.

5. Speaking of gas-guzzling habits, With little kids, you take trips, not vacations. So true. 

6. Ben’s doctor calls Washington State (with our high rates of unvaccinated children) a ‘powder keg waiting to explode”. Here’s a taste of that: 21 measles cases linked to a megachurch in Texas. 

7. On a totally unrelated note: The lot kitty-corner to the SW of us was sold when we were road-tripping in California last week. Pretty sure it’s a tear-down. Which would mean the fourth new house project within 300 feet of us in the last two years. I’m glad that the neighborhood is undergoing major renovations (and hopeful this will translate into a higher sale price when the time comes to sell our own home)....but I’m kind of tired of the sound of saws and hammers. With our luck it’ll be in full swing just as the baby is born. 

On a slightly more positive note, it rained last night. Poured. Who would ever believe that I could get so excited about rain?!  But things were starting to look a bit like the sahara desert (brown, brown, and more brown) around here and for this pacific northwest gal, that’s a pretty depressing sight. So bring it, rain [I’ll welcome you for exactly two more weeks and then I’ll be pining for sun again].