Re: Person Future

1

Midget drunks, that's what they are.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:12 AM
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I always think of apo's description of them as "creatures of pure id".

In unrelated news, early mobility for babies seems like a really overrated concept so far. Also, electrical outlets should probably be up near the ceiling, like at a test bench.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:14 AM
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I like to think that I take the same view of children as does our L.&S. J.C., but then it occurs to me that, like me, He didn't have any children.*

* Except all of us, etc., etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:49 AM
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The thing about three year olds is that they are creatures of pure id who can talk as if they were not. And then it turns out that adults are remarkably capable of being fooled by the latter quality over and over and over and over again.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:00 AM
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Oh, Sifu! We had a favorite outlet cover. Lemme find it for you.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:00 AM
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Found it. These guys -- much, much more pleasant to deal with than any others we tried.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:01 AM
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One of my friends has observed: "Three is like two, but with intent."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:23 AM
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But getting toward four is looking pretty awesome. Recommended!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:24 AM
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I've been trying out How to Talk/How to Listen stuff with my two-year-old, which feels like a sad sham ("You feel frustrated that you milk came in a green cup instead of a blue cup. [Projecting empathy].") but probably good practice for later when the little shits thoroughly deserve a punch in the neck. I can't wait for the moment when the milk cup tantrum stops being irrational and starts being manipulative!


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:42 AM
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I thought the Rhine was supposed to overflow its banks and extinguish/renew a fallen world or something when Ogged came back. Instead it's just more baby threads!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:51 AM
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Read the fabulous archives, pops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:51 AM
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Three-year olds are so 2010.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:54 AM
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Also, Bubbogged.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:57 AM
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The Calabat has finally figured out how to propel himself forward, so we spent this weekend childproofing. We used these on frequently used outlets. Not too annoying!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:11 AM
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I should really take those off now. I can't remember where I put the regular covers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:12 AM
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Moby: Speaking of kid futures, why is Columbus Nebraska on this list?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:28 AM
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I sort of remember 4 as worse, because expectations were higher. More infrequent insanity but insanity at a higher level of annoyingness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:31 AM
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16: Not sure as they don't say what it is based on. It's a biggish town with packing plants and factories, but I haven't been there in 25 years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:33 AM
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3 with older siblings is different from 3 first child. That's when they can pick up swearing (not just the word but knowing it's provocative) or other bad habits from older kids.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:37 AM
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We're overlooking the possibility that the red car really needed to be in front. Children, teach your parents well.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 11:44 AM
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Found it. These guys -- much, much more pleasant to deal with than any others we tried.

Hey, I think that's the one that Tweety came home from the store with today! I'm mostly not that worried about outlets, but there's one right next to Zardoz's crib, right at her level just outside the slats.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 12:43 PM
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This too shall pass. That 2-4 stage drove me nuts, but it's all been uphill from there. "It's a person! It's an insane person! It's still a baby?" is dead on.

Sally, at three or so, looking dreamily at a cashew: "Hello, Mr. Peanut. Will you be my friend?" Pause for answer. "Now I'm going to eat you!" Maniacal cackle, eats the cashew. I was very reassured when they both hit five or so and I was pretty sure they weren't going to be serial killers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 1:09 PM
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My strategy for outlets has mostly been to replace them all with tamper-resistant ones, which is easy and feels productively home-ownerish. Downside is that he might not be as avoident of outlets in the wild. Covers are good for the ones that have to have something plugged in all the time, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 1:32 PM
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That 2-4 stage drove me nuts, but it's all been uphill from there.

You realize that there's a certain ambiguity in that sentence . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 1:43 PM
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I dunno, as an aunt I really like 3-year-olds. They can talk, they have ideas, they're curious about the world but they're not just on Automatic-Why.

One of my sobrinos right now is preoccupied with appropriateness. (It's not appropriate to wipe your mouth on the tablecloth, etc.) It's kind of amazing to watch her working out the rules of the world by making statements, waiting for an adult to confirm or deny, and then testing her hypothesis by varying the statement.


Posted by: Wit | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:01 PM
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The myth of the terrible twos has got to be the biggest joke perpetrated on new parents. People still use the phrase all the time, and then when your kids turn three and you're like "Fuck, two was nothing compared to this nightmare," they're all "Ha! Psych!" I don't know anyone who didn't fall for it, at least the first time around.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:14 PM
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25.1: What's the word on child development at that age? Brain development at age 3?

I'm thinking that so-called executive function is coming on board, right? Whereby one is learning to

- form a desire
- think how to make that desire come to fruition
- make a plan to execute that
- execute that plan
- profit!

Per 7, "Three is like two, but with intent."

So I figure Baba's son was doing great! Desire is to play with cars. Make that happen by asking Baba to fix the track. Baba obliges ... but oh no! Baba puts the white car in front of the red, so profit is not obtained.

There's got to be a lot of frustration there, that the plan did not work properly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:28 PM
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"Hello, Mr. Peanut. Will you be my friend?" Pause for answer. "Now I'm going to eat you!"

A future serial killer wouldn't have paused, I guess.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:32 PM
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25: Being an aunt is pretty different from being a parent, because if you're around all the time, then they've put in a lot of time in figuring out how far they can push you without you stabbing them in the head. I tell any other 3 year old what to do, and I generally get instantly obeyed. My own kids know I'm bluffing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:39 PM
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"Now I'm going to eat you!" Maniacal cackle, eats the cashew.
I agree that's not serial killer behavior. More like supervillian with the cackle and telling the victim the evil plan.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:39 PM
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My current strategy for dealing with my 3 year old is to simply ignore him when he's being unreasonable. I'll leave the room if I can get away with it. I think in some ways at that age they're as surprised by their reaction as you are.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:40 PM
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31: That doesn't work nearly so well at Whole Foods.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:47 PM
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We're just on the verge of forward motion. Right now, I can leave her unattended and two out of three times she's either in the same place I left her or she's backed under the furniture. One out of three times she's punching the stereo speaker on the floor. Treasuring the remaining days (hours?) before we need to childproof.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:57 PM
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From the thread linked in 11, statements like this may actually persuade us to stop with the easy one and not tempt fate. Also the not wanting to be too deep into our fifties with teenagers.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 2:59 PM
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32: Why? Then he's Whole Foods problem and not mine.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 3:07 PM
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||

How's this for SWPL -- Apparently the local farmer's market has a picture of me (at the market) on their facebook photostream. I had no idea; it's slightly surprising.

On the other hand, it's a good picture, so I posted it to the unfogged group.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 3:22 PM
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I have this recollection of the even years being worse than the odds ... the terrible twos, the fucking fours, the snivelling sixes, etc. I'm sure the boy was worse than the girls. Although of course poor old #4 could barely ever get a rise out of C or me, we generally just laughed at her, or took photos ( three and a half, not wanting to walk any further).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 3:49 PM
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36: Your farmer's market looks colder than mine.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 3:56 PM
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asilon, what forest is that in the (adorable) pics?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 5:37 PM
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Our baby is really very good natured. But at 9 months and with a good few months of standing/cruising experience he is getting pretty good at revealing everything to be not childproof or un-childproofable. He worked out today that if he goes on tip-toes and stretches he can reach the one usb plug on the PC that gives him enough leverage to drag the thing towards/off the edge of the desk. He's been opening the oven for weeks. There is no furniture that weighs less than about 25 kg that he will not move. Etc

Daily: 'right, if we move this higher and place barrier X here there's no way he can get it'
Next day: 'Fuck!'

He can't be left unattended at all. And 'No' to him means, 'Laugh and speed up doing it, redoubling efforts because any second now the big person will intervene.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 5:37 PM
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40: He will soon enter the climbing phase, where it fast becomes apparent that nothing is really safe anywhere, and you just have to rely on luck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 5:48 PM
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Luck is a funny name for parental Xanax.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 5:58 PM
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Re:40

Yup. Already there although only just. He can't walk free yet (needs to be able to touch something with one hand) but he'll haul himself up on to low things and teeter precariously while trying to get higher. He can also just get both feet off the ground when doing a mini-pullup off furniture. So I expect his cot won't be an effective cage for much longer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:01 PM
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Zardoz discovered stairs this evening. She can't get past the first one yet, but I imagine it won't be lone.

Where do people come down on bolting bookcases to the wall? I suppose we probably should do it, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:03 PM
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"won't be long", Ultimate Warrior. "long".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:04 PM
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We bolted all of the book cases of more than three shelves to the wall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:06 PM
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44: Someone here has a scary story -- can't remember -- about a bookshelf coming down on them and the only thing that stopped it from squishing them was the little stepstool they'd pulled up to help climb. I bolted them.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:07 PM
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Re 44 last

We are about to. We bolted a couple of them together and then put doors on the bottom half so there's nowhere for him to grab/climb/pull. But it's only a matter of time on the others.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:08 PM
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Pro tip: A baby that grabs a phone and presses three numbers has a one in three chance of dialing 911 no matter how much probability theory you know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:10 PM
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We did pretty minimal babyproofing--certainly well short of bolting anything to the walls--and just relied on my grandmother's belief that "God looks out for babies and idiots." On the other hand, we also have brick floors, so by the time they could walk without falling, they were pretty tough.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:12 PM
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51: I guess nice Baptist ladies forgo the usual "drunks and children" locution?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:14 PM
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They might have the brain damage profile of NFL veterans, but they can take a hit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:14 PM
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51: My grandmother doesn't really acknowledge the existence of alcohol, much less a god who would protect a drunk.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:15 PM
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Our coffee table has metal corners, so that should help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:17 PM
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Heh. Alex has his normal crawl. Where he looks forward and crawls. There's also his charging crawl where he puts his head down and yells (e.g. If he spots what he thinks is an unguarded open dishwasher). At least once a day he misjudges distance and goes flat out into a table leg or door. He's basically stopped crying when he does it.

'Raaaarrrrr (clunk .. pause) raaaawwwrrr'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:19 PM
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L'il delightful is 18 months now and we did a lot of strategic placement of chairs and tables in front of outlets -- when we covered the outlet plugs he just started to work the entire outlet out of the wall (a problem with the cheapness of our house too). But the chairs worked well.

Now he's walking away from us in public places -- just charging off in random directions after god knows what. I've done some experiments and I'm not sure he would ever turn around if I didn't yell for him to come back and/or chase him down. He does sometimes turn back to call us over to help him reach some piece of electronic equipment he's interested in. It's all super cute though, he just looks so determined and adventurous toddling off into the sunset.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 6:58 PM
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statements like this may actually persuade us to stop with the easy one and not tempt fate. Also the not wanting to be too deep into our fifties with teenagers.

Considering stopping at one as well. I waited so long I'm already stuck with the 'deep into my fifties with a teenager' thing. But once you give up your freedom and carefree childless existence, you're kind of like 'why stop at one'? That's a very dangerous way to think; I'm sure it can get worse.

(Kids are both more work/hassle and more cute/adorable than I ever imagined).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 7:14 PM
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I'm already stuck with the 'deep into my fifties with a teenager' thing

Solidarity, brother.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 7:26 PM
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56: Oh, wow, babies were not really on my radar this summer in DC, but he must be less than a month older than Selah, and I'm getting totally sappy imagining her at the age he was then.

The big girls were so excited to take her to the dance party at the children's museum this afternoon and it's adorable to see them getting thrilled about what they see as a sisterly rite of passage. And Selah both danced adorably and took off periodically and ran at full speed out of the little dance room (with black lights and laser-y stuff shooting from the ceilings, wtf?) and into the museum at large. She's still very good about looking for me, but that's good because her attachment can't be as secure as a child who's been in one home since birth. I'm just glad she's getting over the stage where if Lee went to pick her up when she was crying, she'd sit down and keep screaming because she only wanted me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 7:27 PM
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Two is a fuckton more work. We think back and wonder why we ever found one hard. Of course, even one consumes all your attention, but when one is puking and the other screaming for water, you think, these two better take great fucking care of each other when they're older. But that's not guaranteed!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 7:48 PM
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You could try the "Flowers in the Attic" plan for sibling solidarity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 7:56 PM
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Two is so fantastic when/if they're old enough to play with one another and keep each other occupied. Oh, and when they can buckle their own seatbelts. That's the biggest milestone I appreciate.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:16 PM
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Two is so fantastic when/if they're old enough to play with one another and keep each other occupied.

Stop touching me!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:28 PM
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In my experience as the older of two boys, two years apart, by the time one has the capability of caring for the other, neither of them need that basic a level of care, and they've got enough personality to start squabbling and being more trouble as a pair.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:30 PM
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Yeah, yeah, I'm really not the right person to ask because Mara and Nia were 4.75 and 6 when they became sisters and as different as they are, they get along remarkably well. I am so impressed by them, but I know I can't generalize from that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:33 PM
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We think back and wonder why we ever found one hard

I think back and wonder what one would have been like. Raising twins has been great, but it has also kicked my ass continuously for coming up on 11 years. Not as hard as what Thorn deals with constantly, but she's made of stronger stuff than I am.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 8:57 PM
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66: Gin, you mean? I actually haven't had any in a while!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:00 PM
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Don't let it go bad—I'll give you my address so you can send it to me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:02 PM
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The internet is a series of tubes, but not that kind of tube.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:10 PM
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(Kids are both more work/hassle and more cute/adorable than I ever imagined).

Yup. Turns out there's a worldwide conspiracy to keep quiet about how awful having kids is. I'd argue it's only partially offset by the complementary conspiracy not to reveal how delightful they are.

Three is a horrible age. And yet, you will look back and wonder why they couldn't keep being as charming as they were when they were three.

I'm awfully fond of my kids. Moreover, I got lucky - I know better parents than we are who ended up with much worse kids. But I am not surprised to read research that suggests that the childless are happier than people who have children.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:12 PM
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68: Well, yes, if I'd had any I'd have had some, if you know what I mean. Hmm, maybe tomorrow I can make a liquor store run....


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 9:30 PM
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44: We'll be bolting them. Odds are pretty good he'll be drawn to climb things. He's not pulling up on anything yet, so I figure we have some time.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-19-14 10:46 PM
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Two is so fantastic when/if they're old enough to play with one another and keep each other occupied.

That's been our experience as well with our girls being less than two years apart. But, the perspective from "deep into my fifties with a teenager" might look different from my "deep into my thirties with a teenager".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 12:22 AM
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Of course, one advantage of three year olds is, no homework. Kid C's current music homework includes a challenge that I thought might make a good assignment for the Mineshaft: write a sonnet about a well-known opera. Must include title, composer, date of composition, and where you got your information.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 2:35 AM
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Also, plot!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 2:35 AM
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Next week's is to write another verse for Modern Major-General, and a couple of weeks after that they have to write a limerick about each of two operas from the Ring Cycle!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 2:50 AM
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How old is this kid? This music class sounds awfully advanced.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 2:56 AM
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It's a class of 12/13 year old boys. The music teacher is a bit of an arse from what I can tell, EXTREMELY demanding, and he wrote the textbooks that they work through for the three years that music is compulsory. Kid C didn't even know the names of any operas until yesterday, let alone have an idea of "well-known operas".


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 3:05 AM
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There once was a dwarf of Nibelung,
Who the Rhine maidens said was well hung.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 5:51 AM
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Write a sonnet is a pretty tough ask for a 12-13 year old, without it also having to be about a specific subject.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 6:19 AM
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Yeah, I know he's done it, but he said it's not in iambic pentameter and won't let me read it because it's too bad. I might try again tonight.

A Wagner limerick must be easier, though seems stunningly incongruous. Perhaps the evil teacher does have a sense of humour.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 7:51 AM
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Show him these, they might help:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 8:15 AM
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It's a music (appreciation? history?) class so they write sonnets (with that many requirements for the content!!)? I understand about working on writing in all courses, but this seems a bit much. Especially if the kids haven't been introduced to operas. I can guess it could be worse. He could have assigned composing sonatas.

(I truly hope that all of the kids have opera in the cultural grab bag. For the ones that don't this could be a nightmare--it would have been for me.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:05 AM
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Oh, apropos, NMM to Claudio Abbado.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:07 AM
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That doesn't sound too harsh to me, under the assumption that the teacher doesn't care at all about the quality of the sonnet. The real assignment (I'm assuming) is look up and memorize the title, composer, date, and plot of an opera, and writing the sonnet is just a mnemonic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:10 AM
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80: Disagree, as long as you're being judged on form and not content. If you can count syllables and understand stresses, you can knock out some metrically-correct nonsense in five minutes, tops. Not having a subject makes it easier.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:11 AM
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re: 83.last

I can't speak for asilon's kid C, but I'd guess the vast majority of British kids, even fairly middle-class ones would have zero exposure to opera at that age. I'd be surprised if many could even name _an_ opera, never mind have any kind of knowledge of their plots or themes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:11 AM
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83: One assumes they have access to the Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_important_operas


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:13 AM
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I hated sonnets, but not nearly as much as I hated music classes that required actual musical ability.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:14 AM
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re: 89.last

We used to have music ensemble classes in high school where they handed out guitars, keyboards, etc to the whole class, and had a drumkit. We'd then bash through simple 3 chord type pop songs. No musical ability supposedly required. At the time I'd just begun to play electric guitar fairly seriously, and could sort of fake a pretty convincing blues/rock guitar solo. However, I know absolutely nothing about things like key signatures and I basically knew each scale in whichever key I'd learned it for the song I was slavishly copying at the time. So I knew the minor pentatonic scale, but I only knew it in E. I knew the 'blues' scale [which I hadn't connected in my head with the pentatonic scale] but I only knew it in C, etc.

So I'd been assigned one of the electric guitars [rather than acoustics] and an amp as I had shown I knew a couple of chords.

Teacher: 'Matthew, can you play a solo?'
Me: [peels off a quasi convincing Angus Young/crappy blues solo]
Teacher: 'Right, you can solo on this.

So the whole class reaches the relevant point, she shouts, 'Matthew, solo', and I begin soloing loudly in completely the wrong key for the song. Absurdly way off. And not in a good Marc Ribot sort of way. I mean finger-nail-bitingly awful, at high volume.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:20 AM
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I'd be surprised if many could even name _an_ opera

Many (most?) American kids can name The Barber of Seville thanks to Bugs Bunny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:25 AM
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(Though a not insignificant portion probably think it's called FigaroFigaroFigaro.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:26 AM
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"I am the infamous professor Z. Look to your right. Look to your left. One of the people sitting next to you will not be here in three weeks. Those people will be failed by me because they will not commit themselves to the grueling, backbreaking work that is required to be a true appreciator of the opera. Will it be you? You, Mr. Alison? Now, which of you smarmy, uncultured fools can tell me the plot of Act One of Rigoletto?"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:27 AM
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re: 91

Really? Are 'What's Opera Doc?', or 'the Rabbit of Seville' broadcast much?

I saw it them on TV a fair bit as a kid, but I have the impression that classic Looney Tunes stuff isn't on TV much any more.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:31 AM
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I'd guess the vast majority of British kids, even fairly middle-class ones would have zero exposure to opera at that age.

I would guess that British kids doing the kind of music classes in which they are expected to write sonnets about operas are probably the exception to that rule. They aren't just coming to this cold.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:34 AM
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I was an exception, but that was because of the Italian kid in my class who couldn't go into any large enclosed space (gym, indoor stadium, school hall) without belting out "Don Giovanni! A cenar teco m'invitasti, e son venuto!" in order, he said, to "test the acoustics".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:36 AM
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90: I could memorize stuff like keys as well as I could memorize anything else. What I could not do was tell which of two notes was higher than the other.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:37 AM
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"Draft me a sestina in the next hour about Tristan und Isolde or face the rest of your life as a failure, you ignoramuses."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:39 AM
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Really? Are 'What's Opera Doc?', or 'the Rabbit of Seville' broadcast much?

No. I sent my various nieces and nephews DVDs of the Looney Tunes cartoons to make sure they didn't miss out.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:51 AM
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It's amazing how the ratio of new TV shows to old TV shows has increased since I was a kid. Shows from more than 25 years ago are all segregated on weird channels that have nothing but reruns. "TV Land" used to be on the same channel as Nickelodeon. Now, no way any normal kid would ever see "Green Acres" or "I Dream of Jeannie".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 9:55 AM
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Now, no way any normal kid would ever see "Green Acres" or "I Dream of Jeannie".

A future in which no one knows who the Gabor sisters were? Sounds like a blighted distopia to me.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 10:01 AM
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We used to have music ensemble classes in high school where they handed out guitars, keyboards, etc to the whole class, and had a drumkit.

This class sounds awesome. The closest thing I had was during my senior year: I somehow convinced the Show Choir Director that I, the drummer for the Show Choir, really should be in the class with the singers. I figured I'd get to cruise and just play drums, but the director had other plans and made me sing* (badly, quietly) with the basses/baritones whenever I wasn't playing drums. What I'm saying is, it was basically just like Glee.

*She had taught my brother, who has a really lovely voice, and just assumed I did, too; I do not.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 10:24 AM
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re: 102

Our school music department had maybe half a dozen electric guitars and amps, about the same number of basses and a couple of drum kits. If you could persuade the teachers you wouldn't trash the music rooms, they let you set the gear up at lunchtime and rehearse your 'band'. They had literally dozens of sets of cheap Casio type keyboards and cheap nylon string guitars. So ensemble classes usually meant one or two electric guitars, a bass, and a drum kit played by the more competent kids with everyone else swapping in for brief tries, and the rest of the class strumming nylon strings, or plonking at the little keyboards.

Funnily enough, like your thing, they made those of us who wanted to rehearse our bands at lunch time audition for the choir/chorus* but we all deliberately did badly, except me. I sang really badly because I can't sing a note.

* our school had a larger-than-life mad drama teacher**. So our annual school show was usually a full length musical that ran over the Christmas period for about 2 weeks, with a couple of hundred tickets sold every night.

**
http://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/william-graham-1-677312


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 10:37 AM
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"Draft me a sestina in the next hour about Tristan und Isolde or face the rest of your life as a failure, you ignoramuses."

Where you from, boy? Bayreuth? Holy shit, only Valkyries and Nibelungen come from Bayreuth and I don't see any horns on your helmet so that kind of narrows it down, don't it, boy? What do you sing? Baritone? Bullshit. I don't think you could manage an F above middle C. You trying to squeeze an octave in on me, boy? Let me hear your top A.

"What?"

Your top A. You got a top A, don't you, boy? Let me hear it.

"AAAAAAA!"

Bullshit! That's not a top A! AAAAAAA! That's a top A! Now let me hear your real top A.

"AAAAAAAAAAA!"

You still don't scare me. Work on it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 10:54 AM
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"What is your major interval, Private Pyle?"


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 11:00 AM
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Ha, briliant - this is basically how I imagine him. He's younger than me. He once yelled at them that he didn't mind racism, he didn't mind sexism, he didn't mind discrimination, but the only thing he did mind was STUPIDITY.

When the leaving 18 year olds put up movie posters adapted with teachers' names, his was "Despicable Mee/han".

This is a poncy (but free) school, so there might be a few opera buffs there. Lots of kids with non-British-born parents though, so that might lower the probability again.

They're learning about different sorts of music. Last term it was jazz, swing, etc; this term music and theatre; next term salsa and other Latin American stuff. And they have to do some playing too.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 11:12 AM
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And yeah, as long as he doesn't mind about quality, once Ernest had researched the plot of The Pearl Fishers, he wrote the actual sonnet in about 5 minutes.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-20-14 11:14 AM
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103.last sounds like a tremendous music teacher to have. (My own weren't quite as enthusiastic, though there was that massive Socialist-Realist musical about the construction of the Forth Bridge... I admit I am still annoyed I didn't get the tragic antihero part of Tay Bridge designer Sir Thomas Bouch.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:27 AM
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My high school had such a class, which produced a smarmy student band called the Pop Rock Ensemble that performed covers of classic rock songs with the lyrics altered to espouse the clean living ideals of the fundamentalist baby boomer teacher. So like

I've been waiting so long
To be where I'm going
In the sunshine of a liiiiife
WITHOUT DRUGS

One guy who was in it is now this off the deep end teabagger who I was briefly fb friends with. Yipers.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:00 AM
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SNOW DAY!!!!!

Work cancelled in anticipation of snow. Always a tricky call. I hope that we do get snow.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:34 AM
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Lucky. We're supposed to get yet more rain tomorrow and for the next few days.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:40 AM
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Ugh. Cold rain. (You're up late. I hope you can get to sleep.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:50 AM
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Yeah, it's been unseasonably warm the past week or so, and it's apparently going to stay that way for a while. It's a huge pain because all the snow on the ground turns to slush, then when it cools down at night it turns to ice. If anyone tries to give you any bullshit about the cold weather disproving global warming, feel free to point out that it's raining in Alaska.

(I'll be fine. I just had more coffee than was probably wise this afternoon.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:56 AM
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People are beginning to sound very freaked out about the drought here, that which I have been experiencing as "oh hey it's nice here EVERY FUCKING DAY."

I am up latest what do I win?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:03 AM
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Nice weather, I guess. Also drought.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:06 AM
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Prize: more coffee.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:08 AM
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Anyway, let me know if you ever want to buy some water. And with that I'm off to bed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:09 AM
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I really should go back to bed. I took some melatonin last night so I could get to sleep before my "normal" of 0200. As it sometimes does, the drug caused me to sleep lightly and with vivid dreams. I woke just before 5; but now that it is getting closer to when my alarm will go off, I feel quite tired.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:12 AM
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re: 108:

though there was that massive Socialist-Realist musical about the construction of the Forth Bridge... I admit I am still annoyed I didn't get the tragic antihero part of Tay Bridge designer Sir Thomas Bouch.

Hahah. I hope the libretto made heavy use of McGonagall?

"...Which will be remember'd for a very long time."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:44 AM
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119: a wee bit, yes. There were certainly references. And a very creepy scene in which Bouch is knighted by Queen Victoria as a ghostly choir (to a minor-key version of "Zadok the Priest") predicts the imminent collapse of his Tay Bridge. And a comic chorus of modern-day Forth Bridge painters describing the hardships of their job and commenting on the rest of the action on stage.
Even a song about the amount of material used, which I can still reel off some 25 years later: 50,000 tons of steel, six million rivets, 140 acres of surface to be painted...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:49 AM
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108: So what role did you get?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:58 AM
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Chorus. I was a navvy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 5:14 AM
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Your longtime familiarity with your local ship's chandler has an explanation, then!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 6:28 AM
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IT'S SNOWING!


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 7:39 AM
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Now, which of you smarmy, uncultured fools can tell me the plot of Act One of Rigoletto?

I read somewhere that a former Covent Garden producer liked to hand out pencils and note cards at dinner with opera people and ask them to write down what happens in the last act of Figaro.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 7:46 AM
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125: oh, christ. Something involving masks? Wait, I know this one. The Count thinks he's going to get off with whatsername, the Countess' maid, but it's the Countess under the mask all the time. So he ends up with his wife, Figaro marries whatsername, it all ends happily.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:04 AM
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Susannah! That's the maid!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:08 AM
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I would just like to note that Ogged is turning out to be far more of a mommy blogger than I've ever been. Which I'm enjoying, to be sure, but it's a bit of a Nixon-china thing, because I think I would have been pigeon-holed super quickly and the label would have annoyed me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:10 AM
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You don't think we aren't pigeon-holing him?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:13 AM
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I probably wouldn't be writing this specific comment in an alternative universe in which Richard Nixon hadn't been president -- this blog might not even exist! -- so in that respect we owe him some sort of debt.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:17 AM
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To be fair, I don't think Nixon was ever fond of pigeons.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 9:18 AM
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I have always been terrible with plot.

Um, everyone's milling around and the Duke sings "Questa o quella" ("I'll Stick it in Anything") about how much he likes having sex with ladies, and is not too particular about which is which. Monterrone comes in and is pissed off because his daughter is one such lady. Rigoletto makes fun of Monterrone, who sings this really fab curse. Rigoletto is superstitious and, just between you and me, not too bright, and gets spooked. Meanwhile, across town, Rigoletto's daughter Gilda has never met any male person but would be open to the possibility. Giovanna, the housekeeper and plot device, lets the Duke into the house. He's pretending he's a poor student, and he makes up the name "Gualtier Malde", which is Italian for "Walter Mondale." They get excited and sing high Cs together. He leaves and she sings about how into him she is in a spectacularly droopy aria. Oh I probably forgot the part where Sparafucile shows up and introduces himself to Rigoletto and happens to mention that he kills people for money if you're into that kind of thing. Anyway at the end of the act the Duke's courtiers somehow convince Rigoletto they're all, for fun, going to abduct someone I forgot to mention, but of course he actually helps them abduct Gilda, because opera.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 10:51 AM
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Is that really just the last act?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:03 AM
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I'm awfully fond of my kids. Moreover, I got lucky - I know better parents than we are who ended up with much worse kids. But I am not surprised to read research that suggests that the childless are happier than people who have children.

I have heard this, but what the fuck are you supposed to do when you get old? I look at how much care-giving I have to do for my parents and wonder who will look out for my interests when I'm demented if I don't have kids.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:21 AM
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134 was I.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:21 AM
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The Japanese are building a robot for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:24 AM
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Is it this one?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:42 AM
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Dunno what the childless are supposed to do in old age, but having kids doesn't guarantee that they'll be there to do the caretaking. You 'have to' take care of your parents because your sister can't or won't -- there are plenty of people out here who had kids who don't have available caretakers in their old age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:48 AM
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That's why you have to have a lot of kids.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:49 AM
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138: Oh, I know that. I got stuck with all of it, because my sister won't/ can't do anything. Still, I worry about it a lot.

And I would never have kids just to have someone to care for me, but I do think we need to have societal structures in place to better care for those without relatives involved.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:52 AM
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I'm responsible for the last one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:52 AM
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I'm not even talking about massive caretaking. Somebody has to decide whether that final invasive procedure is the right way to go, or deal with your estate, etc.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 11:55 AM
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re 110. The snowfall (in Arlington, VA) is pathetic. It is even more annoying when the news people give the readings of actual, nearby, snowfall.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:05 PM
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137: NSFW--sorry, I'm not AT work, so forgot.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:07 PM
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the childless are happier than people who have children

It isn't that the childless are happier than people who have children. It is that people who have what they want are happier. From happiest to unhappiest:

Don't want children/don't have them
Want children/have them
Don't want children/have them
Want children/don't have them.

Science said that somewhere, but I don't remember where.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:07 PM
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143: not so impressive out at the end of the Blue line, either.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:08 PM
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The science about childless people being happier is probably bullshit in general.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:09 PM
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I mean, the science of happiness probably has a lot of bullshit in general, unless it's work done by Kahneman, but anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:10 PM
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128 is an outrageous lie. Ogged is a baba-blogger.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:13 PM
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Don't want children/have them
Want children/don't have them.

I'd have expected these two to be reversed given the stories in this thread. Also that if you want kids but don't have them you can at least console yourself by rolling around in piles of money.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:25 PM
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147: Do you know something specific, or are you making a general statement about happiness research?

(I remember reading somewhere that if you check people's moods by randomly timed phone call ("What are you doing? How happy are you?) that watching TV makes people more reliably happy than anything else. I found this immediately plausible, but also indicating that "How happy are you right now" is probably not all that useful a question for assessing general life satisfaction.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:25 PM
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145: I'm not sure want children / don't want children are the only two choices for the antecedent. There's also "would be okay with or interested in children if the right person comes along, if fates align, but would be able to accept no children if that doesn't happen, or if health or economic considerations disallow, in which case no children would be fine too, happiness being perfectly achievable in either case."

Science is kind of dumb if it can't see that!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:26 PM
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And 147 is exactly what you'd expect a new parent to say.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:26 PM
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151: I remember specific things inexactly. As I recall, there are a lot of sampling problems a/f/a what point in the lifespan you talk to people (and how self-assessments might change) as well as how you pick your groups to sample (along the lines of Megan's 145). Which stacks on top of the general problems with measurements of happiness, and whether self-assessment is a useful metric for that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:33 PM
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I don't know, I think my life satisfaction is highly correlated with TV watching.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:33 PM
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A paper I haven't read all the way and can't really vouch for that has a big sample and addresses some of the complexities.

So, for instance, first of all "happiness" is not easily measured unitarily; if you define it as "absence of anxiety" you get one set of results but if you define it as, I don't know, "contentment with the state of one's life" you get a wholly different set. And then there are big age confounds; younger parents seem much unhappier (per that paper).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:42 PM
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Boy do I not miss the crippling, new-parent anxiety I had.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:43 PM
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I think I must have been born deficient in new parent anxiety. For instance, it did not occur to me that "put the baby on the slide" should not be followed by "and let go!" but instead by "and then hold on to the baby as she descends the slide".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:45 PM
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158: Hah. Just this weekend, Sally and Newt both separately commented to me on the benign-neglect style of parenting they've been subjected to: overall they're reasonably pleased with it but we should know that we're weird. In retrospect, I'm a bit concerned -- I knew we were on the loose end of normal in terms of "Sure, run wild around NYC! You can read a subway map," but it hadn't quite clicked how far we were outside the perceived norm. I think daily life doesn't worry me quite enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:53 PM
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158-159: We try to let the kids test their limits. Except around traffic, really. Certain high places, also.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 12:57 PM
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||

From the soft bigotry of low expectations dept., I'm actually somewhat cheered that this party doesn't seem to have included anyone wearing blackface:

Arizona State University officials suspended its chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon after the fraternity threw a "MLK Black Party" . . . . At the . . . party, students dressed in basketball jerseys, displayed gang signs and drank from watermelon cups.

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 1:01 PM
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161: Puke.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 1:40 PM
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I think daily life doesn't worry me quite enough.

I think there's a lot of research that shows that most people are unreasonably concerned with low probability/high significance events. Perhaps you're just more realistic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:18 PM
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163: Which is one reason gun nuts have such a fit over home invasion robberies. They're extremely rare compared to firearms accidents, but you gotta have that AR-15 just in case. This is the view of my cousin the Palinite. He's nicely recovering from the accidental self inflicted gunshot wound to the upper leg (nasty one, too - shattered the femur and came close to clipping the femoral artery). No word on how many home invasions he's fought off so far.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:26 PM
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Haven't read the whole thread, but I noticed there was discussion of bullshit in happiness research, so I thought I'd point to this whopping example.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:28 PM
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163: Perhaps you're just more realistic.

Thanks JD!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:32 PM
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159 -- Reports from the other end of the spectrum may not always be reliable. I think I noted before being informed that we were the only parents in town who not only didn't let teens smoke weed at home, but wouldn't smoke it with them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:44 PM
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167 is completely blowing my stereotypes of DC.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 2:56 PM
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167 doesn't refer to Missoula, Montana?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:02 PM
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165: I saw that the other day but it was linked by Lone Conservative Friend with a line about how the humanities are dangerous lies or something, so I kind of skimmed. (I don't seem to be able to do anything but skim things these last few years anyway unless I'm 100% fascinated by the subject matter.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:07 PM
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164: I assume would-be home invaders are staying away after hearing of his injury. "If he did that to himself, imagine what he would do to someone he doesn't like?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:17 PM
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132: Wait. Are you the guy who wrote the book that summarized one of Don G.'s and Leporello's passages in Act I as "OH SHIT IT'S DONNA ELVIRA"? Because that's a great book and I really appreciate it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 3:19 PM
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Is that the Lorenz attractor thing? I posted that here at some point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:05 PM
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Smearcase, it was supposed to be a sonnet!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 4:26 PM
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At a palace in Mantua town,
a jester is cursed and feels down.
He goes out of his head,
then his daughter is dead,
and the third act concludes: Fuck you, clown.

(Not a sonnet, obviously, and not just Act I, but on the plus side, the last line can easily be adapted for I Pagliacci.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 6:08 PM
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175 is the best.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 6:25 PM
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175: xoxoxo


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 6:52 PM
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It's good that 175 was written so well -- if I write another sonnet ending in Fuck you, clown! I'll just wink out of existence.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 8:36 PM
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But I DO believe in fairies, Natilo!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-21-14 8:42 PM
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