July 23, 2015

dilley_sign.jpg
Everything's bigger in Texas, including the family prisons. image: ICE

I'll be honest, when I first heard that the ICE immigrant family detention centers full of Central American refugee kids and moms had animal-themed cell blocks like red bird and blue butterfly, I imagined they were using Eric Carle drawings, and I got a dark, blogging thrill.

But no. The South Texas Residential Center in Dilley, the largest family detention center in the world, run by the for-profit prison contractor, Corrections Corporation of America, was too cheap to license Carle's work, and just used random clip art instead.

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ICE, ICE, babies

Also, the government's punitive detention of these people is shameful, and it can't end soon enough. Most of these families are fleeing war, violence, and abuse in their home countries and have already qualified for refugee hearings the US, but remain in these remote prisons, guarded by actual prison guards, temping in khakis and polo shirts, as a feeble deterrent to other refugees.

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Home of the free, land of the brave. image: Bob Owen for San Antonio Express News

I resisted comparing ICE's outsourced prisons to the desert detention centers Japanese-American families were forced into during WWII, even when I saw Bob Owen's photo in the San Antonio Express News, which is a damningly straight-up evocation of Dorothea Lange's photos of the War Relocation Authority's internment camp at Manzanar, California.

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Dorothea Lange, flag and barracks at Manzanar internment camp, July 1942

Ansel Adams also took photos at Manzanar, which he published in a book, Born Free And Equal, alongside a text that reads today as disturbingly upbeat in its praise of the gumption and loyalty of American citizens forced into desert prisons. I've always viewed Adams' project as a protest, a condemnation of the injustice visited upon Americans because of the racist fears of their neighbors and political leaders. But that is over-optimistic hindsight. Re-reading Adams' text now is pretty depressing. To think that it's all the Constitution and fundamental principle that wartime white America could handle at the time.

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Dilley want to build a playground? image: Will Weissert/AP via themarshallproject.org

At least it helps make sense for how this country could get so cross-wise with its own professed ideals today; we really have not changed that much at all. And when I tried to put some evolved distance between the ironies of Adams' treacly government-reviewed-and-approved fluffing and this account from inside Dilley, I couldn't. So here it is:

While children wait for their mothers to talk to lawyers and legal aids, they are usually watching kids' movies dubbed in Spanish, namely Rio or Frozen. The children of Dilley, like children everywhere, have taken to singing Frozen's iconic song "Let It Go."

The Spanish-language refrain to the song "Libre soy! Libre soy!" translates to "I am free! I am free!" It's an irony that makes the adults of Dilley uneasy. Mehta recalls one mother responding to her singing child under her breath: "Pero no lo somos" (But we aren't).

Do you know the chorus of "Let it Go" in Spanish? I did not, but it is one helluva song for kids to be singing in a corporate prison in 2015:

Libre soy, libre soy
No puedo ocultarlo más
Libre soy, libre soy
Libertad sin vuelta atrás
Y firme así me quedo aquí
Libre soy, libre soy
El frío es parte también de mí

I am free, I am free
I can't hide it anymore
I am free, I am free
Freedom without turning back
And I'm staying here, firm like this
I am free, I am free
The cold is also a part of me


'Drink more water': Horror stories from the medical ward of a Texas immigration detention center [fusion.net]
which is basically a re-reporting of this: Immigrant families in detention: A look inside one holding center [latimes]
Ansel Adams, Born Free And Equal, 1944 [loc.gov]
Related: Translating "Frozen" into Arabic [newyorker]
"Let it Go" in 25 languages [youtube]

July 18, 2015

I wish I would've seen this tweet earlier; we're on a road trip, and K2 just woke up at 4AM and needed some hanging out. But alas, our connecting flight didn't strand us in Chicago. Instead, we're in a houseful of cousins, so my wife took the little firecracker out driving for two hours. [!]

July 17, 2015

coloringbooksforgrownups.png

I am deeply unsettled by the coloring books for grownups trend. Honestly, if you have that much time, you should be editing Wikipedia articles, or working on your Pinterest board or something.

Unless you're talking about something actually unsettling, in which case, go crazy, color it out! Oh wait, no no no, that IS the coloring for grownups trend. What to do? Should I just suck it up and wait for my 40 cents/apiece cut? NO don't do it, go buy something else do anything else!

the Coloring For Grownups Activity Book on Amazon [amazon via awkwardfamilyphotos thx dt hero rolf, from like march, but I've been in denial]

The-Sonar-System_Ras_Mykha.jpg

With all the hype about Pluto, now's the time to get your kid psyched for the next cosmic destination, The Sonar System.

The Sonar System is a group of planets orbiting around a giant speaker, where everyone's really into amazing sound systems. It's the subject of MC Ras Mykha's awesome-looking new kids book called, obviously, The Sonar System.

It is being published by One Love Books as part of the Sound System Culture National Tour, which celebrates "the history of Reggae sound systems in cities across the UK."

The Sonar System by Ras Mykha is £10 / €15 / $20 [onelovebooks via fader, thanks dt og mc rolf]

July 15, 2015

Just one more and naming your kid after the kid in the podcast will officially be a trend:



July 13, 2015

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Meanwhile, if anyone does invent this, I'll just scootch mine over to the stairs and end it all. I'll make sure to have my cam on, tho, so the kids will be able to get some viral video ad revenue. [via @pmarca]

Mazda's commercial about nervous new parents being well prepared to bring the kid home from the hospital in their safe CX-5 warms the hearts of everyone who doesn't notice that the kid's car seat straps are ridiculously loose.

mazda_car_seat_ad_fail.jpg

[thx @JosephRooks via @KevinBuist]

I have no idea, but I've learned to trust Neojaponisme on these sorts of things. So here is Matt Treyvaud's tightly curated little playlist of summer dad music for sitting on the engawa, watching the kids hunt semi. Read Treyvaud's descriptions because, again, I have no idea, but I tracked down some videos and Amazon.jp links to sample them:

the ethereal country music of Oshima Yasukatsu,

zoning, synthy 70s jazz from Fukumachi Jun,

and Taj Mahal Travellers' underground Vangelish rock.

Dad music for the Japanese summer [neojaponisme]

July 10, 2015

Whoops.

We remember Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's 1960 classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird," as that novel's moral conscience: kind, wise, honorable, an avatar of integrity who used his gifts as a lawyer to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town filled with prejudice and hatred in the 1930s. As indelibly played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 movie, he was the perfect man -- the ideal father and a principled idealist, an enlightened, almost saintly believer in justice and fairness. In real life, people named their children after Atticus. People went to law school and became lawyers because of Atticus.

Shockingly, in Ms. Lee's long-awaited novel, "Go Set a Watchman" (due out Tuesday), Atticus is a racist who once attended a Klan meeting [emphasis added]

It would be more complicated still if the Atticus in either book were an actual person, or even the same one. Or if they're even in the same universe. Because I'm pretty sure publishing a novel written first, but set much later, fifty years after the first, I mean, second, has altered the space-time continuum in ways we can't even begin to understand.

Review: Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman give Atticus Finch a Dark Side [nyt]
a couple of days later update: insightful NYT reviewer finds Atticus complicated

Fred Rogers just made me cry, and it's ok. At least it'll take my mind off of Inside Out.

Fred Rogers Message to those who grew up with the Neighborhood [vimeo via khoi]

July 7, 2015

I know, "The Disease of Manhood" sounds like about half the thinkpieces on The Good Men Project, but Dan Duray's review of the Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's film Force Majeure and My Struggle is a solidly interesting discussion of contemporary [i.e., Scandinavian] notions of dadhood AND probably the easiest way to get parenting tips out of Norwegian lit-hipster god Karl Ove Knausgaard's six or whatever-volume memoir:

The Swedes and their priggishness about reproductive relationships are a source of amusement and frustration for that self-loathing (and self-celebrating) Norwegian. Karl Ove leaves his first wife at the beginning of My Struggle Book Two (ominously sub-titled A Man in Love), moves to Stockholm, gets a haircut (a reference to Swann, in Knausgaard's avowed inspiration, getting one when Odette's spell is finally broken?), and reconnects with the Swedish Linda, the woman of his dreams. He'd met her years prior in a writing program. She rejected him then, and in response he methodically cut his own face with shards of glass. They go on to have four children.

This means that Karl Ove, who elsewhere details the baroque abuses of his own father, must now navigate the hazards of parenthood himself. He has to mingle with parents at nurturing Swedish birthday parties where the kids couldn't care less about the elaborate games and sugarless cake. He wants to leave the country for a soccer match, but much as he'd like to he can't leave a week after the birth, explaining to his friends, "We're not men from the 1950s." He joins in singalongs at the library with his daughter while dreaming of bedding the woman with the guitar. "As a result," he narrates, pushing a stroller, "I walked around Stockholm's streets, modern and feminized, with a furious nineteenth-century man inside me."

If you want that kind of thing, of course. I can't even finish that guy's NYT Magazine articles.

"Force Majeure," Karl Ove Knausgaard, and the Disease of Manhood [bookforum]

When you name the heir do a media and financial info dynasty, it's not just the kid; you have to think about how the name will look on a terminal, or a TV caption, or a museum wall. There is a lot of branding going on in this story of Michael Bloomberg's grandchildren [mazeltov btw]:


Ms. Bloomberg, 36, and her husband, 35, married in 2005, and their daughter's surname -- Frissora plus Bloomberg equals Frissberg -- is a term used by friends to describe them as a couple. The name is meant to represent that Zelda is a combination of her parents, according to a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg.
And a little rebranding, too:Jasper was given the surname of his father, Ramiro Quintana, at birth. Georgina Bloomberg and Mr. Quintana have since broken up, and the toddler now goes by Jasper Bloomberg.Bloomberg's Granddaughter Gets a Hybrid Surname [nyt via dt hero alexandra]

July 6, 2015

Last December Andy Baio wrote about an experiment he performed on his son: exposing him to the history of video games in chronological order, rather than just starting at the state of the art of today.

Now the Gel Conference has posted video of Andy telling his and his son's story, and sharing the results. And it's really great. I am not a gamer anymore, but I found myself getting choked up at all the right level ups.

Andy Baio at Gel 2015 conference [vimeo via waxy]
Previously: Andy Baio's Video Game Parenting Experiment FTW

July 5, 2015

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Not that you should plan for it, of course, but it's nice to know that if you did forget about her, an Octopus Mini Lilo can keep your 10-month-old afloat a kilometer out to sea until the coast guard picks her up.

Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her [independent via dt reader nathan]
Octopus Mini Lilo, £4.37 [amazon.co.uk]

July 1, 2015

Oh there are so many ways to parse this story about Amber Pangborn, who gave birth to her daughter Marisa alone in the forest. Where she was stranded out of gas. And attacked by placenta-hunting bees, And started a forest fire to get attention. But this seems like it belongs farther up in the article:

Pangborn's mother, Dianna Williams, told the L.A. Times that her nine-months-pregnant daughter went to a casino on Wednesday to visit a friend and get a respite from the hot temperatures. Pangborn, she said, was also hoping to induce labor.

After visiting the casino, she decided to head home, but she turned on the wrong road and ran out of gas, her mother said. She was forced to give birth to her baby in the forest.

She was nine months pregnant, and drove on an empty tank of gas to the casino to induce labor. Yess go on.

Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California [latimes]

June 28, 2015

coys_rolls_royce_shooting_brake.jpg

We are on a road trip, and have spent the last week visiting with family in Orange County, Newport Beach, to be precise. Which has presented many opportunities to explain to the kids that Rolls Royces and Bentleys used to come from the same company, and that they were very fancy, and handbuilt cars of some rarity and prestige. And now they are ridiculous embarrassments of bad taste, bought by people who literally have too much money and too little sense for how to spend it well. So it's been a disheartening exercise.

The appearance of this 1968 Silver Shadow shooting brake thus comes at an excellent time, and it reminds us of an age gone by, when people with too much money did have some sense for how to spend it, and so they made station wagons out of unchanging Rolls Royce Silver Shadows and drove them across the lawns and fields of their hunting estates. Those were good times.

Blenheim Palace auction, 11 July 2015, Lot 217 - 1968 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow "Shooting Brake", [improbably est.] £48,000 - £60,000 [coys.co.uk via dt shooting brake analyst dt]

Previously, just one of many: The Station Wagons Of Rolls Royce Not Exactly The Rolls Royces Of Station Wagons

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I'd seen the link to this before, but hadn't clicked through until dt reader Erik sent it along tonight. Photographer James Mollison has traveled the world to show what playgrounds look like, or more precisely, to show what masses of kids photoshopped to fill empty spaces look like.

For instance, though it appears to be a deleted Agent Smith fight scene from Matrix: Revolutions, this school in the UK uses its courtyard to deliver beatings and tauntings that will prepare boys for careers at sea. Rum, sodomy and the lash and all that, I guess. Cheerio!

James Mollison's Playground is an exhibition and a photobook by Aperture [aperture.org]
What Playgrounds Look Like Around The World [wired via dt reader erik]

June 25, 2015

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Basically this Cubs fan's catch of a side-retiring foul ball was so awesome that while the Dodgers were demanding a player interference ruling, the crowd was going wild reviewing the tape. He and his 7mo accomplice were allowed to stay.

Fan Makes Amazing Catch While Holding Sleeping Baby At Cubs Game [wgntv]

June 23, 2015

Are not out there yet, but they definitely should be. Someone get on it please.

LOL there goes that million-dollar bizness idea. As the URL shows, when I first linked to this Fusion story, the headline was "Confederate Flag Sales up 2305% on Amazon." And now it's Reuters reporting that Amazon will stop selling Confederate Flag merchandise.

June 20, 2015

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Renate Müller is still alive and awesome, and for the last few years R&Co. in NYC has been bringing new creations by Müller alongside her pioneering East German-era designs.

This is a play sculpture R&Co. are showing at Design Miami/Basel in Basel this week. There are storage and new stuffed jute animals and objects at R&Co's site, too. [via @sarafitzmaurice]

Renate Müller objects [r-and-company.com]

June 16, 2015

June 12, 2015

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Speaking of clay, here are some Mad Max Fury Road My Little Ponies.

Mad Max Fury Road Ponies [savethewailes via dt reader jp]

June 11, 2015

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Barbapapa, the iconic and friendly French Jabba The Hutt, lives with all his ancillary characters in some kind of Pierre Cardin-lookin' bubblehouse. Which you can buy, but why would you, when you can make your own Barbapapa house out of balloons and papier mache and time?

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And then instead of buying dolls, just make them out of Sculpey! It's what the folks at the turn-a-book-into-a-bloggable-creative-project blog Play By The Book did, and no one seems to have choked on anything.

Playing By The Book: Barbapapa [playingbythebook.net via things]

June 9, 2015

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Many of these old-timey ads have been circulating on the webWTF for years, but they're always worth revisiting. And I hadn't seen this Black Flag DDT ad before. Or the thalidomide ad either; that is one for the history books: For a barbiturate and hypnotic your kid can accidentally OD on with complete safety, try Distaval™ today!

More fun is to try and guess what totally uncontroversial products and parenting practice will make us look like barbarian idiots fifty years from now. My guess is oil.

vitamin_donuts_awkwardfamily.jpg

Also, why do we not have vitamin-fortified donuts?

Inappropriate Vintage Ads For Children [awkwardfamilyphotos via dt godfather rolf]
Previously: Plastic Bag Not A Toy [Anymore]

June 7, 2015

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An exhibition of 1960s modernist toy designs by Roger Limbrick. Patrick Rylands, Fredun Shapur, and Ken Garland, has opened in London. "play: toys, sets, rules" includes some "extraordinarily generous, humane and beautiful objects" which grew out of their designers' "radical project to transform social life by altering two of its fundamental categories, education and work." These objects, write the curator/designers from system, are "now largely forgotten."

Well. play seems to be the first project for systems, whose members all seem too young to have forgotten anything. I'd call it a mix of great-looking classics and unknowns. The show includes icons like Limbrick's original 1963 Open Side Dolls' House [above], which was first produced in the UK by Galt Toys, and which was distributed in the US by Creative Playthings.

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And there are these slot-together chair and stool prototypes Ken Garland made in 1965. Called Plytek, they look like a Pop reimagining of Hans Wegner's Peters Chair & Table. Or maybe Wegner's 1944 wedged mortise & tenon design had been long forgotten by then.

Plytek-Stool-Ken-Garland-Associates.jpg

Anyway, it all looks fantastic, and there's apparently a documentary in the works, too, so stay tuned.

play: toys, sets, rules runs through July 6, 2015, at the Walter Knoll space in Charterhouse Square, London [systemsproject.co.uk via dezeen]

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Lullatone, the Nagoya-based music family of Yoshimi and Shawn James Seymour, have released the final EP in their seasons-based set, "The Sounds of Spring." It's as great as ever.

Until I read this little interview, I'd forgotten that Seymour had recorded part of one of their earliest EPs in the hospital while waiting for their first kid to be born. Guess that's just how relaxed and easy-listenin' childbirth in Japan is!

Our kids play Lullatone's Dropophone app on iPhones and iPads all the time, but I think we'll need to load up some more albums from the backlist for our cross-country roadtrip this summer. They'll be as good for napping as they are for playing.

Interview: Lullatone
"Waking Up on a Picnic Blanket"
[beehy.pe]
Download The Sounds of Spring EP from Lullatone [lullatone.bandcamp.com]

June 2, 2015

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I'm still fighting off the chills from reading a review of Bill Martin & Eric Carle's childhood classic, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, which was posted only yesterday, while the world was distracted by Caitlin Jenner.

If the animals were looking at the children this whole time, why don't they say so? When the bear was asked what he saw, he mentioned only the bird. When the bird was asked what she saw, she mentioned only the duck. Every single character in the book is looking at the children and yet every single one refuses to admit that they see them. It's only the authority figure who has the courage to acknowledge their presence.

How scared must the characters be to live in unified submissive silence? The children have complete control, for they not only know everything about the world the characters inhabit, but they also have the power to destroy that world (as many of this book's youngest readers undoubtedly have).

It is the proverbial bear who is not to be poked. But through the bear's opening omission we learn that even he is too scared of the children to publicly acknowledge that he's aware of their existence. The more important answer to this book's opening question is not that the brown bear sees the red bird. It's that he also sees the omniscient, omnipotent children, but is too terrified to say so.

But they know that he knows.

I urge everyone to read the rest now. Hurry, we only have hours, or maybe a couple of days, before the bulk metadata surveillance dragnet starts sweeping again, and then they'll know that you clicked through the Daddy Types Amazon Associates link, and the tiny kickback from your diaper order could be considered material support! Fight the power!

Who Watches The Watchers? An Amazon Review of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? [amazon via dt comrade nathan]
Previously, but still cracking myself up: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Communists! [dt youtube]
[image: eric carle print flannel detail from etsy, sold out because eric carle]

May 30, 2015

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This would be a legitimately cool dollhouse, btw. If Barry McGee or some Anorak Magazine illustrator hasn't already done it, I'd say you have a project a'waiting.

May 26, 2015

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We need this right now. This ADO dollhouse sitting room set was designed by Ko Verzuu sometime around 1926-32. I saw it on aapc, but now it's gone. I'm leaving this photo and a link to an old Gemeentemuseum exhibition to carry on.

UPDATE: It's back on aapc. Thanks for the heads up, Andrew.

Oh, here's the whole set in one slideshow from the CODA Museum.

It's much fancier than the dollhouse Verzuu made for the daughter of the director general of ADO.

ADO-poppenkamer met zitkamer [collectiegelderland.nl]
XXSmall | Poppenhuizen en meer in miniatuur 12-nov-2011 to 25-mrt-2012 [gemeentemuseum.nl]
Previously, related: Ko Verzuu made this dollhouse

How was your weekend? Mine was OK! I was going to start blogging again, and then I saw that ThinkGeek is being acquired by Hot Topic for $122 million, and now I have to go re-evaluate all my previous ThinkGeek- and Hot Topic-related coverage. And also my life choices.

Hot Topic enters agreement to buy ThinkGeek parent company Geeknet Inc [arstechnica]

May 20, 2015

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If only the giant handpainted sunflower were on the other side, this 1986 Volvo 240 DL Wagon would be the perfect carpool dropoffmobile.

But since our car has been sideswiped twice in the last four months in that exact spot, I fear parking this Volvo on our street would just be inviting trouble.

As for the rest of it, though, low miles, clean body, and not too much known about the interior and mechanicals, and no reserve price, it could be very interesting.

CA 1986 Volvo 240DL wagon Auto Original 75,100 miles Original Beauty NO RESERVE, current bid $1088, auction ends May 26 UPDATE: sold for $3703. [ebay]

Golden State Warrior/MVP Steph Curry brought his daughter to the post-playoff game press conference last night,

which prompted older, whiter, doughier men with less game who just wanted to get their quote and get home to make fun of her. Shoutout to SportsCenter for taking the high, historic road, though, with this shot of Steph hanging with his dad, Dell, who played for Charlotte:

Video: Steph Curry Has A Great Sports Baby [deadspin]

May 18, 2015

FAO Schwarz, the toy brand that wouldn't die, will close its Fifth Avenue store this summer, and it's not coming back. Tourist mobs should be able to find it again next year somewhere near Times Square, possibly in a vast sketchy sunken plaza retail space that used to house fourth tier theme restaurant Mars 2000, and, I believe, a cramped and convoluted Equinox gym.

The zombie brand, which has always been subject to the dual whims of imaginary upscale nostalgia and real estate, went bankrupt most recently in 2009, after which its assets, intellectual and otherwise, were absorbed by Toys R Us. TRU, which itself was taken private by Bain Capital and KKR, have been developing FAO into an in-house brand, while waiting out the 2017 expiration of its Fifth Avenue lease. [I keep wanting to type 'flagship,' but can you have a flagship if you only have one store? I am skeptical.]

FAO Schwarz's Manhattan Store to Close in July as Rents Rise [bloomberg]
Previously: The Daddy Types timeline of FAO Schwarz bankruptcies, store closures, relocations, and buyouts

May 15, 2015

That's Cleveland dad Dave Love singing to his son. [@DaveLoveUCD via @deray]

The New Yorker reports from the playground:

SARA: Hey, look who just walked in.

ANNA: Where?

SARA: Over there, by Nanny Alley.

ANNA: Oh boy.

SARA: Stay-at-home Hottie McBjörn.

ANNA: Daddy's home.

SARA: Daddy's home, all right.

Playground Purgatory [newyorker]

May 13, 2015

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The tricky part is that curling parents often wear the same outfits as their exact opposites, the parents who drop their kids at the pool and disappear for hours at a time, which we call "golf parents"

May 12, 2015

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Malarko Editions has made these three-color screen printed kids t-shirts with a walking poo on them in "super limited edition." Because if there's one thing you don't want to see walking toward you on the street, it's a poo.

Shirts will fit kids from ages 1-8yo, as long as 1-2yos wear the 3-4y size like a dress or large poo tunic, or as they say in England, a poonic.

Walking Poo Kids Tee, £19.00 + shipping, &c. [malarkoeditions via anorak]

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Dad, Chloe, happy flight attendant, via globalnews.ca

There's too much to love about the story of the kid born on the Air Canada flight from Calgary to Tokyo to be upset about it for long.

Let's start with the report that the 23yo mom did not know she was pregnant, just thought she had a little gas from time to time.

And that she apparently told her 25yo baby daddy bf on the plane, "something just fell out of me," which is something you'd expect an overhead bin to say, not the woman giving birth in the seat next to you.

And then there's the immigration lawyer interviewed by the CBC who says that in addition to Canadian citizenship, little Chloe--doing fine, btw, also, they did manage to come up with a name pretty quickly--"could be eligible for American citizenship if she was born above Hawaii."

calgary_tokyo_hawaii_map.jpg

Which, wow, look at this map, it could really happen, Chloe might be as Canadian-American as Ted Cruz!

Canadian woman gives birth on Air Canada flight from Calgary to Japan [globalnews.ca]
B.C. woman, who gave birth on flight didn't know she was pregnant [cbc.ca]

May 11, 2015

A quote from Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,:

"That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We're changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don't." -- an anonymous Tesla employee recalling an e-mail from Musk after missing an event to witness the birth of his child.
An "event"? What even is that? Like an offsite? A company softball game? Elon Musk needs a few people around him who can tell him that changing the world and/or history is not incompatible with attending to the birth of one's own child.

The 22 most memorable quotes from the new Elon Musk book, ranked [washpost]
Pre-order/buy Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, for around $21 at Amazon [amazon]

May 10, 2015

Mamava-exterior.jpeg

The idea for Mamava portable breastpumping cabins came from a 2006 New York Times story about how hard it is for non-white-collar moms to find time to pump breast milk at work.Years of design, testing, and bootstrapping startup ups and downs later, it is here, and it is awesome. Every place of work should have one, and artists could be commissioned to decorate the ones that are not sponsored.

On Breast Milk and High-Impact Journalism [nyt]
Mamava [mamava.com]

May 7, 2015

kardashian_hermes_north_ig.jpg

I don't know exactly how the forces operating in my life conspired to keep me unaware of this situation that went down last fall. But they did. And now I must inform you that you only have 2.5 days for your under-1yo to transform an exorbitantly expensive luxury good into a priceless Mother's Day heirloom/photo-op prop. And sorry, Hermes bag has already been done, so don't even think about it.

May 5, 2015

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Writer Gabriel Roth was reading Alfie books to his 3yo daughter when he got sandbagged by Death, which made a surprise appearance in the story:

Children have to find out about death at some point. It's a cognitive milestone, like naming colors or counting to 10, only horrible. I don't know how I had hoped the conversation would go, but I would have liked to be a bit more prepared. Even five minutes reading parenting blogs would have helped.
Roth manages to come up with a good selection of storybooks that help kids understand at least the concept of death. But he missed "And People?" [slate]
Wait, $38-102? How is The Dead Bird not in print?? [amazon]
Previous Dead Bird coverage: Margaret Wise Brown was as wack as she was prolific

May 3, 2015

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One of Amanda Moore's photos of National Guard troops in the Penn North neighborhood of Baltimore went viral Friday. It shows a soldier leaning against a wall of fresh riot shields, smiling as a toddler kneels down to play with a glowstick. It would be a lot more heartening if, instead of being lost in the kid's adorable curiosity, he was making sure his loaded assault rifle wasn't pointed at her.

The kid appears in another of Moore's photos, where she is joined by a couple of other kids and a mother or caregiver, on a tiny field trip to see the strange-looking white men who have appeared in their neighborhood overnight, covered in weapons and backpacks.

This is Baltimore [mandawritesthings via
baltimoresun]

May 2, 2015

Here is a mom who's trying to run away from brands, but I think she's really trying to run away from herself:

I couldn't resist buying her a cheap nylon set of Wonder Woman PJs, cape and all. Then I bought her a pair of Nike tennis shoes, conspicuous "swoosh" and all. I felt bad but also simply had to buy the Keith Haring-branded leggings, although I felt that Keith Haring himself would have been somewhat ambivalent if he had known he was designing baby gear from the grave. "Me too, Keith," I thought as I paid for the leggings, throwing in the matching t-shirt, the words "Dance All Day" across the front, right above Mr. Haring's iconic signature.

But it quickly gets worse once you invite the brands in the front door, and now I am powerless to stop it. I don't even care, I sometimes tell myself. About a month ago, on a rare trip to Target, we purchased a tiny Frozen coloring book for Zelda.

I say let it go.

My Daughter, Brand Amabassador [theawl]

April 30, 2015

poop-emoji.jpg

April 28, 2015

This seems like an important life skill, in its own way:

When [Saul] Bellow's son Greg was 2, Mr. Leader writes, "Bellow taught him to point first to his ass, then to his elbow, declaring him 'Smarter than most Harvard graduates.'"
As it turns out, Greg Bellow wrote a memoir of his life with his father. It came out last year.

Review | Zachary Leader's The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune [nyt via @caleb_crain]
Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son's Memoir [amazon]

tennant_stroller_meisel_italvogue0399.jpg

I know what you're thinking, because I thought it, too: John Stamos brought the kid to see Rebecca Romijn-Stamos on the set of an X-Men movie. But not only is that not Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, that's not even John Stamos.

It's other blue model Stella Tennant, wearing random Italian couture in a Steven Meisel photoshoot for Italian Vogue, March 1999, more than a year before there even was an X-Men movie.

Anyway, I can't tell if that's actually Tennant's kid and baby daddy, or if they're just props, but this totally random umbrella stroller sure makes me marvel at the sad state of It Strollers before the Bugaboo came along. Truly it was a different age.

Steven Meisel | Stella Tennant | Vogue Italia Mar 1999 [tumblr thanks dt reader erica]
Also the Romijn-Stamoses didn't even have kids [wikipedia]

April 26, 2015

baltimore_dad_bydvnlin.jpg

This is Devin Allen's photo of a Baltimore dad holding his son at a protest march Thursday against the police officers involved in the post-arrest violence and death of Freddie Gray.

I'd like to think that this kid will grow up not having any unaccountable deaths of black men at the hands of the police to march against, and that he'll have to learn about it from his dad and the history books instead. But that future seems a long way off right now.

bydvnlln's instagram via fusion
These are the most striking pictures of the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore [fusion.net]

April 24, 2015

Maybe someone can set up a playdate for the $80/week formula, make sure I can return your birthday gift for cash parents with this guy, who has turned his kid's butt into an ATM dispensing 100-yuan notes. [via kottke]

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