Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Mall and Other Places to Keep you Busy

I hope everyone is somewhere warm tonight. I just returned from the mall. And why did I brave the mall in the week before Christmas? Because I'm just that ridiculous. But I did make a few excellent purchases, including some stretchy, pull-up jeans for Alyce. However I feel about jean leggings for grown-ups, I think it is a brilliant idea for little kids, especially for kids whose regular jeans won't stay up now that diapers are a thing of the past. I'm looking at you, Alyce.

So now I'm mall-tired and I'm off to bed. But I'll share a few of my favourite reads from today before go. Because you don't already have enough to read:

1. The first thing I read this morning was this article over at Salon. The author tells us about her decision not to have children (at twenty-seven she had her tubes tied) and how her preference not to parent is challenged by most everyone she meets. I admit to being one of those annoying people who just doesn't understand her decision. It's not that I think she's wrong or that I think everyone ought to become parents--by all means, why should anyone sign up for this job if they don't want it?--but the finality of her choice stumps me. Last December, when a good friend of mine revealed that he had had a vasectomy at age twenty-seven, I was similarly stumped. I'm sure I asked him every annoying question that the Salon author complains about, some panicked
cry about changing his mind later. He was comfortable with that risk in a way I just can't imagine. A year later, I still think about his decision.

2. All week I've been following a debate over on Raising Kvell. It started with a post by Mayim Bialik about her decision to breastfeed well into her children's toddler years, and I loved the way she defended her decision without sounding defensive. Some people weren't convinced and wanted Bialik to be more upfront with how hard it can be to continue breastfeeding so long. In particular, a fellow Raising Kvell blogger accused Bialik of not being authentic and, in turn, serving as a crumby model for other mothers. Bialik responded to these criticisms today. What do you think? Personally, I often get suspicious when people start using the authenticity card because it so often leads to fruitless arguments about who is "more real." What does that even mean? I get that mothers are often relieved to find space in which to discuss what's hard about being a parent, where they don't feel the need to pretend that being a mother is all smiles and rainbows. But this shouldn't limit parents to only talking about what's challenging, and it certainly doesn't mean that Bialik can't write about extended nursing (and the exhaustion) with a smile on her face.

3. And now we come to the food: I want to make these. I know some people either love mushrooms or loathe them, but I adore them. These will fall nicely into the category of vegetables that I roast in quantities sufficient to feed four, but that will only be eaten by me, usually in one evening. This category includes brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and now, mushrooms.

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