This past week, a Tennessee legislative committee backed a regulation dubbed the “Don’t Gay Bill. “ It prohibits the teaching or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality.

Education is a states’ rights issue, but how can we be “America” if basic rights policies differ within a 5 mile radius?

This is one country with one president, one department of state. If we are going to be successful in our multicultural world, we need to have a more common education policy. We need to recognize the world as it exists – science says it’s evolution, not creationism, life since early recorded history says that it has always been heterosexual and homosexual. To my conservative fellow Americans, I say it is not moral to deny what exists because it doesn’t fit your particular religious view of the world. Religion is not supposed to influence the state’s public education.

As a retired assistant principal, it is my belief that if we don’t have more common educational policies, no matter how much we test prep and try to base teacher evaluation on student standardized test scores (which tests are not standard throughout the nation), we will continue to fall behind other nations.


Bringing Up Bebe? OOH LA LA!

American mothers are schedule geeks. Schedules are on phones, computer calendars, paper calendars hanging in the kitchen with each child’s activity in a different color and sometimes in small journals as well. It’s chess, ballet, soccer, piano, school play and, of course, birthday parties.

What upsets me most is that the “experts”-doctors, psychologists, columnists, editors- tell us that we really need to schedule a “date” night and a “sex play date” with our husbands also. “Light a candle”, make it “romantic” they advise. If my cell phone has to beep to remind me that it’s sex time and I’m worried that we will fall asleep without blowing out the candle, how passionate is this going to be?

I remember when being near each other was being in the center of a magnetic field. So powerful that lips closed on each other with positive/negative attraction even on a public street. When the scent of each of us rose above the smell of litter, dog poop, and the roasted nut and hot dog stands.

How do French men do it? According to Pamela Druckerman they don’t assume responsibility for an equal amount of housekeeping and child rearing duties even when la mere works full time.  Is it the 6 months paid maternity leave or the ready available and inexpensive childcare available even on weekends? Or is it the beauty of the language even though you speak it too and hear it every day. Maybe French men have not forgotten how to look at a woman in particular or women in general, or both. Je ne sais pas.

But one shouldn’t have to wait for a “cialis moment”. By that time, even if it’s husband # 2, the schedule may be completely filled.

Bringing Up Bebe?

It’s a good thing Pamela Druckerman, author of “Bringing Up BeBe”, included some references to real French authorities in a bibliography because, if you Google French parenting principles by French authorities, she’s all that comes up. No disrespect, but being married to a Frenchman and raising 3 kids born in France, does not make an American woman an authority. Yet, I’m sure even to her surprise, America has made her the latest guru on how to get your 3 year old to eat chevre and say a naughty word in French (caca boudin).
I know I’m a better mom than my mother was and not just because I didn’t continue what she thought was a healthy and tasty diet of sliced American cheese (sorry Kraft). My daughter did sign me up to take care of her children when she went back to work because I did a good job raising her and her older brother when they were young ( the teen years – I got divorced when she was 14- is another story, no, a book). She did this when she was in her early 20’s and upset over the latest lost love that she would never find again. Now, married over a yearand turning 33 in June, she still has me signed up for when she has children. I guess her recommendation and 35 years as an educator of 3 to 14 year olds and adults who teach them, or want to supervise those teachers, gives me some credibility.
Today, it seems that anyone who can blog or write a book in between chauffeuring kids to activities, watching the nanny cam at work or sitting at the computer while kids nap or watch TV, can get on TV themselves or be followed by hundreds or thousands of people on their blog, Facebook or Twitter. Okay, maybe I’m a little (I don’t think) jealous, but in wonderment how it all happened.
Ms. Druckerman says in an interview in New York Family Magazine, that the most important lesson she has learned from French parents is about food. Considering that 33 percent of American children are overweight, someone, or maybe I should say, many people are not doing their homework. Is learning to eat beets at the age of three going to make a real difference in a person’s diet? I was surrounded by borscht, which is a cold beet soup, all my childhood and hated beets. Yes, my mother said “Just taste it”. Yet when I went to college, the local pizza place had a wonderful cold beet salad, and I loved it. I still don’t like borscht.
Before everyone in the States starts trying to impose a French luncheon menu on nursery school children, let’s remember that there must be a genetic reason why the French are thin. It is impossible to leave a French restaurant without eating several days worth of calories on that one dinner. Cheese, bread and wine is not a low calorie lunch. Although I could eat this 3 times a day and be a very happy woman, I wouldn’t necessarily be a thinner one.
President Clinton and several top chefs are trying to change our school breakfasts and lunches so American children eat healthier. We also need to follow First Lady Obama’s lead and get moving.
As someone who has supervised hundreds of kids (yes, that is at one time) in a school cafeteria, I know we have to calm our lunch periods down. While we have varied the ethnicity of our food selection, it is still by far not the healthiest. While Mayor Bloomberg demands that restaurants post calorie counts, an examination of a month’s public school lunch menu reveals 6 lunches (slightly over 25%) of “crispy fried” something. Maybe he should post those calorie counts too. I guess not enough French enfants attend NYC public schools.
I enjoyed reading “Bring Up Bebe”. It was my first electronic read (new Nook). As a 64 year old, I was surprised at some of the things she was surprised at. Of course, French women make room for “couple time,” even though their husbands don’t share equally in household and child rearing duties. After all, what woman wouldn’t succumb to a man speaking French?