Clothing manufacturers and department stores are creating special sizes and sections for tots through pre-teens to accommodate tall and overweight kids.  Putting pretty in front of plus is not going to make little ones or older children feel any better as they shop for fall and back to school wardrobes.

Why can’t they just put a size – a number – on them in the regular racks?  Moms and dads know how to count.  They know 14 is larger than 10.  They’ll find it, and their child won’t be stigmatized by going to a separate section.

Sometimes, children need a larger size because they are tall, not because they are overweight.  One sized does not fit all, no matter how hard manufacturers try to tell us it’s so.   How about some extra material so hems can be let down?

Obesity in children is now a national problem, one that affects us all, if not personally, in greater health care costs.

The federal government sponsors many studies that seem absolutely ridiculous (Does cocaine use increase sexually risky behavior in Japanese rats?)  I wouldn’t mind seeing one that compares the cost of cuts to school physical education programs to increased health care costs resulting from children being overweight.   It’s a penny wise pound foolish situation.  Instead of bringing her to the Pretty Plus section, maybe Honey Boo Boo’s mom could get her started on a fun exercise program.  She’d be cute and healthy too.

Please support our Doodle Noodle Shelter Kids Project.  Buy a School Doodle or a Clothes Doodle at a 10% discount and we will send your purchase and a free children’s book to a child living in a shelter.  Just type SHELTER into the coupon box when you check out, and we’ll take it from there.  The shelter closest to my home has 50 families with children between the ages of 3 and 10.  They need your help.  You can donate by clicking the Doodle icon on the right, or the Our Store banner below, and placing your order.

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Curiosity on Maris – great.  I’m more curious about how the greatest city in the world has 17,619 homeless children living in shelters.  That’s not counting those living 3 in a bed at relatives’ houses or some that may live in a car or a truck.


Priorities?  In a national budget – yes.  In a municipal budget – absolutely.  Mayor Bloomberg, it’s beds before bikes (On the Upper West Side where I live, the street bike lanes are barely used.)  Maybe every co-op or condo that sells for over 2 illion dollars should have homeless child tax.


The mayor is concerned about our health, and so he wants to limit the size of sugary drinks we buy in restaurants.  I know that we all pay for people who develop diabetes and other weight related health problems.  But, Mike, have you crunched the numbers on what a homeless child costs us – more years of food related health problems, lack of academic skills, maybe drug use.

We focus on our greatest at the Olympics.  While NBC/Universal has tried to force us to watch by eliminating all other programs and showing reruns on its cable stations, let’s pay attention to those who face a challenge every day of their lives.  Each child who survives being homeless deserves a gold medal.







I was born with cellulite and fat thighs. My mom gave me small Philadelphia Cream Cheese packages when I sat in the grocery cart. Better than cookies, she thought. Now, at the heaviest I have ever been, I need to deal with disappointing results of my annual physical. My thyroid is normal (I was hoping that was the cause), and for the first time in my life, my cholesterol is high (only 9 points, but, still, it used to be at the very low end of normal.)

These facts are not good for a woman who could live on cheese , bread and wine. How do those French women do it? Oh yes, I’ve only smoked a total of 3 cigarettes in my life, and that was 2 puffs at a time of 7 cigarettes.

I am now fascinated with all the buzz about food and French child rearing practices and absolutely aghast at what we are doing here in New York City in America. Forty percent of New York City public school students are overweight or obese. Two percent of children have low food security, “vitamin deficiencies, a day with no food, a loss of weight, a month of being hungry. (

As an assistant principal, and before that a teacher, when a child was having difficulty in the morning. I asked two questions – “Are you hungry?” and “Did someone bother you on the way to school?” Many times I brought a child down to the cafeteria or used my own private “breakfast stash.”

I am amazed and angry that the City’s Health Department has suspended increasing the number of public schools (now 381 of 1,750) that serve free breakfast in the classroom. Why have they suspended it? Their research shows that 20% might be eating two breakfasts, one at home and one in class, and thus adding 90 units to their daily calorie intake.

What about the other 80% who don’t eat breakfast, who are then hungry and don’t concentrate or act out. (Let the City Health Department be accountable for the test scores of that 80%, not the teachers.)

A better solution is not to offer fried foods 6 or more times out of 22 monthly school lunches, to serve fruit and low calorie dry cereal and yogurt for breakfast. Restore gym to the school schedule and provide playground exercise equipment during the lunch recess.

I think Mr. Bloomberg should be required to post the calorie count of every item served in schools as he requires multi-location restaurants to do. After all, he is the CEO of 1.750 school “restaurants.”

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?