Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas, Santa Claus and non-Christians.

I don't believe that there's a god, let alone a god who had a son born in a manger to a virgin, but I really hate to influence children (including my own) by stating that aloud.  So far, I don't think that any of my children are Christian, although that could change and I wouldn't care at all if it did.  Belief systems, in my opinion, are personal.  I don't want to sway you from yours and I sure don't want you to sway me from mine.

Christmas and the gift-giving tradition born out of it, however, presents a dilemma for non-believers who don't want to engage in the hypocrisy associated with so many Christians.   Children are too new to the world to deal with belief/non-belief systems out of the norm, and as No. 1 has reminded me too many times to count as I asked her how she always seemed to end up with Christian boyfriends, "The US is 85% Christian". 

So, when my kids were little way back in the day, I pretended that there was a Santa Claus.  BIG MISTAKE!  No. 1 would say things like, "Why would Santa think I would want something like this?"

As the years went by, I think the kids just enjoyed getting gifts and the fun associated with opening the gifts even if the gifts weren't what they wanted.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped pretending.  The kids were grown and aware of my non-belief, Em's a non-believer as well, and there were/are other venues for everyone.  Then came Astrid.

I fancy myself  her teacher in these early preschool years, although No. 1 and husband are doing an excellent job at ensuring appropriate development, as well.   It's my intent to teach her bible stories along with Aesop's fables and Greek/Roman mythologies.  She's a bit young for that now, IMO, but is totally smitten with Frosty the Snowman.  We watch a 3-minute Frosty video every visit THREE times.  So far, she's not asked about Santa (who appears at the end of the video with Frosty), but I suspect I'll suggest to her that Santa is "the spirit of Christmas" if (and ONLY if) it comes up. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cooking With Small Children.

Astrid LOVES to cook (unlike her mother).  She'll pretend to cook if I don't have a cooking exercise planned for her.  She won't be 2 years old until Feb 7, 2012, so I'm still leary of her impetuousness when it comes to the stovetop.  I read today (on the internet) that anyone with a brain would realize that small children shouldn't be allowed to use the stovetop.  I'm more of the opinion that small children should be taught how to use a stovetop safely, so (for now) she's still watching me flip the pancake while she wears the oven mitts, but I expect her to be safely flipping the pancake under my supervision within say a year if I still have the pleasure of watching her three times/week after her family moves. 

No. 1's inlaws want to buy them a house in their neighborhood before the new baby is born.  This would mean a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a good public school.  It would also mean a longer drive to bring Astrid here. 

So far, we've made cookies, pudding, and pancakes (from mixes).  We've also made play dough (from koolaid) and we'll make jello this week.  We haven't yet made anything from scratch and we haven't yet made anything that requires electricity to mix.   She came early yesterday so No. 1 could make a prenatal appointment, so I figured she wouldn't be so hungry that she couldn't help make her own pancake. 

What are your thoughts on cooking with young children?  If you have children, how old were they before you allowed them to use the stovetop?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Occupy Dallas - October, 2011

Another Occupy sympathizer and I went to downtown Dallas October 5th for a march from Pike's Park to the Federal Reserve Bank building. It was a few hours of effort on our part. That last pic is the sign I made to carry.

We weren't the only old people there by any means, but the crowd was mainly young people. Unlike the last protest marches in which I engaged (probably in the early 1970s), the emphasis here was on respect. We were told by the organizers, "You WILL be nice. You WILL respect the police." Just in case, we were given the number of an attorney to get us out of jail, but the crowd was quite respectful and I don't think there were any arrests that day. Since that day, Occupy set up permanent digs, the police got tired of them and ran them off. Last I heard, folks were working in two-hour shifts to maintain a presence around the clock every day. Dallas has never been a "feel free to use our bathrooms" town, so two hours is pretty standard fare with the getting to and getting home adding to bathroom-free time.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

No. 2 is coming this weekend,

so I figured it's about time I posted the pics from No. 2's October visit. Jetblue has been having some airline flight sales that were just too cheap to ignore.

I broke my camera the night I took the above pics and just this week got a replacement working. I'm thinking that before No. 2 arrives on Saturday I'll post some pics from Occupy Dallas. I support Occupy as much as I support breastfeeding in public, but I don't tend to post much on my politics (outside of the sidebar).