Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weg the Dog

I nearly forgot about how much I love William Wegman. Shame on me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Warm Welcome

Welcome to the family Baby Mae!! I can't wait to visit with you and your big brothers in Logan this month. I also can't wait to see you in tiny Hawaiian shorts like your mama here.

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's almost summer weather here. Trying to brush up on my storytelling skills for those nights around the campfire. But it might be hard to top Squints Palledorous.

I just realized that the kid who played Squints, Chauncey Leopardi, also played Alan the bully from Freaks and Geeks. That guy never would have ended up with Wendy Peffercorn.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A, B and C

Some selections from The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Child Care and Guidance (1967), from A to C. The pictures are pretty good on their own, but the captions alternate between being sweetly earnest and hilariously outdated. Apparently I really have a thing for dingy black and white photographs from old books.

"Accidents -- Attention to recreation areas and to play objects is
essential when even toys designed for
safety can be dangerous. The
child can be instruct
ed how best to use objects in order to avoid

"Adolescence -- Adolescence usually means the time between pu-
berty and maturity, roughly the teen
years. Despite the child's adjust-
ment difficulties,
which are increased by our cultural patterns, parents
can gain real pleasure from teen-age children."

(Adolescence cont'd)
"Teen-Ager -- The struggle for selfhood and independence of the
pre-school years, will be revived again in the early teens, when the
child will feel the conflicting needs for the freedom and dignity of
approaching adulthood and for childhood dependency."

"Allowances -- Even small children can enjoy deciding on purchases
and will learn from their own mis
takes. Older children may take pride
in earning
money outside the home in suitable spare-time jobs."

"Anger -- A child must learn, step by step, from parents and the world
outside, to control anger. But he must feel free to express his feelings
of anger. Repressed anger can emerge as bullying or malice, or may
be turned inward on the child himself."

"Animals, Fear of -- A child will best conquer fear of animals by seeing
grown-ups handling them. Reassurance is needed rather than force or

"Anxiety -- The little girl's fear of the dentist may be a mixture of normal
fear of real pain and of
anxiety, or fear of imaginary danger. Anxieties will
lessen as knowledge of life and reality increases."

"Babysitter -- The babysitter's job may entail tasks far more responsible
than merely sitting around while
the children sleep, so that it is important
that she sup
ply reliable references. The sitter will often feed, bathe, com-
fort and entertain the children, and put them to
bed. Often she will be a
teen-ager who has looked after
her own small brothers and sisters."

"Between-Meal Eating -- The need to eat between meals will vary with
each individual child and can best be judged by observation. Most child-
ren find it hard to go from lunch to dinner with no snack."

"Biting -- During the teething years biting stimulates tooth growth. In tod-
dlers it may express anger. Ina child over three, biting may be due to some
disturbing factor which should be sought out."

"Brothers and Sisters -- Some of adulthood's most dependable loyalties
are formed during the many happy hours brother's and sisters spend

"Camping Out -- About seven million children go to camp each summer.
The experience is especially valuable for city children. Whole families often
like to spend week-ends or vacations camping."

"Cleanliness -- Children naturally get dirty while having fun and seeking
new experiences. Constant reminders to keep clean only serve to crush a
child's natural zest for life. When cleanliness is important, such as wash-
ing hands before meals, example is the best teacher."

"Clothes -- Although there will be occasional revolt against adult standards
in dress, however liberal, most children see that development of a certain
amount of good taste and paying reasonable attention to social conventions
are part of becoming an adult."

"Clothes -- Baby clothes should allow free movement and ease in dressing.
From kindergarten onward, the child's own tastes and desire to dress like the
rest of his group should be respected. Durability and economy can usually be
combined with current fashions."

"Comics -- Parent should know what comics their children read, as the cont-
ents differ greatly, and guide the child's reading with his tastes

"Confidences -- Parents should keep children's secrets and should treat confi-
dences given as worth while rather than trivial. As children grow older they may
confide in their parents less frequently, and usually turn to friends of their own
age. Their desire for independence should be respected."

"Country Living -- The country child can grow up amid natural beauty where
the seasons and weather
are related to work and livelihood. Despite modern
educational facilities and communications, isolation is still a disadvantage of
country living."

"Crawling -- When the child starts to crawl he will get extremely dirty and he
will be happier and freer
to explore if he is not bothered about cleanliness. For
the sake of his own safety, he will have enough prohibitions in his life at this
time. He can be allowed to get joyously dirty until bath time, but he should wear
sturdy, easily washed overalls. Parents seeing grimy fingers going straight into
his mouth will be reassured to know that by the time he can crawl, his resistance
to germs is already quite high."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Best in Shows

Maddie is starting to actually sit for a reasonably long time to watch TV. At this point she'll watch pretty much any kids' show that happens to be on, but when we she does ask for something I can't help feeling happy that it is usually "Lalo" (Charlie and Lola) or "Peepee" (Pee Wee's Playhouse). Here are the following reasons why I prefer these shows to others:

1. They have characters that sound and act like real kids. PWP has the Penny Cartoons, which are claymation representations of the kind of rambling and incoherent stories kids tell, and C & L features voice work by actual children, talking the way actual children talk (with extra points for the British accents, reminiscent of another Charlie).

2. They have interesting art. Lauren Child is the author and illustrator behind C & L, and I like how messy her drawings look, not unlike the work of frequent Roald Dahl illustrator, Quentin Blake. The PWP sets were designed by punk artist Gary Panter (who is said to have had a big influence on Matt Groening), and animation by Nick Park of Wallace & Gromit.

3. They teach lessons, without being preachy. Both shows will teach that being nice is good, and being mean is bad, but they usually tell stories that promote using your imagination instead of just shoving a moral down your throat.

4. They are actually funny. Say what you will about Paul Reubens the actor, but Pee Wee Herman the character is hilarious. And even after watching the "Lalo" DVD we got from the library on repeat for a week, it's still pretty darn cute.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Belated Mother's Day Post

The preceding images are from Children and Their Mothers (1963) by Hanns Reich. Now some pictures of my mother and her children:

Thanks for teaching me how to be a mum. Love you Marmy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mini Pop

My whole family is in Utah right now to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law's graduation. Wish I was there eating a Café Rio pork burrito (enchilada style, plz) and watching my nephews dance.

But since I'm spending a greyish day in Toronto with my toddler, I thought I'd post some greyish pictures of my dad as a toddler. Here he is with his sister, a cousin (I think), and my grandpa in Alberta in the 1950s.

Love you dudes!