Monday, October 30, 2006

Life lessons

I had another fun weekend babysitting for my niece and nephew (heretofore known as Glamour Girl and Yes We Do Eat Fig Newtons For Breakfast Boy. My brother-in-law was having minor surgery, so I don't think it was all that much fun for him, but he is recovering nicely and I've had another, "Wow - kids ARE harder to raise than dogs..." epiphany that will keep me from mentioning crate training the next time one of my parent friends mentions the challenges of teaching a toddler to use the potty.

My major contribution to my niece and nephew's development this weekend was in the unexpected area of reptile management. Did you know that one of the popular cartoons for kids today features a character who keeps a pet anaconda??? Saturday's episode offered an important message about how when our friends need help, we need to do everything we can to assist them. For example, if you see an anaconda, and it looks like it might be lost, the best thing do do is poor water over it to prevent dehydration, then wrap it around your neck and take it home.

Um, no.

Now I don't mean to be a stickler for details here, but if I'm teaching kids about snakes, and anacondas in particular, the take-home point of my message is: Leave them alone, they might eat you. This is a usable piece of knowledge young children can work with. Granted, my little charges are unlikely to encounter an anaconda up in Maine. They're equally unlikely to encounter a lion or a tiger, yet they're fully aware that they look like tasty little appetizers to most large members of the wild kingdom.

I was delighted to see that my explanation prompted a wide-eyed level of respect in both Glamour Girl and Yes We Do Eat Fig Newtons For Breakfast Boy, with many questions about how an anaconda would eat you and exactly how long that might take. My excitement was tempered somewhat, however by the new game my lesson inspired, where they slithered around the house pretending to BE anacondas. When they started squeezing the poor dog, I had to intervene. All I could think of was to tell them I was a hippopotamus (I've been on a bit of a hippo kick lately, as you might have noticed) All I heard for the rest of the day was, "Be a Hippo, Aunt Trish! Be a Hippo!"

So now I'm back in Massachusetts, with my half-bald dog and a new appreciation of what it takes to raise the next generation :)

Here in blogger world, your call for candid (albeit kind) reviews is duly noted. I will have some new books - some good, some not-so-spiffy - up on my website by the end of the week, by which time I hope to figure out the intricacies of using blogger on a Mac. Can anyone tell me why I have no options now? I can't create links or use bold/italics - anyone know how to make this work?

12 comments:

Bina said...

Hey there! Came here via Swishy and my gosh this was a funny post! Love it! Of course, I do have four kids, although two, according to the written law somewhere, are considered adults, but I have my doubts. My 3 year old though? Hmmm, I can see her squeezing the dog like an anaconda. But then again, when the dog doesn't listen, she just tells me to call Ceasar Milan, and if I don't, the next time the dog messes up she tells me very sincerely, "I TOLD you to call Ceasar Milan, see?"

Swishy said...

This was totally laugh-out-loud: "... the take-home point of my message is: Leave them alone, they might eat you." HA HA HA.

No help on the Mac. I use one at work, but it's a piece of crap so I can barely even get blogger to come up.

Anonymous said...

I would call them Anaconda Boy and Girl myself.

Poor dog. At least she didn't experience becoming a skunk's snack like your friend's dog.

Trish said...

I am a new mac user also and here is what I have found out:

When you are writing a post and hit the "preview" link and then hit "hide preview" to keep writing, date and time options will show up.

When you want to put a link or italics or bold in your post you have to write the html in the body of the post and it will show up when you preview it or post it. You can google html to find the codes that you need...

I don't know why blogger can't just keep the same options on mac's as they do on pc's...but it looks like there is an html way to do all the same things anyways. I'm still trying to figure out all the differences.

Sarakastic said...

Thank you for the valuable anaconda lesson, the things I missed in my childhood. Now I know.
As for macs I was having a lot of trouble helping a friend blog over the phone on her mac. Then I went to her house & noticed what you did, that most of the helpful buttons etc. on pretty much every site were gone. The only way I found around it was to just write out the html code. So for bold you'd put <..b>word you want bold<.../b> minus the dots. Hopefully there is an easier "make macs stop sucking" button somewhere, but I didn't find it. You might want to try the selected works of dorothy parker before diving into the 700 page version, but this is one of my favorite poems of hers http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/1554.html

Amanda Brice said...

How old are they?

My niece and nephew are 5 1/2-year-old twins.

I love being an auntie. All the fun of having a kid without the work!

Trish Ryan said...

Glamour Girl is three, and Yes We Do Eat Fig Newtons For Breakfast Boy is six. They allow me to dabble in the joy of childlike wonder ("Really, Aunt Trish - we can go to the PARK when we visit you and Uncle Steve in Massitoosets???") without the responsibility of ensuring they turn out to be well-rounded citizens of the world when they grow up. My sister and her husband are FAR better suited to that job; I'll just make sure they know to avoid the snakes :)

Anonymous said...

trish -- switch to Beta Blogger... You DO have options on a mac. Do you need a phone call?

Also, don't Anacondas squeeze people to death?

And lastly, I got my dog. Come to my blog to see! He's doing so well in his crate!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

You're a good role model, Aunt Trish. I try to get my boys to listen to good life advice, and they either don't believe me or they think that their super abilities won't let anything happen to them. I'm dreading a future of reckless behavior...

Hotwire said...

i'm not sure that "Be a Hippo!" is something a lady would want to hear...

LEstes65 said...

I'm with swishy. I laughed at the same line. You are hysterical. Come watch my boys for a while. I think you'd find it entertaining, to say the least.

kim said...

Cute!