Family: May 2004 Archives

Perhaps the longest-distance link to this website comes from TulipGirl, who writes from Kyiv, Ukraine. I've recently added her to my blogroll, along with the blog of her husband. His blog is called Le Sabot Post-Moderne.

In real life they are John and Alexandra Bush, who also are church planters with Mission to the World (almost typed "Whirled" there, out of habit) in Kyiv, Ukraine. They both write about culture, politics, theology, and family issues. TulipGirl's earlier site Me and the Boys has some material you shouldn't miss, as well.

The Bushes have some strong opinions, learned in the School of Hard Knocks, about Gary Ezzo's not-so-wise "Babywise" approach to infant feeding and childrearing. TulipGirl has a whole category devoted to the topic, and she wrote an article called "Confessions of a Failed Babywiser". Upon learning that Ezzo's books were available in Russian, she had her article translated and posted it on the blog (start here and work backwards).

She also mentions that Tulsa's own TulsaKids magazine won an award for investigative journalism for their July 2003 articles about Ezzo and "Babywise".

When we were expecting our first child, we were encouraged by testimonials from several friends -- intelligent, devoted Christians all -- to make use of the Ezzo approach to infant feeding and discipline. Without getting into details, I regret that we followed their advice, and I would warn parents away from it. It is overly rigid, and encourages an adversarial relationship between parents and children. While Ezzo is right to encourage firmness, he discourages natural parental tenderness. There are lots of good links on that will expose you to alternative approaches (and here and here), advocated by equally intelligent, devoted Christians who believe that Christian parenting should reflect the gracious example of our Heavenly Father.

(And here's a link to what Focus on the Family has to say about Ezzo's material.)

A fine day


This was a lovely day that deserves a quick recap.

Actually, it began last night, when I caught a toad for Joe to take and display with his project. There weren't any out earlier last night, and we wondered if we would have one at all. But there he (or she) was, and I put him in a small critter keeper. Before I gave him a bit of foliage and some water, I dropped in some crickets and watched him pick them off in rapid succession. Wow!

This morning, Mikki's mom fixed some breakfast for us. Joe and I caught some baby toads and Mikki collected some tadpoles from the pond. We got it all loaded up and into the classroom. We swapped the toad and the tree frog. We thought they both might fit in the big critter keeper, but the toad was quite upset about being held against his will, and we were afraid he'd inadvertently hurt the frog with all the leaping about. The frog, by contrast, was quite calm, clinging to a branch or the plastic side of the keeper with his sticky toes. Between the display, the big keeper with the toad, the medium keeper with the tree frog, and the little special cricket keeper, which also held the three baby toads we caught, and the mason jar full of tadpoles and pond water, Joe's desk was rather full. There was a near disaster when one of Joe's classmates tried to turn the big keeper to see the toad, and it nearly sent the small one to the floor.

So Mikki and I and Grandma settled into the auditorium, while the students got ready to present the musical "Oliver!"

Just before the program is to start, Joe rushed in, teary eyed. Some of the baby toads had died and the crickets were eating them. I head with him to the classroom, rescued the surviving baby and put him in with the tree frog. It is unclear whether the crickets killed the baby toads or were just enjoying a stroke of luck. Joe settled down and seemed OK as I headed back to the auditorium.

The first graders were in the chorus for "Where Is Love?" and "Food, Glorious Food!" Students from the upper grades (mainly 5th & 6th) had the lead roles, with some amazing singing, particularly from the girls who played Rose and Nancy. Even the 1st graders sang with strong voices and were mostly on pitch.

Joe enjoyed preparing for the role, singing the songs -- his ability to stay on tune is developing nicely -- and tearing up and mucking up some too-small pants for his orphan costume.

After the two-hour long play, there was a slideshow saluting the school's faculty and founding parents. Then we filed out to view student artwork and semester projects and have cookies and punch. It was interesting to see the variety. Here are some of the projects Joe's classmates did: Soaking human teeth in Dr Pepper for up to ten days to see how DP affects a tooth. (Note: Be sure not to remove your gums before drinking soda pop. Also, be sure not to let soda pop soak on your teeth overnight.) Going on a fossil hunt with dad. Planting a garden. Observing and photographing backyard wildlife. Assembling a complicated Star Wars Lego kit. Building wooden dinosaur skeletons. Writing a book imagining visits to different countries. Building a wooden toy car.

Patriotism was on display. A Lego Statue of Liberty. One boy's project consisted of a videotape of him, in an Uncle Sam-like costume singing a mnemonic song about all 50 state capitals. Another student wrote about a great heroic uncle who had been a WW II combat pilot in the Pacific, then went MIA, evidently shot down, giving his life for his country about a month before the end of the war.

One student's semester project involved visiting a Shriner's Hospital. For treatment. Puts it all into perspective, doesn't it.

Mikki and Joe returned the critters to the house, then they and Katherine and Mikki's mom headed to Casa Bonita for lunch. I went to the Tulsa County Republican Men's Club luncheon to hear candidates for local State Senate seats -- two candidates in Senate 33, five in Senate 25 (formerly 51), and one running in Senate 39. In all three cases, the incumbent is term limited. No actual legislators at lunch -- they're all down at the State Capitol for the end of session rush.

We turned the critters loose this evening after taking some photos. Spur of the moment, I suggested that we take the kids to the Admiral Twin Drive-In to see "Shrek 2". We weighed the likely sleepiness and crankiness tomorrow against the fun of doing something spontaneous. It was a great time -- the evening was cool, with a nice breeze, we all enjoyed the movie, and it was fun to pull a happy surprise on the kids. Joe didn't figure it out until we were in line to get in.

I remember seeing my first PG movie at the Admiral Twin. It was "Young Frankenstein", on the east screen. I got a big, big 7-Up and nearly drank myself sick. I laughed at all the silliness, but I remember overhearing some remark from mom about jokes going over my head.

And so to bed.

A tree frog in our backyard


A happy providence tonight: We bought some "critter keepers" from the pet store so Joe could capture a toad and display it as part of his semester project. When we began to get the biggest keeper ready for use, Joe noticed a crack in the bottom corner. It was too late to return it, and Joe refused to put a toad in the smaller container -- not enough room to hop, he said; it would slam into the side. So we would wait to capture a toad until tomorrow night.

After family prayers, Mikki put Katherine to bed, and then she, Joe, and I went into the kitchen to get Joe his medicine. Mikki spotted it first -- a tree frog on the door to the porch. We had never seen a tree frog at our house before. I took the smaller keeper out the front door and around the house and caught him. So assuming Joe can catch a toad tomorrow night, he will be able to illustrate vividly the similiarities and differences between frogs and toads.

And speaking of crawly things, The Rough Woodsman has a link to a fascinating photo blog about insects and pond life in Stephens County, Oklahoma. Check out Insect Journal.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family category from May 2004.

Family: April 2004 is the previous archive.

Family: June 2004 is the next archive.

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