It’s Not All Mary Poppins

What gets you Humming?

In the last post, some of you shared your favourite children’s albums. What fun! I’m always interested in new music. It doesn’t have to be new music, of course, just new-to-me. So now I want more!


Tell me, dear readers: which is your favourite children’s album? And (if it’s not the same), what is your child’s favourite? (And if you’re a family of audiophiles, you can give me up to three. But only three!!)

(Oh, and your child’s favourite album? It doesn’t have to be specifically children’s music. If your tot rocks on to The Who, let us know! The adult choices, now, THEY have to be children’s music.)

Let’s have a musical moment!

June 6, 2007 Posted by | memes and quizzes, music | 27 Comments

Because I’M the boss around here…

We’ve been listening to Raffi these days. You there, sneering in the back row? You may leave. I quite like Raffi, particularly his earlier stuff. He hasn’t got the best voice in the world, I grant you, but he provides little ones with appropriately simple – but not patronizing or simplistic – music. Much of what he does is folk music, a solid beginning for small children with its clear melodies and lyrics. Folk music is also musical heritage, auditory history.

His childrens’ songs (particularly his earlier ones) are generally educational without being preachy, fun without being cutesy, and lively without being manic – something too few children’s entertainers seem to be able to manage.

All this without a single anthropomorphic animal or multi-coloured human in sight! Imagine!

But no one’s perfect, right? I recently dug out our old Baby Beluga disc. All was going hummingly until track 12.

Joshua Giraffe.

Have you ever listened to Joshua Giraffe? This is one seriously weird song. It was not written by someone in their right mind. In fact, it seems pretty clear to me hallucinogens were involved. It’s an auditory Dali, a musical Breton (though with a much better beat).

It is, in short, bizarre.

And looong. Over six minutes of weird.

And not so musical. Over six minutes of disjointed, jerky weird.

And it is, predictably, Nigel’s favourite.

Too bad for him…

June 5, 2007 Posted by | individuality, music, Nigel, quirks and quirkiness, random and odd | 13 Comments

Interview Meme

I’m sure many of you have seen the meme which involves interview questions. A blogger picks someone to interview, sends them five questions, and then the person interviewed is to do the same. I’ve had opportunity to do this meme before, but didn’t, because I’m too lazy busy* to think up five questions for five people.

However, when Stephen asked if he could interview me, with no obligation to continue the meme, I agreed, particularly once I saw his questions. He’s a smart man, my Stephen: these are fascinating questions, and will be fun to answer!

They are also not simple questions. There is no way I can do full justice to all five in one post – unless you all are willing to read a small book masquerading as a post. So, what I’m going to do is answer one each Saturday for the next five weeks. I’ll tackle the first question on June 9.

Curious? Here are the questions:

1. Describe a parenting goal that ought to be universal. No matter what part of the world you live in, regardless of your worldview or socio-economic status, this is a goal that all parents share in common — though they may never have thought about it.

2. Allow me to introduce this question with an anecdote. I had the privilege of watching you homeschool your children. I had no biases about homeschooling, pro or con, but I was amazed by the method you used. After a month or two had passed, I asked, “But when do you school them?” I was expecting formal instruction of some kind and it wasn’t happening — not that I ever saw. But your method (what method?!) worked: when your children entered the school system in grade four or five, they were equal to or ahead of their peers academically.

The answer to my amazement is found in your philosophy of care. It states, “Every interaction is a learning opportunity.” I know from observing you how subtle the principle is in practice! Please explain so that others can apply it.

3. Most people who read your blog end up, like me, very impressed by your parenting (caregiving) skills. But ‘fess up, it ain’t all Mary Poppins! Share one of your mistakes with us! When you first started parenting, what were you doing that causes the more experienced, wiser version of MaryP to shake her head disapprovingly and mutter “tsk tsk”?

4. What does our society do well with respect to parenting? What does it do poorly? Phrased another way, which societal messages would parents do well to absorb, and which ones should they resist?

5. Some people say that people should have to obtain a License To Parent before they are allowed to bring a child into the world. The implication is, some kind accreditation is necessary to do the job right. You’ve worked with lots of untrained mommies and daddies. Are children at risk or otherwise held back by parental ignorance?

Good questions, huh? Tune in next Saturday, when I outline my thoughts on question one: a parenting goal that ought to be universal. Hmmm….

*Because, as you all know by now, I am the Queen of Busy. Bwah-ha.

June 4, 2007 Posted by | controversy, memes and quizzes, parenting | 9 Comments

From my Inbox

From: Darcy’s* mom (a tall, willowy and athetic woman)
To: MaryP
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 8:55:28 AM
Subject: RE: wedding pic

Wonderful pics – beautiful day!

Congratulations again.

Funny post-wedding story …

Home in the afternoon after the wedding, Darcy sitting on my lap as we chat. He is playing with the neckline of my t-shirt as we talk. He starts to pull the shirt away from me and is quite obviously looking for …. something – all the while carrying on a conversation. Finally, I ask,

“Honey, what are you doing”?.

“Looking for your crack, Mommy, Mary has one.”

1. He is displaying early signed of being a rather red-blooded male.
2. He can look for a long time, but this Mommy does not have a ‘crack’.

Ah, Darcy! How I miss him!

*For those of you new to this blog, Darcy is a former client, and a total sweetie. I love him to bits.

June 1, 2007 Posted by | the cuteness!, the things they say!, wedding | 7 Comments