Confession: I taught my toddler to set aside her books and watch TV.

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Bronwynn's morning to-do list is pretty simple. She wakes up, snuggles with Mama and Dada, hugs Ollie, has a diaper change, eats breakfast, and then wanders over to her bookshelf where she collects as many cardboard books as her chubby arms can hold and brings them over to me, demanding to sit in my lap and read each and every one. Repeatedly. For hours.

Seems like a child's love of words and reading would be any mother's dream (especially a mother who's a writer), but I found myself getting annoyed with her literary habit. Sitting there cross-legged on the floor, my legs getting numb, reading "Green Eggs And Ham" ad infinitum, I began to resent my child. I was held prisoner by her reading addiction, and couldn't even sneak away for a shower or cup of coffee, because she'd inevitably follow me whining, "More, Mama!" ("The Very Hungry Caterpillar" in her hand).

Desperate one day, I took the cellophane wrapper off the Baby Einstein DVD a friend had given me at my baby shower. At the time, in all my prenatal wisdom, I had shelved the gift, insisting self-righteously to Kris that our kids would not be babysat by the TV. I quoted the latest American Academy of Pediatrics studies that show a link between too much screen time and conditions like ADD and below-average IQs.

But those arguments waned in light of the fact I hadn't washed my hair or checked my email in days. So, out came "Baby Mozart." I piled a few pillows like a nest in front of the TV, plopped Bronwynn down in the middle, handed her a bowl of sliced bananas, pressed "play," and then sat back and dusted off my laptop, ready for 30 minutes of uninterrupted bliss.

She sat there enthralled for about 2 minutes, until the bananas were gone, and then was standing in front of me, waving another book in my face.

...So began my quest to find something, anything (correction: anything short of Barney) she would watch zombie-like for 30 minutes or more. We walked back and forth to the library and checked out various preschool DVDs. Each time I scanned a new title with my library card, I felt a pang of guilt. Why can't I just celebrate the fact that my kid dislikes television?

I'd rationalize: We're only watching this because it's snowing outside. Or because you're sick. Or, because I'm sick.

In the end, I found the right DVD (a peppy sign-language how-to flick), and some sanity. I also discovered that I'd been wrong to demonize television, that having 30 minutes of peace and quiet each morning actually makes me a more engaged, happier (and better-smelling) mom. What's more, my daughter learned a few things from TV that you can't from books--like how to sign for "bath" and sing her ABCs (though, when B sings her ABCs, it sounds like "B-C-B-C-C-C-B-D-C-D-C-B-B-C...").

The books still get plenty of attention--before naps, after naps, before bed... and in the mornings, after the TV is shut off.

new design...

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Ok, I think we've settled on a new design for The Daily B. What do you think??

Kris is going to make a few more tweaks to the html (since he knows MUCH MUCH more about that than I do). But first, he has to fly to NYC and (hopefully) stand up and accept a National Magazine Award for all his hard work on the Backpacker Maps project...Wish him luck, and stay tuned!

File Under: Photos I Plan to Use Against You When You're A Teenager

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Sick Day

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Sacked out with a fever of 101. Thank goodness for Sesame Street.

Meet the Peanut

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There are a few realities here:

1) This is the absolute best photo we have of our second child, and it's not very pretty. Clearly Junior has a head, and two arms...but I'm not sure if there are feet? And what's with the turtleneck?

2) On the plus side, the ultrasound tech took all sorts of measurements that led to one conclusion: The peanut is perfectly healthy and measuring right on schedule, and should enter the world sometime in late October.

3) The first time I saw the baby on the monitor, my initial thought wasn't "Awww. How sweet!" Nope. I thought, "So YOU'RE the one who's been making me puke for the past few months!" ...Indeed, the feelings are a little different the second time around.

4) Bronwynn loves to kiss my belly and say "Baby," but I think she still has absolutely NO CLUE how much her world is going to change come October. Ignorance is bliss.

5) Despite the nausea (and emotional outbursts, and sheer exhaustion, and Frito cravings...), we are absolutely thrilled to welcome this little one into our family. We love you, Peanut.

My Daddy's A Superhero

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Yesterday, at a playgroup, Bronwynn handed me a Batman action figure and proudly exclaimed, "Dada!"

I said, "Shhhh. Don't tell anybody."

Child Genius

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Kris taught B how to count....to 2. She also loves to point out her (and everyone else's) body parts. Next up, we'll train her how to keep her food on her plate :)

video

Snow Days

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We've been getting some late-season snowstorms here, and Bronwynn is not sure what to make of all the white stuff. Last week, we got more than a foot, and it was too difficult to walk in, so we had to settle for playing with bowls of snow indoors...much more fun, and tasty!



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