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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays Revisited 12/12

Teachers know all of the holidays.  Especially early childhood teachers. Each holiday, and there are many, I prepared worksheets, poems, and an art project or two, or twelve... and sometimes we cooked a traditional dish. Eating projects were always a favorite.  For years my curriculum revolved around ground hogs, black cats, eggs, and  revisiting dead Presidents.  Our family vacations were decided by Dr. King and Good Friday.  Retired now, I have to admit I miss it all.

Some years it was not so simple. One memorable parent thought my Halloween projects were spreading the devil's word.  I was careful not too wear  too much black eyeliner, or dark capes. I was the "Nightmare On  Elm Street" and I was part of the plot. Scary stuff.

The other event caused by the  holidays,  was the annual assembly programs. These are minor Broadway productions involving 50-75 five year olds.  I found myself turning into Gypsy's stage mother Rose, as I screamed " Sing Out Louise , Jamel,  Shemeca".   With Mr Zigfield in the audience casting for his next show... We had scripts, stage decorations, and after parties. I wonder if any of my budding singers and dancers ever made it to show biz? I wonder of they even remember?

I no longer celebrate the holidays in school. This year, I did read the precious baby "P" some cute Chanukah  books.  We celebrated with the BIG family, lite candles, and ate potato pancakes, opened presents, admired babies, congratulated our newest couple, and cried with cousins still feeling the effects and wrath of "Sandy". We all survived another year, and holiday season.

I want to wish you all a "HAPPY HAPPY", whatever holiday you may celebrate.  As I  told the  kindergatners holiday is about family, food, gifts and lights.

                                                                              Feel Well
                                                                              Look  Good
                                                                              Be Healthy
                                                                              Be Happy                 
                              Love  Judy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Back To The Future... Florida


I called to reactivate my mother's T.V. service, in Florida. " I need the social security number of the person  on record for this  account.  The person on record is deceased. My mother has been paying the account.  I am sorry what is the person of record's account, may I speak with him?
 
My father is DEAD, mother  wants to watch T.V., reactivate it NOW!

 
A pious man explains to his followers, it is evil to take lives and noble to save them.  Each day i pledge to save 100 lives.  I drop my net in the lake and scoop out 100 fishes.  I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl.  Don't be scared i tell the fish, I am saving you from drowning!.  Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still.  Yet, sad to say, I am always too late.  The fishes expire.  And because it is evil to waste anything, I take the dead fishes to the market, and sell them for a good price.  With the money I receive, I buy more nets so i can save more fish.   
                                                                        ANONYMOUS
 
To my family and friends in Florida,  I love you.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Tea Party


It  was Thanksgiving, the apartment was warm, the TV was on. We had eaten and enjoyed the food. There were eleven of us, family and friends. The two toddlers entertained, because they were adorable, and smart. They jumped and danced and spun and fell. When you are almost two you talk and laugh and everyone in the room feels happy/  It's an age full of magic.


The little girl had gotten a gift. It was part of a kitchen set that would later be put together. The gift was a tiny tea set.  The tea set was made out of wood.  It was small and delicate but sturdy too. There was a pitcher, two tiny tea cups, a sugar bowl with little cubes and a wooden tea bag and spoon, and two tiny dishes for cookies.
We sat on the floor, and I unwrapped the tea set.  Dishes were being cleared, ice cream cakes eaten. For a few precious minutes nobody else was in the apartment. I poured the make believe tea, and the little girl dunked the tea bags.  We ate imaginary cookies from the tiny shiny plates. I poured more tea. She added the sugar cubes.  I heard the others, we drank our tea.  Then it was over, too soon, and I wrapped the dishes back in their box, for our next tea party.

I am going to bring two big hats, and some tiny cat cookies. I might even add a lace napkin for a table cloth. The words to an old Juice Newton song, came to me this morning, "  the sweetest thing I've ever known was loving you". Happy Thanksgiving, may your life be filled with Tea Parties.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How To Be Happy...

I wish I had written this article. It makes a lot of sense. I hope it speaks to you, as it does the me.

The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy

The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy
WELLNESS •  • 
Everyone has one common goal in life: to achieve true happiness. The biggest factor holding us back from achieving our dreams is, simply and sadly, our own selves. We put limitations on ourselves everyday, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are so many ways we can alleviate these restraints.
Remember, life can either be something you embrace or something you hide from. Stop making things complicated and just live your life. It would be so much simpler and more enjoyable if we learned to just release certain limitations.
Let’s take a look at the things you need to let go of in order to become a happier person.

1. The Approval Of Others

Who gives a sh*t what other people think? If you are happy with the decisions you have made, then whose business is that but your own? Think of how much you could achieve if you stopped letting other people’s opinions dictate the way you live your life. Do you, and engage in whatever actions you think might better your life.

2. Anger/Resentment

Anger will eat at you from the inside. Learn how to make peace with those who have wronged you. This isn’t about letting the other person off the hook; it’s about alleviating the pain that resonates within you. Keep in mind that he who angers you, controls you.
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”

3. Negative Body Image

There is only one person’s opinion you should be concerned with when it comes to your body and that is you. No one person determines what the “correct” body type is. If you are comfortable in your own skin, and you are healthy, then that should be the only thing that matters. Do not let others tell you that you’re not beautiful because if you believe you are, then you are.

4. Idea Of A Perfect Partner

There is no such thing as a perfect partner, so throw your checklist out the window. In life, what prevents us from moving forward is looking at the perfect image of a partner we concoct in our minds. Find the right person for you: one that you can love with all your heart, one you feel comfortable with and one that accepts you for the person you are. The sooner you realize there isn’t one perfect person out there for you, the better off you will be.
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” – Bob Marley

5. Perfect Life

Just like there is no perfect partner, there is also not a perfect life. Life is what you put into it, so if you are not willing to work hard and put forth effort, you will most likely end up miserable. The choices you make will directly reflect the life you lead. It is up to you to create the best possible world for yourself.

6. You’re Going To Be Rich

Too many people live their lives with the thought that they will be millionaires. While this can be a realistic goal for some, it is not something that can be achieved without hard work and dedication. Stop letting money be your sole motivator; find a career you are passionate about and immerse yourself in it completely.

7. The Idea That Good Fortune Will Arrive At Your Doorstep

You need to go out into the world and actively look for fulfillment. You cannot take a backseat in life and expect things to happen for you. Appreciate the life you live, and be grateful for what you have. Value each minute of every day. Live like there’s no tomorrow, and make the most out of any situation.

8. Excuses

Make no time for excuses. You want to work out, but you don’t have the time? Wake up early and get your gym on. Excuses are only rationalizations that make you feel better about yourself for not doing something you want/need to be doing. You desire results? Stop bitching, and start doing.

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9. Thoughts Of Your Ex

This person is your ex for a reason. If you are going to think of him or her at all, try and think only about the lessons the experience taught you. Do not linger on any old feelings, as this will only prevent you from being happy with someone else in the future.

10. Stubbornness

I know it’s hard to admit, but sometimes you are just wrong. Other people have just as much capability as you do in providing the correct answer, so stop being stubborn and just embrace it. The less stubborn you act, the more open you are to learning new things. Think of all you could be exposed to if you stopped believing in opinions other than your own.

11. Procrastination

Stop thinking you will finally get to whatever task is at hand tomorrow. Live in the present, and get your sh*t done when it needs to be done. Maximize your time to the best of your ability. Complete each task you need to as soon as you can. This allows you to feel free from worry and stress by getting things out of the way as soon as possible. You also allow yourself more free time to enjoy the things you love.

12. Your Baggage

We have all been hurt one time or another by someone we loved, or we thought we loved. Carrying negative feelings into future relationships will only prove to be disastrous. No two people are the same, so it’s unfair to hold a future partner to a standard set by an ex. Try to begin each new relationship with a clean slate.

13. Negativity

What you put out into the universe will come back to you, so change the way you think, immediately. Stop thinking of life as a glass half empty, but rather, half full. You have so much to be grateful for, if only you took a moment to appreciate it. Anything is possible in the mind of a positive thinker.

14. Judgmental Thoughts

Why do people feel the need to constantly worry about what is going on in other people’s lives? If we spent as much time worrying about our own behaviors as we do worrying about those of others, our lives would be a whole lot more meaningful. You have no idea what is going on in another person’s life, so who are you to pass judgment on the way they act?

15. Jealousy

Happiness is not having what you want; it’s wanting what you have. Stop envying others and learn to appreciate what you have. Everyone’s life is unique; you have certain things to offer that others cannot. When we act in a jealous manner, all we do is bring negative feelings into our lives. There is absolutely nothing to gain from behaving this way.

16. Insecurity

Happy people tend to have extremely high levels of self-esteem. They accept who they are and work it everyday of their lives. They radiate confidence, flaunt their pride and give off positive vibes. There is no reason to be insecure in life. If there are things you are self-conscious about, go out into the world and seek to change them. Only you have the ability to create the best version of yourself.

17. Depending On Others For Happiness

At the end of the day, the only person you can count on 100 percent of the time is yourself. Do not make the unfortunate mistake many people do and put your happiness in the hands of others. A relationship is not going to fulfill the void if you can’t even make yourself happy. You need to achieve happiness on your own before you can find someone else to share it with. This creates a detrimental dependency that will prevent you from becoming self-sufficient.

18. The Past

Stop living in the past! There is virtually nothing you can gain if you wallow in mistakes you have previously made. Take past mistakes as lessons learned, and move forward. You cannot wholeheartedly move on to a better future if you are constantly looking behind you. Things happened, and that’s that. Take them with a grain of salt and move on.

19. The Need For Control

Sometimes you just need to let life happen the way it is meant to. You cannot spend your life stressing about things that are outside of your control. Try to relax, and let things play out naturally. Embrace the unknown, as this is where you will be surprised the most. Let yourself be whisked into unforeseen endeavors, and relish in the excitement they bring.

20. Expectations

Managing your expectations is the key to happiness. If you let go of expectations, you will never be disappointed. Often, we tend to believe that the way we treat others will be the way we are treated in return. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Do not expect a certain result from any given situations. Go into an experience with an open mind. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself, without the pressure of living up to preconceived notions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Am Now A Commuter


I am now a commuter.  True,  I only commute on the railroad one day a week. I have to buy daily tickets and don't wear my monthly pass around my neck, or on my phone like the " real" commuters.  I am learning.  As I wait on the platform I see what the commuters wear. It's cold in NY especially catching the 7:29.  Some people  wear heavy coats, but don't close them. This is a very popular look.  I cannot imagine the purpose of this, unless it is to give the impression of carelessly flapping in the wind.  I feel cold looking at them.  Then you have the parade of scarves.


Scarves have become a very important fashion statement.  I have had young teachers wear elaborate scarves in classrooms well over 80 degrees.  I recently sat across from a lady who folded and unfolded her pashmina for our 40 minute railroad trip.  It was like watching a silent how to video. I really learned a lot. Thank you scarf lady.


Aside from scarves there are now phones, I pads, and readers  to play with,  on the train.  There was an announcement that there were designated silent cars one could chose to sit in.  My car was packed not a sound was heard.  I had my kindle, it's great.  Some people still read newspapers/ I wish they wouldn't, because most of them leave them on their seats. 


Lastly I am fascinated with the train conductors, ticket agents....  the people who punch your ticket and sell tickets if necessary.  Why would anyone want to ride up and back on a train all day?  The uniforms are OK...I wonder how much money they earn? My wise husband says many have family that have done this, like police or firemen/ women. I have never heard a child wish to grow up to work on a railroad...  Commuting one day a week is OK. Thirty forty years.... I rather take the car.

Monday, November 11, 2013

UPDATE...MY CO- Worker the Convicted Sex Offender

This blog is about a man I worked with in my last years of teaching.  I came to the school, not knowing anyone.  It felt strange for a long time.  One of the teachers I worked with closely was in his 30's.  he was a family man. His children were young, so was his wife.  I thought he had a nice manner in the classroom.  I have never seen a more organized or neater educator.  His name is Simon.

 

First and third impressions can be deceiving.  Sadly people do not wear signs stating their real intentions.  How wonderful if we could look into the hearts and see their true natures.  Some of my second graders became his third graders. Some moved up to fourth grade with him..When the children both boys and girls starting telling the counselors and parents about inappropriate touching and suggestive language, the school began to investigate.

 

The scandal broke, and many students came forward. It was an ugly time for all.  I could not believe the allegations.  I spent many hours in that classroom, He was my friend and coworker.  I spoke to reliable  people and they insisted the stories were credible.  The evidence was damning. Most of the staff believed he was guilty.

 

Time passed and he was convicted, and will serve jail time. I believe in truth and courts and the justice system.  I cry for my students and innocence lost, which is never found  I wish I could have protected them.  How could I have been so wrong?


Queens teacher convicted of molesting students in classroom 

Simon Watts abused four girls and one boy, ranging in age from 8 to 10 years old

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 Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting 8-10 year old girls at PS 15 .

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting 8-10 year old children at PS 15 .


A Queens teacher was convicted of molesting five of his students over three years within view of their classmates, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday.
Hulking sexual predator Simon Watts abused four girls and one boy, all ranging from 8 to 10 years old, during class time while he taught them in third and fourth grades at Public School 15.
The 41-year-old pervert fondled them and forced them to touch his genitals, and then threatened them not to tell anyone. The sick acts took place while he was a teacher at the Springfield Gardens school between September 2007 and March 2010.
Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting students.

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting students.

After the two-week trial concluded, Watts was convicted of three counts of second-degree sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of forcible touching and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Watts, who had been free on $200,000 bail since shortly after his arrest in April 2010, had his bail revoked and was ordered remanded. He has been terminated by the Department of Education.
Watts, who began working as a city substitute teacher in 2000, faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced July 22. His lawyer, Amy Marion, did not respond to a request for comment.




Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-teacher-convicted-abuse-article-1.1377199#ixzz2kMe46NCX

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Fantasy Magazine


It was in the early 1980's. I was a stay at home mother.  My time was spent in different activities.  My challenges seemed never ending.  The days had many more hours in them then.  Small children need a lot, of everything.  I had made a new friend. I was beginning my toy business, she made rubber puzzles,  We had a lot in common. She taught me to knit, again.  We had little girls to buy doll clothes for.  That year I sewed Lissie, my daughter's beloved Cabbage Patch Doll

I pride myself on being a good shopper, my new friend "V" was better.  She called me one morning with urgent news. Urgent only to those who valued collectable dolls, and the thrill of the hunt.  For some crazy reason a cigarette/cigar store not far from the house had gotten a shipment of Madame Alexander Baby Dolls/  They were packed in beautiful boxes, and there were not many.  Was I interested?

Try and stop me.  The store was not far from the house.  I had never been in a store like that and other then smokes, I had no idea what it sold. I parked, with my daughter in tow, and went in.  There were many men in the store.  Most were looking at magazines.  They turned and looked at me, and turned away.  The salesperson said, you must be here for the dolls, I will bring one out. Maybe I would pick up a craft magazine, or Cosmopolitan while I was there.
I walked toward the magazines and the men moved away from me. Good manners I thought.  I had never seen, before or since magazines like this. They had every part of a women's anatomy on the cover, with snakes, mice and more. The titles of the magazine all ended with the word Fantasy.  The blog prevents me from using the first words. You get the drift, it was horrific.  Women got paid to do this on magazines...

The man came out with the doll, I paid and I ran.  We loved the doll, sadly she did not survive the years.  My friend and her husband divorced, I hear she moved. Our friendship faded.  The memory of that visit lingers on.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

When It Comes To The Past...


When it comes to the past everyone writes fiction...  Stephen King
 
I just finished reading a new Stephen King novel, Joyland. It's about a college student and his summer working at a carnival.  By King standards it was very mild.  It brought to mind the games and festivities I grew up with living at a beach resort.  I really liked the quote, it made me think.
 
Now that my children, have children I have taken to sharing their childhood personalities with them. Their children are a lot like they were. My son was extremely bright, determined, and straight forward. My daughter was charming smart, loved people.  She also knew how to get what she wanted. 
 
I have countless stories, anecdotal's, and even their baby book quotes ( the bible of facts) to prove my points. They  question whether these things ever happened.  Of course they happened. They happened the way I tell them 25-30 years ago.  They don't remember. If I can add enough background info my son usually says , ok I think I remember. My daughter, accepts the story, but has no memory of it.
 
We had a phrase in kindergarten that was,  " that's about the size, where you put your eyes".  That's  what   the past has come down to. We view the world through our  unique lenses. I see what I see, I hear what I hear, and that is not necessarily what you see or hear. My memories, fiction for you even if you lived them right next to me.  Are you confused?  He ain't Stephen King for nothing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Really Hate The Kardashian's

 I was babysitting the adorable Baby B, and the TV was on. Some people talk on the phone all day. Some people use the radio as company, I like to have the TV on.  It has always been that way for me. I started with Good Day New York. Rosanne and Greg were discussing Kim Kardashian who had just received her third engagement ring.  They were also discussing her booty shot.  For those of you who do not watch, hear or read the papers this was a picture showing lots of  bottom, hiding her stomach and being blonde. She is now 33, and still playing the young ingenue.  I don't like that family. Their morals and values, and life makes me nauseous. I think the family has cashed in on a name they don't deserve to use.  I think their mother uses them as a commodity, and sells to the highest bidder.  You know the word, I don't have to use it.
 

Next came Queen Latifah, my new favorite. She mentioned Kim and Kanye in passing.  Her show is not so much into gossip, more music and good deeds. I am a big fan of hers.  I admire her clothes and talent.

 

After Queen Latifa, I went to Wendy Williams.  Guess who she was discussing?.  I like Wendy, she speaks her mind.  She has made a bet that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will never marry,  She is willing to eat crow on National TV if they do.  Crow is now endangered and she will have to substitute something else which she will add a lot of hot sauce too.  You thought that show was educational.

 

Next The View and Kim, was discussed again.  I am presently reading Barbara Walters autobiography and they try hard to keep the show tasteful.  I think Whoopy Goldberg would skip the whole discussion but you have to give the people what they want.  They seem to want more Kim, Kanye, Nori and Lamar Oden the drug user.  Poor poor little Kardashians what a complicated life they live, for all of us to see, hear and enjoy.

 

After that I took the baby for a walk.  That night I had a dream/ nightmare about the Kardashian's .. Bruce was fighting to return to the spotlight..... he asked me for help.  Maybe I will skip TV next week?  What do you think?  I hear Tori Spelling is very poor.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stranger On The Street

I don't talk to strangers.  I don't say hello to random people, I don't look at their eyes, I don't smile. I live in a small town. I guess I could, but I don't.  Maybe it's because I spent so many years working in dangerous neighborhoods. I don't want to draw attention to myself.

 

A few mornings ago, Stormy and I were out for our very early morning walk and there were four police cars and lights blinking, on the street.  There was a young man seated on the sidewalk next to a big book bag.  The police were chatting with each other.  I was across the street but I clearly saw the young man, and wondered.

 

This morning we headed out and I was thinking about the chilly air, and Stormy and babysitting later in the day.  I sing a lot when I walk Stormy, mostly to myself.  I find each day comes with its own song.  Not today, no song.  I passed the usual row of stores, and saw the young man.  He was standing in the door way of the shop I just passed, smoking a cigarette. I was startled but did not stop.  I have no wallet, or phone, only Stormy.  Was I frightened?.  Not yet.  We turned for home after Stormy's business was done.  The young man passed me, walked by the big Church on the block, and turned to see if I was watching him. 

 

I am thinking about this...this stranger on the street.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's A Mother To Do?

I had breakfast with friends I only see a few times a year. We discuss life, families and the pursuit of happiness.  This group of ladies share a more extreme religious view then I do, so our topics are always interesting and somewhat educational for me.  This breakfast produced the following story.

 

As told to the group.  My son is 44 years old. He lives in another city.  He has never been married.  He barely earns a living.  It is enough for him to get by.  He tells me he has met a young woman.  She is 23 years old and he believes she is interested in him.  He has been wrong in the past.  She is marriage and baby minded.  This is a terrible predicament.

 

I was listening carefully.  I was thinking how happy this mother must be that her son had possibly found someone  to share his life with, and possibly start a family with.  This was not the case. She was worried that her son could not afford a wife. He could not afford children, and he lived to far for her to offer support.  She was going to advise him to run, not walk away from this relationship.

 

I was shocked, and dismayed. Don't you wish him happiness I asked?  This won't make him happy she said, trouble that is all this is!  I did not stay at breakfast much longer.  Now I was distressed.  Why did a 44 year old man need his mother's permission to move forward in his life?  Why would a mother discourage growth and the chance for love for her child?  What do you think?  Write a reply and tell me.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Jill's Blog

This is Jill's blog. It has received a lot of attention.  It appears in World Of Psychology. We have not heard what baby B thinks of his mommy's blog yet.  Let me know your opinion.  Writers run in the family.


 

Why You Should Let Your Baby Be FrustratedAs a new mom and a recent MSW graduate, I can’t help but analyze, question, and sometimes fear the ways in which my parenting choices will affect my son.
During the few months I was home with my baby, I joined a moms group. Now that the babies are three or four months old, the conversations sound like “my baby will not sleep in the crib,” “my baby wakes up every three hours,” “my baby needs to be held all day.”
From a recommendation, I read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting when I was pregnant. The 2012 book is written by Pamela Druckerman, an American mom raising her baby in Paris.
At first glance, I thought the book was a witty tongue-in-cheek story about neurotic Americans and cool Parisians. On second glance (and a second reading after I birthed the child), I realized this book unlocked the secrets of raising a happy, resilient adult.

Ms. Druckerman charmingly explains the many ways in which French children differ from American children. On the surface, it appears that American children are less patient, less polite and throw more tantrums. American parents may think it’s cute and innocent; their kids will grow out of it. And it is true, the child may eventually stop the behavior, but the coping skills (or lack of) have been firmly set in stone.
I do not believe Druckerman was writing a book on human development, but to a social worker, it seems her observations directly relate to why so many American adults seek therapy. Therapists’ offices are filled with adults who suffer from anxiety, depression, anger management issues, eating disorders or marital problems. Any psychoanalyst would tell you that many of these issues are deeply rooted in childhood.
American parents seem overly worried that if their child hears “no” they will become angry and experience frustration and disappointment. On the contrary, the French believe that “no” saves children from the tyranny of their own desires. Caroline
Thompson, a family psychologist in Paris whom Druckerman interviewed, stated what seems to be the overall view in France: “making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people.” Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?
“French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it. The parents would be remiss if they didn’t teach it.”
Druckerman interviewed pediatrician and founder of Tribeca Pediatrics, Michel Cohen, a French doctor practicing in New York City. “My first intervention is to say, when your baby is born, just don’t jump on your kid at night,” Cohen says.
“Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth.” “Le pause,” as Druckerman coins it, is one of the main ways to gently induce frustration. The French believe “le pause” can start as early as two to three weeks old.
Although “le pause” may sound like tough love for a infant, most American parents end up surrendering to the “cry it out” method at three to four months because their baby never learned to self-soothe. “Le pause” worked for me, although I did not consciously subscribe to this method. I think it was a combination of sleep deprivation and C-section recovery that created “le pause,” but it worked! “Le pause” creates babies who are content to snuggle alone in their cribs, babies who at a very young age learn to soothe themselves.
And hopefully “le pause” creates adults who can cope with frustration, a skill that is extremely useful and necessary for success in work and relationships and dealing with the overall stressors of everyday life.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bakers, The Variety Store

This story is about an ordinary village, with an ordinary store, named Bakers. Bakers was a variety store.  Before dollar stores and after five and dimes, there were variety stores.  It was a large store taking up most of the block.  When I moved to this town people said the supermarkets were just OK.  Lots of bagel and nail salons, but you really need to go to Bakers.

 

Bakers had long isles, and dim lights. No matter what I needed Bakers seemed to have it. I bought index cards, plastic laminate, a crochet hook,  and knee highs. The prices were reasonable, put on with the sticky tape that never comes off the plastic wrap. I hurried in and out of that store, even though I wanted to see all the items in it.  It was not a very welcoming store.

 

The reason it was not inviting was the people who worked there.  The man behind the counter ringing up the purchases was tall and thin. He had a bad complexion and his teeth clearly needed a visit to the dentist. He answered my questions in one word responses.  Once he sent me down an isle to find an item and when I turned he had left the register and was in back of me.  Other people worked in the store, I think.  They all looked the same, or were the same person I was never sure/  I always thought how the workers should get out of the store more.

 

The store was owned by Mr. Baker.  I did see him a few times and he looked like a customer not a worker.  Sadly, the store closed. Mr. Baker's wife died and he moved to Florida.  The store remained empty for a long time, and then rented by an organization.  There was a tragic accident and a child was killed in the store. A car slammed through the window.  The store remains empty though it has new windows, new lighting, and a new entrance.

 

I miss the convenience, but after reading Stephen King all my life, I honestly don't regret the demise of Bakers the variety store.