Minutes of the Pickles Family Meeting Regarding…well, I’m not exactly sure.

Pickles Family Meeting

January 26, 2015

Agenda

1.0 Money and math

2.0 Other business

Regular family meetings are a very useful parenting strategy, but sometimes when your child takes the reins they can get a little...confusing. www.picklesINK.com

Family meetings: Often useful. Sometimes confusing.

 

Minutes

Ben called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.

Ben asked Molly to put her dolls away. Molly declined with extreme prejudice.

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New Years 2015 – Resolving to have less resolve.

Team Pickles celebrated a very happy New Year’s with friends, family, food, skiing, and Harry Potter-watching up at the chalet!

Father-Daughter Chairlift Selfie - New Year's with #TeamPickles www.picklesINK.com

Father-Daughter Chairlift Selfie

 

Molly Monkey's ski lesson New Year's with #TeamPickles www.picklesINK.com

Molly’s most successful ski lesson to date

 

Baby William, asleep with excitement - New Year's with #TeamPickles www.picklesINK.com

Baby William, asleep with excitement.

Ben and Baby William grinning - New Year's with #TeamPickles www.picklesINK.com

Another gratuitous Baby William picture because baby.

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Babies: Some Assembly Required.

I have a new baby nephew!!!! Well, not so new any more….he’s almost 2 months old.

He got off to a bit of a rough start. “Some assembly required,” my brother joked. We can joke about that now. We couldn’t make that joke then – and you know things are bad when there are no jokes, because that’s what my family does in difficult situations. It was over a week before the first one came along – the first picture of the baby in a hat inspired his first nickname: “Master has given Dobby CLOTHES!”

Sometimes it's not that easy: When your baby is Some Assembly Required

So little Dobby had a rough start, but things got better. The word “miraculous” was tossed around, always modified by “almost” because we don’t like to risk overstating the situation. That’s another thing we do. Along with ironic sound-effects when we show physical affection or back into parking spaces and M*A*S*H references.

Oh, and sudden changes of subject, expecting our audience to just keep up. That too.

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Black and Orange Day and #FirstWorldProblems

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Black and Orange day and #FirstWorldProblems - Why it doesn't matter if a school bans Halloween costumes and why you should care anyway.

What a short, strange trip it’s been! I had my first ever viral post this week when the news of North Ward School in Paris banning Halloween costumes broke. I was *almost* on Canada AM but was bumped at the last minute for a “breaking news story.” (My guess was something that started with “J” and rhymed with “misogynistic creep-omeshi” but, y’know, we’ll never know for sure what really happened, right?) Continue reading

Everyday Elsa: One-hour DIY Elsa costume tutorial

Okay, brace yourself because I know this will come as a shock, but this summer Molly was obsessed with Elsa (I know, right? You never would have guessed!). I decided to earn some preschooler brownie points and get in some sewing practice at the same time, so I designed up an all-season Elsa costume.

At the time I was doing this, Frozen costumes were only available by lottery through Disney stores and on Ebay if you had a spare $600 lying around. As Halloween quickly approaches, they are much more widely available and super-pretty, but nothing beats the feeling of IF I CAN DO THAT I CAN DO FREAKING ANYTHING NOW WATCH ME BUILD A HOMESTEAD AND LIVE OFF THE LAND SKINNING ANTELOPE WITH MY TEETH FOR DINNER that accompanies making your kids’ costumes from scratch. Besides, it’s cheaper and your kids will totally think you’re a superhero. Continue reading

7 Reasons Why This School is Banning Halloween

Here’s one for the “What is the world coming to?” files.

7 reasons why a school is banning Halloween (and it's not what you think)

This gem scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday: A friend’s children’s school has decided to forgo Halloween this year in favour of…I don’t know…Friday, I guess. The decision was attributed to the “staff” and the reasons behind it were given as follows: Continue reading

Who’s really sexualizing our daughters, anyway?

The fabulous Stephanie Giese of Binkies and Briefcases wrote a viral post about her disbelief at the sizing and coverage in Target’s clothing options for young girls. She had been noticing what seemed to be a distinct reluctance to include…y’know…fabric…in items like shorts for girls as young as 5. Her post received a mostly positive response, but also a fair bit of backlash (One standout was a commenter who posited that she should put her “fat-ass kid” on a diet if she wanted clothes to fit her better. Way to keep it classy, interweb.).

Quite impressively, Target reacted almost immediately, reaching out to her, doing their own research, and promising an overhaul of their sizing practices including feedback from “real” moms like her, which is awesome – we should be able to find clothing for our children that fit with our own tastes and values without having to pull out our sewing machines and make or modify them ourselves.

But…(you know me…there’s got to be a but)…I don’t agree with the reasoning that we need more modest clothing options to avoid sexualizing our young daughters. Children are not sexual. Exposed skin is not sexual. Children with exposed skin are not sexual.

Children are children. Continue reading

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…

First day back at school for Ben and Molly, and I’m holding my breath in anticipation…

Miss Molly? No worries there. She’s back to the same routine, same Montessori school, and was pretty much out the door with the car started for me honking the horn in the driveway before I could finish saying, “Time to…”

Preschooler fashion tips: Stripes ALWAYS match other stripes! www.picklesINK.com

You heard it here first: Molly says stripes are a Fall 2014 fashion DO.

And besides…it’s Molly. I could drop her in the middle of the jungle and she’d have the gorillas dressed in ball gowns and tiaras enjoying a rousing game of “Magic Fairy Princesses Dragon Battle Tea Party” before you could say, “Gee, I didn’t know Rapunzel had a sword.” Continue reading

Backyard food gardening: If I can do it, ANYONE can!

Embarrassing confession time: I’m a little obsessed with the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Maybe a lot obsessed. Obsessed enough to know that for the most part they aren’t her writing at all; they were essentially ghostwritten by her daughter Rose, who was a far better and more prolific author, though largely unknown today, and a much more interesting character – an early feminist and globe-trotting journalist who died in her 70’s the night before departing for Vietnam on assignment. Vietnam! On assignment! IN HER 70s!! But I digress.

From a young age, I loved reading stories about “the olden days” and wishing that I too could pick fresh pieplant, whatever that is*, bake vinegar pie for my family, and hand-sew a perfect shirtwaist. Continue reading

Why a newspaper “Ethics” columnist thinks 7 year-olds in competitive dance are akin to sex workers.

Good news, everyone! I’ve decided to feature an occasional anonymous feminist advice column. Please feel free to send along your submissions and tell your friends!

Dear Sylvia,

I just read this article in an online newspaper, and it left me deeply troubled. It called itself an “ethics column” but really seemed much more like a “patriarchy judge-o-matic.”

A concerned party wrote in with a question about a 7 year-old girl involved in competitive dance; apparently this person’s colleague showed him/her a photo of the colleague’s daughter in dance competition costume. Rather than respond with a socially acceptable, “That’s nice,” the letter-writer, judging that in his/her opinion, the girl in the photo was made up to look like a sex-worker, said something along the lines of, “Hey, I don’t know much about you or your family, but based on this single picture of your daughter about which you were obviously excited enough to show me, a work colleague whom you clearly don’t know all that well or you might have expected such a tirade, but I feel that your parenting skills are inadequate, your judgement is lacking, and if left unchecked, your daughter will probably grow up to be a whore. You should be ashamed.” Continue reading