Designing Girls…and Boys

I am not tall. My Husband is probably considered average height for a man. When you put these things together you are probably aiming for a shortish child.

Mission accomplished. My daughter is short.

I used to joke that I wanted to marry a tall guy specifically because I wanted a kid that didn’t need to spend their life climbing on things in order to reach other things. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick out the traits that you want your child to have?

Wouldn’t it?

Or would that be the worst thing ever done in the name of science and advancement?

We are entering a world where parents may be able to choose the characteristics of their children.

Yay science.

About 30 years ago a trend started- leaving your kids back in school, from the onset of their school years, so that the child would be the oldest in the grade. The reasoning was that the child would be bigger physically (sports) and have a more mature mind (intellectually). This would give a kid an “edge” over their peers…

So now, my daughter who just went along with the grade she was supposed to be in, has some classmates that are two years older than her, and incoming Freshman who are older than her. She is routinely asked if she skipped grades…

If we’d held her back, would she have graduated number one in her class instead of eighth? Would she have played first singles instead of first doubles? Would she have missed 0 questions on the math SAT instead of two?

Was I a bad parent because I let her go with her grade? Was I a bad parent because I didn’t give her an edge?

Did the trend of having children start kindergarten at six help them out? I have no idea. But for a little bit I did think we would have kindergarten classes where the average age was ten…

You know parents…

Anything to give their offspring an advantage.

But let’s get back to science…

If parents were willing to hold their kids back from formal schooling, what other lengths will they go to?

Many parents have expectations of their children- this happens before they are even born. Maybe they want them to be a beauty queen. Quarterback. Doctor. President. And many parents are saddened when their children fail to reach the expectations set for them…

If you have the money, would you try to engineer your child?

Would you write down a list of all the qualities that you want your child to have?

Are we about to see a world of tall, blonde, athletic children?

Does this remind you are any point in history?

(you get it all with my blog- sociology, science and history)

Genetically engineered children…

How far do we go to make the perfect person?

Who determines what perfect is?

What happens if every child has the exact same attributes? Will there still be kids who don’t make the team or finish first in their class?

I mean really- there are still only nine on the baseball field, five on the basketball court, six on the rink- I don’t know anything about football so you have to tell me how many are actually on the field…

Is the entire grade going to tie for valedictorian?

What do you think about designer children?

If Only They Would Just…

I remember parent teacher conferences. I would get glowing reports about how smart my child was, how she would outscore her peers on most things. They would tell me how polite she was, always listened to the rules and was never disruptive. They would explain that she was well liked and respected by her classmates. She was always on time. All these wonderful things. But they would always end with:

She rarely raises her hand. When I ask her directly she always knows the answers. In fact, she probably has an idea that no one else thought about. We really need her to speak up more. Shyness doesn’t do well in the classroom…

Now we know that my daughter goes to a competitive college. We know that she has leadership rolls and awards. We know that she was a champion debater and moot courter (even on the college level where her university is ranked in the top 25). She was picked to be her high school graduation speaker…

But yet, up until Senior Year the majority of teachers were still telling me that she needed to speak up more…(exception: one teacher who simply said- she shows me in a million ways that she understands everything I say)

But in her stellar academic career, with over 50 teachers, only one teacher ever said that it was OK to not be raising her hand…

SO my question is:

Are kids told from a young age that being an introvert is less than?

Are kids expected to change into extroverts?

Are we telling kids that being an introvert is bad?

Are introverted kids being inadvertently bullied about being introverts?


It’s in the Bag

In the not so distant past, my blog friend Cynthia wrote about what she keeps in her purse.  I admit, I love seeing what people carry around with them.  I love to see what things people deem so important that they risk throwing out their back just so they can lug something around.  So here’s a little peak into my purse…

First off- I love a nice purse/pocketbook/whatever you want to call it.  I don’t have many, but what I own, i love.  My favorite is a little Longchamp bag I picked up in Paris about 25 years ago.  I also have a Michael Kors that I love.  Sidenote- I almost never brand name you- unless talking about purses.  There’s just something about a mid priced bag….

Secondly:  I clean out my purse almost every night.  I rarely have odd things in my bag.  I rarely have errant scraps of trash.  Now, before you go blaming my obsessive personality, it really is a matter of practicality.  I change bags on a daily basis, depending on what I’m doing that day.  Errands require a cross body bag that is lightweight.  A day spent taking pictures requires a different cross body bag. An indoor, afternoon excursion is an excuse for a small handheld purse.  A train ride requires a larger handheld purse.  I think you get the idea…

But anyway.  What is always in my purse?

  1. card case/key ring
  2. phone

What is usually in my purse:

  1. tissues
  2. lipstick
  3. lip balm
  4. hand cream
  5. lancome undereye roller
  6. extra key ring with mailbox key and gym id
  7. sunglasses
  8. small notebook
  9. pen
  10. mints
  11. water bottle
  12. ipod
  13. plastic bag (dog)
  14. umbrella

And there you go.  So, to play my new favorite game, what can you learn about me by the contents of my purse?  Are the things we carry indicative to our inner workings, or is it all just practical?

What does my purse say about me?IMG_0027.jpg