Sunday, July 29, 2007

Who We Are: Russian Dolls and Female Stereotyping in Children's Books

...Those Russian dolls...What are they called? the ones that are painted on egg shapes which stack inside eachother? I worked for a Jewish family once that had a painting of them, with a saying something to the effect of: "We are Jewish inside", or "Inside, we are Jews". I don't know a lot about that family's history, but I do know that the mother and her sister were survivors of the Holocaust. From what I gathered, the mother of these two women died because of the Holocaust, but she and her husband sent their daughters to a kid's farm/refugee boardinghouse in England during the war. As a result, the mother of the house I worked for, had great love and respect for England. She wasn't so hot about France, I do recall. I remember wondering about the story of this family as I looked at the painting of the Russian dolls.

For some time now, those dolls have taken a new meaning for me. The significance is real and personal, but with a different twist. One day I will explain this to my son and it will remain a family secret. I've not shared it with anyone and it has originated with me, therefore, it's safekeeping is absolutely secured, until the day I share it with my son (probably not until he's 18), and then he will have the responsibility of keeping the secret.

If I could find it, I would like a copy of the painting, even in a card or something that I could frame.

I have been trying to figure out my son's reading level. He is bored by some books, loses interest half-way in others, and adores the rest. I've noticed he is drawn towards non-fiction,with photos, rather than drawings. But there are some fictional books he goes back to again and again, so I've gone online this morning to find some new titles for request from the library. One book he likes is called "Sombreros del Mundo Entero". He seems to enjoy hearing it in Spanish and then hearing my English translation (I read one page at a time, first in Spanish, then English: "Mi sombrero es duro"/My hat is hard"), and it has real photos of people. Some books that are in Spanish, I can translate, but others, I struggle with, like "Frida" by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan. Most books don't have overt gender constructions, but I noticed, in one of the books my son likes, called, "Counting Kids" by Kim Golding, there is a definite portrayal of boys as active and girls being passive. See below:

1. "One little boy and his teddy bear."
2. "Two little girls with bows in their hair." (no noticeable difference yet...)
3. "Three little boys building with blocks" (active, with active photo)
4. "Four little girls wearing odd socks" (passive, with passive photo)
5. "Five little boys in a car that is red." (neutral but with active photo showing boys driving)
6. "Six little girls sleeping in a bed." (passive, passive)
7. "Seven little boys playing hide and seek" (active, with very active photo)
8. "Eight little girls looking very sleek" (passive, passive)
9. "Nine little boys eating from a bowl" (active, active)
10. "Ten little girls dancing 'round a pole." (active, active,with stereotypical feminine dance)

There are 5 pages about girls, and 5 pages about boys.

3 of the 5 pages about girls are about their appearance (bows in hair, wearing odd socks, looking very sleek). None about the boys are about how they look.
4 of the 5 pages about girls are passive. The ONE active page (dancing round a pole) shows the girls dancing around a maypole, which has always been done by girls/women and not included men, making it a stereotypical female dance. Not to mention that dancing around a pole, later, for women, means something else entirely, and is done for the pleasure and entertainment of men (and few women).

From this book, kids learn that boys/men do the following: build, play active games, drive cars, and eat. Girls/women do the following: wear bows, wear socks (odd socks, that is, so let's give them credit for being "fashion-forward" and breaking the fashion rules), sleep communally, look "very sleek", and dance round a pole.

A woman wrote this book!

And people wonder why there is still a "glass ceiling" for women in the workplace or even society. Perhaps it's because of early lessons that boys/men climb around and on top of the glass and girls/women are, or should be, happy to catch a glimpse of their reflection in the glass and find they are indeed, "looking very sleek".

This book is a first edition, published in the year 2000 by Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. in the United States of America.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Future Engineering Mountainman Sans Migraine?

Hello Little Bear,

I wish I could clone myself if only clones did not have their own unique spirit and personality, and make myself a slave. I need another hand around here, and more of my own hands would certaintly mean I could ask for whatever I want, and do it willingly, and not feel guilty.

I know why I'm not married, but that says a lot about the institution of marriage. I hate housework! There are so many other things, more important things, and ways to spend one's time.

I've been procrastinating on writing something for a matter of business tomorrow. But I want to write about you first.

Today you stood, balanced, on one foot. First it was going on tip-toe, and now it's one foot. You were swaying back and forth to music, and then just picked up your foot and left it raised mid-air. And did it again and again. I sometimes think you will be an athlete, but I don't know. You kick a ball awhile and then just want to run around, and poke into something new, and CLIMBING...I really need to make that obstacle course for you. I swear you're a mountain man. Today you went up and down and up and down and again and again up and down the boat ramp to the dock. And you spun the wheels on the ramp with your "room-room!" noises. I realize a lot of kids are into wheels and things that move. But I swear you're going to be some kind of engineer. I got you little lights of cars on a string and a car blanket awhile ago, and you were so excited you couldn't sleep. The biggest smiles and noises. and you're very fascinated with lights. You want me to turn them off and on and get so excited about this process. I got you a remote controlled car on sale, which you loved.

Today you went up to a lot of people and said hello and waved and investigated their belongings. We were at a park.

You notice when you're not to the toilet on time and point it out to me.

You've been showing me signs of awareness--or sneakiness. I told you NOT to climb onto and stand up on the table, and when I left the room, hours later, I heard you on the table. The minute you heard ME coming back, you scrambled down the table, to the couch, and pretended you'd been sitting there all along, with a look of guilt on your face. !! Then today, when I was busy doing other things, you climbed onto the table and yelled for me, and when I came it was as if to say, "Look at me, Mom! I shouldn't be UP here, huh! I guess you'll have to get me down." You wanted my attention.

At the park today, there is this "thing" at the play structure, where you can turn two different knobs and it will race cars that are enclosed in a see-through maze. The bolts turn on the other side when the knobs are turned. Someone needs to oil those knobs because my arms were wearing out turning them. You like to watch what's going on on both sides.

The water is too cold. You only tolerate going in if we go over to the bouys (sp?) and you can push them down and watch them pop back up.

You love to be read to. "boouh" you say, and drag a book to me. There is a book called "Tall" by Jez Albourough that is short on words and long on meaning which makes you smile.

You like cats and dogs, but also seem to like monkeys a lot, in books.

You wanted to fingerpaint yesterday. When we got the paint out, this time you wanted to paint on everything but the paper and stomp on paper with painted feet and tear it up. I kept saying, "put your brush on the paper, honey...right here bear!" and finally I could hear myself, telling you to do things "the right way" and not allowing you to just enjoy the medium, experiment, play, and be destructive with it if that's what you wanted. I was excited to see what interesting new painting you would make, which I could put on the wall, but you just wanted to paint the floor, and mix paints together, step on things, and paint yourself too. At one point I dripped small drops of paint onto paper and then you took a single finger and drew out a design from each small drop, but that was it. It's hard to know when to gently instruct and direct, and then when to let you try things out and let things take a natural course.

You are such a sweet boy. I love you! Sometimes you go to our bed and pat the bed and want to lie down, and I realize it's because when you nap or go to bed, I lie down with you (at least before getting back up again after you're asleep) and you get to snuggle. You are so independant and yet snuggling is still important throughout the day.

I am so tired right now. I think I will lie down a little bit and then do my work. I need to do it now, but maybe a catnap will help revive me. I swear I should be on Adderal or something. I take light narcotic painrelievers for chronic pain, and one of the side effects is drowsiness! Narcotics actually slow down the brain (scary). I looked up ways to counter this and all I found online was that some doctors use "stimulants" to counter this. I don't want to end up like Anna Nicole, but if, if, if, I could just be relatively pain-free AND be alert and more productive...I could be half-way my usually very energetic self. How do you approach your doctor about it though? Ummm...I heard "uppers" help with fatigue from narcotics? sounds like I'm just finding an excuse. BUT, I did not come up with the idea.

Oh, and, my doc thinks I get cluster migraines, which are the rarest form of migraine, and affect men far more than women (out of the very few who get them). I fit the criteria! Nothing else describes the pain either, or difficulty treating them. Even regular old migraines...if someone tells me they can get rid of their migraine with "Advil" or "Tylenol" I"m thinking, "that is NOT a migraine" in disbelief. I had this neighbor across the street, in Oregon, who was on disability from them (clusters) but he got them almost every day. He had been a physician prior to the onset. He pretty much tinkered around the house and put a lot into his home movie theater room.

I hope YOU don't get them.

Maybe it will skip generations, like twins or red hair (the red hair skipping of generations is my own theory bc I hear it so much--someone with red hair always gets it from a grandparent or great-grandparent and it's a suprise).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Prologue to The Little Black Book of an Unknown (Cameo Garrett) and Extended Dedication to Certain Members of the International Public

Yesterday in the grocery line I talked to a man who flew planes with pesticides--he sprayed fruit orchards. He told me he has a number of allergies as a result and buys organic whenever possible. Somehow we started talking about organic products.

I can't afford to go all-organic for myself AND my son, so I just buy for my son. I realized last night that almost every post so far mentions food. I suppose food and nutrition are quite important to me. This morning my son had organic eggs, shrimp, cheese, and fruit salad with honey and fresh lime juice for breakfast. Oh, and of course, his tomato. I had the same, but used non-organic eggs and cheese for me. For lunch he had teriyaki (msp) and pineapple chicken meatballs and a vegetable mix (organic) and I had the same as well as half a Hersheys chocolate bar. I give my son chocolate too. It's one sweet that I approve of. He doesn't drink juices or artificial sugary things but chocolate? everyone needs chocolate.

I have to go...making a run to buy raw milk this afternoon.

At some point, I am going to figure out how to separate but include some observations and experiences I've had with less enteric matters. I have some things to say about class, politics and the justice system in the U.S., and also, about some experiences I've had with discrimination, the Catholic church (including being a participant in the Portland Archdiocese Bankruptcy and being a target of their hostilities which has included stalking, defamation, property damage, and use of police that are Catholic to give me false citations, threaten me, and intimidate, etc.), the FBI, the media (The Willametee Week), the welfare system, narcotic pain managment (and the paranoia doctors have with this), crime (being a victim of a few different crimes, including being held hostage and being harassed), being falsely accused based on assumptions/gossip, human trafficking of domestic workers, a few celebrity and very rich as well as very poor that I've known, cross-cultural relationships, and, oh...a few other things like cover-ups of all kinds and circling the wagon.

I intend to write a book and am working on it, but in the meantime, while I may be naming names online, from my legal research I've discovered it is not slander, libel, or defamation, to speak up about the truth, and especially when it is necessary to do so because of the need to correct slander against one's own name. So at some point, I will figure out a way to organize the matter in a way that's easy for a reader to follow.

My son will be raised with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, inasmuch as I can help it.

What is shocking or almost unbelievable, is that I've experienced so much. It is correct that truth is often stranger than fiction. But I believe my story is not just an American story (I had once aspired to write "The Great American Novel"), and it's not a novel. It's a universal story and international, and the insights I've gained from these trials are going to give someone else out there, strength, determination, and courage to stand up for what is right, and then, to find peace, happiness, and satisfaction from absolute self-respect.

So, this day of July 2007, I include the poor, the discriminated, the down-trodden and discouraged in the dedication of this site to my son.

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Development & Preservatives

Dear Little Bear,

You're napping. We took a bath beforehand and you didn't want to get out! I said, "Do you want to stay in the tub or do you want out?" and you said, "In the tub". I asked, because I was about to get out with you and you protested. You said something else today that was almost a sentence but I can't remember, now, what it was.

I noticed how well you were playing on your own while I was cleaning and cooking. You put all the rings on the spindle, played with the toy kitchen, your toolbench, and the crayons. You've been sorting things lately, putting all the crayons in one place, and certain toys on a shelf where you like them. I realized you've been throwing things out the back door in imitation of my throwing the diapers into a wastebasket there.

I think you are going to be neater than I am. Uh-oh. I hope you can put up with me because it will be 18 long years.

This morning you had something sticky on your finger, and you were trying to shake it off, with a look of disgust on your face. It was a tiny piece of cooked apple.

Then, I got the fingerpaints out and you dipped a finger in, and then just shook your finger to get it off. You didn't want to dirty your hands like me and finger paint. Instead, you grabbed the paint tubes and began using them to dip into the paint and spread across the paper. I decided you might like to try paintbrushes so I brought out two, one large and the other small. You dipped them into the paint and brushed them across the paper. When you ran out of paint on a brush, I said to dip it into the paint again if you wanted more paint and you would. You were done when you decided to throw the paintbrushes behind your back. This had been a new fun thing for a few weeks, dropping items behind your back.

Which reminds me of when I was a little girl and what I would do with dinner if I didn't like it. I couldn't throw anything forward, where it might be found, so I quickly threw food behind my back, which went behind a bureau onto the floor where the dogs probably ate it when they were allowed back into the house. I kept my eyes forward to watch whether anyone was turned in my direction.

I bought a puzzle for you, with pictures, that you enjoy looking at. You do enjoy puzzles, but not this kind as much. You'd rather fit a lid over a jar (and you can screw it on too!), or put some odd ends together (a toy nail into a hole).

As for following directions, you can follow two-step commands such as (after you had unravelled half a roll of TP): "Will you please pick up the toilet paper and bring it to Mama?"

When you wake up we'll have to play the monster in the cage game. This is one that gets you laughing. I sit behind a chair with many spindles for the back, and you're on the other side and reach through "the bars" to touch my nose or face, while I'm going back and forth pretending to be a monster. If you "catch" me, I let out a snort or yelp, or bewildered "oh!" and you crack up laughing.

Today I found you taking 2-3 steps on tip-toe. You throw a ball overhand, but it doesn't go far. You sort of throw it a little bit out, but downwards.

You visited the tractors this morning, patting them affectionately, and said some words to Prince Harry (our fish) as Barney kids were singing a song about "fishies". You also danced to the music from a small bit of "The Mouse and the Motorcycle". It was instrumental and I think it's sort of jazz/show tune genre. I don't know. This morning on a walk to the river we suprised a baby bird that hopped into a tree and you followed it and watched, talking to the bird in an animated way, for about 5-10 minutes until it flew away.

Food? finicky? I don't know. When we got the pineapple last, it's all you wanted for 2 days, and now that we're at the end of it, you won't touch it. You haven't been as enthusiastic about your milk and I'm wondering if it tastes different after being frozen. I don't notice a difference, but maybe you do? I don't know. Wish we had our own dairy cow. And chickens. I just read in Consumer Reports for the month of July, that "no added nitrates" hotdogs from Applegate actually have as much as as regular hotdogs. And then the whole organic thing, on what's most important, is confusing. Most say animal products should be organic, but when it comes to fruits and vegetables, one person says root vegetables get the worst of it, and another says leafy vegetables are the most contaminated. And, I know preservatives and pesticides are not generally good for a person, but am I the only one who has ever wondered if preservatives actually preserve people who ingest them (to some degree at least?). I mean, and if so, how? do they slow the aging process in a weird way, so that you live longer, or do they just preserve your organs like being embalmed?

You are into tomatoes right now. I think we'll plant a garden next Spring.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Justice System 101 and Mobility

The justice system in the United States "works" with about 50/50 odds for those who are rich and can afford zealous representation. The rest of us are screwed. Especially the poor.

I'm going to court today for a traffic ticket for speeding. Yesterday as I was driving and thinking about this, I recalled an incident when I was about 13 years old. My best friend at the time came from arguably the richest family in town. We took a trip to Seattle, where her mother drove between 80-90 miles an hour most of the way. She had a radar that was hidden which beeped whenever we were near a patrol car. She drove a top-of-the-line Mercedes, which, really, I am not one for cars, but it was a work of art. The radar in her car went off several times, and she would slow down until we passed and then she was up to high speeds again.

Aside from the liklihood that Ms. M was ever the target of racial or "junk car" profiling, she had the money for an illegal device that saved her and her family, over the years, a ton of money and insurance costs. In this very small example, it is easy to see how the rich become richer. Because of the accessibility to high tech devices which they could buy, they saved themselves money, and time too.

This family is almost entirely employed by the U.S. government. The kids are now working for various government offices, and receive bids for large business contracts.

Even if they did not have a radar, paying a ticket would be no big deal. Contrast this with Washington state's new law that an unpaid traffic ticket will result in immediate suspension of a driver's license. This law does not affect the rich, who pay their tickets readily and never end up in collections with a strike on their credit score. It discriminates against the poor and the state is only concerned with getting their money. Nevermind public transportation, because in the state of Washington, unless you live in Seattle or Spokane, there is, in practical terms, no such thing. Transit stops are few and far between and buses do not come regularly. In my particular town of Wenatchee, I have never seen so many Hummers, Suburbans, large SUVs and trucks (except in perhaps Washington D.C. where no one is ever "off-roading" with their waxed gas guzzler).

I suppose the state believes if someone cannot afford to pay their traffic ticket, they should not have the "privilege" of driving and can take a bus.

I will probably take the bus a few times for novelty for my son, who would enjoy the excursion, but it's impractical now to take a bus on a regular basis and it's a time-waster.

Regarding mobility, Bear is now running full speed, without falling much. He can even run downhill and did so yesterday. Two days ago he began going up on tip-toe, without holding onto anything. He'll stand and lower himself up and down on tip-toe and does this in front of a mirror watching himself as he's taller and shorter. He's almost doing sommersaults on his own. He gets on all fours, puts his head down and has tried to roll himself a few times after I helped him to do a sommersault.

I am going to design an outdoor obstacle course for him. With tires and rope swings, ramps, tunnels, and maybe in the future, a slide.

I put a bunch of play ideas on my fridge where I can see them. I keep Bear's toys where HE can see them. If they're behind closed doors or boxes, it's more out of mind.

Last night we were doing laundry in a front loading machine, which he LOVES to watch. He has been babysat by a woman a few times who has said he spends a half hour watching the machine. His concentration for things that interest him is pretty advanced for his age. So, last night I wanted to go upstairs and leave the machine and he threw a fit. I said, "Do you want to go upstairs or do you want to watch that?" I pointed to the machine. He ran over to the machine and patted it, looking over his shoulder at me and said, "Watch THAT! Watch THAT!" When I said okay, he relaxed. He pretty much understands whatever I say to him. The other day he was crying because I was trying to give him a different kind of milk because his usual kind (good raw milk from an organic dairy) was thawing. He was too upset to understand but when I brought the frozen milk to him, and explained it was frozen and hard and had to thaw, and he touched it, he stopped crying and seemed to "get it".

This morning for breakfast we had homemade chicken soup.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Hello Little Bear,

I put up your artwork (on a wall in the kitchen) last night. Two finger-paintings and 3 crayon drawings. My favorite one is the first time you drew (scribbled) anything on your own, months ago, and it's done in black crayon and looks like a crane. You made the design in one fell swoop and flourish, never taking the crayon off the page and then that was it.

You still eat the crayons. I've only dated your art but one I was tempted to name: Spittle from Red Crayon. I'm glad they're not toxic. I'm going to put up butcher paper along the wall so you can draw on the walls.

You will have an indoor sandbox for the winter months. A few days ago we bought a kiddie pool (which is now filled with water) and some clean play sand. Later, I"ll move the pool into the kitchen and fill it with sand. We'll just sweep out any excess. It was only $7 for the pool and $2.30 per bag for the sand (bought 5 bags). We also bought sand toys.

Yesterday I dropped food coloring into the pool water. First red. You put your hand in to touch it and it turned yellow, sort of a toilet yellow so then I added blue, but you lost interest and wanted to look at the tractors.

You love those tractors! Why is it that you love the tractors on the farm here, but not at the John Deere store? I took you there a few days ago and you were thrilled, but you seem to like the ones at home better. Maybe because you see Grandpa and his brothers on them and they're more sentimental. You want to touch and examine every part of the tractors here but I have to keep your hands off because there may be pesticide residue. I was hoping you'd get your hands-on at the tractor store. You go up to the tractor tires and say, "room-room!" You've been doing this for months.

We have a fish. I named him Harry and then tacked on "Prince". Right now you're terrorizing Prince Harry. Unintentionally. First you had your finger on the glass from the outside and were making "nice fishie" noises and now your hand is in the bowl. You've taken it out now (after I asked you to) and want breakfast. Or, my undivided attention.

Love you,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Living in the Orchard


It's been a month since I posted.

This morning I woke with FAFSA on my mind. I need to finish my degree--wait, want to--and continue with school. I found handouts from a former class on international communication which I would like to take again--about high-context/low-context societies and the different cultural norms.

Is America my country? You can't choose whom you're born to but one does choose their friends and lover. I was born in the States, but is this where my heart is? I have been taking a logical approach to discover where it is that I may fit in best. Not that I want to live where everyone is like me, but at least where I am tolerated and my opinions and values are valued. I am low-context to the extreme (German) in risk-taking, and in being inclusive of strangers, but I am high-context in some matters regarding family. I identify with the the Japanese and Hispanic/Latino cultures in their parenting philosophies (my son co-sleeps with me and this is common in Japan until age 6 or 7).

In some ways, I believe, America is strong and symbolic for freedom. America has been so inclusive of immigrants it's no longer a shame to speak of "America" rather than "the States". To be an American (though it should also include Latin America) defies definition in some ways. Then, I feel America is a illusory figment of great imaginations, where what is written and laws that are passed for the good of democracy are trampled in real-time, where capitalism in its infancy gave anyone and everyone equal opportunities, now in it's adolecensce, rewards the greedy and continues to separate the poor from the rich. The rich are getting richer and because of those who are in power, it is nearly impossible for someone to gain ground...America is becoming a plutocracy if it is not already. So is this where I want my son to grow up? Is this where he will best be served and nurtured and his contributions valued?

I may be romantic but I am also practical. Why are so many women single in a given town? I do not make general guesses but first look at a basic fact: male/female ratio. For all of the "it was love at first sight" and "there is someone for everyone" this is simply not true. Being romantic and having faith and hope does not change statistics or probabilities. There are facts. It is a fact that because of China's disproportionate male/female ratio, all the men who may want to have a partner or marry will be able to do so unless they advertise outside of their country. People have choices, and options, but choice doesn't supercede opportunity. With romance or happiness in any given country, there are cultural structs and norms and facts to consider. It's a lotto, but with research you can maximize success.

One small thing I am very happy about, is the random assignment of an excellent new phone number. It is: xxo-xoxo. It uses just 2 numbers in an easy to remember pattern.

We moved recently. Now we are in what I would call "a cabin" in an orchard with access to the river. I created a pool for my son by arranging a little rock wall to enclose water near the shore. It's far too rocky there to be much fun, but we cool off and collect rocks. I've become a kid again; yesterday I took a bucket down and collected a bunch of stones I liked. I'm 33 years old (soon enough), and rock-collecting. I don't know what kind they are: marble? granite? they look like polished agates under the water, or when wet, but are dull when dry. I was thinking they would make a cool table surface if you could put them together and then shear the top so it is a flat surface and polish it. They would also make a pretty coblestone path, especially when it rained. I don't know why I'm saving them, but I am. My son enjoys picking up any old rock and throwing it into the water. I take him down to the river by red Flyer wagon. He loves it. He has a serious expression on his face while getting a ride (granny calls it his "thrill ride") but then when he's out he's patting the side of the wagon to get in for another ride. We walk through the cool wafts in the orchard, down a dirt road that becomes black with mud and sprays onto my calves with each step, through a small bramble, to the shore. When I'm not singing "Down to the River" to my son, and dancing out the moves as we walk for his entertainment, I'm thinking about, what else?!, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

Is it not pathetic. I'm living like a Thoreau (or, Kerouc--oops! don't tell CPS!) near Golden Pond, isolate and serene in nature with my innocent son, and I too am consumed with thoughts about celebrity. When I see a helicopter flying over the property I think, "thank God I'm not an heiress".

Actually, what fascinates me most about following the pair, and the media, is what it says about society and our culture. When I see headlines like: "Girls gone wild" and how they are "troubled" and see Spears forced into rehab and Hilton jailed, I see a double-standard. If these women were men, no one would take note. A man may party, shave his head, and be a reckless driver, and change his attitude and lifestyle a number of times and no one thinks he is "unstable" or "troubled". They think "boys will be boys". I realize how behind we still are, as a society, when women cannot enjoy the same "behavioral" privileges that men take for granted, and yet when they do ask for help or need protection after sexual assault, they know the state (police and society) will punish them for speaking up.

I am a feminist! And where are they anyway? I don't hear any of them speaking about these things. All I hear about is the abortion rant. There are some fundamental problems that need to be fixed that are ignored for a narrow and specific issue I won't get into other than to say I'm opposed to abortion myself because while I support women's rights and equality, and choice, the choice for me ends when it infringes on another's choice or rights, that of the specific fetus/infant to live. I saw the ultrasound of my son at 11 weeks and at 18 weeks. I saw him sucking his left thumb at 11 weeks (the same one he uses now) and I do not believe in primitive "reflexes". I don't underestimate the intelligence of my son now, at one year, and I wouldn't when he was smaller either. Does being smaller mean something is less intelligent?

At any rate, so many feminists are fixated on abortion, but ignore paternalism in matters that affect women every day of their lives. Such as, what is appropriate for men is still not "appropriate" for women and is seen as deviant.

My son is now up. I'm having Perrier and cheese for breakfast and gave him a hunk of cheese. He's watching a program now. I'll be making eggs and toast in a few minutes.