Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stereotypes

Picture this:

Kindergarten class:
1) Once or twice a week, as part of the curriculum, girls go to ballet class while boys go learn how to play chess. No questions asked about individual preference, just a plain gender division.
2) Random homework assignment: Make a list of boy toys and girl toys.
3) Art work is displayed on the classroom wall, one bulletin board for boys another for girls, labelled as such in large signs overhead.

Am I overreacting by being appalled?



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Germ theory


A few months ago, we packed up our life and moved to South America. Actually it was less straight forward than a direct move. We crisscrossed the Atlantic, took a break in Southern Europe, so that it was a while before we finally arrived and settled down.

We have been through many changes, of course, and one is that the children, especially the baby, who until now had been super healthy, has managed to catch a few illness in the past month.
Everyone who I talk to blames it on the rain, the humidity, the tail end of Winter, the wind, and any other meteorological phenomenon you can think up. I generally just nod my head and mumble hmm-hmm. I guess germ theory is not too popular around this place.

But today, during yet another visit to the pediatrician, the nurse made a variation of the same remark "it is probably the weather", to which I responded that perhaps it was the fact that big sister had recently started school and is bringing home a bunch of new viruses. Or maybe it is that, replied the nurse.

Incidentally, babies are constantly wrapped up in many layer of clothing, lest they catch a chill and become ill. I have had countless people chiding me for not bundling up the kids up enough. "Where is the baby hat?", "It is too windy out for the baby, move him away from the wind", "shouldn't the girl have another jacket on?" etc etc, from everyone it seems. I have seen babies in snowsuits when it is 60 degrees out.
On the other hand, absolute strangers will smooch the baby at every opportunity... People in the grocery store will touch him, kiss his hands and put their faces right on his... But supposedly,  it is the evil air drafts that make you ill!