S1: Just wanted to give you some fair warning that Dan’s probably going to swear on this podcast because he always does. Welcome to Mom and Dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, March 25th, The Privacy Please edition. I’m Elizabeth. You can write the homeschooling family travel blog that such and the mom to three little Henry Ustedes Oliver, who’s six and Teddy is four. And we live in Navarre, Florida.
S2: Hello, I’m Dan Coats. I’m a writer at Slate and the author of the book How to Be a Family and the dad of Laura, who was 15 and Harper’s 13. And we live in Arlington, Virginia.
S3: I’m Jamilah Lemieux, a writer contributor to Slate’s Care and Feeding Parenting column and co-host of Slate’s Wild and Wise Evening Chat Show and mom to Nyima, who is just about eight years old. And we live in Los Angeles, California.
S1: So on today’s show, what to do if a Zoome playdate goes south, then we’ll come up with a strategy for a five person family living in close quarters and a kid who needs privacy in the bathroom. Then on Slate plus have your kids watch the Netflix movie yesterday and started begging for a whole day where you, their parent, can’t say no to anything while you’re not alone. Former Madoff co-host Gabe Roth will be joining us to rant only on Slate plus. So let’s start with triumphs and fails. Dan, what do you have for us?
S2: I’ve got a simple, powerful fail this week, just a pure, unalloyed, inarguable fail. So we were all eating ice cream and we have this new ice cream scoop that we got just a few months ago. And I don’t like the ice cream scoop. Ice cream scoop is just it’s too big. It’s to its mouth is too wide. It barely fits in a patent container, which is the size of container that the best flavors of ice cream are served in. Yes. It just doesn’t work that well. You know, Harper is like struggling to get the ice cream out of the box. Then I have to help her and I go, you know, I just really don’t like this new ice cream scoop I got because I was thinking I feel like I’ve probably bought this thing and I don’t want it to, you know, anyone else to feel like I’m criticizing their ice cream scoop or whatever. So I made sure to put it on me. This ice cream scoop I got not very good guys, am I right? And then Harper just innocently goes, oh, OK, well, I got it for you for Christmas. So it’s just a real basic. You had one job kind of fail. Don’t talk shit about your what your children got for Christmas. It’s not that hard, but I, I blew it
S3: big time, but yeah.
S2: That’s it. That’s my fail.
S1: That is a failed thanks to Bill
S3: Djamila that I’m such a consumer that like I’m already looking up ice cream scoops, I’m like, you know what, I do hate my ice cream is good. I do I do deserve a better ice cream scoop. Why do I have it? It sucks. OK, so my triumph is, again, me craving something that Nyima has done and claiming it for myself. But this is something that I’m really proud about. So Nyima and a couple of her girlfriends were on Zoome and I overheard bits and pieces of this conversation. I wasn’t really able to piece together what was happening. And then one of the girls mothers texted me and said, Are you hearing this conversation? So it turns out that one of the girls had said something, something sexist, if you will, something about boys not being able to wear lipstick and makeup, you know, and then when Nyima and one of the other, you know, the third girl in the call pressed her on that, you know, she took it further and talked about a YouTube Huber, who she would like, but he’s a makeup artist, which I’m kind of like, well, why would what would you like about him? Because as this whole thing is makeup. But, you know, if he weren’t a boy who wore makeup and so just the way that they corrected her, just, you know, that is sexist. That is sexist. And I can tell that the third child is not having the same conversations that I am and her other friend are having at home. Right. You know, because her reaction to the words sexist, as Nima said, it was kind of like she’d heard a dirty word name said that she among the memorable quotes that she shared with me and I fully believe that this is how it went, she said, you know, and so she when she talked about how she wants to like him, but she doesn’t like him because he does those things, I said, oh, honey, you need to worry about yourself and what you are doing with your life because he can do what he wants. Boys can do whatever they like, girls can do whatever they like, those rules are silly, you know, and I don’t know what name know Spirit is, you know, where she’s at with her orientation and identity and all that stuff. But I love that, you know, regardless of where she is as a person, she’s at a place either in terms of autonomy or empathy, that she is like, you can go because you’re not going to disrespect, you know, people of this experience. Go Nyima Nyima gets another triumph again. Djamila No, they’re not from you.
S1: I think you definitely get to claim that like that’s a result of what she’s hearing and experiencing at home. Like that is why she feels the opinion she expressed. Right. So not only telling this other girl like boys can be wear whatever they want, be whatever but her like feeling confident enough to tell a friend those things. I mean, that’s that in many ways is the hard part, right?
S1: Well, we have a fail wrapped up and hopefully a triumph at the new camp house on Sunday. We the kids wanted to like have a parade or some. That’s what they kept saying. And they had like a whistle. And this they had this flag. And and Jeff and I were trying to call some friends of ours from Colorado Springs. And so we told them, like, go outside and have your parade march around the house and sent them outside unsupervised, as we do very frequently. And so we’re on the phone with these friends. And all of a sudden Henry comes running in the door and he’s like, Oliver is bleeding everywhere. And so Jeff just like sets the phone down, runs outside. He comes back, like cradling Oliver. There’s like blood. And he’s like, we need stitches. We’re going to the E.R. He has just, like, sliced his his eyebrow. There is not an E.R. close to us. It’s about like a 40 minute drive. So I, like, bandage him up. We put him in the car, Jeff takes off with him. I like go to try to figure out what happened, because at that point it was, you know, was like irrelevant. Turns out there was something that maybe Henry was using as a baton got thrown up in the air and on the upswing, made contact with his eyebrow.
S3: How do boys survive childhood?
S2: Like, right when you guys go into the E.R., the bell rings like the bell rings. Oh, they know I feel all I walk into the cream store.
S1: Yeah. Okay. Yeah, we we get to that. Jeff actually has the number he calls the head. We have a doctor there that we like. We have been to the table. Yeah. They put us in the overlarge room every time I’ve been in there when Jeff has been flying and they’re like, do you want to stick it on the radio and get your husband? Like it’s just like, which boy is it this time? We’ve been to you guys
S2: a good bye party.
S1: That nurse did joke like, oh, you guys are moving like, is this going to be your last visit? We were like, we can only hope we’ve done pretty well actually in covid avoiding avoiding the E.R. But whatever led to the the bleeding has been a fail. But Oliver got two stitches. We have our favorite ice cream shop that whoever gets stitches gets to stop it on the way home. And some like, ah, we just went about our day. So I, I am sort of like even though we move all the time, we’re able to just like know what to do, handle the situation with very limited upheaval to like our day or plan.
S2: So and you’ve incentivized stitches.
S1: We’ve incentivized. Yeah. No they’re still all terrified because it is like you know as they describe in detail when they get home, you know, this is how many holes they had to put in my face that
S3: has everyone had stitches at this point. Yeah. Yeah.
S2: I mean, I agree that it’s great that you guys are unfeasible as long as you don’t sort of tip over into like a dark comic M’s territory where you’re, like cracking wise to each other at two a.m. about how you’ve seen the shit.
S1: I don’t think we’ve gone over the edge to do too dark. Like, I even think now we’re good judges of whether you need stitches or not. We’ve had a couple where, like there’s an E.R. doctor that we’re friends with in the neighborhood because if you have three or more children, you need to have a friend that is an E.R. doctor. If you don’t have one, go, go find one. But we used to, like, refer to her a lot or say like, hey, do we need to go get stitches? And now I feel like we’re both kind of like one look at it and able to say like, yep. To the hospital we go,
S2: you know the parameters, you know the rules.
S1: OK, before we move on and you owe us an update, last week you came to us with the dilemma. Should you and Alere break your no make up before high school rule? What did you decide?
S2: Well, I went upstairs after our conversation and told Harper, hey, you know, we recorded the show today. We did a whole conversation with everyone about our make up rule and how there was you know, we had this rule that you couldn’t do make up until high school outside the house. And what should we do when you go back to school? And, you know, I think they gave me really good advice that I should talk to you about it and that probably it’s OK for us to rethink the rule and for you to wear a little bit of makeup to school if you want. And she was like, Dad, I went to school today, already wore makeup, and I don’t even remember that rule. So problem solved. She looked great. She does just do a little little little bit of makeup. It’s not a full face time, Djamila, but just a little something that you can’t see it because she’s wearing a mask, but she looks great.
S3: That’s good. We completely forgot about the mask for her.
S1: Yeah. We could just hope he’s hoping for a better time
S2: if I ever decide that I want to strictly enforce the only a little bit of makeup rule you can tell to them microliters how much makeup she wore by how much is smeared on the inside of her mask at the end of the day. So it’s actually a great gauge.
S1: So information your rule had zero effect on her behavior?
S2: That’s correct. She did not remember the rule. And and if I had tried to strategically enforce that after our conversation, it would have been a disaster. So everything worked out great.
S1: Well, perfect, that’s that’s what we like to hear. Yeah. With that onto the business, if you want to be notified about all things late parenting, you need to sign up for Slate’s parenting newsletter. Besides getting all of Slate’s great parenting content in one place, including mom and dad are fighting. Ask a teacher care and feeding and much more. It’s just a fun story from Danny Tweek directly to your inbox. So go and sign up at Slate Dotcom Slash Parenting Email. Finally, if you want to connect with other parents, join our parenting group on Facebook. It’s a super active community. It’s moderated. Just search for Slate parenting on Facebook. All right. Let’s get to our first listener question of the week. And this is being read by none other than the fabulous Shasha Lanard.
S3: Dear mom and dad, my first grade daughter had a Zoome playdate yesterday where her friend played for about 10 minutes, wandered away and ignored her for ten minutes, and then just hung up on her. My daughter called back and was trying to ask why she hung up and the girl interrupted her, said sorry bye and hung up on her again. They are pretty good friends, but haven’t seen each other much since the summer and only on Zoome a few times. But it never went like this, nor have any of the other numerous Zoome playdates she’s had with other friends. When I texted the other mom to find out what was going on. She said her daughter realized she hadn’t said goodbye and was sorry. This girl has a very strong personality, and it’s not the first time my daughter has gotten a little burned by it. But after crying hysterically yesterday because she had been looking forward to playing with her, my daughter wants to set up another play date. I just am at a total loss, my mama bear wants to be like, forget her, my hands off parenting side says to set up a play date and prepare her for what might happen. My meddling side wants to talk to the other parents about setting some expectations for how to treat each other for future Zoome playdates or that at least be around while she’s on the phone. Or maybe we should stick to in-person outdoor meet ups for now, there are about an hour’s drive away. What would you do and if this is a teachable moment for my daughter, what’s the lesson? I know that this Zoome play date didn’t go very well, but I also don’t think that that is reason enough for you to prepare your child for this being the end of her friendship with this kid or as a reason to write this kid off. Children that age do not have social skills, period. Kids scamper off from actual play dates like, OK, bye. Right. You know, like there’s one kid who wants to give hugs and make a commitment to see each other again. And they talk about how fun the day was. And then there’s the other one who’s like, I’ve had exactly enough of this. Thank you. I’m ready to move on with the next part of my day. You know, it very well could be that that’s what happened during this phone call. It could be that this other child doesn’t like doing some call it. This is a very awkward and new way of communicating, even for those of us adults who’ve been doing video for many years. Right. So for this to be the way that you socialize with someone, there are a lot of kids who don’t like it. And also kids are doing zoom school. So now the way that I see my friends is also the same way that I sit and listen to a teacher and perhaps I’m not very engaged or happy throughout the day. So I think that you should talk to your daughter about the reasons why this Zoome occasion might have gone this way and why it’s possible that future Zoome dates with this child or with other children may go that way, but that a better way of gauging relationship might be in person when you’re able to do that. And so if you do another Zoome date with this kid and it doesn’t go well, then maybe this isn’t your date friend. But I would not assume that that means that this person is not your friend.
S2: Yeah, the thing that was most surprising about this letter to me was not the way that this friend behaved on the Zoome call, but the statement by this letter writer that all the other Zoome play dates have gone great. That seemed incredible to me. The very idea, because first graders are just not like generally constitutionally equipped to do a Zoome play date. And often, as Jubilo says, they’re not equipped to do a regular play date. They’re just not equipped to be human beings in the world. I think back a lot to the way that Lyra and her two longtime best friends were when they were four or five, six years old around the age of this child. And they were friends that we made because when we moved to Arlington, we moved in the middle of the year and there weren’t any spaces and preschools anywhere because, you know, like in many places where preschools are a hot commodity, they just all had like seven year waiting lists or whatever, your child has to be negative. Four years old. You sign them up for the waiting list. And there is one preschool that had just opened. And so it was getting filled with entirely with people who had just moved to Arlington. And so we met these other families. They’re very nice families who we liked very much, but we definitely made friends with them because we were all desperate for friends at the exact same moment. And we endured several years of extremely bad playdates between all of these kids in which one of them would be angry at the other or they would have fun for half an hour and then someone would blow up or Liara would be horrible, or one of the other ones would be horrible. I have this very distinct memory of one time when we were at the park and all three of them had sort of gone off to the woods to play. And then we saw them all walking back with great purpose towards us. And the lead one little girl, Sophie, was just crying and crying and crying and that Lyra was right behind her, looking very worried. And then Katyal’s right behind them yelling, Don’t tell them, don’t tell them what I did. But it was like they were all like that because first graders are just like not that good at this unless you unless a miracle happens, basically. And we just we had to learn to, like, not deal with every moment of friction, even bad moments of friction in these interactions between these kids as being representative of anything about the friendships really or their relationship with each other or the kind of people they were, our kids or the other kids, because all that stuff is off the table when it comes to first graders interaction with each other, because it’s just very hard for them. And so I would urge you not only in zoom playdates with this child, but in the future real life play dates that you’re going to have for this child to not stress out about this child’s, quote, unquote, strong personality or whether your kid is getting burned by it at some point. If it turns out that they can’t be together for more than two minutes without screaming or hitting each other. Sure. Then separate them and think about whether this friendship is worth keeping. But like one Zoome playdate that went bad, as Djamila says, is not a reason to have any big thoughts about the future of this friendship.
S1: Plus, she said it was fine for 10 minutes, I feel like first graders, ten good minutes on Zoom. Yes, I have a first grader. Ten minutes. It would be one. Yes. You know, like you want. Exactly. She asks, what is the teachable moment here? I think the teachable moment is that like other humans are unpredictable and you can’t control their behavior. And so much of a teachable
S2: moment for her to you, I think.
S1: For all of us. Yeah. Is that like maybe this girl had a bad day. Maybe she hates you. Maybe your daughter also hate Zoom. I think your daughter’s like reaction of crying, like that’s also OK and happens in in person playdates. And, you know, the question I think is like, is a zoom playdate something you want to even keep doing? If it’s working well with other kids, keep doing it. Sure. And your daughter likes and this other kid. But if this zoom played, it doesn’t work with this child. That’s totally fine. Like you have friends that you don’t play board games with or friends that you don’t go play soccer with or whatever things. Maybe this is just a friend that you don’t do some play dates with. It’s not like adults where some kind of contact is important or you feel like you haven’t seen them in forever. I also think you don’t need to stress, like as a parent, that it’s your job to maintain all of these friendships over this, the course of however long this lasts, if it’s not working, it sounds like your daughter wants to see this child again. I think if if she if your daughter keeps asking and you feel like that’s something you want to do, you should talk to the other parent about what the best thing is. But maybe just like treating Zoome less like a play date in which you scheduled to have someone’s kids for some set amount of hours. If you treat it more like a phone call in which your child will call, spend ten minutes catching up with this other person, are playing with toys at the same time, and then it’s just over that. That is a much more reasonable expectation of, you know, the limitations of Zoom and I don’t know about your kids, but mine are so over, like the idea that they’re going to play over the computer like they’re just done with that.
S2: Elizabeth is exactly right. I think that it’s totally normal for your child to cry as a result of this thing. It’s not a sign of like some greater problem. The other thing is totally normal for your child to say, you know, twelve hours later, I want to see this person again. Kids, in addition to being really good at picking up friendships that have lain fallow for a long time, kids are really good at forgetting and forgiving slights that often drive us, the parents crazy, but often don’t have any impact at all on the kid. And so I don’t think that you should necessarily worry that your kid is going to be going into whatever the next playdate is with this child being desperately fearful that it’s all going to go bad again and said your kid is probably just going to go on as playdate being like, great, I get to I get to play with this person again.
S3: Naima, my daughter, who is completely obsessed with my mother in particular, will just walk away from the call, you know, like by then. Yeah. You know, and like and doesn’t necessarily like talking to my mother very like there are times where she really wants to talk to her, but like, for the most part, she vastly prefers having her in person. You know, there have been times where it’s like, I have to beg you to get on the phone with her, but then you’re telling me how much you miss her and how bad you want to see her that she’s not, you know, the way that she wants to consume her. So I think, again, I would just remind your child that you could have you know, you will over the course of the rest of your life, come across friends that don’t like to engage via telecommunications. They would rather deal with you in person.
S1: I just feel like validating that for kids to tell them it’s OK, that this is terrible. And I’m you know, I’m sorry I’m sorry that that’s how you’re experiencing that, because I do think some of this would be resolved if you were in person. If the kid didn’t want to play it anymore and ran off right. In a normal play date, you’d follow her and pick up something new. And that once they leave the computer, that’s not available so. Well, good luck. And please let us know how your kids next play date goes. If you have a question for us, email us at mom and dad at Slate dot com or do what this listener did and post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group onto the second listener question. Read once again by Shasha Leonhard.
S3: Do your mom and dad? We live in a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. So our five year old and our three year old twins all share a large bedroom. They like sharing a bedroom. But recently the five year old has been asking for privacy in the bathroom or when changing clothes. This is totally fair in theory, but in practice it means that she’ll stand naked in front of her wardrobe for five minutes while she picks out clothes and chats, expecting us all to avert her eyes while we help the twins get dressed. There are also a lot of fights about the twins needing to wash their hands or brush their teeth while the big one is using the toilet or undressing in the bathroom. Does anyone have a good system for ensuring that everyone has time to change clothes or use the bathroom in peace without totally derailing the getting out of the door process?
S2: First of all, I want to say that I love this kid’s style to demand privacy, but also want to make sure that she can chat with everyone with their backs turned so they cannot behold the queen as she is putting on her regalia. I got to give it up to this kid sense of style. So there are two separate problems stemming from this need for privacy. They both have to do with getting ready. But there’s the bathroom problem and there’s the bedroom problem. And I think they potentially have two different solutions in the bedroom. When Her Majesty wishes to not be regarded by peasants eyes while she is getting dressed, it seems like the answer is for her to get dressed by herself in full privacy. I think that five year olds are totally capable of doing and you can be dressing those twins elsewhere or at a different time, you can be trading off and putting the twins in the bathroom while Her Majesty is dressing in the bedroom. And that seems totally fine and in addition, allows you to build the skill that this seemingly very independent minded kid would benefit from, which is making all those decisions and getting those clothes on all by herself in the bathroom. To me, it seems like the obvious answer is just like a kitchen timer, like just set it for five minutes when everyone else is done with the bathroom review, would like to return to the bathroom and enjoy yourself in the mirror a little bit more. You should absolutely feel free to. But a kitchen timer, like just a crappy four dollar kitchen timer you buy at the Dollar General is a great solution to many household problems. Certainly this one. What do you guys think?
S3: I think it’s very important that this child understands their right to bodily autonomy and space and that even in a small, if you will, a partner, which I mean. It could be a whole lot smaller. You know, you do have two bedrooms, you have a place for everyone else to go. And I don’t think it’s a tremendous sacrifice to allow your five year old a couple of minutes to herself so she can feel comfortable changing.
S2: And it’s not only that it’s important for her to know that it’s OK to have bodily autonomy. I also think it’s useful for her to know that you do have to be considerate to other people in your family.
S1: We have a very similar problem because I have three boys sharing a room and then they also share a bathroom. And like when we have guests or grandparents or whatever, that’s the same bathroom that’s that gets shared. Although sometimes in that case, obviously, we all come use the bathroom that’s attached to our room. So then there’s five of us using the one bathroom in the days in which we had guests. That is clearly not a not a current issue, but we have found that no one is like get a timer and everybody gets time for things, because I think it is about balancing the need for privacy with this need for understanding that you live as part of this family and in this communal space. And some of the things we did, particularly Henry, is the one who wants to have his own like some privacy. The other two don’t really seem to care, but we lay out clothes the night before so that there’s no standing and getting dressed. He’s the first one up. So the schedule for him is like he goes into the bathroom, his clothes are already there. He gets dressed. He does. We we sort of say that the bathroom is for bathroom things and anything that doesn’t need to be done in the bathroom, we don’t do in the bathroom. I think that will help. I think there’s also an opportunity in the bedroom to arrange furniture or rearrange how things are so that there’s privacy in the shared space with the washing hands and all of that. Taking a minute to look at everyone’s schedule and saying, like, how do we d crowd this this moment? Like, can the twins get up a little bit early and feed them breakfast while your daughter gets dressed? And then it’s like a switch. We use that trick a lot like someone is using the bedroom to get ready while the other kids are eating breakfast, like just using all the space you have in the house for this morning routine where everyone needs to be kind of getting ready at the same time.
S2: Yeah, you really have to be ruthless with the morning routine. And the more kids you have, I think the more ruthless you need to be. And thinking of your home for those brief moments as just like a little Henry Ford assembly line factory where the product you’re churning out is dressed, children ready for school is actually not harmful at all and will really help you get through that time.
S1: I think, too, it sets the precedents when they’re older and as they get more autonomous like that, that although there is like opportunities for privacy, you can’t gunk up the whole system. These are kind of life skills. Like I know it seems like, oh, I’m just dealing with this. But you’re also teaching your children about sharing these spaces and being considerate, but also getting the things that you need.
S3: I think rethinking the house, reimagining the house. Right. Because for some people, the idea of, you know, rolling up your hair on the couch or, you know, somebody doing grooming in a dining room or, you know, being in the living room, changing by themselves, because that’s the only place that’s available at the moment. May sound wild, but like this is your home. And, you know, particularly if you’re not entertaining guests at the time, like if you have to have somebody getting change in the kitchen, as long as the kitchen has shades and blinds, it’s fine.
S1: No one’s coming over. You might as well use it,
S3: use it, use the
S1: space. Well, we hope that helps. If you have a conundrum rattling around, send it in emails that mom and dad at Slate Dotcom are posted on the Slate Parenting Facebook group. So now we are going to move on to recommendation. So, Jamila, what do you have for us?
S3: After a long while of putting packaged beverages essentially to the side altogether because they’ve been a lifelong obsession of mine and they’re not always very healthy for you. And even when they are, they’re expensive. I kept seeing these billboards for Coca-Cola with coffee and I was intrigued. Now, years ago, Red Bull had a cola, which that’s not the same concept at all, but it was delicious. And I’ve been chasing something that tasted like that. And I thought for some reason, maybe that’s what they have, three flavors, dark, bland, caramel and vanilla. And I bought all three of them because they were there and I needed something to do. And so I am recommending the dark blue. And I will admit I did not enjoy the vanilla and I haven’t had the caramel yet. I can’t rightly say that I like this persay, but
S2: the greatest of recommendation
S3: is fascinating to the palate. It is a thing and I think it might be on the cusp of something really great. But I think that you should try it and perhaps you can help me to decide how I feel about this flavor.
S1: Are you going to get more like is it interesting? No. You want to
S1: It’s like a club she went to and it was good. And she thinks everyone should have this experience.
S3: She always has clubs. She won’t be going coffee. Yeah, you just need to say you’ve had it. I’ll tell you my chief complaint and I don’t know how they sell for this. Well, I’m sure they can because they’ve been baking soda for quite a long time. It’s not quite carbonated enough, which is the opposite of my usual complaint about Coke, which that it tastes too bubbly. Yeah. So I don’t know. I’m like, did you literally
S1: just I only like bubbles. Yeah, I’ve tasted the relevant
S3: I’m a Pepsi girl.
S2: Next week we are going to have the most entertaining and tramp’s and fails when Djamila blows up her apartment trying to Sodus coffee.
S1: Put it in the soda. No, don’t do that.
S3: This would be so good. And an overpriced or no, I’d like some sort of cocktail and some like brand activation or event like that’s what I think
S2: it’s reminding you of. It’s reminding you of being at a party where a twenty three year old intern is like, hey, try our new blah blah, blah, blah. Yeah. And then you try and you’re like, I’m never drinking that again. Yeah, but we don’t get anywhere.
S3: It’s bringing back all this. Like, this is news.
S2: My recommendation is not as complicated as simulants recommendation. It does not include notes of Coca-Cola, coffee and despair the way hers does. But I am recommending Amber and Klay, a middle grade novel by Laura Amy Schlitz. It just came out. It is set in ancient Greece and is written partly in verse and partly in prose. It’s about an enslaved boy in an aristocratic girl, but it’s not a romance. And in fact, those two characters, though linked in spirit, never actually meet in person. It’s a very surprising book and a lot of different ways, but it really grabbed Lira, particularly at a time when it has been very hard for any book to grab her, as I think a lot of kids are having that problem right now. So if you have a kid maybe between 10 and 15 who really knows her Greek myths, maybe because once she loved Percy Jackson and she needs something engaging to read, you might want to give it a try. It seemed to me that the the mode transformation’s between prose and poetry and there’s also a lot of art in the book really helped us sort of get excited about this reading experience in the way that other reading experience have. She has a spark to those right now, it’s called Amber and Clay by Laura, Amy Schlitz.
S1: Sounds great. I am recommending in light of my triumph and fail Wehle bandaids, they come in these really cute tins and actually they come as like packs where you can get all of the like kids wound care and they have great patterns. I will say ultimately I bought it because the tin looks so cute and I thought, I definitely need this little tin of bandaids. But the Band-Aid themselves are fantastic, like they do better than any other type of Band-Aid that we have had. And we should know. And the the patterns, I mean, are like a fun, you know, our fun to entice the children to wear them. They make adult ones as well that come in all kinds of colors. But I just really love them and they really do just like stick so well. And I have the kind of skin that like when I peel it off, I get the allergic reaction to the Band-Aid and these don’t do it to me. I don’t know if they’re using a different type of adhesive or what the deal is, but I don’t get those little, like red bumps in the shape of a Band-Aid.
S2: The best part about this recommendations at somewhere in Band-Aid brand headquarters, sirens are going off because of all the times referred to another company’s adhesive bandages as the trademarked Band-Aid. Sorry, Band-Aid. You lost the war.
S3: I guess you won the war, you always
S1: lose the problem because, well, these are boots,
S2: right? That’s a totally different thing.
S1: The new camp family goes through a lot of adhesive things for soaking up blood. You know, if you have to have a Band-Aid over your child’s face, why not let him choose unicorns, which makes him happy.
S3: So we love. Well, Evandale, they’re so good. Really good.
S1: Well, that’s it for our show one last time. If you want us to weigh in on your quandaries. E-mail us at mom and dad at Slate dot com or post it to the Slate Parenting Facebook group. Just search for slate parenting. If you haven’t already, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, it helps us out and you’ll never miss an episode. And while you’re there, rate and review the show. Mom and Dad are fighting is produced by Rosemarie Bellson for Dan Koyczan to me a little Ammu. I’m Elizabeth Newcome. Hello, Slate. Plus listeners as a thank you for supporting our work. We have brought back our beloved former mom and dad are fighting co-host Gabe Roth, and he is going to be venting about a movie that his kids and probably thousands, if not millions of others have come across on Netflix. Welcome back, Gabe.
S4: Hey, thank you for having me. It’s. So it’s okay. How about that coronavirus, huh? Wow.
S1: So we’re hoping that you’ll tell us a bit about the notion that has swept through the Roth household.
S4: Sure. So I don’t know if any of your kids have seen this movie. This is a movie that’s a Netflix original movie. It was the number one movie on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and it’s called Yes Day. Have any of you guys seen this movie?
S2: No, no, no, no.
S1: But I mean, we have the book.
S4: It’s based on a book. I had no idea.
S1: I don’t know because this is like a little kid tame version.
S2: My guess is the book and the movie are based on the same pervasive pop cultural concept.
S4: It was not pervasive enough for me to have known about it until my kids watched this movie. I should be really clear. I have not seen the movie yesterday. The movie was probably made by talented and creative people who were doing their best to make a good movie. So I feel bad about like coming out to be like this movie has had a deleterious effect on my household without having watched the movie. It absolutely has had a deleterious effect on my household. The premise of a yes stay for anyone who doesn’t understand it yesterday is that parents are always in the position of saying no to their kids. The kid wants more ice cream. The parent says, no, you can’t have more ice cream. Just replicate that at smaller and larger scales across the kid’s entire childhood. And it becomes quite wearing on the kid and it’s wearing on the parent to none of us. Like, it’s not my favorite part of parenting to be constantly saying, no, you, my beloved child, cannot do or have the thing that you would like to do or
S2: have speak for yourself.
S4: But the premise of the movie is what if your family decides? I think I’m like inferring this from like looking at like Netflix title card and then like what my kids have said. But my understanding is that the premise of the movie is that what if there’s like one day when your kids get to do all the things and the parents have to say yes. And then there’s some kind of ground rule where, like, the kids are not allowed to do anything that might bring harm to themselves or others or something like that. But other than that, then the kids are allowed to ask for things and the parents have to say yes. So my kids watched this during part of their what is now just unlimited screen time on one of the millions of streaming services that we pay for them to have access to on every possible screen in the house. It’s not so much that they liked the movie. They liked High School Musical two. They thought yesterday was an idea.
S2: The seed of revolution.
S4: Yes, that’s right. It’s not a movie. It’s an ideology. And so they came out of the experience of watching the movie. And immediately the first the first thing was, can we have a yes. What a trap. What a trap of a question. And then when is our yesterday going to be? I don’t know when our yesterday is going to be. I’m still catching up with this concept of like, what is it yesterday in the first place. Then they’re listing the things that they want to do on the yesterday. And will those things be OK for like in the movie? One of the things the kids apparently make their parents do is they all put on white clothes and then have a water balloon fight with the water balloons filled with Kool-Aid so that everybody gets colors all over their clothes. And the thing, of course, like, oh, mom and dad are always worried that we’re going to mess up all the clothes and now we get to mess up like just what a hassle is. My main thought, like, it’s not so much about permission. A lot of work. Yes. Like, I have to get white clothes for everyone in the household and then I have to get like Kool-Aid. And how do you get the Kool-Aid into the water balloons like I haven’t seen yesterday the movie again. So I don’t know how thoroughly it addresses the logistics of having a water balloon fight with Kool-Aid filled water balloons while wearing.
S2: Why do you fill the water balloon with water and then put a teaspoon of Kool-Aid mix into each balloon and then shake it?
S3: That would probably be much easier than trying to premix that
S2: you solved and then put it in with a funnel
S3: yesterday. Twenty twenty one to say thanks man.
S4: But so like the premise of yesterday, like it’s as though this gets to be like everybody gets to relax, the parents can finally relax and stop saying no and everybody gets to just say yes and it’ll be so much easier. Wouldn’t it be great if just for one day we all made it easier on ourselves and said yes instead of no? It’s not easier for me to go out and get four white outfits and then fill up water balloons with Kool-Aid? That’s me saying yes to like a whole bunch of extra labor. And the other thing that I want to point out is if this came during a normal period, then, you know, you could see, OK, they want to have more autonomy. They want to make more choices. Fine. I get it. The thing about this year is that in a way, it’s been a massive yesterday in that there’s been all of this stuff that we’ve been saying. Yes. Like we got a Nintendo switch. We got all the streaming we’re paying for Disney, plus we’re just like all the shit that we would have said no to video games on their phone, we’re now saying yes to a million things. And the reason we’re saying yes to those things is because we and the universe is saying no to all of these much more valuable things that they would like to have, like being able to just like play with their friends in a normal way and like go to school on site instead of on Zoom. Like it’s been a year of saying yes to stupid shit because the really important shit we have to say no to because of the coronavirus pandemic. And until that’s over, like a yes day is just going to be more of that same thing. Like I can’t say yes to like, yeah, we’re going to have all your friends over for a party and it’s going to be fun. I can’t say that yet. At some point when I can say that, I will. We don’t need to have a day. I will be so excited any day
S2: is yesterday for that particular request. Right. But the time is right.
S4: But saying like and we get to like get a huge barrel of ice cream and you all get to eat just as much ice cream as you want, even though you’ve like had so much more ice cream this past year than you’ve had in your entire lives beforehand, haven’t we?
S3: Oh, yeah. The people at the ice cream shop don’t even know I have it, but they know me
S4: in a way. You’ve been having your own stage, Djamila.
S3: Yeah, absolutely. It has it not been yesterday for you to. It’s the
S4: rest. It’s been the same time and yesterday it’s been a yes day as a sort of false compromise in exchange for the massive know that the universe has served up to every one of us and any other time in the world. Maybe yesterday is a good idea. Somehow this movie contains like research, like my kids were like ninety seven percent of families that do it yesterday since their kids are better behaved after the how. Why are you quoting like bullshit scientific statistics to me from them. Who made this from a made for Netflix movie. It was made like I don’t know the like ice cream industrial complex. I don’t know what it was.
S2: I would just like to tell everyone that this movie was directed by Miguel Arteta, a great indie director from the late 90s, who’s responsible for a number of very good movies and now is finally going to get a vacation house.
S4: Well, I’m glad Miguel Arteta gets to have his own yes. Day, as it were, but I myself am not having one.
S2: You’re absolutely right about the way that yesterday as a concept does not make everything easier. And it’s and it’s it seems really notable that it’s like being conveyed via the big lie of the Hollywood machine, in which, of course, for Jennifer Garner, star of yesterday, yesterday is easy because there were twenty five underpaid production assistants filling water balloons with Kool-Aid on set. And she just had to show up and like, have a great time. Well, it does not resemble in any way the actual experience of parenting or what a real estate would be like for any of us.
S4: Well, I will say the one part of the movie that I happened to like, be present in the living room floor is right at the end of the movie when they’re like on a Ferris wheel at night time or something for their, like, final yesterday experience. And the husband and wife are saying to one another, is it crazy that I’m wondering when we’re going to do yesterday, next year? And you get the very clear sense that the husband and wife are going to go home and have their own little yesterday, if you know what I mean?
S3: Oh, my God.
S1: The book is a small child and the child’s request does ask for ice cream, but they’re like, I’d really love to eat outside today, like just some more wholesome because it is like one of our our favorite little books to read because this little kid is in charge of the day. Right. And it does end with like I wonder when. Yes, they’ll be next year because in in the book, the parents, like the kid wakes up and they’re like, it’s yesterday, like the kid doesn’t know. But it is not be like an absurdity that the again, I have only seen the trailer to the to the movie like suggest like it is just a much more wholesome, like this child’s requestor basically. Like I want to spend more time with you, the parent,
S2: the very idea that my children want to spend more time with me. Yeah.
S4: Or eat outside. We’re constantly trying to get our kids, you know, they don’t want to do that shit. They just want to watch more television. Right.
S3: So I’m curious to know what would be the worst. Yes. They request in you all’s houses if you granted your kids yesterday.
S2: I think in our house, it literally would just be great. We want unlimited screen time instead of our supposed screen time limits that you don’t actually monitor and never pay attention to anymore. And that would be I don’t think they would ask for anything else. What would actually happen is that Harper would expect that Lyra would apply yesterday to her and would then ask her to do things with her. Bitterly, just what life was like yesterday is that I don’t have to do anything with
S3: our first
S1: guest is the last to say yes.
S4: Right. You’ve got to have two completely different justice. You’ve got to make a trade, in fact.
S1: And you don’t even need to be involved. It can just be sister yesterday.
S2: What a gift to one sister. That would be what? Torture for the other.
S1: I mean, the one thing they always want to be the adults. And we did give in once, like, OK, at bedtime. You’re the adults. Dad and I are going to bed. And it was like fun and funny, but it was an enormous amount of work for us because they just totally you know what? They trashed the kitchen and then eventually passed out. I mean, it was I feel like they thought that was this, like, amazing experience. It taught them zero lessons because we were like, OK, the adults, when you go to bed, take care of all this stuff. And they were like, well, we don’t you know, I feel like they would be like, OK, we’re in charge. And Teddy, one hundred percent would ask to drive the car a thousand percent because he asked every time,
S2: Djamila, why would namaz perfect yesterday at moment?
S3: B, I would probably end up playing Barbie dolls with her until my eyes bleed like there’s no limit to the amount of time that she can stay in Barbie world. In fact, when we’re deep in it, say we had a good Barbie session last night, the next morning, while we’re getting ready for school, she’s talking through like one. We’re doing recaps like Girl, can you believe teacher had that argument that was crazy. You know, like we created this argument. Naimah that was actually me. You forced me because. Seventy five percent of Barbie play is just me performing for her like an old radio show. And they’re just sitting there and like not really looking but like rap somehow. And so I think that that would be it. I think that I would become my SAG card would come in the mail by noon because I would be forced to perform Barbie Theater on an endless loop.
S4: Yeah. With my kids, like with Leo, who’s now six. It would be like I just want to eat junk food and watch TV all day. And then with Eliza who is ten, it would be I want an elaborate treasure hunt made up of customized fantasy puzzles. Like you, you have to contract with Will Shortz or some team of puzzle maker from MIT to build me a magical fairyland that ends in a tall tower with a library inside or something like that. Like there is literally no like she would not request anything that that was in any way practically achievable.
S2: Here’s the only good thing about yesterday, as far as I’m concerned as a concept, is that it clarifies for children the truth, the the glorious truth that every other day is no day.
S2: Which I find one of the most pleasurable parts of parenting. I love saying no to my children.
S3: Do you? Yes. We’re at this point where every now gets a reaction and the reaction sometimes prevents me from saying no when I ought to.
S2: You just really got to learn to enjoy their plaintive wails of protest.
S4: I just want to say, since I’m only back this one time and it’s late, plus I have to say something incredibly pretentious. So I just want to point out that that Dan’s point is very much like Buc team’s point about Carnivàle. Right. The point of Carnivàle is that there’s a day when the ordinary structures and order of society is overturned, and that only serves to reinforce the function of order and society on every other day. And so, yes, day is like a Bardini and carnival day that’s ultimately hegemonic in its intent.
S2: Or as my mom said, paraphrasing Bakhtin. Every day is Children’s Day. Daniel Mm hmm. Gabe That was everything our subscribers wanted out of this experience.
S4: I knew you. I knew I couldn’t leave them without a reference to back team.
S2: Thank you deeply for that.
S3: This is what they pay for. That’s right.
S1: Slate plus listeners, if you’ve had yesterday, we definitely want to hear about it on the Slate Parenting Facebook group. Let us know how that went. And we’re so glad that you can join us.
S4: Thanks, guys,
S1: until next time. Thanks for listening.