You Will Have Fun and You Will Like It Edition

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S1: The following podcast contains explicit language.

S2: Welcome to Mom and dad are fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, November 12, the you will have fun and you will like it edition and Jamilah Lemieux, a writer contributor to Slate’s competing parenting column, host of Slate’s The Kids Are Asleep and Mom to Nyima, who is seven.

S3: And we live in Los Angeles, California.

S2: I’m Elizabeth New. Can’t I write the Homeschool and Family Travel Blog? Dutch Dutch Goose. I’m the mom to Three Littles, Henry who’s eight, Oliver who’s six, and Teddy, who is four. And I’m located in Navarre, Florida.

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S4: Hamdan case. I’m a writer for Slate and the author of the book How to Be a Family. I’m the dad of Laura, who’s 100, and Harper, who’s also one hundred. I’m also one hundred.

S3: We all live in Arlington, Virginia, where every week I hesitate at the age thing because time is no longer and that is no longer a seven year old.

S5: So I can empathize with you all being one hundred because that means the name is at least eighty.

S3: Today on the show, we’ve got a question about finding the proper time to celebrate a pregnancy after a long and painful road to conception. When is it OK to get excited about the baby’s arrival without feeling like you’re jinxing something? We also have a question from a family that realized during lockdown that they don’t actually know how to have a good time with one another.

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S2: And as always, we’ve got triumphs and failures and recommendations. Let’s start with you, Elizabeth. Do you have a triumph or a fail for us this week? I am dying to hear what you have to say. This week I have a fail.

S6: So we fled Florida for the mountains of Tennessee in a tiny house which like legitimately one of those tiny houses you see on TV, they have like this community of them where they’re like spaced in the woods. And apparently nobody goes there during the week because it was basically just us and our tiny house. And you can do a bunch of hiking. And we just thought it would be a nice way to kind of get away. And Jeff took leave and we all just went up there and that part was great. I know the Faile actually does not relate to all of us staying in a teeny tiny house. They had all these like bunk beds moved. And actually for me it was great because everybody had their own bed and their own space as opposed to what happens in our house, which is that everybody wants to sleep, is close to me as possible at all times. So that was nice. But we decided to like do all these shorter hikes, so like two miles or under to have time for the kids, you know, so they could do the hikes. And then we knew we’d be either back at the house or back at the car, like to tag up. So one morning we woke up and we got to our first hike and we’re probably like five minutes down the trail. And Henry spots something and we’re all looking at it. And all of a sudden I feel just like wet and warm down my leg and I turn and Oliver is peeing, but instead of paying off the trail, he’s peeing over the trail, which in order for me to look at what Henry, I have stepped into his his peeing all over my pants. So that was not great. But I was like, OK, I’m not going to sink this. Like, I’m already the weak link on the hiking, like I like it, but I like it the least of the family. So I’m like, OK, this is fine. So we continue our hike, everything’s great. We see this beautiful waterfall. We hike back, we get in the car, drive, you know, ten minutes or so to to the next one. And Teddy is kind of sleepy. And so I’m like, OK, well, I’ll put him in the carrier. So I loved him up into the rear kid carrier and Jeff like walks off to do, I don’t know, check the map or something. And I’m getting all the kids out and once again warm feeling down my back.

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S7: And I might have I look at Henry and I said, was I just thrown up on. And he’s like, yeah, I like you got me getting me. So now I’m trying to take this kid off who has who has just like, thrown up all over my back inexplicitly because he actually immediately demands from me, Snax, like I’m hungry.

S2: Yeah. You lost. Yes. So I electrolytes. Clean him up. Clean myself up. I did not have spare spare everything. No spare parts for me. So now am I peed on thrown up pants. But I’m like oh we’re ok. So I’ve cleaned off with all the baby wipes there with a very nice like maintenance man who let me use like the spicket. So to clean, clean everything up. Great. We get on the trail, things are going great. Teddy, at this point now is like running. He’s having the time of his life. We like have this thing where we award someone like the best hiker and we get down to the waterfall, we go under the waterfall and we’re like, Teddy, you’re the best hiker. He immediately is stung by a bee in his eye and it’s like screaming like in his eyelid. And then as he’s coming, like, towards me because he can’t see now he trips over this boulder, runs directly to my jeans. And yes, the mom trifecta blood, blood all over the jeans because he has scraped up his hands. So on my beautiful trip, I hit the mom trifecta of being peed on.

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S8: On the bottom and blood on. Oh, my God.

S2: You know what they all said it was an amazing day. It was just me around the campfire that night being like, well, those jeans are gone.

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S9: Is there a National Lampoon’s Hiking Trip?

S7: Yeah. The thing is this Teddy is running towards me.

S2: Jeff tries to, like, intercept him, but he wants not, you know, Dad, forget that. I need those jeans. No, you want to blame it on mom for sure. Yeah.

S1: You know, it’s amazing, amazing story. I couldn’t be happier.

S2: I would watch a sitcom of your life and I think this often that’s not real. That’s right. Totally. I lived it. It was so real.

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S1: My favorite one is the peeing, I think, because the idea that there was a line of fire and you stepped into it, right?

S2: Yeah, that’s the best. Right into it.

S5: Right. I think that’s.

S2: The blood is just well, I mean, that was coming once I had the other two, I thought someone’s going to bleed on me.

S4: I assume you actually had gotten shat on.

S5: So I guess that would have been the other way. Yes, that’s what I was afraid of. Yeah. I was like, oh, my God, what else is left? What else? I didn’t think of blood. I was like, did he then?

S7: You know, yeah. It definitely could have gone in different ways.

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S6: This is the good news is the rest of the trip when Oliver needed to use the bathroom on the trail, he would say, we pay off the trail.

S7: Good lesson.

S8: Yes, we balf off. Mommy just.

S2: I sat on mom’s back.

S5: I was like, wait, is this just all extreme boy stuff? But I’m like, no, I forgot we had a relatively recent incident. Well, as with that is something else. Congratulations. You win no matter what happens next. You win then.

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S1: Yeah, that’s a fail for the record books. And I can’t compete with that really. Luckily, it’s not a competition. I also have a fail this week. My fail is that despite the best efforts of everyone, Laura and me and her mom, we are somehow raising a truant. So we’re still doing remote school, the way the schedule works here in Arlington, Virginia, is that the kids have Synchronoss days on Tuesday through Friday. But Monday is an asynchronous day async, they call it, where the kids just like catch up on work and and the teachers, I think more to the point, catch up on assignments and do their staff meetings and stuff like that for reasons that are not 100 percent clear to me, but which seem to have something to do with the fact that there’s a state mandated number of days of school per year. Every Monday. The kids have to check in at one point during the day for what’s called the Patriot period, so that the school, I suppose, can get credit for teaching them for a day. So it gets credit as a day of school. So it’s like a 20 minute nothing class where you check in and the teacher, just some days they don’t do anything. Sometimes they play a game. Some days they watch videos about drugs or whatever, and it’s bullshit. But whatever we tell her to do it because you’re supposed to do it. And she does it because she’s actually quite a goody goody despite her her shit talking and rampant socialism. So every day she checks in at noon, every Monday and every Monday night, Ali and I get simultaneous phone calls, texts and emails from the automated Arlington attendance system saying that your daughter has an unexcused absence today. Please call the office of blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So every day she goes but doesn’t get credit for it. So currently the system has her missing 20, basically 20 percent of the days of school so far this year.

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S7: That’s my girl. That’s right. I would imagine territory.

S5: I say my senior year, I was 17 percent. She’s been up higher.

S1: No, she is. She’s put numbers on the boards. It’s true. But I guess she’s going to be chairman. I want her to really earn the benefits of it and like, you know, get to go to the mall or something. But instead, she’s just sitting in this stupid patriae period and still being told she’s not there. So part of the fail is that she is that we just can’t figure out how to navigate the system, apparently. And then part of the philosophy is that I can’t bring myself to care. I just can’t bring myself to give a shit about this baloney school attendance thing that is only for purposes of paperwork and effects and nothing. So I haven’t managed to get it together to call the school to protest my my daughter’s multiple on.

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S2: So, you know, when you get the initial call, though. No, because it’s like 9:00 p.m. on Monday with no one to call. It’s just the computer she has. She mentioned it to her Patriot period.

S8: Proctor Yeah.

S2: All right, great question, maybe I’ll ask her and then may like, hey, I’m never here, so can I just not be here?

S1: If you’re not here eventually, I guess I’ll deal with it. I guess maybe like right after Child Protective Services was going to say when CPS say they’ll be dealt with when when they call your house. Yeah. I mean, really great. If a human called my house that I could talk to instead of the automated voice mail that arrives simultaneous with the text, which arrives simultaneously, the email with our allies and my phone’s blowing up at 9:00 p.m. on Mondays.

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S5: Also, there have been that many absences and a human hasn’t reached out. That’s pretty unfortunate like that. They’re not actually checked. Like they’re happy to put this as a, you know, a red mark on her record, but they’re not checking to make sure that everything’s OK or it’s that it’s happening to everyone.

S1: Everyone everyone is marked absent from patriae, period. So they’ve just given up.

S5: Yeah, well, so we’re also that is called Patriot period.

S1: Yeah. That’s you know, we live in Arlington, Virginia. Virginia is real big on its colonial past. Yeah. All right. Yamila trying for Faile for you this week.

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S10: I also have a veil I’d have like a few to pick from at this point. Now that I’m not I’m used to doing the year and I’m like, oh, how many things have I done wrong this week that can quickly recount? I also went for a hike. This was actually last weekend and I was really excited about it. This was like a hike. I did have unproper hiking shoes, which is very good. I was with a group of other women, were one of my sister friends birthdays, and she said, you know, we’ll do champagne and little, you know, light bites and hike. And I was like, cool. I agonized over clothes, but I did OK, except for I wore shorts that kind of like our little wedgie ish. But I’m like, you know, these girls are kind of plan like this could go either way. Like we could be looking at all designer cutesie hiking outfits or they could be straight up true Angelenos and like, look like they just, you know, their outfit came together from the glint in the corner of the room. Right. Because L.A. people have like two settings, like either super fancy puts together or like unwashed yoga pants and a rip tank top.

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S5: Right. Like and it could be a five thousand dollar tank top or could be a five or it could be a five dollar one. As long as it looks like a five dollar one. I’m a cool. OK, so I was in charge of bringing dessert so it’s a birthday so I’m like OK she said cupcakes. So I think I have to bring the cupcakes. Right. Look, I didn’t ask like you already have cupcakes, so no problem. I always like whenever I have to bring food for things, I always go overboard.

S10: Like my biggest fear is to like be responsible for people eating and like people not having enough to eat. Like, am I the only one who does this? I always overspend. I always do too much. You know, I this is a group of all black women and I’m like, I know how picky we are, just women in general. Like, we’re picky about Bogues. All of us have food issues and let you know what I mean. Like, I just want to make sure everyone has an abundance of options, whatever it’s like, OK, I’ll get some cupcakes. And I got a couple of, like, cake slices from this kind of Bujji grocery store and some cookies. And I was like, oh, and I’ll bring another I have some lemon cello’s like, oh, you know, I’ll just bring that to top off, like the champagne, you know, in my mind, like there’s like a picnic area or something. So like somewhere like downhill, if you will, like like down here is where we eat and like we have this moment perhaps after the hike. So like we’re leaving our stuff in the car and then we’re coming down and we’re going to have like a little picnic moment, you know. You know, because a lot of these green spaces are very boring to me. You know, I haven’t spent a lot of time in this part of the country, so I have no real context for, like, what we’re going on. I I drove through, like, the Manhattan Beach area, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m like, I don’t want to be driving through, I don’t know, mountain just looking things like I don’t look at the map when I’m told where to go in California. I need to work on that. I just like follow the GPS like I know. I just look at the general area.

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S1: It’s just a series of delightful surprises.

S7: This there is a delightful surprises.

S10: So again, I still equate my part of the reason that I was so antsy hiking for my first year here, because I think I talk about this on the show before when I pictured hiking, I was thinking of mountain climbing.

S1: I did attach a bunch of ropes to you and pull you out.

S10: Yeah, like my image was just like like the climbing part I wish, which has evolved like we did end up having to use our hands for certain, you know, like especially those of us who were less experienced, like, you know, you may have to use your hands to kind of navigate the area, but it’s not literally like you’re not climbing. Right. You’re walking around. And so I’m like, OK, so this food moment happens before or after. I didn’t realize it was a during. And so I had a cooler like it’s a little soft black like color. It’s a big pink and green thing, most of the girls and the girls.

S5: But birthday was our my sorority sisters, all star sorority sister Kamala Harris. I will be reminding you of that frequently. But so I have this, like, big ass cooler with like a liquor bottle and food. And I have like another bag with a blanket. So like and so people were kind enough to help. But I didn’t realize that I ever has a backpack. That’s one thing that everyone has for hiking that I use traditional very seriously think of it. Yeah. It’s a classic classic backpacker move. Oh, and like, I wore a backpack for like six years, like me or a backpack, my whole academic career. And so it was like, cool where messenger back. But like there was a period of my life in which I was a very much a backpack hip hopper and wore a backpack going like I wasn’t going to school. I also carried a purse because I was still high form. But like, I carried a backpack because I was so committed to hip hop that I had to have a backpack. Now, as somebody who obsesses over being have been appropriate and having all of the things right like that is the thing I must have the things if I’m going to be at this thing and, you know, like I have to have my things, I come hiking with a big ass cooler. And stuff, and I walked up the trail looking like a bag lady, but now I know that when I go now I get to buy a backpack.

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S1: Right. I was going to say, surely this makes you more excited about hiking, because now you understand that part of the fun of it is gear. Yes, I am the real you know, they make hoola backpacks cooler you can wear on your back and put your limoncello in, as I could have a straw.

S5: Just say yes, drinking, drinking mimosas.

S1: That’s the overlap between that hiker and Jets fan. Is the straw coming from your backpack to your lips?

S5: I also have a trial that would have been a triumph if anyone had been interested that I had multiple marijuanas with me, but nobody asked for any. And so I just kind of thought that the faint smell of an army when I showed up also a little bit late because I got lost. Everyone had to wait for me. And then I come out the car with like, you know, but I smoke because I was getting anxious about being lost. And I was like, OK, you stop and look at the map and smoke real quick. And so anyway, I’m sure it’s great for them to have to wait for me and me pulling up, smelling like weed. But I also thought that if somebody wanted some, they would ask, but nobody asked for any of my wheat.

S4: I kind of can’t believe that. Like, why are you hiking up a mountain if you don’t want to smoke at the top?

S5: I don’t even understand. Well, we didn’t get to the top of a mountain. It was like it was by a beach or a nearby Manhattan beach. It wasn’t on that one. Yes, it was very high skills, a real hike. I was like, oh, shit like that. To those of us who are at least a little bit less experienced, had to like there was a learning curve where it was fine. It wasn’t like we didn’t slow the group down that much. But it’s still like, OK, here’s what you do. Like, you know, lean this way.

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S1: And I’m very glad you have this experience to me. I do want to tell you, though, about the old hiker’s adage that it’s not truly a real hike unless you are peed on, barfed on and bled on.

S11: I’m so sure that if any children had been allowed to attend this hike that all of those things would have happened. Yeah, good fails everyone. Love three failed. They failed.

S5: Three failed. Yes. Before we move on to hopefully letters that don’t end in failure for our beloved listeners, let’s do some business in Slate. Plus, this week we will be competing to see who has allowed their kids who watch the worst show. Here’s a quick sneak peek of what you’ll hear if you have Slate.

S6: Plus, so not appropriate, but most recently, all of her got to view most of the documentary class action.

S7: Cark with me now. Never go to sleep. That’s awesome. That’s what I’m talking. Yes. He was, like, so quiet and then he was like, is that right?

S5: We’ll also if you haven’t watched my little Slate live show, the kids are asleep. You’re really missing out. We stream on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 p.m. Pacific. And that is tonight. And I’ll be talking with Courtney Taylor of Chase Away Diabetes. We’ll have links to Slate’s YouTube and Facebook pages and our show notes, or you can check them out at Slate dot com backslash live. Keep up with all Slate’s parenting content by signing up for Slate’s parenting newsletter. It’s the best place to be notified about everything, including mom and dad are fighting. The kids are asleep. Ask a teacher care and feeding and so much more. Plus, it’s a fun, very personal email from Dan each week right in your inbox. So sign up at Slate dot com backslash parenting email. Looking for even more parenting advice. Join our parenting group on Facebook. It’s super active. I’m a super lurker, but it’s super active and we also moderate it so it doesn’t get too out of control. Just search for Slate parenting on Facebook right now. Let’s get to our first listener question, which is being read, as always, by the lovely Shasha Lanard.

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S12: Dear mom and Dad, after a long and painful road, my sister is expecting her first child. She’s now well into her second trimester, but hasn’t started telling people made all the easier because of working from home and social distancing. But because of covid, the normal opportunities to celebrate, such as having a baby shower, also aren’t possible. I don’t want to add to her anxiety, but nor do I want to seem like I’m avoiding celebrating or being excited for her. As more celebrities share personal stories of pregnancy loss and fertility struggles, it feels like this social taboo is changing. But I don’t want to inadvertently push her to be more public than she’s comfortable with about her experience. Should I wait to buy her baby gifts or start talking about her future life with her child until she does? What is an appropriate way to celebrate a pregnancy for someone who has experienced pregnancy loss or is highly anxious about this time in their life?

S13: Oh, this is a very relevant question for a good number of folks in my life and certainly something that’s been all over the news lately.

S14: And I really want to hear what you two have to say about this. So I just have a very short answer that I would like you guys to respond to. The easiest answer to this question is to ask right, to ask your sister whom you care about. How much do you want to be celebrating this pregnancy at this point in your life? Was the best way for me to talk about this with you. But you may feel letter writer nervous about even making that kind of overture. You know, you don’t go into detail about how long and difficult this road was, but it seems like that getting pregnant was really hard. The one reassurance I would like to give you. Is that, as you say in this letter, she hasn’t started telling people about this pregnancy yet, but what you don’t have to say is that she has told you she chose you to tell about this news. You were the person or a person in her life that she was comfortable sharing this information with me. That says to me that it’s likely that you’re a person, that she is excited about sharing this upcoming event with, about sharing the joy with and sharing her fears and anxiety and concerns with. But at the very least, you have, I think. A space of comfort to start talking through these questions with her, because you’re the one she chose to share this information with, but what do you think, Dan?

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S15: I agree with you that I I felt like it was an interesting framing of the question because there’s nothing about being excited for someone. Like, to me, celebrating and being excited are two totally different things. And I think each person is different from each pregnancy was different, like in terms of how I felt in terms of ready to share that information, who I wanted to share that information with. But I think that because she has come to you, you definitely can have these conversations and tell her, you know, you’re excited and that you’re also here for her. But I think it’s I also think it’s OK to ask, like, you know, when you’re ready to celebrate this. I would love to help you do that. And even if that is after baby arrives, if that is a month from now, whenever that is, I’m here for you and I would love to do something for you because I love you and I love this baby. I think all of that is appropriate. There is no level of support that I think is inappropriate to a new mom. What is inappropriate is like outing this person like it is not your information to share. And no matter how much you think that celebrating it is important, that’s not for you to decide. So I think the big thing is just keeping those lines of communication open, being just super excited about whatever she is sharing with you. I know. Like for me, it we it took us a long time to get pregnant with Henry. And so I had the same like didn’t want to jinx it feelings, but I had these people around me who were like, we’re just so excited for you. And when you’re ready, we’re here for you to be excited and to do the things and to go shopping for baby stuff or to look online. But until then, like, we’re just happy to help you get through the first trimester by being really good friends and being there for you. If you just want to, like, hang out at the house and watch a movie because you’re not feeling good or you just like want to be left alone and we can bring you food so that that’s something you don’t have to worry about for your spouse, like things like that. I think there are lots of ways to show that you are excited and to celebrate without it being this big thing that your sister’s uncomfortable with. Jamila, what do you think?

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S5: I agree. And I love what you said then about just remember, like she shared this with you. So whether it’s a matter of I just have to tell somebody because I can’t keep this to myself or just between myself and my partner, she has one. Or if you’re the person she was excited to tell first or the person who she tells everything to, like she shared this information with you for a reason. That’s something to treasure. Hopefully, I’d say when you have that conversation, you know, I agree. Yes. Ask and and acknowledged. You know, it doesn’t have to be that you’re coming in with the long speech. You know, you don’t have to belabor it or make things, you know, more excruciating than they have to be. But just say, you know, knowing that this has been a difficult process for you, I I really want to take the lead from you in terms of how we talk about this. You know, I want you to know that you can talk to me and I’m here for you every step of the way, and you can share as little or as much as you’d want to. If that’s something that you’re comfortable receiving, because I don’t know your own story and what your own relationship to the idea of having a child would be, but it sounds like you’re, you know, thoroughly committed to being in this process with your sister, but, you know, affirming that you’re there, acknowledging why, you know, this is a difficult thing to share and that you understand that and that you don’t want to add to the anxiety. But you also hope that your lack of excitement or sending, you know, you know, doing things that people might do when they’re excited that the new baby is coming to the family that like. If your excitement or your enthusiasm is not palpable, it’s not because you’re not enthusiastic, it’s because you want to respect your sisters, you know, process and what she’s feeling. Also, in addition to what Elizabeth was saying about like, hey, you know, we can cook dinner for you. I can rub your feet like I can. What can I do for you to be supportive? Also, if there are things that you can take off of her plate that may feel a little scary because of what it took to get to pregnancy, like making a baby registry. Right. And there are a lot of people that are superstitious, you know, even if they haven’t had a hard time getting pregnant or any, you know, reason to think that something might go wrong. Like, I did not buy baby clothes until the very, very end because my I had this fear that I would be buying clothes for a baby that would not come, you know, that something would happen. And I would have this dress, you know, I’d have this out. And the last thing I wanted to do was to have clothes for baby that I wasn’t having. And that very well could be something that your sister has experienced, a time in which they thought there was going to be a baby. And there was not saying I can create a registry. You know, if there’s some things that you need research, you know, if you don’t feel like thinking about strollers and cribs and, you know, if I can take some of that off of your plate, I’m happy to do it. Just making yourself as much of a resource and an ally and a listening ear as you can be. And, you know, I think that even if you don’t feel super comfortable having a pointed conversation about it, just continue to take her lead. And I think that she is going to show you how she wants to celebrate and reveal and process this pregnancy.

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S14: Those are all really good points, both of you. I’m particularly struck by Elizabeth’s delineation between sharing excitement and celebrating. And the letter writer uses those two terms a little bit interchangeably in the letter. And I think I do, too, just in casual conversation. But it’s a useful delineation to think about in terms of how you can relate to your sister. I think at a base level, your sister sharing this information with you gives you permission to share excitement with her privately write and texts and phone calls and emails. It can be measured excitement and you don’t want to go crazy with it and start sending her one hundred, you know, onesies. But I do think just sharing the fact that you are excited personally with her is not at all off limits and should be encouraged. It’s the celebrating that is the thing that I think requires the next level of conversation and permission and a sense right at celebrating through Facebook or through doing other public things or throwing starting to plan the baby shower, whether over Zuma in person after the baby is born or whatever. And keeping in mind that most people, when they’re pregnant do want some combination of those two things from the people that are close to them. They want some combination of the personal connection, the personal excitement about the baby itself. And they want often some kind of public acknowledgement or or celebration of this incredible thing that is happening to them that is gratifying to many people when they are pregnant. And so think of those as two different paths that you can follow during this pregnancy. And one of them is the path that I think you’ve started to be given permission to follow already by your sister sharing this with you. And the other is the path that requires something a lot more measured because it’s something that will be a lot more even more painful if you do it wrong. I agree.

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S15: I think that part about being excited and being there for them is so important because there are also people that hate being pregnant. I have a friend that hated being pregnant, and I to her was just the person that she could, you know, bitch about it, too, and made it to be like, yeah, that’s terrible. Even though I loved being pregnant. Like, I think the more you can be there, like you don’t know if that’s not part of this too. Like maybe she there are just so many things that go into feelings around being pregnant. It could also be that she waited all this time to get pregnant and now, like, the process of being pregnant is not that great. And so if you can just be there to to hear that and still be like, I’m still excited for you, and that that is really terrible and it does really suck. And I’m sorry. And how can be like that? This is where you can really step in and say, what can I take off your plate? And I love the idea of doing the baby things like if that’s not your thing, if someone to step in to do that, I think would be such a wonderful gift, you know?

S14: Yeah, that’s great.

S13: Definitely. That would be a good time to do some reading about what pregnancy is like for people who have struggled to get pregnant. And, you know, because that may provide some insight for you and how to be supportive of your sister and some of the things that you want to say, you know, and and avoid saying. And so there’s not that you want to. Buy a book and then position yourself as an expert and say, well, what you need to do is this, but it may help you find some tools to be supportive. Remind your sister you’re doing great. It’s OK. Like if she hates being pregnant after a long road to pregnancy, she may feel guilty about hating being pregnant or she may think something’s wrong with her and that everyone loves it.

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S5: And it’s like, no, it’s totally fine for this to suck. Like a lot of people do not like it. I was not a tremendous fan of it myself. It’s a foreign invasion in your body that is literally sucking your nutrients and feasting off of you to stay alive. Like it’s totally fine to be uncomfortable physically and for that to make you feel uncomfortable otherwise. So be a cheerleader, be a listening ear and be a shopper if asked. Just, you know, be in tune with what your sister wants from you. Good luck to you all. A letter writer. Congratulations in advance on the sweet little bundle of joy. Please keep us posted. Hey, fellow listeners, if you have a question for us, send an email mom and dad at Slate dot com or you can post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group.

S11: All right. Onto our second listener question, which is being read once again by the wonderful Shasha Leonhard.

S12: One of the things the pandemic has brought to light is that our family just doesn’t know how to have fun together. We’re queer parents with a seven year old and we can have fun in twos, but not the three of us together. The kiddo is averse to doing new things. A lot of the things he enjoys, my spouse does not. And I’m out of ideas for how we can all hang out. We have had some luck going out to aquariums, zoos or science museums, but only once or twice before my spouse opts out. And that hasn’t been an option the last several months. Because of the pandemic, my spouse is willing to try something different, but I’ll have to orchestrate it. What can we do? We spent a lot of time in our respective corners in the house or doing things in a pair, I always imagined we’d be a family that would do puzzles, play games, go hiking or bike riding together. And no more than two of us will do any of those things. We can’t even agree on a movie or TV show to watch together. Someone is always opting out.

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S11: Hmm. I have thoughts. What about you, Elizabeth, our queen of fun and activity?

S7: What do you mean opting out? What do you mean opting out? What the fuck do you mean opting out? Exactly. The route of this from opting out of forced family fun. That’s what makes it fun. You know that someone is suffering and sometimes it’s you and sometimes it’s your spouse and sometimes it’s your kiddo.

S8: OK, anyway.

S7: I think there are two options here. First, this is just how your family operates and that’s perfectly OK.

S6: And you have an expectation management problem that you believe that families look like X, which is everyone out having a great time together. And you fundamentally believe that all of those people are having a great time doing that activity and therefore you should have that, too. You can just be OK with the reality that in your family you do things in groups of two and sometimes that’s you and your partner, sometimes that you and your kids, sometimes that your kiddo and your partner. And that is OK. That is an OK way to be a family and perfectly acceptable. I think the other option is that you get over it and you hang out together and you say, we want to be a family that does things together, we are going to do things together. And sometimes you it’s not going to be your choice of activity, but you do it because the other people in your life are having fun and being with them is fun because now we are a family of five. Like that is the reality for someone most of the time. Like there are very few things that all five of us think like this is the best thing ever. But there is just the expectation that, like, we are doing this as a family and if you are the odd person out, you won’t be the odd person out next time, like you’ll be the person who got to choose the activity or whatever. And sometimes you go and especially as an adult, you go in. You’re just like watching my husband have fun with my children is enough for me to be like, OK, this was a couple hours well spent. I think one of the things you can do is limit the activity time, like don’t make this a full weekend bonanza, just have it be a couple of hours and then allow everyone to have their own time doing things. That seems to me really manageable to say. Like, you just have to spend a couple of hours doing this thing that you don’t absolutely love and maybe you’ll grow to love it or find something fun in it. What we do here is that we have a little jar with Popsicle sticks and everybody gets to add activities to the popsicle sticks. We call it the boredom jar and we shake it up and we draw one. Jeff and I do cheat and take out anything that is just like a terrible idea from the children.

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S7: But other than that, we don’t give us an example of a terrible idea.

S4: You recently for the boredom.

S2: Yeah, well, they add a lot of like go to get the following five treats on the same page. You know, like today we will go get ice cream, followed by snow cones, followed by a stop at the donut shop. And so those are like vetoed. They’ve added something we’ve all gone to do once and decided was a terrible idea. But yes, I mean, you know, I will try anything.

S9: I first of all, I have this vision, Elizabeth, of one of your kids writing like Go Geo Caching at the strip club again.

S7: You guys just taking I’ll be like, nope, sorry, kid. Yeah, let’s pee, vomit and lead our mom down that one. No good.

S9: One thing that we’ve tried very hard to get our kids to understand over many years, something that is is sort of a foundational truth of our family. Is that part of being a family, part of loving people is that you do things with them that you don’t always love the most because they love them, because they love doing those things. And in exchange, they do things with you that maybe they don’t love the most because you love doing them. The trade offs are worth it now. It’s very hard to get children to understand that concept right. It basically flies against everything we understand about cognition and childhood brain development as our kids become older is that are teenagers now. It’s getting easier to make that case. And they, you know, they acknowledge it and recognize it. One thing it shouldn’t be hard to do is it shouldn’t be hard to get an adult. To understand this concept. It should not be hard to get your partner to understand this concept. And so I agree with Elizabeth. The one possibility here is that you’re just this family that just does things in twos and maybe that’s the way it is. But I do get a lot of, like, big red sirens off this letter and think that. Base level, your partner just needs to like and step it up like no parent on earth can just say they don’t like going to the zoo or playing games with their kids.

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S4: Tough shit. Just go to the zoo and play games with your kids, whether you like it or not. No one fucking likes Candyland, but you play Candyland.

S9: And so, you know, I would like you to gently and kindly remind your spouse that this is part of the shit you sign up for when you are a parent. If it helps have the spouse listen to this podcast and watch their while the blood drain from their faces, they hear how we judge them. And I would urge you as well to not think of it necessarily as your job to quote unquote orchestrate it, to find things that your partner might like. It is your partner’s job in this relationship. If they’re not into the shit that you’re coming up with, if you like to find things that they like, that they want to do with the family and to make those things happen, like it can’t just be one person’s job to try and create all the moments of family togetherness the other person has to step up to, even if family togetherness isn’t the most important thing in the world to them, because family togetherness clearly is an important thing to you and they love you and should be paying attention to that. Jamila, what do you think?

S11: I absolutely think you should get your spouse listening to this podcast because we have dropped so many gems over at least the time that I’ve been here. That would have been helpful. I will show my co-host. You all will actually help me up with this on the Facebook page. This is some sort of I don’t know what artwork platform my daughter used to make, a collage of pictures of Bel Biv Devoe Y in 2020. Is my child making a Belbeisi vocalised because I introduced her to New Edition and she became obsessed with them. Why did I encourage and allow this? Because there was something that I liked. Then my daughter took a big shining in because I and I, like all parents, must have not only suffered through the candy lands and the zoo trips, but I also have found things that I’m passionate about that I enjoy doing and I have integrated them into my child’s life successfully. We found common ground. There are things that she’s into that don’t drive me crazy. She might be a little bit more into them than I am because I don’t think that I made a bit of a collage at seven years old when it probably would have made a lot more sense for somebody at seven years old to be making Beilby to vocalizes. But we found our stuff that we can do together. And I also, as geggie as I as I’m being, is robbing. And certainly the reaction to acting out is so sweet. How you position it is I tell you, see the seven year old being like, no, it’s cool, I don’t want to do that. But you know and I know and Daniele’s Elizabeth knows and the producers know and everybody knows that is your spouse who’s like, this isn’t my thing. And that’s why it’s become an issue, because you have a full adult who seems to think that the rest of the parents at the God Damn Space Museum are having the time of their lives and that they’re there because they want to be there. Right. This is the thing that a lot of us have to learn the hard way. And I’ll admit, my daughter called me out like she would put something on the table. And if it was something that I wasn’t into at all, oftentimes I would say that sounds like a dad’s house thing. And it wasn’t just that these are things that were not mine. Some things it was just like, nope, I’m not fucking with it. And other things was literally, you know, like they’re into X, Y, Z. This makes sense for their interests. Like you, everyone will have a better experience if this is a dad’s house thing because it’s natural the same way, you know, like there have been things that she’s done, you know, movies she’s watch over. There are places she’s gone with them. We’re like, oh, we can do that. You know, like that would have been great for us to do. I wish you’d you know, I wish I had done that with her first. Right. But I thought I was being helpful at times. But at other times I realized that maybe there were things that I thought were dad’s house things because I thought they were into it because they were sucking it up better than I was, you know, that they I was like, oh, wait, no, nobody likes this.

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S7: They’re just doing it.

S6: I like your example of like making the collage and introducing you music or something, because it also seems from this letter like the idea of hanging out is like this big outing or this big bang that someone has to orchestrate or arrange. And I was thinking like, well, what did you and your partner do before you had the kid?

S2: Whatever that is, there is a version. Well, with limited means you can do with your child. Yeah. Yeah, with limits. If you guys like to cook together, like there’s cooking that you can do with your kid. If you guys like to eat whatever it is, you can find something crafting, building, like there are things of that nature that don’t take a huge investment. And, you know, the letter says, like my seven year old is adverse to new things like, I don’t know, my seven year old is also adverse to new things.

S6: I feel like that is built into seven year old boys like do not want to be moved. And to move them takes a lot of energy. But once you get going, things go really well. And also, Dan, how to like success a few weeks back about like adding ice cream to any trip. And I think that definitely applies here. Add something like that. That is an incentive like, oh, and by the way, at the end of this, we plan to go do or get X, which we all like, because it is a sweet treat at a place that also offers beer. Right.

S4: Like what I was going to say that works on spouse.

S11: That’s who needs it. So you might have to offer up that thing. You’re like, I don’t know this.

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S7: Yes.

S6: Like we do a lot of brewery things because like for the most part they have outdoor seating. There’s like beer. There’s usually stuff for the kids to do or space for them to run around. It feels like, well, this is a this is a win for all of us and we can karpoff our highclere. So I think there’s stuff like that that isn’t a huge investment, but that everyone can kind of find common ground even if it’s in like we like to go to this place where the three of us do our own different things, but we do them together in a new place like that.

S11: That’s also a family outing and maybe a little, you know, that that bribery with your spouse, there may have to be an after party, you know what I mean? Like the yeah. The things that you’re offering them may not be. And I don’t necessarily only mean, you know, bedroom stuff. It could be I’ll make breakfast in bed or, you know, you can sleep in a little, you know, I know how much you hate, hate, hate this particular thing, but this is the thing that the kid wants to do. If you suck it up, go try your best to have a good time. You know, I’ll cook dinner for the next three days or, you know, I’ll bring home a bottle of your favorite whiskey, something, you know, and not to the point where you’re constantly bribing an adult to be a good parent, but just enough to, you know, show that there’s something like acknowledge the knowledge that you understand this is not their favorite thing.

S6: So how can we as a family, like, make this more tolerable? Yes, I think we all agree that, like step one is that this partner needs to to suck it up and find out what is the thing that they like.

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S11: Like you can’t just expect children to just be fun for you. Like, oh, well, we tried. Unfortunately, this kid is into Dungeons and Dragons, zoos and art. And none of those are my things. So I don’t know, you know. And then you said things happen in pairs. I’m curious to know, I guess, what I love what you said, Elizabeth, about us thinking that a family is supposed to function, you know, like it is not typically the three of us having a good time, then something’s wrong as a two person household, you know that I wouldn’t have thought about it all. And I certainly, you know, on some level, still kind of chasing that right like that. When somebody else comes in, it’s going to be all of us. Right. Like, we’re just going to do family stuff. You know, the only way that that works to say that, like, hey, we’re not always a three person unit. We’re more often than not a two person unit. That’s fine as long as all possible combinations of those partnerships are formed on a regular basis, which means it’s not just, oh, I hope I hope it’s not just my spouse and I are great together. Me and the kid are great together. What about the kid and the spouse and what is it that they like to do together that they don’t like doing with you? Because it seems that you would be will I get the impression you’d be willing to do their stuff? So I’m hoping that they are finding time together and maybe it’s like, yeah, they’ve had time together. They don’t do anything. They just talk, you know, and perhaps that’s sufficient, you know, like that’s good. But like, I just hope that they actually do have time together. So sorry to end on such a cynical note, but I think that’s a big concern. And if that is not the case, that’s something else that needs to be addressed because you have to also work very, very well in pairs. That’s incredibly important. You all are not just the family when there’s the three of you and the two of them need to be just as comfortable, just as happy, just as, you know, good together as you are with your pair, your two pairs. So good luck to you, letter writer. Please keep us posted. I hope that wasn’t too bad that you come back.

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S4: I surely this letter writer the whole time I was like, finally fucking thank. Odd, someone told me I’m right.

S7: Yes, like we were very kind. Yeah, you’re right.

S11: You’re doing everything you’re supposed to do. This letter writer does something. You are awesome. You’re willing to do like you don’t like puzzles. You don’t like like, you know, you probably don’t even like hiking or bike rides. You just wanted to be a family. I appreciate you, letter writer. Your heart is in the right place. Thank you for your question. And hey, fellow listeners, if you want us to rip your family to shreds for an international audience, please send in your question or conundrum to mom and dad at Slate Dotcom. Before we get out of here, let’s do recommendation’s starting with you. Dan, what do you have for us this week?

S4: I’m recommending a comic for middle schooler to early high schoolers that just came out by cartoonist named Mike Cerrado. It’s called Flamer.

S9: And it’s a very sweet and just slightly intense and I think pleasing to middle schoolers way story about a young Eagle Scout struggling with his love of scouting, but also the way that the organization and the people in his troupe are not always accepting of his nature.

S4: He’s a closeted young gay kid. He’s trying to figure himself out. And it’s a really interesting book about being passionate about something, but also understanding that you’re an outsider and you’re struggling to fit in very elegantly drawn, very striking use of color. I like the book a lot. Once again, it’s called Flamer by My Cerrado, and I would definitely recommend it for any ambitious middle school or early high school reader, especially one who’s interested in LGBTQ issues.

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S11: Very nice. Sounds like an excellent read. I’d like to read that myself. What do you have for us, Elizabeth?

S2: Ironically, I am going to recommend a pair of pants. We’re not the ones I was wearing, but I wish I had been. I have this amazing pair of leggings made by belt.

S6: They make belts that you wear when you’re running, but they have built a pair of leggings with the belt actually built in and they are perfect, if you like me, are heading out and don’t want to like have a purse with you because there is a little strap to attach your key and zip it up and a pocket for your phone. It’s like a little it’s just like the running belt, but it’s built into these black leggings or leggings are incredibly comfortable and I think they are sort of like the ultimate mom pants because with three kids, like if we’re at the park, I don’t always have time to, like, have my bag and all my stuff.

S2: And this way I can have, like, my keys and my they would not Djamila, they would not have held your cupcakes. But what about how tight are they fit? They have a bunch of different like high low waist fat mindset, like they feel like running pants, like running leg, kind of like athletic ones, but they’re perfect for like park or light hiking or any of allocute with like a tank over them. And I think given how like soft and smooth and silky they are, the P may have just like run off as opposed OK, into the jeans I was wearing, but I was not wearing these when the aforementioned trifecta happened, so I can’t guarantee that, but that I’m really loving the flip out pants for just like bombing and exercising. But I mostly wear them just for mommy.

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S11: That is something that I would like to purchase. I’m sorry. Every time I think about I don’t know, it’s like I’m having a dissociative moment. It’s just like I think the right. And now that I know they were jeans, I’m like I wear I’m looking at my jeans, I’m looking at, you know, that I very rarely wear. And part of the reason I don’t wear jeans because they’re so impractical, like you spill something on jeans and it’s like they’re part of your outfit. It’s just it’s just that I there. Yes, it was just it was disgusting. Oh, my God. OK, so I think that we will all be getting a pair of those pants because they sound like lifesavers. So I am recommending a store that is based in my hometown of Chicago and they’re fully online. It’s called Kitto. They sell books and clothes and they’ve got a house clothing brand that’s super cute. And they make lots of shirts that have positive affirmative messages, oftentimes featuring kids of color. And it’s creepy because like when I opened Instagram to just to show you how deep The Matrix is, I opened Instagram to get the you out their website, which is Kitto Kaido, Chicago Dotcom, one of the founders, and it’s owned by a couple, Doug and Kiwa Kiwa. I went to my high school, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, where Michelle Obama also went. That’s something that I like to mention whenever my high school comes up. But when I open Instagram to confirm the URL for the website to share with you all, they were the first thing that popped up. Like I didn’t have to scroll or search. It was literally a three hour old post from them. So Zuck is in your head. Guy’s like, yeah, if you don’t know, that’s kind of creepy. But they’ve got a very. New Kamala Harris, the first but not the last series of shirts that they just dropped today, so please support them. Very great shirts, lots of books and toys, small family owned business kiddos, Chicago, dotcom.

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S14: That recommendation reminds me that friend of the podcast, Mike Birbiglia, posted on Twitter a couple of days ago, a call for people to respond with great local or small businesses that deliver. So he asked his followers to just send him the names and handles of businesses that they really love that they’ve been shopping at. And it’s actually just a great like going through the thread that resulted. He posted it on November 9th is just like a great like list of small businesses like Kitto that just like do interesting stuff and that are all, I’m sure, struggling like crazy right now. And if you are looking for fun things to buy for a little retail therapy and you want to support some non Amazon places, it’s a great place to check out. And Kitto sounds awesome. I’ll check it out.

S6: Absolutely. Yeah, I was just down there. They have like all my favorite toy brands. So anyone looking to do their Christmas shopping head over there?

S11: Yes. And now’s the time to do your Christmas shopping.

S4: Yeah, but you’re right that everyone who runs a small business is basically begging people do your holiday shopping now. Yeah.

S11: Because it’s really hard to get stuff and stock up and to get stuff shipped to you right now is difficult, even if they have it in stock. Things have slowed down quite a bit. So you want to make sure you’ve got your small business goodies on time and that you’re not taking your angst out at the president and his abuse of the US Postal Service on somebody who’s selling bath bombs and shea butter, because I promise you that it was not her fault with that. Thank you so much. This has been a fun episode. Just as a reminder, if you would like to have one of your parenting conundrums thoughtfully considered by the experts at mom and dad are fighting, please. Shame on you. Please send an email now. Please do it. I dare you send an email to Mom and dad. It’s like Dotcom are posted to the Slate Facebook group. Just search for slate parenting. Also, if you haven’t already, what are you waiting for? Please subscribe to Mom and Dad are fighting on your personal podcast app of choice. It helps us out tremendously and it makes sure that you won’t miss an episode. And while you’re there, write a review, it helps people find this show. I’m going to admit now that I’m subscribed on Spotify, it’s so cool to see my name pop up.

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S4: That’s very exciting that you finally subscribe to our podcast.

S11: Well, I mean, I’ve been subscribed for a while, but I wasn’t like using Spotify to listen to it. Now that I do it on Spotify, I subscribe on a platform that I don’t actually use, but it was subscribed to be subscribe. Leave us a comment and put Djamila his name and my name every day because it feeds my growing ego now that I’m the vice president, because all black lives are vice president and I hear voices just surging, whether they.

S3: That’s all for us this week. Thank you so much for listening. Mom and Dad are fighting is produced by Rosemarie Bellson for Elisabeth New campaign. Danquah, I’m Vice President Jamilah Lemieux.

S13: Hail to the Chief Little Slate, plus listeners, our favorite listeners of them all. Thank you so, so much for joining us and for supporting us.

S5: Of course, last week we talked about letting kids watch The Simpsons, the appropriateness of which has been debated literally my entire life that led us to reflect on one some of the other possibly inappropriate shows that we allow our children to watch and to the difference between shows that are inappropriate in terms of age or maturity level and shows that are just really terrible. Just this week, one of our Slate parenting community members posted on our Facebook page an article about the show Coco Ellen, which is said to be inoffensive, apparently, but it has this unsettling animation.

S9: Did you watch any of COCOM Ellen Djamila?

S4: I have not seen Tocumwal in thirty seconds of it on Netflix, and it was like a nightmare from hell broadcast directly.

S2: And I pulled it up too. But it was like moths to the flame for the little kids. We ended up watching this like shooting video in which I was horrified by the like nubs that our hands and the kids were saying like circles at the end of the whole thing was unsettling with the photons, all while the music is like, do you know when cell phones first started playing music? And so like those, the little like dings would try to make music the the music behind the kids singing like maybe you just seen this before.

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S4: Yeah, no, this is apparently burning up the Netflix charts. It’s like been in the top ten at Netflix for like hundreds of days.

S13: No, I’ve seen that. Yes. No, I’ve absolutely seen that show before and it’s got awful. All new animation is awful. All of the shows that are made for kids right now are terrible and creepy and weird. But before we talk about the awfulness of shows that just suck for sex sake, I’m curious to hear what are the shows that you know darn well your kids or not old enough to be watching and you let them watch it anyway? I’ve shared mine before, but of course, in the past it was the Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland Show trifecta that helped me when I was a baby and I just needed a break from Kids Shows and Disney Jr. and like it was animation and she would be quiet and she’d give me a little piece and I thought I’d cut this off long before she was like verbal and like, you know, talk back about it. And so it was one day. Well, the two things that made me realize I couldn’t do this anymore, really. There were three one when she wanted to you know, we were doing an imaginative play and she said, OK, you be the alien and I’ll be whoever. I also as many years as I’ve watched these shows, I cannot remember the character’s name. But she wanted to play American dad, which was a bad sign. And then to, of course, the time that we watched her Midway Airport and she saw a bunch of American flags and she said, look, it’s the American dad flag. And then the third strike was when her father insisted I didn’t let her watch the shows anymore. But then the next one would be the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which I’m so guilty. Like that’s my EMA’s Schitt’s Creek. That’s where she’d like that. Those characters are family. To her, Titus is like a constant fixture, like things remind her of Kimmy Schmidt. We talked about how she has the Legends of Grandma Legs book that was actually published. And like she if you just say, like, you know, what do you want to watch on, in fact, watching anything, she’ll just turn it on. You just pick a random episode like we’ve seen them all five hundred times.

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S5: And as awful as it is, I’m like her hit. Her humor is going to be so sophisticated compared to other seven year olds. They’re still laughing at fart jokes like she gets sarcasm and snark.

S13: So it was worth it. What about you guys?

S4: Obviously, I’ve never shown my children anything inappropriate for them, he says. Just after the night where they watch the fourth different episode of Crazy Ex-girlfriend to feature something about period sex. But I want to actually recall something from my own childhood, which was, you know, back in the days of yore when there were only four networks and we watched everything in black and white and our log cabins in the frontier. You know, kids would just watch whatever the fuck was on. And so I have very vivid memories of being 10 and watching moonlighting with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis show that it’s not that it’s inappropriate in the sense of like being risque, really. I mean, nothing was really that risque on network television in those days, but it’s just that it couldn’t possibly have made any sense to me at all. Like nothing about moonlighting is pitched to a ten year old. And so the idea of me just like popping myself down with my parents to watch an hour of moonlighting once a week on ABC is completely bananas. But I just did it and I must have gotten less than five percent of the jokes.

S9: But clearly, it’s what made me the sophisticated gentleman I am today to answer your concerns to me. Elizabeth, what about you?

S2: OK, so in general, we really like our kids. Don’t watch a ton of TV. There’s some TV. But the the key to getting to watch things that you otherwise not would be daddy is away working. It has been a long day at home and you refuse to go to bed, which now means, OK, come sit and watch whatever mommy has regardless of appropriateness.

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S6: So the this is mostly all of her, but all of the children have gotten a sampling of, of course, things like, like tons of trash, TV, Real Housewives, things like that, which is so not appropriate. But most recently, all of her got to view most of the documentary class action.

S7: Cark with me now. Never go away. That’s awesome. That’s what I’m talking. Yes. He was, like, so quiet. And then he was like, is that right? Feel any good? I was like, yes, I think too. He’s sort of on to it.

S6: He also watched most of the fire festival documentary. He’s watched a lot of Schitt’s Creek as well because he tends to be up. And I was watching all of that when Jeff was going through that, the deployment that didn’t happen, all the training for that. I was watching that. So he was gone and I was up watching and Oliver a sudden watch most of it with me. But I feel that Djamila like you, that will only add to his budding personality that that although he is he is my quiet one, he is in many ways now wise beyond his years for having watched some of the fight about honestly, I just finished Schitt’s Creek, which is just devastating.

S13: Like, I can’t believe it’s over. I haven’t watched the documentary yet because I’m like, I need to save something. I’m going to have to start again, obviously.

S2: And I was thinking like, do I let Nyima watch just like standard for things that she’s saying. I’m like, there’s not a lot of sex or violence like she made. It’s actually. I think that’s actually a great show for yeah, yeah, if she can get through, I mean, for a five year old, but yeah, I mean, it’s in general, it’s like a nice family.

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S13: And I know a lot of lessons are learned and it’s very funny. So in terms of shows that just absolutely suck, I want to say. And so we don’t watch a ton of TV either, which makes it, I think perhaps even worse, that like I’ve curated our television time, that could be used to just like let her watch the best of what’s available in children’s programming that I’m like, no. Oh, well, let’s watch some adult stuff. But in terms of just shows for kids that just suck, I’ll say personally, I have not allowed for them.

S5: Like, I just I had the cocoa melons, like, there’s something like there’s a you know, there are a lot of you tubers and, you know, folks that make these short form videos and I am a really likes that I hate. And she often times does get to watch them on the television and partially like, that’s the easiest way for me to, like, see and hear, you know, like whereas if she’s on a small screen, you know, it’s easier for me to not, like, catch everything. And I want to make sure she’s not watching anything inappropriate. So I’ll allow for some of that there. But like the Coco melons and the kids like that, I will be like, I can’t. No, it’s just I can’t do that one.

S13: Are there any shows that you’ve been like, this sucks. Too bad you’re not going to be this kid. I refuse. I’m throwing down the gauntlet on this. Or rather, I’m just putting my foot down and I can’t watch it. Or do you just give in if it’s like, not inappropriate?

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S2: Oh, no.

S6: I try to really, like, curate what children’s TV we’re watching to see if I can tolerate even we have like a TV in the van. And so when we’re driving they watch. But even that I like DVDs, that we get most of our DVDs from like thrift stores or places like that, I conveniently lose scratch or break in half DVD’s of things that I can’t tolerate any more. But recently there is a show on Disney called Time to Fly with tots in which animal babies are delivered by a fleet of stork’s to their parents. And there is a flamingo and a penguin, and they often get confused about where to deliver their baby.

S2: Yes, it it has so many problems that I want. It’s just terrible, too. I like what is happening like these. This is this is not where babies come from. This is incredibly confusing. It it. Yeah. So that’s like a hard pass. Any time they want to watch that I say, oh like they see it on the Disney thing and I’m like, oh man, buffering, buffering.

S4: But your mom says it’s buffering. How.

S7: Well what can we do?

S16: I want you all to cast your mind back to a time. Before YouTube, almost before YouTube, before YouTube was a part of your life, YouTube was was launched in February of 2005. Lyor was born in April of 2005. So for the first couple of years of liar’s life, YouTube wasn’t really a part of our understanding at all. It’s very possible we had never visited or used it. And streaming TV wasn’t a thing really. We you know, we had our 10000 cable channels, but there was nothing for babies. But luckily we had relatives who mailed us DVDs of the mid 2000s version of Coco Melon, Baby Einstein, the Baby Einstein, were these awful videos that were just like shots of babies doing things and then shapes. And then there would be like a tinkly piano version, actually piano, but actually like midi keyboard, same as the the cell phone sounds that Elizabeth was describing before, a little mini keyboard versions of of Mozart sonatas and stuff. I felt my brain melting into goo, but sometimes we just needed to like take a fucking shower and we need a liar to be entertained. Or sometimes we’d be like, I don’t know, maybe she’s learning something from from listening to Mozart. And on this video, eventually science showed that Baby Einstein videos had little to no educational effect whatsoever. And several years after that, following the threat of a lawsuit, Disney just offered everyone who’d ever bought any Baby Einstein product a refund, you could just send them a letter saying, I bought seven Baby Einstein products and they just mail you a check. So happily, eventually, Baby Einstein was not a part of our lives. We moved beyond it by the time we got to Harpur, who, like all younger children, just watch the things that her older sister watched and never got to make any traces of her own. I would also just note that there is a special place in hell for the YouTube videos that are just people playing ROBLOX and talking about it for like seventy eight minutes, which our kids spent years just watching happily every minute that they are opening.

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S2: Were you ever into the opening thing.

S16: Oh yeah. Yeah.

S6: No, luckily Henry went saying I can’t. That was a guy like Google.

S7: I was worried it was some kind of like entry into something going how could you be watching this?

S13: How could this possibly, you know, porn? Because I’m like, all those kids have blown up from it. I’ve always told her how mediocre they are. And like, you could have done this if you had to focus. You know, if only I bought you something to open. Right. This would be your house. You’d be the one paying the bills around here, making the rules. If only I’d stuck a camera in your face and made you perform. Think of how wealthy we could be spending. Sure. Let’s watch these other kids get wealthy for doing nothing. So I tried to make her feel like the time was spent watching those videos would be better served. Making those videos hasn’t quite worked out yet, even though I do have like a very long name. I made a YouTube tutorial that she just recorded on my phone for no reason. She’s going to do her makeup, but she decides to record every stage of it. So like, she’s brushing her teeth like a first impression.

S4: It’s a really nice first step is you have to prime your team. The you are working on your face.

S7: I think there’s a market for that. Like you could fill it as educators.

S13: I’m going to buy a content creator kit and just do it. Like, why not leave? Because kids today don’t have things to like. I don’t know, maybe this is a by byproduct of the baby Einsteins run off on the next generation of kids. I’m not sure. But like kids don’t have imaginary friends anyway. They have imaginary YouTube channels. It’s like, hey, guys, so today I leave my child. Hey, guys, to an audience of knowing, well, this is what I have to say. Like the older Nyima gets, like this sense of relief that like the television, like eventually will just be watching the same stuff, like all the time, you know, there won’t be as much of a delineation. I mean, she’ll have her taste and I’ll have mine. But like, you know, the way things are going now, the way that she took on to the Golden Girls and Living Single makes me think they were going to have a lot of fun years of me just fine. Yeah. We’re gonna have a lot of fun years in television watching in front of us. Thank you so much. Again, Slate plus listeners. And please share. Make me feel better. I let my child watch the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Certainly there’s some other wildly inappropriate show, perhaps one that has a song called Pinot Noir that is a ode to black men’s penises. Literally. That’s how the song was described by Titus Andromedan. Who sings it then? My child at one point would just burst into song Peine. Well, I mean, even though there’s no, like, raunchy lyrics to it, it’s still lesser. Yes, and it’s all I bought some Pinot Noir once and she said by that. So I see my. Like my body, because of you, I did not buy it with you in mind, if that makes sense.

S17: That’s our show. Lister’s, thank you so much for another episode of Jamila’s Crazy Confessionals, where I share all the things that could be used against me in a court of law someday. Thank you for your support of Slate. Plus, thank you for your support of my daughter fighting and we will talk to you again next week.