Netflix for Books?

I’ve seen many ads on Pinterest for Epic! children’s book subscription, a digital download service tailored to young bookworms. They tout that kids receive personalized selections based on previously read books, and the more they read, the better the recommendations get. You have to have some kind of digital device (phone, computer, tablet), and it’s $8 a month with your first month free. However…

WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING LIBRARY?! IT’S FREE!

Part of the enjoyment of going to the library is looking through stacks of books and finding something different every time. You might get into a pirate phase, which morphs into explorers, then into the history of Greenland (did you know it’s not that green?). Or you read books that are cat themed until you see a book about dinosaurs and wow, is that cooler than ever! This “personalized” service only goes down a path of interest and reading level, but leaves no room for expanded ideas. If your kid loves reading, encourage them to try all kinds of books. I’ve worked with kids who hated reading until we found the right subject for them, and they finally wanted to become better readers.

I realize for some people it might be tough getting to a local library, but if your child goes to school they probably have one there. You can ask their teacher about borrowing a book they love from the classroom, or organize a book swap with other parents, the school, even your community. Buying a digital book only gets kids more hooked onto the already addictive tech teat, but whatever works for your family is up to you. No judgments, but I personally love flipping the pages of a real book.

Un-bow-lievable

One of the most exciting parts of having a baby is picking out all the cute little outfits (even ones that seem ridiculously fancy), and isn’t that what it’s really all about? So of course, when you find out you’re having a girl, that is amplified by 400%. It’s simple to see why, just take a look at any kids clothing section : it’s 75% girls stuff. Throughout your life, it will always be a bajillion options for women’s clothes while guys get just enough choices to pick the same outfit for their entire life.

A lot of people talk about toxic masculinity, but what about toxic femininity? Boys will not just be boys anymore, while girls can and should do anything. As our world changes, we talk about raising our boys and girls right, breaking gender stereotypes, giving our kids equal opportunities to do and be whatever they want. And then I see something like this: a baby bow subscription service.

Now I know that looking a certain way doesn’t dictate your personality. Just because you want to wear a tutu and tiara doesn’t mean you can’t climb trees and play in the mud. Wearing your favorite team jersey doesn’t mean you can’t bake cookies or play with dolls. But it irks me when people have to assert that their baby is a girl. I dress my little girl in mostly boys clothes (just as cute, fits for longer, more color choices) and have had people call her a boy when complimenting her. When that happens, I don’t bother correcting them. But it happens when she’s wearing a yellow baseball shirt, or a gray and blue onesie. Why is she assumed to be a boy just because she isn’t wearing pink?

People can chose to dress their kids however they want, of course. Nobody should dictate how you want yourself or your kids to look. But is this extreme girliness worth $30 a month? Why not put that money into a savings account instead, or put it towards a family vacation fund? Almost anything else would be more worth while than a gender identifier.

SNOOze, You lose

Of the many things to worry about with new babies, sleep is always at the top of the list. So if you heard about an amazing product that would not only make it easier to get your baby to sleep but also gives you a beautiful restful night, you’d want this shit ASAP. No matter the cost, right? Is $1,160 worth it?

The SNOO Smart Sleeper was developed by Dr. David Karp (the guy who came up with the 5 S’s for baby sleep), beautifully designed, and made with lots of useful bits (transition mode to ready baby for a real crib, alerts if they need something). But… is it all really worth it? What if you have a colicky baby? What about the connection you get from cradling your precious baby while it falls asleep? The battle scars of bags under your eyes? Drinking 13 cups of coffee to be awake enough to barely function? That shit is worth it!

When you