Holidays

Correction, Pre-St. P, and Actual Daylight

Dear Kid,

Happy Today! DearKidLoveMom.comYou get an extra day. Because I “oops-ed” and said that yesterday was Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. The AIKD people were kind enough to point out that I was a day ahead of schedule. So in case (horrors!) you didn’t read about Absolutely Incredible Kids Day yesterday (when it wasn’t), you should read about it today (when it is).

I am also joyfully celebrating Pre-Saint Patrick’s Day (which I can do because apparently I have a hitherto unknown skill called Celebrating Early). Pre-Saint P’s Day means wearing a light shade of green. And drinking green tea. And thinking kind thoughts about Kermit. I know this because I just made it up.

Happy Pre St Patrick's Day! DearKidLoveMom.com

Speaking of things to celebrate joyfully (because celebrating miserably seems just wrong), I went to the gym yesterday (that’s not the part to celebrate). As I was leaving, I noticed a bright light outside. My first thought was ‘Yark! Is there a major storm I don’t know about?’ My second thought was ‘Did they change the lighting in the parking lot?’ My third thought was ‘What should we have for dinner?’

It was at that moment I realized what I was seeing—daylight. As in longer days plus Daylight Saving Time. Actual light from the heavens. I was so excited I almost rolled around on the ground like a happy puppy. DearKidLoveMom.comIt was at that moment I realized what I was seeing—daylight. As in longer days plus Daylight Saving Time. Actual light from the heavens. The angels sang (to be fair, it might have been a YouTube video). I was so excited I almost rolled around on the ground like a happy puppy. (You’ll be glad to know I restrained myself.)

I love that it stays light longer. I love that it’s still bright when I get home. It makes me feel that all is right with the world and anything is possible.

Love, Mom

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the answer is we had leftovers for dinner.

P.P.S. We think you’re incredible every day. Happy Absolutely Incredible Kids Day anyway.

 

Read More

Absolutely Incredible Kids Day (Kinda Like Most Days) #AIKD

Absolutely Incredible Kids Day (Kinda Like Most Days) #AIKD

Dear Kid,

Today is Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. Which makes no sense, because I think you’re absolutely incredible every day.

Absolutely Incredible Kids Day (or AIK, pronounced “ache” if your kids are not behaving) was created in 1997 by Camp Fire USA to (and I quote) “honor our nation’s youth by asking adults to write letters of encouragement and inspiration to the incredible kids in their lives.” Which makes absolutely no sense because I write to you every day (well, almost every day).

Although I don’t know how many of these letters are of encouragement and inspiration.

Absolutely Incredible Kids Day (Kinda Like Most Days) #AIKD DearKidLoveMom.comHaving now found out about this thing called Absolutely Incredible Kids Day (#AIKD—yes, it has a hashtag so it must be important), I immediately leapt into investigative mode (by which I mean I read one page of a website and started making things up. And by “making things up” I mean decided to state my own opinions.).

Five Reasons to Write a Letter to Your Kid

  1. No child is ever too young or too old to get a letter from someone else. Ever. #AIKD seems to be aimed at having parents write to younger children. I say everyone needs to take out a pen and jot down some love. Just because your children are no longer in single digits doesn’t mean they don’t need parental love.
  2. Kids can’t interrupt a letter. I know. You’ve tried. You’ve rolled your eyes. You’ve written back. You’ve offered guidance and commentary. You may even—although I choose not to believe it—have stopped reading partway through one of my letters. But you’ve never managed to interrupt one.
  3. Letters are longer than a text. Texts are a short-hand written conversation. Sort of. Letters take more thought, more…words. Letters can be saved and treasured. No one is ever going to take out a smudged and much read text.
  4. Letters are more formal. Not necessarily tuxedo formal. (Have you read any of my letters? It’s pretty much a tuxedo-free zone, here. No one is ever going to confuse my writing with Shakespeare or Milton.) But they are more formal, more weighty, than your average teenager’s grunt.
  5. Kids need to be reminded that they are loved and cared for. Often. Shouldn’t they already know? Probably. Possibly. But it’s important to remind them. Because it’s too easy to get caught up in the drama of the day and forget the important stuff.

We love you, kiddo. Now and always.

Love, Mom

Read More

Think You Know Everything About Pi? Think Again

Think You Know Everything About Pi? Think Again

Dear Kid,

Once again, it is Pi Day. Amazingly, it comes around every year.

Pi Day! DearKidLoveMom.comYou might think that I have already shared all there is to know about Pi (the number, not the sister person). Turns out, you’d be incorrect, my friend. Because after hours of research (and by “hours” I mean 3.14159265 seconds), I have found Wildly Interesting Information you don’t know about the number Pi.

Are you sitting down? Because this one is a stunner.

Pi had to be invented.

Not just Back In The Day when people were sitting around making up numbers (“What shall we call that thing that comes after 2 and before 4? 3? 3? Does everyone agree? 3 it is.”). Pi was invented in relatively modern times (and by “relatively modern times” I mean 1706).

Here’s what happened.

Everyone (and by “everyone” I mean relatively few people) knew that that there was a ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter and that the ratio was a constant but no one had come up with a cutesy name for it.

Meanwhile, in Wales, a math teacher named William Jones was having a bad day. He was completely out of useless ways to torment his students. So he invented Pi, and in the worst example of teaching anywhere introduced it 20 minutes before the test, making it a concept that could be approached but not reached in time for a good grade (that’s really clever which you’ll get if you re-read it several times and think mathematically).

William Jones was the first person to use a symbol to represent 22/7; Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician, may have been the first to use the symbol pi (sometime before 1783 because that’s when he died).

Pi is an irrational number. This is not the reason it is your sister’s nickname, although it is an interesting coincidence.

Love, Mom

Read More

Stuff You Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time. And Trains. And Penguins.

Stuff You Don’t Know About Daylight Saving Time. And Trains. And Penguins.

Dear Kid,

Happy the first Monday of Daylight Saving Time. This is the day it really hurts. Because for many of us, weekend time is different. A few minutes extra sleep, a couple minutes one way or the other, are not a problem, not an issue.

But today we return to real life. To obligations. To appointments. To Being On Time. And our bodies have not adjusted.

In the spring, all trains instantly become an hour behind at 2am (or sometimes an hour further behind). In this case, the engineer shrugs and keeps going. This is also called efficiency. DearKidLoveMom.comSo, being the kind of Mom I am, I’ve decided to bring you some little known factoids about DST.

If you’re involved in international business (or international friendship), beware. Different countries begin (and end) Daylight Saving Time on different days. Meaning what was a 2pm call last week is not a 2pm call this week. Consult The Google for local (here or there) time.

DST used to be even more confusing than it is now. (Now: Oh, look. My phone changed time. Guess it’s time to get up. Then: Oh, look. The headline in the newspaper says we are supposed to change our clocks. Is that now or tonight? Or last night? Or tomorrow? And which way do we change it? Spring forward and fall back? Or fall forward and I’ll catch you? Or always back? Never mind. I’ll watch the 6 o’clock news tonight and figure it out.)

Back in Ancient History (and by “ancient history” in this case I mean the 1950s and 1960s), each locality was allowed to start and end DST whenever it wanted. Which meant you could easily cross 453 time zones just driving to work. This was pretty much the textbook definition of “Arrrrgggh!” Also, it confused people. Enter the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (no, this had nothing to do with what people wore to work, just when they got there.

When we first moved to the Midwest, time in the state of Indiana was, um, different. Some parts of the year it was the same time in Indianapolis as in Cincinnati. Other times it wasn’t. This is because Indiana didn’t observe DST. Which made it hard to figure out what time to get to the airport if you decided to fly from there. They fixed this in 2006 so Hoosier time is now much more consistent with the rest of the universe.

Penguins do not worry about Daylight Savings Time because they don’t have any daylight to save when it’s winter and no reason to save it in the summer when they have daylight 24/7. Mostly they worry about lunch, not being lunch, & staying warm. DearKidLoveMom.comPenguins do not worry about things like Daylight Savings Time because they don’t have any daylight to save when it’s winter and no reason to save it in the summer when they have daylight 24/7. Mostly they worry about lunch, not being lunch, and staying warm. The research stations in Antarctica observe DST anyway so that they are synchronized with their supply stations.

This might be my favorite: In September 1999, the West Bank was on DST and Israel had just switched back to standard time. A group of terrorists on the West Bank set time bombs and smuggled them to three comrades in Israel. No one said the comrades were geniuses. The bombs went off as planned, but the comrades didn’t understand the “as planned” time, and boom! went the terrorists as the bombs exploded an hour earlier than they expected.

In a set of “what are you gonna do?” unintended consequences, Daylight Saving Time impacts trains. Trains are not allowed to leave the station before their scheduled departure time. So in the fall, all Amtrak trains that are running on time stop dead still at 2am and wait an hour (this is called efficiency). In the spring, all trains instantly become an hour behind at 2am (or sometimes an hour further behind). In this case, the engineer shrugs and keeps going. This is also called efficiency.

Daylight Saving Time can mess up important things, too. For example (this has really happened), if twins are born under the right circumstances, their birth order will be reversed. If Twin 1 is born in the fall at 1:58am and the sibling is born a few minutes later (oops, change the clock, fall back) it is earlier (perhaps 1:10am) when Twin 2 is born. Absolutely no one cares about this except A) the twins who will have their entire lives to argue about which one is older and B) inheritance lawyers in the middle ages when so much of inheritance was based on birth order.

Hope you have an easy time adjusting to the hour.

Love, Mom

Read More

Daylight Saving Time, Jewel Day, and Where Is My Coffee?

Dear Kid,

It’s Jewel Day (the gemstone kind).

Unfortunately, I can’t find anyone handing out free samples. Which is just as well because (as with so many things) it’s hard to stop with just one.

It’s also the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This is the one where we lose an hour. Which is sad. And no matter how hard you look, you won’t get it back until the fall (believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to find it). DearKidLoveMom.comIt’s also the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This is the one where we lose an hour. Which is sad. And no matter how hard you look, you won’t get it back until the fall (believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of ways to find it).

The official term is “Daylight Saving Time,” and not “Daylight Savings Time.”

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Daylight Saving Time (hard to imagine, but true). Then Benjamin Franklin (Ben was the 15th child in the family and they’d run low on names by then so he doesn’t have a middle one) was visiting Paris. He wasn’t allowed to fly kites there (lightening strikes were considered pre-existing conditions by the insurance plans) so he sat around thinking deep thoughts, subtly making fun of the French for being lazy, and wondering how he could further confound people’s biological clocks. (Life Lesson: Never deprive influential people of their kites.)

In 1784, Ben wrote an essay in which he first suggested Daylight Saving Time. Some of his French Amis were delightfully taken with the idea (they obviously missed the subtlety) so it was completely ignored.

There are (according to My Friend the Internet), several possible people who might take credit for seriously advancing (get it? advancing? Ha!) the idea of Daylight Saving Time. It might have been a bug collector. Or maybe not.

Fast forward to 1907, when William Willett of London, England, suggested that clocks be advanced 20 minutes each of four Sundays in April and set back 20 minutes each of four Sundays in September. This was such a ridiculous idea that it was seriously considered.

Countries located near the equator do not observe DST, as the daylight hours there do not vary with the seasons.

In 1916 Germany officially adopted DST to conserve coal during WWI. The British liked the idea so much they immediately adopted it.

Confusion followed. So did a bunch of great excuses for being late.

It took a while for the concept to cross the pond, and in 1918 the US launched DST as an energy-saving practice.

After WWs I and II, we ditched the idea (remember, back then there weren’t cable boxes and cell phones that automatically updated) until the 1970s when we pretty much ran out of energy. DST was officially mandated to save energy in the winter.

But get this: Daylight Saving Time only saves energy if you go outside to enjoy the extra daylight. Otherwise, we just spend money on energy for things like lighting, heating, air conditioning, and Netflix.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform DST throughout the U.S.

Also, it turns out that changing time is not good for human health. You’d think one hour wouldn’t be a big deal. You’d be wrong. It’s a big, honkin’ deal. Incidents of heart attacks, strokes, car crashes, bad test scores, grumpiness, and general illness go up when the time changes (in either direction).

(You got sick a week early. Face it, you’re a trend setter.)

Feel better and don’t forget to set all your clocks.

Love, Mom

Read More

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This I Don’t Know Where to Begin | Also International Women’s Day

Dear Kid,

In case you haven’t been paying attention (for your entire life), I feel I should mention that women have not always been treated fairly.

"Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, ...backwards and in high heels." DearKidLoveMom.comIt wasn’t too long ago that women in these here United States were considered property under the law. And women still don’t earn as much as men—even when they’re doing the Exact Same Job (only backwards and in high heels).

NOTE: You’re heard of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? They were very famous (seriously famous) movie stars Back In The Day. They sang and danced (think long gowns, top hats, ballroom, tap, and gorgeous). There is a famous quote: “Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, …backwards and in high heels.”

You may be aware that I believe women should be paid as much as men. Or more. You may be aware that I believe fabulous shoes are one of the little luxuries of life. You may even be aware that I color my hair and wear makeup. But you must know that while I think equal pay is mandatory, I do not think shoes or hair dye or mascara are requisite nor that they have any bearing on how a person does his or her job.

Not everyone agrees with me.

That in and of itself should be a clue.

As reported in USA Today (so it must be true), British receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home from work in December 2015 because her shoes were unacceptable—because they weren’t high heels. Excuse me, what?

She worked for an employment agency which had a dress code specifying that female workers “must wear non-opaque tights, have hair with no visible roots, and wear regularly reapplied makeup.”

Excuse me again, WHAT??!

No visible roots and regularly reapplied makeup? I wouldn’t last a week.

Non-opaque tights? Have you looked in a fashion magazine lately? Most people in the workforce aren’t even old enough to remember “Our L’eggs fit your legs”.

Sent home for wearing flats? She was a receptionist! Who was going to comment on her shoes?

The client she was sent home from? PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the giants in the world of accounting and auditing. PwC—a company that absolutely Should Know Better.

I can’t even cope with how wrong this is.

I get that dress codes can be appropriate (no one needs to wear short-shorts to a professional workplace). I get that super strict dress codes are appropriate in some places (like operating rooms). And I’ve heard of some dumb dress codes (really, really dumb). But never (repeat, NEVER) have I heard anything this ridiculously stupid.

So now (again, according to USA Today), Members of the British Parliament are debating a ban on mandatory workplace high heels.

There is so much wrong with that sentence I don’t even know where to start.

There has to be a debate? What’s to discuss? And in today’s world, doesn’t Parliament have better things to talk about?

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. It won’t be soon, but someday I hope we’ll celebrate International Women’s Day as a tribute to the past rather than a statement of the present.

Love, Mom

Read More

Subscribe

Can't remember to check for new posts? No prob. I'll send it to you.

Online Marketing

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

Blogarama - The Blog Directory

Blog Directory
%d bloggers like this: