We've all heard of the term 'bucket list,' made famous by the Nicholson/Freeman flick in which two OAPs tick some wild things off their 'to do before I die' list. But what about the term 'potty list'?
Coined by the U.K. formula and baby food company, Cow & Gate, the "potty list" comprises the "top activities all children should experience by the age of three."
To compile the list, Cow & Gate asked more than 1,000 (European) parents what they deemed to be the most important milestones toddlers accomplish in their early years.
Without further ado, this is what they came up with:
1. Make a mud pie
2. Bake a cake
3. Finger paint
4. Sing loudly in public
5. Climb a big hill
6. Pick fruit
7. Dance without any inhibitions
8. Make sandcastles on the beach
9. Be chased by a monster
10. Jump in a puddle so hard the water went in mummy's shoe too
Notice the absence of any structured or otherwise academic-sounding items, like reading, writing and arithmetic.
So parents pining to sign their kids up to umpteen activities, really you need not. The only thing you really HAVE to do in the first few years of your child's life is have fun, you know, the free kind.
For the time being at least, feel free to scratch the swimming, gymnastics, painting, karate, music, yoga, ballet, Spanish, French and any other structured class you can dream up.
The lesson here: the Mandarin and piano can wait.
How do you feel about this list? Anything you would add/delete?
Remember all the whoopla a few months back about Storm, a Toronto baby whose parents decided to keep his gender under wraps? Well, another couple managed to keep mum about their child Sasha's gender for five years. They have, just now, revealed he's a he.
Sasha was referred to simply as "The Infant" by parents Beck Laxton, 46, and partner Kieran Cooper, 44 in the hopes that its 'real' personality would shine through.
Sasha only played with so-called 'gender-neutral' toys, and wore both girls' and boys' clothes. It was only when he started primary school that the cat came out of the bag, so to speak, as his masculinity was harder to conceal.
"I wanted to avoid all that stereotyping," said Beck, a web editor. "Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid. Why would you want to slot people into boxes? Gender affects what children wear and what they can play with, and that shapes the kind of person they become."
Beck goes on to explain that in her own family gender roles were skewed with her mother being "very sporty" and her dad crying over The Wizard of Oz. Clearly she must have felt this reversal caused a degree of shame or limitation in the outside world.
The British couple was so keen to avoid harmful stereotyping, they only revealed Sasha's gender to immediate family members.
In the process, though, she became stereotyped herself, as "the loony woman who doesn't know whether her baby is a boy or a girl."
She claims as a result of her decision she and The Infant were excluded from play dates. Apparently Beck encouraged her son to play with dolls and wear flowery tops in order to hide his masculinity. So isn't that precluding his natural instinct? You have to wonder who she was doing the experiment for, Sasha or herself?
"I just want him to fulfill his potential, and I wouldn't push him in any direction. As long as he has good relationships and good friends, then nothing else matters, does it?
Is going gender neutral helpful or hurtful to a young child, assuming that he or she will eventually need to fit into a very engendered world?
Eureka for A-cuppers! Small breasts are back in fashion... Well, if hairstyles and hemlines can trend, why not brassiere sizes, too. So says British fashion guru, Simon Doonan.
“Despite the worldwide embrace of enormous knockers, I remain convinced that the pendulous pendulum will, at some point, begin to swing the other direction,” Doonan wrote on the news site Slate, conceding that the trend comes thanks in part to the risks of leaking breast implants and the recent topless scene by modestly endowed actress Rooney Mara in the U.S. version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
According to Doonan, it's not the first time small breasts were stylish. In the late 1960s icons like Twiggy, Ali McGraw and Mia Farrow were regarded as "cool and highly attractive," even with little to fill their cups.
Call it a backlash against the enormous hooters that have long been en vogue. Case in point: the BBC documentary “My Big Breasts and Me” features big-boobed women griping over back pain, unwanted attention, and feelings of self-consciousness.
Remains to be seen if this trend will prompt a lot of women to go under the knife. Big or small or somewhere in between: be happy with what you've got, yummies, and concentrate instead on keeping them healthy.
Would you alter what God gave you to follow the whims of fashion?