Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Favorite Internet Friend,

Do people have favorite internet friends? Can an internet friend be a friend in real life? Can a real friend have the internet? Does my baby think she's related to my dog?

Let's try again.

Dear Tiger Mother,

I just read your article a few days ago, and I want you to know that I'm of two minds: on the one hand, you're a hamper full of crazy. On the other hand, I'm truly inspired.

Let me explain.

Despite the fact that the Wall Street Journal let the Tiger out of the bag several weeks ago, your bared teeth only penetrated my well-insulated consciousness last Friday. I don't even remember who brought you to my attention, but it could have just been your headline. I mean, "Why Chinese Mother Are Superior" is startling for many reasons, not least of which was my hope that you making some kind of nun pun (Mother Superior? Anyone?). You weren't. Darn.

After reading this excerpt from your memoirs, I'm left with conflicting feelings. I mean, what kind of mother uses the threat of a stuffed animal holocaust as a motivational tool? On the other hand, "teh interwebs" are full of outraged western parents expounding the evils of rude mothering and I'm not going to throw my unsolicited opinion out into that arena.

What I am going to do, is make a couple tardy New Years Resolutions:

1. I won't let HC quit voice lessons. No, I'm not going to make her sing her throat out without bathroom or dinner breaks (like you seem to advocate) but I refuse to let singing float out of HC's life like the laundry list of other extra-curriculars that have been lost to a sea of apathy. Things are getting hard in voice. So let them! Perseverance will be our rallying cry! HC, are you with me? ARE YOU WITH ME?!

2. I will not be afraid of organized activities. Exercise classes every morning? Sure! Storytime and Kindermusik once a week? Absolutely. Adult beginners gymnastics? Count me in. Making friends and falling under their influence? Give me time. I'm a work in progress.

The time has come (the walrus said...) to have expectations - for myself and for my charges. I will read difficult books. I will expect good grades. I will demand ...


what was I talking about?


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