Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

First of all, a happy birthday to the board game Monopoly, which is 75 years old this year. Here is an interesting history of the game at Gather.

Dana had a round-up at Mombian on what the election results mean for LGBT rights.

This PDF on how to prevent child molestation was recently circulated at my school’s lisserve. I thought I would share since it had some eye-opening statistics like 25 percent of children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. And one in 10 men have molested a child. Yikes! The good news is the file provided by the Center for Behavioral Intervention in Beaverton, OR, also came armed with advice on how to protect your child from molestation.

Slate had an interesting map on the U.S. states with the highest percentage of smokers. The good news is no state claims 20 percent or more smokers. And overall, only 13 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes every day.

Speaking of smoking, one of my favorite digs in New England, Dunkin’ Donuts, is now serving pancake bites and sausage links as part of its breakfast menu, according to MSN. Okay, I’ll say it, yum!

In celebrity gossip break: the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys have said they will tour together in 2011, according to Gather.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


How Do You Get Going in the Morning?

Ari started school yesterday, which means I am back to hassling him to get dressed, brush his teeth, eat breakfast, etc., etc., etc..

Last school year, I would get frustrated or roll with the punches depending on my mood. Sometimes — if I was finished with morning chores early enough — I would cuddle with him, tickle him and joke with him in bed in the mornings. Other times, I would ask him at least five times to get out of bed and threaten to take away privileges like TV if he was not up immediately.

I have seen friends do various things to get their preschooler or kindergartner to do what they are supposed to in the morning like make a child-friendly check-off list with pictures. Parents magazine once suggested taking pictures of children doing chores and then posting them somewhere for them to see. I thought it was a clever idea and actually took pictures of Ari making his bed, getting dressed, brushing his teeth and eating breakfast. But I haven’t actually gotten around to printing them out and posting them in his room.

What do you do to get everyone ready and out on time?


Breakfast: Most Important Meal of the Day?

Note to my dear husband: I am right and you are wrong.

According to my quick and dirty google search, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Study after study — pick your source, WebMD, KidsHealth.org, About.com — has shown that children do indeed perform better in school, are less likely to be tardy and have less issues with their weight if they eat breakfast in the morning.

As you can tell, MotherTalkers, this is a sore spot between us. Part of this stems from the fact my husband is a night owl and I am a morning person. I wake up hungry, eating the breakfast of champions — eggs, pancakes, french toast, you name it — which I was told as a kid was “brain food.” “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” my father would tell us, “because you spend all those hours at night without eating.”

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but I was the best student in my household and the only one who sat with my father in the mornings to eat breakfast. My siblings slept in and left without eating a thing. Not surprisingly, they were asleep by C period.

My husband, on the other hand, does not have much of an appetite, especially not for breakfast. He’ll get around to eating a bowl of cereal alright — like around noon. Of course, it doesn’t help my case that, as he points out, turned out just fine without eating breakfast.

Still, his words and essays like this one in Wonder time insisting that eating breakfast “isn’t quite the make-or-break deal people say it is,” makes me want to cry — especially in the morning. I know how I feel without breakfast in the morning. I don’t know what my reaction will be the day if and when my children decide to sleep in with Papi instead.

What do you think? Does your family eat breakfast in the morning?

By the way, the Wonder time writer Ann Hodgman did say that breakfast was the “most delicious meal of the day,” and she actually serves it once a week for dinner. I loved this idea as Ari is a pancake fein and I do let him order a stack for lunch when we go to restaurants.