Oh. My. God. I know we’re all worried about teen pregnancy rates, but maybe we should be worrying about tweens, as well. A 10-year-old has given birth in Spain, according to the Associated Press. Spanish authorities say the father of the child is a minor too. Spanish press reports say the girl is actually Romanian, not Spanish, and that the girl’s mother said this kind of pregnancy is common in her country. I imagine the Romanian authorities are preparing a snippy retort.
While it’s true that Romania’s teen birth rate isn’t great – 37 per 1,000 teens – those statistics refer to girls ages 15-19, and the numbers are considerably worse in the United States: 52 per 1,000 in 2002. Frankly, it’s hard to find any tween statistics save for this U.S. figure from 2007-08 which found the rate holding steady for girls, ages 10-14, at 0.6 per 1,000. And I’m betting most of those are from 14-year-olds, not fifth graders. I find it hard to imagine that poor Romania, which just got slammed by the family of a post-partum 10-year-old, has a rate higher than that very low figure.
So, what do you think? Total fluke? Or do we need to start passing out condoms in elementary school?
Every now and then we run across weird children’s products. And sometimes it’s REALLY weird. Can we talk about the Musical Spongebob Thermometer? We sort of understand the appeal of a toothbrush that plays Hannah Montana songs to induce kids to brush long enough. But a bright yellow Spongebob thermometer that sings while it’s stuck up your child’s…? Thanks, but we’ll pass.
Seems schools across the nation have started banning Silly Bandz, the colorful little bracelets shown above. School principals say they’re a “distraction” because kids fiddle with them in class, and trade them on the playground. Um, people? It’s the end of May. They’re kids. Or is it just me? Does this strike you as ridiculous?
Sounds like someone took the notion of “Take Your Kid to Work Day” more than a tad too far. The FAA is investigating why a child directed air traffic at New York City’s main airport a couple of weeks ago. The transmission includes the youngster prepping pilots for takeoff and an adult telling the pilots, “This is what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school.”
The aircraft control tower employees involved have been pulled from their JFK traffic control desks while the FAA investigates. Gee, ya think? Somehow we’d thought unauthorized people weren’t allowed anywhere near air traffic control during takeoffs and landings at one of the planet’s largest airports… on account of the potential to cause, you know, distractions and catastrophic plane crashes and whatnot… Maybe that’s only in Bruce Willis movies…
Color us speechless. When a famous British author announced last week that 14 was a good age to have babies, we were left just spluttering. You too?
We were reading Strollerderby when we chanced upon the mention that Hilary Mantel, the Brit who won the prestigious Man Booker Prize, had told a newspaper interviewer that at age 14, she would have been ready for children. “Having sex and having babies is what young women are about, and their instincts are suppressed in the interests of society’s timetable,” Mantel told the reporter.
It gets better. And by “better,” I mean worse, of course. In its coverage of the Mantel mouth-off, the Telegraph, a British newspaper, quotes supportive comments from Dr. Claire Alexander, prof at the London School of Economics and editor of a recent research study called “Teenage Parenthood: What’s the Problem?” Teenage parenthood is a good thing, Alexander said, because it “can even provide an impetus for teenage mothers and fathers to strive to provide a better life for their children.” Um, while they’re on welfare? Because last time I checked, you can’t get a job when you’re 14 – other than, you know, babysitting.
Is it just me? Or are these people three wheels short of a baby buggy?
Yep, PlayMobil has a Security Check Point toy. But the best part are the customer reviews on Amazon… Among them:
I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas.
You’ve read about the Balloon Boy and his nutcase parents – a publicity stunt? really? really??? – till you’re blue in the face. Or apoplectic. Now it’s time to play… The Balloon Boy Game! Chase the balloon, shoot down birds and see how many taxpayer dollars you can waste. Very fun.
Unbelievable. A Michigan stay-at-home-mom was just helping a friend when she offered to watch a neighbor’s kids each morning till the school bus arrived. The bus stop was at the end of her driveway, the neighbor had to leave for work and it was no big deal – less than an hour, no money exchanged, just one mom helping another. Now Lisa Snyder is being threatened with a $1,000 state fine for running an illegal day care facility. The State Dept. of Human Services says legally, anyone who cares for other people’s kids for more than four weeks per year is running a day care facility. And some nasty neighbor must have ratted the family out. Guess it doesn’t take a village to raise a child – only to make helpful moms miserable. Your thoughts?
A new mom in North Dakota apparently went home with the wrong baby. Staffers at the Williston, ND hospital say the error was quickly caught and the mother and correct baby were soon together, but they’re trying to figure out how the mishap occurred. These cases pop up every so often and every time, I’m just flummoxed. Maybe the hospital where I gave birth was really proactive, but I kinda thought it was routine to tag the baby, tag the mother, and compare the tags over and over again, every time mother and child are separated and most certainly when they go home. Plus … they may be wrinkly and squashy, but even newborns look pretty distinctive. C’mon, confession time. Could you tell your baby apart from all the other ones in the nursery?
Well, here’s a new one for the Bad Parenting files. Quebec police just spotted a YouTube video of a family cheering on their newest young driver, a 7 year old tooling down the road in an SUV. Dad’s running the video camera from the passenger seat, mom and the sibs – a little sister, sans seat belt, and older brother – are in the back seat and young Samuel is behind the wheel. Police found the family, thanks to Dad’s extra-descriptive narration… which also urged his little gum-chewing son to look at the camera and smile. Now police are weighing traffic and criminal violations, and child endangerment charges. OK, reality check, people. How old were you when you first drove a car? And what do you think of this?