Crib notes

Crib notes: Banned baby names, step-families and the vagina dance

Jan. 14, 2011 at 7:58 PM ET

Pregnant and trying to decide on a name for your little bundle of joy?  Depending on what country you live in, you'll need to resist the urge to name your child "IKEA," "Anus," or "Chow Tow" (translation: Smelly Head).  Many governments keep a list of prohibited baby names.  How New Zealand greenlit Number 16 Bus Shelter but threw back Fish and Chips (for twins) is beyond us.

You put your va-jay-jay in, you put your va-jay-jay out.  You put your va-jay-jay in and you shake it all about...  No?  One teacher in Illinois allegedly taught her high school students a "Vagina Dance" set to the tune of the hokey pokey.  There are few things one can imagine high schoolers enjoying less than dancing and singing about the more intimate body parts in class, especially when set to one of the most popular preschool anthems ever heard.

Only 37 percent of Chicago Public Schools have recess. It's almost beyond comprehension that so many kids are going through a whole school day without a chance to run free for a few minutes. A group of concerned parents and educators is fighting to bring back recess but are facing bureaucratic obstacles . Is it shocking to you that so many schools don't have recess? Do the schools in your district have recess?

Colleges are increasingly offering scholarships specifically for LGBT students.  In addition to the scholarships offered directly from colleges, organizations such as the Point Foundation are offering scholarships for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students.  This is another encouraging step towards greater acceptance for the LGBT community. 

We're more Brady Bunch than Leave it to Beaver these days.  More than half of Americans under 30 years of age have at least one step relative. And 42 percent of the population as a whole does. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows there have been significant changes to the family structure in recent decades.  The good news is that 70 percent of stepfamilies reported being very satisfied with their family lives.

 Or, maybe we never were June Cleaver. Author Stephanie Coontz, who has debunked a lot of our stereotypical ideas about what constituted the typical American family, has a new book, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s, which examines the impact Betty Friedan's book has had on romantic relationships and families.  Coontz recently talked about how feminism has changed everything from our marriages to the way we parent.  Can you imagine a wife today saying a "woman needs a master-slave relationship?"  Unless, of course, she's speaking in jest at a party while indicating it's time for her husband to fetch her another drink.