Crib notes: Does ditching the toy give fast food Jack job security?

June 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM ET

Ronald McDonald may be holding onto his job -- for now, but his competitor, Jack, has just gained himself some job security by ditching the toys in children's meals at Jack in the Box restaurants. In addition to removing the lure of cheap, plastic toys from their offerings, the chain is also introducing more nutritional options to its menu, like grilled cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread and grilled chicken strips.

Adam Mansbach's wildly popular book, "Go the F--k to Sleep" has been declared by many to be hilarious and has found an appreciative audience in parents across the country. Now it's time for the haters. One critic says the book ”exposes yuppie parents' sexlessness, self-pity, and repressed rage." The book's scathing analysis declares that hovering parents who have given up their own lives to exist solely as parental care-givers, should be the subjects of such rage-filled humor, not young children who are simply doing what kids do by manipulating bedtime routines. The author says that if the darling children featured in the book could talk, they would say, "Put on a f-ing dress. Have a f-ing drink. Stop hovering over us. Live your own g-ded life." Harsh, and some would say, not nearly as clever as the book.

Many new grandparents find today's child-rearing techniques to be something of a brave, new world. Back sleeping's in, baby walkers are out. Car seats have intricate harnessing systems unheard of when they were raising their own children. Grandparents who plan to help out with childcare duties are increasingly taking "refresher courses" to learn about the latest techniques and philosophies related to caring for young ones. It seems that while they're mainly happy to learn about reducing the risk of SIDS, they often think today's parents need a sense of perspective when it comes to the much-hyped aim of "perfection parenting."

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to toss. An annual water balloon fight at a New York high school was going well until some seniors decided to peg some school administrators, including the principal and a crossing guard with a wet bomb. High school seniors who were blamed for escalating the fight were banned from both prom and graduation, which has some calling the school administrators spoiled sports. The school district superintendent says the punishment is just and that the kids were warned of the penalties ahead of time.

Scarlet fever's back and more contagious and antibiotic-resistant than ever. Hong Kong recently reported its second death of a child in the past couple of months to the new, mutant form of the strain. It is said the deaths are part of an outbreak sweeping Hong Kong, that may have also spread to mainland China. With the year not quite half over, Hong Kong has already reported twice the number of scarlet fever cases than it usually sees annually.

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at