June 30, 2011 at 4:51 PM ET
Watch out, moms! You can now get arrested for sleeping. That's what happened to one N.Y. woman whose three-year-old son wandered out of the house in the middle of the night and was found at a hotel down the street. A bartender at the hotel noticed the small boy and called the police. The woman woke up shortly thereafter, noticed her son had gone missing and also called the police, who came to her house and arrested her. To date, there are no reports that the mom was either abusing substances or a repeat offender. Not exactly the compassionate response a sleep-deprived mom in Australia got when she drove off, forgetting her baby at home.
We wonder if reality-TV producers are working on a new concept--Extreme Gender Values: Nation Edition. While one Swedish preschool is doing everything it can to eliminate gender identity, there are now claims that some in India are actually performing sex change operations on girls as young as one year old. It is said that surgeons are creating a male penis from female sex organs and then injecting the young girls with male hormones. The state government is investigating these claims and we can only pray they turn out to be false.
Oh, what a gorgeous dress you're wearing, sweetie. You're so pretty. Some say those are the exact words you shouldn't say to girls. By complimenting them on their appearance, one woman says we're conditioning them to value beauty over brains. Instead, we should engage them in more intellectual topics that pique their interests.
Kids, be sure to finish your broccoli and your Baby Ruth before you leave the table. A new study shows that kids who eat some candy are less likely to be obese than kids who don't eat any at all. Alas, the study doesn't answer why that is. Just one more case for the old creed, everything in moderation.
Yes, teens -- chores suck. That's why they call them chores and not mind-blowing amounts of fun. No one likes to do them but everyone has to. Get over it and get to it, is the advice some parenting experts are giving. They say that by making teens help out around the house, we aren't just making them earn their keep, but are teaching them responsibility, helpfulness and an appreciation for hard work. While we should expect them to help out, we might need to relax our standards some as well. They also say that if all else fails, go on strike like you're a European.
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 www.18years2life.com.