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Crib notes: Should government supply diapers to low-income families?

The cost of diapers is one of the first (and biggest) sticker shocks many parents face. Some families must choose between diapers and groceries, and as a result, have resorted to leaving babies in dirty diapers longer than is healthy, as a means to conserve the costly undergarments. Connecticut has declared today Diaper Need Awareness Day. The intent of the diapie day is to pressure the federal go

The cost of diapers is one of the first (and biggest) sticker shocks many parents face. Some families must choose between diapers and groceries, and as a result, have resorted to leaving babies in dirty diapers longer than is healthy, as a means to conserve the costly undergarments. Connecticut has declared today Diaper Need Awareness Day. The intent of the diapie day is to pressure the federal government to supply diapers to low-income families. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro from Connecticut introduced the "DIAPER" Act, which would amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to allow funding for diapers and diaper supplies (currently, public assistance funds can't be used to buy diapers). It has been said that the act doesn't require an increase in funds, but allows existing public assistance funds to be used for diapers as well as currently approved uses. The topic has received a fair amount of controversy as many people are objecting to additional forms of government assistance.

Continuing with today's civics lesson, is the apparently controversial topic of teachers helping high school students register to vote. One Florida teacher is facing some stiff fines after she organized a drive to help pre-register students at her school to vote. The teacher, who heads up the school's student government association, was on maternity leave last spring when a new law was enacted, which requires third parties who are registering voters to first register with the state. The law was passed to reduce voter fraud but many worry that the only result will be to discourage people from voting altogether. While many have supported the teacher and her efforts to instill a sense of political participation with teens, some have said that teachers have no business helping kids register to vote in the first place.

Mothers-in-law! The difficult, judging presence that we just can't shake. The mere term can send shudders up our spines. Except, what if it's not her? What if it's us? One woman wonders if we're merely projecting our own insecurities about our mothering skills onto our MILs. Are we just imagining that disapproving look? Or, even though their own kids are long-grown (and parents themselves), are these monsters-in-law really still just unsure about the parenting choices they made along the way? Are their comments less about us and more about them, and their attempts to justify and defend the choices they once made?

Oh boy, the Girl Scouts sure are progressive these days. First, they added all sorts of new, high-tech badges to their repertoire (and sashes), now they're letting a boy join their ranks. A seven-year-old gender variant boy has been allowed to scout with the girls. Although he has male genitalia, the young boy is increasingly identifying himself as a girl. Feeling a strong, female tendency, he wanted to scout with those he identified with, the girls. Although he was initially told no by a local leader, the state's Girl Scouts headquarters is welcoming him with open and accepting arms.

Au revoir, vegetarians. Some vegetarian and vegan groups in France are complaining that new food guidelines for school cafeterias effectively ban vegetarian diets for kids. A new law requires schools to adhere to nutritional requirements, which outline how much protein must be served and requires that "quality meat" and "quality fish" be offered on a number of days. On other days, eggs and cheese are allowed to satisfy the protein requirement. Since most schools offer only one food option per day, it almost necessitates that children on a vegetarian diet bring their lunch from home. With only 1.5 percent of the French population following a vegetarian diet, the number of students impacted will be small. Bonjour, meat!

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 http://18years2life.blogspot.com/.