Turns out, Toy Story's alien dolls aren't the only ones who have an unhealthy fascination with "The Claw!" A wily three-year-old in Australia climbed into one of the infamously hard-to-win machines at a restaurant recently. Once inside, his Robin Hood spirit took over and he began passing out toys to a crowd of children gathered in front of the machine. Then, he sat down inside and began to snack on lollipops for a while, which is where his mom found him after he'd been in there for about 10 minutes. He was finally convinced to crawl back out (with some motherly assistance) after he was promised a toy once he was on the outside again. Hardly traumatized by his experience, the nimble tyke wanted to go back for a second round to scoop up some more lollipops. He is undoubtedly considered a hero by any kid who's sunk money into one of those machines, only to walk away disappointed.
Teacher sprays student with Febreeze.
The smell of fish -- it'll linger in the kitchen (or on a kid's clothes) for-freaking-ever. One little boy in Canada went home for lunch and when he returned to school that day, the smell of his fish lunch went with him. His classmates teased him and his teacher eventually made him sit out the first period. Then, she Febreezed him. His mother calls the incident a case of bullying and says the teacher should have called her to pick him up or at least to bring him clean clothes. The school district is now investigating and the boy's teacher has been put on leave. Do you think spritzing the kid with Febreeze was harmful, or was the teacher just trying to protect him from bullying by making him smell a bit better (while also keeping the air in her classroom fresh)?
Is pureed baby food a slippery (messy) slope to obesity?
Pureed baby food -- it makes a big mess after little ones inevitably smear it all over themselves and the smell of it often makes parents gag. Another downside is that it could also be making babies fat as they grow up. A new study shows that babies who weaned straight to finger foods (and skipped the pureed stuff) were less likely to be overweight as they got older. Meanwhile, those who dined on mashed carrots and whirred peas were more likely to develop a sweet tooth. One thought is that by self-feeding from the get-go, babies have control over how much food goes into their mouths. They are able to determine whether or not they're hungry, rather than an anxious parent who wants to make sure they're eating enough and who may inadvertently wind up over-feeding them as a result.
Mom, can I have a sleepover?
Sleepovers often mean a first taste of independence, a night of watching movies and talking late into the night. While kids love and beg for them, parents often dread them. From the grogginess that both parents and kids suffer from as a result, to the more unusual problems like finding a roomful of girls with new self-styled haircuts, they can be a parent's worst nightmare (assuming the parent actually gets to sleep, that is). Some experts say that sleepovers provide kids with a big block of time where they can just "goof around," an experience that kids today aren't getting enough of. Sleepovers provide some good news for the nostalgic parents amongst us, as they don't seem to have changed much over the years. Girls still watch Grease, dance and talk until late. Boys play hard and eat a lot in the morning. Do you offer to host sleepovers at your house? Do you let your kids attend them at other people's houses?
Parents take over school projects.
Has your kid ever had a school project that you were just itching to get your hands on? Maybe you were just so tempted to jump in and take over the assignment that you practically had to restrain yourself? We know we shouldn't, we know it should be all about the kids and what they can do on their own, but sometimes it's just so hard to sit back. One mom confessed that every ounce of her wanted to take over her son's project to celebrate the 100th day of school. Another admits that she made the paper mache Arc de Triomphe for her kid's French class. Some think teachers shouldn't be rewarding the kids whose parents obviously did all the work for them. For a travel brochure assignment, all the kids colored their brochures, except for the dad who owned a printing shop. He produced a professional, offset brochure for his kid, who was the only one in class to get an A on the assignment. The list goes on. Did you ever take over one of your kid's school projects, a diorama or poster perhaps? If so, were you happy with the grade you got?
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.