Friday, May 02, 2008

Miley Cyrus: On The Brink

I will be away this weekend, visiting Allan at Virginia Beach. Like most family vacations, this means posts are unlikely, as I will have my hands full. Besides, I don't take my computer with me on such excursions.

However, before I go, I would just like to put in a word about Miley Cyrus. This may seem strange, but I have many beloved young girls in my life, even if they are not my own, and besides, I'm an art historian. This is a question of art and society.

I am tired of seeing the photograph derided as inappropriate, pornographic, or embarrassing.

Miley Cyrus, like it or not folks, stands on the brink of womanhood... and Annie Leibovitz caught that moment in a young lady's life beautifully, artfully, and tastefully. The photo is far less revealing- or provocative- than many of the costumes Disney is putting her in, with miniskirts, exposed mid-drifts, and plunging necklines- and backs (thankfully, none of them are like the costumes of other teen celebrities- they still maintain decorum. None of the linked photos show Miley in anything I would consider inappropriate! Though it is interesting that the footage I've seen of the costumes is far worse than any stillshot I can dig up).

If this pose is so bad, what about the one in the lap of her father? I initially mistook it for being in the lap of a boyfriend (no, I am no fan of the Cyruses and have no idea what they look like). No? And you'd be quite right- an image of a young lady being close to her father, with his strong guiding hand clasping hers, is not inappropriate, either. But it sure told you a lot about how I view teenagers and images of them, doesn't it? Something I had to rethink.

The only reason this lady has to be embarrassed is because the media is deliberately embarrassing her by broadcasting language about this photo that has no business being attached to it. Wholesome young girls CAN become strong young women, with all that womanhood entails: something Annie Leibovitz and Miley Cyrus' grandmother seemed to understand very well, and something so many of us seem to want to ignore, hide, deride, and degrade.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hands full

"What is today, Mommy?"
"Today is Thursday."
"Thursday. Today is Thursday. Today is Thursday, April..."
"May first."
"Oh! Yes! Thank you, Mommy! Very good! Today is Thursday, May first, 2008."
"Yes it is, very good job."
"It is Thursday."
"We see Daddy on Friday."
"That's right."
"On Friday, we go to the beach and see Daddy."
"That's right, my love."
"Daddy is on a trip. We will see him on Friday."
"Yes, dear. Let me help you with your clothes, hon."
"Today is Friday."
"No, today is Thursday."
"Yes, sweetie. Today is Thursday."
"We see Daddy on Friday."
"That's right- hold a still a sec."
"What is today?"
"Today is Thursday..."

My own version of "Who's On First?" I think.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chinese Restaurant

As a distraction in the "Where's Daddy?" chorus, Grandma and I took the boys to a Chinese restaurant. This is an activity recommended by one of the boys' favorite shows, Oobi. We used Oobi references to orient the boys and get them in the door.

They were SO excited. We chose a restaurant we used to go to all the time, and still order from a lot. Joey was so excited he jumped on the booth and flipped the seat! Yikes! It took us a few minutes to recover from that, then we were settled and trying to order.

The boys got paper fans and paper umbrellas and orange juices. They tried potstickers, pork, duck, and crab wontons. We got them sweet and sour chicken, so they had a kind of "chicken nuggets" to be familiar, but they were really good at at least trying all the new foods. Joey liked rice the best, but had a good bit of the broccoli and pork and the potstickers, and he liked the baby corn from our duck dish. Andy was OK with the corn, but preferred the chicken and crab wontons. Not too shabby for boys who this time last year were eating what? two dozen foods? Between them?

Another great attraction of the evening was the fancy drink Grandma and Mommy ordered- a volcano, which comes with a a real flaming volcano at the center. The boys have been very into volcanos because of the Magic School Bus (and Andy's interest in dinosaurs!), so to have one brought to the table was an adventure! The drink comes with very long straws, and Andy kept trying to sneak sips of "Grandma's juice." She gave him the fruit, and he apparently really, really liked it.

the other attraction for the evening was Joey's loose teeth. HIs new teeth are already peeping through behind his baby teeth, and now the two bottom teeth are very loose. He thinks its funny to wiggle them! I was a little freaked by the shark's teeth, but apparently that can happen. Guess we need another try at the dentist...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where's Daddy?

Allan has left for his trip, and we've already gotten peppered with "Where's Daddy?" I have the calendar up showing that we are going to go see Daddy on Friday. We have been talking about it. The real test is before us: bath time.

Allan cleverly has video chat set up, so the boys say goodnight to Daddy before going up the stairs. We get clothes off. We get the water running. We ask where Daddy is. We get into the bath. We demand bubbles. We ask where Daddy is. We scrub two heads. We scrub two bodies. We ask where Daddy is. We dry two bodies. We find pajamas. We ask where Daddy is. We find our Blankie. We put on pajamas. We ask where Daddy is. We have our story. We have a song.

I put Andy in bed. He asks where's Daddy?

I tuck Joey in. I go to get my dinner. I come back up to find Joey in my bed.

He asks where Daddy is.

I get him tucked back into his bed. I start grading. I ichat with Allan. I watch some Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett style). Here comes a boy. He mumbles something.

"Where's Daddy?"

Daddy, I do believe you are missed.