Thursday, July 09, 2009


The comments to Latchkey Kid about internet use for children were very helpful. They also reminded our family of a funny story about what kids can pick up without the internet.

We go to the library weekly (Redondo Beach, Torrance, LA County). For the most part, Iris selects her own books. Recently, she found Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, Vol. 2) by Meg Cabot in the children's section and asked if she could check it out.

Why not? We enjoyed the Disney movie.

"Sure, throw it in the basket!" The YA (Young Adult) sticker on the spine would have tipped off more observant parents that Disney might have sanitized the storyline for the movie.

On the way home from the library, she asked, "What's wedlock?"

At home, she asked, "What's a hooker?"

Hmm, mommy read the book and wondered about all the things she DIDN'T ask. Does she know more than she let's on? Why didn't some of the other stuff puzzle her?

More times like this:
MPAA Rating and Parental Complacency
Where the girls are...

I also figured out why there are so many mommy bloggers with babies & toddlers and so few with older children. Older kids are able to verbalize their need for privacy.

For some time now, Iris has demanded that she has to read and approve any story involving her. She puts the cabosh on some of the best material. Today, she stipulated that she also owns the copyright to all stories that involve her.
All content copyright © 2009 iriseverythingblog. All rights reserved.

The copyright notice at the bottom of this page applies only to posts that do not involve her. Got that?

If you want to follow what she is reading, friend her on goodreads.


  1. I have been reading your last few posts about free-ranging children and I can only tell you what my policies were and are for kids who are now 21, 19, 17, and 14.

    You can go anywhere you want that you can reach with your own two feet or a bicycle. When the 3 older kids were young that wasn't too far, because we lived way out in the country. Now, we live in a small New England town and it means that the youngest can get all kinds of places. I feel very comfortable letting them wander -- it's a pretty safe world out there, no less safe than it was when I was a free-range child.

    The internet and TV were not available at all until the oldest was 15 or so. Once we had access the computer stayed in the dining room and we talked about what they were doing, reading, watching all the time.

    I think that it's part of our job as parents to let our kids know we think they're competent; and part of that is letting them have as much freedom as we can.

    Incidentally, one of the best things that happened to our kids was the 18 month period when we had no income. They knew the score -- we told them without frightening them that there was no money for anything extra right then -- and they figured out ways to earn money for the things that were important to them. Our oldest daughter started a soup and bread business that she ran for 5 years, until she went off to college last fall, and which her 2 younger sisters run now. Having to produce what you promised people every week whether you felt like it or not was a wonderful thing. Not to mention all that math and book-keeping.

    Sounds like you're doing fine with Iris. Keep it up and think about finding her a business to run. It's a good thing for a smart girl.

  2. Hilarity re: the Princess Diaries. I loved the books, but the movie was way too Disney-fied.

    I seem to recall in the movie her father was dead (and her parents had been married), and in the book her father was a prostate-cancer survivor with one testicle who dated models to try to deal with his feelings of inadequacy and who had never married her mother.

    Bloody Disney.

  3. I'm glad that you mentioned that about the dad. Now why didn't she ask me about prostate cancer and testicles? Does that mean she knows about them and what they do?

  4. Catching up on your older posts. Some anatomy education happens in a lop-sided way depending (gosh, puns galore!) on which gender you are raising. One of my sons once complained the other one got him "in the tentacles"...we gently provided the correct term. Meanwhile, my friends daughters knew about female reproductive organs at 6, but we had not yet had that part of the talk with our boys yet.

    Iris probably learned it in school health class already. Or on the playground.


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