A very special Mother’s Day Wonderland
This week in ground-breaking news: television is destroying our youth! It’s probably responsible for the rock-and-rolling and hip-hoppery the kids of today are enjoying.
Seriously, now. Stop your joking. A new study out of the University of Washington has concluded that most children under two watch television. In addition, 40 percent of children under three months are watching TV. (And they’re angry that they’ve missed so much of the Sopranos.) Researchers are alarmed. Alarmed! One researcher solemnly intoned, “We are in the midst of a large, national, uncontrolled experiment on the next generation.”
To all this I say: oh, feh. Yes, too much television is bad and leads to obesity and delinquency and hair loss. And excessive gas. But too much anything is bad. And hasn’t television been around for a few years, now? Didn’t we all grow up watching far too much of it? The American Academy of Pediatrics frowns on television watching for the two-and-under set, I know, I know. But it’s going to happen anyway, you frowny-faced docs. And really, it’s not the worst thing you could do. What I want to know is, what about when you have older kids? Do you ban television for everyone until the youngest is old enough that her brains can handle the scrambling?
Anyway, most preschooler parents will tell you that they wished their kid would watch more TV. Shocking, I know. But no study addresses what to do when you’re desperate for a nap, and your four-and-a-half-year-old turns off the television in order to ram Lego rocket ships into your ear. Solve that one, science!
Besides, we’ve got bigger problems than excessive television viewing. Like the fact that 1 in 4 kids suffer from inadequate healh care. This number is twice as large as previously believed, according to a report by the Children’s Health Fund. While 9 million children are uninsured, many more are underinsured or lack access to transportation, bringing the total of underserved children up to a whopping 23 million.
To close this huge gap in health coverage, child health-care advocates argue that the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, needs to be expanded. If the funding continues at its current levels, enrollment will drop to 3.5 million. Opponents to a budget increase feel that more funding means that children who were enrolled in private insurance will be switched to this public program, a “crowd-out” effect that many wish to avoid. On the other hand, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, points out, “Just because families are offered private coverage doesn’t mean they can always afford it. That’s why CHIP has to exist.” The debate will continue this summer as the reauthorization deadline approaches. So now’s the time to speak up.
Finally, as you may have heard, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day was originally created not as an excuse to buy your mom flowers (really, do we need an excuse?) but as a call to mothers everywhere d to unite for peace. Written in 1870 by poet Julia Ward Howe, the original Mother’s Day Proclamation reads as follows:
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have breasts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
Purchase an e-card through the Mother’s Day for Peace site and you’ll also contribute to No More Victims, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to aid the victims of war and advocate for peace.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.