CYL's Profile

Display Name: CYL
Member Since: 8/1/07

Latest Comments...

Charming idea. I don't want to be cynical, I really don't. I read Monocle! I have a doctorate! Also kids! Live in NYC! But gosh, it's so self-consciously retro (the font!) and SO BROOKLYN. Hard not to think it looks like a parody of itself, right out of The Onion, really. I want to live in, what's it called...? Right... Kindling. To gather and to burn. I want to live in Kindling's world. I live more in duraflame log at Food Emporium's world, which is a step above lighter fluid dumped on charcoal's world. But one can dream. Good luck Kindling.

Modern Fatherhood: A Talk with Kindling Quarterly Creator David Michael Perez
3/8/13 07:35 PM

I travel internationally for work a lot and always have schlepped my family along - since my eldest was two months old. My children have flown from NYC to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich -- the list goes on -- all sans screentime. Long taxi rides to the airport, long wait times at gates, long flights, long connections... They have books, legos, snacks, window views, their parents, other children or passengars who initiate interactions, and their imaginations. I actually loaded up my ipad with apps on our most recent trip, thinking that surely if everyone else does it.. But no situation ever called for electronic distraction -- two 8+hr flights (one overnight, one morning/afternoon) and a five hour mid-day train ride. Perhaps it would be harder if we did provide access to screens but that which they do not know to request, does not get requested. I think there are some really fantatic education apps out there and I think my children would grow up just fine if that was a tool in our arsenal we employed during "boring" times in our family life. Just fine. We just never used it in the past, and now that they are older (two and a half and four) they seem to have developed their own arsenal. I'll say this: who knows if it is nurture or nature (probably both) but they are both very verbal, very outgoing children. They kind of 'make their own apps' out of their environment. Yesterday we took a two hour bus ride from NYC to the Jersey shore. We got to Port Authority an hour early to get a front seat on the bus (best views). I distracted them with a 'pretzel party' and the two year old strolled around, offering pretzels to the other people waiting in line. Teenagers popped out ear phones and put away *their* iphones to interact with him, mocking high manners, taking a single pretzel out of his bag, asking him his name, his age. On the bus, my four year old called out things he say: track excavators, backhoes, tanker trucks.. His voice was loud and clear and someone shhhhed him, but the bus driver said in a stong voice, "Shhh youself! My helper needs to speak up so I can hear him over the engine!" Then he asked my son what we were about to drive over. "A trestle brige," he replied, his eyes glowing with the idea that he was the bus driver's helper. These are the moments that for me, define the very essense of childhood: the long slow letting go as our children learn to navigate their world without us. Being able to witness that earned independence, in vignettes like this one with the bus driver, represent the privilege of parenthood.

Kid-Friendly Tablet Games For Roadtrips and Quiet Time Tablet App Recommendations
9/8/12 10:00 AM

Bravo @threebeans! Us too. When parents visit our home for a playdate, they say it feels like "camping" -- especially when we have a roaring fire and the kids are busy building "spaceships" with their magna tiles. Throw in a little '60 jazz on the record player and it's an unbeatable aesthetic for domestic bliss. For us, it's the perfect counterpoint to living in the middle of Manhattan. I don't envisage tech entering our lives till they have to research things for school, in oh 5 or 6 years time. Till then, it's 24/7 camping. :)

Setting Limits on Children's Tech Time
2/1/12 06:25 AM

I can endorse "A Pocket Full of Cricket" (Rebecca Caudill). I can't think of another picture book which makes such sophisticated use of pacing in the narrative. In the eve of his very first day of school, Jay, a farm boy, takes his time driving home the family cows, noticing the impression of a fern on a rock, the sweetness and sourness of two apples from the same tree, the way dirt squishes between his bare toes. He brings home and nurtures cricket and decides, last minute, to bring cricket to his first day of school. The way the teacher handles having a chirping cricket in her classroom is among the most tense/dramatic and moving scenes I've ever read in a picture book. The last page makes me cry every time.

10 Books Found Between the Cushions of Grandma's Sofa
Recommendations from Jay Bushara of

12/13/11 09:22 AM

I read this blog for awhile, but I remember a photo of a toddler perched on a stool, holding open and "reading" a 200+ page vintage book and it struck me that much of what is projected on the site is contrived (epitomized endless "golden moment" photos). I think it is a very well executed kind of pornography for urban and suburban mothers: a gaggle of children, ever-present partner, lush surroundings, endless crafts... I'd expect five children in a rural area to be a bit more of, well, a slog. And it's the slog-navigation part of a mother's life that makes a really compelling family story (a la Heather Armstrong).

Meet Amanda Soule of SouleMama
Big Blog Family

8/23/11 09:18 PM

Wow. I guess I'm on the far end of the spectrum.

I can't even look that photo of the newborn starting at the ipad.

I tell people we banish e-toys because I'm sensitive to the din, but the truth is I think they make parents lazy. That's right L-A-Z-Y. They are electronic babysitters. Anything an electronic toy does, you could do (make up stories, do voices, play music, alphabet, numbers, etc.). And you could do it better (for example, customized). Do you need a e-babysitter sometimes? The main excuses I hear are: I have to cook dinner, I need to do chores, laundry, etc., or I need a break. Real babysitters are expensive and leave when their time is up. E-babysitters are free (once you've paid for the toy) and they keep going and going. It's too, too easy to plug in your kid and drop out of their life.

Babies and small children need you. Real, live, human, loving you. (And, psst, they like watching you cook.)

"Brains vs. Batteries": What's Your Take?
11/21/10 10:09 PM