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World Clocks

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eye Exam

Diva Darling had a recent "well visit" at the pediatrician's office.  The net result was that the doctor recommended a thorough eye exam because Diva failed the exam.  Really?? 

I was shocked.  I watch these kids like an obsessed hawk and have never seen any signs of visual trouble. 

Brought her to my eye doctor, whom I love, this month.  After all sorts of testing with machines and upclose scrutiny of how her eyes moved and tracked, he had her sit in another darkened room, and I was perched in the corner on a stool studying my dear girl the patient.   

"Ok, please read the first large letter."

"E," she promptly replied.

"Good, now read me the last line that you can see," he said.

"Read it?  I can't," she said sorrowfully.

"You can't?  What do you mean?" he asked sounding shocked.

"No, I can't read it.  I just have no idea what this word is," she lamented.

Eventually we stopped laughing and left with no prescription necessary. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cereal Necklaces

Tween Princess Diva came home from summer school (we like to call it "camp" but it's's summer school) with a gift for me.  A necklace she made...made of Fruit Loops cereal.  My immediate reaction was one of gratitude for this sweet child and her charming gift.  I was also surprised since treasured gifts like these are more often than not given to her adored babysitter not to me, her "mean mother."  So, I accepted it with lots of fanfare and immediately put it on, nibbling robustly to make her laugh.  However, my mind couldn't help but jump to the situation at hand in the Horn of Africa. 

As I am sure you've read and seen in the media, Somalia and parts of Ethiopia in that eastern region of Africa are being devastated by famine today.  Millions of children will die if food and clean water aren't brought to them immediately.  And here we are in the good ol' US of A entertaining ourselves with making jewelry out of food.  It just sickens me, it really does.  My stomach hurt as I thought about the huge discrepancy in our lives.  Why is it acceptable for our children to thread cereal on yarn for fun, while other children's small bodies are shutting down due to a lack of basic food. 

I was reminded of a former boss at a major medical center who insisted that food never be used for anything but subsistence. For example, we would hold these black-tie fundraisers in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria and the florists seeking work with us would routinely make floral centerpieces using gourds and vegetables as part of the decoration; he was appalled and forbid us to work with florists who would use food as decoration.   He set the tone for ethics in the medical center, and he held a high bar for everyone.

So, here I am facing an Apple Jacks necklace or whatever cereal this is and pondering if I should approach the camp counselor in charge of art classes and share my view.   I don't want to be considered a judgmental nut-job or petty complainer, but I also don't want my kids to wear and waste food while millions are starving to death, some of whom are their former neighbors.  Accck.  Will it make a difference if I say something?  Will it make a difference if I don't?   And I think of my boss and his stance, and I know I should say something...perhaps, "While we were in Africa and China we witnessed unbearable hunger, so as a family we don't do art projects that involve food."   That's not quite right but you get my point, don't you?