Friday Frivolity: Junk Food Wars

Here, at Manners for Modern Mothers, we've covered many parenting-related food concerns: healthy eating, unhealthy eating, organic food, and of course table manners. But we have yet to ask one astoundingly obvious question, asked recently in an essay by Yoni Freedhoff in U.S. News and World report. Why is everyone always giving my kids junk food? In his essay, Dr. Freedhoff takes aim at the sugary snacks and treats our young children are so frequently given. In the end, he suggests that, "people other than their parents giving children junk food shouldn't be considered 'normal.'"

As I push aside a batch of left over Christmas candy to make room for the haul of candy my children brought home on Valentine's day, I'm thinking maybe he's got a point. As a child, I took pleasure in the paper valentines given and received, but for my children and many others it seems to have turned into another opportunity to amass candy. Perhaps that's just the new normal, Valentine's day Peeps an all.

Friday Frivolity - Quite Funny, Really

I have just lent a friend the Downton Abby Season 2 Video Set which I borrowed from another friend last week and she (the borrower friend) almost cried she was so excited when I dropped it off.  She said that Season 2 and enough wine might just make February break bearable.  I felt the same once about Stieg Larsson's third Millennium novel.

 Image from Bella's Bookshelves

Anyway, if you are a fan of DA you must run, not walk, to check out this parody If Downton Abby took place entirely on Facebook: Seson 3, Episode 6

Image from

A really interesting (non-Downton related) piece friend Karsten shared this week was this one in the WSJ about running your family like a business.  What do you think?  Would your children benefit from agile development?

Happy President's Day Long Weekend.

Valentine's Day from Cranes to Oysters

Ah Valentine's Day: flowers, romance, a candlelit dinner for two - wait, rewind, never mind. 

Let's try this again. 

Ah Valentine's Day: or rather, the night before.  Also known as, the mad rush and gentle encouragement to get those valentines made for everyone in the class.  If ever there was a compelling argument for limiting class size it is the production of valentines.  Because no matter how cute the idea of paper origami cranes or construction hearts and doilies sounded the week before, in the 11th hour - oh and by the way, don't forget it's back to school night tonight - even the craftiest of modern mothers would pay big money for a box of self sealing Snoopy valentines from CVS.

Image from Liz Clayton Illustration

Should your Valentine's Day trend towards the epicurean you might enjoy this piece about oysters. 

 Image from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Our friend Allison over at Daily Outfit has been very informative recently on being sexy as well as the seriousness of foundation wear.

Image from Daily Outfit

 Since everything holiday is better with a little Downton Abby we wanted to share these  17 Parenting Lessons From Downton Abby found in the Huffington Post.  And last but not least, have you heard about or seen the Sesame Street spoof Upside Downton Abby?  It is a hoot.  So whether you Valentine's Day is filled with paper and paste or more adults pursuits, we hope you have a good one.  xoxo

Burgeoning Bragging Wars? Or facebook failure?

Ah, bragging. Parental boastfulness has remained a favored topic here at Manners for Modern Mothers. Whether general bragging, bragging about eating habits, or even the terminology of bragging, such showing off is a precarious parental situation which we have revisited time and again.

Apparently, we are not alone. In “A Truce in the Bragging Wars” the New York Times reports mommy blogs have declared war on parental bragging and offers nine guidelines for “acceptable chest thumping.” Assuming one must brag at all, we applaud the suggestion that a parent should brag about the child not his/her parenting prowess, and agree that grandparents are an excellent audience.  However, we retain some reservations about the idea of offsetting boasts with admissions of shortcomings, as children will inevitably overhear and might not like to have parents report on bed-wetting habits, even if it is mentioned in conjunction with their perfect SAT scores. Above all, we have to wonder, can’t one strive to take the high road and remain above this fray?

Instead of raving about one's own offspring, perhaps we should remember to ask, "and, how is your family?" Of course, that would mean an actual conversation, not just status updates on facebook. Perhaps the problem is not one of bragging but changing communication and the prevalence of facebook/twitter/social media. On Motherlode, K.J, Dell'Antonia suggests that parents weary of excessive bragging might want to change their facebook feeds to see different friends. We might even go so far as to suggest that if it leaves you vaguely disgruntled, or makes you feel like an inadequate parent of underaccomplished children, then go cold turkey. Just don't forget to sign up for Manners for Modern Mothers by email: no vacation pictures, no reports of prizes won, and no brattling, just a few attempts at humor, the ocasional rant, and an ongoing discussion of manners in the modern world.

Ladies Of A Certain Age

We are fortunate to know some lovely ladies of a certain age who are extremely well-mannered but also unabashedly candid.  At first blush these traits might not seem consistent but it is, of course, possible to speak one's mind while  knowing which fork to use.  

These days, we all know one such lady, The Dowager Countess of Grantham.  Like a breath of fresh air she sails through Downton Abby leaving zingers, embarrassed youth and dropped jaws in her wake.

Photo courtesy of BTVision

 The question of whether is is possible to speak one's mind without hurting the delicate feelings of those around one is another matter.  With some of these ladies it is probably best to leave your sensitive feelings with the butler but you might want to keep your gloves on just in case. 

P.S. Apropos of nothing more than candid people with good hair,  we recently stumbled upon this delightful Jack Donaghy Insult Generator.  We hope you enjoy it.  Happy Weekend.

 Image from Johnnyetc
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