The best pre-natal advice I ever got was, "Pick one book, any book, and only one book." They all get you there, but they take different, and often mutually exclusive paths. I cheated -- I read several -- and of the lot, the best was My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
by Jessica Mills (horn player in several punk bands such as Less Than Jake, and columnist for MAXIMUMROCKNROLL). Mills, a touring punk musician, silversmith, anarchist and pacifist, wrote the book based on her experiences as a punk parent, trying to raise a baby without "gender-coding," punishment, or authoritarianism, in a world that is hardly cooperative to such goals.
Mills is a great writer -- of all the baby-books I've read, only COMBAT BOOTS deserves the adjective "compelling" -- and while I don't agree with 100 percent (or even 85 percent!) of her parenting ideas, I found them provocative, well-informed, and, above all, humane. Mills has high ideals, but she freely acknowledges that her parenting often falls short of her objectives -- her kid ends up watching Disney cartoons, pitching tantrums, and wanting to wear frilly pink dresses. It's this human fallibility that really makes the book -- Mills's insistence that we're all human and parents can, will and should make mistakes. Mills's book is as much about how to cope with your own challenges as it is about coping with your kids'.
I was especially taken by Mills's descriptions of her boyfriend's struggles to co-parent without either smothering or allowing the easy gendered roles to take over. There's a great guest-written chapter about punk-fathering, and a really heartwarming interview with the bright-as-anything 15-years-old daughter of a couple of punk parents who pioneered taking kids to shows, protests, and on tour.
COMBAT BOOTS goes from prenatal to four, and it's just the thing for your different friends who are already being buried under heaps of What to Expect When You're Expecting or worse, Nestle- or P&G-published "parenting magazines" that are just thinly disguised pitches to get you to buy a ton of crap you and your kid don't need.
My Mother Wears Combat Boots: A Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
Mark Marino writes, “Boingers might be interested in this new free 3-week course I’m co-teaching with UnderAcademy College founder Talan Memmott: How to Write and Read Fake News: Journalism in the Age of Trump. It starts Jan. 20, of course.”
dj BC writes, “My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year’s Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our ‘Menorah Mashups’ Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It’s all free.”
I first started writing about the remarkable Joi Ito in 2002, and over the decade and a half since, I’ve marvelled at his polymath abilities — running international Creative Commons, starting and investing in remarkable tech businesses, getting Timothy Leary’s ashes shot into space, backing Mondo 2000, using a sprawling Warcraft raiding guild to experiment with leadership and team structures, and now, running MIT’s storied Media Lab — and I’ve watched with excitement as he’s distilled his seemingly impossible-to-characterize approach to life in a set of 9 compact principles, which he and Jeff Howe have turned into Whiplash, a voraciously readable, extremely exciting, and eminently sensible book.
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
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The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]