#Weinergate

Could I resist writing about Anthony Weiner? No, I could not.

This column came first, when there was still a bit of room for benefit of the doubt. (And I still stand by my praise of his Twitter feed, so long as there are no photos involved.)

This column came when there was no longer doubt. Reaction, unsurprisingly, was divided along male-female lines.

Thomas and the cult of obedience

This one got a lot of feedback from parents and grandparents: Ruminations on the pull of Thomas the Tank Engine, and why I hope his obedience doesn’t rub off too much on the little guy.

Read the whole thing from the Boston Globe here.

THIS ONE goes out to the parents, grandparents, and friends of toddler boys. Tell me if this sounds familiar: Preschooler walks around in a happy daze, ignoring the world around him, mumbling catchphrases about cheeky trains on the Island of Sodor.

Yes, it’s the mind-grip of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, as documented in a study from last year’s Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. A fellow Thomas inductee recently showed me the story: A 3-year-old in California watched Thomas episodes on TV for five hours a day, and descended so deep in his train reverie that he wouldn’t talk to anyone at preschool.

Yes, bugger it, I watched the Royal Wedding.

And decided that you’ve got to hand it to those Brits: They know how to wear hats. Could we bring back hats, in America, please? Posh? Can you help? More from The Angle on Boston.com here.

Also: Yes, I bloody well woke up my six-year-old for the wedding because I thought she’d enjoy the pomp. Her favorite part? Watching the kids in the royal wedding party attempting to do the queenly wave. I think she’ll grow up with a healthy skepticism toward the monarchy and Anglophila.

Boys, toes, and pink

THIS MONTH, I committed a couple of parental sins involving the scourge of nail polish. As I was painting my daughter’s toenails pink — buying into the culture of girlishness — my 2-year-old son wandered in and announced that he wanted his toes painted, too. I splashed yellow polish on one big toe before he lost interest completely. But apparently, I was setting him up for a lifetime of gender confusion.

That was the point of last week’s pseudo-controversy over a J.Crew e-mail ad, which showed the company’s creative director at play with her towheaded young son. Their Saturday pastime, the ad suggests, is painting his toenails the color of a plastic lawn flamingo. “Lucky for me,’’ it reads, “I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.’’

Read the rest of the column from the Globe here.

Why I will never be president of the PTO

AM I a terrible person for saying I no longer derive joy from volunteering in my daughter’s first grade class?

I realized this last week as I was helping, for the 10th or 12th time, with a weekly enterprise known as “math games.’’ The class is divided into groups of six, who sit at tables helmed by parents, taking part in some math-y activity. Every 15 minutes, a bell goes off and the kids rotate to the next table. Sometimes, a parent gets an actual game — bingo or somesuch — and things go reasonably well. Last week, I was handed a stack of worksheets and told to make the kids write equations, sorted along such lines as whether they added up to 10.

“Hi, guys,’’ I said cheerily. “Today we’ve got a worksheet and Fact Triangles!’’ It wasn’t long before one seven-year-old looked up at me morosely and said, “I am not having fun.’’

Well, that makes two of us, I thought.

(Read the rest from the Boston Globe here.)