Really? Kids today are worse than kids were yesterday? Tell that to my grandparents. Seriously- I understand how Velcro sneakers have impacted our children’s shoe-tying skills, though they’ve also probably decreased by tenfold the two-year-old tantrum quotient. But the notion that kids who can figure out how to manipulate a mouse and work the DVR by age 3 are somehow deficient in life skills seems a little, um, crotchety. Your kid  can’t use a can-opener? Lock him in the bathroom with a can of olives for ten minutes. He’ll figure it out.

The boy who loved lint

A couple of weeks ago, flipping through the Boston Globe business section, I came across an item about a $200 clip-on baby monitor that shook if your infant didn’t move for 15 seconds. Wow, I thought. A guarantee that your child won’t sleep through the night. And another unnecessary baby item to join the video monitors (because clearly you want to watch the kid crying, too) and the rubber ducks that light up with the word “HOT” on the bottom if your bathwater is too warm. And then I thought about Jesse’s obsession with lint, and how much more he likes trash than most of his toys. And presto, I had a column idea.

Remembering Cronkite

I spent this evening making a round of calls for rememberances of Walter Cronkite. Talked to a former ABC reporter who encountered him in an elevator in Israel, and said that Cronkite scared the bejeezus out of him by saying he was there “in pursuit of the biggest story of the century.” (He was just kidding.) Talked to a filmmaker whose PBS documentary was narrated by Cronkite a few years ago, and said the veteran newsman was a flawless script reader and a stickler for grammar.

All I could think of was the hour I spent today watching “The Wanted,” the new NBC News series that presents a news story in they style of a Jerry Bruckheimer show — complete with extraneous glamour shots and practiced dialogue. Cronkite, I’m sure, would have hated it. I hope his legacy lives on.

Sarah Palin’s big decision

I’ve written a lot about Sarah Palin over the past year, because I find her fascinating — as a series of TV events, a political figure, a mother. So now, as she enters the news once again, I’m wondering: Is it fair, to her and to all working women, to wonder if some part of her decision to step down has to do with the many demands of her family life, and to cheer that decision if it’s true?