You’ll Cry! You’ll Cheer! You Won’t Believe This Kid!

Hi Readers! There’s not much I have to add to this video except a preface: Watch it! Then show it to anyone who wonders why you’re letting your kids have some plain old chillin’ time.

A Free-Range Soul (So to Speak)

Hi Folks! I loved this response to the post a few days ago about strangers helping out with tantruming toddlers! This comes from reader Kristi Blue. – L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: We were stationed in Germany when I gave birth to my twins in 2002.  I am twin, whose mother is a twin, whose grandmother is a twin and whose great grandmother was a twin.  Five straight generations of twins, and from the moment we found out we were having twins, all I could think about was being able to fly home to my great grandmother and place those precious things in her arms.

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Two weeks after they were born we received the call that she wasn’t doing well, and that if we were coming, it needed to be now.  My husband was training so unable to accompany us.  I boarded a trans-Atlantic flight with two nursing newborns and a heavy heart.  The kids both started crying at the same time and as I was fumbling, trying to comfort two infants in the limited space of coach, I see a pair of hands reach over the seat, take one of my babies, and proceed to walk up and down the aisle singing to her as I feed her sister.  It wasn’t until the third lap of coach that I got a good look at the stranger who had my baby.  He was the oddest little man wearing a wide lapeled suit coat, boots with heels and a pompadour, while singing “You Are My Sunshine.”  To this day, my girls still love to hear the story about the time James Brown sang them lullabies! – K.B.

Occupy Halloween! Hand Out HOMEMADE Treats This Year!

Hi Readers — It occurs to me that maybe the best way to fight Halloween paranoia is with cookies.

Start with the fact that there has NEVER been a case of children poisoned by a stranger’s candy on Halloween. That’s according to University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best, who has studied the urban myth since 1985. Nonetheless, the advice we ALWAYS hear is to “check your child’s candy for tampering,” and treat homemade goodies like radioactive waste. All of which is based on the belief that we are quite likely surrounded by psychopathic child killers  (who hold it in till Oct. 31st).

But that idea isn’t just wrong,  it’s corrosive. Start thinking of your nice neighbors as potential killers ONE day a year and how are you supposed to trust them the REST of the year? It begins to seem just plain prudent to treat everyone as evil, especially where our kids are concerned.

Result? A society where we don’t let our kids roam the neighborhood, interact with adults or do much of anything on their own. It just seems “too dangerous.” All adults are creeps and killers until proven otherwise.

So this year: Let’s prove otherwise.

Let’s be like “The Fudge Lady” my friend Kelley remembers from her childhood Halloweens. Along with her fabulous fudge wrapped in Saran Wrap, the lady included her phone number. Anyone worried could call  her, thus taking the terror out of the treat.

Do the same and anyone who is worried can call us. We can chat with them, explaining that we want  to spread community (and cookies). And we can remind them that even though it seems strange to get a homemade treat, we are part of the the 100% of people who have never poisoned a child on Halloween. — L.

By the way: Witches aren't a real threat, either.

“Millions Irrationally Feared Dead in Minor Train Accident” – The Onion

Readers — Sometimes I need a break, as I’m sure you do too. And what could be better than a snippet from The Onion reminding us just how driven the news media and  “experts” can be when it comes to whipping up fear? Enjoy!  

Take Our Children to the Jungle…And Have Them Catch Tarantulas Day

Hi Readers!  As “Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There Day” approaches on Saturday, May 21st, I find myself doing one of my favorite Free-Range things. That is, I remind myself that our hyper-fears for our children are out of whack with what many children face — and overcome — on a daily basis in the rest of the world.

After all, I’m only suggesting that we let our kids play for a little while at the local playground, unsupervised, starting at about the same age as these kids:

P.S. If you ARE planning to participate in Take Our Children to the Park…and Leave Them There Day, please leave a comment. The media want to know whether anyone would really do such a thing “in this day and age.”

Lenore’s Carols

Hi Readers: We interrupt this well-focused blog to bring you my Year in Carols. I write ’em every year — can’t help myself. Sing ’em, share ’em, post ’em on YouTube if you can’ keep a tune. (I can’t!) We’ll be back to Free-Range issues very soon. But meantime: Enjoy! — L.

THE YEAR IN CAROLS

By LENORE SKENAZY

FROSTY THE TRAVELER (TO “FROSTY THE SNOWMAN”)

Frosty the Traveler was a snowman on the go

With a corn-cob pipe and a carry-on

And a book by Scott Turrow.

.

Frosty the Traveler, had a plane to catch that day

So he stood in line, feeling mighty fine

Till he met the TSA.

.

He must’ve looked suspicious, ‘cause he saw the agents frown

But when he cried, “Don’t touch my junk!”

They began to pat him down!

.

Oh! Frosty the Traveler, turned beet red and danced about

And the TSA, they all ran away

‘Cause the snowman freaked them out.

A red snowman freaked them out

.

Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump

Agents everywhere!

Thumpety thump thump, thumpety thump thump

Hey! Don’t pat me there!

.

WALKIN’ IN A WIKI WONDERLAND

Cables leak, are you listening?

In Iraq , someone’s bristlin’

We lie, cheat and boast

Now it’s in the Post

Walkin’ in a Wiki Wonderland

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Gone astray, secret death plots

Here to stay, skeevy despots

Khadaf’s got a nurse

And Karzai is worse

Walkin’ in a Wiki Wonderland

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In the Middle East they all hate Mahmoud

Hopin’ that someone will take him down

Out loud they say, “Israelis are no good!”

(But they can do the job when they’re in town.)

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Later on, we’ll conspire

As we sit, by the wire

To face, all afraid,

The mess that’s been made

Walkin’ in a Wiki Wonderland

.

WATCH EVERY BITE (TO “ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT”)

Eat, my child, a plate of quinoa

Watch every bite

The whole White House wants you skinnier

Watch every bite

Salt is incapacitatin’

Transfat we’re not toleratin’

Bake sales are a tool of Satan

Watch every bite.

.

Eat, my child, some whole grain pancakes

Watch every bite

Wash ‘em down with cream of bran flakes

Watch every bite

Health is good, we must remind you

Put that bag of fries behind you

Eat a cupcake, we will find you

Watch every bite.

.

DOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (TO “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”)

Oh there’s no Metrodome for the holidays

‘Cause the snow buried that old Vikings’ home

Fans can pine through half time in Detroit , but oh

For the Vikings, there is no more dome sweet dome.

.

THE LENO SONG (TO “THE DREIDEL SONG”)

I was the king of Late Night

And yet I couldn’t win

They gave my job to Conan

And dropped me on my chin.

.

Oh Conan, Conan, Conan

You’re hipper than me, yes

But now I’m back and rested

And you’re on TBS.

.

SEE YOU LATER, STEVEN SLATER (TO “LET IT SNOW”)

Oh the folks on this plane are frightful

And my God, I’ve got a flightful

One just hit my head upside

Let me slide, let me slide, let me slide

.

Oh the overhead bins are packed full

And I’m tired of being tactful

It’s this or bee-atch-i-cide

Let me slide, let me slide, let me slide

.

When I finally say, “Buh-bye,”

How I love bouncing out on my rear!

And though unemployed may be I

All the way home I’ll drink beer!

.

Now if you take your job and shove it

I can guarantee, you’ll love it

Why not come along for the ride?

Let us slide, let us slide, let us slide!

.

THE 12 WEEKS OF BP (TO “THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”)

On the first week of gushing, my BP gave to me

A partridge in a black sea.

On the second week of gushing, my BP gave to me

Two turtles dead and a partridge in a black sea.

On the third week of gushing, my BP gave to me

Three drenched hens, two turtles dead and a partridge in a black sea.

On the fourth week of gushing, my BP gave to me

Four crawling birds, three drenched hens, two turtles dead and a partridge in a black sea.

On the fifth week of gushing, my BP gave to me

Five broken rigs!

Four crawling birds, three drenched hens, two turtles dead and a partridge in a black sea.

AND:

6 Geese a-gasping

7 Swans not swimming

8 Shrimp a-shriveling

9 Crawfish croaking

10 Frogs not leaping

11 Puffins puffin’

12 Dolphins drooping

And a partridge in a black sea.

.

THE LITTLE THUMBER BOY (TO “THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY”)

Come, they texted me, pa rum pum pum pum

A nu-brn king 2 C, pa rum pum pum pum

R finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

2 lay b4 da King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.

So, 2 hnr Him, pa rum pum pum pum

I use my thumb

.

LOL, it’s fun! Pa rum pum pum pum

I M a poor boi 2, pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift 2 bring, pa rum pum pum pum

But I can txt something, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.

Shall I text for U, pa rum pum pum pum

Or iz that dumb?

.

Mary nodded , pa rum pum pum pum

Z ox + lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum

I did my best 4 Him, pa rum pum pum pum

I sent 8 texts 2 Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum

Then he : ) ’d @ me, pa rum pum pum pum

Me & my thumb.

.

HAVE YOURSELF A MASSIVE CHRISTMAS TAX BREAK (TO “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS”)

Have yourself a massive Christmas tax break

Let your heart be light

Do not think about the deficit tonight

.

Have yourself a whopper of a tax break

Make your blood run green

We should be ok until 2-oh-15!

.

Use that cash, please, to start a biz

Or our country is dead meat

Downsized friends who worked near to us

Work at Wal-Mart now,  and greet.

.

True the tax breaks will expire some day

If the pols allow

Until then we’re frolicking in cash, and how!

So have yourself a don’t-think-‘bout-next Christmas now.

A Charlie Brown Potential Abduction

Hi Readers — A note from a friend, Mark Clark:

“Lenore, is it too late to report a crime that first occurred in 1965 and is repeated every year?  Charlie Brown’s parents allowed Charlie, and his buddy Linus, to go to the tree lot in their town UNACCOMPANIED BY ANY ADULT and purchase a tree for the school pageant.  Where’s the vigilance?  My God, won’t someone think of the  children?”

Not quite the right clip, but you get the idea.

That’s the Spirit!

To be filed under: Coming To, What the World Is:

From a golf course in Phoenix, where they sure know how to have a good ol' time!

Wow! I’m a Mom-Petitor Video!

Readers: I’m thrilled — see why, below! Kudos to the creator of these wonderful “Mom-Petitor” videos, Valerie Stone Hawthorne, a mom of twins in Texas — and, oh yeah, a PhD in cancer biology and cell biology. What a lightweight! Her blog is Mompetition and here’s a profile of her in Time. And here’s me!  

Jeff Lewis Comedy: Dad, What’s This Game Called “Tag”?

Hi Readers! After I laughed out loud three times — sorry, “LOL’d” — I had to share this: