med_cat: (cat in dress)
A bit (or maybe more than a bit) over the top, but perhaps some of you might find it amusing ;)
med_cat: (woman reading)

(Cautionary Tales for Children. Hilaire Belloc. Illustrated by B.T.B.)

The nicest child I ever knew
Was Charles Augustus Fortescue.
He never lost his cap, or tore

His stockings or his pinafore:

In eating Bread he made no Crumbs,
He was extremely fond of sums,
To which, however, he preferred
The Parsing of a Latin Word—

He sought, when it was within his power,
For information twice an hour,
And as for finding Mutton-Fat
Unappetising, far from that!

He often, at his Father’s Board,
Would beg them, of his own accord,
To give him, if they did not mind,
The Greasiest Morsels they could find—

His Later Years did not belie
The Promise of his Infancy.
In Public Life he always tried
To take a judgement Broad and Wide;

In Private, none was more than he
Renowned for quiet courtesy.
He rose at once in his Career,
And long before his Fortieth Year

Had wedded Fifi, Only Child
Of Bunyan, First Lord Aberfylde.
He thus became immensely Rich,
And built the Splendid Mansion which

Is called The Cedars, Muswell Hill,
Where he resides in affluence still,
To show what everybody might
med_cat: (cat in dress)

A short French cartoon about living with being different...can't find it with English subtitles, unfortunately.

(found via [ profile] luch_svetik--many thanks!)
med_cat: (cat in dress)


Этот Коля Сыроежкин,
Это дьявол, а не мальчик!
Все, что видит, все, что слышит,
Он на ус себе мотает.
А потом начнет однажды
Все разматывать обратно,
Да расспрашивать, да мучить
Многословно, многократно.
Вот, пристал намедни к маме,-
Так что маме стало жарко:
Объясни ему, хоть тресни,
Чем прославился Петрарка?!

Household Matters

This Kolya Syroezhkin,
He's a little devil, not a boy!
All he sees and all he hears,
He takes note of,
And at one point, he starts
Unraveling all his notes,
And to question, and to badger
Everyone, many times, with many words.
There, yesternight he started in on his mother,
So much that she grew hot in the face:
Explain to him, no matter what,
What was Petrarch famous for?!

Read more... )

Smile ;)

Apr. 19th, 2017 04:17 pm
med_cat: (cat in dress)

Someone's torn the curtain
And I think it must be me.
I climbed up to the window
And the curtain caught my knee.
And then it wrapped my foot up
And I heard a hole, you see.
Someone's sure to notice
'Cos it's bigly as can be.
They're coming, I can hear them
Up the stairs to have their tea.
I wish I was the bigly hole
And bigly hole was me.

(illustration by Margaret Tarrant, verses by Marion St. John Adcock; reposted from The Golden Age of Illustration group on FB)
med_cat: (woman reading)
“Mother Talks Back to the Monster”
Carrie Shipers

Tonight, I dressed my son in astronaut pajamas,
kissed his forehead and tucked him in.
I turned on his night-light and looked for you
in the closet and under the bed. I told him

you were nowhere to be found, but I could smell
your breath, your musty fur. I remember
all your tricks: the jagged shadows on the wall,
click of your claws, the hand that hovered

just above my ankles if I left them exposed.
Since I became a parent I see danger everywhere—
unleashed dogs, sudden fevers, cereal
two days out of date. And even worse

than feeling so much fear is keeping it inside,
trying not to let my love become so tangled
with anxiety my son thinks they’re the same.
When he says he’s seen your tail or heard

your heavy step, I insist that you aren’t real.
Soon he’ll feel too old to tell me his bad dreams.
If you get lonely after he’s asleep, you can
always come downstairs. I’ll be sitting

at the kitchen table with the dishes
I should wash, crumbs I should wipe up.
We can drink hot tea and talk about
the future, how hard it is to be outgrown.

Originally posted by [ profile] exceptindreams at Mother Talks Back to the Monster | Carrie Shipers
med_cat: (cat in dress)
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long
And sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pol?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?

Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?

Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?

Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?

Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?

Everything seems swell, and then
The nighttime Whatifs strike again!
med_cat: (cat in dress)

The entire cartoon: "The Flying Ship"

med_cat: (cat in dress)
Why Our Partners Drive Us Mad: Philosopher Alain de Botton to the Central Foible of the Human Heart and How to Heal It, from Brain Pickings

The Erasure of Islam from Poetry of Rumi, by Rozina Ali, in The New Yorker

(makes sense...I did wonder why Rumi, unlike his sort-of-contemporary, also Muslim poet Mirza-Shafi, doesn't mention Islam...)

Gestures to Avoid in Cross-Cultural Business: In Other Words, ‘Keep Your Fingers to Yourself!’

11 WTF Items That Kids Ordered Online Without Telling Their Parents--I was especially amused by the mom's clever handling of #9
med_cat: (cat in dress)

(posted by Dennis Kesler in The Golden Age of Illustration FB group)
med_cat: (Winter London)
Originally posted by [ profile] duathir at Bayard Taylor, 'A Night With A Wolf'
A Night With a Wolf

Little one, come to my knee!
Hark how the rain is pouring
Over the roof in the pitch dark night,
And the winds in the woods a-roaring

Hush, my darling, and listen,
Then pay for the story with kisses;
Father was lost in the pitch-black night
In just such a storm as this is.

High on the lonely mountain
Where the wild men watched and waited;
Wolves in the forest, and bears in the bush,
And I on my path belated.

The rain and the night together
Came down, and the wind came after,
Bending the props of the pine tree roof
And snapping many a rafter.

I crept along in the darkness,
Stunned and bruised and blinded...
Crept to a fir with thick-set boughs,
And a sheltering rock behind it.

There, from the blowing and raining,
Crouching I sought to hide me;
Something rustled, two green eyes shone,
And a wolf lay down beside me.

Little one, be not frightened; )

by Bayard Taylor
med_cat: (cat in dress)

(via Victorian History FB pg)

DAVID FROST presents Puss In Boots (1972 UK LP, also featuring Judi Dench, Michael Williams, John Gower, John Cater & Jeremy Brett amongst others, with orchestra conducted by Pete Moore
So What Have I Got
The Bunny Swing
Help Don't Panic
Why Do They Have To Call Me Names
Moggy The Mogre
Spring Is Springing

med_cat: (SH education never ends)

Today in Mighty Girl history, Maria Montessori, the Italian educator and physician who created the Montessori Method, was born in 1870. Montessori's educational philosophy of encouraging children's learning through discovery is now used in an estimated 30,000 schools worldwide.

Montessori grew up in Italy and enrolled in the University of Rome's school of medicine in 1893. As a woman, she faced hostility from both fellow students and professors, even being forced to perform dissections alone after hours as it was deemed inappropriate for her to attend classes with men in the presence of a naked cadaver. Despite the obstacles, she graduated in 1896 and set up a private practice.

Montessori rapidly became an advocate for both women's rights and the rights of children with disabilities. She regularly worked with children facing these challenges, and she was a major supporter of their right to access education. In 1901, she left her practice to engage in further study in psychology and educational philosophy, and began considering how to adapt the methods she used for general classroom use.

Read more... )
med_cat: (cat in dress)

A Mighty Girl

"Failing well is a skill. Letting girls do it gives them critical practice coping with a negative experience. It also gives them the opportunity to develop a kind of confidence and resilience that can only be forged in times of challenge," writes author Rachel Simmons. However, numerous studies have found that girls in particular struggle with handling failure well. In an insightful Time article, Simmons explores why girls may be so vulnerable to failure and how parents and educators can help them see failure in a more positive light.

Studies have found that girls are more affected by failure than boys because girls, especially intelligent girls, are prone to believe that it’s talent, not practice, that leads to success -- in other words, that failure is a result of lack of ability. One factor affecting girls related to failure is “stereotype threat.” If she fails in an area that girls are stereotypically not considered to be good at -- science or math, for example -- rather than consider a poor test result to be a correctible issue that could be improved by further study, it may simply confirm her belief that particular area is not for girls and add to her self-doubt about her competency in the subject.

On average, girls are also more likely to give up in a stressful academic situation; Harvard economist Claudia Goldin found that female students were much more likely to drop an Introduction to Economics class if they weren’t getting As. They are also more sensitive to how evaluators praise them: one study found that "praising elementary-school students for fixed traits and abilities, like being 'smart' or 'nice,' undermined intrinsic motivation for girls, but not boys." Alternatively, Simmons writes, "Praising effort ('You worked really hard on that') over ability has consistently been proven to motivate all kids, and especially girls."

Ultimately, she observes, "girls need educators and parents to challenge stereotype threat, reminding them that ability can always be improved with effort, and that who they are will not determine where they end up." And, girls need to have the space to experience failure and not be rescued by adults -- a practice which sends kids the message that they are incompetent and incapable. Reminding all children and girls in particular that the only way to improve is lots and lots of practice -- or, to put it another way, to fail lots and lots of times -- will help ingrain the understanding that failure is only the end of the line if they don’t try again.

To read Rachel Simmons’ entire article on Time, visit

To learn more why failure matters, check out the excellent parenting book Simmons' cites in her piece, "The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed" at

In the inspiring picture book, "The Most Magnificent Thing," an inventive young girl learns that everyone makes mistakes -- the important thing is to keep trying! For ages 4 to 8 at

For a wonderful picture book about the value of taking risks and embracing and learning from mistakes for ages 4 to 8, check out "The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes" at

For more books for children and teens starring Mighty Girls who keep going even in the face of failure or other types of adversity, visit our "Resiliency" book section at

Rachel Simmons is the author to several highly recommended books for parents of girls, including "The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence" ( and "Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls" (

med_cat: (cat in dress)
Originally posted by [ profile] elenbarathi at 'The Lost Children' by Randall Jarrell
The Lost Children

Two little girls, one fair, one dark,
One alive, one dead, are running hand in hand
Through a sunny house. The two are dressed
In red and white gingham, with puffed sleeves and sashes.
They run away from me . . .But I am happy;
When I wake I feel no sadness, only delight.
I've seen them again, and am comforted
That, somewhere, they still are.

It is strange
To carry inside you someone else's body;
To know it before it's born;
To see at last that it's a boy or girl, and perfect;
To bathe it and dress it; to watch it
Nurse at your breast, till you almost know it
Better than you know yourself–better than it knows itself.
You own it as you made it.
You are the authority upon it.

But as the child learns
To take care of herself, you know her less.
Her accidents, adventures are her own,
You lose track of them. Still, you know more
About her than anyone except her.

Little by little the child in her dies.
You say, "I have lost a child, but gained a friend."
You feel yourself gradually discarded.
She argues with you or ignores you
Or is kind to you. She who begged to follow you
Anywhere, just so long as it was you,
Finds follow the leader no more fun.
She makes few demands; you are grateful for the few.

The young person who writes once a week )



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