Monday, July 13, 2009

I like SpongeBob as much as the next guy, but...

I know it's a cop-out to use a link to your professional (loosely) paid (but not too much) blog as a topic for your personal (unpaid) blog, but in this case I think it warrants mentioning.

When I first thought up the blog description for the Mallard of Discontent (you know, the "random esoterica on hunting, fishing, etc. etc.) I intentionally left out one very important and dear topic - parenthood.

I did this because A. I've heard about all those "mommy blogs" and "daddy blogs" and to be quite honest I'm just not into the saccharin-tinged "isn't that adorable?" tone of many of them and B. I find that a lot of what I write about raising children is pretty good fodder for the Field Notes blog over at Field & Stream. So while I do enjoy blogging for free, I enjoy blogging for profit more, so my parental observations are mostly published over there.

Which brings me to the topic at hand:

A lot of what I post on Field Notes is, by design, a bit silly and irreverent, but sometimes the editors indulge me and let me post stuff that's somewhat personal in nature. Today's post is one such example

My oldest son and I are inveterate creek waders. He absolutely loves getting wet and muddy in pursuit of whatever he can catch in his net. We live close to a state park with a creek, a pond and a river, so he's constantly bugging me to go catch critters, and we do quite often because I consider it essential basic training for his future, training that is, in my opinion, every bit as important as school.

With every minnow he swoops up in a net, with every leopard frog he chases through the grass he's learning something about himself and the world around him, but more importantly, he's exercising his natural curiosity.

Because if there's one defining characteristic of the modern American childhood, it is the deliberate and calculated suppression of a child's natural curiosity and imagination in favor of the corporate-sponsored story and product lines that children are assaulted with virtually every single moment of every single day.

But you know what? They can't reach your child in the middle of a creek. Not yet, anyway. Out there it's just you, him (or her) and whatever story or adventure the two of you decide to make of it.

That my friend(s), is priceless. Figuratively for you and your child. Literally for the corporations that can't profit from it.

It's not often you get a win-win like that. If you have children, take advantage of it. Before it's too late.


  1. "the cure for boredom is curiosity, there is no cure for curiosity'
    Dorothy Parker

    I'm not going to start paying you to write MoD, but if you post a bit more often I'll buy you a couple of pints, either at my local or yours.
    PS did i mention my flat mate is a 20 year old glamour model?
    PPS did i mention my flat mate is a 20 year old glamour model?

  2. Well, we 'aint got no "pints" over here, but if you make it over this fall or next so I can put you on a deer I'll buy you one (or several) of the 12-ounce containers of weak, piss-flavored dreck the locals call "beer."

    I can't even get my Mackeson any more. My local spirit shop dropped it because apparently I was the only beer drinker in the area who possessed the good taste to purchase it.

    I believe it was replaced by a brand of beer better suited for rodeos and NASCAR...

  3. "weak, piss-flavored dreck the locals call "beer"
    Why to sell it Chad! I cant wait.
    Seriously as soon as I've done so well paid installations i'll be there.

  4. For the record, I can't stand Sponge Bob.

    This is a great post, and something I've thought a lot about, too.