Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
# 11:00:00 PM:

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Miscellaneous miscellany

Here's some news worth noting on this hot August night:

  • Internet e-mail as we know it turned twenty this week.

  • Swaziland became home to some particularly blatant corruption. The best summary is from The Economist, tersely: "Swaziland's king bought a private jet costing $55 million, twice the amount the UN has appealed for to stop 250,000 Swazis from starving this year." Worse, the jet is made by a Canadian company, Bombardier.

  • Sharing a bed with your kids causes them no trouble.

    Our family long ago gave up trying to enforce any particular sleeping arrangement. Our youngest daughter, who is two, prefers her own big adult double-size futon in a dark room down the hall for most of the night. Our oldest, four, makes great talk about getting a bunk bed to share with her sister, but when night comes, she wants to sleep with mom and dad. So we shoved our queen-size bed and a matching twin-size together into a bigger-than-king-size "big bed," and she joins us there. Sometimes it can be frustrating (as are many things with a four year old), but we all sleep better.

    Still, it's strange that sharing a bed with your young kids is controversial at all. For the vast, huge majority of human history, and still today for the great mass of the world's people, there has never been any choice: everyone shares a bed, a room, or maybe just some shelter under a tree, because that's all they've got. A family sleeping together is safe from things that go bump in the night, whether imaginary monsters or real predators on the savannah. Just because in the last century the richest sliver of the population of the richest countries in the world could afford to have separate rooms for their kids, suddenly that's the way things should be?

    It will be nice when our oldest is willing to get that bunk bed, though. As the story said, "the study didn't look at the effects on parents."


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