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the eric update - day 406: pondering life's lessons at the fishing derby.

i can't say that i've ever had much of an inclination to spend any of my free time with fishing pole in my hand, although i'm not exactly sure when i developed the disposition and as i get a little older, i sometimes think it might not be a bad way to spend an afternoon afterall.

in that spirit we decided it might be fun to spend the morning watching odin's cousins fish with a few dozen other local youth in a fishing derby sponsored by walmart.

it seemed an innocent enough affair; everyone registers for free and even though kids between the ages of 3 and 16 compete for a "real" prize bicycle, everyone goes home with a little bag of goodies so that nobody feels left out.

but wouldn't you know it - we weren't there more than a half an hour when someone spotted a fellow parent cheating for their child by hauling in fish after fish after fish. in very short order while many of the kids had caught perhaps one or two fish, it appeared as if the child prodigy had caught a dozen!

certainly we're not quite to the point where we need to tell anything to odin since he's happy just to watch play on the rocks as his grandpa salmi attempts to teach the youngsters a thing or two about how to catch a perch. but i was very aware that much sooner rather than later that we'd have to explain to him why some parents cheat. and why cheating is bad and why cheaters never win and so on and so forth; everyone has heard this sort of speech and any parent has probably given it. but it's much different to think about having to give it for the very first time. to your own child.

is there some some of concise, textbook answer available online? perhaps a wikipedia for parenting advice? how much detail do you go into at what age? how do you explain that a parent is cheating for their child? do you tattle on the cheating parent and teach a different and perhaps unintended lesson? do you confront the cheating parent in private? or maybe you do nothing and simply fish with your child, enjoying the afternoon, teaching the best lesson of all by not cheating?

would you choose to do anything differently if you knew that the cheating parent's children were going to win the top prize in two different age groups?

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8/14/2005 11:50:00 PM 1 comments


My husband and I were having a very similar conversation the other day: when we have children, how are we going to explain to them that stealing is wrong, but that all our pirated software and downloaded music and copied DVDs are OK? Somehow, all the arguments we use to explain it away to ourselves won't quite ring true.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 PM  

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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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