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Politics & Society

Plenty of Lessons this Tuesday

Today is another election day, so we are limited in what we can talk about during the program. The rule of thumb here is that we try not to produce anything that can be construed as advocacy while the polls are open and folks are still voting. So, your NPR station will, no doubt, be keeping you up to date tonight, especially here in the D.C. area.

But, were you as puzzled as I was/am by the whole superdelegates thing? It's an issue on the Democratic side (the Republicans don't have that system). Our two guests, high-powered D.C. lawyer Stanley Brand and author and strategist David Sirota, tell us what superdelegates are all about, and why this is turning into such a mud wrestle.

Also, a new feature, we hope you'll like it as much as we do. It's the ethics column from O, the Oprah Magazine. As you know, we do a monthly feature with who we call the Magazine Mavens, editors of some of the top women's magazines, but we don't get to dig into any one feature as much as we might like. When we started reading the ethics column in O, we just couldn???t get enough. You can read the column for yourself. I hope you get as much out of visiting with the guests as much as I did.

Finally, the Mocha Moms are mad at me! They had lots more to say about the lessons they've learned as the chief administrators of big families. So, we invited them to blog it out.

Here's Mocha Moms co-founder and TMM regular Jolene Ivey:

... I think it's important for children to contribute to the household. Parents can't do it all, and kids need to learn these life skills! ... For several months I had my older boys each cook dinner one night per week. They each cooked the same meal each week until they mastered it. (We did get tired of quiche, while one of them struggled with the crust, so we switched him to chicken pot pie.) Now, I can call home and give basic instructions, and I know dinner will be cooking before I get home! ... Laundry is my least favorite, and never-ending, household chore. I hate folding, I despise putting away, and I never feel like I'm completely on top of it. I've done a few things to take some of the pain away, though. For instance, one great way I've found to avoid Stray Socks Syndrome is to buy a bunch of those mesh laundry bags meant for delicate clothing. I have my boys put several pair in each bag, as they take them off, and when they're washed and dried, they're already mostly matched. I also have two dirty clothes hampers in each bedroom — one white, for things that will be washed in hot water, and one is another color, for things that will be washed in cold water. No sorting! Whenever possible, I call the boys up to help fold. The youngest is 8, so they can actually get most of it done with minimal yelling on my part. ... It's also important to lower your standards, in the interest of sanity. I look back on the days when I had one baby, and I used cloth diapers and actually hung them on the line to dry, then FOLDED THEM! How stupid was that? The hanging to dry was actually therapeutic, and they smelled so good coming off the line. But folding diapers? What was I thinking?! Rookie mistake. I even went through a phase, when we had two boys, that I made the cats' food. I was obsessed with it being organic. I mean, most of us have made baby food, but cat food? I clearly needed more children. ...

From Mocha Mom Cheli English-Figaro:

Connect each pair of socks with a safety pin before putting them in the wash. That way you don't have to go on a sock-hunting expedition when it's time to put the clean clothes away. ... Figure out exactly what's for dinner within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning. That way you aren't scrambling at the end of the day. ... Prepare school lunches for the next day the minute you get home in the evening. ... Wake up at least 45 minutes before the rest of your family. You need time to get your game plan together.

And, from Mocha Mom Davina McFarland:

I have only one other organization tip: color code everything. When I see something that is red, I know right away to whom it belongs. ... No mix ups and no fighting over personal property. ... I think there are advantages for children who grow up with a few siblings, like learning the art of conversation, sharing and cooperation. We don't watch TV on school days so, on the weekend, all the kids have to share one TV. There are lots of conversations about what shows to watch ... Some are spirited, but they are communicating and they are learning to get along with each other, even though they don't always agree.

Thanks, ladies!