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What Children Can Learn From Egypt

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I'll admit it. I'm a news junkie. I am drawn out of bed by the thought of the Washington Post waiting for me on my driveway, and the New York Times delivered to my Kindle by my very own e-Ink paperboy. The TVs are turned to different news stations and, depending what room you're in, you can get a snippet of what's happening from, in the words of my children, "some guy who sounds like the Wiggles" (that would be the BBC) or "one of those girls with the yellow hair and boobs" (Fox News) or "that guy who looks like a bear" (CNN).

For the past two weeks, my children watched the events unfold in Egypt. In my best Teacher Mom way, I explained how the Egyptian people were protesting their government, specifically the 30-year reign of now former President Hosni Mubarak. The kids were riveted that people could just gather in a town square, refuse to leave, go to work or obey the curfew -- and, after 18 days, watch their leader give up and leave. Then I made the mistake of telling them that they thought that Mubarak was oppressive and dictatorial and didn't let them have freedoms they wanted and that, sometimes, civil disobedience is the only recourse.

Oops.

  • I woke up Monday morning to the sounds of megaphones chanting for my immediate resignation as Mom.

  • They're demading a later bedtime, more Wii and a No Spinach Clause or they're putting out ads for my replacement.

  • My children have set up plastic tents on my driveway and have created Jersey walls out of Legos.

  • I called the truant officer, and now the kids' school is supplying them with food and cell phones. Super.

  • There's a news helicopter hovering over my house. No. It's a Nickelodeon helicopter.

  • I sent our geriatric gimpy beagle out after them, but now he's on their side.

  • Ann Curry is standing on my neighbor's balcony talking to Brian Williams.

  • And, I think my kids just punched a silver haired TV hunk in a way-too-tight black t-shirt. Great. He's totally going to be tweeting about that later. Well, after he quits crying.

    After a 24-hour standoff -- with timeouts for going to the bathroom -- we came to a truce. Bedtime has been extended by 15 minutes, as has Wii time. In exchange, I now have new garbage minions and plausible deniability on Coopergate.

    My son came home from school yesterday and handed me a note from his teacher. In it, she was responding to some ideas I had about improving his grades. You'd think with all that extra Wii playing, he would have a Jedi level mastery of fine motor skills. Sadly, it seems that based on his writing, he's more Ewok than Yoda.

    But it was this part of the note that I focused on:

    "...He does seem to be excited about his letter writing assignment, and suggested that he could write Hosni Mubarak since, apparently, Mubarak now has a little time on his hands. I was embarassed to admit that a second grader was more informed than I was..."

    I think I know who's getting credit for that. That Wiggle guy.