Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-20-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 23 of 35

8 AT HOME NOVEMBER 20-26, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION Feelings trump the truth also explains why and how this thing we now call "parent- ing" has been transformed from something once done straightforwardly and matter- of-factly into the most diffi- cult, stressful thing a woman will ever do in her adult life. When children were sim- ply raised up to adulthood by adults who possessed a practical understanding of what that responsibility necessitated, child mental health was about as good as it's going to get (at least 10 times better than it is today) and mothers did not agonize about childrearing micro- details. Then the collective "we" bought into the bogus notion that people with impressive capital letters after their names – psycholo- gists and other mental health professionals mostly – knew more about raising children than the average grandpar- ent. Mental health people stress the importance of feelings, so the primary concern became that of mak- ing children feel good about themselves. (That, by the way, defines the salient dif- ference between childrearing and "parenting.") And since women are vastly superior to men at relating to feelings, women began to believe that if the rearing of children was going to be done in proper accord with the new psycho- logical parenting (feelings- based) prescription, they were going to have to take charge. And they did. Today, the female parent is the default parenting decider. The male parent is the "parenting aide," there to follow instruc- tions and fill in when the decider has "had it." Yes, there are exceptions, but no person who's been paying attention of late to some- thing other than his or her smartphone would deny the general rule. (Note the use of both pronouns in the previ- ous sentence! I am enlight- ened!) Today's mothers tend to believe that if parenting is successful (the child gets into a top-flight college, makes the Olympic curling team, and leaves home by age 30), it will be because of their unilateral dedication, doing, and devotion. The weight of that imagined responsibility, which my mother and moth- ers of her era and before never allowed on their shoul- ders, has turned the all-too typical mother into a micro- managing bundle of raw and constantly inflamed nerves. Her feeling-challenged husband self-medicates by memorizing football statistics while his wife darts from task to task like a plate-spinner. (Note: The reference to plate-spinners is another example of my inability to move past the 1950s.) So, to the issue: Which parent is much, much more likely to be enslaved by The Portal? Why, the mother, of course! That would require, then, female pronouns. And to whomever that offends, you're letting your 21st-cen- tury prejudice show through. Family psychologist John Rosemond:, a young child, in the ser- vant quarters, he said. "My grandma always told me I met her when I was about 8 years of age," but he has no memory of that. His grandmother on his dad's side, Josephine, is where he gets the Portuguese roots and reci- pes from. Her mincemeat squares were his favorite. Since chourico is a Portuguese mainstay, Patrick adds it to his turkey stuffing while still maintain- ing the New England tradi- tions. "And do not forget the Bell's (poultry season- ing)!" he said. Having cooked turkey every which possible way – fried, baked, roasted, brined and spachcocked (removing the backbone and laying the bird flat to cook) – and having spent as much as $100 for a purely farm-raised bird, this year he's back to Butterball. "They brine it, they cost much less and as far as I'm concerned are every bit as good," Patrick added. At this point it's just a matter of injecting the right spices and not overcooking it. One thing he did learn from all that outlying farm shopping was this theory: "The further out and away from urban centers you go, the nicer people seem to be." It is his own theory – that and duck eggs are bet- ter to cook with. The best part of Thanksgiving is catching up with family and friends and sharing some gratitude. "Once they're gorged they are not going anywhere," he said, laughing. "And after about an hour, a cup of strong coffee with some Frangelico will keep them there." On the day after Thanksgiving, Patrick likes to take some leftover chourico stuffing and form it into a patty. "I add a poached egg on top of it and some hollandaise sauce, mmmm that's the best," he said. And his other bit of advice: "As long as you have gravy everything will be fine." Rhonda's Note: I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from my heart to yours. We all have something to be grateful for and something extra special to share, even if it's a simple smile. Oh, and don't forget to make your guests "check" their cellphones at the door for the holiday! STUFFING From Page 4 PARENTING From Page One

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