It’s a Mag, Mag World

April 14, 2010 at 5:19 am | Posted in Lollipop | 20 Comments

Lollipop has discovered one of life’s biggest little joys. The magazine.

She has loved books ever since she first worked the corner of Touch and Feel Farm into her gummy, drooly infant mouth. But magazines? They have staples. They come with obnoxious reply cards “hidden mail” stashed between pages. They magically arrive on our doorstep. With her very own name!

High Five, Hands Down
High Five
is her favorite. There’s the cartoon about that wacky canine-and-feline duo Spot and Splinter. The English-Spanish story in which we encounter exotic, fun-to-say words like and listos and mañana. And the requisite kids-can-cook-too recipes like tuna-and-rice balls, cinnamon French toast, and bunny-shaped pear salad. These are the articles she asks for over and over, dog-ears, acts out in her room.

But. Her tastes are more eclectic. Family Handyman. Especially the articles and pictures about drills. Costco Connection. Where else can you see almonds, detergent, and greenhouses … in one issue? The Atlantic. All those words! It’s a Super Why addict’s dream come true. And I’m just waiting for the next Crate and Barrel catalog to come in the mail. Talk about a high-gloss tea party.

Her enthusiasm makes me long for the days when Goofus and Gallant taught me about sharing, caring, and making my bed. When I would dig up an overlooked “Make and Do” feature and some rubber cement on a rainy day.

Now, Avon Will Never Call
Heck, her enthusiasm makes me pine for those not-so-long-ago days when my “mommy magazines” came in the mail. For a while, I had a parenting magazine triumvirate going. Cookie. Wonder Time. Family Fun. In Cookie, I got my monthly dose of celebrity with a cover story on a famous mom, along with “easy, fast, essential” fashion and make-up tips I told myself I might actually try. One day. In Wonder Time, I got articles about Mo Willems and what to do when lice strikes and pet worms. In Family Fun, I got ideas about how to turn toilet paper rolls into race cars and 20 things to do with green food coloring.

Alas, hard times have come to everyone, including the publishing world. Cookie: canceled. In its place: Allure. Packed with complicated beauty regimens I know I’ll never use. Wonder Time: canceled. In its place: Family Fun. And that’s, well, redundant. I mean, 20 things to do with green food coloring is still 20 things to do with green food coloring.

My Subscription Prescription
And while I’m starting to come around to The Atlantic, especially after they did that article on Britney, let’s be realistic. It’s a bit challenging to digest 7,000 words on why Obama’s right about the economy when Giggles is running into flashlights, Lollipop is mashing “squish” into the tile, and I’m trying to sneak some chocolate fold the laundry.

Maybe it’s time to cancel a few subscriptions and break out the skillet. Because I know a little girl who’s got a mean French toast recipe.

And if all else fails, I know 20 things we can turn green. Twice.

What subscriptions does your family enjoy? What are your must-have parenting mags? Do you remember Goofus and Gallant?



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  1. I’m laughing so hard. I used to have a magazine addiction, not only did I have several subscriptions, but I never came out of a bookstore with one or two extras. Alas, when I went on maternity leave this was one of the things I gave up to help the budget. Honestly, I haven’t missed it. I’m a magazine inhaler. They last me all of an hour while I soak in the tub. Then I don’t look at them again. Seemed a lot of cash for such little return.

    However, I might just pick it up again just so I can learn how to turn things green. 🙂

  2. Oh, I love my magazines. Almost all magazines. I took whole courses (plural!) on magazines in graduate school.
    Wondertime, Parents, The New Yorker, Garden & Gun (if you’re not familiar, it isn’t scary Southern like it sounds. promise.), Oxford American. My husband gets Esquire and Architectural Digest. I miss Blueprint, and Inspired House. And then there are all the subscriptions we share with my mother (This Old House, Old House Journal, My House is So Old No Magazine Can Help Me, etc.)
    And catalogs? I take them on car trips. I want to get a gig writing those blurbs.
    Jack likes the home improvement magazines, mostly because of all the hammers and drills and tool belts (he hasn’t made the Super Why connection yet). But yesterday he spent 20 minutes on a page with pictures of six antique lamps. (?)

  3. So many mags, so little time. I’m a reformed mag junkie, myself. The only one I really look forward to these days is O. Most other subs have slipped. Every once in a while I indulge and buy one and I prefer it that way now. I’m in control enough to stop at one.

  4. Flora LOVES magazines and catalogs. Obviously, High Five, Highlights, and toy catalogs top the list, but she is fascinated by my Rolling Stone, too, and just about any other one that comes along. I used to love Shape. My ILs have gotten me subscriptions to Family Circle and Woman’s Day, and to be frank, I don’t have any interest in them. I’ve been thinking lately of cutting off our address and sending them to my husband’s office for his waiting room. I should do that with the Rolling Stones too, once I read them, buy they are harder to part with. I love reading about music.

  5. I have never heard of Goofus and Gallant so this must be an American thing (now I am going to have to google it!). I am a reformed trash magazine reader too – I used to love OK, People and all those other magazines but these days don’t read any of them. I’ve never found a parenting magazine I liked either (see my tongue in cheek expose on Parenting Magazines tips for what to do when you are about to explode!). Maybe when my daughter has flown the nest and I am a lady of leisure I will find the time to read something other than the instructions on how to put together our latest toy or child accessory!!

  6. My Mother wasn’t into magazines. I don’t usually buy them as I feel, I dunno, not quite right. I love sitting in the waiting rooms and looking at the pictures. Some of the children’s mags look fun. I’ve actually NEVER purchased a subscription I don’t think! Fancy that. I’ll have to change that I think.

  7. Goofus and Gallant, I remember them! One of the only mags my mother let us have as kids. I like to take a huge fashion mag when I fly. Mindless and fun.
    I also like the New Yorker, but it gets hard to keep up!

  8. I’m a magazine-a-holic! I’ve had to seriously pare down my habit. But I will never forget the little happy dance my son did when he received HIS very first magazine in the mail. It was priceless!

  9. I do enjoy magazines but I never subscribe to any. One day I was childless and magazine free and the next, when I had my baby, they all came pouring in and I honestly don’t know how they found me. Like it came along with Little Miss through the birth canal (sorry, is that too graphic?)

    Anyway, I do miss Cookie. They replaced mine with Lucky. And I’m not so sure I feel that way.

    Great post. Laughing after reading a difficult, heartbreaking book this morning was exactly what I needed. Thank you.

  10. I miss Wondertime, there was some good writing in that magazine.

    My kids get Babybug (featuring Kim and Carrots and Kim’s overly-caffeinated mom), Ladybug, Your big backyard and Nat’l Geographic, all courtesy of grandparents.

    My husband reads hunting and bow-making magazines.

    And my greedy hands pore over Brain, Child, Hipmama, Mothering, The Sun, Shambala, and the New Yorker. Yum!

  11. I still love magazines, but hardly get them anymore since I spend so much time online. However, I love Southern Living.

  12. I love magazines – when I used to live near a Barnes and Noble my favorite thing to do for “me time” was to go there for a coffee and sit and read magazines. Now that I can’t freeride on the B&N magazines, I have subscriptions to The Atlantic and Real Simple. I love The Atlantic, but I think I like the idea of Real Simple more than I like the reality of what I end up reading there – it’s too intimidatingly perfect.

    My son, however, loves all magazines and catalogs, although he does show a marked preference for the Land of Nod catalog. It’s funny you mention the appeal of The Atlantic and “all those words”, because he sits next to me and asks me about the large print letters that start paragraph or section of an article.

  13. Family Handyman and The Atlantic. Perfect. 🙂

    • I know! What more could you possibly need, right??

  14. I used scour the internet for free subscriptions to magazines. I had all kinds. Everything from Martha Stewart Living to Elle to Maxim to Soap Opera Digest. I’d lock myself in the bathroom and read articles for as long as I could get away with. Now, though, I don’t even have time for that. Not to mention all my free subscriptions ran out.

  15. The only magazines we get are National Geographic and National Geographic For Kids. And? We never read them. sigh…

  16. I was so sad when Cookie was cancelled! I thought that was one of the greatest magazines. I also really love Mothering, if you’re looking for a good mommy magazine (it’s crunchy, but so am I).
    I must admit I am a magazine addict too (since I was about eight). I love fashion magazines. My personal all time fave is In Style! I get so excited to read it. Now, I’ve phased out most fashion mags, but I still get In Style, Martha Stewart Living, Parenting, Family Fun, and Lucky. I really am an addict. I need help!

  17. I’m interested that you enjoyed Cookie, as I’ll admit, all it ever did for me was make me feel inferior. But all the parenting mags do that in one way or another. I’m not sure how they still keep creeping into my house, b/c I’m sure I don’t pay for them, but there’s still always an issue of Parents or Parenting arriving in my mailbox.
    My kids adore Animal Baby and Your Big Backyard.
    I get Cooking Light, Real Simple, Family Fun and Eating Well. Oh, and my very favorite: Entertainment Weekly. We used to get Newsweek, but J. put an end to it b/c it made his blood pressure rise. I miss it, even if it only ever glanced at it, but it wasn’t the same once Anna Quindlen retired anyway.

  18. Justin Bieber was on the cover of my People Magazine (I know, I’m dumb) this week. Guess what ten-year-old disappeared with it and didn’t bring it back? Despite the fact that we subscribed to Smithsonian for her IN HER NAME only!

  19. I also love magazines, but, like you, my former love affairs with The Atlantic and The New Yorker have cooled off in favor of content I can peruse while simultaneously mothering. My current favorite for that is Real Simple.

    My boys get Babybug, High Five, and the kids magazine from the National Wildlife Federation.

    And I totally remember Goofus and Gallant. I wonder what those two are up to these days…

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