August 28th, 2008

no baby yet, still not ascended, etc.

On the baby planning front: hey, how come whenever people write about wedding planners and now baby planners, they are hired by the bride/mother/woman? Do _men_ never hire these people? Why is that? And yes, I have thought of several obvious answers. This is a question we should all be asking.

The medical policy book lost out (which is a pity, because it was good in a slogging sort of way) to a new arrival: _The Unnatural History of the Nanny_ by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy (published in the UK originally as _The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny_). There are some expectable problems with it, notably some of what Gathorne-Hardy has to say on the subject of breastfeeding/weaning and the nature of the evidence he rallies. Creepily delicious however!

And while we are on the subject of the nanny:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/camilla_cavendish/article4622018.ece

Lack of historical context mars the title, but the article itself rings pretty true.

And of course the NYC posting to craigslist that seems to be making the rounds. I haven't found the original; this is coverage/commentary:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/28/nyregion/28nanny.html

ETA: Can I read? Apparently not. There's a .pdf of the original craigslist post referenced by the article so you can read it in all its glory. I also found it copied verbatim in some really vicious (and stupid) blogs by people who think it is quite amazing that someone who works from home might need help with the kiddies (do they _have_ children?) and might describe their children as a pain in the ass (no, they clearly do _not_ have children). The hours are amazing: 1.5 in the a.m. with help from mum; 6 in the p.m. The rest of hours respected with optional overtime. The pay is hard to calculate since there's an apartment included so you'd have to figure that. All in all, I'm not at _all_ surprised she got a bunch of legit applicants and was able to find someone quickly. As for people mocking her for having so many nannies over the years, all I have to say is, do you _know_ what the turnover is in group care? Seriously. Why would you expect in-home care to be appreciably different?

I would buy any book the author of that post wrote. I would certainly hope that it saw more copy-editing than that post, but even if it didn't, that is some awesomely good voice and some really actually very kind and compassionate realism, particularly the bits about smoking and alcohol and job searches.

"opt out" revolution broken down by advanced degree

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/080822/7/3o0xi.html

Highlights: doctors are most likely to make part-time work, then lawyers, then business (of the three categories of advanced degrees considered -- academic track doesn't make an appearance that I noticed), and by business, MBA which is to say management.

A variety of contributing factors are considered: lack of support/role-models in management for working reasonable hours, people marry within their field which compounds the problem, less commitment to the career (people know what a doctor is; what a manager is is far less clear), less money/fewer years commited to the advanced degree, etc.

Shockingly good analysis; I doubt you'll see much of this mentioned elsewhere.

ETA: _Someone_ followed up with the author for more details:

http://blog.marketplace.nwsource.com/ninetothrive/2008/07/so_many_articles_and_studies.html

Toddler Fun: new child care

I've been sitting here wondering when they're coming back, since he's only been with J2 for a couple hours two days in a row. On day 3, well into hour 3, I'm wondering if I should attempt to Get Something Done (as opposed to Gloriously Not Doing Anything At All Except Gestating) when I get e-mail from J2 with a really, really cute picture of T. with her daughter C.

That's _one_ way to convince me he's having a great time. Awesome!

antipsychotics and stroke risks: another easy opportunity to carp about medical care

Polypharmacy is a major problem for the elderly in skilled nursing facilities. Someone with dementia kinda cranky and aggressive? We can't use restraints any more, and actually figuring out what's bugging them and addressing that problem would require Way Too Much Time and Effort (and continuity of care) so instead, we drug 'em with anti-psychotics. (On top of everything else.) There have been herculean, but largely ineffective, efforts to put a stop to this practice.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7586627.stm

This may force the issue. I foresee some expensive lawsuits.

Alabama state employees health insurance cost sharing

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=54156

This is not the most detailed, but it looks like the best coverage I've seen so far.

Short form: Alabama has decided to do something about the high cost of providing health care at no cost (in terms of premium) to its single employees (people with a family enrolled do pay a bit more for spouse and/or kids). They're go to have everyone either pony up $25/month, or go get screened. If the screening (glucose, cholesterol, BP, BMI) looks bad, employee gets a year to improve it. If they fail to make "progress" (unclear what that means), they get to pony up $25/month.

Given what everyone _else_ is having to pay for health insurance? SO seems like a good idea. However, people have really focused in on that obesity number, despite the fact that Alabama opted for a pretty durn conservative BMI break point of 35.

(Check for yourself what that would mean: http://www.consumer.gov/weightloss/bmi.htm)

Whatever. I'd have more issues with the cholesterol number, honestly. Making someone pony up extra for a genetic condition they've already moved heaven and earth to mitigate seems a little mean, but I'm guessing there's some wiggle room in this system somewhere.