Be like MikeGOV. PARRIS N. Glendening was photographed in...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

October 02, 1999

Be like Mike

GOV. PARRIS N. Glendening was photographed in helmet and tank on a tour of Aberdeen Proving Ground last month.

From this, we must conclude one of three things:

1) He doesn't plan to run for president of the United States -- ever.

2) He isn't the political science college professor he's cracked up to be.

3) His field staff is too young to have heard of Michael Dukakis.

Calling Dr. Spock

LET'S BE upfront: when it's 2 a.m. and baby's wailing, bringing the little one into mom and dad's bed is the quickest way to restore peace. Now, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, no less, says baby may be imperiled by sleeping with parents.

The commission's pronouncement is based on a study showing about 64 babies die each year as a result of sleeping in beds with adults. By contrast, about 50 babies die annually while sleeping in cribs, most of which did not meet federal safety standards.

Parenting, as the late baby expert Benjamin Spock repeated time and again, is about common sense and not iron-clad rules. Parents have altered many child-care practices over the years, from car-seat usage to the way to cut a hot dog, but probably because they recognized the wisdom in the change more than because government researchers advised them to do so.

The fact is, some people -- either out of family or cultural tradition or because it facilitates breast-feeding -- regularly sleep with their children. As long as they are comfortable with the practice and do it cautiously, we suspect they'll continue.

More interesting perhaps is the notion that the practice, known as "co-sleeping," is seen as a way for busy working parents to have more "quality time" with their kids. One physician-author even so far as to call it, "the nighttime parenting style of the millennium." It may take some very imaginative science to show how adults can transfer much more than warmth to a child while in deep sleep.

Stadium clutter

MANY PEOPLE were unhappy when Baltimore's largely publicly funded football stadium was named PSINet Stadium, after a Virginia-Based Internet firm willing to pay a hefty price. But the latest irritation should be the signs advertising other companies that hang on the exterior of the stadium. If the inside is awash with ads, that's one thing. But if there's any hope of living up to the proud reputation that Oriole Park brought to Camden Yards, hold down the clutter outside the Ravens' roost.

Pub Date: 10/02/99

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