Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who would have thought it?

I was going to write a follow up rant to my last post containing stories of mothers being led away in handcuffs and threatened with legal action, and some who had the authorities called on them because they dared be sarcastic on the internet [*bangs head on keyboard*], because some people couldn't keep their big, fat noses out of other people's business.

I was going to complain about laws created to keep us safe from ourselves and words like "bubble wrap" and "Ohmyf*ckinggawdIcan'tbelievethissh*t" were going to be thrown about like the spit off my lips when telling my husband about all the aforementioned stories.

I was going to complain about how we as a society could not be trusted to do what was right for our children, to know when to do something and when not to do something, to be able to go out in public and not be fearful that someone would judge how we parented and would then call the police on us and have our children taken away.

I was going to say, will say, that I have left my children in the car and gone no more than 15 feet away from them. I could count those times on a couple of fingers. They were in plain view, with the doors locked. My oldest could see me, did see me, and waved and made faces at me. Could that have gotten me arrested? In some states it could have. I have also left my sleeping children in the safety of their rooms and gone down the driveway to my mailbox. I have had short conversations with my neighbors while the kids were sleeping too. Does this make me a bad mother? Do we now have to be touching our children at all times for fear of persecution? It's like a bad game of Tag. I've got gools, you can't hurt me./Look, I'm touching my children. I'm a good parent!

(whoops, may have ranted a little there.)

I respect each of the comments that were made on that last post. I respect that, for many of you, leaving your kids in the car for any reason is not an option. I would also hope that many would respect the other commenters who thought things through before leaving their children to return a shopping cart and decided that in that situation their children were safe and there would be no harm in leaving them for five seconds.

And you did, at least on this blog.

Maybe you read the words left here by others and shook your head and disagreed, but you kept it to yourself. There were no arguments, no name calling or finger pointing. Most of the comments were very respectful. I thank you for that.

And that is the point of this post.

I thank you for the civility. I was not asking for advice in that post - even though I put myself into the hypothetical situation, it could have been anyone I just happened to use myself as the example - and most gave their opinions and didn't try to force assvice down my throat. You proved that people can have differing opinions and it doesn't have to devolve into name calling.

You've proved thoughtful debate could be had on the internet.

Give yourself a pat on the back.


Sarah said...

Well, congratulations to you too. More than once, I've thought that the reason civil discussions seem impossible on the web is because of the delivery of the topic/question in the post. If someone comes off judgmental in the post, then the responses they get are bound to be a little less, um, pleasant, right?

Maybe it's just me. Lol.

Ella said...

I read but did not comment on the post. I was, however, floored by the number of opinions shared and pleasantly surprised at the lack of judgement and negativity. Yipee! We're not obnoxious asshats!!!

kgirl said...

82 comments and not one is inflammatory? christ, I'm outta here; this place is boring.

Holly said...

Woohoo! Way to go, us!

Ree said...

Yay us! ;-)

Mandy said...

Hmmm... too bad I erased the inflammatory cussing comment I originally wrote and left a civil one.


ewe are here said...

I, too, read but didn't comment, even though i read all of them. It was amazingly civil; so nice to see.

I think, too, that these types of issues aren't as black and white as so many frequently make them out to be... and i wish more people realized that before judging other people's decisions, which are often well thought out no matter what they may think.

SciFi Dad said...

I, on the other hand, was offended that NOT ONE PERSON said anything about my water jar on the head bit. COME ON PEOPLE! That was comedy gold, damnit.

carrie said...

I am sorry I missed the debate, but you're right - for that amount of "discussion" and to have it be civil, is quite a feat in and of itself.

Now, my answer (had I not been late to the party) would have been: My kids are 12 (in 2 weeks),10 and 5. The older ones can stay in the car alone, DEPENDING on the situation. And this is wholly decided from a complex combination of where I am, how long I'll be in the store and what their current moods are. If I'm worrying that it's going to turn into WWF XXIV in my car, than absolutely no. I love my car too much (cough, cough) for it to get damaged in a tussle between my sons.

When they were babies, unable to unstrap themselves from their carseats and unable to wrassle with eathother in the car, I did, on at least a few occassions, run in for the proverbial "gallon of milk" or whatever (since we have a milkman), only if I could see them, and was very close to the car, and it was locked, I was not taking a long time, and it was not hot or unsafe. I'd also leave a diamond neckelace on the dash in these circumstances. :)

Thanks for the interesting reading, this is something I had not thought about in a long time since my 5 year old will let me go NOWHERE without her!

And...I'm also proud of the Internet and the way it handled what could have turned into quite a sh*tstorm. Way to go ladies!

Yarasawat (BatGirl!) said...

I agree with everyone above me, including and especially you, Tania.

courtney said...

That's fantastic that it was all handled and conversed so kindly. The internet and people in general get really uptight and crotchety about parenting. Yeah, I said crotchety.

Gini said...

Very well put. At 43, I have finally learned, that someone's elses choices have absolutely no reflection of how you are as a person. And who are we to judge anyway.....Kudo's to you - great blog post - great responses.

Patois said...

I did enjoy reading all of the comments prior to leaving mine, and I think I left mine, which owned up to leaving the kids in the car at times, precisely because the comments were almost universally an example of civility. Whoo-hoo!

toyfoto said...

I have to say that I've seen LOTS of lively debate ... Respectful Lively Debate ... on blogs. It always surprises me when people talk about how abusive the bloggesphere is.

I've happily missed that aspect.

creative-type dad said...

Wow, what a discussion.

If parents got arrested for any of those, we would all be in jail.

jen said...

i'm just catching up and was very impressed. and intrigued. village parenting when done right is lovely. when done wrong, is terrifying. so nicely done there, village elder.