Parenting Like a Man

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

As the father of two girls, the phrase "you throw like a girl" makes my skin crawl. Boys have no intrinsic advantages in tossing a baseball. The only real difference is that boys tend to be handed baseballs more often than girls. Girls -- strong-armed as they are -- are taking back the phrase as a source of pride, and you can now get all sort of athletic apparent emblazoned with the "throw like a girl" motif.

Along the same lines, "parenting like a dad" has long had a derogatory ring that harkens back to a stereotype -- cemented into the collective unconscious in 1983 with Mr. Mom -- of the bumbling fathers. But now we are also beginning to take the phrase back.

The latest in this welcome and overdue effort comes from Men's Health, which is running a lengthy piece titled "Raise Kids Like a Man."

It's written in the typical Men's Health style, with a breathless tone and an ample dose of sports metaphors. The underlying message is crystal clear, and one I can get behind 100 percent -- real men can parent on their own terms.

The advice dispensed, stripped of tough-guy rhetoric, is solid whether you're a mom or a dad: Teach the kids to do laundry. Give them time to solve their own problems. Learn to grocery shop really, really fast.

But what bothered me, actually, was that to establish a new paradigm that makes fathering something to aspire to, the author built all kinds of stereotypes about how moms parent. The strawmen (or strawwomen) he conjures don't hold up very well. I don't know any parent, regardless of gender, who likes to futz around Giant for an hour and a half. And the idea that mothers are somehow more tolerant of crocodile tears or more resistant to befriending their children borders on silly.

There has been some legitimate research to suggest that fathers may -- in the aggregate -- parent a little differently from mothers, but that research tends to emphasize that "different" doesn't mean "better" in any qualitative sense.

So with Father's Day on the horizon, I'm left wondering if there is really a "male" style of parenting or if the whole deal is mostly a well-intentioned effort to get men more involved. The longer I do the kid-rearing thing, the fewer distinctions I see between the sexes. Good parenting is good parenting, regardless of whether you use football metaphors to explain it.

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  June 7, 2007; 7:40 AM ET  | Category:  Dads
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Comments

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first...

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | June 7, 2007 7:42 AM

First!

Posted by: Antshe | June 7, 2007 7:42 AM

First!

Posted by: Antshe | June 7, 2007 7:42 AM

3rd (since Antshe double-posted)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 7:45 AM

I know a SAHD who has the best attitude ever. He knows that no one expects him to be competent but he uses that to his advantage. If the kids are dirty and unhappy, he is simply meeting expectations. If the kids are clean and shiny, he's a super hero. He can't lose. I love that instead of complaining about it, he goes about his job and makes the best of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 7:52 AM

Seriously, there is actually a separate parenting blog. A separate blog that doesn't claim to cover "WORK-life" balance.

The only reason to read this blog anymore is to laugh at the inevitable deterioration in the comments as posters snipe about the overeuse of the word "Nazi," exchange personal insults, and seek to justify their own choices by denigrating others'.

Posted by: Only parents need balance? | June 7, 2007 8:00 AM

Here's a balance topic. In light of this dear girl in Kansas who was abducted and killed. How do you balance instilling a healthy fear in your kids without making them fearful and likely to miss out on many of the joys of life?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:06 AM

My husband and I are both committed to raising happy, healthy children, but we go about it differently. He is more "fun" than I am with them. He roughhouses, jokes, and is more physical in his playing. I'm more apt to read or cook with them. (Fun, right?) I tend to let them play with each other instead of getting involved. My husband gets right in there and builds the train tracks in a certain way or devises a scenario for them to do pretend play. My mother talks about how she NEVER played with her kids. I remember her as being a wonderful, involved mother (mostly) while I was growing up. But my Dad was the fun one. Maybe history is repeating itself in my house. Am I the only one?

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 7, 2007 8:12 AM

I think that since there are differences between men and women, biological as well as environmental, there are going to naturally be differences in the way they do things and the attitudes they have towards things. I am not one of those "I am woman hear me roar" types and have always appreciated and valued the differences between men and women. I often get a hard time for arguing against doing away with those differences in the workplace in and our use of language.

I think there are differences in the way men and women parent, and shop and play and I think that is a good thing. The differences aren't really about who will spend longer in the supermarket, they are about the way people view tasks and their approaches to getting them done. My husband is methodical in his approach to certain things where I am more of a get it done kind of person.

It gives our kids--boys and girls--a realistic view of the world and differences about people. My kids like the way my husband does somethings better than the way I do them and vice versa and have no problem saying so. They also, have heard on more than one occasion, "I am not your mother/father" when trying to get away with something that the other parent looks the other way on.

Both my boys are special ed and in their travels through schools and camp have been exposed to very few men--since the field does not attract men. One summer they both had boy counselors and the difference was startling. They both had a great time and became much more rough and tumble--more what I would term "boyish." Instead of preempting a stomp through mud puddles as most of the female counselors did, the male counselors got right in the puddles with the boys. I suspect its because the counselors remembered things like that from when they were kids and thought it just a part of being a kid. Different view point, different action as a result and probably different people doing laundry ands trying to dry sneakers at home :) but I think it is a good thing--these differences--and I think saying things like "parent like a dad" are descriptive and don't have to have a negative connotation.

Posted by: Chris1458 | June 7, 2007 8:12 AM

OT from yesterday: I just read this and I have to respond:

*This notion of "self-segregation" by minorities or Black people is really quite ridiculous. There is an entire cafetaria of white kids sitting together, and yet you mean to tell me that the only problem is that the Black kids are doing the same thing? Are the Indian kids sitting together? What about the Mexican kids? My guess is they are too. We do a lot of talking in this country about diversity and equality, but we don't and can't back it up. White people live in increasingly Whites-only neighborhoods and pay to send their children to increasingly Whites-only schools. It happens in the work place too. White people won't think twice about going to lunch together or going out after work, and not inviting a single person of color along. But if the Black employees get together for similar activities it's a problem and they're "self-segregating." My favorite example is my own personal experience riding the commuter train. I get on the train pretty early on, so I'm one of the few people who ends up in a two-seater by myself. The train gets more crowded with each stop, and I can't tell you the number of times the white people get on and will only sit with another white person. It's a crowded train - people are standing! - and I get an entire two-seater all to myslef (unless another Black person comes along). I guess it's one of the few privileges of being Black.

Whenever I hear this complaint from white people, it reminds me of the slavemaster's mentality. The slavemaster didn't want the slaves talking to one another, congegrating with one another or otherwise developing any sort of close bond because it would be bad for the institution! I guess that mentality still persits today*

Hogwash!! The kids of other ethnicities DO NOT separate themselves out in social settings at school. Only the black students do so. My younger son was especially offended, because he played football with several of these boys, and he thought they were friends. He did not hold any racist attitudes before he got to high school, but, unfortunately, I think he does now.

By the way, one of the reasons I sent my sons to this particular school because it was actually MORE racially, ethnically and economically diverse than the lily-white exurban public school they would have otherwise attended.

And I am just as offended to be comapred to a slavemaster as you would be to be called the 'n' word. Talk about stereotypes -- most whites in this country are NOT descended from plantation owners. In fact, some of us (like ME) are descended from UNION GENERALS -- you know, the side that fought to END slavery. So, before you throw that slavemaster insult around, think twice, and then think again.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 8:14 AM

Deconstructing a Men's Health article? You've hit a new low...(and you write like a girl)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:15 AM

I've long been intrigued by the way in which interests and personal characteristics are genderized in our culture. How and why do we define certain tendencies as "masculine" and others as "feminine" and what difference does it make?

Some years ago, I had occasion to take a battery of tests, including the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory. I'd been advised ahead of time by a friend who'd been trained as a psychiatric nurse that the Strong-Campell reported results along gender terms. When I got my results, I was curious to see that, while I am female, a number of my responses were closer to the so-called "typical masculine" responses than they were to the "typical feminine" responses. Unfortunately, the individual responsible for interpreting my test results was not the brightest bulb in the circuit and was unable to answer my questions as to what the genderizing of the test results meant, particularly in light of my own responses.

I'd be curious to hear other people's experience of this phenomenon.

Posted by: Murphy | June 7, 2007 8:16 AM

To 8:06 anon: We have had several discussions with my stepdaughter starting around the time she was 9 about "what to do if someone tries to take you". The most important thing is to fight like hell, scream and draw attention to yourself. Scream "I do not know this person, please help me!" And if someone tries to get you into a car, you'd better fight as if your life depended on it, because it does.

I don't know what the appropriate age is to start the discussion, but maybe someone else can chime in.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 7, 2007 8:17 AM

Q: What is the mission statement of U2's lawyers?

A: We are Pro Bono!

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 8:17 AM

Well, we certainly wouldn't want U2's lawyers to go over The Edge.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 8:19 AM

"Seriously, there is actually a separate parenting blog. A separate blog that doesn't claim to cover "WORK-life" balance. "

Yes, but the parenting blog is run by "Spacey" Stacey Garfinkle, a real airhead with no concept of parenting or common sense.

Gotta wonder what the folks at the Washington Post were smoking when they gave her the gig.

"Spacey" Stacey lets her 5 year old (who is no the smartest knife in the drawer)use the microwave unsupervised. He helps himself to the keys to unlock the SUV with no adult in sight.

There is nothing funny about her blog; just a cold foreboding that something really bad is going to happen to one of her kids.

Posted by: Fred Flintstone | June 7, 2007 8:20 AM

What does this have to do with balance? Is this a way of having a token male write into Leslie's feminist forum?

Posted by: where's the balance? | June 7, 2007 8:20 AM

How many members of U2 does it take to screw in a light bulb?

One. Bono holds the light bulb and the world revolves around him.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 7, 2007 8:24 AM

educmom

"My younger son was especially offended, because he played football with several of these boys, and he thought they were friends. He did not hold any racist attitudes before he got to high school, but, unfortunately, I think he does now."

Maybe he is more street wise now and won't screw up in college and lose his scholarship, the way your older son did.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:24 AM

Only if it is an energy efficient light bulb!

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 8:25 AM

WorkingMomX, your advice is excellent re drawing attention to oneself when someone tries to harm you, in hopes of scaring off the attacker.

Another thing my mother taught me from an early age was always to be look around a lot so I could be aware of my surroundings whenever I was out, so that I'd better be able to detect if something was out of the ordinary -- not that different is always bad, but at least then I might be able to judge whether there was some risk of harm or trouble.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 8:25 AM

WorkingMomX

"The most important thing is to fight like hell, scream and draw attention to yourself. Scream "I do not know this person, please help me!"

Studies show that screaming the word "Fire" gets the most attention and assistance.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:27 AM

I read somewhere to throw your purse as far away from you as possible. If all they want is money they will chase it.
Also, always have your car keys in your hand as soon as you leave a store or home. That way if you see something you can hit the panic button which will also draw attention to you (if you are close enough to your car).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 7, 2007 8:28 AM

When I coached softball for my girls, I use to tell the players, "You throw like a girl!" They would always scream back at me, "That's becasue we are!"

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 8:32 AM

OT:

EducMom, I'm sorry I missed yesterday's discussion on kids and race relations. I guess I can always be counted on to have a million opinions in that area -- mainly because I lived my first 16-or-so years surrounded almost entirely by minorities and the last almost-20 surrounded mostly by non-majorities.

I think it is patently unfair to say that just the black kids self-segregate. They do ~sometimes~ I'm sure. No denying that. But when people are building their clicques they gravitate to people similar to themselves and seek to be associated with whatever is 'cool'. Human nature.

I understand that you were (rightly) offended at the slave-master crack. That was over the top. But I must agree with the point that it is silly to hold the position that just the blacks self-segregate. Maybe that's true in your geographic area (it was true where I grew up in Brooklyn) or maybe it's true in your kid's school for some social demographic reason. But it's not a global truth.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 8:34 AM

ON the subject of safety, please check out
www.escapeschool.com
There was a community group that did this presentation at our kid's school last year on preventing abductions and it was INCREDIBLY useful and enlightening. THey show a video and do some drills with the kids, and it's really practical information. (I.E. if someone is following your child on the street while they are driving in their car, your child should turn and run in the opposite direction from the way the car is driving -- the car will then be forced to make a U-turn, and it will slow the car down and possibly save your child's life. If your child is on a bike and someone tries to take them, your child should hang on to the bike at all costs, since it's extremely difficult to pick up a child holding a bicycle and put them in a car. try it sometime.)

ON the subject of the Men's health article, I LOVED it! I loved the emphasis on getting stuff done and not agonizing about it or thinking too much. (However, it did worry me since I'm a woman, and I, too, apparently parent like a man.)

But my DH and I have recently been discussing doing a role-switch for a year (me taking a full-time job and him taking a "sabbatical") and I'm curious to see how our house will run differently. He assures me that the house will be much cleaner and more efficiently run. And that he will have lots of time in the middle of the day to play golf. We'll see . .

Posted by: Armchair Mom | June 7, 2007 8:34 AM

How many breastfeeding women does it take to change a light bulb?

Just smash the bulb over my head, it has to feel better than this.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:35 AM

I read that "Raise Kids Like a Man" article last week and although it's mostly fine, I did agree that there seemed to be a bit of mom-bashing in it. I wonder if it's difficult for people to applaud their own methods without denigrating another's.

Posted by: Rockville Mom | June 7, 2007 8:35 AM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:42 AM

"My younger son was especially offended, because he played football with several of these boys, and he thought they were friends. He did not hold any racist attitudes before he got to high school, but, unfortunately, I think he does now."

Did your son go to sit with those boys and their other friends, or did he just get an attitude because those boys didn't choose to come and sit with him?

Posted by: serious question | June 7, 2007 8:46 AM

Back on topic:

Brian thanks for the post. I happen to believe that reading your stuff contributes to my personal efforts to achieve balance. I vote you stick with it.

Anyways, I don't subscribe to the parent like a man/woman theory. As someone who married a hyper-agressive lady litigator, I think maybe the distinction should be active parents vs. passive parents. I would say that the wife and I are both 'active' parents in that we want the kid(s) to have certain experiences and will push the kid(s) towards them and participate with them in order to actively make the experience happen. I think we have an early walking/talking/running/jumping kid because did all that stuff with him and incented him to further it on his own. He wants to learn to catch a football because he's seen me do it. He's got more than his share of scrapes because he's okay making mistakes as long as he tries. He's learning boundaries by running headlong into them. Importantly, this approach is reinforced by both both parents, as the wife was a D-1 athlete in a high-contact sport.

She has some parenting traits that I don't have (more singing, less funny faces) and that's fine of course. But that's not an overall approach to parenting, just small element of a parent's style. I think much of the stuff in that article was just stylistic, not a real 'approach'. 2 cents.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 8:48 AM

With my friends who have kids, I do notice that the dads parent differently than the moms. Most of the time it seems like the dad is trying to get away with something, like he'll take me aside and do the stand the kid in the palm of his hand thing. He does this out of sight of mom and cracks up that she would have a fit. In general, the dads seem to take a lot more risks and have more fun being silly than the mom.

Gender roles aside, it doesn't really bother me because they are on the same page for the big issues, like discipline (no spanking but time outs a-plenty) and schooling and saving.

I do wonder if people just fall into these roles because society tells them to or if they really work better that way. Like, if my friend were always the risk taker and crazy one but then had a kid and became a big worry-wort, I'd be thinking that she totally changed. Then I'd wonder if she changed because she really loved her kid or something or if she's just playing the role of mother that we are constantly exposed to in the media.

I just hope that if we're ever parents that I get to be the fun one. No one likes to be the mean mommy.

Posted by: Meesh | June 7, 2007 8:48 AM

Re: keeping kids safe, how do you instill those lessons, but still raise a kid who will pursue their dreams. Move to a big city, travel to europe etc... I'm concerned that we will have an exceptionally safe/fearful kid who is afraid to experience life and all its offerings. How do you teach that the world is a scary place, but still a relatively safe place that they should explore?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:49 AM

For some reason, when I throw left handed, I throw like a girl. It's strange, I've never been able to train my left arm to throw like my right arm.

I am also right brain dominant...

which leads me to logically conclude that I am actually a lesbian trapped inside the body of a man.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 7, 2007 8:49 AM

I was told to hold my keys so that I could use them to poke someone in the eye if they tried to attack me. I don't know if the panic button defense would work -- I think we all tend to ignore car alarms these days, because they go off so frequently by accident.

I grew up in Baltimore County, and the state's attorney used to come to the school every year and give a talk on rape prevention to all the girls. Among the tips I remember are not walking alone in a dark or strange area, being aware of your surroundings, and being aware of who was nearby.

She also talked about whether or not to resist. The conventional wisdom used to be to not resist, as resistance was thought to increase the chance of the rapist seriously injuring or killing the victim. She said that a woman being attacked should try to keep her cool, and look for her best chance to resist or escape. I think the conventional wisdom has changed, but it's still a good idea to try to remain as rational as humanly possible.

She also talked about the best places to inflict harm -- she said the most vulnerable places are the eyes and the privates, and not to be afraid to seriously hurt either one if it could save your skin.

Anon at 8:24:
Son #1 was TOO street smart, if you follow me. And the school did decide at the last minute to extend the scholarship, but he's staying home and going to community college anyway. He needs to settle down and get serious.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 8:50 AM

I think "parenting like a man" is tough, because dads seem to be breaking new ground now. I'm much more hands on and involved than my dad ever was, but he acted as a typical father did in the 70s. So where's my role model? What's my point of reference? Sure, I want to be a great parent like my mom was, but in a manly sense. My neighbor, collegues, and dad friends are figuring it out as we go along. Confusing and freeing at the same time.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 7, 2007 8:53 AM

I agree that the differences in mom/dad parenting are important.

After an ice storm when our son was three months old his dad took a run and sent the car seat sliding along the ice. Godmother who was with us was appalled. I laughed and commented that all children needed a walk on the wild side with dad. Not something most moms would have thought about doing, much less actually done.

Posted by: Chapel Hill | June 7, 2007 8:53 AM

All --

Thanks for all the sharp barbs about what ought to be fair game for a column about balance. From my point of view, looking at the gender assumptions about caretaking has a lot to do with balance: when fathers are active partners in childrearing, a family's work-life choices can be distinctly different from families in which all of the responsibilities fall to one parent.

Or, alternatively, I can go back to harping about telecommuting and the Quest for the Modern Flexible Workplace.

(Funny, vasectomies don't have much to do with balance, either, but you all seemed content with that post ...)

Posted by: Brian Reid | June 7, 2007 8:58 AM

great question, 8:46.

Posted by: excellent question | June 7, 2007 8:59 AM

Brian

"when fathers are active partners in childrearing, a family's work-life choices can be distinctly different from families in which all of the responsibilities fall to one parent. "

Duh! Ya think? Does this deserve a whole column?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:03 AM

serious question:
He tried to go sit with them. In fact, there was a time he was asking one of the boys a question about classwork, and he was standing by the 'black' tables, because the boy he was talking to was sitting at one. Another (black) boy he didn't know told him he was 'too pale' to be standing where he was! The only reason the boy backed off was that another (larger) boy on the football team intervened and said it was OK, because my son was cool.

Proud papa,
I do know it's not a universal truth. I think there were more than 400 postings yesterday, so I know you don't want to go back and read through to find my initial post on the topic. I said that this behavior seemed to be specific to their school, as I had not had exactly the same experiences in settings where there were several members of various races. It makes sense that there would be a regional component to the behavior. The school is in suburban Baltimore, and I think that might be a factor. Oddly enough, when we moved to the deep South for several years, I didn't see nearly as much self-segregation as I do up here, and I thought race relations would be a bigger problem in someplace like Savannah.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 9:05 AM

workingmomX-8:17, It's the same at my house.

And, I love Men's Health magazine.

Posted by: bl | June 7, 2007 9:05 AM

The parenting gender roles start SO early, especially if your breasfeeding. My daughter sees me as a walking steak and will begin to fuss immediately upon catching sight of me. For Daddy it's all smiles. He's really rowdy with her, so much so that he can't put her to bed because she gets all fired up just seeing him. However, I have absolutely no complaints, because he is so involved and so in love with her.

Posted by: atb | June 7, 2007 9:05 AM

I can't generalize about other people, but my own experience does tend to fall into the stereotypes. I see my primary job as to protect my kids and keep them safe; my husband, I think, sees his job as more to prepare them to survive in the world. Neither one of us is extreme; I'm not going to raise some whiney spoiled brat, my husband doesn't browbeat the kids to "toughen them up," and we probably agree on the response 95% of the time. But then there's the time that the girl is throwing a fit, and I am wracking my brain trying to figure out why, and my husband comes in and rightly pegs it as Drama Queen. Or on the other hand, the Sat. AM when the two of them are completely pissy, and he's wondering what's gotten into her this morning, and I think, duh, no one's eaten, so I shove food in both of their mouths and 15 minutes later it's all happy smiley again.

I think it's a good balance, because we both see different things and so give each other a different perspective (although he still hasn't made the connection to the low blood sugar crankies -- go figure).

WorkingMomX, I am also not the "fun" one -- my husband is far more likely to play games with the kids than I am. But I am the "snuggle" parent -- I am the one they go to when they're tired out or not feeling well and just want to curl up and be "safe." Kids need both, so I don't worry too much about that -- we each tend to do what we're best at.

Brian, re: the grocery shopping: I suspect the validity of the stereotype depends on the circumstance. When I was home with baby (or working part-time and at a lull), I had no deadlines and cooked for fun. So grocery shopping was part of that -- I'd walk through the aisles figuring out what to cook based on what was on sale and what looked good; no deadlines, so no need to rush. (Kind of like when my husband goes to the woodworking store checking out the wood for his next project -- it's all scoping, planning, figuring out what works best, more fun than chore).

Now that I'm back in an office and a lot busier (and added the second child), grocery shopping is a task to be executed with military precision. I write the list in the order of the aisles and try to get in and out in 30 minutes before getting the kids (yesterday was bad: just got off the plane, no time to plan, so it took 45 minutes).

BUT even today, if I can get 2-3 hours of free time (yeah, right), I'm off to Wegman's. That's not a chore to be gotten done as soon as possible -- it's a freaking playground of yummy treats.

Posted by: Laura | June 7, 2007 9:06 AM

"Duh! Ya think? Does this deserve a whole column?"

Only if people who participate on the blog contribute to a productive -- or even witty -- discussion.

Brian's comments tie into my point about role models. We learned a lot from our parents and the adults we knew growing up. But, for me at least, those examples were working fathers and stay at home moms who did the majority of the child rearing. I think my wife and I, who both work and share the child rearing, are happier -- but more stressed, tired, and frustrated.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | June 7, 2007 9:08 AM

"My husband is methodical in his approach to certain things where I am more of a get it done kind of person.My husband is methodical in his approach to certain things where I am more of a get it done kind of person."

This isn't a male/female thing at all. Have you ever taken the MBTI? This is a P/J thing. You are a P. Your husband is a J.

Posted by: Lizzie | June 7, 2007 9:08 AM

re: yesterday and educmom- I've always heard race relations in the south are actually better, mainly because it hit rock bottom and had to be fixed. In the north, it's 2 populations living side by side, not mixing. I'm no sociologist, so I don't know if studies have been done, but it makes some sense.

Posted by: atb | June 7, 2007 9:10 AM

educmom, a group of white kids at a lunch table are self-segregating, but you don't perceive groups of white people as self-segregating. You see them as normal. That says more about your perceptions than reality. If your son has now developed racist attitudes, your comments indicate that you are not making any effort to dissuade him.

Re: all those wonderful Union Generals. They weren't fighting to END slavery. They were fighting, as ordered, to keep the land occupied by the South as part of the Union. There was precious little support for the Civil War in the north, and plenty of racism there.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:10 AM

This isn't a male/female thing at all. Have you ever taken the MBTI? This is a P/J thing. You are a P. Your husband is a J.

In plain English?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:11 AM

I read this article-

It's ridiculous. I get that women need to relax a little more, have more fun and not always take parenting so seriously, BUT

This article actually advocates sticking a lollipop in a toddler's screaming mouth just to get them to shut up.

It's that kind of "do whatever works" and "Shouldn't have to try too hard" attitude that inflicts so many dads.

No, you CAN'T just stick a lollipop in a toddler's mouth the quell a tantrum OR you'l lbe doing this over and over again and the behavior will never change. He/she will just get a lollipop!

While the article was funny- it was by no means a template on how to SUCCESSFULLY raise kids.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | June 7, 2007 9:12 AM

"When I got my results, I was curious to see that, while I am female, a number of my responses were closer to the so-called "typical masculine" responses than they were to the "typical feminine" responses."

Me too. Maybe it also has to do with expectations. In my family, there was no "Girls don't understand math" sub-text. So there was no pandering, dumbing down, or excuse for not learning the subject. I'm also more athletic than my husband, his greater upper body-strength notwithstanding.

I guess your experience demonstrates that there is a sliding scale of masculine & feminine behaviours and characteristics, and there is overlap between the two. It's like genetics, there is more variation within a sub-group than across a broader population.

In other words--we're PEOPLE.

Posted by: Bedrock | June 7, 2007 9:12 AM

No, you CAN'T just stick a lollipop in a toddler's mouth the quell a tantrum OR you'l lbe doing this over and over again and the behavior will never change. He/she will just get a lollipop!

Right. Small wonder we're such an obese nation when the sweet rewards start so early.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:15 AM

Only if people who participate on the blog contribute to a productive -- or even witty -- discussion.


Maybe you should become employed by the Washpo Blogs so you can delete all comments which you feel are not "on topic"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:16 AM

By the way, I am the outlier that you guys have been looking for.

I am the guy who takes his kid to the supermarket on Sunday mornings and meanders in there for an hour.

I time it so that lunch and naptime follow immediately upon returning home, so Mom has about a 4-hour block of sanity built in to every other Sunday.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 9:17 AM

"No, you CAN'T just stick a lollipop in a toddler's mouth the quell a tantrum "

Oh, my God! This blog is sinking under its own weight of absurdity! And so early in the day!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:19 AM

I grew up in southern Virginia. In the early 90s, in middle school one of my best friends was black, which caused some issues for us at the time. She took me aside one day at the end of the year and told me that when we entered high school, it would be different. We would not be friends any more because I'm white and she's black. I remember exactly what she said, "I know my friends won't like it, and your friends may not say anything, but they won't like it either." I was totally aghast and outraged. I thought it was ridiculous, and told her so. She sympathized that it sucked, but told me she was just trying to be honest so I wouldn't be hurt next year. She told me we could say hi in the hallways, and that was it.

I was so angry, but I didn't know who to be angry at. I wasn't angry at her-- it must have taken a lot of courage to tell me that, and I really feel like she was trying to be careful with my feelings. I didn't even feel like being mad at her friends was fair. It made me even angrier that I had no one to blame.

In high school, I had one close black friend, a male, who I witnessed being called "oreo" many times by the other blacks. The pressure on him was enormous. He was truly brilliant but deliberately got bad grades to fit in with his black peers.

I hope this has changed in the more than decade I've been out of school, but I doubt it has. Very depressing.

Posted by: Neighbor | June 7, 2007 9:19 AM

"This blog is devoted to illuminating the work/family debate through stories from moms about how we juggle work and kids, in whatever portions we've chosen (including none). So welcome, working moms, sort-of working moms and not-working-right-now moms."

Can you quit being a cry baby now? We are going to talk about kids on this blog as well as a bunch of other stuff.

Posted by: for only parents need balance | June 7, 2007 9:20 AM

Just like you say that girls throw like girls because they don't practice very much, Mr. Mom became a very good caretaker and homemaker over the course of the movie.

Posted by: Michael Keaton fan | June 7, 2007 9:20 AM

If it is true that parenting is gender-neutral, why do people get freaked out when i say that i would consider hiring a male au pair or nanny?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 7, 2007 9:21 AM

MBTI:

Introvert/Extrovert (I/E)
Sensing/iNtuition (S/N)
Thinking/Feeling (T/F)
Judging/Perceiving (J/P)

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 7, 2007 9:21 AM

Jen S. - because people are pre-disposed to believing men are more likely to be pedophiles.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:24 AM

Proud Papa

"I am the guy who takes his kid to the supermarket on Sunday mornings and meanders in there for an hour.

I time it so that lunch and naptime follow immediately upon returning home, so Mom has about a 4-hour block of sanity built in to every other Sunday."

You'd best be also taking your family to church every Suday, or you will burn in a lake of fire forever and ever and ever and ever! Amen.

Posted by: Holy Roller | June 7, 2007 9:24 AM

And MBTI stands for?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:25 AM

MBTI stands for www.google.com.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:28 AM

MBTI stands for www.google.com

If you want people to read what you post, make it user-friendly. Otherwise, you're just an arrogant snob.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:30 AM

anon at 9:10:

When a group sits in the exact same place each day, only allows others like themselves to spend time in the area, refuses to mingle with the other groups (even when invited), and practices intimidation to keep their group pure, I think that counts as self-segregation.

Both of my sons said that the black kids refused to associate with the white kids, even when asked to do so, and they ostentatiously kept to themselves. For the record, son #1 was a regular at the black tables from freshman year, because he had a good buddy from choir who was black, and son #2 was a semi-regular after the incident I described, which happened in his sophomore year.

The white kids did not attempt to bully the black kids away from the 'white' area, principally because there was no such thing as the 'white' area.

I raised the boys to not judge anyone on their race or ethnicity. At this point in their lives, I lead by example. I hope that he has different experiences in college, and his foundation in non-judgementalism reasserts itself. I will talk to him before team reporting day about mature relationships with teammates, classmates and floormates in college. I also have to talk to him about how to conduct himself in class with girls -- he went to an all-male high school. He is an empathetic and outgoing young man, and I think he will be just fine.

Since I can assume you think all Union generals were fighting for political reasons, and none of them had any moral objections to slavery, may I also assume that you buy into the Confederate argument that the war was really about states' rights, and not about the indefensible practice of one human being owning another?

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 9:31 AM

go ahead, it's time for the daily jump.
jump me, i dare you.

Posted by: Shark | June 7, 2007 9:31 AM

"And MBTI stands for?"

MBTI stands for My Big Tight I

Posted by: acronym | June 7, 2007 9:31 AM

MBTI stands for www.google.com.

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 09:28 AM

You've just guaranteed that your views will be ignored.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:32 AM

"As the father of two girls, the phrase "you throw like a girl" makes my skin crawl."

Brian, it theems like you've gotten tho thenthative thince the vathectomy.

Have you and your spouse decided between the 2 of you the best person to teach your daughters the skills of applying eye shadow and lipstick?

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 7, 2007 9:33 AM

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 7, 2007 9:33 AM

RE: MBTI ... translated: Meyers-Briggs Temperament Indicator ... based on Jungian psychology ... The Meyers-Briggs analysis can be helpful when approached the right way. It can, however, quickly devolve into nothing more than a parlor game!

And even Meyers-Briggs has its gender biases. I've been in a number of groups over the past 25 years or so which have considered the various uses of this tool, and I've typically found that I'm the token female INTJ!

Posted by: Murphy | June 7, 2007 9:34 AM

Actually, as the girls mature their skills at softball improve dramatically. When a pitcher is whipping one at you at 90 mph, even underhanded, you are more interested in protecting the plate (or yourself.) The movement and velocity of the ball can be astounding and any softball or baseball purist appreciates this. Watch a little collegiate softball sometime and really see what it means to "throw like a girl!"

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 9:34 AM

God,

Does educmom ever let anything go and just SHUT UP? How much cyber attention does this chick need? Doesn't she get enough real attention from her pupils at school?

A classic control freak who needs to be in charge 24/7! Sheesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:37 AM

This has got to be the most inane content on this entire site. Blah, blah, blah...my kids...blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:37 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog.

Posted by: H | June 7, 2007 9:39 AM

My kids need their dad to be a MAN in their lives; it would make a huge difference. Instead he has chosen to be their "fun friend"; more of their peer than their adult parent "aka, DAD". Why did he want to have kids if he didn't want to be a PARENT?

Posted by: C.W. | June 7, 2007 9:40 AM

A classic control freak who needs to be in charge 24/7! Sheesh!

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 09:37 AM

Hey, anonymous troll, you're the biggest blatherer of them all, so you've got no standing to criticize ANYONE on this (or any other) count!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:42 AM

C.W.
Why are you asking us that question? Seems like you should have asked him first.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:42 AM

I've read that the reason girls 'throw like girls' has to do with musculature. Perhaps that can at least partially explain their ability to throw so fast and hard underhanded while they have some difficulty achieving the same results overhand. I've also read that girls' legs are proportionally stronger than boys' legs. One gender isn't better; they're just different.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 9:43 AM

Learn how to use the "Submit" button: press it ONCE!

Posted by: To H | June 7, 2007 9:45 AM

Father of 4

"thenthative thince the vathectomy"

homophobia -- and related taunts -- are bad

Posted by: Arington Dad | June 7, 2007 9:47 AM

"If it is true that parenting is gender-neutral, why do people get freaked out when i say that i would consider hiring a male au pair or nanny?"


It is not true and only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children. Get a female Jen, so we don't have to hear another molestation story.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 9:47 AM

"Hey, anonymous troll, you're the biggest blatherer of them all, so you've got no standing to criticize ANYONE on this (or any other) count!"

You can't take away my standing. At least my posts are short.

educmom is at it again on the subject of "throw like girls".

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:48 AM

Educmom,
Drop it. That was yesterday's "off topic" rant. Get a life or go to another blog

Who died and made you God?

Also, to the other poster, there were a lot of people in the North who were opposed to slavery. Those slaves didn't make it up north on their own. Underground rail road anyone? Stop being racist and acting like everyone is out to get you. Get over it already

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:49 AM

only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children.

Because widowed and divorced fathers are child molesters?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:52 AM

"TO H"

"Learn how to use the "Submit" button: press it ONCE!"

H had an excellent post that was worth repeating. Was it technical error? Fate? Luck? God's will?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:52 AM

You can't take away my standing. At least my posts are short.

Make them even shorter, like zero words.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:53 AM

H had a snarky post, wasn't worth pushing the "Submit" button even once.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:54 AM

only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children.

Because widowed and divorced fathers are child molesters?

You never know that's the problem. Hiring a man to watch your child is like inviting a fox into the hen house. Safety first, wishes, hopes and PC last. Why did the robber rob banks? because that is where the money is. Why do pedophiles try to be scout leaders, youth ministers,au pairs,coaches? because that is where the kids are.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 9:55 AM

"H had a snarky post, wasn't worth pushing the "Submit" button even once"

H's post was right on the money.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:57 AM

"And even Meyers-Briggs has its gender biases. I've been in a number of groups over the past 25 years or so which have considered the various uses of this tool, and I've typically found that I'm the token female INTJ!"

I scored as INTJ too. We are a definite minority and you are rare, but rational. ;) pun intended, i know you will get it.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:01 AM

What's up today? Well, I know the blog disintegrates frequently, but today seems worse than most. I, for one, think that Brian's topic IS germane to balance - because in order to achieve a decent chance at balance, we're going to have to let men parent as much as women do, and do it their own way. It is interesting to contemplate if their way is different than women's or not. And if it is, what we're collectively going to do about it.

I think the Men's Health article is funny. It made me laugh out loud. The author goes over the top for effect with the lollipop comments but if you can get past that, he's really suggesting that men parent in a way that instills survival and confidence in children. Do all men parent that way? Do women? I don't know. But it is well worth thinking about.

There is a sport played on this blog called 'Bash Brian' every Wednesday. It is ignorant and dishonorable. Let's quit playing it.

Posted by: equal | June 7, 2007 10:01 AM

EducMom, I hear the cat-calls, but I do have one more question.

Your sons perceive that there was a "black area" but no "white area".

Is it possible that some black kids could have perceived that most areas of the school are "white areas" if the school is predominantly white, and having a space where they aren't the minority (so they can see what that feels like) has it's appeal?

This is sort of a 'pet theory' of mine: Having grown up around all minorities early on, I have no issue with having lots of white friends now, because I am not searching for some non-existant satisfaction from trying to see what majority status feels like. Just a theory.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 10:02 AM

pATRICK

"I scored as INTJ too"

Me, too Luv!

Posted by: Nigel | June 7, 2007 10:05 AM

How do you weed out potential child molesters who are female?

Posted by: To pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:08 AM

How do you weed out potential child molesters who are female?

You give them a license to teach?

Posted by: Maybe? | June 7, 2007 10:10 AM

Paris Hilton is out of Jail after only 3 days. What is this world coming to?

Posted by: Dammit | June 7, 2007 10:10 AM

"How do you weed out potential child molesters who are female?"

The ones without penises usually pass the test.......

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:11 AM

The Official SAT Question of the Dayâ„¢

In a community of 416 people, each person owns a dog or a cat or both. If there are 316 dog owners and 280 cat owners, how many of the dog owners own no cat?

36
100
136
180
316

Posted by: This is listed as a hard math question? Sheesh. | June 7, 2007 10:12 AM

There is a sport played on this blog called 'Bash Brian' every Wednesday

Uh, Brian, that would be Thursday!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:12 AM

Paris Hilton is out of Jail after only 3 days. What is this world coming to?

A teenager went to Target and was murdered and left in a field - What is this world coming to? I'm just waiting for Paris to OD.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:14 AM

"There is a sport played on this blog called 'Bash Brian' every Wednesday. It is ignorant and dishonorable. Let's quit playing it."

Well, it is hard to take someone seriously who does not see any differences between the sexes. Ask anyone raising both girls and boys if they see a difference in their kids...there's a difference folks.

Posted by: Tillman | June 7, 2007 10:15 AM

Oh, yeah...Thursday! I'm losing track of days. That was me, not Brian.

Posted by: equal | June 7, 2007 10:16 AM

SAT Question Robot

"In a community of 416 people, each person owns a dog or a cat or both. If there are 316 dog owners and 280 cat owners, how many of the dog owners own no cat?"

Zero. People who don't own cats get kicked out of any decent community by the Home Owners ASSociation!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:17 AM

pATRICK, as a certified MBTI practitioner, I need to let you know that INTJ is the serial killer personality type. :)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | June 7, 2007 10:17 AM

WorkingMomX

"pATRICK, as a certified MBTI practitioner, I need to let you know that INTJ is the serial killer personality type. :)"


Oops.

Posted by: Nigel | June 7, 2007 10:20 AM

136, I hope...

Posted by: atb | June 7, 2007 10:20 AM

My father never hit me when I was growing up except once he swatted my butt because I did something he told me not to do. I think he felt really bad about it. But my mother could whip the daylights out of us any day of the week for no apparent reason. We'd prefer my father's brand of parenting.

There was some psychologist who worked with baby monkeys and discovered a wire frame wrapped in a blanket could substitute for a mother. My mother was a lot like that but without the blanket.

Posted by: ISFJ | June 7, 2007 10:22 AM

"pATRICK, as a certified MBTI practitioner, I need to let you know that INTJ is the serial killer personality type. :)"

Ha,ha. Not all of us. Most of the time we are too busy daydreaming and solving problems.;)

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:22 AM

i got 180, but i was an English major so I've got zero confidence in it!

Posted by: Jen S. | June 7, 2007 10:23 AM

WorkingMomX

"pATRICK, as a certified MBTI practitioner, I need to let you know that INTJ is the serial killer personality type. :)"


Oops."


Still want to snuggle, NIGEL? HAHA

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:24 AM

""There is a sport played on this blog called 'Bash Brian' every Wednesday. It is ignorant and dishonorable."

Equal, what do you expect from us guys?

I can assure you that if Brian is a real man, his feelings aren't getting hurt.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 7, 2007 10:24 AM

"How do you weed out potential child molesters who are female?"

The ones without penises usually pass the test.......

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:11 AM

Maybe you should look for women without fingers, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:24 AM

Which number was answer 'C'? The answer is always "C".

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:27 AM

Maybe you should look for women without fingers, too.

Or tongues.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:27 AM

"Maybe you should look for women without fingers, too."

or sticks, or popsicles or blah blah blah. Yawn.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:27 AM

"i got 180, but i was an English major so I've got zero confidence in it!"

It's 136, but i only have 18 community college credits since graduating high school in the 70's.

I guess I couldn't possibly be right :).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:30 AM

"Hogwash!! The kids of other ethnicities DO NOT separate themselves out in social settings at school."

Educmom, you need to get out more. Kids of other ethnicities do separate themselves! This is not something endemic to black students. I've seen it in high school and college....and believe it or not, I see it in the cafeteria at work!

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 10:31 AM

Neighbor,

I'm black and I'm from the west indies, I went to an all black school, I was beat up most days, called names, and asked everyday to go back to where I was from. When I got to high school the beating stopped, but there were more name calling and so on. Things finally stopped after I got to college.

Maybe I have not had to deal with name calling and beating by the majority population, but there have certainly been many instances where I have been treated as if they were more of a something than I was.

I guess that's what one has to deal with if you're going to immigrate here. There's a certain amount of hostility you have to overcome, you have to pay your dues.

At the end of the day, you have to factor in the human element of it all, and say to hell with them all, and focus on who matters, and who appreciate what ever contribution you contribute to their life.

For sure, America is still the land of apportunities, there's so much you can accomplish.
As long as I have equal protection under the law no one is going to stand in my way. I have factor in the chance that some racist psycho may choose not to apply the law as it is written at times, but there's always another open door. You simply can't spend your life focusing on the impossibities. There are issues here to be sure, but the possibilities outweight the disadvantages. Well, that's my 2 cents.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:31 AM

Paris Hilton to serve 40 day at home sentence due to medical reasons. No wonder our justice system is a laughingstock.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:32 AM

"How do you weed out potential child molesters who are female?"

I object to these insensitive remarks concerning child molestation!

Where is the respect for the victims?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:33 AM

She got sent to her 4 bazillion sq. ft. mansion with servants for 40 days???!?!

How will she survive? Surely that is cruel and unusual punishment.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:44 AM

ISFJ, your post made me cringe and laugh at the same time. I've seen video of a study like that and in my head I can see pictures of your childhood with a wire mom at the park, a wire mom at the beach, etc. It's cracking me up.

But those studies make me cry. When you see the monkies going crazy without a nurturer, it makes your heart break.

What's odd to me is that people think we're close enough to monkies to compare their growth and development with ours, yet they're not close enough to us to deserve a basic level of dignity. It's apparently a very thin and blurry line.

Sorry, forgive the off-topic rant.

Posted by: Meesh | June 7, 2007 10:47 AM

lets see chatting on the phone, gourmet meals, watching tv. What the hell? An utter travesty for society and for our kids.

DAD:"Honey see Paris drove drunk, didn't follow the law and look what happened". CHILD: Yes she has to stay in her mansion for 40 days, big deal dad"

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:48 AM

"Oops."

Nigel you better agree with pATRICK's choice of draperies :-)

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 10:48 AM

Paris Hilton's antics provide a valuable public service. She distracts the unwashed mob (including me)from reality.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:49 AM

Too funny! I figured out "100 cat only owners and 136 dog only owners" but then I decided to subtract the 136 "dog onlys" from the 316 general dog owners.

how typical that I get so caught up figuring things out that I forget to keep in mind the original question. I'm sure there is some benefit to that kind of thinking in analyzing literature, but obliviously not with SAT questions.

Posted by: Jen S. | June 7, 2007 10:53 AM

Paris may have shot her self in the foot. If she served with dignity, she might have come out a hero, now she's just despised.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 10:54 AM

"Paris may have shot her self in the foot. If she served with dignity, she might have come out a hero, now she's just despised."

Nope. She is the latest Teflon celebrity. She will be bigger than ever!!

Posted by: Jake | June 7, 2007 10:58 AM

Who is Paris Hilton anyway?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:01 AM

Living in the south, I have definitely seen differences than living in the north. People down here are more aware of race than anything else and it is more out in the open, definitely (even the other day in the local paper was an article bemoaning that whites were moving into the city and perhaps the next mayor wouldn't be black).
But up north there is just as much racism, but many people up north think: but I'm not stupid/ racist / whatever like those people down south. We're so much better than them, we're so inclusive, etc. Which is hardly the case.

As for male au pair, pATRICK: in discussing with the lady from the agency-she indicated that so few males apply and that they are more scrutinized, that they are typically better applicants. And fewer families would take a male au pair, so they're easier to get. We said okay and looked at a few apps, but none fit what we wanted. Anyway with two boys, a male caregiver would be great.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 11:01 AM

"We said okay and looked at a few apps, but none fit what we wanted. Anyway with two boys, a male caregiver would be great."

Why take the chance? Do you want to be the one saying" but the agency said that they were heavily screened? How could this have happened?" No thanks

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:05 AM

Anon at 10:31, have you read the book "Brown Girl, Brownstones"? I think it's by Paula Marshall. It's fiction, but it's a good read about immigration and racism and making a living.

Posted by: Meesh | June 7, 2007 11:05 AM

My husband (30-something) came home from a business trip from Las Vegas shaved. For any unshaved guys like him who are considering shaving, I have two points:

(1) Does your s.o. have sensitive skin? If she ever complains about whisker burn, then forget about shaving down there. (2) Unless you ask for her help shaving, there's a good chance your s.o. will think you are seeing an under-30 woman if you do this.

Posted by: Jean | June 7, 2007 11:08 AM

"My husband (30-something) came home from a business trip from Las Vegas shaved. For any unshaved guys like him who are considering shaving, I have two points:

(1) Does your s.o. have sensitive skin? If she ever complains about whisker burn, then forget about shaving down there. (2) Unless you ask for her help shaving, there's a good chance your s.o. will think you are seeing an under-30 woman if you do this."


Well that wins my off topic award..

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:16 AM

I have arrived at 11:08 a.m.!

Posted by: Mako | June 7, 2007 11:17 AM

You win my WTMI award for the week!

Posted by: to Jean | June 7, 2007 11:20 AM

Dr. Joan B. Kelly, this country's most respected authority on child wellness concluded long ago that there is absolutely no difference in the outcome for children as to whether the father or mother raises them, In fact girls fare far better educationally with a father in their lives. Meta analysis of studies also show that girls are far better off regarding pregancy, mental illness, drug use, crime and on and on with a father in their lives. So dumb up girls.

Posted by: mcewen | June 7, 2007 11:21 AM

Is Jean French for Troll?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:23 AM

What's up with the male au pair bashing? I'm female and a former au pair. There were a few au pair guys in our group, and they all were just fine. Mostly got hired by families with special needs children (heavy lifting out of bathtubs, etc.).

You Americans are SO paranoid. It's stupid to assume immediately that somebody is a child molester just because he's male.

Posted by: Former au pair | June 7, 2007 11:23 AM

Nigel, are you married to Jean?

Posted by: just wondering | June 7, 2007 11:25 AM

Former au pair - it is not Americans that are SO paranoid, just pARTRICK.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 7, 2007 11:27 AM

"You Americans are SO paranoid. It's stupid to assume immediately that somebody is a child molester just because he's male."

No you are stupid to take a chance and introduce the possibilty of life shattering consequences.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:28 AM

I parent like a mom and a dad

Posted by: single western mom | June 7, 2007 11:30 AM

No you are stupid to take a chance and introduce the possibilty of life shattering consequences.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:28 AM

There are females who molest children too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:30 AM

Shaving down there???

No.

Maybe a tattoo with a heart that says "Agatha" or something, but not a shave.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:30 AM

On the Kelsey Smith abduction and how to keep you kids safe without scaring the hell out of them question. I don't know the answer to that one. She was taken in broad daylight in a relatively safe area. I can also tell you that because I live here that people pay attention and try to offer assistance when they think people are in trouble. I honestly don't know how the killer got away with what he did to the poor girl.

I am at a lose and feel sympathy for her family. I was always taught to be a little paranoid, fight back, and scream. I guess you have to scare you kids a little bit to keep them safe we don't live in a nice world.

I just hope he gets the death penalty.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 11:30 AM

Jean so you think that your husband is cheating on you?

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 11:31 AM

pATRICK does seem to have a mental problem...

Posted by: Former au pair | June 7, 2007 11:31 AM

Nigel why aren't you sticking up for your man?

I don't think I would want a male nanny either. In fact, I don't think I want a nanny at all. I like the checks and balances of day care.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 11:34 AM

"No you are stupid to take a chance and introduce the possibilty of life shattering consequences.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:28 AM

There are females who molest children too."

yes there are, a tiny minority. I guess there are women who rape men too. That has no bearing on the fact that the vast majority of pedophiles are men. There are about 1 pedophiles for every 145 kids in america.It is your duty to keep your kids safe not bow to being PC and worrying about what others will say. Safety first.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:35 AM

I'm with pATRICK. Only in dire circumstances should a mother let any man other than her husband change her daughter's diaper or give her a bath.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 7, 2007 11:35 AM

And the stats on mommy's boyfriend don't look very good either.

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 7, 2007 11:37 AM

What percentage of those pedophiles are you going to find at your local parish. I"m sure once you avoid church you are really lowering your risk.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:37 AM

"pATRICK does seem to have a mental problem"


This coming from someone who would never think that you could get killed shopping at Target....If making safe choices and keeping potential pedophiles away from my kids is a mental problem to you, that is just fine by me

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:38 AM

While more men are child molesters than women, the women who are child molesters are not only more inclined to be sadists, they are extremely sadistical.

Posted by: Salter | June 7, 2007 11:39 AM

MV

"Jean so you think that your husband is cheating on you?"

Frankly, the whisker burns on my face, crotch, and butt sting so much that I can't think clearly at the moment.

Posted by: Jean | June 7, 2007 11:41 AM

PATRICK: it's not like I would know any au pair very well- iit's a 20 pg app, a couple of phone calls and emails, and that's it. Yes there has to be a level of trust somewhere.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 11:41 AM

PATRICK: it's not like I would know any au pair very well- iit's a 20 pg app, a couple of phone calls and emails, and that's it. Yes there has to be a level of trust somewhere.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 11:41 AM

For that matter, how many wives can be absolutely certain that their husbands won't turn out to molest their own kids?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:46 AM

What percentage of those pedophiles are you going to find at your local parish. I"m sure once you avoid church you are really lowering your risk.

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 11:37 AM

No, you aren't. As a matter of fact, a great number of extremely dangerous people seek out churches and church-going people. Why? Because they tend to be more trusting, more willing to believe what the ex-con has said (they don't go and verify what the self-reported transgression was), more willing to forgive, and inclined to give second-chances despite past patterns of behaviour. Churches aren't known for doing background checks on volunteers. Hopefully this has changed, but you would be horrified at how many fine, upstanding members of the church are actively preying upon members of the congregation.

Don't trust, VERIFY.

By the way, this is true of synogogues, mosques, temples, etc. Smart pedophiles blend in and they read people. A fair number of them also get a "duping high".

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:46 AM

I missed too much today. But since the topic has been abandoned, I did have a question related to Educmom's posts. I grew up in NY and I did learn in elementary through HS that the American civil war was about states rights and not really about slavery. Slavery was only brought up to entice more Northerners to fight a war against the South. Is this wrong or have historians re examined the reasons behind the war? I would be curious what is taught in schools today.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 11:47 AM

So, pATRICK, since your stats are from the US, I'm safe, since I'm getting au pairs from another country.

Scarry: I do agree with you to some extent, as 2 YO is in full time for a few more weeks-but. I do like having an extra pair of hands at home. And another member of the family.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 11:50 AM

"Don't trust, VERIFY.

By the way, this is true of synogogues, mosques, temples, etc. Smart pedophiles blend in and they read people. A fair number of them also get a "duping high".


I totally agree, don't surrender your parental obligation because someone has pastor, priest, coach etc title to them. Predators go where they can find victims.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 11:51 AM

My husband and I parent differently. While we are different genders, we are also different people who were raised in different families with different sets of values. His parenting isn't more "masculine" all the time (although it is sometimes). I just reflects his family of origin.

Posted by: Tammy | June 7, 2007 11:52 AM

For that matter, how many wives can be absolutely certain that they won't turn out to molest their own kids?

It happens this way also!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:53 AM

Also, for those of you who keep harassing Brian for writing about parenting... Here's Leslie's first post, which describes what this blog is all about. It seems to be about balancing work with family. That makes Brian's posts about family perfectly appropriate, and not at all off topic.


Welcome
Until 2:30 every day, I'm a working mom. Then -- late, always late -- I tear down the office stairs or fly out the back door of the home office in my kitchen just in time to pick up my three kids from their two schools. Then my second shift starts: basketball practice, computer class and endless dispute settlement from behind the wheel of my trusty, trashed SUV/insane asylum.

Not working would kill me. But not being with my three kids "enough" (a definition that changes every week) would be another kind of death. So I devote myself to juggling work and kids, with a splash of husband thrown in.

This blog is devoted to illuminating the work/family debate through stories from moms about how we juggle work and kids, in whatever portions we've chosen (including none). So welcome, working moms, sort-of working moms and not-working-right-now moms.

This dialogue will be provocative -- in the best sense of the word. I know firsthand the startling honesty moms can muster because of my anthology Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off On Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families. The book came about because I was curious about stay-at-home moms. "Curious" was a polite way of saying I was irrationally, disturbingly jealous of them: How dare they be so happy doing nothing when I had to work or die?

Poring over other moms' dissections of their work/kid choices had a healing, restorative affect on me. I learned that at-home moms are doing far more than "nothing," and that they're just as busy as I am, taking care of their kids and homes and pitching in at school on critical volunteer projects that horrify me and other working parents because of the time commitment. My brain no longer automatically divides moms into at-home vs. working, you vs. me categories. I've become at peace with myself and all moms of the world!

Well, almost.

So we're going to get into it in this blog. The rules are: Tell the exhaustive truth, even if that includes judgment, criticism and asking and answering hard questions. We'll use this blog to achieve one primary goal -- to say what we think. However, we represent the fairer sex, so let's try to dole out kindness and respect. And full apologies when necessary. And I, at least, will try to protect my children's privacy by using their initials instead of full names. What you share is up to you.

Let's go.

Posted by: Tammy | June 7, 2007 11:55 AM

Foamgnome: dh took a class entitled economics and the civil war in college. He talks about how he wrote a paper discussing how the war was really about changin economics in the country-for both sides. Manufacturing was becoming prevalent in the north and it was becoming less profitable for the plantationowners to own their farms.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 11:59 AM

"Q: What is the mission statement of U2's lawyers?

A: We are Pro Bono!

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 08:17 AM"

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeaaaaaahhh.....

Was that enough "yeah"s?

Re: paternal parenting. My bio dad's idea of parenting was to abandon us for years, followed by trying to win us back in order to p*ss off my mom, then alienate us as adults. My stepfather's idea of parenting was to work hard on the road, but spend time at home watching NASCAR, making gross noises with his nose, and lifting his legs up as my mom tried to vacuum around him. My stepdad is a good person, but not very involved, except for monetary support and working on cars. I guess I shouldn't complain, he was the best--really, only--dad I had.

Still, I won't have kids unless I am sure their father will be every bit as involved as I am.

Off-topic, a few self-defense tips:
1. Yelling "fire" is indeed the most effective way to get attention and assistance.
2. Don't be afraid to bite. Hepatitis is still better than being raped and killed.
3. Rake your fingernails down the assailant's face as hard as you can. This way, the assailant can later be identified by scratches or scars, and you have his/her DNA under your fingernails.
4. Always have an escape plan. Never walk into a room, house, club, or party, without figuring out a way to get out if you need to.
5. From the "no sh*t" files: never accept an opened drink from a stranger. Order your own, and if you don't trust the bartender, order sealed bottles or cans.
6. Stay with your friends. Leave with the ones you came with.
7. Anything can be used as a weapon, from broken bottles to pens and keys. Little people must often gouge sensitive areas to escape an attacker, but blunt objects work well too.
8. Carjacked? Wreck the car. It's safer than following orders, because you'll probably not return from wherever he wants to take you.
9. When he wants your money, give it. As another poster said, throw it in the opposite direction and run. When he wants something else, fight like there's no tomorrow.
10. Stay alert. Know your surroundings and the people in them. If someone is behind you, look to your side and pretend to be gazing at something beside you, but use your peripheral vision to see if someone is trying to creep up on you. Same goes if your shadow falls in front of you. If someone is simply trying to pass you, he will cast a different shadow than if he is trying to come up behind you.
11. It never hurts to take a self-defense course at a reputable school. If nothing else, it will give you the confidence that may deter a potential attacker from even approaching you at all.

I used to teach self-defense courses for sorority girls at the University. They always seemed to be more interested in flirting with the guys, but I hope they took away something useful from our seminars. Hopefully these tips can help you and yours as well.

Posted by: Mona | June 7, 2007 12:02 PM

Tammy

"That makes Brian's posts about family perfectly appropriate, and not at all off topic."

Doesn't make Brian's posts interesting.

Sounds like you are married to Brian.

Why don't you let Brian defend himself from the "harassing"? Have a lot of time on your hands?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:04 PM

Mona,

OK, I am confused. Did you like my joke or not?

yeah?

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 12:11 PM

MONA, I think throwing your keys away from the car would also have helped that girl. Is that effective?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 12:11 PM

"MONA, I think throwing your keys away from the car would also have helped that girl. Is that effective?"

Wasn't her car found in the parking lot? She was taken in another vehicle, no?

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 12:16 PM

She was forced into another car. Her body was found in a park out here.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 12:20 PM


Atlmom,

It's hard to generalize from Atlanta which I think is a near-unique magnet for high achievement in black culture, education, civic and civil rights leadership, long-established and honored traditions of black leadership . . . but I also noticed that Atlanta is very different in the daily experience of race. I'm thinking of how whites interact, not with blacks they come to know within their own community or profession, familiar and individuated, but encounters with black strangers more incidentally beyond their personal circle. My experience is that northeast locales (Boston, Baltimore) are more segregated . . . race is distant, abstract, part of the geography of the area, with few daily incidental encounters/ reminders where the communities really mix (incidental exposure coming mainly by traveling in or media coverage of particular neighborhoods). One of the first things I noticed about Atlanta is that incidental mixing of white and black is commonplace, across all class levels --- there's a huge professional and pink-collar class of blacks, and one sees professional blacks everywhere on every errand, there is really a shared work-world. NC was in-between, with more daily incidental exposures but strong class barriers; one definitely saw many black strangers in the routine of a day's errands but mainly in invisible service roles -- cafeteria ladies, retail, etc. Instead in Atlanta, any bank teller, mortgage broker, car salesman, teacher, principal, secretary, hr administrator, manager, etc etc you go to is as likely to be black as white . . . it's not a matter of individuals but of presence, of interacting with professionals who happen to be black all the time as a matter of course. . . hard to explain but it's something I like about Atlanta, the interwovenness and omnipresence of examples of high-achieving blacks . . . of course the sheer numbers are a help here, with the black population in the area not 10% like a national average but more like 40% (?).

But there's also strife and resentments and politicization as well; there's both a high achievement class and a very poor underclass. There's an eminent leadership class from the civil rights era, but also plenty of raw race-baiting and demagoguery (e.g. Cynthia McKinney, my former congressman, and her father), and territoriality. There's plenty of us-versus-them resource grabbing and patronage; perhaps race just makes the class divisions more naked and rally-able. I know our neighbors aged out of our wonderful and small elementary school, racially diverse in its students, teachers, and administration, very supportive and achievement-focused, to go into middle school with a larger catchment, just to be bewildered to encounter a new cohort of black kids with fewer opportunities and less parental stewarding who lash out bitterly (e.g. regular sneers of 'white boy' and many-on-one assaults). Street smarts, that is, how to lay low and avoid race- or class-based bullying, is not what most engaged parents of either race wish for their children.

Posted by: KB | June 7, 2007 12:22 PM

e.g. Cynthia McKinney, my former congressman, and her father), and territoriality

Thank God she's gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:24 PM

KB

"new cohort of black kids with fewer opportunities and less parental stewarding who lash out bitterly (e.g. regular sneers of 'white boy' and many-on-one assaults)."

I have seen this new intense anger in black kids. It is a very, very scary ticking bomb. Does the anger start in the home or in the street? Who teaches this anger to the kids? To what end is it taught?

Thank you for you insights.

Posted by: Lee | June 7, 2007 12:31 PM


Actually, she's back. She got ousted (lost to a more moderate black Denise Majette in the Dem primary) several years ago, but when Majette vacated the seat to run for Senate (and lost), McKinney got it back again. She ran a stealth/no-media campaign focused on her own core constituency in South Dekalb; the anyone-but-McKinney vote never realized the threat and split the vote between several moderate to liberal candidates in the Dem primary. The race is determined in the primary in these districts.

But, she's former to me, as I'm no longer in her district, my rep is now John L Lewis, who I do respect and support . . . McKinney is way too much of a demagogue and rabble-rouser for me, and has shown ugly hints of race-baiting and antisemitism in her campaigns. You're probably remembering her 'Bush knew ahead of time about 9/11 and let it happen' insanity, I'd guess?

>
>e.g. Cynthia McKinney, my former congressman, and >her father), and territoriality
>
>Thank God she's gone.

Posted by: KB | June 7, 2007 12:42 PM

"Is this wrong or have historians re examined the reasons behind the war? I would be curious what is taught in schools today. "

These are two different questions: 1. What were the reasons behind the war? and 2. what is taught in schools today?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:45 PM

How much did the images of the people left behind in New Orleans during Katrina affect young black children? Especially when Kanye West made his statement about the President not liking black people?

I was hopeful that people would take notice of the "invisible" poor in our country after that. Unfortunately, it seems to be business as usual.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:46 PM

McKinney is way too much of a demagogue and rabble-rouser for me, and has shown ugly hints of race-baiting and antisemitism in her campaigns. You're probably remembering her 'Bush knew ahead of time about 9/11 and let it happen' insanity, I'd guess?----------

She's just a black David Duke character. If she pulled half of those stunts being white she would have been killed in the press.

Posted by: lurker | June 7, 2007 12:46 PM

"Especially when Kanye West made his statement about the President not liking black people?"

As if he has any credentials to take seriously, a rapper. Please. He also stormed on stage to protest his video not winning, loooowww classsss.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 12:48 PM

Lee, that is not new anger, and I don't think it is explicitly taught.

I saw it in the 70's. There is a dichotomy between 'you are just as good as person x and you should be able to achieve what they have' versus a poor (or near-poor) person's daily lot in life.

There are 2 ways to take it - self pitying and hopelesness, which manifests externally as Anger; or; hyper competitiveness which must eventually be tempered for other reasons. I fell into the latter category.

Adolescents have not mastered those emotions yet, and they appear to be the rowdy, ill-mannered kids that many dc-area folks complain about running into on the subway. They haven't tamed the dichotomy and channeled their emotions into something productive. They need parents and other role models to help them do that.

2 cents.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Also, to the other poster, there were a lot of people in the North who were opposed to slavery. Those slaves didn't make it up north on their own. Underground rail road anyone? Stop being racist and acting like everyone is out to get you. Get over it already

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 09:49 AM

Your accusation of racism aside, a nice touch by the way whenever you disagree with the basis for an historical event, take a moment to consider the statistical validity of basing a statement that, "there were a lot of people who were opposed to slavery" because of the existence of the Underground Railroad. You might need to read a little more on the subject before you can engage in an intelligent conversation. That's the story of your life.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:53 PM

"As if he has any credentials to take seriously, a rapper. Please. He also stormed on stage to protest his video not winning, loooowww classsss."

It really doesn't matter what you or I think of him. The point is that kids do like him and will watch/listen to him more than anyone giving intelligent analysis.

Posted by: tp pATRICK | June 7, 2007 12:53 PM

In the interests of accuracy, West's statement was that the President "doesn't care about" black people.

Oh, and his opinion is as valid as that of any other citizen, the label "rapper" that you toss out with disdain not withstanding.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:55 PM

Cynthia McKinney: On March 29, she was stopped by a security guard at Congress when she walked around a security checkpoint. She was NOT wearing a security badge to identify herself to the guards as a member of Congress. When she was stopped, she made a huge fuss, claiming that the white guard only stopped her because he, along with all the other guards are racist.

Later, it came out that she punched the guard. She was under Grand Jury investigation for assault which I believe was later dropped.

Posted by: DC lurker | June 7, 2007 12:57 PM

Proud Papa

"Lee, that is not new anger, and I don't think it is explicitly taught."

The anger is much more intense than in the '70s and it's coming from tiny Black kids. These little kids picked it up somewhere.

Posted by: Lee | June 7, 2007 12:57 PM

"Here's a balance topic. In light of this dear girl in Kansas who was abducted and killed. How do you balance instilling a healthy fear in your kids without making them fearful and likely to miss out on many of the joys of life?"

Haven't parents been doing this forever? I certainly grew up with "Don't talk to strangers" and "Don't get in someone else's car unless you know firsthand a parent knows about it, even if you know this person well." (There was an exception for our next-door neighbor, but the rule was so ingrained that I once turned down a ride from her very emphatically, because I hadn't looked to see who was offering--I just knew to turn down rides.)

Seriously, kids disappeared at the same rate when I was young, and we were allowed to play outdoors unsupervised and sell Girl Scout cookies door-to-door. Our schools and our parents told us when they knew about a local predator, so that we could be extra-alert. And there was a separate, kid-based information network. We moved to Rockville right after the Lyons sisters disappeared, and you know who told me about that? Other kids, not adults. In fact, for a long time I considered it to be an urban legend that local kids used for peer reinforcement of the "don't talk to strangers" rule they learned from their parents. Only once the Web grew did I learn that this tragedy was real--but even when I didn't know that, the story was effective.

Ultimately, my point is this: be aware of where your kids are, and teach them survival skills. But keep in mind that they're very unlikely to be targeted by a predator in Kansas if you don't live in Kansas. Mourn these tragedies, as we all should, but focus on your actual surroundings when you're trying to identify what is safe and what is not. A greater rate of publicity does not necessarily reflect a greater rate of incidence.

Posted by: Kate | June 7, 2007 12:58 PM

June 7, 2007 12:53 PM

You mean like you did to educmom? You are right, every white person every where is/was for slavery. No white people hid slaves in their houses or tried to help them

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 12:58 PM

Mona, I know people make bad decisions on a daily basis, but I'm with you. I don't understand when people tell me I'm 'lucky' that my dh does this or that.

I chose him to be my dh precisely because I knew what and who he was. Luck had nothing to do with it-i wasn't going to get married simple to get married and have kids.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 12:59 PM

Oh, and his opinion is as valid as that of any other citizen, the label "rapper" that you toss out with disdain not withstanding.

Actually its not. He has no reason to receive media play except that he "raps". To think that he has any credentials to take him seriously is a joke. Kind of like when all these celebrities would come to DC to testify on some "cause".

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 1:00 PM

Many whites aren't aware of something until the mainstream, predominately white, press tells them it exists. Until CNN says there's anger in the black community, and shoves a microphone into the face of a 13 year old, many whites are oblivious to the reality of what the black community experiences. The emperor hasn't been wearing any clothes for a long, long time. The anger about his nakedness isn't greater now than it was in the 70s, even though a few pale ears might be hearing it for the first time.

Posted by: to Lee | June 7, 2007 1:03 PM

"But keep in mind that they're very unlikely to be targeted by a predator in Kansas if you don't live in Kansas."

I disagree with you. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere and that is what kids need to be taught. I get your meaning, but no one thought something like this could happen here and it did, in broad day light no less.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 1:05 PM

Fred, I liked your joke, I just didn't like "Vertigo." Uno, dos, tres, catorce, indeed.

pATRICK, I don't know that individual girl's story, but yes, theoretically, if approached by a potential carjacker while outside of the car, I'd suggest throwing the keys and running, but that may not be the best idea, considering some identification (registration, for example) will be in the car, and the carjacker will have your housekeys. In general, though, I'd say it's a better idea than driving him where he wants to go. Of course, if anyone approaches your car while you're driving but hasn't gotten in yet, speed off, even if you must cause an accident. Better safe than sorry!

Posted by: Mona | June 7, 2007 1:05 PM

"Many whites aren't aware of something until the mainstream, predominately white, press tells them it exists"

I'm talking about the change in the anger I have seen in kids on a daily basis on the bus since the early '70s.

Posted by: Lee | June 7, 2007 1:07 PM

"I'd suggest throwing the keys and running, but that may not be the best idea, considering some identification (registration, for example) will be in the car, and the carjacker will have your housekeys."

My housekeys and carkeys are on the same keyring.

Posted by: to Mona | June 7, 2007 1:08 PM

She really could't do that because he was forcing her into another car. I think the only thing you can do in that situation is fight back. Poor girl.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 1:11 PM

"My housekeys and carkeys are on the same keyring."

But if he jacks you doesn't he have the keys anyway? I don't think that he would run after the keys and come back. The disruption of the plan would be very helpful. IMO, but who knows

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 1:11 PM

"I'd suggest throwing the keys and running, but that may not be the best idea, considering some identification (registration, for example) will be in the car, and the carjacker will have your housekeys."

But if the would-be abductor runs after them, it buys you time to escape and contact police, who could arrange to be waiting at your home in case the criminal shows up there.

Posted by: To Mona | June 7, 2007 1:12 PM

Oh and Patrick on you being paranoid, just from what you write on the blog you would be on my top list of baby sitters if I lived near you and had an emergency.

Really, being cautious is what keep some people alive.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 1:14 PM

"Really, being cautious is what keep some people alive"

Agreed, but being overly cautious is what keeps some people from really living.

Posted by: to scarry | June 7, 2007 1:17 PM

"Actually, she's back. She got ousted (lost to a more moderate black Denise Majette in the Dem primary) several years ago, but when Majette vacated the seat to run for Senate (and lost), McKinney got it back again. She ran a stealth/no-media campaign focused on her own core constituency in South Dekalb; the anyone-but-McKinney vote never realized the threat and split the vote between several moderate to liberal candidates in the Dem primary. The race is determined in the primary in these districts."

McKinney came back but she is now gone - hopefully permanently (and this is from someone who used to vote for her).

In 2006, an African-American, Johnson i think, man beat her. From what I hear he's been doing a good job.

Posted by: dai | June 7, 2007 1:17 PM

Yes, Meesh, my mother has all the maternal qualities of a coat rack. You aren't far off track with your visualization. We never went to the park. We went to the beach once a year and she'd sit on the boardwalk telling us 'stay where I can see you.' She's very nearsighted so we never went in water past our knees. I'd get a terrible blistered sunburn and stink of Noxzema for a week. Her favorite saying was 'Don't touch me, you give me cold chills.' THose baby monkeys got a better deal with the wire frame and blanket.

Posted by: ISFJ | June 7, 2007 1:21 PM

Hank johnson beat cynthia last time out-he's not so great, but at least not a race baiter as far as I know.

I have john lewis too and I think he is a great man (and a great speaker I heard him once and he was so inspiring). However he is horrible as a legislator-i can't wait til he retires since no one is going to ever beat him. He doesn't listen to me and our neighborhood since he doesn't need to *sigh*


Even tho my neighborhood has few minorities, I was surprised visiting the elem. School and seeing so many black faces. Ds had about 50 percent minority in prek and so I assume this will continue. The kids will definitely be in the minority by high school. I like that. I went to very insular schools, few minorities (except for all those jews-we had off for the high holy days in the fall at a public school).

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 1:22 PM

I was in college in Fredericksburg, Virginia and a friend's mother (Nancy Seay) was kidnapped, in broad daylight, at a Food Lion, on July 23, 1990. Her body was found stuffed in the trunk of her own car, days later.

I decided then and there that if someone approached me in broad daylight in a parking lot, he was going to have to kill me then and there, because if he got me into the car, I was dead anyway. So I'd scream to bring the house down.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 1:25 PM

OK, last post on the topic:

*EducMom, I hear the cat-calls, but I do have one more question.

Your sons perceive that there was a "black area" but no "white area".

Is it possible that some black kids could have perceived that most areas of the school are "white areas" if the school is predominantly white, and having a space where they aren't the minority (so they can see what that feels like) has it's appeal?

This is sort of a 'pet theory' of mine: Having grown up around all minorities early on, I have no issue with having lots of white friends now, because I am not searching for some non-existant satisfaction from trying to see what majority status feels like. Just a theory.*

I suppose that you could be right. I don't think the boys ever addressed the topic of race directly with their classmates. I can certainly understand why the black students might feel that way, even if the white students never intended for that to happen. I think the school is about 15 % or so black, with about the same number of other minorities. That's an eyeball guess, based on seeing the entire student body at assemblies. When I was looking into the school, I didn't investigate that at all.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 1:26 PM

"I went to very insular schools, few minorities (except for all those jews-we had off for the high holy days in the fall at a public school).

Way to go! atlmom
What a gal!

Posted by: Jewess | June 7, 2007 1:26 PM

But if the would-be abductor runs after them, it buys you time to escape and contact police, who could arrange to be waiting at your home in case the criminal shows up there.

You can always get the locks changed on your home if the criminal gets your keys. No property is worth risking your life or safety over.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 1:26 PM


Thaks, dai, good to know McKinney's out again --- somehow I must have missed that result from the last round.

Posted by: KB | June 7, 2007 1:27 PM

To jewess: I know most people here are not regulars, and I guess I knew someone would say this: but I have been pretty open about the fact that I myself am jewish.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 2:03 PM

Really, being cautious is what keep some people alive.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 01:14 PM

There is no benefit to being cautious unless you are cautious about the right things. Most pedophiles and child molesters are family members. Being cautious by not ever hiring a male babysitter won't show the results that being cautious about whether your own brother or cousin is a threat.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:05 PM

VERY OT TO FoamGnome:

Hey - I have a sample survey and I need to know if the results are significant - I can figure that out for number of respondents, but how do I figure out if the proportion of respondents are correct (i.e., male to female ratio).

Or does it matter? If I have enough respondents of each sex/race/age group - is that sufficient to say the sample is valid?

Or do I need another test?

F-test?

Are there resources on the web to remind the cobwebs in my brain? Can you give me a link or two? THANKS FOR ANY AND ALL HELP.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 2:06 PM

Do whatever they tell you NOT to do--they are scared.

Example: "Don't yell or I'll..."

Scream fire at the top of your lungs, the perpetrator feels uncertain of the surroundings and is scared of drawing attention to the crime in progress

Posted by: Maryland Mother | June 7, 2007 2:06 PM

Scarry said: "Oh and Patrick on you being paranoid, just from what you write on the blog you would be on my top list of baby sitters if I lived near you and had an emergency." but she also wrote "I don't think I would want a male nanny either."

So Scarry you have no problems hiring a person based on what they write on the web! For all you know he could be pedophile or some other kind of criminal (I assume he is not,) after all you don't know if he really believes all this or is just making it up. But you wouldn't hire someone who has a formal background check?

you obviously are by pATRICK's definition a fool because by his definition "only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children" and a babysitter in an emergency has just as much access to your children as a nanny,

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:08 PM

Agreed, but being overly cautious is what keeps some people from really living.

I think Kate had a good point about the incidence rate remaining the same. That said hearing about it can't help but make you think about it. The above statement speaks to what I'd like to avoid. I want them to be safe, but I don't want to pass my own fear, irrational as it may be on to them.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:08 PM

Oh and Patrick on you being paranoid, just from what you write on the blog you would be on my top list of baby sitters if I lived near you and had an emergency.


Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 01:14 PM

I'm not surprised, although hiring pATRICK would violate his and Father of 4's baseless rules against hiring men.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:09 PM

"So Scarry you have no problems hiring a person based on what they write on the web! For all you know he could be pedophile or some other kind of criminal (I assume he is not,) after all you don't know if he really believes all this or is just making it up. But you wouldn't hire someone who has a formal background check?

you obviously are by pATRICK's definition a fool because by his definition "only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children" and a babysitter in an emergency has just as much access to your children as a nanny,"

Scarry, I understand your post and appreciate it and this person is just being snarky but I would not trust any men alone with your kids unless you are very certain they can be trusted. But I know what you meant, thanks.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 2:13 PM

why does Leslie waste her time writing a column or getting guests to write? She should just open the blog at 7AM and let you guys have at it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:14 PM

There's probably a certain contingent out there who wouldn't hire a blind person to watch their kids either. Its all baseless.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:14 PM

Scarry said: "Oh and Patrick on you being paranoid, just from what you write on the blog you would be on my top list of baby sitters if I lived near you and had an emergency."

Ooh! Can I come along to babysit with pATRICK?

Posted by: Nigel | June 7, 2007 2:15 PM

why does Leslie waste her time writing a column or getting guests to write? She should just open the blog at 7AM and let you guys have at it.

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 02:14 PM

Leslie should as we seem to entertain you so brilliantly!

Posted by: a regular but anon for this one | June 7, 2007 2:16 PM

I'm not surprised, although hiring pATRICK would violate his and Father of 4's baseless rules against hiring men.

Just like that man in COOL HAND LUKE said " Some people you just can't reach". Thousands of pedophiles running around are not enough for this poster to ensure the safety of their child.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 2:17 PM

pATRICK you stated

"only the greatest fool would ever give a man unfettered, unsupervised access to children"

and

"I would not trust any men alone with your kids unless you are very certain they can be trusted"

pATRICK - which is it no man or a trusted man? No one was talking about hiring a nanny based on the man you met hanging out at the park. They meant after background checks etc. So you do agree if you are certain they can be trusted it is OK?

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 7, 2007 2:21 PM

I don't understand why men would want to become elementary school teachers. What's with men who want to spend all day with 2nd graders? Or become Scout leaders for that matter. Creepy if you ask me. We never had male school teachers until middle school and then it was for only one class like science or math, not all day. ANd there's certainly no way I'd hire a male babysitter.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:23 PM

Lee, I have no reason to believe that black kids are any angrier now than they were in the 70's. I can't say that you're wrong, but I have no basis for believing there has been a change.

Over the years, I have had a number of successes speaking up to diffuse situations that were merely annoying to me but seemed to make the white folks around me palpably nervous. An example would asking some loud teenagers (not only black teens) to be quiet in a movie theater. It's always surprising to me when people seem to be afraid to do this. It's part of the whole 'takes a village' mentality I guess.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 2:23 PM

"why does Leslie waste her time writing a column or getting guests to write? She should just open the blog at 7AM and let you guys have at it."

Leslie doesn't want to lose bragging rights for the blog.

Despite the many complaints, there is a lot of repeat business.

Give the people what they want.....

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 2:24 PM

altmom: Here is a good link showing how to test the population proportions.
http://www.ltcconline.net/greenl/Courses/201/hyptest/hypprob.htm This shows you both the t and the Z test to test the Ho: p> some number n, where p is the proportion. I could not find a good website to explain the two sample test. So for all the following hypothesis tests: Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2 0, or p1-p2>=0 use the following z test statistic: (p1-p2) for your numerator divided by the following denominator: sqrt((Po*(1-Po))/(1/n1 +1/n2)). Sorry, I could only find pdfs that give these formulas explicitly. It is hard to type these in. If this is confusing and you want to see the a pdf. Google: "hypothesis testing for proportions" and pull up the following link [PDF] Hypothesis Testing I: ProportionsFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
probability 1. is analogous to the specificity of a diagnostic test. Volume 226. Number 3. Hypothesis Testing I: Proportions ...
spl.harvard.edu:8000/pages/papers/zou/radiology2003.pdf
The formula is given explicitly. I hope this helps. Sorry, these things are easier to understand in person.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 2:25 PM

"and a babysitter in an emergency has just as much access to your children as a nanny,"


This is technically not true. A nanny would have several different things. A knowledge of your family, an enormous amount of unsupervised time, your work schedules, familiarity, and time to work the relationship with your kid. The half hour or so in this case still possible but unlikely.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 2:27 PM

"It's always surprising to me when people seem to be afraid to do this. It's part of the whole 'takes a village' mentality I guess."

...and every village has a village idiot. That person usually does something to get himself hurt.

Posted by: Me | June 7, 2007 2:28 PM

foamgnome

"The formula is given explicitly. I hope this helps. Sorry, these things are easier to understand in person."

Thank you for reminding me why I went to law school instead of med school.

Posted by: Faber '63 | June 7, 2007 2:29 PM

Proud Papa

"Lee, I have no reason to believe that black kids are any angrier now than they were in the 70's. I can't say that you're wrong, but I have no basis for believing there has been a change."

Must be my imagination.

Posted by: Lee | June 7, 2007 2:33 PM

"I don't understand why men would want to become elementary school teachers. What's with men who want to spend all day with 2nd graders? Or become Scout leaders for that matter. Creepy if you ask me."

Teaching - Maybe to instill a love of learning in children while they are still young?

Scout leaders - Were scouts themselves and loved it and want to provide the scouting experience for boys, want to be part of something with their sons, want to be positive role model for boys.

Not creepy to me at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:35 PM

"Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2 0, or p1-p2>=0 "
I meant to say Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2=0. So for all four of these tests, use the Z test statistic that I gave you.
foamy

Posted by: to altmom | June 7, 2007 2:35 PM

"Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2 0, or p1-p2>=0 "
I meant to say Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2=0. So for all four of these tests, use the Z test statistic that I gave you.


And I thought it was bad when the vet guy writes or the F. Scott discussion was going on.

Sorry foamgnome, stats takes the cake for boring, though I hope it helps atlmom out.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:39 PM

Better watch out or Fred will start up again about F. Scott!

Posted by: to 2:39 | June 7, 2007 2:42 PM

Foamgnome: i understand the formula = that's great. Thanks for the links.
I may be overthinking for what we're looking for (haven't gone to the links yet).

Once I calculate the tstat(I got .033), is that the pvalue? I.e., I'm 97% confident that this is fine?

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 2:42 PM

"why does Leslie waste her time writing a column or getting guests to write? She should just open the blog at 7AM and let you guys have at it"

This is true. I rarely read Leslie's entire "Look at Me" column and I seldom click on the windbag links.

Gotta wonder about the guests. Have they read the blistering comments on this blog? What are they thinking? Why does Brian keep coming back with the same dull stuff? Is he a masochist?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:43 PM

2:28-

You are well within your right to believe that society is best served by demonizing and cowering in fear before some rowdy teenagers. I, on the other hand, choose to believe that if you expect adult behavior from them some of them might meet your expectations. And, sometimes I'm wrong.

But at least I'm trying to improve a situation rather than being scared or continuing to put up with the behavior.

Posted by: Proud Papa | June 7, 2007 2:44 PM

*I don't understand why men would want to become elementary school teachers. What's with men who want to spend all day with 2nd graders? Or become Scout leaders for that matter. Creepy if you ask me. *

Really...the low point of all those posters who would never hire a man to be with their kids.

While you're at it, why not go after Little League coaches?

I don't know who or what you are, but I certainly wouldn't want YOU around my kids!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:45 PM

So...in keeping with proud papa's and lee's discourse on rowdy teenagers and, tangentially, race, what do you all think of Mark Twain's "Huck Finn"?

Posted by: Mark Twain? | June 7, 2007 2:46 PM

"Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2 0, or p1-p2>=0 "
I meant to say Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2=0. So for all four of these tests, use the Z test statistic that I gave you."

Thanks, foamy.

This will come in handy as a sleeping pill some night when I can't get to sleep...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:49 PM

Well, my CTOTD was going to be on Zelda, not FSF. But who is that vet guy? What does he write about?

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 2:49 PM

That nw vet guy who sometimes writes in.

what's ctotd stand for? and why zelda?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 2:51 PM

Yes, the p-value is the smallest significance level at which the null hypothesis can be rejected. It is the value after you calculate the t test. Compare your p value to the critical value given your chosen alpha from the t chart and see if you reject the null hypothesis.

Foamgnome: i understand the formula = that's great. Thanks for the links.
I may be overthinking for what we're looking for (haven't gone to the links yet).

Once I calculate the tstat(I got .033), is that the pvalue? I.e., I'm 97% confident that this is fine?

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 02:42 PM

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 2:52 PM

Oh, NW Vet, the animal dr. Gotcha!

Fred's Cultural Tidbit of the Day and I am fascinated by Zelda, FSF's wife.

Not being snarky, been around here long 2:51 pm?

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 2:55 PM

"Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2 0, or p1-p2>=0 "
I meant to say Ho: p1-p2>0, p1-p2=0. So for all four of these tests, use the Z test statistic that I gave you.
foamy

Posted by: to altmom | June 7, 2007 02:35 PM
Wow, this is weird, I specifically typed out all four tests, but somehow they get messed up after submit. Weird.

That is OK that stats is boring. I think it probably is for most people.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 2:55 PM

"And I thought it was bad when the vet guy writes or the F. Scott discussion was going on."

At least foamy seems to know her stuff (even with the error).

The pseudo-literature discussions are painfully junior high school level.

Posted by: Zelda | June 7, 2007 2:55 PM

Scout leaders - Were scouts themselves and loved it and want to provide the scouting experience for boys, want to be part of something with their sons, want to be positive role model for boys.

Not creepy to me at all.

"I don't think it is creepy either. I coach and enjoy it. I still would not have any man alone with my son or daughter for any length of time."

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 2:56 PM

e to the x, dy/dx!
e to the x, dx!
Secant, cosine, tangent, sine!
3.14159!
Square root, cube root, log of pi!
Go Tech!

Posted by: To Foamgnome and atlmom | June 7, 2007 2:57 PM

No, not long, maybe 10 days or so? Have skimmed the archive.

Fred, you're a riot.

I'll agree Zelda is intriguing.

Posted by: 2:51 | June 7, 2007 2:58 PM

FG, so you think I am boring, eh?

I think we can get along.

Posted by: Blog Stats | June 7, 2007 2:58 PM

I want more!

Posted by: Blog Stats | June 7, 2007 2:59 PM

Blogstats: No, I said statistics may be boring for some people. I meant the study of statistics not blogstat the person.

"That is OK that stats is boring. I think it probably is for most people "

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 3:01 PM

Okay I was NOT going to post today, thinking that I'd hijacked the thread yesterday. Sorry I bore you 2:51. I honestly don't mean to, I'm an animal geek.

I get some 'down-time' during the day and love to catch up on this blog.

Posted by: NW vet | June 7, 2007 3:02 PM

"e to the x, dy/dx!
e to the x, dx!
Secant, cosine, tangent, sine!
3.14159!
Square root, cube root, log of pi!
Go Tech!"

OH, MY GOD! I'VE DIED AND GONE TO NERD TOWN!

Posted by: Faber '63 | June 7, 2007 3:02 PM

to 2:39:
they're fascinating to me. to each his/her own...

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 3:02 PM

The House of Representatives just passed a stem cell research bill 247-147, which Bush says he'll veto.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:02 PM

This blog is now closed. Please get back to work (and return tomorrow!) Thank you and good day.

Posted by: Leslie's intern | June 7, 2007 3:04 PM

Huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:06 PM

OH, MY GOD! I'VE DIED AND GONE TO NERD TOWN!

Posted by: Faber '63 | June 7, 2007 03:02 PM

I was born in nerd town.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 7, 2007 3:07 PM

In our household, I stay home with our preschool-aged boys, and my husband works. I think the fact that I am with the kids the majority of the time -- whereas his time is mostly limited to weekends & evenings -- affects the way we parent. I often find myself exhausted by planning, preparing, & cleaning up meals; planning, getting to, having, getting home from playdates or other activities; bathroom trips/diaper changes; and just the mechanics of having small kids. So if they are playing happily, I am less likely to get involved...I probably have laundry to do/fruit to cut up/something to clean or put away/etc. Or maybe I just want to take a break and glance at the newspaper for a few minutes.

But my husband misses out on the quality time that inevitably happens with lots of quantity time (like silly songs made up in the car or impromptu tickle wars). So he likes to step in and be part of their playtime. Although he does help with things around the house, I think that I am the provider of food, keeper of the schedule, buyer of clothes and necessities, etc...he is the fun one.

Incidentally, I see much of my hubby's behavior with the kids in friends' households where both parents work outside the home. I don't think either my way or my hubby & two-working-parents-friends way is right or wrong...it's just what works for different individuals.

Posted by: JBs Mom | June 7, 2007 3:08 PM

What intern says "Thank you and good day?"

Sounds bogus to me.

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 3:09 PM

A question to those who wouldn't let a man watch your children: do you allow them to play at friend's houses if only the dad is going to be there? Does the father in your house ever supervise a playdate?

Posted by: Kathrina | June 7, 2007 3:14 PM

"I don't understand why men would want to become elementary school teachers. What's with men who want to spend all day with 2nd graders? Or become Scout leaders for that matter. Creepy if you ask me."

You probably don't understand why men would want to be dads then, either.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:16 PM

"What intern says "Thank you and good day?""

Monica

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:16 PM

OK, Zelda, I will bore you with one of your quotes, it must be sophomoric!

Fred's Cultural Tidbit of the Day
(Zelda, the Tortured Soul Division)

I have read off and on that there might be a connection between some forms of mental illness and greatness in art. Zelda had schizophrenia. She also was a talented painter, writer and ballet dancer.

According to biographer Kendall Taylor, Zelda depicted dancers "with swollen joints and deformed legs in tortuous training, bodies so distorted they lacked gender." When asked why she painted the dancers this way, Zelda responded, "That's how a ballet dancer feels after dancing. It wasn't the dancers but the step itself that I wanted to paint."

(Fred's junior high comments)
I am just blown away how Zelda looked past the perceived beauty of ballet to its core, its anguish and pain to produce the outward art.

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 3:18 PM

Fred,

Did Zelda breast feed her daughter?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:20 PM

OH, MY GOD! I'VE DIED AND GONE TO NERD TOWN!

Posted by: Faber '63 | June 7, 2007 03:02 PM

Don't give up now! Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 3:20 PM

Men want to be elementary school teachers because elementary schools are full of single 21-30 year old female teachers who recently graduated college, are new to this town and "need to be shown a good time."

Duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:21 PM

"A question to those who wouldn't let a man watch your children: do you allow them to play at friend's houses if only the dad is going to be there? Does the father in your house ever supervise a playdate?"

That has many factors. Do I know them well? Did we just meet? What is my feeling about them (and more importantly what does my wife feel, she has a finely tuned creep radar). Unless they pass these smell tests, no. I had a friend whose daughter's friend's dad tried to molest her on a playdate.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:22 PM

"What intern says "Thank you and good day?""

"Monica"

Stepped right into that one...


Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 3:23 PM

YOUR stats are interesting and YOU are not boring, because you just publish the results and not how you got there. If you start posting formulas and cr#p, then you will have jumped the shark along with foamgnome.

Posted by: to Blog Stats | June 7, 2007 3:24 PM

"Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

I don't get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:26 PM

pATRICK

"What is my feeling about them (and more importantly what does my wife feel, she has a finely tuned creep radar)."

YOU passed the creep radar, how good can it be?

Posted by: anon for today | June 7, 2007 3:27 PM

A question to those who wouldn't let a man watch your children: do you allow them to play at friend's houses if only the dad is going to be there? Does the father in your house ever supervise a playdate?

Part two- I would not supervise a playdate by myself because it can be very easy to find yourself accused of anything these days. I think it would be foolish to put yourself in this position.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:27 PM

"Don't give up now! Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Educ Mom, get an education - the JAPANESE atttacked Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: to educmom | June 7, 2007 3:29 PM

"YOU passed the creep radar, how good can it be?"

A cheap shot by a cowardly anonymous person on the web. Surprise,yawn

Posted by: pATICK | June 7, 2007 3:31 PM

Fred: I believe Zelda took up ballet very, very late in life, like in her 30's. If I recall correctly from that book I read in high school back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. ;-)

Posted by: Kudzu | June 7, 2007 3:31 PM

Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Isn't that the line from Animal House?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:31 PM

Zelda bf Scottie? Don't know, I will have to look into this!

And to ATB,

I did find a scholarly article on dolphin breast milk after your note of the other day. Frieda did not know the composition but did know that dolphins have only 1 offspring at a time and nurse for up to 3 years! The composition of dolphin milk is radically different from human milk. The dolphin milk contains more protein and much less lactose than human breast milk.


Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 3:32 PM

No, I honestly don't know why men would want to become fathers. They consider babies/children punishment for having sex. The greatest majority of people are accidents anyway, so I guess they just accept the consequences of their actions. Pathetic. There are ways to prevent them, you know. You can have sex without the burden of children.

Posted by: 2:23 | June 7, 2007 3:34 PM


"YOU passed the creep radar, how good can it be?"

"A cheap shot by a cowardly anonymous person on the web. Surprise,yawn"

I signed on as "anon for today"; if that makes me a coward, you are a very shallow person.

Posted by: incest survivor | June 7, 2007 3:35 PM

Of COURSE it's a line from Animal House, because the other poster signed their message Faber '63.

Get off foamy. She rocks. I have no idea what her sandskrit means, but I trust that it also rocks.

Get of EducMom too.

And get off Brian.

Hell, just get off the blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:35 PM

Kudzu,

Not at all. Zelda performed for charity events in Montgomery when she was a teenager.

Posted by: Fred | June 7, 2007 3:37 PM

pATRICK wrote "That has many factors. Do I know them well? Did we just meet? What is my feeling about them (and more importantly what does my wife feel, she has a finely tuned creep radar). "

pATRICK you just admited it - you would trust SOME men, definitely not all (none of us would), but letting them stay with some men as opposed to never letting them stay with ANY man is different. We all have our smell tests, for providers, for the guy we lend money to, even for cab drivers. Your smell test might be different than mine (more or less stringent), but I don't categorically say someone is a fool for trusting "any man", when I know there are some men out there who are trustworthy.


Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | June 7, 2007 3:39 PM

"And get off Brian."

Nigel, is that you again? Shame on you!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:41 PM

Paris Hilton supposedly developed a "rash".That is what her condition was. One wonders if it was the jail or the host of STD's she carries, flaring up. stay tuned.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:43 PM

I'm eagerly awaiting the return of Texas Dad of 2! Yummy!

Posted by: Nigel | June 7, 2007 3:44 PM

but I don't categorically say someone is a "fool for trusting "any man", when I know there are some men out there who are trustworthy."


Sorry once you give someone a trustworthy tag and don't keep vigilant, you have set up an opprtunity. I have men I feel comfortable with up to a point. I keep my eyes open all the time.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:45 PM

pATRICK

"Paris Hilton supposedly developed a "rash".That is what her condition was. One wonders if it was the jail or the host of STD's she carries, flaring up. stay tuned."

I wonder why you keep posting about Paris Hilton.


Posted by: incest survivor | June 7, 2007 3:49 PM

why would you assume that I wouldn't keep vigilant?

Posted by: Jen S. | June 7, 2007 3:49 PM

pATRICK

"Paris Hilton supposedly developed a "rash".That is what her condition was. "One wonders if it was the jail or the host of STD's she carries, flaring up. stay tuned."

I wonder why you keep posting about Paris Hilton."


I wonder too, is your identity wrapped up in what happened to you?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:51 PM

"Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Isn't that the line from Animal House?"

You figure that out all by yourself?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:51 PM

pATRICK

At what age does this "vigilance" for your kids end?

Posted by: Norman Bates | June 7, 2007 3:52 PM

"Part two- I would not supervise a playdate by myself because it can be very easy to find yourself accused of anything these days. I think it would be foolish to put yourself in this position."

I find this so sad. What kind of world are we living in that you're worried that little kids will falsely accuse you? But also, by this logic, shouldn't you refuse to allow other children in your house when you're there, since they could accuse you whether your wife was there or not?

Also, just out of curiosity, how many of your childrens' friends have "creepy" fathers? In the case of the creepy father, is it a blanket prohibition against going to their house, or is it ok if the mother is there?

Posted by: Kathrina | June 7, 2007 3:53 PM

"Get off foamy. She rocks. I have no idea what her sandskrit means, but I trust that it also rocks."

You have an awfully strange definition of rocking.


Posted by: Alice Cooper | June 7, 2007 3:55 PM

To-ga, To-ga, To-ga!

Posted by: Bluto | June 7, 2007 3:56 PM

"But also, by this logic, shouldn't you refuse to allow other children in your house when you're there, since they could accuse you whether your wife was there or not?

Also, just out of curiosity, how many of your childrens' friends have "creepy" fathers? In the case of the creepy father, is it a blanket prohibition against going to their house, or is it ok if the mother is there?"

I would again NOT have a playdate by myself, you are just setting yourself up.I do not feel this way if another adult is around and that is why most children's activities do not just have one person isolated with kids. Second, if the dad or mom is creepy, No go. The whole point of this is safety not people's feelings. We do not allow our kids to go unsupervised for playdates. My wife goes with them or I go with them or their parents come over.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 3:59 PM

The paradox of trusting a man to watch your child is that most child molestations are done by family members or "trusted" men. I'm not too concerned about a coach giving my child a ride home after practice, but I wouldn't let my child in the care of a male in a private setting on a regular basis. No male babysitters for me. Not only are males many times more prone to sexual crimes than females, they are also much more violent.

Women and children go together just like bread and butter.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 3:59 PM

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 03:59 PM

Exactly!

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:01 PM

Women and children go together just like bread and butter.

Ummm....yeah.

Posted by: Andrea Yaeger | June 7, 2007 4:02 PM

I mean Yates.

Posted by: Don't know my own name | June 7, 2007 4:03 PM

The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.

Posted by: Dean Vernon Wormer | June 7, 2007 4:04 PM

Bluto

"To-ga, To-ga, To-ga!"

Yo, Bluto! My favorite student - GPA- 0.0 !

Ended up as a U.S. Senator!

Posted by: Dean Wormer | June 7, 2007 4:05 PM

I was suprisesd when my dh admitted that he feels uncomfortable when changing our dd's diaper or even giving her a bath b/c he doesn't want people think that he 'touches' her. Do other fathers feel this way too? What is with this skewed view of what is "inappropriate behavior" and how men interact with children?

Posted by: question | June 7, 2007 4:06 PM

"What kind of world are we living in that you're worried that little kids will falsely accuse you?"

The Crucible is required reading in most high schools.

Things haven't changed much since, maybe gotten worse.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:06 PM

"Women and children go together just like bread and butter"

You said it buster. Let me at those kids!

Posted by: Joan Crawford | June 7, 2007 4:07 PM

So pATRICK, you then wouldn't take your son and his friends to a ball game or something like a movie if another adult wasn't there? That is sad.

Posted by: londonmom | June 7, 2007 4:07 PM

another old Georgia Tech cheer

Differential y
Differential x
The h*ll with differentials
We want sex!

Posted by: dai | June 7, 2007 4:08 PM

Fred

"I am just blown away how Zelda looked past the perceived beauty of ballet to its core, its anguish and pain to produce the outward art."

Cuckoo birds tend to do that.

Posted by: Papa | June 7, 2007 4:10 PM

" Do I know them well? Did we just meet? What is my feeling about them (and more importantly what does my wife feel, she has a finely tuned creep radar). "

Wouldn't you approach leaving your children with any person by using these standards? or do women get a free pass in your world on the smell test? You seem to take great comfort in using the wrong criteria. That's odd, since otherwise, you are usually intelligent and thoughtful.

Posted by: anon for this | June 7, 2007 4:11 PM

"So pATRICK, you then wouldn't take your son and his friends to a ball game or something like a movie if another adult wasn't there? That is sad."


Yes I would take them. I would not have children( especially young girls) in my house by myself. That is what I said. Seems pretty hard for some to understand. By the way would you go to dinner and lock your kid in your hotel room? Now that was sad and idiotic. Is that the british way, Londonmom?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:12 PM

"Seven years of college down the drain" -Bluto

Posted by: Dean Wormer | June 7, 2007 4:15 PM

"Wouldn't you approach leaving your children with any person by using these standards? or do women get a free pass in your world on the smell test?"

This is so simple and it is so exasperating. NO ONE GETS A FREE PASS. However men, Get especially scrutinized.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:16 PM

By the way would you go to dinner and lock your kid in your hotel room? Now that was sad and idiotic. Is that the british way, Londonmom?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 04:12 PM

The Pope extended his sympathies to those parents.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:18 PM

I thought you were referring to all "playdates". Though I do still think it is weird that you would never be responsible for a "playdate" yourself because of your intense paranoia. But to each their own.

And it is NOT the British way to leave young children alone in a hotel room and go to dinner. I'm American, but have had LOTS of conversations with my British friends and they are just as amazed as the rest of us that the parents would do that. But I think we can all agree that they (and unfortunately their little girl) have paid a price much higher than the mistake in judgment that they made.

Posted by: londonmom | June 7, 2007 4:19 PM

atlmom - this one's for you

Hoover: We're in trouble. I just checked with the guys at the Jewish house and they said that every one of our answers on the Psych test was wrong.
Boon: Every one?
[looks at Bluto and D-Day]
Boon: Those *beep* must have stolen the wrong *beep* exam!

Posted by: Dean Wormer | June 7, 2007 4:19 PM

"I was suprisesd when my dh admitted that he feels uncomfortable when changing our dd's diaper or even giving her a bath b/c he doesn't want people think that he 'touches' her. Do other fathers feel this way too? What is with this skewed view of what is "inappropriate behavior" and how men interact with children?"

Sounds like your husband has it all figured out - no diaper changing or bathing for him. Woo hoo!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:19 PM

I was suprisesd when my dh admitted that he feels uncomfortable when changing our dd's diaper or even giving her a bath b/c he doesn't want people think that he 'touches' her. Do other fathers feel this way too? What is with this skewed view of what is "inappropriate behavior" and how men interact with children?

Posted by: question | June 7, 2007 04:06 PM

This skewed view is only held by one or two on this board. Thank goodness.

In all our years of working with, listening to, and socializing with, other parents of a variety of political, child-rearing, and socioeconomic backgrounds and ages, I've never heard even one express concern over dads being the adult in charge, sons babysitting, any of this extreme weirdness here. This isn't a left/wing, right/wing, conservative/liberal thing - it's a whacko nutcase thing, and highly insulting to all the good dads out there.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:21 PM

Ok, the Animal House quotes have gotten tired...here's the link to the movie quotes.

Enjoy

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077975/quotes

Posted by: Me | June 7, 2007 4:22 PM

What is with this skewed view of what is "inappropriate behavior" and how men interact with children?


This "skewed" view is that if someone accuses you of anything your whole damn life can be ruined. I had a friend whose teenage (12) daughter got mad at her dad and said he touched her. CPS (child protective services) came in, they had to hire a lawyer. They almost lost their daughter. Even after she recanted, they had to meet with CPS regularly for two years. I guess as women you have no idea what is going on.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:24 PM

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 04:21 PM

How is life on the moon?

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:25 PM

Didn't say he DOESN'T diaper and bath her. Would've been a smart scheme but he's not that manipulative. D'OH!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:26 PM

We do not allow our kids to go unsupervised for playdates. My wife goes with them or I go with them or their parents come over.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 03:59 PM

This is really out there. Can anyone say helicopter? and you require that other parents come over to your house to supervise a play date AT YOUR HOUSE?

I'm so very glad that my children's friends' parents are sane people, as well as trustworthy and with good judgment.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:26 PM

"Sounds like your husband has it all figured out - no diaper changing or bathing for him. Woo hoo!! "

Yeah, this guy is gonna manipulate you to let him get out of doing a lot of stuff.

Good luck with this winner!

Posted by: Fred Flintstone | June 7, 2007 4:27 PM

Ack , pATRICK. My son and the neighbor friend play together, and I leave my DS there, or the neighbor comes to our house - WHY OH WHY shouldn't the parents have some time off? It's easier to watch two than one (at his age), so why would you need TWO adults there when one can get a break, or do errands, or whatever.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 4:28 PM

"Me" is just annoyed that she couldn't pick the quotes out in the first place.

Can't beat them and can't join them. So sad!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:29 PM

The Pope extended his sympathies to those parents.

Oh, yeah. The pope all fat and happy in his gilded robes, in his gilded palace extends his "sympathies" to those in Sudan too. So very very kind of him. Why bother trying to feed some of them by selling some of his art. Noooo, much better to fool the common catholics with the catholic charities appeal. Let the regualr families make a sacrifice, while he lives like a king. Really a nice nice guy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:29 PM

"This is really out there. Can anyone say helicopter? and you require that other parents come over to your house to supervise a play date AT YOUR HOUSE?

I'm so very glad that my children's friends' parents are sane people, as well as trustworthy and with good judgment"


You are a pedophiles dream. Trusting, not inquisitive and naive. My kids are 4 and 6. Not 15 or 16

Posted by: pATRIICK | June 7, 2007 4:30 PM

Like when Wilma says she "has a headache" when you really means Barney does it better.

Nice name, by the way, does you mommy know you're on this blog?

Posted by: To "Fred Flinstone" | June 7, 2007 4:31 PM

"Didn't say he DOESN'T diaper and bath her. Would've been a smart scheme but he's not that manipulative. D'OH!"

Not yet. He's laying the groundwork.

You've already fallen for the "uncomfortable" and worrying about what "others will think " baloney.

Red flag warning!! You sound a lot like newsahm.

Posted by: Old mom | June 7, 2007 4:34 PM

When my children were small, their "friends" were children they met in daycare. They were not neighbors, and we didn't know their parents. We didn't have playdates because we figured that the children saw each other more than they saw us. When they weren't in daycare, we were happy to have them around. Never felt a need for a "break" from the kids.

In defense of pATRICK (just a little bit), he may not know the parents very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:38 PM

pATRICK

Are your kids going to be home schooled?

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 4:39 PM

Old mom - you are pretty unkind. She put that question out there honestly and all you do is pick at her. That's what someone gets for putting something real here. I think your husband will probably end up o.k. Most men haven't spent that much time with the female anatomy so it might feel weird to him. As she gets older in the bath she can wash her own privates if he puts soap on a wash cloth or her hand so it will all be above board. My 6 yr. old son likes me to wash his hair and body, but does his own privates. As long as he is taking care of her he shouldn't feel weird. You are brave for putting that out there. don't mind the ninnies who always put the worst spin on everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:40 PM

Nice pope bashing 4:29. I hope you enjoy hell.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:42 PM

"Didn't say he DOESN'T diaper and bath her. Would've been a smart scheme but he's not that manipulative. D'OH!"

OK, so he's just a creep. Why is he even thinking about it? It wouldn't occur to a non-creep to even bring it up.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:42 PM

pATRICK

"We do not allow our kids to go unsupervised for playdates. My wife goes with them or I go with them or their parents come over. "

NOW, I get it. You want the other kids' parents over for key parties! Pretty smart move!

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 4:43 PM

I guess as women you have no idea what is going on.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 04:24 PM

Oh, stop it, pATRICK. You've had your say. There's no need to now accuse others of being on a different planet, or accusing all women of being ignorant.

I'm sorry about your friends, but I'm not stopping my son from wearing Heelies based on the 64 accidents that have occured in the last 2 years, and I'm not going to adopt the practices you're willing to adopt. Neither makes me or anyone else naive. We simply think the life you are choosing to lead and the choices you are choosing to make, on this topic, would be senseless for our children for all the reasons others have expressed above. So sue me or change the subject. Before you bore everyone to death.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 7, 2007 4:44 PM

"When my children were small, their "friends" were children they met in daycare. They were not neighbors, and we didn't know their parents. We didn't have playdates because we figured that the children saw each other more than they saw us. When they weren't in daycare, we were happy to have them around. Never felt a need for a "break" from the kids.

In defense of pATRICK (just a little bit), he may not know the parents very well.

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 04:38 PM

pATRICK

Are your kids going to be home schooled?"


No they will not be homeschooled, why would they?. That has nothing to do with it.
Second, yes,they are at the age where we don't know their friends parents very well. To just drop them off would be ridiculous. At 4-6 years old, they are too young, as they get older we will let them do things more independently, I will not let them go to be alone with just a man for a very long time.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:44 PM

"Most men haven't spent that much time with the female anatomy"

PIMP!!!! Yep, most men have never looked at or touched the female anatomy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:45 PM

Ack , pATRICK. My son and the neighbor friend play together, and I leave my DS there, or the neighbor comes to our house - WHY OH WHY shouldn't the parents have some time off? It's easier to watch two than one (at his age), so why would you need TWO adults there when one can get a break, or do errands, or whatever.


Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 04:28 PM

Even worse, now the other parent has to socialize with pATRICK and his wife instead of just keeping an eye on the kids working on a puzzle in the next room. His poor daughter isn't going to know why no one wants to play with her either, until they get old enough to tell her to her face.

Posted by: Wilma | June 7, 2007 4:47 PM

My son has heelys and by the way it is over 1600 accidents not 64. I too am sick of this topic. I will keep my fingers crossed that you don't post later about some man violating your children.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:48 PM

Wow, remarkably on subject this late in the day! I'm going to have to jump in and agree with Patrick. I have little kids too and am amazed at the ease with which parents will drop their kids with people they have only spoken to in the parking lot. We do allow our kids to have playdates that we don't go to, but only with families that we know. I cannot imagine dropping my kids off at some random house of some kid from school.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 7, 2007 4:49 PM

"Most men haven't spent that much time with the female anatomy so it might feel weird to him"


This guy is a husband, right?

And you are calling me a ninny?

Posted by: old mom | June 7, 2007 4:49 PM

oldSAHM, I'm sure she'll get tips from you...like the latest internet home business scheme or on just being a plain old cow. Thanks!! ;)

Posted by: to oldsahm | June 7, 2007 4:49 PM

"Ack , pATRICK. My son and the neighbor friend play together, and I leave my DS there, or the neighbor comes to our house - WHY OH WHY shouldn't the parents have some time off? It's easier to watch two than one (at his age), so why would you need TWO adults there when one can get a break, or do errands, or whatever."

WHY OH WHY should the child's welfare be more important than the parents time off?

Actually, if you are leaving your child with a neighbor, I'm assuming that you know them fairly well. Big difference between a neighbor and a child's friend's parent who you don't know at all.

Posted by: devil's advocate | June 7, 2007 4:50 PM

You are a pedophiles dream. Trusting, not inquisitive and naive. My kids are 4 and 6. Not 15 or 16

Posted by: pATRIICK | June 7, 2007 04:30 PM

This is rude, pATRICK, and you don't know anything about me. I am quite inquisitive and not at all naive. I reached my conclusions about the parents I encounter based on cold, hard facts and observations, not hysteria. Try it some time.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:51 PM

pATRICK

If you send your kids to school, they may end up alone with a man.

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 4:53 PM

"I guess as women you have no idea what is going on."

How ironic that you use your gender to justify your actions, but were very quick to bash posters (Young and Wise and others) for his/her particular viewpoint regarding race.

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 4:55 PM

I let my son at five walk to the neighbor's house-two doors away. I watch him the whole time but he feels independent about it and great. Eventually, I guess I would ler him go down the block about six houses down (can't see that far) but right now I walk him. But I will leave him there - and they leave their kids with me. One reason I love my neighborhood is that we know most of our neighbors and see them and hang out with them, etc. It's great and what makes our life lovely.

Posted by: atlmom | June 7, 2007 4:56 PM

"I encounter based on cold, hard facts and observations, not hysteria. Try it some time."

and anyone who knows ME, would laugh at that. Facts and observations are the only thing to make decisions on. Too many people poo poo danger and hope for the best. There are bad people out there and they are constantly on the prowl for your kids. Sad? yes. Paranoid, no. Awareness is what keeps you from being a victim.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 4:56 PM

I have friends who took in foster children. One boy got angry about something and accused them of something inappropriate. While the investigation was going on, the adults were informed that it was possible that their own biological child could be removed from their home if the accusations proved to be credible. Luckily for them, the foster child had made these accusations in other homes where he was fostered, so they were not deemed credible.

You may want to go to many extremes to protect your children from harm. Don't blame a parent who is trying to protect themselves from false accusations by not being alone with children.

Posted by: just sayin' | June 7, 2007 4:57 PM

"Actually, if you are leaving your child with a neighbor, I'm assuming that you know them fairly well"

So what? Unless they are registered sex offenders, how would you know who not to trust?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:58 PM

This is now just awful at this point.

Unreadable and stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 4:59 PM

It's 5:00...slide down the dinosaur tail and go home.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:01 PM

" I cannot imagine dropping my kids off at some random house of some kid from school."

Riiiiiighhhhhhht. But pATRICK wouldn't drop them off at a house of someone he knew if that person is a man. That is a different opinion altogether.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:01 PM

A pedophile needs some things. Trust, privacy, time,access and opportunity. Keep this in mind when you encounter people who will have your children in their care.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:02 PM

..."Actually, if you are leaving your child with a neighbor, I'm assuming that you know them fairly well"

So what? Unless they are registered sex offenders, how would you know who not to trust?...

You trust based on your personal observations, people's habits, gut instinct, extent of knowledge and interaction with the neighbors, etc.

Based on your reasoning, why would I trust my husband or brother or father or female relatives for that matter? Use caution, but don't assume that everyone is a sex offender who just hasn't been caught and registered yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:03 PM

You all frighten me! You can't win...it's stupid to leave a kid with strangers, but most kids are molested by family members. As a former child whose mother once asked if an uncle's attention bothered her, I want to run away screaming, and lock my uterus away forever!

You never can be too careful...but then again...true pervs will always find a way to feed their perversion. I'd say the best way around this is open dialogue: make sure your kids know what is appropriate and what is not, teach them the best way to avoid abduction, and let them know they can always come to you if they're feeling uncomfortable, and you won't judge or accuse them of lying, no matter what. Hopefully if anything happens (God and Tarot cards forbid!), they will come to you to express their discomfort before any actual activity occurs.

Today's posts make me want to cry.

However, I was not molested, and I do not overeat, and I'm not obese. So don't worry about that!

Posted by: Mona | June 7, 2007 5:03 PM

My son has heelys and by the way it is over 1600 accidents not 64. I too am sick of this topic. I will keep my fingers crossed that you don't post later about some man violating your children.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 04:48 PM

If you read the article and studies carefully, pATRICK, it's not over 1600. I'll leave you to go back and find out the details on your own.

Don't cross your fingers for me. You're being more than rude at this point. I am perfectly capable of evaluating the people with whom my children come in contact. In addition to being safe, competent and reliable, they are not rude.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 7, 2007 5:04 PM

Hey Brian!

You've heard pATRICK'S take on "parenting like a man." What do you think?

Posted by: Elaine | June 7, 2007 5:04 PM

"I'm eagerly awaiting the return of Texas Dad of 2! Yummy!"

Nigel you dumped pATRICK????

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 5:05 PM

Based on your reasoning, why would I trust my husband or brother or father or female relatives for that matter? Use caution, but don't assume that everyone is a sex offender who just hasn't been caught and registered yet.

You DO have to think like this! Your children totally depend on you for their safety! Titles are meaningless. Your brother could molest your daughter, anyone can. You cannot surrender your vigilance because they are family. This is sad but true and not easy.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:07 PM

posters, you all have a case of surburban hysteria!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:08 PM

ok, pATRICK, by that reasoning your wife should not leave her children with you. Is that what you are trying to say?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:10 PM

No they will not be homeschooled, why would they?. That has nothing to do with it.


pATRICK, It has everything to do with it. I was molested by my preschool teacher. A friend was molested by her doctor. You cannot control every situation, and maybe just recognizing that and not being so harsh on those who have a different approach would serve you well.

I can't really tell how strict you really are - you've already said you don't stay on every playdate if you know the father well and trust him. That seems normal, and already shows the hypocrisy of your critisms of other parents. But you seem to have a very distorted view of your ability to protect your children.

Posted by: regular but anon for this | June 7, 2007 5:12 PM

pATRICK, a few questions:

does "vigilance" have to include never, ever, ever leaving my children alone with a man, or can it just mean that it's OK to leave my children alone with my brother as long as I give them a physical exam and the 5th degree afterwards?

Earlier you said that riding in a car is OK, so does the "alone" only mean in a home (mine or someone elses?)

Should I also apply this rule to my husband?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:13 PM

I largely agree with pATRICK and moxiemom for young children regarding playdates. I don't think that just because my kids meet someone at school that means a playdate is OK without me. If I don't know the parents, I need to go along. I invite, indeed encourage, the moms of playdate guests in my home to stay for tea or coffee until we get a chance to get to know each other. It's not a 100% guarantee, but you get a sense of a person (and the person gets a sense of me too) after a few playdates.

I don't think it's that unusual that as a man he keeps a respectable distance when it comes to friends of his children. I've noticed other dads who are careful not to be too familiar even though they clearly enjoy being with their kids' friends (in a good way).

I really find it amazing how many parents are willing to drop off kids at birthday parties when they don't know the parents or the party is in a large public place where it might be hard for hosting parents to supervise a large number of children. I've seen this done at a bowling alley and a gym that had regular customers. Is it ok with these parents if their child needs to leave the party room to use the restroom alone? Usually a handful of parents stay and most that do pitch in, but I wouldn't count on it for my children.

Posted by: Marian | June 7, 2007 5:13 PM

"CHICAGO - Accidents from trendy roller shoes are far more numerous than previously thought, contributing to roughly 1,600 emergency room visits last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

Those injuries were mostly in children, the target market for the wheeled shoes that send kids cruising down sidewalks, across playgrounds and through shopping mall crowds"

FYI-msn


Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:14 PM

Patrick, I agree that one must be cautious, but life after all is about balance and I think the goal is to find a balance between being vigilant and giving your child wings. If they never have a situation where they are alone, then how will they develop the skills to cope when they are older? If they never interact with men, then how will your daughter learn about men and be able to judge them as she looks for a husband? You gotta watch them, but sometimes you just have to cross your fingers because you cannot be there for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:16 PM

"I largely agree with pATRICK and moxiemom for young children regarding playdates. I don't think that just because my kids meet someone at school that means a playdate is OK without me. If I don't know the parents, I need to go along. I invite, indeed encourage, the moms of playdate guests in my home to stay for tea or coffee until we get a chance to get to know each other."

Moxiemom and pATRICK, and now you, are talking about different things. Most of us agree that we don't just dump our young children at playdates of people we don't know. But pATRICK is saying that we should never leave our children home alone wiht a man, ANY man, even our own brothers, because men are predisposed to being molesters. He's not talking about women you don't know, he's talking about men. ALL men.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:17 PM

Oops that was me at 5:16

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 7, 2007 5:17 PM

"I largely agree with pATRICK and moxiemom for young children regarding playdates. I don't think that just because my kids meet someone at school that means a playdate is OK without me. If I don't know the parents, I need to go along. I invite, indeed encourage, the moms of playdate guests in my home to stay for tea or coffee until we get a chance to get to know each other."

pATRICK and moxiemom, and now you, are talking about completely different things. Most of us would agree that it's not a good idea to leave young children at the homes of people we don't know well. But pATRICK is saying that we shouldn't leave our children in the care of men, any men, even our own brothers, because men are more likely to be child molesters than women. He's not talking about a woman you don't know, he's talking about men, ALL MEN.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:19 PM

Marian, isn't that the craziest thing? I've seen people hardly stop the car in front of the ice rink to drop off their 6 year old! I usually end up keeping an eye out for those kids as well as my own.

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 7, 2007 5:20 PM

regular but anon for this

"But you seem to have a very distorted view of your ability to protect your children. "

Bingo! pATRICK does have some kind of hero complex.

Thank you GOD, that I don't have to deal with this wacko & his enabling wife in person. They must be the social pariahs of the gated community.

I feel sorry for his kids; they are sure to be socially awkward for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: Nursing Nazi | June 7, 2007 5:20 PM

pATRICK, It has everything to do with it. I was molested by my preschool teacher. A friend was molested by her doctor. You cannot control every situation, and maybe just recognizing that and not being so harsh on those who have a different approach would serve you well.

I can't really tell how strict you really are - you've already said you don't stay on every playdate if you know the father well and trust him. That seems normal, and already shows the hypocrisy of your critisms of other parents. But you seem to have a very distorted view of your ability to protect your children.


I have left in an emergency my kids with my next door neighbor for a short time,whom I know well and has 2 kids my kids age and his wife. I have not dropped off my kids with people I don't know very well EVER. You of all people should understand that anyone can molest your child. I cannot protect them 100 percent. I can keep them from situations that can be dicey, like having a male nanny or babysitter etc.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:20 PM

In my community, there are parents who do leave their kids for playdates with people they don't know. A neighbor with a first grader who moved here last year told me that one of her son's friends mothers did this. It's not as though my neighbor is known in the community yet. A friend of my daughter's did this the first time she came to our house (and we hadn't been to hers yet). I now know the mom reasonably well, and I'm surprised she was so trusting with me.

The birthday party drop-offs start in kindergarten. I can imagine that a pedophile would see a Gold's Gym or the bowling alley a great place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon.

Posted by: Marian | June 7, 2007 5:25 PM

"But pATRICK is saying that we shouldn't leave our children in the care of men, any men, even our own brothers, because men are more likely to be child molesters than women. He's not talking about a woman you don't know, he's talking about men, ALL MEN. "

yes men, the vast majority of pedophiles are men. I once again am saying that leaving small children with a man is not a good idea. period.Flame away.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:26 PM

Partrick, you can protect them from dicey situations, but you may also deprive them of really rewarding relationships. I know that the father's of my husband's friends were like second dads to him. I have fond fond memories of my childhood soccer coach and the important lessons that he taught me. I learned that one must be cautious, but there are many good men out there that can and should be trusted. It is a fine line and I'm sure you think I'm waaaay over on the wrong side but I don't want kids who grow up scared and live across the street from me forever. I have plans - haha :)

Posted by: Moxiemom | June 7, 2007 5:26 PM

And the degeneration has been right on schedule, I see. Perhaps if the posts were more stimulating, the discussion would follow suit. As it stands, we are treated to shocking revelations that include (1) some people prefer to have 5 children and some 1; (2) decisions about family sized are based on economics, biology, and personal preference; (3) men parent differently than women; and (4) different doesn't mean better or worse. In other news, the sun rose in the east and it looks like its going to set in the west.

It's not that I mind that there is a parenting focus. It's the fact that parenting is increasingly the only focus (I think the two posts in a row on the family size issue was the real nadir). Work, balance, and every other aspect of life, even as they relate to parenting, are addressed less and less frequently. If Ms. Steiner and friends want a blog about general parenting/family issues, change the name of the blog or take over the existing parenting blog.

And for the love of God, moderate the posts! While good for a laugh, there's no reason to let the off topic nonsense take over the discussion.

Posted by: Only parents need balance? | June 7, 2007 5:26 PM

Marian - you're continuing to miss the point. You say you agree with pATRICK but you're harping about the "I don't know them" factor while he's talking about the entire male gender. So are you saying that even if you know the man well, you won't let them care for your kids? Because that's what he's saying.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:29 PM

Marian

"I can imagine that a pedophile would see a Gold's Gym or the bowling alley a great place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon."

Not to worry. Nosey Parkers like you are keeping watch!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:30 PM

It is a fine line and I'm sure you think I'm waaaay over on the wrong side but I don't want kids who grow up scared and live across the street from me forever. I have plans - haha :)

Interacting with men is not the problem, it is surroundings with which it is done. If a man wants privacy with your child, whether it is a coach etc that is a red flag. Your coach giving your kid a ride home is not. The coach wanting to hang out with your kid? Problem. Recognizing how pedophiles operate and adjusting your decisons to that hardly makes your kids fearful or awkward as that moronic nursing nazi posted.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:31 PM

posters, you all have a case of surburban hysteria!

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 05:08 PM

Since when did "all" expand beyond pATRICK, Father of 4 and scarry?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:31 PM

Moxiemom--

These birthday parties are a place where I do feel part of "the village." I think the parents are idiots, but I'm not going to let a child be at risk because of this. Usually I know the host parents and want to pitch in for them too. Boy, do I need a glass of wine with my dinner that night though. I find it exhausting to help keep tabs on large numbers of kids in addition to my own.

I don't have access to a news database with articles from the Post at the moment, but I seem to recall that Marguerite Kelly may have advised against hiring teenaged boys as babysitters for young children in a column some years ago. I could be completely wrong about where I read this. It has to do with the brain development of teenagers (lack of impulse control) crossed with intense hormonal changes. Very scary in a Lord of the Flies kind of way.

Posted by: Marian | June 7, 2007 5:32 PM

pATRICK, I do understand that all too well. When my child reached pre-school age you can bet I had to look a lot of my past experience and my current fears full in the face. But to me the fact that I cannot protect my child 100 percent means that I have to let go of gut reactions of fear and really understand what that means. I have to let my child live, I have to teach him the skills to protect himself, I have to take all reasonable precautions. But reasonable is a key word there. I cannot let my fears dominate my life or my child's, I cannot let my life be defined by what happened so long ago, and I have not. I don't believe that my parents failed me, I don't think that they should have known it would happen. My life is my own, I give it the meaning it has - not that man all those years ago.

So yes, I know what can happen, but I also know it is not what always happens and I will not live my life assuming it is. The way you have criticized and demeaned other parents, such as Megan's Neighbor, is inexcusable. I would never dream of saying such a thing to a parent based on my experience and I wish you wouldn't either.

Posted by: regular but anon for this | June 7, 2007 5:32 PM

Chiming in late - I have to say that I find Patrick's philosophy somewhat alarming. Of course I get to know my son's friends' parents before I let him go on playdates at their houses. Of course I have taught my son that his body is his own and nobody should be touching him in ways that make him uncomfortable. In terms of babysitters, we use my mother and my brothers pretty frequently. I trust my brothers. It's as simple as that. And my son adores them and has great fun with them. I can't imagine living my life in fear and distrust. The thing is, sh*t happens. And sometimes, unfortunately, there isn't a dang thing you can do about it. But I will not surrender my life to fear and paranoia, because that would be worse than the normal risks that life brings with it.

Posted by: Emily | June 7, 2007 5:33 PM

These are the same posters who will get in an elevator with a man who makes them uncomfortable because "that would be hysteria" to not get in. Then they get raped for their "sensibility".

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:34 PM

"Your coach giving your kid a ride home is not" a problem.

How can I tell? How much time does a pervert need?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:34 PM

"The way you have criticized and demeaned other parents, such as Megan's Neighbor, is inexcusable."


WAIT A MINUTE! What did I say to MN? Second, the only one demeaned is me! My posts say be careful, watch your kids. The response? I am some paranoid nut case or "whacko". So maybe you should rethink your post.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:38 PM

"The way you have criticized and demeaned other parents, such as Megan's Neighbor, is inexcusable."


WAIT A MINUTE! What did I say to MN? Second, the only one demeaned is me! My posts say be careful, watch your kids. The response? I am some paranoid nut case or "whacko". So maybe you should rethink your post.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:38 PM

and another vile post at 5:34, pATRICK. The way you attack other parents and women on this topic shows no respect for those who have actually suffered from sexual violence.

Posted by: regular but anon for this | June 7, 2007 5:38 PM

pATRICK

"These are the same posters who will get in an elevator with a man who makes them uncomfortable because "that would be hysteria" to not get in. Then they get raped for their "sensibility".

What are the stats on rapes connected with sharing elevator trips?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:38 PM

PS - Brian - Sorry you feel attacked, but the blog has become mostly about "things that have something to do with parenting, with some work/other life issues thrown in occassionally." Personally, I thought the whole vasectomy discussion was equally off topic and inane, but, like I said, this week's companion posts about family size were a real nadir. I finally got fed up. And judging from the increasingly poor quality of the discussions, I'm not the only one. Don't worry, I'm sure those of us who find such posts and discussions tiresome will go away forever after another week or so, if the blog continues the way it's been going.

Posted by: Only parents need balance? | June 7, 2007 5:39 PM

Okay, I'll say it. Patrick, you are a jerk. Your need to demean others just shows us that you are insecure (imagine that) and rude. And your need to control just makes me wonder what it is in your background that makes you feel so out of control. It's sad, really. You have my pity.

Posted by: Emily | June 7, 2007 5:40 PM

Emily, save your pity for yourself. If keeping my kids safe and arguing with careless parents on a blog makes me a jerk, guilty as charged.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:43 PM

"WAIT A MINUTE! What did I say to MN? "

Is your memory that short? I don't even care to repeat what you suggested will be the natural consequence of her choices. If you are going to say such things at least take responsibility.

Posted by: regular but anon | June 7, 2007 5:43 PM

"These are the same posters who will get in an elevator with a man who makes them uncomfortable because "that would be hysteria" to not get in. Then they get raped for their "sensibility"."

No, they're not. Read carefully.

Posted by: MV | June 7, 2007 5:44 PM

pATRICK

"Emily, save your pity for yourself. If keeping my kids safe and arguing with careless parents on a blog makes me a jerk, guilty as charged."

Why do you argue with the careless parents?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:45 PM

pATRICK sounds like a closet pedophile to me. Like one of those criminals on tv who gives talks while in jail about what to look out for, because he knows exactly what goes in the criminals mind, since he is one. Right, pATRICK?

Posted by: lurker | June 7, 2007 5:49 PM

WAIT A MINUTE! What did I say to MN? "

Is your memory that short? I don't even care to repeat what you suggested will be the natural consequence of her choices. If you are going to say such things at least take responsibility. "

"I said that I will keep my fingers crossed that her kids are not violated by a man. And I repeat it again. If that is "vile" to you, get a life.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 5:49 PM

"Second, the only one demeaned is me! My posts say be careful, watch your kids. The response? I am some paranoid nut case or "whacko". So maybe you should rethink your post."

SOrry I had to do this in two posts instead of one. You are not saying be careful; you are attacking anyone who doesn't do exactly what you do (which sounds extreme by the way you have described it) as careless fools and worse. Perhaps that's why people are taking such offense.

Posted by: regular but anon for this | June 7, 2007 5:51 PM

I have to agree that this blog is ridiculous. I started reading it a few months ago, thinking it would be about balancing work and life. But, it's really about parenting. I think that it should just be called "On Parenting." Oh wait, there is already a Wash Post blog called that.

The childish arguments between the regular posters are ridiculous. There are generally some thoughtful discussions in the morning. But, by the afternoon, it is just full of a few people arguing about something off topic and being nasty to one another.

I would like to see someone from the Wash Post moderate the discussion to keep it focused on the topic of the day. The comments at the beginning striving to be first are just plain silly. Are these adults who post wastes of space? Why do they do that? Let's try to focus on intelligent discourse where we can learn from one another and have a useful resource instead of the blather that this blog is.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:51 PM

"Not to worry. Nosey Parkers like you are keeping watch!"

So if you're at a birthday party of young grade-schoolers, you'll just let an unsupervised child go off to the restroom by himself/herself instead of at least giving the host parent a heads-up? I've seen kids getting wild at parties to the point where it's unsafe and someone could get hurt. It's very hard for hosting parents to keep an eye on so many young kids at once. I'm not going to ignore something dangerous that could hurt a child just because the parent thought it was OK to drop off. Would you rather I let a child hurt himself so he and his parents can learn their lessons?

As far as leaving my kids in the care of a man, I probably wouldn't. Since my kids have been of playdate age, I haven't lived anywhere long enough to get to know the dads. I would leave them with any of my brothers, but I've known them all my life. We do have a male relative in late adolescence that I wouldn't leave alone with my children. He has some issues.

In my old neighborhood we had a very creepy dad. The mom was sweet enough, but I wasn't even sure she'd be strong enough to stop something terrible if he tried something. This was a wake-up call of sorts to me. The family came to neighborhood picnics, etc. I suppose some saw him as just socially awkward, but there were some indications to me that I should keep my guard up.

Posted by: Marian | June 7, 2007 5:52 PM

Patrick,
about the statement, "I will keep my fingers crossed that her kids are not violated by a man."

You are implying there that she is so careless that her kids are likely to be violated by a man, which is why you will keep your fingers crossed for her. It is an insult masked by a false good wish. In fact, it's pretty passive aggressive too. Pretending you don't see that implication is just stupid. I don't believe that you're that stupid. The statement was vile.

Posted by: Emily | June 7, 2007 5:53 PM

And I repeat it again. If that is "vile" to you, get a life.

And the implication is clearly that you think that's what she'll get for not being like you. It is vile, and in case you hadn't noticed, pretty much everyone seems to think so. You are beyond offensive today. And telling me to get a life is rich considering the way you are describing yours.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 5:53 PM

The Apocalypse is nigh: NPR just aired a Paris Hilton jail-release story on "All Things Considered" -- and not just a tell piece, but one with an actual LA reporter.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:00 PM

Catlady - You are kidding. Man, I missed it.

Posted by: Emily | June 7, 2007 6:02 PM

pATRICK's daughter: "Dad, thanks for the wonderful wedding but we are on our honeymoon now and you need to go home"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 6:10 PM

Emily, How I wish I were kidding. I just hope the story wasn't also on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:21 PM

And speaking of balance, how are parents planning to explain to their children why Paris Hilton is being spared the sort of punishment that their own kids might expect to face from the law for violating probation following a DUI arrest? That money talks (celebrity, too), so the kids will conclude that they ought to aspire to emulate Hilton?

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:26 PM

"are parents planning to explain to their children why Paris Hilton is being spared the sort of punishment that their own kids might expect to face from the law for violating probation following a DUI arrest?"

Why should we explain to our children anything about Paris Hilton?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 6:28 PM

The real criminals are the ones who let her go.
Can you see LA County Jail right about now? Everybody is crying and saying they can't sleep - oh my heart is breaking.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | June 7, 2007 6:29 PM

6:28 PM wrote: "Why should we explain to our children anything about Paris Hilton?"

Rest assured I agree, it's a shame that anyone would have to, but the sad reality is that this story is all over the media and being discussed on- and off-line. Children not living in one of Fred's caves will inevitably and regrettably hear about it, including possibly misinformation.

So, in the spirit of making the best of a bad situation, parents can use this as a teaching opportunity, as a chance to convey their own values to their children once again -- values which might be considerably different from Hilton's (well, let's hope).

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:34 PM

Oh, KLB, you have a heart of gold!

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:36 PM

Wow Patrick you really took a beating today. I agree with most of what you said and feel the same way. That is what I meant by the post.

He was a little over zealous, but we all get that way sometimes on issues that are close to us. However, I do trust the other people on the blog to take care of their own children in a manner that they choose.

Lurker that was just vile what you said to Patrick.

And to the people who think I am paranoid. Let me give you a list of things that have happened to my family:

My cousin was beat to death by her boyfriend, he got away with it.
One of my close family members was raped
My uncle had his throat slit for ten dollars.
My other uncle was murdered in an alley way and then placed in the road to make it look like an accident.

Everyone didn't grow up in a nice place and everyone isn't trustworthy just because they live around you. I think being cautious is what is right for me and my family. My daughter is three, so there is no reason to take her for a play date and leave her with people I know I don't know well.

To my other buddies, I was at the doctor and the baby is doing well. When they checked the heartbeat the nurse said he kicked her.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 6:47 PM

"CHICAGO - Accidents from trendy roller shoes are far more numerous than previously thought, contributing to roughly 1,600 emergency room visits last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

Those injuries were mostly in children, the target market for the wheeled shoes that send kids cruising down sidewalks, across playgrounds and through shopping mall crowds"

FYI-msn


Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 05:14 PM

Yes, and if you carefully read the first paragraph and the remainder of the article, the statement was that Heely's contributed to 1600 accidents but that Heeley's were only directly responsible for 64 injuries. That's why looking beyond the sexy headlines and paying attention to more than hype is important.

What you said is vile and I have a life I like very much, thank you. One would think on rereading, you'd have understood, but you've harped on this one-note relentlessly in the past. It's one topic where your understanding of the limits of even the extreme of what's acceptable in blog-discourse seems to be missing. I am sorry for that.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | June 7, 2007 6:51 PM

Scarry, I'm glad to hear about the baby (and you). And I'm saddened by the terrible things that have befallen some of your family. Those things, plus your being in the vicinity of Kelsey's abduction and murder, have got to be making you feel edgy these days. Take care.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:53 PM

MN,

Maybe we should just forget today and look forward to no serious discussion friday?

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 6:53 PM

Catlady I am a bit paraniod, but I am also realy tough. The second thing my dad said after he saw that that poor girl was abducted was: he lucky he didn't grab my girl. It's true, I would of beat the SH!t right out of him.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 6:56 PM

Re heelies: Back when I was a mere kitten, roller skates were clamped onto one's oxfords, and kids wore skate-keys hanging from braided lanyards around their necks. Girls never wore anything other than dresses or blouse and skirts, even for recreation, so you can imagine the epidemic of skinned knees and elbows. Such injuries were painful and bloody momentarily, but somehow we all survived. At least nowadays kids get to wear jeans to cover their knees, maybe even knee/elbow pads and helmets -- and the skates don't work loose and fall off their shoes.

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 6:59 PM


catlady, I really don't think Paris Hilton - some hotel heiress - is inevitably on kids' radar screens. Many people do not live with the unfiltered media bombardment of cable TV. She's hardly relevant to kids' lives, so in what context should she come up? Even if NPR mentioned her in one story - weird - it seems unlikely to actually attract a kid's attention.

Now the impending HP7 release, that's more a topic your run-of-the-mill kid is plugged into.

My elementary-age kids didn't learn of Hurricane Katrina or the Asian tsunami, for example, until school did fundraisers and set writing assignments, and that was a whole lot more important/persistent as a news story. DH and I get our media fix via radio and online sources precisely so that adult preoccupations don't intrude into our kids' world . . . mainly so that rare and vividly scary events don't grab their imagination/worries, even when they attract ours. (I don't believe, for example, my kids have seen footage of 9/11, I avoided putting it on when my kids were present because it was so riveting and traumatic)

My kids do know who Lindsey Lohan is --- they liked her in Parent Trap and Herbie movies --- but they don't know of her adult persona and the direction that's going, aren't likely to anytime soon . . .

But I also don't think parents are there to rationalize that all is right and just in the way the world works, because sometimes it just isn't, some people lie and cheat and hurt others, not every wrong is punished and not every right prevails. What's to explain about it? Hope to avoid punishment or receive rewards really isn't why we behave with integrity . . .

Posted by: KB | June 7, 2007 7:11 PM

"If keeping my kids safe and arguing with careless parents on a blog makes me a jerk, guilty as charged."

I am glad I'm not careless, but I'm even more glad I'm not a self-important windbag. Think of the role model pATRICK is for his daughter.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 7:23 PM

Think of the role model pATRICK is for his daughter.

You are a great role model. Calling people names on a blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:00 PM

You are a great role model. Calling people names on a blog.

Posted by: | June 7, 2007 08:00 PM

Thanks for the compliment, ma'am. I am.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:48 PM

Scarry, i can take a beating. If I wanted to talk with people exactly like me I would post elsewhere. If I made at least one person more aware of the dangers of pedophilia than it was worth it. I have a thick skin and will be back. My condolences on your misfortunes, may no one here learn what you learned the hard way.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 8:50 PM

There are far more damaging behaviors to model for children then identifying idiots on a blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:54 PM

pATRICK

That is why I am careful who I let around my daughter and careful when I am out. Really, you don't get a second chance after something happens. Just ask my cousin who grew up without a mother.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 9:11 PM

KB:

You would be surprised at what kids know that parents don't realize they know. My female students know more about Paris Hilton's imprisonment than I do -- or did. I've been caught up after today's blog! And the boys have kept me up to date on the Barry Bonds saga - ugh.

I agree that, as much as we all might want Ms. Hilton to crawl back under her diamond-studded rock, she's going to be discussed in the media for a while, and it really IS one of those chances for parents to reiterate their values and, I imagine, how most of us have a very different value system than the Hilton family.

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 9:35 PM

By the way...the posters that totally missed the Animal House reference...am I REALLY that old, or did you not have your sense of humor today?

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 9:49 PM

If I made at least one person more aware of the dangers of pedophilia than it was worth it. I have a thick skin and will be back. My condolences on your misfortunes, may no one here learn what you learned the hard way.

Posted by: pATRICK | June 7, 2007 08:50 PM

this blog was converted today into a bully pulpit for one regular to call all other parents careless.

what a waste of time.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:00 PM

educmom wrote: "You would be surprised at what kids know that parents don't realize they know."

Well put!

BTW, I chuckled over your Animal House reference -- thanks :-))))))

Posted by: catlady | June 7, 2007 10:00 PM

If you want to worry about something real, 1/3 of sexual assaults are committed by parents.

Then, start worrying about sexual assaults on your child at school.

The best estimate is that 15% of students will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff during their school career.
• Though, when the American Association of University Women Foundation surveyed more than 1,600 students in eighth through 11th grade, 25 percent of the girls and 10 percent of the boys who said they had been harassed or abused said the harasser was a school employee.
• The number of K-12 public and private school students in 1996 who have been or will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff is nearly 7 million of 51,331,000.
• Between 1% and 5% of teachers sexually abuse or harass students.
• At least a quarter of all school districts in the United States have dealt with a case of staff sexual abuse in the past ten years.
• Most cases of sexual abuse of students by teachers are never reported.
• In nearly half of the cases, suspects were accused of abusing more than one student.
• Only two cases were cases of false accusations; less than 1 percent of the cases studied.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:03 PM

Thanks, catlady! It was time to be funny -- I'm glad it worked.

I have a Friday topic for Leslie (obviously in the future, since I'm sure she has written tomorrow's entry) -- choosing between the kind of movies and books we're SUPPOSED to see and read, and the ones we all actually DO see and read.

That's a balance topic, right?

See y'all tomorrow

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 10:08 PM

"Catlady I am a bit paraniod, but I am also realy tough. The second thing my dad said after he saw that that poor girl was abducted was: he lucky he didn't grab my girl. It's true, I would of beat the SH!t right out of him.

Posted by: scarry | June 7, 2007 06:56 PM"

I find this a bit offensive. A girl was abducted and murdered by someone who is capable of killing another human being. To insinuate that it wouldn't have happened if only she had beat the SH!t out of him is beyond insulting to the girl and her mourning family.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:33 PM

"choosing between the kind of movies and books we're SUPPOSED to see and read, and the ones we all actually DO see and read."

I am an adult and i see and read the kind of books and movies I want. Who decides what you are SUPPOSED to see? Doesn't anyone make their own decisions anymore?

Posted by: huh? | June 7, 2007 11:35 PM

"By the way...the posters that totally missed the Animal House reference...am I REALLY that old, or did you not have your sense of humor today?

Posted by: educmom | June 7, 2007 09:49 PM"

Didn't ever think it was funny. It was stupid and juvenile.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:40 PM

It was stupid and juvenile.

That is why it is sooooooooo funny, Ms. No Sense of Humour!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:54 PM

I find this a bit offensive. A girl was abducted and murdered by someone who is capable of killing another human being. To insinuate that it wouldn't have happened if only she had beat the SH!t out of him is beyond insulting to the girl and her mourning family.

Whatever, miss or mr. sensitive. Have you watched the local news every night praying that she is found? No, I bet you didn't. This girl was from my area. Read my other posts and see how I feel about what he did to her. I would have fought back, that is no way an insult to her. If I had seen someone trying to abduct her, I would have helped her or anyone else for that matter. Maybe before you get insulted and presume to think someone is insinuating anything you should know something about what or who you think is insulting you.

Posted by: scarry | June 8, 2007 10:09 AM


educmom ---

a late reply. You're right, I might be surprised what kids know. Although, when the 3rd grade hurricane assignment came up, my dd came home and said the teacher said there was some hurricane somewhere and we're supposed to write about it (this was about 2 weeks afterward, school well in session). I know she didn't know about it beforehand, more than the teacher's assigning comments which she didn't really understand, and I helped her find coverage online in kidspost to construct a narrative of what happened (she was supposed to express opinions about it). One shouldn't assume kids are just plugged in.

However, I was also very surprised when - I think it was 2nd grade - they did a mock Bush-Kerry election in class (with no advance notice to parents). I would have found it inappropriate --- I thought many kids are unexposed and those who are exposed are really too young to have a balanced view or do much more than parrot their parents' view and take others' differences as stupid, insults, etc. But I was very surprised that my daughter had some real views and could articulate her reasons, just from quietly overhearing NPR news on the radio in the mornings. We had never discussed politics with her before, thinking she should come to her own opinions and judgments later, when she was mature enough to weigh things for herself and not to be overimpressionable (also, to shield her from some of the sheer ugliness of partisanship in adult behavior). However, she really opened up to making her own political statements of preference after that! And it was a learning opportunity, as she really expected a Kerry win and could not understand why when her school went so strongly one way, Georgia and the country could go another . . . how reasonable people can come to different judgments and how people's experiences and opinions differ . . .

We do find our kids learn of SpongeBob, and other movies/songs/TV shows with kid appeal from their peers, and we often netflix those things for them, or they see them in Friday aftercare movie day or carpooling/sleepovers with friends. And some songs are at or past my comfort level (the song '1984' was extremely popular among their friends and hearing a 6yo sing it is pretty appalling - we nixed the curse word in it but otherwise waited for the phase to pass, which it did). But we haven't seen the celebrity culture stuff, yet. (Except the kids were over the moon when JK Rowling wrote back to a a girl in their class . . . letters to authors are one of their choices for assigned 'reading responses'.) Our kids learn of such things only if their peers are interested enough to share . . . and I just haven't seen the interest yet (at 10). . .

Also, DH and I tend toward the oblivious/ absent-minded side and our kids (esp the oldest) may too. My high school years were absorbed with Bronowski and Steinbeck and Dostoevsky and baroque and French impressionist music, not . . . whatever moved the popular culture at the time. Not to say all kids are like mine, just to say it's crass to assume all kids are in thrall to tabloid culture.

Posted by: KB | June 8, 2007 10:16 AM

How do you know she didn't fight back? I don't think that manner of death has even been reported yet. You may fight back and still get killed. Don't think you're safe just because you think you are some kind of bada**.

Posted by: to scarry | June 8, 2007 10:16 AM

oh, by the way, they think they knew each other which is why she possible didn't fight back.

Posted by: scarry | June 8, 2007 10:17 AM

My kids need their dad to be a MAN in their lives; it would make a huge difference. Instead he has chosen to be their "fun friend"; more of their peer than their adult parent "aka, DAD". Why did he want to have kids if he didn't want to be a PARENT?

Posted by: C.W. | June 7, 2007 09:40 AM

Two hours to the man bashing. Pretty good for this group.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 8, 2007 10:51 AM

There is a sport played on this blog called 'Bash Brian' every Wednesday. It is ignorant and dishonorable. Let's quit playing it.

Posted by: equal | June 7, 2007 10:01 AM

No, there is a sport on this blog called man bashing. This is a womens blog first, then a parents blog.

Yesterday it was said that the majority rarely see their biases. In parenting and housework, women are the majority. Think about it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 8, 2007 10:56 AM

No, there is a sport on this blog called man bashing. This is a womens blog first, then a parents blog.

Yesterday it was said that the majority rarely see their biases. In parenting and housework, women are the majority. Think about it.


Posted by: | June 8, 2007 10:56 AM

Did you even read this blog? It was dominated by one man, pATRICK, calling everyone else careless, over a 3 or more hour period. Think about it.

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