Dr. Mom

Back in May, The Wall Street Journal ran an intriguing Health Journal piece Paging Dr. Mom: The Role Mothers Play in Health Care (subscription or fee required). Reporter Tara Parker-Pope described when mothers, including her own, diagnosed life-threatening ailments, including appendicitis, a brain tumor, and an intestinal blockage, in their children before doctors could identify the problems.

Combine this uncanny ability to sense children's illnesses with a factoid from the Kaiser Family Foundation that 80 percent of mothers choose the family doctor and ferry children to most appointments -- and moms become the heroes of pediatric healthcare. Throw this powerful role into the work/family balance and we've got several paradoxes of motherhood: How do we balance this role in our children's lives with our work obligations? How do we remain the hero while sometimes delegating our children's health care to husbands, family members, and child-care givers? Do you ever feel guilty about your children's health?

When my youngest was two days shy of her second birthday, she had a seizure while in her high chair eating Cheerios. My husband and I were both in our usual frantic get-ready-for-work-get-three-kids-ready mode. My husband, who is usually far steadier in emergencies, froze. I became the calm, steely one, attending to our toddler, ordering the older kids upstairs, telling my husband to call 911.

Our daughter had another seizure next to me in the ambulance and three more in my arms the space of three hours at Children's Hospital. She had a spinal tap, a CAT scan, and a brain scan. The neurologists at one of the world's leading pediatric facilities tried -- and failed -- to assess the problem.

Somehow, I never panicked, even after two sleepless nights spent in a chair at her bedside trying to keep her from pulling out her IV's. I also never gave a minute's thought to my work responsibilities or even the needs of my older children. Our daughter was eventually diagnosed by our pediatrician with a rare strain of rotovirus. I'm happy to say she's fine now. I'm still amazed at how calm I was throughout the ordeal -- almost as if my usual work/family juggling abilities transmogrified into a previously unused emergency chemical that allowed me to focus only on my child and her needs.

Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve? Could I have accessed the same focus for someone else's child? I think so. I hope so. Research cited in the Journal showed that "foster" rat moms experienced chemical changes that helped them raise offspring -- the answer here is not pure maternal biology.

What about you? Have you experienced this eerie Dr. Mom (or Dr. Dad) sixth sense? Do you automatically throw off work responsibilities when confronted with a child's illness? How do you balance -- or get frustrated by -- meeting work responsibilities and your children's health needs?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  July 18, 2007; 7:15 AM ET  | Category:  Research
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First

Posted by: El Primo | July 18, 2007 7:30 AM

"Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve? Could I have accessed the same focus for someone else's child? I think so"
From my personal point of view, I don't think so. No matter how lab rats react.

Posted by: portuguese mother | July 18, 2007 7:49 AM

The answer to your question regarding other caregivers is an uncategorical yes. My father and husband have done it for me and I've seen other non-mom's do it for others. It's partly a question of individual personality and training and partly a question of how society conditions women (especially women who become mothers) to be caregivers.

Posted by: NotAMom | July 18, 2007 8:03 AM

My pediatrician told me once that mothers rarely are mistaken when they've got a gut instinct something is wrong. I'm sure there are exceptions to that rule (Munchausen by proxy, for example), but I've always gone with my gut anyway in life and I see no reason to do differently with my children. Leslie, I can relate to your story about behaving with steely calmness when one of your children is in distress. I am not a calm person by nature, I would say, but I was like a soothing robot when my son started having difficulty breathing after eating a cashew. I think it's good to know that about yourself, that you CAN be rational and calm in such a situation.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 18, 2007 8:12 AM

NotAMom

"It's partly a question of individual personality and training and partly a question of how society conditions women (especially women who become mothers) to be caregivers."

Agree. There are biological moms & dads who will sit and watch their own kids starve/suffer. We watch it happen to many of the kids of the world. The "reserve" and the "village" are a matter of conditioning.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 8:22 AM

Looking back on my childhood, I think that my mother had a very mild form of Munchausen by proxy in that she was always telling me I was sick. She took me to the doctor when I had barely a sniffle. I almost did not go on to 6th grade because I missed so much school in 5th grade. She always self-diagnosed me and self-medicated me. Fast forward to today where I am a mother and my child gets sick. I have trouble trusting my gut instinct when I self-medicate (not tylenol but like Albuterol for my daughter who has seasonal asthma). I also have trouble trusting my gut when to take my child to the doctor because I don't want to take her unnecessarily. It has been a struggle for me, but I rely on my husband and my nanny to support my gut instincts.

Now, that being said, when one of my kids is injured (like falling down the hardwood stairs), I am the calm one cheking for neck injuries and talking softly and calmly, so I know the instinct is there :)

Posted by: Anon for this | July 18, 2007 8:29 AM

My daughter has severe behavioral problems. I have gone along with the traditional treatment of medications, which are not working. But my "mom" instinct has always told me that there is something else going on. I was constantly told by doctors that there was nothing medically wrong, just ADHD. Well, I have found a doctor who now says that there are food sensitivities and nutritional imblances that may be affecting her behavior and that she has allergies which can cause for some children behavioral problems. You have to go with your gut and keeping looking for people who "get it". This doctor told me at anytime if I felt that some type of treatment she suggests doesn't sit well with me even if I can't give a good and logical reason that this would be enough to re-evaluate.

Posted by: Silver Spring | July 18, 2007 8:32 AM

"Now, that being said, when one of my kids is injured (like falling down the hardwood stairs), I am the calm one cheking for neck injuries and talking softly and calmly, so I know the instinct is there :)"

If you "know" the instinct is there, why do you "also have trouble trusting my gut".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 8:34 AM

"I think that my mother had a very mild form of Munchausen by proxy in that she was always telling me I was sick."

MPB is when your mother actually makes you sick - by feeding you bleach or physically injuring you or whatever - and then feeds off the attention she gets for having a sick/injured child. What you're describing sounds like hypochondria by proxy.

Posted by: Lizzie | July 18, 2007 8:36 AM

It is so important to have a pediatrician who trusts you as a parent. My doc. always trusts and respects my insticts even when every symptom is contrary to what I'm feeling. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong but I never feel intimidated by my provider.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 8:37 AM

If you "know" the instinct is there, why do you "also have trouble trusting my gut".

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 08:34 AM

That is so funny. That is exactly what my husband says. Because it is an irrational fear that my gut is wrong. And irrational fears are exactly that -- irrational

Posted by: Anon for this | July 18, 2007 8:38 AM

Every one of us has unique powers and abilities that we hold in trust for our family. Three examples:

No. 1 son, born 9 weeks premature, has been home for 10 weeks when we notice that it's 10 PM and he is breathing very fast, 100 times a minute. We thought he had bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a common ailment caused by the high concentrations of oxygen that kept him alive after he was born. His mother figured out that I should call the doctor. I figured out that I should put our son on the 'phone so that the doctor could hear him breathing 100 times a minute. The doctor met us at a hospital halfway between his place and ours. It turned out that we were quite mistaken. X-rays showed that there was (B"H) no dysplasia. It was just a common upper respiratory infection. So much for mystical parental diagnostic powers.

No. 2 son got his tonsils out and needed to stay overnight at the hospital. We knew he would be waking up many times with a sore throat and wanting water. His mother can't do that. Once she is asleep it's very hard for her to get moving on short notice. I can wake up, give him water and a hug, and go right back to sleep again, all of this as often as necessary. So I'm the one who stayed with him that night. The other kid in the room had his mother staying with him. Each of us does what he does best.

Then there was the time that we adults got sick and the baby did not. We stayed sick for a week or so, until all three of us went to Fort Lee, Virginia for a two-week course. We got well right away. As soon as we returned home, we got sick again. I told her, "Call the Health Department and have them take a look at our well." This time, unlike the wrong guess with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, I guessed right. Our hand-dug well had become polluted with E. coli from ground runoff. The reason we got sick and the baby didn't was that he wasn't drinking the water. In fact, every well on our stretch of road had become polluted, so that we had to wait in line a year and quarter until the drillers could get around to us and drill 80 feet down to the clean water beneath the rock.

Parents know their children. A doctor who has not been with a patient for long can easily guess wrong. When our first pediatrician decided to quit private practice and go back into the Army, his replacement noticed that No. 1 son was slow to walk and talk. He turned out the lights, looked in his eyes, and thought he had (R"L) Tay-Sachs Disease. So he asked us, "Do you know anything about the baby's ancestry?" That means he thought No. 1 son was adopted, which also means he had not looked at the previous doctor's records all too carefully. It's a good thing we found a pediatric neurologist at the Hopkins in Baltimore who took one look at how the baby's eyes followed the conversation, turning toward whoever was talking, and told us, "There's nothing wrong with this kid. Bring him back in six months and he'll walk in here." And he was right.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 8:46 AM

A big agreement here. A lot of times a mother intuition is correct. Back in Jan took my 16 year old to drs because he appeared to have strep; the dr. chastised me for bringing in him too early; but history told me that is what it was - and sure enough he tested positive. That doctor was arrogant, and he couldn't even apologize. But you could tell he was embarassed. The same thing happened when my one son was two years old.. illness worsened even after on antibiotics - turned out they weren't strong enough - but we had to go to another doctor (our doctors day off) to get that confirmed. it was a rough week. Intuition is very loud - please listen!

Posted by: C.W. | July 18, 2007 8:48 AM

A profession that really prepares you for those steel nerve moments is nursing. My own mother, a retired nurse took charge of things very quickly in medical emergancies in my neighborhood when I was a kid. I remember very vividly when a boy fell off his bike on a steep hill by our house and running to get my mom who applied first aid and helped get him to the hospital. He became one of my best friends, and still is almost 20 years later.

Is it any coincidence that nursing is still primarly a profession populated by women? I'd say society still pushes women into those service professions (teaching, nursing, etc), but more men are becomming nurses now so perhaps we will see a change.

In either case, I'd rather think of things as "Nurse Mom" and "Nurse Dad" than "Dr. Mom" or "Dr. Dad." My experience with medicine indicates that an experienced Nurse is can be just as good at diagnosis as any Doctor... and tend to have a better bedside manner to boot.

Posted by: David S | July 18, 2007 8:56 AM

I remember one day my 9month old baby started choking on his lunch and my dh started panicking. I just picked baby up and did baby heimlich. But I think a lot of this is just the experience that goes with being the primary caregiver. You confront the idea daily that if you panick in a child's emergency then the child will suffer. Also, I think you experience more near misses than the parent who spends less time with the kid, so you just have more practice. You also spend a lot of time subconsciously predicting the consequences of various responses to emergencies. And of course obsessively reading about each tragedy in the newspaper and thinking "What should i have done if that happened to me and my kid."

I don't think it depends on being the parent of the child. Remember the gorilla who rescued a small boy who fell into the enclosure. I think it is a biologically programmed empathy towards young animals. It may be stronger in female mammals since they typically invest more in raising their young, but perhaps this is not so in humans because human males invest a lot in their young.

Posted by: m | July 18, 2007 9:06 AM

"Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve?"

Most definitely as it pertains to dads. Dads have the same attachment, need to care and love for their children as moms. I have put aside all else and focused solely on my son when he got sick when he was 7 days old. I have seem other Dads do the same on a routine basis. I don't think moms own the patent on staying cool and focused when a kid is sick or in danger...although they sure are good at it!!

Posted by: HappyDad | July 18, 2007 9:18 AM

There is no truth behind the idea that women are better caregivers than men. The longer we sustain this myth, the harder it will be to attain equality. Believing this myth is a true deal-breaker for equally shared parenting; everything else can be overcome.

In my house, I may know a bit more about treating illness simply because I work in the medical field, but my husband knows just as much about how to respond. And he cares just as much.

Great stories from everyone about handling medical crises with kids!

Posted by: equal | July 18, 2007 9:28 AM

"Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve?"

Hmm, let's see. My father is a doctor. I think it's fair to say that he has that kind of reserve in abundance. Not that my Mom is a slacker either - she's great in an emergency, too.

While I'm sure your daughter's illness was quite distressing and I'm glad she's fine, I have to wonder if your husband or another caregiver would indulge themselves in your level of hubris.

It's about your experience in dealing with medical emergency on top of your temperament - not your chromosomal makeup. My brother, sister and I are all champs at dealing with medical emergencies because of the way we were raised - indeed, my brother is calmer than his wife.

Posted by: Well... | July 18, 2007 9:28 AM

Yeah, mom was great. When I broke my ankle, she took me to the dr-3 days later. Because she didn't believe me when I told her it hurt.
And dad can be counted on to yell at everyone in a crisis.

Posted by: person | July 18, 2007 9:29 AM

"Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve? Could I have accessed the same focus for someone else's child? I think so"
From my personal point of view, I don't think so. No matter how lab rats react.

Posted by: portuguese mother | July 18, 2007 07:49 AM

I disagree. I have always been much better in a medical emergency situation than my sister -- a mother. (I have no children.) She certainly does the right thing and is a good mother, but in the situation that Leslie describes with her daughter I probably would have been the one to react like Leslie -- jumping right in in a calm and logical way. When is comes to "diagnosing" her children -- obviously she would be better, since she knows them better. I think the diagnosing situation and the reacting in an emergency situation might be different situations.

Posted by: DC | July 18, 2007 9:29 AM

The short answer is "yes", both Moms and Dads will generally stay cool when the kids are in danger. Last September youngest DD mangled her hand in a door at a pitching clinic. Broken finger; two nails ripped off; blood everywhere. I took her back home to get DW; the two of them rode in the back seat while I drove to the hospital. Two hours later we were out with a splint; nine stitches; some painkillers; and a prescription for antibiotics. Don't ask how we did it; we just did.

Worst event ever was a car wreck in western Kansas years ago. We were moving from Colorado to Maryland; we were in a Ford Explorer pulling a trailed. DW was driving; we got caught by a gust of wind and she lost control. We went off the road; came back on and hit a semi; we wound up rolling over and coming to rest upside down. We slid out of the car; saw the two kids were hanging upside down in their carseats and got them out; and only then realized that DW's arm was cut (but other than that we all walked away unhurt). Still don't know how we were so calm through it all, but it just happens.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 18, 2007 9:34 AM

I disagree about it being a woman's realm. My mother is a trained nurse but stayed home while we were young. However, mother's intuition and calmness in a crisis were definitely not her strengths! I only can be grateful that my father is so calm. Invariably, when major trauma occurred to me (almost lost an eye) or my brother (toe practically lost on an oyster shell) she shut down or fainted and my father had to step in. She even passed out when picking me up from the dentist when she saw blood on my face and the pressure bandages from having impacted teeth removed from my lower jaw. Most famously, she passed out on top of my father after his knee surgery and landed on his knee!

I am like my father and have managed to apply the heimlich to my son choking on a sweet while my husband could only yell...he's dying, he's blue! Also, I remember my son being sent home from school with a tummy ache by the school nurse and knowing immediately that it was no regular tummy ache even though my son insisted it was just too much pizza. I wasted no time and took him straight in and sure enough it was a very inflamed appendix.

I think some individuals are better at these things than others but I also see that there is major compensation by one parent when the other is really weak in the crisis containment area. I have to thank my husband's complete lack of control for my amazing practical and calm approach to our various health emergencies.

Posted by: notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 9:40 AM

My DH nearly died as a child when his appendix burst. His mother accused him of faking and sent him to school anyway when he told her he was in extreme pain. (THis is the same mother who frequently gives me childrearing advice. Ouch!)

Posted by: to person | July 18, 2007 9:42 AM

There is no truth behind the idea that women are better caregivers than men. The longer we sustain this myth, the harder it will be to attain equality. Believing this myth is a true deal-breaker for equally shared parenting; everything else can be overcome.

Posted by: equal | July 18, 2007 09:28 AM
-------------------------------


I totally agree.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 9:44 AM

I found this comment interesting:

"I also never gave a minute's thought to my work responsibilities or even the needs of my older children."

So she didn't even think about her other children for three days, and she says this like it's a good thing.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 9:46 AM

Just curious - why did you go home to get DW instead of having her meet you at the hospital?

Posted by: to Army Brat | July 18, 2007 9:46 AM

My son was diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer just shy of his second birthday. I knew that it was cancer at least 3 weeks before the stupid pediatrician figured it out. I spent those 3 weeks literally camping out in the pediatrician's waiting room, trying to convince them that my son was dying. When we finally got the diagnosis and got to Sloan-Kettering, my son was in endstage, and we were told he might not have made it another week. Now, after a year of intense treatment and another year of more intermittent treatment, my son is fine and about to enter kindergarten.

I managed to hang onto my job during those years but it took a major toll on my career prospects and I am only starting to recover from it now. There isn't much choice, though, when a kid is that sick.

Posted by: ratgirlny | July 18, 2007 9:47 AM

I agree with the idea, but I suspect it comes more from being around these little creatures all the time -- when you see what "normal" is every day, you pick up on "not normal" pretty quickly. I can almost always tell you a day or two before one of my kids is going to get sick, because they're just fussy and off and wrong. There's no way I could do the same for my nieces and nephews, much as I love them, because I'm not as in tune with their rhythms.

I agree with the earlier poster about having trouble trusting my gut. I know that I tend toward overreacting with my own health; due to some legitimate childhood issues (like, say, almost dying of asthma attacks several times), but still not the way I want to live. I've beaten down those natural tendencies with respect to my own health, but boy do they flare up with my kids, because losing them is my biggest fear. But I also don't want to bug the doc with every little thing. So when they get sick, I do this agonizing mental dance, wondering if it's really bad enough to call the doc, or if I'm overreacting. Luckily, my kids usually make it pretty easy for me: they're either perfectly well, or it's strep with a 103 fever. Plus with the Kaiser nurse line, it makes it easier to just call to get that sanity check.

The only problems I've run into are when I have ignored my inner warnings that something was really wrong. The worst was croup. I made my husband take our son in when he woke up at 3 AM with a 103 fever and barking like a seal. The doc said it was just a respiratory virus and he'd get better in 3-4 days -- never mentioned croup, never told my husband what "normal" symptoms might develop or what bad signs to look out for, just said it'll clear up on its own. So I waited for several days as my toddler had more and more trouble breathing, thinking it was bronchitis or asthma, sticking him in a hot, steamy room because that's what my mom did when I had those things, slapping him on the back to try to break up what I thought was massive chest congestion, not sleeping because I was listening to the monitor so intently to make sure I could hear him breathing. Finally, my mom came over one night, took one look at him, and insisted that I go to the emergency room. We went to urgent care (me not wanting to overreact), and doc immediately sent us to the hospital, where they then took him right away. And after just one dose of medicine, his breathing cleared up -- literally 10 minutes.

I'm still angry at his doctor, because I KNEW something was wrong, but he brushed it off, without even telling us what to expect or what warning signs to look out for. And as a result, I was doing exactly the WRONG thing -- he needed cool air, not a hot shower, and there was no chest congestion to break up. It took my mother, who didn't give a rat's tushy about "bothering" the doctor, to make me do what I should have done right away. The one good thing I can say about that incident is that it cured me of any concern about "bugging" the doctor over inconsequential stuff (both because my kids' health is more important, and because I'm so PO'd at him that I no longer feel so bad about the inconvenience!).

Posted by: Laura | July 18, 2007 9:48 AM

I'm with you, equal. What's the next logical step? "It's wrong for the mother to work outside the home because she and she alone knows how to care for her children the best. Any level of care below a mother's is subpar and should be avoided at all costs."

We all have gut reactions. In our society, women are encouraged to listen to these feelings and act on emotion whereas men are emcouraged to think and act logically. That is really the only explanation for "woman's intutition." Also, women usually have more practical experience with babies and children, so that also contributes to it.

Any person can listen to his or her feelings. Although I have experience with kids and my husband does not, we would most definitely take first aid and CPR classes if we ever have kids. I wouldn't trust my gut reaction alone to save a life.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 9:51 AM

Interestingly, we had a different experience. My daughter was one and a half and began to act very fussy, crying, putting fingers in her mouth. I assumed molars and gave her some tylenol for the pain. But it continued for another few days so we decided to call the doctor. My husband is the one who usually talks to the pediatrician on the phone - I seem to be too nervous on the phone, but fine in person. Over the phone, my husband carefully described her symptoms, without jumping to the conclusion that it was teeth-related. From what he said the doc thought it might be an infection in the mouth and ordered us to come in. She was right - and I credit my husband with his being calm and thorough in helping the doc figure this out. I know I am lucky that is he is so involved and helpful, and it helps me balance a bit better with work.

Nataly
www.workitmom.com

Posted by: Nataly | July 18, 2007 9:52 AM

Just curious - why did you go home to get DW instead of having her meet you at the hospital?

-----------

1 - It wasn't bleeding to the point of life-or-death issue; we'd already packed/wrapped it at the park. I made the judgement that a few extra minutes wasn't going to be that critical.

2 - DD really appreciated having Mommy hold her tight in the back seat as we drove

3 - I figured DW would be more upset getting a phone call telling her to meet us at the emergency room than she was seeing the hand and assessing it herself. I was genuinely worried about calling DW, having her drive 100 miles an hour to the hospital and getting in a wreck.

I've often thought that, in general, it's more scary to know that a loved one is hurt but not know/see the details than it is to see the situation in person.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 18, 2007 9:52 AM

It's odd -- my wife has absolutely no intuition on things like this.

Oh, she observes our children's behavior and is able to discern differences in trends. She analyzes various symptoms and asks questions. She applies lessons learned from previous illnesses, and modifies her understanding based on these experiences. Basically it requires a lot of observation, thought, and analysis.

Maybe if she had more of that 'intuition' she wouldn't have to be so smart or work so hard at it...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 9:54 AM

I grew up with a mom that is a nurse. In addition, I have two siblings with medical issues. Thus, I am pretty good at handling these types of situations. BUT, I have noticed that since my daughter was born, I am even more in synch with what she needs than other people, even my husband. I don't know if it is because of my exposure to handling medical issues growing up or that mama's instinct. My guess it is a combination of both. Regardless, I am becoming more confident in asserting my "gut Instinct" when at the doc's office or when talking to others about my daughter's care.

Posted by: Nutty Mama | July 18, 2007 9:55 AM

Thanks Army Brat - now it makes sense :).

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 9:56 AM

Absolutely!

Nobody knows your kid as well as you do. A good pediatrician helps you to learn to develop and trust your powers of observation.

My kids had a few basic "sick" patterns, and once I got a handle on them I could easily decide whether this was worth a call. In the presence of doubt the advice line was the default decision.

My husband could never do that. He wasn't as observant as I was regarding the kids, and traveled a lot so he missed those Dr. appointments where I picked up all this lore about telling when kids were "sick enough."

With aging parents and some emerging chronic health problems the signposts that I learned about with my kids will serve me well in the upcoming years as well.

Posted by: RoseG | July 18, 2007 9:57 AM

In college, I got really sick. Every day for five days I went to the campus health center complaining of fever, vomiting, and extreme pain in my abdomen. They sent me back every day telling me it was the flu. I finally went to the hospital and was immediately diagnosed with appendicitis (sp?). It had burst 2 or 3 days earlier.

My mom made the 9 hour car trip and stayed by my bedside for the whole 3 weeks. Then she stuck around to help my roommates change my bandages for the next 2 weeks while I was on bedrest.

She would certainly agree that the health of your children is more important than, well, anything.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 10:01 AM

Meesh, did your mother work?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:04 AM

"There is no truth behind the idea that women are better caregivers than men. The longer we sustain this myth, the harder it will be to attain equality. Believing this myth is a true deal-breaker for equally shared parenting; everything else can be overcome.

Posted by: equal | July 18, 2007 09:28 AM "

Right on!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:05 AM

When my father was in the hospital I was there every day for 3-5 hours a day, leaving work early pretty much 5 days a week and almost all day Saturday and Sunday. My mother still complains I wasn't there as much as she was (8 hours a day). My sister eventually lost her job and apartment over spending too much time with my father during this hospital stay. Perhaps men really don't care as much if I only put in 5 hours a day in the afternoons.

Posted by: DCer | July 18, 2007 10:05 AM

I don't think it's a woman's domain at all. First, I think whoever stays home with or spends the most time with the kid is going to be more perceptive (as previous posters mentioned) to that child and more able to notice trends when something is really wrong. In our society, this is more often the woman; even in cases where both parents work the mother is often (true not always) the one with more face time with baby. Secondly, I think ability to stay calm in a situation is due in large part to temperment as well as previous exposure to less serious accidents the children experienced.

In Leslie's case, for instance, her husband does not seem very involved in the day-to-day care of the family and so wouldn't know what to expect when a child got seriously ill. He also would react more wildly since he not being the primary caregiver is not used to seeing his beloved children get all their bumps, bruises, and have minor accidents like Leslie was. She knew it was serious, but having the experience of dealing with all the minor issues prepared her for a major one.

Posted by: Miles | July 18, 2007 10:06 AM

RoseG

"With aging parents and some emerging chronic health problems the signposts that I learned about with my kids will serve me well in the upcoming years as well. "

"Nobody knows your kid as well as you do."

"My husband could never do that. He wasn't as observant as I was regarding the kids"

Martyr to the kids & aging parents! Sheesh!
Hubby gets out of the grunt work! Great!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:14 AM

Okay - this is a little odd, but can anyone else just smell when their kids are sick? I can always tell a fever by the way the kids smell. Our pediatrician says he's come across several moms who say this and they're always right. Anyway, it kind of makes it easier to tell when they are sick ...

I do believe in intuition - both moms and in-tune dads (my ex notwithstanding but I wouldn't exactly call him in-tune). I've taken a child with a stomach bug to the dr. because his eyes didn't look right and his liver was inflamed and shutting down. I also took a kid with a bad cough in, knowing it was more, and he had a horrible ashtma attack once we got there. I think spending more time with your kids than anyone else does enables you to know when things aren't right - and sometimes the 10 or 15 minutes in a doctor's office just can't give the health care provider the same sense of your child that you have. Period.

Posted by: Stacey | July 18, 2007 10:19 AM

Stacey

"I think spending more time with your kids than anyone else does enables you to know when things aren't right - and sometimes the 10 or 15 minutes in a doctor's office just can't give the health care provider the same sense of your child that you have. Period."

Or not. Period.
And that could be a teacher or someone else. Period.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:23 AM

My husband and I have three children. When it comes to routine illnesses (colds, flu, etc.) we are equally capable of diagnosing, medicating, and figuring out when its necessary to call the pediatrician. He is much better handling sports injuries (sprains, etc.) because he was a high school athlete and learned a few things from the athletic trainers at school. He won't touch the "female" medical issues our teenaged daughter encounters with a 10-foot pole! Those are 100% mine to deal with :-)

We are both federal employees, so usually trade off taking sick leave to stay home with kids. One of the reasons we both work for the gov't is that, at least in our agency, its acceptable for fathers to stay home with sick kids.

The only difference in our "doctoring" capabilities that might be related to gender is that I have a much higher tolerance for extended comforting. I can sit on the sofa for hours holding a sick child who just wants mommy or daddy. My husband can't last ten minutes.

Posted by: MP | July 18, 2007 10:23 AM

In Leslie's case, for instance, her husband does not seem very involved in the day-to-day care of the family and so wouldn't know what to expect when a child got seriously ill.

C'mon Miles be fair, he was tired from those 3 am cell phone call to close those big deals.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:24 AM

Yes, my mother was working at the time at the Nursing School at UMBC.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 10:26 AM

Stacey

"I think spending more time with your kids than anyone else does enables you to know when things aren't right - and sometimes the 10 or 15 minutes in a doctor's office just can't give the health care provider the same sense of your child that you have. Period."

Really? Why is it that so many kids are referred to mental health care providers by persons other than their moms? Why is there such a "disconnect" between many moms and their kids? Time doesn't always equal quality or even competence, Ms. Hall Monitor. Period.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:27 AM

I'm with you, equal. What's the next logical step? "It's wrong for the mother to work outside the home because she and she alone knows how to care for her children the best. Any level of care below a mother's is subpar and should be avoided at all costs."

We all have gut reactions. In our society, women are encouraged to listen to these feelings and act on emotion whereas men are emcouraged to think and act logically. That is really the only explanation for "woman's intutition." Also, women usually have more practical experience with babies and children, so that also contributes to it.

Any person can listen to his or her feelings. Although I have experience with kids and my husband does not, we would most definitely take first aid and CPR classes if we ever have kids. I wouldn't trust my gut reaction alone to save a life.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 09:51 AM

Spot on, Meesh.

We've selected our pediatricians as a couple. We wouldn't take our kids to anyone in whom we didn't both have full confidence. We deliberately divvy up the kids' doctors appointments and communicate fully with each other after each appointment so that we are both equally on top of any health issues with our kids. I can't imagine how you can think youyou are serving your kids well by having a majority of medical information and physican/parent communications with only one parent. Single parents have to handle it this way. If you don't have to, where is the benefit to the children in having one ignorant parent and one fully informed?

It's absurd for women like Leslie to pat themselves on the back for essentially making all the pediatric choices, keeping all the appointments and keeping their husbands out of the pediatrician/physician loop. Neither my husband nor I would stand for this sort of information or parenting gap for a minute.

This isn't about instinct, it's about power and control and it's sexist to insult men with this drivel.

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 10:35 AM

"Reporter Tara Parker-Pope described when mothers, including her own, diagnosed life-threatening ailments, including appendicitis, a brain tumor, and an intestinal blockage, in their children before doctors could identify the problems."

This is fine, but she's cherry-picking the times when Mom got it right, and calling that "intuition." There are plenty of other instances where a mother (or a father) misses signs of illness, or diagnoses an illness that isn't there.

Posted by: Tom T. | July 18, 2007 10:35 AM

C'mon Miles be fair, he was tired from those 3 am cell phone call to close those big deals.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 10:24 AM

This is as old as the shark-jumping comments. Give it a rest. The rest of us get that it was better for him to be with his family than miss the vacation. Only you continue to harp away.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:37 AM

"C'mon Miles be fair, he was tired from those 3 am cell phone call to close those big deals."

What the heck does Leslie's hubby do for a living, anyway?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:38 AM

"Reporter Tara Parker-Pope described when mothers, including her own, diagnosed life-threatening ailments, including appendicitis, a brain tumor, and an intestinal blockage, in their children before doctors could identify the problems."

This is fine, but she's cherry-picking the times when Mom got it right, and calling that "intuition." There are plenty of other instances where a mother (or a father) misses signs of illness, or diagnoses an illness that isn't there.

Posted by: Tom T. | July 18, 2007 10:35 AM

even a tarot card reader gets it right from time to time.

Heck, if you only count the hits and not the misses, you could be a faith healer on TV.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:40 AM

I broke my toe almost exactly 24 hours before my mom went into labor. This happened to us four times. Does that count?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:54 AM

"What the heck does Leslie's hubby do for a living, anyway?"

Whatever it takes to live in a 12 room, million dollar house.... and have dinner with his kids one day a week.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:55 AM

I broke my toe almost exactly 24 hours before my mom went into labor. This happened to us four times. Does that count?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 10:54 AM

I don't know, but if you were the one she was birthing, we'd love to hear how you broke your toe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:56 AM

MP

"I can sit on the sofa for hours holding a sick child who just wants mommy or daddy. My husband can't last ten minutes. "

He might if he had to! What happens when you are sick? Does he take care of you?


Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:00 AM

I could say so many obvious things. But I will restrict it to one. Stay at home you females. That is your job!!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:08 AM

If only Condi Rice had stayed at home, we might not have this war in Iraq! She has caused the death of thousands of Americans. If only she had stayed home and had a child. Oh well, hindsight is 20-20 as they say.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:11 AM

God Bless you Bill Kristol!!!! I love you and always will.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:13 AM

Baba Booey:

WTF? You must be a cokehead. Just like the President you voted for.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:15 AM

"What the heck does Leslie's hubby do for a living, anyway?"

Whatever it takes to live in a 12 room, million dollar house.... and have dinner with his kids one day a week.


Posted by: | July 18, 2007 10:55 AM

interesting that you make no mention of providing Leslie with the ability to live in that house, diddle around with this blog and the occasional book, and claim to be the only parent who knows what's going on with their kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:16 AM

"What the heck does Leslie's hubby do for a living, anyway?"

Whatever Leslie tells him to do. That is the problem with America. God Bless you Bill Kristol. Keep fighting Leslie and the forces of evil. God Bless you Dick Cheney. I love you and your failing heart!!!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:16 AM

"God Bless you Bill Kristol!!!! I love you and always will."

Huh? Is this a gay porn thing?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:17 AM

I am lucky that my son has never been seriously ill. The most I have ever had to diagnose was a 2 day bout of the Noro Virus, and we figured that one out pretty quickly, since we all came down with it. Luckily, it was over pretty fast. And then the laundry and house disinfecting began, which seemed to take longer than the actual illness. Yuck.

Once, he woke up with one eye that was swollen shut, and I was convinced he had pink eye and took him to the pediatrician only to discover that it was a mosquito bite next to the corner of his eye. Boy did I feel stupid.

So I have thankfully not had much experience with emergencies. We just have not had anything serious happen.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:18 AM

«I could say so many obvious things. But I will restrict it to one. Stay at home you females. That is your job!!!!!»

«Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:08 AM»

This is mirror image of Hirshman «Get to Work!». Hirshman, she tells Staying-in-the-Residence Mothers, What you are doing, it is bad for you and for society.. Baba Booey, he tells Working-Outside-the-Residence Mothers the same thing. Mothers, they know best themselves what is good for their families, they do not need Hirshman or Baba Booey to tell them what to do.

Posted by: abu ibrahim | July 18, 2007 11:18 AM

Perry Steiner is Managing Director of Arlington Capital Partners, a private equity fund.

If he didn't have a job that provided for his wife to work part-time and be the primary caretaker for their kids, you'd fault him as an unreliable slacker. Because he's successful, you fault him for his success. Once again, other parents and families are only permitted to make choices of which you approve. How mature.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:19 AM

I love his failing heart too.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:19 AM

"Baba Booey:

WTF? You must be a cokehead. Just like the President you voted for."

I voted for Bill Clinton twice, I assume that's who you mean. But I did not know he was a cokehead. Can you please provide me with a source. Thank you so much.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:21 AM

Bush is the cokehead.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:24 AM

God Bless you Emily!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:25 AM

Please have the good sense to ignore Baba Booey while he plays with himself.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:25 AM

Baba Booey,
I only love his failing heart. And only because it is failing. The rest of him, I can do without. But thank anyway.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:28 AM

Baba Booey,
I only love his failing heart. And only because it is failing. The rest of him, I can do without. But thanks anyway.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:28 AM

"Please have the good sense to ignore Baba Booey while he plays with himself."

Thank you so much for replying anonymously. Oh, and thank you for not taking your own advice!!!!! God Bless you, you little anonymous scaredy-cat!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:29 AM

There is no truth behind the idea that women are better caregivers than men. The longer we sustain this myth, the harder it will be to attain equality. Believing this myth is a true deal-breaker for equally shared parenting; everything else can be overcome.

________________________________

So you are saying that the literally thousands of years that women have spent caring for the children and others has absolutely no bearing on who we are today. That evolution does not apply to us at all. Just because it isn't true for all women does not mean it isn't true for a majority.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:36 AM

If only George W. Bush had stayed at home, we might not have this war in Iraq! He has caused the death of thousands of Americans. If only he had stayed home and had a child. Oh well, hindsight is 20-20 as they say.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:36 AM

If only George W. Bush had stayed at home, we might not have this war in Iraq! He has caused the death of thousands of Americans. If only he had stayed home and had a child. Oh well, hindsight is 20-20 as they say.

You people are going to have a hard life when you can't blame Bush for everything. What a bunch of losers

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:38 AM

In defense of Leslie's husband, sometimes we act differently alone than when someone else is around. I'm the lead in all things medical and when its just the kids and I, I'm super strong mom lady. However, if we have a crisis, say with the car or trouble with the airline and my husband is with me, I let him manage it. I think its because I can since I know I have back up. When we had a death in the family I kept it together during the day for the kids and let myself go once he got home because I could. In the absence of Leslie, I'm certain that her husband would have pulled himself together and done the same exact thing.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 11:40 AM

So, Leslie, tell me something. Were you able to somehow magicailly impregnate yourself without your husband's help? You seem to be able to do that so well! Is he just a stand-in? Tell me dear, what is the secret to your success!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:42 AM

Is there some troll zoo that let's bababooey, peoplefirst etc out on a rotating daily basis with only one destination-this log?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:45 AM

Oh, gosh darn it anyway. Now we have two people claiming to be Baba Booey. That's no fun. Gosh darn these anonymous blogs anyway!!!! I still love you Bill Kristol!!!! Do not apologize for ANY of your thousands of mistakes. That's what makes you, you!!!! You are the direct descendant of GOD. You cannot be wrong. I love you Bill Kristol.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:46 AM

Is there some troll zoo that let's bababooey, peoplefirst etc out on a rotating daily basis with only one destination-this blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:46 AM

"Okay - this is a little odd, but can anyone else just smell when their kids are sick? I can always tell a fever by the way the kids smell. Our pediatrician says he's come across several moms who say this and they're always right. Anyway, it kind of makes it easier to tell when they are sick ..."

This is funny because I have always told my husband that I can "smell" when my daughter is sick. She has a funny smell that she only gets when she is sick, and the smell is always the same regardless of the illness.

I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Jeka | July 18, 2007 11:46 AM

even a tarot card reader gets it right from time to time.

Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 11:47 AM

"You people are going to have a hard life when you can't blame Bush for everything. What a bunch of losers"

Oh, so someone else is responsible for this mess? What can you say about the fact that he has admitted that no one knows where Bin Laden is? Oh, but his Daddy's nemesis was found and snuffed out rather quickly.

Anyone who voted for Bush--certainly this second time around is just as responsible. You put him there. And now we all have to deal with the consequences.

Posted by: Please | July 18, 2007 11:47 AM

"So you are saying that the literally thousands of years that women have spent caring for the children and others has absolutely no bearing on who we are today. That evolution does not apply to us at all. Just because it isn't true for all women does not mean it isn't true for a majority."

Actually, if you read up on anthropology, you will learn that for more than 2 million years, mankind existed in hunter gatherer societies, and that in these types of societies, gender roles tended to be egalitarian, and that both men and women cared for the children in more or less equal degrees. So of course human evolution does apply to us, but the idea that it has somehow made women better caregivers is just a fallacy based on ignorance of what human societies were like for 2 million years.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:49 AM

"So you are saying that the literally thousands of years that women have spent caring for the children and others has absolutely no bearing on who we are today. That evolution does not apply to us at all."

I'd like to understand how "caring" can be passed on by genetics.

We're not talking about homo habilis here. There is no evolutionary feature (larger brain, longer fingers, finer motor skills) that have developed only in women that show facilitate "caring."

It's more like the chimps using tools. They haven't evolved any special physical feature that help them use tools. They just figured out a system that works (ants crawl up the stick, so use the stick to collect ants) and teach others to do it. In our society, women are taught to care from a young age (hello, baby dolls anyone?). That is not evolution. It's learned behavior.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 11:53 AM

"'There is no truth behind the idea that women are better caregivers than men. The longer we sustain this myth, the harder it will be to attain equality.'"

Posted by: equal | July 18, 2007 09:28 AM
_______________________________

"So you are saying that the literally thousands of years that women have spent caring for the children and others has absolutely no bearing on who we are today. That evolution does not apply to us at all. Just because it isn't true for all women does not mean it isn't true for a majority."

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 11:36 AM

"Equal" did not say that "evolution does not apply to us at all." But I am saying it. Evolution does not apply to people because we have cognition and free will. In plain English, that means that we -- individual mothers and fathers -- can recognize our own capabilities and limitations, strengths and weaknesses, and act accordingly. It may be that our ape and pig great-great-grandmothers (for those who believe we are the descendants of apes and pigs) were better caregivers than their husbands, or that women were better caregivers than men during the reign of Henry IV. But just because something was true since the time of Henry IV doesn't mean we are bound by it, because we have free will. Each member of the couple can decide what he or she does best, and do it.

Imagine someone saying, "It's OK for me to be lazy because I come from a long line of lazy, shiftless drones. So send me my welfare check every month." Preposterous! Evolution does not apply to people.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 11:56 AM

"So you are saying that the literally thousands of years that women have spent caring for the children and others has absolutely no bearing on who we are today. That evolution does not apply to us at all"

Thousands of years usually don't mean much in the course of human evolution. Are you much different from Abraham or Sarah? David or Bathsheba? Julius Caser or Calpurnia?

Posted by: Spike | July 18, 2007 11:57 AM

Since DH is the SAHP in our family, he's the one that does the majority of the diagnosing and interacting with the medical establishment. And he's pretty awesome.

But I'm not a complete slouch. I've spent a night in the emergency room with a sick kid while DH stayed home with the other one.

I get what Leslie meant about not even thinking of her other children - it's not anything negative. It's trust that the other parent will be there doing the parenting job, and with that trust, being able to focus oneself completely on the child that needs that focus.

Posted by: Sue | July 18, 2007 11:57 AM

God Bless you Matt in Aberdeen!!!! You are clearly a superior being.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 11:59 AM

First of all, can we please stay on topic? Nothing turns me off reading quicker than political mumbo-jumbo, etc when it's not germane.

My late beloved mother used to say that every mom is "half-a-doctor." That was back when more moms stayed home, but I do agree that whoever spends most time with the kids can usually tell if there's something really wrong.

That being said, I have always been a wimp when it comes to blood and bruises. When our DD was about 18 mos she banged her forehead on the doorframe and raised a lovely purple bump. I had to leave the room and go put my head between my knees to keep from fainting. Fortunately, DH was home and dealt with ice, etc. After that I went to a hypnotist to get some help with the problem, because I knew it just wasn't rational - and what if I was alone and she had injured herself? Thirteen years later I'm pleased to say that I still use some of the techniques the hypnotist taught me to stay calm in that type of situation.

Posted by: LMW | July 18, 2007 11:59 AM

MN wrote: "We deliberately divvy up the kids' doctors appointments and communicate fully with each other after each appointment so that we are both equally on top of any health issues with our kids. I can't imagine how you can think you[] are serving your kids well by having a majority of medical information and physican/parent communications with only one parent. Single parents have to handle it this way. If you don't have to, where is the benefit to the children in having one ignorant parent and one fully informed?"

*clap, clap, clap*

What if most of the children's health-care knowledge resides with only one parent -- and then, heaven forbid, something bad happens to that parent? The other parent then has yet an additional problem with which to deal, one which could have been avoided by sharing the information all along.

What Leslie is praising in her column could best be summed up as long-term close observation of a child's health. In her household this is something she chiefly does, but as Equal pointed out, it can just as easily be either parent -- or preferably both -- nothing mystical about it being a woman.

I also agree with the poster who pointed out that correct diagnoses tend to be remembered anecdotally more often than incorrect ones, potentially skewing the survey results.

Posted by: catlady | July 18, 2007 12:00 PM

Leslie is extremely fortunate to have an understanding workplace that let her not think about work while dealing with her seroiously ill child. When I was 9, I had a seizure (diagnosed later as epilepsy) and because my mother was sick with the flu, my father had to take me in the ambulance, where i had several more seizures, to the emergency room. He stayed with me that entire day into the night. He called his boss to let him know what was going on and the boss fired him for doing something that is "woman's work." Sadly, some of today's employers have just about as much patience for those parents or others who must tend to family emergencies on occasion.

Posted by: july 18 | July 18, 2007 12:02 PM

"Imagine someone saying, "It's OK for me to be lazy because I come from a long line of lazy, shiftless drones. So send me my welfare check every month." Preposterous! "

This does happen quite a bit.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:02 PM

First of all, can we please write in full sentences without the use of acronyms? Nothing turns me off reading quicker than "I'm so smart, see how I use acronyms that identify me as a cool insider and all you outsiders mean nothing to me" etc.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 12:03 PM

What Leslie is praising in her column could best be summed up as long-term close observation of a child's health. In her household this is something she chiefly does, but as Equal pointed out, it can just as easily be either parent -- or preferably both -- nothing mystical about it being a woman.

Does this mean the child of two lesbians will be healthier than the child of two gay men?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:03 PM

There is no evolutionary feature (larger brain, longer fingers, finer motor skills) that have developed only in women that show facilitate "caring."

If you read the NY Times Magazine last week on Williams syndrome you will see that indeed the mind has evolved to learn sills such as caring, getting along in a group and gossiping.

You people are so whacked out and terrified that the man might put you down that you overlook truisms that everyone else in the world would admit. Different doesn't mean less, it just means different. I'm not equal to a man just because he has a penis and I don't. That doesn't mean I'm less, anymore than he is less than me because he doesn't have a vagina. Get over it and try celebrating the things that make us different and good at different things as opposed to acting like every person is some kind of blank slate onto which virtually anything can be written.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:03 PM

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
- President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." S
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

Seems your heroes thought the same thing as Bush did, of course don't let the facts stand in the way............

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:07 PM

Right, so as I figured, you can't answer anything on Bush not knowing where Bin Laden is located.

And, where are the WMDs?

Posted by: Please | July 18, 2007 12:10 PM

Different doesn't mean less, it just means different. I'm not equal to a man just because he has a penis and I don't. That doesn't mean I'm less, anymore than he is less than me because he doesn't have a vagina. Get over it and try celebrating the things that make us different and good at different things as opposed to acting like every person is some kind of blank slate onto which virtually anything can be written.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 12:03 PM

Take thine head out of that hole in the ground, ostrich, and you might appreciate that the presence of a vagina doesn't make the synapses in a woman's brain magically capable of identifying illnesses. To do otherwise is just another exercise in male-bashing.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:15 PM

Okay - this is a little odd, but can anyone else just smell when their kids are sick? I can always tell a fever by the way the kids smell. Our pediatrician says he's come across several moms who say this and they're always right. Anyway, it kind of makes it easier to tell when they are sick ..."

This is funny because I have always told my husband that I can "smell" when my daughter is sick. She has a funny smell that she only gets when she is sick, and the smell is always the same regardless of the illness.

I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Jeka | July 18, 2007 11:46 AM

Sorry, that just makes me gag. Do you go around sniffing your kids??? How bad does the smell have to be to set up "sick alarm bells"?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:21 PM

My uncle was the most in-tune parent to his kids' health needs. He fed a cat for months using an eye-dropper when its jaw was wired shut. Clearly, a man can be an awesome health care-taker. Leslie had a great peak experience but I don't think it had a lot to do strictly with biological gender.

Posted by: DEC | July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

12:03, saying that "the mind has evolved to learn sills such as" does not support the idea that women have evolved to be better care takers. People's brains have evolved to learn all kinds of things.

Williams syndrome is a disorder that has to do with IQ and social functioning. Autism also has to do with those. People with these disorders have trouble fitting into what society thinks is normal behavior. Do you see where I'm going with this? They have a hard time learning how to act the way the rest of us do. So, essentially, they have a hard time being conditioned to act a certain way. What did I say? Women are taught to be caregivers. That's fitting into a social expectation.

I'm not scared to celebrate our differences. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Very very few of those are based on biological sex. Most are based on gender constructs.

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

I'd hate to be deemed an enemy of free speech, but since there are so many blogs on which you can argue about politics, why are you bringing it here today? Consider giving those of us who don't want to deal with that, or who go elsewhere when they wish to do so, a break from the tedious vitriol. It's not as though anything is gained from, "Bush is a stupid idiot" "Is not" "Is, too" "At least he's not that cheating bastard Clinton" etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

"Could my husband or another caregiver have tapped into the same type of reserve? Could I have accessed the same focus for someone else's child? I think so"

I think so too. As it has been said, necessity is the greatest teacher, and when the task falls to you, and only you, you're less likely to fail. I think in such a situation, your husband would be more capable than a caregiver, since he has a closer attachment to your children.

Many times in my life have I seen my mother or my sister go on autopilot in an emergency, handling the situation calmly and efficiently. I am confident that my sister's husband or my stepfather would have been able to take care of business in the absence of the mother. I think in other situations, the father would be more likely to take over, depending on the family dynamic, individual personalities, and each parent's level of involvement. I'm glad your daughter is doing well. That must have been a difficult time for you.

Posted by: Mona | July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

I hate to get pulled into this, but...

12:07, everybody knows this!! You have not stumbled upon some treasure of secret knowledge, and you've stunned no one with this information. Of course everyone thought there were WMDs. The difference between them and Bush? They waited for more concrete evidence BEFORE starting a war. They thought before they acted.

And you don't get to change to purpose of the war every 1o minutes. "Operation Iraqi Freedom"? Oh, so we're only there to free Iragis, right? Oh, but we also want to retaliate for the terrorist attack. Wait, now we're also looking for WMDs. Well, which one is it?

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 12:31 PM

Baba Booey

"Nothing turns me off reading quicker than "I'm so smart, see how I use acronyms that identify me as a cool insider and all you outsiders mean nothing to me" etc. "

Mission accomplished, schmuck!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:34 PM

Meesh, don't forget the bogus claim that one of the 9/11 attackers met with an Iraqi in Prague.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:35 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:39 PM

First of all, can we please stay on topic? Nothing turns me off reading quicker than political mumbo-jumbo, etc when it's not germane.

It is more fun when this blog goes off topic believe me. If it turns you off: don't read.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:41 PM

When I was 13 and babysitting a neighborhood child during the summer while his mother was at work, I had to respond when he passed out briefly. I held him, called his mother at work, and we figured out it was because he needed to eat.

I was very calm and the mother came home as soon as she was able (in minutes).

I had never had CPR training, or emergency training. I had good old-fashioned common sense and an ability to think in an emergency.

(Years later, I also kept my head while driving my father to the emergency room as he was having a heart attack; the doctors told us not to wait for an ambulance).


I don't think that responding to medical crises or issues is the domain of mothers. There are some people I would trust with my children's lives and others who could not be counted on to put on a band-aid.
It just depends.

Posted by: Kate | July 18, 2007 12:41 PM

"I don't think that responding to medical crises or issues is the domain of mothers. There are some people I would trust with my children's lives and others who could not be counted on to put on a band-aid."

Truer words were never spoken.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:44 PM

Think of all the mothers (and fathers) who can tell that their child is sick but can't get them the care they need.

Bush wants to give his rich buddies another tax cut instead of funding S-CHIP better. How's that for synergy between politics and children's health care?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:46 PM

If one person is more observant than the other, than that person is more likely to pick up on something being "off".

Granted, a seizure in front of both parents is pretty hard to overlook, but I imagine that someone, somewhere managed to do just that.

I doubt that it's a biological trait not to panic in certain situations. May be more a matter of one's own wiring, experiences, ability to disassociate for a period of time, etc. Seems to me that in Leslie's case, both parents have demonstrated that they take a pretty keen interest in their children--they are both vested in the outcome.

I don't tend to panic until AFTER the crisis has been dealt with. Then I indulge in the luxury of shaking in fear and "what-ifs".

I guess it would be a more interesting question if we asked those who are old enough to be grandparents how they react in similar situations now. The sexual diamond is now tapering back together.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 18, 2007 12:46 PM

And you don't get to change to purpose of the war every 1o minutes. "Operation Iraqi Freedom"? Oh, so we're only there to free Iragis, right? Oh, but we also want to retaliate for the terrorist attack. Wait, now we're also looking for WMDs. Well, which one is it?

It can be all of them, do you need only one single purpose? WWII was to defeat the nazi's, change the regime and promote democracy and human rights. I find it strange that liberals think only white americans deserve freedom. Bush has much to answer for but removing a dictator, finding wmd and trying to install a human rights democracy are commendable. He, like clinton, pelosi and all the others acted on what they were given.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:46 PM

"Actually, if you read up on anthropology, you will learn that for more than 2 million years, mankind existed in hunter gatherer societies, and that in these types of societies, gender roles tended to be egalitarian, and that both men and women cared for the children in more or less equal degrees. So of course human evolution does apply to us, but the idea that it has somehow made women better caregivers is just a fallacy based on ignorance of what human societies were like for 2 million years."

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 11:49 AM

As Gloria Steinem told it, "The conflict between the hunters and the growers was really the conflict between male-dominated and female-dominated cultures." To believe her, it was the settled, grower societies that were egalitarian, whereas the hunter societies were male-dominated. Emily says that it was the hunter gatherer societies that had gender roles that tended to be egalitarian. Which version should we believe?

Actually, if you read Cynthia Eller's book, "The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women's Future" (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000), you will learn that the idea that there exist now, or ever existed, societies with gender equality, is a myth. This is not some ethereal *.pdf or *.doc file found on the Internet using Alta Vista, as readers might suspect. It is an actual, hard-cover book that lies on my desk as I write, complete with drawings, photographs, and an extensive bibliography. A couple of excerpts:

"The patriarchy is younger now, thanks to growing feminist acceptance of the idea that human society was matriarchal -- or at least 'woman-centered' and goddess-worshipping -- from the Paleolithic era, 1.5 to 2 million years ago, until sometime around 3000 BCE. There are almost as many versions of this story as there are storytellers, but these are its basic contours:

"o In a time before written records, society was centered around women. Women were revered for their mysterious life-giving powers, honored as incarnations and priestesses of the great goddess. They reared their children to carry on their line, created both art and technology, and made important decisions for their communities.

"o Then a great transformation occurred -- whether through a sudden cataclysm or a long, drawn-out sea change -- and society was thereafter dominated by men. This is the culture and the mindset that we know as 'patriarchy,' and in which we live today." ("Myth", pp. 2-3)

This story "provided a vocabulary for dreaming of utopia, and a license to claim that it was not mere fantasy, but a dream rooted in an ancient reality."

"In other words, I had no trouble appreciating the myth's appeal. Except for one small problem -- and one much larger problem -- I might now be writing a book titled 'Matriarchal Prehistory: Our Glorious Past and Our Hope for the Future.' But if I was intrigued with the newness and power of the myth, and with its bold gender reversals, I was at least as impressed by the fact that anyone took it seriously as history. Poking holes in the 'evidence' for this myth was, to rely on cliché, like shooting fish in a barrel. After a long day of research in the library, I could go out with friends and entertain them with the latest arguments I'd read for matriarchal prehistory, made up entirely -- I pointed out -- of a highly ideological reading of a couple of prehistoric artifacts accompanied by some dubious anthropology, perhaps a little astrology, and a fatuous premise -- or two or three." ("Myth, page 5).

Where I agree with Emily is that it is a fallacy to believe that evolution has somehow made women better caregivers than men. My own personal experience tells me that the Evolutionists are wrong about this.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 12:47 PM

"Nothing turns me off reading quicker than "I'm so smart, see how I use acronyms that identify me as a cool insider and all you outsiders mean nothing to me" etc. "

Nothing turns me off reading quicker than for a Luddite to require everyone else to act as though certain acronyms that have been generally used on the web since about 1981 are off-limits. Last I checked, Google was free and available to all online.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:48 PM

"First of all, can we please stay on topic? Nothing turns me off reading quicker than political mumbo-jumbo, etc when it's not germane. "

Another Hall Monitor. What is going on?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:49 PM

Matt in Aberdeen

"My own personal experience tells me that the Evolutionists are wrong about this."

My own personal experience tells me that pompous windbags are ignored.

Posted by: Guns 'n Roses | July 18, 2007 12:52 PM

Matt never uses one word when ten will do. The art of communication is......brevity.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:53 PM

Another Hall Monitor. What is going on?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 12:49 PM

What is going on is that the selfish can't get past their own obsessive need to rant for long enough to find the appropriate forum.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:57 PM

"Matt never uses one word when ten will do. The art of communication is......brevity."

Could he possibly be this longwinded and arrogant in person?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:57 PM

Could he possibly be this longwinded and arrogant in person?

Ask him if you have 30 mins.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 12:59 PM

"Matt never uses one word when ten will do. The art of communication is......brevity."

Could he possibly be this longwinded and arrogant in person?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 12:57 PM

He can try, but in real life, people either interrupt and change the subject or they simply walk away. Here, he has a limited captive audience. For a change, he's right today, but his verbose presentation undercuts his point.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:00 PM

First of all, can we please stay on topic? Nothing turns me off reading quicker than political mumbo-jumbo, etc when it's not germane.

I say get off topic as quick as possible, that's what makes this knife fight interesting

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:00 PM

"Nothing turns me off reading quicker than political mumbo-jumbo, etc when it's not germane. "

Is mumbo-jumbo ever germane?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:01 PM

Matt never uses one word when ten will do. The art of communication is......brevity.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 12:53 PM

"Brevity is the soul of wit."
The Phantom Tollbooth

Were you thinking of this book? It's one of my favourites. I literally read my childhood hardback copy of it to pieces!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 18, 2007 1:01 PM

Matt's wife: "Honey, when are you going to be home this evening?"

Matt: "It's going to be late, Dear. I spent 2.4 hrs on that WaPO blog today typing paragraph upon paragraph out of a book on my desk in order to enlighten the other child-rearin' windbags."

Matt's wife: "I'm glad you used your time wisely, Honey. I will explain to Tharrington and Margaret that you won't be home until after bedtime because you were making the world a better place."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:03 PM

"For a change, he's right today, but his verbose presentation undercuts his point."

I'll never know. I delete his posts ASAP. He has a weird hubris that I don't care for.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:04 PM

I actually saw this in some movie where the teacher wrote on the board---THE ART OF COMMUNICATION IS...... and the students were supposed to write an essay. One girl smiled, wrote "brevity" and handed it to the professor. He read it, smiled, she smiled and he gave her an A. Damn clever

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:04 PM

I haven't read many of the posts today, so forgive me if I'm saying what someone else has already said. But a couple of comments.

I've had some experience with medical situations with my son that are relevant to this topic. First time: he was a newborn (4 weeks) and suddenly had a fever and became very lethargic. I knew something was really really wrong, and after consulting the pediatrician's office, took him directly to the ER. Good thing I did, as he had a bad Group B strep infection that caused sepsis (a very bad and sometimes fatal problem for newborns). Second time: a few weeks after we got out of the hospital after the first incident, and I thought he had bronchitis. Took him to the pede and they said it was just a cold. 2 days later it was so bad I brought him back again, and his bronchitis was so severe that they had to put him on all sorts of medication (steroids, bronchodilators, etc.) by nebulizer. That second incident was very frustrating at the time, but I believe that the pediatrician was just doing his job, and just couldn't diagnose the bronchitis initially. Because I was still on maternity leave, I was spending all day with the baby and I knew the difference. Do either of these situations demonstrate that I had a "sixth sense"? I don't personally think so -- I think it's simply the amount of time I was spending (and thus how well I knew what normal behavior was for him). I think the same would be true for a dad, a full-time caretaker, or other relative who had that sort of investment (timewise) in the child.

And as for being able to focus on our children in times of crisis, I think it's much like anything else in life: your attention becomes razor-sharp when it needs to be. I suspect that Leslie was lucky enough at the time to have a great job such that she "never gave a minute's thought" about it. Some people don't have this luxury, ever. During the first incident, I had no choice but to deal with some work items when I was in the hospital with my son for 8 days (particularly hard the first day). I also didn't have the luxury of not needing to worry about my older child, because my husband was out of the country at the time. I did the best I could, as I know anyone in that situation would have done. So I think the "balance" issue here (re work and child illness) is really dependent on both your work situation and how severe the illness is. We all have dealt with this issue in some fashion, and we all will rise to the occasion should it ever become necessary.

Posted by: Jen | July 18, 2007 1:04 PM

When I was around twelve, I took a swan dive face first into the sidewalk off a bike (I was a passenger) and broke my nose. As with most head injuries, there was a lot of blood. It was my dad and a neighbor dad that bundled me up, nutured me and drove me to the hospital, and stayed with me there. The moms were around, not sure why the dads did it, but they did. And my dad was definitely NOT the caregiving type of dad (this was 40 years ago...)

Posted by: CJB | July 18, 2007 1:07 PM

I peek into this blog and the On Parenting blog every once in a while, mostly out of sheer boredom...have to wonder, why on earth do people have kids??? It seems they are constantly sick, have some sort of disability, are whiney, clingy, cause parents to lose jobs, etc....or does it just seem like that???

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:07 PM

I'll never know. I delete his posts ASAP. He has a weird hubris that I don't care for.


Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:04 PM

"Delete"? How? Are you Leslie's editor because, damn it, in my version of the blog, Matt's posts stay exactly where they are despite my best efforts to imagine them gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:08 PM

I think you should follow your intuition and not rely soley on what a doctor says. A second or third opinion is definitely in the cards if you sense something wrong

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:08 PM

"Matt's wife: "I'm glad you used your time wisely, Honey. I will explain to Tharrington and Margaret that you won't be home until after bedtime because you were making the world a better place."

And Tharrington and Margaret have proof positive that their prayers have been answered and THERE IS A GOD....

Posted by: Guns 'n Roses | July 18, 2007 1:10 PM

I peek into this blog and the On Parenting blog every once in a while, mostly out of sheer boredom...have to wonder, why on earth do people have kids??? It seems they are constantly sick, have some sort of disability, are whiney, clingy, cause parents to lose jobs, etc....or does it just seem like that???

Our computers were broken at the time of conception and we couldn't log in to be forewarned........;)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:10 PM

I peek into this blog and the On Parenting blog every once in a while, mostly out of sheer boredom...have to wonder, why on earth do people have kids??? It seems they are constantly sick, have some sort of disability, are whiney, clingy, cause parents to lose jobs, etc....or does it just seem like that???

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:07 PM

Maybe you should check into getting kids with a money-back guarantee. Just like for spouses, if they're defective divorce them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:10 PM

Maybe you should check into getting kids with a money-back guarantee. Just like for spouses, if they're defective divorce them.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:10 PM

If only that were possible....*sigh*

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:13 PM

Where is Matt's long winded counterpart DC'er? Between the two of them, you could have a novel in twenty minutes

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:14 PM

I peek into this blog and the On Parenting blog every once in a while, mostly out of sheer boredom...have to wonder, why on earth do people have kids??? It seems they are constantly sick, have some sort of disability, are whiney, clingy, cause parents to lose jobs, etc....or does it just seem like that???

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:07 PM

maybe because we wouldn't have any interest in living a life where you get so bored you start reading blogs about topics in which you have no interest or understanding.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:15 PM

Where is Matt's long winded counterpart DC'er? Between the two of them, you could have a novel in twenty minutes

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:14 PM

But could you find a publisher?

Nowhere but on a blog, I suspect.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:16 PM

so how is this an "OnBalance" topic?
You should suggest such topics to Stacey.
This is more appropriate for OnParenting.

Posted by: RJ | July 18, 2007 1:17 PM

maybe because we wouldn't have any interest in living a life where you get so bored you start reading blogs about topics in which you have no interest or understanding.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:15 PM

Ummm, what? You came to the conclusion that my life was not worth living based on that???? wow! Bet your mom wished she kept her receipt...or do have one of those loser kids?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:17 PM

Maybe you should check into getting kids with a money-back guarantee. Just like for spouses, if they're defective divorce them.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:10 PM

Time was when children misbehaved badly they were threatened with being sent to an orphanage or juvie.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:17 PM

Let's guess what Matt does for a living because, after all, no external client would ever put up with his verbosity. High school government teacher? Produces audiobooks? Viola repair?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:18 PM

Time was when children misbehaved badly they were threatened with being sent to an orphanage or juvie.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:17 PM


ahhh, the good ol' days.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:19 PM

My dad and his brother were sent to an orphanage when they were 7 and 9. My grandma, in a year decided to go get them. I will never understand that, but I know it was a terrible blow to my dad for the rest of his life.

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 1:20 PM

Ummm, what? You came to the conclusion that my life was not worth living based on that???? wow! Bet your mom wished she kept her receipt...or do have one of those loser kids?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:17 PM

is the question mark on your keyboard stuck?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:20 PM

My dad and his brother were sent to an orphanage when they were 7 and 9. My grandma, in a year decided to go get them. I will never understand that, but I know it was a terrible blow to my dad for the rest of his life.

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 01:20 PM

Did his parents agree to surrender him and his brother? What was the reason for giving up custody? Sad all around.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:23 PM

is the question mark on your keyboard stuck?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:20 PM

Is the caps lock on your keyboard broken?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:24 PM

My dad and his brother were sent to an orphanage when they were 7 and 9. My grandma, in a year decided to go get them. I will never understand that, but I know it was a terrible blow to my dad for the rest of his life.

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 01:20 PM

My husband just found out about an uncle he never knew he had...he's severely retarded and has been in an institution all his life. Guess he's about 70 now.
Strange how the good old days weren't all that good....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:26 PM

Did his parents agree to surrender him and his brother? What was the reason for giving up custody? Sad all around.

Well, his dad was long gone and this was the thirties. She just decided that she didn't want to raise them and her new man didn't want kids around. He then left and she went and got them. My grandma was a real piece and unfortunately my dad worshipped her, so a lot of her style of parenting is what my dad used too. Very weird.

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 1:29 PM

Well, his dad was long gone and this was the thirties. She just decided that she didn't want to raise them and her new man didn't want kids around. He then left and she went and got them. My grandma was a real piece and unfortunately my dad worshipped her, so a lot of her style of parenting is what my dad used too. Very weird.

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 01:29 PM

His mom sounds like one of those naturally nurturing types who had a sixth sense about his health and welfare. If ever there was a good bookend to Leslie's nonsense, this is it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:31 PM

To the few commentators on the smell factor and those who insist there is no biological factor involved in Leslie's experience:

Fact:
maternal-child recognition via olfactory senses has been scientifically documented but failed to show up with fathers. This has been documented with newborns through kindergarten age children.
see article from the NIH http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7349450&dopt=Abstract

Fact: This is not gross, this is absolutely wow stuff and (although I am an atheist) the kind of thing that sometimes makes me wonder at the wonder that is the human body.

I can smell the moment I walk into my child's room when they have a fever. I can easily distinguish with a blindfold which pillowcase belongs to each member of the household (laundered weekly). We did the blindfold test on the whole family and the really cool thing was that I was infallible, my daughter and son knew my pillowcase consistently but were not good with the rest of the family. Go home tonight and try it for some very funny famiy fun.

Seeing a biological link to some of the social outcomes (Moms tend to be primary caregivers and the primary source of comfort for most children) doesn't negate the importance of fathers or deny them the ability to substitute roles with mothers. It just tells me to celebrate the power of some of our latent animal instincts.

Posted by: notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 1:33 PM

Ummm, what? You came to the conclusion that my life was not worth living based on that???? wow! Bet your mom wished she kept her receipt...or do have one of those loser kids?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:17 PM

Why would my mom want to trade in a kid who can identify someone a couple fries short of a Happy Meal? Read more closely. I didn't say your life was not worth living. I said no parent would want to trade being a parent for being so bored one trolls on blogs in which one has no interest or knowledge. The solution to boredom is being a more interesting person, not sitting around critiquing strangers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:35 PM

I can smell the moment I walk into my child's room when they have a fever. I can easily distinguish with a blindfold which pillowcase belongs to each member of the household (laundered weekly). We did the blindfold test on the whole family and the really cool thing was that I was infallible, my daughter and son knew my pillowcase consistently but were not good with the rest of the family.

Pervy.

Posted by: To notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 1:36 PM

So, you sniff your family's pillowcases? Is this family fun-time at your home? What do you do for a really good time?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:36 PM

Posted by: notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 01:33 PM

Matt, we know this is you

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:37 PM

I have a mother in law who-was - emphasis on was a nurse about 20 or so years ago. Her suggestions are antiquated and most of the time make no sense. She is constantly telling the family to trust no one especially the medical profession. When our kids are with her I sometimes wonder how she raised her children and if any of them are healthy physically as well as mentally given her disdain towards doctors and the profession. We have been blessed no serious conditions or illness have been placed upon our children. However I became ill about 3 years ago and she had the nerve to call me up and tell me I put this illness on myself! Over the years we both father and mother have been able to rely on our "gut" to balance what is wrong with our kids and what could go wrong when it comes to our childrens health. That is the healthy approach - My mother in law would rather blame the patient- medical profession etc - I have yet to see her practice any type of nursing or medicine................. My husband and I have rellied on that "gut' instinct along with common sense and good doctors who practice good medicine. I have no doubt that my mother in law will pass on some day due to some dumb idea from some money greedy doctor who was just trying to help her maintain a healthy lifestyle on this planet. A glass of water can help most things but will not cure all things.

Posted by: time | July 18, 2007 1:39 PM

Posted by: To notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 01:36 PM

Since when did they teach dogs how to type entries into a blog? ;) Did I miss that one?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:39 PM

"How do we remain the hero while sometimes delegating our children's health care to husbands, family members, and child-care givers?"

Why is remaining the hero the goal? Seems to me that the goal is ensure that the child's health is cared for, not that one parent be the hero. The healthcare arrangement that works for each family is going to be different, and in my family my husband and I are both responsible for my son's health - it is not a question of either of us being the hero and/or delegating to the other. It might be different if our circumstances were different but for now, I'm happy the way it is.

Posted by: Megan | July 18, 2007 1:40 PM

How ironic is this -- I am on a conference call for work. My husband emails me and says that our DD had an accident on the playground at camp and he is heading to take her to the ER (as a precaution). I guess he will have to be the calm one in this situation.

Posted by: Marie | July 18, 2007 1:41 PM

Posted by: notsonewtoblog | July 18, 2007 01:33 PM

Matt, we know this is you

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:37 PM

Since all of his posts today have taken the opposite position, this makes no sense.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:42 PM

Bush wants to give his rich buddies another tax cut instead of funding S-CHIP better. How's that for synergy between politics and children's health care?

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 12:46 PM


Very good topic indeed, surely better than today's snoozer.

Posted by: another once-in-a-whiler | July 18, 2007 1:42 PM

Why would my mom want to trade in a kid who can identify someone a couple fries short of a Happy Meal?
YOU TAKE YOUR KIDS TO McDONALDS?? FOR SHAME!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:43 PM

"I can smell the moment I walk into my child's room when they have a fever. I can easily distinguish with a blindfold which pillowcase belongs to each member of the household (laundered weekly). We did the blindfold test on the whole family and the really cool thing was that I was infallible, my daughter and son knew my pillowcase consistently but were not good with the rest of the family."

The mystery is what this anecdotal dreck has to do with supporting the assertion that women are naturally more adept at selecting a pediatrician, taking kids to the doctor, or correctly assessing their medical conditions. It's like saying the world is flat because I once ate a carrot.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:45 PM

"How do we remain the hero while sometimes delegating our children's health care to husbands, family members, and child-care givers?"

Why is remaining the hero the goal? Seems to me that the goal is ensure that the child's health is cared for, not that one parent be the hero. The healthcare arrangement that works for each family is going to be different, and in my family my husband and I are both responsible for my son's health - it is not a question of either of us being the hero and/or delegating to the other. It might be different if our circumstances were different but for now, I'm happy the way it is.

Posted by: Megan | July 18, 2007 01:40 PM

You hit this one out of the park, Megan! Why engage in a senseless search for external recognition and validation over something so fundamental to parenting?

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 1:52 PM

I've been lucky to not have any serious health issues with my daughter yet (knock on wood). But I think it may be the opposite for me -- I am typically calm and reasonable during crisis situations, but I am not too confident that I would be that way with her . . .

I'm impressed with some of the stories, though. I can't imagine watching my child have a seizure and remaining calm, even though I'd want to . . . talk about strength. . .

Posted by: DC Mom | July 18, 2007 1:54 PM

If one parent is solely responsible for the healthcare of the child/children what happens if that parent isn't available at the time or worse, is no longer around? Shouldn't the other parent be able to step right in without missing a beat?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 18, 2007 1:55 PM

(Bows in appreciation to Megan and her Neighbor)

Posted by: catlady | July 18, 2007 1:55 PM

Doctors are whippersnappers in ironed white coats,

who spy up your rectum and look down your throats,

and press you and poke you with sterilized tools,

and stab at solutions that pacify fools.

I used to revere them and do what they said

till I learned what they learned on was already dead.

Gilda Radner 1986

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:56 PM

I'm impressed with some of the stories, though. I can't imagine watching my child have a seizure and remaining calm, even though I'd want to . . . talk about strength

My child has epilepsy. The seizures are mild but can be scary to the general public. However, I don't have the luxury of freaking out, my child needs me and that gives me strength and you would find the strength in yourself too if that happens. Epilepsy has been unfairly stereotyped and comes in many forms.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 1:59 PM

"Time was when children misbehaved badly they were threatened with being sent to an orphanage or juvie."

Huh, are people not still doing this? I threaten to sell my kids to the gypsies. Its good to keep them a little on edge. Don't let them get toooooo comfortable with their position in the family. Can you imagine the behavior if they knew we'd never get rid of them! Gads!

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 2:00 PM

"You people are going to have a hard life when you can't blame Bush for everything. What a bunch of losers."

Actually, we're going to be able to blame Bush for a long, long time. And so will our children, and our children's children.

Posted by: WTF | July 18, 2007 2:00 PM

Let's guess what Matt does for a living because, after all, no external client would ever put up with his verbosity. High school government teacher? Produces audiobooks? Viola repair?

I understand that the Viola repair shop and the Maytag repairman are next door to each other!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:00 PM

Actually, we're going to be able to blame Bush for a long, long time. And so will our children, and our children's children.

Ok, Michael Moore, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:04 PM

I've been lucky to not have any serious health issues with my daughter yet (knock on wood). But I think it may be the opposite for me -- I am typically calm and reasonable during crisis situations, but I am not too confident that I would be that way with her . . .

I'm impressed with some of the stories, though. I can't imagine watching my child have a seizure and remaining calm, even though I'd want to . . . talk about strength. . .

Posted by: DC Mom | July 18, 2007 01:54 PM

You might be surprised at how your brain operates when a situation has to be handled, if only because falling apart won't help your child in any way. Your child is watching your reaction to gauge the seriousness of what's happening. Over-react and you'll put your child in a tailspin of fear.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:05 PM

Moxiemom -- Another one that works is to whip out a marker and piece of paper and start writing "Kid for Sale -- Cheap!". Granted, this only works when they can read.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 18, 2007 2:06 PM

WorkingMomX - who are you kidding, I've offered to compensate people for taking them off my hands. Alas, no takers! Maybe I shouldn't have named them trouble and more trouble!

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 2:08 PM

When I was about 9 I threatened to run away. My mother yelled at me to wait. I thought she didn't want me to leave (boy did I show her I thought). HAH! She wanted to help me get the suitcase out of the attic.
I decided I wasn't going anywhere if she wanted me to leave so badly.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 18, 2007 2:14 PM

Actually, we're going to be able to blame Bush for a long, long time. And so will our children, and our children's children.

Posted by: WTF | July 18, 2007 02:00 PM

and the Afghanis, their children and their children's children, and the Iraquis, their children, and their children's children. Come to think of it, every country in the world for generations to come will be blaming Bush for leaving office having destabilized not merely a country or two, but two regions of the world which, as it happens, are central to our interests. Thanks, Dubya.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:16 PM

Agreed moxiemom. Just the mere threat of staying in your room all day gets quite a response. I only need to say to the 2 YO do u want to go to the corner and I get a great response. He's never been to the corner but has seen big bro there and isn't interested.

Posted by: atlmom | July 18, 2007 2:20 PM

"Ok, Michael Moore"

I am sure you'll feel differently when your kids go to fight this war. Because it will last that long. Especially if the only way they come back is in a body bag.

Or will you? No, maybe not. He's your President, he can do no wrong!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:20 PM

Moxiemom -- I think it works better if you ask people to pay. For some reason, things marked "Free" are often left to rot, but if you make someone pay, they start thinking they've gotten some kind of a bargain!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 18, 2007 2:20 PM

In "Madame Butterfly" Cio-Cio-San's son is named Trouble

Posted by: To Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 2:21 PM

LOL WMX - atl mom, I used the corner a lot. I think we need to bring it back. My kids had to stand one minute for each year of their age - nose touching the wall. I haven't had to use it in ages and the littler one learns fast! My mom also reminded me to break out the big guns - ear pull and spock pinch!

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 2:23 PM

In "Madame Butterfly" Cio-Cio-San's son is named Trouble

Posted by: To Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 02:21 PM


Hey, maybe my new name should be OperaMom, almost typed OprahMom - oops ;)

Posted by: m | July 18, 2007 2:28 PM

In "Madame Butterfly" Cio-Cio-San's son is named Trouble

Posted by: To Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 02:21 PM


Hey, maybe my new name should be OperaMom, almost typed OprahMom - oops ;)

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 2:28 PM

and the Afghanis, their children and their children's children, and the Iraquis, their children, and their children's children. Come to think of it, every country in the world for generations to come will be blaming Bush for leaving office having destabilized not merely a country or two, but two regions of the world which, as it happens, are central to our interests. Thanks, Dubya


Cindy Sheehan is here! So Cindy how is Venezuala?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:28 PM

Let's guess what Matt does for a living because, after all, no external client would ever put up with his verbosity. High school government teacher? Produces audiobooks? Viola repair?

I understand that the Viola repair shop and the Maytag repairman are next door to each other!

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 02:00 PM

No dear, they are one and the same.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:30 PM

and the Afghanis, their children and their children's children, and the Iraquis, their children, and their children's children. Come to think of it, every country in the world for generations to come will be blaming Bush for leaving office having destabilized not merely a country or two, but two regions of the world which, as it happens, are central to our interests. Thanks, Dubya.

Loved your post! Right on! Dubya sucks!
Keep up the good work! Pull the troops! Kumbaya!

Posted by: Osama Bin Ladin | July 18, 2007 2:31 PM

"The mystery is what this anecdotal dreck has to do with . . ."

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 01:45 PM

There's that vulgar word again. I thought it got banished yesterday.

Where is an elevating "quote of the day"? What happened to Fred and his cultural tidbit of the day?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 2:33 PM

"Nothing turns me off reading quicker than for a Luddite to require everyone else to act as though certain acronyms that have been generally used on the web since about 1981 are off-limits. Last I checked, Google was free and available to all online."

Oooh. You so smart. You used super-sophisticated word "Luddite". Me so impressed. Me bow down before you.

Get a life, you pretentious piece of crap.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 2:35 PM

Oooh. You so smart. You used super-sophisticated word "Luddite". Me so impressed. Me bow down before you.

yousa so unhappy? whatsa matter?

Posted by: Jar Jar Binks | July 18, 2007 2:39 PM

"Nothing turns me off reading quicker than for a Luddite to require everyone else to act as though certain acronyms that have been generally used on the web since about 1981 are off-limits. Last I checked, Google was free and available to all online."

Shouldn't that be "nothing turns me off reading as quickly as a Luddite to..."?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:39 PM

"In 'Madame Butterfly' Cio-Cio-San's son is named Trouble

Posted by: To Moxiemom | July 18, 2007 02:21 PM

In Merle Travis's "Sixteen Tons," Tennesee Ernie Ford sang, "Fightin' and Trouble are my middle name."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 2:40 PM

"Well, his dad was long gone and this was the thirties. She just decided that she didn't want to raise them and her new man didn't want kids around. He then left and she went and got them. My grandma was a real piece and unfortunately my dad worshipped her, so a lot of her style of parenting is what my dad used too. Very weird."

Posted by: anon for this one | July 18, 2007 01:29 PM

"His mom sounds like one of those naturally nurturing types who had a sixth sense about his health and welfare. If ever there was a good bookend to Leslie's nonsense, this is it."


Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:40 PM

"Nothing turns me off reading more quickly than a Luddite who requires everyone to act as though certain acronymbs that have been generally used on the web since 1981 are off-limits."

Is that more correct?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:42 PM

Oooh. You so smart. You used super-sophisticated word "Luddite". Me so impressed. Me bow down before you.

Get a life, you pretentious piece of crap.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 02:35 PM

Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:42 PM

Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers...

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 02:40 PM

Most societies do.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:44 PM

Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers...

Not really, people seem to have a hard time imagining that everyone is not more or less just like them. It is a disease of the human race and especially bad in yuppies.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:44 PM

Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers...

Not really, people seem to have a hard time imagining that everyone is not more or less just like them. It is a disease of the human race and especially bad in yuppies.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 02:44 PM

If that were the case, why do I get a worse rap than the men?

Posted by: Medea | July 18, 2007 2:46 PM

acronymbs?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:47 PM

Loved your post! Right on! Dubya sucks!
Keep up the good work! Pull the troops! Kumbaya!


Posted by: Osama Bin Ladin | July 18, 2007 02:31 PM

Osama,

In the U.S., we have choices in punctuation. Feel free to use more than the exclamation point.

Been in that cave for awhile? because no one has used the phrase, "right on" since Jimmy J.J. Walker. Welcome to 2007.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:48 PM

"Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers..."

"Not really, people seem to have a hard time imagining that everyone is not more or less just like them. It is a disease of the human race and especially bad in yuppies."

"Who can take their kids to a neurologists at one of the world's leading pediatric facilities"

Good God, does Leslie never give the name-dropping and posturing a rest?!

Posted by: Guns 'n Roses | July 18, 2007 2:51 PM

"Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?"

The sad thing is that your comment is so unfunny that there really is no possibility of a witty come-back. At least I can't think of one. Anyone else??

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 2:51 PM

"Been in that cave for awhile? because no one has used the phrase, "right on" since Jimmy J.J. Walker. Welcome to 2007."

The expression is still used in da hood. I look forward to your next visit... Welcome to your date with destiny.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:55 PM

The sad thing is that your comment is so unfunny that there really is no possibility of a witty come-back. At least I can't think of one. Anyone else??


Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 02:51 PM

Hate to break it to you: none of your comments are witty, and you lack the capacity to change that fact.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:56 PM

"Who can take their kids to a neurologists at one of the world's leading pediatric facilities"

Good God, does Leslie never give the name-dropping and posturing a rest?!

Posted by: Guns 'n Roses | July 18, 2007 02:51 PM

Children's Hospital is all of that, and more. It also serves children whose parents are not the upper-crust. They really are the tops and a really wonderful community asset. Even superb dental care.

Okay, now I am missing good old Robert and his annual fundraising drive for Children's. I don't suppose he wants out of retirement?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 2:57 PM

"Hate to break it to you: none of your comments are witty, and you lack the capacity to change that fact."

The mere fact that you responded proved otherwise. I will pray for your left-wing soul! I hope you get to see the bright white light. And soon!!!! Don't despair. Your life cannot be as bad as it seems.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 3:00 PM

"The neurologists at one of the world's leading pediatric facilities tried -- and failed -- to assess the problem."

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner '87 | July 18, 2007; 7:15 AM ET |

"Who can take their kids to a neurologists at one of the world's leading pediatric facilities"

". . . does Leslie never give the name-dropping and posturing a rest?!"

Posted by: Guns 'n Roses | July 18, 2007 02:51 PM

Now, wait a minute. Didn't I write:

"It's a good thing we found a pediatric neurologist at the Hopkins in Baltimore who took one look at how the baby's eyes followed the conversation, turning toward whoever was talking, and told us, 'There's nothing wrong with this kid. Bring him back in six months and he'll walk in here.' And he was right."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 08:46 AM

No one accused me of name-dropping for mentioning a neurologist at the Hopkins. So why pick on Leslie?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 3:02 PM

"Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?"

Eddie Haskell stuffed his head down the toilet.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:02 PM

Where's Father of 4 these days?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:03 PM

Eddie Haskell stuffed his head down the toilet.

Which is where this blog is going lately.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:04 PM

"Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?"

Baba Booey

"The sad thing is that your comment is so unfunny that there really is no possibility of a witty come-back. At least I can't think of one. Anyone else??"


Baba

Ahem.
No snappy comeback to "Where's the Beaver?"

Posted by: Elaine | July 18, 2007 3:06 PM

"Where's Father of 4 these days?"

Good question. I might have disagreed with a lot he said, but at least he had the courage to express his opinions. God Bless You Father of 4!!!!!! The Lord is on your side!!!!!! Hell, maybe I'm Father of 4 in disguise. Anonymous blogs are the root of all evil.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 3:07 PM

"No one accused me of name-dropping for mentioning a neurologist at the Hopkins. So why pick on Leslie?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen

I don't read your posts as carefully as I read Leslie's....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:08 PM

My family always reminds me of the time I ran away. I did not threaten to run away, but I hid under a bed which was pushed up against a wall, and I since I was lying between the wall and a pretty long bedspread, I was concealed when my aunt (who was babysitting me) looked under the bed. I then apparently proceeded to fall asleep. My aunt looked everywhere, and eventually called my folks who came home and looked for me as well. I was snoozing happily away for a few hours (it was night time at this point) and they were all frantic. The police had been called, and even my grandmother was notified. I remember waking up to hear a lot of people talking, and my grandmother wailing my name over and over again. So I came out from under the bed and ran out, saying "Here I am, grandma." Of course my aunt was livid, but the rest of the family was just relieved to have me back.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 3:12 PM

"No one accused me of name-dropping for mentioning a neurologist at the Hopkins. So why pick on Leslie?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen

I don't read your posts as carefully as I read Leslie's....


Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:08 PM

I don't read Matt's postings carefully either. There's plenty of hot air swirling around the atmosphere without volunteering to endure more.

It's a matter of degree. Leslie is a readily identifiable person, who puts her thoughts on the line. For good or ill, she signs her full name.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:12 PM

"Baba
Ahem.
No snappy comeback to "Where's the Beaver?""

C'mon Elaine. I'm so mean-spirited and evil, it's quite obvious that I haven't seen a beaver in years.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:15 PM

Baba Booey

"C'mon Elaine. I'm so mean-spirited and evil, it's quite obvious that I haven't seen a beaver in years."


NO COMMENT!

Posted by: Elaine | July 18, 2007 3:19 PM

I'm outta here. Y'all are too boring!!!! My DH is on the QT with my SAHM who is no DS and that's a load of BS you FPOS!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 3:19 PM

Because Leslie is easily impressed with the world's leading this and that. That's what passes as conversation among washington dc yuppies

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:20 PM

Come on Elaine,
I swear (well he means) At this moment you mean everything,
With you in that dress my thoughts I confess verge on dirty
Ah come on Elaine.

These people round here wear beaten down eyes
Sunk in smoke dried faces they're so resigned to what their fate is,
But not us, no not us we are far too young and clever.
Remember Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye
Elaine I'll hum this tune forever.

Come on Elaine, I swear, well he means
Ah come on let's take off everything,
That pretty red dress Elaine(Tell him yes)
Ah come on let's, ah come on Elaine, please.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:22 PM

Because Leslie is easily impressed with the world's leading this and that. That's what passes as conversation among washington dc yuppies

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:20 PM

"Easily impressed with the world's leading this and that."

Are you the master of your domain?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:23 PM

I'm outta here.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 18, 2007 03:19 PM

promises, promises

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:24 PM

Emily, that's a great story!

A couple times, I tried to get lost because I was convinced that my dog would come find me by "tracking" me. I even left stuff along the way that he could smell. This was not a bloodhound, mind you, but a little poodle. I thought the dog would enjoy finding me. But in the end, I always came home when I heard my parents and brother calling because I didn't want them to be mad at me (I was also usually hungry).

Posted by: Meesh | July 18, 2007 3:29 PM

"Been in that cave for awhile? because no one has used the phrase, "right on" since Jimmy J.J. Walker. Welcome to 2007."

The expression is still used in da hood. I look forward to your next visit... Welcome to your date with destiny.

Thanks but I am waiting for a Democrat to win the Whitehouse then I can come and go as I please, like the last time they won. Until then I keep my sphincter puckered tighter than a drum.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:31 PM

Nothing turns me off reading quicker than for a Luddite to require everyone else to act as though certain acronyms that have been generally used on the web since about 1981 are off-limits.
-----------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
The web was invented in '89, ahem.

Posted by: fyi | July 18, 2007 3:33 PM

The web was invented in '89, ahem.

By Al Gore....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:34 PM

I thought the world wide web was invented by CERN.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 3:37 PM

"Leslie is a readily identifiable person, who puts her thoughts on the line. For good or ill, she signs her full name."

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:12 PM

Signing your full name is a good way to get your home real estate listing splashed all over the Net by Googling busybodies. Non, merci!

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 3:38 PM

The web was invented in '89, ahem.

Posted by: fyi | July 18, 2007 03:33 PM

The Internet started in the late 60s as a DOD project. By October 1972 the ARPANET was being publicly demonstrated. In 1972, the initial "hot" application, electronic mail, was introduced. The term, "Internet" was adopted in 1974. ISPs weren't created until the late '80s, but the technology was there and many in the government were using a variety of networked communications. Go ask Al if you want it from the horse's mouth.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:39 PM

Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?

Wow, how old are you? Please use a more recent TV reference, thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:43 PM

Wow, how old are you? Please use a more recent TV reference, thank you.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:43 PM

You are nothing but an ageist bigot.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:46 PM

Matt in Aberdeen

"Signing your full name is a good way to get your home real estate listing splashed all over the Net by Googling busybodies."

Matt using the word "busybodies". Ah, the sweet, sweet, irony...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:46 PM

Revealing that you think Luddite is not merely sophisticated, but SUPER-sophisticated only reveals how few brain cells you have, Wally. Where's the Beaver today?

Wow, how old are you? Please use a more recent TV reference, thank you.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:43 PM

Thanks, I'll select whatever TV references I like. Oddly enough, we each get to choose our own words to convey our thoughts, despite the efforts of some.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:47 PM

No the Internet was invented by Al Gore! Everything he says is the way it is, no exceptions! He is all knowing and all powerful, haven't you seen an Inconvenient Truth? Infidel!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:47 PM

Wow, how old are you? Please use a more recent TV reference, thank you.

No. Why should I have to dumb down my comments because you're ignorant about classic TV?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:48 PM

The only reason any of you know what Luddite means is because Fred taught you!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:54 PM

No. Why should I have to dumb down my comments because you're ignorant about classic TV?

No kidding, that person probably thinks "Friends' is classic TV

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:55 PM

Wow, how old are you? Please use a more recent TV reference, thank you.

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:43 PM

The Rules

1. Everyone must post with a name, no matter how uninformative, e.g., "to Emily"

2. No use of the term, "Nazi" unless part of a serious discussion of events during and around WWII.

3. No vulgar terms of Yiddish derivation, although only Matt and anonymous care about this, and although they never complained about references to blow-jobs or "WTF."

4. We will all pretend to be shocked - shocked - and dismayed, I say, to discover that tax records are public records accessible by all over the Internet at any moment.

5. If scarry posts, some one will say she's an ignorant, backwoods girl with improper grammar. If Father of 4 posts someone will comment on his credit card debt or the occasional beer. If Emily posts, someone will call her a ballbuster. If moxiemom posts, someone will label her with some synonym of overweight. If anyone childless posts, at least one ignoramus will comment that the childless poster has no basis for commenting, and someone else will respond with the example of a male ob/gyn.

6. At least once per day, someone will whine about the blog being off-topic.

any more?

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 3:56 PM

"The only reason any of you know what Luddite means is because Fred taught you!"

No, I learned Luddite means over 35 years ago. Fred has taught me very little.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:57 PM

I knew! I knew!

Posted by: Ned Ludd | July 18, 2007 3:57 PM

6. At least once per day, someone will whine about the blog being off-topic.

any more?

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 03:56 PM

MN will say *clap* *clap* at least once per day

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 3:59 PM

The only reason any of you know what Luddite means is because Fred taught you!

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 03:54 PM

Don't assume everyone shares your ignorance, 3:54. If the term, "Luddite," wasn't part of your lexicon before you ever read a post of Fred's, your undergrad education and subsequent reading materials have been lacking in substance.

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 3:59 PM

"The Rules

6. At least once per day, someone will whine about the blog being off-topic.

any more?

Posted by: MN |"

Yes, ignore MN's rules!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 4:00 PM

"Don't assume everyone shares your ignorance, 3:54. If the term, "Luddite," wasn't part of your lexicon before you ever read a post of Fred's, your undergrad education and subsequent reading materials have been lacking in substance."

"In recent years, the terms Luddism and Luddite or Neo-Luddism and Neo-Luddite have become synonymous with anyone who opposes the advance of technology due to the cultural changes that are associated with it." - from Wikipedia

MN, I learned the meaning of Luddite from Fred. Note that the usage associated with advanced technology is recent. I am in my mid-50's and unless you are also, I don't think you can comment on my education. Curriculums change over the years.

Posted by: to MN | July 18, 2007 4:05 PM

"MN, I learned the meaning of Luddite from Fred. Note that the usage associated with advanced technology is recent. I am in my mid-50's and unless you are also, I don't think you can comment on my education. Curriculums change over the years."

I'm about your age. I learned about Luddites in college. The usage associated with advanced technology is NOT recent.

Posted by: Phil Lacio | July 18, 2007 4:13 PM

Wikipedia, yea right. It's curricula, not curriculums.

Posted by: To "to MN" | July 18, 2007 4:15 PM

Wobblies, anyone?

Posted by: 3:54 | July 18, 2007 4:20 PM

"I am in my mid-50's"

Should be, "I am in my mid-50s." Apostrophe is wrong, because it's not a possessive. Same with referring to a decade, like 1950s.

Posted by: Grammar police | July 18, 2007 4:21 PM

"In recent years, the terms Luddism and Luddite or Neo-Luddism and Neo-Luddite have become synonymous with anyone who opposes the advance of technology due to the cultural changes that are associated with it." - from Wikipedia

MN, I learned the meaning of Luddite from Fred. Note that the usage associated with advanced technology is recent. I am in my mid-50's and unless you are also, I don't think you can comment on my education. Curriculums change over the years.


Posted by: to MN | July 18, 2007 04:05 PM

I'm not sure what your point is by referencing Wikipedia (LOL). The usage associated with advance technology might be recent, but the term's been in use for significantly longer. I am free to comment as I please whether or not you agree with my position. Have a good one.

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 4:22 PM

"I learned the meaning of Luddite from Fred. Note that the usage associated with advanced technology is recent. I am in my mid-50's and unless you are also, I don't think you can comment on my education. Curriculums change over the years."

Wow! It's good news for me that my class of 1975 is "recent"!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 4:29 PM

"Burn the books and break the gears,
Kill Antichrist and Engineers."
-- Luddite slogan from an old science-fiction story.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 4:31 PM

FWIW:
Luddite

1811, from name taken by an organized band of weavers who destroyed machinery in Midlands and northern England 1811-16 for fear it would deprive them of work. Supposedly from Ned Ludd, a Leicestershire worker who in 1779 had done the same before through insanity (but the story was first told in 1847). Applied to modern rejecters of automation and technology from at least 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 4:40 PM

Who give a flying f about luddites or dreck. idiots!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 4:42 PM

"Yes, and it is odd that Leslie has tunnel vision about mothers..."

I have to disagree. This blog has always been a pro-female, pro-working mother forum with a strong feminist slant.

Posted by: J | July 18, 2007 4:43 PM

J obviously doesn't read the blog comments very often.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 4:48 PM

HEY, I care very much about my Luddite!

Posted by: Fred | July 18, 2007 4:55 PM

MN
- no rules about virtual food, drink, etc.?

Posted by: dotted | July 18, 2007 5:03 PM

Who give a flying f about luddites or dreck. idiots!

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 04:42 PM

How vulgar! My virgin ears!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:04 PM

MN
- no rules about virtual food, drink, etc.?

Posted by: dotted | July 18, 2007 05:03 PM

None come to mind, dotted, but my mind is fading, LOL. What do you propose? (Other than, if you are going to bring virtual drinks and snacks, bring enough to share with the whole class).

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2007 5:12 PM

WASHINGTON - On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."

This is what the liberals consider ok and acceptable to do to other people's property
in our nation's capital

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:12 PM

Vox populi.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:14 PM

MN - your proposed rule is a good one. How about wasabi nuts for KLB, beer for the luddites (ahem...I couldn't resist it), bourbon in honor of Fred and margaritas to beat the heat for a start?

I still need to find my curry laska recipe!

Posted by: dotted | July 18, 2007 5:17 PM

Wow. Leslie's husband is in the private equity business? That means 10% tax rate for all his really hard work that's so much harder and demanding than everyone elses. Not a bad deal for figuring out how to help companies that make widgets make them oh so much more efficiently with fewer workers (maybe that's why Leslie has to work so hard?).

I wonder if Leslie is real liberal, or a just a limosine liberal -- vote left, live right.

Posted by: gottabeanon | July 18, 2007 5:21 PM

quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:21 PM

I hate Hummers and don't understand why anyone would have one.

I hate people who break the law more.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:22 PM

how to bury common always insanity nearest he is

if change quum to quam and tumultositas to tumultos

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:25 PM

Completely off topic - Scarry, how's the pregnancy going? Haven't heard much from you lately. Hope all is well. All other preggers moms, any updates that you want to share.
I am doing very well these days. Nausea has abated and hunger has kicked in full force. I could just eat and eat these days (although luckily, I have only gained 3 pounds so far - which is weird but I'm not complaining). I can also feel the baby moving a lot these days. All sorts of little kicks and rolls that remind me
s(he) is alive and kicking. I hope to find out the sex next week at the level 2 ultrasound.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 5:26 PM

One of the most prominent is Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic minority, who lists assets of up to $92 million held jointly with her businessman husband Paul. They include two vineyards, one valued between $5 million and $25 million and the other valued between $1 million and $5 million, and a stake in a restaurant chain worth as much as $25 million. They also own three pieces of prime San Francisco real estate--one being their personal dwelling in the posh Pacific Heights neighborhood--each valued at up to $5 million. Rounding out their real estate holdings are two mountain townhouses and a share in a resort, worth up to $11 million combined.

Talk about a limousine liberal...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:27 PM

Emily,
That is great news! I'm always hesitant to keep asking how things are going, so I'm glad you pipe up and let us know! 3 pounds! You rock girl. I loved the kicks and rolls. Do you watch your belly move? It was one of the best and closest times I experienced with my husband--watching my belly roll...

Posted by: dotted | July 18, 2007 5:28 PM

The wealthy FDR was called a traitor to his class.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:32 PM

I think the reason for the low weight gain is that I was so nauseated during the first 15 weeks or so. I had to force myself to eat and everything smelled awful. But now, everything smells great and looks very appetizing. I have to say I prefer this to being sick, but am trying to be careful about not being too enthusiastic about food. I had forgotten how nice it was to feel the baby moving. It seems like I always have company. What a nice feeling.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2007 5:33 PM

"quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit"

Posted by: | July 18, 2007 05:21 PM

Maybe so, but as William F. Buckley Yale '50 once said, "I would sooner be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 members of the faculty of Harvard."

Alcuin, meet Bill Buckley.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 18, 2007 5:35 PM

I don't have any problem with people making money. It's the tax rate that I have a problem with -- with private equity firms its 10%. And they make all that money by helping companies cut costs -- like providing adequate health care coverage, leave, stuff like that. The kinds of things that Leslie is always getting this group all exercised about. Just have to wonder what they talk about at night when she's commenting about the "balance" issues. The choices we make are all quite curious.

Posted by: gottabeanon | July 18, 2007 5:46 PM

Don't private equity firms essentially loot companies by cutting jobs and lowering the pay of the remaining workers, while lining their own pockets?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 5:58 PM

The web was invented in '89, ahem.

Posted by: fyi | July 18, 2007 03:33 PM

The Internet started in the late 60s as a DOD project. By October 1972 the ARPANET was being publicly demonstrated. In 1972, the initial "hot" application, electronic mail, was introduced. The term, "Internet" was adopted in 1974. ISPs weren't created until the late '80s, but the technology was there and many in the government were using a variety of networked communications. Go ask Al if you want it from the horse's mouth.

-----------------------------
--------------------------------

The Internet and the web are not the same thing. The web is an application created in 89 by Tim Berner's Lee at CERN that runs on the Internet. So the original correction to the anti-Luddite snob stands.

Posted by: too late | July 18, 2007 9:31 PM

So the original correction to the anti-Luddite snob stands.

Posted by: too late | July 18, 2007 09:31 PM

lastworditis: an addiction the primary indication of which is the irresistible need to comment on something hours after anyone else cares because the owner is RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. DO YOU HEAR HIM? HE's RIGHT.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2007 10:24 PM

Actually, this blog is open for several weeks for comments! The blog will be eventually closed but everyone cannot read in real time or comment in such fashion.

Posted by: Another Day, Another Comment | July 19, 2007 7:44 AM

Gone all day yesterday at a water park...no laptops there. Thanks Matt for the defense although I am sure the trolls will make you pay!

Posted by: Leslie | July 19, 2007 8:14 AM

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