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The Breastfeeding Doll

As a young girl -- a tomboy in most ways -- I did have some girlie girl toys: Dolls. Not a roomful, but a Barbie who I dressed in beautiful gowns. As far as I can tell, playing with the dolls didn't harm me in any way. It didn't make me grow up to own tons of beautiful gowns.

Flash forward to about 6 years ago. I was pregnant and my son was 1 1/2 years old. My focus: Get him used to the idea of having a baby around. So, we went to the store and he picked out his very own baby doll -- a beautiful dark-skinned baby that caused fits of laughter with one of my close friends, who, unlike me, does have dark-skinned babies.

While I nursed the real baby, my son pretended to breastfeed his "baby" too. The well-played doll is long gone, and I am sure my son has no memories of that time. He does know, though, that my chest -- a private part -- exists to feed babies and is not for little boys to grab or touch. It's a conversation we've had repeatedly over the years.

And that's the point. Dolls let children mimic the adults around them. But regardless of the bodily function they embody (pee, poop, burp, drink a bottle), those reality doll functions don't cause irreparable harm. They simply are vehicles of the imagination, of learning to grow up. Right?

That's the question at the center of the debate that has brewed over Bebe Gloton, a breastfeeding doll made by a Spanish toy company that intends to market the doll in the U.S. next year.

Bebe Gloton comes with a halter equipped with flowers for nipples. The child holds the doll up to the flowers, and the toy makes a suckling sound. It cries when it needs to be burped. Here's a video of it on YouTube.

If I theoretically had a girl, would I buy such a doll for her? Probably not, because, really, a child can mimic breastfeeding with any doll.

So, what's all the uproar about? The halter top? The graphic nature of teaching little girls about breastfeeding? Hello ... if breast is best, why should the realistic genre of dolls only be fed by bottles?

Let's face it. Breastfeeding is often hard. While attitudes about it have been changing, nursing conversations nearly always turn to the sexualization of women's breasts. And therein lies the problem: We adults cringe because we think of breasts as sexual first and nurturing later.

Rather than get outraged by this doll, maybe we should ignore and move on. After all, grown-ups don't think like little kids. That's the point. Plus, parents still control the purse strings. If you don't like the breastfeeding doll, don't buy it.

What do you think of Bebe Gloton?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  August 11, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Babies , Preschoolers
Previous: The Tragic Loss of Children | Next: The Best Age to Become 'Mom'?

Comments


"Rather than get outraged by this doll, maybe we should ignore and move on."

And get lives.

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with the doll -- lord knows that there are plenty of dolls out there that feed from bottles, so why not one that nurses? That said, I agree that pretty much any doll can "nurse," so there's no real need to buy one just for that.

Posted by: newsahm | August 11, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

If you think that we should ignore and move on, then why are you writing about it?

Posted by: danilynn17 | August 11, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree that breasts are oversexualized, but....isn't this going pretty far in the other direction? Teaching our daughters that their body is only a vessel made to produce and feed babies? Just my $.02

Posted by: Catwhowalked | August 11, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

If you think that we should ignore and move on, then why are you writing about it?

Posted by: danilynn17 | August 11, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse


Are you related to ANS?

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

My daughter used to pretend to nurse her dolls. She would put the boppy pillow around her waist, lay a doll on it, and lift up her shirt and say" Eat." I doubt my son will mimic this behavior because he basically doesn't see that as he is the younger sibling. He also only nursed for 4 months.

But I see nothing wrong with this doll but like you said, you don't need a doll to mimic breast feeding. Any doll will do.

Posted by: foamgnome | August 11, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Bebe Gloton is nothing short of a marketing scheme, some will buy it but most will ignore it.

I am a bit perplexed as to why Stacie let her son try to breastfeed the baby doll they bought when she had her second child. Anyone else think this is a bit weird?

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"I am a bit perplexed as to why Stacie let her son try to breastfeed the baby doll they bought when she had her second child. Anyone else think this is a bit weird?"

No, why? Because he doesn't have breasts? Neither does my 3.5yo daughter, and she mimics me by nursing her baby dolls. No different from pretending to bottle-feed, IMO.

Posted by: newsahm | August 11, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

jezebel3, I don't even know who ANS is. I only read this blog on occassion.

I just think it's quite silly to say that people should ignore something that you're writing about in the national media.

And before anyone calls me anti-breastfeeding, I'm actually an expectant mother who is planning on breastfeeding. My opinion on this has nothing to do with my feelings on breastfeeding.

Posted by: danilynn17 | August 11, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

am a bit perplexed as to why Stacie let her son try to breastfeed the baby doll they bought when she had her second child. Anyone else think this is a bit weird?

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse


Is this the same kid that Stacey let suck his thumb whilst playing with his privates 24/7?

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Newsahm, Boys and men can't breastfeed - ever. Nature didn't provide them with the ability to nurse so yes, I find it weird. It is different than pretending to bottle feed, because as we all know - anyone can bottlefeed a baby.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

That is just too absolutely weird.

Jezebel: Stacey has let us know both her kids masturbate ad nauseum, pick their noses and pee on the toilet seat. Just a little too much information. Sounds like a delightful household.

Apparently nobody who blogs at 'On Parenting' can produce a normal, healthy child. The litany of disorders is strange:
autism, ADHD, 'oppositional' children, temper tantrums, aspergers. I think it might be a connection between the WaPo and birth defects.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | August 11, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

And now, back to the conversation at hand... the doll, yes, the doll. Thanks, folks.

Posted by: StaceyGarfinkle | August 11, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"I am a bit perplexed as to why Stacie let her son try to breastfeed the baby doll they bought when she had her second child. Anyone else think this is a bit weird?"

Her son is just mimicing someone important in his life. She said he did it after she started breastfeeding the baby. So, he's taking care of his baby the way he sees his mother take care of the real baby. Also, she said her son was 1 1/2, so young to have the concept of "boy things" versus "girl things." It's not hurting anything, and odds are he won't remember, so why try to go down the road of trying to explain that he's not a real mom so he can't breastfeed.

Or, imagine trying to explain that it's okay to hold the baby to his chest to cradle and rock, but not okay if it's tucked in like breastfeeding. It's a phase. This too shall pass. He'll get around 2 1/2 or so and start realizing the distinction between things women do and men do and all of that baggage and he probably won't even want the doll around.

Posted by: KH20003 | August 11, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

My daughter used to pretend to nurse her dolls. She would put the boppy pillow around her waist, lay a doll on it, and lift up her shirt and say" Eat."
Posted by: foamgnome | August 11, 2009 8:14
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Lol. Aww! How cute!

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Apparently nobody who blogs at 'On Parenting' can produce a normal, healthy child. The litany of disorders is strange:
autism, ADHD, 'oppositional' children, temper tantrums, aspergers. I think it might be a connection between the WaPo and birth defects.
Posted by: Baltimore11 | August 11, 2009
-------------------------------------------
I concur. Having a normal child seems to be the odd thing on this blog. It's a whole bunch of "my child has this or my child has that." Seems like no one on this blog can produce normal children. Then again, if one waits till she's almost 35, it's no suprise.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Newsahm, Boys and men can't breastfeed - ever. Nature didn't provide them with the ability to nurse so yes, I find it weird. It is different than pretending to bottle feed, because as we all know - anyone can bottlefeed a baby.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 8:33 AM
__________

Actually cheeky, you are dead wrong on this one. Weird? Yep! But possible? Yep.
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/20193

Posted by: VaLGaL | August 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, look. It's Troll Day.

Posted by: anonfornow | August 11, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Her son is just mimicing someone important in his life. She said he did it after she started breastfeeding the baby. So, he's taking care of his baby the way he sees his mother take care of the real baby.

Posted by: KH20003 | August 11, 2009 9:07
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When foamgnome mentioned that her daughter did this, I chuckled and thought how cute. However, when Stacy mentioned her son did this, I frowned and thought why can't she tell her son that breastfeeding is something women do and persuade him to try something else? Yes, I also think it's wierd. Definetely not something I would let a son of mine emulate from me.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Actually cheeky, you are dead wrong on this one. Weird? Yep! But possible? Yep.
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/20193
Posted by: VaLGaL | August 11, 2009 9:21
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Cool. So you and your DH took turns breastfeeding your child(ren)!

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

And ValGal-such cases are the extreme and are a rare phemonom (sp?). No need to take the ball and run with it.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Seems like no one on this blog can produce normal children. Then again, if one waits till she's almost 35, it's no suprise.

Posted by: Soguns1

I know many wonderful people who wait this long but I have to agree with Soguns1 about this.

Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Soguns1 - please get a grip on yourself. Your personal remarks are not necessary, helpful or intelligent.

Posted by: VaLGaL | August 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Soguns1 - please get a grip on yourself. Your personal remarks are not necessary, helpful or intelligent.

Posted by: VaLGaL | August 11, 2009 9:35 AM
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How is my remark about men having the "ability" to breastfeed personal? What's unintelligent is you posting up some blog article of rare and extreme cases about men breastfeeding as if that's some kind of validation that men can breastfeed just like their female counterpart.
What's personal is this: did or do you and your DH take turn breastfeeding?

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I know many wonderful people who wait this long but I have to agree with Soguns1 about this.
Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009 9:35 AM
-------------------------------------------
I mean, don't get me wrong-many older mothers deliver healthy, normal children. But on this blog it just seems as if there's a case going around of I-have-a-DS/DD-who-has-______(fill in blank) itis.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Here is what is personal. One person posted that male breastfeeding is not possible "ever." That statement is untrue as shown by the link. Yes, it's unusual, but it's not impossible.
You take that simple back and forth about a factual matter and make personal remarks about me, which you then admit in your 9:55 post. You have also made personal remarks about other posters and about Stacey, who may or may not open herself up to that.
Basically you are acting like a jerk who either chooses to ignore or deliberately misinterprets other peoples statements in an effort to make that person feel badly and build yourself up in your own estimation. Grow up.

Posted by: VaLGaL | August 11, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I mean, don't get me wrong-many older mothers deliver healthy, normal children. But on this blog it just seems as if there's a case going around of I-have-a-DS/DD-who-has-______(fill in blank) itis.


Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse


The case of the pretentious bragging about unremarkable kids is waaaay more annoying.

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I think it's the string bikini with the fake nipples that bothers me. My oldest also used to nurse her dolls (with the help of the boppy), but the bikini top grosses me out.

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Soguns1, if the bloggers' kids didn't have something "interesting" about them, there wouldn't be anything to write about. I doubt that your "normal" kids and your "normal" life would be interesting to the thousands of people who read and comments on these blogs. I guess that's why you need spice up your life by posting such personal comments.

Posted by: pipe1 | August 11, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Um. Does anyone else find it interesting that this discussion turned so very mean and personal? Seems to me like Stacey hit some nerves somehow. Wouldn't it make the world a much nicer place if everyone showed respect for the decisions of others? Whether it is when they have children or how they let them play (unless they hurt your kid) is none of your business now is it? How do you expect to raise your children with kindness if you can't even maintain civility on a blog?

Posted by: playnice | August 11, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The American version will come with more sounds. When you squeeze the doll's hand, it will tell the bottle fed dolls how sad it is that their mommies don't love them enough to nurse them and they'll all end up sick and with low IQ's.

Posted by: di89 | August 11, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think the doll is a bit creepy, but I am not really a fan of most dolls that "do" things. We don't own any dolls that cry, because the real babies in my house do that enough for all of us, thank you very much. I prefer to buy toys that encourage my kids to use their imaginations, and yes, all 5 of my girls have mimiked breast feeding their dolls at some point. It is something that they see and want to emulate. I thnk it is pretty typical behavior of young children of either gender.

Posted by: thosewilsongirls | August 11, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Well, ValGal. There's no need to grasp at straws of cheekymonkey's comment. You, as well as posters on here, know darn well what she meant by men not having the ability to breastfeed. For the record, it's still pretty much a safe bet to say that men can not breastfeed. You don't see breastfeeding classes, nursing bras and pads, and breastpumps aimed at men. Why is that?
Or do you teach your DS that one day he too can breastfeed his child when chooses to have kids? I'm gonna teach my daughter if she chooses to have a child, her male partner can carry a fetus for nine months instead of her.
Great idea! Let's make this world a gender-free world! *sprinkles fairy dust on everyone*

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Soguns1, if the bloggers' kids didn't have something "interesting" about them, there wouldn't be anything to write about. I doubt that your "normal" kids and your "normal" life would be interesting to the thousands of people who read and comments on these blogs. I guess that's why you need spice up your life by posting such personal comments.

Posted by: pipe1 | August 11, 2009 10:35 AM
-------------------------------------------
What ever happened to the good ol' mommy-war topics? Or has that horse been beaten to death already?
FTW-my child is as normal is a child can get. Nothing "special" about her. No disorders, disabilities, sickess, gluten/milk/peanut/-intolerant, etc. Yeah. I prefer boring children.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The American version will come with more sounds. When you squeeze the doll's hand, it will tell the bottle fed dolls how sad it is that their mommies don't love them enough to nurse them and they'll all end up sick and with low IQ's.

Posted by: di89


You honestly believe that if a mother doesn't breastfeed it is because she doesn't love her child enough? Wow.

Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I guess I just don't see a problem with a male toddler mimicking nursing. So what if he won't ever actually breastfeed? My daughter will never actually be a princess or a mermaid, but that doesn't stop her from pretending. From where I sit, imagination is a good thing.

Posted by: newsahm | August 11, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Does sarcasm really get that lost in the typing?

I believe that there are a lot of breastfeeding nuts who go around telling women that and guilt tripping everyone within earshot. This could be just one more opportunity.

But why stop at the doll? How about some accessories? There is money to be made, just as it is from real moms.

It could come with a toy TB test for your daughter's friend who comes over and wants to co-nurse the baby.

It could have the nursing burka so your daughter can walk through the mall draped from shoulder to knee so she can advertise and hide nursing at the same time.

It could have a toy breast pump and bottles of milk.

It could even have toy versions of the milk baggies that hang on a string around the girl's neck and tubing to tape on the flowers of the halter so girls can pretend to be unable to nurse but want to give the baby the experience.

Posted by: di89 | August 11, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm with floof, its the weird bra that makes it creepy. I've no problem with kids pretending. I never bought dolls that cried or pooped or peed because it inhibits the imagination and I don't need to hear the sound of a crying baby ever again! My son carried around a baby doll when I had my daughter, don't know if he ever tried to nurse, but I'm certainly happy to encourage any nurturing tendencies he may have. Like newsahm said, my child won't ever be a dinosaur, but I don't stop him from pretending. Imagining you are something or someone else is how kids develop self control and learn how to manage their emotions. But the bra IS creepy.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | August 11, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

To get back to the main point, I agree with Stacey - if you don't like it, don't buy it. Toy companies are going to always going to be coming out with new things that will sell to different people. What happened to respecting other people's opinions and lifestyles? Also, why is it so strange that she let him mimic breastfeeding? Is it so bad that there will be one more male out there that will be a little more understanding about what most people deem the "responsibility of women?"

You know, I started reading this blog because I think the topics are interesting. But more and more, I cringe when I read everyone's comments. I wonder if any of you are really this judgmental and pretentious in person. Never has it been more obvious until now, when you all seemed to jump on the "why do they not talk about normal children?" bandwagon. Excuse me, but what exactly is "normal?" Isn't that subjective? And honestly, I really don't believe that your children are as perfect as you are trying to make them out to be. It's really offensive that you point out "autism, ADHD, 'oppositional' children, temper tantrums, aspergers" and label them as not "normal."

Posted by: sighnyc | August 11, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"FTW-my child is as normal is a child can get. Nothing "special" about her. No disorders, disabilities, sickess, gluten/milk/peanut/-intole
rant, etc. Yeah. I prefer boring children."

Wow. I hope that you never have a child who is anything less than "perfect" who will have to grow up with a mother who doesn't "prefer" him because of his imperfections. Do you really think that you are incapable or producing a child with a disability, an allergy, or a major illness??

And, for the record, I would not care if my son wanted to pretend to nurse a doll. Who does that harm? I'm sure a little boy nursing his doll at 3 is not going to turn into an adult who doesn't know that men can't breastfeed.

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"FTW-my child is as normal is a child can get. Nothing "special" about her. No disorders, disabilities, sickess, gluten/milk/peanut/-intole
rant, etc. Yeah. I prefer boring children."

Wow. I hope that you never have a child who is anything less than "perfect" who will have to grow up with a mother who doesn't "prefer" him because of his imperfections. Do you really think that you are incapable or producing a child with a disability, an allergy, or a major illness??

And, for the record, I would not care if my son wanted to pretend to nurse a doll. Who does that harm? I'm sure a little boy nursing his doll at 3 is not going to turn into an adult who doesn't know that men can't breastfeed.

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse


Liberal pinko.

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Liberal pinko."

Sorry, was that supposed to be an insult?

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: the Doll - clearly marketing, but people can and will spend money on just about anything for their kids. My son came first, and never tried to mimic my brestfeeding. He was 3 when his sister came along, and once he shouted "Mommy, get out your boobie!" when his sister started crying in the middle of a family restaurant. (We all had a great laugh.)

I think we don't give children enough credit or opportunity for imagination. It's important for kids to learn to pretend and experiment normal and natural things without being judged. For heaven's sake, Stacey's son was only a year and half when he had his doll.

I got my son a boy baby doll when his sister was born. When I gave it to him, he rocked it for about 10 seconds, then he threw it across the room like a football. My husband, who wasn't keen on the doll idea anyway, was beaming after that.

To sighnyc and playnice...I agree with your comments about how disturbing it is to see some folks use the comments section to make snarky remarks and jump on Stacey or each other. My guess is that like most bullies, they are deeply insecure and use this forum to feel superior, or to validate their own choices. I guess they think they're somehow superior if they had their children before age 35, or don't have to struggle with a child who has special needs. No, I guess their children never make a mistake or pick their noses, and have farts that smell like roses. Aren't we all human enough not to feel threatened when someone tells the truth about their own experiences in parenting without jumping on them.

Take heart- there are some folks here who post regularly that always have some helpful and intereting observations to share.

Meanwhile...I often wish this forum came with a 'hide' feature so we could opt out of the negative comments, or one that would automatically 'hide' those that tallied a certain number of negative votes from other registered readers.

Posted by: HuckleberryFriend | August 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Liberal pinko."

Sorry, was that supposed to be an insult?

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse


Sigh. Paging Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward! Stat!

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The American version will come with more sounds. When you squeeze the doll's hand, it will tell the bottle fed dolls how sad it is that their mommies don't love them enough to nurse them and they'll all end up sick and with low IQ's.

Posted by: di89
------------------------------------------
LOL! Your sarcasm didn't escape me.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Excuse me, but what exactly is "normal?" Isn't that subjective? And honestly, I really don't believe that your children are as perfect as you are trying to make them out to be."

Normal is by definition not subjective. Nor is "perfection" normal.

Posted by: 06902 | August 11, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

i also find the resident trolls a little tiresome, but to suggest that they shouldn't have the right to post because we don't like their attitude is pretty brutal.

let the trolls be trolls!

[di89 - i also found your sarcastic post to be a pretty funny jab at the breastfeeding nazis. well done]

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | August 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"When foamgnome mentioned that her daughter did this, I chuckled and thought how cute. However, when Stacy mentioned her son did this, I frowned and thought why can't she tell her son that breastfeeding is something women do and persuade him to try something else? Yes, I also think it's wierd. Definetely not something I would let a son of mine emulate from me.

Posted by: Soguns1"

Ding, ding, ding - exactly! I never told my son he could have a baby or a vagina - or nurse. Regardless of the strange but true post above, I would correct my son if he tried to nurse a babydoll, regardless of his age.

Kids can imagine all they want, I'm all for free play, unstructured time - but it is funny that Newsahm is getting so irritated that some people think little boys nursing is weird. Let your kids nurse whatever they want - even their dinosaurs - but don't make it sound like a little boy is going to have a stunted imagination because they aren't allowed to nurse a baby doll.

Oh, and Huckleberry, if you want "judgemental" go to the posts about Serena on the long distance blog. Some of the same people that are crying about stunting imagination of boys and nursing, are the ones that brow beat a grown woman for having troubles with her mother and writing about it. Oh, to be a perfect daughter and mother of a breast feeding little boy!

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Sigh. Paging Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward! Stat!"

I am familiar with the phrase, darling. I just don't consider it particularly insulting, nor do I consider namecalling in general particularly insulting. It's rather the last resort of someone who can't make a coherent arguement.

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Soguns1 - You are cracking me up today and on a roll.

Yes, male breastfeeding is now mainstream it is hate speech to talk otherwise. Stop being such a hater!

As for marketing, why not fake little boobies for the little boys to strap on and they can pretend breastfeed. All in the name of imagination of course!

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I hope that you never have a child who is anything less than "perfect" who will have to grow up with a mother who doesn't "prefer" him because of his imperfections. Do you really think that you are incapable or producing a child with a disability, an allergy, or a major illness??

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 12:09
------------------------------------------
Imperfections doesn't bother me. Quit trying to grasp at straws. It's the parents who have children with special needs/wants/abilities/sickness/diet, etc. who want the world to realize their DS/DD are special so X rule shouldn't apply to him/her and that the world should "cater" to their needs.
(Ex. Sally's teacher shouldn't have sent her to the principle's office. Doesn't she realize that Sally has Asperger? Or how can Joey's school not serve gluten-free pizza? He's intolerant to wheat flour.)
And for the record, if I knew early enough during my pregnancy that the fetus I was carrying would be less than "perfect" (causing me undue stress and financial burden) I would abort in no time flat.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

And for the record, if I knew early enough during my pregnancy that the fetus I was carrying would be less than "perfect" (causing me undue stress and financial burden) I would abort in no time flat.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 12:53 PM

I think that may be the all-time saddest thing I've ever read - here or anywhere else.

But then, I have a child with autism (born after ten years of trying to conceive) and his existence has enriched my life incredibly. He's so much more than his disability - his sly, subtle, ironic humor; his incredible singing voice; the way he brings out the best, most generous, most *humane* nature of the people who meet him.

My neurotypical son is also a wonderful person, who's a joy to share life with. But I (and the rest of the world) would be living in a much poorer place without older son.

If all you can see is the flaws in a person; if you can't see the richness, the grace and the beauty, too, you have my pity.

Posted by: SueMc | August 11, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Soguns1 is on my wave length. I think these people flaunt their 'special needs' children so they will look like martyrs and get sympathy. They are just so very proud of anything that originates in their loins. As for the bebe glutton, maybe next they'll market a hand-puppet dildo with a smiley face so your tiny tots can look forward to having sex.

I love the George Carlin diatribe about children -- couldn't have said it better myself:

'Your children are overrated and overvalued, and you've turned them into little cult objects. You have a child fetish and it's not healthy. ...this neurotic fixation that suggests that somehow everything -- everything -- has to revolve around the lives of children.'

'There are a couple of things about kids you have to remember. FIrst of all, they're not all cute. In fact if you look at 'em real close most of them are rather unpleasant looking. And a lot of them don't smell too good either. The little ones in particular seem to have a kind of urine and sour milk combination that I don't care for at all.'

'Second not all chldren are smart and clever. Got that? Kids are like any other group of people: a few winners, a whole lot of losers! This country is filled with loser kids who simply aren't going anywhere.. . . For one thing there's too much emphasis on safety and safety equipment: childproof medicine bottles, fireproof pajamas, child restraints, car seats, and helmets [knee pads to keep them from skinning their knees during the crawling stage!]. Bicycle, baseball, skareboard, scooter helmets. Kids have to wear helmets now for everyting but jerking off. [but maybe Stacey's kids do] . . . the baby boomers, these soft, fruity baby boomers, have raised an entire generation of soft, fruity kids who aren't allowed hazardous toys. . . . Whatever happened to natural selection? Survival of the fittest? The kid who swallows too many marbles doesn't grow up to have kids of his own. Simple stuff. Nature knows best!'

'And you'd be anxious and depressed too if you had to put up with these pathetic, insecure yuppie parents who enroll you in college before you've figured out which side of the playpen smells the worst and then fill you with Ritalin to get you in the mood they apprve of, and drag you all over town in search of empty, meaningless structure: Little League, Cub Scouts, swimming, soccer, karate, piano, bagppes, watercolors, witchcraft, glass blowing, and dildo practice. It's absurd....they even have 'play dates' for Christ sake! Playing now is done by appointment! . . . these striving overachieving parents are burning their kids out on structure. .... Turn off the internet, the CD-ROMs, and the computer games and let them stare at a tree for a couple hours. Every now and then they actually come up with one of their own ideas.' [edited from the original to take out the f words.]

Posted by: Baltimore11 | August 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"Kids can imagine all they want, I'm all for free play, unstructured time - but it is funny that Newsahm is getting so irritated that some people think little boys nursing is weird."

Not irritated, just a little bemused. I never claimed anyone was stunting their kids' imagination, either. I just don't think that a little boy imitating a female behavior is alarming, especially at such a young age.

Posted by: newsahm | August 11, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This Bebe Gloton doll sounds like the product of a company looking to make a profit by selling something that is not already out there in the market. In other words, its like pretty much every other toy that's sold. I think it's in the middle of the pack of toys somewhere between the baseballs, pirate hats and all the bleepin' plastic guns. Compared to everything else in the marketplace, I can't see any reason to worry about it (am I missing something here?).

FYI, if you don't want it in your house, you are not required to buy it ("Turn your dial to the left" as Tony Kornheiser says)

Posted by: KS100H | August 11, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Turn off the internet, the CD-ROMs, and the computer games and let them stare at a tree for a couple hours. Every now and then they actually come up with one of their own ideas.' [edited from the original to take out the f words.]

Posted by: Baltimore11 | August 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse


Fock!

Posted by: jezebel3 | August 11, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

newsahm, "Imagination is a good thing" - no one said imagination was a bad thing. Bemused or irritated? I don't care how you qualify letting boys pretent to breast feed, it is weird.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

After having a little boy, nothing that child does right now (he's 3 1/2) will strike me as particularly wierd. It wouldn't have suprised me if he had ever mimiced breastfeeding - if he was younger than about 2 1/2 (as Stacey's son was), I would probably have just laughed, because you'll never be able to explain it to him anyway. If he did it now, I'd probably explain why he couldn't breastfeed a baby.

Shrug it off. They're little kids. They don't come pre-programmed, and have to learn from those around them. Not a suprise that they imitate the adults they see. It's not wierd; it's just learning.

Posted by: Mazarin | August 11, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

And for the record, if I knew early enough during my pregnancy that the fetus I was carrying would be less than "perfect" (causing me undue stress and financial burden) I would abort in no time flat.

Posted by: Soguns1

That is incredibly sad but at least Soguns1 is being honest.

Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I would be very interested in blog posts about testing early in pregnancy. I think there could be a lot of interesting posts: people who tested and decided to terminate, people who discovered a genetic problem and decided to birth anyway, people who tested and didn't find a problem but the baby was born with a serious problem that was missed.

I think there would be a lot of interest in the kind of "personal" posts that appear in this blog that don't have a place in the dead tree newspaper.

The volume of comments might rival what we see whenever the subject is breastfeeding.

Posted by: KS100H | August 11, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Kids do all sorts of things as they react to their environment and learn. I have spent many a time quietly laughing to myself over the antics of my kids as they try to sort out the world and the way it works.

For example, my son thought that TVs knew a language like a person did. His TV in Peru knew Spanish and my TV in the US knew English. He knows differently now but that is how he perceived the world at 5 years old after moving from a Spanish speaking world to an English speaking world.

Kids do a lot of mimicking of the important people in their world as they try to make sense of it. I see my kids do it still at 4 and 7 so I can certainly see a 1.5 year old mimicking mom breastfeeding. What is strange about that? And even if you found it strange, how much is a 1.5 year old going to understand about an explanation of why he shouldn't be doing it? I still get pretty weird questions from my daughter about gender things and she is 4.

I have been pretty neutral about gender related things. There is so little time for things to be gender neutral before the expectations of what is 'right and wrong' for a little boy or girl starts rearing its ugly head. They will get the pressure to conform to their gender soon enough without me starting in on them.

Posted by: Billie_R | August 11, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not whether a kid's behavior is weird, it's whether the behavior is positive enough to encourage or negative enough to discourage. My sister sang songs to the moon. Definitely weird. Should we have told her that the moon could hear her and that she should make sure to sing every night? No. Should we have told her that her singing was pointless and she should stop? No.

That's about where I end up on girls and boys pretending to nurse. Why make a big deal about it?

As for the nursing doll itself, I'm not thrilled with toys that encourage gender roles so aggressively, especially if the kid hasn't asked for them. (I wouldn't buy fake chest hair for a boy, either.)

My fondest memory of childhood gender bending? My moon-loving sister insisted on being Raggedy Andy (NOT Ann) for Halloween when she was four. I'm sure some of you here think that scarred her for life, but somehow she avoided the inevitable plunge into cross dressing, depression, and sexual confusion.

Posted by: hbc1 | August 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Is there not a limit on how many posts one person can make in a single day?

When 11 out of 60-some posts come from one voice, it's not a conversation, it's a lecture, plus, in this instance, we get a gratuitous grenade at 12:53 abortion intended to provoke head-shaking and hysteria.

Baltimore and soguns, I hope you leave your mom's basement and the cheetohs behind tomorrow and head out to fill out some job applications.

Posted by: anonfornow | August 11, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"And for the record, if I knew early enough during my pregnancy that the fetus I was carrying would be less than "perfect" (causing me undue stress and financial burden) I would abort in no time flat. "

All children create a lot of stress and financial burden. How "perfect" would your baby have to be in order for you to allow him to live? What would you do if your seemingly "perfect" baby turned out to have autism, or got cancer, or was in an accident that caused brain damage?

Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

If all you can see is the flaws in a person; if you can't see the richness, the grace and the beauty, too, you have my pity.

Posted by: SueMc | August 11, 2009 1:22 PM

&

That is incredibly sad but at least Soguns1 is being honest.

Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009
-------------------------------------------
Plenty of people would choose the same kind of action if they knew the child they were carrying had some kind of defect. My sister always jokes that my daughter is lucky to have been born with 10 fingers and 10 toes or she would not have existed to this day. While pregnant, I had a mental list of "imperfections" that I knew would cause me to terminate the pregnancy should the unfortunate fell upon me. Twins being on top of the list.
I got my wish in having a boring but perfect child. Couldn't deal with a special needs child or multiples.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

All children create a lot of stress and financial burden. How "perfect" would your baby have to be in order for you to allow him to live? What would you do if your seemingly "perfect" baby turned out to have autism, or got cancer, or was in an accident that caused brain damage?
------------------------------------------
I know that children create stress and can be a financial burden but special needs children cause even more stress and financial burden than a "perfect" child. Quit trying to grasp at straws. You know what I mean.
I haven't entertained the what-ifs something severe was to happened to her now. Eh. I'll either deal with it and suck up taxpayers dollars or give her entirely to her father to raise.

And anonfornow-you only wish that I was sitting in my parent's basement. Least you could tell me is get back to work.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

we get a gratuitous grenade at 12:53 abortion intended to provoke head-shaking and hysteria.
Posted by: floof | August 11, 2009 4:51 PM
-------------------------------------------
What the? Are you that sensitive? That comment wasn't meant for people to gasp and clutch their chest with their eyes wide open. That was not meant for shock value.
Maybe I need to start gravitating more towards other parenting blogs where the general audience are younger liberal moms who wouldn't blink twice at that comment and some would actually agree with me.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 11, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If all you can see is the flaws in a person; if you can't see the richness, the grace and the beauty, too, you have my pity.

Posted by: SueMc | August 11, 2009 1:22 PM

&

That is incredibly sad but at least Soguns1 is being honest.

Posted by: sunflower571 | August 11, 2009

& Third me on this sentiment. Honest but sad.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Mazarin, I think you are missing the point, I said I'd correct my boy if he choose to mimic breastfeeding. Hopefully he wouldn't do it again, what I find weird (and I may not have stated properly) is allowing your little boy to breastfeed a doll.

Kids are weird by nature, I have a boy and a girl and neither perfectly fit into their specific gender roles. I wouldn't have it any other way, however that is a far cry from thinking it is cute or being bemused when a little boy is walking around breastfeeding a doll.

Nuff said, horse is dead.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | August 11, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my! There's no prenatal screening for autism and an awful lot of other conditions. I'm trying to imagine the outcome for Shogun's child *if* she proves to be less-than-perfect in the future. And today I'm very grateful for my limited imagination!

Posted by: SueMc | August 11, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Shogun may sound a little harsh, but I agree. I wouldn't have aborted over 'little imperfections' but would have for Downs syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and spina bifida to name a few. I admire people who keep and raise special needs babies, but I am not one of those people. I'm not alone either - many just won't admit it.

Posted by: anonmom | August 11, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

OH my gosh!
1. just because you can produce a link to something on the Internet doesn't make it true!

2. Yes, it's a little weird and uncomfortable watching the video of the doll, or watching a boy mimic something he has not biological ability to in reality but so what, it's a little weird.

When my son was little he put a calculator battery up his nose. The doctor who charged me $750 to remove it told me it was very normal for 4 year olds to "stick things in their orifices." The fact that something a child does makes us, adults, uncomfortable doesn't mean it's wrong or will harm them. Some stuff they do that's "normal" can cause irreparable harm.

Let's move on now?

Posted by: AnnieOh | August 12, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, anonmom, for sharing what millions of parents would do if faced with a tragic pregnancy news. I'm not ashamed or scared to admit what I would do if the unfornate was to happen to me.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 12, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my! There's no prenatal screening for autism and an awful lot of other conditions. I'm trying to imagine the outcome for Shogun's child *if* she proves to be less-than-perfect in the future. And today I'm very grateful for my limited imagination!

Posted by: SueMc | August 11, 2009 6:32 PM
-------------------------------------------OMGZ!!1!1 ReAlLy??! I didn't know there wasn't a test for autism while a child is in-utero. Too bad the government doesn't allow abortions up until a child is 2.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 12, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why pick age two, Soguns?

My son didn't have an autism diagnosis until 6 1/2. Friends of ours have a 13-y-o boy who received his diagnosis of autism at age 12.

Posted by: SueMc | August 12, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

My son didn't have an autism diagnosis until 6 1/2. Friends of ours have a 13-y-o boy who received his diagnosis of autism at age 12.
------------------------------------------
Ahh. Your slippery slope arguement. Let me entertain you since you keep coming back for more. DIAGNOSISED. Diagnosis is the key word. I'm positive there were signs of autism before age 13 and 6. A mentally and physically *healthly* child just don't suddently become autistic at age 13. Parents just failed to see the signs before then. Severe autism would rear its head I'm sure, well before 6. So my joke stands.
I don't have a bleeding heart or a change of mind. If there was some kind of autism screening (along with some other traits I deem as less than ideal) while pregnant, I would terminate if test came back positive.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Um, no. No slippery-slope, or anything else intended. I was seriously asking for your thought processes behind the selection of age two. That was all.

Sorry about our previous interactions having colored your understanding of my question. And apparently I was taking seriously something you intended as sarcasm?

Yes, there were indications of problems in each of the children I used as examples, well before they had a diagnosis. DH and I started asking the "experts" when our son was about two, but it took 4 1/2 long years before we got the answers we were seeking. The family of the now-13-y-o had a similar story, but theirs was even longer and more difficult.

Posted by: SueMc | August 12, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about our previous interactions having colored your understanding of my question. And apparently I was taking seriously something you intended as sarcasm?
-------------------------------------------

It's pitiful if you took my abortions of 2 year olds seriously. No wonder you took the slippery slope route. While I would abort a less than ideal fetus in a heartbeat, I do not advocate extermination of people with mental or physical disabilities.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 12, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Is that more sarcasm? It's so hard to tell without faical expressions or tone-of-voice. Some of us like to label our not-to-be-taken-seriously posts for just that reason.

For example:

*sarcasm*

I think you must be projecting, again. This time it's your own pitiful inability to understand anyone who thinks differently than you do.

*end of sarcasm*

Maybe if you tried something like that, others might have an easier time figuring out your intentions.

Posted by: SueMc | August 12, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

It's just you and a couple of slow wits who have difficulty figuring out sarcastic intentions. Like the idiots who didn't see the sarcasm in di89's 10:52 AM post. So I will not label "" in posts where sarcasm is painfully clear. This is the internetz. Of course one can't read facial expressions. Sometimes you have to read between the lines.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 13, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Soguns! How about a late term abortion for people with ethical disabilities? Like when they are 40 or whatever....

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Posted by: playnice | August 13, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Soguns1, were you also being sarcastic about aborting twins? Would you abort both or just one?

Posted by: KS100H | August 13, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

No, KS100H. That part is true. I wouldn't want anything more than a singleton.
Oh. And both. What would it look like if I aborted the hypothetical child's twin sibling but left the other to live? Wierd, if you asked me.

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 13, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh. And both. What would it look like if I aborted the hypothetical child's twin sibling but left the other to live? Wierd, if you asked me.

I think my heart just stopped. I have a set of twins, and I can't imagine in a million years that someone would not choose to abort twins just because there are two babies. Sure, they are more work that one baby, but no more than anyone should be able to handle. If you are really unable to deal with the idea of anything different than a single, perfect baby, maybe parenthood isn't for you. Things happen, and we rarely end up with everything we expect.

Posted by: floof | August 14, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What would it look like if I aborted the hypothetical child's twin sibling but left the other to live?

Posted by: Soguns1 | August 13, 2009 5:06 PM

"What would it look like..." - to *whom*?
Would you have been broadcasting the news of your (hypothetical) abortion - not keeping it private?

And while I've been puzzling over that one, I was also wondering: since when do you even care about how you might appear to others?

Note - these are serious questions. I'm really trying to understand. I'd really appreciate a straight answer without the spurious insults - and I know you can do that if you want to, because of how you answered KS when s/he asked a question similar to my previous one.

Posted by: SueMc | August 14, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the answer, Soguns. This stuff does get tricky for me the longer I think about it (and think about the situations that other people face). I guess I figured that if you only wanted one but there were two, that you would elect to keep one; simple enough. But after the baby grows up, do you ever tell about the "other" or does that stay a secret? I can see your point.

For some people, pregnancies are so difficult and expensive to achieve, that terminating both would be tough, too. And for other people, ALL eggs/embryos are sacred and must be brought to birth, which led to generations of large Catholic families and, more recently, Octomom.

I can't remember how we got here from the breastfeeding doll but I guess we've moved on to "Hey Shorty."

Posted by: KS100H | August 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

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