Is there anyone who has less insight into her own actions than Modern Alternative Mama?

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Hilarious! You cannot make this stuff up!

If it’s possible for a person to have so little insight into her own actions that it can be measured in negative increments, Katie Tietje, Modern Alternative Mama, shows how it’s done.

I can’t parody Modern Alternative Mama; she is a parody.

I can’t parody Tietje; she is a parody.

I’ll let her flay herself with her own words from today’s post, laughably titled Being “Semi-Crunchy” Doesn’t Make You Special:

I’ll admit, this post is born of frustration. But, with good reason, I think.

…[T]his is about a certain group of moms, moms who would probably describe themselves as “semi-crunchy,” who actually go around bragging about how smart they are because they’re crunchy…ish. That is, they embrace some aspects of crunchy, but they’re also “smart enough” to trust the mainstream, or scientists, on certain topics. They’re condescending about how this makes them better than all those too-crunchy, natural-or-bust moms (which is how they perceive us).

That. That condescending, “I know better than you stupid natural mamas” is what drives me insane.

So says Tietje, whose entire blog is a momument to unjustified condescension!

Being “Semi-Crunchy” Doesn’t Make You Special

As I said, whatever works for them. Cool

But, semi-crunchy mamas? You’re not special.

Pro tip for Katie. Prefacing withering remarks with “whatever works for you is cool” does not change their ugly intent.

What is Katie really irked about?

…[T]he woman doesn’t actually come right out and say, you’re a bad parent and your choice was stupid. But it’s pretty clearly implied.

Pot meet kettle!

…[I]t’s pretty crappy to brag about how great you are because you did something “normal” or “typical.”

Don’t you understand: only Katie and her buddies are allowed to brag about how great they are!

But wait!

Support other mamas. They don’t have to think like you, or make the same choices you do. That’s okay. Stop thinking they are uninformed, uneducated, ignorant, or bad people. Stop saying that they are, either directly or indirectly. Just trust that all mamas love their babies, many choices are okay, and everyone is doing the best they can.

English to English translation:

Don’t criticize ME. I don’t have to think like you, or make the same choices you do. Stop saying I’m uninformed, uneducated, ignorant, or bad. Stop criticizing ME, either directly or indirectly. I love my babies, my choices are okay, and I’m doing the best I can.

No, Katie, you’re not doing the best you can for your children. You’re doing the best you can for enriching YOURSELF. Your website, YOUR BUSINESS, doesn’t miss a monetization trick. You spew misinformation for PROFIT. You hide behind pious bleating when it suits you, but you are about as condescending as any human being could be with the added drawback that you are utterly, blissfully ignorant in regard to nearly every issue you tackle, whether it is vaccines, homebirth or diet.

Being crunchy doesn’t make you special, Katie Tietje; it marks you as gullible.

Running a crunchy website doesn’t make you special, either. It just marks you as a parasite, profiting by disseminating potentially deadly nonsense.

  • Kelly Murphy

    Birth is not an illness!

  • Anna

    Katie Tetje s post show that self proclaimed “natural crunchy parents” also face cricticism .In the context of the modern “mommy wars” this makes sense,who can possibly escape judgement nowadays ?
    She gets to feel what “mainstream ” parents like myself feel when they are shamed about opting for an epidural in labor or when we choose bottle feeding for our babies.
    This just proves that this ideological conflict isn t doing any type of parent any favor.Everyone aims for a certain vision of perfect parenting and feels in competition.
    This has to stop so that parents are more relaxed and gain more self confidence which can only be beneficial for the ones who matter : the babies themselves.
    “If you differ from me Brother,you enrich me” Antoine de Saint Exupery

  • Marie

    Oops, this was supposed to be a reply to bugsby’s comment below.

  • Marie

    I used to work at a daycare and we advised the kids to always ask parents before touching babies.

  • Bugsy

    OT: We took the boys to an indoor playground yesterday. There was a friendly dad we were chatting with while I held our 3-month-old. His 5-yr-old came over and, before I had a chance to stop him, stroked kiddo’s hands. Ok, fine…I’m not as worried about germs as I was with #1. At least until a few minutes later, when the dad said “This really bothers some people, but my kid has never had a single vaccination. He is so healthy, and we don’t need them here. Maybe if we were traveling to South America, but not here.”

    The baby has already had one round of shots, thankfully. Still, my husband brought the kiddo into the bathroom to wash, and both boys got baths when we got home. The 5-year-old tried to touch the baby repeated after that, but we kept our son away.

    SMH. We are teaching our 3-year-old to not touch babies without asking the parents first. Are we alone in doing so? I assumed it was common courtesy…

    • Charybdis

      Jeebus! I would have busted out the Purell immediately if not sooner. I guess it was good that the dad volunteered the information, so at least you knew there was an unvaccinated child playing with your child and pawing your baby.

      And yes, I think teaching the 3 year old to not touch babies without asking/being invited to is a good thing. It falls into the same category as people rubbing pregnant women’s bellies without asking and people petting dogs without asking permission from the owner.

      Whatever happened to personal space and boundries?

      • sdsures

        I might have stuffed the Purell down the dad’s throat. What was he THINKING??

        • Who?

          He was thinking his kid is fine. What does he care about any- or everyone else’s kids? He’s a rugged individualist exercising all his rights-what could possibly go wrong?

          • Bugsy

            Bingo. Of course his kid was fine BC he is pure and free from chemicals. He did imply that vaccines aren’t needed because they eat well, interesting considering we were at a McDonald’s playplace and his son ate both fries and an ice cream while we were there. (Not judging the food choices other than it was amusing from the context that the dad mentioned a few times how they don’t let their son eat unhealthy foods.)

          • demodocus

            This reminds me of a similarly ironic event. I was working at a sandwich shop many moons ago, when I only put on gloves to go between the register and the sandwich making line (my coworker was in back, and the soap dispenser behind me was broken). The woman yelled at me, demanded I go wash my hands because money is dirty, and while i was doing that, my coworker (who hadn’t washed her hands, but whatever) made her sandwiches. Then she paid, with cash, and sat down to eat. Um, lady, why do you think your cash is cleaner than the bills i’d just put in?

          • Bugsy

            Lol!

    • BeatriceC

      Oh, man. I’d have probably made a big deal of taking my kids away immediately and warning any other parents of babies in the area that there was a disease vector in the place.

      • Bugsy

        I was tempted to, but just didn’t have the energy to make a big deal of it. It was in Bellingham, Washington….the land of crunchy. I don’t even want to know how many others at that play place weren’t vaccinated.

        • BeatriceC

          Yup, I can definitely understand not having the energy. And things are crunchy enough for me in San Diego. I can’t even imagine how bad it is in most of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

        • Bombshellrisa

          We are further south than Bellingham, a new indoor play place opened here recently and while my two year old is crazy about the mini fire truck, all I can think of is how many unvaccinated kids are there. We had measles here last year, the family didn’t know that the kids had measles and they were all over town before it was discovered.

    • sdsures

      Eeeeugh! Not a germ problem for me, it’s a permission thing.

      • Bugsy

        I’m actually shocked by the number of people who touch the little guy without asking. With #1, I was so scared of germs that we holed up and avoided people for much of his early babyhood. This time around, that’s not an option. It seems like people touch him daily…and not just kids. When on earth did the mentality that it’s ok to touch another human freely start?

        • demodocus

          Extension of pet the pregnant belly, i assume.

        • sdsures

          Roughly post 9/11. TSA.

    • Who?

      Those places were new and fab when my kids were little. I know they are great when the weather is impossible, but every grotty, snotty kid in town has already been there, and they are a disease ridden hell-hole like the doctor’s waiting room, only giant sized and kid friendly. And no sunshine/proper cold to burn/freeze off the germs. The though of that ball pit still makes me shudder-how on earth does that get properly cleaned, ever?

      Just to add injury to irritation, I’m pretty sure my (immunised) daughter caught rubella while playing at one. She was totally miserable.

    • Amy

      We are teaching our children not to touch ANYONE without asking first. Since I’ve got daughters, to me this is part of laying the groundwork for understanding consent. We don’t even hug our own kids without asking their permission first. So nope, no argument from me on that!

  • Jules B
  • Petanque

    I’ve got news for you, Modern Alternative Mama – most of us don’t make our parenting decisions to on the basis of whether they will make us more “special”. We try to make the best choices we can at the time to keep our families safe and healthy, and keep ourselves sane!

  • Amy

    Okay, uninformed, uneducated and ignorant are for all practical purposes synonyms, right? They mean you don’t know something, usually a fact.

    “Mamas” who make certain choices due to either flat-out ignorance or, more likely, MISinformation……ARE uneducated, uninformed, and ignorant. If you’re refusing to vaccinate your child because you think that vaccines cause autism, you are all three. If you are starving your child because better dead than a drop of formula, you are all three and you’re also, at a minimum, negligent in your parenting responsibilities.

    If you’re sending your unvaccinated child to school or other public places (Disneyland comes to mind) even in the wake of a measles outbreak, you’re a bad person. If you think that your child’s vanishingly small risk of a hypothetical bad reaction to a vaccine is more important than everyone else’s child’s risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable disease, you’re also a bad person. If you’re encouraging other “mamas” to starve their children or not practice decent hygiene because god forbid anything unnatural or GMO cross their threshold, you’re also a bad person.

    If you go a step further, and, say, start peddling MLM-backed essential oils or “dietary supplements” or services as an alternative health practitioner, you’re not NECESSARILY uneducated, uninformed, ignorant, or a bad person, but the odds are pretty high that you’re some combo thereof. What kind of person spends time bashing doctors and conventional medicine and then turns around and sells you THE ONE MIRACLE alternative at a profit? Even if you want to claim MDs are in it for the money, they’re not working directly for the pharmaceutical or medical device companies who market the products, and you’re not paying out of pocket for things covered by health insurance.

    And I’m saying this as someone who’s far past the “semi” point on the crunchy scale. Sometimes I turn on Portlandia and the entire episode could have been written about me. But my crunchiness ends where other people’s choices begin, and most definitely where other people’s LIVES begin. (That means my kids are vaccinated.)

    • Angharad

      I feel like if you’re peddling alternative medicines you must be either uninformed or (to some degree) a bad person. They just don’t work, so either you’re uninformed and think essential oils really can cure cancer, AIDS, and infertility, or you’re purposely trying to make money from desperate people, which is a very bad thing to do. I guess you could still be nice to puppies and treat your waiters with respect, but I’d argue that you are still kind of a bad person just on the basis of how you make your money in that case.

  • Gatita
    • Sean Jungian

      Whoa, holy shite indeed. Edited because the dude just died, no need for me to get down on him already.

      • Who?

        Interesting times.

        Can they replace him before the election?

        • Medwife

          Congress can barely agree on lunch breaks let alone confirming a Supreme Court appointment.

          • Who?

            I’m getting that. How long can the position sit vacant though?

          • BeatriceC

            Pretty much forever, though the pressure to fill it would eventually cause an appointment to be approved.

          • Who?

            Depressing.

          • Medwife

            Isn’t it? And I’m pissed off that there’s anything depressing about Scalia’s death. Not even gonna pretend otherwise.

          • Who?

            That is harsh. But I laughed, out loud, so thanks.

      • Who?

        I think the queue is forming…12 hours tops before everyone is piling in.

      • Gatita

        No one on twitter is holding back, why should you? #badinfluence

      • Amy

        I’ll just park my “nothing nice to say come sit by me” response here and quote a comment I read elsewhere:

        How sad for his family.

      • demodocus

        Apparently, a couple of the liberal justices liked him personally, even though they argued all the time at work.

    • demodocus

      And i just read a conspiracy theory already Some dude wandered onto the NewsHour site and implied that Pres. Obama had him killed. ‘Cause 79 year old men never just die in their sleep? *snort*

      • Gatita

        Sure, and he waited until the end of his last term because…

        • Nick Sanders

          So that there isn’t enough time left for an impeachment trial to remove him from office, then next year, Hilary can issue him a pardon, of course.

          • Gatita

            You are clearly spending way too much time on tinfoil sites because that was Poe-level posting.

          • Who?

            I fear Nick is over-exposed to Dagfinn over at Zika #2.

            Is Dagfinn his real name? If so, funny, and a bit sad. If not, absolutely hilarious as he’s chosen it for himself not realising how amusing it is in Australian vernacular english. Even if he wasn’t talking steaming piles of nonsense I’d struggle to take him seriously.

            Save yourself Nick!!!

          • demodocus

            Sounds like a vernacular that’d be entertaining to know 😉

          • Who?

            A dag, in Australian vernacular, is either that icky bit of wool that a sheep gets round its butt, that turns into little pooey, woolly balls; or an eccentric, out of fashion, socially inept person. In the latter case, if despite all that, the person is nice, then it can be complimentary, but it is not a good thing to be a dag in all aspects of life.

          • demodocus

            I may have to use this. 😉

          • Nick Sanders

            It’s getting harder and harder not to end all of my replies to him with “, you dipshit.”

          • Who?

            You’re so good-he basically ignores me. I got a bit lost with the so-called joke about the whistle blower and snail mail.

            It’s very busy in his head. Not in the good way.

          • BeatriceC

            I can’t even respond. Might be funny to let him just talk to the wind and see how x-files he gets.

          • Who?

            Trouble is, to be amused by it, we’d have to read it.

            Usually I think it is important to respond and provide an alternative perspective, but he is so floridly loony I think it may be more powerful to just let it stand, like a warning about where too much time alone can lead.

          • Bombshellrisa

            And that would be the polite way to tell him just how off he is. He reminds me of the person whose car won’t start. Someone suggests that since the internal light was left on, the most likely cause is that the battery is run down and that the car needs to be jump started. The person who owns the car is a conspiracy nut and insists that nobody can know that for sure. He instead goes on an endless rant about how rogue clowns have stolen the spark plugs. That is how I feel listening to Daggfin.

          • Nick Sanders

            Adams is a hilarious man; it’s a shame he’s also a raging misogynist, because I had previously quite enjoyed his work,

          • Bombshellrisa

            I loved that check list, I still think of it when we get a particularly trollish troll.

      • Bugsy

        It probably was a reaction to vaccinations…

        • Charybdis

          I’ll bet it was the Shingles vaccine!

          • demodocus

            TDaP. He probably has grandchildren.

      • Amy

        *headdesk*

        Now I have to go see what Alex Jones has to say on the subject. Because sometimes crazy can be fun!

    • Tiffany Aching
  • Dr Kitty

    Completely OT:

    Anyone read anything good recently?
    Looking for stuff to read on my kindle during 3am feeds.

    Major criteria are not to be so engrossing that I stay up all night to finish it, nor so dull that I fall asleep reading it while holding the baby.

    Other than the fact I don’t do romance novels, I’m not fussy and will read most things. I read fast, so I need lots of ideas!
    In the last week I’ve read The Magus (not really my thing and very of its time) and Girl On A Train ( enjoyable, but predictable ).

    • Gatita

      It’s not new but Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is very light but not stupid.

      • Bombshellrisa

        That was such a good book! I actually listened to it on audiobook because it was easier for me while tending to my newborn.
        I am currently reading “Orphan Train” which is based in fact (story itself is fictional). Other recent books include the Maisie Dobbs series, the Daisy Dahlrymple series. My husband read me Man in the high castle and we are currently reading The Martian (we hope to finish it in time for when the DVD gets released this week). In the queue for reading are a bunch of books about Pompeii.

    • demodocus

      The Grantchester mysteries are a pretty interesting series, and since they’re in short story format it can’t keep you up *all* night even if you get wrapped up in one. There are 4 or 5 collections with about 5 or 6 stories in each.

    • Who?

      I like a bit of Agatha Christie for times like these.

      Hope the 3am feeds fall away again soon.

    • Dinolindor

      “Where’d You Go Bernadette” is really great for middle of the night stints because it’s piecing together a (fictional) mystery from journals, emails, and other short sections. It’s fairly easy to stop at any page even though it’s entertaining.

    • demodocus

      *Don’t* read Robin McKinley. I MUST finish those books everytime i start them, and i reread them at least annually. Juvenile fiction, but really well written.

    • Karen in SC

      Odd Thomas series, Eve Dallas series

      • Chi

        Oooh, I second the recommendation for J. D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series. I know you said you don’t do romance novels but these are more like crime thrillers with a bit of romance (read: sex) thrown in. They are very well written and very easy to read.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Have you ever read the immortal life of Henrietta Lax or The great influenza. They are well written and an interesting look into how modern medicine came about

    • Tiffany Aching

      It’s non fiction but I really enjoyed Alice Dreger’s “Galileo’s middle finger” lately. I think many readers here would enjoy it too.

    • BeatriceC

      Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is a good, funny, lightweight, easy to read book. I haven’t read her second one “Furiously Happy”, but it’s on my list. If you want an idea of her writing style and content, her blog is “The Bloggess”.

      • seekingbalance

        yes! jenny lawson! I liked furiously happy even better than let’s pretend. my husband is reading it now and I keep asking him to reread the part he’s at each time he starts laughing out loud. for fiction, if you’ve never read jodi picoult, you might like her. my sister’s keeper is a favorite. also great as a book on cd, because told in many different characters’ voices (as are many of her books)….

    • Charybdis

      Diane Mott Davidson has a mystery series involving a caterer. They are a good read, plus they have recipes in the back that on some of her catering menus she uses in the story.

      Carol J. Perry has a mystery series called the Witch City Mysteries. “Caught Dead Handed” is the first one and they are good, light reading. Good pacing, good characters and easy to get into and put down.

      Ann Perry’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries are good, as well. “The Cater Street Hangman” is the first one, but there are a bunch of them.

      Allison Weir has a good book on the 6 wives of Henry VIII, if you like the historical stuff.

      I just read “How to Be a Victorian, A Dawn to Dusk Guide to Victorian Life” by Ruth Goodman, which was fascinating, and “The Romanov Sisters” by Helen Rappaport.

      I’m an eclectic reader.

      • demodocus

        I just read Weir’s Anne Boleyn biography, That was pretty good too.

        • demodocus

          Mary Boleyn, not anne. Where is my head?

          • Charybdis

            Pregnancy brain. It’s okay….;P

      • Bombshellrisa

        Alison Weir also wrote a very good book about Eleanor of Aquitane,

    • Green Fish

      Check out some of the older sci-fi authors on Project Gutenberg like for example Robert Sheckley and Philip K. Dick.
      They have short stories on there which admittedly aren’t their best works but make for nice entertaining reading at late hours and are interesting pieces of work of their times.

      There are also sci-fi bookshelves for easier browsing, for example:
      https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Science_Fiction_by_Women_%28Bookshelf%29
      https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Science_Fiction_%28Bookshelf%29

      For old sci-fi (and old cook books!), Project Gutenberg is an excellent source!

    • Bugsy

      I have no idea if it’s available in Kindle form, but a few years ago I read “Mao’s Last Dancer.” Absolutely excellent read. I found the movie to be equally good…and that says a lot considering I usually fall asleep during movies.

  • AllieFoyle

    You’re not special.

    I always suspected the über-mamas were just an extension of the mean girls clique in high school, but now I know for sure.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I suspect you are right

    • Amy

      Absolutely they are. Total in-crowd.

      They have all the necessary components:

      Minimum income level required to maintain membership? Check. (Need to be able to support household on spouse’s income so the “mama” can nurse on demand, practice elimination communication, and later on unschool.)

      Specific items of clothing/accessories? Check.
      (Sling– and there’s a hierarchy, ring slings are like wearing knockoff Uggs, GoodMama cloth diapers, amber teething necklace, bandana for “mama’s” hair, Diva Cup, equipment to grow and make own baby food…)

      Up-to-date knowledge of who’s cool? Check.
      (And everyone’s on a first-name basis: Ina May, Henci, Dr. Bill, Dr. Bob, Dr. Jay…..)

      Approved “cool” (and also expensive) activities? Check.
      (Chiropractic, yoga/cross-fit/barre, massage, cleanse diets and supplements, amethyst crystal biomat, reiki sessions, Waldorf school)

      • Hilary

        Just want to point out there are low-income moms that stay home. I am one.

        • Amy

          Of course there are low-income parents that stay home. But there’s still a minimum income needed to be able to cover living expenses. That minimum amount is obviously going to vary a LOT depending on where you live, how much housing costs, how much family support you have, if you’re on any kind of public assistance, and a whole host of other things I’m forgetting. And some people simply don’t have the combination of circumstances that allow one parent to stay home, no matter how modestly they live.

          • Old Lady

            There is also a minimum income needed to cover daycare expenses. Staying home is not always a choice.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Staying home is not always a choice.

            No one ever said it was.

          • Amy

            True, but that’s true ONLY when the kids aren’t in school. We don’t pay a dime for day care.

            Course, if you’re hell-bent on homeschooling, one parent HAS to stay home.

        • demodocus

          True, but how many of the extra activities can we afford?

          • Hilary

            None. 🙂 I wasn’t disagreeing with the comment as a whole. I’m just tired of people stating or insinuating that staying home is a luxury for the well-off. It IS a luxury for the married, that is true.

          • demodocus

            I knew that; I was just noting that we don’t qualify for their sooper speshul group since we can’t afford all the crazy expensive stuff.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I don’t understand what that has to do with the comment. She claimed that to be part of the club, you have to rely on the spouses income to do the things mentioned.

          So if B (part of the club) then A

          That does not suggest nor imply that if A then B.

          • Hilary

            You’re right. I spoke out of an emotional reaction rather than a careful reading of the comment. Sorry, Amy.

  • Megan

    OT: Just found out yesterday our hospital has started with the 39 week rule for scheduling CS and inductions. According to my doc, this precludes medical reasons for those done earlier, but I’m worried it’s going to make it harder to get one if I need it, say for my blood pressure that is very labile and not great at work or even at home caring for my toddler, but is always fine at office visits (so the documented bp’s are all good).

    • Guest

      Our hospital has a 39 week rule, but when I showed up in L&D at 38+3 with unexplained, but not active bleeding (it was brown by the time I got there, no one could figure out where it was coming from, happened overnight so not sure when it started), my OB said induce. The nurses threw a hissy fit about it, but I got the picture that my pretty no nonsense OB was still able to dictate her patient’s care when necessary. Of course, I have no idea what the hospital politics truly are, but, anecdotally, my OB was able to get what she wanted on what was probably a soft call.

      • Megan

        I hope my doctor’s and my wishes would be honored easily but this wouldn’t be me showing up with a problem, but calling to schedule a CS. I think they could make it difficult and I think there’s extra paperwork involved in “justifying” it. Maybe it won’t matter and things will be fine til 39 weeks but I can’t help but worry.

    • Angharad

      I don’t understand where the 39 week rule comes from. Have there historically been lots of doctors inducing women before 39 weeks for no medical reason without appropriate counseling on the risks? The impression I got from my OB was that after 37 weeks, the risk/benefit analysis shifts quite a lot (I.e., they would induce at 38 weeks for something that they wouldn’t at 36 weeks), but they wouldn’t schedule a purely elective induction until I was over 40 weeks.

  • Francesca Violi

    I think for people like Tjetje “crunchiness” is a sort of religion, a cult. And that’s why perhaps it is so disturbing fo her to confront people who dont’ give these things, like diapers or baby food, a particular meaning: women who don’t feel defined by the number of months they breastfeed, or by the way they transport their kids, and so feel free to just pick whatever suits best for their families. For crunchy fundamentalists it’s like a slap in the face, like telling them that all things they preach on about, on which they stake so much of their identity, are actually kind of trivial.

    • Bugsy

      Beautiful. Absolutely spot-on!

  • BeatriceC

    I’m and extremely lazy individual. This is why I studied math. Math is for lazy people. Most of my choices had an element of “what’s the easiest way out of this” or “how can I streamline this to make it faster/easier/less work” in the decision making process. I used disposable diapers because I have a hard enough time keeping laundry done *looks over at the laundry pile currently attempting to stage a coup* so cloth diapers weren’t ever a consideration. I wanted to breastfeed because the thought of doing more dishes was almost more than I can bear *looks over at the teenager who isn’t even mine who’s doing the dishes^*. It’s a lot easier to care for a fussy baby after a couple shots than care for a kid with the measles/chicken pox/whooping cough. Of course safety comes into play, and is more important than my lazy streak, but lazy is definitely a part of how I make decisions.

    ^Said teenager is the girlfriend of one of the teens that’s actually mine and she spends more time here than at home. I figure if she’s here as much as the kids that live here, she can do chores too.

    • Sue

      Sorry, Beatrice, but this Tietje person is much lazier than you. As far as I can tell, she has never studied anything at a sophisticated level.

      • J.B.

        Mentally lazier. Physically? It depends whether she really does everything she says or lies about it (or pays someone else to do it.)

    • demodocus

      I bet you don’t even use a slide rule for calculus!

    • Gatita

      (when do we get more bird pics?)

      • BeatriceC
        • BeatriceC
          • Gatita

            So cute! I’m having serious bird envy.

          • BeatriceC

            Can I make you more jealous? He’s on my shoulder right now alternating between preening himself and preening my shirt.

          • Gatita

            My parakeet used to nom on my earrings and hair and then walk on the books I was reading and nibble bits off the edges of the pages. He was an awesome bird.

          • BeatriceC

            This little guy is definitely living up to some of his species stereotypes. He has an attitude as big as a macaw packed into a tiny bird’s body. His mood swings can be pretty sudden. I just left him with middle son to go outside and get something out of my car. He went from happy loving bird to “I hate everybody” in that two minutes. He made it very clear I wasn’t allowed to “abandon” him. Thankfully for me, he’s easily bribed with food. In this case, a bit of apple.

          • cookiebaker

            Awww! As a teenager, my sister and I had 3 parakeets that had free reign of our room. They were constantly sitting on our books and eating the pages, too! I still have some of those books. I used to hang sheets all around the bottom bunk to keep the birds from running up and down my body in the wee hours of the morning (you know, like 8am.)

            I can’t handle a bird in the house right now, so I have 20-something chickens in the backyard.

          • BeatriceC

            We could never let the Evil Attack Parrot have free reign of anything. We wouldn’t have a house left! There’s already damage to the baseboards and the back side of one of the the cabinets that splits the living room and informal dining room on account of MrC’s kids taking the bird out and then not being able to get him back in until MrC came home hours later (years ago, when they were teenagers). He has to be watched carefully and provided lots and lots of appropriate chew toys to keep from dismantling the house.

          • Amy M

            We had a cockatiel when I was a teen, and he would hang out on my shoulder or head for hours. He would also destroy my necklace clasps, so I had to remember to remove the necklace if he was around. He would also ride around on an RC car.

          • BeatriceC

            Here’s one of the Evil Attack Parrot ™. He’s got this foraging toy he loves. You can’t see his face, but he was going to town trying to get the nut out of that thing.

            http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/Mobile%20Uploads/1455389932_zpssosumtne.jpg

    • Amy

      Fellow math major here, and I am ALWAYS telling my students that math is for lazy people! 🙂

  • Puffin

    I’ve noticed the further we got from the baby years (my kids are 9 and 5) the less the people I interact with care about this nonsense. I don’t know how my kids’ friends were born or if they were breastfed or cloth diapered or fed homemade baby food. My kids don’t know that they were born vaginally, breastfed, cloth diapered, and fed home made baby food (we were poor, these were necessary choices for us) and I can guarantee they don’t care one whit.

    It seems that the younger someone’s kids are, the more likely it is that they define themselves by their parenting choices.

    Hey Katie Tietje, I’ll gladly come right out and say it: people who let their children suffer with treatable or preventable illnesses for their unsupportable ideology are bad parents who make stupid choices.

    • CSN0116

      To be honest, in my experiences, people don’t *really* care when you’re in the throws of it, either. These women online are like folklore, kind of. They certainly exist, and many more of them internally harbor this ridiculousness on some level, but they really let it loose online. Only a small fraction have the balls to do it in real life. The Internet has created a platform for this shit.

      I work in epidemiology – epidemiology – and I do not breastfeed. And I don’t hide the fact. Not breastfeeding is like smoking or being morbidly obese in epi world. But has anyone ever said a single ill word to me? No. My doctors have never said anything negative – most actually congratulate me and tell me, “my wife never did it either.” The nurses who care for me postpartum have never been negative. My family and friends have never been negative. And I have formula fed in public a million times over – never a negative word or glare. I have mixed my powder in the middle of a crowded public park in an upscale neighborhood where I was surrounded, and actively chatting, with numerous women breastfeeding right in front of me. Not a single negative word or glare. In fact, many of them congratulated me as well and said, “I wish I would have given this up a long time ago. I’m not doing it with the next one.”

      I’m often left wondering, outside of the legislation and policies and BFHI initiatives and WIC posters and professionals who tell us what we should be doing …how “real” is any of this?

      • Who?

        Mostly true re who cares when, though I do think having been a bridezilla predisposes the new mother to the risk of being one of the hyper competitive, oversharing crowd. As in the rest of life, they drown each other out.

      • StephanieA

        Spot on. I EFF my first and I did not receive one negative comment from anyone (minus my awful experience in the hospital after his birth). No one cared at all that my son was formula fed. We did cry it out with him, and while I have friends who won’t do it with their kids, not one of them cared that we made that choice for our kid. Sometimes I wonder if I bring unnecessary stress on myself with social media, because in real life, honestly, no one cares.

        • Who?

          In real life most sane people are busy worrying what’s for dinner, whether they turned off the iron, if they’re prepared for the next Big Meeting, or whatever.

          Online personas, like Katie’s, are carefully crafted to make a particular impression.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            In real life most sane people are busy worrying what’s for dinner, whether they turned off the iron,

            To be fair, worrying about whether I have turned off the iron does not take up a lot of my time.

            The STOVE on the other hand…

          • Who?

            For me it is actually the hair straightener, mine is too old to have a turn itself off feature.

            I don’t iron very much, so the iron lives mostly in the cupboard, but I have lots of friends whose iron and ironing board are permanently out.

          • demodocus

            Does it count if you’re using the ironing board as a desk?

          • Who?

            Will inevitably happen if the ironing board is out long enough…

          • demodocus

            (this may be why i left it out in the first place *looks about nervously*)

          • Who?

            No judgment here. And being able to adjust the height is really convenient.

          • BeatriceC

            What’s an iron?

          • Rachele Willoughby

            The goddamn coffee pot.

          • BeatriceC

            MrC insists on turning off the coffee pot the second it’s done brewing. He’d rather nuke coffee to reheat it than keep the burner on because he claims the coffee tastes “off” if it’s allowed to sit on a heat source.

          • Bombshellrisa

            My straightening iron for my hair. I don’t like the thought of leaving something a couple hundred degrees hot on where the cat can knock it onto the floor or push it into the hand towel. ETA: I also have been known to drive back home and make sure that I closed the garage door.

      • Megan

        I guess I’ll be the minority here, but I actually have been chastised by a complete stranger in a restaurant for formula feeding. I was stunned. I think her husband was really embarrassed at her behavior. I agree it probably doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          In the restaurant last night, I saw a baby being fed from a bottle. I have to say, I have no idea if it was formula or EBM or flour in evaporated milk, for that matter.

          Then again, it was none of my frickin business, so I didn’t bother, other than to make goofy faces at the baby. He/she didn’t respond.

          • Megan

            I just don’t understand how anyone thinks it’s ok to go up to someone eating with their entire family and give them a lecture about breastfeeding. Truly, my family and I were all so stunned that I didn’t even know what to say to her when she said, “I hope you’re still nursing some at least?” I wish I hadn’t been so taken aback by it and had my wits about me because I would’ve told her it was none of her damned business! She proceeded to tell me about how she breastfed all nine (yes, nine!) of her kids and “that really is what is best!” Then her husband pulled her by the arm away from our table.

            This happened while I was in the process of finally drawing down on my pumping and throwing in the towel on BF after 7 months of nearly killing myself to get 8 oz. of breastmilk a day and I hadn’t really come to terms with it yet, so it made me feel horrible at the time. She’s lucky she didn’t approach me now. I would have something not so nice to say to her now…

          • demodocus

            Vanilla milkshake mmmmm

          • PeggySue

            Must have been formula then right? If it was EBF the baby would probably have been speaking in full sentences. (Sarcasm)

          • sdsures

            LOL

          • sdsures

            I do that, too. Make goofy faces at babies in our local cafe. The ones that notice are quite puzzled by me rolling my tongue. ^_^

        • BeatriceC

          I’ve told the story before, but some random woman came up to me in Walmart as I was feeding my little one and told me it was obvious that I didn’t love my kids because he was eating out of a bottle. My response was complete silence and an icy glare.

          • Kelly

            Did you get a picture like that lady who was staring at the “rude” person while breastfeeding?

      • demodocus

        Here in crunchy town, people would come up to congratulate me on breastfeeding. ugh

        • Hilary

          I combo fed, and every time some stranger in public would congratulate me on breastfeeding in the back of my mind I was thinking, “So I’m a good mom now but when I’m bottle feeding I’m not?” I also was asked by someone at church whether my baby’s bottle had formula or expressed breastmilk in it.

          • Charybdis

            I’d have been sorely tempted to tell them it was Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Cream because it *might* have caused their head to explode.

          • demodocus

            I used “vodka” on one person who kept annoying me.

          • Charybdis

            Or better yet: “I used Holy Water to mix the formula, so it should be just fine.”

          • demodocus

            We had one ask that too (i preferred to use a bottle at church ’cause I’m shy) but in his case I think he was trying to figure out if the kid was biologically mine or if we adopted. Same dude who a few weeks later told me he thought I was “beyond the age of childbearing.” *snort*

          • BeatriceC

            I can think of only one reason why it would be appropriate for a non-medical person to ask if a mother is breast or bottle feeding her infant. That reason is gift selection*. I don’t want to buy a “welcome home” gift and include things like lanolin and nursing pads if mom is bottle feeding, and I don’t want to include a bunch of bottles, bottle brushes, etc if mom is breastfeeding.

            *My typical “welcome home” gift for babies is what has been termed the “Oh, shit I ran out” basket. I take a laundry basket and fill it with: “1 roll of paper towels, 1 roll of toilet paper, sample size packages of dish detergent, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, three different sizes of ziplock bags, small rolls of saran wrap and aluminum foil, sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and baby wash, a small box of kitchen size trash bags, and some cute baby odds and ends. I cater the brands if I know what mom uses. It sounds silly, but the mother of my ex-husband’s best man gave me the same when my oldest was born and it was my favorite present. I’ve given the same thing ever since, and it’s always been well received.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So all I’d say is, if you have to ask about breast or formula feeding in order to get presents, best to find a different present.

            By something off the registration.

          • BeatriceC

            The person I had in mind when I posted that was a family that had suffered multiple hardships including a house fire. The goal was to help get them back on their feet. It was a relevant question. But in general, no, I wouldn’t ask that question of anybody I wasn’t close to, but still, if asked in the “hey, I want to get you some things so which type of feeding related things should I get” in a tone that doesn’t imply judgement, I don’t think it’s inappropriate.

          • Charybdis

            Even if you buy something off the registration, it still may not be useful. For example, I registered for a breast pump, because I was going to pump after I went back to work. Plus milk storage bags, breast pads, etc. Luckily, I didn’t receive any of those things because I quit trying to breastfeed after a couple of weeks, returned my rented hospital-grade pump and went gratefully to formula. I had to buy bottles, 4 and 8 oz ones, glass ones for the 4 oz and Avent 8 oz ones that you used a liner for. Plus an assortment of silicone nipples…I loved the one that had variable flow, depending on which way you turned the bottle.

            So I agree, asking doesn’t have to be ugly, or judgemental, or condescending or patronizing. A quick “I was going to get you some feeding supplies….what would you like to have?” is fine.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            That is a brilliant present. Can I steal the idea?

          • BeatriceC

            Absolutely! Especially considering I stole the idea from somebody who gave that present to me.

          • PeggySue

            That is a person with way too much time on his hands.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            You’re so much nicer than me. I probably would have given some smart ass answer back about Sarah and Isaac, Elizabeth and John, and so on.

          • demodocus

            Eh, well, i try to be nice to semi-senile 80 year olds.

          • Charybdis

            Or, if you somehow knew the other lady was breastfeeding, some retort about how being fed formula was better than being fed by the milk of an ass…

          • PeggySue

            AIEEEEE!

          • Sarah

            The correct answer was ‘gin’.

          • Roadstergal

            “Bombay Sapphire. Only the best for the little one!”

        • Sarah

          Urgh, how weird people coming up and bothering you. I know a number of words for people who like to go up to strangers and make unsolicited comments about their breasts.

      • Gatita

        I think it really depends on where you live. A friend of mine who lives in the Bay Area told me she knows a woman who was asked to leave a new mommies group because she was formula feeding and the other mommies didn’t want her baby making their babies sick. And here in SoCal I was grilled by a couple of people on whether I was getting the epidural/cosleeping/breastfeeding/circumcising etc. Just the other day I was speaking to a new mom and she was very sheepish about getting an epidural. I was like, honey, I got mine at 4 cm and no regrets, not a one, it was awesome.

        Oh God, then there’s Jay Gordon who operates not too far from and the late-not-lamented Paul Fleiss who was the pediatrician for a few families in my area. We are also a hotspot for anti-vaxxers.

        Anyway, point being if you live in a crunchy pocket it can feel like the whole world has collectively lost their minds around this shiz.

        ETA: Oh God, forgot this one: My son told a mom at a birthday party that we were going to McDonald’s afterward and she told him to tell me to watch Supersize Me. What a cunt.

        • BeatriceC

          I’m down in San Diego which isn’t nearly as crunchy, but crunchy enough to drive me batty.

          We actually seriously need to consider forming that support group for formula feeders and other women who know they want something “non-crunchy” during their deliveries and hospital stays.

        • Amy M

          Definitely. There are certainly “crunchy” pockets in MA, but aside from the odd lunatic who garners weird looks from everyone, most around here seem pretty straightforward. At the very least, this is an area with a high vaccine rate. But I work in science, and many of the scientists I work with are parents—what with all the hard work they do, they don’t have time to worry too much about what the other parents are doing.

        • Taysha

          Tell your son to answer the Super Size me with “You should watch FatHead”

          Great counterpoint. By a comedian, too!

        • Gatita

          More crunchy fun: I have the play date from hell yesterday with a family that is vegan and doesn’t allow their kid any electronics. The kid is sweet but the family is unbearable. They spent the whole play date making snide comments about my son’s eating habits topped off with imitating his lisp. My son was diagnosed with severe apraxia when he was two years old and he’s been in speech therapy ever since and has problems with eating unfamiliar foods because of the choking issue. I really felt like murdering these people. I didn’t say anything because they are friends of close friends of ours and I didn’t want to start a war but I’ll be God damned if I ever take my kid over there again.

          • BeatriceC

            Move to San Diego! While our kids can’t have playdates, my kids do enjoy hanging out with little ones to “show them the ropes” sort of stuff (you know, how to scare the begeebez out of your mom by doing stupid stuff, what the most irritating ways of getting things done are, etc). And we could vent about idiot people who don’t get the realities of actual medical issues so they have to make up pretend ones (like vaccines are bad and plastic is horrible kind of stuff).

          • Bombshellrisa

            My son is doing well scaring me in ways I didn’t know existed, but I think your kids would be fun for him to hang out with. And San Diego! I am still trying to get my husband down there, I have gone there for weeks at a time and he has only been there for a few hours. I have some precious memories of Cafe Coyote in Old Town and I would love for my husband to go there with me.

          • BeatriceC

            If you’re ever down here again, we should meet for coffee, with or without the kids. And kids are great at coming up with creative ways of scaring their parents. It’s part of the job description, I believe.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I would love that! I really hope to meet your kids, they sound amazing, creative, positive and funny. *and no worries! all of us are fully vaccinated.

          • BeatriceC

            I do think they’re pretty amazing, though I might be a tiny bit biased. And let me know if you’re traveling this way. We’ll exchange contact information and see what we can arrange.

          • demodocus

            I’m convinced my baby brother is responsible for my first grey hairs, and he wasn’t even *my* kid.

          • Nick Sanders

            “No electronics” would have broken the deal for me before ever setting foot in the door. Phones and computers are a very important part of living in the modern world, and kids need as much experience with them as they can get.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I like that way of looking at things. My dad always made the “no electronics” rule back in the day with us (back then it was any teaching toy that was electronic like a speak and spell and Atari and Nintendo).he was doing it just to be different and didn’t have a solid reason. There is a lot more technology in daily life now, especially with kids in school. He objects because he thinks it’s damaging to kids, but can’t elaborate how. I take pride in the fact that my son is able to work both an Apple and Android tablet at two years old. He also knows how to open the photo gallery and look at pictures of friends, family and his dogs as well as movies we have taken of him and the dogs. I am sure he will be even more savvy as he gets older and that is a good thing.

          • StephanieA

            We let our 2 year old play on our smartphones when we want to enjoy dinner at a restaurant (crayons only occupy him for so long). I was out to dinner with my friend who has a masters degree in education, and she was impressed with how well he navigated my phone. She said with how much technology is in the classroom now, it’s good that he knows how to use it already. I have a speech pathologist friend who is constantly berating mothers who allow their toddlers screen time (she’s not a mother yet so it will be interesting to see what she does with her own kids).

          • Megan

            IMO, a cranky toddler while out to eat is the reason the PBS kids app exists! I agree crayons only work for so long…

          • Bombshellrisa

            I was berated by the speech therapists at my son’s speech eval. Screen time if any kind causes speech delays (according to them).They asked if I had the tv on a lot from the time he was born (I did. Having a newborn and being stuck at home for six weeks in the winter is isolating. Shame in me for wanting to hear another adult voice during the day). He doesn’t have a lot of words, he communicates non verbally a lot of the time(but it’s crystal clear what he wants). Screen time is a lifesaver for me in restaurants and when I am cooking. He watches the PBS kids app, he looks at pics of himself, he watches YouTube videos of cars.

          • demodocus

            Damn. How much more verbal should my kid be? He’s a chatterbox and people usually understand the words. (not always the references, though. like when he mashes church music and Dinosaur train.)

          • Bombshellrisa

            Your kid sounds awesome! My son is two, he has less than 50 words so he is considered delayed. He does babble a lot and has some good words. He recently started saying. “Amen” after my husband prays. He enthusiastically points out everything he recognizes everywhere and can take anything apart and put it back together. I figure he will talk well when he is good and ready. He is starting speech therapy soon. I refuse to blame my sanity saving screen time for his speech delay

          • Who?

            Sounds like he’s a switched on kid, everyone learns (and is interested in, by the way) different things at different times. If there is some delay there, the speech therapy will help; otherwise, as you say, when he finds it interesting/necessary he’ll speak more.

          • demodocus

            Some of us are just naturally crappy at talking. I was in speech therapy until i was 12.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Neither of my brothers talked until they were three. Both are gainfully employed in jobs where they have to talk a lot and have lots of friends they socialize with. One does a fair amount of public speaking too.
            I talked at nine months and still needed a lot of speech therapy. I feel like I could still use it some times.

          • Madtowngirl

            Well, my daughter is screwed. We have the TV on all day (she’s not usually watching it), and she gets to watch her Signing Time video so I can eat lunch and get a few things done. My husband works in the tech industry – this is a house with lots of screens.

            The TV was on all the time when we were kids, and I’m pretty certain that was a common thing in the 80’s. I doubt there was a higher incidence of speech issues then than now. Like so many things in early childhood education, people are constantly looking for a scapegoat/silver bullet/etc. But the reality is that child development relies on multiple factors.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Growing up the tv was always on in my house. Or Grandma’s house. Or whoever’s house.
            The blaming starts so early. The neonatologist who checked my son the morning after he was born freaked out because I was playing an audiobook while I nursed. He said I needed to be paying attention to my baby, not tuning out.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I’ve got the TV on for a good chunk of the day too – it’s too hot to leave the house at the moment (Australia, North Queensland – summer sucks!), and my husband works 12+ hour days, so sometimes I need a bit of “company”. I do try and turn it off if I spot minimonkey watching it, but I’d go a bit mad without it. He’s eight months now and hasn’t started talking yet but he’s babbling lots, so hopefully it won’t cause any problems. We also use FaceTime and Skype a lot as we’re so far away from family, so he’s no stranger to the iPad.

            I had delayed speech as a child because of partial deafness from glue ear. You’d never know now.

          • Who?

            Welcome to Happy Queensland, sorry about the weather. It should be teeming rain, really, but it’s pretty dry down the southern end.

            Winter will be divine up there.

          • Gatita

            We do limit our son’s electronics use to weekends because we were having a huge fight every night to get him to stop watching videos and go to sleep. But I agree that kids need electronics experience and it’s ridiculous to cut it out completely.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I don’t care if other parents want to restrict their kids’ usage of electronics. It’s when they start making snide remarks about what others do that they are annoying.

            If we let our kids play video games or whatever, that doesn’t mean you have to.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Anyone who would make fun of a kid’s speech issue deserves to have their tires slashed, at a minimum..

          • demodocus

            Or anyone’s speech issue. We know an elderly man who still stutters.

          • Who?

            I’m sorry, how miserable for both of you.

            These are not good people.

            Pity help their children when they need help-the parents won’t believe it and won’t want to do it.

          • Charybdis

            Were they all over their cell phones? ‘Cause that’s a wonderful example for their speshul snowflake.

            I probably would be of a mind to write an e-mail that expressed your disappointment with their behavior, or maybe (?) meet with the other mother over coffee (soy latte for her) and tell her politely, but assertively, why you did not appreciate her and her family’s actions. Because that behavior is not okay. Your son has medical issues (legitimate ones, not “allergy to GMO’s”) that are being addressed and the belittling and taunting about his speech issue and food choices because of said medical condition is not acceptable conduct.

            Did you (outwardly) belittle and taunt them about their vegan status and their attitude towards video games? How would she feel if you were making fun of her kid for not knowing how to play Minecraft, Pokemon, Jetpack Joyride, Subway Surfer or Crossy Road? Or taunting her kid with non-vegan food choices? “Here kids! Here are your hotdogs to roast/hamburger fresh from the grill! Oh, sorry vegan kid…we don’t have any tofurkey/tofu dogs or Morningstar hamburger substitutes for you. I guess you don’t get anything to eat. Or ice cream. Or cake because gluten.”

            I’m becoming more of a bitch the older I get…

          • Gatita

            You know, it’s not worth the energy. Won’t be seeing these people again. I’ll let them wallow in their assholery and spend time with the good people in my life.

            It’s a bitch when your kid is disabled in a way that’s not well understood. I mean, it’s a bitch regardless when your kid is disabled, but apraxia is just designed to get the superior parents sniffing over your lack of parenting skills. And it’s not like they’d be open to learning more or listening with an open mind. I’m just grateful that the teachers and parents at his school are understanding and non-judgmental and willing to work with us (he has some other developmental issues too, though thankfully he’s smart and in a mainstream class).

          • Who?

            They’d be judging you anyway, it’s who they are. Until you morph into them you will never be good enough.

            They are not good people.

          • Gatita

            P.S. The whole family is morbidly obese except for the little girl. I shit you not. And I don’t judge people on weight at all but the irony of them being so crappy when they have a huge (ar ar) and obvious disability is just mind boggling.

          • demodocus

            I kind of hope they went vegan to try to deal with the weight and unlike our Yenta, they got caught up in the holier-than-thou aspects some vegans seem prone to.

          • Bugsy

            I can guarantee that if our all-natural friend could see them, she would be making snide comments about how they’re obviously not vegan / all-natural eaters due to their size alone.

          • Bugsy

            The very fact that they thought it was appropriate to make snide comments throughout the play date says everything to me. They sound like *lovely* people.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          OT: No one’s ever been able to reproduce the results presented in Supersize Me. She was not just a jerk, but a gullible jerk.

      • Bugsy

        Generally speaking I completely agree with you…but yep, they definitely can exist in real life. If you can access my old posts you’ll see references to “Crazy Lactivist,” a dear friend of 25 years who bought into the all-natural world hook, line and sinker. Honestly, none of the accounts of all-natural moms online even do justice in describing how extreme this friend became…no plastics, refitting the cars to remove plastics, organic furniture, growing all their own veggies on a teeny city lot because they stopped trusting others, homeopathy in lieu of vaccines, declining all ultrasounds and GD testing for pregnancy #2 (after having GD the first time around), homeschooling, no activities, no microwave, no screens, no toys, extended, extended breastfeeding even when the preschooler had no interest in it.

        When #1 was born, her mom asked if he was circumcised. – “I just need to know, because I’m very much opposed to it.” Her gift to me was a copy of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding with the sections she felt were most important for me to read highlighted. And there was no question of her absolutely crestfallen look when I told her that I was reading “Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child” to become a more effective parent for my son.

        The worst part wasn’t the extreme choices, but the gall she had in throwing it in others’ faces as the “proper” way to parent. I don’t know how many times those last few years I heard the words “proper,” “correct,” and “right” come out of her mouth when referencing how awesome her parenting decisions were. I stopped having play dates with her when I realized I couldn’t offer the space for her feedback on my snack choice for my son (ironically Annie’s Natural bunnies…but not GMO-free nor in a reusable, non-plastic container.).

        • Gatita

          I surely hope that she was growing her veggies in raised beds with fresh soil or she’s going to have a Flint situation with her kids. Oh the irony if her kids end up with lead poisoning.

          • Bugsy

            Her son did have elevated lead levels at one point…her response was that they were going to move to a place without lead. No idea about the soil except that they live in an industrial area. She was concerned enough about veggies outside of their property that they brought Rubbermaid tubs of living vegetables with them on a 800-mile car trip for vacation a few years back. Yep…because no vegetables are grown in the deep south, obviously.

        • Charybdis

          Why in the world did her mom think it was any of her business if your #1 was circumcised? Or that it was okay for her to ask? What the HELL has happened to common courtesy and decency?

      • Angharad

        It’s certainly a tiny percentage of everyone I interacted with, but the experiences tend to stick with you. I’m sure I remember the complete stranger who asked me whether I was nursing, then said I should be more than I remember the dozens/hundreds/thousands of people who said nothing.

    • SarahSD

      I cared more when babyland consumed my every moment. But only because it was important have contact with people going through the same stuff. The boundary drawing, passive aggression and “feeling sad” for other people’s children over inconsequential choices has always driven me up the wall.

      • StephanieA

        I’m in babyland right now, so my mom friends and I spend a lot of time talking about boobs, bottles, and potty training. But it’s more to commiserate with each other. I could care less how these mothers choose to feed/care for their kids.

        • Kelly

          I do too and it tends to help me with the problems I am having with my kids. I get a lot of good ideas and sometimes this blog gives me good ideas as well. People don’t judge me and we all know that the kids will be fine. We do tend to judge others but mostly in the you are trying to cram crunchiness down our throats or you let your kid run around and we keep finding them in the parking lot.

          • demodocus

            ergo the leash. I live in fear of when he figures out how to unlock doors.

          • Kelly

            We have one of those too. I am talking about not even realizing their child has left the building and running around the parking lot that is next to a busy road. This has happened three times because the parents ignore them. They found the father hiding and reading a book when they brought his two year old back to him. There are other things that make me judge this family big time but this is one of the worst ones.

          • BeatriceC

            You should be more afraid of when he figures out how to lock doors. That’s when he’ll lock you out of the bathroom or the car and you panic because you can’t break in. Ask me how I know this?

          • demodocus

            One fear at a time. The bathroom doesn’t lock and the car is imaginary…

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            This is the kind of stuff that keepse up at night lol. I was a lock Houdini andy husband figured out how to lock the door when he was still little.enough to require high chair feeding.

            I just keep my mother in law’s method in mind. My husband locked her out when she went to get the mail. In the space of that time he had escaped his high chair, pushed it over to the door, climbed back into it and locked the door. And instead of demanding he unlock the door she just calmly said “That’s very good, dear! Can you show me how you did that?” He couldn’t resist showing off how smart he was and unlocked the door to show her and she pounced. Very smart woman.

    • Who?

      This is true, it does fade. And also, as the perfect babies grow up and start having personalities and opinions and begin to make choices parents don’t love, a lot of this nonsense dries up completely.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Your kids have personalities and opinions? They must have been formula fed.

        • BeatriceC

          So that explains the nearly 6 foot redhead with the 5 inch tall mohawk. I had to switch him to formula when he was around 6 months old. I wonder what explains the other two? Maybe the disposable diapers.

        • Who?

          They do. I did my best but you know it just happened.

          Number 1 was fully breastfed, he’s a police officer. So, depending on
          your view of the role of gummint and law enforcement either that’s great
          or my milk was off.

          The second one had a bottle every day (her mother was much wiser second time around) otherwise fully breastfed, she’s an engineer.

          Things get away…

    • Amy

      I truly wish it faded among the crunchy mamas around me, but even though some of them have kids in high school, they are STILL spending time lobbying local hospitals to get rid of well-baby nurseries and formula samples. It’s like, who CARES? Take care of your own kids, and if you need a hobby that badly, lobby for things that will make a difference in THEIR lives.

      • demodocus

        because you never know when grandbabies will happen? And of course Darling Coriander must be as all natural and crunchy about her birthing choices as her mother was.

      • Bugsy

        Do they still need that validation so much later? Yikes…

  • Dr Kitty

    Sometimes people make parenting choices because it is just the easiest option, and they are lazy (e.g. Why I use disposable nappies).

    Sometimes people make parenting decisions because it fits with their ideology (e.g. AP).

    Sometimes people make decisions because they are misinformed, or scared, or just don’t know any better (e.g. Anti-vaccine geniuses).

    Most parenting choices WON’T MATTER if your child is healthy, loved, fed, clothed and taught basic social skills. They’ll probably turn out ok.

    Some choices, however, objectively are likely to harm your children (anti-vaccine, high risk home birth, feeding a two year old a low-fat/low-carb/high protein diet). I think is it is perfectly fine to ensure that these facts are in the public domain.

    • CSN0116

      It’s a lot like choosing to drink and drive. No – you can’t. You just can’t. Your choice is a direct threat to the public at large. And your choice can seriously harm others, or kill them. You choose to drink, you give up the choice to drive. You choose to procreate, you give up the right to put the public in danger via refusing to vaccinate your child.

      There are sacrifices required to live in a modern, decent society. Period.

      • Who?

        Just this. Be a good community member, if you want to be a member of the community.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Feeding a 2 years old a high fat low carb diet ?!! People do that ?

      • Toni35

        She mentioned low fat/low carb/high protein. Low and fat low carb at the same time (high protein) would be very dangerous for anyone of any age. Low fat is extremely inappropriate for the under two set, and arguably not great for anyone (remember the 80’s?), depending on just how low “low” is. High fat isn’t bad so long as it’s low carb (high fat and high carb at the same time is a recipe for obesity). A high fat low carb diet is meat, eggs, fibrous veggies, whole dairy, and low sugar fruit… Not seeing how that’s bad for a kid under two…. Then again I’ve been eating that way for a few years with good results. My kids get more carbs than I do, but they are young, active, and growing. Most of their extra carbs come from additional fruit and starchy veg.

        • Tiffany Aching

          I know people who have a high fat / low carb diet and are very happy with that, but they add carbs for their children.

          • Toni35

            Sure! That’s basically what I do, but not a lot of carbs. Kids are young, growing, and active, so of course they tolerate more carbs than my ancient, insulin reistant ass does, lol, but I still focus on getting them mostly fat and protein, and keeping their carb sources primarily veggies, whole dairy, and fruit; minimizing sugar and grain (not that they never have those things either, just not often or in large amounts). I don’t think VERY low carb/keto diets are appropriate for children (unless medically supervised, say for controlling epilepsy), but I’d much rather see a kid on a low carb, high fat diet than a high carb, low fat diet, since fat is so vital for brain growth and development. Now, a diet low in both fat and carbs is disaster out for anyone at any age, and I think that’s what Dr. Kitty was referring to.

  • Megan

    Speaking of mommy bloggers, what ever happened to Gina?

    • Rachele Willoughby

      I’m not going to ask. I’m just going to be grateful she’s gone. I sure hope she’s using her considerable extra energy to take care of those kids.

    • attitude devant

      She got a job working for a marijuana concern. They are publicity shy so she shut down the TFB sites.

      • Megan

        All the better for the rest of us, and her mental health.

  • Marionetta

    She and her husband have to be the funniest idiots I have ever seen. She has her husband respond with “insults” that are so bad, you really just have to sit there and laugh.
    Poor Benny can’t make those two brain cells in his head work properly.
    And Kate is just as bad.

  • Rachele Willoughby

    “People who make alternative choices already face enough crap just for being different. They face people who constantly misunderstand — purposely — why they make the choices they make. They have to face people who say “You just don’t vaccinate because Jenny McCarthy” or “You want a home birth to prove something/because your experience matters more than your baby’s life/it’s trendy” or “You only feed your kid organic food because you’re afraid of chemicals you don’t understand.””

    Yes. Yes. And also, yes. I think all of those things. I’m firmly chastised now though. I shouldn’t have spent so much time abusing those poor, delicate snowflakes with my mean “facts” and my cruel “reasoning skills”. I’m such a bully.

    • Squillo

      Here’s what I don’t get: How do people know about the “alternative choices” made by people like Tietje? Extended bf, yes–I can see how that could attract the attention of busybodies if it’s done in public, but I have no idea if most of the other parents I meet vaccinate their kids or had a home birth or feed their kids only organic food (which doesn’t seem all that “alternative” to me.)

      Now, if you happen to publish a blog called “Modern Alternative Mama,” sure, but then you don’t get to boast about how “alternative” you are, then complain about people judging you for it.

      • Hilary

        Where I live it’s not uncommon for moms of babies/toddlers to start talking about their home birth or their delayed vaccine schedule, or how they are having a panic attack because they accidentally gave their toddler a non-organic strawberry this morning (real example, not exaggerated!). However, I have yet to hear anyone say a single judgy or disparaging thing to any of these women, even if (like me) they might be thinking it.

        • StephanieA

          My toddler’s dinner last night was tortilla chips straight from the bag (he refused the guacamole and salsa). We decided we didn’t care and he survived. I live in an ultra conservative area which is annoying mostly, but we don’t have too many of that type you describe. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t vaccinate.

          • Hilary

            My toddler has feeding issues (clinical issues, not typical pickiness) and I got excited when he started eating bites of donut.

          • demodocus

            Hooray! 🙂

          • Hilary

            🙂

        • Megan

          I guess I’m the minority, but I actually have been approached by a stranger and chastised for formula feeding. This was not in my home area though, where FF is prevalent and no one bats an eye about it, but while we were travelling. It was only one incident but it does happen.

          • Hilary

            I meant that I’ve never heard anyone say anything disparaging to non-vaxxing/home-birthing moms … in case that wasn’t clear! The article suggested that moms are under attack for “crunchy” choices but where I am you’re more likely to get funny looks for bottle feeding.

        • Bugsy

          Heh…to get out of a playdate with my crunchy friend, I asked if her son was up-to-date on vaccinations. That’s a good way to end a friendship, as it turns out!

      • guest

        I don’t know, the parents I interact with IRL, I typically not only know whether they had a hospital birth, but also which hospital it was, and I know whether they are strictly organic, loosely organic, or shopping at the cheap grocery store with me. I don’t know all of their vaccination statuses, but I know some. These are parents with children the same age as mine, and many of these things came up in conversation (they are all basically cool people, not whackos like Tietje) or things I observe when we are together.

        I expect as the kids grow older, I’ll know less about it. Food is the one exception – if you share meals together, you tend to learn how the other family eats.

        The thing I’d *really* like to know about the families of my children’s friends is whether they keep guns in their home, and if so, what safety precautions they have taken. THAT never gets talked about, and I don’t know how to ask without being perceived as paranoid or rude.

        • BeatriceC

          “The thing I’d *really* like to know about the families of my children’s friends is whether they keep guns in their home, and if so, what safety precautions they have taken. THAT never gets talked about, and I don’t know how to ask without being perceived as paranoid or rude.”

          I flat out ask. Even now at the ages my kids are, I still ask. One kid is dating a girl who’s father is federal law enforcement. I didn’t let him go over there until the father described to me where he kept his weapons when they weren’t physically on his person. When the kids were younger, I’d insist on going inside before I’d leave my kids alone. I’d look for any signs that there might be a gun and use that as a way to bring it up. Something like “Oh! I see you like WWII era weapons! Neat. Do you collect them?” That generally opens the conversation and I find a place to ask about any current weapons and how they’re stored.

          If I can’t find an opening like that it’s really simple: “Look, I know it’s an awkward question, but since it’s such an important safety issue, I have to ask. Do you own any guns, and if you do, how are they stored?”

          It probably helps that I’m a gun owner myself and don’t hesitate to talk about my own weapons and how and where they’re stored.

          • guest

            I wouldn’t trust myself to recognize the “signs” of a gun. I took the kids and stayed at my brother’s house one time. Three days into the visit I’m in the master bedroom with my SIL and spot a locked closet which I joke must be the “gun closet” – and it is. She thought he told me. He didn’t. I’m guessing most of my kids’ friends aren’t going to want me inspecting their bedrooms. Somehow I will have to find a way to ask that isn’t off-putting to people I’ve just met. Where I live, it is not that common (compared to other parts of the US), and even less common to be open about it if you do. Someone who is open about it I have no problem having a conversation with them.

          • BeatriceC

            My advantage here is that I’m a gun owner myself so that makes people far less defensive.

            I’d still go with something to the effect of “I know this is a really awkward question, but…”

          • Who?

            I’m really interested in this. Do gun owners, asked by another gun owner about their safety practices, really not mind?

            Because surely if you find that their standards are lower than yours, the conversation gets pretty awkward? I guess in that case you just don’t let the kids go over?

            We had one gun owner posting here who said that if a child got hold of a gun in (say) the grandparents’ house, that is the responsibility of the parent of the child, who hadn’t raised it right, not the gun owner whose gun was, by definition, not stored in a child proof fashion. This left me somewhat confused as he (self) identified as a responsible gun owner.

            It’s a rare thing in a city environment in Oz to meet anyone who owns a legal gun. The only family I’m aware of who did didn’t greatly concern me, as the wife was not keen on it and ensured the guns and ammunition were stored separately in locked cabinets, and dad (usually drunk and often spiky) wasn’t home often.

          • BeatriceC

            I certainly cannot speak for all gun owners, but I feel that part of my responsibility as a parent *and* a gun owner is to make sure that any place where my children are spending time has age-appropriate gun storage standards in place. A gun safe in the middle of the living room that stays open during the day might be fine for teenagers, but it’s certainly not fine for toddlers. It certainly is my responsibility to teach my children gun safety, but just as I wouldn’t leave my toddlers at the home of a grandparent who refuses to baby proof at least one room of the house, I also wouldn’t leave them in the home of a person who doesn’t keep their guns stored and locked. I get to decide what’s safe for my children, and if I’m denied appropriate information, then they don’t go.

            Obviously, I have no problem with guns. I own several operational handguns and MrC owns a number of historical, museum type (but not quality) pieces. All of my kids know how to shoot. Two of them enjoy target shooting and the other would rather scrub toilets, but he does know how to handle them. When they were little, they all had it drilled into them that if they ever saw a gun out in the open they were not to touch, but tell an adult it was there.

            I get really irritated with gun owners shirking responsibility. It certainly is my responsibility to teach my kids about guns, since I own them. But it’s also the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure their home is safe for any visitors they might have. If they’re unwilling to do so, then they should not be hosting children.

          • Who?

            Thanks, that’s a thoughtful response. The fellow who was posting here had such an irresponsible attitude, it was disturbing.

            If the adults you’re talking to don’t get it, or have a different view based on different values, then the friendship is conducted at your home instead, which is fine. Guns is only one subject that could cause a decision like that to be made.

          • BeatriceC

            The person you described is a complete idiot. Yes, guns are an inanimate object. They don’t go randomly shooting people, but they can be handled improperly and dangerously. I see proper storage as no different than other dangerous household things. When my kids were young household chemicals were kept in a locked cabinet. Knives were stored off the counter, also in a high, locked cabinet. Toiletries and first aid stuff that had potential to harm (mouthwash, rubbing alcohol, nail polish, etc) were stored in a locked room or cabinet. The list goes on. The only difference is that once the kids got past the preschool/early elementary years I could quit locking up the chemicals, but the guns are still in a locked safe with the ammunition separate.

          • demodocus

            My noisiest of 2nd amendment supporting relatives comment a lot on burglars and terrorists. Yeah, hero, I’m sure that when you are faced with a gun yourself your immediate reaction will be to pull yours and kill the bad guy. Since none of those 3 gentlemen has been in the military or the police or even hunts, i have my doubts.

          • BeatriceC

            I own guns for sport. I enjoy target shooting. I have done tactical training, and for a long while I carried concealed (legally, with a permit). I can guarantee two things if I were ever in that situation. Again, as it has happened once.

            1. I’m not trigger happy. I’m slow to actually pull out a weapon.

            2. If I do pull it, I’m aiming and firing in the same motion.

            Note: I have pulled, aimed and fired exactly once. I’m not going into details but it was ruled justified.

          • demodocus

            I don’t think these 3 have that much training.

          • BeatriceC

            Yeah, that “macho man” thing is really annoying. Training either because you grew up hunting, from military/law enforcement, or from classes one chose to pay for and take themselves is definitely a must.

            On the opposite of the three you’re talking about is a friend of mine who’s ex-army. This man literally had a bank vault installed in his home to use as a “gun safe”. His collection of both current, usable weapons and museum quality pieces is amazing. He does carry concealed at all times, only disarming when he’s going somewhere it’s legally prohibited. I knew him for years before I knew he carried. He doesn’t talk about it. He does talk about his collection and his ongoing weekend training courses (to keep his skills up), but he simply doesn’t talk about carrying a gun on him. I only know about it because he needed help when he ripped his pants on accident, and he said “oh, by the way”. In 15 years of knowing him, he’s never, ever pulled the gun off the range.

          • demodocus

            My uncle and my grandfather were both in the military and the latter was a police officer when i was little. Not sure if Uncle had one at home, but Grandpa surely did. They, like you, knew to be sensible. They also aren’t the noisy ones about gun rights.

          • Who?

            The ‘heroes’ really confuse me.

            Why on earth you wouldn’t lie low, or get out yourself in the event of some burglar being dumb enough to break into an occupied house, I don’t know.

            And as for heroically ‘saving’ everyone at some public mass shooting, forget it. There’s a reason the guys with the training and the uniforms don’t go in guns blazing, and someone thinking they could do anything useful with their no training and minimal situational awareness is deluded.

          • BeatriceC

            If you have any training at all you know the order of action in an active shooter situation is to run if you can, take cover if you can’t run, and shoot back if you can’t take cover. If you’ve been able to take cover and you have a clear shot that doesn’t endanger innocent bystanders, then that’s also a good time to shoot. The whole “good guys with guns” mind set falls apart if those good guys don’t have the skill and training necessary to defend themselves and others safely.

            On that note, I actually have absolutely no problems with making things like concealed carry permits insanely difficult to get. There should be hundreds of hours of training required and the applicant should be able to pass a series of tactical exams to show their skills. Those exams should be an awful lot like the law enforcement exams, if not just like them. There should be continuing education requirements as well as annual skills tests.

            Because of the second amendment, simple gun ownership is a little bit more difficult to regulate (though there should be some regulations, and enforcing the ones already on the books would be a good start), but we could go a lot farther with the concealed carry laws.

          • Who?

            It is such a bind. The NRA are the dominant voice we hear from the US, accusing people who want to change the current arrangements of ‘exploiting the suffering of victims’.

            Trouble is they seem, at the same time, to have contempt for ‘victims’ who didn’t have the presence of mind to be armed.

            Scared, armed and ill-trained seems like a really bad combination. And yet these seem to be the very people the NRA reach out to for support.

          • demodocus

            What do you think of the open carry some people are doing?

          • BeatriceC

            I think they are being idiots for the most part. There has to be some sort of rule for transporting weapons, as you have to get them from home to the range, or home to your hunting location somehow, but there’s no real need for the entirety of the general public to be carrying all the time. Maybe something similar to my ideas for a heavily educated and tested permit process for concealed carry should be applicable to open carry as well? Even as a gun owner the idea of people with questionable skill and training carrying around weapons makes me extremely nervous.

          • guest

            Similarly, now that my kids are a bit older, when I have guests with mobile babies come and visit, I tell them that my house isn’t fully baby proofed for a child that age anymore. Mostly it’s just that there are choking hazards all over the place, because my kids are old enough for small toys. I just feel it’s my responsibility to warn guests about potentially dangerous items in my home.

          • BeatriceC

            Anybody that knows me well enough to be coming to my home knows that I own guns and also knows that I’m more than happy to talk about how they are stored.

            Also, while I do sort of roll my eyes at he attitude of “Oh, no! Gun! It’s going to walk up and shoot me of its own accord!”, I’m not going to say anything or let it affect my friendships if a person doesn’t want to come over because of my hobbies.

            For the record they’re stored in a big-ass gun safe with a double lock in a closet of a room that also stays locked. I buy ammunition as needed when I go target shooting.

          • guest

            It used to be that I just assumed anyone who owned a gun would have them properly stored when not in use. It just doesn’t seem wise to make that assumption anymore.

          • Who?

            You’ll hurt his feelings, calling him an idiot.

            It’s really nice to hear a different perspective-all we see here of US gun world are the NRA talking heads, and people carrying on about ‘all their rights’ to do whatever they want at whatever cost to whoever.

          • BeatriceC

            I’m sure he’ll live through hurt feelings.

            But seriously, in the gun issues, just as in so many others, it’s a very vocal, and crazy minority that gets all the attention. I think you’ll find that the majority of US gun owners are like me. I believe that with rights come responsibilities. I have, according the the second amendment, a right to own a gun, but if I choose to use that right, I have the responsibility to use it safely, which means education (for myself on how to use the thing, and practice so I’m not a danger to others with it), and property caring and storing any weapons that I own.

            I have had a few people get nervous when they find out I’m a gun owner, but after talking to me and even taking me up on the offer of touring my home so they can see for themselves, I’ve never had any other parent refuse to allow their kids to come over. Quite the opposite, I have more than one visitor that’s regular enough that they have chores. I think that being open and honest, along with reasonable is a huge reason why people are comfortable with me.

          • Who?

            My mate posting here had a problem with responsibility, which he couldn’t see was related at all to all his rights. Rights, in his world, were only rights if completely untrammeled. My right to not get shot didn’t seem to come into it other than as a diminution of his rights.

            We don’t hear enough from the people like you who see themselves as a member of a community that they value.

          • BeatriceC

            Thanks. Unfortunately, those of us who are responsible don’t speak out often enough. I was actually nervous to admit that I’m a gun owner here, as we’ve all suffered backlash from anti-gun people. It’s often times difficult to have a respectful conversation. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate people like you who can ask honest questions without being judgmental.

          • Who?

            Thanks for listening and answering so thoughtfully also. Australians predominantly experience what come across as caricatures who purport to explain ‘American’ values, if such a thing can be imagined in such a diverse country.

            I’m not anti-gun as such, though I can’t imagine having or using one myself for protection (which is likely my privilege showing) and shooting isn’t a hobby that interests me. If I’m anti anything it’s people who don’t see that their rights don’t trump everyone else’s, and that in a community we all give up some things so we can all live together in a safe and respectful way.

          • BeatriceC

            I think it’s interesting how you mention that your predominant experience is the “caricatures” of the US, as that’s all we get of Australians over here. This, I think, is an example of the real power of the internet. You and I are just two random people on opposite ends of the world, yet through civil, respectful conversations, we are both able to shatter the caricature stereotypes of each others’ home countries. Too bad it doesn’t get used this way more often.

          • Megan

            It’s good to hear your perspective as a gun owner. The only gun in our home is a replica rifled musket my husband uses for reenacting. But guns are very prevalent in our area and it is a big worry of mine for play dates/sleepovers for my daughter (soon to be daughters). As someone who doesn’t own a “real” gun, I do worry about a defensive reaction when I ask about these things. I will probably delegate the task to my husband since he is at least very knowledgable about guns, unlike me.

          • demodocus

            That gun owner was and probably still is an idiot. Toddlers have “don’t touch the stove, don’t climb on the bookcases, and don’t bite people” drilled into their heads all the time, but simply cannot be trusted to actually do what you tell them. Or, as the Spawn has done, pat the stove while saying “don’t touch.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Toddlers have “don’t touch the stove, don’t climb on the bookcases, and
            don’t bite people” drilled into their heads all the time, but simply
            cannot be trusted to actually do what you tell them.

            For pete’s sake, our 5 and 7 year olds are taught, in no uncertain terms, that guns are not toys, and we don’t even like them playing _pretend_ guns.***

            However, they have never actually even seen a real gun, and I wouldn’t trust them a second in the presence of one. Not because my kids aren’t trustworthy (better than average, actually) but because of the lack of experience, they are ignorant of what real guns mean.

            ***Kids who play guns never “play” using proper firearm handling procedures. They are doing things like “shooting each other” which, as far as I am aware, is not the NRA approved method of handling guns. I always thought that if the NRA was really concerned about the proper, safe handling of guns, they would be opposed to toy guns, because they teach kids non-safe gun behavior.

          • BeatriceC

            When mine were that age “playing guns” involved an action to “remove the safety” before shooting at their pretend target. My rule was a little different. They couldn’t aim at real people or animals. Also by that age all my kids had handled my guns in a controlled environment on a gun range. Letting a 5 year old shoot a .45 makes an impression. I do own guns, so it was important for them to know exactly the kind of power they had. My parents handled the issue in a similar way with us. Now, as teens, they have very responsible attitudes.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep, and if this is what “playing guns ” were to entail all over, it would be good.

            But it isn’t. So it’s not.

          • Who?

            ‘Shooting each other’ is only NRA approved if you are a good guy shooting at who you believe (in your NRA wisdom) is a bad guy.

          • guest

            Exactly. Kids can’t resist the temptation of basically anything they are told they must resist. Why would guns be any different? And I wouldn’t trust a teenager either, although for different reasons.

          • sdsures

            …I still bite people when provoked enough. Or at least, I fantasize about it.

          • guest

            It is definitely an awkward conversation here, particularly because there’s a large outcry against public gun ownership, and gun owners are feeling defensive (although there’s little sign their access to guns will change in any way).

            I watched a news report recently that involved taking a group of toddlers and young kids, and giving them lessons about what to do if they come across a gun (don’t touch it, tell an adult). Then, with parental permission, they placed the children in classrooms with hidden (unloaded) guns and recorded what happened. A shocking number of the children not only touched the guns, but picked them up and pointed the barrel at their own faces. Very, very few actually followed the lesson they’d been taught. I will of course still try to teach my children not to touch guns and to go find an adult, but it seems clear that you can’t place the burden of gun safety on children learning lessons. It has to be the gun owners who make sure guns are not accessible to children. And when my children visit the homes of other people, I typically have no idea whether those people might own guns, and if they do, how they are stored.

          • Who?

            Kids are curious, guns are unusual and interesting. And the ‘go find an adult’ thing is all very well, but it’s likely to be the same moron who left the gun out, so perhaps minimal help there.

            In Oz, most people probably don’t, unless as you say they are farmers or reasonably high level criminals. Farmers are likely to be fairly okay about talking about their weapons, given they have nothing to hide. I live very close to the inner city, and am only aware of one family with guns, and can’t imagine anyone else would have them or want them.

            My son is a policeman, he is armed at work but doesn’t have private permit, though I think he wouldn’t mind one. He goes to the range to practice regularly, and has also had quite a bit of army training so is fairly proficient. He tells me he has had to shoot animals on a couple of occasions, and once drew his weapon against a human threat but then didn’t fire it, though was ready to do so if his instructions were not followed to the letter, and immediately. They are trained to not draw unless they are ready to shoot. Even drawing the weapon attracts an enquiry into why, he said the paperwork was extremely tedious. If the weapon is discharged, they have to make a very full report, even if it was to put down a sick or injured animal.

          • guest

            That sounds like a very sensible attitude toward arming police officers. I don’t have a problem with trained, sensible gun owners. But when there’s a news report just about every week about another small child shooting someone with a gun they somehow got hold of, I can no longer assume most gun owners in the US are sensible.

          • Katie

            Terrifying, but not surprising. My kid is almost two, very tall and dextrous. We discovered by chance last year that my inlaws have a gun. They REFUSED to tell us where it was, just laughing and repeating, “It’s put up.” It was near the floor in the master bedroom closet. The next time we visited – when my husband extracted this info and moved the gun – my kid was walking. By the next visit, he was running into that room alone because that’s where the grandkid toys are. I’m still angry.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Personally I wouldn’t mind because I’d hope other fun owners would be just as open. If a gun is assembled and a kid is able to get it, that’s on me. So it’s gun safe, disassembled with pieces in locked cases on different sides of the house, or some other safety measure that prevents access or assembly or my hypothetical kids don’t play there. If the parents of the other home got offended I really done care. Better to piss them off then have an accidental shooting.

            Speaking of kids and gun safety though, makes me wish they didn’t stop airing that Gargoyles episode where Elisa left her gun out for just a moment because she’s usually home alone but Broadway stopped by and started playing with it and accidentally shot her. Moral of the story at the end when Elisa barely survived was as a law enforcement officer she should have known better than to leave a gun unattended even if she believed she would be the only one home and Broadway learned not to treat guns like a toy. And the rest of the series kept with it. Elisa was still injured for several episodes after and always stowed her gun safely from that point on and Broadway never did like to touch guns after that.

            But then the episode isn’t shown anymore because gun violence. The one gun safety episode on a kids’ show that actually got it right and they pulled it.

          • Guest

            Wow. I am so glad I live in Australia. Regular people just don’t have guns full stop. it wouldn’t even register on the radar of the vast majority of parents, unless they’re farmers or bikies.

          • Who?

            Yes it’s a very different mindset.

            That said I think the bikies generally have their guns well out of sight, if only for their own comfort in the current climate…

          • Amazing. I live in Israel, and it’s never occurred to me to ask whether there are guns in the house of any of my children’s playmates. And there probably were some;the ownership of handguns is not unusual here. But, getting a license is not that easy, and nearly all the adult population has been in the army and guns are regarded as a very serious matter indeed.

          • BeatriceC

            It’s different in the US. Guns are relatively easy to get, and no training is required. The majority of gun owners are wonderful and responsible. Another good portion are good people who are ignorant, and then there’s a sizable, but still minority chunk who are idiots. When my kids were toddlers I lived in an area where lots of people had guns. “How are your guns stored” was as normal of a question as “What kind of gate does your pool have?”

          • Who?

            Pools are also scary. My friend and I watched our two four year olds open a properly secured pool gate in under 2 minutes, then prop it open to allow their 4 younger siblings to troup into the pool area.

            Very sobering.

          • BeatriceC

            I grew up in South Florida where every other person has a pool. My parents had one and I had one when I bought my first real house. I didn’t have one at my house in North Dakota, but I have one again now that I’m in Southern California. Pool safety is another thing to take extremely seriously.

  • Brooke

    Wow. This is some straight up hypocritical bullshit. How is the book dealing going?

    • Nick Sanders

      Yeah, all that stuff Katie is saying really is super hypocritical. I believe that’s the gist of the article.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        If only her reading comprehension were that good.

    • Gatita

      Hey dumbass, Amy’s husband is one of the top intellectual property lawyers in the country. She doesn’t need to make any money on the book. She doesn’t do this work because she’s cashing in, she does this work because she cares about it. Also, PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT PROBIT.

    • Who?

      Why is it that accusing Dr T of wanting to make money is a slur, but the homebirth hobbyists, anti-vaxxer, ‘health’ obsessed orthorexics with a line in recipes and (heaven help me) superfoods are just fine, despite their activities being designed to make money hand over fist?

    • guest

      1110101011000101001001001001111010100101111101010110101110010001001001001001001000101010001010010101000010101010100010101110100001010101011111110010101010101010101111001010101100000001010011

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      It seems a long time since we have heard anything of the Frogman and
      Cayke the Cookie Cook, who had left the Yip Country in search of the
      diamond-studded dishpan which had been mysteriously stolen the same
      night that Ozma had disappeared from the Emerald City. But you must
      remember that while the Frogman and the Cookie Cook were preparing to
      descend from their mountaintop, and even while on their way to the
      farmhouse of Wiljon the Winkie, Dorothy and the Wizard and their
      friends were encountering the adventures we have just related.

  • SarahSD

    I’m soo special. I can be civil, interact with, and even maintain friendships with people who make different parenting choices than me. Sometimes, I even totally disagree with them! What’s that you say? That’s not special? That’s just called not being an asshole? There’s no special club for that?

    • guest

      Sometimes I do feel like starting a No Assholes Allowed club.

  • Rachele Willoughby

    “[T]he woman doesn’t actually come right out and say, you’re a bad parent and your choice was stupid. But it’s pretty clearly implied.”

    No, I come right out and say it. Not vaccinating is bad parenting and you are stupid as Hell.

    • Megan

      This.

    • namaste863

      I will add that not vaccinating is bad citizenship as well. It’s failing to do one’s civic duty to keep their children from becoming disease vectors.

      • Sarah

        To be fair, mine are vaccinated up to the hilt and still disease vectors anyway. But that’s small children for you. If either of them could be persuaded to stop eating other children’s snot, that would be a start.

    • Elisabetta Aurora

      Actually, loving one child more than the other because one was born vaginally and the other by CS and then writing about it on the internet for said child to eventually stumble on for her/himself makes you a bad parent. That and leaving your child with a broken arm to mend itself. And yeah, not vaccinating. Really shitty parent. Judgment and all. Those poor kids.

      • Sean Jungian

        But she took the broken-arm kid to the chiropractor and naturopath, GAWD you act like she did NOTHING. /s/

      • Nick Sanders

        leaving your child with a broken arm to mend itself

        WHAT?!

  • Madtowngirl

    What’s the opposite of crunchy? Soft? Smooth? Yea, that’s what I am.

    • CSN0116

      Squishy!
      I am squishy. #teamsquishy

    • SarahSD

      I no longer call myself crunchy. Its association with granola implies
      that I endorse an unhealthy, modern grain-based diet. I prefer to identify as a “raw” parent, because it’s more in line with my core values. *

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Paleo.

      • Rachele Willoughby

        Gluten free?

    • LibrarianSarah

      I’m pretty sure the term is “Velveeta.”

      • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

        Yes! This comment is spectacular.

      • Krista

        my husband had to look up from his phone to ask me why i was laughing so hard

    • Taysha

      Silky.

      • Megan

        Ooh, I like it.

    • BeatriceC

      Soggy, maybe?

    • Seattle Mom

      Creamy, as in choosy moms choose Jiff.

    • guest

      I think someone came up with the term “silky” for that before. Can’t remember who.

      I prefer to think of myself as a “cool” parent. Video games for everyone!

  • SarahSD

    Oh my gaaaaahhhhd who caaares? Parenting-based lifestyle cliques are possibly the most middle school thing to happen to the internet.

    • Nick Sanders

      No, MySpace is still the most middle-school thing to happen to the internet. It’s going to be a long time before anything tops that giant mound of pink glitter and bad poetry.

      I get your point though.

      • SarahSD

        MySpace is so 2005, I almost forgot about it. *Hair flip*

        I wish all the people who make incessantly passive aggressive, identity-policing posts justifying their mostly trivial parenting choices would all go there so I could forget about them too.

    • Hilary

      LOL! 😉

  • Glia

    Actually, I prefer “al dente” to “crunchy-ish”, because it is what happened to me when crunchy starting material got boiled in science broth seasoned with reality.

  • sdsures

    I wonder if she still loves her vaginally-birthed child than the one born via CS?

    • meglo91

      What? Is this something she’s said?

      • attitude devant

        Oh yeah. Whole blog post about how if one of her kids had to die she’d let the c/s one go over the vag one. Nice, eh?
        Oh, and then there was the broken arm she neglected….

        • Rachele Willoughby

          Woah

          • sdsures

            And, IIRC, then she deleted the post. I didnae know about the neglected broken arm!

        • Julia

          Whhhhaaaa???!!!!

        • Madtowngirl

          What the actual fuck?

        • Mishimoo

          Since my kiddo broke hers last year, and her best friend followed a week after; I really can’t comprehend just leaving it for a bit. My kid was paper-white, nauseous, and unable to focus on anything other than her arm pain. Her best friend had a more mild break but was still clearly in pain and wasn’t interested in fastfood(which is what tipped her father off to it being serious). How can someone just neglect a kid with a broken bone?!

          • BeatriceC

            Meanwhile my kid decided to test the theory of human flight (skateboard, extremely steep hill, speed wobbles and a bump) and had to be threatened into going to the emergency room, stating he was “just fine”. Yup, full trauma protocols later he had a broken wrist and minor kidney injuries, along with significant road rash. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet at the time. The helmet broke into several pieces, but his head is fine.

          • Mishimoo

            That is one hell of an effort, good job kiddo!

          • Old Lady

            My mom didn’t realize I had broke my arm for awhile, maybe as much as a week? I can’t remember what exactly she told me about it. I was acting pretty normal but she noticed I was babying it. It was a very clean break so I guess it didn’t hurt me very much, and I don’t have a very high pain tolerance.

          • Azuran

            Pain from fracture has a lot to do with movements of the bone fragment. My open radius + ulna fracture didn’t hurt that much when I wasn’t moving because the fragments weren’t moving, barely hurt at all after they put a splint on it. After they reduced it and put it in a cast (under general anesthesia), I received no painkiller. Not even over the counter medication. And it didn’t hurt at all.

          • Who?

            When my daughter broke hers she made a sound I’ve only heard otherwise in the labour ward. I’m not a medical person, so I don’t have much to compare the sound to. It was Very Bad.

            Better after it was put into the back slab cast to hold it until we got to the surgeon, worse again after reduction, plate, pins and grafts, then gradually better over three months.

            I have new respect for the potential suffering that is hidden behind ‘broken arm’.

          • Azuran

            Yea, I’ve never heard a bone actually break for real (only in movies) since mine happened in a car accident, I only noticed it afterwards.
            I didn’t have pins and plates, but I expect those to hurt like hell as well.
            But the sound of bone fragments grinding together is still the thing that grosses me the most at my job.

          • demodocus

            thank the heavens for my hearing impairment, so i couldn’t hear my son’s leg break. He’s forgotten it but i…
            i need more therapy.

          • Angharad

            When I was four my brother fell on me and broke my arm. I distinctly remember being more bothered by the shot I got at the hospital (painkillers, I assume) than by anything else about the process. Kids are resilient!

          • demodocus

            I fell on him. still can barely look at that park, and it’s on the end of our street.

          • Angharad

            I’m so sorry! I know you don’t need an Internet stranger’s validation, but it could happen to anyone, and your son will be just fine, I’m sure. Take care of yourself!

          • demodocus

            Thank you for your thoughts. i really am in therapy. It’s been a rough autumn and winter.

          • Who?

            From another stranger, take care of yourself. It’s good you’re having therapy. All this will fade, with time.

          • Mishimoo

            Maybe your pain tolerance was/is higher than you think?

          • Old Lady

            I have no memory of the incident myself. Nothing since has led me to believe that I would have a high pain tolerance, although I haven’t had a chance to test it out very often. My c-section was the most painful thing I’ve experienced but I had drugs for that. Actually, from the c-section I’d say the hardest parts were the violent shivers immediately afterwards and then uh, getting my bowels moving again. The incision wasnt so bad, uterine massage was but that was over quickly at least. It wasn’t exactly as I expected. I didn’t know about the shivers beforehand so that was a little disconcerting..

          • Charybdis

            Somehow I read your “since my kiddo broke hers last year…” right after the “she’d let the c/s one go over the vag one.” comment. That combined in my head and I thought you were saying that your kid has broken her vagina.

            Clearly I need more caffeine and/or sleep this morning.

      • sdsures

        Yep.

  • meglo91

    If I could outlaw the use of the word “mama” to describe mothers, I would.

    • crazy grad mama

      But then I’d have to pick a new user name! (Note: I suspect we are very much in agreement on the appropriate use of “mama.”

      • Nick Sanders
      • meglo91

        I’m sorry. Your username would be collateral damage sacrificed for the cause. (There is nothing wrong with your username. I just object to calling all mothers “mamas”, en masse. It’s a clear sign of a mind deranged by woo.)

    • sdsures

      I hear you. In English anyway. In Russian, even adults use the words “Mama” and “Papa” because they mean exactly “Mom” and “Dad”, with no crunchiness implied. Same with French: Maman, Papa.

      • meglo91

        To be sure, this would apply to English only. American English only, even. The Granthams and Crawleys would be free to use Mama and Papa with impunity.

        • AirPlant

          also: the mamas and the papas. They can keep on keeping on.

        • swbarnes2

          Yes, but the Granthams always pronounce it maMA, with the accept on the second syllable.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Like this?

    • BeatriceC

      It’s just a common way to kids to address their mothers in the south. I’m from Florida, which isn’t exactly a Southern culture, but I’ve got enough family members still culturally southern that’s what we moms are called by are kids. My kids also call me “mom”, “mother” and “merm” (no clue where that one came from) depending on their moods.

    • guest

      If you write the petition, I will sign it.

    • Francesca Violi

      I often regret my grasp of american english is too poor to fully appreciate words like “mama”, “crunchy”, and “woo” …

      • demodocus

        Pardon me if you’ve figured this out already and don’t read further, but if you want rough definitions:
        Crunchy and woo in this context (they are much older words that mean something else) are mostly used on the internet. Americans who are not on the internet are confused by them too.
        Woo (which originally meant to date with the thought of marriage) means things people believe without proof, like psychics, reiki, tarot cards, and even religion (depending on the speaker there)
        Crunchy (when not speaking of food) refers to people whom in my mother’s generation were called hippies. People who try to live “green”, who shop from local produce, use cloth diapers, have their own vegetable gardens and compost bins, recycle, breastfeed, organic, free-range, often vegetarians (though not necessarily), and any of a number of other such things.
        The mama thing is more of a regional and/or personal taste thing. Mama is not often used in my particular sub-culture, past first first words stage.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Crunchy (when not speaking of food) refers to people whom in my mother’s
          generation were called hippies. People who try to live “green”, who
          shop from local produce, use cloth diapers, have their own vegetable
          gardens and compost bins, recycle, breastfeed, organic, free-range,
          often vegetarians (though not necessarily), and any of a number of other
          such things.

          And “crunchy” originates from their excessive use of granola.

        • Francesca Violi

          I had kind of figured it our but not with so much accuracy! I thought woo and crunchiness might have more or less the same scope of practice whereas now thanks to your explantion I can appreciate that “crunchy” is more related to ecology etc. and “woo” is more about misterious-unproven energies and stuff. So thank you very much! 😀

          • demodocus

            There’s a lot of overlap between the 2 groups.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Is this called the golden mean fallacy? The idea that the “truth” lies somewhere in the middle; that the choice of an unassisted home birth is just as good or logical as the choice of a hospital birth; the idea that two opposing ideas must be equal simply for the fact that they are opposite? Sometimes an idea or choice is simply not valid.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Yup. It’s the Gweneth Paltrow of logical fallacies: smug, pretentious, and clueless as fuck.

  • demodocus

    You know, I have no clue what kind of diapers my cousins were in, what they were fed before they were eating regular meals, or whether my aunts and uncles preferred to give them honey water instead of cough syrup. I only know Mom’s point of view because my baby brother is a decade younger than me. I suppose Herself would think that Mom was only semi-crunchy ’cause she weaned us off the boob at teething, used disposable diapers, and, like most of the actual Hippie generation, she got her kids vaccinated.

    • demodocus

      Note: I’m the first grandchild on both sides, too.

  • Marie

    I despise this woman. I am that “semi-crunchy” mother. I cloth diaper and compost. I also vaccinate and gave birth in a hospital because I prefer to keep my son alive.

    • J.B.

      There’s also the possibility that the semi-crunchy are that because they do what works for them and don’t give a rats patootie about telling the rest of the world what to do. Well, other than science, race to the bottom doofuses!

      • Marie

        Yup. We do what works for us. As long as your child is loved, fed, and receives appropriate medical care I could care less what kind of diapers you use or whether you breast or formula feed.

  • Taysha

    So the woman who makes a living criticizing people for making choices different from hers is complaining she is being criticized for making choices different of others and it’s not cool?

    I think I sprained a neuron.

  • CSN0116

    Never heard of this woman, but I’m assuming she’s a “breastfeed-or die” lactivist who would encourage shaming moms who dont feed/diaper/carry/sleep their babies the way she does?

    • demodocus

      Dr. T has several posts about this one.

    • Krista

      Ironically, she actually has a post on her blog about how bad lactivists are, how she *gasp* had to supplement her first (and least-loved) child with formula, and how those mean ol’ La Leche people are just SO MEAN and MERCILESS to poor new moms.

      Kate had a need that nature couldn’t meet on its own, so she put to use a piece of modernity that was available to her. Then she went off about how cruel and insensitive ‘lactivists’ are.

      But she is just as cruel and insensitive to people who make different choices that she does, even when they make those choices based on far more factual evidence than Kate is capable of comprehending.

  • Are you nuts

    Does anyone really make parenting decisions to feel special? I make decisions that I think are good for my child, or make my life easier (USUALLY in that order) but not once have I wondered if a decision I’m making makes me special. Are we sure this isn’t a middle school girl writing this? So odd.

    • CSN0116

      The only “special feelings” I seek to earn via motherhood are those for my *children.* I work my ass off to teach them, guide them, expose them, put them in the best schools, take them to see great places, show them sides of life that they are fortunate enough to not witness daily, instill compassion… and despite collapsing into bed nightly, all of this work is behind the scenes and for THEM. They will never appreciate it until they’re grown, and society will never (directly) see my efforts. I’m cool with that. Parenting is no popularity contest and it sure as shit isn’t trendy. If you think it is, you’re doing it wrong 😉

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        When I see my kids doing something that makes me proud, I personally take pride in the fact that I didn’t do anything to fuck them up too bad.

        • Toni35

          This! My main goal is to raise kids who don’t have to recover from their childhood. I’d love to take credit for their awesomeness, but I can’t. I got lucky, and have, so far, managed not to fuck them up.

          • Sean Jungian

            I always say my goal is just to get him to adulthood without him needing TOO much therapy lol

    • Megan

      MAM makes her parenting decisions to feel special. The rest of us make our parenting decisions to help our kids. That’s why we do things like vaccinate, take them to the doctor, etc. I agree with you that her posts do seem very middle school.

    • Jules B

      My thoughts exactly – I just can’t relate to this Parenting Popularity contest mentality. Plus, if you want to play that game so you can get pats on the back and Scooby snacks from others, you can’t cry foul when you occasionally get criticized, too.