Re: Hating the parenting game, not the kiddos.

1

Kingsbury creches for all!

Or

It takes a Village!

Or

I read Cesar's book last week, and the dogs in his Mexican village were co-operative and peaceful without any overt discipline or training. Just calm assertive pack leadership. A lesson could be learned. This is like number one above without the safety bars.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:20 AM
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Wow, love that analogy ban violation in the excerpt. Wanting to have a nice meal in a relaxing atmosphere (that includes a lack of kids running amok through the restaurant space) is totes the moral equivalent of Jim Crow.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:21 AM
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Hmm. I'm not wholly down with Sybil on this one. I took Keegan to all sorts of public events and restaurants and such even as a little kid, but he was really bizarrely well-behaved, as he always has been and still is. I don't take the two younger ones to anywhere near the same range of stuff because they behave like normal little kids (which is to say, they can be extremely disruptive at times).

Part of responsible parenting is not inflicting your little bundles of energy on others.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:23 AM
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Being in a space where everybody else is blind is fun because you can mess with them!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:24 AM
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What's more fun than swapping out "kids" for "schizophrenics" or whatever is swapping out "restaurants or museums" for other kinds of public space.

I hate going to... urinals where kids are running around underfoot and being disruptive!

I'd rather have my sophisticated and restful... trip to the porn theater free of screaming three year olds!

There's nothing more unpleasant than listening to a giant tantrum when you're trying to... score some junk!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:29 AM
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I don't want kids but I do want lots of kid-friendly public spaces. Most of the time kids are annoying it's just high energy and curiosity taken a little too far. It's pretty rare for kids to be outright horrible. The thing that really bothers me is that it's considered the height of rudeness to so much as address someone else's child in public. Since the best cure for bad behavior in public is a reprimand from a complete stranger (mom can be safely ignored - the big scary guy telling you to listen to mom cannot), this reduces the number of kid-friendly places to those where acting out is tolerable.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:34 AM
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I can't believe people would be so selfish as to deny people with kids a night out at the... machine shop!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:34 AM
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I'm with Sybil. Being a parent is a gigantic pain in the ass as it is, without sequestering yourself from the entire non-Chuck-E-Cheese world. There are very few advantages of my current Red State Hellhole over Seattle, but the fact that people don't act incredibly put-upon whenever kids are around is one of them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:36 AM
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Not to get all boy-they-do-it-better-in-Europe, but they certainly seemed to have a better handle on bringing kids out to restaurants and whatever in Germany: you bring your kids to the restaurant, everybody (including you) ignores them, they run around and be kid like, you drink your beer. Seemed to work okay, but maybe kids there have their vocal cords cut out like Dobermans at drug mansions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:36 AM
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I went to the circus recently and I was aghast at the number of screaming, absolutely hyper children people thought it would be okay to bring.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:38 AM
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Five-year-olds should be allowed to vote, drive trucks, carry concealed weapons and operate heavy machinery. If you disagree, you're basically supporting Jim Crow.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:38 AM
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People with kids think the world revolves around their sprogs already and this "me so opressed" schtick is about as offensive as a white guy whinging he can't say n*gger anymore.

You want to go to a museum? Fine, get a babysitter.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:39 AM
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I invite you to swap out "kids" for any other disempowered community in the above phrases ("women," "schizophrenics," "hispanics," "the blind") and notice what an asshole you sound like.

I grew up in a village where the major employer was a psychiatric hospital, and you know what, all the schizophrenics can sometimes get f'cking annoying. So bollocks to the bullshit conflations and blindness to the fact that behaviour can be annoying.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:39 AM
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How dare you complain about my busload of incontinents at your wall-to-wall carpeting convention.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:40 AM
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12: You volunteering?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:41 AM
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People with kids think the world revolves around their sprogs already

The word "some" really comes in handy sometimes to avoid over-generalization.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:42 AM
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I'd like to have more times where my kids weren't in my house, to be honest. My tolerance for loud, repetitive noises has declined sharply as I've gotten older.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:43 AM
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Are people with kids more bothered by other people's kids (or their own) than people without?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:45 AM
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18: Less, in my experience. You get desensitized to the pain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:46 AM
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It's very stressful when people bring their kids to the blackout room at the gay bar.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:47 AM
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It's been a few years since I was in the mix of hanging out at playdates with my ex and his kids' friends' parents, and I have some distance from it now. At the time, it seemed like all anyone talked about was buying homes, renovating homes, ticket prices to various European cities, the best $100+ meals in the city for introducing your child to Great Food, the absolute importance of getting the child into the most excellent private pre-school lest he end up a McDonald's-eating kid who goes to SUNY, etc.

It made me really angry, listening to the Bourgeois Parenting Imperative all the time. (Well, you have to do...) But eventually I came to see that this particular group of parents was a roiling mass of unsaid things. The men and women, if they were alone with my ex and me, would suddenly start talking about their real fears and desires, things they would never talk to their spouse about, secret anxieties, jealousies, even their love for their kids. The BPI was a way to keep talking all the time, keep having goals as a family, without needing to address some pretty serious emotional issues, even the positive ones.

At the time, of course, I was obnoxious, and would talk about my excellent public school, my family's struggles with money and resources, the fact that somehow I am not living in a gutter with a heroin needle in my arm. And the parents would counter with this weird stuff about how I had such character, that I must have been so loved (with this ghost of a hint that they did not think themselves able to provide that love). I did not feel particularly loved as a child, so that bothered me too. I think what they were expressing interest in was what bourgeois people tend to see as the "honesty" and "realness" of people without money. Since they couldn't provide that, they'd offer their kids money and privilege.

I think a lot of them were really lonely, isolated people who didn't have friends, and talking about money was the way to keep the illusion going. The hardest part was how they'd pull my ex aside and say how desperately jealous of him they were that he was in the midst of a nasty divorce--how great to yell and scream at your partner and have alone time. It was painful to the ex, whose wife left him in the most horrible way, and who felt his kids had been stolen from him. But there was a lot of pent-up rage in those people.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:47 AM
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18: Attitudes vary, of course. But people with kids are at least generally more sympathetic to the helplessness of a parent with a toddler in full freakout mode, having been there themselves.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:49 AM
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Five-year-olds should be allowed to vote, drive trucks, carry concealed weapons and operate heavy machinery. If you disagree, you're basically supporting Jim Crow.

If and as proven capable, absolutely. Discrimination on the basis of age in itself should be subject to some level of scrutiny and rational basis.

All 15-yr-olds are not too immature to vote, as compared to Rush listeners.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:49 AM
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17 - We're talking about the cultural capital of Metal Machine Music in the other thread, Apo.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:50 AM
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An unnamed commenter just said offline [which communications the sanctity thereof I am about to violate with extreme prejudice] that when kids are being pains in the ass in public it's often as not because it's someplace the kid doesn't want to be. Now, if this place is, say, the supermarket, well, too bad for everybody. But if this place is, say, the opera, then I don't think your quarrel is actually with the kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:51 AM
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It's really stressful when parents hand their kids fully loaded AK-47s. Which is why I think it's really important that kindergartens begin gun-safety classes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:52 AM
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21 more to the post than the link, of course.

Even when kids are being truly awful in public, I assume it's not the kid's fault. Actual scene in restaurant: mother tells two-year-old to amuse himself by hurling toys around and fetching them, telling other patrons to hurl toys for him so he can fetch them. Poor kid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:52 AM
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Personally I'm willing to make an effort to be tolerant of kids in public spaces, but it takes an effort. If I spend 10 minutes listening to siblings fight in the grocery store that's fine. It's annoying, but I accept that the parents put up with far worse and that it is petty of me to feel put out.

But listening to a child scream in a restaurant for 45 minutes, as has happened once, is too much. After 20 minutes of screaming I definitely had the feeling that it was time for the parent to stop being accommodating and either get their child to be quiet or take them out of the restaurant.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:52 AM
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As a single childless woman of a certain age, my dislike of parenting comes from a different place. The valorization of being a parent can get really irritating, especially when you are made to feel as though you're something lesser because you haven't been made to experience the joys of three years of sleeplessness and an inability to talk about anything but your kid. (Yes, I know, totally bitchy.) I do love kids though, and will happily entertain your kid rather than talk to you!*

*All of this is of course a caricature of a certain type of parent, and not meant to be a general indictment.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:54 AM
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Issues like this confuse me. I do think that most children can be trained to behave in a manner that makes it reasonable for them to be in public spaces with adults without causing anyone too much stress. I'm not sure how successful I've been with my kids -- the feedback I get from other adults is uniformly complimentary on their behavior, but on the other hand it's not an area where people are going to give you a straight report unless they can say nice things, and I certainly notice them doing irritating things fairly often.

Adults who generically don't like kids? If that means "generically don't like inconsiderate little shrieking horrors spreading mess and chaos wherever they go", I kind of sympathize with them. If they dislike kids just for being short, on the other hand, that's a problem. And of course there are areas in which even decent, well-behaved children don't behave like adults, but most of those areas shouldn't inflict too much stress on passersby.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:56 AM
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I actually don't mind when people talk about their kids if they're really talking about their kids. It's people talking about what they're buying for their kids that makes me nuts.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:56 AM
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25 and 28, of course, are dead on. An annoying baby or kid on an airplane can be annoying, but it's no one's fault -- there's no way to get a family a couple of thousand miles without putting them on a plane. Someplace that you're supposed to be enjoying and you can leave? You leave.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:01 AM
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Five-year-olds should be allowed to vote, drive trucks, carry concealed weapons and operate heavy machinery

I should hope so. Otherwise, even with their vocal chords removed, they wouldn't be much use guarding my drug mansion.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:01 AM
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Adults who generically don't like kids? If that means "generically don't like inconsiderate little shrieking horrors spreading mess and chaos wherever they go", I kind of sympathize with them

Do people mean something other than this? That's hard to imagine. Maybe "I don't like kids because they will someday be adults, and I am a proud misanthrope"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:01 AM
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I find 21 surprisingly (and disturbingly) resonant. Part of my post-divorce worldview re-arranging has involved a close examination of WTF I was thinking when I got married in the first place, and I've realized I was executing a script that I did not write, did not like, and which is fundamentally incompatible with who I am. I suspect many people are doing the same thing, making themselves miserable along the way. I also suspect that the script is written by Madison Avenue at the behest of the wedding/baby/white-picket-fence industrial complex.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:03 AM
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I haven't run into them much, but there seem to be people whose distaste for children is driven more by an expectation that they'll be annoying rather than by actual annoyingness in the moment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:04 AM
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re: 34

Some people are much more sensitive to that than others, though. In any public setting where there's a kid doing normal child-like things there'll be half a dozen people thinking benevolent thoughts [if they've even noticed the child at all], and one person tutting.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:05 AM
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I'm pretty wary of criticizing parents of kids who are really shrieking; that kid is suffering somehow in ways that may not be apparent. Also, if your kid is shrieking all the time, you may not be in a solid enough mental space as a parent to imagine what that sounds like to other people who don't hear it all the time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:05 AM
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Madison Avenue can't know what's best for everybody. They have to optimize for the middle 95%.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:05 AM
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Do people mean something other than this?

There are certainly people who believe that no other class of children exists. What gets my goat are the people who get indignant that parents get "special treatment" at their workplaces, because they don't come in over weekends or stay until 9pm regularly. Your child-laden coworkers aren't getting special treatment; you're being abused by your employer and accepting it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:08 AM
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35: Yeah, that was my ex's story too. I kept asking him why he got involved with this woman and married her, and he'd sort of stare off into the distance and say that it was how it was supposed to go. She was an "appropriate" choice. He'd just gone along with it, despite never really thinking she was a good or loving person. And I never understood that. I'm not sure someone who hasn't done it could understand it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:08 AM
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inconsiderate little shrieking horrors spreading mess and chaos wherever they go", I kind of sympathize with them

Sympathize with the shrieking horrors? I celebrate them.

Leash laws and customs suck.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:09 AM
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It must be because I live in suburbia, but I'm having a hard time of thinking of any examples of what Sybil describes in the post as something I've seen in action. (No, I'm not a parent but I regularly hang out with people with children and tote around one of them often enough that I've been mistaken as one. Does this buy me credit?)

I have friends who stopped going out to restaurants with their child because he is objectively miserable at them - which he know displays by refusing to stay still and crying. Wanting to limit their child's unhappiness doesn't seem to be the same as other people are censoring my ability to go out with my child. (He's still a toddler, it's obviously a phase.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:10 AM
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In odd bits of parenting news, I've been knitting socks for the kids, which involves measuring feet. Sally is two years older and five inches taller than Newt. Newt's feet are slightly bigger. I think we're in for an alarming growth spurt sometime soon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:10 AM
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44: Alternative hypothesis: Newt is a Hobbit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:16 AM
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I can actually sympathize more with Heebie's being irritated with parents than with kids. Less so now, my kids are pretty self-maintaining in public mostly, but until pretty recently I was very dull when out with my kids, except in a very few 'safe' places where they could run free without needing to be supervised for safety or behavior. Anyone at another table in a restaurant being annoyed by Sally or Newt would have been oversensitive, but anyone at our table thinking I didn't have an interesting thing to say for myself would have been right, because most of my attention was focused on making sure they were taken care of and behaving appropriately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:17 AM
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45: The feet aren't hairy enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:18 AM
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For some reason, little kids on the subway like to lean on me. As long as they're not kicking me, I don't mind. Usually parents are really apologetic about it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:19 AM
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anyone at our table thinking I didn't have an interesting thing to say for myself would have been right, because most of my attention was focused on making sure they were taken care of and behaving appropriately.

As someone who has displayed some judgmental tendencies in the comments above, I have to say this is not the sort of situation I was thinking about when I quickly and rudely commented about people who can only talk about their children. It's more the people who you're close friends with, but, well, once they have kids...

I may be a little bitter* because of my own experiences. I'm also a little scared by what I see happen to women in particular.

*You think?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:23 AM
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On a flight back in January, a very wonderful older woman let Hawaiian Punch gum all over her rings and her knuckles for the entire flight. I love that woman.

We flew with HP a bunch this past year, actually - spread out family, illnesses, etc - and the nearby passengers on the plane were uniformly great about helping entertain her. (I'm dreading the upcoming flights now that she wants to toddle around, of course.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:26 AM
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49: It's the same when people get cats or start smoking pot. It takes over a lot of your mental space.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:26 AM
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49: Part of the issue (*especially* for stay at home parents) is that you spend so little time talking to other adults that you kinda forget how to do it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:27 AM
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51: Hah. I think what scares me is that given that I talk about my cat a lot I fear that I'd be exactly the sort of parent that annoys me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:27 AM
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Oh, I hate the "inflections and solicitations and reasonable tones that everyone uses while parenting" too. That mostly stops as they get older - avoid those who carry on talking that way to their 8 year olds.

Re 18 - I'm very tolerant of other people's children having tantrums or whatever. I'm also extremely intolerant of other people's children just being little shits, and have given up any hope of social acceptance for the sake of being 'the big scary woman who told me off'. Even if it doesn't work, it's more satisfying than seething in silence.

Just half an hour ago, I was walking home from the station with my kids. We went past 3 (roughly) 10 year old boys - one of them looked at my son's T-shirt and said, "I love New York? [it was an I heart NY shirt] We-ird," in a sing-song-y voice. I replied, "Ru-ude" in the same tone.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:28 AM
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To build on the OP and LB's comment, I have very few parent-friends where, if their kids are around, you still feel like you're hanging out with your friend. Mostly you feel like you're watching them parent. (Most of my parent-friends have small children.) So it's nice to see them without kids, so that you can actually hang out with your friend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:28 AM
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I have a strong dislike for those parents who think that they are gifted parents simply because their child or children behave. They are smug about how their parenting resulted in a behaved child.

It is a large part of luck.

Ive been on the receiving end of plenty of comments and looks from people about my daughter breaking bad. No, spanking her is not going to help.

Sometimes, they have looked aghast when I threw my daughter over my shoulder and walked out of the grocery store, as she screams and kicks.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:28 AM
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It was surprisingly (to us) difficult to convince the parents we invited to our wedding that it really truly was okay to bring their kids, even if the kids were likely to run around and be raucous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:29 AM
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The one thing I don't know how to deal with is that I've heard friends with kids say that it's so depressing that no one asks about your work or feelings anymore once you have kids, and others say it's so depressing that no one asks about the kid, the most important person in your life. I try to balance this, but it always seems to be too much in one direction or the other. "How are things going?" seems to be safe unless I'm asked for clarification.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:29 AM
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51, 53 - jeez, my parents talk about their cats ALL THE TIME.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:29 AM
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I talk about my cat a lot

Your cat must be way more interesting than my cats.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:30 AM
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Child-rearing is a necessary function, and the full weight of it should not fall exclusively on the shoulders of the parents. Society must be structured to accommodate it, and that means that the non-parents among us must also take some of the burden. At the same time, different environments are appropriate for different levels of child development, and deliberately forcing a toddler to visit a formal art museum or fine restaurant is just thoughtless.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:30 AM
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52: Also, yeah, I know. Which is why it disproportionately affects women as well, since they still largely do more child care.

I have thought through all these things, and I know my opinions on this matter are pretty bitchy (aka, I'm not in the right). I'm just tired of hearing about how much better my life will be when I have kids, or how I'll know that x,y,z are so true when I have kids, or whatever. This may well be true, but I find it really rude (especially for someone in my particular situation) to tell someone. The problem isn't parents, it's just certain people.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:31 AM
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56: How has that changed as she's gotten older? I don't remember exactly how old she is, but at least well into her teens, at which point anyone who doesn't realize that's she's not just 'badly behaved' has got to be incredibly clueless. Do you get treated better now in difficult situations than you did when she was, say, seven or eight?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:31 AM
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This is a good thread to brag about the adorablest and horrifyingest thing my 6 year old son did yesterday!

He was staying overnight with grandma. Grandma bought him a disposable camera as a present, the kind where you have to drop off the camera at the drugstore to get the images out. They planned to go on a nature walk and take pictures in the morning. Grandma was surprised that he had taken several pictures before she woke up. And horrified when he explained that he was taking pictures of himself in her full length mirror, naked. He was very proud that he figured out how to take a picture of his backside (stand back to mirror, hold camera over his head pointing back at the mirror). He said some were full frontal also.

Happily he bragged of his artistry before causing any adults to be charged with felonies. Camera went down the incinerator chute.
*****

He's also sometimes difficult in restaurants and on long flights.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:32 AM
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Your cat must be way more interesting than my cats.

Not at all. She's an ordinary cat. That's the problem.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:32 AM
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I have a strong dislike for those parents who think that they are gifted parents simply because their child or children behave.

An old friend of mine recently apologized in her FB status for having been one of those people. Apparently child #2 is showing her just how little she had to do with the charming behavior of child #1.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:34 AM
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64 - it's nice to be reminded that often I like other people's children very much.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:35 AM
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62: I get the same shit about how it will be when I'm in a stable monogamous relationship, usually from people who are in miserable relationships. It's Stockholm syndrome. People who really enjoy their kids or partners don't tend to hassle me about this stuff; they know how lucky they are.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:35 AM
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28. If you let your kid scream for 45 minutes anywhere, a restaurant or your living room, ur doin it rong. In such cases, mercifully rare round here, I entirely blame the parents. If they're so narcissistic that they don't even react meaningfully to their own child's distress, why would they care about a room full of strangers?

40 is an important point. It's usually the bosses' fault when you look hard enough.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:36 AM
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63:

Perhaps. It is hard to tell though bc her behavior has been mostly excellent for the last three years.

Although on friday am, I dropped her off at school, only to see her take off in a full sprint away from the school. Unfortunately, my non-autistic child is short and slow, but my autistic child is long, lean, and freaking fast. Two young teachers bolted after her. Fortunately, I had a good angle and was able to jump a short fence and catch her.*

*Ok, so technically, she stopped and laughed uproariously when I shouted out her entire legal name as I raced towards her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:37 AM
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If they're so narcissistic that they don't even react meaningfully to their own child's distress, why would they care about a room full of strangers?

Uh, you can get pretty immune to your own child's wails. You know whether or not it's actually hitting that danger pitch.

Still, remove yourself for the sake of the strangers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:38 AM
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how much better my life will be when I have kids

Don't believe them! They're mostly trying to convince themselves. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and I don't regret having them. But I am so fucking ready for them not be in preschool any longer, and especially for the youngest one not to be smack in the middle of the screamy age. She turns three at the end of May and it's a good thing she's as cute as she is because sometimes that's all that's keeping her from being left on the side of a highway.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:38 AM
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I guess this is the best place to confess that I have long had a secret desire to be a fly on the wall at asilon's house.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:40 AM
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Oh, my, what a doll she is.

And yeah, over seven is an awful lot more fun than under seven. I'm told that teenagers get tough again, but this school-age/preteen bracket Sally and Newt are in is pretty nifty. Still laborious (man, do the weekends get eaten up by various sports), but nifty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:41 AM
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Cuteness is inversely proportional to the amount of work required.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:41 AM
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I didn't want to be the first to say anything, but yeah, this is a lie:


how much better my life will be when I have kids


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:43 AM
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Apparently child #2 is showing her just how little she had to do with the charming behavior of child #1.

Perhaps oddly enough, I feel like a great dad to my poorly behaved autistic daughter.

However, I feel incredibly inadequate as a father to my amazingly well-behaved, incredibly likeable 14 yr old son.

I feel a calm in the midst of chaos with her. She can break stuff, hit him, scream and yell, yet I remain serene and handle it. With him, I am easily frustrated and quick to anger.



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:43 AM
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55 -- yes, although this seems to get better with time as the kids can do more on their own. I took my 2.5 year old to a music class yesterday with a bunch of people I know only as parents. I'd seen the same group about a year ago, when everyone's kid was 1-2, and there was literally no conversation whatsoever except people running after or talking to their kids.

Now that the kids are 2-3, the little ones can already go over to the sandbox and play with each other and whatever, and so the adults can have something that approaches more normal conversation.

I imagine this will only get better as my kid gets older.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:44 AM
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The talented misanthrope can be plenty annoyed by the adults (even the kidless ones) in a public or semi-public area. Kids don't have to enter into it at all, and unlike the adults probably can't be held responsible for what they're doing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:44 AM
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Yesterday I was throwing a frisbee around in a park for a little while with my girlfriend and a little kid, probably three at the oldest, came up to us and joined in. No parents were visible. He also chased around a frisbee being thrown by three hipsters near my girlfriend and I, and after a few minutes with all of us, he scampered off to where a couple had a kid in a stroller and some balls he played with for a bit. There was an old guy on the path kind of parallel to the kid, and as we left the park he was standing just 10 or 20 yards away from the kid, and we assumed he was the kid's guardian, but who knows? I mean, I certainly hope he was, because if he wasn't then this three-year-old-or-younger child was apparently running around this park completely unattended.

It was fun and he was cute, and he wasn't too disruptive, but that is almost the only situation imaginable where a kid running loose would be OK. I don't this is particularly anti-child because an adult that tried to join in our game of catch out of the blue like that would have been even less welcome.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:45 AM
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I just want the fuckers to sleep. They could scream and break things all day long, every day, forever and I wouldn't complain if they would just shut the fuck up every night at bedtime and not wake me up until morning.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:45 AM
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My brothers are really obnoxious about how I'll understand when I get to their life stage. Dude, that 3 or 6 year age gap is immaterial now that we're all in our 30s. I'll probably understand when HP is two years older and I've lived in my house with Jammies two years longer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:45 AM
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oh heebie, just wait until you have been divorced a couple times! Then you will understand. You are such a cute child!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:47 AM
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79 is certainly true. I have seen many, many grownups at the opera, for example, who *really* did not want to be there (usually part of a "date night" scenario) and so they fiddled and whispered and sighed as much as any bored 6yo.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:47 AM
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Heebie, you'll understand when you're a dude.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:48 AM
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I always want to respond to the "you'll understand when you [have kids/fall in love/etc.]" people, "Oh, you'll understand when you've been single for a few years at a stretch." Being single is a whole life experience that some people never have. It doesn't get much advertisement, but one does learn things from it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:51 AM
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73 - you can come over and hide in a cupboard any time you like, will.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:54 AM
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On the linked post, the rules seem pretty simple and shouldn't be controversial.

Parents have a duty to be respectful and to try and moderate the bothersome-ness of their little kids, within reason. Other people need to chill out and accept the fact that there are kids in the world and that they sometimes misbehave, and that this is basically OK. People who are genuinely bothered by the mere existence of kids in ordinary kid-acceptable spaces, like parks or people's homes or family restaurants or museums are assholes.

At the same time, even though public spaces should be kid friendly, that doesn't mean it's a good idea to take your 2 year old to the opera or a $500/person restaurant, and there are some places where it's OK to be kid-free. The Jim Crow analogy is ridiculous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:55 AM
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I have spent the last year asking over 1,600 alumni from nine orphanages in the South and Midwest how they have fared in life and how they look back on their childhood experiences.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the orphans, all of whom are now middle aged or older, report a high school graduation rate that is at least 10 percent above their peers in the general white population. They have a college graduation rate that is a fourth higher than their counterparts, and they have a third higher percentage of advanced degrees.

The orphan's median income is between a fifth and two-thirds (depending on age group) above the median for their counterparts. That means their poverty rate and dependency on public relief programs is some minor fraction of their non-orphan counterparts. Moreover, their incarceration rate is well below the rate for other white Americans.

- Richard McKenzie, author of ``The Home: A Memoir of Growing Up in an Orphanage."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:56 AM
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88 is no fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:57 AM
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I do respond rather pissily to parents who dump their kids on me in public without asking, apparently because I am a woman and therefore a good babysitter. Jackmormon and I went to paint in the gardens a few years ago and found that, everywhere we went, parents told their kids to sit with us and ask us how to paint properly--without saying "Hey, do you mind if my kids sit with you for a few hours while I wander away out of sight?" I understand that the desperate desire for free babysitting is strong, but no one asked us or even spoke to us. Why were we assumed to be good babysitters? Because we were painting? If we had been men painting in the park, would parents have left their kids to bother us and ask questions? It wasn't just one crazy parent, either; it was several, mostly fathers.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:00 PM
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Were you painting on a veldt?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:01 PM
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57 - The kids running around and being raucous at my wedding were AWESOME.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:01 PM
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Took me a while to find 89, because it was buried in the comments of This thread

another

"A Duke University study of more than 3,000 orphaned and abandoned children in five Asian and African countries has found that children in institutional orphanages fare as well or better than those who live in the community."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:01 PM
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93: ours too. It really added a lot to the occasion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:02 PM
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The worst part was that the parents started off by admonishing the kids--"See those girls? They know how to paint. They're not just scribbling everywhere." JM and I immediately started undermining parental authority on this issue.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:04 PM
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88
People who are genuinely bothered by the mere existence of kids in ordinary kid-acceptable spaces, like parks or people's homes or family restaurants or museums are assholes.

How common are such people? I've never seen any as far as I know, although being childless I wouldn't expect to notice any. If they are are unusual as I assume, then making it sound like they exist in significant numbers is strawmanning.

Also, 88.first ("... the linked post... shouldn't be controversial") seems to be in tension with 88.last ("The Jim Crow analogy is ridiculous."). Sybil Vane was the one making the analogy; she never uses the phrase "Jim Crow", but she does call people who self-describe as "not kid people" assholes and file the post under "bigotry" for no other apparent reason. That looks controversial to me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:04 PM
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Also, can I use this space to relate one of my biggest gripes as a single dad? At almost every social kid thing I've been to -- and these are always officially progressive, feminist people -- the moms spend the bulk of the time nervously watching the kids, while the dads do a little bit of focused interaction with the kiddos and then retreat to drink a beer and make small talk or whatever.

I can never figure out exactly what the fuck I'm supposed to be doing -- hovering like a mom or hanging out like a dad. I really need the moms to start chilling out and the dads to start stepping up to the plate, but it doesn't seem like this will ever happen.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:05 PM
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91, 96: Man, that's awful, and a perfect time to tell the kids to go play in traffic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:07 PM
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91: For several years I was always being asked while checking in on airplanes if I would be willing to sit next to an unaccompanied child. I always said yes, but was still sorta annoyed because the checklist for this job seemed to be "Young? Has vag?" and my only reward would be to be moved from my aisle seat to a middle seat, because the kid would be next to a window. If the airline is going to use young women as free babysitters on flights, they should kick them some miles or something.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:07 PM
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I can never figure out exactly what the fuck I'm supposed to be doing -- hovering like a mom or hanging out like a dad. I really need the moms to start chilling out and the dads to start stepping up to the plate, but it doesn't seem like this will ever happen.

Hang out with the moms and flirt distractingly. This should get the mothers' minds off the kids, and may attract some of the dads over to where the kids are. This only works if you're cute, but I figure everyone who comments here is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:09 PM
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98: Be the guy who takes a beer over to each of the women and asks them to come have a seat! No one needs to hover!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:09 PM
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Has vag?

Those security checks are really getting intrusive.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:10 PM
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97a: I definitely know some. They aren't, like, obviously terrible awful people, for the most part, and since I don't have kids, it took a while for me to learn this about them. But I know several people (3 men, 1 woman that I can think of) who are really irritatingly anti-child. They think kids are boring and gross, all of them, no exceptions. They think people who have (and probably people who just like kids are boring and immature. They stay away from barbeques or parties if there will be children there. They complain at various volumes if there are children near them in a cafe, or a park, or at a matinee. They roll their eyes if anyone tries to argue with them about this weird prejudice. They think people who disagree are just deluding themselves, because after all, children are objectively stupid, germy, badly socialized, and uninteresting.

One of the guys recently got a tiny dog and is SO irritating about the dog that it (combined with the hypocrisy) has made me like him a lot less. His dog is germy and gross and annoying and needy and boring, and all he talks about anymore. Jesus. Shut about about how obnoxious all the breeders are, already.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:15 PM
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For several years I was always being asked while checking in on airplanes if I would be willing to sit next to an unaccompanied child. I always said yes, but was still sorta annoyed because the checklist for this job seemed to be "Young? Has vag?"

"Has vag?" is on the checklist because it's common knowledge that a single man would only say "yes" if he were planning to molest the child mid-flight.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:16 PM
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98: My friend, a newly single dad, finds that he pulls serious tail when he brings his young daughters to these sorts of events.* If that helps.

*Of course, he's kind of an expert at that, which is a large part of the reason he's a newly-single dad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:18 PM
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61 is entirely correct, except that in addition to childrearing been a "necessary function" and sometimes a "burden," it is also sometimes really fun.

One of the things I keep hoping for in a more feminist world is genuinely neutral social attitudes toward childbearing. The people I know who seem to get the most ongoing pleasure and joy from parenting uniformly do not fall into the "We did it because it was the next step" category (and also not into the "birth control/abortion is wrroonnng" category).

I also think that a large amount of adult/child conflict stems from adult misperceptions of children's developmental capabilities. Most people would agree that if expect an 8-month-old to eat soup without burning herself, you're doomed to disappointment, and yet people routinely do this kind of thing at older ages.

The reverse holds equally true, as only bob (and asilon?) have noted in this thread. There was a whisper of attention to this in the '70s with I Am Not a Short Adult, but my friendships still suggest that a lot of adults have absolutely no idea of what is a realistic developmental arc.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:22 PM
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Some kids are surprisingly good at conveying the impression that they're short adults.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:23 PM
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101, 106 -- Ha! Ha ha ha.

The problem may actually lie more with me than with social conventions -- I have both a strong chill out and have a beer side and a strong hover-parent side.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:24 PM
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I do believe Witt is offering some free babysitting in 107. Take advantage, parents!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:24 PM
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106: OMG yes. I don't know how many times I walked in on conversations among moms about my ex. Apparently if you're a well-educated single dad who keeps in shape and likes to cook, it makes married moms purr very loudly. They'd make lip-zipping gestures when I walked in the room, but I'd usually sit down and say, "Oh, and he's a total psycho in bed."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:25 PM
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109.1 was supposed to convey gallows humor laughter, not the laughter of knowingness, if that wasn't obvious.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:27 PM
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it makes married moms purr very loudly.

We're easy like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:30 PM
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98 would drive me up a wall. I'm trying to think how I would react -- probably remarking explicitly about the situation, and then inviting one or more of the other dads to go over to the kids and do something.

But I've gotten curmudgeonly in my old age, and less and less caring about whether other people think that mentioning unmentionable issues is rude.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:31 PM
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he's a total psycho in bed

Smears himself with shit, screams at the walls, cries randomly. He's a catch, ladies!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:32 PM
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115: I didn't mean for it to sound pleasant.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:34 PM
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91, 96: Man, that's awful, and a perfect time to tell the kids to go play in traffic.

Boy howdy. People are awful. When I realized how much more I hate the average adult than any given random child, I got a lot more mellow about the sound of kids melting down in public.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:35 PM
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I do believe Witt is offering some free babysitting in 107, bearing in mind that I like or dislike young people the same way I like adults -- as individuals.

In other news, last night's storm has turned into a day of torrential rain and I am unbelievably bored and tired of waiting rooms. But yay free wireless!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:36 PM
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You're a woman after my own heart, redfox.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:36 PM
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98: I don't think gender is the biggest reason some people become hoverers and others become chillers. Number and age of children is a huge factor. When my first child was tiny, I totally hovered. Now I chill.

Also, class is a big deal. Wealthier parents are more likely to hover. I've been to a lot of playgrounds where the family pulls up in the pick up, the kids stream out, and the parents just stay in the car the whole time.

Bitch Ph.D. has also maintained that west coast parents are more likely to chill, but I think she was just being a California partisan again.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:37 PM
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120:

I see a similar distinction about suburbs v. the city.

We are city dwellers. Suburbanites act like their children are going to get immediately kidnapped and/or killed in the city, but are perfectly safe to roam their suburan neighborhoods unaccompanied.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:41 PM
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91 would drive me straight up the wall. One of the few positive sides to child abduction hysteria is that weird male loners are never subjected to that sort of thing. The downside is that I only get to play with the kids of people I know really well, and I like kids a lot more than I like most adults.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:43 PM
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the part of the linked post that I got hung up on was the other-people-can't-tell-my-kid-what-to-do bit. I'm not real sure I'm interpreting it right, but it rubs me the wrong way. Hard. Laydeez.

Anyway, I criticize and am irritated by and scowl at and reprimand children whom I adore, ALL THE TIME. I think it would be rude for me to ignore them and wait for a parent to step in, or for me to confront the parent rather than the child. I think having adults who are not parents engage in behavior-monitoring is vital. Plus, they, like, listen to me, because I'm not their mom.

Anyway I am surprised (and, to be honest, kind of irritated) by the idea that it is rude of me to react to a child as though they were not an angel, when that child is behaving in an unangelic manner. This also seems directly in conflict with the whole "I like people who treat my kid like a person" thing from above. When adults irritate, I respond as though I were irritated.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:45 PM
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when adults irritate ^me


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:45 PM
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Looking at Sybil's full post, she seems to be contrasting the "I don't really like kids" attitude she's sketching with the initially described case of a friend of hers who understands her not just as Sybil but as Sybil-mom, someone who's part of the duet involving Sybil's child. Which seems to say that Sybil identifies (partly, but very importantly) as a mom, and wants/needs her friends to acknowledge and participate in that identity.

This seems reasonable as a personal preference on her part. What's odd is the jump from 'doesn't get my identity as a mom' to "is aggressively not into my kid." Why the still later discussion is cast in terms of people not-yet-with-kid, or pre-pregnancy, stumps me, as it suggests that we are all, the vast majority of us, clearly on the child-bearing track.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:49 PM
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How common are such people? I've never seen any as far as I know, although being childless I wouldn't expect to notice any. If they are are unusual as I assume, then making it sound like they exist in significant numbers is strawmanning.

The word you want to Google is "childfree". Not that all childfree people wish that they'd never have to see another child ever again, but they're out there. (In a lot of cases, they're blowing off steam from being in situations where expressing any reservation about having children is Not Okay. I wish Sybil had acknowledged that pressure in her post.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:54 PM
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Why the still later discussion is cast in terms of people not-yet-with-kid, or pre-pregnancy, stumps me, as it suggests that we are all, the vast majority of us, clearly on the child-bearing track.

I believe you're misreading -- she's talking about friends who knew her pre-kid, not making any predictions about their having kids in the future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 12:56 PM
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Remember when the childfree folks descended on unfogged? I barely do.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:00 PM
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126: You could also search the archives for the infamous thread when all those childfree people showed up, or rather a few showed up under multiple names.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:01 PM
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127: Ah. Yes, you're right. Thanks -- I wasn't getting what was going on with that otherwise.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:02 PM
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I find people who talk about what blogs were like when they were newer to be really annoying.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:02 PM
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You were practically a child yourself then, neb.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:03 PM
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link.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:04 PM
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Oh, childfree. Such a disaster. I will cop to reading childfree stuff with a certain guilty delight, but it's kind of a lunatic fringe. When I first discovered that this was a thing, I was thrilled as someone who doesn't want kids, doesn't really enjoy them much (with exceptions), and feels whiny and martyrish at times about the fact that this is Not Ok in many ways, in many contexts.

And then I figured out this is probably not something that needs a community, because when you have numbers, you have things like lamentable insider language (sprogs, etc.) and extremist sects...like in this case, probably people who really are misogynist (I think they say "Moo" for "mom" though I haven't read this stuff in a while), though I was discussing with AWB my irritable recoil at that part of the linked posting since it really is just clearly not that straighforward an ideological overlap.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:06 PM
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To post on which the comments linked in 133 comment is also worth reading, for a brief general introduction to the topic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:06 PM
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I'm fine with kids, got more than a few myself. But yes there definitely are times when you have to tell your kids "no one else in this [public space] came here to listen to you being annoying" and then you get up and leave, taking the kids with you much as you might wish to leave them behind. This includes in the middle of meals, movies etc. Even the playground when they're doing stuff like throwing sand that ruins it for other kids there. My kids were furious wth me when I did this, several still think I'm a dick because of it (and other stuff too).

But what I personally can't abide is little kids who run up and grab two little handfuls of someone's fat ass. Now that's just wrong!


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:06 PM
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133: wow. They're less than politic, aren't they?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:07 PM
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lamentable insider language (sprogs, etc.)

"fuck trophies" in the comment I happened upon in the thread linked in 133. Classy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:08 PM
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Interesting also to note that Apo was making the point he made in 40 over five years ago. (See comments 6/7 of thread in 133.) In both cases, his comment was more or less unprovoked--i.e., only generally topically related to the thread. I'm guessing Apo must have some co-workers who are particularly annoying in this respect.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:10 PM
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Middle Aged Man! You sound like you have more children than me! Talk more and make me look less of a DFH earth mother.

I don't know if I mentioned this last summer, but we had friends stay from New York and they kept telling us that in their social circle, they are the strict authoritarian parents. Christ on a bike, remind me when we visit them never to meet ANY of their clearly insane friends.

My 7 year old is currently dissecting a brownie because she doesn't like the nuts in it. "Don't worry, I'll clear it up," she's telling me.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:12 PM
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fuck trophies

So, if I'm reading this right, all I have to do is wrap my kids in tinfoil, and then, voila! Halloween costume!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:12 PM
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141: put on a hockey jersey and hold them above your head.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:14 PM
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Some members of the childfree movement, if that's what it is, are clearly obnoxious -- I don't think that's what Sybil was talking about, for what it's worth. She appears to just not like it when people who purport to be her friends aren't also her kid's friend. Seems like there's a middle stance according to which that might be the case without one being a member of the childfree movement.

Shorter me: the childfree linked thread is distracting! Ugh! Ugly stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:19 PM
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The 133 link is batshit. Although one was named ari, so that was kind of funny.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:24 PM
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Apo must have some co-workers who are particularly annoying in this respect

Not heard it from my coworkers, actually. I work for a very family-friendly company. But spend any time at all on any childfree forum and that topic comes up almost immediately. It seems to be among their chief complaints.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:26 PM
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I should work as a babysitter more. I actually really enjoy spending time with children and I could use the cash. I think I'm even certified in it, or at least I was when I was 14.


Posted by: parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:29 PM
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145: It's freaky these days how quickly people side with the bosses over their own kind. It's pathological.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:37 PM
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CA has a colleague who, when asked to attend any meeting or perform any departmental servicey task, says, "Oh, I can't. I have to go home to my kids." When not asked to do anything, he spends all his time in his office watching movies and playing Enemy Territory in order not to be around his kids. But that guy's problem is not that he's a parent, rather that he's a douchebag.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:40 PM
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My current boss (in an all-women environment) has a double-standard that people who have kids can use their kids as excuses for anything, including missing work in the weeks when we're not supposed to miss for any reason, and those of us who don't are supposed to pick up the slack. I'm all for family-friendly policies, but this is not the way to make it work. And I get extra annoyed because I know none of the dads are leaving their jobs when the kids get sick. But hey, I'm either going to be having a child myself or leaving the office, so either way is a win for me I guess.

(And am I allowed to say how thrilled I am that we're not being derailed by orphanage talk or will that jinx it?)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:48 PM
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((And why did I hyphenate "double standard" and why did I use so many two-part adjectives anyway? Ugh.))


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:49 PM
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104
97a: I definitely know some. They aren't, like, obviously terrible awful people, for the most part, and since I don't have kids, it took a while for me to learn this about them. But I know several people (3 men, 1 woman that I can think of) who are really irritatingly anti-child. They think kids are boring and gross, all of them, no exceptions.

Yeah, I suppose I should have known better than to write any sentence of the form "I can't believe a significant number of people are so stupid or asshole-ish that they foo.". Silly me. I'm halfway through the old thread linked in 133 now, and it's pretty entertaining.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 1:54 PM
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child abduction hysteria is that weird male loners are never subjected to that sort of thing.

Umm, as the weird guy with puppies at the edge of the playground I used to get a little of this, but mostly the kids and I eye each other warily and keep our distance.

I view them as very dangerous to me.

Now after years of long walks I sometimes think all 5 million metroplex residents recognize me on sight. My immediate neighbors, I don't know, a thousand families seem to be comfortable now, but by nature neither me nor the dogs are at all gregarious. Just over there under a tree.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:00 PM
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I view them as very dangerous to me.

You're a wise McManus, Bob.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:05 PM
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I do get a lot of "Hey Mister I like you dogs" and "Do they bite? Can I pet them? No. Sure"

But the dogs are tolerant of but not particularly interested in people, being inedible, and are eager to move on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:06 PM
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Fact: little kids are fast, unpredictable, and have sharp teeth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:08 PM
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149:(And am I allowed to say how thrilled I am that we're not being derailed by orphanage talk or will that jinx it?)

Boo. Hiss.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:08 PM
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155:

And might pee on you or offer you a snot-covered hand.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:09 PM
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Wow, ari used to be hilarious. What happened to him?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:11 PM
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Kids, obviously.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:13 PM
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That linked thread strikes me as sock-puppetry at an Olympic level.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:19 PM
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158: Yeah, Ari was a lot funnier when he "just felt obligated" to express an opinion. And he had "a pretty good personality" too!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:20 PM
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That linked thread strikes me as sock-puppetry at an Olympic level.

Indeed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:22 PM
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160: Indeed, I went back to the date of the thread to read the original post, and along the way I found a later thread that week that says as much - the same IP address for a bunch of people who posted one comment and had nothing further to say, as well as for one or two self-obsessed people who got into long, insanely aggressive arguments.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:22 PM
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139: And 72 in this thread bears some resemblance to this comment.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:23 PM
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It doesn't count as pwnage if the timestamp is the same, does it?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:23 PM
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That's between you and your god, Cyrus.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:25 PM
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161: "Unlike most humans out there [he is] an all around good person."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:25 PM
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(Slightly off topic, I think person B or person C may be a friend of mine.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:27 PM
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I stopped blogging because I felt like I'd run out of things to say and was just repeating myself. I'll repost this comment in three years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:29 PM
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30 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:29 PM
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In their defense, I really only had evidence that Person A is annoying. They were victims of annoying-by-proxy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:29 PM
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Oh yeah I wasn't offended on Person B/C's behalf. I just always get a kick out of the smallness of the world.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:34 PM
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145: I got a theory, which is mine, that a lot of Childfree people are stereotypical nerds in their twenties, both losers in the sexual sweepstakes and still naive to think all night coding sessions make them ubermenschen. A lot of the Nerd Ethic revolves around working hard and Coding uber alles and anybody who doesn't conform to this is a slacker.

The best grow out of it.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:36 PM
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Childfree except for clones.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:40 PM
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Hypothesis: sometimes we get annoyed by things other people are doing more because of our own peeves and sensitives than because they're just objectively annoying.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:44 PM
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175: False.

Postulate: Everything that annoys me is, by definition, objectively annoying.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:49 PM
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I wonder whether one of the things behind the self-loathing described in the OP is the way in which child-having has become more of a choice than a fact of life (not that it's purely a choice, but technology has certainly separated it from pure necessity, especially the higher you go up the socioeconomic ladder) at the same time all choices are increasingly becoming figured as consumer choices. Having a child as a consumer choice is a narcissistic act -- creating a human being to serve as a lifestyle accessory. So there's maybe a bit of nagging guilt (which may be wholly unjustified in most cases) about the narcissism that's involved in having a child, and a bit of defensiveness to ward off the guilt. (The same dynamic shows up among people who have chosen not to have children -- another choice of lifestyle accessories, in this case the tidy apartment and freedom to travel, etc.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:50 PM
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174: clones that would love to be raised by me, because I would love to have been raised by me.

And then we make the clones female and bisexual and have to pay Heinlein royalties again.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:52 PM
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178: Most people who are annoying about their kids are just annoying generally, IME.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:55 PM
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175: You know what's objectively annoying? Typos.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 2:58 PM
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We all hate parents who talk about their children when we want them to listen to us talk about ourselves, but I think I can be forgiven for musing that the treatment of children in general (abuse, exploitation, oppression of a scale and sort that would win middle-aged men regular Oscars for making bathetic movies about it) suggests that most adult humans don't like children very much at all.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:03 PM
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180: No, no, I was referring to annoyance caused by one's relationships with individuals who are particularly receptive to communications with the spirit world.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:05 PM
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I imagine having kids is hard, beyond all the obvious reasons, because suddenly you get sucked into all these narratives about proper parenting behavior that have a lot to do with race/class/gender expectations, family obligations, media representations, and all that, and it's really hard to decide who you want to be as a parent, and what that signifies to other people, without feeling either pointlessly reactionary or a drone. Suddenly everything you do apart from all these competing narratives is a Statement, and everyone on earth feels the right to criticize the way you do everything. If you talk about your kid, you're a loser with nothing going on; if you don't talk about your kid, you're a heartless shithead, etc. You hover too much or too little, you buy too much or too little, you visit family too much or too little. If anything goes wrong, if the kid is somehow different or troubled, it's probably something you did. The kid becomes a symbol for everyone around you of whether you're an acceptable person or not. I think it would be hard to be a parent trying to get other people to treat your child like a person, on top of all the stuff you're trying to do to do right by your child.

It was around the time I realized this that I stopped sympathizing with the childfree movement. Yeah, people treat childless people like scum, too, for really obnoxious reasons, but at least I am scrutinized by others for how I appear to them rather than for the fact that I'm ruining the future by failing to raise a child the way they'd want me to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:10 PM
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We all hate parents who talk about their children when we want them to listen to us talk about ourselves

Is somebody grumpy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:15 PM
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183: Looking at that old thread, the thing that strikes me most is that the troll was obsessed with critiquing everyone else's parenting. They were like "Don't look down on me for being childfree, you cow who obviously doesn't know how to discipline her obnoxious children!"

The never ending critique of other people's parenting is bad enough, but to actually get it from someone who is proud of the fact that they have no first hand experience is beyond belief.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:15 PM
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To digress a moment, a lot of the Nerd Ethic revolves around working hard and Coding uber alles and anybody who doesn't conform to this is a slacker - wow, substitute "activist" or even "anarchist" for "nerd" and you would describe about 75% of my current social problems! Hearing this tendency ridiculed cheers me up!

I like most kids when I get to know them. When they are strangers, they make me nervous. But so do grown-up strangers.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:16 PM
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177: It is really important to push back against the idea that having children is a consumer choice. I first started reading Bitch PhD's blog at a time when she was going on about this, and it made me like her a lot. Having children is a basic mammalian function. Workplace allowances for children should be like workplace allowances for eating or going to the bathroom.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:19 PM
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187: Agreed. Having seen women in my social position (no guaranteed employment from semester to semester, extremely ineffective health care, no partner, no family around, no money, no property) have babies has made me really angry on their behalf. I can live on what I make, barely. I cannot see how one does that with a child. It seems like if you're a woman in a PhD program, you'd better just get your tubes tied or be sure to have a wealthy husband if you expect to be able to continue eating food and having an apartment while raising a kid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:25 PM
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Having childrentitties is a basic mammalian function

Hooray!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:25 PM
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After becoming aware of the dynamic in 183 I started reminding all my friends who are (or are about to become) parents that we are all descended from kids raised in caves by people whose highest technological achievement was bashing rocks together. Those little suckers are hard to break. Kids, not rocks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:27 PM
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It is really important to push back against the idea that having children is a consumer choice.

Yes, this. I could be persuaded that there are some yuppie parents who think of having children in terms similar to any other consumer choice. But they are wrong about that -- as they usually find out once the kid has arrived. It's just a fundamentally wrong way to think about the entire issue.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:28 PM
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It's just a fundamentally wrong way to think about the entire issue.

What is the right way to think about the issue? I still think for most people in first world countries it pretty much is a consumer choice. A pretty major one, but a choice none the less.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:36 PM
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You can discard possessions when you are bored with them without caring about the possession.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:39 PM
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"Basic mammalian function" works for me. Or, basic necessity for the survival of human life. Or something like that.

Right up there with food or shelter. Obviously people can and do make consumer choices related to food and shelter, as they do with children. But no one would say "oh, interesting choice to decide to eat today."

(Yes, plenty of people don't want to and won't have kids, and that's fine. But somebody has to).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:40 PM
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Yes, and 193 as well, of course. Treating another human life that you're bound to support for 18 years as equivalent to a consumer purchase is . . . misleading at best.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:41 PM
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You can make choices about your life without making those choices as a consumer. What I was suggesting is that it's increasingly hard to think of choice outside the consumer paradigm.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:41 PM
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What I was suggesting is that it's increasingly hard to think of choice outside the consumer paradigm

Actually, having kids is a pretty good cure for that disease.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:42 PM
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194: Category mistake. People do say, "oh, interesting choice to decide to have/not have a kid [at all; right now vs. later vs. sooner; in whatever quantities]." There are elements of choice for the individual, unlike with eating, shitting, etc.

197: Probably so, although not always in AWB's and my neighborhood.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:46 PM
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Yeah, the eating analogy isn't exact, of course.

I think a better way of putting my point is this: For any individual person, there is (sometimes -- not always!) choice involved in having a kid. For society as a whole, having kids is not a choice. It is something we have to do as human beings, and something that human society as a whole should accomodate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:50 PM
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The thing that makes it not a consumer choice is that, to the extent having a kid is a choice, it's a one-time mostly irrevocable choice. (Mostly meaning that you can drop your newborn off at a firehouse, but short of that you make a decision in 1998, and you're bound by it for at least the next eighteen years.) This isn't much at all like any other consumption decision.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 3:51 PM
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21 is nicely written.

IME (limited, not first-hand) single dads are not especially warmly regarded-- being fit and knowing how to cook is not enough.

The other thing about kids is that it's hard to fake much-- this may sound wrong, given how oddly most parents behave in company and how shallow our anxieties are. Maybe having kids surfaces anxieties that people can otherwise keep hidden.

Premodern infant mortality rates are estimated at 20%, with childhood disease claiming at least 20% of the survivors by age 10.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:00 PM
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183 and 185 more or less express the dynamic that I think tends to explain the taboo (?) surrounding reprimanding other people's children. It can often come off -- and I dare say is often intended -- as a criticism of someone's parenting. "Well if you aren't going to respond to your kid's misbehavior, then I guess I have to." Sometimes it is done in ways that undermine what the parent is trying to do. I will reprimand a friend's children if we are close enough that I know what she would reprimand them for and how she would go about it. But I try to be leery of treading on other parents' toes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:05 PM
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IME (limited, not first-hand) single dads are not especially warmly regarded-- being fit and knowing how to cook is not enough.

There's a difference here between dating success and flirting success -- being a single parent probably screws with anyone's chances of actually connecting romantically, just because it complicates the logistics and emotional issues. OTOH, being a parent makes it a lot easier to become instantly warm and friendly with other parents, and if you're a flirty kind of person, it opens up the flirting possibilities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:06 PM
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It's a tangent, but not where I live. Divorces are mostly either initiated by women, so these are the guys someone couldn't live with, or by men with someone on the side.

I understand that AWB mentioned what she saw, and you live in the city too, so maybe it's a city v suburbs break.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:11 PM
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196: There has been a noticeable shift during my adult lifetime towards regarding absolutely everything through the prism of consumer choice/free market economics. It was well underway when I first noticed it, but it is nearly ubiquitous now. Ironically the people most aggressively advancing this paradigm call themselves defenders of traditional values.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:13 PM
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OTOH, being a parent makes it a lot easier to become instantly warm and friendly with other parents, and if you're a flirty kind of person, it opens up the flirting possibilities

Soooo not my experience. Possibly because I am just not warm and friendly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:14 PM
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single dads are not especially warmly regarded

It seems like there are competing myths of the single dad. I think there's a way some women fetishize the idea of the man who cooks and cleans and cares for kids, but he's not really taken seriously as a caregiver. I was sort of on the opposite side from that; I knew he was a good parent, but it wasn't what I found attractive about him.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:15 PM
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Huh. I'm mostly on the cold and prickly side myself, but don't you find yourself, e.g., hanging out at kid birthday parties, or at kid sports, or in the park, or wherever, and chatting with random other parents in a swapping stories and advice ("Where does your kid go to school?"; "Oh, mine loved the Wiggles until they were around six or seven"; "Seriously, if you're not a baseball person yourself, soccer's probably a better idea -- Little League is pretty useless for a kid who doesn't have someone playing catch with them") kind of way? I mean, I'm using flirting in the very lightest sense of the word, but I'm not much of a flirt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:19 PM
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Yeah, the flirters I'm talking about were all married women whose husbands were not as... kitcheny as my ex. If they had been single, would they have really wanted to date him? Besides the fact that all these women took pride in being the kitcheny ones in their own relationships, he was a lot of trouble, and incredibly demanding and cold. It just seemed like a grass-is-greener thing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:19 PM
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208 to 206 and 204.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:20 PM
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OTOH, being a parent makes it a lot easier to become instantly warm and friendly with other parents, and if you're a flirty kind of person, it opens up the flirting possibilities

Yeah, I haven't noticed that at all, but (a) I'm not a flirty person, really and (b) I know very few divorced people and have little interest in flirting with married women.

Since the conversation took this turn I'll speak for myself: For me, the logistical problems of dating with a kid are really difficult, and I'm also not really that interested in devoting energy to pursuing dating when work, kids, and slacking off take up so much time. Those are the real problems. But I don't think there's some essence of the single dad that makes one notably attractive or unattractive; it's not something I worry about a lot, since it's just where I am, nor is it something I expect to increase my sale price on the dating market.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:23 PM
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Huh. This is not usually the side of this kind of dichotomy I find myself on. Maybe I'm just a lot less shy with parents than with random people, so I think of it as a universal social lubricant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:27 PM
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I'm just hung up on the word "flirting" -- having kids definitely makes it easier to talk to other parents, but not really in what I'd call a flirty way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:28 PM
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Bave's comment in 174 reminds me that I spend a fair amount of time listening to our gay couple friends and our childless friends describe that their amazing trips and fabulous remodelings of their houses.

Bitches.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:31 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:32 PM
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Possibly what's going on here is just that I think of any conversation not characterized by my customary snarling hostility as flirty; the fathers I think of myself as flirting with may simply not be noticing it as such.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:32 PM
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I agree with LB. Kids give people something to talk about. That can translate into mild flirtiness, unless you are cold and mean like Di.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:32 PM
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I can remember, as a kid, when British public life was very anti-kid; you weren't allowed into pubs or some restaurants, so one of your parents had to sit in the hallway with your crisps. It was terribly shit.

I'm much in favour of society dealing with children, it's part of both a liberal and an egalitarian way of life - maybe even one with fraternity.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:33 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:33 PM
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Halford, it's a shame you live in CA. I would totally date someone who had no interest or expectation of putting any energy into it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:34 PM
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192: Children are a major and largely non-alienable (unless you feel like selling them to Angelina Jolie) investment of pretty much everything financial and non-financial that you could name. The comparison with other "consumer choices" is so strained as to be worthless.

Anyway. I'm fine with kids, in a general type of way. On the other hand:

1. Pet peeve with the flaunting of kids as a kind of social capital. I'm not talking about people who, in person, talk a lot about their kids, since once you have them it's natural to talk about them. (People who have kids and never talk about them kinda creep me out, actually.) I'm talking about the gratuitous interjection of kids in a "Hey! Look! I have kids!" sort of way into contexts where it's genuinely unhelpful or makes no sense. Annoying. (Common offenders: Facebookers. Get the infants off your profile pictures, for God's sake. It's the random infliction of stills from your boring home movies on innocent bystanders.) Minor peeve, though, in the greater scheme of things. A quarter eye-roll at best.

2. I reserve right to think there are places you should not take your kids. Sifu has it right; if they're in those places (the opera would count if I went to the opera) my beef is more with the parent than them. Restaurants could be such a space, sure, depending on the restaurant, why not? Quiet musical performances that require a lot of sitting still and concentrating would be another one. The sort of places where the kid is clearly there not because they're going to get something out of it, but because the parent doesn't want to give this shit up on account of having kids. But again, a minor peeve, worthy of only half an eye-roll.

3. I reserve the right to think your kid is an asshole if they're behaving like an asshole, particularly if you're not doing anything to curb the behavior. And if they're bugging me persistently (I mean if they're bugging me directly, I'm not talking about just general crying) and you don't muster up the guster say something, I will. And if you think that makes me asshole, too bad. This is a less minor peeve, although I think this kind of thing way more often than I act on it. I will, however, bust out the full eye-roll for this one.

4. I reserve the right to think that sweepingly infantilizing women, hispanics, schizophrenics and the blind all in the same sentence because of your defensiveness about your kids is deeply fucked up and stupid, in a way that suggests you absolutely need to back up your thinking-train and try that particular stretch of track all over again. This is a major peeve. I mean, what the hell? My eyeballs are just spinning in my head here.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:34 PM
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Common offenders: Facebookers. Get the infants off your profile pictures, for God's sake. It's the random infliction of stills from your boring home movies on innocent bystanders.

Oh get over yourself. It's freaking facebook. Plus Hawaiian Punch is cuter than me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:39 PM
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Seriously. If pictures of people's kids ON FACEBOOK bother you, you should not be friends with those people.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:42 PM
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183: As a compensating factor, I found that as soon as I had a kid, I developed a total certainty that whatever half-assed notions I had of how to raise a kid were 100% correct, and everyone else was tragically misinformed.

192: Is having a brother a consumer choice? Having a parent? Before you have children, you can imagine it's a consumer choice. Afterwards, they're relatives.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:42 PM
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222: The only reason I'm on facebook is so that I don't have to e-mail pictures of my kid to people and so that I can look-up the names of their kids when it's time for Chirstmas cards and such.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:44 PM
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And, to see which one of my high school classmates gets "old looking" the quickest. But mostly, for the kids.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:46 PM
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If pictures of people's kids ON FACEBOOK bother you, you should not be friends with those people.

Eh, for me it falls into the same category as people who have their pets or their SOs in their profile pics; it pushes the "does this person have their own identity?" button, but I understand why they do it. And I make a distinction between profile pics and photos in albums.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:47 PM
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220 -- Let me tell you, I am a viking when it comes to not putting interest or energy into things.

I mostly agree with everything in 221, but the Facebook thing is silly; what else is that site for?

Also this The sort of places where the kid is clearly there not because they're going to get something out of it, but because the parent doesn't want to give this shit up on account of having kids. is misguided.

Parents sometimes need to not give things up on account of having kids. With that said, I do think that taking your kids into a situation that's more designed for you than for them calls for an extra degree of solicitiousness towards other adults. That is, you can shush more at the nice restaurant or art museum than is appropriate at the park.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:48 PM
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And, to see which one of my high school classmates gets "old looking" the quickest

Hah, yes, definitely. I'm from central Scotland, though, I probably have high school classmates who are grandparents, are already on their second heart bypass, and using a zimmer frame.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:49 PM
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Also there's no place on the Facebook side bar in basic biological info for you to say "Has: 1 kid".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:50 PM
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222, 223: Read the rest of that paragraph.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:54 PM
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I'd guess that 80% of people who put kids in their profile pictures do it because they think look bad, and their kids look good.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:59 PM
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Facebook has actually increased my dislike of certain parenting trends. But as someone said above, this is much more about me than it is about them, so I should a) shut up and b) retract any number of my statements above regarding what I find annoying about the modern American culture of parenting.

I do find it surprising that parents feel besieged; aren't they still a majority? And is it childless people creating this feeling, or is it other parents?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:59 PM
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(And Heebie totally has a kidpic as her profile picture, obviously. I knew it! It's okay, Heebs, you're still awesome. It's just that you're a little less awesome for having done that.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 4:59 PM
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People are very sensitive to DS's quarter eye roll. Let's hope he doesn't get distracted by something up near the ceiling or half of unfogged could have their feelings hurt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:02 PM
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But the dogs are tolerant of but not particularly interested in people, being inedible, and are eager to move on.

You could probably train them to eat kids, especially the noisy ones. And if you die with your dogs locked in the house with you, they'll overcome that inedible people thing real quick.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:02 PM
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It strikes me that people have competing notions of a how to use public spaces as much as they do about the value of children. Which is to say, if I'm in a certain kind of public space, a park for example, I pretty much assume that I'll have very little control of who else is using that space and how it's going to be used. Not no control, mind you, but very little.

So, ugly people or morbidly obese people or Mexicans or midgets or members of whatever group gets my goat are swilling beer, smoking, swearing loudly, or even wearing obnoxious clothes at the park? And I'm worried about my kids being exposed to such déclassé behavior? Then I'd better leave the park. But by the same token, if people are going to be put off that my kids are screaming and yelling at the park, then those people should probably leave. And don't even fucking consider reprimanding my kids -- for the reasons Di suggests above, in addition to the fact that you're a lot bigger than my kids and thus might well scare them, asshole -- unless they're behaving in a way that's dangerous to you or someone else.

But restaurants, or the opera, or the art museum, or whatever other refined place we might usefully contrast with the park, those are very different kinds of public spaces, where very different kinds of behaviors are tolerated. So if my kids are being loud near or smearing snot on the Rodin, probably I should get them out of there and back to the park. And if I don't do that, I suppose you're well within your rights to ask them to stop, though I'd much prefer, assuming you're not a friend of mine who's familiar with my kids, that you first ask me to deal with the situation.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:05 PM
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Eh, for me it falls into the same category as people who have their pets or their SOs in their profile pics; it pushes the "does this person have their own identity?" button, but I understand why they do it.

I kind of assumed the SO in the profile pic was so that any long lost acquaintance going through a mid-life crisis and looking for some tail and/or a new SO to save them would get the message that if that was the only reason they were requesting Facebook friendship, they were barking up the wrong tree. Kind of like how some women introduce the phrase "my boyfriend . . . " early in a conversation to forestall any unwanted being-hit-on activity (or so I'm told; that's never happened to me, naturally).

It's the random infliction of stills from your boring home movies on innocent bystanders.

You poor oppressed person you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:07 PM
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Huh, the end of my comment got eated. I was leading up to saying that a lot of these issues seem to hinge on how one defines "the public" part of "public space".


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:08 PM
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231: Um, and what portion is it you think we've overlooked.

233.1: I should ease up on the bragging, shouldn't I?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:10 PM
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240.2: Oh god no. You're one of my very favorite parents, and I love when you brag about Rory. It's cute.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:10 PM
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Ah, the Rodin looks better with a light sheen of snot.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:11 PM
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I can't find it, but I remember reading a (needless to say) thoughtful post by Tim Burke about taking his children to a museum and being unsure how to react other children there behaving aggressively towards his own kids (e.g. pushing them away from hands-on exhibits and monopolizing same). If I recall correctly he discussed how ideas of when and how much children need supervision can differ across class.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:12 PM
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Come on people, what Sifu said. Quarter eye roll, no biggie.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:13 PM
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239: don't let your kids hog the batture, ari.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:13 PM
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244: Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:14 PM
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237: you're a lot bigger than my kids and thus might well scare them, asshole

That might be a feature. Do annoying things to large, scary people and they will respond. Seems like a pretty salutary lesson.

238.4: I know, right? Don't even get me started on "looking off into the distance" profile pictures or "Comedy Channel cartoon tie-in" profile pictures. War crimes, I tell you. Those fuckers oughta be strung up.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:14 PM
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247.last: or "I'm only going to show you my shoes". What the fuck is that about?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:16 PM
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You can't really appreciate DS's attitude towards children unless you understand that he's only seven years old. He's lonely in his peer group. And embarrassed by them at the opera.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:16 PM
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DS seems to have a pretty reasonable attitude towards children. I don't see what the big deal is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:17 PM
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248: But what shoes!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:17 PM
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My profile pictures are the only fine and good profile pictures.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:18 PM
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can differ across class

Sure, but a big part of it is also whether you think kids are part of the public for which a given public space is intended. It also matters whether you think you're really a member of the public for which that space is intended. I mean, one's reaction to the behavior of others is often contingent on one's own cultural positioning. So when I'm at the park, I recognize that yes, it's okay for me to use that space pretty much as I want, so long as my wants don't conflict with any posted regulations. Because that park is partly mine, and I belong there without any question. And the same is true of my kids when they use that park.

But when I go to the opera, or the museum, or the fancy restaurant where Bave has to endure the screaming of my kids, I have real doubts about whether I belong there (forgetting for a moment that a restaurant is at best a quasi-public space -- actually, let's not forget it, and let's instead talk about the streets of Park Slope, where I'm equally unsure whether, for several of the same reasons as the restaurant case, that I or my kids belong there).


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:19 PM
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238: On the contrary, I want all the women in my past to know what beautiful children I father before it's too late for them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:20 PM
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maybe kids there have their vocal cords cut out like Dobermans at drug mansions

Googling around, rendering dogs barkless does indeed seem to be a thing that people do. Weird! But what I don't get is why you'd want a barkless dog at your drug mansion. I mean, isn't the point of a big scary the deterrent effet, what with all the scary barking? Or is the druglord just some sort of sadist, thinking, "Ha-ha! you tried to break in and steal my money and drugs, but now my big, scary, silent dog is eating you!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:20 PM
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245: Yeah, yeah, I know.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:20 PM
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Barking gives away the location of the dogs, and a barkless dog is much more badass.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:22 PM
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Barking dogs are a sure sign that a drug mansion is near. You want the bite, that's all.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:22 PM
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I'm trying to think of when I was last annoyed by children in public. The only thing I can come up with is a kid who was routinely kicking a ball at my head and pushed my friend's child in a park. That was not ok. Other than that? Kids in public spaces are a net bonus. Where else do I get to laugh about the woman who has named her child Thunder and then yells at him, "Danger, Thunder, danger!"?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:23 PM
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255: well, first of all, getting barked at by dogs is less scary than getting eaten by dogs. Second of all, if people know your dogs bark, then they'll know (as they climb over the fence) if the dogs hear them or not. If you know there are big, scary dogs and also know that you won't hear them until they're at your throat, you might be that much more intimidated. It does rely on a certain comfort on the part of the homeowner with intruders being mauled by dogs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:24 PM
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Pwned so many ways, so many times.

For the value add: drug lords really need their rest, and don't need dogs waking them up every time a squirrel tries to nest in the mountain of blow. Maulings make for a better night's sleep.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:25 PM
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Sifu, gswift, relax! I'm only giving DS's petty idiocy a 3/8 eyeroll.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:25 PM
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248: So right. They'd better be Italian.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:27 PM
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That might be a feature. Do annoying things to large, scary people and they will respond. Seems like a pretty salutary lesson.

Not really, no. If I want my kids to learn that adults are assholes with hair-trigger tempers, I'll teach them that lesson using my own methods, thanks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:27 PM
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I hate it when people bring barking dogs to fine art museums. They always makes so much noise when they bust out the cards for a game of poker.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:28 PM
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262: However, I'm giving your petty and idiotic usage of the words "petty idiocy" three full eye-rolls and two double punch-buggies, no returns. (Long as I'm running with the premise of 249.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:29 PM
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264: That you don't necessarily have control over how they'll learn that lesson in public spaces (short of someone actually attacking your kid, not just saying something to them) is another one of those features that makes them public spaces.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:33 PM
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I sure hope AWB catches all this important information on how to be a successful drug lord. She's gonna need it if she ever gets around to starting that drug ring she's mentioned.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:36 PM
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I generally find folks who reprimand other people's kids to be extraordinarily dickish. How do you know what's going on with that kid that day, asshole? At least say something to the parent first.

I'd make an exception for really extremely bad behavior, or something that puts the other person in danger. But I'd like to opt my kids out of DS's valuable personal space boundary lessons, please.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:38 PM
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If I want my kids to learn that adults are assholes with hair-trigger tempers, I'll teach them that lesson using my own methods, thanks.

The possibility that your kids might be intimidated by someone requesting them no longer to bug him in a public space, and the possibility that the person doing that is an asshole with a hair-trigger temper, are quite distinct.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:38 PM
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Wasn't there an earlier thread revealing that certain parks only allow you in if accompanied by children?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:39 PM
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271: Those are playgrounds, and it's pretty well enforced here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:40 PM
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I mean, officious enforcers of proper behavior are usually dicks, even when they're only going after adults. I hate it when these kinds of people go after kids.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:42 PM
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269: Fair enough. But provided that what occasions the reprimand fits the parameters of 221.3 (esp. where the parent has had ample opportunity to do something and hasn't), I honestly don't care.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:42 PM
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274 -- I'm not clear on what behavior you're talking about. If some kid is walking up to you and hitting you, you can tell him to stop doing that. If some kid is annoying you by talking too loudly in a restaurant, well . . . I would view it as pretty supremely dickish if you walked up and shushed him, even if you were right to be annoyed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:46 PM
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Talking too loudly in a restaurant wouldn't be specifically DS-directed enough to count, I think.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:52 PM
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I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what he's talking about, though. Are random kids running up to DS and pulling his hair? I guess he can tell them gently to stop. What else are kids doing that are directly aimed at DS?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:55 PM
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277: you didn't see the stuff about AKs above?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:56 PM
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I've had a kid drop things on my head from the seat behind me on a bus. This was after a couple of hours of noise and kicking of the back of my seat.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 5:59 PM
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I think it's OK to ask the kid to stop dropping things on your head, although it would be nicer still to take the parent aside first, and of course your response and the proper tone depends on the age of the kid.

As for the noise and even, maybe, the seat kicking (which, to be clear, I personally would freak out about and try to prevent as a parent) -- may I heartily wish upon you the experience of taking your own child on a long bus trip.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:03 PM
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Given that you appear not to know what reprimand means, you should probably stay away from children, full stop. And DS, my original comment wasn't directed at you -- just to be clear.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:03 PM
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277: They are persecuting me, Robert. They are everywhere. Shifty. Small hands. All the time. I have to reprimand children 500 fucking times a day.

No, SRSLY, neb has it right. Basically it would usually have to involve some kind of physical contact. Take the kind of situation in 280, for instance. I've been the "asshole" who turned around and said something after a half hour of having his seat kicked. Probably scared the little blighter and scarred him for life, the poor thing. But I'm okay with that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:05 PM
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281: All good, Ari.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:06 PM
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I once had to tell this kid to stop biting my leg. His parents weren't doing a damn thing!

Goddamn wolves.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:07 PM
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To whom is the first sentence of 281 directed? Given that all DS said was that he would "say something", what relevance does the precise meaning of reprimand have?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:08 PM
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281 to 6.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:10 PM
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I've been the "asshole" who turned around and said something after a half hour of having his seat kicked. Probably scared the little blighter and scarred him for life, the poor thing.

I can't tell how serious you are about the scaring and the scarring, but there's definitely a range for "said something" that would make this officially not cool in my book.

(Which isn't to say that you couldn't say something to the parents, or ask the kid very calmly and politely to stop. And age of course matters a lot here).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:12 PM
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For instance, if "said something" includes absolutely losing your shit and screaming at the kid, probably not cool!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:15 PM
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Given that you appear not to know what reprimand means, you should probably stay away from children, full stop.

There's a vocabulary test for being around children, now? Speaking of vocabulary, did you know that 'full stop' was the British word for period (the punctuation mark)? If you're American, why not try 'period'?

I'm sorry for this comment. I'm sure you're making an important point saving children from something bad. But I'm tired and grumpy.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:18 PM
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282.2: I guess I just don't see why it's necessary to (a) wait half an hour to say something and then (b) say something to "scare the little blighter. What's so hard about turning around and saying, "Excuse me, could you please not kick the back of the seat?" Depending on the age, etc., the kid may not yet realize that kicking the seat actually affects the person in front of him. And asking nicely once gives the parents a heads up and makes you less of a jerk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:18 PM
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I'm with DS on this one. Either keep your little monsters under some reasonable control or I'll do it for you. And yes, I'm aware of the possible consequences.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:18 PM
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You people are so easily trolled. Poor DS probably does it entirely by accident. You know what he did? He probably turned around and politely told the child to stop kicking his seat.

He's Canadian! I mean!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:18 PM
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289: Yes, I was dead serious: there should be literacy tests for people who want to interact with children.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:23 PM
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I once had to tell this kid to stop biting my leg. His parents weren't doing a damn thing! Goddamn wolvesgoats.

Fixed.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:24 PM
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He's Canadian!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:24 PM
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Everybody's getting grumpy! I like it! Let the hate feed you and your children!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:26 PM
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Yeah, I'm with DS and Nosflow and Biohazard here. Kids are people, and if a person's actually touching you or directly hassling you, you're allowed to tell them to stop it, regardless of whether they're five.

Certainly, shrieking threats or obscenities would be inappropriate, and I'd react with hostility to someone being inappropriately hostile with my kids, but that didn't sound like what DS was talking about at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:26 PM
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I was once reprimanded by an old fart at a bookstore cafe because my 6-month old baby was...now, get this...not crying or screeching or wailing his lungs out but laughing with delight at a toy I had given him. Which toy I had given him in order to keep him from crying, which clever device worked quite nicely. So this guy says to me "Do you mind? I'm trying to read." This in a busy cafe in midtown Manhattan, where other people (you know, grownup people) are talking loudly into cellphones, laughing, chatting, etc.

Needless to say, I was astonished and outraged. The unmitigated gall! Plus, what kind of shrivelled up old goat objects to the sound of a baby laughing, for God's sake? So this may be the one time in my life when I didn't walk away and later think, "Oh, I should have said this" or "why didn't I say that"? Though I'm normally quite mild-mannered and polite in public places, I let loose a rant on this guy, the end result of which was that his face turned red with embarrassment and he mumbled out some kind of apology. Oh, and a woman at the next table gave me a thumbs-up and said something like, "That's telling him, honey." I can't remember most of what I said, though I do recall pointing out that he was sitting in the middle of a loud and busy bookstore cafe and not doing research at the Library of Congress.

That said, if a child (or an adult!) is kicking the back of your seat, I think it's perfectly fine to ask said child (or adult) to stop.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:27 PM
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He's Canadian!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:27 PM
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One thing I find myself doing a lot more these days is backing up (reasonable) parent comments to youth. I think this is partly due to spending so much more time in poor and working class neighborhoods, where parenting norms can be really, really different.

Having a friendly adult gently affirm/echo what a parent is trying to say can actually be community building, IME. Especially if you add in reasons: "Hey, I think your mom is concerned that if you keep pulling on that bar, the sharp metal part is going to come down and hit someone. Please stop."

(I know you all think bob is trolling, but I'm probably to his left when it comes to the need to provide context-appropriate, age-appropriate explanations and apologies to children -- or in other words, to treat them like independent beings with thoughts and feelings of their own. I just saw an adult apologize to a three-year-old today for not believing her about something and it reminded me of how extraordinarily rare that is. Over-the-top yuppie performance parenting practices notwithstanding, the power dynamic is very, very rarely questioned outside of some alt-ed and youth-rights radicals.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:28 PM
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it think its more of ao problem of talking to kids like they are kids, than of not talking to adults enough.

and also kids are like dogs, they need to go run every morning or they will make ak mess.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:28 PM
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290: What's so hard about turning around and saying, "Excuse me, could you please not kick the back of the seat?" Depending on the age, etc., the kid may not yet realize that kicking the seat actually affects the person in front of him. And asking nicely once gives the parents a heads up and makes you less of a jerk.

Is there a reason to think this is not exactly what DS did? It's likely what I'd do. What's with the assumption that any and all remonstrations of another's child must take a shit-headed form?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:30 PM
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The parent in question was trying to sleep. I was sympathetic to the parent, who had been trying to calm the kid down - which is why I hadn't objected before. The parent finally decided to go to sleep, loud acting out kid or not (and actually moved to a different row than the one the kid was in). This was when I was 20 and not too mature, so my response was to toss the stuff back in the manner in which it arrived (which, to be clear, did not involve throwing at or aiming at the kid). The kid objected to the parent and the parent told the kid to shut up because the parent was trying to sleep. It was a sad situation all around. I just moved when a seat opened up closer to the front after another couple of hours.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:30 PM
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they need to go run every morning or they will make ak mess

Always with the AKs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:31 PM
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287: The something was an adjusted version of Tony Roma's "you stupid @!#*ing cunt" speech to Williamson near the end of Glengarry, Glen Ross. Too much?

290: What's so hard about turning around and saying, "Excuse me, could you please not kick the back of the seat?"

Because it's much more fun to say "BOOOGABOOOGABOOOGA! I'M GONNA GIT YOU!" of course. Duh.

(I'm just going to keep on in this vein in the interests of assessing how completely incapable you are of parsing sarcasm. Don't mind me, and pay no attention to Sifu's 292.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:31 PM
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Well, adults should all go run a few miles in the morning, too.

And kids are like >>>>>>> parents, but that could be biased b/c people i dislike are the kind to have kids already. but i think it lets it be more acceptable to freely display your statuswhoring if it is not 'for yourself' but for kid.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:32 PM
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As soon as you comment, they make you feel small.

I dunno, I guess this is one of those issues where the precise context is everything. Two unaccompanied 11 year olds kicking the back of my seat at a Saturday matinee? Obviously I'm going to say something. A 6 year old at the supermarket running too fast for her parent to keep up, who makes me pull up short so I don't squash her? Cost of doing business. Tired mom and tired 4 year old bickering on the bus at 10 p.m.? As long as there's no bodily fluids flying, I'm cool with it. Group of varying aged kids who are making a spectacle of themselves at a sidewalk cafe while their yuppie parents drink white wine? I'll still be grating my teeth at the outrageous impertinence of it 5 years later.

But, you know, I'm a childless person who really likes kids, and tries to empathize with them as much as possible. Of course there's going to be people at the other end of the bell curve who hear one little whine from 20 feet away and feel like their Olive Garden experience has been ruined, ruined! Phillip, why didn't you say something to the manager? It was horrible!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:34 PM
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And 298 is dead right as well. That's someone who feels entitled to bitch about behavior from a baby -- conversational level noise -- that they wouldn't dream of complaining about from an adult, and they should be smacked down for it, as you did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:35 PM
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1) Most of the kids I encounter on the sidewalk are without parental supervision.

2) The other day a ten-year-old ~ was doing his level best to make my male dog bite him. I walked very fast, understanding there are assholes like ari out there.

Would have been the death of my dog.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:36 PM
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I treat children like easily fooled marks with poor upper body strength. Seems to work okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:36 PM
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Also, the kid was like 7 or 8. Anyway, I actually like kids and don't mind parents talking about them. In other news, my niece is going to turn one soon. I just know she's getting ready to throw things at me.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:37 PM
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Walked very fast, silently, with eyes averted and dogs held close, to be more descriptive.

Kid had a stick and chased us.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:37 PM
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Group of varying aged kids who are making a spectacle of themselves at a sidewalk cafe while their yuppie parents drink white wine? I'll still be grating my teeth at the outrageous impertinence of it 5 years later.

Basically this exact scene is what I enjoyed so much about Germany. Go figure!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:37 PM
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Well, this is lame. Everyone basically agrees and DS is apparently not a monster. Let's talk about analytic philosophy or something to spice things up.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:38 PM
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313: Comes down to the meaning of spectacle, doesn't it. I can picture that scene maddening or charming, depending on how the kids were behaving.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:40 PM
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313: This was the incident, mentioned here previously, where the kids were making the "pulling-the-air-horn-of-a-semi" motion with their arms, trying to goad drivers to honk at them, at 10 at night, in a mostly residential neighborhood in the summer. Kids ranged in age from 7 to 14 or so. It was appalling.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:43 PM
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316: oh! Well that's annoying, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:44 PM
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Obviously, the drivers who honked were more at fault than the children, but still.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:44 PM
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I was thinking maybe they had some kind of a little skit prepared.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:44 PM
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the need to provide context-appropriate, age-appropriate explanations and apologies to children -- or in other words, to treat them like independent beings with thoughts and feelings of their own.

Yes, exactly this. Exactly.

Is there a reason to think this is not exactly what DS did?

The part where DS said he "[p]robably scared the little blighter and scarred him for life, the poor thing."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:44 PM
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In Germany bars with sidewalk seating provided children with sidewalk chalk. A+++ would drink around kids again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:45 PM
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Look, I think I see a small plume of black smoke coming out of the sarcasm detector!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:46 PM
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Good Lord.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:47 PM
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320.last, meet 305.last.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:47 PM
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I could have handled the boy with a sharp look and reprimand...but parents are fucking crazy. So I just ran.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:48 PM
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321: That's cool. I will suggest that at the next downtown bar cop meeting I go to. Sidewalk cafe hassles were a big topic at the last one.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:48 PM
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It was appalling.

A bunch of kids goofing around and having a bit of fun, but without actually doing any harm to anyone else's person or property?...I dunno, I guess "appalling" sounds a bit extreme and, well, fussy to me. And would rather have them playing with AK47s?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:50 PM
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a small plume of black smoke coming out of the sarcasm detector!

Still no new sarcasm pope.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:54 PM
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Age appropriate kid guns are more like "Saturday Morning Specials", not AK47s. Good, kid-fearing parents know this.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:54 PM
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This conversation reminds me that a kid with his mom threw a bagel at me the other day. By kid I mean like 12 years old.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:55 PM
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I'm surprised that H-G doesn't like being around her same friends when they're parenting. Do they turn all saccharine and use fake cheery tones?

My friends are generally distracted when they've got their kids with them, but they're also usually themselves. They'll tease their kids in normal voices, or send their kid over to fetch a beer. I get to see the voice of Do We Need to Have A Conversation?

I've seen a couple people go completely down the rabbit hole (usually first timers who haven't been around kids before), but most people stay within what I consider to be normal monomaniac boundaries. I'm something of a monomaniac, so I'm sympathetic. If they only talk about their babies as much as I talked about powerlifting when I was starting out, I figure we're even.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:56 PM
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"183 and 185 more or less express the dynamic that I think tends to explain the taboo (?) surrounding reprimanding other people's children. It can often come off -- and I dare say is often intended -- as a criticism of someone's parenting. "Well if you aren't going to respond to your kid's misbehavior, then I guess I have to." Sometimes it is done in ways that undermine what the parent is trying to do. I will reprimand a friend's children if we are close enough that I know what she would reprimand them for and how she would go about it. But I try to be leery of treading on other parents' toes."

well its sort of the 'kids out in public' question. if they are out in public, they should be treated like people, and act like people. if they are kicking your seat, then you should ask them "please stop kicking my seat, its annoying." instead of the roundabout thing eyecoding thier parent.

its just how you normally interact with a person. if kids are going to be out in public, they should be learning out to interact with other people. they aren't some other class of lifeform.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:58 PM
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327: Appalling may be hyperbole, but trying to get trucks to blow their airhorns any place there were people around (if it was actually working, rather than futile gesturing at the trucks) qualifies as pretty bad in my book. That'd qualify as "stop that instantly, or we go home" if it were Sally or Newt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 6:58 PM
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I love it that it's our resident anarchist who is mad about the kids' behavior. If anarchy doesn't mean the freedom to let eleven year olds encourage trucks to make loud airhorn blasts, what does it mean?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:02 PM
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'zimmer frame' = walker, if anyone else missed that.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:03 PM
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but parents are fucking crazy.

They really are. Summertime's approaching, and with it the inevitable conversations of "get control of your demon spawn or I'll be taking you to jail on a charge of failure to supervise a child."



Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:05 PM
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I'd bet that the objection to kids trying to get trucks to blast airhorns aligns more closely with dislike of loud noises than it does with political beliefs.

I'm all sorts of hierarchical, but getting trucks to blast their horns sounds fun and mischievous to me. You can enjoy the quiet when you're dead.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:06 PM
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Except that you totally can't, because any nearby airport is sure to route their flights over your cemetery. STBY, dead people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:06 PM
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327: But see, that's what I mean about the context. The incident occurred at
this restaurant,
and the families involved were obviously fairly well-to-do. I grew up in a very permissive household, and that kind of nonsense would have immediately led to being removed from the premises and sitting in the car until it was time to go home. The parents were basically encouraging it, at least tacitly. It just crystallized everything I despise about UMC people. The entitlement, the enwhitelment, the lack of concern for serving staff, the general lack of acknowledgment that anyone else might be disturbed by unnecessary blaring car horns at 10 at night. It was creepy and disturbing and yes, appalling.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:08 PM
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if they are out in public, they should be treated like people, and act like people

I'd say this holds true in private, too.

But, e.g., 298 reflects an example of treating children with less respect than is afforded adults. That kind of thing does happen and is annoying and would be even more annoying if the old goat had directly told the child to quiet down.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:09 PM
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I may have agreed more with yoyo in this thread than in the entire previous history of Unfogged combined.

In unrelated news, is peroxide going to be a good solution for getting dog blood out of my favorite only jeans? I'm too lazy to go through pages of Google hits about rug stains.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:10 PM
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If anarchy doesn't mean the freedom to let eleven year olds encourage trucks to make loud airhorn blasts, what does it mean?

Uh-oh. Seriously? I think Natilo is an anti-statist anarchist, which is to say that he's in full support of local, community means of establishing harmony. It's not like being an anarchist means you champion chaos.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:12 PM
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the general lack of acknowledgment that of anyone else

Fixed. I think this is the real issue. The aggravation most often comes from parents ignoring their offspring's impact on "everyone else," or non-parents ignoring the fact that young people are a legitimate part of "everyone else."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:14 PM
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yeah i was like 19 when we bought a giant subwoofer to do bass tests in the dorm the weekend before finals.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:14 PM
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Anarchism isn't about disorder and disrespect though. It's about finding ways to all live together peacefully and consensually. I'm not advocating that people who let their children behave in appalling ways should be arrested. But there should be standards of behavior that we all agree to for various contexts. These people were behaving like petit-bourgeois scum, (which, essentially, is what they were). You don't think they'd object, or at the very least sniff disapprovingly, if some working-class kids on the train were causing a ruckus? Of course they would. Maybe there are some shmibertarian-anarchists who would think it appropriate that rich people can buy their way into disgusting displays of vulgarity, but they're not the anarchists I hang around with.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:15 PM
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Succinto-pwned by parsimon.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:16 PM
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isn't blood red from the iron being oxidised? you probably just have to go with surfactants.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:16 PM
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339 -- I clicked on the menu, and, OK, this clearly demonstrates my own entitlement and enwhitelment, but my reaction was this: Good god Minnesota is cheap. The more expensive items on the menu are $12.99, and this is a place such that eating at it demonstrates that the families involved must have been fairly well to do?

Those are almost exactly the same prices that apply to the food court next to my office.

I know, I know, I'm the first one up against the wall when the revolution comes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:17 PM
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I'm pretty sure no one cares one iota, but just to clarify, I was not complaining about parents talking in general about kids. I rather like hearing funny stories (my college roommate told me the best story ever the other day about potty training) and am perfectly willing to discuss problems, etc. It's the sense that some other being has taken over your friend who previously had diverse interests and now is unable to talk about the news or any other subject without bringing it back around to the child that I was (mildly) complaining about. I have friends who are like this and recognize it, and then you can commiserate about it and laugh. But the few without that level of self-knowledge? That's what I find annoying. When they couple it with judgmental statements about your lack of children, then I get all peeved and make ridiculously generalizing statements, per above.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:18 PM
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I also had a 15-yr-old crack a truck window with a slingshot. I had three witnesses, but the parents still believed the kid, so I had to take the kids to a lawyer and get their statements notarized. Not sure it meant much, but the kids didn't know that, and that made the difference to the parents.

I didn't confront the perp in any way, worked entirely thru the parents. Didn't seek damages, old truck with small crack. Father was still mad at me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:18 PM
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It's not like being an anarchist means you champion chaos.

Champions doesn't even have alignments, so that is definitely not the case. Plus, I would phrase it as "you can't be chaotically aligned in Champions", but I've learned not to be a prescriptivist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:18 PM
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Heh, one of the "my kids bothering others" incident that sticks with me was precisely a seat-kicking one at a baseball game. My eldest was 6 or so (we went to a lot of games) and some fair distance into the game the woman in front turned a gave him a very exasperated, "Would you please quit kicking my seat." No real biggie but I do recall being a bit annoyed with both myself for not noticing* (he was a fidgety kid and I guess his highest amplitude leg fidgets were connecting), and with her for not just doing a polite cease and desist request much earlier. But I suspect she refrained out of not wanting to interfere and the "kicking" not being that bad, but eventually the cumulative provocation combined with her annoyance at herself for *not* just politely asking earlier led her to snap--not that I'd overthink something like that. From this I conclude that I, DS and ari are all history's greatest monsters.Then on the way out of the stadium we found $5.

*It did make me fear that he had previously bothered polite overly polite people for whole games while his dad sat there oblivious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:18 PM
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I know, I know, I'm the first one up against the wall when the revolution comes

Make a break for it when the army of the proletariat gets stuck in traffic on the 405.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:19 PM
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is peroxide going to be a good solution for getting dog blood out of my favorite only jeans?

I would worry that the peroxide might bleach the jeans. I have had good luck with pretreating the affected area with regular detergent and then washing in cold water.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:20 PM
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Use that roll-on oxy crap for the bloodstains. I dunno what it is, except magic!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:22 PM
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but how will more oxidation help???


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:22 PM
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Sifu is right -- any of those OxyClean type products get blood straightaway.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:24 PM
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Shorter 349: Please someone tell me I'm not a kid and parent hating monster.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:24 PM
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355: Yeah, that stuff will clean anything. Even petit bourgeois scum.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:25 PM
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his is a place such that eating at it demonstrates that the families involved must have been fairly well to do?

All minnie said was that the families involved were obviously fairly well-to-do, and that they were there, not, technically, that he knew the former because of the latter.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:27 PM
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349: It's my view that you don't need to keep apologizing, Parenthetical. Your sense of this is understandable -- some people let their identities be overtaken by their parenting status. I assume it's what DS was quarter-eye-rolling about in 221.1, and Josh described in 227 as fall[ing] into the same category as people who have their pets or their SOs in their profile pics; it pushes the "does this person have their own identity?" button.

Kinda what I was suggesting in 125 about Sybil's post.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:27 PM
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345 -- Anarchists have really suffered from brand dilution at the hands of folks like the Sex Pistols and teenage boys.

If only they could call on a government to enforce those trademark laws . . . .


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:27 PM
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I know that Chopper and B have mentioned restaurants in St. Paul or Minneapolis or wherever the hell they eat that are more in line with your probably price expectations.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:28 PM
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361: Thanks, Parsimon. I have an over-refined sense of, "Oh my god, I might have offended someone in some way! On the internet!" This is why I should not comment on blogs.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:29 PM
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362: All your ideology is target for your enemies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:30 PM
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people have fun putting you in your place if you're being an asshole.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:30 PM
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I was in a really bad mood all day, but I just made a little batch of sesame-honey parathas and it was cheering to do so. Recommended!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:31 PM
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hey, any earth mothers, is white bean flour supposed to smell like wet gym socks with grass stains? how many days do you have to poolish it for it to smell better. does besan smell any better?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:35 PM
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367: Recipe on wiki?

I'm supposed to be cooking chana masala right now but am feeling exceedingly lazy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:35 PM
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368: Bean flour totally smells weird and beany and, dunno, vegetal.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:38 PM
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i bought some desi chickpeas, haven't tried them yet though


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:39 PM
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I make some kickass pork chops. I want you to know this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:39 PM
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I said, "Hey! Don't do that" to the three year old who kicked me in the ankle at the grocery store while his mother was looking the other way. I stand by this decision! (It was clearly distressing to his mother, though -- she asked what he did, nicely but also kind of riled-uppedly, and then she felt like she had to do a certain amount of reprimand theater of scolding him after I filled her in. And then of course I couldn't really say "It's fine, no big deal," which was my strong impulse, but which would undermine her. So I thanked her in the friendliest way I could. Human interaction is difficult. The end.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:41 PM
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Dog blood, Witt?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:41 PM
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369: I think the basic paratha recipe is linked there. It's just a cup of flour and half a cup of water, kneaded together about five minutes. Pinch off a little ball and roll it flat. Take a little ball of filling (I just mixed some toasted sesame seeds with a little honey), and wrap the dough around it. Roll that ball out flat. Cook it in a pan with a little oil, on both sides until it's got brown spots and is toasty. Repeat.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:41 PM
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Somebody's kid makes awesome cupcakes. Too. You know?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:43 PM
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373: That's how I felt when I went to the police about a 16-year-old running after me with his penis in his hand in a parking lot, yelling at me. The police knew the boy and said every time they brought him in, his mom came in too and hit him in the head and screamed at him the whole time. I decided not to press charges; whatever problems that kid's got, I figure showing his penis to people is the least of them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:45 PM
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I just prepared sugar-free vanilla pudding.

I can share the recipe if you want.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:45 PM
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whatever problems that kid's got, I figure showing his penis to people is the least of them

Problem or opportunity?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:46 PM
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349: You said you like my incessant blathering on about Rory's utter awesomenessa, right? You are not a child hater!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:47 PM
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374: Dog was chewing on a plastic peanut-butter jar and made an ominous crunch. Child noticed and commented that dog's lip was cut. Mother disagreed.

Dog was rambunctious and I body-blocked its (friendly) path toward the 16-month-old. Ten minutes later, mother notices dog blood on the leg and seat of my jeans.

Lesson: Listen to your three-year-olds, people, especially when they're talking about something that happened at their eye level rather than yours.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:47 PM
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I just made a little batch of sesame-honey parathas and it was cheering to do so. Recommended!

I hate you, AWB.

I just prepared sugar-free vanilla pudding.

But you are A-OK in my book.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:47 PM
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375 cont'd -- This video is where I got the paratha technique. Manjula is adorable and I want her to be my grandma.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:47 PM
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373: Human interaction is difficult. The end.

Yes. And all will occasionally transgress and be transgressed against. Kids included.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:48 PM
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I hate you, AWB.

:-(


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:49 PM
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In all seriousness, those parathas sound awesome and I never would have thought to make them myself. For whatever reason I always assumed parathas were far more labor-intensive than that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:50 PM
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381:

Excellent story. Stick with it. Just enough facts to make it believable.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:51 PM
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I reserve right to think there are places you should not take your kids. Sifu has it right; if they're in those places (the opera would count if I went to the opera) my beef is more with the parent than them. Restaurants could be such a space, sure, depending on the restaurant, why not? Quiet musical performances that require a lot of sitting still and concentrating would be another one. The sort of places where the kid is clearly there not because they're going to get something out of it, but because the parent doesn't want to give this shit up on account of having kids. But again, a minor peeve, worthy of only half an eye-roll.

Weekly mass. I'm sorry it's so difficult for you to be reverent with the distraction, but it's very difficult for toddlers to sit still, silently, for an hour. They're doing their best.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:53 PM
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375, 383: Awesome - thanks. I've only made parathas a few times before and hadn't contemplated that flavor combination, and now I want it. (Though it'll have to wait. I did embark on my own cooking project and I do feel happier!)

380: Thanks, Di.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:54 PM
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I was 20 or so when I went to see Volcano (which I continue to champion). When the newscast came on showing how people's pet pot-bellied pigs had been hurt, I laughed out loud, two ten-year-olds in the row in front of me turned around and snarled, "It's not funny!"

So I threw some popcorn at them.

Then they threw an empty water bottle at me.

At that point, I made a holy shit face to my friend, and we watched the rest of the movie, which, keep in mind, is awesome, in peace.

On the way out of the theater I said to the kids, "Hey, guys, we're cool, right?"

They swiveled around and let loose four wicked middle fingers on me, then ran the rest of the way out of the theater.

Anyway -- conflict with younger people in public -- that's how it's done. Let me be your teacher.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:56 PM
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381: Nice try, but we now know that you sacrifice dogs in your mysterious census cult.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:59 PM
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||

After 24 (sue me) I get the local news.

Headline:One state did blah blah on immigration. Will Texas be next?

1 minute clip of Farmer's Branch Mayor saying huge problem demanding Governor Perry do blah

4 minutes black State Rep fighting good fight.

Rasmussen Poll showing 60% of Texans want people stopped and ID'd.

2 minutes of Hispanics...big march?

1 minute Texas Tea Party

Station doing Web Poll:Should Texas pass law like Arizona? End

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 7:59 PM
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I think I've mentioned here before the time I was wrestled to the ground by a 9-year-old. That was tough, man. I was 16. He was a brat, and I was the (youth) librarian.

Total failure of authority on my part, in any case. Plus infuriating. We did later make peace, after a few months of my openly curling my lip at him every time he came into the library.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:02 PM
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Okay, to clarify, yes, D'Am/co is not super-expensive. But they still have nicely-dressed waitstaff, and tablecloths and all that. Basically it's where rich people go instead of McDonald's for a cheap, casual meal. We don't have quite as many gradations of upper-crust folx as they do on the coasts, so sometimes you're going to see legitimately middle-middle people there, because, of course, it's affordable. But the image they try to present, with a large degree of success, is that it's a pleasant alternative to chains (even though it is a chain, now) with all the locally-sourced sandwich ingredients you could want. And, as neb points out, I was averring that the people themselves looked well-off, not that their presence at the restaurant was prima facie evidence of their bourgeoiscuity.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:15 PM
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Potatoe.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:20 PM
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Hash browns! Vichyssoise!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:24 PM
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391- I actually assumed Witt had just gotten back from a raid on a drug mansion.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:31 PM
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Warning: humorless

A lot of people find the term schizophrenic used as a noun offensive, because it is not person-centered and identifies the person completely with the disease. They prefer someone who has schizophrenia.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 8:59 PM
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They prefer someone who has schizophrenia.

Laydeez.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:01 PM
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I prefer grape soda.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:02 PM
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I continue to prefer people with consumption.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:02 PM
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401: When I was in the field, people with mental illness were frequently referred to as 'consumers.' I suppose that hasn't changed much in the past five or six years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:05 PM
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Excellent story. Stick with it. Just enough facts to make it believable.

I hope you saw how I started setting it up in 300.

Weekly Mass.

Ha. I've heard tell of some pretty un-Friendly responses to young children in Meeting, but personally I've only been present when Quakers took the opportunity of a gurgling or fractious baby to give vocal ministry that starts with, "As our young Friend here reminds us...."

392 is making me so heartsick I don't even want to think about it. I suppose I ought to see what is going on around here on Saturday.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:06 PM
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404

402: indeed, that's what much (or anyway some) of the linked thread concerned. Rather insulting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:07 PM
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405

398 sounds like straw-PC. it took me a few years to remember which phrasing was the right one.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:13 PM
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404: Yes, but still better than tardive dyskinesia, and they've made some real progress at reducing the incidence of that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:13 PM
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407

Well, this is lame.

Thread idea for tomorrow: based on evidence unwarranted assumptions from this thread, rank Unfogged commenters' children from best to worst-behaved.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:45 PM
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408

OK, let's rank from best to worst:

1. My kid
2.LB's two kids
3. Di's kid
4. NPH's kid(?)

. . . .

452. Sixteen year old trapped in the TOS compound
453. Tweety's robot
454. Bob's dogs


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:51 PM
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409

the tardive dyskinesia has been replaced by diabetes. but hey thats only a problem because of judgmental skinny people.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:52 PM
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410

My killer robot is adorable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:54 PM
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411

407- THIS EXCLUDES THE CHILDLESS WE ARE SO OPPRESSED


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:55 PM
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412

408: Now how are we going to get a good fight going that way?

(Wasn't the untold end of the Canadian bus story upthread that the head was later consumed by Bob's dogs?)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:56 PM
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413

411: It's OK, you'll understand once you have children of your own.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:57 PM
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414

I just read Henley on Bryan Caplan's creepy clone child fantasy. Am ranking said imaginary clone below Bob's dogs.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:59 PM
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415

Bob's dogs, complete with extremely nervous-looking baby.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 9:59 PM
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416

The kid's worried that one of those dogs might reprimand at any moment.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:06 PM
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417

||

I wanted to share with unfogged: Party Down is teh lol! You were right!

"Just call me Mrs. Butterworth, bitch."

VERY GOOD.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:07 PM
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418

I suppose this is the right thread to admit that I am not considering any of the places with rooms to rent in SF where children are among those who live in the house/apartment.

On the other hand, I'm getting a bit worried about finding a place.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:10 PM
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I had a version of JPS's experience in 352 when I dropped my son and a couple of friends in front of the theater and went to the bookstore while they watched "Epic Movie" (so age 10 or thereabout). When I went back to pick them up, a woman was waiting to impress on me how Horribly Rude they'd been by Kicking Her Seat for The Whole Movie. I was somewhat mortified and chewed them out halfway home. Then I started asking more questions and realized that there probably hadn't been much seat-kicking at all and that Ms. Offended was probably more worked up about my letting 10-year-olds go to a movie unescorted than about anything they'd actually been doing.

I did not find $5, but my misanthropy was vindicated.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:11 PM
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420

Having seen "Epic Movie," I'm horrified that you let them see it also. Apparently, nobody can do a parody anymore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:15 PM
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421

Ten-year-old minds are cesspools anyway, and by letting them go alone I kept my own pristine.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:19 PM
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403: I suppose I ought to see what is going on around here on Saturday.

http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/find-a-march/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:20 PM
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If kids can't see awful movies, how can they dismiss those same movies years later by saying things like "I thought [movie like Epic Movie] was a lot of fun. Then I turned 11"?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:34 PM
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424

414: Googled it. OMG. Wow. Just, wow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:42 PM
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425

I am imagining Bryan Caplan's clone situation ending up like this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:44 PM
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426

424: don't hate, AWB. Don't hate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:46 PM
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427

its creepy but not misogynist (tho most anything can be caused by misogyny)

its like the guy that makes his kid win the football championship he never could, x10

narcisism and no sense of boundaries


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:53 PM
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428

i was basically hoping to make socca.

i guess i will go oatbran flatbreads

i just want to eat some pesto.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:54 PM
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All mentions of cloning, for some reason, lead me to get the lyrics to "I think I'm a clone now" stuck in my head. Or at least the lyrics I remember.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 10:54 PM
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430

The cap-clone discussion, which I have now googled enough of to google no more, seems more yawn-inducing than anything else. Too bad that, instead of cloning kids, we can't clone ancestors and live in their times. I, for one, would love to have been raised in the golden age of freedom, the 1880s.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:10 PM
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431

I'm afraid it's only derailed the thread. I thought the point was that we were ranking things. Like, a list of whose would be the Top Five Best Worse Children.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:48 PM
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Well if we're talking would be, mine have got to top the Best list.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-26-10 11:51 PM
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433

I was just expecting something crazier, based on the arguments about freedom from a few weeks back.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 12:51 AM
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434

I am blaming 429 for my current insomnia. Or at the very least for the earworm which is making me especially annoyed to be awake.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 1:10 AM
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Holy shit is Natilo out of his mind on this one. I was a working-class kid in a working-class neighborhood, and we were monsters. By 11 I was shoplifting candy daily, and jumping out of second-story windows at construction sites on the weekend. (They had a big one-story high sandpile. What else was I supposed to do?)

If we were at a restaurant with outdoor seating, and somebody complained because we were being rambunctious outside, I'm pretty sure one of the parents would have stabbed that person in the throat.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 3:18 AM
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436

I'm obviously not bragging about my kids enough.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 3:54 AM
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437

425: Access Denied! Pornography/Adult Content!"

You people are going to get me fired.

And I stayed out of this subthread yetsterday, but 435 gets it right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:53 AM
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72: how did you and Keegan manage to get exemptions from the dress-up-clothes requirement imposed on the rest of the family?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:58 AM
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I'm very much in favor of the default assumption being that a public space is an appropriate place for kids of any age. In other words, excluding kids should only be done when there is good reason to do so. With that default assumption comes responsibility on the part of the parents to ensure that their kid isn't being disruptive, and that responsibility isn't being fulfilled if the parent simply lets the kid do whatever and expects others to object when boundaries are crossed - keeping the kid from crossing boundaries is the parent's duty. It is selfish and obnoxious to demand that others engage in constant pushback in order to be able to enjoy a public space. If the parent fails to do their duty it is perfectly reasonable for the party being inconvenienced to directly address the child and tell them to stop. There are issues with etiquette and general politeness that might make talking to the parent more appropriate, but being a little rude in defence of ones right to enjoy a public space is a pretty trivial offence in my book.

Of course the age of the kid is really important - one should be more tolerant of younger kids. Teenagers are a whole 'nother story. I'll not ask Mom to tell her 15 year old son to behave. Part of being a teen is adjusting to the adult world and adult expectations, and obnoxious adults get called out directly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:12 AM
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Part of being a teen is adjusting to the adult world and adult expectations, and obnoxious adults get called out directly tasered.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:15 AM
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I'm not saying that I support working-class kids having license to act in contravention of community norms. I'm saying that it irritates me when rich people think that their wealth and privilege gives THEIR (and only their) kids that license. Which I've definitely experienced.

Basically I just despise wealthy people, in inverse proportion to their humility.

Also, I support children getting away with whatever they can get away with, as long as they are discreet. If I was raising a kid in our current society, I would be explicit about the fact that the number one rule for all kids is "Don't Get Caught".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:37 AM
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437: I wouldn't have thought it possible, but your work's filter think the Internet is more salacious than it actually is. That link is about as precisely the opposite of either "porn" or "adult content" as it's possible to be.

Unless of course you have a fetish for hearing someone repeat the words "I am regular Stormy / I am Bizarro Stormy." Which... I guess someone, somewhere, probably does.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:42 AM
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Great, now teo's going to link that that one xkcd.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:45 AM
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444

Best beat him to the punch.

(That one really is NSFW, Brock.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:47 AM
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445

I love the photo of the guy with the guitar, goblet, gun and axe so much.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 8:51 AM
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how did you and Keegan manage to get exemptions from the dress-up-clothes requirement imposed on the rest of the family?

Male privilege, of course. The lines of authority are well-established in our household.

More seriously, Noah picked out his own clothes that morning so has nobody but himself to blame and Cassidy is wearing totally casual little girl clothes. The wives dress like that all the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 9:13 AM
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441: After one of the Bulls championships, a bunch of dumb-ass white kids from the North Shore went wilding around Chicago's north side: they bashed in windshields in Wrigleyville and roamed up and down N. Michigan Ave. smashing shop windows and grabbing things from The Gap and Krochs and Brentanos. Mike Royko decided to write a column in which he would name the suburban kids who came down to Chicago and fucked it up. As calls were made to confirm residences etc. the parents begged him not to do it. They're kids! They'll pay their debts! Momentary lapse of judgment! In the end, Royko didn't name names in his column, but instead addressed it to those North Shore parents and asked them if they would object to the names of teenaged vandals being printed in the paper if a bunch of black kids from the South Side had taken trains up to Wilmette or Winnetka to total cars and smash shop windows in their hometown.
A nice gesture, but of course they would not only not have objected to printing names, they would have called the damn National Guard.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 9:27 AM
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I'm pretty sure one of the parents would have stabbed that person in the throat

A just and proportional response!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 9:31 AM
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448: In other words, a reprimand.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 9:49 AM
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351: you could totes take it as a Psych Lim, though.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 10:42 AM
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If I was raising a kid in our current society, I would be explicit about the fact that the number one rule for all kids is "Don't Get Caught".

This was how my parents approached parenting, at least when we were teenagers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 10:49 AM
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452

In other words, a reprimand.

No more kids for you!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 12:33 PM
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394: You were at the D'Amico and Sons in Edina, Natillo, and you're outraged that someone appeared rich and self-satisfied? Come on. That's like going to the West Bank and being irritated that everyone's speaking Somali.

(And D'Amico & Sons codesla-ti-da because it's from the restaurant group that started with D'Amico Ristorante, the fine dining restaurant that essentially kicked off the Twin Cities high-end food scene. Perkins entrees cost nearly as much, but they have full table service.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 1:10 PM
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454

453 = me.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 1:16 PM
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453: I wasn't at D'Am/co & Sons. I don't go to D'Am/co & Sons. I was attending a film at the nearby Edina 4 cinema. The awful people were there before and after the film, being rich.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 1:42 PM
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awful rich people


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 3:58 PM
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456: Ha -- I was just reading about the Bullingdon Club. Such twats.
This was good, too.

At Oxford, Cameron was a member of the aristocratic, moneyed Bullingdon Club, and his college, Brasenose, was founded in 1509. One imagines that tail coats were, in general, less in evidence at Clegg's Cambridge college, Robinson (founded 1977); nor that many of his fellow undergraduates were as familiar as Cameron no doubt was with "the sound of English county families baying for broken glass", as Evelyn Waugh put it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 4:11 PM
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I like this sentence:

Soon three of the most powerful positions in the country could be occupied by men whose wardrobes contain, somewhere near the back, a crumpled royal blue tailcoat with a faint aroma of vomit.

from here


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 4:21 PM
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As someone unfamiliar with children I only react negatively to them when they start making loud and unpredictable noises with no indication that they will stop anytime soon.

But that's also true if you replace "children" with "dogs", "schizophrenics", or "police".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 4:51 PM
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And I ask you, Ned, would you reprimand a cop? Well, would you?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:10 PM
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Define "reprimand".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:13 PM
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Neither cops nor children have been liberated enough to carry AK-47s so I am still allowed to do whatever I want to them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:14 PM
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Define "reprimand".

"Don't tase me, bro!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-10 5:36 PM
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1509? Newcomers!

A couple of weeks into my first term at Oxford (Exeter College, founded 1314 thank you very much*), I got an invitation to dinner, from one of the 'dining' clubs. Apparently they get all the freshers photos from the various colleges, pick out the female faces they like, then find out who they are and send them these invitations. Ewwwwww.

* tongue well in cheek, if anyone was in any doubt.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:41 AM
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I went to the same college* as Cameron, and knew some B*llingdon people. A more straightforward illustration of the benefits of a brick wall and a firing squad you'd struggle to find ...

* in fact I'm still on their mailing list since I only officially graduated last summer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:39 AM
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There is much hilarious/horrific recent news coverage of a drinking society at Hertford (founded much more recently than either Exeter or BNC, I think?). Google hertford penguins. I am not sure these sorts of institutions are getting any better & think ttaM's proposal would be a good way forward.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:47 AM
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