Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

It's been a busy week at the Stop Screaming House. Suffice it to say, between all the Valentine making, the cookie baking, and the packing of children so that they could head off for a weekend adventure, I haven't had as much time as I normally do to read blogs.

(Did you catch that? My kids are all leaving for the weekend, WITHOUT me!)

Yes, I happened to find time to watch The Bachelor. And I'm sorry. You can see where the priority of watching brainless reality TV (what kind of reality, I'd like to know) trumps reading all of your stories because sometimes, dammit, I just don't want to think!

Which is a compliment, you see, because you make me think. Bachelor Jason sending off the whiny Natalie does not make me think. It makes me chuckle, and then I can go to bed without worrying about who will get the next 2 roses because ohmygod, like that is soooo important.


So there I was checking out the most awesome reads (those being the ones over to the right, in the "I like" list over there and if you aren't on it and would like to be, just let me know) on the Internet, and I came across Chicky Chicky Baby's post which basically asked, in a totally non-judgemental, awesome chicky sort of way, what you all (her readers) thought about leaving kids alone in cars.

And I read every single comment.

Something I don't usually do. If you've known me long enough, you also know that I sometimes say something almost exactly like someone who commented before me because I did not read every single comment. I'm lazy. And I'm sorry.

(Now I'm wondering how many times I'm going to say, "I'm sorry" in this post?)

OK, so I'm reading Chicky's comments, and then I read the newer post, and, I must say, I am amazed.

Just as she points out, YOU, the Internet, managed to have thoughtful, intelligent, smart, and non-judgemental debate on a topic that many feel very strongly about: leaving kids alone in cars. Reading the opinions was interesting. They made me think.

Very unlike when I watch The Bachelor. But then again, I wasn't curled up on the couch in my jammies with a package of Red Vines when I was reading them either...just sayin'.

Here is the comment I left on Tania's second post - remember, I don't usually leave such long comments, but I really wanted to throw my thoughts into the menagerie of comments over there, and I thought maybe you'd like to weigh in too, so here it is:

"I am sorry I missed the debate, but you're right - for that amount of "discussion" and to have it be civil, is quite a feat in and of itself.

Now, my answer (had I not been late to the party) would have been: My kids are 12 (in 2 weeks),10 and 5. The older ones can stay in the car alone, DEPENDING on the situation. And this is wholly decided from a complex combination of where I am, how long I'll be in the store and what their current moods are. If I'm worrying that it's going to turn into WWF XXIV in my car, than absolutely no. I love my car too much (cough, cough) for it to get damaged in a tussle between my sons.

When they were babies, unable to unstrap themselves from their carseats and unable to wrassle with each other in the car, I did, on at least a few occasions, run in for the proverbial "gallon of milk" or whatever (since we have a milkman), only if I could see them, and was very close to the car, and it was locked, I was not taking a long time, and it was not hot or unsafe. I'd also leave a diamond necklace on the dash in these circumstances. :)

Thanks for the interesting reading, this is something I had not thought about in a long time since my 5 year old will let me go NOWHERE without her! And...I'm also proud of the Internet and the way it handled what could have turned into quite a sh*tstorm. Way to go ladies!"

So, does this make me a bad parent? Is it proper bloggage to quote oneself? I have no idea.

Anyway, there you go. If you want to think, if you want to read some nice debate over something that speaks to so many, many of us parents, go read Tania's posts. Here and Here. And give her some props for writing in a way that did not bring out the beasts in us, but rather quite the opposite. Then again, what more would I expect from Chicky Chicky Baby? She's pretty perfect if you ask me.

Or, you know, you could discuss here as well, if you like.


Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Carrie, this was a great post! And I'm totally sure it was a better use of time that watching that dang Lost episode I recorded!


OHmommy said...

I am behind on Lost and the Bachelor and just picked up a pizza with all three of my children strapped in a 5 point harness system while I "picked" it up.

And I remembered to shave today. xo

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I couldn't get the past the part where your house will be child-free on VALENTINE'S WEEKEND! Sweet!

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Total props to the parent blogging community. And to you too, of course.

wyliekat said...

I never left my kids in the car, but that's something I've always viewed as based on my own paranoia. Frankly, I'd simply avoid errands of any stripe if I was alone with small child.

That said, it depends a lot on where you live, how you feel and what the exact circumstances are. I'm just not hardline enough about other people's parenting to have an opinion about what others do.

Manic Mom said...

Child Free, I'm not sure my husband & I could handle ourselves. We would probably sleep, isn't that awful?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My kids are way past this stage, but yes--when you can see the car, when it's not hot, when you lock the car and take the keys, etc. I'm a big believer in common sense and lack of paranoia.

Lisa said...

Chicky IS pretty perfect isn't she? Actually you are too!

That is a hot topic. Glad to hear it didn't get ugly. Like you, if Seth was 12, I'd let him in the car by himself. Once when he was itty bitty and sick I left him in the car. He was (finally!) sleeping and I needed to pick up husband's dry cleaning. I parked in front of the storefront and watched my vehicle the entire time and felt so guilty.

I remember years ago my mom leaving my sister, brother and myself in our car while she'd get groceries. I was maybe 4 or 5. My sis is 18 mnths younger and brother is 3 years younger. So we were pretty little. Not smart on my mom's part. But then again, it was legal back then.

Kyla said...

I'm still stuck on you being childfree for the weekend. What kind of voodoo magic are you working?

An Ordinary Mom said...

I am like Kyla ... I hope you had a fabulous childfree weekend :) !!