(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.