Sunday, March 23, 2014

Never Too Big...

J Bean (5) started sobbing to Vv today after basketball class that she didn't want to grow up. She was worried she was going to get too big for me to flip her around and hold her upside down. When they arrived home, Vv told me about it so I went and found J Bean sitting in her dark room pouting cross-legged in the middle of the floor. Grabbed her up, threw her around like a bean bag, held her upside down on the ceiling and asked her what was wrong.

"I don't want to grow up ever, not even a little. You won't be able to pick me up and toss me around anymore." She said with a fat lip.

"I'll always be able to pick you up and throw you around." I promised. "At least for as long as you want me to because I'm super big and super strong."

"No you won't. I will always want to, forever and ever." She whimpered in despair.

"Are you going to be bigger than Mommy anytime soon?" I asked.

"No, I don't think so."

"Well, I can pick Mommy up, she may not want me to, but I can do it. Go ask her."

20 seconds later, I have Vv over my shoulder in a fireman's carry and then into a Mr. T style Airplane spin until Vv's protests put an end to the manuever.

Lifted J Bean again, held her upside down, so she hung in front of me face to face like a little dangling SpiderMan. "Believe me now?" I asked.

She giggled, laughed and asked for more spinning; I obliged.  I guess she won't be growing up today. Not on my watch.


  1. What a considerate response. I agree.

  2. cindaphukinrellaMay 8, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    I think the line is crossed into "selfish living" when a parent takes a child to say, a five star restaurant, or the movies, and, even, yes, hotels if the child is of an age where they are extremely noisy. To me, it is common sense that a kid doesn't belong in a fine dining type restaurant. It should also be common sense that if your kid(s) is/are running around, bothering other people,etc, that you somehow control the situation, and, if you can't get your kid to settle down, leave. If it is a place where kids can reasonably be expected to be- such as a McDonald's with a Playplace, a Chuck E Cheese, or a hotel at Disney, that is a different story. Those places are geared toward kids, and the expectation that there will be noise as a result of kids is reasonable. Therefore, if you don't have or like kids, you likely should choose to go elsewhere.

    And, a little quibble re: child free restaurants. Yes, there are such places. Right now, they are usually in the style of restaurants that are also bars, and there is a hugely bar type atmosphere. Before I moved away from my previous state, my friend and I went to one such place with her 5 year old. We wanted a beer, the kid wanted chicken wings. However, at 4, happy hour started, and, right across from the table, a rowdy bar crowd started to form. The bartender brought us our check and explained politely that children weren't allowed once happy hour starts. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this. Bar type atmospheres are not appropriate for children IMO. My friend was a little annoyed because she is, bless her heart, one of those parents who, for the life of her, cannot understand that her kid doesn't belong everywhere. (Besides that, the kid was playing some annoying kid song over and over on her iPad. Enough to make anyone want to scream). That's an example of a place where, yes, a kid doesn't belong, and the person in charge was right to alert us to that. Besides, who would want to bring their kid around a bunch of drunk, cursing people? Totally inappropriate. Also, other types of restaurants are adopting age limits, usually fine dining type places. There is a French restaurant opening downtown in my city soon, where children under 12 will not be allowed. The explanation? Any child younger than that could very easily ruin the ambiance. So, yes, childfree establishments are popping up, whether parents like it or not.

    An example of an entitled parent would be this one, from when I worked at an Olive Garden as a server before I went back to college. It was a busy Friday night, and one of my tables had 4 kids. One of the kids was maybe 3 or 4. Keep in mind, in a restaurant like that, kids shouldn't be near the kitchen doors, because the doors do not have windows that are low enough for people the size of children to be seen. The doors swing wide as servers go in and out with heavy trays of hot food. Anyway, the child kept running around the doors. It was a dangerous accident waiting to happen. Finally, afraid for the safety of the child and servers alike, I alerted the manager to the situation. He politely asked the parents to please keep the child in their booth for his own safety. The mother was outraged. She jumped up, pretty much cursed the manager out in the middle of the restaurant, and left without paying. We had to comp a table that was like a $200+ check because the mother chose to throw a tantrum when we were just looking out for her kid's safety. THAT is parental entitlement, and it happens more than you might think.

    TL;DR- part of having kids is realizing that yes, sometimes they are a nuisance, and if you cannot control them when they are a nuisance, you need to vacate the premises with them. You also, as a parent, have to realize that there are places where your kid simply does not belong.

  3. Vacate the premises. Would you vacate your hotel room if you started coughing and vomiting knowing you COULD be disturbing others even if no one let you know you definitely were? I think not, but you would expect a parent to do so forcefully for a baby. You'd make a great parent, I hope you reconsider. I read the TL;DR... no one's got time for all that.

  4. LOL, I'm not reconsidering, because children should be wanted. I don't want them, so I won't have them. Too many kids now born to unwanted parents and wind up effed up for life. Why would I contribute to that.

    And, honestly? If I were that sick on a vacation, I'd go home, yes. I'd rather be sick at home than in a hotel room. Much more comfortable for me and everyone else.

    Also, I gave perfectly good examples of entitled parents and where they do/don't belong. I wasn't rude to you, either, yet you felt the need to be rude to me, simply because I don't agree with your attitude of parental entitlement. If you'd take the time to actually read what I wrote, perhaps you'd get an educated perspective from the other side.

  5. If you don't think calling people entitled and hard to get along with isn't being rude then you are ill informed. Paper thin walls you claim with no knowledge, looking for offense. You've decided that many parents, including those in this story don't care about their children's impact to others based on what... I don't know. Someone at a movie or a restaurant with a screaming kid who wouldn't leave when they obviously should have? That's not this situation. Anyway, thanks for all your words.

  6. "That's not this situation."

    You did say that you wanted this particular blog entry to be a more general discussion, did you not? I read that in the comments, I believe. That is what I was doing, giving general examples of parental entitlement. I can understand your not wanting to acknowledge that such people exist, being not only a parent, but a daddy blogger, but, indeed, they do. You must accept that.

    I base my opinions on my experiences, as well as the countless examples posted on childfree forums. If you want to read, go to /r/childfree on reddit and have your eyes opened.

    "Brats" is how I refer to all children. Just a word I use. No offense intended.

  7. I have to admit I didn't differentiate between the blog posts, it's not that obvious on my dashboard. Being that your comments came in together, I can't seperate your talk in one from the other in my mind too easily. I understand you call all kids brats... I call all people who call all kids brats "morons" so no offense intended there either. I am aware of some parents not removing their children in situations they should. I don't need the childfree reddit to open my eyes to anything. I'm well aware of the many examples of bad parents and hateful child-free advocates. I have never put forth any argument that all parents are entitled to do whatever they please, only that the line is one which should be discussed. Fancy restaurant... don't bring your kids. Denny's... expect kids. R-Movie at night... no kids. G Movie on Saturday afternoon... expect kids. The reaction of vitriol from the vocal minority who like to compare their situation vs parents as some sort of example of "privelege" seem to have no grasp of what privelege or entitlement is. I'm not the one to straighten that out for anyone though. If you'd like to see the conversations I didn't publish and the personal emails to me indicating the only good breeders are dead breeders then you might have your eyes opened a bit too. Those people also exist, my apologies if I mistook you for one when you came out guns blazing with rhetoric involving all caps and talk of "brats" I guess it confused me.

  8. I admit I have little to no patience for small humans. I'm just not maternal. However, I know that parenthood is a great joy for many people, and that is great. However, CF people are an oppressed minority. Did you know that there are doctors who won't sterilize those of us who wish to be sterilized? Some even outright insult us for our decision to be childfree. That's just one example. I am more than aware that there are hateful factions on both sides of this debate. Do I wish harm on parents or children? Not a chance, and I think people who do need their heads examined. Do I wish that there were more socializing options that are childfree besides the local bar? Yes, I do. My idea of fun isn't listening to babbling kids or having to shout conversations because the kid at the next table won't shut up. I'm also well aware that if I go to a Disney movie that I should expect children, or if I go to a Denny's or Waffle House, kids will likely be there. I plan my outings accordingly.

    Being a member of five minorities living in the deep south, I know all about privilege and entitlement. Discrimination is a part of my daily life, unfortunately. So, I come out "guns blazing" as you call it, on many subjects. It's necessary for survival.

    I know I can be abrasive on this subject, and I am sorry if I came off as a kid-hater at first. I think I am just frustrated from being smack dab in the middle of that age bracket where everyone is popping out kids all around me, and I just don't get the motivation to do that. Couple that with being surrounded by people who think I should just grin and bear it when someone wants their kid to tag along to Happy Hour...and...well, I guess my view is probably quite skewed in the direction of thinking of many of today's parents as extremely entitled people who do not want to realize that their kids don't belong everywhere. Anyway, cheers, and happy blogging.

  9. I'd argue the oppressed minority bit. I'm an at-home Dad and while there are many stereotypes, pressures and insults among individuals and institutions against us I wouldn't put as anything beyond "marginalized." I'd argue that much of the descrimination you mention is a result of sexism rather than being CF, but hell what do I know? Anyway, sorry we got off on the wrong foot too. I'm sure there are more than enough challenges for us all in how to coexist on this pale blue dot and there is no doubt our thinking and logic begins in totally different places. I find that interesting actually as I was obviously child-free for the greatest part of my own life, but never held the opinions I see from much of the CF crowd (yes, I'm generalizing), but there is certainly a time and place for everything and I am a huge proponent of non-violent discipline and respect among children and for parents of children who are not prepared for certain situations to refrain from exposing the general public (and peace) to their children. The nature of children indicates that the unexpected will happen though and I think the whole world could do with a little patience and understanding.

    In my example, a normally good sleeper had a rough couple of nights at the wrong time. It sucks for sure, for all involved, and measures could be taken if complaints were lodged to resolve (or at least offer recompense for) the issue. The "selfish" parents in this situation checked with the front desk for complaints after one night and then again after receiving the anonymous letter, so I just don't find it an indictment of character that they didn't assume they had awoken/disrupted others. If you come back to your room after an early breakfast to find your alarm clock has been buzzing, you feel bad. If you see someone in the hall you might apologize, but what really does anyone do beyond that when they think they might have disturbed another person? Anyway, I'm weary of this argument as I've been having it for months, but it hasn't changed mine (or your) opinion about the state of affairs. I'll continue to try to enjoy life in a respectful way to others while raising children who can decide they don't care to be around children when they grow up (or that they do). They will, hopefully, remember that they were once children and that they were not forced to live to some arbitrary age under the rules of "seen and not heard" and hopefully they will be more accimated to situations at a younger age so as not to be such a tax on others. Contrary to popular belief, we all learned how to behave in adult environments by being in them. Well, some people did... Others continue to display toddlerish behavior well into their twenties and beyond.

  10. Well, I certainly wouldn't compare the hardships of being CF with, say, the things I've been through and continue to go through because I am gay, certainly. In fact, the legalities of gay people raising kids in the US are an absolute mess, and that fact played a huge role in my decision not to be a parent. So, if we're comparing oppression, no, being CF isn't up there with some of the harsher, institutionalized oppression. Still, though, CF people, especially women, certainly do face discrimination. Everyone is expected to want to have kids. When you don't, it opens you up to all kinds of things, from just run of the mill insults and accusations of not wanting to grow up, all the way up to and including medical professionals acting like there is something wrong with your choice and refusing to take the necessary steps to help you remain CF.

    And yeah, a normally good sleeper having a rough couple of nights is unfortunate and likely the only way to solve the problem would have been for the complainers to tell someone. The letter was nasty and passive aggressive, and there were definitely better ways to handle that. Personally, I'd never take a kid under, say, age 4 for an extended stay in a hotel, but that is just me. Then again, I find the idea of being stuck in a confined space with a screaming child to be the stuff my nightmares are made of, so obviously my view is different from someone who is a parent and/or likes children. So, it's all about perspectives here. Anyway, I know this is an old blog and you've moved on to other things. Thanks for engaging!

  11. Actually I've skied my entire life. If the child was old enough to ski I'd agree that it was a family activity. The parents wanted to go skiing so they went for themselves. Then probably hired someone to watch their kid. Sorry but that is selfish, especially if the baby was teething...

  12. I happen to have worked in nothing but hotels since I was 16. Housekeeping here and there, but predominately Front Desk. I have worked in low status hotels like Red Roof Inn to Extended Stays to Marriott Resorts. And I can say with 100% certainty, that people traveling with children do NOT always have other options.
    I can't even count how many times I have walked the halls and heard a child or infant crying or yelling, stomping around or being unpleasant. And the amount of people who complain about this is unimaginable. I am a new mother, so I now understand how the person holding the crying child feels. It is not something they are trying to push onto others, thinking "Well, if I have to hear it, so do they". It's not something we chuckle about later, thinking that it was hysterical how we probably ruined your evening.
    But prior to me having my son, I saw numerous people check in and out, who had made vacation plans and their sitter cancelled last minute. We're on business trips and had no other option but to bring the family, who got stranded and had to pay resort prices because they had nowhere else to go, who came on a family vacation and their baby got sick last minute, and they couldn't afford to take an earlier flight home so they had to suffer through a miserable weekend that was already prepaid. People need to learn to hold a level of compassion and stop thinking that someone is lacking in their parenting skills or that they are being inconsiderate. Until you are in the same position, you have no idea what their reason is for sticking through it.

  13. But the letter isn't to the service dog next door, (who won't have barked--they are very well trained). It's not to the woman with food poisoning next door. It's to the woman who knows perfectly well that babies cry all night, that travel is upsetting to babies, and that people hate to be kept up all night with someone else's noise, and made the free choice to decide to bring the baby anyway, because her needs are so much more important than anyone else's.

    It's to people who got so mad about being called selfish, for selfish behavior, that they wrote a letter to the WHOLE WORLD looking for sympathy.