14 February 2012

Thanks for your concern

Two weeks ago, I stopped by the bank to make a withdrawal.  This bank has large plate glass windows across the entire front, and the parking space where I left my car was about 20 feet from the door.

I left my children in the car.

They were all buckled in and clearly within my view, and frankly I felt that they were perfectly safe.  However, a gentleman (to use the term loosely) took strong exception to my obvious complete lack of parenting skills, and berated me quite thoroughly for my idiocy in supposing that my children could possibly be alright in the car without me.

Now that I've received some legal council, I'm feeling confident enough in my parenting abilities to post about it here, where the rest of world can agree with him if they like.

As it turns out, this particular state does not have a law that specifically deals with leaving children unattended in a vehicle.  According to my lawyer that would fall under general neglect of a minor child, and she felt that as long as the vehicle was within sight or sound, and especially given that my oldest is seven and all three were buckled in, I had clearly not acted in a negligent manner.

(Full Disclosure: "My lawyer" is actually a woman I know from Knit Night, but she is a real lawyer who really specializes in laws dealing with children and child safety...whatever that particular legal branch is.)

Pertinent to the topic at hand, I have added a new blog to my blog-roll.  Free-Range Kids was started by a columnist who ended up doing the talk-show circuit labeled "America's Worst Mom?" after writing a column in which she shared how she had allowed her nine-year-old son, after careful coaching, to ride the New York Subway by himself.  I thought this post in particular was very interesting, since abduction is probably one of the main fears of parents these days.  Thank-you, media.  It turns out, a person is three times more likely to be hit by lightning than abducted by a stranger.  Knowing that made me feel so much better.  Because, really?  How much time does the average parent spend preparing their child for an inevitable lightning-strike, and losing sleep over when it will happen?

Next time some creepy guy at the bank decides to tell me off for not parenting the way he thinks I should, I'll just say "Thanks for your concern, but my children are just fine."

07 February 2012

You have HOW many children??

Apparently, the Mad Scientist and I have reached that point.  The point where people decide there is clearly something wrong with you, because no normal person would actually choose to have that many children.  I'm not certain why four is considered to be so outrageous (and I'm certain the comments will get worse if we have more), but it is more than 2.6, and maybe that is the problem.

The other day the Mad Scientist was talking with a friend who expressed some shock upon learning we are expecting again.  He paused, then said "Just make sure you don't do what my grandfather did.  He had 13!"  And the Mad Scientist responded (because he's like this) "Wow.  That's something to shoot for!"

Oh, how I love that man!  :-D  (He doesn't actually want 13 children.  It was his crazy wife who suggested a dozen.) 

A friend shared this video with me, which I provide as a succinct compilation of all the things mothers of more than 2.6 children have heard before, so you don't need to say.  It's a lot funnier when they're all blended into one conversation.  It helps you realize how ridiculous they sound, moreso than when they stand alone. 

Speaking of crazy things people say, I was in the grocery store Sunday night doing my weekly shopping, which this week happened to include cat litter.  The man behind me eyed my (really quite prominent) belly, eyed the cat litter, and then said "Be sure you keep those cats away from that baby!"  Thinking he was going to caution me about early allergy triggers, I replied with a perky "Oh, I know!" and smiled.  He finished his thought with " 'Cause they'll definitely kill him!"

Uh huh.  You know, I've heard of this old wives' tale that cats will "suck the breath" from a newborn.  I've never met anyone before that actually believed it.  Interesting.  Children solicit the oddest "advice".