Friday, March 07, 2008

parenting hairshirts and other timeless fashions

My friend Nicki and her husband Andrew, write this blog about raising Hazel, their toddling offspring. Lots of good pictures and quirky stuff. Nothing syrupy or group-huggy. Recently she posted this entry about [continued] evidence of their bad parenting. A modern, self-inflicted stockade, this public blogging thing.

When I learned to embrace other people's misconceptions, I became a much happier parent. Too bad that happened after the kids were grown.

Not to be outdone in the category of shitty parental reputations, here is my comment to her post:

When we sent our 15-year old daughter to Italy as an exchange student, we gave her money specifically to buy a heavy coat there—the luggage weight limits were strict and she didn't have enough room in her suitcase.

She lost her credit cards on the first stopover.

A week or so later, an AFS representative calls and scolds me for dumping my little matchgirl-child in a foreign country without money or adequate outerwear. After I stopped laughing (oh, they gave me such a stern look over the phone) and explained, I called my daughter and we roared—the idea of people thinking I wasn't overprotective was hilarious.

Then I begged her, Honey please go out a buy a coat today before they start interviewing foster parents here for your return, okay?

And for godsake, child, stop using socks for mittens.


Menchuvian Candidate said...

When the heir was five he was admitted to the ICU for the first time. We were old pros at regular admissions by that point. We knew that regardless of what time he first came to the ER, it would probably be 11pm-1am before he would make it to the floor. We knew that shifting rooms, status, or floor screwed up meal service. We knew that you have to be proactive throughout or your kid will be eating saltines and ginger-ale for his next meal.

So, after a rough night on the floor, I awoke to being told that he was going to be transferred to the ICU, "as a nursing decision," because his breathing treatments were too frequent for the staffing on the floor. His breakfast was delivered just before the transfer was to be made, so I scooped the package of cereal and added it to the pile of his gear on his bed-knowing that the next hour or so would be repetitive exams and paperwork as the teams shifted.

We got up to the ICU, me trailing behind the bed answering intake questions on the hoof, and I see the new nurse pick up the cereal, shoot a glance at (fat) me and comment to her colleague "some people have really messed up priorities."

No, lady, some people haven't been told that their child won't be allowed to eat.Some people were trying to keep their kid fed. And you know what, even if some people had tossed the cereal onto the pile for themselves, well, even fat mommies have to eat sometimes.

It still burns my biscuits more than 10 years later.

Epiphenita said...

first of all, tending loved ones in a hospital seems to push people into one of two categories: helpless rage or demanding bitchitude. it's unfortunate but if your loved ones are being subjected to painful or questionable procedures by overworked or insensitive, communication-challenged medical personnel, you've really got no choice but to fend for them and yourself. fuck'em if they draw the wrong conclusions (easier said than done, i know).

i helped care for a dear friend during the final years of his young life and sometimes i would just become incensed at the air of indifference. dedication moved me, too, don't get me's just that doing your job with compassion is, i don't know, what we should sort of expect, eh?

okay, and please, if you don't mind, link me to the blog entries explaining why the poor heir has spent so much time in hospitals—i don't know the background and it will take too long to read every blog post tonight and i'm impatient...