My ACLU friend has completely flipped out with our debate about the kid doing a report on Harvey Milk. I hate to say she's acting like a typical woman, because that will just get women on here snapping at me. But she's done everything but start crying. She's yelled that she's done debating the issue, yet we had been discussing it civily.

Her last comment on my cell phone was something along the lines of: I never wish to discuss this issue with you again. You never change your mind on things."

I think she may have used a few curse words, too.

But it was that last line about me "never changing my mind on things."

I admit, some people say I'm an opinionated a**hole. But, I hate when things happen like my girlfriend and I arguing once and her saying "You don't listen to anything I say. It's like talking to a brick wall."

My response was, "I'm listening to you. I'm just not agreeing with you."

People immediately seem to think if you don't immediately agree with them, you're not listening.

Well, I was all set to blog on something, and was talking about the issue with my girlfriend over dinner. She said I was completely wrong. And after hearing her points, I agreed with her.

It was about Mike Tysons 4-year-old dying. I said that if you have young children and an accident like that happens, the parents should be charged for being negligent. I said the same thing when Eric Clapton had a 4-year-old fall from a balcony and die. I wondered how a kid gets out to a balcony to do that.

But as my girlfriend went on about accidents, I started realizing that...even if you did child proof your house, a bookshelf could fall. Something could be stuck in an outlet. Too many accident scenarios to even list. And as she said, "You can't just stand there with your eyes glued on your kid all day long."

And I remembered when my sister was a baby and stuck one of my Matchbox cars (a tiny forklift), into the socket on the wall. My mom was in the kitchen and heard a boom. My sisters hand was black, and she had been sent half-way across the room. I'd hate to think, had my sister died, my mom would be considered a bad parent (although she once took a bath, and my brother and I were playing in the front yard and I wandered out onto Clairemont Mesa Blvd, at age 3; she got a tongue lashing from a woman driving by and felt horrible).

But I digress.

My girlfriend mentioned that at her work, there's a treadmill with a chord that hangs, similar to the one that Tysons kid was strangled by. But I mentioned the fact that there aren't children at her work place. But it did make me realize, that if I had 4-year-olds, that wouldn't have been something I would catch and feel was unsafe.

I know somebody in Las Vegas that had a beautiful pool and Jacuzzi put in their backyard. They took in a foster kid that was 10, and they were ordered to have a special fence put around the pool. It looked completely idiotic. And what made it more bizarre is the fact that the foster kid knew how to swim!

So, I guess I was just amped out about this topic because the government can be so strict about things like that, or car seats and seatbelts, wearing helmets...yet I seem to hear about adults having kids fall from balconies. And instead, we just award Clapton a Grammy when he writes a song about the experience.

Although, I heard a woman today on the news that had her kid disappear. They mentioned something about her dating a sex offender.

And I thought about that guy who had his girlfriends baby disappear from Balboa Park. He claimed he left the kid alone for 15 minutes, and although police suspected him, no charges were ever filed.

I still think idiotic parents like that should be charged with something.

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lallaw May 28, 2009 @ 12:19 a.m.

Mindy3onesanda4: Some negligent parents need all the added grief the law allows. It depends upon the facts. But once you have a child you are wholly responsible for their life, their well being, their health. You literally have to walk around your home, at their level, and remove, lock up, cut chords, plug up outlets, put tempting/shiny/pretty things away. You have to be (and I hate this word but it says it) proactive. That is your JOB. And btw, parents who let their children under 10 or even 12 roam freely through their neighborhood and don't follow up and watch that they get to where they are going or have them call when they get there (or you call) or better yet, take the 15 min. to walk them or drive them there yourself have no one to blame but themselves when something happens. That may sound heartless...but it is not that I don't feel for them, it's that they fell down on the job. And their poor child paid the price. Some would say it is Darwin at work, but that is a mutilation of his theory. It is careless parenting at work...and many times we parents luck out and our kid is okay...but not always.

Josh, I don't believe Eric Clapton was present when his son Adam fell out of the screen window to his death. I believe his son was with his mother, and she and Clapton were either separated or not living together at the time. If my memory of that event is correct, then I don't think he can be blamed! However, if your version is accurate I humbly apologize and yes... balconies and 4 year olds do not mix. Glad you survived your foray onto Clairmont Mesa Blvd. :)

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antigeekess May 28, 2009 @ 9:07 a.m.

Agree totally with lallaw. How many years have window blinds had a warning tag -- sometimes with a PICTURE of a stick figure hanging itself -- about kids and little head-size loopy things not mixing? I would have seen that cord and IMMEDIATELY thought, "Oh Holy Hell!!! What a disaster waiting to happen!!!"

I even cut the cords on my window blinds short and left the ends separated, so my CAT couldn't hang her silly self.

People think I'm some kind of Nazi because I think you should have to take parenting classes and pass intelligence/safety/psychology/parenting tests before you're even allowed to BREED. Otherwise, no tax credit for you!!!

The sad fact is, if that kid had smarter parents, she'd still be alive.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 9:11 a.m.

You are correct, Lallaw. Clapton wasn't there. I just thought everyone kissing his ass, telling him how sorry they were....as odd, considering someone should've lectured him and his girlfriend/ex, on how to be good parents.

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 9:40 a.m.

Josh, you might be an opinionated a-hole, and I might not agree with you about everything, but I still like you ;)

The thing about kids is this: You can try to be the best parent in the world and stuff is still going to happen. I've raised my children as responsibly as I thought necessary, but it doesn't ensure that they'll behave how you expect. Sometimes all you can do is hope for the best.

From an early age, for example, I've raised all of the kids to be responsible sexually. From the time they were old enough to understand, I lectured them constantly that the best thing that they can do is to abstain from having sex, and the second best thing that they can do is to always use a condom (while abstaining from sex). My youngest, who just turned sixteen, was telling me a few months ago about how a friend she went with to primary school is pregnant, and how tragic it all seemed.

Just about when I was going to pat myself on the back for succeeding, my twenty-year old daughter admits a few days later that she's pregnant from some guy I had yet to meet. Luckily for her, he's a good man, and they planned a small wedding. Unluckily for her, she lost the baby before the date they had planned to marry. They put off the marriage, I suppose that they want to make sure that they like each other enough to get married.

The point is, I raised that girl to know better. When she was in secondary school, I remember she (and her classmates) was made to carry around an egg and pretend it was her baby. She was to name it, and then design a carrier or cradle to keep it in and with her at all times, wherever she went. I reckon this was school's way of showing her what a responsibility it was to have a baby. She and her mother asked my advice on the carrier, and without any thought at all, I suggested that she get a condom and stick the egg inside of it.

Neither of them stopped laughing until they noticed that I was dead serious. Luckily, the rest of the kids have been responsible in that area. But you never know, anything can happen and sometimes will happen.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 9:48 a.m.

Sorry to hear about your daughters loss. Although, it may be a blessing in disguise, that probably doesn't make it any less tramatic for her. So I wish her all the best.

Yes, I understand when they hit teenage years, all bets are off. You could be the best parents in the world, and the kid does what they want or sneaks out, or whatever.

That's a whole other debate for another day.

I'm talking about babies and small children. And even then, it's almost like when Akyroyd did that used car salesman type of character that wanted to sell kids "bag o' glass" as a toy, because it's fun. And he showed that even building blocks, you could choke on (if you stick them in your mouth, as kids often do with everything).

But, as anti said above...you should not only comb over your house, as if you were tiny...shaking bookshelves, not having candles lit, when we know a kid could touch it, or knock it on the floor. Not to mention, you really shouldn't have many moments where the kid is by themselves.

As I started my rant with my girlfriend, I kept wondering how Tysons kid is all alone to turn on an exercise machine, and then get strangled in it. I was all set to blame the mom, until I realized, that can happen in a mere couple of seconds.

But, at my core, I think if you're a smoker and leave your lighter on the coffee table and the kid gets it, or you're a hunter/gun guy, and your kid finds your gun and shoots themself or another...the parents should be held responsible.

On a side note, refried: On Dennis Millers radio show yesterday, he did a rant about how there's no way women make 70 cents to the dollar, or every woman in the country would be suing and winning. He asked for someone to call in, and explain how they think it's possible that is the case.

Nobody called in!

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 10:21 a.m.

My daughter's loss was what it was. Life goes on, even through death. It's funny, because as she was growing up, I could tell there would be more problems with her than the other two kids. I even remember telling my wife, "That one's going to be trouble, the middle child often is."

She's fine now, and if that incident didn't teach her a lesson then nothing will.

I understand your reaction to the death of the four-year old. There is a part of me that wants prospective parents to pass some sort of a test prior to having children, but it would be more destructive to society than do it good. The conflict lies in how one wishes to be governed. Self-responsibility, of which I am a huge proponent, insists that government stay out of one's life, in that one is responsible for one's own actions.

If government punishes parents of children who have fatal accidents because the parents were not thoughtful enough to unplug an appliance or put a cigarette lighter back in their pocket, then what society is asking for is that government cares for their children. Obviously, this precludes willful neglect, which should be a criminal punishment. It's more along the lines of government mandating content labels on music for sale.

My point would be that if a parent has to rely on government for controlling what a child listens to, it removes the responsibility of the parent to monitor their children. In the same breath, if society has to rely on government to punish parents that aren't smart enough to disable a treadmill, then all children are being parented by the government.

The child's death is tragic, it's difficult not to react to it, but there are consequences in government's intervention in such cases.

Regarding Miller, I'm not surprised he said it. I like Miller, even though I don't always agree with him, he's smart and witty. He can also be quite intimidating, and his audience seems to lean very far to the right, so I'm not surprised he didn't receive a call opposing his point.

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monaghan May 28, 2009 @ 10:32 a.m.

I think Josh takes a hard line because tragedy is irremediable and it is human to want to skate past that devastating fact to "irresponsibility" or "punishment " or some other satisfying finding. The truth is that terrible things can happen, even in instances where every plug is covered, every bookcase is bolted to the wall, every pool is fenced and gated, every parent is as vigilant as he or she imagines they can be. Parenthood is a great adventure, full of joy and beauty as well as the possibility of disaster, even for regular people who are not athletes or rock-and-roll icons. In some instances people are truly, provably, chronically negligent; in others they are just unlucky. There is a difference, and though the law treats each differently, everyone suffers when a child in their care is hurt or dies.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 3:39 p.m.

Very well said, monaghan.

And yeah, refried, Millers audience is probably 90% Republican. But, the thing I always give him props for...is the fact that he'll let liberals finish. He doesn't cut them off. And he's often very polite while disagreeing with them.

The other day, I also loved the fact that he went off on how insane Glenn Beck must be, to completely fabricate a story about Barbara Walters. Once someone like that is caught lying, I don't know why anyone (republican or democrat) would even waste their time listening to them. That especially goes for Rush, who has been peppering his BS with lies forever.

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 4:08 p.m.

Refried, you concern me. First you say you started talking to your kids about sex "at an early age". Depending on what this means, this is bad parenting. Young kids aren't prepared to hear those kind of things. All you do is confuse them. But based on what you say later, it seems like your strategy is to pass on the information and then absolve yourself of any further responsibility. Yes "stuff is still going to happen" but as a parent your job is to constantly be thinking about what that might be, thinking FOR the kid, because they're too young to do it for themselves. This is the biggest problem with parenting today. Parents treating their kids like mini-adults. They're not.

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 4:19 p.m.

Josh I may be wrong but from what I heard the Walters and Whoopi story was true. Now I didn't hear him talking on the radio, so he may have done what these right-wing radio guys like to do, which is turn everything into an issue that will fire up their ignorant listeners. Instead of reporting "I met Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg on the train-they had to save a seat for them to protect them from the fans" his take is "those Hollywood liberals all think they're better then you". For instance I was listening to KOGO last night before you came on, and the host was baiting his listeners talking about some company that made it's employee take down the American flag. The response was predictable. The problem is I'm willing to bet he's not reporting the story accurately. This is the problem with all the people that listen to right-wing radio or watch fox news and think they're getting their news. Not only are they getting a biased opinionated version of the news, but they may not even be getting an accurate version of it.

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 4:20 p.m.

Ricky, I have five kids; four are grown, one is married. Don't even start to lecture me on children, nor on parenting, you're unequiped to do either based on this asinine response.

You concern me, rickey. Do you have experience with "young kids" that we don't know about, or are you simply flaming the internet like some loser without a grip on reality?

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 4:33 p.m.

Why do parents always react like this. "How dare you criticize my parenting" as they let their kid play in traffic. Either answer the substance of what I said, or let us all assume I'm right.

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 4:50 p.m.

Rickey, there is rarely, if ever, any substance to what you say. Mostly everything is inflammatory, and what isn't inflammatory is nebulous. The biggest problem with parenting today, is that some childless moron thinks that they know more than a parent does about raising children.

Consider yourself part of the problem, rickey.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 4:54 p.m.

Rickey, not sure what refried said that you had such a problem with. I didn't take his parenting skills as bad, from what he wrote. Had I, believe me, I would've jumped on it. (on a side note: thanks for listening to KOGO during the Reader segment).

I heard the American flag story, and I too, wondered if that was everything. I'm guessing that it's a hardcore Republican, that had other stuff on their cubicle wall, and the boss just said "all of it" had to go, even the flag. But then the guy runs to the media and says "they made me take down my flag...they're so unpatriotic."

Regarding the Glenn Beck story, he was on The View. They called him out on it, and he ADMITTED that he lied. Whoopie and Barbara asked him why, and he just had this stupid-ass smile on his face, and said "I'm not a news reporter. I can do what I want. I'm telling a story." They then surprised me, by saying that nobody should ever believe what he says. To which he just continued to smile and act stupid.

He basically said that Barbara called him over to talk. They said HE walked over to talk to them. They then said the seats weren't saved, as he claimed. And, there was one other aspect of the story he lied about. And the weirdest thing is...nothing about him lying made one bit of sense.

But, the reason I logged back on here, was to say this. In regards to the safety of children, everyone keeps talking about this reality show of Jon & Kate Make 8, or whatever that idiotic thing is called. They talk NOW about how this might be harmful for the kids (ya think?). So...if everyone wants to act all concerned NOW, why not have the government take away the Octomom kids? She's planning a reality show. This would nip that in the bud, and keep her from the further bad parenting she'll probably be involved in.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 4:55 p.m.

refried...your last post is one of the biggest misconceptions about parenting.

I have seen some hardcore R rated movies, where parents bring their children (one being Zack and Mira Make a Porno, and I had to listen to a kid behind me say "oh gross!" I won't tell you what happened that made the kid say that.

Well, ANY BODY IN THAT THEATRE that has never been a parent before, can say those parents made a bad decision bringing their kids there. Does the fact that they DO NOT have kids, make them unjustified in saying that?

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 5:12 p.m.

Josh,

The easiest thing to do is to criticize a parent, regardless of whether someone has kids or not. The biggest ass-chewing I received in my life came from my siter-in-law, who, when shoving Vicks Vap-o-rub down her kid's throat, then listening to me briefly lecture her about the fact that it wasn't meant for oral consumption, she proceeded to tell me to go screw myself...

Well, who am I to question the brilliant parental skills of my sister-in-law?!

The boy then proceeded a few years later to knock up two different girls, thus increasing the likelyhood that yet more kids will be forced to endure such horrible events. With ricky, his response was pointed and assuming. My daughters were teenagers when I began my rants, and I began with my sons at a much younger age. Point is, I don't feel the need to defend myself, but it seems that I have to, because apparently I permit my children to play in the streets or whatever, and according to ricky, I'm a bad parent.

I have two sons in the armed forces of the United States of America serving abroad, and I'm proud of them. Ricky had better hope then that I was a good parent, because assuming that he's depending on them defending his freedom, he would be in big trouble if I wasn't.

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

Substance: "talking to your kids about sex "at an early age". Depending on what this means, this is bad parenting. Young kids aren't prepared to hear those kind of things. All you do is confuse them." Substance: "as a parent your job is to constantly be thinking about what that might be, thinking FOR the kid, because they're too young to do it for themselves". Substance: "This is the biggest problem with parenting today. Parents treating their kids like mini-adults. They're not." You can say my comments are "inflamatory", but the only thing "nebulous" is your intellect.

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 5:16 p.m.

I never called you a bad parent. You used your experiences as an example and I generalized from them. The only one who can call you a bad parent is you, if you think the shoe fits.

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Josh Board May 28, 2009 @ 5:30 p.m.

Well, refried...aren't you doing the same thing with rickey, that your sister-in-law did with you? Your snapping, instead of listening, and thinking about what is being said.

To me, when your sister-in-law said that, you could've calmly grabbed the package, and pointed that out to her. And you could've followed that by saying "I'm interested in the safety of your kid, not about offending you...a person that is to ignorant to read instructions on medication you're giving your kid, or listen to an adult that's concerned for the childs safety."

If she kept mouthing off, it would be up to the rest of your family to tear into her, instead of just standing around (like most groups of people do, because everyone in the world is so afraid of confrontation).

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 6:04 p.m.

Josh, consider the following:

"Refried, you concern me. First you say you started talking to your kids about sex "at an early age". Depending on what this means, this is bad parenting."

What???

Bad parenting???

Depending on what this means???

"Young kids aren't prepared to hear those kind of things. All you do is confuse them."

Again, what does this mean???

"But based on what you say later, it seems like your strategy is to pass on the information and then absolve yourself of any further responsibility."

Again, wtf???

Josh, I read what he wrote. He basically made a judgement based on facts he could not have known (such as, how old is old enough, or how old my kids were when I began to instruct them on suxuality). In the case of my sister-in-law, I made my statement based on the instructions written on the container of the medicine she was incorrectly administering. Rickey likes to flame threads, I've seen him do it in here over and over again.

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antigeekess May 28, 2009 @ 8:23 p.m.

And this blog started off with a comment about female hysteria.

Mmmmmm, savor that irony...

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rickeysays May 28, 2009 @ 10:15 p.m.

I don't flame threads, I provoke thought. Your first comment about the sex talk made me wonder if you were one of those parents who exposes their kids to material they aren't ready for, like in Josh's example about kids in movies they shouldn't be seeing. Hence my comment about parents treating their kids like mini-adults. I really believe that is the single biggest problem with parenting today. If it doesn't apply to you, good. I'm glad. You'll have to judge for yourself. Your comments in general made wonder if you had a kind of "laissez-faire" attitude about parenting. That your job is to educate the kids, tell them about the dangers of things (which is great if done at a developmentally-appropriate age), but then you're done. If they then run out into the street without looking, you're absolved of responsibility. You told them what to do. And I was trying to make the point that parents job is to protect kids from themselves. Kids aren't legally independent until 18 for a reason. Because they have bad judgement. They do dumb things. It is a parents job to make them safe in spite of themselves. Expecting them to make good decisions as long as they have the information is foolish. Now to me the only reason to be offended by anything I've said is if you think it applies to you. If you do, instead of being offended maybe you should be thanking me for making you think about it.

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David Dodd May 28, 2009 @ 10:45 p.m.

Ricky, if you choose to run around pointing fingers at people in situations where you have no idea what you're talking about, I can't stop you. But I'm not accountable to you, nor your comments. I'm offended by the fact that you throw opinions around like rubber balls, you have no idea where they strike, and you don't seem to care. You haven't thoroughly read anything I've written - or else, you don't understand what I've written.

(Hint: Look up the word "nebulous", it applies to application of thought, not to intelligence.)

If you want to be pals, then all you have to do is give responses to blog entries the benefit of the doubt. If you want to provoke thought, then all you have to do is be rational and respectful. You have not been either, with me. If you ever have a daughter, when she turns thirteen or so sit down and have a talk with her. If you don't believe me, then rather than waste your time ranting against me, query some other parents; you'll be surprised at the results.

Argument is fine, rickey, I certainly expect it. But be careful not to presume anything, it leads to conclusions that are incorrect and ultimately sometimes come off as ignorant.

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Josh Board May 29, 2009 @ 12:16 a.m.

refried: the first thing rickeysays says is "depending" on what age. So, that doesn't apply to you if you spoke to your kids about sex at the "appropriate" age. Obviously, that can differ from parent to parent, and what age that is. But, I'm guessing he means really, really young -- like 7 or 8.

Each parent is allowed to do what they want with their kids, which is unfortunate. At a nudist colony I visited (for a story, I'll have you know)...I gave them crap for letting kids be exposed to this. They argued and argued. All the usual cliches ("you're born naked" and "it's natural," "nothing to be ashamed of"). But any psychiatrist will tell you kids aren't comfortable seeing their parents naked. And, I believe there are lots of other things wrong with this. So, rickeysays was just wondering WHAT you said, and at WHAT age.

rickey sometimes fans the flames, but I love it. He once called me a commie or something, because I said in this country you should be "guilty until you can prove your innocence." Although he and I seem to agree in most blogs, when we don't, he sure gives it to me. Which I think I deserve, as I can be a jerk and throw around the word "idiot" for anyone that doesn't agree with me.

And his points here, are very good ones. I had a professor I always argued with at SDSU, because he said kids should never be afraid of their parents. The parents should be friends with their kids. Well, that's just a crock of s***. Now, kids shouldn't fear their dad coming home from work. But, there should be a fear that if they do something wrong (steal, try drugs, ditch school)...that their parents won't just be buddy-buddy with them about it (like Amy Poehler as the mom in Mean Girls, offering to gossip and give the girls alcohol to drink).

Now, I'm not sure why rickeysays just assumed you were one of those types of parents, but for whatever reason, he seasoned that, and merely said "if you are" or "depending" or something like that.

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MsGrant May 29, 2009 @ 8:33 p.m.

Cliches?!? What is "blessing in disguise" when applied to a miscarriage? That was just cruel. It's like saying "the lord works in mysterious ways".

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Josh Board May 30, 2009 @ 12:33 a.m.

Holy crap, you're right MsG. I don't know what I was thinking. I mean...I know what I was thinking. I was thinking that someone that young with a kid, that didn't really plan it that way...was a disaster. She would've ended up not finishing school, her boyfriend or husband, would probably get some job he wasn't happy with. And, a marriage is hard enough on a young couple, but you put a baby in the mix.

So, I guess I just meant that in many ways, she dodged what could've been something that lead to worse things....not just divorce, but many women lately in the news, have killed their children (allegedly) all because they were tired of not being able to go out and party or whatever (or were just plain "tired").

But you're right. It's never an appropriate thing to say. And I apologize to refried for that.

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David Dodd May 30, 2009 @ 1:44 a.m.

No apology necessary.

After all, we gotta play 'em one day at a time. I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the ballclub. I just wanta give it my best shot and, Good Lord willing, things'll work out.

No worries, Josh.

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