The silly and the serious and an idiot sighting

(Perhaps I’ll be too harsh here – today’s parents may think so . . .)

Among my many weaknesses is a tendency to read the awful sob sister columns in the newspaper. I like to think it signals an eclectic nature. I am perfectly happy in a single day to go from that sob sister stuff in my morning paper to a few hours at the movies loving the latest action hero movie to a few hours with a dense history of the American Revolutionary period. I like the silly and the serious.

So, on to the idiot sighting: in one of today’s ‘advice’ columns, a mother writes in to say she’s in ‘absolute shock’ and has lost a lifelong friendship after her babysitter (17-year-old daughter of the now-former friend) took her 9 and 11-year-old children IN A CAR to the ice cream parlor . This was – qeulle horror! –  unscheduled and unapproved.

Absolute shock? Please.

12 responses to “The silly and the serious and an idiot sighting

  1. Is the babysitter known to be a bad driver? Not defending the absolutely shocked mama, just trying to understand this.

    As far as the silly/serious, I’ve been known to switch from reading 19th century Russian lit straight to watching reality TV, and a couple of my friends have been trying to analyze this for years. Apparently the two don’t go together?


  2. I think some people can be really pathetic when it comes to little kids. I know that they are young and so cute, but people can be abusive to the children with their love!

    They are baby people, not mini-gods. Goodness gracious!

    I am a fan of the late George Carlin, and I agree that this can be abusive to the kids.

    Let kids be kids, for crying out loud. They’re children, not mini-gods. The child worship in this country is sickening. Poor little kids, I feel sorry for them.

    Parents need to give them some space and let them be kids.


  3. This may be a bit metaphysical.

    I have a sense that people in general are less and less willing to acknowledge certain realities about life: we don’t control many, in fact, most things that affect us are out of our control; and maybe we shouldn’t always even try to.

    Especially successful people seem determined to think that their success is totally their doing at least partially due to this belief. If you aren’t as fortunate, its all your fault because you chose the wrong schools you didn’t study/work hard, etc. they in contrast are: more virtuous; made good decisions; and we deserve exactly what we get.

    I think the same belief is reflected in the belief that you also have to control every aspect of your children’s lives; you’re a bad parent if you don’t.

    I think we need to have a little less hubris acknowledge: we’ve been blessed and be willing to share some of it sometimes; and let our children become their own persons. Giving them some exposure to unauthorized ice cream is a part of that.


    • Well said bruce – I’d add that certainty in their own wisdom has is also manifested in a suspicion that others can’t be trusted to make wise decisons.

      Making this story worse, the babysitter was a neighbor and had known the kids all their lives.


    • I couldn’t agree more. I love the idea of having a positive attitude, but I think in our current society the “positive thinking” has turned into an obsession, as well as the idea that we can “create reality” with our thinking. People are unwilling to acknowledge that darkness, sadness, death are all a part of our existence as well, and if they do show up, it’s your own fault–your thinking must not have been positive enough!

      There are forces in this world which are greater and have more power than the individual human being. I don’t think this is something the people of today are willing to admit to themselves.


      • Death being the perfect example brat – here in the West, and in America expecially, we fear death most of all. As if fear could keep it from happening.


  4. Your point about death relates well. In America, we can’t accept that eventually our time ends, and we don’t have much say about it.


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