Breastfeeding at the Podium

Glorious moment last week: I was getting ready to lead a talk at the Wednesday Morning Group, a working and stay-at-home moms' networking organization in the Washington, D.C. area that meets one morning a week to discuss a parenting topic or listen to a speaker. The head of the group gave a brief, funny, wonderful introduction in front of about 120 moms. All while she breastfed her five-month-old daughter.

Watching her effortlessly, unselfconsciously, confidently speak into the microphone while casually holding her baby to her right boob was one of those "aha" moments. When I had my first child 10 years ago, I remember how painfully difficult it was to breastfeed in front of others, and how most women retreated to a private room or even their cars when baby got hungry. Maybe if there had been men in the auditorium last week something would have been different, but I'm not so sure. Thanks to every woman who has breastfed in public, protested anti-breastfeeding policies, spoken out about the need to nurse at work and in parks and stores, we moms have come a very long way in a short time.

Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides. Can you see it? It might take 10 or 20 or 30 years, but I can.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  February 7, 2007; 7:13 AM ET  | Category:  You Go Girl!
Previous: 9/11 Dad | Next: Just Say No


Add On Balance to Your Site
Keep up with the latest installments of On Balance with an easy-to-use widget. It's simple to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry to On Balance.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



First!

Posted by: First! | February 7, 2007 7:37 AM

That's pretty funny. I've never seen what the big deal is about breastfeeding in public.

However, I'll bet it made some folks uncomfortable, and I'm certain that I wouldn't have done the same. But then, I was always a klutzy breastfeeder and my kids were squirmers.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 7:50 AM

"Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides. Can you see it? It might take 10 or 20 or 30 years, but I can."

That's just plain wrong!!!!!! Work should make accomodations for working parents BUT children and work should NEVER mix. Sorry, "Bring your Brat to work day" is bad enough.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 7:57 AM

Leslie, "Can you see it?"

No, I never will, but I hope you get your wish! Ha!

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 7:59 AM

IN THIS CORNER:

We have the smug breastfeeders who, protected by law in most states, feed their children whenever, wherever without a thought for who might be watching and feeling icky.

AND IN THIS CORNER:

We have the smug bottlefeeders and childless who gripe and moan on blogs but are too afraid to say what they really feel in public because they know medical science backs up the other side.

It's going to be a great day on the blog, folks. I can already tell we're going to hit that 400 mark . . .

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:02 AM

Good for her! I'm not sure how I'd feel if this were, say, a meeting of CEOs, but in this context, it seems appropriate.

I kind of have to agree with the ill-tempered anonymous poster in that kids and work don't, and shouldn't, generally mix. But as long as they're in the work environment, I don't see any problem with them eating.

Posted by: NewSAHM | February 7, 2007 8:06 AM

"That's just plain wrong!!!!!! Work should make accommodations for working parents BUT children and work should NEVER mix. Sorry, "Bring your Brat to work day" is bad enough"

Could not agree more!

Posted by: no way | February 7, 2007 8:07 AM

"I kind of have to agree with the ill-tempered anonymous poster in that kids and work don't, and shouldn't, generally mix. But as long as they're in the work environment, I don't see any problem with them eating."

Ah, come on, I wasn't ill-tempered. :)

No problem with them eating. Just like I wouldn't (and shouldn't) eat during a Board meeting, presentation, etc., neither should the child.

(Ok, ill-temper leaking out now?) I think Leslie left her common sense in the drawer when she wrote this one.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:16 AM

To anon at 8:16 -- Lots of people eat during meetings and presentations. Many times, these things are held during lunch.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:21 AM

Under certain circumstances, work and family do mix, and mix wonderfully. Small businesses, companies that sell family-oriented products, farms, bookstores, plant nurseries, the list goes on and on. Of course there are many places where it would be dangerous or unproductive for children or other non-workers to be. But especially when it comes to infants, most routine workplaces can easily accomodate them. And this acceptance makes it far easier and more comfortable for women to continue working once they have children.

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 8:25 AM

"To anon at 8:16 -- Lots of people eat during meetings and presentations. Many times, these things are held during lunch."

I've only seen this at meetings/presentations specifically marketed as "Brownbag Seminars" and the like. Other than coffee, water, soda, etc, eating during presentations never happens. To me, very VERY unprofessional. And during a Senate vote, I don't think so.

Posted by: 8:16 anon | February 7, 2007 8:25 AM

Did you have to use the word boob? I think this is part of the reason why people have issues about nursing in public....

Posted by: Vienna mom | February 7, 2007 8:27 AM

Agreed on the unprofessional bit. If it's rude for an adult to eat in the middle of it, it's rude for a kid to. No matter what their source of nourishment.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:28 AM

I attend weekly meetings of the managers and directors at my company. Lunch is always provided and training is often presented while people are eating. It's called multi-tasking, and is hardly a new phenomenon.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:30 AM

So, anon at 8:28, you would be just as offended if someone fed their child a bottle during a meeting. Right?

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:32 AM

wow anon are you a sentor?

Posted by: to 8:28 | February 7, 2007 8:33 AM

"So, anon at 8:28, you would be just as offended if someone fed their child a bottle during a meeting. Right?"

Yup. Bringing a kid to the meeting is wrong - period. Feeding them (or yourself) is also wrong.

Posted by: 8:28 anon | February 7, 2007 8:36 AM

Leslie, I don't want to be rude but breast feeding again. There are not that many angles on the issue of breast feeding. If we need to repeat topics, can't they cycle around every 3 to 4 months versus every 3 to 4 weeks. Here are some good balance topics that I would like to suggest:
1) limiting the number of children in the family
2) opening up your own business
3) non profit organizations that help parents who choose to SAH for a few years, get back into the work place
4) home schooling with working parents
5) online college and graduate programs
6) best after school care arrangements
Just a suggestion. I keep seeing similar topics creep back. Why can't we start new topics?

As far as yesterdays, branch away topic on Home schooling is concerned. I think a lot of miscommunication is on both sides. I seriously think a lot of home schooling parents really don't understand how much education classes can help in the traditional educational enviroment. DD is speech delayed. I think I have mentioned that several times. She goes to special education preschool through Fairfax county. I am sooo impressed with everything they have done with her. Not that we can't let her play in the water table, or play with rice. It is the language rich enviroment that is what is helping her. Also they are totally on top of her emotional and cognitive development. I sincerely think she was far better off in a day care that is being run by loving and nurturing people with 15 years of child care experience and 20+ years of parenting experience and going to the professional run preschool. I have an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a graduate degree in statistics. I tried teaching, with minimal education classes (2 courses and summer of student teaching) and it was a shear nightmare. Teaching at the elementary and secondary level is not about subject matter. It is teaching kids to live, thrive, and learn in a complex insituation. That being said, I do think some home school children have remarkable academic and social success. There are some kids that you could drop in a super market and they would be socialized. Other kids, like my own, needs intensive intervention, to just learn how to play with other kids (btw, DD does not have any cognitive delays-just social and speech). I swear the little home schoolers, on average, can really spell. But spelling is a simple systematic form of memorization. I could use some help in that department. The studies that I have read said it isn't that home schoolers do not have social interactions. In fact they do as much as formal schooled children. Because a lot of what goes on in schools is not social. You sit at little desks and work on work sheets or listen to an instructor. The problem lies in that they have a disproportionate of good experiences. They don't deal with the liars, the bullies, the social misfits etc... I do think there is a ton of arrogance on the part of some home schooled parents and also on the side of the traditional educational supporters. Both sides need to see there are pros and cons to both sides. I, myself, could never imagine home schooling my kid. I know I would zone out and let her watch TV or get on the computer half the day. I know I would not be disciplined enough to be a good home schooling parent. But hats off to all that can do it well. The one thing that I am really disappointed in is the lack of federal guidelines in home schooling. If you home school in VA for religious reasons, your kids are exempt from the SOLs. I am not saying that all or even most home schooling parents, do not take their jobs seriously. But there are few wacko parents that will say they are home schooling and essentially do nothing at all with their kids. I find this to be neglect. We have a good friend of ours, who is home schooling and he is simply not going to teach math to his kids. He said he doesn't like math and never uses it in his every day life, so he is going to skip that subject all together. I am not at all saying everyone in the world needs to learn integral calculus. Frankly, very few people use that in their every day life. I do by the way. But at least teach the basics: algebra, geometery, trigonometery. Lord knows, if I have any academic regrets, it is that I wished I had worked harder at writing. Let's work on getting some federal standards for home schooling. And not any of this phony no child left behind stuff. So real conceptual standards for home schoolers and formally educated students.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 8:37 AM

I have mixed feelings about this blog post.

It seems to me that this woman was just trying to make the point that she can breastfeed wherever or whenever she wants. I mean did her kid need fed right at that moment? The baby couldn't wait a few minutes for her brief speech to be over? She didn't know the baby was hungry a few minutes before her speech was to start or she couldn't have started her speech a few minutes later?

I am all for breastfeeding if that is what you want to do. Good for you and the baby, but I am not really for the "look at me I can do whatever I want whenever I want." That is the vibe I got from this posting. It's not like she was a mother at the mall who sat down to feed her baby and was subjected to mean stares or comments or a breast feeding woman who needs to pump and is told to do it in a bathroom stall.

I think there is a difference between flaunting it and just doing it because you have the right to feed your baby.


Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 8:38 AM

Okay, anon at 8:28. I don't think you're in good company with that opinion, but what do I know? I suspect that either you're not in a position to be invited to such lunches and are envious or that for some reason you don't like eating in public. Either way, it happens every day in almost every company -- and even in federal buildings.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:42 AM

This is kind of a non-issue. There are times where work/family/food combine (such as Brown Bag lunches or Bring Your Kid to Work Day), but those times are specifically denoted.

Otherwise, it is customary to keep them separate.

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 8:42 AM

Hey foamgnome,

Just curious, are you for or against limiting the number of children? Whatever your answer is, why??

Thanks for the homeschooling post too!

Posted by: Lou | February 7, 2007 8:43 AM

foamgnome

I am in an online grad school program. Best thing ever invented.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 8:45 AM

Vienna Mom, what's wrong with the word "boob". I think it's the perfect word for women's breast. For one thing, visually, it's a nice round word, and auditorially, it mimics the heart warming cooing of a very happy baby. If I had to come up with a better word for them, I would invent the word "olo". :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 8:46 AM

I suspect that either you're not in a position to be invited to such lunches and are envious or that for some reason you don't like eating in public.

How do you know this?

Posted by: to righto | February 7, 2007 8:47 AM

Hey, foamgnome, I have a couple of degrees in math as well. Geeks, unite!

I have no problem with moms breastfeeding when their kid is hungry. People get offended by so much these days, but I never found problems when I was nursing wherever it was (even at conferences where I had to ask organizers, etc.).
Yes, there are times when it is inappropriate, but for the most part, I don't think it is.

Posted by: atlmom | February 7, 2007 8:47 AM

This was not some strike in the name of sisterhood or motherhood. The woman is an exhibitionist. The child could have been fed before or after her brief talk. My wife has far too much class to have done anything like this.

Posted by: G | February 7, 2007 8:47 AM

I live in Norway (but am myself American), and here breastfeeding is practically a religion. Last winter I was in a small (10-15 person) roundtable meeting that took up most of the day, about 4.5 hours in total. It was pretty informal, featuring a mix of researchers, human rights activists, policymakers, and a couple of Liberian activists who had flown in from Monrovia. One of the women attending the meeting was still on maternity leave (her child was 7 months, maternity leave here is long!), but was very interested in meeting the Liberian guests, so she came along with her son in tow. For most of the first couple hours, her son either slept or was minded by an intern in the office (I guess that's another discussion for another topic). But then he got hungry, and so the intern brought him into the meeting to his mom. The kid was fussing a bit, but calmed down once he started being breastfed. While all this was going on, one of the Liberian speakers was talking -- that's why the mom didn't want to leave, because she was interested in what he was saying. I was actually a bit concerned at this, as it was not a situation that would make most Norwegians uncomfortable but could potentially be disconcerting for people from other cultural environments. During the Q and A, the mom asked a question of the speaker, prefacing it with an apology for her son's fussiness and feeding. The speaker replied: "That's ok, we all have a human right to cry, and we all have a human right to eat!" I thought that was just awesome, both because he was so laid back about it, and also because what he said was so true. People don't tend to think of babies as humans with rights, but indeed, they also have a right to eat when hungry and express themselves when upset, just like the rest of us!

Posted by: Oslo | February 7, 2007 8:48 AM

Leslie, here's a list of topics I'd like to see on the blog:

How parents handle before/after school care for school-age children -- I'd love to hear what's worked for others

Homeschooling

Kids in sports - I'm not there yet, but my neighbors seem to run themselves ragged trying to keep their kids involved, and it just blows any kind of balance out of the water

Finding good childcare -- tips for what to look for, questions to ask, the different kinds (in-home, daycare, etc.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 8:49 AM

"Okay, anon at 8:28. I don't think you're in good company with that opinion, but what do I know? I suspect that either you're not in a position to be invited to such lunches and are envious or that for some reason you don't like eating in public. Either way, it happens every day in almost every company -- and even in federal buildings."

Righto, working lunches and Board presentations/Senate votes are 2 completely different things. And you think I'm envious that I don't go to working lunches????? I like knowing that I have time to myself (i.e. lunch).

Again, having a specific working lunch/brown bag seminar is one thing. Having a regular meeting and eating at it is another.

Posted by: 8:28 anon | February 7, 2007 8:50 AM

Off-topic..

But I think this would be a really interesting dicussion:

5) online college and graduate programs

(Good topics, foamgnome)

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 8:50 AM

"Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides. Can you see it? It might take 10 or 20 or 30 years, but I can."

Care to explain WHY? What will this prove? That women can breastfeed, wow - what a point. Should women pump at the podium too? How about breastfeed twins? How about juggle and breastfeed?

You are really reaching Leslie. If you want to herald breastfeeding at the podium as some kind of milestone for women then I am perplexed - what is end goal?

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 8:53 AM

Here I am being politically incorrect again, with the mommy club in hot pursuit... leave your kids at home please. It's hard enough to focus attention on the tasks at hand with phone/cells/pagers/laptops making the office a 24/7 job -- do I have to help raise your kids, too? I'm frankly tired of it. If I am having a meeting with you and you're feeding your kid at the same time, do I have your full attention? Some people are pretty good at blending their children into the background, others, however, have a way of making, or even demanding, their kid be the center of attention wherever they are -- and this goes for men and women. I am your co-worker, a colleague, I'm not a part of your family.

Posted by: tired of it | February 7, 2007 8:53 AM

If you are saying it's wrong to eat in a meeting -- period, I stand by my original assertion that it happens all the time and you're in a very small minority who thinks that way. If, however, you're saying that it's wrong to eat in a meeting when it's not specifically a lunch meeting, then I apologize and I misread your comments.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 8:54 AM

There is a lot of real estate between BF-ing your child at a "a working and stay-at-home moms' networking organization" and in the Senate, an accounting firm, a law firm, whatever. Maybe it's different for small businesses, I'm not sure as I have never worked at one, but BFing your child at any of those other above mentioned places means your child is there, and unless it is an emergency - they don't belong at work. They belong at elsewhere, so you can get your work done and return to them. I no more want to see a child in a professional work meeting than a person who brings in their own food (obviously I'm not referencing breakfast or lunch meetings), or a cell phone that is on, or someone who is blackberrying throughout the whole meeting. It is just another kind of distraction. Again - I reiterate that I have no idea how meetings, etc. play in small businesses, so this comment isn't inclusive of them.

Posted by: AnonTodayAgain | February 7, 2007 8:56 AM

I am not for or against limiting the number of children voluntarily. I obviously don't think we need legal mandates on the number of children American families can have. But I am always surprised by the multi kid families and the parents say they run themselves ragged. It makes me wonder why they had more then one, more than two, more then three etc... Clearly each family needs to decide for themselves. But there is a major cultural back lash against only children in this country. Even though the vast majoritiy of only children families by choice, seem to be doing for balance. I just think it is an interesting angle on balance. We have one child and for many years only wanted one child. But we have finally decided to pursue a second child. Most of our issues with one child came down to balancing work and family life. I was shocked at the outrage that decision has caused my family. Perfect strangers come right up to us and tell us it is wrong to have one child. Now in the end, we have decided to add another child through adoption. But our balance came with spacing our children out 4 or 5 years apart. A lot different then the 2-3 years that most families find ideal. I am still amazed at the two working parents with 3 or more kids. Some seem to do it well while others seem like everyone is being short changed.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 8:56 AM

I hate bring your kid to work day!!! All of the poor secretaries in my office end up having to watch the kids while their parents take actual meetings and calls.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:58 AM

"If, however, you're saying that it's wrong to eat in a meeting when it's not specifically a lunch meeting, then I apologize and I misread your comments."

Not a problem. Yes, people should (and do) eat during a lunch meeting (otherwise it would be cruel to schedule a non-eating lunch meeting). However, in other meetings, eating should not happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:59 AM

thoughtful comments already and I haven't even finished my coffee...

foamgnome-I agree with everything you wrote. Why would religion-based home schooling get a free pass? I would think everyone had to toe the knowledge line-especially math.

BF in public-where is Fred? I'm glad this woman did what she did and I think that is what Leslie is saying-here is a professional and she is doing this in semi-public (hey, it would be public if there were mixed-genders and not so focused a group) as a matter of course. We've come a long way, baby. I do agree, however, that BFing in a meeting can be, at best, problematic. Oslo had a good experience, but I know, engineers wouldn't be so kind. I myself wouldn't have done what she did. I would have fed the baby beforehand.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 8:59 AM

Leslie - Please read the excellent topics of discussion that are being suggested from the past week by various posters.

How many more breast-feeding days can we take? Now it is extreme-breastfeeding - sounds like a reality show.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 9:00 AM

"I hate bring your kid to work day!!! All of the poor secretaries in my office end up having to watch the kids while their parents take actual meetings and calls."

Around here, it tends to be the secretaries who bring in their kids. The others don't and get distracted by the kids running around.

Posted by: Government slob | February 7, 2007 9:00 AM

Online graduate programs-

I go to an accredited university that has an online program. We meet once a week using a program called breeze, microphones, and a web cam. The work load is the same as any other college program. At times it is difficult to coordinate group work, but it is a lot easier than trying to balance going to a campus with work and kids.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 9:00 AM

Foamgnome, I don't understand who these perfect strangers are who express their feelings to you on such a personal issue. Other posters have talked about this, too, how they've been accosted by people they barely know and read the riot act on something or other. I don't know people like this in my life. I think I must be a boring person or something. Certainly I haven't led a blameless life, so that can't be it.

If someone came up to me and unsolicited tried to give me advice on such a thing, I'd try to be polite but if they continued, I'd say "Do you really and truly believe this is any of your business?" I mean, come on!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:01 AM

If we're proposing topics, how about the article in the NYT yesterday about sex-selection by parents before the woman gets pregnant.......

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:03 AM

What tripe! As female professional who has worked hard to perform and achieve in previously men's territory, I can't think of anything more repugnant than this constant whining suck-up among women wanting to play mommy wet nurse in public. It's offensive and unnecessary. (I don't like it when mothers try to work in a quick diaper change in restaurant booths either.) Breastfeeders should learn to use common sense to avoid distracting scenese in public places. I

Posted by: Lynne | February 7, 2007 9:06 AM

Eggheaded Philosophical Question here:

Do we want "balance" or do we want a "blend"?

I always see "balance" as this concept of the scale with Work on one side and Family on the other. Maybe that's primarily a Dad perspective, I don't know.

This posting seems to have Leslie rejoicing in some future "blend" of work and family, where it becomes the norm to have BF'ing going on all over the workplace as a common activity.

It seems to me that we have been talking about "balance" on this blog -- with balance necessarily involving the juxtaposition of two (or more) things. Are we (or is Leslie) now talking about merging the Work environment with the Home environment (kids on-hand to BF)?

I can't see a good argument to merge Home and the Workplace (assuming you do not work at home).

(I understand and have no issues with pumping, so for the purposes of this question please distinguish between pumping and BF'ing.)

-Pp.

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 9:06 AM


I found this story off-putting for a different reason--I thought giving a presentation and feeding the baby simultaneously was rude, not to the crowd, but to the baby. I think of the time I spend nursing as the best time to pay attention to my daughter. It seemed inconsiderate to me, rather like eating dinner with a friend and talking on the phone to someone else the whole time.
Now at work I pump and am doing non-baby things at that time, so perhaps that is a better comparison, but when the baby's there in person it seems rude not to pay attention to him/her. Maybe we're taking multitasking a bit too far, when we don't devote ourselves wholeheartedly to whatever we're doing at that time, be it giving a presentation or nursing a baby.

Posted by: BFworkingmom | February 7, 2007 9:06 AM

People are strange and in the world we live today common curtesy and politness seems to be a thing of the past. It doesn't really bother me that strangers tell me that I am robbing my child of a sibling. Or that when teachers say everything that is "wrong" with DD is because she is an only child. BTW, DD got her progress report and she failed at taking turns and cleaning up. I just know that people think it is because she is an only child. But also friends and family members love to give their 2 cents on the matter. My mother, a devout Catholic, literally cried when I told her we wanted one child. She still thinks my DD will magically start talking in full sentences when her sister arrives. Most likely she will anyway because our adoption will take 2 years to complete. Not because a new baby will simulate a desire to make conversation. Dotted- My only guess why religious home schoolers get a pass is because they don't want to infringe on subjects like Creationism versus Evolution. I don't think it was meant to say don't teach poetry or math. Some parents just think, hey free pass is a free pass.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 9:06 AM

Your guess is the same as mine, but hey, if the state mandates public school must teach one way, then why should anyone else get a free pass? I would think religious home schoolers would include teaching in religion, not avoid subjects. But this may be opening up a blog item that I don't want to get into at all. have a great day foamgnome.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 9:10 AM

RE: bring your kids to work day. I don't do it because I would never get anything done. Since I am only in the office 2-3 days a week I look forward to the professional, non-kid environment when I am there.

I do bring my daughter in once year to sell GS cookies, she is there about an hour. I make her do the selling, wear her vest and answer all the questions. Most people know her and quite a few buy, some say no, some won't even look her in the eye.

We had a mother bring in her sick kid 2 days in a row because her daycare wouldn't take a kid with a fever. It was inappropriate and inconsiderate and was immediatly addressed.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 9:11 AM

I nursed all three of my children, and I loved every moment of doing so. This time was a very special time for my babies and me to bond with each other. It was a time for verbal communication with my babies and a time for developing close emotional and social ties TO THE BABY. When you use breastfeeding as a means to make a social commentary or as a means of rebellion against perceived injustices against a certain group of women (i.e., nursing mothers), you have taken away some of the most important benefits of the nursing activity. Could you think about the baby rather than always thinking of yourselves?

Posted by: A Grandmother | February 7, 2007 9:11 AM

to all - lots of good ideas for columns, I totally agree we need some new ideas. One other idea - ease up on the First! postings, that's getting a little old...

Posted by: jan | February 7, 2007 9:11 AM

Foamgnome-Yes, by all means, let's have national standards for homeschoolers-they've worked so well for public schools! Sure, there are homeschooling parents who do nothing with their kids-there are also many 'schooled' children whose parents do nothing, don't supervise homework, etc. Get over yourself.

Also, the word is breastfeed-one word, not two.

Posted by: troybro | February 7, 2007 9:18 AM

Don't see what the big deal is. I bf in public when my daughter needs it. I have no idea whether I've had funny looks or not, and I can't remember anyone saying anything (but then I would just ignore it anyway). Daughter needed to eat, she ate. And, yes, it is amazing how you can multitask, even with a complete wriggler like mine. When you have a baby, you suddenly become capable of doing about 20 things at one time, so bfing and giving a presentation at the same time sounds pretty easy.

Posted by: smellytart | February 7, 2007 9:18 AM

Other posting idea:

How much (if any) should parents contribute to their kids' college education? Do you feel like you're "obligated" to provide your child an education, do you feel this is more the child's responsibility, or are you somewhere in the middle (e.g., help out when you can)?

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 9:22 AM

We have the smug bottlefeeders and childless who gripe and moan on blogs but are too afraid to say what they really feel in public because they know medical science backs up the other side.

Righto, talk about smug. I've never been afraid to say in public that public breastfeeding is exhibitionist and the behavior described in the column today is off-putting. The other side, as you put it, isn't breastfeeding, generally -- it's the militant natalist, in-your-face, my baby doesn't want a blanket over it, public breastfeeders.

Medical science does not have a damn thing to say in support of exhibitionism or forcing your motherhood down the throats of participants at a meeting.

Find somewhere else to spew your condescension.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:39 AM

How about balancing rigorous academic schedules with social scehdules, family time schedules and alone time. I find it very difficult to even cook dinner some nights I am so bushed from rushing all over the place....pancakes & eggs on those nights.

Posted by: Pink Plate | February 7, 2007 9:40 AM

"I've never been afraid to say in public that public breastfeeding is exhibitionist and the behavior described in the column today is off-putting."

Yes, but 9:39, apparently you're afraid to sign even with a pseudonym.

Posted by: Funnybunny | February 7, 2007 9:43 AM

I don't understand. Why would you want to whip out your breast and start breastfeeding your baby in the middle of the board room meeting?

Posted by: cc | February 7, 2007 9:43 AM

ilc - I would say, I am somewhere in the middle. I certainly think my priority is my retirement. I will help my kids if I can, but I think they will value their education that much more if they have to pay for it (or part of it), even if I could afford it.

We hope to have many kids, so I'd rather have a housefull of kids than only have 1 or 2 with fully paid college tuitions.

Posted by: Lou | February 7, 2007 9:44 AM

Re. college

If you're not going to save for your kids, at least let them know before High School. It was quite the shocker when I was applying to schools in my senior year and found out I didn't have a dollar in a college fund. I could have been preparing myself better. Dropped the idea to go to an expensive 4 year school and went to a community college to save on cost. Then transferred into a 4 year private school, where I double-majored and got out 3 years later. With all the loans. Thankfully, I paid them every month regardless of how little a salary I had, and while going to a state graduate school. Then I moved to Maryland after I got a job on the Hill and the job paid off the balance, so they were paid off in less then 10 years, but still were a little bit of a burden.

Oh, I am an only child, had to use cloth diapers (I was allergic to the plastic ones they had in the early 70's), and didn't breastfeed. I think I turned out all right!

Posted by: Columbia, MD | February 7, 2007 9:44 AM

Yes, new topics please! I laughed when I saw cmac's comment of extreme breast-feeding...she is so right...that topic is covered ad nauseam on this blog, and it's so tiring at this point.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Let's clear the air a little here: this was a WORK SITUATION FOR LESLIE ONLY. If you go to the WMG site, you'll she was promoting her "Mommy Wars" book as part of a lecture series that other people paid to attend.

So please let's stop the comparisons to eating at meetings to a minimum. Think instead if you went to a book signing by your favorite author and the manager of the bookstore was breastfeeding while introducing the author. Or you went to a lecture hosted by the Smithsonian RAP and a member of the Smithsonian staff breastfed their child when introducing the speaker. Perhaps some people find that professional, but I do not.

To me, this smells of an opportunistic PR stunt. I'm sure the leader of the WMG knew fully well that the group would get mentioned in today's blog by breastfeeding her baby at the podium during Leslie's intro. My question is is this woman going to do the same when she introduces Michael Isikoff's lecture today on his book about the Iraq war?

And to foamgnome: I absolutely agree - let's start seeing some other topics.

We could sit here and go around and around about breastfeeding yet again but what's the point?

I know I've sent in a few topics and I've been roundly ignored. I think it's become painfully clear in the last few months that Leslie doesn't really want to talk about anything she doesn't want to talk about.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 7, 2007 9:49 AM

I just have to comment that I'm so tired of the "calling out" of people who sign as anonymous . . . ummm, we're all anonymous here. Unless I put my full name and identifying information, a pseudonym makes no difference. It is not going to help you identify me more readily.

So "funny bunny" and "pink plate" (only using those b/c those are the last two before I posted) is no more telling to me than anonymous.

Perhaps those of you so turned off by the anonymous ones should start your own board where you have to sign in with full, identifying information.

Sorry if this seems coming from out of nowhere. That is my fault as I've been annoyed with this for awhile.

Posted by: JS | February 7, 2007 9:50 AM

Lou brought up a great point -- the need to balance saving for college with saving for retirement. However, if you start saving early for both, I think it's easier. I'm in a unique situation because I've got a step in college and preschoolers at home. We are paying for college and we consider it an investment both for us and for the step -- I don't want a bird returning to the nest and unable to stand on it's own two feet, if you catch my drift. (And yes, I feel the same way about my other two, it's not just my step.) At the same time, we're saving as much as we can for retirement and doing 529s for the younger ones. So as far as I can tell, I work to pay for childcare, save for retirement, and pay for college. But that's okay with me.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 9:51 AM

This is completely and thoroughly disgusting. Have a little consideration for your audience. Maybe this chick got a charge out of whipping out a boob in front of people, but many people are embarrassed by this stuff. If you're going to be so open about EVERYTHING, why not just take down the walls of public bathrooms and everybody can watch everybody else on the can. Now, isn't that just a wonderful, warm and fuzzy sight?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:52 AM

To Leslie:

Shame on you by the way. Perhaps the WMG is a networking group, but its web site represents it as a lecture series. That networking happens is natural - intellectual stimulation among people who share an educational experience will generate conversation.

But it's a paid lecture series. You were promoting your book. Be honest please!

Posted by: Chasmosaur | February 7, 2007 9:53 AM

Does "liberation" mean that we can do absolutely anything we want, anywhere we want, whenever we want? Even if it does, does it mean that we should?

Motherhood and breastfeeding are wonderful. So is sex. Not everything that is wonderful is prudent and appropriate in every setting. "There is a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing."

Does being a feminist mean that we should feel free to whip out a breast whenever we want, as obviously as we want. I have no desire to push nursing women into some back corner, but come on.

Is there something in this posting that explains why breastfeeding should be treated differently than anything else? I didn't see it. Does it matter why we whip out a breast? Can it be done for some other reasons - say, "I think I may have found a lump, see?"

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:54 AM

paying for college? Well, after contributing for two already and two more to go, let me say: retirement comes first, college second. Loans are available for college, not for retirement. Further, it should be the child's responsibility to get good grades to help pay for college, etc. I'm certainly never going to write a blank check for college, weddings, cars, etc.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 9:56 AM

Kids and work don't mix. Period.

Posted by: Devil's Advocate | February 7, 2007 9:56 AM

We had a mother bring in her sick kid 2 days in a row because her daycare wouldn't take a kid with a fever. It was inappropriate and inconsiderate and was immediatly addressed.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 09:11 AM

wow, cmac, that's a new low for inconsiderate and unprofessional behavior.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 9:57 AM

Babies do not belong everywhere, despite the fact some people bring them everywhere. A work situation (i.e., slide presentation, speech, group meeting) is not appropriate for a baby, whether or not there is breastfeeding going on. Please, there's a time and place for everything and breastfeeding while giving a speech isn't it.

Posted by: Just Me | February 7, 2007 9:57 AM

I brought up the 'pay for your kids' college or not' question because reading a Color of Money transcript got a little testy:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/12/20/DI2006122001135.html

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 9:58 AM

Wow WorkingMomX that's alot on your plate! I have a friend who is paying into VA prepaid college program for her 2 and 5 year old daughters. The monthly payment for the 5 year old is around $300 and for the 2 year old close to $600. Why aren't we talking about rising college costs, etc instead of breastfeeding again?

I agree with the posters who are interested in time management strategies for sports and activities.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 7, 2007 9:58 AM

"And, yes, it is amazing how you can multitask, even with a complete wriggler like mine. When you have a baby, you suddenly become capable of doing about 20 things at one time, so bfing and giving a presentation at the same time sounds pretty easy."

Ridiculous. That's about as absurd as me saying that since I have a new fence in my yard I can fly. Having a child doesn't give you magic multitasking abilities, it just makes you oblivious to the nuisance you create when you annoy and inconvenience everyone around you. You don't change diapers faster when you talk on your cell phone, you just don't notice that you dropped that dirty wipe on the floor.

Next, in terms of this whole breastfeeding at the client meeting/presentation question, aside from the other arguments about whether it's distracting/rude/necessary, what about the obvious one? WHY IS YOUR KID AT THE OFFICE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Didn't we just discuss the FMLA? USE IT!! Go home! Take care of your kid! But please don't bring that germ-infested, stinking, vomit machine near me and my expensive office attire.

I have living creatures in my house that require constant care. They require affection, training, feeding, exercise, etc. They cry when I leave. They are happy when I return. They play with me. They socialize with others. They experience joy, frustration, pain, hunger, and exhaustion (about the range of a breastfeeding baby). Why can't I bring my dogs to work? At least they sit when I tell them to, and the secretary doesn't have to watch them while I go to a meeting. Plus, they can be crated to limit their movement. So why not? How is it different?

Next, in terms of human rights, it was an interesting statement a previous poster made about the Liberian delegation who noted, "We all have a human right to cry, we all have a human right to eat." Bravo! Couldn't be truer. Now, don't we all have a "human right" to urinate? Why can't I, in the middle of a four-hour meeting, just squat and let loose? Why is one of THE most natural of bodily functions (even the childless do it!) prohibited in a meeting? I can bring a chamber pot. I will be careful and do it away from everyone else, and I promise you'll have my full attention...

Finally, do people really still care about breastfeeding in public? Is it really that big of a deal? I find this "up-at-the-podium" display more cliché than anything else. Who cares anymore?

Oh look, breastfeeding at a mom's convention. Didn't see that one coming. Everybody quick, let's all give a one-boob salute to the new Rosa Parks...

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 9:58 AM

Leslie, I agree with the consensus - the presenter was grandstanding. After all, would she have bottle-fed her baby while giving the introduction? THe baby could have waited five minutes to be fed after the woman gave the intro and sat down.

I also agree with foamgnome's comments about home schooling. What happens when these kids want to go to college and they've never been taught any (pick a subject) so they can't pass the SATs? Makes me wonder why none of them have ever sued the state Bd of Education!

Posted by: Outspoken | February 7, 2007 9:58 AM

I'm begininng to come around to breastfeeding in public. Personally, I feel that it should be a private act, and I would never breastfeed in front of strangers. But I understand that some women really want to. I can live and let live (i.e., I just ignore them). However, I would not want to be exposed to that at the office or at a meeting. It certainly has no place in the office, just like moms feeding 5 year olds has no place in the office. The simple fact is that there are other options for feeding babies that do not make other people uncomfortable.

As to whether people should feel uncomfortable (and maybe that's what this mother was rebelling against--forcing people to confront it), I think it's a silly thing to fight. Of course it's a natural thing, and that's what the breast was made for, but there are lots of natural things that bodies do that make people uncomfortable. I don't have to be specific. Why not just do your best to not make a scene? I don't know, maybe that's my issue.

Posted by: Meesh | February 7, 2007 10:02 AM

Hey Leslie, show some respect for the female anatomy - it is not a "boob" it is a breast. What, by most understanding, is the definition of "boob". Why would you use such a derogatory remark about your own body. Why - are you some young frat boy? Do you think of yourself as a "boob". Why do women have such self-hatred?

Posted by: veronica | February 7, 2007 10:02 AM

If you are going to bring food, you should bring enough to share.
LOL
Seriously, it is fine, but I would not hope to see this in a professional setting. Feeding an infant is one thing, but creating a scene at a board meeting and flaunting your breasts just for the sake of doing so for a feeling of liberation is another when you can just as easily not create a distraction. If you get fired for poor job skills and performance, you can always play the card that people do not respect your rights to show your boobs and feed your baby- which I am sure many would take advantage of. That said, I will now say something I am sure to be slammed for even more- I think seeing quote unquote boobs might keep more people attentive in meetings, if not attentive of the actual purpose of the meeting. Someone already said it is exhibitionism- that is true- at least cover up. You know your breasts are sexual. It is just part of our society and you know it! If you can whip them out, then you should be prepared for guys to rally for their right to whip their sexual parts out as well... oh wait, we would be labeled pigs if we did something like that. What is the female equivalent then? As we can not have it both ways, you should at least be conservative and cover up a bit more and not flaunt it!

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:03 AM

It's old stats, but homeschooled kids seem to fair pretty well on the SAT:

http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/hslda/200105070.asp

Posted by: MD | February 7, 2007 10:05 AM

"paying for college? Well, after contributing for two already and two more to go, let me say: retirement comes first, college second. Loans are available for college, not for retirement. Further, it should be the child's responsibility to get good grades to help pay for college, etc. I'm certainly never going to write a blank check for college, weddings, cars, etc.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 09:56 AM"

Agreed, however as I have said before the best present my parents ever gave me was a college education. I had zero loans. Granted they could afford it, and given the rise in cost of college I am not sure I can do the same.

We have agressively save for college and retirement since the kids were born (98 and 01). Every year when I get a raise each kid and retirement fund gets a raise - I too work for savings. This year older daughter's contribution stays the same. In a couple years younger son's goes stagnant too. We can only do so much. We'll still be putting money away for them but not as aggressively.

As the experts say: You can take out loans for college but not for retirement.

What are thoughts on 529 plans? Education IRA's?

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 10:06 AM

to Vienna mom "Did you have to use the word boob? I think this is part of the reason why people have issues about nursing in public...."

What's wrong with boob? Go to England. Look for a store called Bravissimo. They sell bras. In their advertising, seen clearly and plainly from the street, you'll see unapologetically the word "boob". There's no reason for Americans to be so prudish about this particular euphemism. If I had to equate it, I'd say it's similar to "butt"... definitely not the most eloquent of descriptors, but neither a four letter word.

Posted by: theRose | February 7, 2007 10:07 AM

As far as college is concerned, we save for both retirement and college together. WE probably could have more for retirement if we did not plan our DDs education but we looked at the numbers and decided we would have more then enough for college as well as her education. But we are limiting the number of children based on a lot of things. Money would be one of them. Time is the bigger issue. I don't understand people who don't tell their kids that they have no intention of paying for college. I also agree with Dotted, that getting the best grades you are capable of is the child's responsibility. I say capable of because DD has already been identified with some learning disabilities. If she even goes to a CC or a state school, I will be thrilled. If she comes out with all Cs and did her best, I would still support her a 100%.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 10:09 AM

Yep, I agree- let us all urinate if we need to. Holding on to our urine is unhealthy. If you can breast feed in public I should be able to whip it out and pee in a container in public. In fact, women should be able to urinate in public too! Equal rights for ALL! As long as you have a chamber pot you can seal there should be nothing wrong with it. How is that for equal exhibitionist rights? It really puts this column in perspective. How about giving an introduction while peeing?

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:09 AM

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 09:11 AM

wow, cmac, that's a new low for inconsiderate and unprofessional behavior.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 09:57 AM

The worst part is the whole office had to be lectured on the policy of kids at work at a brown bag lunch. One stupid lady and we all pay a price. How about distributing a memo?

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 10:10 AM

Outspoken: These kids, as you call them, come from a variety of homeschooling environments as inconsistent as the many public and private school environments. While some of them get an excellent education, some others do not. Each state has its own rules with respect to standards testing applicable to homeschoolers and there are several well-reguarded standardized testing vehicles that the majority of homeschooling parents employ in order to indicate performance. Even a casual glance at the research on college performance outcomes indicates that "these kids" consistently outperform the average college-bound public school graduate. Before you make gross generalizations on a topic, and if you are interested in accuracy, consider a cursory amount of research.

Posted by: anon today | February 7, 2007 10:10 AM

cmac-
are you aware (and I guess you are) colleges take the first dollar (100%) from kids money, including money you've saved in their name? If you save for retirement, colleges don't consider it. If you save somewhere else, colleges consider only 35% of it. Same $ is considered differently by colleges.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 10:11 AM

It is also rude to ask people at work to buy things your kids sell.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:11 AM

Wow, Leslie's taking a beating today. I feel the need to say something positive.

I bet she has nice shoes.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:12 AM

Personally, I will not breastfeed in public. I will retreat to a private area. Imagine a woman popping out her boob and breastfeeding her infant in a major presentation or in a board meeting before both men and women - not appropriate in my view. Maybe I'm being too conservative but, really, is this necessary? To me, even if the breastfeeder is comfortable doing this in public, what if her colleagues are not? Breastfeeding should be done in private or at the least in the presence of other women, in my view.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:14 AM

Actually, Leslie reported something rather cool...as I said back at 8:59. It certainly would never have happened back when I had babies (the veritable stone age).

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 10:15 AM

Would a guy, or anyone for that matter, peeing in public make you uncomfortable? Would it offend if it was done at a board meeting, or would it detract? I should be able to whip it out and pee if I need to and if you have a problem with it, too bad- especially if you are exposing your breasts. Oggle all you like though. Maybe I can claim sexual harrassment for it. If someone happens to shake more than a couple times while you are exposing yourself, it is pure coincidence. LOL. OK, that is enough for me. This topic is too absurd. Senators? They have enough bad behavior to worry about as it is. Do we really want them focusing even less on their professional responsibilities?

Posted by: anon at 1003 | February 7, 2007 10:17 AM

I met one of my daughter's friends this weekend. She has homeschooled herself since 9th grade. (She's in 12th now.) Her story about how she spends her days was completely SHOCKING to me. She is required to take an at-home, open book, however long it takes you test once a year. By her own admission, she is big-time lacking in science and math. She said she just hated getting up in the morning and that her parents said "OK" when she asked to school herself.

Posted by: Homeschool | February 7, 2007 10:19 AM

Dotted, I'm intrigued. Are you talking about pre-tax money, or are you talking about what the government considers when doling out financial aid and scholarships? I guess I don't understand the context of your post to cmac (although maybe I should C my way out of your A and B conversation).

Posted by: Meesh | February 7, 2007 10:20 AM

topic I'd like to see - how to deal with the mind-numbing guilt of taking my inability to deal with my balance issues out on my daughter (letting your stress affect your parenting)

please no "own my decision and get over it" comments, I really need some suggestions and I think an overall discussion on this would be helpful to more than just me

Posted by: having a bad balance day | February 7, 2007 10:20 AM

Since I started it...

I dont' have kids, but I did put myself through college (both undergrad and grad). My parents couldn't afford to put me through, but I knew that. And really, it was no big deal.

I went to a stae school and lived at home the first couple of years. I then moved out and went to school part-time, taking out student loans to pay for school (I worked while doing this, so that paid for housing).

During grad school, I worked at this non-profit that paid us very little BUT they had a fantastic tuition assistance program and I paid nearly nothing for my graduate degree.

I think I ended up with about $7,000 in student loans (mostly from undergrad) when all was said and done, and those were paid when we sold our house.

My (rambling) point is I personally don't feel parents need to kill themselves to ensure their kids' college is paid for AND there's no need for anyone to go into massive debt (being the parent or the kid).

I realize my situation is my alone and others will have different ones, but with some planning, college expenses can be pretty tame.

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 10:22 AM

cmac-
are you aware (and I guess you are) colleges take the first dollar (100%) from kids money, including money you've saved in their name? If you save for retirement, colleges don't consider it. If you save somewhere else, colleges consider only 35% of it. Same $ is considered differently by colleges.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 10:11 AM

yes, that is why about 50% of their money is in our name in tax-free municipal bonds. The more money they have in their name the less they will qualify for.

And ANON:

It is also rude to ask people at work to buy things your kids sell.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:11 AM

I think it teaches a kid nothing to tape a girl scout cookie form to the lunch room refrigerator at a parent's place of employment. I cleared it with the HR lady and an annual visit from a GS is hardly rude. Most people like kids, just not at the office all the time. If they don't want to buy cookies they just say no.

Perhaps you would have been one of the ones that would not have been able to look a kid in the eye. Kid's learn rejection from jerks everywhere, an office is no different.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 10:22 AM

foamgnome-

I just wanted to say that I agree there is a perfect number for every family and others need to respect that choice. I am also wondering if the same people who comment on your choice to have one child are the same as the ones who question my knowledge of birth control upon seeing me and my 5 children out in public. I am constantly amazed by the things that come out of peoples mouths-especially in front of the kids. My oldest is 8 and said she feels like a "freak show" when we all go out together because everyone stares at us.

On to the topic at hand...I have no problem with breastfeeding in public. I have done so with each of my children. However, there is a big difference between a park bench and the podium in a board meeting. I don't think that is a place for a baby to be period. Leave your children in the care of someone loving and qulified and go to work. If you don't want to do that, stay home.

Posted by: momof5 | February 7, 2007 10:23 AM

As Michelle Singletary explains it, 529 plans in the child's name are considered a parental asset. This is the logical place to invest for college savings, since it grows tax-free.

Posted by: Neighbor | February 7, 2007 10:23 AM

How entirely inappropriate for someone to breast feed at a meeting - unless it is a La Leche League or similar theme meeting. If there is any possibility that anyone would mind, this should not happen. First of all, if it a professional type meeting, the kid shouldn't even be there.
Truthfully, though, if it was a situation where it was alright, bottle-feeding wouldn't bother me in the least. Breast-feeding should be done in private only - it is inappropriate in any type of public space. No matter how natural or whatever. Pump the stuff and put it in a bottle if you have to feed the kid in public.
I can't believe that Leslie thinks that it would be remotely professional to breast-feed during any type of meeting. Get real - more accommodations for pumping will become reality in the workplace, but actual breastfeeding will never be accepted as the norm in 99% of workplaces. Ugh.

Posted by: WAMC | February 7, 2007 10:24 AM

I'm with Leslie on this one. Hurray for those of us courageous enough to breastfeed in public. I refuse to be relegated to feeding my baby in a bathroom or coat room, just as I resent being forced to leave a meeting, luncheon, brownbag or social occasion to breastfeed. I travel frequently for work and I am always impressed with my international coleagues who are welcome (and even encouraged) to bring their infants into the work place with them, and who don't bat an eye at breastfeeding in public.

Posted by: Petworth Mom | February 7, 2007 10:26 AM

As for using our pseudonyms versus not signing your posts the difference is when you have a name to respond to you can create a dialogue and we can filter their comments through the prespective of whether they are usually a joker, usually fair, usually rude, what they have previously revealed of their background,etc.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | February 7, 2007 10:26 AM

"Further, it should be the child's responsibility to get good grades to help pay for college, etc."

Agreed, but I don't buy the connection between good grades and paying for college. My grades in high school and SATs were excellent (only saying because it's directly relevant to the conversation) and got me a quick early admission acceptance letter, and not a dime of financial aid or grant money other than the inadequate Pell grant, since I went to a state school. My parents' income was just over the line of what would have qualified me for financial aid or work study, but they didn't contribute one red cent to my education. So I worked in restaurants all through undergrad (and my undergrad grades reflect the inherent conflict between 2 a.m. closing shifts and 8 a.m. spanish classes), and graduated with a then-whopping $10K (in early '80s dollars) in debt. I graduated during a recession, ended up in sales and admittedly stayed in one relationship longer than I otherwise would have because my then-boyfriend was making my car payments. The 8 year old car with 100,000+ miles on it that I needed in order to go to work to pay off that damned education debt.

Yes, grades are the child's responsibility but good grades may not result in any financial contribution from a public institution. Granted, you can typically shop your good grades at a private school but I didn't want to be the poorest kid in some chi-chi environment where I was the only one who couldn't afford Spring Break in Cancun.

No parent owes her children an education free and clear, but let's not be delusional about the impact of undergraduate debt on our childrens' life choices. Good grades may or may not have any $$ attached to them.

Posted by: OR mom | February 7, 2007 10:27 AM

I really don't get the Color of Money articles/discussions. I stopped reading them when the columnist revealed she is a "submissive" wife and defers to her husband in situations where they can't agree - if that's true, then I'll ask him for advice on financial matters! Also, she said she wouldn't "allow" her kids to go to a college where they had to take out loans to attend. She claims she would only "allow" her kids to go to a college she and her husband can pay for outright or state school, etc., but even if that 18 year old adult got into Stanford, Penn, etc. and had to take out loans to go, she wouldn't "allow" them. At that point, isn't the 18 year old an adult and able to make their own decisions, especially where they THEMSELVES would be taking on the burden of loans, and not expecting their parents to pay?

Posted by: AnonTodayAgain | February 7, 2007 10:31 AM

I have a lot of meeting today.

(my excuse for not even getting entangled in the breastfeeding-presentation discussion)

Fredia used to bf all the time at her job. She would bring the baby everyday!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 10:31 AM

TO: Righto |

You are speaking of working meetings, amongst colleagues. A relaxed environment. Leslie was describing a seminar, a presentation - eating and meeting do not mix! Very unprofessional and insulting for this or any kind of disruption.

Even if water/coffee is provided at the meeting, breastfeeding is not acceptable. NEVER. (BTW, I breastfed.)

Other than a seminar on breastfeeding - - what on earth are babies/children doing at a meeting? I work at a very progressive company where children are welcome in the workplace, but never taken into a meeting. Period.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:31 AM

Kid's learn rejection from jerks everywhere, an office is no different.

Anyone who doesn't want bothered by kids selling trans fat laden cookies at work are jerks. Nice.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:31 AM

Since OR mom mentioned it...

I worked 2 - 3 jobs while in college and also never went on spring break. My spring breaks were a 30 - 40 hour work week back home since my retail job afforded me the ability to work in two different states. Consequently, I feel like I missed out on some of college (when I was a way) because I was either working or in class or doing work for class.

Posted by: Columbia, MD again | February 7, 2007 10:33 AM

Hasn't the whole breastfeeding topic been discussed like 529 times already on this blog? I know finding new topics is hard but how many times does Leslie have to regurgitate the same subjects?

I don't even need to read todays blog to know the roughly 153 people will write that 'breast is best' and mothers should feed whereever and whenever they want.
Another 114 will say yes breastfeeding is good but lets have some common curtisy. Not every wants to or is comfortable with seeing you feed your child. 59 people will relpy that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and anyone who is uncomfortable with it is an anti-feminist, anti-family terrorist or needs to seek mental treatment help for thier personal issues. 29 people will write to say that not everyone can breastfeed for medical or personal reasons and it's inconsiderate to throw breastfeeding in thier face or make them feel like second class mothers. 3 posters will respond that they want to see womens breasts whereever, whenever, and however they can. Throw in a handful of post picking on oneanother for how someone else worded their post (especially Leslie's use of boob) and the unavoidagle I'm right and your wrong post and ahandful of 'why can't we all get along, agree to disagree, and respect eachother post.

Bye now...I be back some other day when we have a new topic.

Posted by: cw | February 7, 2007 10:36 AM

"Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides."

This is the future Leslie hopes for? Ugh.

I hope for a future in which, even thirty years from now, it's not acceptable for a female presenter to chew gum, adjust garments, put nail polish on that run in her pantyhose, have her progeny anywhere in the building, or engage in any other behavior that distracts said female from the board meeting, client presentation or Senate vote in which she is privileged to participate.

This is exactly the wrong message to send to men about opening the boardroom and the Senate. Until women mean business, they deserve to be excluded from these activities.

Posted by: Dad of 4 | February 7, 2007 10:36 AM

cw:

Thank you! This topic does come up much too often - what about what is going on in CA with the law that will ban spanking? Maybe its not a 'balance' issue, but it isn't any further off topic than some of the other columns here.

Posted by: WAMC | February 7, 2007 10:38 AM

Maybe I just don't understand but I'm a woman whose been around children and family members who breastfeed and honestly i think its rather inappropriate...not breastfeeding but the part of that where your in public and your unbuttoning your shirt to do something that i think should be private. It would make me uncomfortable if someone did that in front of me let alone in a meeting.

Posted by: Anon | February 7, 2007 10:42 AM

Bye now...I be back some other day when we have a new topic.

Posted by: cw | February 7, 2007 10:36 AM

cw, in the time it took you to craft your post, you could have read the entire blog and found out you were, um, ENTIRELY WRONG about its contents. Official column? rehash of a rehash of a more extreme rehash. new topics raised by participants? intereting and different. come back and play some time, y'hear?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:44 AM

"Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides."

Funny - this is the same future that millions of adolescent boys are hoping for (or at least a small piece of it). Puts Leslie in some pretty strange company.

Posted by: Demos | February 7, 2007 10:47 AM

I totally agree. I think Michelle is totally off-base about college spending--and I also think she's totally off-base about how to pay down student loans that are locked in at low interest rates. (That was from the same transcript.) She's so averse to debt that I'm not sure she really understands how to be smart about managing student costs as an investment in your future.

Posted by: to AnonTodayAgain | February 7, 2007 10:48 AM

momof5: My guess it is the same people. My friend works and has 4 kids. When she goes out in public, she hears the very worst comments. Everything from don't you know how to use BC to why didn't you get an abortion. They also assume that she is on welfare. That is a laugh and a half because they are a two income professional family who can support all four of their kids. I have heard very bad things too. Like we must be having one child because we regret DD, or that we are too selfish and want all the $$ for ourselves, or we want to spoil the snot out of DD. Some people also assume every one can have child number 2. We are coming into some real road blocks in our adoption. If the adoption plans falls through, DD will be an only child by default because I am getting older and we don't want to take risks due to my advanced maternal age. I am just amazed how many people (strangers) feel the need to tell people how they feel about personal decisions. Also all the assumptions about people. Like a large family must be on welfare, small families must really hate kids.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 10:48 AM

Well, Michelle S's "submissive to her husband" and anti-debt attitudes are religiously based, rather than financially based. It's good to keep that in mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:50 AM

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | February 7, 2007 10:26 AM

"As for using our pseudonyms...we can filter their comments through the prespective of whether they are usually a joker, usually fair, usually rude, what they have previously revealed of their background,etc."

Right. That's how we should approach things...

Instead of dealing with what a person writes on its own, we should "filter" it (ignore it) because we think we know enough about them to write off what they say based on a few posts on a blog.

Maybe you're just a bitter divorcee who can't spell "perspective," and we should all ignore you? See how easy that is? Now I've negated you and what you had to say by using my "filter."

It is always simpler to push aside points of view you can't reconcile with your own than to explore their possible legitimacy. But then, what do you ever learn, and how do you ever change?

Maybe that's why some people use anonymous posting. Maybe someone wants to make a serious point, and is worried that his/her message might get lost because of the "filters" some folks have.

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 10:50 AM

Its nice having a few breastfeeding mommies around during the board meeting, especially when the coffee kit runs out of creamer.

Posted by: clouds in my coffee | February 7, 2007 10:51 AM

I'm sorry, I'm a mom and I've both BF'd and bottle fed, and my reaction was one of "wow, that's completely inappropriate." I feel like the speaker at your lunch was simply doing it to make a point, as others have said, being an exhibitionist. And I also feel that in most workplaces, children do not belong. I have never taken my daughter to my office during the workday (only twice on the weekends, when I left something at the office, and also when we have our annual Halloween celebration for the kids.) It's just disrespectful to your co-workers who are also trying to do their jobs with minimal distractions, and it's counter-productive for you as well. So do I want to see a CEO giving a board presentation while BFing? No! Absolutely not.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 10:56 AM

"Well, Michelle S's "submissive to her husband" and anti-debt attitudes are religiously based, rather than financially based. It's good to keep that in mind."
I do, that's why I don't particularly dislike her, I just chose not to read her columns because the religious beliefs she is using to inspire her financial ones are not ones I agree with. For example, I think she has a religious motivation for thinking debt is imprisonment (and for most people, I think it certainly can be), but for educated folks, if you can go to Stanford and draw out your loans at 2 or 3%, and save money at 5 or 6%, to me, that is a viable option. Especially when the asset you are paying down is a Stanford education. But I realize that there are many people who disagree with this.

Posted by: AnonAgainToday | February 7, 2007 10:56 AM

Watching my wife breastfeed all four of ours, I just got used to it and it doesn't particularly bother me. I don't attach any particular significance to a woman breastfeeding a baby in public.

My general view on this sort of thing is that, if it's appropriate for children to be around, than a nursing baby is fine. If it's an appropriate situation for people to be eating, then nursing during that time is fine.

If it would be considered inappropriate to have children there (e.g., you tend not to bring kids to meetings with paying clients), or if it's inappropriate for anyone to be eating (CEO of a former employer forbade any eating or drinking in his boardroom; the tables, chairs and carpets cost a large fortune), then breastfeeding is inappropriate.

In the situation cited by Leslie, I agree with other posters that it was grandstanding, because I normally think that it's inappropriate for anybody giving a presentation to be either eating or feeding somebody else during the presentation.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 7, 2007 10:58 AM

I wish we could take these blog posts and send them back in time so people could realize what idiots the human race turns into. The human body and how it functions is never gross. I feel ashamed for America for being so Puritanical.

Posted by: bkp | February 7, 2007 10:58 AM

Kid's learn rejection from jerks everywhere, an office is no different.

Anyone who doesn't want bothered by kids selling trans fat laden cookies at work are jerks. Nice.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 10:31 AM

Attacking GS cookies will get you nowhere - you don't know the product. They are all trans-fat free!

You can't discuss the issue intelligently so you disparage an American Icon - the Girl Scout cookie - how dare you!

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 11:00 AM

foamgnome,

What you said.

Before we had our daughter, not a week went by that some stranger didn't: (i) ask when we were going to have a second child, and (ii) comment on how self-centered and spoiled only children are. I did not invite these comments and they were made in front of our son. Some women pressure other women to make exactly the same choices they themselves made, as though some stranger's choice constitutes some kind of validation of the speaker's choice.

I found the stranger-pressure immense and laughable. It got to the point that, in our least mature moments, my husband and I felt as though sticking with one child was taking a stand against the masses.

The assumption police are prevalent and either insecure or utterly convinced that their way is the only right way.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 11:01 AM

I'm with Leslie here, too. Breastfeeding is good for mothers and babies. It shouldn't require us to go into exile.

If my daughter and I are allowed to be somewhere, I will feed her if she needs feeding. And most people probably won't even realize because I were her in a sling most of the day.

Leslie, was the speaker wearing her baby during the presentation? Martha Sears does this all the time, even on national television.

Posted by: brookland | February 7, 2007 11:01 AM

So who cares I guess the next time fred makes a comment on breastfeeding I should ask him to justify it after all I shouldn't be using my previous knowledge of his credintials to judge his post - I guess I should take father of 4 seriously when he makes a joking comment as again I shouldn't use my previous knowledge of his style when judging his posts - that is what i meant by using your knowledge of the poster and this is what I meant by dialogue between you who cares and me

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | February 7, 2007 11:03 AM

Ok, I will back the anon guy. Why not pee at the podium? If you can expose yourself in public for something natural, why can everyone not have the same right? This is serious. Would it make you uncomfortable? Well, that is how many people feel about breast feeding. Hyperbole yes, but it makes us examine the real fundamentals of what is at stake as far as the rights of people to publicly undress for natural purposes. I am interested in the responses.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:03 AM

Anybody want to talk about the astronaut who freaked out over her boyfriend. How far did she set women back? I hate when successful women do such totally "girlie" stuff.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:06 AM

Martha Sears is only known for her parenting and breastfeeding advocacy. If you go to see a program in which she's participating, you presumably are prepared to see her wear her baby, and want to see her wear her baby. Apples, meet oranges, with respect to comparing Martha Sears and the speaker who is the focus of Leslie's comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:08 AM

Snore. This again?

My two cents: Some women choose to breastfeed. They are protected by law in most places and are welcome to do so. Most women doing this in public do so discreetly. Some women choose to bottlefeed. They are welcome to do so, and do not deserve to be criticized for their decision, which they no doubt put a lot of thought into.

Employers should, and are often required, to make accommodations for working parents. However, bringing one's child to work on a regular basis is not a viable option. Working from home is great, but at the workplace one must consider others, who also have to get jobs done.

I see a stray kid or two at my office from time to time when a sitter cancels or when there is a new baby to show off, but doing this on a regular basis would be unthinkable. It would be highly unprofessional to be on an important teleconference or in a client meeting with a baby crying in the background.

Another important point is knowing your audience. The lady that is the subject of this story was speaking to a group of parents, not business executives, clients, or politicians.

And as for the comment about Congresswomen breastfeeding during floor debate, all I can say is Washington is no place for a baby (see loss of innocence discussion from yesterday)!

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:08 AM

moxie, yeah, the astronaut was a total space case. LOL. They should psychologically screen them a bit better. You know, she was a married mom of 3! The guy was actually a bachelor. Glad this made the press. I wonder what her husband thinks about this. I know one of her kids is probably trying to figure out where his BB gun went.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:09 AM

NCLawyer: The other really nasty one that I have heard is we must think DD is perfect that we feel no need to replicate our genes again. Can you believe that? We are coming through some real road blocks in our adoption plans. So it does not look real positive at the moment. So DD may end up being an only child be default. I see a lot of pros and cons to that situation. But the reality is either by choice or by default, we will have to deal with the anti only children comments for a long time. Just like momof5 has to deal with the anti big family comments.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:09 AM

Foamgnome and momof5, I'm glad that perfect strangers can't comment on my personal decision not to have kids (they probably assume that I'll have them soon and am therefore normal). But we do have our closest friends and family members preaching to us. I don't know what's worse--getting it from complete strangers or getting it from the people whose opinions matter most to you!

I have had complete strangers come up to me and wave my smoke from their faces and say "smoking kills" (did I ask you to come near me?). I quit, so I agree with them, but that doesn't mean that they acted appropriately.

I have also had complete strangers comment loudly on the size and shape of various of my body parts. That's the worst. I have no idea what to say to that. The day that I get a taser will be a bad day for lewd men everywhere.

Posted by: Meesh | February 7, 2007 11:09 AM

"She's so adverse to debt..."

I agree! Life, at one point or another, will involve debt. Now, there's a smart way to be in debt and a dumb way to do that, and she would be much more useful if she'd focus on 'smart debt.'

Posted by: ilc | February 7, 2007 11:10 AM

Kudos to foamgnome (8:37) and scarry (8:38). You guys really put both topics (home schooling issues; breastfeeding at the podium) into perspective.

I had some things to say about both topics, but you two covered everything.

Cheers.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 11:11 AM

Yeah the whole astronaut thing was really bizarre. I can't believe the husband has not been hunted down yet. I nearly died when I found out she was married with teenage children. I really feel sorry for her family.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:11 AM

Why do so many people think BFing requires "undressing"?

Posted by: Brookland | February 7, 2007 11:11 AM

My issue with breastfeading in public is the same issue I have with many forms of public behavior, as it relates to the attitude in this country about our fellow citizens. There seems to be an attitude that "I can do whatever I want, wherever I want and it doesn't matter if someone else objects." I'm NOT saying this applies to all breastfeaders, just a few. There seems to be no thought given to how another person dealing with someone else's public behavior would feel. This applies to many forms of public behavior more obnoxious in my opinion that breastfeading. Also, interestingly, the person who gets so mad at witnessing a baby being breastfed probably is the same person who allows their child to run amoke in a coffee shop, disturbing everyone else. I guess my point is that we are a society, living in close proximity, in most of this nation. We need to consider the feelings of others. I have no issue with public breastfeading; never even occured to me that it's rude or disgusting. I do have a problem with the attitude that you can do it wherever and whenever you want and anyone who might be uncofortable be damned. It's the same feeling I get at my corner coffee shop when a certain neighbor with an unruly 6 six year old comes in. She should consider that his screaming and running around and taking people's newspapers off their table and running off isn't that cute. (OK, he is cute as hell). But, there are other people to consider. Maybe tell him to stop, as my mother would have. That's all I'm saying. CONSIDER OTHERS AROUND YOU!

Posted by: Brian | February 7, 2007 11:13 AM

The paper this am said that the astronaut and her husband had separated a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 11:14 AM

Proud Papa-

Great point re: blending v. balancing

There is quite a difference between allowing the time to pump in a restroom/private room while at work and bringing your child in and doing it during work hours.

I don' think the vision Leslie has will ever come to fruition. Senators don't chow down while voting or at a podium!! I would be horrified. Just as I would be horrified if a bottle feeding parent (man or woman) were holding their kid during a meeting to feed them?

Where's the line?

I was a breastfeeding mom- I did SAH then, but if I had an infant now that I work, I would never sit in front of my boss and colleagues and breastfeed! Pump, of course.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | February 7, 2007 11:14 AM

Silly me, thinking that WaPo readers were smarter than the moronic "oh my god, she's got BREASTS that MAKE MILK" crowd that usually shows in droves whenever anyone says anything positive about nursing in public.

I breastfed my child for 2 years, frequently in public - in line at the MVA, at Epcot, shopping malls, etc - and most of the time no one even noticed what I was doing. I assure you that my breasts were not "flaunted" - does everyone else live in a place where women disrobe from the waist up in order to breastfeed? I show much more skin (and shape) wearing a buttton-up blouse at work than I ever did when I was nursing.

Posted by: GC | February 7, 2007 11:15 AM

Such a lazy facetious bunch of arguments. Could we at least try to exercise a little intellectual rigor? It's a lot to ask, I know.

Peeing and breastfeeding: One is elimination of waste (an undesirable product) and is considered unhygenic. Yes, true, most urine is sterile and poses no biological hazard, but the fact is, urination is how the body gets rid of fluid it doesn't want. Breastfeeding is nourishment. Period. Do you drink cow's milk? Sure. Do you drink cow's urine? I don't know you, but I expect you do not.

Also, I don't understand why the man's view of a breast (sexualized) takes precedence over its true function. Why are we accepting this definition of a part of our body as strictly sexual and therefore taboo? The sexual aspect of breasts is totally secondary. So please, knock off the dumb arguments about how "if you can breastfeed in public, I should be able to pee in public." You embarass yourself with that childish rhetoric.

Secondly, it's inappropriate to breastfeed while giving a presentation, just as it would be inappropriate to eat a sandwich while presenting. If you're in the audience, and not the center of attention, by all means, feed 'em if you've got 'em.

Why an infant would be attending a business event in the first place, however, defies explanation.

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 11:17 AM

To those of you who insist on using terms like "whipping it out," have you ever actually seen someone breastfeed in public? I'd be extremely shocked if in any but the rarest cases, a mom actually exposes her entire breast while doing so.

When my daughter was younger and brastfeeding was her primary form of nutrition, I nursed in public all the time. I never used a blanket, but I also never exposed myself. And I only once ever got a dirty look or comment.

I just don't think this is as big a deal in real life as some people on the internet would have us believe.

Posted by: NewSAHM | February 7, 2007 11:17 AM

Chris you made me laugh out loud - truly. I think the astronaut has a teenage boy - can you imagine the horror that his life is now (see bullying discussion from yesterday). I think the fact that his mom wore diapers is worse than the fact that she tried to hurt someone. Her other two kids are little, like 5 or 6 so easier to shield. Honestly I cannot imagine what compells someone to do something like that? Meanwhile the "commander" was hitting all the ladies in the space program - "want to see my space capsule? wink wink". What's up with that. You honestly couldn't make this stuff up.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:17 AM

Foamgnome - I got an incredible number of rude, inappropriate, and at times hostile comments from people because my husband and I have been married for ten years with no kids. Like you, people accused us of being selfish for not reproducing amongst other things. Most ire was aimed at me under the assumption that I was being a "feminist" and denying my husband children for the sake of my career. Amazingly, the harshest judgements seemed to come from people with children, who took our childlessness as a condemnation of their own choices, even though we never said anything against having children. What they didn't know was that my husband and I were struggling with infertility and each rude question or comment was like a knife to the heart.

No matter what your circumstances - childless, only-child, or multiple children - some jerk will find it neccessary to tell you what you're doing is wrong and how they are doing it better. Even though I'm finally about to give birth to our first child, that is a lesson I will keep with me.

Posted by: TS | February 7, 2007 11:18 AM

Maybe you're just a bitter divorcee who can't spell "perspective," and we should all ignore you? . . . It is always simpler to push aside points of view you can't reconcile with your own than to explore their possible legitimacy. But then, what do you ever learn, and how do you ever change?

Maybe someone wants to make a serious point, and is worried that his/her message might get lost because of the "filters" some folks have.

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 10:50 AM

Who Cares, You want to make a serious point about how angry you are with posters who would like to see customary blog rules, including the ones posted below, enforced? How new are you to the Internet?

It's pretty simple. No one's bitter. You can read our signed postings or not at your option; however, the Post policy, as provided below, is typical of most well-run blogs in that it requires some sort of identification to promote a good conversation. Because WaPO does't enforce its posted policy, many are able to rant, rave, and make serious points like, "cmac, there are at least two of us who don't like you", at those of us who prefer civility. How strange. I'm neither here to learn, change, or post, it's just entertainment. If I want to filter out mcewen, pittypat, cmac, Father of 4, NC lawyer, or Who Cares, I have the ability to do so consistent with WaPO's rules. If I want to filter out the anonymous posts of the poster who has nothing better to do with his/her time then attack Father of 4 for his slightest comment, I can't because I can't distinguish between all of the anonymous dreck posters. My time and choice of entertainment is more important to me than giving you a filterless soapbox.

At this point, I no longer read any anonymous posts here because the substantive contribution to bile ratio is running approx. 2% to 98%.

Posted by: Who Cares about Bitter Ol' Who Cares | February 7, 2007 11:18 AM

"Kid's learn rejection from jerks everywhere, an office is no different."

"Anyone who doesn't want bothered by kids selling trans fat laden cookies at work are jerks. Nice."

As a Girl Scout leader, I just HAD to respond to this - Girl Scout cookies are now 100% trans fat free for the first time this year! And my daughter goes to my husband's office every year and sells more than 200 boxes. If someone doesn't like it - they can say no!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 11:21 AM

not breastfeeding again! boring.

other topic ideas
people who bring their dogs where the dogs are not allowed. I have seen school sports fields, gyms and the grocery store

elderly mothers who are mean and can't be pleased

toxic in-law stories

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 11:21 AM

GC, there are those who do flaunt it, as exhibited by the person at the podium. If I covered myself, yet still peed in public, or a board meeting we are attending, would that be ok for you? It is as natural and healthy a function as breast feeding. Do not dismiss me as moronic, I am merely raising the point that public behavior impacts the comfort level of others and as it does, people should be considerate. Answer the question and please do not be so immature as to resort to insults.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:24 AM

I've worked at NASA for more than 10 years. Astronauts (well, naval aviators in general) are a strange bunch -- poster children for type A overachievers and they really only mix well with each other. They are unbelievably passionate about their job and it's almost like they speak a different language from the rest of us (including their spouses and family). Affairs are not uncommon by any means. Wouldn't want to take a guess as to whether it's significantly higher than in the non-astronaut population, but I would think so. Type As tend to think they can get away with murder. (Pun intended.)

Posted by: NASA Lurker | February 7, 2007 11:26 AM

How about "balancing" when to let the kid take the car out alone without staying up worrying or calling every 30 mins? I have a friend whose son just got his license and she is really afraid of the first time he goes out alone. He is a very good driver, took a year to get his license because she wanted him to get lots of experience but she is still afraid.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 11:26 AM

As a non-parent considering having children one day, I find it disheartening that other parents are so judgmental of one another. It seems like more progress would get made if parents could find more middle ground. I also don't like the self-righteous attitude that some parents have that they are better than me or deserve better treatment solely because they have children. Everyone makes decisions about their life for a reason, and an insult disguised as advice coming from someone who doesn't know the facts is never helpful.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:26 AM

Judith - I corrected Anon as well - but am perplexed about why Lemon Coolers were not continued? They were a big seller here the last 2 years.

I agree - if you don't want cookies just say no. I usually buy at least one box if a GS knocks on the door - but do not expect everyone else to.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 11:27 AM

"I am just amazed how many people (strangers) feel the need to tell people how they feel about personal decisions. Also all the assumptions about people. "

:) Did you read the things that posters had to say about me yesterday?

Posted by: JSC | February 7, 2007 11:28 AM

"Anyone who doesn't want bothered by kids selling trans fat laden cookies at work are jerks. Nice."

cmac asked, and was granted permission in her workplace. If you worked with her and had a problem with this, you could complain to the same supervisor that granted permission. It's not that hard for employees to all just get along.

I tend to prefer the "put the order in the lunchroom and I'll sign it if I want to" approach as an employee, but, if I understand her purpose, cmac is (for lack of a better word) making her daughter sell the cookies herself rather than obtain 40 orders she didn't personally solicit. I'll trade my convenience for her lesson to the next generation, and figure out how to politely decline to an 8 year old, in uniform, asking me with big eyes to support her cause. Gulp. Or if I'm in a really cranky mood, I'll pull my door over (if you work in a cubicle, you're stuck, admittedly). Or, better yet, I'll buy two boxes and donate them to the Food Bank when they come in. That's a win/win for everyone.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 11:29 AM

Just want to clarify one point--we don't know exactly what happened that required her to feed right then. She might have nursed or given a bottle to the baby right before she was supposed to speak, and then he got fussy again. It happens. I have a 3-month-old and I never know--some days he wants to eat every three hours, sometimes he demands more just 1/2 hour after he finished. I don't know that I'd take him on up the podium and whip out a boob, but at the same time, it's hard to present with a screaming frantic infant.

I've been working from home and done lots of conference calls while feeding the baby. No one knows, and I don't have to worry about him crying in the background. The few times I've stopped by the office I retreated to my office if I had to feed him. But, it is a major hassle and would be nice if I could just feed him wherever I am. You can't predict when they will want to eat, and as a working mom sometimes you get stuck with a meeting you have to attend and no child care.

Posted by: Arlmom | February 7, 2007 11:29 AM

As a Girl Scout leader, I just HAD to respond to this - Girl Scout cookies are now 100% trans fat free for the first time this year! And my daughter goes to my husband's office every year and sells more than 200 boxes. If someone doesn't like it - they can say no!

Unless they work for your husband or closely with him, then its sometimes awfully hard to say no. I think that's what people don't like about the at work sales.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:29 AM

We won't be judgmental to your face -- just behind your back or on blogs.

The female of the species is frequently the deadliest.

Posted by: to catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:30 AM

Oh, and I ADORE Girl Scout cookies! I look forward to Tag-a-Longs every year.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:30 AM

Chris said: GC, there are those who do flaunt it, as exhibited by the person at the podium. If I covered myself, yet still peed in public, or a board meeting we are attending, would that be ok for you?


Trying to compare breastfeeding to urinating shows that you are indeed a moron.

Sorry, I don't consider what was done at the meeting flaunting at all. It was just a mother feeding her baby. It's only "flaunting" if you're jealous of her breastfeeding ability for some reason.

Posted by: GC | February 7, 2007 11:30 AM

I had a lot more patience for BF moms before I was approached by a pair of BF advocates at the mall and questioned about why I was bottle feeding my twins. No amount of MYOB responses from me would get them to go away. They proceeded to tell me that what I was doing was bad for my children and that I would regret it. When I finally gave in and told them I wasn't BF'ing because I was taking a medication that may be harmful to my children, they suggested that my doctor was probably exaggerating the danger to avoid a lawsuit!

The future I dream of is one where people respect choices of others and understand that what works for them doesn't work for everyone.

Posted by: Mom2LED | February 7, 2007 11:31 AM

I'm in with all the posters who've said breastfeeding is good/natural blah blah blah but inappropriate while giving a presentation.

The paying for college topic is more interesting at the moment - I have heard some people (on this blog, probably!) go so far as to say that bringing kids (or more kids) into the world if you can't "afford them" is irresponsible - and considering the cost of a college education to be part of that calculation. It is nice to see no one today has taken that hard of a line - I think it's wrong for kids to expect their parents to pay for their higher education.

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 7, 2007 11:31 AM

"Meanwhile the "commander" was hitting all the ladies in the space program - "want to see my space capsule? wink wink".

I'm wondering where you got this information. Everything I have read or seen only states that he was the object of her affection and she saw the other woman as a rival. It may be true that he was hitting on both women, but maybe not.

BTW, someone yesterday mentioned that this is very sad. I think that if genders were reversed and it was two men vying for the attention of one woman, and one of the men went after the other we wouldn't be calling it sad. Maybe despicable or worse, but not sad.

Do you really think that wearing diapers is worse than attacking the woman?

Posted by: to moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:31 AM

Has anyone read the "On Parenting" blog yet? It looks like it might actually cover the topics so many of you are looking for....

Posted by: On Parenting | February 7, 2007 11:31 AM

Moxie, I hope you did not laugh so hard breast milk came out your nose. lol ;) I was going to harp on the diapers thing- Now there is an uncomfortable image for the kids... Poor kids! So much for bragging that mom is an astronaut on career day! Houston, we have a problem.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:32 AM

Disgusting! I can't believe anybody thinks it is appropriate to breastfeed while giving a speech. What are we coming to?

Posted by: Denkpaard | February 7, 2007 11:33 AM

Yes JSC I did read them. That is why I talked about home schooling versus traditional schooling in my first post. I am sorry people attacked you yesterday. Like I said I think there are a lot of homeschooling and traditional education myths out there.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:33 AM

"Care to explain WHY? What will this prove? That women can breastfeed, wow - what a point. Should women pump at the podium too? How about breastfeed twins? How about juggle and breastfeed?"

Gotta say I agree with cmac on this.

The whole effect, as Leslie described it, was a sort of "I am woman, watch me nurse" spectacle.

As scarry pointed out earlier, there was no reason for this mom to be breastfeeding at the podium EXCEPT to prove she could do it if she wanted to.

How is that progress? In doing what she did, that woman probably made a lot of women feel badly (as breastfeeding isn't easy for everyone). How is that a blow for the sisterhood?

The whole thing strikes me as a rather infantile (excuse the pun) exhibition calculated to get admiring attention. And, sadly, she got exactly what she wanted -- coverage in the Washington Post.

Good one, Leslie.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 11:33 AM

Here's a subject: what is everybody doing about today's school snow day? I mean, with the kids. My wife only works in the evening and weekends, but that may change soon.

Baby Boy is begging me, real tears, to go out and play with him in the snow.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 11:34 AM

Chris lol AGAIN!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:34 AM

"RE: bring your kids to work day. I don't do it because I would never get anything done. Since I am only in the office 2-3 days a week I look forward to the professional, non-kid environment when I am there.

I do bring my daughter in once year to sell GS cookies, she is there about an hour. I make her do the selling, wear her vest and answer all the questions. Most people know her and quite a few buy, some say no, some won't even look her in the eye."

I look forward to a professional, non-kid environment also which is why I only bring my child to work on the one day a year that is designated for that purpose. While it is true that it is not a typical work day for me, I use the day for it's intended purpose, i.e., to learn about careers and work life.

Posted by: huh | February 7, 2007 11:35 AM

As a non-parent considering having children one day, I find it disheartening that other parents are so judgmental of one another. It seems like more progress would get made if parents could find more middle ground. I also don't like the self-righteous attitude that some parents have that they are better than me or deserve better treatment solely because they have children. Everyone makes decisions about their life for a reason, and an insult disguised as advice coming from someone who doesn't know the facts is never helpful.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:26 AM

Sorry catmommy but I have to call you on this. Weren't you the one that was so judgemental about Leslie's husband missing reading day at their daughter's school? You went so far as to say it was unexcusable. You also stated your personal opinion on rudeness and judged that people that were late or missed dates were nor worthy of your time and applied it to other people's circustances. You were dismissed as rigid and self-righteous for the most part, but no one told you to keep your opinions to yourself. Where was the middle ground on that discussion?

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 11:35 AM

I paid for my own schooling. The funny thing was that it never occurred to me that my parents could pay for it until I started and heard that the parents of other students were footing the bill.

I had a friend who took out student loans to pay for school with an agreement with her parents that if she finished and did well they would pay the loans off for her. That way, she had to work hard and finish otherwise she would be responsible for the loans. It is something that we are considering for our kid(s).

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 11:35 AM

"No parent owes her children an education free and clear"

I completely disagree. Their job should be to get good grades and to do internships (whether paid or unpaid). College is not a time for kids to be thrown to the wolves! They NEED to acquire club (networking) and internship experience to even be considered in a job post- graduation. I worked full time my first 3 years of college and saved 75% of it so I could do 2 internships my senior year and finally get involved in student government so I could network and enjoy myself and get real world experience in my field. I don't want my daughter to have to work 40 hrs/week plus a full course load at 18 years old! I was burnt out by the end of freshman year, but I had to keep plugging along.

What's the alternative? Most kids can't pay their own way or only rely on scholarships. If they have to drop out or don't even attend college in the first place, then guess who will be coming back to your house to borrow money or live with you forever becuase they can't get a decent job w/ no degree.

PArents OWE their kids a fighting chance for a future. If your child wants to go to college and you don't pay for it- YOUR kids will pay for it down the line.

College costs aren't what they used to be when we went- I know you've all read that. Tuition has skyrocketed. No 21 yr old should graduate w/ 100,000 in debt. What happens if they want to go to grad/law/med school? ANother 100K, at least. It's a horrible way for kids to start out their futures.

It's called a 529. Start investing the day you give birth. it takes 5 mintues to sign up for 1! Our daughter is 3 and with gifts from family (in lieu of a ridiculous amount of toys for holidays) and our mothly deposits, we already almost have the entire first year paid for (for a private college)

And we don't make a lot of money- it's about choices in the budget. 401K and 529s are first priority

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:37 AM

Father of 4, I think you should go out and play in the snow :)

s - I like that idea for school loans - something to consider. I didn't realize parents were in the habit of paying for college until I moved to the East Coast!

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 7, 2007 11:38 AM

GC, why do you hold a double standard? Holding in urine can lead to health problems! It is a natural physical function. Why limit the public secretion of bodily fluids so long as people are not flaunting it? Why not allow congressmen to pee while working- they would not have to leave their workplace! It would save time and effort! Have a paige take away the chamber pot for efficiency. Seriously now, take it as hyperbole, but do not dismiss how this pertains to reality and how other people perceive things. To do so is selfish.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:39 AM

Size of Family Comment.

When Fredia was pregnant with No. 4, she was subject to a lot of disapproving stares and comments. Now people comment on how quiet and well behaved No. 4 is! My parents were occasionally taken to task for having 8.

A poster the other day mentioned that she thought about having one but after extended though, she will not have children. I can understand her feeling about this. I can understand only having one. As I said before, have the courage of your convictions. Whatever the appropriate family size is for you, do not be pressured into having more than you can support, financially, emotionally or physically. (Just tell them Fred said so!)

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 11:39 AM

"I had a friend who took out student loans to pay for school with an agreement with her parents that if she finished and did well they would pay the loans off for her. That way, she had to work hard and finish otherwise she would be responsible for the loans. It is something that we are considering for our kid(s)."

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 11:35 AM

s, that's one of the best ideas I have heard to reward performance and still not make a college education an automatic gimme.

Posted by: anon today | February 7, 2007 11:40 AM

"Sorry catmommy but I have to call you on this. Weren't you the one that was so judgemental about Leslie's husband missing reading day at their daughter's school?"

cmac --

I think that the person you're referring to might have been "catlady," not "catmommy."

I got them confused at first, but catmommy is more laid-back and pleasant.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 11:40 AM

I can't get relatives to donate to DD college fund in lieu of gifts. They seem to take it the wrong way. We save aggressivley for DDs education. If we have one child, then her education will be completely paid for. We will have 50% saved and 50% we will pay when she is actually going. We also will have our mortgage paid off by the time she starts school. If we had two kids, we would still have 50% saved and pay off 50% while going for DD #1. Second child, we would liquidate funds from our retirement nest egg (not 401K but additional funds) and pay off 50% while attending. Worst comes to worse, the kids can take out modest loans and live at home for FREE till loans are paid off. Even without loans, kids are welcome to live at home for FREE to save for down payment on a house. That is a 100% more then either of our parents offered us. 11:37: you must have some great generous family members. DD does not get very expensive gifts for Christmas or Birthdays. Maybe I could return all my sage green sweaters and throw the money in her 529.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:44 AM

and as far as career day goes, the kid could always brag that their mom is a psycho and be part of the cool rebel crowd. quote- yeah, not only is my mom an astronaut, she could travel cross country to kill someone with a bb gun. -unquote. Ok, maybe leave out the bb gun part. Definitely do not mention the diapers or the wig... if someone brings them up, just write it off as determination, or a fad. Maybe start a new teenage trend and add an ipod jack to make it cool. Dude, you do not wear diapers? Woah, you are sooooo lame. Peeing in public is cool and liberating- like breastfeeding in public, except this is something EVERYONE can do. ROFLMAO.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:44 AM

When are people going to see that "special" considerations for working parents is NOT selfish and NOT a slight on non parents????

It's about the kids!!! It has nothing to do with trying to win one over on childless people! Believe me, we parents actually feel guilty at times because of the sick days, leaving early, etc that we need to take care of our kids. I don't think we SHOULD be guilty (there's a reason we all get sick and vacation days- if I choose to use them for my child and not on myself, that's my perogative)

It's about raising our kids. You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its weakest citizens. The childless that harp on and on about "special" things given to parents are selfish and greedy. It's a very sad life to lead if one can't step back and see that it is not a personal affront on you or your chosen lifestyle!

Please just leave the blog if you can't stand parents that much. I'm tired of this childless v. with child debate!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:46 AM

"The female of the species is frequently the deadliest."

to to catmommy: spare us your anti-female nastiness. you need to meet more men of you think there's a difference in the deadliness quotient.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:46 AM

S - we do that! She has to take out the maximum governmental allowable each year in her own name (with us as co-signers). If she does well in college, we'll help pay off her loans, but kids should have some sense that they are responsible for part of their education. I had to pay for mine, and did much better than my friends who were there on their parents' dime.

Posted by: AnonAgainToday | February 7, 2007 11:47 AM

"Sorry catmommy but I have to call you on this. Weren't you the one that was so judgemental about Leslie's husband missing reading day at their daughter's school? You went so far as to say it was unexcusable."

No, I said that if the kid's dad missing the reading day was the worst thing that happened, the kid has a pretty decent life. I also said it's good to learn to deal with disappointment early on, as disappointment is part of life.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:48 AM

"I can't get relatives to donate to DD college fund in lieu of gifts. They seem to take it the wrong way."

This is why we have ebay :)

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:49 AM

Meesh:
You are right that it is totally obnoxious that people have such a compulsion to comment on something that, ultimately, doesn't affect them in the slightest. And, I've found that while it's not really strangers who do it to me, it's not always close friends and family either. Instead, I get colleagues, new acquaintances, and folks I chat with at the bar telling me how great parenthood is. Meanwhile, these latter people are IN THE BAR, instead of home with their wah-ha-hunderful children. The good news is, I'm much smarter than most of them (you probably are too), and I can recognize that if their little devils are so amazing, they'd be at home with them, rather than cozying up to a Cuba Libre in a smoke-filled dive.

What is it about people that makes them have to comment on my personal choices? And, more to the point, why do they think themselves such worthy role models? Does growing a fetus add brain cells to the mother; does fertilization make daddy smarter? I don't think so. Does it make them wealthy? Not at an average $1.2 mil/kid. Sure doesn't make them better looking (unless you're into "haggard" as a fashion statement). Does it make them better people? Not if you ask a certain astronaut who is in custody right now.

So really, perhaps some parent here can tell me how having a kid suddenly shuts off your mind-your-own-business-button and makes you such a great sage and eminent philosopher. You'd think they'd be too busy with their own allantoid bundles of joy to bother with me and my personal decisions.

My favorite is when I tell them I'm not interested in having children, and they tell me, "you'll change your mind when you get older." As if somehow, their three-hour knowledge of me and my life, coupled with their arrogance and presumptuousness is going to whittle away the well-thought-out decision I've made.

And honest-to-God, Meesh, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you have never, ever, in all of your child-free existence, approached a parent (stranger or not) and told them that they were bad/stupid/immoral/amoral/confused/misguided/too-young-to-know-better for making the decision to saddle themselves with a million dollar, 18-year prison sentence.

I bet you're far too classy for that.

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 11:49 AM

Chris, I do suppose he could paint his mom as a real badass! Truly what compells a mother to do something like this!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 11:50 AM

Hey cowardly no-signer at 11:46

What would you say if I told you I've worked for many years in both all male prisons and all female prisons and that my statement, while it may piss you off, is absolutely true?

Posted by: to Catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:50 AM

foamgnome, everyone loves to buy fun stuff for little children. When my children hit about 13 years old, the relatives were at a loss as to what gifts to get them. I started suggesting cash, to put towards something bigger, and we always report back, that they put the money towards a bike, video game system, guitar, etc. You could try that, and agree with your child ahead of time that a certain percentage is going into the college savings plan.

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 11:52 AM

"No parent owes her children an education free and clear"

I would say that no parent owes their child an education beyond their means. College education is so expected in this area that some children, including mine, expect the parents to pay for what the child wants rather than what the child needs. For example, the family can afford 2 years of community college and 1 year at a 4 year state school, but the child wants 4 years out of state. Many children in this area expect the parents to pay for what they want.

Another poster mentioned not having vacations and having to work over break and feeling that they missed out while in college. I've got news for you. that's life. My child is a freshman and is resentful that we are not giving her the same lifestyle that her college friends have. We have explained that we are for an education, not a lifestyle. We have been telling her for years that she is in our family, not her friends' families, and that we don't have the same resources. Unfortunately, she still has the idea that we are obligated to give her the type of educational experience she wants.

Posted by: noname | February 7, 2007 11:52 AM

Father of 4, that reminds me of something. In Wake County here in NC, they have year-round schooling. We've had two snow days this year. A co-worker of mine had to send his kid into school last Saturday to make up one of those days. The kids have to make up the next one on President's Day! And the kicker is that they found out about this arrangement just last week. There are apparently no snow days built into the year-round calendar. Can you believe it? Talk about upsetting the work/life balance. If it had been my kids, I would have said no way.

Posted by: Meesh | February 7, 2007 11:53 AM

"Unless they work for your husband or closely with him, then its sometimes awfully hard to say no. I think that's what people don't like about the at work sales."

You're right - it IS hard to say no, which is why it works so well! :)

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

Argghhh! You people talking about college funding are driving me up a wall! :-)

The reason is because our oldest daughter is a senior in high school and we're doing the college drill with her.

I spent the entire Martin Luther King Day weekend filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile, plus the additional financial aid forms for the schools to which she's applying.

I had more fun at my last prostate exam! That was less invasive, too!

(Actually, I didn't spend the whole weekend doing financial aid forms. For fun, I took breaks and prepared the appeal of our new property tax assessment, but that's a whole 'nother rant!)

The bottom line on it is this: my wife and I don't feel that we HAVE to give her an education, but it's something we want to do. Because of her personality and because her goal is to be a writer, it looks like a small liberal-arts college in or near a city is best for her. Those cost a fortune. Ever since the time she's gotten an allowance, she knows that half the money she gets goes into college savings; the other half she can spend. The only exception is gifts; if Grandma gives her cash she can spend that. Working at Safeway or Domino's? Half the money she makes goe into college savings.

So I don't feel too bad about the fortune it's going to cost me to give her the education that we all agree is best for her.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

Catmommy and pittypat: Sorry! Pitty was right - it was catlady that was so pious. Catmommy - please accept my apologies - a case of mistaken identity.

FYI: I have to 2 cats named Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. They are driving me crazy right now because they want to go outside but do not like the snow - so they are meowing like mad.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

I can't get relatives to donate to DD college fund in lieu of gifts. They seem to take it the wrong way. We save aggressivley for DDs education. If we have one child, then her education will be completely paid for. We will have 50% saved and 50% we will pay when she is actually going. We also will have our mortgage paid off by the time she starts school. If we had two kids, we would still have 50% saved and pay off 50% while going for DD #1. Second child, we would liquidate funds from our retirement nest egg (not 401K but additional funds) and pay off 50% while attending. Worst comes to worse, the kids can take out modest loans and live at home for FREE till loans are paid off. Even without loans, kids are welcome to live at home for FREE to save for down payment on a house. That is a 100% more then either of our parents offered us. 11:37: you must have some great generous family members. DD does not get very expensive gifts for Christmas or Birthdays. Maybe I could return all my sage green sweaters and throw the money in her 529.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:44 AM


My daughter is the only grandchild on both sides. Spoiled in ways you could ever imagine! lol
You ahev a great plan! It's refreshing to see parents that have a plan in place from the beginning. My post sounded a little harsh, but I just think it's ashame that kids have to work so hard for such a large amount of debt just to make 32K ayear when they graduate.
Costs are out of control and I would like for it to burden my husband and me instead of our daughter, you know?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

Chris, you're awfully stuck on peeing in public. Do you have a little exhibitionist fetish yourself?

WDC said it earlier: peeing is elimination, that is, getting rid of something the body does not want. Breastfeeding is nutrition. Just because both are fluids that come from the body does not put them in the same argument.

Unless you drink cow's pee. Then I retract my comment. Please post a YouTube video of yourself collecting fresh cow pee, then drinking it. Once we see that, you're welcome to make all the public urination comparisons you want.

Posted by: To Chris | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

I have a question. No one jump on me please, I have read in many articles that if food contains partially hydrogenated oils of any kind that it has trans fat in it. However, lots of processed foods can claim that they have no trans fat in them because the government has created a loop hole that says if it is under so many grams or whatever that they don't have to list it. Any nutritionist, doctors, smart-healthy people out there who have any info on this?

I swore the whole box of Samoas that I ate while doing the South Beach diet had that listed as an ingredient. Just asking!

This may even be a good topic of discussion. How to keep your kids and you healthy in a world filled with junk! Not saying that girl scouts cookies are junk by the way. Like I said, I ate a whole box this year!

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 11:55 AM

JSC,
There's a big difference between having strangers come up to you in public and offering unsolicited opinions on your lifestlye and having people on a blog comment on your message.

It was your choice to post on the blog. And isn't the point to share and comment on other peoples post. Of course you were getting comemnts from strangers but you asked for them by posting. Maybe you didn't ask for the exact comments and no one deserves the rudeness some here exhibit.

However I don't think posting on a blog and recieving comments about that post can be compared to having strangers give you thier opinion when you're just going about your business and not asking for input from them.

Posted by: ts | February 7, 2007 11:55 AM

They should find out if she was breastfed as a baby, and if so, was it in public? As to what drives a mom to do this- space madness. Lack of sex? A chemical imbalance resulting from being breast fed in public. NASA should launch a study on why lactating moms make better astronauts since it would save room on the shuttle if they did not have to bring packaged drinks! All new meaning to Public Breastfeeding since it would be public tax dollars at work!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 11:56 AM

samoas are a little bit of heaven on earth!

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 11:58 AM

I think with my inlaws, they are very big on college is a parent's responsibility. Which is really funny because they did not pay a dime for DH's education. I think they like to buy her a lot of things. Actually a lot of small things. She gets about 75 gifts at Christmas time and her birthday. She is born 2 weeks after Christmas. But at least 40 of them are small gifts that get lost or broken shortly. I have donated a lot of them to charity. Maybe I should sell them on ebay. That is a really funny suggestion. Although I don't think it would work when they are older. Right now, DD does not remeber the 4th plastic doll house that seemed to disappear the week after Christmas. I think at age 5 or 6, she will start to realize what is happening and say something to the relatives. Like I really liked the 18 th bead making kit you gave me but Mommy threw it out.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 11:58 AM

ts: very true, thank you!

Posted by: JSC | February 7, 2007 11:58 AM

"Here's the future I hope for. A woman gets up to a microphone in a board meeting, or a client presentation, or a Senate vote, and whips out her baby at the same time she flicks on her Powerpoint slides."

Breastfed or bottled fed, what insane person would take a baby into a board meeting, a client presentation or the Senate floor?

"And this bill will help the starving people of..." YACK! (spit up milk drips down power suit)

Posted by: Rockville Dad | February 7, 2007 11:59 AM

"If I want to filter out mcewen, pittypat, cmac, Father of 4, NC lawyer, or Who Cares..."

Boy, I am glad he did not include me!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 11:59 AM

foamgnome, a lot of that stuff can be returned to the store without a receipt too. or used as gifts for other kids.

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 12:01 PM

One potentially helpful option on the paying-for-college topic is to make sure kids know around 7th or 8th grade that funds are limited, and they need to work hard in high school to earn scholarships in whatever area they excel in -- academics, sports, certain types of public service work, etc. There is a wide variety of scholarship opportunities out there, and with a little planning ahead students shouldn't have any trouble getting at least some help.

Between undergrad and law school I've seen scholarships for those going into public service, sports, musical instruments, drama, academics, etc. Any talent can be turned into money for college with some planning.

Alternatively, my state has an income-sensitive program where students with a family income below a certain amount can sign up for a program in 6th grade that requires them to take certain "core" courses. If they earn acceptable grades and follow the curriculum, they can attend any state four-year college for free, or have their tuition credited toward a private college.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 12:02 PM

to To Chris, it is Hyperbole, as I have stated again and again. Look up the meaning of the word for gosh sakes. I make the point for the sake or raising the point about the comfort level of other people and what one person might consider necessary or appropriate. Holding it in IS unhealthy btw. No, I do not have an exhibition streak. I am trying to show that by public breast feeding without concern to where you are doing it, or whether or not you are flaunting it or covering up can impact the comfort level of others! It simply is not appropriate for board meetings. We hold off our bodily functions in the company of others- even at risk of health or comfort. That is the point. If you are too dense to see it after I have spelled it out, you should follow the education discussions and hope to learn something. Maybe you can grow up and be a psycho astronaut too!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:03 PM

I just noticed that Miss Manners today has a question about clipping fingernails at the workplace. If I can't clip my fingernails because it offends someone, I don't think public breastfeeding at the workplace should be acceptable either.

Now, at a convention of mothers, I really don't care one way or another. But board meetings are work related and, unless the child gets paid for sitting on the board, they should not be there in the first place.

Posted by: Working Dad | February 7, 2007 12:06 PM

"When are people going to see that "special" considerations for working parents is NOT selfish and NOT a slight on non parents????"

If it's for the kids, why are you focusing on "special" considerations for _working_ parents, rather than just for parents? Do you have your own axe to grind regarding stay-at-home parents?

If it's about the kids, then it's about the kids - whether mom (or dad) works or not. If it's really about working moms, then don't hide behind the kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:07 PM

I would also like to clarify that it is easy for DH and I to have a plan for our kids education because we make decent $$$. I, in know way, feel that parents owe their child a college education or should sacrifice their basic financial well being to put one kid through college. Also if you can't afford it, then you should not feel at all guilty. College costs are enormous and is getting further and further from reach for the middle and lower class.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:07 PM

to AnonAgainToday: How is that working for you and your daughter? We have started saving for his schooling now and figured that we would use those funds to pay off the loans. It seems like a great way for him to take responsibility for his life with a bit of help from us. I know that I appreciate/respect my education a lot because I had to work my butt off to get through it.

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 12:07 PM

I wonder if Nasa Lurker is blogging at work. Hope not, because I'll bet they've been told to say nothing more than "NO COMMENT". Maybe there's an employee termination waiting in the wings.

Seems to me we need to have a topic on 529 v. Retirement.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 12:07 PM

______
I paid for my own schooling. The funny thing was that it never occurred to me that my parents could pay for it until I started and heard that the parents of other students were footing the bill.
______________

Now I'll post something that might seem to contradict my previous post. First, my parents never paid a cent for my college education. I went four years, earning two bachelor's degrees, on academic scholarships and three part-time jobs. But that was the way I was raised - I knew that on the outstanding incomes my parents earned as an Army NCO and a schoolteacher there wasn't money to pay for my education. Okay, so I went to Southeastern Louisiana University - it ain't Yale or Stanford and I didn't have a circle of rich, powerful friends (remember "FOB" from the late '90s? I was never going to be one of them). But I got the tools I needed to make a good living.

Same with grad school - I got an assistantship that paid my expenses and a small stipend to live on. Got my degree and moved on (at Purdue, which in Comp Sci is a top-notch school, so I did get to meet some of the movers and shakers in my field).

When I worked for the Feds, the pay there is so outstanding that I used to moonlight teaching Comp Sci classes at night for the extra pay. By the middle of each semester, I could go through my classroom and tell you which of my students was paying his/her own way, and which was getting a ride from Mom and/or Dad. Not by who got the best grades, but by who cared the most. The people paying their own way were there, asking questions, coming to see me during office hours and trying to learn. There were a few being supported by parents that fit that profile, too, but not many

So with that as a background, why pay for my own kids' education? Because (a) I think by forcing them to have saved part of their own money, they now have some "skin in the game"; and (b) I'd like them to do a little bit better, if it's appropriate for them, than Southeastern Louisiana University. "Picking up the tools to have a successful career" is a necessary but not sufficient condition!

Posted by: Army Brat | February 7, 2007 12:08 PM

Hi, I use a long plastic catheter that I have to stick up the end of my penis every 3 days or so, to "unclog" my urethra.

It's not much different from breast-feeding, actually; it's a minor process that simply needs to be done regularly.

I'd LOVE to attend your meetings and do that while I'm speaking to everyone; would you mind???

Posted by: Bob | February 7, 2007 12:09 PM

Bob,

Only if you tried to feed a baby while you did it.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 12:11 PM

"WDC said it earlier: peeing is elimination, that is, getting rid of something the body does not want. Breastfeeding is nutrition. Just because both are fluids that come from the body does not put them in the same argument."

You're missing the point. They're both natural bodily functions. If anything, peeing is more necessary. You can provide an artificial alternative to breastfeeding with a can of formula and a baby bottle - the artificial alternative to peeing is dialysis, which is a much bigger deal.

Natural doesn't always mean "good idea to do in front of an audience." Necessary doesn't always mean "good idea to do during a business meeting." Wholesome doesn't always mean "good idea to do while giving a formal presentation."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:11 PM

Scarry, now that one was good.

Posted by: Demos | February 7, 2007 12:12 PM

My grandfather, "I went to Purdue!"

My father, "No, you went to Purdon't"

Grandfather to father, "arrrrrrrrgggh!"

Ha, ha ha!

Posted by: fred | February 7, 2007 12:13 PM

experienced mom: I think Toys R Us is asking for a receipt. I wasn't sure how that works after Christmas because lots of people do not give gift receipts. Do you know of any other toy stores that I could do that. I have not regifted any of her toys. DD actually got a regifted toy from her cousin this Christmas. I opened up the box and inside the box was a card that said Happy birthday 2 year old. I was thinking that is strange, it is Christmas and your 3. Then I opened the card and it said to A from F. DD's name starts with a K. I had to laugh. I think if I regift, I would at least check to see if there are cards left in the box. I do reuse gift bags but not actual gifts.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:13 PM

You're missing the point. They're both natural bodily functions.

No, you're missing the point. It seems to me that you are just unusually dense. The point is not that all natural bodily functions are appropriate to do in public. I think we can agree that they are not all appropriate. But eating is one natural function that is done in public on a routine basis. And breastfeeding is a baby's way of eating, so it would be entirely appropriate for a baby to breastfeed in public under circumstances where it would also be appropriate for anyone else to eat in public.

Posted by: Emily | February 7, 2007 12:17 PM

"I have read in many articles that if food contains partially hydrogenated oils of any kind that it has trans fat in it. However, lots of processed foods can claim that they have no trans fat in them because the government has created a loop hole that says if it is under so many grams or whatever that they don't have to list it. Any nutritionist, doctors, smart-healthy people out there who have any info on this?"

Yeah, this is totally true. I've read in several nutrition-oriented publications (incl medical journals) that, if a single serving of a food might has an amount of trans-fat less than the gov't limit, the manf doesn't have to list it. BUT, cumulatively, the contents of the package may contain several grams of trans fat.

So, absolutely, check the ingredients for "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils. They're the real culprit.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 12:19 PM

Dang Bob, sorry to hear that. Thank you and others in assisting to make my point. That aside, we should all carry Mardi Gras beads to hand out whenever they expose themselves. But to keep it fair, they would have to give Bob beads too.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:19 PM

foamgnome, coming late to the party, but LOL at the "# of kids" comments. After we had our first, my SIL really pressued me to have a second -- I got a big spiel about how only kids are spoiled and lonely (umm, thanks, I was one; what does that say about your opinion of me?), siblings were so great (even though she and some other siblings pretty much didn't speak for a while), and how she was reallyreallyreally worried that my "only child" history would lead me to convince my husband to stop at one.

Then, guess what? She had a baby, and decided one was all she could handle --despite the fact that he was, by her own admission, a very easy baby. :-) I love irony. (Meanwhile, I had to convince my husband to even consider a second, given that no. 1 was about as high-maintenance as they come!)

Posted by: Laura | February 7, 2007 12:19 PM

Fingernail clipping at the office grosses me out to no end! Utterly disgusting!

Posted by: Lou | February 7, 2007 12:22 PM

Off Topic Alert!

Army Brat,

Grandfather graduated from Purdue in something like 1914 or 1915. We came across his diploma when my dad died. A beautiful parchment document hand written in multiple colors. I believe that it was in Latin. It is too big to even copy on 11" X 17" One day, we will figure out how to make a copy.

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 12:22 PM

Hey cowardly no-signer at 11:46

What would you say if I told you I've worked for many years in both all male prisons and all female prisons and that my statement, while it may piss you off, is absolutely true?

Posted by: to Catmommy | February 7, 2007 11:50 AM

I'm cowardly, but you're identified as "to Catmommy"? HaHAHAHAHAHA.

I'm not pissed. You've told us all we need to know. You believe that prison populations are a valid sample from which it's appropriate to reach sweeping conclusions applicable to the general population, e.g., the remainder of the non-criminal world. If you think prisons are a representative microcosm of the behavior of each gender, you're even less intelligent than you sounded in you first post.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:23 PM

Thanks Demos and Pittypat I knew you would know the low down on trans fat. It is even in some kid's fruit snacks. I mean every week I say, I can't believe they are allowed to put it in everything.

Bob, I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing with you. I too think the boob at speech was unnecessary.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 12:23 PM

Emily, if you want to show your breasts in public then can we give you Mardi Gras beads?
Not peeing is even more unhealthy than not breastfeeding as someone pointed out. YES, I am trying to say that some things just are not acceptable in public, much less a board meeting. Breast feeding may be a baby's way of eating, but it also exposes a part of the body that is traditionally not exposed except in certain cities where one throws beads. Therefore, to make it socially acceptable, you can bare your breasts if we can give you beads. LOL

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:26 PM

"Unless they work for your husband or closely with him, then its sometimes awfully hard to say no. I think that's what people don't like about the at work sales."

You're right - it IS hard to say no, which is why it works so well! :)

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

HA! If you can't politely say no to an 8 year old then I wonder what you say to an adult salesman?

I find the whole debate a bit silly.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 12:28 PM

I would also like to clarify that it is easy for DH and I to have a plan for our kids education because we make decent $$$. I, in know way, feel that parents owe their child a college education or should sacrifice their basic financial well being to put one kid through college. Also if you can't afford it, then you should not feel at all guilty. College costs are enormous and is getting further and further from reach for the middle and lower class.


Then why have kids if you can't afford it?? If you can't afford food, and college wouldn't ever be a consideration for a kid, then why have them?? Poor kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:30 PM

cmac - you're right - it IS silly! If you can't say no to a child, who can you say no to?

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 12:31 PM

"I can't get relatives to donate to DD college fund in lieu of gifts. They seem to take it the wrong way."

I have always believed that a gift is something that is freely given by the giver. Unless they are asking you for gift ideas, then you really shouldn't be requesting a specific gift.

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:32 PM

On GS cookies issue, they are not allowed to be sold at DHs job or mine. When I used to work for a federal agency, people would send a general email saying that the form was in the lunch room if you want to buy. The only time I saw pressure is when the boss/superviosr did that and you can bet everyone bought at least one box. The real suck ups bought 10 boxes. That being said, we actually miss cookie sales all the time. Since they are not sold at work and not at church, we seem to miss them. The only time we get them is at Wal-mart or if someone we know is selling cookies. I really love GS cookies. What I hate is the kids that stand in the middle of traffic begging for money. At least the kids selling are actually doing something for the $$$. I don't find begging a good fund raiser. If any activity DD is in asks her to do that, I will refuse. I will politely offer a donation to whatever but I will not allow my kids to stand on a street corner and beg for money. BTW, my mother never took my GS sheet in to work for me. She was in the camp of you should do it yourself. My Dad always sold cookies for me. Because of what my mother did, I will always help DD sell cookies. I would walk around the neighborhood with her or go to Wal-mart with her. I doubt I will ever have a job that allows me to sell them at work.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:33 PM

"Unless they work for your husband or closely with him, then its sometimes awfully hard to say no. I think that's what people don't like about the at work sales."

the point is that subordinates may feel obligated to purchase something that they wouldn't otherwise. So, yes, it can be harder to say no to an 8-year-old who is the boss's daughter than it is to say no to an unrelated adult salesperson. If you don't understand this, please don't take a job managing people!

Posted by: Wait a minute | February 7, 2007 12:34 PM

You think you can school me on the use of "hyperbole"?? Hilarious. Cause, see, that was my point. That your overblown exaggeration was ruining your argument, and that in order to make a decent point, you needed to tone down the hyperbole, and bring it back to the real world.

I could be childish and employ synecdoche here, but I don't think WP forum rules allow me to name the part of the whole I have in mind to describe you.

Posted by: To Chris | February 7, 2007 12:36 PM

To 12:32, the relatives asked what to give and then shot down our suggestion for a donation to college. I certainly did not tell them what to give DD.
to 12:30: we can afford to have children. I don't know where you get that we can't afford our daughter. We could afford to have 3 or 4 kids.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:36 PM

Back to the numbers question. We are currently trying to decide if we want another kid. On one hand, we don't feel like we are quite finished yet. Another child would be great despite all the hard work, etc. On the other hand, this will be my third pregnancy (our daughter passed away, son is 2ish), which are really difficult and do I really want to do that again? How will the logistics work, how will my son handle it, etc.
Do those on the board with more than one child just know they wanted 2+ or was it something that you really considered. Most of my friends just knew and already have their seconds. Anybody have any great insight?

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 12:36 PM

S - not sure, she's still tiny. :-) But my husband & I have good jobs and don't want her growing up like a lot of her peers thinking they are entitled to: a car, a fully funded private education, exotic vacations, etc. I put myself halfway through college and entirely through grad school, and my husband paid his way through law school (he went to a state school undergrad), and we share the value that most people - kids, adults, whomever - appreciate things more when they have to bear some responsibility for it. So going to college with loans will have occurred after: you want a car? OK, get a job, or babysit, etc and you're paying for your insurance and gas. If you are busy with school, we'll front you some of the $$, but you're paying us all back with a summer job, etc. So hopefully she'll always understand that she is partially responsible for the things she wants. (This, by the way, is on top of working hard in school - you do poorly in school 'cause you're a slacker, don't expect a cent from your dad & me). However, I have met a lot of folks who are horrified that we do this. Different strokes I guess.

Posted by: AnonAgainToday | February 7, 2007 12:36 PM

the point is that subordinates may feel obligated to purchase something that they wouldn't otherwise. So, yes, it can be harder to say no to an 8-year-old who is the boss's daughter than it is to say no to an unrelated adult salesperson. If you don't understand this, please don't take a job managing people!

yes, it is manipulative. Good trait to teach to a child.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 12:37 PM

If it's for the kids, why are you focusing on "special" considerations for _working_ parents, rather than just for parents? Do you have your own axe to grind regarding stay-at-home parents?

Um, no!

I was a stay at home mom myself for years!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:38 PM

HA! If you can't politely say no to an 8 year old then I wonder what you say to an adult salesman?

I find the whole debate a bit silly.

Thanks Wait a minute - Nice people have a hard time saying no to 8 year olds - that's who. No matter how nice/not nice or strong you are it is hard to say no to an 8 year old who's dad or mom decides on your raise or bonus. I think it is unfair for supervisors to bring their kids or kids stuff in to sell. It feels exploitive. The kid should selll the stuff to regular people, not people who are a captive audience at work and who have to work with or for their parent. Its not fair and it doesn't teach the kid anything.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:38 PM

I think it really does depend on the atmosphere of the meeting though to figure out if it was alright to breastfeed at the podium. As for Leslie wanting to see a woman bfing on the senate floor--give me a break. My Representative or Senator needs to be focused on their job at hand, not feeding their child while at work. If that is the career path they choose then they need to abide by its protocols and responsibilities. If they want a job where they can bf during the day, then they need a different job. And I'm all for breastfeeding moms being able to feed their children in public, but doing it in the middle of a meeting is ridiculous.

Foamgnome, in VA "A school board shall excuse from attendance at school: any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, "bona fide religious training or belief" does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code." This is from the actual VA code. And yes, some people do use it but most people file under other options all of which include an evaluation, assessment, or standardized testing. And no, homeschoolers do not need to follow the SOLs or take the SOLs. Actually, they aren't allowed to take the SOLs.

And I completely disagree that their should be any federal oversight of homeschoolers. Education is actually under the domain of the states per the Constitution, the US Department of Ed, is really overstepping its boundaries with NCLB.

Posted by: New Poster | February 7, 2007 12:42 PM

Being "uncomfortable" with a lactating breast is not an i'm-ok-you're-ok issue. People who have problems with a baby's food delivery system are clearly in the wrong.

Why are we so afraid to come out and call it what it is?

WHY is the sexualized version of the breast the only one they're willing to acknowledge??? These anti-breast people are so simple that they can't hold two realities in their peabrains?

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 12:42 PM

Who says no to Girl Scout cookies anyway? Sometimes I seek them out and have a hard time finding them (my friends's kids are too young). I not only don't resent little girls walking the halls of my office twice a year, I appreciate it. It's like a public service. Sometimes they even put little "thank-you" cards on the boxes when they deliver them. How sweet is that? I get yummy cookies and do good at the same time! It's a win-win.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 12:43 PM

I have 3 children, all of whom were breastfed for at least a year. If I didn't want to be chained to my house, I occasionally had to breastfeed in public. Most of the time no one noticed. Actually, more distressing to me than the "ugg, disgusting" comments, where the older moms that wanted to sit down and chat with you(strangers all) while you fed your baby.

I got a lot of comments when pregnant with number 3. Many people seemed to feel that I shouldn't have a 3rd child because I already have one of each sex. Lots of are you Catholic comments. I was kind of used to them, as I have 11 siblings, and yes, we are Catholic. And we all went to college.

2 of my children are in college now, both with full tuition scholarships. They got good grades, took AP courses, good scores on their SATs, and were involved in their schools. They go to private colleges, which hand out more money to more students than public colleges ever do. We are fortunate that we are able to pay for their room and board, and save for retirement, but if we had to make a choice, we (and they)would be taking loans for college.

Posted by: Sue | February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

HA! If you can't politely say no to an 8 year old then I wonder what you say to an adult salesman?

I find the whole debate a bit silly.

Thanks Wait a minute - Nice people have a hard time saying no to 8 year olds - that's who. No matter how nice/not nice or strong you are it is hard to say no to an 8 year old who's dad or mom decides on your raise or bonus.

Grow some b@lls - a supervisor can not hold it against you if you don't want to buy some cookies.

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

http://www.littlebrowniebakers.com/cookies/nutrition/nutrition.html

Anon the jerk is correct. trans fat is in all the cookies.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

Yes, I understand that many feel that way, but why? And how is it different than putting on lipstick or brushing your teeth?

One of my points is that if it takes so little to not offend people, i.e. don't do it in public, why are some people trying to make something that offends a number of the population seem like it should be inoffensive? (talking about breastfeeding here)

=======================================

Fingernail clipping at the office grosses me out to no end! Utterly disgusting!

Posted by: Lou | February 7, 2007 12:22 PM

Posted by: Working Dad | February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

s: for us the choice was very gut wrenching. We went back and forth for literally years. In the beginning, DD was such a horrible sleeper, we could not even consider it. DD did not sleep through the night till after age 2. She also nursed through the night till 19 months. Also my age was a factor as well. I am 36 and DD is 3. In order to minimize risks, I should have had #2 earlier. Then we decided DD was sleeping through the night and we thought about the other aspects. Time being the biggest factor. DD goes to preschool and day care. She comes home around 4:30 or 5:30. That gives us about 5 hours a day with her. Could we really consider splitting that time up from her? Could we give both children all the attention they need? It didn't help that SIL has two small children close in age with two working parents. Parents admit it is horrible. They love both their kids but it is running them into the ground. Then we finally decided, 3 years later, that we would try for adoption. It would take so long to complete the adoption that the kids will be spaced out fairly far apart (4-5 years). Then DD would be more independent and not in day care when her sister arrived. Now we are having problems with the adoption. That may fall through. If that happens, we will thank God for the beautiful child he did give us and move on. But it will be sad. Both of really dreamed of another child to add to our table. I do think there will always be a haunting feeling that someone is missing from the table but it is really beyond our control.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:46 PM

Being "uncomfortable" with a lactating breast is not an i'm-ok-you're-ok issue. People who have problems with a baby's food delivery system are clearly in the wrong.

Why are we so afraid to come out and call it what it is?

WHY is the sexualized version of the breast the only one they're willing to acknowledge??? These anti-breast people are so simple that they can't hold two realities in their peabrains?


It is not the delivery system that I have a problem with, it is the appropriateness of the timing of the utilization of said system.

Posted by: DC lurker | February 7, 2007 12:46 PM

S - the expression I've heard is, you don't regret the kids you have, only the ones you don't have. If you feel like you aren't quite done having kids, it suggests to me you are probably a good candidate for another.

For the record, and back to today's topic, I thought it was a good blog post. I'm sure it wasn't nearly the mardi gras exhibition some (many) posters seem to be envisioning. Apparently you've never nursed a child - especially a young infant like the one mentioned - in public, if you think it's all about flaunting your stuff. Not having actually been at the meeting, we can only speculate about what actually went on, and I'm sorry to see how many people automatically assume the worst. It says a lot about our society's attitude toward breastfeeding.

And lactating is not "just another bodily function." What a stupid argument.

Posted by: Lurker | February 7, 2007 12:46 PM

Catmommy - try getting hit up for girl scout cookies, wrapping paper, pizza kits etc...every single stinking time you turn around. Buying this stuff from our friends and neighbors could be a separate line item in our budget. Frankly I'd rather make a direct donation to the school or girl scouts and skip the stuff.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 12:47 PM

To continue the off-topic to Fred:

Weren't most diplomas in Latin once upon a time? My undergrad diploma is in Latin, and they included a smaller card with the translation. Most of my friends who went elsewhere have their diploma in English.

As for making copies...a copy center may know how, or contact a local museum to see how they handle archival documents. The museum might also know how to preserve it so that it doesn't deteriorate.

Posted by: AG | February 7, 2007 12:47 PM

Grow some b@lls - a supervisor can not hold it against you if you don't want to buy some cookies.

Is that in the HR manual? I have known some pretty petty people in my day.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 12:49 PM

WDC will so enjoy the holier-than-thou cave.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 12:49 PM

Scarry, you stumbled onto another one of my hot buttons.

http://www.bantransfats.com/

Yes, all (partially) hydrogenated oils are transfat by definition. However, the food lobby got the FDA to create a loophole in product labeling.

"...if the serving contains less than 0.5 gram [of trans fat], the content, when declared, shall be expressed as zero."

This is intentionally confusing, and done to capitalize on folks who don't know to check for the oil content. No doubt this is another example of certain members of congress looking out for us and not their own pockets.

NOT!

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Newposter: I wasn't implying that every home schooler takes a religious pass in VA. Just that religion should not perclude them from the same home schooling standards that non religious home schoolers need to face. It is fine that you think there should not be federal standards. Personally, I would prefer to see some federal standards for both home schooling and traditional schooling. Just my opinion. BTW, my standards are not very rigorous. I would just like to see that basic subjects are being taught in both learning enviorments. I don't think a person should be allowed to take a pass on mathematics because they happen to be a religious home schooler.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Working Dad, it's not "so little" to resist breastfeeding. Infants need to eat, frequently, and that's what the breasts are there for.

I am really interested in hearing why breasts make people uncomfortable. This is an honest request for reflection. What is it about mammary glands that provokes such a strong response.

The only thing I can think of is that breasts are the main indicator of female sexuality in the media. (Since we can't show genitalia, and it's not as pretty anyway.)

But I would hope that people on this board are thoughtful enough to reject that media image and see lactation for what it is: food for baby.

If the offended parties are so hardwired to believe that breasts are for sex, and therefore cannot overcome their discomfort, well, I don't think that should impact my baby's lunch.

I might have this wrong. And I would love to hear from folks who are uncomfortable around breastfeeding as to WHY.

Thanks!

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 12:51 PM

If a supervisor holds it against you - complain to HR! Are you going to allow Girl Scouts to ruin your career?

YOU are the person to whom I am referring when I say "Grow some B@lls!"

Posted by: to scarry | February 7, 2007 12:52 PM

moxie, I KNOW. I love the cookies, but to be fair it is annoying to have to put up with all this- ESPECIALLY if it is a boss with a kid selling things. It is about as tacky as breastfeeding at a board meeting, peeing in public, or diaper wearing astronaut psycho killers.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:53 PM

proud papa,

I feel your pain and anger. It is confusing and it should be illegal. I look at everything I buy and if it has it, I don't buy it. Husband bought the girl scout cookies, which I ate, all of them. :)

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 12:53 PM

One kid at work was selling TRASH BAGS to raise money for an activity! The nice lawn-and-leaf kind. I thought that was a good idea because everyone with a yard needs those trash bags. I'll also buy wrapping paper because I need it anyway around the holidays, and it helps me avoid a trip to the dreaded mall or Wal-Mart, which I avoid like the plague.

One thing I won't buy is generic candy bars for sports teams, simply because they are gross and not suitable for another purpose.

Anyhow, I find the parents and children who peddle goods at my office are polite about it. Usually there is a mass e-mail saying if anyone wants cookies the sign-up sheet is in the kitchen, and they usually contain a disclaimer such as "please do not feel pressured to buy."

As a childless person, sometimes kids get on my nerves, but selling cookies just isn't one of them.

Posted by: catmommy | February 7, 2007 12:54 PM

Regarding the number of children. I didn't want any. Not, maybe later, I really didn't want any. At the age of 28, I did want to have children. After several miscarriages, I had the first at 31 and the second at 35. I did not want an only child because I am close to my siblings and wanted my daughter to have a brother or sister because it was such a good thing in my life. I intentionally stopped at two children. Even though millions of women do it, I personally was not interested in having children after age 35. Also, I could not afford to stay home or work less than full time. I thought that a third child would leave myself, my husband, and our finances drained. I didn't think that it was fair to either of the existing children to stretch ourselves too thin financially and emotionally.

Just describing my choices here. This is not a commentar on anyone else's.

Posted by: noname | February 7, 2007 12:55 PM

Grow some b@lls - a supervisor can not hold it against you if you don't want to buy some cookies.

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 12:45 PM

Judith you are living in fantasy land if you think a supervisor who wants to can't play favorites in terms of raises, bonus, or project assignments. Generally people don't want to piss off the boss. I dont think the workplace is a place for breastfeeding or selling stuff for your children.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 12:55 PM

WDC, not as pretty? WHAT?

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:55 PM

As a childless woman who knows what it is like to think I ACCIDENTLY KILLED the boss' baby (worst day at work ever) - I say leave the kids at home for liability reasons. I'd feel more comfortable with children at the workplace as long as I had a document stating I would never, EVER under any circumstances be held liable for ANYTHING that happened to the child while on work property.

Posted by: ALP | February 7, 2007 12:56 PM

My daughter was born in 1977, in Washington, DC. I nursed her for more than two years. I nursed her everywhere, including the main concourse at Bloomingdales. There was only one occasion on which I was criticised/condemned, etc. It was in a waiting room at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where I had taken my mother for a doctor's appointment. A nurse, no less, told me to do "THAT" in the bathroom. I told her in no uncertain terms what bathrooms were for, and it wasn't for feeding infant humans. The next day, I called the director of the hospital. He was a lovely man who apologized profusely and said that staff shortages had required the hiring of civilian nurses. He was sure no military nurse would have said such a thing.
Nursing is a rights issue. So, some folks feel uncomfortable. So what? Some folks still feel uncomfortable seeing mixed-race couples holding hands. Are we to pander to such bigotry? I've never based my behavior on what might possibly make somebody uncomfortable.

Posted by: barnaby.twist | February 7, 2007 12:56 PM

My two kids have been legendarily bad sleepers (neither slept through the night before age 2 - one still doesn't), my 23-month-old still nurses through the night a few times/week, I'm 36 and pregnant with #3.

My point: Maybe you are overthinking this if you seriously wonder if someone will be missing at your table but aren't actually taking more steps to have another, besides the adoption approach that seems to be going wrong. Sometimes you have to just take the plunge and have another.

The risks at age 36 just aren't that much greater than the risks at, say, 34. If you are that worried, consult a reproductive endocrinologist or high-risk pregnancy specialist for a little perspective.

I don't mean to be critical; just my two cents. I got started "late" too (at 32) but it's just the way it goes sometimes, and you work with what you have.

Posted by: to foamgnome | February 7, 2007 12:56 PM

If a supervisor holds it against you - complain to HR! Are you going to allow Girl Scouts to ruin your career?

YOU are the person to whom I am referring when I say "Grow some B@lls!"

Really that is funny. I wasn't the one who made the orignal comment, but I just thought it was funny how you just shrug it off as no big deal when people say they feel obligated to buy the cookies, so I thought I would make a joke.

Sorry it upset you.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 12:57 PM

Leslie -- WOW! The Wednesday Morning Group looks like a great gathering. Makes me wish I still lived in the DC area so I could join. Are the members both men and women? If so, what's the ratio?

Posted by: CA Mom | February 7, 2007 12:57 PM

foamgnome: that is a really difficult situation to be in. I have my fingers crossed for you...
Time is also a major consideration for us as well. I worry that we just won't have enough solid time for two. We have been reassessing work/life situations and wondering if one of us can cut work back a bit so we can have more time with the kids but it is also important to plan for the future in terms of providing a good life. I didn't have much opportunity growing up and I want my kids to have more. I'm not talking about stuff but about the chance to go to school, travel, etc. My decision wasn't supported to go to school and that was tough so it is a big deciding factor for me. My other may be promoted to a much better position soon so that may alleviate some of the concern so I guess we will have to see. I don't want to wait too much longer though because I would like to be finished with the pregnant part sooner than later! :)

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 12:58 PM

"WHY is the sexualized version of the breast the only one they're willing to acknowledge???"

Probably because, in our society, the "sexualized version of the breast" is everywhere. It's used to entertain, to stimulate, to sell goods and services (ever watch any tv ads?). Cosmetic breast enlargement has become a huge industry, and lingerie catalogs display breasts clearly intended for activities other than feeding babies.

In the U.S., breasts are sexualized and commodified in ways unknown outside the country. Their ability to arouse sexual desire is the main focus that our media bring to them. If bare and nearly bare breasts weren't just a little bit naughty, they wouldn't do nearly as good a job of selling beer, cars, and action movies -- three of the largest and most competitive industries in the country.

So, folks, the bottom line is that we can't have it both ways. You can't bombard a society with sexualized images of breasts for commercial gain and then say, "Why can't Americans get their pea-sized brains around the idea that a breast is a nourishment-delivery system?"

Really, how absurd is that?

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 1:00 PM

"I am really interested in hearing why breasts make people uncomfortable. This is an honest request for reflection. What is it about mammary glands that provokes such a strong response."

WDC, breasts don't make me uncomfortable at all. Neither do penises, gall bladders or toenails. When I am in the workplace, at a board meeting, or any other professional event, IMHO it is inappropriate for a parent to attend to personal needs relating to herself, himself, or his/her progeny. It's even less appropriate for a parent to draw attention to any body part other than eyes, ears, and mouths (if you're the featured speaker).

You've heard it, and heard it and heard it and still turn a deaf ear and attribute all disagreements to puritanical this and that. I don't want to see anyone's thong, or butt cracks. I don't want to know that your child is feeding off of you. I don't want to see that someone's fly is down. Too much personal information is transmitted publicly by way too many people who justify it by talking about their rights or, in the case of breastfeeding, how anyone opposed to the sort of behavior Leslie describes is antiBFing or anti-baby. Such a conclusion is absurd.

People with good judgment choose alternatives when they are available. I'm not suggesting that your baby should starve. I'd prefer that, if you can schedule those feedings to occur at home, in your car, or some other discreet venue, many of us would be happier. When you cannot (baby on plane), go forth and BF.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:02 PM

I agree - would like to point out, though, that breasts are sexualized and commodified in many other countries too.

Posted by: to pittypat | February 7, 2007 1:02 PM

to 12:56: I will think about it. We have just gotten bad news with the adoption in the last couple of weeks. We never anticipated it would be difficult for us to get a healthy infant through adoption. We just need time to discuss and process our options.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 1:03 PM

"Unless they work for your husband or closely with him, then its sometimes awfully hard to say no. I think that's what people don't like about the at work sales."

the point is that subordinates may feel obligated to purchase something that they wouldn't otherwise. So, yes, it can be harder to say no to an 8-year-old who is the boss's daughter than it is to say no to an unrelated adult salesperson. If you don't understand this, please don't take a job managing people!

Posted by: Wait a minute | February 7, 2007 12:34 PM

HA! I manage no one and am a mere worker bee in my office, so does the rule apply? Not everyone in my office buys cookies so apparently there is a wide range of opinions here - which is oddly being discussed ad nauseum - but I brought it up!

FYI: my dad would never take my cookie sheet to work - he hated people that did so. He told me to hoof it around the neighborhood and earn that badge! Well, it didn't matter how many boxes of cookies I sold there was always a kid that had parent's that took their sheet to work and sold 5 times what I did. When I brought this up to my dad he told me sometimes life is not fair. He was right!

If someone feels like not buying cookies is adverse to their career I am not sure what to say to them, except life is not fair. Buy the cookies and be safe;)

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 1:04 PM

In general I try not to "nit-pick" over a person's choice of words but it bothered me that in discussing breasfeeding, she indicated that the speaker was holding the baby up to her BOOB. I hate that word and I don't know if anyone feels the same way. I believe that calling a breast objectifies that part of a woman's body. Now before anyone jumps all over this and says that I'm being too sensitive, I know that many people use the word and don't mean anything negative by it but I just think it's a terrible word to use, especially when discussing something as natural as breastfeeding. As a P.S. I'm not a breasfeeding fanatic, I bottle fed my son. I just am very respectful of the process.

Posted by: RT | February 7, 2007 1:05 PM

"Sorry it upset you."

No, it did not upset me, I find it funny how people are afraid to say "no, thanks!" My husband supervises many people and would not be so petty as to hold it against someone who does not want to buy something as trifling as Girl Scout cookies - really - it has nothing to do with workplace politics!

"Judith you are living in fantasy land if you think a supervisor who wants to can't play favorites in terms of raises, bonus, or project assignments. Generally people don't want to piss off the boss. I dont think the workplace is a place for breastfeeding or selling stuff for your children."

How may supervisors have you personally known who would be so petty? How afraid of saying "No" are you and/or your spouse.

Like I said "grow some some b@lls!"

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:05 PM

Fred:

Grandfather graduated from Purdue in something like 1914 or 1915. We came across his diploma when my dad died. A beautiful parchment document hand written in multiple colors. I believe that it was in Latin. It is too big to even copy on 11" X 17" One day, we will figure out how to make a copy.

_____________________________

Wow! Mine's an 8.5x11 piece of paper with everything written in plain, block letters. We considered it somehow appropriate for "Indiana A&M".

And I've heard most of the jokes out there about the place. At one point, 1 out of every 17 engineers in the US was a Purdue grad. It used to be that all Freshmen were required to take (and pass) two semesters of Calculus. It had a male-female ratio of "really depressing". (For both genders - for males because there were so few females; and for females because there were all those engineers.)

Urban legend: the family of John Purdue, who donated the land and money to start the school owned a brickyard, and all buildings are required to be made from red bricks, or else it all reverts back to the family. (Not really, but there are only two or three buildings on campus that aren't made of red bricks.)

When the Indiana legislature was considering a bill to set the value of pi to 3.2 (because this irrational 3.14159... stuff is too hard for kids), it was a Purdue prof who went down and explained to the little IU grads that it doesn't work that way.

At one point Purdue had graduated more astronauts than any other college (including Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, who died in the Apollo 1 fire; Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon). People will go to any lengths to get away from that school.

I've heard 'em all.

Posted by: Army Brat | February 7, 2007 1:05 PM

foamgnome, i take unwanted gifts to toys r us with no receipt, they scan the item and tell me if it's from there, and I have to accept the sale price if there is one. I didn't do it this year after Christmas, so they may have tightened things up a bit.
funny story about your daughter's regift!

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 1:06 PM

to working dad -

Brushing teething is usually done in the bathroom. A lot worse happens in there than that.

Putting on lipstick? Well same as chapstick. It's never occurred to me that someone could construe that as gross.

Clipping (or biting, for that matter!) fingernails - well it's grooming that usually causes little pieces of nails to fly in every which direction. If someone did it in the bathroom, I don't think I would have a problem with it. Just don't do it at your cube where we can all hear/see it!

And an even louder NO to toenails!

Posted by: Lou | February 7, 2007 1:11 PM

I agree with the posters advocating new topics, perhaps even some that deal with emotional balance - transitioning from Mommy to being professional, letting go of guilt about being the Perfect Perfect, etc.
Leslie, I think this is often a wonderful forum for new ideas and support in a difficutl world, but nursing, SAHM vs. Working are topics that are covered ad naseum. Based on the previous comments of many of the posters, I think we're a group that can take it to the next level.
(Excluding the people who have to put "first" every day, which feels like something our children would do.)

Posted by: Agree | February 7, 2007 1:11 PM

Foamgnome -- Please don't give up on adoption. There are wonderful programs out there to adopt older children (that is, not infants or toddlers). We did; the process is not without its challenges, but it is incredibly rewarding to have such an amazing boy in our family.

Posted by: Adoptive Mom | February 7, 2007 1:11 PM

A. Judith you are mean! Secondly I'm glad that your husband is such a nice person, not all bosses are that way. Why do you have to take such a nasty tone about people wanting to do their work at work and not be solicited by kids or anyone else? Not everyone's life/situation is exactly the same as yours.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 1:11 PM

"Weren't most diplomas in Latin once upon a time?"

AG, yes, I am pretty sure. I could tell you for certain if I had the diploma in hand. I recall that my cousin's PhD from MIT is in Latin. Did not take 2 years of Latin in HS for nuthin!

Aside to NC Lawyer, my diploma from a CSS is in English.

A good suggestion but with many of the family documents, they are spread out among my 5 brothers who promised faithfully to have certain things done...

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:11 PM

Like I said "grow some some b@lls!"

First, I am not sure how a woman can grow some balls.

Second, I think it may be detrimental to my marriage and the possibility of having a second child.

So thanks for the suggestions, but I think I will remain ball less.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 1:12 PM

Judith: It isn't that a supervisor may be that petty. It is the perception that they have the potential to be that petty. I saw that when the supervisor sold her daughters cookies versus the worker bees who sold their kids things. People were buying like 10 boxes. I mean really, how else can you explain it. We actually like GS cookies and would probably buy 6 or 7 boxes. But we are rare. Now that I think about it, I think some kid did come to my house a month ago and we signed up to buy some cookies. She hasn't returned or asked for any $$ yet. I wonder where are cookies are. Funny that I forgot about that till now.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 1:13 PM

Hey, are guys allowed at these things?

Posted by: Awesome!!! | February 7, 2007 1:13 PM

There are a LOT more derogatory terms for breasts. T*ts, jugs, hoo-hoos, cha-chas, "girls," melons, mosquitos, boobies, knockers, etc.

Posted by: to RT | February 7, 2007 1:13 PM

Off topic Post Script,

BTW, good thing grandfather's diploma was not in my custody, Katrina would have taken it away!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:13 PM

To foamgnome - we are big on giving books as gifts to the younger ones in our family. A friend also told me that a recent birthday party her daughter attended requested a book for a book drive in lieu of gifts (not sure if they gave to school or woman's shelter).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | February 7, 2007 1:14 PM

I agree that there needs to be a change in the topics discussed on this blog. I don't have kids yet and am really bored with the FMLA, WOH/SAH, and breastfeeding blogs.

I second foamgnome's idea of discussing the factors that come into play when deciding the number of children a family will have. I also think that it's important to link this topic with the recent findings on birth contral pills - a greater likelihood of pregnancy and other health effects with the third generation pills.

I usually prefer the blogs written by Brian and would have liked to read about his decision to telecommute fulltime and how it affects his balance scheme....instead he wrote about FMLA again!

Posted by: MV | February 7, 2007 1:15 PM

I still want to know what WDC meant by not as pretty!!! Sounds like someone has self-esteem issues. Straight guys think it is just fine. :)

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 1:15 PM

My undergrad diploma is in Latin -- Collegium Georgiopolitanum. Early 1980s.

Posted by: anon 2-07 | February 7, 2007 1:15 PM

Fred, now that I think of it - both my post high school diplomas are in English, one from the CSS and the other from the thank-God-they-gave-me-a-grant private school. I could have had Latin, if only . . . You've given me something else to talk about with my therapist :>)

Army Brat, your Purdue jokes are great!

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 1:15 PM

Pittypat, why can't we have it both ways?

Also, I hesitate to accept your argument because it seems to punish the victim. I have never modeled in a bathing suit for a beer ad, or traded a glimpse of my breasts for some plastic beads, or appeared on a Girls Gone Wild video. I did not sign on for the Madison Avenue campaign starring the breast. Your phrasing-- and perhaps this is unintentional-- makes it sound as if all of us who wish to use our breasts for their intended purpose are trying to pull a fast one, some disingenuous 180.

I agree that the workplace is usually the wrong place to be breastfeeding, ESPECIALLY while all your colleagues have no choice but to stare at you. The presenter Leslie wrote about clearly has an ax to grind in this regard.

I'm talking about the overall attitude. It baffles me that there are people who don't even make an effort to hide their prejudice. It's clearly wrong. It's obviously outdated. And it's wildly unscientific. (Formula's just as good, wait til you get home, do it in the bathroom...)

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 1:16 PM

Actually I agree with you on the religious exemption, just wanted you (and others) to know what the law actually says. Philisophically I'm opposed to testing of most young children. Teachers should be able to determine if a child is progressing and don't need 1 test to tell them that. Someone mentioned yesterday how there is so little regard for teachers. Well, I see these high-stakes tests as a part of that. Taking away the excitement of learning from the classroom and replacing it with test prep and test taking is marginalizing the profession.

S, I had wanted 3 kids but after 2 very fussy babies decided I wouldn't be able to handle a third, emotionally or mentally. DH was in agreement. We did have them pretty close in age, 2 years almost exactly. It really is such a personal decision and whatever other people may say doesn't matter. I have several friends who are only children and they are all very "normal" people.

Posted by: New Poster | February 7, 2007 1:16 PM

adoptive mom: we are not giving up just yet. But we were shocked how incredible the procedure has been. There are two issues with us. One is that it is difficult to get a healthy child 0-3 years of age. Second, DD has a speech and social delay. I was surprised to learn that the home study people think this is a problem with placing another child in our family. It isn't like my child has a major physical or mental handicap. It is true that she may not be college bound. We just don't know yet. But she has a productive life ahead of her. I was shocked that they found this an issue. They just felt with every thing being equal, we could place a child in a family with no children or children who are on grade level. We just got this information today. We found out about the long waits for a healthy child several weeks ago. Also, we could have another biological child. I suppose that is another option, with risks involved.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 1:17 PM

Moxie, Judith is secretly an astronaut who was not breastfed. Women, please do not grow balls. Despite whatever WDC said, it is not true. LOL

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 1:19 PM

As a young mother, nursing my first child I also worked was a graduate assistant helping lead undergraduates on a research program abroad (developing country). The students had to design and carry out field work. I needed to be there at all hours of the day to provide language, logistical and professional support when the students had tough issues. I had no daycare so baby was with me but I was very adept at nursing and baby was fine being draped with a shawl. It threw the students for a loop, especially the boys but they all adjusted quickly. I could discuss sample design and statistical methods even with a baby under the shawl. It was an important lesson for the students. When they had seen local women breastfeeding while on buses or working as street vendors it had seemed backward, primative, even exotic but they realized that balancing childrearing and work is a universal issue and breastfeeding is not exotic.

Posted by: newtoblog | February 7, 2007 1:21 PM

"moxie, I KNOW. I love the cookies, but to be fair it is annoying to have to put up with all this- ESPECIALLY if it is a boss with a kid selling things. It is about as tacky as breastfeeding at a board meeting, peeing in public, or diaper wearing astronaut psycho killers.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 12:53 PM:

Some people see a GS selling cookies and say - gee that's nice. Others like Chris see a GS selling cookies and think about peeing in public or adult diapers. This is like a Rorschach Inkblot Test.


Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 1:21 PM

Foamgnome, the cookies are in... but tonight's meeting was canceled due to the snow.

cmac, NC Lawyer, A previous poster grouped me in with the 2 of you. I feeled honored. too bad Fred, you got left out.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 1:22 PM

Chris - you so funny! Thanks for the levity.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 1:22 PM

I agree with Pittypat's first post (proving I'm nicer than you may think!):

Kudos to foamgnome (8:37) and scarry (8:38). You guys really put both topics (home schooling issues; breastfeeding at the podium) into perspective.

I had some things to say about both topics, but you two covered everything.

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 1:23 PM

story regarding boobs: we were on holiday awhile ago at a clothing optional beach and a women had opted to be topless. There were two boys about ten years old about 15 feet away building something in the sand. Every couple of minutes, they glanced over at the woman and then turn back to their sculpture - two perfectly round mounds of sand complete with...um... peaks.

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 1:24 PM

Moxiemom...I don't think the astronaut's actions were "girlie" they were just CRAZY!!! :-) Both my husband and I laughed at the diaper thing.

Posted by: MV | February 7, 2007 1:24 PM

WDC, I am not against breastfeeding, in public or otherwise. My sister did it all the time using a sling. Most of the time people never knew.

But I am not against nail-clipping in public either. So I turned the arguement around for discussion sake. And you didn't exactly address that point. I never said to resist breast feeding. I suggested resisting it "in public" when it clearly offends a significant (note to WDC: this does not mean majority, this does not mean large, this may not mean even more than 10%) portion of the U.S. workplace population.

If I say the B word in describing a female to a population that is 99% male, I am still offending that other 1%, which is what we as a populace are now required to avoid at all cost. So, again I ask, why should breastfeeding be any different? It's all in context.

Posted by: Working Dad | February 7, 2007 1:26 PM

Our SU's cookies get here tomorrow - grow some b@lls! :)

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:26 PM

Just because it's (breastfeeding) a necessary function, doesn't give people card blache to perform it anywhere and everywhere!

All of us must occasionally blow our noses, use the restroom and perform other necessary body maintenance, but we recognize these necessities as being context specific; e.g. you don't do them any-damn-where you please!!!

I generally support the right of women to breastfeed in public, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect nursing mothers to exercise a little discretion!

Yes, there will be times and places where excusing yourself to breastfeed is practical. Tough!!! You chose to have children and it is the epitome selfishness to expect everyone to accommodate you. Choosing to have children is a life altering choice and choices almost always entail a trade-off (or an opportunity cost as economists would say). I'll bet many of the people advocating breastfeeding anytime/anywhere are also the same people who think it's perfectly acceptable to bring a small, screaming child into an adult movie, an adult restaurant, or won't do a damn thing to stop their child from constantly kicking and climbing all over my chair in the airplane.

It's absurd. Having children does not give you a green light to do whatever the hell you want.

It's true we have not been more accommodating of breastfeeding mothers, but some simply want to take it too far. Keep pushing and you can promise there will be a backlash and it will include many of the people who previous supported more reasonable compromises!

Posted by: Ingvy | February 7, 2007 1:26 PM

I actually thought the diaper thing was sort of interesting. Picture trying to drive cross country. You want to minimize bathroom stops. Depends becomes an option. Weird but an option.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 1:26 PM

Foamgnome, the cookies are in... but tonight's meeting was canceled due to the snow.

cmac, NC Lawyer, A previous poster grouped me in with the 2 of you. I feeled honored. too bad Fred, you got left out.

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 01:22 PM

Our cookies come in on the 23rd so it is staggered, the GS cookie bakers must have a union contract.

FO4 - Fred is the man on breast feeding topics - funny though I have not seen his comments on this particular display. What say you Fred?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:27 PM

Most welcome. :)
CMAC, you left off breastfeeding! HOW COULD YOU??? ROFLMAO!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 1:28 PM

I too hope to see the day when we can breastfeed at the podium without being seen as unprofessional. Adults can delay eating, but not babies.
My work had a lactation program, which was an invaluable resource to me.

Companies that encourage new mothers to bring their newborns to work (usually until they become mobile) found that they saved a lot of money as more women return from maternity leave and these women are happier and more productive when returning to work. I still don't understand why companies don't use all the techniques possible to increase their employees' productivity.

Posted by: kpmom | February 7, 2007 1:29 PM

"FO4 - Fred is the man on breast feeding topics - funny though I have not seen his comments on this particular display. What say you Fred?"

I did post early on to say I am staying out of this one! Fredia SUV is called the Boobiemobile.


Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:30 PM

PS- still no word from WDC on why she thinks it is not pretty. LOL

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 1:31 PM

s - HA! I hate to think of my poor innocent son being led to believe they all really look like that ...

Posted by: TakomaMom | February 7, 2007 1:31 PM

Bob is right. Breastfeeding is wonderful if you are not giving a speech. And with all the breastpumps and bottles available these days there is really no excuse. It's not like women are being forced to choose between giving their babies breast milk and participating in public life.

Posted by: denk | February 7, 2007 1:32 PM

Our SU's cookies get here tomorrow - grow some b@lls! :)

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 01:26 PM

Sounds like Judith is either a BIG fan of the Crying Game OR just one of those annoying mothers whose darling can't do anything wrong and simply MUST win the GS Cookie sales contest at any cost.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 1:33 PM

Great, we're back to the "you chose to have children" idiocy. Thanks ingvy; I wondered when that would come up.

Yes, I choose to have children. You're welcome.

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 1:33 PM

"I could have had Latin, if only . . . "

Learning Latin from Sister Thaddeus-who learned first hand from the Romans and Sister Blaize --faster ruler in the west!--was not the most pleasant experience.

"At one point Purdue had graduated more astronauts...Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon). People will go to any lengths to get away from that school."

Never heard that one! But grandfather ran off to Paris in 1918. Probably equal to going to the moon in modern terms!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:35 PM

WDC, again, why do you claim Vs are not as pretty??? I think if we get to the bottom of womens insecurities about certain things, we will understand them- except for the crazy astronaut women. Does this deep seeded self-loathing somehow make women want to bare their breasts instead under the guise of feeding? What would Freud say?

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 1:37 PM

If breasts are so natural and not sex objects, etc., why is it OK for a man to take his shirt off in public (although still not at work obviously), but a woman would get arrested for doing the same?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:38 PM

foamgnome - have you tried international adoption? Have you told the social services people that you'd be willing to take a child from a minority ethnic group? It just seems so strange that they'd be so judgmental about your daugther's intellectual development. I assume that you are providing her lots of love, and everything you can to help her with her education. A great environment if you ask me to place a child into - especially considering that so many languish in the system. Keep working at it!

Posted by: single mom | February 7, 2007 1:38 PM

If breasts are so natural and not sex objects, etc., why is it OK for a man to take his shirt off in public (although still not at work obviously), but a woman would get arrested for doing the same?


You'd only get arrested in America. European countries aren't so freaked out when it comes to displaying the beautiful and amazing human body.

Posted by: expat | February 7, 2007 1:39 PM

To Newtoblog,

For your particular situation breestfeeding in public was appropriate because you were attempting to balance childrearing and work. Context is everything, as your post demonstrates. There are places in the world where breast-feeding a child in public is unremarkable; the US is not one of those places, largely because Americans see it as indecent.

Why do Americans see it as largely indecent but other parts of the world just see it as a bared breast being employed for its natural purpose?

Posted by: LLB | February 7, 2007 1:40 PM

I agree with others that family size choice is a great topic for this blog. Maybe it could be done as a series of guest blogs - someone w/ no kids, someone who stopped at one, someone content with two or three ("the new two"), and then a big(ger) family.

Are you listening, Leslie?

(And I did already post that I LIKED today's blog.)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:40 PM

"Sounds like Judith is either a BIG fan of the Crying Game OR just one of those annoying mothers whose darling can't do anything wrong and simply MUST win the GS Cookie sales contest at any cost."

Both, actually! :)

No, really, my darling does plenty of wrong. The girl who won the GS cookie contest sold over 4,000 boxes - at her mother's work!!!!

I love your posts, moxie mom, now grow some cl*t!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:41 PM

"I agree with others that family size choice is a great topic for this blog. Maybe it could be done as a series of guest blogs - someone w/ no kids, someone who stopped at one, someone content with two or three ("the new two"), and then a big(ger) family.

Are you listening, Leslie?"

Can we post as siblings, not only as parents?

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 1:42 PM

Father of 4, In light of the context and his overall point (including reference to you), I didn't have any objection. In fact, I would just as soon readers who decide they don't like me and don't want to read my comments save their own time an ignore my posts. Sure beats pi$$ing on my Wheaties with targetted nastiness.

Did you go out and play in the snow? Have hot chocolate? Do all the things dads are supposed to do on snow days?

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 1:42 PM

Universitas Bostoniensis bay-bee!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:43 PM

Most welcome. :)
CMAC, you left off breastfeeding! HOW COULD YOU??? ROFLMAO!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 01:28 PM

Here is my Ode to a GS selling cookies:

There once a girl who sold cookies
her life was as weird as a wookies
at work with her dad
she was told she was bad
came home and cried "I hate these darn cookies!"

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 1:43 PM

singlemom: The problem is not the adoption agency. We wanted to adopt a healthy infant from Viet Nam. The problem is the social worker for the home study. The adoption agency can not approve our adoption with out a pass from the home study agency. I was shocked myself. DD has been getting all the necessary services that are offered. She has already been through a battery of tests through the school system and is in the developmental delayed preschool with the school system. It is amazing to me. The shortage of healthy infants in Viet Nam is an issue that is beyond anyones control. It is just that they don't have a huge number of children that are placed for adoption to begin with. Even countries like China, have been experiencing longer wait times for a healthy child. We were told even after an approved home study the wait time for a healthy infant/toddler will be 2 years. So we just don't know now. We need to look at all our options. But it does kill me because DD is not handicapped. She is probably learning disabled (that is a label that they won't give you till after kindergarten). Right now they call it developmental delays. So I just don't know. To be honest, putting our DDs learning disabilities aside, we would make wonderful adoptive parents. We obviously love and cherish our DD and I am an adoptee myself. DH has an adopted brother and sister. I can't think of a more loving and stable family for a child.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 1:44 PM

Foamgnome -- I agree completely with single mom. Once you get past this immediate disappointment, if you want to chat about international adoption, put a post on this blog. I'll bet we could get a really informative discussion going.

Posted by: Adoptive Mom | February 7, 2007 1:44 PM

"Your phrasing-- and perhaps this is unintentional-- makes it sound as if all of us who wish to use our breasts for their intended purpose are trying to pull a fast one, some disingenuous 180."

Wow, WDC. That's a reading that would never have occurred to me.

Maybe you're taking my comments a little too personally. I was just responding to a question -- "WHY is the sexualized version of the breast the only one they're willing to acknowledge???" -- someone else had asked.

I wasn't suggesting that women bring this problem on themselves -- or even that they're primarily responsible for it. I was saying that our highly sexual (and male-dominated) commercial culture has marketed a concept that it's unlikely to let go of.

Ultimately, I think it's sad that we've painted ourselves into this corner. And, yes, now that you've brought it up, I guess I do believe that women today may be contributing to the problem.

How many of the women on this blog drink beer, drive cars, or watch tv shows or movies that are sold by sexualizing women?

If you consume the product, you're supporting the image that sold it. So maybe that's something to think about next time you choose what to drink or drive.

If women in this country were genuinely interested in altering the sexualization of breasts in the service of BF-ing, they would join together and boycott products that are advertised using sexualized female images.

Don't think it would work? Look at the sea change in the snack industry over the past several years (another topic on today's blog). People became aware of the dangers of trans fats and stopped buying products containing them. The industry got the message pretty quickly and went beyond even the official govt-legislated nutritional labeling to create products nearly free of these poisons. Now they're even marketing Oreos made with "organic flour and sugar" (eyeroll, please).

Yes, these are just ingredient and labeling changes made to pander to a certain audience. But that's what advertising is all about. Pandering to the audience that has the most money to spend on your product. So, you need to become that audience if you want your concerns to be reflected in products and their advertising.

The point is, you CAN influence public perception, which in turn can influence industry decisions.

Want to desexualize breasts in America? You know what to do!

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 1:45 PM

There once a girl who sold cookies
her life was as weird as a wookies
at work with her dad
she was told she was bad
came home and cried "I hate these darn cookies!"

LOL, thanks cmac!

Some posters just have their panties in a bunch over nothing today!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:46 PM

Judith - 4000 boxes??? What the hell? I'd give my eye teeth to sell that many - just kidding!

Imagine picking up all those cookies the old minivan.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 1:46 PM

Ode to Latin

(As taught to Fred by his sainted mother)

Latin is a dead language.
Dead as it can be!
First it killed the Romans.
Now it's killing me!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:47 PM

I love your posts, moxie mom, now grow some cl*t!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 01:41 PM

Judith, there's a limit to the sort of language that's appropriate for a blog. I like to talk like a sailor, too, on my own time to my own friends who communicate similarly. Not everyone wants to read this stuff on a blog, though. Either find some euphemisms or starting using anatomical terms, please, for the rest of us.

Posted by: Who Cares what Who Cares thinks | February 7, 2007 1:47 PM

Posted by: WDC | February 7, 2007 01:33 PM

"Great, we're back to the "you chose to have children" idiocy."

Yes, I choose to have children. You're welcome."

I'm sorry, but I fail to see how this is idiocy. Perhaps you care to explain rather than deride? Do you actually have a reason for disagreeing with this poster that goes beyond some pathetic (as in pathos) appeal? Or do you actually, honest-to-God, believe that procreation makes you special or more important than anyone else? If so, why?

Further, why should I give a rat's a$$ about your children? Are they slated to cure cancer? Too late, some Canadian university just did that for $2 a dose.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, they will probably be mediocre people who will contribute nearly no substantive difference to their communities or the world at large. Just like 90% of the people out there. Including you and me.

So tell me again--I must have missed it earlier--why was I thanking you for breeding?

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 1:48 PM

Fred - my Latin professor quoted that saying quite often.
Am I the only one here who actually enjoyed Latin?

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 1:48 PM

clitoris!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:50 PM

Some posters just have their panties in a bunch over nothing today!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 01:46 PM

Judith, you are one class act.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:50 PM

Missicat,

Do you mean are you the only one? (not your professor)

YES!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Right on, Ingvy! Couldn't have said it better myself. Why do people have to foist their ill-mannered brats on the rest of us innocent bystanders?

Now for some new topics. How about the debate over producing your own homegrown children over adopting/buying from a foreign country. Those who have the money and power can go to Thailand, Russia, China, God knows where to buy babies. Then bring them back home and turn them over to housekeepers/au pairs/nannies to raise, and call themselves 'mothers.' Versus the homegrown variety that produce stretch marks, morning sickness, swollen ankles, baggy eyes from sleep deprivation, baggy boobs from breastfeeding, poopy diapers you have to clean yourself. I want to see the homegrown advocates picnicking on the McMommies. The rest of us can just stand back and watch the cat fight.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:51 PM

Imagine picking up all those cookies the old minivan.

The poor girl's mother had to rent a uhaul - eek.

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:52 PM

"I actually thought the diaper thing was sort of interesting. Picture trying to drive cross country. You want to minimize bathroom stops. Depends becomes an option. Weird but an option."

It occurred to me that this diaper thing may simply be from her training and experience as an astronaut.

I'm pretty sure I read that they wear adult diapers during liftoff -- for a whole variety of reasons (long waits on launch pad, loss of some muscle control during loss, etc.).

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 1:53 PM

I enjoyed my one semester of Latin many years ago, I'm actually self-studying it now. It actually gave me a better understanding of English grammar.

Posted by: New Poster | February 7, 2007 1:53 PM

I don't think it's realisitic to think men will ever desexualize the breast. Call me a man, call me a pig, call me what you will, but there is something deep inside us me that gets so goofy about those breasts.

I know the commercials and media objectify breasts and women, and I have no objection to Pittypat's call to stop this. But even if the car and beer commercials were eliminated, most of us men would still get excited over a breast.

It's really about self control and respecting women. My wife is breastfeeding right now. Wow, she's got these bigger than usual, rounder than usual breasts that are OFF LIMITS to sexualization. That's part of the deal, and it's good for her and it's good for the baby. I get it, but I still admire the breasts.

Men are men, and breasts are always going to make (most of) us goofy.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | February 7, 2007 1:53 PM

"Judith, you are one class act."

I just hope that your daughter is in one of the several GS troops that I lead - you never know what they're learning in Girl Scouts!

Seriously, I'm just having fun today - you people annoy the heck out of me sometimes!

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 1:54 PM

"But eating is one natural function that is done in public on a routine basis. And breastfeeding is a baby's way of eating, so it would be entirely appropriate for a baby to breastfeed in public under circumstances where it would also be appropriate for anyone else to eat in public."

That doesn't follow. Hugging is one of the ways we show affection to a child. Intercourse is one of the ways we show affection to a spouse. But it would be a fallacy to argue that since it's appropriate to show hug a child in public that it's appropriate to have intercourse with a spouse in public.

At this point, you want to argue that the two things are fundamentally different, and that it would be equally appropriate to hug a spouse in public. But the same applies to your argument regarding eating. It's perfectly appropriate for an adult to drink from a cup in public. It's equally appropriate for a young child to drink from a cup in public. Drinking from a breast is a fundamentally different way of drinking, though - and inappropriate for either a child or an adult to do in public. (I won't get into the appropriateness for an adult to do this in private.)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:55 PM

"European countries aren't so freaked out when it comes to displaying the beautiful and amazing human body."

Of course, they also have Muslim extremists killing film makers, and blowing up subways.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:56 PM

TO: newtoblog

You were a graduate assistant working on a research program and you didn't feel you had any responsibility to employ daycare? I hope you weren't paid.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:57 PM

Who Cares: See the posting from anon at 1:51 for a prime example of the sort of quality contributions posted by this blog's anonymous participants. Delightful in tone and substance, is it not? Wouldn't want to filter this out.

Posted by: No Filtering Permitted by Decree of Who Cares | February 7, 2007 1:57 PM

"And with all the breastpumps and bottles available these days there is really no excuse."
(Sigh) Once more, this time with feeling.
BREAST PUMPS DO NOT WORK FOR EVERY WOMAN!!!! Please get that through your head. Size and structure of breasts can hinder effectiveness of even the most powerful, industrial-strength pump. Also, MANY BREASTFED BABIES WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT DRINK FROM BOTTLES!!! This is a very, very common phenomenon. Please get that through your head, too.
I'm sorry to come off as irritated, but I do find it annoying when people who ought to know better (including, for one example, Dr. Phil, and for another, my otherwise fine and sympathetic OB-GYN) just assume that breastfeeding mothers can switch over to breast pumps and bottled breast milk when needed. Sadly, that option doesn't work in many cases.
P.S. - on the question of breastfeeding while casting a Senate vote or some such, in my state's legislature there are several new moms and they've breastfed their babies during hearings and other legislative business, though I don't know about floor votes. I happen to live in one of those libertarian-leaning states, so it's been no big deal here.

Posted by: anonymous | February 7, 2007 1:58 PM

Who knew that so many people would be so upset over how and when a baby eats. People around the world are starving, experiencing war, getting killed in car accidents, living mundane boring lives, etc. So much energy wasted on the eating habits of babies - time that could be better spent pontificating about world peace. A little perspective people!

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 1:59 PM

" enjoyed my one semester of Latin many years ago, I'm actually self-studying it now."

As I said, you did not have Sister Thaddeus and Blaize!

I took 2 years and even XXXVII annus post ex facto, I still recognize many words from their Latin roots.

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 1:59 PM

Judith is loud and proud to have one- what about WDC??? still no comment? LOL

Anyway, semper ubi sub ubi! or was that boobie? ;)


There once was a blog on breastfeeding
I did happen to enjoy reading
I saw some stuff there
For which I did not care,
And hope my eyes will stop bleeding.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:00 PM

Judith - you are like school on a Saturday - No class! (credit - Rudy on Fat Albert). I'm so glad you don't live in my neighborhood.

As an aside - do GS let lesbiens be troop leaders? I know the BS are not into that. Just curious.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 2:00 PM

To the boob (haha) who wrote

"This was not some strike in the name of sisterhood or motherhood. The woman is an exhibitionist. The child could have been fed before or after her brief talk. My wife has far too much class to have done anything like this."

Goody for you that you have such a classy wife. But as someone who has breastfeed three kids, I submit that when they are hungry they need to be fed, and they're not too accomodating about waiting 10-15 minutes until you are "ready." Also, as someone who was actually THERE when the woman breastfed at the podium, I can attest she was the epitome of class. No skin exposed, not a shred of exhibitionism.

For the rest of posters, please excuse my vitriol. It is directed soley at the poster who wrote the above words.

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 2:01 PM

Since the subject of international adoption has been raised I'm hoping we can
have a frank discussion. I am a black American woman who does not understand why so many people prefer to adopt children overseas rather than black children in the U.S. Couples in Europe have begun to adopt black kids from the U.S. because they are unwanted here. Can someone please explain this to me?

Posted by: denk | February 7, 2007 2:03 PM

Isn't it funny how often as hyperbole we use "curing cancer" as meaning something of ultimate importance or worth (as in, what, is your child going to "cure cancer" or something?), and now we have a very close approximation of that in VACCINATING to avoid cancer and some people have a problem with it. Sheesh.

Posted by: Ironic | February 7, 2007 2:03 PM

Oh! ubi, Oh ubi est meim sub ubi?

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:04 PM

Posted by: No Filtering Permitted by Decree of Who Cares | February 7, 2007 01:57 PM

Can't see how that's any better or worse than a "named" poster writing only, "clitoris!"

Also, I find it particularly ironic that while you rail against the anon posters for not posting their names, you choose a name under which you clearly wouldn't normally operate. Way to do my arguing for me! Were you afraid I'd just use my "filter" on your message, rather than read it?

Posted by: Who Cares | February 7, 2007 2:04 PM

"Some posters just have their panties in a bunch over nothing today!"

Yes, you do. If I hear grow some balls one more time I am going to vomit. Not to mention grow some cl*t, please.

Here is a new phrase for you that you might want to try out since you are stuck on grow something: get a backbone.

No, I don't need to get one before you try it out one me. I would have no problem telling your kid no thanks. I try to avoid anything with tran fat even if it does taste good.

Shouldn't you be out selling some girl scout cookies at you office or something.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 2:04 PM

Judith

Since you have spent much of the day recommending that others change their anatomy, I have a suggestion for you. Pick any one or more of the following three. 1.grow up, 2. stop being gratuitously crude, or 3. be more precise with your annoyance.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:04 PM

"Why do Americans see it as largely indecent but other parts of the world just see it as a bared breast being employed for its natural purpose?"


I like to think of it as:
Why is breastfeeding sexualized in the US and not in other parts of the world? It's not like a woman undresses completely when she's feeding her baby or engages in sexual activity. Maybe American's adversion to public breastfeeding says alot about our culture...That we live in a hypersexualized culture in which even non-sexual acts have become sexualized.

Posted by: to llb | February 7, 2007 2:04 PM

ODE to an astronaut

There once was a girl who flew in space
her life was a led at a good pace
she went crazy one day
wore a diaper for a day
now she is wanted for murder, disgrace!

Ouch, my head hurts I am trying too hard.

Posted by: CMAC | February 7, 2007 2:06 PM

"I know the commercials and media objectify breasts and women, and I have no objection to Pittypat's call to stop this."

No, no, Arlington Dad. I'm not calling for a ban on sexualized breasts. Don't really care either way.

I'm just saying that people (mostly women) who complain about breast sexualization and its impact on our society's acceptance of breastfeeding need to take a careful look at why things are like they are and to get busy doing some of the practical actions that could change this.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:07 PM

Missicat, I enjoyed Latin, too (OK, not Caesar's Gallic Wars, but the rest of it). In other classes in junior high and high school I sometimes passed notes in Latin with a friend, so that the other kids -- and even teachers, in case we got caught! -- couldn't read what we were saying.

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 2:07 PM

"That we live in a hypersexualized culture in which even non-sexual acts have become sexualized. "

Amen - how about those ghastly Bratz dolls that look like hookers? Honestly who buys those for a 6 year old? Although I guess the astronaut doll is out now too. Do they make a Condoleeza Rice, Madeline Albright doll collection complete with briefcases and foregin policy briefings? haha

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 2:08 PM

Clarification for anyone who cares: I was not paid to speak at Wednesday Morning Group, no one (including me) knew I'd be writing about the event, and Politics & Prose bookstore sold Mommy Wars afterwards, not me!

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 2:08 PM

"I am a black American woman who does not understand why so many people prefer to adopt children overseas rather than black children in the U.S. Couples..."

Look at the statement from (I believe) the Black Social Workers Assn of the U.S. You can find it on the internet

Posted by: the original anon | February 7, 2007 2:09 PM

"loss of some muscle control during loss, etc.)."

Oops. That should have been "during liftoff."

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:09 PM

Perhaps Judith likes it both ways
Or balls or cl*ts on different days
Whatever part you are growing
Make sure that it is not showing;
Unless it is breasts, they're okays.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:10 PM

moxiemom I hate the bratz dolls. I am not buying them for my daughter no matter what.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 2:10 PM

Chris - Bravo!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 2:11 PM

I am saddened by the number of comments that seem to suggest that a mother breastfeeding her baby on a park bench or in a mall is equivalent to relieving oneself in public. But I guess one would be revolted by the sight of a mother feeding her child if they believed breastfeeding was similar to elimination and only to be done in private. As I said, sad.

Posted by: Saddened | February 7, 2007 2:11 PM

cmac, stop rhyming day with day, it is, forgive me, quite gay.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:11 PM

Yes, astronauts wear diapers during takeoff and landing.

She was following her training.

(No word on whether she was trained to use the hunting knife and the rubber tubing.)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:12 PM

Nice to hear scarry - sometimes I feel like the only mom who bans them. I'm just waiting for the Bratz valentines, hope they don't come with an STD - or maybe they could couple the valentines with Gardasil.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 2:12 PM


foamgnome ---

I'm so sorry to hear that you're running into roadblocks. Are they thinking that your adopted child would have to shoulder financial or caregiving responsibility for your oldest as an adult? Or that you are too overstretched meeting your oldest's special needs to find time/energy to attend to another?

Do you think there's any chance of dealing with the concerns rationally, of finding out the issues and addressing them? Or is just having your child labeled delayed/special needs enough to have barriers thrown up? I'm thinking that concerns that arise out of experience/perceptions from more extreme cases are causing the balking, but that given the chance you could address them (or you wouldn't in fact be trying this).

It might be helpful to find other parents of kids with delays like your dd's, and see what experiences they've had with attempted adoption . . . seems a long shot but the internet allows you to find narrow slices of the population with experiences very close to yours . . . maybe some would know more hospitable avenues . . .

I hope you find some constructive ideas. And, yes, if adoption is turning out to have probabilities and prognoses very different than you had assumed, it's probability worthwhile to revisit the whole question of adopt/try-to-conceive and rebalance your calculus, to find the option that offers best risk/reward balance for the family you want to build . . .

The idea of having to submit to someone else's arbitrary, possibly misguided or discriminatory, gatekeeping on how you configure your life to add a child is definitely one of the downsides of adoption.

I'm so sorry, it must be so incredibly hurtful to be essentially told, because of the person your daughter is (the daughter you love!), your household is not good enough . . . obviously you feel that becoming her sibling would bring so much more positive than negative . . . and most of us don't have to audition for the role of sibling!

Posted by: KB | February 7, 2007 2:14 PM

To Denk: We specifically wanted to adopt from Viet Nam because I am Vietnamese and was adopted from VN in the early 1970s. I felt I could share not only my adoption experience with a the child but my heritage as well. I can't speak for why native born Americans prefer to go abroad.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 2:14 PM

Saddened, I was not attempting to equate the two, merely show that certain actions are not meant for board meetings. If you want to feed on the park bench, that is wonderful and I meant no offense. However, some things should not detract from the work environment.

Bratz are bad, but that talking sponge is even more hideous. geez!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:14 PM

moxiemom--LOL

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 2:15 PM

"Also, as someone who was actually THERE when the woman breastfed at the podium, I can attest she was the epitome of class. No skin exposed, not a shred of exhibitionism."

Leslie,

I think that the exhibitionism wasn't in whether or not her breast was visible but, rather, the fact that she chose to make a very strong and personal statement in a public setting.

The flesh isn't the issue. It's the message. For my money, THAT was the exhibitionist part of the whole thing.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:15 PM

Fred - isn't that supposed to be "meum"? Not sure - just checking!

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:16 PM

I'm just saying that people (mostly women) who complain about breast sexualization and its impact on our society's acceptance of breastfeeding need to take a careful look at why things are like they are and to get busy doing some of the practical actions that could change this.

---

Gotcha. Don't show all that cleavage and get offened if some sneaks a peek? Don't go out for wings at Hooters and expect your nursing to go unnoticed?

BTW, most mothers I know can nurse without ever exposing a breast when the situation calls for it. Discretion is a skill.

Posted by: Arington Dad | February 7, 2007 2:17 PM

I love the word "boob." Makes me smile when used both to refer to a breast or a dope.

But my apologies to those of you who don't like that I used it! I know it's a quirky word and not the professional term. I just find "breast" too clinical. Sorry!

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 2:17 PM

Chris you should be afraid of the Sponge. My ds (6) had not watched it ever and when we were in Italy they had Nick Austria so I let him watch it in German. Even though he knows not one word of German - he loved it and sang "SpongeBob SchwammKopf" theme song the rest of the trip. I think there must be crack in the airwaves.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 2:19 PM

"Fred - isn't that supposed to be "meum"? Not sure - just checking!"

Probably, like I said it has been XXXVII annus.

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:21 PM

Leslie, the word you used is fine for most people.

I really think that as long as people stay away from George Carlin's 7 dirty words, plus the N word, that's really all you can ask for on a blog.

There is no accounting for a judith shoulting "cl!t" in a crowded room.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:21 PM

"one of those annoying mothers whose darling can't do anything wrong and simply MUST win the GS Cookie sales contest at any cost."

Do y'all remember the "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode about selling GS cookies?

It was hilarious.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:21 PM

well the bratz dolls are rarely dressed in pink, so they're on our families "acceptable" list. hee hee.

Denk, As I understand it (and my info could be outdated), the policy in most states is that the social workers will not place a child of color in a two-caucasian parent household because they believe it is not in the best interests of the African-American child. Many Caucasian families have tried to fight this battle, but ultimately, they have no choice but to live with the policy decisions of the agencies in their geographic areas. In some states, trans-racial adoption is permitted.

In addition, foreign adoptions are final. That birth mother is not going to disrupt your family when your child turns 4. The move to open adoption which exploded approx. 25 (?) years ago made domestic adoptions a risky proposition. It seems as if no adoption is ever really past challenging in the US, and the lack of finality has discouraged many families from adopting here. Without taking sides, if you've followed the Alison Quets incident involving a North Carolina birth mother and a Florida adoptive family, I think you can appreciate that a family seeks the same permanence in adoption that other families have when they expand their families through childbirth.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 2:22 PM

I read the blog differently when it came to the workplace - I thought in the context of an event that was (probably) about finding flexible and innovative ways to participate in the workforce as mothers that something like that would be a powerful statement - but not necessarily a model of what COMMON business practices should be.

For BFing in public - I did, attending booksignings and lectures and things and thank god. I think it's extremely helpful to new mums to make it easy for them to continue to participate in their communities even while nursing a small babe.

It can also help them keep up in their field. I mean there are only so many trips one can make to places like Toys 'R' us (where there are nursing rooms) until one's head explodes. :-)

Posted by: Shandra | February 7, 2007 2:22 PM

Wow, people have been quite prolific on this blog since I last checked in.

Leslie -- another topic idea. I'd like to hear from anyone how they balance their child's exposure to our culture which seems to want every kid to grow up way too quickly. The mention of those horrible Bratz dolls brought this to mind.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 2:22 PM

Oh! ubi, Oh ubi est meim sub ubi?

Where oh where is my underwear? :-)

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:24 PM

Pittypat,

I saw that episode and laughed my butt off! However, you know those mothers are out there, I just hope I never have to associate with one.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 2:25 PM

"I love the word "boob." Makes me smile when used both to refer to a breast or a dope.

But my apologies to those of you who don't like that I used it! I know it's a quirky word and not the professional term. I just find "breast" too clinical. Sorry!

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 02:17 PM "
Well, Leslie,

As my wife's Fredia's van was the Boobiemobile (complete with flashing pink light) and the current SUV is the Quad-B (Bright Blue Boobie Mobile), and the AF Daughter's SUV exactly like her mom's car named the Boobie Twin, I have no problem with the word.


Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:26 PM

Leslie, I wonder what the reaction would have been if you wrote hooters. Perhaps not as PC, but certainly worth the shock value, no? :) While I may disagree and poke at it with breast in cheek humor...ahem...tongue in cheek... it was quite informative. The sexualization of everything may be something worth examining though.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:26 PM

Oh, and here's my contribution to the Latin subdiscussion happening:

Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 2:27 PM

"Why do Americans see it as largely indecent but other parts of the world just see it as a bared breast being employed for its natural purpose?"

I take that back. Actually, there are places in the US where public breastfeeding is accepted and actually worshipped.

In a church--the house of moral authority to so many Americans. I went to mass and actually saw a beautiful non-sexual display of a woman breastfeeding her child. Though it was the portrait of the Madonna. Was Mary an exhibitionist? Come to think of it, it can be seen in several works of art.

Posted by: llb | February 7, 2007 2:27 PM

PS- What is it with everyone saying BF??? Not to be rude, but you know what that stands for RIGHT??? Certainly not something that should be done in public.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:29 PM

Mary isn't worshipped. Venerated, yes. Not worshipped. Not even for Catholics.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:31 PM

to KB: My guess is they think we have our hands full with our daughter. Or that they think there are better siblings available to an adopted child then our daughter. But it is totally not the case that our adopted child will need to fund our older daughter. My daughter may or may not go to college. We have no idea yet. But she is still fully capable of living a productive life. There is nothing to say she won't go to college right now. We just don't know. Not to mention 60% of the adult population did not go to college and they still live happy normal lives. I think maybe we will rethink a lot of our options.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 2:32 PM

cmac, stop rhyming day with day, it is, forgive me, quite gay.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 02:11 PM

Good Lord, I didn't even realize the double day error.

I love that you used the word gay though, it has been lost in our language due to political correctness. As in:

I feel light, I feel gay
Like a kite in mid sway
Please tell me I am dreaming
this blog's go awry
Ole!

Posted by: CMAC | February 7, 2007 2:32 PM

"Where oh where is my underwear?"

Actual literal translations is "Oh where, oh where is my under where?"

For those of you fortunate enough never to have a ruler cracked over your knuckles:
"semper ubi sub ubi"

Always where under where!

A bit of word play wear/where.

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:32 PM

"Clarification for anyone who cares: I was not paid to speak at Wednesday Morning Group, no one (including me) knew I'd be writing about the event, and Politics & Prose bookstore sold Mommy Wars afterwards, not me!"

I think we managed to flap Leslie's normally unflappable demeanor today. :>)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:32 PM

moxiemom, LOL, "SpongeBob SchwammKopf" is going to be going through my mind for the rest of the day, and it's all your fault!

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 2:33 PM

"That doesn't follow. Hugging is one of the ways we show affection to a child. Intercourse is one of the ways we show affection to a spouse. But it would be a fallacy to argue that since it's appropriate to show hug a child in public that it's appropriate to have intercourse with a spouse in public."

Snort. Are you being intentionally stupid, or are you just really bad with analogies? The better analogy would be that hugging is one way that we show affection to others in public, therefore, it is fine to also hug a child in public. Sexual intercouse, on the other hand, is never done in public. Hugging and intercouse are not the same thing!!!!

Posted by: Emily | February 7, 2007 2:34 PM

I whole heartedly support the American Girls and the Maplelea dolls for healthy alternatives to the Bratz type dolls.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 2:34 PM

I love the yellow sponge! His songs are very clever.

Posted by: experienced mom | February 7, 2007 2:35 PM

"Don't go out for wings at Hooters and expect your nursing to go unnoticed?"

Exactly!

Thanks, Arlington Dad.

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:35 PM

Chris --

We are white, upper-middle-class, married with kids, folks who live in the suburbs and drive SUVs. BF means "breastfeeding" and nothing else to us.

Posted by: to Chris | February 7, 2007 2:36 PM

Chris --

We are white, upper-middle-class, married with kids, folks who live in the suburbs and drive SUVs. BF means "breastfeeding" and nothing else to us.

I don't know what Chris means but I don't know what you mean either.


Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 2:38 PM

There's more excitement right now over at Michael Dirda's book chat.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:39 PM

"the current SUV is the Quad-B (Bright Blue Boobie Mobile)"

Fred --

If you're going to use "Quad-B," would that have to be "Big Bright Blue Boobie Mobile"?

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 2:39 PM

Would it be a more popular restaurant if they called it "boobs"?

The girls could have their restaurant across the street called "Peters".

Posted by: Hooters | February 7, 2007 2:40 PM

Who Cares, Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? the big bad wolf? the bid bad wolf?

good luck filtering.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:40 PM

I'm with scarry on this one... I'm not sure what either one means although my imagination is running wild with Chris'...

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 2:43 PM

Oh, and here's my contribution to the Latin subdiscussion happening:

Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 02:27 PM

Okay, need help with this - something the smallest baby bringing the biggest treasure? Help!

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:44 PM

I mis-typed Bright Blue Boobie Buggy

My Latin is too rusty, pls translate:
"Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit"

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:44 PM

don't know what Chris means but I don't know what you mean either.


Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 02:38 PM

Believe me, scarry, you don't want to..

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:45 PM

When my son was breastfeeding, I used to refer to my breasts as boobies. I would ask him if he wanted to nurse by saying something along the lines of "Do you want some boobie?" Initially, it was a private thing, since he was an infant and could not talk. It turns out that his first word was boobie. Afterwards, when he was speaking a little more, he had no qualms about announcing loudly that he wanted boobie. At first, it was embarrassing, but after a while, I got over it. In our family, for the first four years of my son's life, the boobie was a sacred and cherished word.

Posted by: Emily | February 7, 2007 2:45 PM


foamgnome,

I wasn't so much asking whether your daughter *would* need funding/caregiving as an adult, as whether that might be their concern. It sounded from your description that you have thought through all the reasonable concerns before taking on the responsibility of another child . . . again just investigating if there's any benefit to sussing out the underlying concerns and addressing them directly, or whether the judgment is purely bureaucratic and no case you could make would matter . . . you shouldn't have to be a mind-reader *but* the stakes for you are so high . . . .

I'm very sorry though that you're going through this. There's nothing like having your child rejected, and in a way that so impacts the life you want to build!

It's not like the child you'd adopt is perfect either . . . you'd think they could be made to see the value in parents who are meeting needs beyond the norm for one child, and are still ready to open their hearts for more of the uncertain neediness that comes with a second . . .

Posted by: KB | February 7, 2007 2:45 PM

Foamgnome,

Thanks for clearing that up. I can totally understand your reasons. I suppose I was thinking about people who don't have specific ethnic or cultural ties to other countries who then complain about the long waiting periods or expense involved in overseas adoption.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 2:46 PM

Emily, it is sometimes done in public. It may not be legal, but it is still done, so do not say never. :P

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:46 PM

Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit

From the smallest child comes the greatest reward?

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:47 PM

SpongeBob SchwammKopf - Wasn't he a General in the Gulf war?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:48 PM

Fred - don't copy off of me! ;-)

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:48 PM

What? Someone is using my name and talking to me? Was that intentional or did they make a noob mistake?

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:49 PM

Mary isn't worshipped. Venerated, yes. Not worshipped. Not even for Catholics.

Posted by: | February 7, 2007 02:31 PM

But Christ is, right? Did they have formula back then?

Anyways, I guess the point I was making is that public breastfeeding in this context is seen as nonsexual and the portrait as not indecent even though a breast is being publically exposed.

Breasts are not "naturally" sex objects, and that 'breast-mouth' contact here is not sexually charged. So here are places in US outside the idea that breasts are only sexual organs for men (or woman). Rather, their primary biological function is for feeding children too.

Posted by: llb | February 7, 2007 2:50 PM

I'll have to double check but I'm pretty sure it means something like

Little added to little becomes a great heap.

I thought it was appropriate for a blog, especially this one some days!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 2:51 PM

Congrats Emily, you are perpetuating the sexualization of women by raising a healthy young man who will always want boobie. Nothing wrong with that. LOL!

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 2:51 PM

In my view, NC lawyer gets it just about right. International adoption is forever. Difficult, yes. But forever.

Posted by: Adoptive Mom | February 7, 2007 2:52 PM

Missicat,

Not copying, simultaneous reinvention. Pls don't call me Felix.

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:52 PM

When people first starting using BF for breastfeeding (32 BF topics ago) my mind went to the gutter.

Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 2:52 PM

Found it! Apparently it's a thing of Ovid's. My Latin teacher in high school had a sign in the classroom:

Add a little to a little and there will be a great heap.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | February 7, 2007 2:53 PM

"do GS let lesbiens be troop leaders?"

Don't know about that, but I'm sure that they have no problem with lesbian troop leaders.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:55 PM

KB: We felt the same way. Obviously we love and cheris the child we already have. Even if she is not perfect in their eyes. And clearly we have done everything appropriate for her in the mean time. If nothing else, if the adopted child had any developmental delays, we would already know the system. It isn't like DDs delays takes an enormous amount of time. There were a lot of Drs visits and evaluations last year but she has not needed any more time then the normal sick leave alloted each worker. I think they are just thinking, family with a less then perfect family versus a family of no children or all healthy kids. I could see if DD was retarded or severly handicapped. That just isn't the case. I am also just sort of defensive because it is my kid. And of course we think she is awesome. Just like every other parent thinks about their kid. Denk-no problem. I think NCLawyer explains why some native American born people choose to adopt outside the US.

Posted by: foamgnome | February 7, 2007 2:55 PM

Did Judith lose her balls and leave the blog?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:55 PM

"I'll have to double check but I'm pretty sure it means something like

Little added to little becomes a great heap."

Yea, I did also get something along those lines! See what happens when Sister Thaddeus is not around anymore!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:55 PM

WorkingMomX - thanks - for some reason I was thinking "parvum" was "little baby"...
Guess I need a refresher course.

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:55 PM

Chris: Thanks for bringing up the initial abbreviations in some of these posts. It took me a long time to figure out what some of them mean: DD, DH, FIL, DS, MIL, POV, SAHM, WOHM, BF for boyfriend, BF for breastfeeding, and your version of BF. Very funny!

As for some of these opinions, IMHO, you can KMA.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 2:56 PM

Balls still here!

BTW, I DO like it both ways - how'd you know?

Posted by: Judith | February 7, 2007 2:57 PM


How about:

Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 2:58 PM

NC lawyer,

I hadn't been aware of the Quets case before today. I think you made a valid point. Many times black people think racism causes people to adopt overseas rather than at home but it's not the kind of thing you can really ask a white friend about openly. Thanks for your honesty.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 2:58 PM

Missicat,

GIGO!

Did you catch my sly remark about Felix?

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 2:59 PM

Balls still here!

BTW, I DO like it both ways - how'd you know?

So classy and to think you are in charge of little girls.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:00 PM

Missicat: "Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum" = GIGO

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 3:00 PM

Very good Fred!!!
Sorry a bit slow today....Felix?

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 3:01 PM

Denk,

I will find the statement of Black Socials Workers for you later, in case you were not able to locate it.

Posted by: the original anon | February 7, 2007 3:01 PM

ok i know i'm late to the game and i didn't read all the posts so forgive me if this was re-hashed somewhere already, but i read an early comment that said "everyone has a right to eat when they're hungry" and i almost fell out of my chair.

i dont get to eat when i'm hungry because i'm usually have to plan around meetings or whatever else i'm required to do for my job. are my rights being violated? and if so, what about people who can't afford to eat when they're hungry? should they be demanding food from somewhere (government i suppose) everytime they feel like a snack?

i'm probably overreacting but i found the statement ludicrous and detrimental to the legitimate debate about breastfeeding - no one has a right to eat when they're hungry, but i would hope that we all be so lucky as to be able to do so most of the time.

Posted by: ffx | February 7, 2007 3:01 PM

all the acronyms are confusing... does the D in DH, DD, DS mean dear, darling, doddering, dopey, drooling, dorky...?

Posted by: s | February 7, 2007 3:01 PM

Felix=cat, like in don't be a copy cat!

Ha! Ha!

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 3:02 PM

Don't forget my all-time fave, "Illegitimi Non Carborundum"!

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 3:03 PM

Did Judith lose her balls and leave the blog?

Posted by: | February 7, 2007 02:55 PM

she's off watching Hogan's Heroes, hoping to get her some SpongeBob SchwammKopf.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:04 PM

Chris - Love the "hooter" substitution idea instead of "boob." That would have been really funny. Wish I'd thought of it...

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 3:05 PM

"Chris - Love the "hooter" substitution idea instead of "boob." That would have been really funny. Wish I'd thought of it..."

I guess I will have to rename my wife and daughter's cars. sniff! sniff!


Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 3:07 PM

Stercus accidit! :-)

Fred - I get it! Cute...

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 3:08 PM

Don't forget my all-time fave, "Illegitimi Non Carborundum"!

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 03:03 PM

OK, that one I remember - don't let the b****rds get you down.

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 3:10 PM

"Don't know about that, but I'm sure that they have no problem with lesbian troop leaders"
Posted by: | February 7, 2007 02:55 PM

Thanks for pointing out my error - that was so awesome of you! Can you follow me around and point out the width of my hips to people too! SUPER

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 3:12 PM

(1) "stopping unnecessary out-of-home placements;
(2) reunification of children with parents;
(3) placing children of African ancestry with relatives or unrelated families of the same face and culture for
adoption;.
(4) addressing the barriers that prevent or discourage persons of African ancestry from adopting;
(5) promoting culturally relevant agency practices; and,
(6) emphasizing that "transracial adoption of an African American child should only be considered after
documented evidence of unsuccessful same race placements has been reviewed and supported by
appropriate representatives of the African American community" (NABSW, 1994, p. 4).


According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services {2002}, as of September 2001 over 556,000 children are in foster care and over 40 percent of these children are of African ancestry. Children are more likely to be removed due to neglect than abuse. This suggests that child removal and class considerations, such as poverty, poor housing, and lack of access to health insurance, are key to understanding why some children are removed from the home and others are not (Lewit, Terman & Behrman, 1997).


Unbelievable.

Can we say RACIST???

Posted by: From the Black Social Workers Assn | February 7, 2007 3:14 PM

"Can we say RACIST???"


to From the Black Social Workers Assn, Yes, we can. You are racist.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:18 PM

Who's racist???

I am advocating that black children be placed in a home REGARDLESS of skin color. I do not discriminate based on race.

This assn CLEARLY does- despite teh best interests of the kids that need a home.

Yes, this is "reverse" racism at its best.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:22 PM

This is officially the last Leslie blog topic I read. SO inane. You know why people think new mothers are completely annoying? Because they are. Newsflash -- the world does not revolve around you and your kid's feeding schedule. It would be great if these women would disappear from society until their kids were in school. Btw, would Leslie be clapping so loudly if the woman had been bottlefeeding at the podium?

Posted by: Washington, D.C. | February 7, 2007 3:22 PM

it must be about time for CA Mom to join us and express horror and dismay at the latin jokes.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 3:23 PM

A friend of mine tried to adopt a little black boy with her husband a few years ago. They were told there was no hope, even though this child desperately needed a home, because they were both white. It was heartbreaking. Attempts at negotiation/argument were met with stonewalling and comments like "We're not going to give one of our own to one of you". I am not kidding.

It is just heartbreaking.

Posted by: AnonNow | February 7, 2007 3:23 PM

Don't remember who predicted this one going over 300 comments but I knew they were right. Children do not belong at work - period. I don't care where else you breastfeed but not in the office please - we've all got work to do.

Posted by: dc fem | February 7, 2007 3:23 PM

Might happen, but probably shouldn't. Not because I am against breastfeeding, but because I don't think kids belong in the workplace. Would be just as unprofessional to wheel a high chair up there and try to get the 2-year-old to eat her strained peas while trying to flip through your powerpoint presentation. If I'm in the audience, I am now questioning your priorities. Feed the kid when you're not on stage.

Posted by: Casey | February 7, 2007 3:27 PM

The Original Anon,

Whoa! The 1972 BSWA statement horrified me. I looked at their current position and was outraged to discover that in milder language they still support the old one. The most chilling sentence for me was: "People of African ancestry have distinct traits and characteristics that are important to raising healthy children of African ancestry."

I am black but my daughter has blonde hair, blue eyes and skin as white as her father's skin. I have gotten used to being asked if I am my daughter's nanny. But we were devastated recently when I was taken to the emergency room and the first thing a guard asked my husband was "Is that your baby or hers?"

Groups like the Black Social Workers Association contribute to the problem by obsessively emphasizing ethnicity. In adoption the best interests of the child should be paramount. Race should be irrelevant.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 3:27 PM

"Don't know about that, but I'm sure that they have no problem with lesbian troop leaders"
Posted by: | February 7, 2007 02:55 PM

"Thanks for pointing out my error - that was so awesome of you! Can you follow me around and point out the width of my hips to people too! SUPER"

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 03:12

This is one of the best comebacks I've ever seen. I'm still laughing. Bravo (or "brava" for the language police out there), moxiemom!

Posted by: Leigh | February 7, 2007 3:28 PM

BTW, The hospital guard was black.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 3:29 PM

2:56, STFU.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:29 PM

I agree with other posters who noted that those who get so angry about breastfeeding are just lazy, "formula-using b/c I dump my kids in daycare" parents who are threatened by the fact that those who are breast feeding and actually rasing their own kids are better mothers than the others. Mothers who make their kids a priority by staying home and raising them and breast-feeding them are better mothers. Period. Get over it, that's the fact, medical studies prove it.
If you're not going to nuture and raise your kids yourself then DON"T HAVE THEM!

Posted by: another real mom | February 7, 2007 3:31 PM

wow another real mom needs some needs a time out.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 3:33 PM

The Girl Scouts are a much more open organization than the Boy Scouts. Many leaders and camp counselors are openly gay. We were all wondering what would happen after the Supreme Court decision in favor of the Boy Scouts' discrimination a few years, but so far, nothing. Not sure why that is.

Also, I am in no way affiliated with Newsweek but a friend sent this and it's a wonderful clip.


Visit www.newsweek.com to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker read her introduction from The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival and Hope written by Zainab Salbi, Founder and President of Women for Women International, and edited by Laurie Becklund.

Her reading is accompanied by a slideshow of photos from the book taken by award-winning photographers Susan Meiseles, Sylvia Plachy and Lekha Singh.

Posted by: Two Things | February 7, 2007 3:35 PM

Are fathers who stay at home to raise their kids better fathers than those who work to put food on the table?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:35 PM

Yeah, maybe that STFU should be re-directed.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:36 PM

"Yes, this is "reverse" racism at its best."

I agree with the basic premise that color shouldn't be the determining factor in placing a child for adoption. Yes, it's more important to get the child into a loving, permanent family.

I do wonder, though. Would you be equally ok with a white baby going into a black home? Any reason why this equation shouldn't work in reverse?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:37 PM

Another Real Mom,

I'm at home with my daughter but not breastfeeding. Does that put me somewhere in the middle in terms of mothering quality?

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 3:38 PM

wow another real mom needs some needs a time out.

sorry, it should have said she needs a time out.

The adoption thing is heart breaking. I was looking at some adoption sites and many of them flat out say that they want the kids to go to African American homes.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 3:39 PM

"So, some folks feel uncomfortable. So what? Some folks still feel uncomfortable seeing mixed-race couples holding hands. Are we to pander to such bigotry? I've never based my behavior on what might possibly make somebody uncomfortable."

I'll remember that the next time I feel like dry humping on the dance floor with my husband at a wedding reception in front of your 90-year-old aunt, or maybe grab his package in front of your children. Who cares if you're offended? Sex is a natural part of life!

Commen courtesy obviously not occur to nursing mothers. Luckily, it occurs to the rest of us so that you are not told to cover yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:39 PM

Of course I'd be ok if a white baby were placed into a black family. A loving capable family is a loving capable and willing family no matter how you cut it!

I'm just shocked that this attitude pervades the black community. Dent- I am so sorry for what you went through! It must be hard.

Why should 300,000 kids go through not having a family because of racial barriers? We are not going to fix these social problems inthe black community overnight- this association is making the poor kids of TODAY into a social statement.

Posted by: sickened | February 7, 2007 3:41 PM

scarry- another real mom sounds as if she probably needs some too hahaha

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:44 PM

off topic alert-and only because it is time for cal girl/mom whatever to bemoan how she has an answer but we aren't talking about 'it' anymore...

nc lawyer, kb (and anyone else interested): watching the game tonight?

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 3:46 PM

well, I didn't say that but since you brought it up, probably.

I have no problem with black, asian, indian, white, green people adopting any kind of children. A kid is a kid. I could take your kid and teach them about Irish history someone could take mine and teach her about black history.

I mean what are the real motives behind wanting to match up kids by color?

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 3:46 PM

To another real mom -
You need to take a deep breath.

And by the way, not all nursing mothers are stay at home moms. I nursed my son for 4 years while working full time. There are lots of working mothers out there who nurse their children. Get a grip.

Posted by: Emily | February 7, 2007 3:46 PM

Whoa, there "sickened."

Just because you read a statement from a special interest group advertising a concern for black people does not mean "this attitude pervades the black community".

I know they don't speak for me.

So unless you can produce a stat where some statistically significant number of black people were interviewed and the response came back "we'd rather leave them in the orphanage", then please focus your outrage on that special interest group. Thanks.

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 3:47 PM

Another Mom, you've got delusions of grandeur if you think that you've got to give up everything when you have a child. I feel sorry for you, I feel sorry for your husband, but mostly, I feel sorry for your children.

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 3:47 PM

we talk about fostering strong communities so much, but i think we have forgotten about fostering strong families so I do agree with another real mom that kids should be raised by their parents. Seems like we have lost the focus on fostering and supporting families first and then having that family be a part of a strong community. Ties in with some of the adoption talk etc., if there were more "healthy" families, ie; traditional (and no traditional is not a four letter word to me so all of you NOVA/DC liberals should just calm down:-) families where there was a dedicated stay at home parent commited to raising them kids I think we would a lot healthier, more, secure stable environment. Kids need stability. Daycares with their constantly revolving staff and patrons do not provide that. Notice I did not say which gender or ethnicity should be staying home, I am not making a judgement on that I am just saying I truly truly believe at least one parent should be home with their children.

Posted by: family time | February 7, 2007 3:48 PM

Is that the North Carolina vs. Duke game?

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 3:48 PM

Wow a community that makes up 10% of the population accounts for 40% of foster/adoptee kids??

And they won't let the other 90% adopt those kids?

Nice to see that the leaders in the black community are dividing us even more now. If you separate yourselves, how do you expect equality? Do these Associations want to create a separate (but equal, of course) society apart from hispanics, whites, middle easterners, and asians?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:49 PM

Hey, family time, what if there's only one parent? Then what? Does everyone move to a shack so that the kids can be raised by their only parent, no water, no electricity, but it's okay because they're all going through it together?

Posted by: Righto | February 7, 2007 3:50 PM

and misscat takes the prize! a light blue, not sage green, doodad.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 3:52 PM

Wooo! I love all these comments. And I loved this post.

Posted by: "keeping it real" mom | February 7, 2007 3:53 PM

to family time--

Do you really not know any strong, stable families where both parents work? Or where the kids are in daycare? I just don't understand why people hold this "belief" so strongly when there are tons and tons of happy, stable, secure families with 2 working parents. (And, I'm sure, plenty of messed up familes with a SAHP.) I don't think this is an evidence-based belief. So why do you believe it so strongly? Seriously, I'm genuinely asking here.

Posted by: Arlmom | February 7, 2007 3:53 PM

I like electricity. Electricity is good!

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 3:54 PM

"I'm just shocked that this attitude pervades the black community."

It is pretty hard to understand.

I wonder if it has something to do with black social welfare agencies being embarrassed that they can't find more black families willing to adopt "their own"?

Even so, their response is completely irresponsible. Those kids want to be in a family that's theirs and be loved for who they are. Keeping them warehoused in foster care just because not enough blacks want to adopt them is criminal.

I'm also appalled at the statement "People of African ancestry have distinct traits and characteristics that are important to raising healthy children of African ancestry."

Isn't the whole "distinct traits and characteristics" thing one of those racial stereotyping weasel-phrases that justifies certain aspects of "separate but equal" in the eyes of those who see inferiority in all races save caucasian?

That a black social welfare agency would use those words is incomprehensible to me.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:54 PM

WDC, I'll state the rationale very simply: Anything that is covered by casual, gender-specific clothing (shorts, shirts) is something that is private and should not be publicly displayed. Please breastfeed if you are covering yourself. If you really want to buck the system, join a nudist colony and start a grassroots movement. Until then, please stop railing against societal norms. They are there and will not change because it will be convenient for a big percentagge of half the population for about 2 years out of their lives.

Posted by: Meesh | February 7, 2007 3:54 PM

I have to agree with Proud Papa. I don't think the Association of Black Social Workers is viewed as a leading association within the black community. As I said, they don't represent my views.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 3:54 PM

The arrogance and self-righteousness on this board are unreal and this will be the last time I read this blog. Sorry Leslie, I'm so done with most of these topics and hope that I can keep things in better perspective should I ever have a child. I'm a professional woman who believes in firm lines between work and family. I have no problem with kids--just keep them out of the office during working hours.
"Mothers who make their kids a priority by staying home and raising them and breast-feeding them are better mothers."
Excuse me, but both my parents, like many others, HAD TO WORK to put food on the table. Is motherhood now only reserved for the privileged who can afford to stay home? In addition, my Mom was unable to breastfeed for physical reasons that she could do nothing about. I'm 33 years old and have not had a serious health issue in my life, am emotionally well adjusted, and remain close to both parents, who successfully raised two independent, critical thinkers. If you ask me, someone else needs to GET OVER IT.

Posted by: dorami32 | February 7, 2007 3:55 PM

Thanks - I have always wanted a light blue doodad! My dreams have come true...

*tears up*

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 3:55 PM

How about this:
whether you BF or not, your kids will still hate you when they are teens.

and if they find out you Bfed them publicly .....

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:55 PM

I agree with you"keeping it real mom" these comments are quite interesting, a lot of angry, riled-up ppl out there who think only their way is the right way and will not concede common ground anywhere. but its good that ppl have a safe place to vent, hope everyone can continue to keep it in perspective and not get presonal though.

Posted by: easygoing | February 7, 2007 3:56 PM

"So unless you can produce a stat where some statistically significant number of black people were interviewed and the response came back "we'd rather leave them in the orphanage", then please focus your outrage on that special interest group. Thanks."

But, Proud Papa, how else to account for the stats? So many black kids in foster care not getting adopted. Why is this?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:57 PM

In my family we weren't even allowed to speak the name of the team UNC is going to beat tonight. "Duck", "the Blue Diddles", "Fluke" = all acceptable. If at gunpoint someone forced me to write the word, I wouldn't capitalize it.

Posted by: no d-ke for u | February 7, 2007 3:58 PM

i gotta ask, not trying to stir thing up but, like one poster said why have kids if you arent going to raise them? bc dont u then miss out on what makes them kids bc you arent there to see it?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 3:58 PM

"The Girl Scouts are a much more open organization than the Boy Scouts. Many leaders and camp counselors are openly gay. We were all wondering what would happen after the Supreme Court decision in favor of the Boy Scouts' discrimination a few years, but so far, nothing. Not sure why that is."

I know why it is. Women are MUCH less homophobic than men. Kind of like Chris feeling the need to pee in public every time he sees a breast.

Posted by: to Two Things | February 7, 2007 4:00 PM

That's why I love college basketball - the fans are sooooo into their teams.

Go Terps!

Posted by: Missicat | February 7, 2007 4:00 PM

dorami you dont sound too well adjusted, you sound like you are pretty sensitive to other posters comments and took them pretty personally and got annnnngrrryyyy and self-righteous....

Posted by: to do | February 7, 2007 4:01 PM

dorami you dont sound too well adjusted, you sound like you are pretty sensitive to other posters comments and took them pretty personally and got annnnngrrryyyy and self-righteous....

You did the same thing! How did you know she was talking to you.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 4:02 PM

"whether you BF or not, your kids will still hate you when they are teens."

especially if you drive cross country in a diaper and try to kill someone.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 4:07 PM

thanks for lightening things up moxiemom!! that was pretty funny

Posted by: haha | February 7, 2007 4:09 PM

What a nut. And it turns out she's from Rockville. Was valedictorian at Woodward High.

Posted by: Emily | February 7, 2007 4:25 PM

3:49, 3:54 and 3:57-

Any response I give you in this email will be mine alone. I do not profess to speak for the black community and I can tell you CONCLUSIVELY that the Association of Black Social Workers does not speak for the black community either. Presumably, they express the opinion of their board and/or membership.

3:57, I am in no way qualified to tell you why there are so many unadopted black children (nor do I know for sure that black children are dispraportionately represented in foster homes and orphanages and if so, what the cause is). But it is wrong to assume a linkage of those facts (if they are facts) to the misguided opinions of the black social workers group.

Further, 3:49's statement of: "Nice to see that the leaders in the black community are dividing us even more now. If you separate yourselves, how do you expect equality?" is about the stupidest thing I've read on this blog in awhile.

Exactly what black leaders? Exactly what "us" is being divided? And exactly who gets to control 'equality'? Do you get to deny me 'equality' if you perceive something inflamatory to come out of the mouth of a black leader? Really? How nasty and buffoonish a statement.

3:54, If asked to speculate, I would wonder whether the large numbers of black children available for adoption (if such a thing exists...I have not seen the raw numbers) exceeds the number of "black families" (your term) who feel emotionally/financially stable enough to adopt them.

Again, I would personally prefer that any family emotionally/financially stable enough to do so be allowed to adopt these children. I also think it is a bad idea for a "black family" who is not prepared to care for these children to take them on. That might harm more folks than it helps.

There also seems to be a building sense that there is some great backlog of "non-black families" (whatever that means) being turned away from adopting these children en masse. That may be true but I do not know for sure. Neither do you guys so please don't assume it.

Pardon my righteous indignation but I feel some of these posts are showing that same indignation against "the black community" for no sane reason that I can see.

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 4:27 PM

Excellent points, Proud Papa.

Posted by: TS | February 7, 2007 4:30 PM

I have a friend who recently adopted an african american newborn through and agency. She is white and so is her husband. They went through the usual homestudy, etc., but they had no trouble with the adoption, and did not wait very long for it. They had a baby within 7 months of their homestudy.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 4:31 PM

Breastfeeding in public is natural and should be protected and accepted! Wonderful that women can do this in this country. And I think this was great that the mother mentioned here was able to breastfeed and also give a presentation. So in this case it seems totally natural and no issue. However...since it was brought up by others here...there are some circumstances in which most enlightened liberal Northern European women at least would not breastfeed contrary to the perception of some in this blog. Lived there many years. An example of the difference in approach to these kinds of issues is how a non-religious European woman would very rarely go into a church with short sleeves and a short skirt without voluntarily covering themselves with a shawl BEFORE being asked to do so by a member of the church. Yet many American women would not think to do this on their own and would feel slightly offended by that kind of a request. Not all but many would. (And the same goes for men wearing tank tops and shorts)
They may have those rights but most see no need to use them at times that may blur the motivation of that right and allow others to call it into question. It's not an issue of rights but just pure commonsense. There are plenty of things people may have the right to do and can do in public but most choose not to in certain circumstances.
A case in point of using this right in the "wrong" setting? (again, I don't care but is it smart?) Last year the House Dems held a public meeting about Iraq in the basement of the Capitol. In the back, right behind the panel and clearly on camera was a staffer breastfeeding on C-Span. Absolutely fine with me and I support her right to do this, but then it should not come as a surprise if Comedy Central picks up on it and Jon Stewart shows the clip on The Daily Show. A wonderful contrast with the harsh GOP I agree but..And again, a German or Dutch woman could do this as well if she wanted but rarely does.
Bottom line: Women absolutely should have the right to breast feed really anywhere they want to. I'm all for it and strongly support that right. Church(Mother and Child example is correct as someone pointed out), work, home, playground, party, etc., but a movie theater? job interview? Opera?
It's one thing to have a right and then wisely choose when to use it. Another to go forging ahead regardless of whether it makes common/professional sense.

Posted by: AG | February 7, 2007 4:32 PM

Did anyone see "HOUSE" last night? An extremely intelligent teenage boy turned down an opportunity to intern at a hospital. His reason was that he would rather give up the professional opportunities than lose his family.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 4:43 PM

Off topic whine:
I just lost my contact lens in the bathroom. When I tried to turn the flashlight on to find it (I have been told this is the best way to find one - turn all lights off and show light on the floor and the lens will shine) the flashlight was dead (not batteries - dead bulb).
Thank you - back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 4:43 PM

You do understand that "House" does not depict a real hospital or real people, right?

Did you go to d-ke?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 4:47 PM

OK, KLB you cracked me up. Thanks for diffusing the tension.

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 4:48 PM

I am one of those people who gets very uncomfortable when people argue or there is a serious confrontation. I know that it is a necessary part of life. I am working on it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 4:55 PM

Leslie said:
"To the boob (haha) who wrote..."

Nice Leslie. Way to show class. The writer was correct btw. The baby had to nurse at that exact moment? I think not. You are the boob darling. I truly feel sorry for your husband. Poor, poor man.

Posted by: dc | February 7, 2007 4:59 PM

"Mothers who make their kids a priority by staying home and raising them and breast-feeding them are better mothers"

Posted by: another real mom | February 7, 2007 03:31 PM


I don't think we should advocate breastfeeding as a call for women to return to their "traditional," circumscribed roles as housewives and mothers. Along with it being an outdated vision of women today--"a woman's place is in the home,"--it affirms the theory that breastfeeding should be done at home only.

The movement is really suggesting that women should not have to choose between nurturing their children in the best possible way (breastfeeding, bottle-feeding,whatever) and pursuing other interests outside the home. Just as an earlier generation of women thought that they had to choose between having a family and having a career, today's generation of working moms must choose between breastfeeding their children and having a career.

Posted by: llb | February 7, 2007 5:00 PM

especially if you drive cross country in a diaper and try to kill someone.

Gosh, I go away for an hour and this thing turns into a racist discussion and you corner the humor market. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that. That was GREAT!

Also...Wow, Leslie liked something I had to say! OMG! I think hades must have frozen over. I'm calling it a day, and still no logic behind why WDC does not like her you know what. Judith, on the other hand, we discover, might.

Being former military and seeing even more acronyms on the outside makes my head spin.

Posted by: Chris | February 7, 2007 5:02 PM

I think some of the BFers object to the sexualization of breasts because they are jealous. By virtue of their decision to BF, the no longer have the type of breasts that can be sexualized, and miss the occasional glance or whistle at the girls from a passerby.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:02 PM

'You do understand that "House" does not depict a real hospital or real people, right?'

So, are you saying that if something is not real, then there is absolutely no reason to give it any thought?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:05 PM

pssssst, Missicat, I'll send you a deep, royal blue doodad. Don't -- tell -- dotted, okay?

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 5:06 PM

Amazing. A woman like myself with stong maternal instincts, smart and with good character, married to a real 'mensch' who has transitioned into an awesome daddy... has become through this blog a Bad Mommy. I gave my daughter formula from day one (gasp!), returned to work after 4 months (gasp!), and send her to daycare (you guessed it.) She is destined to be fat and stupid (formula of course), rebellious and mommy-hating (product of working mom) and of course full of germs from daycare. Funny, I thought I was going to be a good mom? But thanks to this blog, now I've got my story right. I think I'll give her non-organic carrots from a jar tonight.
Best, Bad Mom

Posted by: Bad Mom | February 7, 2007 5:07 PM

i gotta ask, not trying to stir thing up but, like one poster said why have kids if you arent going to raise them? bc dont u then miss out on what makes them kids bc you arent there to see it?

Posted by: | February 7, 2007 03:58 PM

you gotta ask anonymously, of course? (rolling eyes)

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:09 PM

Anon,

Your comment goes to the heart of my original question. I have heard from others that the wait to adopt a black/Hispanic child in the U.S. is significantly shorter so I am truly puzzled when someone complains about the long wait for adopting a Chinese baby girl. My parents know a couple who waited ten years but were unable to adopt a white child. They finally agreed to adopt a biracial girl and got her remarkably fast. They said they only wish they would have been more open years ago.

Posted by: Denk | February 7, 2007 5:11 PM

It's just that the reference to "House" has no particluar weight. Why not write "I knew a guy who gave something up for his family"? Or, have you ever considered giving something up for family? Why reference "House"?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:13 PM

"and of course full of germs from daycare"

LOL, Bad Mom. You're terrific. Your sense of humor, alone, will make you the best kind of mommy.

As to the germ problem, let's say instead that you're using an alternative method of imbuing your daughter with strong antibodies against illness and disease.

Has a more positive ring, don't you think?

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 5:14 PM

I'm not a parent and don't know much about babies, but would it really harm the child to wait 15 minutes until the presentation is over? I tend to doubt it. It's not like anyone is suggesting mothers starve their babies for hours or days. I do not think a few minutes's delay will cause malnourishment.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:18 PM

I feel sorry for my husband, too. But he's all growed up and can make his own decisions about who he's married to!

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 5:20 PM

Thanks, pittypat. That's exactly what I'm doing! Making her tough now, to prepare her for this blog in 30 years.
Her Daddy will be home with her any mintute now, so I must go check on the potroast in the oven, set up his scotch and slippers, and pour some Diet Coke into DD's bottle. ;)

Posted by: Bad Mom | February 7, 2007 5:20 PM

Ha! That Another Mother's comment gave me the hic-ups, I was laughing so. What decade is she from for goodness sakes! Her post reeks of bitterness.

Girl Scout cookies: I work at a Federal Agency with lots of singletons and they love GS cookies and in fact often ask me before January rolls around when the will be able to order. Mind you, my girl scout does not sell them a dad's office because he is in a managerial position and felt it was inappropriate as do I. Frozen Thin Mints are the best.

And no breastfeeding should not take place during meetings. Breastfeeding discretely in your own office is fine in my opinion. Before anyone gets upset, yes some people don't have offices, so use another room. A colleague of mine pumped in a large closet...sounds crazy, but honestly she did not mind but found it rather amusing. Attitude is everything. She put her energy into encouraging managment to come up with a better situation for new moms.

Posted by: Pink Plate | February 7, 2007 5:23 PM

"and pour some Diet Coke into DD's bottle. ;)"

I hear if you pour a few drops of scotch in the bottle of Diet Coke, the baby goes right to sleep. :>)

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 5:23 PM

What do you do when your readers turn against you? I'm noticing a trend here.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:23 PM

Bad Mom, Can I move in with you and your family? Scotch, slippers, potroast. . . .an evening couldn't start any better.

Posted by: NC lawyer | February 7, 2007 5:23 PM

I don't see it and hope I never will. Giving a formal presentation is not the time to feed your kids or yourself. It's not the time for anyone on stage to be eating at all. The feeding you describe was appropriate for the event. But generally I don't want to be distracted by a feeding baby (whether breastfeeding by a woman or a bottle with a man) when I'm supposed to be listening to what the presenter is trying to communicate. Depending on the event, breastfeeding in the audience could be just fine. People should not bring their children, spouses or pets into a serious meeting. That's just not where they belong if they don't have a role there.

Posted by: Connie | February 7, 2007 5:24 PM

So, if a woman is elected president of the u.s. and has a small baby that needs to be fed at the same time she has to give a speech on national TV, you want to see her breastfeeding? I was always taught that breastfeeding time is very intimate time between and mother and child, and that's why it's private. We aren't cows, for God's sake.

Posted by: margaret | February 7, 2007 5:26 PM

NC Lawyer, you could, but my act would be blown, when you see the freezer full of Lean Cuisines and frozen veggies. :) I do make a mean frozen waffle, though... and... feed them to my one year old!!
Thanks for the hint, pittypat! My dad told me a fingerfull of wine does the trick, but as Bad of Mom as I am, I just haven't gotten there yet! (Then again, of course, since my daughter is formula fed, she is a very good sleeper, much to the dismay of my nursing mom friends.)
Wow, I'm on fire.

Posted by: bad mom | February 7, 2007 5:26 PM

Fred, KLB, Dotted, NC Lawyer, KB and all you regulars (you know who you are), I have a handfull of obscure junk email accounts, one of which I could post to this blog to start a sort of back-door communication distribution list, so those of you who have made friends can talk with one another without having to expose your conversation to public scrutiny.

If I get a 2nd on the motion, I'll make an effort to publish the address over the weekend.

Any thoughts?

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 5:28 PM

Of COURSE breasts aren't sex objects after they are all stretched-out, saggy, veiny, and attached to a baby! That's the opposite of a sex object. I don't look the other way because they're sex objects, I look the other way because they're NOT!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:33 PM

Proud Papa said,

"3:54, If asked to speculate, I would wonder whether the large numbers of black children available for adoption (if such a thing exists...I have not seen the raw numbers) exceeds the number of "black families" (your term) who feel emotionally/financially stable enough to adopt them."

Lower-income black families are more often targetted by DSS and child protective services for removal of children than are caucasian families. There's no commonly-acknowledged acronym like DWB, but it's the same problem, let's call it Parenting While Black and Below the Poverty Line. Poor black children are removed from their biological parents at a much higher rate than similarly situated white children.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 5:35 PM

Bad Mom --

Keep it coming. Laughing is one of the most healthful things a body can do!

Fo4 --

If you eliminate the friendly banter from this blog, it will be unreadable!

I enjoy reading reading the sillier posts that seem to ooze out at the end of the day. It's comic relief. (See above.)

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 5:38 PM

I think this is true. My friend who recenlty adopted did not care what the race of the baby would be, and the agency pressed her to adopt a couple of other African American newborns that were less than healthy (very low birthweight, other health problems, and exposed to drugs in utero) before she actually adopted her daughter. Her daughter was also very low birthweight (not quite 4 pounds), but apparently healthy in other respects.

Posted by: anon | February 7, 2007 5:53 PM

No second from me. Some of your (Fo4) own posts serve to lighten things up also.

Seeings how discussions on balance and parenthood is almost a contact sport, it seems appropriate to keep it all here.

How is a discussion on pouring whiskey into a baby bottle any different from friendly talk? Where do you draw the line?

Jeesh, you are making it sounds like making friends is a poor idea, when making friends helps us balance.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 6:11 PM

"How is a discussion on pouring whiskey into a baby bottle any different from friendly talk?"

dotted --

You do understand that the "scotch in the baby bottle" comment was a joke in response to a joking thread, right?

Just don't want anyone to think I was serious...

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 6:16 PM

pitty-of course I did...which is why I put it in the sentence.

Posted by: dotted | February 7, 2007 6:17 PM

Father of 4,
Can we do both?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 6:22 PM

I remember when I used to babysit the big thing was putting creme de menthe on the gums of teething babies.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 6:23 PM

"I remember when I used to babysit the big thing was putting creme de menthe on the gums of teething babies."

LOL, KLB.

Imagine the confusion when they're old enough to use toothpaste!

dotted,

No offense. I thought I'd read your comment right, but wanted to make sure. As you well know, I have a big foot and a bigger mouth.

Fo4,

I vote for keeping the fun right here. We deserve it!

Posted by: pittypat | February 7, 2007 6:30 PM

My whine continues - I have looked since 4pm and am frustrated. ARGH!!!!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 6:38 PM

KLB SS MD writes: "I remember when I used to babysit the big thing was putting creme de menthe on the gums of teething babies."

And a shot of, ahem, "medicinal" whiskey for a toothache until the child could be gotten to the dentist!

Posted by: catlady | February 7, 2007 6:38 PM

Breastfeeding does provide a wonderful connection between mom and baby but sometimes it's just a practical thing -- the baby needed to be fed at that exact moment.

I don't think the speaker was trying to make a statement. She was just breastfeeding her daughter. But if she was "trying" to make a statement that breastfeeding is cool, fine by me. Why should she be undermined for making an important statement?

Posted by: Leslie | February 7, 2007 6:49 PM

Father of 4

"Fred, KLB, Dotted, NC Lawyer, KB and all you regulars (you know who you are)"

OK, I am out of here. Bye

Posted by: Fred | February 7, 2007 6:54 PM

KLB SS MD - is there a toddler you can borrow? The smaller an item is the quicker they can find it although they are particularily adept at finding items exactly the size of their esophagus. Sometimes I wish I still had a toddler to locate things then I realize how much work they are and enjoy the quiet. I wish you luck!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 6:57 PM

We didn't put whiskey in the bottle but my husband did rub bourboun (I think it was Southern Comfort, which is sweet) on our daughter's gums in the middle of the night when she was screaming for hours due to teething. His mother told him to do it. I didn't know what he did till the next morning but I thanked him. I was ready to get up and leave if the baby didn't stop crying, so he probably saved our marriage.

Waiting for the snarky anonymous poster to submit something like "figures you are turning your children into drunks, especially after you beat them and shove guns in their hands at birth."


Posted by: cmac | February 7, 2007 7:01 PM

Just wanted to give a little late support to foganome's topic suggestions esp. balancing family values with popular culture - that one could be a bonfire. I'll bring the marshmallows!

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 7:02 PM

cmac - sometimes you just gotta survive! You do reach a point after hours and hours of walking, rocking, bouncing etc... where you are just this side of crazy. I honestly don't know what people did before Infants Advil.

Posted by: moxiemom | February 7, 2007 7:06 PM

Women
People should not have to deal with your
children at work . It is proposterous that
woman want to be treated equal until they
want to be treated better . As for breastfeeding , if a woman has any respect for herself and other people , she shold be as discreet as posssible . If you don't have time to run the meeting because you have to feed your baby , let someone who has the time and dedication have the job.
Their is no right to have a baby and have
everyone's career on hold while you have your baby

Posted by: l gregory | February 7, 2007 7:06 PM

So sorry to disappoint some of you, but I enjoyed today's tangents re Latin and adoption. There were some great contributions.

And, NC lawyer, you may be surprised to learn that I really enjoy most of your postings. Esp. today's re adoption.

Absit invidia, illegitimis nil carborundum.

Posted by: CA Mom | February 7, 2007 7:14 PM

House said on "House" last night,

veni, vidi, vici

Posted by: The Original Anon | February 7, 2007 7:20 PM

'Bayter and 5:53 - I'd never dispute that there are many black babies up for adoption that have health issues.

But you're stating it to be a racial issue without proving it. I would suppose it to be a poverty/social class issue, not a race issue.

Have you seen studies that say that poor babies put up for adoption are more likely to have health issues if they are black? If so, please link. I would like to read up on it.

5:35, I had not heard that (re: "Parenting While Black and Below the Poverty Line"). That's certainly terrible. We need to have fair standards that are applied fairly.

Naturally.

-Pp.

-Pp.

Posted by: Proud Papa | February 7, 2007 7:40 PM

She said "boob."

Posted by: Tailburger | February 7, 2007 7:49 PM

"I'm not a parent and don't know much about babies, but would it really harm the child to wait 15 minutes until the presentation is over?"

Harm, probably not. Certainly not on a global scale of harm.

Some people do take the approach (myself included) that a very young child (under 6 or 9 months) though can't understand that the food *will* arrive and so a delay *might* be very upsetting. I figure they're wired to freak out if they're hungry. Kind of like if they were say, 3, had a skinned knee and you were asking them to wait... it's not life-threatening and you know it, but to a three year old it's BLOOD and needs attention!

Also a lot of mums nurse to comfort an overwrought child which might be a big reason to nurse in public at an event where a baby has maybe been overstimulated... in that case nursing right away might avoid 2 hours of screaming afterwards.

You really have to know your child. If my son were genuinely hungry, he would have wailed the whole time and possibly thrown up from it, though, so it wouldn't have been a pleasant experience. But he (unlike some babies) could be cajoled into nursing even if he wasn't that hungry so I personally could have fed him before the presentation.

Before you have kids you think that they eat on some kind of schedule, but it doesn't always work that way. Some do. Some kids nurse okay for two days and then nurse ALL DAY for the third. And during a growth spurt some babies shriek if they're not nursing almost all day.

A lot depends on capacity too. Some women's breasts don't store as much milk as others, so their babies genuinely need to nurse more often. It's all very messy.

Well that was probably more info than you wanted. :-)

Posted by: Shandra | February 7, 2007 8:02 PM

KLB, "Can we do both?" Sure, my suggestion was not to create a separate group of posters, but some people have common interests and develop friendships and might want to carry them beyond the barrier of animinity. I thought it might be cool if 2 mommies that are friends on this blog got together to discuss their adoption/ ADHD/ or whatever experiences at a playground or met to do coffee could enhance a friendship. Of course, review your cheatsheet on protecting your identity. I was volunteering a resource if anybody desired it.

Now it's time to take the family for a walk before American Idol. :-)

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 8:08 PM

I do not think that babies with poor health are a black thing. I know many people where I grew up (white) who don't take prenatals, smoke, eat unhealthy foods and drink.

Sterotypes are awful. I went to school with girls who smoked pot while pregnant. It is bad enough that it happens let's not make it a race issue too.

One it's about personal choice: drinking and drugs.

Two it's about having no choice: no prenatals, no access to healthy food, etc.

Posted by: scarry | February 7, 2007 8:28 PM


Thanks for the heads up, dotted. Will be watching the game, though finessing bedtime will be tricky (we may have to jettison the first half. . . .)

We don't get cable --- the advantage of getting more ACC bball games would be overwhelmed by the year-round huge potential for time wastage, hyperavailability of kids' programming (now they mainly watch DVDs and the occasional PBS kids' show if home sick). Our TV only goes on about every other day when homework and activities are done and we still have time for a movie/show. But the trouble of finding Duke bball is a true cost. It's easy when CBS televises, unfortunately not tonight.

The heads-up gave me time to discover that though we lost a flaky-sometimes- we-show-Raycom-ACC games broadcast station last year (I think), it looks like the newly reconfigured WATL 36 is picking up several (including tonight's, hurray!) So I'm prepared, too bad the game's too late to set up the minitrampolines and let the kids jump and chant "Let's go, Devils!" to their heart's content . . . .

Somehow my little Atlanta street is Tobacco Road central, we have many NC State and UNC alumni neighbors and we are both Duke.

Posted by: KB | February 7, 2007 8:37 PM

Father of 4,
Then count me in.
Can you find my lost contact while you are at it?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 7, 2007 8:45 PM

Now I wonder how big the overlap is between moms who breastfeed their kids in public and parents who spank their kids in public.

Both having one's nipple sucked and having one's ass smacked are considered foreplay by some people, both when between parent and child are considered nonsexual by some people, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 8:59 PM

"Here are some good balance topics that I would like to suggest:
1) limiting the number of children in the family
2) opening up your own business
3) non profit organizations that help parents who choose to SAH for a few years, get back into the work place
4) home schooling with working parents
5) online college and graduate programs
6) best after school care arrangements"

Or how about limiting the number of kids you have instead of being pregnant from menarche to menopause then opening your own business and getting help from a nonprofit to stay at home from that business for a few years and homeschooling those kids through graduate school while letting them meet other people their own age in afterschool extracurriculars instead of in class? ;)

"What happens when these kids want to go to college and they've never been taught any (pick a subject) so they can't pass the SATs?"

If the subject you picked was any one subject besides English and math, they could still pass the SAT Is and still pass at least a few SAT IIs in other subjects which they did take.

"but even if that 18 year old adult got into Stanford, Penn, etc. and had to take out loans to go, she wouldn't 'allow' them. At that point, isn't the 18 year old an adult and able to make their own decisions, especially where they THEMSELVES would be taking on the burden of loans, and not expecting their parents to pay?"

Places like Standford and Penn usually still take into account your parents' "ability to pay" when deciding how much financial aid to offer you. If it's such a large amount that you can't earn or borrow it on your own (in addition to the money you were already expected to earn or borrow yourself) and your parents refuse to pay, then they've effectively not allowed you to go to that school. OTOH I heard that financial aid offices don't take your parents' "ability to pay" into account if you're married, divorced, military, aged out of foster care, age 24 or older, etc.

"What's the alternative? Most kids can't pay their own way or only rely on scholarships. If they have to drop out or don't even attend college in the first place, then guess who will be coming back to your house to borrow money or live with you forever becuase they can't get a decent job w/ no degree."

...which makes it easier for families to keep up a cherished extended-family-household tradition, helps parents worry less about their kids learning uppity attitudes from college roommates, etc.?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2007 9:39 PM

Klb SS Md, I'll do what I can and post an email account over the weekend. The worst thing that can possibly happen is, if you decide to send me an email, that you will know one of my email accounts and I'll know one of yours. Sounds like fun!

Posted by: Father of 4 | February 7, 2007 10:25 PM

Father of 4,
Sounds good.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | February 8, 2007 6:47 AM

I doubt anyone is still reading down this far, but I had to comment.

I am 100% with Leslie on this. I work at a very young energetic company, where most people do not have children. Because we work long hours and are primarily female, we usually lose some people when they start to have kids. I, however, do not want to leave and have been thinking about what I can do to better manage my work and home lives when I do have children.

Perhaps one of the other comments which talked about this being more of a "blend" issue than a "balance" issue - if breastfeeding at the office means that I can come back after 12 weeks instead of having to work at home or quit after an infant, then I am 100% behind that. Everyone brings work home with them, and every now and again if I can bring home into the office and it keeps me more satisfied, then I don't see the problem with it. Obviously it is a different topic to foist caring for my children off on a secretary or an intern, but if I can do it I can't see what reason there would be for me not to do it.

I actually think Oslo's comments would be a good topic for another blog - in what ways are american attitudes different from other countries when it comes to work life balance and blend.

Posted by: Kate | February 8, 2007 9:25 AM

Boy, what a lot of comments (read "rants". Breastfeeding is a natural function which should be accomplished wherever and whenever your baby needs feeding. I breastfeed my three children this way with no fuss by using a special "blanket" which snapped around my neck. No Big Deal. Although, I have to admit, I was not doing any public speaking at the time. I admire anyone who can do both at the same time.

Posted by: Rebecca | February 8, 2007 9:46 AM

I can't believe I read the whole thing.

Posted by: theRose | February 8, 2007 10:24 AM

"Not because I am against breastfeeding, but because I don't think kids belong in the workplace. Would be just as unprofessional to wheel a high chair up there and try to get the 2-year-old to eat her strained peas while trying to flip through your powerpoint presentation."

Casey, I loved this comment. You are spot on.

Leslie, this isn't about breastfeeding at all. It's about respect for your co-workers and audience. It would be just as inappropriate to feed a baby with a bottle while giving a presentation. INAPPROPRIATE and also unfair to the child to make him the focus of attention and not the meeting itself.

Like someone else said, there is a HUGE difference between feeding your child in a public place (mall, restaurant, etc.) and feeding them during a business meeting.

Posted by: T.R. | February 8, 2007 12:48 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company