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Blowback: Special Child-Rearing Edition: Readers discuss Suzanne Venker and baby spittle

FEATURE, MAY 26, 2011
Outsourcing motherhood: If a woman chooses to raise her own kids instead of outsourcing the job to others, that's her choice, and she shouldn't be ridiculed for it ["The Feminine Mistake," Melissa Meinzer]. That point I can agree with, although I would never go so far as to say working moms are destroying America. We all find ourselves in unique situations that demand different things.

That said, as a socially left-leaning person, I don't understand how others who share my values can overlook the value of full-time parenting, if one is in a committed relationship and financially able to do so — and more of us are financially able than we'd like to admit. Just give up a little of your consumerism, and more becomes possible than you'd ever imagined.
OJG, via the Internet

Our lives, our choices: I don't think anyone denies that there is value in a stay-at-home parent; it's just that the pay stinks. I think open-minded people would recognize that either the mom or dad could be the stay-at-home and that not everyone is actually capable of doing it. (It's a hard job.)

What people like the subject of this article don't seem to get (among many other things) is that every person is different, and boxing someone in based on gender is a stupid way of running society.
Daniel, via the Internet

Thank you, Betty Friedan: How nice that feminism came along and made it possible for her to have a choice on whether she should work or stay at home with the kids.
JMP, via the Internet

GUT CHECK, MAY 17, 2011
When babies spit up: Ian, I usually enjoy your blog posts, but this one left a bad taste in my mouth ["An Open Letter to the Parents of the Baby Who Puked in Front of Me at Lunch," Ian Froeb]. The parents probably didn't notice the puke on the floor, since A) if they have a baby of puking age, they're probably too sleep-deprived to be alert; and B) they were busy trying to get the baby out of there as quickly as possible, because the earth was not available to swallow them up.

I have been that parent — OK, not with the puke, but definitely with the baby and the humiliation because the baby will not be a perfect little diner. And I have brought my kids up to love all kinds of food and tip generously, so I call it a net gain for society.
Guest, via the Internet

Puke happens: Wow, is someone having a bad day, or are you just an insensitive jack? Surely you've never done anything that caused other people grief and/or time because you were so consumed with actual responsibilities, like raising an effin' human being! She's nurturing life, and you're eating a sandwich!

Guess what? That, and many other inconveniences we'd rather not experience, tend to happen in this funny thing called life.
Quelafack, via the Internet

Ink by the barrel: What a crybaby! And not just a crybaby, but a crybaby with a public forum! A newspaper job!

They were eating at a public restaurant where they paid for the food. Part of the cost of that food is for a restaurant employee to clean the restaurant!
Metatron, via the Internet

Pity the busboy: Your standards are way too high, especially if this was fast-casual, fast or casual (not fine dining). Or, more precisely, your expectations are way too high — whether it's clueless parents, obnoxious teens, stuck-up yuppies or doddering elders, people of all ages are boors. Restaurateurs shouldn't have to clean up after these fools, but, unfortunately, it's part of today's job description.
JZ71, via the Internet

No free pass for parents: Whether fine dining or at McDonald's, when you have a child, messes will be made. It is your duty as a parent to make sure that if there is a mess, beyond normal reason, all of it is cleaned before you dash. The wait staff, busser, host, maitre d', patrons, what-have-you, ain't yo baby's momma (or papa, for you p.c. nuts out there).

This type of thing happens all the time, and I don't think any of us wants to be around when the service industry revolts (Jet Blue style) and starts crapping in our living rooms.
Bob, via the Internet

Pooper scooper: I totally, 100 percent agree with you. If I bring my dog to a restaurant (outdoor patio, of course), and he hacks up God only knows what or, heaven forbid, drops a deuce, I clean it up. If I didn't, the stares of disgust from other patrons would burn through my skin.

I get it: Babies make messes. But don't make those of us without child deal with the aftermath.
Amanda, via the Internet

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