Fun Links

Hi Folks — Once again, here are some recent Tweets, providing links to stuff you might enjoy. So enjoy already! — Lenore

A mom won’t let her kid drink from spigot at outdoor museum. “I’ll buy u bottled water.” WHY??

Amazingly cool, true, short article: The Death of the Phone Call. (It’s intrusive & old fashioned!)

So a guy (or gal)”s disability scooter breaks down near a group of kids. What happens next?

Go back to work & your kids’ll be just fine, a large study shows:

According to Daily Beast, swings, see-saws & slides are all EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Better to lie in bed?

That’s it for now!

29 Responses

  1. Super duper! I went back to work today, so the working mom study was just in time!

  2. I was once informed by another mom in the restroom of a public park that she NEVER lets her son wash his hands in a public restroom because the faucet and sinks contain way more germs than even the toilets.

    Whatever, lady. Weirdo.

  3. FWIW, a LOT of countries don’t drink their tapwater–they consider it unsafe and/or just unfit for drinking. And I’m talking about MODERN countries too, like Germany. Drinking of tapwater isn’t done in a lot of Europe. I read somewhere that it hearks back to the war and how a lot of the infrastructure got destroyed, including the water systems, and even after everything was fixed, the bottled water industry managed to perpetuate the idea that bottled is best.

    Not saying that that woman was right, because I’m all about tap water (heck, I’ve drank tap water from public restrooms in third-world countries!) but maybe she wasn’t American?

  4. “A mom won’t let her kid drink from spigot at outdoor museum”

    I guess she never leaves him alone for a second with the backyard hose, because it would take an army to keep the kids from drinking out of that thing.

    “The Death of the Phone Call”

    And good riddance. I’ve always hated talking on the phone, especially the part when you don’t know quite how to hang up and get the other person to stop talking. Thus it’s my policy to never answer my phone. I check voice mail and call back if it’s important, or e-mail if it’s only information that’s necessary. I much prefer face-to-face contact when it comes to talking. I’d rather meet and chat over coffee. What I do miss is the death of the letter. My friends and I used to write ten page letters to each other on a twice weekly basis in grade school, junior high, and even high school. E-mail killed that beautiful form of expression…

    “Go back to work and your kids will be just fine”

    I read a book, an immense sociological tome, that basically concluded that what you DO as a parent has virtually no effect on how children “turn out.” It’s 50% genetics, and 50% environment, but of the environmental influence, almost all comes from peers. Lots of twin studies, sibling studies, parenting studies, etc. in some ways this is a relief (hey, I’m not screwing up my kids for life) and in some way terrifying (hey, there’s virtually nothing I can do to prevent my kids from being screwed up for life by their peers!). But the point the book made was that, although what you DO as a parent may not affect how your kids “turn out,” it does affect the quality of YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with your kid. So, if you want to have a good personal relationship with your kid, don’t be an ass of a parent.

    I think my kids will be “just fine” if I go back to work full-time outside the home. But I also think our personal relationship would be worse, not just because they enjoy having me around, but because the stress of combining full-time work and home and juggling child care would make me more neurotic and less patient at home. So I’ll stick to my less than ten hours a week work-at-home stuff. The problem is this attitude of one-size-fits-all – it’s either good for all moms to work or no moms to work. Maybe it’s bad for SOME moms to work and bad for SOME moms to stay at home, and good for SOME moms to work and bad for SOME moms to work. But studies rarely account for individuality.

  5. Love these articles.

    It was fun to let our grandson try the well water from a handpump at a rest stop in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this summer. Tasted sooooo strongly of iron! His face was priceless.

    I talk for hours on the phone to my mom. She doesn’t use a computer at all. Hell, she’s still on a landline. Only 67, but very gunshy of technology, unless it’s enhanced television. When one of the two kids calls, I let it go to voicemail. When the other of the two kids calls, I pick up. One lives to text, so I know if the phone rings, it’s a money request. Hah! The other hates to text, likes to talk, and, if we lived in different cities rather than different neighborhoods, he’d write letters. Texting is certainly less disruptive I’ve found.

    Playground equipment:
    Oh. My. God. Really? This is necessary? Was there really nothing of import about which to write? Fearmongers…. gah.

    Back to work:
    Sky, I think I’ve read that. ‘Course, I’m a sociologist… 🙂
    But yeah, peers have such a much more powerful impact on kids and who they are/become. For me, going to work made me a much better parent. Being with them all the time = no patience. I was SOOO happy to see them after work! Having whole, entire conversations, using complete sentences, with other adults, for many hours most days made the chatter and interruptions much easier for me to gracefully integrate. With them all day? Brain exploding. Even now that I’m not working we have my grandson in preschool 2 days a week. I just need some quiet, grownup time in order to be the most effective ‘parent’ I can be.

  6. PS…
    But yes, it’s completely individual. And no, studies other than case studies don’t take that into account. Averages are representative of nothing real. Who has 2.3 kids? 2.7 cars? I mean, a .3 kid is a tragedy, a .7 car is a neighborhood eyesore, right?

  7. i still blab on the phone, i’m a child of the 70s. i like randomly chatting with my sister or BFF during boring “open” times (i’m not going to say “like in the car during my long commute” because THAT IS BAD. even though i have an ear bud. BAD!) but now that i am owned by a child, talking anytime she is awake is impossible. if there is a silver lining to being separated from her dad, it’s that i have a couple of childless nights a week when i can talk on the phone, lol.

    i do think that if we are talking less, it’s also because talking on cell phones sucks. they’re too small to comfortably hold between shoulder and ear while you do something else, their sound quality is abysmal compared to the full, warm tones of landlines, and i always seem to find that one dead spot in my home where the call drops. no wonder young ‘uns haven’t gotten accustomed to phone calls, they’ve grown up with fuzzy, crackling, dropping calls on little phones that will cut off if you hold them wrongly.

    i’m actually thinking of kickin’ it old skool and getting a landline again. for the last year or so i’ve had a data-only line for my internet and a cell phone for calls, but i might buy a line again so i can stretch the curly cord into the closet to talk and teach my daughter how to pay “mary had a little lamb” on the keypad tones. LOL!

  8. @dahlia, If I am preaching I am sorry, I don’t think we do that here and shouldn’t. But I will say this–no child OWNS me in anyway. My children aren’t old enough yet, but when they are, they will be taught–NEVER interrupt me when I’m talking on the phone unless the house is on fire, or you will rue the day. Just a thought.

    Here goes.

    Water Fountain
    The very type of mother I’d hate to have as a wife & thus a mother to children of mine.

    Phone Call
    The One I wish to comment on the most.

    I hate superficiality. I hate how people act like you’re interrupting their life to wish to talk to them on the phone. It’s called having a relationship–we used to do that, you know!

    That said, I do the texting and social-networking thing myself, but that’s because the quantity is too much to maintain otherwise. I text my mother-in-law because she can’t hear anything. I prefer text in the middle of the day when phone minutes are high & I’m at work, and can understand how someone would if their employer was anal. Given the huge number of “friends” I have on Facebook, I can’t imagine calling them all on the phone.

    Still, I never act aghast that–egads!–someone called me! OMG! What a rude interruption! People should consider phone calls a nice thing, a sign that someone cares about you–not respond along the lines of “how dare they INTRUDE into MY space!” When I was having a bad fight with my wife & I was worried it could get serious and posted a Facebook status update “pray for my marriage,” a good friend of mine actually CALLED me on the phone. That’s how it SHOULD be. I’ve become so serious about this, I’ve started de-friending Facebook “friends” who won’t answer an instant message or return a Facebook message or email I send them.

    Kids Help The Scooter Person
    That is exactly how I intend to train our kids to be. It’s a great illustration of what we miss out when we take the “stranger danger” concept too far.

    Go Back to Work, Parents-Adults
    I used to be a Dr Laura fan, in some ways I still am, but not so much anymore; I tired of hearing all the time that once you became a parent absolutely nothing else mattered–not your hobbies, your marriage, your job, your dating life if you were single, your need for some space on occasion–ANYTHING. I thought it she took it too far. That’s how I interpreted it anyway. I have a hard time imagining she would advocate free-range, either–and I KNOW I would disagree with her there if that’s the case.

    See-Saws & Slides are Dangerous
    So are cars, are we all going to walk now? You can trip on shoestrings, are we going to ban all shoes with strings now? Plastic trash bags can suffocate, should be require them to be paper? Oh never mind, kids could eat paper, so let’s just leave all the trash laying around on the kitchen floor loose.

    And don’t give them a haircut, they might chooke on the loose hair, or might get a slight incidental cut from the scissors. Or, the electrical shears may have a shorcut & electrocute them. Or they may trip & fall on their way up & down from the barber’s chair.


  9. It’s not that I see phone calls as interruption of my life so much that I’m introverted and find it very difficult and awkward to talk on the phone. I have far less trouble talking in person. I’m not sure why. But I find the phone an awkward thing – never know how to politely get off the phone when I do have to get going, awkward silences that don’t seem to happen in person, that kind of thing. I appreciate that friends call to check up, but when it comes to making plans, I’d rather do it via e-mail, and when it comes to discussing something important, I’d rather do it in person.

  10. Re: The Working Mom study, thank you! I lost my part-time job in April and went back to work full-time three weeks ago. It was a good thing to do personally, but I’m still dealing with a lot of “guilt” over not being home with my son most days. However, I have noticed that I’m a lot more focused when I am home and lot more patient and tolerant.

    As for the phone all, if it takes me more than a minute to write it out (either text or e-mail) I just pick up the phone. At my last job, I found it funny that in an office of five people, who were less than 10 feet away from each other, we never “spoke” to each other; only e-mailed.

  11. Sorry… Bit of a phone rant… cell phones, landlines, talking on them.

    With the phone calls, and the ubiquitousness of cell phones, calls often are an interruption. My husband has an uncanny way of knowing when I have just gotten to the checkout. Phone rings. Must dig, hit ‘ignore’, speak to the cashier. I WILL NOT talk on my phone while being served in any type of food/retail establishment. I’ve had plenty of food and retail positions, and nothing is more obnoxious. Well, not quite nothing, but almost nothing.

    Flipside, he is a cyclist. I seem to always call when he is huffing his way up a hill, or when he has stopped for a pee, and is otherwise occupied.

    I’m glad we have them, I’m glad he carries his while on his bike, but sheesh! A text is almost always better. Less disruptive if one is in line, or peeing, or, in my case, selling stuff at the arts market on Sunday. Talking to customers! Text me!

    My brother has problems talking on the phone. So does my best friend, techie queen of the universe. With my brother, he just has a very difficult time talking to people period. He has great difficulty approaching professors in school for instancel. When he was a kid, my mom did all his talking, and at 32 he still finds it incredibly hard. Now his wife does most of his talking…

    My best friend, she is a writer. She composes e-mails, or facebook messages, but she does not answer her phone, nor does she ever call except to call my cell if she’s running late (or I am) to brunch. Ever. But we can sit and talk for hours face to face.

    Me… I just talk. I have no problem talking to anyone, or to their voicemail/answering machine. I’ve been known to talk long enough on an answering machine to get cut off, at which point I redial and pick up exactly where I got cut off. Annoying, but I talk to the machine just like I would talk to the person I’m calling. My mom hates the voicemail, but we can seriously talk through an entire charge of a battery. Ridiculous. And though now she’s almost 3000 miles away, we could talk like that 2-3 times a week when we lived an hour apart.

    1) Yay for kinda getting over Dr. Laura. One thing that just bugged the heck out of me with her is that she is a mother! Working! Telling other mothers that they don’t love their kids if they have a job. Ummmm…. huh?

    2) I wish you luck on that whole teach the kids not to interrupt if you’re on the phone. Kids have an amazing sense for when an adult gets on the phone. They may have ignored your existence for a good hour, playing with blocks, being in the yard, etc. Pick up the phone, they’ve got 27 million things to share. Neither of my kids, nor my grandson, nor my younger siblings, nor their combined 3 kids has learned not to interrupt while people are on the phone, despite our best efforts. Short of sedating them… which I’ve never tried, and am sure you have no plans to attempt either! 🙂

    I am really honestly effing sick of my phone and its ability to tether me to things that used to get on just fine without my immediate attention, and am seriously considering going back to a landline once my contract is done. Kids are no longer going to be on my plan… working, adults, etc. Want a phone? Getchur own! My son is wonderful with that stuff. I don’t actually have a problem paying for his. He’s barely 18, third year of college with a 3.8 (which he pays for himself), lives on his own (wherein he pays rent and bills on his own), has a job, paid his own driver ed, bought his own computer, plays in two bands… just an amazing kid. No problem paying for his phone, but he doesn’t want me to now that we’re on one income. The other kid, I think she thinks she’s owed a phone because she’s an American. Hah!! She’s 20. I got her the phone when she left to follow her heart in California. She’s back in town now. She knows where I live… she’s not working or in school. Getchur own!

  12. Regarding this: ‘So a guy (or gal)”s disability scooter breaks down near a group of kids,’ it feels really dehumanising. I mean, there’s a biography right in the post there that uses ‘mother’ and ‘she’. She’s not “The Scooter Person,” she’s a woman. It’s not a disability scooter, it’s a scooter, and its owner has a disability. And her name is Lauredhel. I just… can we have a bit of consideration that this is a real person, please?

  13. This is Cricket: 4 min overview…

    Very interesting post, I’ve added a Trackback to it from my blog :)…

  14. @gramomster. I hope I’m respectful in my reply, I would not want to be hostile at Lenore’s site, as much I respect her I don’t want to make her upset–or you, for that matter.

    I’m just putting that out there, JUST in case.

    Regarding the “kids interrupting me on the phone thing.”

    I don’t forsee a problem, because if it becomes one, I have no shame or hesitation in saying this–95% of the time I’m easy-going and even known amongst the kids we are in involved with as being a goofy clown of a guy. But I also establish rules and I am very firm with them, so much so that I can turn very intimidating to the point of instilling fear in them if that’s what it takes for the rule to not be broken.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to play that card if need be. Our kids are too young for this to be an issue with the phone, but I have used this for bedtime. I’ve always shaken my head at amazement at the people who say they were up all night because their kids didn’t want to go to bed. Around here, when I say it’s bedtime, any argument is met with a fierce rebuttal on my end (no hitting or abuse, but I am very intimidating just the same), and the battle is over. They may not like it, but they lay there and they don’t move a muscle.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this regularly and much prefer persuading nicely, but when it comes down to it, I’m the boss, I’m large and you’re little–you are not going to win.

    As for the phone thing. Here’s where I really have to be careful to not be offensive, because I can easily “rant” about this myself.

    I will say that I don’t hesitate to answer a phone call if I’m in a checkout line. I don’t think it’s rude, and if a cashier dare hints at their being a problem, they will hear about it in a quick hurry. Period. I owe them no apology, especially if they’re not having to repeat themselves to me.

    As for friends who don’t answer their phone–I’ve all but ended friendships over this. I hear many say it’s rude for someone to expect them to answer when the call them, but I’m the opposite–I think it’s rude to ignore calls from people, especially people whom you call your friends, or ESPECIALLY your spouse, just because it inconveniences you. Now, I will say–there have been times people called me and I hit “ignore” because I was in the middle of something, but almost always I send a text right back saying “hands full at moment, what you need” to at least acknowledge their call. I may even call back when the hassle ends.

    Other people take the position of respecting their friend’s wishes of not bugging them with calls, but to me, if you’re a friend, you won’t consider a phone call from me to be an intrusion, unless you’re up to your elbows in something intense or it’s the 3rd time in the last hour I’ve rung you, in which case I would totally understand & appreciate likewise from others.

    This especially applies to spouses–I would consider it very rude to not answer the phone if my wife is calling, I don’t care what I’m doing. I am known to swim a lot, and obviously it’s ridiculous to expect me to answer then, but when I return, if I see a missed call, I return it–or at least send a text to acknowledge.

    And if my wife were the type to not take calls from me for any reason other than her job would fire her for it or her battery was dead etc–I’d divorce her. I’m serious.

    As for your idea of possibly ditching your cellular–more power to you. To me, if you own a cellular phone and your close friends know it, then it’s ridiculous to do so yet never answer calls. It’s your RIGHT, sure, but I myself have a hard time accepting that someone I know has a cellular phone but regularly won’t answer it. My thought is–why do you have it to start with? If you say “emergencies,” okay–but how would you feel if you used it to call someone in an emergency and they hit “ignore” on *you*?

  15. Well, for what it’s worth, I’d never heard of this site until your little gender-bending faux pas (to put it very mildly), so I’m going to stick around and see if I like it here, but I hope you pay a little more attention in future to important details like the sex of people you’re writing about, for goodness’ sake…

  16. @ Larry

    No offense taken, and I perhaps wasn’t clear… My husband does pull over and answer, but is always concerned it is an emergency, he is huffing and puffing, and sometimes has stopped in a dangerous (for a cyclist) place. I feel terrible when this happens. He should be able to enjoy his ride. Usually, I’m just calling to check in, tell him I’m going to the store, does he want something? I could leave a note, he could call when he gets home. It has never been an emergency.

    When I don’t answer when I’m at the register, or when I’m in a restaurant, I do hit ‘ignore’ and do call or text right back. I’ve, on two separate occasions, been on my phone at the register, and left my wallet behind. Groceries, wallet, 4 year old, phone… too much multi-tasking. It’s as much for my being able to keep track of the important stuff as being considerate to the person whose job it is to talk to me.

    When I was a server, cell phone ubiquity was rather new. Nothing bugged me more than going to a table and having someone not even look at me, but hold one finger out at me while continuing their conversation. Then I would continue to serve others, and almost to a one, when the phone user was finished, they would turn in their seat, glare at me, and, when I returned to their table, ask why others had been taken care of first. They had BEEN THERE first! I’m sorry, the world of others does not stop for your phone call. Politely ask the person to hold on for a moment, acknowledge the presence of the person whose job it is to serve you, even if it is to ask them to come back in a few minutes, then return to the call. I once had a family of four come into a restaurant, sit down and look at the menu for a minute, then the mom and both kids got out their phones and all made separate calls. The dad quickly ordered for all of them, and got on his phone too. They spent the entire meal this way… spending money to be on separate calls, ignoring each other while eating.

    No, it’s just rude to indicate to people who are serving you that they are insignificant, which answering a phone in mid-conversation does. Many of those service workers are college graduates or college students, and they (we) get very testy when treated as though we are lesser than those spending their money. Waitress does not equal stupid or unimportant. Rude is rude. I also leave my phone in the car when I go to lunch with my friend. I’m there to talk TO HER. I’ll answer messages when I’m back in the car. I turn it off at the movies, I turn it off at the doctor’s office, I turn it off while in class, teaching or studenting. The world will not come to a crashing halt if I can’t be reached for 90 minutes.

    That said, I do answer my calls! Almost every time! I never said I didn’t. I said I often hit ‘ignore’ when certain people (sadly, often my older kid, because I know she’s calling asking for a ride that is convenient, not necessary, or money, which she knows I don’t have a lot of, and she’s 20 without a job, and it’s usually either when I’m making dinner or about 11 at night) call, not that I don’t answer it. What did we do about emergencies prior to cell phones? Anybody remember? We let people know where we were, and they could call and have us paged. In a true emergency. Or, we would come home to find a note, and the other car gone. With a cell phone, if it’s an emergency and someone doesn’t answer, text ‘EMERGENCY!!!’ or blow up their phone. I also think we’ve expanded our definition of emergency as our ability to contact one another has expanded.

    Anyway, again, I wish you luck with the kid thing. I’m not above intimidation either, nor is my husband. And with most things, dinner, bed, school… we have no issues. Our 4 year old grandson is so adjusted to his bedtime that if we’re distracted and it gets a little late, he tells US it’s time for bed. The phone on the other hand is like a signal for him to hover and question. I think it’s the anonymous (from his perspective) nature of it. They are curious who you’re talking to, what about, can they talk, will I tell whomever I am speaking with something about what he’s doing, or or or… So, there is something special about phones. That’s all I can figure out.

    Anyway, if you’d like to continue the conversation, perhaps we could take it off this board. We’ve kind of hijacked the thread, and should return it to its regularly scheduled topics.

  17. @gramonster. Yes anymore debate can be “out of thread” if you will. I will say this in closing, before retiring it (or re-directing it & by the way you can send comments my way as well, just click my name).

    Other than what we were debating–by the way, the scenario you described as a server does sound rude–my main pet peeve is the “cell phone police” who gripe about every cell phone aggravation but nothing else that does the same thing. I proudly DO NOT and WILL NOT turn off my cell phone in a doctor’s office, restaurant etc–although I turn it on vibrate & speak discretely or text. What’s the difference between the noise of a cell phone vs a noisy kid, or someone talking loudly to another person who’s there (“i can’t hear the other person when it’s a phone” is no rebuttal) , body noises, loud MP3 player music spilling out of the ear-buds?

    To me cell phone users are being unfairly singled out this way, same goes for “texting while driving.” Well what about eating-drinking while driving, or staring at a good looking woman jogging while driving? Those cause wrecks too, but no one says anything about that.

    That’s what I really have the problem with. To me, that is a form of discrimination akin to racial prejudice.

    I can relate about the “going back to work” deal. I myself NEED adult conversation & interaction and talk of matters that have nothing to do with kids in anyway.

    @Chally. I didn’t find the scooter article offensive at all & don’t think it was meant to be. I say this respectfully–I think you’re being too politically-correct sensitive about that.

    @Sky. I agree with you about the letter. But as for the phone, what if the person whom you called back took your approach & never answered? No one would ever talk. Might as well not have a phone at all in that case, ha ha. I also agree on the going-back-to-work deal–some mothers & fathers need some adult interactions, to hear “mommy mommy mommy!” cries every day all-day would drive them bonkers.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have posted to this thread? Hope I was respectful.

  18. I’m with Larry on the phone call with kids thing. The point isn’t that you can ever keep the kids from attempting to interrupt you; you can’t. It’s that you can make it clear that the interruption will not be received. If a kid comes charging in from another room suddenly needing something while I’m on the phone, the response will be, “Shh!! I’m on the phone!” They will be responded to whenl the call is over, unless there’s visible blood or something. This is exactly how my mom dealt with her five kids, it worked with us, and it works with mine. No mystery or magic (and I’m NOT an intimidating person!)

  19. @ pentamom and Larry

    My one particular kid and my grandson simply don’t respond to being told ‘shhh… I’m on the phone.” They (well he now) keeps pestering and pestering and pestering until he is patting me for my attention, and speaking more loudly, not more quietly. I can excuse myself from the phone, look him in the eyes and firmly remind him that he is not to interrupt, and he is to listen to my words, but to no avail. He just becomes more persistent and demanding, usually leading to my ending my call in a very bad mood, and him getting into some major non-listening to Gramma trouble. The less I respond to him in fact, the more insistent he becomes. Makes NO impression whatsoever. I am stymied in this area. Absolutely nothing has worked, and believe me, I have tried every strategy short of the aforementioned sedation.

    And Larry, I did click on your name, but it sent me to some weird place, so I am not having success sending you messages off board.

    The difference with the cell phone versus people having conversations with the people around them in terms of a restaurant type setting is that there is a perception on the part of the person on the phone, or so it seems, that they are in a private conversation. This can lead to a couple of things… one being the ‘don’t interrupt me!’ finger thingy, which we got often, not once or twice. The person on the other end isn’t in the restaurant, so they don’t have the social signal to pause the conversation to place an order, or respond to a question from the server, and often the actual person in the restaurant will not excuse him/herself for a moment to do so. The other thing is the discussion of private matters under the perception of being in a private conversation. People will, without hesitation, discuss things with a person on the phone in a public place that they wouldn’t discuss with the same person sitting next to them in the same public place. Who they had sex with last night, who said what about whom, all kinds of stuff that you’d talk about in your own kitchen, but not talk about loudly in a restaurant, people will talk about loudly on the phone in a restaurant.

    And, the loud music players I find just as intrusive. When I am on the campus of the university where I’ve worked the last 4 years I am so annoyed at seeing all the students get out of class and plug their ears to the world and their classmates. All in their private worlds, not interacting with one another at all. They also have a bad habit of texting in class, or facebooking on their phones.

    And I am totally with you on the cell phone users singled out thing, especially with the driving. A cranky toddler in the back seat is, to me waaaaaay more distracting than my phone.

    And you have been very respectful!


    I’m glad you commented. Debate is good for the soul, and too rarely today occurs without name-calling and insults. Each person’s experiences and kids are different. And I think remembering that and honoring that is part of this whole thing. What works for one kid may not work at all for another. I don’t want to be judged a bad parent because my grandson is, ummm, busy and personable, starting random conversations with just about anyone anywhere. He’s gregarious, not ignored and in need of attention. Thus, I have to likewise remember that a kid who won’t talk to me is not necessarily the child of a fearful parent, but perhaps just not gregarious. And thinking and hearing about others’ experiences with their kids helps, I think, to keep things in perspective. No one size fits all for sure.

  20. @granmoster. I fixed the “click on name thing,” if you click now it should go to my email inbox.

    @pentamom. Right on. I’m surely not judging granmoster or lecturing anyone, but I have found–you will get what you expect as a parent if you are insistent enough about it. At least that’s my experience as a father. With our 3 year old, there was one time she was resisting my wife-her mother with bedtime. I walked in, assumed “intimidation mode,” let’s just say when I’m in “intimidation mode” you could probably hear me 15 states away. It works. She didn’t budge an inch, you could see she wanted to get up badly, but she knew “I better not budge, or else I’ll really get it. ” Darn right you will!

    What would I do in the phone thing? Actually I intend to explain to them beforehand, when there ISN’T a call transpiring–when you see me on the phone, you are to become quiet & don’t interrupt. If you break this rule, I will come down on you big-time.

    Then, in a real situation, when they interrupt, I’d give them that 1 warning–I’d place the phone on mute, tell them “you see I’m on the phone, you know what I told you, DO NOT interrupt me again or else.” Then if they do anyway–end the phone call, and come down on them like a ton of bricks. I guarantee you they won’t interrupt me again.

    Sometimes you have to be nasty–you’d rather not, but if it takes it, I have no problem “going there” as it were. I wasn’t ASKING you to not interrupt me, I was TELLING you–and I meant it.

  21. ‘@Chally. I didn’t find the scooter article offensive at all & don’t think it was meant to be. I say this respectfully–I think you’re being too politically-correct sensitive about that.’

    I didn’t find the scooter article offensive, either, Larry. What I said was that I think its author deserves a little respect, eg being referred to with the right gender. I know I for one would feel dehumanised if someone referred to me as a guy (or gal) – I’m a woman – and also, Lauredhel’s gender is obvious from the post which shows that the post, while linked, wasn’t read properly, which is hardly respectful – with a “disability scooter” and as “The Scooter Person” without using my actual name. Step into Lauredhel’s shoes for a moment and tell me you think I’m being too PC. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to be basically courteous.

  22. @Chally. Actually, I think someone taking offense at something as simple as “scooter person” or “guy-gal” is being too sensitive and touchy, frankly. I see the description in the beginning of this page, and I see nothing discourteous in it. I stand by my original assertion–you’re being overly touchy and need to lighten up.

    Sorry, no “I apologize if you were offended” drivel coming from here. More & more I wish people who do take excessive offense at every little thing would be told “get over it” rather than everyone tripping all over themselves to protect their precious little feelings. Sometimes people just need to lighten up and stop being so petty. Don’t mean to a jerk, but I do genuinely feel this.

  23. I think the phone-rudeness thing stems from a difference in the perception of priorities. To me, real life always takes priority over a phone call. So I will cheerfully and unashamedly ignore calls even from loved ones if they come while I’m in the middle of a real-life conversation with someone else. Why should they get to take precedence just because they’re not actually here with me? (And yes, it is *just* because they’re not here with me, because if they were here they would stand politely by waiting for a chance to *join in with the existing conversation*.) I don’t even return calls unless I know who it was and why they phoned. If it were important, they’d have left a message.

    I remember reading something aimed at new parents on how to manage a busy home life. Imagine you’re at home cooking dinner on the stove, this article said. Then the phone rings, the baby starts crying, and the dog needs feeding. What do you do? The article went on to instruct that you should pick up the baby, answer the phone, then once the call was over, feed the dog. Dinner comes last, it said in as many words.

    And I thought, this is backwards. If you’re interrupted during the making of dinner, the *first* thing you do is turn off the hob. Otherwise your dinner might burn (or, at fearmongering worst, your house burn down). Then see to the baby, then the dog. Then go back to cooking dinner, or you won’t get any. Ignore the phone completely. When everyone’s had their dinner and the baby’s asleep, then is the time to see if the person trying to phone you left a message.

    And, since Facebook is a way of keeping in touch with people without having to phone them, it seems very counterproductive to defriend someone for not responding to your phone call.

  24. @Orielwen. What you said, the first part, actually made sense to me SOMEWHAT anyway. With regards to that you’re in the middle of dinner etc, do what you have to in order that it doesn’t burn, you can always call back later. Makes sense. (That said, I wouldn’t dare wait until that night to call-back, that’s too long. If my life were that busy I’d un-busy it a little, frankly. I do think people busy themselves too much, frankly.)

    But to not return a call at all? That is your choice, but yes–unless your particular phone is a frequent recipient of telemarketers, crank callers, etc I most certainly would consider it rude that someone wouldn’t at least call me back later. Years ago this practice was unheard of, even with no caller ID, even with telemarketers existing. Whatever changed in-between that time & now, I don’t care for it & adamently disagree with it.

    In my case, if I receive such a call, AT THE LEAST I reverse-search the number in to get a sort-of heads-up on who it is. Or, I send them a text “I missed your call what do you need?” I always think of this too–what if that person is someone I DO know but they’re having to use someone else’s phone because theirs was lost or their battery died? If that happened to me & the person I was trying to call didn’t answer, frankly–I’d be very steamed, and rightly so, I say.

    As for the Facebook thing, here is how I look at it. If the person is a very “casual acquaintence” & I wasn’t that close to them anyway, just bumped into them every now & then etc, then I don’t mind Facebook as a communications medium. I do that all the time myself, I surely wouldn’t want to have to call ALL of those people or meet them in person.

    However if they are someone I’m close friends with in real life, or have been, then I frankly find it an insult that I’d be relegated to “hit me up on Facebook” and for them to never take time to actually meet with me in person or an occasional phone-call.

    I don’t mean that we should talk on the phone every night or meet every other night, maybe call once a week or month or so, meet in-person twice a month or so, & communicate via Facebook in-between–that’s fine. I understand work & home priorities are the first obligations–hey, I live that same life myself. But when people who used to like to talk on the phone or meet in person now use Facebook IN PLACE of this TOTALLY, no–I take that as an insult, and I’ve de-friended them for it–both in Facebook AND in real-life also.

    Call me old-fashioned, but to use Facebook as a substitute for an actual relationship with an otherwise close-friend (vs casual acquaintances–again, I understand that fully) is just plain silly to me & I refuse to be a part of it. If that makes me abrasive, intolerant etc–oh well, I don’t mean to be, I just simply refuse to take part in any setup that promotes the superficial in place of something more substantive and to proudly waive the “I’m too busy” flag like it’s a GOOD thing and/or a badge-of-honor. Sorry, but I fully & respectfully disagree very much with that.

  25. Ms Harrison – You’re being a bit hysterical. That time of the month, is it? Obviously you need a man in your life; this screaming rad-fem separatist attitude of yours makes you sound shrill and unattractive.

  26. @Eric TF Bat. Actually, I am a MR, a male, so no I don’t need a “man” in my life, that would be a woman, and given that I’m married, I’d say that’s a done deal. Ha ha.

    I don’t mean to sound shrill & unattractive, it’s just that I find people who ignore phone calls even from friends to be “unattractive” (although it’s their right to do). That whole mentality is just tasteless to me. Now, granted, sometimes I may do that, SOMETIMES–the past 2-3 days I’ve had bad headaches & been almost bedridden, but even these past 2-3 days if I missed a call or whatever from someone & noticed it later (when I stopped laying down & was moving about a bit), I returned it.

    As I told a group of friends we met with last night, there’s a reason we’re meeting this way vs just having an online chat–the Internet is great but it’s no substitute for actually meeting in PERSON. One of the persons in that group who is, I can promise you, not at all the “shrill-unattractive” type, was lamenting much of what I was–that members of her own family limited communication with her within the Facebook realm only, would never answer calls, they were NOT at all high-profile or professionally-busy people for which this would make sense, and she found the whole thing hollow and un-fulfilling. So do I.

  27. Yet, curiously, it matters when you yourself are misgendered, Larry…

    Seriously, can we get an edit in the post, please? Or moderation?

  28. @Chally. Why would edit/moderation be required? Not getting that part. And I would think the “ha ha” would make it clear that I was clarifying, not taking any offense and lashing out over the innocent mistake which didn’t bother me.

  29. Chally, I don’t think Larry gets it. That Canadian chap Mr Skenazy seems similarly oblivious. I can’t take the irony overload any more, but you’re welcome to keep playing. I’m off back to reading blogs that don’t make me weep for the future…

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