Guest Post: Home of the “Brave”?

Hi Readers! — Some thoughts on how easily we criminalize erstwhile normal behavior. These are brought to us by Ann Sattley, a stay-at-home mother of two boys and author of the book Technically, That’s Illegal: An Experiment in Following the Rules and the blog of the same name,where she questions the efficacy of many laws.

The Home of the (lol) “Brave”? by Ann Sattley

When we say that the United States is the “Home of the Brave,” we must not be talking about our children or their parents. We can’t very well be the home of the brave if we run out and buy every new safety item and are concerned about our children’s eyes being damaged by the glare on notebook paper.

Besides the sundry products that are marketed to (over) protect our children, there are also laws that are selectively enforced based on whether a child was involved. No, I’m not talking about molestation or child endangerment. Those things are heinous. I’m talking about people getting fined and arrested for simply scaring a child.

In Idaho, a man was asked by the police not to wear his bunny suit anymore. He wore the suit in his own yard. I don’t know why he likes to wear the suit, but I do know why he was told by the police not to do so – because it frightened some children. What kind of children are these? When I was young, I would probably have followed a person in a bunny suit expecting to get some candy out of the ordeal. Maybe the children will feel differently around Easter time. Until then, the bunny suit is considered a public nuisance, and the man could be guilty of disturbing the peace — and traumatizing children.

You know what else is traumatic for a child? Witnessing a wine tasting. In Maine, any child under 15 is protected from such audacious displays of wanton disregard for civility. This law intends to prevent any child from even catching a glimpse of someone with a wine glass in their hand at a public event. Having blinds over the windows and doors is not sufficiently protective because a child might happen to glance into the room when the door was partially open. The sensitive child would then go home, cry himself to sleep and wake up deciding to become an alcoholic.

Imagine the precedent we set if simply upsetting a child or his or her parent would result in criminal charges. It upsets me that some people in my neighborhood don’t bother to recycle. It bothers me when young women wear a sports bra with no shirt on to run past my house. Although I’m sure this won’t bother my young sons in a few years, there has to be room for criminal charges in there somewhere.

If we looked for opportunities to help and empathize with our neighbors as much as we look for ways in which we can criminalize their behavior, we might revert to being the home of the brave. Until then, we’ll call the police when something annoying happens. — Ann Sattley

90 Responses

  1. My wife and I watched Swiss Family Robinson, the old Disney version, last night. By golly, that was a different era. Of course the details of the story are ridiculous – elephants, tigers, and anacondas on the same island? Pssh – but the message is still there. The movie shows those boys working, exploring, and adventuring constantly, and that this is a positive thing. My favorite part was when the dad pours everyone a Christmas brandy – himself, his 20-year-old, and his 16-year old – and lets the ~10-year-old have some “but just a taste.”

    Too bad the female roles are just as pathetic as the male roles are awesome. The women in the story are basically there to worry, hold pink parasols, and get kidnapped.

  2. I just read something online this reminds me of: a kid who at 14 had never learned to tie his shoes because his mom thought his self esteem would be hurt when he was younger if he didn’t have velcro shoes and had to struggle. http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/leslie-morgan-steiner/self-esteem-s-slippery-slope Our kids are stronger than we give them credit for.

  3. After reading this I’m going to cry myself to sleep and become an alcoholic tomorrow.

  4. Last Christmas time not too long after her 20th birthday, oldest dd went to the liquor store with my husband to stock up for the holidays. (For us, this means a couple of bottles of wine and a bottle of sherry all of which might last half the year.) Hey it’s always been okay to take your kids with you, right? The clerk tried to card her, and my husband said, “Oh, that’s my daughter, she’s here with me.” The clerk responded, “She’s really not supposed to be in here looking at this stuff.” He didn’t make her wait outside, but it was clear that he Did Not Approve.

    Okay, so, in about 350 days she’ll be allowed to drink it, but today it’s going to hurt her to look at it WITH HER FATHER?

    I don’t want to get myself in trouble so I won’t say what we do about letting our kids drink small amounts (graded by age) on special occasions, under our eyes. 😉

  5. “Land of the free” clearly isn’t doing any better than “home of the brave.”

  6. Yes, I don’t know when it started, but people nowadays too often want to bug the police about EVERYTHING. It is hideously ridiculous.

    What’s just as bad as people calling the police over every little thing are people not fighting against the insanity & instead just caving. The guy wearing the bunny suit, frankly I’m kind of disappointed in him. Why doesn’t he challenge this? Depending on the situation, I sure would. Like hell someone is going to tell me in my own yard what I can and can’t wear.

    Heck, 3 years ago CPS was in my yard responding to a call about some trumped-up nonsense, you think I was civil to them? Since their tone was very accusatory & they questioned my authority, I was anything but nice. I even used words like “you need to crawl back into the hole you came out of–and stay there.” Family happened to be there & they were strongly going at me to “calm down” and “you won’t get anywhere with them being this way.” I didn’t care, they were wrong to barge in on that pretense & I let them know it. Our daughter is home so all’s well that ends well. I have no regrets about telling them where they could shove it, and would do so again if the same thing happened again.

    Now, in other cases, they were very respectful & non-accusatory and almost apologizing for how they HAD to based on a call, even though it seemed obviously unnecessary. I was okay with them, my nastiness would be directed at whatever dimwit called over nothing. They are the sort of people I wish had been within half a mile of Mount St Helens in 1980.

    Don’t just observe how insane things are, fight it. Stand up for your rights. Don’t start a riot & don’t burn things downtown or that kind of nonsense, but fight. By all means, don’t spend your entire life riled up & angry at everything, but if an injustice comes your way, the LAST thing you need to do is just roll over, to have a mentality focused on “making it go away” no matter what compromises you make for this to happen. All you’re doing when you’re doing that is emboldening the idiots to keep on being idiots–evil even.

    You’re the parents, not the stupid cops or neighbors–act like it.

    LRH

  7. @pentamom — Clearly you don’t live in Minnesota or Wisconsin, where children in liquor stores are given lollipops. 🙂

  8. Pennsylvania, in fact, where the government runs the only stores where you can buy wine and spirits (local wineries are allowed to run their own shops, but only to sell their own labels there), and you can only buy beer in specialized beer stores and bars/restaurants. Crazy place.

  9. Another thing too–before I had children, I resented the dickens out of any law that inconvenienced me any at all or limited my freedom any at all “for the sake of children.” Whose children? They’re not my children. I still feel much the same way even now that I have a 2½ and 4½ year-old. Believe me, I’m all for the “community” Lenore speaks of, but children-free adults especially should not be inconvenienced or have their freedoms limited any in the least out of concern for children whom they had no part in creating.

    So–keep the school zones out of my way as best as you can. Make gasoline cans I can actually use, my freedom to use a gas can that doesn’t take a NASA engineer to use is not any less of a deal just because someone’s rug-rats aren’t under proper free-range control and they got into a can of gas & hurt themselves. If I want to get drunk (I don’t), that’s my business–that someone else has kids & they see me drink and are influenced, it’s not my concern nor should it be. When I was a 20-something in the 90s I used to love the Notorious B.I.G. (aka “Biggie Smalls”). The lyrics in those songs were VERY denigrating to women–but, I DARED someone to tell me I was wrong to listen to what I wanted to in my OWN CAR because “children are around.” (No I don’t play “Biggie Smalls” in my car with my kids now.)

    People have this obscene idea that once you become a parent & have children, everything & everyone else around you has to change their orbit. That’s nonsense. People like to drive 70mph on the roads to get somewhere at a decent time rather than pitter-patter along at 40mph just because someone else thinks the entire planet has to drive like a 90 year-old just because THEY had kids. People like to gamble at the casinos & have the legal right to in states that have casinos–I have no right to demand casinos be banned because I fear my kids may grow up to have a gambling problem.

    I tell you something else (forgive me if I’m ranting too much)–I don’t like it when, say, a gas pipe line explodes and they report “15 people died, 7 of them children.” That implies the 7 children who died is worse than the 8 adults who did. Says who? Where is it written that a child’s life is more important than an adult’s? Because the adult lived longer? So what, that doesn’t mean anything. You have people who die at age 9 from leukemia, people like Pete Maravich dying at age 40 from a heart attack, meanwhile you have people live to be 95 Who’s to say how long someone is supposed to live and how much of their life and living is left-over?

    The other reason given–the children had no say-so in being where the accident happened, the adults did. So, in other words, the adults dying from that is less tragic because they chose to go there? Unless the place happened to be the top of the Empire State Building, that’s no basis. The adult who died in a car wreck from another drunk driver–they’re no less innocent than the child in the car.

    But in this country, besides not respecting people’s freedoms as much as we claim to, we also have this inflated sense of children being worth more than adults, when that simply isn’t the case at all. (Yes, I am a parent, and I say this–everyone told me before I had children “you’ll change your tune when you become a parent.” No I haven’t.)

    That’s where a lot of this comes from, I think.

    LRH

  10. Oh, the police were REGULAR guests at my house when I was a young teenager. My three youngest siblings are 8, 10 and 11 years younger than I am. My mom got a ticket once because they were in their diapers playing in the back yard with the hose. The neighbors used to call on us ALL THE TIME for the same thing. My then 8 year old sister being in the front yard alone. Um, really?

    Then mom called the officer a name and received another ticket for language in front of me, a 12 year old.

  11. I don’t know why our country is avoiding teachable moments for children.
    Drinking wine in front of the kids is a way to talk to them about responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages. If you outlaw it and hide it, don’t complain when your kid gets alcohol poisoning from binge drinking in college.
    Making up laws instead of having conversations with our kids doesn’t protect or teach them.

  12. @pentamom: “I don’t want to get myself in trouble so I won’t say what we do about letting our kids drink small amounts (graded by age) on special occasions, under our eyes.”

    I don’t know about Pennsylvania, but in many states, if not most states, it is not illegal for children to drink in their own homes under the supervision of their parents. Of course, if you allow your sixteen year old to have a glass of wine at dinner, you still need to be careful about inviting busybodies to share a meal with you.

  13. Once buying a bottle of wine I had my two year old with me, sitting in the cart, holding the bottle as I waited in line to pay. The cashier said you cant do that. Do what I asked? He can’t hold that! I chuckled and said it’s not open, he’s not drinking it. But people will see she said!
    After I paid for it she put it into a brown paper bag and handed it to my son! I think my eyes got big because she then said well now no one will know what it is. Really?!

  14. E. Simms, on September 21, 2011 at 00:43 said:
    @pentamom: “I don’t want to get myself in trouble so I won’t say what we do about letting our kids drink small amounts (graded by age) on special occasions, under our eyes.”

    I don’t know about Pennsylvania, but in many states, if not most states, it is not illegal for children to drink in their own homes under the supervision of their parents. Of course, if you allow your sixteen year old to have a glass of wine at dinner, you still need to be careful about inviting busybodies to share a meal with you.

    __________________

    In Alberta, Canada it is legal for any child in my care to drink in my dwelling OR temporary dwelling (ie hotel rooms, houses where I am staying over the night, etc.)

    I looked up the law because my ex is a police officer and I wasn’t about to get on the wrong side of that, lol. Interestingly however I am the one who has to inform police officers in my acquantance of that law. I have a copy printed out and show it to them now, lol.

    So I DO let my daughter accompany me to the liquor store, and to drink alcohol in my house. She has developed quite a palate, which I think is great: this way she will skip all the cheap/crappy beer/booze that kids drink, and not drink as much since the things she likes are not inexpensive!

  15. Jynet — I’ve heard conflicting things, and given the really strict attitudes in PA and the U.S. generally (I mean on the part of government), I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was illegal to give your own kids alcohol in your own home.

    At any rate, yeah, I pretty much only do it when it’s just us at home. It’s not just that I’m concerned about busybodies, it’s that I also suspect some of our friends would be troubled by it on one level or another, and I’ve no wish to invite them into my home to cause them offense. The kids get that it’s a “just us” thing.

    If someone like me were to allow, say, a 20 year old to have a beer on her own (with permission) every once in a while after a long day of summer work, I’m sure LOTS of people would be scandalized. But nonetheless, I have heard rumors that people very close to me do that. 😉

  16. I think the thing to do is to know the law WHERE YOU ARE and then decide if you are willing to break that law or not.

    When we travel in the US I make sure I look up the law because when we travel here (or other Canadian provinces that allow it) we will split a bottle of wine with dinner in our hotel room, but in certain provinces and some states we can’t do that.

    I can see (with a bit of googling) why in PA you wouldn’t allow it, but 42 states do allow some underage drinking in certain circumstances. Here is a handy chart for those of you not in PA 😉

    http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591

    Be sure to look up the actual statutes in your own states!

  17. The drinking age in the United States should equal the voting age: 18 years of age. I’ve drunk (or drank to all you gramarians) at younger ages, but I’m no alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease associated mostly with poor genes.

    I went out with two women (at different years, of course) who stayed away from the stuff because their father and their brothers were addicts. They did not want to become them. Age was definitely not the issue.

  18. @pentamom- our beer distributor (in PA) hands out dum dum lollipops and even has a cute dog to pet at the cashier. The liquor stores are a pain in the ass, but they are better than dealing with those breathalizer machines in the supermarket kiosks to get a bottle wine! Talk about discouraging drinking…

    That said, if alcohol is so bad for our kids and you are liable if you serve it to them, why do we allow them to advertise it so much?

  19. Laughing at the bunny suit, because we had a bunny suit issue with my 2 year old at the fair this weekend. There was someone dressed in a Peter Rabbit suit in the small animals section, and my two year old was checking him out carefully while holding onto my legs. My husband told her “he’s going to EAT you!” and my daughter screamed higher than I’ve ever heard her go and hid behind me while trying to get me to pick her up and get her away from there.

    Sounds like some places both my husband and Peter Rabbit would have been in some serious trouble. We were just amused by how she kept a careful eye on that rabbit the entire time we were in that area. She was so concerned that she wasn’t even enjoying the real rabbits, which she usually adores.

    Jynet, I’m glad to see my state is one that allows exceptions for when kids can have alcohol in private settings. My husband intends to teach our kids about it at home. I can’t stand the taste, but I see no reason to make him hide alcohol from my kids.

  20. Highwayman, are you saying the alcoholic genes are the poor ones, or that there’s a general mess of “poor genes” in the person that are associated with alcoholism? Because alcoholism runs in my hubby’s family but I wouldn’t consider him to be the owner of poor genetics.

    *sigh* People around me aren’t free-range at all. I’m teaching my 3.5 year old son how to cross the street without holding hands because we live right across from his best friend. There have been instances where I’ve been in the backyard and he’s unlocked the front door and “visited”. Yes, we have rules against this, and, yes, punishment ensued. But the fact of the matter is he’s going to do it, so I should teach him to be safe about it. And it’s worked!

    However, I’m getting a lot of flack from others about this. It’s just so stupid. I retort with, “Well, I could not teach him how to look for cars, and then he’ll just get hit. What do you think?” They don’t have an answer to this.

    Of course, one of my most ardent nay-sayers is my friend that tells her kindergarten son that if he walks too far behind her on the sidewalk (say, a house or two away) then someone is going to come and snatch him and do horrible things to him. Right, like that’s ever-so-plausible.

  21. @Lollipoplover – Amen on the teachable moments!!! I was allowed sips of wine or beer as young as toddlerhood, I could have a small glass of wine with dinner on special occasions in grade school, and by high school I was allowed to have an entire beer or glass of wine provided I wasn’t leaving the house for the rest of the evening.

    And guess what? Not only did I not drink at parties in high school AT ALL, when I went away to college I didn’t drink on campus until I was a junior! And I was never a binge drinker, if anything I was the one who was taking care of the people who had too much to drink.

    There was never any sense of mystery or rebellion around alcohol, and I learned my limits gradually, which is why I have yet to get sick from drinking too much. If my parents had forbidden alcohol altogether, things would have probably worked out quite differently, and not for the better.

    Of course, there is the slightly embarassing fact that “beer” was one of my first words,.. I’d come running every time I her my dad open a can, shouting “Beer! Beer!” But…uhh… at least I don’t do that now that I’m in my late 20s. 😉

  22. Wow, N, that link was pretty unbelievable. A non-disabled 14-year-old who can’t tie his own shoes? I had to note, too, how in the comments a couple people responded to a 12-year-old not being allowed to walk a few blocks to a store with non sequitor-ish stories about how they wouldn’t let their 5-year-olds walk alone. Yes, because a 12-year-old is just like a 5-year-old. And of course, the obligatory insistence that “it’s a different world now.”

    I have no kids, although I spend a lot of time with my niece and nephews, in addition to having been a kid myself once, of course, and I firmly believe that mastery of skills is the surest route to self esteem for them. I think mastery is especially satisfying if it comes after a period of difficulty- frustration is good! I think that the proudest I was of myself as a high schooler was not when I achieved in areas that were easy for me, but when I finally got a geometric concept that I had to work like a fiend to master. It was frustrating, but ultimately extremely satisfying. I fear that a lot of kids these days are being denied such opportunities.

  23. “The liquor stores are a pain in the ass, but they are better than dealing with those breathalizer machines in the supermarket kiosks to get a bottle wine! ”

    It was announced a couple of weeks ago that they’re discontinuing those. They weren’t profitable. Wonder why (rolls eyes.) I don’t think they even made it to this part of the state.

    Yeah, I haven’t dealt with beer distributors much — they may do that around here. We hardly drank beer ever until the state started licensing Wegmans to sell six packs through their “restaurants” (kudos to Wegmans for outsmarting the PLCB legally) and when we did, hubby was always the one who went to the beer distributor. Now I just pick up a six pack every couple of months when I’m shopping.

  24. Highwayman, speaking as an armchair grammarian, drunk is correct there.

    I drink today, I drank yesterday, I have drunk on occasion.

  25. LOL, per Jynet’s very informative link (thanks, Jynet!) I live in an enlightened state where giving holy communion with wine to people under 21 is illegal. Way to create a law you have no intention of enforcing!

  26. Thanks for all of your comments, everyone. I sure am enjoying this discussion — and now I have something else to research (underage drinking in your own home in Indiana).

  27. that thing about the wine tasting isnt true is it??? Not only do I *gasp* drink in front of my children at home, we have brought our children along to wine tastings, and *double gasp* even an entire WINE FESTIVAL! Why should we hire a babysitter for every outing? Why not expose our children to a little culture? There are often local artisans, and music and good food at the festivals. And they need to know that every millisecond is not about them, that sometimes they have to sit through things mommy and daddy want to do!

  28. The bunny suit incident makes me think that the man is a fan of “furry fandom” or a “furrie” who likes to dress up in animal costumes. I know, (he he!), but hey, this IS a free country still, isn’t it?
    I could think of many worse neighbors to have than one that dresses up as a bunny. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    If your child is afraid, maybe you can ask the man to remove his mask to show that a person is under it? Simply banning him from wearing his costume to protect your child from being scared won’t save them when you visit a theme park, any professional sporting event with a mascot, or the mall at Easter.
    Parenting through avoidance is avoiding parenting.

  29. You are very welcome, pentamom, and others 🙂

    I think the twin pilars of FR Parenting are knowing the law (where you are) and community.

    If we build the community there will be fewer people “reporting” perfectly normal behaviour. And if we know the law those people who DO report normal behaviour can be headed off at the pass with a polietly worded “It isn’t illegal, mind your own business!”

  30. Ann I have been reading your blog and I love it. I also think we have an absolute ridiculous number of laws for every little thing. I also agree where you said that we’re turning into a nation that tattles onto the police about every little thing & we get our jollies off on those “COPS” shows that show people getting busted, not thinking about the fact that with all of the laws we have covering every stinking little thing, any of us doing that laughing could just as easily be that crook on TV we’re laughing at.

    Keep it up, Ann. I am glad Lenore has discovered you & posted one of your entries as a “guest post,” you deserve all of the positive attention coming your way from those of us here.

    LRH

  31. I guess my kids are screwed because they witness us drinking all the time. Glad I don’t live in Maine.

    The bunny suit is weird. It probably would creep me out too if some guy was just walking around in a bunny suit all the time. Maybe he is a furry? But again that is his right to do so, so besides avoiding that guy he is free to make a weirdo out of himself as much as he wants to.

  32. Someone mentioned a 14 year old who could not tie their own shoelaces. I wouldn’t be so fast to mock. I had dyslexia as a child and I did not master shoe tying till about 11. I just wore non lace shoes and was fine. I had another girl in my grade who also was dyslexic and did not learn to tie her shoes till high school. I graduated college cum laude and graduated high school with a 3.6 GPA in Honors classes. So intellect has nothing to do with it nor does ability to be successful. Our brains work differently and that probably was why shoe tying was so hard for us. I see things backwards sometimes and it gets confusing.

  33. I am with others about drinking age needing to be 18, not 21. If you are legal to be tried as an adult, hold a job as an adult, live on your own, have kids of your own, and go to war, than you are legal to decide to have a drink.

    My parents were somewhat European in how they raised me about alcohol. They drank in front of me. I even saw my father drunk a bunch of times. He was a funny drunk. I was allowed to have a sip if I wanted one. It was not taboo. I went through a lush phase in college, but I hardly drank at all in high school. I was safe when I did decide to drink by making sure I had friends to watch out for me and I was in a safe place, etc. I never have been in trouble about it. And now I don’t drink at all except once in a blue moon. It is all about modeling responsible drinking habits.

  34. Larry: that is your personal opinion though. To you a child’s life is equal to or less than an adult’s life. I feel differently. I would give my life in a second for a child. Not even my own child if it came down to it. That is just me. I do value children over adults. Mostly because I have liked just about every child I have ever known, but I hate a crapton of adults. So just by being a child you are way cooler in my book than an adult. I have the right to feel that way. Just as you have the right to feel differently.

    I actually HAVE risked my life for children more than once. For my own and for a stranger’s child. I don’t regret it. Would do it again a 100 times over. My life is not worth that much, but a child’s life has unlimited potential and well I would die happy knowing I saved a child.

  35. Dolly- you could be right about the blog post in question- it’s entirely possible the kid has learning disabilities that make doing something like shoe tying a bitch. The post doesn’t mention that, so it’s hard to be sure. I can definitely see, as the post insinuates, how a kid who’s raised with velcro so he won’t have to struggle, winds up at 14 without the ability to tie laces.

  36. Dolly, except the article mentioned specifically that it was a perfectly normal 14 year old who was not taught to tie his shoes because his mother didn’t want to hurt his self-esteem so gave him only velcro shoes.

  37. I recently saw a young college aged girl swishing saucily down the street with a racoon tail airily affixed to her rear end.

    it was…oddly disturbing…

  38. In fairness, Donna, the writer of the piece might not KNOW what issues this kid has, and the parents might not have wanted to disclose any issues to outsiders. Or he might not be actually diagnosed with anything, but it’s still a problem.

    I’m another one who didn’t learn to tie my shoes until I was in my double digits. I had fine motor control issues, but I never received help for them (official help) because I had no actual diagnosis at the time and (as my mother informed me years later) it was logistically impossible to have therapy for that, speech lessons, AND be in the gifted classes at school, so they picked two out of the three and hoped for the best.

    My parents didn’t go around telling people “Oh, she’s clumsy and sloppy” (which is largely what it said on my IEP, but nicer), or “There’s some fine motor control issues there”, they simply said “She prefers not to wear laces in her shoes, what can you do?” and let it go. If pushed, sometimes they said “Well, teaching a lefty when you’re right-handed…” and for years I thought they didn’t grasp how hard things were for me! (No, they did, they just didn’t feel like spilling the beans to everybody they met. I kinda wish my mom still had that approach, because… well, it’s a long tangent.)

    Just because the mother in that anecdote said “Self-esteem!” that doesn’t mean that was the only issue – or that it was the reason at all.

  39. Yes to what Uly said. Even though I had dyslexia you could never tell by just meeting me. I only was in special ed for 2 years. Then I was able to mainstream no trouble and make honor roll. Once they got me to read then I was fine. Yet, some things like tying shoes gave me trouble. I did struggle with it and kinda gave up on it. My mom could have pushed me and I would have got it eventually, but at what price? It was causing both of us stress. So I waited till I was older and more mature and then one day when I wanted to, I sat down and worked with it till I got. It was about me being the one who wanted it. Not my mom. Kind of like how you can’t make someone quit smoking, they have to want it for themselves.

  40. Maine and other states and municipalities are legislating childhood into the trash.
    It’s all about fear. This culture is being dominate by fear mongerers. In the end, it’s about profit. Keeping parents inside, in controlled environments, in watch mode helps corporations by allowing them to captivate kids and parents formthe sole purpose of selling them a lot of crap they do not need.

  41. Alcohol had no mystery for me as a kid, BUT I was not allowed sugared cereal growing up. When many of my peers were getting wasted freshman year of college, I was taking care of them…and eating captain crunch every day…first cavity at age 18 (but no alcohol poisoning!)

  42. OK, maybe someone brought this up, but in wine tastings, isn’t the point to spit out the wine? If all kids thought they were supposed to spit it out, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Or have wine tastings changed in the last 20 years? (My step mother used to belong to a club and would host meetings sometimes. Not, usually, on the weekends I was over to visit though.)

  43. Part of this also shows the decline of being neighbors and a community where if you had an “issue” with someone you would go over and talk it out with them, not call the cops on them. It’s sad to think of what this world will be like when I have grandkids in 20+ years!

  44. Yes Dolly you have the right to the way you feel, but that doesn’t make it right. I think it is that attitude that leads to a lot of this nonsense in society–a noisy child has the right to be noisy whereas the adult doesn’t have the right to peace & quiet. (As you yourself have said, if your child is noisy in a public place it’s rude to make other adults around have to suffer because you fail to at least try & control it.) A child having been hurt by excessive curiosity regarding a gasoline can is regarded as more important than the aggravation of millions of adults having the new design forced on them. A man’s right to dress however he pleases on his OWN property is made less important than a child supposedly being frightened by it.

    Moving on: I agree fully with Lbell. I’ve often-times said that if I were a police officer, I would first ask the complainant if they had attempted to address the issue with the supposed offender first, and if they had not, then I’d specifically refuse to get involved until they had tried to first, and even them objecting about being “intimidated” would not change my mind. If the rules don’t allow a cop to make that discretion, I think it should be changed to where they can.

    LRH

  45. Oh look at that, I live in a state where not only can I not give my kids a sip of wine on holidays but they can’t take full Eucharist either. I’m sure the old ladies at church won’t mind having their share of the host. I do have to wonder though, my uncle is a cop. He saw me take Eucharist every week for a decade before I was of legal age and I specifically remember being served wine at holiday dinners in his home. Should he arrest himself, or is almost 10 years beyond the statute of limitations?

    It is absolutely inexplicable that an 18 year old is old enough to decide who governs, enter legally binding contracts and serve our country, possibly making the ultimate sacrifice, and they are not old enough to drink legally. I would really like to meet someone, anyone, who can explain how this makes any sense.

  46. Heather, if you want a law to really make your mind run in circles here’s one from Wisconsin. My youngest sister is 19 and works as a bartender. Has a bartender’s license from the state. She can legally stand behind the bar and make alcoholic drinks but she cannot stand in front of the bar unless her parents are with here.

  47. @pentamom. You know what is really weird? That in the US it’s perfectly fine for a 15 or 16 yo to have a baby. Any mention of the word ‘abortion’ and you’ll get a ‘oh no, she’s plenty mature to care for a small human being who is totally depended on her’. But a 20 yo, someone who, at that age, could be married, has been driving a car for four years, who might be some toddler’s mother for all we know, must be protected from seeing bottles of alcohol in a shop.

    I don’t know what offends me more, the blatant lie of the shopkeeper (because you *know* he’s not at all concerned about ‘protecting’ your daughter’s sensibilties but he *is* concerned about keeping his license) or the wilful insertion of fantasy in reality (because the idea that a 20 yo, heck a 12 yo!, has never been exposed to a bottle of liquor is ludicrous).

  48. And talking about being offended… As the awesome Steve Hughes says, “you want to live in a democracy and not be offended?”

  49. TOTALLY off topic but this showed up on a parent board I frequent:

    Alert issued 9/20/11 at 9 PM. The NY State Dep of Criminal Justice Services has issued a Missing Child Alert for 8 children, all named Nephra Payne ages 11 months to 11 years. Last seen near 112th Street in Forest Hills Queens at 5 PM on 9/19/11.They are believed to be traveling in a black 1996 Chevy Suburban, NY
    Reg: EXZ5896 but could possibly occupy a black 2003 Ford, 4-door sedan,NY Reg: ZDF6104 or a 1993 black Infiniti J30, NY Reg: ETK1598.If the children are seen, contact 1-800-577-TIPS

    8 MISSING kids (all siblings, named for their father, allegedly taken by their mother from foster care because she was tired of legally fighting to regain custody)…so the missing kids stats just went up by 8…

  50. Danielle, if kids at wine-tastings were illegal in your state, the group running the wine-tasting would probably have had rules forbidding you from bringing your kids (assuming it was a public event rather than a private party.) They’d be on the hook at least as much as you if it were deemed illegal.

    And Marion, in PA the liquor stores are literally a government agency, so the guy wasn’t so much worried about “keeping his license” as he was an agent of the state, enforcing some silly rule they had, although apparently only half-heartedly as he did allow her to stay. I don’t think anyone was expected to think he believed that looking at bottles of wine and liquor would harm her, as that he was “just following the rules.”

  51. Larry: I am with you on many things you said. I don’t like kids acting up in pubic and bothering adults or childproof locks on medicine bottles, etc. My arthritic hands can’t open them and I would rather they not be on there. I keep my medicine where my kids can’t get it and so I don’t need the caps. But that is not the point I was making. I am not talking about quality of life here temporarily. I am talking about actual LIFE. If it came to choosing to save the life of a child or an adult, I would choose the child. Everytime. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Adults sin and hurt people and have hurt me. A child has never hurt me or sinned against me. So they are automatically going to be more worth saving their actual life to me than an adults. You don’t have to think that way, but you can’t tell me I am wrong either or make it about trivial things. I almost threw myself in front of a speeding car to save a stranger child. I would have happily died for that child. I was already jumping and running before my brain even knew what I was doing. Luckily the child stopped when I screamed at him and neither of us had to be hurt. I don’t know if would do that for a stranger adult. But a child, oh yes, every time.

  52. Larry: I also want to speak out in defense of people that call the police first instead of talking to the person. I have tried to talk to the person first and was yelled at, cursed at and insulted and threatened when they were in the wrong. So I learned my lesson and now if I don’t know the person, I will not confront them or talk to them first. I just call the authorities. That is what I pay them to handle for me. I am not talking about trivial things. But if they are breaking the law and I am in the right, then I call the cops first. How would you feel if you as a cop denied someone to help them and then they went and tried to talk to the person and got shot by them? It happens. In my case it was roaming dogs on my property that were either destroying my property or acting vicious toward us. When I asked them to keep their dogs contained I got yelled at and cursed at and threatened. Our state has a strict leash law so I was 100% in the right. So it was not trivial. I was right.

  53. @pentamom. The US government sells liquor?!!! *falls of chair in shock*

    This would be the same government that, in our grandmother’s day, prohibited alcohol and for the past thirty years waged a ‘war against drugs’, THAT goverment?!

  54. @Marion – I live right across the border from PA, so I can vouch for pentamom’s assertion. The situation in PA is ridiculous, not only are all the liquor stores state-run, there is no such thing as one-stop shopping for alcohol. You more or less have to go to 3 different stores if you want to get beer, wine and liquor. Also, booze is way more expensive over there. 😛

    For as much as people like to complain about NJ, this is one area where they’re actually quite reasonable, both in terms of not over-legislating and in terms of prices. 😉 It’s actually a great relief to know that when I have kids (assuming the laws don’t change) I will have the legal right to teach them how to handle alcohol in a responsible manner!

  55. Uly, I would agree with you about our generation of children. Back in our childhood, parents didn’t talk about disabilities. Today parents wear their children’s disabilities as a badge of honor. Children are either gifted or special needs. There are no average children anymore. It falls into the martyr idea of motherhood that is so prevalent today – the worst you have it as a mother, the better a mother you are.

    And the mother didn’t just make excuses that her child didn’t like tied shoes. She specifically stated that she chose not to teach him to tie his shoes. Maybe it’s just me but I imagine that a mother would say that her son was dyslexic before she would admit that she didn’t bother to teach her kid to tie his shoes until he was 14.

  56. Donna: Mothers of special needs children are special mothers. They deal with something that mothers of average children are lucky enough to never have to deal with. I would trade any “street cred” as being a special needs mom in a second if it would make my children’s special needs go away. It is part of who they are but at the same time, I hate to see them struggle and I hate struggling with them.

    I always say God gives us what He knows we can handle, so special needs kids are given special parents who are able to go above and beyond to take care of a special child. Many of my mom friends say they don’t know how I do it everyday. They respect me for all the extra “effort” I have to put in everyday. They see it firsthand. I certainly would rather not have that respect though if it solved all my children’s issues. I would rather be considered an “average” mother too. However, that is not the cards that I was dealt by God so I must rise to the occasion.

    What you said hurt me and I think it is offensive to special needs families. Maybe some parents make up problems for their kids or use it as excuses to slack on stuff or get special treatment, but we don’t. We just do the best we can with what we have and I think we do a damn fine job, thank you very much.

  57. and ps-I DON’T like talking about my children’s special needs to everyone and anyone. If it is someone that they NEED to know like a doctor or nurse trying to give my son care or their teacher at school, etc. Then I am willing to talk about it. If it is someone who seems to genuinely care then I don’t mind telling them about it. Otherwise though, it is no one else’s business and I don’t go around shouting about it. I actually had a special meeting with our child director at our church because the system was set up so that a different helper watched their class every week and I was having to explain my child’s special needs EVERY Sunday in front of all the other kids and parents and I was very uncomfortable with that. I don’t want my child to feel different or wrong and same for the other kids and parents seeing him that way. I was going to see if they could get a permanent helper in there so I only had to explain it once and know it is taken care of.

    I also see other adults and kids giving my son crazy looks when he does his special needs tics and I don’t rush in to defend him or tell them his personal business. I just glare at them back to let them know that I notice their rude stares and we don’t appreciate it.

  58. Well I can see what Donna is talking about frankly. I am NOT talking about you personally, Dolly, I mean that, but I have met many a parent who either tries to make out like they’re the hero of all-time because they have a “special needs” child or their child deserves special accommodations even to the point of enabling bratty behavior, because–well, they’re a “special needs” child.

    And yes, I think it’s rude–even AFTER you mentioned your experiences–to call the police over something without discussing it with the potential offender first. Yes it’s unfortunate that those particular persons were rude to you & threatening, that was wrong–but it’s no less wrong for you to call the police on other persons who very well–heck, very LIKELY–would respond differently and would totally fix the offensive behavior if only they knew it was offensive. To have the police handle every single thing because of the RISK that the person you’re confronting could be dangerous is to basically make our society a police or a nanny state–which many of us absolutely do not want.

    LRH

  59. @Donna and Dolly- my son is consider “special needs” by our school for his medical condition (absence epilepsy), but he declines services offered. He works very hard for his average grades, but it is more important to him that he be treated like a “normal” kid than to get special treatment. I understand that every kid is different, but mine would rather manage his disease on his terms -no meds at school, no physical restrictions at gym and recess.

    I don’t take on a special role as his parent for his condition, nor do I consider what I do going above and beyond another parent. Do I spend more time coaching him with homework than my other kids? Absolutely. The specialist visits and testing sucks too (as do the copays and medication not covered by insurance.)
    But I’m not going to slap a ribbon on the back of my car because of it. He would be mortified! I saw a green ribbon on a car the other day for “Celiac Disease Awareness” but I thought it said Celine Dion Awareness.

  60. Taradlion mentioned the New York mother who “abducted” her 8 kids from a foster care visit. The point was how most “abductions” are in fact custody disputes etc where the parents are the ones who “abducted” the children, and it’s true.

    At the risk of being WAY off-topic, though, I’m going to say this: free-range is NOT about being legally reckless, and I don’t think that incident is a free-range issue anyway, but my non-free-range affiliated opinion is this: unless the parents were molesters or abusers etc, I support and advocate what they did. The government anymore, in many ways having or not having to do with free-range, just doesn’t respect the sovereign authority of parents as they should. The government has no business taking children away from parents for ANY reason other than the parents are molesting the children, allowing them to be molested, neglecting them in ways that are extreme (such as, say, leaving a 6 month old unattended overnight on the roof of the Empire State Building, on a 23’F night–naked, wet), or beating them so hard that blood squirts out of their eyeball.

    Instead they get involved because someone lets their child free-range responsibly and a jerk of a neighbor or school/teacher etc thinks that’s their business, or you raise your voice at your child to tell it to mind and someone takes offense to that, or your house is less orderly than Martha Stewart’s (as opposed to, say, looking like you let 50 cats live there and you don’t dispose of any urine/feces) and the FedEx guy notices and calls social services etc.

    The government is acting recklessly and, dare I say it, in an EVIL fashion to meddle in family affairs under any situation not extreme, and nothing in the reports I’ve seen indicates the parents were that way. If that’s the case, who can blame them for what they did? The government isn’t respecting them, so why should they respect the government?

    The only reason I disagree with it is because of the stress it brings to the children’s lives to be on the run, and because if the children would’ve been returned ultimately had the parents “played the game” with the court meetings & so forth over a few months period, they would’ve gotten their kids back WITHOUT being on the run and making things worse long-term.

    But I think it’s high time someone took a stand–WE’RE the parents, not the nosy busybodies or the government or social services etc.

    Yes, I need to be careful, this is free-range and free-range is NOT about thumbing your nose at the law and being irresponsible, and as a rule I am not one to so much advocate it either, but I do consider this wrong and I think it’s great that someone is taking a stand against it.

    LRH

  61. Larry: I agree with you when it involves manners things, like asking the neighbors to bring in their trash cans out of the road. But matters of the law such as violating a leash law I believe are better handled by the police. Because think about it. These people are already KNOWINGLY breaking the law. So that shows right there what kind of citizen they are. So if they are totally cool with breaking a law, then do you really think they will change just because a neighbors asks them to? Let’s just say that I have had many problems with leash law violators around here and every single one of them get pissed when you ask them to contain their dog and don’t change. So why even bother confronting them?

  62. Lollipoplover: But you do go above and beyond. You have to take him to all those specialist visits and therapy. You have to spend extra time doing homework. It may not be a huge deal, but don’t discount the hard work you do either.

    I also sport no such ribbons on my car. I had dyslexia as a child and I too chose to most of the time never even tell my teachers even though if I wanted to I could get special treatment in the classroom like extra time on tests and retests etc. I just did the work, got my A and went on. Once I learned how to read in special ed, I was fine. Most teachers were always surprised to find out I was dyslexic if they did find out later on.

    I teach kids to be responsible for themselves and to do THEIR best, whatever their best might be regardless of their special needs. But I most certainly will not tolerate others dissing me for doing right by my kids or for them to get jealous of my “cred” because all the hard work I am doing is making them look badly. They need to deal with their own insecurities.

    I have special needs children and I still travel all the time with them, more so than other families I know with typical children. Mine behave better than some other typical children I know. Oh well, I am not apologizing for that nor am I bragging for it. It is what it is.

  63. Dolly I think a good question is (a) whether you’ve previously asked them or not and (b) if it really affects you anyway.

    Out-of-control dogs and ESPECIALLY noisy dogs are an affront to society & I welcome anything that puts irresponsible dog owners in their place. In that regard, you & I are actually a lot alike. I don’t hate dogs, but I hate NOISY dogs and I hate dogs that aren’t made to stay in the owner’s control and, preferably, living space.

    I mean really–what if I had a bear or a tiger and it was always running loose and tearing up people’s garbage and/or scaring them? Would they like me saying “they’re just doing what comes natural to them, if you don’t like it, fence up your yard?” (I would say it is THEY who need to fence their yard to keep their animals IN, now I having to fence my yard to kept their animals OUT.) Or if my tiger or giraffe etc were making loud noises, would they want me saying “that’s what giraffes do, and I WANT them to make noise if someone strange comes in the yard–sorry if you don’t like the noise?” I seriously doubt that explanation would work for them–so why should dogs be any different? What makes them think they deserve special treatment and latitude to pollute our living space?

    So, believe me Dolly, I understand full well where it regards annoying and menacing dogs.

    HOWEVER–I still sometimes let things go if the context suggests I’d be behaving like a jerk to be nit-picky. Once I was at a lake where dogs aren’t allowed without a leash–or actually I think they’re not allowed at ALL, I forget. Anyway a young lady–admittedly, she was attractive & that probably made me want to overlook anything–but still, she had her dog there, and she & I were practically the only ones there, her dog was well-behaved, and she actually seemed unaware. I didn’t say anything, though, and in fact when the lake warden came by & made an issue of it, I apologize to her and basically told her I thought the lake warden was being a jerk.

    Telling the lake warden was the last thing on my mind, even if the dog HAD bothered me (which it wasn’t), I would’ve told the PERSON first, and then if they had called me names, THEN I would’ve most certainly told the lake warden.

    I mean, seriously–rule aside, what harm would it have done for the lake warden if he had just asked me if it bothered me (after all at that time I used to go there a lot he practically knew me), and once I said it didn’t, then let it go, other than telling the person “by rule dogs aren’t allowed here, but since this person doesn’t object, I will let it go JUST THIS ONCE, TODAY, but just know for the future I will have to ask you to remove it?” After all, the idea behind the rule is how dogs can irritate other persons, that wasn’t happening in this context–why make an issue of it?

    People need to learn to judge context this way sometimes. Having the cops on your speed dial doesn’t make you a “responsible citizen,” frankly it makes you an asshat.

    LRH

  64. Against the law to let a child see booze in your hands?! Just when I thought people couldn’t get anymore stupid. Surprise! Sometimes I wonder what would happen if many of the adult population (the paranoid ones) were to suddenly just disappear. Maybe we can start from square one and get it right this time. You mess up the kids with these dumb laws, ingraining fear and distrust in their heads, making them believe the world isn’t a safe place to live in, you are messing with our future. Can you say “1984”, World War II German occupation type all over the world, mass suicides “the end is nye” mentality? Dumbasses like these law makers do more harm than good. Especially when they lose all sense of logic and common sense.

  65. Larry: Well you are a man and of course you are less likely to be afraid confronting someone about something. You could defend yourself in a fight I imagine. I could not. I am female and an especially fragile one at that. If I got punched and fell down I would end up hospitalized from arthritis and my hurt back and my anemia from any blood loss. So I am super cautious about doing anything that could result in me getting attacked physically. Just because you are not scared of getting punched for telling someone to keep their dog in their own yard, does not mean I am not scared.

    I never make an issue of something unless it negatively effects me. If a dog is not pooping or peeing on my yard or bothering us, then I won’t care less. However the moment it growls, snaps, intimidates or bugs us or pops a squat on my lawn, then the law is getting called every time. Just like if you have a truck on blocks in your yard, I could care less. However you block my driveway with your truck, then the law is getting called everytime because it effects me.

  66. In regards to the 14 year old not knowing how to tie his own shoe laces, I think that’s pretty astonishing. Yes, you can argue that due to dyspraxia (dyslexia is problems learning to read or hearing words differently). And that’s understandable. But this kid didn’t have that, or the article didn’t mention he had it. It said he was a normal kid. He just never was taught. When you aren’t taught, you never learn, and when you never learn, you never know what to do. This goes for tying shoe laces, walking to school by yourself, dealing with situation that arises and no one else is around to help you, etc… In “thinking” that buy this kid velcro shoes all his life would increase his confidence was completely ignorant. Because now, when things he does really do matter in his development of his confidence in the real world, he can’t do the things most kids his age can do. At that age, kids can be pretty cruel. How do you think his confidence would be when he’s picked on? This goes back to the same point we always make, what you teach your kids when they are young enough to understand you, will affect them as they get older in life. I’m guessing this kid’s parents were too afraid to frustrate their child by teaching him how to tie his own shoe laces. What they failed to realize, is it’s that frustration that will teach him. Not only to tie his own shoe laces, but also patience, problem solving, and accomplishment. Overcoming all the obstacles in learning how to tie his OWN shoe laces (frustrations and all), when he finally does do it own his own, that’s more of a confidence booster than 10 pairs of velcro shoes. That prideful, accomplishment will stay with him all his life. Now the only thing that will stay with him all his life (even after learning to tie his shoes after the age of 14), is that he was 14 before he learned to tie his own shoes, with no dyspraxia. That’s pretty embarrassing, and huge ego bashing. Paro parents…it’s NOT about YOU. It’s about your kids, and their future. NOT teaching them will ONLY hinder them. Hiding things from them, sheltering them, spoiling them, will only lead to a life of cluelessness and uselessness. All that because you want to feel better about YOURSELF? Pathetic and selfish. You can argue all you want, dress it up how you please, and convince yourselves “it’s for your kids”. In reality it’s all about you, your fears, and your destroying your children’s would be bright future.

  67. I am going to surprise some people–I sort of defend a person not teaching a child to tie their shoes, but not for the reason that the original parent had, and I DO agree with those disapproving of the mother doing it for the “self esteem protection” reason.

    My reason is because, frankly, I think it’s silly we even have tie shoes at all to start with. Even as an adult, they irritate me. They seem to come untied every 3.5 seconds unless you double-tie them–and then, when it comes time to un-tie them, it takes longer. Velcros or slip-ons are just easier. Maybe I’m lazy, but I personally think tying shoes is too much work.

    Velcros didn’t catch on, and I don’t know why–unless people think they look dorky. I could care less, slip-ons and/or velcros are easier, and ease of us is my #1 priority with almost anything I do and/or am involved in.

    LRH

  68. Bull Eric. I had dyslexia and it is NOT just problems learning to read. It causes other problems. For one thing it causes bad handwriting which I have and that is related to weird hand issues which COULD effect shoe tying. I was ambidextrous and they made me pick a hand. I think I picked the wrong one. Either way I have always not been great with hand eye coordination. I still cut myself every time I attempt to cook.

    Way to go though telling someone who is dyslexic what dyslexia is. I only lived with it my whole life, what the heck do I know right?!

  69. I agree with LRH. Shoelaces are annoying. Even though I learnt to tie them at a young age they alwys irritated me. Now that as an adult I can choose my own shoes I always wear slip ons

  70. Larry- I can definitely see your point about people being too quick to call the police. I live in something of a compound -myself in an upstairs apartment, sister and family in the downstairs, mom in the back. In the past few months, the neighbors have called the police three times on members of our household. The first time was because my 11-year-old nephew and his friend, in a tent in the back yard, were making too much noise. Second time was because my mother was picking blackberries in their yard, something their landlord had cleared her to do. Third time was because they claimed we had roosters in our flock of back yard hens. In all three cases, it was an utter waste of police resources. In fact, the officer called to the scene in the last episode was pretty disgusted (he said, “I should be policing the Phish concert,” after he determined there were no roosters.). People can really develop a knack for using police to referee neighborhood grudge matches, and that’s not what they are for! Tell the noisy kids in the back yard to shut up, bitch to your landlord about the old lady picking the blackberries you don’t want, address the rooster non-issue yourself. People need to be proactive, not use valuable police resources to address minor matters.

  71. Dolly, I don’t know what you do in the “real world,” but you talk incessantly about having a special needs child here. Barely a thread goes by that you don’t mention that you have a special needs child, usually apropo of nothing.

    I had a special needs young child – 2 years of speech therapy has resolved the major issues. I think I may have mentioned that off hand once or twice here. I absolutely never refered to my child as special needs, nor did I think I was anything great as a parent because I took a child to weekly speech therapy. My kid is just my kid and I’m just her mom. No “special” needed for either one of us.

  72. “@pentamom. The US government sells liquor?!!! *falls of chair in shock*

    This would be the same government that, in our grandmother’s day, prohibited alcohol and for the past thirty years waged a ‘war against drugs’, THAT goverment?!”

    Nope. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They claim that maintaining control of sales will limit abuse and underage drinking. You can guess how well that works.

  73. “You more or less have to go to 3 different stores if you want to get beer, wine and liquor. Also, booze is way more expensive over there.”

    Yes to the second sentence, but beer and wine are sold at the same stores, and ONLY the same stores. But beer is never sold at the same place as wine and liquor, ’tis true.

    Another annoying result of the state-controlled system is that you only get what the state system decides to stock. That doesn’t particularly bother me (except in principle) since we only drink inexpensive wines and (a few) inexpensive liquors. But for people who care more about it and can afford to be connoisseurs, they’re just out of luck. They were even cracking down on mail-order stuff for a while, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

  74. “I thought it said Celine Dion Awareness.”

    There’s a gold mine of snarky jokes buried in there somewhere, but I’m not smart enough to dig it out. 😉

  75. Dolly, I urge you to get tested by a developmental optometrist to see if you need vision therapy, if you have not done so already. My oldest son had EVERY issue related to dyslexia (some of which you mentioned) and it turned out his eyes were not focusing together on the things he was looking at. He couldn’t tell anyone that how he was seeing was abnormal because it was normal to him. Vision therapy “cured” a host of sensory issues and the ADHD that the doctor wanted him to take meds for when he was diagnosed right before starting vision therapy.

    Today, our first visit this year to the OT, the OT said that he has improved so much that we can change from weekly visits to monthly. He just needs to up his speed when writing some, and we will be done after 6 years of OT! If the eye doctor had believed me when he was 4, we may have had only a few years of OT, instead of this waste of time until he could see straight. And yes, it was hard for him to tie his shoes until he was most of the way through the vision therapy.

    Oh, and just to make it clear, vision therapy treats the muscles of the eyes to make them stronger so that they can look at the same thing at the same time, without high levels of concentration. You are probably divided in concentration when cutting stuff – I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself. Driving may be another area where the therapy would be helpful. Vision therapy has nothing to do with focus – which is what most eye doctors check when they check your eyes. Just like there are things that can mimic ADHD, there are also conditions that until pretty recently that have gotten lumped together with dyslexia – and the fact that you have more than just letters as the issue, leads me to think that you may need further testing and perhaps help. Your child too, if he/she has the same issues.

  76. olympia I agree 100%, and in fact I will go farther–people using the police to resolve those matters should THEMSELVES spend the night in jail for harassment and waste of resources, or be fined–the same thing done to people who do things like call 911 because they can’t find the TV remote control or the electricity is out. I consider both one & the same.

    LRH

  77. “Yes to the second sentence, but beer and wine are sold at the same stores, and ONLY the same stores. But beer is never sold at the same place as wine and liquor, ’tis true.”

    ARRRGGGHH!!!! Sorry about that, it made no sense. Take two:

    LIQUOR and wine are sold at the same stores, and ONLY the same stores. But beer is never sold at the same place as wine and liquor, ’tis true.

  78. Larry: If you call the police for any violation of a law though then it isn’t a waste of resources or harassment. It is reporting a crime. The guy in a bunny suit in his yard, is a waste of resources since that is not against the law. Reporting a unleashed dog on my yard is reporting two crimes, leash law violation and trespassing. I agree about calling the cops over non crimes. That is stupid. But if it is a crime then you can call them all you want and they can decide whether or not to do anything about it.

  79. I’m in Texas Not only can children drink wine at a religious ceremony their parents can serve them at home and even in a restaurant. (The restaurant does have the right to refuse). When my sister and I were teens, our parents would allow us to have 1 glass at meals. Most restaurants would “serve” my parents then my parent would hand it to us.

    Funny a couple of times we were refused – until the manager came over and realized who Dad was. Then they figured it was not a TABC trick and served us. (Dad was their Miller Distributor. ) I honestly think that my parents doing this saved me a lot of grief. Before I left for university I knew that a few sips of wine would effect me. So I don’t drink.

    Beer and wine can be purchased in the grocery stores here, and parents are required to take their kids into the liquor store because it is illegal to leave kids in the car. We would often eat in the “bar” at restaurants as kids.

    For several years I ran the children’s activities at both a Wine Tasting and a Beer Festival.

  80. If my kids didn’t occasionally see me drinking a glass of wine, then there would be reasons to call CPS when I got fed up and duct taped them to the tree outside….

    My kids are aware of the dangers of alcohol. They always make sure one of us is the designated driver when we’re out having a drink with dinner (mom and dad do rock paper scissors to determine DD). But they also have sips of wine at communion and know it’s not going to kill them. They have yet to drop over dead because they saw me having a glass of sangria. Probably because they know that some days, the glass of sangria prevents their untimely demise…

  81. “If you call the police for any violation of a law though then it isn’t a waste of resources or harassment. It is reporting a crime. The guy in a bunny suit in his yard, is a waste of resources since that is not against the law. Reporting a unleashed dog on my yard is reporting two crimes, leash law violation and trespassing. I agree about calling the cops over non crimes. That is stupid. But if it is a crime then you can call them all you want and they can decide whether or not to do anything about it.”

    So your saying, instead of hashing it out with the “violator”, it’s better to call the cops right of the bat instead of working it out amongst yourselves. I can understand with repeat offenders. But right off the bat? That’s a douche move especially for a dog on you property. Different story if damage is being done to your property, or an actual REAL crime is occurring. But misdemeanors, or by-laws. I agree with LRH, that’s a drain on resources. Especially when there are real crimes happening that an officer is pulled from to deal with a call of a dog on someone’s lawn. But let’s just go with your “the law is the law” mentality. Then if someone saw you jay walking from one side of your neighborhood street to the other (say after visiting your neighbor across the street), you would be ok for them to call the cops on you…everytime? You wouldn’t think it’s a waste of taxpayers money for officers to be called in for that? After all jay-walking is against the law. Having your grass too long, spitting, littering, and in some states watering your lawn off times is against the law. Should anyone and everyone get called on for these? Or perhaps some laws, in certain situations can be over looked at the discretion of the person reporting and/or the cop. Or worked out without getting the police involved. How often do people get off of speeding, rolling on a stop sign, even running a yellow light (these are all against the law). Police officers can issue tickets at their discretion, why can’t civilians choose to not jump the gun on others for very minor things. Unless of course they are complete douche bags and have a holier than thou attitude, then it wouldn’t be a surprise. But just remember, what you apply to others, you MUST apply to yourself.

  82. […] Guest Post: Home of the “Brave”? (freerangekids.wordpress.com) […]

  83. Dolly, a reminder. This thread isn’t about you.

  84. If the crime is causing harm to you, then yes, you have every right to call the cops first. Notice I never said I would call the cops for a dog on my lawn. I said I would call the cops the first time the dog used the bathroom on my lawn or growled, snapped, etc at us. Those are things that are effecting me negatively and hurting me. If the person is going to blatantly ignore a leash law from the get go, what makes you think they would stop just because you asked them to? In this scenario several times I would talk to people first and it never solved the problem, only made it worse. So from now on, I call the cops first.

    If I know my neighbors or see them as reasonable people I will go to them first. If I know they are not decent people or I don’t know them whatsoever, then I am going to the cops first. If I break a law that is negatively hurting them, I would understand why they would call the cops on me. BUT since I have never done anything that rude or illegal, I am not too worried about that happening and so far it never has.

  85. Buffy: A reminder, no one was talking to you.

  86. Just out of curiousity, how old are some of these “hide the alcohol” laws, and are they ever really enforced? I know we have a few of them in my province, but they were put in place way back when, and pretty much ignored ever since. There’s neither political will to enforce them nor, it seems, will to remove them. So there they sit, in all their ridiculousness, until someone decides to make a point.

    An individual can only bring two bottles of wine across a provincial border, for example. Recently someone very publicly brought a whole case — gasp — as a publicity stunt, to make the point that this law might hamper people from buying excellent regional wines directly from the vintner. It fizzled. There was some radio airplay but the official position of the police was, in a nutshell, who cares. And the government said that they will get involved in commercial shipping but not private purchases. The law’s still there, though, and won’t go anywhere. Maybe the police can use it to confiscate the car full of liquor when they pull someone over for drunk driving.

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  89. “Just out of curiousity, how old are some of these “hide the alcohol” laws, and are they ever really enforced?”

    I doubt it. It’s impossible to enforce the aspect of the law that makes it illegal to give your own kids alcohol in your own home, after all. No one even pretends that the few states that ban alcohol in religious ceremonies intend to enforce it.

    In public settings like wine tastings, I have seen situations where the people who set up the tastings simply forbid admission to anyone under 21, accompanied or not. I suspect the PLCB might very well give them grief if they didn’t, because it’s a way to collect fines and score points about how effectively they’re protecting our children.

    I think these laws were put in right after prohibition ended, and it’s not so much that they were written to forbid things like letting your kids have wine at dinner or wine in religious ceremonies, it’s just that they were written without exceptions specifically included and the language comprehensively forbids all underage drinking. And they’ve never been amended since, because in order to do that, you have to publicly go out there and say you are in favor of letting kids have alcohol, which would bring the wrath of the purists down on you and make you an evil person — and the legislators couldn’t possibly get caught “voting in favor of teen alcohol use.” You see how the game works.

  90. Oh, and the thing about transporting in alcohol from other states — yes, that’s illegal. But people do it all the time, since if you live near the border, you can get stuff cheaper and with a better selection just by crossing. We live not too far from the New York border and my husband used to occasionally have opportunity to visit Buffalo with his boss, where there’s a big emporium for the stuff that his boss also liked to visit, and he’d occasionally bring home something. It’s not like they have checkpoints up for it, but I suppose if you were pulled over for some other reason and it was noticed, you’d get fined.

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