10 February 2009

How I Take Care of My Children.

If you're not beating your kid *right in front of me* or locking him in a hot car and walking away, I don't care what you do. Want to marry your daughter off at 13 to some weirdo on the compound? Well, have a nice life. Your decision. I guess I'm more pro-choice than some other people who bandy that title about. I think if the kid's hit puberty, she can get married just as well as have sex in the public school stairwell (no, I'm not linking to that story).

Since when did we as a society evolve from the idea that you should take care of your kids your own way and good luck to ya... to "take care of your kids the way the school, doctors, and assorted nosy people like or you'll lose 'em if you don't?" It bothers me.

You know, when I had my younger two children at the hospital, did you know they would not physically let us go until they'd SEEN the car seat in the van and SEEN how the child is strapped in? Oh, boy. That gets me really mad. It's not their kid! It's not their flipping business if I have buckled the child in well or not. Once the child is out of the hospital, it should be ZERO concern of yours. But I don't specially want nosy DFS people at my door. And I was gonna buckle the kid in anyway. So fine, go look. Grr.

We have a Ford Taurus station wagon and when the kids were small I'd tell Patrick and G to go get into the trunk so we could get going somewhere. It's kinda fun to see people's eyes pop out and snoopy nosy-noses pointing back over at your car until (drat!) they realize that the children are nicely buckled in a real seat in a real car.

We had a lot of fun in that vehicle until the state started messin' with our lives. New law came out stating that all children under 8 had to be in a booster seat unless they were, like, six feet tall and 185 pounds. You know, stuff that would be impossible to have really happen before the kid is 8 unless he's doping steroids or something. The back rear-facing seats you specifically can NOT put baby seats in or use booster seats with. So the car became USELESS to us unless we pushed things and brought smaller children to sit in the front. It was way safer the way we were doing things before.

We bought our van right about then. Every now and then, though, if the van needed servicing we'd either have to drive illegally, do the "leave the kids at home, hurryhurryhurry and pray they're all there when you get back" thing or find someone to watch them (HA! Ok, that was good.)

And so it is with school as well. D tells me to QUIT telling people that my younger children don't go to school. Just say they're homeschooled and show the record books and portfolios and have your kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance right there and ... Ok, mildly exaggerating. But you know what? It's none, none, NONE of your business if my children go to school or not.

My middle children don't go to school.

I was asking our eye doctor where I could find some low-cost eye screenings for Elf and Emperor next year. I'm thinking Elf will be nine and it would be nice to just get a little "can you read this line?" kind of screening to make sure he's seeing well. It isn't like he'd be having trouble reading the blackboard, so I just want to cover all the bases there.

Ah, he tells me, the school should have told you all about this. You're REQUIRED to get a screening from a LICENCED opthamologist, don't you know?

No, I didn't. That was nice of our lawmakers to do. Didn't cost them a penny, either, and only think how that would help the economy in employing those starving opthamologists and makers of nerdy kid glasses. But you see, I didn't know this information because

My kids don't go to school.

OH! They're homeschooled?

And I'm tempted to say, no, they're not educated at all but are being raised by wild wolves in my back yard. Good enough for Romulus and Remus. Ok, but I don't. He's a nice guy and I tell him yes, they're homeschooled.

I've been reading in the news about parents who are taken to court and charged with murder and neglect for not doing exactly what the doctors want with their children. I think it's a very slippery slope there. SURE, wouldn't it be nice if all moms and dads had common sense and we all agreed on when "prayer" is the answer and when medicine is the only way to go?

But we don't all agree. So I think we should butt out of people's lives so long as they're not endangering anyone else. And I don't mean their kids; I mean OTHER people's kids.

Once we get into letting the doctors make all our parenting decisions, we can be very certain that children will receive lots of expensive treatment they don't need, and in the cases of terminal illness, will miss out on their last few moments undisturbed at home. They'll just have extreme measures taken in some hospital bed instead of spending time with their families outside or cuddled on the living room couch. Costly, expensive things that might or might not prolong life.

HEY, you say, but what about the children who die who could have been saved with a simple antibiotic or blah blah blah?

Well, you have me. So, we should just let doctors make the final decision always, right? Or maybe I should get the right to say that YOUR kid can't skateboard because of the zillion head injuries caused by skateboarding each year? It's only for your child's good, and if we can save *just one life* through good legislation, we'll all go away knowing good has been done here.

So, no skating. No smoking near your kid. Your children must have eye and ear exams yearly with super-specialists who cost about $100 an hour (and by the way... an hour is now 5 minutes long... but only when the doctor is in the room), and you must visit the dentist twice a year and your kids *better* remember to floss and they can't be overweight. Or else. But that listening to obscene lyrics and dressing your infant like a street-crawler? That's ok.

I think we intertwine "concern" and the "law" too deeply.

21 comments:

  1. Fortunately, we have not reached the point (like England and California) where homeschooling is outlawed.

    And yes, I agree, the "Nanny State" is a bit much.

    Joe

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  2. I agree about the nanny state but just so's we're all clear here, England still allows homeschooling. It's places like Belgium & Germany don't. And I'm not American but I thought you could still homeschool in California too. Did something happen while I wasn't looking? Now I'm comfuzzled.

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  3. I have to pretty much agree with you.

    The whole car seat thing makes me super mad. I have some that are little and would never ever get out of them.

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  4. Boy wast this good stuff! I could have written it myself! When carseats came into law, my thoughts were that it was just another way to pull babies out of their mommie's arms.

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  5. I think we intertwine "concern" and the "law" too deeply.

    I think so, too.

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  6. I agree - made me think of the time I took my youngest to the doctor for a yearly check up and find out he didn't have a required shot he should have rec'd several years before - they made me feel like a horrible mother because I didn't know about the shot however they caught it on his records and took care of it (but it must be because I homeschooled - if you had seen the look, however, they have been our doctor for 8 years and already knew this) - and if I'm taking him every year for check ups and also during flus, pneumonia, etc - they never caught it and I'm not a doctor - how would I know what shots he needed when I thought they were keeping me up to date on all of that after each check up - I changed doctors and let the new one know why -

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  7. It gets trickier with stuff like helmets and smoking because the state often picks up the tab for non-fatal catastrophic brain injuries and later respiratory illnesses, respectively. Of course, the same can be said about adults smoking and not wearing helmets. But otherwise, my mother is quite fond of saying "the world would be such a better place if we everyone just minded his own darn business."

    Allison

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  8. It's much the same here mate. WE are not even allowed to LIGHTLY smack our child or risk going to court and losing said child. MAD MAD MAD.

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  9. I know what Joe's talking about here, Ganeida!! Recently in the news there was some little Miss Countess Lady Duchess Something Other who sounded off her little spout about homeschooling and it has some people worried.

    In California, the court actually ruled for a time that there were NO homeschooling rights. Thankfully, the same court reversed its own ruling, but that also got people pretty worried.

    Rightfully so, given how society is getting too deep into "protecting" people.

    Ooo, Zimms and Cathy, the whole "lug the kid in the carseat" all the time thing is another subject entirely. When I'd have a sleeping infant, you'd bet I would do that esp. when it's bitter cold, but it just seems in the carrier the baby is another "accessory" to the mom's outfit if you know what I mean.

    I knew you would agree, Terry! :]

    Kathy, I'd let the OLD doctor know why as well. We refused two shots for my children and refused to sign some blanket waiver saying our kids were gonna die if they caught the disease. We got KICKED OUT of their stupid medical practice. Our new doctor does ZERO shots. Gonna have to post on this sometime, but thanks for writing!

    A, this is JUST THE REASON I don't want universal healthcare. Because money-wise I could sure use the "help." But forget it.

    Chris, I think the pendulum is just too far on the other side there, but here as you know it's ok for TEACHERS to beat the snot out of your kid, lock him in the closet, etc. OH. And they don't have to tell you that they did that, either.

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  10. Absolutely love this post. I breastfed all of our now grown and bearded men..:), But when they were babies there was no seat belt legislation. I know, it's hard to believe I'm that old! But it's true. And on car trips to see Granny down south, Babies rode in my arms, able to eat when they needed to, be sung too when they needed soothing and somehow we made it there safe and sound. Although I'm sure moderns wouldn't agree with that thinking, They'd say we were just lucky. But I do know we were happy. And then as our younger children came along, and seat belt and carseat regulations grew,,children were relegated to their prison chairs and the best Mom could do was to twist around in her seat and try to touch them..very frustrating. Sure made trips take a lot longer to, with frequent stops to nurse, cuddle and console. And yes, I think we all agree the nanny state has gone haywire. But yet, then we hear about some child being abused and we think..wow..why didn't someone do something. I'm not for sure there is any solution to this conundrum. We want to protect our weakest, the children of our world..and there are such terrible people out there..and yet, we know our children our safe, so leave us alone, right?

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  11. "I think we intertwine 'concern' and the 'law' too deeply." Also agree.

    ...but, don't know you, the government will save us. I mean, they're dumping $9.3 trillion dollars into this "recessed" economy and look all the good it's done!

    ...wait a minute...

    Grr.

    ~Luke

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  12. I just finished reading a Science Fiction book called Parable of the Talents, a future dystopian novel along the lines of 1984, in which a group called Christian America takes over and steals all the kids of those who don't think like them, imprisons the adults in work camps. The kids are adopted by good "Christian" families where they are abused, molested and made to recite scripture for hours and hours a day.

    And, as I reviewed the book, I couldn't help but think that the author just had a thing against Christians. I wondered whether she saw children being taken from parents because of the way they educate their children, whether they give them antibiotics, etc. would as just as frightening.

    Anyway, I wrote my review here. This is not my regular blog and I don't know if I am going to continue writing here or not. It just seemed like a good place to write about what I am currently reading.

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  13. Our family is totally in agreement. Of course, we homebirthed and plan on homeschooling. Socialism and the government taking over parenting is scary. They birth, poison - 'er vaccinate, brainwash - 'er educate our kids and are thinking of limiting discipline so our kids can all grow up liberal athiest criminals that the government can take care of and use as a point to set up more laws. My hubby teases that if anyone ever tried to take away our kids that he'd have his guns ready.

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  14. Mrs. Knifton,
    But what about those children whose parents don't take care of them..They are the ones who fill our prisons and fail in our schools. I'm actually one of those feared Liberal elites..and I don't fear government taking my children..but I sure do worry about the little girl being raised by a heroin addicted mother at the local Boys Club where I work..Who is going to care for her?

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  15. back when selt belts and car seats weren't mandatory the roads were safer, there was less traffic, less congestion, giant SUVs weren't cutting off tiny sedans

    kids on bikes didn't have to ride down streets filled with cars

    plus we live and (hopefully) learn - so as new things become available that makes life safer for our children why wouldn't a responsible parent just naturally want to do it

    I think some (not all) laws are necessary to protect children - children are people, not the livestock property of their parents - actually I think animals should also be protected

    when I was growing up there were few agencies or laws that got involved and my siblings and I suffered for that

    one of your commentors - mrs knifton - is a good example to me of someone who children need protecting from
    hateful assumptions about liberals and atheists
    and a cavalier attitude about gun violence

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  16. Betty it is hard to know some moms will still abuse so I'm with you on feeling for those kids. I just really don't think more laws help people be more responsible... unfortunately.

    Luke I totally TOTALLY disagree w the spending package but feel for those families in a bad bind. :[

    Yikes on the book Julie but have heard similar things spoken about Muslims and am disinclined to believe them...

    Mrs. K, I do think that schools and health programs are so much propaganda but I also think many of the people running them really do care about the children. I just VEHEMENTLY disagree with them like you do.

    I'd never advocate the guns going but even Frederick Douglass himself spoke of shooting Federal Marshalls who wanted to return slaves... and even people today fantasize about killing Hitler lol. Would that be a good Christian option? I'm not sure.

    Betty when my hand feels a bit better I'll have to post on what about those kids bc it is a grave concern!!

    Dianne, I can assure you that Mrs. Knifton is my friend and doesn't have a cavalier attitude about violence, among other things. But I think we roll over too easily when laws are passed. Both conservatives and liberals sometimes forget that this Constitution thing guarantees the right to trial (such as we hear about in overseas prisons etc. run by our government!) and free exercise of religion (such as the horrid FLDS raid!).

    Here's an interesting post that juxtaposes abusive situations in private homes and in public schools if you're interested:
    http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2009/02/for-children.html

    Hugs to all and thanks for commenting!

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  17. Hmmm, interesting food for thought here, as always!

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  18. I really REALLY like how you think and put your slant on things. You make me think.

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  19. Thanks, Tracey!

    Veronica, I'm sure you were thinking before ya read this post, too. :p Love you and praying for Nan!

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  20. Dianne,

    Mrs. Knifton and her husband are some of the best parents I know. I know her in real life, too.

    Get a sense of humor or blogland is going to be a very stressful place for you!

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  21. We live in a different time. I remember when I was a kid, half of our basketball team would pack into the coach's compact car. No one wore seat belts back then.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)