Thursday, December 17, 2009

From My Orbit

As usual, read the letters here

LW#1: Oh for the love of Pete. Nothing says helicopter parent like "we're not diapering widdle baby because we read a book on how great it is not to!" I mean seriously, you have to be there all. the. time. Plus, the "most places in the world" that don't "do this" also have insane disease transmission rates, unhealthy streets and dirt floors.

Seriously, dude, I have been there. I have seen the diaper-free babies. They are not diaper-free by mom's choice. Look, I'm going to get to praising you in a minute, but I have to take a pause here to berate you a bit. Okay, back to rant:  In fact, the women have a lot less choice in a lot more things than you think, so stop fooling yourself that they're so in touch with their babies and their peeing and pooping out of something that is anything other than dire necessity.

I mean, organic reusable cotton didies won't do it for you?

But okay, praise time: You are really researching for your twins, and you're doing some very nice things for the planet by trying to go low-impact here. You are to be commended. Also, I appreciate parents who are going to make their kids learn to go diaper-free post haste, because it is good for the planet and teaches personal control and how many more anal-expulsive folks does this world need?

Oh yeah, you ever heard of something called a "baby shower registry?" Use one. Load it up so there are organic options for every budget. I mean, go nuts. People will think you're greedy, not that you are trying to save the planet. Or, worse, that you're an ingrate when they buy you bottles loaded with phthlates and you shriek in horror and pick them up with tongs and put them in the trash. You may also want to consider naming a charity (perhaps one that helps women in non-diapering countries have access to choices about their and their family's economic future) people can donate to in the babies' names.

But really, consider the reusable diaper. They not only will save any nice carpet or Pergo floors you may have (not to mention your sanity), they will probably help you in this huge adjustment you're making bringing these two bundles of joy into your lives.

I'm just saying, there is being a good citizen of the Earth, and there is realizing when you need to give yourself (and your sweet diddumses!) a break.

Oh, and please do not do the non-vaccination foolishness.

That's all.

LW#2: Your aunt did WHAT???

That is shameless, and I reckon there is not much more that you can do other than to confront her and ask her to be straight with you now. And if someone lets you know they gave money to her, you might want to tell them the truth, because it isn't fair to that person to lie to them.

While talking bad behind her back might make you feel good and might give you a little vindication, (because I am not going to say you need to continue the lie to anyone else that she has perpetrated) don't let anger and bitterness get the better of you.

Sometimes we pay a price to find out what kind of people other people are, literally.

LW#3: You'll feel uncomfortable? Huh. Imagine how the wife will feel.

You have been sucked into this man's personal drama, and you basically let it happen. When a jerk tells you: "I told her you were going so you have to know or she'll know!" those are about bad consequences happening to *him,* not her. So you are supposed to say: "Well, let her know." or just, "You'll have to tell her I had a migraine and couldn't go." I mean, reach down deep inside for some strength or something!

But since you couldn't dig then, you'll have to freaking excavate now. I mean it, get out the emotional backhoe until you find a little seam of internal iron, and tell him (face, phone, email) that you don't appreciate being his alibi and he can't rely on you to keep the truth from his wife is she asks about any lies he has dragged you into. Tell him to get his shizz together and reevaluate his life and marriage, because they are none of your beeswax anyway.

LW#4: Oh great, all the Fraystians are going to go bonkers on this one.

Look, let's take religion, which is totally fraught, out of it. Imagine if your parents were really big fishermen, and they liked to go fishing all the time, and you, you are cool with fishing because it is a family tradition, even if you'd rather not bother on your own. And, although you aren't the most faithful fisher, you find comfort in your family's fishing heritage and skill. But the boyfriend really, really, really does not like fishing and in fact disagrees with it so much as to say he doesn't want to get on your folk's boat at 5 a.m. because he'll get seasick. You tell him, geez, it's just a lake, man, you don't even have to hold a pole. And he's all, no way, I am so not in.

The thing is, we all have to do things for family's sake that we normally wouldn't choose to do and certainly don't want to do. He should be mature enough to know this, and to indulge you and your parents. Sounds like he's not. (People, going to church is not the same as torturing small animals, unless it's one of those places with speaking in tongues, and then that can be amusing and anthropological to boot!)

On the other hand, if you're concerned about your parents finding out he's an atheist because he won't go to church instead of finding out he's a boor who won't just do the bare minimum to fit in a family, you need to reconsider your own maturity levels. Growin' up, it's not about covering up who you and others are for the 'rents' sakes.


  1. Good, wise and firm. As always. Of course, I could have done without the anal-expulsive link, but, hey, it's good to learn something new each day, right? ;-)

  2. Hi SpaceCadet,

    As always, I enjoyed reading your take on things.

    Here's what I think about each:

    I think the couple in Letter 1 will do just fine. How they choose to parent is up to them. But as for gift registries, I don't go for that. Thank the givers for their generosity, and whatever they can't use, or don't choose to use, donate to someone who will use it.

    Your advice to LW2 is dead-on. Changed the way I would have thought to deal with it.

    I also agree with your advice to LW3.

    As for LW4, I just don't see why anyone would make such a big deal over their boy/girl-friend, spouse or anyone else going to church with them. If you want to celebrate any occasion at church with your fellow congregationists, do so. And enjoy your time with loved ones who choose not to.

    As always, I really liked reading your take on the letters.

    Wishing you the best through this festive season.


  3. You know Pooham, since reading some of the horseshit on the fray about how awful these parents are for not Pampering the world, I am more inclined than ever to stand behind these parents. Not so much the babies (ba dun dum!), but I hope they'll balance their idealism with pragmatic realism and not beat themselves up for the adjustments they *will* have to make.

    Also, I tried to have a limited wedding registry and tell people to donate to charity. Funny, but no one really wants to donate to charity, they want to donate to YOU, even if you tell them you have basically everything you need and don't really have much in the way of wants.

    Also, as to LW#4, I'm not sure why people are saying it's different when religion enters the scene as opposed to anything else. I think there are some things families do together, and if you are going to be/want to be part of that family, you kind of have to go along with their traditions, much the same as your SO should kind of roll with your family's traditions. Church is about more than just religious faith, and I daresay in my forays into houses of God they've actually been more stocked with people looking for a social outlet than a God outlet.

    Ultimately, though, the problem lies with the LW trying to change her bf without even talking with him, and trying to make sure nobody in her family has any problems with him instead of working towards everyone accepting everyone else as they are. I don't think she's ready to be married yet.

  4. Spacey,
    I got to thinking about LW1 and gift registries. You are right. Most people buying a gift for you would want to think that it is going to you. I'm changing my view on gift registries, as long as they're not used as "this-is-what's-good-enough-for-us" type of things. I realize that most of them are just ways to "help" people who really want to get you something they know you'll enjoy. As for the Elimination Communication thing, I say let them go for it. My Mom was born in extremely rural Alaska and their kids were probably potty-trained earlier than modern-day U.S. If it changes for LW1 in the future, oh well, they gave it a shot.

    As for LW4, I agree, they are not ready for marriage. But I still don't see why a big deal has to be made over him staying home from Christmas church.

  5. My dad tried the whole cloth diaper route. My first poop I was handed to him after which he went to the store for some disposable diapers.