Saturday, May 20, 2006

Enough Already!

I never thought I'd be in this position, but I'm going to defend Britney Spears. I have to. This is getting ridiculous.

Yes, all the evidence points to her being an idiot. Her taste in men is obviously crappy. Her music has always been pretty sorry, and the bits of her horrible reality show that I saw convinced me that there is some essential character development that doesn't happen when you spend your late teens and early twenties surrounded by sychophants instead of working at low-paying jobs, living in crappy apartments and maybe struggling through school or something.
But I also think she's getting a raw deal in the current media obsession with her parenting skills. Okay -- driving with the baby in her lap? Terrible idea. I'm definitely not giving her a pass on that one, and I'm not buying that crap about her having race away from the vicious paparazzi.
But then -- okay, poor Sean apparently hit his head when something went wrong with high chair and he fell. He was with the nanny at the time. Well, guess what? Stuff like that happens. One time when Reasonable Man and I were right there, we were getting Mermaid out of her high chair and I still don't know what happened, but the tray was off and she fell forward and hit her forehead on the kitchen table. It was awful, and of course we felt terrible.

Last week, Britney and Sean were photographed riding down the road in a convertible. Britney was driving, and the baby was slumped over asleep in his carseat in the backseat of the car. Andhis carseat was facing forward. One article said it appeared he didn't have straps over his shoulders, and another said that he obviously wasn't fastened in properly. Well, maybe so, but unfortunately, babies slump over in their carseats like that sometimes. And yeah, they recommend that you keep the kid facing backward till they're a year old, but I'll go ahead an admit right now that I turned both my kids forward before that myself. Neither of them liked being in the backseat facing backward and not being able to see me, and often that lead to a lot of crying that I decided was not worth it. Sometimes you make that kind of a decision as a parent, you know?

And the latest is -- *gasp!* -- Britney was holding the baby in one arm and had a glass in her other hand, and she tripped. She freaking tripped, people. Yeah, clearly that makes her an unfit mother. I mean, I don't know about you, but I've never tripped since I became a mother...
Oh, except that one time when I did. And I actually did drop my baby. I was carrying her up to our third-floor apartment and caught my toe a few steps from the top. I had to make a quick decision -- drop Mermaid on her back on the landing in front of me so I could catch myself, or fall on top of her. I chose dropping her -- it was only a few inches, and fortunately there was some of that nubby industrial carpet that they have in store and restaurants and stuff to soften her fall a little bit. She started howling and I felt horrible, but she was fine.

Mermaid also fell off the couch when she was a baby. And one time I accidently dropped the cordless phone and it hit her in the head. We all want to protect our kids from those kinds of things, but there's only so much you can do. We all get a bad bonk once in a while.

Maybe Britney gets all the media attention she does because her behavior has been questionable in the past, but I was a young first-time mom too, and I'm just grateful I didn't have the paparazzi following me around and watching me screw up back then. If this keeps up, what's next? Is there going to be an article every time Britney takes her baby out in the sun without a hat? A few years down the road, are we going to hear about every time he fights with his little sister, goes out to play without a jacket, or gets less than 100% on a spelling test?

Maybe I'm a hypocrite that it doesn't bother me if the press beats up on Britney about KFed or her dubious fashion choices, but all this bashing of her parenting skills just doesn't sit well with me. Raise your hand if your parenting could stand up to the constant media scrutiny hers gets?

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