Monday, November 10

I'm Sure Someone Will Get Mad, but These Are Our Rules

From time-to-time someone will comment that Mr. Husband and I seem to be pretty relaxed with this whole parenting thing, especially for so-called Newbies. That's probably a true statement as we really do try to let her do her own thing. We want her to grow up to be her own person, confident in her own decisions, and secure in who she is. I've compared us to the bumper pads at a bowling alley. We're there to keep Alexis headed down her path, but we're OK with whatever direction she takes to get there, be it a straight line, lots of bouncing back and forth, or a combination of all of the above. We'll support her as we let her do her thing, but within our boundaries.

Our boundaries are actually pretty basic--she is free to do what she wants, just as long as she doesn't do harm to herself or others. So she can go to whatever college she wants, or not go to college at all. She can choose to be a devout Catholic, or pray to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. She can watch Princess movies until I puke, or she can decide she hates them forever and ever. We may not like every decision she has or will make, but we will support her to the best of our abilities, and will always challenge her to be the best she can be.

What she can't do is something like dance half-naked on top of her craft table, tempting the fates of balance and partaking in high-flying shenanigans. She spent 30 minutes in time out for that infraction last night. This morning when she decided the puppy HAD to sit in her lap and resorted to choke holds and malicious head smooshes to convince him, she got in Big Trouble, Mister. For the past few weeks she's been acting out at daycare by hitting and scratching, and you can't even imagine the hell she has had to pay for behaving like that. It's never OK to hurt other people.

Nor is it ever OK to take away people's rights. I don't care if someone is black, white, purple, short, tall, smart, dumb, Muslim, Christian, a Scientologist, fat, skinny, gay, straight, or all of the above, she will allow them to live their life as they see fit. If Alexis were to some day do something like, say, vote in favor of California's Proposition 8, or vote to deny a gay person the ability to adopt a child, we will have failed.

You can hide discrimination behind a guise of religious beliefs, through a veil of double-talk about definitions, or say that you are protecting the sanctity of that which is so easy for a drunken Britney Spears to have on any night of the week (or even every night of the week, if her lawyers are good and quick with the annulments), but it's still discrimination.

Everyone deserves to be treated equally.

And in this house? We will not tolerate intolerance. Period.




If you don't agree? At least you can take solace in knowing it doesn't affect you.

44 comments:

  1. I too am intolerant of intolerance.

    Wait. That doesn't sound quite right, does it?

    I hope Meg is tolerating Cody.

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  2. have I mentioned lately that I love you?

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  3. Well said. In my household, on this issue, my husband and I cancel each other out when we vote. It's unfortunate but he was raised in a house of judgment and intolerance (under the guise of "being good Christians") and I was not. This is one of the few issues we disagree on. Thankfully our son takes after me in that he understands that we don't get to judge or hurt other people for any reason.

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  4. @mirth--Mr. Husband and I vote very differently, but this happens to be one issue we agree on 100%

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  5. I believe we are here to show love to others, not judge others. That is not our job. :)

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  6. I was with you until the princess movies, then I blacked out a bit. Still, for the parts I remember, well said.

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  7. screw the critics. you'll raise an awesome kid.

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  8. I've told you often that I want to be just like you when I grow up. I love the way you are teaching Alexis to do, think and learn for herself.

    And knowing that there will be girls out there like Alexis gives me hope for my future daughters-in-law to be excellent life-partners for my boys. Or not. Their choice. Won't change the fact that they probably still won't rinse out their cereal bowls.

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  9. I love this post. I tried to do my part and voted No on 8. I was disappointed and sad to see the outcome.

    I'm impressed with the 30 minutes in time out. Maybe that's why my 2 minute time outs aren't working.

    Amy

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  10. This is a great video to sum it up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHVHXsl-n2E I wish we could make everyone who needs to watch it, watch it. But sadly, it will probably be passed around the already convinced.

    I told you on twitter, this means a lot. I like places where I feel safe to be me. I know, it's about a lot more than gay people, it's about tolerance and rights as human beings and stuff. But it still means a lot to me personally. Especially when I have been feeling so persecuted lately.

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  11. Ack Burgh Baby, methinks I love you.

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  12. Hopefully, in the future, our children will look back and say 'you VOTED on whether people could marry? What the HELL?'

    And you are a great mum, babe.

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  13. As you well know, this has been a big deal on my blog for the last week or so. It breaks my heart and makes me want to puke & punch someone at the same time.

    I'm with Kelley. My only hope in this is that one day my kids will be baffled and ashamed that we did such a thing, just like we are at the fact that our parents had to drink from separate water fountains.

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  14. In a world where so many people focus their time and energy on all the wrong things, it's heartening to see that someone is raising a child to understand the things that truly matter.

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  15. Great post. I think the whole point of being here is to love people. And I don't understand how you legislate against anyone who wants to love others and give others good homes. It makes no sense.

    Someone pointed out the sad irony to me yesterday: Under one of our least tolerant presidents, we had gay marriage legislation going for them. And under our first African American president elect, gay legislation is going against their rights. Weird.

    Hope it comes back around. Actually, I'm with Kelley and andreanna: I hope we don't even bother making the decision and just let people love each other!

    ciao,
    rpm

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  16. I love your parenting plan :)

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  17. Firstly, this is how all kids should be raised (secondly, I'm here through Precarious Tomato). IMHO, too many parents try to be their kid's friend...no, you are the parent. You have to set rules and enforce them. But at the same time, why shouldn't kids be allowed to follow their own path? This isn't the same as letting them get away with anything. I don't have kids myself (partly because it seems TOO HARD to do it right, though you seem to be managing!), but I see all too often parents putting all their expectations on their kids and then being disappointed their kids aren't a mirror image of them. To me, the point of having a child is to raise a happy, independent, decent human being--it's not to have a kooot widdle baybee. I admire any parent who is up to this challenge, but honestly wish people would think more about what it means to raise a child before deciding to have a baby.

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  18. Long story short: my son has something on his brain that shouldn't be there, and another part of his brain is missing. From the beginning, we were told to let him explore his world as much as he wants (while keeping him and others safe). Sounds very similar to your parenting style. My son is doing better than anyone ever imagined. And no one can read your blog and think that your child isn't happy, intelligent and very, very loved.

    As far as the intolerance issue goes, this is baffling. And heartbreaking. Similar to our parenting styles, I believe that as long as everyone is happy and no one is getting hurt, then what's the big deal?

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  19. AfreakingMen, sister.

    Intolerance like that makes me ill.

    It makes me even more ill when the thing that people are so intolerant of? In no way, shape, or form affects them directly. Oh, I'm sorry, did you get a little gay on you? Here, let me hand you a bottle of hanitizer. *eyeroll*

    Sorry. This is a huge hot spot for me. Why do people feel they can enforce their (somewhat) Bible-based beliefs on the rest of the world? Especially when those beliefs cause inequality and hurt.

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  20. I try not to comment on American politics - hey, it's your country. But this is one area that I can't help but say, "WHF? I don't get this - at ALL." Great post and link.

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  21. We've joked we don't care what college our kids go to or religion they chose to practice (or not practice) but they WILL be Steelers fans. Otherwise, the choice is theirs to make.

    But I have to agree that if they are intolerant of others I will feel like I deserve a big FAIL in the parenting box. I will do everything I can to raise them as tolerant people.

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  22. Well put...same page:)

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  23. I knew there was a reason we get along so well. I just thought it was the sarcasm.

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  24. Newbies? Whateves, you got it figured out. Will you take my kids if I happen to perish too soon? They would love those dogs... ; ) (oh and Alexis too!)

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  25. wish everyone felt the same way and raised their children in the same manor. We'd have a much better world.

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  26. Exactly! Wasn't one of the first things we learned as kids the concept of "mind your own business"?? Some people need to go back to pre-school.

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  27. If someone doesn't like what you just wrote, then they are just a little bit backward. My niece and her partner have been told they cannot adopt a white or Chinese child (even an older one or one with special needs), but they may be allowed to adopt an older or special needs black or Hispanic child. Tell me that's not a weird kind of racism. Oh, no babies, either. Only the cream of the crop adopters get babies, especially white babies.

    It's an odd country we live in. I love it, but it needs to change. We are so backward in so many ways. It must really confuse the rest of the world.

    I love it when you get on your soapbox. Alexis will be a very tolerant, very smart woman.

    Peace - D

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  28. here, here
    here, here

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  29. Amen, sister! I want my kids to be their own person. I want them to make their own decisions and I can only hope and pray that the way I raise them helps them make the best ones.

    I don't tolerate harming someone else in my house either. I also feel that I am a very accepting person. I don't care who you want to marry or who sleeps in your bed. We are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such. I hope that I am leading by example and my girls will be the same way.

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  30. Well said!

    Intolerance ranks up on my list with ignorance. I have no use for those that hide behind religion when it comes to something like this. I'm still horrified at Proposition 8 and I'm ashamed of what others believe. But, it's their right. Just like it's my right to NOT feel that way.

    It just sucks.

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  31. amen, hallelujah, and all that is right with the world.

    ps - ADORABLE picture!

    pps - I knew you were tolerant when you allowed Alexis to pursue her love/worship of the Latina whore. ;)

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  32. A to tha MEN sister. I have family members that this impacted and it really makes me angry and sad. I would blow up your blog if I typed my opinion so I will just leave it at that.

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  33. Woman, you give me hope that I could actually be a mom someday and not be a hopeless failure at it. I wanna be just like you when I "grow up."

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  34. Well said. Beautiful post and great links.

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  35. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.

    ROCK IT SISTAH.

    I'M LOVIN THE BLUNT NATURE OF THIS POST.

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  36. Anonymous6:23 PM

    I wish that I agreed with everything you said. I can't abide by intolerance, either. But changing the definition of something that is primarily a sacred religous institution (marriage) would be ridiculous. It's been around for thousands of years and now people want to tell us it should be "different"? I don't care who you live with, sleep with, or what color you are. You deserve to have the same rights as everyone else, and this includes homosexual individuals. However, marriage isn't a "right". I think if you could change the nomenclature and still give them the same, exact benefits there would be less of an issue. I hate it that a gay couple that has been together for 30 years can't be together when one is in the hospital - only "family", you know. But can't there be a way to have it both ways? Don't change the definition of marriage, but maybe give their situation its own unique status? As Dolly Parton once said, "why shouldn't they be allowed to be as miserable as the rest of us?" :)

    And as far as gays being allowed to adopt. Why not? It's insane the people who ARE allowed to procreate and there are great, decent people who aren't allowed to adopt because of who they go to bed next to every night? Absurd!

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  37. *standing up and applauding wildly*

    i love you. but you knew that...

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  38. I couldn't have said it better myself. Whether or not people AGREE with how someone lives their life shouldn't give them the right to say how it can be lived.

    Did that make sense?
    I think my brain needs a time out.

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  39. Anonymous1:11 AM

    Not being American I try very hard not to have an opinion on what happens down there but rather focus my energies on what is happening in my own country (Canada). That being said, I can't understand how people could have voted to take away a group of people's rights. Aren't we taught our entire lives that that is wrong, that we are all equal and as such deserve equal rights?! Didn't the last couple hundred years teach us anything? The joy I felt over Obama winning was taken away rather quickly when a short time later I found out that prop 8 went through. I honestly thought I was going to be sick to my stomach.

    It's too bad your words will likely never be read by those who really need to hear it. I hope that when Alexis is my age (mid-twenties) that she will be able to look back on this time and say "REALLY? Seriously? How could that have happened?"

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  40. Amen sister. Perfectly spoken.

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  41. Great post. I agree :-)

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  42. That sounds just like Mr Tranny Head and my parenting. We don't give a flying rat's ass about making sure Sumo chooses a certain profession or goes to a specific college or whatever. But if he voted in favor of Prop 8 I'd be totally horrified.

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  43. Heavy applause from the peanut gallery!

    I wholeheartedly agree!!

    Superb post!

    High 5!

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  44. I definitely like the way you think!

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