People Are So Weird

Need to vent a little here in personal space.  So I wrote this thing (you might have seen it) at Strollerderby about questioning the appropriateness of pirates as a theme of children's play.  Mainly, it was supposed to be kind of funny, like "huh, yeah, never thought about it, but how DO you explain a plank to a 3-year old?"  (I told my kids their Little People Pirate Ship plank was a diving board.)

Anyhow, now a few commenters are convinced my children are micro-managed and having their creativity and learning opportunities cramped debilitatingly.

It really never ceases to amaze me how much assumption people can load onto the smallest pieces of information.  In another recent post, a woman said she was terribly worried about the children of anyone claiming to love their spouse more than said children and accused such people of having a sick "codependent" relationship.  You know, just in general.  Without knowing anything more than a silly comment on a blog about "love" which can interpreted in about a thousand different ways by a thousand different people.

For the record, my kids own about 300 books, buckets of blocks, a basket full of dress-up clothes (some girlie, some decidedly NOT girlie), baskets of dolls and stuffed animals, tea sets and play food, cars, trucks (and yes, even a pirate ship), a dollhouse and tons of furniture and dollhouse people, a miniature piano that has two and a half octaves of real keys, several drums and bells and other rhythm instruments, a real ukulele, blankets they use to build forts, a closet full of art supplies, more balls than I can count, scooters, tricycles, and yes, even videos (gasp!).  Plus more free-play time than any kids their age I know.

I hardly think I'm cramping their style by thinking twice about certain toys or books or videos. I mean, ALL parents choose what they let their kids play with to at least some extent, right?  (If they don't what's up with that?) My kids are still too little for peer influences, so I'm not exactly fighting them over their true passions.  They don't even know pirates exist (in spite of the Little People).  They don't miss them any more than they miss Hannah Montana, whom I sincerely hope they never discover (yeah, yeah, wishful thinking, I know).


7 responses to “People Are So Weird

  1. I think that you and Cole-Mom do a fantastic job parenting your children, and giving them enormous amounts of space for self-expression and imaginative play.
    I also think it’s entirely appropriate that you think twice about the specific ideas your children are exposed to. You’re the parent, you get to be the gatekeeper. Just because Disney has decided something is innocuous or pretty doesn’t make it so.
    Also, anyone who has paid any attention to you and your work knows that critiquing the messages hidden in stories is part of what you do all the time, very honestly and courageously. I say, good for you, living what you believe.

  2. Consider the audience, Shannon. Those are the same people who read an article mentioning Wales’ goal of 10% homebirth rates and somehow immediately jump to “OMG, THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO FORCE US ALL TO GIVE BIRTH AT HOME!!! HOSPITAL BIRTH AND EPIDURALS WILL BE OUTLAWED AND WE SHALL ALL DIIIEEEEE!!!”
    So yeah, I agree: People are weird.

  3. i say, take some advice from obama (and jay-z) and dust your shoulders off!
    you’re the bomb, shannon.

  4. All parents choose the messages their children receive. All parents are limiting their exposure to some toys, to certain kinds of music, to games–even if they don’t realize it, even if it’s by not having the experience to choose the exposure themselves. When someone says such things, they are REALLY saying, “You aren’t doing what I think you should be doing.” You should ignore them. At the end of the day, they are your children to expose, to limit, to educate. Consider my experience: fundamentalist parents who outlawed all secular music. Was that a limitation? They encouraged my childhood love of (wholesome) classical music. Did it stunt my creativity? I doubt it.

  5. I remember a women on Last Comic Standing who said she thought pirates for kids were weird. She said, “Who is Mama’s little seagoing rapist?” I hadn’t really thought much about it, but I did then!
    My daughter outgrew pirates as soon as she made the connection that they were criminals. She had the fun and then she moved on.
    This didn’t address your story, really, but I do agree, people are weird. And reactive, sometimes.
    Oh, and also, I love my kids and my spouse. It’s a big old pile of love I don’t need to quantify. :)

  6. “I love my kids and my spouse. It’s a big old pile of love I don’t need to quantify.”
    Amen to that, Cheryl!

  7. When I used to write at Strollerderby I was always amazed at the crap some of those commenters would come up with.
    I’m not sure what it is about the site that attracts the psycho comments.

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