September 28, 2007

Keeping It Alive

So this was me, yesterday morning:

Swistle: "It's been getting kind of heavy and grim around here, what with all the mother-in-law talk, and all the teary rage and diets and exercise and psychiatric medication. Let's do something lighter! How about posting one of the Asking Swistle For Advice emails I've been meaning to post? We can all work together, sharing ideas and helping each other out as fawns romp in the grass nearby and the little birdies sing sweetly in the trees!"

And so I posted a question asking for good ways to fit children's baths into the routine. I had expected the comments to be a combination of tips and experience, maybe some funny stories about grubby kids.

I'd thought there might be a little fuffle about the fact that Shelly works and her husband stays at home with the kids: I thought we might get some people saying that her husband should be handling it, and some people saying that in their household the working parent does baths as a way to carve out time with the kids.

I had not expected that we were going to get the comments that were more along the lines of DO IT MY WAY OR YOU SUCK AS A PARENT! Had you? I was completely surprised! I thought I knew the "hill to die on" issues, and I didn't think baths were one of them. And the personal attacks! People saying that other people's children smelled bad or were germy! Yeek!

Result of Swistle's attempt to take it down a notch? Now we all have another thing to add to our list of things to be scared other mothers are judging us about! Swistle: Keeping the Conflict Alive!

Also: Keeping Ear Hats Alive:

55 comments:

LoriD said...

I think there was something in the air yesterday. I came across a couple of blogs that had pissy responses, blogs that were pissy themselves and I myself had an email fight with someone at work who refuses to answer her phone. I'm thinking you can't go wrong with the good ole ear hat topic. Or brownies.

Ami said...

Do I need a baby so that I can join in the ear hat fun? I think that I do.

Melospiza said...

Oh, Swistle, I so totally heart you! If I'd gotten such a crazy conflict-ridden comments section on my blog (you know, if I *had* a blog, crazy blogless internet stalker that I am), I would be a) weeping in the bathroom or b) going out to the top of the hill with a machine gun. But no! You rise above! You make me laugh! Me, who was absolutely grumping around my computer yesterday, muttering various replies to some commenters. "Hill to die on issues," indeed! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Melospiza said...

Also, babies + plaid = Cute to the Max. So how you can put an ear hat on that and get CUTER is mind boggling to me.

Giselle said...

Are you just modeling Henry in that hat, or is it actually cold enough where you are to need it? If it is cold enough...I'm jealous. I'm so ready for cute winter clothes!!!

el-e-e said...

My favorite part was when you said, "Play nice, please." I could tell that's how you probably say it A THOUSAND TIMES A DAY. :)

el-e-e said...

(not that your kids don't play nice most of the time, I'm sure...)

Penny said...

I was totally surprised as well.

You know what another unexpectedly hot topic is? Grocery carts, and whether or not you park them in the little cart islands or abandon them by your car and what you do with your kid(s) during this transaction.

Oh, but let's not get into that issue...it's a deadly one.

Jess said...

Agreed! I kind of thought the reason we surfed these blogs was for moral support. I'm with Lori, must of just been something in the water.

mom huebert said...

I guess I missed the fun yesterday. But I read through all the comments today, and I thought I saw only two that were really snarky. Two are enough to sour the whole batch, I know, but look at it this way: 58 people were positive! So take heart...

By the way, when my kids were little we bathed them once a week, Saturday night before church on Sunday. I thought that was the way it was done. You know, the old-fashioned family bath night. Like a guy once said, "I take a bath once a week whether I need it or not!"

Jess said...

Oooh and good call Penny, conundrum indeed.

Shannon said...

We need some custom coffee cups with your new themes on them.

I saw yesterday that Elise's ear suit had shipped. I can't wait to devour her cuteness in ears.

Oh wait, I have an orange crocheted ear hat. MUST FIND FOR BLACKMAIL PICTURES!

I love topics that aren't controversial but turn controversial. You kept me entertained all day. Although I kept thinking that you had enough angst with the whole MIL situation, like you needed a bunch of internet crazies arguing about dirty children.

jen said...

I didn't think it was that bad. There were only 2 people who weren't playing nice! Sorry if I added to your stress.

Cute hat!! Is it really that cold there or are you just showing off?

OooOooOoh I am so bored today hopefully I'll get my little ear snowsuit.

Tina said...

Full moon, maybe? I dunno. To each his own, as we all know. Just wanted to say that Henry is too cute in his lumberjack clothes.

Jess said...

That was a learning experience for me, though. Now I know not to TELL anyone when I get to the part of my life where I only hose my kid down once a month or so.

Tessie said...

I like that it's not only an EAR hat, but an entire FACE hat.

I had a friend in high school who hat a "coon skin hat" that featured the entire FACE of the racoon, in addition to the traditional tail.

Trina N. said...

When I was reading the comments yesterday, I got really upset because the people/person leaving the holier than thou comments was "Anonymous".

But the ear hat has made me feel better. :)

anita said...

just a quick thought, since i missed all the fun yesterday...baby lotion smells SO good, no time for bath? just lather 'em up good, no one will ever know the difference!

MrsGrumpy said...

I love that ear hat. I love that whole outfit. I am thinking that Henry should be making the best dressed lists all over this year.

On the mean comments... 1.I always smile a bit when someone says basically "I'm posting this annonymously because I love your blog..." when I think they are meaning,"I am posting this annonymously because I can't handle the shitstorm and yet also can't keep my mouth shut." I have deleted comments because I can't bring myself to post something that might be taken as hurtful, and I also can't bring myself to post annonymously...unless it was something hugely embarassing for me to have family/friends who google me find out. What I have found is that life is truly way to short to worry about a little bit of dirt on an already adorable baby. Sorry for making practically no sense today.

nikki said...

I had no clue people took child bathing to such heart! Granted I was laughing at the people who took it so seriously!

And the ear hat?!?! Holy mother I want one for myself.

Kelli in the Mirror said...

I'm surprised I didn't see anybody who said what I feel- I HATE bathing my daughter. I detest it. She fights it every minute and I always end up so frustrated with her that I leave her in the tub and make her dad finish the job. That's why she only gets a bath when she especially needs it and it's not in our routine. I'd kill her.

Alice said...

even more than the ear hat, i love that he is wearing a wee lumberjack coat.

Nowheymama said...

"I thought I knew the 'hill to die on' issues, and I didn't think baths were one of them."

Hee.

Up next on Swistle: Keeping the Conflict Alive--teeth brushing and flossing! (Kidding, kidding.)

Sara said...

YEESH! I know!! Who knew that baths would bring forth such bad cheer. I thought it was such a great topic!

I agree with Lori though, it must have been in the water because people were bitchy all over yesterday.

And also, I wish the upset person wouldn't have been anon. You know?

I wonder what she would have said if she knew that I am a working mother and I BLOG from work. While my kids are in daycare. OH THE HORROR!! Or also that I don't even touch the computer when I'm home with them in the evenings because there is too much (but apparently no bathing) to be done. Less blogging more parenting my arse.

I'm done.

On to the plaid and the adorable hat. That Henry is too darn cute no matter how you dress him. :)

Banana said...

Cutest thing I've ever ever seen. *pinch*

Anonymous said...

Okay, okay....I need to apologize. I was the snarky anonymous comment writer yesterday....and in the words of boyfriend's past..."It's not you, it's me." I love this blog and it's posters...seriously I do. In no way am I making excuses but I was having such a terrible day yesterday, I am so sorry for taking it out on your blog.
Yes, I took the chicken way out and posted anonymously....it was wimpy, I admit it.
Forgive me, all...I am relieved that I psoted anonymously though so you won't hold my bitchiness against me though!!!!
I'm sorry
Anonymous (and snarky) no more!!! (...after this post at least....)

Erica said...

I wasn't anonymous and I hope I didn't come across as snarky. I apologize if I did, Swistle.

Mommy Daisy said...

Love the little hat! And the little babe! Adorable!

Too bad about yesterday. I was surprised that it got carried away too. Why can't all of us just get along? I don't get it. Maybe that's why I haven't made many mommy friends in real life.

Swistle said...

It wasn't exactly Armageddon, was it? And expressed as percentage of total comments, it wasn't anything compared to, say, message boards. (*shudder*) But expressed as a percentage increase over the usual levels of meanness and intolerance, multiplied by the low expectation of such a thing--IMPRESSIVE!

Jenny H. said...

Pissiness abounds!! Yeah, it was an awful day. I apologize if I sounded all "judgy-wudgy was a bear".

I do so love the hat. Um, I have a hat my mom made me with cat ears on it. I wear it in the winter. It's pretty bitchin. As a matter of fact, I need to find my Kat Hat.

Flibberty said...

All babies should dress like that. Actually, maybe all people, no matter the age, should dress like that. How could you not smile and have a friendly day if everyone you saw had a teddy bear on their head?

MrsGrumpy said...

Admit it Swistle, you knew exactly what you were doing... Trying to appear all harmless and everything. Posting about serious issues and adding a cute baby photo to keep our minds off of what's really important. I mean, what are you going to do next? Post a picture of Henry in a bumble bee outfit while spouting off about the proper way to match socks? (I hope you do, because I would love me a photo of Henry in a bumblebee outfit...;) ) Keep up the good work of keeping me smiling. You are the best.

Erin said...

Oh ear hat. OH! (trying to catch my breath... choking on cuteness...)

Erica said...

How can it be legal to sell hats and coats like that? That's a dangerous level of cuteness. One could almost OD on that much cuteness. Dangerous stuff, it is.

Swistle said...

LoriD- I noticed that, too. I wonder what's up?

Ami- The ear hats alone make it totally worth it.

Melospiza- It's exponential, isn't it? Almost painful.

Giselle and Jen Never- Just showing off / modeling!

Penny- GROCERY CARTS? But...who cares? NO NO DON'T TELL ME. PURELY RHETORICAL.

MrsGrumpy- I laughed AUDIBLY at your interpretation of the "why it's anonymous" explanation! Sometimes what I do when I FEEL like commenting anonymously so I can REALLY shoot my mouth off, is I write everything I'd want to say anonymously--and then I fill in my Swistle info and ask myself if I still feel like making the comment. Then I do HEAVY HEAVY EDITING.

Nowheymama- BACK! BACK! Don't get any closer with that thing!

Anonymous- Ha ha! I totally know what you mean about wanting to say something but not wanting to have it be, like, a reflection of my USUAL feelings. Also, I think your confession is very funny. I love you even though you were kind of naughty yesterday. FIVE MINUTES IN THE THINKING CHAIR FOR YOU MY FRIEND.

Swistle said...

Jenny H.- "Judgy-wudgy was a bear"??? HA HA HA HA HA!

Erica- I KNOW. I had to buy THIS hat in a brown paper bag off a shady character on the street corner. With cash.

Devan said...

I was pretty surprised by the comments yesterday too. I had no idea that this was one of *those* issues. Who knew?!

Love the ear hat. I'm still pouting about the one you posted the other day...

mom of the year said...

Swistle: If it's any consolation, I believe that when we get baby #2, I will just put a pig trough in the back yard and get out the hose. Now, I like bath time (most nights) but I only have one kid who also likes it, too. I think you should be given the medal of valor for the child/mother ratio in your house!

Jess in Nebraska said...

Seriously, this is too funny. I'm laughing at the "Anonymous" apology...which, while it seems heartfelt, I'm still giggling that it was posted "anonymously..."
ANYWAY, just had to get on and brag that my Avon came today....oh yeah! Loving my purchases... I immediately tried the "lip plumper" and I'm feeling a little like Angelina Jolie and the pouty look....(I can say that, since no one can actually see me.)
Okay, Swistle, hope you brave additional "advice" posts, it was highly entertaining.
P.S. LOVE the hat!!!!!!!

Black Sheeped said...

Yesterday was a full moon, wasn't it? Or close enough. In other news, yikes! I glanced through the comments and visibly cringed a few times. Drama!

I like that hat! THAT HAT IS AWESOME!

Marie Green said...

PHEW! I had to rush over and re-read my comment from yesterday- because who know! Sometimes when you TYPE something, it turns out bitchier than if you SAID it. But... I don' think what I said could have offended anyone. PHEW!

I loved the first anonymous commenter- and your response to her Swistle- that is Exactly what I wanted to say, but you beat me to it and said it better (as usual!).

Does anyone think the 2nd anonymous commenter was the same as the first?? And to say "less blogging more kid time" OUCH!

How funny! It's just baths, people! We are a spoiled people indeed if we think that bathing HAS to happen. Millions of people in the world today don't have that luxery. When did we become so "clean" obsessed? And why can't stinky also smell good? (To a point, I mean).

Am I the only one that LIKES a little stank?

Jana said...

The hat is adorable. I can't wait to see what kind of costume Henry will be in for Halloween.

Stacie said...

All of you have smelly, stinky children. And dirty high chairs. Now, my children as a clean as the driven snow because I bathe them constantly, during every waking hour. Well, except for the hours I neglect them to blog. And admire that hat.

CakeHead said...

It was definitely something in the air. I was particularly on edge and wound up in tears at the end of the night after blowing up about something I should not have (and I sure am glad I didn't post my feelings about the day on my own blog - I would have had my tail between my legs today). Don't worry though, I was not the anonymous poster, but I'll proudly tell you my child gets a bath.

On occasion.

Seriously though, of all the blogs to have controversy, I would have never guessed that you could cause it. Hehe...

Pann said...

A. You rule!

B. Full Moon.

C. Yay for Ear Hats!

D. Puleeze, Henry, quit being so adorable, you are making my uterus feel so empty!

Jen said...

That hat made me wonder: what will your kids be dressing as for Halloween? You could just dress Henry in any ol' thing and that hat, and everyone would forget about other kids' costumes for the rest of the night!

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

Aw, too bad I missed the post yesterday. My advice is spray Lysol in the air and have the kids stand under it, a few times a week. What kind of response would that have received ... I wonder??

Omaha Mama said...

I Heart ear hats.

You never really do know what's going to get kids fired up, do ya. Huh.

It is a FULL moon, which I'm blaming for the pitiful post-less week I've had. Post-less because if you can say anything nice...

Katie said...

We are all still here! We're all still happy. Did anyone bathe their kids last night!? (Okay. Kidding.)

The ear hat is adorable, OF COURSE!

JMH said...

I heard somewhere that Sally Field made a comment at the Emmy's about if Mother's ruled the world there wouldn't be any war. I laughed when I heard that because it seems that mother argue (and act that they are at war) about EVERYTHING...breast feeding, co-sleeping, working, staying at home and now BATHS???!!!

All I have to say is WOW.


And I agree about the Full Moon.


Can't we all just eat brownies and get along? :)

Swistle said...

Jen Skyhawk- Ug, Halloween costumes, I don't know. I'm hoping people will submit good, easy, cheap ideas to Maybe Painted Pink, so I can steal them.

JMC said...

The shopping cart dilemma - to return or not to return, would be solved if the grocery stores would put the little "Reserved for Customers with Infants/Children" next to the shopping cart return rather than near the front of the store. I'd rather walk 30 ft further to and from the store (actually it would be good for me) than leave my little guys in the car to return the cart. I'm just sayin'. :)

As for the bathing stuff, the fact that it became controversial was amusing - I don't think I added to it, though I did respond to some of it in a soothing and diplomatic way, I thought. :) Our children are all so lucky in this regard, that we all care about their hygiene AT ALL. There are so many kids who have parents that don't. We are all doing our best and our kids are so obviously the most important things to us all... regardless of how bad they may smell. :)

Halloween costumes - Hmmm. I was thinking of doing a post of my kids' costumes over the years. I'll have to start scanning. I don't sew, but I've found the things you can do with a hot glue gun to be nothing short of amazing.

Anonymous said...

OkaY, please POST WHERE YOU GOT THE BEAR HATR AND COAT...i neeeeeeeeed one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie said...

Also about the Halloween thing: I think you should totally use that hat somehow. I HATE Halloween. Nothing stupider than spending money on something your kid wears ONCE. I just can hardly stand it. I would rather buy her a new Gymboree outfit that she can wear for 6 months than a cheap-ass flammable costume. UGh.

Swistle said...

Anon- The hat and coat were a baby gift, AND the gift-giver was on vacation when she found it, AND she bought it more than two years ago as a baby gift for Edward. BUT! The label says Mullins Square Kids, Austin TX--perhaps there is hope online?