Bonnie Dee tomorrow, first political and motherly ranting

I figured out why the Trig on her lap story (in the car at least twice!) annoyed me personally so much I had to write about it at the great orange satan. (Or satin as some people call it) It's just another case of if I manage this basic grown-up task, why can't s/he? And, hey, unlike Palin, I'm never going to paint myself as an UberMom** or use the boys to advance my political career....

I've been a mother for almost 18 years. And I can think of one time only that I didn't strap a boy in in--when we were driving across a parking lot. One time only. Even when my goddamn back went out and putting the toddler in the far car seat and putting that buckle over his head was agony (whoa, do I remember that) I made sure he was secure. When they screamed and struggled to get out of their seats while we were on the road (and toddlers always go through that stage at some point) I didn't give into their tantrums.

It was a simple choice. For the last 19 years, my 3 kids have been the most important thing in my life. My job to keep them safe comes first. If there was anything I could do to make ensure their safety, I'd do it, even at the cost of my eardrums. Not to mention I wanted to teach them to obey the law and that's an easy way to help them learn.

Listen, I'm not unique. This is basic parenting (for grown-up parents, anyway).
I've talked to other mothers, swapping stories about listening to 2-year-olds scream for miles because they want out of their seats.

Now it turns out that Sarah Palin, The VP Fabulous Mother Figure, disregards the law with her babies, or at least with Trig--and more than once. Some people might think it's just is another sign that she's a risk-taker, someone willing to embrace life to the fullest and not bother with stupid little laws.

If she wants to do that with her own life and body, I say feel free. She should be allowed to be a fool and pay the consequences and I can even see how that's an attractive trait. But with her kids? Especially when she uses those kids as props to point out she's a mom first and foremost? Fuck that.

Palin's disregard for her kids' safety in small yet vital ways (starting before Trig's birth) annoys the hell out of me. And probably also annoys Britney who got loads of crap for doing the same thing . Family private matters aside (and yeah, sure, we all get to decide how we raise our kids--even people who trot out those kids at every opportunity. Her family should be private, even if she makes them public) how about this: the fact that she blithely disregards the law, calls it petty, probably should worry everyone in the country.

And yo? Anyone with a half a brain knows there are real and important reasons to use a car seat, especially young babies with those fragile necks (shaken baby syndrome, anyone?).

Not using a seat shows a typically teenage disregard for common sense, a basic "I'm above the law" attitude and an inability to think ahead to possible consequences. Ummm. Yeah. Just the sort of person we want running the country ---again.

Update: Here's the article that got me ranting.
and here's the throw-away passage that really got me going. . .
Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride. Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action.

Another update: I got a nice note from someone who pointed out that life in Alaska is more informal. That this might be a cultural difference. I say unless they've managed to suspend Newton's third Law of For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction in Alaska, it's a bullshit excuse. There may be fewer cars on the road, but until there are none--and the moose and other widelife learn to avoid all roads, no. Sorry. It's still BASIC PARENTING EVERYWHERE. And it's also THE LAW in ALASKA

**I bet she chases her kids off the computer faster than I do. I'm kinda lazy that way.


  1. Anonymous1:04 PM

    From over at dkos: Bush's Transportation Secretary disapproves.

    PHILADELPHIA - Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta chided pop star Britney Spears as "irresponsible" for driving with her baby on her lap as he announced a new initiative Monday to improve child car-seat safety.

    "Recent photos of Britney Spears driving with her infant son on her lap are troubling. And while Ms. Spears has acknowledged her mistake, her actions still send the wrong message to millions of her fans," Mineta said at an event at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to mark the start of Child Passenger Safety Week.

    Photos published earlier this month showed Spears driving her sport-utility vehicle in Malibu, Calif., with her 4-month-old son perched on her lap. The pop star acknowledged that she made a mistake but said she acted instinctively when frightened by paparazzi.

    "No matter who you are, there’s absolutely no excuse for this display — not instinct, not fear, not even reckless paparazzi," Mineta said. "It’s irresponsible to compromise the safety of a child for the sake of the moment."

    After a tour of the hospital’s emergency department, Mineta announced $25 million in new federal funding over the next four years to states that pass and enforce new or tougher booster- seat laws. Sixteen states do not currently have such measures on the books, he said.

    "Each year, over 53,000 kids are needlessly injured in crashes," he said. "If all of these children had been riding in a booster seat, it’s possible that thousands of them would have escaped their crashes virtually unharmed."

    Booster seats — designed for children too big for traditional toddler seats and too small for safety belts — raise a child up so the safety belt fits properly.

  2. Here's the thing: I think Sarah Palin is a bad mother. People can argue all they want about How Dare You Judge Her, or how we wouldn't judge a man the same way, or how her parenting skills are not at all relevant to her governing skills - they can argue that and I'll concede every single point.

    But the fact is: They chose her in a spectacular way. They made her a celebrity. They guaranteed she'd be the talk of the town. They shouted "Look! Look here at her family! LOOOOOOOOK AT HER FAMILY!!!!" So I looked. And like any other famous person, I judged her.

    I think Britney Spears is seriously mentally ill. I think Matt Damon is a crappy boyfriend. I think that Michael Jackson is a pedophile, that Martha Stewart is a phony bitch, and that Sarah Palin is a bad mother.

    So there.

  3. Yeah, and the sky is blue.

    I read this morning that Palin is more popular than Obama and I want to move to a country where brains and personal responsibility count for something. Where leaders are ELITISTS.

    I also want to think about this charming little bit of historical fluff I'm writing, but I can't. I need a brain transplant.

  4. Eh - more popular. What's that mean? That people want to read more about her and see her talking on TV more? Hell, *I* fall into that category. I already know Hopey. I like him, but I hardly drop everything anymore when I hear he's gonna be on some show. But her - everyone will watch/read everything possible about her the second it appears, because it'll take a looong time to get sick of her trailer trash soap opera.


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