June 1st, 2005

static (transparent)

wow, that bites

herbaliser linked to a Salon.com article, in which Neal Pollack complains that his child was expelled from preschool.  Wow.  That is the most self-indulgent piece of drivel I've seen in quite some time... it's like reading a hypothetical article in which Rumsfeld complains bitterly "it's not fair!" how he couldn't find any WMDs in post-invasion Iraq.

This is apparently an incredibly hot topic amongst the bajillions of "bloggers" in the "blogger communities" out there, so I'll spare you any real in-depth blatherings - it's been done, and it's still being done.  But like many other people, I'm frankly horrified that the parents of a kid who was not simply biting other children - not simply biting other children daily - but biting other children and leaving bleeding wounds on a daily basis seems to feel that he's being shafted by the Man when said child gets expelled from the school.  He expresses concern for the impact on his own child, Bite-a-saurus Rex, at being kicked out of daycare.  He expresses - to considerably greater degree - concern for himself and his wife, since they can no longer "warehouse" his child (his own words!) but must submit themselves to a "summer of living hell", caring for the child in a TWO-PARENT WORK-AT-HOME FAMILY.  Yet somehow, some way, he not once expresses even the faintest concern for the other children in the daycare, such as "Sophie:"

In particular, Elijah seemed to enjoy biting a sad-eyed little girl named Sophie, with whom he was obviously in love. He wouldn't stop talking about her at home. "Daddy, what's Sophie doing?" he'd ask. Or he'd say, "I bite Sophie!" and start cackling. I found myself having to say, both because it was true and because it was funny, "Elijah, you can only bite girls if they ask you to." [...] One day last week, Regina dropped Elijah off at school. Teacher was standing there with a little girl. They looked very serious.  "This is Sophie," teacher said.  She lifted the girl's shirt. There was an enormous bite mark on Sophie's back that was just beginning to scab over.

Amazingly, neither Pollack nor his wife once expresses any real emotion at all on the behalf of either Sophie or her parents.  Not relief or gratitude at not being sued, not remorse for the responsibility of their ignored son repeatedly inflicting bleeding bite wounds on someone else's child, nothing - just horror at the idea that they might actually have to live with their own child for the summer.

Now I really don't want to come off as thinking I'm some sort of expert on child care or parenting, or to dismiss the difficulty in handling an obstreporous preschooler.  I'm certainly not the first, and I've done enough of the latter to be - sensibly, I think - a little terrified of the possibility of running out of personal energy too soon to succeed at the latter when or if I ever do become a parent myself.  But with that said, I really don't understand how somebody as obviously intelligent and articulate as Pollack - or anybody else good enough with "using their words" to sell pieces to Salon - can write, and presumably read before submitting, an article with a dominant tone and theme of the intense desire to avoid his own child, and still express dismay and surprise that said child has serious behavioral and attention-getting issues.

note: I accidentally deleted this post and reposted it from a copy in my email.  sorry if you lost comments. =\