Some Important Perspective



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    If nothing else, by shining a light on such cases, she can help to prevent further acts by making people a bit outraged by it. If the local PD gets the hint that such arrests will be publicly frowned upon, they might be more likely to make sure they have a solid case of abuse/neglect before arresting/charging someone.

    One note, though: How come I rarely hear of fathers being arrested for this kind of stuff. They might get busted for leaving a kid in a hot car, but when I hear of it, it is usually a single mom in the report.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      My uninformed hunches on the sex disparity…

      A) Stories of negligent moms move the needle in a different way than negligent dads.
      B) Confirmation bias, on either your part (less likely) or the news media’s part (more likely).
      C) When the child is found, the mom is usually the first person they look for and, subsequently arrested.
      D) Some combination of the above.

      All of them point towards some rather unsavory conceptions of sex, parenting, and the like.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Kazzy says:

        I suspect that the items on your list are correct, and that some other items are:
        E) More single moms than single dads have the regular care of their children, and therefore are the one letting the kids go to the park while they go to work or get the cleaning/cooking/laundry/paperwork done at home
        F) Men’s arguments on why this isn’t something worthy of arrest are listened to more readily by the male police officers they’re speaking with, than the identical arguments coming from a woman.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        Excellent points, @dragonfrog . Not surprisingly, they also point towards some rather unsavory issues.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:

        F is what I bet is going on.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        A contributing factor to F may be that the bar is set lower for dads. I’m home with Mayo all summer. I take him to the grocery or pharmacy with me — mundane, everyday errands — and people say, “Wow, what a great dad.” Really? Because I didn’t duct tape him to the entry way of the store?

        Dads are expected to be dunderheads with our kids. So when we are, perhaps its no seen as neglectful… just more of the same.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Kazzy says:


        ““Wow, what a great dad.” Really? Because I didn’t duct tape him to the entry way of the store?”

        basically. which is strange(r) because i don’t think solo dads taking care of kids is particularly novel, even in ‘murica. it was very un-novel in ny across groupings; recent immigrants, gay parents, ultraorthos, yuppos, greyhairs, etc etc and so forth. kids getting yelled at in all languages and patois. even the hepcat dads i came up with nicknames for (billabong, high fidelity, skate or blog, etc) were common enough that i ran out of nicknames.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy says:

        “I didn’t duct tape him to the entry way of the store?”
        @kazzy That reminds me of the Chris Rock sketch that ends, “What do you want, a cookie?!”Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:

        I still get that from women, that I am an awesome father because my kid is fed & clean when my wife is out of town.


      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

        Kazzy, Mad Rocket,

        Do you ever get the “must be mom’s day off” line? That one used to really piss me off.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Kazzy says:

        I never know how to respond to that – something like “No, it’s my day off – I’m the one not at work, see?” or “Yeah, she goes to the office for fun.”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        I’ve never gotten that particular one, thank god. A few times, when he’s been upset, some well-meaning witch will come over and say, “Don’t worry, mommy will be back soon.” I’m always tempted to respond with, “WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!?! HIS MOTHER’S DEAD!!!!”

        What bothers me most is our families. I do most of the “parenting”… not just in terms of time spent with the boy (which is pretty 50-50 during the school year), but I do almost all the cooking, cleaning, errand running, etc. It is what it is. Yet if you talked to our families, the perception is, “If not for Zazzy, Kazzy would probably be in the gutter by now.” And I have to just smile and play along because the alternative is so unseemly. C’est la vie…Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m always tempted to respond with, “WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!?! HIS MOTHER’S DEAD!!!!”

        You so should.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:


        How about, “BECAUSE SHE’S IN JAIL FOR EATING HIS SISTER!!!!”Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kazzy says:


        Actually, I think I’ll teach Bug to ask me in a suspicious tone, “You said Mommy was gone forever?!”Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    The general nanny state, risk averse, over protective society that we’ve been generating creates this as a natural outcome. Kidlets must be supervised 24/7, all non parental interactions must be background checked, finger printed and have helicopter parents. Remember, it takes a villiage.

    We’re creating “adults” who can’t drive, need all kinds of “safety” and want someone to take care of them. It will end badly…Report

  3. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    When I was a kid, we had a mother on the block who was trying to get the other parents to prevent us from watching a cartoon program about Pac-Man because his consumption of power pellets might make it easy for the drug dealers who prey upon six year olds to get us hooked on drugs. Years later, that still makes me laugh.Report

  4. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Skenazy wrote for the [New York] Daily News from 1992 to 2006, and I was a fan of hers during that time.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    Where is Saul to tell us that this is the logical conclusion of welfare reform?Report

  6. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    No offense, but what are Skenazy’s and your assurances actually be worth if someone were to actually be arrested? Not everyone can get or the local news team to rally around their side and show how they were wronged. I’ve lost the link, but CPS cases keep increasing fairly rapidly even though child victimization rates have fallen. The implication is that instances where CPS is stepping in without cause actually are increasing pretty significantly. I would want none of that.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      Had CPS stepped in faster, there’s at least one person who would be sporting a few more inches. [And, yes, there was no victimization going on.]

      Are we certain that CPS is always at wits end, trying to take children away? Because, there’s a lot more that they can be doing.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Vikram Bath says:

      I think it’s cases of nabbing the low hanging fruit in order to justify budgets.

      Good parents who make mistakes are also good parents with good jobs/careers & roots, so they are less likely to be changing locations & disappearing, and much more likely to obey CPS & work with the system for a positive outcome.

      CPS gets to show that not only are they handling cases, but they have a good showing in the “Win” column.

      Never mind the terror & stress placed on a family for having CPS turn their life upside down.Report

      • I’m slightly less cynical – I imagine they are doing this stuff because in the past they may have been slapped (in the media if nowhere else) for seemingly not acting quickly/decisively enough, and some kid got hurt or killed by being left in a truly bad situation.

        So now they want to CYA themselves* and always get the kids out as quickly as possible, at the first report of anything amiss.

        If they’ve swung too far in the other direction, then negative media attention like these stories may help correct that as well.

        *I thought about writing CTA, but thought it might not be clear.Report