Cafe Today | Potting Training in Public. Has Parenting Today Gone Bonkers?

Raising children is the most difficult job in the universe.  Every parent has  experienced the joy and challenges of having a family.  At best, we can hope to teach our children the following:  1. They are and will be loved unconditionally  2. Can achieve anything they wish 3. Possess a moral compass  4. Respect others  5. Become upstanding citizens. ** I would add a sense of humor, but that’s just me.  These days, I wonder what parents are thinking.  Are they thinking?  Or, just gone bonkers!

Today as a parent of 3 grown children, I am truly amazed by the plethora of  resources this generation of parents have at their disposal. We learned parenting from our parents, grandparents and so on.      Well….we did have Dr Spock.  NO!  Not Mr. Spock from Star Trek.  Although Mr Spock did deliver many “wisdomettes” while boldly going where no one dared go.  Somehow my generation persevered. Today, our children are great examples of  what one may achieve.

That being said, I have concerns for the parents and children today.  If parents allow their children to behave badly in public, how must they act at home? Has parenting changed?  Are there no rules?  Where do you stand on this matter?  


Photo courtesy of John Van Beekum for The New York Times

Of late, I seem to be scratching my head more and more, when I see parents and children in public spaces. Not to mention on TV programming.  Just last week, while in a well-known department store, I heard children crying. More than one.  I always say to myself, “please take the child home”.  It’s obvious those children do not want to be there.  I turned.  Immediately, I am in the path of a now screaming child and the mother screaming even louder. “You can keep on crying and yelling at me all you want. Nobody’s gonna care about you and I ‘m not gonna give you what you want”. And on it went.   I had stopped cold. Frozen in place by the display of parenting in front of me.  “Oh, my God!”    I said aloud.  Shocked by this woman and child.   The mother just kept talking screaming louder, to be heard over the child.  Was this a contest?   I am now breathing quite rapidly and picture smoke rolling out of my ears as surely my hair must be on fire.  I made my way down the next aisle.  Encountered the second crying child. Holy Moly!  This time it was a teen. Her mouth running wild, to what appeared to be her Grandma.  A tirade worthy of any sailor. My eyes darted around.  Most people just went on about their business. Loud whispers clouding the space.

Am I alone in finding this behavior in public spaces disturbing?  Am I over reacting? What happened to rules of decorum?  I find this very disconcerting.  When did it become “normal” to behave badly in public?  Is reality television a contributor?  Sugary Cereal?

Now comes the latest in the ever so long list of bad behavior for parent and child.  I am so SHOCKED by this I can barely contain myself long enough to put my thoughts into words. 


Potty Training During restaurant Lunch.   Why?  via the Today Show-MSNBC

One mom, apparently not wanting to fret about whether her two young girls could make it to a restaurant’s bathroom in time, should the need arise, took matters into her own hands – or at least her own porta-a-potty.  

At first glance, other diners thought the two naked toddlers eating their chicken nuggets were simply sitting on booster seats. However, upon closer inspection, they realized the tots were dining atop their own little potty chairs, ready to release at a moment’s notice. 

One horrified patron (a mom who had recently finished pottytraining her own young son) snapped a picture of one of the girls, calmly sitting on her potty, clothes around her ankles, munching on her lunch. 

“The more you thought about it, the more unappetizing everything looked around me,” Kimberly Decker told KSL Utah. “I was like this is not ok, we’re eating, there was a business meeting with about five or six businessmen going on right next to me. The place was packed.” 

A spokesperson for the deli said they received several complaints from other customers about the incident and mentioned that if staff had realized what was happening, they would have asked the mom to take the potty training to the restroom.    (from MSNBC)

 How could it be, that the staff did not notice 2  NAKED  children, underwear around their ankles sitting at the table.  Having your children undress in a public space– a restaurant –is so disturbing. Have some parents said ” The rules of the world  do not apply to me”?   This is unbelievable.

 Did the parent wish to push the envelope?  Need 15 minutes of fame?  Perhaps some talk show or early morning news program will give her money to show up and tell her story.  Of that I am pretty sure.  This is exploitation children, right?”  Anyone over the age of 7  understands that one uses the restrooms, not the dining table.    I cannot fathom any way to rationalize this behavior.  Does this parent let her children urinate at the family table during dinner?    

What would your reaction be had  you been present? 

If you can give any sane explanation, please share.  How far will people push the envelope for  exploitation of their children?  I will get over my shock.  But my concern remains.  Has the world of parenting changed so much or……………Have some parents just gone bonkers?



This is one of my most popular posts and still remains relevant. So I thought I might share it again. Barb@CafeToday

Barb's CaféToday

A well deserved day off after many  weeks.  Finally!   Just a carefree day.  Or, so I thought.

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I am up and ready to run errands before 7am. I always start my day early whether I wish to do so or not. You see, I have a cat!  My adopted furry house-buddy is Milly. Those of you who keep a Cat – after all, no owns a Cat – knows you never ever need an alarm clock.   Milly keeps to her own schedule.  Which of late includes sharing that crazy schedule with me.  She quickly and adeptly took to my personal House Rule #1. If I am up. Everyone else is up.   Before 5:00 am just isn’t good for anyone.  Good thing she’s cute!  Well, that was great for me when life moved at the speed of light.       Now,  Not so much!

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Cafe Today | Hitting The Road Again? Try One of These.

            Many a bleary eye hovered over their cup of Joe this morning!  Why you ask?   Summer ending and the last weeks of vacations, family reunions and the simple need to get away.  Most had just returned from their destination of choice.  Instantly, I did a quick flashback…..images of knees and elbows, objects flying for unknown reasons in the back seat of that paneled station wagon.  Mom and dad yelling over “Jeremiah was a bull frog” with  “Don’t make me come back there!”    Only…… I…. was the mom.

Ahh! Summer.  I could definitely sympathize and empathize with all.  Most talk was positive about the days ahead.  A few days of back to normal, then the ever popular pre-season sports schedule.  Holy Smackers!  As my friend EddyBetty over at   would love to say.  Time is flying.  Wasn’t it just Memorial Day?

OK!  Maybe 24 hours of back to normal?   Next week……..wait a minute… that Jaws music I hear?……Back to school shopping.   AHHHHH!!

I say grab the family, pack a snack and start your engines to squeeze in another “holiday road adventure” before we all settle in for the school year.   Maybe one of these roads might entice you!

Hairpin Turns.           Breathtaking Scenery.          Buckle Up!

The world’s tallest bridge, the Millau Viaduct stretches across the Tarn River valley in southern France. /OLIBAC/FLICKR.COM

Cyclists cross the Bixby Bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway during the Amgen Tour of California from Seaside to San Luis Obispo, Calif. /DOUG PENSINGER/GETTY IMAGES

Oberalp Pass, Switzerland / WILL_CYCLIST/FLICKR.COM

        No way to hurry here.

Trollstigen, Norway – whose name in English is translated as “troll’s footpath.” /PAWEL KUZNIAR/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS


Stevio Pass, Italy – The mountain just above the pass is called Dreisprachenspitze or “Three Languages Peak,” to mark the place where the German, Italian and Romansh languages meet. /DODGE CHALLENGER1/FLICKR.COM

         Holy Smackers!     Now, That’s a Road Trip.

Cafe Today | Wisdom of the Healthcare Law – A Box of Chocolates?

Can someone PLEASE explain the Healthcare Law to me?  I’m confused.  Snicker if you must.  I have questions.  Where is the wisdom in this law?

So, the healthcare law is coverage for everyone.  Howdy do dah day!

Wait!  Except for people who cannot afford to purchase private insurance.  And, people who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid coverage. What?  So there are many limitations?   Then there are those who will be “taxed” for NOT having insurance. I believe the President clearly said  “This is not a tax”.  We penalize those who least can afford to purchase insurance? Really? Do they get a side of witty sarcasm with that tax entrée?

Assorted Chocolates

Fannie May Assorted Chocolates courtesy   Of course I purchased a box.   Duh!   Sorry, no wisdom.

Forest Gump was right.  “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get”.  Did I just quote Forest again.  Help me!

Tell me again why we have a healthcare plan that will cover everyone but doesn’t? So, we really don’t  have a healthcare plan for all? I’m confused again. No surprise.  If this healthcare plan is so straight forward, why is it so complicated?  No 2 people appear to agree with the language of the law.  Pass the chocolate!

OK!  Working through the chocolates.   If you are passed middle age….I mean way down the road beyond  the curve of middle age…you are now in danger of falling  into the infamous “crack”.   Lots of cracks in the system as we are learning.  How many times have we heard that?  You wouldn’t think it could possibly be that hard to find people down there, when it is so darn crowded.

Photo of the “cracks we fall into”……coming soon to this space. I have to get out first!

Oops!  I fell into the crack!    (I don’t know how to spell the sound of a deep sigh so, just sigh amongst yourselves.)  I personally cannot afford to purchase healthcare. It would cost me about $800  a month for a policy with a ginormous deductible and major out of my pocket-book expenses.   I know.  I have looked for coverage. (Sucks being older.  BB King said it best….The  Thrill is Gone!)   Therefore, placing me in the working poor category.  For those who do not know what that is, my congrats.  It  means my only choices are paying for insurance or a place to live.  Being too young for Medicare and  too old for braces, working 2 part-time jobs with no benefits what so ever, just puts me  over the $ amount for any type of qualification.  Luckily, I am not on any medications.   ………. Not for the lack of someone screaming I should be!

Honestly, I do not know the status of my health.  The “morning reflection” isn’t always so hot.   I have not been to a doctor for some time. I have learned to live with the pain I have and not get too pouty about the small stuff.  Recently, I have begun to list a bit to my left.  My only Nautical reference.  No worries! I’ll just use my Air Horn app to move others out of my way.  They really do have an App for everything don’t they.

Last year, I dragged my butt to an Urgent Care walk in clinic (tehehe) when I had a Bronchial Infection. They said to me, YUP! You have a Bronchial Infection. Gave me a script that cost $65 and said, very nicely, that will be $180 for today. All in the course of 10 minutes. Excluding time spent in the ever so lovely storage area.  I mean waiting room. (Helpful Hint: do not touch the magazines. You may find it necessary to return in a few days) Don’t get me wrong. The place has its perks. Free Tissue. Albeit scratchy. A single pen for completing crossword puzzles. Dealing with the chain and the fact that it is attached to the clipboard is a nuisance!   Getting to know the germy guy next to you. Priceless!   I must say, they were very busy. Lots of us sick folk in that waiting room. Funny! I did not see a revolving door, yet…  eerily I sensed its presence.

Looks like I am down to these choices.

  • A Nap
  • More Chocolate
  • Keep praying that I will get through to my Medicare years with only minor bumps in the road and on my body.
  • Move in with one of my children. Oh, hell no!
  • Take on a 3rd job to purchase insurance.   I rarely sleep as it is!
  • Find a nice gentleman that can help support both of us. Not likely. Men my age like cute 30 yr olds.
  • Damn it all!
  • Drink the correct amount of coffee each day. Not exactly sure of the correct amount. 6 too many?  3 not enough?
  • No soda. Tons of veggies. Quit the dessert.    Damn it!
  • Watch every Hallmark Movie. I love Hallmark movies.
  • Laugh a Lot!
  1. Perhaps, someone could find a way to allow businesses to provide healthcare benefits to their employees. Makes you just want to slap your head, huh?   Who would have thunk!  Full time or part-time employees getting benefits.  Whoa! I’m getting crazy here. Really, why is that such a difficult thing?   Not everything has to be a bureaucratic nightmare.
  2. A personal bailout!
  3. Discover a path to provide healthcare for people trapped and forgotten in a No Man’s Land of eligibility.  You know…the tiny cracks that people fall into all the time.  Again,  they can’t possibly be that small with so many of us in there.  Oh… wait.  “Others” (those nameless people we blame for everything) are far too busy observing failed/bailed out, doomed to fail again banks while still giving massive bonuses to their employees. Actually, I have no idea why simpler plans cannot be enlisted.

I loyally work long hours, believe in God, love my family, pay my taxes (more than the top 9% as I hear it) and make an attempt to be an upstanding citizen. Course with no healthcare I may not be standing up much longer.

Cafe Today | 65 Local Students Suspended for Riding Bikes to School

Kenowa Hills Principle  Suspends 65 students from school!

Do these kids look dangerous or disruptive? ~  Photo Courtesy of WZZM TV

I know! My first thought was “What type of senior day shenanigans is this?”

Well, here is the story on these crazy senior student hooligans!

“The seniors were sent home Tuesday morning after they arrived at the school — a day when the graduating students traditionally get to make their final “walk” through the halls of Kenowa Hills High School.”  The time to say good-bye to all the teachers and staff.   The reason, riding bikes to school.

“The students had arranged their bicycle procession, which featured Walker ( Michigan) Police and the city’s mayor as escorts. Mayor Rob VerHeulen even brought doughnuts for the seniors.  Awe!

“I got the idea talking to one of my teachers,” said senior class president Zac Totten. “We ended up getting about 80 kids riding bikes to school.”

When the students pedaled into the high school parking lot they were met by principle Katie Pennington. She suspended the seniors, saying they violated warnings against pranks on their last day. May 22, 2012 was not a good day to be a senior at Kenowa Hills.  But!  But, what about getting more exercise?  A cardio plan ?  Fresh Air?  Graduating?

“We have defined it as a prank all along,” said Principle Katie Pennington. “They wouldn’t be tolerated and there would be consequences.”    Hey!  Did you not remember that the Mayor even brought donuts?  The police escorted the kids to school.  Prank, violation or a dangerous act?  What?

So what should have been a happy day for the Kenowa Hills senior students ended with enough criticism to invoke feelings of  “Oh my God!”  “Are we going to graduate?”   “What are we to do now?”    And so on.

Did the principle over react?  Of course she did.  Once parents, students and area residents viewed the video of the principle being  interviewed on local channel 13, WZZM TV, the phone calls began and a meeting was immediately planned.  The principle’s bit of arrogance showed through.  Principle Katie Pennington was in charge.  Well, she and the superintendent, whose son just happened to be one of those suspended seniors.   Hmmm!   All righty then!  She admits to over reacting to what she deemed a PRANK.   Bike riding a prank?  Does Webster know of this description?    Wikipedia?  The principle issued a statement saying she was informed of the seniors plan of riding bikes to school that day.  I considered it a Prank from the beginning and felt it was against policy and very disruptive, she stated to the news correspondent.  (Well, honey do not ever move to a retirement community where all those rowdy residents ride bikes and golf carts all day long!  You will find out what disruptive really means! :0)

Protests were held that evening with parents expressing deep feelings of  hurt, pain and generally expressed,  What was she thinking!  The principle did admit she over reacted and re-considered her actions.  No doubt!

Protesting Suspension ~ Photo Courtesy WZZM TV-13

” It wasn’t exactly an apology but, upon further review, administrators in Kenowa Hills Public Schools will not give any further punishment to dozens of graduating seniors who rode their bikes to school for the last day of classes.  In fact, the school administrators appear to be making amends for their initial reaction to Tuesday senior class “prank.”   The powers that be came to collective decision that the problem was not the students, it was the adults.  At Last!  An intelligent statement.

Way to Go Kenowa Hills!  Don’t expect the students to be kissing your feet in appreciation for the ‘right to graduate’ reprieve.

A few decades ago, the class helped disassemble a car from shop class and reassemble the car on the roof of the school.   We were so filled with pride and accomplishment.    Brings on a tear.   Sniff!   Ah!    Good Times!

To read more on the incident follow the link:

Cafe Today | Holy Crap! The Food Police Really Exist!

Anne Thornton Season Two Sweet Treats

Anne Thorton host of "Dessert First" courtesy Food Network

Tis True!  Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and The Food Police are real.   You can’t make this up.

Expert pastry chef, Anne Thornton shares indulgent recipes for tantalizing treats on her “In the Kitchen”

Food Network cooking series, Dessert First With Anne Thornton.

       Not any more.  Who knew that a criminal lurked behind that great smile.

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Sources tell the New York Post that Anne Thornton, host of “Dessert First,” was fired when execs discovered similarities between her recipes and those of Martha Stewart and “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten.

“The network was very concerned because many of her recipes were close — with only a few minor edits — to other chefs’ recipes,” an unnamed source told the Post, adding, “The network discovered the similarities during the second season of the show.”

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        Holy Crap!   The FOOD POLICE  really exist.    There may be people knocking at your door soon.  You see, no one, but no one can plagiarise Ina Garten or Martha Stewart and walk away unscathed.    So home cooks beware!  Passing off Martha’s Chocolate Cake recipe as your own may be a crime.   Now really, how many times can you make Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Chip Cookies and be original?   As Anne Thorton said,  “There are only so many ways to make Lemon Bars.”   Amen Sister!   So be careful making any recipe from Grandma’s Recipe Box.  She probably copied it from her neighbor.

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies courtesy Food Network

         I now envision the Food Police screeching to a halt at my driveway, flashing a badge for mispronouncing the word Spaghetti.  Not using  the proper accent is a crime to mankind.

        Is this getting a bit ridiculous?    I added Orange Juice to my scratch Lemon Cake Recipe and I passed it off as my own.  So there Food Police.    Bring it on!

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Here is a link to the MSNBC article

Recipe for the Chocolate Chip Blondies:  follow link,1946,FOOD_9936_549039_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html

Cafe Today | Thought We Could Use Some Eye Candy Before The Holidays

Ryan Gosling via MUNAWAR HOSAIN/StarTraks

Hopefully I have found a little something for everyone.  Take a moment and just enjoy!

 My choices were made not from any of my prior lists.  Well, maybe only 1 or 2.    Ryan Gosling is really quite appealing to a number of girls and most important, women.  Don’t you think?  He does seem to like the really, really skinny leg pants and jeans.  In turn, it makes his feet look the size of an aircraft carrier.  Just saying.!

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Chris Hemsworth via Universal Studios

Now Chris Hemsworth is sooo well worth a long lingering stare. Get those stars out of your eyes girls!   My turn!   Words are difficult.  Staring gets in the way.  Casting Chris as Thor was truly a gift from the movie Gods.   And many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Hemsworth.

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Robert Downey, Jr via Warner Bros Pictures

One gentleman who has become better looking over the decades.  IronMan or Sherlock Holmes?  Hmm!  Both.   A girl should not have to make a choice such as that.  I love a fast talking, witty intelligent man.   When he happens to be great looking.    Just say thank you.   And, Robert is to be a father for the second time. Congrats, man!

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Zac Efron via GF Bauer Griffin

And, here comes our little Zac.  He’s all grown up now!  Woo! Woo!  He can dance in my driveway any day.     It would give my garage door some class.   He can be seen in the movie  ‘ New Year’s Eve ‘ coming December 9th.  You can shop later.  Go see our little Zac.

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Brian Kodjoe via ABC


Now here we have Brian Kodjoe who happens to have been, unfortunately in the NBC series  ‘ Under Covers ‘   last year.  NBC in it’s infinite wisdom did not give it much of a chance.   Or even a re-write.  Who cares!  Pretty is as pretty does.  Brian is now signed on to ABC’ new series  ‘Georgetown’.  Of course it is about young staffers on Capitol Hill.

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Jude Law via Corel Painter Magazine/Cat Bounds

And just  because I can.  Ta Da!   Jude Law  in painted format courtesy of Corel Painter. Makes one want to subscribe ASAP!  Or, better idea.  A very, very large print should hang in my hallway.  That way, as I walk by, I can linger as long as I wish.  After all, one should dust the hallway numerous times each day. Don’t you think?

So, just a few moments of stress free eyeball candy.  No need to worry.  I have your back.  Go ahead….look all you want.