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?



Cafe Conversations | Damn It Spock…..I’m From Iowa, I just work in Space!

                Captain James T. Kirk      courtesy 



     Ah, yes.  Captain Kirk knew a thing or two.  Most importantly he was well aware that he was  a mere mortal human from Iowa and simply worked  in outer space.  He would boldly go where no man had gone before.  And while there, Kirk would fight evil in the farthest of galaxies, spar with alien beings, rip off his shirt to impress the ladies when ever the need arises and  become overwhelmed with a star Ship filled to the brim with tiny Tribbles.

         If only our elected officials in Washington DC  had the insight and humanity of a Captain Kirk.   James T. Kirk and his crew faced challenges so beyond the realm of what a congressman would deal with everyday.  Yes I know, Kirk was traveling into the far reaches of space. Congressional folk drive down Pennsylvania Ave. When was the last time your Senator had to debate creatures oozing green blood, Battle those Big Bully Romoulans, who always loved a good fight, and drive at warp speed, into the outer reaches of the galaxy?  Probably never.  Kirk always did the right thing for the good of the many!  What if every congressman would do this:  Stop talking about what you will do and just do the right thing.  Stop the nonsense of Pointing fingers and actually do the right thing for the good of the many.  Can you?  Can you do the right thing?  Could it really be that hard?

       As a Senator or Congressman goes to Washington, it is much like the first day of school, marking off the check list:   Cool clothes-check!  Well stocked briefcase-check!   Expensive sunglasses-check!  Blackberry-check!  Glad Handing your frenemies-check!    Oh, fine!   But did you guys just conveniently forget to pack the “Gray Matter” along with the toothbrush and socks?   I mean, really!  Is it that difficult to engage one’s brain once you arrive in DC?  Are you star struck?  My mental picture of the arrival in DC go like this,  hands placed on hips….chin raised high… I am a Senator!   Declared with great Superman intensity.

     Immediately following that, do you just throw on the Magnetic Cloak of Attraction?  You know, the Magnetic Cloak seems to attract every Ass $@#%  Lobbyist, Corrupt Politician and Self Serving ”I want something from you” Person licking at your ear!  As Nancy Reagan said; Just Say No!   Two year olds do it 87 times a day.   You try it!   How hard is it to repel those jerks?  Oh wait.  You cannot corrupt someone who does not wish to be corrupted.

       I sort of envision the politicians as Adam in the Garden of Eden.   Shyly slinking amongst the trees and shrubs.  Suddenly hearing a heavenly voice calling out , “Hello Adam!”   Oh, God!     Why Yes, Yes I am!    Adam answers, while shaking down to his toes.  “I swear, I really didn’t think I was doing anything wrong or that I would end up being naked.”  “At least until I met that really, really bad snake thing and it told me to “go ahead and eat the apple, like, who’s going to know!  Although I did see he had a forked tongue.  Hmmm!   I probably should have known better, but oh well!”   Oh well, my butt!  Meanwhile back in DC.   I say, ditch the magnetic cloak and remember who you are, where you came from and who elected you.  Remember your promises?  Can you do that?  For you see, even at the far reaches of space, James T. Kirk always knew who he was and where he came from.  Iowa.  Do not get me wrong, I understand, we humans are flawed beings.  It all goes back to having that picnic in the garden.  Damn it Eve, snakes are not your friend.  Seems that each earthly human needs some sort of supervision.  It starts at birth and then it’s up to God where it goes at the end.

 Some people have a conscious that guides them.  That inner compass of “doing the right thing”.  Kirk and Spock were guided by their inner compass and it was probably larger than the universe they traveled.   That said, our politicians have an inner compass, be it small at times and sometimes on MUTE.  This is why they will still need ADULT supervision.  The need for a spell check of sorts. : )   No matter how you term it, these guys are away from “home” and have given the keys to the castle and the corvette. (I’m from Michigan,GM rules.)  The politician was elected because we liked what he or she had to say and loved the way they said it.  Makes sense!   We sit back and expect those elected to continue doing as we think they should with a thousand miles between us.  Are we crazy?  Did we not, all watch Risky Business?  The Romoulans tested Kirk and Spock every stinking time they crossed paths.   We elected these people.  So now, we should be watching them like hawks over the hen-house.  Yet, we go on about our business, living and struggling to just survive each day.  The politician is wined, dined and has his back scratched successfully.  Of course, the favor is to be returned at a later date.  A vote is taken and the politician votes the opposite of what was promised.  And, we are surprised every time.   Why?

      We trust our politicians to do the right thing.  Duh!  Aren’t they supposed to?  Remember the time, you first left home.  “I’m Outta Here!”  You screamed as you left rubber on the road.  WooHoo!!  You knew it all and it was yours for the taking.  Your parents didn’t know anything.  After all, they bugged you by watching over your shoulder, told you who to hang out with and constantly reminded you to say Please and Thank You, blah, blah!  Like, that was going to get you somewhere.   That’s just it.  We did, need all of that and much more.  Our politicians are no different.  Scrutinize and Supervise!  Otherwise we are throwing our elected officials to the lobbyists and worse with no chance of seeing what they could become.  Questions is, how do we supervise them, short of sleeping on their sofa and becoming attached permanently at the hip?

       Being in DC is tantamount to being at your first Frat Party, playing your first kick ass video game or somewhere in the middle of that.  Women will understand this a bit better perhaps.  A 70% off sale at Bloomingdale’s.  Nuff Said!    We, as most  Americans do not understand the “politics” of being in the senate or congress.  I do not know of anyone who does.   For example, I found this from Washington Watch:  A Bill with No Name

       What a mess the Senate has made of H.R. 1586. It’s a package of spending and revenue measures—but we’ll ignore the substance for now because they have so utterly goofed up the name.

       As we noted here before, this is a “shell bill.” It was introduced as one thing (TARP taxes), became another thing (an aviation bill), and is now a batch of spending policies. (Cost: about $125 per family)

       The most recent version of the bill was produced when the Senate passed a “substitute amendment.” That’s an amendment that clips out everything in the bill and puts in all new text.


        In the House and Senate, they often publish amendments ahead of time, and it looks like someone was in a rush to get the amendment together, because they left blank lines where the new name of the bill should have been.

        Take a look for yourself. Down toward the bottom of this page in the Congressional Record, it says, “SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “_______Act of______”. (The Library of Congress’ Thomas reporting system picked that up as the “XXXXXXAct ofXXXX,” so that’s how it shows up on our site.)

        Well, THAT’s the amendment they brought up and passed, so the new name of the bill is the “_______Act of______.”

And that’s the way it might be signed into law.


        That’s just great Huh!   But our constitution requires that the House and Senate pass identical bills before it can be sent to the President and signed into law.   We learned that in civics class.  Well, I did.  This is only one example.  Maybe this means nothing to you.  What about “hidden agendas in a bill to be passed?”  This happens every day.  Why do we as a nation, allow this and why do we not raise a fuss about it??  I cannot for the life of me figure out why not.  Do you think Kirk would let Scotty take over the Brigg?  Not for more than 2 seconds!  Scotty would warp speed into the nearest star if Kirk was not there with a hand firmly placed on his shoulder.  Kirk knew Scotty had to be supervised, watched over and demanded accountability.   Why not our politicians?  I say if they do not do the job, then we can go all Mr. Spock on them with the Vulcan Death Grip, just to get their attention of course!  I hear my neighbors and friends complain about this very thing.  Can we hold our officials accountable?  Where do you stand?

       As I raised the issue before, our politicians need to be supervised and scrutinized consistently.   They should be accountable to all their constituents for their actions.   These are the same people who support or not support, the President as he Commands our War in another country.   We should be waging a war on our politicians for accurate and honest representation.  Do you feel the weight of what that means?

Live Long and Prosper.   For now, Warp Speed Ahead!