Sometimes the blog world baffles me. Anyone who blogs, especially about their life and their kids, needs to understand that by putting something “out there” you are inviting the world to comment on it. In the mommy-blogging world people can get downright bitchy, especially if you happen to post a different viewpoint. Now, I’m not talking about the trolls that start bashing every little thing (like on ParentDish – gees that can be a wicked place)…I’m talking about mostly joyful places when you comment in a nice way but then get bashed by other commenters for having a differing view.
Case in point – I commented on Amalah’s recent post about having an awful time with an over-stimulated toddler at an overly-expensive Thomas the Train event. In the past Amalah has also written about dumping a ton of money on every Thomas the Train playset know to man even though her son never really plays with them. So, after reading about 25 comments from others recalling having the same miserable time at similar TV-show-themed events with cranky and overloaded kids my comment was this: “Sorry, I just don’t get outlaying that much cash for a 2 year old to see a train. Just like I don’t get paying tons of cash to get tix to a Hanna Montana concert for your 5 year old. Does any kid or parent actually enjoy this stuff? Noah would have had the same enjoyment in the Thomas section of Toys R Us and you could have saved $$. Does make a good blog post, though.”
And I get return comments like this from commenter Sarey: “Wow, ikate has forgotten how to play. why would you go to a concert or a play or any experience that isn’t in front of a tv?” I guess what Sarey doesn’t know is that Thomas is a TV SHOW(!) and what I am suggesting, especially for the two-year old set, is why do they watch so much TV that they get so obsessed with a character? And why do parents feel the need to outlay that kind of cash for a kid who would know no different from going to see a (free) train yard..or even a commuter train? Why does a great experience for a child have to involve some marketed character? My guess is that any child obsessed with trains would be flipping out and “screaming and squealing with total kid joy” (which is why Amalah said she did it and would do it again). Commenter Cagey hit the nail on the head with “We have two major rail lines running through our town and we go to watch the trains running by about every other day. My kid still goes spastic every single time we see a train coming through..” but then still managed to slam me by the end of her comment.
And, of course you wouldn’t get this from my short comment, but the reason I included the Hannah Montana part is because right after we moved to Cleveland she was performing here and there was a photo of a father with his 3-year old at the concert. He “just had to get her the tickets” when he found out she was performing here…sounds to me like dad was the one who wanted to see HM perform, because I seriously doubt a 3-year old would know the concert schedule.
I guess what I’m getting at are two points: One being that I don’t get the backlash from other commenters on a blog when you post a dissenting viewpoint. I’ve been reading Amalah for over two years now and in the last year or so her commenters treat her like a goddess who cannot be disagreed with so I hardly ever comment there – even if I agree or liked a post. Sites like Ask Moxie are blissfully bitch free so I know it can be done, but it’s pretty rare.
Second is that I just don’t get the consumerism we heap onto our little ones. It’s one thing to visit American Girl for a tea party when a 7-8 year old has been reading the books for a year or two and will remember the special day; or to see HM with a school-age child who knows every word to her songs. It’s another thing altogether to spend an entire day with a tantruming, screaming 2-year old because you get 2 minutes of joy from the nearly $70 you just shelled out for the experience. There is so much lost in that exchange – it has become all about the parent being the “Best Parent in the World” and nothing about exploring a child’s wonder.