Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three for Thursday: Satirizing Sanctimommies, Bullying the Allergic, Uncool on 'Parenthood'

Item #1: Satirizing Sanctimommies

When I found this series of online videos satirizing sanctimommies, I was immediately smitten. The videos, posted on, feature two women at a park, one “normal” (meaning she tries to raise well-rounded kids with her feet firmly planted on the ground) and one who thinks that parenting is a competitive sport complete with winners and losers, who believes it's wise to install GPS chips in her kids.

What I love about the series of videos is how the “normal” mom has the stones to refute the inanities spouted by the judgmental whack-job mom, and the "normal" mom is quick with the retorts, whereas we mere mortals might be rendered speechless and slack-jawed upon hearing such unmitigated garbage being emitted by a fellow parent at a park.

Here’s one of my favorites:

Item #2: Bullying the Allergic

When I read this Fox News story I was astonished and disheartened by the cruelty some children can level at one another. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, over 30 percent of school children said they have been the target of harassment at school because they have a food allergy, Fox reported. Forty percent of those kids who were harassed said the harassment took a physical form “such as being touched with their allergen, such as a peanut, or having the allergen thrown or waved at them,” Fox reported.

The vice president of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, who also worked on the study, said, “Recent cases involving bullying and food allergies include a middle school student who found peanut butter cookie crumbs in her lunchbox and a high school student whose forehead was smeared with peanut butter in the cafeteria.”

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the study found that 20 percent of those who harassed students with allergies were teachers or school staff.

Item #3: Uncool on Parenthood

The first few episodes of Parenthood this season have been excellent. They’ve depicted parents as flawed, selfish, selfless, controlling, hopeful and worried adults, in other words, like flesh and blood, well-rounded people. This past episode (still available for free online viewing until Nov. 3) stood out for me because I completely related to it.

First, there was the dad, Adam (Peter Krause), who had his feelings hurt when his son Max, who has Asperger’s, was disinterested in speaking to or spending time with him. Adam tried, on several occasions, to engage Max in a conversation, to persuade him to sit next to him and watch a baseball game, all to no avail. Are there any parents who HAVEN’T experienced that gut-level twinge when our kids push us away, don’t seem to care about our feelings or act like they don’t want us around?

Second, there was Adam’s wife Kristina (Monica Potter), who used to work on political campaigns before becoming an at-home mom, who was over the moon when she learned that her teenage daughter Haddie was going to run for class president. Only Kristina, blinded by her enthusiasm, pushed way too hard, tried to take over Haddie’s campaign and then admonished her daughter for not appreciating her mother’s efforts. Just a few hours before this episode aired, The Girl came home from school and told me she was thinking about joining the school newspaper. I, a former newspaper reporter, was ecstatic (even though newspapers are, in their current form, dying) and had visions of my mentoring her running through my head. But after watching how this played out on Parenthood, I think I’ll wait for The Girl to come to me and ASK for help if she needs it.

Third, there was the sad spectacle of Sarah (Lauren Graham) who was jealous that her teenage daughter Amber was spending so much time with her friend’s parents, who are rich and with whom Sarah felt she couldn’t compete. In order to fashion herself into the “cool” mom in her daughter’s eyes, Sarah went to great lengths, though it was painfully clear – especially after a bouncer called her “ma’am” -- that she’s no longer a hip club-hopper and that trying to seem cool to her a daughter is a losing battle.

For my review of the must-watch episode, go here, to the Clique Clack TV site.

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