NOTE: Cold medicine makes me indecisive.
“No. 1 on the top 10 things I hate about motherhood: Other mothers.”
The Wife’s pronouncement came Friday night at the Dinosaur Barbque as we waited on delivery of our ribs. It’s not a new feeling for her. When The Kid was The Baby, The Wife would go to the parenting forums, seeking methods to developing sleep schedules and such, only to find herself aghast at the Alphadog Earth Mothers whose breasts have produced enough milk to feed the Asian subcontinent, had children who latched the first time, made their own food and used only organic diapers and never used wipes with alcohol in them AND WHY WOULD YOU DO TO THAT TO YOUR BABY YOU HORRIFIC UNFIT WOMAN WHO IS JUST A STEP ABOVE SUSAN SMITH BUT NOT BY MUCH SO TURN IN YOUR CAR KEYS ANYWAYS JUST IN CASE.
“I’ve been doing this wrong since she was born. Hell, I didn’t even give birth correctly.” (You may or may not know that The Kid was delivered via emergency surgery.)
The Wife’s barbecue-tinged insight was the result of my story of how Twitter exploded in my face the other day. The Wife thinks I should just let this go, and learn the lesson of Josh Lyman from The West Wing‘s 16th episode in season three. After 16 years, you would think that she a) recognized that my bitterness knows no bounds and b) I don’t learn lessons from others’ mistakes. Or my own.
Earlier this year, I chronicled our story of The Kid’s Celiac disease diagnosis and our introduction to the world of gluten-free food. In an effort to start some conversations with other gluten-free diet/Celiac disease bloggers out there and get some feedback, I reached out on Twitter and asked for the thoughts of about two dozen people in that realm. Most offered well wishes, some offered their sympathy to The Wife and me, as we had a very scared then-2 1/2 year old going through all of these tests with no comprehension as to why. Others offered suggestions of brands, support groups, and organizations that I should investigate. Some said nothing.
Last week, a couple of people contacted me over Twitter. It seemed innocuous enough:
— GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) October 16, 2013
The other had read a few blog posts and thought that The Kid’s picky eating was due to her broken relationship with food. Fair enough…
That made sense. As a matter of fact, gfreemarketingguru (@doGFREEright) was quite kind, encouraging us to try some different things with ingredients to make food appealing. She was also receptive to the fact that prior to the trigger that led to the yellow poop, The Kid was a difficult eater. As a newborn, she wouldn’t latch. As an infant, she rejected all of the single-grain cereals. Her personality — always right, stubborn, doing things on her terms — manifested itself into a mealtime attitude of NO! No amount of trying, offering, or deception (sneaking veggies into cookies or sweets) could break it. She’s the mix of her parents and that, my friends, is dangerous. But, I’d like to inform you today that I’m wrong. And, possibly unfit to have a child. Because, you see…
— GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) October 17, 2013
from your blogs it seems you are more interested in your diet and needs than that of your child. Your child learns through u @jaredpaventi
— GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) October 18, 2013
what are you doing to change your diet to help teach and support ur daughter? @jaredpaventi
— GlutenFreeGal ♻ (@kirsten__berman) October 18, 2013
(Side note: I had a really nasty temper once. It was a trademark thing of mine in college and grad school. I’ve since mellowed significantly. In the old days, I would have launched into a tossed salad of things we have actually done, mixed with f-bombs and other pleasantries. Today, I post photos of porn stars laughing uncontrollably.)
But seriously, what is her problem? What am I doing to support my daughter? I’m not showing enough empathy? She’s being fucking serious, isn’t she?
(Side note: This is part of the problem with writing a blog. I think about a line from one of my favorite movies, Clerks: “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fkg customers.” I’ve long said that I would be better at public relations if I didn’t have complete contempt for the public. And, I suppose it would be better if I didn’t engage people like the GlutenFreeGal, who believe that if you don’t do it like her then you should burn in the fiery pits of hell and have your child removed from your care. But what’s the fun in that?)
The problem with GlutenFreeGal and her ilk is that they are self-promoters, only interested in your problems if you are willing to submit to their every direction and follow their prescribed plan or buy their silly ebook or subscribe to their insipid e-newsletter about the right way to live, because clearly she has it pegged and the rest of us should walk around with fucking helmets and reside in group homes.
My main problem with the GlutenFreeGal is her drive-by approach to my conversation. Rather than learn about what we are doing here or how The Kid has grown up, she slowed just long enough to scream her opinion before taking off. She is, for all intents and purposes, Sarah Palin. It takes too long to learn about the subject, so instead she’ll tell you that you are wrong because you aren’t doing it like her. Rather than wrap her hands around the whole of a situation, she’ll tell you that there are death panels ready to kill your grandparents and that the Republican party should be defunded. It takes too much effort to click the About Al Dente link and learn that this blog is, in fact, a blog about cooking and eating with some stories about my daughter sprinkled in. (I’ve never sold Al Dente as anything else.) And just like her dimwitted Alaskan counterpart, she offers uninformed opinion with just enough charisma to convince people that her way is best. She’s no different than the mothers in the parenting forums who immolate others for deigning to give their child formula, or accusing people of not loving their child because they purchased packaged baby food.
And because she brought her garbage to my doorstep, I’m not just going to let it go without saying something.
Oh…and here’s my grocery list for the week: