Why Britney Deserves A Break
Wednesday - May 31, 2006
Poor Britney Spears. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I mean it. Poor, poor Britney.
Once again the pop star mommy is in the spotlight for her less-than-stellar parenting skills, this time photographed driving with her baby strapped into the back seat of her car. The little tyke is slumped over, indicating the straps are alarmingly loose. And the car seat is facing forward.
Big bad. Baby should be faced the other way for optimum safety in a collision.
About the same time, Britney was photographed carrying a drink in one hand, little Sean Preston in the other. Oops, she stumbles. Baby’s head snaps back and the child almost tumbles from her arm. Luckily, a bodyguard with strong arms and fast reflexes scoops up the teetering twosome and saves the day, not to mention baby’s soft little head.
Yes, these are bad mistakes. And Britney should be taken to task for her ignorance and carelessness.
But what makes me feel sorry for the girl is the worldwide ridicule and condemnation that greets every mothering misstep she makes. Come on, moms. Search your memories. Did you really do everything right?
I know I didn’t. I made a lot of mistakes (still do). One of the worst occurred one morning when my son Zach was just a little over a year old. I secured him in his high chair, poured his cereal into his bowl, and stepped outside to get the newspaper. The door clicked shut - and too late! - I realized I had locked myself out. So there I was, in bathrobe and slippers, frantically calling to my son, “Zach, don’t worry, Mommy will be right there!” When I pressed my ear to the door I could hear him banging on his tray table and making funny gurgling noises. I had visions of him choking on Cheerios or toppling over in the chair and cracking open his head. I was distraught, to say the least, and stayed that way until the locksmith arrived. When he got the door open I sprinted inside to save my son. He, however, looked up at me in surprise and happily waved two fat fistfuls of cereal in greeting. The little guy hadn’t even noticed that I’d been gone.
There are parents who deserve to be called bad. We’ve read about the ones who’ve left their babies alone in cars to be snatched by opportunistic car thieves. I even know a guy who decided he wanted a cup of coffee, so he hopped in his car and drove to the nearest Starbucks, leaving his 3-year-old triplets alone in the house! They survived, but their horrified mom vowed never to leave them in Dad’s care again. Likewise for the dad who left his toddler nap-ping in the back seat while he went into a strip club.
Most of us aren’t that careless with our children’s lives, not intentionally, anyway, but we all make mistakes. And how many of us would hold up under constant, unrelenting scrutiny? That’s why I feel sorry for Britney. She’s young, still learning, and pregnant again. Let’s leave her alone so she can apply the lessons she’s learned to baby No. 2.
I received this very nice e-mail the other day:
“I just read the article you wrote in MidWeek about the TV series, Star Trek. I believe that you made an error about the episode that was supposed to be based on the submarine movie Run Silent, Run Deep.
“The episode in question was actually based on the movie The Enemy Below. Just for your information. Please don’t take it as criticism.
Ken, I looked it up and you are right. I got my submarine movies mixed up. My apologies to the true Trekkies out there, and thank you so much for calling it to my attention.
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