Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jew eat yet?

It's funny timing to log on today and see that there's a small storm brewing in the comments about the Jew thing, since had my digital camera been working, what I was going to post was a photo, with the caption "Jews for Jesus," of Birdy playing with the antique porcelain creche I bought yesterday at the Salvation Army. I could really have offended everyone that way! But it's lovely, that creche, and Birdy loves the story of a baby born in a manger, and it all seems perfectly in keeping with our vision of an easier, happier world to live in.

You don't know from Jews poking a little fun?

It's actually fine with me to say you were offended: I am still political enough, even in my old age, to value dialogue over silence, alienation, abandonment. I do think it's a good practice, though, not to make those comments anonymous.

Would I say to Ben "Jews say 'Oy'"? Sure. Or I would say something more like "Many do." It's part of the culture, part of the Yiddish language. Just like you would say that Mexicans say "si" for "yes." Would I tell him that Jews are greedy wealth-mongers who would take a pound of your flesh over, say, a bad subprime mortgage? No. That's a negative stereotype. Do Jews tend to make fun of themselves? Yes--it's part of a centuries-long survival strategy.

But let me just say: I am all for worrying about stereotypes. Some of them just happen to be embedded in complex ways within particular cultural practices. But let's talk about it (she said, like a person who used to teach critical thinking to college students. . . sorry.)

Newish columns are here and here.



  1. Ah, anonymous folk who get offended at you on your own behalf - they're grand.
    I had one anonymous lady once who got very, very mad at me because I wouldn't take the Seasonale birth control pill. Her concern for my reproductive health was touching. (and your posts, as usual, were great. I'm glad your husband is better.)

  2. IMHO, the world would be a MUCH better place if everyone laughed at themselves a little more. Lighten up people!

  3. If a Methodist says "Oy vey" more than 1.1 million times per day, what does *that* mean? Cause, you know...oy vey.


  4. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Wow, to think that I didn't even think of getting offended. I think your columns are wonderful and I look forward to them every week. I also think it is great how you are giving Ben & Birdy a wonderful upbringing. Finally bought your book and finished it - loved it!!! Will be buying it for friends as well. You are the best. Thanks for always making me laugh, cry & ponder.

  5. You are so lovely, you know. This way you handled the (anonymous, no less, don't you love when they won't even leave a name?) rabble rousers in your comment section.

  6. I have typed about 5 snippy things to say to grouchy anonymous folks. And then promptly erased them, as I do not want to be grouped with the grouchy anonymous folks. It is over, right?

    Hope your Hanukkah was lovely, Catherine! Ours was. Brava for you for prefering dialogue over silence. I think I shall try to be you when I grow up.

  7. I haven't read any comments (better to not get annoyed with my fellow humans who occasionally make me want to go live a cave) but I can tell you that, on occasion, some recovering Catholics say Oy too. ;-) XOXO

  8. Anonymous12:55 PM

    I was the anonymous person who defended Catherine. Sorry for keeping anonymous, but I wanted to show the person who started it how annoying it is to not know who wrote it. Catherine, you don't need to concern yourself with the naysayers. They're wrong. You rock. Enough said.

  9. Anonymous1:03 PM

    It wasn't me! It wasn't me! I promise!

  10. I agree about anonymity. I think people say things they would never say otherwise. A test: after writing an anonymous comment for "good reasons" (whatever those would be, I'm just assuming people think their reasons are good), imagine posting it with your real name by accident. Does the heart leap to the throat in a seizure of adrenaline? Mm hm. Comment was overly "anonymous," then.

  11. Well, you are Jews for Jesus, and we're Mormons celebrating Advent with St Days included. I miss your posts when you don't post for a while. You're my favorite blogger!

  12. I haven't been to Wondertime yet, now I am curious! There is room for all explanations and when my girls asked what a Menorah was I was happy to explain (as best I could).

    We have a huge population in our city who celebrate Diwali so our girls are always asking questions about how other faiths celebrate.

    Happy Holidays to all and hope your Hanukkah was lovely.

  13. Anonymous2:11 PM

    I was another anonymous defender. Sorry for lurking in the shadows. I've been reading for ages and never posted and coming up with a nickname just seemed to much of a challenge. Catherine, thanks for your grace in handling those who are critical of what you write. Your response was exactly the kind of thing that shows there was no need for criticism in the first place. Know that most of us hang on every word and can't wait to get our "fix" each week!

  14. Is there a stereotype for non Jews that say "oy?" I'm not Jewish, but I say "oy."
    A lot. And hey, better anonymous than unanimous. Or anomalous.
    : )

  15. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I'm Jewish, but much more likely to say "Madre mia!" than "oy." Go figure!

  16. I am Canadian, and we actually do say "eh" a lot. Really. Also gigantic down jackets and hats are part of the culture up here. Perhaps that's because, where I live (Calgary) it is actually possible for snow to fall any month of the year. What I'm saying in a roundabout way is that while I do find "Bob and Doug" humourous, I do get offended at the stereotype that "Canadians are passive-agressive pushovers". So really, some perspective on what is and is not a negative stereotype is necessary here. Eh. Or "oy".

  17. Anonymous7:21 PM

    "Oy" just works. It is a great term that has made its way into American culture because there is no other term that so neatly sums up the emotion you feel when you say "Oy" I also really like "y'all" and think all Americans should adopt it. As a new Southerner I say it all day long. When I return to Jersey and hear "you guys" over and over it grates on my brain. While the South will always lay claim to "y'all," I doubt very much that most people think I am being derogatory when saying it is Southern. I don't think most conjure up images of hillbillies or rednecks or all of the other terrible stereotypes of the south. I just think, "chill y'all." Oy!

  18. A sense of humor works wonders. The world would be much happier place if everyone didn't take themselves so seriously.
    Wonderful post. :)

  19. Anonymous1:18 PM

    defensiveness. oy.
    the world's biggest jew contest
    a 'we' it creates

  20. Anonymous2:18 PM

    too many people say oy.
    undermines the 'we.'

    try ugh, why dontcha?
    different word, same effect
    without the chuckle

    what is the chuckle?
    it's about playing jewish
    isn't that the gist?

    the haiku ninja
    stealthy procrastination
    must return to work

    discuss food for thought
    from bjcuatrocinco
    besos y abrazos

  21. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Uh Oh. BJ is getting in on this. After his rant back at BabyCenter about Native Americans, I can only wait to see what he's gonna say this time. Can we just agree Catherine said it in passing and can we all agree it isn't offensive. She's Jewish herself! She wasn't talking about dressing up as a "Jew" (BJ) and she wasn't being disparaging. She's was saying something she's probably heard from her own Yiddish grandmother. She obviously loved her grandmother. She wouldn't say anything negative about her.

    And let's understand that she didn't say anything negative at all! She was saying words that a lot of Jewish people say! In fact, a lot of people in general say "Oy". Please let's move on and talk about something real. Not a fake, percieved, non existant upset that has no bearing on anything! Catherine, you did nothing even remotely wrong and I think we should move on!

  22. Anonymous9:48 AM

    I think it is time to flip the order of the archived articles on this blog site. Put the most recent months at the top and go backwards! There are a lot of months now and you will run out of space and have to archive it eventually anyway, but for now, it will save me a tiny scroll. I am lazy huh!?

    I wish I could figure out my password at disney so I could post at the website. The website will NOT send it to me or let me change it from my email address. I am very sad and frustrated about that.

    You are amazing and I like the word someone here used, PONDER, yeah, wake up, ponder and not feel so alone. I need to show the underwear column to my husband who drives me NUTS about not rushing past the window after the shower, like a peeping tom is waiting all morning for his chance to see me.... :)

  23. We're a big bunch o' Jews over here at my house in Brooklyn, and we constantly, I mean constantly, poke fun at ourselves and our Jewishness and Jewish psycho-social traits (as well as the frizz that springs, Chia-like, from our heads on rainy days--despite being valiantly armed with expensive conditioner) not the least of which is our fabulously well-articulated sense of humor at our own expense...I didn't react any other way than with a knowing giggle to your blog entry, Catherine. You're consistently hilarious. And intense yet anonymous comments are not too cool...

  24. Anonymous4:21 PM

    I guess I'm not very good at haiku and didn't get my meaning across. In this case, my issue wasn't with Catherine at all, but with the many non-Jews defending their right to say Oy vey. That bothers me. I think there are times when non-Jews say Oy vey in a way that is having a little fun with playing Jewish. I'll defer to Jews on how they feel about it, to be honest, but it is undeniably there sometimes. It's not something I would normally raise in here, but the issue is on the table and it can be a little caricature of Jews in certain contexts with certain people. Like I said, it's just food for thought. I didn't say Catherine did anything wrong, but I'm not going to shush people who are concerned about it. I know Catherine is Jewish , is self-aware, and thinks critically and deeply about race, ethnicity, identity, power, etc. When she says Oy and "world's biggest Jew contest," I recognize who is saying it and in what context. I think Catherine and others raised significant points and discussed the context adequately enough for reasonable people to draw their own conclusions.

    It's the few people who can reliably be counted on to say it's not even worth talking about racism or anti-Semitism that bother me. It's a way of saying these aren't legitimate issues. Meg, your post provides an excellent example of this problem (and should also be a reminder that with the possible exception of Catherine, we're all "anonymous" on here to some extent-- I doubt you would be so rude to my face). My "rant about Native Americans" was about protecting my (Native American) kids from stereotypes that are everywhere in American culture (especially around Halloween, which was part of the context for the original post) that make them feel bad about themselves and think less of other Indians (as documented in peer-reviewed social-psychological research, not to mention personal experience). When you dismiss my legitimate concerns for the well-being of my kids as a "rant about Native Americans," you're implying that any discussion of race or racism isn't rational or reasonable, so I should just keep quiet. You're trying to say I'm an uptight screwball for talking about the negative impact racism has on my kids? I'm not sure you realize how messed up that is.


  25. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Thanks, everyone, for a really interesting and not overly emotional discussion on the "Oy" thing. It's a hard balance to strike, you know, because you want to be able to laugh at yourself and yet not somehow cross the line into self-loathing (or others loathing you). OK, that makes very little sense...

    Catherine, I laughed out loud reading your 12/3 post about not having an elegant household, since my family seemingly can't go a day without making fart jokes. And since my husband is really the rock that holds our family together, I can relate to your worries about Michael in the ER and yet, also your "relaxation" because it's not your kid. Great stuff.

  26. Catherine:
    I hate to change the subject here, but I wanted to talk to you about your adult acne that you wrote about on Wondertime. I suffered with acne from my late teens until the week AFTER I got married (mid-twenties). My early teen years were full of beautiful pictures with soft, smooth skin, then one day I woke up and my skin actually hurt when I made any sort of expression and begged to be picked and squeezed. It stayed that way until the week before my wedding, I was watching TV and saw a commercial for ProActive solution. I ordered it thinking that I had nothing to lose and 12 years later, I'm still using it. It works....plain and simple. The medication is not hard to keep up with and compared to what the doctor could prescribe you, it's pretty inexpensive.

    I don't sell this product and I'm not a celebrity like J.Simpson or J. Love Hewitt.....I just know how much my acne changed my self esteem, my relationships, and my confidence. I know that sounds shallow to let something like my skin reflect so negatively on things that are much more important, but it did and ProActiv changed that.

    Best of luck!

  27. Anonymous8:57 PM

    OMG - ProActiv solution - me too! Love it.

  28. BJ5555 - thanks for the balanced, intelligent comment!

  29. Catherine, I just read your 12-17 post on, and as an adoptee myself, the best way I've heard it explained is how my parents explained it: That we had one set of parents we were blood related to that couldn't provide us with the things we needed, and that they loved us so much they gave us to parents who couldn't have biological children who loved us like we were their very own. The sweetest way I've heard it explained is this: "When you adopt, you grow your child in your heart, instead of your belly...."

    Hope you have an uber-fantastique holiday!!!!

  30. I just read your Wondertime column about feral children, and I had to tell you how much I laughed and then I kind of cried at the end. When I turned on my laptop tonight I read an article on MSM about international adoptions that went wrong, and it left a very sad feeling in my heart. I'm really grateful that I read your column to cheer me up and read in your words what I feel for my own children.

  31. Anonymous8:03 AM

    OK, WOndertime comment not on Wondertime because of the whole inability to sign on thing that I'm sure you're tired of hearing:

    The singer is Louis Prima (better known to most at the Gap commercial singer), an Italian American from New Orleans. The Disney cartoonists actually watched his band play so the apes in the band would move the same way.

    Notice the way Mowgli says "Cousin Louie"? Louis Prima's first name is pronounced "LOO ee." Louis Armstrong pronounced his first name "LOO iss," and the fact that some of his fellow performers mispronounced it gets emphasized in his version of "Hello, Dolly," when he says "This is Louissss, Dolly."

    Here endeth my endless droning on. For now, anyway.

  32. Anonymous11:54 AM

    I was just thinking about commenting on the adult acne the other day, but when I saw the Proactiv comment today, decided I had to chime in. I found this website one day when I was searching for a cure for adult acne. Wanted to find something cheaper than Proactiv. I think the guy's name is Daniel Kern, and he sells his own stuff, but he also gives his secret for getting rid of his own HORRIBLE acne (seriously, there are pictures... gag). Use Basis sensitive skin bar to wash morning and night -- no scrubbing; at night, coat your face with Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment (2.5% benzoyle peroxide) after washing; in the morning, use Cetaphil sensitive skin moisturizer after washing.

    I can't tell you how much of a difference this has made for my skin.

    I say "oy" because I think it's funny. I'll have to think about the fact that it's at someone else's expense. I don't have anything against Jews, and I really don't know about any of the stereotypes. I'm Southern and proud of it. I don't mind people mimicking my accent because I'm proud of it. On the other hand, I don't like people thinking I'm stupid or backward just because I'm Southern. Because I'm actually pretty smart. :0) I guess it's okay for me to poke fun at me, and it's okay for other people to poke fun, as long as they're not trying to be mean.

    Love you, Catherine!

  33. Well, at the risk of sounding like a complete freak...

    Oh, My God! I didn't know Catherine Newman had a personal blog that I could just--- go and read! For heaven's sake, how is that possible? Incredible.

    Catherine, I am sorry, I can hardly focus to comment on your actual POST for cryin' out loud.

    You are my favorite favorite favorite. Gush. I've been reading you since Baby Center...

    I sound like a complete freak. I know. God, I hope I didn't scare you. Um...yeah. Thanks. Bye.

    *slinks away*

    Hydes Like Us

  34. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Catherine, I've been stewing on this far too much. I'm not talking about the Oy, but about how you manage to present different religious views to your children. And this isn't a finger poking, but more just a question. My family is Christian, and my older son (7) just realized that our Jewish friends celebrate Hannukah. We've had some 7-yr-old level explanations: festival of lights, miracle of oil lasting so long, etc. But in some ways, it seems like explaining Jewish holidays to a Christian child is, in some ways, easier than I would imagine it to be the other way around.
    I mean, Christians believe in the same God as Jews, but with the addition of the Messiah--who we believe is Jesus. But in the Jewish religion, which doesn't view Jesus as the Messiah, wouldn't the image of a baby born in a manger be--well--kind of weird? Like: this baby grows up to think he's the son of God and we're not sure why. I mean, there's this idea that Jesus either was the Messiah, or he was a lunatic. And I'm not pulling for you to believe one way or the other--I think that's a highly personal thing. But I can't see a middle ground, I guess. If I didn't believe Jesus was the Messiah, I would believe that he was someone who was tragically mixed up about his identity.
    I know this is waaaay beyond 4-yr old level explanations--much like my 7-yr old Hannukah explanations.
    But I wonder how you'll explain it as your children grow older.
    Truly, I'm not trying to be a twerp about this. But it's easier to talk to a stranger (who's also a kind of friend) than it is to my real-life friends, whom I might offend.
    (My actual name is Janet, btw)

  35. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Couldn't post at Wondertime, so I wanted to let you know here that the singer of the monkey song is Louis Prima, not Louis Armstrong (both played trumpet, though, I think).

  36. Anonymous4:23 PM

    You frequently quote your son, Ben, saying "Oh My God!" First of all, I find this offensive from any age. I certainly am dismayed to think that you allow your young son to say this.
    Yeah, I know. Go ahead and blast me, all of you Catherine fans. I'm simply stating my belief in this. Would you allow him to say the "f" word- of course not- it is offensive. Duh. If he says it at home, whatever. Must you quote it?

  37. Anonymous6:57 PM

    You got MARRIED then?

    Fess up, please.


  38. thought the 12/19 post was apropos...

  39. Anonymous10:48 PM


    Were you starting to feel all comfortable here in blogworld? Because it seems like some of the folks from Babycenter have found their way over here! It's like they have been waiting, dying, to have an opportunity to criticize you! Heaven forbid you let Ben use the term "Oh my God!" because we know that you and he truly mean something AWFUL by it! I mean, jeez Louise! (pardon this heathen expression)

    I have this fear that you will continue to stop writing about certain things (i.e. Ben's birthday presents) for fear of criticism. I guess though when you write personal essays you have to expect that there will always be someone out there ready to analyze every single word. And what I say to that? Fuck 'em.

  40. This has gotta be a record, three comments from me for the same post, but, after reading that "complaint" about your son's choice of expressions, I couldn't keep quiet! To that person who was so offended, why do you read Catherine's blog? There are a gazillion people out there who blog, and I choose not to read them for several reasons, one of which is time; I need to do something "productive" with my time.
    Sorry Catherine you have to put up with this kind of people. So many things to get offended for, and she picks on a little boy's (a sweet, adorable little boy at that) words.

  41. Okay- I finally got myself together enough to leave an actual coherent post- for heaven's sake. (Oh, whoops! Probably shouldn't have said that.)

    I find it offensive, personally, that someone would think it's okay to enter anothers' space (such as a blog), a space where a writer (a brilliant writer- like Catherine) opens herself up to the world, sharing the funniest and sometimes very intimate details of her life--and denigrates it.

    Catherine, I read your beautiful work because of the way it makes me feel, a feeling of connection between(mothers)people in the world. None of us will raise our children in the same way, none of us will share the same humor... isn't that what makes this journey so very interesting?

    I have a feeling that if we decided to call out every person who said or wrote something we found offensive, every time they said or wrote it...there wouldn't be much else to do with our day?

    Catherine, the way you write is brilliant. It's honest-- in a way it wouldn't be if every potential offender was culled from it.

    I've wanted to say these things for a long time, and I appreciate the opportunity to do it here.


  42. Hi Catherine,

    I hope you get to my comment all the wayyyy down here!! I just wanted to comment and let you know that I LOVE you!! I read an article you wrote for Parenting just after my second child was born and showed it to my husband because you said what I could not! It was about being at the grocery store with Ben and Birdy when she was a baby. She was screaming and you were trying to act normal. I seem to recal a line about preferring to have your eyes gouged out with knitting needles! I have never felt so understood in my life!
    So thanks for sharing your life and experience with all of us in cyberworld.

    Also a note to Anaybaba, I don't know what other Jews tell their kids, but as a Jew in an interfaith marriage, my kids (who are Jewish) know that Jesus was a man who lived a long time ago, performed good deeds and tried to help people. We just don't believe that he was the son of God.

    When you are raised not believing in Jesus, it does not seem wierd to you.

    Any way, Happy Holidays to all!!


  43. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Why is it that women can be so awesomly wonderful to each other 90% of the time and then just snap like that? I picture us all just clucking around some big hen house and then that one hen puffs out her chest and raises her wings and just starts causing mayhem. We have all seen this before, yes?
    To those that start trouble for no reason...
    Does it make you feel better or are you genuinely narcissistic enough to think you are helping Catherine or the world? Gag.

    Well from this hen to that other...
    Cluck off :)

  44. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Thanks, Arkmama! I really appreciate you responding. Like I said, it's such a hard thing to bring up religion with friends/acquaintances of different religions. I mean, we kind of politely walk around the issue, but we never address it directly. "I believe this; you believe that. What does it all mean?" Instead we are just terribly polite.
    But with little kids around asking questions, it makes one (me) wonder about how to address things in a way that is respectful to other religions while still making it clear to my children what I, myself, believe.
    My kids go to an Episcopal school that seems to be really good at incorporating children of several different faiths into the school, while still remaining true to its mission. My son has two Jewish boys in his 1st grade class, and it was so great how the boys had the opportunity to talk about Hannukah, etc. But then I wondered how those boys feel when clearly the majority of the school is celebrating Christmas. And more so than just the celebrating, I find myself wondering things like I mentioned in my last post. Like: does the whole concept seem weird to them?
    Your explanation helps a lot. I'm glad for opportunities for good, reasonable discussion on this board. Thanks!!

  45. Anonymous10:01 PM

    I'm sorry but when someone decides to blog, they have put themselves out there for approval or disapproval whether the fans of the blogger like it or not. Why is there a comment page if the reader can't express an opinion?

    You guys are fine as long as everyone agrees with Catherine and oohs and ahhs over her stories, but the minute someone has a different viewpoint, you are quick to pounce and condemn (not everyone on here obviously - just the ones who do so). Well, get over yourselves. You know what they say about opinions and a-holes?

    It is not a homogenous world.


  46. Anonymous5:26 PM


  47. Anonymous12:07 AM

    hi. just to play devils advocate a little...
    i also cringe at the "oh my god"s. so i guess it kinda bothers me, too.

    do i care, though? nope. i like her writing, her children, her thoughts and ideas and i read her blogs because i thoroughly enjoy them. i know i offend my friends now and then, but that's what grace is all about.

    kinda funny- i have two blogs. one where i write sweet things about my sweet girl in order to keep family and friends up to date. and another where i rant and rave. the second one is secret because i'd hate to offend anyone that actually loves me! :)

    actually, i was snooping around through these comments trying to find out what i missed. i don't remember reading anything offensive or jewish. what were people worked up about?

  48. Anonymous11:59 AM

    In the last entry, she said she sounded like "the world's bigest Jew" or something. Then, a bunch of idiots with nothing better to do, jumped on her and made a big deal. If they want to discuss or read about political or racial things, they should go to a blog that deals with those things. This is a fun, parenting blog and we come here to laugh with and relate to Catherine. Those losers should shut up. If they don't like "oh my god" and it's that big a deal, then don't read!!! Go away and leave the rest of us in peace. I don't even want to read this blog anymore because it's supposed to be a place to relax and unwind, not come to "the great debate"!!!!!! Go away and leave us in pace. Catherine, don't let the naysayers get to you. You can say whatever you want. We live in America!!!! If people get offended by your harmless comments, they have a serious problem. They need to get over it and while they're at it, they need to get a life!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Meg - thanks for being so open minded and generous.

  50. Anonymous9:33 PM

    Nicole, you're welcome!!! Thanks for being such a follower and so selfish that you would try to take Catherine's joy away from this blog. Nice one.

  51. Anonymous9:40 PM

    Catherine, whadaya say we move on? Enough already.

  52. Anonymous7:46 AM

    Wow Nicole. Thanks for so deftly (daftly?) proving my point.

    I sincerely hope your holidays are better than your intolerant, hate-filled, self-centered attitude.

    For your family's sake.


  53. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Sorry Nicole,

    I meant Meg.


  54. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Meg, my self centered, hate filled attitude? I'm sorry you feel that way. Really. When have I ever critized Catherine? I never have. I just feel that maybe we should all get in the holiday spirit and stop jumping on anyone that has anything different to say. As Catherine says, "let's talk about it". I feel that your short fuse is really putting people off.

    Catherine, sorry about this little storm. I am a huge fan, love all your work, and read everything you write - I am scanning O magazine all the time in hopes there might be another piece of yours. All the best to you and yours for the holidays. All the best to all the Catherine fans out there, who want to be the best parents they can be.

  55. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Nicole and Vicki are very confused. Nicole, I never said you were self centered or hate filled. Vicki called ME hate filled and directed it at you in error. I don't think it's stupid to talk about these things. I just think this is not the place. We come here to hear about Catherine and her family. Not debate the rightness of her vocabulary. That's all. I feel very bad for Catherine to be attacked when she's putting herself out there for us. She doesn't deserve it. Everyone knows she wasn't trying to be disparaging or negative. Jewish people DO happen to say "Oy" more than non Jews. That's all. I don't think predjudice is ok or discrimination is ok. I am a good person. I just get upset when this becomes an attack zone. To take offense at what BEN says? Come on. That's going too far. She can parent any way she wants. You picked on me, not the other way around, remember. I never called you hate filled and have nothing against you.

  56. Anonymous7:57 PM

    Thank you Meg. I'm sorry for commenting on your comment - I guess I felt that you were trying to isolate people who may have had a different opinion from you. For the record, who cares who says Oh My God, or whatever, but I felt that maybe you were being too sharp with people for expressing themselves. Truly, I don't care who says "Oh My God" or "Oy Vey" or any of that! I believe that you are a good person and would never accuse you of being racist. Maybe we should all try to express ourselves the way we teach our children to (I'm thinking, kind words, and that means me as well). I guess that this blog comment section has become a bit of a sounding board for other issues, and you're right - maybe this isn't the place. I don't know Catherine personally (although I wish I did!) so I don't know how she feels about this. I'm really not a follower, or selfish (at least I try not to be), just upset that those who voice their opinions were being instantly and, sometimes, unkindly shut down.

    Happy Holidays, Meg, and again I'm sorry, both for my comment and for mis-reading the comment about being hate filled and selfish - I can see now that you didn't say that to me.

  57. Whatever the holiday you celebrate, I hope everyone's was filled with family and peace. Wishing you all a happy new year.

  58. Anonymous3:59 PM

    I don't know Catherine either, so can't presume that she will necessarily welcome or feel otherwise about all the back-and-forth... But to me, this blog is all about the messy business of parenting -- in both its serious philosophical ponderings and its silly fart-joke-infused wildness. I think that wrestling with the delicate balance between gently poking fun at ourselves/others and possibly adding fuel to the heated climate of racism IS the stuff of parenting. I believe that being aware of when we may inadvertently be teaching our kids behaviors or beliefs that may hurt or offend others IS the stuff of parenting. I also think that we can sometimes take it SO seriously that we lose track of the joy and silliness. Catherine's blog reminds me to pay attention to BOTH the fun and goofy stuff AND the serious side of parenting. I want to laugh, but I also like to have my assumptions challenged. So although the tone got a little edgy there, I think that tossing around ideas and responses is a GREAT use of the comment section. What do YOU think, Catherine? Should we go elsewhere to do this?

  59. Anonymous5:19 PM

    I am not an "idiot" or a "loser". I am simply a Christian who took offense to taking the Lord's name in vain. I'm not attacking the little boy- my criticism was to the mother, Catherine, for quoting it so casually. It is clearly OK w/ her- fine. I was simply pointing out MY opinion about it. free speech and all that... you would know- you fire off all the time. It's just we are here to talk about parenting and raising our kids as best we can, and I was simply stating that I don't think that is how a little boy should express himself. Not his fault, but I would hope she would be aware of this, as she would if he said the "f" word, or called an african american an inappropriate name, or the whole Jew thing that has been discussed. It offends some, so please be respectful, and try to keep it more neutral. That's all I'm saying. I guess that's hard for you to fathom. Hope YOUR kids don't call people idiots and losers.

  60. Anonymous10:53 PM

    I have 2 suggestions for you Meg: Lay off the caffeine, and go to the gym once in a while and try to work off some of that aggression.

    I bet you'd be a happier person.

  61. Anonymous11:25 PM

    CATHERINE, for the love of all that is pure post SOMETHING new...! ANYTHING so we can get to a new comments page and stop picking on each other.

  62. Anonymous11:53 PM

    I don't have any aggression. I'm just having fun with all you who are all worked up. Funny, that you believe in your Christianity so much you can't even sign your name. Maybe because you are embarassed by your judgemental views? I think you should take some time away from the gym to actually read your bible and then maybe you'd be a better person and be able to stand by the think you supposedly believe in. Food for thought.

  63. Anonymous8:14 PM

    That was the last straw, swearing like that. Whoever that was, you are pathetic. Catherine, this is over for me. I wish you would post something new and we could move on. This isn't an attack zone and they shouldn't have attacked you. I don't care if they want to attack me for standing up for you, so be it. But, I would hope people would leave you alone. Please lighten it up around here. I have read everything you've written and traveled to see you read live. I am one of your biggest fans. Please forgive me for causing trouble here, but it was for what I thought was the good. Maybe a little inflamatory, but we're all human, right? I'm sure that person who started this is sitting happy in her home, looking at this storm. I know we don't have to all agree with you, but we can respectfully disagree silently and move on. I won't comment on this again. I'm done.

  64. Anonymous11:50 PM

    BJ5555- I don't know if you're still reading this comment thread, but I've been wanting to tell you for a long time that your series of posts about your experiences as a Native American on BabyCenter way back when made a HUGE impact on me. Many of the issues you raised I had never thought about before. It made me more aware of my perceptions and what my children pick up. I am trying to pass that on to my children as well.

    It made me a little sad to see a previous commentor here denigrate those posts of yours, because I valued them deeply. So, anyway, thanks for the bit of enlightenment.