(warning: this following post is filled with profanity and can offend. Proceed with caution!)
I'd like to take a moment to rant. To shout out a hearty "FUCK YOU!!!" to the media and their constant scare tactics that are driving all of us crazy. I can't turn on the F-ing news without hearing about some sort of dangerous food item that could harm my health...and it's usually something healthy like broccoli or tomatoes or chicken, etc. I'm surprised I'm not dead yet. How are we not ALL DEAD??? I understand that there are some foods that are contaminated sometimes...e-coli, salmonella, etc. can be a risk. But to do a whole news story on how salmonella MAY be on your chicken and to study how the spray from the chicken gets on your counters as you wash it in the sink is going too far. Do I, or do I not wash the f-ing chicken???? First, I'm supposed to wash it, but now it's BE CAREFUL! The spray from the chicken get's all around the kitchen when you wash it! SEE? Here's a UV light to show how it's all over your clean kitchen. It's on your TOASTER! It's on YOUR HANDS!!! It's ON YOUR OVEN! It's on all the KNIVES YOU JUST CLEANED! AAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (insert my twitching eye here).
Don't eat tomatoes! You'll get E-coli. Don't eat spinach! You may die. Don't eat peanuts! They have salmonella, and if you eat one in a public place you may kill someone on the other side of a large room. What do we eat? NOTHING, that's what. We drink water and maybe a gluten-free, organic, all natural, wheat free crust of bread. But WATCH OUT! It may give you too many empty calories, causing you to gain weight and get DIABETES and die shortly thereafter.
Here are a few news articles on food alone:
(the hell of chicken)
(tomatoes and the atrocity of food in general)
Anyway, I think you know what I mean. But you know what sent me over the edge. RIGHT OVER THE EDGE???!!!! The recent story about how the milk industry is pushing chocolate milk in public schools so that children continue to get the benefits of milk (rather than choosing sodas or sugary juices, etc.). I am happy about this and see no big deal. But then, of course, I put on the news and saw this and find that people are AGAINST it, saying schools shouldn't serve it because they don't need the added sugar and it's contributing to obesity. You know what? FUCK YOU TOO!!! Here is my middle finger so you can do what you will with it!!! How about you let your kid play outside once in a while? Maybe, oh...say....RUN AROUND???? Perhaps it's the fear instilled in you from the media claiming that a kidnapping rapist is waiting in your front bushes just chomping at the bit to take you by surprise? (as an aside, I freakin' lock my door when I'm IN THE HOUSE because of this....and my town has pretty much NO crime). Perhaps you want your kids to run around, and schools should encourage this. But, don't forget the EXTREME DANGER of dodgeball, tag, and other fun kids activities...someone COULD GET HURT!!!! Screw you, schools! Stop banning everything!!!! Many schools have even removed their playground equipment because it COULD pose a threat. So, the kids get to mill around with their fingers up their noses (WATCH OUT! SWINE FLU!!!!!) waiting for recess to end because they can't play tag, there's no playground to play on, and there's NO TOUCHING (someone could get hurt!!!!) And many parents are outraged that the kids' feelings get hurt when teams are picked...nobody picks their kid. Well, you know what? How about the teacher/gym teacher create the teams in advance so nobody is made to feel like crap? Just a thought (one that my Mother in Law who was a teacher came up with) I'm sure there are plenty of other solutions too...before totally demanding that the school ban team activities altogether. It seems to me that the greatest general media suggestion is to: Lock your children in a cage (they should be safe there, if you keep it out of your salmonella laden kitchen!), feed them water and organic bird seed (since most other food can kill them at some point), let them out to run in a giant hamster ball (although, the plastic may have BPA in it, so WATCH OUT!!!) and send them to bed after hours of homework while listening to classical music.
I guess the point of my rant is this: Children need to be allowed to be kids. They need a little fun in their lives. The media is always suggesting we SUCK the fun out of the very marrow of childhood. But, children DO need boundaries, limits, and rules. They need parents. When Paige is old enough, I will make sure she plays out in the yard. That she climbs trees. That she runs around and learns about healthy competition through sport. That if she gets hurt, to get over it and learn from it. To learn to be vigilant about putting herself in dangerous situations and be leery of strangers. To learn to resolve conflict. To eat a damned cupcake at a birthday party and know that it's ok.To drink chocolate milk with abandon and give a hearty sigh when she finishes a cup. If I need to be there to monitor things, than so be it. I will take time out, go outside, and make sure she stays safe. I will not plunk her in front of the TV every day because it is easy (but you know what? I WILL SOMETIMES!! TV shows are FUN! And they can learn from them if they are appropriate!). To ride a bike around and know about traffic safety and manners) and yes, to wear the damned helmet. That she learns about manners in general...to eat properly in a restaurant, to say please and thank you, and to care about others. To try new foods and new things and ENJOY the life she's been given (and know that, yes, too much of a good thing can be bad for you). Because, on my death bed I'm not going to look back and say THANK GOD I didn't drink that one chocolate milk at lunchtime when I was ten!
Phew! Thank you. Over and out.
-Megan Cassidy Carty