Oh, well this is fun.
Laura Miller has started a website. This website is called Too Big For Stroller. It features pictures of children of varying ages being wheeled about in strollers. Many of these children are older than 1 or 2. They are maybe 4 or 5 or even older – ages Laura obviously thinks as Too Old to be in a stroller. She is apparently very upset about the fact that children who appear to be too big to sit in strollers, sit in strollers. (I think Laura needs some real problems.) So Laura walks around and takes pictures of other people’s children (or accepts email submissions from people who take photos of other people’s children) and then posts them on the internet, with a little blob over the child’s face (because that makes it all OK) with the word “walk” emblazoned over it. She also adds a snappy caption like “its ok, everyone…there’s room for her PURSE” and “these parents must be exhausted.”
Laura, probably back in third grade or so, they should have taught you something in school. Something about how picking on someone smaller than you, someone who can’t defend themselves, someone who really isn’t doing anything wrong, isn’t cool. About how it’s really not a good thing to do to take something you somehow brand as “lame” and turn it in to a weapon to use against someone else, to point and mock and laugh and belittle. Often people who do these sorts of things try to get other people on their side, to use their cruelty in order to get other people to laugh along with you and tell you you’re cool. But here’s something you might not realize: they might laugh to your face, but they actually think you’re mean, and they walk away going, wow. I can’t believe she had the nerve to do that! Because really, to surreptitiously take photos of children (which totally isn’t creepy at all) and post them on the internet (wow, even less creepy!) in order to make your point that you in your personal judgment think that the use of a stroller past a certain age/weight/height is just so, so, terribly wrong that it deserves public shame? Is pretty awful.
I’m not going to use the fact that you don’t have any children against you. I mean yes, I already know that you would never ever have your child in a stroller past whatever arbitrary age you decide, and your child will be babyworn and then walk everywhere. Because, of course, imaginary children are far easier to parent than real ones. They never get tired or whiny or sore or sick or have any invisible physical limitations or any of a million things that might mean a stroller will make life a lot easier for everyone.
No, instead, I’m going to use this opportunity to inform you of something. When someone picks on a child, their parents’ response isn’t to say “oh, yeah, hahaha, that’s funny! And so right! I am going to totally change my ways because that bully is totally correct!”
Our response, instead, is to behave much as the bull who’s just been taunted with the red flag. We don’t listen to reason. We go, proverbially, or perhaps literally, in to a state we call Mama Bear. We anger and protect and defend. We politely (even though we don’t want to be polite) tell you why your website sucks and how you’re hurting people. We make sure our child never sees the photo of them on the internet that a mean person put up to mock. And from then on we walk around with our hackles raised, making sure nobody’s surreptitiously pointing a cell phone camera at us in order to get something to make fun of on the internet. But if you are, and we see you, jebus save you from the verbal blasting you are about to receive.
Maybe you never had a Mama Bear. Maybe you have never seen a Mama Bear in action. Maybe nobody stood up for you when you were little and instead left you to be eaten by the wolves, wolves who were never taught themselves that it’s not cool to pick on someone else. In that case, I feel sympathy for you. But in this case, this case where you’re publicly picking on kids, you’re on your own.
So sure, Laura, pick on parents. We’re used to it. Hell, we’ve got a whole website here based on the fact that people think parents suck since people like you, people who like to haughtily tell parents what a shit job we’re doing, are a dime a dozen.
But do not, do not pick on our kids. Because that doesn’t make you funny. It just makes you mean.