Saturday, August 05, 2006

Editor's Note

With Ms Sisyphus taking care of some extra kids and me settling in to a new house while planning a birthday party, we both wondered how we'd ever be ready for our first issue.

Answer: we're not.

That's the beauty of Sweet Beatrice. We're probably doing it "wrong," according to some folks, but we're doing the best we can with what we're given, be that time, opportunity, whatever.

I've been given my fair share of supercilious looks in my time, sometimes about my parenting. This week I was in a gaming store (a store that sells stuff like trading card games, D&D supplies and comic books) that has several tables for types of games set up. They're pooltable bases topped with models of ruined castles, bridges, ponds, rivers and forests on papier mache ground. In order to move the pieces, or "figs" in gamerspeak, they have long cheap plastic sticks. Well Zosie grabbed a plastic stick and thwacked one of the table legs. The store owner, on his headset phone, responded with a Rainmanesque "uh-oh!"

I didn't take the stick away. It's a $.02 plastic stick. And my opinion was/is, "Get off the fucking phone, help us out and we'll leave your store. Ass."

Again: "Uh-oh!"

When I spoke to a friend of mine who knows the gaming store guy and has a daughter Zosie's age, he said, "I bet he had a conniption."

So I'm sure in Game Store Guy's eyes, I was most definitely "doing it wrong" -- allowing my child to run wild with a plastic stick! The horror! I also let her run wild in the bookstore in Erie. My opinion is/was: If you don't expect a child in the children's section of the bookstore, you need to stick to Amazon. Besides, it's a bookstore, a retailer. It's not a fricking library. I don't let her rip books off the walls and destroy displays but I didn't stop her from dashing between the reading stage and the display of Nick Jr Beanie Plushes. Nor did I walk off and shop while leaving her to her own devices.

Does it make me a bad parent that I allow my daughter to explore her environment in retail spaces? Absolutely not. If I left her locked in the car while I did my shopping, I would be a bad parent. Should I be a walking advertisement for parenting licenses because she likes to color and talk rather than eat her dinner in a restaurant? Nope. If I fought with her and threatened her to "eat it or else," I would understand the looks I sometimes get.

It comes down to this: everyone has her own idea about right ways and wrong ways to do things; "right" and "wrong" are subjective by nature. Maybe we are doing it wrong, either as parents or as editors but I think that if you're doing it and doing it the best way you can, you're doing it right.

Welcome to our virgin issue!


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