Thursday, March 29, 2012

In defense of Alicia Silverstone

Oh, hello there.  Apparently I took a few, unintentional days off.  I apologize if you were waiting with baited breath for me to update with something other than a column I wrote a week ago.  I have no real reason for not being in this space, other than I just didn’t wanna.  Also on Tuesday I spent the whole day in the kitchen cooking food for my friend who just had a baby because I remember when I had my kids, and someone bringing me over a couple of dinners and homemade granola bars (look for that one soon.  Best granola bar I’ve ever eaten) would have made me sob tears of joy.

And so I’m back today, with a somewhat controversial (maybe?) statement. 

I don’t think it’s that big of a deal that Alicia Silverstone spits food into her little boy’s mouth.

Let me explain.

I’m sure by now most of you have either seen the video of her ‘birding,’ or at least heard about it.  I found out about it yesterday, clicked on the link that was posted on another blog, but pointedly avoided actually watching the video.  (It’s here, if you want to see it.)  I kind of thought just the idea of it was gross.  Hell, I didn’t even recognize the names of the food she was describing in the text, which for some reason made it extra unpalatable (see what I did there?).

But then at the gym last night I started to have a change of heart.  They ran the story on CNN, which seemed a little silly to me, and I couldn’t look away.  Admittedly I was running and needed something to distract me from the intense discomfort, and it was either that or Fox News, which they insist on having on at least two of the six TVs at all times, maybe to irritate you enough to make you run harder.  (I’m just guessing.)

And so I watched.

And yes, it was kind of gross.

But (BUT!) it was also kind of sweet.

Here she had posted this video of herself feeding her son in the manner of her choice because she was proud of it, proud of his interest in food, proud of herself for being the type of mom she has chosen to be (I assume).  And she’s had nothing but ridicule, including a couple of jokes I’ve made at her expense. 

But it’s on every news show and all over the internet and I just feel bad.  We, as mothers, try so hard to raise our kids in a way that we deem to be ‘right,’ to make sure they are healthy and happy and kind.  And lots of us read all we can on different methods of parenting or how to make sure we aren’t totally screwing everything up.  We second guess every decision, every statement that comes out of our mouths.  We judge ourselves harshly; we have no one else to rely on because more often than not, we are the one taking control of child rearing.

And most of the time we have other mothers judging our decisions, too, whether it’s if we breastfed, how long we breastfed, whether we cloth diaper, whether we think it’s okay for our kid to have some sprite every so often or not, whether we let our son’s hair grow a little too long for ‘society’s’ standards.

And so I say leave her alone.  It’s her decision.  Feeding your child is a beautiful thing, a milestone that creates lots of joy, but also lots of stress because we never know when the child is going to refuse to eat anything other than a peanut butter sandwich, or close her mouth up so tight you get so frustrated that you just start trying to force the spoon of pureed peas in because SHE LOVED THEM YESTERDAY AND SHE WILL EAT THEM TODAY DAMNIT BECAUSE I SAID SO.  And while I may not agree with her particular method, it’s her decision.  Her baby, her food, her decision.

(And, no matter what your ‘expert’ says, Good Morning America, I’m pretty sure she’s not going to give her son AIDS.)


  1. I agree with this. I guess this is why I avoid joining the PTO at Paul's school. I get so sick of the judging. I do my thing and I let others to their things. Go to and search "parenting book." Look at how MANY books are out there teaching all kinds of different things. It makes me sad that she is getting ridiculed like she is. i kinda thought it was sweet too.

    1. It's all so hard, without letting other people make it harder! Moms can be so judgemental! I try to avoid that nonsense when I can.


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