Daily Archives: October 16, 2008

Heck with the Polar Bears–Save the People

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
– Edmund Burke

I have been amazed, over the past couple of days, by how little response I have gotten to my ethical question and follow-up information. Or, at least, how little response by way of comments. My blog stats have been up, so I know that people are reading. But the silence has been somewhat deafening.

As I was feeding my children lunch today, a commercial came on wherein Noah Wiley entreated me to donate to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF–even if the wrestlers don’t use it anymore, I couldn’t imagine making that my organization’s initials) to save the polar bears (who, presumably, dress up in lycra and body slam each other).

Now, I don’t have anything against polar bears. I’m sure they are lovely. And, since I live well into middle America, I’m not concerned about them trying to eat me (and now I have a recent SNL skit stuck in my head). In short, lack of polar bear extinction is a good thing–even if the risk of polar bear extinction anytime soon may be questionable.

But you know what isn’t questionable? Human trafficking. And when is the last time you saw an add to donate money for that cause?

I’m going with “never.”

I noticed today that I got a referral to my blog from Alltop’s slavery section for my reminder about the ethical question. My reaction to that can be summed up in one word.


Really, are so few people discussing this that a reminder to give an opinion on the topic is enough to make a post part of the “top of the web”?

Wow. (I’m betting this post won’t be enough to get me on some Alltop page for saving the polar bears.)

To some extent, this astonishes me. There are currently more people enslaved on this planet than at any other time in history. Every country has laws against slavery, but so many do not enforce them. It is seen as the price of business.

We tend to look at the problem and think, “Wow, that’s sad, but it is happening in other countries. I can’t change what happens there.” Only it doesn’t just happen there. It is estimated that about 50,000 slaves cross our borders every year. Some are sex slaves. Some are laborers (I must admit suspicion over the numerous Chinese buffets in our area–so many Chinese women that you never see anywhere other than inside the restaurants). But they are here. In the open. And they continue to serve unwillingly because we don’t want to think about the fact that this happens under our noses.

And I think that has something to do with the lack of response that I’ve seen. Even when I have talked to people in real life about what I’m learning, I’m frequently met with ambivalence. Most of the people I’ve talked to have said something along the lines of, “That’s fine if you want to read about that, but don’t give me details. I don’t want to think about it.”

Here’s the thing. I’m going to challenge you to think about it. While doing some research on the web, I saw something that said October 18th was something like International Day to Fight Human Trafficking. I can’t find it now, so I’m not sure if that was exactly what it was called, but that’s what we’re going to call it here until I can find the real name (I’ve been looking all over–I swear I didn’t make it up, though). So, this Saturday, I want you do do something to educate yourself about modern slavery, or even do something to help fight it.

Buy a book. Read a website. If you live in a big city (Like Washington DC, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver…) go see a movie. Buy yourself a new piece of jewelry.

Do it. Blog about it. Give a voice to 27 million people who aren’t being heard.



Filed under modern slavery, politics, The Me Behind the Mommy

The Baby Exploded

Since this post is about E~, I am going to first start with a little update. I’ve been saying for a couple of weeks that I was about to be in trouble with this kid.

I’m in trouble with this kid.

This past Saturday, he put a few things together and made a breakthrough. Forward movement. I’ve got me a crawler.

Of course, within the span of a couple of days, it has gone from uncoordinated scootching to all-out mobility. He is now inserting himself into his brothers’ play, which they are very tolerant of. He has also found my magazine rack. Magazines make great sounds when ripped to shreds.

But crawling isn’t enough for E~. Oh no. There are other milestones to suddenly hit. Today, I watched him pull himself up to standing at our bay window. Cruising is inevitable. Walking can’t be that far behind.

I’m not ready for this.


Some friends of ours had a garage sale today. Since they were getting rid of a lot of clothes in the right size for my kids, I decided to pack the kids up and head over there. Fifteen minutes, five dollars, and eight shirts later, we were on our way. E~ was getting grouchy, but that didn’t surprise me since I had left the kids in the car while I was sorting through clothes and he isn’t fond of the carseat.

Since we just finished our most recent Magic Tree House book, I thought it would be a fun thing to take the kids to Target to pick out a new book to read together. We parked, I got everyone out, and we headed towards a cart sitting in the parking lot. As my older kids argued over who got to sit in the big seats (it was a multi-seater cart), I started to set E~ into the traditional basket seat.

That’s when I saw it.

There was a gob of poop on my hand. And on his clothes. And on my shirt…

Now, to have a full appreciation of this story, you have to understand what E~ was wearing. It was a hooded, long sleeved, long pants, snap at the crotch, one piece sweat suit. Putting it on him involves something not unlike stuffing a sausage. He had managed to not only poop out of the diaper, but also through the little openings in the crotch snaps. In addition to it being all over both of us, it was all over his car seat.

I wiped as much of it off of us as I could. The older boys were surprisingly cooperative about getting back into their seats. While I really would have preferred not making the drive home covered in poop, my only other option would have been to make the drive topless. While this may have provided a certain level of entertainment to surrounding drivers, I really didn’t see it as a viable option. So I folded my shirt up on itself as best as I could to protect my seatbelt from contamination and drove home horrified.

When I got home, I started the bath water before even getting the kids out of the car. An outfit that is put on in a stuffed-sausage manner is peeled off in a way that leaves blown-out poop in the baby’s hair. As I was working on removing E’s clothes, my phone rang. I knew it was Sean, calling on his way home from work.

“Hey, I’d love to talk, but I’m covered in poop.”

Sometimes, brevity is the best option.

“Um, good luck with that. I’ll talk to you soon.” Click.

We survived. Sean, realizing that I most likely wasn’t working on dinner at this point, picked up a pizza. My wonderful three older boys decided to rake leaves without any prompting. Life went on.

Just another day in my life.


Filed under Daily Life, I think my head might explode, Kids