Thursday, June 28, 2007

Three for Thursday: Candidates’ Wives, Breastfeeding Discrimination (Again!) and Bee Keeper Needed

Item #1: The Working Mom as a Candidate’s Wife

I’ve been monitoring the news media’s coverage of Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s wife Michelle’s decision to temporarily scale back her work while she helps her spouse campaign for president. As I read articles attacking her and clucking their tongues at the “waste” of Michelle Obama’s talent, it reminded me of the media coverage given to former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s wife Judith Steinberg’s decision NOT to scale back her work as a physician while her husband ran for president. She too was lambasted, but her crime was failing to put aside her work in order to join her spouse on the campaign trail. I delve further into this conundrum – how the spouses of presidential candidates just can’t win no matter what they do with their careers – in this week’s column on Mommy Track’d.

Item #2: Breastfeeding Discrimination, This Time Among Doctors

Yes, you read in this blog with alarming regularity how the medical community sends one message to moms (that moms should breastfeed their infants for a year and stay away from that “poison” known as baby formula), while society sends another message (don’t breastfeed in public, don’t make others uncomfortable and if you have the nerve to try to go back to work while you’re still breastfeeding, you’d better get used to using that pump in a cramped bathroom stall and get that distasteful business done in 10 minutes or less).

Now we have the convergence of the medical field and society in a news story this week, where a woman with a 7-week-old baby — who has to take a 9-hour-long test in order to commence her medical residency – has been denied the opportunity to express her breastmilk every two to three hours. The reason? The spokeswoman for the medial board overseeing the test says that they don’t have to accommodate her because breastfeeding isn’t — get this — a disability.

Well, my friends, it’ll turn into a disability when the would-be resident’s breasts explode with nine hours worth of breastmilk and she develops dangerous infections.
The hypocrisy of this turn of events is stunning.

Item #3: Bee Keeper Needed

The kids and I were eating breakfast on our deck this morning when the youngest one accidentally backed his chair against the railing. I didn’t think anything of it.

Until the bees came out.

And they were mighty angry.

(You’d a-thunk that someone had told them that the Red Sox just lost their third straight game last night and that epic hero pitcher Curt Schilling is on the DL for the next few weeks much to the chagrin of his legions of fans.)

Apparently there’s a bees’ nest somewhere inside (or underneath?) the railing that was disturbed when Casey’s chair hit it.

As they were suddenly buzzing everywhere like bees on speed, one stung Abbey’s bicep plunging her into a wave of tears. Several ice packs, a dose of Benadryl, an application of a baking soda paste and many kisses later, Abbey was taken to the sofa in the family room with a stack of books and some of her favorite CDs. (However I’m still watching her arm which continues to get redder and puffier. I’m hoping a visit to the pediatrician isn’t in our immediate future.)

The Spouse, our resident bee keeper, has been put on notice.

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