Sunday, March 04, 2007

barnyard compromises

For me, a lot of this parenting gig has been a series of doing things I'd never thought I would ever do. There's been many. Clapping with glee at your infant drooling on the swings, finding some sort of entertainment in that Barney thing, and amassing inordinate amounts of stuff (even if none of it was purchased by you).

But then sometimes you find yourself doing something so egregious that you simply can't believe it was you. Yes, I know it's already obvious. I am talking about Pony Rides.

I mean, pony rides? I can't even drive by one of those places without feeling sick. Those poor ponies, ones who should be free to run and play and scamper are instead rendered joyless, consigned to walking around in a circle, the same circle, every single day.

It should be illegal.

We found ourselves yesterday at a place with the aforementioned social ill, and M was insane to ride one. Me ride horsey, me ride horsey, peeeas Mama peeeas! J and I glared at each other through sunglassed faces, already in a mental game of not it. I can't be a part of this, I say. To which J nods his head in solidarity. But M prevails, and we get in line.

The whole business left me feeling dirty. I feel like it's officially open season on my ethical standards. Next I'll be wearing mouse ears or something. May god help us all.

Please note that if you happen to be an owner, operator or fan of pony rides, that this is solely the personal opinion of the author (and for the love of god, everyone elses), i mean my opinion only.

26 comments:

metro mama said...

It's amazing how they bat those long lashes at you and all your convictions fly out the window in a heartbeat.

Thailand Gal said...

Interesting. I could write a book.. but I'll spare you that. :)

I can definitely see where that would have made you uncomfortable because I happen to share your opinion.

As for putting that aside for M's pleasure, that's a double-edged sword.

On one hand, she's a kid. She doesn't need to share the burden of all our social ills yet. She's not emotionally mature enough yet to understand those kinds of ethical choices.

On the other, it can be a teaching moment. Eventually, you will be able to impress on her that gaining pleasure at the expense of someone else's ~ or an animal's ~ comfort is something to be considered first and maybe we can find something else to do.

Just not yet...

Sorry for the long-windedness. :)

Peace,

~Chani

Mad Hatter said...

Wow. Thanks to you, blogger now has a tag for "pony abuse."

I think I experience things a bit differently what with living in the country. Domestic animals here are always showcased in the context of family farms. We don't really have the dog and PONY shows that you city dwellers sadly get.

Deezee said...

Boy do I get this. It comes up in so many ways.

I'm the strictest of vegetarians, yet now I regulary buy pre-cooked chicken for my nonstop-growing teen who almost keels over in weakness without said protein.

And then there's the zoo. I hit a point in feeling too pained in seeing caged animals to accompany my once upon a time toddler there, despite the obvious learning curve that got him to appreciate animals in a whole other way.

And last night, the now teen wanted my opinion, despite the preface that asking his own mom was weird, about how I felt about his becoming an anonymous tagging artist. What can I answer there? "Opt only for vacant lots"? (I mean, at least he came to talk to me...)

Not meaning to take over here, but really, how, oh how do we prepare.........

Hel said...

I also find myself doing things that make me feel small.

Like drinking Nestle bottled water, even though they get up to horrendous things in third world countries, because I don't want to upset the waiter.

And it makes me feel small.

meno said...

Any of those animal rides make me sad. But yes i still have taken Em on pony, llama and camel rides and to the zoo. Now they make her sad too.
The things we do for love. M is too young to get it, but she will someday.

s@bd said...

my kids eat hotdogs once a week - i can not begin to tell you how much this hurts me. sigh.

slouching mom said...

The moment I knew I had crossed all lines was when I took the kids to the circus. Not only did the circus scare me silly when I was a kid (the clowns, the clowns!), but I have ethical issues with making animals behave in ways so antithetical to their natures. Not to mention the poor treatment of circus animals.

But ethics flew out the window in the face of long faces and days and days of 'please.'

I did, however, get in a lecture or two about why there were picketers outside of the circus entrance, even as I walked right through it.

flutter said...

I bought my niece a Bratz doll. You know the ones, with the big lips, the big boobs, the big hips the tarted up faces? The ones that have a baby version, wherein the baby wears a THONG?!
yeah, one of those. I begged, pleaded and danced around like an idiot trying to talk her into a book, a purse or for the love of pete, a Barbie. At least Barbie can be a doctor....but then again they also have her wearing hot pants working at McDonald's. Sorry rant, back on track, yeah so I bought her a Bratz and she lit up like a little sparkle faery.
I wanted to die.

mamatulip said...

Oh, what we do for our children...

For me, it was giving into Disney.

crazymumma said...

Jen jen jen.....so much for me to catch up on. A huge storm whipped thru and knocked out our lines and we have been without phone and email since Thursday....
What a week for your family, big girl toilet, pony rides and a sad time for J.
(And you included little old moi on your 'why I blog' post. I am truly honoured...)
I have been conflicted about so many things I have allowed my girls to do to wear...oh the list goes on and on and on. But at the end of the day...I try and breathe out the word balance, a time for everything. And what the hey is wrong with little pony big girl undies, at least she is not in Bratz undies.....eeeewwww.
As for the ponies. ya i totally hear you. sigh. maybe next time you could find a carousel and let her feed the ponies carrots.....

its a tough one.

NotSoSage said...

There have been minor things thus far, but I know that even bigger ones are coming. Shudder.

Denguy said...

Marineland--Denguy doesn't love Marineland. What a shameful business.

kristen said...

Dude, I so don't walk the walk. People expect so much of me, being in the alternative health care industry, meanwhile my daughter spent an entire year between 3 and 4 dressed everyday as Princess Aurora. This from a woman who cut all Barbie hair and made the dolls screw.

Kyla said...

"Please, Momma..." and THE eyes can turn me into a pile of goo that they can do what they wish with. *sigh*

Laurie said...

I can totally relate. Oh the things we do for love, eh?

Z said...

Oh, poor you. I never had that situation, but we don't have Pony Rides of that sort round here. I'm not sure that I'd have given in - does that make me ethical or cruel to children?

I never did buy my daughter a doll and Barbie wasn't allowed in the house.

I think I'm cruel.

kristen said...

I'm sorry I was vulgar in my comment, don't know why I felt compelled.

crazymumma said...

oh Denguy, I hate marineland...we took bigirl when she was 2 or 3 and I was choked up the entire time. She of course loved it and daddy O did not see the harm....sigh...that was when he almost fed her to an orca......

Bob said...

while she is much too young for this to apply right now, it is merely a precursor to the times where your daughter will have opinions and/or beliefs that differ from yours. She is obviously much too young to understand the consequences of supporting the pony ride right now. As she grows you will be instilling in her your values, but there will be a day when she starts to form her own - and they may not agree with yours.

I fought all through my teenage years with my dad about various things. In addition to thinking in absolutes, I had fairly liberal politics and my dad has been a lifelong conservative. I finally grew up enough to learn how to discuss these things with him instead of fighting about it and to accept that it was okay for us to have these differences.

I find that my son is similar to how I was as a teenager - opinionated with black/white differentiation on issues. I don't argue with him, but I do offer my opinions and why I have them. we discuss the issue and I (attempt) to make sure he understands that I value his opinion and that it is okay when I don't agree with his.

Sorry for the long winded comment.

J Fife said...

Oh, those ponies break my heart. Still, I can't say I would have done anything differently from you. I fear the day my daughter learns of Disneyland.

kgirl said...

bwa ha ha ha ha ha! (that's me, laughing).

amazing, innit?

we actually watched barney over the weekend. wtf? just one episode, just once, and it was 6:30 am, but still... the little weirdo loved every minute of it.
shudder.

ewe are here said...

I feel the same way about most zoos. But I know there will be zoo trips with the wee ones.

I also don't like horse racing, greyhound racing, etc. I will never be found at one of these events.

carrie said...

Mouse ears, pony rides, this is just the beginning.

I think that knowing you feel small and why is part of being aware. I would hate to be one of those people who felt fine with it -- really.

So...what to do? Bring on the ponies and Disney and gently let your feelings be known?

Or...put on blinders?

Carrie

Momish said...

Ugh! I feel your pain totally. I can only imagine how you felt going agaist every moral grain in your body. I feel for you mostly because I know I will probably be broken down this way in time. Maybe not over an animal issue, but certainly some other painfully dirty compromise!

Maybe later in life you can tell her about it and she will appreciate your sacrifice and your morals!

QT said...

Oh man - this is a tough one. Someday M will understand. I am sooo with you on those poor ponies, tho!