Living in a big city gives me certain perks: pretty good coffee, decent shopping options, and the glory of not having to use a car seat. Subways and buses are fine for me with the rabbit, and when I do need to use a car service or a taxi, I only go to my destination point and then back so I don't have to lug the 45-pound exoskeleton of a car seat further than door to door.
So while I get that Britney should have known better than to travel with the mini in her lap, and I get that in the car culture land she lives in, it's just not that hard to lock the creature into a car seat that never even has to move — I have to say that I feel for her. Now let's get something straight — I'd rather listen to a jack hammer in my apartment than her music. But as a mom I have no problem with her shooting off the bird at those who feel they need to give her some parenting advice.
Who among us hasn't been the victim of a "kindly" person suggesting we bundle our little ones up a little more, or wipe their noses, or curtail their monster consumption of an ice cream sundae.
One winter day when the rabbit had just turned one, I took her out for a walk on a snowy morning. Okay, so it was 17 degrees outside, and she had this game she loved of taking off her mittens as soon as I tucked them on her hands. But she was under three blankets, inside a plastic stroller cover and burbling as snow drifted over her head. Didn't look like such a bad place to me — especially as I was fighting the wind whipping around my head, and stopping every two blocks to tuck the sausage fingers back into her pink mittens. So when a crusty gollum-like man planted his face a foot from mine and screamed (oh, yes, men can do this) at me that I should be ashamed of myself for leaving my baby's hands unprotected, I lost it. His misfortune was that he decided to tread where dozens had gone before — and where I'd held my tongue and smiled for the cameras, so to speak.
Let's just say I'm glad the rabbit couldn't really understand me because the swear words flew from my mouth, fueled by the cappucino I had finished at the cafe where the rabbit and I had just had lunch. And yes, he ran. And yes, I was embarassed. But not as much as he should have been.
Now Britney letting such words fly from her mouth would have much more serious reprecussions than my humiliating myself in front of one looney old man — and the 7 or 8 people at the bus stop. But here's the thing. I know she wanted to do it.
Sure she should have used the car seat. Sure it's stupid, and dangerous, and frankly selfish to have your kidlet sitting in your lap while driving. Even more stupid — and dangerous — when you're famous and cameras are going to catch it so that supermarkets can post around the world.
But let's all take a deep breath and try to think where we'd be if cameras came into our homes, or cars, and caught our parenting lapses of judgement. Not pretty, right? And yes, those who decide to enter a public life -- to enjoy fame, money, and all the extras that come with it -- have a certain responsibility to act appropriately. And those of us who live behind the curtain, so to speak, can trip more often without others seeing. Still, let's cut her some slack. She's young, she messed up, and she's married to Kevin Federline.