Scylla, I think you're wrong on this one.

Let me preface this by saying that while I am an extreme newbie, I have been lurking for a while. I have read and enjoyed many of Scylla’s posts. He is an extrodinary writer and a intelligent man. I have nothing but respect for him.

Scylla, you said something in this thread which really bothered me, and it comes up in my head when I see your posts. Obviously I’m overreacting, but I was in a similar situation once (on the other side) and it pissed me off to no end. And since everyone else gave you support and encouragment, I wanted to register a dissenting opinion.

Okay, your sister-in-law seems like a jerk, here and elsewhere in the thread.

But you just told her that you expect her to sacrifice her life for someone else’s child. In fact, you ordered her to. How does the fact that YOU decided to have children give YOU the right to make ANY decisions for other poeple, especially life-and-death decisions? As a parent, I understand that you may be willing to die in the place of your daughter, but if you told me to do so, I would be both shocked and angry.

I have no responsiblity to your child. I may choose to help you protect your offspring. I think it is morally correct for adults to help children whenever they can. I do not think it is correct for parents to assume that their child is more precious than anyone else, or that anyone else would think so. I’m tired of the attitude that all adults should be willing to give up life/freedomof speech/sex/etc… because some parent somewhere decided that their child could be hurt by these activities.

I think that what your sister-in-law should have said is “I am angry with you for trying to order me around. I do not allow you to make moral or life-threatening decisions for me. I do not feel that your offspring (while they may be important to you) are more important to the universe than I am, and I resent you deciding that I should be willing to die rather than risk the mere possiblity of harm to someone you happen to like more than me. I realize this is your car, and you have the right to make the rules here, but if you feel this way perhaps you might drop me off at the next bus station.”

However, I have to say that if I had been faced with what you said to her, I probably wouldn’t have time to come up with that reply. Angry and hurt, it might come out as “Let the baby burn!”.

Moderators: You may decide this belongs in the pit, because it is highly critical. I put it in MPSIMS because, um, well, I LIKE Scylla. I don’t want this to be an attack on him, I just think he was overbearing in this one case.

P.S. I do think it would be entirely appropriate to tell someone before a road trip that you have certain safety expectations, and they can decide whether they choose to assume that risk.

I cannot speak for Scylla, and I myself being a partial newbie want to throw in my opinion. I think it’s funny how you quote something from that thread and change the context of it (IMHO anyways). Look here

Seems to me like he cared a shitload about his wife and that child. That is where the “over protectiveness” (if you want to call it that kicks in). I can’t even begin to put myself in Scylla’s position but I’d like to think I’d act the same way. To hell with anyone else that baby is the most important thing in my entire life. My purpose would be to make sure that baby is okay no matter what. You see if something where to happen that baby couldn’t get itself out of the car the sister-in-law could. If you are that selfish and cannot wait 3 extra seconds to make sure a baby (a fucking child for crying out loud) is going to get out of it ok then what would you do in a situation like that with your child?

My guess is you’d think and react the same exact way. And don’t try to tell me that it’d be every man for himself in an accident. I’m sure as shit you’d want your child out of their first. Screw everyone else my child (and especially since they tried over for 3 years to try and create this bundle of joy) is the most important thing there is. I don’t know what it is but I can entirely understand the sentiment that Scylla had felt about this particular thing.

Now I’m not trying to rip on you here I’m just asking you to look at these things from his perspective and understand where he is coming from.

mischievous, the kis is no stranger. She is her nephew, a close relative, who she as an aunt must care. From the thread, it also appears the sis in law has no kids of her own that might need her, which I would accept as an excuse for putting herself before the kid. The sister in law probably knows all the things that happened to Mr. and Mrs. Scylla in order to have the baby, and all that it means to both of them. She should have been more considerate, and even if she did not agree, she could at least not make that comment. In case of an emergency, the aunt would probably be able to wait a lil while the baby is out of problem.

PD. As The Mighty Tiki God says, you would do the same for your children. And you probably will be equally pissed off if someone answered the way the sister in law did.

Obviously you don’t have a child. I’m 40 with a 10 month old girl. I would not have been so diplomatic.

If you’re faced with some parents that are very proactive about protecting their kids, I suggest you diplomatically ask if that’s a joke or really the way they feel. And if it’s really the way they feel, then tread very softly.

Raising your kids is not a democracy where every idiot in the world can have an opinion.

Long story short, don’t mess with my kid or I just might have to leave bloody footprints.

Can you do me a favour and use the (very effective) search engine which this MB provides.

I personally disagree with Scylla’s opinions on most of the important social issues of our time. But I’ll never ever forget his daughter who shits dicreetly, or the public love he has for his wife.

You wanna call Scylla out - hope you have damn good cites to back up your argument…

We’ll leave it in here - as long as you kids behave. :wink:

Well I thought Scylla was being a typical first time parent and over protective. My sister-in-law when leaving her first (and only) born with her own mother lectured her mother for 45 min on how to take care of him. Like her own mom didn’t know. I am the youngest of six and by the time I came along my folks had realized that kids are preety durable and if I walked up with a bad cut my mom would say ‘That will need 4 stiches’, and off we’d go and she would be right.
So I thought Scylla was being typical with his sister-in-law and maybe just maybe he was trying to ‘get her goat’ so to speak by bringing up the worst case scenairo and the contingincy plan and her part of it. But I don’t think that makes him a bad person, just a first time parent.

if I threw gratuitous insult sat you would you feel better?

We haven’t had a “coldie is a (fill in your personal insult)” thread in quite a while. You want me to start one? :X

I read that post and I saw a couple of instances where Scylla threatens people with violence or contemplates killing people in defense of his family - telling a nurse he’ll kill her if she comes back in the room, contemplating strangling his sister-in-law if she tried to get out of their burning car. I see someone with a lot of anger who has found a (mostly) socially acceptable excuse to let it out.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t do violent things to protect my family, there are probably scenarios where I would. I DON’T spend time contemplating and planning it. I don’t relish or dwell on the possibility of killing someone to defend my wife.

I imagine Scylla frequently fantasizes about scenarios where he has to kill people to protect his family.

I seem to recall a certain thread which you started not very long ago Badtz

If you have specific issues with Scylla, then fine, sort them out with him via email.

But if I was you I would be very fucking careful about throwing stones at fellow dopers.

I read your post about how you fucked up - I also read your responses to the generosity of your fellow posters who chose to share their experiences with you.

Pardon me if I don’t feel sorry for you any more. Your remorse lasted all of 24 hours. You posted the thread asking for help and then commenced to argue why you didn’t need it.

Frankly, my dear, too many of us have real and immediate issues in this life with which we have to deal. And frankly, my dear, if you just want to troll these boards, I don’t give a damn. Just lay off Scylla - m’kay?

Um, in (sort of) reverse order…

Coldfire: Thanks, being a newbie I’m not confident in my placement(s) yet.

reprise: I’m aware of the risks. As I said in the OP, I have read and enjoyed Scylla’s work. But I think he has the grace to listen to an honest difference of opinions, and I will try and have the grace to listen to those who disagree with me. I am explicitly NOT “calling him out”.

Tiki God: Yes, this is completely out of context. Scylla was posting a beautiful and moving series of posts about how much he loves his wife. In one of these stories, he relates an incident where I think he showed an attitude and a thought process which was inappropriate and it bothered me. So I opened a discussion about it.

Tiki God, Karl, China Guy: I understand that Scylla, and parents in general, and incredibly protective of their children. I agree with it. I think it’s good. Someone has to protect them, because children are vulnerable. I would like to think that in a danger situation, I would have the forethought and self control to help a child before myself.

That said, I also think that NO ONE has the right to tell me that another life is more important than mine. Only I have the right to make that decision. Beyond that - I don’t like children. And I especially don’t like parents who try to change my life to suit their children. Scylla has every right to protect those dear to him, and I respect him for trying. What I object to is that in this exchange with his sister, he has tryed to dictate who must be dear to her, and considers this his right. (Or at least is offended when she refuses to accept his opinions.)

And, Karl, the fact that she shares some portion of her genome with this Scylla’s daughter does not mean she cares, some people think more of emotional ties than blood ties. And I don’t think that whether or not you have children of your own is the only reason to value your own life. I totally agree she should have been both more reasoned and more tactful, but I’m not concerned with her (clearly assholish) reply to Scylla - I’m concerned with how, in my opinion, Scylla overstepped the bounds of ethical behavior.
Um, yikes - there have been 4 new posts in the time it took me to type this. Maybe I wasn’t aware of the risks! :slight_smile: I’ll try and check in as I can, but I do have work (and sleep) to do.


Badtz and reprise, do you mind?

One last try. Keep it civil, and it stays here. If that’s too much to ask, I’ll move it to the Pit.


I’m not offended in the least by your thoughts. If it was too personal for discussion, I wouldn’t have posted it.

I think you have a point, but you are incorrect.

My sister-in-law was riding in my car. Therefore she was subject to my rules.

Had we been riding public transportation, or her car, or anybody else’s I would have no right to make my requests.

But, my car, my rules. Perhaps I should have stated them before she got in, I didn’t really think it would be a problem. My goal is to provide the safest possible environment for my child while still allowing her to learn for herself and make her own choices. As a baby, I make them for her.

I also expect guests in my house to adopt a “when in Rome attitude,” as I do when I am a guest in another.


Yes, I am overprotective. I know that. I get laughed at for it. This is my first child, and I don’t know the ropes yet, and I would probably not be able to live with myself if I made a stupid error in judgement that allowed my child to come to harm. I sometimes stay up nights unable to sleep because I’m worried about bad things that can happen to her.

Badtz Maru:

Yes, what you say is true. I’m aware that my anger is a character flaw. I have violent fantasies, but I also have funny, and nice ones. My understanding is that this is pretty much the normal makeup of the human psyche. I do think that working these things out in your head, is a much healthier alternative to working them out in the real world.

As I’ve said though, being angry, is a particular flaw in my character, and one that I’ve worked to improve.


Thanks for the defense, but I for one would prefer only civil and friendly emails. I really don’t have a problem with anything Badtz said. Why he said it, I’m not sure.


One more time. You are correct in that I have no right to expect another to alter their behavior to protect my child.
However, being willing to accept my wishes in this is an unstated but nevertheless concrete and immutable precondition to riding in my car, or coming to my house.

You of course, are free not to follow my dictates, but not when you are on my territory. Then, you are free to leave if you find my requests onerous.

Scylla, I think that’s a completely fair response. She was in your car, and you are a parent.

I guess I had a negative reaction to the story because my feeling was that you presented her with orders, after she was on your territory, rather than giving her the choice beforehand to abide by your rules.

But your response indicates that you largely agree with me on where and when one can dictate anothers’ actions, so I’m more than willing to cut you a little slack on timing.

Thanks, you’ve only reinforced my good opinion of you.


This thread brought to mind a recent incident in my life, and I figured y’all could add some perspective.
A group of us were driving to Bristol, TN for the NASCAR race and I rented a car. All I asked was that they pay for the gas, since I got a really good rate (about $130 for the 3 days).

We’re staying at my friends roommates mothers house (follow that?) and at one point she, the roommate, is riding up front. As were going along, I casually ask her to put on her seat belt. She says “No.” Again, I ask her to please put on the belt. Again she says no. I ask why, she says she doesn’t want to.

Now, I know I’m not Mr. Safety, I mean, I take turns at 35, exit ramps at 50 and my normal highway speed varies between 75 and 90, but I don’t go swerving around and I always wear a belt. Not that this will necessarily save me, just that it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the law.

We go 'round and 'round for a about a minute before I finally just say “Look, I’m driving and you’re riding passenger. If you want to ride in front, you will wear a seatbelt. Otherwise, I’m pulling over and you can ride in the back.” Yes, I threatened the “pull over.”

She threw the belt on in a huff and later that weekend, she got all shitty saying if it was about the money, she’ll help pay for the car. I don’t think she ever really got it.

Was I out of line? It was a rental, sure, but I was driving and, in my mind, responsible for the passengers.


They way I see it, when you’re driving a car, it’s like your the captain of a ship. You’re in charge. Even when you’re wrong, you’re right.

On the other side of the coin, I’ll freely admit to a cheerful willingness to violate the hell out of anybody’s else’s rights and person to protect my daughter. I wouldn’t hesitate to toss somebody else out of a lifeboat to make room for her. “Sorry old chap,” ::Splash!::

I am also conwsiderate, and not an asshole when we’re out in public. I don’t take her to the movies, and though she’s generally well-behaved, if she starts crying in a restaurant or other public place, I leave so as not to inconvenience others.

On one hand I distinctly remember watching a family with three small children board my plane. They had scattered seats so I was sitting next to the dad behind the three kids while mom was across the aisle over two seats by the window. Beyond my usual ‘where is the nearest emergency door’ check I did a quick calculation of how to get the kids out fastest and what I could do to help. Just the way I am.

But if Pappa, a very sweet guy of some of the most well behaved kids I have seen on a plane, had told me that if the plane goes down I was to do such and such I would have been mad at him. (I’d probably do it anyway, but demanding I have concern for your kids is not nice.) Its just one of those things. You don’t demand people hold doors for you when you are carrying stuff. But if they do you thank them.

Turf counts. I babysat for a woman who wouldn’t let her daughter in the kitchen while any apliance was running extept the fridge. If I was microwaving popcorn her four year old was to stay out of the kitchen. Same for toast. I thought she was nuts, but her house, her rules. (I could almost understand that one, in comparison to my utter disbelief that she had yet to let her daughter walk up or down a flight of stairs alone. Four years old. Wow.)

It also counts for negitives. Don’t beat your kid on my turf, either knock it off or take it home. Don’t want to buckle your seatbelt? It would be my fine if you were caught and you can sit on the side of the highway.

Scy and MC, it seems we are of a like mind here, good to hear I wasn’t going overboard. i don’t understand how someone could get pissed off because you are concerned about thier safety. The fact that a citation might come into play only adds to the argument.

MC the plane is a different situation, but you know that.

I think at this point we’re all pretty much in agreement, no?

mischievous - For what it’s worth, I had nearly the exact same reaction to the exact same passage. To me, it was a sour note in what was otherwise one of the most touching threads I’ve ever read here.

That so many others have glossed on by it was a surprise to me. And I find Scylla’s explanation here insufficient. Certainly sufficient in that it’s his car, and I don’t have to ride in it. (And I wouldn’t, after the described exchange.) But insufficient in a more general sense.

I’m afraid no one gets to make rules for me regarding my own actions in situations where I am in danger.

And I’m not sure I’ve ever known a human being who, in such a situation, would not make every effort to look out for the well-being of an infant or child, as or before they looked out for their own. The “listing of the rules to the sister-in-law” could have been construed as implying that she wouldn’t.

It also shows that someone is over-scenario-izing and thinking a little too much, IMHO. It also has a tenor of “these people matter; you don’t, particularly.” And that sucks.

My reaction would have been almost identical to the sister-in-law’s, perhaps a bit more profane and with more of a “where the hell do you get off?” tone. And many have slammed her for being such a bitch. (She may very well have been in other ways I don’t know about, or that were mentioned in the thread. I can’t recall at the moment.)

And please keep in mind, these comments are coming from an individual who admires Scylla as a poster immensely. I’m thinking about quitting my job, kicking off my shoes, wearing a bed sheet and just wandering around behind him, with a look of wonder on my face, waiting to see what he has to say next. :slight_smile:

Now that was a terrible thing for the sister-in-law to say. We can be fairly certain she didn’t mean it (can’t we?). I would imagine it was fueled by feelings of hurt and outrage over the implications of what Scylla was saying, as I mentioned above. Or, yeah, maybe she is really that cold and that much of a bitch.

When I said my reaction would have been similar to her’s, I most definitely didn’t mean to reference the “let the baby burn” comment.