Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is there such a thing as too much love?

There is one thing I can say without hesitation about my husband: He is a fantastic father. He is loving. He is thoughtful. And perhaps most importantly, he is there. A lot. Another thing you should know about him is that he's a scientist by nature. He thinks analytically. So sometimes the things that come out of his mouth sound cold, but really they're just observation.

My husband thinks I'm too needy when it comes to words of admiration. Maybe he's right. I can't help but eat up any words of praise that come my way. But it's my belief that most people want to think that they're the bees knees to at least one person on this planet. Makes sense to me that for most, family is where to fill that need because, let's be honest, there aren't too many other people out there who are thinking of your welfare from day to day. (And for some family isn't even a reliable source.)

One day, I was fawning over my children, cuddling and snuggling, praising and preening. My husband later commented that I wasn't doing them any favors by giving them such extravagant showings of love and admiration. The world doesn't work that way, he said. When they grow up, they're going to have a tough time without it. At that moment, his comment sounded ridiculous to me. I brushed them off with a dismissive waive of my hand. Pshaw. Hold back my love to protect my children? Um, no. I don't think so.

Logistically his argument seemed ridiculous. How would I even go about editing my displays of affection? Academically, I couldn't help but mull over the possible validity of his suggestion. As a conscientious parent I do all kinds of uncomfortable things in the name of my children's welfare. I've endured tantrums over a denied cookie because it would send the wrong message to give in. I've sent my little ones to preschool when they were nervous about being away from me for the sake of socialization and emotional growth. I've sent them to sleepovers in the name of independence, all the while anxiously awaiting the inevitable Midnight call to retrieve them. So why does it seem so ridiculous to go outside my comfort zone when it comes to love? To reserve praise in order to prepare my children for their cold, hard future? Yes, children thrive on love and praise. But we've all seen the articles about how too much praise is not good. The argument that not EVERYONE should win a trophy.

Someone once said to me, "If you knew you were going to have to eat McDonald's for the rest of your life starting one year from today, would you start eating it now?"

A rhetorical question if there ever was one. So is there such a thing as too much love? Maybe, but somehow it seems wrong to withhold whatever I have to give. So I'm giving it. Freely. I'm offering as much love as my babies will take because I think love is why we're here on Earth. Everything else is stuff we made up and deemed important.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Light at the End of the Tunnel

It's been a while since I've posted, and that's been for good reason. Summer got in the way. Having two children around all the time pretty much precludes writing in any way. Also, I was waiting until I had something of note to say. Given the preschool thing hadn't yet begun, I guess I was on pins and needles, wondering what would happen.

Turns out things are going well.

I used a period at the end of that sentence as opposed to an exclamation point because, considering my own feelings and my little one's, one of us is happy and the other merely satisfied. Before I get into the details, I suppose a recap is in order.

When last we "spoke" on the subject, my son had not been admitted to the preschool of my choice. I was left to scramble to find one that met his needs. Given his reaction to being left alone in classroom during his test visit (can you say "severe meltdown?"), I needed a place that would allow me to accompany him to school until he was ready for me to exit. It became my top priority, and I found that place. It's a nice place, clean and pretty. And it's a school which follows the opposite philosophy from where I originally intended him to go.

So remember that all this time I've been accompanying my little one to school every day. All day. Try sitting in a classroom watching an educational philosophy in action that you don't identify with. It was difficult to hold my tongue! I won't go into too much detail here because the school itself is well intended. It's doing all the things it's supposed to be doing, both by school standards and in accordance with its overall philosophy. Plus, it's not all bad. Parts of their philosophy make a lot of sense. All in all I'm grateful for the outcome.

It's important to note that this school is able to provide one thing that not many other places do around here: They let me wean him off my presence gently thanks to their child-led policy. I started by staying with him the entire day. I did that for two whole weeks, at which point he began to wander away from me. I was envisioning having to do this all year until one day he suddenly sought the company of other children and began asking teachers for help rather than me. At that point I left 20 minutes early to get the car and wait in the carpool line while he played outside with the class. He held it together! So the next day I left a little earlier. And so on, until my little one and I talked about it and he said he was ready to go to school without me. That day was yesterday, and guess what... no tears! None. Just smiles.


I'm deeply grateful for the gift this school has given us. My son is discovering all the wonderful things school has to offer. And he is growing emotionally and personally. It's why I wanted him in school in the first place. Turns out I was right about one thing. He is ready for school. He just needed a little help getting there.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is There a "Right Way" to Parent?

It's amazing to me that so many people have an opinion on the choices that I make as a mother. Feeding, sleeping, discipline, childcare, schooling... the list goes on. No matter what I do, it seems I'm being judged.

I can't figure out why people have such strong feelings on these subjects. Are they insecure enough to need validation for their own choices as parents? Are they threatened by the unfamiliar? Or is it an evangelical mindset - are they trying to "save" me?

When I was breastfeeding I got support, but it was conditional. If my baby became "old enough to ask for it," it would be "weird" for me to continue. Although my parenting style is reminiscent of the Attachment Camp, I didn't co-sleep. Worse, I "Sleep Trained" my first born and let her "Cry It Out." Baby-wearers  clutched their hearts in horror, thrusting accusatory studies under my nose that preached the developmental harm of such tactics. My younger child has a strong personality (I call him a "Force of Nature"). I have yet to figure out how to definitively guide his behavior, so in lieu of a better plan, I ignore or redirect. I can sense eye rolling and head shaking as I struggle with the short term and faithfully continue on in hopes that my work will pay off in the long run. I've chosen a Waldorf school for my older child (which some would say is one step away from homeschooling). Turns out people don't know much about Waldorf, but that doesn't stop them from having an opinion - never mind that my daughter is smart as a whip and a voracious reader to boot!

The biggest judgment of all: Choosing to be an at-home parent.

I've written about this before (Confessions of a SAHM). It seems to be the prevailing attitude of society that at-home parents are entitled or lazy (or both). Women of my generation were raised to believe we could "Have It All." But I can't devote the time and attention I know is necessary to both a career and my children. So I chose to focus my efforts where I feel they're most needed and most effective.

Most people I know who choose to be at home with their children are bright, thoughtful, diligent parents. We're here not because we are lazy - quite the opposite! We work day and night (literally) at our jobs. And this job can be thankless. While those in the workforce are getting a bonus or a pat on the back from the boss for doing a good job, I get yelled at when I do the right thing. I never work harder than when on a family vacation - time off for me is a trip to the grocery store by myself. But I wouldn't trade this life for anything! It's utterly gratifying to see my hard work pay off in a shoe that I didn't tie or a kind gesture from my child to a friend.

Children are like weeds - they grow fast and furious no matter what we do. We shouldn't underestimate our influence on their burgeoning souls, but the truth is they become their own people before we're ready for it. No matter the choices or mistakes we parents make along the way, I say there isn't one "right way" to raise a child. But "Good parents" do seem to share one thing in common: Love. Love is the great equalizer. No matter the differences in parenting style, a loving home renders a secure child. So maybe we should stop scrutinizing others' choices and just enjoy the results.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Three Scary Words: "I'm Not Skinny"

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you ever heard your child say something alarming? The other day, I witnessed a moment that made me cringe with worry.

My nine-year-old daughter was playing with a friend. They were talking about their different sizes. (My daughter has always been near the 100th percentile for both height and weight, and her friend is on the opposite end of the spectrum.) The word "skinny" came up, and I overheard my daughter say, "I'm not skinny."


I should explain that we have maintained a fairly idealistic and idyllic bubble around our lives. We don't watch much TV. Nary a princesses flounces around our house - in fact, my daughter is somewhat of a "Tom Boy." Even her school, a Waldorf school, is a place where judgment is discouraged and imagination and creativity prevail. So how is she even aware of what skinny is, much less who's skinny and who's not?

My daughter may not be "skinny," but she has a lovely form. She is athletic - strong and muscular. (She is an avid gymnast.) Her body is perfectly proportional, and absolutely beautiful.

When she said the words, "I'm not skinny," they weren't laced with shame. She simply made the statement matter-of-factly. So I was holding out hope that her words were more observation than self-depreciation. I asked her later if she didn't think she was skinny, what did she think she was? She replied, "Normal."


I added, "And beautiful." She smiled. And so did I.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Lone Voice on Times-PicayuneGate

Today I'm going off topic. No kid-related or mom-related issues. I know I'm risking alienating my small audience with what I'm about to say, but I mean for this blog to be honest and current. Times-PicayuneGate certainly qualifies as current. And I feel compelled to be honest about my feelings on the subject.

So here they are in all their honest glory: I don't get it.

While the masses are crying out against the injustice of the Reviled Downsizing, I'm left shaking my head. What do people expect? It seems pretty clear to me that the world is evolving into a digital creation. Several major newspapers have already shifted focus to their online offerings. What has surprised me most about the TP's move is how progressive it is!

As I've come to expect from my beloved NOLA, the city is staunchly opposed to change. And to top it all off, the residents have taken it personally. Chris Rose is leading the pack with his outrage and indignation. The paper itself is overrun daily with Op/Eds on the subject. The People can't believe the Times-Picayune would do this to them! But I'm simply baffled. Does everyone expect the Times-Picayune to operate at a loss? Even if they were able to jack up their prices and get the public to pay them, should the company ignore the trajectory of the publishing industry? Let's face it, the Internet is the future.

Ok, yes, Advance Publications was a bit callous about how they handled all the layoffs. To blindside their employees and not give them any time to plan or digest what was going down, that's pretty awful. And I could not agree more with those who say the nola.com is a sad excuse for a website. Here I definitely I see eye to eye with New Orleanians. If Advance wanted to shift its focus to its online product, it should have made their website into something awesome before pulling the trigger on the rest of their plan.

I've heard that when everyone else sees things differently than you do, it's wise to take a closer look at yourself. Maybe I am crazy, but it doesn't feel that way. It feels like the rest of the world is! (Yes, I'm aware that that's exactly what a crazy person would say.) I can't help but feel bewildered. 

*Sigh* As usual, I'm the misfit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Great Dessert Debate

Photo courtesy of
Is anyone else finding it difficult to figure out this whole dessert thing?

If your children are anything like mine, they ask for dessert every day, at every given opportunity. In other words, after breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner - oh, I almost forgot about those random requests that don't seem to be attached to any particular meal. "Dessert fishing," if you will. I know these pleas are really nothing more than a form of pushing boundaries. But it never ceases to amaze me how much energy my children put into seeking out unhealthy food.

Here's one rule of thumb I've heard: Parents are in charge of which food is served, children are in charge of how much of it they eat.

Sounds simple enough, but what about the idea of making foods so taboo that they become irresistible? Let me give you an example. My childhood was pretty much devoid of regular dessert offerings. Don't get me wrong - I had my share of treats. But dessert just wasn't a regular feature in my house. I'd visit my friends' houses, and inevitably, they'd have a candy stash in their kitchen or ice cream chillin' in the freezer. And what did I do? I pigged out! I couldn't get enough of those little temptations. Sadly, I can't say I've evolved much from those early days.

This personal experience only  feeds my confusion. "They" say food is supposed to be neutral. But for me, dessert is rife with exotic mystery and worse: emotion.

To this day I have self-control issues with sweets. As you might imagine, one of my biggest fears is passing along my obsession with junk food to my children. So I've tried to defer to my husband in these matters. He grew up in a house where dessert was offered every single night after dinner. And it wasn't pseudo-dessert either (i.e., fruit). It was the real deal - pound cake with whipped cream, chocolate pudding, strawberry pie. You get the idea. Anyway, the point is, my husband doesn't care much for sweets. Heck, on the rare occasion that our pantry is a dessert-desert, he doesn't even miss it. (If I didn't know any better, I'd think he had a secret canteen of hot chocolate stashed somewhere.)

For a while we tried a Dessert Treaty in our house. We decided we would offer a treat three times a week. It was up to my daughter to decide when those three occasions took place. Could be any time at all - breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one day or spread out throughout the week. I thought it sounded so wise, brilliant even! But I quickly learned that what was good in theory was a disaster in practice. We were constantly monitoring when we had had dessert last or evaluating what would happen over the weekend if we happened to have a playdate that involved a trip to the snowball stand. Many an argument was had over this blasted subject.

Finally my husband pointed out that my idea wasn't panning out, and I admitted defeat. Since then, for lack of a better plan, we have done what worked so well for my husband. We offer dessert every night after dinner. The portions are pretty small, but just the act of indulging seems to satisfy my children's cravings.

The Great Dessert Debate still rears its ugly head from time to time, like when that darned ice cream truck comes trolling down our street. I still haven't worked out how to comfortably say "no" where dessert is concerned. Given all that I've heard about eating disorders and connecting negative feelings to eating, I REALLY don't want to argue about it! I'm still befuddled by this part - and the rest of it for that matter. My best hope is that my children won't be saddled with my baggage.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Preschool Checklist

The first time I scouted for viable preschools, I was clueless. I had just moved to New Orleans, and my daughter was only two years old. The consensus seemed to be that school was in my daughter's imminent future. (Apparently everyone in New Orleans sends their children to school by the age of two.) 

I toured a few places. (I won't name them here out of respect for their viability and those who choose their programs.) I was unmoved. But I settled on one, not really knowing if it was right. I was so naive. I simply succumbed to the insistence of society that it was time.

Anyway, long story short: My daughter hated the preschool I had chosen for her, and a few months later, we pulled her out. 

Fast forward to today. I'm going through the same process with my son, who just turned 3 years old. (See? I'm learning already - this go round I waited a little longer to introduce school.) I've just begun to hunt down the right school for him, but in my search to find the right fit, I'm much better prepared to identify a place that truly meets his needs.

Here's my list of important questions:
  1. What is the teacher / student ratio? This question can make or break an experience for a child. For one who needs lots of individual attention and encouragement, it's important for this number to be low. A more reserved could easily get lost in the shuffle if a teacher has too many children on her hands.

  2. How many children per classroom? More than anything, this question gets at the noise level. If you have a child who's got a sensitivity to noise, a small classroom size is critical.

  3. Is the school licensed and / or accredited? This can help weed out a home-grown operation and ensure that an unbiased third-party is holding the school to a higher standard.

  4. Does my child need to be potty trained before starting? Some say being potty trained is a signed of school readiness. But either way, this is a question that can't be left unanswered!

  5. How do the teachers handle discipline? Personally, at preschool age, I'm a fan of redirecting. Time outs are isolating and aren't that effective with young children, and frankly other "forms of discipline" are a deal breaker.

  6. What's the philosophy driving the classroom? There are plenty of preschools that claim to be play based but introduce plenty of academics into the mix. For me this is a turnoff and a sign that the school isn't up on the latest information in childhood development. Play is how children learn. Early academics do not belong in a preschool setting.

  7. Is the curriculum child led or teacher led? The best fit here depends largely on the child's personality. Montessori is known for being child led. It's probably the ultimate in child-led curricula. And then there's Waldorf at the opposite end of the spectrum - teacher led all the way. That's not to say that Waldorf preschoolers have no say in what they play, but many find comfort in the the daily and weekly rhythm.

  8. What type of snack do they serve? Are sweets allowed? Can my child have seconds? This might sound like a small issue, but I maintain that it was a big part of why my daughter so deeply disliked her first preschool experience. The snack was a paltry serving of sugar-leaden animal crackers and juice. She was hungry and probably experienced wild swings in her blood-sugar levels.

  9. How much outside time do they get? This may be the ultimate question. Too many schools ignore this crucial component of education. Bottom line: Children need outside time, and plenty of it.
  10. How do they deal with a child's introduction to school? Many schools have a "rip-it-off-quick-like-a-band-aid"approach, allowing absolutely no parent contact inside the classroom. Personally, I don't think that will work for my little one, so we're going to need some flexibility here.
So that's my list. I don't expect any preschool to answer "correctly" to all of my questions. And, yes, some questions are more important to me than others. My hope is that one will stand out among the rest. But my biggest hope is that no matter which place I choose for my little boy, he'll be happy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mommy Wars: The Great Depression

It's not the first time I've seen a reference to how Stay-at-home moms are more liable to be depressed than working moms. Today a news story was making the rounds about a new study on the subject confirming what we already know.

Yes, being a SAHM can be isolating. That's no big secret. Isolation equals loneliness. Loneliness equals depression. But not for everyone! For one thing, most "stay-at-home moms" don't stay at home very often.And many of us jump at the chance to socialize. We meet each other at the playground. We join playgroups. We participate in mommy-and-me music classes. And when our children get older, we of us volunteer our "free time" to worthy causes.

Opting out of the workforce can be difficult. I've had some tough days at home with my son. I went through a couple of tough years with my daughter, from the ages of two through four (until she gained the ability to reason). But through all of it I've felt so lucky to be with my children and to be such a constant influence in their daily lives.

Here's the part I don't get: Why is this issue so important that it warrants study? To me, the research is divisive. It comes across as just another piece of ammunition in the Mommy Wars. And while it's hard not to notice the differences between the two opposing groups, there are similarities that are not to be missed. (I've outlined the basics of the study below.)

About half of ALL mothers suffer from "stress." It was a pretty close call on the "anger" front as well. And the outcome wasn't that different in the "worry" category, although I'm still a little confused about exactly what the word "worry" refers to. I mean, don't we all have worries? And for those who denied worrying in the study, I want to know what they're smokin' cuz I need a vacation.

SAHMs Working Moms
worry 41% 34%
sadness 26% 16%
stress 50% 48%
anger 19% 14%
depression 28% 17%

At any rate, this mommy is anything but depressed. A little tired, maybe. But I'm fairly certain that that's one thing we moms all have in common.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sometimes Laissez Faire Fares Best

Parenthood has made me look at myself in a new light. I guess it's largely due to my fear of screwing up my children. Like the obsessive I am, I find myself examining my habits, my point of view, my gut to ensure they're all driving me to send the right message.

I struggle with my action-oriented tendencies. See, I'm a doer. I'm utterly organized. I can see the most efficient path to the finish line almost instantaneously when presented with most any issue. So naturally, when it comes to parenting, my instinct is to attack any challenge with action. But I'm slowly learning that action is not always the best policy. Many problems solve themselves without any intervention at all.

Take the latest big event in our household: My 3-year-old has graduated to his "Big Boy Bed." Before it happened, I wasn't terribly concerned with this transition. In fact, it wasn't even on my radar. But I was certain, in the back of my mind, that the day would come when I'd have to force the issue and somehow extract my unwilling son from his crib. However, in my rare moment of procrastination, the universe would choose to enlighten me. One evening, just before bedtime, my little boy announced that he wanted to sleep in his "Big Boy Bed." I had my doubts - surely this was nothing more than a cavalier declaration. He didn't really understand what he was asking. Still, I said "yes" to his request and prepared myself for a very long night. But miracle of miracles, he slept peacefully all night long! And here we are, a two weeks later, still going strong. That kid loves his "Big Boy Bed."

Note to self: Procrastination sometimes has its merits.

This lesson goes against my every instinct. But I'm not going to ignore it. In fact, I'm doing my best to embrace it. Que sera, sera....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why Schools Are Broken

I've ranted before about mainstream schools. But this time I'm thinking about the reasons why they're dysfunctional to me. And I've come to the conclusion that they only educate part of a child.

They're so bogged down in the academics, with homework and testing and assessing, that they totally ignore the social and emotional components of a person. Unfortunately, in today's world, the art of parenting has been lost in many homes. Many parents often either aren't given the tools to address the social / emotional or they don't realize the importance of it. So between schools denying the responsibility and parents shirking their duty, we're producing generations of half-developed people. That translates to a population with little compassion and a puny social conscience. And in the case of New Orleans, it renders a city bogged down in crime and poverty and an inability to embrace progress.

Until parents demand and schools acknowledge that the "Whole Child" be educated, schools will keep failing. The education they offer will remain incomplete. And our future is a broken record of mistakes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top 2 Reasons Reward Charts Aren't Rewarding

Am I the only one who hates reward charts? They drive me crazy! Here's my problem with those wretched parent traps:

1. They don't teach a child to be self-motivated. Whatever behavior you're trying to instill is overshadowed by the child's desire to earn stickers and ultimately the big payoff at the end of the week (i.e., the trip to the zoo or staying up 30 minutes later Saturday night or whatever).

2. They're another job for me! Like I don't already have enough to keep up with between lunches and laundry and baths and, well, everything else. Now I have to make time to march over to that blasted chart every time my child actually accomplishes the desired behavior.

So it's official: I am anti-reward chart. I don't see that changing anytime soon. I guess my children will just have to learn how to do all those tedious things without a tangible reward. But hopefully they'll enjoy a feeling of pride when they master those new things. And maybe I'll throw in a kiss or two and a few words of praise while I'm at it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Two Biggest Lessons of Parenthood

Parenthood changes a person. The focus shifts away from you in the blink of an eye. Your priorities change.... Big. Time. Your fancy salon visits suddenly take a back seat to gymnastics classes and field trips. These changes are a natural part of the process. But some lessons take more time to digest. During my tenure as a mother, I've learned many things, but two things stand out as most useful:

1. If you can't find an answer, it's because there isn't one. From teaching a baby to learn to sleep well to expanding a child's palette to potty training, the best thing you can do is embrace the lack of control. Throw your hands up and envision your child at age 18. You'll feel refreshed and rejuvenated by what your imagination reveals. No more slogging around, coffee cup permanently affixed to your hand in a lame attempt to shake off the ever-present exhaustion thanks to the last six moths of all-night baby juggling. No more begging and pleading to "just try a bite of salmon." No more diaper changes! While you're waiting for your hypothetical grown child to step forth from the shadows, try to mediate regularly on the thought of that self-sufficient future child. And know that, though no solution is evident at present, it's will be ok. Someday.

2. If the thought stresses you out, it's because your child isn't ready. Since becoming a mother, whenever I feel stressed out about a big change in my life - without fail! - it's because my children aren't there yet. The more I let my children take the lead and show me that they're ready, the easier any transition becomes. Starting school. Sleepovers. Potty training. (There it is again!) When it comes to big milestones, let them run the show. Everyone will be a lot happier for it.

The thing about parenthood is that you never stop learning or evolving. As my children get older, I'm sure I'll gain insight and experience into how to handle their more mature stages and issues. But I know I'll always look to these two tenets to help guide my parenting style.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I Deserve an 'F' in Homework

Parents who do their kids' homework are the lowest form of parent, right? Well, call me a bottom feeder because I just failed my first big test in Homework 101.

As my daughter tackled her first big school project over Spring Break, I struggled with the age-old parenthood dilemma: To Help Or Not To Help, That Is The Question. The assignment in question was to build a model of a building of her choice from around the world. She chose a Pagoda. And, truth be told, I had a hard time keeping my hands off it.

Did she build it herself? Sure. But figuring out the best way to go about it was a different story. We discussed her options, and rather than me allowing her to figure out why any given option was viable or not, I found myself giving her the answers. Me! A mom who usually has such good instincts! And the worst part was, I knew I was doing it, and still I couldn't stop myself. I just wanted her to have an engaging experience with this milestone. I wanted the process to be fun for her, not frustrating, the end result be something she was unquestionably proud of.

So I'm one of those parents. The ones who do their child's homework for them. In the end I undoubtedly robbed her of some aspect of the learning process. So, I am making a mid-year's resolution: Next time, even if I have to gag and bind myself, I will keep my thoughts to myself and let her find her own way.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The SAHM Label

I just read an article about Ann Romney that talked about her being attacked for being a SAHM. Some Democratic pundit on a talking heads cable show declared that she “never worked a day in her life.” As a fellow SAHM, I can attest to the diligence and fortitude it takes to be good at this job. I've never worked harder in my life!

Why does society hate Stay-at-Home Moms? There's an air of disdain whenever someone talks about the label, an assumption that anyone who chooses this path is inherently lazy and entitled. Or at best there's some patronizing comment issued about what a tough job it is.

I spend my days completing mundane tasks so that my family has what they need to have a successful day. Lunches. Laundry. Homework. But I also work hard at giving them the tools they need to evolve into good people. Kisses. Words of advice. Words of praise. Being a SAHM is about more than doing the dishes. It's about constructing a world that allows your children to grow up happy and secure and strong.

I don't know Ann Romney, but I do know what it's like to be a SAHM. And I know that if society gave this job its due, more people might choose this path.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Football Follies

The Saints Scandal is all over the news down here. Most people are vehemently defending their beloved Saints. I have to say: I don't get it.

The Saints organization is accused of employing an incentive program designed to motivate players to injure other players on opposing teams. When this came out, the first thing I thought was, "I'm sure they're not the only team that does this." And sure enough it quickly came out that they weren't. Still, they're bearing the shame because they were the first team that got busted.

Before I go on, you should know that I generally don't watch football. But, of course, that doesn't stop me from having an opinion about the situation. Here it is in all its glory...

Some people claim it's no big deal on two counts: 1. Everyone else is doing it. 2. The team never ended up putting out much money for this program anyway. I say that's beside the point!!! It's clearly a moral issue - kinda like when they fixed the World Series. If professional football players can't be counted on to play a fair game, then why the heck are we watching in the first place?