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stuff & nonsense

Ordered a new battery for the R75/5 (in the background). Finally.

Watched a bit of LJ drama from the sidelines. I'd link it but the drama itself was deleted to protect the guilty and side-discussion is friends-locked.

Watched a bit of convention drama (again, the discussion is friends-locked) from the sidelines. A convention in another time-zone that shall remain nameless just had a minor implosion on one of its web boards because a pair of folks decided that the convention wasn't doing enough to be "kid friendly" or "family friendly."

This kind of started with the head of the children's programming track asking for ideas for next year and quickly devolved into a few folks whining about how their needs as parents not being met was the reason the con is shrinking.

Now I know some of you with kids are probably less than happy with how I phrased that, but let me give you a bit of context.

One of the parties was stridently lamenting how with her children she and her husband can't have the same sort of con experience they did before the kids. Having parent-supervised kidspace wasn't an acceptable answer. "What if my husband and I both want to go to two different panels at the same time? We can't do that!" It's the con's responsibility to make this possible again by providing babysitting or daycare.

It's not so much a parenting issue as a "the world owes us" situation. As Susan Sto Helit said "Sometimes I wish there was a test before people were allowed to have children... well at least besides the practical." Raising children requires compromises of time, budget and lifestyle, and the fact that someone has a second or third child without ever accepting that is really scary.

Then again, there are a lot of consumer-fans without kids would rather beat their heads in vain against reality than learn to live in it...

Comments

boywhocantsayno
Feb. 1st, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
Overall, your view is exactly my feeling (and the feeling of some others on concom). The thing is, we do try to accommodate people to a degree - it's just that, to paraphrase Freddie Mercury, they want it all.

rockgoddes and I were discussing this last night, and while I agree that the decision to have children puts a crimp in the parents' lifestyle, it's a decision that they make (in most cases) knowing that their lives are going to be much different. However, they refuse to take responsibility for that decision, or they fail to anticipate the magnitude of the difference it makes, and try to go on living footloose and fancy-free despite having the kids. FWIW, rockgoddes is a parent herself, and while she sympathizes, she doesn't go around expecting to be entitled to special treatment. She's practical; she makes her own arrangements. Even when she went to England for a Buffy con, she didn't expect the con to look after her son while she ogled James Marsters all weekend.

It's one thing that I respect my friend Mike for; although I wish I could still see him as frequently as I used to (we used to play bridge at the club every Friday night), since his two children were born I've probably only seen him about 15 times, and the eldest is now 5. He's dedicated his time to raising his children, which is as it should be. Far too many people expect their children to raise themselves, or pay strangers to do it for them, and then wonder why they don't turn out as perfect little angels.

In a perfect world, we'd be happy to bring in professional daycare operators to look after members' children. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world, and we're not going to spend 5% of our budget to accommodate 2% of our members... especially since we have less room in our current hotel than we did in our old one (which went bankrupt two years ago, otherwise we would never have moved).
bovil
Feb. 2nd, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
Maybe you just need (with your co-head) to make a simple statement:

"TT programming is dedicated to providing quality children's programming; this is why we have a track lead for children's programming.

Child-care is not a programming function. The programming department doesn't have the space to operate a child-care service and still meet our other obligations. We also don't have the budget, expertise, insurance or licenses to operate a child-care service."

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