I am embarrassed to admit that I know way too much about the big
Katie Holmes/Tom Cruise divorce story. I have read the reports on
the clandestine cell phone calls, Katie's shrewd decision to
establish New York residency, and the hiring of a top-secret
security detail. If I were to trust everything currently written,
it seems Katie plotted her escape as though she was defecting from
a communist bloc state.
The public's interest in the story is obvious: the young,
beautiful starlet flees the couch-jumping former heartthrob who
believes we all descended from the planet Krypton. Reading up on
the whole Katie-Tom saga was a way for me to feel a little superior
about my thoroughly boring, non-celebrity life. I shop at Target. I
drive the kids to camp. I do laundry. And at no time during any of
this am I shown on the cover of The National Enquirer or People
Magazine with my kids in tow.
The fact that a child is involved brings some shame to my
fascination. Despite my repeated vows to never judge another mom, I
am quite hypocritical and merciless when it comes to the Hollywood
C'mon Katie. You still let that kid have a bottle and a
pacifier? Whaddya thinking??
Why in the world is Suri wearing heels? She's 6 for
How about just ONE photo of you and your daughter doing
something OTHER than SHOPPING? Sheesh.
I know, I know. I was a hater. I regret it now. Because despite
everything, these are not imaginary characters designed solely for
my entertainment purposes. There is real pain going on, and it is
all being broadcast daily courtesy of the unrelenting media.
So when Katie's refusal to buy little Suri a puppy made national
news, I was shocked. The child's tearful meltdown was captured and
some circuits demanded to know why Katie didn't cave and buy the
dog for the distraught child.
What was that again?
Did the national media just make Katie the villain for not
rewarding the tantrum? Are you kidding me? We all know the first
lesson of Parenting 101: Never-ever under any circumstances or
moment of weariness reward a child's tantrum - it empowers the
mighty beast and permanently undermines any authority you have
struggled years to establish.
Rewarding a kid's tantrum is akin to crossing the streams of the
Proton Pack or feeding Gizmo after midnight. Yet now a whole mob of
puppy-loving Suri-sympathizers are calling for Katie's head.
I applaud Katie for having the inner strength to stick to her
guns while the entire world watched and judged. It reminds me of a
day on the playground not so long ago. Danny was being
exceptionally defiant and lippy, ignoring repeated requests to
amend his behavior. He felt sure I would not publicly call him out
on his disobedience with a group of neighborhood moms hovering
He obviously didn't know me well enough.
For the entire 100 yards it took to march my belligerent son
back to the minivan, my maniacal voice demanded in a rising
"Who do you think you are? Who do YOU think You ARE? WHO
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??"
I am sure my laid-back, nice neighborhood mom reputation was
shot to hell after that incident. But at the end of the day, it
didn't matter as much as my son understanding that bratty behavior
will always be called out. No matter where we are. No matter who is
And that is why Katie Holmes is my hero this week. She did not
simply have a handful of moms judging her. She had the whole world.
And she put her parenting first.
You go, girl.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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