Thursday, August 30, 2007

Imperfect, but not apologetic

In case you're wondering, I removed the post about my Ziploc clothing storage system. There were too many questions of safety raised in the comments for me to feel comfortable. I am NOT concerned for my children's access to the storage area, but I would be worried that you might not be as careful as I have been.

We try to keep things light and polite at Like Merchant Ships. Maybe that's why the tone of those comments stung so much. As always, it is YOUR responsibility to temper the ideas you find here with your own good judgment.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
I thought your post on Ziploc bags was appropriate. From the earliest age we have taught our children, all five, to respect any type of plastic. It's a shame such a great idea had to be removed.
K

pomo housewife said...

I haven't read it. We've always had quite a lot of plastic available in our house; we just use common sense about it.

Sometimes I think well-meaning advice can come across as more strident than it ought - written messages can lack emotion - but then sometimes people can be shockingly aggressive on the net.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a great idea -I have been a mom for 22 years and I can't believe the level of alarm people have over the goofiest things -common sense goes a long way.

Annie said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that things other people have said about how you store your child's clothing caused you distress. That is a shame. I think what you are doing on this blog is sort of like Amy D. of the wonderful Tightwad G's...you put an idea out there, for people to read, if they want to use the idea okay, if not that is okay too. I see nothing wrong with using 'big bags' to store things and you took precautions to protect your children. That should be the end of it. Some people can not be pleased no matter what is done. Please don't stop putting the ideas out there for everyone. It is always a good thing when people "think" outside the box. That is what your blog has done for many people. Lead us to think about things in a way we might not have thought before. Thank you. Your blog is one of the best I have ever read. I am sorry to see that YOU felt the need to pull an idea because a few people say/write things that 'sting' you. That is a shame. Roxie

Amy said...

I am sorry, Meredith! I did not get an opportunity to read the comments, but I know how much that can hurt. Just be your sweet self and keep posting those ideas!

Jennifer said...

I am sorry people posted negatively. I know that you are very careful with your kids and you had them stored away properly. Can anyone here really say that they do not have a single plastic bag anywhere in their house? I doubt it.

I had some negative comments to a recent post of mine and it does hurt. I thought it was a great idea too.

Cara said...

I thought it was a good idea too :) I feel the need to disclaimer stuff I post too, though, because I realize that what *is* safe or good for my family wouldn't be safe for another just because we all run our homes a little differently.

Cara

Steph said...

Meredith, I just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your blog. I have read almost every post now (I'm almost done!) and I can see you have obviously put a lot of TLC into your blog postings. Your creativity and creative/frugality are INSPIRING. I think we all genuinely appreciate your hard work. :) :) :)

Michelle said...

Meredith,

I'm sorry people were less than gracious with you concering the Ziploc post. Anyone that has read your blog for any amount of time would know that you're not a negligent parent and you only have the reader's best interest at heart. Personally, I still plan on implementing your idea. :)

Kristy said...

Ziploc bags are dangerous, plastic rubbermaid tubs are dangerous, the AIR we breathe is dangerous for goodness sake!

I thought it was a great idea, and although I can understand the concern of some people, we MUST use our own judgment. We know our children better than anyone and what they can handle and what they cannot.

Keep the good ideas coming, Meredith!!!

martha said...

Truly, it was and it still is a great idea, Meredith. Some people truly are strange, and I think a majority of them spend too much time commenting on line. The plastic on these enormous bags is stiff, not at all like a drycleaning bag. Your critics are obviously ignorant about the bags, and ignorant about your motherly supervision skills.
You are loved and admired by a huge, and sometimes silent, majority.

Angela said...

I truly enjoy your website and did see that post and it never even crossed my mind that there could have been a safety hazard. Sorry that so many people seem to have nothing better to do then criticize others.

Nell said...

I am a member of that silent majority. I'm not a blogger(would love to be) but a lurker. I so enjoy reading the wonderful ideas so many talented people have all over the world. Meredith you are such an inspiring lady with a talent for creating wonder with words and ideas. I don't miss your blog daily. And from a fellow Tennessean(born and raised there)but have adopted Virginia as home, I can say that I was taught that if you can't say something nice about someone...don't say anything at all. I didn't read the item in question, wish I had, because zip-lock bags is one of the great inventions that I use on a daily basis. But I also re-use and re-use. Nell

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry for the harsh comments you received. I thought it was a great space-saving idea, and I had no concerns that you would let your kids go back there and mess with it, etc.

A Regular Reader said...

Being bitten by the "safety police" is a nasty thing. Sad to say I’ve been there too – for the dumbest thing.

It's one thing to raise awareness to potential danger. It's quite another to behave as though they think we're too stupid to incorporate an idea, intelligently with safety and forethought, for our life and situation.

"As always, it is YOUR responsibility to temper the ideas you find here with your own good judgment."

Exactly.

Carrie J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie J said...

Meredith, First let me say I don't think you should have removed the post, just my opinion. But I understand why you did. I didn't see one thing wrong with it. Everyone who has children should be aware of the possible dangers. Children can hurt themselves on the most unusual things. My nephew put a mirror in his mouth, got on a swing and jumped out resulting in a pretty bad cut. Who would have thought of a kid doing that? And he was way old enough you would think to know better.
That said. I must take issue with Martha on the assertion that the stiff plastic isn't dangerous. A good friend of mine had a daughter suffocated with a gallon size Zip Lock bag. She put her face into the bottom part, which pulled it tight over her hairbow, and we think panicked when she realized she couldn't breath and couldn't get it off her head. It was such a tragedy and just heart breaking. All we can do as parents is take what precautions we can to protect our kids. If someone has issues with the bags it would be their responsibilty to make sure their kids can't reach them. The bag my friend's daughter got was accidently dropped and overlooked.
The truth is that we cannot always keep things like this from happening no matter how hard we try.

Mary Ann said...

I enjoyed the post and loved the idea, too. I don't have children, but thought I could store my out-of-season clothing in those. We only have 2 closets in our house and they are half size(seriously!). The bags would take less space under the bed and store more in the same space that a plastic box takes.

And no home is ever completely child-proof! We just have to use common sense.

Keep up with the great ideas!

2boysmama said...

I thought it was great and I was proud of myself for thinking of it too (after having you recommend it too!). After Christmas I bought the holiday themed giant ziplocs for very cheap. I think they fit in the rafters of the garage much better then rubbermaid.

Don't let the aggresive commenters get you down.

Anonymous said...

Since I was the first to comment on the plastic bags, please accept my apology if the tone came across as impolite! So sorry, Meredith.

Its' kind of funny that I may have also come across as a Nervous Nellie (apologies to all women named Nell) since my husband and I purposefully taught our kids to manage themselves around all kinds of dangerous things precisely so they would not be crippled by inordinate fear; ultimately for the purpose of FREEING them to make a difference in the lives of others.

From a young age they learned not to: put Legos or plastic in their mouths so they would be FREE to play with them; how to build and put out fires, use knives, cross the street, get lost and then find their way home, climb up and down ladders, swim, deal with animals, avoid hiding in old fridges or trunks ... the same things you are teaching every day, because you want your children to gain wisdom and skill, too.

Meredith is an exceedingly conscientious mother and a great inspiration. I was not condemning her, but speaking mom to mom. Perhaps you have mom friends like I do, who sometimes see things I'm overlooking and don't hesitate to give me a heads up. That's the spirit in which I posted.

Deb Meyers

Meredith said...

Deb, I took your comment in that spirit. Deb is one of my earliest readers and frequently takes the time to share her ideas...and leaves her name even though she doesn't have a blog.

It was the flood of anonymous comments that followed Deb's which took on a harsher tone.

Even then, I am not distraught. No harm, no foul! I learn a lot from the comments and appreciate every one, even those that make me think twice.

I myself have left an anonymous comment which may have been considered snarky in tone, even though that was not my intent.

So, I would like to extend the same grace to you. I invite you to keep commenting in the light and polite spirit we seek at this blog.

Gem said...

I was headed over here from my Google Reader to comment and wondered why I got a 404 error. Now I know.

Anyway, my question was, about how much clothing can you get into one of those big bags? We use totes right now, but they are so bulky! If I thought those vacuum bags really worked, I'd try them, but the Ziploc big bags seem like they'd be cheaper and I bet can squeeze almost as much air out of them as a vacuum!

miranda said...

Oh, Meredith, I am so sorry you were attacked like that! I read the post and as a mom of four I thought it was a great idea. I currently use the Rubbermaid tubs... there's a DANGER sticker right on the lid of those! Take heart and just keep being your wonderful, creative self!

Anonymous said...

Sending hugs! I am so sorry. Just want to say how much I am enjoying your blog. I have even gone back and read many of your past entries. Thank you for inspiring me. :-)

Kathy (mom2lilones)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Meredith.

Happy Labor Day weekend to all of you in the U.S....

Deb Meyers

Anonymous said...

I didn't read the harsh comments, but the bags looked safe from the photos. Is it just my interpretation of the photo, or is the headboard cornered in such a way that kids wouldn't be able to get to them?

pomo housewife said...

I used to use those ziplocs when I was in the army. When we went bush, we had to take a spare set of uniform, which I would fold very carefully to fit in the ziploc, then sit on the bag and do it up. Voila! A very flat, easy-to-pack set of cams, which would stay dry even if the pack got drenched.

I'm sad to hear about someone's child suffocating with them. Here in Australia, plastic shopping bags have been commonplace for a long time, so large plastic bags are always in the home.

On a related tangent - I've just been reading about 'Crocs' shoes being caught in escalators. Many, many injuries. Something to be aware of if your kid is a crocs fan.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those who left a comment about safety. It's your blog, your child, your house, and your bags....You can do what you want. However, I don't think I was I rude. If you think so, that is unfortunate and unintended.

Sometimes it does take an outsider to point out the obvious.

I have posted comments in the past, some positive, some negative. Overall, you do have a VERY positive blog, full of lots of great ideas. You seem to be a kind person and take care of those around you. But you don't like to be critized. That's ok,,, like I said,,, it's your blog, your child, etc.....

Take the post off or leave it on...that was your decision to make. I was surprised to see it gone.

For anyone interested...here is a DIRECT QUOTE from an article about child safety. The whole article is good, obvious things that we all know, but it never hurts to be refreshed on. I'll just write out the link here.

http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/safehome.htm

"Accidents most often occur with dry cleaning bags, garbage bags, bags being used for storage, and bags used to protect beds or furniture. Do not leave plastic bags around, even if filled."

I think the bottom line is this....if you think what I wrote was unkind, a personal insult, or such plain rude...it was not intended as such. Really, it was just a concerned person looking out for the well being of a beautiful child.

Faithful reader.

Meredith said...

It's one thing to have your parenting criticized by a friend, quite another to be criticized by anonymous comments. I'm not a journalist. I'm just a mom.

There were several comments about the safety, many of which were uglier in tone than yours.

Please know, I did not remove the post because I didn't want anyone else to see the criticism.

I took your words to heart. If someone else had used my idea AND their child were hurt, I could not live with that. THAT's why I removed the photo, just to be on the safe side.

Julie said...

Im so sad that I missed this article. I use the ziplock bags when we go on trips to seperate outfits for different days. I would love to have read about storing clothes with them.
Oh well.

Frugal Disney Mom said...

Must be in the water. I too have had some nasty things on my blog. Although the comment was not directed at me. My blog is that MY blog and not the place to belittle or shame others.

Sorry you had to remove your post. You know I love your blog!