Jessica Grose, a Slate contributor who frequently writes about parenting, chastised Frank Bruni for a weekend column criticizing overwrought parenting: “Why all the choices,” he asks, “and all the negotiating and the painstakingly calibrated diplomacy? They’re toddlers, not Pakistan.” Grose called the piece “obvious troll bait” and skewered its contradictory logic, pointing out that it’s organizations like Bruni’s own Times that pump parents full of conflicting information, thus whipping them into a frenzy. Recently, she noted, the paper ran a story warning mothers against texting while breastfeeding, though they’re also taught to avoid eye contact with the nursing baby. “When moms and dads are getting the message that staring at a wall in the dark is the only way to save your kid from damage,” she says, “of course they’re going to be a little neurotic and confused about how to do right by their children.”
A thinking mom’s blogger takes Bruni to task.