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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

A toddler, a cupcake, and a mob of critics

Posted by on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM
  • 108 Replies
3 moms liked this

(CNN) -- An amusing video is posted showing an adorable 3-year-old boy asking his mom for a cupcake with the determination of a first-year law student.

The next thing you know, the toddler is being criticized by complete strangers. Even worse, his mother and his father are being labeled bad parents.

What kind of world do we live in? Answer: A bizarre one where -- in the era of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter -- everyone thinks your business is their business.

This isn't about privacy; when you post content online, you give up the right to privacy. This is about propriety; it's about having manners, knowing your place, and respecting boundaries. Just because someone posts wedding pictures doesn't mean you criticize the bride's dress.

Do you see the trouble you've caused, little Mateo? The rambunctious toddler from San Jose, California, wanted a cupcake, but his mother, Linda Beltran, said no. So Mateo took his case to his grandmother and asked her, in Spanish. His mother busted him, and -- in a video that has now been viewed more than 3 million times -- explained to the little guy why he couldn't have a cupcake. Unfazed, Mateo continued to argue with his mother for several minutes, all the while keeping up his plea.

"Listen Linda, listen," the boy says, occasionally also referring to his mother as "honey" and "babe."

I thought the video was priceless. My first thought was that this kid is a future politician. A perusal of Facebook and Twitter told me that many people felt the same way. You just don't often see 3-year-olds who can communicate this well.

I also thought the video was harmless. But on that point, not everyone agreed. There have been thousands of postings, hundreds of tweets, and more than a dozen articles about the exchange between this boy and his mother.

One round of criticism was aimed at the boy's father, Kenneth. While he's not on camera, many onlookers commented that Mateo obviously learned to argue with his mother by watching his father. Linda Beltran has since admitted that, yes, Mateo picked up "honey" and "babe" from watching dad interact with mom. Completely unacceptable, some people said. The father must be verbally abusive when speaking to his wife, they insisted with no proof to back up the claim.

Another round of criticism targeted the mother, Linda, for being both too lenient and too strict. Those who thought she was too lenient thought that she should never have tolerated back-talk from a toddler, and those who considered her too strict were concerned that at one point she threatens to give her son "pow pow" (which we understand to mean a spanking). Totally unacceptable, said the critics.

Up to this point, I'm not surprised. It's part of a larger trend. The last generation told itself, "I just want to be the best parent I can be." Today, the new mantra in child-rearing is cheekier: "I'm a better parent than you."

Critics also took issue with Mateo himself, calling him defiant and disrespectful. How dare a boy talk to his mother that way? They frowned on how Mateo refers to his mom by her first name -- something the mother says the boy seems to reserve for special occasions like long and drawn-out pleadings where he really wants to make what he considers a very serious point.

Leafing through all the criticisms, I got depressed. I couldn't help but think that part of the reaction was a "Latino thing," where this noticeably Latino family (i.e., grandma speaks Spanish) was being criticized consistent with stereotypes.

The macho father. The permissive mother. The unruly kid. All making for a dysfunctional family.

A stretch? Not really. The onlookers were jumping to conclusions about a family they knew nothing about with nothing to go on except their prejudices. A story that had started out being about cupcakes had taken an ugly turn that wasn't at all appetizing.

One person even suggested that, instead of watching a future politician, we were really watching a future "criminal."

I've written about politics for a quarter-century. You don't have to choose. Trust me, we can have both.

Right about now, I needed a pick me up, and I got one thanks to Ellen Degeneres. The talk show host saw the video, fell in love, andinvited Mateo and his mother onto her TV show.

Degeneres gave Mateo -- who loves superheroes almost as much as cupcakes -- a giant mountain of superhero-themed cupcakes. She gave mom a $10,000 check from Shutterfly, one of the show's sponsors, to help out with household expenses. At this point, people are laughing, and people are crying. And it all drowned out the petty naysayers and meddling onlookers who really should watch their manners and mind their own business.

This story reminds us what the world needs. More empathy. More respect. More compassion. And more Ellens.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/opinion/navarrette-boy-cupcake/?hpt=hp_bn7

Have we as a society forgotten manners? 

Are we too negative?

Is this a trend of just pushing off our own issues onto other people?

by on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
krysstizzle
by on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM
3 moms liked this

This isn't about privacy; when you post content online, you give up the right to privacy. This is about propriety; it's about having manners, knowing your place, and respecting boundaries. Just because someone posts wedding pictures doesn't mean you criticize the bride's dress.


That's the part that sticks out at me. I think we live in a time where people think they need to give their opinion on every single bloody thing that comes along. 

Is it outrageous to assume that people on the internet will have basic decency and manners? Yes, in a word. I don't think it's right, and I think it's worthy to continue to voice that expectation that people behave themselves. Unfortunately, it may simply be a pie in the sky dream...


Oh, and I thought that video was adorable. Where in the world people come up with stupid ideas like the dad was verbally abusive ("honey" and "babe" are verbally abusive words now??), I've no idea.

stormcris
by Christy on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I thought it was very cute too.

Quoting krysstizzle:

This isn't about privacy; when you post content online, you give up the right to privacy. This is about propriety; it's about having manners, knowing your place, and respecting boundaries. Just because someone posts wedding pictures doesn't mean you criticize the bride's dress.


That's the part that sticks out at me. I think we live in a time where people think they need to give their opinion on every single bloody thing that comes along. 

Is it outrageous to assume that people on the internet will have basic decency and manners? Yes, in a word. I don't think it's right, and I think it's worthy to continue to voice that expectation that people behave themselves. Unfortunately, it may simply be a pie in the sky dream...


Oh, and I thought that video was adorable. Where in the world people come up with stupid ideas like the dad was verbally abusive ("honey" and "babe" are verbally abusive words now??), I've no idea.


Presley77
by Member on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM
4 moms liked this
There must have been a bunch of cm commenters.
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Mar. 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM
5 moms liked this
I loved that video. The kid was adorable. We all parent how we see fit.
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM
5 moms liked this
Haha that is the first time I have seen it. That kids is adorable and acting exactly like a 3 year old in his insistance. If anything he is showing a very firm grasp on adult interactions and is very articulate for his age. The mom is being firm and nit budging without yelling or losing her temper.
My youngest is like that little boy. ..when she was about the same age she used the same tactics trying to get me to feed her ice cream for breakfast one morning. Lol
people getting all sanctimonious online is nothing new. It's annoying that having a spot to put a comment can really make people into instant experts based on a two and a half minute video. Not only are they family psychologists but they also know the private life and interactions of this family. Dumb.
VinVanMom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM
4 moms liked this

I don't find it cute. My kids have never called me by my first name. I'm mom. Guess I'm lucky to be respected. That kid would have been in time out here. 

krysstizzle
by on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM
9 moms liked this

I read an interview the mom gave somewhere. They had heard about an instance of a lost child at Disney Land or something and the young child didn't know their parents' names, only knew "mom" and "dad". So they decided this kiddo would know their first names and well.

Using Mom vs. your first name has nothing to do with respect. At least in my opinion and in the opinion of many others. So while you may not find this video cute or amusing, it certainly doesn't mean this 3 year old doesn't respect his parents.

Quoting VinVanMom:

I don't find it cute. My kids have never called me by my first name. I'm mom. Guess I'm lucky to be respected. That kid would have been in time out here. 


stormcris
by Christy on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:26 PM
2 moms liked this

It is a normal, age appropriate mimicking skill for socializing with adults. It is also desired in certain circles. 

Quoting VinVanMom:

I don't find it cute. My kids have never called me by my first name. I'm mom. Guess I'm lucky to be respected. That kid would have been in time out here. 


stormcris
by Christy on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Most school systems have the teachers expect the children to use their parents first name when speak about them.

Quoting krysstizzle:

I read an interview the mom gave somewhere. They had heard about an instance of a lost child at Disney Land or something and the young child didn't know their parents' names, only knew "mom" and "dad". So they decided this kiddo would know their first names and well.

Using Mom vs. your first name has nothing to do with respect. At least in my opinion and in the opinion of many others. So while you may not find this video cute or amusing, it certainly doesn't mean this 3 year old doesn't respect his parents.

Quoting VinVanMom:

I don't find it cute. My kids have never called me by my first name. I'm mom. Guess I'm lucky to be respected. That kid would have been in time out here. 


sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Mar. 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM
4 moms liked this
I know, he is adorable and quite articulate

Quoting stacymomof2: Haha that is the first time I have seen it. That kids is adorable and acting exactly like a 3 year old in his insistance. If anything he is showing a very firm grasp on adult interactions and is very articulate for his age. The mom is being firm and nit budging without yelling or losing her temper.
My youngest is like that little boy. ..when she was about the same age she used the same tactics trying to get me to feed her ice cream for breakfast one morning. Lol
people getting all sanctimonious online is nothing new. It's annoying that having a spot to put a comment can really make people into instant experts based on a two and a half minute video. Not only are they family psychologists but they also know the private life and interactions of this family. Dumb.
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