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No, We should Not ‘Shoot’ The Parents of a Child Accident Victim Instead of the Wild Animal


I couldn’t let the day pass without commenting on the hot news item about a 17-year old Silverback Gorilla named Harambe that zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo killed over the weekend after a 4-year old toppled into the wild animal’s habitat.

A visitor and witness to the incident took a cameraphone video of the incident. That clip has been all over the Internet and it shows the animal dragging the boy across his enclosure’s pool; but it also shows him holding the boy’s hand, propping him and seemingly protecting him from the crowd above yelling and screaming over what they were witnessing.

Apparently, the boy  crawled between two steel poles of the barrier and through bushes before toppling 15 feet down to the moat.

The reaction to the incident varies. It goes from people demanding an investigation of the zoo for the decision to kill and not tranquilize the animal and for having a barrier that wasn’t designed to prevent this accident to ridiculous calls to actually “shoot” the parents (mom Michelle Gregg) for presumably being neglectful and not keeping a careful eye on their child.

The harshest critics I surmise come from three camps:

  1. People who hate/dislike children, generally;
  2. People who are not Parents and have never had to care for and/or monitor a small child in their care for an extended period of time; and

  3. People who love animals more than people.

To People who Don’t like Kids

You can easily determine those that dislike children and think kids are to be seen and not heard. They have little patience for their antics and don’t find spirited children “cute” at all. They are quickly annoyed by the sight of a baby on a plane and may be germaphobes who are wary of all the germy places tots get into. Of course, they would have less sympathy for the level of danger the child was in. Those people would naturally ignore the fact the child’s life was at risk and that famous Animal activist like Jack Hannah said, in that situation, killing the animal was a no brainer of a decision.

Hanna is the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo in Ohio and the host of a series of television shows about wild animals, defended the decision to put down the animal.

“I’ve seen him take a green coconut, which you can’t bust open with a sledgehammer, and squish it like this,” Hanna told Good Morning America about Harambe, gesturing to indicate the ease with which gorillas can crush fruit. “You’re dealing with either human life or animal life here. So what is the decision? I think it’s very simple to figure that out.”

They would not think that shooting a tranquilizer gun at Harambe could have frightened and/or angered him even more. He is still a wild animal and not capable of directing his anger. He easily could have lashed out violently and injure the child purposefully or accidentally.’

Further, the boy was in the cage for an estimated 10-15 minutes before the zookeepers were able to take him down. When the gorilla dragged the kid around, he easily could have fractured the boy’s skull against a hard surface in his habitat.

Finally, what if after being shot by the tranquilizer the gorilla eventually collapsed his 400 pound frame on top of the boy and ended that child’s life that way?

Resort   Younger Girls 3mths–6yrs   Girls   Next  United States of America

To Non-Parents

I am not sure human critics suggesting that the mom be shot are aware of how callous they come off.  Even if they are being factitious in their commenting, it seems to be an extreme overreaction, in my opinion.  Execute parents. Isn’t that a slippery slope? Are we to go around shooting parents each time their kid does something that leads to tragic event. Losing track of a child is a common everyday thing. People lose track of their kids all the time, especially in crowded environments. I’ve lost track of my kid more than once.  My husband has been a lost child when he was 3-years old and his parents are very protective and his dad was a police detective.

An eyewitness told ABC News that it happened in a quick second and she wasn’t sure there was anything the mom could do. “He was there and then he was not,” the witness said.

The mom posted a now-deleted post on her Facebook page that read:

“As a society we are quick to judge how a parent can take their eyes off of a child. Accidents happen.” she wrote. “I am thankful that the right people were in the right place.”

This kid who wrote this doesn't look old enough to drive.

This kid who wrote this doesn’t look old enough to drive.

To Animal over People.

Again, if one values animals more than human, I’m not surprised that they’d assign more weight and value to the animal’s life over a human child. But you can own and care for  a lot of animals, be a vegetarian and still recognize that in the hierarchy of the animal kingdom in civilized society, humans are on top.

We’d be having a different conversation today had the gorilla killed the boy. I’d bet that, in that case,  many more people today would be finger-wagging the zoo for not doing something sooner to take out the threat. There would be more people empathizing with the family of a dead child moreso than an alive Gorilla who ended a toddler’s life.

I recognize that Harambe did nothing wrong and he behaved how his species would in that situation and he too is a victim of circumstance. But I am able to step back and assess the situation from afar and decide it was the correct decision, in my opinion.

Hopefully, in the end, the zoo will augment its exhibits and other zoos around the world will take note and adjust theirs as well.

But no, we cannot shoot the parents instead of the animal. I wish people would quit saying that.

Frank gets it:

Parents of 4 Year Old Who Caused Harambe the Gorilla’s Slaughter May Be Charged   Tribunist


Blog Brag: We’re #1 on ‘Alltop Pregnancy’ Again


I just realized this weekend that the blog has returned to the Alltop.com category for Pregnancy. Alltop.com is one of the first websites that was focused on curating the top news and information from all the top sites around the web. Nowadays, content curation is big and everyone is doing it, but Alltop, founded by former Apple evangelist and New York Times  and Wall Street Journal best seller Guy Kawasaki did it first.

The blog was on it for several years in the pregnancy category. The top 6 most popular stories of all the stories in each category get to be featured a Bellyitch post often was number one, each day.

At some point, we dropped to the number 2  spot and then eventually fell off the list altogether. I’m not sure if was during a time when the blog got hacked and was offline for a while or when it moved from one blog platform to another, but it was sudden and inexplainable.

It was devastating for me because being on Alltop gave the blog some added credibility (and traffic). I proudly posted the button on the blog. I  re-submitted it for consideration and never hear back and just gave up.

I’m not sure how it landed on that site in the first place. Did someone submit my blog? Did the founders and folks who run the site discover it on their own. Who knows.

Alltop   Top Pregnancy News

So it was quite a delight to accidentally stumble upon it once again to see Bellyitch occupying the featured blog post area again. I’m putting my button back too!

alltop logo button - Copy

Happy happy ! Joy Joy!

Ok….back to the regularly scheduled blog posts we go.

Oh I also got honored as one of the Top 30 Mom Bloggers of 2016 by Maternity Glow! Woot!

Yay us! Thanks for the support and being loyal readers and followers!

Memorial Day: Thank You To Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice

memorial day son

Memorial Day is today.  The holiday was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.

Today, let’s think of the thousands and millions, maybe, of children who have grown up without a parent because she or he gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for their country.

Children like Wyatt McCain, who was 8 in 2012 when this photo of the North Pole, Alaska boy went viral as he looked upon his father’s grave at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Arlington, Va.

His dad, Army SFC Johnathan McCain, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in November 2011. Thank you Wyatt and family for bearing the pain of loss so we can feel free.


The Y’s New Campaign Uses a Baby to Bring Family Issues to Forefront


The YMCA has a very cute campaign to align with the heated presidential season that is underway in American politics.

Zoe For President is a campaign from the national organization to try to shift the debate to talking about issues that matter to families —like the achievement gap, safe spaces, and healthy living.

Last month, Zoe picked up another celebrity endorsement: Conan Obrien! In this funny cute video, the late night talk show host asks Zoe to consider running now rather than wait until the year 2064 when she will be in her 50s.

“I know you’re only one year old, but you’re already way more mature than all the other candidates. Run now, Zoe,” O’Brien pleads. “Run now.”


Look at NBC’s Shade-Filled Post about Donald Trump’s Unspoken Position on Pregnancy in the Workplace

trump ivanka

Mainstream popular media organizations can give shade too, now.

Case in point: today NBC published an article about GOP Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump which attempts to decode the presidential hopeful’s position on pregnancy in the workplace. The piece really backs into, but stops short of saying the man is hostile to pregnant women in business.

Note: Trump has never given an official position on this topic but this piece attempts to help the reader decode what that would be based on his past remarks.

Writer Ali Vitali leads with an interview with NBC’s Dateline in 2004 where Trump said pregnancy “it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.”

Hmmmm. Curious.

Watch the video from that interview for yourself and decide:

Then, the piece jumps several years to 2015 when the standard bearer for the Republican party told Fox BusinessStuart Varney, “you have to be careful with” paid family leave because it could impact keeping “our country very competitive” but “certainly there are a lot of people discussing it.”

The Curioser and curiouser.

Finally, Vitali brings up the March 2016 praise the business man had for his own daughter Ivanka Trump  after she rushed to appear at a campaign stop with him only 10 days after giving birth to her third child.

“You know, she had a baby like 5 days ago,” Trump praised her during the rally, which was actually held 10 days after Ivanka gave birth. “She did a good job. So I should not say Ivanka, you’re fired, right? I promise.”

Well, when you say it like that!

To cap off the unspoken and indirect prognostication, Vitali quotes Trump saying that women love him but follows up with a quote from its own joint poll with the Wall Street Journal which has 63% of those polled saying that Hillary Clinton would be best at dealing with issues of concern to women, while only 16% of voters felt that way about Trump.

But don’t be swayed. Make up your own mind. (smile)

Sneaky. Sneaky. ha!

New Law Forbids Clubs From Denying Entry to Pregnant Women

Pregnancy Barred From Bars

When I was working as a publicist about a decade ago and pregnant, I was refused entry into a nightclub where my client was gigging at because I was visibly pregnant. Now if this event had happened today in New York City, it would be against the law for that club to deny me entry, thanks to a new law under the  city’s Human Rights Commission guidelines.

Among other expansive protections for pregnant women for the purposes of protecting them from discrimination is a provision that says mothers-to-be can’t be kept out of bars or denied alcoholic drinks just because they’re expecting.

“Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities and what is or is not healthy for a fetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions” in public venues, the new guidelines say.

And as you could guess, there is a lawsuit at the heart of this new law.  A NYC agency lawyer, Lauren Elfant, told the Associated Press that the commission is looking into a case concerning a pregnant woman denied entry to a bar or club.

The law also protects those women who choose to have a glass of wine while pregnant as it is not against the law.

One woman AP interviewed for the report, Carlota Fluxa, said she occasionally ordered a glass of wine with dinner during her pregnancy as that is no big deal in her native Spain. While no one denied her the wine, Fluxa said  she felt that “in general, a lot of people are paying attention to whether you’re drinking or not drinking.”


Read more about the intriquing report here.

Every Couple Should be in Counseling, Here’s Why

Many couples think of counseling as a reparative treatment only, and if they feel that everything is OK, then they shouldn’t need counseling, right? This can lead to little issues being brushed aside and piling up over time into a big, fat problem.

It’s not only for couples battling problems or dealing with infidelity. It can keep your relationship on track and keep the communication open.

Also, marriage counseling isn’t just for couples who are battling addiction or dealing with adultery. It can help keep your relationships healthy and strengthen bonds.

Read more:

Check out Why Every Couple Should Be in Counseling

by Tend Editor at Mode

Make-A-Wish: 10-Year Old Cancer Patient’s Animated Short ‘Wish’ Came Out Wonderfully

neshama cancer

I absolutely LOVED seeing the animated film that Stage 4- cancer patient 10-year old Nesham Ryman created as part of her Make-A-Wish foundation wish.

Neshama loves drawing and art and inspired by Pixar animation in films, she came up with a wonderfully imaginative story about invisible characters that are clumsy (like most of us). The “Klumz” wreak havoc on the lives of a family but only they don’t think they are causing trouble but actually creating fun and magic and art!

“I love drawing and I love movies,”  explains Neshama, who has undergone several reconstructive surgeries in her life. “For my wish, I wanted to combine them by making an animated film.”

Make A Wish   The Klumz by Neshama Ryman   YouTube

It’s a marvelous tale brought to life with the help of the people from Boston-based animation studio Fablevision. The project was funded by Macy‘s “Believe” campaign. For every letter a child wrote to Santa last year, the retail shopping store donated $1 to the @MakeAWish through the end of last year 2015.

And the result is this fantastical short film which Neshama and her siblings narrated and starred in as well! Enjoy it here and the behind-the-scenes short after!

Make A Wish   The Klumz by Neshama Ryman   YouTube2


Neshama’s mother, Lamelle, said in the behind-the scenes short that she believes that the film reflects the struggle of families with children who have cancer.

“Seeing her idea become reality, the image of a bottle of beet sauce splattering all over the table, made me think that, in some ways, it’s representative of the experience of a family dealing with a child’s cancer diagnosis,” said Lamelle. “A giant glass of beet sauce has spilled on your white tablecloth and you need to figure out how to make this the most positive, uplifting journey as possible.”

Heart-warming! I’m rooting for Neshama!

VIRAL: Chewbacca Mom Rides Infectious Laughter to Internet Fame

chewbacca mom jj abrams

Last week, a mom Candace Pain, posted a video on Facebook that has since been the most viewed in the social media site’s history: 141 views (and counting) in three days. Pain says in the original video that she purchased a mask of Star Wars character Chewbacca  from Kohl’s after making some returns from the Star Wars fame for herself as a birthday present, not for the kids. It cost just $17.99. (though it’s selling for $146 on Amazon right now)

After putting it on, she exploded in infectious laughter. She was able to ride that joy to fame. She was invited to appear on James Corden‘s CBS late night show and even got to do one of Corden’s famous “drive arounds” with celebrities but with the director of the latest Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens”, JJ Abrams.

During her appearance, Peter Mayhew, who plays the real Chewbacca in all of the films invited her and her family to a private meet and greet and to get complimentary VIP tickets to a Star Wars convention stop.

This week, she got flown out to Facebook’s headquarters and treated some more. It pays to be authentic, and fun and to spread joy.

Watch the videos and see how it played out:

STUDY: Babies Can Recognize their Mom’s Voice, also a Key to Social Development


A new Stanford University study discovered that not only can babies tell their mom’s voice from other female voices, but even a small amount of noise from mom stimulated a large amount of brain activity – auditory, emotional, facial recognition, memory and reward processes, MRI scans showed.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the strength of the babies’ inter-brain connections predicted the child’s social communication scores later in life (between ages 7 and 12).

This study may help developmental researchers better understand social development disorders like autism, especially given the  importance of a child being able to associate with voices during development.

The study did have a very small sample size of just 24, but is still a precursor for more research.