I just stumbled across an update on the case of the Nikolayev baby, which was “snatched” from its parents by police officers and placed into CPS custody because the couple wanted a second opinion on a medical procedure. Video footage of the baby being seized from its mother’s arms went viral, and people around the expressed their outrage by what appeared a flagrant display of CPS abuse of power. The young couple was portrayed in the media as loving and attentive parents, deeply concerned with the needs of their sick baby and heartbroken by California CPS’ overreaching their authority by “illegally abducting” their child without so much as a court order.
As a mother, I’d found story especially chilling, particularly the implication that the State has the power to seize one’s child on a whim. Like many, I reacted with anger and disgust towards California CPS, Sacramento police, and the hospital employees who’d “sicced” CPS on the poor family in the first place.
California CPS was almost universally condemned for their actions, ordered to return the infant, and subjected to extensive auditing. At no point did it seem that CPS may have actually been justified in their course of action… until now.
You see, it turns out that there was more to this story than was ever reported in the media. Due to privacy regulations, CPS has never been able to tell their side of the story or explain the rationale behind their decision to seize baby — nor were they able to address the factual distortions and allegations of conspiracy which spread through the press like wildfire.
But this past November, court documents were released which paint a substantially different picture of what really occurred in the case of baby Sammy Nikolayev. It now appears that CPS may have been fully justified in their actions.
Apparently the problem with the “second opinion” from Kaiser was that they either failed to fully understand the severity of this baby’s condition or else they were not made aware of certain facts — like that the baby had not been medicated for a full three weeks. I’m guessing it was a combination of both.
The Kaiser pediatrician who treated little Sammy expressed his full confidence that the five-month-old, eleven-pound, “hydrated-appearing,” baby would “gain weight/become fully hydrated” under the Nikolayevs’ care and instructed them to follow up with a pediatrician. Not a pediatric cardiologist, nor any of the specialists who had been working with the baby — just a regular, garden-variety pediatrician.
More from Reason.com:
So how did the Nikolayevs go from “competent and concerned” with Samuel’s care to being raided and having their baby removed within 24 hours? Court records reveal that the Sutter Memorial social worker, who had originally reported the case to CPS, didn’t trust the work done at Kaiser.
I’d say it’s pretty clear that CPS had some legitimate concerns, and that the baby may very well have been in imminent danger, which would legally justify CPS’s decision to act without a court order. Yet at this point the Reason article takes a surprisingly sharp and questionable turn, citing a letter to the parents from the pediatric cardiologist dated May 9th:
The Reason author believes that because the baby would not have been placed in imminent danger by Mom’s declining the surgery, CPS had no caused to act without a court order. I’d say that’s a pretty foolish conclusion to draw, one which completely disregards all the evidence presented in the first half of the article suggesting the baby was not being properly cared for. Whether or not the surgery was an emergency is in fact irrelevant; Sammy Nikolayev was removed from his parents’ custody due to allegations of severe neglect against his mother, not because the parents refused the operation.
Click here to read the full article from Reason.com
This RIE blogger and self-proclaimed parenting specialist is fostering her niece, whose parents “couldn’t take care of her” — and apparently, neither can she. She denies the baby toys, insists that tummy time is grossly disrespectful, and has video clips of the baby girl at 7 months behaving like a 2-month-old, and then again at 11.5 months just beginning to combat-crawl. The baby is now seventeen months old and but appears to have the motor development of baby half that age.
What I don’t understand is how ALWAYS placing an infant onto its back (even to play!) and hindering its development is supposed to be respectful. And denying an infant or toddler developmentally-appropriate toys (especially one who is already significantly delayed!) isn’t a “parenting philosophy” — it’s straightforward child neglect.
Here’s a clip of the baby “during an hour long play session in which R., who is five months old, peacefully and contentedly explored and manipulated a piece of wax paper, forever challenging the notion that babies get easily bored”:
EDIT: Someone on Mommyish has taken exception to my “picking on” Lisa (i.e., the blogger and daughter-in-law of RIE’s founder), arguing that there could be reasons behind the child’s developmental delays which have nothing to do with REI. As I pointed out to her:
I’ve said it before about Attachment Parenting, and the same holds true for RIE: “If a baby has a developmental delay, that’s unfortunate. If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so. But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that’s just unforgivable.”
I’ve just witnessed the most disgusting and depraved ‘funny” baby video I have ever seen on YouTube. It’s so bad that I cannot even bring myself to post the link. Only 37 seconds long, it makes the shitty baby video seem heartwarmingly adorable by comparison.
It begins with a spread-eagled, presumably EC’d baby being “pooped” by a woman (presumably mom) over an open diaper. An older child of perhaps two is clearly distressed by this sight, and her mother laughs and jokes as the kid freaks the fuck out. The cameraman (I’m assuming Dad) can be heard teasing the toddler in the background.
Both parents are clearly fascinated by the infant’s defecation, and only the two-year-old’s reaction suggests an iota of intelligence. The parents cheer the shitting baby on while the little girl cries and holds some sort of surgical mask over the lower half of her face. Dad then begins snarkily cheering on the little girl, encouraging her to stare at her baby sister’s private parts as the poop works its way out of the infant’s ass.
The video ends with a hairy, overweight old man appearing in the doorway in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he’d paid for an hour with one (or both) of the children.
I’m not a fan of censorship, but I’m even LESS of a fan of children being victimized — especially by their own parents. The baby may have been blissfully unaware of its surroundings, but the little girl was clearly being subjected to a sickening situation which her parental units seemed to find hilarious. I reported the video to YouTube, though I’m sure it could be argued that it remains within their terms of service, as baby vag no longer seems to qualify as nudity these days — at least not on Facebook or Youtube.)
Why do people upload this shit?! Do they find it cute? Do they think it’s funny? And don’t give me that, “We only put it up so Great Aunt Ethyl could enjoy these most-precious moments of our little snowflake’s existence.” Aunt Ethyl doesn’t want to see that shit any more than the rest of us — unless the reason she can’t actually come and visit your snowflake Neveah (and witness these “precious moments” for herself) is that the State will not permit her within 50 yards of a child on account of her having previously viewed/filmed/directed/starred in “precious moments” of your first child (or someone else’s).
Besides, it doesn’t take uploading what is essentially child porn onto YouTube to keep in touch with friends and extended family. That’s why we have Facebook — and STFUParents.
NOTE: If you haven’t already bought Blair’s Book, I highly recommended it as 101 on the world of parenting overshare via social media. (There’s more to it than poop and baby vag; I promise.)
I’ve decided to teach modern American society a lesson, one public breastfeeding at a time.
LESSONS IN PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING: A Mothering.com editorial about a woman who is repeatedly asked to cover her tits while nursing her baby and/or child in public.
The really hurtful negative reactions to my breastfeeding have come from people who don’t know me—strangers passing judgment. Once I sat down outside a Starbucks coffee shop at a table with some friends and friendly acquaintances.
When I began to nurse my child, one man—a friend of one of my friends—jumped up and went to another table. I looked after him, stricken, but he didn’t return. His blatant rejection and disgust felt like a punch in my stomach.
If I sat down for some coffee with a few “friendly acquaintances” and one of them whipped out a body part without giving any warning — whatever their intentions — I’d probably get up and move too.
In the private office of a mental health professional, as I sobbed while attempting to describe my feelings, my son started rooting and whimpering. I automatically put him to the breast, but the mental health professional interrupted me in midsentence: “Do you not have something you can cover up with?”
Speechless, I fumbled around until I found a receiving blanket. It was her private office, after all, and at that moment I felt too weak and vulnerable to snap back an appropriate response. I don’t remember if I was able to finish what I’d been saying, and I never went back.
Let’s review her mistakes now, shall we?
(A) She brings a newborn along to the shrink.
(B) She whips a boob out in front of the shrink.
(C) She takes offense when the shrink tactfully encourages her to cover up.
(D) She feels too victimized to “snap back an appropriate (?!) response.”
(E) She leaves the shrink’s office and never goes back.
LVNM basically says everything that needs to be said:
I find this woman’s story highly suspect. There are so many loopholes here, I don’t even know where to begin. An open window in December? They took the brand-new WRAPPED television set but left the old one? They specifically targeted a baby’s birthday and Christmas presents? And they attempted to cover up their footprints with fabric softener?
Not to stereotype, but this is a single, teenage mother who named her baby Princess Scarlett-Elise. I don’t buy that she spent £500 on presents for the baby; in fact, I’d be willing to bet £500 that she made the entire story up to obtain sympathy and donations.