Since she fell out of actress Katie Holmes in April 2006, and, allegedly, actor Tom Cruise, nine months and change earlier, Suri Cruise has held a strange fascination for the world. Paprazzi follow her and mom, Katie, her most constant companion, everywhere. Every parenting decision the Holmes-Cruises make is scrutinized by people who have never met them.
In a week in which I found out that Kiss Kondoms (yes, condoms that feature images of the band members, making your own member appear to be tattooed with the rockers’ faces) and an upcoming Charlie Sheen/Snoop Dogg musical collaboration are both things, it’s good to know that tongues are still wagging over what a four-year-old girl is eating/wearing/doing every waking minute of every single day.
Since she fell out of actress Katie Holmes in April 2006, and, allegedly, actor Tom Cruise, nine months and change earlier, Suri Cruise has held a strange fascination for the world. For five months after she was born, nobody saw her. Tabloids screamed “BABY MYSTERY!” and friends and family theorized, for money, to anyone who would listen, that maybe there was some kind of problem with the baby. Experts were called to weigh in on all the horrible medical possibilities. The run-down sounded like a side show line up. But all chatty Cathys were silenced when Vanity Fair ran a pictorial of the family, including a perfect-looking Suri. A baby so beautiful that she didn’t seem real, with wise, dark eyes that said “I’ve seen some things”. Things besides Katie’s womb, I mean.
From that first moment little Suri was seen in public, she’s never not been seen, again. Paprazzi follow her and mom, Katie, her most constant companion, everywhere. Pictures of every outing are plastered all over the internet, on television, and in magazines. And every parenting decision the Holmes-Cruises make is scrutinized by people who have never met them.
“Suri only wears dresses. A child can’t play in a dress!”
“Suri was out so late. Children need sleep!”
“Suri carries a purse. What does a little girl need with a purse?”
“Suri wears high heels. She’ll ruin her feet!”
“Suri won’t put on a coat. Obviously she’s a brat! A brat about to catch her death from pneumonia!”
Headline after headline worries for the little girl, who appears to be doing just fine.
The latest scandal regarding the parenting of Little Miss Mission Impossible came about a few weeks ago, when pictures surfaced of Katie holding Suri holding a box of PENIS-SHAPED GUMMY CANDIES. You guys! PENISES! Oh, and did I mention that she was holding those PENIS-SHAPED GUMMY CANDIES after midnight? And that she was wearing a dress? What are they doing to that child? There was so much clucking we are guaranteed a surplus of eggs for Easter this year. I mean, in addition to the ones that the bunny lays. Or Jesus. Actually, I have a very poor grasp of how Easter works, except for the part with the chickens that poop jelly beans.
Katie, appearing on a daytime talk show to promote a mini-series in which she was starring, explained the picture:
“Recently, I took her to get ice cream in New York at this place called Serendipity that we go to all the time,” she said. “It’s for kids. The clientele is children. We go in and we are waiting for a table and she grabs some gummies that are boy part gummies. I was horrified.”
“They are called p-e-n-i-s gummies and they look like it,” Holmes continued. “She was holding the box and I was like ok, wow we don’t need that right now. Because I thought if I said put that back and then she’s going to say, what is this? And I really didn’t want to have that conversation. I was like, why are selling these here? This is for kids. And then it was on the cover of a magazine that I’m giving her those gummies.”
Wow. That sounds a whole lot like a normal parenting moment. The kind that I’ve had a hundred times with my own children. And I can tell you that my own journey through motherhood would not have withstood such close examination.
I can only imagine what the headlines would read if Suri were to break her arm by falling out of a tree (daughter); try to curl her own hair but, instead, curl her cheek with a hot iron (daughter again); eat cat poop while playing in the back yard (son); color her entire body with sharpie (son again); or cut off all her own hair (yep, daughter).
And thank god there were no cameras around to see me lose my temper any number of times, pick a tantrum-throwing kid up off the ground by his/her belt loops, or parent from the toilet because every time I closed the bathroom door, chaos ensued. The door’s not soundproof, kids!
My point is this: Parenting is hit and miss. And not one of us who has chosen to do it is beyond reproach or without doubt about our abilities. You know the pot/kettle thing? Or the pointing/three fingers pointing back at you thing? Well, each one of us is living in a glass house and it seems our efforts would be better spent cleaning our own windows than gossiping about how dirty others’ are.
Besides, it’s probably best not to make Suri’s mom and dad mad. They’ve got the mysterious forces of Scientology on their side. And, even without the power of L. Ron, let’s face it — you might be able to tangle with the girl next door from Dawson’s Creek, but ain’t no way you can take on a cowboy like Maverick. He’s dangerous.