The most interesting part, to me, revolved around how much leeway Woody Allen was given from everyone because he was--an oddball, a loner, a dedicated anti-kid eccentric, the beloved New York auteur. "He's not behaving like a parent, but no surprise there!"
I understand some of that. My parents were separated before I was born so I never knew my non-custodial father in the way of "dad as furniture." He picked me up for dinner twice a week and we interacted, damn it, whether I felt like it or (I realize now) whether he felt like it. An only child himself, he didn't have the first idea how dads traditionally interact with their kids. We had steaks and talked. Then we watched Mannix and he drove me home.
But trust me on this: he never gave me any instructions on how to wrap my tongue around his thumb.
That was the moment Dylan sealed the deal for me. What a horror for her. And then to possibly overhear herself described as "being soothed" by that extremely unnatural activity? I'm proud of her for being able to stand up and walk around like a regular person.
So I know a little about that, and I don't know a thing about this, but these reports of Mia Farrow as a "distant parent" don't mesh for me with the ridiculous amount of home video footage that exists of all those kids.