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April, 2011

  • One of Those Days

    Do you ever have those days where you wake up and already feel like the best thing to do is go back to sleep until tomorrow? Against your better judgment you get out of bed and slip on cat puke almost cracking open your skull. Maybe you hop to the bathroom to get a towel leaving a trail of barf droplets in your wake, clean off your feet and the floor, only to walk downstairs and step in cat puke again. Sigh.

    You would think the law of physics would say “Hey, that was funny. I got a kick out of that… time to move on.” But no. It never works that way. Chances are you will get in at least 3 fights, pour sour milk in your coffee, have trash juice leak on you while trying to take it out, get an evil text message, stub your toe, notice your underwear is dirty and have no clean pairs, your internet will be obnoxiously slow, rip off a hangnail that starts to bleed, send an embarrassing email to the wrong person, drop your phone in the toilette, and bite your inner cheek all before lunch.

    How come when things suck, they have to really suck?

    (This must have been a later vomit… considering the more watered down consistency)

    April 29, 2011 • 9-12 months, Musings • Views: 1826

  • Nobody Knows Nothing About Anything

    It was in the 8th grade when I started to feel like nobody knows anything about everything. I was in science class, learning about cell parts. The mitochondrion, the endoplasmic reticulum, the nucleus, blah blah blah, and the atom: the smallest part, directly translated as the uncuttable. But then people realized that there were subatomic parts, so the atom was divisible after all right? Hmmmm so I raised my hand and asked…

    “What about the space between the subatomic particles… the quarks? Isn’t that made up of something? And then what about the space between those things? What is that? No matter how small you go, isn’t there always some space between those things that also needs to be made up of stuff?”

    Later, while waiting to see the principal, I came to the conclusion that no really knows anything about anything, we just act like we do because it is more comforting that admitting we know nothing. There used to be 3 dimensions, now there are possibly 11, but who knows? Hey, lets go out for drinks.

    The more you learn, the more you realize that everything is not as it seems and it is all an illusion anyway. And I am not only taking about science, but all things. What is history besides some people’s account on a happening? And if 100 people all see the same event, you will still have 100 variations of what took place. How can there be any “facts” about anything? Yeah, maybe math is the universal language, but who remembers anything about math? “Good to see you! Let’s make a common denominator out of this interaction.”

    I believe Socrates expressed it best when he said… wait…or was it really Plato? Who knows? All I know is that one of those guys said that all he knew was that all he knew was nothing. So how to you go about teaching anything to your children with any confidence? Maybe life is not about the answers, but the questions? Maybe I should encourage The Munch to live an inquisitive life rather than a hubris existence of thinking she ever really knows anything for sure. Or maybe I will have the most annoying kid in the world who won’t stop asking “why…?”

    “Why do I have no clothes on, yet one sock?”

    April 28, 2011 • 9-12 months, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1908

  • The Hypocrisy of Being Green and Making Babies

    If you had one lice on your head, would you think it was a problem? How about two? Would you hunt them down and murder them, or just let them be? What about 10? Or 20? Or 200? What is the number of lice on your skull that you would tolerate before you dunked your head in toxic poison to kill them all? Sometimes I think that is how the earth feels about us. Even though I know over population is a serious threat to the environment, it is hard to come up with a solution without some sad stuff happening. I mean, I am not a mathematician or anything, but either more people have to die or less people have to be born.

    About a year ago, when I was pregnant, I saw
    this video

    I had to laugh at the irony of the moment, especially when I thought of my hybrid SUV in which I was planning to drive my baby home from the hospital. Life is such a quantum mass of contradictions. As much as I want to consider myself an environmentalist with my recycling system that would put Al Gore to shame, an organic farm that would make Michael Pollen kale-colored with envy, and guaranteeing I let every yellow mellow in the toilette, does my procreating negate all that? Is my producing another human to consume and create waste mean that I can no longer judge people for using Dawn or drinking from plastic water bottles?

    I now find myself second-guessing every environmental decision since I produced this little being of natural destruction. Take for instance diapers. Do you I use cloth diapers? But what about all the laundry? Think of all the children who die because they can’t get clean water… the same water I am washing my kids poo with. Okay, what about 7th generation diapers? They are okay, but if I use them while she sleeps, she wakes up covered in pee and I have to wash her outfit or ignore the comments at the grocery store that my baby smells like urine. So, what if I use Huggies just at night? Is that okay?

    Or toys. I don’t want her to have off-gassing toys made by babies in the developing world, so I should buy all new eco happy toys, right? But the price difference between a ruby ducky chew toy at Babies R Us, and a Sophie giraffe is $20. For a parent like me, I will get the deluxe French shi-shi option because of my belief that too many toys will condition you to be entitled. But what if you differ from my Marxist mommy style? What if you don’t have the money to afford $50 handmade letter blocks, painted with the nectar of butterfly tears collected from virgins in a local field?

    Now that I have a baby, I realize that every choice I make is a potential environmental catastrophe. How do I reconcile the fact that I am glad she is alive, but that every life is a budding threat to the health of the earth? I don’t want to live in denial, but feeling the guilt of creation rather than the beauty is exceedingly stressful. In order to sleep at night, I tell myself “it is not the number of people that is problematic, it is the way people are living…”

    April 27, 2011 • 9-12 months, Environmental Impact, Musings, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 1097

  • Oh! So That is Why You Were Being a Jerk

    You know when someone is being a jerk, and you basically want to say “Its cool if you are in a bad mood. But can you be in a bad mood not around me? It is kinda making me like you less.” Whether a friend or a total stranger, when exposed to someone’s ugly side it is much easier to focus on how that person sucks rather than why they suck.

    When you have a baby, you can’t exactly just take off if they are in a negative frame of mind. It is not exactly kosher to say “Hey… baby… why don’t you crawl that way into the woods and come back when you are more pleasant to be around.” Unlike an adult where you can make up an excuse for having to get the heck away from them, with your baby, you have to figure out what is going on.

    The other day, The Munch was being a jerk. She wouldn’t let me put her down, she didn’t care about the toys I dangled in front of her face, and she was grunting with a sense of urgency that made me feel like I had done copious amounts of cocaine. At first, I felt like “Wow… I think this baby is broken? Where can I return this thing?” But then I realized, “Wait… it is not like she is just jerk baby… something is going on!”

    So I went through the usual checklist of all the things that could be wrong and discovered that she was growing a new tooth! I just have to add here, that The Munch has 3 teeth that all seem to be sprouting in totally random places in her mouth. I am not sure if their placement will make more sense in time, because right now there seems to be no correlation to the normal constitution of where teeth are supposed to be. Or maybe she will end up having a smile sprinkled with sporadically placed teeth.

    I digress

    This moment with The Munch was like a grand epiphany about human nature. Everyone has a reason for why they suck, you just have to care enough about them to find out why. So the next time someone is being mean to you I suggest you first, pull out the back of their pants to see if there is a poo in there, rub their tummy counter-clockwise to get out any gas, see if they are bored with a nice game of peek-a-poo, or shove your finger in their mouth to see what is going on in there.

    “What? What did I do?”

    April 26, 2011 • 9-12 months, Baby Brain, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1147

  • Am I Exploiting My Baby?

    Sometimes I think about the magical place called the World Wide Web. I ponder the internet tubes, and the 100 bagillion gigabytes of memory that encases our modern collective conscious. I reflect on how we put ideas, images, information out into the cosmos of the computer, and then basically relinquish all control.

    Whether it’s emails that could be forwarded, Facebook profiles, twitter accounts, flickr, youtube, the content that you expel instantly transforms from private to public with a click of a button. It is one thing to expose yourself, but what about your children? Am I exploiting The Munch by blogging about her? Or more accurately, how do I morally reconcile this exploitation?

    What I tell myself so that I can sleep at night is that she inspires me. Watching a person develop has given me insight into thinking about the socialization of humanity. My human experience of raising a child connects me to every human that is either raising their own children, wants to someday have a child, or even thinks about their own childhood critically. I can only hope that what I write makes people laugh, or think for one moment out of their day, and isn’t that worth something meaningful?

    But I can’t help but wonder how The Munch is going to feel about my blogging about her. Is she going to be happy to have this chronicle of our life together and cherish it? Or is she going to deeply resent me and I am going to find myself trying to explain my motivations on the Maury Povich show? What if she becomes bitter and holds a grudge against me for writing about her poo? I can see it now, wearing all black, with fishnet stockings on her arms and dark blue lipstick covering a perpetual pout dangling a cigarette. I will be trying to potty train her, and she will be give me the finger and pee right on the rug. “Why don’t you write about that one mom!” And the sad thing is… I probably will.

    “Hey guess what mom… you’re exploiting me by writing about exploiting me. So screw you!”

    April 25, 2011 • 9-12 months, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1074

  • I Know The Secret of The Easter Bunnny!

    I am not the first person to wonder what a bunny laying eggs has to do with the resurrection of Christ… but I figured it out!

    There is the historical pagan context of the celebration of spring and the rebirth of crops. Like Jesus rising form the dead, life springs from the of winter. So I put on my Wiccan witch hat and thought until my head hurt about these bunnies and eggs and what the cultural significance is.

    The bunny represents fertility. You know the expression to “screw like rabbits…” the bunny is an iconic figure to honor mother nature.

    Now the egg had me stumped… but then I thought of that saying “what comes first, the chicken or the egg?” Anyone who thinks about that question for too long will have a spiritual experience. How did life come from nothing? How can an egg exist without a chicken laying it, and how can a chicken exist if it didn’t come from an egg?

    So there you have it… no matter what you religion, lets be inspired by those bunnies and get busy while contemplating the grand mystery of life!

    “Wait… so the egg came first, because you wouldn’t be on my leg if you didn’t hatch from this egg in my hand… but the egg in my hand wouldn’t be in my hand if it wasn’t created by this chicken on my leg???”

    April 24, 2011 • 9-12 months, Musings • Views: 1043

  • You Don’t Get Sick Of Your Own Kid (Like You Do Other People’s)

    You know those types of people who just LOVE kids. They say things like “the light of the world is in a child’s eyes and there is nothing more inspiring then their laughter. Hearing the joy of children makes my heart sore with a sense of unfathomable happiness and wonder.” Yeah… so… I am not one of those people.

    Before having a baby, I regarded kids as mini-humans that I judged just as harshly. I often found myself thinking some kid was a little jerk. Maybe they were just being a kid, but I couldn’t help myself from being critical. Of course, like how I handle being around most people, I made sure they thought I liked them…. I am not a sociopath … I am just saying, other people’s kids could definitely annoy me.

    The funny thing is, they didn’t even have to be bad kids to get on my nerves. One time when I was pregnant I went with one of my friends to get a tattoo. She had a 6-month old son, and my job was to hold him for two hours while she got work done. Mind you, he was a very nice baby. He didn’t cry, he didn’t bite, he just wiggled and squirmed and looked around. Still, when my friend was done, I basically tossed her kid at her and wondered how bad it was *really* to drink a bottle of wine while pregnant.

    I remember thinking to myself “Holy crap… I am going to be squeezing one of these puppies out soon, and I am not even sure if I like babies!” And then I remember thinking “You know what would be really good right now? A hot dog.” (Of course I am exaggerating… it was an organic turkey dog…)

    Despite my fears that and bad attitude, I have yet to get sick of The Munch. Even if she is being a little jerk, I love her so much that I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, I still judge other little kids like there are on American Idol, I haven’t evolved that much yet… But maybe it is impossible for me to get sick of her because she reminds me so much of me ;o)

    April 22, 2011 • 9-12 months, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1172

  • How Protective is Over-Protective?

    Before having a baby, I used to get viscerally annoyed at parents who would say the classic “Careful…Careful… Timmy, get down from there right now or you are going to fall!” Or “Don’t do that Chip it’s dangerous. Get that out of your nose this instant.” I couldn’t understand why they didn’t just let the kid be a kid. Kids hurt themselves. Big deal right?


    You see my contempt was because I saw concern as over-protective. For all I cared, someone else’s kids could play paddy-cake with bear cubs if their parents would keep their mouths shut and not tell them to “Watch out for the mama bear.” Not because I wanted them to get injured, but I hated hearing the caution. In my childless world-view, I thought the priority was the experience of life, and if you get hurt then so be it… just a part of the learning process. They were not my kids. I wasn’t going to have to deal with the repercussions. I was just going to keep living my life.

    But now I get it.

    You don’t want your kid to get hurt, because it is you who is going to be affected by the consequences. Of course there is the altruistic part of any parent that loves their child and does not want to see them suffer… but there is also another side. A side that says “OMG, I seriously do now want to deal with my kid’s broken arm, and getting string cheese lodged in his cast to rot for the next 6 weeks.”

    Part of me still believes that kids have to hurt themselves, and it is a small price to pay for an adventurous childhood… but that same part of me now sees this as a theory, like communism, or the Gluten Free/Sugar Free diet. A good idea, but who wants to live that way.

    In a way, when I think back to my own childhood, I have to say, either my mom transcended this afore mentioned selfish propensity, or she is just pleasantly out of it. Here are just a few examples of “safety” according to my mom…

    Example 1: (Actual Quote) “I don’t know that much about car seats Toni… you just sat in my lap in the front seat while I nursed you.”

    Example 2: (Actual Quote) “In those days we didn’t know smoking a pack a day of Marlborough Red’s while pregnant was bad for you…”

    Example 3 (Actual Quote) “Why don’t you and you and your brother hop in the back of the pick up truck.”

    Example 2 (Actual Quote) “Toni, driving your children around is a republican thing to do. Why don’t you just bike there? It is only 20 miles that way. You just take a left, a right, a right, a left, a left, and then a right. You will find it. If you get lost, just ask a stranger.”

    (Can’t be too safe in the bath)

    (Watch out for those pillows!)

    April 21, 2011 • 9-12 months, Baby Body, Baby Gear, Baby Products, Parenting • Views: 5580

  • Maternal Instincts Make Me Want To Throw/Protect Her

    I think that the mother instinct comes from the fact that the baby lives inside you for so long. Kind of like my tummy instinct, where I know when I am hungry, or my colon instinct where I know when I have to… well, you get the point. When something is going on inside your body, you usually have some connection to it.

    Here is an example of what I think to be the acute nature of my maternal instinct. Picture me in the kitchen… I have to put The Munch down so I can do things like use knives, or take a bite of ice cream without her pulling the spoon out of my mouth. So I got into this habit of putting her in this laundry basket that I had sitting on top of a chest. This was cleverly called “baby in a basket” time.

    This ritual had been going on for about two months, when one day, as I was sitting reading an important article on Lindsay Lohan, I noticed The Munch leaning over the basket to look for a toy she had just dropped. I thought to myself “Hmmmm I see potential disaster here. She could probably tip that thing over, and then fall out of the basket, and off the chest onto the hard kitchen floor!” So I put the basket on the floor, and within minutes, she dropped another toy, leaned over to look at it, and the basket poured over, depositing her into the dog bowl of water.

    Since the basket was on the floor, this was really not big deal, but had I not moved it, I think The Munch would repeat this memory to her first boyfriend explaining why she not only has trust issues, but also an intense fear of heights. As such, I would like to think that my mother instinct kicked into over drive, and helped me to protect her. In this instance, my mother instinct was positive.

    But what about when my maternal instinct makes me say “go fuck yourself” when she wakes me up at 5am ready to start the day? Or when my motherly instincts want to throw her like a football when she won’t go to bed? Maybe the important thing about connecting to your instincts is distinguishing which ones are your “Mommy Dearest” inclinations, and which ones are your “Marry Poppins” ones.

    April 20, 2011 • 9-12 months, Mommy Mind, Parenting • Views: 1617