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August, 2011

  • We Are Mirrors To The Universe (Sort Of)

    The thing about being a human is that you have your own will. That is fine and dandy if you are responsible for making those desires manifest on your own, but with a baby human their personal will is a real pain in the ass. When they are infants their needs are simple. “Feed me, get this shit out of my pants, burp me, I have to fart, and put me to sleep now.” But as they get older and begin to have a more complex understanding of the world, their needs mature and multiply respectively. “Give me your phone, I want what you are eating, I want to flush the toilette repeatedly, I don’t want to eat that, don’t look at Facebook.”

    In learning how to understand this new toddler phase of The Munch’s development, I started to read “Happiest Toddler on the Block” because if my baby isn’t happier than everyone else’s I am going to punish her and she will be sorry.

    In this book Dr. Karp talks about how toddlers are like cavemen and should be treated and talked to as such. Like our ancient brethren, they are mostly controlled by the right brain and are highly emotional as a consequence. He goes on to say that we cannot treat toddlers like mini adults, or even mini children, because they lack the brain capacity to process information in a way that is more “civilized” and “reasonable.”

    This got me thinking about how the growth of a human from conception to adulthood mimics the evolution of all species on this planet.

    Think about it. We begin as a single cell organism, then we become a tadpole like thing, then we turn into a fish-like early fetus, then we grow a tail and become sort of reptilian, then we are born and take our first breath of air and are mammals, then we start to crawl around like a chimpanzee monkey type, then we walk around grunting and pointing like an early human hybrid Australopithecus Africanus, then we become kids and are like a Neanderthal, then we are teenagers which is the missing link part of evolution, then finally we evolve into Homo Sapiens as adults.

    Isn’t that so profound? I don’t know if it comes off as deep as it does in my own internal monologue but it made me feel like we really are children of the stars.

    August 31, 2011 • 1 year old, Behavior, Disciplining, Musings, Parenting • Views: 999

  • Always Have Something To Complain About

    I can’t stand people who complain. I find complaining so annoying. When I hear people complain it makes me agitated, and I hate feeling that way because I get anxious and that stresses me out. People who complain have no regard for other people and that really bothers me. I for one am polite enough not to complain, and would never write excessively in a complaining voice.

    But ever since I had The Munch, any time someone asks me the classic conversational lubricant “how are you?” all my answers sound like I am complaining!


    “How Are you Toni?”


    “Oh, I am just really tired because The Munch was up every 15 minutes all night… This is her second night in a row doing that, and I am not exaggerating because I counted 20 times waking up between 12am and 6am and if you do the math…which I am too tired to do… it is definitely about every 15 minutes. Did you know that is a form of torture? That is how the treat POWs, by waking them up just as they fall asleep. It can seriously drive you insane. So how are you?


    “Well, not the best. I have a breast-infection, which is basically a clogged milk duct, not like a gross festering nipple or anything but you are welcome for the visual. Gives me a super high fever and headache that lasts for about 40 hours. Pretty much feel like I am going to die. How about yourself?


    “Sigh, The Munch is teething so she is in a crap mood and has been biting me. Some bites are worse than others, the ultimate painful one is when I am breast feeding. Really gets me off guard you now? What’s up with you?”

    I am sure anyone who has made the mistake of asking me how I am spends the whole time I am talking asking themselves “why can’t she just say ‘fine’ like a normal person?”

    Stupid Sunset

    August 30, 2011 • 1 year old, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1134

  • Emotional Terrorist

    Sometimes I wonder if my baby is an emotional terrorist.

    I have this daily responsibility of feeding her right? The goal of which is for her to put food in her mouth, masticate on it, swallow it, digest it, and survive another day. Part of my ensuring her continuation of life is this “feeding” process, so you think she would cooperate with it.


    Every time she picks up a piece of food she brings it towards her mouth like she is going to eat it, but half the time she puts it in her mouth and half the time she throws it on the floor. There is no discernable pattern to this behavior so I can never anticipate what she is going to do only furthering my emotional mania.

    I have tried every strategy of manipulation short of bribery, and that is only because she doesn’t get the idea of materialism and puts money in her mouth, which is seriously gross. The Munch just looks me dead in the eye and throws her food on the floor. Her face is so defiant I fluctuate between wanting to punch her in the throat and laughing hysterically.

    I got so frustrated the other day I took The Munch out of her chair before she was done eating and put her on the floor to see the mess she had made.

    “Okay kid… why don’t you just feel the pains of hunger if you are going to throw your food and think of all the starving children out there in the world.”

    But she kept coming up to me and pointing towards the food and grunting urgently like she was famished. I started to feel guilty denying her, so I gave her a piece of what I was eating and she put it to her mouth like she was going to eat, it and then instead of throwing it on the floor, she threw it up on the table.

    “What are you going to do about it?”

    Wouldn’t this drive you nuts??

    August 29, 2011 • 1 year old, Disciplining, Eating, Parenting • Views: 1184

  • Childhood Friends

    Do you ever feel as an adult you are more opportunist about the friends you make? That you tend to gravitate towards people who can help you further your career, are also parents, or have the most potent weed? That you have more of an agenda with the company you keep then you did when you were a kid?

    That is why childhood friends are so exceptional. You didn’t care how much money they had, if their father was an ambassador, or that they were a little bit worse looking therefor making you better looking by comparison. My childhood criteria for friendship was do you jump rope, like roller skating, enjoy making cookies, watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and have an affinity for fruit roll-ups. Throw in the capacity to touch the tip of your tongue to your nose and I was in love.

    Do you notice how with your childhood friends, you can go without seeing them for years and yet when you do come together it is like you were never apart? No awkward small talk about your wheat allergy, and instead can plunge right into why you hate yourself in the morning and how to get rid of those pesky pumps on the back of your arms and ass.

    And isn’t there so much laughter in remembering you childhood with someone? So much comfort in allowing them to bring out the person you once were when all you cared about was perfecting your cartwheel and who could hold their breath the longest under water. I wish someone would want to be my friends just because my sneakers lit up and I had a puppy.

    The Munch and one of my childhood besties Bizba!

    August 26, 2011 • 1 year old, Musings • Views: 1155

  • Why Do You Want To Give My Baby Cancer?

    I know this might sound overbearing, but I really want to keep my baby alive. I don’t know, call it mammalian maternal instinct or the fact that I think eating her would be too many empty calories, but my plan is for The Munch to keep living.

    So when my friend sent me this article about toxic car seats that cause neurodevelopmental toxicity, learning disabilities, liver damage and cancer, I thought to myself… WTF????!!!!! Why are they putting arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in car seats for babies??? Babies sit in those things???!! Babies that we are trying to protect from car accidents!! Who thought it would be a good idea to coat a car seat in cancer causing chemicals???? It makes me feel like I should be like Brittany Spears and just drive with The Munch on my lap!

    What is wrong with the world?

    Part of me is totally resigned at times and thinks “Well, everything causes cancer Munch, here, play with my cell phone if it means you will shut your pie hole for a minute…” but the other part of me says that this is totally wack! Why do we put known poisonous chemicals in products and then expose them to our children?

    Do we really need crayons that say “non toxic” on them? What is that supposed to mean? That there are toxic crayons I could buy instead? Sign me up! Think of all the BPA free plastics for kids now too. If BPA causes deathly diseases keep it in that bottle for sure! My baby is only going to be sucking on it. In fact, why don’t you give her a skin transplant of pure parabens and then scrub her till she bleeds with sodium laurel phosphate. Yes!!!!!!!

    This is like a baby Thelma and Louise in car seats!

    August 25, 2011 • 1 year old, Baby Gear, Environmental Impact, Health • Views: 1405

  • Reading Rainbow

    I remember once sitting on the train while I was living in New York City, and this Japanese girl was looking at a card across from me. On the front of the card were all these Japanese characters, and I noticed she was looking at it for what seemed to me an absurdly long time. I kept thinking, “Why doesn’t she just open the card and read it?” But then I realized something… She was still reading the front of the card!!!! For me the Japanese characters were just pretty pictures to glance over, but to her they were actual letters that formed words for her to read! Nuts!

    When you think about how much reading is a part of our modern western culture it is hard to believe that for most of human history very few people were educated enough to read and write. Girls in particular were rarely taught these skills and instead learned the oh so important tasks of sewing, weaving, churning butter, and giving blow jobs. What!? Where did that come from?

    Being able to read empowers you in so many ways. Not only does reading allow you a sense of freedom to manipulate and maneuver in the world, but it also empowers you to take control of your own education. Think of the difference of being totally dependent on other people to learn from, and the independence of reading something yourself and having the capacity to determine its meaning from your own subjective analysis.

    Socrates, however, was very much against the written word because he believed that too much was left for misinterpretation. The author cannot defend their points to the reader, and there is a danger to how people can bastardize what they read. For Socrates, dialogue was the supreme form to pursue knowledge and philosophy for it honors the quest of questioning rather than the concretization of thought through writing. But would we even have known any of what Socrates had thought if Plato hadn’t written it all down? And what if your community is full of douchebags and the most intellectual stimulus you have is through what you can expose yourself to through reading?

    So considering the complexity of reading vs dialogue, I figure the best practice for me to engage The Munch in both is to read to her and then talk about what we just read. This is the problem I have encountered thus far, however. The Munch is a freaking baby and reading to her is retarded. Although she seems to enjoy it, she turns the pages too fast, flips around from the front to the back, closes the book, and then re-opens it in the wrong place. Not to mention the fact that children’s books are boring and repetitive as fuck, and when I try to talk about what the brown bear saw all she says is “ball… ball….ball…”

    August 24, 2011 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Education, Parenting • Views: 1161

  • Actually, Can You Say That Behind My Back?

    Why do we have the compulsion to tell each other why we don’t like each other? Don’t you feel like you hear more about what people don’t like about you than what they do? Especially in an intimate relationship with a lover or close friend… aren’t you always reminding each other of the problems rather than the love?

    “You NEVER clean up after yourself…. It is so annoying…”
    “Well you ALWAYS nag and bitch about everything, and that is so annoying…”
    “Yeah… maybe because I am FOREVER picking up the pieces of your broken life…”
    “That is because you are INCAPABLE of facing yourself and dealing with your own problems so you use me as a distraction.’
    “Oh… really… well you suck…”
    “No… YOU SUCK.”

    All the little things that makes us mad about each other are just microcosms of larger issues, so why do we bother sweating the small stuff? If you are not willing to address the root cause of the problem, then why not let the miner things go? And there is a big difference between expecting someone to change who they are, and wanting them to change their behavior towards you. It is much more likely someone can evolve in terms of how they treat you, than expecting them to personally transform over night. Besides, people are more likely to change their behavior through observing how you treat them rather than forcing them to be different.

    And can you ever really change another person by making them feel bad about them selves and verbally attacking them? What are we doing when we point out another person’s faults? Is it about controlling them? Trying to control not only how they act but how they feel about you as well? I for one don’t have a problem with being controlling so these questions are just rhetorical. Wait… stop reading my blog so fast… slow down… not that much, now you aren’t going to get the cadence… just a little slower… No faster than that…. Not that much…

    “Yeah… why don’t you just say that behind my back…thanks…”

    August 23, 2011 • 1 year old, Musings • Views: 1104

  • Existential Crisis

    The other morning The Munch had a total existential crisis. Sort of like a total eclipse of the heart, but more philosophical.

    Usually, we both kind of do our own thing around the house. She plays with her elephant on the stairs, and I play with my blocks on the floor. If I leave the room she doesn’t care, and will often spend her time walking from room to room by herself. But this particular morning, every time I left her site she was overwhelmed with grief. She would fold into herself and cry on the floor with the most intense despair I have ever seen.

    I think she is starting to realize that she and I are not the same person, but actually two different humans.

    When you think about it, this is a traumatizing epiphany to have. There was a time when we were one. For 9 months we were connected by an umbilical cord sharing the same blood, but then I shoot her out of my vag, the cord is cut, and we are two. But she doesn’t have to feel the reality of being her own person as a young infant. She was still feeding off me, still attached to me, and still pretty clueless. For the majority of her life she couldn’t even move from place to place if it wasn’t for me carrying her. She would just lay there waiting for the world to come to her.

    In fact I was her world! As far as she was concerned I was her and she was me. Every time I would stand in the mirror with The Munch, she would just look at me. I was the only one she recognized.

    But now that she is moving and exploring her own independent will, I think it is becoming obvious to her that she is an individual. WHAT A HORRIFING REALITY! I could see in her face the deep sadness of realizing that she was totally alone in the world.

    As she sat there and cried I tried to comfort her…

    “Munch… it is okay…. You are your own person, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. There are so many people who are going to love you. But yes, they will never totally be a part of you, so you are still alone in that respect. And no, they will never completely understand you either, which will make you feel really lonely at times. But I love you… and I will always be with you… well, until I die. But I will be with you in spirit… right? And just think you will have a baby and then you will be two again! But then you will give birth and you will be one again. But then you will have a sweet baby to love like I have you! But then they will grow up and leave and live their own life and then you will be alone. But you will always have your friends and your loves. But they will sometimes be super jerks and you will feel alone again.”

    Needless to say, I didn’t really make her feel better…

    “Hello? Is anybody out there?”

    August 19, 2011 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Musings • Views: 1169

  • I Am A Loner Dottie, A Rebel

    Do you remember when you were a kid and would want a friend to come over? You would have your mom call their mom and make all the arrangements. Wouldn’t that be rad if we still operated like that?

    “Mom? Can you call my Susie’s Mom and ask if she wants to go out dancing at the club tonight?”

    Since The Munch still only speaks in Muncheese… I have to organize all her play dates myself. Well, actually, these “play dates” are mostly just me hanging out with my friends who also happen to have babies, and consists primarily of my favorite activity of talking about me. No I am just joking… we are mostly talking shit about you behind your back.

    I like to have baby extravaganzas where a few babies come over. My thinking is that all the babies would interact and The Munch would have the best time telling them about her toes, where her nose is, and how the best way to get off the couch is by sliding down on your tummy. But the reality is that babies don’t really play together. They play around each other.

    But sometimes one baby will start to engage another and you can see how these future humans will be one day be socializing. Some babies are the aggressors, some like to follow others around, some wait to be pursued and then play hard to get. Sure there is a lot of hitting, drooling, pushing over, and bumping into involved… but my point is, there is an effort.

    The Munch on the other hand is such a loner! Every time a baby comes near her she gives them the stink eye and turns her back to them. She is like a lone wolf pacing the perimeter. If I didn’t know better, I would say she thinks she is too good to be hanging out with other babies. Maybe because being around babies is just so drastically different than what it is like to spend the day with me. For instance, yesterday I tried to climb the stairs but got stuck on the first one so cried, I ate a banana too fast so puked it out and then rubbed the vomit in my hair, I found my eyes then found the eyes on my bear then poked the bear’s eyes then poked my own, I put some rocks in my mouth, I poured the dog bowel of water on the floor then slipped and cried, I whispered to myself as I took all the books out of the book shelf, I laughed at a spoon then threw it on the floor then cried that I couldn’t reach it, and then I shat my pants. See the difference? Must be total culture shock for her.

    “Ummmm yeah… these are my blueberries…”

    The only way to take a picture of all four of the babies was to quarantine them

    August 18, 2011 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1189