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January, 2012

  • Human Drama

    I admit it. I am totally intrigued by human drama. I get sucked into reality television like Jersey Shore, I will watch Kim Kardashian’s marriage disintegrate on the E channel, I read star magazine and delight that half of Hollywood is getting divorced. The disturbing part is that I have a thought out opinion about every situation I come across. I don’t even know these people but am fully committed to my convictions of how I dissect their lives and will talk to you about it for an unnerving amount of time if you let me.

    I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way, but I am alone in thinking the missing link in human evolution is aliens.

    People who put their lives on display for public review become an archetypal character that I relate to my own life. Every broadcasted figure can remind me of myself, or friend, or co-worker, or that cute couple I had that threesome with back in the 60’s. The dramatics that are played out in the media can serve as a guide to understanding the human spectacle around me.

    I feel like I attract people who have really complex lives because I am enthralled with the magnitude of emotional impulses that goes along with the intricacy. Maybe that is because without the commotion of those that I love, my emotional state is too level? I never pick fights, I avoid conflict, I hardly get into a bad mood, I am a consistent friend, and I will only cry if someone is being mean to me.

    Maybe that is why The Munch is a drama empress from another dimension of theatrics? She will surf through an array of feelings at any given moment while I do my best to paddle through the wake of her sentiments. I am beginning to think that all the time I thought I was wasting getting involved in pop culture was actually important research for how to best parent my little thespian.

    “I am not doing another scene until someone does my hair and make-up”

    January 31, 2012 • 1 year old, Behavior, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1238

  • Munchee See Munchee Do

    It is so easy to tell someone what to do, but it is not easy to act like you want them to act. There is on old saying that goes “Do as I say, or I will punch you in the genitals and stab up your nose…” but I maybe have the first part wrong. Point is that people are often more influenced by your behavior then your words.

    The Munch is officially imitating me so much that it is both hilarious and disturbing. She will see me doing something one morning, and the next morning she will do the exact same thing. I have to be like “Munch, you don’t have a pimple on your chin! Stop trying to pop it!” Or pretend that when she says “Mama farts” over and over again at the grocery store what she is really saying is “Mama cart.” Yes, yes, Munch, that is Mama’s shopping cart. Very smart.

    It is making me realize how important it is to become the person I want her to see, rather than hoping she doesn’t notice my less then desirable traits. Where this is played out most is how The Munch treats her baby doll. She will put her baby to sleep like I put The Munch to sleep, she will check to see if the baby made poops, she will encourage her baby doll to eat peas, she will ignore her baby while she talks on the phone, and she will play the same singing games with her baby as I do with her. She is not only noticing my everyday behavior, but also how I am mothering.

    Considering how many of my unconscious actions are becoming part of her conscious personality, I really want to be aware of how I am shaping The Munch. No wonder why they say “parenting is the greatest responsibility.” But I guess they also say that “imitation is the highest form…” so what do these people know anyway because you obviously get way higher downing 4 Vicodin with Jack Daniel’s and injecting crystal meth directly into your brain.

    January 30, 2012 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Parenting • Views: 1038

  • My Brain Is Full

    Sometimes I feel like my brain is full. As if it has reached its capacity for information that can be processed in a day. I swear I can almost here a “ding” at which point I know my satiation levels have been maxed out, and any content attempting to penetrate my operating system will ultimately be rejected by my memory bank. Have I also mentioned I have been spending too much time in front of a computer.

    Before having a baby I had to think about my basic needs, my work requirements, my social obligations, and if I looked hot in high-wasted jeans. Then I squirted this infant out and I had to start thinking about her all the time. Dealing with a baby who is 100,000,000,000,000,000,007% dependent on you means that you have to think of their every need because they are still too lazy to. Have they eaten, do they need to sleep, are they still wearing their pajamas, are they teething, are they sick, do they have everything they need in their diaper bag, do I have a change of clothes for when the puke grape jelly on their shirt, are they sitting in ass vomit? You have a checklist of 45 things just to leave the house, and by the time you get them in the car seat you have to go back inside and put them to bed because it is nighttime.

    Now that I am working again I have so much on my mind I think my brain is going to detonate. Just remembering that I have things to remember is a challenge so complex I have to write “remember to remember” on my hand.

    “I totally see where you are coming from Mom. I have so much to think about with my baby doll’s needs, like have I dipped her head in the toilet today, if I poked her eyes enough times, whether or not I dropped her down the stairs… things of this nature.”

    January 27, 2012 • 1 year old, Mommy Mind, Musings, Working Mommy • Views: 1306

  • No One Likes To Be Told What To Do

    The key do getting someone to do what you want, is making them feel like it is their idea. No one likes to be told what to do unless you are craving a dominant lover. Human nature tends to rebel against supreme authority even though we desire boundaries.

    There is a complex relationship between subordination and revolt, which is played out in the famous Milgram experiment. The experiment is one that looks into blind obedience and how far someone will go when told what to do by an authority figure. The logistics consist of a scientist telling a participant to administer an electric shock to another participant every time they get an answer wrong. The person being shocked however is an actor and is just pretending to be physically suffering. The person administering the shock thinks the other person is actually being shocked, and the experiment showed that 60% of men would literally shock someone to death if the man in the white coat encouraged him to keep shocking.

    People often interpret this to mean that people will do the most atrocious things because they were ordered to by an authority figure, but that is not accurate. The scientist had four prompts they would say in order to get the “shocker” to continue shocking. Meaning most people would get rather disturbed by the experiment and want to stop, but would keep going because they were encouraged. The first three prompts would embolden them to continue because this is what the experiment called for, but the last prompt was “You have no choice, you must continue.” 100% of the people refused to continue once they were told they had no choice!

    So technically the participants shocking the shit out of some stranger considered themselves active participants in the greater good of science. It wasn’t just about authority telling them what to do, but that they were contributing to a greater cause. They didn’t see themselves as passive and their decisions were fully their own. But once they were told “they had no choice” they had absolutely no interest in continuing.

    Every time I try and take something from The Munch she has a fit worthy of a reality TV show, but if I just ask her for what she has she will give it to me within seconds. I am getting the same result; her giving me what I want, but when I ask she is an empowered participant in the process and thinks giving it to me is actually her idea.

    “Munch, can I have my phone back?”

    “Here is your phone!”

    January 26, 2012 • 1 year old, Behavior, Disciplining, Parenting • Views: 2572

  • Your Kid Is a Jerk!

    Sometimes you meet a kid that is a total jerk. This is a perilous predicament to be in that must be handled with the care of cupping testicles. You can’t treat the kid like a jerk because then you look like the jerk. You have to smile politely and pretend to understand that they are just being kids and don’t know any better, even though you know that this little jerk does know better and is just being a jerk. If you were to bend down, grab their little jerk face, and look them in the eye to say “I will skin you alive and feed your flesh to Satan if you do that again” it would probably be frowned upon.

    I encountered one of these little jerk kids at baby gymnastics the other day. The Munch had climbed up onto a platform and was walking between two beams when this little kid got on the same contraption from the other direction. I assumed this kid wasn’t a total psychopath and expected they would figure out how to get around each other… but then this kid charged at The Munch and pushed her over the ledge so she fell off the two-foot drop!

    “Oh my I am so sorry!!”

    The other mother seemed super embarrassed so I didn’t want to make her feel like crap.

    “Don’t worry! It is fine. She falls off things all the time like that. Nothing to fret about. It is just a scratch, bruise, and her eyeball is slightly bleeding. It is nothing really! She cries hysterically when she is having fun!”

    “I feel terrible. I don’t want to be that mom that no one wants to hang out with because their kid is so aggressive.”

    “No….. No… don’t be silly.”

    Crap… you are that mom… I never want to hang out with you.

    “I don’t know where he gets it. He is really violent with me and other kids. Especially with girls.”

    Well you have got yourself a winner there!

    “I am sure it is just that he doesn’t know his own strength. It was nothing malicious.”

    I did my best to lie to this woman’s face because I didn’t want to stress her out. I know that kids can be rough and I have never felt concern about it. The Munch has lots of boy friends that push, hit, grab hair, poke, but you could tell their intention was rooted in curiosity. Boys can be more physically intense, but I think that is because they have a higher tolerance in dealing with aggression so they don’t see the problem with being rough. But I am telling you this kid was demented and he had it out for The Munch. For the rest of gymnastics he would literally try and shove her off of anything she tried to climb on, as his mother did her best to deter him. I forced a serene face and acted like everything was normal, but this week we are going to work on some Karate moves so she is more prepared for next time!

    “Okay Munch, lets do 70 more reps then get you back on the Pilates machine to strengthen your core!”

    January 25, 2012 • 1 year old, Adventures, Behavior, Disciplining, Parenting • Views: 1796

  • The Key To Happiness is Getting What You Want

    The key to happiness is getting what you want. Maybe that is a bold statement, but so is this. I would have more friends if my skin tasted like glazed doughnuts and wine spewed from my nipples.

    The way I came to this worldview was observing how The Munch has drastically changed since being able to say words that describe what she wants. I think much of the torture of being a toddler is knowing what you want, but not being able to express it. That is why babies so blissful. They don’t know enough to know they want anything, or perhaps more accurately they know enough to know they don’t need anything.

    When The Munch turned 1 and started to truly become aware of the world, her overall mood went in the shitter. She was like hanging out with a sociopath and would go from such extremes of emotion I thought that maybe she was broken and I should send her back to the baby factory.

    Being critical about yourself is not an easy thing, but being critical about your baby is even harder… mostly because they have no problem biting if they don’t like your assessment. Maybe because I am overly analytical of myself, or maybe I am too judgmental of mothers who refuse to see any flaws in their kids, but I spend a fair amount of time scrutinizing The Munch and her behavior. I started to fear that maybe she was turning into a needy whiny child and I was freaking out! Although I wanted to blame her exclusively, I had to look at myself and question if I was reinforcing this behavior. It was a hard call, because you want to hug your child when they cry, but you also don’t want them to have a total fit because you turned the bath water off. Dude… there is a shortage of water in the world! Get it together.

    Just as I was thinking that maybe this whole parenting thing was overrated, The Munch got a high fever and then everything changed. Fevers are a moment of renewal in a young child’s life where the burn off the old. She started saying new words every day and even some sentences! She realized she was able to communicate what she wants and became elated. Since then she has been in the best mood ever! Phew!! I think I am going to keep her after all.

    January 24, 2012 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1071

  • Emotionally Exhausted

    Besides air humping a ghost, nothing is more tiring then being around a group of people you are trying to impress. After today I am so emotionally exhausted that I might as well see if The Munch’s diapers fit me so I can sit in my own feces and drool for the next 39 hours. It is the kind of day where you are not only vulnerable but also feel defensive, leaving your in a prime position to get into a fight until you end the night crying and listening to The Cure while plucking your armpit hair to feel the pain your heart is clogged with.

    This weekend I went to Boston to attend a Bridal show so I could showcase my new business and hopefully get some clients. Of course every other business had booths with such impressive setups I was not only intimidated, but also convinced to buy a tuxedo and hire a DJ for next weekend as I clean the kitchen and finish knitting those socks I have been working on.

    Thank the universe my sister in law Lizzie came with me so I could look like a hang out with girls that where Burberry scarves and know what linens look best with off white, pale white, pearl, and eggshell. Although we didn’t encounter any Bridezillas, I did come to realize that under neon lights everyone looks jaundice, and I met a few too many girls who made me feel like I should straighten my hair and lose weight in my face.

    “You know, I think I will hire a photographer to capture the magic moment of cleaning up toys. Glad I ran into this booth!”

    January 23, 2012 • 1 year old, 1st time for everything, Adventures, Musings • Views: 1151

  • Alpha Personalities

    If you get a bunch of dogs together the first thing that happens is figuring out who is the dominant alpha personality. Some sort of physical altercation and energetic display of aggression usually accomplishes this. Once dominance is established, the animals can continue to enjoy life. Alpha / beta tendencies morph around different groupings, and things get really exciting if you get two alpha personalities together to battle out who is the supreme ultimate alpha. Thinking of all this makes me think of humans and alpha / beta personalities, mostly because I greet all my friends my sniffing their ass and genitals.

    Think about all the people you know and I bet within seconds you can determine if they are an alpha or beta. It is such an obvious yet also subtle judgment call, but every person is one or the other. I am sure if you think about yourself you can see how being the alpha or beta has deeply influenced how you relate to the people in your life. In intimate relationships there is always someone who “wears the pants” in the relationship and that is usually the alpha. In romantic relationships these undercurrents of power and control really get played out, and if you are the one in your underwear it is hard to switch things around.

    Unlike dogs, human dominance will most likely be conveyed by some sort of psychological warfare rather than a physical attack, much like you either have a passive aggressive or outright aggressive approach towards relating to people. It is okay… I don’t care if you think I have a point, it doesn’t matter anyway, I was just saying, but no pressure to agree, I am just going to go in the corner and cry blood.

    This animalistic tendency is played out in almost every relationship we have ranging from work, to family, to friends, to lovers, to people you read online because I want you to know that you are not better than me and I am the boss okay? OKAY!!

    “I am the alpha between you and me mom… sucker…”

    January 20, 2012 • 1 year old, Behavior, Musings • Views: 1174

  • Same Sex Education

    I always went to a coed school so I never put much thought into same sex education. I don’t remember if learning with boys impacted my confidence levels or comfortability, but I do recall the distraction. We were always asking each other who we “liked” or “like liked,” my fashion choices were predicated on what would make me most attractive, and popularity was definitely determined by how much the boys were interested in you.

    Although The Munch is far from the age of going to school, today in mommy/baby play group she was exclusively around girls for the first time in her life! The social dynamic between the girls was drastically different from when the boys were there, and The Much was infinitely more explorative than usual. It was fascinating to watch how the girls’ personalities were exaggerated because in the presence of boys they seem more observational than participatory.

    Seeing this obvious shift of personality in The Munch left me feeling conflicted. On the one hand we don’t live in single sex world, and The Munch is going to have to learn to negotiate through life with men. But at the same time, building a foundation in an environment that is same sex might establish a substantive unique assurance and sense of freedom that she would otherwise lack.

    There is an intimidation factor in the school atmosphere when you are competing with boys for the attention from teachers. Boys are often more vocal and willing to express an idea even if they are unsure if it is correct, where girls usually only speak up when they think they are right. Then there is also the issue of obsession. I have wasted a lot of time in my life thinking about boys, stressing out about boys, wondering about boys, and maybe the constant exposure only exacerbated this human tendency. I am sure that at an all girls school boys are often on the mind, but they are not so intertwined with your experience with education.

    “Hey… what do you think of this outfit? Pretty hot right?”

    January 19, 2012 • 1 year old, Education, Musings • Views: 1541