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November, 2013
Archive

  • 5 Tips on How to Get Along With your Family During Thanksgiving

    1)    Hide your pain with sarcasm and passive aggressive comments.

    2)    If you have a legitimate reason for being angry at a family member, but don’t want to confront things in the fear of ruining the holiday – clean your belly button with their toothbrush.  That will help lessen the resentment.

    3)    If someone is going on and on and on and you need an “out” of the conversation, ask them if they know what herpes looks like, and if they wouldn’t mind checking something out in the bathroom.

    4)    If someone else’s kid is annoying and won’t leave you alone, tell them the real story of Thanksgiving, and the genocide of 100 million Native Americans.

    5)    If you don’t like the cooking just say you are a gluten-free sugar-free carb-free vegan freegan who only eats fair trade food harvested bio-dynamically and watered with the tears of virgins.

    Me, my Mom, and The Munch….  yeah, that pretty much sums us up

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    November 28, 2013 • Current Events, Family Drama, Relationships • Views: 2019

  • Sorry To Be The Cause Of Your Suffering But…..

    Sometimes you have to take a stand.  If you create a boundary, you have to uphold it; otherwise you will come off as a total pushover.  Even when it is hard because the other person doesn’t want to listen, you have to maintain your position.  Unless it’s doggy-style in which case feel free to transition to missionary.

    I had one of these moments with The Munch the other day.  We went to the park to play outside, and like every other day of my life, we got into a fight about clothes.

    Munch: No Mamma, I don’t want to wear a jacket!

    Toni: Dude, you have to wear a jacket!

    Munch: NO! I have this sweatshirt and that is enough!

    Toni: Munch, it is winter outside.  In the winter people wear jackets!

    Munch: No I don’t want to! I will wear the sweater because that matches.

    Toni: Fine, okay so lets put your gloves on.

    Munch: NO MAMMA NO! I DON’T WANT TO WEAR GLOVES!!!!!!!

    Toni: DUDE! If you don’t wear gloves your hand are going to get cold.

    Munch: NO THEY WON’T! I PROMISE!

    Toni: How about your hat then?

    Munch: No way!! I have a headband on!

    Whatever.

    So The Munch played outside, but after about 20 minutes told me she wanted to go home.

    Munch: My hands are FREEZING! Lets go home.

    Toni: No way Dude.  You can put your gloves on.

    Munch: NOOOO!! WAHHHHHAAAAHHHHH I DON’T WANT TO PUT MY GLOVES ON!

    Toni: Well, we are not going home because your hands are cold when I have gloves for you.  It would be one thing if your hands were cold inside the gloves.  But they are cold because you won’t wear them.  So no.  We are not leaving.  You can stand here and cry all you want.

    Munch: BUT MY HANDS ARE FREEZING!! WAAAHHHHAAAAHHHHHAAA!

    Toni: Then you can put your gloves on.

    Okay, so part of me felt bad, but the other part of me was like fuck her.  I bought these super extreme $40 gloves so she could play outside in the stupid winter.  She should wear them and enjoy her goddamn childhood.  But of course it is always awkward when your child is frantically weeping in a public place screaming that they are freezing.  But for reals…. She was being a dick.

    After about 5 minutes of this…

    Toni: Can we put your gloves on now?

    Munch: Yes.

    Toni: And your hat?

    Munch: Yes

    And you now what? She then was warm and played outside for another hour.  Teaching lessons is not always easy, but I dropped serious cash on all this winter gear and I am going to be damned if we don’t go outside and use it.

    (Here is Munch complaining about her cold hands, and then contemplating how hats and gloves do in fact keep you warm)

    cold-hands-blog-i1 cold-hands-blog-i2

  • The Effect of TV is More Disturbing Than I Thought

    It is hard to raise your child with no TV. I tried really hard to be a purist about it, but that meant I had to talk to my kid… like all the time!  Yet it is something I do have concerns about, because TV turns The Munch into a zombie.  She stares at the screen like she is catatonic, and it is disturbing.  So unless she is sick, I don’t let The Munch watch anything at home, but I do let her watch the IPad in the car… and we are in the car everyday so that is happening…

    I think part of my trepidation is that I watched a lot of TV growing up.  I was a “latch key kid” and so TV was the family I came home to.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Facts of Life, Growing Pains, Out of This World, He-Man, GI- Joe, Brady Bunch, Alf, Harry and the Hendersons, Small Wonder, The Wonder Years, Beverly Hills 90210, were all charters that kept me company.  I don’t blame my parent’s for this – I know they were busy and working hard… buuuuuuut they are the reason why my brain is rotted like a cesspool of toxic sludge according to this article, so thanks a lot mom and dad.

    There are many studies that discuss the impact of TV on your kid’s brain, but you know what?  I don’t think I need anyone to tell me the effect of TV on my kid.  All I have to do is watch The Munch watch stuff, and it is pretty obvious that she is totally hypnotized.  So much so that she ignores everything else to the point of near insanity.  For example, we were driving home from Boston the other day and she mumbled something about having to go potty.

    Toni: Munch, you have to go potty? Is that what you said? Do you want me to stop?

    SILENCE

    Toni: Munch, are you listening to me?

    SILENCE

    Toni: MUNCH! Do you need to go potty or what? Should I pull over?

    Munch: Naw, I just peed in my pants.

    You would think she was joking… but no.  She actually peed in her pants because she was too distracted / didn’t want to stop watching to go to the bathroom.  And the crazy part is, that for the rest of the hour long drive home, she didn’t complain once about sitting in her own urine, and stayed totally captivated by Curious George.

    (You see that look in her eye? I could be on fire doing cartwheels and she wouldn’t look up)

    tv-rots-your-brain-blog-(i)

    November 26, 2013 • 3 years old, Behavior, Health, Parenting, Pee & Poop, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1231

  • Babypolooza

    The Munch had her first sleepover party! My friend Sarah’s daughter came and stayed for the weekend, and for two whole nights, and two whole days, I had two whole little girls to keep alive. And I did it!
    I wasn’t sure how The Munch was going to be with sharing all her stuff, including her mom for 48 hours, but it was actually okay. There were minimal tears, the worst only being when Munch biked over Marquetta’s toes. For some reason Munch cried just as much as Marquetta because “Marquetta was supposed to move so her toes didn’t go under the wheels.” I guess that is a reasonable way to deal with guilt – blame the other person!

    I was watching Marquetta so Sarah and her husband could have their first weekend (even night) alone since they had a kid. She would write me text messages like “here we are about to have breakfast as a couple, not parents!” And I was really happy to give them that time to be individuals again… to be two people in love who want to have a conversation that isn’t interrupted every 49 seconds. I mean kids are delightful, but I don’t think there is anyone on the planet that you love more or are more relieved to get away from.

    Then on Sunday as soon as Sarah came to pick up Marquetta I drove to Boston to visit my cousin’s and all their kids. I spent the afternoon in a house with 6 kids under the age of 4, and held a newborn almost the entire time… who LOVED me by the way! I am like the baby whisperer! I know how to jiggle and shush them right to sleep like a professional. I am getting really conceited about how great I am with babies!

    So there we were, me and all my cousin’s, and all our kids.  I thought about my past – my saturday nights drinking and dancing until 5am, or doing acid and reading the dictionary, and just how much life had changed.  Now my weekend was like Babypolooza. And that is the thing about life, you grow up, you breed, and then a miniature tyrannical carbon copy of you controls your life.

    The diary of two little girls on a cold winter’s day…brushing the cat, playing outside, and dancing with tutus….

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    November 25, 2013 • 1st time for everything, 3 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Parenting • Views: 1690

  • Losing My Cool

    Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and I know The Munch isn’t going to school, I kind of panic for a moment.  I think to myself “holy crap, what am I going to do with this 3-year old all day… and am I really sure I don’t want to get addicted to valium because right now that seems kind of glamorous.”  I then remind myself that somehow I always figure it out and try to find peace in that.

    Toni: Listen Munch, Mamma is going to meditate for a bit this morning so you can play in my room – just be cool okay?

    Munch: Okay Mamma, I will be cool.

    And at first she was cool… until she found an old plastic baby rattle, and started shaking it millimeters from my face.  Now, I am not yet Siddhartha, so it was kind of hard to stay Zen and not laugh.  But the more I laughed, the more she did it.  I tried to maintain my oneness with the universe, but I am pretty sure that I was actually just sitting there with my eyes closed waiting to see if my kid would accidently smack my nose off.

    The morning went on… she played, we played, she played, we played.  At one point a giraffe puppet was eating toilet paper, and I made Winnie The Pooh smell his own farts. Time passed… slowly.  I again reconsidered my policy of “no tv” and wondered how important cultivating ones own imagination really is.

    My friend Natalya eventually came over to do some yoga, so that was a welcome event to break up the day.  The Munch would play, then make me put her inside a box, then play in the box, then make me take her out, then play with her babies, then make me take off her baby’s clothes, then ride her bike, then fall off her bike, then jump on her trampoline, then fall off and cry.

    Natalya: Man you are really patient.

    Toni: I am not sure I really have a choice.

    Natalya: That is one of the reason’s why I question having kids.  That, and if shit were to go down, and they died in the apocalypse, I think that would be really hard on me.

    Toni: Riiiiight.

    Natalya: But I would be down with repopulating the earth after the apocalypse killed everyone.

    I thought about that for a while, and then sadly Natalya left.  I was trying to get The Munch ready to go, but she started freaking out because her socks didn’t match.  Then the socks that did match weren’t the ones she wanted to wear and her tears turned into a torrential storm.

    I hate to to say this, but I really lost my cool.  Granted The Munch being super annoying, and I had to draw a line, there is a difference between effective discipline and getting frustrated – and I crossed it.  The second it happened, I know I was not being my highest self, but it is hard to pull back when someone pushes you over the edge.

    Munch: Mamma, don’t talk like that in that voice! I don’t like it!

    I felt bad.  I don’t like snapping.  It makes me feel like I am not in control, and is a really unproductive way of parenting.

    Toni: Listen Munch… I am sorry if I am getting aggravated, but I am really tired of fighting with you about clothes.  There are kids all over the world who don’t’ have clothes, and certainly don’t have socks.  I really need you to listen to me and realize that fighting about socks is absurd.  You are lucky to have warm feet okay? Do you get what I am saying to you?

    Munch: Yeah.  But maybe you could just buy me some more socks that match.

    losing-my-cool-blog-(i)

  • I Love Me…. Kinda….

    Self-love is an important part of loving others, and I am not just talking about the kind of self-love that makes you go blind or gives you harry palms.  Even though humping your pillow may be momentarily satisfying, having actual affection for yourself is a pivotal part of developing functional relationships.  Otherwise you are like an energetic black hole.  Without the foundation of believing you deserve to be loved, (because you in fact love who you are) it doesn’t matter how much other people pour love into you.  It is like trying to fill a cup with not bottom.

    It is hard to love yourself because you know yourself, and we are all kind of assholes.  The more honest I am with myself, the less I like me.  That is why cocaine is such an addictive drug.  For 20 whole minutes you think you are really interesting and have a lot to say that everyone should listen to. And then you crash realizing that you are not in fact going to start a band with Teddy bears, and that you actually can’t sing.  Oh the tragedy of it all.

    Cultivating self-esteem and feeling secure about your identity is a life long process.  Yet the more you can genuinely appreciate who you are, the more you will have the capacity to accept the love of others.  Because if you are too busy doubting your worth you, can’t really receive the idea that others see you as valuable.

    I want The Munch to be confident and feel deserving of love so she doesn’t become a psychic vampire.  But how do I cultivate that in a real way?  I don’t want her to just to feel good because she is cute, but rather because she knows she is intrinsically a good person.  When I think of my own path, I like myself most when I feel like I am being supportive to others.  The more I can direct my energy to helping others it makes me feel like despite my imperfections, I am compassionate.

    So lately I have been trying to guide The Munch towards being just an overall considerate person, and I have to say I am getting some mixed results.  She has her own innate sense of empathy that she exhibits, but when I try to intervene and guide her towards doing the “right thing” she more often resists.

    Toni: Munch can I have a bite of your sammich?

    Munch: No.

    Toni: Why no? I am hungry.

    Munch:  Yeah, but I really don’t want you to.

    Toni:  But Munch, doesn’t Mamma, always share with you?

    Munch: Yeah, you sure do.

    Toni: So don’t you want to share with me?

    Munch: No.

    Toni: Why is that?

    Munch: Because Mamma, I would really rather just eat it myself.

    Or

    Toni: Munch I need your help cleaning up this mess you made.

    Munch: I think you should clean it up.

    Toni: Dude, who was the one who made the mess?

    Munch: I did.

    Toni: So who should be the one to clean it?

    Munch: You.

    Toni: And why is that?

    Munch: Because Mamma, I just really don’t want to.

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  • Patience is A Virt…AHHHH I Can’t Wait Anymore!

    I don’t know any kid who is born patient.  There is no way it is a natural human emotion.  I am pretty sure it is a conditioned trait first cultivated by a mother in a cave named Glock who debated feeding her nagging child to a sabre tooth tiger.  I think she grabbed her kid by the hair (because that was how they did things back then) and said “If you ask one more time for another wooly-mammoth-eyeball-on-a-stick-treat I am going to throw you into the tundra to be eaten alive.”  She then told the other mothers that if you scare your kid enough, they might actually wait for what they want – hence, the birth of patience.

    Here is the irony.  While teaching The Munch patience, it requires me to exhibit a profound amount of patience.  And there is nothing that makes me feel more impatient then trying to be patient to someone who is incessantly impatient.  So as Munch is relentlessly saying my name trying to interrupt, I can’t snap and say “dude, if you don’t stop flapping your mouth for one second I am going to sew it shut so I can finish my conversation.” I instead have to practice what I preach and explain “Munch, Mamma is talking and needs to you to be patient until I finish, and then I can hear your story about going poop.”

    Or lets say Munch really wants a piece of chocolate, and I tell that she has to wait until after her lunch, and then she asks me 29,000,000 times if she can just have it now.  And then tells me she is finished with her lunch, and then we have to go through that no she is not finished, and that she needs to take at least 3 more bites.  And then we have to argue about what sized bites to talk and that 3 comes after 2 and not 1 – which I know she knows.  This whole process could be avoided if she just waited until she ate her stupid sammich, but noooooooooooooooooo.

    Without patience, I think we humans would not only sacrifice our children to the wild, but we would also not be able to exist in a community.  Patience is a fundamental part of living amongst others.  So much of life is waiting.  Could you imagine being at the doctor’s office or bank if everyone had the patience of a toddler.  It would be fucking chaos.

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    November 20, 2013 • 3 years old, Behavior, Disciplining, Family Drama, Parenting, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 1095

  • Boot Camp For Your Sweet Sensitive Heart

    I am kind of a sucker.  Or lets put it this way.  I am very forgiving. It takes a lot for me to cut someone out of my life.  So much so, that I don’t think I have ever truly done that.  I may be less close to someone, but I will always give them the time of day if they ask for it, or help them if they need it.

    I have been cheated on, lied to, robbed, betrayed, psychically raped… but I don’t really hold any longstanding grudges.  I mean of course I got upset, and confronted people, but if they wanted to discuss their motivations I was open to hearing them.  The only people that aren’t in my life are the ones who refused to face me and ran away instead.  But honestly, that was their choice not mine.  If they had been willing to apologize and analyze why they did what they did, I would have maintained some sort of relationship.

    I guess my heart is just kind of soft and squishy.  I assume the best in people, choose to trust more than doubt, and believe everyone is capable of change.  Once I allow someone in, it is hard to totally shut the door.  But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when people disappoint me.

    In my 20’s I thought a lot about who I was and the events that had shaped me.  In a way I felt naïve, and should have followed my gut instincts more about people.  But at the same time all the hardships I went through also made me a stronger person, and I was grateful for those teachings even if they were painful.  I felt like I was at this crossroads – either to change become more guarded, or to keep going as I was and take that risk.

    I decided that I didn’t know how to be any other way, but it was probably more sustainable to be cautious of who I gave my heart to.  I still am impulsive at times when it comes to people, but my track record has drastically improved.  Yet even though I can see the benefit in my way of being, I am also terrified that Munch will be the same way.

    The Munch is not a mean girl.  She doesn’t want to exclude people, and seems to really care how others are feeling.  So far, she seems to exhibit a lot of the same traits as me, and although I know that means she will be a good friend, she is also going to get stomped on by life.  I almost weep for her future, and wish she had a little more edge to her.  It is not going to be an easy road for her, and she is going to get taken advantage of.

    The Munch’s little sensitive being is going to get kicked in the soul genitals, and I hope that I can be a comforting source in those moments.  Because when you give a shit about people, then you are in for a lifetime of managing the hurt people inevitably cause.  Maybe I need to send Munch to “sensitive human boot camp” to toughen her up a bit and better prepare her for the world? Like where people give her cookies, and then take them away to eat in front of her face… Or they take her babies and poop on their faces or something.  I mean I am just brainstorming here, but I think I am onto something.

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    November 19, 2013 • 3 years old, Behavior, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1130

  • I Love you So Much, But I Don’t Always Miss You

    I have to say, going on adventures without my kid is amazing.  I forget how easy life is as an individual person without a child.  I am so used to carrying a human, packing bags full of baby dolls, bringing extra food, making sure I have juice, and experiencing a constant stream of conversation blasting into my ear cavity.  I almost forget what it is like to travel somewhere and be the only person I have to be responsible for.  And let me tell you… it is fucking awesome.

    I went away for the briefest period without The Munch and even though I am not supposed to admit this, I didn’t miss her at all.  I mean I love her – she is an angel from another dimension of purity and I thank the cosmos for her presence as she is the effervescence of my existence, but I hardly go anywhere without her and I sometimes need to get away.  To not have to think about The Munch and only think about myself is kind of epic.

    I am sure if I was gone for longer, I would yearn for The Munch’s energetic influence.  Especially because being a parent is now a part of my identity.  She is like an accessory to my personal brand.  But to go away and just be a regular woman on planet earth was liberating.  When I don’t have my little sidekick with me, no one would know even I was a mother, which was both something I totally wanted, and also made me feel really insignificant.

    That is one of the great gifts of children.  That through all the nonsense, they make you feel valued.  Like you actually matter.  And in the adult world it is easy to feel lost in the chaos.  Trying to blast through superficial conversations and chisel through the bullshit.  But you know what? It also feels really good to participate in that realm.  To forget about the massive pressure of being responsible for another human’s life.  To take a break from that reality is so freeing, even though there is a sense of loneliness to being a solitary individual.

    There was a peacefulness and ease to being off on my own, but it was also so next level to come back to The Munch.  She was insanely happy to to see me, and I can’t even describe the joy I felt hugging her little squirmy body…. Even though soon after she made me go through all her clothes to find her purple socks because she didn’t feel like wearing the pink ones, and somehow convinced me to let her eat chocolate for dinner by incessantly nagging until I lost my mind.

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    November 18, 2013 • 3 years old, Mommy Mind, Parenting • Views: 1494