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Education
Category

  • Raising a Little Conformist

    When you have a baby, and that baby cries, it’s not trying to manipulate you. An infant cries because it has a genuine need, and that’s its only mode of communication. The first year of parenting is simple in that way. Your baby cries, so you address their relatively basic problems. (I’m hungry, I’m tired, I have to fart, I have a shit in my pants). But as soon as your kid becomes a toddler and understands that it’s screaming can make you do things you don’t want to do – but will do anyway just to shut them up – you bet your sweet ass that kid is going to exploit the shit out of your weaknesses.

    Once your child is no longer a baby, you have to start considering a discipline strategy, and how you are going to condition them. You’re not just raising a kid, but a future adult you’re going to have to deal with for the rest of your life. There is a major shift of consciousness that has to place for the parent making this transition. Figuring out how and when to say “no” to your child is more complex than you’d think. You don’t want to give into all your kid’s demands because then your kid will be an asshole when they grown up. But when you push back and deny your kid of what they want… they turn into a serious fucking asshole right in front of your goddamn face.

    Modern parents are all products of the baby boomer generation and I love you guys, but you were kind of neglectful parents in a lot of ways. LOVELY people those baby boomers… but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in my 30’s who was raised by a Television. Probably why the Bill Cosby story was such a hard roofie-cocktail to swallow – it was like finding out your Dad was a rapist. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US DADDY!!!!

    So a lot of us who are parenting now are doing so in direct reaction to feeling slightly abandoned as children. Yet with every pendulum swing, a lot of times things go wayyy too far in the other direction. As children we may have been latchkey kids, but we also had independence, which was crucial. Today’s kids can hardly even pick their noses without parental supervision. We’re so afraid that our kids won’t feel cared for, that we don’t give them any space to figure out the world on their own.

    The same thing goes for discipline. There has been a major shift of thinking regarding how to deal with a kid’s emotional outbursts. Spanking is now ONLY appropriate between two consenting adults in the bedroom. Most of us can agree that yelling at a child is ineffective and cruel. Ignoring your kid only makes them create more havoc to get your attention. Yet rationalizing with a young child is bit like talking to Donald Trump. There are moments when they speak complete sentences and seem to understand you, but then they just say random words and make funny faces.

    In my personal parenting journey I have been working with two concepts. One idea is that I want The Munch to know she is allowed to have emotions, and doesn’t have to not feel the pressure to “always be happy” or “suck it up.” I am a new age hippy who drinks water filtered by moon beams, so of course I my want my kid to be connected to her emotional self and explore the entirety of her emotional spectrum. At no point do I want to be a force that enforces emotional repression. But… I also don’t want to create a goddamn monster that allows herself to express every feeling like an emotional terrorist!!!

    So my strategy has been trying to find a balance between these extremes. When she is upset I ask if there is a solution to her problem. If she is too pissed to think of solutions I suggest she go into her room where she can feel all she wants, but I don’t have to be a witness to her outburst. Then when she is ready to talk, we can talk about solutions and move forward with our lives.

    It took time to get this to work, but now that she is 6, we are in a pretty good place. Not just because of my parenting of course, it’s not like I’m some kid whisperer. Her personality was easy to work with because The Munch’s natural disposition is pretty mellow. She has her moments of expected child rage, but her core essence isn’t very confrontational. She is mostly a “well behaved” kid, and when she is feeling really upset and doesn’t want to be reasonable, she goes into her room and then comes out when she is ready to discuss things more rationally.

    All great right??

    NOT SO SURE!!!

    This is the NEW problem that I’m seeing. The Munch is REALLY RESPECTFUL OF AUTHORITY!

    The Munch listens to her teachers at school, and takes instruction very seriously. When she recently had to deal with the hospital and all her surgery she did everything the doctor said, and was very compliant. The doctor said on multiple occasions “what a good girl she is.” The Munch went to the dentist for the first time yesterday and came home wanting to brush her teeth 3 times a day and floss every morning and night. She listened to her dentist because she is a “good little girl” who does what she is told.

    HOLY SHIT I HAVE CREATED A MONSTER!!!

    Have I raised a little conformist!!!??

    As a parent yes I want my daughter to listen to me… but as a woman I want my daughter to LISTEN TO NO ONE!!!!!!!!!

    As a parent it is really amazing that she is so easy tempered, empathetic, thoughtful, nice, caring, but as a feminist I want her TO SHAKE SHIT THE FUCK UP AND CHALLENGE ALL STEROTYPES AND NEVER MAKE IT EASY FOR MEN TO TAKE ADVTAGE OF HER!

    As a parent it is so nice that my kid takes direction well, shows adults respect, isn’t a problem at school, is easy to teach… but as a wannabe revolutionary… FUCK AUTHORITY! FUCK THE POLICE! FUCK THE SYSTEM!!! FUCK GOVERNMENT!!

    Do you see my problem!!

    So here is my plan for the next 6 years… slowly undo every thing I have done and recondition her. This way by the time she is 12, she will be a fucking nightmare – just in time for her teen years. She can rebel against everything and everyone, have ton of fun, and become a total bad ass. Then from 18-24 we find the balance between the two.

    conformist-blog

    October 5, 2016 • Disciplining, Education, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting • Views: 838

  • What The Left Wing Needs and The Solution To the World’s Problems

    Like most of you, I watched the debates with an expression akin to what I would look like if a snake crawled out of my asshole, and then licked me on the nose – horrified, but also intrigued. In both cases the main question is, “how did you get here?”

    Sometimes I wonder if Trump is just a brilliant performance artist using this platform of presidency as his canvas for expression. Maybe he’s being mentored by Marina Abramovik to reveal the truth of our country through his despicable behavior and bigotry? Doesn’t it seem more reasonable that he’s the physical manifestation of an interactive live art installation intended to pull back the veil of American imperialism than him being an actual candidate?!

    Where are all the left wing political assassins?? How come assassins are always right wing? Every public figure that has been murdered by some gunman is always a progressive trying to fight against injustice. Abe Lincoln, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X… the list goes on. Where are the crazy lefties that go around executing people, and why isn’t Trump first on their list? I am not saying I want him dead, but no one has even tried to shoot him in the leg? If that isn’t proof enough that every left wing assassination is a government conspiracy conducted by the New World Order lizard elite then I don’t know what is!

    Trump isn’t the real problem because ultimately he’s just a figurehead. The real issue is that millions of people support him, and they aren’t’ going away no matter who’s elected. This country is beyond divided. It’s fragmented. The corruption of the justice system is an obvious symptom of our collective disease. Police getting away with murder, and rapists getting away with rape is an everyday occurrence. Everything is boiling to the surface and no one can find a lid to stop it.

    The world is fucked, everybody knows it, and nobody knows what to do. The environment is going to serious shit, there are endless wars destroying humanity and the planet, corporations rule politics, and we are facing potential extinction. The reason why we don’t know what to do is because we are all so isolated in our tiny boxes, staring at our tiny boxes with screens – separated from each other and nature and thinking connection is best achieved through “likes.”

    If I “like” enough articles about global warming and Syrian refuges will it all go away??????

    Humans are by nature followers, and we need a leader. I know you don’t think you’re a follower, but you are. That doesn’t mean you aren’t lovely, but 99.9999999% of us would rather be told what to do then figure it out on your own. But if you are on the outside of the political fence looking in, we don’t have a leader – so we sit around finger-blasting ourselves and our phones, waiting for the diarrhea to hit the windmill.

    That was one of the problems with Occupy Wall Street – it was a leaderless movement. I get the philosophy behind it. I respect the impact that it made. A lot was born from that initiative. But in order for people to really make change in their every day lives, they crave someone giving them specific direction.

    Bernie Sanders was the most powerful potential leader for progressive left wing in my lifetime. There was a moment when his light was so bright, and millions of psychologically and politically disenfranchised people wanted him to lead us out of the darkness. We were begging for someone who shared our vision of the world to be our take over. Please Bernie… be my dad, tell me how to take down corporate America, and then hold me.

    But Bernie couldn’t survive within the current political landscape. It’s too corrupt. I’m not saying that because I’m sexist and hate Hillary, but because the status quo is compromised and anyone who can rise to the upper ranks of power is also –including Obama.

    We want politics to be our parents because figuring out how to self-organize is too daunting. There are too many people, and we didn’t evolve to live in such big groups. We are overwhelmed with population, infrastructure, and corporate monopolies. Revolution takes sacrifice, but we aren’t willing to actually fight for a cause because the present paradigm isn’t that bad. Forget the fact that we may not have a future… right now is okay because “Stranger Things” is an amazing show and I just watched the entire first season!

    A vote for Hillary isn’t just a vote against Trump, it’s a vote for the establishment that already exists. Bernie Sanders is urgently supporting the democratic party’s nomination and doesn’t feel like now is the time for 3rd party protests, but when is that time? The first vote I ever cast was for the 3rd party, and everyone blamed us for the rise of the Bush era.

    People who want more than two choices are thought of as irrational and naïve. There is NEVER going to be an election where it is safe to pursue that goal. But a democracy isn’t just a two party system, and there are many countries that successfully prove that.

    The right at least has the Tea Party for their extremists, but the left doesn’t have the New Age party that only speaks in sacred geometry and whispers in fractals. Maybe the kind of politics that I want to see in the world can’t exist within this current framework, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need leaders outside the scaffolding to shake shit up. The Black Lives Matter movement is proof enough that so many of us are CRAVING a movement to ignite change. We need to take these social movements to the next level and use this momentum to force the hand of those that are destroying the planet with their greed and corruption.

    If you think about our access to connection, we have more opportunity now than ever before for mass protesting. I feel like we need to enter into an era of love induced social terrorism against the corporate elite. We need to spread our message like a venereal disease across all social medial platforms. The 1% does not own the world, and we need to take it back from them.

    We need someone to tell us, “hey, nobody pay back their student loans until we have more reasonable college tuition and a better support system for our youth so they don’t enter the work force with $200,000 in debt.” Or “No African American person should pay taxes until the prison industrial complex has been completely reformed and the police state addressed.” Or no one pay their medical bills until we’ve had a true overhaul of our health system so people aren’t dying because of insurance complications.

    If EVERYONE participated in these kinds of economic protests you bet your sweet ass we would get shit done!!! We just need someone to lead and organize us… and not get shot by the lizard elite! So maybe this leader has to either be able to regenerate, have many clones, or be like the Dali Llama and if one get’s killed another is born.

    So who ever is trying to lead these kinds of initiatives we have to vehemently support and defend! If you know people that are on this level… LET US ALL KNOW so we can get organized.

    October 1, 2016 • Current Events, Education, Environmental Impact, Political Banter • Views: 749

  • Am I Smarter Than A Harvard Professor?

    When I was in high school I hated school. I would go to the bathroom every class, each and every day. I guess this practice earned me the reputation amongst my teachers of either having a serious bladder infection, or a rampant case of irritable bowel syndrome.

    I also had no problem blatantly lying to my dad to get out of going to school. He would come wake me up at 7 am, and I would tell him that morning classes were cancelled, and to wake me up in two hours. Either my dad was insane for believing me, or he just didn’t care about my future. Regardless, most days I sauntered into school around 11.

    I perfected my mom’s signature, and would forge notes about my many doctors’ appointments – fueling rumors that I had some incurable communicable disease. I was even known to bend down to “pick up a pencil,” and then crawl out the open door of my classroom. If there was an opportunity to roam the hallways aimlessly, I took it.

    Part of the reason I disliked school was because I didn’t feel it was cultivating my own understanding of the world. I only did well when I learned how to anticipate the teacher’s opinion about the subject, and then alter my material accordingly. The process of developing my personal philosophies was hardly encouraged – rather I was only praised when able to regurgitate the views of my teacher.

    My junior year, I had this one English teacher who really didn’t like me. Maybe he didn’t view me as a serious student, or an avid intellectual because I was usually talking out of turn or trying to escape. It’s not his fault he didn’t see me as academically curious, because I did oscillate between being totally disruptive and completely checked out. But it was also kind of annoying that every book we read was written by a man and about male characters. Yet that was the canon, so that was what we read.

    Even though I don’t blame this teacher for hating me, and I am sure I could have been more strategic, but there was a deeper reason I didn’t thrive. My problem with this teacher was that I only got good grades from him when I didn’t read the book! If I hadn’t read the book, and could write papers or take tests purely on my notes that I took during class, he would give me an “A-.” But if I were to read the book, and add my own analysis into my writing, he would give me a “B.”

    It’s like he didn’t even care if I thought Moby Dick was a dick.

    I went to a super competitive private school in Cambridge Massachusetts. It was the kind of place where kids were having full blown anxiety attacks in the 5th grade because they got a 90% on their spelling test, and felt like that ruined their chance of getting into Harvard. At my school, a “B” was the kiss of death. I might as well have flushed my head down the toilet for shaming my family. It was clear that soon I would have to build a raft and set myself out to the ocean for all the disgrace I was causing.

    I told my dad that my English teacher gave me bad grades because he didn’t like me, rather than my shitty “B’s” being a genuine reflection of my efforts. My dad however, didn’t believe me. He thought that I wasn’t applying myself, and would tell me to work harder.

    One day, I decided to put my dad’s theory to the test. Was it really my fault I wasn’t doing well in this class?

    It was the end of the school year, and I had two papers to write. They were both due the next day, and there was no way I could finish them both, or get an extension. I went upstairs to my dad’s office to discuss my predicament.

    Toni: Here’s the deal. I have two papers due tomorrow, and I can’t write them both. If I don’t hand one in, I will get an F on that paper – which will not look good when I apply to colleges.

    My Dad: You bet your ass it won’t. This is not good Toni.

    Toni: I know. So this is what is going to happen. I will write one, and you can write the other.

    My Dad: Jesus H. Christ Toni it is 10 pm!

    Toni: I could take the F.

    My Dad: No we can’t do that. Then you won’t get into a good college and bring eternal dishonor to the family.

    Toni: You can choose between “The Old Man and the Sea” or “Great Expectations”

    My Dad: I am not happy about this.

    Toni: You don’t have to do it.

    My Dad: I’ll take the Old Man.

    I smugly tossed my dad the book, and went downstairs to write my paper. Okay fine, I was being kind of an entitled asshole. My poor dad had better things to do with his life than write my English papers, but at the same time, fuck him.

    Now keep in mind, my dad is kind of a genius. He graduated high school when he was 16. Blasted through college in 2 years. Got his PHD from Harvard when he was 23. Speaks 22 languages. He writes a book almost every year of his life. In short, my dad is way smarter than the average high school student.

    My dad should have received a good grade on this paper right? He was after all competing against the standards of 17-year-old kids. If my English teacher was truly giving each paper I wrote a fair chance and not typecasting me, this essay should have done well right?!!

    I handed in the two papers, and when I got them back, I got a “B+” and my dad, THE GENIUS HARVARD PROFESSOR, got a “B.”

    Toni: So dad, since I got the better grade, does that mean I’m smarter than you?”

    My Dad: WHAT!? I got a “B?” I really tried too! I didn’t even dumb myself down! That teacher of yours really is an asshole.

    Look at that guy! HE DOES NOT DESERVE A “B” FROM A HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER!

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    February 25, 2016 • Education, Family Drama, Old School Stories • Views: 897

  • My 5-Year Old Does Not Support the Rockefeller Drug Laws

    Every parent has a nighttime ritual with their child to put them to bed. Sometimes that includes a bath, a warm glass of milk, and reading a story. Other times putting your child to sleep involves a discussion about the Police state and Rockefeller drug laws – but to each his own.

    There is a heroin epidemic where I live in New Hampshire, and it is basically impossible not to know someone who is personally effected by this crisis. The Munch and I were talking about someone we love, and how they are dealing with a family member in jail because of heroine. The Munch had a lot of questions about what all this meant, and the complexity of trying to clarify the details to her made something very clear to me.

    The way we treat drug addicts in this country is criminal.

    I think the best way to tell if a system is flawed, is if it’s hard to explain it to a child. If you can’t easily articulate an issue, then something is wrong.

    When the Munch asks about what laws were, I didn’t find it challenging to express why we needed laws. When she asked me some examples of laws, it was perfectly logical to her why it was illegal to steal, or kill someone. There wasn’t a lot of confusion. But when trying to unpack why drugs were illegal and why people go to prison for drugs – that was actually really hard.

    The Munch: What do drugs do to people?
    Toni: They make you feel different – inside your body and your mind.
    The Munch: What do you mean feel different?
    Toni: You know how if you eat a bunch of sugar, and your body feels kind of funny after? Like it’s buzzing?
    The Munch: Yeah… and you have all this energy and want to run around?
    Toni: Well drugs make you feel different sensations in your body and in your brain.
    The Munch: Is sugar a drug?
    Toni: Well it affects your brain like drugs, but it’s not considered a drug.
    The Munch: Is wine drugs? Like how grow-ups drink wine and stuff?
    Toni: Kind of – but wine beer is considered alcohol. Not a drug.
    The Munch: Do people go to prison for wine?
    Toni: No… only drugs.
    The Munch: Why are drugs bad?
    Toni: Because you can get addicted to them.
    The Munch: Like how you say I can get addicted to sugar, or watching too much “My Little Pony.”
    Toni: Yes. Addiction is when you make a decision to do something you know is bad for you, but it’s too hard to make the decision to stay away.
    The Munch: And you go to prison because you have addiction and it’s too hard to stay away?
    Toni: Sort of. But also when you take drugs, you probably aren’t making the best decisions in general because you’re also on drugs. So you aren’t thinking clearly.
    The Munch: But don’t you take drugs when you are sick? Or have surgery? Like how you gave me drugs when I had my eye surgery so the pain would go away?
    Toni: Yes. Doctors give drugs when people are in pain, but those drugs don’t put you in jail.
    The Munch: What are the drugs that put you in jail?
    Toni: Illegal drugs.
    The Munch: But do people take illegal drugs because they are in pain?
    Toni: Yes. Emotional pain. And sometimes physical pain too.
    The Munch: So shouldn’t those people see a doctor for their pain and not go to jail?
    Toni: Yes they should.

    Since the Rockefeller drug laws were introduced, the prison population in the US has skyrocketed! We now hold the honor of being the number 1 country in the world with the most people incarcerated. Maybe the original intention was to make our neighborhoods safer, but sending millions of non-violent offenders to jail for exorbitant sentences has had a detrimental impact on communities. The Rockefeller drug laws are the most significant legal foundation of the war on drugs over the last 40 years. And despite the draconian mandatory minimums being removed 7 years ago, 48% of the people in our federal prisons are there for non-violent drug related crimes. But what if we started regarding drug abuse as a social issue to contend with and not a criminal one?

    These mandatory sentences haven’t addressed why people turn to drugs, but only built the foundation of our current penal system. These drug laws paved the path for the prison industrial complex that we see today – ironically with prisoners as the ones laying the concrete. When prisons become profitable businesses, then filling them up with people is simply free labor for Wall Street.

    So I agree with The Munch – maybe we should be sending addicts to hospitals and not prisons.

  • It Turns Out I Have No Natural Talents

    The other day I got out of my car and was walking through the parking lot to my dance studio when something occurred to me. I have no natural talents. It was one of those thoughts that come out of nowhere, and the minute you think it, you know it’s true.

    Now I’m not saying I’m not good at things. I am. I can dance, skateboard, surf, play tennis, write, make amazing sandwiches… But everything I’m good at, I’m only good at only because I worked REALLY FUCKING HARD TO GET GOOD!!!

    I guess you could say that I have the natural talent of being tenacious, but beyond that, I am pretty talentless. The thing that I’ve got going for me is that I am willing to do whatever it takes, and take as much time as I need, to get better at something.

    There are some people who get good at things very easily. They may have a natural propensity towards creative capacities, or some advanced ability to digest various educational disciplines. Usually these people are hyper talented in a variety of fields. They don’t have to commit in the same way I do, because they can float between an assortment of activities and excel.

    NOT ME!

    I have to focus and exert a shit ton of effort in order to advance my ability.

    I guess if I’m being real with myself, The Munch is the same way as me. She is not particularly talented at anything. But she is a good student and willing to try!! Every teacher she has, whether it’s her ski teacher/ gymnastics teacher/dance teacher – they all say the same thing. That she is good listener and is willing to practice.

    Because my kid and I are pretty talentless, the best thing we can do for ourselves is get really enthusiastic about practicing!! Every time The Munch shows me one of her drawings, or one of her mediocre cartwheels I say, “Wow! You have been practicing so much and I really see improvement! I can see how trying hard is making you better!”

    Here were are just working hard trying not to be average!!

    toni and munch cat tail

    February 10, 2016 • 5 years old, Behavior, Education, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting • Views: 706

  • I am The BEST! Now I’m the Worst :(

    Life is not a competition. But just so you know, I totally read that sentence better and faster than you. That one too. I win.

    When you compare yourself to other people, you mislay yourself in a feedback loop of ego glorification and flagellation. Isn’t that a big word I just used that you probably had to look up? Point for me – you lose.

    The only person we really should be competing with is ourselves. Life is ultimately about progress. As long as you are moving forward, and on a path towards evolution, there is a genuine satisfaction in your efforts that no one can take away. You may not be as good as the person next to you, but when you know you are doing the absolute best you can, there is authentic pride.

    Yet when we strive to be better than someone else, and define self worth through the comparison of the “other,” the motivation to succeed becomes tainted. If you are always looking outside at what everyone else is doing, rather than being happy for them and their achievements, you feel jealous. And when you are the one who feels superior, you look down at other people because that makes you feel all the more higher on the pedestal.

    There is room for everyone on this planet. Well, not really because of overpopulation and depleting resources. But theoretically there is room for everyone to be the best possible versions of themselves. Someone else’s accomplishments doesn’t take away from yours, and even when you may not be the absolute best ever, that doesn’t mean there isn’t great value in what you are doing.

    There is this American ethos that “if you are not going to be the best, then why bother?” But in truth, doing something out of pure joy is the most worthwhile motivation to do anything. Why not spend our time doing what feeds our spirit, even when we aren’t the best?

    With all that being said, last year The Munch was the best at her gymnastics class. Whatever, she just was. So her teacher suggested she go into the more advanced group that meets twice a week. I of course complied, because my kid was the fucking best.

    Yeah, well now that she is the youngest in her class, she is also the worst. She is the fucking worst. She just is. The worst.

    I watch the class and think, “holy shit Munch, these little bitches are better than you! GET IT TOGETHER AND WORK ON YOUR SPLIT!”

    So thank the universe The Munch actually lives the values I write about. Despite my personal inner crisis that can’t handle how much she sucks in comparison to these little flipping twats, the Munch doesn’t give a flying fuck in a rolling doughnut and just keeps practicing because she loves it.

    best-blog

    September 30, 2015 • 5 years old, Education, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing • Views: 878

  • The Life Of an Artist is Just an Extended Childhood

    As an anti-conventional free-spirited hippy parent that wants my child to take down the system and plan a revolution, sometimes the idea of orthodox schooling disturbs me. Part of me thinks it’s important to learn how to function within the framework society has pre-established as necessary. Yet if my kid never conforms to that regimented approach, and instead commits her energy fully to a more creative life, then she would hopefully develop the skills to carve a different path. One where she is not contributing to the capitalist system that is currently sodomizing all of humanity – without even the decency of lube.

    The Munch has one more year at her idyllic Waldorf preschool where they frolic through the forest floor while a pan like creature plays a lute, and innocence is as abundant as leaves on trees. Yet soon she will have to go to school, sit at a desk, and be scolded for staring out he window. At least that would be the “normal” trajectory.

    If I were to project any dreams onto my child it is that she would live outside the confines of culture, and question it rather than submissively participate in it. I want to encourage her to define her own reality- not bow down to a soul sucking structure. What if she spent the rest of her life creating one giant art project!?

    Every kid on planet earth likes art when they are young. They all do artistic things naturally as part of the everyday shit that kids do. They gravitate towards art on their own. Not that many children are like “I want to learn about macro-economics today mommy,” but they all will sing the fuck out of the ABC’s.

    How kids play and enjoy life is the nascent stage of becoming an artist. All artists are just grown ups that were able to hold onto their childhood interests! Picasso was once a little brat who liked drawing noses where the ears should be. He just got really really good at it. So basically if you practicing playing really hard – eventually you could become an artist.

    When I think about what The Munch actually LIKES to do right now, and if she just were to concentrate on her playing, she’s got some pretty good life options a head of her!

    This is her average day, and the potential if she just keeps at it.

    1) Makes up Songs about “My Little Ponies” killing each other with magic powers: She could be a singer/song writer.
    2) Shakes her body around: She could be a dancer.
    3) Plays pretend with her dolls/My Little Pony’s: She could be an actor, director, or screenwriter. (PS these games are complicated as fuck and involve a variety of characters that talk in distinct voices and have very complicated backstories. I can’t just jump in and insist that “Pinkie Pie” can fly to Nightmare garden because according the to The Munch “Pinkie Pie” does not have wings!!!!!)
    5) Wraps herself in material: Totally high fashion designer
    4) Tells poop and fart jokes: She could be a comedian.

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    August 24, 2015 • 5 years old, Education, Musings, Parenting • Views: 841

  • I am a Dance Mom Failure

    For the past year, The Munch has been attending dance classes at the local dance studio. I’m usually teaching dance or dancing myself during that time – so her grandmother has been forced to be the stand-in “dance mom.” Since I have not really been around, I was totally clueless to the culture of this studio, and just how much they were seriously not fucking around.

    It all started with the impending dress rehearsal. I asked Munch’s grandmother if she could take her, and she started to get very nervous.

    Munch’s Grandmother: Oh I was hoping you could take her to her dress rehearsal.
    Toni: I would but I have a super important meeting and then I’m teaching. Is there anyway you could?
    Munch’s Grandmother: I can, but they want her to be in full costume with make up and a bun. I only had sons, so I don’t think I can do all that.
    Toni: I’m sure it won’t matter. She’s only four. Just shove her hair up and slap some eye shadow on her face.
    Munch’s Grandmother: Ummm, they are very particular about the buns.
    Toni: Okay, well I will send her to your house with a bun already in her hair.
    Munch’s Grandmother: Okay, they are just really serious about those buns.
    Toni: I’m sure it will be fine.

    That Monday, I got Munch ready in the morning for her afternoon rehearsal.

    Toni: Listen, I have to do your hair now, because Grandma isn’t sure about putting your hair back in a bun for your rehearsal. So just try not to mess it up.
    Munch: Okay. But can you put two braids in the side and then a braid around the bun?
    Toni: Do I seriously have to go all Game of Thrones on your hair right now? Can’t I just do a regular bun?
    Munch: I WANT BRAIDS WITH MY BUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    So I did what any normal parent would do when their child screams in their fucking face. I did exactly as she asked.

    I brought Munch to her Grandmother’s house and she was immediately anxious when she saw Munch’s hair.

    Munch’s Grandmother: Oh her hair looks very pretty, but are you sure those braids are okay?
    Toni: They’ll be fine. It’s a dress rehearsal! Who cares?

    Well it turns out those braids WERE NOT FUCKING FINE AT ALL! Munch’s Grandmother was scolded for having the wrong kind of bun, and the owner of the studio had to do ANOTHER PERFECT BUN! She then sent Munch’s grandmother home with hairpins, a hair net, and specific instructions for me on how to get her bun perfect!

    Okay fine.

    The night of the show, I gave Munch the best goddamn bun you ever did see. But her “Dust Bunny” costume, which was a tutu adorned with pink feathers, was fragile. So I decided I would just get her dressed at the venue, so as not to smash her tutu during the car ride (or have pink feathers all over my car). We drove to the performance venue with the windows rolled up (so as NOT to disturb the bun), and got there just on time.

    As I was dressing Munch, another Mom told me she was going to leave early, as the “Dust Bunnies” were the first to perform, and it was a long show. She was afraid her daughter would be too tired for the next night’s performance if she had two late nights. Her logic made perfect sense to me. One because who wants to deal with a tired kid? And two because who wants to sit through 2 hours of watching other people’s kids dance?

    After Munch had her 3-minute moment on stage, we sneaked out, and I went to find her backstage. I guess leaving 5 minutes after the show has started and taking your kid away is NOT exactly “Dance Mom” etiquette. So as I was leaving her teacher walked past perplexed.

    Dance Teacher: Are you taking Adelia? She’s not going to stay for the bow?
    Toni: No. I’m getting her home early so she isn’t a total A-Hole tomorrow.

    So I guess “Dance Mom’s” also don’t refer to their child as an “A-Hole” in public.

    The next night of the 2nd performance I figured I could have the same routine as I did the 1st night. I did the bun at home, and assumed I could get Munch into her costume backstage again. Yet when I tried to enter, I was stopped.

    Dance Mom Volunteer: Are you a chaperone volunteer?
    Toni: No?
    Dance Mom Volunteer: Well you can’t come in here. Dancers only.
    Toni: Okay, I just wanted to get my kid dressed real quick.
    Dance Mom Volunteer: You were supposed to do that at home. She was supposed to come dressed and ready to perform.
    Toni: Well is there a bathroom I can use?
    Dance Mom Volunteer: No. There isn’t. She was supposed to come dressed and ready.

    My mom and I took Munch around the corner, found the fucking bathroom that this chick pretended didn’t exist, and proceeded to put on her goddamn costume and makeup.

    Toni: Jesus H. Christ she was being aggressively unreasonable.
    Munch: Who was mom?
    Toni: Nobody. Don’t worry about it.
    Munch: That mom that wouldn’t let you in that room?
    Toni: DON’T TELL HER I SAID ANYTHING! YOU WILL RUIN ME!

    I mean that was a lot of stress! Now I am not saying that Munch wasn’t the most AMAZING Dust Bunny… but basically she just skipped across stage a few times with a bunch of other girls who looked just like her, and then rolled on the floor.

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    June 22, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Education, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting • Views: 1299

  • Desire Vs Logic

    We don’t always want what’s good for us. Desire in its rawest form comes from a deep primal craving to indulge in the moment – regardless of consequences. Some of the best times of my life were when I abandoned all reason, and allowed myself to succumb fully to my yearnings. But, you also can’t spend every day doing only what pleasures you – like watching 12 hours of documentaries on Ancient Aliens while eating nothing but cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, then doing a bunch of blow off a hooker’s tits before going to club to dance the night away and have sex with a stranger on the bathroom floor. You can get cavities that way.

    The reason why the ability to reason is so important is that it keeps us from spending all our time in a dark void of our longings. When we consider the long-term impact of our decisions, we tend to make better ones. That’s why I only do cocaine off the breasts of young college girls now. See how I’m maturing!?

    Part of the parenting process is monitoring your child’s wants, because they’re still learning how to self-regulate. Sometimes they control themselves and choose not to go to the point of excess. Yet other times they struggle with finding a balance between reasonable pleasure seeking and extreme debauchery.

    Recently, the main fight I have been getting into with The Munch is about screen time. She’s allowed to watch things, but I also have to be the one to create limits. If I were to let her, she would seriously watch cartoons all day. I mean, that would be fine if she was in her early 20’s and taking bong hits – but she’s a child, and it’s just not appropriate behavior.

    On Saturday we had our most major blow out to date. I had let Munch watch the iPad the entire hour drive to my dance rehearsal, and the entire hour drive home. We had a plan that when we got back, we would make chocolate strawberry pancakes. But, once we got in the house, she decided she wanted to finish her show.

    Munch: Mom, I really wanna finish my show. Can I please!!!!???
    Toni: Dude, you said you wanted to make chocolate strawberry pancakes?
    Munch: Well, can you make them while I watch something?
    Toni: No way! You’re not my evil stepmother, and I am not Cinderella. If you want the pancakes, you have to be my little helper.
    Munch: Can I watch something first, and then be your little helper?
    Toni: We aren’t going to have enough time.
    Munch: BUT I REALLY WANT TO WATCH SOMETHING!!
    Toni: You know what? Do you what you want, but I am asking you not to.
    Munch: I’m just going to watch one thing!

    I decided I would let her be the master of her domain and make her own decisions. Partly to see what would happen, and partly because I was sick of saying “no” and then dealing with her incessant efforts to negotiate. One thing is for sure – The Munch would make one hell of a used car salesman.

    Toni: Okay, Munch. It’s time to go to Grandma’s.
    Munch: BUT I DIDN’T GET TO EAT CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PANCAKES!! WAHHHHAHHHHAHAAA!!
    Toni: Listen. I would have made those with you. But you made a decision to watch something instead – and now we have to go.
    Munch: BUT I WANTED THOSE PANCAKES!! YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM FOR ME!! WAAHHHHAHHAHHAAAAA!!
    Toni: I told you I would make them WITH you, not FOR you. This is the thing. When you choose to watch TV, you are not making any memories. You are just sitting there avoiding boredom.
    Munch: But I HATE being bored!
    Toni: No one likes being bored. But it is through allowing boredom to come, that your imagination is challenged.
    Munch: BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE ME THOSE PANCAKES!!! WAHHHAHHAHAHAA!!
    Toni: Maybe you should have made the choice to make a memory with me, and we could have done that. Every time you choose to be in front of a screen, you aren’t living life.
    Munch: Well I want to bring my iPad to Grandma’s house then.
    Toni: That is not happening.
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO!!! I WANT TO PLAY MY ELMO GAME THERE, AND GRANDMA HAS NO GAMES, AND SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE COMPUTER!
    Toni: Grandma will play games with you. Human to human games. She doesn’t want to watch you play the iPad. Grandma wants to spend actual time with you, and make memories.
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO BRING MY IPAD AND IF YOU DON’T LET ME I’M GOING TO THROW YOUR PILLOWS OUT THE WINDOW, AND BREAK YOUR COMPUTER, AND THROW YOUR PHONE IN THE TOILET, AND NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN.
    Toni: Munch, if you were the mom, and your daughter was acting like this – would you let her bring her iPad?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: And do you think you have watched enough things today?
    Munch: Yes.
    Toni: Do you realize that by not letting you watch stuff, I am trying to be a good mom to you?
    Munch: Yes.
    Toni: Do you want me to let you do whatever you want, and be a bad mom?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: Your friend’s don’t watch that much TV, do you think you have watched more than them today?
    Munch: Yes, a lot more.
    Toni: And if your friends are using their imaginations they are going to get smarter right? And if you just watch things, your brain will melt. Do you want your friend’s to get smarter than you?
    Munch: No. I want to be as smart as my friend’s and use my imagination.
    Toni: Okay, so do you understand why I am saying “no, you can’t bring the iPad to grandmas?”
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO BRING THE IPAD TO GRANDMA’S SO I CAN PLAY MY ELMO GAME WAAAHHHHHAAAHHHHHAAAA

    Check out at her inner conflict…

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