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Family Drama
Category

  • Thanks…. I guess

    Leaving your child in the care of another is always a risk.  But it is one of those necessary risks, like eating food you dropped on the floor, or sitting down on a public toilet to diarrhea.  I always appreciate when someone watches The Munch for me, but it means I have less control over what happens in her day.  Especially when said caretaker happens to be my mom.  Who although is exquisite, will do as she damn well pleases – because she is still the boss in our relationship.

    Toni: “So Mom, how was she?”

    Mom: “She was okay.  She had what I like to call a ‘weak day.’”

    Toni: “Ummmm what does that mean?”

    Mom: “Well, she basically watched the Ipad all day.”

    Toni: “What???????!!!!!!!!!”

    Mom: “She seemed pretty tired, so I gave it to her thinking she would fall asleep, but then she didn’t and wouldn’t let me take it away.”

    Toni: “So she watched the IPad for 6 hours today?!!!”

    Mom: “Yeah, pretty much.  I tried to have her watch Dumbo, but she got really upset when they locked Dumbo’s mother up, and made me turn it off.”

    Toni: “Mom are you out of your mind!!!!??? You had her watch the scene in Dumbo when the locked up his mother??? I am still traumatized by that.  I couldn’t watch that now and not weep. “

    Mom: “Yeah, she was pretty distressed by that.”

    Toni: “How could you do that??”

    Mom: “Toni, Dumbo is a beautiful movie.  I could do a whole diatribe on the meaning of Dumbo.”

    Toni: “Mom!! She is only 2! I can’t believe you let her watch the saddest thing ever to be drawn in the history of all film.”

    Mom: “Calm down Toni. Then we watched Alice and Wonderland for a while, but she really didn’t like it when Alice got shrunk into the bottle.  She made me turn that off too.”

    Toni: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

    Mom: “So then she insisted on watching these stupid silly things.”

    Toni: “You mean, like, a cartoon for a toddler?  Like Mickey Mouse? Or Pokoyo? Something that doesn’t have severe animal abuse or LSD flashbacks?

    Mom: “Something inane like that.  And she kept trying to have me watch it with her, but there is no way I am watching that crap.”

    Toni: “Wow.  Okay.  Well… I am going to go process this information now.”

    Mom: “Think about it this way Toni, at least now you have something to write about.”

    She wasn’t kidding about that!

    PS: I went to look for the scene in Dumbo to share with you.. and it literally comes up as Dumbo Sad Scene in Youtube

    “Seriously…. why did they do that to Dumbo’s Mommy?”

    thanks-I-guess-blog-(i)

     

     

     

     

    March 25, 2013 • 2 years old, Family Drama, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1795

  • Revisionist History

    The Munch really likes when I tell her stories of my childhood, and especially wants to hear adventures with my brother, her Uncle Laszlo.  Yet you would think she would be a passive participant in this process, and enjoy the narrative without interruption.  Not my child.  The Munch is like an elitist historian who has no problem revising the facts and interjecting opinions to sculpt a version she can approve of.

    This is the tale of “Toni and Uncle Laszlo in the bath” she makes me tell every night before bed.

    Toni: “Once upon a time when Mamma was a little girl…”

    Munch: “No! Mamma was a baby!”

    Toni: “Okay fine, when Mamma was a baby…. She was taking a bath with Uncle Laszlo.”

    Munch: “And Uncle Laszlo was not wearing his shoes.”

    Toni: “Right.  So Mamma and Uncle Laszlo were in the bath and they were having so much fun.  They were laughing, and playing, and singing…”

    Munch: “But they weren’t singing Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

    Toni: “No.  So then, baby Mamma saw something floating towards her.  And she thought… ‘what is that? Is it a rubber ducky? No… Is it a bar of soap? No… Is it a washcloth? No… Its poops!!!’ Uncle Laszlo had pooped in the bath!”

    Munch: “No Uncle Laszlo didn’t poop in the bath!”

    Toni: “Munch, I am pretty sure he did, otherwise this would be a kind of a lame story.”

    Munch: “No he didn’t poop in the bath!! MAMMA POOPED IN THE BATH!”

    Toni: “No Munch.  Mamma didn’t poop in that bath.  Mamma is a lady!”

    Munch: “MAMMA DID POOP IN THE BATH! And Uncle Laszlo was crying.  And he said ‘Don’t poop in the bath anymore.’ And then he had so many tears.  But he didn’t get soap in his eyes.  And he didn’t wash his hair.  And there where three bubbles.  One, two, three.  And they were so high.  And they were tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny.  But they tasted like candy. No sugar.  No ice cream.  And he ate them all up.  Uncle Laszlo wasn’t crying any more.

    Toni: “Wow Munch – that is a really good story.  I think that was exactly what happened.”

     

     

  • Semi-abusive adults

    The greatest lessons I have leaned in life have come from hardships.  I don’t think I did a lot of growing when I was dancing on bars downing tequila shots, although I sure as shit was having fun!  It is usually through suffering that I evolve as a human.  Does that make me an existentialist sadomasochist?

    Although my parents were pretty tame to my brother and me, their parents came from another generation and were way more hard-core.  These were the adults that were hardest on me as a child, but also had the most impact on my development.  I don’t remember ever feeling like I had a choice, or could even argue their perspective, because I was so conditioned to respect my elders and do what they say.  So consequently, I would find myself in situations doing things I really didn’t want to do, or didn’t think I could do.

    My grandmother on my father’s side was really loving and affectionate, but also insanely sexist.  She would always encourage my older brother to go to the third floor and play so he could expand his imagination and intelligence while I helped her in the kitchen.  It was there where she would give me such sage advice as “Tonikam… do you know what a bitch is?  Well don’t be like that because it will make your face look old.”

    Although spending my childhood making dumplings was for sure less exciting than making G.I Joes fly around, I did learn quite a lot being my grandmother’s house helper.  Like how to feed myself and others, how to appreciate time with her even though I was doing boring chores, and what her teeth looked like in a jar when she took them out at night.

    My mom’s stepfather was very Swiss and did not believe in coddling children.  His demeanor was slightly harsh and would not tolerate complaining or whining.  He once took my brother and I skiing and we got lost and had to hike back up the mountain to find the path.  Oh yeah, and we were in the Alps – so it was kind of a big mountain.  Now at 6, one thing that is really complicated is carrying two skis and two polls.  The skis kept splitting apart, I would take two steps drop a pole, try to bend down to pick it up and my ski would wack me in the head and fall. Then I would have to drop everything to re-attach the skis together and try to get my polls in the other hand, but my hands were too cold and then I trip over my ski boots.  My goggles kept fogging up so I couldn’t see, and had to follow the panting of my brother ahead of me in a desperate attempt to keep up.  Even though I thought this was the worst day of my life, and kind of wanted to beat my grandfather with my skis, I did make it out alive.  That experienced definitely toughened me up.

    Three years later my mom’s father took us on a kayaking and camping trip.  He was also stern man who had little tolerance for weakness, so at 9 and 12 my brother and I had to pick up kayaking and going down waterfalls pretty quick.  The first few days my brother got severely dehydrated and puked for 24 hours into the river.  For the next 14 days his foamy vomit followed us.  The mosquitos were so bad that it looked I had herpes of the body, and as much as I wanted to go home I couldn’t because the only way out was making it the 100 miles down the river.  And of course I couldn’t express my discontent because we are New England people and don’t talk about pansy things like emotions or admit feebleness.  You stuff it all down your throat like a Thanksgiving turkey.

    Although this whole experience felt crazy, especially because my grandfather sometimes kayaked in the nude, it was empowering.  Pushing myself to the limits and going past them was a really meaningful practice.  It has helped me so much in my adult life to know that I can persevere even when I think I can’t.  These semi-abusive adults really showed me my own strength, and I honor their total disregard my feelings.

    So here I have this little girl, who I want to show empathy and love towards and be a hippy earth-mother who embraces all her emotions.  And the Munch has nothing but sane reasonable adults in her life who want to spoil her rotten, listen to her needs, and not put her in quasi-dangerous situations.  Fuck!! She is going to be such a pussy!! What am I going to do??

    I feel like kids almost need some hard characters in their lives to challenge them.  Although philosophically I am all about love and compassion, but if that is all The Munch is exposed to how is she going to thrive the face of adversity?  She needs some hard-asses in her life!

     

     

  • Turn Me Off Turn Me On

    When going on a road trip with a passenger you expect to have to compromise on what jams you are going to listen to. I am fine with this concept.  I am a pretty open person and like a variety of musical choices and consider myself eclectic and interested in being exposed to new things.  But usually my co-pilot is familiar with the concept ‘give and take’ – so there is some sort of level playing field when it comes to choice. But riding with The Munch in the car is like traveling with a miniature dictator.  For the past year, all we could listen to was her “Munchee Music” and often 67 times in a row.  I don’t know how many times you have heard ‘Wheels on the Bus’ back to back, but let me tell you, more than twice is definitely US Military grade torture.

    Now that she has memorized all her kid music crap, The Munch has decided that she will expand her horizons and lets me play my “Mamma Music,” but not without opinion- that is for damn sure.  And she not only does she have something to say about what music I listen to, but how I listen to it.

    Munch: “No Mamma, no I don’t like that song.”

    Toni: “Munch, you do like this song.  This is ‘All Night Long.”  This is a classic.”

    Munch: “No it is not a classic.”

    Toni: “Yeah, pretty sure Lionel Richie is classic.”

    Munch: “Change it Mamma I don’t like it.”

    Toni: “Fine.”

    Munch: “Noooooo!! I don’t like this song either.”

    Toni: “Well Munch, this is John Mayer so I am going to have to agree with you on this one.”

    Munch: “Change it!!!!!!”

    Toni: “Good call.”

    Munch: “Stop Mamma, don’t press!!! I like this one!!!”

    Toni: “You like experimental jazz on NPR??”

    Munch: “Don’t press Mamma!! I like it!!”

    Toni: “Ugggghhhh no!! I can’t take it.  It is too frenetic!”

    Munch: “Don’t change it!”

    Toni: “I have to!  Here… to you like this song???  Its ‘Immigration Song’ … Zeppelin.”

    Munch: “I like this song….. NO MAMMA DON’T DANCE!!!!”

    Toni: “Munch I want to dance! I like this song!”

    Munch: “NO MAMMA!! STOP DANCING!!!!! STOP!!”

    Toni: “MUNCH… Don’t be such a dick!”

    Munch: “But I want to be a dick.”

    Okay fine… it was not the best idea to call my two-year old a dick… and I do regret it.  But it was kind of worth it.  And that is really controlling telling me not to dance right?? Who doesn’t like car-dancing to songs they like???

    March 7, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 995

  • That’s Snot Okay!

    Although my own boogers have proved to provide endless entertainment and distraction from boredom, I am actually quite horrified by the nose droppings of others.  I have forced myself to come to peace with the snot of The Munch, considering she has been known to use my shirt as a Kleenex, and often leaves a patty of mucus on my shoulder after an intense cry.  I will admit though, I have yet to fully suppress my gag reflex when she eats her nasal candy.

    But The Munch is the spawn of my DNA, so her bodily secretions are less gross then if she were not my genetic semi-clone.  She is an extension of my insides, except with feet, and her own face.  Her piss and shit has been the soundtrack to my life, and I have learned to deal with her excretions with as much dignity as a Victorian Lady with dysentery.

    But that does not mean I am comfortable with other people’s boogers being wiped on me.  Which is what my friend kept doing as a joke over the weekend.  I started to have a visceral reaction that seemed like it was coming from a primal wound from my past.  In an effort to uncover this trauma I was engaging in some intense talk therapy over the phone with my most trusted confident.

    “You know, she just kept wiping her boogers on me.  Although I can appreciate the comedy, actually looking at the glistening slime on my pants produced surges of vomit to bellow up the back of my throat.  I am not sure why I have such an aversion?? Maybe it dates back to when my brother would take his boogers and attach them to his eyelashes, extending the green goblin from the top set to the bottom.  He would keep his eye at half-mast to make sure not to lose this slime soldier and then chase me around the room like that – getting just close enough forcing me to look at his face and watch the booger stretch across the lashes as he blinked.”

    Yeah… come to think of it, I am pretty sure that is the source of my terror.

    (Hard to believe such a sweet face was capable of such psychological warfare.  Although I do think my brother is a comedic genius.  I have a lot to learn from him.  Munch… you better watch out!)

    March 4, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Body, Family Drama, Musings, Pee & Poop • Views: 1293