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  • Playground Politics

    Every social situation has its own code of ethics.  The way to ingratiate yourself to a new community is by quickly adapting to the rules.  The playground is a major attraction for The Munch, and I am starting to learn what the policies are.   Hopefully one day I will be accepted.  Fingers crossed!

    Playground Politics 101

    1)    No talking on cell phone while playing with child! You will be severely judged for this and other parents will shake their heads in shame thinking you are neglectful.

    2)    If another child hits yours, or takes their toy away, you must act like this is not real problem and say things like “that is totally okay… my kid is just being a big baby.”

    3)    If your child hits or takes a toy away you must act mortified and scold your child profusely… even if the other kid totally deserved it.

    4)    If sand is thrown in your child’s face, make a cute comment about how “dirt don’t hurt.”

    5)    When a mommy is talking to you about how much her back hurts, how tired she is, the texture of her child’s diaper rash, how much she ate that day, or describes the particulates of her kid’s diarrhea, you must listen as if totally engrossed.

    6)    If another parent is reprimanding their child, do not stare open mouthed and slightly drooling.

    7)    When leaving the park and your child starts flailing and shrieking in protest, maintain a serene look on your face as you carry their seizing body to the car.



    May 2, 2012 • 1 year old, Adventures, Relationships • Views: 879

  • Delusional People

    Supposedly if 100 people see the same event, you will have 100 different versions of what happened.  Meaning that there is a subjective influence to every experience rather than one undeniable interpretation of what happened.  But I am willing to bet that at least the majority of those accounts are pretty alike.  I can accept that there will always be slight variances when two people are remembering something from the past, but how frustrated does it make you feel when the other person happens to be totally delusional?

    In most of my experiences rehashing past events with people, I  may have an identical interpretation, but it is at least relatively similar.  If my behavior was less than desirable, I am able to admit my participation in the chaos.  Usually, the other person can as well, and some sort of understanding is formed.  We both can agree on what happened and how and why we contributed to the tension.  And because the issue feels resolved we let it go.

    But sometimes when you attempt to achieve this sense of resolution with a delusional person, their whole memory changes and they start to fabricate things to fill in the gaps. They try and convince you that you said things you didn’t, and that they didn’t say things that they did.  The disagreement escalates because it no longer about the issue at hand, but the facts about what actually happened.  The more enraged you get, the more sanctimonious they become.  Their lies have become their truth.  You start to feel like you are taking crazy pills as they attempt to convince you that what you thought was real is actually not, and what they think is real actually is.

    The problem is, that once someone travels this path in their own mind, there is no turning back.  They are not going to suddenly self-reflect and realize their own selfish agenda.  They are going to stick to their new story that proves you unequivocally wrong, and them right.  And there is really nothing you can say because you aren’t even talking about the same thing any more.

    I had this happen to me the other day with Munch.  It went a little something like this.  While I was washing dishes she had climbed onto the kitchen table and spilled a quart of dried lentils and then dropped my phone in a plate of spaghetti.

    “Munch! Are you allowed to be on the table?”


    “You are? Wait… no you are not.  I make the rules and you are not allowed to be on the table.”

    “Munchee on table.”

    “Yes, but are you supposed to be on the table?”

    “Yes.  Munch climb on table.”

    “Oh… okay, I didn’t know you are supposed to be there.  Sorry… carry on.”

    Do you see how easy it is to get confused?

    “It was all a dream Mama… you really don’t know what you are talking about do you?”

    May 1, 2012 • 1 year old, Musings, Relationships • Views: 811

  • Talking Behind Your Back


    I talk behind people’s backs.  Not my best quality.  My boobs probably are.  But it happens.  I don’t, however,  see myself as flagrant or obnoxiously gossipy because I find petty details less interesting then in-depth analysis.  I do have some ethics in my strategy.  I only say things I have actually said to you, (or am preparing to) and I won’t talk about you to someone who is better friends with you then they are with me… otherwise they would potentially tell you want I said making me look like an ass.

    I think talking about people is totally natural.  It is a way of processing relationships, and finding peace in the things that bother you most.  It is also a way of connecting with other people.  There is this conversation topic… you… and discussing you can feel intimate.  Sorry.

    However some things are sacred and should be treated as such.  Interestingly, there are many secrets I keep of people that I am not very close with, but to betray their trust would make me feel ashamed.  It is one thing to broadcast my own opinions, but when you start divulging intimate personal information that could affect someone’s life, it is time to consider the consequences.  There is a code of decency that supersedes friendships and should be honored.

    But we have all gotten caught talking about someone, just as we have all caught someone talking about us.  The people I talk about the least are the ones who are most open to openly dissecting our relationship.  It makes me feel immature talking about someone who I could just as easily bring up my issues with them directly.

    So I guess here is my moment…. I am finally going to talk to Munch about using my toothbrush when she can’t find hers.  What?? You should see the things she puts in her mouth.


    April 24, 2012 • 1 year old, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1019

  • Don’t Tell Me I Suck When I am Telling You How You Suck

    I may be the fist person to notice this, but no one seems to like it when you tell them what you think is wrong with them.  The conversation will mostly likely get quite tense the deeper you go into why you don’t like their behavior.  In fact, I am willing to bet that most people will then start criticizing you while you are attacking them, and thus not really listen to your analysis of why they suck.

    We all have defensive mechanisms when being berated, because that is so much easier then actually dealing with the situation at hand.  Of course it is not like every time someone chooses to explain how lame you are they are correct in their assertation, but it is hard to decipher the validity of their point when you are too busy thinking of comebacks to pronounce their faults instead.  Sometimes people are groundless in their complaints, but sometimes they have a relevant observation that you can learn from.  You may never know unless you spend time honestly discussing what it is they have come to bring to your attention.

    I tried this the other day with The Munch, and was met with quite a lot of resistance.  It went a little like this.

    “Munch, Mama doesn’t like it when you kick her when she is trying to change your diaper.”

    “Mama poops”

    “Yes Munch, that is true, but not really applicable to what I am trying to tell you.  Mama wants you to be calm, and not kick, when she is trying to help you out by changing your diaper.”

    “Mama poops and pees in the potty.”

    “Look Munch, you are getting a little personal here and I don’t appreciate these aggressive comments.  Can you please just work on not kicking me?”

    “Kick Mama.”

    Do you see what I mean?

    April 19, 2012 • 1 year old, Baby Body, Baby Brain, Musings, Pee & Poop, Relationships • Views: 1027

  • You’re Ruining My Self-Esteem!

    Blaming someone else for hurting your self-esteem is both totally insane and absolutely reasonable.  It is called “self”-esteem because supposedly our sense of worth should be generated through our own personal perception of self, so how can anyone else dictate how you should feel about you?  But to expect that other people and life circumstances won’t impact your confidence is like thinking you can “just cuddle” with a drunk-rapey guy.

    In romantic relationships we so often combine how that person thinks about us with how we view ourselves.  When you fight and they have a negative opinion of you like “you always blah blah blah, and you never hummina hummina hummina”, it can be hard to separate their views from your own.  Or if you work really hard at something and you don’t achieve your goals, it is challanging not to feel like a failure and want to soak in a bath of your own urine because after all it is body temperature so why not?

    In an ideal world we would have the emotional capacity to understand that another person is not the barometer of self-love, that every perceived failure is a lesson from the universe that will eventually be revealed, and I would be best-friends with a genius from the genius bar at Apple who would teach me everything they know.  But in the mean time reminding yourself that your own value does not have to contend with the elements of life you can’t control is a good idea because your skin will thank you later… you know… because pee can easily dry you out.

    “Hey Mama, wanna hear something crazy? That kid over there told me I didn’t go down the slide right.  What a moron right? Suck it kid!”

    April 4, 2012 • 1 year old, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1315

  • Can You Be My Everything?

    There are many faces of the Buddha, just as there are many different sides of our personalities.  Different people bring out different aspects of your character, as does different social situations and circumstances.  Part of being a cohesive person is learning to strategically understand when it is appropriate to show which part of your personality, to whomever you are with, in the setting you are in.  It may be okay to have tequila shots with friends at a bar, but less suitable with grandma at lunch.  Unless your grandma likes to party and your friends are a bunch of pussies.

    Sometimes in intimate relationships we expect people to be our everythings.  With the people you love the most you may want them to accept every single part of who you are, but that may not be reasonable.  Your mom may love you unconditionally, but she doesn’t need to know the side of you that watches simulated blow up doll porn.  Your romantic partner may adore you until the day they die, but that doesn’t mean they can fulfill your every emotional need.  Even your best friend who will be devoted to you until the end of the universe sometimes wants to punch you in the face.  There is no one person on planet earth that can know you fully and enjoy every single part of your being all the time, which is why community is so important.

    You have the people you work with that satisfy your being a responsible adult persona, the buddies you let loose with, the people who inspire you and can be creative with, the family members that support you and make you feel safe, the frenenemies that motivate you to try harder because of the bitchy backhanded comments about how you are barely mediocre.

    The more effort we put into surrounding ourselves with people that can satisfy the various traits we each contain, the more content we would be with each individual in our lives.  As far as I know we only got this one planet to live on, and if we each truly valued the communities we created I believe the world would be a more peaceful place.  Or at least slightly less lame.

    “So what you are saying Mom, is that if I am an asshole to everyone I know on earth, maybe there are some aliens out there I can still be friends with?”


    March 22, 2012 • 1 year old, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1029

  • Coping With Life

    Being an adult means learning how to cope with your feelings and not taking out your emotional friction on others.  It also means accepting that you have to take off your pants and underwear to go to the bathroom.  Although being an emotional vampire might provide a nifty opportunity to wear cape and not bother wiping blood from your chin, it can be quite exhausting for others to be around.

    We all know those people that have a very limited capacity to deal with their own inner turmoil.  They are always in somewhat of a crisis mode, which makes it hard to be anything but slightly self-absorbed.  It is hard to be a good friend to others when you are always floundering in the confusion of self-pity and inability to deal.

    But a lot of us who may not obviously struggle with how best to cope with the suffering that is the human condition, tend to use other methods that may not be that admirable either.  Smoking, drinking, watching excessive amounts of TV, compulsive sexual stimulus, drugs, over-exorcising, over-eating, under-eating, cutting, plucking, picking, are all forms of managing our emotions that are still somewhat self-destructive.

    I got thinking about this because at “mommy group” one of the mommies was talking about how her daughter is not only starting to have meltdowns, but doesn’t want to be consoled either.   This mommy was conflicted because it was the first time she couldn’t solver her daughter’s problem, the first time breastfeeding wasn’t the answer to calm her.  This little girl didn’t’ want anyone to look at her, touch her, comfort her, nothing, and it made the mom feel almost rejected.  So she asked if any of us had experienced that before and I said…

    “I think that is actually amazing she is learning how to work through her emotions on her own.  I know it might be hard for you, but you have to remember you are not just raising a child, but also an eventual adult.  You know how tiring it can be to handle a needy friend right?  My personal opinion is that what she is doing is really healthy for her in the long run.”

    But the mommy group’s stay at home daddy totally disagreed with me.

    “Toni I think you are being too rational about something that is ultimately emotional.  I don’t know about you, but I want to solve all my kid’s problems.  I don’t fear their dependency on me, and in fact want that type of intimacy.  Maybe that is selfish of me, but if they later resent me for it later, I hope they still lay a flower of my grave and realize I did the best I could.”

    I thought about what he said, and I then I thought about what I was going to watch on TV later.  It is not that ignore The Munch’s cries if she is truly desperate, but if she is just whiney I am not going to exactly cater to every irrational request.  There are only so many times you can take a doll’s jacket off, then put it back on, then take it off, then put it back on, then take it off, then put it back on again.  There is definitely a delicate balance because you never want your child to feel emotionally abandoned, but you also want them to realize that sometimes they are going to have to feel their feelings.  More than anything I want her to have real ways of dealing with her emotions so she doesn’t rely on others or self-medicating with bong hits and cartoons.

    So every time The Munch is upset I always ask her “what’s wrong” because I want her to feel heard and learn how to process what is upsetting her, but that doesn’t mean I am going to do what she wants because you just can’t have cake for breakfast even if it looks delicious.

    “Uhhh Mom… that cake looks really good… can I have some?”


    March 15, 2012 • 1 year old, Behavior, Disciplining, Musings, Relationships • Views: 820

  • The Pain of Rejection

    The pain of rejection causes a wound so deep you can see the fat, tendons and innards of your skin.  When someone rejects you not only does your heart experience the anguish, but also your ego and sense of self are severely damaged.  The sorrow of the heart is fleeting, but the feeling like you were not good enough for someone else is what leaves a taste so rancid you want to scrape your tongue until it bleeds.

    Too much?

    But let me tell you why rejection should not bother you at all.  When someone doesn’t’ want you, that has nothing to do with you and your value as a human, but your compatibility with another person.  What we cannot do is establish our self-esteem by what others may think of us.  When you allow another person to be the cause of your confidence it is like only feeding on cupcakes and M&M’s… it may taste sweet but there is no substance.

    Compatibility is an esoteric energetic connection that is beyond the rational.  It is an illogical, emotionally driven urge to be with another person, and when that fades it doesn’t mean anything about who you are.  Unless you were a total jerk to that person, in which case you should probably flush your head down the toilet a few times.

    Babies and toddlers reject people all the time, and it is hard to not take it personally.  Some times The Munch will refuse to give her babysitter Lilliana a kiss goodbye and I can tell it makes Lilliana so sad!  Or I will try and get your kid to say “hi” to someone and she says “NO” and hides behind my leg like a little dick.  Sometimes The Munch will reject me and say “No Huggies” when I try and hug her!!

    I can see it in people’s eyes that they somewhat understand she is just a small child and doesn’t mean to offend, but it still does!  The rejection of a child is just as real even if it is coming from someone who can’t tell the difference between a bunny and squirrel.

    “No kisses for you Mama!”



    March 14, 2012 • 1 year old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Musings, Relationships • Views: 740

  • Irrational Fears

    Most fears are completely irrational and have nothing to do with reality.  Think of how many people are afraid of flying but are perfectly comfortable in cars where the chance of crashing is so much more likely.  Fears are intensely entrenched in our imaginations and what we envision to be horrifying, rather than what our actual life experience has proven to be.

    A big fear I hear people saying is that they are “afraid of getting hurt again.”  They don’t want to take risks in their love lives because they have been hurt before and can’t go through it again.  Okay, fine, everyone has had their heart broken and it sucked for a while, but you got over it right?  You eventually stopped thinking about them every morning when you woke up, or when you ate waffles, or listened to music, or were walking, or going to bed, or trying to breathe.  After some time you thought about them a little less and started to move on.  You didn’t die, you probably learned something about the twisted nature of relationships, and you hopefully matured into being a better partner in the future.  So many people waste their lives in the fear of that emotional anguish of being hurt forgetting that it won’t last forever.

    But I get it, I have had many fears that make no real sense.  Like when I was a child I was insanely afraid of this blow up batman doll.  If he was deflated and just a saggy batman, I had no problem with him, but the second he filled with air I would run away shrieking like my face was on fire.  I was so terrified of him even though he never did anything to me besides stare vacantly through my very being.

    Another thing that scares the butt barf out of me to this day is bugs….Especially cockroaches.  I am so petrified of those things that even writing about them makes my teeth itch.  I know they can’t hurt me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have a panic attack if I see one.

    Living in the cuntree I don’t see those cock-sucker-roaches as much as when I lived in the city, but I do see my fair share of creepy insects. I do my best to be brave and capture them. To release them back to nature.  After all, I don’t want to  be a murderer and I feel the pressure to teach The Munch that these disgusting creatures are not to be feared.

    Of course she is not only afraid of spiders and bugs, but sometimes even flies.  That is a tricky one because flies are hard to catch and love to hang out near windows, which makes them seem especially tragic. There was one time when there were 6 flies in the kitchen as I was trying to give The Munch dinner and it was the most dramatic scene I have ever witnessed since that time I reenacted The Godfather by myself in the bathtub.  I was pretty convincing.

    But there is an excitement to the feeling of fear as the adrenalin propels through your system.  Kind of like how it feels exciting to walk through a cemetery at night just to feel the fear in your blood.  So feeling fear isn’t what we should avoid, it is letting fear control our actions.  So with that being said, I have a blow up batman doll to hug.


    March 13, 2012 • 1 year old, Behavior, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1036