Parenting
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  • Role Model Bullshit

    It used to annoy me when parents would bitch about celebrities being a “bad influence on their kid.” I would be like, “Hey uptight moms and dads – you are the role model your kid should be look up to! So look in the damn mirror and worry about yourself. Don’t censor creativity or complain about Janet Jackson showing off her nipple. Lighten the eff up!”

    But now I kinda get it…

    So far the majority of The Munch’s screen time has been cartoons, so I never really thought about how famous people would impact her psychology. I wasn’t all that concerned about the effect of The Carebears on her understanding of the human experience because wanting a “belly badge” that gave you magic powers seemed pretty reasonable.

    Over the weekend I decided to show The Munch a video with actual people, because hey why the fuck not? The video is by the singer Sia, and features this 11-year old girl from the reality show “Dance Mom’s” – Maddie Zigler. The dancing in this video is captivating beyond belief!! Seriously, the best thing ever. Maddie is so unbelievably good as not only a dancer but also an actress that I considered following her on twitter but I can’t do that BECAUSE I AM AN ADULT and that would be weird. I needed to show this video to the Munch because the choreography is so compelling, and I felt it would be inspiring for her to see it considering the dancer is a little girl like her.

    And…. I was totally right! The Munch LOVED the video and became obsessed. She played it over and over again for 2 straight hours because she was trying to learn the dance! It was insanely endearing to watch. There is this certain satisfaction when you can share something you love with your kid. The video had moved me so profoundly, and I was thrilled that the artistry also impacted my child. I was like “The Munch has amazing taste because it is just like mine!”

    As much as I adored the song and video, I didn’t have the bandwidth to hear it as many times as The Munch wanted. Yet I also didn’t want to interfere with her moment! So I gave her my phone so she could play it as many times as she wanted and continue practicing her dancing. Sounds like a decent plan right?

    After a certain point, The Munch noticed the videos listed below the Sia one that I so adamantly approved of. The “suggested” videos on Youtube connected to Sia weren’t exactly what I would have been showing my 4-year old. Yet since Munch was the one on the phone, she then started searching through a variety of Iggy Azalea videos, including the charming one entitled “Pu$$y.”

    Now if you don’t know who Iggy Azalea is, she is female rapper from Australia. She has blinding blond hair, skin as white as Snow White, and sounds like Nicki Manaj. I am not going to say she doesn’t have skills because she does, but she also totally sucks. Her dancing is mediocre, her style is uninventive/classically slutty, her lyrics are unexceptional, and the beats overproduced.  It is just cliche modern music.  The only thing remarkable about Iggy Azelea is that she is a hot white girl who is decent at spitting rhymes. But there is nothing about her that makes me feel like she is interesting as an artist.

    Munch of course became infatuated with Iggy Azelea and wanted to watch her video cleverly named “Bounce” (about her bouncing hips) 10 bagillion times. Now of course I don’t want to impose my taste on my kid because that not only seems controlling, but also totally counterproductive. There is no better way to get your kid to hate something then trying to make them like it or not like it. But still, the last thing I wanted was my daughter thinking some average pop artist was cool simply because she was wearing bright colored clothes and the videos were edited with subliminal messages.

    **************************************

    Okay… So I wrote that this morning.  When putting Munch to bed tonight we had a dance party to Iggy Azelea, and it was actually kind of awesome. So I guess The Munch is going to be an influence on me too…
    (In case you missed the link, watch this video because it is my only reason for living).

    role-model-(i2)

    role-model-blog-(i1)

    September 2, 2014 • Behavior, Education, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 8

  • Just Another One of My Total Failures – No Big Deal

    Do you ever have those moments where you are like, “Wow… I am really embarrassed that just happened. Thank the universe no one was here to witness this totally humiliating experience. I pray this information never gets out because I don’t think I need to be judged on this complete failure.” Yeah… well I had one of those over the weekend and I am going to share it with you because I don’t know why…

    I feel like some context is in order. So I have been a “sober” person now for almost 6 years – which is a really really long time for a person like me who loves not being sober. Then last summer I dabbled in drinking coffee – which soon became the best time of my life because it got me high as fuck. My system was so pure from the absence of outside influences that caffeine was like meth. FUCKIGN AWESOME. But after about 2 months I had to quit. It got too intense, and my afternoon crashes were ugly – like its 5 am and your coke dealer won’t call you back so you tape over all your windows so to never face the sun again kind of ugly.

    A year went by, I was coffee-free, and all was good. Then a few weeks ago, I said to myself “Don’t be such an extremist Toni. You can do this. 95% of the adult population does this. You can drink coffee if you want. Just have it 4 days a week… Monday – Thursday, when you have the most work. Then don’t drink any for the next 3 days so you don’t become an addict… or so you don’t dull the high of Monday by getting too used to it…” Good thinking right!!?? Don’t create a dependency in order to still feel the potency of the effects! I should totally be a drug counselor right? “Listen, if you do heroine every day, it will lose its effectiveness – so instead doing it casually every few days for maximum impact.”

    What I didn’t anticipate was how hard the days would be without the coffee. Friday through Sunday I would be pushing through in this total state of “blahness” – unable to find my mojo. There was no meaning, no joy, nothing to kick start my morning into a frenzied state of productivity. I was existing, not living. Am I being a dramatic you say? NO I AM FUCKING NOT!!

    Now here is the thing about spending the day with a kid… or at least my kid. If I am in a good mental place, I can handle pretty much anything she throws at me. The more self- possessed I am, the better I can manage the complexity of my child’s moods. Although it might sound cliché or corny, taking caring of myself is the number one effort of social activism I can partake in. When I am truly centered and in control of my emotional being, I can handle the chaos of existence with grace. Yet when I am experiencing my own inner turmoil, it is easier for me to do things I later regret.

    The times that I handle The Munch with maturity and embody the model of behavior I want her to live up to, then I can feel like I am doing a decent job as a parent. Yet when I am fragile and too easily influenced by The Munch’s emotive state, those are the instances I am not exactly a “good example.”

    So this is what happened… We were at her swing set, and Munch wanted me to make her baby doll act frustrated. Part of me was like “yeah I guess I could do that…” but this other part of me was like “entertain yourself by swinging on your swing kid.” Like I said before, I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind from the coffee detox, and sometimes you just want your child to deal with their own life and not have to be their damn clown.

    Toni: Munch, why don’t you just swing for a bit and let Mamma stare off into the nothingness contemplating the futility of existence for a bit.
    Munch: No Mamma, don’t do that! Make the baby act frustrated!
    Toni: Fine…. What should she be frustrated about?
    Munch: Just make her act frustrated!!
    Toni: Dude, this isn’t “Improv 101!” I need some direction or something to go on. What do you want the baby to be frustrated about???
    Munch: MOM JUST MAKE THE BABY ACT FRUSTRATED!!!

    Ummm so that is where I got frustrated myself… and threw the baby. NOT AT MUNCH MIND YOU… I just threw the doll high up in the air, and she landed with a thud by Munch’s feet. Now this was a confusing moment for us both. I didn’t hit Munch with the baby because I am a coordinated person who knows how to land a shot if I wanted, but I did fling the baby in Munch’s overall direction. Albeit it was a lob, to throw a baby is a little… ummmm… juvenile.

    Munch looked at the baby, then at me, down at the baby again, and once more at me. I was pretty ashamed by my actions, but tried to blow it off to save face.

    Toni: Mamma, just threw the baby huh?
    Munch: Yeah… good thing it didn’t hit me…
    Toni: Yeah… Mamma is pretty silly right??

    Munch wasn’t buying it. She then also remembered that I never made the baby frustrated. The culmination caused Munch to be quite angry with me, so she took off her Minnie Mouse shoe, and threw it at my head.

    Doink!

    It was a perfect shot. We were both equally surprised because Munch normally doesn’t have the best aim… but this throw would have gotten her into the major leagues.

    A number of things were going threw my mind at this point. Number one was, “Holy fuck my kid just threw a Minnie Mouse shoe at my head!!!” Then of course, “well I did just throw a baby… BUT I DIDN’T hit her!!”

    I really didn’t know how to react or what to say. I needed a minute to sort all this out, so I kept quiet, got up calmly, and left to go inside. I stood in my kitchen and did what any normal person would do when faced with a dramatic conflict – I started doing the dishes and talking to myself. “Listen Toni, you have to redeem myself as an adult who acts with rationality and not emotional impulse. You are the grown up. You can do this!” After about five minutes The Munch came in looking for me.

    Toni: Munch, I am really angry with you for throwing a shoe at my head.
    Munch: Well… you should have ducked.

    (Although not the apology I was looking for, that is some pretty flawless logic)

    shoe-throwing-blog-(i)

  • Does Always Wanting More Make you An Addict?

    The problem with good things is that they leave us wanting more. If I have a bite of delicious cake … I want more. I have some good sex…I want more. I try some amazing pure Columbian cocaine…I want more. The nature of pleasure is to desire more, more, and more of it.

    Part of being an adult is learning to moderate the seduction of indulgence. We are expected to find balance because we have the foresight to understand that too much of a good thing is actually bad. Too much food destroys your heath. Too much sex gives you bumpy rashes. Too much drugs can kill you. Understanding boundaries is part of growing up. The alternative is to end up an addict.

    The thing with kids is they don’t get it. They have no concept of time, so rationalizing the limitation of a certain behavior because of future consequences is futile. I can tell my kid “Look, if you eat all that chocolate you are going to feel sick and shit your brains out later.” Her response will always be “I don’t care.”  It is up to me to moderate her intake, because left to her own devices The Munch just doesn’t give a fuck.

    I’ve tried letting The Munch totally indulge, so she could do a little soul searching on this subject. The prevailing logic was that she would realize for herself the results of excessive behavior, and consider the impact the next time she is faced with temptation. Yeah. No. That really didn’t work. Saying to my four year old “Remember last time when you ate too much ice cream and felt really sick,” only resulted in yet another “I don’t care.”  Whatever memory of the ice cream tummy ache from the past held no power over the delicious taste of ice cream in the present. I guess The Munch is very Buddhist because she only exists in “the now,” but the awareness of past or future effects is a pivotal part of learning restraint.

    The Munch is relentless in her quest for more of everything. She is never satisfied and this is annoying as fuck. She will make a promise like “Mom, let me watch something. I will only watch one episode of My Little Pony I promise. Then you can turn it off and I won’t fuss.” So I let her because I trust her* (*want to get away from her) but when her stupid neon colored show is over, The Munch immediately says, “okay just one more. I PROMISE!”

    While I admire The Munch’s commitment to negotiation, everything becomes a battle because of her inability to be content with what she just had. She will literally be eating a cookie while asking for another. I will be like “Dude, you don’t need to double fist cookies. Just relax and appreciate what you got!” But then she will start crying because I won’t give her another cookie WHILE SHE IS STILL EATING THE FIRST FUCKING COOKIE.

    Here is my dilemma. I can’t tell if The Munch’s excessive wanting “more” of everything is a result of her age or a precursor to a struggle that she will battle with for the rest of her life. I don’t want my kid to grow into an adult with an addictive personality. That is how you end up in back allies doing things you really regret. And is a hard thing to overcome. It is difficult for me to distinguish between normal kid shit, and the makings of a person who is going to beat up old ladies to steal money for blow. It is a fine line, my friends.

    Munch: Mamma, can I bring two lollipops to the beach?

    Toni: No Munch.  One is enough.

    Munch: But what if I want another one? Let’s just bring two just in case.

    Toni: Munch, that is excessive. You don’t want to feed that part of your soul. We all crave more, but it is pivotal to know your limits. Being greedy is a detrimental trait because you will never be satisfied, nor truly appreciate anything. Be grateful for what you have. You are so lucky and have so much abundance in your world.

    Munch: Okay how about I eat one lollipop now, and we bring the other one for later.

     

    more-blog-(i)

  • Swimming In Bacteria Like a Boss

    Okay. So I totally fucked up. But it’s not totally my fault. It is also nature’s fault… and global warming… and all the politicians/corporations/bankers who are ass fucking the planet. But I guess it is also my fault too.

    This is what happened. I live on a lake. It is a beautiful clean mountain lake. I have always thought it was a magical, healing, energetically pure body of water. It never occurred to me to doubt its virtue. The other day my baby sitter, Lilliana, brought The Munch to the beach to go swimming and was told not to go in because of bacteria contaminating the water. When Lilliana texted me this information I was like, “what the holy dick hole. I don’t believe this shit. I have never heard of this in my life. NEVER in 30 years on this lake have I been told not to swim because of bacteria! That is some serious yuppie bullshit!!”

    I just didn’t believe the hype, and quite arrogantly considering I did ZERO research on the subject. Had I just taken… oh… I don’t know… 3 minutes on the Internet all my questions would have been solved. But NO! I was NOT going to be told that I couldn’t swim in the damn lake I have been swimming in my whole damn life.

    Okay so this is where shit got bad. Later that afternoon when I went to pick up Munch she mentioned our plan to go swimming that we had made earlier that morning before this whole debacle.

    Toni: Do you think we should care about the bacteria in the water?
    Munch: Nope.
    Toni: Cool. I am going to trust you because you have the wisdom of a 4-year old. Forget the fact that I am an adult who can and should research potentially dangerous situations. Lets do this because you, my child, say its cool.

    And we drove straight to the bacteria filled beach.

    Okay, so here is a little context. For one… august has been cold as fuck. New England weather already sucks, and our summer has been uncharacteristically short. It didn’t get warm enough to swim until July, and then we had a serious cold rainy front for most of August. Essentially we got dicked out of summer and our only swimming time. After days and days of crappy weather, it was finally a nice day to swim. To not go because of some cryptic threat seemed ludicrous.

    Then next influence is my overall denial of drastic changes in the environment. I know they exist – but I don’t want to actually believe it. I see all those kids wearing sun shirts to protect their skin from the hole in the ozone, but I keep going back to the fact that I never wore sunscreen when I was a child… so what is the big deal? It is this stubborn renouncing of obvious truths because to admit reality is too painful. Yeah maybe when I was a kid the lake wasn’t contaminated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t now.
    Here is another element of the equation that maybe is less nature’s problem and more mine. I felt SUPER guilty about how much I have been working all summer, and wasn’t feeling like I spent enough time doing stuff outside with Munch. The fact that the season was almost over, made me feel like I didn’t appreciate it. The months went by so fast, and I spent an ample of amount of time inside working trying to make something out of my life. It was this crippling realization that my relentless ambition kept me from enjoying the fleeting warm months with my child.

    The last contributing factor to this scene is the “Holly” in me. You see, my mom –Holly- has a very particular approach to life. She is they type of woman who has mustard from the 80’s that she will put in your sandwich – ignoring the fact it expired 15 years ago – and rationalize eating it because fermentation or whatever. She has fed me rice with maggots unknowingly cooked in, because hey protein. She doesn’t measure when she cooks because measuring is for pussies. She let me ride in the back of a pick up truck because you know, safety is for weak. My mom just doesn’t give a fuck. She operates on her own frequency, and her attitude has obviously impacted my psychology.

    So being told I couldn’t swim because of some stupid bacteria seemed absurd! Forget the fact that NO ONE was at the lake. Never mind the water was eerily still and I could see the algae floating on the surface. Munch and I went anyway, had a wonderful swim, and watched the sunset.

    Sooooooooooooo…

    The next morning The Munch felt a little off. Her throat hurt, her tummy was cramping, but she seemed to pull through after breakfast so I totally forgot about it.

    Later that afternoon we again went to the beach. I assumed whatever silly little water thing HAD to be cleared up by now because it was all so ridiculous any way. Buuuuuut…. yet again it was closed. Yet this time though, there was a GIANT sign explaining what was going on with the water. So yeah…. I spend a moment looking it up, and it turns any contact with this bacteria can make you sick as fuck – including skin rashes, fever, sore throats, and stomach problems.

    Ummmm whoops.

    After I read that, I couldn’t help but feel sick myself. I couldn’t tell if it was in my paranoid head, or it was because I HAD BEEN SWIMMING IN BACTERIA FILLED WATER LIKE AN OVERCONFIDENT FOOL!

    So my guilt about not playing outside enough with my kid quickly transformed into guilt about maybe poisoning her with bacteria infested water. Luckily, she seems fine and never got to the explosive diarrhea or anal leakage stage… thank god Munch has been eating over at mom’s house having old mustard sandwiches with maggot filled rice to build her immune system.

    bacteria-blog-(i)

  • Here You go Sweetie… Eat this Tapeworm for Your Fat Ass

    Hi. The world sucks. Everyone is a total asshole. We might as well just flush our heads down the toilet because that is where society is headed.

    I recently read a delightful article about a mother who covertly fed her daughter tapeworm eggs so she would lose weight before a beauty pageant. When this girl went to the hospital complaining of cramps, the doctors did an ultra-sound thinking she was maybe pregnant, only to discover her belly was full of worms.The teen was administered medicine to flush out the parasites and await the exciting reality of having worms exit her asshole.

    A rehash: a mother didn’t think her daughter was skinny enough, wanted her to win a stupid contest about beauty, and made the decision to risk her child’s life (giving her the life experience of SHITTING LIVE WORMS UP TO 30 FEET IN LENGTH). Can you please close your eyes and imagine a LIVE WORM slithering out your ass, knowing it had been living INSIDE OF YOU??!!

    Of all the things I would not want coming out of my ass, a 30 foot live worm is at the TOP of my list. A squash would be a close second because of the girth, but at least it wouldn’t be moving around. In fact, I would take almost any inanimate object coming out of my ass – including a lamppost – over something that alive. It’s just wrong.

    Now that we’ve gotten over the whole worms coming out the ass part… wait hold on… wretch, gag, barf… okay I am better… there are some GLARING issues about parenting, this mother’s priorities, and how beauty is a defining attribute for girls. Of course I could say the classic rationalization that my mind gravitates towards, like the societal conditioning of women as sex objects, the societal pressure of female attractiveness, and the inaccessibility and absurdity of modern beauty standards. Of course I agree with all these points and believe we’ve been corrupted by oppressive definitions of gender. Yet this is also a chicken and egg scenario. Women often care obsessively about our physical appearance because culture dictates this and our culture is obsessively focused on female beauty because women are obsessed with it.

    We can hate the media for always writing about Kim Kardashian’s body, but every time I see an article about Kim Kardashian’s body I always look at it. I have been socialized to care and I should be furious about the constant objectification of women but I am also totally capable of rejecting this fucked up brainwashing.

    I remember being a kid in history class learning about slavery, the holocaust, Jim Crow, apartheid, and asking the teachers “I don’t get it. How did people allow that?? How could they not know that was wrong?” The prevailing justification I was given, “That was the culture of the time. Those people were reacting to the zeitgeist, so you can’t really blame them for participating in the perceived norm.” To which I would respond “What the dick!” and be sent out of the room.

    My reaction was “No way would I have gone along with that bullshit! I don’t care what kind of culture raised me. I would KNOW slavery was wrong. I would have NEVER let Jewish people be taken to concentration camps. There is NO WAY I would have drank water from some stupid whites only fountain. I would have been different. I would have NEVER let that happen!!”

    The same thinking applies here. Despite conditioning, there were still people who knew enslaving humans/segregation/genocide was wrong and actively fought against it. We women can also be like “fuck this beauty standard shit in the ass.” We don’t have to participate or buy billions of dollars of beauty products every year. We don’t have to hate our bodies or feel insecure that our thighs touch. We don’t have to give a shit about shit. Even though I know it is hard to reject all the fucked up messaging, it was also hard for people to start the Underground Railroad or hide Jews in their attics – but they still did it!

    Let’s do this. Let’s do it for ourselves, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. Lets keep our toilets tapeworm free

    worms-blog-(i)

    August 26, 2014 • Current Events, Health, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Women's Business • Views: 199

  • Don’t even think of leaving your kid alone… EVER

    I don’t know about you guys, but I had a lot of independence as a kid. Maybe my parents were quasi neglectful, or maybe I was just exceptionally mature. After all, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and believed marshmallow “Fluff” was a legitimate food source. So there you go.

    I started walking to school on my own in the first grade. The journey was about a mile and I embarked on this solitary excursion with my pride packed in my little backpack (which I ONLY ever wore on my right shoulder because I was NOT a NERD who wore their bag on BOTH shoulders….that would be CRAZY!!!!!) After school let out, I walked back to our empty house, put on my roller-skates, and glided around aimlessly until it got dark.

    When I was eight years old, I began babysitting for our neighbor’s twins. They were six months old and I got paid $5 an hour. I guess I was an innocent victim of a child labor ring – obviously I should have gotten $10 for two kids! I would play with these baby girls, change their diapers, sometimes remember to feed them, and play some more. I may not have been the most diligent baby sitter of all time, but I kept them alive and we had fun.

    In the summertime, I easily biked 15 miles a day because my mom thought driving her kid around was a “republican thing to do.” The majority of my childhood I was either alone or frolicking with friends making wise decisions like eating half a pound of cookie dough for dinner. Maybe this lead to a bout of serious diarrhea, but I also gained a sense of responsibility over my own person. I learned to rely on my instincts of self-preservation and subsequently understood how to take care of both myself and other people. The more my parents trusted me the more I trusted myself.

    It turns out that my mother, my neighbors, and half the parents I knew as a child, would have been arrested if they were parents today. According to a recent pole, 68% of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids age nine and younger from playing in parks unsupervised and 43% feel the same way about 12-year-olds. Despite the fact that people in this country are enjoying the lowest crime rates in decades. When asked: “Do kids today face more threats to their physical safety?” 62% answered “yes.”

    Americans are living with unprecedented fear. Enter the presence of modern day news. The pressure that 24-hour “news” channels have to fill each hour with content, every story is magnified to epic proportions. Media relies on people tuning in, so the more intense the tragedies, the higher the viewership. We have a morbid fascination with catastrophe, so media companies have a vested interest in amplifying every horrific detail to make more money, unconcerned that this ultimately exacerbates our culture of fear and paranoia.

    Call me crazy but parents today are in deep denial thinking the dangers facing their children are lurking in the park rather than I don’t know…THE FACT THAT CORPORATIONS AND THE BANKING INDUSTRY ARE RAPING THE PLANET OF ALL ITS RESOURCES SO THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS? Or how about our foreign policy: the U.S. is currently fighting SEVENTY-FOUR different wars right now? It is comparable to someone refusing to swim in the ocean for fear of sharks but then driving down the street because they don’t feel like walking—turning a blind eye to the reality that the likelihood of getting eaten by a sharped tooth bony fish is INFINITELY smaller than dying in a car crash.

    The benefits of allowing children to be accountable for themselves by playing with other kids without constant supervision and micromanaging of adults seems much more meaningful than our culture’s current obsessive panic over safety. Imagine if the movie “Stand by Me” took place today? The boys would be like “wanna see a dead body” and then some medley mom in the background would be like “no, you boys do not – now get back inside.” Roll credits.

    Of course we need to protect our children, but that also means helping them learn how to protect themselves. A generation of kids who has never once felt the autonomy of making their own decisions will potentially grow up to be a generation of very insecure adults. Although a 12 year old is still young, it is also kind of old. I mean… Mary was 12 when she had Jesus. If she can raise the Son of God, then I am pretty sure our kids can swing on a damn swing without their mommy having to observe their pumping skills.

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe these kids will be happy and well adjusted. Maybe part of the problem is that too many of us were raised by inattentive parents. Who knows. I do know that the fun of playing outside until dusk with no one telling what to do so maybe you try a cigarette that makes you puke seconds after the rush of your life–those memories will last a lifetime.

    (I would be scared of Munch if I came across her alone at the park)

    alone-kid-blog-(i)

     

    August 26, 2014 • Behavior, Current Events, Disciplining, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 314

  • Beauty Is A Rainbow (of hair)

    When you bring your child into a public space, there is a pretty good chance that someone might overhear your conversation and judge you as a parent. This is especially the case when you frequent a new-agey organic restaurant where the seats are painfully close to each other, and the diners next to you are hyper-critical snobs… but in a non-critical accepting way. Yet just because you know someone is listening in on your conversation doesn’t mean you have to self censor. Sometimes you’ve got to speak the truth, even if that means dealing with dirty looks from hippies.

    Toni: I kind of want to dye my hair red like the color of this doll’s hair.
    Munch: You do?! How come Mamma?
    Toni: I don’t know. I guess I am sick of my hair color.
    Munch: I want to dye my hair too then!
    Toni: Okay. What color?
    Munch: BROWN!
    Toni: What?! NO! Not brown! You have beautiful blond hair Munch. Why would you want to dye your hair brown?
    Munch: Because you have brown hair Mamma, and I want to be just like you!
    Toni: Munch that is really sweet, but your hair is awesome. I wish I had yellow hair like you because there is so much more you can do with it. Like you could dye your hair pink if you wanted?
    Munch: No Mamma. BROWN! I want to dye my hair brown!
    Toni: What about purple! It would be so easy. You wouldn’t have to bleach it or anything. You see my hair is too dark for that….
    Munch: Mamma, I want brown hair.
    Toni: Dude there is no way I am going to let that happen. What about blue!!! It would look so rad with your eyes! We could do blue streaks!
    Munch: Nope brown.
    Toni: Okay fine. I guess neither of us will dye our hair then.

    hair-blog-(i)hair-blog-(i2)

  • Can You Do Me A Favor And Not Ask For Any More Favors?

    If you are going to ask people to do favors for you, then be prepared to do favors for them. It is all part of the favor etiquette. You of course act like “I would do anything for you – because I love you,” but really you are saying “Yeah fine I will do this super annoying thing and act cool about it, but get ready because I am going to be asking you to do something for me real fucking soon.”

    Recently The Munch and I have been having a battle of the wills over the concept of favors. I can understand how this may be a slightly confusing concept considering there is a nuanced distinction between favors and the rest of our day where I am blatantly telling her what to do. With favors there is an element of will involved. You are not demanding something of someone, but asking… while hoping they comply out of the goodness of their hearts because you will be SUPER resentful if they don’t.

    For Munch, me asking her for a favor is no different than the 500 other insistences of the day – like my suggestion she doesn’t pee in the bath. But what she does not understand is that 99% of my ordering her around is for HER benefit not MINE. It is not like it matters to me if she has chocolate all over her face – but I have to recommend wiping it off so she doesn’t look demented. So when I ask for a favor it is one of the FEW requests where she does something for me. Munch will do it, but then she thinks of absurd favors for me to do in retaliation. Wait… I guess she totally gets the idea of favors after all.

    Toni: Hey Munch, will you pass me my shoes that are right next to you.
    Munch: Sure. Here you go.
    Toni: Thanks.
    Munch: Mamma, will you go upstairs and get my polkadot headband?
    Toni: Ummm, you are already wearing a headband.
    Munch: I know, but I need my polkadot one.
    Toni: Why don’t you get it yourself Munch. You are a big girl.
    Munch: But Mom, I am asking you to do me a favor!

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  • Why You Shouldn’t Eavesdrop

    When The Munch plays pretend, she often talk to herself. She comes up with characters to act out scenarios. The murmurs of her banter is endearing. I love when she happily plays by herself, content in her own imagination while creating a world through the dialogue of her dolls. It is one of the most peaceful moments of motherhood that soothes my soul.
    Ummm… yeah.The truth is, I haven’t been listening that carefully to what Munch’s characters are actually saying.
    The other day I brought The Munch with me to my dance studio while I took a ballet class. She had her back to us and was completely lost in her own universe. Our presence was totally inconsequential — The Munch was committed to her own reality.
    Here’s the thing about sound.When you have loud music on, it drowns out all other noise. Yet when said loud music is turned off, all other noise is amplified in the silence. In this case, when the song ended and the teacher was momentarily thinking about the next exercise, the sound of Munch’s voice echoed throughout the room.
    At first we all looked at each other and said with our eyes “awwww how sweet… the little girl is playing pretend.”  Then the actual words coming out of her mouth became clear.
    Munch: You go over here Mamma because I am going to put you in jail. Then I am going to stomp on your face if you don’t give me all the jellybeans I want. Go in jail right now and stay there forever and ever for 100 years and I am never going to let you out!! And then I might KILL YOU!

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