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  • Peer Pressure Boston Adventure

    I used to be strong. I had never been susceptible to peer pressure. I was committed to my convictions, and believed in the validity of my perspective. And then something happened. Something that confused me, wore me down, and pushed every button of my being like I was a Nintendo 64. That something I am referring to was the meshing of my DNA to create another human.

    Since squirting out The Munch, I doubt myself more. Not because I don’t think I know what I am doing, but because there is someone talking in my ear every second of my life, and I have no peaceful moments to think. I am easily flustered because from the second The Munch opens her eyes, she is spouting the utterings of her consciousness like silence is something that must be destroyed by the sound of her high-pitched voice. When she is not talking, The Munch is doing something that I for sure don’t want her to be doing – but because she is being quiet I take my sweet time investigating the shit show she is creating in the other room.

    The other morning I was rushing to get ready to take Munch to the doctor’s in Boston to get her lazy eye checked. Unlike my hippy doctor where we make appointments days in advance, the “White Man’s Western Medicine Doctor” means I made this appointment 6-months ago… and of course I was running late. Why you may ask… because a certain someone had to change her clothes 7 times that morning. (I have a lot of sweatpants to choose from).

    While I was getting everything ready, and packing snacks for the car, The Munch was in the bathroom “playing.” When I finally went in to grab her, I discovered that she was actually painting the bathtub, and her face, with red glitter.

    Toni: Whoa dude… that is an insane amount of glitter.
    Munch: I was just making the bathtub pretty and my eyes beautiful for the eye doctor.
    Toni: Okay cool… but that is really quite a lot. Let me wipe some off so your doctor doesn’t think I am breeding you to become a stripper in Tampa.
    Munch: Where is Tampa?
    Toni: Uhhhhhh Munch… why isn’t the glitter coming off?
    Munch: Oh. Because I glued it on.
    Toni: What?
    Munch: Yeah… I just used this glue right here…
    Toni: Wow… you sure as shit did.

    I then shoved my harlot daughter into the car and started frantically driving to Boston. Even if we didn’t stop once, we would maybe have 3 minutes to spare. When we were about 20 minutes away, I called my mom and asked if she would figure out the exact building we had to go to in Mass General…. She called back to say my appointment was at 9:45 not 11:15.

    Toni: That is a fucking lie!! WHAT THE DICK!!!!!!!!!! They told me 11:15!!!!!!!!!! I even called the other day and they never corrected me? WHAT THE FUCK!!
    My Mom: I don’t know what do say. You can still spend the day in Boston and enjoy yourself while I hang with Munch?
    Toni: AHHHHHHHHH I CAN’T ENJOY MYSELF! It is going to take 7-months to make another appointment. FUCK FUCK FUCK!
    Munch: Mamma, what is wrong?
    Toni: We missed your appointment…
    Munch: That is okay. We can just go another day.
    Toni: Munch you don’t get it… that means I just drove 2-hours for nothing when I could of spent the day hating myself in front of the computer!

    When we got to Boston, my mom suggested I go to the hospital and beg them to see me. My whole walk there I prepared my speech. My approach had to be flawless or else they would turn me away from the hospital, and I would have gotten Ebola for nothing. Luckily I convinced the receptionist to see us because I am just that convincing. The doctor did a bunch of tests and told me exactly what I knew she was going to tell me. All the hippy stuff I did is great and all, and it is cool that she wore the eye patch, but she still suggests surgery. Come to think of it, she probably knew she was going to suggest this from day one, and the eye patch was just a formality. Something tells me eye surgery is kind of like the c-section for ophthalmology. Not always necessary, but a well-rehearsed process.

    After we left, my mom offered to take Munch for ice cream so I could walk around and think about what to do. I said that was a good idea, but I really didn’t want to think about this at all so I decided to walk down Newbury Street and look for some birthday presents for the Scorpios in my life. Okay, now here is where everything went to shit for me. I was already in a fragile state from the chaos of the day, and I have not gone “shopping” in maybe 5 years. I live it the sticks, and the only place I go to buy stuff is the farm stand to get some squash cookies sweetened with intentions. Being in a store with sales people overwhelms the shit out of me. I start to panic just thinking about them asking if they can help me, and the potential disappointment they will feel if I say “no thank you” – or even worse… leave the store without buying anything! The responsibility for their wellbeing is just too much to bear!

    I walked into a store that seemed big enough were I could just peruse on my own, but this girl could smell my vulnerability. She came up, and stuck to me like a barnacle. She wouldn’t stop talking. It was almost worse than Munch because she actually expected me to talk back. At least Munch has the decency to talk AT me. My social anxiety disorder started kicking in, and I desperately wanted her to go away – but she kept smiling at me!! It is not that she was mean or anything. In fact she was super cute and friendly. Yet she wouldn’t stop showing me stuff in the store that she liked. I started to get so flustered I didn’t even know what was cool anymore because this 19-year old chick was chirping in my ear about music school and growing up in San Francisco.

    For some reason, my reaction was to lie about every question she asked me. I don’t know why I did this, but according to this girl I live in Boston, work in graphic design, and have a phobia of balloons. I also have a guinea pig named Coco who I knit sweaters for, and I only wear wool socks. Things got so out of hand. I didn’t want to buy anything, but I couldn’t leave unless I did. I felt too guilty because we had been talking all this time, even though I didn’t want to be talking to her in first place. She showed me some hats, and even tried them on for me. I picked two thinking it would be the cheapest option, and left paying $145!!! FOR TWO FUCKING HATS!! I can’t believe I got peer pressured by a child to buy an $80 leopard print hat!?

    By this point I was about ready to have an aneurism. I decided grab some dinner for my mom and Munch, and go home. Yet the restaurant I ordered from had a wait of 20 minutes to get our food. Wait… did I mention that my phone was dead by this point?? Well it was!! I couldn’t just sit somewhere no phone to stare at and entertain me. THAT WOULD BE FUCKING INSANE!!

    I went back to the street, but everywhere I looked there were shops! I went into one jewelry store hoping I wouldn’t be noticed. Everything was insanely expensive and I was spotted within seconds. “How can I help you?” The expectations of the sales clerks were too much! I felt like I was disappointing them just by being there. It was as if I was the tap dancing son of a football coach in the South. I had to run out of there and hyperventilate against a wall. Why did they keep saying “hi” to me!! What do you want from me?!! Can’t you just leave me alone to look at stuff I will never buy?

    I still had 18 minutes to kill, so I decided to stand outside of restaurants and read their menus. This may have been slightly strange for the diners in the windows, but at least I didn’t have to converse with them, or pay for their rigatoni.

    (Here is sparkle eyes Munch… and the top picture is me and that stupid fucking hat)

    boston-blog-(i) boston-blog-(i2)

  • A Distraction From Life

    You know what blows? When you are really excited for something to happen, and it doesn’t go down the way you had planned. It is like experiencing emotional blue balls. You just want to release your joy all over the back of existence, but then some metaphoric knock pounds down the door to cock-block your bliss.

    Disappointment is probably the most dissatisfying emotion. At least if you are angry or sad there is some spice too it. You can punch walls, or weep until your eyes look like Bill Clinton’s. Yet when you are disappointed all you do is turn yourself inside out like dyslexic calzone – oozing cheesy self-pity all over the place, but too despondent to spread the sauce of your agony. There is a pathetic flavor to disappointment. You are inherently admitting anticipation that was squelched like a weed in a soybean farm sprayed with pesticides. There is nothing cool about being let down, because it shows you cared in the first place.

    Over the weekend I was going to host a dance retreat so some friends and I could spend our days dancing our asses off. Not in a twerking kind of way where we bounced our asses until they created so much friction they combusted, but in a sweet way. I like having women’s weekends where we eat copious amounts of kale, drink an absurd amount of tea, and talk incessantly about how we don’t need men – because if we discuss them constantly that means we totally aren’t thinking about them am I right?

    The first night I led a yoga class where we explored our 2nd Chakra. You know how bitches are all about opening up their hips and shit. That evening, while washing homemade hummus off the dishes, I told my friend I was going to bail on the morning Kundalini yoga adventure.

    My friend Sarah: NO! You have to go. That is part of the whole plan.
    Toni: I don’t know… it is just so early. I will just meet you guys back here when yo are done.
    My friend Sarah: Dude… it is one morning. We are all giving and we are all sharing our talents. Don’t be a wimp.

    So I womanned up and went to the class. The thing about Kundalini yoga, is that it is all about moving energy and going into the crevices of the body to address core issues. It is more intense than other kinds of Yoga, which is why it is both amazing and terrifying. Not everyday you are psychically prepared to look your inner demons in the face and have a conversation about your damaged childhood.

    I am pretty sure that on this Saturday morning, I just wasn’t in the mental state to get to the bottom of my self-loathing and inner rage. We did all these positons and exercises that felt equally freeing and constricting. As soon as we left the class and I got into my car, I knew my back was totally screwed up. I was like “FUCK! Who am I kidding? I am white! I am not supposed to face my emotions, but repress them deep inside my body until I eventually die of a heart attack. That is the American way!”

    We got back to my house and I tried to do the ballet class – but I could hardly move. I forced myself to continue through the crippling pain for 30-minutes because that is what New England people do, but then I had to lay down and admit defeat. I had fucked my shit up hard core. I could feel it in my back and my hips – if I was a rapper this could have been a pretty sweet Hip Hop song.

    I tried to stretch to release the spasms, but it wasn’t working. I fell down the staircase of frustration because I knew that my dance retreat was ruined. There was no way I was going to have spontaneous recovery and pirouette my way out of this. All my excitement about the weekend was transformed into feeling very very very sorry for myself.

    One of my friends is OF COURSE a hippy healer girl, so she came over to do some voodoo on me.

    Hippy Healer Friend: I am getting a message that part of your pain has to do with your daughter. Not sure exactly what, but that is the information I am receiving. Maybe some issues of violence?

    Ummmm…. WHAT THE DICK!? The last thing I wanted was some peaceful yoga hippy girl to think I was beating my child or something!!?

    Toni: Ummmm violence?
    Hippy Healer Friend: Well it doesn’t have to be literal violence. It could be emotional. Or spiritual. Anyway… don’t get attached to any of this. Just something to think about.
    Toni: Uhhhh yeah okay…

    Not sure if you have ever tried to peacefully receive a healing while at the same time stressing out about what your healer thought of you. But let me tell you… it is NOT as relaxing as it sounds.

    I tried to think about why those were the messages this serene chick was getting about me. It just seemed so extreme?! I mean, I guess I had admitted to her the night before how I let The Munch eat ice cream for breakfast. I some how rationalized this because she also had green beans. The Hippy Healer girl also witnessed The Munch watching Snow White. Maybe in her pristine child-raising world where her daughter thinks raisins are candy and screen time refers to some mediation practice, exposing my child to Disney and vanilla flavored sugar was a type of violence?? Maybe Munch also casually mentioned how we eat meat too! BUT IT IS ORGANIC FLESH FROM A LOCAL FARM OKAY!!???

    I wasn’t exactly sure that my pain had to do with The Munch, and was more convinced it was my philosophic quandary regarding the futility of existence. This relentless knowing that no matter what life path I choose, it will be fraught with bullshit and the same patterns of consciousness that oppress me today. How regardless of my efforts, I will continually make the same mistakes while I swirl in a spiral of mediocrity. Come to think of it, I would much rather contemplate my relationship to The Munch than that shit!

    So I thought about my child, and how so often she can feel like a distraction from life. Yet in truth, she is not distracting me from my life. The Munch is my life. Maybe The Munch thinks I am not showing her that enough?? Perhaps she feels that our time spent together, I am too distracted from all my blaming her for being the distraction.

    I felt sad. Even though I can’t live my life where every second of everyday is devoted to my child, I still want her to feel valued. I decided we had to have a discussion about this so I could get to the bottom of my back pain … ummm I mean, be a good mother to my kid and figure out how she was feeling.

    Toni: Munch, you know how Mamma’s back hurts?
    The Munch: Yeah….
    Toni: Well, my friend says it is not physical. She says my spine feels aligned. She thinks it is an energetic block from something emotional.
    The Munch: What is emotional?
    Toni: Like my feelings? She thinks my back hurts because of my feelings. She told me it has something to do with our relationship. What do you think about that?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe your back hurts because you dance too much. Maybe you should stop dancing because it is so boring for me.
    Toni: Ummm well I love dancing so that is not going to happen. But what do you think about our relationship. Do you think I am a good Mamma to you?
    The Munch: Well sometimes. You always say “no” to me when I want more chocolate.
    Toni: Okay “more” chocolate… fine. But I have to do that. Seriously. Are there things you want me to do different? Is there ways I could be a better Mamma to you?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe we just have to take care of each other more.
    Toni: Okay. That sounds like a plan.

    The next day, because I was hurt, I couldn’t do anything but relax. As a result, The Munch and I ended up spending 7-hours playing together with ZERO interruptions. We didn’t even leave the room we were in. I didn’t touch my phone. We just hung out – and rationed out a banana with peanut butter to survive. It was like we were in a vortex. Usually some thing breaks up your day, like going on an errand, or having some sort of obligation to do. Yet we were in this black hole of togetherness that nothing could penetrate.

    Things got kind of weird at times, we laughed, we fought, and she pretended to be a baby as I swaddled her in a yoga blanket. But it was amazing to just be present with her. I am not sure we have been like that since she was first born and I was high on all the new mom hormones. So even though it sucked my back hurt and I couldn’t dance for my retreat, it created the space for this memorable moment with the most important person in my life.

    distraction-blog

  • How Can I Get Out Of Being Around You?

    Most of adult life is spent getting out of plans with people. We say “yes” to something we feel obliged to do, yet when the time comes to actually follow through… we don’t want to anymore. But rather than say, “hey man, forget it. I am not into it anymore. I decided to stay home and eat a ball of buffalo mozzarella in front of my computer” we come up with some fabricated event that is beyond our control.

    Bailing on a commitment has to be accomplished with a certain amount of finesse. You cannot give the same excuse twice, and you must make sure that whatever you say borders between totally reasonable and completely insane. No one is going to tell you that your grandmother isn’t in the hospital because she choked on a gerbil. It could have happened, right? Somewhere in the world, at one point, that has taken place. The key is to make your explanation not only outlandish, but also tragic enough whereas to doubt the validity of your story would make the other person look like the asshole. The prevailing reaction to your fib must be “who would lie about Nana deep-throating a gerbil?!

    That is the beauty of adult relationships… the freedom to flake at any moment. Even if you are out with someone, you can bail on them if they were annoying the fuck out of you. You could easily pretend to get a text message saying you have to leave because a wolverine bit your Uncle Bam Bam. These things happen! Who would keep you from being at Bam Bam’s side while he bleeds to death?!

    Here is the thing that sucks about being a parent. You don’t always want to be around your kid, but it is not that simple to ditch them. I can’t be at a museum with The Munch and out of nowhere say “ummmm I am going to take off because I just got an email saying my dad gave birth to an acorn squash… so now he is a medical anomaly and I got to go be there for him.” The Munch would be like “yeah cool, well bring me with you because you are the person who keeps me alive and shit.”

    There are days when I don’t feel like catering to her needs, demands, and desires for candy. Yesterday, for example, I was in the middle of working but had to pick up Munch from school. I wanted finish what I was doing, yet if I was even 2 minutes late her teacher would be like “Come get your damn kid before I turn her into stew while singing a song about rabbits who like jumping through clouds.” (P.S preschool teachers sing while they do stuff). So I stopped everything, and got my child like a responsible parent.

    Even though I wasn’t in the mood to hang out with a four year old, I had no choice because she is my child and that’s just what was happening. I decided to take Munch to the park so I could stare off into the loneliness of space while she kept herself busy going down the slide. However, we stopped at the organic store to pick up some self-righteous and morally superior snacks. Rather than coming into the store with me, The Munch decided to freak the fuck out because her hair was in her face.

    Munch: My hair keeps getting in my face!
    Toni: Okay, wear this clippy. I can easily solve that problem.
    Munch: I don’t want to wear a clippy! They are too floppy and just flop around. I want a headband.
    Toni: Well, I don’t have a headband.
    Munch: I WANT A HEADBAND!!! WAHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAA!
    Toni: Dude! Relax… I don’t have a headband. Just wear this clippy and lets move on with our lives!
    Munch: I NEED A HEADBAND!! I WANT TO GO HOME AND GET A HEADBAND AND THEN COME BACK AND GET SNACKS AND THEN GO TO THE PARK!
    Toni: Ummm there is no way that is happening. Home is 20 minutes away. If we go home, we are not coming back. It is a beautiful day. Why don’t we go play and enjoy existence by emotionally avoiding it.
    Munch: I WANT A HEADBAND!! WAHHHHAHHHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHA!!
    Toni: UGGGGGGGHHHH.

    I didn’t have it in me to fight about a headband, nor did I think Munch would buy it if I said I had to take off because I left the oven on. She knows I never use that thing. I was stuck with her, and her shitty mood about a shitty headband. So we drove to CVS to buy a stupid headband because that is exactly what we need in the house – MORE HEADBANDS. 36 just isn’t enough.

    We then went back to the organic store, grabbed some heightened sense of self-worth, and finally got to the park. Once we are there, The Munch decided she didn’t like the grilled cheese sandwich on the gluten-free substance-free wrap I got her.

    Munch: I don’t like it. It is too cheesy!
    Toni: What do you mean you don’t like it? You said that is what you wanted.
    Munch: Well I don’t want it now. It is too cheesy.
    Toni: Do you want me to take some of the cheese out?
    Munch: But that is all there is? The rest is just air.
    Toni: Whatever fine. Don’t eat it then. Have some kale chips or mango chia pods.

    The Munch went to play for a moment and I did what any normal person would do. I ate her grilled cheese. SHE SAID SHE DIDN’T WANT IT OKAY?

    Munch: Mamma, where is my grilled cheese sammich?
    Toni: I ate it.
    Munch: What?! I WANTED THAT!!! WHY DID YOU DO THAT??!!
    Toni: You said you didn’t want it!? I didn’t want it to go to waste. It was $89?! They harvested the cheese from a golden cow!
    Munch: WWAHHHAHHHAHAAAA! I WANT MY GRILLED CHEESE SAMMICH!
    Toni: You shouldn’t have said you didn’t want it!! I am really sorry, but I didn’t want it to go to waste!!

    If The Munch had been an adult, I would have just left. No excuse necessary. I could have just been like “you are insane, and I am out of here.” Yet this was not an option. I HAD TO HANG OUT WITH HER EVEN THOUGH I DIDN’T WANT TO!

    Munch was furious at me. She stomped around and pouted about her sandwich while I tried to look like a good parent by checking my text messages. After about 5 minutes of this display, Munch decided to show me one of her amazing “tricks” – hanging on a monkey bar and then letting go to fall on the ground.

    Munch: Mamma look! Watch me!
    Toni: Great…

    As annoying as kids can be, they are also amazing at transitioning out of their crappy moods. Just like that,The Munch was as happy as a clam, which I assume is happy, even though clams seem really closed off to me. I followed her lead and we ended up having an amazing evening together. I guess that is the lesson I needed to learn. When you cancel on people or don’t show up, you never know the good time you might have missed.

    (Here is Munch about to discover her sammich has been eaten)
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  • Going Alone

    Going somewhere alone always feels semi daunting because I have to figure out how to impress people enough to make them want to talk to me. If have to go to a place where no one knows me, that means I somehow have to figure out a way to seduce people into wanting to get to know me! This is harder than you think considering my opening line is “what is your spirit animal?” I tend to instigate big talk rather than small, and not that many people respond well to my asking “what is your relationship with your mother like” four minutes after meeting.

    There is nothing more awkward then being with a bunch of people you don’t know while standing around with your thumb up your ass – come to think of it, that’s a bad habit I should probably break. That is the convenient thing about always having my kid around – when I don’t know anyone, I can hide behind my relationship with my child rather than looking like an outcast. See world, I am not alone praying someone will make me feel part of the group. I am just dealing with my kid’s needs to blow her nose, or cleaning up a wet fart. Children are the best distraction from social situations because I can seem really preoccupied even when I am not.

    Over the weekend my aunt was getting married, but my aunt is actually younger than me by 6 years! My dad’s father had a second marriage, as well as two daughters, who are my half aunts. I never got to meet my grandfather or his kids until I was 17 and finally met the oldest Juliana. Coincidently, she ended up at my school, and I would be like holy shit… that is my aunt! Juliana and I would always say “hi,” but we never got to know each other because she was freshman and I was a senior, and that would be just too crazy for school politics. Plus I was smoking a lot of pot at the time and watching very strange things on TV.

    Years later I met the younger sister Krissie because we were both living in New York, and found each other on Facebook. We became fast friends, and quickly realized how much we had in common. We loved to dance, we were both passionate about organic food, we looked similar, we had the same sense of humor and laughed when people tripped. We were family even though we had never had the chance to be that. I was so excited to get to know my aunts because even though they were technically in a different generation from me and my cousins, they were so many ways in which the Nagy girls were the same.

    Krissie’s wedding was a 6-hour drive from my house, so I ended up going by myself. When I was about fifteen minutes away from the final destination, I suddenly realized “holy fuck, I am not going to know one person at this wedding beyond Krissy and Juliana!!! How are they going to pay attention to me when Krissie is the bride and Juliana is the maid of honor! What about me!? Who is going to take care of me at this wedding?” Then I pulled over in a parking lot, put on my dress, squeezed into my tights, slapped on some makeup, and peed in the bushes because that is what big girls do.

    Once I got the ceremony site, I was immediately reminded that I really was alone. I stood there watching people talking to each other and debated what other orifice I could shove my thumb into when Krissie’s husband interrupted, and told me I could go inside and meet Krissie’s /Juliana’s mom. I gave my step-grandmother a hug, and she told me to go upstairs and hang with the bride because even at weddings I roll VIP. I was so grateful to have Krissie to talk to, but then she had to go get married so I was alone again. God… people can be so selfish.

    I couldn’t just spend the time looking at my phone as a social buffer acting like I had some really important messages coming in, because that would be insanely douchey. I had no choice but to stand there and pray someone would come pay attention to me. At one point I started talking to this couple, and the guy got a bug in his eye. He put sunglasses on to suffer in silence for a bit, but when he took them off, I could see the bug in the white of his eye! I was like “DUDE! There is a bug in your damn eyeball,” and he was all “I know get it out” and his girlfriend was like “Ew gross.” So I grabbed his face, and stuck my finger into his eye juice to slide the bug out. It was so disturbing that we laughed and laughed. I thought after this intimate moment meant we would be friends for life… family even… and I would be spending Thanksgiving with this lovely couple, but then they went to go get more hors d’oeuvres and totally forgot about me.

    But lucky for me, one of Krissie’s friends tucked my under her wing and introduced me to her all friends. Suddenly, I was part of a group of women who were these badass chicks from Red Hook Brooklyn. They sang in punk bands, made art, and wore funky clothes like purple fishnet tights. These ladies were my type of ladies. If we had been born 200 years earlier, we would have burnt at the stake or drowned with a wizard’s beard to prove we weren’t witches.

    Had I brought The Munch, or anyone with me for that matter, I wouldn’t have been as open to meeting new people. My desperate need to make friends helped facilitate the process because I was forced to put on my A game personality. Had I brought my kid, I probably would have spent the night talking to the other mom’s with young children about potty training and bedtimes. But because I was a lone wolf, I met these ladies who were ready to party and have fun. They were all done with their child rearing days so talked about grown up stuff – like astrology. When ever you go somewhere alone there is a risk that you will feel alone, and sometimes that happens. Yet if you don’t’ go and have adventures on your own they you will never find your self dancing the night away to old timey swing music with a bunch of sorceresses.

    (Here is me and my aunts and my new witchy women)
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    October 14, 2014 • Adventures, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting • Views: 224

  • YOU WILL BE A FUCKING STAR

    I never had any talents as a kid. Wait – let me reframe that. I never had any cultivated talents. I could do some pretty cool stuff, like an impression of a seagull being attacked, but there was not intentional effort to make me excellent at any one thing.

    I dabbled in some lessons. I took tennis in the summer, and piano during the school year. But I was never truly committed to anything besides shoving an entire package of Big League Chew in my mouth. So I obviously had ambition, albeit misdirected.

    I would like to think I had potential to be good at stuff; it just wasn’t a priority within my family dynamic to explore what my hidden gifts might be. Part of me thinks I would have been an amazing astrophysicist but I never went to math camp. Thanks a lot mom and dad! Now I will never understand the space-time continuum.

    It is not that my parents didn’t care about me; they just didn’t give a shit. But in a sweet way. They did however give me the tools to one day have the motivation and confidence to eventually figure out my own skills. Like how amazing I am at making sandwiches. Hint: it is all about the layering.

    It is not like I am going to overschedule my 4-year olds life, because they need time to play and develop their imagination. Plus I am not that interested in driving Munch around places – it is a waste of gas. Plus I am selfish. But she does take dance twice a week and gymnastics twice a week, and then we practice what she learned at home. But in a fun way!! Seriously it is fucking fun!!

    Do I sound crazy because I am not!!

    I am not going to make my kid take classes if she hates them, but I want to expose Munch to disciplines and see what she is most passionate about. I think gaining abilities by working hard is life affirming. Having a connection to your body, as well as an artistic outlet, is a crucial part of being human. The more opportunities you have to be creative, the more you will connect to the artist inside your soul who is waiting to come out like a gay theater student in high school.

    So far, The Munch is into dance and gymnastics, and is pretty damn good if I do say so. I mean, she is not a prodigy or anything, but she doesn’t suck. It is not that I have a complex or anything, but I sure as shit am going to make sure that The Munch is A FUCKING STAR!!!!!!! My kid will excel at everything if it kills me!! Just kidding…. But no, seriously she will.

    Check her out… KILLING IT in gymnastics!

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    October 8, 2014 • 4 years old, Education, Musings, Parenting • Views: 983

  • Power Tripping

    I think I would be a really bad dominatrix. I am sure I would look pretty decent in the getup because black latex is so slimming and all, but I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to humiliate someone. There is no part of me that gets off on making someone feel inferior because I get too overwhelmed with empathy. The whole time dominatrixing I would instead be like “hey, is your gag ball too tight?” or “should I whip you softer – it looks like your left butt cheek is really red.”

    Yet power and control are huge parts of relationships. You cannot avoid the fact that one person will always has a little more power over the other. Unless you are Ram Das and have a perfectly balanced bond, there will always be some element of a struggle. In romantic situations power directly contributes to romance, passion, and lust. These themes are unavoidable because they are so interconnected. Eventually the goal in any dynamic is to obliterate the power element and find true equality, but unless you are meditating every day in a cave for 40 years – good fucking luck accomplishing that. The question then becomes how do you handle power, and to what extent to you abuse it.

    In the parent-child relationship the complexity of power runs deep because of course as the adult, you have ALL the power over your young child. Yet to constantly exercise that will is not only oppressive, but also tyrannical. As your kid ages, they become increasingly aware of how power plays are played out. Children also have to deal with power clashes in relationships they have with other kids. Who gets to play with what toy, which kid is hitting, and who is forcing their will upon the rest? There is always some kid asserting their dominance, and those who are acquiescing to that aggression. So basically as soon as we start socializing with other humans, we are dealing with the subject to power.

    Okay… so this weekend, power became the theme of my Sunday morning. It began when Munch and I went to practice yoga in the barn next to my house. Now I know my child can be demanding, but she has been socialized to respect my time when I dance or do yoga. We have been doing this since she was a baby, and there are days where she will let me practice for 3-hours and play the entire time on her own. We have an understanding.

    Yet this fateful day, she had another agenda. It started with her INSISTING we listen to her music and not mine.

    Munch: Mom, can we listen to Iggy Azalea two times, and then we listen to your music.
    Toni: Ummmmm okay… but just two times.
    Munch: Okay. Let’s listen to “Fancy” and then “Bounce.”
    Toni: Fine. But then we listen to my music.
    Munch: I promise!

    We listened to her songs, but then Munch wouldn’t give me back my phone to play my music.

    Munch: Let’s listen to Iggy Azalea for two more times, and then The Spice Girls two times.

    Okay, so you want to know the least peaceful music to practice yoga to? Fucking Iggy Azalea and the Spice Girls that is who. But I was trying to be cool, so I let her listen to her songs…. but then things got out of hand. Munch wouldn’t give me back my phone, and she wouldn’t stop playing these fucking songs. Now of course I am stronger then my 4-year old and could have easily grabbed it out of her damn hand, but that would be a terrible example.

    Toni: Dude, you have to give me my phone. I am going to lose my mind if I have to keep listening to these songs over and over again. You had your turn, and now it is my turn.
    Munch: I don’t care what you say.

    Ummmmmmmmmm so when your precious little 4- year old baby looks you straight in your face and says something like that, pretty sure you want to drop kick them across the room.

    Toni: That is a very rude thing to say. I am not going to grab the phone out of your hand. But you are being very selfish right now. You are not he only person in the room. We got to listen to your music, and not it is Mamma’s turn to listen to her music. If you think what you are doing is right, then keep doing it. But I think you are acting very selfish.
    Munch: I don’t care.

    I really didn’t know what to do with that logic.

    Here was the other problem I faced. My kid is also very extremely proficient with technology. She knows how to use the iPhone. She knows how to set up the blue tooth to the speakers. And she also knows how to control the volume. Even when I would try to turn it down, or disconnect the phone from the room speakers, Munch would just reconnect them, and turn it the fuck back up.

    Let’s keep in mind I was trying to practice yoga and be all one with the cosmos and shit, so getting angry felt hypocritical. I was kept trying to appeal to Munch’s rational spirit body, yet it wasn’t working because she kept responding that she didn’t care what I said. So in the ethos maintaining some semblance of patience, I decided to ignore Munch and keep practicing – as the charming lyrics “I’ve been up all night, trying to get that rich. I’ve been work, work, work, work, working on my shit” melted into my psyche.

    Munch noticed that I wasn’t fighting her on the music anymore, so she then started physically harassing me. She would crawl underneath my downward dog and stare me in the face and be like “Mamma, I am going to turn it up okay?” Or she would get underneath my warrior two and push my thigh to try and tip me over. It was relentless. The more I tried to keep my Zen, the more creative she got with trying to destroy me.

    Toni: You know what? I have had enough. Not only are you being really selfish about he music, but you are not respecting my body. You need to go in the house.
    Munch: NO! I want to stay with you.
    Toni: Listen, there is no way you are staying with me right now. You need go in the house and I will come find you when I am done.
    Munch: Well then I want to watch something.
    Toni: You are out of your mind if you think that is going to happen. Now go in the house. I can’t be around this energy. It is too disrespectful, and I have had my limit.
    Munch: FINE! I am going in the house and I AM NEVER GOING TO LOVE YOU AGAIN!

    Munch stormed off and went in the house as I tried to find a place of peace within my own soul. I really didn’t get what was going on. I had never encountered this kind of problem before with her, and was getting super depressed. It wasn’t just about the music (although just so you know, if you ever want to torture someone, play the Spice Girls 6 times in a row) but the intention she had of being inconsiderate. I am not being paranoid or overly sensitive. She was trying to fuck with me!

    About ten minutes later, Munch came back into the barn.

    Munch: Mamma, you really hurt my feelings.
    Toni: Well Munch, you also really hurt my feelings.
    Munch: I know.
    Toni: What was going on with you?
    Munch: Sometimes my friend Maya is mean to me, so I wanted to act like her.
    Toni: So you wanted to act mean to me to see what if felt like?
    Munch: Yeah.
    Toni: Well did it feel good to act mean?
    Munch: No. It felt really bad.
    Toni: Do you know what people sometimes act mean?
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: I think people can be mean sometimes because it makes them think they are powerful.
    Munch: And people want to be powerful?
    Toni: Sometimes yes. But I don’t think that is what real power is. Do you?
    Munch: No I don’t. But what is real power?
    Toni: I think real power is making someone laugh. Or making someone feel good about themselves. Or making someone feel loved.
    Munch: I am really sorry Mamma.
    Toni: I am sorry too.

    power-trip-blog

  • Taking “No” For an Answer

    I do not take “no” for an answer. If I am trying to get a something done and people say “no” to me – I try a variety of different avenues. I keep insisting, literally and figuratively, until they say yes. It has been my common practice to push a “no” as much as I can until I get the answer I am looking for. GOOD THING I AM NOT A GUY!

    I think this tenacious way of being is rooted in the fact that once I set my mind to something, I want to see it through. When I have an idea, I believe in it fully and will pursue every angle possible to make my vision a reality – even if it is obtuse. If I took every “no” at face value, I wouldn’t be where I am today… alone, at my computer, wearing socks for gloves, and writing to you.

    There is also a cultural aspect at play. I have Hungarian blood, and they are very pushy people. The Hungarian way is to offer something 7 or 8 times before accepting a “no.” Even when I am trying to be polite, I will NEVER accept the first “no.” Let’s say if I offered you a piece of gum and you responded “no thank you.” I would then say “are you sure?” and you would be like, “yes I am,” then I would be all “not even to keep for later?” and then would be like “yeah I am fine,” and then I will be all “just take one for your pocket – you will want it at some point,” at which point you will acquiesce just so I stop asking. IT IS THE HUNGARIAN WAY!

    I have a very fluid understanding of what “no” means. I don’t think it is a definitive answer – I just think it means you have to work harder for a yes. HOLY CRAP I AM SO GLAD I AM A GIRL.

    Ready for the irony!!?? MY KID NEVER ACCEPTS NO FOR AN ANSWER EITHER!!? Of course I totally expect her to, and remain painful sour when she defies me. When you have a child, you want them to do everything you say not because it is best for the personality, but because it is easiest for you. The kid I want is not necessarily the adult I want Munch to be. I like the part of me that is persistent. I respect that quality in myself because it means I am dedicated. Yet it is driving me bat shit crazy in my kid.

    Ultimately, I don’t want my daughter to be a push over who fears challenging people. Those who avoid dissent end up being complicit to injustices they know may be wrong, but don’t know how to confront because they lack the confidence o stand up for what they believe in. I am not an advocate in ultimate authority. When you don’t question what you are told, you may easily become an unconscious follower – disconnected from your own value system.

    I think there is great danger in forcing people to do as they are told, which is articulated time and time again in a variety of arenas. Think of war torn areas where soldiers kill innocent civilians because of protocol. Or within the prison system where correctional officers all but torture inmates because they are following the status quo of prevailing dynamics. Obeying orders is not necessarily the right thing to do. People are easily corrupted by power, and one should never blindly trust commands.

    I want The Munch to mentally dissect what she is told, and make sure her actions are aligned with her moral compass… but when she is older. Can’t she just do every thing I fucking say for now?

    no-for-an-answer-blog-(i)

  • Why Is “Mom” the Answer to Everything?

    Even though I love the shit out of my kid, being “the mom” can sometimes seriously suck. Whenever The Munch is sick, all she wants is me – her mom. No one else will do. Not even if My Little Pony had an orgy with Frozen, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid to produce the ultimate neon princess pony with magical powers and tail.

    I think we all have this visceral connection to the idea that “mom” emotionally translates to safety. When I was young and sick, it was my mom who I felt I could trust most to know what to do. Which was pretty much the right idea since her cure to all ailments was to mix together a drink of lemon, honey, warm water, and whisky. Not sure if those concoctions actually helped me heal, but they did facilitate a damn good time.

    When we are at our most vulnerable, especially when young, one true relief is being with mom. But what is it about “the mom” that is most soothing? Is it because we once lived inside her as an actual physical home while feeding from her blood like a parasite? Does the inadvertent nurturing dependency of pregnancy impact an assumption that mom = support? But what about adopted children? I am sure they still want to snuggle with their mom even if they didn’t spurt out her birth canyon. Is it a female thing that bitches are inherently more comforting and shit? But what about children of gay couples? Which mom is the sick mom? Or which dad becomes the sick dad? Is one person always burdened with being the sick parent? Why did it have to be me?

    The Munch came home from school yesterday with a fever, and has literally been on top of me ever since. I mean I know I am delightful and all, but this primal urge for her to be near me is intense. She slept on me all afternoon – pinning me down so I felt like a guy after a one-night stand that wants to chew his own arm off just to free himself from the embrace of a girl he is just not that into. If I tried to maneuver myself away, Munch just held on tighter around me neck – IN HER SLEEP LIKE A BOSS!

    Then of course last night she didn’t want to sleep by herself. She kept waking up with these intense hallucinations like she was at a Grateful Dead Show – her heart beating as fast as tripping hippy. So I brought her into my bed hoping we could both get some rest. My logic was that if she was alone and scared she would wake up more than if she was next to me. I also wanted to keep an eye on her in case things got really bad throughout the night. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fever induced nightmares that would ensue. It was like trying to sleep in an insane asylum. Every 20 minutes she would yell in her sleep. Some of my favorite utterings she bellowed into the darkness were “Don’t peel my skin off! I want to eat it later,” as well as “Those bushes are evil and the sugar will destroy you,” and then “I don’t want to go to school, the monsters keep taking our blankets and using them for polenta.” I was fucking terrified.

    At one point Munch woke up for some water, which she proceeded to drink too fast, and then vomited all over my bed. As exciting as that was to have this exorcist moment, it was also pretty gross to sleep in bile. So we went back into her room, where I slept on the floor in case she puked again. Then came the deliriums, which caused not only intense thrashing, but for Munch to wake up yelling in my face blowing barf-breath directly into my nose – all the while still sort of sleeping and sweating like a coke head in the early morning hours.

    Today wasn’t any better. A kid with a fever is a lot like being around a detoxing junkie. There is a lot of crying, flailing, fitful napping, and relentlessly asking for more medicine. There wasn’t any liberation from her unyielding need for me to hold her through this process, which was as flattering as it was oppressive. It is nice that she feels so consoled by me, but I haven’t seen the light of day in 24 hours. Has WW3 started yet? What is going on out there?

    Hopefully despite all this direct contact I won’t catch whatever she had, but if I do get her germs Munch promised we would take care of each other. Meaning I would still do everything for her, but she would let me have some of her orange juice and some of her medicine that takes like candy.

    I give up…

    sick-munch-mom-blog-(i)

    September 24, 2014 • 4 years old, Health, Mommyhood, Parenting • Views: 305

  • Is It Bad That I Didn’t Miss You?

    There are a lot of things that we are supposed to say in order not to seem like total sociopaths. I am supposed to say things like “I love my parents,” or, “I would die for the people in my family,” or “excuse me” if I fart. To say anything different would make me look like a total psycho. As the mother of a child the one thing I *really* should be saying is “I miss my child desperately when I am away because she is the joy of my life and the light of my loins.” Okay but here is the thing, I was just gone for five days from The Munch – and I am pretty sure I didn’t miss her at all.

    Ummmm is that bad? Does that make me a terrible person? I didn’t even really think about Munch that much when I was gone either. Holy crap – that makes me a worse person doesn’t it. Fuck. I am not doing well right now. Wait… wait for it… okay breathe… it actually felt awesome not to think about or miss my child. Shit.

    For the first 15 months of Munch’s life I was basically with her every minute of every day. Trust me. Read my blog during those early years and there is a meticulous account of every detail, including the consistency of her feces once food was introduced. But now that The Munch is four, there is more autonomy for us both. We have our own lives separate from each other. Munch goes to school, she has a babysitter, she spends time with family… Yet even though I do have physical freedom in my everyday life – what I don’t have is mental freedom. I am always having to think about where she is, who is picking her up, what food she has, if she is wearing the right leotard, does she have her rain coat, is there an extra pair of shoes in her bag, and are they the right fucking shoes because my kid is both neurotic and crazy.

    PS…. I also didn’t miss the tantrums, the yelling in my face about not giving her a 3rd piece of chocolate, the shoe throwing, the stink eye, the refusal to get dressed in warm clothes… you know, the basic toddler rage or a developing human.

    I don’t go away that often, so those days where I could just think about me and my needs were seriously epic. I was hundreds of miles away from Munch, and having a break from being responsible for her was as satisfying as burping after drinking soda too fast. It made me realize just how emotionally taxing it is to always have someone else on your mind. To be constantly worrying about them, and wanting to make sure they are okay. It is like Munch is a fascist dictator of my brain and heart. But it is not her fault! Well sort of, because she is really demanding…. But I blame the biological and psychological bond of motherhood more because holy fuck is it intense. Thanks a lot nature!

    On day three, The Munch was missing me so I talked to her on the phone. She was crying and telling me she wanted me to come back – but I got her laughing so then she was fine. Although I was momentarily sad that Munch was sad, it was also amazing talking to her on the phone because I never really do that either. There aren’t a lot of opportunities because we aren’t usually away from each other for that long. Yet having a phone call with my kid only further reinforced the truth of how the physical separation between us is only increasing as she ages. The attachment of those baby years is no longer, and now our relationship will have to withstand distance. Munch and are only going to grow farther apart because her life will take her away from me at times, as will mine. We can’t be together every moment of every day, so the journey then turns into staying emotionally connected even when we are not in each other’s faces.

    There is a certain beauty of loving someone so much you yearn for them. The Munch missed me because I have been the anchor of her life, and I represent so much in terms of love, safety, and security. Yet soon The Munch will crave independence, and want to get away from me. It is probably then that I will miss her desperately and call crying, but she will be like “Ugh… thank god I am away from my mom so she can stop fucking writing about me for five minutes.” But fuck you future Munch because I will write about that phone call so you can’t escape me!

    When I got home Munch was sooooo happy to see me that it actually made me tear up. She kept hugging and kissing me – telling me how much she loved me. I felt so honored to mean so much to this precious person. I was totally humbled by how much I adored her, and how lucky I was to have this tiny tyrannical human in my life. I held Munch in my arms and knew that every moment, even the hardest ones, were totally profound because of the depth of our love. Then of course she got mad at me because I wouldn’t let her watch “My Little Pony,” and I started planning my next trip.

    didn't-miss-you-blog-(i)

    September 22, 2014 • 4 years old, Adventures, Mommy Mind, Mommyhood, Parenting, Relationships, Working Mommy • Views: 373