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Parenting
Category

  • Nothing My Kid Does Impresses Me

    I have a serious complex I am going to admit. When I was a kid, my parents never took me to extra curricular classes, and I still feel slighted. My mom claims she brought me to ballet once, but I wasn’t into it so she was like “screw it.” Ummm mom, you were supposed to pressure me to excel regardless and become my “momager!” DIDN’T YOU LOVE ME ENOUGH TO DESTROY ME??

    I guess my mom did sign me up for tennis in the summers, but she didn’t bring me to the clinics to watch me. She just pointed to my bike and said, “The court is 2 miles that way.” When I played sports throughout school my parents NEVER came to my games, and I was always that kid with no one in the stands to cheer them on. Are you crying for me yet!!? Although I am obviously still working out some PTSD and deep-rooted resentment issues – I also totally get it.

    That shit is as boring as a dry fuck hole.

    However, in reaction to my upbringing I have enlisted The Munch in a variety of classes. She takes both dance and gymnastics twice a week, and now wants to play hockey as well. Theoretically I am very supportive of this. I want to expose Munch to a variety of artistic and physical outlets to learn skills. But… I also have been doing everything I can to avoid being the one responsible for bringing her to such events. If I can get someone else to do it, you bet your sweet ass that is what is happening.

    The obvious problem is I am selfish about my extra curricular time and want to work on my creative projects as much as possible. You guys, stop judging me. I am almost done with my movie about queefs, and it’s going to be amazing! My other issue is that I am excessively critical and hardly impressed by anything.

    BEFORE YOU THINK I AM AN ASSHOLE – IT IS NOT MY FAULT!! Have you seen the Internet lately?? Kids are amazing out there!! There are babies who breakdance, a 4-year old who is a top fashion designer at J-Crew, and a fetus that kicks ass at basketball. I have seen so much talent out there in the interwebs that my kid’s cartwheel seems just kinda meh.

    DON’T WORRY OKAY! I keep this all to myself and tell Munch her handstands are outstanding even though her alignment is off. She will get there I know… because I will MAKE her practice until she does, but that is beside the point. For what it’s worth, Munch’s gymnastics teacher sees potential in her, but all I see is a kid who hasn’t mastered the front walkover.
    impressive-blog-(i)

    January 21, 2015 • 4 years old, Education, Health, Mommy Mind, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 302

  • The Heartbreak of a Broken Heart

    Do you remember your first broken heart? Did it feel like someone peeled back the layers of your skin only to pry their fingers deep into your aorta, and scrape the inner walls of your ventricles with their nails? Were you writhing in agony as the seething suffering traversed your veins and settled into a cantankerous cavity hidden inside the bowels of your being? ME TOO!!!

    My heart was broken for the first time when I was 15. He told me we lived too far apart, and he couldn’t be my boyfriend anymore because he wanted to finger-bang other girls. I wasn’t just devastated… I was destroyed. Forget the fact that I had another boyfriend who went to my school. The loss was too profound to bear. I would think of him every night when I went to sleep, and he was the first thing on my mind when I woke up. I sometimes wouldn’t leave my house in hopes that he would call. (The tragedy of being a teenager in the 90’s, pre cellphones *tear). I thought of him obsessively, and would look for him in any crowd I was in. It took me an entire year to move on emotionally, and of course as soon as I got over him, he was like “let’s date again,” – so we did.

    Being broken hearted is a helpless and vulnerable feeling because it is rooted in rejection. No matter how the other person tries to rationalize their reasoning, the piercing truth is that they don’t want you. That sinking reality is so painful because it also digs at the core of your self-esteem. The ego becomes enmeshed with the heart. Not only is the object of your love leaving, but they are also scarring your sense of worth with their disinterest to stay.

    The Munch is going through her first experience with heartbreak, and it has been breaking my heart to witness her sorrow. Her baby sitter since she was one year old has decided to move on. We had a conversation about it last week, and I think at first Munch was in a state of shock or denial. She didn’t really mention it, so I was hoping maybe it would be a smooth transition. Then the other morning, Munch came in my room while I was meditating wondering what I had done with a picture her babysitter Liliana had drawn her. It had been hanging on the fridge, and I had taken it down. At first I didn’t want to admit that, and tried to claim I didn’t remember – but Munch kept asking me where it was.

    Toni: I took it down.
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: It made me sad to look at it.

    That was when everything hit her. Suddenly Munch had to face reality. She started weeping in my arms telling me how much she missed Liliana. I held her, and began crying right along with her. Her pain was so relatable. Of course wanting to discontinue employment as a babysitter is drastically different than ending a relationship – yet in Munch’s world, the sentiment is the same.

    Munch: I still want her to be my babysitter. I don’t like those things she said. They really hurt my feelings. I don’t want her to leave. I miss her. I can’t stop thinking about Liliana!
    Toni: I know baby. It is really hard. But people can’t always be who you want them to be. Sometimes they have to be who they want to be. And when you love them, you have to give them that space.
    Munch: But I miss her so much and I want to see her. I am so angry that she doesn’t want to see me any more. I want to be with her. My heart is broken. She broke my heart.
    Toni: It hurts, I know. But Liliana wants to go back to school. And we want her to be happy. She needs to find her happiness. Don’t you want her to do that?
    Munch: Yes, but I also want her to stay with me.
    Toni: It doesn’t always work that way baby. Sometimes happiness means you have to leave.

    We sat, talked, and cried. I didn’t want to talk her out of her feelings, because that seemed like a fruitless effort. We can’t rationalize our way out of loss. We have to go through it. The only thing I could do was to listen, and suggest different ways of seeing the situation. After a while, we got up, got dressed, and got in the car to go on an adventure. We decided that we would listen to music as loud as we could, and sing as loud as our voices would go.

    As I was driving I realized the universal truth of heartbreak. The other person is happier with out you. That is why they have to go. Suddenly I felt elated by this knowing.  Even though there is a sweet sadness, there is also hope. Your aching has meaning because the person you love is happier. Even though that bruises the ego, the true self wants the people you adore to find their bliss, even if it means they take a different path.

    I know Munch is still hurting from this separation. She will go through her iPod, find videos of her with Liliana, and then cry as she watches them. Although the tragic rawness is brutal to witness, I also respect that this is a process she has to go through in order to let go. All I know is that I considering Munch is only 4 and feels this deeply, I am seriously in for it when she is a teenager.

    heartbreak-blog-(i)

  • Is Life Really That Different?

    Vacations used to be comprised primarily of ecstasy, alcohol, flirtation, and hazy memories. I danced in a foam pit non-ironically, got lost in the Red Light district of Amsterdam for six hours while high and gazing at prostitutes in the windows wondering if I had seen the one with the sad eyes wearing crotchless panties before. Once I even pitched a tent on a German highway because my boyfriend and I had no idea where we were. Okay, it was after a huge festival but it was super dark out!

    The complexity of my life now is that it is really hard to abandon my responsibilities and give myself a true break. There are endless obligations lurking in the background of my brain, relentlessly reminding me of all the shit I need to get done. Then of course there is my inbox – bottlenecking with messages from people wanting, needing, and bossing me around. When I finally checked Gmail this morning there my computer was pleading, “I am so constipated!!! Free me from the burden of holding all these in!” Whatever escapism I was experienced when I was young and dumb, has been marred by the presence of technology.

    Vacations are no longer a break from life, where I get to push the limits of my consciousness and abuse my liver to the point of near failure. They have a very different texture these days. For one, my kid is on vacation from school so that means I have to be with her all day. Sorry –I mean I “got” to spend time with my darling angel during these fleeting precious years of her childhood. Although theoretically The Munch would totally rock out while dancing on a bar until four am, taking a four-year old to da’club is pretty much frowned upon. Instead, I have to do “kid appropriate” activities that don’t include experimenting with hallucinogens and Ambien.

    Most of my time spent with her is between “the schedule” of what is planned. We go from this place to that, I make her food, and we go to bed. There is less down time where I actually have to figure out what to do with her. Of course I love my kid, but it’s not like I have that much in common with her. I guess we both like eating cookies and laughing at farts but The Munch never wants to talk about the police state, she doesn’t care about Monsanto, and she doesn’t think she needs feminism.

    I think a key element to having a healthy relationship with your child is developing common interests. If there are things you enjoy doing together, then you have outlets which you both enjoy. Of course there are times when I can get down with playing “princess-queens who are sisters with magical powers that conquer the mountain and hide in a special cave of diamonds while turning all the babies into ladybugs,” but unless I am going to become a pothead again, my imagination is only so fertile.

    The one thing Munch and I can do for hours and hours while both being happy is listening to pop music while practicing handstands. We do have a couple debates going however. For one – auto tune. We discussed for over an hour about how all her favorite singers use auto tune and what that is doing to the music industry. The Munch thinks auto tune is “cheating,” but still likes those songs better than the Indigo Girls, whereas I believe our ears are being trained towards falsity which could have lasting impact on our neurology.

    We are sorting out her feelings on hip-hop music. Munch isn’t into men rapping because she doesn’t like boys, but she will listen to Biggie Smalls and Eminem when there are girls singing on the tracks. This feels like a decent compromise, because I figure there is still time to get her into Mob Deep and The Pharcyde. We do both agree that music should be listened to so loudly that you can both feel the vibration in your bones but not hear your own voice while singing along.

    So come to think of it… maybe life isn’t so different after all? Chicks hanging from ceilings and shit…

    vacation-blog

    January 5, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing • Views: 314

  • I Have Met My Match (and she will destroy me)

    I am a really hard person to argue with. Not that I am mean or nasty. I will not call you vile names or spit in your general direction – unless I am hanging out my Llama friends. Yet I am a master manipulator of logic. I will sieve through your rational, pluck apart your reasoning, and destroy you with a flawless case of why I am right and you are wrong.

    And just to be clear… I am always right.

    I have yet to come away from a disagreement saying, “you are right… I was wrong… sorry.”

    Until now…

    I have met my match you guys, and she is a 4-year old Munch.

    It all started one fateful evening over dinner. The Munch was eating pesto and pasta, and I was sitting across from her enjoying a plate of sand. (I heard its good for your colon). Because my mouth was rather dry, I took a sip of her apple cider. Munch took notice….

    Munch: It’s good apple cider huh Ma?
    Toni: It sure is!
    Munch: I got it with Liliana at the coop after gymnastics. I like it a lot.
    Toni: We should get it again some time. It is quite delicious.

    We both continued our meals, and again I felt the sensations of thirst. I reached across the table, and took another sip. Yet this time, my actions were met with INTENSE FUCKING RAGE!

    Munch: MOM YOU KEEP TAKING SIPS OF MY APPLE CIDER AND NOW IT IS ALMOST ALL GONE!! STOP DOING THAT! NEVER TAKE SIPS OF MY APPLE CIDER AGAIN! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHAAA!
    Toni: Dude! That is so unfair! I share with you all the time!
    Munch: BUT YOU ARE DRINKING ALL MY APPLE CIDER AND NOW IT IS ALMOST ALL GONE!
    Toni: Ummm that is so not true. I had two sips, and they were small sips!
    Munch: I AM NEVER SHARING WITH YOU EVER AGAIN!!
    Toni: Dude!!! You are being wicked selfish! I share everything with you! How would you like it if I never shared with you again?
    Munch: BUT YOU DRANK ALL MY APPLE CIDER SO I AM NEVER SHARING WITH YOU EVER EVER EVER AGAIN EVER!!!!
    Toni: Munch… that is a terrible thing to say. You share with people you love because you love them. You share with people because it is the right thing to do. Being selfish is a terrible personality trait. Getting this mad about apple cider is absurd. We can easily get more tomorrow, or I can put water in it so you have more.
    Munch: BUT THEN IT WILL BE WATERY APPLE CIDER! I AM NOT SHARING WITH YOU ANY MORE!!!
    Toni: Well what is a good solution? What can we do about this?
    Munch: YOU CAN NEVER TAKE SIPS EVER AGAIN!
    Toni: You know what Munch? There are kids all over the world who have so much less than you – children who have hardly anything to eat or drink. They are starving and thirsty all the time. Yet they still share with their family. They are not selfish. You have everything you could ever want. You have juice all the time. Yet you are going to get this irrationally mad at your Mamma, yell and cry, just because you don’t want me to have a sip of your juice?
    Munch: WELL IT WAS MY JUICE, AND YOU DRANK ALL OF IT!! I GOT IT WITH LILIANA AND IT WAS MINE!! WAHHHHHAHHHHHWAHHHHHAAA!!
    Toni: Okay… that is enough. You have to go to your room.
    Munch: BUT I WANT MY JUICE!
    Toni: Fine, bring your cider to your room – but you have to think about how you treat people.

    The Munch stormed off crying and yelling to herself about how unfair I was. I stayed in the kitchen fuming. My head was spinning with rage. “What a little shit!!! I didn’t drink all her fucking apple cider! I had two sips!!!! Fine, there wasn’t that much left, but what the dick!!!??? This first world entitled mentality bullshit is goddamn bullshit. I am sure there are kids in the open tundra of Uzbekistan who share their last drops of goat milk with their mom!!!! Am I seriously raising a spoiled post-modern monster who flips the fuck out over sharing a sip of her drink!!??”

    The Munch then came into the kitchen – her tears dried, and disturbingly calm.

    Munch: Mom, I wasn’t mad because of sharing my juice. I was mad because you didn’t ASK to have a sip of my juice. You can’t just take things from people without asking. You have to ask first. But that is what I was trying to say…
    Toni: Oh… you are right… I was wrong. Sorry. I should have asked first.

    Genius…

    (Here is Munch plotting my demise)

    met-my-match-blog-(i)

  • The Magic Christmas Tree

    My favorite part of Christmas is the tree. The etymology of this symbol is rooted in ancient traditions of celebrating mid-winter by bringing nature inside to honor her glory. I like to fancy myself a pagan moon goddess who worships mother Gaia with my sacred dances of the primal birth while howling ageless rhythms into the ebony night sky… so I am totally down with the vibe.

    Even though I am technically an adult… I don’t have “adult-like” things – such as Christmas ornaments. Last year my mom had kindly given me some, which then lived in the back of my car until August, and that I smartly put away somewhere I can’t find…. THEY ARE OUT THERE MOM SO DON’T BITCH AT ME OKAY?!

    When we brought home the tree for Munch, she was irrationally excited – as she should have been because holy fuck there is a tree inside the house!!!! I did have lights, thank the universe… so I am not a total failure… but then Munch wanted to decorate the tree.

    Toni: Well… I can’t find the ornaments that Manna gave us… so… but I will probably find them tomorrow? We can do it then okay?
    Munch: But I really want to decorate the tree today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have those ornaments that Gramma gave me!?
    Toni: Okay cool! Lets use those!

    So then we had 3 ornaments on the tree….

    Munch: We need more things to decorate with!
    Toni: Well, like I said… we don’t have any more Christmas ornaments so…
    Munch: That is okay! We can just find stuff around the house!! Let’s look for things that have a hook! Or a loop or whatever!

    The Munch and I then went on a scavenger hunt looking for stuff we could decorate the tree with. And you know what?? You would be surprised by how much stuff you have laying around that is perfect for a Christmas tree! We used about 6 of my necklaces, a Hawaiian lei, a wool sock I tied a string around….

    If you take a step back, our tree is just as beautiful as any tree out there – it is only when you look up close that you would say “wait… is that a pot holder?”

    (Kids really are creative, awesome, and better than us in every way… )
    xmas-tree-blog-1

    xmas-tree-blog-2

  • The Chubby Mermaid

    Not to brag or anything, but my kid is kind of a genius. No, she isn’t a 4-year old fashion designer for J-Crew, and no she doesn’t paint pictures that get sold for thousands of dollars… but she does know how to work my iPhone like a fucking pro. I feel like this is only the beginning of The Munch’s mastery of technology… even if her main motivation is to watch the new Taylor Swift video. But who knows, maybe she is going be the next Steve Jobs – but whose goal is to make 3D digital holograms of Katy Perry that project directly from your eyeballs thanks to an implanted nano-tech microchip.

    I know there are parents who never let their kids watch any modern media, and if they do, it is a supervised experience where they enjoy the wholesome story of Heidi (the 1937 version staring Shirley Temple). Together, they sit around a crackling fire eating fresh popcorn harvested from their farm while the children blissfully fall asleep from their full day of frolicking freely in the forest.

    Then there is my approach of handing my kid my phone/computer/iPad/soul and saying… “Here… watch whatever you want, just let mommy be alone.”

    Now the problem with this strategy is that The Munch then has access to peruse through Youtube, and find other things she may want to watch. She will scan the “related videos,” which may or may not actually be “related” to the initial media I approved of. I would set her up with something innocent to watch like “Curious George,” but then come back 20 minutes later to find her watching a BBC expo about a baby in Indonesia who smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day.

    There was also a time where Munch found these videos that some charming person had created with the PBS character Caillou. Let me just say, I actually hope Caillou dies a horrible death where he is mutilated by rabid wolves. The show is terrible, and Caillou is a whiney little prick that deserves to suffer. So I can get how it would be funny to take this shit-head character, and re-edit the videos so all the audio is a raunchy dialogue filled with a myriad of swears. Yet despite my present attempt at humor, it was a sad and rude awakening to overhear The Munch listening to Caillou calling his baby sister a “fuck-face.”

    In order to preserve my child’s innocence and shield her from the vulgarities of the world, I had to to say to her, “Hey Munch, you have to check with me before you watch something – because there is some seriously fucked up shit on the Internet.”

    The Munch, who is an honest person, has kept to her word and now comes to me for my approval.

    Munch: Mom… is it okay if I watch “The Chubby Mermaid?
    Toni: WHAT????!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay… so lets get real. One thing we can all admit about society is that media FUCKS UP YOUNG GIRLS when it comes to their body image. The last thing you want for your daughter is for her to have an unhealthy relationship to her body, and feel she has to conform to a photo-shopped standard of beauty where her thighs are thinner than her forearms.

    I couldn’t understand WHO ON PLANET EARTH would make a cartoon called “The Chubby Mermaid!?” (Answer: Someone on the Internet – that is who.) My main concern was the term “chubby,” and how The Munch internalized the Meta meaning of that word. I started to panic, wondering if lifelong damage had already happened.

    Toni: Why is it called “The Chubby Mermaid?”
    Munch: Well, the mermaid is chubby because she ate too many gummy bears.
    Toni: Well “chubby” is not a very nice word.
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: Do you know what “chubby” means?
    Munch: It means you have a round tummy – like the “chubby” mermaid who ate too many gummy bears.

    HOLY FUCK YOU GUYS!!! I was like “shit, shit, shit, shit in the ass shit!” Of course “eating too many gummy bears” is not a good idea for anyone. Especially since they are made of gelatin composed of horse hooves – I mean basically they are molded balls primed to give you diabetes… But still! I don’t want The Munch thinking that fat shaming a mermaid is okay just because she happens to have a penchant for gummy bears!!

    Toni: Well, what do you think of the “Chubby Mermaid?”
    Munch: I like her… that is why I want to watch her???
    Toni: I mean, do you think she is a good person?
    Munch: Huh? What do you mean?
    Toni: Do you think she is bad for being “chubby?”
    Munch: No???
    Toni: So, do you think she is a good person?
    Munch: I don’t know mom??? I haven’t seen the rest of it yet? I only saw the beginning?? I don’t know her yet?
    Toni: Well do you think it is nice to call the mermaid “chubby?”
    Munch: She ate too many gummy bears, so she has a chubby tummy? Like it pokes out a little bit.
    Toni: Do you think she still has value to society even though she ate too many gummy bears?
    Munch: Huh? I don’t know??? I haven’t seen the whole video? Wait Mom… do we have any gummy bears??

    From the Munch’s perspective, being “chubby” wasn’t an insult. It was just a descriptive. Like having blond hair or green eyes. She couldn’t tell me if the mermaid was a good person until she actually saw what she was like as a person. Nor did she think there was anything wrong with the mermaid because she was chubby. She just ate too many gummy bears. In Munch’s mind being chubby was simply a consequence to an action.

    Placing moral judgment because of someone’s weight is a learned behavior. The idea that being “fat = bad” is a notion society has constructed. The Munch didn’t see the “Chubby Mermaid” as less than, but simply a mermaid whose mom didn’t micromanage her diet to make sure everything she ate was organic, biodynamic, and macrobiotic.

    Weight has become a barometer of self-worth that is deeply psychologically engrained in adults. Being thin means you feel better about yourself, regardless of actually being healthy. A super skinny model that subsists on champagne, lettuce, and cocaine is not in prime physical condition – even if she is slender. You can be “overweight” but also strong, dexterous, and able to climb stairs without passing out from fatigue.

    The body is a handy mechanism that moves us around planet earth – it is not the gauge with which we should measure our importance. I think it is completely possible to shape a child’s understanding of the body on function rather than form. There is no reason to condition our kids to think that their body weight has anything to do with their status as a human. You want to watch what you eat because a lot of processed food products are essentially poisoned. Pesticides, GMO-s, hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, preservatives… are not nutritious and may cause long-term damage. We should be cautious about what we consume not because culture will demoralize you for enjoying butter, but rather because we don’t want to ingest toxins.

    the-chubby-mermaid-blog-(i)

     

  • Supportive vs Competitive Friends

    I tend to attract really intense people. I wouldn’t call them crazy, but more bat shit crazy. I am sorry you guys, but you are. I love you. Shhhhhhh… it’s gonna be okay.

    The kind of person who is balanced, believes in the benevolence of the world, and feels comfortable in their skin is not going to be drawn to me. But if you are tortured, sweat profusely at the thought of your uncertain future, and are passionate about the minutia and ambivalent about the Meta because all life is meaningless – then chances are we are going to be real close.

    The people I connect with are complex individuals – that is what probably magnetizes me to them. I see the absurdity of existence, yet I usually maintain an emotional distance from the pain of it all. Even though my fantasy was to be raised by a pack of wolves, I had to settle for WASPs… so needless to say I am pretty repressed. What I appreciate about those who teeter on the edge of sanity is that they inspire me to feel. Without them, my sense of empathy would plateau by my even keel – otherwise known as a severe suppression of all feelings.

    I like those who question reality, but the more you question, the more questions you have. The quests for questions are plagued by more questions as the answers slip farther away in the black hole of unknowing. AHHHH I can’t take it any more!

    Friendships have always been important to me. Perhaps because my best friend died, I find it increasingly hard to let go of people. I tend to be fiercely loyal. Unless you rape my cat in front of me – I am a pretty forgiving person. Not that I like my cat that much – just seems like really rude thing to do.

    It takes a lot to push me away because I believe friendship is one of the safest relationships you can have. Your friends are the people you should feel most uncensored with… as long as you don’t show me your anal leakage. You can tell me about it, but just don’t make me look. Some things are meant to be private. The platonic love of friendship is a unique bond because hopefully the commitment is less about wanting something from someone, but more about appreciating their existence on planet earth.

    Even though I idealize friendships, I also feel they can be super complicated. Sometimes someone I really like, and have a lot of fun with, is also SUPER competitive with me. That doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but that does mean the dynamic is tainted by that energy. What I look for most in a friend is someone who is ultimately supportive of me. The kind of chick that would say “yeah, I will do a video with you promoting the usage of eco tampons and allow you to shove your head between my legs while I sit on the toilet. I get believe in your vision.” I mean, that is a damn good friend!

    The people who are closest to me get that I am totally nuts, and are still on my team! Just like I am on theirs. Now that The Munch is of the age of making friends, I want to make sure she learns how to not only be a supportive friend, but also seek them out. Young kids play on the edge of being kind and cruel, and experiment with having power over each other. The difference however, is that the stakes are lower. It doesn’t really matter who gets to play with the yellow haired Barbie but when adults act like that, shit can get ugly. Get off my Ken doll you bitch!!

    When The Munch was a baby, she didn’t really play with other kids… they just played near each other and fought over toys. Now that she is a kid, she and her friends go off to connect without constant supervision. When I observe her playing with her little buddies, my instinct is to interfere and micro manage how they treat each other. Yet if I hang back and give them a moment to feel their rage, jealousy, or selfishness, they tend to move through it pretty quick.

    I guess it is time for me to face the reality that The Munch has a life beyond me. She has to operate in the world by her own set of standards. It is my first moment of letting go. I have to hope that my influence is meaningful, and that Munch is a good person who is supportive. And you know what? She is! Munch wants her friends to be happy, and often makes sacrifices for their joy. But… I also don’t want her to be a total push over – so Munch you get that yellow hair Barbie from your bitch friend.

    supportive-friend-blog-(i)

    December 3, 2014 • 4 years old, Behavior, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing, Relationships • Views: 290

  • Sassy is The new Classy – Thanks Sasha and Malia!

    Although social media is cool because we get to look at pictures of our ex-lover’s new lover, it is also a platform for straight up antagonistic bullshit. Elizabeth Lauten went on a Facebook rant about how she didn’t like the faces Sasha and Malia Obama made during the press conference while their dad pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. Ironically she was the Communications Director for GOP Representative Stephen Fincher from Tennessee before resigning today. She also said the girls should get a little “class,” not dress like they are “at a bar” and “act like the white house matters to you.” Ummmmm Elizabeth you may want to reconsider your approach to communications; attacking children doesn’t exactly make me think you have a ton of class.

    Of course it takes a village to raise a child and theoretically you want other adults to take an interest in your kid’s behavior. If my child was acting like a dick at your house, I’d appreciate you addressing her actions. Yet I hope you would be kind and empathetic in the process. I would be less pleased if you said to my kid, “shut up you little asshole.”

    Elizabeth Lauten not only insulted the Obama girls, but used them as a vehicle to demean their dad.The crux of her point was less about eye-rolling and pouty looks, and more about how they are representatives of the people who raised them.

    “Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter,” Elizabeth added. “So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

    Politically, I am not an Obama supporter. Anyone who becomes president of this country is a highly compromised individual with too many people to appease (and by “people” I mean the ruling elite who control all banking/industry/corporations– and who may or may not be the decedents of lizards). My interest in this saga is less about “how dare you Republican Elizabeth attack the blameless Democrat president,” because that is par for the course. Yet what I do have a problem with is her blatant attempt to devalue Obama by insulting his children.

    We know Elizabeth is familiar with the teenage experience. After all, she herself was arrested for shoplifting during those prime years. Surely she remembers the complexity of those tempestuous years. Rather she decided that insulting Malia and Sasha Obama was the perfect chance to attack the President. Generally, our society operations from the understanding that children are the psychological property of their parents. To make the leap that some sassy stares means Obama is a horrible father, and therefor president, was a jump that made sense to Elizabeth.

    The cultural implication of viewing children as extensions of their parents is that a kid’s successes/failures are not theirs alone, but also that of their mom and dad. We can’t truly know the precise nature vs nurture ratios, so we tend to cherry pick the traits we want to believe are our flawless parenting techniques or supreme genes. How much of my kid is her personality and how much of her is my amazing mom style? This is not an equation we can quantify.

    It is pretty common for parents to take credit for all the parts of their children that they like. “My little Timmy is such a good dancer. He gets that from MY side of the family because I learned the fox trot.” Or “Little Susie is so clever. I think she gets it from me because I once figured out how to untangle my headphones in under 7 minutes.”

    We love to attribute ourselves for the ways our kids are remarkable. Yet when our kids suck, that is usually because that is “just they way they are.” We rarely hear parents say “Oh well, Jimmy has major control issues and hits other kids because we have no boundaries in our house. I also often bribe him with sugar just so he will leave me alone for 20 minutes while I cry in the closet. Not to mention I hate my husband, and Jimmy looks just like him so I sometimes get irrationally angry just looking at his face.” It is much easier to just be like “Jimmy has had a strong will since he was a baby. It is just who he is.”

    It we hold ourselves responsible for all the goodness in our children, we have to be equally responsible for the bad. Yet I don’t think that is giving them enough credit, nor the variety of other influences they are exposed to.

    Maintaining this level of attachment to our kids as ambassadors for ourselves because puts excessive pressure on the relationship. How many adults continually trying to appease their parents rather than finding their own path? A lot. “I am going to be a lawyer just like you daddy… even though inside I just want to design costumes for figure skaters.” Our children aren’t our possessions; we are merely the stewards of their development.

    As a parent, I want the best for my child but that can’t mean wanting her to be the best reflection of me. Maybe the best for her will be to live in a cave subsisting on plankton while contemplating cloud formations. I won’t know unless I let go of the idea that my kid is an echo of me. Any motivation for interfering with her behavior can’t be so she makes me look good, but because that is the best way for her to learn how to be a good person with a fulfilling life.

    Sasha and Malia are the daughters of the president. They are also their own people trying to understand their place in the world.They cannot be held accountable as white house diplomats for our public viewing pleasure, nor should they bear the burden of their dad’s reputation. We have to stop treating kids as commodities of their parents, and more like evolving creatures they are, with a variety of inspirations to contend with. As parents, the less ownership we feel over our children, the more honestly we’ll experience since our egos and agendas won’t blind us.

    Besides… considering the Sasha and Malia are 13 and 16, I am pretty sure they are mature as shit. If my dad was president and I was a teenager in the White House, that press conference would have been a whole different scene.

    First of all, I would have been stoned out of my mind. Not only would my eyes be as blood shot as Vince Vaughn on a Sunday morning, I would also be munching brownies with my mouth open while staring off into nothing and giggling randomly. When my dad tried to engage me to participate in this absurd American tradition, I would have gone on a 15-minute diatribe about the mass murder of millions of turkeys and described in detail the process of their slaughtering. Then the ecstasy I took would kick in, and I’d probably dry hump the turkey while mumbling about how politics is a cover up to maintain financially tyranny over the world via private banking systems and endless wars. I would then scream, “I hate you Dad! No one understands me,” collapse in a pile of my own sweaty vomit, and cry because I was really hormonal at 16.

    obama-girls-blog-(i)

    December 1, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 373

  • Can You Sprinkle Some GMO’s in my DNA?

    Now that it is winter, and I basically live in the open Tundra, I have had a lot more time to stare off into the distance and think about the future. Not my future silly… that just feels like a bleak road of endless mediocrity and stalled dreams – the future of humanity! Wait… that also feels pretty dreary. FUCK!

    I wonder what the evolution of our species is going to look like. Technology has so drastically impacted our environment and society that it seems impossible our DNA won’t be affected. Don’t you feel like extreme shifts in culture would force our biology to adjust just as much as shifting natural ecosystems did? If simply walking north was the catalyst for all racial differentiation, how is our iWorld going to influence our brains? What is the exposure of hundreds and thousands of chemicals going to do to our bodies? How are our psychological selves going to adapt to a world where social media takes precedence over human contact?

    At least this is the crap I think about during those moments when I am sitting with my kid spending “quality time” with her. You see… as long as you look like you are paying attention, it is totally okay to daydream about our transhumanist future!

    The other night I was playing in The Munch’s room watching her practice handstands. I observed how she endlessly kicked her legs in the air, awaiting a moment of balance to feel the lightness of suspension. Part of me was impressed by her tenacity, but I was also thinking how I have seen 4-year olds on Youtube dance the Salsa like their feet were on fire. I know talent is relative, but I also can’t help but compare The Munch to the countless of amazing children I have seen on the Internet! Some of who are infinitely better than me at everything I do!

    It is hard to be blown away by anything any more because we have infinite exposure to everything great humans do all over the world. Someone in Uzbekistan can fart so forcefully that they propel themselves into the air, land on a tree branch with their pinkies, and then somersault off while contorting their body so much that they land inside an Evian bottle – and I will see it on Facebook! Then all my farts would seem subpar, and average, as they just blandly soak into the couch. I SUCK!

    When you see someone do something you can’t, the normal human reaction is to feel awestruck, but also inadequate. The prevailing internal monologue is usually “wow, that is cool, but I can’t do that ☹” We don’t all have the natural ability, or commitment to be exceptional at everything, yet we still have the urge for excellence. But don’t worry everyone! I think science will soon change all that!!!

    Because we live in a genetically modified world, I think we are approaching the point were we are going to start genetically modifying humans. Science is on the precipice of making this a reality, and as soon as rich people can get access to this technology, they are going to use it. They will not only manipulate genes for beauty and physical prowess, but also manufacture immunities to best deal with the impending environmental catastrophes before us. This super race will not only be aesthetically perfect and intellectually advanced, but they will also have the biology to withstand the breakdown of nature. Yet of course there will also be a race of humans who can’t afford to purchase these targeted mutations, and they will sadly be at the mercy of natural selection. Maybe the super race will then use the blood of the pathetic unmodified people for fuel… or inject it into their bodies to stay immortal.

    OMG what is wrong with me!? Why can’t I just play “Go Fish” with my kid like a normal person??

    But maybe I need to start saving up $$$ so I can shoot GMO’s into The Much so she can stick that handstand?

    gmo-dna-blog-(i)

    November 19, 2014 • Current Events, Environmental Impact, Musings, Playing • Views: 261