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Parenting
Category

  • The Munch Birthday Blog

    Today is The Munch’s 5th birthday!

    Of course this marking of time makes me look back at these past few years and reflect. Hold on. I have to go stare in the mirror real quick. Okay I’m back. Still cute.

    Oh right… I was supposed to be reflecting about my child! Duh!!!

    Being a parent has taught me many things – like what it’s like to wipe someone else’s butt first thing in the morning, or what another human’s puke feels like dripping through my fingers. My child is the one person on planet earth whose imperfections, leaking body parts, or explosive emotions don’t freak me out. Yeah sure, I don’t always want to deal with them, but the fact that she is a part of me makes me infinitely more patient, loving, and tolerant. I’m like “awwwwww, I love you because you remind me so much of me, sweetie.”

    Even though I have to give The Munch A LOT of my time, energy, and food (she always want to eat what I’m eating), I’m also fully aware of how much she has given me. Like pink eye. Just kidding… I washed my hands so I didn’t catch it. Actually in truth, I don’t wash my hands at all. I only pretend to in public bathrooms because I don’t trust anti bacterial soap, but I also don’t want you to judge me. It’s not like I’m peeing on my hands though, so what’s the big deal you critical twat?

    Anyway…

    What I’m trying to say is that parenting is an endless journey of satisfying someone else’s needs. Wait. No. That was my auto correct. Sorry. What I meant to say is parenting is the best thing that ever happened to me!

    The Munch has been a source of endless inspiration. I mean look how much I write about her! Sure, I take breaks every once in a while to talk about politics or vaginas, but the rest of this blog is my observations on this special creature. Even though The Munch has no idea I have been exploiting her childhood for my personal gain, she has been such a good sport about it!

    I have learned more about human nature from this human than I ever thought possible. She has been my greatest and wisest teacher, and has instilled me with lessons like “don’t sing Mama while I’m singing because I cannot hear myself if all I hear is your voice.” I mean, come on. That is some Buddha shit right there.

    My Munchee is a true miracle and I’m grateful for her beyond words.

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    July 1, 2015 • 5 years old, Mommyhood, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 161

  • Owning Your Shame

    The thing about doing something you regret is that you are often too ashamed to own up to it. When you are afraid to share your humiliation with other people, it ends up burrowing deep into your psyche. It then festers inside your soul like gangrene as you are left alone to deal with the remorse. Not only are you then shouldering the burden of your guilt, but also the heavy load of keeping it in.

    I feel like the only way to truly forgive yourself for misdeeds is to air them out like socks. Rather than tucking your offence back in like teenage boy with a boner, just let the mast of your transgressions fly erect.

    I had one of these experiences the other day. I was bringing The Munch to her last day of school picnic, and of course, was running late. I was also supposed to pick up her Uncle and Cousin Calvin on the way, so I was consequently making them late too.

    Of course in the grand scheme of life, it is not a big deal that we weren’t going to be on time. We were probably just missing out on some pagan Waldorf ceremony where the group sang to grandmother moon while making mazes out of freshly harvested wheat – but I was feeling anxious non the less.

    Part of my problem was that I was SUPER FUCKING STRESSED out that week. A lot was going on, and I was NOT on my best form. I am not usually one to take out my feelings on others, but much like those rare moments when you think a fart is just a fart – shit happens.

    So Munch and I got in the car, drove down the driveway, and were about to turn onto the highway.

    Munch: Wait Mom! Can we go back and get my Frozen Flip Flops?
    Toni: Dude no. We already have your sneakers and other sandals. Let’s just go… we are already late.
    Munch: PLEASE MAMA I WANNA TURN AROUND AND GET MY FROZEN FLIP FLOPS!
    Toni: NO!

    This wasn’t just any “no.” This was the kind of “no” where I screamed in Munch’s face with such vigor that her hair blew back from the velocity of my breath.

    The Munch turned away from me, looked out the window, and silently cried.

    Okay, there is NOTHING more disturbing than a child crying silently.

    I felt soooo fucking horrible about myself. But I was also still SUPER aggravated! GODDAMN THOSE FROZEN FLIP FLOPS! I HATE THEM!

    Toni: Munch, I’m really sorry. I should not have yelled like that. But sometimes you can be really annoying when you don’t take “no” for an answer. Can you understand that?
    Munch: Yes.

    Munch was still pretty damn sad. So just to totally mix messages, confuse things, and probably fuck her up for life – I turned around and got the shoes.

    Toni: Here are your shoes. I really resent doing that, but I did it out of guilt because I snapped at you, and I don’t like snapping. Just please realize that when people say “no,” you have to respect it.
    Munch: Okay.

    We hugged it out, but she was still pretty quite on the drive to her cousin’s house. So when her Uncle and Cousin got in the car, rather than let the energy chafe the vibe of the car like testes on a hot thigh, I just told them the story of what happened.

    Toni: On our drive here, Munch really wanted her Frozen flip flops, but I really didn’t want to get them, and I yelled at her super loud! Like I was a child! I acted like a big baby rather than the grown up!

    We all laughed.

    Munch: And then I cried! But we made up, and my mom gave me a hug.

    Then everything was fine. Why hide this outburst so we both had to pretend it didn’t happen? By talking about it, we both could let go of it. People flip the fuck out all the time, and the best way to deal with it is to look it in the face and admit it happened.

    This is me gearing up to be an asshole…

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  • I am a Dance Mom Failure

    For the past year, The Munch has been attending dance classes at the local dance studio. I’m usually teaching dance or dancing myself during that time – so her grandmother has been forced to be the stand-in “dance mom.” Since I have not really been around, I was totally clueless to the culture of this studio, and just how much they were seriously not fucking around.

    It all started with the impending dress rehearsal. I asked Munch’s grandmother if she could take her, and she started to get very nervous.

    Munch’s Grandmother: Oh I was hoping you could take her to her dress rehearsal.
    Toni: I would but I have a super important meeting and then I’m teaching. Is there anyway you could?
    Munch’s Grandmother: I can, but they want her to be in full costume with make up and a bun. I only had sons, so I don’t think I can do all that.
    Toni: I’m sure it won’t matter. She’s only four. Just shove her hair up and slap some eye shadow on her face.
    Munch’s Grandmother: Ummm, they are very particular about the buns.
    Toni: Okay, well I will send her to your house with a bun already in her hair.
    Munch’s Grandmother: Okay, they are just really serious about those buns.
    Toni: I’m sure it will be fine.

    That Monday, I got Munch ready in the morning for her afternoon rehearsal.

    Toni: Listen, I have to do your hair now, because Grandma isn’t sure about putting your hair back in a bun for your rehearsal. So just try not to mess it up.
    Munch: Okay. But can you put two braids in the side and then a braid around the bun?
    Toni: Do I seriously have to go all Game of Thrones on your hair right now? Can’t I just do a regular bun?
    Munch: I WANT BRAIDS WITH MY BUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    So I did what any normal parent would do when their child screams in their fucking face. I did exactly as she asked.

    I brought Munch to her Grandmother’s house and she was immediately anxious when she saw Munch’s hair.

    Munch’s Grandmother: Oh her hair looks very pretty, but are you sure those braids are okay?
    Toni: They’ll be fine. It’s a dress rehearsal! Who cares?

    Well it turns out those braids WERE NOT FUCKING FINE AT ALL! Munch’s Grandmother was scolded for having the wrong kind of bun, and the owner of the studio had to do ANOTHER PERFECT BUN! She then sent Munch’s grandmother home with hairpins, a hair net, and specific instructions for me on how to get her bun perfect!

    Okay fine.

    The night of the show, I gave Munch the best goddamn bun you ever did see. But her “Dust Bunny” costume, which was a tutu adorned with pink feathers, was fragile. So I decided I would just get her dressed at the venue, so as not to smash her tutu during the car ride (or have pink feathers all over my car). We drove to the performance venue with the windows rolled up (so as NOT to disturb the bun), and got there just on time.

    As I was dressing Munch, another Mom told me she was going to leave early, as the “Dust Bunnies” were the first to perform, and it was a long show. She was afraid her daughter would be too tired for the next night’s performance if she had two late nights. Her logic made perfect sense to me. One because who wants to deal with a tired kid? And two because who wants to sit through 2 hours of watching other people’s kids dance?

    After Munch had her 3-minute moment on stage, we sneaked out, and I went to find her backstage. I guess leaving 5 minutes after the show has started and taking your kid away is NOT exactly “Dance Mom” etiquette. So as I was leaving her teacher walked past perplexed.

    Dance Teacher: Are you taking Adelia? She’s not going to stay for the bow?
    Toni: No. I’m getting her home early so she isn’t a total A-Hole tomorrow.

    So I guess “Dance Mom’s” also don’t refer to their child as an “A-Hole” in public.

    The next night of the 2nd performance I figured I could have the same routine as I did the 1st night. I did the bun at home, and assumed I could get Munch into her costume backstage again. Yet when I tried to enter, I was stopped.

    Dance Mom Volunteer: Are you a chaperone volunteer?
    Toni: No?
    Dance Mom Volunteer: Well you can’t come in here. Dancers only.
    Toni: Okay, I just wanted to get my kid dressed real quick.
    Dance Mom Volunteer: You were supposed to do that at home. She was supposed to come dressed and ready to perform.
    Toni: Well is there a bathroom I can use?
    Dance Mom Volunteer: No. There isn’t. She was supposed to come dressed and ready.

    My mom and I took Munch around the corner, found the fucking bathroom that this chick pretended didn’t exist, and proceeded to put on her goddamn costume and makeup.

    Toni: Jesus H. Christ she was being aggressively unreasonable.
    Munch: Who was mom?
    Toni: Nobody. Don’t worry about it.
    Munch: That mom that wouldn’t let you in that room?
    Toni: DON’T TELL HER I SAID ANYTHING! YOU WILL RUIN ME!

    I mean that was a lot of stress! Now I am not saying that Munch wasn’t the most AMAZING Dust Bunny… but basically she just skipped across stage a few times with a bunch of other girls who looked just like her, and then rolled on the floor.

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    June 22, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Education, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting • Views: 316

  • The World Of Make Believe is Kinda F*cked Up!

    As adults, I think we all envy the imagination of children. Their ability to lose themselves in a play pretend planet, and envision a reality I can only achieve after taking acid. Yet sometimes when I enter into these alternate dimensions with my child, I sometimes take pause, and think to myself, “Damn kid, your make believe worlds are kinda fucked up!”

    Here are some of the most recent games I have played with The Munch:

    1) Dead Mermaid Examiners:

    Munch: Let’s pretend we are these explores that find dead mermaids. We travel the seas, and every time we find a dead mermaid, we bring her on our ship and examine it. And then, we look inside her body, and see all her broken bones, and how her heart isn’t beating.

    Toni: Ummm okay. Do we have magic powers to save the mermaid or anything? So we can bring her back to life?

    Munch: Yeah, but first we have to use this tool to peel off her fin to make sure all her bones are broken – and then we can use the magic to make her heart beat again. But after we make her alive, she goes back into the water, and the bad guys just kill her again.

    2) Evil Jailer:

    Munch: Pretend that you are sleeping in my bed, and then I come in the middle of the night and capture you. But I tell you I am brining you to my house to watch my animals, but really, I just put you in jail. And because you believed me, and you love animals, you didn’t know I was going to do that. And when you are in jail there are bars everywhere, surrounding you, and you can’t get out.

    Toni: What happens to me when I am in jail?

    Munch: You cry because you want to get out.

    Toni: Wah!!!

    Munch: Pretend that I am evil, but you have this magic treasure that turns me nice. So here, you can use it now.

    Toni: Okay. I am using this magic treasure and I am making you nice! Shazam!

    Munch: Your magic didn’t work. I am still evil.

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  • My Personal Parenting PTSD

    Over the weekend I hosted a women’s dinner where we celebrated our uteruses by winding our fallopian tubes around the moon, and dancing our menses deep into the earth’s core. Or we made quinoa and grilled some fish. Whatever.

    My goddess friend Olivia brought her precious priestess daughter, a mere babe of 7 months. They were like one glorious unit – the perfect depiction of the serene Madonna and child. As I gazed upon their unbounded beauty, and how physically/spiritually/emotionally interwoven they were, I thought to myself, “Holy fuck how did I ever get through that baby stage? That shit was hard as fuck.”

    Looking back, I still cannot believe how much work it was to keep that thing alive and happy. It was so intense, I actually blocked out a lot of the experience. Watching Olivia, I realized that she was in this whole other dimension of babyness that I couldn’t relate to – not because I didn’t understand – but because my mind has filtered away those memories to protect myself.

    Every description of motherhood Olivia revealed felt literally insane to me.

    Olivia: Well, I haven’t had that much time to do that because I haven’t really left Rosey with anyone else for more than an hour.
    Toni: WHAT? Are you serious?? You have been with her this whole time?
    Olivia: Yeah, basically. I mean, how long would you leave Munch with other people when she was 7 months?
    Toni: I mean maybe an hour tops. But I hardly ever did that.

    It’s like I have PTSD!! Baby Munch is my personal Vietnam! Not that she was a hard baby either. She was super chill. But the level of commitment and patience required for a baby was like nothing I ever experienced, and now that it’s over, I can’t believe I ever got through it alive.

    Now that The Munch is almost 5, the freedom I have is unparalleled to what it was like when she was baby. She’s really independent and that has given me my independence. But I guess the reason why she’s so secure in the world is because of the hard time I put in when she was an infant. The breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and constant connection helped create a strong foundation between us, and now she is like a little bird that can fly away. Not too far though, she still needs me to make her sandwiches and charge the iPad.

    LOOK HOW TIRED I WAS!

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  • A Monster is Ruling My life

    The parent child relationship is a dance of power dynamics. Of course as the grown up, you are in control – but there are moments when the ferocious emotional reaction of your child will make you bow to their supremacy over you. Sometimes I hold my ground against The Munch being an unreasonable twatt, but there are also instances where I will bend over upside-down and twisted to avoid her wrath.

    This is a story that tells the tale of the true craziness of my life.

    It all started with getting Munch’s new bedframe delivered.

    I was with my friend Grace, and suddenly realized that in order for Munch’s new bed to be set up by the delivery men, I would have to unmake her current bed and move the mattress. This may not seem like a big deal, but in my world, it was huge.

    The Munch has a thing about her bed, and the set up of her stuffed animals. It’s a very elaborate installation art piece that I am NOT allowed to touch. I haven’t even washed her sheets for 9 months. There are bloodstains from a bloody lip, an unidentifiable green blemish, and I am sure variety of forms of E. Coli.

    Toni: Fuck. If I move her mattress, Munch is going to know I moved her stuffed animals?
    Grace: And?
    Toni: She is going to get really mad.
    Grace: And?
    Toni: You don’t get it.

    Grace and I moved Munch’s mattress, and I washed her sheets since I had the chance. The bedframe was constructed, and I did everything in my power to make the bed exactly as I had found it. Although I did fail to use the 5 blankets she had been using to avoid the crumbs from eating cookies in her bed a few months ago.

    I went to pick Munch up from her friend’s house, and since it was a beautiful day, suggested we go to the playground before going home.
    Munch: Can we stop by the house so you can get my Frozen shoes and my Elsa flip-flops?
    Toni: Sure.

    We stopped by the house and I found her Frozen sandals, but not the stupid flip-flops. I had forgotten to mention this however, because while I was in the house, I was so fixated on her bed being absolutely perfect for her to see.

    We headed to the park, but first stopped at the Organic Store for some $38 sandwiches.

    Toni: Come on Munch. Let’s go in the store and get the sammiches.
    Munch: Can I get a treat?
    Toni: Sure. Just put your shoes on.
    Munch: Did you bring my flip-flops?
    Toni: I couldn’t find them. But I brought the Frozen sandals, so just wear those.
    Munch: BUT I WANTED TO WEAR MY FLIP-FLOPS!!!!

    Now keep in mind we were in the parking lot of a judgmental hippy store, and now my kid was freaking the fuck out over Frozen flip-flops. I was trying to be patient, but I was also debating shoving my head in a juicer. I tried to reason with Munch that she has 2 other shoe options to choose from, but she was having none of it. She was in rare form. I finally got out of the car and said when she was ready to calm down we could go in.

    I wanted to just turn around and go home to avoid this whole scene – but the problem was that I had already ordered the sammiches over the phone. I HAD to go in and pick them up. I couldn’t bring my crying crappy child with me because that was too embarrassing. So I waited. And I waited. And waited some more while Munch continued her total break down in the car.

    Eventually my neighbor pulled into the parking lot to do his grocery shopping.

    Toni: Hey. Can you watch my car for a minute while my kid has a tantrum? I have to go in the store and pick up the sandwiches I pre-ordered.
    My Neighbor: Uhhh okay?

    When I came back out, The Munch had stopped crying and was talking to my neighbor. I thanked him, and got in the car.

    Munch: Can I still get a treat?
    Toni: You have got to be fucking kidding me.
    Munch: But you promised.
    Toni: Dude… do you seriously think I am going to get you a treat after that?
    Munch: But you promised!!!!

    At this point I was weak. I was broken. Munch put on her god forsaken Frozen sandals, and we went inside so she could get a treat. I don’t know why. I was just trying to have a nice day I guess. But once in the store, I guess Munch hadn’t really gotten over her mood, so she couldn’t figure out what treat she wanted. She then started stomping her feet in frustration.

    Now my kid can be an asshole. But this was some next level shit. I had never witnessed this level of cuntyness.

    We left the store and I was livid.

    Munch: Can I have my chocolate now?
    Toni: No way. And we are not going to the park either. You were so rude in there, and it was embarrassing. I got you a treat because I said I would, but that doesn’t mean you can have it after you acted in such a disrespectful manner.
    Munch: YOU ARE BEING DISRESPECTFUL!
    Toni: Am I? Do you think I like going to the playground?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: Was I taking you to the playground for my health? Or because you like it?
    Munch: Because I like it.
    Toni: Have you been kind to me? Or appreciative at all of my efforts to do things for you today?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: Would you give you a treat if you were me?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: Okay. So no treat, and we are going home.
    Munch: BUT I WANT MY CHOCOLATE!! WAHHHAHHHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA.
    Toni: You are acting like a baby.

    The Munch cried the whole way home as I fantasized about driving into on coming traffic. At this point we were both starving because neither of us had eaten lunch. I got to my house, threw her the sammich, and went to the yard to eat alone.

    We kept our distance for a few minutes, and then The Munch came over to me with flowers she had picked. She then handed them to me.

    Munch: I’m sorry.

    Oh she’s good. She is soooooo good.

    We made up, ate together, and everything seemed fine.

    Toni: This is the plan. We are going to Sally’s for dinner, and you have to take a bath before then because it’s been a few days. So lets go do that, and then get ready.
    Munch: Okay.
    Toni: Oh. I almost forgot. Your new bed came. Do you want to see it?
    Munch: YAYYYYY!

    We ran upstairs. Munch was ahead of me. She entered her room, and my heart tightened.

    Munch: YOU MOVED MY STUFFED ANIMALS!! I WORKED SO HARD ON MY SET UP!!! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!??
    Toni: I had to in order for your bed to be delivered. But I put everything back.
    Munch: YOU DID IT WRONG! MY SEAL DOESN’T GO HERE. IT GOES THERE! AND MY DOLLY GOES HERE!
    Toni: Okay. I don’t want to fight about this. Lets fix them together.
    Munch: DID YOU MOVE MY COZY BLANKETS??!!
    Toni: Yes, but I washed everything and put them safely in the closet.
    Munch: I NEED MY COZY BLANKETS BACK!
    Toni: Dude… we got this. I will take everything down, and we can do it together okay?
    Munch: WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS WITH OUT ME!?
    Toni: You weren’t here. Let’s not have a tantrum, or act like a baby. We can talk about things and figure out solutions with our words and actions. So explain to me how you like it, and we can do this together.
    Munch: Okay. First we have to talk off all the stuffed animals and the blanket so we can put the cozy blankets down first on the bottom.

    I started taking her stuffed animals of the bed so we could remake it the way she liked. I moved the tiny bunny, the little bear, the giraffe, and then I put my hand on A FUCKING LIVE MOUSE!!

    A mouse had been cuddling with her stuffed animals, just chilling next to the tiny badger, and I almost picked it up with my BARE FUCKING HANDS!

    Toni: AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    I pulled Munch off the bed. The mouse was now buried under the other stuffed animals on the floor.

    Munch: What? WHAT IS IT?
    Toni: IT’S A MOUSE!
    Munch: Where?
    Toni: THERE! Under your animals!!
    Munch: Well get it and bring it outside.
    Toni: I’M SCARED.
    Munch: Come on Mom, you can do it. Don’t be such a baby.

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  • Hating Your Parents

    You know how you once thought you would never turn into your parents, and then you realize, “oh fuck, I am totally just like my parents?” Yeah… so do I.

    There are many things my mom did to me when I was a kid that I SWORE I would never do. She ate my Halloween candy when I was at school, she also ate my valentine chocolates when I was at school, and then she once bit the head off my Easter bunny when I was at school. OBVIOUSLY I SHOULD HAVE NEVER GONE TO SCHOOL!!!

    Along with her penchant for sweets, my mom’s also a compulsive cleaner. If you are eating in her kitchen, she will tidy around you as you try and finish your meal. She will even go as far as to pick up your plate and wipe the table clean mid bite. She is obsessed with order and everything being in the right place – kind of like Martha Stewart on meth.

    Because my mom likes things to be neat, she was also always moving our stuff and throwing things out. In her mind it was clutter, but to my brother and me, those He-Man toys were important!!

    The way I learned to deal with my mom’s ways was deciding personal possessions are meaningless. One day you could come home, your things would be missing, and you just moved on. Maybe that Godzilla doll did have go, even though now I would never know where its vagina was. These are the questions of my childhood that will remain unanswered.

    But it turns out that I am now also a compulsive cleaner. I’m constantly moving Munch’s stuff around and giving away old shitty toys I can’t look at any more. I try to be discerning, and only abandon the objects she discarded, but sometimes my instincts are wrong. There have been moments where she looks at me with rage in her eyes and asks, “Where is that one Barbie shoe that was in that box?! I NEED IT!”

    Kids have a lot of fucking shit, and their shit takes over your house like an infestation. In every room there are remnants of plastic toys to step on in the middle of the night. It’s hard to escape, and sometimes you just want to purge and say, “fuck all your stuff.”

    In order to deal with the vomit of neon littering the house, I ordered some furniture for Munch’s room so she could better organize her toys. She spent all night putting everything away in just the right place, and we were both happy with the result. But then I went downstairs, looked at the living room, and felt like there was still too much crap. There was a table that was covered with her paraphernalia, and I really wanted it put away.

    Okay so here is the thing about Munch. She’s an installation artist. She creates these set ups, and then refuses to play or touch them because she put so much effort into their arrangement. I’m not trying to stifle her vision, but it’s also super annoying because then there are these shrines of her “work” I’m not supposed to touch.

    So what did I do?

    I cleaned up the fucking table.

    What happened when she saw it the next day?

    She was fucking pissed!

    Munch: AHHHHHHHHH WHAT DID YOU DO???
    Toni: I cleaned up in here.
    Munch: MY TABLE!!!? WHEN DID YOU DO THIS?
    Toni: Last night when you were sleeping.
    Munch: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED ME FIRST!!!?
    Toni: I’m sorry. But you wouldn’t let me clean it, and it was driving me nuts.
    Munch: I WORKED SO HARD ON THAT!!!
    Toni: Yeah, but then you never played with any of those toys again.
    Munch: THAT’S BECAUSE I WORKED SO HARD! THAT WAS MY COLLECTION!
    Toni: I’m sorry, but it looked really messy.
    Munch: I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toni: Look, you can’t just put your toys everywhere. That’s not fair.
    Munch: WHERE IS ALL MY STUFF?
    Toni: It’s right here in these bins.

    I showed Munch the bins, and to be honest, I did get rid of some of the things that were on the table. Like I don’t know… a pile of rocks she brought in from the driveway. But I also kept a lot more than I wanted to. Munch then started tearing through the bins and throwing things across the room looking for all her nick nacks.

    Munch: IT’S NOT ALL HERE! WHERE IS THE LITTLE BUNNY WITH THE MISSING HEAD??!!! I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toni: Dude, that isn’t fair come with me. Lets go on a tour of this house.

    I then proceeded to drag her into every room in the house.

    Toni: Whose stuff is this here?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: What about here in this room. Whose stuff is this?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: Come upstairs. What about here in the hallway – whose stuff is this?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: Do you see how your stuff is all over? You can’t monopolize every room in the house! You’re not the only one who lives here. We have to compromise okay?
    Munch: Fine. I will make my collection again, and if you touch it, I will throw your computer out the window.

    Pretty sure I won’t be touching this table for a while…

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  • Pretending to Pretend

    If you came to my house and saw me dressed up like a princess while talking to my stuffed animals, would you think that was sweet – or that I had totally lost my fucking mind? Chances are you would smile, back out slowly, and then call my mom to tell her that the moment had finally come – it was time to have me committed. Even though kids are expected to play pretend, when adults do, we consider it a mental disease.

    When I watch The Munch play pretend it is of course cute to watch her imagination wander, but she also gets into some really weird shit. Sometimes her baby dolls have to go to jail because they weren’t listening, her stuffed panda has been known to eat Mr. Bunny, and every so often her Carebear has to be put outside in the rain for punishment.

    That is just the information I am privy to as she talks to herself. There are a lot of times where The Munch is playing and she is quite. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a full narrative happening inside her head, I just don’t know what it is. And to be honest, I don’t know if I want to.

    A lot of times she asks me to participate in these games, which to be honest is hard for me to get into. I am too aware that this isn’t reality, and I can’t get lost in it like a child would. Of course I go along and pretend to pretend, but in reality my brain is spending its time stressing out about my life rather than truly being invested in My Little Pony’s adventure into the land of Dark Trees.

    Do you remember the feeling of being lost in your imagination? I have a vague recollection of what that was like, but I can’t connect to that headspace. I think my window was too short. I know some kids can stay in that mental state for a long time, but I think when I was like 6 or 7 I was like, “this is just silly.” I was too self aware, and that ability to forget myself melted away.

    Even though the social acceptability of pretending morphs as you age, plenty of grown ups still do it, just in a more adult way. They role play sexually, play fantasy sports games, have online Avatars, hold Dungeons and Dragon’s gatherings, go to adult summer camps… All this proves we will have a need for play even though it is manifested differently.

    Yet I can’t get into any of that shit, because again, my consciousness is too conscious of its consciousness. Maybe for those of us who still yearn for play, but are too uptight to figure out how to maintain the capacity, we turn to drugs. Not that I am a druggie now, but I was definitely committed for a good portion of my teen and adult years. Drugs helped me forget my mind and exist in a make-believe world.

    Perhaps if there were more opportunities for people to play as they grow up, less people would turn to drugs for that mental escape? I don’t know, but it seems like a fun little game of “You’re the Teacher and I’m the Bad Student,” is infinitely safer than heroine.

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    May 18, 2015 • 4 years old, Behavior, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 269

  • Even Though I Love You I Don’t Always Like You

    We all love our families – or at least we feel the cultural pressure to say we do, and honor the obligation by pretending. I have an to uncle whom I sign off emails saying, “love Toni,” but in truth I think he’s kind of a dick. I have cousins I adore, and then one I think is a mega tool. Even though I guess there is a general aura of love around my family, I sure as shit don’t enjoy all their company.

    When someone is in your life, and probably never going anywhere, you can feel love for them – but that doesn’t mean you always want to be around them. Some of my best loving I do from afar. The less I have to deal with your bullshit, the better I can appreciate my love for you.

    Even the people I know I love a lot… I sometimes imagine the joy I would feel murdering them. Not the consequence of their actually being dead – just the initial satisfaction of choking the life out of them.

    Love may be unconditional, but liking someone is not.

    I LOVE my child until the ends of the multiverse – but I don’t always like her.

    Sometimes being around the people you love the most is the most annoying. When you really care about someone, the emotional juxtaposition of being sincerely irritated by them makes your feelings even more extreme. With my kid, my eternal love is so boundless that when she really pisses me off, I want to throw her into the outer edges of the atmosphere – and then toss those damn Frozen sneakers that she was making me look for right after her.

    I love The Munch everyday of my life regardless of her behavior, but the most exciting moments between us are when I really like her. Now that she is almost 5, The Munch is almost like a real person. She is less driven by her base animal instincts, and no longer does things like scream, “I hate you” because I wouldn’t open the box of cookies while driving – I was too busy texting. JUST KIDDING! I was looking at Facebook.

    As The Munch is growing up and getting to be more governed by her own moral compass, I have come to observe that she is a really good person. She cares about her friends’ happiness, and is always willing to share her leotards. She made me a Mother’s Day gift, and was nice to me all day because according to her “It’s important to do things for moms – they are so busy all the time doing things for their kids.” And the last time we had a picnic, she picked me flowers and offered me the BIGGEST strawberry.

    The Munch’s personality is also really developing, and I am learning more and more what I like about her every day – mostly how many things we have in common. We both are really into music, dancing, and of course trying to make people laugh. She tells amazing jokes like “Knock knock. (Who’s There?) A fart on your head because you just made a smelly poop.” I mean, that is some real comedy gold right there.

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    May 13, 2015 • 4 years old, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Parenting, Relationships • Views: 354