baby body

  • Semi-abusive adults

    The greatest lessons I have leaned in life have come from hardships.  I don’t think I did a lot of growing when I was dancing on bars downing tequila shots, although I sure as shit was having fun!  It is usually through suffering that I evolve as a human.  Does that make me an existentialist sadomasochist?

    Although my parents were pretty tame to my brother and me, their parents came from another generation and were way more hard-core.  These were the adults that were hardest on me as a child, but also had the most impact on my development.  I don’t remember ever feeling like I had a choice, or could even argue their perspective, because I was so conditioned to respect my elders and do what they say.  So consequently, I would find myself in situations doing things I really didn’t want to do, or didn’t think I could do.

    My grandmother on my father’s side was really loving and affectionate, but also insanely sexist.  She would always encourage my older brother to go to the third floor and play so he could expand his imagination and intelligence while I helped her in the kitchen.  It was there where she would give me such sage advice as “Tonikam… do you know what a bitch is?  Well don’t be like that because it will make your face look old.”

    Although spending my childhood making dumplings was for sure less exciting than making G.I Joes fly around, I did learn quite a lot being my grandmother’s house helper.  Like how to feed myself and others, how to appreciate time with her even though I was doing boring chores, and what her teeth looked like in a jar when she took them out at night.

    My mom’s stepfather was very Swiss and did not believe in coddling children.  His demeanor was slightly harsh and would not tolerate complaining or whining.  He once took my brother and I skiing and we got lost and had to hike back up the mountain to find the path.  Oh yeah, and we were in the Alps – so it was kind of a big mountain.  Now at 6, one thing that is really complicated is carrying two skis and two polls.  The skis kept splitting apart, I would take two steps drop a pole, try to bend down to pick it up and my ski would wack me in the head and fall. Then I would have to drop everything to re-attach the skis together and try to get my polls in the other hand, but my hands were too cold and then I trip over my ski boots.  My goggles kept fogging up so I couldn’t see, and had to follow the panting of my brother ahead of me in a desperate attempt to keep up.  Even though I thought this was the worst day of my life, and kind of wanted to beat my grandfather with my skis, I did make it out alive.  That experienced definitely toughened me up.

    Three years later my mom’s father took us on a kayaking and camping trip.  He was also stern man who had little tolerance for weakness, so at 9 and 12 my brother and I had to pick up kayaking and going down waterfalls pretty quick.  The first few days my brother got severely dehydrated and puked for 24 hours into the river.  For the next 14 days his foamy vomit followed us.  The mosquitos were so bad that it looked I had herpes of the body, and as much as I wanted to go home I couldn’t because the only way out was making it the 100 miles down the river.  And of course I couldn’t express my discontent because we are New England people and don’t talk about pansy things like emotions or admit feebleness.  You stuff it all down your throat like a Thanksgiving turkey.

    Although this whole experience felt crazy, especially because my grandfather sometimes kayaked in the nude, it was empowering.  Pushing myself to the limits and going past them was a really meaningful practice.  It has helped me so much in my adult life to know that I can persevere even when I think I can’t.  These semi-abusive adults really showed me my own strength, and I honor their total disregard my feelings.

    So here I have this little girl, who I want to show empathy and love towards and be a hippy earth-mother who embraces all her emotions.  And the Munch has nothing but sane reasonable adults in her life who want to spoil her rotten, listen to her needs, and not put her in quasi-dangerous situations.  Fuck!! She is going to be such a pussy!! What am I going to do??

    I feel like kids almost need some hard characters in their lives to challenge them.  Although philosophically I am all about love and compassion, but if that is all The Munch is exposed to how is she going to thrive the face of adversity?  She needs some hard-asses in her life!



  • That’s Snot Okay!

    Although my own boogers have proved to provide endless entertainment and distraction from boredom, I am actually quite horrified by the nose droppings of others.  I have forced myself to come to peace with the snot of The Munch, considering she has been known to use my shirt as a Kleenex, and often leaves a patty of mucus on my shoulder after an intense cry.  I will admit though, I have yet to fully suppress my gag reflex when she eats her nasal candy.

    But The Munch is the spawn of my DNA, so her bodily secretions are less gross then if she were not my genetic semi-clone.  She is an extension of my insides, except with feet, and her own face.  Her piss and shit has been the soundtrack to my life, and I have learned to deal with her excretions with as much dignity as a Victorian Lady with dysentery.

    But that does not mean I am comfortable with other people’s boogers being wiped on me.  Which is what my friend kept doing as a joke over the weekend.  I started to have a visceral reaction that seemed like it was coming from a primal wound from my past.  In an effort to uncover this trauma I was engaging in some intense talk therapy over the phone with my most trusted confident.

    “You know, she just kept wiping her boogers on me.  Although I can appreciate the comedy, actually looking at the glistening slime on my pants produced surges of vomit to bellow up the back of my throat.  I am not sure why I have such an aversion?? Maybe it dates back to when my brother would take his boogers and attach them to his eyelashes, extending the green goblin from the top set to the bottom.  He would keep his eye at half-mast to make sure not to lose this slime soldier and then chase me around the room like that – getting just close enough forcing me to look at his face and watch the booger stretch across the lashes as he blinked.”

    Yeah… come to think of it, I am pretty sure that is the source of my terror.

    (Hard to believe such a sweet face was capable of such psychological warfare.  Although I do think my brother is a comedic genius.  I have a lot to learn from him.  Munch… you better watch out!)

    March 4, 2013 • 2 years old, baby body, Family Drama, Musings, Pee & Poop • Views: 2222

  • Those Eastern Europeans Aren’t Fucking Around

    When it comes to gymnastics, those Eastern Europeans are serious as fuck!  I can say that, because I am Hungarian.  On Saturday, I was invited to bring The Munch to a gymnastics class in New Ipswich New Hampshire where there for some reason is a huge population of Eastern Europeans.  I usually bring Munch to baby Gymnastics in my area where she does such complicated moves as running under a rainbow sheet, chasing foam balls, and crawling through a tunnel, so I figured she would be up to par.  It never occurred to me I would be entering into Olympic Training grounds.

    When I first entered the facility the first thing I noticed was the overwhelming smell.  It was like I was nuzzling my face into a jock strap and deeply inhaling the scent of sweaty balls.  Yet the offenders of this odor were tiny little girls.  Flipping across the room, swinging from bars, and flying from rings.

    I ushered The Munch to the back of the room, dodging the airborne limbs of 30-pound nine year olds.  The sound of coaches yelling at their little prodigies in their native tongue was deafening.  All the little gymnasts were in their leotards with ponytails so tight their eyes were tilted vertical, and then here was The Munch, in a party dress with her mullet blowing in the wind.

    The Munch started off on the trampoline, which I thought she was quite good at until a kid half her size but with the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1986 did a front flip and landed on his feet.  I then brought her over the pit of foam blocks and encouraged her to jump in.  It was about a two-foot jump, but she did it quite happily holding onto my hands.  I was impressed by her bravery until a mother and her daughter came over and this little girl jumped from a 6-foot platform barely holding on to one of her mom’s pinkies.   She went to do it again, but mini Arnold scaled up like Spiderman and did a perfect swan dive with flawless form.

    I couldn’t help it.  My competitive nature, my ego, my pride, I wanted my kid to jump this death defying leap.

    Toni: “Munch, do you want to try?”

    Munch: “Okay.”

    So I lifted her up and she looked over the edge.

    Munch: “I want to hold your hands.”

    Toni: “Munch, you can’t hold both hands because my arms aren’t long enough.  You can hold one hand, but you have to let go in the air because I don’t have Go-Go-Gadget arms okay?”

    Munch: “I want to hold two hands.”

    Toni: “Munch it won’t work that way, you have to only hold one.”

    Munch: “I want to get down.”

    It is not even that I want my child to spend her entire life at the gym working out, but when you are in that environment it is hard not to get swept away.  Everywhere I looked there were pictures of Gold Medal champions and here was my kid carefully doing a crooked somersault.  I started to feel that even though she is only 2 ½ The Munch is getting a really late start on her athletic career!

    We got in the car and I was decided to give her a pep talk to start emotionally preparing her for her life as a competitor.

    Toni: “Did you like gymnastics class?”

    Munch: “Yeah!!! It was so fun. I jumped on the trampoline. And I ran so fast.  And I wasn’t shy.”

    Toni: “Munch, you know, you didn’t have to hold my hands every time you jumped into the foam blocks. You saw that other little boy and he didn’t hold Mamma’s hand.”

    Munch: “He jumped from so high all by himself!”

    Toni: “Munch did you want to jump by yourself?”

    Munch: “No I wanted to hold your hands.”

    Toni: “So maybe next time you will try jumping by yourself?”

    Munch: “No.  Maybe next time you try jumping by yourself.”

    Toni: “Touché my friend…. Touché.”





    February 18, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, baby body, Playing • Views: 3670

  • Does wearing underwear make you civilized?

    This is going to be one of those blog posts that The Munch is really going to resent me for in the future.  Knowing this let me just say to future Munch, sorry.  I just had to.

    Two-year old Munch, who is now potty trained, refuses to wear underwear.  It is just not her thing.  Maybe this could work out if she didn’t insist on wearing her party dress every day of her life.  Call me old fashioned, but party dress and no panties is pretty much a recipe for trouble.  I am living in a 24-hour porno up in here.

    Now I get where she is coming from.  Underwear does kind of suck.  And come to think of it so do pants.  I am sure it is much more comfortable and freeing for the wind to graze your genitals and keep that whole area fresh.  I am empathetic to her cause and try not to think about it too deeply as she crawls all over my lap, couch, and pillows.

    But what happens when I take her out into the world? Or people come over to the house? My mom tells me that my brother and I would also like to be naked as children, and that one fateful evening my brother was climbing on one of my mother’s house guest with his “wingy ding” flopping round in their ear. (* I forgot to mention this blog post will also be one that my brother will currently resent me for).  Am I going to be type of parent that lets her child flash dance in her guests faces? Probably.

    My mom also suggested we get her really pretty underwear that she would be excited about.  So she had some delivered and we ceremoniously opened them and talked all about these magic underwear that were so beautiful.  The Munch did like the underwear, and took great joy in looking at them, folding them, and putting them on her head.  But yeah… doesn’t look like she is covering up that ass anytime soon.

    January 16, 2013 • 2 years old, baby body, baby brain, Behavior, Pee & Poop • Views: 5037

  • I Think I am Switching Sides

    It turns out that we are experiencing a flu pandemic! Like people all over the place are dying from the flu!! Are we living in the dark ages? Are we a nation of 18th century French prostitutes singing of dreams gone by? What is wrong with us? Dying from the flu seems so senseless in a world where we can grow a human ear on a mouse’s back.  Don’t we have the technology to not die from this kind of stuff?

    My friend thinks it’s because of global warming.  When I asked her to explain she was like “well, I just feel like because the weather is all weird and stuff, that there are now these crazy super strands of viruses that our bodies haven’t developed a resilience to.”  Yeah… probably.  I mean I am not a scientist or anything, but I think I am going to take this theory and run with it.

    When The Munch was exclusively breastfeeding she didn’t get sick once.  When she started eating food at around 1 she got her first fever.  Since then she has gotten sick about 7 times in a year and half.  Now this is a kid who only eats organic fair often grown in her backyard, is not exposed to a lot of germs at day care because she is still at home, is still suckling away on the teat draining my soul of all its immunities, and lives in nature amongst fairies and woodsprites.  The Munch lives a pretty pure existence and this bitch is still getting sick about every 4 months.

    Even when you are trying to live a totally chemical free, organic, new age and morally superior existence, you are still exposed to the toxicity of the world.  There is so much damage done to every facet of our environment, that it is almost impossible to believe the damage.  And you know what? I am no longer going to.

    From this moment forward, I am going to adopt the sentiments of a fundamentalist-right wing-global warming denier.  I am going to refute all scientific “facts” and instead support short-term gain over the long-term health of the planet.  I am going to be really materialistic, and into oil, and pipe lines, and plastic, and GMO food, and dumping trash into the ocean because who cares fish are dumb anyway.  I just think I will be a lot happier being on the other side then I am on this one.  So see you later hippies! I am off to harpoon this majestic horse in the face.




  • The Hardest To Love

    There is a saying that goes “those that are hardest to love, need it the most.”  Although intellectually I think this is quite a profound statement, I am beginning to suspect that the person who coined this wisdom is a real asshole.  Because you want to know what is really hard?? Showing someone love who is acting like a total dick.

    If you really need love so badly, why not act lovable? Or be endearing?  Or give me cupcakes? (*But make them gluten free and sweeten only with maple syrup… thanks).  You know… do things that will make me love you.  Why behave like a fart-face and arrogantly believe that should inspire people to see through your façade and show you love?

    Okay, I get that as humans we must show each other empathy, see past the social construct of identity, and realize we are all just broken children hiding in the shell of an adult body.  But I am a little over this rational that what someone is portraying to the world is exactly the opposite of how they feel, and we should all be like Nancy Drew and figure it the fuck out.

    Lets say you have a friend who is really cocky and conceited and you are all “Hey don’t you think Joey is really full of himself and should simmer the fuck down?” and then someone else is all “Well, Joey is actually really insecure and he just does that to over compensate” and then you are all “Yeah I get that, but does Joey have to be such a cock?” and then they are all “You just need to be sensitive to where he is coming from” And then you are all “I guess…” but secretly in your mind you are like “Joey can eat my ass, that little prick.”

    I know that being ourselves is probably the scariest thing we can do in life, but I also think it is our own responsibility to be aware of the emotions we are eliciting from others.  We all have the capacity to terrorize and manipulate each other, and I think one of the most meaningful challenges is rather than trying to con someone into treating you the way you want, being direct and asking for it.

    The more open we are to expressing what we want and need from people, the more aware we will be of what it is that we really desire in life.

    I am trying to teach this lesson to The Munch, because she is still sick, and I am getting to the point where my empathetic capacity has been so abused it is just shaking in the corner crying, head buried in knees, and whispering in tongues.  I feel like even writing this, I am reporting from the post-apocalyptic rubble of eternal misery.

    “Captain’s Log number 17869:  It has been 6 days of the Munch being sick.  The sound of birds has completely disappeared, and there is a black fog that covers not only the land, but also my soul. I have been subsisting on minimal substance as The Munchee Overlord is holding me hostage.  She may be small and young, but her powers of annoyingness are like nothing I have ever seen.  I am afraid… so very afraid.  I keep looking for signs of a helicopter, a plane, anything to save me from this tyranny.  Is there any hope? I think I am bleeding from my eyes, mouth, and anus.”

    Okay, I get that she feels like crap. I am sensitive to her wet, hacking, retching, violent cough that keeps her awake through the night.  But let me just give you a little taste of what this has been like.

    “Mamma NO! No singing!!! I don’t want you to sing.  WAHHHAAAHHH.  I need a Vitamin C.  NOOOO not that Vitamin C.  The other one.  THE BIG ONE. WAHHHHAAAAHHHHHHH!! I wanna watch Mikey Mouse on the Ipad.  No on the computer.  NO I want to watch it on the Ipod.  No on your Iphone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WAHHHHHHAHHHAAAA!  Don’t look at me! My nose itches.  It is all pink.  MY NOSE IS PINK…WAHHHAHHHHAHAHAHHHHAAAA!!!! I wanna sit on your lap. No don’t get up. I want to be with you!!!!!!!! DON’T GET WATER NOOOOOOO!!!! You are not thirsty!!”

    And all this is in this high-pitched whiney tone.  Her energy is so negative it is sucking my will to live.  I know it is hard to be in a good mood when you are sick, but The Munch is taking things to a whole new level.

    I know this is when she needs love and comfort the most… but this kid is not making it easy.








    January 14, 2013 • 2 years old, baby body, baby brain, Behavior, Musings, Relationships • Views: 1837

  • Why Do You Make This So Hard?

    Trying to get a sick kid better is like trying to herd stoned cats… from the musical Cats.  First of all, all kid medicine, even the homeopathic stuff, tastes like candy.  The Munch’s fish oil pills are actually sugarcoated gumdrops, her “pulsatilla” are like little balls of lollipop, her Vitamin C’s are like Pez, and her elderflower / Echinacea tincture is like a melted popsicle.  Giving her the stuff isn’t really the problem, but getting her away from it is.  She literally challenged me to a fight for more this morning.  And when I wasn’t looking she had opened the bottle of fish oil gummies and was popping them in her mouth 4 at a time.  This kid isn’t fucking around.

    Along with this lovely fever, The Munch also has a pretty epic case of pink eye.  I know.  Fun times.  So I looked up some natural remedies and one of them was to put a warm compress on her eye and have here lay there for 10 min.  That was about as successful as getting a hummingbird to do calligraphy.  Bitch would not stay still for more than 8 milliseconds.

    “Noooooo Mamma NOOOO! I don’t want that on my eye.  It is wet! I can’t see!! NOOOOOOOOO!!”

    Then my friend suggested I squirt breast milk in her eye.  Now I am not positive, but I am pretty sure chasing my child around with my boob out attempting to spurt my tit substance in her face definitely did some damage.

    (Check out the gross eye….)

    January 11, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, baby body, Health • Views: 2126

  • My Sick Baby is like A Needy Drunk Girlfriend

    Despite my many plans of the day, all of them had to be abandoned to aid The Munch who woke up with a fever.  All she wanted was to be with Mamma.  Although that is sweet and I will always be there for her because I love her so very dearly… but seriously kid, get off my nuts will you?  Taking care of my sick child is a lot like taking care of your needy drunk girlfriend.

    1) She wanted to watch a movie, but insisted on talking through the entire thing.  Considering the only movie she has ever seen is the documentary Babies, things got kind of weird pretty fast. (note to self: maybe there is a reason most parents show their kids cartoons)

    Munch: “The baby is in Mamma’s tummy!”

    Toni: “Yes munch it is.”

    Munch: “The Mamma is at the hospital!”

    Toni: “Uh huh.”

    Munch: “The Mamma is sweating! She is worried?”

    Toni: “Well, yeah she is sweating, but I think she is just working hard.  She isn’t worried.”


    Toni: “Ummmm yeah…. That did happen.”

    Munch: “AHHHHHHHHH!! The baby is all yucky!!!”

    Toni: “The baby is quite cheesy yes.”

    Munch: “I want some cheese!”

    Toni: “Not that kind of cheese Munch… that is just birth cheese.”

    Munch: “That baby is doing nana.” (breast-feeding)

    Toni: “Yes the baby is.”

    Munch: “I WANT TO DO NANA!!!!!!

    2) She also wanted to sit on my lap and cuddle all day.  Literally… all day. Wouldn’t let me leave the room for one second with out her.

    Munch: “Mamma nooooooo… where are you going?”

    Toni: “Munch I really have to pee.”

    Munch: “I wanna come with you! I wanna sit on your lap! I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND! DON’T LEAVE ME!”

    3) She kept looking at me with glazed over eyes saying non sequiturs and drooling.

    Munch: “I had a big hand.  There was a hippopotamus, he was soooo sleepy. I don’t want to drink that either.  No, there are no stairs.  But I said to the princess potty go home.”

    Toni: “Okayyyyyyyyyy.”

    4) She insisted on wearing her party dress with no panties even though there was no party, and totally weather inappropriate.

    5) She kept falling asleep in the middle of talking and then when I tried to get her to go to bed, she would get really mad and cry and instead put all her weight on my pinning me down as a hostage to her slumber.

    January 10, 2013 • 2 years old, baby body, Health • Views: 2255

  • Going to College In Diapers

    After a certain age, it is hard to notice the passing of time.  When you are growing up, each birthday feels like this really big deal.  Turning 10 and finally being in the double digits, turning 18 and being able to smoke cigarettes, buy porn, have sex with 40-year olds, drink legally in Canada, and something else that is important… I can’t think of it right now.  But after your 21st birthday, you are no longer excited about getting older.  It is just something that happens.  And the less you look forward to your birthdays, the less you notice one year passing into the next.

    But nothing will make you notice time more than observing your child grow.  In the past 2 and a half years The Munch has learned to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, run, talk, feed herself, brush her own teeth and hair, use an iPad, do a perfect summersault, jump off the couch, and most recently, shit and piss in the potty.  The Munch has accomplished so much, and in that time, all I have learned is that maybe I should eat less sugar.

    It is truly remarkable how fast kids grow and absorb information.  They learn even when you aren’t trying to teach them anything. I really wasn’t pushing The Munch to use the potty, mostly because diapers are super convenient for me.  I don’t have to pull over for her while driving so she can pee, I don’t have to negotiate gross public bathrooms, I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to escort her to the toilet.  In fact I kind of envied the whole getting to wear a diaper thing, because nothing is more of a drag then having to leave to go to the bathroom in the middle of movie while at the theater.

    Besides, I didn’t want to force potty training, because that seems like a lot of effort.  Every once in a while would talk about one day using the potty, but we also talked about her learning to massage me she is not even close to being good at that.  And why rush someone into wiping their own ass? You will have to do it for the rest of your life, so enjoy the luxury as long as you can?  So I took my mom’s approach and reasoned that I never heard of a kid in college still wearing diapers, so figured she would work it out before then.  And this weekend that is what she did, all by herself decided she was done with diapers and now is on to bigger better things.

    At first I didn’t believe The Munch and kept putting diapers on just to make sure.  But Munch resented my lack of trust and would make me take them off.  So now I have all these semi-used diapers that have cupped her crotch and bum area, but have not been soiled.  Seems like a waste to throw them out, so I figure I will use them like paper towels and napkins.

    “Seriously Mamma, do not wipe your face with that.  And can you give me some privacy please?”


    December 24, 2012 • 1st time for everything, 2 years old, baby body, baby brain, Education, Pee & Poop • Views: 6488