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Parenting
Category

  • Kissing All Better

    Toddlers are klutzy, uncoordinated, awkward, hot messes.  They trip, fall, bash their faces, bang their ginormous heads, bump into things…. If The Munch is running down a hill covered in gravel, I guarantee she will fall, bruise up her knees, and bleed.

    There is nothing I can do to stop this endless annihilation of her body.  And to be honest, I don’t really give a care because I think scars are badass.  But the problem is that she gets frustrated by the surprise of being obstructed mid flow, and cries.  I really think that being startled is more upsetting than the pain.  I feel that because of this little tradition we have started to help her during these times of duress.

    “Waaaaaah!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I hurt my knee Mamma! I fell and hurt my knee.”

    “Do you want me to kiss it all better?”

    “Yeah!”

    And that is all it takes.  One kiss, and she is back living her life.  Now I know my kisses are quite powerful, but this is a serious ego trip!  My kisses are like magic!

    But… and there always is a big butt… The Munch had a case of diaper rash this morning and was quite agitated when I was changing her diapi.

    “Waaaaaaaah… Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    “I am sorry Munch.  Does your diapi rash hurt?”

    “YEAH!  Waaaaah.  Waaaaah.  Yeah! Mamma kiss all better!”

    Oh dear.

    August 10, 2012 • 2 years old, baby body, baby brain, Musings, Playing • Views: 1121

  • How Do Kids Have So Much Energy?

    Why do kids have so much energy?  Their bodies and brains are in a constant state of growth, and one would assume that would be exhausting.  All those cells multiplying, organs pumping, bone marrow brewing.  It seems like a lot of work, and they still spend their entire days running around like a fugitive on fire.

    There is no need for a child to exorcise.  You don’t see toddlers doing crunches to work on their core.  Their lives are a perpetual state of movement; their entire existence is in the flow.

    But how does The Munch have all this rampant vitality?  She takes every opportunity to run, trot, or gallop regardless of how long or short the distance.  Where does this endless vigor for life come from?

    Perhaps it is because their muscles are so supple?  They don’t have the same lactic acid build up that we do?  Or maybe it is due to their ceaseless fascination with everything and anything around them?  The world is still so full of mystery and wonder.  They are just tripping out on the mere fact of being alive, for it hasn’t even been that long.  Life is still wild simply by experiencing it.

    But maybe the answer is more obvious and right under my nose.  It is because Munch has started a crystal meth lab in her crib.  I have decided to stake it out and installed some hidden cameras.  So far I haven’t caught her….yet!

    “I am running through the ferns Mamma! Then I am going to run to the tree! Then I am going to run back through the ferns, through the trees, up the hill, down the hill, back to the house, then down the hill, then through the ferns again!”

    August 9, 2012 • 2 years old, baby body, baby brain, Behavior, Musings, Playing • Views: 2399

  • That Little Voice In Your Head

    We all have one, located in a very private place that we keep covered by a tuft of hair; and no I am not talking about your anus.  What I am referring to is that little voice inside your head.

    Sometimes this voice is looking out for you.  It gives you good advice like “that is enough cookies before dinner,” or “maybe I should avoid kissing them with that cold sore.”  It can function as your conscience, keeping you out of compromising situations and reminding you of your moral compass.

    Then that same voice will also lead you in a different direction.  It will tell you “it’s okay, have another shot of tequila,” or “one line of cocaine never hurt anyone, especially when doing it off the genitals of a stranger in the bathroom of a bar.”  That voice will convince you that its not cheating if you use a condom, and lying isn’t really a big a deal if you have your fingers crossed and a needle sticking out of your eye.

    But who is this voice that is gives you such contradictory guidance?  Why is this voice at times so pure, and at others so naughty? It is not like the good voice has a British accent and the bad voice only speaks French to help you distinguish.  Why is the voice in our heads so paradoxical if it is the same voice and that voice is you?

    Because life is silly my friends… life is just so silly.

     

     

    August 8, 2012 • 2 years old, Musings • Views: 1281

  • The Most Important Human Emotion

    It can be argued that empathy is one of the most meaningful of all human emotions; the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another sentient being.  It is through the effort towards being empathetic that we hopefully create a standard of behavior for the self.  One that is more powerful than institutional influences like laws and religion that aim to dictate our actions through threats, either real or imagined.  But our own internal relationship to empathy is what will actually keep you honest when everyone else’s back is turned.

    It is easy to cheat the system.  It is easy to lie to people.  It is easy to get away with whatever you want to if you don’t allow yourself to think about how you will truly affect others.  But once you have empathy for another person, it is almost impossible to betray them.  You create a connection to their humanity that is so real that you feel their essence in your own.  Empathy is what keeps morality meaningful.

    One would think such a complex sentiment would have to be explained to children and taught in a deliberate way.  But empathy is part of our DNA.  As kids start to understand their own emotions they extend that awareness to those around them.  And not just towards people and animals, but to the stories they read as well.

    Right now The Munch is really interested in identifying the emotions of characters in her books and talking about how they feel.  And if someone is crying then we have to discuss it even longer.

    “The mouse is crying Mamma!”

    “Yes Munch he is crying.”

    “They mouse is crying Mamma! He’s crying! The mouse is crying!”

    “Why is the mouse crying Munch?”

    “He wants Mamma!”

    So every time The Munch sees crying, she assumes it is because they want their Mamma.  She is exhibiting empathy because most of the time she cries it is because she wants her Mamma.  But then I realized that Munch wasn’t talking just about a generic Mamma, she was talking about me!  No matter who or what is crying in her mind it is always because they want Mamma, and for The Munch I am Mamma.

    “Mamma, the bathtub is crying!”

    “Why is the bathtub crying Munch?”

    “He wants Mamma!”

    “Who is the bathtub’s mamma Munch?”

    “Toni! He wants Toni!”

    I guess I really am the answer to all problems.  Even the bathtub’s!

    Wait…. Just kidding… according to Munch the mouse also cries because “he has soap in his mouth.”  That really does suck more than missing Mamma.

    “Here Mamma… here is a blueberry without soap”

     

     

     

     

     

     

    August 7, 2012 • 2 years old, Behavior, Musings, Relationships • Views: 3753

  • Munch’s Thoughts on Gay Marriage

    People have a lot of opinions about gay marriage, including chicken sandwiches, which is weird because my turkey sandwich loves sucking cock.  It is a political issue, a social issue, a religious issue, and also a total non-issue.

    The funny thing about adults is body hair on their toe knuckles.  But the other funny thing is how self-righteous they can be about their beliefs.  Grown-ups thinks they are so wise because they wipe from front to back, but do big people really know more than little ones?

    Case and point:  The Munch and I were reading a book that my friend Lauren gave me called Freckle Face Strawberry written by the actress Julianne Moore.  In said book, one of the main characters is named “Windy Pants” and he has two mommies.  So in this children’s narrative, there is a child with lesbian parents.  When I was reading the book to Munch this is what she said.

    “Windy Pants has two mommies, Mamma.”

    “Yes Munch he does.  He has two mammas.”

    “Windy Pants is soooooo lucky Mamma!”

    I am pretty sure Munch knows what she is talking about, even if she does think thunder is the sky farting.

    August 6, 2012 • 2 years old, baby brain, Current Events, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 2521

  • Separation Anxiety

    Even after you birth your child they still act as if they are attached to you.  Their parasitic nature doesn’t stop just because you have disgorged them from your person.  They are always clinging, hanging, and swinging off your body.  Touching you, grabbing you, and perhaps even attempting to crawl back inside of you.  So needless to say, separation can be slightly stressful.

    Psychologists talk about how when a child is first born they see themselves as an extension of the mother.  That it takes time to understand that they are an individual.  This existential awareness is traumatic, and is often exacerbated when the mother leaves the child with someone else.  That moment of the mother departing is a reminder for the child that they are, in fact, alone in the universe…. just one solitary entity that will eventually die and enter into the endless unknown.  Pretty heavy stuff for a two-year old.

    So one thing that I have always made sure to do is to say goodbye to The Munch when leaving her in the care of someone else.  Even if it takes a moment of conversation to discuss that I am going, but I will be back.  I feel like making sure she is fully aware of what is going on is really important.  The instinct may be to sneak away when they aren’t paying attention, but then the kid feels totally confused and abandoned.

    Luckily, Munch has been pretty understanding about my coming and going, and I have hardly ever had to leave her in tears.  Sometimes we have to talk it out longer than others, but usually she comes to accept what is happening.  Although I have to say it is flattering she is so obsessed with me… even if it is just because of a biological philosophical conundrum.

    But today she went over to my dad’s house for him to babysit and as soon as she got there and showed him all her toys she turned to me with her hand extended and said:

    “Mamma leave.”

    Guess she is pretty comfortable with her own individuality and the eternal mystery of mortality.

    August 3, 2012 • 2 years old, baby brain, Behavior, Parenting • Views: 1002

  • What is the best regime to raise your kid with?

    Now that I am in the age where discipline is important, I thought it would be cute to ask the question “what is the best political regime to raise kids with?”

    So I decided to do some extensive research on the subject.  I got on my computer, checked my Facebook page, watched a video of a lion nursing a baby cow, and then looked things up in Wikipedia.  Boy, it is a lot of work to get information these days!

    So reading through different types of government made me realize why the world sucks.  These are all really bad ideas!  A dictatorship/monarchy, which emboldens one-person ultimate power, is like putting all your eggs in one basket, pooping on top of the eggs, and then throwing that basket into the wind.  Democracy and Communism both sound kind of sweet and flowery, but I am pretty sure neither of these are in practice in any true sense.  What is really happening in the world is more of an Oligarchy or Aristocracy; letting the rich people rule, which is a seriously dumb idea considering they are all inbred.  I still don’t get what Socialism is, and Totalitarianism does sound an awful lot like parenting.

    A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual:

    A monarchy is a form of government in which sovereignty is actually or nominally embodied in a single individual (the monarch).

    Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (direct or indirect) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law.

    Communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order.

    Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning “a few”, and ἄρχω (archo), meaning “to rule or to command”)[is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.

    Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos “excellent,” and κράτος kratos “power”), is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule.

    Socialism /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/ is an economic system characterized by social ownership and cooperative management of the means of production,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or autonomous state enterprises.[2] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[3] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets versus planning, how management is to be organized within economic enterprises, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.[4]

    Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror. It is not synonymous to dictatorship, as authoritarian regimes also inhibit dictatorial features, but fail or repudiate utilizing these into an all-controlling, all-politicized society. Similarly, non-dictatorial governments and societies are sometimes denounced as having totalitarian features, including democratic socialism, capitalism and liberal democracy.

    “Fuck that… I am out of here!”

    August 2, 2012 • 2 years old, Behavior, Disciplining, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 1071

  • Rewriting History

    Memories are allusive by nature.  They have a subjective quality that coats each one with a slightly distinctive film, some more mucus-y than others.  We have to strain to remember our memories, and furrow our brows to retain details… which is not a good idea because facial expressions are what gives you wrinkles.  I try to limit mine to 3 a day, and only smile at MOST once a week to avoid any lines around my mouth.

    Even though everyone knows that memories are as reliable as a drunk teenager trying to get laid, we all insist that ours are infallible.  “No! I remember… It happened like this! Exactly how I say! My memories are factual, precise, and accurate!”

    But in truth we all rewrite history to serve the specific situation we are in.  It is too easy to bend and sway the truth like birch trees in a hurricane.  There is no way to prove someone is remembering something wrong and you are remembering it right, yet we so often insist on that being the case.

    For the majority of situations we are not being intentionally malicious by rewriting history to better enable our arguments, we just want to win.  If the memory is the proof that will annihilate the other person and force them to succumb to your point, then manipulating the memory is a pretty useful strategy.

    But every one in a while you come across someone who intentionally brings white out and a pen to the pages of history, or in this case a crayon.

    So I was talking to Munch and trying to have a conversation about pooping in the potty, and she was really twisting things around.

    “Munch, the reason why you want to learn to poops in the potty is so you don’t have accidents where you poop in the wrong place.  Remember when you and Mamma were taking a bath last night and you pooped in the bath? If you were pooping in the potty that wouldn’t have happened right?”

    “No! Mamma pooped in the bath!”

    “Munch, that is not true, Munchee pooped in the bath.”

    “No!! Noooo! Mamma pooped in the bath!”

    “Munch, Mamma did not poop in the bath.  Munchee did.”

    “Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath! Mamma pooped in the bath!”

    When someone is so committed to their story it actually makes you doubt your own.

    Wait, did I poop in the bath?

    “Mamma… that was totally you who pooped in the bath”

     

    August 1, 2012 • 2 years old, Musings, Pee & Poop, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1428

  • Nobody knows what they are doing

    People love to act like they are completely in control.  We go through life pretending like we know exactly what is going on.  Part of being an adult is maintaining the illusion that you have authority over your own life.  When you become a parent, this is exacerbated because you then also become responsible for keeping your kid alive, and that makes you feel like you know what is up.

    But do you really?

    Parents need to maintain a confident vibe because you don’t want your enemy to see weakness.  Not that your child is your enemy, necessarily, but they are your adversary.  The parent-child relationship is one that has elements of a battle.  You need to have authority over your kid because one of you has to be in control, and better you then a two-year old. Trust me.  If Munch was the boss in our relationship I would be spending my days making sandcastles that she stomps on and then makes me make again, putting her dolly’s dress on and then taking it off then putting it back on then taking it off again, or peeling her grapes.  Wait… that is how I spend my days.  Whatever, I am still the boss okay.  OKAY?!

    But all this time faking that I am authority figure made me start to believe I really was for a second.  Until a child put me in my place of course.  I was visiting my aunt and uncle this morning and thought I would ask my 13-year old cousin if she would like to babysit.  My cousin was tentative at first and said:

    “Well, I haven’t taken any classes.”

    “That is okay, I haven’t taken any classes either.”

    Then her mom chimed in and said.

    “Well you can be a mommy’s helper and watch Munch while Toni is in the house.  But you can’t watch her by yourself until you have taken infant CPR.”

    Holy crap!  I haven’t taken infant CPR.  If Munch needed CPR the best I could do was find a bicycle pump, stick it in her mouth, and hope for the best.

    My cousin is still young enough to be honest with herself.  There really are no guarantees in life, and although she is totally down to babysit, she doesn’t really know what she is doing.

    Hey, guess what kid.  Neither do I!

    “Hey Mamma… make another sandcastle.”

     

    July 31, 2012 • 2 years old, Musings, Parenting • Views: 2041