2 years old

  • I Need My Space… But Wait, Don’t Go Away!

    Remember being a kid and getting into fights with your friends?  It always felt like it was the biggest deal.  My world was over if someone was mad at me, or I felt like my friends at school were turning on me.  I would pretend to be sick just to avoid dealing with the idea that people didn’t like me.  Is it just me, or was childhood filled with a lot of social anxiety?

    I think part of that stress was because when you are young, you lack the perspective of foresight.  Knowing that these things happen, and eventually you will either make up, or grow apart.  Its not like you are going to die just because someone is mad at you or doesn’t want to be your friend.

    It is so easy to give people power, because it is so hard to remember that their opinion of you doesn’t have to be your opinion of you.

    Fighting with people is part of the being in relationships, but it is still stressful and something I try to avoid.  When I do go there, I have come to realize an important strategy.  Don’t talk when you are still mad.

    When you get angry with me that usually makes me get angry at you.  I get pissed because you are pissed.  Two people being pissy, it is a recipe for an argument that goes in circles.  You tell me how I suck, then I tell you how you suck.  You say I am shitty, and I tell you that I am shitty because I am reacting to your shit.

    If I am mad or frustrated, I am not listening to you.  I don’t even really want to move on, be empathetic, or forgive.  It is like I am stuck inside the mouth of a lion, and I don’t want to be there, but keep feeding into it.

    If I have time to let things breathe, and think it through on my own, I am so much more capable of approaching things with an open heart.  And when I am open to move forward, the conversation is much more productive.

    I try to apply this logic when dealing with The Munch… but it has proven to be quite challenging.  Especially considering she is way more relentless than the average person, and for me to take my space and leave her in the house to go weep in the woods and drink a pint of whiskey would be considered bad parenting.

    Munch: “No Mamma I don’t want to wear that dress I want to wear my birthday dress!”

    Toni: “Well, you have been wearing that dress for about 6 days straight and I put in in the laundry to clean it.”

    Munch: “But I want to wear my birthday dress!!!!”

    Toni: “Munch, its is really gross and dirty and needs to get clean.  So its in the laundry.  I will wash it tonight and you can wear it tomrrow.”


    Toni: “Dude, no.  That is insane.  Your dress is cruddy and gross and has stains all over it.”


    So this is the part where I think it would be best for me to exit the conversation and take a moment.  To think things through and contemplate how best to explain that wearing a dress that has scuzz all over it is really yucky and eww.  And The Munch would take the time to see my point.  That perhaps she could wear something fucking else.  But instead we are both in each other’s faces because I am supposed to watch her and make sure she is alive all the time.

    Toni: “Fine.  Wear you stupid dress I don’t care.”

    Munch: “Thank you Mamma, I love you.”



  • I Know You Are Going To Make Fun of Me

    You are going to make fun of me.  I know it. I can feel it coming. That’s okay though.   I am alright with it.  I have my big girl pants on. I am totally at peace admitting that I went to a Dave Mathew’s concert over the weekend.  Go ahead.  Laugh all you want.

    I know people hate Dave Mathew’s, but my love for him started when I was a 14-year old girl.  His music moved me.  His lyrics spoke to my soul.  I thought he was amazing.  I went to countless concerts and even followed him to Europe for his first tour over there.  Yeah that really happened.

    But I know what you are thinking.  Maybe it is okay that I dug Dave Mathew’s in his prime, but who the hell goes to a Dave Mathew’s concert nowadays? This girl that is who.

    I am not into any of the albums he has made over the past 10 years, but nostalgia for what was ran so deep that I just had to have one more experience with it.  But much like an old rocker chick wanting to relive her youth at a Poison reunion concert, I was in store for some harsh realties:

    1)    I kind of hate people, and being in a crowd of them makes me cranky, and hate them more

    2)    Cargo shorts are still a thing

    3)    A lot of people wear Crocs non- ironically

    4)    No matter how much beer you drink, people are really annoying

    5)    There are a lot of ugly mother fuckers out there.

    6)    Massholes really care about the Bruin’s and whatever was going on in the game.

    7)    Taping a concert on your iphone is irritating as fuck.  Do you not get how much the sound is going to suck? And how shitty far away shots are on a fucking phone? Do you really think later reliving some stupid video of sparkly lights coupled with crappy audio is better than just enjoying the moment with your phone in your fucking pocket?

    8)    Am I getting old?

    (Even if I was surrounded by a bunch of douche bags, it was super fun to have a mom’s night out on the town!)




    June 17, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 2323

  • Why Do We Have To Be Told We Don’t Have To Be Perfect?

    If you read articles about parenting (which I do) most commonly the conclusion is “no parent is perfect and you have to do what’s right for you and your family.”  I don’t disagree it this.  Of course no parent is perfect.  Just like no human is perfect.  So why do parents have to be told this again and again?

    I will tell you why, because being a parent makes you feel guilty as fuck.  And you want to know why that is? Because we all secretly blame the shit out of our parents for fucking us up.

    They say parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but it should come with a certificate that says “Hey new mom and dad, no matter how hard you try you are going to fuck up your kid in some way.  Get used to it.”

    The goal of parenting shouldn’t be to avoid the inevitable negative influence you will have on you kid. You don’t need to be forgiven for that.  And you don’t need to be told it is okay.  That should be inherent.  Where we should be focusing our efforts is helping our kids feel comfortable communicating our shortcomings to us.  Being a parent means you don’t have all the answers, and we need have the humility to get feedback on our style.  In order to have a meaningful relationship with your kids well into their adult lives, the evolution has be in tandem.  Kids can’t be the only ones expected to do all the growing and learning.   Parents have to be strong enough to hear from their child how they may be harmfully impacting them them even if that wasn’t the intention.  And assuming their complaints are reasonable, modifying the approach accordingly.

    The Munch is still only 2 so I am not taking all her grievances that seriously.  For instance “Mamma you don’t let me have cake for breakfast and that is mean” is not exactly something I am going to change.  Especially because I already let her have cake for dinner.  But I am trying to create an environment where we can talk about emotions in a real way and she knows I respect her opinion.t  Even though that can be challenging when she tells me “ Mamma no, you don’t use your monster voice! Only I can use my monster voice!”


  • I Even Miss Missing You

    I haven’t really talked about death much to my child.  To be honest I kind of avoid it.  When she sees a dead bug I usually say it’s sleeping, and if we find a random mouse head that my cat eviscerated I tell The Munch that the head is looking for its body.  I don’t know how to explain death and am slightly afraid of the follow up questions she will ask.

    But yesterday was the 13th year anniversary of my best friend Bitty dying, and I decided to bring The Munch to visit her grave.  When she asked me where we were going, I told her to visit my friend Bitty and The Munch got so excited.  It made me want to cry. I wished so badly that we were going to visit Bitty in the same way Munch assumed we were -to actually see a live person rather than a stone in the ground.

    We met Bitty’s little sister Maggie and her kids at the cemetery.  Munch kept telling me she wanted to go to Bitty’s house, and I kept telling her we were already there. I told Maggie about the dream I recently had about Bitty. Where I hugged her and tried to tell her how much I missed her, but she wouldn’t let me.  Whenever I dream about her Bitty she will never let me say I miss her.  And even though in my dream I know she is dead, I am always wondering where she has been, and ecstatic that she is back – even if just for a few moments in the ethereal world of sleep.

    When Bitty first died the mourning I felt was so intense.  It was almost as if it created a space in my brain and heart just to specifically feel the pain of that loss.  No matter what I was doing, there was this nagging feeling that she was gone.  It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up, and the last thing I thought about when I went to bed.  Bitty is dead today.

    Years went by with this haze of grieving.  It was so hard for me to move on.  I remember vividly the day I finally went to see psychiatrist about it.  It was the first and only time I have talked to one, but what she said changed my life forever.

    Shrink: “What do you think Bitty would think about how you are reacting to her death?”

    Toni: “You know, everyone always tells me that she wouldn’t want me to suffer like this. I know they say that because they don’t want to see my sorrow and are trying to be helpful, but I think Bitty would be happy I am this upset.  She was my best fucking friend.  If I just moved on because that is the cycle of life she would be like ‘What the fuck Toni? You better be sad as shit for a while because I meant something to you!’”

    There was such a freedom in that realization.  To recognize that I was tormented because I fucking loved her and she died when she was 20 and that really sucked.  The reality that there is no way to make new memories together is heart wrenching. All I am left with are the ones in my head.

    It took so much time to not think of Bitty everyday… and you know what? I almost miss that just as much.  I miss the mourning because I felt so connected to her during it.  But after a certain point you have to let go.  Not totally, because that is impossible, but enough so that you both can move on.

    When The Munch and I were leaving the gravesite she said again that she wanted to go see Bitty and her house.

    Toni: “Munch, we were seeing Bitty at her house.  She lives here now at the cemetery.  She is dead.”

    Munch: “She is dead?”

    Toni: “Yeah she is.”

    Munch: “She is far away now?”

    Toni: “Yeah.”

    Munch: “Did she go up high? Past those rocks?”

    Toni: “Yes she did?”

    Munch: “Did she walk there?”

    Toni: “No I think she flew.”

    Munch: “Well I want to come back again tomorrow to visit Bitty.”

    Toni: “That we can do.”


    June 12, 2013 • 2 years old, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2428

  • Finding Femininity

    “Mamma, can I paint my nails?” was not a question I expected my two-year old would ask me.  Not that I have anything against nail polish, but since I never paint my nails I wondered where The Munch had been exposed to this practice.  But then I remembered how her sexy babysitter has red toes, and then realized of course The Munch wants her feet to look sassy like hers.

    The Munch is often around women.  She observes how they behave, and identifies herself as a female like them.  When I spend time with my friends and Munch, she sees herself as one of the girls.  You know, a couple of gals hanging out, just one happens to be slightly bossier than the rest and infinitely more dramatic considering The Munch is ready to cry without any shame under any circumstance.  Actually, come to think of it she fits right in.

    Munch is beginning to notice elements of femininity and wanting to apply them to her own being. But part of her fitting into this world of feminine culture means that she is enacting behavior that is way beyond her years.  For example since a few of my friends are pregnant, The Munch looks at that as an experience she should be having too.

    Munch: “Mamma, I have a baby in my tummy.”

    Toni: “You do?”

    Munch: “Yeah, it’s a teeny tiny baby.  Do you want to feel it?”

    Toni: “Sure.”

    Munch: “In my tummy, my baby has her paci, and her bottle, and her toys, and her teddy bear, and a lollipop in case she gets hungry.  Can you feel the toys in there?”

    Toni: “I sure can Munch.”

    Simone De Beauvoir talked about how we are born male or female, which determines our biology, but masculine and feminine traits are purely a socialized phenomenon.  She believed there was nothing inherently different about baby boys or baby girls, and that gender is enforced through conditioning.

    I love Simone De Beauvoir and even named my dog Mona after her, but now that I have a daughter I feel conflicted by her hypothesis.

    I don’t see myself as intentionally conditioning my daughter to have feminine traits.  I am not even sure I consider myself to be all that feminine.  It is not like I go around wearing pink talking about my period all day. I just sometimes where pink and talk about my period on the days it’s happening.  Is my womaness a genuine part of my personality, or just something I picked up as a child from other chicks who picked it up from other broads who picked it up from other skirts?

    Is this something that I should be stopping?  There is nothing overt I am doing to make Munch interested girly shit.  These are decisions she is making on her own volition.  I never pushed baby dolls in her face and demanded she play with them.  Those were the toys that she naturally gravitated towards. Maybe that is because she sees me mothering her, and in turn wants some to mother- because I am her example.

    How can I break this cycle of conditioning femininity when much of this influence is a consequence of my simply existing, and allowing her to observe other women?  Femininity isn’t something you find under a rock, but discover through being around other females you adore.  The young emulate adults the admire, and even if I am the biggest “tom boy” in the world, there will still be traits she picks up from other broads she respects.

    Kind of like The Munch being really excited that her “poe nails” are painted red just like her babysitter’s.





  • Did My Dog Save My Life?

    Once you get in bed with the vet, you end up having metaphorical and financial anal with them.  Even if you initially didn’t want that to go down, and thought you were in store for just a mere one~two how’s your father, you will end up getting fucked up the butt.  Because once that process gets started, they will keep thinking of ways to charge you for shit, and guilt tripping you if you don’t go along with their program.

    It all started with calling my dog Mona a geriatric.  Implying that not only is Mona old, but she is old and dying.  That led into the need for hundreds of dollars of tests.

    The Vet: “Well you see Toni, your dog seems to exhibit many of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease.  The problem is that Cushing’s is very hard do diagnose.  So the first two tests that we have done have been inconclusive, but pointing towards the possibility.  I am going to suggest we do another set of test that will be $350 each.  But sometimes that test is skewed because the dog’s adrenal glands will already be taxed because they are stressed out by being at the vet.  So then we would order another.  And even if that test comes out sort of positive, we can only conclude that it is somewhat accurate.  But you love and care about your dog because you are not a selfish monster with a black heart, so obviously you will be doing these tests right?”

    Toni: “Ummmm, well when you put it that way.”

    The Vet: “That is what I thought.  But you probably already knew most of this information about the tests anyway from doing extensive research on Cushing’s right? I mean that is what any human who doesn’t have a tarred soul of evil would do.”

    Toni: “Oh yes…. Of course I did all that.”

    The Vet: “So you know what causes Cushing’s then right?”

    Toni: “You know, I do… I just can’t seem to remember at this exact moment.”

    The Vet: “Well it’s a tumor on her pituitary gland in her brain.”

    Toni: “Shut the fuck up.”

    The Vet: “Excuse me?”

    Toni: “Its just that I had a tumor on my pituitary gland??!! Isn’t that weird?”

    The Vet: “Wow… well I wouldn’t say its coincidence. I can’t tell you how many people who come in here with an affliction and then their dog has the same thing.  People who have diabetes and their dog have it too.  Or cancer.  It really is a remarkable bond between a human and their pet.  That will be $350 for the next set of tests.”

    I really don’t know what is going on there, but it is pretty remarkable that Mona has the exact same thing that I had going on? And to be honest, I don’t even know what happened to my tumor.  After I decided to heal holistically, I never went back to get an MRI.  Do you think my dog energetically sucked my tumor out of my head and put in hers? Like she healed me through transference?  Maybe I should stop bitching about the money I am hemorrhaging at the vet considering she sacrificed her brain for mine!?




    June 10, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, Health, Musings • Views: 5510

  • Childhood Dreams

    Toni: “Munch did you have a good sleep?”

    Munch: “Yes!”

    Toni: “What did you dream about?”

    Munch: “That you Mamma were a little girl, and I was carrying you with me everywhere!”


    June 7, 2013 • 2 years old, baby brain, Musings • Views: 2704

  • I Am Committed To Not Being Committed To you

    What I have to do in my life is more important than what you have to do in your life.  But if I need you to do something in my life than that is more important than what is going on in your life.  Got that?

    Everyone is busy, and it is easy to think that what you are doing is the most important thing in the world.  And it is – to you.  But what if someone needs you to do something in their life?  Do you ever flake out on them? Probably you do sometimes.  But does that make you any less infuriated when someone flakes on you? Hell no it doesn’t.

    Being reliable is hard.  When you make a commitment to someone, you don’t always want to follow through when the actual time of the commitment creeps up, then feel overwhelmed and want to prioritize other things.  It is easy to say yes to something before you actually have to do it, but then feeling like no the day of.  The desire to flake is as strong as the smell of your armpits.

    In my 20’s I would sometimes be reliable and other times flakey as fuck. I was unreliable about being unreliable because sometimes I was really reliable.  I am not sure what that was about??? Maybe because I smoked an insane amount of pot those days – but I seriously doubt it.

    After enough people reminded me how lame it was to be so lame I made a promise to myself.  Every thing that I said “yes” to I would do… no matter what.  And maybe that would teach me to say “no” to more things in the beginning and only commit to things I knew I would follow through with.

    This life experience taught me a lot. Mainly that bachelorette parties get pretty messy pretty early on in the night.

    In order for things to be a priority in your life, you have to make them a priority.  If that is a project you are doing with another person, you both have to care about it equally and feel invested in the creation. And if someone asks for your help and you said “yes” because you want them to at least think you are a “good” friend, you have to care about their needs as much as your own.  Even if you are just pretending.

    “Ummm are any you guys going to help me out of here? Or are you doing your own thing?”


    June 5, 2013 • 2 years old, Behavior, Mommy Body, Musings, Relationships • Views: 2523

  • Finding Independence Across The Field of Dreams

    Have you ever gone to visit a place you used to go as a kid, and rather than being the huge expansive place it was in your memory, it is actually the size of a bathroom.  When you are little, your perception of the world is drastically skewed because you yourself are so tiny.  I remember going to my grandmother’s as a child and thinking that I would walk miles into the woods to find the secret cabin where I would spend my afternoons.  I went back in my 20’s and realized you could see the damn cabin from the kitchen window.  I guess I wasn’t that neglected after all.

    So I figure from The Munch’s perspective, my mom’s house (which is right next door to mine but through a field) is like 8-light years away.  I would assume that for The Munch to traverse that distance by herself would be unimaginable.  Yet one afternoon I looked out the window and I saw her walking up the hill by herself.

    Munch: “Mamma, I need Gum Baby’s highchair.”

    Toni: “Munch, did you leave Manna’s house all by yourself?  You have to tell someone when you are leaving so they can watch you and make sure you are safe.”

    Munch: “But I need Gum Baby’s highchair.”

    Although that sounds like a really legitimate reason to run from my mom’s house like a wild banshee, I do think it is remarkable that The Munch went on her first solo adventure.  She is finding her independence and realizing that she is the master of her own domain.  The world is no longer a place she waits to come for her, but now The Munch is entering the world with her own intentions and volition.


    June 4, 2013 • 2 years old, Adventures, baby brain, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2626