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Behavior
Posts

  • Do You Want To Share Reality With Me?

    The other day the Munch was having a play date with a friend, and they started arguing over which game to play – bakery vs. chipmunks making poop pie. Now call me out of touch with the youths, but I personally didn’t see a difference between the two ideas. I suggested they merge the games by one pretending to play bakery, and the other pretending to play chipmunks making poop pie. Sounds reasonable right? Well, it’s fucking not according to these girls.

    The girls condescendingly explained to me that my vision of separate realities would not work for them, and then rolled their eyes at my ignorance. They instead had to agree on a shared reality of what they were playing, even though what they were playing was pretend. I had assumed that since the game existed purely in their imaginations, it didn’t really matter what the other person was imagining – but I was goddamn wrong. It mattered a fuck of a lot to these girls, and was worth spending the next 20 minutes negotiating with the complex nuance of a Palestinian freedom fighter and Israeli soldier. These kids refused to continue playing their fantasy game until they had agreed on a common understanding of their imaginary experience.

    The sharing of reality was crucial, even inside a make-believe world.

    I think we can all learn something from this bakery vs. chipmunks making poop pie saga, mainly that my kid is weird as fuck for insisting chipmunks make poop pie when everyone knows they actually make diarrhea flan – but that’s just semantics. But the other lesson we can glean is just how vital it is for people to have a mutual understanding of their perceived reality both on the micro and macro levels.

    If you’re in a relationship with someone, living with them day in and day out, waking up with them every morning to see their face, going to bed with them every night with their breath on you – you know, the romance of being in a long-term committed relationship – then you also know how important it is that you both analyze your dynamic in a similar way. Sharing reality with someone is the only way to keep things functional. If you and I were together and we got into a fight because I was an asshole and you were an asshole, our common understanding of our individual asshole behavior would be imperative to coming back together. I would HAVE to see how thought I was an asshole, just like you would HAVE to see how I thought you were an asshole. If we both agreed on our asshole behavior, then peace could be made. (PS that agreement would consist of you admitting that you were the asshole and how the whole fight was actually your damn fault okay? GET IT!?)
    Yet if you don’t own your part of the equation when shit goes down, you don’t share a common reality of what happened, and then things then fall apart. When you refuse to look at yourself or be honest about how your actions impact others, then it’s easy to justify whatever behavior you want. You can become indignant and stuck in a paradigm of feeling superior. Yet part of being in a relationship with someone is learning how to understand the effect of your behavior on the other person. You have to be able to admit fault and come to a collective agreement of what happened. That is how we get closure. We have to mostly agree on our understanding of what happened. Of course we will always hold onto our subjective twists, yet the majority of the story needs to be consistent in order to feel emotionally connected.

    The best relationships are the ones where the couple is on the same page when it comes to dissecting their lives together. If you were to separate them and ask them to deconstruct their relationship, their fights, their faults, their main issues, what works and what doesn’t – they would mostly say the same things. When you share the story of your relationship then real communication is happening. When relationships have authentic communication, then it’s more possible to develop deeper intimacy. A major aspect of trusting each other is trusting that you both see things in a similar way. In order for that to be truly achieved, both parties have to be open to candid self-reflection. The more honest we are with ourselves about our motivations, insecurities, and shadow sides, the more honest we can be with our partners.

    We all can behave in ways that suck, or allow the worst of ourselves to sometimes take over – that’s to be expected. Yet when you own up to those parts of you, and those patterns, then it’s more possible to work through them in a real way. In order for that to be accomplished, you and your partner have to set aside your egos and replace the need to be right with the desire to understand each other.

    In the macro sense our shared reality is dwindling by the second, which is why Trump, partisan politics, and the idea of “fake news” is so fundamental. It kind of enrages me that Trump has taken over the concept of “fake news” because that used to be a hyper-progressive lefty thing. When I was in my 20’s I was always talking about fake news too – but what I meant by it was the corporate controlled media that had a vested interest in censoring information to protect their economic agenda. I would go on and on about Diebold and the voting machines being rigged in Florida so Jeb Bush could hand the presidency over to his brother. At that point the Internet was just starting to question official stories like 9/11, and I was ripe to eat up all the information about the lizard elite and their secret societies. Yeah fine, maybe I was off the deep end a bit and a little too open to aliens being the answer to all I didn’t understand, but I also think there was validity to questioning the “official stories” the government was telling me.

    Then the Internet became flooded with information, and as a result there now is an oversaturation of conspiracy. The real conspiracy is that there are now too many conspiracies to keep track of. Maybe that was an intentional move by the “New World Order” to keep us confused? Rather than denying “alternative information” that wasn’t controlled by the corporate media, they decided to allow all of it in order to dilute the brand.

    There are now so many versions of alternative truths that it is impossible to decipher what was what. No matter what you think, you can prove your hypothesis on the Internet. You want to think vaccines are harmless? Well, there is plenty of information that will support that thinking. You want to think vaccines will cause your child to become a mutant and grow scales? You can find that too. No matter what you want to believe, you can reinforce your beliefs with the “facts” on the Internet.

    Then we have Donny Trump yelling about “fake news” which only furthers us from having a collective reality as a society. Yeah maybe it was just as dangerous when everyone thought the New York Times was the Bible, but at least there was a communal story we were all buying into. There was unity in that, even if it was also delusional. The fantasy world we as adults buy into isn’t that much different than the imaginary world Munch and her friend were creating – they both rely on story to keep everything together. But now that there are so many potential narratives to believe, we’re all psychically being ripped at the seams.

    For thousands of years humans have used stories to organize themselves – the two most effective being the stories of religion and the story of money having actual value. Money isn’t real, but a collective fantasy we all agree to, just like religion. These are the fairy tails that have kept humans structured for millennia. It may be scary to think how much make believe stories are the scaffolding we’ve built our entire society around, but it’s true.

    Yet currently in modern America we no longer have a collective story that we’re all connecting to. Maybe that why the “Make America Great Again” slogan was so appealing to so many? Perhaps part of the nostalgia we cling to is how everyone was way more conformist in the past and bought into the story of the American identity? Yeah they were fucked up racist, sexist, homophobic stories designed to make us consumerist drones, but most people told them to themselves and their children. It was the American sexist, racist, homophobic story, until then those damn hippies started unraveling everything, encouraging people to think for themselves and question the narrative that women belonged in the kitchen, people of color belonged in segregated ghettos, and homosexuals belonged in hell.

    I embrace the rewriting of these stories because the past wrote a fucked up plot that I don’t want to be part of, but what are the new stories we’re writing? Some of the stories people are telling themselves today make me question if we’re even the same species. I don’t share reality with the white women in Alabama that voted for Roy Moore! That’s not a bedtime story I’m telling my kid at night. I don’t even know where to begin to find a common reality with those chicks that voted into office a molester? Yet I guess that’s what we have to start figuring out. What is the most base, common reality we share with people and then start slowly building a common understanding. Maybe we both enjoy marshmallows, and we can use that to keep finding common ground, and write a collective story together where maybe, just maybe, a fucking child molester shouldn’t be considered a candidate for senator.

    (Ps if you’re wondering where these delightful/disturbing images are coming from, follow my on Instagram to see my interpretive dance where Trump uses the language of my body to express his heartache after the Roy Moore loss. Toni Nagy)

  • It’s my Birthday TODAY!!! My Gift to You Is Life Advice!!

    Today is the day to commemorate that fateful morning when my mom deposited me onto this planet. What a coincidence that you happen to live here too right? Weird.

    Birthdays are a time of self-reflection. A moment for you to look at who you are, who’ve you been, and who you’re becoming. Yet it seems I am not alone. I bet most of you are doing this same ritual because of New Years. Because of the timing of this holy day of my birth, I get to participate in the collective experience of most of the Western World looking back at their year and wondering, “What the fuck just happened.”

    So my gift to you on this magical, extraordinary day – a day that I hope my Facebook friends think of me for that 4 seconds it takes to write HBD on my wall – I give to you some thoughts to ruminate on as the New Year rolls in.

    1) Commit to a life of brutal and radical honesty… with yourself: It’s heavy dissecting yourself and your place in the world – especially if you are honest with yourself. I’m sure if you truly picked apart every part of yourself you would be left with quite a few bloody scabs. Our motivations are not always pure, and often times we are driven my selfish wants. Nobody is perfect, and it’s we have to accept that life is on going process. There are plenty of parts of myself that I know are problematic. I for sure have flexible morals, and malleable values. I may lie to people to avoid their reactions or dissapointments, but I refuse to lie to myself about myself. What I’ve come to notice is the more I can be entirely truthful about who I am to me, the more I can achieve that with other people.

    2) Behavior is different than personality: Close intimate relationships are the root of the human experience, but they are also incredibly hard because people are so deeply flawed. When someone you love is pissing you off, rather then attacking them as a person, realize that their behavior is what you are actually angry at. It’s much easier to figure out how to change and grow with people if you focus on behavior patterns, rather than pointing fingers and making accusations that end up tearing down another person’s self-esteem. When you think about behavior, this is an adaptable part of ourselves – everyone can change their behavior with practice. It’s much easier to actually get through to others when you focus on how they act rather than who they fundamentally are.

    3) Sometimes it’s your civic duty to start a revolution amongst coke whores: I have a sweet memory of being in NYC getting super drunk, then ending up at an after-party and finding myself on a bathroom floor with a Lithuanian model offering to jam her fingers down my throat to help me puke. Apparently I wasn’t doing it right, and she could tell by my lame strategy of only using one finger rather than 2. What an amateur right? As this model was holding my head, about to deep throat me with her hand, I thought to myself, “although she is delightful, I don’t think I need to put myself through this life experience.” I looked into her spectacular eyes and I told her I didn’t’ have to puke – so she suggested we do cocaine to sober me up. What a gem! We returned to the party, and the host brought a small pack of 6 ft. amazons back into a bedroom with a plate of drugs. He then started barking orders at the girls about who would be doing cocaine off of who’s body parts. “You do it off her stomach, and you do it off her tits and you…” He points to me – and even in my drunken state of seeing double – I said, “No way dude, I’m not doing that.” I am a feminist!!! I staggered out of the room to sit on the couch see if my eyes would stop vibrating. Later, the dude handed me the plate of drugs to do like a normal person. All the models stared in disbelief. It was as if they didn’t know they could do that! An insurgency was sparked that night. A rebellion where gorgeous girls realized they could ask for drugs without having to be a sexual spectacle. This was met activism! Let’s not give Gloria Steinem all the credit. This was my feminist revolution! My point is that we should always question authority, make our own rules, and do your best to inspire painfully beautiful Lithuanian girls when you have the chance.

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    December 29, 2016 • change, emotions, Musings, problems • Views: 1008

  • 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: 1410

  • Do You Like Being a Mom?

    The other day The Munch and I were driving in the car and she asked me this question.

    Munch: Do you like being a mom?
    Toni: Well, I like you! I am glad you were born and I love you forever. But I don’t always like being a mom.
    Munch: Yeah, being a mom is hard. You always have to do things for your kid – like drive them around, and make them sandwiches, and find their socks… Then you have to make sure they do the right thing, and when they don’t you have to get into fights…

    EXACTLY MUNCH!!

    like-mom-blog-(i)

    May 7, 2015 • 4 years old, Mommyhood, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1413

  • I Think I’ll Go Cry About That

    Isn’t it kind of nuts that ocean water pours out of your face when you feel emotions? Although sometimes it feels really good to release liquid out your eyeballs, crying is also a really intense way to express yourself. Have you ever been an argument with someone, just really verbally eviscerating them, but then they start crying so you feel bad and have to stop. That’s the worst! Stop manipulating me with your tears!

    Maybe it’s because I am from New England and believe in things like walking outside in wet socks during freezing temperatures is a good way to build character – but I try to keep my eye-fluid to myself. Crying makes me feel too vulnerable. My body language folds in, my face contorts, and my nose pours like a mucus waterfall. No thank you. If I am going to feel feelings around other people, I prefer indifference and emotional constipation.

    Kids, however, don’t even give a fuck when it comes to crying. They will cry any time, in front of anyone. Tears are their go-to form of expression because they don’t feel the social pressure to hold them in. I respect this period in life because it is the only time where you truly lack the shame of your outbursts. There is something freeing about exposing the underbelly of your emotional self, and preserving that openness is crucial to growing into a well-adjusted adult. The more capable you are of being in touch with your feelings, they less you will be consumed by them.

    However, crying is not the only way to communicate your feelings. There is a performance aspect to lamentation, which does lend itself to wallowing. When you are in a state of weeping, you are not exactly looking for solutions to your problems. Whoever you are with has to be a witness to the tyranny of your tears. Even though I don’t want to be a dictator of expression for my child, I also don’t want her to get into the habit of crying as a default.

    Oftentimes girls are socialized to articulate their discontent through tears because it is expected – and allowed when they are young. Boys are usually told to stop crying, because that threatens their masculinity. The result is that women tend to cry more to communicate, whereas men get angry. The root feelings are the same, yet one manifestation is passive and the other is aggressive. I don’t want my little girl to rely on tears to get through to people.

    When The Munch was young, I noticed that she would kind of indulge in her sadness. If she hurt herself she would cry, which was fine, but then she would stay crying long after the physical pain had subsided. Maybe it was an age thing, but it also made me nervous. I didn’t want her to get into a custom where every time she stubbed her toe it was an opportunity for self-pity. So I came up with a strategy where after I minute of her feeling the pain, I would then re-enact the trauma with one of her toys or dolls. This brought her out of her head, and she would stop crying and instead help choreograph the replaying of the scene. Now when she falls or hurts herself, she barely cries at all.

    Now that The Munch is almost 5, I figured she didn’t have to sob every time she doesn’t get what she wants, or when things don’t work out exactly as planned. So now I have a tactic for dealing with the emotional tantrum. You may think that I am a hardened beast of a woman wearing an apron and walking around with a wooden spoon to beat people with… but I swear it is working. It goes like this.

    Munch: Where are my “My Little Pony” socks?
    Toni: I don’t know. Where ever you last put them.
    Munch: But I don’t know where they are?
    Toni: Well, maybe you could look for them.
    Munch: BUT I WANT MY SOCKS NOW!! I NEED MY “MY LITTLE PONY SOCKS!”
    (Tears start to well up as the outpouring is about to begin).
    Toni: Well, you should probably cry about it.

    The Munch will then look at me with a particular combo of disbelief, rage, and pride. By my suggesting she cry, her ego is like “fuck that.”

    Even though you probably now think I am a MEGA bitch… she doesn’t cry and she goes and finds her damn socks.

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

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

    And just to be clear… I am always right.

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

    Until now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Genius…

    (Here is Munch plotting my demise)

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  • Doing Stuff For Yourself Sucks

    One of the many annoying things about having a young child is how much you have to do for them. I don’t mean the keeping them alive part, but dealing with all the stuff that they can’t do because they are uncoordinated… or won’t do because they are jerks… and maybe you don’t want them to do because they suck at it. You have to wipe their butts, brush their teeth, get them juice from the fridge, help them get dressed, make sure they wash their hands with soap, assist with every cleaning process. This list goes on and on like that winding road the Beatles sang about semi off key. I am not only driving just Miss Daisy, but also serving her day and night like Alfred does Batman – yet without the glamour of a tuxedo.

    Now that The Munch is four, I feel like we have reached an age where she should do a lot of shit on her own. If children in the Amazonian rainforest can handle a machete, my kid can figure out how to put on underwear so it’s not backwards – a fudgie should be pretty obvious by this point.

    The quest for Munch’s autonomy is not just predicated on ability alone however, but also motivation. I want her to want to do these things, and feel empowered by her growing faculties. I don’t want to have to ask or fight about this crap. She should be inspired to grab life by the balls, and get her own fucking water.

    Lucky for me, recently The Munch gave me the perfect tool for manipulation to get this going.

    Munch: Mom, I really want to get earrings.
    Toni: Why do you want to get earrings?
    Munch: Because your mom told me that you had them when you were a little girl, and now I feel jealous.
    Toni: Well, I am not sure you are ready for earrings.
    Munch: BUT WHY MOM!!? I REALLY WANT EARRINGS! IT IS NOT FAIR!
    Toni: Munch you are so particular about your clothes, I cannot handle negotiating another accessory. If you can’t find the right headband you fly into a fit of rage. I don’t want to deal with taking care of your earrings.
    Munch: But I will take care of them!
    Toni: Okay here is the deal. If you can show me for one month that you can be responsible for your own body. You can get earrings before school starts.
    Munch: Okay!!!!!!!!!
    Toni: But Munch… that means you have to get yourself dressed, put your clothes away, clean up your room, and make your bed. Anything you are physically capable of executing, you have to do. You have to be responsible for your own body, and show me you can take care of it, your space, and your things.
    Munch: DEAL!

    You want to know what ?! For a week this totally worked!! The Munch did everything on her own, and if she tried to complain I would just say “it looks like you are still too young for earrings then,” and she would do it immediately. Life was amazing, and I felt like a Machiavellian genius.

    But on the 8th day I went in her room and her bed wasn’t made.

    Toni: Munch? What is going on you haven’t made your bed?
    Munch: Yeah… maybe I will do it this afternoon.
    Toni: No way. That is not our deal. We aren’t going to fight about these things. If you want earrings you have to do this stuff on your own without Mamma asking you too.
    Munch: But MOM… doing everything myself and being responsible for my body is too much work!!! Maybe I will just get earrings when I am six.

    (Here we are…. chilling on the unmade bed)

    earrings-blog-(i)

  • You Really Shouldn’t Fucking Swear

    Swearing is not good and shit. It is considered offensive, rude, and inappropriate. There is never a circumstance that truly justifies it, and it reflects poorly on your character. One should recognize that the language you use represents how people perceive you, and as a dignified member of society you should avoid vulgarities at all costs. Since I am a parent, it is pivotal I imprint these values onto my daughter so she can grow into a being a respectable lady.

    Yet hearing my kid swear is funny as fuck.

    Okay fine. I am not proud of the fact that I SOMETIMES swear in front of my child. It is not that I swear at her! I just on occasion swear around her. As a consequence, The Munch has been exposed to my potty mouth, even though I REALLY TRY to wipe it clean.

    So the other day I made The Munch a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for dinner, which she brought to my office to eat while watching Japanese cartoons. Uggggggggghhhh…. I really don’t like admitting this context ☹ I usually don’t let my kid watch shows and eat. It is bad for digestion, a terrible habit, unsocial, and most importantly dangerous for my computer – crumbs in my keyboard are a nightmare. But I was having a super PMS moment and pretty much couldn’t deal with existence. All I was capable of was staring at a door and wondering if it opened into a parallel universe where I was a mermaid.

    Munch then came into the kitchen asking for more dinner…

    Munch: Mom, can you make me another grilled cheese sammich?
    Toni: Whoa! Did you eat the whole thing! Wow! Good for you.
    Munch: Well, I didn’t exactly get to eat the whole thing. I dropped half of it on the ground, and then Mona (our dog) ate it.
    Toni: Oh no! Mona at your sammich? That is terrible.
    Munch: Yeah. Fucking Mona.

    And then, all was right in the cosmos and life had meaning again. Not only did Munch use “fucking” in the right context, but her cadence was hilarious. She wasn’t angry, or upset – her tone just perfectly articulated how anyone would feel after a beloved pet ate their delicious sammich. Fucking Mona is right.

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    August 1, 2014 • 4 years old, Behavior, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 1859

  • So Much Forgiveness

    People suck. They can be selfish, entitled, thoughtless, rude and the more you are around them, the greater the chance they will piss you off. In adult relationships there are many options on how to deal with asshole behavior. You can avoid the person, write a snarly text message, confront them after a few drinks when feeling belligerent, pee on their lawn, or simply resentment the person and never talk to them again. When dealing with a young child, you don’t have these options because they don’t have a yard, can’t read, and it’s frowned upon to get wasted with them. You actually have to be the mature one and lead by example.

    Children are moody daughters of dicks. (Why does that not have the same ring to it as sons of bitches?) Their emotions fluctuate like climate change induced storms and it’s hard to anticipate when they are going to fly into a fit of fury. And as quickly as kids shit in your mouth with their emotional bile, they turn around and are as sweet as cancer-causing aspartame.

    This afternoon started out with The Munch acting like a gentle creature, similar to a friendly giant on pot brownies. She was considerate, wanted to help making a sandwich, and was generally in a dreamy state of lovingness. Until she wasn’t.

    I sat down on the couch to tell Munch a story, but she wanted to be where I was sitting, and for me to sit across from her on this wooden chair.

    Munch: Mamma, move over so I and sit here and you can sit there.
    Toni: Dude, I don’t want to move over. I am already sitting here.
    Munch: But I want to sit there!! I want you to sit across from me so I can look at you!
    Toni: Well then you sit on the wooden chair. I am comfy on the couch.
    Munch: No Mamma… you sit on that chair and I want to sit on the couch!
    Toni: No way.
    Munch: Okay fine. I will put these pillows on the chair and now you can sit on it.
    Toni: I want to sit here… you can sit there.
    Munch: NO MAMMA NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAHHHHAHHHAHHHAAAAAAHHHAAA!!! You sit there!

    Munch then cried like she was going for the Oscar, while I wondered why my kid was such a little twerp. Her whole logic was so egocentric. Did she really want me to be uncomfortable so she could live her OCD moment and frame the perfect shot for story time?

    Then I sat on the stupid wooden chair because I am a weak.

    Munch of course immediately stopped weeping and happily wanted me to tell her a story – but I was bitter at that point. Even though I could have stood my ground, I acquiesced and then begrudged her for it. Despite the fact that I wanted to pout, I couldn’t sulk because it was my own damn fault for catering to her demands. I put my big girl pants on, let it go, and moved on.

    Then later we got into an argument over treats because as you may know, I am living with a sugar addict.

    Munch: Mamma, can I have a treat. I had healthy stuff for lunch remember?
    Toni: Sure, what do you want?
    Munch: A chocolate popsicle.
    Toni: Ummmm we don’t have that. So you want a mango popsicle?
    Munch: No. A chocolate popsicle.
    Toni: I just told you we don’t have that. But I can give you some pieces of a special chocolate bar?
    Munch: Okay.
    Toni: Here you go. Four pieces because you are four years old.
    Munch: I actually want a big bar of chocolate.
    Toni: But you are already eating the pieces I gave you.
    Munch: Yeah, but I want just one big piece of chocolate bar. Not little pieces.
    Toni: Dude, you just ate all the pieces I gave you. You stuffed them in your mouth the whole time you were demanding more?
    Munch: I want a mango popsicle now.
    Toni: No way. I just gave you a delicious special treat because you didn’t want the mango popsicle.
    Munch: Waahhhhaaaa!!!!!!!!!! I WANT A MANGO POPSICLE!!

    She cried for ten minutes, threw her headband across the room, and stomped her feet while staring me in the face. This time I didn’t comply to her desires because that would be insane. The Munch had to play out her rebellion, while I managed her snarky comments.

    Munch: Mamma, if you don’t give me a treat I am going to throw you outside.
    Toni: I would like to see you try.
    Munch: Fine, then I will just spit in your face.
    Toni: Go ahead and see what happens.
    Munch: Fine. Just give me a treat then and I won’t do any of those things.
    Toni: Dude, there is no way.

    She continued to cry until she finally accepted she had lost the battle.

    Munch: Mamma, I love you so much. I’m so lucky.

    There is no way you can stay angry with someone after a proposition like that.

    Parents have these dynamics with their kids everyday, and forgiveness is an hourly affair. You both have to forgive each other constantly because there is so much tension and conflict when raising children. They want what they want because they are tyrants and parents have to keep them in check so they don’t stay that way.

    Most relationships and our larger society could benefit from this level of fluidity. If we admit we are basically are all just big babies trying to make it in this cruel world, we’ll remember that we are all always growing and evolving.

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