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  • Chemical Candy Chaos!

    I am the type of person that would rather go hungry than to eat food that I don’t like, or is bad quality. Eating is such a pleasurable experience for me, and goes way beyond the basic need to fill my stomach. I want to have a tantric experience with my meals. I don’t want to eat just because I am hungry – I want my wet mouth to orgasm while I fill it with delicious sausages.

    Local and organic of course.

    Maybe this can be annoying for others – especially for those who want to just eat and move on with the day but have to instead wait for me to find the perfect artisanal pizza place specializing in hand foraged pixy farts.

    For example: There was this one time when I went hiking in the Swiss Alps with my boyfriend and friend, and we got really lost. We finally came across a sign that read “Wanderweg” and decided we would go there, and take the train home. We followed the path for a few miles, then came across another sign that said “Wanderweg.” This sign, however, pointed in another direction. We were confused, but followed that path for another few miles. We then came across two signs, that pointed in opposite directions, and they BOTH read “Wanderweg.”

    Toni: Where the fuck is Wanderweg!!!??

    Finally we passed some other hikers who explained that “wanderweg” means “path.”

    We didn’t get off the mountain until 10 at night, and had been hiking for 12 hours with no food or water. When we finally got to the small town, everything was closed except for one restaurant. Inside there was an old man smoking cigarettes and chewing on his hands. He showed us the menu, which consisted of a variety of canned meat.

    Toni: Ummm I don’t think I’m gonna eat here.
    My Boyfriend: What??! DUDE I am starving! Lets just eat! There is nowhere else?
    Toni: It just doesn’t look very good. And the smoke is bothering me. I won’t even be able to taste anything. Maybe we can take the train to the next town? Or walk there?

    And that was the day my boyfriend strangled me.

    And here is a story where my 5-year old almost choked the fuck out of me. The Munch and I were coming back from a road trip, and had been in the car for a few hours. She told me she needed to go to the bathroom, so I pulled over at a gas station. Once we were inside, she wanted a treat.

    The Munch: I want a treat.
    Toni: No. Not here. I can’t.
    The Munch: But MOM I AM REALLY HUNGRY! YOU DIDN’T GIVE ME DINNER AND I WANT A TREAT.
    Toni: I can’t buy you chemical candy.
    The Munch: PLEASE!? What about these?
    Toni: Sour Patch kids? No way dude! Those are chemical kids coated with sugar flavored chemicals.
    The Munch: What about these??
    Toni: Reece’s? Those are just partially hydrogenated oil patties. I can’t. I can’t support those companies. I can’t get you these natural nuts? Or GMO free chips if you are hungry.
    The Munch: BUT I WANT A TREAT!
    Toni: It’s not going to happen.
    The Munch: FINE!!!

    The Munch STORMED back into the car. She was PISSED! When we finally got home a few hours later, she was STILL mad! She went to bed furious at me.

    The Munch: I REALLY WANTED A TREAT!

    The next morning when she woke up, she still had the idea of treats on her mind.

    The Munch: Can I have a treat?
    Toni: Yes you can… but we have to go to the Green Grocer to buy one, because we have nothing here.
    The Munch: That’s too far! I don’t want to get back in the car!
    Toni: Neither do I!
    The Munch: Let’s go to the General Store.
    Toni: I can’t do that. All they have is chemical treats. If you want a treat we have to go to the Green Grocer.
    The Munch: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    It’s not like she doesn’t KNOW I only buy organic food. The Munch is FULLY AWARE that I am never happy when someone gives her chemical candy to eat. Halloween was a big challenge for me! We had agreed that was the only chemical candy she would eat. But for whatever reason, she was NOT feeling my commitment to quality food this day.

    Toni: Dude I am not saying you can’t have a treat. I am saying you can’t have a chemical treat. The Green Grocer is five minutes farther than the General Store. Let’s just go there.
    The Munch: BUT I DON’T WANT TO WAIT THAT LONG!
    Toni: Can I tell you why I don’t want you to eat chemical candy?
    The Munch: FINE!
    Toni: Do you remember what war is?
    The Munch: When people kill each other for power?
    Toni: Yes… and back during World War 2, the Americans developed a chemical called “agent orange” to kill people. But when the war was over, they started using those chemicals on the food as pesticides – to kill the bugs. But pesticides kill all life – including butterflies, bees, and even birds!
    The Munch: BIRDS TOO?
    Toni: YES! And then we eat those pesticides! And these same companies have also have genetically modified plants, created a monopoly on seeds, and are arguably destroying the farming community. Plus… we don’t know the long-term impact of eating GMO tomatoes with fish genes in them.
    The Munch: I don’t want fishy tomatoes!
    Toni: And you know cancer? Since we have been doing this to our food, more and more people have been getting cancer. It’s hard to say it’s not related. So I don’t want to support these companies, because when I give them my money, I am saying that it’s okay to poison food, poison people, and poison the land.
    The Munch: Fine we can go to the Green Grocer. But I am getting TWO treats.

    “Seriously Mom, can you just shut your mouth hole?”

    munch shutting up toni

  • How Important Are Manners?

    Growing up in a super WASPy family, there was often the social convention that you were to prioritize politeness over truth. What you were thinking was never as important as what the other person is feeling. Instead of saying what you actually mean, you would say the polite thing. For example, when my grandfather gave my brother and me toilet paper and a plunger for Christmas, we smiled and said “Thank you. I’m sure we will find many uses for this fine gift.” Yet what we were actually thinking was, “seriously dude, what the dick!?”

    Manners are in essence the guiding principles of how to maneuver your way through social situations. Sometimes they may be oppressive to the individual, but you honor them for the emotional disposition of the group. So rather than vocalizing loudly at a luncheon, “I’ll be right back, I have to go diarrhea.” You are expected to whisper under your breath, “please excuse me for a moment.”

    As it might be painfully obvious to you, I make it a practice to challenge cultural protocol. There is a way in which hiding behind etiquette is an avoidance of depth. This mentality of “oh we don’t talk about such crass things as death, sex, politics, or money.” When you are too hyper-aware of proper topics of conversation, your conversation tends to be pretty superficial. I personally like getting deep with people and talking about things that aren’t part of the “normal” lexicon. Like seriously, what is your masturbation strategy? I wanna know! That says a lot about you!

    Yet with all my desire to blast open societal standards, I also have to admit that when you blatantly disregard them, you are also super annoying.

    Let’s take the social experiment of handing out candy for Halloween.

    Since I live secluded in the woods, Munch went “trick or treating” in my friend’s neighborhood. I decided to have the adult experience of being the candy-giver-outer because I had never done that before. When I lived in a NYC apartment, we never had “trick or treaters” – unless you count the homeless guy asking for meth.

    I didn’t think there was that much to handing out candy. I just have to sit on a porch in all black right? Since I assumed it would be a chill vibe, I figured it would probably be a good idea to smoke a little pot.

    Little did I know the chaos that was to descend upon me.

    You see, I was under the impression that all children not only knew, but also obeyed the cardinal rule of Halloween. ONLY TAKE ONE PIECE OF FUCKING CANDY! But it turns out a lot of kids go rogue on this concept, and end up doing whatever the fuck they want.

    Maybe that wouldn’t have been problem if I had purchased countless bags of GMO chemical candy to give out. But no! I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE OUR YOUTH POISON CANDY! I had purchased a bunch of organic treats so as to BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION! And no… they weren’t chia seed covered prunes. I’m not a monster.

    Because everything we bought was organic, we didn’t have an endless supply! We had enough if everyone followed the rule! TAKE ONE!

    My original plan was to leave the basket on the porch, and just let the kids come and take their pick. Yet within the first three minutes, one little girl took about 6 handfuls. Her parents were just watching as my friend and I stared in amazement. It was funny because I was high, but also horrifying because I was high. What kind of person does that? A future serial killer that is who!

    Finally my friend tried to stop the girl, who just used her paws to negotiate around the protest, and took more. The only reason why this little girl ever stopped was because my friend physically took the basket away. The parents continued to do nothing – never saying, “hey kid, are you a sociopath? Maybe you should just take one?!”

    Barely did we have time to recover when another kid came and started taking HANDFULS OF FUCKING CANDY WITH HIS 9 YEAR OLD HANDS!!

    My Friend: Only one please!
    Greedy lying kid: I’m only taking one!

    HE SAID AS HE HAD 7 PIECES IN HIS HAND!!!

    Again the parents ignored the blatant disregard for Halloween rules, and also this kid’s pathological lying!

    After that group of kids left, I had had enough.

    Toni: Give me that mother-fucking basket of candy. I am going to hand that shit out individually. And only after each one of these little shit heads comes and shows me their damn costume.

    So there I was holding the basket of candy like a covetous witch. Each kid had to approach me directly to gain access to my cauldron of organic goodness.

    Toni: Come here little girl. What are you? Oh princess Elsa from Frozen? Lovely and so original. Would you care for a chocolate or a chewing candy? Don’t worry. They are both organic, because we care about your future.

    Now some of the little kids were super polite. They would say “hi,” explain their costume, tactfully decide what they wanted, and left with a “thank you.” And you know what? I LIKED THOSE KIDS A LOT MORE AND GAVE THEM TWO OR THREE PIECES OF CANDY! Then there were those kids who would ignore me, put their sticky hands in the basket, and try to grab what they wanted. We would wrestle over control of the basket, until I won (of course). Don’t worry, I still gave them candy even though I wanted to punch them in the throat. BUT ONLY ONE PIECE!

    My conclusion after this experience of cultural anthropology – even though we shouldn’t self-censor and live surface level lives never asking any provocative questions, manners are crucial when it comes to people wanting to give you free candy.

    (Just so you know… this little angel ONLY took ONE CANDY at every house she visited… except when she took 2)

    manners-blog-2

    November 2, 2015 • Birth • Views: 1013

  • Just Because You Are Privileged Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Entitled

    My kid is privileged. Not like Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West or anything… she doesn’t have $100,000 diamond earrings, wear designer Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, of have birthday parties where a giraffe does cocaine off a hippo’s tits. We don’t have it like that. But The Munch lives in a house where she is fed, warm, and has plenty of toys. She attends a wholesome school where they learn what acorns are made out of, and the biggest stress of her day is not getting to eat as many cookies as she wants. Compared to the vast majority of the world, pretty sure she has it fucking made.

    I know there is only so much you want to expose your 4-year old to regarding the tragedies of the world – but I also don’t want The Munch to be an entitled little shit who doesn’t understand how lucky she is. There is innocence to childhood you don’t want to corrupt, but letting your kid believe the world is exclusively a benevolent place can also be corrupting. There is a delicate balance between being truthful, and just traumatizing. I don’t think I need to explain the horror of child brides in India, but I do think we can talk about sweatshops making crappy plastic toys she doesn’t need. I am not trying to make my kid fear the world, but I do want her to have a realistic perception of it.

    I try to make these conversations authentic, and come up when appropriate. It is not like I put her to bed at night and whisper in her ear, “sleep well sweetheart… and just remember 90% of the indigenous tribes in the Amazonian rainforest have been destroyed, and every 2 minutes someone in the United States gets sexually assaulted. Nighty night.” Yet there are many opportunities to talk about complex issues and give The Munch some perspective.

    I try to provoke exchanges that help Munch understand that the world does not exist to serve her every need. No dude, you cannot keep the water running in the bath just so you can fill cups with the “waterfall.” Water is a precious resource and we have to respect it. There are children who have to walk miles to get access to water. Yeah running water is fun to play with, but once the bath is full, you have to shut it off so you don’t waste it. Fine maybe this comes to bite me in the ass when she insists I wash dishes with only a stream as thick as a pubic hair, but at least she has got the right idea!

    The Munch and I can talk about resources, environmentalism, the economy, whatever – it just has to be in a context that has meaning to her. For example, she loves to eat candy so we can debate how certain candy has a lot of chemicals, and that is why we don’t buy that kind. The chemicals are bad for your body, unfairly compete with farmers who grow organically, and make the ground all yucky. I don’t have to say how Monsanto products cause cancer or factory farmed meat comes from animals who lived in torture chambers and then were mercilessly murdered – but I can say that meat didn’t come from a happy cow, so lets find another kind.

    Kids are way smarter than we think, and they do have a sense of empathy even if they are mostly driven by their egos. They are kind of like men in that way. JUST KIDDING! There was one afternoon when Munch and I talked about homelessness, and she wanted to know if there were any children that didn’t have a house to live in.

    Munch: Who are they mom? Do you we know any of these children?
    Toni: No we don’t know them, but there are millions of them in the world.
    Munch: Can we see them?

    So we went online and looked at pictures of homeless children, and talked about why some people have money, and others don’t. It is not like we discussed major economic theory or the Federal Reserve, but she does understand the concepts of selfishness, and greed.

    Toni: Certain people have so much money that they are able to ensure that they keep making more money. Once you have a bunch of money, it is easier to maintain because you are running the businesses that make all the money. It isn’t that there isn’t enough money to go around; the problem is the way it is distributed. The people who have the most want to keep the money for themselves, and not share it.
    Munch: Why don’t they want to share? Didn’t they go to school and learn about how it is important to share?
    Toni: Well they did. But it isn’t just about the money. Money also means you have power. And people want power.
    Munch: But is the power more important than children? Why can’t the people with money give money to the children so they can have houses?
    Toni: Well, that is a good point. But it isn’t just the people that need to change. It is also the systems.
    Munch: But who makes the systems?
    Toni: The people.
    Munch: So pretty sure the people just need to change – then there will be no more children who don’t have homes.

    (Turn off that fucking bath water!!)

    privilidge-blog-(i)

  • Sharing means let me have all of it

    The Munch is kind of selfish.  That or she has a major interest in candy.  Hard to tell which is the real motivation in this story.

    There were three lollipops.  At first The Munch was actually quite generous and wanted to share them with me and my friend Gita.  We each had one, and were eating them at our own pace- hers being the fastest.  She soon realized that her lollipop was smaller than mine.

    Munch: “Mamma, lets trade.”

    Toni: “Hmmmm okay…. Not sure if this is exactly what you would call a fair trade. But I love you so….”

    Soon after our “trade” The Munch and I had both finished our lollipops, but Gita still had hers.

    Munch: “Auntie Gita lets trade.”

    Gita: “Munch, your lollipop is finished.  So we can’t really trade.  But I can share mine with you.”

    Munch: “Okay lets share.  But it’s my turn now.”

    Gita let Munch have a turn, then Gita took a turn, then Munch and eventually Gita and I forgot about the lollipop and started having a conversation.

    Gita: “Did you read that article I sent you?”

    Munch: “Mamma, look, look, look, watch me.”

    Toni: “Wait, what did you say?”

    Munch: “Mamma, did you see me jump so high?”

    Gita: “The one about the artist who….

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, do you like spiders?”

    Toni: “What? Which article?”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, I need a new pair of tights, can you go get me some?”

    Gita: “You know the one….”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, my shoes are falling off can you fix them?”

    Toni: “Wait what?? Munch I am trying to talk to Auntie Gita you need to give me a moment.”

    Munch: “Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma, look I took off my shoes and tights to jump.”

    When The Munch finally went into the other room, I wasn’t questioning what she was doing.  Suddenly everything was quiet and I could talk for a moment.  It was a luxury to have 10 minutes of uninterrupted conversation.

    She then came back with the lollipop stick, sans lollipop.

    Toni: “Hey! What were you were doing in there?”

    Munch: “I ate the lollipop all up!”

    Gita: “Munch, I thought we were sharing the lollipop?”

    Munch: “Yeah…. Not any more.”

    lollipop-blog-(i)

  • The Selfish Madonna

    The romanticized vision of the mother is as a selfless being that radiates unconditional love with endless serene expressions.  This vision is depicted in countless paintings of ‘mother holding child,’ many of which are of the Virgin Mary cradling Jesus.  I guess if I were Jesus’ mother I would be all peaceful and calm – since he was always turning my water into wine.  But for those of us who didn’t spawn holy beings, there are some pretty high societal expectations of the mother.

    There is this perception that mothers are supposed to prioritize their kids above and beyond their own needs at all times.  Yeah… kinda.  I mostly do that.  In a lot of scenarios.  But I think all moms have moments when they can be a little selfish.

    Lets take my mom as an example.  That will be fun. Won’t it Mom!?  When I was a kid, every holiday my mom would leave little baskets outside my door filled with treats.  Okay, relax.  This isn’t the selfish part.  So I would wake up in the morning and find this delightful indulgence of candy and chocolate.  Relax… I am getting there.  I would be so grateful for this lovely display that I would often save my gift.  You know… like to eat it later. I would then come home from school and the head of my Easter bunny would be gone.  So would the tail. Don’t even get my started on my Halloween candy. I don’t know about you, but coming home to your Valentine’s chocolate replaced with the empty wrappers was pretty traumatizing for me.

    There are so many things that I do for The Munch that takes into consideration her desires before my own.  But sometimes I just do what I want to do.  Like hide her favorite book so I don’t have to read it 48 times that morning.

    There are moments when I feel like pursuing my career, taking time for myself, or doing anything without her is selfish.  Of course people assure me that isn’t true.  Fuck, I can tell myself that is bullshit – but it is hard not to feel conflicted at times.  I would like to say that the time I spend away from her makes me appreciate the time I spend with her more, but I really hope she sees it like that too.  As much as a think it is vital for a mother to have a life outside her children, living parts of my life not including The Munch can feel crappy.

    I guess this is the modern conundrum.  If I were a cave woman, I would have her strapped to my back in a fur satchel and bring her with me until she was old enough to harvest and hunt for her self.  You know.  Like 6 months.  We would work together side by side and I wouldn’t have to make any of these hard decisions.  And maybe I would steal some saber tooth tiger meat when she wasn’t paying attention, but I wouldn’t touch her wooly mammoth blood because that is just wrong.

    Biologically I am bonded to The Munch in this unique and profound way.  The mother child connection is one of the most mysterious and meaningful unions, and that is why it has this reputation in the imagination of society.  But psychologically it is really important for me to continue evolving without her.  Maybe part of that process is slightly selfish, but this is going to be something she will go through too when she is a mother, so hopefully The Munch will understand that no decision is simple when you become a parent.  Especially when it comes to Halloween candy, because you better believe I am going to eat all of hers too.

    (Check out my mom ready to go after Munch’s lollipop!! She is not fucking around!)

    selfish-mommy-blog-(i)

    April 9, 2013 • Family Drama, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting, Working Mommy • Views: 2536

  • The Forbidden Fruit Has Been Tasted

    It happened.  My child has been exposed.  She experienced the taste of sin. A drug she will battle with, and probably abuse many times.  And I am not talking black tar heroin, because we already kicked that habit when she was 18-months.  I am talking about sugar.

    It started innocently enough. With an organic, vegan, gluten-free, coconut Popsicle my mom gave her.  The Munch’s unpolluted mind had never even heard such words as cake, candy, or cookies.  But the more she started to understand the world around her, the harder it became to lie about what things were.  She started to look at me with doubt when I insisted that a lollipop was made of fairy skin.

    A birthday cake was the gateway drug.  My friend’s husband offered her a piece.  I almost refused.  I was this close from convincing The Munch that cake was bread with barf spread on top of it.  But it was for free, and he insisted she have a taste.  I figured it was a special occasion, and let her live on the wild side.  How often does one go to birthday parties? It turns out, quite a lot.  Now all she cares about at these stupid parties is the cake. It doesn’t even matter whose party it is.

    I think I was the one who gave her the first cookie.  But it wasn’t my fault.  I was tired, weak, and had my guard down.  I didn’t have it in me to fight against her wrath.  She manipulated me.  And now she knows not only that cookies are fucking delicious, but also what they look like.  This makes going to a store very complicated because she understands that round circles with black dots means that shit is good.

    The ice cream happened with her babysitter… the candy too.  Now The Munch is fully aware just how tasty sugar is.  The only things I have been able to keep from her are chocolate bars.  I told her they were “Mamma crackers” and made out of cat poop.

    Maybe it is not a big deal?  Sugar is a part of life and if I deprive her totally I will only make the forbidden more seductive.  But it is not good for the immune system.  It doesn’t contribute anyway to her her health.  And even if its organic treats she is getting, it doesn’t mean its good for her (although I tell myself that organic ice cream happens to be great for me).

    I am trying not to care too much.  To realize that finding a balance is part of parenting and if I am too controlling about what The Munch eats I could give her a complex.  But her naivety made my life so much easier.  She was totally oblivious to the temptation.  The Munch’s ignorance protected her from feeling the disappointment of lacking – or maybe more important it protected me from her.  Now she knows what she is missing when I say. “no you can’t have that.” The subsequent distress, frustration, horror, and tantrum that follow are because she can taste the vacuum of what could have been.

    Sugar is the first drug children are exposed to.  It has an addictive quality, and also makes you feel high.  The rush.  The hyper manic energy that makes you want to punch a cat in the face.  And then of course the crash, that leads into the depression of being without, that eventually morphs into then the desperate searching for your next fix.  And like the need for drugs, kids will do anything to get their sweets.  Including scream in your face, embarrass you at stores, and weep uncontrollably while shaking in the corner.

    “Hey Mamma! This doesn’t taste like fairy flesh?!”

    the-forbidden-fruit-blog-(i)

     

    March 19, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Body, Baby Brain, Eating, Health • Views: 4541