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childhood
Posts

  • A Distraction From Life

    You know what blows? When you are really excited for something to happen, and it doesn’t go down the way you had planned. It is like experiencing emotional blue balls. You just want to release your joy all over the back of existence, but then some metaphoric knock pounds down the door to cock-block your bliss.

    Disappointment is probably the most dissatisfying emotion. At least if you are angry or sad there is some spice too it. You can punch walls, or weep until your eyes look like Bill Clinton’s. Yet when you are disappointed all you do is turn yourself inside out like dyslexic calzone – oozing cheesy self-pity all over the place, but too despondent to spread the sauce of your agony. There is a pathetic flavor to disappointment. You are inherently admitting anticipation that was squelched like a weed in a soybean farm sprayed with pesticides. There is nothing cool about being let down, because it shows you cared in the first place.

    Over the weekend I was going to host a dance retreat so some friends and I could spend our days dancing our asses off. Not in a twerking kind of way where we bounced our asses until they created so much friction they combusted, but in a sweet way. I like having women’s weekends where we eat copious amounts of kale, drink an absurd amount of tea, and talk incessantly about how we don’t need men – because if we discuss them constantly that means we totally aren’t thinking about them am I right?

    The first night I led a yoga class where we explored our 2nd Chakra. You know how bitches are all about opening up their hips and shit. That evening, while washing homemade hummus off the dishes, I told my friend I was going to bail on the morning Kundalini yoga adventure.

    My friend Sarah: NO! You have to go. That is part of the whole plan.
    Toni: I don’t know… it is just so early. I will just meet you guys back here when yo are done.
    My friend Sarah: Dude… it is one morning. We are all giving and we are all sharing our talents. Don’t be a wimp.

    So I womanned up and went to the class. The thing about Kundalini yoga, is that it is all about moving energy and going into the crevices of the body to address core issues. It is more intense than other kinds of Yoga, which is why it is both amazing and terrifying. Not everyday you are psychically prepared to look your inner demons in the face and have a conversation about your damaged childhood.

    I am pretty sure that on this Saturday morning, I just wasn’t in the mental state to get to the bottom of my self-loathing and inner rage. We did all these positons and exercises that felt equally freeing and constricting. As soon as we left the class and I got into my car, I knew my back was totally screwed up. I was like “FUCK! Who am I kidding? I am white! I am not supposed to face my emotions, but repress them deep inside my body until I eventually die of a heart attack. That is the American way!”

    We got back to my house and I tried to do the ballet class – but I could hardly move. I forced myself to continue through the crippling pain for 30-minutes because that is what New England people do, but then I had to lay down and admit defeat. I had fucked my shit up hard core. I could feel it in my back and my hips – if I was a rapper this could have been a pretty sweet Hip Hop song.

    I tried to stretch to release the spasms, but it wasn’t working. I fell down the staircase of frustration because I knew that my dance retreat was ruined. There was no way I was going to have spontaneous recovery and pirouette my way out of this. All my excitement about the weekend was transformed into feeling very very very sorry for myself.

    One of my friends is OF COURSE a hippy healer girl, so she came over to do some voodoo on me.

    Hippy Healer Friend: I am getting a message that part of your pain has to do with your daughter. Not sure exactly what, but that is the information I am receiving. Maybe some issues of violence?

    Ummmm…. WHAT THE DICK!? The last thing I wanted was some peaceful yoga hippy girl to think I was beating my child or something!!?

    Toni: Ummmm violence?
    Hippy Healer Friend: Well it doesn’t have to be literal violence. It could be emotional. Or spiritual. Anyway… don’t get attached to any of this. Just something to think about.
    Toni: Uhhhh yeah okay…

    Not sure if you have ever tried to peacefully receive a healing while at the same time stressing out about what your healer thought of you. But let me tell you… it is NOT as relaxing as it sounds.

    I tried to think about why those were the messages this serene chick was getting about me. It just seemed so extreme?! I mean, I guess I had admitted to her the night before how I let The Munch eat ice cream for breakfast. I some how rationalized this because she also had green beans. The Hippy Healer girl also witnessed The Munch watching Snow White. Maybe in her pristine child-raising world where her daughter thinks raisins are candy and screen time refers to some mediation practice, exposing my child to Disney and vanilla flavored sugar was a type of violence?? Maybe Munch also casually mentioned how we eat meat too! BUT IT IS ORGANIC FLESH FROM A LOCAL FARM OKAY!!???

    I wasn’t exactly sure that my pain had to do with The Munch, and was more convinced it was my philosophic quandary regarding the futility of existence. This relentless knowing that no matter what life path I choose, it will be fraught with bullshit and the same patterns of consciousness that oppress me today. How regardless of my efforts, I will continually make the same mistakes while I swirl in a spiral of mediocrity. Come to think of it, I would much rather contemplate my relationship to The Munch than that shit!

    So I thought about my child, and how so often she can feel like a distraction from life. Yet in truth, she is not distracting me from my life. The Munch is my life. Maybe The Munch thinks I am not showing her that enough?? Perhaps she feels that our time spent together, I am too distracted from all my blaming her for being the distraction.

    I felt sad. Even though I can’t live my life where every second of everyday is devoted to my child, I still want her to feel valued. I decided we had to have a discussion about this so I could get to the bottom of my back pain … ummm I mean, be a good mother to my kid and figure out how she was feeling.

    Toni: Munch, you know how Mamma’s back hurts?
    The Munch: Yeah….
    Toni: Well, my friend says it is not physical. She says my spine feels aligned. She thinks it is an energetic block from something emotional.
    The Munch: What is emotional?
    Toni: Like my feelings? She thinks my back hurts because of my feelings. She told me it has something to do with our relationship. What do you think about that?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe your back hurts because you dance too much. Maybe you should stop dancing because it is so boring for me.
    Toni: Ummm well I love dancing so that is not going to happen. But what do you think about our relationship. Do you think I am a good Mamma to you?
    The Munch: Well sometimes. You always say “no” to me when I want more chocolate.
    Toni: Okay “more” chocolate… fine. But I have to do that. Seriously. Are there things you want me to do different? Is there ways I could be a better Mamma to you?
    The Munch: I don’t know. Maybe we just have to take care of each other more.
    Toni: Okay. That sounds like a plan.

    The next day, because I was hurt, I couldn’t do anything but relax. As a result, The Munch and I ended up spending 7-hours playing together with ZERO interruptions. We didn’t even leave the room we were in. I didn’t touch my phone. We just hung out – and rationed out a banana with peanut butter to survive. It was like we were in a vortex. Usually some thing breaks up your day, like going on an errand, or having some sort of obligation to do. Yet we were in this black hole of togetherness that nothing could penetrate.

    Things got kind of weird at times, we laughed, we fought, and she pretended to be a baby as I swaddled her in a yoga blanket. But it was amazing to just be present with her. I am not sure we have been like that since she was first born and I was high on all the new mom hormones. So even though it sucked my back hurt and I couldn’t dance for my retreat, it created the space for this memorable moment with the most important person in my life.

    distraction-blog

  • Can You Do Me A Favor And Not Ask For Any More Favors?

    If you are going to ask people to do favors for you, then be prepared to do favors for them. It is all part of the favor etiquette. You of course act like “I would do anything for you – because I love you,” but really you are saying “Yeah fine I will do this super annoying thing and act cool about it, but get ready because I am going to be asking you to do something for me real fucking soon.”

    Recently The Munch and I have been having a battle of the wills over the concept of favors. I can understand how this may be a slightly confusing concept considering there is a nuanced distinction between favors and the rest of our day where I am blatantly telling her what to do. With favors there is an element of will involved. You are not demanding something of someone, but asking… while hoping they comply out of the goodness of their hearts because you will be SUPER resentful if they don’t.

    For Munch, me asking her for a favor is no different than the 500 other insistences of the day – like my suggestion she doesn’t pee in the bath. But what she does not understand is that 99% of my ordering her around is for HER benefit not MINE. It is not like it matters to me if she has chocolate all over her face – but I have to recommend wiping it off so she doesn’t look demented. So when I ask for a favor it is one of the FEW requests where she does something for me. Munch will do it, but then she thinks of absurd favors for me to do in retaliation. Wait… I guess she totally gets the idea of favors after all.

    Toni: Hey Munch, will you pass me my shoes that are right next to you.
    Munch: Sure. Here you go.
    Toni: Thanks.
    Munch: Mamma, will you go upstairs and get my polkadot headband?
    Toni: Ummm, you are already wearing a headband.
    Munch: I know, but I need my polkadot one.
    Toni: Why don’t you get it yourself Munch. You are a big girl.
    Munch: But Mom, I am asking you to do me a favor!

    favors-blog-(i)

  • The House You Grew Up In

    The house you grew up in is almost as profound as the people you grew up with. It is like a character in the story of your life. The building that housed your youth serves as a porthole into the nostalgia of days gone past. It is a place where you can transport yourself into memories vaguely recalled, yet still so familiar. When you return to the rooms that contained your childhood, visions will flood your brain as you try to connect to the person you used to be when you were still forming into the person that you have become.

    It is some deep shit!

    Of course not everyone has access to the home of their younger years to mill around searching for relics. Parents move, and new homeowners don’t always allow strangers to come over to talk about how this room used to be smaller before the walls were ripped out, or shed tears at the site of a old tree with rotten branches they used to climb. Yet sometimes you have a chance to go back to a house that is no longer yours, but forever will be anyway.

    My childhood home is unique because I grew up in a Harvard dormitory, so even the sight of pizza boxes in the trashcan of the parking lot made me tear up. I went to this place I once called home to take pictures for a project, and realized it had been 22 years since I last roamed those halls. I immediately yearned to be like Benjamin Button so I could age backwards and return to that innocent time of trying to steal beer from 18-year old boys.

    I had brought The Munch on this tour so she could see where her mom grew up. She was somewhat amused, by maybe more so because a nice lady gave her a Tootsie-pop, which was her first exposure to high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. I pointed out to Munch every space in the building that had meaning to me, while she nodded her head and drooled orange bio chemicals.

    Toni: Look at these corridors! This is where I would roller skate with my bird on my shoulder. Check out this dining hall where I would eat nothing but burgers. Do you see this vending machine? This is where I would eat candy for dinner. Check out this elevator. My friend and I once pooped on this elevator as a joke… and now that I have said that out loud it is clear how disturbing that act really was.

    There was something so emotionally satisfying about being in the place that helped remind me of little Toni. That girl who wore yellow stirrup pants and survived on Reece’s Pieces. I was getting high on all the information inundating my consciousness.

    I saw a couch complete with beer and cum stains that would provoke most people to say “ew” – but to me it was beautiful simply because I remembered it. I sat on the white parts while lovingly running my fingers across the wood.

    Toni: Munch! Look at this couch! I used to sit here when I was a little girl!
    Munch: Are you sure you want to be sitting there now?

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    August 12, 2014 • Adventures, Old School Stories • Views: 1308

  • Music Is My Boyfriend

    When I think back to my childhood and teen years, the majority of my time was spent in my room, with the door closed, listening to music. I would sing, dance, and play songs that made my cry so I could look in the mirror and watch myself cry and then cry some more because of the sight of my own tears makes me cry. It was all very tragic and emotionally fulfilling.

    Music has served as the mood regulator of my life. It is like Prozac for my soul. I can be in the most pissy state of mind – ready to slap an innocent old lady in the face with my tit – and then I get in my car, pump up the jam, and suddenly I feel amazing. Music transports me into another dimension, and relieves me from the chaos of my mind. Most cases my misery is self-induced, and a driving beat reminds me that life is a ride so I might and well shimmy my shoulders to the rhythm.

    I always have music playing in the background, and I guess this compulsion has passed on to The Munch. She now wants to spend hours a day listening to her songs. Currently we don’t exactly have the same taste, but it is still something we can do together. Munch is really into the soundtracks of The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Frozen. Wait… I take that back… we actually do have the same taste because those records are fucking awesome.

    I am sure she will eventually broaden her horizons from Disney movies, but right now she is committed to memorizing every word of every song of every film they ever made. There is a pretty good possibility I will be committed to a mad house before this is accomplished, so pray for me that she transitions to 90’s hip hop soon.

    music-in-room-blog-(i)

    July 18, 2014 • 4 years old, Musings, Old School Stories, Parenting, Playing, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 2305

  • Growing Up is Poopie

    The Munch turned 3!

    This concept seems magical to her.  How she was this one number… that number being 2, and then after the second of July she is another number… the number 3.  She has been transformed from 2 to 3 like a numerical caterpillar, and The Munch is delighted by it.

    I remember the feeling of being absurdly excited about my birthday when I was a kid.  Beyond the presents, attention, and cake, the thought of aging was fascinating.  There was something thrilling about the next year -as if 8 would be drastically different than 7.  I was getting closer to something with each year I got older. What that something was exactly wasn’t clear, but the looming vision of growth compelled me.  Inching towards adulthood and becoming a person I didn’t know yet, but knew I was one day going to be.  I would try to picture myself as a grown up.  I would wonder how big my boobs would be or what job I would have, and that unknown vision of endless possibilities inspired me.

    Now that I am an adult, and pretty much know myself, birthday’s blow.  Yup, now I am 33.  Pretty much the same as 32, but with a new pair of Birkenstocks to break in.  The mystery of what will be is over.  And now I know the real truth about aging.  With each year comes new responsibilities, pressures, and expectations.  Maturing essentially means sacrificing more and more and more and more, as you give up more and more and more.

    Sadly for The Munch, with her turning 3 she too is going to be weighted down by new responsibilities and expectations.  The fist being she is now off the boob.  No more teat for her.  Her days of nana (what Munch calls breastfeeding) are over.

    Toni: “Happy birthday Munch!!!”

    Munch: “Mamma, I want to do nana.”

    Toni: “Well Munch, remember what we said.  Once it’s your birthday what happens?”

    Munch: “I turn three years old!”

    Toni: “And what happens when you are 3?”

    Munch: “No more nana!”

    Toni: “Right!”

    Munch: “ Okay, but can I just do one side?”

    Forget the fact I am negotiating with my child about wanting to only nurse on one side and not the other. Forget all that because I know it’s crazy that Munch and I have real conversations about this shit! Nana has gone on long enough and she is just too verbal to continue a day longer!!!  But now it is over.  I have to remind Munch that 3-year olds don’t do nana, and she has to accept it.

    But I feel for her when I see the disappointment in her face.  Even though the solar calendar tells you that you are now in fact a year older, you don’t feel any different.  You feel exactly the same as you did the day before, yet all this significance is placed on you as if you would actually feel the conversion.  I am telling Munch she is 3, and now she has to behave like a 3-year old, when she probably feels just like she did when she was 2 – and still thinks a boob in her mouth is a great idea.  But even though she didn’t put up a fight, I could see in The Munch’s eyes that she felt “maybe being 3 isn’t as rad as I thought.”

    birthdays-blog-(i)

  • What Is Your First Memory?

    It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that The Munch probably isn’t going to remember these first 3 years of her life.  What the eff?!  I want credit for this shit!!!!!!!! Thank god I write down every embarrassing story about her, and every great thing I do- so I can remind her until the end of time.  You are welcome Munch.

    Even though we don’t specifically remember our babyhood and early childhood years, they still imprint our personalities, energy, and even cells.  It is kind of wild to think about all the life lessons we internalized, both good and bad, that as adults we will never be able to specifically recall.  Perhaps much of our humor, fears, happiness, or sadness all comes from this mysterious time that will forever be shrouded in a fog.

    This made me wonder what my first memory was.  It was not clear to me, so I sat and thought, and thought, and then it came to me.

    I was on the toilet.  I had just gone poop.  I was calling for my dad “Dad! Dad! Wipe me! I need you to wipe my bum!”  But he wasn’t coming.  I guess I wasn’t paying attention, and I slipped into the toilet.  My bum was submerged and my legs were pressed tightly against my chest.  I was stuck in the toilet with my ass in shit, and shit coming out of my ass.  “Dad! Dad! I am stuck!!!”

    Finally my dad did come, but I think this story explains a lot about who I am now.

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    May 30, 2013 • 2 years old • Views: 3907