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  • Generation Blame Game

    Over the summer I performed at a dance festival and let me tell you – there is nothing quite like sharing a dressing room with a bunch of teenage girls. Not only because their boobs are barely below their shoulders they’re so perky, but more because the amount of texting, Snapping, Facebooking, Instagramming, and tweeting was so extreme that I wondered if they had wifi signals coming out of their nipples. I barely had service??

    I can’t criticize the children of today because they are victims of our society. Millenials didn’t create iPhones – Baby boomers did. It’s the generations before you that produce the technology that you’re born into. It’s the humans that came before you that decide the moral compass you’re supposed to adhere to. People create ideologies, think of scientific advancements, pontificate on ethics, ponder human health, opine about systems, and then test their inevitably flawed conclusions on their kids.

    We’re all just the experiments of our parents and the generation that raised us.

    Humans are still evolving and it’s happening more rapidly than ever since the industrial revolution. My kid was born knowing how to swipe through pictures and navigate Netflix. This only exaggerates these feelings of disconnect between generations. I am not THAT much older than a millennial, you could even say I am on the cusp, but I feel like an anthropologist around them – like a modern day Jane Goodall in the forest of a tattoo parlor. I observe them with a slight confusion as I scribble into my notepad; “The subject will post on Snap Chat while getting tattooed. Fascinating.”

    Each generation raises a generation that ends up feeling foreign to them, and I think that’s because we tend to forget that we are all products of our conditioning. In order for me to understand millenials, I have to fully grasp the world Baby Boomers have created for them to adapt to. Baby Boomers are the ones in power. They run our politics, industry, and Wall Street. At the top of most pyramids is a Baby Boomer, perched with their golden rattle like good ol’ Donny Trump – our king.

    I’m the child of baby boomers, and in my view, it’s my parent’s fault they handed me a trashcan of a world. We supposedly have 3 years left to save humanity from Climate Change. The world may be too hot for my kid to survive!!!!! Except for the hippies who fought for our rights in the 60’s, most of Boomers turned out to be the most consumerist, money hungry, self-centered people in history. They didn’t stop global warming – they accelerated it with their greed. When they came to power they gave up their acid and disco balls and paved the path for the economic and ecological tragedy of today.

    Yet that’s not fair of me! It’s not like the baby boomers are beings formed from Immaculate Conception. They are the products of their parenting. The common belief is that the boomers were too coddled by their parents. Supposedly The World War 2 generation, or the so-called “greatest generation” spoiled their kids so significantly that they had no perspective. Huh? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t know about you guys, but my Word War 2/ Great Depression grandparents weren’t exactly cuddly loving people. They’re a little rough around the edges. Sure, maybe they spoiled their kids with material goods – but the Baby Boomers were some traumatized infants.

    Because so many women were popping out babies like pop tarts, the medical industrial complex came up with a new way to birth babies. So a lot of the births during the 50’s and 60’s were twilight births. Now that may sound kinda dreamy… but basically it was out of the Twilight Zone. They would drug the mother to the point where she had zero memory of the birth. None. She was just knocked the fuck out. Then when she came to, they just handed her the baby. Now… this may come as a surprise, but a lot of mothers had trouble bonding with their baby after being dosed with disturbing amounts of morphine.

    These women were then encouraged to exclusively bottle feed their babies with formula. Not even try breastfeeding. Now formula is great when you need it. But half the babies in the 1950’s were raised completely on it. So we have these boomer babies with their disturbing births, their formula diets, and then here is the kicker – the conventional wisdom of that time according to behavioral psychologists was to… wait for it… hold your baby as little as possible!!!!! Yeah. Don’t cuddle your baby. Don’t hold it when it doesn’t need to be held. Nope. That will make them a pussy! Not being held builds character.

    Let me just remind you, that not being touched enough as an infant was later proven to do major and irreversible psychological damage. Touch is just as important to our health as food and water!!! So yeah, maybe the Baby Boomers had more material goods than their parents, but they were neglected as fuck as babies. And look what happened! We are on the verge of extinction now!

    Because boomers where emotionally abandoned that explains a lot of their psychology. Where boomers would let their kids crawl around in the back seat of cars, we modern parents will strap up our kids in car seats as if they were Hannibal Lector. Is that because modern parents are inherently anal? Or because we know more? Or because the “big seatbelt” industry has taken over? Or perhaps we are reacting to the trauma of our own childhoods by over compensating?

    I may question some (a lot) of my parent’s parenting decisions, but I can’t blame them without educating myself on their context. They didn’t have the information we have today, nor did they have the bandwidth to go the library and research the apocalyptic times they were creating. My mom didn’t have the Internet to inspire her to wonder what kind of chemicals were in my shampoo, if my Halloween candy was organic, or if there were razor blades in my apples. She would just be like, “I don’t know, take a bite and find out?”

    The more I understand my parent’s parents, the more I can understand my parents. But for my parents to understand me, they have to understand themselves.

    So what kind of kids are the current generation of parents going to create? Ones that will be so afraid of their own shadow that they willingly submit themselves to a virtual reality Matrix where they never see the light of day? Maybe? I don’t know! I for sure see that modern parents are uptight, but they also started a movement of Attachment parenting – which admittedly may not be very Buddhist of them – but they hold the fuck out of their babies. So we can judge them for being overbearing, but at the same time let’s leave the breastfeeding Time magazine mom alone. Who cares if her 6-year old kid barely had to get on his tippy toes for a sip? That kid may have had to experience some questionable boners, but I’m pretty fucking sure he’s going grow into a sensitive man who believes in universal healthcare.

    Snapping while getting tattooed!!

  • Sassy is The new Classy – Thanks Sasha and Malia!

    Although social media is cool because we get to look at pictures of our ex-lover’s new lover, it is also a platform for straight up antagonistic bullshit. Elizabeth Lauten went on a Facebook rant about how she didn’t like the faces Sasha and Malia Obama made during the press conference while their dad pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. Ironically she was the Communications Director for GOP Representative Stephen Fincher from Tennessee before resigning today. She also said the girls should get a little “class,” not dress like they are “at a bar” and “act like the white house matters to you.” Ummmmm Elizabeth you may want to reconsider your approach to communications; attacking children doesn’t exactly make me think you have a ton of class.

    Of course it takes a village to raise a child and theoretically you want other adults to take an interest in your kid’s behavior. If my child was acting like a dick at your house, I’d appreciate you addressing her actions. Yet I hope you would be kind and empathetic in the process. I would be less pleased if you said to my kid, “shut up you little asshole.”

    Elizabeth Lauten not only insulted the Obama girls, but used them as a vehicle to demean their dad.The crux of her point was less about eye-rolling and pouty looks, and more about how they are representatives of the people who raised them.

    “Then again, your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter,” Elizabeth added. “So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

    Politically, I am not an Obama supporter. Anyone who becomes president of this country is a highly compromised individual with too many people to appease (and by “people” I mean the ruling elite who control all banking/industry/corporations– and who may or may not be the decedents of lizards). My interest in this saga is less about “how dare you Republican Elizabeth attack the blameless Democrat president,” because that is par for the course. Yet what I do have a problem with is her blatant attempt to devalue Obama by insulting his children.

    We know Elizabeth is familiar with the teenage experience. After all, she herself was arrested for shoplifting during those prime years. Surely she remembers the complexity of those tempestuous years. Rather she decided that insulting Malia and Sasha Obama was the perfect chance to attack the President. Generally, our society operations from the understanding that children are the psychological property of their parents. To make the leap that some sassy stares means Obama is a horrible father, and therefor president, was a jump that made sense to Elizabeth.

    The cultural implication of viewing children as extensions of their parents is that a kid’s successes/failures are not theirs alone, but also that of their mom and dad. We can’t truly know the precise nature vs nurture ratios, so we tend to cherry pick the traits we want to believe are our flawless parenting techniques or supreme genes. How much of my kid is her personality and how much of her is my amazing mom style? This is not an equation we can quantify.

    It is pretty common for parents to take credit for all the parts of their children that they like. “My little Timmy is such a good dancer. He gets that from MY side of the family because I learned the fox trot.” Or “Little Susie is so clever. I think she gets it from me because I once figured out how to untangle my headphones in under 7 minutes.”

    We love to attribute ourselves for the ways our kids are remarkable. Yet when our kids suck, that is usually because that is “just they way they are.” We rarely hear parents say “Oh well, Jimmy has major control issues and hits other kids because we have no boundaries in our house. I also often bribe him with sugar just so he will leave me alone for 20 minutes while I cry in the closet. Not to mention I hate my husband, and Jimmy looks just like him so I sometimes get irrationally angry just looking at his face.” It is much easier to just be like “Jimmy has had a strong will since he was a baby. It is just who he is.”

    It we hold ourselves responsible for all the goodness in our children, we have to be equally responsible for the bad. Yet I don’t think that is giving them enough credit, nor the variety of other influences they are exposed to.

    Maintaining this level of attachment to our kids as ambassadors for ourselves because puts excessive pressure on the relationship. How many adults continually trying to appease their parents rather than finding their own path? A lot. “I am going to be a lawyer just like you daddy… even though inside I just want to design costumes for figure skaters.” Our children aren’t our possessions; we are merely the stewards of their development.

    As a parent, I want the best for my child but that can’t mean wanting her to be the best reflection of me. Maybe the best for her will be to live in a cave subsisting on plankton while contemplating cloud formations. I won’t know unless I let go of the idea that my kid is an echo of me. Any motivation for interfering with her behavior can’t be so she makes me look good, but because that is the best way for her to learn how to be a good person with a fulfilling life.

    Sasha and Malia are the daughters of the president. They are also their own people trying to understand their place in the world.They cannot be held accountable as white house diplomats for our public viewing pleasure, nor should they bear the burden of their dad’s reputation. We have to stop treating kids as commodities of their parents, and more like evolving creatures they are, with a variety of inspirations to contend with. As parents, the less ownership we feel over our children, the more honestly we’ll experience since our egos and agendas won’t blind us.

    Besides… considering the Sasha and Malia are 13 and 16, I am pretty sure they are mature as shit. If my dad was president and I was a teenager in the White House, that press conference would have been a whole different scene.

    First of all, I would have been stoned out of my mind. Not only would my eyes be as blood shot as Vince Vaughn on a Sunday morning, I would also be munching brownies with my mouth open while staring off into nothing and giggling randomly. When my dad tried to engage me to participate in this absurd American tradition, I would have gone on a 15-minute diatribe about the mass murder of millions of turkeys and described in detail the process of their slaughtering. Then the ecstasy I took would kick in, and I’d probably dry hump the turkey while mumbling about how politics is a cover up to maintain financially tyranny over the world via private banking systems and endless wars. I would then scream, “I hate you Dad! No one understands me,” collapse in a pile of my own sweaty vomit, and cry because I was really hormonal at 16.

    obama-girls-blog-(i)

    December 1, 2014 • Current Events, Musings, Parenting, Political Banter • Views: 2161

  • PLEASE Don’t Influence My Kid!!!

    Children are very impressionable beings.  They are like little sponges, soaking up information, and smelling like mildew.  They watch everyone around them, and are influenced deeply by the behavior that they are exposed to.  Kids are still forming their personalities and interests, and are susceptible to a variety of stimuli.  And that is exactly why sending The Munch off to school terrifies me.

    I mean it could be way worse.  We live in the cuntree and The Munch goes to a sweet school where they give pinecones gender-neutral names, and make moss-flavored millet bread.  All these kids are pretty sheltered and non-threatening.  It is not like at my Montessori school that I went to in Boston where a little girl told me I was adopted and my parents didn’t love me, and some boy tried to finger-bang me while I was wearing a skirt and he was lying on the floor beneath me pretending to nap.  The Munch’s life seems way more innocent than that.  But I still have a lot of fear of how deeply she will be impacted by the kids around her and wanting to fit in and make friends.

    When I pick up The Munch from school I have these glimpses to observe how she relates to other kids, and how those kids relate to each other.  The Munch is about a year and a half younger than her best friend Hazel, and all the other girls about two years older.  So she is definitely the baby of the girls, and that really freaks me out.  I remember how much I looked up to older girls when I was young, and how I wanted to be just like them.

    As I watch these kids it is almost like they try on different ways of being, like coats.  One little girl will have her hand on her hip and tell another she is not talking to her now.  Then that little girl will do the same thing to another kid.  They aren’t great thespians yet, so it is still pretty obvious and easy to distinguish between kids being their authentic selves, and when they are imitating behavior they have witnessed.  You can see them acting out something they saw, and then figuring out if it works for them, or how good it feels.  They may not like the feeling of being rejected, but enjoy the power of rejecting someone else.

    As we age we imitate and copy less, but there are still many ways we are influenced by each other – it is just subtler.  Even though I think I know myself and have a strong personality, I am still mutable.  I am slightly different around every person I am with, and also pick up on the ways of my friends.  It is not like I am a rigid being who is the same around everyone, but I am porous and allow the different energies to seep in and out.

    I can’t stop The Munch from being swayed by the kids around her, although maybe I wish I could have kept her in a box and delayed it.  But this is an inevitable consequence of socialization and living in a community.  It was bound to happen at some point, so I guess now is as good a time as any. Even if she wasn’t at school The Munch would still be exposed to some shit.

    The other day at the park there were these two little girls playing, and one of them grabbed a stick and pretended she had a dick and was pissing with it.  Then the other little girl started grabbing it, and they were both pulling at the dick. They then started making farting noises, bumping their rear ends, and pretending to fart into each other’s butts. You know I am all for some good fart and dick jokes, but then they started wrestling hard core, and one of them pinned the other and started looking down her pants.  And Munch was watching the whole thing saying “aren’t they funny Mamma?”

    The only thing I can do is talk to her about what she sees and analyze it together.  If we witness a kid acting out, we discuss it.  How the kid may have felt, how their mommy felt, and how she felt about seeing it.  I also try to notice when The Munch is acting like someone else and call her on it.  I tell her I know that she saw little Brian spitting, but that doesn’t mean that it is okay for her to do it.

    In the end I guess the truth is that we are the company we keep, so maybe the best strategy for parenting is the classic “raised by pack of wolves.”

    don't-influence-my-kid-blog-(i)

    September 20, 2013 • 3 years old, Behavior, Disciplining, Education, Mommy Mind, Musings, Parenting • Views: 850

  • 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!”

    why-have-to-be-told-no-perfect-blog-(i)

  • My Child is a Shaman

    We all have an inner voice.  Mine perhaps is more outer than most, but my belly button is an innie so it all evens out.  Unless you have hyper-conditioned your mind to speak only affirmations, chances are your internal dialogue is quite critical.  Mine is telling me, “that was a stupid sentence, and you are always wordy, and write too many run-ons, and your skin is looking grey, and your hair is stringy, and there you go with those run-on sentences again you big poopy face dumb-dumb.”

    Some people are more sadistic to themselves then others.  Self-abuse is never okay because it can make you go blind, or grow hair on your palms.  At least that is what I was told.  I have a friend who is a lovely talented angel from another dimension of perfection, but she is always ripping herself apart – which is gross and makes stains.  The story she tells herself of her life does not honor her ability or accomplishments.

    Today she was lying on my bathroom floor, going down a spiral of negativity, and feeling really down.

    Toni: “Munch, should we go check on Bridget to see if she is okay?”

    Munch: “Okay… Mamma she is on the floor!”

    Toni: “I know Munch!”

    Munch: “Is she okay? Is she feeling sick?”

    Toni: “Yes Munch, she is feeling sick.”

    Munch: “She is sooo sick and she is on the floor?  What’s the matter with her?”

    Toni: “I don’t know Munch… what do you think she is sick with?”

    Munch: “Ummmm I think she is sick in her mouth.”

    Isn’t that so insightful?  I have never complained about my mouth being sick, and really don’t think The Munch was reenacting some ailment she has witnessed.  She came up with that out of her own intuition.  And I think she is completely right.  We too often tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough.  The inner-dialogue harshly condemns more than it expresses positivity and self-love.

    The Munch is a wise sage.  A shaman if you will… because maybe we are all a little sick in our mouths.

    (Look! Munch did our make-up! Don’ we look amazing!?”

    shamen-blog-(i)

     

    March 22, 2013 • 2nd Month, Baby Brain, Mommy Mind, Musings, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1727