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  • Nothing My Kid Does Impresses Me

    I have a serious complex I am going to admit. When I was a kid, my parents never took me to extra curricular classes, and I still feel slighted. My mom claims she brought me to ballet once, but I wasn’t into it so she was like “screw it.” Ummm mom, you were supposed to pressure me to excel regardless and become my “momager!” DIDN’T YOU LOVE ME ENOUGH TO DESTROY ME??

    I guess my mom did sign me up for tennis in the summers, but she didn’t bring me to the clinics to watch me. She just pointed to my bike and said, “The court is 2 miles that way.” When I played sports throughout school my parents NEVER came to my games, and I was always that kid with no one in the stands to cheer them on. Are you crying for me yet!!? Although I am obviously still working out some PTSD and deep-rooted resentment issues – I also totally get it.

    That shit is as boring as a dry fuck hole.

    However, in reaction to my upbringing I have enlisted The Munch in a variety of classes. She takes both dance and gymnastics twice a week, and now wants to play hockey as well. Theoretically I am very supportive of this. I want to expose Munch to a variety of artistic and physical outlets to learn skills. But… I also have been doing everything I can to avoid being the one responsible for bringing her to such events. If I can get someone else to do it, you bet your sweet ass that is what is happening.

    The obvious problem is I am selfish about my extra curricular time and want to work on my creative projects as much as possible. You guys, stop judging me. I am almost done with my movie about queefs, and it’s going to be amazing! My other issue is that I am excessively critical and hardly impressed by anything.

    BEFORE YOU THINK I AM AN ASSHOLE – IT IS NOT MY FAULT!! Have you seen the Internet lately?? Kids are amazing out there!! There are babies who breakdance, a 4-year old who is a top fashion designer at J-Crew, and a fetus that kicks ass at basketball. I have seen so much talent out there in the interwebs that my kid’s cartwheel seems just kinda meh.

    DON’T WORRY OKAY! I keep this all to myself and tell Munch her handstands are outstanding even though her alignment is off. She will get there I know… because I will MAKE her practice until she does, but that is beside the point. For what it’s worth, Munch’s gymnastics teacher sees potential in her, but all I see is a kid who hasn’t mastered the front walkover.
    impressive-blog-(i)

    January 21, 2015 • 4 years old, Education, Health, Mommy Mind, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1783

  • Is Life Really That Different?

    Vacations used to be comprised primarily of ecstasy, alcohol, flirtation, and hazy memories. I danced in a foam pit non-ironically, got lost in the Red Light district of Amsterdam for six hours while high and gazing at prostitutes in the windows wondering if I had seen the one with the sad eyes wearing crotchless panties before. Once I even pitched a tent on a German highway because my boyfriend and I had no idea where we were. Okay, it was after a huge festival but it was super dark out!

    The complexity of my life now is that it is really hard to abandon my responsibilities and give myself a true break. There are endless obligations lurking in the background of my brain, relentlessly reminding me of all the shit I need to get done. Then of course there is my inbox – bottlenecking with messages from people wanting, needing, and bossing me around. When I finally checked Gmail this morning there my computer was pleading, “I am so constipated!!! Free me from the burden of holding all these in!” Whatever escapism I was experienced when I was young and dumb, has been marred by the presence of technology.

    Vacations are no longer a break from life, where I get to push the limits of my consciousness and abuse my liver to the point of near failure. They have a very different texture these days. For one, my kid is on vacation from school so that means I have to be with her all day. Sorry –I mean I “got” to spend time with my darling angel during these fleeting precious years of her childhood. Although theoretically The Munch would totally rock out while dancing on a bar until four am, taking a four-year old to da’club is pretty much frowned upon. Instead, I have to do “kid appropriate” activities that don’t include experimenting with hallucinogens and Ambien.

    Most of my time spent with her is between “the schedule” of what is planned. We go from this place to that, I make her food, and we go to bed. There is less down time where I actually have to figure out what to do with her. Of course I love my kid, but it’s not like I have that much in common with her. I guess we both like eating cookies and laughing at farts but The Munch never wants to talk about the police state, she doesn’t care about Monsanto, and she doesn’t think she needs feminism.

    I think a key element to having a healthy relationship with your child is developing common interests. If there are things you enjoy doing together, then you have outlets which you both enjoy. Of course there are times when I can get down with playing “princess-queens who are sisters with magical powers that conquer the mountain and hide in a special cave of diamonds while turning all the babies into ladybugs,” but unless I am going to become a pothead again, my imagination is only so fertile.

    The one thing Munch and I can do for hours and hours while both being happy is listening to pop music while practicing handstands. We do have a couple debates going however. For one – auto tune. We discussed for over an hour about how all her favorite singers use auto tune and what that is doing to the music industry. The Munch thinks auto tune is “cheating,” but still likes those songs better than the Indigo Girls, whereas I believe our ears are being trained towards falsity which could have lasting impact on our neurology.

    We are sorting out her feelings on hip-hop music. Munch isn’t into men rapping because she doesn’t like boys, but she will listen to Biggie Smalls and Eminem when there are girls singing on the tracks. This feels like a decent compromise, because I figure there is still time to get her into Mob Deep and The Pharcyde. We do both agree that music should be listened to so loudly that you can both feel the vibration in your bones but not hear your own voice while singing along.

    So come to think of it… maybe life isn’t so different after all? Chicks hanging from ceilings and shit…

    vacation-blog

    January 5, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1435

  • 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)

    met-my-match-blog-(i)

  • The Magic Christmas Tree

    My favorite part of Christmas is the tree. The etymology of this symbol is rooted in ancient traditions of celebrating mid-winter by bringing nature inside to honor her glory. I like to fancy myself a pagan moon goddess who worships mother Gaia with my sacred dances of the primal birth while howling ageless rhythms into the ebony night sky… so I am totally down with the vibe.

    Even though I am technically an adult… I don’t have “adult-like” things – such as Christmas ornaments. Last year my mom had kindly given me some, which then lived in the back of my car until August, and that I smartly put away somewhere I can’t find…. THEY ARE OUT THERE MOM SO DON’T BITCH AT ME OKAY?!

    When we brought home the tree for Munch, she was irrationally excited – as she should have been because holy fuck there is a tree inside the house!!!! I did have lights, thank the universe… so I am not a total failure… but then Munch wanted to decorate the tree.

    Toni: Well… I can’t find the ornaments that Manna gave us… so… but I will probably find them tomorrow? We can do it then okay?
    Munch: But I really want to decorate the tree today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have those ornaments that Gramma gave me!?
    Toni: Okay cool! Lets use those!

    So then we had 3 ornaments on the tree….

    Munch: We need more things to decorate with!
    Toni: Well, like I said… we don’t have any more Christmas ornaments so…
    Munch: That is okay! We can just find stuff around the house!! Let’s look for things that have a hook! Or a loop or whatever!

    The Munch and I then went on a scavenger hunt looking for stuff we could decorate the tree with. And you know what?? You would be surprised by how much stuff you have laying around that is perfect for a Christmas tree! We used about 6 of my necklaces, a Hawaiian lei, a wool sock I tied a string around….

    If you take a step back, our tree is just as beautiful as any tree out there – it is only when you look up close that you would say “wait… is that a pot holder?”

    (Kids really are creative, awesome, and better than us in every way… )
    xmas-tree-blog-1

    xmas-tree-blog-2

  • Just Another One of My Total Failures – No Big Deal

    Do you ever have those moments where you are like, “Wow… I am really embarrassed that just happened. Thank the universe no one was here to witness this totally humiliating experience. I pray this information never gets out because I don’t think I need to be judged on this complete failure.” Yeah… well I had one of those over the weekend and I am going to share it with you because I don’t know why…

    I feel like some context is in order. So I have been a “sober” person now for almost 6 years – which is a really really long time for a person like me who loves not being sober. Then last summer I dabbled in drinking coffee – which soon became the best time of my life because it got me high as fuck. My system was so pure from the absence of outside influences that caffeine was like meth. FUCKIGN AWESOME. But after about 2 months I had to quit. It got too intense, and my afternoon crashes were ugly – like its 5 am and your coke dealer won’t call you back so you tape over all your windows so to never face the sun again kind of ugly.

    A year went by, I was coffee-free, and all was good. Then a few weeks ago, I said to myself “Don’t be such an extremist Toni. You can do this. 95% of the adult population does this. You can drink coffee if you want. Just have it 4 days a week… Monday – Thursday, when you have the most work. Then don’t drink any for the next 3 days so you don’t become an addict… or so you don’t dull the high of Monday by getting too used to it…” Good thinking right!!?? Don’t create a dependency in order to still feel the potency of the effects! I should totally be a drug counselor right? “Listen, if you do heroine every day, it will lose its effectiveness – so instead doing it casually every few days for maximum impact.”

    What I didn’t anticipate was how hard the days would be without the coffee. Friday through Sunday I would be pushing through in this total state of “blahness” – unable to find my mojo. There was no meaning, no joy, nothing to kick start my morning into a frenzied state of productivity. I was existing, not living. Am I being a dramatic you say? NO I AM FUCKING NOT!!

    Now here is the thing about spending the day with a kid… or at least my kid. If I am in a good mental place, I can handle pretty much anything she throws at me. The more self- possessed I am, the better I can manage the complexity of my child’s moods. Although it might sound cliché or corny, taking caring of myself is the number one effort of social activism I can partake in. When I am truly centered and in control of my emotional being, I can handle the chaos of existence with grace. Yet when I am experiencing my own inner turmoil, it is easier for me to do things I later regret.

    The times that I handle The Munch with maturity and embody the model of behavior I want her to live up to, then I can feel like I am doing a decent job as a parent. Yet when I am fragile and too easily influenced by The Munch’s emotive state, those are the instances I am not exactly a “good example.”

    So this is what happened… We were at her swing set, and Munch wanted me to make her baby doll act frustrated. Part of me was like “yeah I guess I could do that…” but this other part of me was like “entertain yourself by swinging on your swing kid.” Like I said before, I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind from the coffee detox, and sometimes you just want your child to deal with their own life and not have to be their damn clown.

    Toni: Munch, why don’t you just swing for a bit and let Mamma stare off into the nothingness contemplating the futility of existence for a bit.
    Munch: No Mamma, don’t do that! Make the baby act frustrated!
    Toni: Fine…. What should she be frustrated about?
    Munch: Just make her act frustrated!!
    Toni: Dude, this isn’t “Improv 101!” I need some direction or something to go on. What do you want the baby to be frustrated about???
    Munch: MOM JUST MAKE THE BABY ACT FRUSTRATED!!!

    Ummm so that is where I got frustrated myself… and threw the baby. NOT AT MUNCH MIND YOU… I just threw the doll high up in the air, and she landed with a thud by Munch’s feet. Now this was a confusing moment for us both. I didn’t hit Munch with the baby because I am a coordinated person who knows how to land a shot if I wanted, but I did fling the baby in Munch’s overall direction. Albeit it was a lob, to throw a baby is a little… ummmm… juvenile.

    Munch looked at the baby, then at me, down at the baby again, and once more at me. I was pretty ashamed by my actions, but tried to blow it off to save face.

    Toni: Mamma, just threw the baby huh?
    Munch: Yeah… good thing it didn’t hit me…
    Toni: Yeah… Mamma is pretty silly right??

    Munch wasn’t buying it. She then also remembered that I never made the baby frustrated. The culmination caused Munch to be quite angry with me, so she took off her Minnie Mouse shoe, and threw it at my head.

    Doink!

    It was a perfect shot. We were both equally surprised because Munch normally doesn’t have the best aim… but this throw would have gotten her into the major leagues.

    A number of things were going threw my mind at this point. Number one was, “Holy fuck my kid just threw a Minnie Mouse shoe at my head!!!” Then of course, “well I did just throw a baby… BUT I DIDN’T hit her!!”

    I really didn’t know how to react or what to say. I needed a minute to sort all this out, so I kept quiet, got up calmly, and left to go inside. I stood in my kitchen and did what any normal person would do when faced with a dramatic conflict – I started doing the dishes and talking to myself. “Listen Toni, you have to redeem myself as an adult who acts with rationality and not emotional impulse. You are the grown up. You can do this!” After about five minutes The Munch came in looking for me.

    Toni: Munch, I am really angry with you for throwing a shoe at my head.
    Munch: Well… you should have ducked.

    (Although not the apology I was looking for, that is some pretty flawless logic)

    shoe-throwing-blog-(i)

  • Does Pain Have to Be So Dramatic?

    I don’t understand why when kids cry; they have to cry so damn loud. There is always a wail beneath their weeping that makes the whole incident an event you are forced bear witness to. Trying to talk over a crying child is like whispering to an 80’s punk band musician during a car alarm. Nothing is going to get heard.

    Kids also cry a fuck of a lot. Especially when they hurt themselves. When children are in physical discomfort, their bellows have a density that is unparalleled. It is not that I can’t understand the need to express your emotions when faced with agony, but why at such an intense decimal?

    When The Munch hurts herself, she suddenly has the vocal capacity of an opera singer with an elephant lung transplant. If I am being real with you, it can get annoying. I am not a monster, so of course I hug her while she is processing the pain – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck having someone screaming inches from your ear. I am not saying that she isn’t suffering, but does she have to suffer so dramatically?

    You guys… it is not my fault I am like this. I was raised in New England, by WASP’s. We don’t talk about silly things like emotions. When I felt a feeling, like coldness, I would never express my penetrating discomfort – I would just get a mild case of frostbite because it “builds character.” That was how you did things. As much as I want to be sensitive to The Munch’s despair, it is also sometimes hard for me to patiently tolerate the theatrics.

    The other day Munch and I went on an adventure to this kid’s extravaganza that involved the stories of Roald Dahl. I don’t really get what was going on, but there were girls dressed like oompa loompas and what else did I really need to understand? We went with a bunch of our friends, so after 3 minutes of being there I was already overwhelmed by the variety of needs demanded from the variety of children who surrounded me. I told Munch and her friend Hazel to go climb the rocks so I could have a moment to watch the rain fall on my head and travel down my cheeks like the tears of failed dreams.

    As the weather got more extreme, I watched the girls sliding down the slippery rock, and knew some shit would go down.

    The Munch lost her footing, slipped down the rock, and then landed on her knees on another rock. I am not going to say it wasn’t a digger. It was. It looked fucked up. She was bleeding, and it bruised immediately.

    Yes she was also freaking the fuck out. At first I was like “yes, yes I understand” like a normal person, but as the minutes ticked on I was kind of like “girl, you got to get over this and moveon.org.”

    The problem when Munch hurts herself is then everything becomes about her “boo boo.” She will be like “I can’t walk because of my boo boo.” Or she will just keep repeating “my boo boo hurts” like the mantra of a stoned monk who forgot what he just said 3 seconds ago. Now we had just driven for 40 minutes to get to this god forsaken kid’s paradise, and there was no way I could deal with the entire evening being textured around her fucking boo boo.

    Munch: Mom… my boo boo really hurts. Will you carry me? I can’t walk. I need you to carry me. My boo boo really hurts mom.
    Toni: Listen dude. We have an entire evening here, and I cannot carry you the whole time because my arms will fall off my body.
    Munch: But my boo boo really hurts mom! Wahhhhhaaaa. WAHHHHHAHHHA!
    Toni: Munch, it’s okay to cry, but can’t you just do it more quietly?
    Munch: But I can’t calm down. It really hurts.
    Toni: I get that it sucks, but that is being a kid. Children fall down Munch. You fall, you scrape your knee, but then you get up and keep going. Life is full of pain. You are going to hurt yourself 1,000 more times. You can’t hide from the pain. The only thing you can do is learn how to deal with it.

    The Munch hobbled along stoically… yet would still occasionally mention the bleeding festering wound on her knee. I of course would respond oh so compassionately with statements like, “I am not sure little girls who complain will get chocolate at the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory station where there is a chocolate fountain to dip your chocolate sticks into.” The Munch would then bravely continue – ever motivated by sugar.

    Then last night, as Karma would have it, I trekked outside to visit my brother around 11 pm. It was very dark, and the clouds covered the slight sliver of moon that would have provided light. I couldn’t really see where I was going so I tripped on a log, bashed my knee, and cut my toe. AND BOY DID THAT HURT!! I just started screaming out into the abyss of the night “Holy fucking mother of Christ!!! God fucking dammit to hell!!” I was so loud that everyone in a one-mile radius could hear me with the clarity of Beats by Dre. When I finally got inside where I could see the damage, there was barley a scrape on my knee, and the slightest cut on my toe. BUT YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I COMPLAINED ABOUT IT!!!

    boo-boo-blog-(i1)

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  • Perfect in Your Imperfections

    When you see a picture of yourself, what is the first thing you notice? If you see a video of you just acting like you, what do you see when staring at your own moving image? Do you think to yourself – “wow, look at that special person, way to go me!” Or do your eyes immediately gravitate to all your imperfections?

    I remember back in the day when there used to be answering machines, the sound of my own voice was more irritating than puking kittens sliding down a chalk board while a tea kettle whistled in the background and a car alarm went off. I couldn’t stand how I sounded, and it was really hard to believe that anyone could tolerate that horrendous auditory assault that came out of my face hole.

    Nowadays, it is too easy to document everything, and see exactly what people see when they look at you all day. So many pictures of myself make me think “holy fuck – that is what I look like when I am not paying attention and staring off into the cosmos? I need to shut my damn mouth and work on that weak chin of mine!” It is hard to remember that people probably aren’t as critical of you as you are of yourself because everyone is too busy thinking of themselves. But still… it is really humbling to come face to face with all the fucked up faces you make throughout any given day.

    I envy the days when it took half a lifetime of sanding sand just to make a mirror. The human mind is designed to pick a part the good and sift out negativity. We are critical by nature, and often our own harshest critics. That is probably why we envy the naivety of children so much. They live in this blissful state of not noticing or caring about the little flaws that seem so detrimental to us. A small child won’t think your tummy is pudgy, but rather see your paunch as comfy pillow. I remember loving the feeling of lying on my dad’s stomach because it was soft, and not rock hard abs jutting into my cheekbone.

    Kids are really oblivious to their own imperfections as well. They run around with chocolate on their face, their hair all fucked up, and not caring that their clothes are covered in snot stains. There is innocence to their lack of awareness. So it has been really challenging to watch how The Munch has to encounter the reality of her flaws because of her wandering eye. Everyday now Munch has to wear her eye patch, so she is forced to remember that something isn’t right about her.

    Munch: Mom I don’t want to wear the eye patch. I HATE wearing the eye patch.
    Toni: I know it isn’t easy. But you have to wear it so you don’t get surgery and the doctor doesn’t have to poke your eye.
    Munch: Will the doctor take my eyeball out?
    Toni: Uhhhh I don’t really know how it works, but it doesn’t look fun.
    Munch: I don’t want the doctor to take my eyeball out.
    Toni: Well, they would put it back in. But that is why you are wearing the patch. So your eye gets strong, and you don’t have to.
    Munch: But why do I have a lazy eye?
    Toni: Because nobody is perfect, and we all have problems.

    Sigh. Even though I know this to be true, it is just hard that she has to be aware so young. I am hoping that this means she will have a higher tolerance and acceptance of herself in the future.

    (Here is mom rocking the patch to make Munch feel better)

    imperfectios-blog-(i)

  • A Culture of Consequences

    How do you motivate people to get them to do what you want? Do you give them an incentive? “Hey, come help me move and I will give you pizza, beer, and make your genitals orgasm.” Do you threaten them? “If you don’t help me move then I am going to shit in your mouth while you are sleeping.” Or do you expect them to do things because it is the “right” thing to do? “Come help me move because you are my friend and I need your assistance.”

    Philosophically we should be kind, thoughtful, and selfless all the time. We shouldn’t do things because we are seduced or emotionally manipulated – but rather out of righteousness and nobility. I want to do good things for goodness sake. Being good should be all the provocation we need to do good.

    Yeah… but people don’t always operate that way. We are all busy, or at least feel busy, and sometimes need prodding.  There is nothing like a jab in the ass to get your attention am I right?

    Theoretically I want to raise my child where she is completely driven by rationality and kindness.  I don’t want to always rely on, yelling, bribing, or arguing to get Munch to do things.  I want there to be some reasonable conversations that lead to making a collective decision about what is best.  I try to plant seeds to remind The Munch that there are consequences she should be aware of – and I am often looking out for her best interests. If you eat too much sugar, your tummy will hurt. If you don’t go to bed, you will be tired and cranky. If you don’t wash your hands after the bathroom, you will get fecal matter on them that will eventually get in your mouth. Although The Munch has an understanding that there are costs to certain actions, that doesn’t mean she always gives a shit.

    Not every request you make with your child can be a 30-minute debate. Sometimes you just want them to do something – like say brush their fucking teeth – and you don’t want to dispute why holes in your teeth is not desirable for the 400th time. There are days when I have the energy to appeal to her rational side, and there are days where I take a short cut and create a consequence if she doesn’t listen.

    Kids are not stupid and they pick up on your strategies. Even though The Munch will comply if I say “If you don’t turn off The Little Mermaid and come take a bath then I won’t let you watch the Little Mermaid anymore” that doesn’t mean she isn’t taking notes.

    Now she is starting to throw this culture of consequences back in my face. When she wants to do something and I say “no” she then creates a consequence to motivate me. Although I have to say, her threats are way more twisted and demented than mine have ever been.

    “Mom, if you don’t let me have a treat then I will rip your face off.”
    “Mom, if you don’t let me watch a movie then I will take your computer and throw it outside in the rain.”
    “Mom, if you don’t let me stay up I will stomp on your toes with my high heel shoes.”
    “Mom, if you don’t bring my baby upstairs then I will take all your clothes, put them in the toilet, and flush it.”
    culture-of-consequence-blog

  • 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.

    so-much-forgiveness-blog-(i)