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Toddler Thoughts
Category

  • 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

  • Politics Make me Want to Puke, Pee, and Poop (Explaining Voting to My Child)

    Okay… so the GOP swept the house and senate. That happened. I do not consider myself a democrat because I believe corporate interests also control them, but at least there is progressive pressure on their asses – you know, being donkeys and all. From a foreign policy perspective both parties prioritize profit, war, and oil – but when it comes to domestic social services there will be a tangible impact by a republican ruled legislative branch of government. Considering I was thinking of gay-marrying medical marijuana and then aborting our baby for stem cell research to save the lives of immigrant children displaced by global warming catastrophes before attending a rally to raise taxes for atheist convicted felons to stay off death row – things are looking pretty grim.

    I want to be hopeful, but in truth I just want to puke, pee, and then poop. In that order, because if I pooped, peed, and then puked, the puking would be infinitely extended by the existing contents in the toilet. You can poop on puke, but you cannot puke on poop. Sorry I am not sorry about all those visuals.

    Yesterday when going to vote, I tried to explain politics to The Munch. Yeah fine she is only four, so her understanding of government is limited. Yet at the same time she is not that much different than many of the voting adults. Munch isn’t exactly “informed” about the complexity of the issues, but she has emotional reactions regardless. It is not like the vast majority of Americans are talking about the long-term impact of sanctions in Iran, or the fact that the US is currently involved in 134 wars. The discussion isn’t about the petrol dollar, and how the entire US economy is dependent on a scam to trade oil in the US dollar despite our inflating the value. People don’t vote because of vast research, they more likely vote because of party lines or passionate triggers.

    It is not that people are dumb; it is more that the information is hidden behind rhetoric or a misinformed media that is beholden to advertising dollars. Digging for the truth through conspiracy theories about lizard people ruling the planet to harvest human blood for the Palidian elite takes time. Also, it is confusing what to do even when you do spend ample time educating yourself on the ins and outs of the belly button of bureaucracy. It is not that I fancy myself a political analyst; I just know I am being lied to, and the main agenda is money/power.

    So here is my conversation with Munch trying to explain the importance of voting… I think she gets it.

    Munch: Why are we stopping here? What are we doing?
    Me: We have to go vote.
    Munch: I don’t want to go vote. I want to go home and get in my cozy bed.
    Me: So do I. But we have to vote because it is important.
    Munch: What is voting?
    Me: Well you know how we live in New Hampshire? There are these people that we vote into office that we think will best represent our interests.
    Munch: I don’t get it.
    Me: Well, you know how we have laws and rules of conduct? Well, there is a system that dictates this. We vote for people to make decisions about what we can and cannot do, and what we can and cannot get. They also figure out how we interact with other states, and even countries. Basically, the people we vote into office have power over the way we do things. They have the power because they decide where the money goes.
    Munch: Why do we want people to have power? I don’t get it.
    Me: Well, it is a way of organizing ourselves so there is order to humanity. We vote people into power, and they make decisions that affect all of our lives – but that way we can just live our lives and not have to worry about making those decisions.
    Munch: I don’t get it. Why don’t we just all take care of each other rather than people having power?
    Me: I don’t get it either.
    Munch: I have to poop.
    Me: Me too.

    politics-poop-blog-(i)

  • Enter into MY reality Bitch!

    When someone is an asshole to me, my initial reaction is usually “Wow you really suck salty scrotums. I hope you choke on sperm chunks so hard it comes out your nose, dribbles down your face and back into your mouth.” It’s easy to assume that rude conduct is indicative of a rude human. It can be challenging to distinguish between the behavior and the person when someone is energetically, metaphorically, or physically crapping in your mouth. Yet just because someone is acting like a dick doesn’t mean they are one.

    Dealing with humans can still be exhausting! At any given moment we might be contrarian, mildly antagonistic, or moderately unreasonable. When I can’t relate to the person I’m with, all I want is to shake them like a British nanny until they are living in my reality. What is wrong with you and your crazy fucking thoughts!!?

    I had an epiphany the other day about relationships. I was listening to this podcast about people with Alzheimer’s and how to best relate to them. The prevailing thinking has been when Grandma makes statements inconsistent with “reality,” she should be corrected. “Grandma, this is your home now”, or “That is your grandson,” or “don’t eat that- it’s a book.” Yet now research suggests instead of talking Alzheimer’s patients out of their reality, we should enter into it. If Grandma says she sees monkeys out the window, we should tell her her how much we hope they come inside and run around. In other words, embrace her reality.

    Profound, right? Even more so when considering how this approach is is applicable to all people. We all construct narratives in our heads to make sense our realities and when people challenge them, we often go on the defensive. NO MAN, STOP TELLING ME YOUR REALITY. THIS IS MY REALITY!! Instead of projecting our realities onto others, why not embrace theirs?

    When I have an issue with someone, I usually focus on how they make me feel. What if I turned that around and deeply considered how the other person feels? I tried this with The Munch recently to see if it might an effective strategy when she is being a total fuckface… I mean faintly challenging.

    We were getting ready in the morning and I told her we had to go to her hippy doctor so she could get her wandering eye poked at with crystals and sage or whatever.

    Munch: I don’t want to go today. I just want to go to Debbie’s house.
    Toni: But I made the appointment already. It’s too late to cancel so we are going.

    We went downstairs to eat breakfast and The Munch’s mood turned to shit. She was cranky, yelling, and eventually threw her shoe in the sink while I was doing dishes. I wanted to throw my shoe at her damn face at after that, but instead I tried to enter her reality instead.

    Toni: Munch, what is going on with you? Is something wrong? I think you know better than to throw your shoe. Can you tell me what is going on?
    Munch: I really don’t want to go to the doctor today. Sometimes it hurts and I don’t want to get my eye adjusted. I just want to go to Debbie’s house.

    I can work with that. In all fairness, she had made a request that I didn’t listen to, so she was upset. I can understand why it is hard for her to have to go to the doctor and get prodded and she didn’t want to deal. It’s not like I am going to acquiesce to her every time she doesn’t want to do something, but I felt compassion for her in that moment.

    I went to Munch’s hippy doctor instead and it was AWESOME! She fixed my ankle that had been hurting for months. WIN for ME!

    Poor Munchee and her eyepatch

     

    reality-blog-(i)

  • Does Always Wanting More Make you An Addict?

    The problem with good things is that they leave us wanting more. If I have a bite of delicious cake … I want more. I have some good sex…I want more. I try some amazing pure Columbian cocaine…I want more. The nature of pleasure is to desire more, more, and more of it.

    Part of being an adult is learning to moderate the seduction of indulgence. We are expected to find balance because we have the foresight to understand that too much of a good thing is actually bad. Too much food destroys your heath. Too much sex gives you bumpy rashes. Too much drugs can kill you. Understanding boundaries is part of growing up. The alternative is to end up an addict.

    The thing with kids is they don’t get it. They have no concept of time, so rationalizing the limitation of a certain behavior because of future consequences is futile. I can tell my kid “Look, if you eat all that chocolate you are going to feel sick and shit your brains out later.” Her response will always be “I don’t care.”  It is up to me to moderate her intake, because left to her own devices The Munch just doesn’t give a fuck.

    I’ve tried letting The Munch totally indulge, so she could do a little soul searching on this subject. The prevailing logic was that she would realize for herself the results of excessive behavior, and consider the impact the next time she is faced with temptation. Yeah. No. That really didn’t work. Saying to my four year old “Remember last time when you ate too much ice cream and felt really sick,” only resulted in yet another “I don’t care.”  Whatever memory of the ice cream tummy ache from the past held no power over the delicious taste of ice cream in the present. I guess The Munch is very Buddhist because she only exists in “the now,” but the awareness of past or future effects is a pivotal part of learning restraint.

    The Munch is relentless in her quest for more of everything. She is never satisfied and this is annoying as fuck. She will make a promise like “Mom, let me watch something. I will only watch one episode of My Little Pony I promise. Then you can turn it off and I won’t fuss.” So I let her because I trust her* (*want to get away from her) but when her stupid neon colored show is over, The Munch immediately says, “okay just one more. I PROMISE!”

    While I admire The Munch’s commitment to negotiation, everything becomes a battle because of her inability to be content with what she just had. She will literally be eating a cookie while asking for another. I will be like “Dude, you don’t need to double fist cookies. Just relax and appreciate what you got!” But then she will start crying because I won’t give her another cookie WHILE SHE IS STILL EATING THE FIRST FUCKING COOKIE.

    Here is my dilemma. I can’t tell if The Munch’s excessive wanting “more” of everything is a result of her age or a precursor to a struggle that she will battle with for the rest of her life. I don’t want my kid to grow into an adult with an addictive personality. That is how you end up in back allies doing things you really regret. And is a hard thing to overcome. It is difficult for me to distinguish between normal kid shit, and the makings of a person who is going to beat up old ladies to steal money for blow. It is a fine line, my friends.

    Munch: Mamma, can I bring two lollipops to the beach?

    Toni: No Munch.  One is enough.

    Munch: But what if I want another one? Let’s just bring two just in case.

    Toni: Munch, that is excessive. You don’t want to feed that part of your soul. We all crave more, but it is pivotal to know your limits. Being greedy is a detrimental trait because you will never be satisfied, nor truly appreciate anything. Be grateful for what you have. You are so lucky and have so much abundance in your world.

    Munch: Okay how about I eat one lollipop now, and we bring the other one for later.

     

    more-blog-(i)

  • 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)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Eavesdrop

    When The Munch plays pretend, she often talk to herself. She comes up with characters to act out scenarios. The murmurs of her banter is endearing. I love when she happily plays by herself, content in her own imagination while creating a world through the dialogue of her dolls. It is one of the most peaceful moments of motherhood that soothes my soul.
    Ummm… yeah.The truth is, I haven’t been listening that carefully to what Munch’s characters are actually saying.
    The other day I brought The Munch with me to my dance studio while I took a ballet class. She had her back to us and was completely lost in her own universe. Our presence was totally inconsequential — The Munch was committed to her own reality.
    Here’s the thing about sound.When you have loud music on, it drowns out all other noise. Yet when said loud music is turned off, all other noise is amplified in the silence. In this case, when the song ended and the teacher was momentarily thinking about the next exercise, the sound of Munch’s voice echoed throughout the room.
    At first we all looked at each other and said with our eyes “awwww how sweet… the little girl is playing pretend.”  Then the actual words coming out of her mouth became clear.
    Munch: You go over here Mamma because I am going to put you in jail. Then I am going to stomp on your face if you don’t give me all the jellybeans I want. Go in jail right now and stay there forever and ever for 100 years and I am never going to let you out!! And then I might KILL YOU!

    eavesdrop-blog

     

  • Doing Stuff For Yourself Sucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    earrings-blog-(i)

  • Private Acts In Public Spaces

    I have a thing with public bathrooms. They really gross me out. If I am going to use one, I hover over the seat like a helicopter. My thighs burn from the squatting position during the time it takes for various substances to evacuate my body.

    When my kid needs to use a public facility, I use toilet paper to create a crown for her. Even then, her hands end up touching the seat and the back of her shins will make contact with the bottom part of the potty. It is really hard not to get anal about all the germs coating the latrine. If you are going to be anal anywhere, it might was well be in the John.

    So the other day The Munch and I were at the beach and rather than peeing outside in the woods like a normal person, she insisted on going to the porta-potty. This was my worst nightmare. I had coffee that morning, which is a rare thing for me, so not only was I high as fuck, I was on edge and full of anxiety.

    Toni: Dude, I really don’t want you going in there. Just pee over here – behind the bush.
    Munch: No Mom! I want to just use the potty.
    Toni: Munch it is so gross in there. Just lets go over here… and pee outside.
    Munch: MOM!
    Toni: Okay fine. But let me take your leotard off out here.
    Munch: Why are you doing it out here? What are you doing?
    Toni: I don’t want you to get your clothes all gross in there.
    Munch: Mom, now I am naked.
    Toni: Its fine. Okay… so I am going to just hold you up over the potty, and dangle your butt over the seat.
    Munch: Uhhhhhhh okay.
    Toni: Here we go… now pee.
    Munch: Mom is the pee going in the potty, I feel it dripping down my legs?
    Toni: Yes it is. Sorry… let me change the angel. Is that better?
    Munch: Mom, you are really freaking me out right now.
    Toni: Listen… it is just better this way. Trust me.
    Munch: Mom, I really don’t like the way you are acting.
    Toni: You are going to thank me later when you don’t have someone else’s pee on the back of your thighs… just your own.

    (I mean… would you want to bring that leotard into a porta potty??)

    porta-potty-blog-(i)

    August 7, 2014 • 4 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Parenting, Pee & Poop, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 1566