3 years old

  • The Hell Of High Heel Shoes

    I do not wear high heel shoes. I am already borderline freakishly tall at 5’9” – so I have never needed an extra boost to loom over people to an even more extreme degree. Even barefoot I am taller than most, so my experience with high heels is very limited. When I do try to wear them, I walk like a NBA player in drag. It is not a good look for me.

    But I get why girls like them. They make your legs look sexy, they are sassy, and they perch up your ass like a cat in heat – but the are as uncomfortable as balls in fishnets. I just don’t think they need to be the uniform of all things feminine, and wish they were more of an accent rather than a required statement of fashion. My main issue with heels is that you are so limited in your movement when you wear them. I know Beyonce can rock out her booty banging choreography in them, but you can’t climb a mountain in Manolos.

    I guess I could just be a hater because of my inexperience. When I lived in NYC my main mode of transportation was a skateboard, so I was always sweating and wearing high-tops Adidas – not the traditional chick attire. That didn’t mean I wasn’t going to fancy nightclubs and getting my groove on – I was just like a mythical creature in flat shoes surrounded by gazelles in stilettos. All these girls would be looking hot in their fuck me pumps, but I would be in sneakers, twerking without my feet hurting.

    So as the universe would have it, of course my daughter is obsessed with high heels – BECAUSE WHY THE FUCK WOULDN’T SHE BE!!!?? The Munch has these plastic Cinderella “glass” slippers that she insists on wearing every day, for every occasion. These shoes are the bane of my existence. Every normal kid activity such as running, skipping, jumping off rocks, all are done with caution now because of these goddamn mother-fucking shoes!!!!

    It makes me so depressed because more than anything I want my daughter to be a bad ass and do physical shit. So when she is restricting her abilities because of this binding foot torture, it breaks my heart. Yet The Munch is passionately committed to her heels, as well as proving me wrong that they constrain her.

    Munch: Mamma… I can’t climb up the slide!
    Toni: That is because of those forsaken shoes Munch! I keep telling you those aren’t outside shoes! They are dress up shoes!
    Munch: But I am playing dressing up and I am playing outside!
    Toni: Yeah, but those shoes are just for dressing up inside. They suck as outdoor shoes. That is why I keep buying you other shoes to wear. So you can do all the stuff you want to do.
    Munch: I can still do the stuff I want to do!!
    Toni: Munch, no you can’t if you can’t climb up this slide. Look, take your shoes off.
    Munch: I don’t want to.
    Toni: Please just trust me. Take them off for only a minute.
    Munch: Okay, I will listen to you.
    Toni: Now climb up the slide with your bare feet…. See isn’t that so much easier?
    Munch: Yes, but I can still do it with my high heels. I am going to put them back on.
    Toni: I don’t get it! You just had such an easier time climbing with your bare feet, why would you put them back on?
    Munch: Because I like them!

    There I sat at the top of the slide, watching Munch struggle to climb up with her shitty plastic shoes on. They have no traction on the bottom, so she kept slipping, and slamming her knees. Yet she wouldn’t stop trying. At first we were laughing hysterically because it was so insanely hard for her. Then Munch got super angry that she couldn’t do it, and was basically proving my point. I will also add that I am sure I wasn’t helping by rubbing it in, reminding her just how right I was as she slithered down. So then she ran away, sulked for a while on the rock, and gave me dirty looks.

    Then, as if possessed by ambition, Munch came back with the determination of an OCD ox. And I will be damned she climbed the shit out of that slide.

    I guess if she is going to wear these stupid shoes, at least she is building her upper body strength.

  • You Are Sucking My Will To Live

    From the moment my child opens her eyes in the morning, until she closes them at night, her mouth is flapping at an alarming speed. The Munch has no concept of an “inner monologue” or “private thoughts.” Everything and anything that travels through the synapsis of The Munch’s brain, she feels the compulsion to share.

    The Munch has also developed a lovely tendency of having a constant stream of requests. The tasks are as endless as her imagination. Her key strategy of success is that she is never rude in her excessively demanding behavior. She graciously lets her desires known, and does so relentlessly.

    Munch: Mamma, can you please pass my lamb? Mamma, would you mind getting me some juice? Mamma, could you change my dress for me? Mamma, will you please get my baby from upstairs? Mamma, will you help me look for my headband? Mamma, will you tighten my ponytail five times? Will Mamma… Mamma… Mamma.

    There is a common cliché that boys are physically exhausting where girls are mentally draining. Ummmm yeah. That pretty much sums up my life. So I decided The Munch and I had to have a little chat about all this.

    Toni: Dude, you really have gotten quite demanding of your Mamma?
    Munch: No I haven’t!
    Toni: Munch, all day you are asking me to do stuff for you. Although I appreciate the fact that you ask nicely and are polite, you can’t just tell me what to do all day. Seriously this behavior is sucking my will to live.
    Munch: Sucking your will to live?! Mom, that sounds so silly. Can you please tighten my ponytail 5 times again and then tell me a story, and then make my baby doll talk?


  • A Moral Crisis At The Zoo

    I have purposefully avoided taking my child to the Zoo. Even though I can acknowledge that the agenda of zoos is most likely conservation and cultivating an appreciation for wildlife – I still can’t help but feel that the animals are imprisoned in a purgatory of unimaginable mental desolation. They are trapped in small confined “natural” habitats where humans gawk at them by the thousands, energetically raping them with their expectant eyes. Even the thought of the zoo overwhelms me with grief – the bleak reality that we have destroyed these creature’s territories, and now keep them in jail for our own amusement.

    So when The Munch expressed interest in wanting to go the zoo, I debated telling her all that… and of course adding in a manifesto about poachers and the ever shrinking rainforest – but she just kept insisting that seeing a zebra would be cool. Besides, it seemed like a pretty dark conversation to have with your 3 year old on a a Sunday afternoon.

    My parents had already brought Munch a few days before, and she wanted to go back with all of us to show me the animals. So my mom, dad, Munch and I all went to the zoo, as I grappled with twisting sentiments of not wanting to support this torturous eco system, but also acknowledging that from Munch’s perspective it was pretty amazing to see a panda bear.

    My dad and I are both people who can never enjoy a moment because we are too busy over analyzing and judging. While Munch and my mom could appreciate the experience for what it was, my dad and I kept whispering to each other about the moral conflict. We would then look at people with disapproving eyes and flinch with disgust at those ignorant enough to pound on the glass in hopes for some attention from the unsuspecting spectacle inside. The sad being wondering why every one was looking at them while they were trying to snack on bamboo and scratch their ass. The only solace I had was when my dad reminded me that the trainers probably really loved these animals, and that they all looked like “nice women in khaki shorts.”

    Yet here is the problem with witnessing a wild animal in a contained environment – it takes all the magic out. If I saw a Bengal Tiger out in nature I would shit a golden egg, but at a zoo you are like “yeah, that Komodo dragon is pretty neat, now lets go check out the gorillas.” It is so easy to flip through these beings like old magazines at the dentist. They are too accessible because they are enclosed. You didn’t have to put in any effort to find them, expect for maybe walking through a crowd of people.


  • Dysfunctional Family Moment

    The Munch and I went to visit my parents at their place in DC, and the 4 of us living under the same roof for 4 days was a guaranteed recipe for some dysfunctional family moments. We all have a pervasive controlling personality type, which means every one of us is committed to the idea that our way is the right way. When individual people are convinced of their own righteousness, it is pretty impossible to negotiate within the micro-community.

    For the majority of our time together, we co-mingled with dignity – but that all fell apart the morning when we were leaving. It started because my dad neurotically insisted we leave 2 ½ hours early for our flight, so the morning began in an epic rush to pack and get everything together. I felt like the best strategy was to divide and conquer tasks, so I enlisted my dad to help with breakfast.

    Toni: Dad, can you make Munch some fried eggs for breakfast.
    My Dad: You mean soft-boiled eggs?
    Toni: No… I mean fried.
    My Dad: How about soft-boiled…
    Toni: Okay fine. Munch, can you go down stairs and eat with Baba?
    Munch: NO! I want to eat breakfast with Manna!
    My Mom: But I have to get dressed.
    Munch: But I always have breakfast with Manna. Baba, doesn’t know how to make eggs.
    Toni: Munch, go downstairs and have breakfast with Baba. He makes really good eggs. Dad… can you do that for me now?
    My Dad: (Clickity clack on computer not paying attention to me)
    Toni: (Physically takes computer away)
    My Dad: Hey!!!

    My Dad and Munch go downstairs to make the eggs. I come down a few minutes later as my dad is cracking them open.

    Toni: Dad… those eggs are totally raw.
    My Dad: No there are not! Look, I will eat them. See?
    Toni: Dad, look at all the clear jelly stuff. They are raw.
    My Dad: They are not raw; this is how the Europeans eat them.
    Toni: Dad… no… just no.
    My Mom: Toni don’t be ridiculous.
    Toni: Mom, you are not going to be the one who has to deal with a sick child.
    My Dad: Rocky Balboa ate raw eggs.
    Munch: Mamma, I don’t know if I like these. They are not right.
    Toni: Okay fine. Munch I will fry you some eggs.
    Munch: But I want eggs in the shell.
    Toni: Let me just fry them for you. It will be quicker.
    Munch: But I want eggs in the shell.
    Toni: Jesus Christ. Fine. Mom, where is the pot to boil water?
    My Mom: Everyone out of the kitchen, I will make the eggs.

    Of course my mom’s eggs were only slightly less raw than my dad’s, but I kept my mouth shut…. and we were so early for the plane, we took the shuttle that left an hour before our scheduled flight.


    June 24, 2014 • 3 years old, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2749

  • The Progeny Of A Genius

    My dad is pretty much a genius. He graduated high school at 16, and then got his PHD from Harvard by the time he was 22 years old – where he has been a tenured professor ever since. He speaks 22 languages, and writes a book every year.

    There is no possible way I could ever live up to my dad’s intellectual legacy. His mental prowess rivals only the most elite minds, and he has been able to accomplish more with his brain than I could ever conceive. It is truly humbling to be the offspring of a prodigy because you know from early on you are never going to be able to supersede their vast legacy.

    But… every once in a while, there is a moment of glory. When I can do something that my dad can’t. Like when I was visiting him, and he and The Munch were trying put together a 72 piece Cinderella Lego set.

    My Dad: Ummmm I think this goes here… no… maybe it goes here?? No…. I am not really sure where this goes.
    Munch: I think I need my mom to help us… she is really good at Legos.

    I walked in to the scene and all the Legos were strewn across the floor. My dad was looking quizzically at the box, as The Munch was insisting the tower was in the wrong place, because it didn’t match the image. I knew this was my moment to shine. They don’t come around that often…. so I got to take them when I can!

    I got to work and put together the entire castle in 7 minutes.

    My Dad: Jesus that was impressive. If it were up to me I would have been working on this until 11:30 tonight.

    I guess when your mind is filled with so many genius thoughts, you just don’t have any room left in there for Lego construction.

    lego blog 2lego blog

    June 23, 2014 • 3 years old, Family Drama, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 3333

  • Don’t Laugh At Me

    Obviously there is a huge difference between laughing with someone and at them. One is a mutual act, and the other is almost an emotional attack. When you are laughing at someone, they are not exactly a participant in the process – so they feel left out of the joke. As a practice, I try not to blatantly laugh in someone’s face, but sometimes that is really hard when dealing the unintentional hilarity / insanity of a toddler.

    I feel so badly for doing this. I specifically remember my mom and brother laughing at me when I was a child. They said I made cute faces when I was angry or crying, and it would crack them up. Yet for me, it made my feelings seem invalid. It was humiliating. I would get so irate and resent them deeply. But now I get it. Sometimes a child’s pain is pure comedy.

    I try to have the decency to turn away and pretend like I am not laughing, but there are moments I can’t help myself, and it just bursts out. Take for example when The Munch is totally serious about a subject, but I think what she said was funny. If she does not agree, The Munch gets absolutely livid that I would have the audacity to giggle at her logic.

    The Munch: Mom, can I have a napkin to clean my mouth from the chocolate?
    Toni: But your mouth looks clean. You are fine.
    The Munch: But if I don’t wipe my mouth the bees will come in my mouth because of the sweetness.
    Toni: Haha… no they won’t.
    The Munch: YES THEY WILL!!! (storms of furious).

    Then there are the times when she is having an outright tantrum about something, but the rational behind her fury is so absurd it makes me chuckle.


    (Keep it in Toni… don’t you do it…)



    June 19, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 4153

  • Fucking Forts

    The wonder childhood is truly exhausting, and at times remarkably messy.  Of course you want to honor your kid’s imagination, and cultivate their creativity – yet then you are predominantly responsible for cleaning up their “inspiration.”  Yeah you can make them “help,” but the ratio of comparable productivity is about 187:1.

    Recently The Munch has gotten really interested in building forts.  As much as I know the shit show I am in for when she is determined to erect one, the nostalgia of this concept overwhelms my rational mind.  I distinctly remember the satisfaction of crawling into a pillow fort when I was young, and that sensation of feeling complete in my secret den.  It is this magical moment where you are the master of your own enchanted cavern, and the outside world becomes a distant reminiscence of illusive memories.

    Even though I can relate to the intense satisfaction of crawling into a fort, they fucking suck so hard.  You have to take apart and move furniture, and then find every blanket in the house to be used as “walls.”  Then I get insanely into the complexity of the structure, and The Munch and I argue about construction strategies.  Hey, even if she is going to get me to help, I am going to have a fucking opinion about it okay?!


    June 17, 2014 • 3 years old, Playing • Views: 3016

  • Worth The Sacrifice

    One of the things parents talk about most about their experience raising children is the endless eternal effervescent joy… just kidding. It’s sacrifice. How much you have to give up of your own individual desires for your little ones happiness, security, and wellbeing.

    All the effort you put in on behalf of your kid can sometimes feel thankless. Your child is still just a child, and they don’t really get how much you forgo for them. As far as they are concerned you love waking up at all hours of the night, making grilled cheese sandwiches that are just crispy but not too crispy, and listening to Frozen 89 times a day.

    There are times when The Munch acts like I am put on God’s green earth to serve her. Yeah taking care of her is what I signed up for by birthing her, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments where I am like “put your own damn shoes on,” or long for the freedom I had once upon a time in a kingdom far far away. I love The Munch more than anything ever created, but there is a lot of stuff I can’t do because of her… like take a shit in peace.

    So the other day The Much and I had this conversation that became the catalyst to a truly cathartic moment. I had taken her to the park, and was pushing her the swing – providing about 7 million underdogs for her entertainment. Munch then decided she wanted to push her baby on the swing, so I stood aside and starting spacing out. At the other end of the park, there were these high school kids playing basketball. I was watching them shoot, flirt with each other, and express their overall nonchalance about life. They had no cares in the world besides impressing each other and trying to touch each others butts by “guarding.”

    Munch: What are you thinking about Mamma?
    Toni: Oh… I am just daydreaming.
    Munch: Do you wish you were over there playing basketball?
    Toni: Ummmm sorta….
    Munch: Yeah but you can’t because you have to stay here with me…
    Toni: Well, that is okay. I like being with you.
    Munch: It must be hard. You have to push me on the swing, play with my babies, give me underdogs. And then I sometimes whine and stomp my feet. I also yell when I am frustrated… And I keep asking for more and more underdogs.
    Toni: Ha… that is true.
    Munch: It must be hard having to do all this stuff for me when you want to go play basketball. It is not easy being a mom….
    Toni: (speechless)


  • The Mother F’ing Routine

    Kids are like Rainman about their routines. Once something is done one way, that is how it has to be done until the end of time – or else prepare yourself for a hissy fit that embodies a cat in heat trapped in a sauna. I live in fear of what will be the next compulsion added to the Munch’s habitual expectations of the day.

    It starts like this. The Munch has a request. It may seem simple at the time. So I comply. Sure. You can wear your bathing suit in the bath. Why not? Then suddenly that is the new thing. She won’t take a bath without her goddamn bathing suit because now that is just the way shit is done. And god forbid you can’t find said bathing suit, because even the suggestion of bathing without one sends her into a fit of fury.

    I get it. Its about control, and kids wanting some power over their destiny. They latch onto routine because it calms their anxiety about how much of their life is dictated by the adults who keep telling them what to do. From a philosophical standpoint it makes sense that The Munch is vehemently attached to rituals. But holy fuck is it annoying when I have to wrap her in 5 towels (the green frog on the bottom, then Buzz Light year, followed by the orange one, the other orange one, and then finally topped with the monster) just to get her to brush her damn teeth.

    I try to see it as meditation – doing the same things the same way over and over. All ancient cultures have countless ceremonies that people participated in. It was part of their community, spirituality, and grounding of the self. The mindful practice of repetition was engrained in how humans behaved. But in my modern existence, the only thing I do everyday willingly is watch youtube videos and check Facebook.

    There is something that I resist so much about mundaneness. I know it is all about perspective and blah blah blah… but the tedium of monotony is maddening. Blame it on my ADD, but sometimes I just want to break out of the mold. There are nights were I want to say “fuck stories man, lets play poker instead!” But I guess it makes the Munch feel vulnerable to do things differently. For her, sameness is security. So I do my best to keep things consistent, although sometimes I worry I am enabling compulsive tendencies….


    June 9, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Mommy Mind, Parenting, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 3054