3 years old
Category

  • Corporations Have Brainwashed My Child!

    How committed are you to your politics?  Do you feel like your actions betray your beliefs?  To what extent are you able to actualize your morals when it comes to the value system you espouse?  Am I getting too nosey?  Sorry, I have allergies.

    Before having a kid, I felt like I was pretty committed to my world philosophy.  The basic assumption I operated by was that corporations rule the planet, and our political system is simply a distraction for the bankers / business executives to pillage all earthly resources for their profit – facilitated by politicians allowing themselves to be bought by the capitalism system that drives humanity.  Considering this, I tried to avoid economically participating in this structure.  I refused to buy anything from a major corporation (or subsidiary), lived on a bus that ran on veggie oil to circumvent contributing to the oil economy, and I smoked a lot of pot.

    When I had The Munch, I had a lot of grand ideas of how I would raise her.  My aim was to be The Mother Gaia incarnate, and adorn her with nothing but organic fibers and pukka shells.  When people would gaze upon her they would say, “wow, your child’s flaxseed dress is a beacon of hope – she is obviously fair trade.”  Then I would smile smugly because I would know that I wasn’t only part of the solution, I WAS the solution.

    Yet now that The Munch talks and feels the need to share her opinions, everything has gone to shit.  I have become a total hypocrite… and it all started with Hello Kitty.  I wish I had a legitimate excuse, but the truth is, I guess I just gave up.

    This is how it all started.  There are a lot of things I insist on as a parent.  For one, I have never given The Munch GMO’s.  We live on a farm, she only eats organic, and she HAS to consume at least 2 leafs of kale before she has cookies.  When it comes to food / diet, things have gone as planned. It is not always easy, but we have an understanding.  Yet what hasn’t gone as I anticipated TV / Youtube.

    My initial intention was that I wouldn’t let my child watch anything until she was at least east 6.  Yet when the Munch turned two, I was like “Huh…. You are really annoying sometimes.”  So she started watching stuff when she was sick, or on long car rides.  The more she was exposed to, the more the marketing starting to seep into her psyche just as Bernays (the father of PR / propaganda) wanted.  Her impressionable mind was being taken over by Disney Princesses, Carebears, and Hello fucking Kitty.

    In conjunction with her interests in corporate media, The Munch also has an adamant and controlling nature about her clothes.  Now of course I could force the taupe colored natural fiber cloak on her, but she is old enough to take things off she doesn’t want to wear, as well as exasperating enough to drive me batshit insane.  I cannot tell you how many fights we got into about what outfit she would wear.

    The solution I came up with to avoid this daily drama… Get her Hello stupid Kitty clothes that are made in a sweatshop with pesticide ridden cotton.  I am so ashamed.

    I know I could say to myself, “Hey Toni, you are doing the best you can. You drive a hybrid and care about recycling.”  But I know the truth.  I am a total fraud because it was easy.  Buying everything Hello Kitty was the simplest way to get my kid to wear a raincoat, or change her socks.  I suck.

    So here is my plea to the world.  Hey organic companies – can you stop making all your clothes fucking ecru?  Would it kill you to use pink, or stick a god damn cute animal on your T-shirts?  While you are at it, can you make a cartoon as well? One where the voices are SUPER irritating to further force your brand into her consciousness.  THANKS!

    (Notice the Disney Princess Bandaids stuck on the door)

    corporate-dream-blog

     

    May 14, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Environmental Impact, Family Drama, Parenting • Views: 2375

  • What is Trash?

    Kids ask a lot of hard questions – like how do babies get inside mommy’s tummy, or why do you get to eat cookies for dinner and I don’t?  I have had my fair share of tough conversations with The Munch, but I usually feel somewhat confident with the answer I am giving her.  I may not know everything, but I also know I am always right.

    Then it happened.  My 3-year-old child asked me a question I had no idea how to answer.

    The Munch was helping me clean up the kitchen, and grabbed an empty container of raspberries to throw out.  This may sound extreme, but in my kitchen I have 5 “waste” baskets.  One for glass, plastic, tinfoil/cans, paper, and trash.  They are usually in the same order, but for some reason they got switched around and The Munch almost put the plastic raspberry container in the trash.

    Toni: Oh wait sweetie… that is the trash.  Put that in the one to the left – the plastic bin.

    Munch:  Mom, what’s trash?

    Toni: What do you mean?

    Munch: Like what is trash? What goes in here? The trash one?

    I had NO EFFING CLUE how to answer that question. What the hell is trash?  Shouldn’t we be able to recycle everything?  All discarded food we either compost, or feed to the chickens.  (Unless it is leftover chicken, in which case I give it to my dog to avoid unintentional cannibalism).  What other materials are there besides plastic, aluminum, glass, and paper? I guess there is plutonium, or nuclear waste – but I didn’t have any of those in my trash, so why the fuck was it full?

    Toni: Uhhhhhh trash is stuff you can’t recycle.

    Munch: I don’t understand.  What can’t you recycle?

    Toni: I don’t know. Ummmm.  You know that fuzzy stuff that is in the dryer filter when we do laundry? That weird purpley-grey woolly material I have to peel off that screen? I am pretty sure you can’t recycle that.

    Munch: But that is not the only thing that is in the trash? What else is in there?

    Toni: I guess the stuff you are supposed to be able to recycle but can’t.

    Munch: I don’t get it.

    Toni: Neither do I.

    trash-blog-(i)

     

     

    May 12, 2014 • 3 years old, Environmental Impact, Musings, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2671

  • Talking to My Kid About Gay Marriage

    Munch:  Mamma, lets play with my Little Mermaid dolls.

    Toni: Okay…

    Munch:  You will be Naked Ariel.  I will be Wedding Dress Ariel and Prince Eric.

    Toni:  Why is this Ariel Naked?

    Munch:  Because she used to have tail, but Ursula turned her into a human, so now she is naked.

    Toni: Oh.

    Munch: So you pretend that you are crying because Prince Eric is going to marry the other Ariel wearing the wedding dress.

    Toni:  Waaaahhhhaaa.  Don’t marry Wedding Dress Ariel!

    Munch (as Prince Eric): I am going to marry Wedding Dress Ariel.  Sorry Naked Ariel, but I am going to fly away with Wedding Dress Ariel high up in the sky.

    Toni:  Can I fly away too?

    Munch (as Prince Eric):  No – because you don’t have special powers.

    Toni:  Well can you share some of your special powers so I can fly too?

    Munch (as Wedding Dress Ariel):  No Naked Ariel.  Bye.  We are going to go away now to get married.

    Toni:  But you guys aren’t being very nice.

    Munch (as Wedding Dress Ariel): Well, we are going to get married so you are going to be alone Naked Ariel.

    Toni: Well can’t we all get married?  We could be like one happy family.

    Munch: Well, maybe Wedding Dress Ariel could marry Naked Ariel?

    Toni:  Sure. That sounds like a great idea!

    Munch:  But can two girls get married?

    Toni:  Of course they can!

    Munch:  Oh right.  Of course!  Two boys can get married too Mom.

    Toni: Exactly!

    Munch:  Okay.  So Naked Ariel and Wedding Dress Ariel can get married and Eric can just watch.

    Toni:  Ummmm sounds like everyone is happy!

    Munch (as Wedding Dress Ariel):  Come one Naked Ariel! Let’s get married then fly to the store together to get watermelon!

    Toni: Sounds like a pretty awesome relationship.

    It was just that easy

    gay-marraige-blog-(i)

  • Maybe Feelings Are Absurd

    We care a lot about each other’s feelings.  Most conversations begin with an inquiry about the other person’s emotional disposition.  “How do you do?” “How are you today?” “Are you well?”

    We are so committed to knowing the moods of others that we call people sociopaths who don’t give a care.  “Oh that person must be insane to not be concerned about my state of being!”  But you know what I am beginning to think?  Maybe giving a shit about how people feel is way more crazy than not.

    Essentially feelings are a chemical cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters that can only be felt by the person feeling.  These personal reactions we have to the world should theoretically only impact the person who is feeling the feelings – because they are contained inside our own minds.  It is not like emotions manifest as a noxious gas that is distributed through our nostrils.

    Yet even though we technically should be able to keep our feelings to ourselves, we instead project them out into the world for other people to feel as well.  “Ha world… I am in a bad mood, and I am going to act like it too.  So deal with it!”

    Emotions are inherently irrational because they are a subjective experience.  Even though we know everyone else has them, we can never truly compare because we only experience them in our own heads and bodies.  The only commonality is how we choose to express them.  “Ahhhh yes, Chip must be angry because he is foaming at the mouth when he yells.  I too have done that when furious.”

    We project our understanding of our own emotions onto others, and we give value to this process because it legitimizes our own feelings.  I take your feelings seriously to justify why I take my own feelings seriously.  But what if feelings themselves are ridiculous?

    Okay fine… you got me.  I am obviously the parent of a toddler who has to deal with a variety of feelings every day and maybe, just maybe, that is skewing my perspective.  But hear me out.

    When The Munch was a baby I responded to everyone one of her needs – but that is because they were actual needs.  I am hungry.  I am thirsty.  I am hot.  I am tired.  I am sick of you.  Her cries were actual cries for help!

    But now, 98% of the shit The Munch cries about, or gets angry at, is literally ludicrous.  I want to sit in my travel car seat, not that other car seat.  I want 5 cookies not 4.  I want to play with my blocks, but I don’t want my blocks to play with me.

    When I take a step back and look at most of the things that adults get all riled up about, myself included, it is most really petty shit.  Yeah maybe every once in a while something profound and meaningful will happen, or we will experience a real crisis.  But most of the time we are just bitching about the little things.

    feelings-blog-(i)

    April 30, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Musings, Parenting, Relationships • Views: 7936

  • Aren’t We All Codependent Narcissists?

    Have you ever had one of those moments where late at night you find yourself cruising through the Internet self-diagnosing for mental disorders?  Yeah, I have never done that either.  That would be crazy!

    Depending on the day, I display a variety of different psychological syndromes.  I think that is why they started advertising psychiatric drugs late at night on TV.  It is easy to convince an insomniac that they are fucked up.

    Why yes commercial, I do have trouble sleeping – thank you for rubbing it in how I am indeed awake at 1 am.  I actually do feel anxious now, because I am reminded how I have to wake up tomorrow.  As a matter of fact I am depressed because I am going to be sleepy tomorrow and I am too anxious to go to sleep.  You are right about me savvy drug advertising – sign me up for medication pronto!

    It is easy to throw around medical terminology because we are inundated with these conditions on a daily basis. Yet why this is confusing is because these ailments are mostly average human conditions exaggerated.  We all exhibit many of the traits listed as psychological sicknesses, but in a more muted or subtle way.  I know there is a spectrum, and people have varying degrees of exhibiting behavior, but aren’t we all kind of co-dependent anxious depressed narcissists?

    If I were to look at my relationship with my child alone, I would say that all of those characteristics are exhibited within our daily dynamic.  Am I co-dependent with The Munch if I make the decision to spend my afternoon at the playground even though think it is boring as fuck but I know she likes it?  Am I anxious because when I watch her climb on things awkwardly I wonder if she is going to fall?  Am I depressed because when I push her on the swing for 38 minutes I not only get extremely jaded, but also spend that time questioning existence and if my life has any meaning?  Am I a narcissist because I think my own twisted thoughts are more interesting than having to explain to some kid why I won’t give them the shovel I am playing with in the sandbox?   (Because I need it for my selfie! Duh!)

    co-dependent-blog-(i)

    April 29, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Musings, Parenting, Relationships • Views: 2965

  • These Millennial “Generation Z” Kids Are Kind of Annoying

    I live in kind of a hippy area.  People here eat quinoa for desert, compost their compost, and wear fleece hats un-ironically.  The ideologies of these new age, nature-loving, peace-promoting people extend past their interest in organic farming, canning, and making soap… and of course permeates into their parenting and the type of children they are raising.

    I know what you are thinking.  “Toni, I see you dry-humping that tree… how are you any different than what you are describing you yogi hypocrite?”  And you would be right.  Trees are amazing lovers, and I am totally like the people I judge.  Which is exactly what I am afraid of.

    Here is my inner conflict.  I look around me and think “wow, the world is fucked the fuck up.”  The paradigms of previous generations are highly flawed, especially when it came to raising children.  I can’t pin point exactly the strategies that were most problematic, but I can say the world is currently run by a shit ton of insecure greedy dick wads.

    So I believe that we need to socialize our kids differently from the standard model of conditioning, and I think many of us are trying different methodologies than how we were raised.  Parents today are concerned with showing compassion, empathy, and allowing space for their children to feel.  There is an intentionality to practice a more democratic regime in our households. We are more aware of self-esteem and wanting to instill feelings of confidence.  There is often an internal pressure to spend quality time and engage with our children fully to make sure they feel valued and special.  All of which I do!  However… a lot of the 10-year old kids I have been meeting lately who have parents like this (me) are annoying as FUCK!

    Maybe I was irritating when I was 10… in fact I am sure I was.  However, I did have respect for my elders, and did not speak unless I was spoken to.  I listened to grow ups, and even if I didn’t always agree, I kept my views to myself.  Yet the kids I am around at my dance studio have a very different way of relating to the world – with names like Juniper-Bud, Kindred-Spirit, and 2nd Chakra.  They feel like they are equals to adults, and their opinions are just as valued and should be expressed freely.  They have so much self worth that they don’t hesitate to communicate their desires, discontents, and disagreements with the teacher who is just trying to teach them how to pirouette. It is not that they are unruly; it is more that they have no filter or capacity to pay attention and listen because they are too busy participating and inflicting their ideas.

    Part of me thinks maybe this is a good thing?  There is a deep wisdom that children possess, and they are our gurus when our hearts are open to their lessons.  Even though the behavior I witness may be irritating to me, this generation is probably more empowered than those of the past.  Adults are faulty creatures, and are not the supreme authority of truth, so why should the be treated as if they are?  Perhaps I am the problem by clinging on to a defective prototype of the past.  Maybe this is the shift in consciousness that we have been waiting for?

    But…. There is this other part of me that kind of wants to choke these kids, and prays The Munch does not turn out like them.

    kids-annoying-blog-(i)

    April 24, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Disciplining, Musings, Parenting • Views: 9089

  • Surround Me With X Chromosomes!

    Even though I may not be the most feminine girl you have ever met, I am fucking into that shit hard core – because I am a lady.

    I like surrounding myself with X chromosome energy.  The majority of my friends are women… all my animals are females… if I am ill I prefer to see women healers… and when a human occupied my womb, I really wanted it to be a girl.

    Not that I am a man-hater, or a man-eater for that matter – because they are too many calories.  I think men are swell!!  They are a nifty bunch.  I just tend to gravitate my interests towards things that revolve around menses and shedding endometrium.

    Maybe the reason why I am obsessed with all things feminine is because I have a more masculine vibe, and I am trying to balance it out.  Or perhaps grandmother moon speaks through my labia?  Who knows?  My point is that if someone is standing on a soapbox talking about bitches, it is probably me…. listening to them because I don’t really use soap.

    I guess I have inadvertently passed this mentality down to The Munch.  Not only is she into all things girly, she is also slightly bitchy towards men.  She can just cop more of an attitude with them.  Munch is hyper aware of gender, and would always rather have girls do things for her than those of the male persuasion.

    My brother Laszlo was commenting on this phenomenon when the three of us were playing together outside.

    Munch: Uncle Laszlo, no don’t push me on the hammock.  Only Mamma can push because she is a girl!

    Laszlo: Man Toni… you really have indoctrinated all your pro-woman ideology onto this one.

    Toni: You know I never did that on purpose, but I guess the energy was just too powerful in the quantum universe not to be absorbed through osmosis.

    (Or maybe it is just a phase… )

    x-chromo-blog-(i)

    April 22, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Musings, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2370

  • We Are All Just Big Babies Raising Babies

    When I think about my deepest darkest secrets, the worst parts of myself, the pieces of me that are murky and muddy, my overall conclusion is – “I am pretty sure it is my mom and dad’s fault that I am like that.”

    Being a parent is so fucking hard because no matter how hard you try you are going to fuck your kid up.

    I know… those sentiments are beautiful, and I should probably redirect my career towards poetry.

    I am well aware that my parents tried really hard to raise me well.  They were thoughtful, loving, caring, and even though they let me eat GMO’s – they did their best.  Yet still, when I search into the bowels of my being, there is this reality that despite their efforts, their parenting is still the root of a lot of my issues.  As children we internalize things differently than how adults may intend for us to.

    For example, when growing up my Dad’s mom was very religious and closed minded about some issues.  My parents were more liberal, but at the same time perceptive of the fact that some of their beliefs would upset my grandmother.  Yet they didn’t want to conform their parenting just to avoid my grandmother’s judgments. My mom also grew in a culture that she didn’t necessarily want to raise her kids in, and there were ways in which her childrearing techniques were in direct rebellion to what she had experienced.  Both my mom and dad knew they were raising their kids differently from how they were raised, yet were also hypersensitive to how their kids would be perceived by their parents.

    My brother and I spent a fair amount of time with our grandparents.  My dad’s mom would often pick us up from school and we would spend weekends with her, as well as every summer we would visit my maternal grandparents for a few weeks.  So the solution my parents came up with was to be really honest with me and my brother about their parents, and how they figured it would be best for us to act when around them.  They had suggestions about how to behave, or off limits topics so as not to upset the cranky older generation.

    The intention behind this thinking is totally reasonable.  They wanted our time with our grandparents to be pleasant, and if there were things we could avoid revealing to make that time more agreeable, then why not do that?  Yet for me personally, the way I understood this strategy was that in order to make sure people loved me, I had to become who I thought they wanted me to be.  I began to feel that love was conditional, and that people only loved you when you acted in a way that made them comfortable.

    This thinking has carried with me for years, and has for sure created some twisted dynamics in my life.  Rather than believing people will love me for my authentic self, I anticipate the person they want me to be, and become that.

    This is just one of many many many many things about who I am that is problematic – but most of my liabilities root back to my childhood in some way or another. I think we all can trace our faults back to primal wounds we experienced as kids.  When I go in deep with my friends about their intimate selves… wait that didn’t sound right… let me try again.  When my girlfriends and I get into the juicy stuff… uhhhh that sounds gross too.  What I am trying to say is that when I talk to my friends about why they suck, they usually believe that it is because of their mom and dad.

    Even though we are grown ass adults, we are still struggling with events that happened when we were 6.  Maybe this because that was when our brains and hearts were forming, the inevitable pain and confusion of existence was imprinted into the tissue?  Or maybe we are all just big babies raising babies?

    Sigh… sorry Munch! Get ready to have countless issues because of me!  My bad!

    big-babies-blog-(i)

    April 18, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Family Drama, Musings, Parenting • Views: 3334

  • I Am Pretty Sure That Being a Mom Is Not The “World’s Toughest Job”

    Am I crazy – or is there a sense of self-importance about parenting in modern culture that is getting out of control?  Don’t worry; the irony isn’t lost on me.  I know I am part of the problem – writing and complaining about my kid all the time.  But I feel like we are at this point where the bubble is about to burst like childrearing subprime mortgages.

    There is a viral video a marketing company created for mother’s day, that asks people to apply for a position as “the director of operations.” The joke is that they ask the applicants if they would be willing to do all these outlandish things, like work 150 hours a week with no sleep, for no pay, have no breaks, suffer intense physical exertion, and never eat unless the client is finished with their meal.  Of course all the people interviewed are like “hell no, that isn’t even legal,” and then the punch line is “billions of people do it every day… and they are called moms!”  Then they all get a good cry thinking about all the stuff their mothers have done for them with the hashtag “world’s toughest job.”

    Okay… yeah that is sweet.  Moms do a lot for the kids no doubt.  There are plenty of reasons why we should appreciate mothers.  Obvi.  Yet I think it is a real exaggeration to say it is the “world’s toughest job,” because a lot of it is actually quite enjoyable.

    Yeah sometimes being a mom is boring, tedious, mundane, monotonous, and redundant.  Yet the majority of the time I spend with my kid, I actually like.  She is funny, laughs at my jokes, likes learning, wants to go outside and talk about what clouds taste like, and loves cuddling.

    Of course when your kid is a baby you wait on them hand and foot like Genghis Khan.  Infants can suck because that is how they eat…. and they are exhausting because you don’t know what they want half the time.  But that is a pretty short window of their lives.  Newborns grow up, and the effort you spend serving them is drastically reduced.  Because guess what? You can say “do it your damn self – you are a big girl now.”

    After The Munch was 1 she slept through the night.  Yeah that was hard year for sure.  I complained a lot.  Yet with some effort and patience, she changed her habits and sleep is no longer an issue.  When The Munch was 2 she stopped shitting in her pants, which was considerate.  She then started talking and expressing her needs so we could communicate about her desires. Yeah there are times where The Munch is irritating, rude, and combative – but I am also a grown ass woman and can remove my self from her sphere because I don’t have to be ruled by the tyranny of tantrums.  I am sure the years a head will be paved with challenges that I can’t anticipate, but it will also be fucking amazing.

    It is true that being a mom is hard, demanding, and there are no vacations, but it is also unbelievably rewarding.  I have learned more about myself, my parents, and humanity than I ever could have anticipated.  It has been the greatest lesson in understanding human nature, and through my child’s eyes I have re-imagined my very being. Mothering has been a spiritual awakening that has taught me how love is the fabric of the universe, even though I sometimes let The Munch watch TV because she is annoying.

    I am pretty sure that being a mom is not the world’s toughest job.  I think the world’s toughest job is probably working at a sweatshop.  Or any job that that has no soul and sucks your will to live.

    world's-toughest-job-blog-(i)

    April 16, 2014 • 3 years old, Behavior, Current Events, Musings, Parenting • Views: 2593