Toddling
Category

  • Reading Rainbow

    I remember once sitting on the train while I was living in New York City, and this Japanese girl was looking at a card across from me. On the front of the card were all these Japanese characters, and I noticed she was looking at it for what seemed to me an absurdly long time. I kept thinking, “Why doesn’t she just open the card and read it?” But then I realized something… She was still reading the front of the card!!!! For me the Japanese characters were just pretty pictures to glance over, but to her they were actual letters that formed words for her to read! Nuts!

    When you think about how much reading is a part of our modern western culture it is hard to believe that for most of human history very few people were educated enough to read and write. Girls in particular were rarely taught these skills and instead learned the oh so important tasks of sewing, weaving, churning butter, and giving blow jobs. What!? Where did that come from?

    Being able to read empowers you in so many ways. Not only does reading allow you a sense of freedom to manipulate and maneuver in the world, but it also empowers you to take control of your own education. Think of the difference of being totally dependent on other people to learn from, and the independence of reading something yourself and having the capacity to determine its meaning from your own subjective analysis.

    Socrates, however, was very much against the written word because he believed that too much was left for misinterpretation. The author cannot defend their points to the reader, and there is a danger to how people can bastardize what they read. For Socrates, dialogue was the supreme form to pursue knowledge and philosophy for it honors the quest of questioning rather than the concretization of thought through writing. But would we even have known any of what Socrates had thought if Plato hadn’t written it all down? And what if your community is full of douchebags and the most intellectual stimulus you have is through what you can expose yourself to through reading?

    So considering the complexity of reading vs dialogue, I figure the best practice for me to engage The Munch in both is to read to her and then talk about what we just read. This is the problem I have encountered thus far, however. The Munch is a freaking baby and reading to her is retarded. Although she seems to enjoy it, she turns the pages too fast, flips around from the front to the back, closes the book, and then re-opens it in the wrong place. Not to mention the fact that children’s books are boring and repetitive as fuck, and when I try to talk about what the brown bear saw all she says is “ball… ball….ball…”

    August 24, 2011 • 1 year old, baby brain, Education, Parenting • Views: 1980

  • Actually, Can You Say That Behind My Back?

    Why do we have the compulsion to tell each other why we don’t like each other? Don’t you feel like you hear more about what people don’t like about you than what they do? Especially in an intimate relationship with a lover or close friend… aren’t you always reminding each other of the problems rather than the love?

    Ex:
    “You NEVER clean up after yourself…. It is so annoying…”
    “Well you ALWAYS nag and bitch about everything, and that is so annoying…”
    “Yeah… maybe because I am FOREVER picking up the pieces of your broken life…”
    “That is because you are INCAPABLE of facing yourself and dealing with your own problems so you use me as a distraction.’
    “Oh… really… well you suck…”
    “No… YOU SUCK.”

    All the little things that makes us mad about each other are just microcosms of larger issues, so why do we bother sweating the small stuff? If you are not willing to address the root cause of the problem, then why not let the miner things go? And there is a big difference between expecting someone to change who they are, and wanting them to change their behavior towards you. It is much more likely someone can evolve in terms of how they treat you, than expecting them to personally transform over night. Besides, people are more likely to change their behavior through observing how you treat them rather than forcing them to be different.

    And can you ever really change another person by making them feel bad about them selves and verbally attacking them? What are we doing when we point out another person’s faults? Is it about controlling them? Trying to control not only how they act but how they feel about you as well? I for one don’t have a problem with being controlling so these questions are just rhetorical. Wait… stop reading my blog so fast… slow down… not that much, now you aren’t going to get the cadence… just a little slower… No faster than that…. Not that much…

    “Yeah… why don’t you just say that behind my back…thanks…”

    August 23, 2011 • 1 year old, Musings • Views: 1866

  • Existential Crisis

    The other morning The Munch had a total existential crisis. Sort of like a total eclipse of the heart, but more philosophical.

    Usually, we both kind of do our own thing around the house. She plays with her elephant on the stairs, and I play with my blocks on the floor. If I leave the room she doesn’t care, and will often spend her time walking from room to room by herself. But this particular morning, every time I left her site she was overwhelmed with grief. She would fold into herself and cry on the floor with the most intense despair I have ever seen.

    I think she is starting to realize that she and I are not the same person, but actually two different humans.

    When you think about it, this is a traumatizing epiphany to have. There was a time when we were one. For 9 months we were connected by an umbilical cord sharing the same blood, but then I shoot her out of my vag, the cord is cut, and we are two. But she doesn’t have to feel the reality of being her own person as a young infant. She was still feeding off me, still attached to me, and still pretty clueless. For the majority of her life she couldn’t even move from place to place if it wasn’t for me carrying her. She would just lay there waiting for the world to come to her.

    In fact I was her world! As far as she was concerned I was her and she was me. Every time I would stand in the mirror with The Munch, she would just look at me. I was the only one she recognized.

    But now that she is moving and exploring her own independent will, I think it is becoming obvious to her that she is an individual. WHAT A HORRIFING REALITY! I could see in her face the deep sadness of realizing that she was totally alone in the world.

    As she sat there and cried I tried to comfort her…

    “Munch… it is okay…. You are your own person, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. There are so many people who are going to love you. But yes, they will never totally be a part of you, so you are still alone in that respect. And no, they will never completely understand you either, which will make you feel really lonely at times. But I love you… and I will always be with you… well, until I die. But I will be with you in spirit… right? And just think you will have a baby and then you will be two again! But then you will give birth and you will be one again. But then you will have a sweet baby to love like I have you! But then they will grow up and leave and live their own life and then you will be alone. But you will always have your friends and your loves. But they will sometimes be super jerks and you will feel alone again.”

    Needless to say, I didn’t really make her feel better…

    “Hello? Is anybody out there?”

    August 19, 2011 • 1 year old, baby brain, Musings • Views: 1987

  • I Am A Loner Dottie, A Rebel

    Do you remember when you were a kid and would want a friend to come over? You would have your mom call their mom and make all the arrangements. Wouldn’t that be rad if we still operated like that?

    “Mom? Can you call my Susie’s Mom and ask if she wants to go out dancing at the club tonight?”

    Since The Munch still only speaks in Muncheese… I have to organize all her play dates myself. Well, actually, these “play dates” are mostly just me hanging out with my friends who also happen to have babies, and consists primarily of my favorite activity of talking about me. No I am just joking… we are mostly talking shit about you behind your back.

    I like to have baby extravaganzas where a few babies come over. My thinking is that all the babies would interact and The Munch would have the best time telling them about her toes, where her nose is, and how the best way to get off the couch is by sliding down on your tummy. But the reality is that babies don’t really play together. They play around each other.

    But sometimes one baby will start to engage another and you can see how these future humans will be one day be socializing. Some babies are the aggressors, some like to follow others around, some wait to be pursued and then play hard to get. Sure there is a lot of hitting, drooling, pushing over, and bumping into involved… but my point is, there is an effort.

    The Munch on the other hand is such a loner! Every time a baby comes near her she gives them the stink eye and turns her back to them. She is like a lone wolf pacing the perimeter. If I didn’t know better, I would say she thinks she is too good to be hanging out with other babies. Maybe because being around babies is just so drastically different than what it is like to spend the day with me. For instance, yesterday I tried to climb the stairs but got stuck on the first one so cried, I ate a banana too fast so puked it out and then rubbed the vomit in my hair, I found my eyes then found the eyes on my bear then poked the bear’s eyes then poked my own, I put some rocks in my mouth, I poured the dog bowel of water on the floor then slipped and cried, I whispered to myself as I took all the books out of the book shelf, I laughed at a spoon then threw it on the floor then cried that I couldn’t reach it, and then I shat my pants. See the difference? Must be total culture shock for her.

    “Ummmm yeah… these are my blueberries…”

    The only way to take a picture of all four of the babies was to quarantine them

    August 18, 2011 • 1 year old, baby brain, Parenting, Playing • Views: 2017

  • Why Do You Trust Me?

    Although sometimes I fantasize about a giant picking me up, maybe throwing me in the air a few times, giving me a shoulder ride, but the rest is private so that is all I am going to tell you… but I still think it must be hard for babies. All these people so much bigger than you constantly manipulating your every move. You just have to trust that there is a reason for them taking quarters out of your mouth besides being a total buzz kill.

    For instance, I once decided to change The Munch’s diaper in the parking lot of a store. Mind you, I had my reasons… I thought she might fall asleep in the car and didn’t want her sitting in shit… but she doesn’t know that. She had to trust that there was a reasonable explanation as to why she was balancing on the hood of my car with her ass in the air while people walked by.

    Or lets say she is having a really good time running around the house carrying a pencil. As far as she is concerned this is a party worth filming for YouTube, but then I take the pencil away. Don’t get me wrong, I like liquid acid and Xtacy popsicles as much as the next guy, but The Munch is about as coordinated as a drunk 90 year old and I don’t want her to stab herself in the face. She just has to trust that I am not a total tyrant.

    Another time she was minding her own business brushing her teeth walking around the bathroom while I was sitting on the toilette. As far as she is concerned, poking my butt with the toothbrush was the thing to do, but she had to trust me that it was not a good idea.

    She has to trust that if I pick her up I am not going to drop her… what I feed her isn’t genetically modified with aborted mermaid fetuses… when I bathe her I am sure to pick her up when she falls face first into the water. I am constantly micromanaging her to adapt to my will, and everyday she still looks at me with these big trusting eyes. She lets me swing her around, hold her upside down, stick her toes in my nose, pick her toenails… Wow I totally got to think of a practical joke to screw with her right? She is such a sucker!

    August 17, 2011 • 1 year old, baby brain, Musings, Parenting • Views: 1782

  • Your Kid Can Be a Dick

    There is a reason why you get nervous if a baby comes into a contained public space you are in, like an airplane or restaurant. And that reason is that kids can be total dicks.

    The other day, my friend Bridget and I were hungry enough to eat goat testicles sautéed with onions in a white wine reduction, so we stopped by the organic store to get a sandwich. While we were waiting I asked my friend Emily who works the counter for some roasted red peppers for The Munch. I started to give her some, and she threw them on the floor. But when I put them away she cried, so I gave them back like a good mom who wants her kid to shut the hell up. She then threw some more on the floor.

    Okay… this is going well…

    I took her out of the highchair hoping she would sit quietly by my feet like a dog, but instead she proceeded to walk around the store pulling everything off the shelves that was eye level.

    Riiiiiight….

    I went to put her back in the high chair which she did not agree with, and showed me her disdain by kicking the air and subsequently my boob. So like any good mom who wants to stuff her fist down her kid’s throat, I put her on my lap and tried to pretend like I wasn’t fantasizing about cussing her out.

    Our sandwiches came, and every time I put mine near my mouth she tried to take it away, and if she got to close enough to the plate, she tried to knock it on the ground.

    Awesome….

    So since I was in a hippy ass store and no one was actually in the café I just started to breastfeed her and eat over her head and drop crumbs on her face. She still poked at my sandwich, and chunks fell on her, but I got at least 2/3 of it in my mouth. Then I tried to get her off my boob so I wouldn’t be that chick breastfeeding her baby WHILE EATING A FREAKING SANDWICH IN PUBLIC, but she didn’t go for that idea either and started protest with a series of grunts.

    “Wow, my baby is a big jerk.”

    When I finally got her home, she of course became the cutest sweetest little cherub in the world… singing to herself, giving us hugs, and playing with her doll.

    What a dick.

    August 16, 2011 • 1 year old, Adventures, Parenting • Views: 4208

  • Cell Phone Drama

    Cell phones are awesome because you have a way of getting in contact with whomever you want whenever you want. Cell phones also suck, because people think they should get in contact with you whenever they want, wherever you are.

    I have a love hate relationship with my cell phone. I love it when I am the one doing the calling and people are answering my calls/texts. I hate it when I want someone to answer and they don’t, or when someone gets mad at me for not answering. SO unfair right?

    One of my main problems that causes a fair amount of drama in my life is that I never answer my phone. This is not because I am making a passive aggressive power move. It is because 99% of the time, my phone is on silent. I keep it on silent because I don’t want my phone to wake The Munch is she is napping, and I never remember to turn it back on when she is awake. Or I am too lazy… or more likely, I am making a passive aggressive power move. So a lot of times people will call me and I wont hear it because my ringer is off but I will see I have a missed call so I call them back, but they will be like “no way, fuck her I just called her and she didn’t answer” so they won’t answer, then maybe they change their mind and call me back because they actually do want to talk, but I still don’t hear them calling so I don’t answer again even though I just called them 30 seconds ago. Repeat cycle as many times as it takes for someone to just write me an evil text about how I am an emotional terrorist.

    I also never listen to my voice mail, which also really annoys people. I will reply 3 weeks later if you ask me a question on VM.

    “I would have loved to have gone to your birthday party 20 days ago!”

    Then I assume that everyone is like me, so if I call and you don’t answer, I will try you about 20 more times in rapid fire succession figuring your phone is on silent. Never really occurs to me that you don’t want to talk to me, so If you still don’t answer I will write you a text that says “hey, just tried you!” like it wasn’t obvious from the 20 missed calls officially putting me in stalker status.

    Oh technology… when we just have cell phones implanted in our brains so we can communicate telepathically?

    August 15, 2011 • 1 year old, Mommy Mind, Musings • Views: 1947

  • Swagger

    I am insanely sick and I want to cry… like a big baby… a big mommy baby…

    But The Munch has some serious swagger to her walk…. and this video brings me so much joy in this time of feeling super sorry for myself…
    munch swagger

    August 12, 2011 • 1 year old, Health, Mommy Mind • Views: 2961

  • Vulcan Neck Pinch

    You know the frustration of trying to fall asleep? You roll around into different positions. Sigh heavily. Try and focus your mind so you stop thinking about all the stresses of your day, but you can’t, so then you get stressed out about how you can’t stop stressing out. Maybe flail around then think you have to pee. Then think “no, I just peed.” But the fact that you thought about peeing makes it so you can’t stop thinking about pee. So you get up to pee, and the most unsatisfying dribble comes out which makes you mad. Then you get back into bed resentfully because of that wasted trip to the bathroom for the lame pee that only woke you up more. Sigh again. Roll around some more. Then get stressed out about how tired you are going to be tomorrow because you didn’t get enough sleep.

    Sometimes falling asleep sucks and I get that. But when The Munch can’t fall asleep it is really annoying. Mostly because I am there watching her process and she just gets to pee in her pants and not bother with the whole “should I go to the bathroom” conundrum which makes me jealous. But also because I want to do other things like look at pictures of her on my phone.

    If I try to leave while she is still awake she cries, and even though I could just let her cry, I can’t actually go through with it. Especially because if I come back into the room she immediately stops crying and that makes me feel special. Total ego boost.

    But what if I learned the Vulcan Neck Pinch? Just a little pinch in just the right pressure point to knock her out. No harm no foul right?

    “But I don’t feel like sleeping!”

    August 11, 2011 • 1 year old, Sleeping • Views: 10708