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Showing posts from 2006

And THAT'S why we quit calling it a penis

This post...wherein I explain to you the pitfalls of teaching your children the technically correct names for body parts, and wherein all the people who cautioned me to use euphemisms get to laugh their asses off and blow raspberries at me whilst saying, "I told you so!"

In my last post I mentioned how my husband and I began parenting with intentions of doing it All Right as we knew it. This included not being shy about naming body parts. And teaching our daughter to be comfortable with her body as was by modeling being comfortable with our own bodies. There'd be no complaining about body shape, size or features. Instead we'd love and embrace who we were.

Yes.

Go ahead, snicker. I know you once thought it sounded pretty good in theory too, didn't you.

I secretly laughed and not at all secretly teased friends who could barely say "wipe your *blush* *drop to whisper* lu lu," to their girls and who gave their sons' penises names reminiscent of Pee Wee Herm…

Parenting as if I might get hit by a bus tomorrow

Thanks Masked Mom!

Everyone is fond of espousing their preferred parenting techniques. I notice people are especially fond of sharing these techniques when your children, or rather you, aren't behaving how these people think you ought. Even more so if they are utter strangers, and still more likely if you did not ask at all.

Say, for example, you have four children with you at the store, three of whom are practicing for their audition for the Broadway show The Whining Sisters. And say, for example, you state, in utter exasperation, "I will get all of you the light up ring pops if you sit in the cart quietly while we finish shopping!"

In this case, a stranger might pipe up and say, "Bribery doesn't teach them to be good for goodness' sake! The well-known Dutch author and parenting expert Dr. Hasnochildrenofhisown says if you model behavior and blah blah blah and still more blah that has no actual meaning in a real life situations!"

After you finish modeling …

I am a Total Hypocrite about Porn Star Barbie

My sister and I were Barbie fanatics growing up. We had such fun playing. In fact, we had so much fun playing together---one of our times of playing nicely---and we played with so much imagination that I remain pro-Barbie to this day. The story was the key to me. Was Barbie dressed the part? If so, then all was good.

I never noticed her proportions. I never noticed whether blonde, blue-eyed Barbie was the Cool Chick. Actually, my favorite Barbie was Hispanic Barbie. I adored her black hair, brown skin, and melting black eyes. (The melting part might have been literal once or twice as Barbie aided me in a science experiment. In fact, Skipper bears a few, sad scars to this day, although she hasn't let it get her down if her still-chipper smile is any indication.) I named her Connie.

Back then, Barbie was a doll who had lots of clothes, accessories, and play toys. She wasn't a political statement as far as we were concerned. Many of our friends weren't even interested in Barbi…

It was a green-sheeted bed, not a tuffet

It was a green-sheeted bed, not a tuffet. And I, alas, alack, oh no, am nowhere near a Miss Muffet.

I've learned to keep a stockpile of food in my nightstand. Persistence had already woken me at 5:30--as usual---demanding, "Eat! Now! Eat!" Half-awake, I'd reached over to the nightstand shelf, grabbed a baggie of multi-grain Cheerios, and handed it to her.

I rolled over, one-quarter aware that Persistence had dragged her new chunky animal ABC puzzle into my room and was dis-and-re-assembling it by the love seat.

"Safe, eating, playing," my mind mumbled, and resumed sleep.

Later, seconds it felt like, but probably more like an hour and a half, something soft tickled my cheek.

Barely aware, I reached up a hand and swatted at it.

I pulled the quilt back up to my neck and nuzzled my face into my pillow.

Tickle tickle, the soft thing went on my cheek again.

I scratched my cheek with my fingernail, and squeezed my eyes shut, fighting wakefulness.

Tickle tickle, it went a…

Vocabulary word of the day: Strephosymbolia

My daughter reads and writes backwards. Very, very well. In fact, if you hold up something of hers to a mirror, it's perfect. On the upside, she's in good company with the likes of Da Vinci and Einstein.

On the downside, uh, um, it's backwards.

It's been interesting explaining that the light switch says "on" rather than "no" and other funny things.

Everyone said to us, oh all kids reverse letters, it's no big deal. Don't worry. Relax. She'll grow out of it. Except, she's not reversing letters. She's doing it all perfectly backwards, consistently.

So, my mommy gut kept tickling me, regardless of all the reassurances. Still, I told myself, she's a leftie, to her, this is natural. She's imitating how we all read and write across our bodies.

Her mirror writing skill developed, and solidified. I talked to lefties, and ordered "Raising Your Leftie in a Rightie World" or some such title (a couple of weeks ago...still haven&…

Tipping, the Teacher Gift, Cards for all, and I DON'T want candy!

My mother is a teacher. Every year, hordes of students gave her "teacher-y" gifts. Frames with pencils, wall plaques about best teacher, decorative rulers with cutesy 1+1=2, and more. When I was in high school, I noticed our Christmas tree had an apple theme, and I realized that my family never had to bake due to the wealth of cookies and cakes my mother received at the holidays.

It's all nicely meant, and graciously received. My mother was very appeciative, and felt compelled to display the items in her classroom or in our home. Most of all, she felt compelled to keep them.

When she and my stepfather downsized to a new house in their dream town, she purged, and told me she was amazed at how much stuff it ended up being, in the end.

I asked her what she thought of all of these gifts, and she said, in all sincerity, that they really weren't necessary.

I knew for sure they weren't necessary. To be honest, I don't think my mother is too keen on apples.

So when our tu…

Speak English, for goodness' sake (insert eyeroll here)

(Here's where I get all ranty and self-righteous and liberal...so stay or go, but if you stay and disagree, remember your manners...you hold your mom's hand with those typing fingers.)

Lately there's been another resurgence of the English only (trying to find a word other than BS here...give me a sec...errr) preference.

But it's gone beyond preference.

In my own state---aka The Red Republic---a city well north of me passed an ordinance requiring landlords to act as immigration police. At almost the same time, Hazelton, PA was passing the same ordinance. This ordinance, which exemplifies many ongoing through the country, would allow the city to fine businesses and landlords who employ or house illegal immigrants. Further, it required city documents to be in English (only). It was one of the toughest ordinances out there, and was passed by the mayor, himself the descendant of immigrants.

Nicely, it spurred racism, especially when a local bar posted a sign stating that only …

My Soul Is Ripped With Riot Incited By My Wicked Diet

My enemy, my scale.

Have I mentioned I am dieting? Joined Weight Watchers (again)? Am being weighed in weekly, and journaling every morsel (solid and liquid) that enters my mouth?

No, I haven't? Because that would be too tedious for words, wouldn't it. Anyway, who wants to admit that when it comes to discussing muffin tops I don't mean a cakey breakfast treat.

But, it's true, I am dieting.

I have to lose the baby-gone-toddler weight I picked up with this last pregnancy and breatsfeeding-appetite-run-amok. I didn't realize, apparently, that having two children didn't mean eating for three.

This time of year is especially hard for dieters and all of us Weight Watcher folks are hitting meetings with a fragile edge and hint of desperation. We huddle in a circle and discuss how to fend off the Homemade Fudge Coworker, the Frosted Cookie Neighbor, and the worst of all: fill your plate holiday buffets with open bars.

The leader adds extra enthusiasm and hands out bravos for…

Epiphany, Four Wise Men and a Duck

When my husband and I got married, quite a while back actually (going on 14 years), we did that thing, finally, that everyone had nagged and nagged us to do: went to a store and registered for china, crystal, and other things of that ilk.

We were only in our mid-20s and honestly had never given any of that any thought. We didn't entertain like that, and neither did any of our friends. We perused all the shmaltzy shelves of stuff. It was our first foray, really, into the Breakable Zone. We were so young that we were afraid to pick up any of it, although the saleslady encouraged us to overcome our "look with eyes, not with hands" instincts our parents had hounded into us for our entire lives.

We spent days, seriously, sorting through patterns and brands. We wanted classic, yet interesting.

Eventually, finally, we settled on a pattern of china and crystal. We wrote it all down on the little form the store had.

Yes, back in those days there was no "quick gun" to zap a…

Ain't too proud...forfeiting medals

I'm not too proud to do a lot of things.

I'll shop in resale shops for me and the kids.

I'll go out in public with no makeup or hairdo.

I'll act goofy to make a kid smile.

I'll pull weeds if it will help someone out.

I'll speak up if I have something to say.

And I'm not too proud to stand corrected, or amend an opinion.

That's what I'm doing today.

As a result of me blogging about my Chapped Hide Olympics (the worst customer service of 2006), I got two good resolutions.

First, Tracy Prescott, a director at Home Depot, posted a comment at that entry desiring to resolve whatever issues I had with my rebate at Home Depot. She and I exchanged a few emails and I had the rebate check in my hand yesterday and it is in the bank today. What is that, barely two weeks later? How rockin' is that!

Second, I have a personal contact in the AT&T executive offices now who is working to show me that AT&T does give a shit whether I am a customer (or not). Krystal ha…

Should I stay or should I go? Should I commit or should I blow?

My daughter is easily frustrated when trying new things. Like me, she often finds things easy, and expects them all to be thus. Plus, like me, she expects perfection. And, again, like me, she'll often stay in her comfort zone where she has mastered things and can perfect them.

So it's up to me, as her mother, to push her (and myself) to try, and try again. It's up to me to convince us both that it's okay to need to keep trying and work to as good as YOU can do.

I think I've succeeded a little bit better with her than with myself.

On her own, I've heard her say, "Oh well, that's okay, I tried, I'll keep trying and next time will be better."

Recently, her gymnastics coach moved her class up to the next level, with more challenges. She's outside her accomplished comfort zone now, and is being challenged. Thus she initially resisted, tremendously.

"I hate gymnastics," said the child who only last week said gymnastics was her favorite thin…

Day of reconciliation

In 1980, on this date, John Lennon was murdered. In remembrance, Yoko Ono asked that today be a day of reconciliation.

Reconciliation technically means, "the act or condition of being reconciled." It asks you, the dictionary does, to see "penance." Penance includes the horrifying concept of self-mortification, along with contrition, confession and absolution.

Believe it or not, I believe the first step to reconciliation is actually self-mortification. Then I believe the next step is self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

I believe this because, as Cindy Wigglesworth says, the ego plays games of superiority, victimhood, and judgement. You need a level of self-awareness to be able to forgive and reconcile, because first you must understand and forgive these things within yourself.

You've heard that we most despise in others what we most despise in ourselves, right? This is called projection. When you have reconciled within yourself, you make space for understanding an…