Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hello, France!

So.... apparently, I'm somewhat popular in France?

Well, this is intriguing. That would be like Bill Gate visiting a blog I made about how to turn on a computer. I mean, I can try to post something in French... not that I'd know what I was typing. Remember, I'm an arrogant American- they don't teach us multiple languages in School... because, you know- Merica! YEAH!

In all seriousness, those of you from France- do I live up to the stereotype of the "typical American"? I've heard that other countries find us (Americans) to be friendly, but obnoxious and loud. I've also heard that we smile too much? I never thought about that before it was brought to my attention, but we do smile quite a bit. It's kind of... ingrained into our society here.

Anywho, thanks for visiting me, and feel free to tell me what you think about the above, or the blog in general. Or you can share if you're laughing with me, or about me, or at me. I won't cry about it... until bedtime.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grocery Shopping in The Dark.

Me: " I really hate grocery shopping when it's dark. I always accidentally leave something in the car because I can't see it."

Daddy Crazycakes: "No. It's because you always have the lights on."

No, Vampire... it's not. I'm not a puma. I can't see in the dark. It's INSANITY, but some of us actually LIKE ambient lighting. Not all of us want to use the Flux Capacitor to time warp to 1825.


Five Things That You Should Prepare For After You have a Child

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I became what I like to refer to as a “Parenting Research Analyst”. I read, I googled, and I learned what to expect during my pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I knew what to expect when I was induced, and even when I had a c-section. I did my homework so I could be prepared for anything that could possibly come my way.

What I wasn't really prepared for was what happens once you've actually had your child. I heard and read about sleepless nights, c-sections, and proper latching techniques. What I wasn't prepared for was judgment, competition, and embarrassment. Here is a list of what you can expect once you've already had your child.

1. You might pee on yourself forever. Okay,so this is an outlier on my list, but I feel it needs to be addressed. This common issue is much worse than I anticipated. By my estimation, my preschool daughter has better bladder control than I do. I feel like all I do is pee all day long. I'll purposely go to the bathroom before I leave my house, and then proceed into the “pee-pee dance” about thirty minutes later. To put this in perspective, I had a c-section, so apparently the method of birthing doesn't really matter.

2. You will be judged by others, and you better get used to it. When I was childless, I had a certain anonymity to my life. This isn't to say that I wasn't judged by others, but it's not even in the ball park of how much I've been judged since becoming a parent. From the way I dress my daughter, to the way I supervise her, to how she acts, to what activities I allow her to do...there is always someone who will tell you you're doing it all wrong. When my daughter was a little bitty, I used to get very angry about this. Now, I generally roll my eyes and go about my day...most of the time.

3. Other parents will compete with you, and they'll pit children against each other. This is just a sad truth of parenting. There is always a parent out there that feels the need to compete with you, and by extension, your child. If your child walked at 10 months, their child walked at 9 months. If your child said their first word at 6 months, their child said it at 4 months. In fact, if I'm to believe many of the mothers I see on various social media sites, there's a lot of Mensa babies currently crawling around.

Try to ignore them, and if they won't let up, black hole them. Realize that someone that feels the need to compete so openly, and to use their children as a tool for competition, is probably very insecure.

4. There is always THAT mother, and she'll make YOU feel insecure. We all know that mom, don't we? The one that can do any project or recipe on Pinterest perfectly? The mother that cooks awesomely wholesome meals in the shape of their child's favorite cartoon character? The mother whose every picture looks like it's done by a professional photographer? Yes, we know her.

Here's the deal. She, like you, has days where she's so exhausted that she is counting down the minutes until her kids go to bed. Like you, she puts her yoga pants on one leg at a time. She just isn't showing you that faucet of her life. She isn't necessarily trying to make you feel like shit, or outdo you.

Another thing to consider is that this mother, of which you might roll your eyes at and huff about, might be making you act or feel like the mother outlined in example number 3. That's perfectly understandable. She might make you feel like you're not doing enough for your child, but you more than likely are. Unless your feeding your kid wet cat food from a bowl on the floor, you're doing the best you can for your child.

5. Your child will embarrass you, and that's perfectly normal. There are many mothers who will tell you that they're never upset or embarrassed by how their children act. I'd like to call those people liars. If I sound harsh, I'm sorry. It just doesn't ring true. The honest truth is that relatives can be quite embarrassing, and those feelings naturally extend to your children.

Perhaps you're in a store and your child, who is almost always well behaved, decides to throw the mother of all temper tantrums. Maybe every other child is listening to directions in a craft class, but yours is rambling and giggling like a crazy person. Maybe your newly potty-trained child had an accident in the most inconvenient place... and you forgot a spare set of clothes.

I've been there. It's embarrassing, and it's stressful. It's also very normal to feel that way. Don't beat yourself up for feeling that way. It will pass, and everyone will come out unscathed from the ordeal.

This is not an all inclusive list, but it's some of the things that you'll probably encounter as a parent. We've all been there. Just take it all in stride. Just be the best parent you can, and don't sweat the silly shit.

Now, back to my pee-pee dance.

Riding the scale

I’m a bit obsessed with my weight, I’ll openly admit it. I weigh myself at least daily, if not more. It’s almost like a comfort to me, to tap the middle of the scale, and then weigh myself sometimes two, or even three times a day or more. I don’t know when I started weighing myself so compulsively. All I know is that I ride that scale like I’m jockeying for pole position on race day.

While I don’t remember when I became addicted to weighing myself, I know that my weight has mattered for a very long time. I remember that I weighed eighty-five pounds when I was 11, and I remember that I finally hit a hundred pounds when I was 12. I also know how much I weighed not only throughout middle school, but high school as well.

I also remember the many unkind comments that were made to me in regards to my weight. In the 90’s, skinny mattered… a lot. For a point of reference, I’ll acknowledge that I was 5’8 and 140 pounds all through high school. Looking back now, I know that I was actually of normal weight, but my height and body build didn’t scream petite. After all, not just any woman can palm a basketball.

My hands have actually been a topic of conversation, by the way. A husband of a very old friend blurted out one day that I had the biggest hands he’d ever seen on a woman. I didn’t take this to be a compliment, either. It wasn’t as nicely dressed up as when my ex-husband’s mother told me I had “piano hands”- which I realize was her nice way of saying I had very long fingers, which I do.

In high school, I had boys who actually told me I was fat to my face. I want to let that sink in- that not one, but numerous boys approached a young female who was actually not overweight, and told her she needed to lose weight. Some of the boys who did this were interestingly enough overweight themselves. I know I could lament about why they did it, but it doesn’t really matter. The result would be the same no matter what their intentions were, and as a result, I’m in a constant state of awareness about exactly how much I weigh.

Still, none of these things bothered me until I had my daughter…or at least, I never really thought about it much. Weighing myself, and being obsessed with my weight, was the norm for me. Knowing how much I weighed when I went into a doctor’s appointment wasn’t bizarre to me at all. Besides, if I kept up on how much I weighed, then that would prevent me from gaining too much weight, or at least that’s what I told myself. In reality, I still managed to gain weight no matter how much I stepped on the scale.

The situation arose where I just happened to notice my daughter’s hands one day. She’s only three years old, but I could already see that she inherited my bone structure. In that moment, I actually felt sorry for her. Oh great, I thought, the poor thing has my huge monster hands!

I already knew she’d be tall. I’m 5’8, and her father is 6 feet tall. Her pediatrician already told me that she would at least be my height. If I am to go by the old wives' tale, and I double her height by how tall she was at 2, she’ll be around 5’10, or so.

After the moment had passed, I really started to evaluate my own thoughts on body image, and weight in general. I couldn’t let my daughter go thru life feeling as I did, thinking that her weight was a determining factor on her actual character. In that moment, I made a decision to think about all the positive things about being tall and built.

First, I never have to ask anyone to get something off the top shelf. No really, I got this. If you are petite, and you need a top shelf item, I’m your girl. I’m also very useful for putting things up and away from curious little minds too.

Second, I can carry an obscene amount of weight. Of course, it isn’t healthy to be seriously overweight, but 10 pounds on me is hardly noticeable. My clothes will still fit if I gain a little bit of weight, and I’m told that many people have a hard time figuring out just how much I weigh.

Third, I was built for athleticism. This isn’t to say that shorter women aren’t, just that when you’re built like a medium sized man, it offers a certain advantage in particular athletic endeavors. Like when I was chosen for the position of center on my co-ed basketball team. Did I mention that I was the only female on the team? I was almost the same height as one of my coaches, too.

Speaking of which, I can walk incredibly fast. My fiancĂ© is tall, and he has a thirty-six inch inseam. I can keep up, and I’m not even breaking a sweat. Long legs also afford the opportunity to weave in and out of huge crowds with relative ease.

I wish I could tell you that I have given up my addiction of riding the scale, but I haven’t. What I have done is found a way to talk to my daughter should she have any of the same issues and feelings I did as a woman who‘s a little bit tall and made a bit larger. I’m good the way I am, and she’ll be too. After all, not just any woman can palm a basketball.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The walking uterus

Do I really want to have another child? This is something I seriously ponder as I get my daughter some breakfast, in a haze of both exhaustion and frustration. My daughter, who is 3, not only woke both her father and I up in the middle of night, she then slept in our bed, where she still managed to wake us again before 7 o'clock in the morning by talking in my ear as loudly as possible. At the time of this writing, she's in fact jumping up and down like she has springs in her feet, while watching Charlotte’s Web, which I've seen so many times that I could repeat it word for word.

It's a question that I have to ask myself...after all, I'm 38 years old. Though the thought of another child is appealing, I really wonder if I want to prolong sleepless nights, diaper changes, and no private time as an adult. It seems like a certain sort of torture to me, though I imagine the rewards more than make up for it. That being said, if I'm to ask society their opinion on the matter, I get quite a different response than my own logic.

It wasn't too long after my daughter's birth that I realized that I had become a walking uterus, or at best, a baby incubator that just happens to also have a brain attached and a personality.

“When are you having another one?”

“You're going to have another, right? She'd be lonely if you don't.”

“ Having children is the most important thing you've ever done.”- Yes, this has really been said to me. If you think it's obnoxious reading it, think about how obnoxious it was hearing it.

“Are you pregnant?”- This last question always rankled me. Do I look pregnant? Why would you just assume I have a small human in my tummy? Always asked by women, I wonder why they would say something that they know would offend them should I say the same thing to them.

The problem is that we sometimes lose our identities when we have children. It seems like society, and other parents at large, seem to believe that once you have a child that you're simply a mommy or daddy, though I tend to notice this phenomenon is far more frequent with women than with men.

I found myself in a situation where I went from, “Dana-the writer, the snarky wordsmith, the funny girl”, to, “ Dana-the women that has a functioning uterus, and she knows how to use it.”

I think we get into dangerous territory when we start pressuring people to have children because we deem it as their duty. Just as it's inappropriate to ask a woman why she has so many children, it should be equally inappropriate to question a person repeatedly as to when they'll have another child. Is it really any of their business anyway?

I'm am still very much up in the air about whether I'll have another child or not. That being said, I'll say this- it will be my decision. Not only that, but there is more to me than my reproductive organs, or the title of “mommy”. I am Dana -writer of satire, and lover of music, not just Dana- giver of Goldfish, and cleaner of messes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Back to some snark....

I just read a piece online that was discussing the worse leggings ever made. One such example was leggings that look like hairy legs.


Finally, leggings for the woman-on-the-go...or who is just too lazy to shave her legs. Do you think I could get away with just saying that I'm wearing these leggings? Seriously, I'm looking like Bigfoot's wife over here.

Yes, I know that not shaving is a big trend now. This is one trend that though I don't embrace, I'll gladly use as an excuse as to why I haven't shaved since the last Presidential election. Now, if I can get someone on the, "eating a box of snack cakes while drinking a gallon of soda a day" bandwagon, I'll be right on the cutting edge.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Think before you speak.

I read on the news last night about a young woman (though at my age I'd equate her to a girl) who felt the need to approach a parent and tell her to calm her young child down. This child, from my understanding, was apparently in the midst of a temper tantrum. For her very out of line behavior, the interloper was rewarded with a punch in mouth. While I certainly don't condone the mother being violent with this young woman, I thought I would tackle this subject from the perspective of a mother who has had people speak about the behaviors of her child in public.

My blog has always been fairly jovial, and it borders on the absurd, so it might surprise some of you to know that my daughter has some issues of which she is currently being evaluated for. My daughter, C, is a very lively and sweet girl. She also never stands still, can't calm down, and becomes over stimulated, which results in meltdowns where she can't control her emotions. I've know for quite some time she was different, but there was a hope that she'd outgrow some of these behaviors. She hasn't.

I don't know what the child or parent's journey was before they walked into that Nordstrom store and got in a confrontation with another shopper. What I do know is that most young children have temper tantrums in their lives. Some outgrow it before or around two, and some take a bit longer to emotionally mature. That's really what a temper tantrum is- it's a lack of emotional maturity without the means to communicate frustration. A young child having a temper tantrum is completely normal.

Of course, you wouldn't know this from the various comments I've seen plastered on the web about the above situation. There was actually a woman who responded that if you "can't control your children" that you should get a babysitter. She wasn't talking about going to a fancy restaurant, or a movie theater either. She was talking about any situation where your child could possibly act poorly in public. She included, by the way, children with possible intellectual disabilities in her assessment. I won't even pretend that her comments didn't infuriate me, because they did.

No one can control the actions of another human being. As a parent, all you can do is work with your children and hope that the lessons you teach them stick. Children, much like full grown adults, act up. It is a wholeheartedly ridiculous standpoint to assume that a child would never act up in public. What you're seeing is a snap shot. A random temper tantrum in public doesn't mean that a child is a lost cause, or a parent is not doing their job because a child has a moment of frustration.

Of course, we're speaking of "normal" children. Some children have even less control of their emotions. I can tell you from personal experience that it's a crap shoot as to how a child with special needs will act in a public situation. As a parent of a child who is struggling, I have to walk out the door everyday prepared for anything. My daughter, C, has good days, and she has bad days. She tries really hard to control herself, but sometimes it's just too much for her.

Please understand, I'm not making excuses for my child. I don't go around announcing to the world that my daughter has obstacles, this particular situation notwithstanding. The truth is that I'm told that I'm very hard on my daughter. I do correct her, and I don't let her get by with poor behavior. That being said, as her mother, I have to make a judgement call each and every time she's having a hard time in public. Is this because she's overwhelmed, or is this because she's just being stubborn and obstinate? I have to make a decision based on how she's acting, what's she doing, where we are, how long we've been out, and even who we're around. Then, and only then, can I respond to her behavior, and act accordingly. Sometimes I take her out of the situation, sometimes I distract her, and sometimes I comfort her.

Why am I telling you this? I'm telling you this because my child doesn't have a sign around her neck saying, " I have sensory issues." or, "I have a hard time with large crowds... but only on certain days." She looks like every other child you'd see on the streets. In fact, on a good day, you might see her and never know that there is anything going on with her, which really is the meat of this whole situation.

As I wrote above, you're seeing but a moment in time. You don't know this child, and you don't know this parent. You have no way of knowing whether this is an isolated incident or not. Approaching a parent, who I promise you is just as upset as you are over their child having a tantrum, does nothing but escalate the situation. In fact, you're taking time away from the parent who is trying to deal with their child, to deal with you.

My daughter is only three, and in that short time, I've already had people act inappropriately in relation to my daughter's behavior. I had one woman who actually told me how to correct my daughter who was upset because her employee actually touched my child's arm. I had two set of parents talk about my child in front of me not knowing that she was my child. You're not helping my daughter by undermining her parents, or by talking about her in a public place. You're being rude and judgmental.

In closing, I'll tell you of a situation I had in a pharmacy that was done right. C, her father, and I were waiting on a prescription for C. On this particular day, C was fairly restless. We were doing all the things that we could to keep her under control. We were walking with her around the store, we were trying to distract her, we were carrying her around the store to calm her. Finally, she ended up standing at my side with me holding her hand. She started to get upset because she has a hard time standing still.

As I'm dealing with her frustration, a older man behind me asked how old she was...was she two, he asked? I replied that she was three, and I stood there literally waiting for judgment. Three year old children are supposed to be over tantrums, isn't that what everyone tells you?

There was no judgement from this man. He smiled in a knowing way, followed by a nod of understanding. How nice it was to be understood and not judged. How nice it was that my child wasn't assumed to be a brat, or her father and I were horrible parents. How kind of him to acknowledge, albeit silently, that we were doing the best we could.

Thank you, sir for your compassionate attitude, and thank you for thinking before you speak.