Monday, January 31, 2011

HOLY CRAP where have I been?

My last blog was Dec 6Th??????

I'm fed up with snow up to my arse and this winter wonderland shtick! I haven't been to the gym in about three weeks and all I want to do is eat cheese and escape into my wine (whine) glass.

I'm wound up this morning and I'll say what I need to say while I can, Gibson is upstairs watching cartoons so I'll type quickly....

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO OUR KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beauty pageants, baby pageants, toddler pageants all creep me out! There's a show called Toddlers and Tiaras, an exploration into the world of baby pageants. Have you seen the video gone viral of the "mom" having her 5 year old's eyebrow waxed? Yeah, that's a hoot! The poor little girl has had it done several times. She screams as the wax is pulled off her forehead. Her "incubator" says she usually just holds her down and pulls it off herself....Mommy Of The Year Award.

How about the mom who punished her 6 year old for lying, by casually reaching into the medicine cabinet and pouring hot sauce into her son's mouth. She does this on a regular basis because when asked what happens when he fibs he says " I get the hot sauce." The video then shows his second installment of corrective behavior adjustment, a cold shower. The mother was a guest on Dr. Phil. If media outlets are true she is to be charged with child abuse. Both of these videos are online and I am purposefully not posting them here.

Remember Mary Kay Laterno? She's the teacher who had sex with her then 12 year old student. She spent time in jail, has two girls by him, now teenagers themselves. Mary Kay and Villi are married and her son by her first marriage has made her a first time grandmother. Of course this was a "news" story covered by TODAYshow's Meredith Vieria. What a struggle that was to watch! It seems Mary Kay is whacked out on some sort of serotonin uptake and still doesn't seem to comprehend the criminal, predatory nature she exhibited so long ago. Her husband Villi seems somewhat more lucid and the segment portrays them as one big happy family. Maybe they are, only she knows how and if she's made her family, and extended family whole.

I knew someone casually in college, a friend of a friend. He was busted several years back for accessing child porn. Don't remember if he was downloading or distributing. Whatever the details are, he is serving time in prison. My husband and I debate his sentence. He thinks it's ridiculous to be jailed for pornography. He argues the guy never did anything, never touched a child. My argument; how do we know he never touched a child? I too, don't know if he did. Does viewing kiddie porn lead to physically acting out? I don't know enough about the psychology behind it, I don't have any data. I just know that children are vulnerable and child porn is so much more sinister than adult pornography.

I'm by no means the best mom. I have a pretty low tolerance for patience. I tend to get a bit loud and irritated at my two kids. I huff and puff when they make a mess in the kitchen. I want to pull my hair out when they get into one of their famous hitting battles like two Rockem Sockem Robots. Hell, I almost throw a hissy fit when my kids call out "Mommy" just as I finally sit down with a juicy cook book in my hands.

I think the best thing to come out of some of these headlines is simply to remind me that these little people are simply kids. They're not little dolls for us to primp and put on display. They are not some sort of animal that will learn behavior by fear. They are an extension of us and want the same as we do, simply love, respect, attention and comfort.

I'm about out of time. Lola is screaming for me to come upstairs. Gibson just emptied a bottle of Crest Pro Health Mouthwash on his bedroom carpet. This kid has great timing! I'm gritting my teeth! I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yes Lola, there is a "Santa."

I knew sooner or later the question would surface. She is five and profoundly curious, I just was not ready for it... "Mom, some of the kids are saying there's no Santa. He's made up like the Tooth Fairy and parents buy the gifts." She wasn't looking at me as she wondered, she continued her scribbles at the dining room table.

Oh crap! Think fast! It is a dilemma. Are we dishonest to tell our children these myths? Are we harming them, creating false hopes? We know the time is so fleeting, they are so little for only so long. The days of footie pajamas and story times and selfless snuggling will end, replaced by self consciousness and peer pressures and children who are growing up.

"Well, what do you think?" I thought it best to ask her, before I added my two cents, hoping for a bit more time to think. "I'd like to think he's real" she said. "Me too, he's real like the feeling you get when it snows for the first time, real the way cookies smell baking, real in the way you hug someone and it makes them happy and it makes you feel happy."

I'm glad she's made her own choice to believe a little while longer. I still believe, don't you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

I See Colors.

I had just read a story to Lola. We're trying to have her in bed by 8-ish lately. She seems to be more agreeable in the morning. Rocket science for parents!

We usually then have this great in depth conversation, our best at her bedtime. It's her way of stalling the inevitable. "Mom, I hate Cameron, he pulls my hair and pokes me on the bus." I asked who Cameron was and told her boys can be a bit silly like that. I told her to give him the most maniacal look she could muster and then tell him to stop or she would eat him for breakfast. She laughed. "Let's not use the word *hate* OK? That's a really strong word to use."

"When I say the word HATE I see the color BLACK. When I hear or say the word SHIT, I see the color RED." Her family rule for Sean and me, is to not have us use the word shit around her. She rules with an iron fist that kid! "Lola, that's what I mean, those are really strong words and your mind and your body are reacting to them by seeing colors in your mind!"

She excitedly propped up on one elbow, the bathroom light across the hall nudging into our private conversation, she squinted, "Mom! You get me, you really get me!!!!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's been a while, but I'm back.

Lola's rules for driving.

1. Never wear an eyepatch while driving.

2. Never wear a blindfold while driving to your cousins.

3. Never, and I mean NEVER eat while driving, especially a burrito!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Walmarted Again :(

Little old Greenfield is fighting the Big Box war! A Connecticut developer is (hoping/praying/scheming/plotting/eating our young) planning to build a 135,000 square foot discount store along the French King Highway. Oh the horrors and gnashing and wailing that resound throughout our Pioneer Valley!

Greenfield is a bucolic little town full of charm and hippies, street kids, whole grain families of all shapes, sizes and orientations. There are organic awesome groceries stores rubbing economic elbows with larger, stockholder-ish grocery stores. There are old buildings seeing new interested owners reviving downtown. There are used bookstores, coffee shops, art spaces, adventurous dining (a BBQ joint is opening in the spot now vacant because the Thai restaurant found a larger spot.)

There are families. Gay, straight, off the grid, on the grid, solar panels, family beds, breastfeeding, organic farming, organic thinking....Got Hope? End This War! Love Makes A Family! Farmer's Markets downtown now accepting Food Stamps (now renamed something else?)

You have Mercedes Station Wagons parked next to Smart Cars, parked next to 20 year old Subarus, parked next to Hybrids, parked next to recumbent bikes, parked next to Volvos, parked next to vintage beater cars with a few Mini Coppers to add spice.

You've got students, business owners, bankers, bakers, moms off to the yoga class. You've got your professionals in their ubiquitous white dress shirts jaywalking to their next triumph. You've got the middle class (tightly in the middle...) You've got the Super Comfortable, you've got the struggling who aren't sure about the next day.

You've got your locavores, sensuously rolling in the local fare of this great valley. You've got your McDonalds junkies, Dunkin Donut freaks....Why buy organic fruits and veggies? There's nothing wrong with the artificial coloring in my kids yogurt! You've got vegetarian neighbors, backyard gardens, Kill Your TV, NPR, This Old House.

You've got summer carnivals and Autumn fairs. Two day music festivals. Arts, crafts, Harvest Suppers, local folks and tourists. You've got humanity eating, sleeping, growing, producing, engaging, loving, fighting, living, dying, starting, ending, driving, walking, crawling, building, tearing down, and CONSUMING.

Is a proposed Walmart really going to be the stick in the spoke of Greenfield? Sure there are the stories of underpaid employees, ill treated, overworked, lousy health insurance plans. There are the reported sweat shops run by child labor to produce the Hanna Montana t shirts. There are the tainted deli sandwiches eaten by many. Remember the "news" story a few years back....Donald Trump and then wife Ivana back to school shopping at a *gasp* Walmart!!!!

If you are outraged, then by gum do something about it!!!! Traffic will be a crazed mess on my street for certain!!!! I am not a Walmart fan (I have shopped there. My 5 year old wanted a Hanna Montana backpack for school. That is another story all on its own!) but I can say gratefully that I am not at an economic state to be forced to spend my earnings there. Is anti Walmart sentiment a bit of classicism? Who are the people that shop there, their annual income? Some will say "have you seen the people that shop there?"

Locals are hoping to have the proposed square footage reduced. Lots of Big Box meeting are scheduled locally so all can have their say. Living in this area has made me mindful and fully supportive of spending my dollars as locally as possible. I remember our first snowstorm in our new house and buying a shovel at the local hardware store (long closed now.) I was so proud of myself for spending $17 on that shovel when I could have driven to Home Depot and spent maybe $10?

Is it possible that all can coexist? It's not going to be built smack in the middle of downtown (thank God!) Maybe there are families hoping for employment, health insurance, and less expensive goods. Their everyday worries far outweigh traffic snarls and the insidious global takeover of Walmart.

Sadly, the world is not a fair playing field.

Just my humble opinion...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This Is Too Good To Make Up

"Mom, some people in other countries eat sheep brains, I wouldn't because my belly would be filled with sheep memories."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

All Of This In Five Minutes

"Does it hurt to have babies?" I'm not going to sugar coat this the simplest terms I told Lola it hurts like a shot hurts, only for a while. HA! "Mom, why can't I adopt instead?" Of course I said this was also a way to do it if she wished. I told her she had lots and lots of years to think about this. From my lips to God's ears! "Just adopt for me and let me have the baby. I don't want it to hurt."

"Are superheros real, like in the cartoons?" "No, not with superpowers, X-ray vision, super heated rays blasting from their eyes to melt walls, super power wonder twins activate!" I told her there are REAL superheros. People that help others and make the world a better place. Maybe teachers, doctors, nurses, people that give to those who don't have much. "Like Santa and you and Daddy."

To be ranked with Santa...not bad.