I’ve never been one to paint a rosy picture of parenthood. It’s very tough! I can’t imagine NOT being a mom, but it is a really, really difficult job. Or at least it has been for me. So this is what irks me: all these “celeb moms” who always go on and on after they have a baby about how beautiful and wonderful and awe-inspiring and blah blah it is. Sure, I might have been able to wax rhapsodically like that if I had nannies, a cook, a housekeeper, an accountant, personal trainer, etc. etc. and didn’t have to do anything that was even remotely stressful or unpleasant. Instead, I always felt like there was something wrong with me for not feeling absolutely rapturous whenever I’m around my children. Then there’s the flaunting of the celeb’s fabulous “post-baby body” and how the new mom “rocks a bikini”. Ugh. When most of us have a newborn we’re lucky if we get a daily shower. We’re worried about rocking a colicky baby to sleep, not ”rocking a bikini”. But the (not really) funny thing is that a year or two or maybe ten years later … out comes the admissions from these celeb moms that they really battled post-partum depression and the like. So it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for them, either. And the blissful home life was a lie, because now the celeb mom and her baby daddy are getting divorced (if in fact they were ever married). My point is, a little honesty about the challenges of parenthood would go a long way.
Archive for August, 2011
1) Some photos I saw on the Web (msn.com and weather.com) during the hurricane showed kids on the beaches with their families in the middle of the flippin’ hurricane! The parents should lose custody of their children as they are obviously putting their children’s life at risk. (I love a great photo opp as much as the next person, but I would NOT put my children’s lives in danger to take advantage of one.)
2) I’m glad NYC Mayor Bloomberg took the precautions he did. I’m sure it was incredibly inconvenient for millions of people, but I lean toward “better safe than sorry”. Does anyone doubt that had evacuations not been ordered like they were that more lives would have been lost?
3) Just because 1,800 people didn’t die and a whole city wasn’t almost entirely destroyed like when Hurricane Katrina hit doesn’t mean Hurricane Irene was “weak”. Look at these photos. http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/frightening-hurricane-irene-destruction-photos#responses
Interesting tips. But see, now as parents, we’ll be on to our teenager’s tricks (i.e. if their neck smells like toothpaste, they ask you to pick up some Vitamin K cream when you’re at the drug store, or they start wearing scarves as a fashion accessory). I know it’s impossible to stay a step ahead of a teenager, but it’s worth a try.
Kids like popular music. And they like to sing along to the radio, or download the songs to their iPods. However, a lot of popular music has lyrics that could be considered inappropriate for young kids (or at least I consider inappropriate for my kids!). If it’s a fact of having curse words in the song, some radio stations bleep the words out (some don’t) or soften them. But sometimes it’s more innuendo. So Kidz Bop (a company geared to kids and tweens who sell “today’s latest hits sung by kids for kids”) actually change the lyrics. For example, in the Bruno Mars song, “Just the way you are”, “her laugh her laugh/she hates but I think it’s so sexy” the word “sexy” changes to “funny”. The Black Eyed Peas lyrics in “I gotta feeling” change from “look at her dancing/just take it off” to “look at her dancing/just dance along”. (I’m waiting to see what they do with the “menage a trois” and hickey references in Katy Perry’s hit “Last Friday Night”). The problem is, I can’t stand the Kidz Bop versions. Eeek! Anyway, when a song has really “bad” lyrics, the performer often offers both an ”explicit” and regular version of a song. But references to things like hickeys seem to be a grey area. I have a solution. How about if performers who want to be mainstream pop artists just cleaned up their lyrics?
Before my niece left for college, she had a bunch of girlfriends sleep over. Their plan was to watch a bunch of their favorite Disney movies all night long (while munching on a batch of raw cookie dough). When I told my husband’s 16-year-old nieces about this tonight they all said, “Yeah, I can totally see doing that,” before rattling off all their favorites (“Mulan”, “Aristocats” and “Lion King” among them). Then they ran back to watch the “Peter Pan” DVD they had put on for the littler kids, wink wink. I stood by the door watching three 16-year-old girls, two 13-year-old boys and five of the littler kids all howling with delight as the crocodile chased Captain Hook across the ocean near the end of that movie. The innocence of that moment was refreshing.
It’s a fact that a majority of adults and kids are overweight, yet PE has been cut to once a week in most elementary schools. So why can’t schools offer parent-child exercise classes (yoga, line dancing) or open gyms (for basketball, jump roping) in the evenings? An open gym wouldn’t cost anything, and to pay an instructor or two $50 a week to teach a class doesn’t seem out of line. Have everyone who takes a class pay $1 to help defray the cost of the instructor and sign a waiver form. It makes sense to me.
A couple weeks ago I was driving behind a car that had written “RIP (name) (date of birth)-(date of death)” in large letters on the back window. My heart went out to the person who had lost this child, but I don’t think I would ever put my loss on something as public as my car, a T-shirt or tattoo. Though I totally respect that everyone deals with grief in his or her own way.
My husband and I rented this indie flick a couple years ago, encouraged by a woman we know who thought it was one of the best movies ever. I’m a bit fuzzy about it, but the story kind of goes like this: Small-town waitress wants to leave her despicable abusive husband for a better life, but then he finds her secret stash of money and she finds out she’s pregnant. She then has an affair with her married OB-gyn. At the end of movie, she leaves both her husband and the doctor (BTW the doctor’s wife is shown and she is very nice) and, through a lucky accident, is able to leave town with her daughter for the better life she had dreamed of. My husband and I both had a problem with the movie because of the waitress’ adultery. Being married to a jerk doesn’t make having an affair okay, and the fact that he was married to what seemed to be a nice person made it worse. What I found interesting was, when talking to women who had seen the film, which ones loved it and which ones didn’t. Could there be a correlation to a woman’s view on adultery?
Last night my husband was outside and said he’d never seen so many toads around. I knew we were in for a big storm later and wondered if toads were one of those animals that can “predict” bad weather. Interestingly enough, I came across some articles on the Web about toads “predicting” earthquakes. For example, 96 percent of male toads in a certain group left their breeding site (which they don’t ever do until the breeding’s done) five days before an earthquake that struck L’Aquila in Italy in 2009. The breeding site was located 46 miles from the earthquake’s epicentre. The toads didn’t return until 10 days after the last major aftershock. Another example: two days before a 2008 quake killed tens of thousands of people in China, thousands of toads suddenly decided to get out of town. Apparently, there are tons of anecdotes about strange behavior in certain kinds of animals before a natural disaster but not much scientific data (the Italy incident was a random accident). I don’t need scientific proof — if I saw thousands of toads going somewhere in a hurry, I’d be right behind them!
but I’m still freaked out by Hurricane Irene and the potential damage and deaths she may cause in that awful path she’s tracking. And the fact that the paths of hurricanes are so unpredictable — a slight veer in her path could make or break a city like NYC. I have to admit I’m scared when we get rare high wind gusts (50+ mph) here in the Midwest — I can’t even imagine a 120+ mph wind. (Although one science museum we visited had a machine that you stepped into and it simulated hurricane-strength winds. What power! I’ve seen that machine at two other museums we were at this year but there was a $2 fee to use it.) The uncertainty if you live anywhere near anywhere the hurricane may hit (Do you evacuate and if so, when? How much preparation should you do? Do you cancel things that have been planned for a year (like a wedding) on the chance a hurricane may hit? Etc. Etc.) is too much for a control freak like me. Then you always have the, I’m sorry, idiots who try to go surfing or ignore the mandatory evacuations and then have to be rescued, often with innocent people dying trying to save them. All I have to say is, I’m glad I live in the Midwest but I’ll say a prayer for the people on the East Coast.