Friday, June 29, 2012

Weight Watchers - leave new moms alone.

Weight Watchers is smart.

They have created a billion dollar industry convincing women across the globe that if they just count, track, and log every bite of food they put into their mouths - they can ditch the yoga pants, don some tight jeans and knee high boots, and become an after picture success story.

Well, apparently the millions of men and women tracking their food and activity points across the globe,  just isn't enough.  Their newest, genius, marketing target?  The new mom.

Who best to be the poster child for this campaign?  Jessica Simpson, of course.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this strategy out.  Jessica is famous for her weight struggles - particularly the ones she had during this pregnancy.  Every few weeks there was a new headline.  Is Jessica's weight gain safe for baby?  Even appearing on a show surrounded by what one would expect to be sympathetic hosts - the strictly female-staffed The View - wasn't safe.  Joy Behar called her fat.  


My pregnancy photos look nothing like this.   No fair.



Jessica signs a $4 million contract to lose 50 pounds in five months.  For a company that boasts being "dedicated to inspiring and helping you adopt a healthier way to live," it seems a bit rash, doesn't it?  Why 50 pounds in five months?  It clearly states under every success story on their site people following the plan can expect to lose one to two pounds per week.  Okay, let's split the difference and call it a pound and a half.  I think that's fair.  So by Weight Watchers own claims, following the plan the way it should be followed, you can expect to lose 30 pounds in five months.  Yet Simpson signed a contract to lose almost double that.  Even if she did perform at the high end of those expectations she would cap out at 40 pounds.  Still 20% less than what Weight Watchers is asking.

This is why Weight Watchers is genius, and also why I hate them.  They are swooping in on the tail end of all the criticism.  Post-pregnancy pictures show Jessica fatter than she has ever been.  Weight Watchers knows that the public has a short attention span.  This stuff won't be interesting for long. They also know Jessica has all of the trainers and personal chefs she will ever need to make this happen.  And I'm pretty sure they are certain that a four million dollar price tag will ante up the motivation factor.  They know they are expecting more than their own credo even claims is possible. But they don't care.  Just do it, Jessica.  You're rich enough.  You've got the resources.

What really pisses me off, is that when she does emerge 50 pounds lighter - which she will - regular women are going to actually believe this is possible for them.  They are going to watch Jessica strut around in some Daisy Dukes in a Weight Watchers ad a few months from now, and wonder why they are still in their pregnancy pants.

If Weight Watchers is going to sell post-partum women on this fantasy, they are going to have to customize their website a little.  Is breastfeeding on your activity list?  How many points do I get for that?  Maybe it depends on how much milk I yield?  How about walking up to my fourth floor apartment, with the Baby Bjorn strapped to my torso, and a handful of groceries.  How many activity points for that?  How many points in approximately a half a handful of elbow pasta I picked off the floor?  Oh, also - can you please add toddler treats to your food lists?  I  can't find how many points are in an Earths Best teething cracker anywhere.

Being a new mom is stressful enough without logging every bite you take.  If you are breastfeeding, I'm not even sure if that is healthy behavior.   The most fantastic thing about being a new mom is enjoying those rare few months of total immersion.  You won't get those months back Jessica, you just won't.  You had the opportunity to be the poster mom for the average woman, who gains weight, enjoys her baby, and deals with it when it's time.  Instead, you decided to go another route.

"It's funny to be at your heaviest and feel the most confident.  I just take such pride in being a mom!  I just love my body more than ever now."  You were quoted as saying this a couple days after you gave birth.  Reading this quote makes me happy.  I only wish it made you happy, too.

But Weight Watchers is smart.  And $4 million dollars is a lot of money.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'll have a vodka martini. Hold the ironic mustache.

Bar experience.  Early spring, 2012.

Me: I'd like a Kettle martini, dry.  Shaken hard.
Bartender, begins shaking his head in disapproval.
Me:  Is there something wrong with my order?
Bartender:  Well, you really shouldn't shake your cocktails.  It adds an effervescence that takes away from the integrity of the spirit.  And if you're having a martini, you should really have gin.
Me:  Thanks for the tip, but I want a vat of cold vodka.  And shake the shit out of it, please.


For the love of Christ and everything holy, I never go out.  On this particular night, I actually made it out to meet a friend for a drink.  This is the first interaction that took place.  Man, was it annoying.  I couldn't say all of the things I wanted to, because the friend I was with has an innate need to be liked. I totally don't have that. Even though this bartender was a complete douche, he spent the rest of the evening trying to charm a smile out of the guy - and tipped him 30%.

Yes, I am writing about booze today.  It may be because I have been on this cleanse for 10 days.  Or it may be because I read an article about New York City's artisanal cocktail culture this morning.  The article was a little annoying, and reminded me of the above interaction.  Everywhere you go in New York, your bartender is a "mixologist" with a curly mustache and suspenders.  There are 400 ingredients in your cocktail that all have to be hand mulled - by a man, of course, because this is prohibition New York that we are trying to emulate - and women didn't work in bars back then.  Gross.  I hope this fad passes soon.

No.



Anyway, since my friend wouldn't let me speak that night, I decided to write a letter that I will never send to Mr. Bartender Douchebag Extraordinaire.

Dear Bartender Douchebag Extraordinaire,

I realize your establishment has brainwashed you into taking your job way to seriously, and that is not your fault.  What is your fault, is annoying the fuck out of me on my only night out in months.

I held up my end of the deal.  I was respectful.  I smiled.  I sat down and told you exactly what I wanted.  And you proceeded to try and convince - nay, shame me into thinking it wasn't.  I love gin.  It's great.  I am aware that there are bars that don't even stock vodka because they consider it to be a substandard spirit.  Yours is not one of them, evidenced by the fact that you had five different varieties of it on your shelves.

Have you heard of James Bond?  He's just about the coolest fictional character of all time.  Guess what he drinks?  A vodka martini - shaken, not stirred.  So there.

But back to you and the way that you are doing your job.  When you don't smile, you are really doing the curly mustache you sport a disservice, because I imagine it would be showcased in all of it's glory if it was in motion.  Smiling at a person is a very easy way to make them feel welcome.  Apparently you are unaware that you are in the hospitality business, and that very word means a friendly and generous reception.  


Your stone-faced demeanor and your attempt to change my order - made sitting at your bar a giant bummer.  You look like you are about 26.  Do you know what that means?  It means I have been bartending since you were eight years old.  That depressing fact means that I might know what I want to drink.  Also, you can't shake effervescence into something.  You just can't.  And cold martinis are delicious, and water is an integral part of a cocktail.  But even if you believe that I am ordering a sub-standard spirit, made wrong, and served too cold - nobody cares.  You aren't paying for it.

Yours truly,
Bitter Old Bartender From a Bygone Generation








read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Monday, June 25, 2012

Deconstructing Deepak




Translation: you're late.  Or, it's not possible to be late, because now is also 10 minutes ago.  Or, time doesn't exist so buy a ticket to my yoga retreat.



Translation:  Stop looking at me.  Why is everybody looking at me?  I want Cheetos.



Translation:  Do these Versace frames make me look fat?  I don't think so, either.




Translation:  I've never completed an NYT crossword puzzle.  Ever.




Translation:  Buy a ticket to my yoga retreat.


Um, what?




I apologize in advance if I am poking fun at anyone's Guru, but I've been laughing so hard I nearly peed myself, so I want to share the joy.  

Coming next week:  Whose tweets are more annoying- Mario Batali, or Deepak Chopra?



In other news:  I'm on day 8 of my cleanse.  Everyone around me is still alive, and still likes me (I think).  Caffeine withdrawal headaches are gone, and I'm down 4 pounds.  


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stay gold.


Today's Stream of Consciousness Sunday prompt is What are the stories of your life that you love to tell people when you have a chance?  There's just a small problem with responding to that.  Each of the favorite stories of my life standing on its own merit- out of context of the rest of my experiences- would probably just make me sound like a total weirdo.  Or a drug addict.  Or someone who believes in ghosts.

So, in the interest of keeping my Internet rep intact- I'm going in a different direction.  This prompt made me think of my favorite kind of storytelling- the kind that rests on a shared nostalgia.  This shared nostalgia usually involves complaining about how much things have changed.  


They're rebuilding Coney Island.  They've already dismantled most of the original boardwalk.  Now there's talk of condominiums and premium shopping.  Same with Fulton Mall.  Everyone wants luxury, it seems.  Or everyone wants the same, safe surroundings.  The same vanilla box commercial spaces.  The same mass produced skirt.

I remember when Starbucks first got really popular.  People always used to say, You know you'll get the same cup of coffee every time you go there.  Apparently, every Starbucks, every where in the world gives you the same, perfect blend.  Apparently, that's a selling point.

Well that sucks, if you ask me.  I don't want the same cup of coffee.  I don't want to stroll by a seemingly endless stream of the same corporate clones- every time I go anywhere.  What a bummer.

The favorite stories of my life happened in places that weren't like this.

Luckily, I still have some shots of the Coney Island that was.










Like the idea of Stream of Consciousness Sunday?  Link up at all.things.fadra..



Friday, June 22, 2012

"Nothing" is very expensive.

Well, this came in the mail today:




I'm not sure if you read about our experience in the emergency room from hell, but the gist of the whole situation was that Lucien had an abrasion, which required no medical care, whatsoever.

Doctor: He doesn't need stitches.  You can go.
Me: You don't have to do anything?
Doctor blithely rubs some ointment on Lucien's face, I'm pretty sure just to placate me.
Doctor:  No. Nothing.


Well, it turns out that nothing costs $450.

It's in Lucien's name.  God, I wonder how he's going to pay this?   He better get himself a Baby Gap ad or something.  I wouldn't want his credit to be ruined.  I think I heard that dings on your credit report only go back 8 years, so by the time he's ready to buy a cool bike he should be okay.

Aww.  His first debt.  He's definitely a little American.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

City kids love swings.





The park at sunset is the best.  I miss seeing it over the ocean, but it's still pretty cool the way it filters through the buildings...

Lucien makes a b line for the swings every time we get to the park.  He has no interest in the jungle gyms, whatsoever.  Swings and sidewalk chalk- that's about it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I hate trying. I love coffee.

I don't want to write about this, I really don't.  But I'm going to anyway.

I'm on day two of what is intended to be a twenty one day cleanse.  I decided that I would take it week by week, because twenty one days sounds impossible- and I don't like setting myself up for failure.  Plus my sister and her husband are coming here for five days over the fourth of July, so there will probably be hot dogs and beer in my near future.

It's called The Clean Program.  You stop consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy, most meats and wheat.  No big whoop.  You just have to give up all of the things that you love.  But you can still have of tons of juiced spinach and apples so it's not that bad.  I wish there was a special font for sarcasm.

Why am I doing this?  Because I'm sick of feeling like shit.  You know that feeling you get, when you have two mimosas at brunch, and you are ready for a nap by 2pm?  I basically get that feeling every day.  And no, I have not been having mimosas for breakfast.  Unfortunately.

When I tell people that I am constantly tired, they usually say something like, You have a toddler and you work full time.  Of course you are!  For several months, I have been relying on these responses to keep me safely in my routine, and take all of the responsibility for the way I feel off of my shoulders.  And boy has it worked.  I still feel like shit, but I have mastered lying to myself and relying on other people to blow smoke up my ass.  I've even gone so far as to correct people for giving me good advice.

Me:  God.  I am so tired.  I don't know what's wrong with me.
Random, sane person:  Maybe you should take some vitamins.  Or get a little more exercise.
Me:  Do you know how hard it is to have a toddler and work full time, with no day care or assistance, whatsoever? 
Random, sane person:  Sorry.


So last weekend I finally decided that I wasn't doing myself any favors with all of this denial and gluttony.  I've been drinking way too much coffee and wine, and eating whatever the hell I want.  That is why I feel like shit all of the time.  Not because I have a toddler and work.  There are plenty of people in my situation that are not constantly exhausted.  Pity party over.  Time for action.

I chose this particular cleanse because it is one that I have done before, with great results.  I did it at the end of a particularly hard year, complete with two miscarriages and the death of my father.  I really felt like I was carrying some sort of toxic sadness and stress around with me everywhere I went.  I was desperate for some relief.  I can't remember now what I googled to get me there, but somehow I arrived at an advertisement for the book, The Clean Program, by Dr. Junger.

I like his method because there is still food involved.  It's basically some sort of fresh juice blend or smoothie for breakfast, some lunch that does not include any food on his NO list, and more fresh juice for dinner.  I am going a little less hardcore this time around, and having the juice for breakfast and  then consuming two meals that don't include any of the NO foods.  The only downfall is that you need either a juicer, or access to somewhere where you can purchase freshly made juice blends.  You can purchase a kit from his website to avoid juicing yourself, but it is ridiculously expensive.  Rather than try to explain this any further, I'll just provide a link to the support forum where you can find information, advice and recipes.


I'm only on day two, but detoxing from all of this stuff at the same time is no joke.  You are supposed to do some pre-cleanse preparation, but of course I didn't do that.  The caffeine withdrawal is hitting me hardest.  Yesterday I was in so much pain that if the ghost of Steve Jobs came to my door with a Venti coffee, I would have probably sold Lucien into child slavery at an iPad factory.  Today, Lucien is safe from any Poltergeists that might appear.

Okay, what's done is done.  Now I have put it on the inter web, and there is some pressure to succeed- which I need.  If anyone has done this and has any tips for me, feel free to advise in the comments.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

All about my father.

It's Stream of Consciousness Sunday, and naturally the writing prompt is all about fathers.

I had a bittersweet relationship with my father.  Emphasis on bitter.  I used to have an impossible time finding a Father's Day card for that man.  My father was not sappy, and frankly, none of those Thanks Dad,  for being my rock cards would have made a whole lot of sense in the context of our relationship.

One thing my father did have was a sense of humor.  So I think he would appreciate this card I made for him today.


There's no way I could fit all of my complicated feelings about my father into a Stream of Consciousness Sunday post.  So I am going to link to a letter that I wrote to my father this year, on what would have been his 78th birthday.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  You would be happy to know that Lucien's father is amazing.



Like the idea of Stream of Consciousness Sunday?  Link up at All Things Fadra.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Vagina, Vagina, Vagina.

Well ladies, just in case you thought we were making some political headway-  the male members of the Michigan House of Representatives would like to remind us that we are all tantamount to misbehaved little girls that need to be kept in line.  Also, don't say the word vagina.  I mean, really.  It's gross.

That's trademarked.  Wow.



I'm sure you have all heard the story by now.  Two female Democratic Representatives in the Michigan House were silenced because in the midst of a debate about a horrifying anti-abortion bill that republicans are trying to pass.  Rep. Lisa Brown said:

I'm flattered you are so interested in my vagina, but no means no.

In turn, she wasn't allowed to speak on the House floor the next day, which just happened to be the last day that the House was in session, before its long summer break.


She was debating a bill that would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape victims or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly.  There may be a narrow exception permitted in the case where the mother's life is at risk- but that has to be determined by a physician who- let's face it- will obviously be terrified to commit a procedure that could be labeled as criminal.  Even the most sympathetic doctors are not going to want to go down that road.

As for Representative Byrum, she believes she was hushed for her use of the term "vasectomy."  Apparently, these are some queasy, penis-having, vagina-hating men- with some delicate constitutions.

The official excuse as to why they were silenced is this;  They behaved in a way that disrupted the decorum of the House.  That's what  Ari Adler, a spokesman for the House Majority Leader said.  Translation- that wasn't very ladylike, ladies.  Ladies don't use the word, vagina.  And ladies don't get visibly angry.  Yes, I know we are making you have rape babies, but really- do you have to get your panties in a wad?  You must be PMS-ing.  Don't bring up the snippety-snip of the man bits, and in the future, when referring to medical procedures that happen in your nether regions- can you just say lady box, va-jay-jay, hoo-ha, or vee-vee?  I mean really- have some decorum.

Decorum?  Give me a break, dude.  I don't think that means what you thinks it means.  Decorum refers to appropriateness of behavior or conduct.  In other words, decency.  This ridiculous bill that is being proposed is the biggest example of disruptive decorum, ever.  Reacting to it is just- human.  Those women were silenced for having opinions.  They were silenced for giving a shit about their own bodies, and wanting to hold on to their basic human right to control said bodies.

But most importantly, they were silenced because they could be.  Because a male dominated House gets to choose when a woman speaks, even if she is a professional peer.  Because a male dominated House gets to decide what a woman does with her body.  And if they get to decide what she does with her vagina, then they damn sure get to decide when she talks.  It makes sense, really.  Why would we expect anything more?

I love the use of the word "tantrum" in referring what took place with Byrum.  Silly little woman, don't raise your voice!  Yes, everyone is blatantly ignoring you- but you should be happy just to be here.  We're humoring you.  We really don't give a shit what you think!  Don't worry your pretty little head about all of this complicated legislation.  Shhhh!

I hate to be the champion of the obvious,  but vagina is not a bad word.  It is an anatomical term.  But I guess if you hate women, it stands to reason that you would also be troubled by the word, vagina.

Vagina.  Vagina.  Vagina.

We will not be silenced, assholes.  Stop fucking with us.
Now those are bad words.



Yes!



I set a goal of 100,000 views by summer and I got there today!  Yay!

Thanks everyone, for actually reading what I write.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today.







Reading is fundamental.  The Barnes and Noble kids section is a great way to kill a few hours and ensure an awesome nap.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's not me, it's you.

I read an article a couple of months ago about parents taking out loans to send their children to kindergarten.  I wanted to write a post about it then, but self preservation forced me to immediately file it in the I can't think about this right now or I will walk to the Brooklyn Bridge and jump off sector of my brain.

I really wanted to believe this was just a myth, but upon further investigation- it ends up that it is all true.  Parents are paying $20,000 a year to send their kids to grade school.  I thought this was just another alien behavior of the uber-rich, but unfortunately- it's not.  Middle class Americans are taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to make sure that their kids will be keeping up with the proverbial Joneses.

Holy shit.

Frightening.


That is a hell of a lot of money to spend, before your child even gets to college.  What happens when you've shelled out $250,000 for Sally's early education, and she decides that she doesn't want to go to college?  What then?  I'm guessing that not going to college won't even be a possibility for her, will it?  Or that there will be some disowning going on.  What happens when you are paying $20,000 a year for your children to go to grade school, and they have a hard time learning their multiplication tables? What if they fall behind a little?  How much pressure are we going to be putting on our kids to perform?

I see some insane behavior all around me already- and Lucien's peers aren't even two yet.  Dance classes. Gym classes.  Preschool, at age two.  I didn't even know that existed.  We really have to get started potty training because the preschool won't take them if they're not.  Jesus.  This I don't understand.  For what you are paying there should definitely be some ass wiping going on.

There is competitive preschool in my neighborhood.  Yes, I have actually heard those two words- competitive and preschool- strung together, when someone was referring to this place.  It is called the Co-op School.  The tuition is $1250 a month.  Add to that a non-refundable application fee of $50.  And a non-refundable administrative enrollment fee of $100.  I don't even know what that is.  Then there is the monthly cleaning and enrichment fee of $15-25.  I almost forgot the membership fee of $750- so yeah, there's that, too.

Okay, so that's 10 months at $1250 a month.  Plus all of those extra fees, which amounts to a grand total of $13,650.  Thirteen thousand, six hundred, and fifty dollars.  For one year of preschool.  I forgot to mention that the "co-operative structure" means you also have to provide classroom snacks twice a year, participate in school space clean up once a year, participate in fundraising tasks,  serve actively on a committee,  attend general membership meetings, and have an active listserv membership.

Oh, and there's no sliding scale.  We want to enrich the lives of our children, but we definitely don't want them to interact with the pre-K riff raff.

This brings us to the source of a lot of my anxiety.  I obviously cannot afford this.  So, have I done something wrong?  Did I have the right to have a child, that apparently I cannot afford?  Or is everyone else just out of their mother f-ing minds?  I'm obviously opting for the latter.

It's not me, it's you.

We all want the best for our children, including myself.  But I don't see how believing the hype that we can only purchase the things that are best for our kids, is doing anything to enrich the lives of anyone- least of all our children.  Is our public school system such a lost cause that we can't push for legislation that will improve what our tax dollars are already paying for?  Or have we just been so let down by our government's services for so long that we have forgotten that education used to be one of them?

I'm going to go color and eat peanut butter crackers with my child now.   For free.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Totally.



Snarky cartoons make me happy.  The first one is my creation, of course.  The second one I found on Facebook.  If you ever want to waste time, go on someecards.com.  It's fun.

Secret Agent Mom

It's Stream of Consciousness Sunday, and Fadra's writing prompt is: Do you have a secret blogging life?

Do I have a secret blogging life?  Yeah.  Totally.

It's been about five months and I'm approaching 100,000 hits to this thing I have created- so there are certainly people around me that are reading it, right?  I even made some cool postcards hoping people will pick them up and feel compelled to come here.  I live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is teaming with parents, babies, strollers and nannies.   I've pretty much littered the neighborhood with these cards.



In fact, as I write this I am sitting in a coffee shop watching an unsuspecting parent pick up my card and look it over.  Will she keep it?  Now I'm staring at her creepily to see what she will do with it.
Success!  She put it in her bag.

Yes, I have a secret blogging life.  I kind of like it that way because, if you haven't noticed- I don't really like to censor myself.  And since I write about parenting and its quirks, obviously I have a lot of fodder around me.  I probably don't want to give away to my customers that their waitress will be deconstructing their dinner conversation with their kids.  And probably making fun of it.  Online.

Lucien is a dead giveaway though.  Let's face it- he's gorgeous.   And I'm constantly plastering his face all over this thing.  That head of hair is certainly recognizable.   I knew it was only a matter of time before someone would connect the dots.  Here's what happened.

I was at his 18 month checkup.  I go the front desk to check in, and the receptionist informs me that Lucien's insurance was cancelled.  She's not sure why, but we will definitely have to pay for this visit out of pocket.  Oh, and the last one too.  It's May, and his insurance dropped him-with no notice to me- on March 31st.   I was in the waiting room, surrounded by women who are doing this better than I am.  They have nannies.  And nice things.  And real insurance from a real job.

Great.  That will be about $300 that we don't have.  I have one of those I'm a failure at parenting, what the fuck am I doing, we have no money moments, and I feel a knot in my throat and the impending tears coming.  I keep them at bay, grab Lucien and walk into the exam room.

Our doctor enters, sits down, and says, Okay.  Are you Guerrilla Mom?  You have some fans here.  We love your blog.  We really love it.

At that moment I get the boost of resolve that I need.  I pull from the reserve well of strength that I only discovered I had after I became a mom.  I look at Lucien and think, I won't let you down, kid.  I can do this.

Yes, I have a secret blogging life.  But it won't be that way forever.



Like the idea of Stream of Consciousness Sunday?  Follow the writing prompts and link up here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

F@#k off, Gisele.

Oh God.  As if pregnant women and new mothers don't feel shitty enough.  Gisele is dropping  some supermodel mommy wisdom on us all.  Brace yourselves- this is going to change your life.  

Oh my god!  I have the same, exact pregnancy photo.   Weird.

On pregnancy:  I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds.

Thirty pounds?  What the hell is so great about that?  I only gained 15 and I ate Kit Kats and peaches for nine months.  Fine, I was already fat, whatever.  That's not the point.  Don't call pregnant women garbage disposals because they give into a few cravings.  That is just stupid.

On her home birth:  I wanted to be very aware and present during the birth… I didn’t want to be drugged up. So I did a lot of preparation, I did yoga and meditation, so I managed to have a very tranquil birth at home. It didn’t hurt in the slightest.

After attempting a natural childbirth, and ending up with an emergency C-section, I have come to the conclusion that the natural birth badge of honor women wear is a load of shit.  I did a ton of meditation before the birth.  Guess what?  When my doctor had to manually dilate me to 4 cm to get a heart monitor on Lucien's head (read, insert both of her hands into my unmedicated vagina) it hurt like hell.  Should I be ashamed of that?  When women like Gisele tell me that childbirth doesn't hurt, I naturally think they are liars.  

Since you've already proven yourself to be some super-human delivery machine, you should really try to one-up yourself with this birth.  I have an idea!  Why don't you deliver this baby while walking over some hot coals, Gisele. Then you can bend down and bite through the umbilical cord, hold up the second coming, and scream This doesn't hurt bitches!  I win!  I win!

On formula feeding:  Some people here (in the US) think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?’ I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.

Well, we can all thank God that your opinion doesn't matter- at all.  Yes, Giselle- this is a fantastic idea.  What women do with their bodies is definitely not legislated enough.  We need more intrusion and intervention in the basic choices that we make about our bodies and our children.  You should definitely be the poster girl for this campaign.  Breastfeed or go to jail- you decide.  

On potty training:   Gisele was potty training Benjamin by 6 months, explaining that she’d breastfeed and then shortly after hold him over the toilet: “Give it about five minutes, and bang.”

Sorry to break it to you, but holding your infant over a toilet instead of letting him pee in a diaper is not potty training.  It's just not.  You know what it is?  A mother f-ing waste of time.  I'm not spending half the day holding my infant over a toilet, just so I can claim that he used the toilet before he could walk.

In conclusion, shut up, Gisele.  For the love of Christ and everything holy, just shut up.


Thanks Elsa, for sending me the Babycenter link that inspired this rant.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Emergency room from hell.

Well, it happened.

Lucien had his first big fall.  His first face wound.  And his first trip to the ER.

It was Friday night.  Lucien was doing his usual, I am not sleeping, ever routine.  It was getting a little chilly, so I took him out of his pack and play for a few minutes to change his pajamas.  This kid loves being sans clothes, so he started giddily running around the room, tripped on a toy, and banged his face on the corner of a nesting table.  I knew it was bad by the sound of it.  He turned around and the skin around his eye was immediately swollen and purple, and he was bleeding.

His father comes running out of the bedroom, looks at him, and freaks.  I thought I would be bad in an emergency situation.  I was actually the calm one for once.  It's hard to tell if he is going to need a stitch or not, so we call a car and head to the emergency room.

He wasn't there God dammit. God dammit, he wasn't there.


The Brooklyn Hospital ER on a Friday night is a great place for kids.   Kidding.  This place is scary and gross.  It's an ER, so everyone is obviously miserable.  I get in line to register, and look at the two options of my impending interaction.  One is a stone-faced man who looks totally un-interested in the woman who is sitting in front of him, in pain and weeping.  I'm not sure if this man has ever smiled in his life.  The woman sitting next to him looks equally disinterested, and also a little confused.  She does look like she may have broken a smile once or twice, so I hope that she will be the one helping us.

As luck would have it, she is.  Unfortunately, it turns out I chose wrong- which doesn't surprise me because I never pick the right line, ever.  I walk up to her, holding Lucien, and she begins to ask all of the necessary questions.  Then she suddenly stops, looks at me and whispers
Do you see that door over there?
Yes.
Go knock on it.  Ask the nurse to look at your baby.
Um, okay.  I don't have to register?
Well, just go knock.  
Then she lowers her eyes and whispers even lower,
You're white.  No offense.  Go ahead.  Go ahead.

What?  Now I am confused.  What the hell is this woman talking about?  White people don't have to register at this hospital?  Suddenly I feel like I'm in some third world country.  But, my desire to expedite this ER experience overrules reason, and I follow her weird instructions.

I knock on the door.  The nurse looks up, clearly wondering why the hell I'm back there.
Can I help you?
The woman up front told me to come here and have you look at my baby.
What?  I can't just look at your baby.  You have to register.  Are you asking me to illegally triage your son?
Um, no.

Now I feel like a huge asshole, and my baby is still bleeding.  I cut to the front of the registry line, and revisit strange check in lady.  I'm about to freak.
So, it turns out white people have to check in, too.  
Oh, okay.  She nonchalantly continues to register Lucien.
What the hell, lady?  Am I on some bizarro, sadistic episode of Punk'd?  I swear, this kind of shit only happens to me.

My husband is sitting in the pediatric waiting room glaring at me.  He hasn't heard any of this strange interaction because he refuses to speak to me.  He's convinced it's my fault that we are there because I bought Lucien a new toy.  Yes, you heard me right- and yes, it's ridiculous.   He's convinced Lucien tripped on the new train I bought him.  He was sleeping at the time and didn't actually witness the fall- but he's still sure that it's my fault.

They're playing cartoons in the pediatric waiting room- but not for kids.  They have Adult Swim on, and it's playing Family Guy.  The three toddlers in there have their eyes transfixed on the screen, watching Peter and Lois role-play in bed.  I'm dying to make a joke about this, but my husband still isn't speaking to me.  Way to ruin a fun evening in the ER, honey.

We finally get in to see a doctor.  I am relieved that Lucien doesn't need a stitch and is totally fine.  At the same time, I feel like a jackass that we have spent three hours in an emergency room in Brooklyn for what turns out to be an abrasion.  I know it's an abrasion because the doctor gives me an instruction sheet entitled Abrasions, as we are leaving.  You know what the instructions on it are?  Rinse with soap and water.  I walk out of the ER wondering how the fuck I am going to accomplish this whole motherhood thing without going completely grey, developing an ulcer, and becoming an alcoholic.

Moral of the story;   you know those corner protectors they have for tables?   Buy them.  They wouldn't have stopped Lucien from falling, but they probably would have stopped the breaking of the skin, which would have stopped the bleeding, which would have stopped the parental freak-out.

I think.




*Update- these corners suck.  Lucien pulled them right off.  So, yeah.  I don't feel as bad for not "baby proofing."

This is why I love my job.

I asked my boss for a letter verifying my employment so I could renew Lucien's health insurance.  This is what he gave me.

Some days your boss is funnier than you.





Friday, June 1, 2012

Be nice or leave. You're welcome, bloggers.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about being attacked in cyberspace.  Well, maybe attacked is a little dramatic.  A more accurate description is probably disagreed with.  Only, some people are really mean when they disagree with you- and that is annoying as hell.  I mean, you can disagree with me- but you don't have to call me names.  Sheesh.

I got a lot of response from other bloggers who have gone through this.  My favorite was from my new Twitter friend Emily, who attempted to make me feel better by telling me that someone had called her an ass clown.  And fat.

Holy shit.  I am way too sensitive to be called fat.   Ass clown would probably just make me laugh and take a screen shot for a future post.  Anyway, a genius idea came to me today while reading through some comments.  Why not make some blog bling that tells readers the rules?  And for me, there is only one rule.

Be nice.  Or leave.

So I made this...


Photobucket
Don't you want this cute little badge on your blog?

The badge has two functions.  First, it informs possible jerks that you don't want to be called an ass clown, or fat.   Also, when you cut and paste the following code on your site, when your readers click on it- it will bring them to my new, struggling-to-get-viewers-and-followers blog.



I help you lead a more serene blogging life.
You help me get more readers to my blog.




Yesterday.






I know the Brooklyn Bridge is more photogenic, but something about the steel of the Manhattan Bridge against the gorgeous blue sky got me yesterday.  I think I was more excited about Lucien's first carousel ride than he was- but what's new?  Also, brought my mom over there.  She hates the subway.  Basically, my companions weren't as taken with our day trip as I was.  But, Brooklyn Bridge Park is beautiful.  Go there.