Just Because You Wrote a Parenting Book, it Doesn’t Mean Your Kid’s Not a Dick…

It must be nice to have this parenting thing all figured out.
It must be nice that your breast feeding/baby wearing/co-sleeping/baby massage has proven itself so successful…
Especially when all your kids are under ten and thus far none of them have given any indication that they’re on the spectrum.
I’m sure you’re super pleased that they’re all perfect little angels because they TRUST you…
Must be nice that that’s all it takes.
Shit, if I was as perfect a parent as you I’d write a bunch of books too so that others can see how darn easy it is to be so freaking perfect….
Oops, even with breast feeding/baby wearing/co sleeping/baby massage your baby still screams for no apparent reason.
Until you have no choice BUT to confine your child against his will (in a stroller, or holding his hand) because even offering to run together has him darting all over and hiding, or scaring the living shit out of you because he takes off and doesn’t respond when you call because he’s fascinated by whatever the hell he’s looking at.
Or if your child doesn’t want to be touched and therefore any massage you try to do makes him shriek.
Or if you’re trying to help your older (over 10) child learn a  particularly difficult concept and your younger one wants to play/run/etc NOW, and no amount of “trust” or “just a minute sweetheart”s is going to do.
I realize you’ve never had to wrestle with those concepts, and maybe it’s given you a skewed perception of your children.
I know my Keylime isn’t the friendliest.
I realize he has very concrete ideas of “NOW”.
I realize he has trouble understanding other people.
I know he thinks people can read his mind.
And yes, I KNOW he has trouble with spelling.
But when I’m holding him while he cries because he feels excluded by your “angel” because he started a club inviting every other kid to join EXCEPT Keylime, I know that the one concept I’m trying so hard to teach my son-EMPATHY-is completely lost on yours.


Baby It’s Cold Outside…Romantic Holiday Standard, or Outdated Creepy Date-Rape Carol

Let’s start with some history. Baby It’s Cold Outside was written in 1944, and the “characters” in the song were labeled “wolf” and “mouse” on the original score. Originally, a line like “Hey, what’s in this drink” would’ve been interpreted as someone not behaving normally and blaming it on the alcohol. Originally, this song would’ve been interpreted as the mouse/woman putting up a slight protest for appearances sake-which was acceptable in 1944, “what will the neighbors think?”
Here’s the problem though…
This is no longer 1944.
Seventy years have passed.
And A LOT has changed.
Women asking questions like “hey, what’s in this drink?” have led to the development of nail polish that detects the presence of drugs. Protesting for appearances sake have led to false cries of rape when a woman decides that staying over was a bad idea.
(Which makes it harder for actual rape victims to be believed and is the basis for the very loud, very obnoxious “men’s rights” movement.)
Few if any women like to be considered the “mouse” who is being coerced by a “wolf”.
As a woman and a mother of sons I wouldn’t want to be drugged anymore than I would want them to be falsely accused.
We know people who have been drugged.
And we know people who have been falsely accused.
Hell, California has even passed a law stating that “Yes means Yes”.
In that law it states that both partners have to be coherent and agree to sex.
If anyone’s asleep, drunk, or drugged, it doesn’t count as a “yes”.
The whole point of this?
Boo and Keylime are in their school’s theater class.
As part of their winter show, the teacher wants two of the students to perform Baby It’s Cold Outside.
From the first, Boo had a problem with this song, because we’ve discussed it and the importance of taking no for an answer.
A girl in the class was going to audition with it and then she read the lyrics.
One of the other mothers read the lyrics and raised her eyebrows.
On Thursday after class, Boo approached the teacher-the girl was gonna go with him but she had to leave-and explained that he felt this song was inappropriate for teens to sing, comparing it to Blurred Lines (which the teacher had never heard). He explained in particular about the “what’s in this drink?” line. He suggested that either another song be picked or maybe some of the lines could be changed.
I don’t think she quite understood what he was trying to say. I think she felt he had a problem with the fact that the “wolf” and “mouse” are drinking. I was in the room when she was talking to a parent in front of him and explaining why it’s a perfectly fine song and that she thinks some people are just too sensitive.
I wonder if the guy we know whose drink was drugged with GHB, he had a reaction, went into a coma and is now a quadriplegic or the girl who came-to on a pool table would consider themselves too sensitive.
A lot of things that were acceptable or considered “playful” in 1944 are no longer acceptable, and would not be tolerated.
One too many wolves have ruined it for the pack, and Baby needs to go home.

A Little Help for our Friends

I was 15 years old, and a Freshman in High School when Hurricane Hugo covered the state of South Carolina.
In the aftermath, if it weren’t for FEMA I don’t know what we would’ve done.
FEMA has helped whenever there was an emergency in this country.
Hurricanes (despite how long it took for Bush to send FEMA after Katrina), Earthquakes, Tornadoes, the Nor’easter that laid waste to New Jersey…FEMA was there.
NOW, we have a situation in Detroit that even the United Nations has called out as deplorable.
We have a city trying to privatize the water company and they’re shutting off anyone whose bill is past due.
This means no water…NONE, for 40% of Detroit.
That means their most vulnerable: the poor, the elderly, little children…NO WATER.
On the 14th I went to Whitehouse.gov to see if anyone had started a petition to send aid to Detroit…NOPE
So I wrote one up. It requires 150 signatures before it’s even posted on the whitehouse.gov website for others to sign.
I figured I have so many activist friends it wouldn’t be a problem and we’d be at 100,000 long before Aug 13th.
…Three days later we’re up to 16 signatures.
People are standing for hours holding signs outside SeaWorld but can’t sign their name so little kids in Detroit can have water?
At least the Orcas have water.
There are angry, pissed off people blocking buses filled with refugee children bitching that American children need help…
Okay, here’s a petition to help American children.
Or are you happier to bitch about the problem but not actually DO anything to help?
Maybe some people prefer to sit in a committee talking about social justice…it’s cleaner and less sweaty…and sometimes lunch is provided.
Or just throw money at an issue and feel like they’ve contributed.
Or maybe they just like to show up when the media’s present so they can say “hey look at me!”
I don’t understand.
Here are American children in need.
Looking to the adults to help.
There are activists in Detroit being arrested for blocking the shut off trucks.
The eyes of the world are upon us and we’re too busy looking at our shoes to notice.
Come on people, sign the petition.
Let the people of Detroit know that they’re not forgotten…(I even misspelled a word, feel free to bitch at me about it!)
Let’s get these people water. These kids will grow up someday, and maybe you’ll come across one.
Maybe they’ll ask you what you were doing while they were without water, when protective services was threatening to take them away from their family because their house had no running water.
At least you’ll be able to say you signed a petition to get FEMA there.


Can’t Win ‘Em All…

The way Keylime interprets commercials fascinates me.
Have you seen the “Baby Stuffies” commercial?
I’m guessing their target group is younger kids who want to be cool like high schoolers because it features attractive high school students playing around with the stuffed animals.
(How many of us read Seventeen when we were actually 17? I was around 12)
The first time he saw that commercial he was very upset by it.
“That’s a terrible commercial,” he said. “What about if a nerdy kid sees that and buys one thinking they’ll have lots of friends and be cool? They’ll get picked on. That’s not right.”
Keylime considers himself a nerdy kid- btw, so the fact that he’s able to use how he would feel in that situation and make it about someone else is outstanding.
Also, I’m really proud of the fact that he’s able to see the marketing strategy of the commercial.
…now, if he’d get past the idea that some sneakers will make him run faster/jump higher we’ll be all set.


I was called a hero again…
Simply for speaking my mind.
It’s not that hard, being a US Citizen to speak my truth though admittedly sometimes my voice shakes.
Sometimes I say too much, sometimes I make people think, sometimes I piss them off.
I was invited twice to speak at a social justice group because I was that person’s “hero”.
Twice I showed up, and twice she “forgot” to write me up into the meeting’s agenda.
The first time I raised my hand to speak.
The second time it was pointed out that I was there and that I was someone who could speak on the topic well.
I never went back to that group after that.
Speaking one’s truth isn’t hard, learning to separate yourself just enough to do what needs to be done, or say what needs to be said in the hopes that it will make another think isn’t all that hard.
The difficulty comes when you’re the only one standing on the corner holding a sign.
No media, just you and the public.
It’s fascinating to me the type of people you meet while doing that.
Sometimes you open people’s eyes, sometimes you see just how much the human heart can harden.
I don’t do what I do to be anyone’s hero.
In fact, it makes me very uncomfortable when people call me that.
I don’t want to be admired, I’d rather be joined.
I’d much rather someone come along and hold a sign with me, or speak their truth with me than tell me I’m their hero.

This Little Light of Mine

You’ll often see on Fundie Christian pages, or posted by Fundie Christians on FB questions about atheism/non belief such as “without God why be good?” and others of that ilk…
What they don’t seem to understand is that that particular question says more about them than any atheist or non-believer.
In essence what they’re saying is “I need to be kept in line by the promise of reward/punishment. If I didn’t have that I’d go nuts and do everything I want to do but don’t.”
Having been brought up Catholic to Fundie to Hypocritical-Christian-in-name-only-but-hey-I’m-forgiven, I feel like I’ve got an interesting perspective on things.
I’ve seen and experienced the inner workings and was taught the lingo.
We were Catholic til I was 8.
My first school was a private Baptist school, then a Catholic one for second and third grade.
When my brother’s leukemia relapsed and my parents joined Amway we became Fundie.
I went to Fundie school where I was taught to look over my shoulder for demons, received Jesus into my heart for the first time (in my life I’ve probably asked him to live there no less than 20 times because I was never confident he was actually there), and began waking up every night in a cold sweat having panic attacks about the impending Armaggedon.
I failed math in 4th grade so I got to spend a second fun-filled year with Mrs. Ball.
I never told my parents about what she taught us, because I knew there was no way they’d be able to save me from the violence of what was going to happen to us poor Christians (this was 1984/85).
As a matter of fact, I stayed with Mrs. Ball and her family a couple times while my brother was in the hospital and my dad was on duty (he was in the Navy)…
and it was there I noticed something strange.
Mrs. Ball would rail against he evils of TV and rock music like the best fire and brimstone preacher at school, and yet at home both her teenage boys listened to rock music.
They watched movies that were rated PG(!), and wore blue jeans!
See the thing is Fundies, and indeed all Christians have a safety net, and it’s one that frankly has annoyed me whole life-even when I WAS a Fundie.
Ask Jesus in your heart, ask God for forgiveness…all done, all better.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve murdered people, it doesn’t matter if you’ve hurt children.
The people you victimized don’t even have to forgive you, if you ask God for forgiveness, you’re forgiven…you don’t have to mean it five minutes after you asked, just so long as you did it at the time.
Then, if you’re a murderer, or you’ve hurt somebody, you can sit there smug as a bug because it doesn’t matter if your victims forgive you.
God did, and you get to go to heaven. If your victim committed suicide because of what you did, they DON’T get to go to heaven.
Now, isn’t that nice?
The thing about being a non-believer and/or atheist is that you don’t have a safety net.
You don’t murder people because-get this…
Oddly simple concept.
You don’t abuse children for the same reason- IT’S WRONG.
It’s interesting to me that the older I get the easier it is to embrace logic over fear, and the incredible peace that comes from being as non-religious as possible.
I haven’t woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat in years, I don’t fear the wrath of a deity.
I never understood the idea of a God who would allow good, decent people to go to hell simply because they didn’t believe in him.
I know there are many Christians who are also bothered by that concept, but shrug it off and terrorize all their friends and neighbors with the concept of hell so that they won’t be without them in heaven.
When my daughter was a baby we had her baptized in Ex-Asshole’s Grandma’s church (I loved his Grandma), Southern Methodist.
My very Catholic Aunt B called me up verrrrry upset telling me that E MUST be christened in the Catholic church. That if god-forbid something happened and she died as an infant and wasn’t christened that she’d be damned to hell…
Terrified, I did it as soon as I left Asshole.
Can you imagine?
What happened to all the babies who died before their parents had the chance to christen them?
Can you imagine being a parent and living with that kind of guilt?
And yet…when Boo and Keylime came along no one said anything.
And yet…my boys are pretty decent people.
Boo has noticed the hypocritical behavior of the Christians/Believers he’s gone to school with.
The ones who hate and make fun of kids who are different.
But hey, they’re saved right?
They’ll go to heaven.
Meanwhile, he and Keylime will do their best to be  decent people because it’s the RIGHT thing to do.
…and if God would send us to hell for that…
then I promise, he’s no God I’d want to spend eternity with anyways.

Sappy Mom Stuff

Yesterday we went up to Laguna Beach so Boo could attend a five hour ($15) Life Drawing Workshop at the Laguna College of Art and Design.
It’s a pretty nice school, and after we dropped him off we located the dorms, visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and went to the beach.
LCAD is his #2 choice for Art School, and has two Disney Animators on staff in their Animation Department.
I think his chances of getting accepted there are actually pretty good.
I’d never been to the beach at Laguna Beach before, and even on a Saturday it wasn’t too crowded, we were right near the tide pools so we got to explore a little.
Saw lots of crabs, minnows and sea anemones.
Met a 74 year old guy from England who was a local, he was looking for sea glass and coins with a stick (he hates the idea of metal detectors)
Super nice guy, and would you believe it(?) 33 years sober.
I love when random things like that happen.
Like water seeks it’s own element.
Had a pretty awesome day all around.
Keylime did some boogie boarding and got to play with sand crabs.
Moose got to point out some places he’d been as an OC kid, and Boo did some really amazing work.
I love when the profs look at his work thinking he’s 17/18, then you tell them he’s 15 and they’re like “oh, wow!”
I always feel a little like there’s something stuck in my throat on the way back home up the 5.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before…
But after this one, I’ve only got two more summers before we’ll be driving home without Boo.
I’m so thrilled and excited for him, and this is what all this work is for…
But at the same time, it gets me a little choked up.
He’s already so “done” with high school, for him it’s just something to get through before life begins…
I admit, I envy him that attitude.
I had it to a small degree, but then got all caught up in the high school drama.
These days it’s so much easier to figure out about college with the help of the internet.
When I was in high school with neither parent having gone to college and no motivation outside of “you’re going to college”, it was easier to see “college” almost as a foreign entity.
As “FOUR MORE YEARS???? Blech!”
To a degree I envy the kids growing up today…
a little motivation and the internet…the world is your oyster.