Archive | December 2011

Having children is like having a constant emotional psychotic breakdown.

Something has occurred to me recently, it seems that I often act pregnant, even though I am not pregnant. There was a point recently where is was a bit touch and go on that, but now I know for sure that I am just out of my ever-loving mind. I blame my children for this rollercoaster of hormonal craziness. To be perfectly honest, I have had issues with weirdly diverse emotions that can be set off fairly easily. Sometimes I can be quite cold to people and can often not express myself. When my ex used to want to sit and have a heart to heart, all I wanted to do was make a Roger Rabbit shaped hole in the wall.

I do feel things though, I just happen to vent them often in a negative way. My easiest way of being is malicious and evil. If I am genuine and warm with you, you are one of the very few. It is this problem that often makes me worry for my children. I hope they don’t turn into an overly sensitive wimp like my ex-husband but I don’t want them to turn out like me either. It would be awesome if they could just be well-adjusted, but that is asking a lot.

Recently I have noticed that my interaction with my children has really has been a game of hot and cold. There are times when I am so irritated with them, I just scream into walls, stuffed animals, pillows, my dog, really anything that can muffle the angry explosiveness of my voice. The weirdest wasn’t even the dog, it was a loaf of bread. There are other times when I just watch them in awe and actually start tearing up because I cannot believe how lucky I am that these two perfect human beings let me hang out with them.

My 2-year-old son greets me in the morning, “Good morning, it’s nice to see you.”, I have no idea where most of his “bits” come from. When I come home from work he says “Monkey! Hi Monkey, I missed you.” (My son calls me this because my ex and I always referred to each other as monkey, as a pet name of sorts and never really stopped referring to each other as such, my kid isn’t insane).  Meanwhile my daughter, just jumps up and down with a huge smile of her face. These are the moments when I am just so happy to have the life I have. But there are times when I look at my house and want to cry because no matter how much I try to keep it clean, it will end up an unorganized mess is a matter of seconds. It’s like building a house while in sight of a tornado.  It can be mighty frustrating.

Recently I made a decision to move to Seattle in a few months, something that I am eagerly anticipating to be a major and outstanding change.  This is the result of months of agonizing over what my next move will be in life. Perhaps, this will be something that allows me one less thing as fuel to my roller coaster. But my kids remain to be the huge catalyst in that crazy coaster no matter what.  Please tell me that there are other parents that feel this same amount of psychotic when it comes to raising these magnificent little buggers.

You say Jesus, I say Santa, let’s call the whole thing off…

When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Clause for way too long. I think I may have not given up on the man until about the age of 11. Although, I cannot say that I was completely bamboozled by the hoax, it was more or less something I maintained to make my mother happy. It wasn’t until my older brother humiliated me in front of my cousin by telling her that I still believed in such silliness that I broke down and said I didn’t believe. Peer pressure to believe in the guy, peer pressure to relinquish that belief. Being a kid is so complicated.

As for God, when I was  a child, I attended church with my family every Sunday. I often found the stories to be illogical and often offensive even at a young age. I also distanced myself from those Christians,that I attended church with, because they were snobbish and total hypocrites. In fact, most people I have come across, that are of the religious variety, have been pretty insufferable. But that is my experience, I would never generalize that all people who have a religious belief are bad, or unintelligent. When I was 15, my cousin who was the same age, was killed in accident while riding a quad. This was an accident that put him in the hospital for weeks, it was a situation that led us to think that he would come out of the hospital and continue to his life, but that didn’t happen. It was at that moment that I realized the entire prospect of God was more than illogical, it was a crock.

As an adult, I realize that my lack of faith really has more to do with scientific evidence than any harbored bitterness from lost loved ones.

My children are fresh with all of this and so there are always people around us that try to imprint them early. My mother goes to church every Sunday, doesn’t believe in evolution, but still cannot argue or even give any support to why she believes what she believes. Since I am someone who likes to argue, or rather, have a nice healthy debate, it is rather maddening. She is one of those people who blissfully float through life with a smile on her face despite all the worries or injustices in her life. But it’s okay, I understand that her way of dealing with things in life is to avoid any negativity. But sometimes her lack of logic baffles me. When my father was living with me, and also attending church every Sunday, my grandmother suggested to him that he take my son to church. She then told me that my kids need to attend church. Here’s the tricky element to all of that, my grandmother is very religious and hates people who are atheists. For years, I have implied that I am agnostic, but she chooses to ignore that fact, although she also dislikes me for unknown reasons, perhaps that is the reason. In all fairness, I am an atheist but prefer to tell people I am agnostic to eliminate any immediate disdain. Also, when you suggest being an atheist, there are a few uneducated types that like to refer to you as a Satanist, which makes absolutely no sense.

At this juncture, I really have no plans on instilling such things to my children, especially since I don’t believe them myself. That would make me a christian…I mean, Hypocrite! But if my kids do question me about other religions, or even want to attend church with their friends, I would never deny them.

Now about the other imaginary friend we reflect on during the holidays, Santa Clause. Since my kids are really young, I tend to mock the idea of Santa Clause when my mother is present. This is something that makes her more furious than Jesus mocking. Telling her that I don’t want to take the kids to sit on Santa’s lap is like murdering Hello Kitty in front of her. But let’s be honest, every instance of sitting on Santa’s lap ends in horror and tears, so why torture these poor kids? There is almost a sick pleasure that comes from parents who continue to do it.

A few years back, when I was pregnant with my son, I remember having a conversation with a friend in which he said he would never let his son believe in Santa. Now this guy is a staunch atheist and a very rational thinking guy. In my hormonal thinking, it made me furious that he thought this way, how dare he deny his child such whimsy? Upon reflection, I realized it wasn’t that big of a deal.

You are a frightening old man, but I sure do like Coca Cola.

In retrospect, I think I am fine playing the Santa thing for, at least, a little while. As soon as there are logical questions that arise like, “Mom, how come the kids down the street get more presents than me even though I was good all year and they light the end of cat’s tails for fun?” I will not try to cover any tracks, “It’s simple, I don’t make as much money as the parents down the street and there is no Santa, also those little bastards aren’t going to rot in hell for torturing animals because there is no hell, but they will probably end up in prison.” Well the last part may be a bit of embellishment in my response, but I have time to work on it.

Pee Wee Herman, oh how I love thee.

I am definitely heading down the path of raising those weird retro kids. In all fairness, I had elements of being a retro kid when I was young. My parents were of the 60s and 70s and so I was the 6 year old that loved the Beatles, the Doors, The Temptations. It isn’t surprising now, that I pass on the things I loved when I was a child to my own. One of those is Pee-Wee Herman and all his fabulousness.

The show, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the movies, especially Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and the man-child himself are all very close to my heart and now the heart of my children. That whole masturbating in the theatre thing? please, even as a child I thought there was a bit of an overreaction from the public. That was over 20 years ago anyway, so now we can move on to remembering how truly great the character of Pee-Wee Herman is to all of us.

My son tends to find a show or movie and want to watch it over and over again. Obviously this is nothing out of the ordinary for a 2 year old. The great thing about his love for Pee-Wee is that I never really get sick of watching it either. We have every episode on DVD and have watched them all far too many times, but my real favorite is the film. Some forget that Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is actually directed by Tim Burton. This may be why it is one of the strangest, and most brilliant films in the last 30 years. One that I find hard categorizing as a “kids” movie.

The television show is filled with memorable characters like Globey, Cherry, Miss Yvonne, and Conky. My son often calls out for Conky in his sleep, I’m assuming so he knows what the word of the day is going to be. Something that I did notice in watching the show as an adult is the common sexual innuendo. It doesn’t offend me as a parent, nor would I take serious pause if my child understood what was actually being meant by some of the interactions. Here are a few other things I noticed while watching the show as an adult.

  • Miss Yvonne is a bit of a slut. Sure, she is supposed to be the most beautiful woman in puppet land but there isn’t a great competition. Although Dixie, the cab driver that was seen only in the first season to introduce the king of cartoons, was pretty sexy.
  • Cowboy Cutis may be slightly disabled. Either he seems uneducated and slow because he is just a hillbilly cowboy or it is specific to his person. Maybe Laurence Fishburne was just confused on how to play a 50’s cowboy that hangs out with a boy and his talking furniture.
  • Captain Carl is terrifying. Phil Hartman really knew how to add the creep factor to that character. Even my son backs out of the living room when he comes onscreen.
  • Tito the lifeguard from the 1st season and Ricardo, the soccer player after that, were clearly gay. Now knowing that Paul Reubens himself is a gay man, it is interesting to see his interaction with these “hunky” characters. 
  • Mrs. Renee is a man, man! actually while watching it, I assumed that this was a man in drag but discovered using IMDB that the actor is actually a woman. Even more interesting.

There is something really enjoyable about revisiting a show you loved as a child. It is even more exciting to discover that the love for a character or show was completely rational. Pee-Wee Herman, and all that he touches is kick-ass. The best part is that my kids are actually learning things from Pee-Wee and it’s not just a waste of time for the sole purpose of distraction. And so my love affair with Pee-Wee Herman continues…

I knew the Bumbo were death traps!

In an article I read this morning, the Bumbo is causing concern because of an incident where a 9-month old baby fell backwards, fracturing his skull.  This is exactly why I was eager to throw the Bumbo I had for my first child straight into the garage after exactly, one, test sit. That thing is still sitting in there, because I didn’t dare let it see the light of day with my daughter either.

The question may be, why do I even have it around anymore? Well that would be a completely reasonable question for someone who doesn’t have a 1 car garage that is packed to the brim with baby stuff that I don’t need anymore, but am waiting to sell. It literally looks like a satellite boutique of Babies R Us. But I digress.

There was a lot of popularity with these Bumbo seats a few years back when I was pregnant with my son, and I actually received 3, in total, at my baby shower. It’s basically the baby shower equivalent to a toaster. The problems with this chair seemed to show themselves from the first seating. It is very easy for a squirmy baby to fall back on it. There is also the fact that the space for the infant’s legs is surprisingly narrow. Although my daughter is quite the chubby girl, my son was fairly thin for a baby and still had a hard time.

There are always baby items that are super trendy for a while, often without reasoning. Perhaps, a future post will be about those so-called “must have” items, that have now become ridiculous in reflection. Ideas anyone?