Momversation: Who’s the Better Gift Giver?

This was more a more interesting conversation than I would have imagined it. I ask the ladies, who is better at gift giving, men or women?  Not sure I can give it to the women. My ex-boyfriend Tim gave me arguably the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received. Before my birthday (back in the late ’90s when we dated) he asked me to go through a fashion magazine and tell him what I liked. Cut to a couple of months later on my birthday, I open up a box, and Tim had created a Daphne Doll. He had taken a picture of me standing in a slip and then cut out and created small clothes on magnets to go with it. So I could dress “Daphne” like a paper doll, or a magnet doll. I was speechless thinking of the time this must have taken. It was an extensive wardrobe. Then there was one small box left. I opened it and it was one more magnet mounted dress for “Daphne”. But it was a dress I had pointed out in the magazine. I turned it over, and he had written that he had called Cynthia Rowley’s studio in NYC (the designer), and it wasn’t in yet, but it would be sent to me within the month. I still have the dress. I am not a tenth that thoughtful.

Maybe guys are better at gifts because my mother-in-law gave one of the most questionable gifts I’ve seen. Bless her heart, but when Oliver turned 11, his grandmother gave him stuffed faux chickens. Oliver is so kind he didn’t go “wtf?” a one would expect. He looked quizzically at it and then moved on to the next present.  My family and I were stunned. I said, “Oh, when he was little did you guys have a special book you used to read about chickens?”

“No” she replied. She must have known that most 11-year-old boys love wheat sculptures made to look like poultry. After an X Box why not?

So, I bet you all have good ones about super thoughtful and not-so-thoughtful gifts.

This Green Thang

Okay, I think I’m falling behind in being the perfect green mom. Oh, that’s right… No I remember; I’m trying to be. I get press releases sent to me all the time about how to be a more green parent. Of course I get press releases about airline promotions as well, so that’s not saying much.

I naturally gravitate to serving myself and my children foods made from things not found in a lab and not serving soda in their baby bottles. I recently had the carpets cleaned and got a service that said they used no chemicals (which is probably why some stains remained). But I can’t get all hard core about it. I get these books. Big thick books about green parenting. Let’s face it:

Most non-fiction books are flabby.

You can skip past the first few chapters and then some. And if I don’t finish a spy novel I bought at the airport, I know I am not getting past a title like, “Checklist for the nursery.” It reminds me of when I used to drive between SF and LA every week and I bought books on tape. One time, I decided to ditch the pot boilers and get something that I could learn from. I got one called something like, “Understanding the Stock Market.” After ten minutes, I almost drove off the road as my snoring jolted me awake (but we know how well I learned to spot a Ponzi scheme, so perhaps I gave up too early).

I can’t imagine after having put two kids to bed that I’d brush the day off my teeth and finally hunker down in my jammies to read one of these tomes. They are well meant. Probably have some good info, but dang it. They are too long.

And it’s like being vegan, which I also did for 3 months till someone dangled some red meat in front of me. I’m sure it is better for the planet and myself to be a vegan, but that would take so much planning, extra thought, and effort.

I recycle, OK? I have one car and one electric car, bona fide; is that enough? I usually walk to the market.

Have I bought the perfect sheets, bottles, and diapers?

That would be no.

Sleepover

When is the right age for kids to have sleepovers? Now, we are not talking a famous pop star inviting Vivien to his big ranch. Nice kid, nice family. Do you let your kids have sleepovers? Either at your house or elsewhere?

My niece was 6 when she had sleepovers with Vivien. She would arrive quite bravely with her little suitcase and never had a qualm. But then I’m her aunt, so I think there are different rules. But should there be?

Thanksgiving Doesn’t Suck as Bad as Christmas

Well, it’s true right? First off there is no gift giving. Also, when something is heavy on your heart, a break up, illness in the family, robbed of life savings, it always seems to feel heavier on Christmas. I always felt less is expected of me on Thanksgiving. Bake and eat and drink.

Last year was my favorite Thanksgiving ever. Here I am having a gay old time. We were in my dream house, and for the first time in my life I could play grown up. I had a big house and the means to host the dinner. I was expecting Rex, surrounded by friends and family, and very happy.  Content.

Well, now, my sister Carole is hosting again as she has the biggest house. But everyone is fine, so I can’t complain. It’s one day. Not a whole season with Christmas and its build up. But I did like when I was (for once) not the guest on Thanksgiving.

We’ll still play football before the dinner, and I will again host Turkey Trot Trivia, a game I have long played as dessert is consumed. I’m a game person and highly suggest a game for a mix of people. It’s bonding, and if you have people of different views it can be a nice way to channel discussion away from controversy and into American trivia. I have tchotkes for prizes.

Do you like Thanksgiving better or worse than Christmas or Hanukkah? Is it harder this year? Do you have any quirky traditions?

We always go around the table and say something we are grateful for. Other than the obvious being good health, I still maintain we should all be grateful for modern plumbing.

I’m So Tired, Part 2

That I can’t get the coffee in the pot. Look at that!  I didn’t have far to go.

But I have hope. Last night Rex slept through the night for the FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE!!!!!  (Cue balloons, fireworks).

I didn’t sleep all the way myself. I woke up around 12 to check his breathing. But pretty exciting. I am hopeful that perhaps my marbles won’t be quite so scrambled.

I’ll be playing with a tight deck.

I’ll have enough loafs to make a pyramid.

Wait, these don’t make any sense. Okay… a few more nights, Rex, and then Mommy will be the sharpest tool in the fence.

Wait, that didn’t work did it?

Momversation Moments

Misty water color memories… Momversation is one year old. So they asked the moms to talk about their favorite Momversation moments. Here is what made the cut.

I have to be honest, I don’t remember much of what I have recorded on Momversation. But like a lot of the veteran broadcasters and comics I have worked with over the years and respect, I have performance amnesia. I put it all out there, and then when it’s done, it’s done. It’s like I tell the performance to get its crap and get out of here.

I think my new Momversation moment is the one Rebecca shows. It is a riot. Could not have scripted it better.

Momversation: How Do You Deal with a Public Tantrum?

Oh, who hasn’t walked in those shoes… a kid is having a full blown Exorcist meltdown in public.  How do you react if it’s your own and how do you react if it’s a strangers child?  In this I talk about my my dear friend Christine D. who comes to the aid of a mother’s on planes.  Sign, what a love.

Is there a tried and true method you employ?  Is it always out of left field or do you see it coming? Vivien and I just had an issue.  We ran to the mall to buy stuff for Mark’s bday and she was great.  Listening to mom ( as I had prepped her), staying within my sight, helping me with the purchases.  But, when we got in the car I would let her climb up and over the presents-which would have mashed them, through the front seat to the back, while four cars were idling waiting for our car to move so we could get out of there.  Suddenly, Beowulf appeared.

I was stunned, where did this come from? After a few minutes it was over and we were driving home, but I think I need some lozenges for my throat.

I’m an Abused Mom

I don’t want to show you my face. It’s too embarrassing. But right there you can see the red blood gash left by my wild nine mouth old. There are two more cuts like that on my nose and two more on my forehead. If it wasn’t for concealer, I couldn’t walk outside. But concealer cannot conceal the shame I feel for allowing it to happen. I know, don’t blame the victim. But I could have tried hard to trim his nails. I could always try to hold him facing out.

But no. I like to look at his beautiful face. And then… and then, that’s when it happens. He screams gleefully and lunges for my face. Sometimes he digs into my lip. We aren’t talking chimp level, but these little nicks are adding up.

I don’t want to leave the house.

I don’t want to admit that I let it happen every day. Several times a day.

Call me an enabler, but I love him.