Summer Dioramas

Planning summer is proving far too complicated.  I know have created a diaorama in my basement just to make sense of it.  The calendar thing wasn’t enough.  I need minature 3 D replicas.  diorama for summer plans

“Okay, this is the camp I signed Rex up for 3 weeks is this area.  Vivien’s camp for two weeks is here, and over here is the other camp for Viv for two other weeks.  Here is my car shuttling them… ( Yes I look crazy, but it’s helping me visualize) This is the friend’s house in the country we want to visit many hours away… Then there is a swim lessons, Spanish tutoring, oh and what else, oh,yeah RELAXING.  Plus, Hollywood Bowl, Universal Studios….” You see why I needed to model this?  Like architects do before a big build.

As I pore over this like a Civil War reenacter planning on retaking Gettysburg I still can’t get down all the moving parts.  How did summer become so complicated?

Well, for one thing they are starting the school year in AUGUST this year, which I do believe should be unconstitutional, so it’s chopped by a couple of weeks.  Then of course other people have their own schedules we have to sink up with for travel plans.  Why can’t they all stay put till I’ve figured my schedule out?dioramas

In the end I just needed fresh eyes.  My step daughter was in town.  I splayed out my dates, calendar pleading for common sense intervention.  She pointed to one block of days that could be altered and some of the model pieces fell into place. I cancelled one thing, moved another… I am almost there.

But, how do I get this cannon over the hill?

 

Time I want back

We’ve all been there.  In line at DMV, on  a bad date, sitting in a friend’s solo show.  Where you can feel life ebbing by and you are trapped.  You have to stay, you can’t go. You can feel your mortality dripping away  like a tipped over, open jar of honey.  But, you must stay.  For the license, to be polite, see your friend cry and take their shirt off.

A moment where you say “I want this time back.”  As a friend recently quipped to me, “Add it to the list.”  Is there a list?  Yes, I think there is.  Here is one for the list.

Standing in a public restroom while my son does his business.  I’ve tried to install a phobia of public bathrooms in my  kids, but so far only Vivien has caught the anxiety.  Rex will announce it’s time to go no matter what the digs are like.

Me: “Dude, wait till we get home. It’s going to be nasty.”

“No, I have to go NOW.”

This is partly why I recently hosted Vivien’s entire class for a party.  If I didn’t I know we would have ended up in Bronson Canyon Park.  I have a clause in my parenting contract, “No Bronson Canyon Park.”  I blew off Rex’s school social because that’s where it was.  The parking is bad, bees gather on the potluck food and worst of all it doesn’t have working toilets.  Only porta potties.  My kids know, run to the car.  We are out of here. How it has become the favorite  potluck park  for the 323 area code I have no idea.

Are you done yet?

So, Rex and I find the funky stores, funky bathroom. Honestly, I’ve been in a lot worse.  But, it was made worse because the toilet had one of those sensors so just when he would be mid business the thing would “Whoosh” like a jet engine. So it elongated the process.

“Mama, why is it doing that?  Stop it.”

Helpless “I can’t!”  Yes, I know the trick with the post it note, but I didn’t have one.”

It was here as I waited that I thought, look at my life at this minute. I want this time back. Wiping the little bottom, no prob.  I don’t mind that. But, could we do it at the Ritz?

 

enough with the psycho sexual billboards

Clear Channel Outdoors are the worst kind of whores.  No standards, or why else would they carry those foul billboards for “American Horror Story”? Does anyone involved with that show have children?  Daughters?  Because when I’m driving around town with my 8 year old girl and from the back seat I hear,

“Oh, no mommy there it is again.”  

I didn’t point it out to her.  When see stuff like this I hope my kids are busy punching each other or talking about farts.  But, if they bring it up, we have to talk about it. It’s so gross and vile to women.  3 women have a Snake coming out of their mouths.  No, that’s not sexual. ( roll of eyes), that’s not objectifying to women ( eyes roll other direction). Hey porn and smut and bloody horror shows and movies are all legal.  Good for you now, knock  yourself out, but kids who are strapped in the back of their parents cars and just staring out the window shouldn’t have to look at this stuff.

I can intellectually say why it’s disturbing.  My daughter says so instinctively.   I use to rail against the dismembered females bodies that that that stupid show about the plastic surgeons in Miami use to have.  Wait, another F/X show!  Granted years ago I had a good time when I hosted a show for F/X, before they decided to become the basic cable HBO. Our publicity photos was me and my co shots on a couch with bulldog.  The bulldog just sat.

I say to my daughter, “I’m really sorry you have to see that Vivien.  It’s immature.  They want to shock people with icky imagery. I’m sorry I can’t make it go away.”

If we are never able to regulate billboards content this place is going to look like Pottersville.

Oh, it already does

Cover up your kids, dang it.

All summer it boggles my mind.  Little girls in bikini’s and one pieces.

lordy, the kids a red head! She should be in a tent

I’m rolling up my big boy pants and wading into JUDGE LAKE.  I don’t get  the recklessness I see in the sunny months.  Why am I often the only parent putting my kids in rash guard style swimwear?

In my lifetime we went from a country that worshipped the sun, let people smoke on planes, made it illegal to have kids sit in the front seat.  Let alone on the arm rest like I use to, next to my groovy Ali McGraw looking mom in the 1970′s with her deep brown tan.  YET, there is a great disconnect when I see kids at the beach and poolside.  Their swimsuits make me look to see a dangling cigarette in the hands of their moms, to hear if people are calling grown black men, “boy”.   The world changed, became more aware of cultural flaws and safety issues, subsequently we buckle our kids in a special seat in the back of the car, advanced civil rights, but knowing the dangers of the sun 99% of parents I see dress their little daughters like this when near a body of water.

I don’t get it

NOT to mention the odd sexualization of childhood these suits represent.  I’ve long been bothered by little girls dressed as if they have developed bodies.  Just looking at this from a health issue, parents are exposing their children to the sun at the worst times to do so.  Sun exposure when we are under 25 is the most dangerous for our skin.  Later, our goose is kind of cooked.  A burn in childhood follows you for life.  I had been stewing about this issue of unprotected kids in the sun and today an OP ED piece propelled me to write about it. It’s about the dangers of tanning bed by a doctor who had a scare.

Not Cute

The doctor advocates for warnings on tanning beds.   where is the warning on little kids swimsuits?

The other day at a party for a friend of Rex’s a blonde boy was running around playing shirtless.  I said something to his father and the father said something along the lines “It’s okay, he was by a lake last week.”  I was confused.  I think he was using that old myth about if you have a base tan you are protected.  The little boy was obviously getting red.

from CDC

When Vivien was a baby we were given a baby bikini.  Barf.  We couldn’t throw that out of the house fast enough.  We know we have a dirty planet.  As Woody Allen said in “Annie Hall”, “Everything our parents said was good for us is bad, the sun, milk, college.” We know melanoma is on the rise,  PARENTS WHY DON’T YOU PROTECT YOUR KIDS IN THE SUN.   I hear, “I slathered on the sunscreen.”  Yes, that’s good, but c’mon it’s not as good as having material covering the body.  I put on sunscreen on the exposed legs of my kids and they still get tan. They jump in the water, run around.  DO you really keep reapplying every 30 minutes?  I doubt it.  Plus my son is wiggly and it’s hard to get as much on him as I would like.  I have a long sleeved shirt for Rex sometimes, but I’ve been getting push back from Vivien for my Victorian ways because all of her friends are dressed like Kiddie Sports Illustrated. I’m firm.  Sun is up, rash guard swimwear is on. She’s lucky I don’t throw her in a burka.

what my kids wear

 

It’s fun to have your kids in cute clothes.  That’s what dresses, and little ties and vests are for.  Cover up your kids in the sun, humor me.

 

 

 

 

Dr Harvey Karp, the man who got me to bed

I was cruising through the mini meetings at Mom 2.0.  They were in a big banquet hall and every 15 minutes one was to run from one table to the next depending upon the topic.  The most popular subjects were something like this, “how to make some money, or how to get eyeballs doing something every body with an ovary is doing these days.” It was standing room only at those tables. Not on the table, but next to them.

“What did she just say?”

“um, something about optimization.”

When I spied  Dr. Harvey Karp sitting at a table with only two woman.  The rest of the room suddenly went into soft focus.   The guy who wrote the book that got me through the first terrifying months of mom daughter’s life was there. 

Mr Swaddle and “shoo- shoo” shimmy himself!   To heck with it, I can’t hyper link my way  to fortune right now, I need to talk to this guy.

pediatrician with the mostest

The way I remembered it I knocked these ladies aside and then it was just US.  Me fawing, “It all worked!  My kids loved being swaddled.  My husband was so good at swaddling.”

He smiled kindly and said, “Do you have Happiest Toddler on the block?” ( sub title How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old)  I said I did, but hadn’t cracked it open in a while.  Would it be helpful with my now 4 year old son?  He said it can help with tantrums up to 5, sometimes even a little older.  So we discussed it.  He said this book was more important than the baby book “Because this will help you make them into the people you want them to be.” Yes, I nodded, especially boys who can express their feelings.   He explained you use 1/3 intensity of their voice.  Too much in your voice means it’s now about crazy mom, not tantrum kid.  Describe what you see, “you are pounding your fists on the floor, you are banging your head.  You really want me to that was important to you.”   Toddlers are not mini big kids, they think differently, he explained.

the world dissapeared...

He said, “get the DVD if you and your husband don’t want to read the book.”  Yeah, guys are more visual, right?  I sensed my 15 minutes was almost up as 3 other woman had plunked down on my turf.  I turned my back on them and leaned into the doctor for one last nugget o’ wisdom.  “My 4 year old sleeps with me most nights.  I like the cuddling”

“Sure, it’s nice.”  he agreed.

” I haven’t made a big deal about it, because I have older step children.  I know soon enough he won’t want anything to do with me, however, sometimes I’d like a little space.”

Dr. Karp reached underneath his table and pulled out. He gave it to me!  Now he was smiling to those other bitches  moms.  It was time for me to move on to upping my social media presence, taking a picture in natural light or twittering for jam and wipes.

I gazed at him one more time.  “I would love to talk to you about how I’m an Intactivist
I called out as I was forced to give up my seat and he was passing out books and smiles.

He should put all his books together and call it the Happiest Mom on the Block collection.

 

 

There better be WMD’s if you are calling me at 4am

Remember during the ’08 elections, the primaries when Hillary and Obama were going at Hillary had that commerical about who would do best when the phone rang at 3am?  Now, they were thinking about a national security issue.  “Russia has invaded Puerto Rico.”(see spoof here)

Then and now I think Hillary could do a good job in the middle of the night so I was wondering if she could answer my phone when it rings at 4am, as it did last night. It also rang at 4:16am, 4:31am, 4:40am, 4:52. It’s scary to be woken up in the middle of the night. Rather it should be, but I wasn’t rattled, I was just tired and pissed.  See, I knew there wasn’t crisis.

Cousin Floyd” was agitated.  New parents know the sleep deprivation of a newborn. But, grown up people can be more exhausting.  THERE IS NOTHING CUTE ABOUT THEM.  I don’t can’t have another Black Smoke day, but I’m exhausted.  When Rex kept me up with his stomach bug we did spend parts of the day cuddled up on the couch watching cartoons.  Now, I think I need to sleep and or find a support group.

But, most urgently, How do you block a number from calling your phone?  Would Hillary know? Do you?  Because I can’t function like this and my kids can’t either.  Vivien was so upset at being woken up and I don’t blame here.  It’s hard to have compassion at 4am, and 4:16, 4:31, 4:40…

Then the texting started.  That’s easier to turn off.

Danger of Online Porn

I’m not sure why a porn company sent a mom blogger this press release.  I found it amusing in parts.  Congrats, District of Columbia, you are the biggest watchers of online porn!  Maybe you shouldn’t get state hood, you big pervs.

As I looked over the “data” it appears that “MILF” is the #3 most watched type of porn.  I really should just vlog topless, then maybe I would actually make some money off this thing.

What was DISTURBING was the number one most watched type of porn is “Teen”.  This brings up an issue a friend of mine who is a counselor told me recently.  That because of the internet young men are more messed sexually than ever.  They see so much porn at a young age that they expect their girlfriends to be freaky deaky.  The guys are desensitized to “vanilla” sex and intimacy.  She has women 18 to 20 crying saying their boyfriends expect them to behave like the online porn performers.

Oh, for the halcyon days of the peep show. When one had to make a little effort to consume porn.

My friend said the guys wake up before their parents and watch the porn, clear the browser so it goes unnoticed.

Will males always dig porn? Sure, yeah.  But, I would like to think of ways to restrict access for my kids so one day Rex isn’t making his girlfriend cry ( Vivien is never leaving my side). I want my kids to have healthy, loving relationships… when they are 39.

Top 5 Most Popular Categories of 2012:

  1. Teen
  2. Lesbian
  3. MILF
  4. Amateur
  5. Ebony

 

Not Funny Mom

Vivien was in a mood.  Cranky, sad, but we had to get to school.  I was sure it was because she had stayed up too late the night before because we had family over for Mark’s birthday.  

I drove the kids to school as I tried to respect Vivien’s feelings, but also gently remind her that this wasn’t the “worst day in the world.”

“Sweetie, you woke up in your pretty room in your nice house surrounded by your loving family, right?”

“yes”

“I told you there is a cupcake left over that you can have when you come home, right?”

“Yes”  But, I wasn’t getting much headway, she was still moping.

Then 3. 8 month old Rex said, “Mommy, maybe Vivien would feel better if we told her a joke.”

Great idea Rex.  Oh, my comic heart swelled with pride.  Then Rex told his knock, knock joke.

“Knock, Knock”
“whose there?” Vivien mumbled

“Chicken”

“Chicken cow” Rex smiled.  I guffawed on cue, because made up on the spot knock knock jokes rarely are funny, but I want to encourage them so I was slapping my knee.

“That wasn’t funny.” Vivien scowled.

He tried again.  “Knock, Knock”

“Whose there?”

“Turkey”

“Turkey who?”

I wasn’t thinking, I blurted out a punch line.

“Turkey Lurky, and we are going to eat you!.”  Totally lame, but it cracked Vivien up.

Rex started crying.  Vivien was now smiling, and I was the asshole comic who had to top the other comic in the room.

after a recent show, when my timing was better

“That was my joke, that was NOT funny mommy.” Rex said through tears. The rest of the drive to school was filled with him yelling and crying.  Vivien and I were trying to console him now.  NOT working. You know those all too numerous times you are driving around with a screaming child in your car and you are powerless to stop it?  That’s what I had on my hands.  It was my fault to boot.

I dropped her off and suggested what would make me feel better: food.

“Rex, want to go with me to buy bagels at the bagel store?” He nodded.  When we parked he unbuckled and stood in the car doorway pouting.

” I wanted my joke to make Vivien feel better, but it was your joke that did.  I’m sad.”

“Rex I am so sorry.  I should not have stepped on your line.  I’m so sorry.  But, it was your idea to tell her a joke and that DID help her feel better, so you did it.  You made her feel better.”

“But, you made the laugh.”

“Comics are terrible people. I’m sorry.”  Then we got bagels holding hands and he got a fruit cup from another store.  We were okay.

I’m proud of Rex that he wanted to make Vivien feel better and thought, like his mom, that humor is the way to healing.  I’m proud of him that he articulated his feelings to me. He is finding his way.  I just need to keep my mouth shut.

My kids are NOT sorry

Maybe it’s because the first episode of my new Cafe Mom series is about Dealing with other parents ( see below) or maybe because I had a great time at my son’s preschool today in a book club.  We are reading “The Power of Play” by David Elkind.  Which boils down to this, stop scheduling, turn off the TV and let your kid bang on some rocks.  Whatever the reason, I have a new resolution.

The discussion among the few moms were in the group was that we react in play situations more out of peer pressure than what we believe.  Unless a kid is pounding on another kid with a hammer, we’d rather the kids work it out.
Of the “that’s my bucket” variety.

But, fearing some mom is going to give us a hard time we step in often when we don’t want to.  I got such a surge listening to these other moms I suddenly yelped, “I’m not going to make my kid say ‘sorry’.

Chorus of “Yes” ( in my heart I heard ‘Amen sister’) rang up from the tiny chairs we were seated in the pre school. If they don’t genuinely mean “sorry” it’s all bullshit anyway.

I’m not in junior high, what do I care what that mom at the park thinks of me? And fi I was a mom in junior high, how awkward.  Another mom in our group said, “I’m going to say, ‘If you want to step in, you can, but that’s not how I want to handle it.’”

We decided we would be judged and disliked by some parents, but we were going to try it. I’ll you how it works.

back to school brain

 

The first day went great.  She loves her teacher.  It was nice to see some parent friends, but I couldn’t settle.  One single mom friend asked “will you be my wing man to find me a husband?”  Normally, I’d be all over that strategy, but I was looking for new cubbies.  “I’m focused on back to school.” In my head I sounded like Arnold in the Terminator  “where is Sarah Connor?”  Then also conincides with the total absences of Dolly.  Dolly is our main baby sitter and does a total wash/scrub/clean of my house every week.  She is with me some nights, but because my husband is gone- always– and I can’t be left alone with these kids. Although I do love going to Campanile for some wine and food and talking to adults.  ANYONE who walks by.  I wanted to be a mom, not a prisoner.  She is gone for a few weeks on a trip.  I have no glass to break in case of emergency.

Oliver has JUST left for college and I find I’m quite sad at his absence.  A little flavor of empty nester while I still have a little kid who vomits in my face.  With second grade comes almost nightly homework.  …ugh, that’s another post.

How is the school season for you?  How long till you get in your groove?  Does it ever kick in? And would you have washed the dress?