Thursday, April 17, 2014

You are not special: The entitlement of parents.

Did any of you see this last month??

To The Person Who Left My Sister This Unbelievably Judgmental Letter

I am probably going to get a lot of flak for this, but I think that the person who wrote this article is more offensive and judgmental than the person who left the letter in question.

Somehow our society has gotten to the point where we think that we all, either as individuals or as a family unit, are more important than the collective society.  That is a serious problem.

The worst offenders are, I hate to say it, parents.  We think that once we become parents, we all of a sudden become superior to those who choose not to have kids.  We should be able to park closer, board airplanes first, go to the front of the line, whatever it takes.  Because we have kids and it makes us more important than everyone else.  Right?

Umm.  No.

I have a child, but that does not make my needs more important than the needs of the person next to me who does not have kids.  And guess what?  I don't expect that person to understand, or quite frankly, give a rat's ass, about what I am going through as a parent.

Is it nice if they do?  Sure!  It is always awesome to meet kind and helpful people, but the duty of the person next to me is NOT to worry about MY kids.

Once you have kids, the burden is on YOU and you alone.  You chose to have them, sweetheart.  It is not the job of the rest of society to understand and accommodate you and your child.  One of the many sacrifices that you make when you become a parent is that you can't do certain things.  Because guess what?  There are places where kids just aren't welcome.  And that is OKAY.

Since having a child, have traded bars for Chuck-e-Cheese because when a kid runs around at Chuck-e-Cheese, it is appropriate.  When 2 year olds run around bars, it is not appropriate or appreciated by other patrons.  We have traded fine dining for take out because no one at a nice restaurant is interested in hearing my 2 year old telling them that she just farted.

Vacations are the same way.  I ski and I agree that an expensive ski resort is not a place for babies.  Sorry.  It just isn't.  Kids who are of skiing age?  Sure!  Babies though?  Nope.  Despite the fact that you think your offspring is the best thing since sliced bread, screaming babies (and they ALL scream sometimes) just don't make for a nice vacation.

And a ski resort that is full of brain surgeons (as the author so subtly points out) is certainly not a place for kids.  I mean, how can your brother-in-law possibly save lives if he is up all night with a screaming baby?

Scenes from our ski vacation (sans Moose) this year.  What part makes 
you realize it is not a place for kids?  The open fire pit or the Maserati parked outside?

I can't get over the entitlement that this author has.  She truly things, in her warped mind, that everyone should bend over backwards because her oh-so-nice ex-lawyer Sister and amazingly brilliant brain surgeon Brother-in-law CHOSE to have a kid.  Oh and her sister heroically chose to stay home and therefore is entitled to get out of the house, even if it is as the expense of everyone else.  No.  Not okay.

And as a side note, this author clearly has many more entitlement issues just based on the fact that she felt the need to mention the education level of her sister and brother-in-law.  As if their jobs make them more entitled or important than anyone else.  Nauseating.

What makes you think that your need for a vacation trumps the need of the person in the room next to you?  Oh yeah, it is because you think you are more important because you have a kid.  Guess what, sweetie?  No one else at that ski resort gives a crap about your kid.

YOU made the choice to have kids and if you cannot or will not leave them home with family while you are on an adults vacation, you need to stay home.  Or chose a kid friendly vacation.  Sorry, sister, that is just part of having kids.  Sacrifice.

Do I think that people should get mad every time a kid screams?  Hell no.  If that was the case, people would hate me everywhere I go.  And I wouldn't blame them.  Sometimes, in the midst of a toddler tantrum, I hate myself too.

I do, however, feel that it is my job to make sure that these things only happy in places that are appropriate for kids to be in the first place.  And those places do NOT include fancy ski resorts or nice restaurants.

I can only hope that their child (whose fault it is NOT that she was screaming or that she was born to entitled pricks) grows up to be more considerate of others.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Today I was a shitty parent.

Yes, you read that right.  Today I was a shitty parent.  As a new parent, you think you are going to do a bang-up job every single day.  Well, you won't.  Just get over that thought delusion now.

There are days when my Moose goes to bed and I am like, "damn.  I was a great Mom today!  Moosey ate 4 servings of veggies, a pint of berries and some steak, we didn't watch any TV, and we played outside all day.  I'm knocking this parenting thing out of the park!"

And then there are the days where I am like, "man, I could have done a better job.  We watched too much TV, ate too much junk, didn't do enough active playing, and I wasn't as engaged as I should have been.  Total Fail."

Yesterday was one of those days.

Let me back up.  I was a great Mom this weekend.  I took  Myra to do all kinds of special stuff.  We had a playdate with her best buddy on Saturday morning.  My friend and I took them to Barnes and Noble to play with the trains, read books, and hear story time with Clifford.  We then took them to the cupcake bakery to enjoy a special treat.  That day same, after a short nap, Josh and I took her to go swimming at the local indoor pool and then went out to dinner for noodles (her favorite)!  It was a great day.

Sunday was pretty darn good too.  We took Myra to play outside and then when the weather got crappy, we pulled out the rain gear and jumped in puddles and played in the mud.  She ate grilled chicken, steak, and peppers for dinner.  It was a good day.  I felt like I had totally nailed this whole parenting thing.

Then came Monday.  Stupid, stupid Monday.  And this Monday came in with rain, snow, ice, and sub-freezing temps.  It also came in with me feeling tired and under the weather (literally, not figuratively...I am sick of winter).  When I picked Myra up from school (down the hall from my office because she goes to school at the daycare that I manage part-time), she wasn't ready to go home, so she threw a giant fit and I had to drag her out of the school kicking and screaming.

She screamed the entire way home because she was overtired (she had opted to sing and laugh the first hour of nap time instead of getting her much-needed sleep).

So, I did what all shitty mothers do and I walked in the door and turned on Sesame Street.  For an entire hour.  And not so that I could cook dinner or do anything else productive.  So that I could sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing.

Yup.  Like I said, shitty parent.

At least it's educational...

We are not opposed to TV in our house, but we do limit it and we very rarely watch an hour at a time and never at that time of day.  We typically come home and read books, color, or play babies.  When it is nice, we go outside.

But yesterday watched TV.  For an hour.  When it was over, she threw a fit.  So I made another "great" parenting decision.  Instead of doing a family dinner, we fed Myra so that she could go to bed early and we could eat in peace instead of with a kicking and screaming 2 year old.  After dinner though, she was rewarded with another treat before bed.  15 more minutes of TV.  Bravo, Becky, nice work.

Clearly this is not my essay for the parent of the year award.

So, as we were reading books before bed last night, Myra turned to look at me suddenly, threw her arms around my neck, and buried my head into my shoulder.  She said, "give Mommy a hug" and stayed like that for a good solid minute (aka eternity for a 2 year old).

And it melted my heart.  It made me realize that even on the days when we perceive ourselves as being shitty parents, our kids love us unconditionally.  They don't care if they got too much TV or not enough "good" food or if they didn't have enough active / creative / open-ended / outdoor / etc play.  That stuff is all for us to feel good about ourselves as parents.  Our children truly only care that we are there with them and that we love them.

And if that is the measure of being a good parent, I truly am nailing it.  And I bet you are too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is knowledge really power?

Is knowledge really power or is it just a pain in the a$$?

This is a question that I have seriously been asking myself lately.  While I am generally a pretty laid back parent (paci on the floor?  Wipe it off!  Doggie kisses in the mouth?  Why not?), I also tend to be the person who reads too much.  Waaay too much.  And, no, I am not talking about actual reading for pleasure, folks.  If that was the case, I would be writing a cutting edge book on how to be a mother AND still find the time to read.  I am talking about too much internet reading.  Mostly on baby health related things.

The real kiss of death for me though is that my husband has his PhD in Chemistry.  While that might sound like something that can be helpful, it is actually somewhat of a hinderance because he knows and understands pretty much everything.  I have read the EWG report on sunscreen so many times that I can recite for you which ingredients are "bad," but my husband goes a few steps further by reading the 40 studies that were cited in the forming on the list, so he can tell you exactly, and in great detail, what atrocities things like oxybenzone do when they enter your body.

Because of this, I am a natural, organic, harmful chemical-free, freak.  Honestly, it's not even my fault.  Once you know these things, you just can't forget them.  Trust me, I have tried.

Helping Daddy plant the garden last spring.  I can't believe:
1. How much younger (and chubbier she looks) and
2. How green the grass was.  Hurry back, spring!

We were at my parent's beach house with some friends last year and their oldest son (5 at the time) was holding a receipt from lunch in his hand.  As soon as I saw it, I went into "oh-my-God-that kid just caught on fire while trying to outrun the gorilla that is chasing him into the ocean" freak out mode.  Total lunatic.  I told him to throw it away and go scrub his hands because receipts are bad for you.  And they are.

Thermal paper, which is most popularly used for receipts, contains high levels of BPA that can be absorbed through your skin.  Terrifying, right?  Seriously, think about it.  You can't avoid it.  If you touch a receipt at the store, think of how long it is until you can wash your hands.  At that point, you have touched your eyes, your steering wheel, and, oh yeah, your kid.  All with BPA-soaked hands.  It literally makes my hands twitch to think about it.

Even if you can avoid the receipts, the cashier has touched hundreds of receipts and she then touches all of your products.  Awful.  As you can tell, I have thought way too much about this, but then again, you are also talking to the person who makes her own tomato paste out of fear of the BPA lurking in the liners of cans.

Crazy, right?  But once you know, you can't ignore it.  Sometimes I wish that I didn't know.  If I didn't know about spray sunscreen being bad, I would use it on the Moose and be happy because it would take all of 15 seconds to sunscreen her and my hands wouldn't get greasy.  But because the EWG releases a "safe sunscreen" list every year, I do know.  And once I know, I can't ignore it without 1) feeling like an awful mom and 2) becoming paranoid that the sunscreen is slowly building up in her liver as we walk to the beach (it's not).

Our house is void of normal things like dryer sheets, women's deodorant and gluten.  Because, when you are married to a PhD chemist you know about the things that lurk in women's deodorant that can potentially cause Alzheimer's years down the road.  You know exactly what each of the 42 pesticides found in conventional apples can cause in humans.  You know what early studies are being done on the effects of gluten on the developing brain and you therefore do not allow your child to eat gluten.

So, are we healthier than the average family?  Probably.  But, you know what, most families don't avoid the things that we avoid and they are fine.  Better than fine in fact.  They are healthy and happy.  At the end of the day, the small amount of BPA in organic tomato paste probably won't hurt my child and neither will using spray sunscreen once or twice, but, once you have the knowledge, you cannot ignore it.  Maybe some people can and I envy them for it, but I just can't.  It sucks.  There is no other way to put it.

So, that goes back to my question.  Is knowledge really power or is knowledge an achilles heel?  I guess for me, it is both.  I am glad that I know about serious dangers and that my husband can understand the impacts of things like triclosan and can explain them to me (on a basic level) so that we can make an educated decision (rather than me just reading an article on

On the other hand, what will I do when Moose comes up to me in a few years and wants the Disney lunchbox, which contains an alarming level of pthalates? I don't want her exposed to the chemicals, but I also don't want her to be the weird kid at school.  And am I really not going to ever let her eat a cracker or use spray sunscreen or wear deodorant that doesn't smell like a man or a dirty hippie?  Of course not.  I am going to let her do all of those things because: a) they won't kill her and b) I don't want her to the kid who is weird and different from all of the other kids.
Eating cupcakes and Goldfish at her friend's party last weekend.  
I refuse to let her be the weird kid who can't eat any "party foods."  
Plus, let's face it, if a treat here and there killed you, we all 
would have been goners loooooong ago.  ;)

At the end of the day, I am going to do what every other parent does and do the best that I can.  I am going to keep my paranoias to myself so that Moose doesn't grow up fearing anything that isn't grown in our garden and I am going to try to keep her from the things that are actually harmful, while aceepting that there is an inherent risk to life.

I just wish that I didn't freakin' know.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Social Media Sunday Linkup!

Social Media Sunday link up
<div align="center"><a href="" title="From ABC's to ACT's"><img src="" alt="Social Media Sunday-From ABC's to ACT's" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

It's that time again friends! Time for another Social Media Sunday!

Google Plus social media sunday

SMS Hosts.jpg

homeschooling toddlers and preschoolers Amber @ From ABC's to ACT's


200x200.jpg~original Michelle @ The MaMade Diaries


grabbutton_zps15e5fda0 Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures


living-the-disney-life1 Teresa @ Crafty Wife


button2pm_zpsa9f567c7 Penny @ The Real Housewife of Caroline County


Guest Hosts

DSC_0975 Becky @ My Sweet Moose

ArcherPacifier2_zps4eca3290 Kae @ Where's MY Pacifier?

Blogbehindthelookthumbnail_zps99e0ad73 Laura @ Blog Behind the Look

blogbutton_zps0fc9cb61 Jessica @ The Silvah Lining

top215 Katie @ View From the Fridge

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why I Hate Family Dinners

I hate family dinners.

There, I said it.  I f'in hate family dinners.

Family dinners are one of those things that sound great in theory.  The three of us, sitting around the beautifully decorated table, eating a delicious and well-balanced homemade dinner, while telling each other the details of our day.  It's the shit that Norman Rockwell paintings are made of.

Prior to having Myra, our "family" dinner consisted of us sitting in front of the TV, totally zoned out and silent, while chowing down on our food.  I guess that makes us white trash.  In our defense, Josh and I both work hard all day and the by time we get to dinner, we are too exhausted to talk about anything meaningful.

When Moosey started eating actual food, we realized that family dinners really didn't make sense because we had to feed Moosey so early to get her to bed.  We would feed her, bathe her, and get her to bed before resuming our spots on the couch.

Stayin' classy.

There were times that we would eat together during the summer and it was great.  She would sit with us and eat a variety of sophisticated things such as salmon, asparagus, and pork belly.  I'm not kidding.

Nicely eating her grilled salmon in the spring.  Those were the days...sigh.

We would also eat together (obviously) when we went to restaurants, where Myra was a perfect angel, not making a sound and eating everything in front of her.  Again, not kidding, she is still that way at restaurants.

So, armed with that knowledge and brimming with the enthusiam of first-time parents morons, we made the decision, late this summer, to go to family dinner every night.

Biggest.  Mistake.  Ever.

Because my Moose is 2, she is stubborn as hell and has now decided that she refuses to eat dinner unless it is Parmesan cheese.

Why Parmesan cheese, you ask?  Well, we had a dinner one night that called for grated Parmesan, so we gave her some.  SECOND biggest mistake ever.

We were desperate to get her to eat, so we gave her a mountain of cheese in an attempt to hide the gluten free spinach fettuccine.  As you may have guessed, she only ate the Parmesan cheese.

I wasn't exaggerating.  It was a mountain.

So, now, the first battle every night is over cheese.  The first few nights, we let her have some cheese, thinking that we could "hide" the regular food.  Nope.  Once she realized what was happening, she chucked her utensils and starting licking her finger, sticking it into the food, and licking the cheese off.  I gotta hand it to the kid, it's a pretty smart move to avoid getting any of the food that is underneath the cheese.

So, the cheese had to go.  She demands it every night and every night, we refuse it.  "No, Myra, the only people who get to eat Parmesan cheese for dinner are the people who never again want to poop."

And then it is over.  Not the stupid dinner, unfortunately, but any chance of her eating.  Once she knows that cheese is out of the question, she just won't eat.  And what can I do??  I can't actually make her eat.

We try EVERYTHING.  We threaten her, we take her up to bed, we put her in time out, nothing works.  In fact, the little shit darling now asks for time-out because she knows that it gets her out of her high chair.  Myra: 1 Mommy & Daddy: 0.

We even sit there, like the total jackasses that we said we would never be, and ask her nicely, "Myra, darling, will you please do the me the honor of eating this delicious and healthy food that I cooked for you."  No damn dice.

We bribe her.  We use movies, chocolate, you name it.  Doesn't work.

So, every night, we sit there, watching her get pissed that she can't get out of her highchair, while inhaling our food to the point of getting indigestion.  Our conversation doesn't include anything about our day, unless our day happens to include working in a Parmesan cheese factory.

Then we look at ourselves, and say, "who in the hell told us that this was a good idea?!"  

Yet, we do it again.  Every  Night.  Every. Single. F*&%ing. Night.

And, so, to all of you new parents out there, I have only one thing to say to you: DON'T DO IT.  For your peace of mind and sanity, NO FAMILY DINNERS.

UPDATE: I wrote this a few weeks ago, but some how forgot to post it.  I am so happy to say that we have turned a huge corner and Myra is now great at meals!  It is awesome.  She sits nicely and eats every night.  When she asks for dessert, we tell her that she has to take 5 more bites and she sits there and counts out the bites.  No joke.  It is awesome.  

So, while I no longer hate family dinners, I am happy to have my eyes wide open because we may have another child someday and I will go back to dreading the dinner hour.  So please read on because you will also experience this sentiment at one point, like during the toddler years.

And, if we are totally honest here, while she has gotten much better behaved, I still feel like family dinners are slightly overrated.  Unless, of course, "family dinner" refers to a group of adults friends and family going out for dinner and drinks without kids.  In that case, I freakin' LOVE family dinners!