Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Children in public places

Oh wow.  This article debating whether children should be allowed in public places (airplanes, restaurants) made me mad.  Really, really mad.  It is amazing how intolerant people are of children.  Hello?  Every one of us was a child at one point. 

*warning - rant coming*

I lived nearly 30 years with no children, and I don't remember being so obnoxiously opposed to children.  What are parents expected to do?  Lock ourselves in our house until the children are 30 years old?  How would they learn socially appropriate behavior if they don't have opportunities to practice?

The majority of the time my children are reasonably well behaved in public.  But there are times when I swear to you, I am doing everything I can and they are just unruly.  THEY ARE KIDS.  The problem is, it is often unpredictable, so I may think they are going to be well behaved in the restaurant, yet all hell breaks loose when we get there.  I take my children outside if weather permits, or to the restroom.  In extreme cases, I've taken them out to the car.  However, there are some instances where this would be a very difficult solution. 

Prime Example:

I have a stay-at-home mom friend who was hugely pregnant and took her 3-year-old to the post office with her because she needed to get a gift in the mail.  After standing in line for more than 30 minutes (all the while, her 3-year-old behaved), the child decided to pitch a major fit right when it was her turn at the counter.  She figured she would just hurry up and get her business done.  Here she is, tired, pregnant, embarrassed, and what happens?  Strangers start telling her how she should handle her child, criticizing her, and glaring at her.

You know what, I can't tell you how many times I've seen full grown adults behave way worse than any child.  Why are they allowed to go to restaurants and fly on planes?

In the article above, it is debated whether airline passengers should have to tolerate babies crying or kids being unruly.  So, if I agree that passengers shouldn't have to tolerate this, then my children won't ever see my husband's family?  Or if I fly with them, I should take two children to the tiny bathroom and lock myself in there with them?

For what it is worth, when we fly our children are very well behaved 95% of the time.  We keep them entertained, fed, and we pace with them in the aisles if they are restless.  However, there have been a couple of instances when I couldn't do anything - once was during descent when I wasn't allowed to get out of my seat and the baby had a wet diaper - she was a little fussy.  I guess the freaking air marshall should have arrested us.

Let's have a debate about why adults shouldn't be allowed on flights:

  • They fart and it is permeates the entire plane in a very disgusting manner.  I DON'T WANT TO BREATHE YOUR POOP PARTICLES!!
  • They drink too much and talk too loudly.
  • They lean their chairs back even though I already can taste the coffee that spilled on my pants (since my knees are crammed in my face).
  • They take my arm rest.  It is clearly MY armrest.
  • They treat the flight attendants like crap.  "Raddy, raddy, rah.  Hmpf.  Look at me, I'm Mr. Important Business Person, so I should be allowed to do whatever I want and you should be at my beckon call."
  • They have temper tantrums when they don't get their way (e.g., asked to turn off cell phone during takeoff).

So, Mr. or Ms. Obnoxious Adult, why don't you put yourself in timeout in the disgusting, smelly bathroom?

What do you all think?

  • How do you feel about children in public places?

  • What is your limit on what is reasonable to expect from children?  What are the exceptions (certain circumstances)?

  • What do adults do in public that you think is worse than what children do?

I like this short but effective article about children's behavior in public.  The gist is that it is about balancing the child's needs and the need to teach them appropriate behavior with the needs of the general public.  One doesn't trump the other, but both needs are important.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spanx are for kids, silly rabbit!

Hey, hey, hey!  Thanks to Cool Mom Picks, I've discovered a solution to the "Waaahh...I want to wear a dress to school today!" battle that happens every  morning occasionally in our house.  Check out these bloomers for kids:

My first thought when I saw these was "hey, I need a pair of those!"  And then I realized I have a pair.  They are called Spanx.  And they most certainly are not for hanging upside down on the monkey bars.  Although Katie Holmes might have seemed a lot cooler if she had been wearing a pair of violet knickers instead of Spanx in this photo:

By the way, that is TOTALLY what I look like in my Spanx.

You know I never want to make my male readers feel left out, so please, guys, go out and get yourself a pair of the Spanx for men.  They call it "man Spanx."  Oh, that is rich.  You will absolutely look like this if you do:

OMG, that is almost as funny as the men's swimsuit option I posted on my shopping blog.  Seriously, guys, leave the vain self-obsession stuff to us. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

More Travel Tips for Families

We are getting ready to get a passport for our newest edition.  Our eldest got her passport around 4 months of age, and her picture looks like a little bald shaolin monk.  M's picture will be pretty similar.  I'm thinking of braiding her baby mullet to add to the effect.

Here are some pretty good travel sites with tips for families, courtesy of Delicious Baby blog.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The New Cat

Today's post features a guest writer, my sister M.  "D" is her husband and "B" is her one-year-old son.  Enjoy!

D has been begging me for a cat since we got married 5 1/2 years ago.  I have basically said no every time he asks for a different reason... we live in an apartment, I'm allergic, we have a dog, we have a baby, we have a 1 year old and a dog, etc.  He brings it up every few months.

Well, yesterday he called me at work.  "Hey honey.... Ummm... Well... I sorta.... well... er..."  (I'm imagining that he wrecked the car or lost our son or something)  "I found a cat and I brought it home."

So the story goes like this...
He goes to drop B off at daycare and there is a lonely, pitiful cat in the parking lot.  It looks abandoned.  It was running under the cars, etc.  So, D goes in and leaves B.  When he comes out the cat is still there.  So all the mom's are like "oooooh you should take it home.... it's probably been abandoned".  According to D it was a match made in heaven and the cat came right to him.  D says, "Ok, get in the car" and opens the door.  Cat jumps in and off they go.  By the way... they're in MY CAR.

I tell him, "well you better take it to the vet.  It might have fleas or something."  Not only does it have fleas, but it has ear mites.  $250 later we have shots, flea treatment, ear mite treatment, a cage, litter box, food, and a little house.

I come home to find this cat in the basement living like Snoop dog.  Heater, blanket, it's own lamp, bed, a flat screen, a bumper sticker that says "I love cats" with paws on it.  You get the picture.

Now we both start itching and are a bit paranoid.  D woke me up at 3am to ask if cat lice could be transmitted to humans.  I told him to go back to bed.  (I started itching, but didn't want to encourage delusions of parasitosis).

Ok, to today I go downstairs to get on the treadmill at 5:30.  The cat dumped over the litter box, puked in the cage, and "went" everywhere except in the litter.  It's hiding under the little yellow house.

I go about my business, get on the treadmill and text D.  "Your cat needs you."  It meows loudly the entire mile I ran, almost making me fall off the treadmill.  MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!

Eventually, D came down and cleaned everything up.

I went to work and got a text this afternoon.  "The cat had a miscarriage".


D took a sample of cat poop to the vet to get tested.  She has a tapeworm.  Big surprise by now.  So he goes back home to get the cat to take back to the vet to get treated for this worm infestation and finds a fetus in the cage.

Loads up the cat and fetus... back to the vet.  The baby is 6 weeks old and didn't survive.  There will probably be more.  So far... 1 more, also didn't make it.

So in case you lost track...  in 24 hours that is...
Ear mites
Miscarriage x 2 (as I recall the average litter is 4-6, with up to 18 or so possible)
Destroyed cage, litter box, cat house, and numerous towels.

D wants to know if he can just put the towels in the washer on HOT.  Ummm.... no.  Not in my washer.  Throw those away.


Anybody want a cat?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to be a happier parent

I saw this article on yahoo today and just had to take a break from my usual silly banter to post something a bit more serious.  I really like simplicity in parenting advice, as the whole 40-step, barter and hold, dance a jig crap is just far too complicated for me.

The authors posit that you should ask yourselves two questions:

1.  When are you happiest with your kids?

For me, this is definitely during the wind down part of the evening, when we are cuddling in bed together, reading a story, or talking about our days.  There is nothing sweeter in life than these moment.

2. What part of the normal day with your family routinely causes suffering?

The one that seems to cause problems consistently is getting ready in the morning.  Oh, the drama.  I've tried prepping the night before, etc. but there is some drama that we just can't seem to get past.
Evening mealtime can also be a bit frustrating.
By the way, I think they are relevant even if you don't have children.  The answers to these questions could help make life in general a little easier.
What about you? How would you answer these questions?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Post Partum Weight Loss

I've been MIA for awhile.  Part of it is my extreme grouchiness from eating only 1200 calories of cardboard a day.  Part is writer's block.  Part is the deafening silence that is the "no comment" zone - you bunch of lurkers, you.  Can't I shame you in to responding? 

Oh boo-hoo.  This weight loss topic is certainly soooo overdone.  But I'm going to wade in anyway.  I've been on Nutrisystem since about 8 weeks post partum, and it has helped but man does this suck.  If I see one more picture of a celebrity in a string bikini holding her newborn baby, I'm going to puke.  Seriously.  If you really look like that right after having a baby, just keep it to yourself. 

I think this topic is also relevant for (most) men as well, since the guys seem to pack on a few pounds during pregnancy as well (except my husband, who looks like one of the Olsen twins).

(Which reminds me, sometime I need to post about the freaking Hungry Man dinners he used to eat in the middle of the night).

So ladies and gents, want to fess up about how much weight you gained during pregnancy, and how long it took you to lose it?

A similar post with many more comments than I'll ever generate can be found on this blog

Anyone have a violin to play "My Heart Bleeds for You?"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nighttime Escapades

It is like a live with a coke addict.  Seriously.  Who wakes up at 3 in the freaking morning and wants to have a "dress-up party?"  WHAT???  IT IS THREE IN T-H-E M-O-R-N-I-N-G. 

But there she is, naked as a jaybird (I don't even know what that means), standing on her bed, screaming, wanting to put her "fancy dress" on.  Not once.  Not twice.  Not three times.  I don't even know how many times.  We lost count. 

And this is in between the baby waking up crying.  Baby cries, go get her, get her back to sleep.  Crazy lunatic three-year-old screams.  Go get her, somehow manage not to wring her neck, put her back in bed.  Baby cries.  And on.  And on.  And on.

Oh, the joy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

That Hurt my Feelings Mr. Urban Outfitter T Shirt Designer Guy

Do you think I'm too sensitive?  I stumbled on this t-shirt when I accidentally fell on my keyboard and it somehow brought up a shopping website.  Anyway, I took the t-shirt personally?  Do you think Mr. Urban Outfitter designer read my blog?  Could he be one of my 7 followers?  *sob*

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Proof that there is no hope for me to be funny. Ever.

Because when my cousin, who has a Ph.D. in MATH for crying out loud (or something like that, sorry Dave) is this funny, there is NO CHANCE I"ll be even remotely amusing.  Ever.  What math genius have you ever met who is funny?

And I'm not a genius about anything (except reality t.v., but I'm not sure if that would win me anything on the Miss America talent contest) so I don't even have that going for me.

So Dave writes this hilarious post and e-mails it to my family.  

My mom responds:

"Leave it to Dave to get a smile on your face!!!  Honey you missed your calling.  Not sure what your calling is by the way.  BTW did you have anything to do with the poor stuffed sheep that had its ears pinned together and a knife strapped to its waist?
Aunt Marilyn"

Dave's reply:

"Poor Sheep?  (you'll have to upload a photo, so the others know what we're talking about)

That, my dear, is a Samurai Sheepkin, most feared of all bucolic beasts.  It will watch your house while you're gone.  Just leave it some sushi once in a while.  With lots of seaweed.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Valentine's Day - What a Farce

I only say that because it makes me feel better about myself when my oh-so-practical "look at me, I was raised in a third world country, so I'm too good for frivolous stuff" husband doesn't buy me any Valentine's Day gifts.

He tells me every year: "Every day with me is Valentine's Day."

It wouldn't be so freaking irritating if it weren't kind of true. Great, he reads this and I'm never going to get Manolo shoes after admitting that.

It is kind of like my birthday, when he tells me: "When I was a kid in Vietnam, no one remembered my birthday. The only present I ever got was water. To put on my dirt and make mud."


Not that I'm getting that scrooge anything either.

But for the rest of you lucky morons, check out my shopping site, The Shopping Guru, for gift suggestions. And no, I wouldn't mind at all if you bought me one of the things I suggested. By all means.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TLC's A Baby Story

I was flipping through the channels the other evening and saw A Baby Story.  It reminded me of an interesting (it is interesting because I say so) observation I had recently.  Because I'm like the best observer of stuff ever.  Anyway, I noticed that show is only interesting when you JUST had a baby.  Like the first two or three weeks after you had a baby. 

When you are pregnant, you would think this would be a fun show to watch.  Nope.  No interest in getting more detail about the horror (oops, that is totally counter to my hypnobabies training) amazing thing that is about to happen to me. 

About two weeks post partum, you realize that the whole baby birthing thing doesn't hold quite the same fascination as it did in the moments following your own experience.  Shocking.

Uh-oh, does this mean all of you have the same reaction to my stupid mumblings about parenting?

Don't answer that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brief Hiatus

I am taking a little hiatus to enjoy time with my extended family.  We will be mourning the loss of our amazing, beautiful grandmother.  At the same time, we will be enjoying memories of her and will be cherishing our time together, which she would love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake - How to Help

I'm sure many of you are haunted by the images from Haiti and wondering how in the world you could do anything to help them.  Please don't stay immobilized.  Every little bit helps.  Thanks to the blog Ask Moxie for this post on simple ways to help:

The easiest way to help is to text the word YELE to 501501 and a US$5 donation will be made to Yele Haiti, Wyclef Jean's foundation, with the money billed to your next mobile phone bill.

You can also donate through the Red Cross, either at redcross.orgor by texting the word HAITI to 90999 to have a US$10 donation made to the Red Cross International Relief Fund.

You can also donate through the Mercy Corps: https://donate.mercycorps.org/donation.htm?DonorIntent=Haiti+Earthquake

Cool Mom Picks offers other suggestions in this post.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Good Comebacks for when People Say Dumb Sh...Stuff

My husband, T, is the king of comebacks.  You know why?  Because he really, REALLY doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.  Me?  I’m terrible.  I’m that person who thinks of the comeback two or three hours later.  The only time I was remotely good at it was when I was pregnant and grumpy. 
You know what people say the dumbest things about?  Pregnancy, post-partum stuff, parenting, and other people’s relationships.  What do these things have in common?  They are NONE OF YOUR DARN BUSINESS. 
Some of my favorite stupid things people have said [these are real; names changed to protect identity] and my suggested comebacks:
“Oh my, your little Bobby is such a brat.  I don’t know what you are doing wrong.  My daughter, Susie’s little boy is such an angel.” 
Yeah, I trust your judgment ‘cause you did such a fabulous job raising Susie. 
Oh, Bobby only acts like that when we don’t give him his daily dose of marijuana. 
“You look good.  Your belly is getting smaller.  But I’m not saying your skinny.  You left your days of being hot behind in college.”
At least I got to experience being hot.  You poor ugly idiot.
“You are definitely a lot bigger than last time [you were pregnant].”
You are also a lot bigger than….oops.  Sorry about that.
“You should bite him [your son] back when he bites you.”
How about I bite you, you moron?
And the classic dumb comment, said to a newly married couple: “When are you going to start having kids?”
For the comebacks to this classic, I must once again credit my newly married colleague, Jay L.  His suggestions are much better than mine:
When they relax the child labor laws.
About 9 months and 15 minutes from now. Will you excuse us?
We'd like to, but there was this bowling accident a few years ago...
As you can see, mine are pretty lame compared to Jay's.  Help me out, whatcha got for comebacks?

The Globe Guardian has some doozies. 

Aunt Kay [aka, “The Light”], if you are reading I know you will respond with something like “Sweetie, take the high road and just tell them how wonderful they are.  Thank them for the advice and go on your merry way.”  If I promise to do that and just think these great comebacks, will you forgive me?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How can our 3-year-old be smarter than us?

Exhibit A: cookie versus popsicle

In our household, we have the [loosely enforced] rule that treats are only allowed on the weekend.  Also, she is only allowed one treat after each meal, totaling one treat after dinner on Friday, three treats on Saturday and three on Sunday.  Simple, right?  Easy to enforce, right?

So 45-year-old man of the world picks up his daughter from school on Friday. 

From the back seat in a voice that could melt butter: “Daddy, can I have a cookie and a popsicle tonight?” 

Daddy:  “No, you can only have one treat.  Which would you like?” 

“I think I would like a popsicle.  I’ll share it with you, daddy.” [cue big smile and doe eyes]

Oblivious, stupid daddy answers, so proud that his daughter is finally grasping the concept of sharing: “Aww…thanks sweetie.  I’d love to have some of your popsicle.”

“You can have a cookie for your treat, okay daddy?”

This is the moment when daddy loses focus, like a cop in a bad 80s movie whose poor partner [played by a no-name actor] is about to get shot.

Now half paying attention, daddy mumbles: “Okay sweetie.”

“And you will share your cookie with me, right daddy?”