Monthly Archives: September 2009

At least I had CLOTHES on.

I think.

Mostly. This smock thing I’m wearing-because its the only thing that will fit without making my stomach feel all squished-counts as clothes, right?

I did not, however have shoes. And I didn’t even notice until I was halfway to my kids school. And I realized braking feels weird.

Oh of course it does, because I’m not wearing any fucking shoes.

This pretty much sums up my life lately. First the dog pisses on me, and now I’m pregnant and wandering around my town without proper support undergarments, running people off the road and I forgot what I was doing here anyway? Oh yeah, Pie.

I had to go to Wal-Mart the other day, which is something I try to avoid, on principle, but I had one of those days where I had like 32 dollars, and I needed a bag of chips for a school project, glue gun sticks for my horse-on-a-stick, 8 yards of tulle, some brake fluid,  bags for my diaper genie, and a prescription filled for my OMFGivegotyeastinmyMOUTH infection. So anyway, it was either brave Wal-Mart or not get any of this shit done.

So I went, but the whole time, I’m making sure to duck behind displays any time I see anyone with a cell phone, because I’m SURE they are all taking pictures of me, in my smock, pregnant, with my brake fluid, sans-bra, and shoes, and posting me on the People of Walmart site.

I think I’m done being pregnant now.

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Discipline: Can you Believe she Wrote that Spanking Post?

I admit, it was a toss up between this and this, but spanking won. There have been similar articles popping up on Twitter, Facebook, on blogs and virtually everywhere else I have looked over the last few weeks.

First of all, let me just note that Googling spanking is a highly entertaining/terrifying way to spend an afternoon. Just in case you were wondering.

Secondly, both studies have serious flaws, (which I will get into some other time, in detail.) Mostly though, I take any “study” like that with a bucket grain of salt, because we all know you can make any study or statistic say whatever you want if you know how. The article linked above even admits that it is virtually meaningless, if you read far enough into it: “Whether or not spanking equates with dumber kids is not known, and may never be known.”

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get to the core of the issue. As you probably realize by now, I am not Anti-Spanking.

Now, before you jump all over me, I’m not necessarily Pro-Spanking either. Also, I’m definitely not promoting child abuse here. I want to be completely clear about that.

However, I don’t believe spanking is child abuse.

(To clarify, when I say “spanking” I mean specifically, an open-handed swat on the butt. Through clothing. In private. Not hitting with a spoon or switch, not public humiliation, not repeated hitting, or pinching, or hair pulling or mouth smacking or really, anything else.)

I hold the unpopular and politically incorrect opinion that spanking can be an effective discipline tool when done correctly, and within a certain age range.

(In most cases, once a child is old enough to reason with, they generally no longer need spankings, though that age varies depending on the child.  And babies under the age of one or so aren’t yet developed enough to make the connection between their action and the consequence, so it wouldn’t do anything but confuse them.)

I’m not saying that I believe spanking should be a parents first, or even third line of resort when it comes to discipline. Or that it should replace other tactics in your parenting arsenal. Just that, in some cases, with some kids, it works when nothing else will.

Discipline is all about consequences. Children learn how to behave by trial and error, mostly. They do something and something else happens. When they are babies, they throw food off their highchair, just to see what happens. As toddlers, they push boundaries all the time. It’s an appropriate, normal stage of learning. And for many kids, when they do something inappropriate, all it takes is a simple “No” and a redirection for them to eventually learn not to do something. The spoken “No” is enough of a consequence to make them desire not to repeat a specific action.

Eventually, they get to a point where they can clearly understand and articulate consequences, and then you can explain the reasons why a specific behavior is unsafe or unwanted instead of just saying no. 

But before that point, some kids don’t respond to the more common methods of discipline. You can say no, or yell until you are blue in the face, you can take away toys, or administer time-outs, but what do you do when nothing else works?  I know discipline in general is a dirty word these days, but I certainly don’t think its child abuse to do what you have to to to ensure that your child listens to you, especially in situations where not listening is going to result in that kid hurting himself, or, you know, drowning my kid. Sometimes an “Oh no Johnny, we don’t drown people honey, it’s not nice!” just doesn’t work.  Sometimes your kid needs to know you mean business. And if a spank is what it takes, then, hey, you know what? I’m not against it. 

Do I think spanking causes lasting and permanent psychological damage?

No. I really don’t. Not with the type of spanking I am referring to. I don’t think kids at this age really see anything other than when I do X, Y happens. I don’t think a 3 year old is saying to himself, “Mommy hit me, I must be worthless.” I think they associate the behavior with a consequence, period,  and it’s no more damaging than a time-out is. Probably less damaging than screaming at them would be.

I’m well aware that many, many people out there disagree. People think it’s never okay to hit a child, no matter what.  Also, I’m aware of the arguments that claim you are teaching a child to deal with problems by using violence and/or fear.  About how we are supposed to lead by example, and what kind of example is this setting?

There is a very clear difference between teaching your child to solve problems with violence and teaching them that actions have consequences, (which are sometimes unpleasant.) You set an example by dealing with your own issues with other adults in a reasonable, violence-free way. Give kids some credit. Most kids are smart enough to recognize the difference between their being punished as a consequence of bad behavior, and randomly hitting other people just for fun.

(Also, most of the time, they won’t even remember having been spanked.)

Chances are, if you are a loving, attentive parent who disciplines, and even occasionally spanks, you are a far better role model than someone who ignores their kids and lets them do whatever they want with no discipline at all. By correcting their behavior in a way that is effective, whatever way that may be, by teaching them that actions have consequences, by showing them that they cannot, in fact, do whatever they want with no repercussions, you are setting a good example, giving them much needed boundaries, (which studies show kids actually NEED) and preparing them for the real world.

Seriously-and I can’t stress this enough- you are not supposed to be your child’s best friend. You are not their buddy, you are a parent. Kids need limits. They need boundaries. They need consequences. And it’s your job to give them those things.

Discipline is important.

Let me reiterate: I am not saying that you should spank your child every time he refuses to eat his peas. Also, if you have issues with anger, and you are afraid that you wouldn’t be able to control yourself, then, please, don’t spank. You know yourself best, and if you are angry enough at your child, to the point where you feel it could escalate into something more, then walk away.

Nor am I saying you should do it at all, if you have other methods that work on that particular child. Many other things can be just as effective for some kids. In fact, for most kids, the other methods work just fine.

But for a kid who doesn’t respond to other methods? A spanking might just work wonders. (Or it might not, it all really depends on the kid)

I’m posting this, despite the hate mail-fest that will ensue, because I WAS one of those parents that said they would never spank. And then I actually had difficult kids.

I’m not trying to encourage people to start spanking either if they have other methods that are effective (But if your kid is the one trying to kill my kid with a fireplace poker, in that case, please discipline him. In a way that works.)

I’m just explaining my own point of view. I don’t think this is a black or white issue for most people. And just about every parent I know never intended to spank, and then did, and felt horribly guilty for it.  (Especially those that ended up with more than one kid.)

No- It’s not a great thing-but I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world either. It’s all part of the bigger thing where we are all trying to do the best we can, trying to raise happy, smart well behaved children as best we can. And one person may not understand it or ever chose to discipline this way because their kids respond to other things, and another person, well, another person could have a different kind of kid.

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The Universe has Spoken.

So, I have this whole long droning post about discipline and spanking that I’d been mulling over for weeks, mind you, one that’s been prompted by the rash of links on Blogs and Facebook and Twitter-links to articles saying spanking will make your kid stupid and mean and give them a personality disorder. And I know posting it is totally going to get me blackballed and labeled a child abuser or whatever in some mom circles. So it should be fun.

(Spoiler- I don’t think spanking is child abuse.)

But that excitement is going to have to wait.

The universe says so.

In the form of the dog peeing on me. While I was sleeping. How can I resist this blog gold?

Answer- I CANT.

Picture if you will, a gigantically pregnant woman happily asleep when, Oh whats that? And why is my back  suddenly warm? And wet? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.

Wherein, I jump out of bed, fling off the covers  and frantically rip the sheets off the bed in an effort to stop it from leaking through to the mattress, (because of course I don’t have the mattress pad on.) While naked. And pregnant.

(For the record, yes, I do everything naked these days. No one is home, and I’m pregnant. Clothes are UNCOMFORTABLE. Shut up. And you are welcome for THAT mental image. )

Meanwhile the poor dog-who probably had one of those dreams where you are peeing in a dream and then you wake up because you realize that peeing in a dream is NEVER, EVER A GOOD SIGN- is cowering, with his legs crossed and pee trickling down one. Giving me this look that is part shame and part “Let me the fuck out already, did you NOT GET THE MEMO?”

So of COURSE I had to post this on Facebook . I mean, after I threw let the dog out. And washed the sheets. And my back.  And yes, ok, at this point I have put clothes on. Well, it’s more like a smock or muumuu or something, I wouldn’t call it clothes-but-I digress.

And of course everyone was totally sympathetic.

That’s what LMFAO means right? Sorry you got pee’d on? I’m a little behind on my internet lingo, but I think that’s right.

Oh, So then I get a call from my husband. Who was hanging out with his friends yesterday, when one approached them and asked how I was doing.

“She’s good,” he replies. “Hanging in there, almost done being pregnant” The usual.

To which he is told,

Oh. Good.  You know the dog peed on her today, right?”

Don't let the cute fool you.

Fucker.

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Random Links: Twitter Edition

This is why I love Twitter. Just 15 minutes spent perusing my stream on any given day, and I’m gifted with such glorious links.

(I link some of the more random weirdness to my husband sometimes and he generally replies with ” Where do you FIND this shit?” Or, “I’m at work, stop sending me fishporn.”)

Whatever. You know you like it.

Anyway, without Twitter my life would lack such links as these:

Vampire Princess Leia

Inane celebrity Tweets dramatized.

David Carradine had ghosts in his closet.

Really, anything on this site is…wrong.

“I know everyone will suggest that f****** a pig is how this disease was obtained…

Does this idea make anyone else uncomfortable?

Amazing flood pictures. The roller coaster is the best.

I love this site. Also, I’d love some cake now.

Most links shamelessly pulled stolen my twitter stream. I don’t remember who posted what, so to be safe, just follow everyone I follow.

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NEW TV!!!!! (Or: Why 90210 Still Sucks)

*Spoiler warning*

I am beyond thrilled that the new television season has started. I know, it’s sad. But seriously. TV is awesome. With a few notable exceptions. For example:

90210

...still sucks.  They managed to  drag a “sext” out for three episodes. That’s three hours of my life spent watching Annie try to convince everyone she’s not really a slut, while actually being a slut. And I get that they are trying to illustrate her decline into bad girl-ism that was prompted by her drunken running over of the hobo from last season, but honestly, no one cares. And yet, I’m still watching.

Mostly because it gives me things to make fun of.

Melrose Place

Since 90210 apparently worked out so well for them, they decided to bring this gem back as well. And I admit, I watched the first series. ( I watched 90210 as well, but fuck if any of it was memorable enough for me to even recall more than the characters names and bad hairstyles.)

In other words, it’s about the same as it was before, which is to say: Not as bad as 90210. Mostly because there’s more murder and less “sexting” and whining.  While it’s not something that is in my first string of shows, or even my second string, I can see it being mildly entertaining. I kind of wish they’d get over the whole flashback thing though. I get that they are trying to connect the old show with the new show, but, really, why? No matter how much you mention that Michael helped Sydney fake her death in the past, most of us don’t care anymore. We are over it. Move on to the new drama.

Anyway…So far Vampire Diaries and Glee are my favorite new shows.  Glee is truly funny with likable characters, and Vampires Diaries is much less cheesy than I was expecting it to be. Yes, there are vampires in high school. So I was expecting more Twilight-ish, teenybopper drama, but it’s got enough of a plot to keep my interest for now. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good vampire show.  (And no, I have not read the books.)

NCIS: LA was something I had high hopes for but the first episode didn’t do much for me.  NCIS was one of those shows where it took awhile to build up an understanding of the characters. I didn’t instantly relate to any of them right off the bat, but I will give them time to grow on me, because the original NCIS’ers sure did. (Although it helped that Tony was once in Dark Angel and Abby is awesome.)

The Good Wife was well written but probably poorly named, as it seemed to have more to do with her  doing lawyerly-type stuff and not so much wifely-type stuff. The whole humiliated politician’s wife thing is a premise that seems almost secondary to everything else. I understand they were probably trying to draw people in with the scandal of it all, being “ripped from the headlines” and everything, but that can only get us so far. I didn’t hate the show, but I don’t see it lasting long either. 

Mercy had potential. I liked the characters enough to ignore the fact that it’s yet another medical drama. They portrayed nurses more accurately than some of the other shows out there, which I appreciate also. 

Forgotten was neat, (but again- more of the same cop-show-meets-cold-case type drama that seems to be everywhere lately) though I feel it’s a bad omen that Christian Slater is the star, seeing as the last drama starring him lasted exactly 73 seconds.  I didn’t even get around to watching an episode before it was canceled.  Also, is the victim going to voice over the whole show, every time? Cause that could get annoying.

For clarification, my first string of shows refers to the shows I watch as they are on. Shows I am willing to even sit through commercials for. Second string are the shows I watch on the DVR  first, and third are those shows which I record, but don’t rush to watch. Fourth- shows that are  in a time slot where I  have to choose one NOT to record and will sometimes get watched online later or on DVD in the summer.

My first shows are generally: House, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS. Oh, and of course, Simpsons and Family Guy. And Lost, when it’s on.

Some second’s include: Gossip Girl, (I know. Shut up. Chuck Bass amuses me, O.K.? ) Lie To Me, Fringe, Desperate Housewives, Smallville, Criminal Minds,  The Mentalist, Brothers and Sisters, Dollhouse and Chuck, when it’s on.

90210, Melrose Place,  Law and Order SVU, CSI’s NY & Miami, Num3ers,  and most of the new shows are on the third tier.

Heroes has been relegated to 4th. I’m not even bothering this season, but I might watch the DVD’s at a later date.

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Flying and Loss

When I was a kid, I thought about my own death a lot. When other kids worried about crushes and boy bands and what to wear to the dance, I worried about drowning and AIDS and nuclear holocausts. I didn’t sleep much, because I became convinced I was going to die in my sleep. My parents tried, unsuccessfully, to calm my fears. To get me to, well, relax.

But I couldn’t. I tried to just not think about it. It never worked.

I  couldn’t understand how other people even functioned with death lurking around every corner. How did they not worry that robbers were going to kill them in a home invasion? How did they not stay awake all night, listening, so that they could at least have a chance against this nameless faceless death that was surely coming for me, and them too.

You see, you can’t fight death. Once it’s your time,  there isn’t much you can do.  It’s something you have no control over. I think that was what bothered me the most. Everyone dies, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Pretty much everyone else on the planet is aware of this, and yet they go on about their lives like everything is normal, happily ignoring the inevitable.

It terrified me.

For years. For the majority of my childhood, in fact.

No wonder my parents were convinced I was nuts.

Eventually, I suppose I outgrew it, though mostly I just had a bunch of kids got distracted by life, and didn’t have time anymore to think much about the random ways I could eventually die.

(For the most part anyway, the fear did re-emerge in the form of panic attacks for awhile after my ex-husbands brother died for no apparent reason.)

But yeah, for the most part, now I sleep without worrying about aliens invading and giving me cancer and AIDS just for fun.

Except for this one thing, that is. This one thing still manages to keep me awake at night.

Flying.

Surprisingly enough, flying was one thing that didn’t bother me as a kid. I would travel alone, on 14 hour flights from the furthest corner of the country to another without giving it a second thought. (Besides puking a lot, I mean. )

Now, however, just the thought of an airplane is enough to make my insides liquefy. And it’s gotten progressively worse as time goes by. I can’t even watch people fly on television without getting sick to my stomach. Just the thought of a plane trip starts the cycle of panic and terror.

And yes, I have read the fear of flying website. I know you are safer in a plane than you are in a car. I know its really really rare for planes to just “fall out of the sky”. I have heard and tried it all. Rationally,  I KNOW.  It doesn’t matter.

The last time I was forced to fly, I had to ingest copious amounts of Valium just to get ON the plane, and still had a panic attack mid-flight. (Husband was thrilled)

And then the plane fishtailed upon landing.

(At this point, the gods were just fucking with me, I think.)

I can’t tell you how relieved I was when the Doctor vetoed me flying up to New York for the wedding this weekend. Yes, I would have loved to go. But I would have rather spent over twenty hours in my car, eight months pregnant, with a 6 year old that talks nonstop and two dogs, then even attempt to get on a plane, especially un-medicated.

I’m serious, I actually considered that a reasonable alternative.

I hated myself for this fear. I want, more than anything else to travel. To see the world before I die.

How the hell am I going to do that if I can’t get on a damn plane?

So I spent way too much time analyzing my fear, trying to figure out WHY it has gotten so bad. Trying to figure out what exactly it is that I am afraid of.

At first I thought it was simply the death thing, revisited yet again, in another form. But yesterday, I realized something.

I am just as scared of them flying as I would be if it was me flying. Because, it’s not my death I fear anymore.

It’s theirs.

The plane fears didn’t start until I started flying with people I loved. My husband. My children. Alone, it never bothered me, but the thought of them having to feel that fear that I can imagine so vividly-The fear you must feel when you are on a plane and you know it is going down and there’s nothing you can-My god. I just can’t handle that.

It would destroy my soul to have to look into the eyes of someone I loved as they experienced that.

And I’m not really scared of my death anymore, because I have something far more precious to lose, something I value more than my own life.

My family.

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Sex Offenders

This post has been mentioned by more than one person in the past week. And yes, I have an opinion on this.  But, I’ve been miserably ill, so I’m just now getting to it. Because this is a topic that deserves my full attention and effort to do justice.

Justice. Heh.

Seriously, this, this is not justice.

I know. As a parent-of three young girls, I might add-I have the same tendency to scream “Do what you have to do to keep the perverts away from my kids and damn the consequences.”

But…What if one of these boys was your child?

I knew a man once. When he was 17, he had a girlfriend who was 15.  They had a sexual relationship. They were both in high school.  They were even in the same grade.  Her father didn’t like him. So, when he turned 18 -and she was weeks from 16 by this point- her father had him arrested.

He went to jail. For five years. For statutory rape.

Where he was subsequently stabbed on more than one occasion and even raped himself.

Needless to say, when he came out, he was changed.  I’m told he was kind of a “bad boy” to begin with.  Not a rapist or pedophile, mind you, just a rambunctious teenage boy. When I met him he was a mess. A scary mess. He will never be the same, and if anything is much more likely to be dangerous now than he ever was as a sexually curious teen.

So, how exactly did sending him to jail help things for anyone?

I haven’t a fucking clue. The only “victim” here that I can see is this man. He never forced himself on this girl. Their relationship was consensual. She even testified that it was consensual. The only one who had a problem with the relationship was her father. And seriously? Would I be pissed if my kid was having sex at 15 or 16? Absolutely. Would I send the other kid to jail? Why???

People: I know we may not want to think about this, but sexuality is a part of growing up.

(And you people who keep trying to say kids are becoming sexual at a younger and younger age and blah blah- Bullshit. We used to marry our daughters off at age twelve or so, so they could start having babies. )

As parents, we may not like the idea of our kids having sexual contact with other kids, but it’s something that’s inevitable.  Not criminal.

We teach them as best we can we hope they will wait as long as possible,  knowing that they are going to eventually do it anyway. (Hopefully we also teach them about safe sex as well for this very reason.) Sure, we want them to be 35 and married before they do so, and not 15 and under the tree in the backyard, but the fact is, at some point, it’s going to happen. Our kids will probably also play doctor, masturbate, and look at porn a time or too as well.

Like it or not,  sexuality is a part of life. A normal part of life.  A part of life that  shouldn’t be criminalized.

Now I fully understand these laws were originally  intended to protect children from the likes of scary, candy-brandishing pedophiles.

(And I am all for the maximum punishment for adults who impose themselves on children, have no doubt about that.)

But who is protecting our children from these laws?

Obviously something needs to be changed if all these kids- and they are just kids– are slipping through the cracks and being destroyed by a system that’s supposed intent is to protect them.

Do I have to supplement the sex-ed scare tactics where they vividly illustrate genital oozing by teaching my son that not only will thinking about sex make his junk fall off, but if he makes out with his girlfriend he could go to jail?

Or remind him that streaking at a sporting event is a sex offense?  Gods forbid he pees on a wall in front of the wrong person.

That’s just insane. And sad.

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