30 May 2011

Two is Enough (imported post)

Today we went to the movies. Last night I promised the girls if they got along and didn't fight for the entire evening we could go today, and indeed, they managed to be civil for three whole hours until bedtime, so we observed Memorial Day by celebrating our freedom to pay exorbitant prices for inferior popcorn. We were waffling between "Rio" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" but then fortunately I got the word from some of my friends who are also parents that KFP2 would not be a good choice for Mimi right now.

(Side note: Dear Hollywood, could we effing PLEASE have a kid's movie not rife with abandonment/adoptee issues on some level? PLEASE? Because they turned up in Rio, too, although not as central, and really, I am tired of my kids asking what happened to various characters' parents every time we watch a movie.)

28 May 2011

Chiming in with my completely unnecessary and unsolicited opinion (imported post)

So there's this ridiculously illogical critique of the children's book parody "Go the Fuck to Sleep." The fantastically logical blog Words Have Meanings has a response, which includes the following valiant attempt to deconstruct the logic of the critique.
  1. If children aren’t read to, it is detrimental.
  2. Go the F*** to Sleep is read by good, but frustrated parents.
  3. We must assume they don’t read to their kids.
  4. Thus, we must be concerned about Go the F*** to Sleep.
(Ok, back to me) I love that the author of Words Have Meanings pointed out that the fact that this IS a parody of children’s books would be lost on people who don’t read to their children, so … what exactly is the assumption here, and how was it reached?

No one has to like the book, or think it’s funny. I do think it’s funny. If you don't, that's ok too. But if you're going to write a contentious op-ed claiming it's not funny because it's the sort of thing that causes child abuse, you need to a) have logical supporting arguments and b) expect people to challenge you. The author of the original piece has been responding to supporters on Twitter and belittling, mocking, and blocking people who don't agree with her.

Back to me again. I’ve been struggling with sleep issues with my kids for years, and have found if you don’t laugh once in a while, you’re going to cry. Or tear your hair out. Or drink. You have to have some kind of coping mechanism that lets you acknowledge it's ok to be completely frustrated with your child once in a while.

In fact, I would argue that failing to acknowledge that these precious angel snowflakes of ours AREN’T always perfect and do make us feel crazy at times is the sort of thing that helps create a culture where parents feel destined to fail. That’s what catharsis means, after all: it’s the emotional release we experience when channeling frustrations into acceptable outlets. We need catharsis specifically so we DON’T snap.


18 May 2011

Time for a list (imported post)

I've been harassed a bit about not actually writing a blog anymore. In a nice way, of course, because my friends are nice people (hah!) I mumble about not having time, but that's not strictly true, because I do lots of other stuff that I don't exactly have time for. So here's my list of excuses for not blogging, in lieu of a blog post.

Things I'm doing instead of blogging, by Jen

1. Working at Job #1, the full-time one that pays me the most, requires me to shower, get dressed, and leave my house, and allows me to provide my children with health insurance, a roof over their heads, and endless supplies of Annie's bunny mac and cheese (it's organic!)

2. Working at Job #2, the freelance one that allows me to research all sorts of weird topics, be re-tweeted by Alyssa Milano (for this article), pay for Boo's preschool, and occasionally get myself a little something, like a haircut, or jeans that don't sag off my ass.

3. Work at Job #3, Mimi & Boo, which right now is suffering mightily because Job #2 pays more consistently. I am, however, busily crocheting my fingers off every spare moment lately as I have a show this Saturday and 2 or 3 custom orders that are way, way, way overdue. If you're someone who has asked me about custom orders or making specific characters, I'm hoping to get back to that in July. Because...

4. Getting ready to move. In June, the girls and I, as a family of three, are leaving the house we moved into three years ago as a family of five. It's a good move, actually, if bittersweet. We're moving into a slightly smaller house about three blocks down the same street we're on now, which means no change of school, commute, or schedule. All the packing, however, is still just as a big a hassle, and as I go through this I'm realizing exactly how much stuff the Ex still has in my house. Never mind the legions of outgrown toys and clothes that must be sorted and given away or donated. If anyone is on the lookout for toddler toys or size 3 girls' duds, get in touch. Seriously.

5. Doctors and therapists and social workers, oh my. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably picked up on the fact that my Mimi is struggling. She has ongoing mental, emotional, and developmental issues (I try to avoid saying "disabilities" because that implies that her struggles are much more limiting than they truly are). For a variety of reasons, the emotional issues are at the forefront right now; I spent one entire scary day last month with her in the Psych ER at our local hospital because neither of us were sure she was safe. Things are very one-step-forward-two-steps-back right now, but all the same I do think we are making a teeny bit of progress. It's hard. It sucks. I'm sleeping about four hours a night trying to deal with numbers 1-4 on this list, see to Mimi's needs, and still have some time to just hang out with my daughters and laugh and play. Please don't say to me "I don't know how you do it," because to be honest I don't either.

6. Dating. Well, not really, but I have been on a few dates on the odd, unfortunately not-regularly-scheduled weekends the girls are with their dad. I've been highly amused, when I'm not seriously depressed, by this whole online-dating-profile thing and finally started my long-awaited (by at least three people) Tumblr about my adventures in that world. There are only two posts right now, and the one copied over from here (which, seriously, is a CLASSIC), because, well, see nos. 1-5 above.

7. Noodling around on the internets. This will come as no great shock if you've known me for any length of time whatsoever, but I do this thing where I get obsessed with something, have to find out everything about it, and then three weeks later have moved on to something else. An evil friend turned me on to Pinterest, which has only enabled and fueled this personality flaw (or, as I like to think of it, engaging quirk). Now I spend time organizing my boards, looking for things to pin, and stalking other people's boards. It's very important. Almost like working, because after all I pin lots of crochet stuff and so it's, you know, inspiration. Or something. I also spend a lot of time on facebook and twitter, although to be honest, not quite as much as I used to. I'm trying not to overshare quite as much. It's hard. I like to talk about myself, apparently.

I do other things, too, but these are the biggies. I read (slightly more now that I have an e-reader and can read and crochet at the same time). I help Mimi with her homework (often ending in tears, for one or both of us). I enjoy the hell out of the moments I can sit with Mimi and have a (often hysterical) conversation about her ideas on life, the universe, and everything, several of which I need to transcribe because dudes, that kid is a hoot, as my mom would say, and also scarily perceptive.

I chat with friends via instant message about work frustrations, cute or irritating things my kids do, cute or irritating things THEIR kids do, pop culture, tv, and boys. I try to limit the number of times I lose my freaking mind to three a week or less. I weather four-year-old trauma, drama, and tantrums from Boo, and in return get exchanges such as the following:
"Mama? Mama? Mama? Mom? Mom? Mommy? Mom?"
"I wuv you."