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Monday, May 14th, 2012
(Alternate Title: This is Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read Kids’ Books.)
Have you ever sat there, reading a classic kids’ book to your children, and thought… what in the everloving eff is going on here? I have. In fact, I do it on a regular basis. (Don’t even get me started on fairy tales.) For your convenience, I’ve listed here several books to watch out for, summarized their questionable messages, and thoughtfully re-titled them to more accurately reflect their content. No need to thank me. I do it for the kids. Let’s begin.
Guess How Much I Love You: Okay, I’ll be the one to say it. Big Nutbrown Hare is the biggest one-upper who ever lived. His son is all “I love you as high as I can reach” and he’s all “Oh yeah well I love you as high as I can reach, which is way higher since I’m older and taller and smarter and better-looking.” There is no need to get so competitive, you know? Your kid’s just trying to tell you he loves you, so maybe don’t be such a jerk about it.
Moral of the story: Anything you can do, your parents can do better. Sweetheart.
New title: Guess How Much I Can One-Up You.
The Runaway Bunny: It’s sweet that the mother bunny loves her baby bunny so much that she’d resort to all kinds of impossible shapeshifting and crazy stalking and improbable kidnapping to keep him near her. Wait… no it isn’t. It’s the creepiest thing ever. And I thought I was a helicopter mom. I mean seriously. This woman is gonna be all up in her poor future daughter-in-law’s business. I can smell it from a mile away.
Moral of the story: Mommy loves you sooo much, honey, that if you leave her side, she will hunt you down Taken-style and drag you right back to where you belong, so stay exactly where you are, so help me Jesus. You can move out when you’re forty. Five.
New title: When Helicopter Moms Attack.
Goodnight Moon: Okay, I’ll admit that I love Goodnight Moon. (Sorry, Margaret Wise Brown. Didn’t mean to call you out twice here. Love you, girlfriend.) Still, books like this are the reason my kid takes 45 minutes to go to bed every night. It is the original book of bedtime stalling excuses. Whatever happened to just saying goodnight to each other and going to bed? Let’s not encourage saying goodnight to the room and the moon and the cow jumping over the moon, (which is not real), the bears and the chairs and the kittens and the mittens and the house and the mouse and the wait there’s a mouse in here?? What the f*ck?? “Goodnight nobody” is right, because none of us are getting any sleep tonight, are we. Get real, kids. When I say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime now. Where’s the children’s Benadryl?
Moral of the story: It’s perfectly acceptable to take so much time to go to bed that it’s basically the next morning already.
New title: But I Don’t Want To Go To Bed. Five More Minutes?
The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real): This story basically traumatized me as a child. Yes, I am sensitive. (I cry several tears for each and every mean comment you guys leave me.) Can we first discuss the “Skin Horse” for a second? That is some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t right there. But mostly, my problem with this story is that it’s just super sad. The little boy loves this toy and lures him into a false sense of security that he’s gonna be real someday and then gets all sick and sends him off to be burned alive (what?!) and then gets a nice new shiny one and forgets about the old one and goes to the beach, the end. Not nice, little boy. Luckily the rabbit does get to become real because he cries, and he runs off to the woods with the other wild rabbits where they all probably live another two to three weeks, tops.
Moral of the story: If you get too sick, Mommy and Daddy will burn all your toys. Also, you can get anything if you cry about it. Even if it’s impossible.
New title: How Toys Become Super Depressing.
Postscript: I sent a draft of this post, as I often do, to a friend so that she could prescreen it for excessive witchiness.
Me: Can you make sure this post isn’t too much? I think everyone on Parents’ Facebook page thinks I’m a huge wench. With a potty mouth.
Her: Oh my God!! You’re like the Ann Coulter of the parenting world!!!
Me: …That’s the meanest thing anyone’s ever said to me.
Her: Oh. I meant it as a compliment.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
Thanks to everyone who joined me at the American Baby Q&A session today on Facebook! For those who missed it or anyone who’s looking for information on kids’ dental care, I thought I’d put together a post of the most commonly asked questions, and a few things I didn’t get to mention. (Note: this post, just like any information on the internet, does not substitute for an exam and regular dental care– see your dentist for any specific concerns.)
When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?
The official recommendation is by one year of age or the first tooth, whichever comes first. The purpose of the first visit is to establish a dental home for your child, to educate you (the parent) about proper home care and diet, and to start establishing healthy dental habits and introduce the child to the dental office environment.
When should I start brushing, and what kind of toothbrush should I use?
You should start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. (Some parents like to wipe the gums with a clean finger or washcloth even before teeth start coming in, to get the baby used to the parent cleaning their mouth.) You can use any brand of kid-sized toothbrush. I like the Oral-B Stages brushes because they are appropriately sized for different ages. If you choose an electric toothbrush, be aware that the technique is different. With a manual brush you do the scrubbing motions, angling the bristles toward the gumline. With an electric brush you hold the brush still for several seconds in one area and then move on to the next.
When should I start using regular toothpaste?
As soon as the first tooth appears! The “training” (fluoride-free) toothpaste is actually not necessary. Until your child learns to spit out well (around age 4), you should use a tiny smear the size of a grain of rice, twice a day. It is assumed that the child will swallow it, but such a tiny amount is not considered to be harmful.
What about flossing? When do I need to start, and how can I get my child to let me do it?
When the teeth touch each other (no spaces between them), you can start flossing. Let your child watch you floss first so they know it’s not a bad thing. You can try the mini-flossers that look like a plastic hook with floss threaded through it, and let your child hold one and play with it before you try any actual flossing.
Friday, October 28th, 2011
Okay, everybody, my blog is exhausting me. Seriously.
This post will, of course, be about the Facebook post I wrote the other day. I was more than a little taken aback both by its popularity and the amount of hate mail I got. But we’ll get to that.
I’ll start with the most important issue. It was pointed out to me that my post was very similar to those posted by the author of the blog STFU, Parents. Now, I was aware of the existence of this site, since it had been linked to me long ago by a friend who thought it was funny (which it is), but I read it at that time and haven’t followed it since, and honestly it didn’t cross my mind when I sat down and wrote my post the other day. I just blog whatever is on my mind, and it truly didn’t occur to me that it would ever be a problem to poke fun at my own Facebook newsfeed. But the author was concerned that the jokes and the tone of my post are extremely similar. I went back to their site and see their point– I’ve felt horrible about it all day. I was actually going to delete my post entirely because as a blogger, I’d be livid if anyone ever stole my stuff, even unintentionally. But then that didn’t feel quite right to me because I honestly hadn’t based my post on the other blog at all. So I thought it would be best to just clear the air here and state that it was never my intention to copy anything, and also link to the STFU Parents site and point out that if you liked my post, then you’d like this site more, because if we’re being honest, it’s actually a good bit more hilarious than anything I wrote the other day. So, go there and enjoy!
…Unless, of course, you were one of the hundreds of people who sent me hate mail because you thought my post sucked, and then, well, I don’t know what to tell you, because I don’t plan on apologizing for a post that was meant to be lighthearted and humorous. I stated clearly in the beginning of the post that I’ve been guilty of posting the same “annoying” stuff. That’s what makes it so funny to me. As one of my readers pointed out on my Facebook wall, you’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself, right? If you lose your sense of the ridiculous, all you’re left with is a stick up your butt, and personally, I don’t think that sounds like much fun.
So, if you liked it and sent supportive words, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you. The hate mail gets to be a little bit overwhelming on days like that. I am sensitive, you guys.
But don’t worry. As always, I’ll keep on writing whatever I feel like writing, serious or sarcastic or both… unless it’s about Facebook. Think I’m gonna take a hiatus from that topic for awhile. It turned out to be a little bit more trouble than it was worth.
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
We’ve all rolled our eyes at them. We’ve all pointedly avoided “liking” them. And let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty, at one time or another, of accidentally posting them ourselves. That’s right! Tonight’s topic is annoying parent Facebook statuses.
I’m fully prepared to admit that I’m a bit easily irritated by this sort of thing. As a mom, I can only imagine how infinitely more annoying these statuses are to people who don’t have children. And what about those people who would like to have children but, for whatever reason, cannot? These statuses must make them want to hurl their laptop through the nearest plate glass window and then run outside to stomp on it and make sure it’s thoroughly destroyed.
I’ve selected some choice examples from my own news feed, at great personal risk of public humiliation and/or defriending. Only because I love you guys that much. Let’s begin. (While I keep one eye on my rapidly-declining friend count.)
Example 1: The “my-child-is-a-genius-no-really” status. These statuses usually end in at least seventeen exclamation points and involve an 8 month old being halfway to potty-trained or an 11 month old speaking in complete sentences. In Mandarin Chinese. Let’s face it, people. You gave it your best shot, but we all know you’re making it up. (And on the off chance you’re not, this is obnoxious bragging to the most serious degree.)
Example 2: The “no one cares about this s–t but me” status. Such as, “waiting for little Jimmy to wake up from his nap before going to the store!” Really, how are you supposed to reply to something like this? Why would you waste the energy to comment or even finish reading once you get to word#5? It’s not even worth the half of a calorie I might burn by lifting my finger to click “like”.
Example 3: The super not-cute photo of their kid, usually with a face covered in semi-identifiable pureed food, that becomes incredibly awkward when everyone fails to acknowledge it. This becomes infinitely more cringeworthy with the inevitable single comment that eventually appears beneath it that when you click it, it’s from the parent, saying “what, really?! No one else thinks this is the cuuuuutest thing everrrrrrr?!?!” (Also followed by more silence, which, if you’re extra lucky, is rounded off nicely by a snippy “hmph” from the original poster and then a conspicuous absence from Facebook for the next five days.)
Example 4: The photo albums full of like 75 nearly-identical pictures of the same kid. While we’re on the topic of photos, let’s address these. You know the albums I mean. Drooling baby doing tummy time. Drooling baby doing tummy time with one eye slightly closed. Drooling baby doing tummy time with maybe a hint of a smile. Drooling baby doing tummy time– wait, did they post this exact photo twice? I think they posted this one twice. Why am I even still looking at this? GAHHH!!! What is happening to my life?!?!
Example 5: Pretty much anything from a pregnant woman with no children about how overwhelmed she is or how nothing is ever about her, because let’s face it, honey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Example 6: The overly dramatic request for prayers. I’m so sorry, but even if I were a praying person, which I’m not, I would never trouble the Good Man Upstairs with demands for your toddler to take a good nap before your dinner party or for your baby to have an ear infection in just one ear instead of two.
Example 7: The super-gross status about their child’s bodily functions. I can’t even discuss the specific details of these without wanting to vom all over my keyboard. Let’s just say I usually am eating while I browse Facebook and I’d prefer that you didn’t ruin my lunch with diaper details. And for the love of God, please don’t elaborate with a photo.
I know there are more of these that I can’t think of at the moment. Tell me, which parent Facebook statuses do you find most annoying?