Unoriginal post number 613

Wouldn’t you know I thought this observation was somewhat original, and then I read at tonight that Ayelet Waldman said it earlier, and more concisely.

“Another parent’s different approach raises the possibility that you’ve made a mistake with your child. We simply can’t tolerate that because we fear that any mistake, no matter how minor, could have devastating consequences. So we proclaim the superiority of our own choices. We’ve lost sight of the fact that people have preferences.”

In her lengthy article on everyone minding their own business, she notes that attachment parents, particularly the Berkeley, non-TV, organic, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sling-wearing, word-for-word Searsing (guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, not guilty, not guilty; phew this isn’t me [of course it is]), tend to be the most sanctimonius and in-others’-faces of the “my way is best why are you ruininng your child” set. Honestly, I think that’s because the hardcore Sears group works harder than the rest to make things harder for themselves, and feels pretty damned insecure because nobody else is having such a tough time. But what do I know? I only fit, like, half her criteria for the most annoying parent on the planet.

In fact, Salon notes that I’m way behind the curve.  I’ve been calling myself a bad parent for months on this blog, but apparently I was supposed to write a book about it.  This awkward joint review of totally different books shows why I should have penned a memoir about how totally I’m failing at this impossible fucking job.

You  know, I’ve been thinking of ditching the nighttime parenting, the bending over backwards not to do packaged food or television, the stay-at-home, offering options, respectful thing for the past week or so. It’s really just too much. So maybe I will ditch the surity that I’ve chosen the best path for us, get a T.V., get a babysitter, and have some goddamned Capt’n Crunch with my kid. Maybe I’ll like both of us better if I ease up a bit. [those who know me are laughhing right now. I havne’t been known to ease up a bit on anything in my control since my conception.] Because between “The Case Against Breastfeeding” and “Mind Your Own Kids,” I’m kind of feeling like, if they can justify letting their kids do some of that stuff, I can certainly make Pudding Day an everyday kind of thing.


And starting next week I’m Ferberizing my three year old. And circumcising him. With some fries from McDon*lds.

Underestimating kids…

Peanut is a trooper. Though he is a Tasmanian Devil of energy and freakishness and age-appropriate irrationality, I am often surprised at his moments of calm, reflective, general good naturedness. I shouldn’t be. Add it to the list of reasons I’m a crappy parent, or reasons to send me a free TV. (Seriously. Send me a TV.)

Today we went hiking. We were supposed to be at the dentist, but the dentists here, as in L.A., are charlatan assmunchers who want to build swimming pools in their backyards so they can show you pictures on their iPhones of how ducks have landed in their pool. Jerks. Plus,  their staff called to cancel, saying the dentist had surgery, even though the exam was done and this was just a cleaning, so i crossed them off, aand they called later to say, oops, we’re dumb, game on and I said no way bitches, I’m going hiking. Or, maybe, I said, so sorry but let’s reschedule. One of the two.

So Peanut and I went hiking. Slightly overcast, a little chilly. Quite nice as spring hikes go because we could wear long on long and didn’t need much sunscreen. One minute in it’s drizzling. Ten minutes in it’s pouring. We have sixty more minutes to go because he wants to go to the Little Farm and there ain’t no way I’m going the easy way when I’m 3000 pounds over racing weight and feeling like making up lost (crutches) time. So. Off we go. Thank heavens he picked the stroller over the backpack. ‘Cuz I’d rather slide down a mountain in running shoes caked with five inches of slippery mud than slide down a mountain in study hiking boots with a 30 pound kid strapped to my back.

So he’s talking about the rain and the dogs and keeping a tally of how many people we see versus wildlife. Fine. He’s mentioning that he’d rather be at home. Not gonna happen, but you’re entitled to your opinion. I know the whining will begin, so I offer snacks. He passes on the super awesome tube of carrot appleasauce because he says he wants to save it for when he’s at the farm where there are new piglets. You want your squishy sauce later because it’s more fun to eat when you’re watching piglets?


So when the whining begins, 45 minutes into the freezing, sleeting, drenching hike, I ask if he wants his sauce. He frowns at me, like I’m stupid. “No, I’m waiting for the pigs!” Oh. Well, did you know it’s pudding day and I have pudding, too? so you could have sauce now and pudding with the pigs…

Big smile. Huge smile. “No way. I want pudding now and save sauce for farm. Pudding day?!”

Yeah. It’s Tuesday. Everybody knows Tuesday is pudding day. (Or, realistically, everybody who counts their days not as workdays and weekends but as interminable days of sameness and neverendingness and milestonelessness knows Tuesday is pudding day. And Wednesday is movie day. And Thursday is library day. And Friday is chocoolate day. Because if we can get through Friday alive, Mommy can pretend that’s a milestone.)

So I slid/skiied down the trail in running shoes, dragged by the 900 pound jogging stroller, and screaming “Sh*t” every dozen feet as I think we’re gonna plunge off…okay, not off anything, but overturn into a big puddle of mud because I’m not such a terrible parent that I take his stroller, the one time he asks for it, on a  narrow cliff path. But I scream sh*t just because I want to and don’t really want to be soaked and muddy when I meet the new piglets. I also kind of avoid overturning jogging strollers because bruised and broken kids don’t let you go jogging next week.

He polished off the pudding and told me that this was his best pudding ever, EVER, and if it’s ever raining again, he wants to go hiking.

Damn, kid, you’re one in a million. (That means, if you were Chinese, there’d be thousands of you, but as it is, there are only 300 or so like you in this tiny country.)

I totally underestimated you.