Don’t Be A Dick

So much I want to write about and so little time… Things have changed here in the Naptime house. I was offered an opportunity to that I could not turn down. I am watching fewer children. I also have enough seats and room in my Caravan to go places and do things again. I am looking forward to this and may start as soon as tomorrow.

In the time that I have not been writing, I have been reading. A lot. Blog after blog, article after article, post after post, about parenting and politics and issues that don’t seem political to me but for some reason they are. Concerts, sports, what we love and hate about Facebook and the internet, I have read it all this month. Why? Because the only thing I can find the time and attention span for lately is my phone. I can toss it down and chase SpiderMonkey off the couch when I need to without causing myself too much interruption. I can put it aside and read to Sharkboy when he brings me a book. He is feeling somewhat neglected in the shadow of his brother’s current demonic spree. I’m hoping it is just a phase, because I’m not sure how much longer I can take it, let alone keep him alive. He has so many bruises and cuts that I’m afraid to take him out in public, especially to the doctor.

All that reading has lead me to one  conclusion. People are dicks. Bullying never ends. It is not a childhood issue. It is a constant issue. It seems like a childhood issue because the majority of us send our children to public schools where they are forced to interact with other children. And it seems more like a current issue because so many parents today are, in fact, raising their kids to be dicks. Don’t do that. If you work in any environment that involves interacting with other people you can probably share stories of adults that bully. (Please do, in the comments. Validate me. tell me I’m right. I get a kick out of that.) I think we have always judged each other, and harshly, but I think we have become more brazen as a society about telling each other why we suck.

I roll my eyes to myself every.single.time. some girl says, “I tell it like it is.” Honesty is a virtue, bitchiness is not. Ya know? There is a big difference between standing in a dressing room, replying, “Those are not the pants for you, do you want me to see if they have the same color in a different style?” and seeing a friend at the bar and saying, “Those pants give you a muffin top!”  That actually happened to my friend last weekend. One of those is bitchiness, the other is honesty. Sort it out. Teach your kids so they don’t turn into dicks. You can “tell it like it is” without saying every single thing that you think. In fact, I believe it was Mark Twain that said, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” You sound foolish when you are mean just to be mean. You may think you sound clever or that people respect you for being blunt. You sound stupid and people do not respect you, they fear speaking to you. Congratulations.

 

I have so much more I want to ramble on about by the smallest of the small ones is awake and ready for action.

 

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The World According To Beauty: Guy Roommates

A new segment based on the brilliance of Beauty, my 13 year old daughter.

Beauty: I want a guy roommate.

Goldy: Gross.

Beauty:  A guy would never tell me to clean up. They watch better TV shows. They have cool tattoos… well some girls have cool tattoos now, too, but more guys.

Goldy: They fart a lot.

Beauty: I fart a lot.

Me: You know I’m going to put all of this online, right?

Beauty: Not the part about me farting, I don’t really fart a lot.

Me: Okay.

Beauty: Oh! And we could eat Ramen noodles together.

Goldy: *facepalm*

Your Baby Is Ugly And So Is Your Dinner

Recently The New York Times published this article about the unbaby.me web tool. Unbaby.me is a Google Chrome extension that will replace pictures of babies in your Facebook news feed with pictures of cats or something you find more pleasant. The article annoys me for a number of reasons and none of them the ones you would probably assume. I don’t care if you want to replace my kids’ pictures with pictures of sunsets and bacon but I’d prefer you just unfriend me and go meet people that post pictures of bacon. I over share but I rarely share pictures of bacon.

I don’t like the notion that parents are the only ones who over share. Dinner, music videos, concert announcements, sports, politics, viral videos, memes, ecards, sports scores, quotes that don’t even have pretty pictures as backgrounds, cars, sports updates, pets and more sports crap all take up equal space with children on my news feed. My personal news feed also has a lot of geeky stuff, Big Bang  Theory quotes, science jokes and Zombies but that is because I am a dork. If your news feed is dominated by baby pictures maybe what you need is not an app that replaces them, but a more diverse group of friends.

I don’t like the focus on hipsters and hipster parents. A lot of 20 and 30 something people choose to be child free without choosing skinny jeans and nerd glasses. A lot of parents choose to take their children out in public, even less family oriented areas, without being aging hipsters. And I really don’t like the quote that equates becoming a parent with getting old and boring. I hope that if you are child free and you read my blog that you are already coming to understand that that is a misconception.  I hope that if you have children and you feel boring that I am helping you realize it is time to dust off your impractical shoes and get out of the house.

I am also annoyed that they refer to one of my favorite sites without mentioning it by name. They even use the tagline from the blog without citing it as a source. The blog I am referring to is STFU, Parents. Apparantly the acronym “STFU” is too hardcore for the The New York Times. The blog is dedicated to outing parents for our parental over shares and while I don’t always agree with everything they post I do find it hilarious and possibly a good lesson for us. I do think a good number of us post too much information too often. I am including myself in this chastising. (Of course I over share, Why do you think I write a blog?) Parents aren’t the only ones who over share, though. Have you seen Instagram? Child free hipsters know how to overshare, too.

We are all still learning the rules of the internet. Social media is still in it’s toddler stage. Ya know, tantrums, hitting, not using words properly. Many of us will learn what is accepted and what is frowned upon as we grow simply through conversations and other people’s passive aggressive updates whining about what we do wrong. I suspect there will be far more of these articles as social media grows into it’s teen angst years. We will annoy each other and storm off to our rooms many more times and maybe never reach a full state of peace but at least a peace-like atmosphere between parents and the childfree, foodies and non-foodies, pet-owners and puppy kickers, sports fans and… people like me. I think it starts with realizing that the minute you create your Facebook page you become one of us, an over sharer. You may turn your nose up and claim you don’t over share, but, c’mon, you made a Facebook page.

(You may have noticed this blog post features more photos than usual. These beautiful baby pictures are in honor of baby haters. They can suck it.)

NASA Needs To Hire More Parents

They say, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, mothers, start inventing. Make me a sippy cup that doesn’t spill but also doesn’t have 6 parts that need taken apart, removed and soaked in the urine of a dove to keep from getting moldy. Some cups really do have 4 parts and mothers review them as easy. Not that I’m saying she’s wrong, that’s just not my brand of easy. Don’t even get me started on the straw cups that have as many as 6 parts to disassemble and clean.

I like the old fashioned, spoutless cups but I also like my furniture. Sort of.  I don’t really want it covered in milk even on the days I’m most angry with it. We bought a few cups that were just a cup and a spill-proof  lid but they were also basically bottles and the lid still got moldy eventually. Avent makes great infant transition cups but they do spill and Tupperware still makes the best sippy cup ever, even though it also still has potential to spill. That’s my assessment after 17 years of parenting 4 kids and close to 25  years of childcare. (Balls, I am old.)

I feel like in that time there should have been some major advancements in sippy cups besides just adding more annoying pieces that need cleaned daily with the tears of a unicorn to keep sanitary. We are a civilization that put a man on the moon. Our generation has a rover on Mars. Can I get a decent sippy cup that doesn’t spill, doesn’t cost more than the drink inside of it and doesn’t mold?

While you are it, mothers of invention, can you create a car seat that doesn’t require a Master’s degree and/or the strength of a skilled laborer? We have nice car seats. Sharkboy’s seat will never need upgraded. He can use it until he is old enough to drive his own car, which is about how long they are required to use booster seats now. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to unhook it without standing in his lap and wrenching it out with the help of some WD40. Then, of course, there is the brain teaser of taking it apart to wash and switching the belt positioning for bigger kids. While seats themselves have vastly improved between Goldy’s day and SpiderMonkey’s first seat, they are still a mess in the back.

A background in rocket science couldn’t hurt.

They are a lot easier to hook into the car than they were 17 years ago but you will still want a professional to check your work. Yes, there are people certified to ensure your seat is safely hooked into your car. You might scoff and think this is completely unnecessary but I would suggest having your seat reviewed. Unless you actually work for NASA  it is likely you made a mistake, as up to 80% of all parents do.

I can send a message to my friend in another country and receive a reply faster than I can get Sharkboy out of his seat.  When it is a humid 102 degrees outside I consider this necessity, the mother of invention. I also consider this beyond my skill set.

Rocket scientists of the world, I ask of you, please procreate. We need your intelligence and ingenuity in the world of parenting. I could go on with the many parenting tasks you could make easier if only you were faced with the problem yourself. Sippy cups and car seats are just the beginning.

What would you like to see improved and how would you improve it?