Friday, July 29, 2011

Its Done

So I had a big day on Thursday. I had the sex talk with my kid, I did a couple loads of laundry, I cleaned up the house, I Roombaed stuff, I had a burrito, I finished a book. What's that you say? Yes! I did say that I had the sex talk with my kid!

I wish, for the sake of your entertainment, I could tell you all kinds of funny stuff about it, like all the funny things she assumed, or how grossed out she was, but it was too straight forward for that. Here's how it went:

She got in bed with me in the morning, and I seized my opportunity. I did my whole intro, about the Barbie Sex thing, and how I thought she should know some stuff before she ran into any more smut on the internet. I didn't use the word 'smut', but I did use the word 'boner', which I'll get to in a minute. I asked her to tell me what she already knew about sex, and at first she said, "Nothing." but then she followed that up with, "But I've heard that its when grown ups rub their parts together." Not far off. So I laid out the basics. I started with describing the male anatomy, and then describing what an erection was. I told her people call it a 'boner' sometimes (or, all the time, if you're me. Erection sounds like we're building skyscrapers.) She thought boners were "weird" and I tried not to agree, wanting to make it sound like all of this was beautiful and natural even though we all know the truth. I told her where the men put their boners and why, and she was fine with that. She was either fine, or a little traumatized. It was hard to tell. I told her that's how babies were made, and covered the sperm and egg gestalt which she found interesting, but then I told her that, most of the time, adults have sex because its fun.

I then wanted to move into a discussion about what she might see on TV and the internet, and what 'sexy' means and whatever, but on the way I got lost and started talking about arctic penguins. I think I was trying to convey that sex was natural and the urge to do it was universal, and in that moment I thought penguins were the perfect example. I got back on track, though, and I can proudly say that my daughter now knows that nothing she sees on the internet or on the TV about sex is real, and that no one is allowed to touch her body, and that she should feel free to come to me with any questions.

"So, do you have any questions?"


And that was that. Whew.

Oh! Then! I told her I had bought a book for her and she was all, "I DO NOT want to look at it... Well, okay, I'll look at it." She flipped through it, and was horrified by this picture:

and said again that it was just weird. I refrained from comment.

And then we moved on to something else, or had breakfast or whatever we did, I don't remember because I was kind of buzzed on what had just happened. We have not revisited the subject. Why doesn't she have any questions? Is it because she really isn't curious, or that she just doesn't want to ask me? My Cool Mom systems have been activated! I'm ready to answer questions!!

So if you have any questions about sex, please let me know.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Cares Where I Came From?

So, I did tell my friend that her daughter typed in "Barbie Sex." After I saw what I saw, and after I consulted with parents whose opinions I trust, I told her. Not surprisingly, she acted somewhat baffled that her child would do that, "She doesn't even like Barbies!" she said. I told her I didn't think the Barbies were the draw. She was very interested in finding the source of the idea because it couldn't possibly be her daughter that came up with this. Of course she responded this way. I would have, too. I would have been flummoxed and a little mortified, and wondered how on earth this could have possibly happened. Luckily for me, she ignored the part where all of this happened in my house, under my watchful eye, by which I am also a little mortified.

That afternoon, I went to Barnes and Noble and read 4 different books from the children's section about talking to kids about sex. They were books for children, with funny pictures and captions and stuff, and every one of them basically sent the following message: "The penis goes into the vagina, sperm comes out, fertilizes an egg." The second two thirds of the book is all about how a baby develops in a mother's tummy and how she nurses the baby after its born.

My parenting compass may be completely out of whack here, but I have little to no interest in including procreation in the sex talk I have with my daughter. What the books do not address is that sex is everywhere you look, women are dehumanized everywhere you look, every song ever written is about sex in some way (except for some U2 songs) and how on earth is a 9 year old girl supposed to grow up in a world like this??????!!!!!! And furthermore! How is her mother (me) supposed to guide her to into an adulthood where she respects herself and her body while her favorite singer is Rhianna and her first boyfriend will probably want to have anal sex because he saw Barbies do it ON THE INTERNET!!!???

I know I am going too far. I know I will find my way. I have to "get low" as Leila's preschool teacher used to say. When I asked Leila if she knew what "gay" meant she said , "oooh, is that when people get really old and start shrinking?" I have to remember that.

In spite of my anxiety over the issue of telling my friend, talking to my daughter, facing away from the kids in the Barnes and Noble while reading "Where did I come From?" I did have a little fun. I conned Rob into letting me read him the book I eventually chose under the guise of including him in this all-important milestone. And then I made jokes about how I wanted him to know what he was in for when he hit puberty. Then we pointed at the illustrations and laughed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Barbie Bang Bang

After a particularly down-in-the-dumps day yesterday, fueled by marriage, children, remodel hell and the lack of anything to eat in this house, I am feeling a bit better. Leila is at camp, Rob is at work, I am alone and feeling better. Should I be concerned about this pattern?

The left side of my butt hurts from bowling. I didn't think that was possible, but when you are in as terrible shape as I am, anything is possible. Yes, I bowled. We had some family fun, I broke two nails, bowled a 58, and now my left butt cheek is sore. I also drank Dr. Pepper and I blame it for keeping me up until 1 a.m. watching Sopranos on Netflix.

Now: Here is the parenting issue that I am facing: the other day, Leila confided to me that sometimes a friend of her's types "barbie sex" into the search bar on You Tube. After I stopped laughing, I realized that this would be a great time to have the sex talk with her. She's old enough, and I'd like her to hear it from me first rather than some skanky fourth grader on the playground. The thing is, though, I chickened out. I need to think some more about this first, how to approach it, how far to go. Like, do I have to explain oral sex? Porn? Chlamydia? There's no way around mentioning a penis, but do I have to draw a picture like I did with the period talk? Do I mention that people put tongues in each others mouths? She wont even eat a freakin' gummy bear, so she'll be completely grossed out. No, further thought is definitely required.

Then, I was talking to a friend who mentioned that these barbies having sex on you tube could be in bondage gear and stuff, so I just searched on it myself and all I have to say is WHOA.

My barbies used to get up to all kinds of shenanigans and were always getting knocked up with cotton balls shoved in their dresses, but we never got up to what these barbies are getting up to. First of all, our Barbies weren't nearly as bendy. Here is a sampling of just the titles: "Slut Barbie" "Barbie Sex Tape" "Horror Movie with Barbie and Sex" "Barbies Having Full On Sex Orgy" and my personal favorite, "Barbie and Ken Rough Sex" where Ken is punching Barbie while in the missionary position. Don't you just love the internet?

Jesus Effing Christ!!!!

What's more interesting is that some of these videos are posted by children!!!
I wasn't going to tell Leila's friend's mother about this because I want to preserve the trust between me and my kid, but now I don't know. Thoughts?

p.s. I have since taken You Tube off Leila's iPod touch, so no more barbie porn for her.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kill me part deux

This re-entry week has been really hard. I'm so irritable, I feel like I'm a cactus with thorny things all over me. It came to a head when I couldn't find the Band-aid antiseptic rinse to clean Leila's ear piercing that had gone bloody, so I took everything out from the cabinet under the sink and threw it across the bathroom while yelling, "God Dammit!!!!"

Yesterday we went to the zoo and had a good day. I really needed a day where we were out of the house, looking at interesting things, and not fighting about room cleaning and TV watching and getting dressed and all the other 1000 things that we fight about on a daily basis. It was very helpful, but now we're back in the house, the prison of our own making.

Remember when we were kids, and summer vacay would come around and we would hang out with our friends on the street, and ride our bikes all over the place and roller skate down steep hills and make our own plans with our friends and just tell our parents, "Mom! I'm going to Kelly's!" And we knew to be home somewhere around dinner time, and then maybe go back out for a while? Remember those days? Its not like that anymore.

I am in charge of all Leila's entertainment options. She is just starting to call friends on the phone herself, but most of her friends are in camp or away on trips, so there aren't so many kids around. She just walked the dog around the block by herself the other day, but that's about as much independence as she's ever had, and she doesn't feel like riding her bike. So, we're mostly stuck in the house together unless I submit to going some place like the zoo, or she submits to going to the super market. It turns out that I am really bad at summer vacation.

Do you know what makes being a stay at home parent hard? Managing the tedium. Its worth it, and I want to be here for my kid, but if she doesn't clean her freakin' room and get dressed in the next ten minutes, I may have to take a valium and its not even noon.

We are probably going to the beach later. Maybe that will calm my frizzled nerves...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kill Me

These people have been back for a day and they're already driving me nuts.

Yesterday was fine. Leila didn't shut up all day long. At the library, where I looked in vain for the latest Tori Spelling book, she just kept talking in spite of my saying, "Hold on." "Just a second." "Give me minute!" and finally I took her by the shoulders and told her the shut the fuck up. No, I didn't really do that, but I did have to take her by the shoulders and move her because she was so not paying attention to me that she stood right between me and the shelf I was looking at. She wasn't misbehaved or anything, just... talkative. Later, instead of cleaning her room as I had asked, she wanted to talk about nutrition and exercise and wanted me to drop what I was doing so that she could try spinach. Her room still isn't clean.

Remember how I told you about the whole dishes thing? Well last night I made Rob a lovely dinner of pork chops and zucchini gratin (with zooks from my garden!) and I cleaned everything up except for the two large pans that I have a real hard time cleaning because I have no muscles in my arms, so I asked him to clean the heavy stuff. Which he did except for one pan he was "soaking" which is another way of saying he forgot about it, but was now in bed so I could do it in the morning. And so it begins!!!

I started this morning yelling at Leila because I told her to turn off the TV and she ignored me. She doesn't think that changing channels and settling on a new show after I tell her to turn it off is ignoring me. She's a little unclear on the concept. Then I gave her a whole lecture about how I don't want to be a yeller, but that she makes me be one because she ignores what I tell her to do. Then she tells me that maybe I should ask her nicely to do things, to which I respond, "I do ask you nicely, I ask you nicely 10 times, but you ignore me and then I start yelling! You don't seem to be able to hear me unless I'm yelling!" And, frankly, I'm the mom, I don't have to ask nicely: I say jump, you jump! I say clean your room, you fucking do it! Nicely, my ass!

I am such a freakin' push over. I feel like I have to start being meaner, but I don't want to be meaner! I'm plenty mean! I yell all the time! I want to yell right now!!!!

Now she's doing yoga on the Wii fit. She wants to exercise. And try spinach. This will last about 20 minutes.

So much time left in the day...

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Day four is almost over. My kid is not interested in talking to me on the phone, and my dog is starting to realize I've all he's got.

For dinner I ate half a Chipotle burrito bowl with a coke, but I was still pretty full from the popcorn I had at the movies earlier, so I'm bursting at the seams now.

Don't know what's on the TV, but I'm about to find out.

Tomorrow night I'm going to see some guy at the symphony with my mom and I wish I could get out of it because it means I have to put on makeup and keep my pants buttoned and it cuts into my evening ass sitting.

I really hope I miss my fam' by Saturday night, otherwise it will be hard to welcome them home with a big smile...

Single White Female

So I've been alone at home for three nights, three days, and I wish I could say I miss my family, but... I don't. Is that a horrible thing to say? The first day, Rob was texting me pictures of Leila frolicking in the lake and it made me sad, but I have gotten into a groove here, and I am really liking it! I have a good friend who keeps calling me to check in on me and invite me over for dinner, and she's so sweet and well intentioned, but every day I look forward to sitting in front of my TV with whatever I've chosen for dinner that day (last night it was sushi and mildk duds with a root beer) that I don't even want to answer the phone. I thought I would be going stir crazy for company right now, and instead I keep wishing it were... quieter.

The phone is ringing all the time, my work is really busy right now, I have one remodel appointment after another, and I am craving even more solitude than I already have.

Of course, I am talking to myself all day long, because being alone for 6 days doesn't mean I'll shut up. After watching the Sarah Ferguson show on OWN the other night (really good!) I even started talking to myself in an English accent. I could say I'm talking to the dog, but who are we kidding? Speaking of the dog, he's depressed. At least someone in this house misses the family...

The best part? Okay: the best part is no dishes. When I create a dirty dish, I clean it and put it away. I know this sounds obvious, but normally, and especially when I actually cook things, there are lots of dirty dishes, and Leila uses these plastic cups that I don't put in the dishwasher, and she uses 3 or 4 of them every day, and there are constantly dishes drying in the drying rack, and that are waiting to be done and when the pile is bigger than one dish, I just turn away from it. But now the kitchen is, dare I say, clean! No dishes, no plastic cups, no grilled cheese pans on the stove, nothin'. Rob and I had an agreement that he would do the dishes on the weekends because that's the only thing I really want a break from, but its gotten to where he does the dishes on Saturday, and then leaves all the Sunday dishes all day and then I do them all on Monday morning. I think I have to put my foot down; not doing dishes is the best thing ever. And not cooking. That's pretty cool, too.

I officially highly recommend sending your husband and kids, if you have them, away for a week. Maybe two.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Day one of Home Alone is past, and I have to say its a little weird. I normally have a reasonable amount of time to myself, with Rob going to work and L going to school, but its always temporary and fleeting. But now, its not as temporary, and its a little weird. I've never spent this much time alone in my house! I've never lived alone! Its very quiet...

I ate Panda Express in front of the TV last night and it was awesome. I slept great (I was afraid that I would freak out a little bit) and this morning I was thinking I should get up, but then I thought, Why? Hunger has finally gotten me out of bed, though, and I'm starting to formulate a little plan for today. There's only so much TV you can watch, right? And that dog isn't going to walk himself!

Very Weird. Not sure if I like it yet...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday Night

Rob and Leila are going on a trip together tomorrow, and you wanna know what's awesome? I don't have to pack anything, or prep anything! I get to sit here and eat jelly bellies and write this while Rob does all the stuff I normally have to do when we go on a trip! For the record, I did do 7 loads of laundry so all their clothes would be clean, and I packed Leila's clothes and made her clean her room, and I have offered additional help, but I have been relieved of my pre-trip duties!!

Which doesn't mean that I am not trying to exert my control over every little thing, like what Leila will wear, and whether or not they should take sleeping bags, and what kind of food Rob should bring, and where they should stop for lunch on the way. I am totally aware of this, and have called myself out, and made a blanket apology for sticking my nose in their business. In fact, earlier, when I was hearing the over-complicated machinations over their lunch plans, I said to myself, quietly, in my head, This has nothing to do with you. Don't say a word. Stay out of it. And I was able to stay that course for about an hour before I had to blurt out my opinion. Then I blurted out that I had sat on those feelings for whole hour and someone should just go ahead and give me a medal.

Maybe this is why Rob has refused my offers of help, and is happily packing away without me hanging over his shoulder telling him what socks to bring, and how to tuck them inside his shoes.

Here's another thing about Rob that made me look at him in disbelief. There is some disagreement among parents about how you are supposed to talk to your children about drugs; some say be honest about your own experiences as a stoner or an 80's coke head, others say lie, lie, lie. Today Leila asked me if I'd ever stolen anything, and before I could decide which team I'm on, truth or lies, I said "Yes," which, of course, was followed by "What did you steal?" so I told her, "Eyeliner from a drug store." Then I said, laying it on as thick as possible, "And I hated myself for it! It really ate me up inside. I never did anything like that again, I can tell you. Phew!"

So then its Rob's turn, and he says, yes, he stole a candy bar from a grocery store, (and I should point out that Leila is completely flabbergasted by the fact that we had mis-spent youths. Just wait until she asks about the drugs!) And she asks, "Did you feel bad about it?" and he's all, "Not at all! That candy bar was delicious!"

I am leaving this man in charge of my child for 6 days. He wont let me help him get ready, and he wont let me tell him what to say, and he wont let me tell him where to eat, and I just have to sit here and be okay with that. I'm not sure there is enough wine at Trader Joes...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Being Mom Sucks

I'm now "Mom." I have been "Mommy" since Leila learned to talk, but recently she told me that she gets a little embarrassed calling me Mommy in front of her friends, like they're going to think she's babyish or something. So I told her that, if she wanted, she could call me Mom in front of her friends, and call me Mommy at home, but now she's just calling me Mom.

This started last week when we went to the fair, the veritable smorgasbord, and we met her good friend there, and Leila called to me from their first ride, "Mom!" which I didn't even hear because my brain is not trained to respond to Mom. (It is trained to ignore the words "Hey, Mommy:" which I am used to hearing 765 times a day.) So she called me Mom once, and then it was back to Mommy because she was having a good time and forgot to be cool.

I can tell that she is still forcing herself to say Mom, that its not coming naturally yet, but more and more she is not forgetting, and Mommy is getting the shaft. I should never have let her get her ears pierced. All this growing up is not okay with me. Before I had a daughter, I thought calling your father "Daddy" when you're past the age of 13 was gross. After I had a daughter, I completely reversed my position on this, and now Leila is starting to call Rob "Dad" and I hate it! The only time I called my dad "Daddy" as a grown woman was right after I gave birth and I was all sewn up and under the sheets, holding my new baby, and my dad came in the room and I said, "Hi, Daddy!" I don't know how, but it just slipped out.

So "Mom" it is. At least she's not calling me by my first name. My brother did that to my mom when he was a teenager and it drove her crazy. And she's not calling me "Lady" or "Asshole" so I've got that going for me. Next she's going to get her period and start smoking cigarettes and steeling sips of my wine. CANT THEY JUST STAY SMALL FOR A WHILE LONGER???????

My little baby is on this ride!!