Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Fungus Amongus

My body loves a good fungus. 

I just went to the doctor because my left pinkie toe was all swollen and crazy looking, and, since I'm going camping the day after tomorrow, I thought I'd better get it checked out before I develop something nasty like gout, or gangrene.

(tangent: Leila is oddly fascinated with gangrene lately.  She always thinks she has, or is going to get, gangrene.  We can thank kid's fiction for putting that into her head, along with those soul sucking things from Harry Potter.)

I thought I had a touch of the athlete's foot (which really needs a different name for people like me: I can assure you I did not develop this as a result of my athleticism.) and I thought I had scratched it too hard and that's why it was red. 

No.  That would be too easy.

Turns out, I have a yeast infection in between my toes, that developed into a bacterial infection.  So freakin' typical.  If its not one fungus on me, its another.  I don't even want to describe the powders and lotions and unctions I have to apply daily to prevent all different flora from growing on me.  Its obnoxious.  I'm in constant fungus/bacteria/yeast management mode. 

So now I have to take antibiotics, and slather my foot in anti fungal cream, and keep my foot clean and dry, and wear a clean sock, WHILE IM CAMPING THIS WEEKEND!  Plus, my period is due any minute now. 

You have to laugh. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

If its Thursday, it must be America

Hey, you guys!  I'm back!  I've been gone 22 days.  I feel like I've been gone 222 days.  I got home and couldn't remember where we keep the garbage can.  To be fair, I'd been through United Airlines hell for the previous 48 hours, but still. 

There's so much to tell, and I will, but first I want to say that I was so careful about posting all my links on the facebook page before I left so you wouldn't forget me, and then facebook got all weirded out by someone (me) trying to log in from Germany that it made me change my password from my home computer (which Rob did for me) and that made all my links not post.  I didn't notice this until yesterday.  Best laid plans!  So, sorry if you normally get here from facebook and was thinking that I had abandoned you.  I would never.

I don't even know where to start.  How about backwards?  Everyone has an airline horror story, probably having to do with United Airlines (or AirTran, those bastards) so I wont go into mine except to say that we were delayed over 24 hours, seats were changed, and we hung out on the tarmac so long I thought we would just start to live there.  The first day we tried to leave, we were sent to two different lines and asked repeatedly if our carry-ons had been with us the whole time, who packed them, and if we had bought anything since the last time they asked us.  The next day when we lined up, no one cared about those questions.  They also told us we were waiting for the video system to be fixed so we could leave, and not to pay any attention to the fire engines cleaning up the fuel leaking from one of the engines on the right side of the plane.  They think we're morons.

The day before we left Paris, the water heater went out in our apartment, so I couldn't take a shower.  I needed one (it was day three) but I thought, no matter, I'll be home in a day.  Not so.  The shower at the hotel near the airport was so wonderful I nearly slept in there, but they only had body/hand/hair wash, no conditioner and no comb.  So Leila and I had full on zombie hair.  Add to that the fact that when I fly I manage to spill anything I try to put into my mouth all over myself (I should really travel in an apron,) so when we finally took off, I was wearing two-day old underwear, a stained pink T and grey yoga pants, and The Hair. 

I took a walk around the plane to stretch my legs and I thought I'd be adorable and fun loving and smile and make finger guns at all the kids while I was doing my lunges down the aisle, and about half way through I realized what I must look like, and quickly took my seat.  In the middle.  Next to an Italian business man who almost got thrown off the plane for daring to complain to the flight attendant that we didn't give a flying fuck (no pun intended) why we were delayed and to get the damned plane off the ground.  I was okay in that middle seat until around hour nine, after I had spilled chicken and rice on myself.  I was out of xanax and the wine was terrible.  Leila watched the movie Treasure Buddies three times in a row. 

But we're mercifully home now, the suitcases are unpacked, the laundry is in, and I'm going to eat some stinky camembert that I smuggled in my luggage.  Take that, United.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Almost Back!

It is currently Wednesday the 20th of June, 2012, and I have just finished scheduling out all the rerun posts.  I hope they weren't too tedious.

Today, I will be getting back from my three-week trip.  I bet I am exhausted.  I predict that I'm going to have to sleep for a week.

Right now, before the trip, I have a little trepidation.  I will be traveling with my parents and my daughter, so, really, I'm on my parents' trip.  Then it will be just my mom, me and Leila for a week.  I'm going to need some alone time, and some time to eat whatever I want without my mother counting my calories.  I told her I wanted to eat some great meals on this trip, and she that was "stupid."  Just throw her a banana and some bran flakes and she's good to go.

I hope to have lots of pictures and stories for you this week, and I hope you are all having a nice summer.  Talk to you soon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

She Blinded me with Chardonnay

Friday: the day of White Pants' big party. WP's husband goes away every fall to watch a football game in his home town (guys are weird) and WP ships her kids off to her mother so she can have the house to herself for two entire days. If you don't happen to have children, let me 'splain that a weekend alone in your own home is like, like almost as good as being on an island beach alone with nothing but a good book. The silence, the cleanliness (or at least the knowledge that the messes are your own, and you're not cleaning up after anyone else) the uninterrupted television and the possession of the remote, the eating anything you want whenever you want, and the dancing around in your underwear singing Jesse's Girl into your hairbrush. And the sleep; the glorious, heavy, sound sleep.

WP kicks off these weekends with a big bash. She invites 50 of her closest friends, makes a ton of Trader Joe's frozen appetizers, buys cases of white wine, and awaits the rockfest. There were a lot of women, eating, drinking, yapping, then C brings out the Karaoke machine. The usual suspects do a couple of numbers, and they've been bugging me to try karaoke, and I'm thinking, "If I'm going to do it, this is the way to do it: most of these people aren't listening." I'm thinking maybe they just wont notice me on the couch (about three or four people left the couch, clearly fearing that they would find themselves with a microphone singing Cocomo, but I hate standing at parties SO MUCH, that I didn't want to lose my seat.) Suddenly, they start chanting my name into the microphones. I quickly start shoving cocktail shrimp into my mouth (can't sing with a full mouth, right?) but I relent and agree to sing She Blinded Me with Science. For future reference, this is not a good karaoke song; you think you know the words but you really don't. Anyway, L, who is sitting next to me, says she'll do it with me.

The karaoke machine tipped over in C's car on the way to the party, so it wasn't working properly. I used that as an excuse to completely suck, but here's what really happened: So L is singing next to me, and she knocks my socks clean off. I know L as an accounting type with an unsettling love of spreadsheets. She lets me boss her around and clean out her closets and stuff, but she's afraid to get rid of decades-old bank statements and cables that lead no where. I just love that girl, and now I have a reason to love her more. Turns out, accounting lady knows EVERY WORD to EVERY SONG that comes up on the karaoke machine, and the stereo all night, AND she can sing like a mo' flicka. I kept looking at her like, "Who ARE you??" The Karaoke machine was packed up pretty soon after that. I've decided to believe that it was not my singing or my lack of Thomas Dolby lyric knowledge that made them cart it off, but I was relieved that they did. Can you believe I forgot my camera? Dang it!

The evening progresses, girls are leaving, much to WP's chagrin as she has fantasies of rock 'n' rolling all night long and partying every day, and in the end its just me and L and WP, laying on her sofa, listening to loud music. WP assures me that I didn't over stay my welcome, but she looked pretty tired, and had a lot of food to put away. So L and I finally leave, and I drive L's hybrid (its like a space ship!) to her house with her in the passenger seat, bombed. We get to her house, and I decide that, even though I was fine to drive, I would just walk home. Its just before 2 a.m. and she flutters into her house, and I start the trek to my house.

There is no reason to be scared in my town. It should be made of gingerbread, its so safe. But L lives in a canyon, and its dark, so I call Rob at home to let him know that I'm walking and if I'm not home in 20 minutes, he should come looking for me. He sleeps through the phone. Awesome. My only real fear is that I'll trip, but I don't, and the walk is cool and quiet and wonderful. Not one car passed me, I didn't see one raccoon or cat or anything, I saw lots of stars, and it was a nice way to clear my head before hitting the hay. Rob didn't wake up when I got in bed either.

I told WP that I hate taking my makeup off late at night, and I wish I could just leave it on and go to bed, but I'm afraid that it will stain my pillow case. She assured me that, based on personal experience, it would not, and she was right! I slept in my party makeup and there was no evidence on my pillow case in the morning. I did have a hangover, though, and Rob went and got me a McDonalds breakfast (with a small coke, I admit) which is the best hangover food, bar none. But I couldn't write that day, I was too tired. I was too tired yesterday, too actually.

**ADDENDUM: As my friends read this post, the hangover stories are pouring in. I wasn't the only one! I also found out that a friend who lives in the canyon right below WP's house heard us singing for HOURS...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fat Ass in Fleece Pants - from 2008

I did something totally crazy today. I was coming home from dropping the dog off for a hair-do, and I had on my sweats and sneakers (typical morning attire) and I decided to go to... THE GYM.

Part of my new be-more-healthy plan is to exercise more (or, exercise at all, as the case may be) and I've been planning on going down to the health club where I take Leila swimming and see about getting on one of those new-fangled exercising machines. Usually, the only exercise I get when I go to this health club is turning the pages of my magazine while sitting in a beach chair watching Leila dive for colorful rings, but not today. There happened to be someone available to train me on a couple of these exercise devices, and suddenly there I was, huffin' and sweatin' on something called an elliptical. The machine said I burned 300 calories, but my trainer-guy, Mike, said they run a little on the high side (its nice to know my machine wants me to feel good about myself, though.)

The machines have TVs on them, and you can plug your headphones into them and watch a show while you're torturing yourself. I hadn't planned on this, so I watched The View with closed captioning. I do not recommend this. Those View women are always talking over each other, which is usually tolerable, but I don't know how the person typing in the closed caption can keep up with them. There was never a complete sentence on the screen, and, if you've been reading this blog, you already know that I prefer long, rambling run-on sentences, complete with commas and semi-colons, rather than short, incomplete sentences. Next time, I'm bringing my headphones, and not wearing fleece pants. I was boiling and looked like a lunatic. The other women who were working out were all thin and fit (no wonder: it wasn't their first day at the gym) in their cute work-out clothes and their Wall Street Journals, and looked like they were going to go on with their super days with energy and efficiency and super-duper attitudes. I did not fit in.  I can't really put my finger on the kind of negative thinking these women bring out in me, and I am aware that my snarliness is really about me and not them, but it does make me feel better when I tell myself, "She may be thin and fit and together on the outside, but I bet she's drinking chardonnay by four in the afternoon."

I may have been prompted to go to the gym because I went out for chinese food last night, coupon in hand, and ate all manner of things that probably do not fit it to my 1500 calorie-a-day thing. Now its lunchtime, and Rob did not take the leftovers with him to work as instructed ("Get the greasy chinese food out of here, and nobody will get hurt!") so I'm sitting here salivating (I'm not kidding, I really am) over the thought of leftover mongolian beef and curry chicken, because the only thing better than fresh chinese food is leftover, room-temperature chinese food, and my will power is well hidden right now.
I plan on going back to the gym on Friday in preparation for the Halloween night candy bonanza (I'm going to set the machine's calorie goal to a million) and this time I'll be prepared with more appropriate work-out pants, a pony-tail, headphones, water bottle, and maybe I'll bring along a Wall Street Journal, just for show. Act as if, right?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Okay, its confession time. I really like to bare my soul here and tell all the embarrassing and shameful things about myself (like farts and dirty bathrooms and stuff like that) because I feel like, deep down, you know exactly what I mean, and you have had similar experiences and doubts and my admissions will make you feel a little bit better about yourself. You can thank me later.

The other day, while Leila was in school, I went to the movies by myself. I love to go to the movies by myself in the middle of the day, and I can't remember the last time I did it. Okay, I did it last week, too, but before that, it had been years. So I went to the movies, and I got myself a small coke and a box of those mini butterfingers. I want to emphasize that I did not finish the butterfingers, but I did finish the coke. On the way home, for reasons I can't explain, I pulled off the freeway and went through the McDonalds drive through. The car just steered its way in there. I got a $2.99 mini meal with a double cheeseburger, small fry and a small coke. It was, as always, delicious.
Now, there are women out there, wives, who hide spending from their husbands. They buy new clothes, or something new for the house, and they hide the receipts and pay the visa bill before hubby knows anything about it. I've seen extreme cases on Oprah where women have essentially bankrupted their families with their shopping and starbucks habits, and they lose their houses and stuff. I do not hide spending, it would never occur to me. But what I do hide is eating, usually junk food, but not always. Eating out, even if its $2.99, always feels indulgent to me, like something reserved for special occasions that I don't deserve. I often look to Rob for some kind of permission to eat out, as if his approval removes all costs and calories. This is so f***ked. He long ago learned that to reason with me about food is to beat his head against a wall, and if he judges my food choices, he never shows it. I just love that guy. Anyway, I get Mc Donalds, or a burrito, or my favorite sandwich, or a piece of coffee cake, or candy at the movies, and I hide the evidence. I either throw the bags and containers away someplace other than my house, or I try to bury it under other garbage in our trash can. Sometimes, I leave it in the car, and he eventually sees it, and he never says anything. He knows that these are my own personal demons, and he can't get between us. 
So, I had my mini meal, loved every bite of it, was wonderfully full, and I hid the evidence.
Later that same day, he called to tell me that his new glasses were ready, and we decided he would take the bus to Sausalito to pick up his glasses, and Leila and I would pick him up there. Then he suggested that we stop at In N Out Burger for dinner on the way home. Ugh.
I was still full from the mini meal, but I'm so lame that, instead of just saying, "I'm not really that hungry." the crazies got in: If I say I'm not hungry, he'll know that I ate like a pig today, and he might ask me what I ate, then I'd be forced to tell the truth, and he'd find out that I had McDonalds. The subtext of which was, The fact that I am a pig will be re enforced for the one millionth time and this time will be the one that puts him over the edge and he wont love me anymore, and I'll be alone with my loathsome cat and my size extra large pants and my remote control. It took one fraction of a second for all of that to go through my head. My neuroses are really fast. So, I said "Okay!" and knew I was doomed.
I picked him up, we went to In N Out, and I got us a table. It didn't occur to me that I could, at that point, say that I wasn't that hungry and only wanted the smallest possible thing. When I get inside a restaurant like that, the part of me that thinks going out to eat is for special occasions only wants to take advantage of the situation and rational thought leaves me completely. Rob came back to the table with a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke. And I ate it. To my credit, I did not finish the coke, not even close, and we split two orders of fries with Leila, but I ate every delicious bite of that cheeseburger and I don't know how, I was so full. I was platzing.
We got home, put the kid to bed, etc. etc. and then Rob set before me a plate of orange sections. Now, I wanted to puke looking at more food, but here's the thing: I never eat fruit, and the only way I eat it is if he cuts it up and puts it in front of me. I have asked him to do this so that I don't die of malnutrition. Earlier in the week, he had put an orange on the counter for me, and I had, of course ignored it. He kept telling me I should eat the orange, and I told him that putting an orange on the counter was not the same as cutting it up and putting it in front of me, and that orange would stay on the counter until flies started swarming. I just never reach for fruit. So when he put the orange slices down in front of me, I couldn't very well say I wasn't in the mood for fruit when I had just made a big stink. So I ate it. On the last section, I really did think I was going to die, so I just left it.
Here's the tally: Three cokes, two cheeseburgers, two fries, one orange, and 2/3 of a box of mini butterfingers. I think I had breakfast, too, and I'm hoping it was a simple bowl of cereal but who knows, I can't remember. 
I have issues.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Little Drunk - 12/7/08

I've had a little wine. Okay, I've had a lot of wine. Let's see how this goes. Apologies in advance for typos and spelling mistakes, but... I've had some wine.

Rob went to a football game today (49ers, dude) and I do not get this at all. Forget about the fact that I have no understanding of football, despite my scant effort over the years to figure out what a "down" is. Rob has only a passing interest in football, and usually only when it has to do with the OSU Buckeyes, and most of his instinct to watch televised sporting events has been beaten out of him by his wife (its true, and I'm not ashamed) but when he has a chance at free tickets to a 49er game, he goes for it. This is fine with me. He needs to be a man and do manly things once in a while, so I'm all for it. But I don't get why its fun.
He went out last night and bought a sixpack of beer, a bag of Cheetos, and a box of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. My idea of culinary heaven, swapping the sixpack for a bottle of chardonnay. Rob and his football buddy drive our little Honda Civic fifty miles away to pick up the tickets, and then another fifty miles to the stadium where they pay a kings ransom to park. Then, they get out of the car and stand next to it eating Cheetos and chocolate chip cookies in the cold, wearing hats, and they drink the whole sixpack. Then, they throw a football around in the parking lot until its time to find their seats. If Rob ever wants to eat Cheetos and throw a ball around a parking lot, there's one at the grocery store I'm sure he could use.
They take their little Citibank stadium cushions that Rob borrowed from my dad so their tushies don't get cold, and they sit bundled up (its not, like, Michigan, but it was cold today) and watch the game. I'll have to plead ignorance on what might make football entertaining, but the 49ers won, and the game was good, so whatever. They didn't eat any of the junk food offerings or beer at the game since they had their fill of junk food and beer standing next to the car (before noon, I might add.) The promise of stadium food would be the only way you would get me to waste an afternoon freezing my ass off at a football game. Cheap dates.
Then they spend, I don't know how long, hours, waiting to get out of the parking lot. What are they talking about in the car? The passes? The interceptions? The "downs?" They're not talking about what my girlfriends and I would be talking about at a time like that, of that much I'm sure, and I know I would have sprained my face rolling my eyes listening to them. So, he left at 9:30 this morning, and he got home 9 hours later. Really? I mean, I'm sure I have watched the Oscar telecast, including the red carpet and Barbara Walters' Special for nine hours, but that only happens once a year!
He had fun, doing man things, and that's what's important. Whenever he has a chance to do man things, I encourage it since I probably emasculate him by watching him do dishes and color coloring books with Leila most of the time. He is now taking a shower because, apparently, he worked up a sweat throwing a football around the parking lot near our Honda civic. So, I guess he wont smell like Cheetos, which is kind of too bad, since I'll take my junk food any way I can get it.
So, readers, how'd I do while on the sauce?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rerun Wherein I am a Sweaty Mess

I locked myself out of my house yesterday.  Grabbed the wrong set of keys as I walked out the door, and the neighbor who has the spare key wasn't home.  So I tried a couple of windows thinking, they're cheap-ass old aluminum windows, one of them will budge.   Nope.  So then I remembered  the one other time we had to break into our house and how we did it, but it required me to get the ladder, and figure out how to open it since it is a new-fangled thing and I normally am not the one in my family who climbs ladders.  Then, I managed to get one window open, but realized that the ladder was too short for me to really hoist myself into the house.  I could lean into the window, at around my ribs, but there was nothing for my feet to push off of.  So I got off the ladder and started circling the house like a tiger on the outside of a cage who really wants to get into the cage, and all this time my dog is freaking out inside wondering why I wont come in, and I'm sweating like a pig from climbing up and down a ladder and forcing windows.  This same dog is unfortunately too short to get the other set of keys off the hook, and even if he wasn't, he doesn't speak much English as evidenced by the blank stare he gives me when I tell him to sit.

Finally, I decided that if I wanted to get in the house, I was going to have to go back up the ladder and figure out how to throw my body through the half open window.  I climbed back up, leaned into the window, and just started willing my body to go through.  I somehow made it far enough in so that my hips were resting on the window sill, my hands were stretched down to the floor like a push-up, and my legs were flailing around sticking out of the side of the house.  The heater vent is right under this window and it was blowing hot hair onto my already over-heated body, my hair was in my face, and my dog was now going completely apeshit and alternately barking in my ear and licking me, and I couldn't push him away because a) he would come right back and b) my head would hit the wood floor and I'd probably get a concussion.  So I stayed like that for a while, wondering between dog licks how I was going to get in the house without breaking my legs, and then I just went for it and wiggled the rest of the way in and fell on the floor.  I wasn't hurt, the dog and I were both relieved, and I went right outside and hid a spare key. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

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.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Barbie Bang Bang

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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Book

Remember when I gave L The Talk?  Remember I told you there was a book I told her I would get her?  I put it off, deciding that I would go get it if she ever asked about it.  Well yesterday, she did.  We were talking about putting a bunch of the story books in her room away, and she asked me, "Remember when you were telling me about your period?" (which sounds like I barricaded the door and made her listen to me alternately laugh and cry while eating microwave popcorn.) "Can you get me that book?"

I pre-read the book yesterday.  Its pretty good.  It explains all about pubic hair and zits and how to wash your hair.  Important information that every almost-9-year-old needs.  At first she said she wanted to read it on her own, but then she changed her mind and wants me to read it to her.  I guess the latter is preferable to me, so I can answer questions on the spot, but I don't know if I'm supposed to say, "Hey! You wanna read that book this afternoon?" or whether I should let her come to me.  Also, do I tell her not to show it to her friends?  Do you think I'll get in trouble with other moms if their daughter's flip through this book and land on the How to Insert a Tampon page?  Its not gross, or anything, just... specific.  I think I'll just leave it on her bed for a few days and see what happens.

Its the next day now, and L did decide to read the book on her own.  When I was tucking her in, I asked her if she had read anything interesting, and she said, "Its private."  Um, WHAT?  But I'm super cool mom!  I'm right here, ready to be cool and hip and open!  What the hell do you mean PRIVATE?!  That's what I wanted to say, but it came out like this: "okay."  Is this where she starts having a life that is totally separate from mine that I don't get to know about?  That's already happened, hasn't it?  Damn.  They're like people that way, aren't they. Double damn.  All this coolness, going to waste.

I'm just realizing that she yelled out from her room asking me if she could circle things in the book, and I told her I didn't think she needed to.  Parenting fail.  If I hadn't said that, she would have marked up the book and I could have looked at what parts she read while she's in school.  Stupid!  Is this the part where I'm supposed to let her have that life that is totally separate from mine that I don't get to know about?  Did I just say that I was going to S.N.O.O.P.?  God help that child if she ever writes in a diary.

Where's my wine?

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Talk

See this sketch? Let me splain:

The other day, Leila says to me, There's something in the toilet that, I think, shouldn't be there. Seems a cardboard tampon applicator hadn't flushed all the way down, and was unfurling in the toilet bowl. I said it was no problem, and flushed it. Then the questions started. What is it? What's a tampon? How do you use a tampon? Why do you use a tampon? What's a period? etc. etc.

So, I sat on the edge of the bathtub in my robe, and Leila sat on the floor in her pajamas, and we had The Talk. I've been mentally preparing for this talk since before she was born. I've been plotting out how I would explain things. I promised myself I would not talk about ovaries and fallopian tubes, but, as it turns out, you can't really explain menstruation (ew) without a discussion of ovaries and fallopian tubes (see sketch.) I think I did a pretty good job.

When I said I could explain it easier with a piece of paper and pencil, she went to her room and got both, and sat back down on the bathroom floor while I sketched labia and uteruses on the toilet seat cover. I had her total, undivided attention.

She was none too thrilled with the idea of having to have a period. She was a little appalled, actually. She wanted to know, if she wasn't planning on having any babies, did she still have to have one? Sorry, kid. She wanted to know if you have leave the tampon in there, or do you take it out right away, and when I told her you left it in there for a few hours, she was shocked that a period lasted for hours. You should have seen her face when I told her it lasted for days. She was relieved to know that this was something that would happen to her when she was a grown up, a time so far in the future to her that it is not worth worrying about. I hated to break it to her that she is only a few years away from the magical world of shark week, and she was all, Oh, God...

She asked me if there was any way to avoid having a baby, and we dipped unexpectedly into a brief discussion about birth control. I didn't want to discuss anything that had to do with penises or sperm or anything, because she hadn't actually asked for that information, so I told her she could take a pill that would prevent her from having a baby. Then she completely stressed out because she can't take pills, not even chewables, she still has to take the liquid tylenol. I assured her that there would come a time when the fear of becoming pregnant would outweigh the fear of swallowing a pill, and that she didn't have to worry about it for a long time. A long LONG time.

As we were following the egg down the fallopian tube, and I was explaining that if the egg isn't fertilized, that's when you get a period, I braced myself for the next logical question. I was a little surprised to be having the period conversation on a random weekday, in the bathroom. I had kind of envisioned something a little more, I don't know, like a meadow, or the car, or a slumber party where all her friends think I am so cool because I answer all their questions and don't confuse them with talk about fallopian tubes. I was definitely not prepared to discuss any of the other baby making apparatus. But instead of asking How does an egg get fertilized? She asked, Do cats have a period? God, I love this kid.

We went on to have a debate about spaying and neutering pets. I'm pro, she's con. I told her we wouldn't be able to find homes for all the kittens our cat would have had had she not been spayed, and I explained the simple math of multiple litters, but she insisted we could keep them all. This was the most tense part of the conversation, and we had to agree to disagree, and then we went into the kitchen and I made frozen waffles.

I offered to buy her a book about all this stuff, so she can read it whenever she feels like it. She said she was interested, but I've kind of chickened out. The book I have in mind also talks about boobs and armpit hair and erections, and I think I'll put that off for a tiny bit longer.

So, there it was. The Talk. All my plans and scripts went right out the window, but it all worked out. My mom gave me a very brief explanation, like, its something you get once a month that means you can have a baby. Her mother had simply told her, Now you watch out for boys. I think the women in my family are getting better at this. I know what the next Talk will be, and I'd better start getting ready. How about, When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, and they're married... Think it will work?