Monday, August 30, 2010

We've Come a Long Way, Baby, Just to Turn Back Around


I'm watching "My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip Hop" on BET. The topic comes up about the lack of female MC's today. In the 80's , there were only a few and then the number exploded in the 90's. So, it would seem that women had finally broken into the business and established themselves as serious artists. However, a decade later, there are far less women in the game than before. And what is the reason the MC's themselves give for this disappearance? Women require a lot of hair and make-up maintenance and they are emotional (miss home and have relationship issues).
Are. You. Kidding. Me?
If this is true, I'm mad that labels are willing to let such superficial reasons stop them from signing new artists. And if this is not true (which I suspect it isn't; I think the reasons are so much deeper than that) then I'm mad because these women thought of these superficial, sexist reasons for their discrimination and didn't seem upset about them. I thought hip hop was supposed to be about protesting the powers that be.
Wow.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tired . . . But I can still write this post

We had a HUGE birthday party today for both children and The Hubby. It also served as the housewarming for our new digs. So many people. So much food. So hot. So many toys (that they don't really need).

I had planned to post a picture of the cupcakes I made, but I think it probably looks disgusting. I have been harassed for weeks about making these flippin' cupcakes that Nickjr. keeps shoving down The Babydoll's throat, and she, in turn, shoving down mine. It took so much effort to try to make those crazy things that the lady in the clip said was so simple. Didn't seem that way to me, so I ended up just making it out of fondant using the template. But I couldn't make one for The Babydoll and not one for The Baby Boy. Of course, there was no template for Super Why, which is what he wanted. So I had to totally pull that one out of my non-drawing, unartistic neck. I was pretty pleased, but he had already eaten the face off before I could get a picture. I think Dora kind of looked like a drag queen with a wig and bright red lipstick. The more I looked at them, the more odd and disturbing they looked. Oh well. The Babydoll yelled, "Mommy, you saw them on TV?!" And, as I mentioned, The Baby Boy couldn't wait to ram it into his mouth. Guess they thought I did a good enough job.

I'm sooooo tired. Parties at the jumping place seems like a genius idea. So does not having a party and taking a trip to the zoo instead with exactly one friend. I will remember this next year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Introductions

So, I had my first day of class. It was a good day. I enjoyed my students in that"undefeated season, before the first big game" kind of way.

I tried a new introduction activity this time. In addition to their names, hometowns, and standard info, I asked them to say who would play them in the movie of their lives. This is something everyone's thought about, right? But some of them couldn't answer. They had no idea. So I gave them the option to name, instead, their theme songs. For a couple of them, this was too difficult, too. One student asked, "Who thinks about this kind of stuff?" Well, obviously I do! I thought that was odd. I've been trying to come up with a theme song since that episode of "Ally McBeal". And I've known for years who should play me . . . probably in a Lifetime movie. Plus, I told them, I have a friend who has a theme song, an actress in mind, and a personal emblem. (Isn't that right, The Diva?!)

Nevertheless, the day was good. I'm satisfied and feel like I'm back in the swing of things. On that notes, I'll go prepare for the next class.

Monday, August 23, 2010

And what's more, you'll be a man, my son

I'm so glad that the potty train is finally off and running. But I didn't expect that I'd have to witness it jumping the tracks so quickly.

On a road trip last weekend, The Baby Boy announced that he had to "use it!" while we were between distant exits on the interstate. What else could we do?

The Hubby pulled the car over, took the boy out of his car seat, and commenced that time-honored ritual of peeing in the grass. He loved it. "Mommy! I made a rainbow!" he bragged, as he squirted a perfect arc across the rays of the warm sunshine.

Awesome. I'm shaking my head. But mostly, I'm was so freaking glad that I didn't have to wash a wet pair of underwear or throw my money into the trash along with a soaking Pull-Up.

His feet stink, he doesn't want to comb his hair, and now he's peeing in the grass. He's officially a boy. Oy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Inappropriate

When I picked up The Baby Boy from pre-school today, the teacher told me that he had refused to sing the song the rest of the class was singing. It began, she said, with "10 Little Indians." My eyebrow raised. Then she went on to say that after the familiar verse, they sing this: "oooh waaa, ooooh waaa, shoot the arrow. No more Indian boys and girls." The other eyebrow went up.

Then she told me that The Baby Boy refused to sing. When she asked why, he said that I told him not to sing that. He was right. Both of my children came home from their previous school last year singing that horrible song. They loved it. They clapped their hands when they sang the "shoot" part. I told them this song was about hurting other children, and we didn't want to do that. And what's more, we don't like shooting (although I have to admit that I loved the archery unit in middle school gym!). They were not convinced on either count, but they agreed not to sing it anymore.

I told the teacher this story and she said that she could understand why I wouldn't want them to sing it. In fact, she said, it really wasn't a great song for children to sing. I told her that if they were singing it in class I would just go along with it and he could sing it. But, the teacher said, he was not going to sing it because he following my instructions, so it didn't matter if she told him it was okay. Besides, she said, he knows his numbers so he didn't need to practice.

Now, I also am not in love with the "10 Little Indians" part, either. This is especially true when I consider the version that replaces "Indians" with the N-word. Not cool. But here's the thing: I never know how big of a deal I should make of this kind of thing. A similar issue comes up at Thanksgiving when teachers have children dress like Pilgrims and Indians. I have a classmate who is a sociologist. Her son was in The Babydoll's class last year, and she's much more bold than I am. So she told the teacher that she didn't like the Thanksgiving dressing up because it was culturally insensitive and inaccurate. The teacher looked at her. I wonder how much people outside of academia (and other sitting around thinking about stuff professions) think that objections to this kind of thing is overreaching. Part of me feels like someone (obviously not me) should speak up and start shoving this stuff out of society, even if we've been doing it for years. But part of me also feels like the people who get angry because clerks aren't allowed to say Merry Christmas. I usually just punk out, but I'm trying to figure out where the line is for me.

On a totally unrelated note, on the way into the gym this morning, a guy told me that I was beautiful. He also asked if I was married, how long, and then said that I had been married longer than he. THEN he asked me for my number because he wanted to take me to lunch. As "friends"--okay. On the way out of the gym another guy told me that I had the "most prettiest feet" he's ever seen. Both were very odd compliments, but compliments nevertheless. I'll take it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Potty Praise

So, I guess all of you annoying people across the world who have stressed that when a child is ready to potty train, it just happens, are right. The Baby Boy is rolling along magnificently in his new school and he should be ready to move to the correct class very soon (he had to stay back in a younger class because he was still in Pull-Ups). He had only one accident the whole week, and he's mostly been dry at home, too, with a few accidents when he couldn't get his clothes off fast enough. We were out and about today and he stayed dry the entire time, telling us when he had to use the bathroom, sometimes without being prompted.

When this is finally done, I can't imagine that I would be any more proud at his graduation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thanks for the warning, but . . .

Honestly, I'm exhausted by the barrage of information on chemicals that will kill and maim us. Has anyone read the article in Parents magazine? Now I see one on CNN.com that is just as scary. In short, the only escape seems to be not to sit on anything, or cook anything, or drink anything, breath anything, or touch anything. Anywhere. At any time. But I guess that's just as well, since we also should not drink milk or juice or eat meat or vegetables or fish. Or else we'll be deathly ill. In which case you cannot take medicine. That will destroy the liver. Or something.

All the might be related to and may be a contributing factor. It's all so overwhelming. Can someone do a study that isn't frivolous or totally alarming? And can you actually come to actual conclusions before you scare everyone? The world is, it seems, unavoidably toxic. Cheese and crackers . . . .

Friday, August 6, 2010

This post will self-destruct in 3-2-1 . . .

I'm having a bad mommy moment. So, it's a good thing that today is the last day of summer for my children. I had a total meltdown before I even got out of my pajamas. I had high hopes that The Baby Boy would regain his former glory from the beginning of the month and finally stay on the potty train before school started. The week did not go that way, and this morning he soaked his underwear immediately after breakfast. I was working hard to hold it together, knowing that I was very borderline yesterday, but clearly I failed. How do I know? Just before I went Mommy Dearest, The Hubby tells me to go run my errands for the day, that he would take the children for the day. It takes a lot for that to happen. The Babydoll is wearing her I-will-remember-this-in-therapy face. (She's taken to sitting in time-out with her brother and they often both beg for the other not to be punished.) The Baby Boy is whining softly while I "talk" to him about remembering to use the toilet. How do I know I failed to hold it together? Because Hubby relayed this conversation after I leave the house:

The Babydoll: Daddy, why do you and Mommy yell all the time?
The Hubby: We don't yell all the time.
The Babydoll: Yes you do. You always yell at us.
The Hubby: Well, sometimes you aren't listening and we raise our voices. Parents have to make sure their children are doing the right things.
The Babydoll: But if you love people, you shouldn't yell at them. Yelling hurts people's feelings. You shouldn't yell. We love you and Mommy so much!
The Hubby: Umm. We love you guys, too.

So, here's the tally for the summer: Scholarship--zero publications--fail; Gardening--only one tomato--mostly fail; Parenting--doesn't look good.

Let's keep this to ourselves, huh?

And now I'm eating chocolate cake until my guts hurt.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is that true?

Remember that scene in "The Cosby Show" when Cliff is fussing at Theo about his grades? When Theo says that he just wants to be "a regular guy, drive a bus or something"? Cliff tells Theo that he needs to work hard to afford the lifestyle he wants when he's older. He says, "An apartment in Manhattan is going to cost you at least $400 a month."

Ummm. Really? Is that true? $400? a month? I thought that show was set in the 1980s, not the 1880s. Interesting.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm not bitter, but . . .

if ONE more FLIPPIN' questionably literate reality show spectacle gets a book deal for a book that I'm sure someone else wrote, and ends up on the bestseller list, I cannot be responsible for my complete flip out . . . .

AND TODAY: another rejection for publication. sigh.