Chipped tooth. Be careful in those mosh pits. And don’t let him kiss you. He obviously has stronger teeth than I. Ouch.
Off to the dentist tomorrow to get it fixed. Sigh.
I’m sure you have all been inundated with the recent viral video of girls sick of princess toys and itching to build and create.
Great video. I distinctly remember crying over a Barbie I got as a gift. My brother got Lego.
So I checked out the product page for Goldie Blox. Disappointment. I saw little girl PMS crying over a box of cutesy simplistic pastel coloured blocks with
instruction book story book starring a long-tressed blonde. Give me primary colours and freedom to build whatever I want!
Admittedly, little girl PMS was not the target audience. I was a girl who already liked spacial toys and building without having to have it packaged in pink. But are there actually any studies that show correlation between the types of toys kids play with and their future profession? Or more importantly, causation? Can you chose your kids career by what toy you give him/her? How many boys to do you know get toy kitchen sets? Yet the professional chef circuit is a boys club. And why does it seem the toy industry only sees influencing future professions as a goal for developing/marketing toys for girls? We don’t push boys to play dress up or draw or have tea parties with their stuffies. Because those don’t lead to careers?
I remember this empowering girls through toys BS from when I was a kid and now that my generation is out in the professional world, are there actually any more female scientists, mathematicians, engineers, race car drivers, firefighters, etc. than 20 years ago? I know the numbers in my (male dominated) profession haven’t changed more than a percent or two in nearly 40 years. Sure, I ended up there. But because I had a natural inclination and interest. My parent’s didn’t prevent me from playing with “toys for boys” but they also didn’t have to find ways to make me play with something I didn’t gravitate to on my own.
This all seems like more over-parenting.
I prefer the message from the Simpsons:
Oh thank heavens.
I finally finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Gutter Blog Book Club writeup coming soon.
For the non-regulars, I will remind/inform you that RockDaddy is a singer in a punk rock band. Needless to say there is a definite bigger than life stage persona.
A few weeks ago, after a jam session, he invited me to join up with him and his friends back at his place for post-drinks. They all had a very big head start on me and I have very high alcohol tolerance so rarely get drunk. We were all having a great time. RD was playing DJ. One song comes on and he tells everyone to shut up and listen. His head is resting on my lap, grabs my face so I can’t look away, he looks me deep in the eyes, and starts singing:
You’re the one.
You’re the one.
You’re the one I’ve been cheating on.
Not exactly the kind of song a girl dreams of being serenaded with.
I was a bit unsettled. I was reasonably sure it was the alcohol and a good stage performance. He puts on a good show. But. It had me a bit freaked out having him say those words so intently to me.
I didn’t think much of it for a week or two and then had a really bad work-related week that put me in a dark mood. Dark clouds tend to spread and that unsettled feeling surfaced and I started to think maybe he was trying to tell me something. It wouldn’t be the first time he used liquid courage to say something he wasn’t ready to say sober. Of course the last two times were “I love you” and “Will you be my girlfriend”. But what if? And cue obsessing internal dialogue. It didn’t help that that week just ended up being a scheduling clusterfuck and RD and I didn’t see each other all week. Far too much time to stew.
This is a serious personality flaw of mine. I recognize it. I know the solution is to get a reality check when I get that deeply internalized. But it’s near paralyzing. At least I’ve learned to not put too much faith in my depressed readings of my world. I tried to be open to contradicting information and try not to stay attached to a doomsday narrative. I’d like to say I faced my fear head on and initiated open communication with RD. I’m a little shaken to have that kind of insecurity resurface. But I will take credit for a small victory of pulling myself out of what could have been a down-spiral.
A few days ago, the instigating scenario was recreated. A bunch of friends hanging out late at night at RD’s. Lots of beer. RD playing DJ. The same song comes on. RD starts to sing. Except. This time he grabs his friend J by the face, looks him deep in the eyes, and tells him he’s the one he’s been cheating on.
I had essentially moved passed the freak out and fear but nothing replaces that kind of reality check. I was right, it was stage persona singing, not RD. I felt like a bit of an idiot for doubting him and myself, and it was a welcomed feeling. In the end, I trusted the right gut feeling. It’s something I’ve been unsure I would learn to do again after theEx. It wasn’t my most elegant example but it gives me hope that I’m on the path to trusting myself again.
At least I’m not the only one thinking this. Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World
Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy. The young generations of today (yes, I sound old. I realize I’m only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn’t have to ever put up with anything doesn’t make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.
RDjr can be a pretty emotional kid when she doesn’t get what she wants or someone says no or someone doesn’t praise her or someone teases her. RD obviously doesn’t like seeing his daughter hurt or sad or upset. Both are perfectly natural. Nobody likes being hurt or seeing someone they love hurt. But I think he should let her feel that hurt sometimes and let her figure out how to make herself feel better.
I don’t think it’s easy. I think it’s reactionary parenting to previous generation parenting. I certainly think I was raised to take the punches and not complain and that’s probably part of how I put up with an abusive relationship for seven years – that’s not a good thing. Maybe if I wasn’t so ok with being hurt I would have left. It’s probably why RD’s parenting of rushing to comfort his daughter at every tear or possible tear seems so foreign to me. I don’t know what the magical balance is of being attentive and supportive and comforting to a kid vs. giving them independence and letting them scrape their knees.
I really really struggle with giving RockDaddy the “no your butt doesn’t look big in those jeans” aka “yes, of course your daughter is exceptionally brilliant and a perfect little angel” correct but often dishonest response.
This weekend we all went for a dog walk out in the woods. RDjr asked if she had ever been there before. RD said yes, he used to take her there when she was younger. “Like when I was 3?”
The next day when RD and I were having dinner he told me how amazing he thought it was that she remembered having gone to the park with him when she was 3. Being the skeptical realist that I am, I pointed out that since she is 6 she has a 1 in 6 chance of randomly guessing the right age, and since she had to ask if she’d been there before and the cue of his saying he “used to take her when she was younger” she probably automatically ruled out the past year and two weeks leaving her with a 1 in 4 chance, it’s not really that remarkable.
The look on RD’s face collapsed from excitement to somewhere between sad and annoyed. I felt like an utter and complete meanie poopie face, insensitive buzz killer.
I don’t like pandering. I don’t like being dishonest or disingenuous. I feel a bit of a compulsive need to debunk someone ascribing some sort of exceptional significance to something utterly unimpressive when explained rationally. As the atheistic rationalist that he is, I thought he would understand and maybe appreciate that standard. And he usually does but not when it comes to his daughter.
Later that night I went to apologize (though I think I failed and settled for explaining/defending my point of view). He went on to explain that he thought it was special because it made him think of that special time, before he was separated, when he and his daughter would go on special outings together to give mommy some time alone (which was a frequent occurrence). He thought about her in her snuggly cozied up against his chest as they went for long walks with the dog out in the forest. And the thought that that had left an imprint on her was special and meant a lot.
As if I didn’t feel like a big enough meanie poopie face, insensitive buzz killer.
That explanation I understand. That makes sense to me. I can understand how that is special and meaningful. But it kind of helped clarify why I couldn’t let it ride when he originally presented it as some sort of exceptional precocious adeptness of RDjr to have such vivid memories from when she was 3. My explanation probably still holds true – her comment was part lucky guess with good odds, part picking up on signals from his comments. The emotional response it created for him, however, was real and important and it doesn’t matter if it was an accident or not.
My puzzlement comes from not understanding why people have to aggrandize things to justify their appreciation of it. Why does everything need to be special, unique, and exceptional to be meaningful, valuable, worthy of care? Honestly I get tired of hearing how everything RDjr does is so amazing and that she’s so gifted and ahead of other kids. It becomes meaningless and simply isn’t true. She probably is ahead in certain areas, behind in others. But most likely, like most of us, just plain old average at most of what she does.
As we continue to test out the grounds of maybe potentially someday considering being a stepmom, I’m feeling more and more that I don’t live up to expectations. Lots of people tell me they think I would be a great mom. I’m caring, considerate, helpful, dedicated, thoughtful, wise, understanding, kids like me… All those qualities seemed to impress RD when I first started to interact with his daughter. Good mom potential.
I think it’s pretty clear I could never think of my (step)child as inherently more important or special than any of the other children, or people for that matter, in my community. And in North America/”the West”, that is proof of being a terrible mother. Your self, your child, your family above everyone else. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m a communist at heart.
I hope that with time RD sees that it isn’t a failing. Just a different approach. I hope I can explain how I see it as one of my strengths. Just because I can’t see myself thinking of RDjr as inherently more important or special than any other random child doesn’t mean I wouldn’t care for her. It actually means I would care for her as much as and no less than I would anyone else. That’s a measure of my ability to care not some false projection of her worth.
I care according to my ability and others are cared for according to their need not their projected value. See, told you. I’m a communist.
And this deserves posting again this year. I still feel a bit stuck in between. Some days I’m 29, others I’m 31.