Viewing category ‘Push my Button’

with

Dear New Parents, what’s with all the whining?

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

This is totally going to come as a surprise, but I am here to tell you right now that Babies Are Hard. Not hard like you can cut diamonds with them hard, but hard like, Ohhhh, they’re so haaaaaarrd, like the way Barbie thinks math is. And! Get this. Not only are babies hard, but kids in general. Hard!

Hey. Can you spare me a tiny detour segue thing? Because I really wanted to share this with you. And by this, I mean the awesome Jamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan over at McSweeney’s. Go on. I’ll wait. Because 1) in my world it relates to this post and 2) how can you NOT weep from pure happiness at birth plan talking points that refer to Zoey Deschanel, Oregon Tilth, Gisele Bundchen, texting, and placenta donation?
Read the rest of this entry

2.2 million faces of motherhood

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

Hi there. I am a non custodial mother. What does that mean? It means I don’t live with my kids. I don’t make their grilled cheese sandwiches. I don’t sign off on their homework. I don’t tuck them in at night. And I chose — willingly — to move 3000 miles away from them and let their dad be the primary parent-in-residence.

Who would do such a thing?

Last month I sat in a chair opposite ABC 20/20’s Elizabeth Vargas and she asked me that very question. Why would a mother leave her children? Elizabeth is a lovely woman. She is a mother. She fussed over flyaways in her hair before the cameras rolled. She wore a royal blue slim sheath no bigger around than a curvy pencil and charmingly commented on how skinny *I* was when we stood up after the interview. She seemed like many women I know and I liked her very much. But when she put on her Interviewer Face, I think she spoke for people who cannot fathom why a mother would stand back from her children without a gun to her head.
Read the rest of this entry

Kids: activists for social change

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

News flash: your kid is a budding activist and probably has plans to change the world. I’m not talking about the glint of Total World Domination, like tiny laser beams of MUAHAHAHA, that can be seen in every toddler’s eye. Nope, once kids reach the age of 5 or so, suddenly they’re all sparkly rainbow unicorns and hand-holding kumbayah. They see the world as a vast Playground of Awesome and they want to make sure we all live there. I really hope they succeed.

Examples:
Read the rest of this entry

Kids have not slept enough for 100 years

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

New evidence suggests what we parents have long suspected — kids are not actually human. They are robots programmed to look and act human. BUT THEY DO NOT SLEEP. Dead giveaway. Robots don’t sleep. How else can we explain 112 years of sleep studies, all saying that kids don’t get enough sleep?

Oh, sure. We can decry societal ills and the hectic pace of modern living all day long. We can blame technogeeks for creating the Xbox, so kids are forced to play video games into the wee hours. We can blame schools for assigning ceiling-high piles of homework every night so kids have to stay up memorizing facts about the Punic Wars. We can — as our forebears did 100 years ago — blame dear Mr. Edison for inventing the light bulb so that we not only burn candles at both ends but also scoff at the power of the Greek god Helios, who nightly drives a chariot pulling the sun into the ocean (what? you haven’t seen this dude?).

But all that blame simply shifts attention away from the sad fact that CHILDREN ARE ROBOTS.

Or…wait. It could mean that we don’t really know how much sleep kids should get. We guess but we’re not sure. In fact, here’s something interesting — suggested sleep needs for kids varies by country. Which tells me that it’s really one huge guessing game, flavored by social expectations (Japanese kids, for instance, are expected to fall asleep in class because they’ve stayed up late studying the night before — how do you like that?).

So here’s my suggestion. Throw sleep studies out the window. Track your kid (or robot, whatever, who am I to judge robots?). Does he/she fall asleep in school? Does he/she wake up easily in the morning? What about bedtime — easy or hard to fall asleep? Are you a Napping Family? My guess is that no two kids have exactly the same needs. Trying to cram them into one big Sleep Needs box seems ridiculous.

How to find out if your kid needs more sleep? Start with the suggested rule of thumb. According to the National Sleep Foundation, babies between the ages of 3 to 11 months should sleep for a total of 14 to 15 hours. Toddlers between 1 to 3 years old should get 12 to 14 hours. Preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours, and elementary schoolers should sleep between 10 to 11 hours. Older children and teens need a minimum of 8½ hours. So they say. (Actual robots need less.)

And then track. Gauge whininess and tantrums. Ask your kid. Notice if he/she does a dinnertime faceplant into his/her mashed potatoes. Experiment with earlier and later bedtimes. And do your best to harness the piles of homework and Xbox abuse into manageable pre-bedtime bits.

And try not to think about your kid being a robot.

What your kid needs to know: tell your truth

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

Do you say the truth of what is in your heart and mind? All the truth? How often? Hardly at all, sometimes, or all the time? No judgment here, but I am curious: how many of us are truly truthful?

Sometimes I suck at telling my truth. It’s not that I want to lie intentionally — I hate lying. I remember the first time as a kid I ever told a lie. I was about 8 and took a dollar from my mom’s purse and never told her. OMG, stealing AND lying. Bad, bad. For days I lay awake at night, cowering in my bed because I thought the Hand of Zeus would come down from the clouds and smite me while I slept. I remember being surprised when it didn’t. Lying still gives me that feeling, at least Capital-L Lying does. Smiting. **shiver**

There are other kinds of lying.
Read the rest of this entry

Santa doesn’t need any more cookies

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

Not to go all Grinchy on you, but I think it’s time for some serious change with the leaving-cookies-for-Santa thing. Let’s organize something, shall we? A new movement. I am pretty sure it will catch on. Occupy Cookie Plate. OCP for short.

I can see OCP now…eight tiny reindeer chained together in solidarity, shaking their tiny hooves at The Man. Squads of elves with their mouths symbolically duct-taped closed. Hand-painted signs hung from every fireplace mantle: “We are the 99% fat free.”

Santa’s plate of cookies has to go. Five ironclad reasons why:

1. Unwanted Cookies Are Unhappy Cookies. And unhappy cookies just don’t taste good. No one wants cookies at 2am. Trust me. After “sampling” the foil-wrapped chocolate balls that fill the bottoms of stockings and after two weeks consumption of stray raw cookie dough bits, the last thing anyone wants is a cookie.

2. Grubby Sticky Fingerprints. Mmm, you know the ones I mean. Yum, right? The slightly majorly squashed sad cookie that sensitive children feel compelled to deem special, like a dying Charlie Brown Christmas tree/firetrap, because sensitive children know in their hearts that Santa is kind and sensitive just like they are and will appreciate all the extra love that went into the making of that cookie. Yeah, that cookie. The sad squashed grubby ones taste better than the Martha-Stewart-Perfection ones, right?

Um, no. Especially not at 2am. Not even to Santa. Next.

3. Santa’s Freshman 15. Every freaking YEAR that guy puts on weight. What is UP with that?? Help a guy out, will you? I think he’d much rather have a nice glass of Zinfandel.

4. Cookie Fatigue. Or just plain fatigue. The kind that comes from weeks of late-night wrapping the gifts that bred in the closet since August and now stand in a mound as tall as a small elf. Cookie Fatigue + Elves makes cookies taste bad. Everyone knows this. What tastes way better is a roast beef sandwich.

5. Morning Comes Way Too Early. Especially when you’ve been up until 2 sneaking downstairs with the gifts that bred in the closet since August and now have turned into a gift-moat that surrounds the Christmas tree and that no one can get close enough to the tree now to plug the lights in. That is definitely when cookies just don’t do it.

No, what Santa really wants is a massage. And two weeks in Hawaii. I am pretty sure that Occupy Cookie Plate can get him that.

Should tweens be on Facebook?

Categories: Bad Parenting, Push my Button

No Comments

Last summer, my eleven year old daughter got her first laptop. Becoming wired meant a lot of great changes in her life. She can communicate more easily with me now, via IM, email, or Skype. She can research school stuff better, without waiting in line for the family desktop computer. She can write her Great American Novel. She can stay in touch with pop culture more easily (for her, this mostly means watching music videos on YouTube). And, becoming wired means Facebook.

Imagine my shock, surprise and chagrin to see my eleven year old daughter’s new Facebook profile. The one that said she was 18. EIGHTEEN! Immediately I put on my protective mama hat. The one that looks like WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???!!
Read the rest of this entry

Are you sick and tired of other women?

Categories: Push my Button

1 Comment

I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Know what I’m mad at? You. Well, not you. You, I like.. But I am mad at You, the larger You, or more specifically, We. We women. I am sick to death of women.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love women. I love being a woman. But I am mad as hell about how we women are in the world.

I am dying for some seriously wonderful women’s community. Remember the old days? Nah, I don’t either. They happened way before you, or me, or any of us. But in my mind, the old days were awesome. Not about things like flush toilets, which, hello, I am so happy to be taking for granted, but more about things like how men and women were. Specifically, how they were with each other and with themselves. Remember that in your ancestor memory banks? When women gathered with women to do women-y things, while men gathered with men to do men things.

And we women were awesome. Powerful. Juicy. Alive. Fertile. The keepers of the flame. The growers of the seeds. We rocked. Remember that?
Read the rest of this entry

3 ways to take control of your Yes

Categories: Push my Button

No Comments

I was a Yes Mom. Not the good kind. The out of control kind.

I think you know what I’m talking about. We’re the ones who can’t say no. Oh, not all the time. Maybe we can say no in our jobs. Maybe we can say no to community. Maybe we can say no to our friends when we need to, or to our partners. But to our kids? Who pull the Puss in Boots cute sad eyes trick whenever you even look like you might say no? [Seriously. If you didn't click on the Puss in Boots link, do yourself a favor and do it now. You could use a cuteness break.] No, to our kids we are the Yes Mom (doormat edition).

And they know it.
Read the rest of this entry

Shy kids rock

Categories: Push my Button

1 Comment

It’s time we stopped trying to fix our shy kids. So what if they quietly sit on our laps at Mommy and Me classes? Those kids aren’t detaching from the world or being swallowed up by the floor; they’re being quietly observant, taking in and analyzing the world around them. Not to diss the extroverts happily parading around the room banging on drums, taking tigers by the tail, and generally being Awesome with a capital A, but shy introverted kids are overwhelmingly creative, informed, attentive and empathetic. In short, shy kids rock and it’s time we understood their power to change the world for the better.
Read the rest of this entry

Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog