Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Things I Don't Approve Of

As though it matters, here is a list of things I don't approve of. I recently got a phone call berating me for over an hour about all of the things I don that this person doesn't approve of, most of which seemed to boil down to my merely existing, so I thought I would make a list too. So, without further ado, here it is, in no particular order:

  • Books on tape. If you want to read a book, read it. Why have James Earl Jones read it to you?
  • Conformity. If you can't do something without 150 people doing it first, or if you have to do something because 150 people did it first, then you're a drone. All historical progress has been made by people being the first, the first to stop something or the first to try it. Conformists are just sheep without spines.
  • Forceful arrogance. Sure I think highly of myself, but I don't tell other people to think highly of me too. Considering people to be failures because they live up to their own failures is the worst form of egotism. You're no more important to the world than I am; at the end of the day we're all ants in an ant farm and no one cares if your tunnel is better.
  • Harry Potter movies, in principle. Finally a book series came along that actually got kids to read and some Hollywood schmuck came along and took the reading part out of it. Yes my kid has seen them all, but only AFTER she read the books. Same with Bridge To Terabithia, Harriet The Spy, Narnia, etc.
  • Fwd:Fw:Fw:Fw: You Gotta Hear This!!! Not only is the thing I gotta hear almost definitely false, but the subject line is almost invariable followed by the email addresses of a hundred people who probably don't want me to know their email addresses. As for the subject matter: http://snopes.com/
  • Neck tattoos. I understand if you're a tattoo artist, or in a famous rock band, or Chapter President of the Hell's Angles, but for most people a tattoo can be safely covered without any loss of dignity. As for the mother who wonders why she gets funny looks at the PTA meetings, it could be the two dimensional python licking at your jugular.
  • Political baby clothes. A baby in a pro-life onesie isn't cute, it's a dirty trick. No one is going to believe that a child actually formed an opinion and chose to wear it on a shirt, and most people are going to resent such an obvious sympathy ploy. The "I love my 2 daddies" sleepers are slightly better, in that a baby probably does love them, at least as much as a baby is capable of any feelings other than distress or hunger. I tend to see the 2 Daddies sleepers, and their 2 Mommies counterparts, as being more akin to the "Daddy's Girl" bibs. But still, making a kid into a poster is kind of opportunistic. And please don't try to tell me who your kid wants me to vote for. My kid likes Obama, but even I know that's because she hears positive things about him from me, not because she's researched his stance on the issues important to her.
  • People who know the "right" number of children to have. Either it's "I could never have an only child; who would they play with?" line, or it's the population control angle where you should only replace yourself and the other parent, or my personal favorite, "How can you bring another person into this world anyway when there are so many babies out there without parents?" (Hey, even Angelina got knocked up a couple times.) As for the parent-replacement theory, how would that even work anyway? I know of a lady with 9 kids, does that mean 7 other people should refuse to have kids just to keep the numbers right? Wait a second, they're with 3 different guys so only five people have to stay on birth control. Of course, she's married to a guy now with no biological kids of his own, so that leaves 4 couples who can never reproduce. Then again, she does have some non-related guy claiming some of the kids already, so only 3 people without babies. But two of her kids are with my husband, and I already have a daughter, so OMG my second child is too much! Now where does that leave me with the "no only children" people? And what about that family in Arkansas?
  • Creditors who start the phone harassment the day the bill is due. Is it possible that we mailed it this month instead of paying online, because your company decided to charge a fee for paying online? And if we didn't pay it, if we were that strapped for cash this month, how would 15 phone calls a day help? Is there a program we could sign up for that would pay us for every call we got from you people?
. . . . to be continued.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How To Annoy Me When I'm Pregnant

1) Use the terms "preggers" or "preggo". If you're over the age of 12, the term is pregnant, or knocked up if you feel especially crass. Adults who refer to themselves as being "preggers for the third time" sound like trash ghetto 18 year olds.

2) Compare my belly to other women's. I do that enough for both of us.

3) Ask me if I'm having twins. If I was, the polite thing to say would be "Wow! You don't look big enough!" no matter how huge I was. Unless you happen to be pregnant as well, and we have already established a long-standing "I'm bigger than you" dialogue, this is very inappropriate and, considering my fluctuating hormone levels, liable to get you smacked..

4) Lecture me about nutrition, or even just give me "that look" while I eat. I eat fresh fruit and fortified cereals so back off when I inhale a case of Nutty Bars in one day or have a cup of coffee. Oh, and the cereal is the kind marketed to adults, no cocoa fruity marshmallow stuff here.

5) Comment on how tacky the new tight maternity clothes trends are. I am facing being pregnant in August, for gods' sakes, and I am fully prepared to do my garden work in a crop top and low-rise shorts. If you don't like it, stay home in your air conditioning. As long as I don't accessorize with a cigarette and fur boots, I'm not as bad as Britney Spears and you survived that media blitz.

6) Ask me why I don't know what I'm having. Maybe it's because I don't believe in X raying Christmas gifts in November. And no, I don't care if that makes shopping harder for you. If you just have to buy me something, how about something I can use rather than some outfit the baby will only wear once. Buy me a breast pump -- they're gender neutral.

7) Ask me what names we have picked out and then criticize them.

8) Explain to me why formula is "just as good" as breast feeding. I've been through this before and even if I hadn't, I and all scientific medical evidence have to disagree with you on that. If it's what you need to believe to feel good about your parenting skills then fine, but I don't need to. Formula isn't toxic by any means, but even the Enfamil ads say that breast milk is better.

9) Ask me if I'm not just a little old to be "starting over". My daughter's only 9; it's not like we were going to be driving her up to college in the fall. And I'm only 31. Women are increasingly having kids in their forties now; it's not like the hospital staff will be torn between admitting me to either the maternity ward or geriatrics.

10) Blame all my moods on hormones. Hormones amplify moods; they don't create them. I might overreact to something, but there has to be something to set me off in the first place and if it's that you're being a butt, then my bursting into tears doesn't make you any less of a butt.

11) Ask me how much weight I've gained. Unless you're my doctor or you're pregnant too and comparing notes, my weight will never ever be any of your business. Period.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shopping & Scanning

Well we finally did it. Tom and I took a trip down to the cities and registered at Babies R Us. It was strange, I had expected him to have more opinions. The only things he seemed to care one way or the other about were yellow blankets. He said we had enough green. Oh, and I couldn't register for anything blue, as though a girl can't use a blue blanket too. But I did slip some blue sheets past him; they went with the pack 'n play. But otherwise, he seemed perfectly content to hold the scanner gun and shoot everything I handed to him. My dream jogging stroller (the kind with 3 really big wheels that won't get caught when I cross the railroad tracks) got bumped off the list when I realized that there wasn't any way to comfortably put an infant into it, so instead we scanned a bright orange car seat and stroller combo package. The orange is kind of a road cone color but I like it. It'll keep my baby safe during hunting season and besides, I'm a strange one anyway. Plus, hunting vest orange is manly enough that Tom might even think about walking the baby every once in a while, and it has a parent's cup holder too and lots of storage underneath. Other than that, we scanned the usual stuff: crib, high chair, exersaucer, breast pump, diaper genie, baby washcloths Tom had never even heard of. We left off things like baby soap and lotion. We kind of figured that if people are going to spend money on us it might as well be on stuff we won't have to replace in a month.

We also went to the maternity store in the mall down there, so I could get some much needed articles of clothing. In addition to the much-neededs I got some tank tops too. Hell, if I'm going to be huge pregnant in August, I'm not sticking with elastic empire waist tents. I got plain ribbed tank tops and if my protruding belly button pokes through then so be it; I'll feel sorry for any toddlers I blind.

Fetal movement, ultrasound, and obstetrics bills aside, I feel somehow more pregnant now that I've registered for baby gifts in an actual store (as opposed to Amazon.com). I guess it's a symptom of our capitalist society that this is what it takes to truly feel like a mother. Sad, isn't it? Now, go feel sorry for me and buy me stuff.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hormones + Politics = Bitchy Post. Sorry

I am so pissed off about politics lately. Jimmy Carter wants to talk to Hamas, a militant terrorist organization standing in the way of peace in the Middle East. The Bush administration goes on record as being firmly against any peaceful discourse with Hamas and Condy Rice says she finds it "hard to understand what is going to be gained by having discussions with Hamas about peace when Hamas is in fact the impediment to peace." This is basically the same thing Hillary pulled when she jumped Obama's shit for promising to talk to enemy leaders during the first year of his presidency. Apparently US policy seems to be to give enemies the silent treatment rather than try to talk anything out. Yes, talking things out may seem like a pretty naive solution, but it's better than sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "Lalalalala I can't hear you!" After all, it's worked so far with Cuba.

Obama made the observation that some people in middle America are bitter, jaded by the way things have gone for so long, and that they cling to guns and religion because of it. McCain, candidate for the bitter guns and religion party, of course jumped all over him for it. But so did Hillary! She called him elitist and arrogant for it, and then she told a story about shooting guns and downed a shot of whiskey in a bar. Of course, it was Crown Ryan whiskey, a Canadian brand. Nothing less than imported booze for our All-American gal. It's not like America has any well known brands of whiskey, after all. (Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Southern Comfort . . .)

It's just, we finally have a candidate who's willing to talk about these things, that people are bitter, that it's time we try to solve our international differences rather than invade or bomb them away, that perhaps black and white people have racial issues. And Hillary is so self-obsessed, so bloodthirsty, that she can't step down for the good of the party (Hell, for the good of the nation!) and let this once in a lifetime candidate run against McCain and McCain alone. I expect to get pissed off by Bush, and by extension I expect it from McCain too, but Hillary? She's wrecking the Clinton name worse than Bill ever did. He tried to fuck an intern; she's trying to fuck the country.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Sad Day For Our Children

I had hoped the next generation would be spared this evil. My hopes are dead now. The saddest part? I can name them still, on sight.

Rock Star Mom?

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis, which is really sad because that means I'll only live to be 62. Maybe it's just a mid-pregnancy crisis, but either way it kind of sucks. I feel old and despite knowing it would just look foolish and desperate, a large part of me wants to rebel by acting young. Not acting young in a "take a class, learn something new, live for today" sort of way, but in more of a "dress completely age-inappropriate and listen to loud music and be cool" kind of way. Yes, cool in italics, which is way too hard for a pregnant 31 year old housewife to pull off. I envy my friends who know themselves, the ones who are equally at ease in make-up and heels or in spit-up and sweats. Me, I'm always second-guessing myself. Some part of me is stuck in Jr High, wondering if the kids are going to laugh at me because I have a tweed car coat and this season it's all about leather bomber jackets. I'm like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. I'm a dork. And worse, I'm a dork with stretch marks and bad tattoos.

I want to be goth. Maybe not Abby Sciuto goth, but a little Mary Alice Yeskey goth would be good. I think I was goth before it existed. I was grunge, although sadly I looked more like Dave Mustaine than Claire Danes, but I still rocked the plaid flannel. But now there's so much more out there! Skulls and 1950s cherry prints, and Doc Martens even come in neon green now. How cool is that? It's not that I want to wear corsets and fishnets and neon green Docs around town, but boots under my jeans, or some skulls on my Converses, that would be okay. Maybe a black bag with lots of buckles, or a vintage Ramones tee under a denim jacket. Yes, I'm married to a Nebraska Farmboy who can't tell Godsmack from Gwen Stefani, And yes, he has characterized my taste in music as "not heavy metal, not soft rock, maybe medium metal?", and for me to go all goth on him, or even just shell out the cash to buy a pair of Doc Martens, would probably send him into an early grave, but I still feel the need to resist soccer-mom obscurity.

This is the life I want, the life I've always wanted, to be a wife and mother and drive a minivan. I guess I just thought that I'd be a cooler wife and mother, and drive a cooler minivan, maybe one without stock speakers.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Only Stupid People Are Breeding

I kind of like being pregnant, and I like blogging about it. But I am finding that I have less and less tolerance for other pregnant women. I read, and post on, a pregnancy message board, sort of an online gestational community, and I have to say that there are some idiots out there breeding. My main peeve, though I would never say anything on the boards about it, people stick their kids with some awful names. Not the Colins and Coltons and Avas and Marissas. But Nevaeh? That seems to be a real popular one, across racial and ethnic divides lest anyone think it "sounds black" (which was actually a comment I read). Why is Nevaeh so popular? Because it is Heaven spelled backward, which is just so pretty for a baby girl, apparently. Me, if I wanted to go for an angelic name, would pick Angel, or maybe something biblical. Heck, even Gabriel would be better for a girl, but I'm partial to boy names for girls anyway. And what's with arbitrarily adding the letter Y to names anyway? I thought it was loopy when people started spelling it Bryan, but now there's Dawsyn, Allysyn, Krystyn, Jennifyr. It's like people sit there and say "How can we ensure that our child's name is constantly misspelled, mispronounced, and that she has to introduce herself and explain it at the same time?" "Hi, I'm Jenni with an I," is one thing, but "Hi, I'm Allysyn with two Ls and two Ys," seems excessive to me.

I have nothing against ethnic names. I don't care what cultural name you give your baby to keep him in touch with his roots, religious or racial or otherwise. However, I do think it's almost unforgivably selfish to choose random moronic names. It's an abuse of power. Someone should have kicked Nicolas Cage in the balls for naming his son Cal El. Yeah I know, it's superman. So name the kid Clark Kent if you can't outgrow your comic book. This kid will have to live with the name for at least 18 years and while he can claim to be Cal L. Coppola, the world and all future employers will know the truth, that he is genetically descended from idiots. Same with Rob Morrow naming his daughter Tu (a pun, really?) and Gwyneth Paltrow naming her baby Apple.

I know some people have a problem with me naming a girl Ryan, but I did NOT name her Chewbacca or Himalaya or Tila Tequila. I chose a real human name which when written backwards spells on a name written backwards, not some word that makes no sense spelled backwards. Nevaeh. Shit, why don't I call my kid Legna? It's Angel spelled backwards. As the song says, I've been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding. A song which, by the way, came out the last time I was pregnant.