March 2012

I try not to be a judgmental person when it comes to other parents.  I might think it looks jerky to not look up from your smart phone when you take your kid to a playground,* but maybe you need a moment to decompress and not pay attention to your child for a moment because you’re on top of things most of the time.  Who hasn’t been late making dinner because of a compelling Words with Friends game, eh?  We have to give ourselves a minute every hour to be able to share the other 59, right?  Also, why should you care what I think?

However, reading this comment thread on Apartment Therapy makes me realize that I am good at being understanding with parents who might just be having an off moment, but I still want to trip people who ass-up discussion boards with their smugness.  We all start off wanting natural births, plan to breastfeed for 18 months, and register for organic bedding, but eventually most of us end up at Old Navy buying cheap onesies made by kids just a few years older than ours.  I’m sure my associate & I come off as better than others because of our super adorable, genius baby, but we can’t take credit for much other than what she’s wearing.

It’s specifically the Apartment Therapy/Kitchn posts that attract parent douche bags — I’ll call them “mommentors,” — no, wait, that’s dumb.  I just pointed out this particular post because half of the comments were written by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character from “Away We Go.”  For those of you who aren’t going to bother reading it, someone asks what items for a baby would you not purchase again because you didn’t need it (which is mostly particular to the baby), and so many people wrote “cribs.”  I love the exasperated “where do your kids sleep?” replies, because I also thought that their babies slept on floors before I thought of co-sleeping (I think co-sleeping is a nice idea, but I could do anything for my child except fall asleep in the same room with her.  She only started to sleep 8 hours a night so early because we moved her to her crib and she & I weren’t constantly waking each other up).

Things like co-sleeping, children who eat edamame, family dinners with toddlers, and bilingual households are all things that happen easily for some families probably.  I’m not hating on the actual things that other families do, just the parents that act like all “what, your breast milk isn’t fair trade certified?” when someone asks a question about formula brands.  I feel like a cad when I explain that we buy shoes with soles that support growing feet, like even saying that is too preachy although 97% of toddler shoes are inappropriate for children’s wear.

As usual I’ve forgotten my point (I think it’s about as long as you pay loving attention to your child and also are not physically or emotionally abusive your kid will probably grow up okay no matter  what products were purchased, so don’t be a jerk about it to other people), but now that I’ve brought up the expensive shoes that are good for baby feet, I want to say that I browse online for them more than anything I’ve wanted for myself.  $50 for children’s shoes is insane but if I had money to burn, I would burn them on these:

*Last week I saw a set of parents with twins not look up from their phones at all while their kids played, and I felt bad for the kids, but I didn’t want to look at them, either, because mine is smaller and cuter and there is only one of her

I come from a family that has to make fun of EVERYTHING.  It’s in my genes (I still chuckle about something my cousin said during my aunt’s funeral).  We’re just smartasses.  I tried very, very hard not to fall back on that during last weekend’s protest/rally at the state capitol.  It’s outside of my comfort zone to march around and chant things, and my instinct is to get super jokey, despite equality and reproductive rights being things that I care very much about.

But anywhere with 1,000-plus people brings out a lot of absurd and amusing situations.  Here are a few notable things:

– While waiting in line around capitol grounds, we were politely informed that Quiznos was opened by someone who I guess works at Quiznos.

– I overheard a conversation between four women as we walked away from the police showdown about how the person who drove them there was one of the protestors who would not leave the steps.  “Someone should at least get her keys,” one said.

– The scheduling for the event got off course and I’m wasn’t sure what was going on most of the time, but my Associate, Jr. Associate, and I stayed in the protest line and then joined the march around the city.  Hundreds of us marched the streets with signs (or t-shirts that said “Don’t tell me what to do” — thanks CK!) and shouted.  Lots of cars honked at us in unity.  It was cool.  We split up a group of skateboarding teenagers, and the one kid who was separated from the other dudes wore a shirt that said “SUCK MY DICK.”  Ha!  I mean, what are the odds that the day he got the nerve to wear that shirt he would walk right into a women’s rights march?  Kids.

– Toward the end the crowd and the activists in charge got into a weird loop of saying “MIC CHECK.”  Typically shouting “MIC CHECK!” once would then lead into an announcement that would be amplified for all to hear, but in this case it was chanted for a long time as if it was a Latin phrase of empowerment.

– We ran into an old friend of mine who took a picture of me and my family, and as soon as he took the picture a stranger stopped to also take a photo of us.  Wha?  Is Burgerphone that famous?

-After standing in line waiting for the march for about thirty minutes, the guy behind me asked us, “When do these ‘Hunger Games’ tickets go on sale, anyway?”

– Okay, I made that last one up.

This event did remind me of when my associate & I walked around downtown one afternoon and came to the governor’s mansion.  The security guard came toward us and we backed away expecting to be asked to leave, but all he said was we could stay there because we pay for it.

(I wrote this before HB462 was signed into law today.  Obviously I’m disappointed, but I have hope that we will turn things around).