October 15, 2014
by admin
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Netflix Wants To Know About Your First Time

**This accidentally got published yesterday before I had written anything. That’s because I am a pro who pays attention to detail. Anyhoo, here’s the finished post.**

via thehivetvshow.wikia.com

via thehivetvshow.wikia.com

The Netflix Stream Team theme for October is “Firsts.” This was bad news for me, because I have a terrible memory. I remember very few of my firsts with the exception of the dirty ones. That isn’t going to go very far with a couple of six-year-olds.

Netflix supplied a list of “firsts,” and shows or movies about those firsts. There wasn’t much there that applicable to my kids.

New sibling? My kids are never ever ever ever going to have one. Ever.

Losing your first tooth? That was so last year.

Getting glasses? Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t have the heart to tell them that with Mike and I as their parents it’s inevitable for them.

First sleepover? Also hasn’t happened yet, and I never went to a sleepover that didn’t leave me an embarrassed, miserable shell of the girl I had been the day before.

First trick or treat? My kids were so little the first time they went trick or treating that they didn’t even want half of their candy. Those were heady days indeed.

First move? My kids have never moved and probably never will. I never moved the whole time I was growing up. My husband moved once when he was five. Moving is not something we do.

And so on and so on. You get the picture.

So my daughter picked the topic “New Sibling,” because she is clearly delusional. We watched a TV show called The Hive, which is about talking bees with British accents. The first episode had three sections, the first of which was about the little bee not getting any mail, which is a surprising choice for a first episode. Not having any mail seems more like a, “It’s the fifth season of the bee show and we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Next week we’re giving them a wacky neighbor. Who’s a beetle. *sigh*”

Then came a section where the little bee meets The Queen Bee (lesson = be nice to people in case they’re The Queen), and finally came the new sibling show, which unsurprisingly paints a pretty rosy picture of having a baby bee. Speaking of which, have you ever seen a baby bee? Me neither. What’s that all about?

ANYWAY. My daughter loved The Hive and thought all the talking insects were hilarious. Because who doesn’t love a British bee? Not me, god damn it.

October 10, 2014
by admin
5 Comments

Lessons Learned As The Daughter Of An Impatient Man

My dad was a lot of things. Most of them were impatient. To this day, he is the most impatient human being I have ever known. It’s really pretty impressive, and I like to think he’d be just a little bit proud of that.

You learn a lot of loud, uncomfortable lessons when you’re the child of an impatient parent. Here are a few of mine:

1. Elevators

Not many people know this, but there is a maximum number of seconds that an elevator should take to reach you wherever you are. That number is six. Once you get to the seventh second, it’s time to look for another elevator and press its button to see if it gets to you within six seconds and is, therefore, the superior elevator. If you get up to 15 seconds, God help you. You’ll think about taking the stairs, but you won’t do it, because you aren’t a quitter.

2. Car rides

Being a passenger in a car driven by an impatient man is a religion-finding, pant-shitting adventure. You get a first-hand look at statistics like, “how likely are you to die when passing another car on a blind curve?” Turns out you can survive that more times than you would think. In the meantime, you get to develop an intimate relationship with fear while you bond with your sisters in the backseat.

3. The intermission of a play

Your standard intermission is 15 minutes. That’s just enough time for the most impatient man in the world to go outside and smoke a Marlboro before coming back in, prepared for the second act. The first minute past 15 minutes is time for a light-hearted-but-not-really joke. “Huh. What’s going on back there? Did they fall in?” is a good one. With each following minute, coughing and shifting around becomes more and more frequent. At five minutes past the usual intermission time, swear words may now be called into play, but only muttered under the breath. At six minutes, it’s time to go home.

4. Eating in restaurants

Being the child of the most impatient man in the world forever changes the way you interact with waiters and waitresses, for you have seen first hand how much they can be made to suffer. You will forever overtip, you will smile and acknowledge them when they come to your table because they are human beings with feelings, and you will never ask for extra ketchup.

5. Walking down the street

I grew up in New York City. There is nothing that compares to walking down a busy street in Manhattan with the world’s most impatient man. Woe to the tourists walking slowly in the middle of the sidewalk, because it will be made known to them in no uncertain terms that they should move swiftly to the side and kill themselves. On the other hand, you will learn how to weave through crowds like a snake, which comes in handy when trying to look like the place you are going is more important than the shit places everyone else is going.

Thanks, Dad.

Infant swim

September 29, 2014
by admin
7 Comments

Infant Survival Swim Class, Or, Kinda Drowning Babies But For Safety

This is a story that I pitched to an editor the other day. She said, “Yes, that is nuts. But it’s also from June.” To which I replied, “Touché. And yet I still must write about it.”

I discovered a little article in the New York Times about something called Infant Survival Swim Training (ISST). I know, it already sounds a little ominous, huh? Generally when you pair “infant” with “survival” you make people nervous. Then you add the word “training,” and you make people confused. The only word in there that is not terrifying is “swim.”

In ISST, what you do is — and I am going to try to put this delicately — drop a child between the ages of six months and six years in a pool and let them kinda drown, because their natural instinct is to eventually flip over and float on their backs.  The babies are motivated by graham crackers and breathing.

The classes are held five days a week for only ten minutes at a time, and go for five or six weeks. That seems like a lot of drowning to learn a “natural response.” Also, parents are allowed to sit next to the pool but are not allowed to interfere with the lesson.

Nope. No no no no no. Negative. Not even close to being interested in this. As someone who saw her son start to drown in a pool last year, I cannot imagine subjecting a baby to the kind of fear that comes with not being able to breathe and refusing to help them. The ISST method is careful not to guarantee that your baby won’t drown, however. As they say on one Infant Self-Rescue site:

ISR believes pool fences, supervision, and pool alarms are important parts of a necessary multi-layered approach to drowning prevention. However, traditional lines of defense break down…Children are curious, capable, and have an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles like pool fences; at ISR we take that ability and teach them skills to potentially save themselves if they find themselves in the water alone.

Now, this is not to say that accidents don’t happen because they do, but if your six-month-old “finds themselves in the water alone,” you done fucked up. How about for the first year or two of their lives, you just don’t let your kid out of your sight when you’re near water? Or you can pretend to drown them a bunch. To conquer a fear, you must look it square in the eye…little baby.

Here are some other great ideas inspired by this method of swim training:

1. Infant Touch No More Training

The goal of these classes is to teach your child what they can touch and what they can’t. For example, we’ll let your child touch an open flame just long enough to learn that they never want to do that again. We’ll also give them a fork and then leave them in a room with an open socket (but don’t worry, medics will be there to revive them if necessary.) And a small prick of the finger with a steak knife will keep your toddler away from your knife drawer.

Infant Touch No More Training: Because Pain Is Nature’s Teacher.

2. Toddler Traffic Safety And Speed Training

Never worry about walking through parking lots again after taking our toddler traffic safety program. Our team of professional drivers go no faster than five miles per hour in your child’s first lesson, giving them plenty of time to learn how to run or roll out of the way. As the classes progress our cars go faster, and so does your child. By the end of the program your child will have their eyes and ears trained to sense an approaching car and run like their lives depend on it. Which they do.

Toddler Traffic Safety And Speed Training: Where Speed Plus Fear Equals Safety

3. Prevent SIDS With Blanket Battle Training

Parents often worry about their newborns getting caught under a blanket and being unable to breathe. With our Blanket Battle Training, we will teach your child to view blankets as the enemy. Bring your baby and a blanket you don’t mind seeing set on fire, and we’ll give you back one blanket-obliterating baby.

Blanket Battle Training: Tonight, Blanket, We Finish This.

4. Fearless With Fido: Pet Safety Training

Most parents are concerned about strange dogs hurting their curious toddlers. Well, the key to avoiding confrontation with dogs is to determine who the alpha is quickly and decisively. Our Alpha Baby pilot program did not go as planned, so we have course-corrected and now employ the Submissive Baby method. When a dog comes within five yards of your child, we will teach them to honor their instinct to lie down on their backs and urinate.

Fearless With Fido: It Won’t Even Be Worth That Dog’s Time

September 22, 2014
by admin
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Book Review: “How To Survive A Sharknado (And Other Unnatural Disasters”

sharknadoSharknado.

Sharknado is everything I love about life. When movies like Sharknado come out, it feels like a gift given to the world for no reason other than life is phenomenal. My idea of a perfect evening would be me, my mother, my two sisters, and my husband watching Sharknado. Joy, people. Pure joy.

My Blogging for Books choice this time was “How To Survive A Sharknado (And Other Unnatural Disasters)” by Andrew Shaffer. Because how the hell could I not read this book? It’s “The Official Guide to Staying Alive.” I need this.

Shaffer takes an in-depth look at a variety of disasters. There are four sections of the book addressing the different varieties of unnatural disasters and monsters that we all must be mindful of when the end of days comes. Below I have listed those four sections and provided examples of each kind of attack, along with the author’s sage advice.

FIGHTING MOTHER NATURE

SHARKNADO: Of course, sharknados are addressed. This section includes directions for how to use a chainsaw and a recipe for grilled shark steak.

BATACLYSM: “Irradiated vampire bats are flushed from underground caves by seismic activity.” Advice: wear night vision goggles and shave your head (so the bats can’t get caught in your hair).

WHEN EARTH ATTACKS

SWAMP VOLCANO: Also known as a Submarine Supervolcano. How can you tell if a swamp volcano has erupted?

Is it snowing ash? That’s not a good sign. While it might not be a swamp volcano, something has erupted. Did a steam tsunami melt your face off? Probably a swamp volcano. Is lava flooding out of storm drains? Yep. Swamp volcano.

DEATH IF BY LAND

MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM: “High-risk groups are American contractors, corporate lackeys, and treasure hunters.” Shaffer’s advice for staying safe from Mongolian death worms? “Avoid deserts altogether.” Very wise.

DESTRUCTION IF BY SEA

PIRANHACONDA: Also known as “River Demon.” Should you come across one and you want to survive, you would be smart to stop whatever you’re doing, and hope that you have access to a car or helicopter. To kill the thing:

Toss a grenade or stick of lit dynamite into its mouth…Unfortunately, an open mouth usually indicates the creature is seconds away from chomping down on you — at which point it’s too late. We suppose you could pretend to yawn, and see if the piranhaconda opens its mouth at a safe distance. Yawning is contagious, right?

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If you were a member of my family living in North Carolina, I would anticipate a copy of this book coming your way at Christmas. It will save your life when the monsters come.

(Photo: Twitter)

I reviewed this book as part of the Blogging for Books program. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review, but all opinions are my own.

Final Logo 150x150

September 16, 2014
by admin
2 Comments

Thanks For Ruining All The Moods, Children

Kids are amazing. One minute they can make you feel like you’re on top of the world, and the next minute you’re wondering what you were thinking being up so high because clearly, you and your first-grader know that’s not where you belong.

I had two such experiences recently with my children. Take a listen:

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My husband and I like each other a whole bunch. The kids always see us hugging and stuff. Last week, Mike gave me a smile, walked over, and jokingly tugged on the strings of my sweatpants. One of my children had a question:

“Daddy, were pretending like that was Mommy’s wiener?”

Nope. No he was not.

****

Every school day I like to walk my kids into their classroom, get them settled, and give last hugs and kisses before the morning bell rings. The other day I bent down to give one child a hug, and they rubbed their hand up and down the left side of my back. Then they did it again. Then they did it once more. Then they pulled back and asked:

“Mommy? Why do you have that flap back there?”

That was my back fat, folks.

So…I’m gonna go home and eat a vegetable.

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You can check me out Monday-Friday, twice a day at Mommyish, and every Thursday at Lefty Pop (my first post is this Thursday!).

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