Politics, Parenting & Pokemon

politics pokemon

 

What a time to be alive. Every move you make as a parent comes with the harrowing prospect of having it judged by the entire internet, two of the least fit candidates are running for the most powerful position in the free world, and millions of people are running around chasing and capturing imaginary characters while staring at their phones. It really is an unbelievable time to be alive. As strange as it may seem, all of these things have something in common, and it is an unnerving common denominator at that. All 3 of these topics directly relate to how your child will see the world and have a huge effect on their formative years. You’ve seen how much damage the Hilton’s and Kardashian’s have inflicted. Just imagine the fallout from this year’s presidential race, the possible parental pitfalls awaiting every unsuspecting parent who might post a picture on social media and Pikachu, the plucky little yellow…..thing that, with the help of his Pokémon pals, has turned the world into a veritable death trap.

Let’s start with what is easily the most unsettling prospect. Politics and presidential candidates. This election year (and the months leading up to it) has really given us a new rock bottom. On one hand, we have the wife of a former POTUS, whose Resting Bitch Face is on point. On the other hand, we have…..well; I’m actually at a loss for the correct words to describe what I can only assume is a baboon wearing a human costume with a cat on his head. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. This presidential race has really brought out the worst in the American people. Not too long ago, Bean and I had stopped at a fast food restaurant (please hold all judgment until the end of the program) for a quick bite to eat in between errands. I know, I know, I should’ve packed an all natural nut butter and organic jam sandwich on gluten free bread kneaded by the hands of angels, but what can I say? I really like chicken fries. But, alas I digress. As we were eating our meal, a man walked into the dining room, loudly proclaiming his admiration for Hilary Clinton. This led to many people being uncomfortable because he was approaching people and inciting reactions. He also managed to rile up a few Trump supporters. It became extremely tense in that dining room. Bean and I quickly finished our lunch and exited through the closest door. Now, I am not endorsing one candidate or the other. Personally I think they are both completely wrong for the job. But I also firmly believe that a person’s political views are personal, much like religion. I do not discuss politics with anyone, not even my husband. I will comment on the candidates’ public image and the amount of fanaticism they elicit from their respective supporters, but I do not, under any circumstances, involve myself in politically fueled conversations. But I will discuss how they are setting our kids up for failure. The very fact that they are able to pursue this office should be terrifying. It has nothing to do with gender, religion or race. These 2 people are horrible human beings!! Let’s start with Hilary. While I won’t pretend to know every detail of the email scandal and Benghazi, I do know that a week ago, it was admitted that she broke laws and violated national security. And “no charges will be filed”. Why? Is it because she’s wealthy? Martha Stewart is wealthy and she had to go to jail. Is it because she’s a political figure, a part of Obama’s cabinet? What makes her exempt from the laws and rules that supposedly govern our nation. I NEED to know why she doesn’t have to take responsibility for breaking the rules, because I’m sure that one day my kid is going to turn around and state that exact reason for why she shouldn’t be grounded for being 3 hours late and drunk. I need to do my research now, so that I have an ironclad argument as to why she has to face her punishment, even though a prospective President didn’t. How can we hope to teach our children that there are consequences to their actions if even the history books will teach them that if you’re rich enough or powerful enough, there are no consequences? Don’t worry Mr. Trump, I didn’t forget about you.

Donald Trump. Real Estate mogul, business genius, so rich he can’t be bought by lobbyists. Except how many of his properties have gone bankrupt? How many of his businesses have failed? He has managed to polarize this country by saying a lot of things that I’m sure a lot of people have thought at one time or another. He has made speeches filled with hateful stereotypes and racist rhetoric. At what point does he have to go to time-out for being mean? At what point does someone get to wash his mouth out with soap. Why is no one focusing on the fact that this candidate has a history of financial misfortune? So basically if Bean loses her allowance because she was careless, I’m just supposed to give her more, because that’s how the other prospective President functions. It really is the textbook definition of fighting a losing battle. When you’re 7 year old asks “Why can’t we just have a normal, calm president?” you know it’s bad.

Parenting is not an easy gig. It doesn’t come with instructions, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, Life throws you a curve ball in the form an explosive stomach bug or your teenage daughter wanting a piercing and a later curfew. It is long hours, sleepless nights, and the pay is downright shitty, in a monetary sense. The pay-off of parenting is the snuggles, hugs, laughter, and the absolute joy of watching your little one grow up into a functioning adult that contributes to society. Well, you hope they contribute. But lately, parenting has come under fire. It’s a mine field. You are vilified for not breast-feeding or vilified for breast-feeding too long. That blog says don’t vaccinate, but this blog (no, not my blog) says vaccinate in a pool of visceral fluid because it mimics the natural setting in which your baby would normally get all his antibodies, but he didn’t because you didn’t breastfeed. You read a study that said not to praise or give too much positive reinforcement, but then you saw a segment about how low self-esteem can lead to a career in politics. You are being judged by how many episodes of Daniel Tiger you allow junior to watch just so you can fold the laundry. The Stepford Moms whisper behind your back because yesterday little Suzie’s socks didn’t match and you had the audacity to put things like peanut butter, sugar and corn syrup in her lunch. You’re a monster. A Momster, if you will. But really you’re not. I am not exactly sure when this parenting trend started, but it really needs to die a quick death. We used to say “It takes a village to raise a child”, but now it seems all of the villages are filled angry, judgmental moms carrying designer pitchforks made from cruelty-free metals. So you, yeah you, the mom with the crusty food stain on your shirt, or the dark circles that you don’t even bother to cover with makeup anymore. I don’t judge you. I salute you. We are in the trenches together, throwing juice box grenades to appease the enemy. Parenting is warfare. We are battling hormonal, manipulative midget dictators. For 18 years. That’s a long battle. And against all odds, we are trying to instill some goodness in our kids so in 45 years they aren’t the idiots being dissected because they want to be president. You’re the moms I want to be friends with. You’re the real moms. Knee deep in the disaster area that is parenting. You have gone to war over a cookie before dinner and you have won. Or maybe you lost; either way, I’m not judging you. But I definitely think we should go get cocktails and judge the Stepford Moms.

Pokémon Go.  Pokémon Go Fuck Yourself. I was never into Pokemon as a kid. I think I just missed it, by being born too early and possessing above average intelligence. From what I can gather, it’s a cartoon about strange little creatures that evolve and battle each other. So, is it like a Toddler Thunderdome or something? This new game has got to be the most ridiculous thing to happen in 2016 so far. I can’t even imagine how many people, not children, but people are walking around looking for imaginary creatures, so they can capture them in a little ball. Sober people. Grown ass adults walking, driving, and wandering around. This game was apparently created to encourage CHILDREN to get their asses off of the couch and out of the house. But to where is the important question. So far, someone has found a body, numerous people have been injured because they weren’t watching where they were going. People have been robbed and assaulted. Because they are so engrossed in this game, that they have no regard for where they are. A teenage girl walked into a wall while playing this game. She sustained some injuries to her face. When her parents found out, did they laugh at her? No, that would’ve been insensitive, come on people. You laugh about it after she’s gone to sleep. Did they explain that she should’ve been watching where she was going and been aware of her surroundings? No, that would have made too much sense. Instead, her parents said “Hey, let’s sue the game makers! They made you walk into a wall.” Uh no, no they didn’t. Your daughter walked into a wall because she is an idiot. And now you are teaching her not to take responsibility for her actions. Yay for you! Good Job! On top of the fact that people mindlessly wandering around, they are doing it in wildly inappropriate places!! Since the game is GPS based, I imagine that it registers where large groups of people normally assemble, which is why people are catching Pokémon in church. And why people are walking around ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY looking for Pikachu. People are walking on the graves of other people. Apparently there were Pokémon in the Holocaust Museum in DC and in Auschwitz. What better way to teach your child that sacrifice and genocide don’t really matter, as long as you CATCH ‘EM ALL! And then there’s the issue of personal and private property. People are invading peoples’ backyards, climbing fences, and being overall intrusive for the sake of this game. So again, where is the accountability? Why do these people, not all of them children, not have the common sense to NOT go into someone’s backyard? Why do they think it’s ok to chase Pokémon around such revered and respected places? Why does it seem that common sense gets a little less common every day? Remember when I said all of these are related? The common denominator here is accountability. Without it, our kids are no better than if they were raised by wolves. Actually, I take that back. There are consequences if a wolf makes a mistake. The animal kingdom has more discipline than the human race right now. 2016 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for humans, and its only ½ way over.

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Can I get Real For A Minute

Orlando. A city usually associated with mouse ears, minions and Harry Potter. A city that is a tourist beacon for the entire world. A place that has made its bread and butter off of people having fun and loving life. That city sits a little quieter now. That city sits wounded, in the wake of one of the most senseless tragedies in American history. What happened this past weekend in Orlando hit close to home for several reasons. My brother is gay, he used to live in Orlando and frequented Pulse often. He was supposed to be at a birthday celebration at Pulse on that very night. Orlando is not far from our town, and the town where that less than human stain on mankind lived is even closer. He attended the college I attend. My brother lost friends over the weekend. But more than that….parents lost children. Brother lost sister and vice versa. It also hits home because I have a child, and that child loves to go out into the world and enjoy it. And now, for a split second, I want to rescind that privilege. Because what if, she goes to the water park with her friends tomorrow and something awful and tragic happens? What if her uncle DID go to Pulse Saturday night? That is the definition of terrorism. When someone is willing to do something so drastic, so unthinkable, that it makes you question whether leaving your house is a good idea.

This isn’t about gun control, this isn’t about sexual orientation. It’s about the fact that, if we allow it, we will slowly become more and more hesitant to let our children experience the world. I actually had a moment of panic today at the thought of my child going a to water park with friends. Which is odd, because if something awful were to happen, she wouldn’t be any safer with us than she would her friends parents.

This will inevitably turn into a soapbox for Presidential candidates. Which it shouldn’t. They shouldn’t be allowed to exploit this tragic loss of life for their own agendas. This was meant as a way to further divide our already fractured country. It wasn’t just a loss of life. Pulse and its owner have done so much for Orlando and the LGBT community. To some it was a place a refuge in a world that can be unpredictable at best. And now that has been taken from them. It was mentioned that the sound of victims cell phones was deafening inside the nightclub as investigators were working. They will never be able to forget that sound. The sound of mothers and fathers desperately trying to reach their babies, praying to whichever God they choose that their loved ones might pick up. News outlets exploit distraught and devastated parents, who are clawing their way through police tape in an effort to locate their loved ones. And a news anchor grabs them and puts their suffering and tears on display for the world to see.

How do I explain this to my 7 year old? We had a conversation about it while playing catch Sunday night:

Me: “So some pretty bad things happened in Orlando last night.”

Her: “What happened?”

Me: “A man went into a nightclub with weapons and he shot a lot of people. There are a lot of people in the hospital right now and there are some people that didn’t survive.”

Her: “Why did he do that? What did those people do to him?”

Me: “They didn’t do anything to him. He didn’t agree with the way those people live their life and he thought his beliefs made him right.”

Her: “How were they living their lives?”

Me: “Well some boys like boys, some girls like girls. He didn’t like those kinds of people.”

Her: “But Uncle likes boys!”

Me: “Yes baby I know he does. And that is perfectly ok, because it makes him happy.”

Her: “I don’t want Uncle to get hurt! Why would anyone hurt people just because of who they like?”

Me: “Some people think that what they believe is more important than what other people believe. Some people believe in hate. Others believe in love. Some people think they have the right to tell other people how they should live.”

Her: “But it’s ok to believe in something, right?”

Me: “of course it is. What’s not ok is to force your beliefs on other people or for you to hurt people because of what you believe.”

Her: “What happened to the man who hurt the people?”

Me: (Throwing ball much harder than i meant to) “He was killed by police officers.”

Her: (thoughtful and quiet for a minute) “I could never hate anyone enough to hurt them.”

Me: heart grows 3 sizes from pride because in a world overflowing with hate, I’m clearly doing something right.

My belief is this: Beliefs and religion are like a penis. If you have and you love it, great! But the minute you start shoving it in my face or forcing it on me or the world…..we’re going to have a problem.

Summergeddon Is Upon Us

It’s that joyous time of year. that wonderful time of year when we as parents suddenly realize how much we took our kids’ teachers for granted. We also realize that they are GROSSLY underpaid for what they endure, but that’s a topic for another post.

Suddenly we are faced with the impending doom of having to occupy our kids. Moms are frantically combing Pinterest for perfectly designed activities to stimulate their little brains while on summer vacation. STOP PINNING! RIGHT NOW. JUST STOP. I’m not knocking Pinterest. I love it. But seriously, Pinterest is ruining our kids childhoods. It is demolishing their creativity one Pin at a time. Remember what you did during the summer? I do. I went to camp. And if I wasn’t at camp, I was left to my own devices. I was lucky enough to have an older brother so sometimes he was left in charge, or so he thought. My parents were also in the unique position of running a business out of our home, so my mom was home for the better part of our childhoods. But she was also working. She basically was just on call in case one of us was on fire or had a stick in our eye.

We woke up, rolled out of bed, shoveled some breakfast into our wildling mouths and were on our way. No daily schedule. Tag, Hide n Seek, Manhunt, Swimming, hunting lizards(yeah that’s a thing in Florida), getting dropped off at the beach for the day. FOR THE DAY. like 6-8 hours. In the sun, with money to buy a sub at the best sub shop in town. I see these super cute (and totally useless) “Daily Themes” for kids during Summergeddon. “Make it Monday” “Take a Trip Tuesday”, etc. A more realistic version would probably be “Make a mess Monday” “Take a Trip to the ER Tuesday” “What the hell did you get into Wednesday” “Thinking About Boarding School Thursday” and “Frozen Drink Friday” Imagine that, for 8-12 weeks.

Now I’m sure some of you are thinking “OMG does this woman even spend time with her kid?” YES. YES I DO. But I also work, am finishing my Bachelor’s degree and I don’t really enjoy glitter or playing pretend. My kid could benefit greatly from a dose of reality when it comes to summer. For some reason she thinks it MY job to entertain her. She comes to me often asking “What can I do?” Um………go away. Find something. Let me just name a few of the things at her disposal: roller skates, a scooter, a bike, sporting goods, chalk, art supplies, a tablet, a dog, pools, the beach….shall I go on? My point is, she needs to suck it up. If I wanted to be responsible for someone’s entertainment, I would’ve become an actress. When did it become my responsibility to make sure my child was occupied every second of everyday?

I bet some of you are saying “I always play with my kid(s), this woman is awful.” Guess what? That’s great. I play with my kid often. And I’m by no means suggesting she run off into the distance without me having any idea of her whereabouts. She’s 7. She can’t yet go to the beach by herself. Hubs won’t even let her go around the corner to the playground with her friends; I’m working on him. The current state of the world has made it virtually impossible for our kids to become the “Kids of Summers Past”.

Seriously though…..step away from Pinterest. Kick your kid(s) outside with a cooler full of drinks and snacks.Let them survive on those shitty popsicles so they don’t get heat stroke because then they will be stuck inside with you. Tell them to come in when it gets dark. Listen for any obvious sounds of pain or eminent danger….and my advice? It’s not a emergency unless someone is on fire or has a stick in their eye….or both.

If You give a Mom a Cocktail

If you give a Mom a cocktail, she will want to sit down.

When she sits down, she will probably ask you for a straw.

When she finishes her drink, she will probably ask you for another.

If you give a Mom another cocktail, she will want a snack.

If you give a Mom a snack, she probably won’t cook dinner.

If she doesn’t cook dinner, the kids will get hungry.

If the kids get hungry, a Mom will want them to do something to occupy themselves, like coloring.

If the kids color, they will want to hang their pictures on the fridge.

Once Mom sees the fridge, she will be reminded that she is thirsty.

She will ask for……another cocktail.

If you give a Mom another cocktail, she will order pizza.

If a Mom orders pizza, the kids are happy.

If the kids are happy, then a Mom gets quiet time.

If a Mom gets quiet time, Mom is happy.

If Mom is happy, everyone is happy.

And that is why you should give a Mom a cocktail!

Real babies, Fur babies, They’re all gross

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve been on here! I am so sorry. Life has been hectic in the Beach Bum Household. I’m back in school full-time, working as much as possible, being super mom and super wife and power napping every chance I get. I just realized it’s been months since I last wrote, and man do I miss it. So much has happened since my last entry; lost teeth, friends getting married, friends getting engaged, friends getting divorced, field trips, cross country travel, finishing one degree and starting another. We’ve gone to concerts and theme parks. And SO. MANY. BIRTHDAY. PARTIES. It’s been like a technicolor whirlwind of bounce houses, skating rinks and bad food, topped off with Dollar Store goodie bags that get lost in my truck for months. Which then leads the Hubs to comment about how messy my truck has become. It’s a vicious cycle. And as with any child, there’s gross things. This year it hasn’t been bad. It’s mostly been snot. A colorful array of snot. In watching my child consume chicken nuggets, 2 slices of pizza, 4 Kool-Aid juice bottles and 3 cupcakes, I’ve realized just what an impressive constitution she has. But recently we found out that she’s not exactly tolerant to lactose. Let me tell you something. Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain to a 7 year old that they can’t have ice cream because it will make them violently shit their brains out? It’s pretty damn hard. She doesn’t care. She literally has zero fucks to give when it comes to her lactose intolerance. I have explained it as best as I can, but to no avail. She still eats cereal all the time. Her go to dessert is Chocolate Mint Moose Track ice cream. And then, like foul smelling clockwork, I’m being urgently summoned to the bathroom to wipe her ass. Um no child. You did this to yourself. I feel no pity on you. Oh what’s that? It burns? Well the truth hurts sometimes. But you know what she’s going to want for breakfast tomorrow morning? Yup…….frosted flakes with milk. I can’t even convince her to switch to almond milk. For the sake of my own sensitive nasal passages. I’m the one that inevitably has to clean that ass disaster. She must hate me.

As if that recent development isn’t disgusting enough, not too long ago our beloved Wookie(the dog) began vomiting for no apparent reason. He wasn’t in pain, he hadn’t ingested anything. But he could not keep anything down. Finally, we got some meds in him to calm his stomach. so I’m laying next to him, petting him, trying to comfort him. He begins to stretch, so I think he’s improving. NO. He literally stretched and vomited in one disgusting fluid movement. I think he surprised himself. He definitely surprised me. If a couch could be surprised, he would’ve surprised the couch too. So yeah, I’ve got it coming at me from all angles.

Last night, though. Last night was the repulsive, foul, moist icing on the gross cake. I was peacefully sleeping, dreaming of Jon Snow’s epic Night’s Watch mic drop, when-in my dream-I became strangely aware of my leg. Dream me thought “hmmmm, why does my leg feel so wet and warm? Did I pee? I have birthed a child, so really is that option ever not a possiblity?” So I awoke from a blissful sleep and found that my Wookie and thrown up……ON ME! I’m pretty sure he was as surprised as I was. And at that moment in time, I realized just how much Motherhood has changed me. Pre-Bean, I would’ve gotten up, changed the sheets and started the wash. Post-Bean, I threw the body pillow into the laundry room, wiped off my leg, put a towel down and went back to sleep. That’s what it’s like to have kids.

 

Keep those toes sandy and a drink handy!

How Fairy Tales Prepared me for Motherhood

Photographer Dina Goldstein’s series “Fallen Princesses“ has actually been around since 2009 but I had never posted the photographs as a complete set before. The project looks at Disney fairy tale princesses and their harshly realistic modern day lifestyles. Seems not everybody lives happily ever after. This project has won several awards, been published internationally in magazines, analyzed by experts in the field of Fairytale literature and studied in High schools and Universities.:

You’ve read them. I’ve read them. We grew up on them, as did countless generations before us. We all know that fairy tales started out as cautionary tales to keep adventurous children from wandering off into the forest and eating a candy house while petting a wolf that looks like your Nana. I guess those things have happened in the past. I have a special place in my heart for fairy tales. I have always found them fascinating. I have written term papers about their importance even in today’s world. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that these stories beloved the world over also helped prepare me for Motherhood. How? well gather ’round children and I’ll tell you a story

Old Mother Hubbard: She lived in a cupboard. The poor woman never got out of the kitchen. Give me one example how that is not an accurate representation of being a mom. Go on….I’ll wait

The Little old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe: She had so many children she lived in a shoe. The same shoe. The same stinky old shoe. I mean really I guess it worked out because how often do you have to clean a shoe? Old shoes have a certain feeling of comfort. If this tale were written in modern times it would probably be titled “The little old woman who lived in her yoga pants”

Jack & the Bean Stalk: A small child being sold “magical beans”? Some strange thing growing in your garden? A golden goose that shits riches untold? This has 6 year old imagination written all over it. Bean is hell bent on convincing me one of her friends is a mermaid, because her friend “told her she was”. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell her. On a side note, the only small animal in our lives most certainly does NOT shit gold.

Rapunzel: Ok so the original Rapunzel story is actually quite risque. So for all intents and purposes we will stick with the Disney version. Child……cut your hair or some shady shit will happen to you. Like reptiles living in your hair.

The Princess & the Pea: This should be changed to the Princess & the Pee. Because for a span of your life, everything will revolve around peeing and pooping. Sometimes even while sleeping. Sorry.

Aladdin: Sand, trinkets, a carpet, a monkey, a genie, a tangled web of lies. That is parenting in a nutshell. Except the genie doesn’t grant wishes. It holds dirty diapers.

The 3 Little Pigs: 2 words. Chin Hair. As in, you’ll wake up one day and it will be there. It wasn’t there the night before. “Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin” will become your mantra.

It’s not the kids’ fault

unattended-children-sign-2

I’ve often muttered to myself “I hate other people’s children.” I know, it’s ironic considering I’m going to be a teacher. But as I was working at my other job over the weekend I realized that it’s actually not the children I hate; well not entirely. It’s the parents. These asshole, responsibility shirking parents. Who in turn, raise asshole, responsibility shirking children.

Over the weekend I was hosting at the restaurant I work at. It was Saturday night and there were several important college football games on. Before I even clocked in I noticed 2 boys sitting at a table close to the bar completely unsupervised. Their parents were sitting at the bar completely ignoring them. Sadly, these were not the only kids to be ignored that night. These boys were completely without adult supervision for 3 hours. They were running around the restaurant and parking lot, climbing on restaurant equipment and basically annoying the ever living shit out of me. Then they were joined by 6(yes I said 6) more unsupervised children. Their parents were watching a later football game. Over the course of 3 more hours not one adult ever came outside to check on these children or tell them that running in a dark parking lot is dangerous.

Bean would never get away with that behavior. First of all I would never expect her to remain entertained at a restaurant while I watched football. Never mind the fact that these people basically got free childcare out of me, they also took up a large table for several hours so the server in that section couldn’t make anymore money. These parents are lazy. They saw fit to leave their children in the care of a total stranger while they drank and watched football. Because these parents set such a fine example for their children, these kids thought it was totally acceptable to run amok and act like little heathens. When did we become a society that teaches our kids that basic decency does not apply. Why are we teaching them that ignoring them and letting them run wild in a public setting is ok? When did people become too cheap to pay a sitter? These kids are going to grow up thinking that ignoring their own children is normal. When I was little if we acted up in a restaurant my mom snatched us out of there so quickly we probably got whiplash. We would’ve never thought it was ok to climb on equipment or act like little assholes. Even now, I bring a small bag to restaurants full of things to keep Bean busy. it’s got books, crayons, her tablet. And that is just for a normal length restaurant experience. I have never and will never take her to a restaurant to watch a sporting event unless she is as avid of a fan as I am and we are actually watching the game.

It’s not just at restaurants either. I see it all the time. I’ve seen it in Vegas. Yes in Las Vegas. Kids sitting in the hotel lobby while their parents do whatever. I’ve seen it in Target. Its so commonplace now for parents to be completely oblivious to their children and then act surprised when they do something wrong or even worse, go missing or get hurt.

What are we teaching them? What kind of impression is this behavior making? Also, how are they accomplishing this amazing feat? I can’t go 10 minutes without acknowledging Bean, let alone 3 hours. how are they pulling this off? What is their secret? I must know.