Posts Tagged ‘rants’

Big Girls Don’t Cry?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

This is going to be a little more topical than I usually get, but it’s one of those rare instances where I feel strongly enough about something to risk it. Warning! Actual current events and stuff ahead! Plus opinions!

Yesterday the US women’s hockey team played Canada in the final game to determine who got gold and who got silver medals in Sochi. In the last few minutes of the game the Americans lost their 2-1 lead and ended up in overtime, where they lost. They were really, really bummed. Most of them looked upset during the (immediately-following-the-game) medal ceremony. Some of them visibly cried, wiping their eyes on their jerseys as they accepted second place. This morning there was discussion on ever morning show  I watched about whether or not these women were “poor sports” because they weren’t jumping for joy over their silver medals.

Let me answer that question in one word: No.

You know who else cries when they lose? MALE ATHLETES. Tom Brady crying has it’s own Tumblr. Peyton Manning looked sad and upset all through his (horribly played) Super Bowl game this year. And while some people may make fun of them (oh noes, men don’t cry!) they certainly don’t act like being upset over losing a sporting event is somehow unreasonable. And no one ever tells the loser of the Super Bowl “Hey, you should be THRILLED with second place!”

But in women’s sports, we often focus more on playing nice than winning. And even if you do win, don’t think about celebrating it too loudly. That’s unlady-like and you might hurt the other team’s feelings. You should just be proud of doing your best.

Excuse me, but f**k that. Being a poor sport is refusing to shake the winning team’s hand. Or walking out of the award ceremony. Or cheating, which is something that happens all the time in pro (spoken: men’s) sports. Or swearing and shouting at the other team. Being sad you lost in the minutes RIGHT AFTER your loss is human. This was the Olympic games. The LAST chance some of these women will get to play with their whole country cheering for them – or even play in a widely televised game because last time I checked the NHL didn’t include many ladies.

If it was my daughter on that rink I would have been crying right along with her. I want both my children to know they’re allows to feel upset or sad and that there’s no shame in expressing those emotions in reasonable ways. Throwing your helmet? Breaking your stick? Hitting people? (Alllll of which happens in football almost on a weekly basis…)  Not OK. Crying because you’re disappointed in your own performance? TOTALLY OK. The American team’s sadness has nothing to do with the Canadian team’s joy. I’ve seen or read absolutely zero interviews where any of the US women’s team talked about anything beyond their dedication to the sport and how proud they are of making it the Olympics.

This morning my daughter cried because her flashlight stopped working. I told her I understood her feelings and hugged her and told her we could look for some new batteries. I certainly didn’t ridicule her or call her a poor sport. A few minutes later I cried when a shelf in the kitchen collapsed, shattering half my dishes and scaring me out of my mind. Luckily there was no one here to tell me to suck it up because at least the other half of my dishes was OK. Emotions are complicated, sometimes unwelcome, and often impossible to control. Think about the last time you cried and whether or not you would want that broadcast worldwide for everyone to judge on the occasion’s worthiness and how sportsman-like it seems.

Good job, ladies of the US Olympic hockey team. I’m proud of you and I wish I could give you a hug.

Lessons Never Learned

Friday, June 7th, 2013

A Brief List Of Lessons I REALLY Should Have Learned By Now But Can’t Seem To Keep In My Thick Skull:

1. Eating too much crap will make you feel like crap.
2. Wash your face before bed.
3. Wear sunscreen. No, really. Wear it. All the time.
4. Don’t stay up until midnight when you know your kids get up at 5:30 am.
5. Going grocery shopping without a list is ineffective and expensive.
6. Procrastination just makes you anxious about that thing you have to do, so then you’re anxious AND you still have to do it.
7. There is no such thing as “Just checking Facebook really quick”.
8. Ignoring the check engine light in the car doesn’t make it go away.
9. If you spend all your money, then you do not have any money.
10. It’s really hard to end a list at only 9 things.

This post is partially inspired by Amy’s list of lessons she’s learned, which is a great list and can all pretty much be added to THIS list, since I’m sure I won’t remember to put any of it into practice. I feel like a major part of being a grown up is getting to a point where you stop making the same mistakes over and over, which is why I will NEVER be a real grown up. I’ve been making the same mistakes since my very first homework assignment was due in school, the first time I ever got an allowance, the first time I went to a water park without my mom. And yet! Yesterday I put off a writing assignment I had due, spent unnecessary dollars on candy I didn’t need (and shouldn’t eat), and already sunburned my nose twice this season.

I wish there was a definitive way to change a behavior, permanently, forever that ISN’T just “will-power and hard work.” I realize that makes me lazy, and possibly a shitty person in general, but if I have learned anything about myself it’s that I can’t do it all. Something always slips. And at this point in my life the areas where I cannot afford to screw up – mainly the two small, blurry, red-headed areas usually hovering around my knees – take a lot of energy. If will-power has to be used for either “Don’t eat that cookie your kid just handed you” or “Don’t shout at your other kid for grinding that cookie into the carpet”, I usually eat the cookie. Even when I make things as easy for myself as possible (I bought face wipes and left them on my nightstand so I would ALWAYS clean my face before bed. I still forget.) I can’t seem to follow through. Do I have a chemical deficiency? Am I without a brain part? Did I miss will-power day at school?

Maybe the trick is baby steps. Teeny tiny itty bitty changes over a long, long period of time. If I start drinking a glass of water first thing every morning, maybe in a month I’ll drink 60 oz a day. Maybe if I can go to bed at 11:45 for a few nights in a year I’ll be in bed at 9:30. Maybe if I can skip that iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and save my pennies in a hundred years I’ll be able to hire a butler to make me all my iced coffees at home! Or maybe I’ll start trying to make changes some other time. Later. Maybe after I check Facebook.

p.s. Unrelated to anything in the post – except for maybe the procrastination thing – I asked Siri (in my iPhone) to sing to me yesterday and this is what I got. I know making Siri say funny stuff is really old news, but it still cracked me up.

ask siri to sing


Wild Animals

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We went to the zoo on Wednesday for the first time since it warmed up this year. We loved it so much last year and had a great system down: go early, midweek, pack some food, let the kids nap in the car on the way home. My critical error was in not realizing a Wednesday in late MAY is not the same as a Wednesday in late JUNE. I live in New England. Late May is “Who The Hell Cares About School Anymore, Take Those Kids On A Damn Field Trip” season.

Initially, things weren’t bad. It’s a medium-sized zoo so even with half a dozen field trips it wasn’t crowded. I had the stroller and no agenda, so we went slow and tried to avoid any groups we ran into. The water sprinkler wall at the Big Back Yard play area was undergoing maintenance so I promised we’d go back and play there last instead of first. Evan and Caroline were super fun for 90 minutes and then had low-blood sugar meltdowns of an epic degree, but I saved the day with cheese and cucumbers and grapes and water from Mommy’s water bottle (100% more delicious than the exact same water from their own water bottles).

Unfortunately, lunch only made the field trip kids worse. Ok, wait. That’s unfair. I’d say 75% of the field trip kids were fine. Great, even. Evan and Caroline have no fear of big kids, so they both tried to talk to the elementary schoolers about the animals. I thought it was adorable (and so did most of the kids, who kept saying “Awwwwww, she’s so CUTE!” when Caroline tried to tell them about the oudads) but perhaps all the chaperons were thinking “Gawd, why doesn’t that woman keep her loud kids away from us?” Even as a mother who is around a lot of children a lot of the time, I don’t necessarily love kids in general. Children aren’t a homogeneous group any more than you can say “All blondes are dumb” or…actually, I’m not going to list any more racist/group stereotypes. That seems like a good way to get called dumb. Some children are terrible.

After lunch, a girl plowed into Caroline on the walking path. Caroline fell over, scraped her hands and knee and started crying. When I asked her if she was OK, she pointed at the offender and said “THAT GIRL JUST KNOCKED ME OVER.” Because she’s little, not an idiot. The girl stared. Her chaperon stared. I stared for 20 seconds before I said “I’M SURE IT WAS AN ACCIDENT AND SHE’S VERY SORRY.” No one noticed, even though I was speaking in all caps.

When we made it back to the Big Back Yard, it was almost deserted and the water was fixed. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and sat down to supervise (i.e. play on my phone, because, let’s be honest, with only 2 children to watch and no one else around I get to play on my phone for a minute). I hadn’t even finished checking my email before one of the field trip groups appeared. Then I heard this for 20 minutes:

Chaperon: Bobby, don’t get wet. Bobby, don’t get wet. Bobby, don’t get wet.
(Bobby runs through the fountain, gets wet.)
Chaperon: Bobby, don’t get wet. ETC ETC ETC.

It was obvious none of the field trip organizers had anticipated water features at the zoo, since none of the kids were dressed or prepared to get soaked. I had planned for my kids to get soaked – because they always do – but made the obvious mistake not bringing a full change of clothes and/or a poncho for myself, since the next thing that happened was a girl grabbed one of the hoses attached to the wall and aimed it FULL BLAST at the bench I was sitting on with another dad.

I swung my fancy camera (which had been in my lap) out of the water, jumped up and shouted “NO NO NO AHHHHHHH NO!” I looked like an idiot. I stared at this girl – who was probably 9 or 10, we’re not talking preschooler – and then stared at the dad who had gotten soaked even worse than I had. “Is she yours?” I asked. He shook his head. “Do you belong to someone????” I asked the girl, trying to keep my voice below all-caps. She just stared at me, still holding the hose.

FINALLY a woman appeared and said “Emily!” (or whatever, I don’t remember) “Nuh-huh! We do not spray people! You’re in a time out!” The girl wandered (WANDERED) over to sit on a bench as I made fishy-faces of shock and tried to wring the water out of my skirt. Then I called my kids and told them we were done at the zoo for the day. When they whined, I used my loud voice to say “Sorry guys, there are too many naughty kids here who don’t have grown ups watching them. We’ll come back on a day without so many horrible field trips.”

I really did say that. I’m not proud. I will admit using my angry voice to shun people without actually addressing them directly is childish. I will also admit I’ve never been a school field trip chaperon, and watching 10 kids at the zoo sounds like the fifth circle of Hell. But COME ON. I shouldn’t have to get all “Kids these days, get off my lawn!” about 4th or 5th graders who don’t have enough manners to apologize for knocking a baby over or who don’t know intentionally spraying two unknown grown ups with a water hose is a poor choice.

While I was gathering the stroller, I heard one of the chaperons tell Emily “That lady was really mad. You need to apologize.” They sulked over and Emily said “I’m sorry I sprayed you.” I said “Thank you for apologizing.” I refrained from saying any other words out loud, but I let myself think some very unkind things. It’s hard not to when you’re wearing wet underpants that are someone else’s fault.

I’m not going to make any sweeping judgments about these kids or these chaperons or parenting skills or how when you agree to be responsible for a gaggle of children in public you need to spend more time supervising and less time being a Chatty Cathy with all the other mom friends on the trip. But I will say we won’t be going back to the zoo until after school gets out for the year.

To Whose Butt It May Concern

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Dear Pull-Ups,

What the hell is your problem? I thought that since my toddler started showing a lot of interest in the potty (interest that involves peeing in it instead of just throwing my mascara in it) I would ease him into big-boy underwear with some training pants. But instead of making my life easier, all you’ve manage to do is turn what used to be a simple diaper change into a horrifying poopstravaganza. Seriously, it’s like you’re the Jackson Pollock of number 2 – smooshing it and flinging it and twisting it all over my child’s butt until I need a spatula, a fire hose and a tube of Goof Off to clean him. It would actually be easier to clean crap up off the floor.

So what’s your point, Pull-Ups? Are you a diaper? Are you underwear? You’re the red headed step-child of pee and poop catching devices, more closely related to that dreaded harbinger of summer misery the swim diaper than anything useful. If my toddler was already batting 1000 when it came to making it to the potty I wouldn’t NEED training pants. Suck it up, Pull-Ups. Literally.

Your helpful little pattern that warns me my kid has peed openly mocks me. You start sagging at the slightest bit of dampness. The only thing you had going for you was the ability to pull you up and down and even that is useless. Have you ever tried to get a little boy to pee in the toilet while his ankles are pinned together? It’s a good way to experience the parenting version of a golden shower. NOT COOL, PULL-UPS.

So, in conclusion, go screw yourself.



Don’t Drive on the Sidewalk

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Last week my friend Kristi posted about one of her biggest pet peeves: people who ask stupid, obvious questions that could have been answered in TWO SECONDS by Google. Which is also one of my pet peeves. It is especially prevalent among pregnant women. As in “OMG I ordered an organic stone ground whole wheat veggie pizza and then ate it but it totally had SOFT CHEESE on it??!? Is my baby going to die!???!” (No) or “I’m, like, only 32 weeks pregnant and I’ve gained FOUR POUNDS! Is that too much??!” (Die in a fire) or “My husband want to have sex but I’m afraid he’s going to poke the baby in the head and leave a dent. Does that happen?????” (You are the reason Idiocracy is practically a documentary).

Anyways, I was thinking about my own pet peeves and realized most of them are driving related. How is it possible that there are SO MANY bad drivers, considering operating a car (unlike raising a child) is something the government actually requires a license to do.

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There’s a test and everything. In no particular order, things that make me scream and punch the steering wheel:

People who don’t understand stop signs
At the entrance to our Stop & Shop, there is a four way intersection with three stop signs. Incoming traffic is the one without a sign AND YET 99% of the time the car in front of me stops, usually for no reason. Although when there ISN’T a car in front of me there is always some idiot at one of the signs that thinks as long as they’ve paused for a second they magically have the right of way. I’m constantly almost t-boning someone who has suddenly pulled out even though I KNOW they saw me. I once had a lady roll down her window and yell “But I was already going! I can’t stop once I start to go!!” when I honked at her. Man, obviously she needs to get her brakes checked before she gets into an auto accident.

People who don’t understand parking
I could write a NOVEL on terrible parkers. Like the guy in the nice shiny Nissan 350Z who parked less than three inches away from my Jeep on the side with the car seat. Dude. You KNOW I need to open that door. If I could get my ass in that space you can bet your butt I’d swing my door open as hard as possible and leave you with a dent but since I am more than three inches wide all you get is a note on your windshield reminding you that you’re a douche-canoe. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Today it was the guy who parked in the middle of the road. It was a road in the park, so not extremely busy, but a real road with a name and lines and stop signs. His car was at the halfway mark between the curb and the double yellow line. I noticed him parked there on the way into the park and saw him getting in his car on the way out of the park with his fishing pole and bucket. The stupidest part – there is an actual parking lot MUCH CLOSER to the lake. Why not park down there? Are you allergic to convenience? I’ve also heard that our neighborhood is putting the best radar detector on areas where people constantly speed.

People who think the road is a sidewalk
This one is actually directed at pedestrians instead of drivers but it makes me practically blind with rage so I’m including it (I have issues). In the same park I mentioned above, there are miles and miles of walking trails, both paved and dirt. We use some of those paths for our Stroller Strides class so I can assure you they are well maintained and usually clear of giant rocks or branches. AND YET every time I drive the (very narrow, windy) roads I have to swerve suddenly to avoid walkers/runners treating the street as their own personal sidewalk. And then they glare at me. Death glares. As if I have suddenly driven my car right through a shopping mall and narrowly avoided killing several dozen school children and puppies. There was also a lady jogging in the street downtown next to a perfectly nice, clear sidewalk and blocking a whole line of cars from passing.

Speaking of biking, SHARE THE ROAD PEOPLE. Bikes are SUPPOSED to ride in the street. If it weren’t for morons like everyone in my town I could still take my bike to the grocery store without fear of being run over and left for dead.


OK, I’m done. Feel free to share your own pet peeves – driving related or otherwise – in the comments. Rant begins: NOW.