Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Just Say McNo!

The other day, I was talking to my sister who is a 2nd grade teacher. She relayed this conversation that she had with one of her students:

“Mrs. R., do you watch Grey’s Anatomy?”
“Why no Suzie, I don’t.”
“Oh, really. I’m surprised. Because you struck me as someone that would watch Grey’s Anatomy. My mom and I get so excited to watch it on Thursday nights. We get a big bowl of popcorn….”

I stopped her there. First, because this kid has pretty amazing verbal skills. But secondly because I told her to call social services. There is no way in hell that a 2nd grader should be watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched it from the very beginning. It’s a great show…but NOT for 2nd graders!

What is wrong with parents?! Are they trying to be buddies with their kids? This show is on (here in the heartland) at 9pm. That 2nd grader should be in bed and simply should not be allowed to watch this show. It’s too adult. It’s full of sex and innuendo and a bit of blood and gore. Why didn’t the mom just say NO?!

I have a 15 year old daughter. Last year, she begged my husband and I to let her watch Grey’s because all the girls at her high school were watching it. We had a long discussion and eventually decided it was OK. But we had reservations – and rightfully so.

I’m not a prudish mom. I’m probably way more liberal when it comes to language and movies and music than most moms. But common sense has to come into play at some point, doesn’t it?

When my kids were toddlers, I never got to watch Friends. Every Friday morning, I’d come to work and listen to all of the water cooler conversations about how incredibly funny the show was. We didn’t have a VCR or a DVR and so we used our parental judgment to know that having Friends on while our kids were around was not a good idea. We had to give up something in order to, in my opinion, properly parent.

These days, when you go to the movies, even at night, even at R-rated films, you’ll see entire families in the seats. Toddlers, babies, etc. I want to stand up and shake my finger at the parents and scream: GET A BABYSITTER! YOUR KIDS DON’T BELONG HERE! I’m sure it would be a waste of energy.

It’s times like these when I really wish people had to get a license to parent. Seriously? Seriously.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Lost Housewives

I found them. The lost housewives. Remember those women from when you were growing up? The ones that took their housewifery very seriously. The ones that spent copious amounts of time eliminating waxy yellow buildup? The ones that spent hours clipping coupons and making shopping lists? The ones whose hair was perpetually in a state of curlers covered by a bandana? The ones who wore sensible shoes and anklets on legs that were rarely shaved or moisturized? The ones who looked angry. All. The. Time.

I stopped at a grocery store yesterday – a few miles from my relatively yuppie neighborhood. It was on the fringe of the city in a modest area with modest little houses. I walked in and thought that I had stepped back into 1974. If I wasn’t standing next to the microwave popcorn, I would have sworn that I had time traveled.

Throughout the store were the type of women that I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. They were all middle-aged and seemed stuck in a time warp. They shopped s-l-o-w-l-y, making sure not to miss a store special on meat or the opportunity to cash in on a double coupon.

One lovely lady, in Capri pants purchased the first time Capri pants were in style, seemed deeply confused when I excused myself to get around her and get to the butter. She moved out of the way and then shuffled along, rifling through her coupons. She was either very tired from a morning spent scrubbing tile grout or over the limit on her Prozac dosage.

What impressed me more than the lost housewives’ sense of style or subdued nature, was the idea that these gals hadn’t had fun in a long, long time. I don’t think they’ve laughed since the Carter administration and I’m pretty damn sure that they don’t go to lunch with their friends. I’m betting that their hubbies haven’t taken them out to dinner since the refrigerator broke. I think it’s safe to say that they’ve sacrificed their own identities to maintain their well-run homes. I felt a little sad for them.

And after rushing past the butter blocker, I high-tailed it out of that grocery store hoping to never encounter the Lost Housewives again. There but for the grace of God go I.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

June Cleaver Wasn't Real

I blame it on June Cleaver. That picture-perfect mom who vacuumed in pearls and put up with Eddie Haskell’s crap without losing her temper. The moment that June came on the scene, women all over the country decided that’s how moms were supposed to be…all the time. The standard was set and then women began to be judged based on how they compared to June.

It’s ridiculous, this Madonna complex we have, this “Junification” of the modern woman. How else can we explain sites like True Mom Confessions where women clandestinely go to divulge their deepest, darkest secrets like “My kids would probably find me less embarrassing if I was a flaming clown.”

Girls, we have to start talking to each other and we have to start being a little bit honest AND accepting. I don’t mean to dump on men, but I’m pretty sure it’s not that way with them. There aren’t a group of dads standing watching a basketball game whispering to each other: “Can you believe he didn’t teach his kid how to set a pick?!”

We women are so freaking catty. We stand on playgrounds and in grocery stores aisles and on street corners and whisper to each other because Betty Sue allowed little Madison to go to school with a wrinkled shirt – gasp! We’re afraid to admit that when we make treats for our kids’ classrooms, sometimes we buy them at the store (slacker!) and then throw away the packaging so that they look homemade.

We’d rather go without sleep than drive the carpool in our pajamas even though our youngest was up most of the night projectile vomiting.

I think it’s time we call a truce, fess up and give each other a break. I’ll start. I hate ironing. It bores me to tears and I can never iron well enough. I go out of my way to never purchase clothes that need to be ironed. Never. Oh and my closets are a mess. Suffice it to say that opening one can be hazardous. I lose my temper...a lot. I sometimes say unkind things to my kids and husband. I'm a terrible cook.

I know, it’s not much. It’s not a sordid affair or cheating on taxes. But it’s me and it’s OK. What about you?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dear Zac Efron

Dear Zac Efron,

Dude, life is good right now, isn’t it? Suffice it to say, you are the man. People, Rolling Stone, Cosmo Girl, Time Magazine (OK, it was a teeny picture, but it is a news magazine)…what magazine are you not on the cover? Can I buy stock in you?

Your career is through the roof. High School Musical? Breakthrough! (OK, fine, you didn’t sing, but Natalie Wood didn’t in West Side Story either.) Hairspray? Awesome. That wink is killer, man. You actually made me believe that you fell in love with Tracy Turnblad. High School Musical 2? We’ll forgive you for the clamdiggers and the cheesy plot. This time you actually did sing and it was great – really!

Your girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens is adorable. The two of you are cute as buttons. Kind of like a modern day Frankie and Annette. OK, I lost you there. Never mind.

In any case, I want to talk about your image. Sure, it’s squeaky clean right now. Supposedly you drive a modest car, live in a modest apartment and the only time you’re photographed in public is when you’re frolicking on the beach. Seriously? Seriously.

Right now, you’re not clubbing. You haven’t made the Lindsay/Britney/Paris mistake. You haven’t allowed your celebrity to overshadow your talent. Keep it that way, OK?

See, the thing is, I have a teenage daughter that thinks you’re the bomb. I know this because she’s got a pile of magazines with your face on it. Normally, I’d get annoyed because I’m always having to pick up these magazines from the floor of her bedroom. But I have to say, if I were fifteen, I’d have a crush on you too.

So my point here is, don’t let her down. Don’t become that poser wannabe who drinks until 4am and pretends that that, in itself, is important. It’s not. I’m not saying you have to be Brad Pitt and adopt a kid from every third world nation, but just don’t be pathetic and end up in rehab, OK? We’ve got enough of those people and we’re all sick of them.

That’s it. Keep it real. And feel free to drop by anytime. I’ll make you a batch of chocolate chip cookies and introduce you to my daughter.