Potty wanna cracker?

August 17, 2011

Lately, Peach, my 15 month old prodigy, has been pointing to her diaper just before soiling it. I gave some thought to potty-training (or potty-learning, if you prefer), but decided that until she can understand the phrase “you need to wait 5 five minutes” there was really no point. Let me paint you a picture:

Peach: Mmm! Mmhhnn! [points emphatically to crotchal region while mid-errand]

MerryMommy: Okay, sugar, we are about 450 aisles away from the potty. Hang on!! [I ditch the cart, channel Evil Kenevil and discover that I can parkuor our butts across Target. But there are massive casualties: Granny Parker’s “good” hip, one slightly squished stoner kid, my right ankle, my forehead, my gallbladder, the entire laundry aisle, and Peach’s pants, which now that I’ve stopped ricochetting off displays, I realize were wet before I even had my Evil Kenevil face in place.]

Peach: Mmm! Mmhhnn! [points emphatically to an animal cracker]

MISSION FAILURE

But… reluctant to let a golden moment slip away, and thinking that one less poopy diaper to clean up is ONE LESS (Hey-O!!), I decided to buy her a little baby potty and see if I could help her build an association. I mean, even if we only use it for pooping at home, it would still totally rock. my. world.

So now, I predicted, when she points to her diaper, I shall declare it “Potty time!” and sit her upon it. Brilliant. Excellent parenting, me. I will give me a 15% raise this quarter.

Except, the potty is an excellent drum! It’s a charming tricorn hat! It’s a fantastic bucket! And determining what fits in the potty is her raison d’etre. I’ve kind of given up on the whole “potty time!” thing because by the time I find the potty (under her crib, behind the couch, in her toy bin, or hey! in the dishwasher, why not?) the diaper has taken one for the team.  So I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I found her morning snack in herpotty cafeteria tray.

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Judging Judy

August 17, 2011

Did I mention that I’m a mother? To a sweet, bright-eyed bundle of energy? Peach is 15 months old. These 15 months of parenthood, and the 9 months of prep work that preceded it, have taught me that voicing your opinions about parenthood, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, vaccinating, daycare, cloth diapers, co-sleeping, discipline, diet, routine, and a whole host of other topics, can get you into hot water with friends and acquaintances very, very quickly. And when the social buffers are removed? Yikes. The comment streams on parenting blogs can be absolutely toxic.

I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to how I want to raise my daughter to become a strong, brave, kind, curious and generous soul. Bullying stories that make “Lord of the Flies” look like an afterschool program are in local and national news. Marketing to elementary-schoolers glorifies self-entitled, sexualized princesses. I shake my head at how screwed up our daughters’ world is when people talk about girls being KIND to one another, like it’s some kind of miracle. Something is very wrong with our culture when girls (or ANYONE, for crying out loud!) are expected to turn into mean people.

And it occurred to me today, while reading a wonderful essay from New Mom on the Blog on Pregnant Chicken that these two things, the way mothers judge each other and the way our daughters act, might be related. This is not some ponderous epiphany. A righteous mama snarking about another mom co-sleeping (or not) with her four-year-old isn’t unusual. Neither is an 11 year-old slamming her classmate’s taste in music. Maybe —just maybe— if our daughters saw their mothers exercising understanding, restraint, kindness and compassion in all corners of our lives, our daughters would have a better frame of reference for how to be kind people.

And if you need a role model to help get you started on being compassionate and understanding, check out New Mom on the Blog for a fantastic example of how to be kind, with a backbone. It’s possible.

You know? Sometimes, I have something kind of humorous in my brain that is too big for Twitter. Or even too big for Facebook. And besides, I feel bad exposing hapless friends and acquaintances to… well… me, really. I mean, I posted a cat video today. Yeah, I’m that friend. And I’m not proud, exactly. But oh, god, it was a funny cat video. Count Draculcat? You know the one I’m talking about? Oh, fine, twist my arm. Here it is:

See? Funny, right? And now, dear readers, I have done the equivalent of farting in bed with you. I have shared a cat video, and there is no going back.

So! Now that we’ve exploded that social barrier, and therefore are now practically married, allow me to introduce myself: I titled this tumblr thingy The Merry Spinster because I am rather happy. Or rather bitchy. One of those. And secondly, because I like to spin. Not bikes. Wool. I make yarn.

HAH! Did you catch that? I’ve admitted to liking cat videos AND living in a house filled with yarn! WAIT, don’t run so fast! I’ll trip over my loneliness!

You have the wrong idea about me. Really. I am married to a hunk of handsome, and I have a bright-eyed and beautiful daughter. And two dogs. AND NO CATS. I don’t even like cats that much. Except when they look like furry vampires. Which, now that I’m thinking about it, THEY TOTALLY DO.

Witness: My leap into blogging.

More of a sous sous, really.

(hi.)