Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Mommyversary! Shut up, it's a word...

Today is my Mommyversary!!  *crowd cheers*applause* Others may call it my oldest son Lucas' birthday...actually I think that is what they are all calling it. Fifteen years ago today, I became a mother.  Mom is the title that I will keep regardless of my age, regardless of where I live, regardless of what I do for a living.  What do you do?  I am a banker and a mom.  I am an office manager and a mom.  I am a rock star and a mom.  I am Iron Man...and a mom.  No matter what, I am eternally bound to that title.  The title, however, does come with it's perks.  As a mother,  you can always outdo your coworkers,

Mom:  "Last night was horrible." 
Random Coworker:  "Aw man I didn't get any sleep last night either. *whine*" 
Mom:  "Really?  Really??  Did your three year old throw up on you? Huh??"
Random Coworker:  "  You,"

When you look horrible with bags under your eyes and greasy hair, there is always an excuse.  Yes I do look terrible.  I'm a mom. *understanding nod* Then they walk away believing that underneath my exhaustion lies a supermodel. Maybe DEEP underneath, come to think of it I may just have a magazine with a supermodel in it.  Close enough, you get the point.

When you become a mother, intuition kicks in and you know exactly what to do, right?  Wrong. Motherhood is an adventure of trial and error.  That's the funny thing about your first kid, you try so hard to do everything right and you mess up SO many times, but then when the second one comes along, they pretty much eat dirt.  Well not really but you are definitely more relaxed.  Poor Lucas has survived me crying as I plunged out a clogged toilet, asking him every ten minutes if he is ok when he is running a fever, and numerous claims that he is going to get pneumonia if... Side note, he has never had pneumonia, probably because I have aided him in eluding it so well.  Lucas was also able to survive the First Thanksgiving Diaper Tragedy of 2000.  Yeah it actually has a title.  Baby boys are a funny thing when it comes to diaper changing.  Their, shall we say, plumbing, allows them to pee in so many fun directions. Sometimes on the wall, on your shirt, in your face, it's quite an adventure. I was at my parents' house for Thanksgiving and Lucas was six months old.  We had just finished dinner and I took him back to change his diaper.  We are cooing and talking and I am placing his new diaper underneath him.  I lift him up to slide the diaper in place when with the aim of Wyatt Earp, he shoots a stream of pee bulls eye...right into his MOUTH!  I am horrified!!!  I look at my new baby with terror in my eyes.  What do I do??!!  I grab Lucas and run into the dining room screaming, "Lucas has peed in his mouth!!!  What do I do??"  My family stares at me as if I have grown a horn in the middle of my head.  "C'mon people!  What do I DOOOOOOO???"  My brother looks at me nonchalantly, "I think it's ok as long as he drinks his own pee.  You just aren't supposed to drink someone else's pee."  What???  "You people are useless."  I grab the phone and call Poison Control, "Poison control what is your emergency?"  "Yes my son is six months old and has just peed in his mouth!"  Laughter.  The poison control lady was laughing.  That was when I realized...I might...just maybe...have overreacted. She calmed herself down and asked me about his overall health, etc.  She assured me that he was going to be fine.  Then she thanked me, "for making her holiday."  Yep...glad I could help.

Lucas aka Wyatt Earp
He seems surprised by his aim.

Being a mom is certainly not glamorous, and it's not always pretty.  There is a lot of spontaneous fluids those first few years so you should probably wear a poncho.  There have been major embarrassments and major triumphs, but every day I am thankful.  Thankful to be the not-so-perfect-but-God-knows-I-try mom of two pretty amazing kids.  Today I will celebrate that little pee shooter turning 15 as I look up at him now instead of carrying him on my hip.  But today I will also celebrate the heralding of my most beloved  

Lucas, Mackenzie and I,
much less spontaneous fluid.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Don't Make Me Hit You Like a Girl...

I find it fascinating the things that we say without thinking.  Things that are said without a second thought, things that bring to light society's views on a gender. Words that encapsulate the overall thoughts of a culture.  These are all phrases that seem small at first, but they are the foundation of the sexism that breeds rape culture, unequal pay, domestic violence, and discrimination.  It's why when a woman is raped, she is asked what she was wearing, but the rapist is not.  It's why a woman will be more conservative with her salary requirements than a man.  In all societal problems, there is a beginning.  Every house is built on a foundation.  The foundation is not complicated, it is consistent.  The complicated parts come to play after the foundation is built.  So let's consider some of the things that come out of our mouths to form these concrete blocks...

Man up! Be a man! - As opposed to what?  A girl??  Is that so bad?  This statement contains layers because first, the statement is saying that to be must be a man NOT a woman.  Secondly, if you are showing sensitivity or emotion as a man, that is somehow wrong. This statement implies that strength comes in one form...male.

Grow some balls! -  This one has always confused me.  Why would you want to grow a pair of testicles?  This is to imply that you need to toughen up, but have you been around any balls?  They aren't tough, they crumble at the slightest hint of trouble.  Wanna gain control in a fight?  Kick him in the balls.  Now tell someone to grow a vagina or a uterus...oh yeah, now we are talking.  As Betty White says, "those things take a beating!"

You hit like a girl! - Ever heard of Ronda Rousey?  Just in case you have not, she is the women's UFC champion and a beast in the ring.  So good in fact that she has been posed the question, "Would you fight a man?"  Although she believes she could compete AND win against a man, she refuses to do so because she feels it is unhealthy to promote a man hitting a woman REGARDLESS of the circumstances, in this case, a sporting event.  I would say Ronda Rousey, "hits like a girl", just sayin'. Just for fun, google female boxers and then google male boxers.  Under female you will find a top 10 list of the most beautiful female boxers.  Under don't.  Another fun fact, Ronda Rousey was photographed at an event with the caption, "Ronda Rousey cleans up well."  Don't recall seeing that observation in reference to the guys.  Fascinating...

You're too pretty too... - It doesn't matter how you end that sentence, it all means the same thing.  If you are pretty the rules are different.  So good news for us plain Janes, we catch a little slack.  Whew!  Now I can go out and get a tattoo and have an opinion.  Yay me!

That's so gay... - Do you mean "That's so happy!" or "That's so homosexual!" Is it really homosexual or do you just find it odd/weird?  Are you saying that homosexuals are weird?  That's really not accurate because I find some heterosexuals are completely bonkers.  Heck even my dogs are strange. My cats are gay, no they aren't odd, they are literally gay...male lovers...but intelligent and badass.


My dogs are weird...not gay...


What were you wearing? - This one carries a more serious tone because it is in reference to sexual assault.  There are more questions... Were you drinking?... Did you know him?  Let me clear this up once and for all.  It does not matter what a woman is wearing, whether she was drinking, or how well she new the perpetrator...rape is wrong.  Done. End of story.  No one asks what the rapist was wearing and if they ask the rapist if they were drinking, it is to excuse...not blame.

These are just a few examples of the word vomit that plagues our culture. Anytime we stereotype a gender, race, or culture, we are cheating them of respect and opportunity.  There are many more I haven't listed, feel free to comment with your favorite...