Growing up, I had a Saturday morning ritual. I’d get up, lay around in my pajamas, eat Lucky Charms and watch cartoons and other morning TV shows. Now, what specific shows I watched, I can’t remember. Except for one. One show, since cancelled, that has left an ever-lingering black hole of suck in my life.
I’m talking about Pee Wee’s Playhouse. continue reading…
“You wanna live in the zip, you gotta live by the code.”
10 Reasons Why the New 90210 is Going to Suck and Trash the Gayest Guilty Pleasure of My Late Teens/Early 20s:
“I have hives! I have hives!” I ran screaming from the bathroom, on the first morning of shooting. My husband gave me the signature “So what’s the big deal?” look from the kitchen, where he was making waffles. The kids were all decked out in logo free, plain colored outfits that had been painstakingly selected the night before. Do you know how hard it is to find nine logo free, plain colored, wardrobes…without holes? That is 63 outfits, all meeting the guidelines laid out by the production company. No wonder thousands of itchy, red bumps had taken up residence on my face and neck. The hunt for appropriate wardrobes, alone, had been a royal pain in the ass. I knew that our wardrobe quest was just the beginning of a very long and stressful two weeks. I slumped over on the bathroom floor, hives covering my skin, wondering if I was even going to make it to the point where Jo Frost knocked on our door. I kept repeating, “It’s for the kids, it’s for the kids,” every mother’s mantra.
Sure, everything we mothers do is for our kids. We live for our kids. We sacrifice continue reading…
without with little complaint, so that they will have a better childhood than we had. I have always tried to make choices that reflected the best interest of my children, since the day my first daughter was born. This experience, however, was testing the limits of my will to be the best parent I could. I was knowingly throwing myself and my spouse into the lion’s den. We were about to allow the nation to see every flaw, every mistake and every moment of our lives, edited at the discretion of a television production company. I had survived some extreme situations, all in the name of motherhood. Deciding to film an episode for Supernanny, trumped every other parenting trial I had encountered. If I survived the whole two weeks, I would feel an indescribable sense of accomplishment and pride. That “If” was heavily loaded.
After watching this I immediately became 6 years old again, sitting on the shag carpet in the family room in front of the TV, eating a half box of Apple Jacks out of a big mixing bowl:
Why don’t they show little uplifting snippets like this between kid shows anymore? Now all we get is Miley Cyrus talking about the favorite thing in her bedroom.
My munchkin has had an adventurous morning. After filling up a sketchpad with pictures of all the important people in her life (Auntie Lissa, Pizza Lady, Mommy, Daddy, MeeMaw, PaPa Boo, and Miss Nora, in that order—I’m happy to report that she works in accurate color representation; every picture has brown hair, except for “Mommy”, which is crowned by blue scribbles), she’s dug into the mountain of stuffed animals and dolls in her room and emerged with her two current favorites, which happen to be from my own pre-mommyhood collection.
The first is an Amish (or maybe Mennonite) doll, beautifully hand-crafted and clutching a scrap of antique patchwork quilt. And of course, no face. Well, there’s a patch of muslin where a face would be, but no features. Or at least, no features until she became quite distressed about that fact last night and I dug out the embroidery floss.
The second is much cuter in my opinion, although many may disagree. Anyone out there remember the old-school flash animation “Radiskull and Devil Doll”? (Click “view Linux version”, it’s the only one that works.) Long before I met my husband, a gentleman in pursuit of my affections gave me the plush Devil Doll from their long-defunct merchandise page.
So now Penny’s made a playhouse behind the sofa, where Devil Doll is feeding Mostly Faceless Amish Baby a bottle and singing it songs about frogs. Yes, I have let her watch the cartoons, which she found highly amusing, so every now and then that indescribably cute three-year-old voice can be heard to coo, “I love you, Devil Doll.” Still, I’d much rather have her playing with stuffed representations of mythological demons than a Bratz doll. I’ll buy her the complete “Venereals” set of GIANTmicrobes before I let her get her grubby hands on one of those slut-indoctrination tools.
Speaking of which, how freaking hard is it to find a simple coloring book at WalMart? Impossible, apparently. I usually limit her to blank paper, but lately she’s been working (and succeeding) at coloring within lines, and is also obsessed with SpiderMan (although thanks to her uncle, she sings the theme song with the “Spider Pig” lyrics, and the hell if I’m gonna correct her), so I figured we’d take a jaunt to pick up a few coloring books and a new set of markers. And since we needed a new water filter and bubble bath (which Target doesn’t sell, the asshats), we went to Big Box Hell.
Doesn’t anyone buy their children coloring books anymore? Not if they’re relying on WalMart for their shopping experience, they don’t. We left without the water filter, because I was getting trailed by employees for my outbursts, which were along the lines of, “Well, Penny, I guess ‘artist’ is out of the question, you’re going to have to be either a prostitute or a mechanized battle unit when you grown up.”
We’ve also been working on correcting a bit of vocabulary she’s picked up from me. Since having her, I’ve worked seriously hard at limiting my severe case of guttermouth, and succeeding, for the most part. Hell, it’s even bled over into my writing. But the last ones to go are always your exasperated exclamations, which means that for a few weeks, when Penny was angry or frustrated at me, she’d let out with a “G-ddammit, Mommy!” Yeah, color me chagrined. We’ve got it mostly licked, though—the offending phrase has been replaced with a heavily-coached, Shirley Temple-reminiscent “Oh my goodness gracious!”
And lastly, since we cut out almost all television (in the evening she *sometimes* gets to watch something like Blue Planet or Man vs. Wild with us–she seriously digs watching Bear eat snakes and bugs), we listen to a lot more music during the day. And I’ve discovered that she enjoys my music at *least* as much the few bits of “child-oriented” music we’ve collected for her. She’ll choose The Dead Milkmen over The Laurie Berkner Band any day, and I’m cool with that. She really digs Frank Zappa, and as I type she’s dancing around the living room to Tori Amos’ “Happy Phantom”.
All in all, I think we’re doing a pretty good job, which is reassuring since we’re planning on getting knocked up again within the year. Keep your fingers crossed for a boy, because the name Vinny Nuckolls is just too perfect *not* to be used, you know?
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