Sh*t My Kid Says

Some of the things that fly out of their mouths leave me speechless, other times they crack me up. My daughter has been the obvious protegé in the sarcasm department. She has always been funny in that unintentional way that most kids are funny but she has also had sarcasm nailed from a pretty early age. It makes me so proud. *sniffle*

My little smart ass has grown so much since this picture. She looks more like her father but takes after me in almost every other way.

When Number One was about 6 years old, we were driving home from a visit with my grandmother and it was raining so hard, there was barely any visibility. I, of course, was leaning forward with my face practically pressed into the windshield, trying to see past the hood of my car. My daughter, out of the blue, wanted to have a conversation.

Number One: At the beginning of ‘The Suite Life of Zach and Cody’, is that a real house or a fake house?

Me (dismissively): I’m watching the road. I don’t know.

Number One: Is it a real house or a fake house?

Me: I have no idea. I’ve never really watched it.

Number One (growing more and more annoyed): Mom! Just answer! Is it a real house or a fake  house?

Me: Honey! I am trying to concentrate on driving! I don’t know!

Number One: IS IT REAL OR FAKE?

Me: If you just want an answer, then I will guess real. I haven’t watched the show but I will just give you an answer. It’s real. Okay? Now, I need to concentrate.

This was followed by about 20 seconds of very obvious silence, in which I could just sense that my daughter was pissed.

Number One (with her eyes lowered and monotone voice): Do you know what I want to do right now?

Me: What is that?

Number One: I want to go home, dress up like you and punch myself in the face.

I nearly lost it. When the rain cleared a few minutes later, I called my friend, laughing so hard I was almost crying, and told her about the conversation. She laughed and said, “I’m sure she is in big trouble”. I told her that, aside from being hilarious, I was pretty sure that she had  me on a loophole, since she hadn’t actually threatened me. My daughter remained in her seat, glaring at me, increasingly annoyed by my amusement and my audacity to discuss it right in front of her.Another of her more memorable statements, albeit unintentionally hilarious,  was, while walking through the mall with my mother and sister, she asked, LOUDLY, “Why do men have nipples”, which almost sent me to my knees in laughter.

Yesterday, she tells me that one of her friends told her that the dictionary said that “the ‘B’ word” meant “a female dog” and she asked me if she was telling the truth. I told her that was correct. She looked at me, stunned and visibly excited, and asked why everyone says it is a bad word. I explained that it is the name of a female dog but it is also used as a curse word. She points to our dog, Zoey, and asks, “well, if I am talking about Zoey, I can use it”. Good try. That was a negative, though. Even if I had green lighted the appropriate usage, she would have stayed up at night thinking of different ways to work the word “bitch” into her daily vernacular. Sometimes she will say things that make  my jaw drop and set off alarm bells in my head. Until I begin an interrogation and it is suddenly put in context and all becomes right in the world. While driving around recently, she starts talking about her friends. Kim does this and Joey does that. Then she says, “And Sadie, my demon lover…”.

Me: Your what?

Her: Demon lover.

Me: What is a demon lover?

Her: She loves demons. I mean, she isn’t goth or anything but she likes monsters and demons.

Me: OOOOOOOOHHHH!

The kids may drive me nuts but they can be hilarious at times.  Also, the toilet humor starts young but boys just never seem to outgrow it, do they?

My Rant on Disney Princesses

My friends laugh at me and give me hell about my take on Disney Princesses. I cringe at what sort of values they promote and the lessons that can be taken from them. I just really hate the whole princess franchise.

I have issues with Disney as a whole, like the absence of mothers in almost all of the films, but the Princesses are what really rub me the wrong way. 

Snow White: The entire story is centered around her beauty. Her stepmother, of the evil variety, of course, cares about nothing more than being beautiful. Since Snow White is her beauty rival, naturally, Snow White must die. She escapes and finds a messy cottage and gets right to cleaning it up. It makes sense. She’s a woman. She laid eyes on dirty floors and dirty dishes. Stranger’s home or not, she’s a woman and women love to clean! When she isn’t cleaning, she is dreaming of getting found by and married to a prince. When she eats the apple, of course, the only thing that can save her is a kiss from a prince. He falls in love the moment he sees her, kisses her, she sees him and loves him right back and they get married.

Cinderella:  Again, there’s a wicked stepmother but this time there are also ugly step sisters that are cruel to Cinderella due to being so jealous of her beauty. Cinderella does nothing but clean and dream of being rescued by a man so she can get married. She meets the prince and they fall in love at first sight and dance all night. She loses her shoe when he leaves and even though he says she is the love of his life and he spent the whole night dancing with her, he wouldn’t be able to recognize her and, therefore, must try the shoe on every girl in the kingdom until he finds her foot. She tries on the shoe and Cinderella finally gets to be happy because she gets married.

The Little Mermaid: Ariel is always late and inconsiderate of her family and her commitments. She is a hoarder. She sees a hot guy on a boat and decides she must meet him and marry him. When her father grounds her, she reacts like any reasonable 16-year-old and runs away.  She asks the sea witch for an extreme makeover because she knows stranger man won’t find her fins sexy, she must change herself to appeal to him.  Ursula wants her voice in return for legs and tells her that men don’t like women that talk too much and the girl who holds her tongue will get her man and that she just needs to use her sexuality. He falls in love with her and everything works out perfect because they get married.

Beauty and the Beast: Finally! A princess that seems to be intellectual and independent and scoffs at the idea that marriage is a woman’s ultimate goal. When she offers herself as a prisoner, in place of her father, at the Beast’s castle she meets his enchanted staff that are all terrified of the Beast. Belle and the enchanted staff are subjected to loud and violent outbursts by the Beast but, even when he gives Belle her freedom, she doesn’t leave.  We learn that, if a man is abusive to you, just try to be nicer because, if you love him enough, he will change and become nice too.

I know what you will say! “They are kids movies”, “Children won’t get that”, “They are just stories” and blah, blah, blah.  They are children. Whether you realize it or not, children are very susceptible to the power of suggestion. I’m not saying that letting your children watch this dribble will have devastating consequences.  It’s not. Personally, I just don’t like the idea of even hinting that marriage is such a lofty goal for girls. I want a princess who graduates from college and runs for office and has a husband who is a stay at home dad. I’d like there to be more emphasis on her intelligence than her beauty. Give me that!

A Memo to Parents

I saw a news story the other day about some parents that were petitioning to have an ice cream stand banned from the public park they frequented with their children. Their reason, apparently, is that ice cream isn’t healthy and can lead to childhood obesity.  No argument here. The glaring problem to me is that, to these parents, the practical solution to mitigating such risks for their children involves navigating legal channels to have this ice cream entrepreneur banished from the park, as opposed to—oh, I don’t know—telling their child, “NO”.  Personally, if my child were to ask for ice cream at the park and I didn’t feel he/she needed an ice cream, I would just say, “no”. That’s it. Sure, there might be a little pleading that occurs, maybe some bargaining, Number Three might even shed a few tears.  They’ll get over it. I swear. There is no need for legal action to replace basic parenting. It’s like demanding that toys be banned from Target because your child asked you for Legos.

Let me give some advice: PARENT YOUR CHILDREN, PEOPLE! Your precious angel is going to survive hearing the word, “no” from time to time. Say it with me: “I’m the parent. My child is not the boss of me. I am the boss of him/her. I am the adult.”It is the same thing with celebrities. My daughter used to be a HUGE Hannah Montana fan. She sang all of her songs, had a costume, wore her clothing line and never missed the show or her movies. Then parents started making a buzz and a stink about Miley Cyrus, the actress that played Hannah Montana. They didn’t approve of her being photographed in public wearing provocative clothing. Photos of her partying were leaked. Parents were indignant and seemed to think Disney should have her flogged because, to them, she was not being a positive role model to Hannah Montana fans.  I mean, it begs the question, why the fuck are you letting your 5-11 year old read Perez Hilton and Star magazine? Put some parental controls on your computer.  As long as Hannah Montana isn’t posting panties pics on the web and smoking Salvia in her secret closet, parents should not be concerned with the antics of Miley Cyrus off camera—at least, not as a relevant issue to their young daughters. Parent your own children! It is not the responsibility of celebrities to teach your child values. It is yours. If Selena Gomez wants to make a sex tape and snort coke, that’s her prerogative. I won’t get my parent panties in a bunch as long as character, Alex Russo, doesn’t start snorting adderall and prostituting to fund her wizard school tuition. At the end of the day, it’s all pretty easy. Don’t look to celebrities to be role models for your children. You’re the parent! Your goal should be that they look to you as their role model. If your child tells you that she wants to make a sex tape so she can be like Paris Hilton and you need someone to blame, look in the mirror.  If you are concerned that a certain character, celebrity or athlete could negatively influence your child, it is your job, as the parent, to eliminate or, at least, mitigate the influence.  Step up to the plate.  I may think Vanessa Hudgens is a total dumbass for having nude cell phone pictures leaked to the public on more than one occasion but Vanessa Hudgens didn’t squeeze any of these kids out of the vagina she loves to photograph. Her personal life can only be a relevant influence on my children if I am asleep at the wheel.

Celebrities and athletes are not obligated to you or your children. If you have deferred to Miley Cyrus, Michael Vick or Rhianna and Chris Brown to instill morals and values in your child, you, the parent, are the only person responsible when or if they emulate their value systems and behaviors.  Celebrities are far better to be used as cautionary tales, not role models.