Tag Archives: Alice in Wonderland

Dear WordPress

Hey, WordPress!

It’s amazing how much time you can waste trying to figure out how to outfit a blog.  I think I’ve spent less time picking out my clothes.  Actually, I know I’ve spent less time doing that.  People at work will tell you so.  Anyway, last night I decided to personalize my blog some because that seemed like an efficient use of my time.  (By the way, do you like the new background?  That only took 2,394 hours for me to figure out how to do!) 

Here’s the thing, though.  I’m still technologically inept.  I didn’t grow up with computers, at least not like we have today.  When I was a kid, we had the Apple IIc and we were HAPPY, dangit.  We had floppy disks that stored like .000000001 bites of data each.  This computer came with unique games, like this one where you made tiny little apples fall into a bin.  ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT EXCITEMENT PEOPLE.  But still, we were satisfied, because what the heck did we know?

You’ll have your Apple and you’ll LIKE it!

If you’ll notice, WordPress, I have been nice in my post.  See, no dirty words yet!  I don’t care what Sunday School says, “dangit” doesn’t count!  Anyway, I am really hoping that someone knows how to do some of this stuff I’m trying to do because I have looked at your help site and it wasn’t much help.  For one thing, there’s a lot of reading there, and who has time for that crap?  (Crap is also okay, because that is a bodily function, am I right?)  I need some help here, so I’m just going to post my questions, because when you put questions like this into the search box, for some reason you don’t find answers.  Here we go.

1. How do you put a pic from your blog into the little box beside your name – the one that appears when you post comments? You know, the box thingie.  WordPress doesn’t recognize “box thingie” in its search feature.  Anyway, I know about gravatars, which frankly sounds like some sort of kidney disorder, but I can’t get it into the box.  If you scroll over the box, you see my pic, but then it just goes back to that lame G for gravatar.  Or worse, sparkles, and I don’t like sparkles, not after Twilight, you guyz.  So help me out here because I’m already at maximum level for frustration, and you don’t want to see Librarian Rage. 

Yeah, I tried that. THANKS.

2. My subtitle is white, and the background is white, so now you can’t see my fabulous subtitle (down the rabbit hole).  My millions of viewers are going to get eyeball strain.  How do I change the font type?  How do I change the color of the font?  How do I change the size of the font?  Or do you have to pay for that?  Cause if you do, that kind of sucks.

3. At one point, I swear there was this diagram thing where you could design where you wanted to put stuff on your blog.  Now I can’t find it.  I wanted to put a little note about the site where I found my original Alice in Wonderland pictures, because the originals are 1,000 times cooler than the Disney ones, no offense, Walt.  The site is called Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland site (btw he knows how to put the picture thingies by his name too!) But I can’t put a note on my blog about it, nor can I put up my own copyright notice.  Because I just KNOW there are people wanting to steal my stuff but it is mine so no you can’t you guyz!  Plagiarizing is not cool, unless you’re pretty sure you can get away with it and make millions of dollars.   Anyway, I need to know how to put that stuff on my blog.  I wish I could just write it on the screen.  That would be easier, but might affect the monitor’s performance.  I dunno.

4. You know how some people have the static page (not like static electricity.  A page that stays there.  I think.) that has links on it so you can easily hop to that post so you don’t have to read any of their other crap?  Saying they have crap you don’t want to read?  Yeah, how do you do that?  Because I’m willing to bet there are people who would prefer to skip a lot of my crap.  I want a page with links.  Like Speaker7 has on her page (although I like reading all of her crap) that lets you jump to whatever recrap you want.  Like the one where Hugo / Christian  puts playdough balls up Goofy / Ana’s “down there”.  If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, then you should go see Speaker 7 because I’m busy here, people.  Also, and this has nothing to do with WordPress, but you should know anyway because you want pics from us all the time, right?  How do you write on photos?  Like thought balloons making people say stupid stuff.  I need to know how to do this. 

Like this. The world needs to know what this stupid bird is thinking. Now.

5. Why do you call the posts you pick  “Freshly Pressed”?  That makes me think of mammograms.  Just wondering.

Okay, I think that’s all for now.  Thanks in advance.

Alice.

VIEW FROM A TRAMPOLINE

 

SEE, I told you I could still fit.
 `But then,’ thought Alice, `shall I NEVER get any older than I am now? That’ll be a comfort, one way–never to be an old woman- -but then–always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn’t like THAT!’
 
 
 
 
In Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself growing at a rapid rate.  Like any kid, she’s too big for some things, and too small for others.  Her frequent changes in size give her a new point of view on the world.  The same thing happens to all of us as we age. 
 
Everyone gets older sometime, with the possible exception of Christie Brinkley, who has probably made a pact with the devil.  But for most people, they can go along feeling all young and healthy until something happens, around about the third decade, to set them straight. 
 
When adults ride
roller coasters
The realization that age is creeping up on you can come about in several ways.  Maybe you tried to swing with your kids at the playground, only to find that they shrank the seat of the swing, and now your rear end is squeezed in a press.  Or you went to an amusement park, and discovered that there should be signs saying “You May Be Too Old For This Ride”.   I certainly figured this out and now have a list of rides you should not go on if you are over thirty (unless you are some totally in-shape mom, in which case you should go on the most dangerous rides possible.)
 
  • Rides you should avoid
    • Anything that spins.  That means rides like the “Tilt A Whirl” are out, unless you prefer to test the nickname for this ride (ie Tilt a Hurl).
    • That big pirate ship ride.  This ride is fine if you don’t mind leaving your heart up in the air while the ship careens downward with the rest of you.
    • Roller Coasters.  There is no reason why an old person should drop from a great height unless she’s escaping from terrorists on a plane.
    • Rides with names including “fear”, “doom”, or “hammer”.
 
But never fear. There are still rides the over thirty crowd can enjoy. 
 
More Your Speed
  • Rides you can go on
    • The Merry-Go-Round.  This breaks the rule of no spinning rides, because the spin is very, very slow, as in slow enough for toddlers.  But for goodness sakes, do not try to get on the horse.  Use the bench.
    • That sky-ride that takes you over the park.  It’s slow and does not involve long drops or sharp turns.  At least it shouldn’t.  Unless you somehow slide out of the seat.  I’m starting to rethink this one.
    • The choo-choo train.  This ride is slow, has few turns, no spins, no drops, and is on the ground.  Two thumbs up. 
 
So there’s your handy guide for amusement parks, but you’re probably wondering why I mentioned trampoline.  Obviously no sane person over thirty would attempt to jump on one of these things, right?  Well, I bought a trampoline for my children.  They have birthdays a week apart (another brilliant plan of mine).  Remembering the days I used to spend hopping up and down for hours on a trampoline, I thought I might try it again with my kids.  As you might predict, things went horribly wrong.
 
Artist’s rendition of me on a trampoline
No, I didn’t break my neck, but I almost wish I had. It would have put me out of my misery.  The first thing I noticed when I bounced was that my body DID NOT LIKE IT.  It let me know in various ways.  First off, my head started pounding, signalling that it did not like being throttled about on my creaky neck.  Next, not all of me jumped at the same time.  My behind and thighs stubbornly decided to revolt and remain where they were while the rest of me was airborne.  Finally, and this is advice for over-thirty women who have had babies – be sure and go potty first, or wear an adult diaper.  Trust me.
 
I thought all of that was bad enough until, after jumping on this thing several times (I blame my brain getting knocked about in my skull), I started to feel the aftereffects.  Namely, my entire body ached like I’d been on one of those medieval torture racks.
 
When did this happen?  I knew vaguely that I’d gotten older, but had so far managed not to get much more mature, so my body signaling to me this way was a bit of a surprise.  A rather painful one, and not just physically. Still, I want to be a part of my children’s fun.  So my view from a trampoline may have to change to that of observer . . . well observer being bounced up and down by an incredibly strong couple of children.

Pool of Tears

Well, I guess NOW you have something to cry about . . .

 

`I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer to-day.’
          Alice in Wonderland
 
Is it possible, like Alice, to drown in your own tears?   I am a champion crier, having started practicing in infancy, and further perfecting the art during sessions of “The Lord of the Flies” on the playground in public school.  Why cry so much?  Is it because I was orphaned at a young age with no money, food, or decent clothes and had to sell matches on the street until Hans Christian Anderson mercifully killed me?   No, I’m not the poor little match girl, or the little mermaid, or any of his other pathetic characters (What DID people do to Anderson anyway?  I want to go back in time and give him Zoloft.)  Wait . . . where was I?
Thank you so bloody much, Hans
Oh, yes, on top of an apparent case of ADHD, I have depression.  It’s not something I go around advertising, because shockingly this is not a very popular condition.  If you have heart disease, people go aw, and tell you to take your little nitroglycerin pills, which confuses me, because I had always thought nitroglycerin blew you up.  I guess in that case you wouldn’t have to worry about heart disease at least.
But with depression, people get all uncomfortable.  It’s like saying you’re gay.  Suddenly people of the same sex think you’re going to be filled with uncontrollable lust for them.  I’m straight, not gay, yet somehow able to stop myself from jumping every man I see (oh, sometimes it’s an effort, being the slutty librarian I am).  But I can control my impulses.  And I’m not contagious (although I do think some really irritating people are carriers of depression). 
Proof that humanity is lost

 

So I take medication, and I pay someone to listen to me whine.  And most of the time, I’m okay.  And I walk among you, indistinguishable from the normal population – like pod people.  Or Republicans.  But sometimes I’m overwhelmed, and I have to go off by myself and cry.  And cry.  Until I get this massive headache, which is no fun at all, because I didn’t even get to be happy drunk first. 
Depression isn’t just a mental disease; it’s physical too.  You have no energy, so you lay there like a slug, and you revel in lying there like a slug, because the entire world is awful what with all the crime, pollution, poverty, and Twilight movies.  You see the world through dark-colored glasses, so all the bad is magnified.  You might not have a terminal illness, but you did have a funny cough earlier and a pain in your hip.  Whatever you do, don’t research your symptoms on WebMd.
You have every one of these diseases.  Happy?

 

You did, didn’t you?  So now you are worried that you have an incurable disease, on top of your sadness about the general state of the world, and the fact that people will actually wear dresses like this in public. 
 
And then you get off the couch, and you go out to work, or the store, or something, and invariably there are people there.  And these people will annoy you by breathing.  You have to do something about this, and unfortunately, murder is generally frowned upon.  You must either find some sort of way to get through it, or you go back to being the couch slug.
Get off the couch!  No, you can’t be a slug.  There is no money in being a slug, unless you’re either independently wealthy or a Congressman.  So you take your medicine, if the doctor says you need it (he has a medical degree, dufus99 on the Internet most likely does not).  And you get counseling, if that helps you.  And you find something, anything, that makes you happy.  I’m sure there’s something.  For me, it’s laughing at stupid people, but whatever works for you.
Depression is the great lie.  It is the Jabberwock that hides in the closet of your mind.  But depression doesn’t define who I am, anymore than heart disease defines Ronald McDonald (just say no to Big Macs, clown!)  So sometimes I, as my aunt used to say as a child, have me a little cryin’ spell.  But then I have to pick yourself up and go after that white rabbit, because he’s not going to chase himself, and if I stick around I might just drown in my own tears.  And there’s too much of Wonderland to see yet, to do that.

Who are YOU?



Don’t do drugs, kids

 `Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’

`What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!’

`I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, `because I’m not myself, you see.’
                                    -Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Who are you?  A very good question, indeed.  And, like Alice, not one that is so easily answered.  I would have thought that by my mid-thirties, I would know the answer to this question, but I’ve yet to figure it out.  If anything, I’ve only added more roles.  Daughter, sister, student, teacher, girlfriend, wife, daughter-in-law, mother, serf, librarian, mental health patient, etc.  It doesn’t help when you’re being questioned by a rude, smoking caterpillar.  I hate those guys.

I could answer by name, but even that’s not clear, as I have more than one last name.  Would you like my maiden name or my married name?  I remember receiving a letter from the Social Security Office just after my wedding demanding that I change my card because my former self no longer existed.  It actually said that.  The old, pre-married me had ceased to exist, and now I was known only by the name of the goofball I’d just married.  Curiouser and curiouser.



An identity stolen by thousands in Las Vegas alone


When do we form identity?  Do we ever actually form our own identities?  When my eldest daughter was born, the old Social Security Office was after us again.  Where was her SS number?  Obviously children are supposed to be born with this nine digit number tatooed on their foreheads.  So we quickly labeled our daughter with a number so she could be like the others in the hive.  But these numbers are hardly secure identifiers, as they can be stolen.  Identity theft is very prominent these days. Yes, it’s not just the government that takes your identity, it’s Joe Smoe off the street who wants to buy 3,000 issues of Hustler and a burrito with your credit card.

All our lives, we struggle with this.  How do we fit in our families?  Are you the golden child or the black sheep, the baby or the eldest or the dreaded middle child?  Did your sister get called the pretty one while you got the “nice personality” consolation prize?  What about when you left the security of home for school?  Were you a cheerleader or a football player, or were you a member of the chess team?  And there’s work, too.  Once again, are you the cheerleader, the smart one, the black sheep, or do you have that good old “nice personality”?  Who are YOU?

It’s even more complicated after you marry and start your own family.  Now you’ve got relationships in your first family (you are ALWAYS a kid to your parents, accept it), and in your second (sometimes I wish the word Mommy had never been invented).  If you divorce, you get even more relationships and identities.  A world of fun!  Not to mention an adventure at Christmas time.

Yet with all these relationships, all these roles, with everything else removed, there is you.  Who are YOU, and YOU alone?  Do you like yourself?  Do you want more from your life?  Are you satisfied with where you are, with how you feel when you are all alone (if you ever get that lucky chance).  It’s something many of us don’t ask until it’s almost too late, and we realize we’ve lived only for these other roles, and never for our own.  I don’t want that to happen to me.



How’s about a girl’s night out where we LIVE???

 

So who am I?  I don’t know yet.  But I’m finding out.  It’s a journey, and one that I can only hope involves girlfriends and road trips – though not of the Thelma and Louise type.

Eat Me

Warning: May Cause Growth Enhancement

Warning: May Cause Growth Enhancement

Eat me!  Drink me!  Drugs.  Where would we be without them?  Drugs have radically changed our society.  Penicillan has helped millions (unless they are allergic to it – hello – and then it just makes them swell up).  But generally speaking, Penicillan was a lifesaver.

But just like Penicillan, all drugs have side effects.  Some are dangerous if taken too often.  We are learning all the time.  Like, for instance, it’s not the best idea to give your child narcotics for teething pain.  (Don’t believe me, check out the newspaper ads from the early 1900s.)

45 grams of opium ought to do the trick.

A few grams of opium ought to do the trick.

So we’ve come a long way.  Eventually we got the FDA, or the Federal Drug Administration, to regulate this stuff.  Which meant, for starters, actually labeling what was in the bottle.  (Something more than ‘drink me’ was usually preferred).  Granted, the FDA isn’t perfect.  And even approved drugs have their nasty side effects.  So now we have people afraid to take so much as an aspirin.

But does that mean we fear all drugs?  Even drugs that can save our lives?  What about drugs that help regulate the brain?  Now there’s something that really bothers people, especially Scientologists.  Do people need “quick fixes” like antidepressants?  Do we need a nation of people on “happy pills”?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve yet to have a “happy pill”.  A “somewhat normal and doesn’t want to jump off a cliff pill” is really quite okay with  me.  And that is what is in your average antidepressant.  If you get REALLY happy off antidepressants, chances are you’re manic depressive.  Here’s a quick test.  If you managed to paint the house and reshingle the roof in one night, you probably need a little help in that department.

Anyway, antidepressants are obviously not for everybody.  And they aren’t the only solution.  Diet and exercise are always beneficial.  But for many people, antidepressants do help.  Antidepressants can give people the will to eat and exercise.  They don’t make one “happy” and they are far from a “quick fix” as most take at least two weeks to either work or let you know that they are definitely not working.  And most come with side effects.  It’s a matter of what risks you prefer to take.  I prefer “drowsy” over “suicidal” myself. 

And if someone has a problem with that, well, they can “eat me”. 

Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?



It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about as it 

Poster Bunny for ADHD

went, as if it had lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself `The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?’

I’m late for an important date.  If only I could remember what it was.  And where.  Also what it was about.  The poor white rabbit.  If I can identify with anyone besides Alice, it would be this poor stressed-out type A rabbit.
Not only do I feel like I’m constantly running and not getting anywhere, I’m not sure where I want to be.  I don’t really want to be around mad people, but the Cheshire Cat pointed out the obvious.  Everyone’s mad.  Everyone’s running around staring at their Iphones that have gone dead, realizing the terrible truth that every number they need to call is in their contact list.  Which is on the phone. 
This makes for an anxious society.  No, scratch that.  About half of us are anxious, and the other half are what I like to call carriers.  Some carriers fly by the seat of their pants and enjoy it.  Other carriers assume that someone else will do it for them, and enjoy it.   And then there’s the realists, often termed pessimists.  Guess which one I am?  I am so often anxious, that NOT being anxious is a strange feeling for me.  It doesn’t last long, as it is usually accomplished through a pill that knocks me out.
Which is why I need Caffeine, a stimulant found in Coke, a drink that can keep you awake and clean your toilet.  It’s always nice to have things with multiple purposes.  Which is why I have several pairs of shoes for each family member.  This way, surely I can find one pair, right?  So my youngest has worn snow boots in Summer.  No one thinks this is unusual, given the child in question, so it works.
The White Rabbit is a great example for anxiety, ADHD, OCD, etc.  Rabbits are always anxious, their little bodies panting, their hearts running a million miles an hour, even while still.  They’re made that way because they happen to be prey for a lot of other creatures.  Even pet rabbits have this constant fight or flight response, though there is no immediate threat.  Save a toddler, in which case the rabbit is probably better off in the wild.  They are ready to run at a moment’s notice, darting anywhere and everywhere.  It’s no wonder they can’t keep up with their gloves.  This is why, of course, rabbits these days don’t wear them.



I feel like a rabbit.  Sometimes I can’t concentrate.  While my body is often still (my eldest once fondly informed me that I was much like a Sloth) my mind runs 24/7.  Thoughts go boing, boing, boing.  I envy my husband, who, I swear, can sit and not think.  At all.  I’m not sure how he does this.  Maybe his constant viewing of reality T.V. shows about fishing and garbage diving has contributed to this.  Not that I can act too superior.  I spend so much time on the computer, it’s a good thing there are pictures of my kids on it.
Do these electronic devices and the internet make us that way?  I don’t think so, as I’m sure I’ve been much like this even when all we had was the Apple IIc (turn the disk over, new disk, please wait, turn the disk over, please wait, why don’t you go make you a sandwich?) Certainly I was before the Internet.  I think it’s ingrained, which is why my eldest is panicked about a possible detention, and the youngest gets them so routinely that she thinks it’s a normal part of the school day.  It’s how we’re wired. 



But is it permenant?  I hope not.  I’m seeing a counselor, in hopes of rewiring myself, at least to the point that I can sometimes find my gloves, my glasses, my shoes, my keys.  So that I’m exercising physically rather than in my head.  I’ve already “run” myself to physical exhaustion.  There’s no queen or duchess waiting to chop off my head.  So maybe, just maybe, I can figure out how to relax.  Oh look, here’s something that says eat me . . .





It’s Always Tea Time



A standard work meeting

 `
Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: `it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.’

`Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ said Alice.

`Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: `as the things get used up.’ 

                                 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Workplaces want more than just nose-to-the-grindstone workers.  Oh, sure, they want those too, especially if these workers will also work for bread crumbs and nose insurance.  But to really succeed in almost any business, you have to show you’re involved.  As in, you need to join clubs.  That’s right, you just thought you left high school.


But it gets better.  Just like no one ever threw a pep rally for the Honor Society, so people are more impressed with those who volunteer for extra activities.  It shows you are a “team player”.  Instead of volleyball practice, these activities invariably involve meetings.  And the meetings almost always involve committees, which involve sub-committees, until you are effectively always in some sort of meeting.  That has nothing to do with your actual job.  Ironically, the more you do this, the better your job outlook.


And so, lately I have been quite involved in an Activities Committee.  And I’ve been in a lot of meetings.  I help plan birthday parties, and parades, and fundraising walks, and Chili Cook-Offs and of course what we shall serve in the coffee shop (I don’t actually work at a coffee shop, by the way).  This can’t be done by just anyone.  It involves a lot of deep thinking involving whether we should use fancy toothpicks or little wrappers for samples, or how to dress up a float (would voodoo be out of line in a conservative Bible-Belt town?), or stupid team names (don’t make me repeat these).  Like I said, important stuff.


I’ve missed several blogging days.  I’ve been busy.  In meetings.  One must always have these, because little gets accomplished in the other meetings, which calls for another.  But it’s like this in all things – as soon as you get used to something being one way, it’s time to change, and another meeting to figure out how to do so.  New cup, move down.

Painting the roses red

Q of H – a real people person

`Would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little timidly, `why you are painting those roses?’

Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began in a low voice, `Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a RED rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you see, Miss, we’re doing our best, afore she comes, to–‘ At this moment Five, who had been anxiously looking across the garden, called out `The Queen! The Queen!’ and the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps, and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen.

Finally, we get to the real star of the book, the Queen of Hearts!  At least that’s what she tells me and I’m inclined to agree with her.  How many of us have known such a queen?  I certainly have.  She went by the title of “director” but I’m fairly certain she saw herself as queen, for her employees were most certainly treated as serfs.

My former fellow employees and me

I picked the scene of the card employees painting the white rose bush red for a reason.  What’s so ironic about this is that when you work under a tyrant, sometimes the least useful thing for the company is the thing you must do to survive.  The bush is still a white rose bush, but it appears red, and that’s enough to keep her staff’s heads on their shoulders, so that’s all they care about.  When you’re trying to avoid fury, the last thing you think about is how well the company is doing.  After all, you’re only one tiny, small peg in the wheel.


This is why the authoritarian style NEVER works.  I don’t care whether you’re a spouse, a parent, a teacher, a preacher, a boss, or a queen.  People will respond to fear – but only enough to keep from getting into trouble.  If you want them to actually help you, help the business, help the family, help the kingdom – you must treat them with respect.  But too many use the authoritarian approach because it’s easier.  As an aside, is it just me, or does the Queen of Hearts remind you a bit of Michelle Bachmann?  Maybe it’s just me.


Anyway, I did manage to finally escape my Queen of Hearts, and now I work for a new kinder, gentler queen.  And I work hard for her, harder than I ever did for the other, because I genuinely want to please her.  If I planted the wrong bush, I wouldn’t cover it up now.  I’d admit I goofed, and I’d plant another.  And more than likely, this queen would pick up a hoe and help me do so.  No more painting the roses red.  And, thank God, no more threats of “Off with their heads!”

Parenting advice from the Duchess

Where’s Supernanny when you need her?

While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:-

`I speak severely to my boy,
I beat him when he sneezes;
For he can thoroughly enjoy
The pepper when he pleases!’
-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

What a lovely nursery rhyme!  Okay, so the Duchess would not be considered parent-of-the-year material.  In fact, the whole shaken baby thing would definitely get her a day in court, unless the child were to turn into a pig, in which case she’d only have to worry about PETA.

But what makes the “perfect” parent?  Obviously we don’t want to beat children for sneezing – not when there are so many other reasons to smack them.  Not saying that I do, of course, but I doubt there’s a real parent on earth who hasn’t thought of it at least once.  This is why television is such a lifesaver.  Without the occasional use of the boob tube babysitter, I bet there’d be a lot more sneezing beatings.

But of course you’ll get the parents who know more than you do.  Nevermind that thus far, you’ve managed to not kill your kids, a very awesome success in itself, these people are certain they are doing it better than you are.  Their precious child never had a bottle, never watched a second of T.V., never threw tantrums, never ate anything but organic homemade food, never had a second of unstructured time.  They did learn to speak, crawl, and walk earlier than other babies.  Also, their children prefer the taste of spinach over chocolate, and eat it all the time, and are involved in every type of sport, and also make straight As.  And then, of course, they wonder – what do YOU do?

I am a slacker mom.  I used to be embarrassed about this, especially around the Stepford wife crowd, found anywhere, but especially known to congregate in churches.  But now I look at my kids, and I realize that they’re not perfect, but they’re happy most of the time.  They weren’t breastfed for years, but they have fewer allergies than their breastfed peers.  They didn’t always walk and crawl and talk right when the book said they should, but my eldest hummed “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to herself at less than a year.

Her little sister was more the scientist type than the artistic – at about 17 months she discovered through personal experimentation that super glue was, in fact, not a poisonous substance.  And this was after quite a few hours of the dreaded Clifford the Big Red Dog, Teletubbies, and Big, Big World, a show that would make the staunchest environmentalist want to burn down a rain forest.  But they did learn from these shows, and as far as I can tell, haven’t lost brain cells because of it.  I might need to tone down the Disney channel, though, because I’m fairly sure I’ve lost some from it merely by secondhand exposure.

Sometimes I get mad at my kids and shout at them.  Sometimes I’m too tired to play.  Sometimes I have to GET OUT before I go completely insane.  They aren’t in any structured activities save church and Girl Scouts.  But thus far they haven’t written a tell-all book about me.  And my eldest even wrote an essay praising my good qualities, including showing them vidoes on Youtube.  Which might have made the teacher wonder.  But, ah well.  When I’m feeling down, I remember that at least I don’t beat them for sneezing.  So, with any luck, they won’t grow up to be pigs after all.

It takes all the running you can do . . .

Surge!!!!!
“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
– Through the Looking Glass

 

I do believe I live in Alice Country.  I am a working mother with two children –  I’m always tired.  There is getting them to school, and me to work, and staying awake at work and accomplishing, or seeming to accomplish, something, and then going home, hoping my dear husband fixes a supper that doesn’t completely clog my arteries as I am too exhausted to pop the chicken nuggets, supper of champions, into the oven and checking the children’s backpacks for mysterious notes from teachers, permission and detention slips I must sign, money I must send, homework I must proof, and finally trying to get them bathed, read to, and into bed
 

At the end of it all, I am fortunate to have enough energy to bathe myself and flop into bed.  Except then I have the elusive free time, which I can use to keep myself up longer and thus make the next day even harder.  I am always running, it seems, just to stay in place.  Often I think that I don’t really do anything, as the house is in constant disorder, and I’m always forgetting stuff like appointments, library books, and the location of my glasses.  But then I get sick – as I am now – and I realize that I do stuff.  I stay in place.  When I’m sick, I fall a few steps back, and I see that the house can look worse as it edges toward getting us a guest spot on “Hoarders”.  Oh, my husband helps, but it takes two, especially when one also has things to do, like play with tools.  So I am hoping that the doctor, after relieving me of that burdensome 30 dollars, will cure me so that I can once again stay in place.  And maybe, just maybe, I can run twice as fast one day, and get somewhere else.

I wonder what that place might be?