Baby's Got Black... Gums

Today while turning Archer upside down and swinging him around my his feet like a helicopter I noticed that he's packing a pair of black back-gums where his molars are supposed to be coming in.

Just in time for Halloween, Archer's gone dark.

I've never seen black gums before but I'm not too happy with them because frankly, they scare me. It's unnatural and clearly causing Archer discomfort. Which makes me sad. And frustrated.

I googled "black gums" and found a lot of information on trees and this black chewing gum, which apparently has a cult-like following and is quoted as having "Hi-Technical Taste" (Jean-Claude Van Damme did the commercials if you can believe it). Otherwise, I found practically nothing online about babies with black and blue gums.

So since Google has failed me, perhaps one or several of you have experience with this black-gum phenomenon. Is Archer marked by the devil or is this just routine teething bullshit?

Oh and in case you were wondering, the "black gum" is some kind of magical chewing experience, complete with caffeine and a million vitamins. Apparently it's all the rage with the kids these days.

The shit you find on the internet, man.


Note: I'm guest-blogging over at The Zero Boss all week so if you wanna, Come on down!

I Remember Halloween

Bonfires burning bright,
Pumpkin faces in the night,
I remember Halloween...


My mother always made my costumes. One of my earliest memories is me in my mother's kitchen, perched on the linoleum countertop and her fitting my feet with orange rubber gloves. I was four-years-old and I wanted to be a chicken. I liked to wear gloves on my feet and my mother completed the costume with a yellow streamered-suit hand-sewn and impeccably me.

Through childhood she made all of my out-there costumes. I was a Dead Nun one year and a "hitchhiker who escaped prison" the next. One year I went as a werewoolf (get it?) and the next year I dressed up as an old man and then there was Whoopi Goldberg circa Ghost, which thanks to my Mom, I was able to pull off.

My favorite costume, however, was the one my mother made me at age six. I wanted to dress up like my rat, Kevin so my Mom created a giant pink tail, attached it to my white leotard and sewed spots down my back and a black hood with little pink ears.

I entered myself in the kid's costume contest at the local park. The girl standing next to me won. She was a fairy-princess.

"Hey you. What are you supposed to be?"

"I'm Kevin, my hooded-rat. What are you?"

"I'm a fairy-princess. Duh."


For years I felt robbed of the prize. I had decided that there must have been some sort of mix-up and in actuality, I was the winner of the contest. I had myself convinced that if I had stood up to collect my reward the judges would see that my costume TRULY was the very best and they would have taken the prize back from the fairy-princess to give to me, its rightful owner.

I had been robbed! Either that or the judges had a vendetta against rats which would have been even worse. (I was the hooded-rat's number one fan.)

I may have been the weird kid but my costumes beat the princesses and angels to a bloody pulp (so, I thought.) I took my costuming very seriously, to the point of becoming delusional. What a pain in the ass. No wonder no one wanted to be my friend.

The next year I went as something pretty, Rainbow Brite, my favorite doll/lesbian activist. (Killer boots, right?) It was an amazing costume, but not quite me, so the next year I went back to black. Back to weird. Back to something slimy. Halloween was about masks and wigs and rubber-gloved feet. Halloween was about being different, being silly, being myself.

With the help of my mother's precision and costume-making talent, sky was the limit. Anything I wanted to be she would make.

"You can be anything you want."

And so I was.

When I moved out on my own I tried my best to make my costumes myself. I could not sew so much as a button but I was eager to try. One year I dressed up as "The Underwear Witch". I wore a pointy hat made out of tissue paper and an old pant-leg and made a cape out of my roommates' boxer shorts safety pinned to a piece of bedsheet. No one knew what the hell I was. It was a complete and total failure.

"And what are you?"

"Psh. I have no idea. "

In 2002, I decided to so something a bit more controversial and asked for my mom's assistance. The idea was too good to be poorly made. I drove down to San Diego to be fitted for my Burka. I would be an Afghanistan Peep Show and charge ten cents for a peek at my shoulder, ankle and even toe

My mother pinned, and created velcro peep-holes in the monstrous costume while I brainstormed witty ways to sell my services

disarm, disrobe. $.10

No camel-toe, here. $.10

...Afghanistan Peep Show: Only A Stone's Throw Away!

We laughed through the fitting. It still is one of my all-time favorite moments with my mother.

Unfortunately, come Halloween night, no one noticed my costume because I was with a somewhat famous friend who dressed up like Frida Kahlo (complete with unibrow) and being that his show was at the height of its fame and I was a nobody, no one cared for my song and dance. The night ended badly when I passed out in Glen Danzig's gutter and had to be dragged to Chris's truck and carted away like the terrorist I was, burka flapping in the wind of the haunted night. Those were the days.

In 2003 I dressed up as a Christian Punk band. I called myself "Holy Shit" and with a sharpie I printed the tour dates of my "Bible Belt Tour" on the back. I wore a half-naked Ken doll in a holster around my waist (he was lead-guitar) and I wore Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen dolls on my other hip with a drum stick duct-taped to their hands (Olsen twins were my drummer) which had fallen off by the end of the night when the below Polaroid was taken. "Holy Shit" could not have been complete without my bass player, Jesus H. Christ.

It cost me about thirty-bucks for the dolls, a sharpie and a Jesus is my Homeboy tee from Urban Outfitters. I made it myself. I felt so grown-up:

That was the last time I was able to dress up on Halloween.

For the past two Halloweens, husband and I have dressed up as movers, clad in Adidas pants and sweat-stained t-shirts with dust-bunnies in our hair. We have sadly spent our Halloweens together lugging boxes up the steps in the candlelight of jack-o-lanterns.

We still had ideas, however, and even though we weren't able to make them happen-- thought that counts.

2003- "Attached at the Hipster":: Siamese hipster twins straight out of Spaceland.

2004- "Swing States." :: Swingers/States of Ohio & Florida, on our way to a key-party/caucus.

This year we're not moving. This year there is no excuse not to dress up as something cool and different and if I can pull it off, funny. The trouble is, I'm a terrible crafts(wo)man. I can barely sew a button. I'm a poor excuse for a costume-maker. I use sharpie markers instead of iron-ons, safety pins instead of a needle and thread.

So here I sit, cutting out magazine letters to safety-pin to Archer's costume, a sleeveless onesie, stained and stretched out with a collage of botched letters.

(I just hope no one confuses Archer's "Illustrated Man" costume with that of a homeless punk-rocker on Hollywood Blvd, and I, the bearded lady as some kind of cracked-out sound-guy. )

It is possible that in the future, Archer will want to be a superhero or a pop-culture trend, and that's okay too, but just in case he wants to dress up like a volcano or a sunflower-seed, I want to be prepared. I want Archer to know he can be whoever he wants, that I would be happy for him to step outside the mass-produced box, scribble outside the lines, make up his own mind. I want him to look back with joy and laughter on his Halloweens and like me, be able to say that his mom made his costumes.

Halloween marked my most memorable moments. It was the one night a year I was able to dress up as whatever I wanted and no one would care. No one would make fun of me in my dorky underwear cape or my werewoolf mask, in my rat costume, with rubber gloves for feet.

Halloween nights were for make-believe and weirdness, nights I want Archer to find just as exciting. Nights I hope to co-create with Archer's imagination, a Sharpie marker and a few safety pins.

Like my mother did for me.


Walking in L.A

Walking in L.A.
Walking in L.A(eee)
SOMEBODY walks in L.A.

A to the Men.


Backing Barbie

Lately I've been feeling a bit sorry for my old friend, Barbie. I loved her as a child, not because her waist was small and her hair was shiny but because she was my friend and I told her all of my secrets when my imaginary friends stopped listening and disappeared for good.

Also because I'm pretty sure disproportionate dolls have been in children's hands since the beginning of time:

Behold, the old stick doll, brainwashing its cave-children to look more like trees.

And then we have the headless paper dolls which sold headlessness like it was some sort of sick new look. How could they! And those necks? No one has a neck that long!

The controversial "butt doll" which brainwashed an entire civilization to think that to be beautiful was to implant hippopotamus fat in their asses.

Parents feared for their children's limbs when the popular armless doll came to fashion. It wasn't long before their fears were realized when children the land over started chopping their limbs off to be more like their beloved dolls

Sure they aren't blonde and busty with a million dollar wardrobe but I'm sure they were controversial in their time. I mean just LOOK AT THEM.

Personally, I don't think Barbie is to blame for the insecurities of our (selves) little girls:

Poor misunderstood Barbie. Can someone please get her a drink?


You Say Potato, I Say Something Stupid.

The other day I accidentally called Archer, "little hottie."

In a public place.

Surrounded by other people. Respectable people. Parents. Former-child actors. Strippers.

I'm not sure who heard me utter the words. Whether anyone was listening is beside the point. I heard myself, which was bad enough. Little Hottie? LITTLE HOTTIE? WTF, self? Who are you and what are you doing calling your son, "little hottie?"

I thought fast and did the following:

A. Tried to pretend I said something else.

"...I mean. Um. "Little Scotty! Yes, this is my son, Scott, er Scotty! And look how small he is. I mean, little! He's a little Scotty! A little-bit Scotty...."

B. Explained to Archer in a whisper that although I thought he was an attractive child and very sweet, I didn't think of him as a "little hottie."

C. Placed oversized sunglasses over eyes before exiting the premises sans cart.

I drove home that afternoon in silence. Stereo on mute. Windows up. No making silly faces at Archer in the rear-view mirror. "Sheesh," I thought. "I really need to think before I speak." I tried to remember the last time I even called anyone, "little hottie." Highschool, perhaps? Junior High?

Unfortunately it wasn't the first time I bit my tongue with an oops-nickname. Several months ago I accidentally (I swear I was not conscious of what I was saying) called Archer, "sexy." Ah! Kill me now! PLEASE!

Much to my relief I recently found out that I'm not the only one who accidentally calls our child inappropriate names.

The other day while wrapping Archer up in his towel, fresh out of the bath, the huz called Archer "butt boy." Yes, you heard me. BUTT BOY. As in:

"Come here, butt boy! Let's go get you dressed."


I peeked my head into Archer's room.

"Um, DUDE? Did you just call Archer, butt-boy?"

"What? No."

"Yes you did!"

"I did?"

"Yes! You called him butt boy! Ahahahahahaha. Oh, man."

"No. I called him something else. Bok Choy, I think."

"Bok Choy? Yeah. Nice try."

I suddenly felt slightly better about my "little hottie" incident. Not only is "little hottie" a little less embarrassing than "butt boy" but I had a better (and more stealth) cover than Bok effing Choy.

"By the way, from now on, Archer's name is "Scotty" when we're at Whole Foods on 3rd Street."

And by the grace of all things embarrassing, Butt-Boy Sr. nodded understandably.

That night we went back to calling Archer, Archer. You know, just to be safe. Hopefully it sticks.


Teen Mom Squad!

Mom-group crashing has become a kind of hobby for me as of late. I have several awesome mom-friends but no real posse and so I, um, sort of crash them. I show up. Listen. Smile and nod. Say hello to True-Religion clad offspring. Ponder. Go home. Maybe it's just here in L.A. but on the rare occurrence one stumbles upon an actual mom-group (as opposed to the usual, Nanny Group) one is in for some serious church-giggles.

Yesterday while at a local park with Archer and our friends, (cue Carrie Bradshaw) I couldn't help but wonder if there was even a difference between teen-girl cliques and mom-groups.

Are most moms simply highschool girls with mileage?

The average age for new moms in Los Angeles I believe is 72. I'm not kidding, either. 72 seems about right. Around here, women have children after they retire. From acting. From producing. From gold-digging, so if I can find a new mother under 45, I usually cling to her and hold on for dear-life. Not that there is anything wrong with the 72-year-old Mom-group. They're doing their thing, pushing strollers in motorized carts, etc. I'm the freak after all. I get the funny looks.

One would never know that these moms are 72, though. Plastic surgery has made them ageless, and a little alien-like and they speak as if scripted by the cast of Laguna Beach:

"My son Dax is like soooooo cute in his brand new rugby polo. OMG!"

"Totally hot. Did you get it at Babystyle? I have the SAME one for Max!"

"OMG, Don't look now. Carrie's little boy is driving a kid-size Hummer H2. What is she thinking?"*


"Total bitch. Doesn't she know about the Hybrid tricycle? My children, Ryder and Storm, each have one."

"So, like, my pediatrician said that his pediatrician said that his pediatrician totally said..."

"No way. My pediatrician's dog's veterinarian's friend's pediatrician's mom said that was totally not true."

"Well I read that if you breastfeed your child until kindergarten that they will be better listeners."

"Well I read that if you breastfeed your husband, HE will be a better listener."

"OMG did you read that in Spock or Spears?"

"Niether. I read it in Spearock, the "new-greatest-coolest-everyone-is-reading-it-book" on shelves!"




"OMG. Don't look now. DILF alert!"

"He is NOT pushing the rockstar stroller. Such a bugaboo knock-off. Gay men should know better."

"I can't believe his daughter, Waterfall, didn't get into the Webster Private School for infants."

"It's SUCH a great school."

"So, ladies, GATHER around. I just got my photos back from Annie Leibovitz! She took photos of Neruda, did I not tell you?"

"So not fair."

"Well, I have booked Wolfgang Puck to cater Siren's 6-month birthday bash."

"Well I'm pregnant again. With triplets."



"Yeah, bitch." (Drops dead from natural causes.)

This may seem like a dramatization, but I'm telling you-- crash a mom-group in West Hollywood and take notes. Then fold the note into a neat origami triangle and slip it into my locker.

And then I'll be like, OMG TOTALLY! I told you! And then you'll be all, bitch, whatevs.

And then I'll like, totally blog about it.


*I had to agree with her. What was she thinking? The child almost ran Archer over in that thing!!! Bitch.

Poo-Poo Haiku Volume 102

Today, Archer became an artist. Unfortunatley, his medium was all wrong...

I Paint Masterpiece Poop

Sh. I'm not sleeping.
I'm fingerpainting with poop
Poop is the new black.

Oh, dude. Sooooo not a Masterpiece

You're breaking my heart
Your sheets are not your canvas!
Keep it in your pants


Does Moby Dick Come in Bath Book?

I'm a book snob.

Bookstores depress me, all of the faux-fur-jacketed crap on the shelves, discounted 20%. Bestsellers. I do not buy or even browse a book that has pink on its cover (anywhere) or a martini glass or a high-heel or a handbag or a leopard print coat, or a clothes hanger or a city-skyline or a cat with a sequined collar or a crown or jewelry or a convertible BMW with a headscarf blowing in the wind and the Hollywood sign/Eiffel tower/Empire State Building/leaning tower of Pisa in the background. You can judge a book by it's cover, these days. You really can.

Yes! Finally a book about women in towels daydreaming of cosmopolitans and high-heeled shoes and single beach-chairs on secluded beaches and red roses behind suited-men's backs!

That being said I'm a total and utter hypocrite having made my publishing debut (and name) in the most disrespected-by-the-publishing-world-book-series. Period. If you ever want to get the stink-eye from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, tell him that you are a contributing author of Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul and a bunch of other Chicken Soup(y) Books. Tell him you are reading from Teen Soul on Tough Stuff your very profound and award-winning story, "I Kiss Like a Horse" on the Etc stage at 3:00 and watch him convulse with disrepect. And then ask him to sign A Coney Island of the Mind, which he will do before muttering, "I hope you're aspiring for more..." then handing book back with a forced smile.

And I am. I promise. I'm working, Larry. I'm working, and sometimes even I'm embarrassed to be seen with myself.

Being a voracious reader and a bit of a connoisseur of words and language, I started early with Archer, reading my belly some of my favorite works of poetry, trying to introduce him to the rhythm of words and melody of prose.

When he was born, we already had a great collection of children's books. Board book and non and a several bath books as well. I read to him before bedtime as a newborn, as an infant, and a toddler. He could care less.

I felt like a total failure, especially when browsing bookstores to see children Archer's age reading with their parents, sitting quietly in their warm laps, tracing their little fingers over the pictures, listening. When I tried to do the same, Archer sweetly tossed whatever it was I was trying to read, clear across the room or hit me in the face with a Caldecott-worthy spine.

My heart was broken. I stopped buying him books. I stopped trying to force-read 'Where the Wild Things Are' and I resigned myself to the fact that the only way Archer would devour a book was by, actually devouring it -- cardboard pages soggy in his mouth.

There have been so many wonderful little books I have wanted to buy him, read to him, cuddle to. For just as adult literature is becoming more of a mass-produced joke, it seems children's books are getting better, more inspired, better written, with more depth on a single, wordless page than any Sophia Kinsella disaster or Sex and the City knock-off. (Except for that Walter the Farting Dog book which is one of the more confusing success stories. Perhaps it would be a better read if something exciting happened like Farting-Dog went to prison?)

Last week in the shower, a miracle occurred-- Archer reached for one of many bath books, crawled over to me, sat in my lap and let me read him the story. And I did. Buck naked, and teary-eyed, I read Archer the "ABC's" book aloud and he *sniff* listened. By God, HE LISTENED!!! Soon after 'ABC'S' we read '123's' and then 'Colors' and then 'Colores' (en espanol) until we had read the entire contents of our bath-library and we were both prunes.

The next day Archer did it again, grabbing this time, "One Fish Two Fish... " And the next day he did the same and the next day and the next..!

Unfortunately storytime is something that has yet to happen on dry-land. I have even tried wiping dry his beloved bath books to read to him on the couch, but No. Only in the shower we can read! Only without my glasses! Only while water is pounding me in the face and getting in my nose!

Perhaps this is just a phase, kind of like the secret-walking and the bitch slapping and the obsession with string-cheese.

Before I had nightmares of Archer crawling to his High School Prom, but now I dream of special-ordering Catcher in the Rye in bath book, so Archer will actually read the thing and be able to pass 9th grade. Hopefully by then he will have graduated to board book at the very least.

Otherwise you can call me Ishmael, because I'll be spending the rest of my days at sea in the bathroom, with Arch, and the alphabet classic, ABC, with shampoo in my eyes, one-shaved leg and a pruned-ass.

Woman over-bored.


White and Nerdy

This has nothing to do with parenthood or Archer, but it's oh-so silly and made me think of you, Dad... (I guess it's kinda to do with daughterhood then, no?)

This is how we bowl.


Married Life, Part One Squillion

Me: So! I finally figured out what I'm going to be for Halloween so me and Archer can match!

Huz: Oh nice. Sexy devil? Flight attendant? Nurse?

Me: No, seriously, guess. Oh and P.S. I'm going for funny.

Huz: Funny, huh. Hmmmm... A wench?

Me: Noooooooooooo. I'm going to be the Bearded Lady!

Huz. Oh.

Me: What? Isn't that a good one? Like an old circus sideshow bearded lady?

Huz: I guess. I just thought you said you were going to dress up.

Oh, snap!



GGC Six Weekend Recs

Updated below...

1. TASTE: Gnu Food Bars-- I used to be addicted to Luna bars and then they discontinued my favorite flavor (Grrrrrrrr) so NOW I'm on a Chocolate Brownie Bar kick. They're delicious and fiberific (no poop jokes) and perfect for the ol' diaper bag. And Archer likes them too. You can pick them up at pretty much all health food stores including Whole Foods.

2. WEAR: Burts Bees Lip Shimmer-- A saving grace for Moms. If you don't already have one in every color, um, you should. They're minty fresh and pretty on and you can kiss your baby's face all day long without leaving major marks. Oh, and they're cheap. My favorite beauty product on earth. Period.

3. READ: Nightwood By: Djuna Barnes -- Recently re-released with a gorgeous introduction by my favorite living writer, Jeanette Winterson, Nightwood is one of the more mesmerizing works of prose. She writes with a paint brush. She leaves stains. Nightwood is a masterpiece that deserves it's place as one of the greatest contemporary novels.

4. SEE: The Photography of Little Labryinth: I've been stalking Amanda's photography for a while, both on her blog and her flickr sets. Her shots are striking, inspiring and full of wonder. Her ability to capture the imagination and joy of childhood (and parenthood) is wowing. These are some of my favorite shots but truly, they're all amazing (including the above image c/o Amanda Keeys photography.)

5. HEAR: Justin Robert's Meltdown -- Kind of like Ben Folds meets Weird Al for kids. Rockin.

6. CAUSE: Lucia's Angels-- Stacy of Frankly Pregnant recently lost her best friend, Lucia to breast cancer and has started a wonderful organization in her honor. Lucia's Angels provides comfort and support to women and families going through the final stages of breast cancer. Lucia's Angeles provides hair-styling, massage, music therapy and childcare for patients as well as many other services. A wonderful cause in memory of a wonderful woman. Please spread the word and donate what you can.


One Year of GGC

This week marked my one-year anniversary with Girl's Gone Child. One. Whole. Year.

One year posting about Archer and pregnancy and strollers and sex and breasts and breastfeeding and sex-education and bikinis and poop and The Village People and carjackings and birth stories and Nanny Pimps and writing books and reading books and first birthdays and how I accidentally inserted an entire tampon (applicator and all) when I first started my period and road rage and hating Parenting Magazine's stylist and turning 25, and being a young mom and masculism and LA living and placentas and celebrity sightings and Archer's crawlapalooza and cribz and finding my way and love and war and marriage and wanting more and feeling broken. Lost and found. Being afraid. Being a daughter and a granddaughter. Being a sister. Being a friend. Being a stay at home parent. Being a Mother. Being a wife. Being alive.

It is very much true that writers write to be read and that bloggers REALLY write to be read, otherwise we would keep off-line journals. Diaries with locks and keys, hidden in our sock drawers with other private items. We wouldn't put it all out there for people to read. Typos and all, guts and entrails and the occasional secret.

We all want to be read, to be heard and sometimes appreciated. We all want to make a difference with our stories and jokes and ideas. We all need a little recognition to keep going because with ourselves we are too critical.

I started Girls Gone Child because I wanted a place to write and reflect about life with Archer and meet like-minded parents doing the same. I had no idea what a huge part of my life GGC would become. I had no idea I would meet the extraordinary people I have met through this blog, no clue I would attract an audience that extended beyond family and Uncle Frank.

But it did and I am grateful. Grateful for every person who reads what I write, for those who comment, and email and have become great friends. For those of you who lurk in the shadows and nod silently at home.

I adore each and every one of you, many of whom I don't even know by name, but who I feel I know in voice. In experience. In story and essay and rant. In the way you love your children, ask questions, provoke debate, explore your opinions, philosophies, lives. In the way you parent. In the way you inspire. In the way you write. In every word.

You have made me a better writer, mother, woman, human and I thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say, for commenting and for making me feel, in so many words, cool. I thank you for your kindness and love and perfect post awards. I thank you for being my friends, for always being there and for always being kind and supportive.

We have an amazing community here on the www and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.

From my very first GGC post to this one, I thank you. Thank you for finding me and allowing me to find you.

Cake all around!


In Case Anyone Else's Kids are Obsessed with Meerkats

We have been temporarily without a TV all week so last night when Archer woke up screaming his head off and there was no Meerkat Manor (Archer = Meerkats #1 Fan) to chill his ass out, we went looking for the next best thing...

...And boy did we find it.

Without further ado, the most funktastic Meerkat montage on ALL THE WEB. (Pump up the volume, Meerkat Lovahs!)

Thanks, Rosa. Your editing was top notch.

Man, I love me some youtube.


Are You There God? It's Me, Sickhead

I'm sick. You're sick. We're all sick. Sick, sick.

I never used to get sick before Archer. Maybe once every five years I'd get a cold but other than that, I've always been pretty healthy. Used to be. Past tense.

Because for the last sixteen and a half months I've been perpetual sick-chick. I'm like that nose in the commercial that walks around on two legs, except I'm clutching a small, sneezing baby nose as I try to entertain (us) by cranking the volume to the ONE children's CD we have. (I don't mean to deprive my child but one seems like more than enough.)

Before Archer was born I could afford to get sick. Shit, man, I looked forward to it! It was a treat! I got to watch High Fidelity a hundred times. I stayed in bed and wore my PJs to walk the dogs and ate a shitload of buttered bread and applied Vicks Vapo rub like moisturizer. Awesome! Being sick was an excuse to buy trashy magazines and eat out of a can. Being sick was an excuse to have dirty hair, sleep until noon and wear (gulp) Ugg Boots.

Ah, yes because in ye olden days, I didn't have to work until 1am five nights a week. I didn't have a toddler-on-the-run (crawl) and have to chase him around the house, wasted on cough syrup, tripping on the side-effects of Tylenol PM, after accidentally taking it instead of the regular. (Has anyone ever fallen asleep face-down in hardwood?) Yes, now I can say I have.

Being sick with a baby/toddler/child is pretty much the same thing as breaking both legs and then being asked to run a marathon. Effing H'ing impossible.

I do not have a staff of seventeen and now that my baby's daddy is back to work and the dogs STILL can't housekeep (WTF, Cooper!?) it's all up to me.

And so I lie here, clad in sweatpants, hair matted to my forehead c/o the grease from last week's hair-product overdose, looking out across a horizon of Legos and Theraflu boxes, drunk on exhaustion, with a brilliant idea:

Moms should be immune to all illness during the first ten years of parenthood.

I would be willing to sacrifice my future health (an entire year of postnasal drip would be a bargain!) for the above request.

Cure me now and keep me healthy until 2015 and I'll never swear again. Or make a left turn without using my blinker. Or take more than one free sample. Or double-dip.

Are you there, God? Goddess? Allah? James Brown? Charlie Brown? I'll worship a false idol if that's what it takes. L. Ron Hubbard?

Because this is me bitching, with ONE child. I can't even begin to know the hardship that is MWSWMTOC. (Mothering While Sick With More Than One Child) I presume it's like running a marathon with two broken legs AND no head.

And so my hat goes off to the headless.

(Sorry about the hair.)


The Battle of the Binky

Twas the Binky that brought them together. Twas the binky that could tear them apart.

Kennedy Rae Vs...

...Archer Sage

Round One: Weighing it Out

In the light of the late afternoon, the wee- offspring of old friends got together for a brief soiree at Archer's Grammy's house:

Round Two: The Face-off

The binky is always greener in the other mouth:

To be continued*?

*Probably not, actually. That just took forever.


Weekend Update W/ Archer Sagebrush

I have been uploading photos around the clock. One of my bestest friends was married this weekend. (More hangovers. More dancing. More trying to sleep in while a toddler smacks me in the face.) Photo set here.

Congratulations, Mere!

Weekend Archer photos for the family are here.

Now we're off to the Zoo to harass spider monkeys and fruit bats. Will be back tomorrow with regular scheduled programming.



Yesterday someone found my site by google-searching the following:

"Where was the child I was, still inside me or gone?"

And for whatever reason, it made me cry.

Maybe I'm just hypersensitive but I couldn't help but feel that sometimes people stumble upon my site, and every other website for that matter, because they're looking for answers to impossible questions or questions they should be asking themselves.

It's as if search engines are some kind of crystal ball. Rub the screen and type with your eyes closed. Tell the box your deepest darkest secrets and an image will appear.

This morning someone found GGC by searching, "Will You Buy Me Some Boobs?" and without thinking twice I yelled out loud and into the screen of my computer, "NO! Buy them yourself!"

I guess some questions are easier to answer than others.


Sex and Violence: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly?

"Equating sex to sin is in my opinion the LOWEST POINT of the church and the LOWEST POINT of American culture," I wrote in the comments section of my last post which created not only a wave of opinion and insight, but made me realize that perhaps the problem is much more than I originally thought. And by problem, I mean: our puritanical views and need to control the world we have decided to bring our children in to.

The brilliant and inspiring, ECR posted the following comment and I think she hit it right on the nose:

"I especially agree with your points regarding repressed sexuality. I feel that we, as women, would do better to embrace sex first, and then work to address the iniquities in a sex culture dominated by men. Women do not need to refer to their own sisters as "sluts." Whose cause does that kind of language further? Also, I don't buy the argument that porn is an evil that one must equate with guns and drugs. I think a lot of the excesses and addictions that exist today around sex are a result of a culture that denigrates the act."

Somehow we seem to have forgotten that young people have sexual instincts just as we do. I started masturbating at age five, not because of Britney Spears' influence (I wasn't even aware of what sex was at that age. All I had seen on television was Sesame Street) but because sexuality is as natural an instinct as there is.

Should I feel abnormal for having done so? Of course not. Then who is to blame? Little girls who masturbate are dirty. Come on, people! Why? Why is what comes naturally so frowned upon? So unspoken of. Taboo?

Young women and young boys are aware that they have a body, even a sexual one. The media doesn't teach us this. It's inherent. We reproduce. We have instincts. We have sex with or without Jenna Jameson showing us how.

"Too much sex and violence on TV."

"Why the sex and violence?"

"Parent Advisory: Sex and violence."

"Sex and violence lead to the sexually violent."

Sex and violence? Together forever?


Is watching two naked bodies, doing what two naked bodies often do, just as "bad" as watching some dude with a hatchet cutting people's legs off? Some (Okay, MANY) would argue it's worse.

One of the reasons I have always been reluctant to call myself a feminist is because I think women are held down by women for the most part and not by men.

Like ECR said, women refer to their own sisters as sluts. Women trash each other like it's just another day. Women beat each other down with jealousy and anger and resentment. Ask most women who they feel threatened by and they will say "other women," myself included. This is to me an issue that calling oneself "feminist" does not change. This makes many, including me feel like an outsider to the club/the movement/the community.

In my days of sexual freedom, never once in the company of a man did I feel "slutty." It was always in the company of women. It was the eyes that came from the chick at the end of the bar. It was the comments from mutual friends. The hypocrisy from Sex and the City-obsessed bar-hoppers who loved to talk about how awesome "SEXUALLY LIBERATED SAMANTHA" was and then bash every Real-Life-Samantha, women who were "having sex like men," including me. The hypocrisy was almost comedic.

I have no problem with sex. Writing about it. Talking about it. Being uninhibited when I have it and why the hell should I be?

Women are to keep their legs closed like a lady. Children are to understand that sex is inappropriate, reserved for adults. That their bodies are sacred and holy while women in cleavage-dipping shirts on cover of magazines are sluts. Sex should not sell, in fact sex selling is something we must stop. A sexual female can and will be disrespected, unless of course she's married or very much in love. How is that feminist? How is that pro-woman?

Raise your hand if you have sex. Raise your hand if you like sex. Raise your hand if you think sex is something reserved for sluts and HBO after hours. Raise your hand if you hate talking about sex. Raise your hand if you're American. Raise your hand if your life is rated PG-13. And your children get a nice healthy G slapped on their foreheads.

My apologies if you have been in on the debate and have read my comments but one of the first things I was shocked with when I first traveled abroad at 18 were the naked beaches. How was it possible that men and boys weren't freaking out at the sight of beautiful Italian women chasing each other around, topless? No one cared. The concept was so alien to me and even after living overseas and spending quite a bit of time on the beaches of France and Greece and the Spanish islands, I still wondered how it would be possible for teenage boys to be so underwhelmed by tanned, naked women everywhere.

Of course in America, the boys would be out of control excited. It would be a HUGE deal and perhaps most telling, It would be against the law.

Many of you who commented were European or from elsewhere across the pond, like Helena who responded with this:

"When I read this post it didn't occur to me that this would generate such a debate with such "strange views". I call it "strange views" because, as an European, sometimes I find your American views and your American beliefs so strange it's almost surreal. I do not want to offend anyone, but the image Americans project is the bush image... Americans try to paint a world of black and white but you always forget the greys. Please tell your children about greys, let them play with barbies, let the magazines be in the shelves, make them aware of what surrounds them...that's the only (way to) kick away the bush that lies beneath..."

The bush that lies beneath is more than just the president. I'm talking the other bush. The bush we do not discuss, the most important bush of all... The bush that is as dangerous as a weapon, as rated R as a serial killer. The bush that lies beneath... our torsos. Vagina. Pussy. Cunt. Whatever you want to call her. SHE IS ALLOWED. And believe it or not, sometimes she has nothing to do with the media. Or peers. Or porn. Or violence. Sometimes she just exists.

Seems to me, the only way sex and violence relate to one another is in the context that sexual repression creates violent and angry people. If we were all having great sex and if we weren't so damn afraid of it, I'm pretty sure we would have a lot fewer issues and lead much more fulfilled lives.


EDITED: Somehow several paragraphs were missing from this post several hours after I posted. Apologies for those of you who read and found that it made no sense. I tried to fill in the mysteriously missing gaps as best I could... For those of you who subscribe to this blog and have the original, please let me know. Thanks!

Behold the Blindfold

I always loved the piñata as a child, except for the whole blindfold and spin part which I truly hated. I hated not seeing what I was trying to hit. I hated the idea that I would most likely swing and miss. I hated not being able to see what was in front of me. It made me angry. It made me cheat. So I could see.

I had it down to a science. I would close both eyes until it came time to clobber the piñata with my baseball bat and I would do it. I'd wack the shit out of that thing, with one eye wide open, peeking through the space in the bandana.

I'm using this analogy because I'm pretty sure that I wasn't the only one cheating at piñata as a child, that as I type this there are children secretly peeking out of their blindfolds so they can get a better swing at the candy-bellied beast. So they can see what they're doing and do it well.

And although the piñata has little to do with parenting, the blindfold does. We must protect our children by turning their faces the other way. I disagree and here is why:

Recently I spent some time with a mother who wouldn't allow her daughter to play with a babydoll because she thought it too advanced for her three-year-old. She didn't want her to get the idea that a three-year-old mommy was natural.

"She's only three," she said. "It's not healthy for her to be pushing around a stroller and changing dolly's diapers. I mean, what are these toy manufacturers thinking?"

I kept my mouth shut but the voices in my head were screaming. CHILL OUT, WOMAN! She wants to play with her baby doll because she wants to be like you!

And seriously, am I missing something? What's the big deal? Why are some mothers so concerned with the fact their daughters want to play with dolls? And respectively concerned with their boys playing with trucks and other "masculine" toys. Have we become so politically correct we're forgetting about instinct? One might argue that it isn't instinct, but ideals prescribed to us by western-culture. Partly perhaps, but are we bending over backwards to see that our children live in their bubble-world of ambiguity and androgyny? Quick close the gate to the community or the children might see that on the other side of the wall their are real life homeless people. Real-life migrant workers who live in the fields in tents made of Cheerios boxes.

Are the suburbs creating delusions? Do they sell blindfolds at Wal-mart?

It seems quite en vogue for parents to call grocery stores to ask that magazines be placed away from their children's eyes. The same women who confiscate porn from their sixteen-year old boys because it's "unnatural." The same parents who don't allow their daughters to play with dolls because they're sexist, because Barbie is terribly dangerous.

Barbie is not the problem. Barbie is not a peer or a person. Barbie is a doll. I worshiped my Strawberry Shortcake but was never envious of her enormous head and strawberry-scented cheeks. I thought Barbie was fun to dress up and strip down and stick out the sunroof of her pink Corvette. Her underwear were built in which was always a dissapointment. Ken's too.

Tell me, did you ever feel bad about your waist because Barbie's was so small? Was Barbie ever your ideal?

Shouldn't we be educating the children we seem to be hiding the truth from?

I know their are eight sides to this story and many of you will disagree with me here, but how come so many parents have forgotten that telling a child (or human being) to look away only makes them want to look? Why is a woman's breast inappropriate? Why must we put fig leaves over the genitals of life and think this is what's best for our children?

How can women call themselves liberal and then be so quick to hide the real world from their children? To protect them? Preserve their innocense? Isn't it obvious that that's impossible in today's age? That it is perhaps, hypocritical and confusing?

Right. Tell your child to close her eyes in the Barbie isle. Dolls are scary. Dolls are bad. Everything is bad and scary. Let's all close our eyes and our children's eyes and walk around blind. The blind leading the blindfolded so one day the "bad kid" in school will tell the truth you have so tried to hide. Santa Claus doesn't exist and there's such thing as sex and no it isn't dirty, as long as you're safe.

We live in a society overcome with fear and paranoia. From our government to our communities, everyone is so afraid. Afraid to live. Afraid to have sex. Afraid of themselves. Scare our children straight. Scare them into their shells. Scare them so they'll only come out to shop at Wal-Mart for dolls with real-woman curves and magazines with women dressed in collared shirts with no makeup on. Makeup is bad. Beauty is bad. Wanting to be beautiful and feminine is bad-bad-bad. We live during a time where Janet Jackson's nipple is censored and women cannot breastfeed in public. Where the news boasts of school shootings and never school success stories...

...So we can be more afraid. So we can hold our children's faces toward the bleached walls, away from the window as not to feel the chill, or GOD FORBID, the neighbor naked.

There is no peace. Taking Barbie away will not discourage a future eating disorder. It's not Maxim Magazine's fault that children grow into sexual creatures who want to wear tube tops at twelve. It's the day and age. One cannot Blindfold their child to what has saturated society. I'm sorry, but it's too late.

If we choose to breed, today, then we must also choose to chill the fuck out.

But why not just lock them up and throw away the key? I could home-school my kids and then, no problem!

...Or better yet, why not take the blindfold off?

I do not want Archer to be afraid. I do not want my children to think that sex is gross and wrong and dolls are "stereotypical" or "sexist" or "inappropriate" for children, even if Barbie wants to wear a Bikini and a mini-skirt to the mall, instead of a business suit. I do not want Archer to hang out with the children of parents who are so paranoid they don't let their kids leave the house without their pepper spray, or play in the sandbox because there was something on the news last week about sexual predators lurking in the shadows of Jacaranda trees. I want him to be aware. I want him to see for himself. I want to help him understand.

How can you tell a child to look both ways when you insist he wear a bandana over his eyes?
How can you educate a child when he can't even leave the house? With books? With educational programming and your own knowledge?

I truly believe that it isn't the job of the parent to blindfold, it is the job of the parent to point in the right direction. It is the job of the parent to protect the child from himself for that will always be his worst enemy. Not the woman in the bikini on the cover of Maxim or Barbie or the homeless bum who runs around with his dick out, like a lunatic. This is life. Life is dirty and messy and sexy and half-naked sometimes, even within the great wall we have built up to the sky. Even with bibles and seatbelts and precausions.

The way I see it we have two options:

We can blindfold our children and send them, dizzy and confused toward the piñata, or we can pull the blindfold(s) from their eyes and hold their hands through the darkness.