I'm gonna tell my son to grow up pretty as the grass is green and whip-smart as the English Channel's wide

And I'm gonna tell my son to keep his money in his mattress and his watch on a hand between his thighs

And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower till I write my whole life story on the back of his big brown eyes

And I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap and games are just another way of life

And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes because for every truth there are half a million lies

And I'm gonna lock m son up in a tower till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.

-Liz Phair


Remember When...

...The beach was relaxing?

When you didn't have to devote entire mornings to packing four HUGE tote-bags of snacks, towels, changes of clothes, diapers, swimmer diapers, swim trunks, graham crackers, cherries (de-pitted), water bottles, empty water bottles for ocean water, extra socks and sweaters (in case it gets cold), mounds of wet-wipes, SPF 1000 Sunscreen for "little faces" and 749 sand shovels?

Yeah. Me niether.


Hooked on Phone-ics

And the most adorable human of all time award goes to...

There are no words.


SheNANNYgans Speaks (Without an Accent)

Guest-post by the lovely and talented Lauren Henderson, Nanny extraorinaire and beloved gal pal.


I like to think I'm a good nanny. I love taking Archer to the park and pushing him on the swings. I love sliding down the slide with him as he looks at me wide-eyed, beaming with pride and giggling his head off. I love singing made-up songs with him as we laugh and read stories about magical bugs and share handfuls of (seriously) delicious Mighty Bites.

Yeah. I like to think I'm a pretty good nanny. I have my shit together. I remember the keys when we leave the house, (and, more importantly, the sacred red blankie,) and I watch Archer like an ever-vigilant NannyHawk as we rock the rough and tough streets of our hood, never letting him out of my sight for even a moment:

Exhibit A: Sacred Red Blankie:

Exhibit B: Rough & Tough Streets of "The Hood":

Yes. I'm a good nanny. No, no no, I'm a GREAT nanny. Yes. I am great! I am the greatest nanny in the entire world and I am so together that it puts other nannies to shame!!! YES! THE OTHER NANNIES MUST SHIELD THEMSELVES FROM THE GLORY OF MY SHINY, SHINY GLORIOUSNESS! ARCHER LOVES ME AND I AM AWESOME!!!!! OH MY GOD I AM AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSUUUHHHH!!!

That's exactly what I have to tell myself every single time I encounter the British nannies of Larchmont Park. These women are a special breed; a breed comprised of the most charming, the most eloquent, the most well put together women on the planet. Women who say things like, "Dear, might I offer your precious little boy a sugar and additive-free cinnamon snap? They are di.vine!" And, "Oh, Charlie, my sweet, brilliant little maaaan! Aren't you perfect the way you decided to go down that slide with such grace and forthrightness! Oh, my love, how proud I am of you and the choices you are making! (Insert charming British giggle here.)"

I don't know what it is, but there isn't another group of people that I have come across so far in my twenty-one years of life that make me feel so… inadequate. So… demure. So… Un British.

Recently Archer was recovering from a bit of a cold. For all intensive purposes, let's just say there was a lot of snot coming out of the dude's head. We were sloppily sprawled out in the sand, building castles and cooing at pigeons while I hummed "North American Scum," when I noticed her: Mary Poppins Jr. An adorable, British, twenty-something brunette wearing (I kid you not) white mary-janes, a long, flowing blue skirt and a buttoned up pink cardigan, complete with a straight-from-the-40's, Hepburn-esque sun hat. She looked perfect. The children she was with looked perfect; Two little girls around Archer's age in little sun dresses. They looked like they belonged on the front page of Sears catalogue from 1993. I looked at my flip flops, rolled up sweatpants and stained tank top and I suddenly found myself feeling like a trashy trashy skank-pants from an episode of Cops.

"Oh, Matilda, sweetness, sit here next to nanny Sarah! Ah, yes, how nice of you to share the fun sand toy with your sister! Hahahahabritishtalk!"

I looked at Archer's snot-covered grill, his sticky hands and his shoeless little feet and I felt like a failure. A total and complete failure who couldn't even get it together long enough to wipe the snot from her nannykid's face. I reached for a wet nap and tried de-crusting the poor boy. He screamed his head off. Meanwhile, Sporty Spice over in her corner watched me with pseudo-caring eyes. She didn't fool me. I felt the judging. I felt it hard. Then… it spoke:

"Darling, would your little boy like to play with my girls? Maybe a little sandy fun would make him feel better! Right, sweet boy? Aw…"

She was nice. She wasn't at all un-nice. I didn't dislike her. In fact, in that moment, I wanted her to be my nanny. She was kind of awesome.

"Oh," I replied, "Sure. That would be great, right Arch?" So we joined them. And we played. And later we walked home and sang songs and I pulled out the keys that I remembered to bring with us and we went inside and watched Sesame Street together on the couch.

And it was good.

Lesson #3,568: You don't have to have an accent to kick ass.


Shenannygans for GGC

Photo of the Week

these are a few of my favorite ways to roll:

The plasmacar = best scooting device.

Ikea PS Lomsk (or in English, spinny-chair/fortress) = best sit & spin device
(on right)
Green Rody horse for bouncy fun. (Thanks Charlotte and Jackson!)

I am also very excited to announce the grand opening of BFF and Blogher bunk-mate, BMC's shiny new cookie business! Devil's Lunchbox is now open for special patrons. Click here, order a dozen of her famous crackadamia cookies and tell em Large Marge sent-cha.

And speaking of ways to roll, BMC just got herself the phatest ride in town. Dunt dunt duuuuunt: The Cracka-Mobile!! Seriously. Stop whatever you are doing and check this bitch out.

And then, if you want, you can read this post about finger-puppets making out with each other.


Introducing True Office Confessions. Woo!

Hate your boss? Fantasize about your co-worker? Just want to go home?
Click here to confess. And spread the word!


The 'Ists Go Marching One by One

I watch her van drive up through the gap in the curtain, where I am waiting on the couch. I watch her get out of her car, organize her things and check our address with her notes. I close the curtain and go to the door.

She is our first specialist appointment. There will be two more of her in the next week. A speech therapist, a developmental specialist, but first her.

"Knock, knock!" she says. She has kind eyes and a clipboard. "I'm here to ask you a lot of questions is all. I'll make it painless."

Too late. We should be at the park right now. We should be nibbling crackers in the sand.

"Great," I say.

She takes a seat on the couch so I sprawl out on the floor.

"Do you want anything to drink?" I say.

"No thank you."

I pick at my nail polish. Stop picking at your nail polish. I can't help it. It's flaking everywhere.

She starts down her list of questions. I answer her quietly. Honestly.

She asks about my pregnancy and Archer's birth and his development. When he sat up for the first time. When he started to crawl. When he walked. How he communicates with us.

"Does he point? Does he wave? Does he hug?"

"Yes. Yes. Yes," I say. "But only sometimes."

She nods and writes something down.

Archer reaches for a glass of water, so naturally she asks us questions about his glass.

"Can he hold it himself?"


"Does he use a spoon and fork?"


She looks me dead in the eye when she asks me questions and it makes me want to look away. I go back to picking my nails and she goes back to watching Archer. I want to read her thoughts. What is she thinking.

"What is your top level of education?" She suddenly asks.

I hate this question. It has nothing to do with anything. It says nothing about me or my intelligence. It says nothing about my work ethic. And surely, it says nothing about Archer.

"Actually, I decided that college wasn't for me," I say. "I explored other options."

"So you're high school educated."

I swallow.

"I'm high school educated," I repeat back to her, knowing that that means something to her on her sheet of notes and statistics. Just like Archer's inability to speak .

And I think about how someone will go down her list of notes and think they know me. Someone will go down her list of notes and think they know Archer.

Why do I have to be so sensitive? She has to ask these questions. It isn't up to her. It's on her sheet. She's doing her job.

But I know she is here to make an assessment. What I say matters. Everything matters.

I cross my arms. I become paranoid, Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles, and I pace the room as Archer runs around in circles over and over, screaming and laughing.

He never runs around in circles like this but suddenly I'm sensitive of the clipboard and her smiling eyes. She watches him and takes notes and I wonder if his running around in circles is "bad" or "not normal" or "cause for concern."

Circles. He runs in circles," I imagine she is thinking. "And his mother has a high school education, nothing more."

I feel very small-- like a little girl, like I have to restrain myself to keep from running in circles, too.

Hours pass.

I answer all of the questions. I don't know what the answers mean to us but I do. I pretend I am comfortable with her in my house, asking me all of these things. Watching Archer. She's a nice woman and I feel terrible for not wanting her, here. But I can't help it. I want her to leave. Now.

"He stacks blocks and spins wheels and smells every flower," I tell her and I love that he does these things but am unsure if I should. She nods and scribbles a note or two.

"I don't think anything is wrong," I say. "Archer's very different. He's special. He's not like the other children but it's by choice. It's because he is unique. I want him to realize that. I want him to grow up knowing what a beautiful thing it is-- to be different. I don't want him to follow the leader or feel comfortable in a crowd. I want him to feel comfortable on his own. With himself. I want his growth to be organic. Hormone-free," I say.

"But it's free of charge, this therapy. And it helps," she says. "I don't know why anyone wouldn't do it. It will be good for him!"

I feel torn. I don't know what to do.

"Hormone-free," I think.

"It helps," she says.

And I don't know who to believe. Myself or this strange woman with kind eyes.

"I guess we'll just wait to hear back and decide what to do from there," I say.

I sign a stack of paperwork. Archer's name is spelled wrong and I wonder if it's a sign. She doesn't know him...

"Shut up," I tell myself. "Just give it a chance. Just see what they have to say."

I thank her for her time. Archer waves goodbye, and together we watch her drive away through the curtains and out of sight.


Married Life: Mark it With a "B!"

Episode 12: Bake me a cake just as fast as you can!

On Father's Day my husband slaved in the kitchen all day to make me this:

Pretty, right? (Say yes.)

In other news, I'm a tourist.


Father's Day: A Guest Post

So, here I am, celebrating my third Father’s Day....

The best one will long remain the first, because it was a real treat to be able to pick up a new holiday.

If I were to move to France for instance, I’m sure Bastille Day would quickly vault into the top-ten list of My Favorite Days of the Year. But, since I’m not converting to a new religion or leaving the U.S. any time soon, Father’s Day will have to suffice.

Maybe the euphoria of my first two father's days clouded my vision and I was unable to see the truth: that the "great sale going on for Father's day" is not directed at my father or men my father's age, it's directed at me.

Grills, bowling balls, socks and underwear are gifts that are supposed to satisfy me. Um.... No. NO! Nooooo! I was (and still am) not ready for this.

More than just a day to celebrate our father-ness, Father's Day is also a day most of us new-ish Dads realize we're old. The only hope is that we don't rebel against this fact and kooky ways: violence, for instance (little-league Dads punching the lights out of the umpire), or bad hair-moves (“hey honey, wouldn’t it be cool if I grew a pony-tail?”).

I'm not complaining, though. I love that there is another day just for me. Because, when you have kids, every day becomes "kid's day" save for four days out of the year- Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and mom and dad's birthdays.

Archer lucked out this year because Bec’s birthday and Father’s Day are on the same day, which means Archer's days to celebrate himself are up to 362 instead of his normally allotted 361.

As for me, I made one simple request this Father’s Day: to watch the Yankees play the Mets.

The score of celebration so far in the year 2007:

Archer: 169
Mom: 1 ½,
Dad: ½

That sounds pretty fair to me.


Photo of the Week

"Have yourself a merry little jam-sesh..."

and this, too:

Happy Father's Day, fathers.



Overheard In: The Valet Line...

...After a benefit brunch, "empowering" abused women:

"I know. I don't let my daughter do dance class, either. It's way too sexual. Little girls should not be allowed to wear leotards."

Overheard in my brain...

"Oh, dear God. We're fucked."

Please don't tell me mothers are keeping little girls from dance class now? Because it's "sexual"? Pulease. And this coming from the Beverly Hills Trophy Wife Elite who certainly didn't get where they are by keeping their legs closed.

I should have karate chopped their french manicured vaginas.

So much for empowerment...


Dear You,

I never know where to draw the lines between what is happening in my heart and what I should share with all of you. There are plenty of things I don't write about my blog and after posting my last post I couldn't even re-read it. It took me until today to comb for typos.

I have read all of your comments and your emails and I don't know what to say. My cursor is flickering and I'm staring at the screen with no words.

Thank you for sharing your stories. For giving me advice. For speaking to your children's therapists on my behalf. I'm so moved. So totally in awe of your compassion.

I know Archer is fine. I really do. I just have been so frustrated with the fact that I have been told to doubt that. To doubt my instincts, which all this time I have acted on solely.

Therapy is not the enemy. Doubt is. And I hate that this past week I have come to doubt myself.

I don't doubt myself anymore.

Everything's going to be okay. Everything is okay. No matter what. Because of all of you.

It really does take a village. And your messages remind me why I ditched the books and look to the blogosphere for answers and support and the guidance I need as a new mother.

You have helped me in a way no one else could. Not even myself.

Thank you for empowering me and being my friends. I'm humbled by your kindness and generosity.

Love and best to all of you,


Still No Word

Archer's supposed to be talking by now, but he isn't.

"Does he have any words yet?" Our pediatrician asked last week, at Archer's two-year appointment.


"Not any? Six months ago you said he had a few words."

"I know..."

I lied to her at the last appointment. I didn't want to take Archer to therapy. I didn't want to get him tested. I was afraid of what that meant for us. I figured he would get there on his own. Just like he did with crawling at thirteen-months and walking at seventeen.

I told myself to wait until he turned 2. "He'll surely be talking by then," I thought.

For the past six months I've tried everything I can think of to get Archer talking. But still no words. No "Mama". No "Dada". No nothing.

"He doesn't have words. Not a single one," I admitted.

"I see," she said, scribbling away on her clip-board. Big illegible scribbles that I tried to read upside down but could not.

I tightened my arms around Archer. I repeated over to myself and to him not to worry.

"He's just a late-bloomer," I said. "He has always done things on his own time."

That's okay! That's good! That is how it should be!

I do not like doctors. I do not like therapists and I should know, I've been to my fare share. I have sought help for myself on many occasions, but Archer is so young. Too young.

"I'd like him to see a therapist. Run some tests. Don't worry," she said. "I'm sure everything's fine."

She handed us a phone number. "Call here. They will come to your house. It's free."

"Okay," I said, but inside I was screaming, "No!" Fuck you! No! Leave him alone! Give him time! He's fine! He's perfect! He doesn't need anyone to talk to him or test him or teach him! Fuck you! Fuck all of you!"

I took the card. We made the call. We are waiting.

I'm crying as I write this and I don't know why. Okay, I do know why but I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about why I'm scared or why I feel like I've failed myself and him.

"It's just a therapist, Bec," I tell myself.

It's just a therapist.

Since the beginning of my pregnancy I have been adamant about doing it all myself. Without the books and the specialists and the bullshit. I didn't read the books. I stopped subscribing to the babycenter newsletter long ago. I don't believe in waiting lists or classes or private education. I believe in living. And showing my child the way to do so passionately. I hate tests. I fight with teachers. I am stubborn as all hell. I want to do it my way. And as a parent, I have trusted that I am the one who knows what's best for my child. I know what Archer needs and I can and should be able to give it to him.

Until now I haven't been worried about what Archer "should" be doing because I see how happy he is wandering around on his own.

"He's on his own path..."

And we have all enjoyed watching him:

"Whatever we need to do," I said.

And suddenly I was vulnerable. I am vulnerable-- forced to stuff my "fuck the man" attitude in my back pocket and do as I am told. Opening my house to a stranger so that she can get my son to speak because I can't. I must go against what is natural for him to do now because his development is not "normal." And that is cause for concern.

"I'm not concerned. Everything is fine," I have been saying all this time.

What if I've been wrong?

The feeling in my gut is that everything is okay. He's a late bloomer but so what? I keep myself away from web pages that might suggest otherwise.

Oh God... He's obsessed with spinning things.

He's in his own world. He wanders aimlessly, talking to the clouds. Laughing.

There is no possible way I could ever love this child more, no possible way I could ever love this child less. He is perfect, even though I've been told that perfection is impossible.

"Nobody is perfect."

I beg to differ. Archer IS perfect. And he always will be. No matter what. Just the way he is. Slowly making his way down a path, as his peers speed by.

And it doesn't matter to him because the only prints he can see are his own.

It shouldn't matter. He will get there. Wherever he's going.

I only hope I can guide him as best as I can, that I can be open to specialists and therapists and all the "ists", if need be.

Because for whatever reason, that is my biggest concern. That is what's scariest to me. Seeking help when I feel like I'm the one who should be giving it.


cross-posted at straight from the bottle

Photo of the Week

Try as I may, I can't help but get lost in these eyes:

red, red, raspberries...

...stay close to me.


Knocked Up? Er... Trying to Be?

Whether you're pregnant, trying to get pregnant or trying to get someone pregnant, the whole "trying" thing can be, well, trying.

And although I'm not, personally "trying." I know many people who are, including my old friend and TMCRadio guest, Chris Nieratko, who as I type this is most likely trying to impregnate his wife. Awww...

Chris was the former editor of the now defunct Big Brother Skate Magazine, as well as one of the founding fathers of all-things, Jackass and just authored a shiny new book entitled, Skinema.

So join us! Tomorrow: Thursday June, 7th, 2:00 PST. It's gonna be c-c-c-craaaazy! And if you're listening live, don't forget to give us a call @ 310.984.7600!

You can also tune in via radio chat, here, subscribe to our weekly podcast via Itunes, or click the below box for live stream:

Listen to True Mom Confessions Radio

Viva los impreg-nation!


And if you'd like to read an essay about what NOT to do on an airplane, click here. *Warning*: I was snarky when I wrote this. Forgive me if I hurt your feelings.

In Memphis To See About a Girl

I've been here, in Memphis since Friday. My first time in the south, staying at a hotel with paintings on the ceiling in the lobby, with my dear friend who I haven't seen in months because she has been undergoing treatment at St. Jude. Again. I have never seen St. Jude until this trip after working with children who lived and were treated within its walls for the last four years.

And I'm not going to lie. It's a little bit scary to come face to face with children who are a lot easier to face through the walls of the Internet because Oh my God. That little boy in the face mask and head scarf is Archer's age. And then there are the parents, who I find it near impossible to look in the eye. What can I possibly say?

"I wonder what I would do if that was Archer," I said to Scarlett later on.

"You'd be fine,"she said. "You'd bring him here, to St. Jude and they would take care of him."

We then took the monorail across the Mississippi, and ate catfish at the edge of mud island and watched the river move steadily along, as we pushed back and forth on a public swing perched above the river and stared at the stillness of the skyline.

Sunday we packed a picnic and drove a few miles outside of the city, past horse corals and hiking trails until we found the perfect pond and a lone tree ideal for a picnic.

And we scampered and pranced and Scarlett did flips and cartwheels and somersaults. And how the hell is this girl so sick? I mean... look at this crazy bitch?

Today we went to Beale Street and sipped Root Beer floats and watched the blues guitarists ping at their guitars. We saw Knocked Up and laughed our asses off (although we both agreed on feeling unfulfilled with never finding out what the baby's name was... Hello? That's HUGELY important.)

Tomorrow I leave and I wish I could bring Scar home with me to L.A, because it's her home, too. I wish she didn't have to undergo major surgery next week. I wish she didn't have to stay in Memphis, away from her family. Even though it's beautiful here and the fields are always green and the ponds have Lilly pads as big as serving dishes and the way the light catches the trees is like magic.

Maybe if I packed you up real small in my suitcase?

But it isn't possible and that sucks balls. I wish health was something everyone could take for granted, especially Scarlett.

And even though distance is only measured in airplane rides and hours marked by time that changes and stops and fast-forwards, I wish I could bend it and pull her through it. All of her treatments and surgeries and the pain she has to live with-- I wish we could keep it all a joke. Fake tears and the mascara we smeared across our faces with tap water. I wish life was an endless night of mani pedis and making homemade gangsta videos in dark hotel rooms like a couple of little girls.

I wish it could be that easy.

And I wish everyone everywhere could, like me, wake up tomorrow morning and go home.


To find out how you can donate money/blood/bone marrow to amazing super-people like Scarlett, click here and here.

Giving Toys the Finger

Toys That Are Really for Parents: Episode One: Literary Finger Puppets.

And here they are! In ACTION!

From left: Leo Tolsoy, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf and Charles "fire-crotch" Dickens.

In other news, True Dad Confessions is live! My favorite confession so far? "Yes, honey. Your ass does look fat in those jeans."

I knew it! Godamnit! I knew it!


Photo of the Week

(young) man versus nature