Mandy: college graduate, super-sinful unwed mother, narcissist, graphic artist by day, disillusioned writer by night, also super-sinful liberal, feminist (need I mention?); mixed bag, you know.

This is an Unsolicited Parenting Advice-Free Zone. I bitch; you listen; isn't that how blogging works?!

Drinks will not be served. But wouldn't it be awesome if they were?
Blissfully Unwed

More awesome things I didn’t share with you over the Holidays: Grizzy Graham had his first bubble bath. At first, he was a little perplexed, but, after extensive research in the form of a taste test and consultation with his dad (the one where he’s looking up like he just saw Jesus was taken when B walked into the room; go figure, the parent who didn’t even facilitate the bubble bath gets all the credit :P), he finally decided to join Team Fuck Yes Bubbles. And it was adorable. 

Good morning, followers! The Holidays are mercifully over, and I’m getting ready to set my 2012 In Review entry free. In the meanwhile, here: I made this. Originally, I just wanted to adapt a version of a Facebook cover I’d recently designed for my iMac wallpaper, but, in the end, this piece’s designage somehow ended up being way cooler than that of its source of inspiration. So, I thought I’d share. Because I’m awesome like that. 

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Good morning, followers! The Holidays are mercifully over, and I’m getting ready to set my 2012 In Review entry free. In the meanwhile, here: I made this. Originally, I just wanted to adapt a version of a Facebook cover I’d recently designed for my iMac wallpaper, but, in the end, this piece’s designage somehow ended up being way cooler than that of its source of inspiration. So, I thought I’d share. Because I’m awesome like that. 

So, B and I are watching The Change-Up, and it’s the part where Jason Bateman proliferates the Men Make Hilarious and Adorably Inept Caretakers trope by attempting to change his twins’ diapers, and I’m like, hey, wouldn’t it have sucked if we had twins? And he pretty much ignores me because Leslie Mann’s right boob is exposed, but I’m thinking that, you know, actually, it probably wouldn’t suck for him, because, even though all childcare duties are multiplied by 2 when you have twins, 0 x 0 is still 0.

Mitt Romney On the RIGHT Kind of Two-Parent Families

Of all the bullshit that found its way up from Romney’s asshole and out of his mouth last night, my favorite was his response to the question about reducing gun violence. Obama went first, and he stressed the importance of enforcing current gun laws, as well as working harder to provide potential future gunslingers with a good education to help put them on the right track. 

Romney comes back and says, oh, yes, I totes agree that education is important and shit, but here’s some outrageously bigoted bullshit… 

"[Obama] mentioned good schools. I totally agree… But let me mention another thing. And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the - the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that’s not always possible. A lot of great single moms, a lot of great single dads. But, gosh, to tell our kids that, before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea. Because, if there’s a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically.”

Initially, we see that Romney is attempting to place the responsibility of producing non-homicidal citizens entirely upon the shoulders of parents - a great strategy for someone who wants to cut funding to social welfare programs and stunt the progress of our educational system by not hiring any more teachers moochypants government employees. It’s what he failed to mention, though, that stands out to me the most. 

Romney has a point: often, two-parent households faring better than single-parent ones. But what is he suggesting we do to promote them? Parenting classes? Counseling for couples? Community events for families? Nah. We’ll just tell our kids to get married before they have babies.

Let’s stop to think for a moment about whom this suggestion excludes. Hmm… Who can’t get married in most states and shouldn’t ever be able to get married, according to Romney? Sorry, gays. Only straight, married couples can coparent the RIGHT way. We need “moms and dads.” 

And, speaking of: what about unmarried parents in general, not just homosexuals, but straight people who just haven’t made the choice to legalize our relationship that way? Our two-parent households aren’t up to par, either? 

And what about couples who get married AFTER they become parents together? Or what about blended families with two parents? 

I’m sure that Team Romney will try to tell us that that’s not what Mitt meant. He was just emphasizing the importance of strong American families! He wasn’t trying to exclude anyone! Except maybe the gays! 

You know what? I don’t want to hear what Damage Control has to say. I don’t want an explanation. I don’t even want an apology. I just want Mitt Romney to shut the fuck up.

Has anyone else noticed the multifarious nature that being naked takes on when you have some childrens? Totally not something I thought about before one of those malign little trolls slithered out of my uterus, but, now, it’s become kind of an issue.

Like, right now, for instance. I’m not naked; just chillin’ in my bed in knee socks and a white t-shirt (I SLANG in my white tee!). This hasn’t always been my bedtime getup, but B keeps buying me these socks, so, you know, why waste and shit? Apparently, the No Socks During Sexytimes policy does not apply to women. I’m not big on gender roles, but I have to say that this totes solves my inner conflict caused by my love of socks and my strong convictions regarding men in socks. I once managed to somehow find myself in bed with a guy who removed his own pants and underwear but left his socks and shirt on while I was looking the other way, and I made fun of him until, well, I guess I’m still doing it.

So, the bottom line here is that I’m cool with my socks and my white tee (YUP! In my white tee!), but, were my child to start screaming like Jaws was in his crib gnawing his left leg off, I think I’d probably at least put on some underwears to neutralize the situation. Granted, the fact that we live with other people comes into play here, too, but, besides that, I’m really just a little reticent to prepare my kid a Shut the Fuck Up and Go to Sleep Bottle while he sits on the floor with my ladygarden in full view, should he happen to look up. Especially since there are some nocturnal blooms going down.

Don’t get me wrong, if you like to kick it nude beach style with your kids, more power to you. I think my reticence to veg out with my vaj out around my kid is more relavent to my discomfort than his, because, after all, he’s only 9 months old. We still have a good year before he can be scarred with memories of my bad behavior, and I’m pretty sure he’ll have more than enough of those, as it is.

When I was breastfeeding, it was a totally different story; no doubt because Li’l G had his face attached to one boob or the other for at least 8 hours a day. I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but I’m pretty sure that’s accurate. No wonder I only lasted 3 months. The fact that babies don’t care much for beer in their breastmilk wasn’t a factor, though. Oh, no. Didn’t even consider it.

It’s hard to choose between conflicting interests. Maybe you love Satanism, but you also love Christianity, and, though they share more characteristics than one might think, it’s just not possible to reconcile the two. Or maybe you love socks, but you would rather bone Nic Cage than a man who wears socks to bed (I bet he’d leave his on, too, though. JS). I, too, struggle between wanting to let my vaj get some air, and not wanting my vaj to be in plain sight while my kid is around. Compromise may be hard to find, but, trust me: it’s worth it.

As a Kid Hater, I fully approve of and endorse this list of why children are terrible people. My sister and I used to babysit for this family with four kids under the age of 8. I was never very successful at forcing the oldest 3 to release me from their grubby tentacles so I could eat all the snacks in their parents pantry, which was a real ass pain. Fortunately, the baby was much more manageable. As soon as the parents left for the evening, I’d transport the baby to her crib, where she would cry until she either realized that I wouldn’t show mercy because I was prejudiced against her kind, or that the Benadryl I had given her had finally kicked in. I never changede a single daiper (I was a daiper-changing virgin until my son was born and I realized that I didn’t hate him and, therefore, would be obligated to wipe his ass.). No wonder they only asked for my sister.
I also enjoyed how Buzzfeed excluded Honey Boo Boo from the list. Just thought I’d add that sentiment.

As a Kid Hater, I fully approve of and endorse this list of why children are terrible people. My sister and I used to babysit for this family with four kids under the age of 8. I was never very successful at forcing the oldest 3 to release me from their grubby tentacles so I could eat all the snacks in their parents pantry, which was a real ass pain. Fortunately, the baby was much more manageable. As soon as the parents left for the evening, I’d transport the baby to her crib, where she would cry until she either realized that I wouldn’t show mercy because I was prejudiced against her kind, or that the Benadryl I had given her had finally kicked in. I never changede a single daiper (I was a daiper-changing virgin until my son was born and I realized that I didn’t hate him and, therefore, would be obligated to wipe his ass.). No wonder they only asked for my sister.

I also enjoyed how Buzzfeed excluded Honey Boo Boo from the list. Just thought I’d add that sentiment.

Matronly Duties, Or Maybe I Should Have Joined the Peace Corps, After All

On Thursday night, Li’l G had a sleepover at my sister-in-laws, and, yesterday, she offered to oversee his babyings for one more night. Later that afternoon, though, she called me up.

"Graham needs his mommy! He’s been crying all day and he keeps saying ‘Mama! Mamamamaaa FUCK YOU GUYS!"

I may have taken a little editorial license there, but, you know, history is always written  by the conquerors, or something like that.

So, anyway, after I managed to slink away from the office, B and I drove to his sister’s to retrieve our kid.

Do I blame my sister-in-law for being tired of attempting to appease a sick, teething little diva with baditude that rivals Lindsay Lohan’s? Hell, no. I hate other people’s kids, so I totes understand when mine starts to wear on someone. And he’s been especially unpleasant lately. Not to be mean, but we’ve been calling him Latarian, if that’s any indication of his recent behavior. I wasn’t even upset that we had to cancel our plans, even though we had already bought movie tickets from a theater with a $1 Ticket With Donation of Canned Goods special (but STILL…).

As I said, I wasn’t angry, but, as soon as I got off the phone with B’s sister, I called him up, wailing into the phone, “I spend ALL MY TIME accomodating without reciprocation!”

I know that’s not a very nice thing to say, but it did kind of suck pretty hard that Graham had insisted on being transferred back into my care on the one night that I would be able to rest easy, knowing that there were no gremlins with suspiciously strong grip creeping up behind me to detach generous quantities of hair from my scalp.

I like to think that anyone would be disappointed when a kid-free evening was snatched from their eager hands, but, from the way I reacted, you’d think that Romney had been elected president, thanks to the votes from those crucial states whose laws had been optimized to eliminate voting by the 47%. After taking a step back and examining my profound emotional response, I had to ask myself why I was so upset. And it wasn’t because Shark Week is just around the corner, either.

As soon as I heard that my kid missed me, rather than being overjoyed that at least SOMENE digs my style, all I could think of was the fact that I was personifying the sexist trope of Harried Mother Thanklessly Serving Her Family. All I needed now were dark undereye circles and an iron frying pan that doesn’t know how the hell it got here in one hand, and a baby in another.

On the phone with my parner, I wailed, “I’m the physical manifestation of the sexist American Mother Archetype! I’m a cliche! I’m a banality! Everything I do is KITSCH! My life is over!!!”

Obviously, I love the shit out of my kid and partner. I wouldn’t say that I’m bitter, perse. If I am, it’s a very small bitterness, totally eclipsed for my outrage over the fact that Rick Perry is still governing my state. So, there’s that. Also, I believe that even the least intelligent of mothers realize that, once your vagina taps into its mind-fucking inner strength to push a baby out of it and into the world and you become a mother, it will never be all about you again. EVER.

Before we were raising a baby together, B and I had a blissfully-egalitarian relationship. Not a perfect relationship, mind you, but one in which responsibilities were split very evenly: we both worked, we both performed our domestic duties (albeit not very well), we both paid bills, and so forth. But, after the baby, it’s totally changed. He gets up earlier and works longer hours now, while I work less, because daycares are pretty serious about that picking-your-kid-up-on-time shit. When i get home in the evening, B is kicking up his feet, while my second shift has just begun.

I feel ashamed to tell people that I play this role in our relationship, that I’ve compromised my feminist integrity and became subservient and weak. I can’t think of any one person who has ever told me this, but it’s there, just THERE, nagging, nibbling away at the inside of my skull, in the place where my headaches manifest.

Feminism, though, it doesn’t specify a narrow idea of empowerment, the way I impose it upon myself. A feminist’s view is that a woman has the right to choose the part she plays in life, and that no one has the right to ridicule her for it, or try to take it from her. Sometimes, what works for a family is a divying-up of responsibilities that tends to follow traditional gender roles. Maybe I actually like this.

But, to tell you the truth, I don’t really like it. Yes, I do love my partner and my son dearly, and I wouldn’t trade wiping ass for my capricious pre-kid life if I had the chance. I often feel, though, that I’m neglected and overworked. Imagine working at WalMart for ten years and never getting a promotion, and you have an idea of just how greatly-exaggerated these injustices are to me. I hate it when I come home from a stressful day and care for the baby all evening, while B lies on the couch and falls asleep before the sun even sets. This it works for us, I get it. I do work less hours than my partner. My schedule is more conducive to bring Li’l G to daycare in the morning and then retrieve him in the evening. This method is serving us well.

Or, rather, it’s serving everyone but me well.

I guess I’m just trying to say that a, “Thank you.” Would be cool.

Don’t even try to tell me that this isn’t the fucking cutest. 
He’s been running an itty bitty baby bit of fever since yesterday afternoon, so he’s spending the day with his Mimi Z. All parents say that they hate it when their kids get sick because they don’t like to see them suffer, which does suck, but, honestly, the part we REALLY can’t stand is the frantic scramble to secure an alternative source of babysittings because the daycare whose services cost as much as a drug habit (ok, not cocaine, but you get it) is like, “Get this feverish germspreader out of our sight and do not return him until he’s gone 24 hours without fever, diarrhea, sniffles, coughs, disgruntled facial expressions or any other symptoms of the T Virus that he contracted here in babyjail in the first place!” 
STRAIGHT TALK. 

Don’t even try to tell me that this isn’t the fucking cutest. 

He’s been running an itty bitty baby bit of fever since yesterday afternoon, so he’s spending the day with his Mimi Z. All parents say that they hate it when their kids get sick because they don’t like to see them suffer, which does suck, but, honestly, the part we REALLY can’t stand is the frantic scramble to secure an alternative source of babysittings because the daycare whose services cost as much as a drug habit (ok, not cocaine, but you get it) is like, “Get this feverish germspreader out of our sight and do not return him until he’s gone 24 hours without fever, diarrhea, sniffles, coughs, disgruntled facial expressions or any other symptoms of the T Virus that he contracted here in babyjail in the first place!” 

STRAIGHT TALK. 

Why are there still people out there that can’t seem to understand that all people are different, all parents are different, and that good parents don’t all fit within one narrow, outdated set of guidelines?
Gay people make great parents. Unmarried couples make great parents. Our kids aren’t more fucked-up than anyone else’s kids. They’re being raised in loving, stable environments. Before they will ever understand that not all kids have two dads or two moms, or that their parents don’t have the same last name, they will know that they have two parents that love them. Many of them will grow up to publicly commend our lifestyles.
Ah, and, PS: The world is full of great single parents, too. Homes headed by just one parent are not “broken.” They just have one parent who is capable of giving twice as much love and support as a parent raising kids with a partner. Deal with it.

Why are there still people out there that can’t seem to understand that all people are different, all parents are different, and that good parents don’t all fit within one narrow, outdated set of guidelines?

Gay people make great parents. Unmarried couples make great parents. Our kids aren’t more fucked-up than anyone else’s kids. They’re being raised in loving, stable environments. Before they will ever understand that not all kids have two dads or two moms, or that their parents don’t have the same last name, they will know that they have two parents that love them. Many of them will grow up to publicly commend our lifestyles.

Ah, and, PS: The world is full of great single parents, too. Homes headed by just one parent are not “broken.” They just have one parent who is capable of giving twice as much love and support as a parent raising kids with a partner. Deal with it.

(Source: the-power-to-be-your-best)

He’s a prodigy, y’all, I swear. He crawls right up to the keyboard when we get home, turns it on, and starts composing melodies and mixing his own fresh beats.

Seriously, this is one of my proudest mommy moments, ever. I played piano competetively for twelve years, and B plays the guitar. I know people always attach value to the things their kids do while they’re playing that don’t mean anything, but, uh, yea. Totally boarding that train. Li’l G is TOTES going to be a musician.