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thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Month: December, 2012

Waiting On You

Annoyed-Waiter

As New Year’s Eve arrives and we all doll ourselves up and head out to every restaurant, bar and party in the city, there are a few rules you can follow to ensure you piss the serving staff off.

That’s right….YOU.   You probably have no idea how irritating you actually are sometimes.  And the only reason the waiter or bartender is tolerant of you is because we want your money.  Everyone has their price, and mine is 20-25% of your total bill.

How to make me hate you:

1. Don’t get off your phone or ask them to hang on when I approach the table.

Cause you know what?  I budgeted this moment in the mayhem to come and ask you what you’d like, chat you up a bit and make you comfortable.  And then I budgeted  another 90 seconds to go get it.  Not to go away and come back empty handed.  You just cost me twice the amount of my time, and time is money.

2. Bitch at me because of the prices.

Cause I am totally in control of that, asshole.  I just pour the beer.  I don’t ferment it.  I don’t supply it.  I don’t decide anything but how much head is on top of your draft.  So just. fuck.off.

3.Make me get one thing at a time.  Every time I come to your table.

Seriously.  You will make an enemy out of me and every other bartender in the world.  If I ask you if you want another while you have 1/10th of your drink left and someone else is getting one.  Just order it now.  You won’t look like a pig.  You’ll look like someone I won’t hate.

4. Ask me to wipe the table because it’s sticky and then bitch that the table is wet.

Yeah, it’s wet.  Cause I just wiped it, you idiot.  You know, with water.

5. Tip like shit, especially if you’re a regular.

Trust me on this, people.  If you frequent an establishment fairly regularly and tip like garbage, the staff will remember you and draw straws over who has to take care of you.  or we’ll make the new guy do it.  Either way, you service will likely suck. You will be the last priority.  Because we remember you.

6. Wear ill fitting clothes.

This won’t make me hate you, but you will notice that you have an incredibly attentive staff.  It’s not because you’re special, it’s because you’re a spectacle.  We will all want to see the ass crack hanging out of your pants, or your enormous boobs bursting out of your sweater. or your skanky thong showing atop of your ultra low rise jeans.

At the end of the day, I don’t really give a shit if you like me.  But you care if i like you.

And I like you best when you tip 20-25% percent of the total bill.

Bullying of the Who

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I often compare my daughter to one of the Whos from the Grinch That Stole Christmas.  She has crazy strawberry blond curls and giant saucer shaped blue eyes.  And behind those eyes are nothing but sweet curiosity and innocent intentions.

So you can imagine my surprise when I took her to the mall yesterday and some little asshole started picking on her in the play area.  This little devil disguised as a toddler walked right up to her as she smiled excitedly at him, thinking he was coming to give her a hug.  I’m not even kidding you, he looked right at me when he pushed her down and looked so pleased with himself that I wanted to put him over my knee right then and there.

And I could have.  Because you know what?  His parent seemed to be nowhere to be seen. So maybe I should have, because at least then somebody would have been present to teach him to do better.

My little sweetheart looked so shocked and sad it was all I could do not to run into the playground and rescue her. But you know what?  I decided she needed to learn to get up on her own, knowing I was still there.  Her eyes found me and I held out my arms.  She came back for some reassurance, a pat on the bum, and marched right back out there.

And right back to him.  But you know what else?  She stood her ground.  And he didn’t push her over again.

Which got me thinking about bullying this morning.  Does it start this early?

I guess it does.

So in this day, where bullying is one of the hottest topics in the news and in the school, here is my opinion:

Get your shit together, parents.  Seriously.  We’re all talking about what to do when your child is bullied and how to help them.  But I say how about we avoid creating bullies from the beginning?  What’s that old saying about an ounce of prevention?

The solution starts long before a child goes to school.  The solution starts with being present in your child’s life and remembering that its your fucking job to teach them right from wrong and how to do better.  To teach them not to push my kid down and like it.  That little kid liked it because it got him some attention.  Someone, anyone, noticed him for it.  But not his parents.  And so his next attempt will be bigger and better until they finally snap their heads out of the sound and pay attention.

Seriously.  Think about it.  We all want to feel valued.  Important to the Universe.  Special. Memorable.  Kids bully other kids because it makes them feel like King Shit of Turd Island, that’s why.

So I say:  Give them a better reason to feel all those things.  Play a sport, or an instrument, or take an art class.  Something that makes them feel like you give a shit and are paying attention to the great things they accomplish instead of just the asshole stuff.

And when you see him or her push down one of the Whos in the play area, go over and correct them.  While they’re 2.  While they’re small.

While they still give a shit what you think.

 

A Different Kind of Resolution

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As I sit here this morning, sipping my coffee, contemplating what witty things I have to share with the world, I came across an article on msn.com about a grieving mother paying tribute to her daughter.

And once again my wit was lost, my pregnant hormones kicked in, and my eyes welled up with tears. Because even though over the last couple days of family fun and a day long date with Husband I had forgotten the grief I felt for all those families in Newtown, this morning I remembered.

And I keep thinking how grateful I am that while so many families lost the most precious ones in their lives, I am so blessed to have mine right here with me.  I got to see her squeal with delight on Christmas Eve when all her favourite people were here.  I got to see her drag a teddy bear twice her size around the house all morning.  I got to watch her eyes light up when she opened her very own drum.

I got to get up 3 times last night and comfort her through her teething pain.

I got to. And so many would trade anything to be me.

I cannot pretend to imagine the things that this grieving mother thought or did or felt on Christmas day as she looked at the gifts she had bought her daughter. I cannot pretend I have the answers to the issues politicians and citizens face in the wake of these events.  But I can say this.  Causing pain in others and robbing others of the things you don’t have will never heal you.  The only way to rise above the things that hurt you in your life is to forgive and treat people with a little more grace and little more love.

A hard practice to follow for a big mouthed, blunt little Irish girl.  But I will make this my New Year’s resolution:

I will speak to others with a little more empathy and understanding.  I will listen better and talk less.  I will treat other people the way I wish my daughter will be treated by others.  Because you never know how you are hurting someone, and that someone could seek revenge on someone elses child.

We can argue gun control and tougher laws and more attention to mental health all we want.  And yes, these things will help to control the problem.  But the real problem, the real issue is how we treat one another.

So this year, forget about losing weight and quitting smoking.  Resolve to be kind to one another.  We are all part of the solution.

Survival Of The Fittest

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I’m not sure about the rest of you, but even though I love spending time with my family, I am a little relieved to have the major part of the holidays over.  There is a little bit of clean up left but the hard part is done.

So, after surviving the past two days, here are my tips to ensure you can host two days of festivities in your own home without any major problems:

1.  Paper Plates

If you are hosting more than one day in a row, the first day must be takeout and paper plates.  I know, I know, the environment, blah blah blah.  You know what? The environment is gonna have to take one for the team.  Unless someone plans to bring an extra dishwasher and a maid,  you are eating off paper plates on Christmas Eve.  We put the “ass” in class around here.

2. Gift Bags

Never, ever use wrapping paper.  Why?  Because it’s fucking annoying and I hate tape.  Throw everything in a gift bag.  Easy wrapping job.  Furthermore, clean up is easy  and this will create less garbage, I promise.  If you are cheap and lazy  frugal and environmentally conscious, you can collect the bags up and save them for next year.  We’ll also call it even about the paper plates.

3. Invite the Right People

Seeing as its your house, you can invite who you want.  I personally make sure to have my bestie come and provide a safe place for me to hang out if I’m feeling irritable.  I advise picking a good conversationalist, with a wide knowledge base, who can hold their liquor for as long as necessary.

4. Don’t Be Pregnant

This is purely a stand against sobriety.  It is never, ever, ever, fun or appropriate or acceptable to be sober at consecutive family functions.  Unfortunately, pregnancy forces you to break this rule.  Plan your conceptions better, people.

5. Everyone Can Help With Dishes

Husbands are awesome, in-laws are great, but this is where I highly recommend getting a dog.  Even better, get more than one.  Shit, I bet you can foster some pups over the holidays if anything to help with this chore.  Listen carefully.  The sink is only so big and you can only rinse one dish at a time.  Chunks are bad for the drain.  So.  After dinner, place all the plates, pots, pans, cutting boards and children on the floor and let the dogs in.  They are the fastest, most efficient clean up crew in the history of the world.  You will thank me later.

Happy Holidays, Bitches.

For The Boys

Anybody out there a professional sports fan?  Yeah, I thought so.  Anyway, here is some food for thought.

Sports sure have a lot of sexual and homosexual inuendos, don’t they?  I’m not sure I need to say much about the pretty boys of soccer, do I?  Awkward boners anybody?

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But let’s get to the real meat of the program, kids.  Has anybody listened, I mean really listened to football announcers?  Yesterday while watching Sunday Night Football one of the teams fumbled the ball.  Is there any fucking reason the announcer couldn’t say “Looks like San Fransisco fumbled the ball, too bad”  instead of  ” looks like it just squirted out of him” ?  And he said it like 3 times.  I almost pissed myself.

How about Tight Ends?  Who the hell came up with that term and whose ass inspired him to do so?

Sometimes, after a couple of bevvies, I can hardly contain my giddy laughter when Troy Aikman starts talking about looking for deep penetration while gazing longingly into Joe Buck’s eyes.  if those two turn out to be a couple, my money is on Troy for being the top.  For sure.

And my personal favorite ” busting up the A gap”. For Christ’s sake, it’s like a gay porn play by play.

Maybe the stereotype of football players only thinking about the game, beer and sex is pretty much on the mark.  And if all you do is play, eat and hang out naked in locker rooms with other men that look like they do, maybe it starts to become appealing.  Or maybe they don’t realize how their comments come across.  Or maybe they’re all gay.

Not that it matters really, but I’m just sayin.

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Shut Up And Eat

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I read an article yesterday about how to convince your picky eater to eat.   Huh?  Is that a thing now?  Kids don’t like to eat?

Not in this house.  My tiny little 15th percentile for weight daughter has a voracious appetite.  She eats like a bloody goblin.  Anything and everything, constantly.

So you could imagine my reaction when this woman wrote in and described how she cuts the sandwiches into mouse shapes and makes ladybugs out of apples and cheese.  I shit you not.  I wanted to reach into the magazine, shake this woman and scream at her “where do you find time for this kind of bullshit?”. Because that will be the day I ever start fucking around with my kid’s food like that.  Ever.

Ok. So I get it.  There are going to be certain things your child likes to eat over others, and they are usually the first things to disappear off the highchair tray.  For my Monster, it’s tomatoes and meatballs.  And I’ll admit that there are times I catch her feeding her food to the dogs if she’s full, or sick of something or doesn’t particularly like it.  But I’m not gonna build the fucking pyramids out of french toast for her to convince her it’s fun to eat.  Christ.

The farthest I go is to put some Elmo on the IPad and shove a couple pieces in her mouth while she’s distracted.  And really only if I’m in a hurry and she’s farting around.

So here’s my giant opinion of the day.  Don’t cater so much to your kids.  If they don’t want to eat what’s on their plate they can bloody well go hungry.  I have enough faith in my child to know she is not stupid enough to starve herself to death.  When she’s hungry, she’ll eat.  And I hope that in the process she’ll appreciate having 3 meals a day, where so many children go without.  She’ll appreciate having busy parents who still take note of the things she likes and provide them for her where possible, but within reason.

And maybe, when she’s a grown up, she’ll appreciate the lesson that not everything revolves around her.

Except my love for her.  But she’s still gonna eat what’s on her goddamn plate whether it’s arranged in a happy face or not.

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My Life is The Best Life

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A dear friend of mine has an incredible blog called My Life is The Best Life.  It’s what inspired me to start doing some writing of my own.  She finds one thing everyday that reminds her how awesome her life is and shares it in a witty, honest and down to earth way.

Anyway, she seems to be busy living her best life with a newborn baby right now, so I thought I would totally copycat her step in and write about why my life is the best life today in her honor.

My life is the best today because it is almost Christmas and I’m pregnant.  And freshly into the second trimester too, which means hello Christmas Dinner.

Ok.  Con:   I can’t add rum to my nog, but I also didn’t know the joy of nog until this pregnancy.  That’s one smart little fetus in there!

BUT.  The pros are endless.  Let me tell you about being pregnant.  Everything is tight.  Seriously, tight like a goddamn tiger.  Don’t worry about cellulite.  Don’t worry about your stomach sticking out.  Everything is bigger and tighter than it ever was before or ever will be again.  My boobs are porno boobs.  Tight. 

And after Christmas, when all you poor assholes will be struggling to do up your pants and getting gym memberships to lose the holiday pounds, I will sit back, eat some more cake and happily gain another pound.  And my pants will give a little stretch to accommodate my new found girth.

And not that I wasn’t a hot commodity before, but everybody wants to make plans with me on New Years Eve.  It’s not because they’ll get a built in designated driver and not have to worry about finding a cab.  It’s because I’m tight, remember?

And that, folks is why I think MY life is the best life today. What about you?

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The Desire to Fail

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My husband asked me the other day if a particular student had talent.  I paused for a moment, because the question had never occurred to me.  “She has desire.  And that’s more important”  is what I told him.

And it is.  Most of the kids I have taught over the years who appear to be extremely gifted are usually a huge pain in the ass.  No joking.  I’ve always said that I would rather spend my time teaching a child that has to work harder to achieve things because then they do.  Most  kids (not all kids) whom things come very easily to try less and expect more.

The question is why?

Lately, I’ve been watching my very own monster be tormented by being unable to get what she wants instantly.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t climb on the dining room table and attempt to throw myself to my death?  Tantrum.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t use the dog’s head and a rawhide bone for drum practice?  Tantrum.  What’s that Mommy?  I can’t stab myself in the ear with a pencil?  Tantrum…..and then I’ll try a crayon.

And you know what happens after the tantrum?  She fucking tries again.  And again.

Which made me realize something.  Failure is the biggest motivator.  Achievement is the biggest reassurance, which is also important, but failure creates an incredible resolve to do better, try again and get it the next time.

I remember a particular adjudicator from a vocal competition that I’ve had to endure not once, but twice.  And every time she would address me, I seriously wanted to curb stomp her.  She made me feel like a total loser.  And you know what?  She pissed me off enough that I finally deciphered her comments and it forced me to figure some shit out.  I think I did it to spite her.  Sometimes I think about her, and am so grateful that she was such a bitch. Because in the end my failure helped me to achieve.

I worry for our kids.  I worry that through our love for them we have created an environment where mediocracy is good enough because we’re afraid to let them fail.  I’m afraid we’re taking the desire to be awesome away because they get a medal just for playing.  I’m afraid that we only push the kids with “talent” because we only value “success”.

But I value failure.  And tears of frustration.  And hard work.  And kids who get pissed off at me for making them try harder and do better.

So don’t worry if your kids lack talent.  Worry if they lack desire.

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A Christmas Rant

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When I was a little girl and I used to complain that my brother was bugging me, my Dad had a wise and simple solution:  Don’t be so bugable.

When did the human race become so good at being offended?  And how come you all aren’t listening to my Dad?  He’s the smartest, you know.

Let’s take Christmas, for example.  Apparently, people get offended if you acknowledge the Christmas season.  If you say Merry Christmas, you might offend someone.  If you sing a Christmas carol at a school concert, you might offend someone.  I call bullshit.  Those same people that get all hot on the tits about being wished well in the form of  “Merry Christmas” aren’t offended by the extra money their business makes this time of year.  Or the stat pay on their paychecks.  Or the extra time off this time of year.  But if you say why they get all those things, they might form some sort of action group to have the word Christmas stricken from the land.

What is the problem with Canadians celebrating and acknowledging part of the very culture the country was built on?  Whether we want to admit it or not, the people that founded this country as we know it were Christians, and they celebrated Christmas.

If someone said “Happy Chanuka” to me, I certainly wouldn’t get all pissy.  They are wishing me well according to the culture they identify with.  And I appreciate the sentiment.

And let’s face it kids, most people don’t even give a rats ass about Jesus anyway.  People in North America worship Santa and the presents under the tree.  We worry most about what we’re getting and giving this holiday season more than appreciating the things we have and the people in our lives.  My husband and I have stopped exchanging gifts.  Instead, we set aside an entire day to spend together as a couple, doing something we just haven’t had time to do in the busy thing we call life with a baby.  And when she is old enough to understand, this will be part of her tradition as well.

Because you know what? After a day or two, she won’t care about the billion dollars worth of toys she just got.  She be back to climbing me like a jungle gym, and singing with me, and helping me rearrange the spice cupboard while I cook.  Because things can never replace time.

I want to teach my daughter to respect other people’s cultures and traditions, but to hold dear and stand up for hers as well.  And that includes saying  “Merry Christmas” freely.  That includes knowing that Christmas should be more about family and love and all the things that JESUS, not SANTA, tried to teach us so long ago, and not about presents under the tree.

And if that is offensive to anyone, I’ll just teach her to say:  “Don’t be so bugable”.

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Someone to Watch Over Me

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I’m pretty sure that it’s because of the terrible events that transpired in Connecticut this weekend, but I seem to have lost my sense of humor.

So, instead, I want to tell you about a little boy who lives in my neighborhood. I don’t know him or his family, or even his name. I call him the Big Bag Baby (BBB)

Every weekday morning for the past 4 years or so, I have seen this child walk up the bay across from my street and wait for his school bus. His backpack is enormous; I hardly know how he can carry it. It’s literally about one third the size of his little body. And it’s completely adorable. Every year, I think that this will be the year his bag shrinks and looks more manageable, but the backpacks seem to grow with him. It’s like it’s part of him.

Anyway, unbeknownst to him or his parents, I have watched the BBB every morning and made sure that he gets on his bus safely each morning. When a car approached him one day, I watched to make sure it was his parents. The other day he had apparently flung himself on the snowbank, and I seriously thought he had been hit by a car or something. Turns out he was ok.

The point is, I cared. This child that is a stranger to me has a silent guardian he will never know about. And especially now, as a parent myself, I hope I am not the only girl watching out her kitchen window in the morning. The problem with todays world is that we are too silent sometimes, and the bad guys cause a whole lot more noise.

But we’re here, silently making the world a better place, one weekday moment at a time. I hope.

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Oldham

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