Happy Saturday, folks! This post was originally titled ‘That time I washed my hair with puppy shampoo and liked it’ but someone downstairs started practicing the theme to Star Wars on their picolo, so as you can imagine I got a little distracted by how Fifty Shades of Nerd that is and ended up meandering into other lanes of mind traffic. At first I thought they were playing the intro to one of those news magazine shows, but then when I *quite literally* wrote it down like this in google search:
“da da da daaaaaa, da. da da da daaaaaa, da. da da da da-da-da-daaaaa… da dadaaaaa.”
… that’s when the Star Wars thing hit me. It was interesting to use google to search for the answer to a question, since 99% of the time I’m just using it to make sure I spelled a word right.
PART I – I’m Outraged About a New Diet Drug + Everybody SHUT UP ALREADY about the TIME Magazine cover
Have you heard about the new diet drug being recommended by an FDA panel that in trial studies resulted in *a lot of* breast cancer in rats? Well the doctor who leads the FDA panel says ”rats are more likely to get these types of cancers than humans are anyway” SO YEAH DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Much ado about nothing.
Clearly I do not care for this FDA panel guy. In this situation the worst case scenario is that people are going to take this drug and totally get breast cancer from it like the rats, and the best case scenario is that we’re giving rats breast cancer because we are a nation enamored with buying dangerous pills to solve problems in spite of ourselves. I’m sorry, rats. I want to see you dead, but not this way.
In the other news from this week, how crazy was that TIME Magazine cover on attachment parenting and breastfeeding your toddlers? If you answered, “not crazy at all, just a smart move by TIME Magazine to create a controversy that it knew would get people riled up and create a stir to make the whole nation start talking about the cover of TIME Magazine,” you would be right.
Mothers should feel free to choose and run with whatever parenting that they believe in. I fully believe that persecuting moms about how long or how little they breastfeed their children, or whether they choose to work or stay home, or WHATEVER… I fully believe that we have to stop telling mothers that there’s One Best Way to parent, and that if you’re not doing it THAT way, you’re doing it wrong. Such bullshit.
The article espouses the attachment parenting method, and encourages mothers to quit their jobs if they have one and commit fully to their children. And you might expect me to go ballistic about this, but that’s hardly my response. My response is: if you can afford that lifestyle, and that’s what you want to do in the raising of your children, that is totally awesome. Do it. No one should tell you otherwise. BUT that also means that you can’t tell other mothers that it’s the be all/end all of mothering styles. Because come on. The majority of us can’t afford to quit our jobs and have our child turn into a living, breathing succubus for their own good later in life.
I just wish groups of people would stop asserting that *their way* is the best way to raise children. Because there are lots of effective ways to raise a child. Take my Mom, for example. She worked when my little brother and I were on the younger side. No attachment parenting there. So how did I turn out? Well, let me give you a short list.
The most memorable things about my childhood:
1) My Mom’s (and Dad’s) unconditional love for me and my little brother.
2) Watching movies together, and taking trips to the park together. Because we did those things as a family, we shared the experience and it therefore became memorable. Those simple times we had felt like the best times, no matter what we were doing.
3) That time I hijacked my toddler brother’s baby-walker and decided to fly down the basement steps to say hello to the wall with my face. Both my parents were doing the laundry and so they got a front row seat to the show. You’re welcome for that memory, Mom and Dad!
4) Like I mentioned, my Mom worked at times when my little brother and I were very young. Something which that attachment parenting method poo-poos. But here’s what I remember about my Mom having a job: she would sometimes bring little gifts home from the store if she got home late, and leave it by our beds, so that when we woke up in the morning we’d find a tiny gift that we always knew was from mom. Superficially speaking, the gifts weren’t pricey or anything truly special. But their value to us? Totally priceless, to the two little babies who woke up and found a tiny present from our momma in the morning.
Those little gifts were some of my favorite gifts of my entire life, Mom. Thanks for those memories. It’s something I know will be fun to do with my own behbehkins if I ever decide to give you the pleasure of having grandchildren which I am at present undecided about so keep up the good behavior and we’ll see.
… My point with this list is, my Mom didn’t need to subscribe to any one parenting method or fad, to get me to feel that my childhood was fulfilling. My memories are about the moments.
PART II – The Best Advice I Ever Got from My Mom On Relationships and Love
The following tips, lessons and general words of wisdom have been served to me throughout my life by my mother. Whether by example, in times of consoling after a break-up, or while watching a Felicity back in the day and gabbing during commercials — the one thing all these lessons have in common is that they’re the ones I’ll be passing down to my daughter, should I be so lucky to have one.
5) Relationships, both of the Friend and the Lover sort, take work to thrive. And when there is a foundation of real love and respect there, the growing pains will not stand a chance at breaking you.
4) Be honest in your disagreements, and if you argue at times, speak your feelings as well as listen attentively to your partner’s. When neither of you are focused on your pride or *winning* the argument, it’s the relationship that wins because growth and understanding is your endgame.
3) Be affectionate. Touch. Kiss. Hug. Never stop being intimate.
2) You have to know yourself, and what you want out of life, to be able to know and love a partner. This is the way to living a fuller life, being capable of independence, and being able to appreciate your partner for who they are, instead of finding your meaning in the relationship you have with that person.
1) Laugh together.
PART III – Last-Minute Gift Ideas That Will Make Your Mom Smile Ear to Ear
Idea 1) Get your Mom the book Fifty Shades of Grey and then just sit back on the couch and enjoy the awkwardness.
Idea 2) Buy her a lovely journal. Before you present it, flip to the last page and write her a love letter if you’re her sweetheart, or a letter of love if you’re her offspring. (Do not mix these two up.)
Idea 3) If you live relatively close to one another, pick her up and take her out to brunch and proceed to dish about your lives. Moms LOVE this.
Idea 4) Not interested in spending that kind of money, you cheapskate? Or maybe you want to make it a meal, but you want the experience to be/appear more thoughtful? Guess what’s the best gift in the universe then, besides taking her OUT for food? Buying fixins on the way to her place and cooking her a meal! Because who doesn’t love a homecooked meal, AMIRITE? Flip the script and let HER enjoy that feeling for once.
Idea 5) A French Bulldog. Because if she doesn’t want it, you’ve got a new French Bulldog to take home.
Idea 6a) How ’bout an online gift card? Because, this Mother’s Day, you want to be clear about the fact that you really don’t give a s**t about her. And ‘online giftcard’ says that like nothing else can.
Idea 6b) Soften the blow of your total insensitivity by sending her one of these ecards from someecards.com. My favorites for all types of situations are linked below.
^ my Mom’s getting this one at 9am tomorrow.
Idea 7) A Kindle.
Idea 8) Not edible arrangements. She’s not your secretary.
(For the record, when I was a secretary I didn’t like them either. But that–it could be just me. I could be the only one who doesn’t like ingesting already cut up fruit offered to me by people in the workplace.)
Idea 9) If you and your momma can’t be together on this day, and you want to do something special to make this holiday stand out to her, give her a call and actually chat for a good half hour to an hour about real things. You can both totally drink a glass of wine to make it go down easier if you’d like. If your mom’s “a talker,” feel free to pre-game the call with a stronger cocktail that you don’t tell her about. Then just watch the conversation fly by. You might even enjoy it! No promises.
Idea 10) If you’re just not that into your mom, and not even pre-gaming a phone call can make the conversation tolerable, take that lady to the movies and let other people do the talking. It still qualifies as *spending time together* does it not?
Idea 11) If your mom’s anything like my mom, she doesn’t spend NEARLY enough time pampering herself, and instead focuses on work and loving all of us. But don’t ye be fooled; she LOVES getting a manicure, just doesn’t ever carve out the time to do it. So take her to get her nails done! I highly recommend adding in a pedicure, so you both can just sit back and enjoy some dopamine-fueled chitchat while your legs and toes are getting massaged!**
**WARNING: Be sure not to discuss excerpts from your earlier gift of Fifty Shades of Grey. This will help you both to avoid experiencing simultaneous involuntary orgasms in your massage chairs. I am shivering with grossed-outedness from having just written that sentence.
Idea 12) Buy her an iPad. No seriously. If you’re looking for a great gift and you’re looking to spend a pretty penny on it, get her that iPad. It’s my Mom’s dream gift, I know it, but she refuses to have me buy it for her. She’s all “absolutely NOT. You’re a young couple just starting out, you need that money for down payments and the rent and stuff. Don’t you DARE buy me an iPad.”
Hey, you don’t need to go twisting my arm, aright? I’ll get you an iPad, Mom.
Idea 13) Can you suggest another idea to fill in Number 13? I can’t think of any more than those on this list but I don’t feel good about the list being at 13. Very unlucky feeling.
Idea 14) Committed to getting her a legit gift, but just REALLY don’t have the time before Sunday to pick it up? (Seriously? It’s Saturday; stores are open right now– seriously, you can’t?) Aright then no problem; here’s the solution: take your mom shopping for her gift. This is two gifts in one; a gift she actually wants AND quality time with her whittle behbeh!
That last one’s what we call a win-win.
Tell me, do you know what you’re getting/doing for the mom in your life on Sunday? I’d love to hear other ideas! Sincere AND sarcastic. ;)
Happy Mother’s Day to the mommas out there!
xoxo - Alison
Cover: Time Magazine