Wednesday, September 24, 2014


*steps up on feminist soapbox*
*sets fire to oppressive under garments*


Dear McDonald's

I realize that the mere fact I'm choosing to nourish my child with your "food" probably negates the following rant. But nonetheless...

When ordering a Happy Meal, why do you need to know the gender of my child? Instead ask me if my child would like to grow up to be a grotesque slutty Barbie or an engineer. 

Ask me if she'd rather choose a letter and number to figure out her Monster Slut name (the results of which don't even make sense. 4+D=Claw-Elle? Really?)

Or would she rather play with a Hex Bug robot, test her knowledge and exercise her brain a bit with a cryptic message that uses math principles in the decoding process?

I thought by answering "girl" you might follow up with "monster slut or science nerd?" But apparently according to McDonalds, girl=monster slut. Girl doesn't equal boy. No way. No how. Your employee almost seemed offended when I said "she's a girl but wants the hex bug." 

"Oh so your daughter wants the boy's toy?" He replied confused. 

I was just happy she was too busy telling her sister about her favorite part of the Lego Movie to hear that comment. 

For the record McD's, my little girl's uterus doesn't stop her from being the official class bug catcher. She actually really digs science and tries not to let that surplus of X chromosomes get in the way too much. 

Thanks for asking questions though. The one about apples or Gogurt was a good one. She stuck to her gender and chose the apple. Hopefully she doesn't give it to a boy at school and doom her kind for all eternity. 


Mother of two future Monster Hoochies

Saturday, September 6, 2014


As we're lying in bed reading the Oriental Trading Company mag that my child chose as a bedtime story, we come across suckers that look like used Qtips. 

This isn't all that odd since it's the Halloween edition. 

What is odd is when Sunshine casually says "yeah I ate someone's ear wax once. It was gross."

After I composed myself I asked whose earwax she was sampling. She tells me "I don't know his name. I was just hungry."

My daughter ladies and gentlemen. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I suffered a completely unexpected emotional breakdown the week my Sunshine started kindergarten. If you asked her kinder was just kind of crummy. The school was too big, the days were too long, and she missed her mommy and sister during the day.

If you asked me she was missing out on the magic and happiness of what is supposed to be one of the best years of her life. She was having anxiety attacks and being forced into a neat little public school box that I was desperate to free her from. My usually spunky girl was solemn and downtrodden as she marched into the gymnasium. My little ray of Sunshine who used to beg to go to preschool on days she had violent stomach bugs was now vehemently against walking through those kinder doors. There's a very lovely alternative down the road at her old preschool. They love children. They do amazing but age-appropriate things with children. But most of all they understand children.

I was three minutes from the doors of her elementary school to withdraw her when my husband told me to slow my roll. I couldn't just pull her out of public school because of one bad week. I hadn't even given it the old college try. Public school is the answer in his eyes. And he kindly informed me that it was high time our 5-year-old grew up. Really? At 5. Now we've decided they need to "grow up" at 5? I almost barfed up my bagel.

She needs to face adversity, he said. She needs to realize that there are rules in the world. She's not always going to have fun. She's not always going to like her teacher. There are good times and there are bad. She needs to learn this because after all she's 5. She needs to grow up. She needs to learn.

I cried a lot that day. I cried for my child who was feeling scared. I cried for the things I knew she was missing out on. I cried for the jealousy I felt as I saw my friends post pictures of their elated children who were going to the little kinder down the road. I cried for the picture my daughter drew of her first day of school of the blue sad face with tears. I cried and cried.

Once it was time to pick her up from the institution, I had no more tears. Just a desperate feeling of mommy guilt and confusion. I felt torn between what I should do. Between what was best for my child. I wanted her to be happy and enjoy kindergarten, but maybe Hubs was right. Maybe she does need to face a little disappointment. Maybe she needs to learn to play by the rules a little more.

I asked how her day went, but her face said it all. I didn't want to talk about it anymore, and neither did she. We headed home in silence.

When we walked in the door I fixed her a snack and asked if she wanted to read or play a game. She lit up and asked if we could play Candyland. I'm a sucker for some Hasbro, so we grabbed a spot on the rug and shuffled the cards.

We quickly refreshed our memories on the rules. Pretty simple. Draw the card, move the spaces, don't land in the licorice pit and get to King Kandy's Castle.

Sweet Pea wanted to "play" too, but about halfway through the game we realized she was only interested in the orange cards because "Owange is my fave-itt." Sunshine tried to guide her by drawing her cards or moving her pieces for her, but it was futile. She'd skip ahead three green spaces instead of two, and when she drew Grandma Gooey's card she decided she'd rather go back to the Duke of Swirl.

It was funny to see Sunshine get a little frustrated and then finally give an exasperated sigh. She realized that sometimes not everyone plays by the rules, but it's ok. All you can do is worry about yourself. You can try and help them, but if they're not willing to help themselves you have to leave them in the licorice pit and move on.

We were both hanging out in the Gumdrop Mountains when I drew the card leading me directly to Princess Frostine. She's only a hop skip away from King Kandy's Castle, so without a big plunge back to Lord Licorice or the likes, it looked like my victory was sealed.

Sunshine's face was indignant. I could see in her eyes how unfair she felt this situation was. But she surprised me. Instead of an outburst or a cry of injustice, she simply took a deep breath and said "I don't care! That's fine! I might still win."

She didn't win. I spanked her in about two turns. But she held out hope, and I could not have been prouder. It wasn't over until I crossed that sugary bridge. That kid knows perseverance.

I celebrated my victory without rubbing it in, because I wanted to demonstrate sportsmanship. Plus this is the kid that reaaaaalllly really hates to lose. But again, to my surprise, she didn't huff and puff at her loss. Instead she quietly said "Congratulations."

I hugged her and thanked her for being such a great sport. I told her I know it is tough to lose, but it's even tougher to lose gracefully. I was mega impressed.

Then I taught her one more thing. I quickly scooped up the cards, gave them a good shuffle and reset the game pieces. My victory was short-lived, but so was her loss. Just as quick as I won, she took me to the cleaners with a Grandma Gooey Hail Mary draw. That second game may have been the quickest ever played, and she came out on top. After a wicked happy dance she kindly told me that we could play again and maybe I could win next time.

In life she is going to face adversity. She is going to have to learn the rules. She'll see that sometimes other people don't play by the rules. Sometimes other people get all the glory, or they get the promotion, or they win the soccer game. But throwing her into a stressful situation is not the age-appropriate way to teach her to "deal" with these life lessons. She doesn't need to grow up.

She needs Candyland.

She is 5. Candyland taught her all she needs to know right now about life. Worry about your own gingerbread man. Keep hoping for that Princess Frostine, but celebrate those double purple draws too. And when life sticks you in the licorice pit, just keep your head up. There's always next game.


My Sunshine has always been...quirky. She's always had a little "extra" that's just really defined what made her HER. She's very bright and bubbly and compassionate. But boy is she EXTRA sometimes. 

I always chalked the quirks up to a combo of my parenting style and her genetics. I'm a bit scatterbrained and love to be spontaneous. Her dad has an ADHD diagnosis that I'm convinced is the reason he's incredibly successful and driven. But that combo convinced me that she was just a little higher maintenance than her peers. 

The day she was born she took 22 hours of pitocin before she decided to come unwillingly down the birth canal. I swear after three hours of pushing she finally loosened her grasp on my trachea or whatever she was clutching to. And at 7:53 pm she came screaming into the world. 

It was a long day for all of us and as I looked down at this tiny creature I felt a wave of euphoria and exhaustion all at once. 

I was ready for a Big Montana and some shut eye. But Sunshine had things to see. She stayed wide-eyed and alert for 4 hours after her birth. It wasn't until I had Sweet Pea that I realized that birth usually tires babies out quite a bit. 

Not my Sunshine. In fact she didn't sleep more than 15 minutes at a time that entire first night. Again I knew nothing of "normal". I only knew Sunshine. I also knew there was something she didn't trust about being placed in that bassinet. She only felt safe in my arms. 

So I did the unthinkable. I pulled her into my hospital bed and we slept. 

Her whole childhood was filled with breaking my "rules" that I set before motherhood. Bed sharing was a huge no no. Weak parenting I said. 

Breast feeding past a year? Ew! If they're old enough to ask for it they're too old to get it right? ...too bad newborns ask for it in such a whiny voice. I wasn't able to take it away when she could use the King's English. She needed it. I was her lovey. I was her coping mechanism. 

Just a few months before her second birthday I gave in to social pressures and took away her security booby. It was time to grow up. At 2. Because that makes sense. 

I got pregs with Sweet Pea a few seconds after I weaned Sunshine. It was a year of potty training and cry it out and sleep by yourself and quit throwing tantrums. It was pure hell. But I had to do this. Because. Because...well because I was "suppose to."

I don't know who THEY are but I listened to THEY a lot in those years.

They say kids need to sleep alone. They say they need to nurse for exactly 365 days. They say to put your foot down. You're the authority. They say "because I said so." Explaining yourself to a toddler is futile. They say they can't be reasoned with. 

Well they were wrong. 

My Sunshine started kindergarten last week. I thought I'd tap dance down the halls to freedom. But something wasn't right. 

I knew it weeks before but I tried to push it out of my mind. That is until I stumbled upon an article about sensory processing disorders. Damn you Dr. Google. She fit the description perfectly. 

The tantrums, the naked obsessions, the sock aversions. They were all "normal kid" stuff. Until you paired them with everything else. 

She got her diagnosis the week before kindergarten. I still can't bring myself to call it a disorder. It's just different. Not wrong. She's a sensory seeker. It explains why she hugs way too tight and barrels into her friends giggling even as they plead for her to stop. It's often misdiagnosed as ADHD.

I start thinking about Hubs. I'm certain he was misdiagnosed and wrongly drugged. But when you know better you do better. SPD doesn't need drugs. 

We are just beginning occupational therapy to give Sunshine the sensory input she needs. We call it Super Hero Training Camp since they're there to find her super powers (like supersonic hearing) and fine tune them. I'm not even close to bummed about the diagnosis. It means she IS normal. In fact most gifted children have some sort of sensory processing issues. So the kid I thought was just average is actually probably quite gifted. I'm afraid if sounding like that high and mighty "gifted" mother. But it's a bright spot in a shady path, so I'll own it. 

The first week of school was rough. Lots and lots of tears. But by Friday I'd figured out how to hold myself together. 

I've met with teachers and counselors and principals who all tell me what a bright, compassionate, amazingly wonderful child I have. And they're more than happy to do whatever it takes to have a successful year with my spunky girl. 

We've got a long road. And there will be days that my Sunshine comes home on yellow instead of purple. But we've had a long talk about what that means. Her self worth will not be defined by a clothespin or a color chart. It will be determined by her and her alone. 

And we will also celebrate her. Because no great innovator in history ever fit nearly into the little box. They were hell raisers. They were different. And that's what made them great. 

So I will celebrate my girl. Because quirks and  all she is my Sunshine. My only Sunshine. We see some clear skies, and some are gray. But I hope it's so clear, how much I love her. And how I'd never wish those little quirks away.