Friday 30 September 2011

Because You Asked For It: Quickies

Due to my extended PMS I just don't have the patience this week.  Sometimes short and not-so-sweet is all it really takes.

Source: The Natural Child Project

Dear Jan,

My 3-year-old son, soon to be 4, is obsessed with wearing dresses.  He has been interested in dresses since he could talk.  We are an open-minded family.  We do not spank and have a family bed.  At first, I thought he just wanted to be like his older sister and I.  but now he wants to wear them all the time.  It is very painful for him to be denied this.  His crying when refused his wish to where a dress is sincere and breaks my heart.  I am a stay at home Mom.  I would like to hear from you.  I do not want to hurt, or interfere with my son's true identity.  Please help.

                                                                              Name Withheld.

Dear Name Withheld,

It has been my experience that Jan is long-winded and full of shit.  So here it is: your son is gay.  And that's great!  You just let him wear all the damn dresses he wants and stop worrying about it.  Although, you may want to enroll him in some self-defense classes.  Because there's a lot of assholes out there and no amount of forcing him to wear pants is going to keep them at bay.

(Oh and Jan, fuck you for implying that having a gay son is something to fear or something that can be caused by Name Withheld's anxiety.)

                                                                               Mommy Rotten

Source: Child Central

my 2-year old son is quite a bit advanced for his age, he can tell you all the animals and there sounds his ABC's and numbers 1-30.  He is starting to say quite big words now and I would like to know how can I help him bring it all in to a proper sentence?  He can say a good few sentences already but they are short ones!


Dear Danielle,

Here are a good few, short sentences.  Nobody likes a show off.  Shut the fuck up.

                                                                                Mommy Rotten

P.S. (Your grammar sucks.)


My almost 3-year-old has a foot fetish.  He has had this since he has recognized feet.  He wants to see and touch everyone's feet.  He even wants to see and touch mannequin's feet at the stores.  This is both perplexing and a bit alarming to us.  Is this a sign that he will have deeper issues later and how do we handle this?  He is advanced in all of his developments and gets along fine with other kids.  This is really his only issue currently.  Please help.


Dear recordskeeper,

Boys are weird.  Seriously.  It's like you're trying to find something wrong with him.  Relax.  I mean, foot fetish?  Really?  What, is he sucking toes and moaning?  Get your head out of the gutter.  And that means something coming from me.   Because I have a dirty mind.

                                                                                  Mommy Rotten

Thursday 29 September 2011

Barnyard Pageantry

My in-laws, the Rottens, have a small sheep farm out in dairy country and are active in the local chapter of the 4-H Club.  How awesome is that?  When I was a kid, I would have loved to have regular access to a farm.  Every spring there are opportunities for bottle feeding newborns and watching them play with each other in the fields.  Sooo delicious cute!  When my mother in-law called and told me the boys could participate in the Sheep Show in this year's fall fair I thought it was a great idea.

Now, I'm not so sure.

(Oh Dear God, let this be a good idea.)

It is only my complete faith in my in-laws' animal husbandry skills and their extreme caution when the safety of their grandchildren is concerned that is giving me the fortitude to allow this to go on because, holy shit! this totally looks like a very bad idea.  The idea, basically, is this:  to get each of my children, and their lambs, to parade around for a few minutes in front of some judges wearing matching costumes.  Should be a breeze, right?

Day One:  Wet. Lather. Rinse. And hell yeah, repeat that shit.

We thought it might be fun to put the boys into the lamb pen and let them pick which lamb they wanted.  The object of the game was to try and choose a female.  I believe the reasoning behind this apparent sexism is that Grandpa was much more likely to keep a female rather than the male and they maybe didn't want the kids developing an emotional attachment to a future meal.  Grim realities aside, I'm sure the picture you have in your head is one of my sweet boys wading in amongst a crowd of fuzzy little creatures that look something like this:
But by the time the fall fair comes around these cute little babies have gained about 100+ pounds, and have been rolling around in sheep shit for about 6 months.  So what you end up with is something that more closely resembles this:
Man, that is one Rasta looking sheep.
They are big, filthy, smelly animals that have a thick oil to their coat (lanolin, I presume) that only makes all the dirt and shit stick to them like glue.  There are golf-ball sized clinkers hanging around their rears and they are just...well...I will again refer you to the picture above.  Really, it is amazing to me that anyone ever conceived of making clothes and blankets out of this stuff.

Also, they are not very used to people.  As soon as Grandpa and my kids were in the pen they nearly trampled each other in their efforts to get away.  After several failed attempts at trying to get one specific lamb I'm pretty sure Grandpa just settled for whatever female he could catch and pretended like it was the very one the boys had chosen.  They didn't seem to notice.

Once the lambs were caught, Grandpa slipped a home-made halter over their muzzles in order to guide them where we wanted them to go.  The lamb that was chosen for Frack, who I named "Bucky", went all kinds of rodeo trying to get that thing off of her.  I have no idea how they expected this beast to agree to wearing a costume.  I have no idea how they expected my three year old to stand next to this beast, help from Grandpa or no.

How was this going to end in anything other than disaster?  Because my in-laws know what they're doing, right?  Because they've been doing this kind of stuff for a long time, right?

We forced the very uncooperative lambs over to the old picnic table and tied them to it.  Our contestants were quite clearly in need a bath if they were going to be Sheep Show ready.  We thought it might be fun if the boys would help out with the washing so that the lambs could get accustomed to their presence and hopefully calm the fuck down.  Predictably enough, this "bonding experience" between my boys and their lambs ended up with us three adults scrubbing sheep while the kids played nearby.

By the end of the job we were fairly wet (my in-laws more than myself, I admit) and the lambs had gone from the dingy greyish-brown to more of a yellowish-brown-off-white.  It was getting dark and the lambs had been traumatized enough, so we called it a day.  We would finish the job tomorrow.

Day Two:  The Shearing of the Lambs

One of the tricks of Barnyard Pageantry is, when you can't get your lambs to look completely clean (and believe me you can't) you just shear off the yucky stuff.  That same lanolin that got all the shit and dirt stuck to them also protected the wool closest to their skin, leaving it soft and white.  We thought it would be good if the boys helped out with the shearing as another attempt at "bonding".  Grandpa said that ideally they would have been playing with these lambs all summer to tame them, but we didn't know about this category in the Sheep Show until a few days ago.  This was not very reassuring.

I had never really seen a sheep get sheared in person before.  I had seen some of those record-speed shearers on the Discovery channel I think, but that is nothing like the real thing. The initial part of the shearing, Grandpa did alone because it involved wrestling the lamb into a sitting position and shearing the underside.  Like so:

The buzz of the clippers and our efforts to stay still and quiet were rather hypnotizing.  Watching the gradual progress of the clippers as they methodically sheared away dirty wool leaving behind clean, white wool, going lower and lower to the belly and oh gosh, I hope he doesn't cut her nipples!  And then you realize suddenly that you have been silently staring at the nether regions of a lamb as she sits there helplessly, getting the barnyard equivalent of a Brazilian....there just isn't a word to describe that moment. (Dear Germany, Please invent a clever word to accurately describe that moment.)

I have the maturity of a 12-year old.  I couldn't stop thinking about the ridiculous look on the lamb's face which seemed to be begging for her dignity back, or the realization that my father in-law had probably sheared the lady gardens of hundred of ewes before this, or knowing that he could probably relate with a lot of women about the difficulties of hedge-trimming etc.  I started to smirk and snicker and look the other way in an effort to hide my amusement but it was too late.  Frick noticed and asked loudly what was so funny?  Mother Rotten gave me a look that I am pretty sure meant she knew exactly what I was laughing about and I hope to God the reason she knew this was because she was thinking it, too.  Because now she knows I have a very childish and very dirty mind.  Sheep-dirty, in fact.

Don't look at me!
When Grandpa was finished, the lamb was tied to this special table which is meant to restrain the lamb while she gets sheared.  Bucky wasn't having it.  Once we got her in place she freaked right out, broke the table to splinters and ran off.  Once she got in with the rest of the adult herd they were reluctant to let her go and surrounded her.  I thought for sure she would run into the barnyard to roll in some sheep shit just to be spiteful but, after a bit of a chase, Grandpa managed to catch her before she got the chance.  When they were finished the shearing all they needed to become the iconic pastoral image of fluffy white sheep was a perfunctory mani-pedi (i.e. Grandpa scraped the shit our from their hoofs and then trimmed the ends) and voila!  Straight from the pages of Mother-freaking-Goose.

Now that's more like it. (Not actual lamb)
Now all I had to do was close my eyes and pray that my kids had the same number of teeth they started with.  What the hell is wrong with me?  Am I crazy for allowing this?  If anyone other than my in-laws were proposing this insanity there would be no way.  (Deep breath) I'm sure everything will be just fine.


Everything was just fine.  Apparently the lambs became all kinds of gentle overnight.  They willingly wore their costumes.  No one got kicked in the face and the boys got trophies and money.  I think if the judges had seen what I had seen they would have demanded that the lambs take a drug test.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Thanks, One Million Moms!

A couple of weeks ago I found out about a lovely little group called "One Million Moms" (No way am I linking to their nasty little site).  They were brought to my attention because of the controversy generated over their objections to Dancing With the Stars inviting Chaz Bono to dance on their show with (gasp!) a female.  Of course this really pissed me off.  Something you should know about me is that 1) I can't stand a bully and 2) I'm a total hypocrite, which basically means that I have no problem being a bully to someone who I think really deserves it (i.e. other bullies).  So good for you, One Million Moms!  Now you have my attention.   And as you well know, there is nothing better than spreading awareness to help make the world a better place.  For the children.

This morning I stumbled on this article about how One Million Moms are outraged by Ben and Jerry's new ice cream flavour, "Schweddy Balls"  which, I think, is a touching tribute to the delightful humour stylings of Mr. Alec Baldwin.  This article tickled me in a few ways.  The fact that they are silly enough to protest over ice cream.  (Ice cream!) The fact that the Schweddy Balls skit is one of my all-time favourites.  The fact that One Million Moms had unwittingly placed a craving for Schweddy Balls in my mouth and how that double entendre is just a gift that keeps on giving.  Oh, I just can't help myself.  Here you go:

Man, that was funny!  Thanks, One Million Moms!  Anyway, something occurred to me.  I wonder what other awesome stuff I could learn about from my new-found friends at OMM?

Turns out that ice cream is not the only sinful treat under attack.

We don't have cable in our house.  We just kind of get by watching movies and stuff and that means I don't get to see commercials anymore. (It's amazing how not having a TV can protect you from such "dangerous" advertising.  Look into it, ladies.) Which must be the reason I missed this little gem:

Yes, it's kind of cheesy but I thought it was cute and damn! if I don't want those cookies now!  Thanks, One Million Moms!

(Not actually for sale at Walgreen's.  It was just really cute.)
What other products are out there that I didn't know about, ladies?  Like the fact that now I don't have to walk into some fetish store to buy myself my friend a sex toy?  Yup!  From now on it's as easy as going to my local Walgreens or Rite Aid website.  And you wouldn't believe the selection!  They have everything from various flavours of lubricant to dildos and butt plugs in every size and colour of the rainbow. Everything but this Hello Kitty I'm-not-totally-sure-exactly-how-this-works-as-a-sex-toy-but-they-kinda-look-like-nunchuks thing I've got going on over here.  Thanks, One Million Moms!

And speaking of sex, did you see any of that new show "The Playboy Club"?  I didn't.  But I will now.  One Million Moms are hilariously surprised-but-not-surprised that a show called "The Playboy Club" (airing at 10pm/9pm Central) has sex in it.  Here is OMM's description of what we can expect to see (spoiler alert!):

   -A short clip of an intense, graphic sex scene of a man with a Playboy bunny in one of the club's bathrooms.
   -A man attempting to rape a bunny whom she ended up murdering during the struggle.
   -Disposing of the body to later find out the man murdered was head of the mob.
   -Discussion of male genitalia size
   -A new diet in the '60s called "bulimia"
   -No swimsuits allowed in the pool during a party at the Playboy mansion
   -A husband having a difficult time with the idea of his wife working there but the stress on their marriage is dismissed by her because of the great money she is making.
   -A bunny making her money to help a homosexual group that she is a member of
   -Two half-dressed men who are secretly in a homosexual relationship.

Now, I don't know about you but that is a show I want to watch!  And all of that happens in the first episode!  Thanks, One Million Moms!

Yes, One Million Moms, I think I will be keeping up with you from now on so I can be sure to let my readers know what new, diabolical show or product you are crusading against.  I just know it will be sinfully good.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Never Trust an Eight Year Old Devil in a Dress

Ever meet a kid you wanted to punch in the face?  I have.  An eight year old girl no less.  Up until the point I met her I had been labouring under the delusion that people are supposed to always like children because they are children.  If they are acting like assholes, it's okay.  They're children.  If they're screaming and throwing a fit, it's okay because they're children.  We must excuse all their bullshit because some day they will outgrow whatever phase it is that is making them act repugnant and become model citizens and tax payers, just like you.

Yeah right.

Her name was Towelette.  For a long time I couldn't pinpoint what it was about her that made me not like her.  Perhaps it was some kind of visceral, instinctual reaction.  Like maybe there was something about the chemistry of her pheremones that triggered an antagonistic response in me.  Everything she said, every way she engaged with those around her, set my teeth on edge.  I couldn't get far enough away from her.

The concept of so strongly disliking a child was foreign to me.  Frick had been friends with obnoxious kids before and I found a lot of their antics kind of charming.  I liked their energy.  I knew they were going home to their frazzled parents and it gave me more patience with them.  So what was it about this girl?  I was soon to find out.

One day, Towelette and Frick decided they should have a playdate at my house.  At that time I usually wanted 24 hours notice for any playdates that went on at our house after school.  I needed to get "psyched up" in order to deal with more than my own kids plus that kid's parents when they came to pick her up. They just sprung the idea on me last minute.  I explained to both of them that it wouldn't work for me that day, what about the next day? But the pushy little snot just wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

"Please?  Please, oh please, oh please?"

"No, I'm tired and I haven't had enough notice and I have other plans and also what about your mother?  What does she think of this?"

"Oh she's not home, it's my babysitter.  She doesn't care."

(Extremely skeptical) "Well all the same, I'm not comfortable with the idea.  You ask your mom when she comes home tonight and she can give me a call and we'll make plans."

"Oh please, please, please???  Just this once?"

"I don't think so."

"Why not?"

(Are you serious?) "Because your mother doesn't know and she might not be okay with it, and because I just don't want to."

"Please, oh please, oh please?"

I'm going to stop there to be polite because the conversation kept going like that until her babysitter picked her up from school.  Ugh.  It's bad enough dealing with my own kids but now I've got to fight and negotiate with other people's kids, too?

The next day I went to pick up Frick from school and there he was waiting for me with Towelette.  She didn't wait for Frick to ask but immediately started begging and pleading in that whiny, grating little voice of hers.

"So can we play?  Please, please, please?"

"Did you ask your mother?  Because she never called to talk to me about it."

"Yes.  Yes, I did and she said okay."

At this point the babysitter showed up.  Towelette announced to her that she would be going to my house instead.  This was news to the babysitter.

I gave Towelette a sharp look and asked her if she was sure her mother was okay with this?

She insisted such was the case but the babysitter looked distinctly uncomfortable.  I handed the babysitter my phone number and address and told her that if there was any problem at all to just give me a call.  The babysitter accepted this pretty reluctantly and I was beginning to get a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach, but I figured I had done everything I could to cover my ass and we didn't live far from each other.  How bad could it be?

When we got to my place Towelette immediately started begging for TV.

"Can we watch iCarly?"

"I don't really let Frick turn on the TV when he has a guest over."

"Please?  Oh please, oh please, oh please?"


"(Sigh).  My mom lets me watch iCarly when my friends are over."

"Well, I'm not your mom."

"This is boring.  You got anything to eat?"

"Sure, I'll fix you guys a snack."

Just, wow.  All I could do was hope that Frick never acted like this when he was at someone's house.  Unless it was Towelette's house.  Then I hoped he was even worse.

Because at that age Frick was very constipated I'm such an awesome mom I feed my kids high fibre snack foods.  I made up a plate of carrots, apples and some crackers and brought it into Frick's room.  Towelette was disdainful in the supreme.

"Oh.  Is this all you have?"

"This is what I serve Frick, yes."

"(Eyeroll)  My babysitter usually makes me pizza pops."

(Well, fucking go home then!)  "Is that right?"

"Yeah.  I don't like carrots."

"Then don't eat them."

(Frick) "Do I have to eat the carrots?"

"Yes, you do."

"Aw, man!"

The phone started ringing and as I went to answer it I could hear Towelette complaining about the hospitality around here to Frick as he giggled.  I picked up the phone to hear the voice of a very irate Mrs. Towelette wanting to know just exactly where her daughter was.  Taken off guard I tried to let her know her daughter was fine but she cut me off.

"What on earth would make you think it is okay to take my child to your home without having spoken to me?"

"I thought you knew.  Towelette said-"

"No, I certainly did not know.  I don't even know where you live!"

(She did know.  She lives just around the corner from us.  I walk past her house everyday when I go grocery shopping.  Also, it was written on the same piece of paper I wrote our phone number on.)

"We're not far.  If you like we can bring Towelette home-"

"Yes, I want her home immediately!  The next time your son wants to play with my daughter ask me first!"  And then she slammed down the phone.

Holy shit.  That little bitch lied to me!  I didn't know if I should be mad at her for lying to me or mad at myself for being stupid enough to buy it.  I did know that I wouldn't be in a hurry to be arranging playdates with Towelette and her snarling velociraptor of a mother any time soon.  You'd think that in the time it took us to return her daughter she might have calmed down somewhat and taken Towelette's propensity for stretching the truth into consideration, but no.  She glared at me like I was some kind of errant teenager that had just taken her car out for a spin.  While drunk.

Since that time I have deftly managed to avoid all contact with little Towelette.  I'm always finding excuses to not let Frick go there anymore and I will not have her in my house ever again.  It's not that I want to pick my son's friends for him.  It's just that I don't think I can trust myself not to punch her in her lying little mouth!  After all, she's just a child.

Monday 19 September 2011

Mommy's Rotten Music: Chicks Are Kick Ass

Most of my life has been spent around boys.  It's like I'm surrounded by penises everywhere I go (hell of a mental image, innit?).   When you're a girl who likes to play bass guitar and wants to be in a band you have to be pretty comfortable around guys.  It seems like a majority of musicians are male.

Hanging out with guys most of the time can be easy and uncomplicated, which is pretty nice, but you still have to put up with some bullshit.  I could handle the locker-room talk, I could handle the stinky feet, but what never failed to piss me off was being "pooh-poohed" because I'm a girl.  As a band member, when you're a chick, you have to get used to fighting over song choices, fighting to have your music heard, fighting to have your opinion count and fighting to be taken seriously because statistically, there's a high occurrence of some douchebag cock-blocking your every move.

(*Note* In my first band, our guitarist's name was "Douchin'".  It's not really spelled like that but it is totally pronounced like that.  It's Serbian.  And yes, he was a cock-blocking douchebag of the highest order.)

Most of the time guys like that are saying stupid shit like "you're pretty good for a girl" or that "there are no good girl bands."  I think it's the same mentality as guys who say "there are no funny female comedians".  Maybe they just don't relate or they assume they won't relate or maybe they just can't wrap their tiny brains around the concept that women can be good at something that isn't making cakes and babies.  So I dedicate this post to all those guys out there (Yeah, I'm talking to you, Douchin') who think chicks can't cut it when it comes to music.

This first band was the first "girl band" I ever really liked.  I had been yearning for some female representation that wasn't Madonna (blessed be Her name) in the music world.  I wanted to see a chick behind an axe and kicking ass.  I like their shoe-gazer, dream pop sound but I have to be honest, it was this song that really made me fall in love with them:

Even though Lush is not an all girl band, they are in my mind a girl band in that most of the creative direction and writing is in the hands of the females in the band, which means that the overall voice of the music they make is a feminine one.  And yes, Douchin', it still counts even though the guys are providing the "cock and balls" for the sound (he actually said that, ugh.)  Miki and Emma's guitar skills stand on their own.

This next band came to me through my sister in law.  She knows about my quirky taste in performance artists and she happened upon "Rasputina".  And by "happened upon" I mean she ended up at one of their shows in Toronto.  Lucky bitch.  Because to truly appreciate Rasputina you really need to see them live, and I haven't yet.  But that doesn't really matter because OMG they are an all-cello band!  Cello!  So you can get the full impact of their sound I am about to post this very boring to look at video:

I love their sound, I love the stories they tell in their songs, and I love their fashion sense.  (I've always wanted a corset.).

Finally comes a band that I discovered on a surprisingly decent soundtrack to a surprisingly shitty movie.

I am in love with Jeff Goldblum.  I find him indescribably sexy.  And by "indescribably sexy" I mean I can't explain exactly why I find him sexy, I just do.  So back in '95 when "Hideaway" came out I went to see it.  I figured, hey Jeff decided to be in it so how bad can it be?  Pretty bad, apparently.  Fucking Alicia Silverstone.  I should have known better.  So I ended up paying more attention to the soundtrack, and I really liked it.  As soon as I could I got my boyfriend to buy it so I could get a free copy  I went right out and bought it.  It featured KMFDM, Fear Factory, and Sister Machine Gun but my favourite was Miranda Sex Garden

These are not the soft and sappy girls of Lilith Fair.  There is nothing Indigo Girls or Sarah McLachlan or Jewel about these women.  They are kick ass artists with kick ass skills.  Edgy, kick ass chicks.

Friday 16 September 2011

Because You Asked For It: Live In Nanny

This week in Because You Asked For It:


My friends have busy lives and at least once a week, ask me, my husband, and other friends to watch their kids because they want to go out together or they have scheduled activities on the same night.  Often they request child care last minute because "something came up".  I think they need a live-in nanny because of their hectic and busy lives.  I've tried talking to them but they come up with one lame excuse after another of why it might not work.  Is there any way to convince them?

                                                                                          biopsych gal

Dear biopsych gal,

Wow, the nerve of some people!  It can really put stress on a friendship when you ask for last-minute babysitting favours.  You are absolutely right.  They need to have someone at their beck and call, day or night, just in case "something came up" again. I'm sure you are getting very sick of those "lame excuses" they keep giving as to why a live-in nanny won't work.  I'll bet it's something eye-rollingly droll like, "we can't afford it" or "that's ridiculously out of proportion with our actual needs" or "maybe we're just not that comfortable having a hired stranger living under our roof".  Perhaps they are reluctant because, like me, they grew up watching really scary shit like this:

Or this:

Or, even more frightening, this:

I mean they could ask their friends for a favour, or they could hire a teenager once a week for their night out, but why do that when it makes so much more sense to have the convenience and expense of a live-in nanny, am I right?  I'm thinking that your friends just don't get it.  I don't know if I have any good advice on how to convince those clueless people to acquire the supportive staff necessary for running their household. All I can do is suggest that the next time your friends ask you to babysit, tell them "no" if it annoys you so much.  Either that or get yourself some more privileged better friends.

                                                                                          Mommy Rotten

Friday 9 September 2011

Because You Asked For It: Double Feature! Penis Discovery and V. C. Andrews

Bitches in the Burbs has been nominated for's Funniest Mom Blog.  And they totally deserve to win.  The thing is, they're struggling to get votes and I can see why.  I've been trying to vote for a couple of days but my shitty internet skills combined with's incredibly shitty site is screwing their chances.  I tried again today but my password isn't working.  Maybe the rest of you might have some luck, so first check out their blog (it won't disappoint) and then go here to vote and maybe you will have better luck than I did.  I'm still trying but in the meantime I have worked out my frustrations with the site by presenting to you today a Because You Asked For It Double Feature, courtesy of and their Ask Parents forum.


My soon to be 5-year-old son has recently "discovered himself" and we are constantly seeing him with his hands down his pants playing with his penis.  Is this normal for this age, and how do we respond to this without making him feel embarrassed?


Dear Jessica625,

Your son is almost five and he only just recently "discovered himself"?  I think you might have bigger problems on your hands than how to talk to him about pocket pool. Five years? Jeez, Frick got right in there the second the diaper was opened.  I used to have to pin his little hands down with my feet as I wiped his butt or there would be all kinds of nasty mess!

Funny story, when Frack was 8 months old he still hadn't shown any interest in his penis and I was so worried about it!  Like maybe he didn't have any feeling in his penis.  Or maybe there was something wrong with his brain that made him not know it was there.  Or maybe he was one of those people who would never be interested in sex and then would never give me grandchildren and then all my hopes would be pinned on Frick.  You have no idea the relief I felt when he finally started taking off his clothes for the express purpose of penis access!

If I were you I would encourage your son to continue his long overdue discovery as much as possible.  But there's a time and place.  Have a talk with him.  Bedroom: good.  Bathroom: good.  During morning announcements in Kindergarten class: not so good.  During morning announcements outside of a Kindergarten class, thirty years from now: really not good.

                                                                                              Mommy Rotten


I have a boy and a girl who are pretty close in age.  My son is 3 1/2, and my daughter is 2.  I put them both in the tub for bath time and recently I was wondering when I should start giving them separate baths.  They really enjoy their time in the tub together.


Dear ldanielson06,

Okay, is this like one of those things that happens online where intonation doesn't carry through and that could change the whole meaning?  Like, do your kids really enjoy their time in the tub together or do they really enjoy their time in the tub together, know what I'm sayin'?  Is that why you're so worried?  Because you're afraid of starting some kind of crazy incest thing?

If there's anything I learned from V. C. Andrews, it's that incest only happens between siblings who have been locked away together for several years during the sexual awakening of their adolescence.  Or between a naive (I wish I knew how to type umlauts) 13 year old hillbilly girl and her rich uncle she just discovered she had, or between a 13 year old girl and her boyfriend who turned out to be her long lost rich brother she didn't know she had until after he had developed an unhealthy sexual obsession with her.

Unless you are extremely wealthy, or extremely dirt-poor, or have long lost wealthy relatives on the verge of death, or any deep-dark-horrifying secrets, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.  Let them enjoy bath time while they can because in a couple of years they are going to hate each other's guts with a fierce passion that should last until shortly after one of them moves out.

If you do fall into those categories you should know that the incest usually happens under conditions of rape and far-fetched stupidity.  That and the rape almost always results in a pregnancy.  The good news is that you have what, 11 years until she turns 13?  That should give you some time to plan a strategy.  Like buying her a rape whistle and putting her on the pill.  And um, yeah.  Maybe quit it with the baths.

                                                                                             Mommy Rotten

Thursday 8 September 2011

Mummy Dearest

No.  She is not, nor has ever been, a "Juggalette"
Growing up in our house wasn't easy.  In fact it was downright crazy.  My (step)dad was a lying, cheating asshole parents didn't really get along well which meant there was a lot of fighting. Mummy had this amazing ability to cope with all of the projectiles shit that The Asshole life threw at her because of her innate sense of fun. She made the fact that we were growing up in a broken home okay by distracting us with her awesomeness.

When I grew up, and The Asshole was no longer a contaminating influence, I found out she was even more cool than I thought.  So here is my list of "Reasons Why Mummy Dearest, Despite her Trivial Flaws, is Totally Awesome."

1)  She is a big kid.  She was better at being a kid than us kids were.  She laughed the hardest and loudest at Daffy Duck cartoons.  She went on all the amusement park rides.  We would fight over who got to sit next to her and when gravity cemented our helpless little bodies against her she would tickle us until we begged for mercy.  Halloween was the best holiday ever because she always dressed up and always came up with fun costume ideas (see above) and she let us stay out until after all the other trick-or-treaters had abandoned the streets.  All of our birthday cakes were encrusted with a Hansel-and-Gretel-esque assortment of candies.  She taught us how to make strawberry Twizzlers into straws and drink cream soda through them.
2)  She's a movie-addict.  I'd say cinephile but that implies a certain taste in film that our love of horror and B-flicks just can't live up to.  Sometimes she used to wake me up in the middle of the night because she was too afraid to watch a scary movie alone.  We rented three movies every Friday night until we ran out of all the good movies the store had and started watching terrible movies, too.  We found out that the worst movies were also the funniest.  She used to take us, our cousins and the dog to the drive-in for the "Dusk til Dawn" nights with a garbage bag full of popcorn, a roasting pan full of homemade caramel corn, and a cooler full of soda.  When I was pregnant, our ritual was to go to prenatal class and then go to her place after to watch baby-related movies.  All the classic, heart-warming baby movies like "Rosemary's Baby", "The Omen" and "Alien".

3)  She is the best story-teller.  She mostly made us laugh but she could also scare the bejeebus out of us by the campfire.  It is impossible to be around her when she is telling a story and not get so sucked into it you are no longer aware of your surroundings.  And she has just about zero self-consciousness when she is in story telling mode.  She is so committed to the story that she has no fear of making a complete ass of herself in the telling.  Which is what makes it so much better.  She could have had a great career on the stage.

3)  She can rock out!  Can I tell you how shocked I was to find out, 15 years after I discovered them and used them to piss of my parents, that Mummy had become a huge Nine Inch Nails fan?  Let me just say that you haven't really lived until you've seen your middle-aged mom sitting in the third row of Molson Amphitheatre screaming out all the lyrics to "Closer".  If Trent Reznor ever ran into her in a dark alley, he would come out of it with a lot less hair.  And clothes.  She wants him, bad. I have gone with her to two NIN concerts and a Tool concert.  I had two tickets to see Explosions in the Sky at the Opera House in Toronto and took her instead of my husband because I knew she'd be more fun (Sorry, Daddy).  And she was.

4)  She's messed up.  Her example of still being a great mom despite not fitting the traditional mommy-mold is the key to my survival as a mom now.  She managed to play up her strengths and not let her weaknesses drag her down into a pit of inadequacy and self-loathing.  She definitely made a lot of mistakes and she often wishes she could have done better but she is always telling me that I need to be my own authentic messed up self.  She helps me understand that trying to achieve motherly perfection is a fool's errand and a waste of precious time and energy that could better be spent on accepting myself and getting real about who I really am.

5)  Best of all, despite being quirky and messed up and sometimes a little forgetful she is always there for me when I really, really need her.  Not only has she been present during the important moments of my life, but she has supported just about every decision I ever made (she really hated the black hair phase).  She never does a thing to make me feel incompetent as a mom even though I'm always telling her how much I'm screwing up.

They say that a good mom is a mother and not a friend.  My mom somehow managed to do both.

Monday 5 September 2011

Mommy's Rotten Music: Teen Angst Edition

As children, my brothers and I were obsessed with music videos.  It happened because one Saturday morning we were watching David Bowie's video for "China Girl" and Mummy Dearest walked in right at the part where David Bowie is tongue-kissing the naked China Girl and you can totally see his ass*.  Music videos were banned in our house for years after that.  We had to sneak to our friends' house across the street to watch them.  We couldn't resist their siren song calling out to us from the Johnson's PayTV.  They were the forbidden fruit of our childhood.

*I went looking for the video to post here but all the ones I found were edited.  I was like, WTF?  Did my seven year old brain have some kind of sexy-hallucination?  It was like the first tongue-kiss/nudity I ever saw.  It was a very formative experience.  To this day I have this inexplicable crush on David Bowie.  I'm pissed that I can't find that video because I usually name it as my all time favourite!  They bastardized it!  Go here to watch the edited version.  At 1:21 is that David Bowie getting all racist?  Holy shit, I don't remember that!   Of course, it was the eighties.  People were kind of assholes back then.* 

By the time we were teenagers Mummy figured she had lost the battle so she lifted the ban and the floodgates were open.  They replaced our Saturday morning lineup of Smurfs, Snorks and Muppet Babies.  In a time before the internet, music videos were the best way to find new music. 

I was first introduced to Perry Farrel by MTV* the summer before I entered grade 10.  I immediately fell in love.  This video was unlike any I had seen before.  It tickles me and sends, I think, a rather wholesome message.  Youtube isn't letting me post it here (fack!).  For the original awesomeness click here.  If you're lazy and just want to hear the song (and because it makes my blog post look much more interesting and because this may be my all time favourite album cover...what is this thing I have with nudity?) there's this:

*In Canada we get Much Music but my (step)dad wanted to watch hockey 24/7 so we had a satellite dish and, therefore, access to MTV*

The colourful hair, cross dressing and glamourization of petty crime made it a sure-fire hit for a girl whose (step)father's worst nightmare was that she "get weird".  If he had been more worried about me getting slutty than he was with how I dressed I probably would have become a stripper instead of just wearing a lot of black.  Fathers of daughters, take note.  Jane's Addiction would go on to become one of my biggest influences as a musician.

A few short weeks after seeing that video came the first day of school.  I was talking with a couple of my girlfriends, Jen and Jenn, at their locker and they were telling me about something called "Lollapalooza".  They had somehow managed to convince their parents to let them go. Inside their locker were magazine pictures of people with hair like the guys in Jane's Addiction showing off pierced or bifurcated tongues and wearing heavy boots.  My friends did not have any crazy body-mods but they were wearing black, ten hole Doc Martens and they were listening to a tape called "Nine Inch Nails", which at the time, was about the craziest band name I had ever heard.  Jenn handed me her walkman and commanded me to listen.  It blew my adolescent mind:

The stupid bell rang and I didn't even get to hear the whole song.  Do you have any idea how late I had to stay up to catch this video on MTV?  Two in the morning.  Back then nobody gave a shit about NIN, which made them seem even better.  It paid off though because the host of the show loved them so much he played three more of their videos (which were clearly home made).  This is why guys like Perry Farrel had to invent things like "Lollapalooza" #howironic.  A few days later I bought a cassette of "Pretty Hate Machine".  I still have it.

That was when I started begging for the boots.  I made every possible argument my reasonably intelligent brain could come up with.  They were expensive but I would save up for them and they were guaranteed to last forever so it was actually an investment and they wouldn't have to buy me any more shoes probably until I moved out.  As much as I yearned to rebel, I was by habit an obedient child, which in the end went a long way towards getting the go-ahead for the boots.  After all, Mummy told (step)dad, they were just shoes.  What harm could they do? #Iwasateenagegothchick

Finally, the song that made everything bearable in the unbearable year I was 17.  My parents' relationship was on its last broken legs and things were ugly.  My (step)dad was (and still is) one of the World's Greatest Assholes.  So much so, that he now has to live in a different country to get away from all the friends and family he has screwed over.  Sorry Florida, he's your problem now.  I was old enough for it to be pretty obvious he was screwing around and he wasn't as good at lying as he thought.  Either that or he didn't give me very much credit.  This pretty much cured me of my inherent obedience.

Ah, that was the year my mom bought me the coveted Czech army boots with even more holes than my Docs (which, to the Asshole's relief had been stolen from me the previous year) just to piss him off.  Way to go Mummy!  She also got my brothers bigger, louder amplifiers for their guitars, so they could make even more racket the Asshole couldn't stand.  For my part I had a habit of loudly practicing my bass when he was home by playing along to my favourite songs.  The two songs above were on the list but the one I dedicated specially to him was from Rage Against the Machine:

The original video is here.  I loved them so much for this song I learned to play the entire album.  I'm sorry to say that I didn't pay much attention to Zack de la Rocha's message about racism, violence and social consciousness.  I know that makes me a suburbanite asshole but I was too young to know better.  At that time my reality was that The Man was living in my house and I had to Take the Power Back!  Motherfucker!

I still love this music.  It's a big part of who I am when you peel back the Mommy layers.  What I'm curious to know is how in the hell are my kids going to stick it to me when they're teens?  Muzak?  Katy Perry?

Update!   I was bitching to Daddy about the edited David Bowie video.  He found the original for me in about 20 seconds.  Apparently I was so upset it never occurred to me to search for the uncensored version.  So, for your viewing pleasure, here is David Bowie's ass:

You're welcome.

Friday 2 September 2011

Music Soothes This Savage Breastfeeder

One of my sources sent me this great article (thanks Jen!) about how scientists used violent video games to measure aggression in breastfeeding moms vs. aggression in formula feeding moms.  I know this is going to come as a huge shock but the results showed that breastfeeding women are twice as aggressive than their formula feeding counterparts who showed no higher aggression levels than non-mothers.

I'm perfectly willing to believe that.  It would explain a lot about the near-religious zeal breast-feeders tend to have about how they feed their babies and the underground crusade they fight every time they approach a woman and ask her how she feeds her baby.  I confess, I was a breast-feeder, but I like to think that I was not so aggro. I think this is due to my love of music.

Music is a huge part of my life.  When I was 16 my clever parents bought me a bass guitar for my birthday.  I banged out all of my teenage angst on that thing instead of on some drummer.  (Well, actually my boyfriend at the time did happen to be a drummer, but he was the only one, I swear!)  Anyway, I was a very angry teen and it was music that saved me from acting out in worse ways than dying my hair black and wearing Czechoslovakian army boots.  I spent my weekends at band practice, not parties.

Reading through other blogs and tweeting with like-minded moms I can see that music is not just important to me, but it's the life breath of every bad-ass mom that ever struggled to maintain her identity in the face of Barney, Caillou and Sesame Street.  It is the beacon of sanity amidst a crowd of other parents who seem perfectly happy listening to Raffi and wonder why you're not waiting in line overnight to get front row tickets to the Doodlebops.  It is the personal anthem, that special song you rock out to while doing housework or hiding from your kids that shouts out "I am more than Mommy!  I am me!"

So I decided to go out on a limb here and share my music with you, reasonably confident that it's not so lame my readers will stop reading my stuff.  My taste in music is all over the place so I hope you enjoy.  And please, if you have any suggestions for me share them!  I'm always on the hunt for something new.

This song is by a band called "Cults".  I love their 1960's sound and how the upbeat light sound is in direct contrast with the darker content of the lyrics.  I first heard this song on an episode of Weeds:

This is one of many favourites by the band "Iron and Wine".  I'm told this song was featured on an episode of Skins.  This was a bit of a departure for me but I fell in love with their bluegrassy-bluesy, folk kind of sound.  Plus the lyrics are great!

Finally, this one was recommended to me by my brother and I only listened to it because the name of the band was too awesome.  This is "Black Rebel Motorcycle Club" and I think the name really says it all:

I'm thinking about doing this on a regular basis.  If you like what I've got here leave a comment or tweet me.  Have a rockin' weekend bitches!