Wednesday 21 March 2012

Because You Asked For It: Going Goth

Source:  Practical Parenting Advice

daughter wants to go goth

Hello everyone.  My daughter, age 11 wants to go goth.  Last time we went shopping, she told me that she wanted to dye her beautiful brown hair black, because she was going goth.  When I told her no, she told me that she would settle for emo (emotional goth).  My husband and I can't figure out why she's doing this, as she comes from a loving home.  Could it be because her Aunt used to be a goth?  I have a seven month year old that she ADORES, but when I was pregnant she wouldn't talk to me.  This is all very confusing and disappointing to us as we are both 29 and hoped to have another baby, but we are worried that she would hate us if I was pregnant again.  Any suggestions?  Should we have another baby?


Dear Megan,

So goth is still a thing, huh?  I thought I could help with this, being a former goth-chick myself.  Your daughter is looking for something that will be the most shocking and upsetting to you out of rebellion.  It could be because of the new baby but honestly, at her age, everything you do is going to piss her off.  Teenage hormones are truly a wonderful thing.  I'm sure you feel powerless.  I'm sure you feel like you are beginning to lose your daughter in a maelstrom of teen angst.  But you can put a stop to this.

The key to understanding teen angst is that she is going to love anything you hate.  The next time your daughter brings up the emo/goth thing, get excited.  Very excited.  Gush to her about how finally you guys have something you can do together!  Go get mother-daughter goth makeovers: clothes, makeup, nail polish - the whole shebang.  Dig up your sister's old goth clothes if she still has them and talk about how cool you always thought goth people were when you were young.  The key here is lots and lots of enthusiasm.  Let her dye her hair black.  Remember it's just hair and she doesn't have a job or anyone she has to impress yet.  If you can stand it, dye yours too.  In fact you should insist on using the exact same colour as your daughter.  Failing that I would opt for a wig.

Be as visible as possible.  Drive her and her friends to school in full costume and blast Sisters of Mercy on the stereo.  Did she forget her lunch?  Vamp yourself out and hand-deliver that baby to her Geography class.  Prepare a special outfit for Meet the Teacher Night.  When her friends come over, try to relate to them about goth stuff and tell them that they can call you "Mother of Eternal Darkness" or "Lady Megan the Malcontent".

If you follow this advice I can guarantee that your daughter will drop this whole goth thing inside of a month.  In fact, this prescription will work for any disturbing sub-culture you would like to steer your daughter away from.  Should you have another baby?  Absolutely!  Never let your kids dictate to you how you should live your life.  Besides, I think that "pregnant goth" will be a very effective nail in the coffin of your daughter's fashion rebellion.  If it makes you feel any better, know that the vast majority of goth kids I knew back in the day were like this:

Have fun!
Mommy "Mistress of Misery" Rotten

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Frick's New Friend Sleeps Over

It was Frick's birthday last week.  We usually let him have a sleepover party because sleepovers are much easier on my nerves than an afternoon of chaos.  We can get away with inviting fewer children and mostly they just want to be left alone so they can play video games and make fart jokes in peace.

This year Frick invited his two best friends, Billy and Bobby, and this new friend of his: Dtmhnyddh.  (It's pronounced "Timmy").  When Frick came home one day with this kid's name on a piece of paper and a phone number under it I had to resist the knee-jerk response to dislike him.  It's not the name alone exactly.  You see, I knew his name was "Timmy" because for years he always played with Bobby every Thursday after school and the little shit made a big deal out of excluding Frick.  Frick would come home crying about how "Timmy" was being mean to him all the time.  For some reason they made up this year and have been buddy buddy lately, but given his past record I was inclined to be wary.

I thought maybe I didn't like the spelling of Dtmhnyddh's name because I was carrying around some kind of Mama-Bear prejudice.  Maybe this was one of those cultural/ethnic names and my white-bread ignorance was showing.  I met the kid's Dad, whose name is Dtyrrdhlblchr (pronounced "Trevor"), and since I generally attribute ridiculous baby names/spellings to the present generation I figured I was right about some cultural tradition.  Because I even have to point out what's wrong with this?

"Trevor" called me up to ask for the details of the sleepover and, at one point, he said something that sounded like "There's a sleepover for me tonight, too".  I had no idea what to say about a grown man going to a sleepover so I tried to be polite, mustered some enthusiasm and said "Oh, uh...grownup sleepovers are the best kind!"  Which was met with an awkward silence.

"Uh....I said "Hfmnee", my daughter.  She got invited to a sleepover, too."


And that's when my anxiety kicked into overdrive and I began worrying and hoping that the words "grownup sleepover" made him think of a bunch of adults watching movies and getting drunk in comfy slippers and pajamas instead of this:

There won't be any sleeping at this party!
So, I don't remember much about the rest of our conversation except that I was suddenly all worried and self-conscious about the impression I was making on these people that I probably didn't like two seconds ago because of their pretentious names.  My head is a weird place to behold.  As a result I was determined to be nice to Dtmhnyddh and not give his parents any cause for concern that their son was spending time in my home.

That night, the boys all show up at once and they're hungry.  Dtmhnyddh was the loudest.  "I'm bored!  This is boring!  I wanna do something not boring!  Where's the food?"  (Really kid?  You've been here exactly five minutes.)  When I go in the room with some chips and root beer he starts talking at me.

"My dad doesn't like me to watch shows with swears in them."


"Not even if they're bleeped out."


"Because you can still tell what they're saying, you know."

"Uh huh."

"Is Frick allowed to watch that stuff?"

"Doesn't bother me, but then I think Frick knows better than to repeat those words just because he hears them."

After this announcement I realize just what I'm up against.  Now, instead of relaxing and leaving the boys on their own, I'm going to have to tippy-toe all night about what games they play and what movies they watch.  At age 11.  This is not good news to the Mom who curses like a sailor and lets her kids watch crime shows on TV.

As they're eating junk food and playing, I am in the kitchen making a pizza and eavesdropping.  They're making their fart jokes and giggling and out of the four of them, Dtmhnyddh is the most foul-mouthed.  He used the word "asshole" more in ten minutes than I do in a whole day, and if you're a regular reader of my blog you will know that's a lot.  Frick on the other hand is allowed to swear in certain company (ie. only amongst his buddies, and never around grownups or little kids) so he swore the least.  Funny how that works isn't it?

After eating pizza they spend some time playing video games.  I had to go in there and break up several fights.  They kept having loud pissing contests over which video games were the best to play, who was the best at playing them, who had the highest high score etc.  I resisted getting involved unless they resorted to name-calling (which was actually quite a bit).  After about an hour of this, I've had enough.

"Hey!  Who wants to watch a movie?"

They all like that idea and they unanimously vote to watch The Terminator.  I look nervously at Dtmhnyddh, and then try to talk them out of it.  I tell them it's too scary.  Billy had already seen two of the Terminator movies.  Bobby swore that his parents okayed scary movies for sleepovers.  What about the language?  I don't need to be hearing from anyone's parents about this.  No you won't, Mrs. Rotten.  Are you saying that because they won't have a problem with it or are you saying that because you aren't going to tell them about it?  It'll be fine, Mrs. Rotten!  And then the begging.  Please, please, pretty please?

I talk to Daddy about it and he suggests Terminator 2.  His arguments were that it's not as scary as the first one, there's a kid in it and that kid makes Arnold Schwarzenegger promise not to kill anyone.  Yeah, okay.  I remember liking that one when I was a kid so I was sold.  The boys were also very happy.

But before the movie a little about the cake.

Oh, look.  A sailboat.
Usually I like to go all out decorating Frick's cakes with candy but this year I was exhausted from birthday preparations so I just sprinkled the M&Ms on the cake haphazardly instead of spelling out his name or something with them.    But when we bring the cake out, Dtmhnyddh gets all loud about how it doesn't have exactly 11 candles on it and it doesn't say "Happy Birthday" and just what kind of a birthday cake is this anyway?  So I tell him if he stares at it long enough he'll see a secret message.

This prompts all four boys to stare intensely at the cake and then declare that they can totally read the secret message which, after some debate, they all agree reads "Happy Birthday Frick".  (As I'm typing this Frick is asking about whether or not they were right about that).  You'd think they would have got the joke after they saw Daddy and me doubled over laughing at them.  Ah, the innocence of childhood.

We put on the movie for them to watch while they eat cake.  Not too far into the movie I begin to have serious regrets.  It's been about 20 years since I saw Terminator 2 and it seems I forgot a few things.  Like this scene which happens about 20 minutes in:

So much for watching the language.  Frick, Billy and Bobby wouldn't shut up for the whole movie but Dtmhnyddh was absolutely silent.  It was the only time he shut up since he arrived.  He just sat there clutching his knees and looking terrified.  I keep stopping the movie and asking if everyone was okay and fast forwarding through some violent parts and reassuring them that the good guys were going to win and everything was going to be okay.  I had a sick feeling that I was going to get into pretty hot water with some parents here.

But after the movie the boys seem fine and nobody had any nightmares.  Daddy was staying up late working on a computer so I left him on night time duty because it was 1:30 am by then and I was dead tired.  Which turned out to be good because Daddy told me the next day that they were up for another hour or two making all kinds of noise and otherwise driving him nuts.  He crawled into bed by 5 am.

I was woken up by what sounded like an elephant stampede going down the stairs.  I looked at the clock and saw it was 7:30.  Every other year the boys manage to sleep in until 10 because they are up so late.  Apparently Dtmhnyddh is an early riser no matter how little sleep he gets and he made everyone else get up with him because he was (you guessed it) "bored".  Awesome.

There was no sleep to be had for anyone after that.  Daddy was trying his hardest but I would be very surprised if he managed to achieve REM sleep with all the racket they were making.  Dtmhnyddh thought it would be fun to stomp his feet as hard as he could whenever he walked.  I'm not saying this to exaggerate.  He literally lifted his legs as high as he could and put as much effort as possible in bringing them down impressed, I guess, with his own strength.  It took all of my own strength to resist throttling him.

"Hey, Dtmhnyddh, what time is your mom coming to pick you up?"

"I don't know!"

"I'm pretty sure she's coming to pick you up soon.  Maybe you should get your stuff together."


Grrr.   I wander into the bathroom to brush my teeth.  In the middle of brushing, Dtmhnyddh's mom arrived.  I don't know why she thought it was okay to just let herself into my home shouting "Hello!" at the top of her lungs.  Maybe she knocked for a while and didn't get an answer.  It was 11:30 and she had no way of knowing that my husband was up all night working.  But still.  She walked right in my house, shouting.  And she continued shouting in conversation to her son.

"Come on Dtmhnyddh!  You have to go to your lesson!"


"Because it's Saturday!  You have lessons on Saturday!"

"I DO NOT!!!"

"Yes you do!"

I quickly spit out the toothpaste in my mouth so I can hurry up and politely tell them to shut the hell up.  Dtmhnyddh's mom whispered the next two sentences in apology and then went right back to shouting at her kid.  In response, Dtmhnyddh somehow managed to get louder.


"Yes I do!  Don't you remember honey?  Every Saturday you and Hfmnee have lessons and then we go to the park!"


"Um hey, would you mind maybe having this discussion outside?  Please?"  (Nobody heard me.)

This continued for an excruciating five minutes as she loudly tried to convince him to put on his shoes which made him even louder and more abusive.  And that was when Billy and Bobby ratted me out.  They started prattling on about how they got to watch Terminator 2 and describing some of the more violent parts.  I had to stand there nervously sputtering about fast forwarding and the fact that they boys had already seen it and it had been 20 years since I saw it, etc.

The worst part?  When she asked what the rating of the movie was.  I wanted to slap myself in the face.  What kind of mother doesn't even think about checking the rating of a movie before showing it to a bunch of kids she didn't personally spawn?  Of course it's an R-rated movie!  Fail!

I mumbled something that sounded like "PG-14" and hoped like hell she wouldn't check it for herself.  Of course she's going to check it for herself.

And as I closed the door behind them, breathing a sigh of relief, I realized that the worst thing that could possibly happen is that Dtmhnyddh won't be allowed to play here anymore.  Sorry, Frick.


Monday 12 March 2012

Because You Asked For It: More Veggies, Please!

My daughter is almost 20 months old and a picky eater.  She weighs almost 10 kg (I know is't not too much) but otherwise she is a very healthy and active little girl.  She is eating a pretty good variety of food, meat, cereals, fruits and drinks cow milk and breast milk.  When it comes to vegetables she only likes potatoes and raw tomatoes and cucumbers (she goes nuts about tomatoes).  I make also cream soups with carrots, squash, peas, sweet potatoes and give her almost each day a full ladle, but I have to spoon feed her the soups because she doesn't eat them by herself.  She likes them though especially the peas soup.  But she will not pick up and eat other vegetable if it's boiled, she likes to play with them but doesn't want to taste.  We can not convince her to taste anything new, even if she can see us eating that food.
How can I include more vegetables in her diet, I need some ideeas, please!
Another thing is that she doesn't like sweets at all....I know that is not such a reason to be worried about, but comme on, kids love sweets, and I'm not talking about candies, at least a little bit of icecream or jam on her toast...she doesn't want anything to do with them.  Or cheese for that matter...that's another tabu food for her...Anybody else there with the same issues?  Will they go away in time, it's just toddler behaviour?  Thanks.


Dear VD (Can I call you VD?  There's a helluvalotta syllables in your name),

VD, you have some very serious problems.  Your kid is only eating 7 different kinds of vegetables (plus fruit, cereal, meat and a variety of dairy options)?  Never mind asking other moms for need to get your daughter to a hospital and onto an IV full of V8, stat!  

Don't you know that all toddlers need to eat a minimum of 28 different kinds of vegetables each day or they become serial killers?  It's true!  I'm not saying that your daughter will become a serial killer but she is totally in the "at risk" group.  And that is not good.  Particularly when you combine lack of interest in sweets.  That means she has no sense of whimsy.  People with no whimsy are ten times more likely to become sociopaths.  Sociopathic serial killer types are worse than whimsical ones because they are pretty good at not getting caught doing bad things and so parenting them can be really difficult.  They get away with murder! 

I want you to know it's not your fault.  Kind of.  Actually they say there is a genetic component to serial killing sociopaths, so maybe it is your fault.  I don't know, I'm not a doctor.  But I do know all about this vegetable thing because my kids only eat white foods and there aren't a helluvalotta white veggies out there.  I'm not overly worried though because they love sweets and therefore fall into the whimsical serial killer group.  Most of their homicidal urges are controlled with ice-cream.  If I were you I would get that IV8 for your daughter and, in the meantime, sleep with one eye open.

You don't need to worry about the cheese thing.  Avoiding cheese is completely normal toddler behaviour. 

                                                                                    Good luck!

                                                                                      Mommy Rotten

Friday 2 March 2012

Because You Asked For It: Day Care Dilemma

I haven't done "Because You Asked For It" in so long.  They used to be my most popular posts.  Part of the problem is that I'm running out of material.  So if any of you happen across a good advice website, or see a WTF? advice question posted online, or even if you have been asked for advice by someone you know that you would like to see answered by me, please email your question or website to  (In the case of questions asked personally or privately I will change the names involved.)

Remember this is for humour only.  Do not take Mommy Rotten's advice seriously.  I am not a professional.

Source:  Canadian Parents

I have an 18 month old son and we just got a spot for him in daycare.  We tried it two days for an hour.  The first day he had fun but the second day he was crying when I picked him up; the DCP said another boy had scared him.  Should I pull him out of daycare and stay home with him?  Financially we would be okay as long as we watch our spending but this would cost me my career as I would not be able to go to work after.  But my son is the priority.  I need help deciding what's best for him.  Many people in my entourage are telling me to tough it out as daycare is good for him and better than staying at home with me and that if he does not go to daycare he will not be ready for school.  But I would rather have him go when he is old enough to tell me why he was crying.  I was just wondering if anyone can share their experience on how they made the decision.

Thank you!

                                                                              Nadia 500

Dear Nadia 500,

That is really tough.  On the one hand you are understandably worried about the dangers of boys terrorizing your son at daycare.  On the other hand your entourage is wisely warning you against the well-known dangers of staying at home with him, effectively rendering him incapable of socializing and reciting the alphabet.

First, I guess I have to ask just how qualified your entourage is?  I mean what functions do they serve?  Do you have a sandwich guy, a drugs guy and a get laid guy or do they all do baby related stuff like changing diapers and burping?  Are they speaking from experience?   Did their mothers fail to put them in day care and they now regret that choice? Or is it possible that they are trying to protect your career as a way of protecting their own jobs?  I mean, if you stay at home, just what is your agent supposed to do?  It's possible they aren't being very honest with you.

After you have assessed the motives of your entourage then you will be in a better place to make the best possible decision for your son.  This is important because your decision will haunt affect him for the rest of his life.  But if you do decide to sacrifice your career and your whole entourage based on two non-consecutive hours of experience at one day care then know that you will have my full support.  The only thing that ever matters is what is best for your son.  Concerns about finances or your personal satisfaction in a rewarding career you probably worked very hard to establish are only for the most selfish of mothers.

                                                                             Best of luck!

                                                                                   Mommy Rotten