the drift


Friday, January 30, 2009

Bewbies for Babies

I breastfed both of my kids and just to provide some context for the following opinions, while I wasn't an exhibitionist about it, I've breastfed at restaurant tables discreetly and had no complaints. I figured most people probably preferred a little glimpse of side boob to the wailing of an unconsoled infant. I've breastfed a wailing baby in public without a blanket with my tot strategically covered (the t-shirt/tank/nursing bra trifecta is your friend girls). In my experience it's really not that hard to avoid garnering unwanted attention -- assuming it's unwanted. I actually had more comments when I went to a bar and had the occasional beer (doctor sanctioned in the last trimester) -- but I certainly didn't play the victim and whine about it. I knew I was baiting people to a degree. (I actually thought that was AWESOME that some stranger would speak up to me in a critical way about having a beer. While I clearly didn't agree, that made me think that just maybe this human race still has a bit of self-preservation instinct left.)
Each child was a different age and development level when they naturally wanted to drop the tit. However, I was listening closely for that moment because I saw it as a key developmental milestone. I'm skeptical that mothers who breastfeed ALL of their children to the exact same age are actually listening to the baby who will give you (sometimes subtle) cues (e.g. milk production gradually decreases, baby watching intently as you eat food, frequently turning away, baby growing a 5 o'clock shadow).
I have not doubt that a toddler would still want the closeness but that's where I start to wonder why an older child (2 or 3) would value that interaction over say reading a book together at nap time or rocking in a chair unless the mother has engineered their quiet time together to be based on breastfeeding. Yes it's perfectly natural and some ladies are 'addicted' to the zoned-out relaxation of breastfeeding (think I read a Selma Hayek quote to that end, talk about inviting the inappropriate thoughts of dudes everywhere). While that doesn't weird me out, it makes wonder about control issues on the mother's part. Are these mothers infantilizing their children in other ways that are more vital to the development of an independent identity and that may actually have some lasting effects? Are they stuffing their children in these ideological boxes that have more to do with their perceptions of themselves as mothers than they have to do with the child him/herself? (E.g. I WILL breastfeed this baby until s/he is X years old. He will not have sugar except on birthdays.)
All of that said, observing and validating the individuality of each of my kids is kind of my sacred cow of mothering, so certainly it is plausible that if I have a third it could give me no sign of loss of interest well into middle school. But I just really have my doubts.
Finally, and to me most importantly, regarding some moms who really get worked up about their right to breastfeed in public ... As a fellow mother in this dark, sometimes fucking abysmal world, aren't there about, oh, 999,000 causes more relevant to child and family welfare? I mean, I know that abused children, grieving children and homeless families are bummers, but those causes could actually benefit from your level of fanaticism, er, dedication. Just a thought.
Also, this dude totally LOVES it when you breastfeed in public. If that isn't reason enough.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've lost too much of my life to Dirty Dancing

You know, no one believes me but I never had any use for those tardo girl movies. I wanted Olivia Newton John to be suffocated by her blue spandex pants. Travolta = REvolta. Every slumber party of my youth, without fail, someone would come with a VHS copy of either Dirty Dancing or Grease and at some point in the night I would have to pretend as best I could that I cared if you could see the Swayze's schwang as he got out of bed in the morning after scene. And don't give me that bullshit that they loved it BECAUSE it's bad. No, no. 8 year olds in the 80s weren't that sophisticated.
Maybe I was always just a little too dykey to give a crap.
Well, still am. A blog I read often posted the whole final sequence of "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" and I felt the same mortification come over me as I watched the Parkinson's tremor-like shaking of Jennifer Grey's flat white ass and the Swayze all sweaty rockstar kneel-slide across the floor to the poorly feigned audience reaction.
Hideous. Something at the core of my being is just appalled. Maybe it's the lack of self-consciousness of the 80s; the complete vacuum in which that version of American culture seemed to exist -- which is the only possible interpretation for why the final dance number would be set to a Michael MacDonald duet (sorry, just looked that up, not MM himself but who cares).
And as for Grease, I won't even go into how boring that story is and how I could give two craps about the music. Even today, drunk at a bar somewhere in JoCo as some aging soccor moms hear The One That I Want then cut through the bar din with their shrill squeals and hug and commence to dance and sing, I just can't handle it. I know I'm a party pooper but I just don't get it. A scene like that takes me back to those slumber parties where I sat on my sleeping bag watching bemusedly and feeling so very awkward as the girls who knew every word jumped up and down in the their Strawberry Shortcake PJs and squealed. And they thought they were really cool, and I guess I sort of bought that too because part of me wished that I knew those words -- instead of all the names of the Sunday morning wrestlers or the entire dialog track to Less Than Zero (I was a 5th grade nihilist). Part of me wished that I would pick a VHS copy of Dirty Dancing over the copy of Night of the Living Dead next to it.
It's kind of fun/scary for my own children to think about these self-reflective moments from childhood where a sort of innate anomie was revealed to me bit by bit. Of course, I didn't really know what to do with that information until much much later. I hope my kids don't have the same darkness of spirit that I do but if they do, I'd like to think I can help put it in context for them, maybe guide them to use it for good in the world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

so obama has an occasional cigarette ... we're all adults here

so i'm listening to this story on Obama's propensity to fall off the non-smoking wagon and they're basically saying that because the guy has an occasional cigarette, that he's still a smoker. and that even the occasional cigarette increases your chance for multiple types of cancers in old age. So, essentially, they sick all the dogs of anti-tobacco research on him. But, I call bullshit.
Are we all so infantalized by our Big Brother culture that we really can't tolerate even an occasional cigarette enjoyed without calling them an addict or reminding them of the risks of what they're doing.
If the same person occasionally has a cocktail, does that make them an alcoholic? I mean, where is an appreciation of the mastery of moderation? Have we become such a goody-two-shoes culture that we can't even enjoy the lone cigarette at the end of a week that took forever and had too many deadline (nevermind that we can't allow someone with the most stressful job on the planet the luxury of a relaxing smoke).
This is no different than being someone who can enjoy a nice cocktail or two and leave it at that. Despite the alcohol lobby's attempts to convince us that drinking is actually good for you (just like Big Tobacco used to try to assert in the old days), we all know that we're doing something toxic. But damn, if it isn't relaxing and sometimes nothing is better than that -- because you're a big kid and you made some big kid calls and made some stuff work and held the weight of the world on your shoulders for a time and hallelujah, that time is up and now you can take a moment of reflection.
If I choose to take that moment, alone, in my own backyard in the middle of the night, who the hell is NPR to call me an addict? Fascists.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That's right, JoCo. SUCK IT!

Just like my friend in JoCo who wants to point out how everyone's down on JoCo until they need to go to the Mall -- I add Exhibit B to the growing list of shit you all come to the Dirty Dotte for, even while you turn your nose up. Bring your sunscreen white boy!
From the UG Newsletter:

Despite rumors, the Schlitterbahn project was on hold. The project team confirms the Schlitterbahn water park will open this summer.

County Administrator Dennis Hays provided an update on the project and reaffirmed to UG senior staff that private funding is in place for the Schlitterbahn project to proceed forward. "Despite the dismal economic conditions, more than $140 million have been spent on the development and construction of this project to date," he said in a letter to staff and the UG Board of Commission.

The project schedule calls for a phased opening, beginning with the water park opening for business the summer of 2009. To date the Schlitterbahn has:

* Completed 90% of the site work
* Completed 100% of the underground storm water system
* Received equipment on a regular schedule for the resort
* Completed 70 % of the Tidal Wave river structure

Ferry BoatDespite the cold temperatures and snow, equipment continues to arrive to the site. Just last month, two ferry boats were shipped to Kansas City. The two-year old boats will be refurbished and retrofitted with clean natural gas engines. The boats will be part of the signature Transportainment river system when they debut along the Guadal-Comal River at the new entertainment destination.

"The ferry boats are important to us in many ways," explains Michael Catcott, project executive for the Schlitterbhan Vacation Village. "Not only do they shuttle our guests throughout all areas of the resort, but use of these recycled boats also demonstrates our continued commitment to green practices."

The Schlitterbahn team and their principle financing partner, Entertainment Properties Trust, LLC, have committed the necessary funding to ensure opening of the water park this Summer

Can we (white people) stop congratulating ourselves now?

I'm ready to get the fucking show on the road already. Enough with the self-congratulations, white people who didn't even vote for Obama anyway -- getting all excited about a black president like it's fucking Corn Dog day at Costco. Listen, I know it's historic and I'm actually very touched. Or, I was. Like 3 months ago. Now, I'm just ready for the person I helped elect show me if he's worth a gotdamn. Get to work!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Noggin (Preschool on TV)

It makes me sad to watch the Upside Down Show (on Noggin, geared specifically to ages 2 -5, preschoolers) at 11:00 at night.
Because I think of all those little ones out there on the other side of the TV, watching it too. I'm sorry little guys. I'm pretty sure if you're watching right now, you aren't watching with a parent to help explain why the dude with the bad white boy fro is playing an imaginary slide whistle and talking to puppets under a black light. You're probably drinking something caffeinated and eating something that came in at least one layer of waxed paper wrapping.
No. I wish you were mine. You'd be in a cozy bed right now wrapped in clean PJs with dinner in your belly and a kiss goodnight.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

how many ninjas do you have in your family?

God, my floor doesn't usually look like that, but there was some ninja holiday cookie-making in effect prior to this.
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Friday, January 02, 2009

inappropriate exclamation of the day

back when i used to leave the house on a regular basis, this sort of occurrence was common enough to populate (overpopulate) a blog. you'd think with the infrequency of these exclamations, they would get less and less vile. Not the case, my friend. Instead, it's like capping a smokestack. She's gotta blow at some point, heh,

Manager: Andy's feedback was awesome wasn't it? He's so great about that kind of thing.
DH in Consultant Mode: Oh my gosh, when I read his email, I totally wanted to blow him.
[awkward silence]
Manager: So yeah, I don't think there's any rush; we don't have anything urgent going out.

Sometimes I can't find the right words to convey my excitement over a small work issue. In those times, apparently I feel the need to resort to 5th grade playground talk. Except, I wish I could have really taken it full-tilt.

DH: When I saw his email, I totally wanted poop on his face then make him lick my butt and put a baloney sandwich on his junk so I could eat it off then puke it up and make him lick up while i run around yelling Dame mas gasolina!

or something. god, 5th grade playground talk provided like the most innocently grotesque and confounding explanations of sexual acts ever. i suppose it's because the thought of what people actually do was just as absurd as anything my little mind could come up with -- i just put it on all the same basket of EWWW.

'Basket of Eww' sounds like something i would've come up with then too.