Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Importance of Being Boring

It doesn’t happen all at once. I suppose that’s why it happens to so many people. It just tends to sneak up on you. And by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s already too late.

Suddenly, you’re boring.

I should know. I have completely morphed into the most boring person alive (even including that guy I met seven years ago who started every sentence with “Well, actually,” and thought a three-hour diatribe about how much he hated George Lucas—while wearing a “Star Wars” T-shirt, mind you –was an appropriate response to the question “Hey, how are you?”).

Granted, the very idea of “boring” is relative. What you find boring and what I find boring could be vastly different. For instance, the few times I have accidentally watched sports is only because alcohol tends to hang out wherever sports are happening. And I’m the kind of devoted drinker that will pretend to care about 11 burly men in ridiculously tight pants if it means society will give me a free pass to get drunk at two in the afternoon.

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And you, for example, may find books boring. Or fancy cheese. Or Saturday Night Live. Meanwhile, my life goal is to find a job that just lets me read all day while eating fancy cheese and the only time I’m interrupted is when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler take Instagram selfies of the three of us with the hashtag “Best Friends Forever.”

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Legend has it there are even people out there who find math exciting. Yes. Math. That thing with all the numbers but also, cruelly, letters and tiny hieroglyphics. But just like so many other legends, their existence is hard to proof (but if you look hard enough, there are cosines of them everywhere).

Sorry. I’ll stop being so acute. Math puns are a sine of a big problem. Never drink and derive, kids.

But the kind of boring I’m talking about, the kind of boring I have turned into, is universal. It’s the kind of boring you become once you have a baby. And while our society may be fractured on pretty much every topic imaginable, we can all agree at least that parents of young children are just the worst.

We are utterly obsessed with our children. They are all we think about. They are all we talk about. And they are all we think everyone else in the world wants to think and talk about.

Granted, in our defense, nature makes us this way because it knows that only an obsessed person could find the energy to pull a kid away from the computer cord 200 times a day, every day, without their head exploding. But that biological explanation is a poor consolation prize for the innocent barista I cornered for 27 minutes with my rambling monologue on how my son used to love bananas and now he hates them.

And the worst part is that we don’t even care that we’ve become boring. We don’t care that the only thing we can contribute to a discussion about Netflix shows is that Ricky Gervais was on an episode of “Sesame Street” and it made you laugh so hard that you scared little junior. Or that the last book you read was “Let’s Go To The Baby Animal Farm!” And you actually LIKED it. Or that the only political opinion you have these days is that someone should probably be elected president but here, look at this rash on my baby’s butt…do you think it’s regular diaper rash or something more serious?

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Oh my god, we are so boring. Which is why you see us parents of young children hanging out in clans. We’re the only ones who can put up with each other. And even then, we are secretly hoping Brenda shuts up about her stupid kid soon so we can talk about our own vastly superior kid.

The good news is that this too shall pass. The kids will get older and become more independent and with that freed up space in our brain that used to be occupied by cutting the crusts off approximately one million sandwiches, we will remember that we used to be a person too. A person with interests and hobbies and dreams and poop stain-free pants.

Yes, someday we parents will become people again.

But until then, you totally think it’s weird that my baby no longer likes bananas too, right? I mean, what’s up with that?

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9 tips for successfully baby-proofing your home

1. Don’t have a baby.

Just like abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, not having a baby is the only way to 100 percent effectively baby proof your home. Because no matter what you do, they will figure out a way around it eventually. And if they can’t, they will find a new, even more creative way to kill themselves while simultaneously breaking all your vinyl records and shoving a graham cracker into your Xbox.

2. Buy junior a shock collar

Illegal? Yes, highly. Effective? Probably. Cruel? Depends on how many times the tiny demon spawn has pulled all your books down from the bookshelf that day.

3. Get a helmet (for you)

Sure, kids hit their head a lot at this stage. What with the drunken staggering and all. But actually it’s the parents that really need the helmet. Because despite what science says about young children’s soft skulls, their go-to defensive move when a parent tries to stop them from drinking the bleach they found under the sink is the head butt. And they have deceptively good aim. Which is why I now look like Owen Wilson and have had more minor concussions than an NFL player.

4. Forget a baby gate. Get a Baby Great Wall of China.

The Baby Great Wall of China works particularly well if you also have men sitting at the top of it to shoot tiny Nerf arrows at little precious should he or she attempt to scale the wall and make a break for it.

5. Invest in that toilet seat latch thingie

This little tool is amazing at keeping your baby from opening the toilet lid and playing with poop water. It’s also amazing at keeping out parents who really, really, really have to pee RIGHT NOW because they drank a gallon of coffee because SOMEONE kept them up all night last night. But if you are OK with explaining to junior why he saw Mommy peeing in the shower with all her clothes on, then this is the right product for you.

6. Surgically attach your baby directly to your back (or your chest…your choice) so they are never, ever unsupervised.

This one too is probably highly illegal. It will also make those college interviews extremely awkward. But desperate times call for desperate measures. And, added bonus, you can just teach your kid to call you Hodor and suddenly the whole thing seems culturally relevant.

7. Stop buying cleaning products, which are chockfull of dangerous chemicals.

And without cleaning products, oh no, you can’t clean anymore. Bummer. (That’s what we call a win-win, kids.)

8. Own only crappy stuff.

In theory, this seems like a great idea. But as someone who already only owns crappy stuff, I’m the first to admit that you can also become really attached to the laptop held together with duct tape and the couch covered in martini stains.

9. Don’t own anything at all.

If you decide to ignore my advice in Tip #1, then the second most effective way to keep your toddler with the perpetually sticky jam hands out of all your things is to simply not own anything. However, even then, they would still try to fall out of a window in your empty home. And even if you lived outside, no windows in sight, they would try their damnedest to walk into a river or try to alleviate teething pain by gnawing on a bear.

So, basically, to sum up, you’re screwed.

Good luck!

Knock-knock jokes for parents

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I am an inferior woman! Hear me roar!

Ugh. Why? Why do stupid people have to keep saying stupid crap, making me dust off my soapbox YET AGAIN?

Now I have to go looking for it YET AGAIN and …(grunting sounds)… it’s probably buried under a huge pile of dirty onesies and empty wine bottles and …(rummaging noises)… I could be using this time to do something much more productive …(floor scooting squeaks)… like drinking wine while doing laundry.

…(out of breath wheezes)… All right, let me just dust this bad boy off and step up …(more grunting sounds)…

I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, but there is a meme making its way across the Internet that brings a whole new level to the term “Mommy Wars.” Allegedly created by some religious group, it essentially tells women who have given birth via cesarean section that they are weak and didn’t “actually” give birth and that they should bow down to the superior women who did have vaginal births.

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And angry female rant in 3…2…1…

Only in a country that so devalues its women can the idea that having a baby via major abdominal surgery be considered lazy. Can the idea that being sliced open and having a nine pound baby plucked from your womb before your organs are returned to their rightful place and you’re literally sewn back together be considered the easy way out. Just look at that inconsiderate lady, lying on her back, letting her doctor do all the hard work of ripping her body apart and plunging his hands deep inside her farthest recesses while she is fully awake.

Chicks, man. Am I right?

I feel this should go without saying but obviously it doesn’t, so, here it goes. There is no easy way out of giving birth. There are only two choices and they both suck. Because you either have your baby’s head ripping an exit through your vagina or you have a scalpel ripping an exit through your lower stomach. Both involve a lot of pain, a lot of fear, a lot of blood and a whole lot of strength.

And sure, I can understand on some level how a woman who had a natural, drug-free birth might want an extra pat on the back. And I’m more than happy to tip my hat to her. Cause that is some Wonder Woman-level of strong right there. Especially when you can, such as in my case, holler for a nurse at 3 a.m., grab her by the lapels and gently but firmly yell directly into her face “GIVE ME THE DRUGS!” and ten minutes later some guy is shoving a very large needle through your spine.

However, all of us moms went through the same war. And none of us are less of a hero for how we fought in that war.

And while I’m hoping that the person or people behind this ridiculous meme are on the far, far, FAR fringes of society, it can’t be denied that we as a country have an unhealthy attitude toward reproduction and all the baby-havin’ in general. Hell, take the actual reproductive cycle itself. We treat periods like they are the most shameful thing a woman can admit to.

Is that a tampon I just saw fall out of your purse!? A blood stain on your pants?! A commercial for feminine products!? On the TV where anyone can see it!?

AVERT YOUR EYES, CHILDREN (even though none of you would exist without the presence of a monthly period)! BURN THE BLEEDING WITCH! OR AT LEAST MOCK HER MERCILESSLY!

And then there’s our whole “I guess you can have an entire six weeks off to heal your traumatized post-pregnancy body while also keeping your tiny infant alive but we sure as hell ain’t gonna pay you for it, ya bum” attitude.

We belittle stay-at-home moms and yet in the same breath say working moms are selfish. We insist that true moms breastfeed their children but oh dear god, woman, not where I can see it. Gross. We want to know why you haven’t lost the baby weight yet but also why are you at the gym and not at home spending time with your baby?

Moms truly are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But this particular meme is perhaps the cruelest way we’ve thought up to punish moms yet.

Babies are born every day. But to the woman giving birth, it’s a miraculous, painful, beautiful and utterly terrifying experience. And no should have the right to take that away from her.

No matter how the baby finally gets into her arms.