Friday, February 22, 2013

My Sleep Deprived Rambles

I am newborn tired.  

You know that hazy, frustrated feeling that nights and nights of broken sleep deliver.  Between Thomas refusing to sleep in his bed because he feels crabby about being in his own bed and Marie hacking up a lung along with an ear infection, I feel so over-tired which then leads to becoming over-emotional which then leads me feeling depressed about everything from having to cook. another. meal. to the unsurmountable task of trying locate and pay medical bills.

I then end up screaming at the kids for something like bickering and refusing to get dressed.  I loose my focus and take twenty minutes to fold a load of laundry.  I then become confused why it is the afternoon and feel no sense of accomplishment.

Which is unfortunate because this has been a HUGE week for me!  I have a two-part series of raising boys with emotional literacy at The Mother Company.  A personal essay and an interview with Dr. Michael Thompson are both up and live so please please check them out and let me know what you think.  I have dreamed for writing for The Mother Company Ever since I met these amazing people two years ago at BlogHer!  I am just so excited about this!!

When I am not basking in the glow of my dream come true (which usually lasts 2.4 seconds before someone needs a snack or a drink of water or help with going to the bathroom), I am having some serious sleep deprived daydreams in which I fantasize about sleep and quiet.  I imagine that I get to sleep in a big bed with a fluffy, white comforter lots of pillows of varying firmness.  Alone.  As in by. my. self.  

I also envision myself taking a nap in a sound booth, like where my kids have had their hearing tested.  Why dream of a tropical beach when I can have peace and solitude in a sound-proofed room?  I think it goes without saying that I would want to be alone, right?

I am guessing by the nature of these fantasies that I am not only tired, but maybe in need of some me time doing some non-mommy stuff, no?

Does sleep deprivation make you *slightly* temperamental? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Un-Valentine’s Day Post: The Valentine Gram

As young child, I loved Valentine’s Day!  My parents always made the day simple, yet meaningful.  I remember getting a red, heart-shaped box full of chocolate each year.  I loved the guessing game of what the filling would be.  Would it be  gooey, sweet caramel?  Or would it be that nasty, pasty “fruit” filling?  Oh, the simple joys of childhood!

 I also loved celebrating Valentine’s Day in elementary school.  You know, when you were required to give *everyone* a Valentine Day Card.  I felt special when I read all those cards . . . even with that strict stipulation.

Somewhere around junior high, my candy-filled, lovey-feeling holiday started to become tainted with the horrible anxiety of whether or not I would be the lucky recipient of a Valentine Gram.  

In case your school did not practice this torturous tradition (in which case, consider yourself lucky), let me explain.

During lunch, you could go buy a Valentine gram for any of your friends.  It was a simple note on something as plain as pink photocopying paper and was accompanied with something as simple as a red lollypop.  I would be remiss if I failed to mention the proceeds went to student council which I am sure paid for a school dance (another distressing ritual).

Even though these Valentine Grams were simple enough, the implications of receiving one were anything but simple and deeply embedded into the archaic popularity caste system.  If you received one, then you were confirmed as popular! beautiful! 

If you were like me, who could be best described as a public school version of Mary Katherine Gallagher, you were not on the receiving end of any Valentine Grams.  When the student council members hand-delivered the Valentine Grams, I remember waiting with bated breath that maybe, just maybe, I would finally be a recipient of the highly coveted piece of paper that would confirm that I was not socially awkward and shy.

I think it goes without saying that I never received a Valentine Gram.

And to my horror, I almost choked on this suppressed memory when Marie, my sweet little 6 1/2 year old girl, came home with a note announcing that Valentine Grams were available for sale.  She innocently asked me if she could buy one.  In my head, I shouted, “NO!  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!”

Instead, I calmly said something to the effect that she could, but it might hurt someone’s feelings if you accidentally  left them out.  She agreed and that was the end of the discussion.

I am kinda sorta outraged that someone at a decision/policy making level thought that this was a good idea for elementary school kids.  I am guessing this person is someone who received Valentine Grams her whole entire school career and failed to see how this could turn into a sea of tears  created by the hurt feelings of those who didn’t get a special and exclusive Valentine Gram.

It doesn’t seem that Marie is destined to be one of those who never ever receive a Valentine Gram as a little boy sent her one.  Which is fine, but I am going to hold out as long as possible (hopefully forever) against this popularity contest.

I mean, other than that period of my life, I pretty much have been on good terms with Valentine’s Day.  But those devastating feelings of being uncool and left out don’t die easily.

Do you have any jaded and hurtful Valentine’s day memories? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Superbowl Beyonce Halftime Observations

As I’m sure a lot of you did on Sunday,  I made my salty, fatty delicious snacks and sat down for the Superbowl.

And by the Superbowl, I mean I anxiously waited through two quarters of some football game to see Beyonce perform.  Well, that and the commercials.  But I digress.

When she finally appeared on stage, I watched her prance in her leather and lace leotard, and was filled with conflicted feelings.

Deeply conflicted feelings.

As a woman, I loved that she was not stick thin. I mean, you could not deny that she was super hot.  I admired her physical endurance and appreciated the production, as well as all of the woman musicians.  I also thought it was awesome that she shared the stage with the other members of Destiny’s child, a group that helped to bring her to the place that she is now.   

However, the mom side of me dreaded the overtly sexual nature of her performance.  When the “choreographed” routine (and I say “choreographed” in a loose terms) had her rolling on the ground, it reminded me how maybe my Mom felt when she watched Madonna roll (literally roll) on the scene with Borderline record and later Like  Virgin.

Thomas, who is almost four years old, made the very astute observations that Beyonce was not wear pants:

I also watched Marie try to mimic her moves and not the prancing kind.  More like the hips and licking lips kind.  I tried not to throw up in my mouth as I watched in horror.

You know, it’s not as if I am a prude.   I mean, I’ve been at a bar and danced like that (well, maybe not exactly like that, but in my mind, it totally went down that way).  

There was just something over-the-top about Beyonce’s performance that just bothered me.  Maybe it was the way that Marie was trying to emulate her.  Maybe it was Thomas even knew something was a little off since she was not wearing pants.

In regards to the other performers, I totally appreciated that Jennifer Hudson’s and Alicia Keys’s performances seemed to focus more on voice and talent.

I mean, not that Beyonce’s performance wasn’t talented.  She has a great voice and is a fantastic entertainer.  I just feel that there is already so many sexual undertones in kid culture (see Monster High and Barbie), that this just adds fuel to an already super hot, burning fire.

I understand it is the Superbowl and it was perhaps my misunderstanding that I thought it would be family programing.  When Janet Jackson had her little “wardrobe malfunction,” I wasn’t worried since I didn’t have kids.

I think it is safe to say that I look at Beyonce’s performance through a different lens, one that magnifies the implied cultural standards of sexuality that my kids are now witnessing.

Like I said, I’m confused.

What were your thoughts on the half-time show?