Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Momma Musings

Or... mom's amusing? Either way, here are just a few random mom-thoughts as I stumble through parenthood.

• Motherhood should come with optional, live-in announcers, after the oldest child is 4 years old. This is the age where you begin to become weary of repeating yourself every 42.9 seconds, and this is why anouncers should be optional. They could say things like:

"Get rrrrrready kids, coming soon to a kitchen table near you... BREAKFAST! Yes, now with 11 essential vitamins and minerals, you TOO could be full & happy in just moments! Please wash your hands and quit looking at your sister, and come on down to the kitchen table for... BREAKFAAAAAST!"
Now, the announcer will have to say it like an uber-caffeinated sportscaster or commercial jingle singer, for it to be truly affective. Exciting background music should be optional too, and free. This way, you are free to actually make the breakfast without repeating yourself 893 times, and the kids get all excited and do exactly what the announcer said. It's a win/win, really. He or she could do this for mealtimes, chore times, bedtime and getting ready for church or school-time. It would be very exciting to live in your house, since you'd never know what jazzed up announcement was coming next!

• Why does a load of whites always produce more lint in the lint filter, than a load of darks or coloreds? Does this have any bearing on why EVERY white sock in the universe gets holes in the toes, faster than dark socks? Are the toes in white socks being sucked out of the sock and actually getting stuck in the lint filter? Is there an answer for this, or is this just one of those things we've all come to accept and not question (much), like why jello jiggles, and how it's possible to play a Mike & Ike box like a musical instrument?

• Why is it, that when one of my kids says "mom, what are we having for dinner?" and I say something along the lines of "a large pot of hairy, one-eyed bugs with snake-nose gravy, mmmm, your favorite!", they never believe me, and think this is gross? By contrast, why is it when I say that whoppers (chocolate coated malt balls) are actually dinosaur droppings, they think that's funny and repeat it and giggle about it? For that matter, why is it that they ever think they're going to get a straight answer out of me on the "what's for dinner" question, when they never have, and they never will?

• Some multi-faceted parenting tasks are fairly simple and you figure them out early on. For example, the 4 Limbed Gotcha-Covered trick. This is the manuever you pull off when you have a baby in a cradle:

While rocking the cradle with one foot, you turn the page of your book with your left hand, as you sip your coffee with your right hand, and periodically kick the cat/dog away with your other foot. With all four limbs you're multi-tasking, and before long you can do this trick without even thinking about it. Advanced proficiency in this area even allows you, for example, to change a poopy diaper with one hand (and apply diaper rash cream), if you've injured a hand/arm/shoulder and have it immobile in a sling or a cast. Mothers who've been there, know exactly how this works.

Those are the easy parenting tasks, even though they might look hard at first. They're the "hands-on" things that you can control, and take care of. What's not so easy is when they grow up and they still need your super-mom skills but they think they don't need them, and then you have to find a balance between offering them, and backing off. Sometimes, finding that balance is much harder than just kicking the cat away from the cradle without ever spilling your coffee in your lap, or dropping your book.

• Why is there a Barbie commercial where Barbie is "dancing" in her flashy outfit, and then the camera zooms in on her butt? Someone please explain this to me, because the last time I checked, that falls into the category of purely wicked and depraved to even consider combining anything sexual, and children's toys. Soddom & Gomorrah, anyone? Here's the way this shakes out (no pun intended), from my worldview:

a.) Barbie merchandise and tv commercials are aimed at the target market of little girls between 5-10 years old, give or take.
b.) Barbie is plastic, therefore does not technically have a butt, but is made to appear as if she does.
c.) Girls from 5-10 watch this commercial and for some mysterious reason, are suddenly and very, VERY subtly exposed to sexualization in marketing. Nice trick, kids never notice this stuff.
d.) Within a few years these once innocent-hearted little girls are so saturated with the sexualization of everything from Barbie's non-existant plastic butt, to cake mix and house paint and dog food commercials, that you're already trying to combat the twisted messages that marketing is flooding/has flooded their minds with.

A few potential solutions:

- Have a yard sale and sell the tv. (This will only work if you're also planning on moving to a cave where there are no outside influences whatsoever)
- Make a comment in passing, whenever you see something like that on tv. Say something like "well, that was strange, I wonder why they did/said that?" Pointing it out to your kids without ranting on for an hour about the heathen slime in television marketing, will go a lot further in equipping them to notice it and talk about it. Talking about it provides them an avenue to ask questions, and you an avenue to give the good answers. Resist the temptation to rant about heathen slime, or call your best friend and do it, because they'll understand.
- Take advantage of commercial free programming, as often as possible. Most cable/sat companies have a lot of choices like this, and we all like commercial free stations anyway. This doesn't eliminate all the junky-sleazy messages from your kids brains, but it does eliminate some of them, and that's a good thing.

Okay, that's all for now. I still have at least 13 more years of kids living at home, so I can only assume I'll have a few more random momma musings, between now and then. That is of course, assuming I stay alive, sane, and capable of expressing thought, between now and then. Maybe exercising that optional, live-in announcer feature, would be a good thing about now.

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