Parental Musings | Teeny Manolo - Part 10

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Things I Hate: Babyproofing

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
By Glinda

Let me clarify, I don’t hate the idea of babyproofing. Who could possibly hate the idea of keeping one’s child from sticking their finger in an electric socket?

No, it’s all of the things that take hold in your paranoid parental mind as you are browsing through the websites.  There are things on there that never even crossed your mind until you saw them staring out at you from the screen.  Then some sort of strange hypnosis happens and your brain starts thinking it’s a good idea to get that “VCR shield.”  And you don’t even HAVE a VCR.

There is nothing more frightening for a parent than thinking their child will somehow harm themselves, and the babyproofing industry takes advantage of that, and then some.  There are a million and one ways to part you with your money, all in the name of safety.  Because no one in their right mind is against safety.

How did the people of the past ever function without toilet seat locks?  Or baby gates?  Or, of course, VCR shields?

Somehow, our species has survived for centuries without them.  People used to regularly have open flame in their homes, for goodness sakes.   Or a horrifically hot stove that was “on” at all times to keep the house warm in the winter.   And yet, here we are.

I’m guessing that there is no substitute for just plain watching your kid like a hawk, as hellacious hard work as that can be. 

So I’m sorry babyproofing industry, you’ve only got me for some outlet covers and a couple of baby gates.

Single White Female

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
By Glinda

I’m never alone.

She knows my every move.

Nothing I do escapes her watchful eye.

Whether it’s washing dishes, making lunch for my son, or tending to the plants in the front of the house, she sees it all.

If I leave her field of vision, she gets upset.  Really upset.

Who is this stalker, you ask?  Who is this person who has way too much time on her hands?

Is it my neighbor, who covets my minivan and my lifestyle? Is it a friend, who cuts her hair like mine and steals my clothes?

Nope, it’s the chick sitting over there on the floor, one minute batting her blue eyes and cutely cooing “Ma-mumm,” and the next minute in a fit of true hysteria (today vomiting because she was crying so hard while I had to go the the bathroom, bad mama that I am, with a functioning bladder!) until I am in her sight line again.

Yep, it’s called “separation anxiety” and I think I’d rather have Bridget Fonda trying to take a shot at me.

Why My Minivan Kicks Ass

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
By Glinda

I love my new-to-me minivan so much, I want to write it bad poetry spritzed with cheap perfume, and emblazon  “Glinda + Minivan= 4EVER” on the envelope.


I’ve become convinced that there is a secret minivan appreciation society, and I am a brand new member.

All those people who hate on minivans?


I know people who have bought themselves a huge lumbering beast of an SUV, hoping to avoid the stigma that comes with driving a minivan.

But us minivan drivers are secretly laughing at them, making the L sign on our foreheads. Er, well, I am, anyway.

Because nothing is as comfy, as roomy, as full of cup-holdery goodness as a minivan. Sitting in my captain’s chair, I feel as if I am queen of the road, and I am still amazed at the fact that I can wave my arm sideways and not hit anything. I can put my daughter in her car seat and not have to bend over to tax my already burdened back. No changing table handy? No problem! I can simply fold away my third row seat into the floor and voila! Instant changing table! There are climate controls and lights for all three rows, and there is an eighth seat that can be installed, although admittedly, the person sitting in it must be approximately the size of a lemur. But! I can still technically fit eight! And I’ve got a lazy-damn-susan in my floor storage compartment, for chrissakes!

As for the cool factor, I don’t care. I will graciously give up my cool to the next generation.

They can have it.

Because opening doors manually? 

For suckers.

Hard Life Lessons Learned at the Tender Age of Seven

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
By Glinda


I had hoped that he wouldn’t find out until he was older.

I warned him about what would happen, but I suppose it was inevitable.

Yesterday, my son experienced for the first time one of the most difficult truths in life. 

He was upset.  I put my hands upon his shoulders and squeezed, for I knew very well the disappointment he was feeling.

“Son,” I said in my most sympathetic of motherly tones, “The movie is NEVER as good as the book.”

The Cons of Being an Older Mom

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
By Glinda

To be sure, there are great things to being an older mom, as I outlined in this post

But, there are also some not-so-good things as well…

– The ability to stay up all hours of the night and be fine the next day was totally wasted on me fifteen years ago.

– I won’t lie, sometimes picking up my daughter makes my back twinge.

– I’m hoping that in ten years, people won’t mistake me for my daughter’s grandmother.

– Did I mention my back?

– As much as I would like to think otherwise, I don’t have as much energy as I used to.

– I will be an older grandparent, assuming that at least one of my children will have children.

– Yeah, that back thing sucks…

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Monday Teeny Poll

Monday, July 5th, 2010
By Glinda

Ah well, you must excuse the lateness of my post due to the recovery from a very busy weekend! Throw in a baby who won’t sleep through the night any more for some strange reason, and you’ve got one tired Glinda! One who didn’t get around to realizing she didn’t post a poll until, oh, about five minutes ago.

Last week I asked about the oldest item of clothing in your closet that you still wear, and answers were all over the place! The top vote-getter was 6-8 years, with 21% of the vote. Coming in with 17% were twenty years or older and thirteen to fifteen years. I already told you about my amazing expanding sweatshirt from 1991, but other than that piece, I would say the next oldest is about ten years old.

Today I’ve got a question about something that happened to the Munchkin a few weeks ago. He went over to a friend’s house and that friend happens to have a brother who is close in age, within two years. I called over at one point to see how they were doing, and the mom said that it was time for me to pick the Munchkin up because they weren’t including the younger brother in their activities. Well, I’m sorry to say that I disagree with this point of view. The Munchkin is not there to play with the brother, he is there to play with his friend, and just because there is a small age difference shouldn’t mean the younger sibling is automatically a “friend” too. Does this mean that the older sibling never gets to have friends of his own and must share them all with his brother, who is his polar opposite personality-wise?

The Pros of Being an Older Mom

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
By Glinda

My next birthday will see me turning forty.  And I will have a one year old and an eight year old.  If you had told me this fact three years ago, I would have laughed and encouraged to you keep on enjoying whatever you were smoking.

I kid, I kid.  But, there are definitely some good things about being an older mom:

– Perspective.  I haz it.

– I’ve already done all the “crazy” stuff I wanted to do in my twenties.  As my friend, who had her son at 38, said, “Sometimes twice.”

– A fairly well established network of friends and family totake advantage of ask for help.

– A bit more patience, although I’m guessing that might be a purely personal thing.

– A good sense of myself, one that I can honestly say I didn’t have until I hit about thirty, and it’s only gotten better since then.

– Lots of years of pop culture behind me, the better to quote to my son, who has no idea what I’m talking about. But I do, so it’s still fun.

– More financial stability and just a better general knowledge of money and how it works, or in some cases, doesn’t.

– I have the self-confidence to not care what the younger moms think of my gray hair.

– The boobs were already headed in a southerly direction, so not much trauma there.

And, there are some drawbacks as well

Ask Glinda- Girly Edition

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
By Glinda

Raincoaster asks:

Now that you’re a mom of a girl, do you like the same things for her as you liked before you had a real girl? Or has reality changed your tastes?

Reality, it bites.

No, really.

When I had only my son to buy for, to be honest, I never even looked at girl things.  I was too busy being the bitter person over in the corner of the store, wondering why the girls got racks and racks of clothing, while the boys were relegated to a quarter of a wall by the dressing rooms.

But when I did happen to do more than just glance at the girl stuff, I would always seem to zero in on something absolutely adorable, something that made me curse my ovaries and their relative lack of reproductive skill.

Now that I have a girl of my own?  The clothes suck.  Those racks and racks?  All filled with ugly crap.  I can never find the right colors.  And when I do find something that I think might work, they don’t have it in her size.  This very thing happened to me at Baby Gap just a couple of days ago, when I thought I had finally found a nice dress for a professional photo.   Thus, I have vowed to spend as little money on her clothes as possible, at least until they start making some decent things.  Which may or may not happen, and which might end up with her in therapy down the road. 

Scene twenty years from now:

Shrink:  Why do you think your mom never bought you nice clothes?

Munchkinette:  She said it was because she could never find anything decent, but I think it was just because she hates me!  (begins sobbing uncontrollably)


Maybe I should try harder.


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