To All the People That Write Me Hate Mail

Thank you for entertaining me. I will never write you back privately, but I appreciate you 😉 So, here is a special post for you guys!

To the breastfeeding haters-

I have no idea why you’re writing me telling me you’re happy with your bottle feeding choice. That is great. I’m happy for you. I don’t want people to judge me for breastfeeding and I don’t want people to judge you. We’re on the same team.

To the people that claim to be anti-adoption-

Thank you for spending your time writing to someone who already adopted, giving them absolutely no useful advice, but just to vent and tell them how much you hate adoption. I hope it is therapeutic for you. (P.S. my online psychiatry fee is per word)

To the people who have their children in public school-

I would really like to know what I’ve said that gave you the impression that because I am planning on homeschooling… I think you are an “evil neglectful mother”??- hmmm, I have many more friends that have their kids in “regular” school, than are home-schooled, and I believe they are making the right choice for their child. Just like I feel like I am for mine. So please, stop…stop at least until my kids are 45, unmarried, and living as klingons. Then you can say, “I told you so.” Until then, please quiet yourself.

To all the racist people that write to me-

I have a particular finger I’d like to show you….

Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Shopping With My Kids

I think the rest of last week’s vacation may have gotten the better of me.

I almost always go to the grocery store alone, or Brian goes for us.

I decided after the park (and before lunch and nap) that I could brave the small Whole Foods in Beverly Hills without a basket, stroller, or apparently my mind.

We somehow made it out intact, but I’ve come to the conclusion there are many things I would prefer doing.

So, here are some things I would rather be doing than grocery shopping with young children:

Stop Trying to Sexualize My Children

Samuel is really interested in taking dance classes. We were trying to figure out what classes to put him in. Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop…??? We can’t decide. Brian sometimes will have a gut reaction to say no to something like ballet (because it is a “girl” activity), but after talking with him he realizes it is wrong….This is going to be an uphill battle, but we’ll win.

I am so fed up with the comments I’m getting from Samuel liking stuff that has sparkles on it. Sparkles are attractive. I’m attracted to them…

Apparently, if you like sparkles and The Little Mermaid, you are gay. I did not know this. Thank you to everyone who has shared and cleared this up for me.

But seriously…what is the deal with people trying to label children’s sexual orientation? Does anyone else find it creepy that people are trying to sexualize children? Because I think it is really weird. They are kids! They shouldn’t be interested in boys or girls, yet! Plus, it is none of our business what their sexual identity will be. It is personal to them. So, let’s all do ourselves a favor and stop guessing…because the reality is, it doesn’t matter what we think- it is up to them to figure it out.

I found another one of these awesome homemade videos that shows what I mean:

What a Jerk….

I had a run-in with another rude mom at the park. I pushed the boys on the “baby swings” for probably 3 minutes, tops. It was hot out and I was slowing them down to get off when a rude mom came up loudly walking with her kids and said (for my benefit) to her daughter, “YOU CAN’T GO ON THOSE SWINGS, THERE ARE REALLY BIG BOYS ON THEM RIGHT NOW, THEY ARE WAY TOO BIG TO BE ON THEM!”

I shot her an “are you kidding me?” look and she just glared back. We were getting off of them as she was walking up, but I thought for a moment of staying on just to bug her. I didn’t, I don’t want to be that person.

So, we got off. I was sitting down and a woman and I were chatting. Turns out this woman was from the same area in Ghana I spent time in…AND she was rude mom’s nanny! I technically did nothing wrong but give her a funny look, so rude mom had no ammo against me as I chatted with her nanny for about an hour. The mom sat there and was mean and uncomfortable and wouldn’t share her toys with my boys. Funny enough, the daughter that rude lady was loudly telling that BOTH of my kids were way too big for the swing she wanted to put her in, was older than Aram….

Okay, so what is the deal with all the swing nazis at the park? Is it just my park? It’s not like we’re on them for very long…my kids get bored about 2 minutes into swinging. Aram isn’t really big enough for the big swing yet (he’s fallen off, I blame my uncoordinated genes for that) and right now Samuel wants to do all the same things as Aram, plus, the swing makes him feel secure. It’s none of that lady’s business where my kids go. Heck, if I wanted to go in the swing that is none of her business.

Luckily for us, an Australian man with his two kids came and played with us and he was talking about all the assholes at the park. Glad I’m not the only one that thinks it. I would switch parks, but it is my favorite layout, and the boys love it, too. Darn….guess we’re going to just have to get some thick skin and learn to really tune out people completely there.

Seriously, What is Up with Park Moms!!!???

I was so upset I posted this somewhere else earlier,  and decided I should share it on this blog….

So, I’ve been working on gentle discipline with Aram because he’s three and has been having issues not listening to me/testing me…. Like, when we go to the park and there is a small area he climbs into an area that I know dogs pee and poop in. I’ll tell him not to go in there and explain why.

So, we were at the park and Aram went into that specific area; I told him to please come out because dogs “tinkle” in there. To which he started to cry and ask me to pick him up. He is fully capable of getting himself out, and he does this as a way to keep control of the situation, and not allow me to discipline him. So, I told him he needed to come out himself (it was VERY easy to exit and he has no difficulties walking)-

Well, a woman out of nowhere came over (I was about 1/2 inch away from him, we were so close we could have rubbed noses) and picks him up and puts him down out of the area ( it was a split second move)…. Gives me a dirty look and walks away. I was too shocked and confused to be mad at that moment….I was just thinking, “why would someone do that?”  I was right there and it wasn’t a dangerous area (other kids play in there I just find it gross)… I overheard her saying referring to me as “the nanny” later, and the more I got to thinking, the more irritated I am at myself for not saying anything about not touching my child.

Even if I was the nanny it would give her no right to touch the child I am caring for….but I’m not, and it was so wrong of her to assume something like that. And the thing is he IS my child and I can’t believe someone would not only touch my child when I am next to him, but interfere with me teaching/disciplining him.

Ugh, I am feeling so guilty and such a bad mother for not doing anything about it. Plus, I feel violated.

I’ve also learned (before this, but it is worth noting now) that if I see a child at the park playing with someone that is clear as day looks totally opposite, speaks a different language than the person caring him/her, and the woman caring for the child looks post-menopausal- I will never assume the person is the nanny/caretaker/grandma, ever!

I Have Cellulite

my butt, wedgie and all.

Somehow I have escaped half of my twenties without knowing I had cellulite.

Well, being hyperaware of my body (Hello my name is Jamie and I am a hypochondriac) I knew exactly what my body looked like, but I thought they were just dimples. Dimples like the ones people find adorable on your face. I thought they were just as cute on a bottom.

I was aware of cellulite, but I always thought it was severe divots over fatty areas of your body.

I was at the dermatologists office and needed to kill time. The only thing to read was about cellulite. That was when I realized…”Hey wait a minute, I HAVE THAT!”

Suddenly my adorable dimpled buns became a horrifying diseased fanny.

It reminded me of the time I thought I saw a cricket and I wanted to free it outside, and then someone informed me I was looking at a cockroach. I killed that thing so fast your head would spin.

I guess perception is everything. I wish I never found out that my dimples were in fact a culturally unacceptable body defect.

Oh, and researching cellulite I found this weird site where it shows all beautiful celebrities have cellulite. It seems to me everyone has it. So, I’m not sure why we care about removing it. It would be like us all considering women that have breast tissue as having a body defect. Some have more than others, but we all have it to some degree…

Maybe I could move to the country, Mauritania, where cellulite is revered and seen as beautiful.

Or maybe I just don’t care 😉

I HATE FOOD COLORING!

I don’t think my children are “allergic” to food coloring, but they both become demon possessed if a jelly bean slips by my radar!

Samuel and Aram clearly do not share genetic makeup, but they both react exactly the same when given any sort of small amount of food coloring.

I am careful with what they eat, but I don’t overreact if we have a birthday party with a food-coloring laden cake…or if they occasionally are offered something like jelly beans.

Seriously, I see a difference. This stuff is not good. Why is it allowed in food? Why does food need to be bright hues or blue, red, purple…whatever? If someone living 1000 years ago saw a bright blue muffin they would probably avoid eating it.

I also think it is weird that in Europe they are much stricter about this issue. McDonalds colors their shakes with beets over there. We still use food coloring! There are natural ways to dye our foods if it is that important to us..so why aren’t we doing it?

Red Velvet cake dyed with beets

So that is my rant… I seriously am ready to go protest at the food dye plant, the White House, or wherever you do protesting.

I think whoever is putting this in food should be forced to babysit children who have just consumed it.

“His Mother is Living, but Has No Source of Income to Support Him”

Watch out, I’ve been ranting a lot lately… you’ve caught me at the apex of my hormones this month.

“His mother is living, but has no source of income to support him”

Do you know how many referrals have some variation of this one there? A LOT. These children are no less in need of a home than the other “true” orphans that are in the orphanage. They should not be rejected by an adoptive family simply because there is a living relative that cannot afford to keep that child in the family. But there lies the huge problem.

A lot of people given these referrals have an initial instinct to try and financially help the family so they can remain intact. They are then told that Ethiopian government will not allow the child to go back to any parent in this manner. There is also the fear of legal consequences that could jeopardize the remaining family.

In Ethiopia, when a spouse dies (especially if it is the husband) the surviving spouse is left completely desolate. Widows or the impoverished do not have the same protection they do in the US. They are left with no other option than to put their child or children up for adoption.

It is common in a family of more than one child to put the youngest up for adoption. This is because they may be too young to work and they are more desirable to adopt. The family does not want this child to be separated, but they are left with no choice in their dire state.

I will say adoptive parents need to step in as advocates for change. We can argue that it is Ethiopian law and we are not Ethiopian….but you know what? By allowing international adoption, we have been adopted by Ethiopia, too. There should be some organized system to help these single-parent homes that are desolate and desperate to keep their families together.

Really, what is causing this orphan crisis? Illness and lack of funds if you break it down. That is not acceptable. We can do more.

Breastfeeding Rant

Why isn't she using a cover in front of all those other male Macaques?! And how dare she breastfeed her child at that advanced age!?

This is my last annoyed breastfeeding post. Promise….at least on this blog. I want this blog to be more of a silly/happy/fun place. So if I’m going to end my irritated posts (well about this subject) I’m going out with a bang:

Oh Goodness.
Church.
I love Jesus, but sometimes I’m confused by some people that claim to be his followers.
I think half of our sexual repression leading to our oversexed society is partly due to puritan beliefs coming from mainstream churches.

I’m going to get really hippyish on you all, warning to leave now if you want.

The irritant coming from churches right now for me is breastfeeding.
When I enter the “mother’s nursing room” (a room designed specifically for breastfeeding ONLY) I see a about 12 infants all with their mothers wearing covers. Isn’t the point of this room so you don’t have to wear a cover? Not that you should even feel like you have to when you’re not in the room, but I just figured society would deem uncovered nursing in a “mother’s NURSING room” acceptable. I guess not. I don’t care what they do, but leave me alone, please.

Oh no, that is too easy. Funny looks I am used to I just smile and generally don’t talk to people, but once and awhile you’ll get a bold person that wants to make a cheeky comment. “Isn’t he a little old for that?” In a ridiculously condescending tone. My response, “No, he’s not a little old for that” in the same tone…yeah, I’m mocking her, I have no shame- if you’re going to be rude I’m going to be rude back. Of course that is the wrong attitude and I feel bad about it, but it shocks me that out of all places, churches are the most judgmental.

What bugs me is how people think they’re right about this.

Breasts are mammary glands. They are not designed to be an erogenous zone (technically the whole body is, but that is another conversation). Why do some people get aroused specifically by them? Because our repressed society is viewing them like this because we are told they should be hidden and it is the power of our minds (another reason it is so important that our society needs to get desensitized by breasts!).

I’d also like to point out it wasn’t long ago that knees (yes, patellas) were considered a sexual part of a human body. In a cultural anthropology class I read so many bizarre snippets of literature written in that time showing sexuality as cultural. All about knees. Explicit things about knees. It was hilarious, but seeing that that is how some people view breasts at this time in  society it suddenly makes sense.

Now that knees can be seen walking around modern society we suddenly lost our lust for them. I also think a lot of it has to do with intent. If our intent is to arouse by taking our top off it is completely different than when we take it off to sunbath or feed our children. We can also arouse people in a bathing suit, or even in our clothes…intent has to be there.

Clearly, beauty and sexuality are subjective. Logically, we should be looking at what is biologically normal for the genus Homo. That will help us sift out cultural norms and look more at what our bodies are designed to do.

Another argument I hear is that women have full breasts and men do not, so clearly they will arouse men. There is slight truth to this statement.  Men don’t gestate human beings. Women need breasts to feed their children. Plain and simple. Biologically, men look for strong and fertile women.

Human breasts are different from every other animal’s in that they are large even when we are not breastfeeding. When we became bipedal, the primary area males were attracted to, the posterior/gluteus maximus/whatever you’d like to call it, became subsidary. The breasts evolved to attract males, and not leave this large torso area on a woman to be unsexual and could leave her unfruitful.

Also, the shape of the breasts often indicate the fertility of the woman. Progesterone causes the breasts to become rounded, and progesterone is something some infertile women lack.

The problem today is the failure to see that everything on the human body is functional. Breasts are sexual, but that doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is. The vagina is sexual, but that doesn’t mean giving birth is. The penis is sexual, but that doesn’t mean peeing is.

It really scares me when people in western society actually see sustained/extended breastfeeding as sexual molestation. I mean, it is ridiculous and very very sad.

I also find it odd that some people may have a problem viewing a photo of a child being breastfed by their mother. At my parents house there is a very large photo hanging over my parents fireplace of me breastfeeding my mother. Company has always seen this picture, and photos and stories of breastfeeding did not just stay in the safety of our house, she made sure this was known. The way I was raised breastfeeding is no more intimate than cutting a child’s toenails or hugging or snuggling their mother. Would people find those pictures inappropriate? Of course not!

I definitely can get the argument of now posting ANY photos of your child’s face anywhere public, that is a legitimate argument to me, and you’ll have to take it up with 90% of blogging mothers….but specifically breastfeeding as unacceptable? Goodness gracious, I thought we were slightly more enlightened than that.

Our children pick up on these things. If you are showing pictures of everything but breastfeeding (or if you practice breastfeeding in private) they soon will feel it is a secretive and dirty act. Creating yet another generation of prudes 😉

I’m not saying everyone should breastfeed their child for five years, or at all. I’m saying it should be up to the mother when and where she does it. If you don’t want to do it, fine…but let other mothers parent the way they know is right for their child. We know what is right for Aram and even when I did feel like my body might be ready to wean, I realized his wasn’t. This is not something that we’re doing for self gratification (have you seen what happens to your breast after prolonged nursing? :-O )  It is something that we’re doing for our children, and I think every mother has a right to parent their child to the best of their ability- for some that may be sustained breastfeeding.

I’m also not saying that every mother should breastfeed their adopted child. Brian and I have decided that any personal contact or information from and of  Samuel’s birth mother will remain personal to him and close friends and family, unless he is wanting to share. However, I will say, if Samuel’s birth mother had specifically weaned him (or he self weaned) prior to relinquishment or there would be disapproval (or just not specific approval) from her, we would change our parenting plan, because of how important her role is (and will continue to be) in his life. I feel every adopted parent knows what is right for their child…just like a biological child, and we must do what is right for them. Every child is different.

And that is my hang-up about breasts/breastfeeding in our society.