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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tongues

Elizabeth:  Have you ever noticed how disgusting your tongue is?

Me:  OMG, I was JUST thinking about this the other day...yes.  It is like a throbbing mass of nastiness, this ORGAN that you can just stick out...

E:  Yes.  I wish that we had thin tongues like a dog.

Me:  That would make it hard to talk, I think.  (I start typing this post...)

E:  I think I want a tongue like a camel (Don't ask, I have no clue...)    Wait...Are you Facebooking this?

Me:  No, not at all...

E:  You're blogging it!  You know, if it wasn't for me you wouldn't have any content...

Soup

Dear Tomato Bisque Soup,
      
       I am sorely disappointed.

       I bought you expecting a delightful culinary experience.  The picture on the front of the can advertised a thick, creamy soup resplendent with chunks of tomato.  The label proudly proclaimed, "NOW EVEN BETTER!" and "100% Natural!"  I had high expectations for you, soup, and I am let down.

       What I got instead of a homey, delicious, soul-warming bowl of yumminess is a slightly thickened, over-peppered bowl of tomato juice.  It appeared that the few chunks of tomato that were in it were either an after thought or ones that did not make it through the blender.  There were mysterious specs of some kind of seasoning it it (parsley?  oregano? basil?) but I could not discern what they were due to the overpowering flavor of the pepper.  In fact, at first I could not taste the tomato, the pepper was that strong.  And on second thought, perhaps that was not spice; but rather some kind of "natural" mold.  It has to be good for me, right?  It's all natural...though 'shrooms are all natural too...

       My experience with you, Tomato Bisque Soup, was akin to going to a high end strip club, expecting a visual feast, spending a few bucks, and leaving slightly excited and spent at the same time, but then finding out that the main show is a cross-dressing midget with a beard and his pet sheep.  While that may be some one's cup of tea, it is certainly not mine.

Sincerely,
A Sorely Disappointed Soup Lover

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shocked

Late last night, I found out that my brother-in-law's brother died in a horrific car accident.

I cannot even begin to fathom the pain there. Wife, daughter, mother, brother, sister.   My heart goes out to them all.  I am still a little shocked myself.

My training professionally has equipped me to deal with this. My personal experiences also help.  But...

It hits close to home.  A young couple.  Sudden death.  But for the grace of God, it could have been me mourning right now.  Today is Alexis's birthday.  We get to celebrate life while someone mourns a life cut short.

Life is precious.  We need to remember this. Go hug your loved ones for me today.  Spend a little extra time to let someone know you care.  It can be taken from you all too quickly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Communication

Charlie's language skills have exploded recently.  Just today, when I was outside with her playing on the slide, I was completely amazed at how she is now able to communicate her wants and needs with me.  She climbs up the ladder for the slide, goes and sits down, and says, "READY! SET! GO!"  She then slides down, laughing gleefully.  "Mama, I did it!"

Earlier that day, I yelled up the stairs for Elizabeth to ask how many eggs she wanted for dinner.  Charlie, helper that she is, ran up the stairs and asked Elizabeth if she wanted eggs.  Probably about 10 times in a row, up the stairs, then back down, then up again to ask again.  I guess she wanted to make sure.  Then she came running back to me to tell me, very seriously, "Boo wants eggs, Mama."  Thanks, child.  Then she peers up at me and goes, "Whatcha doin', Mama?"

I very clearly remember the first sentence that Alexis spoke.  We were having ice cream with Elizabeth and her best friend Jewel.  Alexis turned to me with her cone and proudly says, "I a big kid."  I asked, "Are you a big kid cause you have ice cream?"  She nodded and grinned.

All of these little instances of early communication.  Burgeoning skills.  Laying the foundation for a lifetime of communication.  I say more often than not now, "Use your words!" when Charlie is trying to get a point across.  She is hovering at that boundary between crying like a baby would and speaking.  Of course, she will cross the line and (hopefully) move to a majority of speaking. 

It is amazing sometimes how even grown adults can revert back to that toddler way of communicating.  We become self-centered; incapable of seeing the other point of view.  That toddler impulse, the id if you are a Freudian, comes out in even the best of us.  Communication breaks down.  Feelings get hurt.

What do people do who don't have someone to guide them into that capability?  What must that be like, to have all of these feelings that you can't put into words?  That you never even learned the words for?  Or even learned to acknowledge their existence?

I make my living communicating.  That does not mean that I speak a lot.  In fact, quite the opposite.  One of the first things I had to learn as a therapist was how to shut the fuck up.  To give people the chance to speak.  The power of silence.  How to listen.

How to help people find their voice.  I am theoretically doing this with my children.  The hope is that they will learn how to communicate in an effective manner; to avoid the heart break that can come when you try to connect with another human being.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Conversations X

Charles:  Where is the rest of Charlie's outfit for tomorrow?

Me:  Oh, I just haven't gotten her jeans out yet.

Charles:  Oh, I was just wondering...I saw Alexis's skirt, shirt, shorts (we make her wear shorts under her skirts due to her propensity to try to do head stands while in skirts...), and just socks and shirt for Charlie.  I know she goes to day care and all, but...

Me:  Pants are optional.

Charles:  Well, she IS young.  It's cute, right?


Yeah, our kids are so fucked....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Separation

Charlie never really had separation anxiety as a baby.  Despite being the holy tornado that she is now, with a temper to match the hair and Irish heritage, she was actually a very happy, easy going baby.  She slept well, loved to be held and talked to, and was just generally content.  Then she started to move and learned about rage when things don't go her way, and it has gone to hell in a hand basket.

But I digress.  Happy Charlie.  Yes.  She never really went through those stages, even as a baby, where she would cry whenever I left the room.  I used to wonder and worry...is my child not developing object permanency?  Is she cognitively delayed?  Is she autistic?  My mind went a hundred thousand miles a minute in the way that only the severely anxious amongst us can understand.  I researched social delays online, convinced that this one aspect of her personality was going to doom her to a lifetime of institutionalization, medications, and therapy.

Yeah.  It is in full bloom now.  The separation anxiety, not the need for therapy.  That will be coming years down the road.  She cries every morning at drop off at daycare.  She follows me around the house like there is an invincible force field pulling her into me.  She panics when I try to close the door to poop.

It is so funny how OPPOSITE she and Alexis are in that regard.  Alexis was born with separation anxiety.  She hated everyone until about the age of two, when she figured out that being her cute stuff made people want to pay attention to her and give her stuff.  Then she was off and running like a good little con artist.  Charlie was pretty much OK with anyone who had a pulse and the capabilities to cuddle her as an infant.  Now that she is emerging into toddlerhood, that fierce independence that she always had is checked a little bit.  She needs that secure base to come to now, the way that Alexis as an infant needed it at that point in her life.

The therapy...well, as I have said before...she is the child of a therapist.  OF COURSE she will need it.  I am just relieved it is not because of whatever a lack of separation anxiety implies.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Grey

So.  I read the first two books.  And if you have to as me what books, what rock have you crawled out of recently cause seriously...

I never thought that I would see the day where a series that talks about anal fisting, hard limits, and kinky fuckery became so popular.  While I love the fact that the books are exploring alternative, non-traditional sexuality, I was a little disturbed by how they continued to buy into the old tired tropes about relationships:

1.) Older, rich man.  Really?  Can we just perpetuate the myth to women out there that you have to land a man with cash for it to be a desirable relationship. Granted, the age difference is not that great...but really, how many billionaires are there under 30?  Like Mark Zuckerberg.  And....uh....

2.) Virgin woman.  Really?  You are only desirable because of the state of your hymen?  Oh, that is right; Fifty can then shape her into his own personal little sex slave.

3.)  Woman who is unaware of her desirability.  Really?  Of course.  If she knew that she was desirable, she would not have saved herself.  Therefore, she would be undesirable per #2.

4.)  More experienced man sexually.  Really?  This one ties into #2 and #3.  Let's just perpetuate further the idea that women simply exist to serve men...trade off I guess for #1.  She can have his money if she serves to please his every sexual whim.

5.)  Woman "saves" man.  Really?  She is going to wash away all of the black on his soul, save him from the horror of his childhood, simply with the power of her love?  Sorry, that kind of shit only exists...well, nowhere.  It is possible to overcome horrible childhoods...I see it every day.  It is not due to a virginal submissive who makes you realize the errors of your controlling ways and how horrible it was that your mom's pedophile friend twisted your view of sexuality as a teenager in a matter of weeks.  Maybe she could help, sure...but the idea that a woman can make a man change and that a guy who is controlling is actually a really nice guy who just wants to make sure that the wittle woman is taken care of (you know, because she would never be able to do it on her own) is actually a pretty worn out one that gets re-packaged pretty nicely in this book.

I guess I should keep in mind the fact that this is supposed to be a fantasy...but I get tired of being told that my fantasy should be the old worn out love story that is hawked to women.  It is a step in the right direction, for sure.  I just wish it did not continue to perpetuate the same old gender based stories that serve to keep women in their place.