Dear WordPress…What Am I, CHOPPED LIVER?

What am I, chopped liver?When I was little Princess Rosebud growing up in Detroit,  my mom used to be the Queen of chopped liver.

At Channukah and Sukkos and the High Holidays, our family would come from miles around to chow down on her spectacular cooking and baking, including that tasty, albeit ugly, liver-y creation. Even a sprinkling of chopped hardboiled egg and parsley couldn’t mask the grey/brown blob of mushed up, mashed up internal organ.

Oh, and gribones, which is an artery clogging mixture of fried chicken skins, onions, and schmaltz, which is chicken FAT. Rendered chicken fat. Jars of it in the back of the refrigerator. GAG.

According to Wiki: The word gribenes is related to Griebe (plural Grieben) in various German dialects (from Old High German griobo via Middle High German griebe),[2] where Griebenschmalz is lard from which the cracklings have not been removed. German “Geriebenes” is a matter which has been grated or ground, from German “reiben”, to grind.

No wonder I became a veg.

schroncefgsula.blogspot.com

schroncefgsula.blogspot.com

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1971, when I was still in high school. I haven’t had a taste or even a morsel of meat nor fowl since then, including the liver, chopped or otherwise, of any living creature.

Why the chopped liver memories?

For the longest time, I’ve felt like I’m the human embodiment of chopped liver, ‘cos it seems that I’m the ONLY blog in the entire family of WordPress blogs that hasn’t ever been chosen to be Freshly Pressed.

I’m very sad.

I read a lot of Freshly Pressed posts, and I ponder.

I scratch my head —  and it’s not that I begrudge the recipients who’re chosen, but I’ve held an objective mirror up to my writing and my subject matter and my unique voice, and I truly believe it’s GOOD. In some cases, way better than the lucky bloggers who can boast of being Freshly Pressed.

Lots of people tell me I’m good. Even my son tells me I’m a good writer and he’s pretty stingy with his compliments, which make them all the more valuable — plus he’s a Yale professor AND author, so I take his praise with more than a few grains of salt.

I’ve had readers wonder why they don’t see me in Freshly Pressed, when other bloggers have had multiple posts chosen.

In my not-really-humble opinion, It’s a travesty.

On a serious note, it reeks of favoritism and might as well be advertising and promotion for ONE blogger at the expense of many other worthy writers.

There. I’m finished now.

That’s my Friday rant.

Tonight I’ll light some shabbat candles and wish really hard that one day SOON, I can proudly display a Freshly Pressed badge on my blog.

Dreams CAN come true, ya know.

Hello? WordPress? Can you hear me??

Can you hear me NOW?

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A Wanted Child

I am of the opinion that the global interest (and/or disdain)  in the birth of Britain’s future king is really less about the trappings of wealth and royal life — the gene pool and history he’s born into –than our forlorn and seemingly irretrievable collective absence of moms and dads who devote their lives to their babies.

As happy as I am for the birth of George Alexander Louis, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. this newborn who will be king, it makes me equally as sad for all the babies born that are NOT going to be as loved or wanted or properly cared for or parented.

All babies should be as loved as this one, all children deserve to feel like a prince or a princess, not like an unwanted nuisance or an accessory to be displayed when it’s convenient –and ignored when it’s not.

All children should be gazed upon with unconditional love, devotion, and dedication.

Over the years, I’ve observed enough parent/child interactions to believe that we may have forfeited the desire and commitment to raising a brand new human with lifelong dedication and passion–and love.

The bond between parent and child is one of the strongest connections in nature –or it should be.

I was again reminded how that’s not always the case when my tugboat man and I were at Barnes and Noble in Orange County a couple days ago.

He had most kindly driven me to Chanel because I lost a screw in the hardware of my Grand Shopper Tote and their only method of replacement involved bringing the bag to them, which was most def NOT a hardship. LOL. My sweet hubs drove me ‘cos of the limited use of my still only semi-functioning left arm — three more weeks of this stupid cast…

After going to Chanel and browsing through as many other stores as his patience would allow (he obvs does not share my same passion to discover the treasure of a perfect wedge) his sanctuary was the bookstore whilst I continued my search at the Nord Outlet.

Unfortunately though, my heart’s desire was not to be realized that day — no wedge for me…so I walked next door and I found my mariner among the stacks of maritime-related books–sooo predictable.

As we waited in line to pay for his books, there was a mom and a boy who looked to be about four-years-old. He was talking to her — trying to talk to her — about toys, books, whatever, just the adorable stream-of-consciousness conversation of a little one — and he was being ignored.

Mom was scrolling through her smart phone, reading a text, responding to a text, all the while she selfishly sacrificed this glorious opportunity to “be present in the moment” with her bright little boy.

Finally, after several minutes of trying to elicit a response, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to garner her oh-so-valuable attention, he put his hand up as if to physically block her from seeing the phone and said in a resigned tone that left me no doubt he’s said this before;

“No phone, Momma, no phone. Me, Momma, ME.

No phone.”

At that point, she looked up, turned away from him, and responded,

“Just a minute. Just a minute. Stop. I’m almost done.”

By the crestfallen look on his face, it was too late.

The spark of light had gone out of his eyes.

Poof, just like that.

It was a precious moment forever lost.

Hubs and I shook our heads. We felt so sad for this boy and disgusted with his clueless mom.

Ah well, I feel like a dinosaur.

My Angel Boy was wanted and cherished — from the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom — I knew that for me, there would be nothing more fulfilling than the joy caring for a baby and helping that new life grow; nurturing his interests, curiosity, and imagination.

His Montessori Kindergarten teacher once said to me (in her adorable French accent):

“Jay-sohn seez ze world een heez own way.”

Jason sees the world in his own way.

He still does, and I can think of no better validation of my job as his mom.

Were there bad and neglectful parents before the invention of technology and social media?

Of course there were.

It just seems as if phones and video games have become an overwhelming distraction — and the focus of daily existence. Caring for a home and family is pushed way down the list.

Our values are skewed — in my (unpopular) opinion.

Prince-William-and-Kate-royal-baby-2082438The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, gazing upon their newborn with such unabashed love, reminds me of a playground song:

“First comes love, then comes marriage.
Then comes a baby in a baby carriage.”

People who don’t want the serious and lifelong responsibility of having children should not have them.

It’s that simple.

Let’s treat our children like they’re the most special people in the world, OK?

I’m shouting this to the world in general…

“Moms and Dads, get off your phones!
Please, PAY ATTENTION to your children.
They’re more important than TWITTER,  FACEBOOK, or any other inanimate object.”

Sunday Blues

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Baby Daddy Day

Happy Deadbeat Dad Day

Tugboat Man Update

There are only a few blues in my garden — I wish I could successfully grow hydrangeas, but I think the soil would need a major overhaul.

I found these blues on my morning tour (to see if any more sick squirrels came to visit.)

Lily of the Nile, also known as Agapanthus…
against a backdrop of neon-pink Sweetpea Bush.

LilyoftheNile2 LilyoftheNile

An artichoke that didn’t get picked in time to eat. 

artichoke2

Lots of unpicked artichokes…see what the captain missed?

artichoke1

The only other blue is the flower from Ajuga, a ground cover.

ajuga

 

Attachment Parenting: Are YOU Attached or Detached?

Oh guurrl, pleeze!

Y’all don’t know WHAT “attachment parenting” really is.

Y’all just be amateurs if you think it ends when they start school!

time-magazine-breastfeeding-cover-time-magI’m sure by now everyone has seen the Time magazine cover of a breastfeeding four-year old, or here’s Wikipedia’s definition of attachment parenting: Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears,[1] is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology.

According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.

Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being.

Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.

I believe being a stay-at-home mom creates the best foundation for growth and creativity and builds a happy, secure child.

This is a fact: When I volunteered in my son’s classroom during his elementary school years, I could pick out every child who had a stay-at-home mom.

They were able to stay on task longer, and weren’t clingy and insecure because they received the appropriate healthy unconditional love from their parents, not a series of paid strangers.

I believe this is the best way and Nature’s Way to raise a child; however, it’s kind of a shame that we have gone so far astray from our natural bond with our children that we have to be educated about how to nurture a beneficial connection.

Sad.

My son ended nursing right around his first birthday. I wasn’t ready, but it was his decision,  his time.

I think it revealed his exceptional level of confidence that he was able to instinctively know that it was time to grow as autonomous individual.

But…I win the prize for limitless attachment parenting — Advanced AP, as it were.

When my son was planning his (university) junior year abroad to Germany, I told him I would plan to visit him.

Being a healthy, confident, secure (snotty teenager) child, he asked me if I would still visit him if he changed his mind and went even further away — to Japan, let’s say —  for his year abroad.

Of course, I replied.

He then asked me how far away would he have to go so that I would NOT visit him (i.e. check up on him), to which I responded:

“The umbilical cord is like a rubber band; it can stretch — but never break — and there isn’t anywhere on earth that you possibly go to get that far away from me.”

And to make sure he understood exactly what I meant and to indelibly inscribe it in his Muscle_RubberBand2brain, I pantomimed the action of stretching a rubber band between my two hands, and then mimicked the breaking of a stick.

And I have science to back me up in the article, Babies Never Leave You, or at Least Their Cells Don’t. (Jezebel)

You might think that once you give birth to a child that they’re no longer a part of you physically—except, of course, for the complete control they retain over your heart and mind.

Well, think again, because it turns out that during pregnancy some of their cells scatter in your body and stay there for years, maybe even forever.

So they are literally a part of us, like FOREVER.

It’s hard to decide whether that is magical or deeply creepy. While it’s been known for a while that fetal cells migrate into a mother’s body during pregnancy, it hasn’t really been understood what types of cells stick around and what they do.

Diana Bianchi, Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, and her colleagues have done a new study that sheds some light on what exactly is happening during this little alien invasion.

How much do you want to bet that they’ll eventually discover that it’s those crafty little cells that allow kids to exert control over their moms for life.

Need a hug? A ride to the mall? Some money?

Just activate your sleeper cells and suddenly your mother is physically incapable of resisting you.

See? Nature knows what it’s doing and is always looking out for you.

Baby’s Cells Mix and Mingle with Pregnant Mom’s [Live Science]

Postscript: There is a really funny AbFab episode in which Eddy talks about her son, Serge, the same way I did in real life. I watched this years after my comments, and I could not. stop. laughing. Art imitating life?

The Convoluted Logic of Our Mother’s Day Tradition

depositphotos_5078841-Happy-Mothers-Day-with-Daisy-FlowersIt started with my own mom; she presented ME with gifts on Mother’s Day — thanking me for being her daughter — and any excuse to shop is a good one, right?

I was born on Mother’s Day, so it makes sense to give me lots and lots of presents. Even though it only occurs that way every seven years, it’s still always within the same week.

I enthusiastically carry on the tradition with my son; well, because — uh –if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day at all, would I?

As my son would say, “Duh.”

This year I got him an array of products from Kiehls — skin cream, shaving cream, shampoo, and penned a mini-poem:

You have always been my Angel Boy

As your mom

Every day has been filled with joy.

Other girls wanted to be doctors, lawyers, teachers — all I ever wanted to be was a mom.

While all the other mommies are having breakfast or brunch or lunch, I’ll be spending my day driving to the airport to for a Southwest Airlines delivery of my Angel Boy. Can’t wait!

Best of all, he’ll be here all week and that is my best birthday present ever.

Happy Mother’s Day to cat and dog lovers!

crazycatlady

 

happy-mothers-day-bitches

I REALLY don’t hate kids… but I’m kinda psssst off

kidindeptstoreHere comes one grubby little hand and then the other, followed by a head with tousled hair and giant eyes looking up at me; yellowish-green snot on its slow journey from nostril to mouth.

It’s almost like watching someone give birth.

Next comes the shoulders and the rest of the body…

“Psst.”

“Psst.”

PSSST.

“Go on. GO. Get outta here. Go back to your Mommy.”

GO!!!

I open the door.

“Who does this child belong to?”

“Would the owner of this child get it out of my dressing room? NOW!”

A changing room at the end of the hall opened and a head sticks out,

“Oh, Alex, there you are. Come to Mommy, OK?”

“No, it’s not OK, you need to control your child. It’s not right to let him wander away from you and bother people, and by people, I mean ME.”

Her response to me was a sound that sounded like a cross between a slight cough and a cat hacking up a hairball.

“Ack” plus an eyeroll.

ACK yourself. And don’t roll your eyes at me. Kindly keep your Peeping Tom DNA out of my dressing room.”

capturedcustomerdressing room

This happened today at H&M. A child crawled under the door into a changing room where I was in panties and bra.

This is not the first time I’ve been spied on by strange children while trying on clothes.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Nordstrom or Target or Anthropologie or Bloomingdales or a restaurant.  I’ve even been interrupted in public bathrooms.

One time at Anthropologie, that bastion of successfully marketing high priced clothing and home goods to a specific demographic of women who aspire to a certain type of quasi-sophisticated worldliness, I witnessed an encounter between a very polite salesperson and the mother of an unsupervised child who had been systematically destroying the intricate and beautiful window display. (FYI, Anthro is known for its aesthetic window displays.)

She walked over to the mom who was engrossed in the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl dresses with birds and bows and said,

“I’m sorry, but could you ask your child not to play inside the window display?”

The mom’s attitude was one of entitlement and total abdication of responsibility for the actions of her offspring. I left the shop, shaking my head.

I’m a reasonable woman, really I am.

annoy-254x300I’m an empty nester; I don’t  have a young child 24/7/365. But I’m not to be dismissed as an old codger who’s just menopause-cranky from low estrogen levels.

I can say unequivocally that my son not only never ran around like a savage, he never once wandered away from me and became a voyeur.

Please moms, plan for your excursions. It’s not difficult. Bring a small toy, a book, a healthy snack, paper and crayons–that’s all it takes 90% of the time. They’ll be happily occupied and it’s a win-win for everyone. So simple, really.

Parenting Tip #1…Meet their needs before your own. 

I just don’t get it. What’s the theory behind the practice of going out in public with your kids, but pay no attention to them and ignore every damn thing they do?

What type of denial is that?

“Oh, my kid? I have a kid? Oh, I forgot.”

I’m not even talking about the poor babies who are screaming that signature tired scream– who only want to be at home in their familiar surroundings, fed, and put down for a nap.

I just don’t see how those kinds of moms justify pawing through the racks at TJ Maxx when they have a child who really needs some loving parenting–someone who isn’t selfishly shopping for things they don’t really need– and takes proper care of their child.

Come on! It’s not just that you’re ruining my blissful retail therapy experience–although you are–but what about stranger danger and all that? If you can’t see your kids, someone could harm them in some way.  What happened to holding their hand in public?

Sarah Jessica Parker does…sjpandkids

I could say things like why don’t you have fewer children if you can’t properly  care of the ones you have, but that’s never well received, I can tell you from personal experience.

And I don’t mean this. That’s definitely not the answer!kidonleashmoving

I hope I haven’t offended any readers or bloggers who still have kids at home, but I’m really perplexed!

What do you think is the cause and solution for unsupervised children in public?

(Worst of all, I didn’t come away with one single purchase. The Zen of my retail therapy day was destroyed.)

This is a a great article: Get Your Children Under Control In Public

kidleashsomecardPets-welcome.-Children-must-be-leashed.-6303-ab42ab45ab4662b2c7d1

 

A daughter-in-law dedication

My Saturday in SoCal has not been nearly as eventful as this. My son sent these pics from New Haven where he went cross country skiing in thirty-eight inches of snow. I hope everyone is OK and hasn’t lost power or anything!

This is my 200th post–what a milestone! It seems only right that I dedicate this to S, my DIL. She badgered encouraged me to blog, to share my thoughts and snarky commentary (and not bug her and my son so much??) and it was my son who set up the WP account. (I’ll save those accolades for his March birthday post-plenty of time to get your hankies washed, ironed, and perfumed–they’ll be drenched with tears. A mommy’s love is fierce, y’all. Just a warning.) 

miljokeI hope I’m not a bad MIL. I had two of the worst mothers-in-law you could imagine-three if you count my tugboat man’s evil stepmother. The first one wasn’t really that bad; she suffered from a lot of medical problems so I’ll give her a pass for that reason-but she was just a precursor, a forerunner to a doozy of a bitch. Hub’s mom; a laconic thrower of backhanded one-liners–a future post’ll share some of my most memorable experiences.

MIL noteHopefully, that’s taught me not to be SO terrible, but as mom of an only child who happens to be a son whose nickname is Angel Boy and on whom the sun rises and sets, you can bet there needs to be a bit of benevolence, compassion, understanding, and sensitivity on both sides. There’s a def learning curve.

(I’m sure she fondly remembers our house rule of “no cohabitation without documentation” before they were married.)

S has a great sense of humor and a highly developed wit–a great way to deal with a MIL! Right, S?

Although she did recommend I watch “Monster-in-Law”…do you think she was subtly trying to tell me something?

Is my DIL trying to tell me something?

Is my DIL trying to tell me something?

S is London-born with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown. She’s opened up my world to lots of cool things like Absolutely Fabulous, Gossip Girl, and Downton Abbey. She’s a girly girl in addition to all that brain power. We’ve had a lot of fun together: shopping, getting manis, and making candles. I never had a girl child so it’s been a lot of fun doing things that my mom and I did. As a family, we’ve all gone hiking and camping together–it was DIL who taught me how to “pop a squat”–a skill that’s come in handy more times than I care to mention!

I can’t share what she does-YET-but as soon as I can, you can be sure I’ll shout it to the heavens with PRIDE!

DIL earned a special title.

Isn't she totes adorbs?

Isn’t she totes adorbs?

When she calls (which she should do more often), I’m alerted by the screen telling me it’s Angel Girl.

Thank you, DIL!

Attachment Parenting: Are YOU Attached or Detached?

Oh guurrl, pleeze!

Y’all don’t know WHAT “attachment parenting” really is.

Y’all just be amateurs if you think it ends when they start school!

time-magazine-breastfeeding-cover-time-magI’m sure by now everyone has seen the Time magazine cover of a breastfeeding four-year old, or here’s Wikipedia’s definition of attachment parenting: Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears,[1] is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology.

According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.

Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being.

In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder.

Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.

Although there is research which shows that when mothers are taught to increase their sensitivity to an infant’s needs and signals, this increases the development of the child’s attachment security,[2] there are no conclusive empirical efficacy studies on Sears attachment parenting.

I believe being a stay-at-home mom creates the best foundation for growth and creativity and builds a happy, secure child. In fact, when I volunteered in his class during his elementary school years, I could pick out every child who had a stay-at-home mom.

They were able to stay on task longer, and were not clingy because they received the appropriate healthy unconditional love from their parents, not a series of paid strangers.

I believe this is the best way and Nature’s Way to raise a child; however, it is kind of a shame that we have gone so far astray from our natural bond with our children that we have to be educated about how to nurture a beneficial connection.

Sad.

My son ended nursing right around his first birthday. I wasn’t ready, but it was his decision,  his time.

I think it reveals his exceptional level of confidence that he was able to instinctively know that it was time to grow as autonomous individual.

But…I win the prize for limitless attachment parenting. Advanced AP, as it were.

When my son was planning his (university) junior year abroad to Germany, I told him I would come and visit him.

Being a healthy, confident, secure (snotty teenager) child, he asked me if I would come and visit him if he changed his mind and went to Japan for his year abroad.

Of course, I replied.

He then asked me how far away would he have to go so that I would NOT visit him (i.e. check up on him) to which I responded:

“The umbilical cord is like a rubber band; it can stretch — but never break — and there isn’t anywhere on earth that you possibly go to get that far away from me.”

And to make sure he understood exactly what I meant and to indelibly inscribe it in his Muscle_RubberBand2brain, I pantomimed the action of stretching a rubber band between my two hands, and then mimicked the breaking of a stick.

And I have science to back me up in the article, Babies Never Leave You, or at Least Their Cells Don’t. (Jezebel)

You might think that once you give birth to a child that they’re no longer a part of you physically—except, of course, for the complete control they retain over your heart and mind.

Well, think again, because it turns out that during pregnancy some of their cells scatter in your body and stay there for years, maybe even forever.

So they are literally a part of us, like FOREVER.

It’s hard to decide whether that is magical or deeply creepy. While it’s been known for a while that fetal cells migrate into a mother’s body during pregnancy, it hasn’t really been understood what types of cells stick around and what they do.

Diana Bianchi, Executive Director of the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center, and her colleagues have done a new study that sheds some light on what exactly is happening during this little alien invasion.

How much do you want to bet that they’ll eventually discover that it’s those crafty little cells that allow kids to exert control over their moms for life.

Need a hug? A ride to the mall? Some money?

Just activate your sleeper cells and suddenly your mother is physically incapable of resisting you.

See? Nature knows what it’s doing and is always looking out for you.

Baby’s Cells Mix and Mingle with Pregnant Mom’s [Live Science]
Postscript: There is a really funny AbFab episode in which Eddy talks about her son, Serge, the same way I did in real life. I watched this years after my comments, and I could not. stop. laughing. Art imitating life?