Sunday, July 7, 2013

Maybe My Grandkids Will Appreciate Me!

WARNING: This may sound judgmental, but that's because I'm a bit miffed about it.

If you've ever felt like an outcast in a mommy circle, welcome to my life. Here's where I am situated in an outdoor picnic gathering: I make the rounds, saying hello and introducing myself, noticing that half of the moms are either staring at my nose ring, or trying to fathom my eclectically bohemian-inspired fashion choices. The ones who aren't, are being helpful and offering my daughter a burger, to which she loudly inquires "IS THAT REAL MEAT? I'M A VEGETARIAN!" and proceeds to stare down all the omnivores with the fervent judging eyes of a PETA volunteer (which I maintain isn't my fault, since I don't do that!). Between glares, my darling progeny is forcibly introducing herself to the inevitably shy children with whom she shares toys. It's mandatory that they report their names or Officer Dahlia will find ways of making them talk. I encourage her to give them personal space.

It is at this point a few women start to complain about their husbands. My husband isn't someone I complain about. He's pretty rad, and there isn't an obvious gender divide between us. I spent most of my adult life identifying as a lesbian, so if I can keep the company of a man (let alone marry him, though he did partially take my last name) without smashing him like he's the embodiment of the patriarchy, he has to be pretty awesome. We have similar political ideologies, we're both fringe weirdos, we both like each other. No problem, in that regard. Then conversation will shift to the relief the mothers feel that they can get things done while the kids are in school. Where does Dahlia go to school? I manage to finish the word "homeschool" and there are either audible gasps or tentative "ohs." The quantification questions flood in a cacophonous din for ten minutes. Does my daughter know the alphabet? Actually, she can read. Does my daughter interact with other kids? She's taken all kinds of classes, from Ballet to Mandarin, and those classes happen to be populated with other miniature humans. Does it drive me crazy that she doesn't "go away" for a while? No, I like the fact that she's around me a lot, however, I don't require that she be by my side, always. By the time these evaluation questions die down, I've already felt a palpable tension about my lifestyle choices.

There will be a new issue for the moms to focus on; why Shrek is inappropriate for children under 13, how their children need a good "swat on the behind" once in a while, the latest boycott on, and a slew of other things I inherently disagree with. Dahlia's seen Shrek. Hell, she's seen the original Batman in all its Michael Keaton glory. She liked that film, and has watched it many times since. My parents took me to the midnight showing of Bram Stoker's Dracula when I was 6 years old, and I don't have prolonged nightmares about it. As for spanking kids, I volunteer with a well known coalition dedicated to freedom of sexual expression, so where I come from, corporal punishment is only okay to use on consenting adults. I view those one million moms as one million nosy crazies who have nothing better to do than make the world unlivable, unbearable, and frankly, awful. Children will survive beyond the harrowing psychological torture imparted upon them by video games, television, and banned books. As a bonus, if you keep a sense of humor about life, your child will grow up without a damaging sensitivity bubble that keeps them from taking risks, exploring the world, and talking to strangers.

If you, dear reader, are cringing from my words, chances are you're one of the moms who will never ask to connect with me on Facebook, deliberately taking other people out of the mommy circle to get their contact information, while looking over your shoulder to check that I'm not eating your heirs. I'm the stuff your nightmares are made of, THAT MOM who only exists to serve as a warning to others (Did you hear Dahlia coslept until she was FIVE?!), but my kid is so amazingly awesome it hurts, and I'm okay with infiltrating your REM cycles.

If you're laughing, we'll be friends forever.

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