Parentspeak – Because You Can’t Tell A Preschooler to Go Fuck Themselves

You may not have picked up on this, but I tend to be pretty blunt.

I’ve also heard the words “asshole” and “fiery bitch-demon” used to describe me, but those just seem rude.

But you can’t really be blunt with kids, at least not in most regards, because you risk pissing on their childhood, destroying their dreams, or tip-toeing in to the realm of verbal abuse. But you can certainly think those things, and those without kids will be none the wiser.

I’ve compiled a list of the most common parental statements and their literal meanings. Because lol, that’s why.

 

What We Say: Are you sure that’s a good idea?

What We Mean: That is literally the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.

 

What We Say: Please don’t make me ask you again.

What We Mean: By all means, make me ask you again. It’s about time you learn what crippling fear feels like.

What We Say: You can’t just eat cookies all day. It’s not good for you.

What We Mean: You’re going to get fat. Like, super fat. Like, grease the doorways fat.

 

What We Say: I don’t know. Ask your father/mother

What We Mean: GO. AWAY.

 

What We Say: What are you doing?

What We Mean:  What are you fucking up?

 

What We Say: You’re so beautiful.

What We Mean: Thank god I don’t have ugly kids.

 

What We Say: What a pretty picture!

What We Mean: Is that a chipmunk in a poncho punching William Shatner? What the fuck did you draw?

 

What We Say: It’s time to start calming down.

What We Mean: Shut the fuck up.

 

What We Say: Time to get ready for bed!

What We Mean: SWEET FREEDOM IS NEARLY MINE!

 

What We Say: That kid just isn’t very nice.

What We Mean: I should punch that little fucker in the face for hurting your feelings.

 

What We Say: You can’t do that – it’s not safe.

What We Mean: Jesus Christ, will you please stop trying to die?!

 

What We Say: I am very upset with you right now.

What We Mean: You have made me so furious that I might literally shit a ball of fire.

Dating Someone With Kids: What You Should Know

I think it’s a fair assessment to say the stigma of single motherhood as far as the dating pool goes has decreased drastically. More men seem to be open to the idea – especially since we’re seeing more single fathers. But if you’ve never dated someone with children you probably have no idea what you’re getting in to – and you should, because kids are kind of a big deal what with them being tiny human beings with delicate little brains and all.

So here’s a heads up that will, with any luck, enable you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you’re equipped to handle it.


1. No one is more important than the kids.

This should be a no-brainer, but when you’ve exclusively dated the childless, you get accustomed to being numero uno in your partner’s life. And it’s not like you have kids, so you don’t really know what it’s like to be in a relationship where there is a mutual understanding that the kids have top billing in this show. But it’s true. Don’t take it personally. Or go right the fuck ahead and take it personally – there are other fish in the sea.

2. There are “kid snacks” in the house, and you don’t fucking touch them.

This isn’t a college dorm, where a box of cookies is fair game. No, bitch. Those go in lunch bags and are used as negotiation tools to persuade the little bastards to leave the room for ten minutes so you can finish this week’s episode of The Wire. If it’s a food item advertised on Nickelodeon, you better grab a fucking apple and hit the bricks, son. (The one exception is if there is a disproportionate amount of goodies to children. Three bottles of apple juice, two kids? Well, you have to drink the third one. That’s just family politics.)

3. Shit gets loud.

If someone is a normal parent and not a goddamn Nazi, they don’t subscribe to the belief that children should be seen and not heard. Kids are going to run, jump, shout, sing, yell at each other, cry, bitch, moan, nag, laugh, and be generally obnoxious – but it’s all in good fun (usually). Even if you’re inside and they’re outside in the yard, they’re going to come in the house every five minutes with a question, a request, a complaint, or to get something that they absolutely need right this very minute. They will accidentally slam doors, drop things, fall down, and cry dramatically to get their sibling in more trouble than they deserve. Parenting is a constant struggle between getting them to the shut the fuck up and letting them be kids. Get some earplugs, some patience, and remember how sweet they are when they laugh.

4. Shit gets messy.

The reality is that the house is not going to look like a magazine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shit happens, and it’s happening constantly. And sometimes it’s not even the kids. My girls clean their rooms every day, and are responsible for putting their toys away. But there are days where I’ve worked nine hours, driven home in shitty traffic, stopped to grab groceries, came home, made dinner, given them a bath, and gotten them in pajamas and in to bed at 9:15, do you actually think I’m going to vacuum the floor right now? Do you think I give a shit about the toothpaste smiley face they drew on the bathroom mirror at this very second? Fuck off or clean it yourself.

5. Sometimes we’re boring.

I’m not old, you guys. I’m 29 for Chrissakes. But my idea of fun has changed dramatically, and even men my age without kids don’t understand why I think spending the day at the river having a picnic and walking along the shore is a great time – especially since there’s no liquor involved.

I’m not saying I don’t still enjoy the occasional party, that I don’t go to the occasional bar, that I don’t stay out until two having dinner and drinks with friends. But those times are few and far between, and I like it that way. I like that my weekends are spent at parks or science museums or taking road trips up to the Redwoods. And I cherish those weekends that are spent doing abso-fucking-lutely nothing at all.

6. Sometimes we’re tired.

Don’t get insulted if we don’t want to stay awake after to kids go to bed and watch a movie. We aren’t avoiding you. We are fucking exhausted. Wake us up in an hour. Maybe then we’ll be rested enough for sexy time.

7. We don’t need you to play mommy/daddy.

In situations where the other parent is an active, positive role in the kid’s life, we do not, in any way, expect, require, or even want you to step in. Don’t spank my kid. Don’t ask my kid to call you daddy. Work out with the person you’re dating where the line for discipline needs to be drawn so you are both perfectly clear as to what that entails. Obviously, you should be someone the kid can depend on, who can fix boo-boos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But if you want a kid…make your own. 

8. Domestication isn’t so bad.

It’s kind of cool, having clean laundry all folded and put away huh? Clean dishes? House smells nice? Holy shit, are these linen napkins?!

There’s a whole new level of adult-type-shit that goes along with having kids. It’s the difference between having color-safe bleach and fabric softener and, well, not having those things. It’s having every size and shape of bandage in an organized First Aid kit. It’s always having a pen, always having snacks in your glove compartment, having dinner at 6PM every night at an actual table. It’s a porch light always being left on for you. It’s coming home from a night out to someone who fell asleep watching Investigation Discovery on the couch so they could kiss you hello, no matter how late it is. There’s a sort of comforting normalcy that goes along with the hectic-yet-structured schedule of having kids.

9. You will never be on time for anything again, ever.

We try, dude, I swear to god we do, but all it takes is one lost shoe, one broken toy, one stumble down the steps, one little asshole kid who refuses to turn the fuck around in his carseat because he’s mad at you for not letting him have another popsicle. Then BAM the whole fucking trip is set back half an hour. We even attempt to build time in for these little snafus – how many parents have said “I’ll say I’ll be there at 4:30, even though I should be able to make it by 4:00, that way I’m covered”? Except what happens? There’s a fucking gas leak and your garage explodes and oh shit, you just ran over your neighbor’s cat OH FUCK YOU FORGOT TO GET THE KIDS IN THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE.

But I swear, we try.

10. There will be times that we are lazy parents, and we don’t give a shit what you think.

Wouldn’t we all love to say we never let our kid watch cartoons, eat candy, or talk back? That’s the fuckin’ dream, isn’t it?

Yeah, well, that doesn’t happen.

Sometimes a Dora marathon is the only way I can clean and reorganize the closet, or finish a chapter I’m writing. Sometimes a lollipop is the only way I can get them to shut up so I can have an uninterrupted conversation with my banker. Sometimes my kid will get smart with me and I will get so pissed off that I literally cannot speak, because the only words I can think to say are “go fuck yourself, you little shit.”

We love our kids, don’t we? We love them madly. But sometimes cutting them a break means cutting ourselves a break, and if you want to get all judgey for that, well…just wait until it’s your turn.

 

Until Proven Guilty

See that title up there?

I think a lot of people, too many people, kind of glaze over that incredibly important phrase. And they shouldn’t because it’s a vital part of how our criminal justice system functions. The problem is that people would prefer to convict in the media, sheltered by the comfort of public opinion, all while they blatantly ignore the rules of law and the responsibilities of those charged with prosecuting or defending the accused.

Let’s look at a few of the cases that sent everyone in to a frenzy, both during and post-trial. Casey Anthony, remember her? The party/girl baby killer? And we can’t forget George Zimmerman, the racist douchecanoe that shot an innocent teen boy. How about we kick it old school and bring up O.J. Simpson?

Do you know what they all have in common? 

If you’re like most Americans, you’re going to say they were guilty as sin but got off without so much as a slap on the wrist. And maybe that’s true. Maybe you’re right. Maybe they lucked the fuck out. 

But that’s not their fault, and it’s not the fault of the jurors. There was no conspiracy. No one was bribed. This has nothing to do with race, and it has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with how well the attorneys did their fucking jobs.

Take Simpson. That goddamned glove not fitting was the linchpin of the case. Holy shit, the glove doesn’t fit! We really must acquit, you guys!

Except it was a leather glove, and leather will expand or contract depending on the temperature. A smart prosecutor would have mentioned that, would have objected, would have done something besides sit there with his thumb up his ass.

But that didn’t happen. 

And Zimmerman? You know, yeah, he’s probably a bit of a racist prick with a bit of a Napoleon complex. But he wasn’t prosecuted under the guidelines of his personality. He wasn’t on trial for being an asshole. He was tried and acquitted using the current laws and statutes that were relevant to his case at that time. And under the letter of the law, which is all that’s fucking important in a court of law, he should have gotten off.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the law. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s fucked up. We do not convict based on personal opinions. That’s why the jury selection process is so goddamn vital in trial law. 

Sometimes laws don’t work, or they’re too vague, or they’re obsolete, or they’re antiquated. We fix them, or repeal them. But until that happens, counsel, jury, and judge are bound by them.

As for Miss Anthony, I’m pretty sure she killed her kid. Oh, you betcha. And it was very likely an accident and she freaked the fuck out. But if I’m sitting in that courtroom and I’m listening to what both sides have to say, am I convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty of first-degree murder? No. Abso-fucking-lutely not. 

The prosecution failed miserably in showing that the death of that child was a) murder and b) pre-meditated. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. I know a girl who looks like Kirsten Dunst. She ain’t Kirsten Dunst. And they didn’t prove, effectively, that Casey Anthony planned, with malicious and criminal intent, to murder her child. 

Frankly, Florida if you’re going to put the death penalty on the table with your fucking track record, you might want to bring your fucking A game as far as attorneys go. 

It would be nice if people looked at these high profile cases with their heads and not with their hearts. It’s not just about the facts of the case, it’s about how those facts are presented, fleshed out, substantiated. It’s about how the defense rebukes them. It’s about so much more than how guilty the person looks. It’s not always that cut and dried, and even when it is, it can still be hard to prove.

I’ll conclude with the tale of Justin Wolfe, a rich white kid from an affluent town in Virginia. 

At 19, Justin, who sold decent quantities of pot, was charged with the murder of his supplier, Danny Petrole. The prosecution’s primary piece of evidence was an IOU sheet found in the deceased’s home that indicated Justin owed him something like $35,000 for product. Justin maintained this was par for the course in their business relationship; you got a front, you sold the product, you paid it back, you kept the profit, you got another front, and so on. And compared to some of the other names on the list, Justin didn’t owe that much money.

The prosecution’s case was weak as fuck, with virtually nothing tying Justin to the murder. 

A jury convicted him and recommended life imprisonment.

The trial judge wanted to make an example out of Justin and prove that being rich and white didn’t always get you off the hook for your crimes.

Not even old enough to buy a beer in a beer, Justin Wolf was sentenced to die. He was 20 years old.

Fast forward a few years, and we learn of prosecutorial misconduct and evidence suppression – another kid actually admitted to the murder, and they turned that kid in to their star witness against Justin, alleging that Justin had paid the kid to murder Petrole. They – the police and the prosecutors – were so hellbent on nailing this kid that they lied, cheated, and fabricated evidence all to promote their own political and career agendas. There was a huge public outcry to nail him to the fucking wall, and they were only happy to oblige.

In addition, Justin’s own attorney was later disbarred…for mishandling cases.

He spent ten years in prison before this all came to light and his sentence was vacated. Justin, now 31, awaits a new trial – still in prison, as he was denied bond in January. 

Like I said, folks – sometimes, it’s not as simple as it looks.

 

Learn more about Justin Wolfe’s case here, and help if you can: http://www.justinwolfe.org/

 

I Crack Myself Up

I have a habit of making jokes when no one else is around and then laughing hysterically at myself. Or I will make a joke that is moderately funny to other people but sends me in to raucous, snorting, gales of laughter.

I am not ashamed. That’s why I’m sharing them.

1. While watching a true crime show, a woman made the remark, “where do you even get battery acid?”

I said, to the empty room, “uhh, a battery?”

Cue laughter.

2. While playing Skyrim, I noted that the orc who runs the library at the College of Winterhold seemed too brutish and out of place. The orc assigns a quest to you, to track some book down.

I shouted, “I CAN BOOK!”

Cue laughter.

3. A man on another true crime show reminded me a great deal of Ron Swanson from “Parks & Recreation”. “He just looks like he eats a lot of bacon,” I said.

His wife came on screen a moment later and I noticed her fingers resembled Vienna sausages. She was also pretty unattractive. Kyle wondered aloud why he would marry her.

“Maybe she reminds him of bacon,” I suggested.

Cue laughter.

4. My friend texted me and said he had been in and out of cell service all day.

“Lucky cell service,” I replied.

Cue laughter.

Speaking of body issues…

This is a blog by my friend Morgan, who is awesome. What she witnessed recently in a Target was not awesome.

Folks, if you ever overhear something similar to what Morgan did, I urge you not to be as polite as she was. Go up to that insufferable twat and yell at her until she cries.

http://info.umkc.edu/womenc/2013/07/08/too-big-for-a-two-piece/

A Disappearing Act

I found out yesterday that a friend of mine passed away on Sunday. We were very close as teenagers, lost touch after high school, but thanks to the wonders of social networking we reconnected just a few years ago.

Since we first met online and have always lived in separate states, we never actually got the chance to meet face to face. In the back of my mind, I always figured when I flew back to Sacramento to visit, I’d plan for a layover in Salt Lake City and we’d have coffee at the airport until I had to board. In fact, the day before I found out he was gone, I had started making tentative plans to fly home this August and telling him about it was one of the things I looked forward to most.

It’s weird, and it’s unsettling, and it’s sad, and it’s confusing, because while in a superficial sense his death came out of nowhere I suppose, if I really think about it, I kind of knew it was going to happen. Not like the knowing that comes with more advanced stages of cancer, or the knowing you feel when you see the twisted, crumpled metal of a car wreck. This is the kind of knowing that remains a sort of whisper in your subconscious, a shadow cast by the not-quite-concealed certainty that someone dear to you has a problem and if they don’t take the steps to solve it that problem will become something much more permanent.

Addiction, of course. Drugs, specifically. How many people, I wonder, find some excuse to hold their tongues when they know a loved one is struggling with something like that? How many of us buy the lie that they’ve found religion, that rehab has helped them? How many of us, when we hear of the relapse,  smile and nod when they swear it was a moment of weakness, even though we know that moment of weakness is eventually going to stretch into days, weeks, years?

How many of us aren’t strong enough to lend some of that strength to those who need, but are too afraid to admit it?

There wasn’t much that I could do; in all honesty, I had no idea how bad the situation had gotten because I didn’t know any of his friends or family; any knowledge I had was what he provided me with. Clearly, he failed to mention a couple of things. Or maybe I failed to acknowledge the transparency of his words.

And yet, somehow, I’m not surprised. He was always indulgent. He always did too much, whether it was pills or liquor, exercise or working. I suppose I just expected more of a downward spiral, more of a plummet. Instead, he was just there…and then, suddenly, gone. Like his whole life amounted to a magic trick.

If there is someone in your life that you fear for, someone you think may be tottering on the edge, don’t ignore it. Don’t look past it. Don’t pretend, or excuse, or chalk it up to a phase or youthful rebellion. Open your mouth. Shout. Ask questions. Demand. Help. For fucksakes, help. Even if you don’t think you can, and especially if you don’t think they want it.

Because now, you may see them.

Perhaps, tomorrow, you won’t.