It’s time for a cooking class (or a trip to Denny’s) when your child’s request for pancakes sounds like this, “Yeah. Pancakes, but pancakes that are not black. Flip them quickly.”
Tag Archives: food
For almost a year now, I have been cultivating a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels. She’s gorgeous, and her workouts make my body hurt in the most delightful way. My envy of her tiny thighs and concave belly have enabled me to tolerate some of the drivel that spews forth incessantly from the well-glossed hole between her attractively sunken cheeks.
I read somewhere once on the magical interwebs that she is merely an actress who is given a script that tells her how to tell people how to workout. The story said she had no real knowledge of exercise science or even basic anatomy. Doing her videos, I am sometimes able to find support for this claim — she turns her head the wrong way during stretches sometimes, and (perhaps the production quality is to be blamed for this) I’ve seen her skip entire sets — we never do the left side of those stinkin’ rows, Bitch!
I have been tolerating her inability to count and her lengthy motivational speeches (even when they force me to continue doing squat thrusts past the predetermined stopping point) because I am seeing results. I hate her more than ever during those undocumented seconds when she’s telling me that, “Transformation is a present activity,” and I am drenched in my own fluids and contemplating calling 911. Despite this, I have come to appreciate some of what she’s saying (even though she often chooses to say it when the set at hand should have ended already and I am nearly dead). Like beer or sautéed onions, I have acquired a taste for her.
But the other day Jillian said something that kinda makes me wanna punch her in the face (not in the rock hard abs — my fists aren’t that strong). While I lay on the floor, thrusting my legs in the air and bringing them back down to the floor at even intervals, sweat pooling in a small, salty sea around me, the lovely ladies of Thirty Day Shred smiling down at me from the TV, Jillian pissed me off. No, for reals. Her toes pointed towards the top edge of my TV screen, slightly to the left of the center of her body, engaging her obliques, she said, “The obliques are those really cool V-muscles in your lower abs. Usually only men get these, but we girls can get them, too, with a little bit of work… maybe a lot of work.”
Really, Jillian? We girls? Now, I am not much of a feminist, but this kinda bugs the bejeebers out of me, and I am shocked that such a strong WOMAN would lump herself in with “girls” especially when she’s using the word to directly compare females to “men.” In fact, it is this comparison specifically that unnerves me. If she were just talking about her “girls,” as she often does, it wouldn’t even be a blip on my radar. Using the words, “Men” and “Girls,” to describe supposed equals is disturbing. Perhaps this further gets under my (taught, muscle-stuffed) skin because I have actually done one of Jillian’s workouts with a MALE personal trainer, and it kicked his sorry, muscle-bound ass. Seriously. He was huffing and puffing to keep up with the girls — Jillian and me.
Her statement annoys me in the way the old Secret deodorant ads used to: “Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.” I fully get that men and women are different — they have different anatomies, different hormones, different ways they’d totally get with Jillian if given the chance (assuming she’d shut her trap for a minute), but why make what a woman needs or wants or can build muscularly dependent on a man? Presuming that a woman might need something “strong enough for a man” or “usually only gotten by men,” keeps women in the paradigm where they are still being compared to men, trying to live up to men, failing to be as good or as strong or as macho as men. Fuck that. And I certainly don’t want to be compared to men (whom I, more often than not, see sporting beer bellies rather than six-packs) when I am sweating my guts out, my own six pack peeking out from beneath my ribs.
Hey, Jillian, referring to us as “girls” and telling us that we might someday achieve what usually is only possible for men undermines the beautiful example of a strong, female roll model I want to see in you. I have laminated pictures of you adhered to my fridge with magnets. This doesn’t mean I am a crazy stalker (mostly); it means I have mad respect for you and the hard work you have done to mold your body. Don’t undermine it by belittling the hard work I am doing to mold mine. Don’t pull that shit, Jill. I will put up with your failure to count reps, your doofy fart jokes and your unconvincing scowl, but don’t call me a girl and then compare me to men. That just perpetuates myths that I would like to think died a long time ago. ’K, Jill?
I loved my daughter before I met her. Those late nights, with my belly full of her, making sleep seem almost as impossible as ever donning skinny jeans, I loved her. Those delightful three seconds when she was a cooing, gurgling infant whose full weight easily rested solely in the crook of my left arm, I loved her. Her face streaked with most of the organic peas and spinach and apricot I’d so carefully smashed and frozen into neat cubes in a BPA-free ice cube tray purchased especially for her, I loved her.
My undying and ever expanding love has never been in question. What is coming as a shock to me, now that my daughter is approaching her third birthday, is that I kinda want to be her. Spending time with her is delightful, and with each passing day, I realize more fully that she is the best role model I’ve ever had (sorry, Mom).
I am sure there are (and will be) more, but for right now, here are the top five reasons I want to be my daughter when I grow up.
She’s an empowered, creative feminist. The other day, she walked into my exercise room where I happen to have a pole. Yes, the kind for dancing. Without hesitation, she flipped on NPR on the clock radio, and began to climb the pole as Neda Ulaby’s voice washed over us. NPR and pole dancing??!! Why had I not thought of this fabulous combination years ago?
She has an amazing fashion sense. My child has been choosing her own clothes since she was an infant. Seriously. We would hold choices up in front of her, follow her gaze and dress her in whatever she had “chosen.” Now that I think about it, she was probably already commenting on my wardrobe choices from the womb. I can easily imagine some of her more brutal rib kicks were meant as messages to me to take off the flippin’ gaudy moo-moo’s I was wearing. Praise be to Goodwill for taking them from my sight (and hers).
Now that she can dress herself, I am delighted by the concoctions she creates. Most notably, I envy the ease with which she trounces around the supermarket in a pink tutu. And skirted leotards are not just for gymnastics. They are to be worn with pride to the library, the park and Target. While I might not wear mine as short as hers, the mood improving effects of doning dance wear in public cannot be underestimated; I need only look at the grins of those taking in the vision of my daughter in one of her get-ups. Imagine how good it would feel to actually be the wearer, not just the viewer.
She naturally aspires to leadership roles. At least once a week, I have the joy of exercising in the presence of my child. She likes to choose my workout DVD’s for me, and her favorite, by far, is Jillian Michaels. When we do these videos, and sometimes just when we are hanging out together not doing anything remotely resembling exercise, she gets to “be” Jillian, and I am reduced to being Jillian’s exercise demonstrating minion, Shelly. ”Do what I’m doing, ‘K, Shell?” “K, Jill,” I am forced to respond.
Where I tend to defer to others on a daily basis, my Creature knows she wants to be the boss. Like Jill. And she is. ”Shell! get on your mat!” The kid’s got moxie!
She makes wise food choices. Even at her tender age, she knows everything tastes better when dipped in mayo. And while she likes to eat treats sometimes — the other day when I offered her some more dinner she said, “No! I want a snack or some junk food!” — she knows that junk food should be consumed in moderation. After throwing up a week ago, she blamed it on some cake she’d eaten a month before that. ”Too much cake can make me a tummy ache!” If only I could remember this advice.
She’s in touch with her needs, and she’s not afraid to ask for what she wants. More than once, in the middle of the night, I have awakened to some variation of the following, ” Mama! Come in here! I want to snuggle you! I love you! I need you! I’ve got to have you!” Needless to say, despite my sleep deprivation, I am a little flattered. I also love the way she just comes out and says it. There’s no, “I kinda like you,” or “Maybe we could hang out, I mean, if you want to.” I aspire to have adult relationships with this sort of clarity and passion one day.
Maybe Jodie Foster can hook us up with some kind of Freaky Friday-type magic… well, maybe after I teach the Child to wipe her own bottom.
A glob of mayonnaise on your iPhone screen can not be “scrolled” away. Stop trying. Really! You’re making a mess.
I wasn’t raised in a religious household (sorry, Parents, if you intended for me to come away from my upbringing thinking otherwise). My primary exposure to angels and demons, or any religious imagery, for that matter, was via television, The Smurfs in particular. I remember thinking those little blue guys must be pretty devout believers, because anytime one of them was faced with a moral dilemma an angel and a devil would hover, one above each of the shoulders of the Smurf in crisis, and advise how said Smurf should proceed.
Yesterday, I was a Smurf in crisis, and I could almost see the little miniature versions of myself hovering above my shoulders and whispering in my ears. This is the Smurftastic conversation they had:
Yippee! You get to go out for a birthday dinner with your daughter and her father! Those are two of your favorite people in the world, and you love your birthday. How exciting that you get to have an extended celebration!
You idiot! Your birthday was over a month ago! Why are you getting all excited about somebody not caring enough about you to celebrate your birthday in a timely fashion? Lame.
I am over paleo. Lame! I wanna eat cake all the time. And your birthday was a month and ten days ago! I am in no mood for celebrating.
Gee, I wonder where baby daddy could be. He said he was leaving his house a while ago. He should be here by now. Huh. That’s odd.
Me (in tears on the phone to said baby daddy ten minutes past my daughter’s normal dinner time):
What? You are already at the restaurant? I thought we were meeting at my house.
See? I told you he doesn’t care about you. The two of you can’t even communicate about dinner. It is so late and dark. Why did you even agree to do this in the first place? I mean, what’s the point of maintaining a relationship with your not-quite-ex-husband in the first place? Move the hell on, Dork!
Just because you aren’t together romantically doesn’t mean you can’t be good co-parents and friends even. You care about him. He has been a huge part of your life for the last ten years. Besides, the misunderstanding wasn’t his fault. You are both responsible for ineffective communication in this instance.
Me (through tears. Addressing hungry, tired, toddler in the backseat):
No, we are not at the restaurant yet, but we will be there soon! I know you are hungry. Mommy and Daddy had a misunderstanding.
What is up with all this traffic?! I told you you should have picked a different location. Lame! Why are you torturing your child like this?
Traffic will clear up, and you know what? I will call her dad and get him to get in line so the food will be ready for us when we walk in. How’s about that? In fact, this whole misunderstanding enabled us to get dinner without having to wait online, so maybe it turned out for the best after all. Lucky us.
I am so flippin’ hungry!
Me (tears abated. Addressing toddler in the backseat):
We are almost there, and when we get there, your daddy will have food ready for us!
I have to pee! Pee! Pee! Pee! Now!
This is ridiculous! She peed before we left the flippin’ house! What the hell? Why did you potty train her anyway? It’s so much more complicated and time consuming than putting diapers on her cute little butt (yes, even the Devil thinks my daughter is cute).
We are so lucky that she took to potty training so easily. You should be grateful that you can avoid changing diapers, and that you have such a mature and responsible child.
Here we are! Let’s go. There’s a bathroom right here. (We race to the bathroom, past the huge mob of people lined up to get burritos in Castro Valley on a Tuesday in November. We spot her father, still not halfway through the massive line.)
Did you see him?! We will never eat!
Let’s focus on the task at hand. Do you have a change of clothes for the child? I think I remembered to put some in her bag.
Here we are my dear. (We dart into the bathroom, and I get her on the toilet just in time for the contents of her entire bladder and bowel to flood into it.)
Ah! We made it. See? Wasn’t that perfect timing? I bet by the time we get out, food will be ready for us at our table. Hot-diggity-dog! What a charmed life we lead.
Um, what’s that floating in the toilet?
(To the toddler) Uh-oh! Sorry D. It looks like your headband fell in the toilet.
(Pausing for a brief visual — you are lucky I didn’t take a picture. I did consider it. Her headband was pink, and somehow it seems to have fallen off mid-poop, for it is floating there, half covered.)
Toddler (chin quivering, now on the verge of tears):
I want it!
Angel, Devil and Me (unable to stifle laughter):
Toddler (threat of tears overtaken by giggles):
And in this moment, just like in the Smurfs of yesteryear, my angel and demon vanished into thin air and I was left alone with a toddler in a bathroom full of poo. We held a small service for the headband. We waved goodbye as we flushed it down. ”Maybe we’ll see it again another time,” said my ever-optimistic toddler.
“(God, I hope not!) No, it is really all gone. Sorry about that. Next time we will do a headband check before we go potty.”
After washing our hands, we emerged from the bathroom just in time to see my baby daddy paying for dinner. We had a delicious dinner, and a lovely visit, and I even got to drive home alone blaring music of my own choosing. Happy birthday to me.
I would say, “See? I told you everything would work out!” but that wouldn’t be very Smurfy of me.
November marks the beginning of NaBloPoMo. I don’t really even know what that stands for (transaltion: I may have known at one point, and it is 11:07pm, and I am too lazy to look it up again right now). What it means is that I have committed to posting something in this blog each day during the month of November. I forced myself to take this challenge after having completed it successfully in September (notice how I only participate during months that lack a thirty-first day?).
Anyway, after a busy and delightful All Hallow’s Eve, not to mention an equally busy weekend beforehand, I have felt exhausted and unmotivated to write on this first day of the challenge. What can I even write about? What is there to say? Maybe I should just stop before I even start — that doesn’t really count as failure, does it?
And then, about an hour ago, I noticed this tableau on my dining room floor:
And there it is. Both of these shoes have been hidden before company has come over, and both of these shoes have made my feet feel fabulous — given, for very different reasons.
It delights me that both can be found, just inches from each other, on my dining room floor, and that I have worn both within the last forty-eight hours. I like, too, that they stand next to my daughter’s toy barn and truck. The scraggly piece of brown shredded paper that hangs from the faux-Croc reminds of yesterday’s basket full of Halloween candies neatly nestled in brown paper shreds. And how yesterday I ate too many of them to count and today (through a vigorous exercise of my own will) I ate none.
Oooh! And upon looking again, I see in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, my curious kitty’s ear, and I am reminded that she tried to smell the camera and nuzzle my legs as I captured this image.
Thank goodness I didn’t clean my house today as I had planned; I would have missed out on seeing soul so clearly on the dining room floor.
I have heard before that the best way for a parent to lose weight is just to do everything her child does. Tiny humans burn mega calories, and simply by trying to keep up with them, theoretically, we could do the same. But exercise is challenging. It makes you sweat and stuff. Gross.
The problem of maintaining a girlish figure is further compounded by the food our children practically force us to eat — peanut butter and jelly sandwich-rinds and leftover mac’n'cheese do not a thin mom make.
Leave it to my daughter to lead the way in demonstrating an effective and easy way to lose weight through diet alone. At this rate, my mom jeans will be baggy in no time! Behold, the Dyslexic Diet:
Today, while shopping in the alternate reality that is McCaulou’s Department Store in Oakland, I snapped out of 1983 for a minute to ponder this sign that was neatly posted by their business hours:
As full of life (even probiotic life) as yogurt is, I decided this was probably not what the clever sign-maker meant. More likely, the sign is meant for people with babies. Those pesky babies in their strollers, eating YoBaby and smearing it all over the display of cozy sweatshirts with kitten heads on the front and kitten assholes on the back (remember those? So cute!).
I looked down at my daughter in her own stroller and took a mental inventory of the snacks in her snack pack. Was I unwittingly bringing contraband into such a refined establishment? No. No yogurt, but I did have some applesauce in a tube. They wouldn’t mind that, right? It’s not mentioned on the sign. I mean, I know texting whilst driving is illegal, but sending an email on your iPhone while driving is totally fine, right?
Or maybe, someone in the store is allergic to all things with culture of any kind (this would make sense given the items that they sell here), and they don’t know that you can consume probiotics, not just in yogurt, but in the form of kefir or even kombucha. Maybe each day this allergic employee is in grave danger, without even knowing it, every time a Whole Foods shopper enters McCaulou’s with a cultured non-yogurt item.
And what about other items? Do they welcome people to eat peanut butter whist shopping for the perfect ornamented Christmas sweater (I think they sell them year-round)? Could one consume clam chowder while sampling grandma perfume at the make-up counter? I mean, the sign doesn’t say anything about ratatouille or humus or even borscht. Have you ever tried to remove a borscht stain? Ugh!
I haven’t even finished my inventory of non-food items that the “No Yogurt” sign makes me want to schlep into McCaulou’s. Tar should be OK, right? And what about raw sewage, I mean, there wasn’t a sign prohibiting it.
It is probably a good thing for me, and McCaulou’s that I don’t go there often; the store employees (especially the sign-making ones) might not be too thrilled with my testing the limits of the yogurt ban — what about a smooth custard, could I bring custard? Or maybe some cultured sauerkraut? — and I certainly have more than enough pairs of rhinestone encrusted socks.
Clean out the car seat infrequently; it saves you time and can provide much-needed sustenance in case of emergency. Oh ye precious stale crackers half an hour past dinner time!