Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Dare You Feed Me Minced Fish!!?!

Have you seen this commercial?

It makes me SO angry.

Initially, I was cheesed because of the dialogue. I mean, who thinks it cute for a little girl to speak to her mother that way? Not me. If Jooj talked to me like that (being honest--WHEN Jooj talks to me like that) she gets disciplined. Because it is not okay. Because I am the mom and she is not. And if I want to buy her minced fish then, by gum, she will eat it and shut up about it. Because she is four, and minced fish is not any worse than whole fish sticks. Fish sticks are fish sticks. In fact, in order to mince fish the manufacturer has to use BETTER fish to begin with, because lesser-quality fish won't hold up through the mincing process.

About the third time I saw this, though, I realized there was much more to it than the sassy little sasspot bossing her mother around. The thing that makes me the angriest about this commercial is that it is designed to make mothers feel guilty about feeding their children something "inferior." Which is total crap. I know that it is a tried-and-true marketing technique, but there is something about the child blatantly telling her mother that she is terrible for her fish purchase that enrages me. It makes me never want to buy this brand ever again.

But, really, this is not about fish sticks. It is about tapping into the guilt that mommies face every day. It is about advertisers pushing the idea that whatever a mother does, it is never enough. Not only are we expected to bear and raise and teach and nurture our young, but we had better do it with the most expensive, modern products available. For Pete's sake, they are applying the whole Madonna/Whore concept to FISH FINGERS.

And this is why I yell at my television.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sometimes it is Okay to Feel Superior

God love her, I am so glad that this is not me or my child. Bless her heart.
Mummy's Little Lolita

Thursday, March 19, 2009

(hopefully) there are no small things

There are lots of things I don't get right about mothering. Some of it is a reaction to my own childhood (I will never ever force my child to eat). Some of it is because I'm more suited to being a slacker mom than a helicopter mom. I'm not beating myself up about it here, it is what it is.

But every now and then I get something right. And what I love about getting something right is that instant reward you see in your child's eyes.

Today is one of L~'s best friend's birthdays. Her name is Alisa. And I love this girl. There are weeks and weekends in which she practically lives at my house (another story for another day). Not only is she a lot of fun, but when L~ is a real snot, Alisa always says to her "Don't treat your mom like that." She's a year younger than L~, so I have a lot of respect for her standing up for me like that.

This morning L~ came in and woke me up (usually I would have been first up, but I stayed up too late last night reading about my new love--forensic anthropology). She'd had good intentions to get Alisa some balloons for her birthday and take them to school (not allowed, but Shhhh. Don't tell.). I was half asleep and let her work out her own dilemma and go back to her room, disappointed, to get ready.

And then I thought about what a good friend Alisa is and I figured I had just enough time to run L~ to Macey's for balloons and drop her off at school. I knew it would mean a lot to L~ to be able to do something like that and thoughtfulness is something I want to encourage in my kids.

I really wanted to stay in bed, so I almost didn't do it.

But I willed myself to full consciousness and forced myself get up and find L~ to suggest my idea.

And there it was. That brief but rewarding sparkle in her eyes, where just for a moment, she perceived and registered the love behind my offer.

"Thank you," she said.

And she meant it.

I meant it, too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I am so tired of being a Bad Mommy. How do I know I am a Bad Mommy? Because my daughter keeps telling me. She is almost four.

I try my hardest every doggone day. Some days my hardest is pretty pathetic. Some days it is near-heroic.

And every day she cries for her father, her grandparents, her cousins. She tells me "I don't like you." She hits and fights and lies refuses to listen and I am so incredibly sick of it.

I know that there is nothing that can take the place of the mother, but I am at the point where I would be willing to test that statement.

I know that she is only four; I know that she doesn't understand all of what she is saying and doing. I know that she certainly doesn't mean to break my heart every single night. But I also know that other kids don't seem to be doing this. Other kids are talking about Jesus and helping and being like Mommy.

Which means that every night I get on my knees, sometimes in tears, and pray to know what I am doing wrong.