Friday, January 30, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

This is a classic. It's 6:04 AM and I'm sitting in the living room waiting for my daughter to wake up. I was supposed to be out the door already but work called that I'm not on the air today because who has time for Chinese acrobats (my segment today) when Illinois has a new governor, after impeaching the old one. 

I got up around 4:40m, checked the blackeberry and thought I could go back to bed until Amelia woke up. But when I'm up, I'm up so I jumped in the shower and got ready for when the rooster sang. She got up around 5 so I thought I would be nice and stay with her until her babysitter shows up at seven. My husband was very appreciative; he even called me the best wife ever.

But Amelia went back to bed. Out solid. And here I am, make up on and all, debating if I should bail out on both of them. They are both sound asleep and I'm stuck watching TV with close captions. Should I stay or should I go?

I admit it, I love my job and since my daughter was born, it has become my playground. I remember when Amelia was a newborn and I had to leave the house at 5 in the morning. I would feel sad to leave her but once I was in the car, an overwhelming feeling of "Yeah, someone else gets the early morning feedings! I get to be me!!" would take over. 

Now that she's older and I often have to get camera ready with her hanging off my leg and rummaging through our bathroom drawers at 4:30AM, work is my escape. 

6:12 and she's still out. Good for them (dad and daughter) sucks for me. I really wanted to see her before I left. Serves me right for being nice. Ay Mama!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Screamer

We are loud. Ok, I'm loud but I don't yell at my husband. We don't scream at each other. But for some reason Amelia has joined the ranks of the 15 month olds that scream for everything. She yells like a homeless mad woman in delight, frustration, exhaustion. It's almost a way to communicate. We started putting her in her crib more for our discipline than for hers when she clearly screams because she doesn't get her way.  She doesn't get it but it helps her caregivers, i.e. Mama, Dad and Babysitter, deal with her tantrums.  When it's just pure excitement or to call my attention, I get down to her level and tell her there is no need to yell. Yeah, that works really well.

But what irks me is something that I have noticed from the Mommy clan since I became a part of it. We can be some nasty  bitches when we want to. When I take Amelia to open play at Gymboree, she screams with excitement and frustration often. I apologize profusely to other parents and try to curtail her yelling. Many parents are supportive and tell me there kids behave the same way.  My Gymbo friends even embrace her incessant yelling. But many just stare at me as if I just don't know how to control my daughter.

If I hear "wow, those are some set of lungs" or, "that is a great way to ask for attention" one more time, I could punch someone.   I couldn't control myself and I  told the one woman who said that screaming was a great way to call for attention that it was worst for me than for her since I have to take Amelia home with me.  

What the hell is that? Aren't  we on the same freaking boat?  My kid may scream with joy, but theirs might just not eat or just spit at strangers even when his/her parents eat very well and only spit in private.  Why do women do this crap to each other?  Do we need to be sarcastic with each other when we all know we do the best we can as mothers? Call me hypersensitive but if women didn't unite, we still wouldn't have the right to vote. 

You know who the nicest Moms are?  The ones whose sons cry every time Amelia screams. Bless there hearts. They apologize for their boys being spooked by my rambunctious girl, as I apologize for my loud ass princess.  

For those who think I'm just not doing enough or that is what I get for being a loud ass myself, I just got the email from the experts that reminds me what age Amelia is every week and what she should be doing for her age and my girl is right on target---she's supposed to be a screamer. Ay Mama!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Where are their parents?

It has been a concern of mine since Amelia and I have been paying attention to children's television.  Elmo has their picture on his wall but never mentions them.  Max and Ruby have a family portrait, but they clearly live alone.  Even Handy Many only has an Abuelito. And like any good single Latino working man, he should at least be living with his Mama until he finally shacks up with the hardware store owner he clearly has the hots for.

When I first saw Elmo, I thought the opening song said "Elmo loves his Mommy and crayon too". He actually sings "Elmo loves his GOLDFISH and crayon too."  There is a picture on his wall of an older couple that resembles Elmo but we never see him on the show.  I spoke about this with my coworkers who insist monsters don't have parents.  It takes the village  of Sesame Street to raise them. Ok, fine, Elmo is not human or animal so he doesn't need parents.

But don't bunnies need a Mommy and Daddy?  That is what my friend Ingrid and I keep asking each other.  Max and Ruby must have parents and a litter of siblings at that. What did they do to be left behind?  If you are not familiar with this cartoon,  Max and Ruby are brother and sister. They live ALONE in a two level house.  Ruby takes care of her little brother Max like a mother should.  Feeds him, dresses him, plays with him, teaches him right from wrong plus has time to play with her own bunny girlfriends and do school work. She even tucks her dolls in bed after tucking Max in.  If her little brother has a nightmare she's there. Not her parents.

They have a grandmother but she doesn't even visit every week let alone seems to want them in her house.  When she comes over for tea, Ruby prepares the hot beverage and mini sandwiches. No one ever tells us if the rest of the family was cooked during an Easter feast or what.  Ruby raises Max and that's it.

I know Handy Many is a grown man. But I'm Latin and my hard working brother lived at my parents house until he was 26 or 28 years old.  Many Latin men see no reason to leave the comforts of Mom's house but Manny doesn't seem to have a Mamasita  to go home to.  Abuelito, contrary to almost every grandparent in the world, especially Hispanic, doesn't take him in.

What is my beef with all this?  Are parents not important to the cartoon world?  Who do they think is sitting at 5AM next to their target audience?  A tired Mom or Dad who would like to be portrayed at least as a constant presence in these characters lives.  I want Amelia to be independent but not afraid that I'll leave her at Sesame Street with the monsters or that Abu Tita or Grandma won't take her in.

By the way, don't get me started on Disney and the way they kill every mother in every movie: Bambi, Nemo, Little Mermaid, Cinderella.  Ay Mama!