Loose Ends

21 02 2009

You know how when you were in university, and you skipped a few Sociology, or maybe German, or even Old English classes a few weeks in a row? And you knew you really should go back, so you promised yourself I’ll go next week? But then you got all freaked out that the prof would ask where you’ve been, or embarrass you in front of the rest of the class, or there’d be a test or an assignment due,  so you had a series of panic attacks, and the mere thought of that class made you want to yank your eyebrows out. So instead, you went out with your slacker friends, and self-medicated the anxiety about Sociology/German/Old English with cheap draft/donair subs/skunk weed. And, as your fear of walking into that class began to border on phobic, you convinced yourself that you were way too far behind and you probably couldn’t catch up so there was really no point in ever going back to that class again, so you just didn’t. Then, you ended up flunking or near flunking that class that semester and had to take it again the next year, or maybe even make it up in the summer, all because you slacked off a little bit and then psyched yourself out a whole lot. Remember doing that kind of thing? No? No. Me neither. Nope. Not one bit.

But all of that is a round about way of saying that , yes, I am keenly aware that I’ve been slacking on the ol’ blog front again. And because it feels like it has been forever since I’ve posted, I’ve been a little nervous about getting back on my proverbial high horse.

Anyhow, in order to get back into the swing of things, I feel like I need to tie up some loose ends for you, my dear readers. I’m sure you’ve been dying to know what happened at Squiggles’ pediatrician appointment, tossing and turning in your beds at night, wondering if Operation Beefcake was a success. And what about Ol’ Chomper and Lumpy? Are they still peacefully co-habitating in my mouth? Did Neener chop anybody’s arms off yet? How did the school react to the revelation that Roo is, in fact, a smarty pants? Read on…

Operation Beefcake

First, the appointment was supposed to be in late January. Then, it got moved to mid-February.

The good news: Squiggles gained a pound in two months, and she has learned to pull herself up to stand.

The bad news: That’s not enough weight, and when she stands, she stands weird.

So, Operation Beefcake continues, now with added butter, gravy and cream. We’ve also been officially referred to a neurologist, as well as the Autism clinic, and we took Squiggles in to have blood drawn for a slew of metabolic and genetic testing. Good times, good times.

Chomper and Lumpy

The mystery of Lumpy’s origin has finally been solved. After more dentist appointments, more x-rays, more drilling, more filling, more humming and hawing, and finally paying another $600 to see a specialist, it turns out that Lumpy is not just Lumpy. Lumpy is the result of the snapped-off tip of a dental file jabbed up past the root tip of my tooth, for which I’d need a procedure that involves paying $600 to have a specialist slice my gum open, gouge out the file piece along with a hunk of of my tooth root, then stitch my gum back up. Which is exactly what an un-insured, underemployed writer with a serious aversion to gum stitches wants to hear. But, piss-assed broke oral-surgery-a-phobe slacker that I am, I asked the question: What happens if I just leave it there?  The reply? Well, nothing. Ol’ Chomper will continue to feel weird, but nothing will actually happen. Except we’ll save $600 that we don’t have anyway. And there will be no slicing, gouging, or stitching. And, I’ll have to change Lumpy’s name to File-O.

Done. Welcome to the family, File-O. I look forward to having you be a constant source of minor annoyance. At least until we can afford some insurance, and I can talk myself into setting foot in a dentist’s office again.

Neener the Arm-Chopper-Offer

Ever since I convinced Ms. D to make some seating adjustments so that Neener was not sitting directly across from evil incarnate, there has been no more talk of bringing bats and/or swords to school for show and tell. There has, however, been some talk of Neener seeming suspiciously Asperger-y. So, there’s another batch of paperwork, another round of phone calls and meetings, and another referral to the Autism clinic. The clinic coordinator and I are already on first-name basis because she now has files on all three of my kids. Did I mention how much fun all that is? Good times, good times.

Roo the Smarty Pants

Since I don’t yet have the report in hand, I have not yet had the distinct pleasure of prancing it down to the school. But I did  let them know that their guesstimate of her grade one or two reading level is waaaaay off. To which they more or less responded, “Well, that’s great. So let’s work on getting her to use ‘appropriate’ body positioning and eye contact when she speaks to someone, and teach her to ask to go to the bathroom instead of shouting ‘I need to pee!’ before running out of the room. ” Which are noble goals. However, I have been bitten by the neurodiverity bug, and I’ve developed a raging case of Autism Acceptance, so I’m not exactly sure I can just go along with the “let’s-try-to-make-Autistic-kids-look-and-act-as-normal-as-possible” plans that well-meaning school teams tend to conjure up. Ahhh, but there is too much to this whole thread of our lives to start unraveling right now. That is a post for another day.

There, you are all caught up. And I’m sure you can see why I’ve been a little preoccupied these last few weeks. Why I’ve been a little irregular. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since my university days, it’s that hiding from commitments and responsibilities – even something as casual as this little blog – rarely gets you where you really want to be. Unless where you really want to be is passed out on your slacker friends’ couch with a gut full of mystery meat and watered down draft, and bits of skunk weed in your hair. Been there, done that, got the D in ye Olde English to prove it.

But now,  as a writer, a mother, and as a mature, functional human being, I am pretty adept at putting pressure on myself to do things that I either want to do, or just know that I should do. Like writing a blog post. Or starting running again after a six month hiatus. Or shaving my legs and armpits. But it is still an incredibly delicate balance: not enough self-imposed pressure, and nothing gets done because I’ve managed to rationalize my self into inaction. Too much self-imposed pressure, and my eye starts twitching, my hands go numb, my gag reflex gets all uncontrollable, leading me to walk around looking and sounding like I’m about to barf, and I wind up paralyzed  into inaction. Or, at the very least, just hairy and out of shape, with a nasty case of  writer’s block, as the case has been of late. But when I get that self-imposed pressure level juuuust right, I can get beyond fear and insecurity and do what needs to be done. I can use that pressure to turn life’s little lumps of coal into diamonds.Or, to pull off a B in Sociology despite only going to the class twice and writing the mid-term stoned as a peach tree. Remember doing things like that? Nah, me neither.


Keep your enemies close… so you can chop off their arms during show and tell

17 01 2009

In her infinite wisdom, Neener and Roo’s teacher, Ms. D, rearranged the classroom seating after Christmas break. Let’s forget about the fact that Neener and Roo had both taken the exciting leap of making “best friends” at their respective tables. And forget about the fact that unexpected change is not always a cake walk for kids on the autism spectrum. Or for kids with high anxiety. Or both, as the case may be. But let’s, for a moment, remember a mean little imp by the name of Brandee C. And let’s remember her obvious fondness for tormenting Neener. And let’s think about the worst possible mean little imp to seat beside my sensitive little angst-meister. Thaaaat’s right. In an even grander display of her infinite wisdom, Mrs. D put Neener and Brandee side by side.

In an effort to not look like a hyper-protective hover-mother, I resisted my impulse to swoop down to the school and bite the teacher’s face off for springing this kind of thoughtless change on my children, and demand that Brandee be moved to a more appropriate location. Like a reform school for mean little imp girls. Instead, I decided to play it cool. Give it a chance. Who knows, maybe Neener and Brandee could resolve their differences and become BFFs over milk and cookies and long conversations about the Tooth Fairy, and Junie B. Jones books. Maybe they’d learn to get along, and develop a friendship of convenience if nothing else. Maybe Neener could teach Brandee to read, and Brandee could teach Neener how to…make fun of other kids and cackle like a nasty little witch. Or maybe Brandee would target Neener with a smarmy little game of  ‘Wanna play Echo?’ And go out of her way to bond with the other two girls at the table, because it’s way more fun to exclude someone than it is to just hassle them. Or maybe she would snatch things from Neener, and refuse to give them back until Neener erupts in a volcano of angry, frustrated tears, and Ms. D, in her infinite wisdom, has to go figure out what Neener is crying about. And all of a sudden, I’m sharpening my teeth and going into hover-mother swooping mode, and forging the signatures of whoever spawned that mean little imp on applications for reform schools in Mongolia. Or Texas.

When Neener finally opened up about what Brandee was saying and doing, I had no choice. I told her under no uncertain terms that Brandee was a mean little snot, and that she did not have to put up with that kind of crap. I urged her to be brave, to stick up for herself, and to tell me, and Ms. D whenever Brandee started giving her a hard time. Then, last night, in the moments before bed when Neener and I like to cuddle up and talk about what’s on her mind, this conversation happened:

Neener: Mommy, what’s Brandee’s phone number?

Me: I dunno. Why?

Neener: I want to call her and ask her what she’s afraid of. I think she’s afraid of bats.

Me: Baseball or the animal?

Neener: Hmmm. I don’t know. Maybe I can bring them both to school and see which one scares her more.

Me: Pfffffffffffttttt. (Which is the sound of me stuffing a pillow in my mouth in a shoddy effort to hide the evidence of my hysterical laughter.)

Neener (slowly and thoughtfully): I need a sword too. A real sword.

Me: Why?

Neener: To bring to school for show and tell.  Maybe I could show it to Brandee.

Me: Brandee big on swords or something?

Neener (grinning like a Cheshire cat): No. But I’d show it to her. And the next time she teased me, maybe I could chop her arm off, and she’d be all, like “Hey! Where’d my arm go?”

Me: Pppppffffffffffffffffttttttttt.

Part of me was alarmed. These were by far the most aggressive words and thoughts I’ve ever heard Neener express. For all my threats of biting off body parts, and my kickin’-ass-and-takin’- names bravado, I’ve gone out of my way to shield my kids from ideas and images of any sort of violence as much as possible. And another part of me was sad. Sad that she feels so helpless. That she’s trying to figure out how to be brave, how to defend herself, and how to push Brandee’s buttons the way Brandee pushes hers, and that the best she can come up with is flying mammals and/or sports equipment, and bringing medieval weaponry for show and tell. And still another part of me was overjoyed that at least she was not content to wallow in a mire of victimhood, that she was at least thinking of ways to fight fire with…bats. And that she was discussing it with me first.

Maybe Neener’s new found blood-lust is all my fault. Maybe I should not have expressed to her my opinion that Brandee is just not a very nice person. Or maybe I should not be encouraging Neener to talk so honestly and openly about about how she feels. Or encouraging her to stand up for herself. Or maybe, if there is any blame to be laid, it belongs squarely on whoever spawned the evil little imp who started picking on my daughter in the first place. In which case, maybe I should find out Brandee’s phone number. And ask her parents what they’re more afraid of, Mongolia or Texas? I’d hate to forge their signatures on the wrong reform school application.

Domestic Blister’s Holiday Harangue

24 11 2008

T’was the month before Christmas in the ol’ Blisterdome

and the rabid consumerism was making me foam.

Each TV commercial, each Holiday flyer

Pushed me up on my soapbox a little bit higher.

The toy pile in the basement was so out of control

that I found myself wishing it would all turn to coal.

With heat so expensive, that coal’d be fantastic.

It would burn so much cleaner than cheap Chinese plastic.

With a plethora of presents from occasions before

Destroyed and discarded all over the floor,

I thought of the Christmas well-meaning gift-givers,

Making that pile grow. And it gave me the shivers!

I thought of the meaningless mass of such stuff,

And I said to myself “Enough is enough!”

Instead of just buying and fostering greed

Why not throw the money at stuff we do need?

Dance classes for Roo! Tae Kwon Do class for Neener!

Some ice packs for Mr.’s vasectomied wiener! **

Warm socks for Squiggles! New undies for me!

Sure beats mouthfuls of melamine under the tree.

We don’t need more Dora or Barbie or Tink.

How ’bout health insurance, for our trips to the shrink!

With gifts about quality, not just sheer amount

Maybe each would be precious, maybe each gift would count.

Instead of just ripping through wrapping galore,

Perhaps we’d find something not sold in a store.

The meaning of Christmas, of true appreciation,

With money left over for a sunny vacation!

And my hope of all hopes, if I had my druthers

Would be for my children to think about others.

To think of the people they love oh-so dearly,

Not the mountain of merch that stunts our growth, yearly.

And knowing they’re part of the luckiest few,

Think not “What’d I get?”, but “What can I do

To make the world brighter? Make a sad person happy?”

But I better shut up now. I’m getting all sappy.

Maybe this little Buy Less scheme will work,

Or maybe I’m being a self-righteous jerk.

But I don’t give a damn, not a fiddler’s fart.

I refuse to believe Love’s on sale at Wal-Mart.

It’s not on for a buck at the ol’ Dollarama.

It’s snuggled around us, like a cozy pajama.

Our big basement toy pile now seems out of place,

So we’ll donate that junk to someone with more space.

And focus instead on the things that have meaning,

Things that require a whole lot less cleaning.

Less stuff means more time to enjoy all our blessings

And hopefully fewer gargantuan messings.

With a few thoughtful gifts, and our spirits restored,

The Blisters can laugh at the Holiday horde

For whom Boxing Day Sales are reason to brawl.

Happy Christmas, poor suckers. Good luck at the mall!

** The vasectomied wiener depicted in this poem is fictional… for now.

Bad English

16 11 2008

This is not what I had in mind when I imagined Neener and Roo saying ‘bad words.’ Sure, I expected the hysterical giggling. The marker covered hands flitting over their yogurt-caked lips in the most feeble attempt to keep the forbidden words from tumbling off their tongues. I expected them to flout my authority and flaunt their rebellion by shouting those obscenities out at the breakfast table. For them to watch my reaction, and to delight in my mock shock. To be egged on by my inadequately hidden amusement. But I did not expect the first bad words out of their mouths to be quite so appalling. I never imagined I’d hear my children say the word ain’t.

Yeah, that’s what they’re picking up from the kids in school these days. I was all ready for them to come home with real ‘bad words’, which, as you may have guessed, I personally adore and can not wait to appropriately incorporate into the lexicon of my offspring. But Ain’t, I don’t got no, no I nevered? That shit makes my obsessively editorial, English-major self writhe and shudder far more than any mere expletive ever could. And, it has forced me to explain to my kids that poor grammar makes you sound like you don’t know no better. Like maybe you ain’t no more smarter than the empty milk cartons you brang home from school. All the while trying to be careful not to imply that the kids who speak that way – and the adults who allow it – don’t got no brains neither.

As a writer, I’m a firm believer in breaking rules and pushing boundaries. There is certainly a place in good creative writing and speaking for double negatives, made-up words, and even the odd ain’t. But I also believe that you must know the rules before you can go around breaking them. And that the appropriate place for such words is not in the mouths and minds of my five and a half year olds. So, when one of them drops the ain’t-bomb, or butchers a verb, or lets fly a double negative in the heat of the moment, I do the only thing I can to avoid coming off like an anal retentive, lecturing language snob: I turn it into a joke. I flip into a theatrical Queen of England pontification, espousing the extreme importance of proper grammar, and then break into a face-contorting, foot-stomping, elbow-flapping  singing of “There ain’t no flies on me/There ain’t no flies on me/ There might be flies on some of your guys/But there ain’t no flies on me” , channelling my very best Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. This lets me simultaneously teach them a bit about good grammar, but it also lets me do something even more important: threaten to boot their little arses if I ever hear them say “No I nevered” again.

Lest We Forget

11 11 2008

Today is the day when I can’t help but remember how totally fucking stupid we human beings really are. How we refuse to believe that there are things more important than our own possessions and obsessions. How we pay lip service to ideas like equality and justice and peace when it’s easy. How reluctant we are to believe that losing and hurting and dying feel the same for us as they do for the stranger whose eyes we’ll never meet.

I don’t know how to explain today to my children. School has done a good job teaching them the rote ideas like ‘wear a poppy’ and ‘ remember the brave men who died’ and ‘say Happy Remembrance Day’. On one hand I want them to know more. I want them to know about the complexities of politics and the impossibilities of peace. I want them to know the stories of terrified men and women the world over who died fighting for life. I want them to comprehend the notion of sacrifice, beyond just shutting up for one minute, one day a year. I want them to know that ‘Never Again’ was wishful thinking, and Remembrance Day should never be preceded by the word Happy, and that it’s not all about being able to recite In Flanders Fields with a big dumb grin glued on your face. It’s about real violence and real death and real grief and real destruction and real degradation of all of humanity. I want them to know how totally fucking stupid we humans really are because we can’t get our collective act together enough to stop massacring each other. No matter how hard we try. And it has been, and probably will be forever thus.

On the other hand, I don’t want them to know a damn thing about the why and the how of this day. I don’t want them to have a clue about violence, or death, or grief, or destruction, or degradation, real or otherwise. I want them to believe that compassion and intelligence can prevail. That all is fair in love, and that nothing is fair in war. That equality and justice and peace can be present in every word, every thought, every moment, every person. That the warmth of the sun, the joy of a belly laugh, and the security of love feel the same for them as they do for the stranger whose eyes they’ll never meet. I want to tell them that we humans might not be so fucking stupid after all.

“Let us resolve afresh at the dawn of this new century… that this might be a truly pacific peaceful century.” – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Just because you’re a six year old girl doesn’t mean you’re not a jerk

7 11 2008

Kids are jerks. Even six year olds. Somehow, I had myself convinced that kids, especially little girls, didn’t turn into nasty little snots until they hit at least seven. Apparently not. There’s already a Lil’ Miss Meany Pants in Neener and Roo’s class. I know that I am a grown-up, and I should just shrug and mutter something about kids being kids, but I can not help but be filled with neck-wringing rage at the sight of this little girl.  This little girl, so sweet and innocent looking, with her long sandy braids, her dusting of freckles, her pink Disney Princess backpack, and her ever present gap-tooth grin, makes my right eye twitch and my jaw lock up. If I was two feet shorter and twenty-six years younger, I’d flick boogers at Brandee Connely.*

Brandee is not your typical bully. She is the kind of sneaky manipulative little girl bully that never gets caught or called out because the things she says and does seem so innocuous. And she’s little . And cute. And bright. And always smiling. Yet, I’ve watched this little girl send Neener into hysterics with four little words : “You forgot your glasses.” On the surface, this seems like a harmless observation. A helpful comment, even. And it may have been, the first few times. Even if she did start following up the “Neener you forgot you’re glasses” comment with the equally upsetting addition of “accidentally” calling her Roo. But one day, it sure as hell wasn’t helpful. Or an accident. Because Neener’s glasses were right there on her face when Brandee Connely grinned and chirped, ” Hey, you forgot your glasses!”. Poor naive, hysteria-prone Neener, believed her and freaked out. And Brandee Connely found it just a little too funny that Neener fell for it. As Neener reacted as Neener does to forgotten glasses, running back to us crying and screaming and pleading that we go get them, Brandee Connely put her hand over her six-year-old smirk to stifle her giggles, and turned to the kid next to her and started whispering. It took a while for Mr. and I to get Neener calmed down enough to realize that she did have her glasses, and we told her quite simply that Brandee Connely had made a mistake because it was not appropriate at the time to tell Neener that Brandee Connely is in fact, a rotten little jerk. Mistake, my ass.

If that had been the only incident with this kid, I might have been able to forgive and forget. But then I overheard this little exchange at the costume birthday party we went to:

Little ADHD boy dressed as Batman: Hey Brandee, like my costume?

Brandee, appropriately dressed as a witch: Umm. No. Don’t talk to me. You’re bad.

ADHD boy: No I’m not. I’m Batman. He’s one of the good guys.

Brandee (rolling her eyes like a know-it-all 13 year old): No, I mean in school. You’re the bad kid in our class. So, don’t talk to me.

Again, on the surface, this could have been just another call ’em like you see ’em statement from a little kid who just has not learned how to sugar coat things yet. And it’s kinda the truth. He is the ‘bad kid’ in class because he doesn’t listen to the teacher, and he can’t spell his name, and he can’t sit still for long, and he charges around the playground like a great dane that ate a bag of Ritalin spiked coffee beans. But he doesn’t lean in close to other kids and plant hurtful little words in their ears. He doesn’t cover his mouth and giggle at the sight of other kids crying because of something he said. He doesn’t whisper, or taunt, or assume he can get away with saying anything to anyone as long as it’s done with a smile, and out of adult earshot. Little ADHD boy can’t hide behind a pleasant little girl smile, and some long sandy hair, and a dusting of freckles and a pink backpack. But Brandee Connely can. And she does.

Today, she called another kid – the shyest, quietest boy in the class – “Broccoli” because he had a green umbrella. And she leaned into Neener’s friend Jonathan and whispered something to him that made him hang his head glumly and stare down at his shoes until the morning bell rang. My eye is twitching just thinking about it, not only because of what this girl is saying and doing to other kids, but because I don’t know what to do about it. Do I tell my kids flat-out that she is a mean and devious little shit the next time she takes a backhanded shot at their security? Do I run to the teacher with my evidence that this girl is an undercover bully? Or do I “accidentally” find myself eye to eye with her on the playground, close enough so that I can smile sweetly and whisper, “Mess with my kids again, and I’ve got a big yellow booger with your name on it, Brandee Connely.”

*Some names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Don’t Call Me Mommy

27 07 2008

The other day, the Globe and Mail, with its well-manicured, heirloom jewelery laden finger planted firmly on the dull pulse of guffawing babyboomers nationwide, published this little blurb in its Social Studies section, under the title Word Watch:

Mommybloggers: Mothers who start online journals about their lives. A handful, Carrie Kirby writes in the San Francisco Chronicle, have taken blogging from a sanity-saving hobby to a career, and many others are collecting at least a little extra income through their blogs. A few have even landed book deals.

Which got me thinking, Christ I hate the word Mommy. Almost as much as I hate the Globe and Mail. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t still read it, but the reason why I’m forced to do so is a post for another day. Nor to say that my kids don’t call me Mommy. They do, and I’m completely okay with that. And I regularly refer to myself as Mommy when I’m talking to them. As in, “Roo, Mommy told you not to lick the peanut butter off the birdfeeder. Or “Neener, Mommy thinks it’s a better idea carry that harmonica in your pocket, instead of down the back of your underwear.” Or “Ok Squiggles, Mommy needs her boob back. Now.” But, I never refer to myself as a Mommy outside of the context of speaking directly to my kids. Ever. Why? Ummm, have you ever met women who do that? Women who giggle and chirp out phrases like “What do I do? Oh, I’m just a Mommy!” Or “Being a Mommy makes me feel soooo complete!” Or “Hey, why don’t you come to my house for a Mommy spa and scrapbooking sleepover this weekend! It’ll be just us Mommies!” And there’s not even a trace of sarcasm in their voices, or a glint of ‘wink-wink nudge-nudge we’re actually gonna do tequila shots and moon the neighbours’ in their eyes. But you just know that deep down inside, that woman who goes around calling herself a Mommy is actually a seething ball of rage. That her kids were the accidental byproduct of a dark broom closet and a bottle of lemon gin. That when she blathers on about how she loves to pamper her husband, she is actually talking about the fight they had last night during which she biffed a shitty diaper at his head. And just like you, the thought of a Mommy spa and scrapbooking sleepover weekend is enough to make her brain liquefy and drip out her ears. But Mommy is sanitized. Sugar coated. Diminutive. Non-threatening. Mommy is nice and cute and sweet, and not a force to reckoned with because she is too busy buffing the floor and making sure no one sees her dirty laundry. Figuratively or literally. Mommy can be patted on the head and told ‘There, there dear.’ In short, Mommy is just not me. The patronizing bastard who tries to pat me on the head is bound to get an arm bitten off.

So naturally, the term Mommyblogger makes me paw the ground and snort flames. In this article, Carrie Kirby talks about how an overwhelming majority of the top blogs are written by men, despite the fact that blogging is an activity pretty evenly split among men and women. Why is that? I think a lot of it has to do with what women tend to write about. We don’t often write about important things like sports, or video games, or political commentary, or porn. We tend to write about insignificant stuff. Like trying to birth and raise the next generation in a world where sports and video games and political blowhards are dictating what kind of porn we should watch. So, most women’s writing falls into the category of Mommyblogs, it seems. And maybe that’s the problem, the term mommyblog. It smacks of condescension. Of patriarchy. Like that because the focus of your writing is your experience as a mother, it need not be taken seriously, because, well, you’re just a Mommy. This little online journal about your Mommy life is just your sanity-saving Mommy hobby. The modern equivalent of making macramé plant hangers, or going to tupperware parties. Nevermind the fact that, as Carrie Kirby points out, many so-called Mommybloggers are foul-mouthed, smart ass guttersnipes like myself. And some of us are even writers, not just Mommies looking for a place to gush about lil’ Jacob’s first poop on the big boy toilet, or how a warm bubble bath can wash away all your troubles, or how fulfilling it is to be just a Mommy. Mommyblog writers can be patted on the head, given a few bucks a month for having cleaning product and diet pill ads on her blog so all her Mommy friends will see them, and told ‘There, there, dear Mommyblogger. You just keep writing in your little online journal so you don’t accidentally go crazy and think you might someday be a real writer. Or try to bite my arm off.’

Semantics bitchfest and quasi-feminist haranguing aside, I realize that there really isn’t a better option in the lexicon. So, much like the movements to take back words like bitch and cunt and turn them into symbols of power and strength, maybe ‘Mommybloggers’ like me need to stick our tongues in our cheeks and embrace the term that would otherwise attempt to soften and dismiss us. Maybe we need to highlight the irony of calling professional, gritty, talented female blog writers, whose topic of expertise happens to be motherhood, by such an unprofessional, cutesy, mindless name. Maybe we should encourage cutesy mindless names for all types of blogs. Businessy Whizznessy Blogs. Sporty Guy Blogs. Polly Wolly Tickle Commentary Blogs. Or maybe it’s enough for me to take a personal stand on it. Unless I’ve given birth to you, or unless you plan on offering me one whore of a pile of money for the right to publish my writing, don’t refer to me as a Mommy anything. Ever. I’ve got a foul mouth full of sharp teeth, and I’m not afraid to use them.