Home Home About Zen Mama Contact

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From Nunus to Noodles

Before I became a parent, I thought a child's growth would be more subtle, especially to the people who are around them every day. I now count that as #891 on the list of things I was wrong about when it comes to parenting.

My son's vocabulary, mannerisms, abilities, and everything else mature and improve noticeably on a daily basis. No hyperbole needed. It's unreal to me. I regularly find my jaw in a dropped state as I watch him or listen to what he says.

Sometimes, I'm struck by the upward movement more than other times. Tonight, a lump formed in my throat when my son referred to the spaghetti as noodles instead of what he has called them since he learned to talk: "nunus."

"Nunus" is so deeply ingrained in our vocabularies that we even write it on the grocery list. There are words and terms that our son has come up with on his own that we say, too, for the cuteness of it all or for the sake of us all being on the same page. Grated cheese is "baby cheese," breastfeeding is "bed," and noodles are "nunus." So, when he so nonchalantly busted out with the noodle talk this evening, it hit me that he's growing up...fast.

Shoot, we're already 22% of the way through his childhood. (Yes, I've done the math. Don't judge me.) Color me freaked out! He no longer needs help washing his hands, swinging on the swing, or walk the dog. Now, he no longer calls them "nunus." It's only a matter of time before he's riding his bike around the block by himself while I sit at home trying to stave off a panic attack. Great googly-moogly...I'm off to breathe into a paper bag with my head between my knees.

Is it too much to ask that he say "nunus" into his 30s??!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Doing Life Right

My 4-year-old son has his own sewing kit filled with thimbles, stitch markers, a measuring tape, and sundry. Said kit happens to be a Cars lunchbox.

He helps me in the garden and around the house with his own tools, including a purple garden hoe and pink Disney princess hand shovel and kneeling pad.

He picked the paint color for his room when we moved in. You can see his rad room, including the deep purple walls, here.

His favorite color is blue, but his favorite chair is pink.

The list of social anomalies goes on and on.

He's doing life right, because he's doing it his own way. He doesn't buy into gender stereotypes or social constraints, because we don't foist them upon him. I think we could all take a lesson. Don't care to learn a lesson? No problem, at least keep your opinions to yourself and he'll still be good.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Circumcision in Seven Sentences

Don't do it.

It's not your body, so it's not your choice.

Consider the source. Are those telling you it needs to be done truly educated (can they name all the functions of the foreskin?), do they stand to make money from you doing it, or are they culturally conditioned to believe it is a must?

91% of the world's men are intact and live a life without penile incident (unless self-inflicted, which is another Oprah), but medical professionals in the U.S. swear that there is a slew of elderly men whose penises become gnarled and excruciating, which should leave us to question and fight to improve medical training, not jump to the extreme conclusion that we should all cut off 1/3 of every newborn's penis.

Statistically, chances are higher of him dying OF a circumcision than ever NEEDING a circumcision.

If you need more reasons, click HERE for a list of resources.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Test a Friendship

I got to thinking last night about the number of relationships I've lost due to one little thing: a single instance of dissidence.

Here's what I mean:

A family member who asked me for an opinion on a Precious Moments decorative plate (yes, seriously) and when I gave it, it became instantly clear that it was the wrong opinion. Boom. Years of not talking to me. Guess I should've been given script ahead of time. I didn't know my lines.

Another family member who asked for suggestions on what to do with her kids, one of which is autistic, because yelling didn't seem to help. When a friend suggested spanking and the family member agreed, because that had always worked in the past, I offered another suggestion. Boom. Years of not talking to me. I always get confused when suggestions are asked for, but clearly not wanted.

A friend posted a hurtful, fat-shaming meme. I sent him a story I had just read that day about the woman featured in that meme. Boom. Haven't heard from him since. That's something I would've wanted to know. Turns out, not everyone does.

Another friend, a self-described defender of women, allowed a friend of his to attack me and other sexually assaulted women on his page. I said two words to him about it, "I'm disappointed." Boom. Evidently, that was too much for our friendship to take. That's some strength right there, I tell ya.

Now, in the name of full disclosure and fairness, I used to be the exact same way...when I was a teenager. It didn't take much for me to write someone off. One little disagreement had me sending you packing. When I think back on those days, I cringe. Thank goodness for time and the growth that, hopefully, comes with it.

I have no real point. I have no answers. I guess I naively figured that this character flaw (and yes, having been there myself, I do believe it to be a flaw) was one of youth and immaturity, one that would have long ago been outgrown by those my age. I just don't know, but I know it wasn't likely to get off my mind until I wrote it down, so here we are.

I'm not sure I'll ever figure folks out, so I'll just keep trying to be the best me I know how to be, learn lessons and improve along the way, and teach my son to do the same.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Way #7699 to Mess with a Child's Head

Every summer from the time I was 6 until I was 16, I stayed with my grandparents. Aside from some truly fun and lovely memories and in addition to some really ugly ones, there is the vivid memory of being measured on the wall each year. Now, I don't know a kid who doesn't love seeing how they've grown and I was no exception. I had the added bonus, however, of having my weight policed.

Before anyone says the standard, "That's not very Zen of you,"
let me just say, "I know and I don't care as long as it
helps put a stop to body policing."
As I neared 5' tall, my grandmother started telling me that the "norm" for a girl is that at 5' tall, she is to weigh 100 pounds and 5 pounds for every inch thereafter. I was asked how much I weighed in comparison to this norm. This happened every year. Every single year for 10 years.

Guess what I have never gotten out of my head? And guess what I'll be damned if I allow myself to repeat aloud, even if it does sometimes creep back into the forefront of my mind from where I keep it hidden in its ugly place in the back?

Never, NEVER will I police my son's body. Never, never will I police anyone else's. Want to mess with your child's head? Police away. Otherwise, let them be.