Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why I Hate Cute Kid Contests


We make them, we raise them, they become adults, they make more children, we become grandparents, it actually starts getting fun (supposedly).

The circle of life.
Circle of Life = Disney code for "Life blows."
For reals, though, kids are freaking awesome. We can agree on that, right?

So can we also agree to shun cute kid contests and their ilk?

Maybe you're like, "YEAHHH! I HATE THOSE THINGS, TOO!" Maybe you don't see what the big deal is. Maybe you've participated and enjoyed them and full-fledged shunning seems a little over-dramatic and you only do it for funsies or fruit baskets or A ONCE-in-a-LIFETIME CHANCE to WIN $25,000!!! (... while we mine your Facebook account for personal information.)

Or maybe you're one of those parents who uses your child as nothing more than a stepping stone on your quest to fame and notoriety. A Dance Mom. A Pageant Mom. A Future Circus Performers of America Mom. (How is that last one not it's own TLC special yet? HOW.) If you're one of those, PLEASE GET HELP.

If you've signed your kids up for these sorts of contests before, I'm not judging you. I understand the motivation. I think my kids are the bomb and you absolutely should, too.

Please take a moment, however, to consider the pitfalls of these things, besides annoying the junk out of all your friends with pleas to vote every three seconds because, you know, a win would just mean so much to six-month-old Junior. No one wants to do that. (Except maybe Grandma. Maybe.)

1. They objectify children.

Your children are not your possessions. They are real live human beings and they are way more than their chubby cheeks and sparkly eyes. Pitting a photo of your child against a bunch of other photos of other children explicitly contradicts the "you are more than your appearance" message we should be striving to teach them from day one.

You don't love your kids just because they're cute. Why would you want other people to?

2. This is not high school.

This is real life. You're not going to get any invites to the quarterback's excellent (did you read that in Bill and Ted's voice?) party for having the cutest kid on the block. You're not going to get much of anything, really (unless of course you're marketing your kid for commercial purposes ... which is a whole 'nother can of worms).

You do not need someone else to tell you how beautiful your child is.

3. Behold, you have procreated!

Behold, so has much of the rest of the universe. Unless you're a unicorn, save the baby pictures for family and friends and possibly the car salesman who's trying to act like he cares.

4. You can't rig the genetic lottery. Maybe your kid won out and maybe they didn't, but it doesn't matter anyway.

Know why? Because it's COMPLETELY subjective.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I, personally, do not want any part of my life mucked up with society's screwy definition of "beautiful".

We get it. Your child is adorable.

ALL children are beautiful little creatures, both inside and out.

Please, please, please. Let that be enough.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Right now, I'm exactly one hour and 29 minutes away from 2015! *executes awkward happy dance* *accidentally knocks over a lamp*

I love holidays in general, but New Year's Day is one of my favorites. Except last year. Last year I was four days shy of going into labor. Last year sucked.

Generally, though, I love the fresh start and the rush of energy that comes with the calendar change. I actually feel motivated to do things like reorganize kitchen drawers and clean coat closets and get dead bugs out of light fixtures. Right now, there are 9 (NINE!) trash bags full of stuff sitting by my door bound for a thrift shop. I don't know if I should be proud or ashamed.

This year is particularly special because I'm here. I made it through a pretty epic shit storm and I am proud I did. Are things perfect? Nope. Do I have it all together? Definitely not. But I'm still here! I can still spend too much at Target and procrastinate housework and knock over lamps and be perfectly imperfect and okay with that.

Instead of drowning myself in resolutions like I usually do, all I'm going to try to do this year is enjoy life. LIVE. Relish.

And also eat more relish ... and chocolate cake. 

Not together, though. I swear.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Simplify Your Life in Just 763 Easy Steps!

Every year at this time I feel the need to simplify. Cut the crap. Pare down. Let it gooooooo. Not just the nine thousand Happy Meal toys that have taken refuge in my couch, either. Mental crap. Emotional crap. Other assorted crap.

It could be rebellion against the inherent craziness of this season. Or maybe my inner organizer is trying to get ready to jump into a new year without tons of baggage.

Usually, even thinking about simplification completely overwhelms me and I end up spending the whole month of December in pajamas staring at my half-assed Christmas decor.

But this year is different. This year, I have a plan! With seven hundred sixty three steps! I shall not be defeated!

(But my Christmas decor will probably still be half-assed.)

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