Tag Archives | Kids

At Home (or not) In the World

In July 2004, when I was about five thousand weeks pregnant, I told my midwife that I was about to fly to Northern Michigan for summer vacation. She looked at me and shook her head at my delusional self. Slowly, as if to a not-too-bright-child, she explained that after one preemie and one miscarriage, there was no way in hell that my high-risk belly was going on an airplane ride (followed by a six-hour car ride).  “Stay close to home,” she said. “Really close.”

Super-pregnant and just a tad emotional, I waddled through the steamy stinky streets of New York wondering how I was going to survive until I birthed this small elephant inside me. A friend suggested a nearby escape hatch: Long Beach Island, in New Jersey. “Down the shore,” to be exact.

My response was something along the lines of “euuuuwww, New Jersey?”  But the twin engines of time (less than a two hour drive) and money (nowhere near as much as it would cost to spend even an hour in the Hamptons) made LBI seem like a reasonable thing to do, a friend had a brother-in-law with a house for rent, and before you could say Snooki, there we were, on the shores of LBI.

LBI Beach

LBI Beach

Reader? I loved it. Loved its flipflop-and-shorts sensibility, loved its not-Hamptons aesthetic, loved the twisted beach pines and loved the old lighthouse at the norther tip.

We’ve been coming back ever since, so much so that the baby who was born shortly after our vacation ended, now considers LBI to be “our family place.” And even though we don’t own a place down here, we’ve been lucky enough to rent the same house now for a bunch of years in a row; it’s an anchor point in our summer and as much as I would like to do more exploring of the US itself, every summer, when I crest the dune for the first time I think, “nah, why go anywhere else?”

Every four years, however, we have to turn a blind eye to the politics of the place. Last year I saw a “Coulter/Palin 2016” bumper sticker, and it was clearly aspirational, not ironic. This year… Trump.

We’ve been keeping count and our utterly unscientific poll shows Trump leading Hilary by a slight margin. That’s what I wrote about in last week’s National: the two visions of the world that are at stake in this year’s election. I love LBI … but I want HRC’s cosmopolitan vision to carry the day.

Continue Reading · on August 6, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, Children, expat, family, Politics

Monday Listicles: Perry. Men.

This Monday’s listicle topic is chosen by Jen, over here at Just Jennifer. She wants people to write about reasons to have (or not have) children. Or if you have kids, to write about whether you do (or don’t) want any more.

Well. I have two boys. That’s the equivalent of a houseful of meerkats.  When I feel overwhelmed, I think about my next-door neighbor here, who has FIVE. Boys, not meerkats.  She’s the calmest human I know. My head could explode in flames while we’re in the elevator together and she would dump her water bottle on the fire, wrap a bandage around the worst injury, take my pulse, and feed me an aspirin before we reach our floor.

Let’s just say the baby-making factories are closed in my house. I would love to have a daughter—in fact, I always assumed I would have a daughter—but instead, boys. My sister has two daughters. I have considered swapsies, so we each could have a matched set, boy & girl, but for some reason she wants to raise her own kids.  Can you imagine? Selfish, selfish, selfish.

But this list offers me a chance to write on a marginally related topic: the problem with men named Perry. Or Peri, as the case may be.

Oh yes, you heard me. We’re talking about the fabulous Presidential Perry, Rick O’Texas, and that other Peri, Peri Men O’Paws.  Both are a nuisance, but only one will be gone (hope, pray) for sure in 2012.

Bad memories:
1. The governor of Texas would like to abolish several key Federal agencies. He just can’t remember which ones, exactly. Click here to watch him fumble. Hardest I’ve laughed in a week.

2. Peri Men O’Paws can’t remember when you’ve had your last period and doesn’t care. He just shows up, willy-nilly.

Abstinence:

3. Rick O’Texas thinks abstinence is the only form of “sex ed” that should be taught in schools, even though statistics show that Texas (which mandates abstinence education) has the third-highest rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S.  Despite these statistics, however, he is sure that abstinence works.  Click here to be convinced.

4. Men O’Paws maintains an irregular schedule (known perhaps only to the moon) which makes abstinence frequently necessary, rarely convenient, and difficult to teach.

Moody:
5. At public appearances, Texas Perry sometimes seems comatose, and then sometimes he’s aggressive (as when he crowded Ron Paul’s personal space during a September 2011 debate):

photo via AP on Huffington Post

Sometimes, though, O’Texas is just downright loopy, as he was during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire recently, when he told the audience bring their gold into his campaign manager.  Having a moody Texan with his thumb hovering over the nuclear button just can’t be a good thing.

6. Peri Men brings hormonal joyrides the likes of which I haven’t experienced since high school, when I regularly spent at least one day a month sobbing in my bedroom because the world was just TOO AWFUL.  Now those joyrides include snapping at my children, wishing Husband should take up residence on a houseboat in Lake Winnipesaukee (in the winter), loathing my late-mid-forties wrinkles, popping Advil as if they’re candy corn, and thinking that writing a blog is the stupidest goddamn thing I’ve ever done.

Bad hair:

7. Rick O’Texas has hair like a Ken doll. It manages to be both fluffy and immobile, just like Ken’s hair helmet.  I hope for his sake that Rick doesn’t smoke, because you just know that entire helmet is coated in flammable material.

8. Peri brings the gift of gray. Gray hair that refuses to play nicely with what’s left of the curly tresses from my youth.  The gray coils up out of my head like antenna, as if Peri is trying to talk to compatriots on the moon to make plans for pushing my body even further out of whack.

Flooding:
9. Texas Rick thinks that floods and other natural disasters are acts of God. Actually, he thought the British Petroleum explosion was an act of God, too. In other words, human actions ain’t got nothing to do with the environment and the science of climate change is “shaky.” His Texas agencies so deeply censored edited a scientific study of Galveston Bay that all the scientists who contributed to the study asked to have their names taken off the report.

10. Peri Men brings on floodwaters so profound that endless trips to the pharmacy are required for reinforcements against sartorial damage. And you don’t know what fun is until you’ve gone into a pharmacy filled with customers in abayas and headscarves, staffed only with men, and dumped your boxes of super tampons at the cash register where they practically scream out HELLO I AM A MENSTRUATING WOMAN AND PROBABLY UNCLEAN STAY AWAY.

Parenthood:
11. O’Texas thinks that while abstinence is best for teen-agers, married folks should have babies galore. He wants to strip all funding from Planned Parenthood and promises to appoint only pro-life appointees to the Justice Department, the Attorney General’s Office, and the National Institutes of Health.  The fact abortions only count for about 3% of what Planned Parenthood actually does (as opposed to, say, things like blood-pressure screenings, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or prenatal care)—well, that’s just a pesky detail.

12. Peri O’Paws seems to be suggesting that this old late-mid-forties married lady will have to stop at two babies.  The married lady in question thinks that probably this is a good idea, as a third child would only complete the fund-stripping process begun by first two children and then render the mother incapable of remembering any details about anything.

There you have it folks, a point-by-point analysis of why Perrys are to be avoided. I can take comfort in knowing that by November of 2012, the entire GOP sideshow will be over, one way or another.  Unfortunately, however, Peri Men O’Paws doesn’t operate by any calendar that I can deduce.   But you know what? I’d still rather be governed by O’Paws than O’Texas.

 

hey…yes, double-dipping again. This post linked to Monday’s Listicles and now I’m linking up over at Lovelinks, where you will find lots of funny smart writers. You should read around on the lovelinks page and then come back Thursday (after your turkey or your lentil loaf or your baloney sandwich, whatever) and VOTE for your top three. Probably you, unlike Rick O’Texas, can remember three things.

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Continue Reading · on November 21, 2011 in Children, environment, family, Feminism, Kids, Monday Listicle, Politics, ranting

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