Exchange Tags on kids ……

I have permission to use this as a guest post.

I read it and I guffawed with laughter, and really I could not have said it any better as to what happens in the middle of the night – so here is her story:

So, its 3AM and sleep seems to be the furthest thing from Karen’s mind.

I am rocking, patting, singing, practically dancing at times, but nothing is doing the “trick”.

And mommy really, really wants to sleep.

So, sleep deprivation causes my mind to think some strange things, I am checking her toes just to make sure I haven’t missed it because it’s GOT to be there.

That little “Exchange Tag” that reads: “If you are not entirely satisfied with this product, please return it for a full refund”. The full refund seemed really appealing at 3AM this morning – my refund would be: My size 10 figure back, (not great, but better than this), boobs that would pass the pencil test, a flat tummy that does not double up as a map to “wish I knew where”.

And most appealing, 100’s of hours of sleep that I have missed out on in the last 10 months – bliss.

But I looked and looked, and alas, there was no tag.

So I patted and patted some more and then rocked and rocked some more until eventually at 4:30AM, she decided that sleep was not a bad idea after all.

So, I stumble into my room and DH is looking decidedly “happy” to see me (and I am not getting this idea from his facial expression) although he does have a ridiculous smirk on his face.

And thinking, “Hell NO!”

I start looking frantically around the room, checking all the corners and he goes: “what you looking for love, come and lay down” while patting my spot in the bed beside him, and I go: “I am looking for Leon Shuster’s Cameras, I must be on Candid TV because you have GOT to be kidding me!”

Sometimes men really have NO idea!!

Then, just before I left for work this morning thinking that I was not going to get to say goodbye to Karen today because obviously NOW she was sleeping, I heard her calling: “Mum, Mum”.

I peeped into her room and she was standing in her cot holding her arms out and as I got closer, she pouted her lips and gave me a big fat kiss <aaaaaaaaaaaah>, I’m glad she didn’t come with that tag after all.

* names have been changed

 

(Acknowledge image source: http://www.ohbabyblogger.com/baby-sleep-patterns-6-9-months/)

Can you be a Musketeer withouth a pen.i.s?

Monday’s post did make me angry.

Granted I wrote it when I was angry, by the time I posted it I was less angry.

It really was something that sits with me, and makes me angry – some days more than others.  Some times I see a child dressed in a particular way and I think “what the hell?” and sometimes I want to choose an outfit for my own child and I think “yeah, I am not sure what that message is sending ….”

My earlier post might have come out in a bit of a splutter as it has been sitting in my head for some time, and when ever I see these images or I hear someone say “stop acting like a girl!” I get really angry.

Most part because I am a girl.

To indicate that “someone acts like a girl” is often used when you are trying to say someone is acting silly/childish/weak/inferior.

When Connor cries or get’s upset, Kennith is quick to say: “Stop behaving like a girl!” or “You are crying like a girl now!”  (this is not trying to paint him as the villain, I am indicating what is said in our house as an illustration, odds are it is said in your home as well, and pretty much everywhere actually.)

It really makes me angry. Like seeing red angry.  That is when he is not being a good egg.

I have raised the issue with Kennith, and have decided to no longer raise the issue with him, and instead raise it with the kids – we can call it direct intervention or circumvention, which ever is easiest to digest in couple
therapy.

There are so many derogative terms associated with women and girls.  And we feed them to our children often without realising it.

“Boys don’t cry – girls do!”

“Stop acting like a girl, be brave!”

“haha you are being such a girl ……”

Most of them I do not even register any more.

Today when I fetched Georgia, she was spluttering and telling me that one of the boys at school told her she could not be “one of those people who guard the king and queen with a feather in their hat…” and she was
really upset.

I love lateral thinking word games.

Connor said: ‘ Robin Hood’

I went: ‘A Musketeer’

Georgia said, yes, a musketeer that was what she was thinking of.

Bless that girl.  I have no idea why she wants to be a musketeer, and this is the first I have heard of this particular ambition or career move.

The boys at her school said that she could not be a musketeer because she was a girl.

And GIRLS cannot be musketeers …. well clearly because some well-meaning person told these little boys that.

They in turn told Georgia, and Georgia was not really settling for NOT being a musketeer just because some snotty dirty boy told her she couldn’t be.

When I arrived to fetch Georgia at school today, she was standing with of 4 boys having a heated conversation and clearly this is what it was about.

I am not really a feminist and am not planning on pulling out that soap box nor my copy of Virginia Wolf and brandishing it about in the name of suffragettes everywhere!

But it is important for my girls to know that they can do anything and become anything they want (not want others decide they can be, because “that is what girls do.”)

At the same time I want Connor to know that because he is a boy, does not automatically make him superior to girls.

I gave Georgia a lecture in the car drive home today, that if she wanted to be a musketeer that was fine, it was no problem at all, she could be anything she wanted to be.  Nothing was limited to her “because she was a girl.”

I also explained to her that to be Queen she did not need a King (as most fairy tales go).

I explained that the present Queen of England, is Queen in her own right, and that her husband is actually Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and he is not a King.

She is the Queen, he is only a Duke – so that is how that works out.

<I also gave her a quick history lesson on Queen Elizabeth, and how she became Queen.  And though there was pressure on her to marry as she was of the ‘weak sex’ she knew she could rule Britain and continued to do so until she died – unmarried, though we can have a very long conversation about the Virgin Queen title.>

In no way am I trying to foster an environment of female domination – or “chicks rule the world” but I want my girls to know that of all the things standing between them and become a musketeer (if that is what they
really want) is not a va.gina and bre.asts.

Granted, it might be some other factors, but it is not going to be because they are girls.

Is it possible we are sexualising our kids?

Maybe it is because I have girls.

Maybe it is because I am medicated up to my gills.

Who knows.

I have become irkingly aware of how many overt visuals there are floating around primarily where women, and really these are young girls, are being portrayed as sexual objects.

These are little girls dressed up to appear older – they appear to be there for the sole purpose of being sexual available as images.

Little girls, you understand.  Not adults dressed as little girls, actual little girls ….. like mine, like yours.

I feel like there is an onslaught of these images  –  most of them we do not even really notice anymore because we have become so desensitized to it all, and they are just everywhere.

Music videos are crammed with scantily clad women (some are really more teens) gyrating and ensuring that they give the impression of being “sexual available” to whom ever the oaf is that is singing, or miming his way through a song.

4 stupid over-weight men, with large white t-shirts + fairly large baseball caps + questionable body hygiene  + 20 scantily glad bar.ely-leg.al looking girls + rented house decorated with bad taste + sexual gyrations = formula for most music videos.

Girls who dance must dance as if they have been trained as strippers.

Dancing is not about dancing and moving to the rhythm of the music, but rather who is able to look like they have taken lessons from Ms Pole Dancer Finalist 2010.

If a girl can bump and grind her arse, well then she wins …. what ever the prize is, I guess.

Big girls see it on television and in pop culture, so they do it.

Little girls do it as they see big girls doing it.   (Ever watched that Horror Show on MTV My Super Sweet Sixteen – and see how those girls carry on?  They are clearly in the 13 – 17 age range, and I feel an overriding urge to cover my eyes.)

You do not have to look far to find an eight or a nine year old gyrating her groin against a boy because she thinks it is “acceptable” and everyone is smiling and clapping and someone is phone-video taping this for posterity so they can stick it on You-Tube.

It takes even less to find little girls in shorty shorts imitating their adult icons.

I know it is cute when a child acts like an adult, and we tut-tut and roll our eyes, but really is it a great idea?

Could we not leave the skanky outfits until they have a part time job, and they earn enough to buy the outfits themselves, rather than as parents we go and buy it for them.  Just an idea.

Georgia is 6.  She is a tall and lanky 6.  I need to purchase clothing in the 7 – 9 range for her and then roll the sleeves up (she is really skinny) – which means I am in the 7 – 14 age range of clothing selection at most retailers.

I figure a 7 year old is going to be dressing very differently to a 14 year old.

It appears most clothing retailers disagree, and go with the same styling for a seven year old that they do for a fourteem year old.  Same style, just with a resize.

Most children range buyers work along this model when they make range choices for girls:-

0 – 24 months : pastels

2 – 6 years : bright pink/Hannah Montana/Miss Kitty/Dora the Explorer

7 –  14 years : skank.

If I was going to dress Georgia like she was auditioning for “Making the Band” or “Guess the Slut” then I pretty much have a world of choices before me.

However if I want to dress her like a little girl who does not listen to Hip Hop and Tweet her sexual availability, then it is going to be more challenging.

I do wish to volunteer at this point that I cannot afford to shop at the more boutique/stores where R250.00 is the going price for a t-shirt. My price bracket is R250.00 for the entire outfit and shoes!

Clearly I am shopping at the lower end of the retail market.

The result is I opt for jeans and a basic t-shirt most days, because the rest of it either shows her midriff, her arse or has a hint of being …. I am not sure…. just not right.

Even with t-shirts I have to filter through the ones with slogans of:

Do I Make You Look Fat

I’m Not With Stupid Anymore

When the going gets tough, the tough go blonde

You were never my boyfriend

Explain to me again why I need a boyfriend

Careful I had a bowl of bitchy for breakfast

No Money No Car No Chance

What I think I am trying to comment on in the most round about fashion I can find, is that our children – girls in particular – are bombarded with images of how they need to be, and to a degree how society sees them.

We are kidding ourselves if we think THEY cannot and do not see these images.

And these images do not have some sort of effect on them.

This effects is only not on my own girls who see these images (even on a sub conscious level), but my son who sees how girls “are” or how the “media portrays them.”

<We can discuss how we create positive personal images with our kids, and how we monitor what they watch and block several channels, in another post>

But … and there is always a but ….. it is next to impossible to keep these images away from your children, unless you live in a cave, home school, and only read ….. actually you will have to skip reading.

I will comment on this subject again when my brain is firing on all cylinders.

But these are some of the print images that I am referring to when I say “er, this is a bit inappropriate for my child….” and “why are they aiming this sh8t at children?” and “why are you putting this in an advert?”

<I am not suggesting these are the worst of it, or the best of it, these are just some random ones I had lying around>

Thongs for young girls …..

Padded bras for little girls …

The Best Examples Of Horrific And Embarrassing Parenting On Facebook

Does adult-looking clothing on children bother you?  It might be the Fluoxetine talking, but it bothers the crap out of me.

Funny Friday #1

Awkward Family Moments

I really have nothing to say today that is thought provoking in any way.  I am still on my “woe is me” phase, so I will spare you a day of that today.

I saw this picture a few days ago (and thank you Joanne Chemaly for the laugh, much needed).

I will make an exception when it comes to cutting and pasting stuff, as this is well worth it’s own cut and paste.

But I loved this photo and I kept staring at it going “what was going on here….. really what the hell were they thinking?”  And I smile a little when ever I see it.

This Memorial Day, we remember some things and try to forget about others:

“So, I had just given birth to my first son at a local birthing center and there had been another couple that had given birth just before me there as well.  The midwife told us that the couple in the other room wanted to come over to say congratulations and introduce us to their child as well.  Little did I know that they would come into my room with no pants on.  Even better, they both had NO UNDERWEAR ON.  And from my vantage point, I could see everything. It was disturbingly awkward to say the least.  I have no idea why my husband had his shirt off, but I assure you, he had his pants on.   To this day I still have no idea why they were both naked from the waist down. Even more importantly, why was HE?”

(submitted by Jillian)