Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Adventures in Babysitting - Han and Evil style

Last weekend I babysat overnight for my sister and brother-in-law so they could have a kid-free anniversary date. As this was my first time sleeping at their house and watching a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old at the same time, they were understandably somewhat concerned.

It's possible I didn't alleviate said concern when I responded to her "how's it going" texts with "I don't know what you're talking about: I sold them two hours ago and am out buying a TV" or "well nobody's on fire, anymore" and maybe "Han likes a shot of gin before bed to help him sleep, right?"*

Highlights of our adventures are as follows:


  • Evil gave me serious side-eye when I got her from her nap. She's at the nook-sucking stage, and reminded me a lot of Maggie Simpson with her little 'tude. 
  • After bribing her with snacks, she warmed up enough to use my chest as handholds to attempt to stand up. So she could pull my shirt down and drop giant legos in. Then she bit my nose twice, which is her version of a kiss, so there really was no room for argument. 
  • Incidentally: the nose biting earned me serious side-eye from her father when he found out she's willing to kiss the babysitter since she's apparently stingy with kisses. 
  • Han was extremely excited to eat blueberry pie for dinner. YES I FED HIM REAL FOOD FIRST. 
  • No one could find the ipod with Han's "moos" to charge it before bedtime, when a bleary-eyed little boy typically eats a last snack quietly while watching twenty minutes of Netflix My Little Pony episodes. Panic ensues, but the ipod proves elusive so Han was relegated to MLP on the big tv instead. He dealt fine. 
  • We discovered the ipod on the kitchen table the next morning, right where Han left it (under a piece of paper). 
  • No, I don't know why he calls all cartoons his "moos." But it's adorable so I don't really care why he does. 
  • I expected a fair number of "but auntie Jess I need to" requests at bedtime, and my favorite boy delivered spectacularly. The first few were the normal water/cheese stick/sing me a song requests. 
  • The first two times he got out of bed to bang on his door (he can't turn the handle yet) and holler "Auntie JESS I NEED YOU" I quietly put him back in bed, helped him find all his MLPs, and settled him back down. 
  • The third time I didn't get him. He was quiet for a minute, then he started balling and yelling "MAMADADDY I'm CRYIN!" which was really goddamn hard to NOT laugh at when I went in the room. But he missed his mama and daddy, and he was worried they wouldn't be back. So we did another round of Twinkle Twinkle (thank GOD I know the words to the one song he wanted). 
  • The fourth time I opened the door and said "Han, you can't keep getting out of bed." in a nice but low voice. AAAAAND he went into full toddler meltdown, which was also hilarious and difficult to not laugh at. Sigh. I'm not a nice lady. He hung in my arms like a boneless ragdoll, snotting and sobbing all over my shoulder. So I closed the door and rubbed his back and hummed "baby mine" from Dumbo (don't know the words, just the tune) until he relaxed. 
  • And then, he killed my ability to sleep for the rest of the night. He turned his pale little face to mine (in the dark, toddler eyes are little black pits of darkness, did you know that??), put one little hand on my cheek, and whispered something completely unintelligible. THEN HE WAVED GOODNIGHT AT THE FUCKING CEILING BEHIND ME. Yup. Not creepy at all. 
  • After that, he slept just fine. Evil had gone to bed at 7:30 the night before and slept 'til 8:30am (with a diaper filled to at LEAST her body weight...how does one little person create so much poop??). I gave up after four hours of sad, fitful creepy sleep and just lay awake until the sun came up.  


The next morning all was well, except for tired Auntie Jess. If you're wondering, of COURSE I'd babysit overnight again. I just know now that I need to wear his little energetic imagination out before bedtime. I do adore them, after all. Sunday night I got a text from my sister: Han wanted Daddy to "rub my back and sing me a song like Auntie Jess does."

MWAHAHAHAHA. Corruption begins.

*No Hans or Evils were at any point sold, on fire, or drinking while I was on duty. I mean really, people...selling them would only result in money for getting poltergeist/ghost experts in to un-haunt my house.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Time Feminism Forces Me to Defend a...Palin

So today my Facebook feed and news outlets have two rivaling headlines. 

First and most importantly, SCOTUS has effectively shut down all those idiots terrified that Mark and Steve's marriage, or Jane and Sally's, will somehow threaten their own heterosexual homes. And to the national endorsement of equality for people who want to marry, I say YAY it's about fucking time. 

Second, and somewhat more disturbing to me, is the news that Bristol Palin is knocked up again outside marriage. It's not that she's pregnant or that she's not married that bothers me: I could not possibly care any LESS about her sex life or the products thereof. It's the really horrifying hypocrisy I'm seeing by "feminists": a sort of disgusting glee in seeing the poster child for abstinence education brought low by her own sexuality. 

REALLY PEOPLE? 

Let's set aside for a moment the pure nasty and gross behavior involved in smugly shaming a public figure for something that some consider a mistake (I say some because hello, not everyone considers pregnancy a mistake in or out of a legally bound relationship). 

Let me also be clear that I find Sarah Palin utterly disgusting for her politics, and I think abstinence education one of the worst disservices conservative politicians have forced upon teens.  Those are both entirely different posts. 

I pretty firmly believe if you call yourself feminist you don't get to judge another woman's sexuality, PERIOD. 

That means no slut shaming. EVER. 

That means no side-eye about women who have multiple partners, women who have children on their own, women who are completely asexual, women who are in a traditional marriage, women who buy toys, women who take birth control, women who ARE IN CHARGE OF THEIR OWN SEX ORGANS.

No subtle or overt blaming the victim of a sexual crime (she was drunk/smoking pot/on X/dressed like a whore) because deep down you're relieved that it didn't happen to you. 

No moral high-horse "we must SAVE them" attitude about anyone who voluntarily uses their body for money: that includes any sort of modeling, escorts, prostitution, dancing of any kind, porn, etc. (obviously, this point is barring underage or forced/trafficking crimes: I said voluntarily on purpose).  
And no snarky smug "she got what she deserved" judging of an adult woman in her mid-20's who gets pregnant outside marriage. Ugh. 

First, by all accounts I've been able to find, Bristol Palin was paid to do abstinence speaking from the perspective of having been a teen-mom. I don't agree with the abstinence only message in any way, but I can certainly see how that message might be something a 17 year old who'd gotten pregnant by mistake would be willing to speak about. I may not like her choice in message, but I appreciate her willingness to WORK in some way, and I don't judge her choice in which to do so. 

Second, this is not a teenager. Yes, she publicly took an "abstinence pledge" in 2009 and really, it's none of my business whether she stuck to it or not before this. Honestly, I don't care: her bedroom is her business, and she's certainly not the first conservative politician/minister/"moral" public figure to be "caught" living a different life in private than she does publicly. But hey, I know I haven't grown with experience since I was a teen: have you? In fact, I think if you polled a handful of people on the street most would assume a 24 year old woman is sexually active in this day and age: it's not that fucking weird that birth control failed and she got pregnant again. It's pretty likely that because of the pledge she took her abstinence only speaking engagements are over, so isn't that sort of a self-fulfilling unemployment arena? 

I guess I just don't really see any benefit (to me or anyone else) in jumping on a bandwagon of "neener neener you aren't perfect" nastiness just because I don't agree with her politics.  

Third, for those conservatives who insist that a woman's sex organs MUST be owned by a man through marriage contract before creating life, SHE WAS FUCKING ENGAGED, for Gods' sake. Other than the really uber-conservative sects, does anyone really expect an engaged couple to be abstinent? 

As an aside, boy you babies-in-marriage-only types really are going to have issues if male ownership of uterii is the only proper way to have a family, because I'm pretty sure SCOTUS just tossed that shit right out the window...now that it's finally legal for two uterii or two penii to be married without the opposite sex involved at all. And that's just awesome. 

What's horrifying about being caught here is the same people who rail against conservative/abstinence education are the ones crowing about the public shaming of a woman's sex life and her "fall from grace." Um, sorry, but sex and pregnancy don't equal a fall from grace: they pretty much just equal an addition to her family and most likely a career change in her case. So what? At what point do we as a society stop judging mothers by the circumstances of their pregnancy like we have any right to moralize their bodies and choices? 

For the record, I'm thoroughly grossed out that I'm in a position to defend a Palin, but I don't live her life, and I refuse to judge any woman's sexual choices. I suppose as a thought experiment it's good to test the boundaries of my insistence on non-judgement, but ultimately this whole news blitz and social media ishiness just put a bad taste in my mouth. 

On a Friday. 

I'm not impressed. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

No, I Don't Know Why I Think This Shit Up.

So...remember I said I found the super creepy hanging teething ring with keys on the closed section of the trail? (Yes yes, I admit it's POSSIBLE it wasn't in any way disturbing to other people and it's only a sign of my own undiagnosed psychosis* that makes ME think of horror movies. Just go with it for a sec.)



Yeah. There's another one, on a signpost not far from where I found the last set.

Yes, the original set is still hanging there, a bright little "oh look, someone lost their toy" invitation to step off the trail into who knows what and be eaten , um, sucked into an alternate zombie dimension, no...sacrificed to a horribly angry gnome Ok I'm stopping now.

Is this a kind passerby helping some inept stroller-pusher who can't keep track of their toys (I'm the aunt to a toddler and a near-1-year-old: I know that's infernally difficult what with all the excited flailing. Mine and theirs, of course.).

Is it a deceptively sinister warning notice? STOP HERE or lose your...yeah I got nothin' here. Maybe I should push a stroller next time I hike and find out, except 1) I'm lazy, 2) I don't have a stroller, and 3) I'm already hyper aware of ticks and mosquitoes...I don't want any actual reason (like a stroller stuck on the trail) to stop and become a blood-sucking buffet.

My personal suspicion is it's some smartass finding inventive new ways to say "bite me" to other hikers.

Some OTHER smartass, people. I wouldn't be creeped out about the hanging baby toys if I was the one doing it.

Sheesh.

*Dear mental health professional, if you're reading this and diagnosing me, please keep it to yourself. For the most part, I enjoy my brand of weird. NORMAL IS BEIGE: fuck that shit.