Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nanny as Parent

Any of you that know me personally are aware that children don't typically like me. When I used to work in the banquet department of the hotel I would avoid any event geared towards children. When I got stuck working "Dolls Tea" every year I would volunteer to work whatever section dealt with the demanding mothers... as long as the kids stayed away from me. This didn't stop one of them from coming up to me and kicking me in the shins for no reason. My friend Drew says that kids do this to me because "[I'm] a dirty ginger child with no soul," and kids can "smell" that out...

Whatever the reason, there are very few children that like me. The ones that can get past my soullessness infringed on me by my red hair REALLY like me though. I was giving a tour at the museum I work at and a 7 year old girl latched onto me. Told me all about her new Hannah Montana shoes and backpack... Fascinating stuff. At the end of the tour she came at me with open arms. I immediately flinched and backed away assuming she was going to hit me. But she didn't... she gave me a hug. I didn't know what to do so I just stood there until it was over. I went home highly confused over the whole experience.

A similar event happened the following week at my bowling league. My friend's daughter came along and was playing with her Barbies while her parents were bowling. She asked her mom to be introduced to "her pretty friend" and somehow decided she liked me. I went to the bathroom and outside the stall I heard someone ask "Are you next in line." The little girl (6 years old) said "No, I'm just waiting for someone. She'll be out any second." SHE FOLLOWED ME INTO THE BATHROOM!!! When I was washing my hands she was at my side asking me how old I was, my favorite color, if I liked Barbies too. Then she gave me candy. Again... very odd for me and I went home (once again) highly confused.

My friend Liz (who has baby fever even though she is one month away from being the step mom to a 7 year old) explained that as you get older (she's 4 years younger than me) your body changes as well as your perception of children because you're more open to them and the possibility of them in your life. I'm sorry, but I think that is absolute BS. I am more opposed to children than ever and the likelihood I'm going to want them as I get older is so microscopically small that I don't think even a brain eating amoeba could wedge its way in to alter my perception.

Despite all of this, I do still babysit for a family friend if needed. Last night was one of the nights my non-mothering services were required. Fortunately I have known these kids since they were born and because I have been a constant figure in their lives they actually listen to me. And seem to like me. Whether this is again because they've always known me or because they are not inclined to dislike redheads is unknown. It might also be because I completely sympathize with their situation. The parents are very career oriented people. Both of them. They work all the time. Not just during normal office hours, they have work events afterwards, and often. They also like to go out. They are very fun, likable people. I love them! However, this means they have a full-time nanny.

I am highly opposed to the concept of nanny as parent. Yes, nannies are essential in certain scenarios and shouldn't be discredited. However, they should not be the ones expected to raise the children. Such is the case for this family. When I arrived yesterday the nanny was still there. The parents were running out the door to head to whatever fun event they had planned and let the nanny brief me on what needed to be done for the night.

They also have a puppy. A very cute, lovable, playful, little puppy. A lab. HIGH ENERGY. The puppy doesn't seem to get the exercise or attention it needs. It is untrained. So not only is the nanny relegated to raise the children, she also has to train the dog? Last night I taught the dog to sit, drop the kids' toys, and played with it until it was exhausted so it got the exercise a lab puppy needs. He slept by my side all night and when the parents came home he remained next to me and even tried to follow me home.

These kids (and this dog) have all the love in the world from their parents; yet, they don't get to see them enough and therefore, they act out.

From what I can see (in my non expert opinion), both children and dogs like discipline. And of course, attention. As I get older and my friends start to get married and reproduce (eww... why is this world so narcissistic?), I continually see circumstances where I wonder why certain people have children. My friends are all good people, but some of them just don't seem like the parenting type. I know I'm not. I'm selfish and would rather spend my money on vacations and shoes. Is society dictating to us that our worth is rooted in our ability to reproduce? What makes people have children?

I think people should be subjected to a personality test before they are allowed to have children. To see if they're ready. If they have the personality type that will ever be ready? How many kids they should be allowed to have. When in their life they should attempt to reproduce. Why isn't life easy like that?

To bring this rant full circle, does anyone have any thoughts why more kids are starting to like me? The ones that do seem to be around the same age. Maybe 6/7/8 is when kids appreciate being talked to like adults before they swing back into immaturity for their teenage years. I have no clue. They confuse me. Highly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

note to self

I was reading a charming letter from someone to their unborn self this morning on HelloGiggles: , and it made me think of all the things I wish I could tell my past self. Not necessarily my unborn self, but just me throughout my life. Now this is tricky because I know better than to erase/avoid all my bad memories... many of them have taught me about life and myself, but there are a few of life's little lessons I could do without- the lessons where you wake up and think that some power out there is throwing you down and laughing at you for the pure sake of entertainment value.

1) When someone says they're scared of something... they mean it. This does not mean it's a good idea when you're 7 years old to put fake rubber snakes around the house on April Fools Day to scare your mum. She will NOT appreciate the humor and you will regret it every year after that. You will not like it when the tables are turned on you either. For example, when your boyfriend dresses up as a Clown Zombie Tickle Monster. This will terrify you but will serve the purpose of teaching him this very same lesson when you have a physical response to your fear and punch him in the face. Hey, at least you know that in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, you won't be paralyzed by your fear.

2) You haven't met him yet, but when you meet a boy named Tim*, he will break your heart. Multiple times. Actually... scratch that. Is there any way #2 can be delivered to you by means of flying pig after the first time y'all break up? I wouldn't want to take away your most important lesson in relationships. The flying pig of course is representative for the chances of a normal, healthy relationship with this particular person. I'm sure you wouldn't listen anyways... How many times did you date this guy? 4? And he was a terrible boyfriend each time and caused you nothing but pain? Good. You're a smart one. Stop believing it will be different the next time. It won't. Reliving that pain isn't healthy. Getting over it will help you form healthier, happier, less tumultuous relationships. Burn your pictures and notes of/from him earlier, and delete his number faster! OH and don't answer when he calls you every New Year's Eve... it will ruin even the best of parties!!.jpeg

3) Spend more time with your friends. Don't flake on them when you have a boyfriend. Always make sure that you set aside time for just your friends sans whichever particular heart throb is on your arm at the time. Apologize when you forget this rule and do the opposite. It might not be a life/death situation, but it will certainly alleviate a lot of guilt when it is.

Also, keep in touch with your long distance friends. They're worth it. With facebook and email this will be easy though. Just let them know you're thinking about them!

4) Always send handwritten notes. Send thank you cards for job interviews and parties. Send birthday cards, sympathy cards, congratulations cards, postcards. Really any card works! People appreciate knowing you think of them and this helps keep long distance friends and family members close. In the case of family members that you do not want to keep close, use the same tactic... just send MORE and looooonnnnnggggg newsletters about yourself. They will know so much about you that they won't feel the need to call that often ;)

Newsletters are also acceptable around the holidays, but only if their intent is silliness. In 2011, Alissa Martin, your roommate, will suggest that you take a photo for a Christmas card (the two of you plus Lucy, your dog) and send out a newsletter regarding your goings on during the past year. This will be a huge undertaking, but hilarity will ensue as your roommate convinces her parents that the two of you are not lesbians with a puppy love child. The photo shoot during which you are both wearing ugly Christmas sweaters with elf ears and Lucy has reindeer antlers will also be worth it!

5) Make light of life (and your work)! You'll understand on 25th August 2011 (today)... your job is awesome and art can be silly! Life is fantastic.

6) Don't listen to everything your parents say. They are wise and you should respect them, but part of their job is to protect you and you wouldn't get where you do if you embraced every command.

7) Work your ass off. You'll sometimes wonder if it's worth it... It is.

8) Go on vacation! Oftentimes you'll need a vacation to recover from your vacation, but it'll be worth it... Be a tourist! See everything! You can sleep in the nursing home (advice from your parents that you SHOULD absolutely listen to)! Take tons of pictures so you can show your friends when you get home and it's like they went on vacation too. Get out there and experience too. Like doing the whole Vegas thing... sure, it's not necessarily a recommended lifestyle choice (your liver will put up extreme protest), but it's fun. Not remembering every detail is okay if you remember the overall fun and feeling of the evening ;) Same thing with Dublin... you're Irish! You have been programmed throughout centuries of ginger breeding to enjoy Guinness and Jameson and this will encourage the best vacation of your life with your best friend in the world. It was actually only 3 weeks ago from my standpoint and I promise... you will still be recovering/drying out a bit. WORTH IT.

9) Take a page out of your friend Sarah's book and develop characters when you sing karaoke. This way people will find you humorous and will be laughing with you rather than at you... You are not a very good singer. I'm sorry.

That's all for now. I don't want to give you too much to swallow at one time. I'm sure I'll think of more later. Good luck.


Yourself (the 2011 version)

*last name not given for identity reasons. might not even be the same first name. who knows???

Images are taken from many different sources. See the links below each image for proper credit.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Inner Child

This is my first ever blog experience... testing, testing, anyone out there???

I woke up this morning on top of the world. After two cups of coffee I left for work, dare I say it, with a little pep in my step. I recently landed a job in my field... a miracle (especially considering my field is museum studies/art history)! Even better, they're letting me start off at just 3 days a week while I finish my master's thesis. I thought everything in my life was coming together...


By day i'm a hardworker, by night I remain the same ginger ninja I've always been. My friend Jamie always tells me there's a small child stuck inside of me trying to get out, and I guess she's right. No amount of responsibility, coming of age lessons, or tedious adult tasks seem to pull me out of my own world. I still chase bubbles, ooh at fireworks, want to play with glow sticks at concerts and then get bored with them quickly, and revel in staying up late.

This weekend my childish side came out full force. They recently opened up a bar in Denver called 1Up. It is filled with old arcade games and multiple tables with lifesize Jenga set up. My friend Sarah suggested that we go there with our friend Alice, a new mother, so we could all live out our childhood desires. The night started out innocently enough... some drinks while watching other people play with all the fun games, but as the night continued we moved closer and closer to the Jenga playing area... and then, JENGA!!!!!!!!! My inner child took over and I started pushing over people's games. I know, I know, I know... I just couldn't help myself! This one guy got really mad at me and despite my inappropriate behavior I decided at that moment that I never wanted to take myself as seriously as that guy... I can reconcile my inner child with my adult self and I can make this work. Life is my oyster and I am going to travel through it with a smile on my face and childish urges in my heart. I'm going to keep the pep in my step!