Scarywhining.com

I don’t know why I bother to surf Scarymommy.com, when all the articles are trash (a combination of poorly articulated, superficially analyzed, self-righteous liberal propaganda, and mothers bitching and moaning about the pettiest of offenses), but occasionally I find myself wandering back in search of mild amusement. Most recently, the greatest offenses to be featured on Scarymommy.com:

Exhibit A

Woman bitches about people asking her if she’s had her baby yet, and how she’s feeling, when she’s past her due date:

If another person asks me if I’ve had my baby yet, I’m going to punch them in the face…

Another question I can’t get enough of is, “How are you feeling?” How the hell do you think I’m feeling?!? I’m huge, uncomfortable, haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in God knows how long, constipated, suffering from a raging case of heartburn, and want this baby out of me already. Shall I go on?

Oh, god forbid people are excited about the birth of your child, and are concerned about your welfare. Having babies is extremely commonplace; in the grand scheme of life, it is a mundane, ordinary, and utterly banal occurrence, so any woman should feel blessed to be surrounded by people who care enough to pester her about the baby’s imminent arrival, and her health status. The rest of her post is a tome of familiar complaints of being 40+ weeks pregnant (with which I completely sympathize – it blows balls), but you know, how dare people give a shit and actually ask me how I’m doing. Seriously, fuck the world and all its caring, kind people, right? Don’t they know what an inconvenience it is for you to be receiving these well-meaning texts and e-mails? Oh, the gall. Simply unconscionable. It would be so much better if you had no friends and no one gave a fuck. I want to tell her to please shut the fuck up but of course, it’s my own stupidity for wandering onto this website to begin with.

Exhibit B

Woman bitches about people’s creative and happy Facebook posts. I shit you not. She spends the entire post whining about how she cannot compete with other mothers who cook Martha Stewart level meals and make Pinterest-worthy crafts, and tearing others down for having the audacity to appear happy in their Facebook pictures.

We are so happy and laughing hysterically at this trendy restaurant where our children are behaving perfectly. Look at us!We are so happy and just in love with life at this park. Look at us!We ski. We vacation. We snuggle. We hike. We smile all f*cking day long.

Stop it now. Because no, no you don’t.

She admits a lot of her feelings are borne out of her own security – yeah, no shit. Maybe you should work on putting a check on taking out your deep insecurities on happy people. Horrifically, the people she’s talking about aren’t even women in ads or the media; they are her friends and acquaintances. I don’t come across people who like to shit all over other people’s happiness that often, but oh, hello there, here you are. I get that social media is often not a reflection of reality and can create feelings of insecurity, but jesus, get a hold of yourself.

If I could describe this website with just one phrase, it would be “White whine.”

Happy Birthday, Husband

Dear Husband,

You must know this, but I love you so very much. I love your smile and your slate-blue eyes with their gold flecks that are more noticeable in the sunlight.

More importantly, I want to say thank you for how amazing you have been during the last 6 1/2 months. Thank you for researching nutritional information, organizing my prenatal vitamins weekly, buying us books, buying me a body pillow, coming to all my appointments with me, and being especially supportive and comforting. Thank you for putting up with me when I am grouchy about sleep and capricious about food. Thank you for telling me I look great all the time. I am so fortunate and grateful, and could not imagine a better partner for this stage in life. I cannot help but wonder (with horror) how different this would be if I didn’t have you, or if you were not you.

Sometimes you ask how you got so “lucky” to find me. The answer is that I am me because you are you. You motivate and inspire me to be this version of myself. If I were with someone else, I would be just as quirky and have the same smile, but I would not be my best self without you as my anchor.

I hope I make you as happy as you make me. Happy birthday, and coincidentally, since your birthday falls on Father’s Day this year, Happy Father’s Day. Our daughter is going to be one lucky little lady to have you as a dad.

Books for Children: Reviewing the Moral Lessons of the Giving Tree

I’m going to a baby shower tomorrow, and I actually remember what I bought off the registry. Typically, when I browse a baby registry to decide what to buy, my head starts swimming at the unfamiliar, and admittedly boring, products: bottle warmers, bottle brushes, diapers, nipple cream, butt cream, baby shampoo, drying racks, other products I could not even begin to explain if I tried, etc. This has not changed since I became pregnant. I can feel my eyes glaze over as I scroll through these items, and I vaguely dread the day I will have to make a list of my own. How do you know what you really need? This shit is hard!

Except, for the baby shower I’m attending tomorrow, there were some items that got me excited: Books. There were many fantastic ones listed, and I ended up getting The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Where the Wild Things Are. Aside from these books, I also bought one other thing. A mat or seat or tray or something that might go in a car possibly. I have forgotten already. But that is of less importance.

Seeing children’s books had me contemplating what messages these books actually convey. While I love both The Giving Tree and Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, the contents of these books differ drastically. Where The Sidewalk Ends is a collection of short, fun poems that serve as a lovely introduction to poetry for children. My own father, who writes poetry, bought me this book when I was 7 years old.

The Giving Tree is where things get a bit more complicated. It’s wonderful in terms of illustration and story telling, but I do have reservations about the message it imparts at times. I remember being 15 years old and loitering at a bookstore with my best friend (one of our favorite pastimes), when I came across this book after not having thought about it in years. She told me she loved it and that it always made her sob. “Really?” I asked incredulously, because I literally had never cried from reading a book, much less a children’s story. She must have thought me equally strange, because she looked at me like I was the weird one for being skeptical of anyone crying at this book.

“I don’t believe you,” I insisted, and I opened the book and started reading aloud to her in the middle of the bookstore. Sure enough, to my genuine surprise, by the end, she was in tears and her face was red and puffy.

“Dude, fuuuuuck you,” she said. I looked around the bookstore awkwardly and felt pretty bad.

The Giving Tree is compelling because it is a tale of unconditional love and giving on the part of a tree, over the lifetime of a boy who eventually becomes a man. The boy/man takes everything the tree has to offer, until the tree has been stripped of her fruit, her branches, and her trunk, and she has nothing else left to give. Her love is apparently unrequited, because he never gives her anything in return. Seriously, he is sort of an asshole. I don’t think the book so much as depicts him watering her or providing fertilizer or anything.

When he is old and decrepit, she is nevertheless happy to see him, but laments she no longer has anything left to give. He states he does not need much at this point, and simply wants a place to sit and rest, to which she cheerily offers the only part of her left – the stump of her trunk that remains.

The ostensible moral of this tale is one of giving love without keeping tabs, which no one can deny is a positive way to go about life. Yet, something about the story never sits quite right with me, perhaps because the cynical part of me thinks this story glorifies suffering, martyrdom, and maybe even victimhood.

We are moved to tears until our hearts ache when we read stories or watch movies about unrequited, unconditional love, whether on the part of a lover or a parent, but the way it plays out in the real world is sometimes painful and ugly. Healthy relationships cannot endure an insistence on rigidly or constantly keeping score, but I would never want my child to be on the giving end of such a one-sided relationship. It’s not a recipe for a happy or healthy relationship of any sort. Letting someone constantly take without reciprocation at some point becomes a form of emotional abuse, doesn’t it?

Of course, this does not remotely mean I won’t buy this book for my child. In fact, I probably will, because it is stories like this that make life a bit more colorful. But as far as moral lessons go, it does leave one something to think about…