Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Humbug

I am not a big fan of Halloween.  There.  I have said it.  My name is K. C., and I don't like Halloween. I'm the only one chez Wells who isn't a fan, though, so I have learned to go with the flow.  Dallas's favorite pastime is to pore over Halloween catalogs full of costumes and gory decorations.  Not surprisingly, he has had more nightmares as of late.  Fun for all of us.

Last week, I took Lottie shopping for her Halloween costume, and I was frightened by what I saw.  I wasn't scared of the ghouls or goblins or the bloody skulls: the costumes are what terrified me.  I expected to be slightly horrified by the teen girl costumes because they seem to have become sluttier and sluttier.  But I was shocked to see that little girl costumes are starting to trend the same way.   Everything seems dark and trashy and WAY too grown up.

Yes, I understand that Halloween has its origins in some dubious stuff: festivals of the dead, Samhain, etc.  (Most of my knowledge comes from the movie Halloween, so I realize that what I know might not be on the up and up.) But I do know that Halloween is supposed to be scary and creepy.  However, my kids are 4 and 5.  I don't think they need to be dark and creepy for Halloween.  I mean, what ever happened to dressing up like a puppy or a piglet or a box of Tide?

Not only were many of the costumes too old for Lottie, but they just seemed...wrong.  Why does a kid have to be"Scary Miss Muffet" or "Scary Little Bo Peep"?  Why can't the choice just be a normal Muffet or Peep?  And does Miss Muffet have to have an off-the-shoulder dress with chunky heels?

(This is the Bratz version of Miss Muffet, by the way.  Lottie keeps insisting that she's going to get a Bratz doll from Santa for Christmas.  Dream on, kid.)

I saw Lottie starting to light up at the sight of some of the costumes that were not age-appropriate, and I steeled myself to talk to her about it.  Luckily, she ended up choosing a "royal princess" costume with a LONG skirt and LONG sleeves, so that conversation didn't have to happen.  I'm sure some people are reading now and thinking, "A princess costume?  She's going to grow up to think that men are going to ride up on a white horse and rescue her!  That's so anti-feminist."  Um, first of all, no.  And second, no. Third, that's nuts.  I grew up knowing about princesses myself, and I'm no shrinking violet.  When it comes right down to it, I would rather my five year old daughter dress up like a princess than most of the other costumes I saw.  

Maybe I'm old-fashioned; maybe I'm a prude.  I just want my daughter to enjoy being a little girl as long as she can, and I want to enjoy it along with her.  If that's wrong, so be it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Risky business

Let me start out by saying that this post has NOTHING to do with the presidential debates.  I haven't watched either of them, and I don't plan to watch the last one.  I voted last week, so I'm done with politics for the year.  Let me also say that this isn't a post about stay-at-home-moms versus working-moms.  Women are hard enough on each other as it is, and I am not going to perpetuate that tired discussion.

Now, on to the post...

I was surfing the 'net the other day, and I came across an interesting discussion on a board about whether or not it was just careless to be a stay-at-home-mom in this day and age.  The poster said that she felt like women who chose to stay home, as opposed to women who were thrust into the position, were taking a risk and not planning for a possible future reality of not being able to stay home anymore.  The phrase that really struck me was being "dependent" on a spouse.

I get the point: I truly do.  We can't predict the future, so we never know what exactly is going to happen in our marriages or our lives in general.  A spouse could leave or die, and then, according to most people, the stay-at-home-mom is screwed.  The premise there is that all stay-at-home-moms are financially dependent on their spouses or partners, and that's just not true.  But my main issue is that we are ALL dependent on someone in our lives no matter what our careers may be.  An attorney needs his clients to pay.  A doctor is dependent on his patients and insurance companies.  A clerk in a store has to have customers coming in to buy things.  A mechanic relies on customers who need things fixed, as does a plumber or an electrician.  A farmer has to constantly worry about the weather: talk about unpredictable!  If I were still teaching, I would be dependent on my students in order to qualify for any kind of raise: I would be under the thumbs of pre-teens and teens to up my financial worth.  Frightening, no?

No, I don't think that choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom makes me more dependent than anyone else on the planet.   It doesn't mean I'm tempting fate or not being true to myself.  I'm also not ignoring the future and all the uncertainty that comes with it: I'm as financially and mentally prepared as I can be for whatever fate decides to throw my way.  I'm living my life the way I want to live it in this moment.  I can't do any more than that because all we have is now, so I'm going to enjoy my now for as long as I have it.

"I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." --Gilda Radner

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Get outta my dreams...

Get into my car!

I have been doing two different car lines, four times a day for the past six weeks or so.  Holy cannoli, have I seen a lot.  Allow me to give you, the wonderful readers, some car line tips.

1.  Don't smoke in your car while you're waiting for your kid.  I mean, really?  There is even a sign in the parking lot that says the school is a no-smoking zone.  C'mon.
2.  Do put your phone down and say hello or good-bye to your child.  I have seen so many parents drop their kids off in the morning with nary a wave because the parents are too busy jabbering on their cell phones.  Maybe the parents make a special point to say goodbye before the actual drop-off, but I sort of think the kids deserve a little hug or kiss or something as they're getting ready to walk into school.

3.  Don't park in the car line if you plan on leaving before it's your turn.  At least twice, I have had parents come up to my car window and ask me to move my car over a little so they can drive between the cars in the two lines to get out of there.  I know everyone is busy; we all lead crazy, hectic lives.  But if it's that important to get to an appointment or get out of the parking lot, leave a little earlier.

4.  Do pay attention when you're in the line. If the rest of the cars have moved up five car-lengths, it's probably a hint that you should do the same.

5.  Do not pick your nose.  Those car windows?  They're made of glass.  We can ALL see what you're doing, and it's gross.

6.  Do try to relax.  Stop looking at your watch, tapping your fingers on the steering wheel, and shaking your head.  The kids will come out soon, and then you can get back to your ├╝ber-important life.

Just some car line guidance from your friendly neighborhood CarLine Mom.