I don't know why this is, but since having my own child it seems that most other parents bug the shit out of me. I've basically avoided all interactions with other parents (except those who are close to me) because of the simple fact that I can't stand them. It all started with one of my first encounters:
It always seems like there is this pissing contest between every parent besides me and I'd like to see the rule sheet for it. So there I was taking my kid to the park for the first time on my own to push her in the swing for the first time (she was about a year old). This was supposed to be an innocent time to create a lovely memory with my child, but instead I end up coming in direct contact with a "one upper" mom as I like to call them. I'm swinging my darling child, while making no attempt to catch the eye of anyone or let alone talk to anyone else around me, when this One Upper decides to speak to me. It starts out with the usual, "How old is she?" and after that she never asked another question about me or my kid for the entire duration of the conversation. She proceeded to tell me her whole labor and delivery story within the first 5 minutes of our chat while her tool of a Husband played with his cellphone and interjected only to brag about random things that he owned that didn't really pertain to the conversation at hand (yes he was one of those).
Now this chick had to be maybe only a year or two older then me and only had one child as well, but apparently that child being 3 months older then mine meant that this One Upper had a wealth more of knowledge then I had and was a complete expert at parenting. As I tried to get a few sentences in with things my daughter was or was not doing at her stage of development, she would always come back with something about how her daughter "already could do that, did it at an earlier age, or could do it better". Apparently her kid was sensational because she could turn on her husband's stereo system on her own. This is where he interjects with, "And I have a very huge, very expensive, and very loud system *chuckle chuckle". Then when I comment on how it's sunny outside and I wish that my kid would wear sunglasses at this age, she answers me with, "oh my daughter loves to wear sunglasses. In fact she never wants to take them off. Isn't that right Sally?" Then she proceeded to basically shove said pair of sunglasses onto the poor kid's face while the little girl slapped them out of her mother's hands over and over yelling, "no! don't want them!".
Next, I made the mistake of mentioning how my kid (who is and was at the time in fact very much developing ahead of her age...not that they would have known since they wouldn't listen if I had mentioned it anyway) was still not walking at the age of one. One Upper then answers, "oh my kid was walking at the age of......well....7 months....isn't that right honey?", she asks her husband. "oh it was more like....yeah 7 months" he responds.
"Wow...most kids aren't even crawling by then!" I say. "oh yeah...she completely skipped crawling all together", she tells me........ Of course she did.
So after listening to these two shrews brag about their extremely gifted child, who by the way the entire time is basically staring at the sun and eating dirt, I pulled out my big guns........breastfeeding. I prided myself on the fact that I exclusively breastfed my kid for a long ass time. I seldom bring it up but I knew a woman like her most likely didn't feed her kid the tit, or didn't try at all. So I mention in a subtle way that I can't get my kid off the boob, and then I ask the "One Upper" if she breastfed her brilliant child. She answers me by saying, "Oh I did for a while but I completely dried up!". Oh lord! I was just waiting for the excuse and she gave me a prime one. Because it's fucking impossible to dry up unless you stopped all together! Of course she quickly changed the subject back to her long and grueling delivery and how her husband yelled at every person in the hospital, demanding this or that because they deserved the best blah blah blah. And of course since I had a C-section and she didn't her labor was much more harder, and much more important and fu-filling then mine could ever be.
God I wanted out of this conversation, and my poor child just sat there staring at this women in silence. Part of me almost gave into the whole pissing contest between parents. I started thinking in my head, "if only this bitch could see what my baby could do...man I wish Olivia wasn't being so quiet right now. They must think she's slow or something". Then and there I knew it was time to go. But before we departed her husband had to throw in a few extra brags about how he'd seen the stroller I had at Wal-mart and was so glad he bought such an expensive one for his daughter...but he barely has room for it with all the toys and clothes she has.....Nice meeting you too.
Two days later I saw them coming out of the apartment a few doors down from me. Apparently they lived in the ghetto too. Apparently they were on low income housing section 8. No wonder he had so much to brag about...
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not completely against welfare. (Especially because if it wasn't for food stamps my ass would have starved when I was pregnant and fresh out of rehab) But today I received a sad little tid-bit of information that Paul and I didn't appreciate very much at all.
So we go in to pay our rent (late rent mind you cause we are poor...but not poor enough to be on welfare), and as we are waiting for our receipt a lovely young lady in house shoes, half braided corn rows, and a mickey mouse t-shit comes strolling in screaming about how our manager charges her too much money for rent. "That shit is fucked up yo!", she screams at our sweet old manager. He then responds with "But you only pay 85 dollars a month ma'am".....
"Ummm...... what?" Paul and I almost fell to the floor. Then Paul kicked me for saying out loud, "Lady are you fucking kidding me?".
She then proceeded to scream and complain all the way out the door, which she slammed behind her. I was speechless after that. Especially when our manager tells us that this happens at least once a day and that Paul and I are only one of three people in the entire complex who actually pay over 700 dollars to live here. That didn't make me feel any better either.
Basically because Paul chooses to have a job we don't get welfare which would help our struggle. And because Paul chooses to have a job with great benefits we get the honor of paying every body else's rent and food while they sit on their stairs all day "kicking it" and blast their stereo system at 3 in the morning waking my baby up.
After I had Olivia and we were really struggling because I wanted to stay at home to raise my own child while exclusively nursing her so she wouldn't get sick every 2 months and so she could also be incredibly smart (and she is so fuck you), and I applied for food stamps (not a fucking welfare check or section 8, just some goddamn food stamps, I was DENIED because Paul made 35 dollars over the limit.....35 DOLLARS OVER THE LIMIT! And this isn't counting car insurance, electricity, clothes for Olivia (not us), gas, school loans, medical bills, etc. ....All because my husband has a job..
So now I told Paul "Fuck it! Let's milk the government too! Why not? We can sit on our ass's as they grow into the shape of our couches, let Olivia be raised by the neighborhood kids as we make 4 more babies (more hand-outs for us!) while the family downstairs, which consists of a Husband and Wife who work jobs that don't pay shit for salary, pay enough taxes to take care of all of us!!
Got to be better then this struggle right?
So tomorrow is the big nationwide protest against Prop 8. I'm going to try my hardest to go, but seeing as it wouldn't be too safe to bring Olivia with me, I'm not too sure I'm going to be able to. If I had someone to watch her that early there would be no question about it. But I feel so bad that I cannot attend a protest for something that I feel so strongly about. I always say that "you have no right to complain if you aren't willing to get up and do something about it".
But all this still makes me think about how this protest wouldn't even be taking place tomorrow if it weren't for the passing of this ridiculous prop. To this day it doesn't make sense to me why some people are so incredibly afraid of letting people be who they are. I just want to shake them and say "what do you care who someone loves?". They don't understand because their right to marry the person they love has never been taken away from them so they have no idea how that could feel. I'm not saying I can understand that pain myself either, because when I wanted to marry Paul I was able to just get up and do it with no questions asked. But even at that time I would think to myself, "what if I couldn't do this just because I was gay?" What if I was in the same situation I am in now but living with a woman for 7 years? (needing insurance but not being able to get it simply cause I was born a type of person whom some people do not want to accept.
I get that there are people who are against gay marriage because their bible taught them so. I totally understand that because they were probably taught these ridiculous things since birth and don't know any different. But what about the people who don't follow or believe that bible? Why should they be subjected to the same rules and laws of a religion they are not apart of? Even my very Mormon sister has come to realize the ridiculous role churches have played in the whole situation, and after having several very long talks with her has come to realize it isn't a choice at all.
It baffles me that one can believe that being gay is a choice in the first place. All you have to do is meet and befriend....scratch that, just talk to..... someone who is gay to understand that it is the farthest thing from a choice, and there are millions of people's stories to back this up. There are gay people who have been ridiculed their entire lives, and had violent acts made upon them because of who they are. Do you think that they honestly would have choose to have that happen? There are gay people who are attempting to live a lie as a straight person because their faith or their families wouldn't accept the way they were born, and everyday they are forced to live a tortured and miserable life simply because they cannot be who they really are. But then there are gay people who are completely happy and content with their lives, wouldn't want it any other way, and could never live any other way if they tried. There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between gay people and straight people other then who each group chooses to love. No difference at all.
There was a time when white people thought black people weren't even people at all, and didn't understand that the only difference between them was the color of their skin. I honestly believe that is where America is at today when it comes to gay people. It enrages me that ANYONE can take away someone's right to marry the person they love. Just as a straight person wouldn't want to be forced to marry someone of the same sex, why should gay people be expected to change and only have the right to marry someone of the opposite?
I honestly think that this country has come way too far to take such as step back as this one. Gay marriage isn't going to hurt anyone. All that bullshit propaganda that has been flying around about all the consequences that will follow if gay marriage is legal was only created to scare the ignorant into doing and believing what is desired by "The Right". And that is to discriminate against fellow human beings.
If this doesn't change then I will honestly lose hope in this country more then I already have.
Sorry I ramble when I'm enraged....
So after doing a lot of research, reading, and talking to a lactationist, I've come to the conclusion that I am no longer in a hurry to completely wean Olivia. Turns out the benefits of nursing a toddler are HUGE! And not only beneficial to her but beneficial to me (less chance of getting almost every cancer there is). There is literally a laundry list put out by the World health Organization as to why nursing past one is the best thing for your kid, and I've already seen so many positive outcomes in Olivia (she is NEVER sick and is smarter then the average 19 mth old).
Yes, it's a pain in the ass sometimes, and I have insecurities about what people think and say if they see or know I'm still nursing. But I figure .....when the fuck have I ever cared what people thought before? Why should I start now?
So since this is the most un-selfish thing I've ever done in my whole life I've decided I might as well stick to it. Her health is more important then my comfort.
A good article on extended breastfeeding for any future mothers wanting info..