I hate everything.

I have decided that now is the time to crack down on having to say things 14 times before the children respond to me. So a conversation that used to look like this...

Me: Chicken? Milk or water with breakfast? Chicken? Milk or water? Chicken. Answer please. Drink. Milk or water. Chicken? I know that new truck is super cool but I really need to know what you want to drink with breakfast. Milk or water?

Chicken: Juice.

Me: Juice isn't an option. Do you want milk or water? Chicken? Chicken. Chicken? Ok, I'm going to pour milk for you. Good? Milk? Or water? Chicken?


... NOW looks like this:

Me: Chicken, do you want milk or water with breakfast?

(no response)

Me: Great! Thank you! BREAKFAST IS CANCELED. (I pull their plates off the table.)

(screams)

It's going SUPER-DUPER WELL*!!!!!!

*It's going about as well as plastic surgery: excruciating, but once the swelling goes down I'm confident things will look a lot better.

Chicken has taken to screaming into my face, after I have pulled his plate, "but NOW I will answer you Mommy! That's a YES ON MILK Mommy!" But I'm sticking to my guns and denying the child milk.

Listen, when I type it out like that it sounds demented. But listen, I offer him milk like half an hour later, and a hearty snack that looks strikingly like a once-hot breakfast. And you know that when I ask him the second time he answers me right off the bat.

I have no choice but to go to the mattresses here. The boys are strong, I've got crazy eyes, and Ryan is in New York so I'm cracking the whip and the children have no good cop. It's a scary time for all of us.


___



The fruit flies are back.

Chicken's Poopocalypse has become Poopocalypse NOW with yours truly in the starring role of young Martin Sheen (in other news Emilio Estevez is a vampire because there is no other way that young Martin Sheen looks THAT much like his kid.)


ducks
fly
together


the horror...
the horror...

Right?!?

Also, in the process of unloading clean sippy cups I guess I got a little juiced up and pulled the drawer front off the sippy cup drawer. So now the place where the children go for fresh milk in the morning is a splinter and nail farm.


___



I splurged at the toy store today and bought the children bath flutes.

Yes.

Bath flutes.

seemed like a good idea at the time


I had a fantasy that they'd emit a velvety smooth tone, like liquid chocolate.

You know, jazz bath flutes.

I was wrong.

They are plastic screech tubes best used for repelling bears.

The boys love them.

May God have mercy on our souls.
So you've decided to make your own Spa Water! 

Let me be the first to welcome you to the exciting world of possibilities that is Spa Water.

Now, you might be wondering... what the fuck is Spa Water?

Well, Spa Water is water that's been tarted up with any number of accoutrements - mint leaves, cucumber shavings, raspberries frozen in raspberry juice ice cubes that definitely do not look like diseased lumpy nipple ice cubes get your mind out of the gutter people, apple slices carved in the symbol of Prince may he rest in peace, orange zest, lemon mist, lime spirit, grapefruit aura, clementine chutzpah, tangelo piquancy, or watermelon longing.

Today we'll be covering the steps of how to make a Classic Buster Spa Water, but once you've learned the procedure you can customise the ingredients to your palate.

Prep Time: Yours? None. Your Mom will need to spend half an hour preparing a hot lunch of chicken nuggets, oven fries, yogurt with berries, and a cool, refreshing cup of water.

Cook Time: I don't really know because I'm 2. Felt pretty quick though. Like a squirrel. Squirrel quick.

Step 1:

Your mother will give you a cup with a lid on it. You must remove the lid. If you lack the finger strength and/or coordination to remove the lid, you must convince your mother to do it for you.

I recommend eyelashes.

if eyelashes don't work
there's always
everything else 2-year-olds do
to get shit done their way



Step 2:

Great! You've gotten the lid off of your water cup. Now the fun can begin! 

You'll need to plunge your entire hand into the cup of water to check its temperature, and also to begin the seasoning process. One of the best parts of Buster's Classic Spa Water is that every time it's different, based on what was underneath my fingernails when I first stuck my hand in the cup! Went to the beach that morning? Grit and cigarette ash! Spent the morning in? Earwax and carpet mites! Every day is an adventure!

oh come on
don't be shy
get the whole crusty mitt in there

is that a hangnail
see if you can shake that puppy loose
mmmm
crunch



Step 3:

Pre-seasoning complete, it's time for active agitation. Take a spoonful of ketchup from your plate of chicken and waffle fries. Stir it into the water. Say, "stir, stir, stir." You want to stir until the clumps of ketchup have all dissolved so the water is a faint pinkish color, like the water that drips onto the paper towel under a thawing chicken breast.





Step 4:

Allow the ketchup water to rest.

Marinate your chicken nuggets in the cup of organic, no-sugar-added applesauce that cost $9. Thanks, Mom! Definitely not gonna eat that at all! But it is GREAT for dipping nuggets for my Spa Water!



If it sounds good to you (and when wouldn't it sound good to you) add a tower of ketchup-soaked waffle fries atop the nuggets marinating in the costly apple puree. Not only will it mash the nuggets into the apple with more vigor, but it's also kind of like Jenga! Except with ketchup! 

oh i hope it falls soon
so i can lick ketchup spatter


Step 5:

To finish your Spa Water, plop one applesauce-marinated chicken nugget into the toddler hand and ketchup seasoned cup of water.

Please make sure to include a couple of pieces of... is that potato? Or ketchup globs? Whatever. You remember what Oscar Wilde said? "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

Serve immediately. If she loves you, she will drink it.

do not be fooled
she might bring the cup to her lips
and make a slurping sound
if she doesn't vomit
she didn't drink it

it's spa water okay
that's the deal

Did someone sign me up for American Ninja Parent and forget to tell me?

Seriously, is today the semifinal?

I walked into the boys' room this morning to find diarrhea on the beds, couches, diaper changing cover, and obviously all over the two boys, who were sitting side-by-side on the bed with a book open across their laps.

It looked like a crime scene. Like a food poisoning crime scene.

You know the old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Well, in our house, when life gives Chicken a stomach bug, Buster makes poop cakes.

A bath was in order.

While the boys splashed and chattered I gathered all the poop-caked textiles from the bedroom and started the laundry. I sent up a quick prayer of thanks that the rug had been spared. The laundry machine full and whirring, I checked my boys' nail beds, buttholes, toe cleavage, nostrils, ear caverns, elbow crooks, and belly buttons.  I declared them clean, wrapped them in towels, and said, "OK, let's go back to the bedroom for diaps!"

I guess I need to enunciate with more intention, because Buster heard, "OK, let's run naked into the playroom sans diaps!"

I let him go. Buster wasn't the geyser I most needed to cap. I had just enough time to get Chicken slathered with diaper cream and into a diaper before I heard Buster yell, "PEE!"

Down the hall I ran to the playroom, towel in hand. I had just enough time to throw the towel down on the pee puddle under the dining room table before I heard Chicken, back in the bedroom, yell "Mommy I need SOCKS! And I'm gonna POOP!"

BACK down the hall I ran to the bedroom, Buster tucked under my arm like a 30-pound football. I had just enough time to get a pull-up on Buster and Chicken settled on the potty with a Dr. Seuss book, before I heard Buster crow, "WAWEE!"

BACK down the hall I ran to the kitchen where Buster had held down the fridge door water dispenser until half the kitchen floor shone in a shallow puddle.

I pulled Buster out of the kitchen, where he'd been stomping in the puddle and delighting in the happy smacking sounds of his feet on the wet linoleum. I grabbed two towels (DON'T FREAK OUT DON'T YELL IT'S ONLY 7:40 IN THE MORNING KEEP IT TOGETHER SMALLS IT'S A FUCKING TEACHABLE MOMENT) and handed one to Buster, who looked at it for a blank second like a Duke who's just been handed a toilet brush, like he was thinking "what on EARTH do you expect me to do with this, Bartholomew?" before dropping it behind him as he wandered down the hall calling "Chicken?" (This, by the way, is how so many teachable moments go with your second kid. Most of the time I feel like I'm playing tennis by myself. I have enough juice to get the ball in the air, but not enough to keep it there, and within seconds it rolls, sadly, into that questionable puddle in the corner of the public courts.)

I had just enough time to sop up most of the puddle on my own before I heard, simultaneously:

Chicken: (feet hitting the bathroom floor) I'M DONE! And I still need SOCKS!
Buster: STAMPS!

Down the hall I ran to the bathroom, where I found Buster licking the stamp pad. I had just enough time to yank the pad out of his hands and shove it back into the stamp box (which I'd left out on the bathroom counter because when I say I had just enough time to pull the stamp pad out of his hands I mean literally that he has done this four times in 24 hours and THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ENOUGH TIME TO THEN OPEN THE CLOSET DOOR and put the stamp box away) before I caught Chicken with one foot out the door and had to put him in a half-nelson until I could wipe his butt. Per Chicken's explicit instructions, I wiped him "so GENTLY like a mouse going to sleep on my butthole."

I had just enough time to wash my hands and walk into the boys' bedroom to get Chicken's fucking socks before I heard Buster right behind me, saying in a small voice, "I help?"

I turned around and saw him in the bedroom doorway, golden hair a mess of curls, his mouth blackened with stamp ink like the most adorable Danny DeVito-as-The-Penguin you have ever SEEN. He stood in front of me naked and soaking wet, his arms and chest covered in still-running drops of water. In his hand he held a Pyrex measuring cup full to the brim with, you guessed it, fridge door water.

(Because earlier when I was cleaning up the first fridge door water incident, recall that I had just enough time to towel up the puddle on the floor and NOT enough time to lock the fridge door water spout before I had to go stop Chicken from tracking poop through the house and Buster from actually eating a stamp pad whole.)

I had just enough time to fall madly in love with him again before he upturned the cup and dumped the whole 2 cups on the carpet at his feet.

His voice said, "Uh oh," but his face said, "Fill it up AGAIN," so I had just enough time to grab the cup and another towel (for those of you keeping score at home, that's six towels in 20 minutes this morning), which I had just enough time to drop on the matted, squishy carpet swamp before I ran to grab the stamp pad out of his mouth AGAIN because I STILL didn't have time to put it on a high shelf.

Chicken only had to ask for socks two more times before they finally made it onto his feet.

The rest of the morning we pulled ourselves together and I managed to deflect requests to "paint a beautiful picture," with claims that the paint "went bad," and beaming offers of Nilla Wafers and apple juice. The two boys even worked together to make a Duplo train, and gave me enough time to drink 4 cups of coffee, pee, and move the now poopless sheets et al from the washer to the dryer.

SO if that WAS the Surprise American Ninja Parent semifinals, I'm pulling a Lieutenant Dan, strapping myself to the mast in this shitstorm and hollering "is that all you got?!?"

I'm pretty sure I'll be moving onto the final round. It is, after all, almost lunch time. And then it'll be naps, and after naps it'll only be a couple of hours until Ryan gets home. So really, since it's almost 12:30, most of my day is...

oh that can't be right

no
the battery must have

oh god
oh god
no
please

IT'S ONLY 10:30

The boys and I have a sweet nightly ritual.

As we're snuggling them up with their pillows, blankets, and stuffed loveys, I sing them a little song... you might know the one...



I firmly believe that my first and most important job as a parent is to ensure that my sons believe that at their cores they are good, worthwhile, lovable people. My job is to love them unconditionally.

So every night I sing them this little song, just to remind them that I like them just exactly the way they are.

Truth bomb. Tthis is a lie.

It's the second-longest con I've ever pulled. You were right, you guys. I AM DAN BROWN. I get wicked stoned and watch the History Channel and just write things while I eat Safeway cheesecake with marascino cherry topping.

YANYWHO, this is how the song goes down in my head:

I like you     YES
I like you     SO MUCH
I like you     YEE-UH
Just              UNH
the way       WHAT
you are        ... ... ish.

Okay, let me be clear.

Do I like my children? So fucking much.
Do I love them? So fucking much.
Do I yearn to change specific elements of their choices, preferences, and peripheral personality traits? So. Fucking. Much.

I don't want to change their fundamental personalities or anything. I wouldn't change Buster's boldness, for example. But, were I to be endowed with the power, would I perhaps edit out the way he holds unblinking direct eye contact while scraping chewed-up cheese slime off of his tongue and then flicking it onto the carpet? I think you know the answer.

Chicken, I like you just the way you are, except every time you find the place that I have hidden this book and you make me read it to you three times before nap and three times before bed.

oh my god
wow
where did you find that book?
oh yeah?
in the garage?
in a duffel bag?
underneath the wok?
on top of the drink fridge?
wow
that's
great
that you found that one
again

This is a book about counting to 100 using household objects.

This is a book in which you count to 100 on every fucking page and it is 700 pages long.

100 popsicle sticks.

100 pieces of uncooked pasta.

This book should come with its own car cigarette lighter that you can pop out and press into your thigh while you're reading it. Just to feel something.

Buster, I like you just the way you are, except when I'm taking you to your favorite playground and you spend the entire walk there screaming "NO! NO PLAYGROUND! NO PLAYGROUND!" And then you take it to DEFCON 5: the trademarked two-year-old "no," you know the one. The long vibrating windup on the "n," the squawking bark of the "o":

"NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNAO! NNNNNNNNNNNNNAO!"

And then we get there and you're like "slide."

no rock
no rock
no rock
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn--

jump


I love reading to Chicken. I love his focus, his bright eyes, his questions, his slender finger keeping count on paper clip number 74, 75, 76... But I do not like that he loves that fucking book.

I love hearing Buster speak. I love his spirit, his volume, the way he's learning to play with sounds... But I do not like that fucking sound.

Oh and the list goes on. Whining. Picking your nose every second you're awake (looking at you, Chicken. Right now. Picking your nose.) The fact that you expect me to sprout six additional arms every time you need a diap change (Buster, this one's all you, ya squirrely little gator.)

I think the distinction that I'm trying to make is that I love my children but sometimes they bug the shit out of me, and I would like for that to change. Stat.

Truth bomb:

Sometimes when I say, "I like you just the way you are," nobody in the room is buying it.

Sometimes when I say, "I like you just the way you are," what I mean is, "except for the really annoying stuff. I mean, I'm not going to walk away from you at the firehouse. But, you know, let's go ahead and grow on out of this bullshit. Quickly."

Sometimes when I say, "I like you just the way you are," I mean, "most of the time but NOT TODAY. Today you were a total dick."

But somehow, every time I say "I like you just the way you are," I mean every single fucking word.

Just.
The way.
You are.

It doesn't have to all make sense, you guys. Sometimes love is batshit crazy.
If you are a parent, you are Gandalf.

I'm dead serious right now. 
I'm as serious as a balrog in the Mines of Morier, y'all. 

Let me say it again.

If you are a parent, YOU ARE GANDALF.

Don't believe me?

Exhibit A:

You say, "Don't throw sand."
He picks up a handful of sand.

You:







You say, "Chicken."
He drops the sand.
But, like, with some air.
Definitely a whiff of softball pitch in that drop.

You:







He smiles. He says, "But I didn't throw it."

You:



Exhibit B:


Wait...


did I leave the glitter glue on the table?



Exhibit C:

Your kid finds an unopened box of raisins.

You find an empty box of raisins.





Exhibit D:

10 minutes into naptime. 
You child says, "I'm thirsty."





Exhibit E:

Your kid is climbing the slide.
You say, "dude, what did I tell you,
don't climb the slide, someone is going to hit you."

Another kid goes boots-first down the slide,
clocking your kid like a ten-pin.
He goes off the slide and gets a mouth full of wood chips.

The other kid's dad,
(we'll call him Thorin Oakenshield)
comes over to apologize.




Exhibit F:

You're cleaning up the play room at the end of the day
and you see a piece of chocolate on the floor...


NOT CHOCOLATE.

Exhibit G:

You dropped a glass on the kitchen floor.
Kid tries to grab a string cheese.




Exhibit H:

When your kid's at the art museum, trips on someone's handbag,


says "HOLY FUCK!"
and he looks too much like you
for you to just walk away.




Exhibit I:

When your friend's Aunt Diane
who never had kids
is like
"well seems to me that y'all just have to set boundaries, 
I don't see what's so hard about that."





Exhibit J:

Pizza night.



Exhibit K:

You're looking for a babysitter like


(could also be used for when you text a friend
to bring over more wipes and pedialyte 
because everyone at your house has norovirus)



 Exhibit L:

When you tell your kid
that you made
broccoli soup for dinner.





Exhibit M:

Your drug of choice is:


If you could have it on loop forever
just like this gif
that would be fine.





Exhibit N:

"I may not have any children
but I have three very spunky corgis,
and let me tell you what always works
when they're feelin uppity..."


You know, whenever I saddle up to write a post, I'm always aware of the fact that everything I'm about to write has already been written on the internet one quadrillion times. If we ran some of these blog posts through one of those automatic plagiarism detectors, I guarantee I would trip a red flag or twelve. I'm writing about parenting, toddlers, tantrums, feminism, sensational current events, and foolproof seasonal fruit gluten-free scone recipes. So is everyone else on the co-op board.

I'm aware that if I am going to earn your readership, I must begin by surprising you, and then continue to surprise you until the last word that I type, if I am to avoid disappearing into the thick batter of mommy blogs like just another unremarkable clot of flour. Like that scone thing. If you were paying attention, you know this is not the spot to learn about scones. No hate on scones. Just, you know, not in THIS blog.

So I'm about to write a post that has been written 17,492 times in the last 24 hours.

I'm going to write it anyway.

I got a tiny taste of working motherhood today.

I have a flexible part-time job assisting a professor at UW. I clean out the inbox, write recommendations, grade, and assist with other writing projects. I work at nights and on weekends when Ryan is home and I don't have to pay a babysitter. If one of the kids gets sick, we reschedule; I am fortunate to work for a woman who is happy to flex with the unpredictability of life with small children. 

Today was one of the rare occasions in which she needed me during regular working hours.

Sometimes stay-at-home motherhood can feel like a game without a winner. You know, like cricket. Or the Cold War. Absent even the sweet relief of defeat, there are weeks at a time that feel like I'm a dead cat walking, one of those old ones with patchy fur, one curly whisker, glaucoma, and four teeth, three of which are loose. The week before we moved from Brooklyn to Seattle I had a dream that I was dead but still totally walking around, seeing friends. They were like, "so what's new?" And I was like, "I'm dead now," and they were like, "cool. How is it?" And I was like, "honestly, pretty much the same," and they were like, "cool. Want to get pierogies?" And I was like, "I might be dead but I'm not taste-blind amIright?"

The dream was about the strange limbo of having moved on, and having stayed behind at the same time. That's what stay-at-home motherhood feels like, on hard days.

On the one hand, the kids grow; they cannot be stopped from growing, catapulting themselves forward, and I am just the jet-skiier clinging to the line, dragged behind the boat as they drive like hell for the horizon. It's a pulse-pounding, mortally dangerous enterprise. There should be daily, possibly hourly waivers, is what I'm saying.

"Welcome to Thursday. Please sign below to release us, your children, from any liability should you spontaneously combust/need to throw yourself in front of a moving train in order to save our lives because we saw something shiny on the tracks."

"I, _____________, understand that I am voluntarily participating in ___lunch with two toddlers___ and that any injury (including but not limited to physical, psychological, spiritual, and dental catastrophes) tht occurs between the hours of    12:15 pm    and    12:19 pm    is my own damn fault for not knowing that when the 2-year-old says 'sandwich' what he means is 'yogurt parfait,' or possibly 'ham. just one piece of ham.'"

How could it be dull? How could it be that glum, dead-but-alive deal I described?

Because so much of a child's explosive growth lives the following conversation:

Kid: Why is this cheese?
Me: It's cheese.
Kid: But why?
Me: Are you asking why I gave you cheese?
Kid: NO MOMMY. I said why is it cheese?
Me: It's cheese because... (drags both hands down face) OK so it started as milk--
Kid: Why was it milk?
Me: Cheese is made from milk.
Kid: Why?
Me: That's just what cheese is made of. Anyway they put the milk in a machine--
Kid: Why did they put it in a machine?
Me: To turn it into cheese.
Kid: Why?
Me: Because people like cheese.
Kid: Why?
Me: Because it tastes good.
Kid: Oh. (Tastes it)
Me: Right?
Kid: Why does it taste like that?

I KNOW I'M SUPPOSED TO BE EXCITED THAT YOU'RE CURIOUS. But right now I would trade all your curiosity for a single warm cup of shut up and eat your fucking cheese stick.

My world is a lens; it narrows and sharpens on a singular moment: Did he just say cunt? WhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo I THOUGHT I WAS RAISING A FEMINIST but it turns out he is a MONSTER and everyone knows Monsterism is genetic.

My world is a lens; it opens and I see the slight curve of the horizon, our smallness in the bowl of sky. The Earth is round, after all. We have time to work on feminism. Right now let's just get some cheese in this kid because he's on his 8th slice of watermelon and he's gonna need something to lock him up for a minute.

Round and round I go, in and out, claustrophobic panic to universal comfort, "I'm definitely fucking this up" to "I'm probably not fucking this up but even if I am we will all be dead soon, live in the present, namaste."

HE BIT ME it's okay kids bite and then they stop biting. HE'S AFRAID OF MR. NOODLE FROM ELMO mr. noodle is scary as fuck that's like a really healthy survival instinct and you should be so proud shhhhh sweetie here drink this tea shhhhh just drink it, all of it, there's a good girl. Now we wait.

Stay-at-home motherhood can feel like the only ride at Disney that doesn't go anywhere. All around you, you see people eating churros and taking selfies with Pluto. You see life, ice cream dripping, "Should we ride the fucking awesome roller coaster again?" "Uh fuck yeah! Best day ever!" And there you are, clipped into a 5-point harness on a bench seat bolted to the fucking ground.

I got a tiny taste of working motherhood today.

If stay-at-home motherhood can feel like a game with no winner, my single day of working motherhood felt like a game with two losers, and they were both me.

I got to leave the house in a blazer and flats to interact with adults and earn some money... but in order to win that prize, I first had to hustle for a babysitter, and thank God my mother-in-law stepped to the plate because otherwise I could have just given the babysitter's account info for my paycheck direct deposit. And then I had to pre-parent my kids, pack lunches, snacks, set out shoes for going into the yard, make sure to hit the highlights of today's parenting reel: "real quick guys before Grandma gets here what DON'T we do with our teeth?"

then i got to work and i was like
wheeeeeeeee
coooopieeeeeeeeees

i wonder if the kids are asking about cheese
they're so wonderful
i'm going to order them a cheese book
right after i'm done
collating


I got to come home to my children who missed me, kick off those fucking bastard flats, cook a dinner while they played on the deck, and relish the fact that tomorrow we could do whatever we want to, again... but I'm bolted to the bench again.

If stay-at-home motherhood is an interminable cling, like those Biggest Loser challenges where the contestants dangle from a rope over a pit filled with cow semen, fettucine alfredo, and cream-filled donuts and they just have to HANG ON, for ONE MORE MINUTE, then my one-day experience of working motherhood was an exercise in choosing the least losery of the two losers in a lose-lose situation. You know, like Fear Factor. Or the Bachelorette. Eat live fire ants or be buried alive for 72 hours? Marry Thad, the realtor from Staten Island who masturbates to his own selfies, or marry Tadd, the man-bunned horse-breeder from Connecticut who masturbates to Pinterest pages of antique dolls that have lost their eyes? Tough call.

I had to hold the line with an eye on the clock to get home to my kids when I said I'd be home; I had to pray that my sacrifice to the traffic gods would be received with pleasure and munificence. The neighbors won't miss one measley chicken, although we did get some calls about the drum circle. Good news though, it totally worked and I made it home by 4:30. Sorry, Fluffernutter (pours out some chicken feed on the ground.) #worthit

I rushed to get to work; I rushed to get home. I was never simply here.

It took all of 2 hours to miss my bolted bench, to miss watching people race around from my rooted perch.

Working moms, I hope that your reality does not reflect my feeling of being trapped in a room with Thad and Tadd. I imagine that this sense of deep-cutting compromise may be a common feeling for moms returning to work, not because I'm wise but because I'm not special, and if I felt this way my guess is that it's kind of the standard response.

Working moms, whether you work because you have to or work because you love it, I hope you go to work and take a minute every day to enjoy the thorough activation of your adult muscles. I hope you go home and take a minute every day to enjoy your children's delight that you are back. I'll tell you what, my kids don't rush me with hugs when I come back from the bathroom. I have come back from WORK to get that kind of hero's welcome. You have split yourself in half like a worm and you manage to exist in two places at once. That is some crazy voodoo hoodoo that you do and it is my JAM, b.

Stay-at-homeys, whether you're hanging on for dear life at breakneck speed, or clawing your eyes out as you explain "why this book is," I hope you take a minute every day to enjoy your fucking stamina as the kids demand all ten verses of "The Ants go Marching" in an Elmo voice... again. You are one badass mother.

Stay-at-home parenting or working parenting; winlessness, or dual defeat. Any way you slice it motherhood is a tough fucking gig. And you are tough, inside of it. Keep on keepin on. 
A Letter to My Baby Daddy
on Father's Day

Dear Ryan,

First of all, I just want to point out that you got to sleep in until 9:30 today. 9 FUCKING 30. Like a fucking ROLLING STONE in IBIZA on CHRISTMAS MORNING. 

But, gentle reminder, think about how much shit you usually get done by 9:30 every morning. You know, making the coffee, unloading the dishwasher, making the coffee, loading the dishwasher, and did I mention the coffee? Yeah, all your stuff? Don't know if you noticed when you sat down to your plate of piping hot scrambled eggs and your steaming mug of joe, buuuuuuut... I did that today. Ohmygod but don't get me wrong, I was seriously like so happy to make the coffee this morning.

Just, you know. Tomorrow's Monday, aka Not Father's Day, so... I am totes looking forward to that.

Do you remember when coffee became your thing? I do. 

Chicken was a newborn. I was off my fucking rocker, between the hormone cocktail, the identity crisis, and the sleep deprivation. I have no idea what you were, aside from standing nearby with an alarmed look on your face. 

I remember when I figured out how to combat both the claustrophobic repetitiveness of life with a newborn, and the crippling fear that the gross tonnage of my life had just shrunk down to exactly 8 pounds and 12 ounces. 

I made a to-do list for the week that included everything - EVERYTHING - I might conceivably do in a week: unload the dishes, cook a meal, take a walk, call a friend, take a shower, read a book to the baby, watch a movie, dance. 

You watched me create this list, just so at the end of every day I could cross something off a list, even if it was just "Eat lunch." CHECK.

You asked, "What can I do?" You couldn't do anything on my list, not because you couldn't perform the tasks, but because part of making the list was taking the responsibility for performing the tasks that made up this life that was supposed to be mine. You can't send your husband to try on espadrilles for you. You can't ask him to get your hair cut. When it comes to suiting up for your own damn life, it's all you.

But I could see that you wanted to do more. You already came home from work, took the baby, sent me out the door to yoga, cooked half the dinners, did all the dishes, and rose for your son if he woke before 2 am. You wanted more.

I said, "You can make the coffee."

And you did. Every morning. And you still do. Except this morning, when I ground the beans, boiled the water, plunged the press, and poured your cup.

When I was a kid and we'd stay over at my grandparents' house, I'd rise in the morning to sit on a stool at the counter, and watch my Granddad make coffee in the white Coffeemate percolator. He'd pour us both bowls of Rice Chex, and slice bananas into the bowls with the curved edge of his spoon, saying, "this way, we won't dirty a knife." The rich, slightly charred smell of fresh coffee filled the kitchen. We'd eat our cereal, and when the coffeemaker stopped purr-gurgling he'd pour a mug, add some cream, and climb the wide carpeted stairs to his bedroom. I have an image of my grandmother sitting up on one elbow in bed, holding the sheet against her bare chest with one hand, and sipping from the steaming mug with the other.


the best part of waking up
is not making the coffee yourself


I don't thank you enough for rising every morning earlier than you need to so that I can start my day with hot coffee. Conventional wisdom says that a girl marries her father. In my case, my dad learned from the best. Every morning you say I love you. Every morning I drink it down. If I still say thank you, it's reflexive. But today, I want to say thank you the way people do when they thank a barista who gives them a free cookie. Ohmygosh. THANK YOU. That was so nice of you. Really.

Thank you. I owe you four years' worth of coffee. But perhaps four years of clean underwear can be applied to my balance? We'll talk.

And, again, just a quick reminder, I made the coffee this morning, soooooo...

Love,
Kate



PS - Sorry about what happened at the movie theater.

PPS - I had no idea what would happen when I asked you to stand with Chicken and Buster in front of the Finding Dory poster.

PPPS - I thought, you know, hey photo op!

PPPPS - You have to believe me. I had no idea Chicken would bite your penis.

PPPPPS - Sorry for laughing for so long. But seriously, you try saying, "Chicken, penises are not for biting," while keeping a straight face. Especially while your soulmate is doing the Bullseye Dance while still holding a man-sized toddler. 

PPPPPPS - Also sorry I didn't offer to take Buster. I was just laughing too hard. But dude, SOLID. Only a hero takes a nip to the tip and doesn't drop the baby.

PPPPPPPS - Photo op:


just in case you've ever wondered
huh
i wonder what it would look like
if you had a picture of your family all framed up
and then
your kid bit your husband's dick?
the answer is
this


___


You may have noticed that this post is way longer than 300 words.

I'm calling off Month of Flash.

I noticed that under the severe restriction of 300-word economy, my shit was not funny. And I know you guys want funny. I'm sure there are people who can be funny in 300 words or less - in fact, I created two of them. But I'm not in that club.

For example, I wrote a 300-word version of "The Morningstar Farms Incident," and it SUCKED. It was all plot, no jokes. That joke that started, "Real quick, let's go on a journey..."? Remember that one? I really liked that joke! 300-word version? NO JOURNEY JOKE. It was enough to make me... (wait for it...) STOP BELIEVIN.

Shhhhhh... you're welcome.

So I'm keeping the Month of Blog but dumping the Month of Flash. You're welcome again.


Buster is a slab of a child, a barrel-chested boy of 2. Fresh from the bath and still undiapered he looks like he's been sculpted from butter: smooth, thick, uniformly solid.

He rolls out of tumbles with a smile. He's a puppy: friendly, clumsy, with big paws and a passion for gnawing wood.

(paws pictured actual size
yep
door-sized mitts on this one
kid's got prospects
in fly swatting
gonna be the lebron
of smacking flies.)


When he runs, he holds his arms out behind him, like Iron Man. Usually, he roars.

___

Buster made "a new friend." That's how he saw it, anyway.

Let's call this kid Morningstar Farms, because he resembled Chicken, but was definitely not Chicken.

Buster was running on the gymnastics mat, arms held out behind him, roaring.
You know, like you do in gymnastics class.
He spotted Morningstar Farms.
His trajectory shifted.

___

Real quick, let's go on a journey.

Imagine you're at Starbucks, waiting for your latte.
Standard Tuesday.
Imagine, if you will, turning to see a thick, curly-headed man in a dinosaur shirt running straight toward you with his arms thrust out behind him like Iron Man.
Roaring.

___

Yeah, Morningstar Farms crapped his pants too.

Buster sacked the boy. I saw his feet leave the ground. Buster pinned Morningstar Farms with his ham hands, laughed a low, gravelly, smoker's "Hehehe," and proceeded to devour his intestines.

(FYI if you've never had a toddler devour your intestines, it consists of him rubbing his face on your belly, going NOMNOMNOM.)

MF had the eyes of a poet and the defensive capabilities of a deaf newborn kitten. Poor kid never had a chance.

And now Buster had acquired a taste for Morningstar Farms.

No matter how close I was to Buster, I couldn't keep my kid's meathooks off. At one point I had Buster LITERALLY IN MY HAND and looked down to see him strangling Morningstar Farms with the collar of his own shirt.

Then... Buster bit him.

At the shriek I turned around to see Buster's open mouth pressed against MF's leg. His jaw flexed.

He must've tasted like Chicken, too.

Mortified, I apologized to the boy's mother, who said, "Meh, you can barely see the tooth marks."

I held Buster by the shoulders and said, "Biting is NEVER OKAY. NEVER. You hurt your friend. Look how sad he is. Can you go check on him please?"

Buster stalked over, dropped a heavy hand on Morningstar Farms' shoulder. I held my breath.

He leaned into the boy, smiling, teeth dangling in the cave of his mouth like white bats, and spoke into his ear:

"I

sharp

knife."



Word Count: 420

I'll write about why it's more than 300 tomorrow okay?
This month I'm writing daily Flash posts - 300 words or less.


- Fill a bucket of soapy water and walk from room to room scrubbing oatmeal handprints, marker slashes, and foreboding, unidentified brownish spatter from every wall, door, and cabinet in your home.

- Stuff a pinata. Respect people who buy pre-stuffed pinatas. Realize that your pinata is only half-full. Examine contents of pantry. Add oatmeal packets.

- Relandscape your yard to make it a bonafide kidgasm. Spend no less than 5 hundy. Eradicate all sticks and rocks from the yard. You've seen what they do with sticks and rocks.

- Invite 155. Life is short and you have a yard! This is late June, people. It will obviously be sunny. The children shall frolic in the stickless rockless yard, picnicking with juice boxes in fragrant, freshly-spread wood chips, dappled sunlight shimmering in their hair as they marvel at the Fairy Garden's edible marigolds, the Construction Zone, the tub table's velvety sand.

- Check the forecast. Rain.

- Panic.

- Harness panic into ninja focus.

- Make use of every inch of your home. Add seating in the bathroom. Coat closet? COZY READING NOOK. Adult bedroom? CAFE TIGER.

that's an adult bedroom
slash a tiger cafe

- Buy more beer, band-aids, sticker books, temporary tattoos, bubbles, and balls. BALLS. Balls are always the answer. To so many questions.

- Fill, then hide laundry baskets of unsightly crap. Hide them anywhere. This is challenging because all your regular hiding places are now reading nooks and Cafe Tiger. Discover new depths of resourcefulness. You may never find the laundry baskets of crap, that's how well you must hide them. Check under the eaves. If bats nest there you must slaughter them. Their poop is super bad for you and you need their spot to make sure your home is clean, comfortable, and unsightly-crap-free.


Word count: 300
This month I'm writing daily Flash posts - 300 words or less.

It's Chicken's last day.

The teachers clear their throats and blink. The kids clamor for deets about Chicken's new school; they try to out-crow each other:

"I LOVE Chicken!"
"I love him TOO!"
"Chicken's the BEST!"
"Remember how Chicken's a TIGER?"
"YEAH!"

All smiles.

Chicken walks around the room, hugging each friend. I know I'll cry if I look at their faces.

The last little girl hops up and down on her nap mat, her arms already outstretched, her stockings baggy at her ankles. When Chicken reaches her... dammit, I look.

He kneels down, wraps his arms around her hips, presses his cheek to her belly. She embraces his shoulders and stoops over to rest her cheek on his head.

Both their lunch-crusted faces wear the wide, chin-forward, closed-mouthed grins that cartoonists draw on satisfied cats whose backs are being scratched juuuuuuuuust right.

She says, "Good-bye, Chicken." He beams.

"Goodbye" is an important word; it nourishes our hearts as much as "love" does.

I think of the way people want laughter, not tears at their funerals.

I wish adults could celebrate parting like kids do. Children don't mourn the lost future. They are used to bubbles popping. Unlike adults, kids roll with a routine that isn't in their control. Time for bed, time for brussels sprouts, time to say goodbye to Chicken.

Chicken's time in this class has ended. We love Chicken! How great that we get to say goodbye! They give him tight squeezes. They kneel side by side and sink fingers into the cool dirt.

hey man
i got dirt in my diap


me too
only
mine's mud now

dude
classic

We say goodbye.

Our friends bellow love.

Chicken is off, floating on joy, wrapped in great good-byes.

I cry. I am, after all, not a kid anymore.


Word Count: 300
I subscribe to the philosophy that more is more; you can never have too much of a good thing. 

Some examples?

OK. JUST OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD HERE. 

Carrot cake, 
Joe Manganiello, 
other people's Pinterest fails, 
72-degree breezy spring days,
BMs that follow a traditional narrative structure with a titillating beginning, obstacle-laden, edge-of-your-seat middle, triumphant victory, and satisfying denouement that ties up all the loose ends... while leaving room for a sequel.

Also, writing. 

99% of my posts are twice as long as is advisable for internet writing. Why?

1. I almost don't even need to say that this blog is the Joe Manganiello of Mom Blogs. #MoreisMore


i've been thinking a lot about
potty training

epic tantrum this morning
we ran out of apples and cinnamon oatmeal packets
so i diced fresh apples
sauteed them in butter and cinnamon
until they were soft and sweet,
and then added this delicious nectar to the plain packets
but
that
wasn't
good
enough
i'm working on a post
about packing the perfect backpack
for a zoo trip

2. I lack discipline. Just ask carrot cake. Thank God for caftans that match your swimsuit amIrightladies? 

3. Who wrote the internet writing manual anyway? Fuck that guy. 

4. Most things worth reading contain thoughtful examination of complex ideas. In the words of possibly Einstein but sometimes the internet is wrong about quote attribution:

Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Regardless, it's important to try new things. 

So here comes another Month of Blog... with a twist.

My posts typically clock in around 3,000 words.

"Flash-fiction" usually contains no more than 300. 

This month I'm putting on a leash.

For one month, daily posts shall not exceed 300 words, including photo captions but excluding title.

Month of FLASH.


Word count: 300 exactly
Including captions
Shit that was hard
And this post wasn't even about
anything
Naming the child is an important task.

You must consider many factors:
family traditions
cultural mores
likelihood of that name to be turned into a summer camp taunt
and of course
love.

The procedure varies
depending on your birth,
blood,
your parents
and their fidelity to tradition,
and yours.

Traditionally,
Hispanic babies are baptized with two surnames,
the mother's and the father's,
in keeping with the Spanish custom.

The order varies,
though usually the father's is first.

For example,
Rosa Vasquez and Alejandro Perez 
are having a baby boy.
After a short, crazy labor
(he was in a hurry)
(they barely made it in time)
he arrives
with a nautilus of black hair
and they name him
Santiago.

Santiago Perez Vasquez,
just for example.
Santiago, of Perez and Vasquez.
Santiago, Alejandro and Rosa's boy.

It's important to note that traditions change
with the passage of time
and the crossing of borders.

Therefore, many Americans
of all backgrounds
do not have a uniform standard 
with which to comply
or from which to deviate
when they name their children.

But whether the parents name the child
in the same way they were named,
the next ring in the pond, already growing,
the next Roman numeral,
their parents and grandparents alive in every signature for the rest of their lives;

or simply by selecting the sounds that most pleased them,
the syllables that held the meaning of what they hoped their children might be
(broad-chested
kind
beautiful
little king
peaceful)
it's important to remember
that the parents named the child.

It's important to remember that all parents do this.
Every name
is an act of tenderness.
The first kiss.

The parents selected a name
to croon in the shell of his ear
scream over the playground when he disappeared from view
squeeze from between their teeth when they caught him 
sneaking beers.

The parents named the child
so that when he fell in love
his lover would taste that name again and again
and wonder why it was never so beautiful before now.

They selected a name 
to write on field trip permission slips
birthday cards
over and over again
at the hospital.
The child is always getting hurt.

Naming the child is an important task.
It's your first chance to say a prayer for him.
It's your first chance to say hello,
hello you. Yes, you. There you are.

It's your first chance to tell every damn person on earth
that he exists.
This is his name.

Name the child with care.
You will say it so many times.
And others will, too.
Hundreds,
thousands...
maybe millions
on the proudest day of your life
or the day your life
as it once was
ended.

Name the child with care.
You will say it so many times.
Laugh it.
Sob it.
Roll it over in your head.
Wear it on your skin.
Call it in the crowd
over the barriers
into the place
where he is not
please
please...

Name the child.
Print it in the paper.
Carve it into stone.

I typed the names.

(Should I end them with a period?
No, that's irrevocable.
Yes, they are worth completing.)

The parents named the child
for a grandmother who smoked cigars.
After the father who was proud to give what he had.
The name that sounded like a warrior;
she was born screaming. You couldn't miss her might.

Read every one.
Meet the child.
Hello you.
There you are.

You exist,
baby boy,
baby girl,
named beautifully
by your mother and father
with fidelity to family traditions
with disregard to taunting
with blood
beauty
and of course
love.


Edward Sotomayor Jr.
Stanley Almodovar III.
Juan Ramon Guerrero.
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera.
Luis S. Vielma.

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz.
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo.
Kimberly Morris.
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice.
Darryl Roman Burt II.

Deonka Deidra Drayton.
Alejandro Barrios Martinez.
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla/Alanis Laurell.
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez.
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez.

Amanda Alvear.
Martin Benitez Torres.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon.
Mercedez Marisol Flores.
Xavier Emmanual Serrano Rosado.

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez.
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez.
Oscar A Aracena-Montero.
Enrique L. Rios Jr.
Miguel Angel Honorato.

Javier Jorge-Reyes.
Joel Rayon Paniagua.
Jason Benjamin Josaphat.
Cory James Connell.
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez.

Luis Daniel Conde.
Shane Evan Tomlinson.
Juan Chevez-Martinez.
Jerald Arthur Wright.
Leroy Valentin Fernandez.

Tevin Eugene Crosby.
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega.
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez.
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala.
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool.

Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan.
Christopher Andrew Leinonen.
Angel L. Candelario-Padro.
Frank Hernandez.
Paul Terrell Henry.

Antonio Davon Brown.
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz.



"may your birthday
be so full of
magic
that you barf a rainbow"
is what the card should have said inside
I have all of these things swirling around in my head like the most depressing soup you've ever tasted, like a soup made up of Lifetime Original Movies, local news child murder stories, the tears of children who thought their parents would be coming home from the war, and those hungry dogs from the Sarah McLachlan commercials. Put those in a blender, my friend, and you've got a bisque of fresh spring-herbed despair the likes of which is in my head, growing that film on its surface even as I type.

I didn't want to write about Brock Fucking Turner tonight because the woman who continues to survive his attack has said everything, and it's her voice that we all need to shut up for, not mine.

I thought that nothing could enrage me more than the New York Times op-ed claiming that people don't trust Hillary Clinton because they don't know her hobbies.

I thought that I couldn't get more outraged than when the internet went after the Gorilla Mom, calling for social services to investigate her fitness as a parent when, in an unlucky split second, her kid did a kid thing.

I thought my eye would never twitch harder than when, for the umpeenth fucking time, Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood because of the ABORTIONS THAT CONGRESS DOES NOT PAY FOR.

I thought, okay, 2016, this is the year that Donald Trump gives me a rage stroke. At least I've found my upper limit. At least I've found the darkest hate-filled righteous rage place of screaming in my soul, and I've lived there for the length of an entire Trump press conference, and through prayer and the support of my sponsor, finally made it back to the light.

I thought I'd found peace.

THANKS, BROCK FUCKING TURNER.

YOU MANAGED TO TAKE SHIT TO THE NEXT FUCKING LEVEL.

You raped an unconscious woman, tried to run away, lied and changed your story, accused her of lying and irresponsibility. Then you put on a fucking navy blazer, got a fucking haircut, and promised to visit college campuses to warn students there of the dangers of ALCOHOL and PROMISCUITY. What a fucking plan. "I've been convicted of three counts of violent sexual assault on a college campus. You know what? I think I'd actually like to stay on college campuses some more! Maybe meet some young people. Offer them my wisdom. Will there be chicks?"

What, exactly, the fuck, were you planning to say there, Brock Fucking Turner?

Be careful kids. I had a bright future and DID YOU GUYS KNOW ONE TIME I MET RYAN LOCHTE? True story! I have Olympic rings keychains for everyone! Haha you're welcome! 

But then some really bad stuff happened to me. I got drunk one night and... yadda yadda yadda, you don't need to know the details but the next thing I know this guy jumped off his bike and tackled me as I was running away from... something, again, unimportant details, and before I could even take a deep breath it was like "elite athlete and future surgeon and All-American Stanford swimmer accused of sexually harassing an unconscious woman who graduated from A STATE SCHOOL."

Now, instead of being a surgeon, I'm a registered sex offender and I have to live in my parents' pool house and my dad got me a job at his investment bank which sounds good but it's not because all the other guys at my level... well, let's just say they didn't go to Stanford. I'm not worried though. My dad always says, cream rises to the top.

But that's what happens when you go to college and drink and meet women who say "no, you can't have sex with me," but then they drink some more and you just kind of hang out hoping they change their minds, and then you offer to take them home when they're passed out, and if they don't say anything then you know, like, they wouldn't have passed out with you if they weren't like, cool with it.

THIS is what happens when women have the right to make choices about their sexual partners! PROMISCUITY, right? And the tarnishing of a young man's once-sterling reputation. So the moral of the story is: women shouldn't drink OR have the right to make choices about their... wait. Let me check my notecards.

Brock, that's just about as fucking HILARIOUS as Jared Fogle setting up a middle school mentorship program for cheerleaders with absentee fathers.

Yes, Brock. I did just compare you to Jared Fogle. Who is also a sex offender. Like you are a sex offender. Because you raped someone.

Rape is a great fucking equalizer, you prick. The list of traits that you share with Bill Cosby just went up by one, motherfucker.

Dude, I don't even have to take you down because half of the entire fucking internet is posse'd up and ON THE CASE.

I don't even have to touch the absurd, delusional, victim-blaming bullshit written by your father and classmate, saying you shouldn't have to go to prison for rape because you haven't had much of an appetite, and "D'AWWWW LOOK AT THAT SMILE."

I can't even unpack the breathless insanity of Leslie Rasmussen's argument that Brock CLEARLY isn't a rapist because DUH he didn't jump the victim in a parking lot. And she has a point. Brock didn't kidnap her while she was on her way to her car. POINT IN FACT: Brock stripped a passed-out, unresponsive woman from the waist down behind a dumpster, not in a parking lot, ergo, not a rape. Good point, Leslie. That's good lookin out. #SISTERHOOD

Judge Persky, I don't even have to say shame on you, your honor. But I'm going to anyway.
Shame on you.

I don't even have to say a goddamned word about the bile-tasting irony that you're worried that this one night might impact the rest of your life. WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL. Getting caught raping someone was kind of a bummer, huh? You know what else is a bummer? I don't even have to fucking say it.

This pic has been all over the internet today and I am loving it:


This guy wants to make sure your dad knows that loving you, Brock, means not having a "you get one gimme" policy on rapes. Tattoos, yes. Putting your fingers inside an unconscious person? No. Sometimes love means zero fucking tolerance.

This writer helped your dad re-word his statement so it didn't turn me into a Feminist Werewolf anymore:

Lucretia Madden Pruitt
fixed this right on up
thanks girl

Yeah, half of the internet has already rendered a masterpiece out of taking you down, Brock Fucking Turner. I have nothing to add.

But then there's the other half of the internet that, well... as I'd say to Chicken, "is not my favorite."

Check out the comments section on this screamingly fucked-up Washington Post article in which "journalistic integrity" appears to have been scrapped in favor of "the bro code." (AND SHAME ON YOU, MICHAEL E. MILLER OF THE WASHINGTON POST.)

There's plenty of "why ruin two lives over one night of drinking? People make mistakes! What if he were your son?" comments which, actually, make me want to set those people on fire, literally tie them to a chain-link fence and pour gasoline all over their bodies and then strike a fucking match as I say, "I'm only ruining one life though, so you should really be fine with this."

There's plenty of the standard "but if she SEEMED FINE..." doubts, aspersions, questioning her timeline, questioning HOW drunk was TOO drunk. "She shouldn't have been drinking at a party with undergrads," writes one commenter. "She should have stayed home but instead she behaved like someone who refused to grow up, who wanted to party, so hooking up with a 19 year old while drunk seems opart (sic) of her "not acting like a college grad who should be old enough to know better"' SUCH A GOOD POINT CARLA1212 WE SHOULD TOTALLY RAPE HER.

Don't worry. We don't actually have gasoline in the house.

I tweeted and Facebooked a one-liner this afternoon: "May all mothers of sons raise Stanford bicyclists, not Stanford swimmers."

My intention was to remind everyone reading the internet today that there were three people that night who did not turn away when confronted with the ugly, uncomfortable truth of sexual assault: there were two men who saw something, said something, and chased a motherfucker down. And there was a victim who wrote and spoke publicly more than 7,000 private, devastating words about her body, her shame, her fury, her pain.

One woman on Twitter responded:

mothers & fathers of sons raise their sons to respect women. s mother & father are both culpable in this rape

Goddamnit.

I was having such a good pile-on.

I was really working up a magnificent fucking fury here, and then she had to go and ruin it.

Brock, man, just so you know, that shit is not going to fly. You've already tried blaming booze, campus culture, and female promiscuity, and we are all calling bullshit.

Your beer didn't rape a woman.

Your college culture didn't rape a woman.

She didn't rape herself because she was just so promiscuous.

And guess what?

Your parents didn't rape a woman.

You did. 

Is Brock Fucking Turner's dad a dick? Yes. Should he stop writing horrible fucking letters? Absolutely. Is he terrified, like all parents of perpetrators, that his son might face actual justice? Hell yes he is, and he's flailing all over the fucking place, insulting a woman who has been shamed and humiliated enough already, just trying to keep his son out of prison. I pity him. Truly.

But is it his fault that his son raped a woman? No.

I won't blame Brock's choice to rape on alcohol. I won't blame Brock's choice to rape on women expressing sexuality, women looking pretty, women wearing clothing, women doing things that men find appealing.

I won't blame anybody or anything except Brock for Brock's fucking decision and Brock's fucking actions because Brock is old enough to drink and drive and vote and go to war and be fucking responsible for his own fucking hands and what they do to women who are fucking unconscious.

THIS ONE IS ON YOU, BROCK FUCKING TURNER.

I won't blame Brock's parents because Brock Fucking Turner is a grown ass man. For 20 years, he has had coaches, teachers, parents, friends, TED talks, sports heroes, and role models who have all contributed to the diarrhea-colored mural that is his identity, honor, attitudes toward women, ideas about consent, victim complex, inability to take responsibility, borderline sociopathy, and general shitbirdery.

This isn't ROOM. He didn't spend 20 years in a shed with only his parents to teach him about the rules of courtship, and then emerge, go directly to a party, and then wait for the first girl to pass out into his arms so he could violate her with astonishing lack of remorse, just like his parents taught him. HE HAS BEEN SOCIALIZED. If you don't like what this "socialized young man" looks like, I suggest you, reader, might lift your gaze from the easy target of that young man's parents and take a good fucking look around at the world that you helped build with your attitudes about women, and your votes, and your silence when someone asks, with a disapproving purse of lips, "but what was she wearing?"

DID NOBODY ELSE READ MISSOULA BY JON KRAKAUER.

This news cycle is a devastating, wrenching, and humiliating reflection of American misogyny.

This just in: rich, white, educated, athletic young man who (whoopsies!) drank a little too much one night > working-class woman who shouldn't have been out drinking at a college party anyway (what did she think was going to happen?)

By the way, we would never have heard about any of this if these people weren't white.

God damn it, I just wish someone would change the fucking record once in a while.