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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass


Author: toni

~ 07/20/09

 

Okay. Before any of you start in on me about Julia’s make-up in this picture. No – there isn’t some freaky Jon-Benet thing going on here. She had just done her dance recital for which her DANCE INSTRUCTOR said they needed to wear make-up so that they wouldn’t look washed-out on stage. FYI- she’s not allowed to wear make-up otherwise.

So now that you’ve put down your pitchforks and torches… I have a story. As usual.  

Julia was standing in her bathroom the other day, brushing her hair.

She looked at herself in the mirror, her hair pulled back off her forehead, at which point she said:

 

JULIA: HOLY COW! Where the HECK did I get all that forehead?!

ME: Uh. Well, sweetie. You get that from both me AND daddy.

JULIA: You guys gave this to me?

ME: Well, yeah. Everything you have comes from me or daddy or both.

JULIA: (shooting me a “this-is-another-thing-I-can-blame-you-for-in-therapy-years-from-now” scowl ) Oh.

 

Rats. She noticed. It’s this current obsession she has with growing her bangs out.  

Yes. It’s true. Her father and I (okay mainly me) are members of the high-forehead genus. You’ve seen us around. Rihanna’s one. Calista Flockhart. That guy who played the biology teacher in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. With her genetic DOUBLE WHAMMY, Julia is likely to end up with a forehead that falls into the Christina Ricci realm.

The bottom line. I knew it was coming…that forehead…on her.  All I had to do was look in the mirror. I mean, you always hope that some recessive “less forehead” gene will kick in. But I think like brown eyes, curly hair and the proclivity toward polishing off a whole bag of chips in one sitting, high foreheads are dominant.

But what’s the big deal anyway? While I was not always happy with the size of my forehead, I got along okay. So I can’t pull off the baseball cap look… I never had trouble getting a date! And I HAVE NEVER, NOT ONCE said anything negative about it in front of Julia. It has been my goal to make sure she grows up with healthy self-image and self-esteem… which, as you’re probably guessing from this post… I DID NOT.

So I told Julia how beautiful I think her forehead is. How it’s a sign of higher intelligence (well, except in the case of Rihanna who stayed with a guy who hit her).  And how beautiful she is in general. And smart, and talented and kind… And I meant it all with all my heart. To me she is the most beautiful thing walking the planet. My words seemed to help…some. But I’ve since caught her covertly checking out her forehead in the mirror. (How early this self-critical stuff kicks in! I think I’ll blame it on the objectification of women in advertising like everyone else and do a post on it later).

Yet, I still felt guilty. Yep. Guilty for passing on what she may grow to consider a less than desirable trait. I know, I KNOW… in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal. I mean she’s a healthy kid after all. And believe you me, I’m soooo grateful for that. Still, let’s face it…it’s what we mommies do. I mean, besides the cooking and cleaning and the packing for EVERYONE when we go on long trips… we feel guilt. About everything!

This “forehead guilt” got me to thinking. I guess all us parents pass on something to our kids that we wish we didn’t. And I’m not talking about genetic predisposition to illnesses. That goes without saying.

I’m talking about characteristics. Physical, emotional, talents or lack thereof. (The big nose, the tone-deafness, the inability to catch a ball if your life depended on it which leads to torturous years in P.E. class.)

I’m not the only one, right? There are others of you out there! I KNOW there are. I’ve talked to many mommies about this.  WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU  WISH YOU WON’T/DIDN’T PASS ON TO YOUR KIDS?  COMMENT… IF YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO ADMIT IT.

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Author: toni

~ 06/15/09

 

Below is a picture of Julia in her Grandma Ada’s back yard in West Virginia. The picture doesn’t do it justice because, well, it’s an acre. When Julia (who was born and raised in L.A.) first stepped into it she said,”HOLY MOLY! Now this would be a good back yard for Friday Fun! We could do cartwheels and put up tents and have a campfire and roast marshmallows and catch fireflies…!”

For those of you who have been following the website, you know that Friday Fun is our weekly Friday get-together with mommies and kids in the neighborhood, where kids play like lunatics and mommies drink like well, mommies in desperate need of a cocktail…

You also know that we at MAMMAKAZE live in the Los Angeles area. And if THIS was OUR backyard, Julia would be leaning against a slump stone wall that was only 35 feet from the back of our house, our neighbor’s house (and everything they were doing in it) would be prominently featured in the background and any attempts at cartwheels might end with Julia SLAMMING HER FOOT against the air conditioning unit or another slump stone wall. Also, campfires are out of the question as we live in a high fire area and the insurance companies are still settling from the LAST wildfire. Although we did recently ROAST MARSHMALLOWS over a fire bowl I got from Target using a Duraflame Log. I know, LAME. And don’t get me started on the chemical hazards.

Nope, LA sure ain’t West Virginia. Know what we DO HAVE that West Virginia doesn’t have? Traffic. Oh and pollution.

And truth be told, beautiful oceans, mountains and deserts within an hour drive in any direction. Plus LOTS TO DO!   And most importantly– NO SNOW!

I don’t know what’s better for a kid. CITY OR COUNTRY. I DO KNOW Julia really enjoyed the different landscape. She marveled at the thunderstorms. Watched in awe as the fireflies glowed. And thought it was the coolest thing there was a creek in the yard! She was very relaxed and happy. Even though she didn’t watch TV for a whole week! She even CRIED when we left – wishing she could stay longer.  

WHAT DO YOU THINK? DOES WHERE A KID IS RAISED AFFECT THE KIND OF PERSON THEY BECOME? IS BIG CITY BETTER FOR ITS CULTURAL ADVANTAGES? OR ARE SMALL TOWNS BETTER FOR THEIR LAID-BACK AND UNHARRIED LIFESTYLES? COMMENT.

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Author: toni

~ 06/09/09

 

Julia has an AMAZING MEMORY. She can remember exactly where we parked at the mega-mall (which always eludes me). When she’s off from being grounded from treats (to the minute). And what exactly I said last week that is in direct contradiction to what I am saying at the moment…It’s REALLY annoying.

But this brilliant, razor-sharp memory didn’t always exist. Know how I know? She told me when it began.

JULIA: I have something to tell you. But I don’t know if I should because you might not believe me.

ME: (the teen years still far off) Honey, you can tell me ANYTHING. I will always believe you.

JULIA: I remember the exact moment my brain started remembering.

ME: (per my promise, trying not to sound doubtful) Oh, really?

JULIA: Yep. First there was blackness, see? And then there was the start of light and stars and sound. And then suddenly I had my first memory.

ME: What was it?

JULIA: My first haircut!

Her first haircut. Well, since she was just two at the time and six months away from her first trip to Disneyland. That sounded about right.  I mean, it was a really cute haircut. And she was so proud. So, as promised, I believed her.  Then again, maybe she just remembers the following picture…

Julia’s first haircut AND her first memory. Age 2.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? WHEN DOES MEMORY BEGIN? And if it DOESN’T begin before 2 years, why do we bother with those elaborate birthday parties that cost us hundreds of dollars?  COMMENT!

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Author: toni

~ 05/27/09

Okay. One day soon, I’m going to open that YouTube account and learn to embed videos in my website so that I can post the video of Julia performing “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” (in a cockney accent) at her school talent show today.

Until then, I’m posting the photo I took of her in her costume. Full-on channeling of Eliza Doolittle. Or as Randy the perfekt husband and even perfekter father says “channeling Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle”.

Now I know some of you MY FAIR LADY purists lean more toward the Julie Andrews version. We’re big fans of Audrey Hepburn in ANYTHING. So, there you have it. And here you have Julia…Isn’t she loverly?  

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Author: toni

~ 05/25/09

 

So last week on The Mammarazi Pages I talked about Julia’s inate love for pink, despite all our efforts to the contrary. 

What I didn’t mention was that the girl has a DARK SIDE.  She’s like that really dark chocolate you can get at Trader Joe’s that’s 70% cocoa -SWEET BUT WITH A REAL EDGE.

I mean, on the one hand she asks Santa for a white sparkly gown, matching slippers and tiara for Christmas. On the other, she’ll sit with me for an episode of “MAN VS. WILD” and watch Bear Grylls cut out the heart from a dead sheep and eat it raw. Randy the perfekt husband covers his eyes and says “Ew! How can you girls watch that?” To which Julia will reply, “What, dad? It’s no big deal. He HAS to eat to survive!”

Other things that don’t bother her: Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter. The Transformer movies (the Michael Bay ones, not the animated ones). The Medusa (which by the way is her favorite Gorgon). The Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. And creepy Halloween decorations. In fact, she gets to pick one Halloween decoration a year to add to our collection. Does she pick the the string of sparkly pumpkin lights? NOPE! She’ll spend forever in TARGET poring over the gruesome possibilities and inevitably choose something that’s LACKING FLESH, has FLASHING RED EYES and SHRIEKS when it detects motion.

What DOES scare her? MUMMIES. (We have no idea why). And the movie CORALINE.  Other than that, if there’s a show where they sew up a severed finger, she’s there. 

Still, I REFUSE to give in to her begging to see the new TERMINATOR movie. Nu-uh. Ain’t happening.

Beauty among the ruins

DO YOUR KIDS HAVE TWO SIDES TO THEIR PERSONALITIES?

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Author: toni

~ 05/18/09

When we found out we were having a girl, Randy the perfekt husband proclaimed:

 “I don’t want to get her anything that’s pink!” 

See, he wanted his girl to grow up strong and tough like Linda Hamilton in T2 and not be forced into the stereotypical corner of Barbie/My Little Pony/Disney Princess girlydom. I thought he was being a little extreme, but since he was the father, I felt I had to respect his wishes. Naturally this has since changed as I have learned better, but back then I told everyone who was buying us gifts for the baby shower to steer away from pink. And Randy very specifically picked out gender-neutral clothing to bring her home from the hospital. She wore a white footie thing and a deep purple hat from Baby Naartjie. She looked like a boy Eskimo.

Well, I continued to work hard at respecting Randy’s wishes. I even bought her one of those nightmarish educational mobiles that’s black, white and red instead of the cute, pastel teddy bear one I had my eye on.

Know what happened?

Crown Princess Julia Ann

The minute Julia was cognizant she began gravitating to, you guessed it, PINK! Stuffed animals, clothes, hot dogs. If it was pink, she wanted to grab it. If it was PINK AND SPARKLY, she wanted it MORE!

Today, I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t a girlier girl around. Randy has long since given up the fight. He even went to 5 different stores to find that iPod in HOT PINK for her last birthday.

And me, I’ve come to believe that while environment plays a certain part in who a kid becomes, basically they are who they are the second they pop out from between your legs (or in my case, my lower belly). Penchant for pink and all! 

 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? IS IT NATURE OR NURTURE THAT DETERMINES WHO OUR KIDS BECOME?

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