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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 09/30/09

Don’t you love these studies that keep coming out that state the obvious? You know like, too much high fructose syrup makes you fat, divorce can emotionally hurt children, men prefer large breasts?

I mean, who FUNDS these studies? And can someone please tell them that their money is better spent on say, domestic violence programs or food banks? Cuz, not to state the obvious without a multi-million dollar study backing it up but, men beat up women and people in the U.S. are hungry.  

The latest study says that PARENTS LIE FREQUENTLY TO THEIR CHILDREN. (CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE). Duh. I could have told you that. In fact, ANY parent could.

We start from the time they’re little with the FANTASIES we feed them. SANTA CLAUS, THE EASTER BUNNY, THE TOOTH FAIRY. These are all elaborate lies, some around which billion dollar industries have cropped up. We rationalize these lies in order to perpetuate the “magic of childhood”. In fact, we even get upset, downright PISSED if someone shatters these lies for our kid before we parents our children are ready to let go of them.  

I mean if some OLDER KID on the playground tells your KID there’s no such thing as Santa? Admit it, it boils your blood.  Know why? because we relive our childhood vicariously through our children. It makes us feel young again to witness their belief in the magic.

Which is why I was ticked off when Julia came home from kindergarten in tears because they were playing a game called “FACT or FANTASY” in which you name something, like the Loch Ness Monster and you say if it’s fact or fantasy. Well, they said “Fairies” and Julia said FACT. Her teacher said, “No, it’s fantasy.”

Julia was beside herself and so was I. I mean, I had spent her formative years convincing her that fairies existed. That those little reflective lights on the ceiling of the car that came from my watch or ring, were in fact her guardian fairy BETTINA (whom she named) coming for a visit. I told her stories of her great great great great great, etc., Irish grandmother GWEELANA, who had been a fairy who married a mortal and that meant Julia had fairy blood in her.

Yes, I know. An elaborate lie fantasy, but one that was an endless source of imaginative fun and bedtime stories. All shattered in one moment by a Kindergarten teacher.

But these aren’t the only lies we tell our kids.

Think of the lies parents tell when confronted with uncomfortable situations or topics. Like, where do babies come from? Why does my sixteen year-old cousin suddenly have such a “big belly”? And what was daddy doing way down under the covers on your side of the bed? The ANSWERS: The stork, she’s eating too many Krispy Kremes and looking for my contact lens.

Then there are the “little white lies” so named to ease the guilt of telling them. These include lies one tells to spare feelings. Those feelings usually being our kids’ feelings. Like, “I’m sure you weren’t invited to the party because it’s a party for bigger girls only”. Or “Daddy and I weren’t fighting. We were having a discussion”.

Okay, on the less admirable and defendable side, we also lie to get our kids to DO things or to STOP DOING things. Like, “if you keep doing that your face will get stuck like that”.  “If you don’t brush out your hair spiders will take up residence there”. “If you don’t quit eating your boogers a GIANT BOOGER will come and eat you.” OR if when a kid misbehaves, you pick up the phone and pretend to have an extended conversation with one of Santa’s elves named WEEBITTEN at the North Pole about the bad behavior, including running down every transgression since the first of the year and what toys on the list will be taken away … Uh, I’m just sayin’.

Look, we gotta lie to our kids. Because sometimes they’re not ready for the truth. And sometimes, frankly, we’re not ready for it either.

It’s not that we don’t believe that honesty is the best policy. It’s just that we don’t believe it’s the best policy ALL THE TIME.

Does this really damage a kid, as the study suggest? I don’t think so. Because we parents have the instincts to know when our kids are ready for the truth. And when they are, we start telling it.

Well, usually. For now, Julia has resumed her belief in fairies. Because I told her that her teacher was like all those characters in movies who don’t believe in Santa. They have lost the magic in their own lives. I asked Julia if she wanted to be one of those people. She said absolutely no. So she believes. At least until that 2nd grade kid on the playground or the older brother of a friend tells her otherwise.

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Author: admin

~ 09/29/09

Today’s post is by guest Mom blogger ROBIN, a writer and mother of 2. ENJOY!


Two weeks ago my DAUGHTER started middle school and my SON started high school.  To celebrate their each having survived the first day, I took them with some other teenage friends to a place called Yogurtland.  It is a land of self-serve yogurt and unlimited toppings.   There is an unspoken code of etiquette in Yogurtland, (kind of like how friends have described the benign dictatorship that is Singapore).  It is understood that you form a line at the first machine even if that is not the flavor you want and move along cafeteria style until you reach the toppings bar, where the same rules apply.

Well, that afternoon, it was overrun with five year-olds who had just completed their first day at a nearby kindergarten.  They ran roughshod through the place like it was a saloon in Dodge City.  They JUMPED ON and OVER the railing, PULLED at yogurt machine handles, SCAMPERED around the small section adjacent to the door filled with adorable bistro tables and matching bistro chairs and HURLED plastic spoons and sporks at each others heads.  Their mothers sat nearby, oblivious to the chaos and deep in conversation about hair.  Yes, hair.  One of them recently had a haircut about which she was insecure. 

We moved through the line as well as we could manage, (dodging the toddler touring company of ‘Jackass’ along the way) and found a table at the back of the crowded shop.  The few other patrons looked like frightened townsfolk as they tried to enjoy their frozen treats.  My kids and their friends quietly sat and ate, taking up a table to themselves in the corner, while I managed to find a seat  in front of the large window facing the parking lot next to the ramp leading out the front door.  An older man who looked like he was a WWII Vet nearly had steam coming out of his ears as one of the little hooligans did a half gainer over the railing next to him by the exit ramp.  The mothers were still deep in conversation, although they had now moved on to diets.  One of them must have been on one, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out which one, since they collectively weighed less than my Peanut Butter Cup/Dutch Chocolate Swirl.  And that’s without toppings.  

All of a sudden, one of the women jumped up and ran towards me, her stick arms outstretched in alarm. 

‘DON’T WIPE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!” She yelled towards me, not more than an inch from my face.

The entire shop turned around to look. 

‘WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”  She screamed again.  It was then that I realized she was screaming at her son who was outside in the parking lot and that she was reprimanding him through the window!

I looked over to the adjacent ramp leading out the door, confused as to why she wouldn’t have used the exit and gone outside to discipline her child.  And how absurd that her idea of discipline was for all practical purposes, still not directed at the child, but at ME!

Shocked and appalled, and realizing that there was no Sheriff of Yogurtland who would burst through the back door of the establishment to restore order, I said,

“What on earth are you doing yelling at me?”

She looked shocked, but the question did get her to exit the place to speak to her son directly.

Now, here’s the strangest part.  She came back in and apologized, but here’s what she said, and I quote:

“I am so sorry.  That was so rude, but you have to understand that I looked up from my yogurt to see my son nearly being run over by a car in the parking lot.  I had to get his attention.  He had stuck his hands in something in the parking lot and was wiping it on his clothes.”

And that was it.  That was her explanation/apology.  Apparently she demonstrated concern for her son’s physical safety by yelling out hygiene and laundry tips.  She believed her son in mortal danger, but screamed at him about handprints on his new khakis.  Surely she could loan him a pair of hers in a pinch as they looked to be about the same size.

I have to say I was more embarrassed for her than angry with her. She looked asinine for not going outside to deal with her kid and she had no clue.  Now, she stood in front of me, offering an inane apology and waiting for me to accept it.  The whole place was watching to see what I would do.  I considered explaining to her what she really did wrong and then launching into a tirade about the lot of them taking over Yogurtland and ruining it for all the other good people who managed to follow the mores and values dictated by society.  But in the end I said, “I appreciate your apology.”   Because I wanted her to just go away. 

I looked at my group who were, quietly and politely licking their spoons and making their way to the trash cans after busing their own table.  I hoped the little hooligans and their mothers would take notice of the example set by the well behaved gang of teenagers.   But by that time, the little tykes had moved on to terrorizing patrons exiting the dog groomers next door and their mothers had yet to take notice that their kids had left the premises. 

When we got in the car my fifteen year-old SON who barely does anything but grunt at me lately said,  “I love you.  You’re a really good mom.”

Now that’s what I call topping.

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Author: toni

~ 09/28/09


Another week on the treadmill of mommyhood and I’m already barely keeping up. Jane! Stop this crazy thing!

Despite my giant list of personal things to do, we have an exciting week at MAMMAKAZE because…


ROBIN is a writer and a mother of 2 (a high school age boy and a middle school age girl).  I thought it’d be fun to get  the perspective of a mom with older kids than Julia, who is only 7. And Robin has plenty of persepctive, lemme tell you! 

Many of our readers have older kids and for those of us who don’t, we can learn and prepare for the coming teenage years. 

So TUNE IN TOMORROW for Robin’s very amusing post!


Today, check out the post on the study that shows BEING SPANKED LOWERS A CHILD’S IQ.

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Author: toni

So yet another new study has yet another take on the dos and don’ts of parenting. This one says that the more a child is spanked the lower their IQs. (CLICK HERE TO READ IT)

That’s definitely food for thought since of course most parents want smart kids, as evidenced by the boom in Baby Einstein dvds and college prep courses available for kindergarteners. 

Thing is, I don’t know too many parents who spank nowadays. At least not on a regular basis. At least they don’t admit it. Know why? Because like naming a sports team “Indians”, spanking is no longer politically correct.

I don’t know exactly WHEN this happened. But unfortunately for me, it didn’t happen soon enough.

Was a time (when I was a kid) that spanking was the punishment of choice.

Parents felt free not only to spank their kids on a regular basis for any infraction, but to do so in front of others – in supermarkets or department stores or in the concession line at a movie theater – without any repercussions. I saw kids get spanked all over the place. And no one said anything about it because it wasn’t considered their business. How one disciplined their child was private matter… even if they chose to do it in a public place. In fact, as kids, we were always careful not to provoke our parents in public knowing full well we’d get clobbered in front of people, which was worse than the spanking itself. The humiliation factor and all.

Now I grew up an Army Brat. My Stepdad was career military. My mom was full-blooded Italian. So discipline in our household alternated between “the belt” and “the wooden spoon”. You can imagine who used what. Neither was pleasant. But we could usually outrun our mom (she insisted on wearing high heels even while cooking). The knick-knacks incurred more damage than we usually did. Of course, when that happened, we got blamed not only for the original infraction but also for the broken vase or lamp or those awful glass grapes that took up space on the coffee table. And then, the punishment duties would be handed over to my Stepdad.

Not only did he mean business when he spanked us, he made sure there was no fabric between the belt and the back of your legs. There were more than a few days that I had to wear longer skirts to school to cover up my “punishment”.

As bad as we had it, I remember one little Asian boy who had been adopted by a childless American couple who lived in our building in Frankfurt, Germany. His parents made him wear a wooden paddle on a strap around his neck, all day, every day. On the paddle were the words, “If I am bad, you may spank me.”

I am not even kidding. All us kids in the hood knew about discipline. We all had dads who had been through boot camp and seemed to feel the need to pass on the joys of that experience to their children. But even we kids thought this went too far. There’s spanking and then there’s the dreaded humiliation. Needless to say, none of us ever used the paddle on the kid.  Generally, we felt this kid was being punished enough having these jerks for parents.

Nowadays, that poor kid would have been removed from the home and the parents likely prosecuted.

In fact, nowadays, if you say a cross word to a kid in public Child Protective Services will be on your ass before you can finish saying,”If I have to pull this car over I’ll…”

Okay. Maybe we’ve gone a little far. I mean prosecuting a mom for dragging her kid through a store on a kiddie leash is a little extreme. But like anything, the pendulum usually swings from extreme to extreme before finally settling somewhere in the middle.

So, we’re extreme about protecting our kids. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. After all, it’s nice to know that someone’s watching out for kids. Just because someone is a parent doesn’t make them a “good” parent. And just because someone has had a kid doesn’t mean they have the right to beat the crap out of them. And looking the other way when a parent abuses their child is not okay anymore.

And now, science is proving that spanking is bad. It stunts a kid’s intellectual devlopment. It lowers a kid’s IQ.

All I can say is, if they’d figured this out sooner, I might have found the cure for cancer by now.

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Author: toni

~ 09/25/09


Know what I’m feeling guilty about this week? The fact that I have obviously passed on some serious allergies AND my throat spasms to my innocent little girl. Yep. For the last couple of weeks, her nighttime cough has ended with her throat closing. She awakens in a panic and the only thing that helps is if I give her water to drink. It opens her throat and she can breathe again. Needless to say, it’s scary and I’m at her side constantly in the night. 

I’ve been to pediatricians, I’ve been to ENTs. No one has an answer. My next step in an allergist. Meanwhile, I wonder when I’ll ever feel safe leaving her alone to sleep again?

I also wonder what we both could have been exposed to for us to be having these similar reactions. I’m horrified by the chemicals that have become part of our everyday lives. But I’ll save my feelings on this subject for a rant.

Right now, all I want is to for my little girl to feel healthy again. That’s the most important thing in the world.

So, this week, instead of drowning my blunders in an alcoholic cocktail. I feel more like healing them with a drink that is natural and refreshing and packed with those antioxidants everyone’s talking about. I don’t know if they work. But at this point I’d try anything. I’d buy a gallon of hand-bottled elixir from a dude wearing a straw hat in a tent who handles snakes and speaks in tongues.

So, drink up and heal whatever ails you.




1 cup strongly brewed green tea (2 tea bags to 1 cup water)
2 cups mango nectar
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs for garnish
Mango slivers for garnish

Combine tea and mango nectar in a pitcher. Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs and mango slivers.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 97 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 4 mg sodium.

What you get: Antioxidants, vitamins A and C. (Chew the mint and you’ll get an extra bit of fiber and folate.)



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Author: toni

An Indonesian woman gave birth to a 19.2-pound baby boy! He’s pictured below next to an average size baby.


19.2 pounds! This super-sizing trend has gone too far! That’s like me giving birth to almost 3 Julia’s! Which is hard to imagine since one of them almost did me in.  

I certainly can’t imagine what this woman went through in the birthing room but a dozen lousy roses and some cheap chocolates is not gonna cut it. Her husband better have given her something from Tiffany’s. Or whatever Sumatra’s equivalent of Tiffany’s is. I mean, that episiotomy had to go half way up her back!

And can you imagine what breastfeeding time is going to be like? I doubt plugged ducts are gonna be a problem. That kid’s gonna suck her like a Hoover on a carpet. She’s going to be lucky if she doesn’t have to supplement. And if she does, OUCH! I don’t want to see that formula bill. And diapers! I’m hoping they have a Costco there and that they have diapers that come in baby sumo wrestler size.

On the plus side, next time she gives birth she can probably do it Monty Python style. Standing at a stove stirring porridge while the baby drops out from under her sarong.

Unfortunately, she’s got to return all those cute 0-3 months sized onsies she got at her baby shower. Rats!

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