My Name Is Heather, and I’m Addicted To My Dog

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My dog and I have a disturbing relationship.

We have best friends necklaces. Like real…best…friends…necklaces. Her half is on her collar. Mine is on a chain I wear around my neck. Both have the “in case I’ve been found” number on the back.

I routinely and out of nowhere break out into serenades to my dog. None of them really make much sense, but they’re often to the melody of either Moon River or Lady In Red.

When my dog climbs onto my lap, the first thing I always do is put my face in front of hers and ask “can you make sure my nose is wet?” Because you know, I sort of think I’m of the canine variety too. Well at least I started thinking that when we adopted our dog (two years ago).

For Christmas I gave my dog a heated pad to lay on and an expensive fountain. For her birthday (February 1st) I got her no less than seven toys. And I wrapped them. In a gift bag. Covered in dogs.

Then I apologized to her for making a mockery of her kind out of gift wrap.

For Valentine’s Day, my dog got me a card and a new paper towel holder. The card said she woofed me. I spent the next three days shouting “YOU ARE MY VALENTINE” every time she came into the room.

I’ve written about my dog on this very blog at least three times. I’ve never painted or drawn my dog, but that’s just because I see these drawings and paintings all the time of dogs in pajamas and I’m afraid mine would turn out like that.

That being said, I have photographed my dog 283 times. This year.

When I get a glass of water for myself, I share it with my dog. Actually, we’ve gotten to the point where she just leans over and helps herself without even having been offered any. Same goes for my food. The other day I was about to eat some cheese and crackers. I got up to get a glass of water for us to share. When I came back she had eaten exactly her half of the cheese and crackers off the plate. Exactly. No more, no less. I mean it was originally just for me, but she and I both knew I’d be sharing in the end.

My husband and children are absolutely disgusted by my relationship with my dog. Like grossed out. Like “GOOD GOD WHY NOT JUST RUN AWAY WITH HER” horrified with our love.

So I have two kids: 12, and 8. My husband and I don’t go out on date nights, but were we to we wouldn’t be missed by the children. And to be fair, we probably wouldn’t miss them much either. But the reason why we don’t go on date nights is because when we leave the house I whine about how much I miss the dog within five minutes.

I have Skyped her while out.

I could go on, but I think you guys get the point. I’m addicted to my dog. Obsessed with her to a level that is probably unhealthy.

But you know they keep saying in the news that such and such a study says dogs are good for people, and prolongs the owners’ lives and shit, so I’m sticking with that as enabling my addiction.

I think it all boils down to the simple fact that my dog tolerates me. She doesn’t talk back. She likes to cuddle and watch Netflix, rather than do things like chores and run endless errands to Home Depot. When I get home she’s happy to see me, which I can’t say the same for the rest of these people. And she accepts me for who I am, or at least I think she does.

It probably would have been more appropriate to just refer to this as my dog update, because the crux of all my other posts about my sweet Amelia have been along the same vein. She is a drug I cannot kick. A drug of wet noses, sloppy kisses, long days of napping and playing with a ball. I figure that as long as I allow myself to be addicted and officially obsessed with her, I can live the fanciful life of a dog too. Because really, who doesn’t accept that a dog’s life is the best of all possible lives?

 

 

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I’m Having An Art Exhibit, and You Should Come

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Four years ago, I wrote a blog post about starting to paint again. It was really crazy, actually. I hadn’t painted or drawn or done anything artsy or craftsy in years.

I mean I wasn’t even a Pinterest mom at that point. Blasphemy, I know.

I literally wanted nothing to do with art, and the reason being was that I couldn’t handle the fact that I had given up art and drawing and painting and creating years prior to then when I changed my major in college to something more “realistic.” Only to do nothing with any of it.

A lot of psychological shit going on here.

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So I wrote a blog about it, and I started painting again. And drawing. Then I got involved in my local center for the arts. And joined the board of said center. Somewhere in there I decided to start teaching some classes in drawing and painting. And so when they said at the beginning of this year that they had a vacancy on their calendar, I figured – why not… why not do my own show?

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But I dragged along with my show so much more about who I am. As a reader and a writer. As a philosophy graduate student. As a lover of words. As obsessed with crafts.

The whole thing has turned into this unbelievable event. The show exhibits for the entire month of March, but the opening is this Saturday, March 5th. And because I love crafts but have little patience for them anymore, I invited other vendors to come and sell at my opening.

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Now it’s been in the paper and the local magazine and the city council has picked it up and some professor who loves my idea about sharing the books I love through my artwork is offering extra credit to his students to come and the vendors are selling shit I know I’m going to buy out myself (quilts, scarves, bags, homemade jams, jewelry……) and I’m freaking out because what if no one comes but what if there are so many people that we have to form a line or some shit, I don’t know I’ve never done this before…..

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You guys see I’m freaking out. As a writer and an artist, for all of this to be coming together, is huge.

This is my one and only plea…if you are in or around Southern California, you should consider coming. I would feel humbled if you came. I would highlight you coming on this blog if you came.

Please come.

Please.

Please……?

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Let’s Clear The Air On This Whole Don Trump Thing

Unfortunately – and I say that not really meaning what I’m saying – I might lose some followers after this post.

It’s not really unfortunate.

It’s good.

It’s fucking great.

Bye Felicia.

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A little known fact about this here blog lady is that she (I’m talking about myself) used to work in politics. First as an event and fundraising planner, then as a community organizer, and finally – just before the burn out and disillusionment set in – as a voter registration coordinator. It’s very complicated really, and I’d prefer to not get into it; but I say the disillusionment set in because at some point I was at some bullshit political meeting and not a single person in the room I spoke to could describe to me any of the following:

a) what policies they liked that their candidates were proposing;

b) what they found to have been “jobs well done” by their current local representatives; and,

c) a goddamn thing about the Constitution or the way American government works.

So I got out and buried my head in the sand for many, many years. I went to grad school, thought long and hard about how much the world really did need to be educated; then in a rough and tumble-y turn of events, I became a Stay At Home Mom, and part time writer and artist.

As my kids age, and depend on me less, I have started reading more and following the political sector once again. CNN and MSNBC are on the television as background noise as I cook, clean, and fold the laundry. And while I will never get involved in local politics again, with the 2016 election I am rapidly finding myself embroiled – mentally – in everything-politics, for every minute my mind isn’t wandering into the “what did I do with my life???” abyss.

That being said, this isn’t a political blog. It never will be. Occasionally I’ll post something that could be considered a political issue. But to talk about policy, candidates, and the like – well you won’t be finding that here.

Except for today.

I feel like we need to clear the air on this whole Don Trump thing. And I’m sure that after clearing it, a select few of you will be out the door. Never to return. Goodbye forever. Sayonara.

As I said: good.

Don Trump Is Racist

When W Bush’s comments to Muslims shortly after 9/11, assuring them that we welcome and accept all of them and do not regard them as terrorists – when the comments of the man who was unambiguously the worst president in the history of our time are now becoming the voice of reason, you better believe there is something wrong.

Don Trump is a racist; but beyond that he is a religious bigot, a sexist, and a terrifying spokesperson for a very broken part of our nation.

Over the past few days since Trump’s clear rise in likelihood to secure the Republican nomination, I have watched video after video of people at Don Trump’s rallies being interviewed; and so many of them mimic his exact platform. Keep the Muslims out. Send the Mexicans back home. Build the biggest wall you can build to keep everyone out that isn’t white.

Don Trump Has No Substance

When asked about his specific proposals and plans as president, Don Trump shouts things like “make America great again” and “we’re going to help our vets and troops.” When he’s accused of just being vague and not actually talking about actual real-life plans or proposals, he fires back and says “I’m specific. I am a very specific person.” But then doesn’t go into any specificity.

His campaign is fueled by a negative policy. Negative in the sense that he focuses on how much he thinks is total and utter shit about this country right now. He’s going to get rid of the Muslims. He’s going to get rid of Obamacare. He’s going to get rid of all the behaviors and policies he thinks are wrong, and yet he never describes a) how he’ll get rid of them, and b) what he’ll replace them with.

In fact, the most detailed proposal he’s come up with was at a rally early in his campaign when he said he’d stimulate the economy by starting a war with Asian nations.

Seems like a legit policy plan.

Don Trump Is A Moron

At tonight’s debate, a question was asked regarding Trump’s tax returns. Something about Mitt Romney thinking there was something wrong with Trump’s returns, and that this was why Trump was not releasing them.

Trump was right in a lot of ways in his response; and quite frankly, he was on point this one and only time when he described how up front he has been in all of his financial disclosures.

Where he miss-stepped, though, was when he made up a word to describe something as being large. Or largely something-or-other.

Trump referred to something as “bigly.” BIGLY.

Yesterday, after the Nevada primary was declared his, Trump did say he loved the poorly educated. I can only assume he included himself in that demographic.

Don Trump’s Rise Is The Closest Political Rise Any Nation Has Come To Hitler In Modern Times

The hate speech that comes out of Don Trump’s campaign, and the idolatry of him by his supporters, is so terrifying that I am a mix of paralyzed and stupefied. Every day I read the statistics, scan over the polls, and hear all of the supporters coming out in droves, and I sit with my mouth agape that this is what our country has come to.

I remember several years ago there was a movement to raise money to do a full historical preservation of Auschwitz – the Nazi death camp that held prisoner millions of Jews during WWII. The rapid falling apart of that camp’s grounds, along with dwindling numbers of WWII survivors world-wide that could recall and share their experiences of the war, was cause for concern among many politicians and historians as to the consequence of people not being able to experience first hand, in some form or another, what happened during the Holocaust and the War.

If we don’t have these reminders, will we forget? And if we forget, could it happen again?

And now here we are in 2016, where the fear and hatred and lack of education throughout much of America is giving rise to this man who is nothing more than a Reality TV buffoon. A character of quirky faces, ridiculous hair, and scapegoating hate speech. He says he would like to punch dissenters in the face. He wants to build a wall and kick out anyone with a religion or skin color that he does not like.

And his supporters at rallies have been documented saying things like “I wish I had my gun, I want to shoot some Muslims so bad right now.”

At the very least, Don Trump is the alternative 1980s Biff Tannen when Marty goes back to find that Biff has married his mom in the alternate, fucked up universe in Back To The Future 2. The man is tyrannical, just as Don Trump no doubt will be if he gains power over this country.

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For me and my family, if Don Trump is – by a long shot – actually elected President, this country will have indicated that it is full of people with whom I no longer share values. My family and I will be out, not only for that reason but for our safety.

I just don’t see Trump and his supporters to be a good kind of crowd to hang around.

So now I’ve made myself clear.

Beyond that, I could give a fuck who you vote for. On the Right Ted Cruz’s appearance is terrifying, I have a major crush on Marco Rubio, Kasich is probably the only person remotely Presidential in the bunch, and Ben Carson makes me wonder if I too could one day become a brain surgeon, if his level smarts are all it takes. And on the Bernie/Hillary side, I just wish the Democrats would shut the fuck up with the attacks on each other, vote, and move on.

But Trump…if you plan on voting for him, let’s just say our goodbyes and move on. You with your guns and your hate and your bigotry and your idolatry of a man most foul. Me with the knowledge that we’re all better off with out your type around these parts.

Bye Felicia. Or should I say … you’re fired?

 

 

I Am – At My Core – A Sanctimommy.

Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one.

I’ve said many versions of that over the course of the years writing on this blog. And in life, in general. It’s probably one of the only cliches I can really get on board with. I’m just not a big fan of them – at least as far as talking in cliche goes.

(My most hated cliched phrase is “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Fuck you. My grass is dead, like my heart. Ain’t nobody want my cold, dead grass.)

But then there’s the becoming a cliche thing, which I have done through my adult life over and over and over again. It’s just how I live – one standard, societally-dictated role after another. You name it, I have probably – at some time until I’ve hated myself enough to stop – fulfilled it.

The biggest one, the one that persists in spite of the self-loathing it creates within me, is probably the worst. I am – at my core – a sanctimommy.

If you don’t know what a sanctimommy is, in short it’s: a woman who becomes a mother and then suddenly has an opinion that she believes to be absolute fact on what is right and wrong for children. All children. Every child in the world, regardless of their situation. Regardless of whether those children are hers or not, her positions are the universal imperative. The Kantian maxim of absolute moral right.

It’s almost as cliche as meeting your husband at the door when he gets home from work every night with a smoking pipe and a martini. (For me, I’m lucky my husband works nights, or I’d probably have fallen to that one too.)

So I fell to the cliche of the sanctimommy pretty quickly after becoming a mother, and my list of sanctimonious views on mothering and raising children has continued to stack up over the years. And they just get worse. I have an opinion for just about everything, and believe those opinions to be the absolute right in my world of black-and-white, never gray, rights and wrongs.

It’s just the way things are, and I am.

12729097_1126111397433349_2977683069917066235_nThat doesn’t mean I share these sanctimonious views with everyone. I don’t take it the step so many do to judge others, and foist those judgments upon them. I’m rapidly becoming an Internet troll, making comments on news articles just to test out jokes or ideas for my blog (like my most recent: a comment on Starbucks when I don’t actually drink coffee…). But when it comes to parenting, I keep the tippy-typing in the comments to a minimum.

Were I to wield my sanctimommmy views upon the world: on the Internet, in my Facebook, at family gatherings and the kids’ weekly sports shit…it would be a wasteland. A wasteland of my universal maxims and everyone else hating me. A wasteland where I have zero Facebook friends left, and my invitations conveniently “get lost in the mail.”

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In fact, only recently I shared one of my particularly new sanctimonious views on being a parent in the form of a joke meme. In it, I basically said that people with only one child have no idea – NO CLUE – what tired is. Because I have two. And I’m fucking tired – no doubt way more tired than if I only had one. You might say double tired. Well all the backlash came within minutes of me sharing what I thought was a hilarious meme I, myself, crafted, and suddenly every parent of one child thought I was some asshole who had not a single fucking clue what I was talking about.

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Usually, and especially now, I’m so scared of the reactions I might get, that I typically only share my views on parenting with my husband. I’m not even sure if he agrees in earnest with me on most of this shit, some of it totally inconsequential to our current lives as parents. And often I wonder how he even tolerates someone as judgmental and sanctimonious as I.

But he does, and then there’s that whole thing where it seems like a lot of people in our lives hate me anyway. Like I said a few blog posts ago: I’m not everyone’s cup-o-tea. For every sanctimommy view I keep to myself, there’s at least three on other issues that I won’t shut the fuck up about. Many an invitation has been “lost in the mail” over the years.

So…why not just go full sanctimommy? Take the leap from holding my beliefs in my mind to outwardly and verbally judging others?

Why not tell people that I think at least one parent being at home with the kids at the very least part time until said kids graduate high school is what’s right? And that through sacrifices I have made, I know that oftentimes people claiming that they have to work is more a statement about their priorities in liking vacations and expensive things than what has been scientifically and statistically proven to be what is best for kids. (Note: I said oftentimes, and I am completely aware that in many families both parents need to work even multiple jobs each to meet the bills; though this does not change the fact that it would be categorically and factually beneficial for their kids if one of them were home at least some of the time.)

Or I could admit that for a brief period of time I seriously considered keeping pacifiers in my purse to slip into the mouths of infant family members whose parents – I can only assume on principle or the belief that they know better than trained medical professionals – had ignored the warnings of doctors that pacifier use decreases SIDS risk by 95%. That I believe people who put shoes on their children before their children can walk outside look at their children as a fashion accessory. And that people who pierce the ears of an infant – except in the case of Hispanic families, who have a cultural reason – are teaching their kids from the earliest age possible that their body is not something with which they have complete control over.

(I came close to outward sanctimommy recently on the piercing the ears of infants issue at a family dinner when I let a joke slip that I was going to buy my husband’s goddaughter big hoop earrings for her first birthday. When someone told me that was crazy, I said ‘almost as crazy as piercing an infant’s ears.’ But I knew then to shut my mouth and move on lest my true sanctimommy be released.)

There’s so much more I don’t share. About school work (kids should have a lot). About playtime (kids should have even more of that than school work). Like parents who line their kids up in so many extra-curricular activities that they have no time to be kids (that this is one of the worst things a parent could do).

My list goes on and on and on. I’ve already shared too much, and anticipate a backlash.

My point, though, is that I withhold from sharing most of it because it’s not my place to. I may think someone is doing something wrong by their children, but unless it’s actually endangering the life of the child – like legit endangering the life, for example when people choose not to vaccinate their children because they are insane and have no grasp of reality – then who am I to tell others how to live? You want to teach your kids particular lessons and values, by all means – do it. In the end, you will be the one to answer for that.

Just as I will be the one to answer for the lessons and values I have taught mine. And in that vein, no one has a right to share their own sanctimonious views with me on the way I raise my kids.

In the end, I think we are all sanctimommies. In our core of cores, it’s a mandate when you have kids. Otherwise, your kids flounder around, living life according to what a whole gaggle of people believe, and then you have taught your children something very damaging – perhaps the most damaging – that making decisions for yourself is not the way to live. That the opinions of others bear more weight than your own beliefs and feelings.

I would much rather feel like shit about myself for having so many judgmental views in my head, than raise my children to believe that they can’t make decisions of their own accord. If there is anything I’ll be sanctimonious and loud about, it’s that.

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Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic

There. Someone had to say it.

I’ve written about family issues – generally speaking – on this blog before, and I am sure I’ll write about them again. But when I go through the history of my posts on this issue (the family issue), I can see a change in me as I’ve aged. As I have grown, I have come to realize something very important. Almost profound, at least as far as life and family and every day dealings go for me:

Toxic people that are family are still toxic. And there is nothing that requires you to allow toxicity in your life.

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If You Aren’t Someone’s Cup O’ Tea, Oh the Fuck Well

We have a lot of family issues, probably in part to the fact that we live close by to a lot of family (both on my husband’s as well as my side).

The other part I think is that I’m not many people’s cup o’ tea.

I am honest, and I speak out about injustice. I can be a little loud. I don’t say things like “someone has to say it,” or “I’m just telling it like it is” as an excuse to be a bitch, but at the same time I do speak up and out when I see something that I think is wrong.

And in two families full of work-a-day workers, who wear their busy schedules and hard work days like a fucking medal of honor, my lifestyle of writing into the wee hours, sleeping past 10, painting in my pajamas, reading for at least 3/4 of the day, and subscribing to more shows on Netflix and the DVR than any sane person could find the time to watch, has created – shall we say – a bit of tension.

It isn’t only all of that, though; my husband and I just have much different values than a lot of our family members. We believe in holistic care, my husband’s hair is shoulder length and he has a hippy beard, we homeschool the kids, and I can’t remember the last time I wore a bra. To top it all off: we eat gluten free.

I can’t tell you the last time we attended a family event where people weren’t harping on us about our lifestyle choices. Particularly my husband’s facial hair (I mean really, people, it’s just hair…); and then there’s that whole annual intervention where every single person we know within a 50 mile radius makes it their life’s mission to get us to stop homeschooling the kids (this is usually around the end of summer when the new school year is about to begin).

Of course there will always be the grandmother in the family that harps on the way people dress, or the aunt or uncle who have an opinion on everything. But then there is an innocuous old lady set in her ways, and people who legitimately believe that they have a right to tell you how to live your life. In the latter, the only thing to describe them as is: toxic.

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It’s only recently that I’ve realized, though, that you can’t be everyone’s cup o’ tea. And, that I’d rather be true to myself than someone else just to make people happy.

The Worst Comes Out Of People When You Start Saying “No.”

Especially when it’s hell no, but we don’t say it that way very often.

My husband and I only have ourselves to blame on this one: we used to say “yes” to everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Everything. Even when we lived 50 or so miles away from our respective families, we still would say “yes” to every fucking thing that asked us to do. And our health and relationship paid for it.

Finally, our kids started growing older and getting into more sports, which meant our time was limited. And then my husband started working the night shift at his job, making the “no”s a necessity. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to passively do what everyone else always wanted us to do anymore. Finally we had the reasons we had been looking for all those years to have balance in our lives, the balance we had been craving for so long.

We were going to have to say “no” to some things. A fair amount of things.

It is then when the worst comes out of people. After years of pushing us around and getting us to everything our families wanted us to be at, they have gone down kicking and screaming – in their own ways – since the first time we had to say “no” to something. So much so that now even when we say “yes,” what we say it to is never enough.

Go to a party for a few hours, “but why didn’t you stay longer?”

Have other plans the one day a week we have as a family with no sports and no work for my husband, “you should have cleared your plans with us first.”

This is why setting boundaries with people that have never had any boundaries set on them before is so difficult: they don’t like it, and become completely unreasonable and irrational. Because really, what kind of a person sits by the clock keeping time as to how long you stay at a party, or actually has the gaul to suggest people check with their social schedules before making their own plans? For their own lives.

I’ll tell you what kind: a toxic person.

Toxic People That Are Family Are Still Toxic, and Being Family Does Not Mean You Owe Them Anything

A meme went around the Internet the other day, something to that effect. You do not owe anyone anything, especially toxic people and in particular family that is toxic. Blood relation does not mean that a person has an uninhibited license to treat you like shit. Being someone’s cousin’s cousin or sister-in-law’s mother or even a closer relative, like a brother or a mother – be it by blood, marriage, or another association that makes these people call themselves family – does not predicate any obligation what.so.ever.

Let me be clear: the minute you identify a person as toxic to you, any obligations or shit you owe them (for example: owing someone for giving you life, as I often hear my father say) go out the window. Out the window. Out the fucking window. Out the fucking window and miles away.

You paid your debts to them tenfold just dealing with their toxicity for however long you dealt with it. Even if it was only once and for just a day.

And so for this reason, my husband and I have taken a pledge to our selves and to our kids to cut out all the toxic shit we have dealt with for so long. People want to say nasty things, be nasty people, and act in nasty ways? Well they will be flushed out with all the other nasty toxic shit that gets flushed out of our lives on a daily basis. We don’t owe anyone anything, especially our happiness and senses of self worth. And our kids deserve to be surrounded by good people, or else that cycle of being surrounded by bad ones will just continue.

I’m not saying that everyone in my or my husband’s families are toxic; and honestly this post isn’t about us or them or a particular incident. I’ve only been thinking about this lately because I’m just so tired of being mad at myself for letting people treat us, and me, in ways that I would never treat someone else. And I’m even more tired of seeing and hearing people overlook bad behavior for the sake of the family. What about the sake of the self? Does that not matter anymore?

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I Used To Think I Knew Everything About Being A Parent. I Was Wrong.

This is a lesson I continue to learn, still, after all these years. I used to think I knew everything about being a parent.

I was wrong.

While I went to college, I worked in a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician. After about a year of working, they invented this thing to help kids with the gross taste of medicine called FlavorRX. The idea was that for the low cost of $3, we could add almost any flavor to a kid’s disgusting, puke-flavored liquid, making it easier on the kids when they had to take it.

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I thought I knew everything about parenting even then, which is funny because the truth was I didn’t know a fucking thing. Every time a parent paid the $3 for the flavoring, I would scoff that they would do something so ludicrous. Didn’t they know what all those $3 expenses could buy them?! When I had kids I would get them to take their medicine by telling them to take their fucking medicine. There would be no arguing about it. They’d deal and in fact they’d like it. I vowed up and down to never – not ever – waste money on frivolities like that.

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So today I paid $3 to have my daughter’s medicine flavored grape-bubblegum. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, either. My kids don’t take antibiotics, or any medicine, that often, so you know they’ve got to be pretty sick if they do. In fact, this particular child has not taken antibiotics in four years; now a kidney infection has made it a necessity. The medicine they gave her was gross, and she has to take it four times a day on an already touchy appetite.

$3 to get her to take the damn medicine and quit the fighting about it was well worth it.

Last year, my brother in law and his wife had a baby. I remember during the pregnancy they were talking about all the things they would and would not be tolerating from their kid. They’d be hard to the line with the rules. The schedules would be enforced from the get-go. And so on and so forth… I remember one day at brunch another parent in the family looked at me and said “they’ll learn…they’ll see.” And I used to think that when people responded to everything I thought I knew about parenting before being a parent like we did, that it was sanctimonious crap.

It wasn’t. It was just true.

I have yet to find out if they have learned the same lesson I have on this one, but I continue to be reminded often that I sounded so much like them before kids. Only to have backtracked on almost every single one of my beliefs and assertions and ideas about being a parent since becoming one.

I had a lot of time to think about this as I stood in the mile-long line at the CVS waiting for my kid’s antibiotics to be flavored like a piece of grape-bubblegum. Because the FlavorRX is just one in a series of things I knew not a single thing about before becoming a parent.

I used to say that my kids would go to bed naturally at a reasonable time, and there would never be fighting about it.

My kids stay up pretty late every night. And most nights they bargain their way into sleeping in the living room.

I used to say that we wouldn’t be those families that spend all their time at theme parks.

We’ve been Disneyland season pass holders for as long as I can remember.

I used to say that I would never be one of those parents that bribes their children with sweets and privileges.

Bribe is now my middle name. Heather Bribe Schmidt. To get them to be good in Target, I give them ICEEs. To get them to take their allergy medicine, I let them each eat a Skittle before and after the pills. To convince them to be good for family photo day, I let them take over the entire dining room for their Barbies and dolls.

My list could go on…

You just don’t know what you’ll do as a parent to make it work until you have to make it work. I used to think I knew everything about being a parent. I was terribly, terribly wrong. But I really believe that this is totally OK. In fact, the only thing that would not be OK would be if I had learned nothing from this.

As I stood in that line and got that $3 FlavorRX, I finally figured out the bigger picture. The lesson is that sometimes things work out differently than you’d expect. Sometimes you have to adapt. Sometimes you have to change your beliefs to adjust to the circumstances. This really makes life better, in all aspects, and we have our kids to thank for teaching us that.

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