Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | June 29, 2010

Feeding Hatred to Children.

I am angry. I am angry at my lack of action.

Yesterday, I am sitting in the van, outside of a store called Pennington’s, for those unfamiliar with this store, it is a clothing store for people sized 14+. I am parked, playing with my cel, with the window cracked for fresh air. I am waiting for Jane to get off of work, because this is were she works, and her shift is over in a few minutes.

A man is standing a few feet from my window; with him is a little girl, with short wild blond hair, approximately 4 years old. I don’t hear the girl, the little voice lost in wind, but I hear the man’s response, and my blood boils and my stomach curls.

Man, “You want to go in the fat woman store?”

Little girl, “….”

Man, “It’s a store for fat women, see there it says 14+”

Second man comes from behind, they notice I am staring at them, glaring now, they I’m sure notice my window is open.

Second man is tall and intimidating looking, I’m sure had I met him with out the shit flying out of his mouth, I wouldn’t have been so scared of him.

Second man, “I’m sure shopping till you drop happens in five minutes there!”

First man laughs

Little girl tilts her head at the second man.

Second man says, “Because their fat! And they probably can’t do much!”

The lovely trio moves away to the patio set of the coffee shop next door. As I visualize daggers from my eyes at them, wanting to scream and yell, and tell them to get their heads out of their asses.

What I wanted to do was to grab that little girl and tell her, that weight means nothing, that her daddy is wrong, and that I hope she aims to be healthy at whatever her size ends up. And part of me thought to myself, if girls struggle from eating disorders when coming from a healthy emotional and physical family. How could this girl escape when at 4ish, she is told that fat women are basically useless. That fat starts at size 14. I hope she has a better role model somewhere, and powers me on to teach my daughters and their friends, and be the role model I hope that little girl finds.

I wish I had been able to stand up, now I just need to find a way to fight a little harder for all the little girls, and boys out there that are fed this poison from baby hood.

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 27, 2010

What Happened to the Goat – Entry 1

9/11 link to rise in male foetal death rate, study says

In order to analyse male foetal death rates, the researchers gathered data for the years 1996-2002.

When they analysed the data, they found that the average number of reported male foetal deaths per month in the US for that period was 995. Female foetal deaths numbered 871 on average per month.
In September 2001, however, their research showed an additional 120 male foetal losses, equivalent to a 12% increase.

Ok, so this one was a little too easy. Ok, so a rise in male Foetal death rate, where is the statistics on the female babies? Did they rise too? Was it just males?
See I think that is important, if this article is to give us a true look into stress and Foetal death rates.

So BBC News, what happened to the goat?

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 27, 2010

What Happened to the Goat

My Grandmother was a brilliant woman. She wrote plays, short stories, and poems, many were published. She for many years would help my Grandfather with his Newspaper. My Grandfather was brilliant as well, he had an eye for detail, and sometimes he would publish articles just to get people going.

I remember my uncle sending me an article my mother wrote for one of his papers, when she was in University. To sum the article up, it was about “LSD really isn’t that bad for you.” This article caused quite an uproar in the small Ontario town they were in. He did it on purpose, he liked to get people talking, discussing the news. My Grandfather as most brilliant people, was not easy to please, and even though his wife wrote articles for him, he held her to the same standard he held other writers of his. Maybe because she was his wife, and he knew how brilliant she was he held her to an even higher standard.

Which brings me to the point of this entry, I was searching my old letters from my Grandmother, looking for one particular story, unfortunately I could not find it, so I have to tell you this by memory.

My Grandfather was always nitpicking articles, as an editor he would read all the articles, thoroughly. My Grandmother at the time was annoyed with her articles getting picked apart and having to re-write a lot of them to meet his standards. So one day, in their small town there was an accident on the main street, a local farmer’s cart had been over-turned. My Grandmother, feeling smug decided she would write a news article with so many details, that my Grandfather would not be able to say anything about it.

So she did, she wrote about the farmer, the cart, the witnesses, the time of day, the size of the cart. How the cart had been picked up. The article was long and was a play by play of the accident. Feeling pleased with herself, she took it to my Grandfather, and he read it, looked up at her and said, “What happened to the goat?”

My Grandmother in all her details had forgotten to mention the wayward goat that had been the cause of the accident, and with all her great details, there was no mention of what had happened to the goat after the accident, only that it had been the cause.

So I want to start a section of “What happened to the Goat?” When you read a highly detailed article that makes you say to yourself, “But what about this?”

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 21, 2010

Secrets(trigger warning for child molestation)

Today I need to talk about secrets.

There are two types of secrets for me. There are the wonderful secrets; ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. The ones where you only have to keep them so long, until you explode and can tell everyone how lucky you are. Likes gifts, finding out you got the job, a pregnancy, a love. Secrets that make you feel good.

But too often secrets are not good ones. Secrets that eat away at you, at your self worth, your confidence, your safety, your ability to love, these unfortunately are the ones I want to talk about. The ones that make you sick.

I don’t have any dark secrets anymore, I tell Mr. D everything. If you don’t have someone that you can be truly honest with, and tell everything too, with no judgement and only love, I hope you find someone like that, be it a friend, a parent, a lover, a help line. Don’t keep those ugly secrets, hell, email them to me, and I will listen and throw them away for you, or try to find a way to heal the ugly secrets. I am the secret keeper for many of my friends, I let them cry and confess to me, with no judgement, and they feel safe knowing, they stay with me.

Dark secrets can destroy you. This I feel is doubly important for teaching your children. I routinely tell my daughters not to keep secrets that make them feel ugly on the inside. My eldest Jane, I have a lot more in depth conversations with her being 18. We have a lot of back and forth about life, and sometimes, I just listen. Jane is becoming such an amazing young woman, I see her blossom everyday. She used to hate herself because of her weight, not being a toothpick. Now, I see her becoming comfortable in her body, and starting to love it, nothing has really changed but her view point. It makes me so proud of her. Sometimes it is hard for me to hear of her life when she was very young, she lived with her mother, who she loved, but that was an alcoholic. When she tells me that at 8 she found her mother passed out in the bathroom, naked. She went and got a blanket and covered her. I know for Mr. D this is hard to hear, he didn’t know how bad it was until she came to live with him. At 11, she lost her eldest brother to suicide. I can’t even explain what that did to her. But I hold it for her, and I am so proud to see what she is becoming. To see shine brighter everyday with confidence.

Secrets are more difficult with the younger girls. Laura, now 8, has brought new meaning to this for me. She had a secret when she was 3, and we didn’t find out, until it happened again at 4. Laura was molested, by a family member, we think. See, because she was so young, when she finally told her mother. We were unable to come up with concrete proof as to who did it. The person that Laura accused was able to pass a lie detector. I still remember this time with clarity, the pain can hide, but it never goes away. To this day I keep the file number safe, just in case we can prove something. It doesn’t matter, in the end, I will always feel like I failed her because we couldn’t put that person behind bars. I know, some of you will say, that I didn’t. That we tried, but as one of her protectors. I did fail that time.

Laura doesn’t remember that now, consciously anyway. I still do see the repercussions of it, some of her behaviours. That I am hyperaware of the Laura and Freya’s sexuality because I am constantly trying to make sure I never miss the smallest sign again. I won’t fail again.

So I talk to them every couple of months. I tell them that secrets should make them happy, not sad. That no matter what anyone tells them, if a secret makes them feel yucky on the inside that it shouldn’t be kept, for them to tell a safe adult, like their mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, teacher. Whomever they feel safe telling, also I tell them that at this time their body is theirs, that no one should be touching it at this point unless there is a reason, such as if they’ve hurt themselves, or a doctor needs too look. That, this may change when they are older, but I will talk to them in a couple of years about it. That if they have questions I will answer them, what I can. This is a simplified version, I try and keep the conversation open, and simplify topics, I try and stay away from cutesy words, but I also let them lead the conversation.

I hope, you talk to your children about secrets, and I hope you can talk to someone about them as well.
Cheers.

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 19, 2010

Shades of Grey

There was this commercial made for TLC. It was one of the tattoo artists from Miami Ink. The gist of the commercial was that he said that life was black and white for him and he believed that there were no shades of grey. This bothered me immensely, as my life and what I knew of the world. It was not that way, life was not that simple.

As in the words of a Billy Joel song, “Shades of grey, wherever I go, the more I find out, the less that I know.”

Then there is, “I am not young enough to know everything.” By Oscar Wilde.

Both quotes ring true for me, when I was young, life was black and white, what you did was either right or wrong. As an adult with children I see this too, there is good guys, and bad guys, good things and bad things. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between.

As an adult all I see is grey, I can understand that you love someone fiercely but also hate them. Stealing is wrong, but what if you steal to provide for your family. I live my life by my own set values and morals, but sometimes the line gets blurred. So for this man to say that his life was black and white. I felt sad for him, by being open to the shades, I think you are more open to life. You don’t have to agree with how people live their lives. You don’t have to like their choices. But you should try and understand their choices, and remember, judgement is not a one way mirror. And if you knew their true situation, how do you know that you would have acted differently.

Remember none of us are perfect, we are all using different coping tools and life skills. Very few people end up where they thought they would. Remember when you see people’s lives that you don’t agree with, maybe they didn’t choose to be there. Maybe had you been in their situation that would have been you. And maybe it doesn’t matter, if they don’t believe in god, or marriage, or have the same family morals then you. And I don’t believe by accepting people the world will come to an end.

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 18, 2010

ADHD and ODD

My youngest is ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), she is also ODD(Oppositional Defiant Disorder).

First and foremost, these are real disorders. Second, yes, my youngest has them. This is not up for debate. I have read myself sick on these subjects. I have seen all sides.

The side that she’s just an active, stubborn kid, that’s normal for her age. It’s an allergy to something, that’s why she’s that way. Just eating right and letting her burn off steam will fix it. Doctor’s are just diagnosing everyone that, the teachers just don’t want to deal with her.

When Freya started kindergarten, I knew she would have trouble. Since the day she announced herself to the world, she hasn’t stopped. As an infant, she rarely napped, at 18 months, she stopped napping all together. She never stopped talking and now has nearly perfect speech at 6. She once chased our next door neighbour on his bike, in circles around our lawn, for an hour. Then was mad when he tired of the game and left. Her daycare provider, nick named her The Queen of Sheba. She never backs down from a perceived argument, no matter who it is.

Mr. D and I saw trouble really start at the end of her last year of preschool. When the other kids could start to stay still for prolonged periods of time, Freya couldn’t. When asked to do something for the teachers, she would argue with them about it. When she got focused on a task, you could not pull her away without a meltdown. As of to date, since the beginning of the school year, Freya has seen the principal 15 times, been asked to leave 10 times. I have taken her out of the school, literally kicking and screaming.

What you don’t know, and most people don’t. Is that Freya has some serious privilege at school. The Principal is good friends with her Grandma; Freya’s Grandma is well loved and respected in the School District, being a Principal herself. Freya’s teacher loves her, and works with her constantly, trying out cognitive therapy on her own time, after discussing it with a psychologist friend of hers.

After trying the diets, supplements, and taking her off cow’s milk, it helped a little, not enough. In the end we have gone the route of medication; there are side affects we are not happy with. She has lost her appetite, and has lost weight, not enough yet to concern the doctor, but I don’t see a 6 year old losing weight as a good thing. Also when she is not on the medication, the behaviour seems worse then when she was.

I am not entirely happy, but Freya is doing better in school. For the most part she still acts like she did, only in a toned down manner, an “acceptable” manner. I’m not sure what will happen, but I love her, and she is amazing and smart. I still have fears because, like the sun that is spectacular and bright, the sun can cast a dark shadow, and her darks side is dark. But she still shines bright, and I want to fight for her acceptance into the world, because this is something to accept. Her relationships will always be strained, and some days when your 6 year old just can’t focus to get dressed. Even I lose my cool and yell. I do a lot of walking away, to come back later when my temper is under control.

But this family will love her and support her, and be there for her. I believe you know from a young age if your child has this. I used to describe it as Freya being just a little bit more, then other kids her age. Like they packed too much personality into her, like over filling a garbage bag, cracks and holes start and personality spills out. But as much as it can be hard, I get a child that is creative, and bright, and larger then life itself.

This is a real thing, and it is a difficult thing, but the more we understand, the more we can see these kids shine like the stars they are.

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 14, 2010

The Kids, and Ideals.

I have daughters, three of them, one biological, two by partnership. Which means that I and Mr. D have control over our youngest girls home environment. My youngest, Freya’s biological father is not in the picture, Mr. D is her dad. Jane, our eldest is 18 now, she lives with us while she is going to school right now, but lived with her mom for most of her young life. Seeing her father whenever was possible, and spending the summers with him, I met her when she just turned 12. Now there is Laura, she is 8, and lives with us on the weekends, every weekend.

All right, because there is not a lot of info on our family I wanted to do a small blurb so that you can follow along. That believe me is a simplified version, their stories though young are so much bigger.

The reason about this is, is that I only have control over home environment for one child, Freya. For other girls I don’t have complete control over it.

The great thing, is that I have really great conversations with Jane now, we talk, we talk about our morals and ideals and the morals and ideals she was raised with. I don’t need to tell her how to think now, we just discuss it. At age 18, she is becoming an enlightened young lady, and becoming a free thinking adult. I love our conversations.

With Freya things are more difficult, she’s adhd, and she’s young. So I lead by example, and try my damnest to see that she is not written off because she is not patriarchs idea of the little girl. She doesn’t not fall neatly into their categories, of what a girl should be, and I’m sure of what a women should be. And already at 6 she has a preconceived notion of what she should be. She argued with me that skinnier was better, she wanted to be skinny. I didn’t let down, I kept my point that as long as she ate relatively healthy and kept active, it didn’t matter what size she was. That health didn’t equal skinny, that we all are made differently. I fight that point in this house. Health equals Health.

Now we come to darling Laura, who spends her week with her mom and then her weekends with us. Her mom is Patriarch’s dream, she is not a feminist, she plays the damsel in distress and teaches her daughter that growing up, getting married, and having babies is what women do.
A quote from Laura, “My mommy says that until T puts a ring on her finger, he’s not getting any babies out of her.”

I remember my jaw hitting the floor, so here I am teaching her what I can. I believe if getting married and being a mom is what makes her happy, that is fine. I just get so worried that she thinks that is her only option. I want her to know that it’s her life and she makes the choices, and that it will lead her to a fulfilled life.

T is no longer in the picture, there is now another man, C, and I can’t help but wonder how many more there will be. Mr. D and I liked T, he was good to Laura, and she loved him. And now C seems like a decent guy, and Laura seems to like him. But life is so hard when you have competing morals, Laura’s mom is not a horrible person, she is just what patriarchy wants. She loves her daughter, and without truly examining her life, is teaching her daughter that patriarchy is right.

I just hope I, and the many strong women in her life, Laura will examine these thoughts and learn that she is an amazing, young , vibrant, and can do whatever she wants, even if sometimes she has to fight for that right. That she will fight, because she knows she is human and deserves to be treated as such. No matter her size, her age, if she doesn’t fall into Patriarchy’s norms.

But in the end, this is all relative, I want my children to fight the good fight. I want them to be better feminists then me. I will teach and love and support them, no matter if they are feminists or not. Their choices are their own, they have to live their own lives. I can hope though!

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 13, 2010

How to be a Great Caregiver in 10 Points

A List, How to become a Caregiver Extraordinaire

Ok, as a mom, with caregiver friends, or interacting with soon to be caregivers, I find there is a lot of apprehension. And that my friends, is natural.

We are constantly told how to raise our children, either you do it this way or don’t do it this way. I decided a general list on how to raise your kids, but remember this is my idea of what parenthood is, please tweak this for your and your child’s benefit.

My top ten list to raise a child to love.

Teach your child to learn and love it

Teach your child that respect is earned, but that if not earned it is still given, if in face alone

Teach your child appreciation for the world, and life around them

Teach them that sometimes you are not going to like everyone and vice versa, and that’s ok, but that it is not ok to make to make anyone feel bad because of your dislike.

Teach them that beauty is within us all, and it is not up to media, or friends to tell us how to feel about ourselves.

Teach them that hard work doesn’t always pay off, but a job well done always feels good.

Teach them that their body is their own, no one has a right to it unless permission is given.

Teach them you will listen to their problems, with an open ear, and give advice, but that they need to make the final decision.

Teach them to think for themselves

Teach them acceptance, not tolerance for all people

So your saying, great list, I agree with a lot of it, but how do I teach them all this?

By Example

They learn to talk, by listening to you, they learn to walk by watching you.

Now I’m going to leave this here for now, yes these are intangibles, and if interested, or inclined I may make a tangible top ten.

I am not specifically religious, but I am going to leave you with a quote from Kahlil Gibran, because I believe it.

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | May 13, 2010

Eating

The things we take for granted the simple act of eating. Society now is being shamed for eating, young girls and boys feeling guilt because they ate at a fast food restaurant, or had a chocolate bar. Girls and boys as young as 10, maybe younger at a birthday party saying, “oh, no I’ll only have a small piece of cake,” or turn it down all together.*

I don’t believe in feeding my children high amounts of refined sugar, I don’t believe in going to fast food places on a regular basis, but that is my choice, not because I am watching their weight, I’m watching their health. We have heart disease, diabetes, and cancer running rampant in our family, I want them to learn to eat healthy, but I don’t deny them sweets, and junk, I merely limit it. They are treats, articles tell me not reward good behaviour with food rewards, that it’ll teach them that food is how to reward yourself. Well, why is that so bad? Why is taking my child out for ice cream because she received a great report card… bad? Eating and celebrating has been going on for as long as there as been food.

Food = Life

Last time I checked, anything that celebrating life was a good thing.
My parents have both had their brush with death, my mother with breast cancer, my father with intestinal cancer. Through medicine, amazing doctors, and amazing support, I still have both my parents.

That is reason to celebrate!

How do we celebrate? Once a week, usually a Saturday, we go over to my parents and have dinner with them. Myself, My D, and our three girls, and we eat, and we laugh, and we find out about each others week, we usually have to loosen our belts after our feast, I love Saturdays, and I will always remember them because I know, this will not last forever. Should I feel guilt over this gluttony?

According to Fat Propaganda, I should not only feel guilt and shame over this gluttony, I should also make my children feel guilt and shame over this gluttony.

I don’t, and I refuse too, because I am celebrating my life, with the people I love, and sometimes, my dad does not get that same liberty.

Sometimes, he can’t eat solid food.

He can’t, unless we wants to go to the hospital and have them help the food through his body. His price for life; that sometimes, he needs to go on a liquid diet, so that he isn’t doubled over in pain, hospitalized. So he sits with his wife of 36 years, his daughter, her partner and the children, and he watches us eat a feast. His price, no steak, no potatoes, no salad, no buns, and no corn. Nothing.

I will not feel guilt over being able to eat, I will enjoy my favourite foods, I will indulge, and I will let my children do the same. Food will not become a chore for me, because one day I might not be able to have that piece of pizza, or that yummy cake. My choice might be taken away.

Food = Life

And there is no shame in Life, and wanting to live, and wanting to celebrate it. Another great article on having no choice is by Mr. Ebert

Posted by: The Grrl In the Moon | August 18, 2009

Heard Seen Kids – Freya

“I know why they are call flip flops, because they go – flip flop flip flop flip flop – Right Mommy? But … sometimes they don’t” (This was said in about 30 sec.)

“Did you know mommy that you can use shamwow? It can dry clothes, gets water out of carpet, you can use it for anything mommy. All I can say is shamwow.” (Ah the educational tv programs Jane lets Freya watch when taking care of her.)

I’m not sure how savvy you are to the names of dance moves. However there is a move called Raising the Roof.
Freya “Raison’s on the Roof, Raison’s on the roof!”

Driving Freya to daycare, rush hour. “I know why it’s so busy mommy, it’s because people are visiting from other worlds. Just like we did.”

Where are your plastic eyeballs Grandma!?

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