Once in a while, Stella calls me “Amber.” Deeply disturbing yet hilarious. Though, it totally sounds like she’s imitating Cody. She’ll be in the computer room yelling, “Amber! Amberrrr! I can’t HEAR you! AMBER!?” Yep, sounds familiar.
We finally programmed her obnoxiously chipper, stuffed pal Scout to say “Stella” and her favorite color (green), food (ice cream) and animal (currently, penguin). You should’ve seen Stella’s face when she heard him speak her name for the first time. In the ensuing days, they’ve grown a lot closer. Stella’s all, “Finally I’m getting something BACK in this relationship!” But seriously, it doesn’t get much better than this. The toy now inserts her name and the aforementioned key words into songs–with superb awkwardness. If he’s singing about his “favorites,” for example, and it’s time to mention “green,” the twinkly boppy electronic music totally halts, a few milliseconds of silence ensue, then you hear the word in a slightly different tone than Scout typically employs, followed by a touch more silence, and finally the song resumes as if nothing happened. To me, comedy gold. To Stella, validation of a friendship that for so long seemed one-sided.
Is it me or does Mad Men induce heavier drinking than usual? I’ve been indulging in proper cocktails lately. A couple per night for the last few days–mainly good margaritas including only freshly squeezed lime juice, 100% agave tequila, and Cointreau. Oh all right, I’ll admit I had four on Saturday night (two glasses of wine and two very strong margaritas to be exact). During that same span we’ve been watching one episode of Mad Men, the best show ever, per evening. It’s not working out. Don and company make it seem so effortless and normal–hard alcohol on the rocks is clearly a natural extension of any meal, meeting, or fleeting frustration. Well, even my low (by comparison) level of imbibing doesn’t seem to mix well with my anti-depressants or early toddler wake-up calls. So tonight I’m drinking chamomile while watching Mad Men. After I finish this lovely glass of rose.
As you can see in my twitter stream, I kind of told “STFU, Parents” (“one of the 33 tumblrs you NEED to watch” according to The Huffington Post) to STFU. Because of this. And by the way, “STFU, Parents” defensively tweeted back! Now, normally I think that the funny person behind this site does a pretty great job of picking the most wildly inappropriate, over-sharing parents’ Facebook posts to skewer (such as pictures of poo, complaints about restaurants not putting up with their children poking other customers with straws and other horrible behavior, placenta-related horrors, and so much more). I’ve shared the site on my Facebook page and converted others–I embraced it! “STFU, Parents” reminded me to keep my own online “sharing” in check, and I usually clicked away feeling pretty damned good about my own parenting, as in, “Well, at least I’m not that idiotic. I don’t change Stella’s diapers on top of restaurant tables, and I don’t purposefully run over people’s feet with our stroller, so I’m fantastic!” But then, in my opinion, the site’s author/editor totally misinterpreted an innocent comment from a well-meaning and most likely very hardworking mom, and it highlighted the dark side of that site. I mean, you can see it everyday in the comment section–some people just hate kids, hate parents, hate, hate, hate! They take the worst of the worst parental examples and treat them as representative of all of us. (Did I mention they loath us?) The site and its rabid followers held this woman in utter contempt–someone who was really only saying, “Yes! I’d love to be as productive as these amazing individuals. Then again, I am taking care of little kids at this point in my life, unlike those folks, so I’m going to cut myself some slack.” The site and its commenters jumped to a much different interpretation: “This person thinks that the world’s smartest and most accomplished people are of no value because they weren’t PARENTS!!!” How they got there, I’ll never know. As they say in advertising, it’s a long walk. I’m wondering if “STFU, Parents” isn’t more than an angry mob. Less fun, and more fodder for parental hate, when all the parents I know are working their asses off for their families (inside and outside of the home), sacrificing and worrying like crazy, and doing their best to raise wonderful kids who keep their straws to themselves. It all reminds me of a giant sticker Stella received from a blues singer, who took a liking to her as he performed on the sidewalk in front of the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market. It reads, “Ain’t no time for hate.” True. Ain’t no time for twittering about stupid bullshit either.
Remember how in a recent, sad post I admitted to examining hundreds of photos of Stella to see if the little white reflections of flash in her eyes were symmetrically placed so as to indicate alignment of the eyes? Well, I realized today that in the photo that was mercilessly cropped in order to fit in the header of this very blog, the tiny bright spots are in slightly different places within each pupil. This may be meaningless. Or it may mean that her eyes were misaligned, though maybe just ever so slightly, all along (least since six months of age, at least). And the enigmatic nature of Stella’s vision problem deepens! My brain is currently yelling, “Amber! Amberrrrr! It’s time to watch Mad Men. Where’s the tequila? Where is it? I can’t hear you! Amber?!”