Friday, January 28, 2011

Generation "I"

There were the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. What followed were the "Millennials", sometimes known as Generation I: the Internet Generation.

Oh, it's Generation "I" alright. But, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Welcome to Generation Inconsiderate - human beings nourished from the cradle on enough self-esteem to muddle the brains of Einstein. There are no losers (trophies for everyone!), no expectations (sure, live with your parents until you're 30... no need to grow up!) and no obligation to worry about anyone but Y-O-U. P.S. Have I mentioned how wonderful, talented, and amazing you are lately? I haven't?

Well, someone has. How else do you think all those tone deaf singers end up on American Idol, fully believing they have the pipes to take the crown?

It drives me up the wall, a fact of which I am reminded any time I happen on a news article highlighting the symptoms of our all-about-me culture. It's a little thing I like to call the Screw You Effect. And it's everywhere.

You've seen it: You're sitting at church when someone's little darling goes dancing down the aisle with not even the slightest glance from his parents, who, a generation ago, would have been tripping over themselves to rein in their tiny escape artist.

Or, you're in a restaurant when someone's child starts screaming and throwing silverware. Instead of removing said child from the premises until he can get control of himself, the parents continue chomping on their low-cal bleu cheese, oblivious to the fact that the entire restaurant is scrambling for earplugs.

Then there are those women who want to nurse a hungry baby, so they whip out their breasts as if they expect to use them in a milk fight and let little Johnny latch right on. After putting their headlights on display for the whole world to see, if some poor old gentleman makes the mistake of asking these Mama Bears to cover up, the claws come out.

Let me be clear: I have no opposition to children in restaurants as long as the establishment has high chairs or a kid's menu. And I think nursing mothers should be able to breastfeed whenever and wherever they need to. But consideration goes a long way. Take your child out in the church foyer if she can't contain herself. Cover up when you are nursing. Remove your screaming infant from a restaurant.

Just because you might be a part of Generation "I" doesn't mean you have to buy into its mantra.

Common courtesy, folks. It goes a long way.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Thoughts

David and I were recently sitting in a fast-food restaurant when his cell phone popped up with the closest available wireless network. Name? "Salmonella". I almost put down my meal and backed out the door.

I hate sales that advertise "$4.99 and Up!" Great! There will be one thing on the rack for $4.99 and the rest will be $39.95.

What is up with divorces these days? People say, "We're still best friends" or "We still love each other deeply." Then why the heck are you getting divorced?! If you have that much love and respect for each other, I'm pretty sure you can work it out.

There is a strange Emergency Room marketing campaign plastered on billboards around here. "Get treated, not seated," they say, complete with a current wait-time clock at the bottom. I'm not sure what the point of this is. It's not like you would have your broken tibia hanging out of your leg and say, "Oh, honey, the wait time at the emergency room is 56 minutes. I'd rather go tomorrow instead."

In perusing my shampoo and conditioner labels while showering, I have discovered that they are now "100% Vegan" and "Gluten Free". I guess this would be a good thing, if, you know, we were going to eat them, but as shampoo is not currently on my list of edibles, I think I'll pass. (Lest you think I'm missing the important bit of cultural awareness that is being promoted in my shampoo ingredients, no bees were harmed in the making of this paragraph).

When David and I reach retirement age I refuse to live anywhere that will require me to shovel snow.

Only in the age of facebook would someone take an exciting announcement like "It's a boy!" and wring every last bit of class out of it by substituting, as one of my high school acquaintances recently did: "Just saw me some penis and scrotum!" Wow, save that one for the baby book.

In case you are wondering just how important it is to David to have a clean house, two nights ago, in a brief reprieve from extensive stomach flu-related activities, he thought the toilet smelled so terrible that he staggered into the laundry room to retrieve the toilet bowl cleaner and then gave the bowl a good once over before continuing with the pukes.

There is nothing nicer than having parents who are still madly in love after 44 years of marriage. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! (Sorry to have your shout out follow the thought on puking. It wasn't intentional, I swear.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Things That Come Up in the Night

I think the most golden moment of parenting will be when my kids can get up in the night, throw up neatly in the toilet, and then come wake me up to tell me about it.

As it is, I am grateful for the following:

The sanitize cycle on my washer
My Little Green carpet cleaner
My newly purchased Shark Mop

Also the fact that Michael decided to climb in on David's side of the bed and not mine. Sorry, David. Love you!

But, the good thing about a four-year-old smacked with a case of stomachus horribilis is that at least he can actually tell you when he doesn't feel well. Matthew, on other hand... it turns out he doesn't actually chew his food. But at least he has had the decency to share this bit of information (several times, to make sure we got the message) over the kitchen floor and not in my bedroom.


My shirt smells uncomfortably reminiscent of the floor I was just mopping. I'm not sure if it's psychological or if I should have held Matthew with a ten foot pole while his stomach finished its rebellion. Either way, I think it's time for another load of laundry.

And I think I'll gargle some lysol, just to be safe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just One Question

The UPS man knocked on my door today. I love the UPS man. We have quite a bond after I bought out in preparation for the Christmas/birthday season. This time I was hoping for something chocolate. Instead I got something "chocolate". It turns out I am the lucky recipient of a 21-day supply of the Smart for Life Cookie Diet!

Um, wheeee.

I'm not sure what possessed a company to send me a 21-day supply of their disgusting diet food. I would think that a basic requirement for getting someone hooked on a product is that the product must actually taste good. As it is, one bite of one cookie was enough to convince me that I would rather be relegated to a life of consuming nothing but wheat grass.

Still, before I chucked the whole box in the garbage (saving a cookie for David to sample and detest, of course), I opened up the information pamphlet. If I didn't want to sign up for the diet before, I certainly do now. The following foods are off limits:

milk products
fruit juice
chewing gum
breath mints

I have just one question: What is the point of living if you can't eat any of these things? A life without carbs and fat (except in the form of revolting little cookies) is no life at all, in my opinion.

But, I had those thoughts before I saw the list of things you can have while following this diet and realized it might actually be doable. If, after dinner (your one actual meal of the day, consisting of things like fish, egg whites, and non-fat cheese), you are craving a little snack, you can indulge yourself with:

1 dill pickle
1 sugar-free popsicle
2 servings of sugar-free Jello

Really? You mean I can have CELERY for a snack?

Where do I sign up?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Name Calling

Sunday I attended church. By "church" I mean The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By "attended" I mean "walked the halls with cranky babies".

As usual.

But this time I paused in my up-one-hall-down-the-other pattern to read the list of new primary classes for the 2011 year.

Oh my word, Utahns give their children the most ridiculous names! (If you don't believe me, check out this website). I even pecked a few of the worst ones into my iphone so I could remember to share them with David after our meetings were over.

Seriously, what would possess parents to give their daughter a lifelong headache by naming her Aarikkaa instead of Erika?


I understand that I am ultra traditional and ultra conservative when it comes to naming children. In fact, I am so paranoid about giving a child a confusing-to-pronounce or easily misspelled name that if I had known in advance how many people would mispronounce "Leah" I might have gone for something else instead. (For the record, it's Lee-uh, not Lay-uh).

While I understand the whole heritage or ancestry thing (using family names or names of cultural significance, that sort of thing) nobody, and I repeat, nobody has an ancestor named Jaxtyn. Besides, that's what middle names are for. If you have a relative whom you feel you must honor by christening your child "Nebuchadnezzar", for heaven's sake, do not use it as a first name! It is not cute or sweet to give your child a name that will force him to explain in job interviews that you were drunk when you named him.

It reminds me of my secretarial days when I picked up the phone and was greeted on the other end by a perky-sounding woman named "Jingle". I asked her to repeat her name for clarification, because up to that point I had given the human race more credit for naming their children and was pretty sure my ears had fritzed out on me.

"It's Jingle, like jingle bell," she sighed.

It's really too bad for her that her parents mistakenly thought they were naming a fluffy kitten. I mean, she could be nuclear-physicist smart, and yet, all it would take is one little introduction and you would be distracted from her accomplishments by the Barbie giggles ringing in your head. (Or "jingling", as it were).

Your children have great potential. Don't ruin it for them by giving them ridiculous names.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a New Year

Time for a New Year's Resolution. I've made one, but I'm not going to tell you what it is. You see, I wouldn't want you to be embarrassed that your New Year's Resolution is some tiny little thing like discover a new planet or eradicate malaria. Because, wouldn't you feel ridiculous if all you did was win the Nobel Prize and I was like, "I mopped my kitchen floor ONCE A MONTH for an entire year!" Yeah, that would be pretty humiliating for you.

I will say that, for the first time in my entire life, I actually made and kept a New Year's resolution! Minus a couple of days when I was in the hospital strung up to an IV pole or barfing my guts out (and who is going to make me count those?), I actually took a shower and got ready every single day this year. Just like I said I would!

Yes, that is the earth trembling under your feet.

How did I do it, you ask? At first I would put the babies in their pack 'n play to protect them from the deviousness of their older brother. Then one day I heard (extra) screaming while I was in the shower and found this:

So, I've had to reconfigure a few times. I've listened to a lot of crying. And I've gone racing down the hall a hundred times, dripping wet, to drag my little mischief-maker to time out so I could have a chance to wash the shampoo out of my hair.

Last week it dawned on me: If I could actually make and meet a goal to shower every day, what else am I capable of doing?

Whoa. Maybe I actually can mop the floor once a month!

Hey, anything is possible.