Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Know You've Been Breastfeeding Too Long When...

New mothers ask me all the time (by which I mean never), “Jody Reale, what’s your take on breastfeeding?” I usually tell them that, whether you decide to breastfeed or not, it’s your choice. Don’t be bullied; weigh the benefits against your personality, your own happiness.

They then usually ask me, “That sounds good, but how long should I breastfeed?” I like to say that, again, it’s totally up to you. Of course, you should do what you want, but if you’re looking for some guidelines, here are a few that have helped thousands of imaginary women everywhere understand when it’s time to dry up.

  • If you have to ask your son to shave first, or to put out his cigarette before nursing, you’ve been breastfeeding too long.
  • If you nurse your child while you help her with her trigonometry homework, you’ve breastfed too long.
  • If your child asks you to ride shotgun to the drive-thru because she doesn’t have enough money for both a drink and a Big Mac, you’ve breastfed too long.
  • If your breast pump is coal-powered, you’ve been breastfeeding for too long.
  • If your son invites you to a frat party called “I drink your milkshake,” RUN AWAY. Also, you’ve been breastfeeding too long.
  • If your child’s idea of mixing a White Russian involves having you stand between a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Kahlua, you’ve definitely breastfed too long.
  • If you’re wearing breast pads and a Depends undergarment, you’ve probably breastfed for too long.
  • If your favorite nursing bra is also your daughter's favorite nursing bra, you've breastfed for too long.
  • And if your child prepares his cappuccino by putting you in the steam room for 15 minutes first, you've most definitely breastfed for too long.

Moms, I hope this helps.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here's Looking Up Your Old Address

From 2000-2006 we lived in Nederland, Colorado, where we enjoyed a simple mountain lifestyle 20 minutes and 3,000 vertical feet from Boulder. Our house was small, our driveway was steep, our dogs were off-leash, and everyone was more or less happy. What I wonder now, three years after having left, is this: How did it escape my attention (until now) that the same town that keeps a frozen dead guy in a Tuff Shed (and throws a festival of the same name every year) is also the same town with a neighborhood of questionable street names? (Must be middle age kicking in.) See pictured here a map of some of my favorites, including the famed Hummer Drive.

Where the Magic Happens
The Cold Springs neighborhood, just off the Peak to Peak Highway, is where you'll find the neighborhood that, all of a sudden, sounds to me like one big double entendre. Take, for example Rocky Knob Lane, Wolftongue Road. By the time you get to Shady Hollow, Big Jack Ct, and Cougar Run (where all the hot older ladies live), even Thunder Ridge starts to sound dirty. It's like the only thing missing is Beaver Road (which is not that far away, but then again, Beaver never is).

You Can't Make This Stuff Up
I miss a lot of things about Nederland. The people, the charm, the scenery. And now I have one more thing to miss about the place: Giving directions. If we were ever to move back there, I'd insist on buying a place in the Cold Springs area, like it or not. Because if I did, in all seriousness, I might end up having to tell someone to meet me at the corner of Last Chance and Hummer. Sadly, it looks as if both quickly come to a dead end.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Give Parenting Advice in the Most Annoying Way Possible

  1. Make sure that the person you're advising wants no part of your insight. Your input should come out of nowhere, without provocation, and at the most inconvenient time. If you can muster a condescending tone, use it as much as possible.
  2. When "offering" your coaching, make sure it stems from information that is either clinically unsubstantiated, or was popular in the 1950s.
  3. As a next step, begin with the assumption that children are hell-bent on deliberately making their parents' lives miserable, instead of just trying to get some need met, especially when the child is under the age of 1. Try phrases like, "He loves to push your buttons."
  4. Next, make some sort of character judgment on the child for his/her behavior. Say things directly to the child, such as, "You're manipulative," and "you're going to grow up spoiled." Use other terms involving the words "monster," "brat," and "pig-headed" for good measure.
  5. Lastly, whatever you do, use the word "control" several times in your counsel. This control should be exerted for no other purpose than its own sake. Make sure that the parent you're advising knows that it's better to forgo relationships that are based on love and understanding than to lose control of the child at any given moment. Dismiss the greater lessons the child could otherwise learn about choice, responsibility, and working things out together with others instead of doing as told in every situation. When the parent says the only control she plans on using in the situation is the Janet Jackson album, look confused and a little put out.

To recap: Be annoying, be brusque, and if possible, take matters into your own hands while the parent isn't looking. After all, you're the expert.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is it Me, or is it Windy In Here?

The Winds of Change takes what looks like a much-needed break in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Caribbean

How do you feel about change? Considering Barack Obama's success in the last presidential election, most folks seem like they're a-OK with it. But me? (All political leanings aside) not so much.

I say this, not because of any particular feeling I can put my finger on, but because of the symptoms. The crankiness, the mood swings. My most embarrassing confession is that I'm a sleep-eater when I'm troubled, so let's just say that I've been coming downstairs in the morning to some compelling evidence that either the Keebler Elves love fluffer nutter sandwiches as much as I do, or I'm subconsciously concerned that my dentist doesn't have enough work.

And maybe, just maybe, it's because I'm turning 40 on Monday, the 13th of all dates, and I have no idea how to be a grown-up. I guess something like that'll keep you up nights, stuffing down a box of Paul Newman's Own Champion Chip Cookies and then going back to bed with chocolate morsels carving a tunnel between your teeth.

For my birthday, I've decided I want a membership to the local Y. And dental insurance. Lots of dental insurance.