"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." Nelson Mandela
"Meg stop whining, Chris stay on your side and Lois, for God's sake get off your ass and do some parenting!"
Stewie, Family Guy
Not that I was ever a huge fan, I just couldn't resist with his large cranium. No sewing required, besides a steam ripper to get out a giant embroidered flower from the front of the thrifted red overalls. I dressed as Lois and we hit Family Place for a play that day. We handed out glow in the dark bats and sparkle glue. Great memory.
From this, to:
A thrift shop, a glue gun and some felt. That's all C's costume took to make this year. We have delved into the world of Pokemon. That's all I really have to say. I have not learned to play with the cards yet and I'm pretty sure at this point, C and his friend are still slightly making it up. We do have a cool babysitter that knows all about it and we did discover that for a limited time, they were for sale at the dollar store and not just the comic book store (although we did have a thrifty delight at the comic book store one day and took a huge stack of less than better cards for $4).
Three things I learned about Pokemon in making this costume:
1. There are several versions. This one above is from the Diamond and Pearl (no clue what that means).
2. The girls are scandily clad. This is only important for me and how cold I will be dressed up as Dawn Halloween night. She's the girl in the pink mini skirt featured above.
3. Any costume can be a slutty costume. Still getting over the Slutty Pikachu we discovered when researching the costumes.
So what are you all dressing up for on Halloween? I have a less slutty costume lined up for work that I'm pulling out of my reservoir! Why do I love dressing up and Halloween so much?!?
Last month, during the first couple of weeks of school, C's teacher and I had the talk. Hand in hand with a Waldorf education, no TV. Not even because he's a Waldorf teacher and that's what they have to say, C wasn't adjusting to school life so easily and we discussed the extent of our TV watching and decided on a plan. The plan was to go back to the world of TV that I grew up in: Saturday morning cartoons. I loved waking up, as did C's teacher, to Saturday morning cartoons. Certain ones were only available Saturday mornings and I was excited to wake up and watch Jem, Smurfs and Fat Albert.
Further to that plan but not C's teacher actual responsibility was to fill the weekday TV time with something new. I have been long wanting to start reading out loud chapter books so I decided now was as good as a time as any.
After the first 2 days of no TV on a weekday which can only be likened to detox and withdrawal, C became quite interested in the first book that I decided to go with: Charlotte's Web. It turned out that it was the right book at the right time and the stars aligned quite beautifully. We were ready for reading chapter books out loud. Since last month we have finished Charlotte's Web, The Wizard of Oz, Winnie the Pooh and are currently finishing up and looking forward to the second book in the series, Little House in the Big Woods. All of these books were sitting on our shelves just waiting for us.
If only all changes in life could be so sweet and simple.
The result: C brightened up in class and settled into the daily and weekly rhythms and routines better than I could have hoped for. We eliminated the exhausting, energy depleting nature of the TV and found an astounding amount of energy for all kinds of little projects and happenings around the house.
We've eliminated TV before but it's never gone so smoothly. This past year it has been a blessing. While I sort out myself and my new life as a working, single parent, TV has been the extra 5 minutes while I get ready in the morning or the afternoon nap that I desperately needed. Maybe it's in part due to C's age and he was just really ready for this. I'm feeling pretty grateful that we were able to eliminate it, when it really was a crutch that I didn't want to use any longer.
And don't get me wrong, it hasn't been perfect. Some days I fall asleep reading to him, or I cry the last 20 pages of reading Charlotte's Web. Those are the minor extra responsibilities of taking on this challenge, and it is in our day and age, it really is. I don't blame those that watch so much TV. We're scared to let our kids out in the street to play and roam and be the way I grew up 30 years ago. We are assimilating to our environment as best we can and when I say we, I mean all parents surrounded by so much technology. Can we even break the bad that is Netflix and the convenience of watching an entire series in a couple of days. Heck, I'm still watching TV after he goes to sleep, but my excuse is it is Little House on the Prairie and I'm learning really great parenting skills from it! The sacrifice is and I'm aware and not complaining about it, that I don't have time for this and that. I choose TV.
In any case, we have success at this time. Knock on wood.
If you are further interested in the effects of TV on children, there is a really great lecture coming up at the Waldorf School that I am looking forward to. Bottom line of the lecture is to learn how to use media to your advantage and to not let it use you. Next Monday evening with Jaimen McMillon.
I don't want to come off as a Bitter Betty saying this in response to Martha Stewarts recent interview in which she states that Bloggers are not experts. I actually kind of agree with Ms. Stewart on the topic and voice myself by frequenting blogs that are professional and well edited. I think I naturally just prefer the content of those blogs and strive to make mine like them. I do try to put a lot of work into my posts and never just post without my best editing and content. Blogs that contain the kind of editing and testing that Martha mentioned are more likely to succeed but aren't necessarily more expert. Possibly more funded. I'm positive Martha is an expert in that. As I see it, Martha also is not an expert at least not an expert in all she does. She's business woman first. For example, Martha is not a health expert but I'm sure the group of well paid individuals that created her new vitamin line are experts. Personally, I won't be trying them. I prefer my vitamins and supplements from an expert not an opportunist.
It's unfortunate that old Martha can't go back and visit young Martha. Perhaps she might see what I see: a pioneer of the blogging community. No different in the beginning than the millions of homemakers, bloggers, crafters, etc. that supported her and her work and whom now have just been insulted by her.
Children need to interact with the tangible world in order to be in touch with reality. Children need real people to connect with in order to develop truly. Programmed on a steady diet of virtual reality, they are becoming increasingly immobile, unable to create and channel their own energy. To boot, they have difficulty seeing clearly what actually needs to be done. They seem to perceive actuality with a “film” in front of their eyes. Their attempt to be escape artists from reality has led to the imprisonment of initiative.
Televisions, videos, computers, hand-held devices, and smartphones have created a virtual reality that threatens to usurp the roles that parents, siblings, and friends should play. True play itself is virtually disappearing; in fact, the virtual media is playing with us. The message of this workshop is not to eliminate technology, but rather to show how to use technology, so that it does not use us. It will show that virtual reality is really a spatial consideration. The virtual world does not really exist out there; it takes place within the confines of the brain. The message is to learn to act on the three-dimensional stage of the physical world on which the drama of human life was meant to take place. Our taking the initiative now will help our children escape being victim to the ultimate, riveting, vanishing act: the disappearance of being able to act out of one’s own free will.
Jaimen McMillan has been training movement therapists and educators for over three decades. Along with maintaining a private therapeutic practice, he provides professional movement consulting, is an international lecturer, and served as the co-director of the School for Bothmer Gymnastics in Stuttgart, Germany for over 20 years.
WHEN: October 28, 2013 @ 7 - 9 pm
WHERE: Vancouver Waldorf School
2725 St. Christophers Road
COST: $20 Suggested donation at the door
CONTACT: Ronaye @ 604-985-7435
Inspired by Soulemama
Dear Miley, Sinead and Amanda:
It appears that you are all peeling away layers of an onion in hopes of influencing another. I thought I would peel one more in hopes of influencing you too.
Let's first step back a little. Not to the Wrecking Ball video, not to the VMA's but not quite as far back as Nothing Compares 2 U or Madonna or even as far back as The Runaways with Cherie Curie wearing negligee on stage. Let's just step back about 17 years to when I was 20. It appears that although the players always change the name of the game is the same. It doesn't matter if you are a rich and famous singer or a common gal like myself, the quickest trip to female empowerment is the same route from A to B: Sexy.
It is a super power isn't it? You feel hot, you feel bold, you feel free, no one is in charge of you, you can show the world how liberated and strong and powerful you are. It draws attention. Your empowerment goes up the more attention you get. You are the centre of the Universe and no one can touch you because you are in charge. It's essentially always this way with woman. Our skirt lengths go up the more rights we have. I sported my mini skirts, tiny tanks and chunky shoes, covered in glitter with my tongue and tongue ring hanging out. By the way Miley, I invented having your tongue hang out like that. Some may say it was Gene Simmons but I owned that looked up here in Canada.
In fact, I think it would have to have been your tongue wagging that first caught my attention. I connected instantly with Miley the second that tongue came out of her mouth at the VMAs. My tongue used to do the same thing when I was dancing at a club, sexing it up for people around me, showing people how uninhibited and free I am. How 'comfortable' I was in my skin. My first thought was I know that tongue. I know the real feelings behind that behaviour and I felt sorry for you. As the performance continued and my jaw dropped along with the Fresh Prince, I thought I would rather be watching a stripper lip sync. Miley later confirmed that she had performed without choreography (and class, ahem) on purpose. I had considered that, when I watched and I still didn't enjoy it. It made me feel really sad for you.
The thing is, back in my day, I was a very sad and hurt girl. I lacked confidence, I suffered quite privately from depression, I didn't feel the love in my home and my mind and my soul were mostly always disconnected from my body. Pretty typical young adult stuff. Oh, I also knew everything as I see Miley does too. It took me years to realize that sexy for empowerment was not sustaining although, as Amanda noted and I agree, Madonna keeps trying to prove us wrong. Empowerment can only be sustained by the sexiest part of our body, the one no one ever sees, the one we can't flash to a bartender for free drinks (or maybe we can), the one that can draw me in so well that I wouldn't even know you were standing in front of me naked if you are using it: your brain.
You see, when I look at Amanda, I don't see your clothes. I am way too transfixed on the brilliant words that are coming out of your mouth. If anyone reading this wants to know about this brilliance, check out Amanda's TED talk. Seriously, Amanda, keep dressing that way or not dressing at all, and empowering people with your words and your music and your aboslute fucking brilliance in fact while we are at it, can you please raise my son for me. Nothing Compares 2 U.
I recognize your argument Amanda I do. I completely support women being able to wear whatever they want and not be abused for it in any manner. We have something called a Slutwalk up here in Canada where we dress like whatever we define as stereotypical sluts and walk the streets between our igloos defending women, not making them victims of any kind of assault and making the way they dress any kind of excuse for those assaults, verbal, physical or sexual. I am all for it and have argued on a few occasions in defense of this exact argument that you make.
Except, that when I saw Miss Miley strutting the stage at the VMAs, sucking the moisture out the entire room with her foam finger, I was too busy watching the horror of another sad 20 year old girl on this planet taking a short cut to make herself look like she is unaffected by the world around here. What I saw was just another Disney Princess trying to break free of the chains that bound her for so long trying to show everyone how different and original she is. As original as Britney and Christina and every other girl that was under contracts and under thumbs for so long that the quickest route to finding themselves is to be the exact opposite of what they were for so long. A to B. Sex sells.
And it does, doesn't it. I mean the entire fucking world is talking about Miley Cyrus!! What I wouldn't do for that platform. I'd make everyone drink green smoothies, teach them to knit and insist that Little House on the Prairie was on Netflix. But of course, I'm not a 20 year old girl anymore and those weren't my 20 year old desires. Now I see things a bit differently. Like Sinead. We see things through experience now. The same amount of time that we've spent dealing with grown up shit is the same amount of time Miley has been on this planet. I respect Sinead greatly for the words you have said and for coming out with your wisdom to Miley. It isn't your fault that her reply was the equivalent of my 6 year olds argument when I'm sharing information that is for his own good which is repeating the word Poo 76 times and telling me how lame I am. It's not a lot of 20 year old girls faults that they weren't taught better to respect their elders and it makes me just as sad as you Sinead, that she's just made the decision to learn the hard way the things we also learned the hard way. Will that viscious cycle never end?
And truly, Sinead, I want to thank you. The best part of all of this is the incredible dialogue that is stemming from this. Let's talk about this! I've been wanting to talk about Miley since the VMAs. Is she OK? Was that for real? And Amanda, great letter, thank you also for extending this conversation about things that need to be said about how women dress. But. Yes, there's a but. I'm a mom. But what if you just empowered a woman that really just needs some help and sent her further into a pit?
Maybe it isn't that the record producers are using Miley. Maybe these really are her ideas, and I kind of believe they are cause I did some crazy shit that made total sense when I was her age, and maybe it isn't that we need to empower woman to be so free with their dress and thank Miley for paving the way because what I see is a girl that is drowning. If her head wasn't already shaved I would say that she is on her way to a crazy night where she shaves her head, or does something else that Disney Princesses do when they go off the deep. Honestly, that's where I see things. I see a woman with no space. A woman that is hurting and can't hurt privately. I see a woman that thinks if she just keeps it up and turns it around and pokes fun of herself like Miley did on SNL that she's better than, and more powerful than, and smarter than. She thinks its her ideas. She thinks she's in control. Funny enough, I think that people that poke fun of themselves so openly are just as big people pleasers as any other. The world wants you to poke fun of yourself. People like those people better than the ones that take themselves seriously. I mean, look at Sean Penn. You are no more free and in control of your actions than a puppet.
Miley Cyrus literally has the world at her feet. Following the VMAs, CNN posted her for the sake of follows, and clicks, the world was Tweeting and accidentally Twerking (see Stephen Harper). In the meantime, people in Korea, musicians like Miley, were getting senselessly executed and no one was talking about that. They are talking about you. And what did you do with that? You rode a wrecking ball and licked a sledge hammer. Miley you are gorgeous. Seriously, fucking gorgeous. And your body, whew, is amazeballs. Seeing so much of it makes me think of something Goldie Hawn once said. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. Whoops. Sorry, that wasn't Goldie. Goldie Hawn once said this about keeping it interesting in the bedroom with Kurt Russell. She said she never shows it all. It's sexier that way. It adds mystery and him wanting her. Sexy and clever. I'm listening Goldie tell me more. Miley, take note, leave something to the imagination.
This Goldie stuff ties in with Amanda's piece about manipulating men. Sexy is a super power and it is mens kryptonite. Do we want to manipulate men? I thought we wanted their respect. Or is that just me. When I empower myself the long way, I have that respect and I am sexy as hell. Fully clothed. Manipulate away.
But I don't. At least, I don't anymore. I suppose every woman might want to try that foam finger on for size to see if it fits. I tried it and again, not sustaining. I'm big on sustainable energy. And if I had to keep up what I had been doing when I was 20 now in order to keep the world around me interested than I am pretty doubtful that I would be enjoying much of my life. I think in fact, it would have turned on me and I'd be pretty fucking bitter that people never just liked me the way I was. But if you are just putting on publicity stunt after publicity stunt, how will anyone ever really know who or what you are.
In the end ladies, I believe our goal should be to connect the world further. Dressed or not. Take care of one another. I supposed Miley might not understand that had been what Sinead had started out to do. Amanda as well. I think she tried to connect and protect both of you. And now, here am I, trying to do the same.
I'll tell you what else I am doing ladies, and it is just for woman like you and those around me and my son. I'm trying to raise a gentleman. A respectful, caring, compassionate man that respects women. All of them. Dressed or undressed like Miley. With or without eyebrows like Amanda. A survivor like Sinead. Respect. RESPECT. Fuck what we wear. If you respect yourself from the inside out: get support, make positive decisions, make positive changes, get help, talk it out, take time for yourself, whatever it is to make you whole, than more than half of my job is already done and then wear whatever you want to wear because people stop looking and start listening. It is easy to respect someone that already respects themself.
And another layer of the onion is gone. No more tears.