How to buy a toy, if you must.

There comes a time in many adults’ lives when we must purchase a toy. I’d like to think that most of the time this is an act of love. But I realize that sometimes it’s motivated by guilt or just social pressure.

If you have kids, this comes up every other week, because if your own kids aren’t begging you for something, then you’re probably buying toys for their friend’s birthdays.

And if you don’t have kids, you might not be aware of the hazards of toy buying. There are many. And in an effort to prevent you from making many of the common toy-buying mistakes, I present a decision-making flow chart that I recommend you print out and take with you to the store. Do it.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

toychart-1

Or you can order it as a greeting card here. And special thanks to Scary Mommy who ran this graphic yesterday on her popular and hilarious community for real parents.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I expect the sex talk to be easier since it was an immaculate conception, literally

Now that my children are getting older, I expect them to have a few more questions about how they got here. This is one of the down sides of teaching them how to talk, but there were so many other advantages to talking and it seemed to come naturally, so we just went with it.

There is no guide book for talking to your kids about how your gay parents had you, although I’m sure someone is writing one. And if I may, here is a suggestion for a title: How to Not Talk to Your Kids about Sex.

It recently occurred to me that I got pregnant without having sex with anyone. Or at least the sex didn’t cause me to become pregnant. OK, wait, I knew that at the time but what I’m saying is that it dawned on me that I could relay all of the details of my daughter’s conception and birth to her without mentioning anything but online shopping and trips to the doctor’s office, both of which she already knows about.

Really, it would be talking about an immaculate conception – in that it was immaculate and there was conception. In fact, it was so immaculate that my dirty vagina wasn’t allowed anywhere near the place where the sperm and the egg got together. It probably happened in a sterilized room where smart people dressed in cleanroom apparel and using pipettes put some sperm in a petri dish with my eggs. But, I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t directly involved. Seriously, I have an alibi.

immacgreenhair3

And it’s probably rude or blasphemous to call it an immaculate conception. But I didn’t call it The Immaculate Conception, because I read up on that, and I don’t get it. There are so many self-referential euphemisms in the description of the Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception that I could not figure what the Catholics were talking about. It was like talking to someone who insists on using air quotes around every other word. I mean, seriously, how can you write three paragraphs about something and still not really say what it is. So, I gave up. Maybe I’ll ask my mother-in-not-law next time I get a chance.

I think all that this really means is that in our house there will be two talks: The sex talk and the how-babies-are-born talk. Except that there won’t be, because I don’t want to have a “big talk.” I would like all of this to become part of our normal, family dialogue.

Stop! Wait! Don’t call social services! We are not going to sit around all day talking to our kids about sex. We are just going to answer questions with facts and compassion when they come up, just like everything else that we talk about.

In fact, Wynn and I have “big talks” all the time. Last night’s was about “why it’s OK to feel afraid.” And the night before, it was “being nice to your sister.” And we even had a talk about how some children don’t come out of their mom’s belly (because they are adopted). So far, that one was the most surprising to her judging only by the size of her eyes. And “feeling afraid” had the most tears. And, of course, “being nice to your sister” involved the most eye-rolling.

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can not talk about next.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My daughter’s birth story involves dry ice

We were sitting around the Christmas tree this weekend enjoying ten whole minutes of “family time” before some half-naked, half-crazed member of the family went running off screaming that it’s time to watch a movie. And we had a nice little family conversation about who was frozen and who wasn’t. And please don’t think this was a conversation about the weather, because it wasn’t. It started like this:

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly,” said Wynn. She never gets tired of hearing about how she was in my uterus for 10 months. I think it’s because she’s lazy and relishes the idea of being curled up somewhere warm, carried around and automatically fed through a tube in her stomach.

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly, too,” said Marlo.

“You were frozen,” said Pam.

“I was frozen, too,” said Wynn.

“No you weren’t. Only Marlo was frozen,” I said.

Wynn and Marlo were part of the same batch and Wynn was hatching (this is really what they call it) so they put her in my uterus — her favorite place in the whole world — and Marlo went to the deep freeze along with some others (the other little Mexicans) for two years.

“I want to be frozen!” cried Wynn.

“Listen, not everyone can be frozen. Only Marlo and Han Solo.”

“Who is Hand Solo?” said Marlo.

“A space cowboy.”

“I want to watch Toy Story!”

Family time over. And then I thought about it later and wondered if it was appropriate to tell your children that they were frozen in a lab for two years before they were born. Is it embarrassing to be frozen in a lab? Seriously. Judge me. I’m used to it. I just can’t wait to hear Marlo tell someone that she was frozen, like Hand Solo.

girl baby

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

WARNING: Your toys might be causing health problems. Minor injuries and insanity at least.

Every time you buy something for a baby, it comes with a warning to the parent about what bad thing can happen to the baby if they are not strapped down with all of their orifices sewed closed to prevent injury. And I think all of this stuff is very important, even if no one ever reads it. But I have a new proposal. Warnings for adults about what can happen to the adult if anyone buys these toys.

The Little Toy Kitchen: WARNING: Can cause back injury in adults. Because you will be picking up tiny plastic vegetables, fruits and miniature pots and pans for the next five years.

Toy Guitar (The Dora Singing Star Guitar, in particular): WARNING: Can cause temporary insanity and deafness. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle. We made the mistake of buying one of these for our daughter while we were in the suburbs. We live in the city, and it was 30-minute drive home. I am surprised I didn’t get in an accident while I slowly went completely psychotic from the sound of Dora repeating “Lo hicimos” over and over again. And then, we did it! We took the batteries out.

Stickers: WARNING: Adults with any symptoms of OCD or anxieties about arranging objects into logical order and in the proper location should avoid using stickers without first consuming alcohol. Whenever my daughter plays with stickers, I have to employ a lot of self-talk that goes something like this: “It’s OK that Barbie’s shoe is stuck to her head. It’s OK.” Or “It doesn’t matter if all the stickers are stuck to each other and not in the book. The book does not care.” I have been practicing this for three years, and I still can’t watch her playing with stickers without trying to rescue a few of them from her grubby hands like lambs from a slaughter.

duck toy

This was a gift from some beloved friends. But after my daughter opened this and played with it, I wondered if my friends secretly hated me.

What toy warnings for adults would you recommend?

Follow this and a lot more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or find us on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saying goodbye to a friend. And there’s just nothing funny about that.

Most of the time, I use this little space on the web to point out stuff that is funny or ironic, but today is not one of those days. Because I can’t think about anything else to write about except for a life lesson that I had this week that came in the form of a friend whose funeral I attended. She was 38 and a mother of four when she died of breast cancer on July 26. This is her.

bridgette

 

And I know what you are thinking. That woman is frigging gorgeous, and she is. This is a picture of her during her cancer treatment! And if you think this picture of her is gorgeous, you should see her heart. It’s infinitely more beautiful and longer lasting than this beautiful face.

But what is the lesson in all this for me? (Because this blog is all about me, of course.) Well. I used to be jealous of Bridgette. According to me, she had the perfect family, she made friends easily, she was beautiful, and an athlete and had the perfect body. I could go on, but I think you’re getting my drift. She was also married and had two kids. I wanted to be married and have two kids. She had the perfect life.

Then, a year later she got divorced. My first indicator of imperfection. And shortly after that she met a new love, also someone I knew and cared about. A quiet guy, who is so kind, and has the same laugh as my brother. And they blended their families to make three kids, and then had a baby to make four. She was back to great, and I was no longer as jealous, because I knew her better by then. I saw more of her pain, and more of her heart, which made her more wonderful to me which, ironically, made me less envious not more. She was not perfect, anymore. She was real.

Then, Bridgette got cancer which ate away at her like some sort of zombie terrorist for months. It didn’t seem to matter what kind of chemo or drugs were thrown at it, the cancer persisted until it had consumed the critical parts of her. The parts that let her breathe. And by Monday, we were all gathered to say goodbye to her and to weep for her husband and her children, who only have memories and photographs left of their mother.

And that same day, the day we all cried together, I got this in my inbox.

jealous

And it was a slap in the face. Because six years after I met Bridgette for the first time, I am married (or getting married at least). And I have two kids. And a perfect body, because that body is here for me to enjoy another day with everyone. And this isn’t so much about pointing out what I have now that she doesn’t, but to say that comparing is a waste of energy, a waste of the real opportunity to know ourselves, and mostly a waste of love.

If I had let my jealously get in the way of my love and admiration for Bridgette, I would have never come to know her as the beautiful person that she is. I would have robbed both of us of the love that we did have for each other, small that it is. I will miss her, but her life and her death have given me a gift. The opportunity to appreciate mine.

Thanks to tinybuddha.com for the slap in the face. 

Follow this and a lot more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or find us on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s Monday. Time for some Gay Agenda items.

Today’s gay agenda is pretty long and pretty hardcore. In case you’re unaware or were not following the Conservative Christians closely enough in the 90s, this term was invented by such people to describe the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality. Yes, I’m for it! Except that they are against it. But whatever, let’s discuss. Here is my gay agenda for today.

1. Get out of bed. That was kind of hard. I stayed up late a lot this weekend, so that makes it difficult to get up on Monday.

2. Blogging. This is it. Hope you find it to be everything that you hoped for. But let’s remember that we’re looking for activities that are morally reprehensible. And so far, I think the Christians might be OK with this agenda, except for the blogging, possibly. But I’m guessing they are in favor of getting out of bed, ESPECIALLY if you’re getting out of a bed that contains a woman.

3. Eat breakfast, get dressed, get the children dressed, make bed, tidy up house a little, forget my keys, come back for my keys, forget tampons, come back for tampons. All of these things happen at the same time, so they are really just one agenda item.

4. Go and get a mammogram, while spending most of my time on my iPhone answering work  e-mail and catching up on all the puppy pictures that I might have missed on Buzzfeed overnight. Then, hold my breath while my breasts are pressed between two large pieces of Plexiglas and manipulated gently by a soft spoken woman with cold fingertips.

5. Go to work. Answer e-mail. Make PowerPoint presentations. Help people get their job done. Eat broccoli and broiled chicken for lunch with a Diet Coke, generously supplied by my employer. Talk on the phone. Delete some e-mail. And leave at 4:45 sharp to pick my two children up from day care.

6. Make dinner. Watch the kids not eat dinner. Try to insist that they eat dinner. Give up. Watch Team Umizoomi. Read Dora’s Rainy Day (again!) to Marlo and then sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her while I turn off the lights and close the door to her room. Repeat the same process with Wynn, but substitute the story about the Little Mermaid, no song and no closing of the door.

7. Go downstairs to our bedroom. Collapse next to Pam. Discuss birthday invitations, weird happenings of the day, check e-mail. Then get up, go next door and pick up Wynn’s birthday bike, which is hiding out in our neighbor’s basement. Decorate it. I have no idea how I’m going to do this, so suggestions welcome. And then go upstairs for more collapsing on the bed. And sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to myself before I fall asleep.

Now I realize that this post did contain a few controversial subjects. Breasts, for one. Always controversial. And tampons. Not as controversial, but at some point I’m guessing there were at least a few people opposed to those, even though they have been around for thousands of years.

So feel free to point out anything that might be morally corrupt in this e-mail. Oh, and don’t forget the suggestions about how to wrap up a bike as a birthday present. I’m all ears. But in the meantime, here’s a picture of the birthday girl (Wynn).

birthday girl

Follow this and a lot more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or find us on Twitter #7LM and @7littlemexicans

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...