Twelve Things Your Crying Baby Wants You to Know (plus One More)

This was shared in a mother’s group I’m part of:

12 Things your Crying Baby Wants you to Know

1. I am not crying to make your life more difficult. I am crying because something is wrong. Even if it does not seem like it.

2. I am brand new. I do not have control of my nervous system. I am disorganized. Being with you; hearing your heartbeat, smelling your scent… it calms me. It helps me.

3. The fact that I cannot stop crying is not your fault. I know your are doing your best. We are just getting to know each other. We will get there- please stick with me.

4. You are my world. You are my everything. You are all that I know. I do not have anybody else that can provide for me what you can.

5. I do not need to cry. It does not exercise my lungs, or provide any other benefit.

6. The stress chemicals that are released when I cry (that stay with me my whole life) are lessened when you hold me while I cry.

7. Please nurse me. No matter how much I ask for it. Forget the time or how tired you are. If nursing helps me to stop crying, please nurse me.

8. Do not listen to anybody else– not your neighbor, not your aunt. Forget the book that you read which talked about helping me to learn to self soothe. Just listen to me. And you. Forget the world outside of ours.

9. I cannot self soothe. It is not possible. If I stop crying when you leave me alone, it is because I have given up hope that you will comfort me.

10. If you are at your breaking point ask for help; with the dishes, the laundry and preparing meals. If I am content with somebody else, please use that time to shower or change or have a cup of tea.

11. I know this stuff is hard to hear. We live in a world that promotes political correctness at the expense of others. My needs are real, and I really need you; even when this means eating one handed and with dirty hair. I am your baby. You are my parent.

12. This will not last forever. It feels like it now because we are in this time warp of newbornhood. If you comfort me now, I will be calmer sooner. We will be closer. This time will end- this is not the rest of your life. While you may never long for the crying, your wiser self will be grateful to know that you trusted me, and yourself, from the very beginning…

*snickers*

I can’t help it! I crack up at this sort of thing!

The irony is too good when someone writes “don’t listen to anyone else” in the middle of a 12-point lecture against sleep-training.

Plus, the dramatic, first-person prose!  HAHAHAHA! My favorite line is, “If I stop crying when you leave me alone, it is because I have given up hope…”

Good grief!

So I commented.  How could I resist?

Here’s the thirteenth thing your baby wants you to know, which I added:

“13.  I didn’t really write this list.  I can’t write.  I’m a baby.  This list was written by an adult woman with an agenda and opinions, just like all of us have. Number 8 might apply to this list, just like it applies to authors of books about self-soothing. Everybody thinks they know what’s best for me!  (P.S. I won’t suffer lifelong stress from being allowed to cry for short periods, as part of a reasonable sleep-training program. That’s just silly.)”

Unfortunately, that comment was deleted.

*snickers again*

Seriously!  It’s gone!

I think I might go cry now.

Hopefully my mom will come make it better…

5.16.17 Comment Deleted

Go To Hell

The people most offended by the concept of Hell are those who deserve it the most.

All of us have a sense of justice. We all know that evil exists–but we never want to admit when WE belong in that category.

Case in point, John My-Sin-Is-Better-Than-Yours Pavlovitz.  (Just when I thought he couldn’t get any more unhinged.)

Earlier John actually posted a piece called “Today, I Hope There’s a Hell,” in which he outlined the reason he’s starting to rethink his belief about spiritual damnation:

Because if there indeed is a hell, it will be surely getting more crowded after today.

If there’s a hell it will be filled with people who claimed faith in Jesus, while spending the National Day of Prayer stripping the sick of care and the vulnerable of protection—and acting as if this was a righteous victory.

If there’s a hell, it will be packed to the rafters with Christians who chose to turn the other way or to be silent as they watched it all happen.

If there is a hell, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and Mike Pence, and all those who conspired to perpetrate this horror upon our most vulnerable and most at-risk, might actually come to the humility and repentance and decency that they seem incapable of here.

Got that?

The man who regularly makes use of the “Love Wins” hashtag is reconsidering the need for Hell…because Donald Trump and Paul Ryan need somewhere to pay for repealing chunks of Obamacare.

That seems reasonable and not-at-all like an overreaction, right?

He also Tweeted this today:

So, if you’ve ever argued that “ALL LIVES MATTER,” then you HAVE to support Obamacare.

Because, repealing the AHCA (and anything that John considers “anti-LGBTQ”) automatically makes you a liar.

The only people who really care about all lives are the ones who vote in John-approved ways…

It would almost be funny if it weren’t for the dozens and dozens of mindless followers who pile on to agree with the insanity.

 

And, my personal favorite,  “as a disabled woman…at least I KNOW the GOP wants me DEAD!”

I mean, how can you hit “send” on a comment like that without laughing?

Post after post after post like this!

When one talking head suggests that a piece of legislation is literally life and death for millions of people, they just hop on the bandwagon? They actually believe, wholeheartedly, that politicians replacing Obamacare are LITERALLY trying to kill disabled people?

The horde brings up a certain mental image for me:

Of course there’s a Hell!

 

The people who advocate most passionately for “justice” ought to be the first to admit this. They recognize the truth at their core.

There must be a place where people are held “accountable” for their wrongs.  There must be a point where “Karma” catches up to evil-doers.  There must be a reckoning for the lying, blame-shifting, self-absorbed people who only use God’s name for their own, personal gain.

Hell is a place where anger and hate still exist, but critical thought cannot.

The residents of Hell will spend all of eternity insisting that they were absolutely right about everything.  They will believe, into infinity, that their perspective is more correct and their hearts are more good and more beautiful than anyone who was ushered into Heaven.  

Many of them will have spent their earthly lives believing that posting to Facebook about the awful GOP is the same as being compassionate…which means they will spend their afterlives convinced that God is the monster for treating them as equals to Donald Trump.

They’ll say psychotic things like, “All of those so-called Christians in Heaven wanted me DEAD, and now they’re being rewarded for it!!!!”

But none of their neighbors will think that’s insane.

People who deserve Hell are always the first to argue it’s not fair.

Pride.

Lack-of-reason.

Self-obsession.

Illogical anger.

Yes,  Hell exists.

And John Pavlovitz’s blog is the front porch.

Thirteen Reasons to Kill Yourself

At one point, the main character skipped a shower, and for the rest of the episode, everybody he walked near would wrinkle their noses and fan the air.

It was supposed to be comedic relief, I think.

But THAT pretty much sums up what’s wrong with Netflix’s new series “Thirteen Reasons Why,” about a teen who committed suicide.

The entire plot is every teenager’s irrational fears, taken seriously:

“Yes–everyone knows you didn’t shower. They all think you stink!”

“Yes–that picture you don’t want anyone to see is a huge deal. Everyone is talking about it.”

“Yes–they’re staring.”

“Yes–it’s their fault you feel so bad about yourself.”

AND,  “Yes–if you kill yourself, then everyone will be sorry!”

A recent Rolling Stone Article asked the question, “Does ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ Glamorize Teen Suicide?”

And the answer is: unequivocally yes.

Hannah, the girl who took her own life, is also the narrator. So, the whole series is about her, despite the fact that a REAL suicide victim loses the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.  (That’s one of the ways the series glamorizes suicide; it spreads the lie that you’ll be famous–and finally understood better–once you’re gone.)

Anyway, over and over and over, Hannah says things like, you think I’m overreacting…

You think I get my titties in a twist over the smallest drama…

You think I’m focusing on tiny things…

BUT

Here’s why you’re wrong…

You didn’t feel the stares…

You’ve never been in my situation…

Keep in mind, we know from the very beginning that this girl was unstable and took her own life.  But the creators still have a way of taking her perspective seriously. Whether intentionally or not, they seem to lend credibility to Hannah’s belief that her experiences were much different–much worse–than the “average,” everyday struggles that everyone else faces.

Here’s a direct quote, I transcribed from one of the episodes:

“You’re going to tell me this one is no big deal…but let me tell you about being lonely…I’m not talking ‘lonely in a crowd’ lonely. That’s everyone, every day. And it’s not ‘when will I find love’ lonely or ‘the popular kids are mean to me’ lonely. The popular kids are mean to everybody. It’s how they get popular… The kind of lonely I’m talking about is when you feel like you’ve got nothing left. Nothing and no one. “

 

In addition to agreeing with this irrational self-talk, this series tries to convince us that hardcore violence has reached an epidemic in American high schools, and most teenagers are (understandably) on the brink of suicide.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how this show needs to be required-viewing for parents, to open a dialog with their teens about what really happens in schools today.

But I just keep thinking–really?

REALLY, really???

Does this series accurately portray a typical high school experience? Or is it exactly like every other highly-dramatized teen fantasy, where adult actors pretend to be class-skipping, drug-using 15-year-olds?

Cheerleaders are drinking hard liquor out of their canteens at practice? REGULARLY?

Kids are throwing underage drinking parties, while their parents are out of town, and none of the adults have any idea?  (I mean, hasn’t that been a plot point in every, single teen drama, since the 80’s? Do we really need this one to warn us?)

And–let’s talk about the fact that not one, but TWO girls were graphically raped within weeks of each other.  (Both times were on the properties of good, loving, married parents, who simply missed the fact that at least 100 drunk teens had completely trashed their house and yard while every grown-up nearby had inexplicably “left town for a couple of days.”)

Let’s be honest, parents. If the average sophomore is buying his own booze and smoking weed and having reckless sex, just to cope with the damaging things he’s witnessing at that place we send him to study but, instead, he and his peers do nothing except congregate in the halls and swear and fight, then we’ve got a problem that a Netflix series isn’t going to solve.

Maybe we should stop leaving the country and letting our kids drive our cars or ride their bikes or walk all over town at all hours of the night, and start thinking about homeschooling.

Seriously.

The picture painted by “Thirteen Reasons Why” is that American highschools have literally become tiny Sodom’s and Gomorrah’s, with students lucky to make it out unharmed.  

If that’s true, it’s child-abuse to send a teenager there.

But if, on the other hand, this show is a fictionalized story, meant to entertain, then we should stop giving it credit for telling some sort of eye-opening truth.

“Thirteen Reasons Why” is rated TV-MA, for mature audiences, because it’s utterly full of profanity and graphic sexual content.  So, if you’re going to watch it with an older teenager, use caution.

In fact, unless you’re certain that your kid already participates in dangerous, illegal things, I’m not sure why you’d want to expose him to it on-screen at all. Why plant those mental images?

It brings up an interesting dilemma, doesn’t it?  Because, while MOST teens aren’t attending wild parties where someone gets raped or killed, we must realize that most teens are consuming that stuff every, single day, in movies that normalize it…

Disguised as a great conversation-starter to solve a problem, I think it’s more likely that “Thirteen Reasons Why” actually contributes to the issues of desensitization and reprogramming of youth through violent media.

“High school is a death trap.”

“Suicide is understandable.”

“Rape is everywhere. Here, watch.”

“This is what suicide looks like. Here watch.”

“It’s normal…it’s everywhere…it’s probably happening to your teen…”

Maybe those things aren’t happening now. But they certainly will be, if we continue filling young minds with those messages.

They’re Right. That’s Stupid.

I was pointed to the blog of a former-Christian (now Atheist) to read an interesting quote:

“If I were still a Christian, I’d most likely be on my knees every night… in constant “conversation” with God, asking “Him” to make everything “work” for us to buy this home (which, of course, involves selling our current home and getting the price we need)…”

The majority of my readership is Christian, so I have to ask. Does that sound familiar?

Do you ask God to make everything “work” for you?

Here’s more:

“The question is primarily directed to ex-Christians, since you’re the ones who in a past life (like me) probably asked/begged God to make things “work” … to make everything “come together” and grant the desires of your heart…”

I’m not going to address this blogger’s “question,” because my dad already has an Atheist Advice Column, and I’d rather let him tackle that.  (Edit: His advice post is here.)

Instead, I’m writing to the Christians who still sound like this Atheist used to sound…

Do you think God is waiting to grant the desires of your heart?

When a friend is struggling with something they really want, do you share stuff like this?

 

Or maybe you’re fond of saying things like, “Keep lookin’ up!”

or “God’s got you covered!”

or “Get ready for a blessing!”

 

If these are your go-to cliches when you’re trying to be helpful, stop.

Please, stop.

It’s not helpful.

Your Osteen-inspired T-shirt wisdom is shallow and naive and not Christian.

That religion might work to help a 10-year-old feel better about a disappointing grade on a test, but it’s not good for much else.

Although you can convince a child that life is all about wishing really hard for something from the Great Genie, eventually that concept of God is supposed to grow up.

The former-Christians who mock the way they used to beg for goodies from God are right. That’s ridiculous.

What many professing Christians are practicing is called “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism“–because they have virtually no need for God, except to solve their (usually self-caused) problems.

“Please pray for my boyfriend to get out of jail.”

“Please ask God to help us find a house we want.”

“I’m asking for prayers because we’re going through a lot right now, and we just need peace.”

And, of course, all the professing Christians respond:

“Praying!”

“God is in control!”

“Everything will be fine!” (Which means, “You’ll get everything you’re hoping for, if you fold your hands and say ‘Amen’ enough.”)

Again–it’s shallow and childish and useless.   If THAT’S all that happens when Christians get together to share wisdom, then the Atheists are correct when they decide they don’t need it.

The human relationship with God isn’t about asking Daddy to make life comfortable.

Therefore, we’re not helping anyone with our air-headed promises that he’s going to “come through” and give our friend everything she thinks she needs.

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is selfish and stupid.

So can we stop selling it?

Don’t Trust Your Partner

I read this sage cliche in a Twitter feed this morning:

“Trust is very important. No relationship can survive without it!”

The context?  Folks were discussing this bombshell revelation from a White House reporter on Twitter…

So, the VP doesn’t go to parties where alcohol is served, without taking his wife for accountability. He also doesn’t take other women to dinner alone.

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about–except that Mike Pence is a favorite punching bag of Regressive Liberals.  Having boundaries in a relationship shows respect for your spouse and shouldn’t be ridiculed by someone older than about 14.    (What is this, a middle school cafeteria?)

Pence didn’t say every relationship should have the same policy.  He just explained what he and his wife do.

But, nevertheless, the monkeys chattered:

 

And so, the buzzword of the day is “Trust.”  Is it totally fine for politicians to go out to dinner, one-on-one, with a woman who isn’t a family member?

Or do rules against solo interactions reveal a “lack of trust” in your spouse/yourself/others?

I would say yes, it does show a lack of trust, in a certain sense.  

But, I don’t believe that “trust” is the MOST IMPORTANT component of a relationship. I think wisdom and discernment and practicality are all important, too. And that’s where the modern relationship advice-givers are wrong.

Do I trust my husband?

Depends on the situation.

Based on experience, I can trust that Luke will do a great job with any plumbing or electrical projects he undertakes in our home.  I trust him to make very tasty quesadillas…to keep our kids fed and happy when I need to go somewhere…to forgive me when we’ve had a fight…

I do NOT trust my husband to drive late at night on very little sleep.

Again, experience has taught me.  Since I love my husband and don’t want him to end up dead in a ditch, I’m aware of this weakness he has.

“Don’t tell yourself you’re fine to drive if you’re not!  Just pull over if necessary…”   –Me, not trusting my husband.

On a similar note, when we first got married, I didn’t trust Luke to hear his alarm in the morning.  I lost track of the number of times he was late to work or church or something else, because he would make compromises and tell himself he was “getting up,” until, eventually, he fell unconscious again.

It was a big problem early in our relationship.

But, in the last few years, he has gotten much better about waking up. (I can’t even remember the last time he was late to work.)   Thus, he has gained my trust in this area.

 

Knowing my husband helps me understand the places he can/can’t be trusted. Loving my husband inspires me to help him grow in the areas he is weak.  (And love also requires me to be honest about MY weaknesses with HIM, so we can work on those, too.)

Love doesn’t mean wearing blinders and pretending people are trustworthy if they’re not.

“Love” doesn’t mean Mrs. Pence should ignore the mountains of evidence that politicians don’t always choose wisely, when they’re left alone in the company of female colleagues.

 

 

 

Love doesn’t mean playing stupid!

Use your head.  People have affairs.  That actually happens.

So, a wise individual will do what he/she can to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.


 

What kind of person mocks someone for taking precautions against bad behavior?

Would we ridicule a recovering alcoholic for refusing to take even cold medicine?

Do we think it’s weird and creepy if someone addicted to pornography asks someone to put a password on their computer?

I think the people who know their weaknesses and take active steps to combat them deserve our respect.  Certainly, they have earned more “trust,” than the person demanding the benefit of the doubt and labeling your concerns as paranoia.

Society is filled with infidelity and failing marriages, but we still think a healthy couple simply pretends that isn’t reality. Love means living as though your significant other is incapable of making mistakes. (And, if temptations arise, then it wasn’t Real Love to begin with. That’s what we think!)

But, I’m not buying that.

I’m suspicious of someone who won’t make even the smallest sacrifice (like avoiding solo-dinners) to demonstrate their goodwill and character. Something so easy!

 

“Don’t tell yourself you’re fine to have dinner with “just a friend,” if you’re not.  Don’t have dinner with anyone, alone, if necessary…”    –Me, not trusting humans in general.

 

 

Parenting Fail: A Stranger Found My Child

Yesterday, I wrote about the way we encourage each other to be afraid of everything, by spreading our “scary stories” of things that could go wrong–even when our stories amount to nothing but a feeling we had about a guy at the store.

We lament “You can’t trust anyone.”  And then we confirm it to ourselves over and over, by focusing like lasers on the creepy, scary, worst-cases.

We actively teach ourselves (and our children) to see everyone as a potential-killer, and then we assure each other it’s necessary; we have to do that…because strangers are dangerous.

But, what happens when someone needs help, with no one but a stranger around?

A few weeks ago, my parenting fail could have become a scary Facebook warning…but it didn’t.

—–

I was teaching school to my oldest daughter, Cami, at my parents’ house, where we go two days a week.

Cami’s best buddy, Olivia, lives on the same block and is also homeschooled, so the girls do their school together on those days.  I had just finished their lessons, so they asked to walk back to Olivia’s house together.

They had done this dozens of times.

The backyards of the two houses practically touch each other.  Usually they go out the backdoor of one house, across the alley, and into the backyard of the other.

What I didn’t realize was Olivia’s back gate was locked…

This wasn’t a problem for Olivia. She took Cami around to the front door, and then said goodbye.  But, the detour got Cami all turned around because, apparently, she has the same directional sense as her father.  😉

Trying to get back to her grandparents’ house, Cami ended up crossing a steet, and then another…and another. Meanwhile, I was waiting for her, unaware I should be concerned yet!

About 15 minutes later, there was a knock on the front door, and Cami was standing with a woman I’d never seen before.

“She was running down the sidewalk crying,”  the lady explained.

Uh… say, what???   I struggled to wrap my mind around the mental image.

“She got lost? How?  WHERE?”

“We found her about three blocks away,” the lady pointed East. “At first, she didn’t want to talk to me, but she did great. She knew her name and your name–and what color the house was…”

I focused my attention on Cami, “Why did you cross the street, baby? You’ve walked back and forth from Olivia’s house lots of times!”    (Eventually, we worked out that the gate had been locked.)

I was still in shock, but I thanked the woman and assured her we’d be more careful in the future.  And then my mind started playing all the “What If” scenarios.

My baby was just holding hands with a stranger…she told the stranger her name and age and where she lived… she got in the stranger’s car!!!

Oh my goodness!!!!

It was nauseating, until I realized…if she hadn’t done those things, she’d still be lost.

The Kind Stranger made sure that something much, much worse didn’t happen.

Consider the story told by Ken Davis, of losing his granddaughter in the mountains.  (Get the tissues.)  That little girl had been lost for hours, and still her first words to the couple that found her were, “I can’t talk to you.”

Thank God those Kind Strangers still worked to gain her trust and then reunited her with her family.

Later on the afternoon of Cami’s ordeal, I noticed a missed call from what looked like a spam account on Facebook.

“Who in the world is Tiffany?”  I asked out loud.  “Probably a scam caller trying to get money.”

But Cami corrected me.

“Tiffany is that girl who found me.”

Suddenly, that weird, suspicious call from a stranger meant something totally different. “The Stranger” had a name.

I sent Tiffany a message thanking her again for taking care of my girl when I wasn’t there.
And, far from asking for money, she responded:

No problem, I’m glad I could help! I have a son her age and I know how their minds wander. LOL 🙂 please tell her she did an excellent job answering my questions… I hope if my son was ever in that position that he would do as well as she did.

Sometimes strangers are teachers.

Sometimes strangers are doctors and police officers.

Many times, they’re also parents, who see the face of their own child when they look at yours in trouble.

Maybe I’m too trusting.  And maybe someday you’ll see my face on the news, having paid the ultimate price for letting my children explore their neighborhoods.

But I still believe it’s a shame that all strangers are treated with bad assumptions, based solely on the actions of a few.

There are some truly wonderful people in your community–probably more good ones than bad.  Most of us are just friends who don’t yet know each other’s names.

Yes, You CAN Be Too Careful

Am I the only one noticing an increase of warnings on Facebook, along the lines of “I SAW A CREEPY PERSON AND I’M POSITIVE HE/SHE WAS TRYING TO HURT ME”  ?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe the alarmist stories have been around a long time, and I’m just now paying attention.

Here’s an example from 2015:

 

And from 2016:

 

And one posted three days ago:

 

And let’s not forget the bad guys giving away free samples at Walmart, or the bad guys drugging people at Dillard’s, or the bad guys taking kids out of theme parks,  or the bad guy pulling people into white vans, or the bad guys posing as plumbers, or the bad guys posing at teen-employers...

Also, don’t accept candy.

And don’t accept business cards.

And even if someone SAYS they’re a kidnapper, you should still be suspicious.

 

 

In other words, trust no one. Then, when you have your own harrowing story of life-or-death (and you will!), make sure you share it with the world.

This was the near-miss I posted about today.

 

Now that I’m thinking about this, perhaps all of us should be especially distrustful of someone who worries about everything?

I mean, even if there isn’t a “bad guy” in the store–what if there’s a jumpy person nearby who thinks I’M the bad guy?

Women should carry pepper spray and handbags filled with rocks just in case.

If the stranger next to you spends too much time reading scary warnings on social media…and if you try to hand her a piece of gum or a business card…well, you see where I’m going with this.

You can’t be too careful!

Also–beware of a new scam. Psych professionals are diagnosing people with something called “paranoid personality disorder.”

Don’t fall for it.