Participation Trophies for the Win

My son’s voice recently dropped from alto/tenor to baritone/bass.

Now I occasionally get these calls from someone who sounds like James Earl Jones. “Would you please bring my lunch box to school? I left it at home this morning.”

I can imagine, and I have observed, the effect this new voice has on a boy’s sense of self.

Sometimes We Just Need to Play

Play is a powerful tool. For children, it helps their minds create connections between neurons, helps them promote development of coping mechanisms, and lets them experience different interactions in a safe and controlled manner. It is a major part of how they learn to navigate the world around them.

For adults, it has different, but no less important, purposes. When adults play, they are able to let go of daily stresses and be present in the moment, if only briefly. This can be extremely difficult when you have responsibilities at work, dependents at home, and things need to get done. What are you doing playing when you have so many things to do?!

When we, as adults, allow ourselves to release our stresses and interact with our bodies and environments freely, our brains are able to move the fast pace and constant stimulus to the back burner and just be.

I’m Not a “Pinterest Mom”

Yeah… I’m not a “Pinterest mom”.

Mrs. Pinterest, you sexy, balanced, thing you. Greeting the day bright and early so that you can implement your new “6-minute ab” routine, meditate for a few, write neatly in your mole skin journal, moving from there into your wildly acrobatic yoga routine, all whilst wearing the least-messy, “messy bun” that I’ve ever seen, and rocking those yoga pants.

“Good morning littles!” her post-workout self coos brightly to her sleepy-eyed children, patiently waiting for breakfast in their matchy matchy pj’s, as she pulls the warm pumpkin cinnamon rolls (that she made to welcome the first day of fall) out of the oven.

Ima say that again:

Pumpkin. Fucking. Cinnamon. Rolls.

The Fun Dad

As a kid, it always baffled me how boring and controlling grownups could be. Why did everything have to be so serious? Do people just get less fun as they got older? Not me, I thought. I’m going to be fun even when I’m all grown up.

Fast forward to the nightly ritual in which I find myself currently mired. I chase my three-year-old around with a toothbrush getting increasingly frustrated as time goes on, so that by the time I’m actually brushing her teeth I have to fight to keep from aggressively attacking her mouth and anything else near it with the toothbrush to the detriment of her health and safety.

A Cheap Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Shopping in the Real World

Being an introvert during the holidays is a veritable hell. Forget the obligatory office parties and family gatherings, I fear most the packed aisles and endless checkout lines. True, I could just buy everything online and hope for the best. (I can’t begin to express my love for Amazon Prime). Sometimes online shopping works, sometimes the “huge” stuffed animal you buy your niece looks like a pencil topper when it arrives (if it arrives at all), and you’re left scrambling for a present on Christmas Eve.

I may loathe crowds (ok, people in general), but I adore my friends and family and take pride in finding thoughtful gifts each year. I’m also really cheap…not in a Here’s a roll of toilet paper, Merry Christmas way, but in a I want to give my loved ones the best presents I can without blowing my budget kind of way. If I know exactly what I want, online shopping is a snap. However, I’m often inspired by things I see in person, which means I have to venture into the world.

I’m not a nice person when I’m rushed or crowded and nothing kills my holiday spirit faster than road raging my way to a strip mall to circle a full parking lot like a vulture. Holiday shopping during the holidays often makes me feel more like a lemming or frantic slug than an elf. So, after years of buying gifts for an extensive and diverse group, I’ve assembled the following Cheap Introvert’s Guide to Holiday Shopping in the Real World: