Posted by: Hannah | 06/11/2015

the more things change…

Today is my blog’s 5th anniversary. No, I did not say “blogoversary”, a portmanteau that makes my left eye twitch.

I thought about writing a cheerful happy post as a shout-out to the milestone, but it’s Thursday, and I’m surly, and you all come here to listen to me snark, anyway.


In no particular order, we have:

My washing machine, which broke yesterday, and in a house with five people this is so very very bad. It’s likely a $300 fix, and the part needs to be ordered, so I’m without a washing machine until next week. It’s baseball season. Everything is dirty and covered in grass stains, sunscreen, and bug spray. Also, the fucking thing broke as I was starting to catch up on all the regular laundry that got missed over the weekend because I was too busy doing stomach virus laundry.

Which leads me to the stomach virus. Charlie was patient zero – his dad and brother were sick, and his mom insisted it was food poisoning. News flash, universe: it is almost never food poisoning. I have this theory about childhood illnesses, actually. Families with two working parents do miss a lot of work for their kids’ various contagious diseases. All daycares and most dayhomes have exclusion rules for communicable bugs, and so parents tell themselves that the vomiting is food poisoning, the goopy eyes are from a cold not pinkeye, the rash is dermatitis… then they bring their little petri dishes to daycare, and wham, they take out a dozen people. In the end, all five of us as well as Louis, Arthur, and Arthur’s parents all went down. Food poisoning, my ass.

Today I heard of Tove Lo for the first time, and now I need to bleach my brain. Apparently her song Talking Body is popular right now, and on the radio the lyric is if you love me right / we love for life / on and on and on which is actually kind of sweet, in a way. Then you find out that in the original version, that second “love” is replaced with “fuck” and oh, that’s a different tone altogether. I blame EL James.

And speaking of that wanker, she’s got another book coming out because let’s milk this hideous cash cow some more, lord knows she hasn’t got enough money yet. This time it’s the execrable 50 Shades story told from Christian Grey’s point of view. Essentially, we’re going to get 300 pages of an abuser mansplaining why everything he did to Ana Steele was totes OK, ya’ll, stop telling me I’m glorifying partner abuse.

It’s all part of the troubling misogyny that is either on the rise or finally getting dragged out into the light where it belongs. Witness Tim Hunt, the Nobel laureate who said this week that research labs should be sex-segregated because three things happen when women are in labs: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry. Then when the entire scientific community jumped on his shriveled ass, he issued a “sorry you were offended” apology, which included the line “I was just trying to be honest, actually”.

It made me think about apologies, and how we are all so quick to offer totally insincere apologies as a band-aid for any and all hurts, slights, and insults. I think it starts in childhood, when well-meaning adults demand children apologize to each other. “You hit him? APOLOGIZE!” a scandalized parent says, and the kid whines “sor-RY” in That Tone, without actually considering how their actions have hurt another person. By the time those kids are Nobel laureates, athletes, politicians, or Duggars, they can spew out an “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” without even breaking a sweat.

My final grouch is about pre-packaged snack food marketed at children. I have grumbled about this before, I think, but it’s been a while, and lately it’s been a real issue with the dayhome kids so it bears repeating. On a daily basis, these kids have yogurt tubes, chocolate-dipped granola bars, mandarin orange pieces packed in syrup, sweetened applesauce, and those squeeze-pouches of pureed baby food (and as a reminder, my dayhome kids are aged 5, 3, and 2 – I should not be seeing baby food at all). There are several problems with this, in my humble opinion as a human person. 1) SO MUCH SUGAR HOLY SHIT. Ever read the nutritional information on a flavoured yogurt tube? Seven grams of sugar. Eighteen grams of sugar in one of those single-serving cups of mandarin oranges. Dammit, people, read labels. 2) SO MUCH GARBAGE. I do my very best to send my kids with litterless lunches, or very close to it. I have kids who come here and every single thing in their lunch comes in a single-serving non-recyclable plastic package. 3) Preschoolers and toddlers who are constantly fed pureed food where the primary flavour profile is “sweet” become the kids who won’t order anything in a restaurant except chicken fingers & fries. Parents who feed their kids bland processed junk as a default are creating picky, texture-sensitive children who will struggle to be adventurous eaters later in life.

I didn’t even grouch about baseball or how teachers are totally ineffectual at dealing with serious bullying, and those are really my biggest stress point right now. Guess those will have to wait until next week.






  1. Single-serving snacks for kids are my white whale, I swear it. Just buy the big applesauce and use the half-cup Gladware containers, people, IT IS NOT THAT HARD. Also, why does everyone want to see their kids sucking on tubed mush like they are in some creepy sci-fi novel? Ugh. UGH. Now I’m surly.

    Anyway, my daycare sent home a note requesting people not send these because of the sugar and then provided a breakdown of some of the worst offenders. I don’t know if it helped.

  2. Everything in this post is 100% solid gold. As I believe I said on Twitter, it’s NEVER food poisoning. Once in college I had legit food poisoning. I’m 45 years old. Food poisoning ONE time. H and I both work and, yes, it sucks when the kids are sick, but damn it, I can’t send them to school (or daycare in past years) to infect everyone else because I absolutely hate it when people do that to my kid. Example: over Memorial Day weekend H and I had the worse stomach virus we’ve had in years. This was not a surprise since the week before Oldest and Youngest both had it. Which, in turn, was not a surprise since Youngest reported a girl in her class barfed earlier in the week but there she was at school the next day! Keep your stomach shit to yourselves people.

    I was very lucky that the daycare I sent the kids to provided snacks and lunch. Lucky not only because then I didn’t have to deal with it, but also because they were the best. They made tons from scratch, had very little sugar, and included a wide variety of stuff like Dahl, lentils, hummus, and tons of veggies. However, I had to fight the battle of prepackaged food with my mom. She watched both kids when they were little a couple of days a week and during her tenure I had to ask her to stop regularly feeding them: Gogurt, instant/microwavable mac and cheese, granola bars dipped in chocolate, etc. She is a literate, college-educated woman who is more than capable of reading a food label and yet… SIGH.

    I will not get into the new 50 Shades book other than to say no, EL James, you are not capable of writing the next Mr. and Mrs. Bridge books.

  3. I agree with you about absolutely everything here, except that I did feel some grudging respect for Tim Hunt because he said “yes, I did say that, and I meant it, although I was kind of joking, and I’m sorry that I said it but I won’t lie and tell you that I misspoke or that I don’t think that and just weirdly said it for some completely improbable reason” like most people do when they say something that reveals they’re ignorant misogynists. I’d rather have an apology which says “yeah that’s probably not a great thing to think, but it is what I think, and I’m sorry for saying it since it is pretty obviously something people were going to be offended by, but I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending not to have said it” than the kind like “sorry, when I said that we were under heavy gunfire and I had to run for my life what I actually meant was that it was raining and someone held an umbrella over me, how could you not have realised that?”.

    Whoa nelly, massive great big comment. Sorry. Clearly bed time.

  4. Every time I hear that Tove Lo song I get annoyed by how delusional she is. The only foundation for their relationship is (a) the perfection of his body and (b) her sweeping consent to any and all sexual activities he might propose, and yet she is convinced that if the upcoming sexual encounter goes well, it will prove to be the foundation for a lifelong relationship. There is absolutely no evidence to support the assumption that he will still be there the next morning, much less “for life / on and on and on.”

  5. Enjoy your snark as always. Fifty shades of grey from Christian’s point of view?! Really??

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