Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Circle of Life

"Don't waste your meat Lennox!" I scolded earlier today as I spied him dropping his turkey slices beneath his chair.  

Sawyer was munching delicately and happily away at his turkey and cucumber mayo sandwich without dropping a single crumb. Dagny on the other hand was mashing hers all up into a gooey sandwich ball, which was probably worse than Lennox's not so subtle floor bombs, because it leaves the leftovers in no fit state for Momma to eat. 

It would have irked me less if I knew Lennox didn't like turkey slices, but he's been known to wolf down roll after roll without inhaling. He just likes his cucumber and mayo bread more. And let's face it, he's basically a professional shit-stirrer. 

I used to call him a professional little brother. But recently he's mastered the fine art of winding up every single person in the household. He also extracts the most giggles out of everyone ~ so all is usually forgiven. 

Still, meat is meat. And wasting is a pet hate of Mommas. And if there's anything I can't stand - it's wasting meat. Obviously wee britches is very well aware of this. 

I took a deep breath and decided to treat my wasteful 3 year old like the rational and considerate human being that I believe he already is. 

"Baby, please don't waste your meat. An animal had to die so that you could eat your meat. I don't want that animal to have died for nothing. Wasting good meat really upsets me, so please eat it."

Lennox understood what I said very well. I know he did. And he'll probably repeat the statement verbatim in a few weeks time over bacon and eggs at the Grandparent's house, but for now he stayed quiet. 

Sawyer, however, did not. Instead he put his plate down and said,

"When I die, if I come back as a pig then someone will kill me and eat me." 

It would have been a little more morbid had he not proceeded to fall to the floor and fake his death all the while wailing..

"Noooo! NOOOO!!! Don't eat me, don't eat me!!"

My almost five-year old was just larking about (...and did I mention one of his favorite stories is the three little pigs and the big bad wolf?) but I have to say his words gave me chills. I'm not Buddhist ~ but I'm not anything else either~ and so where the 'hell' (no pun intended) do our souls go?! I mean, there are times I could swear the dog must have been a real person in a former life....

Interestingly enough our Sawyer has really cottoned on to the idea of reincarnation. We don't go to church, and we're not sold on the idea of heaven and hell, but Momma shares ideas and theories from ALL walks of life whenever the kids ask tricky questions. I guess he likes the idea of reincarnation best of all.  

Suddenly I wanted to drop my turkey on the floor too. I've toyed with the idea of vegetarianism time and time again. I've never attempted it though (after all, meat tastes yummy) and I'm not sure if this is one aspect of my existence I've ever been proud of, ethically speaking. Whatever way you look at it it's MURDER DEATH KILL. And here I am making the kids co-conspirators against their free will.

I'm just not sure if I'm ready yet to explain to the kids why it's okay to kill an animal to eat it. 'Cos it's tasty and delicious!' Doesn't seem to quite cut it. 

Maybe we all just need to watch The Lion King a few more times.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The really early miscarriage.

A few weeks ago Daniel and I had the BEST news and we were quick to share it with our friends and loved ones. Some would say too quick.

I was brought up with the old adage, 'Don't count your chickens before they hatch!' and never was there a more fitting situation..

But why not? Aren't we always talking about the power of positivity? What is the point in preparing for the worst all the time? Focus on the good I say. That will generate even more good. It didn't in this case though.

And it was just bad luck.

Actually no - scratch that! I don't think it was just bad luck. I think what happened was what was supposed to happen. Daniel held my hand tightly on the morning while the miscarriage was happening. His disappointment was too strong to mask. But it wasn't directed at me. To me he said something quite sickeningly beautiful and perfect, like,

"Baby, I trust in you and your body implicitly and if this is happening to us, then your body knows something we don't."

My own disappointment in myself was pretty unbearable at the time. I totally blamed myself then, and ~ let's face it ~ I still do a bit now. And, well, shit... I didn't WANT to hear anything logical or reasonable. I may have been laying dry-eyed, silent and motionless, with my thighs squeezed tightly together, desperately hoping gravity could circumvent the miscarriage, but on the inside I was jumping up and down screaming "GIVE ME MY BABY BACK!!!"

Because to me he already was my baby. And he already had a name. And I had already figured out the sleeping arrangements, and I knew exactly how many years beneath his big sister and brothers in school he would be. He wasn't a fetus or a cluster of cells dividing. He was my fourth.

And I had FELT him growing inside of me for two weeks.

Time is an incomprehensible thing. So much can happen and so much can change in the blink of an eye. Our time on this Earth is fleeting - whether we live to be 2 or 102 ~ and in the whole scheme of things, that baby DID had a lifespan, albeit a really really short one.

But let's get real here....

>>>>If I hadn't taken a test I might have had a delayed period and might never have known.

>>>>This happens to at least 1 in 5 women out there....

>>>>There's every chance this was a chemical pregnancy ~ or a phantom pregnancy ~ and there might NEVER have been a baby there in the first place.

All meaning WHAT exactly?

Am I not allowed to grieve?
Does any of  that make this sadness less real?

I think that if I'm honest with myself there's a big part of me that believes I am not even entitled to be disappointed. I look at my three little wonders of the world and I am so eternally grateful for them.




And there's this nagging voice inside my head... How can you ask for more? HOW. DARE. YOU.? 

'This is what you get for being greedy.........'

I know better than to listen, I do. But it still hurts though.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blogging is like great sex... and who's got time for THAT?

Blogging is like great sex... and who's got time for THAT?? ;)

Seriously, when you're doing it everyday you can't get enough of it. It becomes an addiction. A craving. All day long your mind and body yearns for that moment of release... (perhaps only my fellow horny bloggers can relate?? You know who you are!!!)

But the satisfaction is short lived. No matter how great the blog. The warm glow never lasts. Once is never enough. You just want to do it all over again. Again. And again. And again.

Then for some reason you stop. You don't do it for a while and something happens. There's a change in you. You become indifferent. Suddenly the yearning disappears only to be left with nothingness. Your once cherished blog is neglected. You still like it and you're glad it's there if you feel the urge, but you have no real desire to touch it. You can take it or leave it....

And that, my friends, is what happened to Go Momma!

It hasn't been an unhappy Mommy blogging hiatus. On the contrary, I'm much happier focusing my energy and putting all my spare time into my fast-growing business; Passion Parties by Josie (side note: I'm definitely getting more great sex these days too...)

But now I think I've found a way to have my cake and eat it. I'm blogging again - even more passionately than ever!  Come visit me at my new sexier website herbedroomsecrets.com.

I'll see you there! :) :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

I always wanted to be a Journalist!



THE LOWLY STANDARD
Chief Editor: The Momma

A week ago last Thursday an engine reportedly dropped out of the bottom of a fast moving car on the bridge separating Galveston Island from the mainland. Eye witnesses, Josie Bisett aged 33 and her husband Bubba aged 72 were in the minivan behind. "It was frightening! We had to swerve to miss huge chunks of metal debris!" Mrs Bisett told us in an exclusive interview. Her elderly husband was driving at the time of the incident. Bubba's hands were still shaking when we spoke with him yesterday. "If we'd have hit one of those sons of bitches, we'd be goners!" Their three children Sonny, Putzy and Kernicky were all sleeping through the ordeal. Mr and Mrs Bisett described the offending car as being small and black. They quickly reported the incident to Facebook. 

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A 72 year old man was arrested yesterday for indecent exposure near the city of Columbus just off Interstate 10. He was seen stumbling around the back of his minivan with his pants around his ankles before proceeding to urinate in the grass verge. Eye witness Dora, aged 92, was working the cash register at the Shell garage when the incident took place. "Well, he was parked pretty far away.... and my eyes aren't what they used to be, praise the Good Lord, but I know he had his little son-of-a-gun out." Police were called to the scene and the elderly gentleman and his wife Josie Bisett aged 33 were both taken into custody. Their three children Sonny, Putzy and Kernicky were placed in temporary foster care. Two large Starbucks cups filled with what appeared to be beer were found inside the vehicle. Later the Chief of Columbus police confirmed that the liquid was in fact Mrs Bisett's urine. In a statement Mrs Bisett told the County Sheriff "We both had to go so bad and we just didn't want to wake the babies up." Bubba Bisett aged 72 told police he had been unable to pee into a cup inside the vehicle with his beautiful young wife watching him. "I wanted to pee so bad I could just about taste it!" In his statement he confessed to attempted 'peeing while driving'. Jumping from the vehicle with his junk exposed had been an act of desperation. The Bisetts' hearing is set for later this month.

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An armed robbery attempt at a Wells Fargo branch in Wimberley, Texas was thwarted yesterday when the head teller and local Councilwoman Phyllis Lovalot, aged 67, refused to open the bank's safe box. The masked robber was clad from head to toe in shiny black spandex and was holding what appeared to be a sawed-off-shotgun with a black sheet draped over it. The heroic Wimberley woman didn't flinch when the weapon was pointed her way, she simply leaned over the counter and pulled away the sheet revealing a large purple vibrator beneath. Eye witness Frank Mann, 32, a loyal customer of Wells Fargo can be heard on the security camera exclaiming "What a dildo!" It isn't clear whether he was referring to the bank robber or the toy. "I've never seen anything like it!" An assistant female bank teller, aged 22, spoke exclusively with us after the incident. "It was all big and shiny and purple. And it even moved up and down all on its own!" Phyllis Lovalot first realized the gun was not what it seemed when she heard a familiar buzzing sound coming
from the robber. "He accidentally pressed the on button! I'd recognize that sound anywhere!" She proudly told the County Sheriff. Phyllis Lovalot's husband, Lionel Lovalot, a local pastor, spoke proudly of his wife's heroic act "Ain't getting nuthin' past that woman. She's a wily one to be sure! I knew that investment would pay off. I'm just glad I let my wife borrow it from time to time." Apparently the popular hummingbird vibrator is well known around the Texas Hill Country. "It's one of my best sellers!" Confirmed local sex toy expert, Josie Bisett aged 33. The suspect escaped before the police arrived, taking his vibrator with him. An investigation is now underway. Police are expected to interview all past and present owners of this particular sex toy within Wimberley City Limits. The Chief of Police issued the following statement. "This is going to be quite an undertaking, but we'll get this son-of-a.... vibrator! I can promise y'all that!"

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None of that really happened....... or did it?

These creative journalistic reports are my contribution to Karen's Secret Subject Swap! This week, 12 plucky bloggers (yup ~ yours truly included!) picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. My subject was “ You’re a newspaper reporter. Write a story about any event, real or imagined, serious or humorous.”  Submitted by the one and only Karen of Baking In A Tornado!  

Thank you Karen! I hope I did your subject justice. I definitely had a laugh writing it!

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. You've already enjoyed mine! Now it's time to sit back, grab a cuppa Jo, and check ALL the rest out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Follow me home . . .
The Momisodes
Confessions of a part-time working mom
A Working Mom’s “Whoas”’
Evil Joy Speaks
Juicebox Confession
Stacy Sews and Schools
Searching for Sanity
Spatulas on Parade
Small Talk Mama

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pregnant since 2008

Well, it's New Year's Eve. The Earth has made yet another full turn around the sun, and incredibly the hubs and I made it round that entire time without being pregnant ~ not even the once. That's the first time since 2008.

2008: Preggo with Sawyer.
2009: Preggo with Sawyer.
2010: Preggo with Lennox.
2011: Preggo with Lennox then Dagny.
2012: Preggo with Dagny.
2013: NOT PREGNANT!!!!!!! 

When I see my pregnancies written down like that it looks crazy!! 

WE look crazy! 

I know what you're thinking...... I'm a little premature with this blog, right? It isn't over 'til the fat lady sings. There are still 9 hours left of 2013. Plenty of time to be 'making-the-babies'... I could be the proverbial fat lady singing before midnight!

Oh. You weren't thinking that??? (silly Josie). That's just plain cuckoo, right? How about we celebrate our non-pregnant state with a 'knees-up' of a different sort? 

"Open the wine, Dan! Let's get this party started!"

Here's to a fun-filled evening with lots of fireworks! Happy New Year folks!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Can a feminist be a girly girl?

My name is Josie Bisett, and apparently, I am a Feminist.

Yeah. That one kind of took me a bit by surprise too. I don't think anything has changed. I'm still me. I just guess I hadn't really got the definition figured out until recently.

See, many many years ago back in the days when Margaret Thatcher ruled Britannia and Princess Diana was adored by Royalists and the rest of the world alike, I thought 'feminist' was the vernacular synonym of the slang word 'dyke'. Nope, sadly, I am not kidding.

And in my childish ignorance, I didn't really know what a 'dyke' was. Growing up in the North of England, prejudice slurs were bandied around in the playground like a soccer ball. We all used these unsavory words and phrases, but we didn't know really what we were saying. We just knew we didn't want to be on the receiving end of the name calling.

Sticks and stones may break my bones 
but calling names won't hurt me.

Righto. Fuck that shit. Some of those verbal abuse scars run much deeper.

To me a 'dyke' was a lady that looked and dressed like a man: big hobnail boots, a lumberjack shirt, and maybe a pair of dungarees would be her chosen attire. Obviously, she had short short 'boyishly' cropped hair. 

Diana had boyish hair but she was indisputably not a 'dyke'.

A dyke was a lady that did not want to be seen as a lady. At some point in her life she will have burned all her bras and started drinking her beer from a pint glass. In hindsight, all that sounds pretty great. 

Here's the kicker, no one will like you. Especially not the boys. Oh. My. God. How awful would that be?

Was Maggie Thatcher a dyke? Maybe, but I wasn't sure. Nobody seemed to like her so it was possible.

My training had me believing being a feminist, and hence a 'dyke', was a terrible terrible thing. Maybe supplanting the word dyke into primary schools in the UK was all a big conspiracy to keep the girls from inevitably taking over the world. 

Perhaps I should have revered Thatcher, but I was taught to hate her. 

Here's Maggie Thatcher, throw her up and catch her! 
Squish squash squish squash here's Maggie Thatcher!

Today, my response to all this nonsense would be an indifferent shrug, but back then, I didn't know any better.

I wasn't raised a girly girl either, wearing pink fairy dresses, frills and ribbons. I grew up with two brothers almost the same age as me who laughed heartily when I wore my brown cardigan. We played bull dogs charge and take-off and other boyish games outside in the fields until it got dark. They would pin me down and spit snot on me or stick grass blades up my nostrils until I nearly cried. Boys.

At least it kept me out of boy racer cars and off of street corners drinking cider and smoking like a lot of my peers were doing at the same age. Yup. I was a total geek. But whatever, I wasn't interested in boys that way, or dating until I was 17. My brother's best mate tried to kiss me when we were hiding in long grass one evening, and it was enough to keep me celibate for the rest of my teenage years.

When it rained we played battleships or cards or a board game, and my brothers had a pool table and dartboard in their room. When we came of age, like my brothers, I became addicted to SEGA's Sonic The Hedgehog and Nintendo's Mario Bros. No matter what subliminal messages society or my upbringing tried to instill in me, I never - NOT FOR ONE SECOND - believed there was a single thing my brothers could do that I couldn't.

I don't quite know who to thank for that instilled belief. Was it school, or my parents, or TV? Or was it simply me? I wish I knew the secret so I could pass it on to my daughter.

School didn't put limitations on what we girls could do. I was awesome at Design & Technology, not so much Home Economics, and the boys all baked cakes and sewed too (if they wanted to). I hated having to wear a leotard and twirl around with a ribbon, so much so that I would dream of getting lost in the woods on Sunday afternoons so I wouldn't have to go to gym class on Monday morning. But I didn't fancy the boy alternative of running around outside in the cold either. 

I tried out for rugby just because I could, but it was way too rough for me. In spite of being an invariable tom boy, I was way too much of a big girls blouse. I loved wearing a school skirt ~ it was my ONLY skirt and in an attempt to run with the cool kids, I rolled up the waistband, so it was sluttishly short.

I remember one of the male teachers referring to it as a belt, and I was misguidedly flattered that he'd noticed.

Luckily, I made it out of school not pregnant. Not all the girls fared so well.

TV wasn't much help on the equality front. Last year, I watched an old episode of the Jetsons that I'd seen decades earlier: George didn't want Judy to drive the car. I mean, seriously? How is it I know all the degrading women car jokes out there? Did this sexist humor mess with my confidence to excel in life in any way or are my girlish genes already destined to follow the path of insecurity and hesitation. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? 

From an early age, my Father had me regularly making him cups of tea. He never asked the boys.

My Mom would pay me to iron the family shirts. She never asked the boys.

I sometimes thought that was all very unfair. Why was the girl expected to help with the upkeep of the house but not the boys? But ultimately my brain morphed this into a positive. It was just a reflection of my own willingness to help my parents (see how nice I am?) and my advanced capability to take on very adult chores. After all the boys would have likely just messed it up. 

Dad was (and still is) pretty old school. He was the breadwinner, and Mum stayed home to look after us kids. But in spite of the way things were, he was and still is a very fair husband and father.

Dad helped out around the house. I mean really helped out. He would often clean, garden and do dishes. I wondered if this was his army training. Yes, he wanted Mum to look after him and bring him his cup of tea and plate of biscuits. But then I would see him sneak away to the kitchen and whip up a super fancy toddy for Mum.

Although my parents were raised in the 60s and both subscribed to a degree to society's unequal structure. I was seeing this archaic inequality crumble before my own eyes.

And most importantly, Dad never put any limitations on what I could be.That's not to say he approved of all my choices. And there was possibly one pathway that may have caused irreparable damage.

I remember the day he said, 'Women should NOT fight on the Frontline.'

Now don't hate me, but I think I might agree with him. But that's a whole other blog post.

Needless to say, I didn't join the army. Not because of dad's words, but because I had other ideas.

I also remember the day he said, 'You can't have it both ways.' By 'YOU' he meant 'WOMEN'. He was alluding to my being a woman and wanting a career and a family with kids. We were sitting out in lawn chairs having a deeper than usual conversation. I loved these conversations with Dad. He's the most intelligent person I've ever known. The worst part is he knows he's right. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

But we can't BOTH be right, can we?

Being young is hard.You want to believe you've got it all figured out. But you don't. I hated Dad for those words. That's the most painful thing about being a parent. You can get it right only until you get it wrong. And getting it wrong in the eyes of your offspring is inevitable. I was young and in love and about to fly to the Middle East to start an oil career and embark on a long distance relationship.

That relationship is long over, as is that career. But neither failed because I couldn't have them. They failed because I didn't WANT them.

I still believe we can have it all. We just have to want the right things for us.
   
Joining the Oil Industry was something I just did. I wasn't following a lifelong ambition or even a plan. I just so happened to graduate with a First Class Degree, and the job of a lifetime was thrown at my feet. Quite literally. My Dad was so incredibly proud he danced around the car outside the building where I'd interviewed in Cambridge.

I remember being slightly concerned that my would-be employers would look out of the window and catch a glimpse at the Yorkshire man doing a happy jig in the car park. That didn't diminish the pride I felt at making my Dad so happy. These were not the actions of a man who didn't believe a woman had no place in a man's world.

But I'm not sure either of us realized on that fine day that where I was going was offshore.

A few months later, in the aftermath of 9/11, parental approval was lost under a wave of fear and judgement. To say a lot was going on in the world would be a bit of an understatement and being returned home from the Middle East because war had been declared on Afghanistan was a false start to my career. At this point, I think Dad and Mum would have been super happy for me to have jacked it all in for a cleaning job in our home town if it meant keeping me away from that side of the globe.

I digress.

I had entered a man's world. And I was a slender 21 year old, with long red curl locks and a pretty face. I had been a late bloomer, and I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 18. I confess, I was a sucker for male attention. All wolf whistles were welcome. 

Why, sure! Of course you can buy me a drink!  

I didn't see anything wrong with using my beguiling feminine attributes and whiles to make my work life easier. I'm not talking about sleeping my way the top. That's just nasty. I'm talking about being seemingly pliant and smiley and bubbly and a pleasure to work with, as opposed to bitchy and aggressive which was the successful stereotype of most of my female counterparts. 

It wasn't like I set out to deceive or intentionally win over the men. I wasn't behaving connivingly or even begrudgingly. It came easily to me ~ almost like second nature. I knew how to be around boys.

And on an offshore oil-rig where women were a rarity I was like a movie starlet.

The boys LOVED me.

This is where my inner feminist might be confused. Maybe even a little misguided.

Operating in a man's world 101:

Women on average aren't as physically strong as men. FACT. So why not let the boys do all the grunt work if they want to? It makes them feel good.

Men like speaking to Women. FACT. Why not tell them stories and entertain them with jokes ~ perhaps even flirt a little? It passes the time of day offshore (for one thing) and it makes you a popular commodity regardless of expertise. What! Who wrote that?

Men are attracted to pretty women. FACT. What's wrong with putting a bit of bronzer on and lip gloss? If the men enjoy being around you, they'll enjoy working with you. They'll also be more willing to 'help a pretty lady'. It's the easiest way to covertly direct your minions. And if they think they came up with the idea themselves.....

Some men like to swear and act like animals in the presence of other men. FACT. They don't want to modify their behavior for a woman coworker (unless they have designs on getting inside your knickers), so don't provide them with the justification that you can't stomach being around them! Pretend like you don't hear them. Smile like you find it amusing. But don't fart or belch yourself. How unladylike is that???

Oh and don't judge their unseemly behavior. What happens in Far East Asia stays there. 

I catered to all of that!

I didn't expect the boys to modify their banter when I was present. I heard all sorts of shockingly sexist stories and jokes, often 'true' rehashes of the kinds of adventures every wife fears their husbands get up to on rotation.

Don't hate me. But your fears are not unfounded. Every single one of them. I hate to be the bearer of such bad news, but in this situation there is no such thing as true blue.

If there is, I never came across it while I was in the oilfield.

I was young, carefree and naive. I did not want to conform to that feminist 'dyke' stereotype. I needed the men to want me around. I needed to make out like I was one of them - only a prettier version. I wasn't opposed to special treatment, like scoring the Company Man's quarters. Who wants to hot-bed in an eight berth room with farting sweaty roustabouts?

They tolerated me on a different level. They had to have me there. I was their token woman. I was representing a very important little segment on the equality pie charts which would be shown to the shareholders at the next business meeting.

But fuck all that! I was good at my job. I'm smart, and I can solve problems, even problems that involve drill bits and greasy machinery.

It's not easy being smarter than 88% of the men you are offshore with. It's a bitter pill to swallow for most guys and so being easy on the eyes and giggly is a great disguise. I got my job done with barely any harm done to the male egos surrounding me.

"You can definitely come back to my rig!" I remember one company man saying. Something he probably never felt the need to say to any man that came out.

So here I am, 10 years on, reflecting back on what I'd thought to be a modernistic and equal opportunistic oilfield career, and I'm thinking "Holy Crapola!"

I really doubt much has changed.

The weirdest part is, I hated that job! I mean, how many women really want to wear greasy overalls, safety glasses and toe capped boots on a floating factory harboring only stinky, unkempt men hocking up loogies, picking their noses and scratching their balls?

Take away the gross men factor, and it's still a pretty awful environment.

One day, I was offshore, and a Chinese man asked me quite candidly why I was there.

I told him I was there to survey the well, to which he shook his head.

"No. No. No. Why you do THIS job!"

He couldn't understand why a young woman like myself would want to pursue this career. And as outraged as I so wanted to be at this sexist query, I couldn't answer him.

Why the fuck was I out there? It was boring and miserable and rife with depravity. What was I trying to prove and to whom?

I didn't leave straight away; something strange happened to me. I started to wear pink.

Until then, I was a black clothes and denim only girl. Sexy - for sure - but it had to be black. I wasn't a punk or a goth or anything like that. I just felt stronger that way. I'd always loved my Gossard Wonderbras, and I wasn't opposed to enhancing my boobs or squeezing my butt inside a snug pair of Levis. But girly stuff was out. No dresses, or skirts and floral patterns or light colors. Nothing that could be described as feminine. Eugh. That was simply not me.

But the more time I spent with the blokes, my wardrobe became girlier and girlier. It was like I was afraid of turning into a man myself, so I started to rebel against all the manliness in my life. I started buying cute tops with tassles and even a few skirts found their way into my wardrobe. Then, I discovered something shocking about myself; I liked being girl.

And why not? It was okay to be a girl! That didn't mean I couldn't work in a man's world, did it? Which begged the question, why was it a 'man's' world?

That's a question that will mess with your brain for hours.

I remember thinking about the offshore environment and the industry's endless quest for filling its female quota, and I toyed with the idea that the environment needed to change in order to attract females. Maybe pretty upholstery, some flowers and an offshore beauty salon would pull in the ladies?

If there are any females out there worth attracting.....?

I'm not saying we're not smart enough. Just not qualified enough. Look at the numbers!! How many women were sitting next to you when you took Physics? I think there were only 5 of us in a lecture theater of over 100. And you really had to look closely to tell if these women were really women....

There's no gender discrimination in a physics class. The ladies just don't want to be there. Is this because we don't believe in ourselves enough to figure out why our flats work better in soft sand than our high heels?

Or is it simply because Physics is boring, and - let's face it - hair styling, cosmetics, and sales is WAY more fun!

This morning I watched one of my favorite people Ellen DeGeneres mop the floor with BIC for their sexist line of Girl Pens, and I started to wonder all over again what being a FEMINIST actually means. If you haven't seen this video yet take a look - she's hilarious!

BUT

I have a confession: I kind of want my own girl pen. In fact, I want 15 of them to clip on my Passion Parties' order forms. These days, I am a far cry away from my oilfield career. I am in Network Marketing, and I specialize in Passion Parties. Yes, you might say I do THOSE parties.

The girlishness factor in this line of work is at the other end of the spectrum to the oilfield. The company colors are pink and purple, and boy do I embrace this. I've never been happier in a company and in sales no less! I'm no less smart (well perhaps a little baby brain remains) than when I was as an engineer. In fact, in order to be successful in this biz, I need to be creative, personable and intelligent too. Hold the phone! 

But BEST of all, this job is all about supporting other women and promoting our God-given right to experience equal (okay MUCH greater - sorry guys but you definitely drew the short straw. Who's anyone to argue with physiology?) pleasure in the bedroom.

Until you watch Mad Men or sit in a room with a mother who doesn't know what or where her clitoris is, it's hard to relate to a world where women really are second class citizens, whether it be in the workplace, at home or worst of all in the bedroom.

So here's my new deal. I am a Feminist. I want equal rights to every other being on this planet. I want to have my carnal needs taken care of as much as the next man. I want to be paid as much as my male colleagues if I deserve it. I want to be listened to if I make sense, and I want to be appointed leader if I'm the best person to take charge in the room.

I want to be pretty. I like pink and I like to wear skirts and look all soft and feminine for my man. I love it when he opens the car door for me, pulls out a chair for me at a restaurant and takes my coat. I want him to smack my ass if the urge takes him, but only if I can smack his too. I want him to be in control - but only sometimes.

I am both attractive and intellectual. I am a girly girl, and I am a feminist. Can I really be both?

I have two sons and a daughter, and never before has my opinion on this matter mattered like it does today. Not just for her, but perhaps even more importantly, for the boys.

I stand for equality.

However:

My boys wear pants. My girl wears dresses. Both boys like to wear her tutu.

My son twirling in his sister's tutu
She has pink flowers and butterflies on her walls. The boys have frogs and tractors. They love spending time sleeping in each other's rooms. The boys have cars and trains. She has baby dolls. They share all of their toys.

My youngest son playing with his sister's baby doll

I worry that by the kids' room designs and the gift choices we make, we are forcing these little unisex beings into sexist boxes before they realize their anatomical differences.

I hope they learn to value their differences and that the balance of masculine and feminine toys and clothing we have on offer allows them to freely explore their natural tendencies. I want them to know that they are unique as an individual irrespective of their sex. And above all, I want them to believe without a shadow of a doubt that they are all equally capable of greatness.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three little kids, sitting in the back seat....

Let me start by saying I love my minivan. I do. It has so much space to climb back there between the babes. I can nurse, get the kids dressed and change a diaper if I have to. And for the past year of our lives we had no choice ~ there was no squeezing two toddlers and a backward facing carseat into the Lexus.

But guess who turned one already? And right up to that milestone Baby D was not a happy traveller. We hoped that upgrading her to a forward facing seat would remedy this torturous travel trait. It was not so the case. Unless Momma constantly performs my exorcist head-spinning maneuver baby girl still complains relentlessly.

We decided to try squeezing her in beside her brothers but in spite of Daddy's strenuous efforts we were still about an inch too short in the back of the minivan (ooh la la!)

Then the minivan started to make a strange flapping noise. And the new battery cut out time enough for hypo-mechanical-chondriac Daddy to warrant taking it to the garage. In the meantime Mommy had no wheels to take the tribe out ~ until Mommy came up with an ingenious idea.

"Erm, Daddy? Maybe we could squeeze all three into the back of the Lexus?" I said.

"Mommy you are a genius!" He said.

So that's what we did. Daddy left the minivan in the shop for three days and of course (for the bargain price of $40) they found nothing. But it was still worth it. Since being seated beside big brother, little Miss D has been a dream passenger.

Our Sawyer is the 'piggy in the middle' and so far has had to ward off fewer assaults from his younger siblings than we expected. In fact they all seem much happier squashed in together. They haven't even missed the DVD player! What's more, I can reach all of them from the front. I can pass water and snacks and toys without stopping the car. And the kids can pass their stuff to each other!

Total win!

On the way home from HEB the other night I peeled a banana for each of the boys and a third one for me and Miss D to share. However, the little madam tossed hers straight on to the floor with an ornery growl.

So I say (pointlessly).

"Fine, if you don't want it. You aren't getting another piece to throw on the floor though."

Then I see little Lennox break off the end of his banana and pass it to Sawyer, saying

"Give this to Baby Dagny!"

So I watched in the mirror as Sawyer took the banana from his little brother and passed it across to his little sister.

"Here you go Baby Dagny!"

Of course the little minx accepted it from her brother and munched on it happily.

Then it hit me. Daddy and I aren't the only ones raising baby. At the tender ages of 1, 2 and 3 those three little beings in the back seat are already inextricably tied to each other.

Their sibling bond is an independent entity, separate to their relationships with their father and me. I admit feeling a little anxious at being left out of that dynamic, but of course I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm overwhelmingly humbled at their display of love for one another. They need each other as sure as they need me, and as I need them.

No doubt we'll gladly return to the minivan eventually - long before the eye gouging, nose pulling, nipple twisting and Chinese burn phase begins - but for now I couldn't be happier with my three little kids sitting in the backseat.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Peekaboob

We recently joined the local 'Y' ~ that's short for YMCA (if you aren't familiar with the jargon). Which in turn is short for Young Man's Christian Association. I know right? Next thing you know I'll be taking a pew on a Sunday morning....

Level with me, who's singing it already? You can get yourselves clean, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel....

Okay, not really. You can definitely get yourself clean in the shower poolside (or in the pool ~ a shower's pretty redundant and a little wasteful if you ask me) but I haven't seen anywhere you can get a good meal. Wait ~ I tell a lie! There IS a vending machine that sells crisps and cookies and juice! Oh, and they have FREE coffee! "Score!" That right there is worth the $75/month membership fee! (It also puts them on a par with the Jumpy Place in my book).

I think the YMCA in the song was a hostel just for boys who like boys ~ or did I totally miss the meaning? In any case, our YMCA is not the YMCA that The Village People were raving about (sadly). This YMCA is more like an Activity Center (I'm not sure why they don't just call it that).

So there we were a couple of days ago hanging out with all the boys, only it was actually the girls that were hanging out ~ or rather just the one girl....

Let me elaborate..

We'd fled to the heated indoor pool as the outdoor pool was a little bit nippy, even though it was over 100 degrees outside! The hubs is always a bit of a wuss about the pool temperature but after a few splashes around the mushroom fountain the kids' lips had already turned blue ~ make no mistake about it, this water was definitely not testicle friendly!

Once we were inside it didn't take the boys long to tire of the small square (but blissfully tepid) pool. Lennox got bored first, watching Sawyer learning to swim. In a flourish of naughtiness he picked up a diving ring poolside and frisbeed it into the jacuzzi.

Momma retrieved it apologizing profusely to the lone man who was enjoying that heated bubbly bliss. *Sigh ~ I would have given anything for two minutes in those bubbles! Only the man wasn't very gracious about it. He stared at me rudely and the judgement hung unspoken in the air between us 'Control your kid!'

I retreated with our Lennox, making sure my best parental skills were on display for the benefit of this unfriendly bystander. I even flashed him one of my warmest winning smiles. He stared back unsmiling. Jeez ~ tough crowd!

Whatever. It was getting late. While Daddy held our Dagny I gave each boy a quick toweling off by the side of the pool, glancing surreptitiously over at the mommy hater in the jacuzzi. He was STILL staring! I was right on the brink of striding over and asking him what the hell his problem was when I looked down and caught sight of my booby hanging out.

There she was, on full display - literally hanging out with all the boys at the YMCA.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Don't be a 'hater'!

I can't stop reading today's never ending threads on Facebook. I'm virtually in the middle of two live political debates (Okay ~ more like sitting on the fence watching from the sidelines), but watching it real time nonetheless.

I'm astounded, often impressed and somewhat flabbergasted by the extreme opinions being expressed by the second. It's like watching a needle of a compass swing back and fro between North and South.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have opened the floor to everyone ~ not just representatives in the House of Commons (or senate if you will) ~ and so finally, everyone gets the opportunity to put their two cents in. Awesome, right? Surely everyone deserves the right to a say? Um... no, I don't think I agree either.

It's astounding and a little bit terrifying to read the number of comments that are completely off the mark. Need any justification for an Electoral voting system? Try Facebook!

I'm not talking about opinions (if I were, at least 50% of what I read was 'off the mark'!) I'm talking about the sheer number of civilians who seem to have misunderstood the whole thing in the first place.

Random statistics, and slurs and atrocities are posted with little regard for common sense, social etiquette or decorum. It's hard for me to read and support a stance when it is presented between mindless, vicious character assaults ~ even when I supported their beliefs in the first place.

If we are to call ourselves civilians, when did we as a 'civilized' race decide it was okay to grossly disrespect our fellow human beings for not sharing each others beliefs? How can we believe in 'free speech' and yet burn each other so badly for exercising that very right? The right to free speech does not mean the right to slander another person. Free speech does not make abusive language, accusations and name calling okay.

Politics is a tricky business and standing so publicly and strongly by what you believe in enough to make that difference is admirable to me irrespective of which side of the field you're standing on.

From a very early age, I've been under the impression it was rude to discuss politics in polite company. Your political agenda is your own private affair and no one else's business, which is why voting is normally done by a secret ballot at the polls.

The only political debates I was privy to growing up were the televised 'Question Time' debates conducted inside Parliament and done so with much enforced respect for opposing parties and the adjudicator - similar to the respect that's mandatory inside a court of law. Granted, all official party representatives are (supposed to be) a little more educated and informed on the issues at hand so there is less room for ignorance and stupidity ~ hence less provocation.

Regardless, I'm sure "You f$&%ing idiot!" has been on the tip of many a politician's tongue, but (unless their microphone is accidentally left on) they rarely say it out loud. This is more strategy than gentility, I'm sure, mainly because an angry outburst doesn't help. It's hard to top the opinion polls that way. We voters really do seem to be a bunch of hypocrites. We'll slander away in the privacy of our homes ~ and lie about our sexual relations ~ but woe betide the politician that does the same. We need a leader better than us, someone who has grace and control, someone to aspire to. That's why we like watching beautiful people on TV even though we claim we do not. I've seen Evita.

What scares me most of all about these heated Facebook debates is the term 'haters'. Hate is such a strong word. Do people really hate you for not sharing their political standpoint? If we were made to wear a different color T-shirt representing pro 'whatever' would we look at each other differently? Would we start to segregate? Reading some of the nastier comments on Facebook it's not so hard to understand how the Holocaust came about. Hate.

Aren't people afraid of what their opinions look like - captured permanently in Facebook syntax? The threat "I bet you daren't come over here and say that!" springs to mind. Sitting behind a keyboard and typing your sentiments gives a person a false sense of bravado. I'm a blogger ~ I know what I'm talking about. Reams and reams of Facebook evidence is now in existence to be used against any one of us in a court of law. Our urge to be heard on forums such as Facebook has taken away so much anonymity. Do we really need to go to the trouble of voting anymore? Let's just take a Facebook tally! I'm sure there's a pie chart underway somewhere in the Facebook research center showing the political party distribution of Facebook users ~ one 'like' or comment and you're already on it.

Facebook (much like Twitter) is arguably a modern-day top contending News resource - particularly for the younger generation. These days news travels faster than the media. The political awareness of the likes of me is definitely heightened by Facebook. With so many 'shares' and status updates it's hard for anyone to keep their head buried in the sand and even harder to maintain a neutral on-the-fence standpoint. The most interesting thing (for me) about this new-age propaganda source is the even distribution of party representation, at least on my page. Apparently I'll 'friend' just about anyone. Scrolling down my Newsfeed is not like reading a left wing newspaper, or reading a right wing web page. My 'friends' represent all different political walks of life.

And on Facebook a 'public' meeting really is just that. In real life Republicans don't generally go around gate crashing public Democratic meetings and vice-a-versa (I don't think). On Facebook, however, everyone feels free to stick their oar into 'public' events. I don't know how many times yesterday I read the rebuttal "Well, get off this page then!!!" A possible translation: I don't want to hear your opinion if it's different to mine.

I'm sure many people have tailored their own personal page to suit their own beliefs ~ it's much easier to do this on Facebook than in real life. Not democratic? Unfriend. Not Christian? Unfriend. You had what for breakfast??? Unfriend! And, frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that. We let our kids pick their own friends ~ I'd like to have that same freedom too. It makes no sense to be around people that make you feel worthless and zap your energy, so why allow those destructive forces onto your webpage. It is your webpage after all.

Unfriending is not the same as hating. Clicking unfriend - however hurtful it may be to the 'victim' - does not condemn that person to death; although after witnessing the unending list of 'hate' commentors yesterday, I'm not convinced there aren't millions of civilians out there who wouldn't thrive on such capital power.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Momma's got a parasite

"She's such a happy baby!" everyone gushes about Miss Dagny. 'Humph!' Thinks Mommy. There's a boatload of boob action behind that apparent happiness. And that's not because the girl doesn't eat real grub. She gives her Daddy a run for his money for daily calorific consumption!

She is just -quite frankly put - overly partial to her mama's tatas. More so than the boys (at least from what I can remember) which surprises me. For some Freudian reason I'd presumed that boys would be more into the boobs than girls.

Dagny finds it hard to be in the presence of Mommy without her lips attached. Whenever I enter the room Daddy swears on her former happiness but her incessant wailing for Mommy makes it somewhat hard to believe. The wailing doesn't end when I pick her up. Instead it heightens in intensity as she dives for my shirt front.

If I don't pull down my shirt STAT all Hell will break loose. She throws a big angry girl wobbly. It's so very high pitched that I imagine the dogs, way up high on our hillside, have their ears hitched up in response to her cries. My only safe course of action is to lay her down on the carpet so she doesn't hurt herself. Often one of her big brothers will step up and distract little sis out of her tantrum, but sometimes she won't let up until she gets her way. The little madam.

For the past few months her sharp new teeth have been cutting slowly and laboriously through her tender pink flesh, which must do quite a bit more than simply tickle her gums. It takes a tougher soul than this momma to deny a baby girl natures anesthetic. But that doesn't explain the instantaneous 'need' that develops when she casts eyes on her mommy.

If I were a cartoon character every time Dagny looked at me I would transform into two floating milk bottles!!!

If I don't limit her boob time ~ allowing for her hunger and teething pain plus a bit of old-fashioned comforting ~ she very quickly expects access 24/7. Not the most practical set-up with two very busy boys taking equal parts share in Momma's time.

Some days I have resorted to topless floor games in order to satisfy all my kids' attention needs. Either conveniently - or skillfully developed out of sheer necessity - Dagny does not need to be nursed in a conventional way. She will quite happily play and crawl and climb over her brothers to get to a 'teet'.

This third child more than any of the others has demonstrated to me just how animalistic we humans can be. She also makes her momma feel like a world record-breaking multi-tasker! My hands can be holding a book or playing cards or building a Lego bridge with Lennox, and she can be standing beneath my raised arms with her hands braced against my tummy suckling milk while I carry on a pretty grown-up conversation with big kid ~ all at the same time. Like Lennox she is a go-getter - only her knack for independently hunting down Momma's milk has put her ahead of the race.

This curious skill that my daughter has developed makes for very interesting nighttime activity. She is like a miniature acrobat in the family bed and, despite my best attempts to thwart her, she will gain access to my boobies no matter what. A sure fire way for me to piss the little lady off is to wear a T-shirt to bed.

We might be in for more trouble than we know......