Yes, this crunchy, hippie, DIY mama recipe has both the words “badass” and “magic” in the title

…..I believe all sprays that rescue my children from the hands of humidity should be magic. (Mine. they are MY hands. I am a “first world problems”, turns into the ANGRY bug-blatter beast of traal and will lash out at the closest thing – living or otherwise – when in the throws of my misery, ends up on the 6 o’clock news kinda gal.) 
[There will be more here – just not yet. So enjoy this whilst the rest is under construction/revision.]

Cooling bug repelling, aromatherapy, badass magic spray recipe!


I use exclusively DoTERRA oils for all my essential oil needs and purposes so I only am speaking of their effectiveness and smells as it pertains to DoTERRA. (No, I don’t sell them, shut up!!)

Oils of the bug repellent variety:

  • Melaleuca – 5 drops (⅛ tsp)
  • TerraShield – 15 drops (⅓ tsp)**

Oils of the cooling/good smelling/happy braining variety:

  • Lemon, citrus bliss or peppermint – 10+ drops (¼ tsp) *
  • Lavender – 5 drops (⅛ tsp)

½ cup cooled boiling water (90* is about right)

1 cup crushed ice

6 tsp rubbing or grain alcohol or witch hazel (yes, vodka is perfectly acceptable, but who wants to waste it?!! Actually, yes – poor your self 2 shots of the liquor of choice. Drink them as you prepare this. You will feel cooler and like your children more)***

12 oz spritzer bottle (amber glass or dark plastic)****

Immersion blender (preferred) or standard blender



Boil about 1/3c of water allow to cool for approx 5 – 10ish minutes; I have this theory that putting oils in water that is too hot can disrupt (and therefore render ineffective) oils

Add oils

Shake thoroughly; pour into spray bottle  (funnel recommended!) 

Take 1 cup of ice and blend to “snow cone” consistency (immersion blenders are awesome for this step!) 

Use funnel to fill up spray bottle with crushed ice (the handle of a wooden spoon helps to smash the ice down through the funnel)

Shake, shake shake before every use

Refrigerate when possible.


Spray lightly from a distance of 6-8”, avoid eyes, nose, mouth, open cuts, et cetera.

Fine mist(s) dry and cool much better that soaking a small patch of jeans.

Use sparingly at first, especially on face and hands.

This is of particular importance with children, those with sensitive skin and or sense of smell, and new users,

  • Testing a small area of skin on an individual’s stomach or back initially and waiting a minimum of 30 minutes prior to taking a bath and/or drinking this new mist (or any topical substance) is a good common sense practice that we follow. \
    • (This aforementioned practice is completely unrelated to a certain ICU nurse mother who, post slathering her 4 year old daughter [diagnosis: dermatographism] with a new substance, had to deal with resulting chaos/pain/cortisone shots/”hilarity” that ensued…)

Once all allergies/reactions have been ruled out, lather, rinse, repeat, cool, enjoy!*****

Annoying, entirely too long, rambling, notes re: this

*I have NOT used (nor will I test) peppermint oil. It’s a stronger smelling oil, so ~ use that uckyness smelling/oil at your own risk!

**I find the mosquitoes here (Frederick, MD; DC Metro area) need a higher concentration for effectiveness, but that could just be me (most things are).

***The alcohol/witch hazel disperses essential oils more evenly (when shaken – they will separate out between uses) while prolonging fragrance and effectiveness. Witch hazel can be easier on sensitive skin, however, alcohol dries faster for the cooling effect

****My kids want to the spray the world (and drink) this (expensive) substance as it is in a spray bottle. I recommend having additional bottles/water/spray toys with (!!!free!!!) water ready to go as a (“lame” per my not quite 4 year old) substitute

****Dark, amber bottles (read: glass) are recommended to protect the integrity of essential oils, however, bear in mind they are not recommended for freezer (or in kitchens with ceramic tile) use. Also not recommended for my children to ever touch outdoors. Or indoors. Or ever. Seriously, like ever.


Feminism and Her Vaginia: From the View of a Three Year Old

So, we try (hard. very hard. Sometimes too hard, I am certain) to create a loving, open minded, truthful, honest, anti-body shaming, self loving, lack of self depreciating, accepting, self loving (yup, I even say my cheesy, cellulite covered butt and saggy I-nursed-two-babies-for-nearly-5-years boobs are amazing and beautiful – particularly in front of my daughters), you can wear whatever spaghetti straps to school you wish, feminist (not in the “evil” way — is there an “evil” way?) kind, household as major cornerstones of raising two young girls in the 21st century. A big part of that, for us (and we hope others) is educating our daughters regarding the accurate terminology and gynecological care of their female private parts from the beginning of their awareness of said parts.

(We truly hope others do, too. This is likely not happening, unfortunately. Liv has gotten into at *least* three arguments with girls older than her – she was trying to convince them that their labia and/or vagina is not a “woo-woo” or a “pee-pee”. Needless to say: we don’t see those families much.)

This means that while dealing with your baby (read: recently turned three year old) because she is howling that her “labia hurts a LOT!” you suddenly find yourself explaining to your 3 year old that her vagina is different than her labia is different than her clitoris is different than her uterus. And also that while I am pseudo forcing her to clean her girly bits and teaching her why this part stings when she doesn’t wipe/wash hand well, I answer the questions using the correct terminology.

And I’m stuck in that uncomfortable, unpleasant grey area where you want to teach your child “only you and a trusted adult (followed by a definition of “trusted adult” which is likely over her head) can touch your privates.” And mostly, no one should ever, ever, (EVER) FORCE her to allow access to her private body parts….

The unfortunate thing is that this conversation is occuring while I (the trusted adult, loving parent, MAMA) am doing almost the exact same thing because forjesusfuckssakeshesredscratchingandburningandhervajayjayneedsattention!!! And (of course) I am failing to explain this exception. I am mumbling that it’s a parent’s job to ensure health, safety, and hygiene…yet failing, miserably to accurately convey the importance of the message. (*sigh*) I did tell you that’s she’s three, for fuck’s sake, right?!!!

But, with a huge, epic sigh of relief, after several hours of pain, discomfort, wipes, hand-washing, cream application and explanation (after explanation, after explanation) …finally (FUCKING FINALLY!!!) you find yourself full of relief because you feel as though you have reached a point of acceptance, understanding, and most of all, cleanliness….at least as much as you can when the audience is your 3 year old bitty bit.

And then, less than 15 minutes later, you find yourself projecting yet another kind of deep sigh – as she tells the super conservative, Korean, recently immigrated neighbor that her “labia and clitoris, but not vagina (because it wasn’t hurting before!) feel much better!”

Yay! :blush: She used the right words! She was SHAME FREE! I’m raising a FEMINIST!!!

I know this is a good thing, especially in the long run of her self worth and clutural acceptance, but I think we may have just alienated a new neighbor of a different culture….

Next lesson: cultural sensitivity and the importance of experiencing (while respecting, of course) other cultures. With a three year old.

It’s no wonder I have panic attacks and rarely sleep, huh?

#21stcenturyfeministparentingfailorsuccess  – let me know in the comments!!


The Truth About Santa

After my last post (unintentionally) bashing Santa’s helper elf, I felt it important to clarify my feelings about Santa.

That I know he’s real. And his heart is huge. And, while he (and his non-shelf elfs) create toys – that’s not the biggest importance of his magical, mystical figure.

I couldn’t quite find the words.

So, per usual, I borrowed them.

This letter is the truth of it, and what I will (and have) told all my children whom I adore more than I adore myself.

Just read it. It’s worth your 5 minutes. It’ll continue down the stories that we tell our children and those that we love — forever, in infamy.

Such a great letter, full of so much truth.

Share it with everyone, please. They all deserve to know.

The Truth About Santa:



December First (AKA: That Creepy Fucking Elf)

Today’s Huffington Parents’ Blog post totally describes my family. Kathryn is freaked (the fuck) out by this little dude. And even though we never did the “Chauncey reports back to Santa” bit, even my little Susan (who loves everyone) was freaked out by this random creature in her home “watching” her. (No, seriously. This child anthropormorphizes everything on this planet….even leaves. And by that I mean every leaf. Every. Single. Leaf.) So the fact that this elf was acutely, astutely watching her. (I mean, if he’s not playing with me, what else could he possibly be doing….Mama? MAMA?) And then she (repeatedly) verbalizes: “Why is this elf in our house on the bookshelf? That’s not his SEEEEEEEEEAT” said my pragmatic, intelligent, impatient Susan….

Maybe if I had actually done the entire “return demonstration behavior” thing with Chauncey (you know – he’s Santa’s ‘helper’: every day he goes back and tells Santa if you’ve been bad or good, if you touch him he looses his magic, etc.) Maybe if we’d done that with him (why is this elf always a male, by the way?) it might have made more sense to my daughter(s).

(However, that entire concept is never going to work for our family. We, personally {and honestly, no judgments to any other parents who choose to do what they believe in and works for their family} don’t do the whole “Santa brings gifts only if you’re good” thing. I’m sorry, maybe I’m an annoying “stupid liberal” hippy, but we don’t really find that scaring my kids into being good because some magic being who can fly through the sky one night a year might have the gifts you (really, really, really)  want in his magic sky-vehicle. One of the primary reasons that I can’t follow through with this “myth” is because it would become my (ahemcoughonlycoughahem) go-to parenting tool. Starting some time around, ya know, March or so of every year……

In my family, we just have a hard time teaching our children at ages 2 and 5 (and yes, we also had a hard time at the ages of 2 and fetus, and also as teenagers with the older two) that some “mystical being” will provide my children with material rewards for behaving well. And let’s be honest here, Santa is a “myth” even though I believe in the Spirit of Santa whole-fucking-heartedly. 

I just want them to love others and be full of joy and be kind this time of year, with the hope that the spirit of Santa and Christmas will trickle down to their thoughts and actions and feelings (especially towards others) throughout the entire year. And yes, I do fucking get that we all get paychecks (AKA: ‘material rewards’) for work (and our behavior there and whatnot determines if we get to continue to reap that monetary compensation….yaddah yaddah yaddah   **COUGH** shut the fuck up). And yes. I agree. On some level. Christmas isn’t about that, though. It’s not a quid-pro-quo situation where you fulfill “x” and then are rewarded with “y”.

My husband and I also feel as though Christmas is about so much more than just rewards in return for the appropriate behavior. Christmas should be about being a good person who simply has a loving heart…..just because you should. No, even more than that. Not because you ‘should’ but because you CAN. Because you are able to do so. Just because there are other human beings out there whom you would like to spread joy and love with. There are people who could use a hand during the horrible five minutes of their life at this time of year – this time of year that should be celebratory. Just because you could do a good thing – with absolutely no expectation of reward or compensation – you chose to. Those are the kinds of messages that I want to bestow on my children during this time of year. Anyone can reach out to another living, breathing, loving entity who happens to be living simultaneouslyAnd it’s much easier to do it (or teach it) when there are twinkly lights in your periphery, the smell of cinnamon in the air, and the sound of Salvation Army bells ringing in your ear –  it’s easier to teach this lesson at Christmas-time. To enjoy it at Christmas-time. To know it in your cynical adult heart at Christmas-time. And I truly hope that that feeling carries with my children thoughout the year becuase, frankly, you can’t embody that every minute of every day. You have to take advantage of the popcorn stringing and Miracle on 34th Street to warm their hearts and teach them about the magic that is selfless love of other people. So, yes, I (and my husband) absolutely hope to ingrain this in the minds of our very, very, very young children during this magical time of year. We do this in the hope that it will be branded in their (loving) souls forever. (And also because we are suckers for the swelling music of shows like Charlie Brown Christmas and it reminds us how we’ve been falling short up until this point this year….)

Okay, okay, okay. I apologize. I feel I may have digressed, a bit.

Ultimately, I just want my kids to be grateful for and believe in the magic of Christmas — just for the sake of Christmas. I want our elf to be kind of a sort of kindness elf concept (http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/11/alternative-elf-on-shelf-tradition-kindness-elf-kindness-elves.html) – and our children to just decide to do good, kind-hearted things just for the sake of doing them.

I am not judging other parents for whom the Elf on the Shelf works. I don’t know what daily struggles you deal with. I also don’t know what lessons you are teaching your children. I certainly don’t know what beliefs you hold in your heart. I certainly don’t mean to insinuate that everything I just typed in the last three (and-a-half) sentences means you are “less-than”.


I’ve lost my point.

This post started about that creepy (to me. And to my daughters…..okay, probably our entire family) Elf on the Shelf and has morphed into a post about how I just want everyone to take this time of year to recognize that we can all love one another and reach out to help those in need….not because we have to or because we  should… but just because that’s truly what our heart of hearts wants to do.

You know…the right thing???

Okay, before all my distracted typing I just wanted to share this post, from one realistic parent living with their realistic children to another.

I mean, it is the Christmas season. (Oh, and my birthday, too in four days!!!!)

PS — Aside from my inane rambling: this is a well-written, awesome, articulate blog post that truly hits home what it’s like to be a Mama that wants to be “that Mama”……but just has to acclimate to the genes she’s been birthed, whether she likes it or not.

Read, and enjoy.


It’s December 1st. Happy X-mas season.




So, my littlest baby girl had to have surgery when she was just barely 12 months old. She had a very, very, very rare birth defect that caused her belly button to explode with exudate (AKA: pus) all over my close friend Rane in the middle of Susan’s co-op preschool class for which I was (obviously) volunteering as the assistant.

Poor baby Kathryn then had every. single. complication. imaginable.

This is the story of bath time one night very shortly after the aforementioned surgery:

I had been instructed by her surgeon that warm compresses and baths were acceptable, as long as the surgical site (her bellybutton) was not completely submerged in the bath water.

So, I’m preparing a warm compress (AKA: soaking a clean wash rag) to help cleanse and soak her surgical site (belly button). I begin to wipe the baby’s belly. She giggles. (SO CUTE!) I hold the warm compress against her belly button, per the surgeon’s instructions. The pus and gunk easily slides off her adorable, recently sliced open, abdomen.

And there’s a bit of white gunk on it. I use the warm compress rag to attempt to wipe it off. I am unsuccessful. So I use the rag to try and pinch it and pull it off her belly so it’s nice and clean and shiny.

The baby screams.

I feel resistance.

I start. Woah, what the fuck?

I decide it’s probably just some super crusted on pus around her surgical site. (Kathryn has been known to be super sensitive about these kinds of things.)

So I try again.

She screams. Again.

My husband asks me if “everything’s okay in there?”

NO! Everything is not okay!!!

I realize that what I am trying to pull off of my daughter’s abdomen is internal suture from her surgical procedure. It’s basically white stitches that are not where (THEFUCK) they are supposed to be!


I take a deep breath and have to focus myself and pretend this is not my kid. (It’s the only way my previously full time emergency medicine brain can not flip out. Scott deals with spiders. I deal with this.)

So I leave the bathroom – my husband is in the room with the 12 month old baby girl and the 3 year old girl in the bathtub. I run out and call Children’s Hospital (lying that I’m a practitioner to get through more quickly, of course….). I am being intense on the phone about my daughter’s dehissance that is clearly occurring post surgically, etc etc etc.

I talk and talk and talk and get an appointment and instructions and a prescription from the PA on the phone (there is still pus, people!). I ask incredibly specific questions (nurses are the worst patients) about what to do in a plethora of circumstances.

Right as I’m hanging up the phone my husband starts hollering. “Oh! Shit! No. Mari?!! Can you come here?!!!!”

So I run into the bathroom, expecting my baby girl to be bleeding all over creation.

I look into the tub and am instantly confused.

“Scott?” I ask. “Who threw mulch into the bath water?”

Because that’s clearly what has happened. My two baby girls are sitting in a tub full of what has now obviously become mulch water.

“No, no, no. Help me get them out. Right now.

He rarely speaks in this tone, so I follow directions.


Scott snags Susan out of the much-filled tub (I already have baby Kathryn wrapped in a towel in my arms).

“NO.” He informs her. “You may not play in shit.”

Shit? I think.



Kathryn is on a metric ton of antibiotics, which cause her stool to be absolutely disgusting. (To be fair – her autoimmune disorder has made her shit almost never solid most of her entire life — this has just complicated matters.)

Usually this adorable baby defecates in her diaper. Not in the bathtub.

Actually, I don’t think any of our four children have ever shat in the tub…….at any point in our entire combined 21 years of parenting.

I drain the tub. All the while laughing at myself for wondering who the fuck thought it was a good idea to throw huge handfuls of mulch into my bathtub while my children are gaily splashing around in it? That’s really what you thought was going on.


Mulch in my bathtub.

It’s obviously not mulch. My baby girl has had antibiotic induced diarrhea in a tub full of water. Which – if you were ever wondering – looks exactly like chunks of mulch floating in water.

I swear, I can’t make this shit up. (See what I did there?)

Luckily she’s cute.


Dog Farts

I have wanted a dog my entire 32 (nearly 33!) years on this planet. For a million reasons I was never able to get one. I am quite the dog person. I finally decided (and told my husband very explicitly) that my terms were this: I will be getting a dog when we own our own home and all of my children are out of diapers.

So, while living with my mother (in her basement, (because: toxic mold) where we were so very grateful {and super cramped}) the babiest of the Griders was begging (and begging and begging and beggingto “use the potty” and “wear unnie-pants” (yes, that phrase is as cute as you can possibly imagine) like her big sister. Repetedly. Add this to the fact that the (nearly) five year old cloth diapers started to leak on a regular basis…so I decided that since I was dealing with wet pants anyway that I might as well try (for the third time since Kathryn was 18 months of age) to potty train her. She magically got potty trained in about 4 days at 22 months of age! I should throw a celebratory party. Just a few weeks later than this milestone we settled on our very first home.

I then decided that the house needed to be unpacked and the few non negotiable things that needed to be taken care of in the new home needed to be cared for first and then, finally, finally, fucking finally, I could adopt a dog. (We had an external door that was broken, and an HVAC system that decided to crap the FUCK out before the ink was dry on our first-time-home-buyer settlement papers, a broken disposal/dishwasher and a few other ‘minor’ but necessary things). We moved in July 22nd (after a crazy, no-holds-barred weekend of “dear god we must wash every wall, scrub every counter top, scourge every toilet, suds every baseboard, have every. single. carpet. professionally cleaned, every air duct professionally blown out, and at the end of it all paint. every. single. wall. in. the. entire. house {while completing all of this in under 48 hours})”. I would like to point out that I fucking rule, goddamnit, and I got this crazy list of this shit done WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE following me most of the time (but I must give a shout out to the Duffy/Orem/Haas/Chicca clan for taking the Grider Girls for 12+ of these daytime hours, and also praise the Hall/Lederer/Eason/Rohrbaugh/Grider group of people who helped with the actual chores — I am so grateful for the people that helped me complete this motherfucking insanity).

So I finished all of the aforementioned craziness. And then I needed the big things in my “first time homeowner list” completed before I added more (AKA: a 66 pound dog) to my life. Then I went to the local “pound”. They have fantastic guidelines – which ensure that animals that are adopted from their facilities end up living in homes where they will stay and not be kicked to the curb over a small slight. I respect and understand that as an animal health care professional. Particularly as a previous emergency/general practice veterinary technician I completely understand the need for people who ‘get’ the importance and responsibilities that are involved with being a pet owner.

But, as a person who really, really wanted a dog I was impatient and frustrated at the process! (Because I’m still the 5 year old that wants a puppy, okay??).

We looked at a total of seven dogs.

Yes, you read that correctly.


My entire family came to see three of them. (They have this guideline that your entire family needs to be present and meet the new family member. Really, I do agree with this. It just gets hard on the fifth or sixth time, that’s all…..)

It was such a (fucking annoying goodamned long) process.


(Yes, shut the fuck up. I know I sound like a goddamned six year old. I don’t care. I felt like a six year old who was STILL BEING denied something that she was really, really, really desiring. And deserved. And could HANDLE. And…and….and….and………where’s my puppy….?)

And we finally got approved to keep a gorgeous, chill, sweet, perfect dog. She was just over one year of age, spayed, vaccinated, microchipped and her adoption fee was PREpaid! (I did not know this until we’d already decided to bring her home – I swear!)

She came home mid-August. We renamed her Juno. (Her previous name was Sasha – uck. Who names a doggy Sasha?!!) And she had such a rough life previously. She’d been a stray that had been adopted from the same pound with a new family with kids – for a whole week. Clearly a week is long enough to determine that this dog is awful and I must return her because she is awful and just a terrible per.


I adore her.

I love her.

I want to be the best (doggy/step/biological) mother ever.

And I am getting there. I have so many skills and so much patience and a ton of experience.

We’ve worked so long with her and her behavioral problems (she’s got severe separation anxiety – because of course I would adopt a dog that will bloody her nose if I leave her in her crate for more than 30 minutes….) and after a long period of patience and love, she is acclimating to our family nicely.

I adore this dog. She snuggles with me in bed.

When I cry over the fact that my mental health is deteriorating (fodder for another post) she licks my tears.

She curls up at my feet when I’m watching the Gilmore Girls (YES I know I’m over a decade behind. Hush).

And she farts.

I feel like “farts” is just so completely inadequate to depict the situation of which I am describing.

My husband and I choke in the miasma that emanates from the rear end of my adorable pup. Almost daily. Some times half a dozen times daily.

It’s beyond awful.

No, really.

I’m not exaggerating.

Seriously. One night a few weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night – around 3am or so (this awful shit always happens sometime between 1:30 and 4am).

My master bedroom smelled like shit. Literally like shit. I woke up with the taste of poop in my mouth.

I then spent a good 20 – 30 minutes searching the upper level of my house for shit. I was wondering if my baby girl had shat her diaper, or if my first born had decided it would be a good idea to shit in our master bathroom and not flush (this is not an uncommon occurrence in my home, frankly). I searched the crate at the foot of my bed – maybe my new pup decided to cement how very much she hates that metal contraption…?

No poop. I could find no feces anywhere.

I was unable to locate the source of the shit smell that had been so incredibly fetid and rancid that it awoke me from a deep, dead sleep. (If you don’t know me personally then you do not understand how significant this is. I never, ever awake from sleep unless there’s a screaming child that my husband has not already attended to. Or, occasionally, I might be awoken because I need to vomit into (and by ‘into’ I mean somewhere around or leading to the room in which the toilet is housed).

So, now that we’ve clarified the (very, very, very) few (and absolutely far between) things that would wake me from a deep sleep: I then went back to sleep.  (DUDE! It was like 2:30am!) Once I was aware that my daughters were not sleeping in or rolling around on shit and that I would not awake in a slimy mud puddle of poop early in the morning I decided to go (the fuck) back to (my favorite thing ever ever ever EVER ever ever EVER EVER) sleep.

The next morning I said to my hubby: “DUDE. I woke up sometime during the night to what I swear was poop in our room. It honestly smelled like there was poop in our bed!”

He informed me: “Yes. There was poop smell in our room. Our dog was farting,”

Farts? You mean the nasty, poop-in-my-mouth, wake me up from a dead sleep and search my house, smell was a 66 pound animal breaking wind?

Yes, he tells me. Repeatedly.

I think he’s full of shit.

But I feel as though I must tell those of you who are reading my blog that during the 23ish minutes I’ve been typing up this I’ve been resisting the urge to vomit. Why, you ask?

Because of dog farts.

My beautiful, soft coated, sweet, kind, chill pup – she farts like she’s trying to kill someone who is attempting to drown her most recent litter of puppies. With a method of gas that required a mask…..

doggie farts.


I wish I had “Parenting, Illustrated by Crappy Pictures” sitting next to me to demonstrate what it’s like to sit on my couch typing on my laptop in the general vicinity of my television….living in a cloud of death. There should be photos in the PigPen cloud that surrounds me. Complete with flies. Flies that are dying mid-air because of the stench.

Oh, my. I swear that I love this pup. Really, I do.

But why the fuck did I choose a dog (who I swear I love, after thirty two years of waiting for a dog) who farts like a motherfucker – she farts almost as though she wants to kill me.

I’m choking just writing this.

But she’s supremely beautiful and loving.

And smelly.

So. Fucking. Smelly.

Poop-smell-in-your-mouth-that-causes-you-to-wake-up-from-a-dead-sleep smelly.

However, seeing her completely covered in stickers (that my 2 year old placed on her only moments after my 5 year old finished attempting to ride her – I stopped her, calm down) just reminds me why I put up with the fucking god awful dog farts.


Dog farts.

I’m going to live with the miasma of dog farts for the rest of my life, aren’t I?

It’s a good thing I drink a lot of wine…….

The wine almost helps to make me forget the smell. Almost.


Don’t write on that!

So, I’m sure that those of you who are parents are familiar with asking your children not to write on all sorts of things. I can’t even remember all the things I’ve stopped (or tried to stop) one of my children from defacing – walls, couches, furniture, books, their face, other people, the mortgage statement, the cat….it’s a seemingly never-ending battle where there have been times I’ve considered locking up every single writing implement in my house with  more fervor and paranoia than one would with a loaded handgun. 

Today my littlest was writing on herself with a highlighter. I was torn between telling her to stop and also trying to let her have this reasonably safe (it was NON-TOXIC, people!) opportunity to learn the important lesson that her body is her body and it is her prerogative to do with it as she wishes, within reason. 

So she’s sitting there, doodling on her legs and arms with a green highlighter (easy to wash off, I’m actually paying bills, again it’s NON TOXIC….whatever) as I’m half paying attention. 

Then she starts giggling. And stops. And then more giggles. She’s under the table at my feet, bareassed naked from the waist down (judge me, I don’t care. If I decided to make it an issue that my children had to be fully clothes 24/7/365 I would never rest. Ever. I have naked children. I have decided that it’s more important to allow them the freedom to be comfortable in their own bodies rather than force them into clothes because of some ill-conceived notion of impropriety. We try to walk the very thin and sometimes ambiguous line of not making them feel as though there is anything shameful or secretive about their body and also wanting them to be able to respect (some) social norms. And also not attract pedophiles. And yes, I know she’s two. Too intangible of a message, you say? Mayhaps. I don’t care.) 

I glance down at my two year old and see that’s she’s writing on her labia. With a green highlighter. And giggling. What the fuck was I thinking?!!! 

So yes, “Don’t write on your vagina.” is a sentence that actually passed my lips today. I kid you not. This followed with a conversation that went something like this. “But I want to.” “Okay, but don’t.” “But it’s mine.” “I  understand that, but it’s going to be really difficult to clean all that off.” “I’ll do it. It’s my vagina. I like it green.” At which point, I took away the highlighter. This, obviously, caused my toddler to have a raging tantrum, throwing herself on the floor, limbs flailing, wailing at the top of her lungs in true cliched fashion. It took me a few moments to realize that the wailing was actually words: “I want a green vagina! It’s MY vagina! I want it green. I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant to color on my vaginaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” 

Yup. Just your average Tuesday afternoon in this household. 

Can I open a bottle of wine at 1:27pm or is that just not a good thing?