I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

I Read A Lot of Internets

helicopter parent...minus a few blades

I had my dermatologist appointment yesterday morning, which was good because it gave me a little extra time in the morning to get my act together, which I desperately needed. By Sunday afternoon, I had felt like everything was falling apart because the laundry wasn’t done, lunches weren’t packed, we had missed the announcement of little league pictures being taken that day, and my kid realized as we were walking out the door to go to my mom’s house that he still had homework to do. I don’t deal well with situations like that and began this really dramatic inner monologue about how thoroughly we did not have our shit handled as a family and how it felt like I don’t actually do any adult things with any degree of competence. Don’t I sound like fun?

But we had a nice Mother’s Day and Monday morning I was able to putz a little bit after getting the baby off to school. Packed my lunch, made smoothies, put a load of laundry in. It gave me a chance to at least do some stuff that made me feel like I was making up for falling apart parentally. Or something.

By the way, the dermatologist said that my clown lips were most likely dermatitis caused by a contact allergy. I couldn’t think of anything weird that I had eaten, but he mentioned toothpaste. The husband said that we had been using a different variety of the brand that we usually buy when that started. In my compulsive Googling, I found that many toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a foaming agent that some people are sensitive to. Probably the variety of toothpaste we got was SUPER EXTRA WHITENING POWER! which probably meant that it just had extra SLS in it. He gave me some topical steroids (YAY MORE ‘ROIDS) so hopefully this long, annoying circus will soon be over.

My kid has a big week this week. Today he has his first track meet for the little track team that they’ve cobbled together at school. Later in the day he has his band concert in which he’ll be squeaking out some notes on the saxophone. On Thursday, he has a baseball game. And on Friday he has his after school program’s talent show, in which he’ll be playing some songs on the piano. I’m not going to today’s events because I have a big work event coming up, so I’m kind of in head-down-tunnel-vision mode until Saturday

When I was going down this list of events this morning, I joked, “I can’t wait for him to burn out when he’s like 12.” But in all honesty I inserted myself into some half-assed Time article about overscheduled children and lack of unstructured play and WaldorfAttachmentWhatToExpectWhenYou’reMomEnoughCryingItOutSuzukiMethodKumonHookedOnPhonics. I think, more than most people, I understand the importance of doing nothing from time to time. If I don’t get at least a few minutes of nothing a day I get all out of wack. But it started me down this indignant path of, “The old ways of doing things really weren’t always that great,” mutterings. Like when people complain about how they didn’t have any xPads or Nintendo phones, they just had dirt and sticks and their obviously superior imaginations. Yeah, right. Then they thought up games like King of the Mountain, which is some microcosmic version of capitalist assholery or Torture the Stray Cat or Throw Rocks at the Windows of the Abandoned House or Taunt the Neighborhood Crazy Guy.

I get similarly cranky when people complain about iPhones ruining the fine art of conversation. I don’t know about you, but prior to having the ability to stick my nose in my phone to look at absolutely anything, I wasn’t sitting on the bus, for example, thinking, “This conversation about illegal immigrants that I’m having with this entitled a-hole is so great. I’m so glad I have no way of obviously signaling that I’m not listening or interested in engaging with him whatsoever.” Also, it’s not like reading and more or less ignoring the people around you was invented with the iPhone. What did people say when printed materials and literacy became common? “‘Tis a shame that the unwashed masses can now read the newspaper on their way to their 18-hour shift in unsafe conditions at the meat plant, which they might not survive. I remember the good old days when they would say to each other, ‘Hey. Do you have any idea what’s going on at all?’ and, ‘No. But I will see you at the virgin sacrifice later and hopefully the angry god living in the mountain yonder won’t eat us.'”

3 comments to helicopter parent…minus a few blades

  • Meh. iPhones are a problem when I’m at dinner with someone and they can’t seem to put it down. In the event that you’re out to dinner with me, or even choosing to sit in a room with me, I generally take that to mean that you like talking to me. So… put the phone down? Plz?

    As for a way to avoid people in public, I often commute with headphones on without actually listening to anything as they generally stop people from talking to me. It also gives me an obvious excuse to straight up ignore the people who straight up ignore my cue that I don’t want to chat. Hmmphh.

  • Alaina, RDH

    I probably recommend switching to Sensodyne or Tom’s of Maine to at least one patient/day. Sulfates are in pretty much every other toothpaste and they can contribute to any number of issues. I especially dislike Crest Pro-Health toothpaste. It makes my tissues slough, and it stains teeth. Not worth using imo.

  • Snarky Amber

    “… I remember the good old days when they would say to each other, ‘Hey. Do you have any idea what’s going on at all?’ and, ‘No. But I will see you at the virgin sacrifice later and hopefully the angry god living in the mountain yonder won’t eat us.’”


    And, yeah, iPhone is just the latest in a series of things I have used to ignore people in public since I started going out in public, and I find it’s way more effective than a book.

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