Years before Urban Grandma's triple bypass surgery, when Urban Mommy was just a girl, Urban Grandma put her on one knee and said, "Yo, bitch, you want to know what stress does?" Then she pointed at her left boob, which is why, until I read this article by Michael Slezak in the New Scientist, I just assumed stress caused a woman's tits to sag a little.
But, yo! Now they are saying that STRESS causes the BRAIN TO AGE! Despite the fact that women live longer than men, their brains seems to age faster. The reason? Possibly a more stressful life.
Stress? That's more or less the same as saying you are a MOTHER. And all this time, I've been worried about my figure...
Yo, bitches! This morning I'm at the donut shop buying dinner when this crazy guy comes over and pokes at my donuts. He's, like, TOUCHING them with his evil eye, and I'm like, what's your problem? And he's like, "You know sugar makes you stupid?"
Urban Mommy has donuts, like four times a week. Guy's full of shit. QED.
So he whips out his laptop and shows me this story: Your sweet tooth might be making you stupid and I realize, OMG, this dude has been hanging out here ALL DAY. Like, he's some sort of anti-donut freak. But, whatever. If it's on the interweb, it must be true, right? So, I read it:
A diet high in sugar may hamper your memory and ability to learn, says a study published in the Journal of Physiology. Researchers had two groups of rats drink water mixed with fructose, a type of sugar.
Right. Rats. Just like humans. I see rats all the time. Wanna know why? Because they LIKE sugar. That's why they hang out in my kitchen. But anyway. These scientists feed half the rats sugar and half of them sugar with omega-3 fatty acids and then make them go through a maze. Guess what? The rats who only ate sugar were slower than the ones pumped up on sugar AND fatty acid. The ones who ate normal shit? Like the stuff my kids throw on the floor? Those rats prefer not to play, evidently.
So, I'm like, what, exactly does this have to do with me? And the anti-donut freak guy shakes his head, and says some bullshit about triglyceride, glucose, insulin, the hippocampus, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then he whips out this bottle of Life Extension Super Omega-3 vitamins and tries to sell it to me. He's all like, it will PROTECT YOUR BRAIN.
Yo! Do I look like someone who sits around sucking back sugar water all day? This guy was off his rocker. But, like, I felt sorry for him. So I told him to head over to the Marina.
So, it's Friday, I've been unemployed for exactly one week, which means I've been taking care of the baby full time, and squeezing in MAKING IT BIG time during naps. But, yo! My technorati score? 1! My klout? 24! I think I'm getting close to making it BIG! And don't worry: I'll tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to be a superstar just like me.
Here's advice from me, social media maven:
1. Twitter. Go there. THE (only) place where Urban Mommy can read the whole message between the kids' demands. 140 characters! Genius.
2. Follow people!
2. Not too many people. Twitter cuts you off if you follow too many. Like, Urban Mommy? She found 2000 people she dug, and Twitter said, yo, bitch, that's enough. Can you believe it? What. Ever.
3. But, yo! Urban Mommy has over 1000 followers. That means 1000 people MIGHT be reading this right this minute, right?
So, like, that's where I am. On my way to the BIG TIME. See you there?
So, today Mr. Urban Daddy tells me he just found out that he's been "relocated" to Montgomery, Alabama for the next six months, but not to worry, he has Kissenger. Then he hands me this egg with lips. I'm like, WTF?
He's all like, it's bi-directional! All I have to do is kiss the robot and we can both get all hot and bothered. Check it out:
I don't know about you, but when I close my eyes, I dream of making out with this thing...
Yo! Who has time to cook? Not me. Even if I WANTED to cook right now, I couldn't. All my dishes are in the dishwasher cuz I told Mr. Urban Daddy it was his turn to unload. That was six days ago, bitches.
Usually? Not too much of a problem. There's always the donut shop down the street. Today? Can you say STENCH. Whole house smells like rotten eggs and dead rodents. Here's the thing: I totally forgot I was doing the dishwasher salmon thing (with a piquant dill sauce) and that fish has been rotting away on the top rack of my dish washer for at least a week.
Serves me right for trying to be one of those foodie douchebags. I say beware any recipe that uses the word "normal." But if you try it, let Urban Mommy know, okay?
Light to moderate alcohol consumption may cause cognitive decline or dementia. Two new studies presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® 2012 in Vancouver Canadasuggest that moderate alcohol use later in life, heavy use early in life and binge drinking late in life can all cause cognitive decline.
yo! If this is true, I'm totally fucked. I'm so upset, I pour myself another glass of vino. Then, I realize that the study ONLY TRACKED WOMEN. And, it was done IN CANADA. WTF? Canada is nothing like America. In Canada, they clearly think it's okay to tell women not to drink, while men (who, let's face it, are demented to begin with) get away with knocking back six-packs left and right.
I spoke to Mr. Urban Daddy about it and he told me he was trying to sleep. He said he had to work in the morning. Like I didn't? Like the baby would just take care of himself. See what I mean? DEMENTED.
Remember that all-day every-day office party I was talking about (yo, twitter!)? Well, turns out Mr. B, my boss, decided Urban Mommy couldn't input data AND search twitter bios for things like wine and cocktails. Mr. B? He's kind of an asshole, so when he first started giving me warnings about "surfing" and "being on task," I was like, whatever.
Well, today? Like this morning? Me at ALMOST 1000 Twitter followers? Mr. B comes over, like yo, Urban Mommy! Pack your bags, bitch.
So. Yeah. Looks like I'll be having WAY more time to devote to MAKING IT BIG. I mean, now that I'm on twitter, I see TONS of bitches who are making a living working from home. Right? I just need to put my hot-urban-mommy brain into HIGH gear and start making things happen. Yo! Urban Mommy's gonna take this lemon and make it into a COCKTAIL!
Once a year, Urban Daddy sends me a scientific story that is supposed to explain why I forgot his birthday. Yo! There is no science. He didn't REMIND ME. All this a-PhD-looked-into-it stuff? Just his passive-aggressive way of saying that it's all my fault and I should feel bad about it.
Usually, I hit delete, but today? I didn't notice the subject line ("I FORGIVE YOU"), so I opened the message and saw this article about rats and pregnant women (cuz, you know, we're interchangeable) and how giving birth causes changes in the BRAIN.
Yo! Urban Mommy loves BRAINS almost as much as she loves BOOKS. So I let my kids scream for a few minutes while I read this excerpt by Craig Howard Kinsley and Elizabeth Meyer:
Research suggests that motherhood enhances certain types of cognition, improves resistance to stress and sharpens some kinds of memory. On the face of it, the fact that the nervous system manages to transform a new mother from a self-centered organism into an other-focused caregiver is actually quite impressive.
Yo! That WOULD be impressive. Thank GOD it didn't happen to me. Then there's this huge bit about the Bruce effect, where the smell of the male rat induces abortion in pregnant female rats. And how mother rats are, like, super good at anything that relates to finding food. Yadda, yadda, yadda. And then this:
A human mother's brain undergoes a striking structural metamorphosis, too. Last year using magnetic resonance imaging studies, neuroscientist Pilyoung Kim, now at the National Institute of Mental Health, and her colleagues found significant increases in gray matter in mothers' brains in the weeks and months after they give birth.... The mothers with the biggest increase in gray matter volume also reported the more positive perception of their babies.
Yo! Clearly gray matter is DEAD tissue. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't go into the sciences...
That was four years ago. We’ve seen each other four times since. We are “friends,” but not quite friends. We keep trying to get over the hump, but life gets in the way.
Here's the thing: Life IS THE HUMP. Life is just one big fleshy protuberance on my back. It doesn't get in the way, it's the way it is. Anyway, Alex Williams is upset about this, so he goes and talks to some psychology professor at Stanford:
Basically, she suggests, this is because people have an internal alarm clock that goes off at big life events, like turning 30. It reminds them that time horizons are shrinking, so it is a point to pull back on exploration and concentrate on the here and now. “You tend to focus on what is most emotionally important to you,” she said, “so you’re not interested in going to that cocktail party, you’re interested in spending time with your kids.”
Yo! Not interested in cocktail parties? What is wrong with the people of Stanford? If you invite Urban Mommy to a cocktail party? She'll BE THERE, even if she has to bring the kids.
Anyway. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Skip to the end. Andrew makes a date with his buddy! This makes Urban Mommy happy. Happy endings are good.
Yo! So, you know how boring my job is, right? Then, I discovered TWITTER. It's like a party! In the office! An office party! So I'm at my desk like, hello, there, Twitter; and Twitter looks at me like, yo, bitch, where have you been all my life?
Some of you know Twitter. Some of you are probably sitting there thinking what took you sooooooo long? And what can I say 'cept the COOL kids are ALWAYS late to the party.
Here's the thing. Following people? It's like, you stick out your hand and say, yo, I like you. I KNOW I like you. And let me just say. I found SO MANY PEOPLE I LIKED that Twitter CUT ME OFF.
Did I follow you? Here's why:
1. You like alcohol. You have 160 characters to describe yourself and four of them are WINE or (yo!) eight of them are COCKTAIL. Vodka? Yes! Beer? Urban Mommy doesn't drink beer cuz of the calories, but hey, I'll follow you anyway.
2. You like books. Urban Mommy likes books. Urban Mommy LOVES books. Right now? I'm reading Discipline and Punish. Wanna know what I think of Foucault? That guy's a SICK FUCK. He spends, like, two chapters talking about various ways to sever limbs.
3. You blog. What can I say? Urban Mommy blogs. You blog. Sounds like love to me.
4. You write books. See #2.
5. You describe yourself as crazy, drunk, weird, nerd, geek, or snarky. Bring it!
6. You say you do social media. Um, winning!
7. You are @EmperorFranzen. Yo! If it weren't for Mr. Urban Daddy, I'd be the center of your twitterverse, ripping off your cloak.
8. You followed me. Yo! I wouldn't leave you there with your hand sticking out.
So, yeah. In just a few afternoons at work, I found over 1000 people I totally dig! Here's the thing, not all of them followed me back. In fact, some of them are probably bent over their laptops right NOW, looking at my stats thinking: LOOOOOOSER.
Any you know what Urban Mommy has to say to those people? YO! Your BODY is a prisoner of your SOUL.
So, I'm surfing the web like I do most nights at, like, 2:30 in the morning, because Mr. Urban Daddy is snoring, or the baby wants a snack, or the three-year old fell out of bed again, or the six-year-old decides there's a beast in his bed. You know, the usual, and I come across this article: The 'Better' Mother? How Intense Parenting Leads To Depression, and I click it cuz I'm like, what the fuck IS Intense Parenting. I mean, Urban Mommy is intense, but is she an intense parent? Are you? Turns out (at least in this study) twenty-three percent of mothers are depressed, and more intense mothers "have worse mental health over all." Yo!
If you don't know if you're intense, here's five ways to tell:
1. Essentialism is the feeling that mothers, over fathers, are the more “necessary and capable” parent.
Yo! Urban Mommy is way more capable than Urban Daddy.
2. Fulfillment in parenting is defined by beliefs like “a parent’s happiness is derived primarily from their children.”
Urban Mommy's happiness is derived primarily from ALCOHOL. Fulfillment in parenting? That would be making it through the day without any deaths or loss of limb.
3. Stimulation is the idea that you, the mother, should always provide the best, most intellectually stimulating activities to aid in your child’s development.
OMG. I totally should not have insisted the kids watch PBS instead of Cartoon Network...
4.Challenging is, as you might guess, the idea that parenting is just about the most difficult job there is (participants ranked statements like, “It is harder to be a good mother than to be a corporate executive”).
You pay me what a corporate executive gets these days, and I'll SHOW YOU INTENSE.
5. And Child-Centered refers to the idea that kids’ needs and wants should always come before your own.
Urban Mommy has needs, she's just too tired to remember what they are.
So, yesterday was my son's birthday party and it was hell. First of all, did I mention that I have pneumonia? Right. So. All the parents come and drop off their kids, and they're looking at me like, yo, Urban Mommy, are you ON DRUGS. and I'm like. Yo! They call this shit antibiotics, a doctor gave me this bottle, and they just shake their heads.
Then, my son--the birthday boy--decides that he doesn't want urban penguins for a party treat: Cream Cheese Penguins. I only spent, like, all morning impaling these little bitty birds with toothpicks and he's like, yo! Urban Mommy, these suck. So, of course, his younger brothers won't eat them either. And all his friends are just wandering around looking for legos, which, of course, I don't have.
Then Urban Daddy--not that weirdo who promised that my dreams would start coming true, but my husband--decides that he has to go run some errand. I'm like, yo! What the fuck? And he says--it's a surprise! All cheery-voiced, like he's santa claus or something.
Then the baby starts barfing. I mean, maybe I shouldn't have tried cleaning the apartment up. Maybe it doesn't have any of that good dirt all the doctors are talking about. So. I'm covered in baby barf and am alone in the apartment with eight six-year old boys and my younger two, and I realize I forgot to invite the kid from downstairs.
Okay. I HATE the kid from downstairs, but the thing is, his mom always brings wine when she comes over and I totally need wine RIGHT NOW. So I call her up, like, yo! Get your ass up here NOW and she says her inlaws are in town, can she bring them. Whatever. I mean, do I care?
So, while i'm on the phone, some of the kids start LICKING the birthday cake. I was up all night cutting that thing to look like a drag queen, and they are sticking their fingers in it and messing with the doll torso, which is extra disturbing cuz she doesn't have legs, but the chocolate icing? kind of like pubic hair. And I'm like, stop touching her. STOP IT NOW. I'm screaming, only I can't yell too loud because of the pneumonia, so it's kind of like one of those nightmares, where you try to scream, only you're sleeping and can't make any noise.
Then the kid from downstairs shows up with HIS WHOLE FUCKING FAMILY. like, his mom could have mentioned it was ELEVEN people. And, she's like, I brought this! And she hands me a CARTON of MILK. First of all, it's already opened. Second, it's expired. But fuck it. Whatever. That's the least of my problems.
So, I turn on the T.V. And everyone's all pissy because they don't want to watch Olympic trials. So, I'm like, okay. Eat the penguins and we'll change the channel.
Then the door opens, and I think its Urban Daddy, and I'm about to give him a piece of my mind, but it's a COP who's like. Yo! This your son? We found him wandering down Market Street. And I'm like, shit, the three year old escaped again. And I'm kind of glad there's no alcohol lying about. So, the cop starts asking me if I have a license, and I'm like, what? And he says, A license, like for running a daycare. And the kids are ALL OVER him. Like, he's one of those party princesses that shows up and sings songs and does magic tricks? No, I say. This is a birthday party. And I offer him some cake, and I don't say anything about the licking.
Somehow, I made it through. And no. I did not sleep with the cop.
Two days to my son's birthday party and the doctor tells me I have pneumonia. So, I'm trying to figure. Do I cancel the party? If I do that, then I have to reschedule, and that seems more likely to kill me than the "fluid" (that would be wine, yo!) in my lungs. Plus, my son will stop talking to me So, yeah. Urban Mommy is thinking about just going forward. I mean, the gift bags are ready (see earlier post about dirt-cheap gift bags--I'd link to it, but I don't know how), the cake mix is sitting on my counter along with a tub o AMERICAN icing, the good kind, that never goes bad even if you forget to refrigerate it. And I bought three cans of olives and a tub of cream cheese so I can make urban penguins (my son's favorite). But, I don't know if I can DRINK and take antibiotics. I mean, that is totally, seriously important. I don't know how else I'll get through the thing and it would look pretty bad if, say, I try and pass out of something. Any experience with this, bitches? I'd ask a doctor, but yo! why pay a doctor when I have THE INTERNET, where I can find the answer to EVERYTHING. Your thoughts? Your experience? Yo!
So, my bff in new york sends me this link to The 40-Year-Old Reversion and I'm like, yo! I KNOW these people. These are MY people, only they're on the east coast and probably read things like the Atlantic:
Once a month I get together with half a dozen moms from Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. We call ourselves Hookers, Sluts and Drug Addicts. They dubbed me a Hooker because I wear tight clothes and smile a lot.
You know what my friends call me? I'll give you one hint: it's NOT teddy bear. So this is how these bitches talk to each other:
“Lemme see your tits.”
“I heard you got a reduction.”
I mean, yo! These people are thoughtful. They're thinkers. Last night? When the speed-freak car insurance salesman who lives on the first floor asked me the same thing, Urban Mommy did not even THINK to ask WHY. You know what I'm thinking? I bet these bitches went to college. That's where they teach things like critical thinking.
Then, like, I skip to the end. Turns out, one of these bitches wrote a book: Motherland.
Yo! This birthday party business? If I had a million bucks, I'd totally hire someone to deal with it. Like, you figure this out and deal with the cake and the party bags and all these six-year old brats. Have I told you how I feel about my son's bffs? All they want to do is sit around and play lego, and since I refuse to buy lego, they never come over. Problem solved.
Okay. But now? The birthday party. Right.
It's 3 am and I'm online searching for princess cake recipes 'cause my son wants a cake that looks like a drag queen. So, I find this video: how-to-make-a-princess-cake. WTF? SNAP off the Barbie doll legs? Paste the icing to the cake with icing? And in what universe can you buy sugarpaste icing? I don't see it at safeway or the corner store; must be some british shit. Fuck sugarpaste icing. That's what I have to say.
Want to know what Urban MOmmy thinks? I thought so.
The study, published in Monday's edition of the journal Pediatrics, provides fresh evidence for the counterintuitive notion that an overly clean environment may not be ideal for babies.
Urban Mommy thinks these people are totally OUT of TOUCH. First off, Urban Mommy's apartment is not "overly clean" and Urban Mommy doesn't have a cat or dog. Urban MOmmy doesn't even have a gold fish. I mean, who has time?
Studies also suggest that the dirt — and microbes — brought indoors by pets could bolster the communities of helpful bacteria, yeast and other microscopic creatures that live in a developing child's body.
Yo! So dirt brought by pets is BETTER than dirt brought in by my kids? My kids dirt isn't GOOD enough?
For the new study, European researchers tracked the health of 397 Finnish children born between September 2002 and May 2005. When the infants were 9 weeks old, parents began keeping weekly diaries to document a number of indicators of their children's health, including runny noses, coughs and ear infections. Parents also noted when their babies were given antibiotics. When the children celebrated their first birthdays, the parents were asked to complete a questionnaire.
There is so much wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin. These people kept WEEKLY diaries? Who ARE these Finnish people? And why do doctors think that people who keep weekly diaries are NORMAL or anything like NORMAL PEOPLE. I bet they all have "overly clean environments." That's what Urban MOmmy thinks. Yo! Doctors. Want to study unclean environments and see what it does for health? You come on down to Urban Mommy's pad. That's right.
So, like, it's THREE in the morning and I'm planning a party for my son's sixth birthday. Like, a real party with other kids, because he INSISTED (I'll blog about that convo later, but basically, he says he doesn't want to see Urban Mommy's lady pals drink cheap wine and eat his birthday cake. Yo!
So yeah. Okay. I admit it: I've never done this thing, the kid party. Why? I'll tell you that too.
1. The kid WILL not remember. At three? Seriously, what do YOU remember from three. Four? Five? Okay, six, maybe.
2. I hate kid parties.
3. See above
So. I thought i'd start with the easy stuff. The gift bag. Gift bags. Right? Like, where to get cheap shit that will fill up the bag? I google "cheap shit that will fill up a gift bag," and I get this article: Tempest in a Goody Bag.
Yo! The internet is NOT HELPING. So, I try again, and, like, BINGO. A tutorial:
Yo! It's monday, bitches! And I'm at work, checking out my internets, because, you know, like what this guy says, a day's work is really, like four hours, only WE HAVE TO BE AT OUR DESKS for eight. So, yeah. I'm reading this article by this guy and thinking WTF!?
First off, he decides that only people who work in the I.C.U. are busy. The rest of us?
...what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in.
Tired? Exhausted? Yeah. I get it. But the rest? I mean, who the fuck takes on work voluntarily? Does he really think I sit at this desk for 8 hour a day because I ENJOY it? Like Urban Mommy works just because she's bored? I AM BORED, by the way, but it is BECAUSE I AM AT WORK, and I'm at work because I HAVE BILLS TO PAY. But it gets worse. The bit about classes and activities? Here's where I KNOW this guy not only has no kids, but has never even spent time with them. Okay, Tim Kreider. Try hanging out in your living room for twelve hours with three kids under the age of six and then GET BACK TO ME, okay?
I'd stop here, but I'm at work and I'm bored to tears. So I read on, and it gets a bit better:
They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications.
I hate those bitches. I'm almost ready to say, yo, Tim. I misjudged you, when I get to this bit:
I was a member of the latchkey generation and had three hours of totally unstructured, largely unsupervised time every afternoon, time I used to do everything from surfing the World Book Encyclopedia to making animated films to getting together with friends in the woods to chuck dirt clods directly into one another’s eyes, all of which provided me with important skills and insights that remain valuable to this day.
You know what would happen if I gave my five-year-old a key and a camera and said, yo, go nuts? Urban Mommy's headed out to knock back a few pink drinks? I'd come home and the camera would be smashed to bits and my one-year old would have snarfed down half the pieces. Just saying.
On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon.
Okay. Let me just say that in my book? Errands ARE work. I mean, when I want a break, I say, yo! Fuck grocery shopping. I'll tell Mr. Urban Mommy to pick up donuts on the way home for dinner. The other way I get a break? Chores. You know, those sheets? The ones covered in vomit? They can sit in the bin another day.
Ultimately, the guy escapes to an "Undisclosed Location" and I'm like, yeah, undisclosed location. That sounds pretty good. I could use an undisclosed location. Right? And then? He DOESN'T TELL US WHERE IT IS. What good is that?
So. I come across this site called Urban Baby. I figure, Urban Baby. Urban Mommy. We're gonna love each other, right?
NOT. It's kind of like The Atlantic. I mean, like, I get pissed off just looking at the cover thinking, you bitches are so new york.
First off, right at the top of the page is what these people are talking about: "Do you judge a woman who is 40ish single and decided to have kids on her own? Do you think she and her family are inferior to a family with mom and dad..."
WTF? There's so much wrong with this. Do you new york bitches know that, like, every mom in San Francisco is 40ish? 40ish? It's like, the new twenty, only we have careers and a sense of ourselves, like whether we prefer women or men or just say fuck you to sharing a bed with some snoring asshole with bad teeth and no fashion sense.
But, like I figure I'll give the site another chance, so I look at the Hot Topics. Hot topics. Urban Mommy digs hot topics. And I see San Francisco. Yo! so, natch, I click that. First post? Someone asking how hard it is to meet a nice guy in SF. One answer, not that hard. Clearly, these people are delusional. Second post? Something about San Jose. SAN JOSE? San Jose is NOT A HOT TOPIC. San Jose is where people go when they have no soul.