There’s a Baby Up in My Blog

My blogging and vlogging endeavours have been festering in the diaper pail these last couple of weeks, but for good reason I tell you! I’ve been busy generating new material for said blogging and vlogging material with this wee one right here.

Introducing the babester, Rae Alice Murphy. Born 8:12pm, December 23rd. 8lbs, 8oz of fantastic.


And if you hurt her, Big Brother Max will open up a can of whoop ass on your face.



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What I Hear When You Call My Unborn Daughter a “Drama Queen”

“Good luck with the little drama queen,” they say when they find out I’m expecting a girl.

It seems we gals have a rep right out of the womb — as dramatic, irrational whack-jobs. I hear it all around me, from both men and women. I’ve even said it myself. She’s a total psycho. His ex is a crazy bitch. My friend’s mom is nuts. And I’ve been the subject of such comments too, more than I care to remember.

When there’s an incident, nobody seems to need any further information about the other parties involved, because everyone already knows the human with the vagina is the one to point the finger at. Whatever happened, she caused it. She overreacted. ‘Cause she’s crazy. ‘Cause she’s a she.

To the male observer, we womenfolk must seem strange creatures, preoccupied with primping, preening, and obsessing about everything from our weight to our wallpaper. Our weak, shallow female minds can’t cope with the chaos of the real world so we lash out at poor, unsuspecting men. We get mad when they drink too much or flirt too much. We key their cars like Carrie Underwood in her “Before He Cheats” video. We boil their pet bunnies when they dump us like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Oh yes, these things happen all the time. We’ve been typecast as lunatics for hundreds of years. For crying out loud, the word “hysteria” comes from the Greek for “uterus.” Because hysteria — nowadays, more commonly called the crazy cakes — was thought to be exclusive to the ones with the wombs. And remember Jane Eyre? We’re all “crazy women in the attic.” Aren’t we lucky.

So, when one of us is assaulted and comes forward, many people instantly think: oh she’s exaggerating, seeking attention or revenge or a payday. It’s a pattern, after all. Obviously the fussing over our bodies is purely about seeking attention and not because we’ve been conditioned to be wholly insecure about ourselves throughout history. And clearly we’re going through daily life like balls of stress because we are imbalanced nut jobs, not because we actually do have a hundred things to do with most of the parenting and household tasks falling to us.

When Jian Ghomeshi was accused of sexual violence a few weeks ago, over a hundred thousand people — many of them women — immediately jumped to support him and his Facebook post claiming it was all the plot of jilted lovers. A male friend of mine heard the news and quipped, “yeah, after five or six times of getting slapped around they decided they didn’t like it anymore.” He said that out loud, without doing an ounce of research or thinking. Because clearly any woman accusing Ghomeshi, or Bill Cosby, or any beloved man, was a crazy bitch bent on revenge. There was no other possibility.

I mean, of course we women are the ones with the reputation as the jealous lovers who’ll go to any length to destroy our rejectors. That makes total sense. It’s not like 85 per cent of domestic abuse in Canada involves men against women, invariably driven by anger and jealously. It’s not like the vast majority of stalking is done by men, targeting women. Someone must have made up the news story about the man who shot his ex, Julianne Hibbs, and her partner in CBS last year with an AK-47. The cops must have got it wrong yesterday when they found the body of Canadian actress Stephanie Moseley, slain by her husband. Maybe some crazy chick invented all these stats to make things go her way. Perhaps some loony seamstress made Big Ears Teddy and planted him in Ghomeshi’s room to frame him for trading her in for a younger model.

How horribly, horribly difficult it is for us to come forward when we’ve been assaulted. No wonder we swallow the pain and go back to our primping and preening and being seen not heard. In some cases, like that of 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia who was raped and bullied for months, we see no way out and just can’t live with the pain. We just can’t win, not in this world. Because anything resembling drama — no matter how warranted that drama is, though it may just be the plain and ugly truth — is synonymous with deceit.

There is power in numbers, thankfully, and sadly. When a slew of totally unconnected, respected women share similar accounts of their encounters with Ghomeshi, or Cosby, logic dictates they’re telling the truth. But one average woman’s story is rarely enough. One ordinary woman must certainly be out to ruin the life of a great man when he stops calling, or when she decides she needs some drama in her little, female life. And god forbid she be a prostitute or — dear god no — a woman who likes to have sex. Then nobody listens at all. Because she’s the epitome of crazy, straight from the attic. If she really was assaulted, surely she’s at least partly to blame.

I think the world is changing, slowly, because we’re finally talking about these things, pushing them out into the light and, hopefully, handing down consequences so young people can better understand what’s simply not acceptable. I just hope the world has changed enough by the time my little girl is a young woman, so she can escape the stereotype into which she’ll be born. So she can feel safe and hopeful and equal and brave in the world, no matter how much of a drama queen she is.


This article was previously published on The Huffington Post and commented on by a bunch of misogynist a-holes.

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V is for Vicki, Vagina, and VLOG.

13 days till I calf. Moo.

I reckon once the baby comes, vlogging will be easier than blogging. One hand to hold the baby + one hand to hold the wine = no hands to type. Plus, with vlogging you people get to criticize not only what I write but how I look, how I sound, etc. So much to work with!

So here’s my very first vlog post. It’s all downhill from here.

all the babies

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How to Save Money on Toys

Christmas. The birth of Jesus (supposedly). And the crucifixion of your credit card (most certainly).

In spite of these uncertain economic times, we’re spending more than ever on crap for our little crappers. But why? Forget our desperate need for “stuff” and thoughtless overspending, our kids have NO TASTE. In fact, most tots are downright tacky! Think about it. You give your youngster a big, expensive gift only to watch him toss it aside to play with the wrapping paper. And when your poor, deprived offspring has opened his skyward heap of gifts, the first toy he wants to play with is the one from the dollar store. I know mine does. Max is straight from the trailer park.

So this year, I’m taking advantage of his poor taste and giving him just one gift for Christmas: a telescope. And by telescope I mean an empty paper towel roll.

Here are a few other classic — and I mean really classic — toys for your tweedle-dummies. Each one fosters imagination and creativity, and guess what? They’re all free! So you can save your money for booze. Or college, whatever.

1. The Cardboard Box. A classic among children everywhere. It comes with a built-in, saloon-style door, and windows can be installed custom. (Well, more like cut-out than put-in. Even easier.) The cardboard box is incredibly multifunctional. It can be a house, a cave, a hospital, or a totally pimped out go-cart. For entrepreneurial kids, it makes a kick-ass lemonade stand. People spend a fortune on these child-size kitchens, but why? Just toss a few pots and pans in the box and your pint-size chef is good to go, money saved. For easy storage, the cardboard box can be folded flat and stored under the couch or bed. Sizes may vary. A refrigerator box equals a swagadelic luxury hotel.

2. The Blunt Stick. Please note: this is different from the Sharp Stick, which is a toy for nimbler kids over seven. The ancestor of the Swiss Army Knife, the Blunt Stick is mega multifunctional. Is it a hockey stick, a golf club, a baseball bat, a fishing rod, or a javelin? All of the above, sports star. It’s also a light-saber for a young Jedi knight. It’s a sword, if your youngster wants to get medieval on another kid’s ass. (Please note: I endorse chivalry and theatre, not bullying.) It’s a baton for your future gymnast, and, for the big-boned child, it’s a trusty roaster of marshmallows. (Oh wait, that’s the Sharp Stick, nevermind.) Best of all, the Blunt Stick is eco-friendly, as long as you don’t snap it from the endangered St. Helena Gumwood.

3. The Empty Pill Bottle with Macaroni Inside. Note: I said macaroni, not pills. Take an empty, plastic pill bottle – preferably one of those chunky, bulk-size vitamin jars – and toss in a few rotini. Whatcha got? Instant maracas! Shake that baby booty! I recommend making a new label for the bottle so others don’t think your kid’s toy-box doubles as a medicine cabinet.

4. The Wooden Spoon. A mere spoon? To the sadly unimaginative, perhaps. This common kitchen utensil is actually a magic wand. Seriously – bang anything with it and that thing magically transforms into a drum. Throw in a stainless steel mixing bowl and it’s a percussionist’s starter set. At Long and McQuade, something like this would cost major coin. But lucky for you, the elves that live in your cupboard dish out this playtime fun for free. Comes with free microphone setting.

5. The Pet Rock. A knockoff of the 70s fad. (Yes, this really was a huge novelty in that era. Probably on account of the rampant drug use.) Create your own 21st-century model by going no further than your own backyard, preferably un-landscaped. Fat ones or skinny ones, bumpy ones or smooth ones, sedimentary or igneous, your child can choose the pet that he or she wants, not necessarily the one that doesn’t shed. Disclaimer: If you live in a glass house, get a cat.

6. The Empty Paper Towel Roll. There’s pirate treasure on your countertop, between your toaster and your microwave. When the last paper towel is pulled from the roll, BAM – you got yourself a telescope, matey. Arrrrrgh you ready to sail the high seas of awesomesauce? For a miniature telescope, head on over to the bathroom.

7. The Imaginary Friend. The success of this toy depends on your level of commitment. Start talking to the empty space next to your child. For example, when I first asked Max, “Would you like to read a book?”, I then moved my head 20 degrees to the right or left and asked the same question again. At first, Max looked confused. But within days he started to realize – there is someone there. A friend! In two to three weeks, your child will be enjoying the constant companionship of a kid you never actually have to feed. Or give birth to.

This piece was adapted from my book, MotherFumbler (breakwater booka, 2013)


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Christmas Needs a Sanity Clause

Our kids are selfish assholes. Sending wish lists to Santa seven miles long while children in Honduras scavenge for food in garbage dumps.

When I told Max we’d be stuffing a shoebox for a child in need, his eyes widened with worry that I’d fill it with his things, or blow the holiday budget on Javier instead of him. So I made him put down his Lego bricks and watch videos of children in India making actual bricks under the scorching hot sun.

It’s our stupid fault. We created the little assholes by overgiving, overspending, and underthinking. When my mom was a child growing up in Cape Freels, every year she asked Santa for a monkey. What she got was a pair of knitted socks or mitts, an apple and an orange, and if she was really lucky, a few grapes – a rare treat. She was happy with this humble haul because she expected nothing more (except maybe the monkey).

When I was a kid, I got significantly more: dolls, board games, and clothes. But it was nothing like nowadays. Today, Christmas trees are barely visible behind an Everest of presents. Beyond the fire hazard, something else is very wrong with this picture, yet we shamelessly post it on social media so the kids in the Congo can see it and die a little more. Oh wait, silly me, those kids don’t have computers. Unlike our kids who have computers, tablets, and gaming consoles before they’ve learned to stop using their pants as a toilet.

And it’s not just Christmastime when we get nutty as fruitcakes. It’s every occasion. 500-dollar birthday parties at the pool or bowling alley for four-year-olds who’d be just as thrilled to watch a movie and share a lopsided cake with a couple friends in the living room. And nothing says Easter quite like a new bicycle. Thanks for the rad wheels, zombie Jesus!

So why do we give them so damn much? Because we want them to have everything we didn’t. Because the worst thing in the world is the disappointed face of your own child on Christmas morning. Because we just gotta keep up with the Joneses. Because we just like to bloody shop. And because we have our heads firmly jammed up our asses. Pretty sure we’d spend a little less on holiday chocolate if we knew it was made with cocoa beans harvested by a six-year-old slave on Cote d’Ivoire. Or would we?

Boy, have we lost touch with simple. Whatever happened to the jolly elf bringing one gift per child? Where’d the humble birthday party go, with the ham and cheese sandwiches and pin the tail on the donkey? Our kids wouldn’t expect gifts galore and 3-tiered ice cream cakes if we created a different narrative. But we continue to give them the world and ruin everything, including our bank accounts. Since when were we all filthy rich anyway? Last time I checked, we were up to our tits in debt with the high cost of housing, daycare, gas, and milk. If we’re so determined to drop mad stacks at Christmas, how about we drop it into a college fund instead, so at least we can give our children something they’ll actually need in a few years – a break.

Suckiest of all, what are we teaching them? Overstimulation, excess, and greed. That they can have everything they desire by doing next to nothing, which is not how the world works at all. So ironically, while we’re giving them all the things they want, we’re also giving them the shaft by preparing them piss-poorly for the big, cruel world. And that, Moms and Dads, is not very nice. We should all be on the naughty list.

This article appeared in the December edition of The Overcast. TheOvercast.ca

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Guys and Dolls

The toy store is a zoo this time of year as we all impatiently line up to drop major coin on crap for our kids. A zoo is a fitting analogy because we’re all robot monkey parents with shit for brains. This diagram that’s been popping up in my Facebook newsfeed a lot lately points out why. It captures, in the simplest possible way, the absolute absurdity of gender specific toys.


Now, technically the wording in the yellow circle should read: “It is for both boys and girls.” Using “either/or” implies it’s one or the other, not both, which is exactly the opposite of what this meme is trying to encourage. But whatever. I get it. And I can’t tell you how much it rots my balls to see that the vast majority of parents are still subscribing to this gender specific bullshit. I talk about this topic a lot because it truly baffles me that in 2014 we can all be so gullible to the marketing machine and, in turn, be so unfair to our children.

If you’ve managed to train your son to recoil from dolls and all things pink like it’s a bag of deadly viruses, well done. I mean, not only might dolls turn your manly prince into a flaming homosexual; they might also make him a good father. For the love of god, let’s not let that happen. Let’s keep the women in the kitchen pureeing the baby food, and the men in the garage shining their weapons for the battlefield.

We all know girls are getting shortchanged in the toy department. They have “Legos for girls” now, for god’s sake. I mean obviously we gals don’t want to build fire trucks or dinosaurs (ew). We just want curvy little Lego chicks with pink and purple houses to decorate and pink and purple beauty shops to visit. But boys are getting the shaft too. With no dolls on the “boy side” of the store, and drone-like parents never questioning the way the world is laid out for them by marketing dicks – “girl stuff over here, boy stuff over there” – we’re doing our sons a disservice. Did you know that as recently as the 1920s, pink was for baby boys? True story. Look it up. Pink is arsenic to boys now, of course. And good luck finding a doll on the “boy side”. I mean, a replica of a small child to be held and changed and fed by a little boy who might be a dad someday? That’s just absurd. Give this child a sword!

Bitch please. This is not Leave It To Beaver. The world has changed. Dad is folding the laundry and feeding the baby and frying the bacon that Mom just brought home. Or maybe he’s doing all these things because Mom didn’t come home at all, because there is no mom, or Mom lives on the other side of town. When it comes to the modern family, anything goes. There is no normal. Every kid needs nurturing, to learn how to nurture. And that’s not just Mom’s job anymore.

His name is Dustin Nolan: The Cabbage Patch Kid I gave Max for his second Christmas. He ripped off the giftwrap and gave Dustin a once-over like he was scanning for motors, wheels, switches, and levers. Within the hour, poor Dustin was facedown in the dog dish. It was too late for CPR (Cabbage Patch Resuscitation). But he is still in Max’s toy-box, having survived several toy purges and trips to the donation centre. Dustin doesn’t come out to play much, but he often gets a role in the bedtime puppet show. Mostly he just lies there facedown in the toy-box, his powder-fresh sutured buttocks sticking up from a sea of superheroes and monster trucks. But his presence there is an important message: It’s perfectly okay to have a doll in your big blue toy-box.

And it’s perfectly okay for my son to choose not to play with him – but for the right reasons. To reject a doll because it’s “girly” – something typically enjoyed by the girls – is not cool. Are we girls really that repulsive? In this house, “girly” is right up there with the F word. Statements like “Don’t be such a girl” imply that being a girl is bad. It’s contempt. And we all know what contempt leads to: violence. Dudes. With all the rape happening these days (fuck you, Bill Cosby), maybe we should be teaching our boys how great it is to be a girl, how girls and boys are more alike than different, and how we should maybe, oh I don’t know, stop raping them?

Knowing the world is laid out for my son in every shade of blue and all kinds of messed up, it’s on me to make sure he understands that blue is for all of us. And so is pink. And so are Legos, and sparkles, and tractors, and dolls. No matter what the people around us have been hypnotized into thinking, everything is for everyone. I will keep pouring his juice into a pink cup as long as I can, because pink is just a colour, and a cup is just a cup. I will keep showing him, in as many ways as I possibly can, that the world is his oyster – and he can harvest the pearl with a hockey stick or a princess wand. Whatever he wants to do.

There’s a campaign happening right now called No Gender December, calling on parents to pledge that “stereotypes have no place under my Christmas tree.” It’s in Australia unfortunately. But hey, social media bridges oceans, so make the pledge anyway, in your own brain if nothing else. If your son wants an Easy Bake Oven, put it at the top of the shopping list. He could be the next Jamie Oliver. Or he might just learn to bake and, oh I dunno, take on at least half of the household responsibilities when he grows up. If your daughter wants a toy airplane, get her one and, screw it, get her a helicopter too. She could be the next Amelia Earhart. If they haven’t asked for things outside the expected scope of their gender, ask yourself if you’ve really introduced them to these other things… Are they so caught up in the bullshit themselves they’re afraid to ask for something that might get them teased on the playground… Have you been a robot monkey parent with shit for brains? It’s never too late to wise up.


Adapted from "Guys and Dolls", page 96 in my book 



All Shrewed Up

There was a shrew in our house a few years back. And no, I’m not talking about my younger self – I shall ne’er be tamed! We were finding coffee grains around the kitchen, and nobody drinks coffee in our house. So either Juan Valdez and his donkey were sneaking around while we slept, or we had a rodent.

We concluded he had to be coming up from the basement, so before bed we put a delicious crouton in a mousetrap at the top of the stairs. The next morning, we checked the trap. Whoa — the crouton was gone, but the trap hadn’t been set off. We had a clever little bugger on our hands.

The next night, we set another trap at the top of the stairs, baited with another scrumptious crouton. This time, we sprinkled flour all around the trap so we’d see the proof if Ratatouille came by. We also set a second trap at the bottom of the stairs.

The next morning, we walked out into the kitchen and by god, the wee wizard had done it again. The crouton was gone. The trap was intact. And we could see his itsy-bitsy footprints in the flour. Holy shit, Splinter was living in the basement. A goddamn ninja. I imagined him doing a super bendy Matrix move over the trap, wielding a chopstick like a bow staff to remove the majestic crouton.

So then we walked down the stairs to check the trap at the bottom. And there he was. A shrew, cute as a mouse and dead as a doornail. Frozen with rigor mortis in the trap, the crouton firmly held between his tiny hands. The story of his tragic end was crystal clear: his arms were so short and the crouton was so big, the chunk of bread had obscured his vision as he tore down the stairs with his prize. Bam. Lights out, Mr. Jingles.

Today, I was walking down those same stairs with a basket of dirty laundry. My belly is so big now, there’s nowhere for me to comfortably lodge the basket. It just sticks out there atop the ol’ kegger with my arms fully extended, inhibiting my vision as I gingerly creep down the stairs. I couldn’t see my feet anyway, but now I couldn’t see the stairs either. Prego peril. I know there’s no trap at the bottom, but there might be a Lego, or one of the trillion things in our home with bloody wheels. So, as much as I’d like to see myself as a beautiful pod growing a brand new human, I’m sorry — I just don’t. I am the Penguin from Batman. I am Humpty Dumpty. I am a shrew with a motherfuckin’ big ass crouton.


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Naming a Baby is a Pain in the Hole

Naming our first child was easy. Max: strong, concise, doesn’t rhyme with fart, best kind.

We later discovered it was the most common dog name in the world. No biggie, till one of them moved in next door. Despite some occasional neighbourhood confusion about who shit on the lawn, it was a solid choice for our son.

Our second child – a girl – due in December might not be so fortunate. She’ll be lucky to get a name at all with all these bloody rules.

Her name can’t be too common. My family doc has 30 patients named Ava, all under age five. Brooklyn is so overdone we’d be better off naming her Idaho.

It can’t be too celebrity-trendy like Suri or Harlow. May as well call her Rehab and get it over with.

It can’t be too Biblical like Ruth or Bathsheba, because the Bible is really stupid.

It can’t be festive. She’ll be born around Christmas, but forget Holly and Merry. Noelle? No way in hell. If we were taking that route, we’d go all in and name her Jesus.

It can’t be too long like Alexandria or Wilhelmina. Too much to say. Too much to spell. Max hates writing his measly three- letter name. He should be thankful – we almost named him Shamalamadingdong.

It can’t be the name of a friend’s kid so Claire, Charlotte, Madelyn, Avery, Juliet, and pretty much every perfectly good name ever are all forbidden.

It can’t sound gross like Clotilda. Dudes. CLOTilda.

It can’t be a compass direction, because no. Just no.

It can’t be Minnie, because Max and Minnie. Pads.

It can’t be Ruby, because Max and Ruby. Rabbits.

It can’t be Luka or OJ. Because murder.

It can’t be too Disney, like Ariel or Mulan or Lady or Tramp.

No hyphens allowed. The only way she’ll be an Elly-May or an Emmy-Lou is if she comes out holding a full-size guitar, which she better effing not because ouch splinters.

It can’t be a name best known for slithering out of Hannibal Lecter’s mouth.

It can’t be a name that’ll get her stuffed into a locker, like Fatima or Dorcas.

It can’t be a stripper name, like Honey or Bambi or Peaches McDrips.

It can’t have a super weird meaning. Who cares if her name means “ugly head” (which Kennedy does), but you might not want her name to mean “bearer of death” (which Persephone does).

It can’t be too ethnic, like Laquanda or Wang Jing or Shakira. We make translucent, Newfie children. It would be ridiculous.

And it has to be something my husband agrees with. Which means I’m screwed. He agrees with me on the making of the baby, but nothing much after that. Maybe we could just name her Jizzelle or Splooge.

So, with all these rules, all I’m left with are three possible names for our sweet baby girl: Lamp, Turnip, and Toaster.


This article was previously published in the October edition of The Overcast. TheOvercast.ca

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Rethink Pink

I’m sorting through my son’s baby clothes in preparation for a daughter. Sleepers, onesies, pants, sweaters, itty-bitty socks. I have everything I need. Hooray, money saved for diapers, nipple cream, and wine.

But wait, these sleepers have trucks on them, and these jeans don’t have any sparkles. Surely these blue pants will make my little girl sprout a whopping wang, and this T-Rex t-shirt will grow her a woolly chest ’fro (all dinosaurs were male, obviously).

I love these baby-blue pyjamas with the footballs on them. They’re as good as new, but still people say, “That’s for a boy – toss it!” But…but…I play football! I love blue! I’m
a girl, does that mean I shouldn’t be wearing blue or footballs either? Clearly, that’s ridiculous. So why is it not ridiculous that we try so desperately to slap people in the face with our baby’s gender? Not just with colour and patterns but with headbands and hair bows. It’s a baby! She has three hairs! Poor thing just contorted to squish through your Screwez Canal, the joints in her skull are still fusing into place, and now you’re wrapping an elastic, lacy bow around her head too, all so people will know she’s a girl. God forbid someone say, “what a cute boy.” Her feelings would be crushed, if she had any feelings beyond hungry, sleepy, and gassy.

The blues over here, the pinks over there – ‘tis total poppycock, people. The clothes are pint-sized, but the gender divide they create is huge. (And don’t get me started on the toys.) But it’s absurd. It’s wasteful. It’s wrong. Throwing out a perfectly unsoiled diaper shirt with a blue sailboat on it just because my baby was born with a pink canoe, with all the children in the world without shoes – are you effing mad?

But it doesn’t feel all that right on the flip side either, where I find myself rejecting all things fuchsia and frilly. When my mom said she was going to make a pink quilt for her first granddaughter, my immediate response was f*ck pink! But there’s nothing wrong with pink or sparkles or even princesses (as long as the damsel’s not locked in the tower waiting to be rescued by the manly knight – barf). Recoiling from things often loved by girls gets us nowhere fast.

So what’s a feminist mommy to do? Mix shit up, I guess. Blues and pinks, dinosaurs and cupcakes, and everything in between. Let
my girl see that everything is for everyone
so eventually she can choose for herself, and hopefully pick all of the above; it’s not one or the other. But see, that’s going to be mighty tricky when most parents have swallowed the pink and blue bullshit pills. Chances are, my little girl is going to want to wear what other little girls wear. And that’s probably going to be a pink tutu, every damn day. Worse case scenario, it’ll also say “I love shopping.” Cringe.

No matter how hard I’ve worked to spare Max from the gender gap crap, sometimes he still says things like, “Let’s give Daddy the purple plate so he’ll think he’s a girl.” Like WTF, man? Have you heard nothing I’ve said these past five years? Clearly mine is not the only voice getting in. The only way to evade the hogwash is to lock him up with no TV, no friends, no nutting. And obviously that’d be a flop, unless I like a bit of sociopath sprinkled in with my feminist.

Guys. Guys! It’s all a scheme to sell us stuff. In the 1920s, someone decided blue was for boys and pink was for girls (it was the exact opposite before then!) and the marketing machine went full bore. It’s out of hand now, gone way beyond colour. Just last year, The Children’s Place started selling a t-shirt in the girls section showing a checklist of “my best subjects” with three out of four subjects — shopping, music and dancing — checked, with the words, “well, nobody’s perfect” under “math.” Thankfully, some parents got peeved and the store pulled the sexist shirt. See, they’ll stop making it if we stop buying it. It’s a brilliant plan.

Maybe you like pink and sparkles and princesses, Mommy. But maybe your little girl will like blue and soccer and space, or a stupendous stir-fry of all of the above. So why not go neutral more often so she can find her own way. And for the love of god, take a stand against the “shopping over science” shirts so she grows up believing she can solve the problems of the world with her brains, not a magic wand.


This article was previously published in the November edition of The Overcast. TheOvercast.ca

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Oh the feels I feel.

One of the most common questions I hear as a prego is, “How are you feeling?” I genuinely appreciate every person who asks, (it’s certainly better than hearing “girl, you chunky”), but I lie to virtually every one of them. Not because I don’t want to be honest, but because the truth is quite a mouthful and we don’t have all bloody day now do we. Right now, I don’t just feel one thing. I feel EVERYTHING. And if I answered you honestly, I just might explode all over your life.

How am I feeling? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

First of all, I’m happy to be having another baby. I’m grateful to be a fertile Myrtle and that my husband is shooting some serious ammo from his skin pistol and that we will have a daughter and Max will have a sister and spare parts all that sweet miraculous jazz.

I’m truly amazed that there’s this person kicking and punching me from the inside and no matter how many millions of years that’s been happening on the planet, it’s still pretty darn freaky.

But I’m also dreadfully afraid to give birth again because – NEWSFLASH – it’s hurts like a motherfucker and there’s a very strong possibility that this time my insides will fall out altogether and someone will have to stuff them back inside me like crumbly meat into a pita. I’m annoyed that we put a man on the moon almost half a century ago but still haven’t found a way to make childbirth painless. Seriously people.

I’m pissed that I’m the one who has to endure all this primitive bullshit (isn’t it my husband’s turn, damn it?), and it’s frustrating that some people seem to be more irritated by my drama than sympathetic to the fact that I’M GROWING A FUCKING PERSON UP IN HERE. But I know I can’t make them understand, so I’m trapped in this bubble where swallowing my feelings is survival (and keeping me out of jail).

I’m baffled to infinity that so, SO many women go through this many times over without a single hesitation. Do they have vadges like slip ‘n slides? Are they just stronger than me? AM I A PUSSY??? Or are they scared shitless too and just faking it? I’m confused. And I’m more and more anxious as the moment of truth gets closer, because god knows what will happen, and there is no god so NOBODY KNOWS. This is a nine-month transaction with no guarantee. I know there’s a “kid” in here but it could be a baby goat for all I know. Let’s be honest, that figure on the ultrasound machine did not look fully human.

I’m also bored, because while I wait for this moment to come I can’t ride my new bike, I can’t have a martini, I can’t relax in a hot tub, I can’t buy nice clothes because I’m a house, I can’t sleep comfortably, I can’t walk far without wanting to die, I can’t even eat raw cookie dough – not that I’d want to, but if I did, I couldn’t, so there. I ordered a bunch of stuff online yesterday just so I can feel surprised when I come home to a new package on the front step, even if none of it is for me. It’s a crib mattress so the baby doesn’t have to sleep in a drawer, and a whip and satchel for Max so he can be Indiana Jones for Halloween and not just a kid in a fedora, and a snowsuit for him so he’ll be warm when the winter comes, because I’M THE ONE who thinks of all these goddamn things and I’M THE ONE who takes care of it all and nobody notices except that I’m being a crazy, list-making bitch. I’m overwhelmed thinking about all the things I still need to do and buy and get rid of and clean up before babytime, while working full-time and blogging and promoting my book and giving my vagina pep talks and cleaning up before my mother arrives and god knows what else.

I’m torn because my family always comes first, but I also have these ideas and opportunities and the iron is hot and I’m not getting any younger and THIS IS MY TIME, BITCH. I’m riddled with guilt just typing that, because society and my upbringing and all that bullshit has programmed me to believe I’M A MOTHER NOW, so I’m supposed to sacrifice my own dreams for everyone else’s. But I’m determined to try my best to FUCK THAT NOISE and do it all, even if I don’t do any of it perfectly. I’d rather live with failure than regret.

I’m shocked and excited that my little boy is off to kindergarten. I’m sad that my dad is not here to see it. I’m nervous that I haven’t bought him the right school supplies or prepared him enough or that he’ll get made fun of and I won’t be there to kick some tiny ass to defend his honour. I’m terrified I’ll get a colicky baby and turn into a sleep-deprived monster and flip out at Max’s first request for a snack and he’ll hate me forever. I’m worried I’ll miss his first goal because I’ve become Zombie Mom at home while Rad Dad gets to be the hero out there in the big wide world. I’m already feeling shitty that he can’t swim yet because we haven’t been diligent enough with swimming lessons and now he’s totally going to drown in a teaspoon of water because I failed him miserably.

I feel weak because I’m rotund and slow and, truth be told, I could use one of those rails installed in the bathtub and by the toilet and by the bed. THIS IS NOT HOW I AM.

I feel strong because I know there’s this dragon I have to fight at the end and I’m not turning back. Even if I could, I wouldn’t.

I’m thrilled. I’m petrified. I’m lucky. I’m alone. I’m full of piss and vinegar and love.

So, to keep it simple when someone asks how I’m feeling, I just tell them about this pain in my ass. That’s not a metaphor for all of the above. I genuinely have pain in my left butt cheek because the joints and ligaments around my pelvis are getting ready to thrust out a human skull. Believe it or not, this answer is much, much easier for everyone.


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