Department Of Two Words, Which Bother Me, To The Same Degree
Those would be: selfie, and panties.
Selfie. Why is that necessary, when you have perfectly good words like narcissist?
Panties. Seriously? Grown ass females, even little girls, do not wear panties; they wear underpants or underwear. Fetishists and pedos  want women and girls to wear panties.
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Department Of Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned
To maintain a pretense of sanity, moiself has been trying to stay away from the news. But some gems still sneak on through. Attention, all ye Book Banning Cretins, especially the ones in Florida: isn’t there some other classic Florida Man® thing you need to do, maybe throw an alligator through a fast food franchise’s window, to protest…something?
Apparently, among the books the BBCs have banned from their own narrow minds are anything involving the history of
* freethought and expression
* the exchange of information
* the kind of people who ban books and what happens to them and their society afterward.
And the bans are being defended by Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.
I know; y’all will need the smelling salts to believe that an elected official who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution would support banning books.
If requested to offer sage counsel, moiself would advise that DeSantis and his ilk should avoid pissing off us cranky, feminist authors. The older we get, the less the phrase “life-in-prison” is a deterrent.
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Department Of Belated Yet Timely Information
“…an anthropologist from Utah State University, David Lancy, performed (an) analysis on parenting. The conclusion was….clear-cut: When you look around the world and throughout human history, the Western style of parenting is WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic societies..). We are outliers.
In many instances, what we think is ‘necessary’ or ‘critical’ for childhood is actually not present in any other cultures around the world or throughout time.
‘The list of differences is really, really long,’ says Lancy…. ‘There may be 40 to 50 things that we do that you don’t see in indigenous cultures.’
Here in the U.S., many parents don’t have…firsthand experience before having children themselves. Instead, we often learn…through parenting books, Google searches and YouTube videos. But this information comes with two big caveats….
For starters, parenting advice can give the impression that the recommendations are based on science. But a deep look at some studies reveals that the science is more like smoke and mirrors. Sometimes the studies don’t even test what the parenting expert is purporting they do.
… Ben Bradley argues…: ‘Scientific observations about babies are more like mirrors which reflect back the preoccupations and visions of those who study them than like windows opening directly on the foundations of the mind.’…
And sometimes the data supporting the recommendation are so flimsy that another study in a few years will come along and not only overturn the first study but completely flip the advice 180 degrees…”
( Excerpts from “Secrets Of A Maya Supermom: What Parenting Books Don’t Tell You,”
Reprint of an NPR story from 5-18 )
‘Twas a wee bit past Mother’s Day is when I saw this article, and Father’s Day is just around the proverbial bend. After attending a family wedding this past weekend, wherein with two of my nephews were new and/or about-to-be fathers, I found this article most noteworthy. 
Reading the article made me think about way back when,  to the baby books MH and I were given/bought, and how eventually I set them all aside (in one case, I threw one across the room, yelling, “Oh seriously, fuck this!”) in dissent and frustration).
The book that became a frisbee was one of those dreadful, “how to get your baby to sleep” screeds books (which had been either recommended by or gifted to us by a family member). Several of the parenting books contained “advice” and “expertise” which didn’t sit well with either MH or moiself and which seemed contrary to both logic and the reality of our babies. I began to look up information about the authors of those books, and when moiself did so I found that they were penned by – surprise! – stealth conservative evangelical Christians.  This explained much of which I found questionable about their advice: *control* was the overriding and underlying issue.
William and Martha Sears, just two of the stealthers, have co-authored several books peddling their attachment-style parenting theories, and one of them was given to me by a friend. Guess what the Sears’ also wrote: The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Child Care: A Medical and Moral Guide to Raising Happy Healthy Children. The word “medical” being included in the title both cracks me up and disturbs me. 
Once again, I digress.
The sleep advice books were the worst of the parenting manuals authored by conservative evangelicals. In the Conservagels  world, there is a supposed, divinely ordained, patriarchal hierarchy: On top of the pyramid is a (male pronoun-using) deity, followed by a father, followed by a mother, then children. Parents *must* be “in control” of their children, from birth to young adulthood. The takeaway was that your children, yes, even that six-week-old infant, are sneaky little buggers trying to control their parents, and will manipulate you unless you set the rules and routines *from the get-go.*
Creepy. That’s the word which comes to my mind as I recall the gist of those books: You must set a routine early on for sleep-training and other despicable concepts practices to let the little pea brain precious gift from above know that just because he cries it doesn’t mean he’s going to get a response from you if, in your opinion (which you will form using the criteria in the book), his vocalizations are not for a legitimate need (e.g., he’s hungry, or has a wet/poopy diaper). He needs to learn self-control; he needs to learn to self/soothe cry it out, and not have his parents (read: the female one) at his beck and call.
*From the get-go,* from the moment we escaped from the hospital,  K wanted to eat, lightly, around the clock (every three hours, for many, many months). That was just how he was – eat a little, sleep a little. Three years later, on the evening when his newborn sister Belle and I came home from the hospital, I had to go in to wake Belle up to nurse, after she’d slept for five straight hours and I feared she’d succumbed to SIDS or something.  *From the get-go,* Belle was a different infant. She would nurse heartily, then sleep heartily. After Belle was weaned, she and K seemed to switch sleeping patterns for a little over a year – she became the night owl and he in turn liked a good 8-10 hours. 
After two weeks (ha!) paternity leave, when MH was home from work he did the lion’s share of our babes’ care, except for feeding them. We figured it made no sense for *both* parents to be sleep-deprived, and since I was the one with the human milk glands, I was the one getting up to feed them.  Several months into a brutal sleep deprivation, I tried a sleep training book’s advice: after feeding K and changing his diaper and rocking him for a bit, I’d put him down in his crib, and let him cry and cry. It did not set well with either of K’s parents, to put it mildly. I usually went back to K’s room after an hour, fed him/changed him/rocked him again, and he’d go back to sleep.
One night, the third or fourth in a row when we were trying the sleep training advice, MH and I were in bed, attempting to read our respective books, while K was wailing away in his bedroom. MH, frustrated with the “let him cry” advice, announced that he couldn’t take it anymore. He got up and headed to K’s room, with moiself trailing behind. “He’s a baby,” MH said, as he picked up and cuddled our son, who immediately stopped his wails. “He’s just trying to tell us…something…in the only way he knows how.”
I came to the conclusion that my son may have been channeling the spirit of one of the bajillion pet hamsters I had as a child (K seemed to be nocturnal)…or maybe he was just bored and/or lonely, and guess what – he doesn’t speak yet. Other than that, no, this 3-month-old infant who doesn’t even know his top from his bottom is not trying to manipulate me, and no thank you – and by no thank you I mean, F-off – to the rigid asshats who are trying to convince me that he is. 
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Department of Employee Of The Month
It’s that time again, to bestow that prestigious award upon moiself. Again. The need for which I wrote about here. 
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Freethinkers’ Thought Of The Week 
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May your pictures of yourself be just that, and not selfies;
May you shun panties: go commando, or put on underwear;
May you ban book banning and read banned books;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 Hum these three words to the tune of Winnie-the Pooh’s “Heffalumps and Woozles.” You won’t regret it.
 The story would be interesting even if I had no kinfolk on the cusp of parenthood; the timing of my seeing the article merely coincided.
 Okay; thirty years ago, anticipating/after the arrival of our first born, son K.
 Stealth as in, they were attempting to fly under the radar by not identifying themselves as such.
 Because, as we know from SCIENCE, babies born to Christian parents will have different physiologies (digestive tracts; REM patterns…) than babies born to Humanist, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Jain parents.
 Forget selfie; here’s a neologism which begs to be coined.
 That’s kind of how we viewed it – a concept shared by many new parents, as we discovered later when we compared notes. We left the hospital, where we and our baby were being cared for by professionals…and they’re going to just let us get in the car and take our baby home, when we’ve never done this before?!?!
 Plus, by then, *I* needed her to nurse. Nursing mothers understands the old farm idiom of why the cows come home.
 Which translates as nothing resembling a regular sleep pattern for moiself. For the first five years of motherhood, I often felt like I’d fallen out of the zombie tree and hit every branch on the way down.
 K and Belle were breast fed exclusively – no bottles – when it came to liquid nourishment. They went from me to a sippy cup, which had its advantages when we saw other parents deal with the fight to get their kids to give up the bottle.
 K later became a fine sleeper, thank you very much.
 Several years ago, MH received a particularly glowing performance review from his workplace. As happy as I was for him when he shared the news, it left me with a certain melancholy I couldn’t quite peg. Until I did.
One of the many “things” about being a writer (or any occupation working freelance at/from home) is that although you avoid the petty bureaucratic policies, bungling bosses, mean girls’ and boys’ cliques, office politics and other irritations inherent in going to a workplace, you also lack the camaraderie and other social perks that come with being surrounded by your fellow homo sapiens. No one praises me for fixing the paper jam in the copy machine, or thanks me for staying late and helping the new guy with a special project, or otherwise says, Good on you, sister. Once I realized the source of the left-out feelings, I came up with a small way to lighten them.
 “free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” Definition courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, ffrf.org