I've been very vocal about my initial love affair and subsequent breakup with Zooey Deschanel as a style icon and then as a female figure in popular culture starring in a hit sitcom. Initially, I really disliked the show New Girl because of the whole "adorkable" thing which was way too twee and infantilizing for my liking. Well, I've come around. We find the show pretty funny and I can admit it.
I will say that the show has definitely taken steps to reduce the undue focus on Zooey Deschanel's character Jess, as a series of walking quirks and has taken steps to mature the other members of the cast into a really likable, funny, watchable ensemble. The show has even addressed the criticisms of the tweeness (I'm not the only one who has said it!) head-on, most notably in a confrontation between Jess and her roommate's high-powered, very un-cute lawyer girlfriend, which included the following diatribe from Jess: "I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you're not a dessert person. That's just weird, and it freaks me out. And I'm sorry I don't talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn't mean I'm not smart and tough and strong." Which was a little heavy-handed for my liking. But lines like this one (Jess, bemoaning her inability to make an apology): "I hate groveling. I wouldn't have lasted two minutes in the court of the Sun King. I think about that all the time," made me LOL like a mother.
This past weekend when I was hanging with the neighbs the Big Yam was giving me guff about wearing his hat and I was telling him, "you wear a hat when you're outside!" and he took the hat off and THREW IT ON THE SIDEWALK at which point I told him that he has to listen to mama and hustled him inside while he kind of twisted and bucked in my arms like a 28lb giant Southeast Asian grub. Later on, I took him back outside and he wasn't wearing a hat, so one of my neighbs needled me, "where's his hat?" (I forgot to put it on him) and so I said, "the important thing is not whether he's protected from the sun at all times or not. The important thing is that he knows that if it is my will that he wear a hat, he has to wear a hat." LOL! I'm pretty sure they think I'm the meanest parent on the block. I rule with an iron fist. I went back in to tell the Dotytron and he supports me 100%. The Boobla neither has the mental capacity (right now) or the history to understand context, therefore, it's my job as the parent to decide when he has to wear a hat or not. But if I say, we wear a hat when we go outside, then he better do it, because my word is LAW.
How many times have I seen a parent, obviously not happy about their kid doing something they don't want them to do, standing there, arms akimbo, earnestly saying, "Madison, can you please stop taking the sand out of the sandbox? Madison? When you take the sand out of the sandbox, then there won't be enough sand the next time you want to play with it. Madison, I asked you to please leave the sand in the sandbox," and on and on with their voice going up at the end and I'm like, why are you pleading with your kid? Why are you trying to reason with them? They don't understand the long-term ramifications of their actions! Every day is a new day to them...they're not going to get that if they shovel all the sand out of the sandbox now, that at some date in the not-too-distant-future, the level of sand in the sandbox might decrease to the point where it will have a negative impact on their sandbox fun! **I** barely understand that concept (see: my clothes buying habit and my credit card balance)! It's all about conditioning them. So yeah, maybe I treat my kid like a dog in the court of a slightly-more-strict version of the Sun King. But at this age, they kinda ARE like dogs! Is that wrong? Am I not supposed to say that? Obviously, the personality of the kid makes a huge difference too. Some kids might not be as receptive to direction. But maybe it's the cultural studies in me but I believe that like, 98% of the time you can mould general behavior. That's how I learned that murdering people is wrong, right?
So despite the individual personality of the particular kid involved, I think that it's a symbiotic relationship between the parent and the kid (within reason). Kids who come out of the womb more sensitive can have the edges smoothed a bit by a parent who doesn't give into those sensitives, or have those edges sharpened by a parent who gives into those sensitivities. That's why as a general thing, people have an easier time with their second child, because they're less anxious and stressed out than they were with bambino number one. I can draw an anecdotal conclusion that the parents I know who still have babies that get up in the night repeatedly, if you ask them, "well, how long do you let them cry for?" will almost always say, "I can't bear to listen to them cry!" That being said, I'm pretty sure if we have another baby, that #2 is going to be a hellraiser of the highest order, just to shake up my world a bit. At which point, I will post another retraction. Stay tuned!
Tonight I have class. It's my last Tuesday class before the summer term starts in the beginning of May. The summer class ends on July 14th and then I will be DONE MY DEGREE!!! THE STUPID DEGREE THAT PROBABLY WON'T ADVANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS IN THE LEAST AND WHICH I RUINED MY MATERNITY LEAVE WITH MY FIRST CHILD FOR!