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Throat punch Thursday

Throat Punch Thursday,INdia

This weeks Throat Punch was sent in by one of my great friends. You know it’s truly worthy of a throat punch when your friends in the real world send you an email with the subject Please Throat Punch. I read the article she included and boy is this worthy of a throat punch of epic proportions. It is so horrendous that I am actually speechless. So I will simply share with you excerpts from the actual article.

MORENA, India – The room is large and airy, the stone floors clean and cool — a welcome respite from the afternoon sun. Until your eyes take in the horror that it holds. Ten severely malnourished children — nine of them girls.

The starving girls in this hospital ward include a 21-month-old with arms and legs the size of twigs and an emaciated 1-year-old with huge, vacant eyes. Without urgent medical care, most will not live to see their next birthday.

They point to a painful reality revealed in India’s most recent census: Despite a booming economy and big cities full of luxury cars and glittering malls, the country is failing its girls.


The discrimination happens through abortions of female fetuses and sheer neglect of young girls, despite years of high-profile campaigns to address the issue. So serious is the problem that it’s illegal for medical personnel to reveal the gender of an unborn fetus, although evidence suggests the ban is widely circumvented.

“My mother-in-law says a boy is necessary,” says Sanju, holding her severely malnourished 9-month-old daughter in her lap in the hospital. The woman, who goes by one name, doesn’t admit to deliberately starving the girl but only shrugs her own thin shoulders when asked why her daughter is so sick.

Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense in marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents’ funeral pyres.

But it’s not simply that girls are more expensive for impoverished families. The census data shows that the worst offenders are the relatively wealthy northern states of Punjab and Haryana.

Though abortion is allowed in India, the country banned revealing the gender of unborn fetuses in 1994 in an attempt to halt sex-selective abortions. Every few years, federal and state governments announce new incentives — from free meals to free education — to encourage people to take care of their girls.

n the district hospital’s maternity ward, a wrinkled old woman walks out holding a just-born girl wrapped in a dirty rag like an unwelcome present. Munni, who uses only one name, is clearly unhappy. Her daughter-in-law has just given birth to her sixth girl in 12 years of marriage.

Will the daughter-in-law go through another pregnancy?

“Everyone wants boys. A boy takes care of you in your old age,” Munni says.

As a mother-in-law, Munni will likely have enormous control over her son’s wife, influencing how many children she has and nudging or bullying her to bear a son.

“Women cry when they have girls,” nurse Lalitha Gujar says as she spoons powdered coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds into bowls of fortified milk to nourish the tiny children.

All nine mothers of the sickly infant girls say they want sons — to look after them when they get old, because their sisters-in-law have more sons, because their mothers-in-law demand male children.

“If a woman has a boy, for a month she will be looked after. If she has a girl, she’ll be back in the fields in three days,” says Sudha Misra, a local social worker.

An exhausted mother who faces neglect, poor nutrition and blame for producing a daughter is likely to pass on that neglect, social workers say. For an infant, that can mean the difference between life and death.

“A malnourished child will get sick and the chances of death are very high,” Bandil says.

For the very poor, the pressures to bear sons result in mistreatment of both the baby girl and mother. And rich women are not immune to this mistreatment if they fail to bear male children.

For those with money, it’s often about being able to locate a radiologist who, for a cost, will break the law and reveal the sex of the fetus, or being able to fly abroad for such tests.

Throat Punch, Chuck Norris, Thursday, florida 15 year old boy killedThroat Punch to you India for allowing such unspeakable acts..not only do you look the other way at such behavior, if caught you basically only issue a small slap on the wrist to those who violate the law. What the hell is wrong with you? You say that men are more desirable. I know that you are not the first or the only country to feel this way, but riddle me this..how the hell do you expect the species to survive if you murder the very people..the ONLY sex, that can have children. You say your sons will take care of you. Well, who is supposed to have the sons if you murder all the potential brides and mothers. As a mother of daughters, this behavior is disgusting and intolerable. The world needs to put a hard stop to this. We need to give more than a slap on the wrist. We need to give India a Chuck Norris Throat Punch to knock some sense into them. Girls? We don’t need no stinkin girls! Yeah..yeah you do. Without little girls, there would be no women, without women there would be no babies, with no babies ,there will be no little boys. With out any little boys, there would be NO MEN! Gendercide sucks and those that perpetrate it deserve more than a theoretical throat punch.Let the little girls live!

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french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children

French Government bans beauty pageants. Looks like I might be moving to France! Don’t fret. I’m raising girls and trying to raise them to value themselves on more than just what they look like and the size of their asses so a move may be inevitable. The French Senate voted early Wednesday to ban beauty pageants for children under 16 years old and to impose up to two years in prison and steep fines of up to $30,000 euros for adults who try to enter children into such a contest or run illegal/underground pageants. You all know how I despise toddlers in tiaras. Well, I hate the misogyny it represents.

One pageant owner, Le Parmentier, has already said that if the law is passed, he might move his pageant to Belgium but close to the French border, to accommodate French contestants who want to compete without having to worry about legal consequences. Come on. We’ve all seen those crazy pageant moms on Toddlers and Tiara’s, there’s not much they won’t do to pit their child against someone else’s. It’s like dogfights with pretty little girls made up like clowns.

french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children

I’ve never been a fan of beauty pageants, especially for children. I understand competing as a teen for scholarships but there has to be more to it than just the way you look. Give me a nerd bowl any day. What are we trying to teach our little girls? There is nothing anyone can say to convince me that there is any reason ever to dress 4-year-olds up in spray tans, partial dental pieces, and more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker. They pluck their eyebrows and use breast inserts and then parade them around in $2500+ dresses and make them perform like dancing monkeys high on Mountain Dew and Pixie Stix all while their overweight moms yell at them because they themselves suck at life!

Honestly, if you give me the “it teaches them self-confidence” speech, I might have to smack you. How are you helping self-esteem by teaching them that they have to look a certain way, be held to a certain standard of beauty to even count? What I want to know is when is the U.S. going to follow suit? Way to keep women down.

french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children

 The amendment is part of a broader bill on women’s rights, which will now proceed to the National Assembly, French Parliament’s lower house, for debate and another vote.

The senators who voted in favour of the measure argue that it will protect children from being prematurely “sexualised” through the use of heavy make-up and often-provocative attire.

The amendment was prompted by a a parliamentary report entitled “Against Hyper-Sexualisation: A New Fight For Equality”, which, in addition to calling for an end to the pageants, encouraged a ban on adult-style clothing for children, including padded bras and high-heeled shoes.

“Let us not make our girls believe from a very young age that their worth is based only on their appearance,” the author of the report, former sports minister and current senator Chantal Jouanno, said in an interview with free French daily “20 Minutes” last year.

Controversy surrounding the issue peaked in December 2010, when French Vogue published a photo spread featuring images of a 10-year-old French girl, Thylane Loubry Blondeau, decked out in a tight dress, jewellery, high heels and make-up. Not surprising the photos sparked international outrage. Not unlike the Jours après lune lingerie campaign for little girls. WTF?

The magazine argued that the photos were meant to capture a classic fantasy of young girls – to dress up like their mother. That only holds water if their mothers were seductresses or worked in the sex industry. Which reminds me, yesterday I caught an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras (purely for research) in which the parents financed their pageant addiction with the money they earned from their stripper-to-your-home business. Well, it was Vegas so I guess it is to be expected. Of course, I thought it was in very poor taste to have the strippers, half-naked, cheering from the audience. I guess the bright side is at least they weren’t completely naked.

french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children

If the bill is signed into law, as expected, pageants like the annual “Mini-Miss” contest in Paris will no longer take place. Now, if we can just get the same thing to happen here in the United States. Maybe we should make a law about parents not being allowed to live vicariously through their children? That should solve it all.

Needless to say the pageant Queens of the world and their crazy mothers won’t go down without a fight, expect lots of Tammy Faye Baker make-up, tulle and 14-foot trophies and hair to match coming at you in protest. Me, I hope beauty pageants go the way of the dinosaur. Extinct.

Moms, stop sexualizing your little girls and making it easy for the pedophiles. No toddler needs to be on stage wearing a skimpy two-piece bikini, pouting her lips and shaking her little ass. Stop encouraging her. Stop teaching her that to be of value she has to be beautiful and little kid beautiful is not good enough, she has to look like a grown woman. We wonder why teens are getting pregnant and having sex at younger ages, maybe it’s because they are being taught to be sexy when they are 2 by their own parents. Little girls are being taken, raped and murdered at an alarming rate, don’t give pedophiles an invitation to oogle your little girl. Protect your daughters.

french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children

If we don’t stop this toddlers and tiaras madness, this is the next stop.

french beauty pageants, ban, toddlers and tiaras, misogyny, sexism, sexualization of children, Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball

What do you think of little girls in beauty pageants? Is it harmless fun or early sexualization of our little girls?

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Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I learned something life altering at the Gwen Stefani concert last Sunday.Raising girls has taught me to be a better woman. My little girls are no longer little girls. . It is beautiful and sad at the same time. On one hand, they amaze me by the young ladies they are becoming but on the other hand, to be honest, I am nostalgic for the babies who so desperately needed me. I’m torn. Happy for this new phase of real closeness that’s replacing the relationship where I got to be the hero. But, on the other hand, I do miss being the hero. Being human in your child’s eyes is both humbling and liberating but absolutely equalizing. Everybody who has ever had a child that’s grown into an adult knows this. I’m still figuring this all out.

Something strange is happening in our house, the girls are growing up and turning into actual human beings that I love spending time with. The thing  is that this is not what I expected. I based my parenting beliefs on one untruth that my daughters would naturally separate from me as they grew older. I was dreading it but this is something I was counting on saving me from dying from a broken heart when they leave for college. But, contrary to my experience with my own mother, we seem to be growing even closer as they enter these years and this scares the hell out of me. How am I to survive the pending separation in a few years?

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I’m not the kind of mom who would ever keep her kids close for her own satisfaction. I had that done to me and, honestly, I think it truly altered the course of my life. No, I believe that if you love something you have to set it free. I have to give my children wings to fly, no matter how much my selfish heart wants to clip them and keep them with me forever.  The thought of not seeing their faces every single day breaks my heart. I try not to think about it too much.

Lately, I find myself catching my breath at the realization that I made this. When they were newborns, I used to be in awe of their sheer perfection. How could someone so imperfect give life to something so amazing and unscathed? But now, I sometimes watch them while they sleep and stand in silence and awe because I can’t believe these amazing humans they are becoming. It’s more than just cute and smart and funny, it’s big hearts with passionate minds and an openness that blows my heart wide open. They’ve been living in this world and they actively pursue goodness. They strive to love in a world filled with so much hate. They inspire me to be better. Then I’m stopped in my tracks when I realize they are reflections of their father and I and that’s wow. HUGE!

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

I remember being thrilled with each passing milestone; each defiant act of independence made my heart explode a little bit. The thing is this summer, there has been a huge shift happening, one I never anticipated…my girls are becoming human beings that I really enjoy being around. I thought I’d never be able to love them more than when they were sweet little newborns and toddlers and depended on me for survival but there is certainly something to be said for your children choosing to be around you rather than just needing to for survival.

This summer has brought some slight physical changes in my girls, things I won’t talk about because it’s my blog and not my story to tell, but I will say at a time when most girls begin to shut their mom’s out, my girls seem to be turning to me for guidance. Yep, I am as baffled by this as you because when I was a tween and I started “changing” I shut my mom out, first thing. But instead, they’re coming to me with questions, and for hugs and guidance.

Somewhere between the last day of school, all of these little changes have been happening very subtly. My cute little caterpillars are changing like whispers into butterflies. We have real conversations about real things and they listen and want my advice. It’s almost overwhelming because I was prepared for battle and instead, I’ve found allies. I didn’t think it was possible to love them any more than I already did but I was wrong. The bond is getting deeper.

Gwen Stefani, 1st concert, this is what the truth feels like, parenting, girls, milestones

The changes are small, minute almost, but they are definite. Suddenly, my baby is almost as tall as me and her feet are only a size smaller than mine. We can shop from the same stores and in the same departments but the thing that surprised me the most is that instead of wanting to be nothing like me, they want to be exactly like me. I don’t deny them this because they could definitely have worse role models. Sometimes I feel a little embarrassed when the oldest wants to dress alike because I’m sure the perception by strangers is that I’m trying to look younger by dressing like my daughter. That’s definitely not the case. I think, in her way, she uses it as a way to pull closer to me at a time when she feels herself naturally pulling away.

It’s a whole host of moments that have happened this summer. The kind that you’d miss if you weren’t paying attention. Moving into the juniors department and leaving the kid’s department behind. A new perspective and dedication to the things they love, not that of a fickle child but of a determined young lady. Suddenly, they are spending more time at the side of the pool talking to me on a lounge chair than cannon balling. Then there are the glances from boys that I don’t think they even notice, but I see it happening.

They are finally cool enough to enjoy Gwen Stefani in concert!

Their taste in music has improved drastically. We’ve long been past the days of the Wiggles and YoGabbaGabba (well, not too long they will still listen if a CD finds its way into the cd player) but they have been comfortably smack dab in Radio Disney land and that’s ok. They love pop music but suddenly they are developing a taste for alternative and rock and and an openness to all kinds of music (like myself). In fact, we took them to their first ever concert (that wasn’t a kid’s group) to see Gwen Stefani and her This is what the truth feels like tour and they loved it and we loved seeing them love it. It was definitely a moment that I will never forget. So for example, your child loves rap music, let them attend  those concerts or join them by searching for rap concerts near me because you can definitely cherish those moments with them.

School starts back next week and I’m honestly sad to see our summer together over. The school year brings with it obligations, rehearsals and a full schedule. We literally have one free day a week. I only have 7 more years, 7 more summers with my oldest in my house before she leaves for college and I can tell you definitely, it is not even near enough.

They say childhood goes by fast but in those first few days holding your newborn, you can never imagine just how fast. It’s a flash and I think if you do it right, when the time comes to send your child out into the world, it will break your heart into a million pieces but you will be able to take peace in the fact that they know you will always be their home and you are always there if they need to come home. At least that is what I’m believing from my short 11 years of parenting.

What was  your Gwen Stefani moment this summer with your kids?

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Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, Anita Hill, Supreme Court Justice, rape culture, Hero for girls

I’ve been quiet about the Brett Kavanaugh and Dr.Christine Blasey Ford situation, not because I don’t believe it’s true but because it probably is. Kavanaugh aside, this story is not a new one or even an unusual one to any woman.

My girls are 11 and 13-years-old and I’ve already told them to never leave a drink alone with a guy or to take a beverage that’s already open. I’ve taught them not to walk with headphones on and to always be aware of their surroundings, especially at night. I’ve taught them how to fight back. I’ve taught them that no always means no and if someone ignores their no, fight, run and report. It sucks that we live in a world where I have to teach my girls to be on the defensive so that they can try to stay safe but it’s even sadder that we live in a world where victims are shamed, blamed and not believed.

Christine Blasey Ford is my hero and a champion for all of our little girls. A true hero is one who stands up in the face of conflict and puts it all on the line for the greater good. She came forward because she felt it was her civic duty and the price she has had to pay is nothing short of everything.

“You’ve never been afraid to walk outside alone at night?” This is the question that I asked my husband.

“No.” He looked baffled at the idea of a grown person afraid to walk outside in the dark alone. He was completely unable to relate.

My husband is a 6’5”, college-educated, Caucasian man who weighs about 250 pounds. There’s not much that scares him and certainly, walking after dark alone, even in foreign countries, does not cause him any hesitation. I, on the other hand, have never felt comfortable walking alone at night. Even when I’ve had to do it. It’s done very quickly, hyper-aware of my surroundings and terrified of what could happen.

Yet, every young girl and woman that I’ve ever known is trepidatious at the least and more so terrified. There is an entire market based solely on this premise; pepper spray, female defense classes, Tasers and little pink guns. We are born into a world with a vagina and a knowing that this very fact makes us vulnerable.

We live on the defensive. We are taught from a very young age to protect ourselves, from the clothes we wear to where we go, what we do and how we behave. It is inferred that sexual assault is preventable if only we do all the right things but the moment we step out of those lines, we have put ourselves in harm’s way and we are, in some way, to blame. We knew better. We knew we weren’t supposed to walk alone at night. We feel shared guilt and shame as if we willingly participated in our own attack by simply being born a woman.

READ ALSO: My MeToo Story

If you were to talk to a million women, privately with promised anonymity, every single one could recount at least one time (but I’m betting from my own experiences, many more) that she was sexually harassed, assaulted or raped. I don’t know a single woman who has not been, at some point or another, pushed into a corner and been made to feel threatened and unsafe by a man. Not one woman who isn’t afraid to walk alone at night.

The saddest part is that we live in a world where powerful men, which are all men by the way, are given a pass. Somehow the world roots for the rapist like he’s the wronged. He is the underdog. We are ruining his life. Yet, women are cast as the villains who are destroying their attacker’s life by bravely recounting their truth in detail.

We are less than. We don’t matter. This is the message that we are perpetuating to our little girls and women. So we stay silent out of shame and knowing that we will be humiliated more than our abusers.

Do you know how many rapes go unreported in the United States alone each year? It is estimated that only 310 out of every 1000 rapes will get reported. That’s 2 out of 3 rapes that don’t get reported. Of those 310 reported, only about 6 rapists will be incarcerated.

READ ALSO: We Are All Emily Doe

Christine Blasey Ford has risked everything to warn the world of the moral fiber of a man who is in contention to hold the highest moral position in the country. She has not only painfully recounted her story of an attempted rape which, in case you’re not aware, is just as scary as the real thing because the intention was the same. The feeling of being overpowered is the same. The feeling of helplessness and your own sexuality being used against you is the same. You are changed forever. The only thing that stood between Ford and a drunk Kavanaugh raping her was a one-piece bathing suit and a fluke interruption.

Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, Anita Hill, Supreme Court Justice, rape culture

Ford walked away from that night, at just 15-years-old ( almost a child), feeling afraid, terrorized and never feeling safe again. She walked away grateful that he could not complete. She walked away feeling shame and guilt. She told no one because she felt like she bore some responsibility for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She chose to be there, therefore she feels like she contributed. Which is insane.

The thing is Kavanaugh walked away laughing. Stumbled away drunk with his buddy. No remorse. HE felt entitled. He felt like he didn’t do anything wrong. He might not even remember it because it was so insignificant to him. He continued on with his life, kept walking around alone at night unphased or changed by the experience because he wasn’t the victim. He wasn’t then and he isn’t now. He is a criminal who wasn’t reported; nonetheless a criminal. How can he be considered to uphold the law when he himself breaks it? How can he pass judgment when he can’t even recognize that he committed a crime?

You see, sadly, the Kavanaugh’s of the world are not few and far between and rape is not just between strangers, behind dumpsters and in alleyways. Just because we know our abusers doesn’t make it less abusive and doesn’t imply consent. Men are not entitled to women’s bodies. Little boys are not just being little boys. No means no and rape is rape.

The sad thing is that we put the onus on girls, from a very young age. We teach them to cover themselves; to hide their bodies.  We teach them to feel shame when they are the slightest bit sexual. We teach them that good girls don’t get raped. We teach them not to fight because no one will believe them. We teach them to judge and be judged by other girls.

I have a young teenager and in the past few months, I have heard several stories that have made me cringe because even in 7th grade, they were being groomed to be victims. The schools are telling our girls explicitly to hide their bodies because they are distractions to boys. A little girl was run out of our school because the bullying became so bad when she refused her attention to a boy. She was relentlessly called a slut and whore (at a Catholic school) and eventually she changed schools and her family moved away. Nothing happened to the boy.

Another girl was texting a boy all summer, when he tried to take it further and she refused, he told the whole school it was a joke. She was a joke. She thought he liked her. It was implied to her that if she did what he wanted, he would recant and she could be his “girlfriend.” Another girl, kissed a boy back this summer who was “dating” another girl, he told everyone. She became known to everyone as “the side piece” even to the girls.

Another 13-year-old girl, spent the entire summer fighting off the aggressive advances of her “boyfriend”. He spent the summer being the model citizen in front of her parents all the while trying to force himself inside their daughter. She was afraid they wouldn’t believe her. She eventually broke up with him but she no longer trusts boys.

These girls tell no one but one another; the keepers of their secrets. In some cases, they tell no one. I was harassed and assaulted on various levels throughout my life and I never filed a single report because maybe I was at a party? Maybe my dress was revealing? Maybe I had something to drink? Maybe I agreed to the date? Maybe I knew the guy? Maybe we were friends? Maybe we grew up together? Maybe I misunderstood? Maybe I was a prude? Maybe no one will believe me because he’s the star football player? Maybe he was cute and I flirted with him? Maybe I let him buy me a drink? Maybe I went into the room alone with him? Maybe I was walking alone in the dark at night? Maybe it was my fault? These are some of the things that go through our heads when we’re assaulted.

 

Or maybe he raped me? Violated me? Assaulted me? Pushed up against me? Tried to push inside of me? Maybe he grabbed and groped me? Maybe I was frozen in fear? Maybe I was sleeping and woke to him on top of me? Maybe I was just at work minding my own business? Maybe I trusted him and he locked the door and overpowered me? Maybe the only thing that saved me was a one-piece bathing suit or a knock at the door? A stranger walking by? Maybe I should have reported it because he’s probably doing the same thing to someone else’s daughter? Maybe I should have been brave for my someday daughters? These are the things that go through our mind when we are older and removed from the situation and find our voice and move past the fear of what people will think about us and move toward trying to stop it from happening again. There is power in numbers and sometimes we just need to know that we are not alone to know that we are not less than.

Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh, Anita Hill, Supreme Court Justice, rape culture, Hero for girlsI have shared my Me Too stories, there are more. More than I can count. Starting at a very young age. I believe Christine Blasey Ford because I know it happens. Her story sounds like a thousand other stories. That’s the true crime; it’s a recurring scenario that happens probably daily to women and girls around the world. We stop it by telling our stories. There is no shame or guilt that any victim should ever bear. Her life should not be destroyed for telling the truth while our President makes excuses and supports a rapist who he calls a victim; who he calls a good man. Good men don’t lock young girls in a room and grind into them while their friend cheers them on and watches. I don’t care if he was a teenager, he has no remorse and there’s no reason he would ever stop because he can get away with it. Appointing him to the Supreme court is sending the message to women everywhere that we, as a nation, don’t care about you. As if that’s not glaringly clear from the government always trying to have one hand in our uterus, now they will have a judge holding us down by the throat while they shove their hand into our uterus.

Walking alone at night in the dark without fear may be a dream never realized by myself but I will fight for it to be a right my daughters can have. We need to teach little boys to respect little girls and to know what consent is. They need to know that little girls have human value and intelligence and needs. We need to teach our little boys that little girls are equal to them and it’s not okay to just take what you want.  We need to teach them that there are not two sets of rules, there is only one and that is to respect one another.

My question is why do we live in a world where a victim is put on trial to prove her allegations and the world wants to give her assailant the benefit of the doubt? Why does it take a sacrificial lamb like Christine Blasey Ford to risk everything to inspire a nation to give women human decency and respect? I hope she inspires them to stop a monster.

What are your thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh being considered for Supreme Court justice? Do you believe Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations? If so, what do you think should happen?

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tips for raising healthy daughters, heart health

Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with the Healthy For Good initiative of the American Heart Association. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this post belong to The Truth and do not necessarily represent those of The American Heart Association unless explicitly stated.

Food is something that I’ve always had a strained relationship with. Kind of like that bad boyfriend you just can’t quit. Let me rephrase it, it’s not the quitting part that I’ve had the problem with, it’s the walking away in a healthy way.

As many of you know, I have a past with eating disorders. It started when I was 12, the same age my oldest daughter is now, and it lasted actively until I was 25-years-old — though anyone who has ever survived disordered eating will tell you, much like alcoholism, it’s a lifelong disease but unlike alcohol, you can’t quit food and that has always been the trick.

I won’t spend a lot of time explaining my past with anorexia and bulimia because I’ve done that already. If you are interested, you can read all about my eating disorders here and my body dysmorphic disorder here. I just wanted you to know where I’m coming from now. We are all products of our past, after all.

As I said, I have daughters; my oldest is 12 and my youngest is 10 and one of my biggest fears since becoming a mom is that they’d inherit my predisposition to eating disorders. So, I decided years ago that I needed to shift my thinking from dieting and restricting to eating healthy, moving more and controlling my portions. For better or worse, we are our children’s first role models. They see and hear everything we do, even the words we don’t speak. These little people are smarter than we usually give them credit for.

But how does a woman who has spent her entire adult life, since she was 12-years-old, having a love/hate relationship with food and her own body teach two little girls to be healthy?

It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s something I work on every single day. I have become very aware of just how disordered I was through this journey of motherhood but it’s also made me more mindful of what kind of relationship with food that I want to model for my girls.

My eating disorders have made it so that I have a better handle on what to say and not say, do and not do, in relation to food and body image with my girls. I’d like to think, if anything good could possibly ever come from eating disorders, it was that they made me better equipped to raise strong, positive self-image, self-loving, confident and healthy girls and that almost makes what I went through worth it.

Here are my tips for raising healthy daughters.

So how do I do it? How do I model healthy eating habits for two little girls on the precipice of becoming women? Carefully and thoughtfully. We try to keep red meat to once a week or less. I’ve always fed the girls a variety of foods that included lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Those are the staples but I have also taught my girls that everything is okay in moderation. There can be no absolutes because always and never just end in disappointment and fall short.

It’s my responsibility to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle that includes free will, informed food choices, living actively and drinking plenty of water. No one says that has to be boring. My girls love infused waters. I want being healthy to be a way of life for them, not a chore so we look for activities that they enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter so much what you are doing, just that you are moving. Food is fuel for the body and our bodies really are a temple. But we only get one, so we’ve got to take care of it.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re foodies in this house. We love a good meal full of different colors, textures and flavors. We love to try new foods, the more exotic the better. In fact, we implemented a rule when the girls were still toddlers that you try everything at least twice and if you hate it, well, then you try it again at a later date. This has made for children who are very food adventurous which helps to integrate a variety of healthy foods rather than them always wanting chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese but hey, like I said that’s okay too, in moderation.

One of our favorite things to do, and we’ve done this since the kids were small, is to cook together. Both girls love to help us cook. I found out a long time ago that even if there is something that they don’t really like, if they help cook it, they will eat it. Somehow, their hard work seems to magically make it infinitely more appetizing to them. Plus, it gives us the chance to experiment with new recipes and flavors. For instance, why not throw some fruit on the grill?

These are just a few simple tips for raising healthy daughters.

The biggest thing I do and it really is so simple, if you don’t want your family to eat certain things, don’t buy them. Why not do a pantry audit and add healthy staples to your shopping list. If unhealthy foods aren’t in the house, they’re harder to put into your body. If you don’t want pop and chicken nuggets to be a part of your kid’s regular diet, then don’t let it be an available option. This will eliminate you having to police what your children eat.

I don’t ever want to tell my children not to eat something because I think the natural assumption when you tell someone not to eat something is that they don’t need it. And, speaking from experience, especially coming from a parent, thinking they think you are anything less than perfect is soul crushing. Not that any of us think we are truly perfect but we all believe, at least our parents believe we are.

The key is trying to be mindful and purposeful in what we eat most of the time. Sure, sometimes we want a pizza night or some frozen custard but I really try to make that the exception more than the rule.

If you are like me, you are always looking for good resources to keep your family healthy. The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good website is a great resource full of healthy living content. It offers an extensive suite of recipes, videos, and editorial/infographic health content. Healthy For Good focuses on the following 4 pillars.

 

  • EAT SMART (smart shopping, cooking, and label reading)
  • ADD COLOR (eating healthier by adding colorful fruits and vegetables to your meals)
  • MOVE MORE (becoming more active)
  • BE WELL (whole body health; including mindfulness, stress reduction, wellness)

Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month? What could be a more perfect time to get some fresh inspiration from the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good Eat Smart and Add Color pillars? I say eat the rainbow! Variety is the spice of life and it’s healthier too.

The AHA’s ultimate goal is to help people navigate barriers so they can create and maintain behavior change. They don’t just tell you what to do, they show you!

Why not join the Healthy For Good movement for amazing weekly tips, recipes and motivation (scroll down here www.heart.org/HealthyForGood and click “join the movement.” I did! What are you waiting for?

What are your best tips for raising healthy daughters or sons?

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International Women's Day, healthy, how to keep your kids healthy, happy children, healthy habits, Anthem, ballet, ballerinas

Let’s build something beautiful together. Let’s change the world and fill it full of good humans. Let’s raise young girls to become strong women who demand respect and equality. I want International Women’s Day to be every day from now until infinity.

I am the mother of girls. All day long, for the past 14 years, I #Girlmom. When I found out that I was having daughters, I was thrilled immediately tinged by sadness for the struggles they would face as females. The truth is that being born a woman is both a privilege and a curse. More privilege than curse but still it has its downsides like inequal work pay, permanent second class citizen status, being seen as the “weaker sex”, rape culture, the government has one hand in your uterus at all times, being ignored and invisible, or catcalled and objectified and so much more.

Personally, I think there is nothing so magical and fierce as a strong woman. From the moment I knew I would be raising daughters, I had every intention of raising strong girls who would grow up to be unstoppable women. I felt like this was my time to make my grand contribution to the world, beyond my words, thoughts, deeds and actions, I wanted to leave a legacy of raising good, kind, strong females who are tolerant advocates for themselves and others who need their voice to raise up and call for justice.

Today is International Woman’s Day and I feel like I would be remiss to not to celebrate it, especially as the mother of girls.

Society tends to make women feel like second class citizens in so many ways, I want my girls to know they are first class in every sense of the word. How do we do this in a time when we are telling our girls they are equal but they are seeing that the world does not see them that way? We work twice as hard to build them up. We arm them with educations, strong female role models and the fundamental belief that they are better than good enough and equal to any man. We do this by showing them, not just telling them. We start by loving and believing in ourselves.

It is our jobs as mothers to show our little girls that maybe it’s hard to be a woman in our society but it is also the most beautiful thing in this whole world. We can do everything men can do plus we can bring life into the world. We create miracles. Our bodies are magic and that’s the way we need to appreciate them. We do not need to chastise ourselves because our bodies don’t fit some Barbie doll mold created by the expectations of men. We need to embrace it for all of its curves and beauty.

We need to show our little girls how important it is to have good relationships with other women. Life should not be about competing with other women. We need to teach our girls to lift one another up; to support and celebrate one another. We do not need to divide ourselves. We need to unify and stand strong arm in arm.

Our girls need to know that they don’t ever need to shut up. They are not too brazen for speaking up for what they believe in. They are not asking too much to be treated with the same respect and dignity that any man would demand. You are not less of a woman because you want more out of life than society dictates that you should have.

We need to encourage our girls to travel more. See the world. Teach them that nothing is impossible and everything is possible with hard work. Our girls can do and be anything. Let them know that we’ve got their backs as their mothers and as their sisters in womanhood.

Stop teaching our little girls to be princesses who need to be rescued by a prince. Teach them to rescue themselves. A prince is not your savior; he is your partner. He is the man you will share your life, love and friendship with. Teach our girls that a partner is nice but not necessary to live in this world and to never sacrifice herself to fit anyone else’s expectations.

I’m raising caring, kind, open-minded fighters. I’m teaching them to never back down or step aside. I want them to hold their heads up high and to be proud of who they are and how they live in the world. I don’t want them to lower their standards or settle in life. I want them to know that contrary to what society would have them believe being born with a vagina is not a handicap, it’s a superpower.

I’m drilling it into their brains that no one has power or domain over their bodies, their minds or their souls. It’s ok to say no loudly and bravely. Speak their truth and the world will listen. Feminism is not a bad word and it’s okay to tell the patriarchy to go f*ck themselves. They are not the boss of you.

This is how we celebrate International Women’s Day by fighting for equality every day and showing our girls that they are strong enough to weather the condescension of misogynist. We show them that being considered the weaker sex doesn’t make you less than, it makes you underestimated. Be strong ladies. They have no idea how powerful we are.

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day with your daughters?

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weight, fat, body image, raising girls, ballerinas

“I’m fat! Just look at my flabby arms!”

This is what I overheard amongst the ballerinas today. 11-year-olds should not be worrying about flabby arms, especially since not one of the 10 preteen girls included in this conversation are fat or had flabby arms. My heart sunk and my stomach turned as I realized if these lean, dancers think they’re fat, what if all little girls think they’re fat? I didn’t say a word because I was speechless.

Every Wednesday, I take my daughters to ballet. They were in class when I heard the girls talking. This has been my routine for nearly 8 years. At least 4 classes a week, I am surrounded by a plethora of beautiful, young, graceful, strong and lean girls (ages 3 and up). It’s always been a place of positivity and the focus is on the dance moves, not the size of the dancer’s ass. Why would it be?

My girls have danced with the city ballet practically since the moment they could tell me that was what they wanted to do but I went in with my eyes open. I’ve heard the horror stories of ballerinas who are malnourished and have eating disorders. I know these are brought on by the constant focus on body and weight that is necessary for any athlete.

Having battled severe eating disorders myself, I promised myself a few things 1) I would never negative talk in front of my girls 2) I would do everything in my power to instill high self-confidence and positive body image and 3) if they were ever involved in a situation where someone made weight the focus, I’d pull my daughters out because it’s not worth it. I won’t allow anyone to undo the self-esteem that I’ve spent years building.

Perfection is not achievable, mostly because it’s a moving target, and no girl should feel that her self-worth has anything to do with her weight. Only in ballet, like many sports, it is hard to be in top performance form if your body is not at its absolute best so even if there isn’t a blatant focus and criticism of body size and shape, it’s there, lurking like the boogie man just waiting to destroy your daughter’s self-confidence. I know it and, apparently, so do these girls. How could they not living in a world where thigh gaps and bikini bridges are aspirations.

I wanted to grab those girls and hug them and shout to them, “No! Your arms are not flabby. You are perfect. Your body is strong and beautiful and amazing. It is what moves you on the stage. It is what moves you in the world. Your body is what makes you….YOU!” I wanted to, like I wished someone would’ve done to me the first time I looked in the mirror and saw my 12-year-old body and saw imperfection in perfection. But I couldn’t because I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t supposed to hear that. They aren’t my daughters.

At that moment, I was too busy praying that my daughter, just inside the classroom, didn’t hear this slightly older ballerina who she looks up to calling herself “flabby” and “fat.” Because if you’ve ever been involved in the dance world, you know, there is nothing a tiny ballerina looks up to more than a bigger one, even if it’s only by a level. I held my breath and waited to see if she mentioned anything. She didn’t.

You see, little girls are like sponges; they absorb everything that they see and hear and once they know it, they can’t unknow it. They keep it and pick at it like a scab. I know this is true because my own daughters have even began to pick up on subtle cues, ones that I don’t even know I’m doing. They know how to decipher a hint and they can figure things out. They are not oblivious. I went home last night and began to think of all the ways I hint at my dissatisfaction with my own body; long sighs in the mirror, tugging at my shirt, tiny fits of rage when trying on clothes in the dressing room. I can’t do that anymore. They’re too smart. If they’re unhealthy or think they are fat, I feel like it’s my personal parenting fail.

I feel terrible that I didn’t grab those little girls and tell them how perfect and strong and amazing they are. I had to do something so I emailed the Director of the Ballet (a mom of two small girls, a ballerina and a friend) and I told her what had happened because I feel like going silent makes me a part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution.

What would you have done if you heard a group of young girls calling themselves fat?

 

 

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GoldieBlox, Raising girls, sponsored, engineering

When I was a little girl, I was raised that little girls did “girl things” like play with baby dolls and Barbie dolls. Boys played with Legos and Lincoln logs. Girls were pretty and boys were dirty. Boys got to have all the fun while all I got to do was chores and play with toys that taught me how to be a “young lady“. Enter easy bake ovens, play houses, baby dolls who cried and needed their diapers changed. But it doesn’t have to be that way and I’ve partnered with GoldieBlox to change that.

 

When I tried to climb trees or build forts, I was promptly told that those things were not very “ladylike.” It’s damn hard to climb trees in skirts. Don’t get me wrong; I loved doing all those things but maybe I would have liked to play with the Legos or built something with Lincoln logs? The point is this; I didn’t even know what an Engineer did until I was in college at Purdue University…dating an Engineer. So how could I have ever chosen to be an engineer when no one thought it was worth the bother to teach little girls to be anything more than princesses, mothers and maids until now. Enter GoldieBlox.

 

We live in a world where men grossly outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8, GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys”. By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, GoldieBlox disrupts the pink aisle and inspires the future generation of female engineers.

 

Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University, was always bothered by how few women are in the engineering field. The numbers are definitely skewed in the engineering field. So, Debbie did something about it. She started a toy company in 2012 called GoldieBlox to get little girls to love engineering as much as she does.

 

The mission of GoldieBlox is to create fun toys that develop spatial skills and teach basic engineering principles. Girls like to read and boys like to build. Put spatial plus verbal together, story and construction and that’s how GoldieBlox was born. GoldieBlox is a book and a construction toy combined, starring Goldie the girl inventor and her motley crew of friends who go on adventures and solve problems by building simple machines. As girls read along they get to build what Goldie builds using their own tool kit. At the beginning of every GoldieBlox story, they introduce some basic engineering vocabulary with a basic “Bill of Materials.” The pieces you get with GoldieBlox are based on the Seven Simple Machines (wheel and axis, lever, pulley, etc.) These are the basic building blocks of every physical thing. Once you learn these simple machines, you can’t see your world the same way again, because you understand how things are built.

 

No longer are we teaching our girls that they have to stand by looking pretty while fetching cold drinks for the man folks. Nope, we are teaching our girls that they can put on a pair of cute jeans and work-boots and go build it themselves. By designing construction toys from the female perspective, GoldieBlox will be more appealing to a broader audience of children and parents who previously considered engineering a job for boys. Engineers solve some of the biggest challenges our society faces. They are critical to the world economy, earn higher salaries and have greater job security. And they are 89% male. There’s more to girls than just pink and fluff.  We can be anything we want to be in this world. We are bigger than the pink aisle. Our dreams and skills can’t be contained.

 

 

One of the most critical skills we can teach our girls is confidence and perseverance. By giving girls confidence and exposure to words, when they see and hear these words later in life, they won’t be as intimidated, because they will already understand the concepts!

 

GoldieBlox teaches girls not to give up. Goldie never gives up and always tries again at making something.  I love that message and I saw it come to fruition when my own girls were playing with their Goldieblox and the Parade Float and the Dunk Tank. I also love watching the confidence they have in building new things, not just what the instructions say. Thanks to GoldieBlox both of my girls have began to ask if they can join the schools robotics team. My husband is an engineer so this thrills him. I know what a turning point this is in history, so it pleases me too.

I am also giving away a GoldieBlox Parade Float and one Dunk Tank toy to one lucky reader. Easy to enter, simply follow me on Instagram and leave me your instagram account name in the comments.  Ends 7/29 at midnight. Open to U.S. and Canadian readers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you get your girls to keep an interest in STEM?

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rape culture, girl mom, school uniforms, body image, self esteem

In light of the Matt Lauer (Russel Simmons, Louis C.K., Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and the seemingly endless list) allegations, I’m truly astounded by people’s reactions, especially of shock. I was not shocked. Not because any of these men seem outwardly particularly creepy but because, as a woman, I live the reality.

 

It has nothing to do with what a woman wears or how she looks. It has nothing do with her character or lack thereof. It has nothing do with any of that. It doesn’t even have to do with the man being a scummy sort, a delinquent or particularly chauvinistic or even just the little bit rapey. It has everything to do with the way we condition our children to move through the world from the time they are babies.

 

We teach little girls to be good, behave and learn to protect themselves. Little girls are taught to dole out kisses to any relative, however strange or scary, from the beginning. We use adjectives like pretty, cute and beautiful to praise our daughters. We teach them to sit right, act right and be pleasant and congenial.

 

Nobody seems to like a strong willed little girl. They label her bossy, stubborn and difficult and it is all said with a negative connotation that seethes with everything that you don’t want to be.

 

But our little boys on the other hand, we call them strong, stubborn and smart and all of those labels are said as praise. For some reason, we teach our boys that it is good to be these things when you are a boy but inconvenient when you are a girl.

 

This isn’t just parents and it’s not even willful; it’s a bad habit and we all have it. I am the feminist mom of two girls and I have to remember to change up my adjectives because I want them to know they are more than just what lies between their legs. I value everything between their ears, as well.

 

When little girls misbehave, we scold them. We tell them that is not very lady like. We ask them to tone down the natural fierceness that is them. It is not all at once. It starts on the day they are born and by the time they go to college, they have been broken. But, when boys misbehave we dismiss their bad behavior with a simple, “boys will be boys.” We hold our girls to a higher standard and give our boys more credit for doing much less. This is the society we live in. This is our reality and it has been forever.

 

I thought things had changed. We almost had a female president. But, I see now that it’s just wishful thinking. The reality is that we live in a misogynistic world and those who are not, are the minority…not the moral majority that we would like to believe.

 

For example, earlier this year at school, the seventh grade girls were sent home a special note about their uniforms. The boys did not receive this note.

 

The note was to remind us that the girls’ shirts needed to be baggy, not be worn fitted. Pants should also be baggy, not fitted. There is to be no nail polish or make up. No hair color other than their natural color. No jewelry. No adornments.

 

I can go on record and say that I hated the dress code before this note because I feel it gives the girls no room to show their personality and I tried to fight it but found that female board members are to be seen and not heard. But when I got the note, “the reminder”, I was livid because, you see, the point was not to remind all the children to adhere to the dress code it was a subtle way to remind the girls to hide their bodies.

 

Maybe you think I am reading too much into it; making fire where this no smoke. Nope. A girl wore a dress on picture day. A tween, going through puberty, developing normally and one of the older female teachers forced her to lean forward in an effort to conduct some ridiculous “taste test” to see the the dress’ neckline was too revealing when she bent over. The teacher then pulled it back and pinned it because it was “too distracting to the boys.” Take that shit in for a moment.

 

On warm dress down days, the children are allowed to wear shorts. The length of the boys’ shorts is not measured or considered. The length of the girls’ short is another story. My daughter has really long legs. I buy her modest shorts but, as anyone with long legs can attest, when your legs are long everything looks shorter. My daughter has not made it passed the office one time since starting middle school because even when the shorts are to her fingertips, that is still the center of her thigh and “too distracting”. The message is that she is being punished for being distracting. She is being punished for becoming a woman.

The worst part is that a lot of the times, its other women who are propagating this bullshit. Don’t wear that. That’s too short. That’s too plunging. That’s too revealing. It’s all done so boys don’t look and men don’t notice. Why don’t we just teach the boys and men of the world to control themselves? Why is it the responsibility of the girls?

 

You see, my response was what every mother and father of a daughter should be…outrage. Don’t tell my daughter to hide herself away, to slump her shoulders, hide her natural curves and to be ashamed that she is becoming a woman. There is nothing shameful about being a woman. We are the bringers of life. We are a force to be reckoned with.

 

Tell your sons to control their urges. Behave respectfully. It is not my daughter’s, nor any other daughters, responsibility to control the environment so that your son doesn’t get an erection. Tell him to learn to deal with his own body. Tell little boys that little girls are just like them, human.

 

I buy my daughters’ clothes to fit their female bodies. Clothes that fit appropriately. I refuse to buy them clothes that are too big and ill fitting. I refuse to be part of this problem that plagues our girls and our women. We objectify women and you can choose to embrace your body and be labeled a whore or hide it away and be labeled a prude.

 

If you are thinking to yourself, “Thank God I am a grown woman and don’t have to worry about that any longer!” Are you being honest with yourself. As women, we are always objectified. Maybe there’s no sister sending you home for your shorts being too distracting or a crazy teacher pinning your dress closed at the neckline but make no mistake, you are being seen and not heard.

 

These men in the news sexually harassing co-workers, friends, and women at large they are a symptom of the problem. Their bad behavior has been tolerated for so long that they think we are the crazy ones, the witch hunters, the wolf criers who are making mountains out of molehills. Even now, in light of all the allegations, society is crying out on behalf of the men. Where is their due process? How can we ruin their lives and careers over such a small indiscretion? Victims have to prove how victimized they were, as if one degree is valid than the other. Women are even coming to the defense of men over the victims because they think they “know a guy” better than the victim who experienced the assault.

 

I’m not saying every guy that appears to be normal is running around assaulting and harassing women but I can say with confidence that every man who has ever harassed or sexually assaulted a woman is not running around acting particularly like a rapist; so obviously most of them are walking around looking like normal, “good guys” until they aren’t.

 

I guess my point to this piece is that I don’t feel sorry for the allegations. I believe every single one of them until they are proven otherwise because I’ve lived quite a few years and I know these things happen on a regular basis first hand.

 

It’s not a witch hunt and I don’t feel sorry for men who are all “Woe’s me, I guess I can’t speak to women anymore because I’ll get accused of harassment.” In fact, to tell you the truth, I think most of us women would prefer it if most of you would keep your comments, hisses and mouthed dirty motions to yourself. We don’t welcome them and they make us feel threatened.

 

Women are finally feeling empowered enough to tell their truths; to shine a light on the horrendous treatment that women have been subject to for all their lives. How it effects your male ego is not our concern. We’re not trying to accuse innocent men of wrong doings; we are simply trying to out our assailants. If you’re not one of them, you have nothing to worry about.

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Today, my Mother in law and I took the girls to the splash pad. The day was gorgeous, 90 degree weather, the sun was shining, there was a slight breeze blowing. It was the perfect type of day to take the girls to a wonderful wholesome  fun family activity; the local parks department splash pad. My girls are water babies and in the heat, the splash pad is the safest way for preschoolers to beat the heat…or so I thought.
We arrive and the girls are overcome with excitement, dressed in the new bikinis that their Grandma ChaCha had gotten them for this visit. Bella was over the moon about the cheetah print bikini with the hot pink piping on the edges and Gabi was sporting a red, white and blue striped bikini as beautifully as only a 3 year old American girl next door could. They were absolutely adorable.
It was seriously about 100 degrees out, so the splash pad was packed with children running through the glistening cool water.At first the girls were filled with trepidation, it was a little overwhelming with all of the bigger kids running about but soon they became acclimated and were having the time of their life.
Grandma ChaCha and I sat on the bench ,looking on at the girls, mentally recording every grin and smile. Then I started snapping pictures because the girls were just too irresistible not to. It was another one of those days that you just knew memories were happening. Then it all changed.
The splash pad is in the middle of a public park. We had noticed early on that there was a man training a Border Collie. I am always uber aware of our surroundings. I am a people watcher by nature.We thought it was ridiculous but hey , it was his dog and whatever…. we had human babies to watch. Then the man walked his dog over to the splash pad. Not necessarily a great thing to do but whatever, as long as he kept the dog close to him and kept it away from the children. Of course, every single child ( with the exception of mine) ran over to pet the obviously dehydrated Border Collie. My children asked but, first I don’t let my kids pet strange dogs and second, quite frankly, something about this man gave me the heebie jeebies…before he even opened his mouth to talk.  He kept skulking around, watching the kids run through the fountains as they sporadically came up to him and asked to pet the dog. It felt like he was one of those guys who uses their dogs to pick up girls but these “girls” were actually “girls” ages 2- 13. I kept my girls close without alarming them…or him. But for some reason, he kept gravitating toward where we were. He kept circling where we were sitting, and then he came in for conversation. The girls were oblivious but he kept smiling at them and trying to engage my Mother in law and myself. At first, I was pleasant. After all, I wasn’t raised in a cave but then things got weird. He smiled at my 3 year old, practically salivating and licking his lips ( like a man who is speaking to Pamela Anderson while she’s wearing her bikini) and says, “My , you sure are a cute little thing!” And then he proceeded to keep trying to chat up me and my Mother in law.Now, it wasn’t exactly what he said but how he said it and the way he was looking at my girls that sent off my Mommy intuition/alarm. I don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to my daughters , I’d much rather insult an adult with my over protectiveness than let my child get hurt because I was too trusting and I think most parents understand that view point. Our children are the priority,all else is less important…period! Then I noticed him sizing up my 5 year old, as he was talking.I felt my skin crawl. At this point, I was despondent towards him and pretty much ignoring his very existence.My main focus was trying to figure out how the hell to get out of this situation short of saying,”Can you please get your creepy mind the fuck off my children you sick bastard!!” So, I tell my girls…”5 minutes, we’ve got to go meet Grandpa!” My Mother in law, looked like she was on high alert as well, so something was definitely not right with this man. He continued trying to engage us, then it went completely creepy. He proceeds to talk at us and tell us that he was in the service but came out and immediately had himself fixed ( why would you tell a complete stranger this? I think what he meant to say was after he was caught for being a molester he was chemically castrated!) because he didn’t want children ( then why are you hanging around the splash pad full of children, Chester?) and he continues to say that it is so easy to have kids, “You blink and you have like four kids!” Something in his tone was as if he were implying that children were disposable. I know you may be thinking to yourself, this woman is completely overreacting. But if you were there, you know that feeling you get when something is most definitely not right with someone? That was the feeling that  I had. My stomach was in knots; this man had me about to vomit he made me so nervous being around my children. I suddenly felt creeped out and insulted simultaneously ( it was a train wreck of creepy activity) It felt like that any minute he was capable of pulling out a knife and grabbing my girls and running off…in broad day light…he was that CREEPY!! I grabbed my girls with nothing more than a ,” Let’s go.” I covered them up and we left. Normally, I would have changed them in the car but this freak started following behind us. I was prepared for battle. I was pissed, freaked out, and scared all at the same time. Endorphins was oozing from my pours.My fight or flight response was in overdrive.I have never come in contact with someone whom, I felt, actually were a threat to my children. But this man made me feel afraid for them. It was reminiscent of that scene in the original Texas Chainsaw massacre when the creepy guy gets in the van and then cuts himself and they are stuck in the van with him. You know you don’t want him there, but you are afraid of what might happen if you spook him, Needless to say, we will NEVER go to that splash pad again..EVER.
The moral of the story; it is our moral obligation that if something feels wrong for our children,as their protectors, we must do whatever it takes to keep them safe, no matter how crazy it seems.My only regret is that I didn’t call the cops on this guy for lurking around the splash pad accosting mothers and leering at children and that I didn’t grab my girls and run the minute he looked in their general direction. By the time we left, only about 10 minutes had passed from start to finish but I felt dirty and violated.What do you think? Did I over react? Or does Mommy intuition trump all rhyme or reason?

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