Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SGW: Keep Your Baby Off the Pole

Today's guest writer is Maria.  She is a big time fancy pants lawyer.  She writes about her little girl, Rainbow.  Rainbow is not actually her daughter's name.  Rainbow is her daughter's stripper name derived from the internationally accepted methodology for finding your stripper name.  Here it is:

Name of your first pet + Name of the street you lived on when you were little kid = Your stripper name 

Using this method, my stripper name is Alfreda Greenbriar.  I know, sounds more like a feminist poet than a stripper.  But Hawk's stripper name would Woody Oak View and the Cap'n's would be Suzy Wong Martin.  So, whatever... You be the judge. Oh, and Kate's would be Nikki Allway. Seriously. How *perfect* is that for her? Stupid Kate.

Enjoy the post!  xoxo, Lydia

And thank you, Maria!


Candidly, I should not be on this blog, because it’s by mommies for mommies, and while I do have three humans living in my house who are much shorter than I am, look a little like me, and seem to expect me to provide them with food and clothes from time to time, I don’t think that what I do should be confused with parenting.

Hello. My name is Maria, and I am a full-time lawyer. I don’t know whether I belong in this meeting, to tell you the truth, because I still really enjoy being a lawyer all day every day. But I think I hit bottom this week, and if believing in a higher power can include having R-rated dreams about Jon Hamm, I’m in. [Editor's Note: Uhhh, of course it does. Hello? - Kate] I’d like to tell you about what happened. First help yourself to the coffee on the back table.  And try not to judge me. 

OK, so, on Sunday night I decided to clean out all the school work that my kids brought home at the end of last year, as well as the self-portraits, personal interpretations of Pollacks and Rothkos, and pastels of pumpkins and leaves and flowers and such. This was my first mistake. My kids, who last year were in second grade (boy) and kindergarten (girl), have performed well enough or at least invisibly enough to earn them generally encouraging (sometimes even positive) reviews from their teachers, thus making any foray into the actual substance of their work unnecessary and likely disappointing.

Nonetheless, instead of shoving this stuff into Filene’s bags and being done with it --oh if I could turn back time-- I plucked from the pile a folder called “Writers’ Workshop.” My daughter Rainbow’s name was on it. Basically, the kindergartners were encouraged to try to think in full sentences once a week, guessing at spelling and punctuation. At the beginning of the year this looks like Welsh, but by the end, vowels show up and you can kind of figure out what in the name of Maude they were trying to say.

Anyhoo, turns out that towards the end of the year, the class was asked to answer the question, “What would be interesting to do when you grow up?” Here is Rainbow’s illustration:

Does this look a lot like a blond person hanging onto a bat, with chairs all around? Yeah, I thought so too. And I couldn’t quite figure out what profession or avocation or what have you this might represent. So I read the text:

No you do not need bifocals yet. This says, more or less, “I want to be [sic:see] someone pole dancing. I think it is [sic:in] interesting.” And lucky me, Rainbow confirmed for the teacher that this is exactly what she meant. The teacher wrote “pole” and “dancing” and “interesting” as a very helpful correction/clarification/exercise to produce abject horror. Because I do not want to picture Rainbow telling her kindergarten teacher that that word is supposed to be “pole” and the next one is “dancing.”

So the bat is not a bat, it’s a pole. And the chairs are all around, just like in a strip club . I imagine that if there were a next sentence, it would be something like “And I want to work in a pretty place called Camelot.”

Holy jeebus where did she even get the idea that there is such a thing as pole dancing? Thanks for asking, I asked myself the same thing. I’m pretty sure that it’s the result of an incident about two years ago, when we were all riding the subway in New York on a wholesome family visit. She was spinning around a pole in the middle of the car, sometimes shimmying up and down it, and three sketchy guys at the end of the car were staring at her. Daddy and I were sufficiently creeped and made her stop immediately while shooting death rays with our eyes at the bad men and hissing at her to "STOPNOWFORTHELOVEOFMAUDE".  But later Daddy, thinking he was being funny,  has used the incident to say sometimes to other adults, in front of Rainbow, “She’s going to be our pole dancer!” – ha ha ha. Rainbow, who can’t imagine that Daddy would say something mean or degrading about her, internalized this as a worthy pursuit. And why not? It’s fun. It’s good exercise. There’s always a pole around. (Oh, not in your house? Uh … well only in our basement.  To hold the ceiling up, not for other purposes.)

I do feel really, really bad about this. But how much of this was really my fault? I mean, we’ve got Miley Cyrus dancing around a pole on top of an ice cream truck and that trollop iCarly filming videos in her bedroom. I couldn’t keep Rainbow from being exposed to the rotten, morally bankrupt popular culture any more than I could keep her from staring at “small people” on the Metro. I realize that this was a bad incident, but you know what? I don’t know if this is enough to make me stop lawyering. I give her a lot of quality time and we can handle this our own way.  Pretty sure. 

[Editor's note: I totally understand.  I often wonder if my kids wouldn't be better off if I went back to work.  In fact, Thumbelina recently told me she wants to go to an after school program. Oh yeah. And she thought we were serious when she overheard us telling people she might grow up to be a mercenary. - xo, Lydia] 

Thanks for letting me come to your meeting, but I can control this. I don’t need to quit. All my friends lawyer occasionally in social situations, so why can’t I? No reason at all. I can do this. My kids won’t suffer one bit.

And you can suck it, Chris Rock.

(Chris Rock says a couple of curse words, so turn your volume down of there are shorties around. Or your boss.)

(c) Herding Turtles 2009-2010

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