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And what I mean by that is we do NOT get along. If we aren’t firing off snarky comments, rehashing old arguments (or coming up with new ones) for any matter of time, you better get out of the way because it’s not going to last long and the shrapnel headed your way is sharp. The time bomb starts a tickin’ when we’re together no matter the situation. Last December we had a verbal throwdown in an ice fishing house in front of all my dads buddies after we started bickering about who looked more like mom, who looked more like dad. It escalated in ways too dumb to mention. So again: no matter the situation.
It hasn’t always been like this, though, and judging by the history of our relationship, this too shall pass (but we’ll inevitably go back to ringing each other’s necks before too long! ’Cause, you know, life’s a circle).
When she first came around I didn’t know what to think of her (except that she was an alien), so I just went with it and we got along fine. I drew on her with my mom’s lipstick a lot, but, being an immobile infant, she couldn’t really do anything about it.
When we were kids we acted as sort of partners in crime; whatever scheme I was devising, she was my right-hand gal. Once, we plotted to hide behind our claw-foot tub for 2 hours (’cause why not?!). Our parents panicked. We could hear them yelling for us from downstairs and even outside and we just giggled thinking we were the funniest pair. We came out before they called the cops though. Sorry Mom and Dad!
Then junior high hit and, well, all I can say is the gap between 8 and 12 is better compared to the gap between 21 and 65. She was an amazing nightmare that annoyed me for 3 years straight. She’d sneak in my room and spy on me, take my stuff and hide it, insist on being around whenever my friends were over, take my CDs, my makeup, my clothes, mock my average grades (because she was a genius), plus she would always spy on my first boyfriend and I when we’d hang out. Her best friend was his little sister, too, so that never helped. We could always hear them snickering behind a door and it was so creepy and aggravating, hah. She learned exactly how to press each and every one of my buttons. To be fair, infuriating and pestering your older sister is the primary job of younger siblings, but damn she was WAY too good at it.
As time passed and we got farther along in school, we could stand each other for longer increments of time. We even started liking the same music (she LOVED AFI)! Once I went away to college, I realized more and more how funny and fun she was to be around and dare I say, how much I missed her!? Well . . . let’s not get carried away. Missed is a strong word, ha-ha *just kidding!* I did miss her.
Of course, as soon as we start getting along, I moved all the way to California . . . but we remained close and talked constantly. I filled her in on my life in L.A. and she kept me in the loop about hometown happenings. Then she graduated high school, started college, and everything started deteriorating.
Starting college will bring a huge shift in anyone’s life but for her (or us), it was as if a massive rogue wave snuck up, washed us clean of all love and mutual respect we had amassed for each other and were left as wildly vicious, irrational dingbats. Now, truth be told, it does seem sibling rivalry runs in our family so that it’s happening between us doesn’t totally surprise me, but the fact that it’s been going on so long does. We haven’t agreed on more than 5 things in 4 years. It’s exhausting!
Accurate portrayal of real life
I’ll be heading home for the holidays for about two weeks this year and then she’ll be joining me in L.A. in early January for a week. So we’ll be spending 24 solid days together. YIKES. We already had a huge fight about her coming here (and her wanting to invite three of her other friends to sleep on my floor for a week). So it’ll definitely be interesting, but honestly, unavoidable fights aside, I’m so excited to have her here.
I know I said we are exact opposites, and it’s undeniably true on multiple levels, but when it comes down to the brass tax of it all, we can at least agree that no matter how many times I say I don’t support the monster she’s become or I want to throw her down a flight of stairs to knock some sense into her, or how many times she thinks I make all the wrong decisions or am just being a plain b*tch, we really only have each other’s best interest in mind and the challenges we throw at each other help us both grow (no matter how painful).
Here’s to hoping this 4-year long “shift” we’ve been in ends soon and that the increments of time we can stand each other rises again.
Rockabye Baby HQ is based in Silver Lake, which is essentially Williamsburg West, or, in short, hipster central. So we know a thing or two what it means to be “with it” — we’re surrounded by cool parents — which is how we came up with this handy list of signs that you’re a hipster parent.
Take a look and see how you score on the hipster parent scale.
YOU KNOW YOU’RE A HIPSTER PARENT WHEN…
You live in Silver Lake or Williamsburg.
You gave your kid an unconventional name, or if you did give your kid a common name, you spelled it unconventionally.
You drive a Prius.
“Organic” is your unspoken middle name.
You, dear fathers, sport a biblical beard or well-groomed mustache.
This is where you shop in order of preference: farmers’ markets, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods.
You’re a mother who breastfeeds proudly in public — with no cover.
Your kids wear Toms and so did you, before they became trendy. (Now you prefer moccasins.)
You or your spouse are or were in a band, filmmaker(s), writer(s) — possibly even all of the above.
Your or your partner/spouse or both of you have tattoos you don’t regret.
Your or your partner/spouse or both of you have piercings you don’t regret.
For your kid, clothing is optional.
You own at least 3 Rockabye Baby CDs!
If you checked up to 4, you’re definitely a hipster parent-in-training. Don’t worry, you can still change your son’s name and grow that beard.
If you checked up to 8, congratulations you’re absolutely a hipster parent! You can teach the people above a thing or two about being in the know!
If you checked 11 or more, you’re a whole different level. Perhaps hipster royalty — the equivalent of Brangelina. Perhaps a more fitting comparison would be “Mikeranda.” (If you get who we’re referring to, give yourself 4 free checks as you just moved up a level.
I’m a baby of the ’80s. During my childhood, MTV, CMT, radio and cassette tapes were in and vinyl was out. So out in fact that my parents gave away a huge percentage of their vinyl collection because it just wasn’t that cool anymore.
But as you all know, that has since changed. Vinyl has made a serious comeback in recent years, with sales skyrocketing to 6.1 million in 2013 (the highest since 1991). Even crazier is that Urban Outfitters is now the world’s largest seller of vinyl. Weird, right?!? Interestingly enough, it’s the kids who grew up being able to download music or stream via Pandora and Spotify who are the primary demographic buying vinyl now. And I am one of them (a passive collector, I might add, as I‘ll hunt down a vinyl release maybe twice a year).
My how the tables have turned (ha ha, get it)!
Since I had a late start, I got my first record at 19.
I have since added more (but not many more as both of my roommates have way larger collections than I do, so I just spin what they’ve got). But enough about me! Wouldn’t you say it’s high time to get your hands on baby’s first vinyl? Just tell us this to enter this week’s vinyl giveaway:
What was the first record you bought?
Tell us what your very first vinyl was in the comments by November 11, 8 pm PST to be automatically entered to win one (1) of these albums: Lullaby Renditions of Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips or The White Stripes. Three (3) total winners will be selected in our random drawing.
Boy, did we ever stir it up with last month’s post about whether or not it was okay for the word “fat” to be included in a preschool lesson. (See all the blog comments and Facebook discussion.) Some said First-Time Mommy was right to be concerned, others said she was being overly sensitive and even censoring her kid.
Whatever your take on the matter, I think we can all agree that we live in a weight-obsessed culture, one where “fat” people get treated differently than thin ones. Kids—even ones as young as three- and four-year-olds—can already understand the pejorative connotations of this other F word. Even if they aren’t quite sure what “fat” means, they know it’s bad.
As someone who grew up close to someone with an eating disorder, I don’t want my daughters suffering the same fate. I watched a young woman waste away, riddled with self-hatred and a totally distorted view of her body that took years of therapy to heal. And I don’t want your sons or daughters or friends or anyone for that matter to have to go through that sh*t. But the message to be impossibly thin is all around them—and being fat, in our culture, means an association with being lazy or even evil.
Here’s a general rule I’ve learned the hard way to use around my kids: Don’t say anything around them you don’t want them to repeat. Because children are whip-smart, they hear everything, and are really good at whipping out the perfect word at the perfect moment for maximum parental embarrassment. And it’s not the curse words I’ve uttered that I’m ashamed of—it’s the time I asked my husband if a pair of jeans I had on made me look fat. My four-year-old was in the room and though I haven’t seen evidence of damage done (she hasn’t repeated the word in a degrading way), every time I think about it I wince. Because not only was it a total parental fail in promoting a healthy body image, it also contradicts everything I believe in, which is to treat people (including yourself!) respectfully. I used a word in a way that I definitely don’t want her to repeat.
Until we can stop putting a moral value on obesity and using the word “fat” to degrade and diminish people, I’m going to watch how the F word gets used in my house. That means first off censoring my own damn mouth—and then secondly, patrolling its use in books, movies, and magazines (just as I skip over the words “stupid,” “ugly,” and “hate” in stories, I’m skipping over “fat” unless it refers to cutting meat).
Words have power. As a parent, it’s my job to use them in a manner that empowers my kids and to teach them to love bodies of any shape and size. That means being careful—and sensitive—about the use of the F word. It’s not being oversensitive; it’s doing what we can to counter the way words are used to damage us.
Parents, do you dream of peaceful nights without baby's cries? Well, the rumours are true: Lullaby Renditions of Fleetwood Mac will soothe those woeful tears. Don't stop spinning these gentle instrumentals - they'll make sleeping fun.