Tag Archives: Parenting girls

Patchouli to Pine Sol My Parenting Journey

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The kids and I about four years ago.

The kids and I about four years ago.


I started out as a totally hippie, granola-munching, tree-hugging mama. I gave birth to my kids at home. I breast fed them for two years. I used Waldorf style toys and books (all wood, silk scarfs for dress up, and lovely fairy stories). I fed them organic vegan meals, which I made while thinking on how special my family was and how much I loved them.

Of course my kids had other ideas.

My son wanted to play with GUNS *gasp* and wear camo and crawl in the dirt and pretend to shoot bad guys.
My daughter wanted Barbies, and make-up, and her own gun and camo to follow her brother around.

I fought it.

They eventually won.

I bought Barbies from the Princess of the World Collection so at least my daughter had a variety of ethnic Barbies to play with.

I bought my son toy guns, camo, and G I Joe dolls but also toy swords and cloaks so he could play Lord of the Rings.
I took them to faerie festivals, folk music festivals, and to see the latest movies.

Then I started working at a group home, where the state licensing board sets the standards and rules. Where I work with kids who need clear firm rules and boundaries. Kids who don’t handle changes in their routine.

Kids who have to deal with public schools and conform to the rules, instead of going to alternative hippie charter schools.

Kids who need a doctors permission for me to give them herbs or vitamins, like I could ever get that. Kids I can give over-the-counter medications, but not homeopathic formulas. Kids can stay home only if they have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting.

Unlike my personal kids who stay home because they are sick, or super tired, or “Mom, I might shank someone if you send me to school today.”

So now my house smells like Pine Sol instead of patchouli.

Clothes are chosen based of cost and conformity instead of expressing one’s personal style this week.
I like what I do. I understand the importance of helping these children mesh with society, learn social skills, and fit in with their peers.

Kids who think that if you can’t behave in a socially appropriate manner you’re not eccentric, or expressing yourself, you’re hindered and awkward, and feel left out.

I understand that being a firm, stable, in-control person in their life is essential. And I’m not saying one parenting style is better than the other. In fact I personally believe a blend is ideal: firm clear boundaries and structure so they feel safe and learn ‘proper’ behavior, within which they are given freedom to explore who they are and their individual style, passions, and skills.

Alica Mckenna-Johnson

My kids six months ago.

What has your parenting journey been like? Are you the kind of parent you thought you would be before you had kids?

Purveyor Of Wizened Wisdom

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I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.  Hat created by secretlondon

I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.
Hat created by secretlondon

So there I am lying in bed my body racked with fever and doused with Nyquil (okay Walgreen store brand Nyquil) when my dear daughter walks in and begins to complain about … well… pretty much everything.

As she complained I felt a deep connection to something grater. I became a conduit for Wizened Wisdom.

DD: Mom I don’t want to go to martial arts tomorrow morning. Logan said he was working so I was expecting to stay home and really I just don’t feel like going.

Me: She who pokes tigers with sticks must learn to fight the beast.

DD: What the hell was that? Was that an answer? DAD! something is wrong with mom!

Me: I am a purveyor of Wizened Wisdom; you should feel blessed to be in my presence.

DD: (snorts) Whatever. Hey mom I think it’s stupid to go to school on Monday. We have Tuesday off and no one is even going to go to school. It’ll just be me and I’ll be bored and lonely and we won’t even learn anything important.

Me: It is only through adversity that a blade becomes sharp and strong, my little warrior princess.

DD: OMG I can’t even talk to you! DAD! get control of your wife.

DH: You can go clean up now.

DD has let her mom’s friend paint her face for Day of the Dead. It looks amazing but needs to be washed off. I doze off then wake and hear the water running. It sounds like it’s just the sink.

Me: Is Tala washing her face in the sink?

DH: No she’s taking a shower.

Me: Oh, good, because one should not use a brook when the power of a waterfall is needed.

DH: For the love of all that is holy, stop talking and go to sleep.

Me: It is only in silence the truth can be heard.

DH: What does that even mean??

My family didn’t really appreciate my Wizened Wisdom, but I think it’s because they were overwhelmed by the power of my words.

She’s smooth as Chunky Peanut Butter

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My daughter is smooth.

My daughter is smooth.

So last night I am sitting on my couch talking to my DD when she puts her hand over my eyes. “Shush” she says as I hear the rustling of the money on the table.

She removes her hand and had stuffed the bills in her bra. Grinning she says, “I’m smooth as chunky peanut butter. Oops missed one.”

She grabs the last dollar and stands up grinning at me whispers, “Smooth.”

She walks to the door, goes all ‘Aunt Brandy’ (flips me off playfully—it’s a thing at my house) then runs off cackling.

Why do I keep these people around?

Do Your Kids Omegle? Because they’re seeing dick if they do.

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My daughter is not impressed.

My daughter is not impressed.


Me How was the party last night?

DD It was awesome. We went on Omegle and there were some cool people we chatted with and then we got this old guy showing up his dick, and we screamed, and I think R was damaged cause she’s actually nice and innocent. Anyway we found a pic of a better dick and sent it to him.

Me Excuse me what???

So Omegle is a social media site that hooks you up with strangers. You don’t create a profile, put in your email, or name, you do have to say you’re over the age of 18, SURPRISE kids are using it.

So you get on and agree to behave then wait and suddenly there is a stranger there before you ready to talk, or show you his dick. Now you can add your interests when you get on, meeting someone, anime, knitting, dick, whatever and the site will connect you to people who have also put those things as interests, so you can narrow things down.
DD tells me she mostly uses it to connect with people who like Homestuck and apparently people will cos-play and act out scenarios with other cos-players if they’re online.

Anyway, back to the dick. My DD isn’t concerned or offended by this, she hits stop and they go away. Okay, she now says, “Wow, that looks like a dick only smaller.” Then goes away.

The other night she and her brother were on Omegle and set up the lights and such so when they got someone a red light would surround DD and they would invite the person to join in their satanic ritual. Yes, Omegle is a great place for practical jokes. Most people laughed, some just left, and one guy jumped up grabbed a goat skull and said he was ready.

Not sure what to do about DD, if anything, but I wanted to let the rest of you know what Omegle is and what can be going on there. And while the people you connect with can’t find out who you are from the site itself, you are able to give the stranger you’re chatting to any information you want.

So here is a fun video of an Omegle prank.

So, Who Are You Supposed To Have Sex With?

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I was part of a discussion on Facebook the other day about whether as a parent, you would buy contraceptives for your teens. I had to leave because some one said “No, because I believe in no sex before marriage, at least for girls—boys are another thing.”

UM WTF??? Not the no sex before marriage—while it is not part of my belief system, I understand that it is important to a lot of people—but why it is only important for girls. If sex is a sacred/spiritual act and purity of body is important to start a marriage, why are only women expected to show that level of commitment to their future husbands and marriages?

“Because girls can get pregnant.”

I’ve heard this answer before and I call bullshit. Yes, girls can get pregnant. If they try hard, they can get pregnant, have a baby, and get pregnant again in one year.

A boy on the other hand could get more than 300 women pregnant in one year. Yes it would be unlikely, but he could, which makes the consequences of boys having sex outside of marriage, especially unprotected sex, greater than the consequences of girls having sex before marriage.

So, if girls are supposed to remain chaste, who are these boys fucking? No, really. The girls who are good enough to become their wives and mothers of their children have to say no to sex, even though girls have the same desire for sex that boys do. So who does that leave?

Girl they don’t respect. These boy can have sex with the ‘bad girls’, the ‘sluts’, the ‘easy girls’. And is that really okay with you? If your religion/culture/spirituality says that sex is sacred, are you really okay with your boys having sex with women they don’t respect/love/treat well? Because these are the girls they don’t bring home. Don’t admit to dating. And won’t talk to in public. And to me this is sickening.

Married women. Should these teen boys who are being given permission to act like the easy, dirty, sluts we shun in girls, should they be having sex with married women instead of the teens girls who are supposed to be saying no? At least those women ‘saved themselves’ for their husbands, so the important bit is out of the way. It should be fine if they take younger lovers right?

Widowed/single women. Maybe these teen boys should be finding elderly widowed or single women to sow their wild oats with. These women can’t get pregnant, won’t have their hearts broken, and are lonely. Maybe this is the solution to this pathetically double-standard problem.

No wait, I’ve got it.

These boys should be having sex with EACH OTHER! It’s the perfect solution. The teen girls can stay pure and chaste, the married women won’t commit adultery, and the widows/singles, well they kind of lose out, but, hey, it was a squicky solution. The boys can’t get each other pregnant and they won’t be ‘ruining’ anyone for their wedding day because it’s okay if boys come into the marriage bed as dirty sluts. A win-win solution for everyone.

Huuummm I have the feeling not everyone likes that choice, so I have one final offer:

Professionals. Teen boys could get jobs so they have enough money to have sex with professional sex workers. This way, once again the teen girls can remain virgins, and the teen boys can live out the double standard to the fullest without it negatively effecting anyone else.

Have I missed any options? Who do you think these boys should be having sex with if the girls their age must remain virgins?

Is It Manly Enough?

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, men, man work, manly, hubby

My hubby ready to do man work!

So the other day I had just finished dropping off the evil, um, precious children at camp, and the morning radio DJ asked for people to call in with the “Unmanliest jobs they had seen a man doing.”

My first thought. “Fuck You. How dare you! This question is part of the problem, you’re part of the problem!”
I let it go for a while, because I hadn’t eaten yet and that makes me tetchy, but two days later I still say, “Fuck you.”

What is unmanly? What do they mean by that?

Is it braiding your child’s hair?

Or baking cookies?

Or being a caregiver?

Or being creative?

And what the hell is unmanly about any of those??

The video of the muscle bound guys with tats caring for their children and cleaning the house, those are men, and they sure are hell seem manly to me. And according to this video, it’s important.

I love it when my husband make me food, and not just grilling—look—fire—me cook dead animals cooking, but vegetables sautéed in olive oil, baking gluten free bread, or bringing me a plate of warm from the oven chocolate cookies. I can promise you never once has my husband brought me food and I thought “how unmanly.’ Normally it’s more like, ‘when are these kids going to bed? ’cause that man needs some lovin’.’

When my husband bathed our kids at night and read them stories, and made daisy chains for my daughter to wear, I never thought him womanly. In fact if he was bent over I was probably thinking about his ass.

When my husband paints, or carves, or helps me plot, or designs a new garden I never saw him as less, because let’s face it—in this culture if a man is doing something unmanly aka womanly he is seen as less. What I did and still do see is someone I admire, someone I treasure and someone I intend to keep, so all you all admire from afar and keep your hands to yourselves 🙂

My husband can cook, fight, cuddle babies, fix cars, sooth boo-boos, wield a sword, create art, move boulders, sew, fire guns, break bones, and throw an amazing slumber party for eight year old girls, no help from mom needed.
And trust me, he’s all man.

Tell me about you, or your partner. What are the things you/they are good at that aren’t traditional gender roles.

Killer Potatoes

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, potatoes

They’re innocent until my children get a hold of them.


This is the kind of thing I have to put up with:

Daughter brings me dinner. “Here mom, I have dinner for you.”

“Thanks, honey. It looks good.”

“I’m not so sure about the potatoes. I ate a bite and then threw-up but maybe you’ll have better luck.” Laughing, she walks away.

Really? My daughter serves me killer potatoes. And this is why I never encourage people to have children. Do you encourage people to have kids, or do you tell them stories of your daily life to scare them?

Injurtainment

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson

Can you feel the evil?


So the other day I am sitting on the couch with my son minding my own business, when my daughter comes up and says, “Hey mom do you want to see something cool?”

“No.” This is the standard answer, it is always the answer, and always shall be the answer because in fourteen years of life, anything my daughter has shown me after that question has always freaked me out.

She grins, and I wonder for a moment if Satan is her father, then she drops into the splits. Well almost the splits. Her hands smacked the floor and I feared she would break her wrist as she stopped herself from tearing muscles in her legs, you see she can’t yet do the full splits.

I scream and cover my eyes. I don’t want to see my child break anything.

Boy child laughs and says. “It’s injurtainment!”

And that is how we made a new word.

Vengeance is MINE!!!!!

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Alica Mckenna-Johnson, honey, sweet vengance

photo by alsjhc

I have waited fourteen long, trying years but finally the sweet honey taste of vengeance is mine to savor.
My daughter has fallen in love with a book, The Fault In Our Stars, and she was sitting on the couch reading—totally lost to the world. Smiling, I sat down next to her and started to talk to her.

I asked her random questions.

I hugged her.

I lay on her arm.

I moved her book so I could see what she was reading.

She screeched at me to leave her alone.

She complained how annoying I am.

She pushed me away.

Finally she stormed off into her room.

And I laughed, and hubby laughed, and after fourteen years of her interrupting us when we sat down to read, finally it was my turn to drive her crazy.

I can still taste the honey sweetness of revenge on my tongue.