Friday, January 31, 2014


Raising two little girls isn't easy.  More importantly, it isn't for wusses.  Benny and I... we're a lot of things.  Wusses?  Not one of them.

So, it's important to us that we not raise wusses.  Mostly because of the whining.  Because whining?  It's for wusses. And there's one thing that I have waaayyy too much of in my life, and that's whining.

We are raising tough, strong and brave girls.  Ask my girls what Nadolski's are, and they'll tell you that they're tough.... stwong... and bwave.  Also, turns out that they're bit strong-willed.  Or stubborn mules as Benny has said.  But since that's definitely something they get from him, he can just deal with it.  I had nothing to do with that bit of nonsense.


Which is why the conversation I had with one of The Bean's teachers today was particularly distressing.  Apparently, my little Bean has been going around telling everyone... teachers, other kids, the school pet rock... that she's fragile.


My daughter?  FRAGILE?  Have you met this kid?  There is no way in the world that she could be considered anything remotely close to fragile.

This is the child that regularly runs into the doorknob... any all doorknobs... with.her.head., and shakes it off like it's nothing.  This is the 2 year-old child that jumped off a box at gymnastics that was twice as tall as she is, and stuck the landing.  This is the child that runs into the fridge full bore while she's looking at something behind her and bounces off of it like it's made of rubber. This is the child that, well.. she did this a few months ago:

Secondly, where in the world has she even heard the word fragile?  I boxed up all of our good wine glasses after we had her because she was a bull in a china cabinet even when she was unable to walk.  There's nothing fragile in our home, with the exception of Daddy's whiskey collection. 

This child?  Anything but fragile.

I often wonder about what we teach our girls about what they can be and who they are in this world... and then what the world teaches them about what girls are supposed to be, what they can or cannot do and what they should or should not like. And you know what?  Not impressed with the world sometimes. 

We put pink on a toy and make little girls think that a toy in any other color is for boys.  And that that's somehow bad. There are whole aisles in stores dedicated to brainwashing our children as to what they should be playing with based on their gender.  Insanity.  I tell both girls almost daily that there is no such thing as a boy toy or a girl toy.  It's just a toy.  The damn color doesn't make one bit of difference in it's ability to be... a toy. 

Who cares if it's pink?  What if my daughter likes blue? Or orange?  Or God forbid, brown??  Because Daddy wears brown all the time and saves the fishies and how awesome is that?  What if she wants to play with the yellow, blue and red Legos instead of the pink and purple Legos? What if she wants to play with a Transformer or pretend to be an astronaut?

Super cool, right?

But instead of doing that, she begins to question what she likes or dislikes because all of her friends are wearing pink or purple and playing with Barbies.  Where's their originality, their individualism... their truth?  How will they ever stand out from the herd, if they look exactly like everyone else in the herd?

At gymnastics, I caught one of the little boys telling The Bean that she couldn't swing on the rope because she was a girl.  And "girls can't do that." 

Son of a .... you want to give me a nervous tick?  Go ahead and tell me that I can't do something or shouldn't do something because I'm a girl. And then watch me do it.  Watch me stick the landing. And then watch me flip you the bird a la Ross in Friends.

Wanna see my head explode?  Tell my girls they can't do something because they are female.  I don't care if the offender in question is male or female... black or white... is 4 or 40.  Not. Cool. And I will cut you.

But, since I'm supposedly the grown-up in this scenario and flipping off a 4-year-old is frowned upon, I had to grit my teeth and say happily, yet firmly so as not to leave any doubt that Nadolski's are not to be trifled with when it comes to equality and OMG I will not be having my girls treated as anything but equals on the playground or in life: "That's nonsense... you can do anything a boy can do.  And you might even do it better.  Go tell him you want a turn."

And to my immense pride, she did just that.  And this little 4-year-old boy, possibly sensing something was amiss, shrugged his shoulders and gave her a turn on the swing.

Which is good because my next instructions to The Bean would have been to head butt him.

Because standing up for yourself?  That's the new fragile.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On Making My Children Miserable

Things I have failed at so far in 2014, according to my children:
  1. Didn't let The Bird lick the inside of an egg shell
  2. Made The Bean wear a nightgown with 3/4 sleeves.  So they're neither short, nor long.  Maddening for a 2YO.
  3. Didn't let The Bird wear a short skirt and a tank top in 20 degree weather.
  4. Let The Bird go out in a short skirt and tank to in 20 degree weather and it was too cold and she's fffffff-freezing!
  5. Forcefully removed a band-aid from The Bird's arm that was starting to grown into the skin and was causing her pain.
  6. Didn't share my coffee with The Bean.
  7. Made The Bird wear underwear.
  8. Made The Bean wear underwear.
  9. Gave The Bird a choice of three different pairs of shoes that are appropriate for snow and ice... flip flops weren't one of the options.
  10. Didn't let The Bean unlock the car with her magic key. 
  11. The Bird's magic wand isn't letting her fly around like she told it to.  My fault.
  12. Didn't let The Bird leave a tack in her bed.
  13. Didn't make the pancakes big enough.
  14. Didn't give The Bird the small pancake.
  15. Let Bonnie poop in the snow. 
  16. Didn't put enough syrup on The Bird's pancake.
  17. Took away the Costco receipt that both girls were fighting over. 
  18. Let The Bird's teacher stop teaching to take care of her family. 
  19. Didn't send The Bird to her room when she didn't want to play with The Bean.
  20. Didn't send The Bean to her room when she didn't want to play with The Bird. 
  21. Didn't give The Bird medicine when her teeth started to fake hurt.
  22. Didn't give The Bean medicine when her sister's teeth started to fake hurt.
  23. Didn't make The Bean tell The Bird that she liked her hair.
  24. Was unable to tell Elmo that The Bean doesn't like Velvet in Elmo's World.
  25. Have not yet fixed The Bird's lamp... and I never, ever, ever fix anything of hers.
  26. Made dinner that wasn't candy.
  27. Didn't let The Bird put on my makeup.
  28. Didn't let The Bean play with the butcher knife.
  29. Didn't play Let It Go from Frozen for the 51st time in a row.
  30. Reminded both girls that Poopy-Face is not an acceptable term of endearment.  Unless you're talking to the dog. And even then.... you have to be a Mommy to be able to say that.
  31. Laughed when The Bird got stuck putting on a pair of stockings.
  32. Didn't think it was super funny that The Bean kept kicking the back of my seat in the truck.
  33. Didn't fast forward through the commercials fast enough.
  34. Broke The Bean's sled when we went on an epic ride down the hill. 
  35. Didn't let The Bean stand on the door of the dishwasher while I was loading it.
  36. Didn't sit in the bathroom captivated and watch The Bean poop.
  37. Made The Bean clean up the Cheerios she spilled, instead of letting the dog eat it.
  38. Didn't coddle The Bird when she fell off her chair because she wasn't sitting on her bummy.
  39. Didn't coddle The Bean when she did the exact same thing 30 seconds later... because she did it on purpose.
  40. They couldn't smell the shampoo for some reason... and that's my fault.
  41. Didn't stop the snow from melting.
  42. These strawberries are cut up... and they wanted them whole.  Fix it, mama.
Things I've done right in 2014, according to me:
  1. Loved my girls.
  2. Loved their father.
  3. Tolerated the dog.
  4. Liquor cabinet fully stocked.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Is Having Kids

Things My Kids Licked in 2013

  1. The slide at McDonald's.
  2. Shopping carts at all major grocery stores... and WalMart.
  3. Handrails.  All handrails.
  4. The dog.
  5. Snow.
  6. Each others tongues.  In public.
  7. The door handle.  Every door handle.
  8. The remote.
  9. My face.
  10. The backs of chairs at any and all public gathering places.
  11. Each others faces.
  12. Their toes.
  13. The drinking fountain.
  14. Crayons.
  15. Boogers off their faces while sledding.  Who am I kidding?  Eating, licking... potato, potahtoe.
  16. Maple syrup off their breakfast plates.
  17. The trunk of our tree.
  18. The Christmas tree.
  19. A rock.
  20. My keys.
  21. Cake beaters.
  22. Have I already mentioned boogers?
  23. Bottom of their shoe.
  24. The window.
  25. A used band-aid.  The dirty, oozy part of the band-aid.

 Things I Hope My Kids Lick in 2014
  1. A freakin' vegetable.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Village

One of the things I've kind of missed since becoming an apostate (gasp!  swoon!  judge!) is the constant sense of community I had through my religion when I was growing up.  When I was a kid, this sense of community was at once awesome and a TOTAL pain in the ass.

Awesome when the adults in your church knew your parents wouldn't be able to come to a basketball game, and showed up to support you as your "Subby Parents".  Several times. And why this is so unbelievably noble is because this was high school girls basketball... in Idaho... in the 90's.  And even though we thought we were bad ass (and compared to schools in Utah that we regularly beat up on, we were)(lookin' at you, Sky View, Logan and Mountain Crest)... c'mon!  Even I can't sit through a high school girls basketball game now without wanting to lay down on the bleachers and take a nice nap... or throw my shoes at the girls on the court because seriously?  GET IT TOGETHER AND TRY NOT TO MAKE MY EYES BLEED WITH THIS NONSENSE.  And yet these people came to support because they knew you, they knew your family and they loved you.  If sitting through high school girls basketball games for someone you're not directly related to you isn't love, I don't know what is.  

A total pain in the ass when the Relief Society President calls your parents to rat you out after  you pass her on the highway while racing a friend on the way to school... and apparently, 92 mph is FROWNED UPON ON THESE HIGHWAYS.

I remember when I moved to Ogden, I was so glad to be moving away from that small town and the seeing eyes and tattletales.  After 18 years of "village" living, I couldn't wait to be anonymous.  Well, as anonymous as you could get in Ogden, UT.  Which, luckily, turned out to be just the right amount.

But, after having children, one of the things that I have struggled with is the idea that my children weren't going to necessarily have the sense of community that I had growing up because they aren't going to be raised LDS... you know, because of the whole apostate thing.

In the last few years, though, I have come to realize that here in Ogden, my girls don't need to be affiliated with a specific religion to feel a sense of community.  To feel loved.  To feel protected and cared for.  Because that sense of community emanates from the city itself.  It is palpable when we walk into the coffee shop and the owners know us by name and ask the girls about the puppy.... when we ride our bikes through the neighborhood on a warm January day, and everyone who drives by honks and waves their encouragement. 

We're not special.  That community feeling, the love for your neighbors and your fellow man... well, it sounds trite, but here the idea of "it takes a village" extends to everyone... young and old.  It's something that our people not only believe, but practice daily. Our people run and bike the trails on a dark, cold and icy January night with nothing but a headlamp and the stars for light, looking for someone who went missing after a hike.  Our people stop what they're doing to help tie ribbons all over town for a family who lost a child.  Our people read about your friend with terminal cancer who lives thousands of miles away, and donate to his fundraiser... simply because at one point, he was a member of this community.  And you're a member of this community. Our people spend a Saturday downtown teaching our kids the importance of taking care of our rivers... teaching them the value of our natural resources.  All the while noting that they are our most valuable natural resource. They are our future village. They're  learning from us and seeing our example of how to take care of our world, our village... our people.

In this town, we're all "Subby Parents"... showing up to take care of each other when we need it. And, that, my friends... that's a community you want to live in.

It's authentic.

It's spiritual.

It's a village.