Friday, February 29, 2008

Mathematics in Parenting


When Poker Chick was pregnant, she loved BabyCenter. Emails once a week, giving her cool little scientific facts, helping her bond with this little thing inside that didn't do anything at the time other than make her throw up. Lots. Then she slowly started realizing its sappiness. The cheesy "life is a gift!" corny posts. Despite growing skepticism, she still looked forward to the emails.

Until she gave birth. Over time, curiosity turned to disillusionment. The emails, instead of telling her neat things she didn't know, changed completely in tonality. Now they were telling her about things she clearly should've known about but didn't (well, that's how she interpreted each one). She read the parent comments and read about all these things moms were doing for their kids, special projects, putting them on the potty as an infant, miraculously cutting a newborns nails without drawing blood. And she felt inadequate and abnormal.

These mothers were clearly all superior to her, or so she thought. Each weak she dreaded the emails, and while she clung to them, desperate for information she was clearly clueless on, they fed into all her insecurities which were only magnified by lack of sleep and a lack of any sort of maternal influence (i.e. any guidance whatsoever). She inhaled parenting books at the time for the same reason, and despite reading 5 different books on the same subject that told you five different things she still thought they were all smarter than she was. It was tearing her apart.

So it came as just as much of a surprise to her as it may to those reading this that one day she suddenly stopped cold turkey. Still insecure, she checked in with the pediatrician on this position:

Poker Chick: "So you're really sure I can forego any and all parenting books, advice, etc. from now until the end of my life? Seriously just trust my instincts and check in with you for when in doubt?"
Him: "Yes. For the fifth time."
Poker Chick: "Have you seen my instincts?"

Anyway. So from that day forward, not only did she shun all parenting advice specifically, she took great pleasure in it. She was scoffing at them, mocking the extra work and worry they put all these parents through. The "I'm better than you!" attitude felt great!! But still, underneath all that, she had doubts that she knew what she was doing.

But then something wonderful happened. She re-discovered parenting magazines. She began reading them and realized they were restoring confidence in her parenting abilities immensely. In fact, she actively seeks them out now and reads them to feel good about herself.

And she highly recommends this form of self-help for other parents, too. Why, you might ask?

Because they're $3.99 of overpaid common sense. For instance, the article on how to eat out with a toddler. It was filled with "tips" such as "order as soon as you sit down" and "bring crayons or something for the child to do".

No sh*t, sherlock. If you haven't figured that out by the third meal with a toddler, then you've got bigger fish to fry. And clearly there a lot of people out there looking for this information. Which, if you follow some kind of weird algebraic theorem Poker Chick is making up at this moment, looks something like the following equation:

First we state that demand for content in parenting magazines is directly driven by modern parental needs:

Demand for content in parenting magazines -> by modern American parents

And, as we have just stated:

Content in parenting magazines = ridiculously obvious to Poker Chick

Therefore...
Poker Chick = smarter than the average parent reading this stuff

And because "smarter than the average parent reading this stuff = just fine..."

We conclude....

Poker Chick = just fine

A genius solution.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Little Bragging

Another fan: Poker Chick discovered her site on something called Alltop. How did she get there? No clue. According to the site:

"We import the stories of the top news websites and blogs for any given topic and display the headlines of the five most recent stories...."

Huh. Poker Chick is both baffled and flattered.

The Death of Pop Culture as We Know it

Have the brains of the entire American public turned to mush? Judging by the latest in a bad rush of reality TV shows, Poker Chick thinks yes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Conquering Phobias*

It was time. After several years, Poker Chick needed to face her nemesis. Not for herself, but for the mini. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. The very thought of it sat there in her head like a huge thereat. It sent stress signals throughout Poker Chick's body, made her nerves jump, evoked all latent and conscious feelings of inadequacy and took her to that deep, dark scary place she usually can't cope with.

That's right, peeps. Poker Chick went to the Container Store.
You see, domestic skills are not exactly at the top of the list of Poker Chick's talents. Big shock, we know. But household organization is a big part of that. And somehow that neatness gene skipped this girl. She just doesn't have a clue how to put things together, where to put things, basically all those things that people do that make a house a home - yep, she ain't got it.

So it follows that walking into this store, this shining beacon for scrapbookers and neatniks, is like walking into hell. Panic ensued pretty much as soon as she set foot in the door. All sorts of gadgets and gizmos she not only didn't know existed, she doesn't know what to do with them. What would you use a 2" box for? What about a 5" one? What about a bigger one? Why are there 300 different kinds of tupperware? What's the difference? She looked around and wondered how other people (normal people) get their closets to look like that. How do they avoid those piles of "stuff"?

The panic got worse. Poker Chick felt claustrophobic, the store began to close in on her. Normally, this is the point where she backs out and walks out in tears. She can't do it. This stuff is just too scary. But with the husband and mini in tow as well as her close pal, there was no way out. They were on a mission and the mini needed those toys organized!!! They simply cannot be all over the living room floor anymore.

The husband helped. Poker Chick had predetermined they had a lot of underutilized closet space in the mini's room they could use to magically organize stuff. So the husband measured. And off they went. Resolving to face her fear, Poker Chick grudgingly held the blue buzzer handed to her as she waited for "help".

It would appear that storage does not, in fact, make you smile

Only the help wasn't helpful and she knew it wasn't going to be. See, designing a closet is not for people who hate this kind of crap. It's for those that love it. So if you hate it, and worse - don't know what to put where, they look at you like an alien from out of space. Poker Chick could practically hear this saleswoman scream "What kind of a mother are you? How do you not know this? What's wrong with you?!! Are you even a real woman?" Poker Chick was suddenly regretting her ignorant questions ("what do you put in here? what about here? where would you put a toy like this? books?") She was also confused. Aren't these people here for the sole purposes of answering these questions? Apparently not. It would appear that other people are not as dumb as Poker Chick in this arena of the home. She somehow missed that class in life.

Easier? Surely they jest.


But no worries!!! The Container store, and its best friend - Real Simple magazine were here to remind Poker Chick of her failures!!

Still, she came, she went, she purchased.

Maybe the boxes are still unopened but doesn't that still warrant some kind of recognition. A little credit? Yeah!!! A little credit!
*For those inquiring, this is the prequel to the post in the works on femininity.


Duude, how are people not talking about this?

Castro just....quit??

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

Poker Chick doesn't buy into this stuff, but here's what the latest email chain had to say about hers (and the mini's) sign:

The Sweetheart - Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality. Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional. Can be a bit rebellious. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out. Eccentric personality.

If you know Poker Chick in the real world, we ask that you at least close your mouth as you guffaw at the word "unemotional".

Friday, February 15, 2008

As Poker Chick gets another random shoutout she continues to be in grateful amazement of her random readers who have no personal investment in her hullaballoo. Thanks, Maria!

We Wish This Were a Joke

This riding crop with antique tip is just one of the "instruments of pleasure" for sale. If you think this is weird, you should see their "butt-ins". Poker Chick feels a need to re-iterate the title of her Valentine's Day post.

The excerpt below was taken word for word from a local neighborhood magazine.

In the bedroom
Sometimes you need to whip your partner into shape - literally. The Kiki De Montparnasse collection of riding crops adds an aristocratic touch to your intimate moments, offering handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces make of 100% leather and bamboo, engraved silver, or vintage metal detailing. Even the shy and the prudish can appreciate the fine equine-inspired craftsmanship, and unlike a vibrator or pair of fuzzy handcuffs, you don't need to stash it away when the cleaning comes. Visit the Kiki De Montparnasse flagship boutique on Greene St.

Now don't toss those fuzzy handcuffs just yet, peeps. Even if this floats your boat, at $550 a whip you probably can't afford it. Wow, these rich New Yorkers sure are creeeepy.
Said the mini when asked to read the time on her digital clock: "Eight, Polka dot, Polka dot, Three, One!!!". Poker Chick bit her lip to keep from laughing. After all, the kid was right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Punchy Night Terrors

To my Philippine friend, who wanted to hear more about New York....

Sadly, it was a typical end to the day. Run out of office in desparation. People do not understand meaning of "must get off phone now", and, once again, this mother can't get it together and is relieving the nanny late. Run home. 3 messages, all reminders of stuff Poker Chick is letting fall through the cracks. Accountant reminding her to come in. Oh yeah. Friend reminding her to call and book the freakin' vacation in a couple weeks already. Health insurance people calling. They called last week and Poker Chick accidentally hung up on them. She tried to call back but their lines were down and she forgot about it the next day. Oops. Packages to open. More gifts for the mini. Lovely gifts, Poker Chick appreciates the love. Really, please don't take it personally that the thank you note or call hasn't come yet. She'll get around to it. In two months, maybe. Next minute, listen to nanny passing along the message that other moms are wondering why the mini is the only kid whose mom did not sign up for a "shabbat mom" slot. Why? Because Poker Chick is the only freakin' mom in the class that has to work to afford the damn school. So chill out, parents and lay off the guilt. It ain't helping.

Where were we? Oh yes, taking off the jacket. See, all this was just the first minute. Kid and nanny talking at once, sounds like five people yelling at once, don't know what to listen to. Kid wants milk, nanny says keys at front desk missing. Poker Chick pauses to look at mini "that's not how you ask for something!", waits for compliant "please may I have milk...". Continue listening. Keys. Does Poker Chick's friend have them? No. That leaves only the cleaning lady and she does not have the keys. So now we have to go do the doorman search and all and figure out where the heck they're hiding in that lobby box. What a pain in the @ss.

But wait, there's more! Someone was robbed in a building close by the other day. Some guy disguised as a FedEx dude. Seriously! And last night there was also a murder in Poker Chick's cozy little neighborhood. Last night!! Murder!! One person dead, another good samaritan who tried to intervene in critical condition. But hey, at least it wasn't in a nice fancy doorman building right near Poker Chick and the mini. And at least it wasn't in her kids' friend's building. Oh, wait.....

That's right. It was. And now Poker Chick's keys are missing. And this girl here (yes, she's big enough to admit it) sometimes gets afraid in the dark. You know, things go bump, scary guy in mask she's been expecting all her life must be breaking in, all that realistic jazz. Yep, we're pitiful like that. So until we either find Poker Chick's keys or change the locks, suffice it to say this girl will be tired. Dead tired. (Ha! I kill me! Hey, that's one too....)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Props

Poker Chick just figured out how to find people that mention her blog. Thanks to all of you, special thanks to Victoria Groce for her shoutout on the food allergy post. Who knew people actually read this stuff?

Let's Puke, Shall We?

For nearly a month now Poker Chick has been gagging at schmaltzy ads and products for Valentine's Day. Sites like MSN shout that it's not too late! They are here to the rescue with suggestions for how to avoid the doghouse! Interesting. Poker Chick's got a tip of her own. Don't attempt to actually involve Poker Chick in anything related to 14th. She may go from gagging to actual puke. On you. So peeps, consider yourself warned.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mad props to the people at Mac for using a native Israeli singer in this spot.

Intermission

There are advantages to falling ill every time your child is sick. Okay, well, just one. You know what you're in for. So when the mini had a horrible virus in December, Poker Chick knew she was in for two weeks of misery and a full blown stuffy nose that didn't quit. And when she was sick for longer than two weeks, she knew it was past the normal phase of that illness and got herself some drugs.

So when she spent the last few days feeling like crap, she knew the fever would soon pass as the mini got better in just a few days.

Sorry for the lack of posts, peeps. Our girl's been sick. Oh, and apparently so is a woman who calls herself "Cinderella", blogs just like Poker Chick, and writes in Japanese. Weird!

Friday, February 1, 2008

You Tell Me

Admittedly Poker Chick has not posted anything of substance for a while. You may think this is because she's been too busy at work. True. Perhaps there's been nothing interesting worth writing. Perhaps also true. But mostly, she's caught with too many thoughts in her head these days and no clue what to write about.

The thing is, she has no idea what you peeps want to read and what is dismissed as dull.

So here's a taste of different topics on her mind. Time for you to to tell this girl what the heck you want to read about. Seriously, please. She's clueless.

  • Resolutions. It's Feb. 1 so how is she doing?
  • Grandparents.
  • Euthenasia.
  • The never-ending saga of the teeth in progress.
  • Birthday parties.
  • The Super Bowl. Not football, stupid. Re-read the title of this blog as well as the url. What other interests might the Super Bowl hold?
  • What an awesome weekend looks like.
  • The election.
  • Femininity.