From the cradle to the grave

Babies and grandparents, beginnings and loss ... this week in TT.

Published September 23, 2005 4:58PM (EDT)


Bizarre Hatred of Random Celebrities 4

MGF - 01:46 p.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 15, 2005 - #8632 of 8975

I'd give a lot for a Cheetos Red Bull Crank Federline birth announcement...

Oh, My GAWD, Y'all!

Cletus McK-Fed and I are, like, totally psyched to announce the birth of our first-born son and heir, Cheetos Red Bull Crank Spears Federline.

Baby Cheetos (we're thinking of Cranky as a nickname, but only when he's not actually cranky, y'know, because that's like so, so totally ironic, which I do TOO know what it means, unlike that grungy weird-looking Alanis chick from, like, Vermont or whatever) was born at Santa Monica Hospital at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, by Mend it Like Beckham Cesari ... Ceseri ... Sesari ... I totally can't spell that, y'all, but the thing where they cut open my tummy and pull the baby out, because I watched Bit-Bit do it the other way, and it's gross, y'all. This way, they give me the drugs (if Cletus doesn't try to bogart them first) and knock me out and get it over with.

Anyway, Baby Cheetos and I are doing great, y'all, especially because I already handed him over to the nanny so she can deal with all the feeding and the poop and everything and I can just pop him in my Vuitton Baby Bag when I'm heading out where the pappa ... papparaz ...I totally can't spell that either. Where the guys with the cameras will be, because I totally want to show what a full-time mom I am.

Oh, and in case y'all are wondering how we came up with such a great and creative name, Cletus and I just sat down and made a list of our favorite things! Like in that song in that movie, y'all! Doesn't that rock?! But don't go copying us or anything cuz I'll have to sue.

And I know you're going to want to send us presents, so you should know we're registered at Baby Gap, 7-Eleven, and with Cletus' favorite dealer personal advisor, Steve "Smack Daddy" Smith.

Families Who Think

S/he Works Hard for NO Money: The stay-at-home parent thread

Sweetiehead - 08:32 p.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 14, 2005 - #869 of 933

I feel I must explain my use of the term "worker bee." I was reacting to the suggestion that those who are not currently in the workforce, for whatever reason, are somehow a drain on the economy, and the implied judgment (that they should feel responsible for this drain). I was thinking about Western Europe, where the average workweek is considerably shorter than in America, vacation times are longer, and paid parental leave is extremely generous (sometimes a year, split between the parents if they like). There are a lot of reasons for this; some are political, some are economic, and I think some are cultural -- there is a general message in our culture, that the more you work (for a paycheck), the better a person you are. I think as women have entered the workforce over the last 40 years, many of us have internalized this message, among others; I think some of us even feel guilty and defensive about our decision to stay at home with children, even for a short while, because we think we are on some level failing the entire feminist movement. That I can relate to. But do not feel any responsibility to prop up this economy.

I've worked pretty much without stopping since I was 18 years old -- 24 years -- and years of that in clerical or restaurant jobs. My mother went back to work when I was 6 weeks old (and it was a job, not a career, trust me). I think Americans work too hard, and our culture doesn't place enough emphasis on the importance of other pursuits: family time, leisure time, artistic work. Increased prosperity doesn't buy us more leisure, but more work, it seems (unless you're a CEO). And our system encourages this. And working-class people especially are failed by this system. So when I deride the idea of being a good little worker bee, I'm not dumping on firefighters or custodians, but on the society that robs them of their time and repays them with two piddling weeks of vacation a year, and forces them back to work after 12 weeks unpaid leave (gee thanks, FLMA).

And I also mean that I personally am not going to force myself to go back to work soon after the baby's born, pump milk in the bathroom stall, hire a nanny and pay them less than I think they deserve with no benefits because that's all I can afford, and there's no good infant childcare in my area, JUST SO I can keep from feeling guilty about not "contributing my share" to the economy. There are plenty of other sound reasons to do all of the above, and I would fully support anyone who does all those things. But to avoid feeling like a freeloader? No, I think not.

Private Life

Tributes: A quiet place for tears and light

pushkins - 03:13 p.m. Pacific Time - Sept. 20, 2005 - #51 of 53

It was perfect that you wore the star sapphire on your finger because it was your eyes. It was your eyes on your finger and I used to stare at it when you closed your other eyes, squinched in delight as you plucked at the jew's-harp, cast down and tear-spilled when you sang the songs of your father's land. The deep blue water of your eyes, clean and unabashed, the starlit glint of them old and cool and long as time in the sun by your garden, by your garden where you told us Indians were hiding, waiting to take care of your corn so there'd be enough to share. The blue Thunderbird wagon that my grandma bought to match your eyes, that you said was a magic car where no one had to grow up; the blue barge barely bouyed beneath the weight of your grandkids as you steered us in the cold July air to see the Roman candles and the fountains and the air bombs that celebrated something we didn't yet know about the country you loved, so we couldn't understand the tears in your eyes. When you got sick in the last years, your eyes were always wet. Dad said it was just part of the sickness, but I think you were crying over the loss of your language, your stories, your Indians and lions and trains and great ships. I wish for one last light, the one in my bedroom at the lakeside cabin, which you'd come in to turn off as you sang: goodnight, ladies, goodnight, gentlemen, we're going to bed now. We watched your eyes until the light flickered out; the best and worst part, we got to be tucked in by you, but then had to go off to sleep. You've been in bed for a long time now. Close your eyes. I love you, grandpa. Merrily you'll go to sleep, over the deep blue sea.

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