Killing Our Babies | Buttercup of Doom ep 57


This week I talk about exactly what that title says: Killing Our Babies. Whether it’s the metaphorical version in the writing 101 or the actual every day real life version through parents, public and politicians. From anti-vaxxers to epipens to zika and so on… tired of waiting for the apocalypse? No worries, we seem to be trying to head into extinction from the bottom up, starting with the kids.

Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors: Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)| 13 o’clock podcast | Project iRadio’s Patreon | Kelli’s Patreon page

Suggestions/Requests: n/a…  (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Kelli’s Interview on Wag the Fox • Floaters by Kelli Owen • Naptime fake product • Epipens for SchoolsColum McKnight

Hashtag Hell: #editing #advice #killingyourdarlings #naptime #children #subculturecorsets #13oclock #interview #wagthefox #floaters #antivaxxers #skydaddy #god #zeus #thor #shiva #allergies #epipens #school #zika #obamacare #1099 #busybodies #dogooders #nosyneighbors #bandaids #popsicles #patreon #facebook #twitter #instagram #projectiradio #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: #potpourri #horrormovies #paranormal #ghosthunting #halloween …and your suggestions

This Week’s Rating: PG13 (language) buttercup ratings system info here

All Growed Up

graduation cap 2Thursday we attended graduation for one of the neighborhood clan. It was full of excitement and fun, pride and hope. We poked fun at the band, made faces at Justin from the crowd, and joked that there were seven more of these to attend over the next decade.

Friday, at 12:45 p.m., upon release from the last day of school for the year, my daughter became a senior. A senior. She’ll be the next graduation ceremony we sit through. A year from now, it will be her cap and gown…

I clearly remember that moment like yesterday—when I walked out of school, the last day of junior year, with my head in the clouds and my heart bursting from my chest. I was a senior. Top of the food chain. Almost done. Ready to take on the world.

And I imagine my mother was full of the same fear then as I am today.

My daughter’s not ready to take on the world. She’s still my baby girl. In some ways this is worse than that distant first day of kindergarten, when I sent her off on a bus some stranger was driving, to be cared for by people I didn’t know. She’s going to go off to college (or the Army, as the current flip-flop teen brain is debating) and be around strangers I don’t know, don’t trust, and can’t expect, let alone rely on, to take care of her. She’s not ready.

I’m not ready.

It’s not an age thing. It’s not that her growing up equals me growing old. Age happens—I came to terms with that long ago. It’s the time bomb that is suddenly audible.

Sure I knew the time was coming. Sure I could see the countdown of birthdays gone by and changes in her, both physically and mentally. But now I can hear the actual ticking. Now there’s a permanent staccato beat in the back of my mind.

I have one year. One year to teach her everything I’ve got left to teach. One year to instill the final tidbits of morals and ethics. One year to do whatever damage I have left to do, so she can go off as an adult and blame me for her failures, until she truly becomes an adult and takes the blame for those onto herself.

One year.

It doesn’t seem long enough.

I don’t know who’s less prepared for this—her or me. Hell, I don’t even know if she realizes anything beyond the cloud of “I’m a senior” that she’s currently floating on. She still has trouble with boys. She still doesn’t know how to clean a bathroom properly. She still doesn’t clean her room without being told. She’s not ready for this…

I’m not ready for this.

Can we turn back the clock? Can I have my little flaxen-haired Shirley Temple back? Give me a do-over on the first ten years and I’ll feel better about the next twelve months. But we can’t.

Once upon a time my mom and I giggled at some sitcom, possibly Roseanne, when the mother said, “If they’re alive when you get home, I’ve done my job.” In many ways, that’s true, but it seems to have lost some of its humor at the moment. There’s so much to this job and we’re given eighteen years to do it, but it still doesn’t feel like enough.How the hell do wild animals send their babies off after only a year or two? How?!

One year. Twelve months. It’s time to cram for the exam… and hope for a passing grade.

8th Grade Civics Class

monopolyRemember that class? Where you learned about politics and the economy and monopolies and fair trade? I do…vaguely. But apparently you are allowed to forget ALL those rules come graduation.

Especially for graduation.

I got a letter today from Bubba Joe’s Photography*. They were recently at my daughter’s high school showing the junior class a lovely slide show of the “techniques, props and backgrounds offered for senior pictures.” It read like an informative commercial for the upcoming necessity that is graduation pictures.

And then I got to this paragraph.

Bubba Joe’s is the “contracted photographer” for the school. This means that if your son or daughter wants their senior portrait to be included in the yearbook, that portrait must be taken here.

Woah, wait a minute. I can choose whatever photographer I want, but if I want her in the yearbook I have to either use Bubba Joe for all her grad photos, or pay extra for a special one done at Bubba Joe’s? This miffs me. And not just a little. A quick hop over to Bubba Joe’s website and I find out that the “yearbook only” shots are $24. Hmmm… plus the $75 for the yearbook itself, plus another $200-$300 for the regular grad shots. Wow…

I could veer off into “children are expensive” land, but we all know that. Instead I’ll just hover here in monopoly land. At an estimated 100 students, they stand to make $2400 just for the yearbook shots… and how many parents will cave and do the rest there? Yeah, “contracted photographer” is a nice gig in a land where competition laws are ignored and parents are forced to participate or forever be hated by their child for making them “that kid”. You know, the one kid not in the yearbook.

I hate being forced to do something. I hate being a sheep. And I hate that the Hippie is giggling about this and is totally going to post a response… where I’ll remind him that there are FOUR of them in this house that we will be baaaaa-ing for.

*name obviously changed to protect the guilty, a concept I’m quite new to and still don’t quite understand.

Truancy Court

buellerMy son is NOT Ferris Bueller. He doesn’t have the tools to be Ferris. The fashion sense. The technology. The balls to steal a car. The girl willing to ditch with him. And he’s so far from being suave it’s almost painful. His nickname is Kram for a reason (yes, that’s Mark backwards—because that’s how he signed all his artwork/homework in kindergarten). He really isn’t Bueller…

But you’d think he was.

You’d think he knew how to rig a stereo to make me believe he was in bed. You’d think he had hi-jacked a parade and impersonated a principal. You’d think he cruised in a borrowed vehicle, with a hot chick, and fooled everyone except his sister.

But he didn’t.

He was sick. Really.

You see, I’m a little miffed. Which, of course, means you get to hear about it. Kram has had a rough year. His parents went their separate ways in 2008, and just as he was getting used to the idea that he had to split his time between two houses, his rotten mother up and moved him across country. Now, as any of you that follow me on Twitter know, I bring him back to Wisconsin for regular visits. But it’s still tough to be a kid without your dad handy. Especially a boy hitting puberty. Especially a boy hitting puberty with a nervous stomach.

See, Kram doesn’t always let you know when something is bothering him. Sometimes he just swallows it down, forgetting that it’s actually an ugly horned monster with tentacles poised to attack your guts from the inside out. He didn’t miss any school to go to Wisconsin that wasn’t pre-approved. The days he missed with notes sent in, he was sick. In bed, on the couch, whatever. The kid was sick.

Maybe they’re used to slacker parents. Maybe they think he’s running around town. But in this house, if you’re sick then you’re sick. And you’re sick for the whole day. None of this “all better at 3:15 crap”—oh no, oh hell no—if you had plans, they’re done. I’ll send you to school with any symptoms I cannot see and/or measure… period. Blood, puke and fever are the only things that will get you out of school in this house. I do this to prove a point, to teach a lesson, and to prepare them for the real world where dayquil rules and fridays rock. You don’t slack just to slack. And apparently it was a good rule, because I will be able to say to the judge with a straight face, “he was puking, bleeding or had a fever.”

Yes, judge.

I get to go to truancy court today.

Seems children are only allowed to be sick so many times a year, because the school board and nature have a deal worked out or some crap. After that, a doctor’s note is required to prove the child was sick and not just skipping. If the kid is sick, he’s sick. If he’s upset about his dad and throwing up, I’m not sending him to school. If he has a cold with a fever, the school will send him right home—guess what, I’m not sending him to school.

And apparently, nature and I aren’t on speaking terms.

So yes, I get to go to truancy court. Where I will smile and be polite and explain that it’s been a rough year and he’s had a bad stomach and I’m sorry that I cannot afford to bring him to the doctor every time his nerves act up just to get a note. I don’t have insurance yet. I can’t afford that. And the doctor can’t fix it—I wouldn’t bring a broken toe in they can’t fix, why would I bring the common cold? Nor can I afford the fines they’re trying to slap me with (I pled not guilty and checked the little box that says “cannot afford fine”). I guess maybe if I tell the judge that I can afford his fine and random doctor visits as soon as I sell one of the children, he’ll comprehend “we be poor”. Six mouths is a lot to feed, monthly trips to Wisconsin cost a lot, clothes and school supplies and little things like, oh I don’t know, electricity, all pile up and cost a lot.

No, I’m not whining about being poor (though I could totally toss a “click those links and buy my books” whine here). In this economy everyone is poor (and truck problems don’t help). Plus, I just came out of a divorce which equals poorer than poor. I’ll get back on my feet. I’m not worried about that.

I’m worried about the kids that are skipping school to smoke pot. I’m worried about the kids that are skipping school to steal things. I’m worried about the kids that are skipping school and writing their own notes. And I’m wondering why the hell I send notes, call the school, the teachers, the councilor and the principal to get help with Kram with this year, and am rewarded with truancy court. Did he miss school? Yes, yes he did. I sent a note. He made up his work. And it was not, as the papers say, “willingly allowing an unlawful absence.”

I’m worried that I won’t hold my tongue in front of a judge. Although his assistant sounded really nice when I called to change the court date. It was initially set for after the kids are back in Wisconsin and he wouldn’t be able to appear. Hmmm… court ordered appearance vs. court ordered child visitation. I asked her which one I should ignore.

So, while my son has actually missed some school this year, he has not been in any parades or gone to any museums on a whim. He’s not Ferris. He’s just Kram. And yes, he’ll be fine. Thanks for asking, school board of soullessness…


Blah blah, new year’s, blah blah blah… whatever! I don’t want to know what your resolution is. I really don’t. I don’t care. It’s a promise to yourself, it’s for you, it’s not about me.

Of course, I am interested in knowing if you’ve ever succeeded in the past.

Not just new year’s resolutions, but self-promises in general. It doesn’t matter if it’s spoken aloud, uttered to a small circle of friends, or whispered desperately in the dark to nothing but the starlight, you’ve promised yourself something. It may have been, “I swear, if the tests come back negative I’m quitting smoking now!” It may have been, “I will not eat another dessert until I lose one size.” Or it could be something profane, silly or pertinent, “God, if you get me out of this, I’ll never fill-in-the-blank again.”

I have failed. Repeatedly. To quit smoking. I successfully stopped chewing my nails right after high school. I failed horribly at dieting, then succeeded. I’ve hit self-promised deadlines for change. But I’ve also missed them… sometimes I’ve been so far off the mark, the mark stopped talking to me.

blah blah, new year’s, blah blah blah… yeah, this is the last coffee talk of 2009. It’s been a crazy year. A good year. And 2010 will be even more so—crazy and good. There are changes coming. Reinvention. Self-promises. For the last coffee talk of the year, don’t tell me a thing. Just think about it. Think about your resolutions, your self-promises. Made at year-end or on a Tuesday in June for no good reason. You’ve made them but have you succeeded in them? Which ones? Why did you succeed or fail? And are you ready to make another one? Because the worst kind of broken promise is the one you make to yourself.

Happy New Year—see you on the other side…

*fade to black*

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