Thursday, May 1, 2014

An open letter to Alicia Silverstone (and her designer imposter opinions)



Dear Alicia,
I meant to write this sooner, but I was so busy doing irreparable damage to my children’s lives in the past week, this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and actually address some of the snippets I’ve seen from your book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth and a Sweet Mother of Zeus, did anyone from your publishing company contemplate that a sub-headline should not be longer than your prologue?
Unlike your parenting strategy, I am a mean mom. My kids both wore disposable diapers (one still does and my goal is to have him using the toilet by the time he leaves for college) and I've been taking medication for anxiety since halfway through my second pregnancy for the sole purpose of being able to consume obscene amounts of red meat and cheese (or as you fondly refer to it, “toxic sludge”). But don’t worry, I like to pretend I’m just eating your share of the animals, and in return, you’re eating my share of kale.
Bananas are probably my kids’ favourite food on earth, and while I’ll agree with you that they are very naughty, I’m guessing we both think so for very different reasons. And silly me, I followed a routine vaccination schedule because polio and the measles sound like such a drag and should my children contract either, it would greatly interfere with my ability to drink an entire bottle of wine in one night. Because this “baby house” is vacant and really needs the company once the kids are in bed and I need to forget about the day’s endless fights and screams over whose turn it is to sit in the box I brought home from Costco.
Of course, the biggest indicator that I’m doing it all wrong is the depression and anxiety I faced after having both children and still battle today. According to you, mental illness is less prevalent along “kind mamas.” If only my doctor had told me I’d feel perfectly fine if I just ate a lot more spinach. But what does she know? She was in medical school in the 90s while you were busy being fitted for plaid skirts and thigh-highs.
Among claims that diapers are pseudoscience, your book apparently also reveals how to ”prevent or even cure your PMS, insomnia, allergies, breakouts, weight struggles, thyroid condition, lupus, multiple sclerosis—while significantly lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.” Have you actually told anyone you have the cure for cancer? Because I’m pretty sure some Clueless (ha, you see what I did there?) fools are still researching and investing billions of dollars into that.
But I think where I really missed the boat was in my failure to potty train my infant. I was so consumed in my own selfish desires of trying to stay afloat among the endless piles of laundry and pumping milk and grocery shopping and play dates just to stay sane with a non-verbal six-month old (I assume yours had a full vocabulary and could read War and Peace at half that age), that I didn’t just sit and study her expression every waking moment so that I could learn to predict when she was ready to do her business. I’m sure all babies really are “more content leaving their business in the grass than having to sleep and eat accompanied by their own pee and poo.” Especially the ones here in Canada, where we see grass for roughly 12 days out of the year, so I’d have actually been letting my daughter go free-range in a snow bank in February. What a missed opportunity on my part to demonstrate this transcendent level of intuitive parenting.
I guess I really just wanted to thank you for correcting my belief (on some days anyway) that I was doing a decent job with these creatures I brought into the world. And I wanted to apologize for myself and on behalf of all the other moms I know who have taken a pill so they can get out of bed in the morning to take care of their children, who have had severely ill children because they surely didn’t nurse their baby and provide the “otherworldly” power of breast milk, and also for the would-be moms who have experienced years of painful infertility all because you hadn’t yet told them the answer to their problem was to chill out a bit and just have “yummy, soulful sex.” After all, you have one pregnancy and three whole years of parenting under your belt, and you kissed Paul Rudd onscreen, so you are undoubtedly in the position to advise us on all things parent-related and write what I can only assume will become the bible (If you’ve cured cancer and MS, you are most obviously Jesus) of parents worldwide. From now on, we can breathe a little easier knowing we are in your capable, all-knowing hands.
I wish I had time to write more, but these kids of mine aren’t going to neglect themselves.
xoxo Cruel Mama