Posted by Julia Bendis
Apparently, there is a new study out that specifically links breast-fed babies with a better behavior when they are four or five years old, than those that weren’t breast-fed. Are you kidding me? Of course breast-feeding your child is good for them, we all know that by now. Do you really have to push poor, sleep-deprived Mothers into nursing even more when all they want is to pass the screaming devil onto someone else so they can get a solid two hours of sleep? What about those that are not able to nurse for whatever reason? Not only do they already feel like crap for not being able to breast-feed, but now they have yet another reason to feel guilty about it. Their child will be a Monster compared to the Angel from down the street, who was breast-fed for a year…
Might as well tell Moms that don’t nurse their kids that they are terrible parents! Who the hell are these people conducting such studies, and haven’t we gotten enough already? Yes, we all know how great Mother’s breast milk is, enough already. Don’t these so-called scientist have better research to conduct, for example cure Cancer, Tuberculosis, or Tay-Sachs disease?
My children were both nursed for a very brief period of time, a month at most, yet they are both completely different. One is easy-going, laid back and relaxed. The other is full of excitement and energy. So what do you say to that, Mr. Scientist? I hope one of you researchers reads this, and explains to me why you waste government and private funds on something we already know. Don’t you think if we could all nurse our babies, we would? Stop giving us more things to feel guilty about!
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May 9, 2011 | 1:56 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
I am a huge advocate for standing up for what’s right, freedom of speech and people’s right to speak their mind; when it has direct impact on their lives, like a local issue. Most often than not, I am raising hell over various issues, opening my big mouth and trying to change things even when no one will listen. If there is a protest scheduled on a random street corner, I guarantee you will find me there. My husband will guarantee that it usually results with him dragging me out of there, with the fear of me getting arrested. However, here is where my big mouth and hutzpah stop.
Protesting and picketing over an international issue or problem makes no sense to me. What good does it do to the Libyan people when Americans are standing on the streets protesting Gaddafi’s dictatorship? I fully understand that it is support and solidarity for people throughout the world, but does it really matter? Its not like Muammar Gaddafi is sitting around watching American news: Oh crap they are rioting in Orange County, I better step down! Maybe I am missing something, but every time I read about citizens throughout the country protesting something that is happening around the world, I wonder if its a waste of their time. Wouldn’t there be a much better outcome if those same people wrote nasty and threatening letters to dictators around the world, instead of wasting their time standing on street corners?
Like I said, I could be missing something and if I am, please enlighten me.
Same goes for all the Israeli supporters here in the U.S. What good does it do for us to organize marches, speeches and protests to help Israel combat the war with Palestinians? All it does is make pro-Palestinians angry and attack the pro-Israelis here on our very own streets. We, Americans do a great job of stirring up trouble but rarely do we follow up with anything. If the same protesters were asked to continue their demonstrations and picketing in Libya, for instance I guarantee they all find an excuse to run home.
Unless you are prepared to speak out about the injustice of that specific country, why waste time doing it at home? Has anyone ever heard of anything being solved simply because the American people took to the streets with giant signs?
May 3, 2011 | 11:28 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
When I first heard about Amy Chua, the self-professed Chinese Tiger Mother, I didn’t understand what all the hype, the drama and the hatred was about. After reading more about her and her parenting memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, I couldn’t help but like her even more!
Let me explain before some of you get your keyboards ready to type out a grammatically incorrect hate-mail. (If you are going to waste your time writing me a negative comment, the least you can do is learn how to spell first.)
Most adults these days insist on being a friend to their children, instead of being a parent. They want to be the “cool” parent, letting their children do anything they want as long as they are happy. How is that parenting? Why would I want to be friends with someone that I used to wipe and change diapers for not so long ago? If I’ve seen your naked ass, you are not my friend. Furthermore, if I had any kind of vomit on me because of you, you are definitely not my friend.
Children don’t need another set of friends, they need parents, they need guidelines and rules to follow. The way Amy Chua describes her parenting technique maybe a bit nontraditional for most Americans, and she may have gone a little too far with some of her rules, but throughout the rest of the world its pretty common practice for children to be practicing hours upon hours of piano or other musical instruments. Having little or no time for social activities such as “hanging out with friends” is not a bad thing for a child, they get plenty of that during school hours. And believe me when I say slumber parties or sleepovers are a big waste of time. I never had sleepovers when I was young, and I’d like to think I turned out alright. Sure there are still unsolved mental issues, but I blame that on my family, and their DNA. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve missed out somehow, because I didn’t do sleepovers. Although, I did get invited to many sleepovers many of which I left around 10 o’clock in the evening, simply because I didn’t see the point of sleeping on the floor when I had a perfectly good bed at home. One of the times I tried to stay the whole night was also the very last time I agreed to participate in a sleepover. It was the same night that my friend’s Mother decided to check in on us only wearing a very tight, short and see-through t-shirt. I will leave the rest to your imagination, putting the emphasize on the ‘very tight, short and see-through’ part of that sentence.
Nothing good ever comes out of a sleepover, only age-inappropriate questions for the morning after. My boys know that if they want to go to a sleepover, I am not going to stop them, in fact I will encourage them to see for themselves what a waste of time it is. Most of the time, I receive a phone call around 11 o’clock begging me to come pick them up. I am also not a big fan of having sleepovers at my house; maybe its because of my obsessive compulsive cleaning behavior. Apparently eleven-year-old boys don’t like it when you follow them around with a hand-held vacuum cleaner as they are eating a bag of chips (which, by the way they brought over from their house, since they know there won’t be any “good food” at my house, but there will be home-made matzo ball soup, or noodle kugel, and if they are really lucky maybe even some beef liver). It could also be the fact that I make them eat Oreo cookies in the backyard or over the kitchen sink. What? You like cleaning up cookie crumbs from the floor all night, or waking up to your dog barfing up cookies? They are not even the regular, chocolate Oreo cookies, I buy the vanilla ones so there are no black crumbs. I know, I need professional help. That’s my point, most of my childrens’ friends know that a sleepover at my house is not going to be much fun, what with all the cleaning afterward they have to do, taking their shoes off, and a lesson in proper hand washing, every time they come over.
In my opinion, the way Amy Chua is raising her kids is not all too wrong, especially since her own children don’t seem to have any bitterness or anger towards her. When Amy’s oldest daughter was asked if she wishes her childhood was filled with more camping, hanging out with friends, and overall more play time she said no. She appreciates the way her Mother raised her, and would probably do the same with her children. Again, I am not saying that Chua didn’t go a little too far by refusing bathroom breaks for her daughters until they recited the piano perfectly, however most parents could learn a hell of a lot from her. For years I have said that some parents should not be allowed to have kids, and after witnessing first hand how some children have to fend for themselves because the parents are gone for days partying it up, I am sticking with that statement. At least Amy Chua was always there and present for her daughters, which is a lot more than I can say for other parents.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Ms. Chua for speaking honestly and truthfully about the way parents SHOULD raise their children, with rules and guidelines, boundaries and discipline. Her way of parenting might be a little too rough, but the overall message is clear, especially with the lack of parental supervision that children are exposed to these days. Parents need to be parents, not friends to their kids. And most importantly parents need to be present.
April 28, 2011 | 3:33 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
Watching Chelsea Handler the other night made me think of all the idiotic names parents give their children these days. You might have guessed by that intro that she had none other than Gwyneth Paltrow as a guest on her show. As Chelsea asked about her daughter Apple, I couldn’t help but notice a smile creep up on her face as she tried not to crack up.
Whatever happened to normal kid names? I don’t know children with normal names like Ryan, Steven, or Jennifer anymore. I can’t remember the last time I was at my kids school, and heard one of the Mothers yell out a normal name! Seriously, its all Stone, Rock, Pebble, Fuse, Laser and my favorite: Athur, no I didn’t say Arthur, I said Athur!
What kind of an idiot names their child Laser? Or in Ms. Paltrow’s case, Moses. She’s got a fruit for a daughter already, but now her son has to live with up to the name like Moses… Isn’t it bad enough that the kid is half-Jewish, why would you punish the kid more by naming him Moses? Does he always have to remind everyone that he is a Jew? Why not just name the kid Jesus while you are at it…
I can only imagine how badly he will get teased at school? The kids don’t care that your Daddy is the lead singer of Coldplay, and your Mommy is a bad actress. His school day will go something like this: Hey Moses, why don’t you come over here and spread the sea for us! Hey Moses, come help your people get to the lunch tables safely! Hey Moses, when are you gonna stop walking around in the Desert? Hey Moses, show us your special powers!
Without a doubt there will be those that say these names are great because they are different, they make the child stand out in a sea of ordinary names, blah, blah and more blah… So what? How very special will your kid feel when he is getting his ass kicked every day because he is named after a vegetable, or a naturally occurring solid aggregate? Keep telling your kids how super “special” their name is, just don’t cry in eighteen years when they change it to Bob.
April 22, 2011 | 9:28 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
All the Christians out there, help me figure this out! When a neighbor asks me if I have big plans for Easter weekend, and I say “Not really, we are Jewish”, should this be the next sentence out of their mouth: “Oh, I know you are Jewish, but aren’t you doing something for Easter with the kids?” This goes on for the next few minutes.
Am I missing something?
I wrote about this during Christmas last year. It seems that all the Gentiles assume that we, the Jews stop being Jewish for one day, and that day being Christmas of course. Is it the same with Easter now? Do you, the non-Jews stop being Gentiles just in time for our High Holy Days: Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashana, etc? Maybe I should have asked this particular neighbor where they had their Seder at…
Can you just imagine if a Jewish person went up to a random person and said: “Happy Passover! Got big plans for Seder?” I don’t see that happening, but if it did I can only assume how appalled the non-Jew would be, right? So, how come this particular neighbor got offended and walked away as I was in mid-conversation?
Are we supposed to just abide and oblige people that are not like us, just so they don’t get offended? Or are we suppose to stay true to ourselves, and speak freely? Help me out here people. Is this ignorance, lack of education or pure stupidity? A bit of everything maybe…
April 18, 2011 | 3:07 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
How do you prepare for Passover when the rest of the world doesn’t stop to observe it? When the rest of the world takes a break for Christian holidays, and people have time to cook and prepare for a religious celebration, do they realize how much it sucks to be a Jew, a Muslim or anything other than a Christian? We don’t get a day off for Passover or any other religious holiday for that matter! Today is just like any other Monday to the rest of the world, and it doesn’t pause just for the Jews to celebrate Pesach. We don’t get the luxury of having the day off school or work to enjoy the day preparing for out sacred event. Instead, the Jews have to run around like chickens with their heads cut off for weeks prior to our holidays, making meals days in advance just so we can sit down for a couple hours after work, and squeeze in some Judaism into our children’s lives!
How is that fair? Unless you are an Atheist or are of Christian faith, you pray that each year your religious holiday happens to fall on the same day as the Christian one, just so you don’t have to take the kids out of school and miss work.
For those of us that happen to be former Soviet Jews, this whole religious observance is even harder. Not only do I not know what to do for Jewish holidays, but when I try to educate my children I am usually faced with questions that I have no answers to. My husband doesn’t help either, since he slept through most of Hebrew school only to shrug his shoulders when I ask what in the world is a ‘Charoset’ and what I am supposed to do with it… When you are raised in an environment like the former U.S.S.R., you don’t have many choices as a Jew. You don’t tell anyone you are a Jew, you don’t go to the Synagogue, you have no Jewish education at all. I remember wearing a tiny star of David pendant to school one day, under my uniform. It must have come out of my shirt, because one of the kids noticed it and ran to tell the teacher. Next thing I know, my Mother is called to come to the school, and given a long lecture on how “pendants like those” are not allowed on school grounds. Later she told me that I was very lucky they didn’t take it away, and contact the Police.
The only thing I remember from those days is my Father carrying home a huge box of Matzah wrapped in newspaper, which he got from the only Synagogue in Riga. You couldn’t even call it a Synagogue, it was a tiny hut hidden behind the old buildings. Now that I think about it, hiding Matzah in newspaper wasn’t the smartest way to transport it since all the other Jews were doing the same, exact thing…
I don’t know a single Russian Jew that knows everything about the observance of religious holidays. Sure we know some things, but they are bits and pieces here and there. American Jews don’t know how lucky they are to be able to pray freely, and observe holidays without the Police following them home after the service. But yet they still complain about everything. No wonder that the Israelis don’t find Russian Jews to be so-called ‘real’ Jews. They have such animosity towards the Russians, whether its here in the U.S. or in Israel.
Does lack of knowledge about your religion and customs make you less of a Jew? That’s a question that has been asked for generations! In my opinion, just because I don’t know the proper way of celebrating Pesach or other religious holidays does not mean I am not Jewish. I am still a good person, who insists on teaching my kids the values of being Jewish, the right way to behave, and right from wrong. I keep wanting to join a religious congregation, but we don’t fit in with any of them. We don’t belong with the Conservatives, definitely out of our league, not to mention I would never be able to get my husband in there. We don’t quite fit in with the Reformed ones either. To quote my son during one of our visits to the Temple, “Mom, why aren’t there any kids like me in here?” I tried asking him what he meant by that, but he couldn’t seem to explain. Only that he felt out of place…
Its true that Soviet Jewry are very different from all the others, and there is nothing we can do about it, but to give our kids a better opportunity to learn about their culture than the one we had. However, our lack of knowledge doesn’t make us any different from the Israeli Jews or any less Jewish. Maybe my Passover won’t have all the ingredients, I’m sure we will leave something out, and it will have more Vodka than Manischewitz, but it will still be an experience my kids won’t forget. In the end that’s all that really matters.
April 13, 2011 | 6:02 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
I had to write about this phenomenon called ‘Date Night’. Every couple I know has date nights where they spend an evening away from home, kids, pets, etc, while throwing money away doing it… Only in America do people label every activity including a simple night out with their partner. Everywhere else in the world its just known as ‘going out’! Why do people need to schedule quality time with their significant other? What’s wrong with just spending time when you feel like spending time with that person? What if I don’t feel like spending quality, alone time with my partner on that particular Wednesday penciled-in on the calendar? What if I feel like doing that on a Monday, but oh wait its not on the calendar for Monday… therefore I have to wait til Wednesday. Absolutely moronic…
More importantly, when you’ve been together for many years, have children, pets and other responsibilities together, who the hell cares about date night? All ‘date night’ really means is that at the end of it, the man is hoping his wife is drunk and relaxed enough to actually have sex with him! And the woman just wants a night off. So the way I see it is this: Men, go wash your kids dirty butts, put them to bed, clean the dishes, put away the laundry, while your woman relaxes on the couch with a beer. I guarantee you won’t need to spend money on a sitter and fancy dinner for her to put out! She might even surprise you with something she hasn’t done since you were dating, trust me on this. Now go do it, and get back to me with the results.
April 11, 2011 | 2:07 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
What started out as a surprise of a lifetime, quickly turned into a XXX porn show for many children and one particular fifth-grader.
I like to think that I am a pretty fun parent, but when my husband and I surprised our eleven-year-old with tickets to Thirty Seconds to Mars concert, my ‘cool factor’ went through the roof! Yes, I measure my coolness by the lack of booing in my home when I occasionally do something that is viewed as fun by my dear, spoiled children. Considering this was the first “real” concert that my son would be going to, it was a big deal. Sure he’s gone to other concerts before, he is a veteran concert goer! We took him to a Blue’s Clues concert when he was just three years old, and the Wiggles concert when he was five, and who could forget the Doodlebops concert! Now that’s what you call ‘Quality Entertainment’.
I don’t remember much of the Blue’s Clues concert, probably because my girlfriend and I were indulging in our brand new flasks that were purchased specifically for this event, at our local Target of course, right before the show. I believe most parents in the audience were seen sipping through some sort of portable drinking devices…
Unfortunately, the Wiggles concert I did not attend. If I remember correctly, the night before I suddenly came down with an unknown-to-man stomach bug and was unable to join the family for this joyous activity. As my husband later described the torturous two hours of his life, all I could do is remind him that if I had to sit through two hours of Blue’s Clues, the least he could do was pretend to enjoy the Wiggles! After all, the Wiggles sang songs and danced around, all Blue ever did was make incoherent noises and make Steve look like an idiot for guessing what the hell that dog was trying to say. Did you ever notice Blue roll her eyes at him every time he guessed wrong? You didn’t? Well, I did. I clearly remember suggesting the flask to him, but being a non-drinker at children’s events, my husband decided to do it sober. Bad idea.
What about the Doodlebops, you ask? Well… I really didn’t want to go there, particularly because we had amazing seats that were FREE! If this was a Rock concert I could reach out and touch the performers, but seeing that this was a Doodlebops concert I had to refrain myself from reaching up and tearing the ugly, pink wig off the girl and throwing it at her. Towards the end of the show, they asked some of the more “outgoing” kids to come up on stage, which I took as a direct invite for me to run up there, however as I tried to get out of my seat I realized that something was holding me down. I kept getting pulled back into the chair, over and over and over again. Having drank a liter of rum and Coke during the show, it took me a few minutes to figure out that my husband had his hand wrapped around my shirt therefore preventing me from getting up. I still don’t understand how he can predict my every move, minutes before I actually decide to make the move!
Let’s go back to Thirty Seconds to Mars. I realize that I should have researched this band a bit more thoroughly, and more importantly Jared Leto before purchasing tickets. Neither myself or my husband knew that the guy just released a new video called “Hurricane”, which they decided to show at the beginning of their performance. This is the part where you stop reading, pull up a new window and look up Hurricane on www.Youporn.com. Yes, I said youporn, not youtube because that’s where you will find it. Did you see it? Good.
As the giant screen went from black to Dominatrix, all I could do was shove my son’s face into my chest as fast as my instincts allowed. After which I heard an “Ew” and a “Ouch”, but I made him stay in that position for the next fifteen minutes as graphic S & M scenes displayed on the screen. The only thing missing was the moaning and groaning, which was replaced by Leto’s character in the video trying to sing while performing. And when I say ‘performing’, I am talking about him trying to have sex with what i can only describe as a Mythical creature who transforms into a woman, man, animal, you name it… I was about to write that I think my son learned a few things that night, but truthfully I think I learned a few things myself. For instance, when you rescue a girl from her pimp while she is dressed as a cat in an S & M costume, make sure you let her know how grateful she should be by having sex with her right after. That’ll teach her to go around whoring herself out! I don’t know if you can tell, but that’s the only thing I got out of that video, even though I am sure there is some kind of a deeper and darker explanation. If you figure it out, do me a huge favor and post a comment telling me what it is!
When the band finally came on at around 10 o’clock, they were great! They could have been even greater if Leto would stop talking and do some actual singing. Who does he think he is, a Comedian? When I come to a music concert, I want to hear music. Not some 39-year-old, ex-Levi’s jeans model talking the whole time. In the amount of time he spent wasting by getting the crowd jumping and screaming for no other reason than him ripping his shirt off, he could have performed at least three more songs. And then the genius decided to start ‘walking’ on people in the crowd, yes I said walking. And what do you know? The half drunk, half stoned teenagers dropped his skinny ass! I swear that was the best part of the concert, I was laughing so hard that the overweight 40-year-old Mother of three sitting next to me looked like she was about to beat my ass. Not to mention my son who leaned over and asked if Jared was going to get trampled by all the people. My response: “I hope so!” That didn’t go over too well with him.
And where was my husband this whole time, you ask? He was sitting down while everyone else was standing, checking his email, along with plotting the best escape route out of Gibson theater on his Blackberry navigation system. I am not even making a joke here, dead honest truth. I am pretty sure the only time he was fully awake was during the porn video, and the only reason I know that for a fact is because he made several comments about it on the way home. Ask him about the actual concert. I bet every single one of you that’s reading this $20 he has no clue if they were a rock, pop or rap group! Alright maybe he knows, but the rest maybe a bit blurry.
I am not saying that the concert was bad, not at all. It was a great concert. And think of all new experiences that my son learned about: the mask wearing Dominatrix that looked like half bug/half woman, all new smells in the air and why he should selectively hold his breath at various moments, the list goes on and on… Its priceless!
So, I would like to thank Jared Leto and his band for giving me the most uncomfortable fifteen minutes of my life! Never in my whole adult life did I think I’d be watching porn with my fifth-grader, but overall a great show from someone who has tried it all, acting, modeling, directing and now singing! All of a sudden a Wiggles concert sounds so appealing… Stay tuned.