Posted in C-Haze, Parenting, Personal

Parenting in Varying Degrees of Fear

The parenting of my 17 year old daughter has always been an exercise in fear and uncertainty.

As some of my readers already know, my 17 year old daughter was recently hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in her lung). After a gazillion tests, doctors traced root cause of this thing to a clotting disorder called Lupus Anticoagulation. This led to another, secondary diagnosis of Lupus.

Immediately placed on blood thinners, we were informed that she will always be at risk for future clots, and as a result, will be on both Warfarin (blood thinner) and Plaquenil (Lupus medication) forever.

My daughter, while absolutely wonderful, strong and determined, is also a bit of a drama queen. Therefore, she has the exact same reaction to both major and minor health issues. If she has a hang-nail, she freaks out in the exact same way as she did when she was hours from death, suffering a blood clot in her lung. This is probably why, when she first started experiencing symptoms from this embolism, that I treated her with Nyquil for two days before realizing something was not right.

When she was 12 years old, she complained (by “complained” I mean was hysterically crying and carrying on) about tooth pain, so I made a dentist appointment for her. I thought she had a cavity. The dentist did x-rays and told me to get her to an oral surgeon immediately. She had a mass in her jaw. A huge one that required emergency surgery to remove. After many tests and biopsies, we were relieved to find that the growth was benign.

I have also taken her to the emergency room no less than 10 times over the years, convinced she was dying of appendicitis or something equally dangerous, only to be told after hours of waiting and countless tests that she was merely constipated.

With this kid, one never knows.

On Saturday night, she busted into my bedroom at 1 AM, crying hysterically about pain on her right side, under her rib cage. This is the same place her clot was located. I would have panicked, had we not just been to the ER less than two weeks ago with a similar complaint, only to learn that, Hallelujiah (!!), her clot is gone. I called her Hematologist’s after-hours exchange and spoke with a doctor, who told me to give her some ibuprofen and call back in an hour if she hasn’t improved.

An hour later my daughter was fine, snoozing on the couch, while I anxiously watched her. I didn’t fall asleep until 4 AM, unsure if I was relieved this was yet another false alarm, or annoyed that this was yet another false alarm.

I live in a state of fear.

I almost missed her blood clot the first time around. I almost didn’t get her the help she needed to save her life in time to actually save it.

Then again, we’ve had countless ER doctors perform enemas to relieve middle-of-the-night bouts of constipation, convinced she was in serious trouble. Only she wasn’t.

I wish I had some sort of tool that I could reference; something to tell me that this time it’s serious, or that it’s nothing. When I’m not fearful of missing something crucial, I feel guilty. Guilty when thoughts creep into my head, and I find myself annoyed while my child stands in front of me hyperventilating about yet another ailment.

“Good grief. I can’t keep rushing this kid to the hospital!”

Almost immediately I realize I’m not being fair. If I’d had the year she’s had, I’d be paranoid about every little (and not so little) symptom I developed too.

She almost died.

That’s when I realize she’s just a kid.

A beautiful, strong, determined, genius, understandably hypochondriac kid.

Posted in blood clots, C-Haze, illness, life lessons, lupus, Parenting, pulmonary embolism

The Blessing of the Blood Clot

I had a come-to-Jesus moment recently, and it has shaken me to the core. Forgive the length, but I have a story to tell.

About two months ago, just days before her 17th birthday, my daughter was taken to a local urgent care facility. She was running a fever, was complaining of pains in her chest, and was extremely dizzy. Thinking she had some sort of upper-respiratory/flu/inner ear infection thing going on, I didn’t panic at first. In fact, I had meetings scheduled all morning, so I had my husband take her in so that I could continue working.

Roughly an hour after they left, my husband called me. He told me that the doctor had seen “something” on an MRI that concerned him. As a result, they were loading my child into an ambulance, and transferring her to the closest emergency room. This was the first time I’d heard the words that have since changed our lives:

They are concerned she may have a blood clot.

She’s 16, for heaven’s sake! She’s healthy, she’s an athlete, full of life and vitality. Teenagers do not get blood clots.


I rushed to meet her in the ER, where the doctors ordered some blood work. Specifically, something called a d-dimer test. While far from fool-proof, this test can help doctors in their quest to diagnose patients with symptoms similar to my daughter’s. If the score is below a certain number, blood clots are not a concern. If it’s higher than a certain number, it’s possible a clot has formed somewhere within the body. The higher the score, the more likely a clot is present.

My child’s score was so high, they couldn’t chart it. The test only goes up to 5,000, and her numbers were “somewhere” above that.

It was all-but certain. My daughter has a blood clot, probably in her lung- a pulmonary embolism if you want to get fancy with it.

The doctor immediately ordered a CT Scan, and while we waited for the results, I hoped against all hope that this was a fluke. That they’d come back and say, “False alarm! There’s no clot! This is nothing a little cold medicine can’t fix!” Part of me knew, however, that I was in denial.

After viewing the scanned images, the doctor told us what we dreaded hearing: our child definitely has a blood clot in her lungs, possibly two. It was either one very large clot that started in her lower lung and curved up to the mid-way point, or it was two clots. Hard to tell. Regardless, immediate action had to be taken.

As he gave us the news, I glanced at my daughter, just in time to see a single tear roll down her cheek.

I was numb.

Arrangements were made to transport her by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital in the city, as the hospital we were currently at was not equipped to treat her. The doctor explained that due to her age, she’s still a pediatric patient, and needed to be admitted to the “PICU”. Nodding my head, I went through all the motions, signed the paperwork for transfer, asked the appropriate questions, and did the best I could to keep everyone calm.

I began calling my parents, my boss, various family members to tell them the news. I felt like I was watching myself talk as I explained what I knew up to that point. Almost as if I was observing things as they happened, but was not actually participating in any of it.

My husband had briefly left the room to make some phone calls of his own, and wasn’t there when the doctor explained the need to get her to PICU by ambulance as soon as possible. When he returned, I filled him in, but stumbled on my words…


It was then, as I stuttered out that dreaded acronym, that it hit me. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. My child could die.

I quickly ran from the room, my tears were hot on my face, and I didn’t want her to see that I was afraid. I rounded a corner somewhere, and leaned against the wall, sobbing. All I could think was that I’d thought it was the flu.

I treated my daughter’s pulmonary embolism for the last 48 hours with Nyquil. Who does that?

I tried my best to pull myself together, and the ambulance eventually arrived. Climbing in behind her, I held her hand as we raced to Children’s Hospital, trying to ignore all the beeps and buzzing sounds coming from the various pieces of equipment they’d attached to her body, monitoring… what, exactly, I didn’t know.

She spent two nights in the PICU, with a 24-hour-a-day heparin drip. Her blood was drawn every four hours, and though she was in pain, she couldn’t take pain medicine because of the impact it could have on her blood. They had to monitor her “levels” so closely that they couldn’t risk allowing her to ingest anything that could skew the test results. The heparin, I learned, is a powerful blood thinner, designed to begin the slow process of dissolving what we now knew to be one massive clot in my baby’s left lung.

I spent those nights on the pullout chair in the room with her. She could only have two visitors at a time, which annoyed various family members, as I refused to leave the room, except to pee. That meant only one other person at a time to see her. I didn’t care.

The blood thinner was so strong, she started bleeding randomly. Her nose would bleed, or her gums when she brushed her teeth. Just days before she’d been so full of life, so vivacious, but now, I didn’t even recognize her. She had huge bags under her eyes, and she looked so tiny, hooked up to all those IVs and monitors.

I felt powerless. It is my job to keep her safe. I’ve protected her from the outside world her entire life. She wears her seatbelt any time she’s in a car. I have the passwords to all her social media accounts. She has a curfew. She can’t go to parties without an adult present. But you can’t save your kid when her own body revolts against her. While I was worrying about car accidents, something was happening inside of her. It threatened to kill her, and I had no idea.

Eventually stabilized, the doctors moved her from PICU to a regular room on another floor. Now that her “levels” were where they needed to be, she was taken off the heparin, and put on another, less drastic blood thinner called Lovenox. It’s an injection, and she had to learn how to give herself the shots twice a day before she could be released.

The focus shifted from life-saving measures to finding the root cause of the clot. Blood test after blood test was conducted. Questions about family history were repeatedly asked by specialist after specialist. I felt I had failed her again. I couldn’t answer questions about family history, because I’m adopted, and have no medical records whatsoever. Genetic tests, it was decided, had to be run instead.

Finally, we had our answer.

It turns out she suffers from a clotting disorder called Lupus Anticoagulation. In addition, she has received a diagnosis of Lupus. The two aren’t necessarily related, despite both containing the word “Lupus”. This isn’t something she will heal from, it isn’t something that she can simply move on from.

No, this is life changing.

Lupus, for those who don’t know, is an auto-immune disease. It’s caused by an over-active immune system that is unable to differentiate between one’s healthy cells and viruses. As a result, the immune system is always in “fight” mode. When there is no illness to fight, it attacks the body. Specifically, the organs. Kidneys, lungs and the heart are especially vulnerable. While in “fight” mode, one can suffer various symptoms, referred to as a “flare”.

The blood clot, it turns out, was a blessing in disguise. Prior to its forming, my daughter had no symptoms of Lupus. It’s likely it wouldn’t have been diagnosed for many years, had it not been for this event. As a result, we found out about it before any damage was done to any of her organs. While there is no cure, we can treat this disease aggressively. We have a new definition of “normal”, but also know she can live a full, active and long life despite the changes we know we all need to make.

She was on the Lovenox injections for several weeks. Ultimately, due to her diagnosis, and because we now know she will need a daily dose of blood thinners for the rest of her life, the decision was made to transition her from the injections to an oral medication. She now takes Warfarin daily, along with Plaquinil to fight the Lupus.

Her clot is not gone. That will take many months. We have standing orders at the hospital to have her blood drawn every few days to check her levels. The doctor tweaks the dosage of her medication according to the test results, so we spend every other day or so at the pharmacy getting prescriptions filled, and at the lab getting blood work done…

… over and over again.

She is my hero. In two short months she has gone from lying in the PICU, hospitalized for a week, to defining a new “normal”. She has returned to school full-time, and despite missing several weeks, she’s back on the honor roll. She is also the sole student in her school district to be nominated for a scholarship to a college in our state. She has returned to cheerleading (though she cannot participate in any stunts or anything else that can cause bruising, because she is at risk of internal bleeding). She even has a part-time job as a server at a local restaurant.

With a renewed commitment to service, she has spearheaded a fundraising event (a talent show at her high school) to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House, an organization that made our stay at the hospital so much less worrisome and dreary than it otherwise would have been.

This, she has decided, will not define her.

Watching her fight- for her life and later, for her quality of life- has changed me in ways I cannot begin to describe. What I do know is that I need to follow her lead. Renew my commitment to myself, to my husband, and to our other child, who at only 10 years old, has been yet another source of strength, determination and dignity throughout this entire ordeal.

In short, I need to be present. More present than I was before, and I need never take anything for granted again.

Many changes have already been made. More are sure to come.

I have been given the most amazing second chance with the most beautiful family on the planet. I can’t wait to show you what we all can do!

Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Marriage, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting

Abortion, Birth Control and Online Polls

Oh. My. God.

Of all the disgusting, completely irresponsible things I have seen on the internet, this is probably the worst of them all.

I just came across an article at ParentDish about the Arnold family. Alicha Arnold is pregnant, and apparently didn’t know whether or not she wanted to keep the child…

… So…

She, along with her husband, started a website. The purpose of the site is to poll the public- should they have the baby or abort it?

Mrs. Arnold, who has been married for 9 years, explains her uncertainty by saying, “I’m not convinced that I want to change the status quo… I feel that as I age I’ve actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways. I’m afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and ‘settling down,’ as they say. I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.”


The Arnolds seem well-educated and financially stable. They both work in technology, and have been a couple for more than a decade. Certainly for these two upwardly mobile people, birth control was not a mystery, or a myth. They could have easily availed themselves to it, and yet they didn’t. When the inevitable happened (you see, when two people love each other, the man will stick his… well, you know where I’m headed with this…), and she got pregnant, she turned to that which she knows best- technology- to help make the biggest, most heart-wrenching, personal decision she will likely ever face.

No wait.

Allow me to rephrase.

She turned to others– strangers (!) to make that decision for her.

I am disgusted.

Ultimately, it seems the Arnolds, with the public’s assistance, have chosen to continue their pregnancy.

Truly, I have no idea if I’m relieved or not…

… This woman will be a mother soon.

How do you parent a child whose fate you once left to the public? To strangers, freaks, hackers, psychopaths, politicians (sorry- couldn’t resist!)?

“Now look, Junior! You better show some respect! If not for that 51% on my website, you wouldn’t even be here right now! Go clean your room like I asked you to!”


I dunno, folks.

I declare I’ve seen it all.

Posted in Blogging, Bucks County, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Discrimination, Education, Lenape Middle School, Matthew Curran, NAACP, News, Off The Wall, Parent, Parenting, Pennsylvania, Race, Racism

Racism, No Wai and George Bush Eats Cats

After reading some recent posts of mine, a friend forwarded the following story to me. She was curious- since I have not jumped on the bandwagon to yell racism at some higher profile stories- to see if this one would be any different.

An 8th grade math teacher, famous for the silly images he places on the homework worksheets he gives to his students, has found himself in a very uncomfortable situation.

While surfing the internet, looking for funny pictures to place on a homework assignment, teacher Matthew Curran came across what he believed at the time to be a perfect choice. The picture was one that would surely cause his students to laugh, and the caption, “NO WAI!” (internet slang for “No Way”) was even better. Mr. Curran had an inside joke with his class- whenever he would assign difficult math problems, and expect them to show their work, the students would always exclaim, “No way!”

The picture was of a black man wearing a straw hat. The man had his mouth wide open, displaying an almost completely toothless mouth.

After assigning the worksheet, a student turned in her seat to the only black person in the class, asking him if the picture depicted the child’s father.

The offended student went home and told his mother about the incident. Upon seeing the image, the mother immediately contacted the NAACP.

The NAACP released a statement:

“It brings into question whether all of our children are being provided a safe and fair environment in which to learn. What happened here is unacceptable, and we will take steps to make sure it never happens again,”

Mr. Curran has since apologized to both the school faculty and the student body. He claims he was doing a Google search on the terms “multiply and divide”, and this image was one of many that he came across. He thought the caption was funny, representing an inside joke with his students, and says he truly did not mean to offend anyone.

The child’s mother states she will not send her son back to school again until she feels it is safe for him.

I did a quick internet search, using Google, as Matthew Curran did, and I can verify that this image is in fact returned as a search result when typing in the term “multiply and divide”. Why this is the case is beyond me, but at least in this regard, the teacher is telling the truth.

Since this incident occured, many students, ex-students and co-workers of Mr. Curran’s have come forward in his defense. Most people agree that the image was a poor choice, but all are steadfast in their support of the teacher, stating that there is simply no way this man meant to offend anyone.

I do not believe we are looking at a case of overt (or even covert) racism. I think, at worst, sine he has already apologized, Mr. Curran may need to take a racial sensitivity class so that he can be more aware of what may be considered offensive to some students and their parents.

I take bigger issue with the student who asked the only black kid in the classroom if the man depicted on the worksheet was his father. The student should be given detention or something. Bang a few erasers together after school for a couple days.

Truly, I am angrier at the black student’s mother than I am at anyone else. This obviously was not a case of blatant racism. The math teacher simply made a mistake when choosing an image he believed would make his students laugh… and therefore make the classroom a little more fun. Hell, I wish my math teachers would have tried half as hard to keep me interested as this guy apparently does. The child’s mother, when deciding not to even try to work the issue out with the school, instead immediately contacting the NAACP, sent a message that is much louder than anything Mr. Curran inadvertantly did.

In bypassing the school, in refusing to allow her son to return to class, she in effect told everyone that she is less interested in working together towards a solution to this problem, and more interested in causing a scene. Getting her face on TV, and causing a ruckus.

15 minutes of fame and all that.

This, my friends, is not the way to racial equality. Actions like this breed animosity and resentment, and are not conducive to the open conversations we so desperately need to have.

It doesn’t mean the kid’s mom shouldn’t have been offended by the image on the worksheet. It doesn’t mean the worksheet was appropriate for the class. It simply means that in handling the situation the way she chose to, she may very well have created a racial divide that perhaps didn’t otherwise exist.

Had the student’s mother first reached out to the teacher, the principle, the superintendent of the school… had she tried to understand what Mr. Curran was trying to accomplish… perhaps this story could have been one of hope, communication and education.

Had she been willing to do her due dilligence, the mother could have learned that this particular image, while perhaps offensive, is part of a widely circulated collection of images, all captioned with various internet slang. Some of the pictures depict the black man while others depict animals with the words “owned”, “pwned”, “my wai”, “o hai”. I even located one of these stupid pictures with an image of George Bush eating a cat with a caption that reads “We can haz… stop teh madnez”. A quick Google search of these images shows that they’re all part of the “I Can Has Cheezburger” internet sensation- a blogsite that has gone viral since its 2007 inception. Click on the website, and one will find plenty of images to offend just about anyone, though I personally find the kittehs (kitties) adorable.

As a bi-racial woman, I have lived both worlds- black and white. I was raised by a white family, I was married to a black man, and I have two beautiful black daughters. It is through these life experiences that I have learned that not everyone who makes a bad judgment is a racist person. Some people, for varying reasons, are simply unaware of the pain their actions can cause. Most of these people truly mean no harm. Once their errors are pointed out to them, once they are educated about the stigmas certain words, images, jokes, etc. contain, they are more than happy to adjust.

When we handle situations like this one in battle mode right off the bat, without knowing or understanding why or how it occured to begin with, we lose our credibility. All too often, once our credibility is gone, so too, are many of the opportunities to open minds and educate each other that may have otherwise existed.

This is a sad story to me. Not because of a racist teacher, but because I realize that yet again, we’ve lost another chance.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Family, Liberia, News, Parenting, Rape, Sex, Sexual Assault

Shame, Child Rape, Phoenix and Liberia

You know, I really do try to respect other cultures.

I swear I do.

But this shit right here is disgusting.

The story takes place in Phoenix, AZ.

A little eight year old Liberian girl was lured into an alley by four boys- aged 9, 10, 13 and 14- who promised her some chewing gum if she went with them.

Once in the alley the boys restrained the little girl and took turns sexually assaulting her.

The poor child was severely injured and was hospitalized.

The boys were charged with sexual assault and kidnapping, with the 14 year old being charged as an adult.

When the little girl was released from the hospital, authorities had no choice but to place her with child protective services, rather than send her home to her family.


The family, part of a community of Liberian immigrants in Phoenix, does not want her.

She has shamed them.

They have disowned her.

We learn that this is not uncommon in Liberia, and in fact, this sort of b.s. occurs all over the world.

It is especially distressing when one realizes that rape was not a crime in Liberia until 2006.

Read that shit again- I said rape was not a crime in Liberia until 2006.


I don’t understand how anyone, regardless of cultural background, can justify turning their backs on a tiny child- under any circumstances- let alone in a situation like this one.

She was kidnapped and raped repeatedly by other children… fellow refugees…

… And she’s the one who has brought shame onto the community.

Talk about ass backwards.

I wonder what the family of those little child-deviants think about their sons…

Are they disgusted?

Worried about the fact that they have managed to raise child-predators?

Concerned about the type of men they will become?

Have these boys shamed their families?

I think especially of the 14 year old- the teen who is to be charged as an adult- he isn’t going to survive in a man’s prison system… as a non-American… not once his fellow inmates learn that he kidnapped and raped a little girl.

May God have mercy.

Posted in Abortion, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Education, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Sex

Growing… Growing… Gone

Ok People, listen up.

For the purpose of this post, I don’t give a hoot what your personal views on abortion are.

Regardless, the above image, found on a T-shirt offered through the American Life League, is inappropriate for your child to wear to school.

Especially if said child is a mere 7th grader, attending an educational institution that consists of Kindergarten through 8th grade.


The fact that this even needs to be discussed is quite unsettling.

Even worse is the fact that the school, because officials made the kid change her offensive shirt, is now being sued.

Her parents claim the school violated her first amendment right to free speech.


Schools have the right and the responsibility to keep offensive clothing- whether it be a too-tight pair of daisy dukes, a shirt with a gang-sign or the Confederate Flag, and most especially a disgusting, adult themed anti-abortion rag- out of the classroom.

My litmus test is this- if the attire in question causes a disturbance, an uproar, a distraction… it’s inappropriate.

This kid’s mom was smokin’ crack the day she let her daughter wear that thing to school. That she is now taking legal action against them for doing what she should have done to begin with- making the child take the darn thing off- is absolutely ludicrous.


Only in America, I suppose.

Posted in Burger King, C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Family, News, Parent, Parenting, Sex, Single Parent

Burger King, Blow Jobs and The Diva

Ok, So I don’t know how funny this Burger King ad really is, but when I saw it, I chuckled.

The chuckle may very well have been more out of embarrassment and less out of any true comedic value, but there you have it, nonetheless.

The controversial advertisement is currently running exclusively in Singapore, which is a little suprising, given that Singapore isn’t actually known for being the sexual freedom capital of the world.

The ad is obviously being used to promote BK’s new sandwich, the BK Super Seven Incher and instructs would-be consumers ot “Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled” and “Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger…”

This, of course, all under a huge tag line that screams, “IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY” with a profile view of a suggestive looking woman in heavy makeup, mouth open, get ready to blow… err… eat the huge burger.

As I was chuckling, shaking my head at the advertising pervs that came up with this particular campaign, I was reminded of an incident that occured with my daughter a few short weeks ago.

The Diva, as regular readers know, is a pre-teen. She’s 10 years old, soon to be 11 next month.

She is beautiful, extremely tall (already 5’3″), and while it isn’t her fault, looks entirely too old for her age.

My daughter is also becoming aware of sex, and has many questions at the ready… usually asking them at the most unexpected times.

Case in point- I was cooking dinner this particular evening, when my daughter saunters into the room. She had that tone in her voice like she just wanted to engage in small talk with me, perhaps about the weather or some other insignificant topic.

This casual tone always throws me off, and I always fall for it. Make no mistake about it. The weather was the last thing on my child’s mind at that moment.

Instead she floors me with, “Mom? What’s a blow job?”


I was so startled by her question- the seemingly randomness of it- and by the fact that such a question was probably the last thing I expected to come out of my 10 year old’s mouth, that I dropped the casserole I had been making.


Huge mess, all over the floor.

I explained what the term meant. I stuttered a lot, and blushed even more, but think I eventually provided an honest, though not too detail-oriented description of what oral sex is…

… Even managing to do so without passing out.

I think I’m getting better at this.

This time around, I only threw up a little in my mouth, as opposed to a lot.

I asked her where she’d heard it, and she just sort of shrugged and said, “I’m not really sure. Around, I guess”.

She’d been struggling with trying to figure out what it was, and when unable to, she had come to me.

Thank goodness she did, though I won’t lie and pretend like my first instinct wasn’t to send her to the laptop to google it instead.

That woulda got me off the hook, right?

I was sad that my daughter, at age 10, needs to know what a blow job is.

After looking at this ad, I guess I’m beginning to understand why our babies have become so much more sexually aware than we were at the same age.

Suddenly, the ad isn’t the slightest bit funny anymore.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Conservative, Current Events, Dating, David Letterman, Democrats, Family, Funny, Humor, John McCain, Liberal, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Relationships, Sarah Palin, Sex, Willow Palin

David Letterman, John McCain and Willow Palin

Ok, so David Letterman may have crossed a line with his recent jokes regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter, with some people even calling for his termination from CBS.

I thought the jokes specifically about Governor Palin were pretty funny- and not the slightest bit out of line- though perhaps slightly off-color.

I did, however, cringe at his quip about Palin’s daughter.

The Governor had taken her 14 year old daughter to a Yankees game while recently visiting New York. Letterman joked on his show that during the Seventh Inning Stretch, Willow, the daughter, got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.

Disgusting, for sure.

I’m not here to condone Letterman’s comments. Personally, I feel that for the most part, children of politicians should be off limits for all of us- late night comedians included. I do make an exception for people such as Megan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) and Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter) because A) they are not minors and B) they have chosen a life in the public eye- Megan as a popular blogger, Bristol as a public advocate for abstinence.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the double standard here.

Can you imagine, for example, had Conan O’Brien quipped, during Michelle Obama’s recent trip to London with her daughters, that Sasha (or Malia- pick a kid), had been knocked up by Hugh Grant?

Or worse, Boy George?

David Beckham?

I realize that politically incorrect, often distasteful humor, is par for the course in late night comedic television… but sometimes, as we all know, lines do get crossed, and feelings get hurt.

Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this- as I am a Letterman fan- his so-called apology on the matter was grossly inadequate. Letterman claims that his joke regarding Palin’s daughter was actually geared towards Bristol Palin, but I’m not buying it. Everyone knows Bristol was not the one who accompanied her mother to the Yankees game, and surely,  considering all of Letterman’s staff, if not the big man himself, someone would have picked up on this fact.

This, at best, was a terrible gaffe on the part of his research department. At worst, he knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it about.

Regardless, it was a completely inappropriate thing to say.

What enrages me, however, even more than Letterman’s false and disengenuous apology, is certain Republican politicians’ reactions to his comments.

John McCain, for example, when asked his opinion by news source Reuters, stated, “I don’t understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman… They deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts.”


Funny, considering McCain’s own comments about then-President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, on the Letterman show back in 1998:

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because Janet Reno is her father.

It makes one wonder… are John McCain and friends truly against the idea of people attacking the children of politicians… or does it only become a no-no when said politician is a fellow conservative?

Letterman was wrong for saying the things he said about Willow Palin, and that family deserves a genuine apology.

… But as we all know, peoplewho live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Willow Palin deserves our outrage on her behalf. Unfortunately, when it comes from such sources as John McCain, the anger appears phony, crafted, politically motivated and most of all, horribly hypocritical.

Pedophilia, rape and teenage sex are not humorous topics- regardless of who is making the joke, or who the joke is about.

It is, after all, a national epidemic, as Sarah Palin and family know first hand.

Perhaps, instead of duking it out over which public figures’ children are and aren’t off limits, our time would be better spent advocating on behalf of the children who find themselves the butt of these most reprehensible jokes.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Current Events, Economy, News, Parenting, Policy, Politics, Recession, Single Mom, Single Parent, Wall Street

Recession: Are We Working Too Much, Or Not Enough?

By now, there are few of us that haven’t been affected by the recession in some way.

Personally speaking, while I have managed to remain employed by a company that still offers great benefits and good pay…

… Even I am feeling the burn.

Most recently my company froze our salaries, offered a “voluntary” reduced work schedule, reduced our medical coverage, and slashed our 401K match.

Everyone, world-wide it seems, is being forced to make do with less.

We need to be more productive than ever, even as our resources are diminishing.

If we slip up… we could lose our jobs… and with unemployment hovering around 8.5%, we know there are many workers that will be happy to take our places.

At home, we have to figure out a way to continue supporting our families with a smaller number of resources- be it finances, time or energy.

I have a friend, for example, who is a single mother with 2 sons.

She never got much in the way of child support from her ex, so she’s accustomed to having to get creative, figuring things out on her own.

Most recently, my friend, who already works full-time for a large company, had to get a 2nd job.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from a very prestigious university…

… And now finds herself working part-time at Blockbuster Video.

That (small) additional income is buying her groceries every month.

She doesn’t get to spend as much time with her kids as she used to able to…  and now their grades are slipping… they’re developing major attitude problems… their teachers are complaining… she barely recognizes them… but dammit, the mortgage is paid.

I know this problem isn’t a new one.

For generations- well before this particular recession, people- single parents, low income families- have been struggling to learn how to get more out of less.

How do you mandate your children’s behavior, or whether they’re outside playing with friends when they’re supposed to be inside doing homework, when you have 3 jobs- all 3 of which are necessary simply to put food on the table and have gas and electricity?

So many of us are having to choose between that all-important family time and working, so that our rent is paid.

I remember trying to comfort my sobbing friend after her son’s teacher called to let her know he’d been caught stealing another child’s homework… she was also surprised to learn he was failing his classes.

“We’ve talked to your son, and he says you’re never around anymore- that you’re too busy to help him with his studies. You really need to take a more active role in your son’s life”, snarled the teacher.

“Sir, with all due respect, I love my children, and I am doing the very best I can”.

“It’s not good enough”, she was told.

They’re both right.

She is definitely doing the best she can…

… And, as evidenced by her son’s behavior, it isn’t good enough.

So what is it that we’re to do, when the very best we have, simply doesn’t cut it?