What in God's name is going on at the NOPD? Seriously, WTF?

First, we have an NOPD cop doing 90 across the Crescent City Connection and then slapping the CCC cop who pulled him over.

Then, the big black shirt versus blue shirt debate.

Then, the appalling and disgusting tactic of entrapping homeless people to steal by baiting a car with Budweiser, Kool cigarettes and candy and charging anyone unfortunate enough to fall for the trap with a felony.

And now we have some enraged female cop showing up at a children's center and brandishing a gun at a mother there trying to pick up her children, followed by the responding officer telling the cop that she should have shot the MFer that told her to put the gun down because there were children present? Are you kidding me?

Jesus, it's like Ray Nagin and Warren Riley are on a mission to see if they can sink the police department to depths even lower than those seen back in the 90s, when Antoinette Franks and Len Davis were around. Is there nothing we can do to get these clueless assholes out of City Hall and off of the police force?


Coffee, Tea or Xanax?

K's latest post over at Good Children got me thinking about traveling with children, and I agree--I hope there's a special place in hell for people who make nasty comments to or about those of us traveling alone with small children. And to those of you who brushed past me impatiently last week at the airport while you saw me trying to keep track of my three-year-old's hand while also trying to walk up the stairs from the tarmac to the jetway while juggling a very large stroller, a diaper bag, a purse, and a portable DVD player, I hope you one day have sextuplets and have to travel alone with them. And that they scream all the way to your destination.

My worst traveling alone with children experience was definitely last summer, when my flight was delayed and we sat on the tarmac for about 45 minutes, waiting for our turn to depart. Emmeline was very cranky and whiny, and the woman sitting in front of us turned around and berated me for not keeping E quiet. When I told her that E was two and that I was doing the best I could, even showing her the books and snacks I was trying to entice E with, the woman told me that she had three grown children and that I was most definitely NOT doing the best that I could, as her children had never behaved that way. Mind you, E wasn't even in a full-blown temper tantrum--she was just being a standard-issue, cranky two-year-old. I love the people whose own children are so far removed from the toddler days that they don't even remember what it's like to try to calm down a pissed-off two-year-old, all while keeping her strapped into a seat on a plane. It's not like time-out is really an option when you're in an airplane.

It seemed that the woman wasn't going to be happy unless I violently spanked my daughter, but that wasn't something I was going to do. So, the woman's next move was to lean over the seat, put her finger in Emmeline's face, and tell her that she was a very ill-behaved child, which caused me to coldly tell the woman not to speak to my child. Then, the woman called the flight attendant over. All of this, mind you, while everyone on the plane was watching. The woman insisted to the flight attendant that I and my daughter be moved to another section of the plane with empty seats. Why the woman herself couldn't move, rather than insist on me dragging E, a car seat and various toys and books to some other seats, I don't know. But at that point, I was so angry I was in tears and couldn't wait to get as far away from that woman as possible. Needless to say, I hope her luggage was lost and never found. And that she had to sit next to a violently ill toddler on her return trip.

Ah, the joys of airline travel.


4th of July on SSI

Emmeline and I spent the 4th in my hometown of St. Simons Island, catching up with family and friends. As you can see, E thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride, especially after her uncle taught her to say "hooyah." I particularly enjoy the look on her cousin Graham's face, like he's thinking, "What in the hell are you doing, woman?"


Motherhood Blues

Even thinking about writing this post makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, like it will expose me for the fraud I am. Like perhaps the mommy police will find out who I am and beat down my door to berate me for these thoughts. But I have to say it--sometimes, I really don't enjoy being the mother of a toddler.

The baby days were idyllic, once E and I got on a schedule that made her happy. She ate every three hours and napped shortly thereafter. Most of her awake time was spent with me marveling about what an incredible baby she was. And she was one of those wonder babies that was adaptable. As long as E was fed on time, she was perfectly content to bask in our adoration and go anywhere--to a restaurant, to a crawfish boil, to JazzFest.

After her first birthday, things became a bit more interesting, as she navigated learning to walk, learning to talk, and beginning to learn that she is her own person. But since she turned two (and now three), I find myself more and more exhausted, exasperated, and frustrated as we both try to learn how to make our way through the toddler years. Now, although there's still plenty of marveling at the incredible being that is my daughter, it seems as if a lot of my time is spent wiping her bottom, picking up her toys, negotiating with her on learning to pick up after herself, putting her in time-out, saying "no," saying "hurry up," doing laundry, and trying to come up with meals she'll eat, all while also holding down a full-time job and having a husband who mostly works nights and weekends.

The best way I've been able to describe it to friends is that at least once each day, she makes me laugh out loud, followed shortly by wanting to beat my head against the wall. Why do so few people talk about this part of motherhood? Is it wrong to get bored with playing princess eight times a day? Or to feel terribly unchallenged when putting together a puzzle for the 432nd time? To get frustrated when you try to prepare a somewhat healthy meal for your child, only to have it rejected, while the ungodly orange Kraft macaroni and cheese is always devoured? To feel frustration when you have to fight the same battles over and over again? To sometimes feel relief when bedtime arrives?

I tried to do an internet search last night for other mothers who might sometimes feel this way--but apparently, I couldn't figure out the right words to google. Searches for "toddler + mother + frustration" resulted in lots of tips for how to deal with a frustrated toddler. Searches for "mother + dissatisfaction" brought up psychiatric evaluations. All of that was a little disturbing to me--is there really no one out there talking about the dissatisfying parts of motherhood? Do I really need psychiatric help because I feel frustrated with parenting some days?

I love my daughter fiercely and immensely. But sometimes, I miss my pre-parent days. I miss staying out as late as I wanted on a Saturday night and drinking too much, knowing full well that I'd have all day Sunday to recuperate, if need be. I miss those long, leisurely Sundays when K and I would order takeout and a couple of pay-per-view movies and never leave the house. I miss long, romantic dinners. I miss going to the movies. I miss sleeping past 6:00 a.m. I miss feeling like I have time for myself to read, to shop, to tackle a new recipe. I miss quietness. I miss solitude. Hell, I even miss going to the bathroom by myself.

This too shall pass, I know. When I pick up my daughter from daycare today, her face will light up and she'll run across the room as quickly as she can to hug me, and it will all be worth it. And one day, I'll look back with longing on her toddler years, just as I do on her too-short babyhood. But still, I wonder--is it okay to sometimes feel less than enthralled with parenthood? And if so, why do so few people talk about it?