Can I just vent for a minute?
Rant I: Growing up takes a long time to do...
I had TLC on in the background the other day as I purged my papers and there was a new nanny show on. In this one a lady in a British accent who is supposed to be a nanny has two days to get 3 screaming kids ready to behave at a family reunion. Get that? She has only 2 days to whip them into shape. These are triplets that unless they are midgets, could not possibly be a day over 3 years old at most. I mean, they still wore onesies. So, how did the nanny whip them into shape? By making them sleep. They started acting up, she put them down for a nap. The triplets were still sleeping with mom and dad. Another clue they're no too old, but the parents probably should entertain the idea of letting go a bit. How the parents were getting any sleep or alone time with 3 babies in their bed, I have no idea, but the nanny set up beds in their own new room for them to sleep in. No complaints in general. A big change like that is not something I would plan right before another big event in their schedule, however. They put them to bed for the night. They screamed and hollered of course. The nanny wouldn't let the parents go to the kids. "They will settle down by themselves." Of course, the nanny went in to settle them down, before they hurt themselves. What those of us at home without nannies were supposed to do at this point, is beyond me, because parents are not allowed. After an hour of screaming they went to sleep. Miraculously, they were all in their own beds. So, after 2 days of this, they are model citizens at the family dinner table at the reunion. It's a good thing they had intervention or how would the triplets be ready for school which is coming right up? No kidding the Mary Poppins look alike actually said that.
What the bunch of crap? Hello! They weren't even verbal yet. That show was the biggest bunch of cut and paste ever put together, I am sure! I just want to say, stop the instant gratification nonsense! Two year olds are not ready to be 5 year olds and 2 days with a nanny is not going to turn triplets into a pack of angels who never misbehave. They were feeding their faces and that's why they were quiet. They were happy! Quit pretending that any child acting their age is in need of intervention and their parents are flunkies. The biggest cure for most childhood ills is just growing up. Of course, we need to understand what's motivating our children's behavior, then lead and guide them, but the best of parenting techniques just takes time. Often, it takes lots of time. I might not look like a model parent, but things have improved greatly over the years, in part due to a lot of dedication on our parts over a LONG TIME, and partly, because they are just growing up-all on their own. With or without their parent's encouragement, they are learning life's lessons and reaching developmental milestones naturally. If any parenting advice works on your child immediately, your child may not have learned to think for himself yet.
Rant II: Sticking up for all fictitious characters everywhere...
To all contemporary authors out there, particularly those who write dramatic works. Many of you have compelling stories to tell that are well written, leave me thinking and make for great conversations. However, I have a hard time recommending your book without asking someone to edit it first. If I were one of your characters, I would say, "I feel violated by your exposure of my personal private sex life to all the world. Really? Maybe it is exciting, but it's my excitement and I don't want to share it. At least in great detail, I do not. Many of your readers really don't want to get to know me that well either. If it's not important to the plot, you can leave it out entirely and if for some reason it is important, it can be alluded to tastefully. Some parents of single children reading my story would appreciate it if they are not exposed to my whole sex life before they have a sex life of their own, or worse, inspire them to have one before they are ready. Try to keep it a little more quiet, will ya? Have some respect for me. If you're really a great writer, you won't need to sell sex to get people to read you. Remember, as a species, humans are pretty much already sold on sex as it is. It doesn't need any selling. Thanks."
As for those who respect their character's privacy, this is no reason not to give them a life or even let them do anything like have an imperfect thought or drink Mountain Dew, for pete's sake! Your characters are allowed to have sexual feelings and have appropriate sexual encounters, as that is only normal and natural. None of your characters wants to be an asexual amoeba. But above all, clean doesn't have to mean your characters are one dimensional or that your story need be lacking in anything important that could inspire your readers or make them think. I enjoy books that get people talking and coming to some conclusions about life and what to do about it. Conflict and it's resolution probably should go beyond the content of a Beaver Cleaver episode. "Gee, Wally, you stained the jacket, what are you gonna do now?" I would appreciate more thought provoking works that might become classics someday.
Rant III: But...
I may sound like a big prude, but I don't like the word butt. It's not that I never, ever use it. I just use it very sparingly. (Like when your child is being a butt-head because they refuse to use a suppository. Puns make just about anything game.) Over the last ten years or so, every other way of referring to this body part seems to have vanished, or been replaced by the even worse, disrespectful one, ass. We are all free to speak as we may, and I'm not personally offended every time I hear the word, it's just that even in "Happy Valley" I seem to be one of the last few people who uses the word bottom, and this is making it difficult for me to convince my children that there is another way besides the word butt to refer to this roundish, cushion-like piece of anatomy on their backsides. Every time they use it I simply interject, "bottom". Why? Because I find it hard to believe that there will never be an occasion in their life formal enough that they won't need to have a more cultured word that is of a higher register of speech on the tip of their tongue to use, should this part of the anatomy need to be mentioned. I want them to shine at that moment and naturally show a classier way of speaking. To this end, I wish to suggest a plethora of other alternatives I wish society as a whole would put into use. Then we can all shine. In no particular order, some of a higher register than others, let me refer you to what is otherwise known of as a butt:
Back side or back end, derriere, toosh or tooshie, gluteus maximus, rear-end or rear, bottom, seat, buttocks, behind, fanny, tail or tail end, posterior, hind or hind end or hindquarters, private end, buns , bum, cheeks, rump or keister. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter, especially if you live in my neighborhood.
Whew! I feel better, now that I've got that all off my "upper torso". Wanna get a load off your chest? Bring it on, the more, the merrier!