Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Into the Mommy Fray

Like everyone else this week I had to get a look at the cover of TIME magazine. If I hadn't known better; I would have sworn that was a midget. My opnion? Any kid that could possibly be mistaken for that kind of "little person" is way too old to be breastfeeding in public. Let alone grabbing a snackeroo while posing with his mom for a magazine cover. Creepy. And let me emphasis- that is MY opinion. I am not saying if it is the correct or incorrect thing to do. I also realize that I am passing judgement in some way because I declared the cover "creepy." But somewhere, for someone obviously this is right and so let me go on...

And after reading the article, watching an interview with Mom and family, I came to this conclusion: That old familiar warfare would soon be waged. Mommy Wars. Us against Them. My mothering is better than your mothering. "Are you mom enough?" Seriously? When my girls were little it was the Working Mom versus the Stay-at-Home Mom. Which was better? Breastfeeding or bottle? If I heard about how sick my kids were going to be since I chose not to breastfeed one more time I was going to off someone. I even heard some people talk about how the repercussions would haunt them forever- Sorry. Didn't happen. Guess what? I actually knew children who suckled that spent way more time on antibiotics then my daughters. Attachment? They were all attached to me (and still are) without being attached to my breasts. I hated being pregnant so the thought of giving up my body indefinitely...hell that was not happening. Love, love, love my kids, but their father got his share of feeding rights. Since he didn't get to have any weight-gain-body-distorting-labor pains- recovery from childbirth/major surgery rights it was only fair. Breastfeeding was not the thing for us, but it was right for legions of others. In parenting you should choose what is right for you.

Same for the working pitted against the staying home issue. Me staying home was best for our family. In retrospect I realize that there were times I was a bit smug about it, but that is just because I was getting back at the moms who had turned their noses up at my Playtex nursers. I even loved taking in other kids like my niece and nephew a day or two a week. When they came everyone was happy- their mom because she knew they would be well taken care of and that eliminated some of her stress and worry throughout her day. It was nice for me too; my kids had their cousins to play with and I had a break from being "Grandpa" of the Playskool dollhouse family fame.

So now we have Attachment Parenting, co-sleeping parenting (or something like that), and many others. Thing is there has always been different ways to parent; my mother parented in a completely different way  than my best friend's mother did. I don't recall a stand-off against the "Dark Shadows, cigarette smoking, nerve pill taking" faction and the mothers who understood little girl things like doll clothes and letting a professional cut your hair. Why is that people feel as if they need to align themselves on a side? And why is it that people are so quick to criticize others just because they are each doing things differently?

 It has always been that way- the doing things differently thing, not the judging, slamming, and taking sides. Why not try and support each other? A little acceptance goes a long way. Having advocates in place is good for everyone, parents and children. Exposing families to different methods of doing things may ultimately bring a  realization that other ways do succeed; situations vary and experiencing numerous ones may one day lead to tolerance and eventually acceptance. So even though I called the Playmate mom's kid "creepy," I do support her and if what she does with her sons in her world makes them all happy then it is acceptable. Although under no circumstance should it ever be acceptable for the "nerve pill" moms to use empty soda cans in the living room as ashtrays. I speak from experience....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kids- Dead and Alive

This week has been a trying one for me. I have talked back to the television- stop pretending you cannot hear me Brian Williams! And the radio both to work in the morning and on my return home in the evening. All of you that know me personally may not be too shocked. After all I have been talking to inanimate objects my entire life. Although I generally am quite an enthusiatic person two things have fired me up this week.

First off that poor little shaver Treyvon Martin who was shot in Florida by the overly enthusiatic neighborhood watch bully "wanna-be vigiliante." This happened nearly one month ago and he was not arrested? Please, they brought down two people in Shamokin who threw a puppy over a cliff and gave them their day in court in less time. George Zimmerman should have been arrested just for the fact that he DISOBEYED the police during his 911 call. Any citizen with permission to carry a concealed weapon who is told to stay in his car; the police can handle the situation should be arrested for not listening. Like a three year old who has time out. Except George killed a teenager who "looked suspicious," which translated into something like: "According to me no one, and I mean no one, should be allowed to walk through MY neighborhood for any reason."

Yes, yes, I know I only am rehashing what I have heard on the news all week. Two sides to every story and that stuff. And last night Lester Holt, he gets my weekend conversations when Brian is spending quality time with the fam, reported that according to sources Zimmerman had suffered a blow to the head requiring stitches or some other shit, which is not quite as bad as suffering a gunshot wound that kills you. Poor big, burly, self-appointed boss of that neighborhood who could not listen to directions from a higher, more knowledgeable authority than himself. Because his concealed weapon increased his brain firing power.

Next up my conversation with the radio about the movie The Hunger Games. Let me sum this all up like this: if I hear one more person say the movie is about "kids killing kids" I may lose it. That is NOT what the book or the movie is about. Get it RIGHT before you go on to making judgements about it. Yes, there is killing in this trilogy and yes indeedy it is teens inflicting violence on other teens. But these people who are yapping about that part of it, and only that part of it, are missing the entire premise. The underlying story about how the society/government encourages it for a variety of reasons is what this series is actually about, "haves and have-nots," and exercising control over others. Not to mention the warning it gives to what is possible in the future and the dangers of creating celebrities at whim who have done nothing to earn their status.

 People are missing the fact that the teens/tributes who survive (Katniss and Peta) teach a lesson about herosim, courage, and how mankind should trust one another. Without that trust we end up with stories about how unchecked bullies like George Zimmerman can make his own neighborhood into an Arena. Exceot poor Treyvon had no idea his number was up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good Genes or Why Procopios Trump Kardashians

A picture seems like the perfect place to begin for this post.

Photograph is two years old, but I like it. And since I am the one writing the blog- my choice. Obviously I have three gorgeous daughters. Better yet, they are intelligent, kind (for the most part), successful, and each of them is blessed with a great sense of humor. Which is why they will not be pissed that I am writing about them.

Every now and again people remark that the Procopio girls are the Kardashians of Turbotville. You could logically replace Turbotville with Shamokin at a whim of course. Put a little Coal Region twist to it. Granted if you take the whole group of them together there are SOME similarities. Dark hair, great figures, facial beauty. Take a look see for yourself.

My daughters, however, actually do something besides exploit themselves in public for millions of dollars. Rachel attends law school, Emily is studying social work, and Becca is finishing high school. Right there probably lists more than ALL the Kardashians, combined have done in their cumulative lifetimes. I realize this is my opinion only and I could, in fact be wrong, but I have tuned into their show- perhaps twice and concluded that they mostly do nothing, but look good doing it.

So let's go back to exploiting for a moment because the last time someone told me I gave birth to the Kardashians of rural Pennsylvania I had a glimmer...an idea of a show to exploit my own. In my opinion (my blog, my opinion. Never let that thought wander far when you are reading this) it would be hilarious to put my offspring in a situation far from their comfort zone.

We would acquire Clark's Ag Store and let the Procopios run it and deal with the customers! I never said I was going to be original because I know the K sisters run a store. Or pretend to. Our store would be called "Good Jeans." Get it? A take off on "Good Genes." Best I could do. The Procopio sisters and their staff could all wear bib overalls and flannel, because after all it would be a farm store. Sure, they could spice up the farmer garb at whim. The world could tune in to watch them deal with things like which fertilizer to choose, how to decide what feed is right for your cow, or try to calculate how much seed is needed for 750 acres.

What did you say? Sounds a little boring? Oh no worries, there would be conflict galore. Imagine how up in arms Fred would be over at the Great Valu (Food Wrong) when Good Jeans started luring away his best cashiers. Then there would be the kurfluffle within the Amish community when they had no choice but to deal with the Procopios. I can see the girls losing patience with them and their all business attitudes rather quickly because their store would strive to put the fun back in farming. If farming was ever fun in the first place. Of course there would always be the danger that they would lose interest in the agriculture gig and turn their sights on The Tin Cup. Can you say potential sports bar or coffe house?

And what if all of this is a huge, gigantic flop? I, like the mother of the Kardashian clan, have a back up. A ringer, so to speak. No, there are no other Procopio girls waiting to mature and step into the limelight or a long lost brother being raised somewhere by apes. Hells to the no; mine is waaay better. Just wait until you see Bella's upcoming season on Celebrity Apprentice.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Is this thing on?

In their first blog most people clarify why they are writing or how they got started. I am not going to be the first one to buck that tradition so here goes:

Wait, maybe I should say who I am...like introduce myself? Damn, I don't know. It took me three days to figure out how to make my profile, upload my picture, and slap on the fancy template. And two coffees to get back to the location where I could actually write the blog. Brief. I will keep it brief.

Karla Kleskie Procopio. Born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Living in Turbotville, Pennsylvania for sixteen years. Graduated from high school, went to college, dropped out of college, got a job, went back to college, and dropped out again. Got married, had three daughters, stayed at home and majored in Blue's Clues. Eventually went back to college, majored in English (yeah, that will get you places), graduated, ended a marriage. Sent one daughter to college, got a dog, sent second daughter to college while first daughter went to law school. In the meanwhile became employed full time, met a wonderful man, and learned to go to bed early.

Why the blog? I enjoy writing. At one time I was actually good at it. I wrote about Shakespeare, Austen, and Thomas Hardy. My goal was to kick collegiate ass one paper and test at a time. I made most of the traditional students want to be my partner for group projects. I did two internships with the smartest man I ever met, in the English Department of Bloomsburg University. Graduation and the real world present little opportunity to show off one's flare for explicating poetry or being able to understand just what Faulkner was trying to say in that five page paragraph.

I also have lots of stories. Ask anyone who knows me and people who have tried to escape me in any social situation. Plenty of them are daughter stories. I also fancy myself to be clever now and again with the turn of a phrase and such. Over the years I have tried to journal things and failed. Maybe if I utilize this blog thing I can immortalize all my random thoughts, adventures, twisted points of view, and try not to embarrass anyone, at least not purposely.

Mistakes? Expect them. I have a degree in English, but I am not the world's best speller or grammatarian. I just made that up, by the way. Punctuation? Forget about it. I edit other people's work like nobody's business, but no one is going to edit this thing. People (my kids) LOVE to beat my ass at Scrabble, Words with Friends, and Boggle. Rambling may be the order of the day.

Here goes. Preparing to launch. Hopefully I can figure out how to post it before the end of my Christmas vacation...no promises :)