Right. So, that last post was . . . probably an ill-advised use of the Publish button, amplifying an ugly little online situation and ultimately spreading the yuck around. I definitely did not mean for Gillian to receive personal attacks in return, and I am very sorry for that. All I can say is that I was feeling angry and hurt and this is where I tend to go when I feel that way. It always helps, sometimes just by the process of writing something out and thus banishing it from my head to the screen, but more often because of the kindness and sanity so many of you send in my direction.

Still, it would have been smarter to just let it go: not worth my attention, not worth wasting your time by bringing it to your attention. Especially when we have other things to discuss, like playgrounds.

I found the Best Playground Ever this weekend. I never thought I’d be the sort of person who would be all, “OH MY GOD, STOP THE CAR! DID YOU SEE THAT? THAT AWESOME-LOOKING PLAYGROUND?!” — but hey, I never thought I’d find myself using my pinky finger to more accurately remove a booger from a nostril that is not my own.

My criteria for Best Playground Ever includes the following:

The entire place should be deserted. I know, that sounds really anti-social and kind of greedy, but an empty playground means you can just completely dork out with your kid and dangle upside down from the monkeybars without worrying about a stranger being privy to the unflattering sight (or sounds) of you heaving yourself back upright.


There should be plenty of things for a little kid to safely play on. I know, sounds like a no-shitter, right? But I can’t count the number of playgrounds that have, say, metal slides that heat to approximately 3958301 degrees on a sunny day. Have fun, kids! See you at the burn center!


There should be several structures for an adult male to try and jump over.


I don’t know, I guess it’s like how I can’t pass a shoe store without pressing my forehead to the window and snorfling like a truffle-pig: JB can’t pass a leapable object without giving it a go.


There should be a soft surface for cushioning the painful fall when a small child drops from where he was cruelly forced to dangle, Survivor-style, with no assistance.


(I kid, I kid. He was jumping off that step.) (OR WAS HE PUSHED OMG CALL CPS.)

There should be a (non-metal) slide that is barely big enough for a grownup’s ass to fit into, so as you go down you make that humiliating eeeeeeeeeee sound.


The Best Playground Ever should make your kid shout, “HEY! THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA, MOMMY!” afterwards.

Also, the act of screeching your way down the aforementioned slide should build up, like, a LOT of static electricity, so your husband can laugh so hard at your expense he accidentally rips a gunshot-loud fart while pointing the camera at you.


I shouldn’t let this kind of shit bother me, but when you read a comment like “I question how much she really loves and nurtures her children. Why did she choose to have another, and heaven forbid she does it again. What will her boys think of her and how she feels about them when they are old enough to read what she says about them?”, it really sort of drops a wet turd on your morning. Not because I believe this to be true in any way shape or form, but because I feel unhappy that people like that have access to the stories I share about my life and my children’s lives.

I read a great quote recently that had to do with sanctimonious parents who say they feel bad for other people’s kids — kids whose parents make different choices than the person doing the judging — it was something like, “I won’t feel sorry for your kids if you won’t feel sorry for mine.” I admire that, because it’s a taking-the-high-road sort of response, and I wish I could feel that way.

But you know, I don’t. I DO feel sorry for kids whose parents act like the people who take the time out of their loving, nurturing lives to write cruel comments about parents they don’t even know, because those children are being raised in an environment of intolerance. They’re going to learn that it’s perfectly okay to call names and to treat each other like crap, all because someone’s lifestyle isn’t the same as their own.

It’s the same old story, we’ve heard this junk a million times before, I know. I’ll just never understand why we can’t disagree with each other without resorting to below-the-belt behavior.

(Portrait of a resentful, unloving family. If seen, please report to the nearest authority. Possibly a hairstylist, because WHOAH.)

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