A few weeks ago, the lovely and talented Lisa Belkin asked if she could republish my "20 Things Nobody Told Me About Little Boys" entry on The Huffington Post. I said sure! And damn! I probably should have spent more than 20 minutes on it. Another 10 minutes and I could have come up with at least 10 more Things Related To Pee, surely.
Anyway. I said yes and then promptly forgot all about it. Occasionally I'd remember and go look for it, and eventually assumed it had perhaps appeared briefly and been met with a deafening army of crickets, then promptly pushed back into the morass of the HuffPo archives by the approximately 14 million things that get published there on a daily basis.
It actually didn't go live until Monday, and Lisa was kind enough to make sure it was treated nicely and highly visible. BOOM!
I checked in on my little listicle right after it went live and had a weird reaction of being completely embarrassed, like OMG DON'T LOOK AT IT, NOBODY LOOK AT IT. OR ME. I closed the browser window and basically hid from my own damn blog post all week.
I finally felt brave enough to venture back last night, figuring that it had probably dropped off the main parenting page by then, and decided that I was also brave enough to read the three or four confused-type "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN" comments it had probably collected.
That's when I saw that it had over 600 comments and fell off my chair. Then I got back on my chair and rubbed my grubby little paws together, because gurrrrl, you just know this is gonna be good. A number that high was oddly liberating, proof that at some point the conversation had surely derailed away from any meaningfulo critique of my writing or how weird my hair looks rendered HuffPo-style in my headshot, but had fully entered a batshit zone of wankariffic crazy.
Indeed it had. Here are some of my favorites.
YOUR CUTESY LITTLE LISTICLE IS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA:
Cute, quaint, observant but totally irrelevant! While parents dwell on the stupid and cute the things they should know about parenting remains an unknown. Parents parent the way their parents in most cases and if the parents were bad, guess what. That's why we still see child abuse. All it takes to produce a child is to successfully screw once! If our society really cared about children they would require that every male and female who wanted to have a child take at least one year of college level courses in how to parent. They would have to take a child development course that would teach them that children learn certain things in stages. Worrying about sex or nudity, bad words at someone who hasn't reached a certain stage of development is ridiculous and a waste of time. When I took my course in child development there was a young woman who got very upset because she couldn't potty train her child. When the professor asked her how old the child was she said 10 months. The professor asked the class how many people thought that 10 months was a good time to potty train a child. Most of the class raised their hands. The physical skills needed for potty training develop in both girls and boys at between 18 to 30 months. Though both boys and girls develop the necessary skills at the same time, the average age of potty training varies between the sexes. The average age for girls to be potty trained by is 29 months, and the average age for boys is 31 months. At 36 months, 98 percent of children are potty trained, according to the University of Michigan Health System. These are the things that are not commonly known and should be. We have certainly reached an age where we should have cast aside the notion that people can only have sex for procreative reasons but child rearing is too important to leave to chance. Of people need a license for something as mundane as driving a car one would think that raising a child which is far more complicated should also require training and a license to ensure that the child is raised in a healthy and safe environment. Most of what gets said about how important and precious children are is BS. Just look at how Americans have allowed the religiously brainwashed and the owner class to deprive children all over this country to continually have their education system dumbed down, privatized, and underfunded while there is always money for wars and war machines!
THIS LISTICLE IS FULL OF DIRTY NUMBERING LIES:
There are several that are listed as separate items but are actually one thing: 14-16, 3-4, 10-11. Also, 4 items about pee? I have an 18 month old son and if I had 20 things to say about him--even if I was generalizing to all boys--none of them would be about his pee.
PERHAPS WITH INTENSE THERAPY, YES:
I can only say I hope you can get over the way urine seems to dominate your thoughts and only retain the beautiful memories of your babies childhoods.
TOO SOON, MAN:
Jerry Sandusky is writing under the pen name Amy Corbett Storch
I ATE YOUR GENDER AND IT WAS DELICIOUS:
Every time I read crap like this I want to ask women "Do you really think you ate the only gender in this world?". Women are too self absorbed to pay attention to men.
THE LOST ART OF THE PROPERLY NUMBERED LIST:
This article wasn't that good. A column with numbered items should not reference the comment before with additional information. The whole thing lacks wit and humor.
I LIKE YOU:
...but I HuffPost keeps telling me that sex is just some kind of artificial construct imposed by society on our children!
You're a beast for choosing your child's sexual identify! You clearly should treat your children as gender-neutral-beings until they are old enough to choose a sex for themselves.
Misandry beginning with boys. Let's take each item: (1) You will spend a crazy amount of time [time better spent doing what? and the inference is, it's an imposition on the mother's time] clipping their weed-like [the idea is that they are unwanted growth] fingernails, even though your own nails don't grow worth a damn.
Misandry beginning with boyhood. Item (3): Little-boy funk-smell [presumably a bad smell] kicks in sometime around age 3. Second negative.
Misandry beginning with boyhood. Item (4): 4. It [boy-funk] smells like a combination of feet and maple syrup [an unpleasant smell]. (3) and (4) belong together. Third negative.
(This guy went on like this for awhile.)
Misandry beginning in boyhood. Item (5): You will totally get peed on. In the face, directly, at least once. [Apart from the fact that urine in a healthy person is sterile and in some cultures is used to treat wounds, the negative here is that somehow this is unpleasant. Only boys' urinating comes in a stream and this is somehow not pleasant to the mother.] What is worse, if you read the literature on child psychology, you will see that many mothers punish their boys at this point. Let's not discuss child (boy) abuse here. Another negative in any case.
Not to belabor this, but misandry beginning in boyhood continues item by item: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16,17,18 (here men are introduced as objects of misandry). The last two items are supposed to make boys endearing in spite of all that is disgusting about them. Not that "wuv" is different from gratitude. Yes, boys are "awesome." Why not just say that and describe how?
(I THOUGHT I JUST DID, DUDE.)
Really, though, I found it all terribly entertaining and wasn't personally bothered by any of it, because: EH. They don't know me or my boys or "get" my "humor" or whatever. And the majority of the comments were positive and sane (although I admit I got bored by page 10 or so). I saw several of YOU GUYS there too, which was fun and a reminder that I am incredibly spoiled when it comes to blog comments, because YOU PEOPLE are always so kind and funny and...you know, not like that. *waves hand in vagueishly upward direction* You're the reason I can bash out a funny-ish quick list like that without feeling compelled to overthink it and anticipate the more fringe-y negative reactions it could possibly generate. Anyway, thank you for being so awesome. I'm sorry I don't say that enough.
(The ONLY COMMENT on HuffPo that actually for-real kind of bugged me and made my fingers itch to type a reply to was a one snarking that "Amy Storch needs to learn how to use word wrap in Microsoft Word" or something, like I was personally responsible for the formatting of a post that I had nothing to do with after I gave my blessing for someone else to copy-and-paste it. And like, you can't paste formatting from Word into blogging software ANYWAY because it makes everything wonky so your comment simply reveals that you don't know anything about web publishing and therefore I HEREBY WIN THIS INTERNET.
Acuse me of misandry and gender stereotyping and THE REASON WE HAVE WAR MACHINES, but don't imply that I don't know how to use word wrap, maaaan. I do. I'll word wrap your FACE.)