Thursday, November 09, 2006

Favorite Things (officially) Vol 2

I find most magazines written for parents mildly offensive. I have read every scrap of literature available at my OB/GYN's office and they have Parenting, Parents, Atlanta Parent, Cookie, Fit Pregnancy, and some other ones I can't remember. It's not that I was ever made to wait very long, it's just that I've been there so often lately. In addition, the moment you purchase your first item of maternity clothing, the editors of various parenting-themed publications begin clogging your mailbox with their stuff.

First of all, it tends to be a bit sexist. Nearly all of these magazines claim to be for parents, but are in fact written almost entirely to a female audience, as though dad's don't read or care or matter. Sometimes there's a page dedicated to dad and its articles are "How to enjoy a night out with the boys and still be a good dad" and "why she's grumpy and what you need to do about it". Then there's the things they assume their female audience cares about - month after month. How to lose that pregnancy weight, how not to gain it in the first place, how to still feel sexy, how to tell him you're pregnant, blah blah blah.

When I read these magazines I imagine the writers are the women I always see at Souper Jenny. I go to Souper Jenny because the name is right - it's soup and Jenny makes super soups. But her location is in Buckhead among a throng of small boutiques where I could spend $85 on a t-shirt for my 2-year-old. The line for soup is always long so I get to hear entire conversations among the diners who are freakishly tiny women who, as best I can tell, work out, shower, do their hair and make-up, and change into clean workout clothes. They are always in pristine condition, but have "just come from the gym". They wear rings that contain rocks so giant they probably have to take them off at night to avoid accidentally removing their noses or eyebrows when they roll over. Those rings amaze me, if I had such a ring, my left arm would be far more developed than my right and frequently painfully caught in my hair. These women arrive in Souper Jenny's tiny parking lot in their SUVs that are so huge (my favorite is the "Denali", now that's huge) they look like school children driving them. Once my friend Paige and I both laughed from opposite sides of the parking lot as we watched one of these women get her Suburban stuck on a curb and spend a solid 5 minutes trying to liberate the giant 4-wheel-drive vehicle from the small curb. Anyway, I think these are the women writing "What to do when he doesn't find your post-partum body attractive" for Parenting magazine and I really, really don't want to take any advice from them. These are not my people. Sure, we all like good soup, but even Hitler could appreciate a yummy chowder.

On one of my more recent visits to the doctor, while sitting in the waiting room with my painful, glowing, mastitis-afflicted breasts (a chair for me, a chair for them), I made a discovery so delightful I was temporarily distracted from my boob problems. I spotted a lone copy of the premier issue of a publication titled Wondertime. The stories are things like "Teach your child to love math" and "How kids learn to tell time" and "Raising a kind child". And the articles are written with humor and in a tone that isn't...patronizing. I took it from the waiting room to the exam room and then I took it from the exam room to my house (my doctor said I was welcome to, I swear!) and then I ordered it. I love it. I will save the issues like I do National Geographic. It's published by Disney, which would ordinarily make me a bit suspicious, but seriously, it's worth reading cover to cover.

5 comments:

Epiphany Alone said...

Once I discovered blogs, the Mommy magazines really were garbage. One of the things that strikes me about parenting the second time around is that I feel a lot more comfortable with my "well, that's crap" opinions from such magazines and the pediatrician.

I used to call those women Professional Wives when I lived in Green Bay. At the time, I was working in a bagel shop, and they would come in for a skinny sugar-free hazelnut mocha latte from the gym in their match-y size 2 workout clothes, coiffed, manicured, and tanned. I honestly don't think the men we married look at that wistfully...

Kicking N. Screaming said...

Hey, thanks for that link, I will be saving it! I don't think our husbands even see these women. I feel like they live on a different plane. I view them like I do exotic creatures at the zoo. They are interesting to look at, they make me wonder what it must be like to be them, but I am much gladder to be me.

Delphi said...

I think it's interesting that everything you do as a parent seems to require somebody's approval or a name- like co-sleeping. Who thought of that? It's too long to say the baby sleeps in our bed or is it that it needs an approved title before it can be done?

Kicking N. Screaming said...

Well you know...it takes a village. Having grown up in a "village" I can tell you, sometimes the people in the village are serious pains in the ass.

Paige Anne said...

I love this post...not only because of the shout-out (what what), but because of the hilarious giggling that ensued upon reminiscing about the Suburban-stuck-on-the-curb incident (wow, there are a lot of prepositions in that sentence!) Hail to the Souper Jenny! LOVE YOU! xoxo