Saturday, January 16, 2016

Blame the mama






not sure if these are watercolors or altered photographs

sparrow on pressed paper
Annoying squirrel eating safflower seeds that he isn't supposed to like. It took him a few weeks to figure how to squeeze himself into this cage
A splurge: Fenton carnival glass
This salad bowl appealed to me. What metal is this? I was told that if it were pewter, I couldn't afford it (must dress better I guess) It turns out to be an alloy of aluminum and 10 other metals
A selfie of Naomi that does not have the dreaded kissy lips that under 25 y.o.s find so attractive

Reading old textbooks, mothers seemed all so powerful. What causes homosexuality? Distant fathers and hovering mothers. What causes autism? Uncaring mothers. Any evidence for any of this? Any controlled studies in which identical twins raised apart with different maternal styles resulting in different results? None at all. So why was this bs published and not challenged. Who came up with these inane theories? Freud? And once one expert came up with a theory, it was just parroted by others as if it were the truth. It took years to have these theories challenged by scientists and activists.
 
I remember going to the library to try to figure out why I had such bad menstrual cramps, sometimes feeling like end stage labor. Imagine my surprise when I read that they were a figment of my imagination. They even had a personality type of girls likely to complain of cramps: thin, nervous, not accepting of their body changes. I was none of this. And for the first 4 years, I never even had a twinge of cramping. Now all of a sudden my personality changed? (I probably had cycles that didn't involve ovulation: birth control pill induced cycles are anovulatory and thus are cramp free). Of course in those days, nothing was known about the prostaglandin cycle and how to interfere with anti-inflammatory drugs. Why research something that is not 'real'? There was aspirin  in those days and that would have been helpful to take. But it was marketed for fever and headache reducing. My grandfather did forward me his medical journals. I read an article that mentioned that birth control pills stop cramps. Sign me up. My mother was most unhelpful saying some tripe that then I could have sex without consequences. So if I want to blame the mama for something is  her total lack of critical thinking. Better for me to writhe in pain. I had to bide my time until I got to college. Still numerous roadblocks were in front of me before I could get relief.
 
By the time I reached adulthood, I had numerous examples of the same style of parenting resulting in vastly different results. Kids are what they are. There is very little one can do to change that. Yes I know parents treat children differently. I have been accused of that. I would not take Shanna on a weeklong bike trip and I would not take Josh to the ballet. Parents can make things much more difficult. If I didn't have to work so many hours, more time could have been spent studying. I made sure that my kids didn't need to work while they were taking classes. I did help with homework (no one ever helped me) and tried to make sure it got done.
 
But except for this very recent trend of parents obsessing with outcome of how they deal with their toddlers, for the most part there are scientific studies to why one is gay, one is schizophrenic, one is a musical prodigy. Less blame on the mother.
 
So the other day, I am reading in the science section of the WSJ about personality types: some people prefer one-on-one interactions whereas others don't mind socializing in a group. I accept that there are these individuals but then the lady goes on to say that the ones who can only deal with one human at a time had nervous mothers who passed their anxiety to them. She offered no evidence of this other than this is what she thinks. I can't believe this crap got by their editors. It is fine to discuss possible theories but they should be labeled as such.
 
For the past 3 days, I've bee able to run outside. Yay, but the weather will become bad. As it was, this morning the road was covered with patches of black ice. Fortunately the shoulder has more traction.  Sadly, our vacation looks like it will be filled with non-stop rain. I am trying to plan around this but it looks hopeless.
 
As yesterday was relatively tropical (42 degrees, woo-hoo), I could wear sandals to the nail salon (putting on shoes could damage unset nails). A the man massaged my calves, he noted how muscular they were. Yes I do exercise. This was in stark contrast to the interview before I had surgery wondering if I could walk more than 50 feet without becoming exhausted. Instead of indignantly replying that I used to finish marathons in the top 10%, I just smiled and said  Yes.

2 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I suspect the 'lady' who said that introverts had anxioua mothers herself had a mother who didn't encourage critical thinking.
I have always liked the sticker which reads:
My mother made me a homosexual.
If I give her the wool do you think she will make me one too?

Anthony Thomas said...

One of my brothers upon listening to Ben Carson asked me "Why is he saying this, isn't he a scientist?" I tried to explain that doctors are not scientists. There is a reason we frequently hear how some procedure has finally been studied 5-10 years after it has become popular and has been found ineffective. Doctors 'learn' from word of mouth and from many small studies that don't have the power to prove anything. One of my former neighbors was a stats person who worked with social scientists - they hated him for the number of times he told them that their studies didn't have the numbers to prove their conclusions.

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