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Archive for August, 2012


posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:09 PM
Friday, August 31, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Read This First! – the BLOG

I love to read. Memoirs, novels, chic lit, The Week magazine (for any of you not in the know, The Week is literary CRACK – go out and get yourself some right now, you’ll see), The New Yorker… I was the kid who bought Seventeen, Young Miss, and Jane, then poured through the articles, barely glancing at the pictures. (And you know what? While I’m at it, I’ll take a moment here to give a retrospective THANK THE FRICKIN LORD that I didn’t take much notice of the photos at the time– because I was also about the only girl I know who didn’t ever have an eating disorder as a kid. Connection? You be the judge!)

That said… why – oh why!? – do I have a terrible blockage when it comes to the simple task of reading directions?

Could it be inherited from my mother, who never touched a DVD until my brother set it up for her years ago? But she does read directions to some things, like the new Nikon she received last Christmas. So what is it? I start to read directions, and a form of severe dyslexia sets in – my vision gets blurry, I start to yawn, and the next thing I know, I’m either curled up asleep or distracting myself with whatever else is available – TV, phone, computer, a (non instructions-containing) book…

Recently I weaned my two year old. Boobs sore and bursting with milk, baby crying like I was withholding the very Oxygen she breathes, it occurred to me: should I have tried to read up on the process of weaning before attempting it? My other two kids weaned without blinking an eye, but I already knew the third was more attached than the others… so why didn’t I better prepare myself?

Worse than that was the preparation I didn’t do before having my first child – I spent the first two months of his life going out of my mind with exhaustion, frustration, and semi-depression. The kid wouldn’t go to f@$*(&#-ing sleep!!! Finally at the two month marker, I somehow was desperate enough to skim through The Baby Whisperer, a book instructing mothers on the Do’s and Don’ts of a newborn.

My eye landed on the part where she recommends giving the baby a pacifier and swaddling him tightly to help him sleep. I hadn’t wanted to give my baby a pacifier (see past blogfor that and other ridiculous pieces of advice our Nazi Bradley Birth teacher taught us) but… would it work? First time I tried it, he was on the changing table for easy swaddling access. His ear-shattering screams stopped the instant the pacifier hit his tongue. I nearly fainted as I watched my previously inconsolable little boy conk out in two seconds flat.


Or… is that just what happens when people read & follow directions?

Years ago, I was on anti-depressants, and they stopped working after a couple of good years. But instead of checking with my psychiatrist, or – God forbid, reading the instructions – I just stopped taking them, cold turkey.

Ever gone completely insane? No, I mean, like, really, totally out of your mind?

Yeah, me too. When I stopped taking those pills. Come to find out – what happened to me, is textbook what happens to anyone who stops cold turkey. You’re supposed to go off them slowly. I would have known that… had I asked. Or… read.

Now this is an important lesson for all of us, so I’d really appreciate it if you Tweeted this blog out to all your friends, okay? In fact, I’ll explain exactly how we can use social media to get the word out, just as soon as I read online how it’s done…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This kid is going to be SET when she has her first baby

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Mommy Defeats All Who Oppose Her

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:54 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In a recent blog I may have alluded to the fact that my newly minted six year old and I do not always see eye to eye. (Something about her threatening to side-kick me… ANYWAY…)

I’ve been trying to figure out how this dynamic started (and yes, by “dynamic” I mean “ceaseless arguments/fighting) and whether it may be possible to change it. To my dismay, a total of every single one of my mom friends with girls around her age report similar issues: talking back, lack of respect, doing whatever she wants no matter what I say, and in fact doing it faster and with more stealth the more I yell STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Now you can see why I’d like to find a solution. My voice is hoarse, throat sore, and vocal chords shot.

Granted, that may be allergies.

But the yelling doesn’t help. Her. Or me. Or my throat.


What to do?

I’ve made the commitment to stop yelling at her (and all the kids), and I’ve broken that commitment. (Note to self: add that to Rosh Hashanah repentance list, stat!) I try talking things out with her, but the conversations tend to go like this:

“Racheli, you simply cannot have another lollipop. You already had ice cream, two pieces of cake, and a lollipop. I already gave you a special treat because you were only supposed to get one piece of cake and no ice cream, and you promised me you would go outside and play after you finished the lollipop. So that’s it.”

“IMA” (insert HUGE teenage-worthy sigh) “Just one more lollipop! I promise I’ll behave if you give it to me, I PROMISE!”

“You’re not allowed to use good behavior as a bargaining chip. I expect good behavior from you without the extra lollipop.”

“I’m taking it.”

“Don’t you dare grab Esther’s lollipop. Do it and you’re going to Time Out.”

“So give me my own!”


“But WHY?????!!!”

“Because I’m the grown up. When we disagree, what I say goes. Because that’s the rule. If a kid and her mother disagree, whatever the mother says, goes.”


“I know, honey, but you’ll see -



…so you get the idea.

The other night, as I strolled her home from a late Shabbat service, following one of our usual fights, Racheli told me this, her voice rising with emotion as she spoke:

“Ima, I don’t like when you fight with me. Because I tell you something I want and then you tell me I’m not allowed to have it and I say I still want it and then you always defeat me. So it’s not fair.”

Something about the way she told me that “I defeat her” (karate speak?) made me laugh. I leaned down and tickled her and she cracked up and asked for more tickles. All disagreements forgotten.

Another day, another rollercoaster…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Don't be fooled by the smiles. Racheli's actually pondering whether or not to side-kick me after we're done posing for the photo.

Flashback Friday! (Like, A Virgin!)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:38 PM
Friday, August 24, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

BTW if you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below. Then once you’ve listened, scroll down to the bottom of this page and listen to my song. It’s groovy.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Like, A Virgin – the BLOG


Whew! That out of the way, let’s get to the juicy stuff!

I lost my virginity at age seventeen.

Some girls toy with the hormones and patience of a longtime boyfriend before caving in, or ‘giving it up,’ and go on to have a relatively healthy sexual relationship. Others get wasted, have sex with that guy they’ve always had a crush on, then feel horribly used the next day. I think my situation is very unique, in that I wasn’t waiting for the right guy to come along so much as I was waiting for the right age to come along – that age being, unequivocally, seventeen.

What – don’t tell me I was the only girl to read Forever by Judy Blume then decide if Katherine was old enough at age 17, I would be too? [For more on my obsession with Judy Blume, read past blog here] Now that I think about it, why did I assume it was her AGE that was important, not the fact that she was in love with the boy she thought was her soul mate? Hmmmmm…

Anyway, that book actually kept me celibate longer than I probably would have been. From age fourteen my boyfriends were putting the pressure on to ‘go all the way’, and it was so easy to say no – after all, I wasn’t seventeen yet! But then – the magical age finally arrived, and – lo and behold: it was time.

Only problem? I was single.

Didn’t bother me. I had my eye on a particular boy I thought was very cute for a while, but he had always had eyes for my best friend (who dated him a little but basically didn’t care much for him). He was still a virgin… I was a virgin… I have no idea how I got up the guts to bring the subject up, but I do know that we PLANNED it out – losing our virginity together.

The act itself could not have been more of a NON-act. Did it work? I think so, but the fact that I’m not 100% sure is pretty telling….

Looking back, I can say I was happy to have something to barter with – my virginity for a shot at being your girlfriend! (Didn’t work: we did have sex a few times, but he never wanted to be my boyfriend). I guess I’m relieved I only used sex to try and make him mine – versus using an actual baby like some of the teens we see today. (That doesn’t seem to work either, does it?)

I took the hint. Stopped hoping he would want more from me than sex, and moved on to a boy who would REALLY love me for who I was: A 21 year old black Puerto Rican drug dealer who looked like Milli Vanilli.

But that’s a different blog.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

PS. Here’s a little ‘feel-good GrownUpGirl anthem’ to help you stop worrying about a 17 year old girl letting herself get taken advantage of:

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – It’s not the First Time – the SONG

I'm sure my first time looked JUST LIKE THIS

I’ll Cry You a River. Literally.

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:27 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What is it about turning blorty that has turned me into such a freakin waterfall of emotion?

Don’t show me an Olympian athlete win – or lose — or come in second or third or fourth – because I may just start sobbing with joy, happiness or disappointment.

Are you a fan of So You think You Can Dance? Turn your head from the TV to BatSheva on the couch and catch the latest episode of So You Think You Can Cry?

And the other day at the gym, while I maxed it out on the elliptical while watching a recent Colbert Report on Hulu? I’m not kidding, tears were STREAMING down my face as I cracked up so loudly, and so often, that at least two different workout-ers moved to machines farther away… from the crazy lady. Me. [to catch the video of the bit that sent me over the edge, click here and find it in that article.]

I’ve always been a sensitive soul. Teased for being tall & skinny? Cried. Read stories about death, pain and suffering? Cried. Heard about how your parents abused you? Sorry, I know YOU should be the one crying, but… SNIFF!!!

But lately, it’s getting a little out of control. More than a few times I’ve had to stop and wonder Could I be PREGNANT? Because the emotion is just so disproportionate – and the last time I asked myself that question, I’m not kidding, I was literally ON MY PERIOD.

Whoops… Sorry, guys who may have accidentally started reading this blog thinking they could have a quick laugh at my expense without having to read about menstruation.

Punk’d Ya!

But, back to my out of control emotions… they even leak out when I need them to be locked in a steel prison, i.e., when I’m punishing my kids for misbehaving. The other morning Yehuda and Racheli were so out of control that I wound up giving them both a solid whack on the behind just to stop the madness.

Yehuda sobered up instantly, sitting down and waiting quietly to fall back into my good graces. And Racheli? She was quiet… and then slowly she leaned over into a plastic megaphone that she had (without permission) brought home from camp that was sitting on the table next to her, contraband, until we could returns it. So she leaned into it, and she sang – softly, and off-key:

Hallelujah. Hallelujah.”

To put this in context, the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah is one of my absolute favorite all-time songs (not his version, but Jeff Buckley’s and some of the other covers), and it’s played almost every day while we’re all at home.

I was SUPPOSED to be mad. They had misbehaved. They had ignored my warnings. They had gone so crazy that I had to make good on my final warning to give them a swat on the tuchus. And now… Racheli was singing Hallelujah into the contraband megaphone.

I burst out laughing.

Darn these out-of-control emotions!



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

I don't care if it's the dang Shot Put! TISSUES! I NEED TISSUES, STAT!

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Flashback Friday! (Boobs in Training)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:43 AM
Friday, August 17, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Boobs in Training – the BLOG

I don’t know if they even have such a thing these days, but back when I was in 5th grade and had no boobs to speak of whatsoever, I proudly owned my first Training Bra. I say “owned” and not “wore” because if memory serves (and it often doesn’t, for more on that read my Memory Loss blog), once I actually tried on the bra, I found it was far less comfortable than my ten years of no bra wearing.

These days, I still have no boobs to speak of, but instead of a training bra I’ve got fantastic Victoria’s Secret bras, the secret of which I’d never tell for fear of the Victoria’s Secret Mafia finding out, but suffice it to say, it may have something to do with silicone and optical illusions.

My boobs are small. Which is not to say they aren’t functional – see past blogs about breastfeeding and about my youngest daughter’s obsession with/possession of my boobs.

Note to self: Figure out how many self-referential blog references are really “allowed” in a blog before the blog itself becomes one big advertisement for past blogs. Research ideas: watch The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, poke around online, read this blog once it’s done to see if it comes across too Hey look at me! -y…

Ahem. As I was saying, my boobs are gigantic. Wait, sorry – what I was saying? Sorry, I was just looking at myself in the mirror (I’m wearing a new Victoria’s Secret bra) and I got distracted.

That’s right, I was talking about bras and how I’ve never really needed them. And then I started to write a paragraph about going bra-less but I just had a flashback to how my father commented on one of my recent blogs (my acid trip blog) and suddenly the prospect of writing about my own boobs has 100% lost its appeal.

Wow – imagining my dad reading my blog turns out to be a better censoring tool than the FCC! Thanks a lot, Pops. (Actually, seriously – THANK YOU. I really don’t need to be a stream-of-conscious-writer in a public arena where someday my future run for president may be jeopardized. But just in case I decide to write about something racy in the future, I’ll post a “NO DAD GO HERE” warning, k, Dad?)

Well, let me just wrap it up by saying this: I’m not admitting and I’m not not admitting to having naturally large or small boobs… but I will say if I ever have a chance to buy stock in Victoria’s Secret, I just may do so.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

This is totally me right now.

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Color Blind

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:46 AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It happened. My kids were introduced for the first time to the “N” word.

To my knowledge only white Jewish kids go to their day camp, and I have no idea how or why the word was uttered, then passed around like forbidden cigarettes, each kid trying the poison out on his or her tongue. But at home, my son asked me if I knew the “bad word – ‘Ni—ck’…”


I had a feeling he meant something else.

“No,” I said. “I don’t know the bad word ‘Nick.’”

“Ni-G” he corrected himself. Then waited a beat. Then added, “er”.

My kids looked at me with wide eyes – they had absolutely no clue what the word meant, but they somehow did know that it was a ‘forbidden’  and ‘bad’ word. They quickly admitted that at camp that day, Yehuda had said the word (once) after he learned it, but Racheli had not said it.

What did it mean?  they wanted to know.

Holy unpreparedness, Batman!

I did my best. I told them my heart broke to think of anyone using that word, and that my heart broke to think that they would ever use that word or allow someone else to say that word in front of them. This signaled to the kids that the subject was as serious as it gets, because in our house we only use the concept of something “breaking our heart” if it is the absolute worst of the worst.

Then I explained how not too long ago, white-skinned people went to Africa and “stole babies and took people with black skin and kidnapped them” – in truth, I’m not sure if babies were taken, but I wanted to drive home my point and I knew my kids would immediately connect to the helplessness of a baby – “and brought them to America and made them slaves, treating them terribly – worse than animals – and that those same white people called the black-skinned slaves that ‘N’ word.”

I painted my two older kids a brief but vivid picture of why the N word should never be used and I believe I properly transmitted my horror.

I finished my short tirade with the reminder that they must never say the N word, they must tell anyone who uses it in front of them that it is never appropriate to use it, and that they must always remember that their beloved uncle and cousins have black skin and so this is not just random people we are talking about standing up for, it’s also their family, their flesh and blood.

Then my son held out his arm and said to me:

“I have black skin, right, Ima? You have white skin and I have black skin?”

And then my heart really did almost break – or rather, melt. Because they are so innocent.

I’ve noticed before, in stores, my daughters will often automatically choose the ‘black’ baby doll before they migrate to a lighter-skinned one. Esther once identified herself with a black girl cartoon character on TV (Super Why). And there was that one summer when Racheli got very tan and fell asleep on our couch, during a visit by my sister and her “light skinned black” infant son (my sister’s husband is a very dark-skinned African-Cuban man),  and Yehuda stared at the face-down body of his sleeping sister and asked me “How did the baby grow so big??!”

He thought Racheli was his little cousin. And I could see why, immediately, because Racheli tans like her father.

Their father – my husband – is ‘dark skinned’ in the sense that he gets super tan in the summer. And my kids are well aware that they inherited his beautifully tanning skin, versus their mother’s burn-friendly shade, because I mention it after most beach days.

“You have darker skin than me,” I answered slowly. “And your dad’s parents are from Africa – well, Morocco is in northern Africa…” Good God where was I going with this?

“… but you’re not considered ‘Black.’”

“I’m not?”

“No, people would not say you were black.”

Two sets of giant, curious eyes trained their questioning looks on me.

“So what color am I?”

“You would be considered white.”

What I want to write is this: What a fucked up world we live in.

But as I write that, just now, I immediately think: maybe yes, maybe no… but really what it is, is nuanced. Which is okay. Just not so easy to explain to a 6 & 8 year old…



Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)


Flashback Friday! (Who’s Your Mama?)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:38 AM
Friday, August 10, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Whos Your Mama – the BLOG

The other day, while my 4 year old daughter was in her ballet class, my 2 year old daughter was leaping across the lobby, capturing all the ballet moms’ attention with her moves. Except mine. I was still watching my 4 year old through the glass window, so my 2 year old called out, “Ima! Ima! Ima!”

I felt compelled to explain at that moment to the confused mothers staring at me, that “Ima” was Hebrew for “Mom”.

What I didn’t explain was how an all-American gal like myself, living in America, with three American kids, wound up being called “Ima” by all of them.

I called my mother “Mommy,” and later, when I was too cool for “Mommy,” “Mom.” I only ever called myself “Mommy” or “Mama” to my firstborn, but he’s never called me anything but Ima. My husband is Israeli and he has always called me “Ima” when talking to our children about me. But that can’t be the only reason.

I’ve noticed that all my kids learned to say “Aba” (the word for “Dad”) way before “Ima.” It’s an easy word, it rolls off the baby tongue, like a happy baby’s babbles of “dadada” or “bababa”. I’ve also noticed that “Ima” (pronounced “Eeema”) rolls especially well off a crying baby’s tongue. This cannot be an accident.

For a while, with my son, I tried to correct him. To teach him. “Ima!” He would cry. “Yes,” I would answer… “Mommy’s here, what do you need from Mommy? Hmmm? Tell Mama. What is it?”

“Ima,” he would correct me, “Come here!”

I like to be in control. I live a completely different life than anyone else in the family I grew up in – I eat kosher, I “keep” Shabbat, and I take my Kabbalah studies very seriously. To them, I’m like a ‘born again Jew’ even though I really cringe at being called ‘religious’ because I see everything I do as spiritual – Kabbalah being a practice that, however Jewish it may look – actually applies to anyone and everyone, and is all about consciousness. I’ve never felt comfortable jumping on a bandwagon just because I share a skin color or religion with a group of other people. (Case in point: I was introduced to The Kabbalah Centre by a Catholic lesbian friend and my first thought when she invited me was, ‘if SHE feels at home here, then I’m willing to check it out, too.)

But names are a funny thing. I wrote about changing my name in a prior blog, but in that case, the change was something I asked for, chose to do, and implemented. (“Shana?” a co-worker would ask innocently. “Yes?” I would reply, followed quickly by, “by the way, it’s BatSheva.”) In the case of “Ima,” however, the name was wholly given to me by my kids – with some help, admittedly, from my Israeli husband.

It never occurred to me that my kids wouldn’t call me “Mommy.” And for years, I wasn’t completely comfortable with being called the foreign-sounding “Ima.” I didn’t even try to correct my next child, and now, with my third, I find myself calling myself “Ima” (as in, “Give Ima the stick right now!”) which is something I never used to do.

It seemed so strange, for so long, being called the Hebrew name for Mommy.

These days? Fits like a glove.


“Ima” Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

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Ode: to a Via Starbucks Packet

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 12:21 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2012

You sneaky little whippersnapper. There IS one of you left, hiding in my cabinet, swimming around in your giant cardboard envelope! Good morning!

I smile as I tear your aesthetically attractive foil tubing. I know that when I drink you my stomach will burn, just a little. And that, deep down, I actually prefer the instant Nescafe to your finely ground wares.

You are strong as a motherfucker, and not as yummy as the coffee my husband makes when he’s on a ‘coffee obsession tear,’ but you, my dear Via Starbucks Packet, yes, you!

You will do just fine.

Never mind that with you, I need to add twice the sweetener I use with Nescafe.

Never mind that with you, I need to add a dollop of extra half and half. Which makes you too cold. It’s cool. I have a microwave.

And never mind that you cost twice as much as my instant Nescafe.

Because YOU, little baby Via, you vixen, you… YOU!

…are sexy.

Starbucks. The brand of champions.

(Champions who love caffeine and over-roasted coffee beans.)

Today, I am a champion.

Thanks to you.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Come give mama a kiss. MWAH!

When it Rains…

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 9:25 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The other day, my 6-going-on-16 year old would not stop grabbing beloved items from her little sister and older brother, and running away with them and hiding them.

When I scolded her for it, she shot withering insults at me, like “I feel like I want to side-kick you!” (even when mad, she still is an impressive karate student) and “fine, if you make me go to my room then IIII’m never going to give you any of my drawings or paintings!!” (and while that insult is pretty cute and not particularly worrisome, I like that she is confident enough in her artistic skills that she has decided promising not to give me a picture is just as punishing as a side kick to the thigh.)

So while all THAT was going on all day, her older brother developed a headache, then a stomach ache, and soon was on his way to the fever that was the bane of his every-other-week for years when he was small, but that comes on almost never any more.

Except it came on while all this was going on, of course.

And while I tended to Yehuda and helped him to feel comfortable, to lie down, and to eat a little, Racheli went into full-jealous rage mode, which then brings us back to paragraph one of this blog (go ahead, I’ll wait.)

And while all THAT was going on, little Esther was alternately screaming as Racheli grabbed her beloved playdough or whatever, begging to be held, and/or nagging me to “say sorry to Racheli” – my little Taurus, the peacemaker.

And while all THAT was going on, Yehuda in his dizzy feverish daze got to the toilet in time to pee (horray! Better than the couch he was lying on!) but missed the bowl for most of it and sprayed half the bathroom. (Horra—ugh.)

And after all THAT had happened, and I finally had gotten them to sleep, and was finally getting to my Target groceries that I hadn’t put away yet and the dishes and food that hadn’t been cleared from the table yet…

I knocked over a bottle of water that LOOKED closed… but wasn’t.

After mopping it up, I decided to write this blog instead get back immediately to the dishes.

Something positive had to come from all this rain…


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

And if you were thinking Racheli was dropping empty threats, think again! Proof-positive of her side-kickiness ability:

Flashback Friday! (The Key to Dieting – Those 3 Little Words)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin 11:35 AM
Friday, August 3, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – The Key To Dieting – the BLOG

Without reservation, I can tell you the quickest and surest way to get me started on a strict diet that I will adhere to no matter what temptations cross my path is for me to hear those magical three little words uttered when I least expect them. Each time it has happened – that is, each time the phrase was uttered to me and subsequently my new diet launched like a racehorse after a shotgun is fired – it came from the mouth of a small child – like a message sent directly to me from an earthly angel. You know what I mean, those big, wondering eyes look up at you with excitement and curiosity, and then without any of the adulterated filters that will come later in life, they blurt:

“Are you pregnant?”

What a nightmare. I can tell you right now, ye who have never been pregnant (don’t need to tell you moms – you grownupgirls already know what I’m saying) – the measure of joy, of being able to tell others that the reason your stomach is enormously fat is because there is a new precious soul growing snugly within, only just barely rivals the amount of anger and fury one experiences, when others suspect your enormous stomach must be the result of a pregnancy because HEAVEN FORBID someone’s stomach looks that bloated and or ginormous without a living, soon-to-be breathing soul taking up space from within.

It’s happened several times to me with adults, too – that is, a clueless adult will ask me how many months I am or some such bullshit, and I have to break it to them that I’m not pregnant, just fat, apparently, thank you very much. As recently as this morning, I attended a bris ceremony, and as I sat down at a packed table to eat my brunch, a man I’ve seen around but don’t know well stood up. “Please,” he offered, as if I needed his chair as well as mine to sit down. “I’m fine,” I smiled back at him. “No worries.”

“It’s okay,” he beamed, continuing up and away from our table. “Anyway, you are eating for two!”

It took me a good second or two to process what he meant. Lucky for him, he had departed by then. If you, dear reader, would like to avoid this & other faux pas, please refer back to my earlier blog where I break down a whole list of Do’s and Don’ts.

But for some reason, it’s when the children start to chime in – maybe it’s their innocence, and my subsequent inability to blame them in my head for being pigheaded, rude and obviously blind – that I suddenly wake up to the fact that if I don’t start and stick to a diet RIGHT NOW, my stomach will go from looking mildly swollen (or “newly pregnant”) to downright round and balloon-like (“5-6 months along”), at which point my hips, butt and face will start to fill in too.

The first time a child graciously helped me start a new diet was about six months ago. Looking straight into my belly (the height her head came to), my neighbor’s eight year old asked sweetly, “Are you pregnant?” Two weeks later my husband and I started the Suzanne Somers Diet, and four months later, I was a lean, mean (just kidding – I’m really nice), dieting machine.

Then I fell off the wagon. Or more accurately, I just felt like, ‘my body looks pretty great now, so why don’t I eat that piece of pizza/cake/cookie/brownie/plate of pasta/you fill in the blank_____ right now since it looks so good/smells so good and I’m really hungry/tired but want to stay up late/I’m bored/I’m with friends who are eating/I’m alone?’

I went from dieting six days a week and cheating once a week (okay, twice), to eating whatever I wanted six days a week and sticking to my diet once a week. I also took a new job three months ago, so with that my gym attendance deflated from the robust 4-5 times a week it had been prior, to the current 1-2 times a week. I had gotten so slim, so in shape that it really didn’t matter, the food, the gym; it didn’t seem to be affecting me at all… until…

“Mommy, you look like you have a baby in your tummy!” were the exact words my four year old exclaimed to me today. Her words tinged, I might add, with the slightest bit of hope and fear, due to the fact that she’s often asked for a little brother but is not quite sure whether it would be exactly the party she hopes it will be if it does happen…

Lucky for you, baby, there is no such life-changing occasion about to present itself in your life (i.e., a new sibling). There is however, a new life-changing event taking place in mine…

Diet starts tomorrow.


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Pregnant? Or just REALLY full?

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