The Wondrous White Whirlpool Machine (by Liliana)

There is a whirlpool machine in our bathroom. Mommy uses it to clean my dirty diapers.

I love the whirlpool machine.

I wanted to learn how to work it, so I made sure to make an especially dirty diaper that took three whole wipes to clean. That way I would have lots of time to study the whirlpool machine while she cleaned the diaper.

Since the Fun Mommy (who thinks his name is Daddy) was gone at the time, Fresh-Milk Mommy had to take me in the bathroom with her to clean it. Since I can crawl now, she had to shut the door so that I wouldn’t go explore the stairs (which I plan to conquer and give you other babies an update on soon.) She brought some toys with us because she wanted to try and keep me busy, but I saw right through her plan. As soon as she had the dirty wipe in one hand and the diaper sprayer in the other, I knew it was time to act.

I zoomed over to the whirlpool machine and pulled myself up. The best part was that since her hands were all dirty, she couldn’t stop me.

The whirlpool machine was so cool! Not only was the diaper sprayer fun, the bowl part was filled with agua! I love agua! So, of course, I tried to use my new-found splashing skills in the bowl, but Mommy ruined my fun by blocking me with her arms again and again. I tried to move around the arms, but she was too fast. She said something about me being mischievous and used her forearms to steer me away from the whirlpool machine to my toys.

She couldn’t stop me so easily though. I knew I must not have waited until she was busy enough the first time, so this time I waited a few more seconds before darting around her to pull myself up. To my dismay, she had become much better at blocking my arms from playing in the agua.

I realized that I needed to try another tactic, so I looked around to find something to aid me. Luckily, there was a white, fluffy roll of stuff to my left, so I started scratching at it, hoping Mommy would be distracted enough to let down her guard.

It didn’t work. I had to hurry if I wanted a chance to play with the whirlpools; Mommy was already washing the third wipe. Some of the fluff came off in my hand, however, and so I put it in my mouth. Mommy started trying to tell me not to eat it, but she couldn’t do anything. I grinned, seeing that my victory was at hand, and started to pull apart more of the fluff.

Unfortunately, she didn’t stop washing things. If anything, it seemed that my efforts had only made her move faster. I frantically stuffed fluff into my mouth, taunting her with my grin as she tried to talk me out of what I was doing.

My hopes began to drift away as she finished rinsing the diaper and put it in the bag, but this wasn’t over yet. She still had to wash her hands, and while she couldn’t reach me I would make sure I could reach the whirlpools.

No! No! No! This couldn’t be happening. Mommy was standing on one leg so she could block me with the other one. This was too much for me to handle so I sat down and cried.

Then it occurred to me that the bag with the diaper was just on the other side of the whirlpool machine. If I couldn’t whirlpools, at least I could have that.

I started to crawl towards the bag, but Mommy scooped me off the ground at that exact instance, thwarting the last of my plans! She swiped all of the fluff out of mouth! Worst of all, she washed my hands! I wailed about the unfairness of it all as I watched her close the lid on all of my dreams.

You win this battle, Mommy, but just you wait. I will win the war.

Mark Rosewater on Leading Teams

From the genius who brought us Timmy, Johnny, and Spike and “Restrictions Breed Creativity” (as well as, “If it’s not at common, it’s not your theme“) comes a podcast on Leading Teams.

Honestly, this is fantastic for any kind of leadership. It applies to so much in life, whether you are talking about family dynamics, coworkers, or team sports, this is a fantastic podcast. I hope that everyone will listen to it, not just the people who play magic.

Here is the link.

To All Those Awesome Dads Out There

I’m sorry this post wasn’t out on Father’s Day, but it’s really relevant any day of the year, just as Mother’s Day isn’t the only day that moms are awesome.

I just wanted to let you guys know:

You rock. Seriously.

I’m pretty new to this whole being-a-mom thing, but I already know it’s hard work. Wonderful, amazing, rewarding hard work, but it’s still hard. It’s nice that people give moms so much credit nowadays.

It’s time we give dads credit like that too. There are a lot of dads who are very involved with their families, and they do awesome jobs.

So here’s to you, Awesome Dads! Thank you for changing diapers even though there still are no changing tables in men’s public restrooms. Thank you for pushing that pink stroller around until the baby falls asleep, regardless of how many funny looks you might receive. Thank you for proudly wearing the spit-up and baby food in your hair as a badge of honor. Thank you for waking up in the middle of the night (sometimes more than once) to help the baby go back to sleep.Thank you for being a great parent, even if none of the above things apply directly to you. I’m sure I missed at least a few thousand things because these are just the things that my sleep-deprived brain can come up with right now.

Thank you, Awesome Dads, for being awesome. I hope your Father’s Day was everything you deserve.

Women In Magic: A Response to the SCG Article Fiasco

Five days ago, a great article was posted on StarCityGames.com.

It’s called Women In Magic: The Gathering, and it’s by Meghan Wolff. It’s definitely worth a read, so if you haven’t read it, go ahead and click the link. I’ll wait.

 

Now that you’ve read that fantastic work, I have another perspective for you. This one was also published on StarCityGames.com, but it was published yesterday. Spoiler: this one was written by a man. It’s called Women And Magic by Jim Davis.

 

If you noticed the weird URL, that’s because it was taken down yesterday. More on that later.

The next article to note was posted by Planeswalkers for Diversity, right here on WordPress! This one was written by Anastacia Tomson, and it is titled: Women and Magic: A Rebuttal. It is a response to Jim Davis’ article.

 

Finally, let’s examine the Apology that was issued by Cedric Phillips, the Online Content Coordinator for StarCityGames.com. This was posted after Jim’s article was removed from the site.

 

Are you sick of reading yet? I hope not, because this is an important topic that really needs to be addressed, and I’m just getting warmed up.

I loved Meghan’s article. She was articulate and expressed a lot of concerns that resonate with the female Magic community. She was able to convey our frustrations without complaining, and really laid out the problems for us. I didn’t entirely agree with absolutely everything she said, but 99.9% of it expressed exactly how it feels to enjoy this game from a female perspective. It’s fantastic that she wrote about this issue, because it really is an issue, and we cannot begin to address a problem unless we are all aware of it’s existence.

As for the response article by Jim, I was surprised that I actually liked the opening bit about South Park. I don’t typically watch the show, but this comparison was extremely relevant to the topic at hand, and I found that I liked the message. The rest of the article was….really good, actually. I agreed with what he said. In fact, if my match were chosen as a feature match just because of my gender, I would be just as offended as I am when people are surprised that I won the Game Day playmats that I use. (Of course I did, they are my playmats, after all).

No, the comments about Gerry Thompson’s were not at the same level as comments that are made about women, but it does point out that people tend to focus on appearances first, regardless of gender. I’m not saying that is right, I’m saying it happens.

Of course, comments made about women’s appearances in the world of gaming are much more sexual in nature and frequently highly inappropriate. These need to stop. So do the comments like those fueling #CrackGate.

Overall, I feel like Jim’s article was an interesting, valid perspective. It was not offensive to me at all. It furthered the discussion surrounding the original article and it should not have been taken down. Even if you don’t agree with what he said, that’s ok, because not everyone has to agree. He was not saying inflammatory things about the skill level of women who play Magic. He was trying to advocate for women’s equality. That’s admirable, even if you disagree with his perspective.

Now… that rebuttal. To be honest, I was ready to follow that blog when I saw the page. It’s welcoming, it’s concerning one of my favorite pastimes, the heading and subheading are things I can really get behind. Then I read the article.

I was more offended by Anastacia’s article than I was by any part of Jim’s. I understand it upset her, but I think she needs to try a little harder to understand someone’s view other than her own.

I agree that we should be treated with the same respect as men who play this game, but I don’t want special treatment either. Let the people who are qualified be visible, whether they are women or men. If you want more women in Magic, then, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see.”

She claims that Jim is “belittling and undermining” Meghan’s article, but that was not the intent at all. She makes him out to be some advocate against women, when he is just trying to further discussion about how to achieve equality. No need to get so offended.

In a perfect world, I don’t think Cedric should have needed to issue that apology. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion in the first place.

 

Let me know what you guys think, and as always, feel free to share this post.

My Little Zombie 

Patient Zero hates sleep. Sometimes she absolutely refuses it, moaning and growling in protest. Her growls are reminiscent of the sounds made by a Wookie.

She bites everything within her reach and has an insatiable appetite. Worst of all, she refuses to allow anyone near her to sleep, turning them into mirrors of herself.

And now she is mobile.

She is still fairly slow, so we have some hope of survival. Her speed can be deceiving however, because she has a surprising amount of tenacity. If I remain in one place for too long she will inevitably reach me. This has become one of her favorite pastimes. When she catches me she uses my clothes to stand and screams in triumph. 

Thankfully, like other zombie variants, she still cannot climb stairs. 

An example of Patient Zero’s destructive abilities

Meet Liliana

This is Liliana.


She enjoys such activities as reading literature classics (specifically La Oruga Muy Hambrienta,) screaming as loudly as she can (to demonstrate either her enthusiasm or distaste,) playing with our partotlet and rabbits, and devouring all things that could possibly prove delicious. She also loves having her belly gotten, and her favorite word is a constant stream of Muhmuhmuhmuhmuh. 

This is Liliana’s trike.


It is officially her new favorite thing in the history of ever. She had been very jealous of the big kids and their bikes, but our awesome neighbors gave her this. She practiced in the living room for about a day, and then was very eager to explore the neighborhood and show off her skills. She loves meeting new friends.

This is Liliana’s magic mirror. 

    

It is supposed to be a toy in front of which she can sit and wave her magic rattle and make it talk to her. She used to do that, but now she uses it to stand.

What a little rebel.

My Mommies and Me (by Liliana)

I love my mommies very much, even though they make me wear pants. They read to me, play with me, and they even feed me milk. I love all food, but I especially love milk.

Only one of them gives me fresh milk though. The other one only ever warms up stale milk in a bottle. They do both give me real food, which is also very delicious.

Speaking of delicious, Fresh-Milk Mommy told me a joke the other day. “What do you call a Mexican gummy bear?” “Delici-oso!”

Anyway, lately my mommies don’t seem to agree with my name for one of them. They are obviously both mommies, because they do the same things. The one with the hair around his mouth seems to think I am wrong to call him, “Momma.” When I say “Momma!” to get his attention, he says, “I’m Dada.” I think he just made up that name though because he’s jealous of Fresh-Milk Mommy and wants his own name. Of course, he’s just being silly, so I am quick to correct his behavior. Whenever he tells me, “I’m not Momma. I’m Dada.” I just look at him intently and tell him “Momma!” again. I make sure I’m extra patient with him because this is clearly a cry for attention. I’m sure that he will understand eventually that he does not need to make up a new name in order for me to love him. I know he is a Mommy and the sooner he can accept his role, the sooner he will feel better about himself.

This is why I purposefully have avoided using the “D” consonant entirely. I don’t want to give him any reason to think I am entertaining this foolishness.

On the other hand, he does seem quite disappointed that I won’t use his made-up word. Perhaps I should make him feel better by using it? I don’t know though, that seems a little patronizing to me.

What do you guys think? Should I pretend he is something that he is not just so he feels better? Or should I keep gently reminding him that he is, in fact, a Mommy just like the other one?