It's the cold truth of parenthood: kids are exhausting. But no matter how much we complain about how destructive our kids are (seriously - what are they doing to their lunchboxes? They come home looking like they were used in WWII combat exercises) or our complaining about the endless "eat you %^&* vegetables!" fight, the truth is, we do everything we can for them because we love them and we know they need us.
Sometimes, it means enforcing tooth brushing or saying "no" to cut off jean shorts that look like props from a Dukes of Hazard movie. Sometimes it comes in the form of keeping our kids healthy. Back to school time here means the full gamut of “check ups” – including our annual eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry.
From experience, I will tell you, nothing says “maybe this kid needs glasses” like watching your nine year-old star soccer player chase a small white dog down a soccer pitch, kicking-foot ready for action. The pet owner’s screams of “MY FLUFFY IS NOT A BALL!” were thankfully received and we were soon off to the optometrist. No one was surprised when we left the office that day with a brand new prescription for lenses and a funky pair of frames.
My daughter could now see, I was happy her eye health was being taken care of by a professional, and dog owners all over town could breathe easy.
Kids often don’t recognize that their vision is suffering because they assume everyone sees the way they do. Watch a kid when they put their first pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses – they are literally discovering a whole new world! Reading, running, watching, and playing are all improved because they can now see!
After the near-catastrophe on the soccer field, we now book eye exams each year before school starts. While some schools do offer vision screening, they are limited procedures and can't offer the full assurance of vision and eye health that a comprehensive eye exam can. That's why we make sure to see our optometrist to get the year off to the right start.
We’re almost eight years into my daughter needing a prescription and she’s had many changes in her vision.
Yearly visits are also a good idea for school kids who don’t wear glasses, because just as kids grow out of pants and throw aside beloved toys seemingly overnight, their vision can change too. Almost 80% of learning is visual and I’m all for removing preventable roadblocks wherever I can.
I (and my daughter!) were thrilled when our Doctor of Optometry said she was cleared to use contact lenses for sports and her fancy dress occasions when she didn’t want to wear frames. The qualified staff at the doctor's office even showed her how to properly care for her contact lenses, which is appreciated because, coming from me, that information gets interpreted as sad tuba sounds.
Don’t put the neighbourhood pets in danger – watch this video for more on how an eye exam can help your child and add "Eye Exam" to your back to school list - there's room on the list right under "buy shoes," and "pick up another &*%$ lunchbox."
Did you know 75% of vision loss is preventable? It’s time to open your eyes to maintaining healthy vision.
Take a few minutes to scan these articles that will teach you everything you need to know about eye health.
This Josh Duggar thing is becoming complicated. I need a flow chart to keep track of his apologies and broken laws and dick behaviour, but today in the “What the Fuck Did a Duggar Do Now?” files, I am concerned with his wife.
Let’s get up to speed:
1. AshleyMadison.com is a website with the purpose of “hooking up” married persons for sexy naked time with someone NOT their spouse. Not my cuppa tea, but no judgement here because we don’t know our neighbours stories and believe me, after hearing a few tales during a gin-soaked night on a pub patio, you don’t want to.
2. Fast forward like 37 million hookups and several Costco size bottles of lube later, and AshleyMadison.com has been hacked by a group called The Impact Team – an awesome name for a small-to midsize PR firm or concrete busting company, but as it turns out are just some shitty internet hackers doing what they think is good work.
3. Next up, Josh Duggar. Duggar, confirmed molester, plaid and khakis fashion icon, and paid promoter of “Traditional Christian Family Values,” has now come forward and admitted he is among the tens of thousands of people whose information was hacked.
Well. Isn’t this just like Christmas morning if Christmas morning meant family drama, exposed lies and weakly written apologies. (Don’t tell me that’s just at my house.)
Duggar has released a formal “apology” the likes of which, if printed on soft tissue, would make great bargain-quality toilet paper. It’s not a secret I’m no fan of Josh or the Duggar family, but it’s still not cool that his data was hacked. Because that’s illegal, and banging a married person isn’t - yet. (Let’s see who wins the next election.)
There are a few extenuating circumstances that I think put Duggar’s situation under a harsher light and the first of them is a bit complex and two-fold:
1a.) Josh Duggar is a paid, public figure, who has willingly put himself in the spotlight and is compensated for doing so.
1b.) The above compensation – and it’s plentiful, no doubt – comes from speaking engagements and media appearances where he upholds, promotes, and claims to be a bastion of a specific value system which excludes and promotes discrimination of others. He openly criticizes and condemns people who do not conform or participate in his value system, done in the name of his particular brand of religion which many - millions - do not subscribe to.
2. Josh got ahead of the curve and released this apology almost immediately. He made it public and had he not, I guarantee I would not be writing about it.
A reminder: he actively campaigns against gay marriage and sexual rights/equality from a platform of hatred. Screw that guy.
Duggar released this today, on his family’s website, DuggarFamily.com:
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.
I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.
I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.
The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.
As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.
I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time."
Already there is discussion of what his wife should do and the consensus is "Leave him, of course!" Speculation over what Duggar’s wife Anna may do is moot. It doesn’t matter because it’s her choice to stay or leave and a huge part (okay the “all” part) of my brain wants his “precious wife” to grab those kids and run like she’s on fire. I want her to hitch her wagon to a rock star’s tour bus and do all sorts of crazy shit like wear pants and cut her hair and pursue higher education. I want her to stage an epic public “SCREW YOU, JOSH” blow out at a local Dairy Queen so it can go viral on Facebook and I want her to cut all the crotches out of his favourite khakis and leave the bathtub running next to the room where he keeps his large screen TV and I want her to hire the meanest lawyer with a huge chip on their shoulder available.
But if she doesn’t I won’t judge her and I won’t say “She should have...,” and I won’t call her weak or stupid or anything else because she did nothing wrong. I don’t like her value system or her principles or her brand or her politics or her method of delivery but it’s likely she wouldn’t like my ideology either (primarily she-devil and heathen with some four-meat pizza holding it together ) so I’m pretty cool with us disagreeing on this one.
I will never, ever agree with her politics as long as they are what they are now. I will never judge her for not leaving her husband.
But I will continue to believe that her husband conducts himself like an absolute asshole.
Image Source: Facebook
If you're married and you know it, clap your hands, because "The Impact Team" hackers have come through on their threats and leaked a veritable shit tonne of the Ashley Madison database info. It's there - all there: people's names, dates, addresses, personal sexual preferences, images, credit card and financial information, the whole shebang, pardon the pun.
Next steps: Are you going to check the leaked Ashley Madison info?
I already told you why I think it's a terrible, no-good, bad idea on par with giving yourself a home hair-cut after a bottle of Shiraz, but it's been a few weeks and I've been able to reflect and ponder. Here's what I think now: Don't fucking do it.
Playing the "What if" game never ends well. It leads to things like knee-jerk reactions, stress diarrhea, and anxiety attacks. The "What if" game cannot be won. It is by it's very nature unwinnable. I understand that curiosity and voyeurism is alive and well (and I'm just as interested about things like this leak as you are) but the best course of action here is to not check the leak info. Do not check, do not look, do not peek, do not engage. If you're still curious because you think your own spouse with whom you have no prior "outside lovin'" arrangement may have been using the site, you can do the following:
1. Ask your partner if they've used Ashley Madison services or created a profile there.
2. Listen to their answer, and then believe them.
If you cannot or do not believe them, you have other issues to contend with and I wish you the best of luck in getting your relationship back to a healthy place.
If, despite my warnings and advice, you do venture over to the dark web - or Gawker in like, 36 hours or so - know this: Ashley Madison is likely going to have the names of people you know listed. Men you know, and women you know. It's not just men hanging out and logging in there, or it'd be called GaryThornknackerson.com not AshleyMadison.com. It's not a gay dating site; it's an extra-marital affair hook up site and straight married men are going there to find - and finding - straight women there.
Are you ready to know this about your friends? Are you willing to tell your friend that you saw her husband is listed and hey - he's really into good sushi, Woody Allen movies, and anal? I don't think I'm ready to know that my friends like Woody Allen.
If these people have kids, it's just going to be worse, and not for the adults in the equation.
In middle school I knew someone - another student - who was approached by a peer on the playground. The boy knew his father was having an affair with this girl's mom and begged her to tell her parent to please stop seeing his dad. It was a nightmare for everyone and the pain in this kid's eyes was so evident, even to me at 12 years-old. This is not what school boards intended to be happening on a swing set.
Kids aren't stupid. They know when something isn't "right," and they can feel it. They don't deserve to get caught up in the complicated adult world of boners and feelings and money and power and secrecy and sexual desire and all the other sometimes fun but mostly bullshit things of the adult world.
So here's a quick guide on checking for the leaked Ashley Madison info: