TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 344: Mama Needs Alone Time! Plus, Moon Ceremonies and More with Aida Salazar

Biz and Theresa discuss what “alone time” means to us (…besides a code for masturbation). Plus, Biz is dreaming about summer, Theresa has a Target adventure, and we talk to author Aida Salazar about moon ceremonies, celebrating gender expansive kids coming of age, and her beautiful new middle grade novel, The Moon Within.

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 344

Guests: Aida Salazar

Transcript

biz ellis

This is Biz. I’m a part-time working mom with two full-blown kids.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa. I have a family business, two young kids, and a toddler.

biz

This is a show about life after giving life. Don’t listen with your kids, ‘cause there will be swears. This… is One Bad Mother.

music

“Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—mama needs alone time! Plus, Biz is dreaming about summer; Theresa has a Target adventure; and we talk to Aida Salazar about coming of age.

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: Wooooo! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective weeks.]

theresa

Is “coming of age” code for more periods?

biz

Yup!

crosstalk

Biz: Wooo! How are you, Theresa? [Laughs.] Theresa: It sure is! [Laughs.]

biz

How are ya?

theresa

I… am fine. I… had an interesting adventure yesterday with my children.

biz

Oh!

theresa

Would you like to hear about it?

biz

I’d love to!

theresa

Great. So—[though laughter] Sunday morning, Jesse normally goes to the flea market on Sunday mornings, but he’s sick. So he was at home. And… I decided I was gonna take my three kids to Target. And… I realized as I was making that deci—we needed a birthday gift for a party later that day. That was the—like—impulse behind it. But then also like Oscar had some money, like, from his piggy bank that he wanted to buy something—whatever. And I kinda just wanted to get everyone out of the house. And I realize—this is a—might not be smart. Like, I might not be making a smart choice— [Biz laughs.] —right now. But like, let me think about this. Like, am I up for this? Can, like, our—how are people doing. Can we do this right now. Can we be focused about it. Like, we’re not just gonna go to Target and have a free-for-all and shop around. Like, we’re gonna go—we’re gonna get a couple things that like, we’re gonna be clear about what we’re getting. And we’re gonna go! And I just decided to do it, and everybody was really excited and they—we don’t do it that much, like that. And so… we… everybody was ready. We were leaving the house. On the way there? And even parked in the parking lot before going in? We reviewed the rules. [Biz laughs.] And the kids reminded me what the rules are and they did a very good job. And the primary rule—of course—you all know what it is! Stay together! Stay with mom. [Biz laughs.] Um, and I said very clearly… and you guys can see where this is going. I said very clearly, like, if—and if people are not able to—to stick with that rule? No big deal, but we will just leave and we’ll try again another day. Like, we’re not gonna keep shopping if people aren’t staying together. Like, we just can’t do—like, I can’t do this if you aren’t staying together. So like, let’s stick with the rule. If the rule gets broken, we’ll just leave. ‘K? Everybody’s great. Great, great, great.

theresa

We go in—everything is going great. Everyone’s in a good mood; they’re staying together; I’m complimenting them on how well they’re doing following the rules. I have Curtis in the shopping cart which  makes things a little more manageable. You know, Grace and Oscar are listening. Everybody’s kinda—we’re just doing our thing. We’re taking our time. And then… we decide—we kinda get done with one area and we decide we’re gonna go to a different area and so we go to the elevator. And I ask Oscar to press the down button on the elevator button. And before he’s able to get there, Grace decides to press it for him.

biz

Oh, I see where this is—that—

crosstalk

Biz: That’s the worst. Theresa: That was all it—

theresa

That was all it took.

biz

Yeah! That is all it takes!

theresa

That was all it took.

biz

I’ve seen that happen multiple times in my family.

theresa

And I’ve seen it happen, too. But this time…

biz

Oh.

theresa

It led to Oscar deciding he would just… leave our group. And be done with us. Because he was so upset. So he… ran. He ran away. [Biz laughs.] Ran! [Laughs.] And… I was pretty calm, because I was like—well, he’ll come back ‘cause he’ll remember the rule.

biz

Right.

theresa

But he didn’t come back. So I—I was like, hm. And then like Grace—she’s very sensitive, too! I didn’t want to set her off, so I stayed really calm. I had Curtis in the cart. We made a couple loops around the store looking for Oscar. Grace was being very good. She was calling Oscar. We really couldn’t find him. So we made some more loops, and we kept looking for Oscar. And we really, really could not find him. So after about ten minutes of just not being able to find him, I did go to the front and I asked—y’know, I said my six-year-old is somewhere in the store. [Biz laughs.] I—can—y’know. Can you guys help me. Whatever. So they start to help us. They’re very nice. And then we see Oscar walking along, like—all the way at the other end of the store. And I’m like, okay, good. There he is, and he’s just walking. He looks totally fine. He’s just walking—like, walking. And so we start to walk towards him. Well he sees us and he [though laughter] runs away. [Biz laughs.] He turns around and runs the opposite direction.

biz

He is done with this family! [Laughs.]

theresa

[Through laughter] He’s just like—I was having a nice time shopping by myself, y’know? And he’s so far away that I can’t… I can’t, like, remind him about anything. I can’t remind him about the rule; I can’t say—like, I was like—you’re gonna lose so many privileges right now. Like, you’re gonna lose your iPad forever. You’re gonna—like, never be able to come back to Target. Like, all these things that I’m like—you—you just need to—and he’s—but he’s running and he’s so far away that I can’t really do much. And I’m pushing a cart with a three-year-old in it. So I’m also not—like—

crosstalk

Biz: You can’t, like, run! Yeah. [Laughs.] Theresa: Very quick on my feet!

theresa

So Grace takes off after him. So then I can’t find either of them for a while. Because she’s chasing Oscar— [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] —around the store. [Biz sings chase music.] It was pretty amazing. And again, I’m trying to stay calm ‘cause I’ve got Curtis there. So—finally, Grace catches up with him and she’s trying to reason with him. And he’s stand—and I can see them. Like, really far down and they’re just talking. They’re standing there talking to each other. I’m like, okay. Good. Maybe he’s calming down. I don’t know. By the time I get there, he takes off again. And I’m like—Grace. Grace. You just—just stay with me. Just—thank you, but just stay with me. Let’s all—let’s—the last thing I need is like [though laughter] two missing kids in Target. So I continue to, like, do this for a little while and then he’s gone again. And like security kinda knows that I’m—that I’ve found him now? So they’ve kind of stopped helping? Because they’re like—oh, he’s not missing anymore. Y’know. He’s just running away. He’s just misbehaving, y’know. [Biz laughs.] And so I come—like, basically—I’m not even gonna do a further play-by-play? But it was probably like… 45 minutes? By the end—during which point I did leave Grace and Curtis with somebody at the self—like, one of the people who work there at the self-checkout ‘cause she offered and she was really nice and Grace was fine—like, Grace was great and Curtis was fine. And I—but—that—nothing came of that, because I went around looking for Oscar by myself and I couldn’t find him. So—and I ultimately called Jesse, who was at home sick, and I said—y’know, I don’t know what to tell you, but I guess you just need to come here. [Biz laughs.] Because I can’t really do this by myself! Like, I can’t—there’s too many kids! Like, I can’t—I can’t— [Biz laughs.] Like, I—[breaks off, laughing.] So—yeah!

crosstalk

Theresa: I mean, that’s just—yes! I mean, like, clear—like, there’s no one else—so— Biz: I am gravely outnumbered on this battlefield! Yeah! No, yeah!

theresa

And then, like, the security people kinda got back on it and I was like—I basically just said to them, look. I… can’t really go—like, I can’t—I don’t know what to tell you. And they were like, really nice. And so, like, a couple minutes before Jesse gets there, I look over and I see [though laughter] Oscar walking back over to me. And he’s got an entourage of security personnel, and nobody’s touched him, y’know, ‘cause they probably have rules about that. But they’re all standing aro—like, they’re kind of creating a nice little huddle?

crosstalk

Theresa: Where they’re walking very slow—yeah. Biz: Right. They’re herding him! Yeah.

theresa

They’re herding him towards me. [Biz laughs.] And he’s fine! He’s got an orange. They gave him an orange, probably to bribe him to come over? And he comes over and he really—he’s deluded himself into thinking this is no big deal.

biz

Oh, yeah.

theresa

And so he comes over and I—I take his hand. And they’re like, please stay with your mom now. [Laughs.] And I was like, thank you so— [though laughter] thank you so much! And so then I’m like, y’know, daddy’s coming and you’re gonna leave with daddy. And then Grace and Curtis and I will finish our shopping. You know. And then he—that was when he really lost his mind. ‘Cause he realized—

biz

Oh, yeah.

theresa

—I don’t get anything now. I don’t get to be on the shopping trip. And you guys are gonna stay here and have this experience. And… whatever. So then Jesse carried him out screaming. Did the kick—

crosstalk

Theresa: —the screaming, carrying out. Biz: Did the football screaming carry.

theresa

I—I was… very—like—people were watching. This show.

biz

Of course!

crosstalk

Biz: It’s a good show! Theresa: Alllll through this!

theresa

There were so many watchers. [Biz laughs.] There were so many watchers! And that was fine. I didn’t real—it was—

biz

You’re a performer. [Both laugh.]

theresa

I really was just like—this is just—like, this is just happening right now. And he—whatever. So he left and we talked about it later a couple of different times. And—there is really no moral to this story? [Biz laughs.] Except that—what I said to Jesse last night when we were like about to fall asleep and we kind of had the first chance of the day to like talk about it, just the two of us, is I was like—I’m fine. I don’t feel traumatized by that experience? But what was a little bit… distressing about it was just how much it took me by surprise. Like, there was no—usually with my kids I start to sense their dysregulation as it’s starting to build and there’s a vibe and I’m like, okay. We gotta get outta here. Like, let’s quit now. And there was none of that. Like, I really—all the way leading up to that, I really thought—I’ve totally got this!

crosstalk

Theresa: Like, we’re actually having a nice time! Biz: Yeah! You’re doing great! Yeah!

theresa

Doing this! And then it happened. So it was like another one of those things where I was just like—

biz

Oops!

theresa

Nothing is in my control. Like, and that’s fine! Nothing really is in my control. I—I can only do what I can do? But like… I—again. A reminder. Of how little control I have. Yeah.

biz

Wow.

theresa

Yes.

biz

Well… that… is a perfect Target story.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

You’re welcome!

theresa

How are you, Biz?

biz

I’m alright.

theresa

Okay.

biz

You guys may not know this—it’s the end of February, beginning of March. We’re just right here. I mean, it was just Christmas. And like the holidays. Just the other day, it feels like. But I don’t wanna startle you. But summer— [Theresa laughs.] —is almost here.

theresa

[Through laughter] I know!

biz

And have you signed up for stuff? Do you know what you’re doing with summer? ‘Cause I don’t fucking know—

crosstalk

Biz: —what I’m doing with summer! I— Theresa: You’re gonna stress everyone out, Biz!

biz

‘Cause I am stressed out! Because I thought I had summer solved. Both kids wanted to do the same camp.

theresa

Oh!

biz

And now suddenly? The older one doesn’t.

theresa

Oh, no.

biz

And I’m like… I’m gonna have to do the thing I’ve already said to Stefan—is like, I feel awful but I’m gonna have to say—too bad. You’re gonna have to do this. I am sorry. Sometimes—

crosstalk

Biz: —the needs of the family— Theresa: That’s how it is sometimes.

biz

—outweigh the needs of the child.

theresa

Yeah! And sometimes it’s fine.

crosstalk

Theresa: Like, sometimes— Biz: Oh, it’s—yeah.

theresa

Like, sometimes they say they don’t want to? But then they end up having fun.

biz

I know this is gonna be one of those things where like she’s gonna be the oldest and probably none of her friends are gonna be there and it’s gonna suck. But!

theresa

Sorry.

biz

I—we can’t do a different option. So… Yeah!

theresa

Yeah.

crosstalk

Biz: [Yelling] Summer! Theresa: Sorry. Yeah.

biz

Speaking… of summer. And not having many options. Today, we’re gonna talk about…alone time.

music

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

theresa

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

theresa

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.] [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

Theresa. Alone time. I’d like to start… with—what does that conjure up for you? Pre-kids? Like—grow—uh, when you were growing up or when you, y’know, were young adults. Basically, anything that happened before children were in your house. Alone time. Is that something you liked? Is—what did it mean? What did it represent?

theresa

As a kid I just thought—why? Like, why—why would you want to be alone?

biz

Right.

theresa

I didn’t really get any alone time as a kid? And I didn’t really want to be alone as a kid. I was usually pretty anxious about the idea of being alone. I often did not even like to go to another part of the house where my family was not.

biz

Huh! Okay.

theresa

So—I did not like being alone at all.

biz

Yeah. And then as you got older—

theresa

That’s still the same way. [Biz laughs.] No, I’m just kidding. Um—no. That’s how I am. Just how I am now. Um, no.

biz

But I mean, like, before kids. Were you still like—

theresa

So it was really gradual. So by the time—like, in high school I think I remember, like, kind of trying to be alone and seeing how that would feel sometimes? But I didn’t like it. It made me very uncomfortable. In college, I would say, is when I learned to be alone and to kind of like being alone. Like, that was my first experience of like—having my own space. And kind of being more autonomous and doing what I wanted to do? And like—just kind of—

biz

Just masturbating. [Laughs.]

theresa

Just masturbating all the time. No, I had two—two roommates my freshman year. I don’t think that would’ve… worked very well. But um—I started to feel… in college, like this can be okay sometimes. This is alright. And then—but yeah! It wasn’t until—really until kids.

biz

Yeah.

theresa

That I started… to actually enjoy being alone. And I will say—next-level to that—even after having kids, I think they’re—there’s been a progression to where now— [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] —Where I am today, with my family the way it is now—eight-year-old, six-year-old, three-year-old, two dogs and husband—I—I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like I’m in love with being alone.

biz

Oh!

theresa

It’s like—it’s like I am so excited to be alone when I get to be alone? And then when it starts to almost be over? I’m like— [Biz laughs.] [Despondent tone] Okay. It’s… it’s going to—like, it’s like—a sense of loss? Like this—I knew this time would come. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

Okay. Growing up—what I thought alone time was, like in terms of like for adult—but I thought, oh, when I grow up and have alone time, it was very much, like, Calgon bubble baths. You know. Like, alone time—

theresa

What was the first word you said?

biz

“Calgon.” It’s a—

theresa

What does that mean?

biz

Calgon, take me away! It was a bubble bath from the, like, ‘70s and ‘80s. And the commercial was of, like, a woman—usually, like, surrounded by kids or work or whatever; everything’s on fire—and like, she’s like—Calgon! Take me away! [Theresa laughs.] And then, like, cut to a bathtub filled with bubbles. Candlelight. Y’know. Glass of champagne. [Theresa laughs.] Right? Like—and the dimmed lights. And she’s just like—ahhhh. Probably masturbating. [Theresa laughs.] Anyway—but I just remember thinking—oh! Like, so—like, alone time has to be this, like, special… thing. Where everything’s set up. For you. I had never had a, like, a problem with being, like, alone. Like, I enjoy walks by myself. I mean, like, as a kid and y’know. I didn’t need—I could play by myself for hours. All of this feels like it’s code for masturbation.

crosstalk

Theresa: It really does! Biz: And by the way, guys?

biz

Now—

theresa

Should we get it all out of the way right now?

biz

I—No! I think it’ll just—

crosstalk

Biz: Let’s just—it’ll—it’s gonna—you’ll—come along for the journey. Theresa: It’ll just be with us the whole way. You’ll always be wondering if we’re talking about masturbating.

biz

So— [Laughs.]

theresa

That, too, sounded like masturbating.

crosstalk

Biz: I did that one on purpose! Theresa: Go on. Okay.

biz

And then, like, I lived in New York and I—so, like, I loved alone time.

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah. Alone time in New York is great. Yeah. Biz: I mean, I will go to dinner by myself all day long.

biz

I— [Laughs.] I will go—I used to drive to like Virginia from Alabama in the summers by myself. I love-a love-a love-a love-a love it. Love it. I also remember… seeing—there is, in particular, a scene from the Steve Martin retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, the movie Roxanne. I just remember—so he lived alone. And there would always be these scenes of him, like, in his house making dinner. Right? And there’d be a glass of wine and he’d be making a proper dinner, not like a microwave dinner? And like, there’s music and it’s bright and he’s just having this nice time at home. And I was like—that’s what adulthood is! That’s going to be… my life!

theresa

Oh, that’s cool.

biz

Right?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And then… fast-forward to… kids. And… there’s almost no alone time.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And I—I almost feel like—well, what about the time during the day where you’re not working and kids are at school? That doesn’t feel like alone time? ‘Cause like, the noise and impact of… my family?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Is still, like—

theresa

It’s like, on you.

biz

It’s on me!

theresa

Yeah. I know.

biz

And so that, like—we’re not capturing the Roxanne feel.

theresa

Right! ‘Cause it’s not, like, all for you. It’s not like—‘cause also, I think the way we have these blocks of alone time? Are pretty… they’re pretty specific. Like, it’s like—I can do whatever I want in this little bit of time.

crosstalk

Biz: You have one hour and fifteen minutes! Theresa: And everything before and after it.

theresa

And plus a lot of the time that alone time is like, preparing. For when—for later. When there’s people there. Like…

biz

So do you find—where do you find alone time now? If… anywhere?

theresa

Yeah. Well—

biz

Besides the bathroom?

theresa

[Through laughter] Right. For me, it’s like—it’s less about… just not having, like, my family there? But it’s like not being around people at all.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. I agree. Theresa: Like, I just—

theresa

I like—like—some— [though laughter] something I have learned to enjoy is like—quietly cleaning up by myself at the end of the night. Like, cleaning up in the kitchen and like making… the lunches for the next day? Which—I hate making the lunches. Like, but—I’ll, like, pick out a podcast that I wanna listen to. Or nothing!

biz

Or nothing.

theresa

Or music. But it’s my decision and it’s my—y’know, I can just move at my own pace? I think for me, a lot of it is about moving at my own pace? I think? I’ve like to come to realize this because I think—and people who have known me all my life will laugh at this—but like, I think I’m—like to move at a little bit of a slower pace— [Biz laughs.] —than most [though laughter] other people in my life? So like… y’know. I was always, like, the person where we’d be like, playing games in college and we’d be like, whose turn is it? Theresa! And I’d be like, oh, sorry, guys. Alright. [Biz laughs.] Like— [Laughs.] I just—I don’t know! I just—and so—

biz

It’s your rhythm.

theresa

It’s my rhythm! And that’s fine. And it is what it is. But like—I think that when I have… y’know… a—and I actually think Jesse and I—part of why we get along so well is we move at a similar rhythm? Like I do! I think that!

crosstalk

Biz: I agree. No, I can see that. Theresa: Like—

theresa

Like, there was a time where we like both went to the doctor and got physicals, like, on the same day? ‘Cause we were, like, young people who didn’t have health insurance and we were like we should go to the doctor. And like, I remember the doctor coming in and being like, you guys have the same exact, like— [Biz laughs.] —heartrate and blood pressure. Like, that’s really odd. Um—but cute. But like, with my kids and just with other people in the world, I kind of—whether it’s my own anxiety or whatever it is? I am always—I have a tendency to feel rushed by others. And that is like a tiring way of being in the world. Like, I—I feel like I’m not up to speed all the time. And so… I don’t know why now, but for—for whatever reason, now I’m like starting to really enjoy that—like, when I’m by myself, I can move as slow as I fucking want. Like, I can—literally take an hour making these fucking lunches? And I will enjoy that. More than if I, like, have to rush through it so that I’m done so I can go do something else.

crosstalk

Theresa: Like—that’s just me. Biz: That’s interesting.

biz

That’s interesting. Because I think it broadens what “alone time” means and is? Like—it’s not just about sitting alone—it’s like, you’re—like, the act of physically moving at your own pace?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Alone time—be it bathtubs, masturbation, or packing lunches— [Theresa laughs.] —it’s all about uninterruption and it—really being your focus on yourself!

theresa

Yes!

biz

Whatever that is!

theresa

Yes.

biz

And… the pace thing, that’s such an obvious luxury and gift to give yourself when you’ve got three kids. Who all move at different paces themselves. And I’m gonna take a wild stab and say—faster.

theresa

Li’l faster.

biz

Li’l faster! Than yours. Oh, that’s really interesting! I… have found… that the best I can do is—get into my room after Ellis is down, ‘cause Katy Belle and Stefan can do stuff together. And I just—y’know. Put on wordless music.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Music with no words. But it can’t be too exciting, ‘cause that might make my brain start—

crosstalk

Biz: —to think? Right. I don’t wanna be stim— Theresa: Make you feel stimulated. Yup.

biz

I wanna just work a crossword puzzle or work a puzzle-puzzle. And… because these are calming activities—

crosstalk

Biz: —for me. Theresa: That is really great. Yeah.

biz

And I don’t—and like, you can’t come in and talk to me. During that time.

theresa

I love that!

biz

And I feel—

theresa

Is that every night?

biz

I try and make that happen every night now. It’s not—it’s something that only recently has started to be able to happen and… I do sometimes think, y’know, well… how—am I having enough time with Stefan? Because usually by the time he’s ready to come to bed, I am nice and relaxed and I’m going— [though laughter] going to sleep. And—y’know. For the ultimate alone time, sleep.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

But I will say—

crosstalk

Theresa: [Spooky voice] Unless your dreams are invaded! I’m sorry. Yeah. Dreams can be—a mixed bag. Yeah. [Laughs.] Biz: Oh my God. I had like, the worst fucking dreams last night. Anyway! Yeah. Dreams are all about where I’m working it out. [Laughs.]

biz

But what I have found actually interesting is something that we’re talking about a lot in therapy is, y’know, like, where—where am I finding the inspiration to, like, for what’s next? And we were going back and tracking, like, my most—sort of—creative moments? Like, where I was the most stimulated. Where—like, most of it came out. It has all been group related. It’s all been with—

theresa

With other people.

biz

—others. And… I mean, it can’t just be anybody. [Laughs.] You know what I mean? Like—but y’know—like—and… I was like, oh, how interesting! ‘Cause all the stuff I’m trying to do, creatively? Is alone stuff. Sewing—alone! Writing—alone! Y’know what I mean? Like… and so—I was thinking… okay. So what if I reevaluate… what I’m using that time for?

theresa

Interesting! Yeah.

biz

What if—alone time becomes… social time in which I’m not in charge of it. And… I’m using my brain in a different way. A way that I enjoy using it. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Yeah? And so like—that’s something I’m starting to explore that alone time may be not… alone. Right? Like—do I want my alone time to be quiet time? Or just… time that is mine to do with.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Right?

theresa

Yes! It’s like my time.

biz

My time!

theresa

Versus alone time. It’s like, my time. It’s like, where I am the driving force behind… what I’m thinking about. What I’m doing.

biz

And for many of us, I think it starts with actual, physical alone time.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

But—once you start getting that, it might evolve into something else. Because I feel like whatever it—that is, it’s supposed to be restorative somehow. Or stimulating.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Right? It’s—

theresa

It’s supposed to give you energy.

biz

It’s supposed to give you! So—whether it’s moving incredibly slow— [Theresa laughs.] —or whether it’s, y’know, a group of people reading Shakespeare together at the cap—y’know, like—or whatever in-between. I feel like—and it’s not just one thing. I think it’s obviously multiple things. Y’know? I consider coming into this booth every week alone time. In the way that we are now defining alone time.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Right? Like—so… it’s so funny. You’re, like, looking at liking alone time more. While I’m looking more at… needing—

theresa

Like, needing something else! Yeah!

biz

Needing something else.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Huh.

theresa

Huh.

biz

Well, let’s all just go sit in a closet until we figure it out. [Laughs.]

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

music

Laid-back acoustic guitar plays; continues playing in the background.

biz

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theresa

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biz

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theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

Genius fail time, Theresa. Genius me!

clip

Music: Dramatic, swelling music in background. Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

theresa

Okay. So… I think you all know that my daughter Gracie, who is eight years old, is very into movies. And… can get very focused on particular directors and particular genres. And— [Biz laughs.] —right now, she has a few films that she’s really into and one film that she has been wanting to see for a really [though laughter] long time is Cats. [Laughs.] Which—

crosstalk

Theresa: —as you may know— Biz: Stefan just took the kids!

theresa

—is supposed to be really terrible. [Biz laughs.] And—but I decided to take her, and—yeah. I took her yesterday, and um… the only place that was left that was showing it in LA was the Alamo Drafthouse, which is like where you sit in a reclining chair and you can like order food and blah, blah, blah. So it was a very fancy outing— [Biz laughs.] Which wasn’t my plan. But also, the only screening was a rowdy screening. And—

biz

Fun!

theresa

I have never done that? Like, even on my own! I’ve never gone to, like, Rocky Horror or, like, gone to like, a—a thing like that! I just haven’t ever done that. And I will admit, I was like, a little nervous? ‘Cause I was like—this could be, like, me bringing a kid to like a thing that is kind of like cultish and like where people don’t maybe want a kid to be there? And there’s like alcohol there and blah, blah, blah. And maybe Gracie will be overwhelmed by the noise or something. But I just decided—she wants to see this so bad and it’s our, like, only chance ‘cause it’s kind of closing. And I was like, well, it’s during the day. Right?

crosstalk

Theresa: Like, it—how—how crazy could it get during the day? Biz: How—how—

theresa

So we went. And… I… am so glad! That we went to the rowdy screening! Because it was so fun! And she loved every minute of it. We got to, like, hiss and meow at the screen? [Biz cheers and laughs.] And, like, throughout? And like—they gave us bubbles and we got to blow bubbles at certain parts and like… Grace loved hearing the funny stuff the audience members would like sometimes yell out at the screen. And it was just… it was delightful. Like, I was just so glad that I kind of got over my… hesitation? And just went for it? And we had such a great time together.

biz

That’s such a good job.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

Alright. This is dumb. We went outside! [Laughs.]

theresa

Oh!

biz

I feel like—

theresa

Outside exists!

biz

Like outside exists. We have a nice outside. It was a really lovely weekend. We keep thinking—go outside! All of us!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

‘Cause if, like, one’s inside then it sucks everybody back in. And it was like—why—why aren’t we… doing this?

theresa

No, but it’s a genius!

noz

It is—

crosstalk

Biz: No, it is a genius ‘cause we were like— Theresa: So healthy! Yeah!

biz

That’s a good reminder! You can go outside! And it was really nice!

theresa

That’s great.

biz

It was great!

theresa

Good job.

biz

Thank you.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! This is mostly a fail with a little bit of genius. I took my—I take my six-month-old swimming every week, so this morning I got up at 6:30 in the morning, got everything packed, got him dressed, drove the 30 minutes to the pool, got him ready— [Biz laughs.] —went to get myself ready and realized, of course, I’d forgotten my trunks. I’ll be damned if I’m getting in dressed and driving all the way back home. So I went to the front desk and bought the XL shorts that I found on the rack. Went to try them on and something was clearly wrong, so I checked the label and of course—they’re junior size. [Biz laughs.] I’m quite stubborn and I wasn’t gonna miss my bonding time with my kid, so I squeezed into them— [Biz laughs.] —just about and went swimming. Everything was on display. It was very uncomfortable. [Biz laughs.] And they split as I was getting out of the pool. [Both laugh.] But I got to go swimming with my kid. We had our bonding time. And I got a story out of it. [Biz laughs.] I thought I’d call in as you might get a laugh out of this. [Theresa laughs.] Longtime listener, first-time caller. You are both doing a great job. I’m not. [Laughs.] [Both laugh.]

biz

I don’t know, sounds like a great job to me!

theresa

I feel like this is a genius.

biz

This is a genius!

theresa

Completely.

biz

This is a genius, because you did not just—[freaked out voice] ahh! We’re going home! [Regular voice] Right? Like—you… embraced it or—moreso, it embraced you.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

And you— [Theresa laughs.] —did it.

theresa

It embraced you very tightly.

biz

Very snug. You gave probably everybody at the pool a thrill that day— [Theresa laughs.] —and, y’know, don’t be surprised if you’re invited back to the, y’know, to some more group swim lessons! [Theresa laughs.] I think you’re doing a remarkable job!

theresa

Me, too! It’s great. [Biz laughs.] You really—you just did it. You found a way to do it. You didn’t give up.

biz

That’s right. You did not give up!

theresa

And you had a good time!

biz

I know. I love it so much! Failures.

clip

Music: Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background. Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Fail me, Theresa.

theresa

I… wanted to take a photograph of my three beautiful children together ‘cause I’d realized it had been a little while since we had done that. And… we were getting ready to leave the house and everyone was dressed and it was like the perfect time. And so I was trying to take their picture and everybody was being really rude and like sticking fingers in their nose and like being really disgusting, like, not in a cute way? Like, just really sabotaging it. And I was kind of flailing for something and I said, um—that’s okay. Just—y’know. I was like saying like, oh, alright. Okay. Let’s say something fun! Let’s say—let’s think of something fun we can all say together! And… I can’t remember if it was Grace or Oscar, but one of them said, “Let’s say fuck!”

biz

[Sharp intake of breath, then yelling] Noooo!

crosstalk

Biz: That’s fun to say together! Theresa: And I—and I just—

theresa

And then they started cracking up and I just stayed silent and let them crack up and say “fuck.” Even Curtis. They were all— [Biz laughs.] —laughing, smiling, and saying “Fuck!!! Fuck!!!” And I got some [though laughter] really great pictures out of it. But—

biz

I hope you got a video, too! Hot damn! [Laughs.] Oh, yeah! No! You’re a monster!

theresa

It’s really bad.

crosstalk

Theresa: I really— Biz: No, it’s—

biz

I am judging you.

theresa

It was bad.

biz

It’s bad. I’m gonna go home and tell Stefan, like, right away and not in a cute way? I’m gonna be like—[gasps].

theresa

Yeah. It was—it was irresponsible.

biz

Okay. Fish tank. All the fish are dead.

theresa

Oh.

biz

But we have the two shrimp and the snail— [Theresa laughs.] —that may live forever!

theresa

Huh.

biz

They… are not dead.

theresa

Okay.

biz

 I think we’re coming up on three years.

theresa

Wow.

biz

Anyway—

theresa

And you’ve just been waiting, right?

crosstalk

Theresa: Like, you decided you’re not getting more fish. Biz: I’m just sitting there—

biz

I—no.

crosstalk

Theresa: You’re just waiting— Biz: I’m just waiting—

biz

—them out.

theresa

Okay.

biz

I’m pretty sure I will last longer? But maybe not.

theresa

Okay.

biz

So… we don’t clean the fish tank like we used to. Like, we clean it much less. And—‘cause the water stays fine ‘cause there’s no fish pooping in it. And then these are all—

theresa

Things that eat stuff. Yeah.

biz

Eat—eat gross things. So the water level can get down pretty low before I think to go and refill it or clean it. And when it does get to a certain point, it sounds like… it’s just water tickling? And I guess some people, like, have water fountains in their house making that noise? I… can’t… stand it.

theresa

Oh no!

biz

And I will wake up hearing it and then I can’t go back to sleep.

theresa

Oh!

biz

Because of it. But then every morning I wake up saying, I need to go fill the water with the thing and hold it ‘cause it’s gotta get to room temperature and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then… I don’t. Like the day goes and we definitely aren’t cleaning it, which would be the better choice at this point, just given where we are in our schedule. And it just… it’s a—it’s a horrible noise that’s—I’m living with all day. And it made me, like, blow up at Stefan last night?

theresa

‘Cause you were so agitated by it.

biz

Yeah! And then it made me more agitated that like he didn’t just like jump up and, like, fix the problem? Not that he does that part of the fish tank? Like, it’s not his problem to fix on his own? And like… I just… I hate it.

theresa

I’m so sorry.

biz

Yeah. I mean, I fucking just went and dumped some fucking water in there. Everybody’s alive. But, y’know. I just was like—it got to it—when it gets to the point where it keeps me up at night? I’ve let it go too long!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Yeah. Trickle, trickle.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! This is a fail. Um, so currently I’m in the car if you hear my one-year-old, uh, chatter. That’s, uh, ‘cause you’re on the Bluetooth speaker. And we’re just driving down the road, drive the highway, and I’m trying not to vomit right now because I hate mucus. I hate it; I hate the word; I hate everything about it. And my baby with a cold in the backseat just did something that I can’t even describe to you because I do not wanna vomit. And [though laughter] I know moms are supposed to be able to handle everything? But it was just so gross what he just did. [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] And I can’t even tell you because I do not want to throw up in my car. [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] But I love the show and thanks for the hotline. Bye. [Laughs.] [Biz and Theresa both laugh enthusiastically.]

biz

I love this.

theresa

Moms are people, too!

biz

Moms are people, too!

theresa

Things gross us out.

biz

I just like—there was this little Kids in the Hall sketch where they would come in to the office and they’d be like—how’s it going? It’s fine. I was on the Subway and someone was eating a sandwich. [Yelling with disgust] Ohhhh! So gross! [Theresa laughs.] I’m gonna vomit! I know. I almost vomited right there. And like, they’re doing the most, like—then I saw… a tack and he put the tack in the bulletin board. Ahhh! Gonna vomit! Ohh! I don’t understand how you didn’t just hurl right there! Right? And it’s just— [Theresa laughs.] Y’know. Nothing. But that is what this reminds me of. Which is a joy. But also—

crosstalk

Theresa: Don’t see Cats. Do not see Cats. Biz: Shame! Do not see Cats!

theresa

There is some—[breaks off, laughing]. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Well, shame on you for not being able to tolerate and love every single thing about your child. Shame, shame, shame! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics. You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known. I love you, I love you. When I have a problem, I call you on the phone. I love you, I love you. [Music fades out.]

music

Jazzy piano music plays in background.

theresa

One Bad Mother is supported in part by Care.com. As the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, Care.com helps millions of families find high-quality care for their children, aging loved ones, home, and pets!

biz

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theresa

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biz

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theresa

You guys? Biz and I both have premium memberships, and you can too!

biz

To save 30% off of a Care.com premium membership, visit Care.com/badmother. [Music fades out.]

biz

Hey, Theresa! Let’s call someone today!

music

Upbeat guitar strumming with choral voices.

biz

Theresa—this week we are talking to Aida Salazar, who is a writer, arts advocate, and homeschooling mother who grew up in Southeast LA. She received an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. Her award-winning debut middle-grade novel-in-verse is called The Moon Within. Welcome, Aida!

aida salazar

Thank you! Thank you so much for having me!

biz

Oh, we are so glad to have you! Before we get into The Moon Within, uh, we’d like to ask you what we ask all our guests, which is—who lives in your house?

aida

Well, there are a number of people and sentient beings and— [Biz laughs.] —and drums that live in my house? [Biz laughs.] [Laughs.] But, um, most, uh, importantly my husband, um, John Santos. He’s a musician. And my two artist children—my son’s a musician and a pianist, and my daughter’s a dancer. She dances hip-hop.

biz

Oh, I love that!

aida

And… yeah! So there are a lot of artists who live in this house. [Biz laughs.] And along with the artists is their art! So we have a piano— [Biz laughs.] —and a really incredible collection of drums and music. And books. So, that’s what lives in my house.

biz

Oh, that is a happy house!

theresa

Yeah. I think you’re the first guest to name musical instruments as living in your house and I like that a lot.

biz

I do too! [Laughs.] [Aida laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: It’s wonderful! Theresa: And—and books!

aida

Yeah. Well you can’t go very far in our house without having—touching a drum or a musical instrument. [Laughs.] [Biz and Theresa laugh.]

biz

I love it! Are there—with all of that art and sound happening in the house, I have to ask—are there any… pets living in this house? Or have they all, like, run for the hills?

aida

No. We had one beautiful pet. I had a 21-year-old cat.

crosstalk

Biz: Aw, baby! Theresa: Aw.

aida

And actually, it—he lived—his name was Jesmonte and he lives in the garden.

biz

Oh!

aida

We buried him under the apple tree.

biz

How very nice! I love it.

aida

Mm-hm.

I love it.

biz

Mm-hm. Alright. Well let’s get in to The Moon Within. The Moon Within—it’s a coming-of-age story about 11-year-old Celi Rivera as she navigates her changing body, friendship, and family tradition. I guess I’d like to just start with… y’know, the obvious question: what inspired you to tell this story?

aida

Well, um, as I mentioned, I’m—have an artist family and my daughter is a dancer. She is the person who inspired me to write this story. You know, I live in a very—a special place in, uh, San Francisco Bay area. That is, kind of a—a cosmos of—of traditional and folkloric and modern art? And… um, one of those art forms is  Bomba dance, which is an Afro-Puerto Rican style dance. And my—my children—my husband’s Puerto Rican and my children are half-Puerto Rican, half-Mexican. And so the—the characters in the book are exactly my family. [Biz laughs.] Uh, the—the area is exactly my [though laughter] my area. And my daughter asking all of the special questions about what was happening to her body. And my philosophy of, um, of, y’know, the connection between a woman’s menstruation and the moon, um, it all is—is kind of sifted into this story of—of The Moon Within. However, everything inside the book is fictionalized.

biz

Ah. Okay.

aida

The plot is fictionalized.

biz

Right. What’s interesting about this book is—there are lots of things that are interesting and unique about this book? But—but I think the thing that jumps out right away is that it’s written in verse! Can you talk about that choice?

aida

Absolutely! So I’m a poet originally. I started writing poetry when I was 13 years old, after my… my sister, um, committed suicide. And so poetry was always very, um, intimate place where I retreated. To—to get in touch. To express. To… to uplift and to feel. And—though I write prose as well—um, there’s something very intimate about writing in verse. For me. And I wanted to get into the—a very close, y’know, first-person, um, point of view with this character. And—and I’ve thought that poetry was the absolute best. It really, y’know, the story came to me in poetry. And so after I was—after about 20, 30 pages, I said, well, of course this is the way I must write it from then on.

biz

Well, it—it definitely… lends… itself to… the story. I mean, like— I mean, I am of the Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret generation. And—

aida

I—as am I! [All laugh.]

biz

And… I am also of the generation of—mmmmm, or maybe it’s just my upbringing or being southern and Catholic— [Laughs.] That, y’know, we didn’t talk a lot about it. And… about, y’know, the changes that were happening to our body. I mean, we—they talked to us about it? But it wasn’t—there were no moon parties. And… and what I love about the fact that this is written in verse, is it already puts a different voice to… the sort of… telling of the story of… what… she goes through. And what many people go through. It’s very beautiful. I wanna—say, again, like we were talking about—we recently did a show about puberty and getting our periods and what it meant to us and how that made us feel and—in The Moon Within, she has… mixed feelings about starting her period! Because [though laughter] she doesn’t want her mother to throw her a moon ceremony! [Laughs.]

aida

That’s right!

crosstalk

Biz: Can you talk about— Aida: That’s right!

biz

Moon ceremonies—like, what is that and… talk to us a little bit about that and, y’know, did that reflect a little bit in real life as well? [Laughs.]

aida

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Well, so—yeah! I—I was raised Catholic and—and the silence around menstruation. It’s not only of one culture, one region in the world. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that is, um, I think, part of a patriarchal, very puritanical, ideologies that kind of, uh, manifest all throughout the globe. And—as you mentioned—menstruation is—every single human on the planet is touched by menstruation, whether they like it or not. Because you need menstruation in order to give life. And—and so every person came from a menstruator. And so—and—y’know, throughout the millennia, different groups of people have celebrated or shunned the—the—this process. For girls coming of age or menstruators coming of age. I’m Mexican. And as I… y’know, started to… kind of go back to my own traditions, my own… y’know, indigenous traditions, I learned of moon ceremonies and this was about 20 to 25 years ago, where I’m—where I’m—began to make connections. Because of elders in my community and because other people in my community were celebrating in this way. I knew this existed, so when it happened for my daughter—was going to happen for my daughter—it hadn’t happened yet, but I—I started to do deeper research. Started to investigate. And asked more elders in our community about what—what this meant and how to go about doing a moon ceremony. Which I actually did for my daughter! And so, uh, the biggest kind of takeaway from that research was that… y’know, in doing a moon ceremony and in celebrating and making the idea of menstruation not a shameful or a—um—disgusting process. But—but making it, um, something worth celebrating and honoring. Through ritual and—and—and sitting in circle with other menstruators. So. That’s where—that’s where that—that came from.

biz

I love it. You use some wording there that I thought was very good, and actually leads to, uh, my next question. Which is—[deep breath] one aspect of the book is that there’s this really beautiful celebration of one’s heritage and culture. We get to experience this with Celi as she discovers how to celebrate her heritage while being herself. Ah! Celi’s friend Magda is genderfluid. And Magda’s journey is connected to history in a really interesting way. Can you talk to us about that?

aida

Yes. So—in my community—in my—in the San Francisco Bay area, we are blessed with having witnessed many children blossom into their—their gender identity.

biz

Mm-hm.

aida

And—and—so that character came from—from many children in my community. And I wanted to… talk about… their blossoming in a way that was also grounded in ceremony. And—and I’ve been studying, you know, Mesoamerican history and—and—and writing for many years. And I know… that… the principal god in the Mexica pantheon is Ometeotl. And Ometeotl  is—is neither male or fema—uh, Ometeotl  is the main god. And—and they are not—neither male nor female but both? They’re divine duality? And I thought this concept was really beautiful and very interesting! And it reflected many of the changes that I was seeing, um, happen to—to children in my community. And so I wanted to—to—to highlight this. And so I reached out to, um, a fellow kidlet author, David Bowls. And I asked him if—if he knew of a word that could describe genderfluid children or genderfluid people in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. And he said that the word “shuchiwa”—which means “those who bear flowers”—was a word that was used to refer to people who are, y’know, on the spectrum. And—and so I brought that wisdom into this—this book. Specifically to reclaim the narrative that many in the Latinx and, y’know, and beyond communities—the negative feelings that many have of—of our communities have towards people who are trans, nonbinary, genderfluid. And on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum in general. But, y’know, this transphobia and this homophobia that we see from our community in particular, I feel, needed, uh, needed to be challenged. And so by also honoring this character and on—and showing how one community didn’t have to, uh, take down this character. But lift—lift—y’know, them up. That was my contribution and it’s truly what I was trying to get at with this—with this piece.

biz

Well, it’s—it’s—it’s wonderful to allow… children—regardless of where they see themselves and who they are—gender-wise—to be represented in a coming-of-age story like this. Uh… like… people menstruate. And it’s—it is… a really… nice reflection, uh, again, to see in the story.

aida

Yes. Indeed. And you know, I think that’s—that while I—I only kind of alluded to the idea that—that—through Marco, the character? Um, that… that they do—that they will eventually menstruate? I made very—I went to great lengths to make sure that I didn’t tell that particular story. Because that was not my story to tell.

aida

So—mm-hm. So—I—and I was actually—the New York Times critiqued me. They said that I didn’t go far enough. [Biz laughs.] Because, um, they said—because I didn’t explore Marco’s, um, menstruation. But that wasn’t my—my story to tell. And I can’t wait for somebody who’s actually nonbinary, who—who—who is genderfluid—to tell that story for them. Um, actually, in fact, we have, uh, a anthology called Calling the Moon?

biz

Mm.

aida

Uh, it’s writings on menstruation by—by—um, menstruators of color. And it’s coming out in 2022—2022 by Candlewick Press. And, um, and we have a nonbinary person who’s gonna be writing about menstruation and I’m really excited for it.

biz

Oh, that’s wonderful! I—just typed that out as you were talking about it to make sure we have it on our list to keep an eye out for! That’s amazing! I want to wrap up on something else that you’re working on, and I guess… it—you’re a founding member of the collective called—and correct me if I’m wrong—pronounced “La Musas”?

aida

Las Musas. Mm-hm.

biz

Called Las Musas. It is a collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle-grade and young adult authors. Talk to me about that mission! Talk to me about that collective! That’s—that sounds great!

aida

It—it is! It’s so—Las Musas is a debut group that I put together with, um, another ten founding members. It’s a collective. Uh, there is no one head, um, no one president. It’s run collectively. And we came together when a few of us noticed—I noticed a few of us were kind of announcing our new books, and—and somebody approached me to be part of a debut group. And I knew—I—y’know, I understood that this is kind of the way that things happened, but I—I realized—I—I wanted to make sure that I was spending my time lifting other voices that had been historically marginalized. And it was—the collective decided to just make it Latina, um, and as we’ve evolved, um, the group has grown from—we went from 10 to 24? Debuts in one year? And… and as we saw the power of this community, we expanded to… to develop a mentorship program. And so now we have an Edmanas program? Where we mentor unpublished Latinx writers and we have a Madrinas program where established Latinx writer, um, mentor the debuts and the unpublished writers. The need for community building and the need to break down this idea that there’s only one story, uh, one Latinx story—is—is kind of what we’re fighting against. Right? We’re really trying to make sure that publishing and readers— [Biz laughs.] —understand that there’s so many different stories that we can tell from the Latinx perspective. [Biz laughs.] And, y’know, we—we—very specifically made it Latina and nonbinary Latinx books. And not men. [Biz laughs.] Because again— [though laughter] again— [Laughs.]

biz

Sorry, go ahead.

aida

Yes. No. Absolutely. You know. We wanted to make sure that we were speaking against not only the one story? But also against patriarchy. And, um— [Biz laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: I love you! I’m laughing ‘cause I’m so delighted! Because like— Theresa: She’s laughing ‘cause she’s so delighted. She’s—

biz

—again—the conversation we continue to have after doing this show for seven years is: ohhh! Surprise! Many voices, many stories! [Laughs.]

aida

Yeah.

biz

You’re like—and it’s amazing how long—well, no. It’s not amazing. None of it’s fucking amazing. It is… it has been one narrative and one story being told too long by, uh, one voice. And so… that is what gets me the giggles. When I have guests come on and state things that are beautifully obvious and needed. I love it. [Laughs.]

aida

I’m so happy! [Laughs.]

biz

Oh yeah? [Laughs.]

aida

Yeah. We have to tell her story as well.

biz

Well that’s right! I—I just—that’s just so wonderful. Aida, thank you so much, not only for writing this book but obviously for doing—having such a commitment to your community and to… voices that need to be heard and helped to be heard. We will make sure we link everybody up to, uh, not only more information about you and where they can get a copy of this book? We are gonna keep our eyes open for the Calling the Moon—uh, the collection of stories. Thank you so much for joining us! Again, the book is The Moon Within. Thank you!

aida

Thank you so much! And look for it on paperback! It’s going to paperback in June of 2020 and it’s going to Spanish, as well.

biz

Oh, that’s wonderful! I was—it’s another one to take to my school and my library! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

aida

[Laughs.] Thank you so much!

biz

Absolutely! Alright! Have a wonderful rest of your day.

aida

You, too.

biz

Okay. Buh-bye.

music

“Telephone,” by “Awesome.” Down-tempo guitar and falsetto singing. Brainwaves send a message: Pick up the phone (When you, I call) Arm is moving now, no longer stone (When you, I call) Hand reaches out with a will of its own (When you, I call) [Music fades out.]

promo

[The muffled sounds of a crowd of people milling about in the background.] Ben Harrison: Alright, Adam. Uh, Maximum Fun wants us to record, like, a promo to tell people that they should listen to The Greatest Generation. You wanna do that? Adam Pranica: [Beat.] No! I am tried of all the extra work. I just wanna talk about Star Trek with my friend! Ben: I think it would—it would be good to, like, try and get some new listeners by appealing to the audiences of other shows. Like, this’ll only take a minute or two. It could be good for us. Adam: We sit down for an hour every week and talk about a Star Trek episode and make a bunch of idiotic fart jokes about it. It’s embarrassing! If it got out that we made this show, I think it would make us unemployable. Ben: Adam, I have bad news for you. We have tens of thousands of listeners at MaximumFun.org. Adam: [Softly.] Oh my god. I think I’m gonna throw up. Ben: The Greatest Generation! A Star Trek podcast by a couple of guys who are a little bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast. Every Monday, on MaximumFun.org. Adam: I’m really gonna be sick.

promo

[The sound of radio static punctuates the conversation, overlaid by a distant, ringing note.] Rocket Ship One: Mission control, this is rocket ship one. Come in mission control. Mission Control: This is mission control. Go ahead. Rocket Ship One: We have incoming and it looks big. Mission Control: Can you identify? Rocket Ship One: It looks like—[the beep of electronics] some sort of pledge drive. Affirmative. It’s MaxFun Drive. [The clicking of a keyboard.] Mission Control: That’s a verified MaxFun Drive. Countdown to MaxFun Drive is initiated. Can you project a time to intercept? Rocket Ship One: Based on the current trajectory, MaxFun Drive will be here from March 16 to March 27. [The clicking of a keyboard.] Mission Control: March 16 to March 27, Rodger. Rocket ship one, can you confirm a visual on common MaxFun Drive phenomena, such as the best episodes of the year? Bonus content and special gifts for new and upgrading monthly members? [The beeping of an electronic readout.] Rocket Ship One: We have a visual. Great episodes, bonus content, premium gifts confirmed. And more. It sure sounds quiet down there. Mission control, what’s your status? Mission Control: All systems go, rocket ship one! Just catching up on our favorite MaxFun shows so we can tune into MaxFun Drive episodes between March 16 and March 27. Over and out. [The clicking stutter of communication being cut off.]

biz

That… was… beautiful!

theresa

Can I just say something about that book? Okay. I love that book so much.

biz

Yeah.

theresa

You can read this book. You do not need to wait until— [Biz laughs.] —you have, like, a child who is the right age for this book? Like, if you menstruate— [Biz laughs.] —or you have a child who might menstruate someday or you’re just close to somebody who menstruates. [Biz laughs.]

biz

There’s one sitting next to you right now! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah. It’s—or it could be! Um, read this book. It’s like a real—it’s a really quick read but just kind of—for me it like—it like held me in this warm beautiful hug? And I just couldn’t put it down. It’s just a really absolutely beautiful story. So, you guys needs to get on this. Book. The Moon Within.

biz

The Moon Within! You know what else we all need to get onboard for? And holds me like a warm hug? That’s listening to [though laughter] a mom have a breakdown.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hello! Long time listener, first time caller. My name is Tara. Um, and this is a rant. So… and this is in general. But—warning—there’s a lot of swears coming. Um—

crosstalk

Biz: Yesss! Theresa: Yeah!

caller

So a lot of people are always like—oh man! Your daughter! She’s such a happy little girl! Blah, blah, blah! And I fucking hate it. She is not happy all the time. [Biz laughs.] She is a human being, just like you and just like everybody else. And she has big ceilings and she lets the big ceilings out around me because I’m her safe person. And I have to deal with it all the fucking time. And I just feel so fucking… overwhelmed and… burned out. I’m burned out! I’m a burned-out mom. And… [Biz laughs.] I’m fucking tired of hearing how you think my daughter is this amazing human being. Which she is! I’m not disagreeing with you. But she’s not happy all the fucking time. You’re not happy all the fucking time! So shut your fucking piehole! [Biz laughs so hard she screams. Theresa laughs hard, but quietly.] I have to deal with her big emotions. And deal with mine at the same time. And it’s fucking hard. Thank you, Biz and Theresa. You guys are doing a great job. [Both laugh.]

crosstalk

Biz: Wooooo! Yes! Yes, yes, and yes! Yes and yes! It is—fucking hard! [Mocking tone] Oh! Oh! I’m gonna—yeah! Good—do you—your baby’s so perfect! Yeah! Theresa: Yeah. Yes. Thanks for that! Yes! Yeah. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Yep! Congratulations! That’s great for you?

That must be easy.

crosstalk

Biz:  Oh, I bet it’s so easy! Oh, it—you’re done! Theresa: You did it! You have a happy child now! You’re done!

biz

Yeah. Oh. I can relate! I think we’ve heard me relate all over this. [Theresa laughs.] Right? Like it’s the—[cooing voice] oh, your—oh, he’s so sweet! They’re so sweet! This child doesn’t get cranky. This child couldn’t possibly get upset!

theresa

But they’re so happy!

biz

And if they do get upset, you’re probably the one who’s crazy thinking it’s A Lot. Because I can tell by how happy your child is right now that… her worst moments are probably just… screaming out some rainbows and lollipops. Also! There’s a sinister thing here. About the whole, like, negating people’s feelings—

theresa

Yes!

biz

—because of what—it makes us all feel like we gotta storm around with a smile on our face all the time! I… love you!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

You are correct.

theresa

Yes!

biz

It’s hard. Of course your baby is happy and beautiful and wonderful and smart and all the things!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

But also a person with feelings and emotions that you have to absorb. And you are a person, too.

theresa

Yeah! And by the way—it would be kind of messed up if a kid wasn’t showing any feelings.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

If—we don’t want that! That’s—they’re not developing if they’re just— [Biz laughs.] —just acting happy all the time! That’s a weird thing to compliment a kid on. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Oh! Do they look happy? How about now? Pinch! [Both laugh.] Taking away your lollipop! You are doing an amazing job.

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

That was a wonderful rant. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. What did we learn today, guys? We learned… maybe we’re thinking about alone time in the wrong way? Or exactly the right way! It—did you get some sort of moment—

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

—that restored you in some way?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Like… I will admit most of us [though laughter] come with being very quiet and alone. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

But also, I think the awareness of what is serving us? And what isn’t? Is really—is really worth mentioning. Like, I think that’s part of it. ‘Cause it’s—it’s figuring out what is actually feeling good to me. What is actually giving me energy. Right now. It might not be what you think it is!

biz

Right! And it might not be what they tell you it’s supposed to be!

theresa

Yep!

biz

Right? It—I kinda don’t like… champagne in a hot—

crosstalk

Biz: —steaming bubble bath and—yeah. Theresa: No! I don’t think I’ve done that one time in my life.

biz

I probably did it like once where I had like the candles? Like, around? But I—it was all—I had a—uh—champagne glass turned upside down so I could put the candle on top like a little holder? It’s gonna be very stacked up! That’s what the commercials say. And then I knocked it—

crosstalk

Biz: —as I was getting in the tub— Theresa: Of course you did! Yeah!

biz

—it broke and sliced my leg.

theresa

Oh my god. [Biz laughs.] Never again!

biz

[Singsong voice] Relaxing! [Regular voice] Take that, Biz! Trying to relax! [Theresa laughs.] So—yay. Alone time is a good time. We also learned that [singsong voice] puberty is happening to everyone! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] And we gotta stop treating it like shit!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

That’s a good lesson right there. And—and—Aida Salazar’s book, The Moon Within, is beautiful. And can be read with or without having somebody menstruating in your house. It’s wonderful. Now—something that you didn’t know you were gonna learn but we’re gonna lay out for you is—teaser, teaser! Max Fun Drive is coming up. Theresa, Max Fun Drive is coming up!

theresa

Yup!

biz

It feels like too long—like, it feels like we should’ve had five Max Fun Drives since the last one!

theresa

I know! That does feel like a long time ago.

biz

Mm-hm. I’m just gonna say a couple of things.

theresa

‘K.

biz

One—opportunity to support the podcast you love so that we may keep podcasting.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Theresa and I have made new videos.

theresa

Yeah we have, guys.

biz

And I’m—I think we perfected them this year.

theresa

[Through laughter] I think so, too.

biz

This is—these are—real… fun videos.

theresa

Yep.

biz

And new pin.

theresa

Yep!

biz

Just not gonna tell you what it is ‘cause that’s gonna be a big fun reveal.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

We’re gonna be coming out over the next couple of weeks leading up to the Max Fun Drive telling you more about how you can support us. How you can get in on some great gifts.

theresa

We always try to make that fun.

biz

We—yes.

theresa

We’re gonna have some good guests, some juicy topics.

biz

Oh, yeah.

theresa

It’s gonna be fun.

biz

We’re not gonna talk about periods once. [Both laugh boisterously.] So—everybody, make sure that over the next couple of weeks you are keeping your ears open and listening right away when the podcasts come out, make sure you’re following us on Instagram @onebadmothers? Make sure you are following us on Twitter—@onebadmothers—and on Facebook. We’re all over the Facebook. Now—let’s settle in for something important. You guys are doing a really good job.

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

Yeah. It—you really are.

theresa

Yes!

biz

I—I just want to say, I acknowledge that things are happening to us all the time. That are not in our control. Even if we work really hard, we may not get. And our children who we love very much still are people. And are doing their thing in the world. [Laughs.] No matter how stressful that might be for us and… everybody is doing a really good job… just accepting that kids wound up in their house and supporting them and that you still have to be a person out in the world and… it is… a lot. It’s—it’s a remarkable amount. And… we see you. And you really are doing a very, very good job. Theresa? You are doing… a really, very, very good job.

theresa

Thank you, Biz. So are you.

biz

Thank you. And we will talk to you guys next week!

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: Byeeeee!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. I got the lowdown momma blues Got the the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues The lowdown momma blues. Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right. [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank MaxFun; our producer, Hannah Smith; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course, you, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

theresa

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

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