Dear Aunt Becky,
My mother in law feels the need to fill my child full of crackers just before ingesting a nutritional balanced dinner. Of course said child refused to eat said dinner because he is full of said crackers. Is it ok to skull drag her dumbass and punt her head across the yard for such a deed?

I would say that this is only an acceptable answer if you can somehow manage to capture the entire thing on video so that you can then upload it onto the Internet so that I can watch it over and over when I’m having a bad day. Because that mental image is DELICIOUS.


I had the same Epic Battle Royale over juice. My mother seemed sure that juice was the sweet, sweet nectar of the gods, which made my son decide that food was then not worth eating. Ever. Obviously, you know the rub.

If talking to gently doesn’t work (“you know that he DOES need to eat dinner, and crackers aren’t dinner…”), and if talking to your kid doesn’t work (“crackers aren’t ACTUALLY dinner…”), I’d say punting is the only option left.

And then Youtube, there you go.

If you do NOT put this on Youtube, I will hunt you down.

Hi Aunt Becky!

After reading about your struggles with sleep, and those damn siberian farting squirrels (it’s a real phenomenon, people!), I was wondering if you have any advice on approaching the topic with a doctor.

I’ve attempted to drop hints at appointments in the past, but the doctor tends to head toward the “Are you depressed? Maybe some SSRIs would help you sleep…” Path. Nope, not depressed. Slightly stabby from lack of sleep, but not depressed. I’m just an extremely light sleeper and have trouble falling asleep if there is any audible noise. Earplugs don’t help, and otc stuff like benadryl doesn’t cut it.

Thanks in advance!

‘Literally Sleepless in PA

Those fucking squirrels are everywhere. Assholes.

Man, that’s a tough conversation to have with your doctor, especially if you have one that seems convinced that you’re depressed. Which, if you’re not sleeping, dude, you know you’re just NOT SLEEPING. It’s gonna make you loopy, not depressed.

My advice is this: try to be firm and clear. Go in to the doctor SPECIFICALLY to talk about this. Arm yourself with a notepad where you’ve written yourself a simple script. I tend to get all stupid around doctors after years of having them not listen to me, so having something I can keep repeating helps me out.

If he/she doesn’t listen. Go to someone else. You’re not alone.

(Unisom works best for me, by the by)

You have my FULL BLESSING to punch the next person to suggest warm milk to you. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

Aunt Becky, can you talk a bit about trolling? What’s your policy on responding/ ignoring/ deleting comments?

Why of course I can, Gentle Reader, because as you know, Your Aunt Becky can talk at great length about nothing at all because I am a blogger and this is what we do.

Truthfully, though, I have no such policy in place in regards to trolls.

But let’s back up for a second, shall we? An Internet Troll, for those of you not in the know, has many definitions, ranging from:

  • Someone who expresses dissenting opinions “I don’t agree with what you say.”
  • Someone who comes to a blog trying to cause deliberate harm, “You’re a fucking assbag and you should be put out of your misery”
  • Someone who tries to pick a fight with you or your readers for the sake of being controversial, “God, you’re all a bunch of sheep” or “I hate women because they are the weaker sex.”
  • Someone who is stating misinformation, “Aunt Becky can divide by zero.”

In the years that I have blogged, I will be honest with you, I can count on (barely) my two hands the trollish comments that I have gotten, which I know, wipe that look of shock off your face, I know. I’m surprised too. Really, I am.

Maybe I shouldn’t be, though. I don’t tend to court controversy, though, and I keep my nose away from most of the mommy wars because I don’t find them worth my time or effort. Besides, 50 million Ethiopian pygmies don’t give a flying shit, why should I bother getting involved?

I’d much rather pluck my leg hairs out one by ever-loving one than express my deep and meaningful opinions on the latest thing we’re polarizing about THIS week, because OBVIOUSLY.

I’ve deleted one nasty comment once, and that was the day that I got booted from my lovely three day stint in the hospital broom closet for suspected pre-eclampsia and some ass-bag calling me out for being boring just didn’t need to be published that day.

Most people, though, I’ve learned, are perfectly lovely. I treat most of the people that I have met through my blog as they are my friends and I do my best to keep up with everyone. Of the 8 or so trollish comments that I’ve had, probably 5 of them have apologized to me later on, which I’d say is a pretty decent track record.

Part of it too, though, is burying my head in the sand. I no longer have a stats program that records any incoming links and I do not have a google alert on my blog name, so if people are talking smack about me, I am not privy to it.

I think I like it better that way.

So until I see otherwise, I don’t plan on having any sort of policy on trolls. Unless they’re fucking with my people. In which case I will smack a bitch DOWN.

Gentle Internet, what is/would your policy on trolls be?


And, as always, lovies, if I’ve left anything out, please, add in what you will. Also, please don’t be afraid by the huge jump in the number of comments you see after my posts. They’re due to the threaded comments which add a comment every time *I* add a comment, which make me look impossibly cooler than I am.

90 thoughts on “Go Ask Aunt Becky

  1. I wouldn’t mind trolls. Partially because, in my world, the more comments the better. My friends never comment on my blog, which leads me to believe they don’t read it, which leads to me telling them in person the stories I tell on my blog and them getting all ‘I KNOW, Manda!’ If they would just comment I would know that I don’t have to tell them my Valtrex story.

    1. @Manda Trolls are sort of fun, except the part where the TOTALLY GET IT WRONG. I mean, they’re usually way off base. Like they don’t read your post before screaming at you. THAT is annoying. But whateves.

  2. No set policy on trolls. It all depends on my mood of the day and how badly they piss me off. So far I have deleted the only two trolly comments I have gotten.

  3. I’ve deleted 3 comments in 2 years that were all assbags simply being mean. they also had reading or comprehension disorders, among other things. I actually attempted to reply to 2 of the 3, but the email addresses were bad, which proves my point: comment not worthy.

    1. @luna “reading or comprehension disorders” WELL SAID. That’s it exactly. The trolls I’ve gotten have been so off the mark it’s been ludicrous. Like. Really? Did you READ the post before screaming at me, dude? Because you’re WAY off base, yo.

      But, they’ve always been on years old posts, so I’ve left ’em up.

  4. Never had a troll yet, but I hope I would leave the comment in. It would be interesting.

    I have had people disagree with me in the comments, but hey that’s fine. I hardly agree with everything out there, and I quite like the debate.

    I can imagine I would delete some comments, though, because I wouldn’t want to give complete idiots the satisfaction of seeing their piss all over my lovely space.

    1. @Mwa I think it’s a situational thing, you know? Some people hate it when people disagree with them and get pretty indignant. If I was being ranked out for no good reason, I’d totally delete it. It all depends, you know?

  5. Dear Aunt Becky –

    I don’t understand the ‘Go Ask Aunt Becky’ process. Are we supposed to submit questions in advance and then you choose the most needy ones each weekend? I’m really not big on advance planning or following rules. How am I supposed to know what questions I want answered next week? (That was not my question.) Actually, right now, I don’t have a question. Just so I don’t waste this opportunity – do you think Obama’s idea to allow gays to serve openly in the military will work? BTW – I’m not gay and I’m way to old to join the military, this was just the only thing I could think of right now.



  6. Depending upon what is being made for dinner, eating a ton of crackers beforehand might be a good idea.

    If you’ve ever eaten my mother-in-laws cooking, that is.

  7. Thank you for treating us commentors as friends. This commentor appreciates it enormously. You can make my day with one of your comments, and bring a smile to my irritated little face.

  8. Your last answer made me feel all warm and fuzzy. First, I am your friend, and second, you would smack a bitch down for me. I could tongue kiss you right now.

  9. My dad does the same thing with crackers… and chips! Who feeds a 13 month old chips?!? If I do anything to him, YouTube video will follow….

    I like your policy on trolls. I wrote one post on child support that didn’t even discuss my stance, just expressed support for two other bloggers I like and linked to them. I got my first nasty comment on that post. C’est la vie.

  10. Occasionally I will get conservative assholes who will come make snarky comments and then tell me that I need Jesus so I can be a better person,


    I think the benefit of being a single mother is that I no longer have to deal with the mother-in-law. That being said, is it really worth it? I mean kids tend to grow up no matter what we do, so if she’s only over occasionally, then let them eat crackers and just keep the peace. Because really, you get to control everything else every other time, if you want to. You could go all type A and bitch her out, but I just don’t think it’s necessary. I say let them eat crackers. Although, I do prefer a good cake.

  11. Most of the time stories of mothers-in-law get me all teary eyed and I want to say, “at least YOU HAVE a grandmother for your kiddies to play with!” Not having one around for my future kids makes me sad. But then I will hear an unbelievable tale of woe from a friend about her horrific experience and I go “Phew!” It’s kind of evil.

  12. I’m totally with you on trolls. I absolutely do not engage in any type of back and forth with them whatsoever. I will delete a nasty comment and ban an IP faster than you can say “Vinnie Barbarino” and I don’t care who knows it! People disagree with me all of the time (and I have no idea why, hrmph) however if they can present that with respect and intelligence, then I will debate them. However, calling me a stupid Republican bitch (I am NOT a Republican, btw) will get you nowhere!


    1. @Hilly I don’t know how to ban an IP and I haven’t had the pleasure of having too many real trolls to contend with. Although, I have had enough on the Alcohol issues in other papers to last a lifetime. I guess I should just be thankful they didn’t make it to my porch.


  13. I haven’t had a troll yet, although I thought I was close once. None of my people at work know about my blog, because (hello!) I talk about work alot.

    Oh, and to Lucy above, yes I believe Obama’s plan to allow gays serve in the military will work. We’ve had gays serving in the military for many,many years and no problems so far. Oh, except that pesky thing where they kick a person out if they are open and honest about who they are. But, again like prison, that would imply that logic and common sense are used in any governmental system and god knows we can’t have that!!

  14. LOVE the new look (I sure you changed it AGES ago. I’m a little behind).

    Having trolls means you are a bad-ass mother-f*cker, which we KNOW you are. It means you are famous, and we all bow down to you. Why don’t you “monetize the hate” like Dooce?

    On another note, why is it that everyone keeps asking me if I’ve given Oscar some ice cream? They look at me like I’m crazy when I say he’s too young for that (but it’s soft!). I’m afraid to leave him alone with these psychos.

  15. Aunt Becky –

    Its the nursing student you answered in your last “Ask Aunt Becky!”

    I literally squealed when I saw you answered. And thanks for that answer, as I was leaning towards the same thing 😀

    In a sentence, you’re awesome and your farts don’t stink (those of the squirrels, on the other hand…).

  16. Hm. Trolls. Everytime I think of them I think of that movie, Leprachaun. Dunno why – since he wasn’t a troll. But whatevs! I’ve never had one. Don’t care if I get one either – Depending on what type of “troll” it is. I can handle people disagreeing with my opinions – I even welcome it. People who are ignorant, however…well. They’re just fodder for the humor mill.

    And thanks for calling all us commentors your friends! We (meaning me, because I can’t really speak for everyone else, but if I could I would) appreciate it greatly! Mwah! (that was a kissing noise).

  17. A couple of things – I think part of the appeal of your blog, dear Aunt Bec, is not just that you write so well (& you do!), but the absolute engagement of your readers – and subsequently their comments 😛 I just LOVE reading them all…

    Next – YAY Obama! & not only do I believe it can work, I know it can. I’m Australian, I’m also a “shrink” AND I work for our Defence Force. It has always been hard for me to understand the good old US of A’s reluctance to recongise same sex partnerships and I find the notion of “don’t ask, don’t tell” offensive (if I’m honest). The men & women who serve our respective countries deserve to be recongnised for the work they do – and not for the gender of the people they like to screw…I mean, doh!
    Lastly – if I was ever brave enough to blog – which is SO not likely to happen – I would like to think I wouldn’t censor (except for those posts that were a) obviously spam or b) looked liked this “!@$% you, !@#$ing $%^#, I ^^$&ing &^%(* you!!111!!!” when ‘adults only’ filters were applied)

    1. @Angie The USA has a lot they could learn from our friends from the other side of the world. I hope that we begin to take some lessons. I find “don’t ask, don’t tell” sort of offensive too.

  18. My mom did not feed my daughter crackers before dinner, but she did something almost worse. Since she started finally growing hair (that didn’t resemble a Fraggle, that is) I had tried very hard to get Mack’s hair to grow to all one length. Every single time her hair in the front hit about nose length, my mother would take her to get her “bangs” trimmed. I thought that I was going to have to murder my mother. She always tried to tell me that Mack “wanted” her hair cut. When it first started she was probably about 2. What 2 year old, really knows or cares about bangs?

    All of these bang trimming escapades happened when my mom was providing free child care, so for the longest time I just sat back and said nothing. When she was about 5, I flipped my lid, and started paying a babysitter so that she couldn’t do the haircut run on me anymore. She was missing her grandchild, so she finally agreed to stop.

    I think it’s pretty funny now, because Mea’s hair scares the crap out of her.

    1. @Kelly My mom offers free childcare too, so I had the same problems with The Great Juice Debacle of 2003. We’ve since worked things out, but things were hard for awhile.

      Bangs? That’s just CRUEL.

  19. I got one troll-y comment ..just once. I felt it was sort of a ‘rite of passage’…that I had ‘arrived’.

    I didn’t delete it. In fact, I printed it out and framed it.

  20. I got one troll-y comment ..just once. I felt it was sort of a ‘rite of passage’…that I had ‘arrived’.

    I didn’t delete it. In fact, I printed it out and framed it.

    My mom feeds the girls chocolate cake and gummy worms for dinner. Once in a blue moon, it won’t kill ’em to get spoiled by Grandma.

  21. No trolly comments for me yet. But then, that may be because the only people who make comments on my blog are you, my dear Aunt Becky, and my fiance. I doubt you would troll me….guess I just have to wait until I piss off my fiance enough.

  22. Previously I have commented on a post of yours saying I steered away from controversy. I lied. I stay away from certain kinds… but I looooove a good “debate” (I use the term lightly because it’s usually arguments). Mostly because during the presidential election, my friend made a Facebook status (which got so many comments on it, it had to be turned into a note because no more comments were allowed) that showed how dumb my “friends” are (Seriously… one said John Q. Adams, specifically Quincy… because his dad WAS a founding father, was a founding father and that the founding fathers wrote the pledge of allegiance and added “Under God” to it… seriously). So I find I’d probably welcome a troll or two over to my neck of the woods.

    Plus, it would also show that people actually read my blog…

  23. I would welcome trolls on my blog, especially if they hated me so much that they became a follower just so they could publicly taunt me, because I just love collecting those tiny little heads. Also, a troll might find an ad he/she would like to click on thus unknowingly contributing to my income and supporting my drivel while still hating me which would tickle me to no end. Perhaps the “guaranteed love spells” would peek his interest, or a chance to mate up with an attractive Afghan woman. So send your trolls over to my place and let it be known that I will also perform unnatural acts for followers.

  24. I’m far too new to have any troll comments, therefore I don’t yet have a troll “policy”. I imagine that would need to be a case-by-case decision based on what KIND of trolly comment it was. I have no problem with someone offering an opinion that’s different than mine. If you’re simply coming around to be “controversial”, I can live without that.

    1. @Mama Cas I don’t think that most people attract trolls unless you hit the Big Time. And most of us never will.

      Most trolls, I meant to add, leave you sputtering, “WAIT, I DIDN’T MEAN THAT.” They make you want to defend yourself more than anything else.

  25. No Troll-ish people on my blog yet. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a troll, it would keep things interesting.

    Now the dinner/crackers thing, it would depend. My Dad used to do that kind of thing and I can let it go, to a point. They just need to know when to stop, already. If I’m having trouble getting the kid to bed and you think it’s great to give them candy right after it took me 35 minutes to brush the angel’s teeth, or you feed them crap until they puke, I have a problem with that. Also if I ask you to stop and you completely ignore me and continue.

    Then I might go all head spinny psycho-ish on you. Spoiling to a point is okay, but when it crosses into disrespecting the parents, I have an issue with that.

    1. @Scattered Mom It’s one of those “depends on the situation” things for me. But yeah, as a parent, I deserve respect. Having to deal with 2 sets of families with my first, I’ve gotten a HELL of a lot more laid back.

  26. to the first gal with the cracker-lovin (*snicker*) mother in law. it is really, really awkward to tell your MIL that she can’t stuff your kid full of saltines, BUT you’re a mom and either you decide that it’s not a big enough deal, or you come out and tell her. if she doesn’t listen, you take the box of crackers out of her hands and say to her, “i am his mother. please respect my rules.”

    everyone i know gives me a really hard time about the fact that i refuse to let my kids have sugar before they turn a year old. no treats, no sugary snacks, no JUICE, no “just a bit of frosting off of my finger”. i don’t fucking care, they’re my kids. they don’t need sugar. period. end of story. after telling people, again, for the THIRD time, that i don’t let my kids have sugar, it has gotten easier.

  27. The only time I get trolls is when they comment on posts that are months old, so I just ignore them. And it’s always on an innocuous post, not when I go off about Fox News.

  28. I don’t get trolls. I get friends and family members telling my husband that I’m a liar and make fun of children with learning disabilities. I’d rather have trolls.

  29. Thank you, sweetie. I feel honoured by all the support I got on my last whiney post. I WILL be more positive. And I’m thinking of taking the All Bran 10 day challenge, thanks for the sidebar adverts. Only problem is our All Bran is about 3 years old … wonder if it will still work.

  30. I haven’t had any trolls yet, but have gotten some lovely spam. Trolls entertain me, especially the ones that take the time to type such extravagant hate on blogs. They obviously are so unhappy in their own lives.

    1. @Mrs Soup My trolls seem to come by and then leave again. I had the one that liked to call me boring and leave again. He came twice only to leave once no one rose to the occasion. I’m not sure if he expected pitchforks or what, but he didn’t get it.

  31. I don’t post Troll Comments, though I consider Trolls to be purely Douche Boat Captains out to stir up the Great Poop Pond and NOT people who merely disagree with me.

    Although why anyone would be irrationally pissed off with my stance on, say, Saltwater Aquariums is beyond me. I am rarely controversial. People take offense to the oddest things.

  32. My policy is that if the rant comment is longer than the blog post, or if they’re being stupid, or if I just don’t feel like letting them mouth off on my blog, I delete them.

    It’s my soapbox, not theirs.

    Plus, on my ‘normal’ blog and most especially on my ‘religion’ blog, I get a lot of self-appointed Saviors of the Whirled come through explaining to me how I’m a horrible, horrible sinner and need to repent of my queerhood. Them I delete and helpfully send a list of new hobbies to their stated email address (things like knitting, bird watching, volunteer Improvised Explosive Device dismantler…)

      1. I can send you some, if you want.

        I got another one last night who was telling me how awful it is that the elected leader of my church is a *gasp* WOMAN and possibly a *shock* LESBIAN and is ruining the world for heterosexuals and puppies and stuff *horror*.

        He was posting on the recap of my visit to National Cathedral to see said leader installed as the head of the church. In 2006. Yeah, about three years too late, buddy.

    1. MARY SUE! I am SO excited to see you here as well as on Shapely Prose. I promise I’m not stalking you or anything.

      The Religious Right has too much time on their hands. Don’t any of these people have a job besides saving the rest of us happy heretics?

  33. My policy is I let the comments stay as long as they don’t attack my kid or husband or anyone but me and what I say. Attack me, fine. I have a hard time taking to heart anything written by anonymous (unless it’s good stuff, then I totally take it to heart).

    They really don’t bother me, but they gotta stay away from my family. Then I really will cut a bitch. 🙂

    1. @Katie I had one person once who really, REALLY hurt my feelings. She was wrong, whereas normally, when people hurt your feelings it’s because they’re right. But no, she was WAY off base. But she was a friend, and she ranked me out on a post where I poured my heart out.

      It was brutal. Bitch.

  34. I wanted to give a little more advice to Sleepless in PA, which, by the way, I had to think about for a second before I realized that wasn’t me. I have a terrible time sleeping because I wake up really easily. I keep a fan running all year round just for the white noise, and it helps TONS. I would also suggest that when you go to your doctor with your script (which is a great idea because I also always get so wigged out just by being in that stupid exam room that I completely forget all the excellent points I had planned to make), also take with you a notepad filled with your sleep schedule for the last several weeks. Show him/her that it’s an every night kind of deal, and that at this rate you’re only getting x hours of sleep a night.

  35. I like your reference of the 15 million Ethiopian pygmies…next time, I get a troll, I’ll remember that!! 😛

  36. I must disagree with at least your first designation of troll. 😉

    I’m perfectly cool with people disagreeing on something – people have different opinions and that’s all ok. Occasionally, I learn something about the other side of the fence. It’s when they become assbags about it that it’s not cool (name calling, superiority complex). If you can disagree without being a dick, have at.

    That said, I mostly ignore them. Usually it’s someone I already know is an assbag, or it’s just someone taking advantage of the anonymous nature of the Internet to be an assbag. Either way, not worth giving any attention to.

    1. @Lynette Oh, see, now I totally disagree with the first definition of troll as well. I find that anyone who wants to disagree with me may do so at any point in time. MANY people, though, find that to be really offensive.

      I don’t get it, but a LOT of people think of that as trolling.

  37. “talk at great length about nothing”… that is EXACTLY what I do when I blog! TeeHee! I am surprised you don’t get much truly trollish commentary, (not because I think you start shit intentionally.. just, because I guess) and almost sorry because it just seems like you’d have a LOT of fun messing with their heads! Or encouraging us to do so.

    1. @Sarah Blogging is ALL ABOUT talking about nothing. Because, OBVIOUSLY.

      And I think I’d actually leave the trolls alone. I’ve learned you look best when keeping your mouth SHUT.

  38. I have never had a troll but that would be cool, especially since they say such insightful things like “all you do is talk about yourself” I like that best because of course on your own personal blog you should not spend a lot of time on yourself and for the love of god don’t you know that there are people out there without legs? 😉

    1. @mountain momma A true troll would say something like this:

      “you say you’re fat but on twitter, you talk about wanting a cupcake. Maybe you should put down the cupcake and get off your fat ass and work out.”

  39. I don’t get much blog traffic over in my little corner of the net, but I have a simple policy for comments: Keep them relevant and civil. Which is not to say if someone calls me names, I won’t post it, but I might post it for the simple pleasure of sharpening my claws on the miscreant.

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