Lea’s a regular kid whisperer. I met Lea Grover of Becoming SuperMommy at BlogU14, and I’m so glad I did. Not only is she a fantastic writer, but also she is an incredibly interesting person. Just take a look at her answers. She had me mesmerized – like the bit about the 15 different majors in college and singing Opera and coming from a whole line of magicians. I’m hoping she’s gonna perform an operatic magic show at BlogU15.
1. Why did you decide to start your blog, and did you have any idea what you were getting yourself into?
I decided to start my blog because I figured, with six months old twins, I was obviously becoming some kind of parenting expert. My plan was to offer common sense advice, like, “See how crazy my house is? See how sane I am? You can do this!” About three weeks later, I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I was a terrible parent, I was completely insane, and I COULD NOT do this. So instead I wrote about that. Which is to say, no, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Oh, with the blog, either.
2. How long have you been at this racket?
I’ve been blogging since 2003, yes, that’s eleven years, and for a while I blogged back in the ’90s- you know, with a big HTML sourcebook by my side, and a chart of RGB values for my fluorescent backgrounds… but we didn’t call it blogging then. We called it being an enormous dork. That blog was all about my friends in middle school. Since then, I’ve kept a poetry blog, a super secret personal blog, a food blog, and now a 21st century feminist mommy blog. I’ve been writing at Becoming SuperMommy since the twins were half a year old, which is four and a half years now.
OFM: Holy cow. You have done it ALL. I’m super impressed.
3. Do you have a blogging schedule? If so, what is it? Does it help? Does it change? Do you want to stomp on it, and tell people to go away – you have enough to do?
No. I used to sort of have a schedule. Every week I linked up with Twisted Mixtape Tuesday, which was a lot of fun, and I used to write a Sunday Blogaround. But the Mixtape is sadly closed, and after baby #3 came around I lost the time and energy to read as many other blogs as I used to, which meant the death of the Blogaround, too. I try to post at least twice a week, but it really depends on how much chaos occurred that week at home, and how much of it would be good material. On a REALLY chaotic week, I might post every day. Or, not at all. Depends if it’s “Flee! The house is on fire!” chaos, or “I’m getting day drunk and writing because the kids covered their baby sister in nail polish” chaos. I’m a SAHM, so it’s always guaranteed it will be one or the other. Plus, if I tell my kids to go away and let me write, they just ignore me.
OFM: Damn kids.
4. Tell us a little bit about your background: What did you do in your previous life or still do in addition to blogging? I guess what I’m getting at here is what uniquely qualifies you to be a blogger other than a dollar and a dream?
I’ve been writing since I was five. My first poem was called “Friend,” and it went like this: “I wish you were a better friend/I wish you were a person/That I could talk and play with/whenever I was lonesome.”
OFM: That was a damn fine poem.
I started college when I was 14 and a half, and took 13 and a half years to graduate. (OFM: Wait, what?) During that time, I majored in Musical Performance (opera), Theater, Studio Art, Children’s Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Fashion Design, and finally, Urban Policy and Public Administration. During the first half of my education, I was also a regular cast member of a Rocky Horror Picture Show stage troupe, which is to say I’ve seen a lot of questionable and sometimes also awesome behavior. I kept leaving school to do other interesting things. I took one year off to be a VISTA with a recycling route through the housing projects in Chicago while they were being dismantled, which was both not nearly as terrifying an education as it sounds and also way more. Wrote a lot of poetry about it. I spent about a year scraping by as a freelance costumer, that was in between philosophy and fashion design. Then I took another year off to work with a non profit doing literacy tutoring for at risk kids, again mostly on Chicago’s south side. I took time off to care for my then-fiance when he got brain cancer, and then took time off again for my ridiculously unpleasant twin pregnancy. When I *finally* graduated, I was 10 days from my due date with baby #3 and had two year old twins. Which is to say, I know not quite enough to be any kind of expert about a TON of things, which is kind of ideal for a blogger, don’t you think?
OFM: No wonder you have 6 or 7 books in you. You’ve lived 6 or 7 lives. For those new to Lea, she’s just finished a memoir and signed with an agent!
5. Do you have any kids, how many and why? Why would you do that to yourself?
I have three kids. I really don’t know why. I was a middle child, so I was determined not to have an odd number of kids. It seemed unfair. And yet, here I am. Although with twins and then one, I’m not sure there IS a middle child. What I’m saying is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m counting on one of them being really successful and supporting me in my old age, because I can tell you right now, I have absolutely nothing saved towards retirement. So I’ll be holding that over their heads until they’ve all got MDs.
6. If you don’t have children but do have some other wild animal living in your home, what is it & how many of them do you have?
I would tell you how wild and animalistic my husband is, but in company he appears completely tame and friendly.
7. Which of the following statements (and this could have major implications for our relationship going forward) would you be more likely to agree with: Yes, people can have granddogs. Or, No, it’s physically impossible for people to have grandpets of any kind. This question is based on a bumper sticker I once saw, and I’m just trying to tell who among us is crazy. The answer will give us all the information we need.
I feel very sad for those people. Because I think that yes, they probably do legit consider those dogs, or whatever, some sort of grandkid. And that they have a void they need to fill with that kind of anthropomorphism is a bit heartbreaking.
OFM: Ok, that answer is acceptable.
8. What is your social media platform of choice? What social media or tech thingy should be wiped off the face of the earth?
I go back and forth between just nailing Twitter and kind of rocking Facebook, but I can’t really seem to do both at once. I *do not get* Pinterest. I try. I really do. I just… I don’t know. I don’t understand how it’s somewhere people actually… go… to do… stuff…
OFM: Oh, my GOD, me, too!
9. What is one pet peeve of yours that no one should ever do in your presence if they know what’s good for them?
It’s grammar. And it’s really specific grammar things. Like, when somebody says, “This needs ironed.” I don’t know what it is, but people have a tendency to drop the clause “to be,” and it makes me CRAZY. “This needs TO BE ironed.” How hard is that??????
OFM: Not hard at all.
I don’t give a crap if you end a sentence with a preposition or leave your modifiers dangling. But if you’re going to use verbs, just use the fucking verbs right. I’d rather people communicated through grunts and pointing than ignore the most basic, fundamental verb in most languages.
10. What is one of your hidden talents if you have one? I personally have no talents other than being declared the best Kraft Mac & Cheese maker in my household.
Well, I sing opera. I sew. I paint. I can cook the shit out of almost anything. I write like a motherfucker. But none of those are really “hidden” talents. I can do a couple of magic tricks – that’s kind of a family tradition. My great-grandfather was a magician, and my grandpa was a magician… so every once in a while I pull out his old magic box and do a show for the kids. I can make stuff disappear, yo. Which is great, because when I say absolutely insane stuff like, “If you keep using your hands to hit your sister I’m going to make them disappear,” five-year-olds LISTEN.
OFM: You’re a regular Renaissance woman. What can’t you do?
11. And – this was a question on a Facebook post going around – but I find it amusing & fun so let’s do it here. What are 3 movies you’ve seen more than 3 times?
Oh lord, so many. How about this- the three WORST movies I’ve seen more than three times.
1. Batman and Robin. Holy shit, that is the worst piece of crap to ever be associated with Batman.
2. Diamonds Are Forever. Truth be told, my husband and I are kind of Bond nuts. We’ve watched every single Bond movie at least twice, except On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which is ten minutes shy of completely unwatchable. But there’s something about Diamonds Are Forever that is so bad you just can’t look away.
3. Baseketballs. I love Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I love them. I love everything they’ve ever done, from Cannibal! The Musical to Orgazmo to South Park to The Book Of Mormon. But Baseketballs was a fucking catastrophy.
12. Finally, Steven Colbert: Great fake news anchor or greatest fake news anchor of all time?
So hard to say. TECHNICALLY, he’s not an anchor- he’s all opinion. You know, like Bill O’Reily isn’t *technically* news, it’s news commentary… although that’s not really fair, since nothing at Fox News is technically news either. I’d have to say, though, John Oliver is giving him a damn good run for his money.
OFM: Bite your tongue.
But I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say the greatest fake news anchor of all time is the Tina Fey, Amy Poehler duo from SNL.
Bonus question, what is your favorite book or books?
Again, so many!!!! Let’s say Plague Dogs by Richard Adams, the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
There you have it folks. Want more? Get more Lea with these favorite post: Dear Less Than Perfect Mom, The Routines of Bravery, and Sex Positive Parenting or We Don’t Touch Our Vulvas at the Dinner Table. And keep up with all the exciting book news on her Facebook page.
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