Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Improve Your Pirouettes With a Confrontational Letter!

Pirouette - Ballerina - Ballet Dancers - Paquita - Ballet Photography & Dance Portraits, Columbus, Ohio
Photo: Will Brenner via Flickr

Dear Pirouettes-

Let's get right to the pointe.  

What the sh*#-ball-change is going on?

We used to be sympatico, you and I.  A team.  In jazz class, we were unstoppable fierceness --  three, even four times a pop! In attitude, second and arabesque, we sailed around sublimely, like angels.  And no one could whip around those pencils like we could, baby.  

It was sheer magic.

The crazy thing is, that was when I didn't work so hard to understand you.  Back then I knew a hell of a lot less about all your subtleties, your intricacies, and your deep dark secrets.  To be honest, I'm not sure I gave a pas de crap.  I might have taken you for granted, but I knew you were there for me.

Then you had to go get all nasty and spiteful, like some dancer who finally snaps after she realizes the choreographer she's been dying to work with would only notice her if she had fire spraying from her nipples.  The more I began to study you, to analyze you -- to care about not merely throwing caution to the winds, but having a nuanced and sensitive relationship, the more you began to humiliate me.  On several occasions you went out of your way to make me look like some drunk discus thrower.  

On ice.

I've got to tell you, Pirouettes, I really don't appreciate your becoming inconsistent and even disappearing altogether on me. This even after I've prepared so diligently for your arrival.  In one class, I worked in approximately 960 extra counts of balances so that I'd be ready for you, and you didn't even bother to show up.  Not once. Did I really deserve that?  After working my ass off to know you so very deeply, you go and piqué very my soul.  

Why can't you be more like MyJump, who is always there for me?  Who'd never hurt me.  MyJump evidently cares about my feelings and consistently makes me feel good about myself.  He's such an uplifting guy -- a regular high -- that's what MyJump is.   And, I'll confess, Myjump loves me even more when I beat him.

You're probably going to say it's all my fault, but you intimidate me to the point of nausea.  As soon as I sense you coming I need a Valium. I'm all relaxed and in the music, and then I get into that fourth position and bam! It's like I've just wandered in off the street and and decided to do an interpretative dance to nails on a chalkboard.  Maybe I've given you too much power, but if you'd be a little less assy I could calm the flic-flac down.  

Okay, I'm done now.  I've said what I have to say.  Thanks for listening.  We've had some amazing times, you and I, and I'm not ready to give up on us.  Sniff, sniff!  I'll keep fighting to get you back.  I'll stop feigning debilitating cramps next time you waltz in your slick fouetté suit. Can we make like Stella and get our groove back?  Take it slow, maybe just cool one at a time?  I'll promise to work much, much harder to give you grounded, centered and calm preparations.  I'll use my head better, and I won't let my shoulders get all crazy.

You could also cut me some slack - you know,  my abs are split apart.  You could reach right in there and pull out a tub of Twizzlers and a large milkshake.

Anyway, if there's anything else you need, please, please let me know.  

Because when you want to come back, I'm ready.

Yours Truly,
Devoted Dancer

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Reminder for the Holidays: Live in the Moment*

I’d like to learn how to live in the moment.  In modern urban life, this is an impossible feat to accomplish all the time, but surely I could do it MORE.  I spend too much of my time thinking about the supposed-tos and the what-ifs. About what I could, would and should do after, or do instead. Right now as I write I’m editing what I just typed, and trying to remember for future paragraphs the clever turns of phrase that pop in and out of my head like bubbles.

It doesn’t help that I’m super aware of what’s going on around me, and therefore very easily distracted. I do try to find beauty and calm. But then usually, my sensibilities are ambushed by something like a loud, tricked-out car, a ludicrously low sag or (white) leggings on ham thighs, and I want to crawl into a hole and mourn the state of the world. 

It's no way to live.  

Since motherhood is all about multi-tasking, consistently planning, being hyper-observant and always trying to be one step ahead, it's making my little problem worse.  I spend my day rushing two little people - who want nothing more than to live in the moment - around so we can stick to a schedule.  If a schedule exists for their good and mine, why does it make us all so crazy?  Life has become about getting to the next need.  It's getting kids who are playing inside, outside, so they'll have enough time to enjoy being out-of-doors. Then once they're happy being out, it's about rushing them back in, to eat and/or nap.  It's how to end a playdate so there’s enough time to get to the grocery store and make dinner. And of course, some of the most zealous not living in the moment occurs during the bedtime ritual  - when desperately craved me-time is now within reach.

Part of this always thinking ahead issue stems from my all consuming fear of The Meltdown.  Add to that the immediate consequences of haphazard meals, overspending on take-out, and my anxiety that leaving the dishes dirty for too long will push our family down the slippery slope to squalor.  My overdramatic imagination goes into a full drama of slacker parenting – pre-packaged meals, too much screen time, no reading, a family schedule like that of an unemployed trust-fund pothead -  and I see my children in the year 2040, their greatest achievement having been working a 7-11 cash register.  Shudder. So, I keep us all rushing through the day, in order to get things done, get myself some time off and to make sure my children are, if not wunderkinds, then well-rested, well-nourished, physically coordinated and intellectually stimulated little people.

During all this hustle-bustle, I sometimes remember that I'm not really interacting with my kids - I'm not really enjoying them and vice-versa.  I wrestle to change Lady A's diaper and get her dressed without talking to her.  So involved am I in getting sippy cups filled and Cheerios into snack cups, that I'm not singing songs, or making  conversation with my children.  It’s as though I’m taking orders like a short order cook, trying to get everything right, so as not to offend my customers.  And sometimes I spend the better part of the day yearning for their nap.  Am I so involved in what I need to do to keep the house running and to meet everyone's needs that I'm hurtling through a very sweet time with my little ones?

But the craziness does make the pure moments stand out.  A hug where Mr. R or Lady A nestles in to the crook of my neck and I can nuzzle his/her hair.  Driving around listening to music while everyone chats, sings or coos.  A family dinner where everyone is actually eating happily.  Watching the kids do “tumblebacon” (somersaults off the twin mattress in A’s room).   Sitting on our deck blowing bubbles and eating popsicles.  These moments do happen, the moments when all is right with my family and with the world.  When I can breathe.

Dancers live for muscle memory – when technical concepts and movement ideas cease to be merely cerebral and become a true extension of ourselves.  These moments are ecstatic, like how I imagine it would be to take flight.  These moments take work, and are hard won.  It appears to be the same with the pure, present episodes of parenting.  Maybe half the battle is accepting and valuing the fact that I've attained these blissful and rare moments, at all.  

*This post originally appeared as "Living in the Moment" on Mom's New Stage on August 15, 2011, and on Mamapedia on September 17, 2011.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mother to Son on his 4th Birthday!

Jump for joy!  I'm finally 4!

It's those sparkling eyes.
The great smile.
That confident voice
Your big laugh.
Just because you're ours.

You want to be friends with everyone.
To tell them things.
To run and play and build and wrestle.
To imagine new worlds.
To be in the center of everything.

My budding artist.
Architect, mover, creator.
So much drama!
Tear it into shreds if it's not right!
What an artistic temperament!

So much you want to accomplish and to master.
Hit home runs.
Ride a bike.
Do pirouettes and leaps like Mommy.
Right now!  Forget this growing up stuff!

Please don't rush.
Enjoy being a kid.
Enjoy being our little guy.

You are growing up,
away from the baby you were.
Away from that unsteady toddler.
You are a boy --
loving Spiderman, firemen, Pirates and now, enter Batman!
What next?

When we walk down the street
having conversations like old friends
it's sunshine in my heart.

I can't wait for more.

I love you always,
my sweet Thanksgiving boy.

Happy Birthday 4th birthday, my little man.
Happy Birthday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bedtime: Only Curing Cancer is More Impossible

In the last month, bedtime had become a shitsicle of epic proportions. 
Screaming, running, crying.  And that's just me. 
We hadn’t changed a thing.  We had always been lax.  Although our pushover bedtime routine was a model of what NOT to do, everyone wound up asleep. 

Our kids took long naps beginning at about 2 pm.  Sometimes they woke up at 5, 6 pm even. We’d eat, then give them a bath at around 7.45ish, followed by getting into pjs, nighttime hygienic rituals and a few stories.  They were generally out by 9.
Hubby and I could have some combination of watching a show, spending time together and getting some work done. 
But in the last weeks of October, things began to unravel.  Bathed and in their jammies, instead of calming the #$%@ down, my kids began tearing through the house like a medieval mob chasing the village leper.  If their dad offered to help them do anything they refused him almost violently (not half as satisfying as one might think).  With mischievous grins, my darlings unleashed a litany of ludicrous complaints and requests.  They needed more water.  The water wasn’t  cold enough.  They were plagued by painful legs, throats and bellies.  They needed different loveys, more hugs, kisses, songs, rocking and more time from the parent who charged with tucking them in.  

The sweet, loving and efficient bedtime I had envisioned as treasured part of parenting, had not only run past me, but had hocked a fat loogie in my face. I felt both persecuted and like a craptacular parent as impatient to the point of desperation, I muttered f-bombs in rapid fire.  Brush your $#%&ing teeth.  Pick a $#%&ing book.  Lie the $#%& down.   Nurturing mom, I was not.  

I was a maniac prison warden.
It had to end.
I consulted a sleep guru book – the one written by someone whose name plus “ize” had come to be (mistakenly and unfortunately) synonymous with undergoing the excruciating, yet in the end, can-I-get-an-Amen rewarding process of letting your kid drown in his own tears so you could at long last get some decent sleep. 
He drove his point home that as benevolent as we fancied ourselves, we were not in control.  Far from it.  In fact, we were being played like a Casio at a low-end cocktail party.
We needed to refuse to let them choose which parent did what, to stop being their personal snack and beverage carts, and at all costs, without locking her in, prevent Child A from leaving her room.
We needed to stop being our kids' bitch. 
Our new plan was to: 
• Get pajamas on, teeth brushed, hair braided and stories read in less than 30 minutes.
• Provide a small amount of water.

• Refuse to provide snacks of any kind.
• Treat children in their rooms like intruders trying to gain entry to our home.  Hold the door closed if necessary.  Then move to gates,    as many as necessary, perhaps fastened to the doorframe.  Stop at nothing including installing invisible fencing or building a scaled      down model of the former Berlin Wall.   
• If any child did escape the confines of his bedroom, he or she would calmly and rationally, be placed back in bed as many times as necessary.
• If none of this should work, drink more wine, eat more fat-ass-comfort food and pray to the God of Difficult Stages that this hell would soon end.

None of it did work. At all.  After refusing to give snacks to Child A because of this child's failure to eat dinner, one night I played tug-of-war with Child A's bedroom doorknob.  After giving that up, Child A left the bedroom 10 times.  Yet another Bedtime Fail.

Then finally we went to the star chart thing.  If they stayed in their beds at bedtime they'd get a star.  Five stars equalled a treat.  And just to help things along, we took away their fave stuffed animals.  They would have to stay in bed quietly for 10 minutes to earn them back.
And just like that, Bedtime Hell became weaker and weaker and then a memory.  It was over.  The star chart rocked!  And just when we thought things couldn't get any better, it happened.  

The end of Daylight Savings Time.  The kids were out cold by 9 p.m., which was early for us.  

This fabulosity lasted for one week, before the bedtime shitsicle returned.  In full force.

There is not enough wine in the world for this. HELP!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Holiday Giveaway! Win a book! Win a Kindle!

Yes, you have come to the right place. One lucky reader will win a book that belongs with David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice.  Another might win a Kindle Fire. But first a little holiday tale... 

When is it going to be my turn? What am I going to get?

She was like a five year old instead of a thirty-something dance teacher at the annual holiday party thrown by the studio owner.

The grab-bag thing made her a little nervous.  Especially with the $5 limit.  As a group of dancer/dance teachers, however, their average individual income was about $87/year, and cheap gifts were the only option.

She had put in a Starbucks gift card. Lazy perhaps, but who didn't love going into Bucky's knowing they could get a day's calories worth of coffee for free?  She hoped for a Starbucks card or some lovely product from Bath and Body Works.  

Finally it was her turn.  She picked up a rectangular box. What was it?  All eyes were on her.  

Her face fell.

Frango Mints.  Frango effing mints.  She tried to smile sweetly insteady of like an ungrateful bitch  child.

Anyone who knew her knew she'd rather eat chocolate covered hair (yes, that kind) than chocolate and mint.  She threw up in her mouth a little.  

And she had made the gift giver feel bad.  She tried to smooth things over with an "Oh they're lovely, I just don't care for mint and chocolate."

Can we say awkward?

Holiday gifts should not produce years of bad memories and uncomfortable meetings, nor should they EVER make one's hors d'oeuvres go in retrograde.

And in that spirit, nineteen of your favorite mom humor bloggers (Including me!) had a meeting and all agreed. 

There's a brand new book you NEED to read this holiday season. 

The title says it all.

Spending The Holidays With People I Want To Punch In The Throat is a heartwarming (yes, really!) collection of hilarious holiday-themed personal stories and observations written by none other than Jen of the well-known blog People I Want To Punch In The Throat. If the holidays have you stressing about gift giving, cookie decorating, or where in the world to put your Elf on the Shelf, then you need to take a mommy time out and read a chapter or two. And now you can have a chance to peruse the pages for free. Consider it our holiday gift to you. We are teaming up to give away 19 copies of the book. All you have to do is enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy! We promise that it is both endearing and hilarious, but you don't have to take our word for it. You can see for yourself. Several of us recorded videos of our favorite parts. Here is mine. (Warning: Strong Language)


 See? Told you. Now you want your own copy right? Well, Jen generously donated an autographed copy to every blogger participating in this giveaway so that we could increase your chances to win. You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to US residents only. "But wait, that's not all!" we say in our best Price is Right announcer voice. We couldn't get a bunch of tech-savvy moms together for a book giveaway and not bring you an eReader, right? So we are also giving away a Kindle Fire!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Mom in the Spotlight: Rockstar Blogger, Suzanne Fleet

Suzanne Fleet is the amazing blogger behind Toulouse and Tonic. In her past life, before consigning herself to days spent chasing after two stinky kids, she led a reality-show worthy life in PR, as manager of a rock band and a competitive baton twirler. Not all at the same time, of course.

Recently, In response to Bully Prevention Month, Suzanne declared open season on childhood and adolescent peer persecutors via Bully Shaming™.  Bully Shaming™ is a project of Toulouse and Tonic meant to give people the opportunity to free themselves from the tormenters of their past and to help show bullies how much impact their words and actions have.  

By the way, in case anyone wants to confront those painful times, Bully Shaming™ is accepting photo submissions.  

To get better acquainted with the phenom that is Suzanne, find Toulouse and Tonic on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  

Bully Shaming™ appears on Facebook and Twitter.  

How old are your children?  Boys?  Girls?

As one of three girls growing up and someone who dreamed her whole life of having at least 2 little girly-girls to keep her knee-deep in tutus around the clock, I, of course, have 2 stinky little boys.  But it’s great.  Because isn’t life more exciting if you’re learning new stuff constantly?  Especially stuff like how to properly clean a tiny penis and how to seamlessly shift from acting out the role of Perry the Platypus to that of Bizarro Superman in the blink of an eye.

My oldest is 5 and a brand new kindergartner who’s learning stuff I’m pretty sure didn’t come up until 7th grade when I was in school, like the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and hexagons and octagons.

My youngest is 7 months corrected age, 9 ½ months for realz.  Yeah, it’s been a long year.   He’s still partially fed by feeding tube but we’re blessed beyond measure because that seems to be his only remaining problem.  

What were your plans to combine work and motherhood?  
I had no plans to combine the two.  I’d had what felt like a long career working in advertising, public relations and event marketing, including having my own company that really just involved me working from home in my pajamas.  I worked for a big international firm for a while and even managed a rock-n-roll band.  But when I got pregnant, I felt like I’d been there, done that with the working world and was ready to throw myself into motherhood full time.  It took me a few years to figure out that I need something else too.  For me, I really want to be there for my kids, and writing has been my greatest passion since I was a very small child...put those things together and voila -- mom blogger.

When did you start your blog?  What spurred you to jump on the blogging bandwagon?

I started my blog about 2 ½ years ago but I couldn’t have been more clueless about what I was doing until recently.  I wrote a couple of posts a week and just kind of threw them up on my blog and went about my business.  I remember being ecstatic about breaking 100 hits in a day for the first time and often, even after 2 years, I’d be lucky to have that.  But recently, with the support of some incredible mom bloggers, my blog has grown a ton and I’m more and more excited and passionate about the chance to connect with people through my writing every day.

Sometimes as a blogger, I think, “I got this,” and others I’m pretty sure I have the blogging chops of a cocker spaniel. What would have to happen for you to know you’ve hit blogging pay dirt?
Maybe it’s just a blogger thing, but there are days I think I’m really getting somewhere and others where it feels like I’m spinning my wheels.  I get the most excited when I suddenly have an idea I know is really good and I’m running for my notebook to write it down before I forget it.  Sometimes that’ll happen 4 or 5 times in one day.  And then I’ll have a dry spell where I feel like I’m in a funk and will never come up with anything good ever ever ever ever again.  But I keep at it.

Every time I achieve a goal, I just end up putting a new goal in its place so I’m not sure what would make me feel like I’d hit blogging pay dirt.  Maybe eventually having enough clout to be able to sell my books?  The ones I’m too busy working on my blog to write, of course.

Parenting issue you’d write a sketch about starring SNL alum divas Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler?
I’d throw them all on a restaurant set and make Kristin Wiig and Tina Fey a couple of single women without children and Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler moms sitting at a table next to them with their maniac offspring emptying all the sugar packets into a pile of “sand” and sword-fighting with the silverware.  

There’s so much humor in the contrast between people who think children don’t belong in restaurants and people who have kids and just want to freaking find a way to eat a few bites of their food before it gets cold.

Now ain't those folks you want to hang with?
Suzanne and fam's Halloween redneck wedding!

If someone said I am driving you somewhere so you can have the afternoon off to do whatever you please where would insist upon being taken?
I would insist that person turn the car around and drive me back to my house, whereupon he or she would remove all the people in it for a few hours so I could have an afternoon of complete solace in my own home.  That might be boring, but that’s what I crave.

Describe your mommy style in one sentence.
As a mom, I’m just like I am as a person.  Much too complicated to sum up in once sentence.  If I said, “I’m a loving mother who tries not to let her own stresses impact her kids’ lives,” I would mean it, but then totally contradict it the next day by yelling at them because they were asking me questions while I was on the phone with the cable guy.  I do the best I can at any given moment and if I fail, I try to say I’m sorry.  My kids know I love them more than anything on the planet AND they know I’m human.  Sooo, no.  Can’t do the one sentence thing.

Advice to mom bloggers?   
You don’t need to know exactly what you’re gonna write about to start a blog.  I began by posting a ridiculous poopourri (not a typo) of stuff, including recipes, which is totally stupid because I hate to cook.  It took some time for me to refine my voice and figure out what I did and didn’t wanna write about.  And that’s absolutely fine.  The important thing is to get started and keep at it.

These days, I like it best when my finger is hovering over the word “publish” and I feel a little scared because then I know I’m pushing my boundaries.  Those are always the posts I’m proudest of, and usually the ones that end up resonating the most.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The #1 Workout for Moms: MOMSANITY

Lift a child into her bed 15 times in 20 minutes.

Carrying more than the average Australian backpacker, leave the house 4 times because you can't seem to remember key items.  Like SHOES.  

Hold a plank pose for 3 minutes instead of tackling Hubby for his failure to clean up/parent/complete a task in an acceptable manner.  

Do a 1-minute wall sit for every time a request to your children gets no acknowledgment whatsoever.  

Cook 3 separate meals, because everyone has persnickety dietary requests.  

Carry 2 children weighing a minimum total of 50 pounds, kicking and screaming, out of the playground and down the street.

Sprint after an 18-month old whose "Run, Forrest!" response to being on his own two feet on the sidewalk might lead him right into heavy traffic. 

Because you can't remember exactly what you came for, but you seem to need everything, push an approximately 250-lb double Target stroller in circles around that colossus of a store 4 times.  

Club dance for 30 minutes to Yo Gabba Gabba even though your kids are pleading with you to stop.  Dance even more furiously both to annoy them and because this movement catharsis is the only thing standing between you and a total emotional collapse.

Clean up the house 7-10 times a day. Be sure to do multiple cat/cow stretches as you pick up underneath the table.  That shaded buffet* can get nasty!

Maneuver a 50-lb stroller through a 20-lb door.  Work those abs with deep breathing to combat your fury that no one is lifting a fucking finger to help.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Dance Mom: By Jenna Pollack, Juilliard student

"My Dance Mom" is a new regular feature that will alternate with spotlight interviews on weekends.  Instead of railing against the travesty that is Dance Moms on Lifetime, Mom's New Stage will showcase dancers discussing the role their mothers played in their training and career.  MNS is so proud to premiere this series with beautiful human and gorgeous dancer, Jenna Pollack, currently a senior at The Juilliard School.

Photo: Matthew Kim

Transitioning to college is difficult- or at least trying- for everyone, dancer or not.  But I had a terrible fall at the end of my first semester in San Francisco that had me on crutches for my ankle for two months.  Pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance, this was especially devastating.  My mother not only supported me through every horrifying hospital bill, physical therapy breakthrough and Ben & Jerry's pint of the way, but helped me move beyond it.  

When I came home for the winter holidays my family quietly sneered at my one-legged plans for auditioning for NYC dance programs. Why return to California?  And then fly to New York for auditions? Why not just stay home, in Chicago?  But my mother came to my defense.  She saw my drive for self-sufficiency, away from home.  She knew I wanted I had a life out west to tidy up.  She knew I wanted to take a writing course in Berkeley.  She knew I would be responsible enough for my own rehabilitation in time for auditions.  

And I stuck to my guns because she stuck to hers.  

The faith she put in me perpetuated the positive and regenerating energy I needed to get my life and body back on track.

She had so much faith in me that just days after being completely off crutches I walked confidently off an airplane into studios with numbers safety-pinned to my chest and a self-choreographed homolateral solo.  I got into the school of my dreams, which was particularly ironic as I had been rejected a year prior in the best shape of my life.  

This spring, I look forward to graduating from The Juilliard School, anticipating a healthy and satisfying career ahead of me.  Without her encouragement- in phone conversations, texts, emails, care packages, poodle postcards, holiday socks, undying love and faith -- I undoubtedly would not be walking the stage come May.  Or perhaps I would be, but with a degree in something that wasn't in the same league of lifelong passions.  A path guided by the rest of my family and peers' guilt, society's expectations, and my own self doubt, perhaps.  And while I very well may have been happy, I would have always regretted not giving dance my all.  

My mother's support has been instrumental in the dancer and human I am today.  I can only hope all mothers have as much faith in their children's broken dreams as mine did.  They can always be taped together in one way or another, and I've found that repaired dreams are often more fulfilling than the unblemished ones.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, Jenna has trained internationally and performed professionally with Momentum Sensorium, Black Box Dance, and Patchwork City Dance. Most recently she performed at New York's City Center as apart of the Fall for Dance Festival, and in March 2012 she will be collaborating with collaborating with The Center for Innovation in the Arts at Juilliard and the NY Museum of Art and Design in an interdisciplinarty production combining dance with technology.  She is currently in her final year as an at The Juilliard School in pursuit of her BFA under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, and has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Pam Tanowitz, Mark Morris, José Limón, Raewyn Hill and Andrea Miller. Prior to beginning at Juilliard she studied at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Program in conjunction with Dominican University, U.C. Berkeley and O.D.C. San Francisco.

In addition to performing, Jenna is immersed in her second year as an Arts Enrichment Fellow through which she teaches dance at The Children's Storefront in Harlem, and a GLUCK fellow where she cnoducts interactive performances around NYC healthcare facilities with an interdisciplinary group of musicians and actors.  For three years Jenna served as the co-director and and treasurer of the Arusha Arts Initiative (arushaartsinitiative.org), organizing and traveling to Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa to facilitate the empowerment of disadvantaged youth through the performing arts.  For two years she also worked as an Assistant Residence Coordinator in the Juilliard Residence Hall where she oversaw programming, student life and general operations.

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