Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I need a vacation from my life

Let's see, where to begin.

Today I was rear-ended.  By someone who didn't have proof of insurance.  (This marks the 2nd time in my life I have been at a complete stop and smacked in the ass of my car by an uninsured person.)

The vacuum cleaner broke.  Again.

My wooden wind chime keeps losing chimes, littering them in my flower beds.  The parts are on my dryer, awaiting a time when I might be able to string them back together.

Girl Scout cookies sit in my basement, awaiting transportation to cookie booths in the hopes of being sold.

G hasn't napped 2 days in a row.

My master bathroom ceiling is half painted and will remain that way until some day in the hopefully near future when I have time in which to complete it.

The congestion that began in earnest over the weekend has morphed into a low-grade sinus funkiness that is not infection but rather the allergy ick and general malaise that hits every single spring.

I am waiting to be paid close to $300 for my freelance work.

I cannot finish our taxes because our 1099s won't be ready until March 15.

Le sigh.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where do you want to go for lunch?

This seems like such a simple question.

One day last week, I asked G where he wanted to go for lunch.  Nana was over, and we had been running errands for much of the morning.  Initially, G had answered, "Burger King."  As I completed my errands, I asked, "So, you want to go to Burger King?"

G said, "No."

I asked, "So where do you want to go?"

G replied, "The place with the blue roof."

I think I just stared dumbly.  (Is dumbly even a word?  If it is not, it should be because that is how I stared.)

I repeated, "The place with the blue roof??"

G said, "Yes.  And the fish."

Me:  "What?"

G: "The place with the blue roof and the fish......and the light."

Me:  Staring dumbly again.

G: "You know, the place with the blue roof, and the fish and the light.  Near our house."

Now close to our house is a Moby Dick restaurant but G has never, ever eaten there.  Having no earthly idea what or where he was talking about, I just started driving and asked him to please point it out if he saw the restaurant.

We drove past the Moby Dick (which DOES have a blue roof and DOES have a picture of a whale on it which a 4-year-old might mistake for a fish and not a mammal), and I asked if that was the place.  He said, as if talking to a complete moron, "NO!  It's the place with the light. Near our house.  With the ducks."


By Zeus!  I had it!!  I knew exactly where he wanted to go for lunch.

Long John Silvers, which has a blue roof and a fish, and Taco Bell, which has a bell that G thought was a light.

This particular YUM restaurant is located near this:

One day after the kids had their bi-annual dental visit, I picked up lunch at Taco Bell since N was missing her lunch time at school, and drove the kids to a nearby corporate office which has a nice lake, waterfall, bridge, walking path and oodles and oodles of ducks.  We sat in the car with the doors open, enjoying the weather and watching the ducks peer into the minivan.

All of this---the YUM restaurant and corporate office with path, bridge and lake--are within 5 minutes of our house.

G knew what he was talking about the entire time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras Girl Scout style

N's Girl Scout troop attended a Mardi Gras dance this past weekend.  They had a blast!

All N wanted to do was bust her moves.  She wasn't interested in eating or doing the crafts.  She was all about "Shaking It Up."

(She was not dancing with headless children
 although my desire to ensure other's privacy makes it appear that way.)

Seeing N dance and dance AND dance made me think of my days in elementary school and made me feel a kinship with my own mother who spent years watching me dance in school talent shows and at the mall and in recitals.

With N turning 8 this weekend, I have become increasingly aware that I remember virtually nothing of her as an infant/toddler.  It is hard for me to connect the girl I see with the baby in pictures.  I am just so used to her as she is today.  I sometimes mourn a bit for that time, for the days when I could hold all of her in my lap and snuggle, as I do with M now.

But there is much to enjoy now, and I try to focus on the delightfulness of that fact.  I try to focus on seeing her have fun as a young elementary-age girl, dancing until she is red in the face and sweaty.

Other kids are irritating

My children are irritating.  Very irritating.  G is, most of the time, the most irritating one of the bunch, but the other two have their moments and sometimes give G a run for his money in the "most challenging" child department.

But I am used to what makes them irritating.  It doesn't make it any less annoying.  It doesn't make me want to bang my head against the wall with any less force.  But there is some comfort in being used to their irritatingness.

I am reminded of this whenever I am around other people's children.  I'm not necessarily suggesting other people's children are more irritating than mine; they are probably only irritating in a different way, but because I am not used to their form of irritation, they seem REALLY, EXTREMELY, HIGHLY irritating.

Being around them makes me thankful for the ways in which my own children drive me nuts.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

I should not get this excited

In addition to my great excitement whenever N or G bring home a Scholastic book order, I also become very animated whenever "I Love to Read Week" rolls around at N's school.

The piece de resistance is the Character Parade, whereby students dress up as a favorite character from a book and march around the school.

This year N decided that she wanted to be Frannie K. Stein.  We purchased purplish hair spray, got some cheap duds at Goodwill, and I discovered I do own eyeliner (which I remembered was used to make N's Character Parade chipmunk whiskers when she was in kindergarten).

Miss N as Frannie K. Stein (2012)

N as Junie B. Jones (2011)

N as a chipmunk (2010)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Preschooler, I'm amazed at the way you....

Act like you don't know squat about how to write your letters and show absolutely no interest in having me show you your letters, and then when someone gives you a Batman marker at the preschool Valentine's Day Party you sit down and do this all by yourself at the kitchen table:

A "G" and an "R" (which you then put eyes, noses and mouths in)

An "A" and an "H"

An "M," an "E" and an "S" 

A "5"and an upside down "T"

Just like most everything, a child will do it when he or she is ready.

And when mommy is not expecting it.

I don't have to do it all

N's elementary school is having their winter festival this weekend.  For weeks we've been getting information about volunteering to work at the festival, sending in goodies for the cake walks, donating 2-liters for the ring toss game, donating items for the class gift baskets.  The festival is a ton of work, and I am forever amazed at the time and energy the festival chair and her helpers give for its success.

I worked the first year N attended school there, when M was a baby, mostly because he was immobile and therefore much less work for D and the grandparents (who have always gone to the festival with us).  Last year and this year, I've donated items.

This go round I donated a game from my gift box stash (N's class has a "Game Night" basket to be auctioned off).  Today I am making 2 cakes for the cake walks.  I already sent in two 2-liter bottles of soda.

Yesterday, a red URGENT sheet was sent home saying more items are needed for the class auction baskets.  Every class and their respective basket themes were listed.  So I called the class mom to see if our class basket really needs something since the sheet was so urgently general.

She said she didn't know, and that I should check with the teacher.

Now having been a teacher, I know that Mrs. B. has far more important  things to do than rummage through donations to see just how floofed out the class auction basket will be.  I am not going to bother her with this.

So I debated whether to go to Target and purchase something else, or whether to sort through my gift box to see if I could find another game to donate.

And I decided to do neither.

Because I already donated.
Because I am not the only parent with children in that class (or in that school).
Because I couldn't get an answer on whether or not something was actually truly needed for N's class basket.

While I think all of these are valid reasons to not go above & beyond, I still feel a little guilty.

Which is stupid.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh, and please improve your critical reading skills

Because I'm still feeling mean and nasty, let me also ask that anyone who wants to start stuff about what I write on my blog might be advised to read carefully.

"Not everyone enjoys nursing their children through kindergarten, as you seem to do."

Unless an education reform bill passed of which I am not aware, 28 months old is not the new age level for kindergarten enrollment.  

"Nursing is a very personal choice and does not work for everyone."

While I think nursing is the normal (and best) way to feed, nowhere in this post did I suggest that everyone nurse or engage in extended nursing.  

"To teach your kids to "expect their spouses or themselves" to nurse such as you do is ridiculous. I hope your children are independent enough to make their own decisions about this, not a decision based on what you did or expect from them." 

Lots of people raise their children in a religious persuasion and expect (or hope) that their children follow suit when they grow up.  Lots of people expect their children to go to college.  Lots of people expect their children to marry and have children of their own.  If my children make different choices (as I made different choices from what my parents expected/hoped), I will deal.  But like any parent, I have hopes, expectations and desires.  

"And you wonder why your kids are very slow to potty train and you giggle that it leaves your husband a difficult time when you go out of the house."

My oldest two, neither of whom pooped on the pot until they were 4.5 years old, weaned at 12 months and 14 months, respectively.  Hardly extended nursing in their cases.

And nowhere in my post did I giggle, act amused or in any way suggest I was happy that my husband becomes frustrated when he puts M to bed without nursing.  

Ok, critical reading lesson complete.  

A giant anonymous fuck-you

Whenever someone has been less than nice in their comments, I have tried to be polite and civil in my response to it.  But I'm done with being nice.

So, to you, the anonymous "extended breastfeeding" person and anyone else who wants to be critical of my blog, my life, my choices:

If my blog is so disagreeable to you, THEN STOP READING IT!!  Go find some other blog to read, written by someone far more agreeable to your mindset.

You may find the way I'm raising my children totally inappropriate and ridiculous, but if there is one thing I am teaching my children it is to be respectful and not say anything if they don't have anything nice to say.  They can think whatever the heck they want, but the stop signs at the end of their tongues (or their fingertips if they are in the online world) need to function properly unless someone specifically asks their opinion.

Based on your comments, I feel a little sad for the kind of stuff you are teaching your children about being civil, polite and keeping their opinions to themselves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The upsides and downsides of extended nursing

I never expected that I would still be nursing M at 28 months.  As with most things, it has its good aspects and its not so good aspects.

One of the nicest things about it is that I still think of and visualize M as a baby.  Extended nursing is, at least in my mind's eye, keeping him from becoming a big boy too soon, which is a special blessing since he is my last baby. Once this roller coaster stops, that is it:  I will never nurse another baby.

Of course, I think of most 2-year-olds as still very much baby-like, even if they are not nursing.  I have never understood putting 2-year-olds in preschool or MDO programs (unless the mom has absolutely no family anywhere near and has a husband who travels a lot).  Two-year-olds need to be with their mommas because they are toddlers....just barely beyond the threshold of babyhood.

Another great benefit of extended nursing is that it gives both N and G a chance to see (and hopefully remember) seeing me nurse their brother.  Hopefully it is normalizing breastfeeding for them, making it something they will expect to do or expect their wives to do if they ever become parents.

Making other people uncomfortable is also a nice side effect of extended nursing, and I am just ornery enough to get a cheap thrill out of doing so.  I do not expose myself and leave it all hanging out, but I also don't attempt to cover with a blanket because M wrangling the blanket and kicking it would be far more obvious than just holding him close in my lap.  I have no problem glaring back at anyone who gives me a "disgusted" look.  Last week I sat at the front of Lowe's on a bench with M in my lap nursing and G at my side facing customers check out at the self-service machines.  I have a hard enough time getting the boys through the store to get the items I needed; I'll be damned if I'm gonna haul ass to the back of the store near the restrooms just to be more private.

The only real downside I have at this point is being home to put M to bed.  D can put him to bed but it can involve an awful lot of tears (on M's part) and frustration (on D's part).  I just arrive late to book club, which is just about the only "fun" thing I am able to do given our schedule and desire to be home most nights of the week.  M won't nurse forever, and at some point I will be able to arrive on time to book club.

This is a short-lived span of time, which I try to remember on those rare occasions when I get a little overwhelmed that I have been doing this for 28 months.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just whatever

Not much going on round these parts, which is quite nice.  I've been hell-bent on getting some things done and completely put to bed because I am just so stinkin' tired of them hanging over my head.  I am quite certain this enjoyment of calm will be short-lived, and I will find some new project or volunteer thing to do.

****In January, here is something that made my OCD soul a little happy.  This is what my lazy-Susan cabinet looked like before:  my flour in gallon-size ziploc bags; no order to any of it.  

And now thanks to Harriet Carter, my cabinet looks like this, which might not seem like much of an improvement, but it feels huge.  

****One of my projects is to do a home inventory so in case our home is ever destroyed in a fire or we are burglarized, we have a thorough list of everything we own.  I got the model and serial number off of every appliance, every tv/dvd/xbox/speaker/technological whatnot and emailed them to D.  I have been taking pictures of all our furnishings that do not have model/serial numbers.  I have been attempting to scan receipts for all big-ticket items.  

Right now on iPhoto, there are a bunch of pictures like this hanging around.

Wow, an almost 15-year-old chair and ottoman with enough cat hair on it to knit a sweater.   Worth a fortune!

****It occurred to me at some point last month that I should take a photo of M with his dog Scout.  He sleeps with him every night.  M goes through spells when he ignores the dog, and then he will decide he wants Scout to go with us everywhere.  When N was a toddler she had 2 little bears that she still sleeps with.  G never had a stuffed animal lovey.  It is nice that M has carried on the tradition a bit.

****D celebrated his 43rd birthday.  I made Greek spice cake for the adults and cupcakes for the kids.  I love it that the kids so love birthdays.

****G and M, when they aren't killing each other, are turning into really good buddies.

We will soon be doing what I hope is the last round of musical beds (version 1 and version 2) in this house---moving N into her own room (which is now M's nursery) and putting both the boys in the larger bedroom.

Bedtime has become a farce because N wants to read chapter books.  Due to their age, neither of the boys have any interest in chapter books.  If I am attempting to read to N while G is sitting with us in her bed, he gets bored and proceeds to flop like a fish or jam his finger into my belly button to see just how deep it will go or simply get out of bed and go disturb M in his room.

M can stand to read in bed with me, N and G but only until his book is complete---then he starts doing the fish flopping routine, eventually climbing out of bed and saying, "Da-ee, Come!," beckoning to D with his hand.  (D sits in the rocking chair reading Twitter, waiting for all hell to break loose and me to instruct him on where to take whomever is being especially disruptive or for M to give him the "Let's go into my room" command.)

****As I mentioned in another post, M's latest thing is to "Peck" his own clothes.  And he always, always selects pajamas.  This was his choice one day last week.

****Last night G had a sleepover with my mom and dad.  N was supposed to go but she ended up sick over the weekend and today so G went on his own.  Boy, the house was so quiet and peaceful.  G stepped in the door and it was back to screeching and fighting and tears.  I think we know who is Mr. Excitement around here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


M is talking more and more.  Stringing 3 words together now.  Still not a great conversationalist but well on his way.

His new thing is to pick his own clothes.  When I say, "C'mon, let's get dressed," he will often reply, "Peck."  He makes a beeline for his pajama drawer and selects a pajama set for the day. So I change him out of one pajama set and into another. Whatev.  N was the queen of mismatch, and G often wears his Optimus Prime costume out and about so M wearing pjs is no big thing.

D started calling him Hugh Hefner, which I think is funny for a couple reasons.  First, I actually wanted to name M Hugh.  Secondly, given M's penchant for penis playing (which seems to have run its course for the time being), I think it is apropos that he would now be channeling a porn publisher.  G asked me who Hugh Hefner was, and I told him he is a magazine publisher who is as old as Papaw Chester and runs around in his pajamas all day long.  If I can find a size 3T silk robe for cheap, I am so buying it.  We're taking this to the next level, baby.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homework is gonna kill me

I now understand the complete torture that is encouraging one's child to do her homework when she is clearly  However, we had Girl Scouts tonight, so her homework had to get done.  

The homework assignment was pretty difficult--N had to use her spelling words to write a poem or story.  Now this may sound easy, but it really takes a considerable amount of imagination because you have to connect completely unrelated words in a coherent and mostly sensible series of paragraphs. This is an assignment I had my 6th graders do (which either means I was a completely awful, way-too-easy teacher or this is truly a difficult assignment for 2nd graders).  

Her words were 

Now I don't know if N's issue tonight was 1. she wasn't in the mood for homework, 2. she was frustrated by the assignment, or 3. a combination of both.  Or it could have been 4. being tired/getting sick/needing to poop, which are catch-all reasons for why kids often act like shitheads.  

I tried to help her by writing up an example for her, but I told her she could not use any of my sentences. It was just to help give her an idea of how she would write it.  I also gave her some suggestions of general topics she could write about that would include many of the aforementioned words.  For example, I said she could write about a forest or a zoo.

She chose quizzes as her topic and then proceeded to act like a turd because it was understandably hard to connect many of these words to the topic of quizzes.  

Bear in mind, while I was dealing with Miss Moodiness, I was also contending with the noise and mayhem of General Disarray and Captain Chaos who will not give us a minutes peace while I try to work on homework with N.  

She managed to write up a really good paragraph but at the expense of every strand of my nerves.  

Boys and girls take quizzes.  Some are about animals like foxes and wolves.  Children happily write down their answers.  Babies aren't allowdd in classrooms because they mess up stuff.  Some quizzes are about bird's eggs and they refer to science.  Some people have to wear glasses to help them learn.  Maybe somebody wears adorable and lucky sneakers to help them with the quiz.  People exaggerate when taking a reading quiz.  Some teachers give out patches for doing good and accurate word on their quizzes.  

After she wrote the sentence about "they refer to science," she asked, "What does refer mean?"  I told her she probably shouldn't use it if she doesn't know its meaning.  But she pressed me for what it means, and when I told her she decided she would still use it.  

Before they drive....

Although I do not think about the kids getting older, I did have a moment of inspiration awhile back.  It occurred to me that before any of the kids will be allowed to get their driver's licenses they will have to do the following:

1. Be able to do their own laundry for 3 weeks.
2. Be able to prepare 5 meals (not microwavable frozen meals).

With all the car nonsense with which we've been dealing, I also thought that another requirement should be that....

3. They must take a basic automotive care class to be able to change things on the car without always resorting to having a mechanic look at it and take care of it (such as changing wiper blades, changing air filter and whatever else fits into this category of automotive care.)  Mom WILL be taking this class with all 3 children, since it will probably take me 3 go-rounds to understand anything about the innards of a vehicle.

And this part goes without saying because I am cheap and had to do this when I had a car at 17---

4. They have to be able to pay for their gas and annual insurance with money they make during the summer.  

We Need to Talk About Kevin has me thinking

I am flying through the novel We Need To Talk About Kevin and think it will make for an excellent discussion at book club next month.  This book is giving me much to ponder about having children.

One thing I've thought about is how D reminds me a little bit of Eva.  I think D is a far nicer, less hard-to-live with person than Eva, but the way in which they are similar is their feelings toward children.  D loves our kids--no question--but sometimes I wonder if he would have been happier if we had remained childless or only had one child.  Or maybe it is simply that his tolerance level for children's antics is less than mine, just as Eva's tolerance is different from Franklin, who was the one who really wanted a child.
(This is probably more the case; when I speak to my mom friends they all usually say their husbands can handle much less of the children than they can.)

When we married D and I were on similar tracks---neither of us was interested in having children within 5 years, and we thought we'd only want one if we did have a child.  But one of us changed, and that was me.  (In truth, I think I was a classic case of "the lady doth protest too much."  Perhaps I truly wanted a family but was just so, so scared of what that would mean for me emotionally, physically and financially.)

Almost immediately after having N, I felt I wanted 3 children.  My breakdown followed in the year after her birth, so for awhile I wasn't thinking about other kids...I just wanted to get my head back together.  But by the time N was 2.5 years old, I was healthy and ready for another kid.  I think because D really loves me and really hates arguments, he agreed.  M was a surprise, but we'd already had the talk about having a 3rd, and while I was on-board for another one when G was around 3, D was more than ready to take the possibility off the table.  The funny thing is that M, the baby he was definitely not onboard with having, is the child who most reminds D of himself.

Another thing this book is making me think about is how much of a child's personality comes from his/her parents' perceptions of that child.  At the moment, and for quite a while, G has been our challenging child.  He is a super kid, but he is just more of a challenge for both me and D than the other two.  Reading about Kevin makes me wonder about what he is really like outside of Eva's perception of him, from birth until now and how much of her behavior towards him influenced the type of relationship he has with her.  They say that a depressed mother can have a huge impact on their child's development, and I would certainly classify Eva as having had postpartum depression, as well as a few other mental health issues thrown in for good measure.

This book furthers my belief that everyone could stand a good year of therapy, especially the people who squawk the loudest about not needing it or thinking it wouldn't help them. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Craptacular Day

As G would say, "Today is a disaster."

Two weeks ago, on Jan 28 I wrote this post.

This morning, I got another flat tire.  Fortunately it was not one of the new tires but one of the old tires (although since we bought them in December 2009 they aren't really truly old.)  Instead of running errands and getting food prepared to take a meal to a friend who just had a baby, I spent 2.5 hours in a car repair shop with a snotty 2-year-old, getting nothing done.  Well, nothing except getting ANOTHER FUCKING NEW TIRE since this one couldn't be repaired.  (And I went ahead and got a transmission and coolant flush because $621 wasn't quite enough money spent on the car this month.  Why not spend a little more?????)

In the past 30 days I got....
-an oil change and air filter for $75.
- 2 new tires and an alignment for $546.
-1 more new tire, a transmission flush and a coolant flush for $385.

For a grand total of $1006 in a month on a necessary evil.  On something I wouldn't even have if this city had a subway or a monorail or a bus transport system that wasn't archaic and impossible.

Whenever an unexpected something comes up with the house, I hate it but we have to have a place to live.  We have to have some kind of shelter.

But we don't have to have a car.  If we lived somewhere else, if town planners didn't put every store 4 miles away with no sidewalks to get to anywhere, if we had a decent public transport system, if any of these applied I would not have a car.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, gets my panties in a twist more than having to spend money on a car.  A depreciating hunk of metal that pollutes. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Waiting for Superman--some thoughts

I have been watching Waiting for Superman piecemeal...every weekend while walking 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Anyone who has spent any time in a public school classroom won't find it eye-opening because they see the truths of this documentary on a daily basis.

The film spoke to the problem of tenure and teacher unions, and I tend to agree with them.  I generally think what works in the private sector, such as pay for performance and at-will employment, are good things.  Of course, I then have to recognize that teachers are held to grossly unfair standards (as this excellent essay attests) and are scapegoats for everything terrible about public education, even when it is not their fault.

Charter schools were discussed in the film, and I don't have a problem with charters in theory.  I think an awful lot of people think they are a magic pill that will solve problems that they will not solve.  

The parents in the film all really seemed to highly value education, supported their children in their educational endeavors and seemed to keep hitting brick walls.  I really, truly felt for them.

The public school problem is complex.  It is that some teachers suck, some schools need much more funding, some kids take tests poorly even though they are exceptional students, some parents don't support education, some kids don't fit into the mold of public education as it is in their school.

From my limited experience as both a teacher and a parent, I think there are certain non-negotiable things a parent has to do to ensure your child gets a good education.  If I were able to stand in front of a group of parents, this is what I would say:

1. Read every single solitary day (two or more times a day) to your child from the time he/she is an infant and continuing to do it until your child is a teenager.  And at that point you should check out the same book your child is reading so you can read it and discuss it with your child.

2. Make your child go to school every single day, including preschool, unless he/she is running a fever or puking.  You set a precedent early on that school comes first.  And if the child doesn't go to school, he/she doesn't do anything fun like play outside with friends or go to the mall.  

3. Stay in contact with the child's teacher.  Email, drop in unannounced to the classroom, attend conferences.  Essentially, a teacher works for you and your child.  Stay on top of what is being done at school.  Ask questions.  Offer to help however you can.  Read the core content.  Know what your child is supposed to be learning.  

4. Make your home as consistent, scheduled, normal as possible.  Regular bedtime.  Regular waking time.  Regular meals.  Regular naps.  Boring----yes.  Necessary----yes.  Once you have a child, your life is not about you for a good long time.  Get over it.

5. You think you know your child, and you do, but only to a certain extent.  Unless you are a fly on the wall, you do not know what your child is doing or not doing, what the teacher is doing or not doing, in the classroom.  You don't have to believe everything the teacher tells you, but you also shouldn't believe everything your child tells you.  You have to use detective skills to figure out what is really going on sometimes.

I had a student who told me he was friends with a professional basketball player (whose name escapes me now).  I said something like, "Oh sure."  The kid kept insisting he knew this famous player, but I wouldn't bite.  I soon received a letter from the mom telling me her son was not lying and their family is friends with this famous player, blah, blah, blah.  By the tone, I could tell she was highly insulted that I wouldn't believe her precious little boy.  I sent a letter home, explaining that I was sorry her son was upset that I didn't believe him but that I would be a fool to believe every single thing students tell me.  I didn't mean him any disrespect, but that is just the nature of teaching.

A short time later, this mom did a long-term sub job at our school.  Her attitude about believing what students told her changed very quickly.

6. If your gut tells you something is not right about what administration tells you, keep asking.  Keep calling.  Go as high up as you have to go.  Be civil, be extremely polite, but keep asking.  Under no circumstances should you get up on your mighty high horse because you might unknowingly be contributing to whatever problems your child is having.  

I cannot tell the number of parents who claimed they wanted to do "right" by their kids but ended up hurting them worse by their efforts.  Parents who didn't provide as much consistency as the child needed or when they tried to "help" ended up doing the hard work for the child.  Parents who didn't want to hurt their child by taking away something the child loved until the grades and behavior improved.  Parents who were so wrapped up in their own affairs that they didn't focus on what the child really required.  

Waiting for Superman was a good reminder of what can go wrong and right in education, but I believe it only told part of the story.  


Midwest Mom inspired me to jot down some of the funny things my preschooler has said lately.

1. "I have a wicked big poop."  Said one evening when he soiled his drawers.  Thanks to Kevin Hawkes' book, The Wicked Big Toddlah, for giving G the inspiration to use such wonderful terminology for his feces.

2. "Mommy, I have a frog in my nose." Said one morning when he woke up especially stuffy (following a day when I was hoarse due to congestion).

3. "Mommy, I'm gonna stick this up your butt."  Said this morning when he was trying to stick a note in my jean pocket.

4. "My eye is leaky." Said this morning when trying to get early morning eye-goo off.

5. "Today is sunny.  It is also moony."  Said when he noticed both the sun and moon in the sky one afternoon.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The paint--AFTER

A new coat of paint on the walls is like getting a haircut or new glasses---an easy way to make everything feel fresh and new.  (Ok, easy only if someone else does the painting.  I'm having a hell of a time getting everything put back in order.)

The paint--before

The painter was here Monday and Tuesday....which means my house has been disheveled with stuff scattered hither and yon.

Plus, I got a burst of crazy and decided to do a home inventory (something I have been slowly attempting to do for at least a year now).  I figured since I couldn't do any of my normal stuff due to the painting, I might as well accomplish something this week.

This is how the living room looked BEFORE the new green paint.  It seems like once we got the wood floors installed, borrowed my parents' dark kitchen table, and I bought a friend's dark rug for under the kitchen table, it was just too, too brown everywhere.