Monthly Archives: October 2012

Be Safe And Choose Wisely. Happy Halloween, Everyone!

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October 30, 2012 · 4:03 pm

10 Things I’ve Said To My Children That Other Moms Might Not Say. (Thank Goodness.)

I’m a little late to the party but a few of my blogging friends participate in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop and I always have the good intention of trying it out. Here’s my attempt this week. Enjoy!

10 Things I’ve Said To My Child That Other Moms Might Not Say

  1. “How can you have any dessert if you don’t eat your meat?!?” (Cue Pink Floyd music in background.)
  2. “If you wear that out of the house I swear I’ll take a picture and use it for your wedding invitation!”
  3. “No, Sweetie. I’m pretty sure they haven’t made a Lifetime movie about you. Yet.”
  4. “Nanny, nanny boo-boo. I told ya’ so!”
  5. “Oh. It was just beer? Well, at least you’re not trying Meth.”
  6. “I don’t care if you can toot on purpose. Stop doing it. You’re going to hurt your anus.”
  7. “Just be the best teacher or lawyer or ditch digger you can be. But don’t be a pimp. ‘Cause they’re not nice.”
  8. “Yes. Shut-up IS the s-word and I don’t ever want to hear you say it again!”
  9. “I’m pretty sure that the states are androgynous. There is no Mistersippi that I know of.”
  10. “Seriously? Stop that crying right now. There is NO crying in housework!!!” (Just call me a pop culture junkie.)

Feel free to share your doozy below.

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Filed under funny, parenting

The Boogeyman Is Getting Younger And Younger

Does anyone else find it odd that two recent kidnapping/murder cases involving two young girls (ages 10 and 12) were allegedly commited by teens? Teenage boys. Ages 17, 17 and 15. A young man in Colorado. Two brothers in New Jersey.

The Boogeyman is getting younger and younger.

And it has me frightened.

It has me wondering, what is the catalyst? Lack of supervision? Movies and television? Video games? Rock music?

Of course, I’m not completely serious about T.V., music and games but it makes me wonder about the desensitizing that happens when our children are exposed to Warcraft and Hellraiser at too young an age. I’m familiar with pop psychology that points to a teen’s inability to firmly grasp the concept of death and consequence as it applies to them. A Superman mentality. An It’ll-Never-Happen-To-Me way of existence.

I have a need to make sense of it all. But I can’t. I’m appalled that these young men had the urge to snatch a frightened, young girl. That despite all of her pleading, they would not let her go. And when they had no use for her, it was easier to kill her than let her go back home.

Two innocent, loving, joyful young ladies. With so much life ahead of them.

As I grasp at theories to try to understand, it doesn’t comfort me.

And it certainly doesn’t comfort the poor parents of little Jessica Ridgeway and Autumn Pasquale.

Sending prayers and love to the families of the victims and the families of the accused. And a hug to the mother who turned in her own sons when she suspected they might be involved. What a horrible cross to bear. 

 

 

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Filed under In the News

Speaking Of Happy Dance, This One Is Pure Joy!

I just had to share this pic, taken from the Maria Montessori site on Facebook.

Pure, simple, utter joy.

May you have a little in your day today.

 

 

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Filed under children, Completely Random, The !!!

Useless Information And Happy Dance Beat All In One Post

Did you know that on this day in history A-ha’s song Take On Me reached number one on the U.S. Charts? Yep. Way back in 1985. Where were you?

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

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Filed under Music

We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby! Or How The Cleavers Could Take A Lesson From Us

There are some sitcoms that are timeless. My kids love to watch The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show and Leave It To Beaver.  Lessons from these shows often translate into something we can talk about, something that reinforces values we are trying to teach them.

And sometimes, an episode is merely a sign of the times and a chance for us to see how far we’ve come.

 

We were watching a Leave It To Beaver episode recently regarding the topic of smoking.

First June Cleaver says, “But Wally promised not to start smoking until he was old enough!”

(Old enough? What?)

And then my 9-year-old son turns to me and asks, “What’s an ashtray?”

You know what?

In the last 50 years, I think our generation has finally gotten something right.

 

 

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Filed under Lessons Learned, television

The Greatest Lie Ever Told (And I’m 99.9% Sure You Are Guilty)

“I have read the terms and conditions…..”

Check. Or click.

Whatever.

That’s about as far as I get. I read those first seven words and I click away. Without ever reading said terms and conditions. I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Every once in a great while it won’t let you click the handy terms and conditions box unless you at least scroll through said terms and conditions.

So I do.

“The legal agreements set out below….blah, blah, blah,……Neither issuer nor BlahCorp. is responsible for….blah, blah, blah,……Your use of the Services includes the ability to….blah, blah, blah….”

But does anyone really ever get that far? Don’t you just scroll as quickly as you can and then click?

I admit it. I do.

Don’t they all say basically the same thing?

“We (BlahBlah Corp.) own your finger clicking if you use our service. And you (the user) are responsible for all the clicks you click on our site. We (BlahBlah Corp.) have our butts covered and you (the user) are on your own.”

(Oh. I feel so used.)

They spell it all out. Everything they will and will not provide. There is nothing left to chance or good faith or sound moral character.

And we blindly click. Annoyed with the legal jargon and irrelevant circumstances and idiot proofing.

Why can’t there be an easy to read, concise and precise terms and conditions agreement?

Something like this:

“We, BlahBlah Corp., own every finger click on this site. If you don’t trust our site, don’t click here.”

End of story.

Simple. Concise. And true.

In our litigious society, putting blind faith and trust into a company or website is dangerous. And unfortunately, the companies can’t trust us, either. So we are stuck with a silly step where we click a box saying we’ve read something when we haven’t.

Admit it.

When was the last time you read, completely and fully, a terms and conditions document?

I know.

Me either.

At least we are all lying together.

But not in bed.

Because I’m married.

And that bed would get pretty crowded.

 

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Filed under All In A Day's Work, How We Roll, Observations

An Open Letter To All Teachers Out There But Especially My Son’s

Attention All  Fourth Grade Teachers! (Although, with a few adjustments this could apply to all teachers.)

We, the parents of the children you teach, would like to be parents. And real estate agents. And contractors. And doctors and lawyers. Or advertising reps. Or designers. Or ditch diggers.

We did not sign up to be teachers.

Oh sure. We signed up to teach our children manners and respect. We teach them our religious beliefs and all about the birds and the bees. We teach them how to make their bed and throw a baseball.

All of the above and more fall into our job description as a parent.

It is not, however, listed anywhere in our job description that we must spend our family time with our child continuing the job you started at school.

We did not sign up for the two hour “homework” sessions after school, with detailed instructions for the parent on how to teach the reading comprehension assignment (which we have to sign, proving we completed it with our child). We did not ask for the solar system project where we had to teach our children the order and size of all the planets so that he, and by “he” I mean “I”, could show him how to build it according to scale ($60 later in supplies.)

And for the kicker that prompted my letter to you today, we did not and I repeat, we did not sign up to type any more papers. We have been there, done that. But when my dear son, my sweet, responsible, hard working, non-procrastinating son is practically in tears at the keyboard because it has taken him forever (and by “forever” in a 9-year-old’s perspective I mean “an hour”) to type a tiny portion of his story and I am tempted to jump in there and do it for him? I paused.

I shouldn’t have to type his papers for him. And he shouldn’t, at 9 years old, be expected to type his own papers if he hasn’t yet received the proper keyboarding instruction to do so, with plenty of practice so that he can proficiently type his own papers at a reasonable speed.

He is nine. He is a responsible, conscientious student. He starts assignments when  you assign them and works diligently until he gets it done. He is bright and doesn’t need busy work.

What my child needs, what any child needs, is time to play outside. Time to make brownies with their mom, learning (by accident) about fractions and degrees Fahrenheit. They need to be encouraged to read on their own but they should be allowed the free time to be read aloud to by their parent. When we’re working 2 hours after dinner on homework, there is little time left for Harry Potter before bed.

Don’t get me wrong. I applaud your efforts in the classroom. I demand that my children respect you and your rules. They are expected to give 110% to their schoolwork. And I don’t mind running a few multiplication drills before dinner or quizzing him on his spelling words.

What I don’t understand is the assignment after assignment after assignment my 9-year-old child is expected to complete that he has neither the ability nor the life experiences to complete on his own.

Homework should be an extension of classroom material. Yes. But it should be, always and forever, commensurate with the maturity and the abilities of the child to which it is assigned.

If the parents are doing the homework, the child is getting the impression that he or she is inadequate. My son lamented, “Why can’t I type fast like you?” Uh. Because I had a typing class, for a full semester and I’ve been typing for years and years and have had plenty of practice.

Assign my child age and skill level appropriate homework. Work that my child is capable of completing on his own, with little parental intervention. Homework that reinforces what you’re teaching in the classroom, giving him additional practice. Work that allows him to explore and create. Bolstering his confidence when he finishes it all by himself. Allowing him to experience pride in his work, not someone else’s.

Please.

It’s all I ask.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Where Have All The Good Radio Stations Gone or Satellite Killed The Radio Star

I was conversing with a group of my peers. More specifically, a group of peers of which I was the oldest by about 8 years. I was lamenting the disappearance of my favorite radio stations.

What do I listen to? A variety of music but my favorite is rock and alternative.

In the past year, my three mainstay radio stations have succumbed to all pop music, all sports station or a new location with a weaker signal.

“But there’s this great new station at 103.7 where they play a huge variety. In fact, their catch phrase is “We play everything!””

Uh. Yeah. If by everything you mean everything that’s old.

“No they don’t. They play current stuff. What do you mean by old?”

What do you mean by current?

“Well, they play Nirvana and Aerosmith and Dave Matthews.”

Okay. I’ll give you Dave Matthews since he’s put out music recently but have you looked at Steven Tyler lately? (Sorry Steve.) And Nirvana? They were a 90′s band. Old music. I rest my case.

“The nineties isn’t old!” They all shouted.

If it’s more than 5 years old in music world? It’s old.

They all looked at me with blank stares.

To break the uncomfortable silence I whined about the loss of my beloved radio stations. What will I listen to now?

“Satellite radio. I love it. I can listen to all my favorites by genre.”

What do you all listen to?

“Rush. Led Zepplin. The Who. U2.”

I’ll say it again. Old.

Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the old stuff, too. But I find when I have a steady diet of music that I listened to when I was a teenager I fall into the same teenage angst that I tried so hard to shake. I remember the boy that dumped me. The creep that I stood up on purpose. The guy I pined for and never did anything about. The music of my twenties stirs memories of marrying too young, scraping by on teacher’s salaries and lonely nights even though I was married. In my thirties songs will remind me of my divorce, that jerk I worked for and my daughter and I struggling in our tiny one bedroom apartment.

I love music. All kinds. But I thrive on the new stuff. I love discovering Adele and Imagine Dragons and Bitter:Sweet before the masses. Or knowing all about PSY and Gangnam Style before my daughter-in-college and teaching her the dance moves! (A coup that I shall celebrate for the next few months.) 

Oh sure. Old songs stir happy memories, too. But I find when I only listen to the old stuff my heart gets pulled back to a time that doesn’t exist anymore. My heart is here. It is now.

And I want to create new memories with the songs I hear.

With new music.

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Filed under Music

Just Some Good Advice

3 Comments

October 6, 2012 · 3:23 pm