Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sex, Lies and Videotapes

My daughter just entered the 1st grade and is a beginner reader. I'm so happy that she has learned how to sound out letters to form words and I am excited for the doors that will open for her. I am an avid reader and I can't wait to share my favorites from my childhood with her.

However...yes,there is always a however, sometimes life would just be easier if her intelligence / development was limited.

I know it's an awful thing to say, especially out loud. But as a parent, at times normal development can cause more problems. For instance, many parents think it's a pain in the ass when a baby is in diapers. Schlepping all that crap with you. Diapers, wipes, rash cream, extra clothes, etc. But wait, just wait until they are just starting out in underwear. You think, "hooray! No more diapers!" Not so quick. At least when they are in diapers, they poop or pee in their pants and when you find the bathroom (I'm talking social setting here, not your house), you change them. When they are in the early stages of underwear, and they say "I gotta go", all the sudden it's PANIC TIME! Have you ever tried to find the bathroom in a mall? It's never where you would think like by the food court or in children stores. It's always in some remote corner of a department store or the actual mall. The goal is to find the bathroom and actually get to it before it's too late. Which is easier? Cleaning up a dirty diaper, or cleaning up pee or poop on the floor and getting wet pants, underwear, socks and shoes off of a child in public? This is what I mean about sometimes it's easier when children are limited to their development.

Recently, I had a dilemma because now my daughter can read, kind of. We were in the video store looking for something for me. As I am browsing we had the wonderful luck of passing "Sex in the City". My daughter turns to me and asks "What's s-e-x in the city?" I quickly remembered that over the summer she came home from camp singing the Katie Perry song "California Girls" and she was singing the words "SAX, ON THE BEACH (BLAH BLAH BLAH)". I was very unhappy that she knew that song, but pleased that she was singing "sax" and not "sex". After pulling that from my memory bank, I replied "Sax in the City". She accepted my answer and topic was forgotten. Whew, challenge completed.

Until, we get in the car. Let the games begin!
Daughter: Mom? What are sax?
Me: Ummm, sacks, like potato sacks.
Daughter: What are potato sacks?
Me: like bags, that hold potatoes.
Daughter: Why would they have potato sacks in the city?
Me: I don't know! Stop asking questions!

This is exhausting. But then I hear my daughter sounding out her vowels, just like she was taught and just like we practice every night Monday through Friday.

"ah, ah, ah". "eh, eh, eh". "Hey mom! An 'E' does not make the 'ah' sound".

I am really so friggin glad she's learning how to read.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getta Room!

I want my own room.
I want my own room!

I have never, ever (well maybe a brief span of time in my 20's) had my own space

Even when I was conceived I had to share the womb with my sister! I'm sure she kicked me and pulled my hair, if I had any, when we were in there too. I know for certain that she bullied me out. How? I came out first, that's how. She probably gave me a big push or kick and forced me out of my mom's birth canal. Then, while I was getting all cleaned up and checked out, she pretty much had seven minutes of alone time with our mother. Totally not fair.

When we got home, we shared a crib for a while. You see, back then in the olden days, doctors didn't participate in full disclosure. My mother was in the dark about having twins until dooms day. Therefore, I had to share MY crib with my sister. How do I know it was my crib and not hers? Well, I was born first, of course. That means I was the "intended" one and she just kind of tagged along like a 3rd wheel.

Once she got her own crib, it was in my room. We shared a room forever! It was awful! Getting yelled at to get out of my own room because she was on the phone. Fighting over whether we slept listening to the radio, tv or nothing. Complaints about breathing too loud. Basically having nowhere to escape. I got my own space at the ripe age of 17. Just in time to go to college and what? Share a dorm room!

I had to share a room with 2 other girls. It was like a jail cell except you were allowed to leave and you had to provide your own meals. Three girls, one closet, one phone (remember, no cell phones back then) and seperate cycles if you know what I mean. Sharing a dorm room wasn't all that terrible..until of course you find out that over break your roommate stole all your Au Coton clothes and didn't pay the phone bill even though you gave her money. And that was the roommate that you got along with.

So then, after college, I spend a few more years alone in my walk in closet, er, bedroom that I did not have to share. Then I go from daddy's house to husband's house. Well, to be fair, husband #1 never came home at night because he was probably out screwing some skank. Sooo, it was kind of like I had my room, but by default. I still shared was ours, per se, his shit was in it. It's not like I could totally call it mine.

Now I share a room with husband #2 (and hopefully he's the final). Love him to death, but want my own room. Top reasons:
1. He farts in bed. I feel like the marital bed is sacred and farts contaminate it. Even after it diffuses. The noise along with the odor is offensive. It should not happen in my room.
2. He makes fun of the shows I watch. Hey, If I wanted commentary I would have watched it in the "common areas" of our house like the living room. If I had my own bedroom, what I watched would be my prerogative and I would not have to defend my poor decisions.
3. Another tv issue..if I'm lying in bed "watching tv", (sometimes I watch tv with my eyes closed and not even facing the television), he feels he has carte blanche to change the channel. Bullshit. Whether I am watching it by staring at it or just listening, if I was in there first, it's my call.
4. His mess is my mess. Clothes on the floor, disorganized stuff on the dresser. I was never such a slob until I got married and shared a room.

Somehow my bedroom has also become a dumping ground for my kids' stuff. Before I go into bed, I have to pull up the covers and examine for Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, head bands and miscellaneous toys. Or else I end up crawling into bed and then discovering these items under my back or at my feet.

My kids have a room in the house designated solely for their play. Toys, tv, no furniture other than a little princess table. They also have their bedrooms. We have a living room that we all share. We have an office that basically my husband uses. Where do I go when I need to hide? Where is my play room? Why can't I have a place that I don't have to share??? Waaahhhh!!!! I want my own room!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


There has been a lot of attention in the media these days about kids bullying kids in school. Some of the victims of bullying are going to extreme measures to avoid being bullied by killing themselves. This is disgusting and heart breaking. Schools and other organizations are brainstorming to find ways to send a message that kids should be more compassionate and to be more excepting of peoples' differences.

Hate to say this but: IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. What's that old saying? A tiger doesn't change his stripes? Adults are always trying to change the behavior of kids when the adults themselves do not display the same behavior. For example, let's say that you invited Johnny Jr's. friend, over for a playdate. Johnny Jr's. friend is playing with Johnny's favorite toy. Johnny is not too pleased about that and rips it out of his hands. You try to diffuse the situation and make nice by saying, "Now Johnny, you must share your toys. It's rude not to let him play with it". Now, let's say the friend's mother returns to bring her kid home and she sees your cherry red 1963 Corvette (I know, they didn't have Cherry Red back then, but this is about principle and not details). She mentions that she would like to "play" with your Corvette and can she take it for a ride? Will you follow your own advice that it's rude to not share? Probably not. I know this isn't on the same level as bullying but I'm making the point of expecting children to behave differently from what they are actually taught by example.

I witness adult bullying all the time: Parents bullying coaches. The person tailgating you while you are driving the in the slow lane. Idiots shopping at the mall around Christmas time.

The only way to cure bullying is to teach your children to be prepared for it. Let's just say, IT WORKED FOR ME! Picture this: growing up I had huge boobies, zits on my face, unruly hair. Ok, that's just the physical. Inside I was shy, introverted and very emotional. I know, I sound like a prize, right? I was picked on constantly! Who do you think the predators were? Good looking classmates? Peers who were more confident and social? Nooooo. It was my own siblings! They tormented me! If my parents had established anti bullying and no tolerance laws I would be an only child by now! When I was a child, I cried All..The..Time. Then, my siblings would make fun of me for crying and I would cry even more!!!!! Bullying at home does not sound like the most kind and rewarding thing to do. However, when I was older I didn't get offended by mean comments made by others. I didn't freak out when the boys called me Dolly Parton. My skin had already been made thick. Compare bullying to driving. You can't control the stupid drivers, but you can learn to avoid accidents by learning how to drive defensively.

Moral of the story: You can't stop people from being assholes. Kids don't have the cognitive ability to realize cause and effect and they don't realize what it might do to the victim over time. Let's stop the nonsense of kids killing themselves because peers bully them! Bully your kids or siblings at home and get them prepared for the real world!