Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
“The other day I found out my 7 year old asked his friend’s sister to take off her shirt during a game of “double dog dare.” I don’t know where he found out about the game or why he did such a thing. I tried to do a search to see how I should handle it, but all I found were what to do if my child was the one asked to take off his shirt. Help!”
Oh boy. No one ever said this parenting job would be easy, did they?
I want to tell you not to panic, but I can imagine how you feel. Our minds often leap to ahhh! sexual predator. Probably because of all the news stories we hear. Thanks Dateline.
So before we proceed, I think it’s important for us to untangle our adult concept of sex/sexuality from a kid’s. They are not the same.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
What happens when your son asks to wear the costume he saved up for more than three months to get to the grocery store? You say, “Of course.” He might as well get all the use out of it he can.
Check out these photos from the trip. I love them… (more…)
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Last month, CNN posted a piece on parents having the gun talk before play dates.
A friend of mine who lives in central Virginia was the first one to introduce me to the idea of asking about guns before play dates. This conversation happened about a decade ago, pre Sandy Hook. The gun talk is just part of the culture there. She said it’s one of the things pediatricians discuss at well child exams.
I’ve never asked if people had guns in their homes before play dates. I always felt super uncomfortable about it. I don’t want to come across as Judgy McJudgerson. Both Dave and I grew up in hunting families (although to be fair, it was my uncles and grandfathers who hunted, not my dad, so I’m pretty removed). But with gun ownership on the rise in the US, I wonder if I should start checking?
How about you? Do you ever ask if parents have guns in the home before your children go for a play date?
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
I’m a worrier. A black belt, Ninja-class, expert worrier. So when it came to making a long-term career choice, motherhood seemed to be a perfect fit. If we were pretending that motherhood is a corporate career just like Human Resources or Call Center Operative, we might say that mothering is a synergistic connection to my core worrying skills.
Both mothering and worrying are extremely future oriented. All about what might happen. She might be an actress/comedian, she might be an “actress” complete with satin knickers and bunny ears. He might be a rocket scientist, he might sit at home on my couch knocking back energy drinks called Rocket Fuel. That one might fail the math test, thus proving the theory that she’s being failed by the school OR, worse! she might ace the math test, thus proving to her teacher that your concerns are completely unfounded just like she’d said they were in such a patronizing sort of way.
You hear the phrase tossed around a lot around graduation season – you’ve got your whole future ahead of you! When Whitney Houston crooned “I believe the children are our future” she said it like it was a good thing. (more…)
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
It may be that I just have terrible recall, or perhaps I’m suppressing some horrific memory of two brothers obsessed with wedgies. I don’t know. What I do know is that I just don’t remember being five. I don’t really remember being eight and in second grade. (Although I do have clear memories of my 2nd grade teacher who was overly thin, pinched and unkind. She punished me for reading ahead in the reading book!)
But my oldest is ten “and a half!” She’s in 4th grade. Boy, do I remember ten [and a half]. I remember developing legs that didn’t look like the beanpoles I’d possessed all through the early grades. My belly had begun to gently curve, and Holy WOW, the mortification of those odd bumps in the chest area. But most of all, I remember the agony of clothes shopping, and of getting dressed in the morning. Until that very year, I don’t think I spent any time at all thinking about outfits for school, or what shoes might ‘go’ with which jeans.
All of the sudden, I found myself in crisis about the way I was supposed to look, and wondering if I would somehow be different than all the rest of the kids. Somehow I had perceived there was such a thing as ‘style’ but I had absolutely no clue as to what that was or how one achieved it. (more…)
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Yesterday, I wrote this on my facebook page:
“Parents, just do your thing and be happy. You don’t have to rationalize why you do or don’t: craft, have your kids play sports, design your kids’ room, feed your kids whatever, do after school activities, etc. Life’s too short. Some people like to do those sorts of things, some don’t. It’s okay. We shouldn’t all be doing the same thing anyway. Diversity is good.”
It sparked a pretty good conversation. Do you ever feel the need to explain yourself? I’ve posed this question to a group of ‘crafty’ parents before and they had a tendency to go into ‘downplaying’ mode. They felt like they needed to tell people that while yes, they did craft with their kids, their houses were dirty and there was laundry that needed to be done. And that they weren’t all that crafty really.
I’ve also heard sporty parents say they felt compelled to tell people that they also did art classes with their kids or that their kids enjoyed free unstructured afternoons hanging out with neighborhood kids.
Do you feel judged? How do you deal with it? Do you go into downplay mode or are you able to let it roll off your back? And if you are, can you teach us how?
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
When my oldest was in preschool, I often stood with the other parents at the door before pickup time, awkwardly wondering if I should make small talk. My two-year-old son would tear around in the trees, climbing the stair railings, and slamming into my 7-month pregnant belly at least twice in that 5 minute space.
Slowly I discovered that many of us were collecting our firstborns. What did we talk about, waiting for the school doors to open? I don’t know. I know the empty afternoons stretched out long before me: what do to with Ms 5 when the little guy slept, please God please could I catch a nap here sometime? and, really: should she be socializing more? My neuroses leaked out into the playground mulch, and found parents who obsessed in the same ways I did. Playdates were set up. Drop offs stretched out longer than they really should when I found a parent who enjoyed paper mache and cookie making as much as me.
Every day at pickup, we’d watch a few other mothers picking up their youngest kids. – Kid #3 or Kid #4, even. They’d nod hello as they screeched into the parking lot at the last minute. “Hurry hurry!” these moms would urge their preschoolers. “We have 15 minutes before we have to be at school to drop off C’s social studies project and then be at the doctor’s office to pick up Grandma. C’mon, hop in, we’ll grab Chik-fil-A on our way, ok?” Wordlessly we’d part the crowd on the sidewalk to make room for these mothers swooping in for the smallest of their crowds, and we watched as their four year olds rolled with the changes, managed the mom’s stress placidly, and happily bounced into a carseat to buckle herself in.
So vividly, I remember wondering if it was possible to be that busy. To be so busy you’ve not got time for playdates or hanging around preschool dismissal wondering if you’re crazy to say no to all this princess stuff, and desperately wanting another parent to say “No…. I hated Barbie Pegasus WAY more than I hated Barbie Diamond Castle!”
And then…I blinked. Overnight, it seems, I find I am the Busy Mom! I’m the older mom reveling in the fact of her youngest – her last – finishing preschool, with no naps in sight. No potential breastfeeding pitstop, no potty training panics between school and home. Daily, I watch my beautiful baby race into school without a backward glance. With the deepest of glad hearts, I watch her bounce back out at lunchtime, full of stories and songs and zebra crafts and preschool profundity. (more…)
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
My daughter is 5 and a half and can’t wait to loose her first tooth. She’s been talking about the tooth fairy for months now. While both my husband and I received our token 50c decades ago, I hear the price has gone up – more than inflation I believe. My daughter came home the other day, stating that Zoe had received $5 for her tooth and that Ryan had received $10. What? Any advice on how to handle expectations? Or am I being cheap?
My kids lost their first tooth early. In fact, they were the first in each of their classes. I set the precedent for the tooth fairy. Talk about pressure! My kids were in preschool, so I couldn’t count on them to be evasive when questioned how much they got.
I remember when I lost my first tooth. The tooth fairy left two shiny quarters under my pillow. Such joy! Such happiness!
Then I found out that when the girl up the street lost her tooth, the tooth fairy left her an entire package of goodies—a new toothbrush, some stickers, cash and the gift I coveted most of all, trident gum.
I was robbed. What did I do to deserve such a snub from the tooth fairy? The girl up the street was a bossy brat. I say that because that’s what I thought at the time. Yes, yes, now I understand there are no bad kids, just bad choices, but back then, she was just a nasty kid.
Once when I was over her house I asked her, “Do you mind if I use one of your crayons?” She said, “Yes.” When I went to reach for one, she said, “I said, I DO mind. That means you can’t use it.” The rest of the play date, I just had to sit there watching her color. How could the tooth fairy leave her a whole bag of stuff, while all I got was two lousy stinkin’ quarters?
So when it came my time to play tooth fairy, I had some, er, complicated feelings. I’ve never been a huge fan of tricking kids about things like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I remember before we had kids, having a passionate conversation with Dave about it. (more…)