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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He broke her nose?!?!

Graeme broke his primary teacher's nose. Yep, broke it. Bleeding all over the place and everything. And, as if it wasn't bad enough that he broke it, I didn't actually find out about it until Sunday night as we were putting him to bed. He prayed for his teacher's nose to stop bleeding. I of course called her Monday morning and found out that it was indeed broken (I know I keep repeating that but I'm still kind of in shock about it), it was an accident (thank goodness) and she's okay. The bright spot in all of this is that now when other moms are complaining about the naughty things their kids do, I can top 'em all. Hopefully his teacher will look at it that way too. (nervous chuckle)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dear Annie

I'm very disturbed by a column I read in the newspaper a couple of days ago. It was a regular advice column (Dear Annie) which I read almost every day. I usually agree with the advice being offered and have come to view the writers as moderate and trustworthy. Two days ago, however, one of the letters published was from a woman who was concerned because her husband was looking at pornography on the Internet. She said he was a good man and treated her and their children well, but she was uncomfortable with this habit of his and wanted to know if she was overreacting. They told her that she was! I was stunned! Their response to her said, in essence, that most men look at pornography and some women look at it with them. The writers more or less told her to deal with it. I was very upset after reading this. I don't think pornography should be socially acceptable for anyone. Pornography presents people and situations that are unrealistic; this leads viewers to change their own expectations to unrealistic ones. Once you've seen an image, it sticks in your brain. If you're looking at pictures of your kids, then your mind is full of your kids. If you're looking at pictures of people in sexual situations then your mind is full of sex. This is not a good thing. Physical intimacy definitely has its place but thinking about it constantly makes it difficult to think about anything else; e.g. work and family. Pornography is also extremely selfish. People who look at pornography aren't doing it to help someone else, they're doing it for self-gratification. Being selfish is not ever the way to be happy. I'm sure this sounds very self-righteous and preachy but the fact is that I believe we are all capable of controlling our urges and passions. Not only capable, but morally responsible to develop a certain level of self-control. Besides, my kids are still young and innocent. The thought that they might lose that innocence to pornography keeps me up at night. I can't make their decisions for them, but I will do all I can to change social perceptions before they're grown.

Monday, September 10, 2007

housework is for chumps

I hate housework. I mean really hate it, not just a general feeling of I would rather do something else. I honestly believe that most people would rather do something else. Go to the dentist, for example. I think this housework hatred of mine has its roots in my childhood (of course). I had four sisters growing up so I think the scheming, sneaky side of my brain decided that with all those other girls around I would be a chump to do housework. I got surprisingly good at covering up housework that I didn't do. Of course now I have my own house where the only other girl in sight is 8 and I'm finding that my cleaning skills leave a lot to be desired. I often think that maybe I'm just incredibly lazy but then I remember how much time and effort I used to put into pretending to do housework and I realize that no, I just really hate housework. I guess that scheming, sneaky part of my brain managed to convince the rest of my brain that housework truly is for chumps. Now the trick is figuring out some way to earn enough money to pay some chump....uh, I mean person, to come clean my house for me. Either that or I'll finally let my husband fulfill his dream of running away to Alaska to live in the wild. We'll all be cold, hungry, wet and dirty but at least I won't have to do housework.

Friday, August 31, 2007

the violence escalates

I was reading an article in a scouting magazine yesterday about teaching your kids responsibility. One of their tips was to let kids work through their arguments on their own. I hate that particular tip. That may work for some people, but if I don't intervene in their petty arguments they soon escalate into violence. For example, my 2-year-old has recently begun referring to the character "Doc" from Cars as "Doctor". This infuriates my 5-year-old. Here's how it goes:
2-year-old: Doctor
5-year-old: It's Doc!
2-year-old: Doctor!
5-year-old: It's Doc!!
2-year-old: DOCTOR!!
5-year-old: IT'S DOC!!
mommy: silence
At this point I look in the room and discover the coffee table overturned, the couch cushions scattered about the room and both boys lying on the floor screaming and bleeding. My biggest fear is that my children will grow up and get jobs advising foreign governments. Can you imagine?
foreign leader: But I like the president of that country!
my child: Trust me! If you let him get away with mispronouncing the name of your dog, you'll never live it down in the U.N.
foreign leader: Okay. If you say so. I'll launch the nuclear warheads today.
my child: (with a self-satisfied smirk) It's all about being right.
Then we'll all die and it will be my fault for not intervening more when they were younger.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

speech therapy

I went to the parents only night at the school for my kindergartener last night. It was very informative and helpful but talking with my kids' teachers always makes me feel like the world's biggest failure. This is not the teachers' fault. Before my kids start school, even though they drive me crazy, I manage to harbor the delusion that they are each perfect and will never misbehave or require "special" help at school. Consequently, when I speak to their teachers, my little glass house comes crashing down and I feel like I've failed. Last night I discovered that my son, who has been going to school for 3 days now, (only 2 and 1/2 hours a day, mind you) has already refused to do a classroom assignment, had to go sit by the teacher, had to sit out during recess and been noticed by the speech teacher. Surprisingly, I'm most upset about the speech teacher. Not because I didn't expect it, after all there are still days when I can't understand what he says and he's five! No, I'm upset because now there's another teacher that I'm going to have to interact with on a regular basis. I'm assuming that someday he'll either learn to behave or start taking medications that will force him to behave, but I'm just not sure that I'm going to survive dealing with teachers for the next twelve years. The irony is that I was a teacher before I went insane and became a stay-at-home mom and parents scared the crap out of me. Now I'm a parent and teachers scare the crap out of me. Will I ever win?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

sweet freedom

As I was riding my bike home from the school yesterday (baby trailer in tow) after dropping off my son for his first day of kindergarten, I noticed a very interesting thing. Moms throughout the neighborhood were stepping out of their houses, hands raised to keep the bright sun out of eyes unaccustomed to direct sunlight. The first movement of Beethoven's sixth symphony began running through my mind as I watched them congregate on porches and at mailboxes with only very small children to hamper their newfound freedom. I understood exactly how they felt; after all, I was heading home to put my youngest down for a nap. I enjoyed blessed quiet and solitude for two whole hours. What a beautiful thing school is!

Monday, August 27, 2007


My second child started kindergarten today. I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, he's out of the house for almost 3 hours a day. It's even the 3 hours when his brother is supposed to be napping! On the other hand.........never mind. I've suddenly realized that I know exactly how I feel about this. Wohoo!

Here I am, blogging about kids and food

So I'm sitting in my basement with Matlock going in the background trying to ignore my 2-year-old kicking the wall. He's in his crib, supposed to be asleep, but in the strange world which my kids inhabit sleep and mealtimes were created by bloodthirsty parents whose only purpose in life is to torture helpless, innocent children.
We've recently started forcing our 8-year-old daughter to eat food other than chicken nuggets, cereal, pasta and bread. Needless to say, this is not going well. Mealtimes have gone from 45min of enjoying each others' company to 2 and 1/2 hours of screaming, crying, nightmare. Last night we gave her a small piece of hamburger (with cheese and bun, both of which she normally loves), a small corn on the cob (again, this isn't usually a problem), two small green beans, and a small pile of Rice-A-Roni. Oh, and let's not forget the poison-filled glass of strawberry Kool-Aid. I got fed up with the stalling and set a time limit. 1 hour later, after much screaming (on my part), sobbing (on her part) and gagging (I can't be too critical about that, have you ever eaten overcooked canned green beans? ugh! Although in all fairness I did remind her several times to eat them while they were warm) she finally choked it all down.
But wait! you say. How can a growing eight-year-old survive on such a small amount of food? I have no idea. Really. My guess is that she's not growing, after all, her five-year-old brother weighs the same as her and is almost as tall. Of course, we do have to buy her new clothes and shoes every couple of years so she must be growing a little bit. I don't know.
Anyway, our five-year-old is taking his cues from her (as usual) and has also started kicking up a fuss at mealtimes. A couple of nights ago he actually took his gagging to the next level by throwing up a small piece of cabbage. And it was good cabbage, too! crisp and fresh. Sigh. Sorry, Mom, for all those times I sat at the table not eating the perfectly good food that you provided for me. Can we say comeuppance?