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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?