Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The "H" Word

It’s a humbling and somewhat scary feeling when you realize that you cannot control all of the influences for your children. They go to school and they learn from their teachers and their friends. Some of these learnings match our beliefs and morals but unfortunately some of them don’t. It’s a difficult task to help them understand and withhold our beliefs and values when their peers don’t share them.

The “H” word has reared it’s head in our house twice this month. I was totally taken aback the first time I heard it. Sara and Scott were playing when Scott got a bit too rough and started pestering Sara. She told him to stop a couple of times, then drama queen went overboard and screamed, “I HATE you!!!!” at Scott. I knew she had to have heard it at school or at daycare or the neighborhood kids because we just don’t talk to each other that way. Well, we had a long talk about how words hurt and that she didn’t really mean it. She apologized and I thought that was the end of it. Yes, I know, na├»ve Mommy.

This weekend, they were playing in the sprinkler and having a grand time. Daddy started spraying the kids with the hose and Sara didn’t like it. In her defense, she told him to stop numerous times, but you know how Dad’s like to keep on going. And there it was again. She screamed “I HATE YOU!!!” at her Daddy. I was just floored, again. Another talk ensued and another apology.

I discussed this with a friend. Her teenager had gotten angry with her recently and wrote her a note saying that he hated her. She said he’d never said it and it really hurt her. I understand. It’s one thing to hear a 6yo say it in the heat of the moment who really doesn’t understand it, but for a child to think about it and then write on paper is huge. When they talked about it, he told her he really didn’t mean it. I thought her response was awesome. In a nutshell, she told him that he can’t say things if he doesn’t mean them because they can’t trust him. Does he really mean it then, when he tells her he loves her? That is a very powerful approach and really teaches them to think before they talk and to be honest with themselves. I don’t think 6yrs is too early to start teaching them this. And maybe there’s a lesson here for grownups too.

Belated Monday Musings

Ok, so I'm a day late. Blame it on the holiday!! Here's the next color meme. Enjoy!

Orange

1. Do you like pulp in your orange juice?
2. Do you ever visit the tanning salon?
3. Orange you glad I didn't say ___________?
4. Did you watch "The O.C."? If so, who was your favourite character?
5. Do you like your grilled cheese made with Kraft singles (or a similar processed cheese) or real cheese?


1. YUK!!! Nope! I don’t like things floating in my drinks. I rejoiced when they came out with “no pulp OJ”.
2. I did a couple of times about 10 yrs ago but I turned more red than tan and and I itched a lot so these days I get my tan out of a bottle.
3. Banana
4. Never watched the OC.
5. Processed cheese baby!! Gotta have it ooey gooey creamy!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes

Children have no brain buffers—they think it, they say it. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. But it’s generally the truth.

So this morning, I turned the TV on to entertain them while I did the rest of the morning routine of trying to get 3 kids, sorry, 2 kids and a Hubby out of the house. There was an infomercial on for some exercise equipment. Scott watched it for a moment and then turned to me and said, “Mama, you need to get that because you’re getting fat”. OMG!! I gave him one of those looks to which he replied, “You really are, Mama.” Then he goes on to say, “When I become a Daddy and get fat, I’ll get one of those, too”.

Well, at least he slammed both of us!!! LOL!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Musings

I found this meme from another site and wanted to share it here. They are doing a 7-week meme related the colors of the rainbow. Please post your answers in a comment here and feel free to to also post them on their site. Hope you enjoy!

Red

1. What makes you blush?
2. What was your worst sunburn?
3. If you had to wear a vial of someone else's blood around your neck, whose would you choose?
4. What's your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song?
5. Where (other than home, cause that's not inventive) would your Ruby Slippers take you?

Here are my answers

1. What makes you blush? Gosh, just about anything, an off-color joke (even if I’m telling it), a compliment, being startled, public speaking.

2. What was your worst sunburn? When I was in college, I got a blistering sunburn. My legs were blotchy instead of red and my skin started peeling off the very next day. The skin on my upper chest blistered and cracked and I couldn’t wear a brassiere for 2 wks!!!

3. If you had to wear a vial of someone else's blood around your neck, whose would you choose? Ok, weird question. I dunno, my Hubby’s or my children’s I guess.

4. What's your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song? I don’t’ have one.

5. Where (other than home, cause that's not inventive) would your Ruby Slippers take you? Can I count my parents’ house? I’d go there. Otherwise, I’d go to see my very best e-pal, Laurie. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Strike One!

So like I’ve said, Sara’s attitude just stinks these days. She turns every little thing into the Titanic! Lately, she’s been sassy, ugly, back –talking, whining, loud, you name it. So I decided to try a different approach since the overused “go to your room” obviously wasn’t working.

Scott is going to a b-day party this weekend at a pottery place. Sara really wants to go too so I plan to take her and let her do her own project while Scott does the party thing. So I thought this would be a good way to teach her something. So I told her that Scott was going to the party but if she wanted to come along, she’d have to earn it by behaving—no whining, no back-talking, no defiance and treat me with respect. It started as an ultimatum. One infraction and she’s done. That didn’t seem quite fair for a child this young so I changed it to three strikes.

She was doing fairly well until yesterday when she stared fussing with Scott over a spot to sit on the couch (oh, to have such “weighty” issues!). She hit him, yelled at him and actually told him she HATED him. I was totally shocked! Such talk is taboo in our house and I’d NEVER heard her say it about another person. I wanted to pull her privileges then and there (and I probably should have), but I wanted to stay consistent with the program she and I had agreed to. So she got her first strike—a big red “X” on her section of the calendar yesterday. A good visual for her so she can’t forget. She also got a good lecture on how words can hurt more than hits and then she apologized to Scott. Two more strikes and no party. It seems to be working.

Now, for the future, I wanted a different approach. This may work for those special events but what about the times in between? So, I have one of those magnetic responsibility/rewards charts that we’ve not been using because I’ve not taken the time to hang it on the wall. (I know, poor excuse!) I’m going to use that for the future. The children will each have some responsibilities specific to them and also some that they share. The shared responsibilities must be achieved by BOTH children to earn the magnet and will include: no whining, play nice, etc. I’ll give them a goal for a certain number of magnets to earn. When the goal is reached they can draw a paperslips from the “Family Fun Bucket” which will have things like bowling, mini golf, museum, dollar store, and so on and so forth.

Hopefully this will help them earn a sense of responsibility and achievement and learn that good behavior leads to good things!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

That Still Small Voice

I should have listened to that still small voice in the back of my brain. I knew that we’ve eaten out way to much lately and that I should just take them home and make hotdogs or mac-n-cheese or something. But the “norm”, unfortunately, has become that when Daddy is not going to be home for dinner, we go out.

I heard that voice in the back of my head nagging at me all the way to the daycare but when we got in the car, I sighed, “do you want to go to Mickey D’s?” One little voice said, “YEAH!”. One little voice whined, “No!”. That nagging voice in my head, said, “Go home!”. But on we went and after much deliberation on the children’s parts, we decided to go to Burger King. They have Spiderman toys. Sara wants chicken fries. I ate there for lunch so I didn’t care, chicken fries sounded as good as anything to me.

I park, coax, no wait, plead the children out of the van. They are all excited about Spiderman toys and chicken fries. I walk up to the register and there is it…….the sign…….”Cash only”. What??? What is this “cash”? I don’t know what it looks like. What do you use it for? I live in a plastic world. I use my debit card for everything. I never carry cash! I jumped great leaps of joy when the fast food industry joined us in the ranks of the 21st century and started accepting plastic! I was at a loss. I drug two children whining about Spiderman toys and chicken fries back out to the van while trying to explain that I didn’t have this “cash” and we would have to go elsewhere. Envision lots of whining and lamenting in the back seat.

So next idea was to go to Wendy’s. That still small voice in my head is getting louder now, “This Wendy’s food is awful and the service is terrible, go home!”. But the children drowned it out so off we went. We walk in, no signs, so far so good. Only one person in front of us. Cool. Children have miraculously decided on what they wanted to eat. Could I be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Ah, but wait. The man’s order isn’t right, the cashier can’t find the right buttons on the register. The drinks are wrong……that should be a kid’s meal………where are my fries? (The light is getting closer now!) Finally, the man in front of me is done—I guesstimate about 10 mins has elapsed. I place my order. I kid you not, it took no less than 5 minutes for this guy to ring in 2 kid’s meals and a combo and another 10 minutes to get the food (What's that noise?). And the coup de grace was they forgot Scott’s yogurt which sent him into a whining fit so bad that I braved the trip back to the register to get it (The engine is thundering inside my head and the voice is screaming........"I told you so!").

So next time that voice starts to whisper in my head, maybe I should stop and listen to it. And always keep a supply of mac-n-cheese in the cupboard.

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

It’s belated because it’s been crazy. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I’ll save you the gory details and the whining on my part and just say that I got to be Mom on Mom’s day. Scott was sick (double ear infection with eardrums about to burst!) so none of us slept well Saturday night and all of us (including—or maybe especially—Mom and Dad) were crabby most of the day. But I did get melty hugs from Scott and normally silliness from Sara and lots of handmade cards. And to me, that’s what it’s all about. ‘Nough said?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Date Night!

I can't remember the last time Hubby and I went on a date. It's been so long since we'd been alone together that we didn't even know what to do!! Friday night we dropped the children off at one of those parent's night out programs for the very first time. That in itself was difficult. Not having any family in the area, I can count on one hand the number of times we've left the kids with someone and gone out alone. I think it was high time, don't you?

So we went to a movie. I'd not seen a "grownup movie" in the theatres since Sara was born. You really miss the big action in a movie when it's not on the silver screen. So we went to see Spiderman 3. It was great!! No cartoons, no kids begging for more candy or fighting over who gets to hold the popcorn. The special effects and action were awesome! And there was a romantic story line also--something for everyone!! We also got to preview the movie since the kids are begging to see it. Verdict--definitely not for kids! The Sandman isn't too bad but the black creature was way scary, even for me!!!

We really had a nice time. Probably not the best because we just aren't used to doing this and I know that I worried about how the children were behaving. But they were "perfect angels" (of course, aren't they all that way for someone else?) and had a great time too. They didn't want to leave when we came to pick them up. I'd say a good time was had by all!

We saw the preview for the new Harry Potter movie that looks really good! I think practice makes perfect, don't you?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

He shoots.......he SCORES!!!!!!!!

Scott is an avid hockey fan. He loves to watch hockey with Daddy on TV and go to the games of our local NHL team. He’s been ice skating since last August and we think he’s pretty good. He’s also been taking hockey lessons since about the same time. He just started playing for real in the spring league. His hockey level is “mini-mite”—4 to 6 year olds. Most of the boys on the team played during the regular season which ran from October through March so they have experience and are quite good. Playing a real game is very different than passing the puck back and forth during practice. He doesn’t really understand the concepts of offense and defense. But he does what the coach tells him and he’s learning.

So Saturday’s game, I watched him drive the puck towards the goal several times only to lose control of it and miss the prize. Then it happened. The puck was loose behind the goal. Scott skated around behind the goal and hooked it around and in. It was beautiful!!!!! I was celebrating in the stands!! Daddy was celebrating on the bench!! Scott was celebrating on the ice!!! He was so proud of himself (as were we!)!!!

Talk about a boost of confidence!! He really threw himself into the game then—aggressively pursuing the puck and trying for another goal. But that would be the only one…….for THAT game!! Coach came to the locker room and presented him with the puck from his very first goal. Dad wrote his name and the date on it for him and it’s going into his treasure drawer.

I can’t wait to see where that sense of accomplishment and confidence takes him next game.

Presenting the Graduating Class of 2007!!

Preschool graduating class that is!!

Scott graduated preschool on Saturday. It was a very impressive program! The class did a program called “The World is a Rainbow” and the children represented different countries. They dressed in the clothing native to their country, told us facts about the country and sang a song about the country.

Scott represented China. He got to wear a red silk robe and his line was “Ice cream was invented in China”. He was so proud. For their music, they played a song about a Chinese frog while he and another boy hopped around a little girl in a caftan with a fan. Too cute!!!! The class also did Africa, Mexico and the United States and then sang “My Country T’is of Thee”. There was a brief intermission with slide show of pics of the children throughout the year. Beautiful music, many tears.

The children then had a processional from the back of the room in their caps and gowns and were so grown up as they each stepped forward to get their diploma and shake their teacher’s hand. They ended with this one last song (sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”).


I’ve been going to my preschool
All the whole year long.
I’ve been going to my preschool
And I’ve learned all kinds of songs.
Learned my name and my letters,
And my numbers too.
I’ve been going to my preschool
All the whole year through.

Graduation Day,
Graduation Day,
Graduation Day is finally here!
Graduation Day,
Graduation Day,
Graduation Day is here!

Kindergarten, here I come.
Now, I’m on my way.
Kindergarten, here I come
I can’t wait for school!!!


So he’s ready for kindergarten………but am I????????