I have a tendency to be late to things. It is not on purpose and I do not like this fact about myself. Over the years, I have grown mature enough to pinpoint my faults… More
I love the sun. One of the reasons I feel that my husband and I should uproot our entire lives is so that we could move to an area where the sun shines most of the day, month and year! I feel like sunshine helps me to grow and be creative and feel better! I’m happier, motivated and more positive. (And I think I’m cuter–because you wear dainty, freer clothes in the summer, right?)
During the winter months, I start to feel like I’m being held back from so many things I could be doing– if I wasn’t being weighed down by snow storms, slushy dangerous streets and winter advisory warnings to stay inside. That is when I begin making plans of all the wonderful things I am going to do as soon as the weather breaks and the higher temperatures start to roll in. I literally create a list and start to imagine the tingle of the heat on my skin and the elation I’m going to feel as I engage in the listed activities. I get fantasies going and include my daughter in these–both of us discussing the snacks we may take along or the outfit we may wear. Whether we will go by ourselves or include someone in these sun-filled, perfect-weather activities.
So summer comes, right? The weather is hot and brilliant, right? And one day (last Wednesday) I realized that it is the middle of July and that I have only done one thing on my summer list! I still have so many other things I was supposed to do but now there’s school supplies replacing the beach gear at stores. The board of education is starting to send out medical packets that need filling out for the new school year. And I keep getting a groupon email, reminding me that I haven’t used the voucher I purchased in February to visit a nearby safari park.
Now is when the panic seeps in! I am starting to depress, thinking of all that we have not gotten done and probably won’t get done! The sad part is, I can’t give you a list of things that we have done, that replaced my summer bucket list! How in the world does that happen? When another mom asks “how the summer has been going”, I have no exciting stories to share of what we have gotten ourselves into, yet I have been so busy and slightly overwhelmed on the day to day with so much (of what?) going on! Again, I ask you, how does that happen?
There are three 1/2 weeks left before the kid goes back to school. Although I look forward to the quiet of her going back and the toned down days from the hustle and bustle of unknown sources, I am really going to try and fit in at least three more of the listed activities we thought we were going to fulfill. A sleepover, a waterpark and I tell you–I will feed a giraffe at the safari park, doggone it!!
And who knows? Maybe we can squeeze a in a few more items over the weekends. Perhaps get the bike rack out of the box and setup so we can enjoy that bike-riding picnic down the towpath that we listed.
I’ll try not to let the incomplete activities get me too down and in the dumps. And I’ll just keep viewing posts of folks doing fun energetic activities that I’ll probably add onto next year’s (unaccomplished) list!
My daughter is an only child. I always assigned this as the reason that she wants my husband or I to be part of all of her activities. If she’s making a sock puppet, one of us is asked to participate so she doesn’t have to do it alone. When she learned how to crochet, she asked me to sit with her while she did it–just to have someone near her. While outside riding her bike, one of us has to be present to watch her circle the cul-de-sac. Any task, craft, activity or job that she is involved in, has to be accompanied by one of us. Whether adult supervision is necessary or not. Again, I thought it was just a peril of having one child.
That is why this year, we decided to bring along a cousin (with two siblings of his own) who is close to her in age with us on vacation. We really felt that this would be a good idea, as well as the key for us to sit by the pool and actually get to enjoy some relaxation time while the kids frolicked and played together. We planned ahead and thought we covered all bases for the two of them to be aptly occupied. What we didn’t plan for, was that now we had two children making requests for us to come and play!!
What?! What happened?!
We provided them both with floatation devices, snorkel masks, water tasers, and alligator shaped rafts. The pool had three water slides, multiple waterfalls and grotto hot tubs. Not to mention there were numerous other kids in the pool they could have easily asked to join them in any kind of made up game. But, no. After the first trip to the pool, after only a mere fifteen minutes, both kids approached the edge to ask when either my husband or I were going to come into the water to play.
Hiding our annoyance, my husband kindly explained that the two of them were to entertain each other. This “revelation” was met with sighs and whines.
The funny thing I noticed, was that a few lounge chairs away, a mom was trying to relax and have a conversation on her cell phone. She, too, had provided her two daughters with inner tubes rented from the resort to help with their entertainment. The girls started off fine, floating together in the tubes, trying to flip each other off, when their cries for her to join them mingled in with my kids’ cries!
I was shocked to see that these two sisters continued to ask for their mom to join them–the same behavior I see from my only child! The same behavior I experienced with her and her cousin! I must say that I am astounded at this because this is not the way my sister and I acted when we were young. And we didn’t have floatation devices or goggles or any such fun equipment given to us. We were shown the pool and told to make due. And that is what we did. We made up contests, played ‘telephone’ underwater, saw who could hold their breath the longest, baptized each other, did handstands, made dance routines, flipped somersaults, swam like mermaids, played freeze tag, tried to stand on each other’s shoulders. And all of this was done before we invited other kids in the pool to join us. Then we did it all over again and again until our parents told us it was time to go. (Suggesting these activities to them was again met with sighs and whines!)
So, why isn’t this the case with kids now-a-days? It makes you wonder why kids aren’t as imaginative anymore? Is it the electronics? Too much tv watching? Over-stimulation?
I’m not sure we’ll ever know. I just hope I can gain some patience to deal with it as long as it lasts!
I took my kid to the dentist a few weeks ago and needed to empty my bladder before her appointment was over. On a previous visit to this same office–with this same issue of needing to pee–I was shown a cute little bathroom in the corner of the office to use. On this new visit, I figured I’d be given this same allowance.
Not the case.
This time, I was told to take a key with a large chunk of wood attached to it as a keychain and to go up a flight of stairs to use the restroom.
I’m sure you can guess how annoyed I was with this new arrangement. And it of course got me to wondering–why do certain offices (and I find that it’s usually a dentist’s office) make you use a locked community bathroom? Realize, though, that the question does not lie in the community portion, but in the locked aspect?
What previous patient, perhaps under general anesthesia for oral surgery–or one who needed laughing gas to calm down for a filling–went on a drug induced rampage and ransacked the bathroom that they now have to lock them up and monitor who goes inside?
I remember these same rules growing up as a kid and wonder how it all started in the first place and why it hasn’t changed today. Have we not shown ourselves mature humans now to be able to handle using the restroom without monitoring? I guess not.
The answer to this phenomena may be plain, obvious and understandable. But when I’m restricted by the reason, it makes no sense in the world! lol
There’s a song by Kings of Leon with the lyric “..take the time to waste a moment.” The first time I heard this verse, I wrote it down so that I could reflect on ways I could do this. I thought that wasting time with my husband or my kid would be a good choice. Or with both of them together. Perhaps wasting some time to take the dog for a nice long walk when I’m supposed to be washing dishes or folding clothes. Or maybe just doing something for myself that can bring me some inner calm. Any of those would be great ideas of how I could put into action the words I heard.
But of course, I got to thinking—why do we have to be reminded to do this kind of thing yet we find ourselves constantly wasting time on Twitter, Facebook or any other commonplace activity? Why are we okay to waste time bingeing Netflix shows but have to be coerced into wasting time with our loved ones? I have found myself swiping through pictures and videos on Instagram, of persons I don’t even follow, before I realize forty-five minutes have passed. But I will quickly turn up my nose at my kid if I’m asked to look at some box she’s made out of a box. (This is not a typo. I have literally been shown a dismantled shoe box, cut up and re-taped back into a proud square!)
I’ve never taken much time to look and see what the song is actually about. I could be taking this one lyric out of context and changing the entire meaning of the song. But I did feel that verse sent a good message that we should take time to waste moments so that we can recharge ourselves or reconnect with whomever we deem necessary. This is some sound and good advice that we should strive to heed from time to time. Stop being so quick to rush to the next monotonous and mundane chore that we have to fill every day. Stop carrying the rushed and over worked attitude that we got when we left the office. All we are doing is running toward our next stressful situation!
Whether I am interpreting the song correctly to having a profound meaning or not, I really hope that I can be better about setting more meaningful, as well as necessary, time-wasting moments.
I love coffee shops. The sit down, work on your thesis or read–coffee shops. It started back in high school when my best friend and I would go to Arabica’s around our neighborhood to work on school projects, study for tests or have our own two-man book reviews. Ever since, the place always had a feel of bliss for me. Ethereal, Eclectic and Inspiring bliss. You walk into a good coffee shop and feel that everyone there is being creative in their own special way.
The day to day activity of life had slowed down my visits to any coffee shops for a while. But recently, I found myself needing a place to sit myself while my kid attended one of her current “must join or I will die” after school activities. Parents were not allowed to stay and observe and I didn’t feel like driving all the way back home.
Lo and behold, the heavens shone a light on a nearby coffee shop. I have posted here ever since and immediately fell right into the groove from my first visit. I was able to journal with deep emotions and read my book with a keener sense of understanding. I even sent out the most meaningful email responses none have ever penned. (Well, typed actually. You get the idea)
I say this with tongue in cheek but honestly, you can’t deny the overall feel of reflection vibing off of folks. With the quiet flow of Indie music piping through the speakers and the sight of persons free to be bold with their self-expression.
One such individual caught my eye the instant I walked into the coffee shop that first day. A young and pretty barista stood behind the counter. She had her eyes outlined with a black smoky rim and had drawn black diamond shapes the length of the left side of her face, from the top of her eye down to her chin. One blue diamond broke up the black trail. The shaved left side of her head added to her edgy look. But in its own way, it was still quite soft and feminine and looked lovely on her. Perhaps her bubbly and kind attitude added to the softness of the dramatic look.
I quickly envied this young lady of her confidence. Again, adding to the overall feel of the coffee shop being a place where you can be who you want to be.
The next week, I was surprised to see the same barista but with a new design on her face. I don’t know why I assumed the week before was a one shot deal. To observe some celebration that I was not aware of. But I thought: how cool is it to work at a place where you can do this kind of thing? Be who you want to be? And be accepted?! I ordered my Chai tea and smiled at the prospect of such a thing.
I found myself looking forward to see what she was going to do the next week. And I was not disappointed. This time, she had a rainbow of beautiful eye shadow colors blended nicely over her lids which were accented by a sprinkle of small silk flowers that matched her choice of shadows. The flowers were arranged once again over the left side of her face. A nice spray that started above her eyebrow and scattered to her mid-cheek.
I finally spoke about her face art and told her that I loved her bouquet. We talked for a moment of how she kept the flowers in place and about the brand of eye shadow she uses. Adding to my first impression that she was a nice young lady.
The emotion of the coffee shop on this particular visit was shattered moments later when an older gentleman walked into the place. After marching up to the counter and kindly being welcomed into the establishment and asking for his order, the man responded with a harsh: “What is that crap all over your face?”
My barista, as she has now been pegged, kept her cool and replied: “They are flowers, sir. What can I get for you?”
Who did this murderer of creativity think he was barging into my land of inspiration and ruining the bliss felt by all? In honesty, I think I was more offended than the barista! So much so, I felt it necessary to speak to her of his rudeness and compliment her on handling herself aright! I hope on my next visits, that this man never infects my haven with his presence ever again.
It saddens me to wonder: Can it be that not all feel the effect of the quintessential coffee house? Perhaps some feel that it is just a place to drink a caffeine-infused beverage.
None can be that obtuse could they?
If you asked me if I would like to go back to being a teenager to experience that phase of life all over again, I would hesitate slightly before saying no. The hesitation would be because of the health and energy I enjoyed as a teenager. But the firm “no” would be because of the emotional ball of drama that I displayed. The upset, tears and hormonal imbalance of being a teen is overwhelming! (And I dread being a sad, unwilling participant when my kid goes through it) The complete horror of not having the right shoe to set off an outfit; or a hair coming out of place if the outfit was just right. The complete devastation if your friend didn’t call you after school — although you just spent the entire day together. The utter dismay of everything involving the person that you were crushing on. As a teen, anything could have been the cause of serious emotional upheaval. And who needs that?
But then again, if you try to take a counter view of it—when have you ever felt as passionate about anything? Why don’t we carry that same fervor for things ever again?
Wouldn’t it be great to feel for our current mate as we felt for that crush we had as a teen? That every conscience moment was consumed with thoughts of them. That you honestly felt that you would fade into nothing if you didn’t talk to them multiple times a day. Remember how your entire body would respond to just feeling the heat of their bare arm next to you at the lunch table? No, not touching you—just next to you! Can you imagine the change in the state of marriages today if we all still had that kind of ardor?
What if our friendships were nurtured as well as they were when we were teens? Minus the immaturity, of course. I can’t handle all that female backstabbing again. But if we called our friends on the regular, talked about all of our hopes and dreams like we used to—lay bare all of our thoughts and fears—can you imagine the strong bonds we would have? I wouldn’t want to feel that total devastation if a friend doesn’t text me back in a timely manner, but no longer holding back our innermost thoughts and being open books to our closest companion(s) would be amazing.
I don’t think I would have the energy to be as emotional about my hair and clothes as I was back then, but I guess having a stronger interest in those areas would be nice!
Overall, I guess my point is that I wish I could copy some of those intense feelings I had as a teen. To dream big. To love harder. To experience happy emotions with my entire being. Take away the disquiet of the teen experience and you have a raw passion that is unfortunately lost as an adult.
A little while back, my sister and her husband were over for dinner and lightheartedly got into a dispute about dirty clothing. My sister was fussing that clothes belong in one of three places–the drawer, the closet or the hamper for washing. But my brother in law disagreed. He felt that the arm of the chair, the side of the footboard or gently placed on the floor by the bed were acceptable places as well and should be added to her list.
My sister looked to me for support–because in most cases (an estimated 9.99997 times out of ten) I agree with her–hands down. But to her bewilderment and my husband’s excitement, I agreed with my brother in law. (Who has been and still remains one of my 6 arch nemeses)
Here’s the logic behind it. Some clothes just aren’t dirty enough to be put in the hamper, but not clean enough to be put back where they belong. Short and simple. So where do they go? To one of the aforementioned areas.
I don’t know of which opinion you find yourself on the matter, but let me give a detailed scenario to explain myself.
Say you wake up one fine sunny day and want to sit out on your patio. You wash, pick out a shirt and pants from your drawer or closet and go have breakfast outside. You read the paper, check email, play games on your phone or enjoy the family. After this, you perhaps help your little one build a fort or order a few household items online. You then decide you want to catch up on a few shows that you DVR’d. So you sit on the couch to create more space on your cable box and enjoy three episodes of Criminal Minds (12 minutes missed because you dozed off) and maybe a light lunch until you’re reminded that you have to get up and get ready for your dinner plans that evening.
And here’s the clincher–what do you do with the clothes you just had on? You perhaps recall perspiring ever so lightly due to the beautiful heat from the sun earlier. But no sweat glands could call themselves completely expressed from it. And you’ve done nothing but sat and watched TV for two hours with an occasional long stare out the window.
Whereas the clothes are no longer the best choice for say–a lunch date with colleagues–they are still perfect for another day of loafing around. Or perhaps a quick run to the store. You could use them to cut the grass or wash the car tomorrow. (Which would for sure merit hamper status) But you also have to keep in mind that you had two small meals in it. No stains, but could the shirt imperceptibly smell like that garlic vinaigrette that was on your little salad? Maybe? Maybe not. But you feel as though you cannot put these items back in the closet with freshly washed items. So? Where…Do…They…Go…?
Exactly!! The floor, the footboard or the arm of the chair.
We discussed this for about 45 minutes over assorted grilled cuisine because there was nothing we could say to get my sister to understand our sentiments nor to agree with our arguments.
I don’t know if I’ve persuaded you or not, but it was 3 to 1 that night; so it could be safe to assume that more of you have clothes lain around your rooms (as do I) than not.:-)
I have a 6-year-old kid. And kids do crazy things that get themselves into trouble. But I find that I am now having a hard time coming up with proper and effective ways to discipline my daughter when she does something I do not favor.
Let me give you an example. My daughter recently picked up the habit of holding spit bubbles in her mouth and rolling them around with her tongue. Well, I find this nasty. Here I am trying to talk with her and she’s not able to answer me because she has to swallow the tablespoon of spit she has let collect. Or I look around the room and lovingly gaze at the profile of my daughter (if you knew me, you would immediately tag this for the exaggeration that it is) before she turns toward me and reveals the spasmodic seizure bubbles she’s harboring in her mouth! Again, it’s just nasty.
So I have tired myself of gently chiding her about it, which then moved to yelling at her about it, which graduated to threats of doing something about it, until I had to come up with some form of discipline. Well, what the heck kind of discipline is a parent to dish out for a spit-hoarder? What kind of punishment fits that crime?! I threatened the discipline so of course I had to follow through with it and create one. But when it came time to, I lacked all imagination.
In talking with friends, I have found that I am not the only person finding stress in this area. One friend has three boys, and says she will make them do exercises as a form of discipline. Didn’t clean the kitchen? 50 push-ups. Forgot to take out the trash? 15 suicides in the backyard and so on. I actually like this idea. But call me a feminist (believe me, I am not) because I felt like this was great–but more so for boys. Does that make sense? No. Because my daughter would actually hate to do any form of exercise. It would probably be the perfect route to take. But then I would have to stand there and watch her do it all. To ensure she actually finishes the allotted chore. So, whereas I have not taken this off the table of ideas, I still have not implemented it into my repertoire. (Yes, I’m lazy.)
I have another friend who takes away all electronics from her girls and sends them to their room. This worked until she found them cuddled up reading books to each other and enjoying themselves. Under normal circumstances, this would be a parent’s dream–bickering children now playing in harmony. But not when you are trying to teach a lesson. So she next had to say no to books–including coloring books. She reminded them that this forced quiet time was to be used to reflect on ways to be better and all that kind of parental garbage talk that we do. Well, she now finds them in their rooms fast asleep! Maybe they are dreaming of their abhorrent acts and of ways to make it up to their parents upon awakening. Though I strongly doubt it! So are they really learning any lessons from this discipline? Or do we just get to enjoy some quiet time away from them? Which in itself is a highlight.
I have sent my kid to her room on numerous occasions. But I am not lucky enough to find her asleep. She sits on her bed with her door open and tries to hold conversations with us as we walk by. She feigns sudden interest in anything she can think of to engage us in some kind of banter. Even if we make her close the door, she will talk through the crack. (Think of Elsa and Anna in the scene from Frozen) So it ends up being more annoying than satisfying at teaching a lesson.
Well, back to this spit habit. I had to come up with something the other day to fulfill my threat of discipline. I was in the moment and felt true pressure on what to choose. My husband wasn’t home so he couldn’t help me. I was on my own. I quickly tried to think back on anything I was forced to do when in trouble in my youth. As the rolodex flipped through my mind, it stopped on a weird page just as a flash of The Simpson’s title sequence with Bart writing on the chalk board flickered in my mind. So that is what I made her do. Write “I will not play with spit” 10 times every time I catch her doing it.
Yes, my husband and sister laughed at me when I told them this. As you quite possibly are doing as well. But it was all I could come up with at the time! So far, she has had to write it 50 times and has 10 in queue as you read. Just this morning she had to write it 20 times before she could watch tv or play with her tablet or even think of putting Barbie in the convertible mini-coop.
Do I think this punishment fits the crime? No. But as I asked before–what punishment would? Do I think this will be effective? I don’t know. The first time she had to do it, she was actually proud of her work! She asked if we could keep it. I’m not sure, but I think she was under the guise that it should be framed!! However, I caught her rolling spit a few minutes ago and when she saw me looking, she quickly swallowed it and said something to the effect that she “had a tickle in her throat and wasn’t playing with spit, just trying to clear her throat”. All of this was said without me saying one word. So maybe, just maybe, it’s working.
We parents have no idea what we are doing. Who knew that we would be trying to concoct methods of punishment for eating toe jam or taping boogers to the wall? Or that our kids would be in the best physical shape of all their classmates without playing even one school sport because they are doing pull ups from not finishing their homework?
I for one am not afraid to admit I have no idea what I am doing as a parent. But I am open to suggestions. I’d love to hear how you are keeping your kids in line and ensuring obedience… 🙂
I have read many articles that talk about the plight of our children today and how many are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Most articles explain how some cause of this could be due to children being overstimulated with too much television, electronics, video games and the like. I am in total agreement with this and try hard to get my daughter to do more throughout a day and not just sit in front of the TV. I try to keep craft projects on hand so that she can have an alternative to all day tube viewing and I sometimes will leave her to her own imagination to come up with constructive things to do. (Which somehow results in a lot of talking to herself–not sure if this will be cause of future concerns! ha)
Anyhow, I say all of this to tell of a recent experience that ground my gears. A friend invited me to a skating party hosted by her son’s school. I felt this would be a great opportunity for some physical activity and looked forward to my daughter learning some sweet disco moves. So imagine my surprise once the games were done and the announcements were made, that a huge screen was pulled down in the middle of the rink that played cartoons during the skating party! Huh?! What was with that? I was so disappointed! There were so many kids who stopped skating to stand in the center of the rink to watch episodes of popular animated series. I had to literally move my daughter away from the screen multiple times to get her to start skating again. And I was not the only parent having to do this!
I didn’t (and still don’t) quite understand why a skating rink would find it progressive to play cartoons while there is loud music playing, neon lights blaring and 100 square feet of available flooring for kids to skate on. If the kids are there to engage in skating, why are you upsetting that plan and adding a television? What would be the purpose? And how do you expect me to try to defer the causes of ADD in my child when I take her to a place to focus on some physical activity and then she’s thrown a curve ball with a need to choose between falling every forty seconds on wheels or standing still to see Beast Boy turn into a gorilla on Teen Titans Go!? On wheels.
Throw me a friggin bone here, people! Help a mother out!
I have mentioned that I have a three-year old. And I have also mentioned some of the challenges she imposes me with. So why not talk some more?
My daughter engages in a list of things that upset me daily. From rubbing Vaseline all over her face and hair to crushing my toes with her “princess heels” as she walks around the house. Or wiping her hands on her pretty dress at dinner rather than on the napkin she just asked for 30 seconds ago. There’s a ton more but I’m sure you get the idea. Well, right now, I am torn as to how I should feel when she does something like, say, pour water all over the counter and floor for no apparent reason or spoons soup out of her bowl and places it under the placemat at the dinner table and proceeds to smash it into the table. Once I realize what she’s done, she immediately shouts out an: “I’m sorry” along with the appropriate level of ‘sad face’ to fit the crime. Although these are the most insincere apologies, they are still well-timed and what I have been training her to say after doing something wrong. The thing is, after one of her befitting apologies, she promptly goes into singing, talking to her dolls or going so far as to tell me how much she loves me! All thought of her recent wrongdoing seem to be erased from her memory and she goes on like it never happened! Doesn’t she realize I just yelled at her and that my blood pressure has gone up at least two systolic decimals and that I’m still angry with her? I recognize that this could be a ploy on her part to deflect my thoughts from deciding to punish her any further than I already have. But nonetheless, here lies my dilemma. The kid has a point–neither of us should be reflecting on the wrong that was just done. We should be moving past it and getting on with our lives. But I don’t want to!!
Even though she is displaying the best attitude to have toward any negative situation, that’s not how it all usually goes is it? When someone offends us or hurts us in any way, we want them to know what they’ve done, realize how it has affected us and to feel some kind of anguish for it. We want them to stand there and listen to us explain how hurt we are and why. Perhaps allow us to delve into soliloquy to truly define the torment and pain they just caused. Then we want them to prostrate themselves at our feet and plead for our mercy. Stress their ignorance to the sensitivity of our emotions and request a plan for how they can do better–no, be better–in the future. After my daughter engages in one of her many transgressions, I want her to carry a ‘look of shame’ for the rest of the afternoon. Bow her head in humiliation any time I walk pass her to show deep remorse for the wrong she has committed. Talk to her dolls about her well-developed plans to be the ideal adolescent for years to come.
But none of that is happening with a toddler, let me tell you. She doesn’t care about the infraction 10 seconds after it occurs. So it is now up to me to let it go myself. I need to remember there is no use crying over spilled milk. Literally. (or juice or soda or oatmeal or ice cream) I have to stop looking for more from her and just accept her apology. However contrived I think it may be.
I’m hoping I can get better with it in time because right now, I’m still battling with it all. But I already see how following the example of my little hellion will be a good trait for me to attain. It’ll help me to be more patient. More forgiving. Less stressed and angry. It’ll enhance what we have together as well as benefit me and all of my relationships. What a good little lesson this little booger is teaching.
So if you catch me fussing at her for grabbing onto clothes as we walk by with our cart, nearly toppling over the rack…just know that I’m really going to try to be done with it after she apologizes. And not fester with anger as I pick up all the items that have fallen to the floor.