Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why oh Why oh Why? And How oh How oh How?

I was so happy to wake up this morning, 1.5 hours past my usual alarm.  Coffee was brewing, made by someone else.  I had breakfast with my children.  Then I casually wrote my daughter's last name inside the book she was taking to school so she wouldn't lose it and all hell broke loose.  Well, not exactly hell, but certainly the wrath of a 10 year old child crossed by her mother first thing in the morning.  I am pretty sure the wrath of hell may be easier to handle.

First off, let's go back to the happy moment (ahhhhh, that was nice wasn't it) okay jump ahead to the wrath of said 10 year old.  Stamping feet, slamming bowls, glares--ooh she is good!--pouts, tears, whiny calls for the undoing of said name in book. 
Then let's jump ahead to to my response. Firm words, cries of I don't understand why you are so upset, stop being upset this instant, you are not going to the book fair if you continue to act this way, explain yourself, explain your actions, do you realize how disrespectful and immature you are being?????

I know, I know.  As a general rule, I am a very calm rational person, except when it comes to my daughter and her emotions.  Then I am much like her, irrational.  And passionately so.
My husband is a saint.  He stays out of it.  I have learned much in the last year so I attempt to drag him into it because frankly (oh no! Must I say it???) he is BETTER at this parenting thing then me.  He remains saintly and simply states, when she gets like this I just back off.

Oh, backing off.  Now there's an idea.  I must ponder this.  Because when she gets like this the last thing I think to do is to back off.  Instead I rear up into her face and attempt to force her to confront her irrational behavior.  I laugh just writing about it--cause in hindsight and in my husband's sight the answer is so simple.  Back off.  Let her process whatever it is and then be there for her to talk about it.

So I backed off --practically hid behind my husband to prevent myself from reacting to the explosion that was my child.  And she calmed down and told me what was wrong. And she was right.  Cause it turns out I didn't ask her if I could write the name in the book, I just did it.  And then in a fit of "I'll fix it" I whited the name out and that was somehow worse in her mind.  And I didn't ask her if I should fix it.  I just fixed it.

After she told me all she needed was for me to ask her in the first place, I was reticent, but I apologized.  And she apologized much more willingly and all was well.  How Brady Bunch like is that?

After we dropped the kids off, my amazing husband and thankfully the father of my children, reminded me that it's so important to not "do things to" our kids, but rather ask them first.   See there was a time when I was responsible for doing things to and for our kids.  But they've grown up.  And while they are more than happy for me to do things like their laundry and making their lunches, they are a lot less desirable of me doing things like making decisions about their belongings and their lives.

Luckily they've got good heads on their shoulders (even when they are irrationally exploding) and make pretty darn good choices.  And even more luckily they have 2 parents who are a pretty good balance of one another to help point them in the right direction.  Even if at times 1 of the parents needs to hide behind the other to do so.

So what are the whys and hows of raising my kids? Well the why is easy, it's cause I love them and the how...well, I do it 1 moment at a time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Insults Between Those Who Respect One Another"

Keeton and Mishya are insulting one another while beating one another with pillows.
Keeton told Mishya, "you hit like a girl, oh wait you are a girl, you hit like a boy"
To which Mishya replied, "well, you hit like a girl!"

I think they do not understand the insult.  And for that I am proud.

Post Script:
They changed their insults to: "you hit like a cell" "well you hit like a baby" "oh yeah, well a cell is smaller than a baby" "well then you hit like 1/1000000 of a cell" "oh yeah,  well then I say you hit like one million one hundredths of cell" "oh yeah, double that" "double that 5 times" "same to you, but this goes on forever so let's just end this" "yeah, cause I already said one more than you, let's end it"

Post Post Script:
"I am aiming for your crotch!"
"Oh yeah, well you are doing a very bad job of it!"

I love these kids.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

His First Dance

The entrance to teenager is complete.  After turning 13 this week--my son not only can go into a whole new level of movie without me, he went to his first middle school dance.  And I chaperoned.  Not because I was worried, but because I was excited for him. 

And it was everything I remember middle school dances to be: awkward; strobe lights (well maybe I didn't always have those!); pumping music so loud it was hard to talk; segregated by gender on the dance floor; and an absolute blast. 

My son never danced.  He wandered around the dance floor.  He hid between banks of lockers.  He joked around with the other boys.  He had long conversations with the adult chaperones.  He brought his mother punch (with an eyeball floating in it--it was a Halloween dance after all) and pieces of candy corn and fudge.  And he took over the DJing for a few songs--including the freeze dance competition.  I think he had fun.

And at the end when all the kids went running outside giggling, shrieking and thoroughly sated from their "first dance omg it was the best ever!!!"ready to go home, he stayed and cleaned up; along with us adults who were laughing, teasing, reminiscing and thoroughly sated from having been a part of our first borns' first dance.

Then we went home, the three of us:  his father the DJ; me--his mother the chaperone, and my wonderful son--the teenager who experienced a rite of passage.  And we played Mario Kart wii--until midnight.  13 is good.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tech Support

Well I just found out what happens when Tech Support shuts you down with, "I don't know." 

First you reply, "um, you don't know?" and wait for them to actually solve it.

They then reply, "Nope, I don't know." 

Second, you reply, "You don't know? That's really your answer?"

They then reply, "yep."

Third:  You deal with it and solve it your own way. 

And I am happy to report, I solved it.  ON MY OWN! and my 10 year old daughter appreciated that, "Way to go Mom you solved your own problem!"  Ah, bless the little children. 

Not so sure Tech Support AKA my fabulous better half is as appreciative of my techniques.  But he got out of solving my problem and taught me a valuable lesson about taking care of myself.  Next time, I'll just assume I need to do that prior to asking, also a valuable lesson.