Posts Tagged ‘life lessons’

Life Lessons And Other Skills I Do Not Have

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

This past week has really testing my parenting skills. I don’t mean in a “care and feeding and keeping them mostly alive” way – that I can handle. I mean in a “Mommy, who is God?” kind of way. Those question make an alarm go off in my head that blares: WARNING WARNING! Code red question alert, run away or distract with candy immediately! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised this stuff is starting to come up, since 4 1/2 and almost 3 are ages known for ALL THE QUESTIONS but it doesn’t change the fact that in the moment I freeze up and I never know what to say.

The first one was at the park last weekend, while I was taking pictures and Evan was supposed to be helping but wanted to pout instead. Evan is an expert flouncer – he would win the gold, silver and bronze flounce medals in flouncing and the Flounce Olympics – and was trying to flounce himself away from me…right into the graveyard at Fort Shantok, which is part of the Mohegan tribe’s sacred burial lands. NOT A GOOD SPOT FOR FLOUNCING. (For the record, the graveyard is 100 feet from a playground and a baseball field, it’s not like we climbed a fence to go tromping through it on purpose.) I hissed at him not to go in there but he kept inching further away from me until I said “That is a GRAVEYARD. Stay OUT.”

Stupid, stupid Suzanne. Of course then he wanted to know what a graveyard was and WHY do they put dead people there and are there STILL dead people there and what HAPPENS to dead people once they’re in the ground and does that mean HE is going to turn into dirt TOO???

I managed not to mention zombies.  HIGH FIVES.

We both survived, and I think I’m the only one of us who’s still concerned about it, so it wasn’t the worst conversation ever. But it certainly wasn’t a shining moment in using my words.

The second one, which is way harder, is Evan’s bus situation. His best friend since before he was even capable of having friends is on his going-home bus, but there have been some problems with teasing. The good news is Evan isn’t the ringleader and after I found out he was involved we had a good talk and he apologized now he knows he’s supposed to tell people “Those are not kind words, be nice to my friends!” The bad news is four year olds forget stuff and some parents are more involved and some are less involved and when the only adult there is a bus driver whose job it is to DRIVE the bus it’s easy for someone to get their feelings hurt.

In an attempt to separate the troublemakers, Evan ended up with an assigned seat next to a kid he doesn’t know. The bus driver – who is very nice – told me Evan was upset the first assigned-seat day, so I asked him why he couldn’t be friends with the girl he was sitting with. He said,”I don’t want to sit with her, she has yucky boo boos on her face!”

My brain said: “Aaaaaaagh alert alert, your child is a jerk! Fix it! Fix it now!!!”

My mouth said: “Evan! That is not OK! You be nice! To everyone! Even people with…who…different! Everyone is different! We are friends with everyone even different people!”

“OK Mommy,” said Evan.

I composed myself and we talked about it again later. I must not have done too badly, since the next day he told me he sat with (that same girl) and they were new best friends and the bus driver reports that he’s been good. It’s only a 15 minute bus ride, I don’t want it to be the most stressful part of his whole life. It’s crazy to me 4 year olds even know HOW to be mean to each other on the bus – at home the meanest thing Evan ever does to his sister is not share toys. He wouldn’t have any idea how to hurt her with just words and it scares me that pretty soon he probably will. I’m going to need to read a book or watch a YouTube channel or get in touch with Mr. Roger’s ghost somehow to help me navigate this life lesson stuff.

Can we just go back to babies that never sleep and when to introduce finger foods? That seems less likely to cause permanent damage.

Lessons Never Learned

Friday, June 7th, 2013

A Brief List Of Lessons I REALLY Should Have Learned By Now But Can’t Seem To Keep In My Thick Skull:

1. Eating too much crap will make you feel like crap.
2. Wash your face before bed.
3. Wear sunscreen. No, really. Wear it. All the time.
4. Don’t stay up until midnight when you know your kids get up at 5:30 am.
5. Going grocery shopping without a list is ineffective and expensive.
6. Procrastination just makes you anxious about that thing you have to do, so then you’re anxious AND you still have to do it.
7. There is no such thing as “Just checking Facebook really quick”.
8. Ignoring the check engine light in the car doesn’t make it go away.
9. If you spend all your money, then you do not have any money.
10. It’s really hard to end a list at only 9 things.

This post is partially inspired by Amy’s list of lessons she’s learned, which is a great list and can all pretty much be added to THIS list, since I’m sure I won’t remember to put any of it into practice. I feel like a major part of being a grown up is getting to a point where you stop making the same mistakes over and over, which is why I will NEVER be a real grown up. I’ve been making the same mistakes since my very first homework assignment was due in school, the first time I ever got an allowance, the first time I went to a water park without my mom. And yet! Yesterday I put off a writing assignment I had due, spent unnecessary dollars on candy I didn’t need (and shouldn’t eat), and already sunburned my nose twice this season.

I wish there was a definitive way to change a behavior, permanently, forever that ISN’T just “will-power and hard work.” I realize that makes me lazy, and possibly a shitty person in general, but if I have learned anything about myself it’s that I can’t do it all. Something always slips. And at this point in my life the areas where I cannot afford to screw up – mainly the two small, blurry, red-headed areas usually hovering around my knees – take a lot of energy. If will-power has to be used for either “Don’t eat that cookie your kid just handed you” or “Don’t shout at your other kid for grinding that cookie into the carpet”, I usually eat the cookie. Even when I make things as easy for myself as possible (I bought face wipes and left them on my nightstand so I would ALWAYS clean my face before bed. I still forget.) I can’t seem to follow through. Do I have a chemical deficiency? Am I without a brain part? Did I miss will-power day at school?

Maybe the trick is baby steps. Teeny tiny itty bitty changes over a long, long period of time. If I start drinking a glass of water first thing every morning, maybe in a month I’ll drink 60 oz a day. Maybe if I can go to bed at 11:45 for a few nights in a year I’ll be in bed at 9:30. Maybe if I can skip that iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and save my pennies in a hundred years I’ll be able to hire a butler to make me all my iced coffees at home! Or maybe I’ll start trying to make changes some other time. Later. Maybe after I check Facebook.

p.s. Unrelated to anything in the post – except for maybe the procrastination thing – I asked Siri (in my iPhone) to sing to me yesterday and this is what I got. I know making Siri say funny stuff is really old news, but it still cracked me up.

ask siri to sing

 

Tunnel (of) Love

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

At our Friday playgroup a few weeks ago, Miss Amy let all the kids explore IN and OUT and THROUGH using a play tunnel. At least, she tried to let all the kids use the tunnel, but once mine got over his initial fear he spent the whole hour climbing back and forth trying to keep everyone else out. He would speed-crawl right to whatever end a kid was trying to enter through and sit on his massive thighs, silently saying “MY TUNNEL MINE MINE MINE”.

A good mother would have used that opportunity to teach Baby Evan the importance of sharing and taking turns and how good it feels when we can all play nicely together.

Me? I just bought him his own damn tunnel.

P.S. HE SAID BALL. AND KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. “Bal bal bal bal bal bal” and then he goes looking for a ball. Not like “ma ma ma ma ma ma” when he goes looking for some lint to chew on. BALL is officially his first word.



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