Friday, March 30, 2012

IF I RULED THE WORLD.....

......We would have standardized play date rules.  These rules come from things I've experienced over the last 11.5 years (no I'm not kidding!).

Here's what I propose:

1.  Plan the play date at least two days ahead of time (preferably longer).  Some of us aren't as flexible as others (especially those of us who single parent part of the time!).
**2.  If you invite, then you pick up and bring the child home (especially if you live over 30 mins. from said invited child's house!). 
***3.  If you invite for an activity you pay (i.e. swimming, bowling, Amazing Pizza machine, etc.).
4.  Don't invite my kid over and then at the end of the play date call and ask, "Can she/he stay overnight?"  Again, overnight stays are another thing that I like to have planned out. 
5.  Remember that the rules are a lot different for a first-born child than they may be for your 3rd or 4th born child.  My first-born is the kid I'm learning through.  Don't expect me to allow a lot of the things that you have already experienced.  And YES, I expect there to be supervision with 11 year olds when they are out in a public place.
6.  If your kid is calling to invite my kid over, I would still like to speak to a parent/adult to confirm everything.  I'm sorry but have you ever heard the way 11 year olds translate things or answer questions. 
7.  If you are inviting my child out on a boat and she's never been on one before, I will be a little wary.  Please understand!
8.  If there aren't going to be any parents home then my kids will not be able to come to play date.
9.  If you invite my kid over and I have to come pick them up at your house then please have them ready at the agreed upon departure time. 
10.  And finally, if you call me and say, "Come get your kid.  My kid is misbehaving and their punishment is the end of the play date."  I will say no, especially if my other child is having a play date here. 

**I am willing to be flexible on this rule as it relates to birthday parties.  I understand that this is a different situation!
***Another area  can be flexible with.  I actually don't care as much about this one. If someone is willing to take my kid AND bring them home, I will gladly pay.

That's what I propose (and also the rules we follow here!).

Did I forget anything moms?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

PETER RABBIT.....


Peter in action
 Camden got the chance to be Peter in the 1st grade performance of Peter Rabbit today. He did an awesome job!! I had watched the dress rehearsal so I knew what to expect. Today was Sam's first time seeing it and when I looked over at him during Camden's solo the tears were flowing. We are very proud of him!!


video



Friday, March 23, 2012

HUNGER GAMES EDUCATION

What I learned at the Hunger Games premiere last night.....
  • Even being at the movie theater for 4 hours, I still couldn't finish a large diet coke.
  • When you are old and are planning on staying up until 3am, you should really try to get a nap in sometime during the day.
  • No matter how long you have been married it is still fun to do something different.
  • I was prepared to have to deal with loud, annoying teen-agers all night but they were all so nice and as soon as the movie started were quiet.
  • Sometimes things work out and you snag 3 seats (Sam, me, my purse) in the front row of the upper level.  You know the seats....the one with the foot rest!! 
  • I have no concept of ages anymore.  They all looked like jr. high kids to me.
  • When watching a movie with teens, be prepared for laughter in strange and sometimes inappropriate places. 
  • The kids really loved the Effie Trinkett character.  Every time she spoke they laughed.
  • I had been obsessing about how much shorter Peeta was than Katniss before the movie started.  Once the movie started,it didn't really matter.
  • Who says kids are insensitive?  The young man sitting next to Sam lost it when Rue....well you know if you read the book.
  • It was so fun to watch a movie with people who weren't scared to clap, boo, or cheer.  I think that's fun! 
  • The previews before The Lorax are much, much different than the previews before The Hunger Games.
  • Every movie coming out in the next few months has something to do with vampires.  (Did you know Abraham Lincoln was a vampire slayer?   Neither did we!).
  • When you are 40 something and you go to a movie geared towards 15-somethings, wearing a movie-themed shirt does NOT make you cooler.
  • Sam totally reverted last night.  He was waving at people, giving every one he saw wearing a District 12 tribute t-shirt the Hunger Games salute, and heckling teens.  Lucky for him I was there and stopped him from putting on one girls' bread placard (that was evidently a tribute to Peeta). 
  • You know you are old when you turn and give your spouse a high five every time someone older than you comes into the theater (for the record that only happened about 5 times and we were in a 500 plus person theater).

 Happy Friday!
May the odds be ever in your favor!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MAMA BEAR

Before we had kids....back when I didn't think I ever wanted kids.....I thought I knew what would be the hard things about being a parent. Actually, I was pretty accurate in my worries. The things I knew would bother me definitely do. Although some would disagree, I think I have learned to deal with these things pretty well.

The one thing I was not expecting was the mama bear persona that overtakes me when my kids are threatened by something (or I perceive they are threatened). Now I'm not some softy parent. I'm actually quite tough on these kids. High expectations are placed on them. They know they are loved regardless of the outcome, but we do expect a lot from them in their behavior, grades and in their other pursuits. In fact one time I acknowledged to CM that I had been a little harsh on her when she had brought home a great grade but one I knew she could have done better on. I told her I would try not to be so tough on her and she said, "Don't quit being tough on me mom. I need that." (It was one of those days when I felt my parenting methods were quite validated)!

So from the previous paragraph it may seem like I would be one who would make my kids handle everything on their own (i.e. bullies, issues with friends or at school). That is so not me (some of the time). I believe in helping them if they are struggling with something, not all the time but when something is over their head or is really upsetting them.   Isn't that my job while they are living under my roof?

My friend Melanie told me a story of how when she was growing up a boy was picking on her at school.  She told her mom and one day after school her mom confronted the kid and told him to knock it off.  She never had a problem again.  Now I can feel some of you readers (are there any of you left?) cringing, thinking, "She should have made Melanie handle that on her own."  Why?  Melanie was a child....a child who needed help.  Melanie has had plenty of opportunities to stand up for herself since then and her mom handling it for her when she was a child did not hinder her development in that area one bit!!  She is a capable person who is raising four sweet kids of her own. 

CM was having some terrible problems last year with a "friend" bullying her.  One day I pulled the child aside and said, "CM has been a good friend to you and the things you have done to her have hurt her."  I went on to say, "I haven't called your mom or the principal yet but if there is ever another instance of this happening, I won't hesitate to call both."  Did the child continue this behavior?  Did she make things worse for CM?  No....she gave me a hug and apologized and we have not had a problem since then.  Later when I told CM, she ran to me and hugged me (the tightest squeeze I've ever felt) with great relief and said, "Thank you mommy."  She acted as though the weight of the world had been lifted off of her shoulders.  Oh no.....you are cringing again aren't you?  For the record, there have been quite a few times when we have made her do her own confronting but in this case it seemed parental intervention was best.  Sam was not sold on me saying anything to the child either but after he saw CM's reaction he realized how much it had been bothering her.

Or take today for instance.  Cam's teacher pulled me aside and said that all the boys were going to have to go to the principal's office because some of them had been misbehaving.  She said, "Camden isn't one of them but I'm just going to go ahead and send them all."  At first I didn't think anything of it but as we were walking to the car, I start to feel him put his head up against me and he just started sobbing.  He was so upset that the principal might think he had been one of the boys who was misbehaving.  He said, "You are supposed to get a consequence when you are being bad.  I'm getting one for doing nothing.  Why do I have to go to the principal's office?"  He had a point I thought (plus seeing his crushed spirit was KILLING me and was awakening the mama bear).  Cringe alert....So I told him I was going to go back and talk to the teacher about it.  He was OK with that.  I didn't yell or scream or anything but calmly told her how upset he was and his reasoning and logic.  She said she'd think about doing it differently.  That's all I could really ask.  We have processed it here tonight and Cam knows he may still have to go down.  He's made his peace with it especially since he knows that his teacher knows how he feels. 

If I were a great writer, there would be some moral at the end of this long tale.  There's only this.  It's OK to help the kiddos out once in awhile.  It doesn't mean that they are going to grow up to be weak or unable to handle their problems.  Actually I think it shows them something greater.  It shows them that you are on their side, that you will be there for them, and that they can count on you!  In this world of insanity, our kids need to know that. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM





SAM

Today we celebrate you!! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love you!