Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun to Irritation Ratio

Fun to Irritation Ratio: noun. The highly scientific ratio of a child's fun with a particular object versus their parents' irritation and frustration with their child for playing with that object.

I've just returned from a Thanksgiving trip to see my father, step-mother, younger sister and her family. We had a great time just drinking tea and taking outings. On one outing, my dad announced that he needed the moms and pulled Younger Sister and I into a toy store. We were instructed to pick one toy for each child. I chose a bowling set and those little puzzle mats you put on the floor.

Here's what I did not consider: Monkey Sons were going to need Mommy to set up those bowling pins, and it will be Mommy picking up all the letters that Monkey Son #1 punched out of the puzzle mats. Apparently, the letters do not belong in the pieces while he is building. I will admit that it is monotonous to have to do those things, but that is highly offset by the fact that the Monkey Boys are having such a marvelous time with them, and it allows me to play with them. Maybe it wasn't such a bad choice after all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hidden Obvious

Hidden Obvious: adjective. Term describes anything about a spouse, family member, or friend that should be obvious, but goes without being notice.

Husband and I met over 10 years ago. We started dating only a few months after that. We find that we know most things about each other, and it is a rarity that we discover something radically new. That's why tonight came as a humorous shock.

Recently, I've been having trouble with eye fatigue while crocheting (yes, I do that sort of thing). I pulled out my glasses that I haven't worn in who knows how long and started using them for that purpose.

Earlier today, I left out my glasses. Husband found them tonight and noticed the odd arrangement of the ear pieces. He asked if I had sat on them.

"No," I told him. "My ears are crooked."

He smiled and told me that he almost believed me.

"I'm not joking," I said. "My ears are crooked." I put my oddly askew glasses on, and to his astonishment, they sat straight.

"Are you..." he began. I'm guessing he was going to ask if I was holding my head funny.

I'm kind of shocked that after all this time and two sets of glasses he didn't know this about me. Maybe he had just forgotten. In his defense, you can't tell that one ear is higher than the other by just looking at me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mommy Day

Mommy Day: noun. A day when being a mommy is exhausting and frustrating.

I'll spare you the exact details of what happened in my house before noon today. I will tell you, though, that it involves a sick child, two showers for said child, several loads of laundry, and the toilet in one bathroom backing up into the tub in another.

By this point, I'm exhausted, ready for a shower myself, and just want to pick up my crochet hook and be left alone. Although I know that really won't happen, it's still OK. This sort of thing is not exactly the glamorous part of being a mommy, but it does come with the job.

Some may wonder why being a mom would be worth the hassle, but let me tell you that when your child looks at you and says, "I love you," or reads his first word, you'd be willing to do it all again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letter Drop Part II

Letter drop: verb. The act of mispronouncing a word by young children due to missing letters.

You can read Part I here.

A few days ago, Monkey Son #2 went to the pediatrician to get a check-up and vaccinations. Later on that evening, I asked Monkey Son #1 what we had done that day. He remembered Monkey Son #2 had been to the doctor and proudly announced that his brother got shot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Quick Word from Kristina

I've decided it's time for a change. I'll be playing with the layouts for the next day or two, trying to find something I really like. That's why the background changed today, and may change again. Feel free to give me feedback.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Inclusively Exclude

Inclusively Exclude: verb. To try to include every child in everything, but sacrificing other valuable lessons in the process.

Husband has often said that giving everyone a trophy is not right and we are raising generations of children who grow up with a sense of entitlement. I really think there is some truth in this.

Monkey Son #1 was watching one of his children's shows today in which one character was trying to put together a baseball team. He was holding tryouts and trying to find the best players for his team. As he was holding the tryouts, he came across another character that was just awful. He never hit a ball. When he tried to throw, the ball went behind him. When he tried to catch, the ball hit him or went between his legs.

Obviously, the character holding the tryouts did not want this terrible player on his team. But what happens? The one putting the team together learns that everyone should always be included no matter what and it would hurt the player's feelings if he was not allowed to be on the team.

Excuse me? That is the lesson? Let me be perfectly clear. I am all for raising a child's self-esteem. I am not saying it is OK to exclude people on a whim. However, to allow people to do something just because they want to? You should always give people what they want or you may hurt their feelings? Sorry, but that is not the way the world works and we are doing our children a disservice by letting them think so.

So, the character putting the team together "learned" that it is only right to include everyone. But what did the player learn? Sadly, not a darn thing. No one told him that he should practice if he intends to get better. No one told him that he can work at his skills, then try out again later. No one told him that he really needs to work so that he can become a valuable member of the team. Instead, this is what happened: he tried out for the team and seemingly fully expected to be chosen. When he realized he wasn't, he walked around whining and crying about how he can't do anything right until he is finally allowed to be on the team.

What about dedication? What about building self-esteem and character through hard work? What about handling disappointment with some grace? The only thing I saw in this episode was teaching children that they should expect to always be included no matter what. Go ahead and give them their trophy now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Word Break Error

Word Break Error: noun. When a child breaks words into sections, causing a misunderstanding.

Our neighbor's tween daughter was visiting this evening. She was sitting on the floor and playing with the dog, when Monkey Son #1 asked her where she lives.

"I live across the street," she replied.

"Yes, she's Ms. ____'s daughter. Ms.____ and Ms.____ are her sisters," I told him. "Where do you live?"

"I live here," he answered.

"What's your address?" I pressed.

Monkey Son #1 looked at our neighbor's daughter. "She's not wearing a dress. She's wearing...uh, shorts."