Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't be that guy

The other day, I got stuck behind a school bus - not such a bad thing since I've been stuck behind this particular bus many times during the school year and I know all the kids who are getting off so I can gauge how long it will be before I gain my freedom. But it seems a lot of people don't have that kind of time to spare. That whole extra 3 or 4 minutes they might lose out of their day if they have to wait behind a bus. Those are the people that speed up when they see the yellow lights start flashing on the bus. Most people would slow down, prepare to brake, but not these guys. Some of them race the lights so they don't get stuck. Some of them just completely ignore them and drive on by. While I was sitting behind that school bus, I watched a car pass the bus. It had the stop sign out, red lights flashing - all the ordinary signs that a child was getting off the bus. But here comes the car flying past. I expected to see some young person, oblivious to the warnings, but it was an older woman - apparently a mother, judging from the kids sitting in the back seat. I got this awful hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. What if that bus driver hadn't yelled at those kids to stop walking. What if they were already crossing the road? There I was honking and waving my arms at the passing car and she had this look on her face like she was just in another zone completely. Oh, here's another guy to NOT be - the guy that doesn't pull over for the ambulance or firetruck. What is that about? It's not rocket science - pull over! I remember once covering a story where an ambulance hit a woman's car in an intersection and she was suing the city and making such a big deal about the whole thing, claiming they didn't honk their horn when they were passing through the intersection. Really, lady? then why was yours the only car in that busy intersection? How come everyone else could figure out to get out of the way? What a bunch of bull. Another guy to NOT be? The guy that stands there watching the cashier bag his groceries and not helping. That is so pius. Who do you think you are? Throw the chips and salsa in a bag and put it in your cart. The cashier is working a long day getting paid a little amount - give her a break! Oooohhh, here's my final guy NOT to be. I think I can claim this annoyance for mothers everywhere. Have you ever had a guy rush past you when you're pushing a stroller? You think they're going to go ahead of you and open the door so you don't have to struggle. Nope. Think again. They're rushing ahead because they want to get through the door and not have to get stuck behind you as you struggle to get your kids and your packages through. He's got his Abercrombie shirt and is in a rush to get home and try it on! I'm sure none of you reading this would ever be that guy. But, if you're ever out and about and happen to see one - feel free to trip 'em with your stroller.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Suck it Up

This is obviously a phrase I have used one too many times. The other day, my 5 year old was having a hard time getting her sneakers on. I guess they had gotten a little snug after I ran them through the wash. So, she's putting them on anyway, saying "I guess I'll just have to suck it up." Oh man, I felt so bad. Do I tell my kids to do that? I must. I know sometimes I kind of mean it. You know, if they fall, get up and brush yourself off. If you mess up, get up and fix it. I guess I'm trying to teach them in life that there are plenty of things you have to do before you get to do the things you might want to do. We live in a rough world where things are hard and things aren't always fair. And in this rough world, you do need to learn to suck it up sometimes, you know? I do think my kids will need to learn that sad truth eventually. But maybe not now. Maybe not at age 5. I got her a new pair of sneakers. A bigger pair. And they fit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Not my kid

Are you one of those parents who think their child can do no wrong? Wait, don't answer that. Because if you are one of those parents, you probably wouldn't admit it because that might be admitting you might be doing something wrong and if your child isn't wrong then you certain aren't wrong, right? Okay, that might not make sense on first glance, but let it sink in and then slowly buy surely, the logic of it will make its way into your psyche. It's hard to take blame, to accept responsibility for things. Sometimes, it's too much for a person to bear, let alone a child. But there are some kids who tend to blame almost everything on other people. Like, they lose a race and it's their friend's fault because she was wearing purple socks that day instead of white. Or if they trip on a rock it's their brother's fault because he should have seen the rock in the yard and picked up it days ago. It's natural for children to place the blame on someone else - anyone else. It's usually because they're embarrassed or just react badly or just don't know how to handle a certain situation. But, they can also learn that behavior. They can learn it from their parents. Plenty of parents see only the good in their children. They look past shortcomings. They ignore bad behavior. They allow their child to get away with things that they wouldn't let another child do. I remember once when Caty was 3. We were sitting in the lobby of her preschool after the kids had just come in from the playground and one of the moms approached her. "Caty, how come you aren't being nice to Melissa (her daughter)? Melissa says you didn't want to play on the swings with her." Before I even had the chance to say anything (and you know I was about to!) the teacher said "Hold on a minute. Melissa was the one not being nice. She gave Caty a hard time, so don't you lecture her." I was relieved to have the teacher step in so I didn't have to give this mom the business. First of all, how dare you even think about reprimanding another person's child like that? And secondly, why would you automatically assume that your little princess was telling the absolute truth about the situation. Oh, that's right, because she's a princess and you probably never question her. I have to admit, my mom used to always have my back. She always believed what I told her and always went to battle for me. A lot of times, it turned out I wasn't being very honest and didn't deserve having her stick up for me that way. But, I would do the same thing for my kid. I don't want to be like the mom who thinks her kid is never the cause of the problem. Because, guess what Moms of children who can do no wrong? It takes two to tango.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Go to bed!

Why do children not value sleep? Why do they not realize that sleep is a gift. It's a positive, an asset, something not to be taken for granted? Seriously, children, go to sleep. You know you're tired. You've got dark circles under your eyes and you can't walk three steps without bumping into something! I just don't get it. Why do kids hate going to sleep so much? Some kids like bedtime. They like that routine of brushing their teeth, using the toilet, washing their hands and face, maybe brushing their hair, reading a few books, hearing a lullaby, saying their prayers. Whatever the routine, some kids really find comfort in it. Not mine, of course. My kids want to stay up indefinitely. They want to stay up until they pass out. My youngest had an entire year where she would be awake for about two hours anytime during 1 and 4 in the morning. Nothing was wrong. She would just wake up and be up. She didn't cry. She didn't need food or drink. She didn't need the bathroom. She just got up and hung out. That was fun (for her, I mean). Now, they push themselves. They don't care that it's a school night. They don't care that it's 9:30 or 10 pm and a lot of kids have been in bed since before 8. They want to stay up. There might be something good on TV. Or, they just want to be with me (yeah, right, sure I believe that one!) They just want to fight sleep. I am not complaining because I know in just a few years, I will be wondering why they sleep all the time. They'll hit their teen years and it will be near impossible to keep them awake! Maybe then I will remind them how hard it was to get them to go to sleep when they were younger. I'm sure they won't believe me or they won't really care and just smile and nod to get me to leave them alone (so they can go back to sleep). I can't fault them. I stay up way too late every night. I don't really know why. I guess it's my only time alone to do things I need to do - and I can only get it at night when they've gone to sleep. So the later they stay up, the longer it takes for me to wind down. Oh forget it, I'm going to take a nap.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just a minute

Today my thoughts are inspired by one of my favorite moms - we were asking girls something that their moms say all the time. For this mama, her saying was "just a minute." Think about that. Think about how many times in a day you might say that to your child. She says it a lot and wondered aloud "how long is that minute exactly." Some days it's a few seconds. Some days, it's 5 or 10 minutes. You never know. It all depends on the circumstances, I guess. I know I say it a lot. Just a minute. Just a second. But it's never really "just" anything. It's probably just our nice way of saying "Wait!" We have to say it, because it seems like we are always so busy doing one thing when someone is asking us to do another thing. Wouldn't it be a funny experiment if moms all wore stopwatches and then every time we said "just a minute" the stopwatch would automatically click on and we could see how long it actually took for us to get to what we had to do. Lord knows, I would not want to have that stopwatch. I'd be late every time. Or we could just all change our common saying to one that matches that of our children - whenever they ask us to do something, we could just say "I'll do it later."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Where have I been?

Every time I blog, I look at the date of my last entry and gasp. Can it possibly be that long since I wrote something? I'm so bad about it. I love doing it, but it always falls to the last spot on my to-do list. So, here I am. Mother's Day has come and gone and I missed a wonderful opportunity to spout the eternal wisdom I have gained in all of my nine long years of being a mother. Hope you all had a great mother's day and that someone treated you special. Doesn't matter if it was breakfast in bed or an hour to yourself so you could read the paper - whatever it was I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly. Mine was nice and then uneventful as my children visited their grandmother and I went to the mall to use a $10 coupon that was set to expire. You wouldn't believe how many people were at the mall on Mother's Day. I guess that's how a lot of women want to spend their special day - leading their families around the mall on a shopping extravaganza. I guess it's pretty practical. you know what you want so you bring your peeps to the Galleria and point it out. Saves that whole awkward moment when you're trying to seem grateful for the cardigan with crocheted penguins. Happy Mother's Day,all. Hope you had a wonderful day!!!!1