Monday, May 27, 2013

And this is why jocks shouldn't be allowed to design things. **

Because this is creepy. And a terrible idea, no matter how you slice it.

Message to people who make trophies: This is not ancient Greece. Or Rome. People don't run around naked at sporting events here. Also, a bunch of disembodied heads does not equal awesome. It's the stuff nightmares are made of.

**  (No offense meant to the jocks of the world. I'm sure there are lots of jocks who are quite aesthetically skilled. So to those jocks: please step up and take the trophy-designing away from the meatheads. The world will thank you.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Helicopter parenting

I posted about this on Facebook this morning, but I gots more to say. So I'm saying it.

Last year Claire's school taught me a valuable lesson. Claire's class had library day once a week -- I think it was Wednesdays, but I can't really remember. It's not important. For about two months straight, Claire forgot to take her library book. So for two months straight, I took it up to the school. I figured, she's 5, it's my responsibility to remind her of things, and since I forgot, I should fix the situation. Sound logic for the helicopter parent that I thought I wasn't. So one time, I took it up there well before library time. Claire came home with no new library book. I was shocked. The secretary hadn't given it to her before library time. And then it hit me: it wasn't my responsibility. And it wasn't the secretary's. Claire was 5 years old, more than capable of remembering things like this. And, wonder of wonders, she didn't forget her library book for the rest of the year. Imagine that! She learned the lesson that she had to remember her own book if she wanted a new one.

But while her lesson was important, I think mine was even bigger. My child is no longer a baby. I am not responsible for every little thing she does. She is capable of remembering things like homework and library books and show-and-tell stuff. So I backed off a little. I still remind her when she comes home that she has to do her homework first thing, because that's the rule in our house. You don't get any screen time or outside play until the homework is done. But I only remind one time. And if it doesn't get done, or if she doesn't pack it into her backpack, she misses recess and works on it then, and it's her responsibility, not mine.

I don't want to raise children who blame all their troubles on other people. I don't want to raise the child who cries that a teacher "gave her" a D in math -- I want her to know that she earned that D. Because in the same token, when she earns an A, I want her to know that SHE earned it, and she can be proud of her success. If he's struggling, I want him to be able to think through the problem and come up with a solution without falling into despair and begging other people to fix it. And when he solves that problem, I want him to feel empowered in his own life.

No parent wants their children to suffer, even for a minute. When Claire came home earlier this year and told me that she'd missed recess because she didn't take her homework to school, I felt bad. But I didn't tell her that. I helped her see that it wasn't the end of the world, and that all she had to do to prevent the situation was remember her homework from now on. And of course, the situation came up several more times during the course of the year, because she's still learning that lesson. But it wasn't the end of the world, so I kept trying to help her learn it instead of just swooping in and fixing it for her. Am I perfect in this regard? No. I know there are some situations where I take charge too much, with both kids. I'm controlling by nature, and I don't like waiting for a situation to resolve itself when I can jump in and fix it faster. So I make mistakes. But I'm learning too.

What is that saying about fishing? "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and he eats for the rest of his life." That's what I'm trying to do. Teach them how to fish. The only thing I'm trying to give them is the fishing pole.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I'm on drugs.

Without getting into my whole background and how I've been depressed forever, since most of the people reading this already know about that, let me just say that I finally went to get some help last fall. And it was determined that therapy is all well and good, but I have a brain problem and need drugs. So I'm on drugs.

And they are wonderful.

I feel like a normal human being. I can't say I feel like myself, or "back to normal," since I've never felt this way. But I feel like this is how I *should* have been feeling all my life. I'm not overly happy -- well, there was that initial period when I ran around with a Joker smile and felt kinda floaty, but I've since evened out. I still get stressed. I still get sad. I still get grouchy. But I feel those things in a normal, tolerable way. I no longer get overwhelmed by little things, and I don't have that broken record in my mind replaying every horrible or embarrassing thing I've ever done in my life.

I still maintain that it is better to try to come at depression from several angles, and that medication shouldn't be the first thing to do to the exclusion of therapy and other treatments. But from where I stand, having tried every other option I could find -- from exercise to dietary changes to talk therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy to plain ol' positive thinking -- there's a time and a place for anti-depressants. Some people need them for a short time to get through a rough patch. Some people need them for a longer period. And then there's me. I'll probably never get off this medication. And that's ok with me. I'll still keep doing the other things I need to do to keep myself up. But I finally feel like a normally functioning human being, which is something I have never felt in my life. And that's priceless to me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Best parents EVAR.

Do you have to say "spoiler alert" when it's a movie trilogy that's been out for decades? Whatever. Spoiler alert.

We watched the original Star Wars trilogy today with the kids. It was awesome. So much fun to relive those moments through their eyes. When Darth Vader told Luke, "I am your father," I thought Claire's jaw was going to fall right off her face. She was completely stunned. And then Luke is screaming, "NOOOO! NOOOOOOO!" and she was mouthing it along with him. Her little mind was blown.

And then at the end of Return of the Jedi, when Vader saves Luke and then dies, Zach's heart was broken. He was so sad because "it was his father and now he's dead." He couldn't stop crying. Poor baby. He wanted him to be a good guy and live happily ever after, and that didn't happen. During the whole movie he kept asking, "Why isn't he going to live with his father?" Because in little boy land, fathers and sons belong together, no matter what. He's such a sweetie.

And apparently he just thanked God for the people who made the Star Wars movies when he was saying his bedtime prayer. My children are Teh Awesome.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Three weeks.

That's how long I've been at my job now. And I still can't get into the rhythm of things.

The job itself is pretty ok. I do just fine getting everyone ready and out the door on time, and I haven't gotten too flustered or stressed while I'm at work. But home is another story. I can't seem to keep up with everything. I keep forgetting to do things like pay the rent and the babysitter and show up to appointments. It's like I can be on the ball at work, or at home, but not both. I can only have one ball. Somebody tell me it will get better and I'll stop feeling like I'm losing my mind. Because seriously, I have been doing a TERRIBLE job at keeping my life together since I started working. And if my boss increases my hours, like he said he might want to do, Heaven help us all. I'll be screwed. And I'll take the whole family down with me.

Bright side! I got paid today! Which means I can go to the chiropractor without feeling guilty about spending money on myself. :D If I can ever get my act together, I'm really gonna like this whole bringing-in-a-paycheck thing. If we need something, I'll know if we have money for it because I made some.

And on a completely unrelated topic, Zach's preschool picnic is tonight. It's supposed to be outside, at the park. Right now it is 50 degrees and windy. If they don't move the party indoors, we will not be staying. I'll go long enough to drop off the things I need to distribute and leave. I'm tired of freezing.