Sunday, August 30, 2009

So Excited

Just bought baby boy three brand spanking new pairs of big boy underwear. Two were soaking wet inside of an hour. Plus two additional wet spots on the floor. Potty training is soooo much fun . . . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Queen Bee at Three

So, after my bursting pride about how compassionate and kind my daughter is, I was horrified this morning. My husband called from pre-school to say that she said she didn't want to sit next a girl because she was "ugly." Hubby tells her that this is not a nice thing to say and that she shouldn't say that. The Babydoll (I think I referred to my daughter this way at some point, so let's go with this moniker) is upset by his reprimand and puts her head down. After he takes my son to his class, Hubby comes back to check on her and now she's sobbing. But she explains that another girl, one who The Babydoll adores but who sometimes says bad words, declared this girl "nasty"; what in the world?!

Hubby finally gets The Babydoll to stop crying and I explain over the phone that in our family, we are nice to everyone and we don't call anyone names. I tell her that even though this other girl said this mean thing, it's still okay for her to play with and be nice to the "nasty" girl. She says okay, but I get the feeling that she'd really rather gain the favor of the queen bee. In recent weeks, we've already had a conversation about not following when other children display bad behavior. I told her then that no matter what any other child is doing, I expect her to follow our family's rules. I was not prepared for this. Not now. I thought that I had a few years to cultivate a kind spirit before I had to be concerned about cliques. And, truthfully, my real concern was that someone would bully The Babydoll, not the other way around. She's small and not always aggressive enough. I already had the speech in my head for my son about how to treat girls--"I will not raise a son who calls girls names or objectifies them in any way. You cannot live in my house and disrespect any woman, no matter how your friends behave." Who knew I'd have to use that speech on my daughter first? At age 3.

I'm concerned, but at least we have time to work on this. Maybe we can find a book that will help explain why this kind of behavior is not okay. One thing is for sure, though--don't spit up in the air; it comes down in your face. The Babydoll doesn't know it yet, but she could just as easily be the designated nasty girl. All it takes is the wrong pair of shoes or an unfortunate hairstyle choice or some embarrassing encounter with a boy; mean girls watch what you do and turn your normal, meaningless moments into social hurricanes. Much better to put the good vibes into the universe.

I think it's time for a playdate with a girl of my choosing . . . .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This (Think Trace Adkins)

I go back to work tomorrow. I am so glad I have a job and I like my work, but I hate for this time to end.

I don't think that I ever mentioned that we brought Popcorn home (she came home in June), but all summer I've been a stay-at-home mom. It's been wonderful!

At first, despite what the nurses said in the NICU, she did not eat and fall asleep immediately. When we would wake up in the middle of the night, she stayed awake for the rest of the night. Either me or Diva's Husband would be fighting sleep while rocking the baby who would be just looking at us with eyes wide open. So, having the chance to stay home all day was beneficial. Now, she is sleeping through the night (yea!), but I just like being home with her. We play and read and sing and sleep and just be cuddly together.

Tomorrow I have to take her to the babysitter. Initially I was extremely sad about the idea that being with the babysitter would be the first time since she came home that she would be without either me or her father, but then I remembered that there have been a few times when her grandmothers came to visit that I ran to the store while DH was at work. That made me feel better. But only a little.

Before I had her, I always thought I would welcome the opportunity to go away and have time and space to myself. Now, although the prospect of getting back to the world of academics and intellectual pursuit is mildly exciting, that opportunity is not looking quite as appealing.
My mom and aunt say I will get over this feeling by the second day. I'm doubtful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And it's only Tuesday . . .

Went on campus to get "oriented" to my new gig. Let me tell you: This is going to be great!

Two years ago I was in labor. Birthdays are MUCH more fun! Baby boy loves his gifts, too! (He thinks the bowling set is a soccer ball, but still.)

And that "Crisis"? Well, we are beating down this evil thing! I'm claiming it now (to quote my daughter): We win! You lose!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The American Teenager

I know that I complain a lot about television on this blog and I hate that, but I have to do it again. Before I do, however, I would like to say that there are many things I love about TV such as how it's always available; at times there are some incredible programs presented and stories told such as those on Heroes, House, and True Blood; and it provides good lessons if you are open to seeing them. Sometimes, however, those lessons are not good and that's what I want to complain about now.

I have watched several episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. I must applaud the network for actually creating a series with actors and writers and plot lines rather than just phoning it in with a reality show. The problem that I have with the show is that these characters are so self-important. I know they are teenagers and maybe I haven't been around many teenagers since I was one, but are they really like this or does the series exaggerate the truth for drama? (Please tell me it's the latter.)

There's this one character, Grace, who is a Christian. She decides to break her commitment to abstinence one night after fighting with her father. To prove (to him) that she's an adult, she has sex with her boyfriend (a sure sign that she is not an adult if you ask me). Then her father dies in a plane crash and she declares that she is responsible because she had sex. Really? I know she is grieving and grief makes you think unclearly at times, but I was so irritated by her. Fifty people come in to tell her that she is not responsible yet she keeps insisting she is. If she didn't feel the world revolved around her she would realize that even if God were punishing her, God probably wouldn't punish everyone else with her father's death.

That's just one example. Both of the teen aged parents on the show keep harping about how they are grown now that they have a baby. No, you're just children who have a baby. When Amy, the teen mother, goes into labor, she fusses about how she is in pain and she should be given special consideration because she is 15. It seems that she feels that her early pregnancy and motherhood somehow sets her apart in a special way.

Maybe the show is trying to criticize this kind of self-centeredness by making it so pervasive and annoying that no one can take them seriously.

My biggest problem with this show, however, is the way the adults indulge the self-important teenagers. They talk to these kids about their sex lives and their romantic entanglements like the teenagers are their best friends. Not only is it odd that people of such varying ages should be able to identify with one another, but also it is irresponsible and unrealistic that parents would burden their children and children's friends with their own personal problems. Amy's dad, for instance, fails to get a vasectomy and confides this info to Grace along with the worry that his ex-wife's pregnancy is indeed his doing. What? This bizarre relationship between adults and teenagers is doubly disturbing because it lends itself to the teenagers getting the parents told! They consistently put the parents in check and act as if they have the right to do so. What kind of message is that to send? Not to sound like an old codger, but back in my day, kids were lectured by the parents, not the other way around. And the world was better for it.

This show does periodically punctuate its scenes with psa's about teen sex and the need for more communication about it between parent and child, but the good message it tries to send is obscured, to me, by the more prominent message of encouraged teen self-importance.