Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Luckily, I usually don't have to help Sara with her homework. Second grade math stumped me so I am really pretty much useless in third grade. She had a writing assignment and this is what she wrote - "Once I did Locks of Love. It was fun. I grew my hair down to my waist. But some things were hard. There were way more tangles (especially in the morning) and my hair got in my face a lot. But I had lots of hairstyles to choose from. It could braided or straightened. I could have pigtails, ponytails, braid on the side, headbands, buns, waves, "Maggie hair", hair extensions, French braids, or just plain. I even wrote a letter to the girl who would get my hair saying how I hoped she liked it and how I would do Lock of Love again. I am glad a girl got a pretty wig when she needed one." For more information about donating your hair to a child in need, please visit their website: http://www.locksoflove.org/ Gotta say, I love my girl.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I have never been popular. Or cool. I'm not even sure what it takes to be "cool" or run with the "in" crowd. But I know I don't have "it". In high school, I was on the fringe of many groups. I had friends in the Honors classes, jocks, artsy kids, even some popular kids. But I was never part of the Inner Circle. I grew up with 5 older brothers. I don't speak the foreign language of girl. Boys say what they mean and mean what they say. They don't sugar coat anything. You know what they are thinking at all times. There is no grey area. I don't understand the art of saying one thing and meaning another. I don't grasp the concept of being nice to someone's face then mean to their back. I thought cliques were reserved for school girls. I was painfully and woefully mistaken. Cliques are alive and well in the land of mature, grown women. Once again, I find myself out of the loop. And I am OK with it. I just wish I could translate the secret code of who is your friend and who is being nice to your face but secretly hates you. And don't even get me started on the people who don't like you because of who you are friends with. I thought girls outgrew that form of social leprosy in middle school. Nope, you can be rejected for your education, lack thereof, your physical attributes, lack thereof, and, last but not least, your parenting style. Silly me, I look for kindness, understanding and generosity of spirit when seeking new friends. And a little bit of smart-ass-ness. Let's face it, a person needs all those to put up with me. Southern women have mastered this art. They have the whole fake, "I'm being nice to you but we both know I hate you" tone down pat. And everyone knows the code. There is no grey area. Being a Yankee, they were amused by me and very tolerant of my "bless your heart" Yankee moments. There were lots of them. I was very "blessed" in the year I lived in Virginia. Here in the Midwest, I am lost in translation. Even on my best days, I am not brilliant with idle chit chat. Put me in an ambiguous situation, I am a bumbling idiot. Sitting poolside today, I had a high school flashback. All the thin, pretty, blond cool moms sat laughing together under an umbrella. I sat with my unshaven legs dangling in the pool because I clearly did not fit into their clique. They nod, smile at me and say hello but that is the extent of our communication. Being on the PTO or neighborhood board does not cement a lifelong friendship. Proximity and frequent contact does not make a friendship. It took me years to understand that. Across the pool, my 8 year old daughter spotted some girls she knows. She watched them for a few minutes, bit her lip and cautiously approached their little circle. I've seen the Crocodile Hunter approach a swamp with less trepidation. With an audible sigh of relief, I watched as they gladly accepted her into their fold. My daughter has weathered her share of rejection on the school playground so I was thrilled to watch the girls include her gladly. I watched the girls laugh and play. And my kid was right in the thick of it!!! I would love to be able to spare my daughter the painful sting of rejection. I want to tell her that being "popular" is not as important as having true good friends. I have good friends who like me, despite my glaring lack of coolness. I'm ok with not being popular or being a member of the "in" crowd. I have my own crowd of friends. And I accept anyone who wants to join my "clique" - cool, not cool, skinny, less-than-skinny. You can play in my reindeer games if you park your snide judgments at the door.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
How do you thank your kids' teachers? They spend 5 days a week for 9 months a year with our kids. They see it all. They hear it all. They do it for very little pay. They do it with a smile. Christian's preschool teachers greet him 3 days a week with a smile. He shoots them with his spider web and tells them that his name is "Christian James Velasco Boy Spiderman". They smile, laugh and escort him into school with a wave. They have taught him how to share, take turns, wait in line, spell his name and a host of other important life skills. They didn't push him when he showed no interest in potty training. But when he walked in wearing his Spidey undies, they were as proud of him as his parents. They are patient, kind, and supportive. They never have a bad day. They are never in a bad mood. They are never short with him. I have watched my son grow and mature under their care. Because of his amazing teachers, he loves school and his friends. I will be forever grateful that he has had the same wonderful teachers for 2 years. Sara's teacher. Where do I start? Five days a week this amazing lady spends 6 hours a day with our precocious, imaginative and challenging daughter. Unlike me, this lady's patience is endless. No matter what mood Sara arrives in, she is greeted with warmth and enthusiasm. Sara is always treated with respect. She has challenged, engaged and motivated my daughter every day. She has always spoken to Sara with an honesty that was needed. Difficult situations were handled with grace. Sara was always treated with dignity and respect. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty again and again. Any problems, difficulties and challenges Sara has faced this year would have been a thousand times worse if we had not had the support of this devoted teacher. I will always be grateful for the gifts she gave our daughter. Sara thrived under her care this last year. When we made the decision to move Sara to a different school next year, Sara's only regret was that she would be leaving her 3rd grade teacher. Ours, too. There is no thank you big enough for all that our teachers do for and give to our kids. Like all the other parents, I will give the teachers a small token of appreciation but it will in no way measure up to all they have given to my kids.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Dear Darling Daughter, Let me give you a heads up about a few things that will serve you well if you ever want to have friends over again. Share your toys. Stop whining and fretting that your friends are wild savages hell bent on the complete and utter destruction of all your worldly possessions. Stop acting like everything in your room is a priceless, irreplaceable antique. FYI - most of your crap came from the toy aisle at Target. The rest of it you don't even play with anymore. I could sell it right out from under you and you wouldn't even notice. I know this because I HAVE been selling your outgrown clothes and toys. For the last 3 weeks. You have not noticed a single missing toy. You are dangerously close to becoming one of those creepy ladies that end up on TV for being a Hoarder. Helpful hint - if you cannot see the surface of your desk, you might want to clean and organize it. Also, if you have 7 books, a DS, DS case and 3 stuffed animals on your coveted papasan, there probably isn't room for your skinny little booty on it. Clean your room before I get to it. Because we both know that if I get in there, it will look like a military barracks when I am done. Signed with love,
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
We are supposed to be the greatest country in the world. So why I am reading about the following issues/people/actions here in the good old USA: University of Texas celebrated their "pubic" affairs graduates. A New Jersey woman was fired from a lingerie company for being too "busty". A woman has been arrested for taking her toddler to the tanning booth. P.S. She looks like C. Thomas Howell in "Soul Man". A high school year book had to be recalled because they called their special needs students "mentally retarded". Just who exactly IS teaching our kids? A parking spot in NY City is for sale for the bargain price of $1million. And someone will pay it. A CNN executive was busted for putting dog poop in a neighbor's mailbox. Members of the Secret Service were caught partying like drunk frat boys while on the job in Colombia. Our members of Congress are speaking at a 10th grade level. A man has fathered 30 children with 11 different women. A couple has been arrested for killing 2 children by co-sleeping while taking Vicodin and Xanax. A postal worker collecting disability was caught running a marathon. Are we really that stupid and lazy? Shows like "7 Days of Sex" and "Real Housewives" are the most popular shows on TV. People like Kim Kardashian and Kate Gosselin are celebrities. What do people in other countries think of us?? These people make me look sane and well-behaved. God bless America.
Desmond Hatchett has been all over the news lately because he has fathered 30 children with 11 women. Move over, Charlie Chaplin. The difference is that Charlie Chaplin (The Little Tramp) could afford to support his offspring. This guys pays as little at $1.49 per child. How did this little tramp con 11 different women into having unprotected sex? What kind of pick-up lines did he use? "Hey, baby, wanna be number 11?" Upon hearing that this loser already has 29 children, what woman in her right mind decides to roll that dice?? At some point, the women in his life should have chipped in for a vasectomy. The gift that does NOT keep giving. Or kept their legs crossed. I live in Indiana, where it seems like everyone has at least 3 kids. I am overwhelmed with 2. But, here is the difference between my neighbors and this deadbeat - these people can actually support their offspring. Can you just imagine Father's Day for this guy? I hope the mothers drop all 30 kids at once and run for the hills. Or Mother's Day? Does the guys spend all day running all over town trying to visit each of his baby mamas? I don't even have a pet because the idea of taking care of one more living thing makes me want to cry. I have a simple rule. Do not have more kids than you can care for, love,and support. And do not even sit near this guy. He is freaky fertile and you may just get knocked up through sheer proximity.
Christian has a love/hate relationship with play dates. His mother loves them. They give me a break from entertaining an active 3 year old boy and provide a captive adult for 2 hours. He hates them because he is forced to share his toys and take turns. But this one may be different. His hero and best friend from school is coming over. The planning of this play date took more organizing and planning the the raid on Osamba Bin Laden. Christian naps. His buddy does not. Both have older sisters with after school activities and homework. First, his dad called to confirm the time and our address. For the last 10 days, I have had a mysteriously froggy voice. When he called at 10:15 a.m., he asked if he had woken me up. Really? I have an 8 year old and 3 year old. On what planet does that allow for slumber at 10 a.m.? (I would nap then I if could). Christian overheard the conversation and promptly announced that he could not, in fact, wait until this afternoon to see his buddy. "That is toooo long." I distracted him from his torturous wait with a snack. Then he asked what he should wear for the play date. Can you tell he has an older sister? He started outlining how the play date would work. He firmly declared that the girls have to play upstairs and cannot play with the boys. (I can actually hear Sara's voice coming from him on that one). Poor girls, no Spiderman or dinosaurs today. Now he is asking how long his friend can stay. My son has no concept of time. Everything is in terms of "how many sleeps". He thinks minutes are seconds. And everything takes too long. He wants his buddy to live here. In the bathtub. I just want everyone to survive with limbs and feelings in tact.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
I like to think of myself as a benevolent dictator. I am lord and master of my domain. I want respect and obedience. I do not want nor will I indulge whining and open defiance. From a 3 year old who still needs me to meet his basic needs and keep him alive. So, when I tell him to come downstairs right now and he refuses, he has no right to certain perks of my household. Like food. So no one speed dials Child Protective Services, this would have been a snack post-dinner. Not a life-sustaining meal. If you are under 18 years old, living under my roof and eating my food, you have no vote. I'm not thinking of running for public office with this platform. But, if you want to be fed, you better follow me down to the kitchen where I keep the food. If you choose to lie on the floor, wailing and sobbing, I will treat you like a speed bump. I will step over you and go about running my fiefdom. Breakfast is in 11 hours. See you then.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Sara loves her pajamas. She has all kinds and would spend all day in them if we let her. And sometimes we let her. Friday was pajama day at school. She forgot to tell me and got dressed. She remembered just in time to change into clean Tinkerbell jammies and hop on the bus. She was happy as a clam. Then she came home. I could tell by the look on her face when she got off the bus that something was wrong. And I could guess. The "cool" (bully) kids made fun of her Tinkerbell jammies. Apparently, there is an invisible line and once you enter 3rd grade, Tinkerbell is no longer cool. Sara missed that memo. Add "wearing uncool pajamas for pajama day" to the list of things my kid gets teased about. And you can guess who was the ring leader. Luckily, her best friend also likes Tinkerbell. Ironically, they don't tease her for liking Tinkerbell. And believe me, Sara noticed that she was the only one being picked on for her wardrobe choice. I guess kids will make fun of certain people for just about anything. So, what started out as a fun day for her ended with her feeling, yet again, like she doesn't fit in and being made fun of for something as silly as wearing something she likes. Why do kids needs to make someone feel small to feel big?