May 29, 2008

Parenting Pet Peeve #2

Car Seat Laws are not optional!

I have to say that I had no idea that people were not following the car seat laws until I worked at the Drive-thru at Starbucks. I was blown away by the number of young toddlers who were strapped into the car by only a seatbelt. Now, I know that I was a young toddler who did not have a car seat or a booster seat and I lived to tell the tale. Seat belts were even optional when I was a kid. But in this day and age when we have laws and ad campaigns that are meant to keep our children as safe as they can, how can people make the choice to neglect their children's safety? The laws are not frivolous or meant to make anyone any money (though I am sure that the car seat people don't mind) they are meant to protect our children from injury.

So seat up people! :-)

May 23, 2008

Parenting Pet Peeves

Now, I want to start off by saying, I know I don't have all the answers and that I am far from a perfect parent. But there are times when I see parents making huge mistakes with their children and I want to scream, "Do you know what you are doing to your child??!!!" I honestly hope that no one has ever thought that about me, but chances are we've all made a mistake or two. And with 15-20 more years left in parenting, I am sure to make a few if I haven't already.
Before being a stay at home mom, I was a Junior High teacher. I had plenty of lessons in how not to be a good parent. Kids who were screaming for attention in negative ways, watching things well above their maturity level, allowed to get away with anything because their parents thought they were perfect and infallible, girls searching for acceptance through boyfriends and false love, boys searching for respect through conquests. All of these things, I believe, could have been prevented by parents thinking about how their actions, words and choices might affect their children for years and decades to come. So I thought I would start writing about some of my Parenting Pet Peeves over the next few weeks.

Parenting Pet Peeve #1 - Verbal put-downs
Think about what you say and how it might effect the self esteem of your child.
"You screwed it up again"
"why can't you do it like your brother?"
"Get it right this time"
"Your never going to get it right"
How can anyone say these things to their children and expect them to become better? I always think that in this day with all the information we have about being good parents, it is common sense. But then I see well educated, well rounded people saying things that they probably heard from their parents and for some reason can not recognize that they are doing the same thing to their own children.

May 16, 2008

It doesn't really matter, does it?

"It all matches mom," says my four year old as I am trying to hide my horror over what she has chosen to wear for the day, in public!
It is a challenge that has come up for us only fairly recently. I guess that I have been pretty controlling over what my girls where. Now, my independent little girl want to choose her own clothes and dress herself. I didn't know what a challenge this would be for me. Not that she would be choosing her clothes but that I would have to find a way to be OK with what she chooses. I decided that this was important after a recent incident.
A few weeks ago, she dressed herself in all things that had pink in them. Sounds good? Not so. She had a pink and purple shirt, a pink and red skirt and pink and green socks. All very mismatched. I did little to hide my dislike. I tried to suggest changing her shirt or socks to match the skirt. No go. I told her that it didn't look nice but she insisted on wearing the mismatched items. My real annoyance began when we had to go to the supermarket and to dinner and be seen in public with this completely out of fashion child. I begged her to change but she did not understand and I didn't want to fight over clothes. So we went. The entire time I worried about what kind of mom I must have looked like to allow my child to be in public like this. Later that night. My sweet little mismatched girl mentioned that mommy didn't like her clothes. And my heart sank.
What is so important about making sure my girls look cute at all times in their complete matching outfits?? That everyone sees that I am a good mom for having perfectly adorned children. (Since moving to Texas I have had to fight bow-guilt too) It's more likely that everyone else is too worried about their children to notice that mine have mismatched clothes or no bows to speak of. In reality, instead of impressing anyone with my perfectly dressed children, I am communicating the wrong thing to my girls. That is, "what you put on your outside is more important than who you are on the inside." I can really drive this point home by being noticeably disappointed by my daughter's clothing choices.
So, in an effort to avoid raising another Paris Hilton, I am fighting every urge to control what it is that my daughter chooses to wear. I still select outfits, but she can choose to wear what she wants as long as it is weather appropriate and fits. Because, after all, isn't that what clothes are for? Not to define who we are, but to keep us warm and appropriately covered?

May 12, 2008

Life Uninteresting

So I have been avoiding the blog world for the last couple of months because I feel like I don't have anything interesting to write about these days. Then, today I learned about this lady that blogs everyday and rants about pretty much nothing and now is able to support her entire family on the money her blog brings in. Is it possible that the uninteresting things in life can be made interesting by simply writing about them on your blog? Maybe I should try this:

Today, woke up at 4 am for work at a global purveyor of coffee (take a stab). Stumbled out of bed, took a shower. Coughed my way to work because I'm still getting over this nasty sinusitis/bronchitis/double ear infection/ thing. Worked for 2 hours only to leave because the cough would not go away (I guess people don't like you hacking into their Carmel Machiatto). Got home before anyone was awake and slept for another hour (Coughing). Woke up to my four year old in distress because her two year old sister won't share (which means she won't give her sister what she wants when she wants it). Coughed. Watched the Survivor finale on DVR trying to see around the before mentioned children as they played with various princess and dollhouse figurines (I'm OK with who won but I think I wanted Amanda to win more). (Hacked) Drove my sister to the airport through the lovely Dallas traffic! Paid $60.00 to fill my gas tank!!! (Cough, Cough) Thought bad things about OPEC and other things I know nothing about but wish I did so I could personally get gas back to below $2.00 a gal (remember when $10 would fill your tank, it wasn't that long ago). Listened to Ratatouille all the way there and back. Played Doll house with my Four year old (while coughing). Pondered dinner, then decided to get Subway $5.oo foot longs (very reasonable, I must say). Played Wii with the girls while dad played real sports at the gym (something called basketball). Put the two year old to bed. Tried not to keep her up with my cough and watched Dancing with the stars with the four year old. Put the four year old to bed. And finally get to check my email, random news stories and actually write an entry for this blog. (Hacking away still) Other things I did today: cough (a lot), take 400 pills prescribed by the doc in a box I paid $50.00 for this weekend, Did I mention coughing? Things I didn't do that needed to be done: clean bathrooms, clothing (I am in desperate need of underthings), anything, make food, make a shopping list, last a moment without coughing etc. etc. etc.

Life Uninteresting, I'll wait for my check in the mail now.