Monday, December 31, 2007

Should I Be Concerned???

Megan was showing me some of her drawings yesterday. As I was flipping through them, I came across this one. I couldn't help but bust out laughing and I asked her what the girl was holding. She told me it's a "flute". Should I be concerned?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Your Son is a Bully

The other day, Jack came home from daycare w/ his shirt ripped.I started asking him about it and according to his 4-year-old version, a boy named David in his class (who is now on my radar screen as the class bully) pushed Jack's friend. Jack stood up for his friend and told David he was a bully and to stop it(which if this is true, made me proud that he was able to stand up to a bully without using violence). Apparently, David the bully didn't like this because he then proceeded to, in pre-school fashion, give Jack a bit of an "ass-whooping" and the kid pushed Jack and ripped his shirt.

Of course, once I found this out, the protective lioness in me came out and I wanted to discuss this with his teacher. I know children have their spats and arguments as they are learning to socialize with one another. But I'm sorry, when my son comes home with a huge rip in the collar of his shirt, I find that to be a bit aggressive and excessive. I'm not going to get into a lot of detail here but suffice it to say that David appears to be widely known in the pre-school scene as a bully and they are "working on it". That's cool- I'm totally down with "working on it" as long as my son doesn't become the punching bag.

Fast forward to this morning. I am dropping Jack off at school and we are taking our time putting our belongings into his cubby when another boy and his mother come in. The boy immediately makes a beeline for Jack and goes nose to nose with him and doesn't say anything. Quiet intimidation. I feel the hair raising on the back of my neck as a watch Jack take a step backward and I hear the other boy's mom say, "David, I don't think that boy likes that." Grrrr...I feel my protective lioness state coming over me. So, this is David. I immediately turn away from the cubby and bend down to eye level with the two boys. I shoot David one of my best evil eyes and turn to Jack and say very loudly for David's mom to hear, "Jack, look at David and tell him to stop and back up- that you don't like it when he does that."

David's mom then says to David from across the room, "Yes, David. You need to remember body language. You need to watch people's body language." Ah ha. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for me. She's one of those moms. The super-granola, lacking any trace of effective discipline, "use your words, honey" kind of moms. First of all, I would never profess to be the best parent on the planet, not by a long shot. But there are some things I know for sure.
1) You cannot reason with a 4-year-old. They just don't have the skills for it.
2) 4-year-olds don't know how to "read body language". I mean seriously? You are talking about kids that run instead of walk from place to place, pick their noses and put their hands down their pants. These are NOT the kids you want interpreting body language. That is just a ridiculous, unreasonable request.
3) Randomly requesting nicely from across a room to discipline your child very rarely works.

I then see David step away and go over to the other side of the room. I continue taking off Jack's boots very slowly because now I'm intrigued at what is going to happen next. I can see David is edgy. He's just waiting to be able to do something he shouldn't. I can feel it. I think David's mom can feel it too. He's pacing back and forth and touching things on a table he probably shouldn't. David's mom says, "Okay David, let's go to the other room now.". This apparently is David's queue to completely disobey his mother and begin running around the room like a complete lunatic. Instead of saying things like, "get over here right now" or "I will take the toy out of your hand if you do not stop running away from me" or better yet, how about walk over and drag your son out from under the table, David's mom says very pleasantly "David, honey, I'm going to count to five and then I'm going to carry you over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes." David's mom still hasn't moved an inch.

Again, I would never profess to be an awesome parent, but I will say, I have mastered the stomping fast walk toward my child paired with the crazy evil eye and the clenched teeth talk. When that happens, my kids know I mean business.

At this point, I've taken as much time as I can putting Jack's stuff away so it is very apparent that if I stay one moment longer, it's only to watch what will happen next with her freak show of a son. (can you tell I'm a bit bitter about Jack's ripped shirt???). But luckily for me, on our way out the door, David's mom left me with this one final nugget of parenting genius...

"David, honey, if you feel like you need to push something, push the wall. Just push the wall David. It won't move but you can push it."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

Megan is on to something. She's not quite sure what it is yet, but she knows it has to do with Santa. Here is one of our more recent exchanges on the subject.

Megan: "Mom, have you ever seen Santa?"
Mom: "No, but I never tried to look for him since I was afraid he wouldn't leave me anything."
Megan: "Has anyone ever seen Santa?"
Mom: "I'm not sure about that."
Megan: "Well, I think there is something going on. What if the President really has a group of people that work for him? A secret group of people and their job is to act like Santa and make sure everyone believes in Santa by delivering the gifts?"
Mom: "Well, that certainly is an interesting theory."

Men's Room Musings

Jay took the kids to a basketball game with his team. At one point, Jack decided he needed to go potty so off they went to the Men's room. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during this trip, however I typically don't frequent the Men's room in public places.

As my son and husband were standing at the urinal, Jack takes notice of his dad's... well, um... appendage and decides to say very loudly, "Daddy, you have a BIG penis! Why is your penis so BIG?".

Now, knowing Jay gets extremely embarrassed by these situations, and knowing I've been scolded by him in the past for providing our children with the clinical names to their body parts (he'd prefer we refer to it as "thingy" or "privates"), he was just mortified! And of course, there was a man next to him in the bathroom that thought it was quite funny and was laughing.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Interesting Christmas Concepts

As I'm sure many parents have done during the Christmas season, I am guilty of throwing out the "Santa" card. Many times during November and December I catch myself reminding my children that Santa knows if they are being naughty or in extreme cases, threatening to call Santa myself to inform him of less than stellar behavior.

My children adjust their behavior accordingly, which is nice. I thought we all had an understanding about how the "Santa" thing worked until I said to Jack, "Do you know what Santa brings to boys who are naughty for Christmas?"

He paused for a moment and replied, "Clothes?"

Tis the Season!

I'm not sure what it is about the holiday season that seems to make kids so excited that they start to act crazy but my two kids have definitely been out of sorts. We had a particularly horrible day about a week ago.

Megan lost the liner to her jacket and now that it is really cold here in Chicago, she's basically freezing to death at recess. After school one day, I decided to take her to the Gap to get a new coat. She's always been picky about her clothing so I wasn't really surprised when she hated all the coat options that were presented to her. Instead, Megan had her eye on a "cool" pair of gloves that she decided she wanted. She proceeded to tell me how everyone at school has these gloves and how she had to have them. Seeing as how we entered the store for a coat, not gloves, I said, "no way"! Then right before my eyes, she proceeded to start yelling and jumping up and down in the Gap exactly like a 2-year old spoiled brat. In my head I am thinking, "This is not my child. She must be possessed." I feel my cheeks getting flush with embarrassment as the store clerks are looking in our direction. I looked at her and said through clenched teeth, "We are leaving RIGHT NOW!" In response, she planted her feet, crossed her arms and looked me in the eye and said, "Not until I get my gloves. I'm NOT leaving."

In my mind, I'm thinking of a few options since now I am not only embarrassed, I am really angry. But since beating your children has never been my thing (ha ha), I opt for telling her "Fine. I'll see ya later" and walked out the door leaving her in the Gap. Of course, as I suspected, she came running out screaming like a lunatic. I just had to get out of the store and back in the car. I was D-O-N-E!

So, then later in the day, Jack and I go to get Megan from her Religious Education class and for some reason, Jack was bit by the same crazy bug as Megan from earlier in the day. Jack decided that he didn't want to wear his shoes or coat (in the freezing cold) so he took them off in the car. As I pulled into the church parking lot, he was now coatless and shoeless. I opened the car door to get him out so we could go retrieve Megan. As I grab a shoe to put it back on his foot, he decided it would be a good idea to start climbing under the seat to get away from me. Immediately, I can feel my anger flaring up and as irony would have it, there I was, in the church parking lot, yelling at Jack to "get back here!" and I started grabbing at his shirt from under the seat of the car and literally dragged him out of the car. So I finally get his shoes on, and didn't even bother with the coat (it's 20 degrees out) and I began walking straight for the door. Jack was begging me to carry him but I also was carrying two bags of clothes to donate so I had my hands full. Jack sat down right on the sidewalk because he decided he was "tired". So, as I did with Megan earlier in the day, I said "fine" and walked into he church without him, leaving him on the sidewalk. And as Megan did, Jack started screaming bloody murder and ran into the church and began yelling at the top of his lungs "I WANT MY MOMMY". Mind you, I was around the corner and could see him the entire time as I put my clothes donation in the basket. Then I hear a female voice say "Little boy, are you lost?" Uh oh, I think to myself and peeked my head around the corner to match a face to the voice. I happened to be the Nun from our church. "I'm right here" I called out as I looked around the corner. She responded, "Oh, so I see we are having a bit of a temper tantrum." I smiled as sweetly at possible and said, "It appears so."

As I later relayed this series of events to Jay, his succinct response was as follows:

"They are dominating you."
I fear he may be correct.

The Funny Side of Marriage

Jay forwarded this to me the other day. To me, this sums up some of the funny sides of marriage.