Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Mother's job
A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well, rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation. "Do you know what you and I are?" she demanded.
Before I could answer - and I didn't really have one handy - she blurted out the reason for her question. She had just returned from renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation,"Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is," explained the recorder, "Do you have a job, or are you just a . . . ?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother." "We don't list 'mother' as an occupation. 'Housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk asked: "And what is your occupation?" What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm.....a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid-air, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research [what mother doesn't] in the laboratory and in the field [normally I would have said indoors and out]. I'm working for my Masters [the whole family] and already have four credits [all daughters]. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities [any mother care to disagree?] and I often work 14 hours a day [24 is more like it]. But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants - age 13, 7, and 3. And upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model (six months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant. I had scored a beat on bureaucracy. And I had gone down on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another. . .
Thursday, September 17, 2009
And, no, Derek you were not offensive. I think we should be that convicted in the way that we discipline our children, otherwise, why do it??
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Now to the questions... As you know we are learning about tantrums in our home. My way of dealing with them up to this point is to stay calm and ignore. It may or may not be working. She hasn't had one like that first horrific incident, but they are not gone - stop laughing - yes I thought with my great parenting skills they would be gone. I mean you have all (most) met my little munchkin, she is a good girl. She is easy - you tell me this and I tell me this. But there you have it, she throws herself on the ground (it actually looks more like a slow-motion bow) and cries. I know that consistency is a big part of teaching, so do I just stay the course or switch horses?
Also, do you agree with the following statement made at life.familyeducation.com, "Never punish a tantrum! A tantrum should have no consequences, positive or negative. It happens and then it's over. Life goes on. The reasoning behind this rule is simple: tantrums should be treated like speed bumps. You may slow down and ease over them for a second, but then you get right back up to speed. They have absolutely no lasting power over you."
I think I do, but I am wondering what you think
Monday, September 14, 2009
In an effort to make my life a little less complicated I am trying to write out a cleaning schedule. There are the usual things that you do everyday, but its the other stuff I want to put on a calendar. So, if I know that monthly I need to wash my walls, clean out my gutter (etc.) I can put them on a rotating calendar so that I don't end up trying to get everything done in one weekend. This way I can also schedule weekends off, and time to get projects done. So, what chores do you do daily, weekly and monthly. If you have some sort of schedule or helpful tool, could you let me know where to get it, or email it to me??? Thanks!
By the way, for those of you wondering - I chose the pedi over the fridge!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Shu puts all her toys in her little house with her.
They are looking at eachother through a plastic cup!
I love my little girl, more than I thought possible. She is sweet and helpful and she loves her momma and dadda. I especially love to watch her cuddle with her daddy, or watch him play the Wii. Her favorite times in the week seem to be when Max and I are both home. But its pretty funny to watch her play with us, because she goes back and forth between us as if she can’t figure out who she wants to play with more. I love the way that she holds onto my hand and walks around the house with me. Or how she plays in her cardboard house and cuddles with her toys (trucks included). She is such a girly girl already. She loves to stand next to me while I do dishes, holding on to my legs while she plays in the towel drawer. It's funny how even this early her jabbering is sometimes inteligible. She often throws out all the sentances and words that she knows and its funny to listen to her. She loves to shake and nod her head now. We think she things that her eyebrows are what lift her head because they go up really high when she nods! It does not matter what you ask her you get one, or both for your answer. Even with her limited vocabulary (or our limited understanding!) she has figured out how to communicate with less crying and fussing. And although please sounds more like "hmm?" we are glad that her communication is so much less frustrating.
Now I am going to go clean the fridge - or maybe the pedi????
Friday, September 4, 2009
The weekends (Friday night and Saturday) are usually my purge days. I do all the stuff that I would be doing little by little each day during the week if I got to ever be home and awake for more than an hour. I usually write out some hainously long list of "to-dos" and get about half done. This weekend, I am giving myself a goal of 10 things to get done.
1. Going to take the "Shine your sink challenge" from my friend Kjerste
2. Bleach my tub, sink and toilet in the bathroom
3. Finish the laundry (as much as any house with children can)
4. Sweep and dust the house
5. Mop the kitchen and bathroom
6. Clean out the fridge
7. Play with KayLynn
8. Finally finish Thank-yous for K's bday party! Ugh, I am horrible.
9. Post pictures of my adorable daughter online, since lately all I've has is words.
10. Drink some wine and give myself a pedicure.
These chores must all be completed with child under-foot and my father and step-mom coming over around 3 saturday and staying till way too late - again! However, if I get all my list done then I am free to enjoy my dad (et al) on Saturday evening, lunch on Sunday afternoon with the Realicas, Sunday evening with Max. Monday I can do whatever I want since the work will be done and Max will be at work - boohoo. :(
What are your plans this weekend?
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am not kidding, its horrible, I still feel sick thinking of it…
OK, I warned you.
Last night KayLynn and I had another teaching moment. I have realised that lately she has taken to shrieking (like the shrieking eels!) to get what she wants. However, it has been so subtle that I kept attributing the behaviour to something else. She’s hungry, tired, in pain… Last night I realized that it was in fact a tantrum, and that even if any of the above were true, a tantrum is not the way to handle it. So, last night was the first installment of teaching my daughter that she can control herself and that tantrums will not be acceptable.
KayLynn started shrieking. When I realized that it could go on for some time I safely put her in her room with the child gate so that she could cry it out by herself (of course, the entire neigborhood could still hear her) and I called my mommy. While I got the encouragement I needed from Tam to stay strong and some advice, KayLynn screamed so hard that she made herself throw up. I - who hate vomit - went to clean it up. I then went back to talking to Tam and while she was telling me to wait until she calmed and then run to her and praise her, KayLynn calmed down. I quickly put down the phone and ran to her, grabbed her and told her how happy I was, and how proud I was… Friends, let me tell you ... she, the wall, the floor, the baby gate - EVERYTHING - was covered in vomit. Covered. KayLynn was actually slipery. Yet I picked her up and held her to me and praised her, even though at the same time I was revolted and wanted to vomit myself.
My dear friends, what I wanted to do was sell the house and move into a new one, but since that wouldn’t happen fast enough I gave KayLynn a bath. After she was clean and dry, I had to clean the wall, the floor and the baby gate. Then I did laundry. I cannot even describe how much I hated that. It was worse than child birth - I swear! I have the world’s best gag refex, and it was so hard.
OK I am done whining, feel free to laugh at me! And I hear that I used to do the same thing when I was a baby so I guess this is payback!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Speaking of keeping her still...We had her one-year appointment last week (about a month late) and the doctor said she was 50% on everything. The only time in ones life when 50% is considered good. It was a good appointment, however, they kept us waiting...and waiting...and waiting. An hour and 20 minutes. They NEVER keep us waiting. Well, as those of you who have/had one year olds, can probably imagine, it wasn't so bad for the first half hour when we were in the waiting room. There were lots of toys and books and she could walk everywhere. But then they let us go sit in the tiny room with lots to tear, pull out of drawers and disorganize. I am sure I don't have to describe to you how much KayLynn loved that room. When I decided it was time for her to sit on my lap, she disagreed so vehemently that I needed to give her a reminder on her leg. Once she remembered that her job was to be obedient the appointment went much better. And after the shots the mean doctor gave her, she loved me all the more.
All that beside, she is healthy and happy and no one called CPS on me for reminding my daughter in public, so all is good.