Friday, March 27, 2009

I want spring! Change my attitude, dude!

I am sooooooooooo not into the early spring weather where it turns warm, turns cold, turns warm, turns cold.... make up your mind, Mother Nature!!!!! I'm tired of the old weather.

It's just one of those days. The kids goofed off this morning and wouldn't do what they needed to WHEN they needed to so I could get both off to school in a fairly decent time. I, of course, became Drill Sargeant Mommy: "Do it! Do it! Do it!" (Think of the sargeant in the Gomer Pyle sitcom.... yeah, not a pretty picture.)

Kenzie is getting tired of Jia wanting to copy her every move. I keep trying to explain to Kenzie that Jia idolizes everything she is doing - and wants to be like her. She is looking to Kenzie to show her what is okay and not.

To complicate matters, Jia has been told not to goof off in a certain dining room chair. They are unstable if you arent' sitting still (easy to make one fall over) and I don't know if she just keeps forgetting or thinks it funny to make it go all wobbly and mommy's-punishments-be-damned-I'll-do-what-I-want-to.... She's been admonished three times in less than 24 hours over her antics. So she's not too happy with me right now, either...

I thank God that these days aren't the usual - but when we have them - I just hate the feeling it leaves me with. I need to just let it go and let the kids learn somehow that their bad behavior has its own consequences. However, too many tardies for Kenzie and it's Roy and I who will be called into the principal's office.

Thankfully, I've learned a lesson from a prior day when we had one of these difficult days. I had been angry with the kids (for a lot of the same reasons) and didn't hug or kiss Kenzie when I dropped her off at school. I cried the whole morning feeling bad, thinking that if something happened to her, she wouldn't know just how much I loved her. Her last thoughts would be something like "Mommy doesn't love me" or "Mommy hates me." But nothing could have been further from the truth. When I picked her up that day, I held her so close and let her know how sorry I was for how the morning went.

I just know that usually, these mornings are not going to be a big deal in the long run... but I'll be glad when they are older and more mature and can at least keep to a task (more or less) - and then I'll be back to square one when they become full-fledged teenagers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More questions from my 6 year old

The other night, after Jia went to sleep, Kenzie had some burning questions on her mind.

K: Mommy, how do you get rid of a baby?
Me: (with eyes popping out of my head) Do what?!?
K: How do you get rid of a baby?
Me: (hazarding a guess here...) Do you mean how do you birth a baby?
K: Yeah! How do you get it out of here? (Pointing at my abdomen)
Me: You know what, Kenzie? I think it's time we went to the library and found some books that show how a baby grows inside a woman's womb and how it is born. That would help you

K: OK! (Excited)


K: Mommy, why didn't you have a baby?

Me: I just never found the right man to have children with until I met your father. I never wanted to have a child with someone I knew wouldn't be good to my kids, and I wasn't willing to settle for just any guy. But when I met your father, I knew he'd be a great daddy - he's patient and kind and gentle. But we never talked about having children before we married, and when we did get married, he said he didn't want to have kids. I think he thought he wouldn't make a very good daddy - I don't think he had much confidence in himself. But you have a great daddy, honey. He's one of the best.

So, if you ever think you want to marry a man, be sure to talk about kids - when you'll have them, how many you want - be sure you agree on these things, because it's important to your happiness. And be sure the man you marry wants you to stay home with your children to take care of them. Your kids will need you more than any job ever will.

You know what, Kenzie? I wouldn't have changed one moment of my life - because we ended up with you and Jia - and we love you more than you'll ever know. We got two sweet and smart little girls who mean everything to us. We're the lucky ones.

A couple moments of silence while she hugs my arm and giggles. Then....

K: Mommy, how do you break up with a man?
Me: Are you planning on breaking up with someone?
K: NO! Just... how do you break up with a man?

Well, I went on about meeting him in a neutral place so she could feel safe, and that she needed to be honest - just come out and say that the relationship wasn't working out as she expected and that she thought it would be best for each of them to part ways, that there are no hard feelings toward them, just that what you want out of a relationship isn't working in this one. Then leave the restaurant first by yourself (don't let him follow you out to your car). And also, don't answer his phone calls if he calls you.

K: Why wouldn't I answer his phone calls?
Me: You don't want to lead him on... you don't want a man to think that there is still something between you and you don't want to hurt his feelings any more than you may have already done.
(Let me just say that I'll touch on stalkers when she's older.... I'm just trying to help her break up with a man at this point...)

K: How do you break up with a man when you're married? (Now I am assuming she means she's married to a man and wants to break up the marriage.... not sure where all these questions are coming from...)
Me: Well, that's done with a divorce. But let me say one thing, Kenzie. Unless you are married to a man who beats you or your kids, or a man who does drugs or alcohol, or is wreckless with your money, you owe it to your children to try to make the marriage work... which means both you and your husband need to get help to work out the problems. But if he's not a good man, then you need to leave to protect yourself and any kids you have.
K: What's a divorce?
Me: It's a legal procedure where one or both people ask the courts to dissolve the marriage. To dissolve a marriage is to break it or make it no more. At least one or both couples show up in front of a judge and he says 'You get this' and 'He will get that' and the judge will determine who gets custody of the kids and what kind of visitation the other parent can have with the children, and then he grants the divorce so the man and woman aren't married anymore.

Another moment of silence.... then:

K: How does a pirate get a "P" on his arm?

Did anyone watch Pirates of the Carribean? That should explain that question...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sears Portraits of the girls

Jia finally gets to wear her fru-fru dress. What can I say? The girls take my breath away.

I'll say that I've been very satisfied with Sears Portrait Studio. They take their time and work with the kids and even me (not easy to do - but I've been taking photos of the kids long enough to have some idea what might work with them... and the photographers have been really great). If you want to see the last time we had photos taken (it was just Kenzie at that time) you can go here to this post.

Which is your favorite? I can't pick just one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An opinion regarding sex ed in grade school

A friend of mine who lives in England offered the following comment on one of my posts, asking for my opinion.

I would like to have your opinion on an issue. A grade school in England is going to give same sex education to children. One of the stories being used in the course is about "the story of two princes." Evidently, a prince has his pick of princesses from different Kingdoms. But the most eligible bachelor chooses a prince instead. And they live happily ever after. There are other curriculum literature in that same vein. You get the idea. A lot of parents are up in arms. They say that their kids are too young to be exposed to that message. But their threat to withhold their children's attendance on days specific to the course is now countered by the council's (responsible for local education) threat to sue the "offending" parents for unauthorized absence. Children's organizations are backing the parents, saying that they have the right to decide what is suitable for their offsprings, within reason. This is just one of the many "battlefronts" being opened in the educational establishment's search for a way forward in the 21st Century. I am with the parents on this one. To push "Little Katie with dad and dad at home" books down the throats of little ones is just absurd. I myself learned about homosexuality after going abroad in my late teens. For a time, I had strong prejudices against it. But I have come to accept homosexuals as people who have the right to choose their way of life. Why confuse children whose priority should be the three Rs, soccer, and brownies. It is alright to have fun; but the main purpose of schooling is to learn important skills and knowledge, not play around with gimmicks.

Ok, I have an opinion... as always...

When I was in grade school, the only sex education I got was when we were in sixth grade and the girls went to the gymnasium (which was also the room used for an auditorium and the cafeteria) to watch a movie about menstrual cycles. These girls were 11 to 12 years old - so that is an appropriate age to be sure that young girls understand what is to happen to them soon. My mother explained the facts of life to me at 9 years old, including the basics of what the word rape meant. My mom is to be commended for being open about sex, the sex act, and relevant sexual matters that a young girl would need to know about at appropriate times. She knew what I was ready for and when to tell me.

However (and I understand that these were the 1960's in a small town) homosexuality was not a subject that was talked about openly, and people were not willing to divulge their sexual preferences if it wasn't considered "the norm". In fact, I prefer it when even heterosexual couples were not sticking their tongues down each others' throats in public. Very young children should not see overt sexual behavior no matter where it comes from.

So - I was trying to remember when and where I learned about homosexuality. I can't place a time or date of when I learned or heard of it. I am guessing that I either heard talk about it at school (by other kids) or there was something said on tv. However it happened, I know I asked my parents about it.

Now, I can tell you, my parents weren't kind about these types of relationships. My mother's idea that it was an abomination was a bit extreme for me (it always seemed a bit too contrived, no matter how much one might use the Bible to buttress the argument), and my father's basic stance was if men and men or women and women were meant to be together, they'd be able to have babies with each other and create families.

I've come to the conclusion over the years that children should be taught to respect people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity - and yes, even their sexual preferences. (As a matter of common sense, this rules OUT pedophiles. I have no problem with the death penalty for pedophiles.)

As the parent of young children, it is my opinion that NO government agency has the right to usurp the parents' responsibility to teach their children what they wish them to know and when they wish them to know it, especially when it comes to such controversial and personal matters as sex education for children in grade school. I know this assumes all parents will be responsible enough to talk to their kids... and there are parents out there who are too embarrassed or just plain don't care what their kids know about sexual matters. But there is no excuse for a school to assume they know better than all the parents of these students.

My daughters will be taught by me - and not a school -- as to what I think they need to know and when I presume they are ready for it. Kenzie at an early age has seen some commercials where a woman holds the hand of another woman, and a man embraces another man - and her reaction was "EEEEEUUUUW! Boys don't belong with boys! And girls don't belong with girls!" Now, I've never taught her that, but she has seen examples in her every day life of man/woman relationships - including that her mommy is a woman married to a man - and of course, Disney movies always have the heroine marrying or falling in love with a man. Her genetic makeup so far has her crushing on boys (already) .

As for the school system threatening to sue the parents... I say bring it on, baby! As the parents of these children, I would find a really great lawyer and counter sue the school as a group (therefore spreading out the costs - unless one would be willing to do it pro bono) and take on the system. I cannot believe the arrogance and the bullying that takes place on the part of liberal systems such as these. And parents need - MUST - assert their right to be the guardians of their childrens' lives and make the decisions for the minor children in their care. The school system has no personal bond or interest in the kids. They only wish to push their agenda.

Keep the kids out for that day. I'm proud of the parents who want to stand up for their rights to be their kids' guardians of their innocence.

Like it or not, homosexuality is not the normal sexual development for the majority of folks. I've never, with just a few exceptions, have ever thought it a conscious choice, but rather a result of brain chemistry that went a different direction than what the majority of babies in the womb developed into. I have a brother who is homosexual. I always knew he was "different". As a young child, he was an incredibly unhappy person. Perhaps this is because he knew he wanted to be with boys and he intuitively understood that this wasn't a normal outcome for most males. But I can tell you that being homosexual is just what he is... not what he has chosen. When Kenzie and Jia are old enough to begin to understand, or when they ask the questions about same sex relationships, I will give them the answers. I will not allow a school system to force the issue on my kids.

Anyone willing to comment on this and you disagree with me, please be very specific about what your objections are - and do tell me how many children you have raised.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Freedom discovered

The first time we discover our freedom, we are babies. We learn we can crawl to get from point A to point B - and we begin to realize we are not just an extension of our mothers.

Next, we begin to walk, then run, then....

We learn to ride a bike. Our first experience with mechanical transportation. And it is exhilarating, even for the youngest of children. We learn that there are other ways to get to where we want to go besides walking or driving - and since they can't drive, riding the bike is the closest thing they have (at the moment) to a car - and I have to say, Kenzie and Jia were loving it. Kenzie is really good at getting herself going and not stopping. Jia, however, is struggling a little. She finally caught on that she should keep pumping her legs so the pedals go forward, and to turn the wheel slightly to get turned around so she wouldn't lose her balance (a couple of falls and she decided to listen to me after all).

It's only about 10 more years and the kids will be wanting to drive. Roy and I are dreading the thought - as I'm sure very parent does. I am hoping by giving the kids the time to learn to ride a bike and teach them safety, they'll use their brains and transfer that to their driving habits. But then again, we are talking about when they are teenagers. Seems to me I recall that I was the smartest person on earth and knew all about life and what was right and wrong and my parents were the biggest dumbasses that ever lived. Yeah... I'm sure I'll get the same attitude at some point. I hope it doesn't last as long as my stupidity did.

I'm praying that something I'm doing is going to "stick".

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Good Day, Sunshine!

This has been a long time coming! Weather in the 70's today and the sun shining brightly! Oh my gosh - the kids got to get out and have a great time! So did I!

We celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday (sans pajamas, thank you!) at the local public library, and the kids loved the performance and crafts. Then we went to the local pizzeria (it opened in this town in 1952) and had a snack. Then off to the park.

The kids went wild! Here are pics from the day. I am looking forward to so many more days like this one! C'mon Spring!!!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jia is Five Years Old

Jia turned five years old over the weekend. We brought in balloons and cupcakes to her preschool and Jia enjoyed the extra attention shown her by our friend Deb. She saved the day by picking up the cake and balloons for me. I worked the day for my parent volunteer work at the preschool.

OH - and Jia loves the climbing wall they have at the preschool.

Then at home, we had the cake - and Jia was so happy to finally have her birthday. She had been waiting for it for the last two months.

On Sunday, we visited my mom. McDonald's is their favorite place to eat (what else is new?) and I can't get over how good the girls are getting along together. Looks like they are having fun.