Monday, January 30, 2012

Parent Etiquette Guidelines, Please RSVP

You know the scenario.  Balloons, cake, your kid waiting in anticipation on their friends to get to their birthday party.  You assume, as most rational people would, that because hardly anyone "regretted" the birthday party invitation that just about everyone is going to show up for your child's birthday party.  Your child is super excited and can't wait.  Then three kids show up out of about twenty.  Your child doesn't understand why the rest of their friends aren't there because they all said that they were coming.  Those three kids that showed up have great parents, the rest (who didn't give advance notice) suck.  They, at that moment in time, are terrible parents.  Anyone who argues that point is one of those parents.

How many birthday parties have you thrown for your kids?  A few? Countless?  Did anyone come to your kid's party?  Did they RSVP?  Did you know how many kids were coming or weren't coming?  Probably not.  How many birthday parties have your kids been invited to?  Countless?  A few?  Did your kid go?  Did you RSVP?  Probably not.

What is the deal with not RSVPing?  All invitiations have some sort of "RSVP" on them yet everyone seems to ignore that part.  I have thrown countless birthday parties for my kids where we had invited 20 and 3 showed up.  Nobody RSVP'd.  Do you know how important birthday parties are for kids?  When you don't show up or have the courtesy to tell the parent that you aren't going to show up, you are essentially telling that child that they aren't important enough for you to waste your time on.  Seriously.  In that moment, as a parent, you suck.

I have always shown other parents the same courtesy that I expect to be shown.  Why can't we all just follow that rule?  There are some "parenting etiquette guidelines" and that should be one of them.  Maybe I will start a list because it seems as if some parents need a guidebook.  I have others that I would like to throw out there too. 

Parenting Etiquette Guidelines
  1. RSVP to birthday parties.  Whether the party is important to you or not is irrelevant, it is important to the kid who sent the invitation.
  2. Encourage your child to be nice to the new kid.  Even if that new kid is a little bit different, encourage your child to be nice to them.  Don't be the parent that tells your child to harrass the other kid because they are different (yes, these parents do exist even though it is hard to believe).
  3. Don't talk about a child as if they are a piece of gossip.  I know that we are all guilty of gossiping, but please keep the children out of it.  They probably can't help what you are gossiping about.  Odds are they didn't ask to be put in the situation you can't keep your nose out of.  Oh, and your child will pick up on this and mirror your behavior which opens a whole new can of worms.
  4. Don't question another person's parenting skills in front of your child.  This demeans those adults and their kid.  You can disagree with what someone does without playing it up to be the worst sin you have ever come across.
  5. Don't question a teacher's authority in front of a child.  Once that is done, that teacher has no more affect on that child, it's over.  Save it for a private conversation with the teacher (oh, and if you ask your child whether or not they did what the teacher said they did, just know that their answer will ALWAYS be "no."  This does not mean that the teacher is lying.  It does not mean that your child is not an angel.  It means that your child wasn't being an angel at the time, and you should check more often for the pitchfork and tail instead of only seeing the halo and wings.)
Please feel free to add more!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I have been given an award.  Really, I was!  The Versatile Blogger Award.  I'm so happy that The Worstest Mommy (thank you!!!) was kind enough to give me this award (make sure you check out her blog).

Recipients of this award are asked to:
  1. Thank the person that nominated their blog for the award with a backlink to them.
  2. List 7 things about themselves.
  3. Award 15 newly discovered blogs with the award and notify them of the award.
Ok, so here we go. 

7 Things About Me:
  1. I have been married for 11 years and we have 3 girls (my husband is drowning in a pool of estrogen).
  2. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I never knew that it would be harder and more time consuming than my previous job (high school math teacher).
  3. I usually have to take a step back from most situations to make sure that I am not being a control freak....unfortunately the answer is usually "yes." Truth: I don't want to be a control freak, it's just something that I have a hard time giving up.
  4. I am afraid of the day that my kids are all grown up...I keep wanting to have more to put off that day.
  5. I am terrified of something happening to one of my kids, and get up a million times a night to make sure they are ok.
  6.  I am always hungry....and I am always worried about my weight.
  7. I drive a minivan....and I like it!! (Don't judge..the doors open automatically with just the push of a button - and with getting three kids in the car, that's like that best thing ever invented).
Now, for the 15 blogs that I am going to give this award to.  Please make sure to check out their blogs as well, they are great or I wouldn't be giving them an award!
  1. An Ordinary Housewife
  2. Becoming Supermommy
  3. 7 Kids and Counting
  4. The Lone Home Ranger
  5. My Creative Family
  6. Frugal in WV
  7. Domestic Deadline
  8. Cooking at Cafe D
  9. Domesticated-ish
  10. Monologues Of a Mommy
  11. That's Country Living
  12. Momma Can
  13. Mama.Mommy.Mom
  14. The Complete Guide To Imperfect Homemaking
  15. Little Miss Nerd Girl

Monday, January 23, 2012

It Happened To Us

It happened to us.  I never thought it would.  We had escaped it so many times.  But then last Tuesday when I answered my cell phone, I heard the words I did not want to hear.  Especially right then.  I was not at home and I had so much to do with no time to get it done.  And just like that, all of my plans for the week were stopped.  Everything I had planned just went out of the window.  Everything that I was going to get done and be ahead of the game for once.  All of that, all of those hopes, snuffed out just like that.  Because the school nurse called and said, "Your child has head lice."

I realize that this is not the end of the world, plenty of people get head lice.  But we hadn't.  My oldest child had made it to third grade and had managed to escape this.  However, my sweet little kindergartner did not escape this fate.  The first thing I thought (after I pitched a mental fit because all of my plans were ruined) was, "this is going to be awful and so inconvienent."  I stopped by the drugstore on my way to the school to buy some RID so that we could get started.  I picked up two kits because they also had to check my third grader and I was just sure that she had it too since they had been sleeping in each other's room all weekend.  I also had the school nurse check the baby because that's the way my luck goes.  To my surprise, the baby didn't have it.  Neither did my third grader.  And the nurse said my kindergartner had a small case of it because there were only a couple of nits (that word makes me cringe).  I am going to be honest, I find the whole thing gross.  Disgusting really, but I couldn't let my little girl know that.   I am also going to admit that I didn't know much about lice other than how to get rid of them, but I learned.  I'll share that info in a minute, it's enlightening. 

So after I did the three-hour process of de-licing my little girl's hair (it would have been the child with the most hair that got it), I started washing clothes and bedding and stuffed animals and house was a disaster.  I honestly thought about putting out a "condemned" sign on my front door.  So later that night after I had been standing up for 12 hours and everyone was in bed on clean, de-liced bedding I was ready to go to bed.  Then my head started itching.  I thought it was in my head.  I had felt itchy ever since I heard the word "lice."  I woke up my husband to check my hair (very humiliating) and guess what?  I had lice.  Really.  Irony sucks.  So then I had to de-lice my hair.  Thank goodness I had the forsight to wash our bedding too.  I got to bed somewhere around 1:00 that night.

It is a week later and there has been no more sign of the lice (I need to insert in here that I did laundry for the rest of the week and that sucked too).  Now is where I am going to tell you what I found out about head lice:
  1. Lice like clean hair.  Who knew?  I always thought they liked dirty hair.  That being said, having lice seemed much less humiliating.  We got lice because our hair was extremely clean.  My kids are going to love this.  I can hear them now, "We can't take a bath tonight and wash our hair, lice like clean hair so we need to be dirty."  Maybe this fact should be kept a secret.....
  2. Lice can't fly. Then how in the world did they get in my hair?!  Ohhhh, my kindergartner has no regard for personal space, she gave it to me when she was rubbing her head all over mine and my pillow.  Comforting.  Wonder what else is going around the kindergarten?
  3. Lice are parasites.  They feed on the blood of the human scalp.  Finding these bugs in your child's hair is bad enough, but to think they are in yours produces a panic attack.  I can't even talk about this one, it makes me want to shave my head.
  4. Lice do not die immediately after treatment. This would have been helpful to know before I freaked out when I saw a live one in my child's hair when I was combing out the nits (step 2 of the process whereas step 1 involved the lice killing shampoo.  Go figure why I thought they would be dead).  Anyway, these little vampires can live up to 24 hours after treatment.  Then they die.  I hope it is a painful death.
  5. My kid thought that it was interesting that she had bugs in her hair.  Seriously?  She actually wanted to tell her friends about it.  Which I told her was fine because I didn't one time during this entire ordeal make her think it was something to be ashamed of.  But I told her not to tell anyone that I had it too...... 

Friday, January 13, 2012

10 Things I Do/Say/Watch that I Don't Want My Kids to Do

We all do it.  I know that I am guilty of this.  We all do things that we don't want our kids to do.  We all have TV shows that we watch that there is no way we would ever want our kids watching.  We all say things that we would never want our kids to repeat (and no, I'm not talking about cussing).  If we don't want our kids to do them, then why do we do these things in front of them?  They want to be just like us, they learn from us.  Yet the lesson we are teaching for some things is "Do as I say, not as I do."  Here are the top 10 things I do/say/watch that I don't want my kids to do:

1.  I watch "Jersey Shore."  I know that I am an adult and I can watch this if I want to (and for some reason unknown to me, I love to watch this trainwreck of a show).  However, this is not something that I necessarily want my kids knowing that I watch because that would make the show acceptable to them (which it is NOT).  Does this make me a hypocrite?  Yes, it does, parenting makes you a hypocrite if you do it right.

2.  I eat raw cookie dough.  Right in front of my kids while I am telling them that they can't have any  because it could make them sick and die.  Now what kind of message does this send?  Either that I am lying and I just want it all to myself (which I do), that I'm not important because it doesn't matter if I get sick and die, or "do as I say, not as I do."

3.  I have (in the past) used the phrase "that's retarded."  Now, let me say that I have not said that phrase in over a year (I'll get to that in a minute).  Before that, I never stopped and thought about how offensive that remark can be.  Look at your sweet little baby (even if that "baby" is 50), could you ever imagine anyone referring to him/her as retarded in a derrogatory way because he/she had some kind of disability?  What if that someone was referring to a situation that was "retarded," meaning that they thought the situation was stupid.  Now they have said that your child is too.  To you your child is perfect, no matter what, but one word could completely crush you and/or your child because someone was using that word as slang in a derrogatory way.  When my youngest was born in 2010, they thought she had Downs Syndrome.  After genetic testing, it was determined that she didn't, but I have never said the word "retarded" again.  I am ashamed that I ever did and that it took something so personal to realize how wrong I had been.  Don't let that happen to you, just stop using it.

4.  I watch "Teen Mom."  Again, another train wreck that is wrongly entertaining.  This show (as has been said before by many others) makes celebrities out of these kids and glamorizes teenage pregnancy.  I live in a state that has one of the highest numbers for teenage pregnancy, I certainly don't want to promote it, but this is what I am doing when I watch this show.  Now granted my kids don't know I am watching it, but what if they did?  It doesn't say much for me.

5.  My bedroom isn't always clean.  But I expect theirs to be.  Whenever I tell my kids to go pick up their rooms, my six-year-old always wants to know how come I never have to clean my room.  My reply is usually something along the lines of "I clean the whole house and all I ask you to do is clean your room, my room doesn't matter."  This is actually a knee-jerk reaction because I feel so guilty when she says that.  Guess I had better start leading by example.

6.  I eat a lot of candy.  But I tell them it will rot their teeth and cause a stomach ache and they can only have one piece.  Then I go sit in my closet with the door shut and eat a lot more than one piece. 

7.  I drink Cokes.  I tell them that cokes (our word in the south for all sodas) are not good for you and they are not allowed to have them.  Yet I drink one or two in front of them every day.  Again, this is not saying much about how I feel about my health and if I don't care about my health what kind of message is that sending to them about how they should take care of theirs?

8.  I procrastinate.  But I preach to them the value of getting things done early.  What am I going to do when they realize that I don't practice what I preach? 

9.  I waste time reading Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  If you added it all up, I waste tons of time.  I tell my kids to use their time wisely as I sit in front of the computer zoned out.  Maybe they don't notice.

10.  I drive fast.  I can't help it, I'm always in a hurry.  However, I don't want my kids to think that this is the way to drive when they start driving.  I need to work on that.  Right after I get my Coke, my candy, find the remote under the magazines, and watch "Jersey Shore," you know it is in its 5th season.  Apparently I'm not the only trainwreck watcher.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

3 Types of Moms Showcased in Elementary School Projects

It's time for the Reading Fair at my third grader's school.  I would like to be blase about this, but I have to face it, I just can't be.  Reading fairs, science fairs, social study fairs, all school fairs bring out the worst mom competitions because let's be honest, do the 8 year olds really care that much about their project?  No, but we do.  Well, some of us do.  Unfortunately, I am one of "those" moms.  At least I admit it, some don't.  There are actually categories for moms (and yes, every mom falls into one of these if they are just honest with themselves) during these project events.

First, you have the "over achiever" mom.  These moms are the ones who feel like their child's project is somehow a reflection of them (not their child) and their ability to do an elementary project.  It becomes a competition (even if the very ones they are competing against are unaware of said competition) with every project in the class.  It has to have the most imagination, the best creativity, the neatest, etc.  Basically it is a reflection of how a 20-something to 40-something year old interprets the book/science project/history project/etc instead of how the child interprets the project (which was the actual point of the whole project, but that doesn't matter).  The goal of having "the best" project is all that this "over achiever" mom can see.

Next you have the "I-want-my-child-to-do-a-good-job-so-I-will-help-a-little" mom.  These moms are the ones who want their child to have a great project, but they aren't going to do it for them.  This being said, they also aren't going to let the child do the project by themselves.  They will help a little so that it is neat, pleasant to view, and will receive a good grade.  These moms actually teach their child the importance of working hard on a project to receive a good grade instead of working hard so that they can be the best in the class.  This is the mom I want to be, but it takes every fiber of my being to do so because I am the "over achiever" and I can't help it, it's my type-A personality.

Last you have the "under achiever" mom.  These moms don't care.  Seriously they don't.  As long as their child has something to turn in, they do not care what the project looks like.  They let their child do the entire thing with no parent guidance or direction.  The children of these moms always make me sad when I see their projects next to the children of the other two types of moms.  It is because of the other two types that these childrens' projects look so pitiful.  These moms need to wake up and realize that just because the teacher said that the child is to do the project by themselves doesn't really mean that they are to do it by themselves.  It's like telling your child that it is their responsibilty to keep their room clean.  Do you really never go in there to do a little sprucing up?  Do you really leave it up to your elementary age child?  If you do, then there are other problems we need to discuss, email me.

Just like the carpool line or mothers-morning-out drop off brings out the "sweat pants" mom and the "designer jeans" mom, these fairs bring out these three types of mom.  And by the way, "designer jeans" moms, you aren't fooling anyone, we all know you don't do mom chores in those jeans and those shoes so save them for actually going into the school instead of standing out by your car in the line chatting with other people while waiting to pick up your child.  I say this with affection, some of my best friends are "designer jeans" moms.  I obviously am a "sweat pants" mom.  I have some jeans somewhere....they are under the pile of toys that need stitching and the laundry that needs folding.  I will fnd them for the next activity at the school, but I won't be wearing them for the twenty minutes in the carpool line.  I am digressing, I guess I had better go throw on my sweat pants and pack up the baby to go to the craft store to buy the things needed for this project because, unfortunately, this "sweat pants" mom is also an "over achiever" mom and this will not change.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Santa Stole My Energy

It's the new year and my house is still not cleaned, my closet is still a mess, my resolutions are not written, and my energy is on vacation.  I had grandioise ideas about how my new year would start out: I would have a clean, organized house with a place for everything and everything in it's place.  Then I woke up and realized that I live in my house.  That being said, one of my New Year's resolutions is to get organizned (I will keep that update on my blog under the heading "organizing the chaos of my life.").  I was going to have all of the laundry washed, ironed, and folded before the kids went back to school (which is in two days), but the laundry is still in the hampers and suitcases because I still haven't unpacked from the Christmas trip even though we have been back for a week.  This is not me, I am usually not this unorganized or energy-less.  I'm blaming Santa Claus, he took my energy back to the North Pole with him.

I have, however, been perusing Pinterest and Facebook and some other blogs and have read about other people who have done the things that I said I was going to do.  I'm not sure I believe them, that they have actually done these things, I think I need photographic and video proof.  I can take a picture of a small space in my house too and show that it is organized and clean, but if the camera were to pan out it would show that our Christmas tree and decorations are still up even though  I vowed I was going to take them down a week ago.  I think Facebook has turned people into braggers.  I'm not a hypocrite, when I've accomplished something, I shout it out over the Facebook community as well, but I think some people do it so that they can appear "superior" to others or "out do" others.  I bet if I were to walk in some of those people's homes, maybe half of what they said that they did would actually be done. 

Maybe if I'm good Santa will bring my energy back to me so that I too can shout superiority over the Internet airwaves...