Monday, June 27, 2016

Not Lost in Translation

Taking my son to see the ocean for what will feel like to him, the first time, is a great joy.  I remember Faith at the age of 31/2, looking out at the Gulf of Mexico for the first time and putting her arms out wide.  She said one word.  "MINE." She meant it.

I get her sense of things, it is mine.  Except I won't be able to know except by best guess, what Paul thinks.  We brought along his communicator, but it doesn't always have the words.

I haven't edited it to say, "Are we there yet?"

Last night, when we were driving, he got pretty desperate.  We'd been in the car for over 8 hours.  "Here?"  he asked.
Not yet.
"Here?"
No.
"Here?"
He asked each time he saw a light.

When we got to the house and he climbed the stairs, he turned, looked around, jumped up and down three times and pumped his fist.  

Translation: I think he likes being here.  


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Two-Fer Saturday

Because I'm a giver. Here's this weeks' Small Success Thursday...yes, I know, on Saturday.  
And after a long dry spell, I'm back at writing...and I have a piece over at 
Not my kids but they could be...except my laundry baskets are cracked from that sort of mayhem.  So, go, enjoy, and thanks for reading!


Uber Parenting Bar

Those parenting books fill your head with all sorts of helpful tips right up until the point when it gets hard.   Sure, they talk about teething, night terrors, bedtimes, temper tantrums, toilet training and dealing with discipline, with the unspoken promise, if you do all these things correctly, it's smooth sailing from here on in...It's not true.

I know why they don't talk about the fierce will of a tween to never go to bed before 11, or the struggle to discern which drives you crazier, the kid who cooks eggs for himself three times a day, or the teen who changes outfits on the hour.  It would be nice if there were more resources out there, not just books, but places to commiserate about how much we love these crazy people, and how much they seem to love driving us crazy.    We need a Parent Bar.  Drinks, sympathy and counsel or at the very least, a call in show that focuses exclusively on helping parents love their kiddos through the porcupine years.

I imagine if they did a show for parents of older kids, It would go something like this:

"This is Uber Mom, the Mom who goes everywhere, for everyone.  Why?  Because that's what an Uber Mom does...she shows up where she's needed, even when she's not wanted.  From Allentown, PA, we're on the line with Patty..."

"Hello Uber Mom?  I have five kids with phones.  I asked them to call for a pizza.  They wanted me to do the talking on the phone...why is that?"

Uber Mom..."Patty, Patty, you must understand, the cell phone is a method of limiting exposure to others.  You're thinking of it as an old fashioned phone.  No one talks anymore.  Tell them to order the pizza online. They get the food and you don't have to talk either."

or  Susan and Mike from Deerborn, Michigan.  They tried to go toe to toe with their teens.

"Last week, we tried NOT doing the work to let them become more self sufficient.  Now we're buried to our hips in last week's laundry."

Uber Mom  "You have to commit to this for it to be effective.  Be strong.  Tread laundry for six more weeks and they'll begin to come around."

or this email question exposing the universal truth about parenting people ages 10 and up.

"Why is it, if they read an article on it somewhere, like say the internet, it's fact beyond contestation, but if I say based on experience, something shouldn't happen, it's always subject to debate?"  

Uber Mom   "Answer? This was true before the internet.  It will be true long after the internet.  It is the nature of things.  No worries, the cure for this is turning 30."  

I know why they don't write in those parenting books, What to Expect When Your Kid Hits Adolescence. Telling parents they have to slug it out for two more decades would lead to despair. Mankind can only bear so much reality.

Those newbies cutting their parent teeth on potty training would despair if we brought up not just driving lessons, but having to convince your child to take driving lessons; and knowing it might take longer to achieve than it did to get rid of the diapers?The human race would cease.

No, ignorance helps shield parents for the long haul of this game called life.  

Besides...we don't want this knowledge to be too public.
The only chance we have at schadenfreude requires patience and cunning on our part.   Waiting for them to grow up and endure the same struggle can only be achieved by maintaining this veil of ignorance.

So, until they all hit thirty, this is Uber Mom, signing off with the assurances, we love you enough to wait.   I'll be at the bar, commiserating.



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