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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is it body shaming? Is it?

So this popped up on Facebook this morning, and I don't agree...not at all.  Here's my thoughts.  The school has a dress code, most likely one that parent and child agreed to by signing a paper saying that they had read the handbook.  Not sure if all schools do this, but my kid's school does. I have 3 boys and 1 girl, so both genders and it would not bother me one bit if my child called me and said they needed extra clothes, in fact, in most cases my child would get in trouble for not wearing appropriate clothing in the first place and interrupting my day because they felt like wearing whatever.  I drop my kids off at school everyday, and you would be shocked at was IS deemed appropriate, I know I am.  I'm not saying that anyone needs to dress like a Puritan, but HOLY shit, I wouldn't have ever made it in the door of my school wearing what some girls wear to school.  I can only imagine that their parents may have already left for work before seeing what they had on, or the kid changed at someone else's house after leaving their own.   In my opinion it's called FOLLOWING THE RULES THAT YOU AGREED TO.  If you don't like the dress code then talk to the school board, I'm sure it won't do you any good, but you can try.  Or there's always home school, then your kid can wear whatever the hell they want and no one will complain.  I don't agree that it has ANYTHING to do with body shaming or protecting boys from distractions, it's about wearing appropriate attire to school, which has been going on for HUNDREDS of years!  It's also about learning to tolerate a dress code, almost all employers have one, so why wouldn't you want your kids to learn to follow one?  This is another great example of Americans being too sensitive, it's not about YOU it's about everyone, and it's the rules, DEAL WITH IT! Would you rather have to wear uniforms ever day?  I'm not a fan, but maybe it IS the answer to the problem.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Free range parenting

If you haven't heard about this story about Free Range parenting, then you must be living under a rock.   Now the parents have been charged with, "unsubstantiated child neglect".   Here's my take on it.

When I was in elementary school, we walked to school.  I honestly don't know how far it was, it could have been a mile, I've not been back to that area since I was an adult to actually calculate it, but I know it was more than 3 or 4 blocks, AND (OH the HORROR) we had to cross the very active train tracks. I was in 2nd/3rd grade and it was about 1982ish (without doing the math).  My mother didn't walk with us, my brother usually...reluctantly...walked with me, or ahead of me, but not too far ahead, and most the time I had a friend or two to walk with.  We also walked to downtown, to the library, which was across a four lane busy main road, and to more than one park.  We were "latchkey" kids and always outside and busy.  We were taught how to cross the road, and the train tracks, and life went on.  Many times as a kid I walked more than a mile from home, alone or with friends/siblings, but here's my question.  Was it a different time then?  Were we safer?  Remember this is right around the time that "Adam" went missing from the department store.  You know the national case were he was kidnapped from the store, and I believe, only his head was ever found.  So was it safer, or were we just not as connected as we are now, and all the horrible things that happen now, still happened then, and we just didn't know it.

I have four kids,  I don't allow them to walk all over town, in fact I can't even imagine letting my 8 and 10 yr old walk that far away even with some tag on their clothes saying, "I'm not lost, I'm a free range kid".   Do I think it's a bad thing to give your kids some freedom?  No, but I'm not sure how far that freedom should go.  Like I said, it's a different time, and even if we were no safer in the 80's at least we didn't know  the horrors that exist and the sick people that commit them. Just last week there was a 6 year old boy molested in a movie theater bathroom and I think it was here in Michigan.  All because his parents thought it was ok for him to go to the bathroom alone.  Isn't that sad?  A little boy can't even go to the bathroom alone?  Now he is ruined FOR LIFE because his parents let him go to the bathroom alone.  How would that make you feel as a parent?  I would be devastated.  Let me be clear, I do let my son go to the bathroom alone, my youngest son is 13, but I can honestly say that this stuff does cross my mind even though he's 13.  I have 3 sons, 2 are adults, and I have a daughter.  I try not to be helicopter parent, and let them have some space, but I think the parents in this case have gone too far for this day and age.  There are just too many freaks out there to trust that those kids won't be taken and now that they have made a national case out of it, all those freaks know to look for kids with those stupid tags.  That those kids are probably not anywhere near home, or responsible adults that are looking out for them.  I don't know these parents at all, but to me it almost makes me think, do they even care if their kids get kidnapped?  Are they daring someone to do it?  Or are they just trusting the rest of the city to parent their kids for them? Obviously there is some level of nonchalance to just let them go wonder around.   I'm not saying they don't love their kids, but really?  I don't understand this, why not take the time to go to the park with their kids?  Are they so busy they can't take a break and walk their kids to the park? 

I couldn't do it.  I'm as laid back a person as you'll most likely ever meet, but I'm not as laid back as these people.  I don't stress about much but keeping my kids safe is definitely a priority.  It's a fine line as well to keep them informed of possible dangers, but not scaring them into being a recluse.  Kids think they are invincible, and they don't understand an adult over powering them.  They think (especially little kids) that they will be able to just take off and run away like a superhero, or fight back like a ninja(or Karate Kid), and they are not in danger. They don't understand the level of manipulation that these predators are capable of to lure them in.  Even if you have told them about it, and the tricks  that you've heard of, they can still fall for it.  One of the talk shows a few years ago did test with the show's staff kids, about trying to lure them into a van, and they video taped the segment.  Of the 6 or 7 kids they tried to lure in, about half of them did get in the van.  I can see this causing a LOT of controversy, I don't know that they deserve 'neglect' charges, but I don't know what this constitutes.  Maybe they should have to pay a bill every time the police have to pick the kids up and take them home because someone called them about the children wandering.  I don't know, what do you think?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Driving in the dark

It seems like I spend a lot of time driving in the dark over winter.  I leave in the morning in the dark, I might get home in the light of day, but then the kids will have something going on so it'll be off again, in the dark, and coming back home in the dark.

  I don't like winter, it's far from my favorite season, it fills me with trepidation like knowing I have to get a shot or a tooth pulled, truly almost panic. Knowing that it's coming and there's nothing I can do to stop it.  Last winter(2013/2014) was awful, like winters we had when I was a kid, never ending snow, cold, and it felt like it was going to last forever.  Summer was lackluster at best, yea we had a few really hot days, but nothing too extreme.  Then it was fall.  Fall is my favorite season, and I wish it lasted longer, I love the colors, the dry leaves, pumpkins, cranberries, Halloween, Thanksgiving, it's just so rich.  Then, winter comes....for us in Michigan over the last decade or so it seems that we get no snow til January and then it hits hard and sticks around til March.  November and December are just cold and desolate, darkness, short, cold days and nights. No snow for Christmas vacation, the kids get bored, it's too cold to go outside, or it's muddy.  Christmas and New Year's Eve are bright spots in the dismal mess of winter.  At least there is something to look forward to.  Then it's back to driving in the dark.  After a while you get used to it, anymore it doesn't even feel weird, it's just what we do.  Country roads where the dark is REALLY dark, suburbs where it's a bit brighter, city streets with streetlights, city streets without streetlights, they all have their own ambiance.   Some places look creepy or sinister in the dark, they may make you drive a little faster, or pay more attention at stop lights, some places seem so bright it's like daytime all the time.

As I was driving home tonight, I realized it definitely was dark, but finally it's getting later and later before the sun sets.  You an almost feel spring coming, there's a feeling in your gut, an excitement that's dying to get out and enjoy the warmth of the sun on bare skin. It's like when you are trying to surprise someone with something great, and you're about to burst because you're so excited.  It's there, it's building, Spring is coming.  Just like you can't stop winter from coming, you can't keep it from leaving either, eventually it will give up the fight, spring will take over and we've made it through again.  I want it all, sunshine, swimming in Lake Michigan, driving with the car window down, sleeping with the house windows open, cool breezes on the hot night, bonfires with friends, fireworks, pool parties, flip flops, painted toenails, sunglasses, tan lines, camping, canoeing, kayaking, food cooking on the grill, sweet corn, watermelon, the smell of sunscreen, bare feet...bring it on!  It's been so long, so many years of hurry up and do this, do that, I just want it to slow down for a minute....just STOP!  Take a breath,  Even though I will try to enjoy every minute of it, try to soak in all the light and fun that the warmer weather and sunlight brings, I will get busy with life, and before I know it, it will be fall again.  Thank God for fall, one last look at beautiful colors before being plunged back into cold and darkness.  When I was little my grandparents used to go to Florida in the winter and I felt sorry for them, I always thought, 'why on earth would anyone want to miss out on the snow?'  Well now that I'm a grown up (I think) I completely understand why people go south for the winter. If I could afford to, I would do it too.  All this freezing and shoveling is for the birds! The Penguins! All the smart birds flew south!  Some day, I will find a way to be a snowbird too...I love my state, but winter, blah.

It's coming, just hold on, we'll make it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My daughter's life flashed before my eyes yesterday morning...

not my daughter but has the same affliction

So..everyday I wake my kids up at 6:30.  This includes going into my daughter's room and getting her dog to take it outside, shaking her leg (the daughter, not the dog) and saying in my cheerful morning-person voice, "It's 6:30, time to get up." (Yeah, I know, don't hate me because I'm happy in the morning).  Then move on to the boy's rooms to get them up and let the other two dogs out.  The boys have to be to school an hour earlier than she does so she doesn't usually get out of bed til the second wake up call at 7:00 am.

The boys are up, the dogs have gone out and are happily munching their kibble.  I'm grabbing a morning facebook fix with a cup of tea.  All of a sudden she comes stomping out of her room, slamming the gate(that keeps the dogs out) behind her, stomps up next to me, and on the verge of angry tears says to me me, "WHAT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU COULDN'T COME AND WAKE ME UP AT 6:30??!!"  I have to admit, for a fraction of a second I was dumbfounded.  Who had body snatched my sweet little girl and dropped off this raging, green-eyed hormone monster while I was sleeping?  Fraction of a second over, I looked at her and said, "You have exactly ONE minute to get your butt back in your room and try that again, this is the first and last do-over you're going to get.  Don't come back out until you can talk to me with respect and apologize."  In my calm but mean voice.  I could see she thought for a second, and then she walked back in there.  She was in there for a few minutes.  She came out, said she was sorry and then I explained to her how this wake up thing works.  "I wake you up as a courtesy because I'm awake and I don't mind doing it.  YOU are 11 years old, own an alarm clock, and are perfectly capable of getting yourself out of bed.  You HARDLY EVER get up when I wake you up at 6:30, you don't get up til 7:00 so why would I think you wanted to get up at 6:30 without you asking me?  Lastly, don't ever speak to me like that again."

So that's why her life flashed before my eyes, she nearly got throttled before 8 am.  She's USUALLY like me in the morning, good mood, ready to get up and start the day.  When she was a baby she'd wake up and be so happy, playing with her hands or feet, smiling and laughing.  I don't often miss the baby days, but that day I sure did.  She seemed to snap right back to her old self after that, I guess sometimes they just need to be reminded the world doesn't revolve around them. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Walking and positive thoughts

  So I walk, I decided this spring that I was too fat and I worked in an office job, at a desk all day. I was coming home sore every day..and not getting any healthier. So I walk, I started out at a mile a day, now I'm up to 3.5 miles a day and I've lost 20 ponds. I could stand to lose a lot more but at least I'm better than I was. I like my shadow(which I'm having an awful time getting a good pic of) and my dogs are healthier too. 

My walking buddies for today, I don't usually take all three of them together, but the ones left behind go ballistic and try to get out the fence, so I gave it a shot.  Made it back, no blood was shed, and but for a blister on my finger we did fine.  Usually if I have all three I make one of my kids go too so they can handle a dog.  Luckily two of them are small so it's not too much work.  

That brings me to the Positive thoughts, I have to admit not all my thoughts were positive while walking my three dogs, but usually I try.  I see on my facebook newsfeed a few of my 'friends' must have taken a challenge or something where they have to post 3 positive thoughts everyday.  Now I do understand that this is actually a challenge for some people, as this is what I've been told, and especially with Robin Williams dying recently of suicide, but I just can't fathom not being able to have at least one positive thought everyday.  It must be absolutely awful to have to live that way.  I don't have an easy life, and I can't say that it has ever been stellar, but let's just talk about the last couple years.  My husband died of brain cancer, I was laid off because of downsizing from my full time job, and my landlords decided they want me to move out so they can sell the house that I live in.  Maybe I'm just lucky, maybe I don't have whatever gene it is that keeps people in the pit of despair.  Have I gotten depressed before, sure, but not long lasting, devastating depression.  There is just too much beauty in this world that lifts my spirits to be stuck there.  A beautiful sunset/sunrise, a blooming rose on my rosebush, a pretty butterfly, puppies, my beautiful kids, the fact that I wake up and take another breath everyday.  Yea I have plenty of crap to get down in the dumps over, and sometimes I get there, I just don't have the time to stay. Life moves incredibly fast, if you don't move with it the best moments are lost forever and you can't get them back.  I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, I just don't GET it...I just don't, and I don't think it's something you can make people understand unless they've been there.  I am incredibly sad that the world lost Robin Williams, where was his support system?  Didn't he have anyone to talk to? No one?  Such a tragedy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No need to worry...no man will even consider looking at you!

As if cramps, bloating, and PMS weren't enough, women are also blessed with the fabulous hormone related acne outburst that comes with your "monthly gift" as well.


Just in case you had ANY thoughts of going out and maybe feeling attractive for any reason, you can just bottle that shit right back up and seal it away for at least a week...probably longer.  EVERY freakin' month, it's like a GIANT flashing sign, to any dude on the planet, guess what here comes your favorite big red pimple to go with all the other fun.  Do guys get that?  Probably not, but every woman you see knows, why? Because they have the same problem!!  Add in the bloating and the impossible to resist chocolate cravings and it's a wonder that all women don't weigh 400 lbs.  Not sure why we were blessed with all the drama, what do guys get?  They have to masturbate for 5 to 7 days because they can't get near us without the possibility of extreme bodily harm?  Oh poor them! I feel so bad for them...NOT! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Downsized....again.

It has been an exciting day,  I got a phone call on my way to work and it was two of my best friends on speaker phone calling to tell me that one of them had been "let go" that morning, well that one happens to work at the same place I do and has worked there for 19 years.  She's good at her job, works tirelessly, takes on special projects, is the manager for our floor and just basically the model employee.  She was at work this morning when the new CFO and the HR lady walked into her office and started explaining to her why she was being let go, and that they would wait while she cleared out her personal belongings and was escorted out the building.  Well her and her husband were sharing a car today, and she and I live about three minutes apart so she asked them if she could just wait til I got there and I could give her a ride home.  They told her no that I had work to do and that she couldn't wait in the building or even in the parking lot, she needed to leave the property...yes this is how they treated this big hearted woman who's given them 19 years of service.  So she walked across the street to store there and waited for her husband to pick her up.  Did I mention it was also rainy?  Yeah...nice, real nice.

 So I heard all this one the phone on the way to work.  When I got out of my car and walked toward the building (I was off the phone by now) I see the CFO standing there.  I say "good morning" and he asks if he an see me for a minute.  I guess.  So I asked him if I was getting fired too.  He said nothing.  We go into an office where the HR gal was waiting with a folder of paperwork and then they explained to me why I was being "let go" due to downsizing.  I was not allowed to get my personal effects from my desk, I was not even allowed to go near the elevator, I was escorted out the building and to my car.  I told them, "well at least I don't have to wait in the store parking lot...that was really rude".  So I was right.  In all 8 of us employees got downsized today.  For me, yea it sucks, but I hated that job anyway, and I was already looking for another job, they just gave me a shove into being more serious about it.  I'm just really disgusted with how they treated my friend.  After that many years, to just throw her out in the street. WTF!?  I hope they go out of business, dirty bastards.

 Went home filed for unemployment, went down the MI works office and got registered, can't wait to find something better!  Made a great dinner that I would usually not have time for, and can't wait to sleep in tomorrow!  Moving on to better things.