parenting

I Done Good

on September 26, 2012

When I was a child, music was everything. When I wasn’t listening to my albums, my nose was in a book. When my nose wasn’t in a book, I was sitting on the porch with the boom box listening to cassettes. Yes, I am that old. But my point is, music and books have always been my thing.
Fast forward twenty-five years and it’s like watching my childhood be relived by a taller, prettier version of my 13 year old self.
My daughter has always been into music. As she should be since I was a full time disc jockey while I was pregnant with her. I’d swear she tapped along to the beat of Garth, George, and Alan throughout the day. At two weeks old she attended a Bellamy Brothers Concert. At nine months, she saw Keith Urban for the first time. Age 8, her first Nickelback show.
But now she’s found her own music. Bands I’d never heard of. Songs I don’t know. And she’s just as passionate about them as I was about Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and most any other 80s hair band you could think of. She’s been lamenting missing the Warped Tour since last spring. (She was out of town when they passed through here.)
My first thought is “Who would take you to Warped Tour??” But then I remember my mom sitting through (read: sleeping through) Loverboy for me when I was 11 years old. My dad driving my sister, my friends, and I half way across Ohio to see Def Leppard. And sitting through countless other hard rock shows when he was a die-hard Country music fan.
My parents did that for me and now I will do the same for my daughter. I purchased two tickets for the All Time Low concert in November. I didn’t tell her, I just bought them, printed out the tickets, then showed her when I got home.
She screamed then started to cry. Best. Present. Ever.
Would you take your kids to a rock (or rap) show? Did anyone do something like this for you? Ever gotten a present that made you burst into tears?

They Had It So Easy

on February 5, 2010

Everyone grew up hearing the stories about how are parents had it so much harder when they were kids. Trudging to school through the snow, uphill both ways, past the bully with the penchant for inflicting wedgies, and the old man on the corner who threw shoes at kids who dared step on his lawn. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

They may have had it harder as kids, but they had it a hell of a lot easier as parents. I’m facing issues with my ten year old my parents never would have had to face. When I was five years old, I rode the bus home from kindergarten around noon and stayed home alone for the next couple hours every day. That’s FIVE years old. And I wasn’t locked safely in the house. I was running around the neighborhood and down at the creek. There was no fear someone would drive by and snatch me away.

These days, I hate every moment my daughter goes out to play and I can’t see her. I live in a very safe part of town, but the reality is, you can never be too safe.

There was no such thing as video games until I was somewhere in my pre-teen years. And even then, it was Pong. Remember Pong? No blood flying in this game. Nothing but a blip on the screen flying in this game. Now, gamer is a profession and the games they play require them to kill people or commit Federal offenses. Today, kids are interacting with people all over the planet, some of whom are more interested in luring them into a dark alley than helping them save their villagers.

Even something as simple as an iPod requires constant policing. My kiddo wanted an App that would allow her to adopt a pet, give it a name, and take care of it. Sounds innocent, right? Not quite. This App opened her up to communications from all the other users. When I found messages from someone called “Sexy Blond Looking 4 a Good Time”, the App was removed.

I haven’t even gotten to the teenage years yet! My parents had it SO EASY. Our worlds were tiny, our universes miniscule and limited. Boundaries no longer exist. The protective bubble in which we were lucky enough to develop has been popped.

So you tell me, is progress really such a great thing? Is no boundaries better than safety and protection? I would never suggest shielding our children from reality, but I’d feel a whole lot better if I could place some invisible force-field around mine. And I’d save a lot of money in hair color.

New Title – Bad Mom

on November 17, 2008

Sorry I’ve been AWOL from here. My typically crazy life got crazier when I threw a man into the mix. I guess it had been so long, I’d forgotten how much time and maintenance those things require. *sigh*

Anywho, it’s confession time. See the title to this blog? That applies to me. I am officially one of *those* moms. Yep, the ones that the teachers think, “That poor child to have her for a mother” and say things to each other like, “It’s a shame really.” Until recently, I thought I was a pretty good mom. Not that my choices and decisions have always made my child’s life easy, but she’s well fed, has a solid roof over her head, gets plenty of rest, and has some nice things. And she tells me I’m the best mom ever so I took her word for it. Then again, who does she have to compare me to? No one.

In the last several weeks, I’ve been slacking off. I haven’t been keeping on top of her homework. Mostly because I have my head somewhere else. And because I never needed or wanted help with my homework as a kid so I feel like she should be able to handle it. Here’s a shocker, my kid is not me. I know, I was surprised about this too.

I’ve been seeing this coming for a while. Though my daughter is all about the cute earrings and the funky bracelets, she doesn’t care a thing about her hair. In fact, I don’t think she’d ever brush it if I didn’t make her. We have a tough time finding clothes because she wears teen sizes but is too young for the styles. Last week she wore a shirt with a large hole in the back and another that was way too small for her. Since she’s smart enough to cover these with jackets before we walk out the door, I rarely know these things until I pick her up.

Then you throw in the body odor. For some reason, kiddo cannot remember to put deodorant on every day. This is a necessity to say the least. There are times I’ve picked her up and had to drive home with the windows down because the smell was so bad. And that’s in the winter time. It was worth the frost bite to be able to breath.

As if all of this was not enough, yesterday was the clincher. Kiddo had a project due today that included a detailed book report that she would present to the class, and with the presentation she had to present some kind of food to her classmates that tied in with the book. Here’s the problem, that food had to be made from scratch. I don’t do from scratch. If it doesn’t come from a box, the freezer, or a restaurant, I’m not making it. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, this holds true.

I’m not proud of this. It’s just my reality. A childhood of helping my grandmother in the kitchen taught me nothing. Mostly because my grandmother didn’t have much patience. She spent more time shewing me away or finding the least complicated thing for me to do. Don’t even get me started on my mother. I already called her this morning and bitched her out for my lack of cooking skills since I know she doesn’t read this blog.

What really chaps my ass is the teacher’s insistence this stuff be from scratch. It’s likely I’m the only one who has a problem with this, but assuming everyone can pull off from scratch is an antiquated notion and ticks me off beyond belief. I’m no June Cleaver folks. I’m not even a tiny bit Martha Stewart. And never will be, I’m sure.

By some miracle, I found a place in the book where the characters were at some international holiday food festival and managed to narrow down one of the items mentioned as something we could do. It was a traditional flat bread from Kenya. It’s called a Chapati and we technically made the Indian version (bastardized I’m sure) and pulled it off. And if you’re ever in a pinch, a large bottle of olive oil works great as a rolling pin.

Am I the only one with this problem? The only one who cringes when one of those papers comes home from school with a complicated project on it? Tell me I’m not the only inept mother on the planet. Please? (Feel free to lie if necessary.)