Showing posts from May, 2013

The Must-Est Must Read Ever

The school year is ending.  Out with a whimper.  It would be a complete throw away, if not for this gem: Worst End of School Year Mom Ever Jen Hatmaker: this will go down in history as the greatest capture of the end of the school year of all time.  Thank you, from the bottom of my so-over-it, tired-of-hiding-from-the-Kindergarten-teacher, down-with-literacy, down-with-projects, cynical-ass heart. (Also?  I cannot believe I read a negative comment on this post!  Are there really, truly, humorless people in the world?  How very sad!) * * *

Perspective, or the Lack Thereof

A friend in need called me today.  This post isn't about her trials and tribulations, but about how my call with her led me to bit of comeuppance.  Feel free to commiserate if you recognize yourself in this little narrative. So I took my dear friend's call right at the moment when I needed to go move my car.  There are free parking spaces around my office, but they are time limited, so those of us who work here have to move our cars during the day, if we want free parking.  I myself go with free whenever possible. I listened with compassion as I walked the short block and a half to my car.  Then, I listened more, as I sat in my car, opting NOT to talk and drive, but choosing instead to give her the time and attention she needed to get through a moment of crisis.  We talked for about 20 minutes.  I did not once look around to see if anyone had seen me get in my car and then tried to wait -- in vain -- for me to vacate a premium 4-hour free space. After we hung up, I pulled

Fantasy Island

I crave quiet. As a mom of five, I am used to lots and lots of noise, probably more than most people.  And yes, I suppose I have a pretty high tolerance for it. But lately, noise of all kinds is just making me so tired.  Traffic noise.  Too many kids at school drop off.  Sirens.  Door slamming in my office building.  The radio in my own car.  The volume of Toy Story the other night; the rest of the family claimed they could barely hear it.  Bickering children.  Singing children.  Even, on my more stressed out days, happy children.  Even my email seems to be shouting at me sometimes. I have been saturated by noise, and I kind of can't take it any more. Accordingly, I will spend precious minutes tonight researching silent retreats I can neither afford nor have the time to attend.  A middle-aged woman can dream, can't she? You know you're getting old when your fantasies are full of small austere rooms, no technology, and healthy foods. I swear, this is my children

How To Take A Nap

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Repost: If You Give A Kid A Cookie

Today, whilst much laundry and cleaning takes place, I am posting a re-run of one of my most popular posts.  Originally posted on August 23, 2010, this musing is part rant, part cautionary tale, part blatant stealing.  And all truth. If You Give A Kid A Cookie If you give a kid a cookie, she's probably going to ask you for another one. You'll think she's cute, so you won't see the harm in giving it to her and you'll say yes. When you give her the second cookie, she'll start to get that crazed look in her eye. When you see that crazed look, you'll decide it's time to divert her attention, so you'll ask her if she wants to ride her bicycle in the back yard. When she says yes, her older sister will want to come too, but first they'll both need to change their entire outfits, probably into something that includes a boa, and they both will need shoes. You won't be able to find their godforsaken flip flops, so you'll have to take the tim

7 Quick Takes: Web Gems

I used to wish I had an extra hour or two in each day so that I could keep up with laundry and housecleaning. Well, towels, socks, and clean bathrooms be damned, now I want those extra hours for discovering new things on the internet!  I am experiencing a renaissance of sorts, a re-discovery of the power of the web for GOODNESS and LIGHT. Coming from a curmudgeon like me, this really is quite something. To celebrate and spread my newfound Web-Wonder, my first 7 Quick Takes post in quite awhile highlights seven worthwhile ways to spend some time online, things to read, watch, or snort at.  Enjoy! #1: A Catholic Quick Take : This week's reason to love Pope Francis .  Honestly, as if eschewing royal garments and red shoes weren't enough...if riding public transportation didn't do it...if living simply didn't just take the he steps out there and says just the most beautiful thing ever.  This man is holy. Go read.  I'll wait.  Come on back after.

Where IS That Lady?

Picking up my kids from school is becoming a huge bummer.  Apparently, they are not able to get themselves and their backpacks loaded into the minivan without an impressive amount of bickering and screaming. It's embarrassing and exhausting and I hate it. Today, for what feels like the brazilianth time, I asked them to stop fighting.  They did not.  For the brazilianth time. Weary and distressed, all I could say to them was this: " This family needs a little more kindness ." Little T, all six years of her: " What we NEED is a little more mommy-ness around here !" * * * That's not going to make a working mother even more weary and distressed AT ALL. Sigh... * * *

Parenting 101 Turned Upside Down

On the way home today, my daughters were talking about a girl at their school who is...challenging.  This child has had some rough patches in life, and she "acts out" quite a bit.  She lies, she accuses people of things, she creates drama.  She can be a bit tough to take. I think every school has one. So my littlest pipes up from the back seat: "I can't believe 'Mary' actually likes 'Susie'...I mean, really!"*  Keep in mind, my littlest one is six. I felt the hackles on the back of my neck rise. I will NOT have mean girls.  Will.  Not. So it's a teachable moment, right?  I'm always up for a teachable moment.  Here's what I said: Girls, listen to me very carefully.  I expect you and your brothers to be kind and gracious to everyone .   Everyone .  Remember, people who are mean and bratty are usually that way because they are sad about something.  You have to remember that and be compassionate towards them.  I don't wa

Whatever Gets You Through The Night

This is what did it for me last night: When you get to that moment, and you will, when you're within spitting distance of bedtime but entirely unsure if you'll get there with your dignity or your vocal chords intact, remember:  you can do ANYTHING for 20 more minutes. * * *

You know you have a big family when...'re primary visceral reaction to a child breaking a bone is annoyance . Closely related to: You know you have a big family when another parent expresses far more compassion and concern for said child than ever occurred to you. * * *