Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breaking the Good Mom Myth Part 2

In case anyone was wondering after my previous post on parenting, the whole let-your-six-and-three-year-old-work-out-their-problems-for-themselves-even-if-they're-using-violence tactic did not work. The six year old, who has been pristinely trained not to hit, refused to hit. Even when the three year old socked her in the stomach, scratched her in the arm, kicked her in the leg and called her stupid. The six year old cried and left the scene. The three year old for the most part got what she want. The six year old became very unhappy and unsettled, asking Mom and Dad why we did nothing. The three year old grinned from ear to ear. It did not take a genius to figure out what was wrong with this picture. As my dear friend Kate pointed out (the obvious), three year olds do not have a set of conflict management instructions they can easily consult. Therefore they hit, bite, scratch, and scream if they feel pushed hard enough.

We're now making up for Mom and Dad's lack of intervention. We're having lots of time outs. Lots of mediation. Of course, there times we let the girls figure small things out on their own, but as soon as violence and name-calling enter the scene, so do we.

Everyone is much happier.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Iowa City Flooding

Please pray for Iowa City and the surrounding communities, some of which have been hit extremely hard by flooding from the Iowa River. Iowa City isn't expected to see our river crest until sometime next week but already homes and businesses and University buildings have flooded and are being evacuated. Please pray for the displaced residents and employees, also that power and water supplies would remain in tact for the rest of the city.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"You're not a great cook."

"You're not a great cook, you know? You don't always know what to make. Rachael Ray always knows what to make. Ina [Garten, from Barefoot Contessa] always knows what to make."

(My children watch cooking shows with a passion).

This was from my almost-six year old as we pulled into our driveway on the last day of school. I'd just informed her we weren't having sweet corn for dinner (her request), but lentil soup and corn tortillas. I'd probably throw some salad in there too, but didn't tell her.

She'd jsut spent the last forty-five minutes sobbing in the car on the last day of school. "Do you know I"m mad for three reasons?" she asked. 1) she'll "never see" her kindergarten teacher again; 2) she didn't get to have a cupcake with the rest of her class (blame food allergies); 3) Mom won't commit to letting her go to first grade next year (we're considering home school).

I was totally empathetic to her feelings of missing her teacher, and the treats and the idea of not going to first grade next year, but the last accusation sort of got on my nerves. Hello? Rachael Ray knows what to make cuz she's got a staff of a bazillion people who iron her clothes and grocery shop and prewash her veggies while she experiements in the kitchen. Rachael Ray does not have young children to look after and if she did, I bet they would hate her freaking tortoni sundaes.

I wonder if this is just the first in a line of random and unfounded accusations my kids may throw my way as they grow and watch the rest of the world. They'll make conclusions out of context: Everyone else's mother is letting them go to the sleepover. Everyone else's mom knows what to make for dinner. What a bumpy ride. I'm buckling my seatbelt.