Facebook Would Have Been Totally Tubular in the 80’s

Our poor kids.  We Facebook them, we Instagram them, we Twitter them.  Pictures of them with food up their nose or watching television in their underroos. Birthdays, concerts, school plays, holidays.  Picking their noses, picking their butts, picking their friends’ butts.  Every. Embarrassing. Moment.

I was thinking about what Facebook would have been like in the 80’s and then I actually had a thought, why not see what it would have been like? Then I birthed this blog baby and remembered that the 80’s were pretty damn rad.

Technology.  Irritating parents even in the 80’s.

YKIHAYHT

I swear I don’t dress like this any more. Not every day.

80’s fashion for. the. win.

The Fordeville Diaries

With outfits like this, you can’t help but follow The Fordeville Diaries on Facebook

#overachiever #humblebrag #swatchesarecoolerthanziggy

You can talk all things Ziggy and Swatch with People I Want to Punch in the Throat on Facebook.

Would they have talked so freely about wine?  Maybe if they had a Virginia Slim to go with it.

If you follow Frugie on the Facebook, she promises to share her Lip Smacker with you.

If you follow Frugie on the Facebook, she promises to share her Lip Smacker with you.

Oh Jake.

If moms would have had Facebook in the 80's

If you follow Baby Sideburns on the Facebook, maybe she’ll quit dreaming of Jake Ryan.

Ummmm….errrrrr…..

NapsHappen

Follow Naps Happen on Facebook and I promise she’ll never wear her leotard again.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.

Toulouse and Tonic

This kind of bravery from Toulouse and Tonic deserves a follow on the Facebook. Just look at that happy face.

Le Scandelo!

If moms had Facebook in the 80's

Maybe Abby wouldn’t have as many issues if you would just follow her on Facebook already.

So. Much. Hairspray.

If moms had Facebook in the 80's

I promise to take away DG’s hairspray if you give her a follow on the Facebook.

Ahhhhhhhh…..motherly love and dedication.

Hollow Tree Ventures 1

With a face like that, how can you NOT follow Hollow Tree Ventures on Facebook?

At least she didn’t put the banana in your tailpipe.

If moms had Facebook in the 80's

Maybe Susan will eat her bananas if you follow her on Facebook.

 

 

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I’m Mediocre and I’m OKAY With That

I’ve been having some issues lately.  Mental ones I suppose, since physically I feel pretty good–except for the terrible case of writer’s ass, but that’s my own fault. Issues I’ve had a hard time diagnosing due to trying to fit ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack on a daily basis.  

See if this sounds familiar:

Go here, go there, do this, fill this out, write this check, go back over here, answer this phone call, respond to this email, wipe this ass, clean up this vomit, do the laundry, try to remember to pick up your kids wherever you dropped them off, and don’t forget to cook supper. Clean up, wad up fold the laundry, mop the kids and bathe the floors. Make sure it is all done with a smile and that all the fuckthisshits and eye rolls are done behind a locked bathroom door.

I have come to the realization that I can’t continue the act.  I just can’t.  I can’t pretend that I have it all together because I don’t.  I can’t pretend that I have the slightest clue what I’m doing with my kids because quite frankly I’m winging it.  I won’t pretend that life is all rainbows and glitter because there are days when shoveling a barn full of cow shit would be more enjoyable than dealing with the cards that we have been dealt.  I’m here to make a confession today my friends.  I just have to get this off my chest and run with it.

I’m mediocre.

That’s right, I said it.  Mediocre.

Now I don’t want you all to be making comments to smooth the waters and boost my ego, that’s not why I’m telling you this.  I’m telling you this because I want you to know that it’s OKAY to be mediocre.  DO YOU HEAR ME?  IT’S OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE.

Yes, I’m yelling at you because I want you to hear me.  Say it with me:  IT’S OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE.

I'm Down With It

I’m Down With It

I don’t mean to settle for being mediocre, we should never settle for being mediocre.  What I do mean that it is OKAY TO BE MEDIOCRE from time to time.

No one is going to run from you screaming if they see you in yoga pants with no makeup on and your hair in a messy bun at the grocery store.

It isn’t going to kill your kids if they eat pizza and ice cream with a soda chaser for supper every once in a while.

You aren’t going to burn in hell for yelling at your kids to PICK UP THEIR SHIT.

The teachers at school aren’t going to think any less of you if you forget that permission slip.  For the third day in a row.

While your tween may be raging pissed at you for not letting her have a Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram account because the rules say you must be 13 and damn it, she’ll have plenty of time to lie about her age when she gets older.  She will get over it.

If you don’t clean the toilets today, you will have a second chance to wipe them with a clorox wipe clean them tomorrow.

Taking the kids out for dinner and a movie is always a great surprise.  Even if by “dinner and a movie”  you really mean running through the drive-thru and the kids eat in the backseat while the DVD player is on.

Having one of those days in which you just want to run away to a tropical island with Johnny Depp while you catch up on some reading while having drinks in your private cabana?  Totally normal.  Maybe not the Johnny Depp part, but you know what I mean.

Getting so tired of stepping on Legos and looking at Barbie’s skinny ass that you just want to throw it all into trash bags and forget about it?  Join the club.

Fighting the urge to send your kids outside to play then locking the door behind them is nothing to be alarmed about.  As long as you don’t actually act on it.  For too long.

Oh, you locked yourself in the bathroom this morning in order to take your morning constitutional alone?  Pooping in peace is an acceptable expectation. Never properly acknowledged-as you could probably tell by the constant knocking on the door-but completely acceptable.

Cereal for dinner?  Fuck it, why not.

They’ve watched two seasons–not episodes–of Phineas and Ferb on Netflix—today? As long as they’ve gotten up to pee and get a snack, don’t sweat it.

Here’s what I want you know.  On those days in which you feel like you are failing as a parent, you aren’t.  

When you see that kid with the perfect lunch, know that their mom probably just went grocery shopping and re-stocked.  They will most likely be eating peanut butter and jelly with a few cracker crumbs and marshmallows by next week.  

Those kids at the park are actually wearing clothes that match? Yesterday must have been laundry day at their house. The day before they were probably wearing their underwear inside out, if they were wearing any at all.

No matter how bad you think it is and how alone you may feel and how much you believe you totally suck as a parent, know that you aren’t alone and you don’t suck.

Know that I’ll be right here, becoming even more comfortable with my mediocrity and I’ve got your back.

 

I Forget

Mom, you forgot the cheese on my sandwich!

Mom, why didn’t you pack my water bottle?

Mom, I needed that permission slip today and you didn’t send it.

Mom, you promised you’d do laundry today so my shorts would be clean.

I’m not perfect.  I’m not organized.  In all honesty, I’m barely staying afloat.  I forget cheese and I forget to send snacks.  I forget who has practice on Monday and who has it on Thursday.

Things like water bottles and buying birthday gifts for that party on Saturday (that we just got the invite to on Thursday) often slip under my radar.  Permission slips get lost in the sea of papers that come home from school every Friday.  Laundry?  I’ll get around to it when all the uniforms are dirty and underwear needs to be recycled.

Your heart sinks when the kiddos remind you of something you have forgotten.  You kick yourself every time you get that email from a teacher asking if you signed that math test or if you saw that permission slip.  Your blood boils a bit when you are making that late night run to the grocery store because you completely missed that you have snack duty the next day.

You tell yourself that one of these days you will get your shit together.  You buy calendars and you make message boards.  You download the right apps for your smart phone.  This is the week you say I won’t forget anymore.

But you do.

You still forget.

After a few days you forget to use the message boards that you hung in your kitchen.  You forget you even have the apps on your phone and tablet.  You find yourself still forgetting the little things.

The little things that seem huge in the moment, but once you move on you realize that those small moments aren’t the things that really matter.

You start to think about all the things that you don’t forget. Things like:

Birthdays and concerts.

Ball games and spelling bees and art shows.

Those three really long nights in the hospital with a cranky baby.

Who likes green beans and who prefers corn.

When each baby took their first steps and uttered their first words.

Broken legs and the number of stitches on their chins.

The look of excitement in their eyes as they experienced their first fireworks display.

The time they painted the basement.  With poo.

The pride in their eyes when they told you that they aced that big test.

The overwhelming joy you felt when you watched them earn that first purple ribbon at the county fair.

The tears you cried as you listened to them sing at their first (and second, and third, and fourth…) school program because you realized that the time is passing way too fast.

All the hugs and kisses and the millionth time you heard “I love you, Mom”.

The snuggles when they are sick and the times they streaked naked across the yard.

The time you healed that broken heart with some hugs and maybe a little bit of retail therapy.

So while I forget the little things from time to time, I now realize that I am remembering what is really important.

And I wouldn’t trade those moments for a slice of sandwich cheese.

 

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: I Forget

 

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You Might Be a Parent IF…

 

You Might  Be a Parent IF...

You might be a parent if….

You can brush your teeth and hold your 3 year olds wiener while he pees.

You can brown up some hamburger, fix someone a drink, and cut up some veggies all with a baby on your hip and a toddler or two flailing on the floor because you aren’t fast enough with the milk.

You can stop mid-bite to go wipe someone’s ass only to come right back and resume business as usual.

You can whip up six dozen cookies at the last-minute when your kid tells you they forgot that they needed to take snacks for the school program….which happens to be tomorrow.

You aren’t afraid to catch vomit in your bare hands.

You can lay down on the couch and still know exactly what your kids are doing. With your eyes closed.

You take your kids out to dinner and you spend more time in the bathroom than you do at your table.

You can answer all their questions with movie quotes.

Big boogers no long scare you.  You will pick it and you will wipe it on your pants and you just won’t give a shit.

You schedule all well child checks months in advance so that you are guaranteed an on-time appointment but you can’t remember to schedule your yearly hoo-ha check.

You can’t remember to take your grocery list when you go shopping but you know exactly where Sally’s red sparkly headband is that she wore three weeks ago.

Laundry.  So much laundry you actually consider turning your home into a nudist colony.

You can play two different board games at the same time while catching up on your Words With Friends matches, and you manage to win them all.

Your most popular phrases are “get your finger out of your butt”, “we don’t eat boogers for lunch”, and “no, I don’t want to smell your fart”.

Your living room decor no longer consists of beer can pyramids and wine bottle trees.  Instead you discover non-commissioned works of art using mediums that you are certain should be removed by men in hazmat suits.

Your bathroom always smells like pee, no matter how often you clean it.

You can change a diaper in the dark and not leave any residue behind. Except for that shitty smell on your hands that can only be removed by amputation.

You can tiptoe through a bedroom at three in the morning and not step on a single Lego, but attempt it in the daylight and you are damning them all to the depths of hell.

You aren’t against taking a glass of wine and your tablet or smart phone or even Goodnight Moon into the bathroom and locking the door, whether you have to poop or not,  just for a few minutes of alone time.

You do laundry because hampers are full, not because you have a shirt that is dirty that you want to wear to the bar tonight.

You can discuss the contents of your child’s vomit over dinner and continue eating as if you are talking about rainbows and unicorns.

You do math homework.  Or at least you try.

You use glitter.

Most of your conversations are centered around poop, farts, burps, butts and boogers.

While we may not be huge fans of some of the things we do now (I for one am not a lover of vomit), we wouldn’t change any of it.  Except maybe the poo on the walls.

 

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Parenting is…

Last night I read this post on Slate.  Then I laid in bed thinking about it, foregoing sleep and wondering if  I was responsible for someone’s life choice of  never having kids.  Maybe even one of you, who knows.   A redonkulous thought, I know.  One with absolutely no proof to back it up, yet if I had read the post correctly (which after a glass of wine it was possible to misconstrue a few things) it was plausible to believe that I could be responsible for someone’s life-changing decision to refrain from procreating.  Oh boy <cue mom guilt>.

I wanted to use my space here to tell Ms. Graham that while I understand where she is coming from, I think she is missing something very important.  Parenting is so much more than what you read in a few blog posts full of inappropriate parenting humor and foul language.  Something that you can’t fathom just from reading the words from a few exhausted parents just trying to survive with a sense of humor and a small space on the interwebz.

Parenting Is So Many Things

Motherhood  Fatherhood  Parenting is:

Sleepless nights.

Smelling the vomit before you even enter the bedroom at two o’clock in the morning.

Stepping on Legos and being impaled by Polly Pockets as you venture to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Asking them five hundred times to pick up their dirty socks.

Wiping asses and sucking snot.

Digging an entire roll of toilet paper out of a poop-filled toilet.

Foot stomping, eye-rolling, door-slamming.

A filthy house.

Finding a years supply of Goldfish crackers and Cheerios in your couches and in your car.

Reminders at ten o’clock at night that they need two dozen cupcakes to take to school….tomorrow.

Rarely having a moment to use the crapper by yourself.

A shit filled diaper that overflows onto your white pants.

Trips to the emergency room for stitches, broken limbs, or worse….

Expensive. Painful.  Heartbreaking.

Parenting is not glamorous.  Not even remotely.  Anyone that disagrees with that is full of shit.  It’s frustrating  and anger-inducing. It is stressful and terrible and some days you just want to quit.

But you don’t.

You don’t quit because despite all the shit (pun totally intended), parenting is also:

Morning snuggles on the couch breathing in their delicious aromas.

Seeing them come back up the sidewalk for just one more hug before they head off to school.

Toothless smiles.

Baseball games in the front yard.

That first giggle and the first time you hear ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.

The endless string of I love yous as you tuck them into bed.

A note of thanks on your pillow when you go to bed.

Celebrating victories and comforting broken hearts after a defeat.

The joy in their eyes as they blow out their birthday candles.

The giggles as they tiptoe up behind you in an effort to scare the bejeezus out of you.

The screams of delight on Christmas morning, or the excitement over four shiny quarters under their pillow.

That moment in which they voluntarily help you fold the laundry or pick up their toys.

The clean bill of health from the doctor.

Dance parties in the living room on a snowy day.

Seeing your daughter watch you in the mirror and tell you how beautiful you are and how much she loves you.

Watching a movie with your son and he reaches over and holds your hand.

Valentines found taped to your bedroom door.

Crazy and chaotic and hilarious.

Parenting is love.

A love so deep it hurts.

A love you don’t want to miss out on.

 

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I’m Not a Bitch and Neither are You

I will never forget that moment.

The moment in which I sat in my bedroom, phone cord stretched through the kitchen, across the hallway and into my bedroom.  Stretching just far enough to allow me to close my door, and sit just inside the sanctity of my room in order to scheme with my friend in private.  The exact plans are moot today, but I am willing to bet the farm on the fact that they included alcohol, boys, and post-curfew plans of sneaking out through my bedroom window. As we plotted and solidified our teenage debauchery, the knock came and I heard the words that no teenager wants to hear on a Saturday night.

You have to stay home.

I remember flinging that door open so fast that the phone shot across the kitchen like a bullet from a gun.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO STAY HOME?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  WE HAVE PLANS! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!!!

She wouldn’t budge.  There would be no gallivanting for me on that delightful evening and I was beside myself with  a weeks worth of pent-up teenage angst.

Didn’t she realize how difficult it was to secure an evenings worth of alcohol when you are sixteen?  Didn’t she know how tedious it was to plan out an all night drink-a-thon complete with a post-curfew pick-up schedule?  She was ruining my life.

I mourned the loss of our illegal evening with my partner in crime, trying to hide in the corner of the room so that my mother couldn’t hear what I was saying about her.  There was no way I was going to show her how much she had fucked up my evening.  I was going to play it cool.

She taunted me:  If you have something you want to say to me, just say it.

I bit my tongue and continued to whisper into the handset.

Why don’t you just say something? Tell me how you feel?

It came out of my mouth before I could stop it:  YOU.  ARE BEING.  A BITCH!

At that very moment time stood still.  I had just called my mother a bitch.  To her face.  I saw my life flash before my eyes.

I had absent mindedly dropped an f-bomb in front of her before, but I had never said such vile things about her where she could hear me.  Sure I had said it behind her back, hello…..teenager.  Never to her face.  NEVER.

I think of the fear I felt.  Not only for my quickly diminishing social life, but for what I had just done to our amazing relationship. I had crossed that line and  the disappointment I felt in myself for calling the woman who gave me life such an incredibly disrespectful name sickens me to my core even after all these years.

If you use a dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.  If you prefer to use Urban Dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a modern-day servant; A person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status. 

Sure I am unpleasant at times, I am always a woman, and at times I am selfish.  I suppose if you put that all together, there are days in which the term bitch would define me perfectly. A few days each month, I wouldn’t even argue with you if you placed the term ‘raging’ in front of it.   We all have our moments in which we are being an actual bitch.   Days that we are deserving of the term,  it fits us to a T.

Degrading in status, that is the part that gets me.

Why do we, as women, feel the need to continue to use this word as a term of endearment?  Not just the term bitch, but words like hooker, hoe, slut, and whore.  Do we not think enough of ourselves and the company that we keep?

Some will argue that those words are slang and the definition has changed.  That those words, when used in the proper context, are meant to show other women that we enjoy spending time with them.  That they are our friends.

Maybe in my old age I have lost a bit of my sense of humor and I need to relax a bit.  Maybe I need to grow with the times and get hip with the slang.  Maybe…..no.

I have never enjoyed being called a bitch, and I’ve been called one (and acted like one) many times.  For me it is a reminder to take a look in the mirror and examine my behavior.  That I am acting in a way that is not becoming and that there is a good chance that I have hurt someone in a way that I should be embarrassed about.  That I am in no way, shape or form acting like a friend.

As women, it is up to us to lift each other up.  To encourage and support, to demonstrate to our children how to treat each other.  Not to knock each other down and demean each other with derogatory names, no matter how entertaining we think we are being.  Just like text-speak and poor grammar, the use of words like bitch, hooker, and whore become acceptable terms of endearment only if we let them.  I may be old-school, but I refuse to bend.

Like a tree in the Kansas wind, when we bend our core weakens and before we know it we are broken beyond repair.

I think about that night.   The look of disappointment and the hurt in my mother’s eyes.  Knowing that my use of that one word had cut into her heart like a knife.

Her ability to forgive me only proved that she wasn’t the one being a bitch.  I was.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: Bitch Please

 

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One Little Toy

She opened all her gifts with a smile upon her face. She was truly grateful and excited to wear the new clothes, and try on the new boots. To model the new earrings and slip into those new jammies. The pile at her feet consisted of most of the items on her list, yet I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was disappointed.

Why on earth would a child be disappointed on Christmas?  What did I do wrong?

Oh. My. God. It hit me like a ton of bricks and took the air from my lungs.

No toys. Not one. single. toy. Nothing for her to play with that came bearing her name.

Who doesn’t buy their child a toy for Christmas?

As I looked at her face, the one that appears to be older than its actual age, I held back the tears as I realized that I am the one that failed to buy their child a toy for Christmas. I am the one that forgot that my oldest child is still exactly that. A child.

In my defense, her list was limited.  In my defense, she didn’t express too much interest in toys.  In my defense…..nope.  Not this time. No excuses.

I dropped the ball.  Screwed the proverbial pooch.  I failed.

While I often look at her and see a girl who wants the responsibility of an adult, I forgot that she’s still a little girl.  A child.

While she struggles with asking to do “grown up” things, she still enjoys playing with Barbies and assembling Legos.

While I struggle with her asking to do “grown up” things, I forgot that she still enjoys playing with Barbies and assembling Legos.

I frequently catch myself wondering when these kids are going to grow up a bit.  Wishing they would stop acting so childish.  Hoping for a little bit of maturity.

What in the hell am I doing that for?

The time is coming, sooner rather than later, for grown-up behavior.  Before long there will be dances and dates, tears over a broken heart and requests for gas money.  There will be jobs (oh yes, there will be jobs) and there will be bills and there will be adult responsibilities.  There will be too many activities and not enough hours in a day.

Who looks forward to that?

Now is the time to bathe in their innocence.

To drink from their fountain of youth.

To live vicariously through their young eyes.

To savor the carefree lifestyle of being a child.

To play with all the toys.

To truly LIVE.

Because we all know that being a grown-up is severely overrated.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: One Little Toy

 

 

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A Christmas Wish

This year I had to beg my kids to make lists.  Yes, BEG.

Please write down your Christmas wishes.

Did you make your lists yet?

I’m going shopping tomorrow, MAKE A LIST OR YOU GET WHAT YOU GET AND YOU CAN’T THROW A FIT!

They made the lists.

I watched them around the table, discussing their wants.  The older ones helping the younger ones with proper spelling and maybe dropping a few hints along the way.  I watched them write, then erase, then write some more.  I saw the excitement in their eyes at the possibility of finding their dreams  under the tree on Christmas morning.  I smiled as I listened to them discussing between the five of them what they hoped to find waiting for them on what will most likely be a very early morning.

As they handed me their lists and walked away I couldn’t help but giggle a bit as I read their requests for new socks, water bottles, Santa hats and one rubber boot.  They had a few bigger ticket items on there, don’t worry about that, but for some reason their requests for the simple things brought a smile to my face.  Knowing that they didn’t require all the hottest toys to make their Christmas complete brought a wave of relief to my heart (and my bank account).

As their attention turned more toward what we were going to be wrapping up for others this year, I took a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.  To see their true concern for what was to be wrapped up for others this year, to read their meticulously made list of teacher gifts, to know that they are finally thinking about others instead of just themselves.

I couldn’t help but ask myself a few questions (because I’m the only one that listens to me and answers questions when they are asked):  Are we actually making progress?  Are we going to succeed at raising caring, loving, fully functioning adults?  Did I fall asleep standing the kitchen and this is a dream?

All my questions were answered as I watched the Boy place the final touches on this card:

Merry Christmas

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

It was at this very moment that I realized that we truly are on the right path. That we are doing something right.  While I am certain that the path ahead will still have curves, bumps, and detours along the way at least I know that somewhere and somehow we made the right turn and the final destination looks incredible.

A Christmas wish granted indeed.

 

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Would Someone PLEASE Talk to Me?

As a work-from-home (mainly via e-mail) parent, I find myself missing something during the day.

A shower? Not a shower, well sometimes a shower.

A clean toilet? You can’t miss something that you never have.

Empty laundry hampers?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No, I miss conversation. Spoken words exchanged with another human being.

While I do enjoy my own thought-provoking words, mainly because I’m the only one that doesn’t argue with me,  I need me some verbalization during the day with other persons.  Some good old face-to-face, could you stop looking at the giant zit on my chin and look me in the eyes conversation.

One would think that with five kiddos between the ages of three and eleven, words would be a-plenty around here.  I’m here to tell you that you would be WRONG.

Example #1:  Conversation between a mother and her three-year-old son

What did you do today?

<silence followed by a fart and a giggle>

Did you take an Alaskan cruise?

No.

Did you ride a camel across the desert?

No.

Did you walk across the Great Wall of China?

No.

Did you pick pomegranates by the bucket?

No.

How about an African safari?

No.

Did you chase a herd of buffalo?

No. <farts again>

Did you hike over the Alps?

No.

Sunbathe naked on the beaches of Monte Carlo?

No.

Travel by donkey to Machu Piccu?

No.

Buy a herd of alpacas?

No. <fart>

Trek across Siberia?

No.

Poop?

No.

Climb the Eiffel Tower?

No.

Swim the English Channel?

No.

Shear the sheep?

No. <fart>

Visit the South Pole?

No.

Cure cancer?

No.

Well then what exactly did you do all afternoon with your dad?

We cut the mywo (milo) with the cutter-cutter (aka, the combine).  Duh.

Sonofa…..

Moral of the story?  Three-year-olds are not the best of conversationalists but aren’t afraid to express their gas.

Don't Speak to Me

Example #2:  Conversation between a mother and her nine-year-old son.

Good morning!  What should we do today?

Watch football,then play football on the Wii, then go outside and play football, then come in and watch more football. Football, football, FOOTBALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!

<sigh>

Example #3:  Conversation between a mother and her eleven-year-old daughter

How was school today?

FINE. <rolls eyes, stomps off, slams bedroom door>

Good talk.

Moral of the story?  Always keep cold wine in the fridge and your conversations with yourself will become more more entertaining.

I guess I will just be here.  Talking to myself.  The best conversationalist that I know.

 

She. Told.

Tattle (verb):  to utter idly; disclose by gossiping.

Confide (verb): to impart secrets trustfully; discuss private matters or problems

As parents we work really hard to teach our children not to tattle.  We don’t take pleasure in hearing the endless cries of “he hit me” or “she called me stupid”.  The monotony of it all just makes one want to jab an ice pick in their ear.  We try our damnedest to teach them the difference between tattling and confiding in someone your fears.  That telling just to get someone in trouble is not fair, but to confide in someone that you are afraid for someone else’s safety is so very important.

Eventually, after hearing MOOOOOOMMMM for the millionth time in twenty-four hours,  you give up all hope that they will ever learn the difference between the two.  You want to just throw your hands up and walk away.  Fighting a losing battle is just not on the agenda today.  You come to terms with your failure to teach them the difference.

Then the unthinkable happens and you realize that you have actually done something right.  That you might just be on the right path. That they actually were paying attention all this time.

Mom, Monica has been bullying Jennifer all year long.  Today it got really, really bad and Jennifer sent me an email at school and said she was going to go home and kill herself.  I was really scared.

Those are words you never want to hear from your eleven year old.  EVER.

So what did you do?

I told the teacher.

She told.

She told.

I can’t say it enough.   She. Told.

My eyes welled up as I thought about what happened in that one little class at our little school on this day.

Tears of fear as I looked at my daughter and saw the fear in her eyes.  Fear for her friend.  Fear that maybe she would become the next target.  Fear of being labeled as a tattle-tale.  A fear that I never want to see on my child’s face again. Fear of the “what-ifs”.

Tears of sadness as I thought about what the internet is doing to our kids.  Sad that they feel the need to hide behind a computer screen and beat each other down.   Sadness that they care so little for each other’s feelings.  Sadness that it now starts so young.  Sadness that they feel that suicide is the only answer.  The only way to make it stop.

Tears of relief as that wonderful teacher immediately took action.  Relief that no matter the sincerity of the email, it was treated as a very serious issue.  Relief that her friend told her.  Relief that my child was brave enough to tell someone who would take action. Relief that she felt comfortable enough to approach her teacher.  Relief that she. told.

Tears of hope as I realized that she is confident in herself.  Hope that she continues to stand up for what is right.  Hope that she sees that doing good is always better than the opposite.  Hope that she continues to keep her caring heart.  Hope that her friends see in her what I see in her.   Hope that she sees in herself what I see in her.

Tears of pride that she was brave enough to say something.  Pride that she loves her friend enough to look out for her.  Pride that she told not only the teacher, but me as well.  Pride that she did the right thing. Pride that she stood up against the hatred.  Immense pride.  So much pride that my heart swelled to twice its normal size.

While we are fairly certain that suicide was not really on the menu that day, there is no way of knowing for sure what was going through the mind of a middle school student adrift in a sea of hormones and the constant stream of hateful verbal (cyber) attacks.

What I do know is that she. told.

And I’m so thankful she did.

I'm so glad she did

I’m so glad she did