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damona
i've been trying to read and keep up, but it's hard to do w/o my own computer, just a cell phone!

the mothers day idea went over like screen doors on a submarine i guess, so maybe we could give it a shot next year? with much more advanced planning? the way it worked on the other board i was on was... all the participents emailed one central person with their name and address and fave colour, hobby, snack, scent... just a few things like that. we didn't put a dollar limit on it, but it was all pretty inexpensive stuff. in my pkg i got a vanilla candle, a purple pen and little diary-type book, a snack baggie of cheez-its, some incense and a handmade card. the pkg i sent (to a different girl) had.... rose scented soap, a pink candle, rose bubble bath, a book, a chocolate bar and a card. and then after we had all got our pkgs, we posted what we got and who it was from (which was secret until then, only the central person knew who was recieving from whom). anyway, it was pretty cool. i love getting stuff in the mail! but like i said, maybe next year...

just real quick here... about the whole add/adhd/meds thing... my oldest son is adhd. i didn't want to put him on meds, and i held out for awhile, but it got to a point where he was just acting up constantly and there was no peaces at home or at school. that was last year. this year, he's doing really good in school, and i don't even give him his pill before schoo now! BUT at home, he's just awful. picking fights with his brothers, doing stuff he knows he's not allowed, dissappearing on me for hours instead of checking in like he's supposed to... i was losing my mind. he would tell me "i can't stop myself, my brain tells me i have to!" which kinda sounded like a cop-out to me, but the kid shrink says that that's a common way for kids to express their emotions. so i tried giving him his pill after school. and now, lie is more peaceful! granted, he's still a wacky kid, but his pills (stratterra) seem to help him slow down just enough to think things through instead of going with impulses.

the stratterra is a non-stimulant drug though. we tried him on adderall and it damn near killed him. i'm not kidding. the dr gave him 20mg pills he only weighed 40 pounds!! he was in hospital for 2 days after that. i was severely pissed. the dr should have started him on a 5mg dose and worked up if needed. i had a war w/ the insurance over getting the stratterra, but i won (HA!) it's $113.45 a month. isn't that awful? his dr (a different one, i refuse to see that other one ever again) says that he should be getting 35mg/day now, instead of 25mg/day, but the insurance won't pay for it. i'm starting that fight now...
voodoo_princess
damona - strattera huh? I think I'm going to look into that. My son is on Adderall but he started out on a low dose years ago and is only at 20mg now and weighs 140 lbs..... big difference from your son's 40 lbs. Some doctors just amaze me with their bad judgment. My son does not have ANY insurance and I have to pay for his psychiatrist and meds and the GENERIC Adderall costs $120.00 per month. That's why I figure we could look into Straterra, it costs about the same as what I am having to pay anyway. And I don't have an insurance company telling me what he can or can't have (though I WISH like mad he DID have insurance)..... the whole stimulant free thing sounds better that the Adderall. Even tho Adderall is not the same type of med as Ritalin (we tried it too) it still is a bit harsh. Sometimes I just worry that I'm frying his brain, but I also think of how he was without the meds and how much he missed out on...... I just don't know.
berenguela
I do like the mother's day idea...maybe next year, as you say damona.

littleb tried ritalin once. He ended up naked and weeping in his closet (I guess once he crashed) --- terrified me, but he got over it quickly. He was on Adderall most of last summer, but we stopped when school started again. He has a teacher who likes him but is firm with him this year, and strong structure helps him discipline himself. He's always been fine at home.

voodoo, I do think your school is messing around with you. I think it would be very much in your son's interest, now he has the "label" of adhd at school, to get some of the benefits of it, ie. either a 504 or a IEP that spells out what he needs and what the school has to provide to meet his needs. It's the law --- that *have* to make provision for him in this way. You shouldn't need a lawyer. The school just doesn't want anything in writing (it seems to me). My 2 cents.
voodoo_princess
beren - thanks.... you're 2 cents is worth so much more than that, and I totally agree with you. We are wrapping up the school year now but I have all summer to plan my moves for next year and the first thing we're doing is having new testing throught the school and a 504 meeting, whether they want to "fill out the paperwork" or not..... I hate to have to make threats and such, but if I get jerked around next year, I'll call in the big guns.

OH, and I would definitely do a Mother's Day swap thing..... just let me know what year everyone wants to get it started.
voodoo_princess
Mom's must be busy this week.... See everyone soon? Have a great weekend! It's my youngest ones B-Day Sunday, so we're gonna party party party!
berenguela
Happy B-day voodooprince(ess?)ling!
freckleface2727
voodoo it's frecklette's 12th b-day (!!!) sat too but we're having her friend stay over tonight, and baking cupcakes for the girls to take to their Battle of the Books (which is going to State!) club sat and after that, she doesn't know yet. her day, her plans but at 6:01 pm I am going to beat her rudy-poo- fangdangler (what we refer to bottom as sometimes bc we're goofy, lol)bc that's when she Finally made her royal appearance :-)

just finished wrapping presents.. which is a FireAntz ice hockey practice jersey (her biggee bc it was $$!), a cd headset, book (always always wants books more than anything else), monkey holding an umbrella bank,shoes she probly won't like, and the Dream Life game she had gotten originally for Xmas but had it broken & we just found it again a few weeks ago.

at one time we were going to let her have a big party but then she mouthed off too many times and her dad said XXXX! just as well bc I don't think I'm up for that w/ "boys" being in all this now. gah gah.

bought a book on raising a Strong Willed Child the other day & already it's very insightful and am hopeful to learn some better parenting techniques for her. she's a good kid when she's not driving me crazi w/her mouth.

the peds office called and no, our insurance won't pay for any outside tutoring resources, so once again are on our own.
someone suggested parochial (sp) school tho, w/ smaller class sizes for more 1-1 attention..
anyone here know anything about it? pro's? con's?

voodoo there are books on IEP stratagies in the bookstore. didn't know those exsisted but thought of you. might be worth looking into over the summer as you arm yourself? was in w/ the books on autism and add but can't remember what the section was.

ok, sorry to Always write so much here!
blabby blabby!

Extra Special Birthday Wishes to little voodoo-ina!

hugs to all the rest of ya's too! :-)
freckleface2727
12!
my BABY Girl is 12 today.

not dealing well w/ this at all...
it's all I can do not to grab her forcibly and hug the snot out of her but every time I come near her she rolls her eyes.

:-(

but she's beautiful and strong and smart and healthy and that's what matters, mother's hearts are made extra durable for times like this .

much love to all~
voodoo_princess
beren - Thanks! and yes it's my girly girl who's having the birthday! She is still a wee one, I suppose, but she don't think so! 5 years old this time around.....
freckleface - woohoo! Happy B-day Frecklette!
everybody - We got my girly girl 2 outfits which I thought were rockin' cool.... crinkley, light material skirts about mid calf length, with layered tank tops (pink skirt w/ dk. pink on lt. pink tank and brown skirt w/ olive grn. on white tank) and these long, narrow scarf / neck wrap thingys that she can wrap around here neck and let hang down the front or back depending on how she wraps it and a pair of strappy slip on flip flop type shoes that are kinda styled like a weird Birkenstock shoe..... they have pink suede straps and the footbed has pink and yellow and cream colored color splashes. Also got her one of those electronic journal thingys that has voice recognition so she is the only one who can open it with her set password. She pushes a button on front and then speaks into the built in microphone and it's suppose to open when it reads her voice. It's shades of purple and the outer case is hard. It's pretty neato!
We ordered a cake this year since she has never had a "store" cake. We got chocolate cake with pink and purple tie-dye icing and purple roses and some Barbie thing. We also ordered 40 pcs of fried chicken and are having potato salad, cole slaw, chips, pop and sliced potato bread (to serve the chicken on, you guys ever heard of that? We do it so the bread absorbs the grease. You just plunk the piece of chicken down on top the bread on a plate and serve!) We are suppose to be going to the park and having this feast under the pavilion, IF it does not rain!
I am going to look into the IEP books for sure FRECKLEFACE, thanks for the heads up! And about Parochial school, are those faith based? For some reason I thought they were. I think if it is something you can afford (is there a cost?) then go for it. A little one on one attention in school never hurt a child and it might be just the thing that's needed. When I start working again we will be in better shape to do some more things for my big boy, on our own, so SCREW the school!!!!!! Well, screw em' when I can afford to anyways, hee hee hee. Until then I guess I got to be nice and friendly, BOOOOOO! HHHIISSSSS!
Well friends, I have to get ready to go bowling. Friends children are having B-day today too so we're bowling with them. We are gonna' be birthday'd out by the end of the weekend!
Happy weekend everyone!
Love and Hugs!!!!!!!!
freckleface2727
ok ok catch up time!!

Frecklette's b-day was good.
she did the sleepover/meeting/fun stuff and LOVES her cd headset. except that it seems to up her rude & mouthiness-factor by about a zillion, it's all good. still can't believe she is 12 :-(

this saturday though.. milestones in several areas.
taught her how to shave her legs. (sigh)
we both wore shorts and climbed into her tub, balancing on the edge, fresh razors, shave cream, all of it, and damned if the little fart didn't do a better job than I did after I showed her?
I knicked myself deep! I wish so much there was a manual on how to teach all this, bc trully, while I know I am light years ahead of my own mother, I feel so much in the dark at the same time. puberty and sex and body image and confidence and personal acceptance.. it's a LOT!

the night before we did the bathingsuit try on.. she said ' mom I hate this' and bless her heart but don't we all? it's hard to keep a positive body image when trying on swimsuits and you're not a size 2.
her team had an end of year party at the sponsors house and they had a dunking booth, so there was no way she could Not have a suit to wear.

anyway, the party was great fun (her crush was there & he's a cute, nice kid), and when we came home, she & I got to talk to Rupert from Survivor on the phone!! he is the coolest, sweetest man and we can't wait for his book to come out.
we plan on donating a copy to her school's library
too (are extra hopeful we get a signed copy to keep for ourselves 1st!) bc the team she is on is an academic reading team.

and let's see.. not much else going on.. a lot but not really anything, you know?

I am proctoring at freck's school the next 3 days for the dreaded EOG's, but won't be in her class, and I guess that's about it!

how is everyone else?

voodoo how was your wee-ish girl's birthday?
5 is such a sweet age (wistful siiigh).

updates- anything? :-)
voodoo_princess
Ivy's birthday was a success even though it rained(it ALWAYS does) and we had to cram everyone into the apartment.... OMG there were people everywhere and kids all over the place eating and drinking and playing.... an absolute nightmare for me and my super duper anal personality.... i kept checking out how much fried chicken and potato chips were being dropped on the floor and trying to keep smiling about it (AAAUUUGGGHHH!) i was sooooo itching to bust out the vaccum!
Ivy got tons of cool stuff and really had a great time, so all went well! And the Mr. invited one of his employees who Ivy has a huge little-girl crush on, so she was thrilled that he showed up with his GF's kids in tow....

on a somewhat funny note.... Ivy decided she's GAY. she announced this the other night. i asked her what she thought that meant and she said it was "like the color of your skin mommy" and i had to explain that she wasn't quite right. i tried to explain on a 5 year old level and then she decided that maybe she's not gay right now afterall. i just told her it's whatever makes her happy but since she's only 5 i figure she has a few more years to really know what makes her happy on any level.... kids just say the darn'dest things...
schools almost out so we're getting ready for SUMMER! planning a trip to BeechBend Amusement/ Water Park in 2 more weeks and our apartment pool opens next weekend! Woohoo! Looking forward to hearing about everyone's summer plans.....
freckleface2727
I did it again. ( & am rather proud of myself :-)

I talked to frecklette about sex.

there was a special on a local newschannel about it, w/ teen mentors & teen mothers & fathers and I made her watch it with me, discussing it before, during and after.
she was very much " MOM. Can I GO now?" but still, each time we discuss it, I do believe it gets a little less awkward and easier. granted, we didn't go into any specific detail, beyond me asking her (again) if she'd kissed a boy, or if any of her friends had yet, or if they wanted to, or talked about it (she blushed then so I know it's on their minds)or if the kids at school talked about sex (straight faced eye contact answer of 'no.' whewww!)but we're paving the road for later on I hope. for when there Are issues and situations that she may be unsure of, that she can come to me. I told her I might not always like her choices, but that if she's going to do something, I'd rather her be safe about it than put herself at risk for a sexual disease or getting pregnant. I also told her that this didn't mean that I wanted her to have sex any time soon, that I thought she should wait ( she is only 12, but looks 14 easy) til she is MUCH older ( I was 19, but she doesn't know that yet, will tell her when it's appropriate or she asks), but again, safe is better regardless.

the mr feels abstinence is the ONLY WAY Period, but I feel that is naieve. I don't want her to go thru what I did, not having health insurance and driving thru protesters at planned parenthood screaming "BABY KILLER!!" at me.
I want her to get whatever medical care she needs Safely & with our support, whatever she decides.

gah but this is hard.
parenting is just so much more than ever could be fathomed, and I really think the older the kids get, the more important it is to give the right answers to them, and the more difficult it is to know what those are as parents sometimes.

= thinking out loud =

peace & love ~

ps: I registered online today to be a Polly Klass Foundation eVolunteer, and also to put up posters of missing children.
moxiegirl
Frek- what a champ! I think, as I'm thinking about what kind of mother I want to be, that my biggest "job" is to help moxette learn to make choices. It sounds a whole lot like you're doing just that with frek. Awesome! And, it wasn't until I was pregnant with moxette that my mom fessed up to having a couple of "scares" before she met my dad. So, there's no rush on that front! :-)
freckleface2727
ok I have a kinda gripey question to pose here...

freck had 2 friends stay over friday night to celebrate the last day of school.
the Mr had the brainstorm idea of setting up the tent in the backyard & letting them "camp out", and we got the permission of the other parents w/ them understanding I'd be sleeping on the sofa in the living room, just about 15 feet & thru the french door to where they are. I did this. about 2 Am gave them a cordless phone bc I remembered it had a walkie-talkie channel to it and was easier than signaling w/ flashlights.
I ended up staying up literally ALL NIGHT to watch over them. but no biggee, bc they had a Great time & were so fabulously good about not coming in & out as I had asked but expected anyway.
the next morning, one girl, who had already told us she had to be home by 11:30 Am ( we picked her up of course, bc they have 4 kids so I feel I might be helping by offerering to fetch & drop off each time), I told her to call her house 1st before we left, just to be sure. the other girl (who lives down & around the corner) was told to call too.
this is just standard practice for us.

well there was no answer.
called her mom's cell. no. dad's cell too, nada.
told her to wait alittle while & call again bc we weren't going to drop her off at an empty home.

after about 45 minutes I finally reached her father (who is a pastor & for the last few months has been acting hostilly towards me but for the life of me can't figure out why), and he told me they'd been home all along, but outside. seemed mad. I explained we thought they weren't home & it was Our Fault for her being late & we'd be on our way soon. said he understood but when the phone had rang, he got to it too late. - and what then- didn't see it was us on caller id? didn't Occure to him to Call BACK & see what we/ maybe His Own Daughter wanted?

so we took her home.
then freck tells me her friend was mad at me bc she was going to be in so much trouble now, for being late.

I ask you - who is right?
do I call the parents back & ask them not to be mad at their daughter bc trully it was not in her control?
freck loves this girl and we think the world of her too, but her family is getting weirder and weirder. they also have told their girl to wear old clothes to our house, bc of the dog hair, and sure enough, she now shows up in ratty, holy clothes.
it is Embarrassing and annoying to say the least!
no, my house isn't spotless; getting the dog Has been a life-mellowing experience in terms of my standards for cleanliness, bc he sheds constantly, but we hardly have roaches or bugs either.
I really would just like to call this father up & have it out w/ him on the phone, pastor or not, but fear it would ruin the friendship of the 2 girls.
advice? comments?

things here are ok.
"summer" is officially here for frecklette & so far we've cleaned, gone to the library & the ortho & that's about it.
she's saying now she wants to go to TN to the family now, but the mr & I haven't discussed it yet.

we recently got news on another upcoming deployment, but I'm still trying to process what the Mr told me, and am still hoping & praying daily we get orders the hell out of here.

gah!

Mama's check in pleassssssssssse!! :-)
tyger
freck, i get the feeling that maybe her parents disapprove of you/your house for some reason, and are being passive-aggressive about it? (the holey clothes seem to say that, anyway). but, if her parents take it out on *her* that you didn't want to take her home to an empty house, then that is their problem and not yours. if she's been over before, wouldn't they know you like to call and check before taking a child home to make sure that something hasn't happened and nobody is home? i can't see how a parent wouldn't appreciate the courtesy of double-checking to make sure there were people to come home to. really, it just sounds like they want reasons not to like you.

also, congrats on the sex talkin! i never got a sex talk, come to think of it, or maybe i did when i was little and wanted to know where babies came from. or i could have just blocked it out, as i know i always knew how it worked but don't know where i learned it. heh. but good for you! i can't see those talks being funtastic
freckleface2727
tyger, I think you are right. they/HE just doesn't like me for whatever reason, though I've been playing it over & over in my head at the time I first noticed it, which was when freck & I had driven the girl home from a play date, and got caught in *THE' scariest storm EVER* (tree's flyin',hazzard lights on, wanted to pull over but couldn't seen enough even to do so) and by the time we pulled into their drive, it was monsooning and I was shaken & knew we needed to wait out the rest before we drove home again.
her dad was on the porch, and when the 3 of us ran up there, I asked him if it was ok to stay a few minutes, to which he held open the front door but Didn't Speak. right at that moment, I felt his hostility. he didn't speak the 15 or 20 minutes we were in their house either, but his wife was really sweet. .. I've been rolling it over my head, trying to remember if I had run to the porch & yelled " well HOLY FUCK!!!" which is something akin to what I was feeling right then, but nope. I asked frecklette too and think she'd remember something like that, so honestly, I don't know.
it's bugging me though. not that I Have to be liked, no, don't care that much, but this is someone in Freck's life, and so it Does matter, bc we interact w/ them often.
gah. I wonder if I mentioned it to his wife ?
(that, or will deliberately wear my Stones t-shirt & fishnet longshirt under it next time I know I'll see them... disapprove of ME..!)

and yah, me to on the no-sex-talk.
I got a book, by kotex I think it was, a bookLet moreover. on periods and pad sizes, and a little starter kit to go w/it w/ the waist band to fasten them too. and my first bra, my mom shoved me & my sister in a bedroom and told her to tell me how to put it on. that was it.
to this day I think I put them on funny bc that's how she showed me, maybe on purpose.
as to actual intercourse, that was taught in school w/ a film for all the 6th grade girls to watch in the library, w/ the school nurse.
giving my mom the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume she knew what Exactly was taught (having an older sister gone thru already) & she felt it was enough.
I on the other hand, KNOW it's not enough, and wanted to check out the sex ed curiculum the school was teaching. our state has an Abstinence Only Teaching Policy on that. I don't agree and know/feel it needs to go more involved.
I don't ever want frecklette to not know what's going on w/ her body, even if it's uncomfortable for me to talk about. the more we talk ( & yes, this is the easy stuffs still) the better the communication. I'm not trying to be the "cool mom" but I'd rather be accessible to her friends in that way too, or even so I know She is passing on the right actual info to her friends, you know?

I'm sorry, I'm always on a soapbox! :x!!
moxiegirl
frek- i really, really hope when moxette is a tween, teen, adult, whatever, that i have the guts to talk openly with her. its the single greatest gift you can give her. so, soapbox away!!
berenguela
Hi bustie moms and wise mom-friends!
freckle, yeah, i think I would just drop it with the pastor guy. He doesn't like you; that's his problem . He may make it his daughter's problem in which case it will become frecklette's problem but there's really nothing you can do about that. You did the right thing; I absolutely would not leave a child in an empty house. And if I needed my child to be home by 11:30 and he wasn't there by 11:45, I'd call! I don't know why they didn't. Weird. What kind of church is he a pastor of?

littleb has been doing "growth and human development" in school aka sex ed and has been coming home with all sorts of interesting information about erections and things. I'm glad he is learning this while he is still young enough to feel comfortable talking to me.

Oh yeah, and I don't think I told you, but we're pulling him out of his fancy (subsidized) private school -- he got into a gifted program at a public school. Yay, littleb! I'm glad because I never really liked his school much. He's excited about the new place and he already has one friend in his class.

voodoo_princess, in case you stop by, just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. There was a letter in Dan Savage last week which sounded just like your situation.
pepper
ok, i'ma gonna hop right in and tell y'all a story 'bout my five year old.

the other day we got up as usual and started our routine of the day. i brought him breakfast and turned on some cartoons (he watches about 20 minutes in the AM so i can get us ready to go) and laid out some clothes for him to put on. he's usually pretty good about eating and getting himself dressed and we have Minimal time in the morning because we leave the house by 7:30. so when i went into his bedroom to check up and when he was still sitting there in his pj's i freaked a little. i said "hey, why aren't you dressed already?" and he just looked at me with his eyes all big but wouldn't budge. i ended up going over and starting to pull off his jammies myself to quickly throw him into his clothes but as soon as him bottoms came down he grabbed his willy and would not let go. i'm starting to get worried at this point and saying "let me see... are you hurt..." etc. the look on his face, i just couldn't figure it out. finally i get his hand off and what does he have there but a scooby doo bandaid that he's firmly plastered all the way round himself with the edges overlapping. of course he's been squeezing himself to hide it from me and, well, the bandaid at this point has gotten a little "snug" shall we say. oh my, i hardly knew whether to laugh or cry. poor little bugger, he had that thing on all night.

needless to say, we took a taxi that morning and he hasn't gotten into the bandages since. kids are so funny.
freckleface2727
pepper that is hysterical!!

and maybe I'll be sorry to ask, but did he ever explain to you why he had put a bandaid there in the first place?
pepper
oh, he has free run of the bandages, he puts them Everywhere. never there before though. and i'll betcha never again either!
berenguela
Hee. Castration anxiety?
damona
pepper, that is too funny! my 3 yr old hates bandaids. no matter how big the owie is he won't leave a bandaid on for more than a few minutes. which is kinda bad since i've had to take him twice lately for blood draws (those people are vampires!) and he has to go one more time tomorrow. he rips the bandaids off as soon as we get in the car. poor baby!

sooo... anyone else ready for school to start again?? i was ready by monday morning! having all 4 of them screaming at eachother all day is rapidly wearing on my nerves. i wish i could take the whole crew to the park and let them run themselves tired, but i can't really do it by myself. with little z and little d's issues, they are too hard to control in a situation like that if i can't give them undivided attention.

sidenote: what do y'all think about those "kid harnesses"? good? bad? indifferent? i got one and i'm not sure about it... how old is too old for one of those things? do you think it would be ok to use on little z (he's 5)? and i think that little w is prolly too little for it... eh. anyway, just curious to see what your opinions are.
berenguela
litleb was a bandaid lover. I eventually just decided to let him wallow in them.

I actually would think a kid harness would be better on someone littler than on someone bigger. I think at 5 you could undo it, for instance.

freckle, if you drop by here, maybe this summer is the time to leave frecklette with the Mr. for a couple of days and come up to Chicago on your own.
freckleface2727
damona,
yes to wanting school back in already!
I am so used to having the whole house totally to myself once I drop her off, and this "sharing" thing is taking some getting used to.
but then, she's the same way, prefers being solitary too, so we find ourselves rotating, one of us up, one downstairs.
we did have a rather nice time dad's day shopping together yesterday, which was a unexpected suprise bc normally she's a holy terror shopping period.

as far as harnesses, I'm in favor of them. although what bere pointed out, at 5 little z will probably be able to figure out how to escape.
you are thinking of using it in the place context of..?

when freck was 6 & she & I + the 2 cats in carriers had to fly to germany (3 busy airports & no spare hand for me to hold hers w/) I bought a bright pink whistle on one of those spiraly wrist bracelets for her, w/ the instructions of if we got seperated ( or anyone bothered her etc) to stop- stand totally still and blow the heck out of it. she wasn't allowed to use or carry it other than when we traveled bc it was serious. was a good system. used it a few times as we traveled around europe while over there too, and still have it tho she's getting a little old. might be an idea?

bere, you read my letter in Letters?
siiiigh. wish I could.
thanks.
freckleface2727
does anyone know anything about salamanders or newts here?
bc we've got 2 now that are in our home and I'm getting a little wiggy. no, they weren't pets that got loose, we have a dog & cat. we live in the humid carolinas and even tho most people aren't aware of them being here, they are indiginous to this area naturally.

we don't want to kill them, bc we've always had a soft spot for geckos after living in panama where they were Always in our house, but this is different! the one that came in today was much bigger than the first one & I can only imagine if my cat see's it, what utter chaos will reign til she catches it.

and no, I'm not sure "catching" them would work either, bc they are fast as lightening.

I called the mr at work to tell him we have another one but he thinks I've lost my marbles to be upset.

anyone?
berenguela
I don't know anything about them about salamanders or newts, but I would *love* to see them. They're very ancient, almost magical I feel, and I think it is terribly good luck to have them in your home. I realize what I am saying isn't terribly useful!

I do know salamanders are nocturnal, which is wy it is hard to see them.

(and yeah, I read your letter in Letters. I really felt for you because though I love living in Chicago, it isn't Home for me and will never be. It meant a lot for me to read what someone for whom it is Home feels about it)
mandolyn
freckle, i know i'm late to the party, but i agree with what berenguela said. there's nothing you can really do about Nasty Stick-Up-His-Ass Pastor not liking you. i'd wait and see what happens with the girls. if Nasty Pastor is giving his daughter grief, you'll know soon enough.

i'm not a lizard-hatah, but a loose one in the house - much less two! - would freak me the fuck out! *shudder* i'm sure the cat will freak THEM the fuck out and they'll be leaving pronto, if they haven't already.

pepper, LOVED the bandaid story, lol!

before i became a parent, i always thought kid-harnesses seemed cruel on principal alone. now i can very much understand how they are Good & Necessary Things. but i can also see a 5 yr old getting off on The Great Escape challenge aspect, tho.

and go littleb in the gifted program! good news indeed! is that happening over the summer, or in september?

nothing very new to report. danny is graduating middle school on thurs. i'm sure i'll be an emotional wreck at some point soon. or maybe not til september, when we step foot into Big Scary High School. i'm torn between revelling in a little more freedom for myself, and being nervous about his impending higher level of independence. the whole growing up thing is a two-edged sword.

it will be an interesting summer for us. his first true summer vacation since he was five. he's been in day camp every year, but this year, i couldn't convince him to be a counselor-in-training. so i'm letting him stay home by himself. his best friend lives across the street, so they'll be hanging. but other than that, and a few parade gigs he's got with the band-for-hire he's joined, the kid gets to relax for a change. i don't even care if he sits around all day playing videos in the a/c. come mid-august, he'll be sweating his fanny off in the grueling two weeks of band camp and then from sept-nov, the band and school will kick his ass but good. (the high school band is a competitive, nationally-known band, and they compete all over god's country every single weekend, in addition to playing for the school football games.)

but thank god i only work 10 minutes away. if i worked in the city, i'd be freaking out but good leaving him home alone, teenager or no. i also thankfully have the flexibility of taking off a weekday here and there and taking him to the beach.
berenguela
congratulations to danny on finishing middle school! I think it is great that you are letting him have a summer of "freedom" --- it will probably make it so much easier for him to cope with whatever stresses high school throws in his way in the autumn.

littleb starts with the gifted school in September. he's a day camp at his old school now, but his friend from the new school will be joining him there in a few weeks.
freckleface2727
I can't believe danny, OUR Little Danny, is starting High School.
le sigh & sniff
where does the time go??
((((((((mamaMando)))))))))

we got rid of the 2 lizzards.
a kindly neighbor w/super heavy gloves came & scooped them up for me & tossed them out & peace has reigned sinse then.
I'm ok w/ 1 bc they eat spiders & bugs, but 2 is asking for breeding- no thanks!
in Pan the locals always said they were lucky, but I really think they just said that bc they were virtually Impossible to keep out :-)

littleb Rocks!! that's so fantastic!! I betcha his new school is going to be totally fabulous!

todays gripe:
got freck's report card in the mail.
y'all remember how horribly badly she was doing in math, and all the testing we did, which resulted in her scoring just high enough to not qualify for any tutorial or remedial help, but yet she still failed math 3/4ths of the school year right.
the last report card we got for her, she had like a 36, w/ a 69 or 70 being passing, so she wasn't even Remotely in the ballpark for it and even if she had say, Quadrupled her work & makeup work and aced every single quiz & test, she Still probably wouldn't have made it right?
her grade was a 72.
they Gave it to her.
Passed Her. " she is a pleasure to have in class." well I'm sure she is, but she can't do the damn work!
I am stunned, shocked and approaching Furiously ANGRY. it's not like I want my kid to fail, but come on! DEAL WITH HER instead of just promoting her on. at the least, how is this going to help her w/ next years math, when she is years behind even being competent in this years? (for the record,most of her other grades were across the board B's)
I am at such a loss right now..
the mr said when he comes home, we'll average things out and go from there, which means I will be making calls and/or trips to the school over the summer now. unreal.

as to that little girl w/ the crazy pastor dad, frecklette hasn't called her sinse that day, bc she's afraid to get her in more trouble, and the little girl hasn't called her either. it's only been a week or 2, but I hate to think that bc of stupid grownups, the girls would lose a wonderful friendship. I would even apologise to the dad, if I knew what for, but you are all totally right, it needs to be left alone.

I think I need a nap now :-(
tyger
freck, i say go raise hell at the school. i remember on two occasions parents had to fight tooth and nail for kids in my grade to get held back in elementary school. until we got to high school, with seperate classes for different subjects it was nearly impossible to get held back in one, but if she does have seperate classes for different subjects there is NO excuse for passing her. at least next year if you get her re-tested she would (theoretically) qualify for help, as she'd be further behind where she should be, right?

when schools are dipshitty it just makes me angry. how exactly do they think they're helping her by sending her along when she is obviously not up to it? grrrrrr.

go littleb and danny!
mandolyn
freckle, is there a possibility of getting frecklette into a math class better suited for her next year? one where she might not have to struggle so much? or how about one of those independent "stores" where you pay them for tutoring, for over the summer (sorry, can't think of the name of them). whichever route you take, good for you for making the powers that be accountable. they're teaching a crap lesson about undeserved rewards.

thanks for all the kind words about danny. he got a bunch of awards, even some kind of presidential science award! i'm a bit sad tho, first, that the mr couldn't fight his boss to take the morning off for the ceremony (yet he can take off two entire days to fight a stupid ticket in traffic court, grrrrr!). and that no one is making a big deal about his graduating. we're going to nephew's high school graduation party today, and i plan on making sure everyone knows about danny's accomplishments (without stealing nephew's thunder, of course). but i bet none of the outlaws would even acknowledge his graduating middle school if i don't say anything. i bet even my sister won't send a card. i think i'll do a braggy mom thing and send a mass email or something. even just to embarrass them. moi? spiteful? heh.

but i made a special day for him at least. took him out for lunch, gave him a card and two gifts. and we're taking him out for dinner tomorrow night. but i'm still miffed and sad and hurt at how thoughtless my own family can be.
freckleface2727
the mr & I talked about what to do, and when you look at her year-total grades on her final report card she was passing each 9 weeks, except that I am about 99% positive that those are Not the right scores on there. as I remember, she only actually passed *1* of the grading peroids, and that was w/ a D at that.
I know- I probably sound totally nutso right now, like there was some sort of "conspiracy to pass her." - Hello CRAZI?!
unfortunately, I am not one of those organized parents who keeps all her stuff together & in one place to check, so I'll have to hunt thru the various nooks & crannies & junk drawers of our house to see what all I can find and really, it'd only take One changed grade to make my point to the school, don't you think?

as to a tutoring program, they are all really super expensive, like College Loan Expensive, but I'm going to call a local high school in the fall and see if we can't connect w/ an honors math student instead.
thanks everyone, for reinforcing to me that I am doing the right thing right now.
the mr is sorta of " she passed. let it go." but I can't.
frecklette did however, score a perfect 4 in her Reading EOG- that's my girl!

Danny Rocks!!
I think you are handeling it exactly right in sending an email, w/ Pictures right? of his awards program. it's a big accomplishment to make this transition. you're not out & out shaming anyone, just making them aware of something they might have otherwise missed.
I know that the 8th graders in the class I was proctoring in for the EOG's were all sweating it, bc if they didn't pass them, they didn't move up. I caught 2 boys cheating, which is an auto-no-go, but they screwed themselves.
there Should be a celebration for kids that really accel, so be that Proud Mama Mando, he deserves it! :-)

bere- how is littleb doing in his day camp?
is he liking it & having fun?
I kinda have an idea that when the mr deploys again, frecklette & I might fly into chicago & stay w my cousins in blue island for a few days and do all the museums I loved as a kid. mostly hitting science & industry bc that was soo much fun, and then the zoo's and the aquarium & maybe navy pier, which wasn't near so built up as it is now. I don't know. might just be a pipe dream, but our brief few hours there summer before last just didn't cut it for me. I actually dreamed the other night we did this, and to me, that's strong totem, you know?
have you been to the Peace museum yet? is it new? I just read about it online the other day and would really love to go there and don't remember it as a kid. there is a huge glass sculpture right in front of the eiffel tower in paris that has the word 'peace' engraved on it in like 17+ different languages & is so beautiful..

it's a rainy stormy day here today, things are relatively calm for the moment on the homefront..

hugs to all~

ps: voodoo did you get my email?
pepper
ggrrr. my kid is great. usually. but he is so easily led by other kids, it's like he has no concept of badness and being naughty on purpose so when other kids are doing it and Know what they are doing is wrong, he just has no idea that it's not ok and goes along with it. nothing major but troubling 'cause he starts school this year and i am thinking about all the shit he can get into without me around to keep and eye out.
he had a friend stay over last night and until lunch time today and they were rotten together. he knows enough to listen to me when i tell him what to do or not, but his friend is one of those push the envelop kind of kids who will just keep going and going to see how far he can take things. of Course my little thought everything was hillarious and kept up with his little friend until they were both in trouble. over and over again. i'm not used to not being listened to, it's frustruating with someone else's kid. and i NANNY too, but mostly kids do what i say. i'm just hard to disobey, very firm and take no shit kinda mama.
oh well, a learning lesson for me and also maybe prep for whatever goes down at school. yikes.

freckle, that would really piss me off. i'd definately look for all her work for the past year and see what's what. can't the school provide a tutor or extra help? i remember getting that when i was in grade school. i hope my child is a brilliant scholar all on his own because i SUCK at math and will just be no help to him at all. i upgraded at the local college last year and the gr 10 math almost killed me. 12 english was a breeze though, i CAN actually pull off a formal piece of writing, i swear. i'm just too tired to even use the shift key for capitals here though. ha.
berenguela
littleb had a HORRIBLE report card! Grr! I know part of it was that his teacher is mad he's leaving the school but I know another big part of it is that although he's bright, he really only wants to learn what *he* wants to learn, not what the teacher thinks is important (eg. spelling). Doing well on a test is no incentive to him, so he just doesn't study. Rotten kid...
His camp is one he's been to for a few years --- I can't really figure out how it is going. I think okay, but I think he's lacking a close friend there.

pepper, my sister and I have often wondered why we just can't get our kids to listen to us and why they defy us in a way we don't think we *ever* did with our mother, and it's not like she was a huge tyrant and we are big pushovers.

freckle, you gotta gotta gotta tell me if you're coming to Chicago, esp. to the Museum of Science and Industry since it is about a ten minute walk from my house --- we could meet for lunch! Ireally think you should come. Clearly your dream was a Sign. You might also think of visiting Millenium Park --- it is right downtown. I've never been to the Peace Museum.
freckleface2727
no progress on the report card math grade, bc honestly? I haven't begun to look for any proof that I'm right yet. I so Suck when it comes to doing the "difficult/right thing" which is funny, bc I am a "difficult" person in my own right.
humor ey?

ok, wise mama's : how old do or would you, consider to be Old Enough, for a kid/child/pre-teen, to be in a movie theater alone?
freck's friend asked her to go to the movie w/ her & her (single)dad. even tho it was the later show, the mr & I said ok, bc she'd gone w/ them before and had a good time.
so the mr & I are grocery shopping, freck is home (it was still daylight, we leave her for a few hours now & then but Only in the day & w/ strict orders of no phone, no outside, doors locked etc etc) and she calls my cell and lets it slip that they needed to pick her up early, bc the dad's movie started before theirs, but both movies got out at the same time so it was ok.
um- NO. the mr & I both feel totally the same way about this - 2 12 (but looks older) year old girls, at the 9:00pm movie, on a friday night, left on their own there? just no way.
freck of course, thinks were terribly unfair and trying to smother her to death, but just no way.
opinions?
freck has so been smarting off & back talking that she has lost access to the interet all summer as well as the tv for a month & is next in line for losing her books, which would be a throw yourself on a daggar moment for her w/ the way she lives to read. I'm also threatening to ship her off to live w/ the mr's ancient grandmother, who chain smokes and won't let you out of her site. I just do Not know how to handle her some/most/evey day anymore. :-(

bere, I will totally let you know if we have any plans to come to town, but if so, it wouldn't be til next summer or so I'd imagine.
would be fantastic to actually meet you, any of you, in person.

ok, the in-laws are coming so I must return to my grudge work. polishing floors ever-so-much-brighter ;)
much love & happy 4th !!
pepper
oh, hard.
is she at all willing to talk with you about it in a non-defensive icky teenager way? if so could you explain it to her that you have rules as parents that you have to follow but some things are guess work for you and the two of you (mom and pop) have to do your best to make decisions that are difficult because they have to do with her safety and what's the best way to teach her and keep her safe? what about letting her help or negotiate terms with you so that she feels responsible for the lay out of the rules?
argh, good luck freckle. little is still 5, i have a way to go before i face this myself so let me know what you figure out. i'll write it down and save it for later.
berenguela
Because when I have littleb, I'm a single mum, I have had to get used to, and get him used to being at home alone a lot more at a young age than I might have preferred. When he was smaller I'd leave him at home to go around the corner to the store, and now I'll even leave him at home all morning if I have to teach or something.
The first movie I ever went to alone, all alone, I was about 12-13. It was the middle of the day. Yup a man in a raincoat came and sat beside me and yup. Well, I don't really know *what* he was doing because I was paralysed with fear but we can guess. You guys are the first people I have ever told this to! And why wasn't I strong enough to move away/get help/complain to my parents? Well, no harm done.
Bottom line: I think the 9pm show is too late and so is the 7pm show. I think they are old enough to go to the 4:30pm show if the Dad's movie gets out the same time theirs does.
I would think that cutting off internet/TV/books would end up hurting you as much or more as hurting her because is she is bored she'll be more horrible? What about getting her to do messy, active chores? Might it help her work out some of her aggression and keep busy too? I have no idea.

New topic: I saw and agreed with pepper's post in the "general relationship questions thread" where people were discussing whether boys were different from girls (aggresive vs. socially cooperative). I really don't want to go mix it up in there because I've been enough of an unpopular ogre there for one week already but I thought it was a worthwhile question for the mums. In my youth, I totally bought into the whole "we're all socially constructed and infinitely malleable" view. Women could not just be anyone professionally, but also tempermentally. Now I have a son and I've seen his development from birth, I don't agree any more. I think boys really are different from girls. Two of the things that make them this way: those penises (they just love, love, love them.) and that shot of testosterone (when it hits at age 3[?] you can tell sooo fast). Now I don't think biology is destiny, nor am I a biological determinist. I think we all have a huge range of possibilities and outcomes, there is tons of overlap, most generalizations fall apart etc. But we do live in our bodies, we experience the world through our bodies, and our bodies matter. I'm curious to hear what your experiences are.
pepper
berenquela, ? what did you even say? nothing that would exclude you from the conversation, surely?
in any case...
darn good point. my little came out with his personality firmly in place. nature vs nuture my ASS! he is a boy through and through. (you read the story 'bout the scooby-doo bandaid right?) this socialization as the overruling feature is a crock imho. socialization stems from our biological directives in the first place. brittany bares all because the reptilian brain in each of us wants to make another human. yes, it's an enormous simplification and there is much, much more to it than that. but what it boils down to in the end is the very essence of what we are as men and women. somethings are universally 'human' in nature and using either sex as a determining factor is a cop-out (venus/mars crap), but there is a LOT to be said for the differences between the sexes.
my boy wanted trucks and cars to play with, a ball, a bike, some rocket ships, straight off. and i was a parent who considered NOT even telling anyone whether he was even a boy or a girl until he was at least three so as not to influence how they treated him (obviously i'm not a biological determinist either). HA! the joke was on me, he came out ALL male. and he's been aware of it since WAY earlier than i ever even thought would be possible.
i've nannied and babysat enough to have seen for myself the natural behavioral differences in little boys and little girls. they are born with it, and while it may be reinforced by society at large, it's there all on it's own to begin with.
evolution has NO reason to erase out basic programming, it doesn't interfer with our survival as a species and so it stays the same. we may have evolved past the need for certain survival mechanisms but there they are, deeply imbedded in the reptilian brain none the less.
mandolyn
"...lost access to the interet all summer as well as the tv for a month & is next in line for losing her books." freckle, that just gave me an anxiety attack just reading it. it sounds a bit excessive, but of course i don't know the details of frecklette's bad behavior and i certainly don't mean to criticize or question your parenting skills. i'm just afraid it could backfire and make her "hate" you and push her toward being MORE defensive, resentful & defiant. i would also think about assigning chores, especially to help with responsibility and her self-esteem (ie: sense of accomplishment).

danny's 13 going on 14 and i've never let him go to a movie alone with a friend. i've only just started letting him go to the men's room alone when he and i go to a movie. (um, not that i ever went in with him, but when he was too old to come with me into the ladies room, i'd go with him and stand outside the men's room and wait. anxiously. "and don't talk to anyone!") i've only just started letting him walk to the local shopping center with his friend, and if he asks to go to a movie during daylight hours, i'll probably let him. i've let him stay home alone for a few hours at a time since he was 9 or 10. and all day alone for the past year or so. but he knows not to answer the phone or answer the door, unless it's me, dad, or grandma. he has strict rules. i trust him.

but just when i'm getting to the point of being ok with leaving him alone all day, last week, a strange man walked onto our front porch, didn't ring the doorbell, just sort of ... loitered. i opened the front door, immediately locking the screen door, and asked him if i could help him. he was looking for "maurecio", i said there was no one here by that name, and he apologized and ambled off. he definitely looked like a strange character. possibly stoned. i watched him drive away. but ever since, i've been creeped out. so danny has to lock the screen door the minute he gets up in the morning. and call me to check in.

not sure about the boys being different from girls discussion, berenquela. i'm not the most pc/feminist on the planet, and my son tends towards books, movies, computers, and doesn't have a rough n'tumble bone in his body. he's only now becoming a rabid sports enthusiast (watching, not participating), and i suspect that has more to do with male-bonding than anything else.

but, you know, i never bought him a barbie doll or dressed him in pink. (tho he was always into stuffed animals, even until recently.) so i'm sure i've projected my own issues on the kid along the way.

i think it's best to let the kids take their own course as much as possible. they have a way of letting us know how they're wired pretty early on.
freckleface2727
mando- I can see where I sound pretty extreme in my punishment of frecklette,but she had already lost the internet for a month a week after school let out & was about to get it back til this latest round of nastiness. understand: I'm a pushover sometimes, and will check to see if her online penpal has written her, and when I saw she did, let freck read it & write back quickly. she was content. we clash so much over the Parental Controls & how limited she think it is (it's an aol Kids Online account) bc I won't let her go into chat rooms etc.
my big thing is, all the parenting experts say to deal in the "currency" that means most to your child. well w/ frecklette, it's books. she really does Live for them. it's the ONLY thing that has any impact on her as far as punishment, even when she knew that if she'd just stop smarting off so much, her dad & I would give her own tv & dvd player (extra's sinse he bought a tv in iraq)there in her room. that is usually a big thing to a kid, isn't it? not frecklette!
she does have chores to do, loading and re-loading the dishwaster, feeding the dog & cat, picking up apples and pears in the backyard, and pinecones in the front, keeping her room straight, simple stuff like that. our deal has Always been: do these things w/ out us having to yell or scream at you to do them, and do them RIGHT (she's nortorious for 1/2-assed) & you earn an allowance for them. but if we have to repeatedly get after you & get ugly about it, no money. simple. so far she has chosen procrastination over money. so see now again, if we said ' no chores, No New BOOKS' it's a whole different song. siiiiiigh.
thanks for your input.

bere, freck is just who she is. when she was small, or younger esp, each gift-giving occassion I specifically gave her "boy oriented toys" to counter act the "girl specific toys" she was given, just to provide balance. and we didn't do barbie, but I did encourge her to be "girly" as far as learning to enjoy being feminine and pink and stuff, while at the same time showing her that girls/women can do ANYTHING that boys/men can do, even if it's sometimes done in a different way abd vice versa. truthfully, I'm going to risk sounding stoopid here, but I'm not sure I understod what you meant? kids are kids.
frecklette is a good blend of male/female energy.
she hates going outside (me) bc she has such bad bugbite reactions, but loves to be rough & tumble & wrestle(mr) w/ us still. she hates to shop, but loves to read. hates museums (mr) but loves kitties (me.) she just is who she is, and as she's the only child I have, and am not around my nephews enough, I don't have any comparrison.
pepper: I think that is radically too cool a thought to not tell anyone your kids gender and let them be. wow. that hits crazi hard and I will have to think on that awhile.

this weekend has been massive 'oh shit the in-laws are coming' cleaning, and so frecklette got to not just change the cat box, but also got to (like it's a treat) take it outside & scrub it down too. she did a really good job. better than I expected. if she'd finish her room now, I do think I will suprise her and give her some money for a job well done.
reward has it's place,thanks for reminding me of that mando.

you mama's rock ~
voodoo_princess
hey freck..... i got your mail and i'm so sorry i missed your call(s)..... i have been so amazingly busy and crazy between the kids, babies i sit with and the Mr......
i think things are calming down now.... i'm gonna try to give you a call soon, the week(day) is just a crazy time for me..... sorry to be a bad friend, i'll get it together soon, promise!!!!
LOVE xxxxxx
freckleface2727
no worries v, just glad you are ok sweetie, you sound Better!
I know y'all might not care, but that wounded soldier of the mr's, the 19 yr old kid that frecklette & I got so close to, is meeting the President tomorrow!! my boy is growing up :-)

Happy 4th everyone :-)
tyger
freckle, as a girl who had an attitude the size of the USSR and lives for books, i would strongly reccomend not taking away frecklette's books. so much of what you say about her reminds me of me when i was younger (though i hope she's nowhere near as mouthy as i am!), and if she is anything like me, taking away her books might backfire. she'll be mad at you, because taking away personal property is crossing a punishment line that really shouldn't be crossed (in my opinion. of course, it's not my place, really, and i don't have kids so i don't see things the same way as parents would). what about taking away her library priviledges? or make a deal, for every x days she behaves herself in a row you guys can go and buy her a new book she'd like. on one hand, you do have to deal with kids in a way that will impact them (like for me, taking away internet and tv were and still would be nothing. take away my ipod/stereo/cds and i would seriously become depressed. take away my books and i would get crazy from lack of stimulation). if she reads anywhere near as much as i did, taking away her books would leave her with nothing to do (esp. since she has no internet/tv at the moment), which would really be a recipe for disaster, right? but i'm just butting in where i don't belong, and you should definetly do whatever will work to get a peaceful home.
freckleface2727
mando- I thought of you guys twice yesterday, the first time bc I assumed your danny marched in a 4th parade- and with this Heat! gawd I remember doing that, in the hot uniforms w/ the dead chickens (plumes) on our heads. how did he look & how Proud were you? ( wait, I'm bettin' I already know, lol).
the second time was when we came home from the fireworks, and we were all eating our icecream and turned on the tv & watched the last few minutes of the Boston firework w/ the Pops playing on tv, w/ the fireworks over the water, how pretty. I hope everyone had a great time yesterday, we did.

tyger, never apologise for stating your opinion please ! you give such great insight to an area that is so new to me, and her too really.
I need you, please please please, keep talking:-)
I really like that idea, for every day she's less than horrendous (bc even her grandparents got to expierence her mouth first hand this visit) she earns a book.. that'd doable.
her best friend called yesterday, and initally I wouldn't let freck talk to her, but then as it was a holiday let her call her right back, and tho we got there too late to park near her to watch the fireworks, did walk her over to let her introduce her to her G'Mom (m-i-l) bc freck had really wanted them to meet & hang out a few.
so did I cave ( & not being "consistent" again) or do the right thing by being mellow?
tyger
it's soooooo hard not to apologize, freck. it's my damn canadian-ness. i'll try harder, i swear.

i have such a big problem with parenting experts. you know who make the best parenting experts? teenagers. i know this sounds ridiculous, but my friends who turned out best were the ones whose parents gave them tons of room. starting in grade 11 (when i got my license) i had no real curfew, just a phone curfew. on weekends i had to phone my mom by midnight to tell her what was up, and then we'd say 'okay, i'll phone again at x o'clock'. or 'i'll be home before you wake up'. my mom was okay with me drinking (when i did, at 17. i don't now) as long as she knew where i was, and that i had a floor to sleep it off on or a sober ride home. stuff works differently for every kid, of course, but a lot of the time giving space works a lot better than building walls.

as for the 'consistent' thing, maybe you should just be consistently mellow? i mean, draw a personal line where frecklette has gone too far is she does x,y, or z, and will be punished with this for that, and for minor-er infractions leave it at 'you lost your book', and let the rest go on as normal. try that for a few weeks and then adjust it if it's not working quite right?
pollystyrene
Funny you should say that, tyger, about teenagers being the best parenting experts.

This is coming from someone who doesn't have kids, but when I was 14, I came up with a parenting theory after one of my friends, who grew up in a really restrictive, oppressive household with parents who micro-managed her every move, ditched school, got drunk and high (and this was not the first time she did that), hopped on a Grayhound to Atlanta, called one of our older friends to come pick her up when she got about halfway to Atlanta and decided to get on a bus and come back home, then puked in his car...

The boundaries you put on your kid are like a lasso around them- it's inevitable that your kid is going to rebel. If you have the lasso very tight around them, restricting their every move and thought, the only way for them to rebel will be to completely break the lasso and then you have no control over them and they go nuts. However, if you keep the lasso loose enough to be comfortable, but to still be around them, they'll be able to rebel within your boundaries, learn to trust themselves and still be safe.

I was fortunate enough to have parents who set good boundaries and I was able to work with in most cases. I had a curfew, but it was reasonable and varied depending on the situation- who I was with, what we were doing. I never drank, smoked, did drugs or had sex in high school. Well, I did drink, but never to the point of getting drunk- I had a friend whose parents had a well-stocked bar in their basement and I tried a few things, but never to excess and I'd tell my parents about it later- it was easier to tell them that I tried it, didn't like it, or tried it, liked it, but knew not to go overboard than to sneak around about everything. I think I had a healthy level of fear with my parents, but mostly I felt like doing something really bad (drinking, drugs, typical teenager crimes like shoplifting, vandalism, etc.) would disappoint them and that would be worse than being grounded for months and/or having possessions or privilages taken away.

Again, I don't have kids, and my opinions might change if I did, but looking back on my teenager-hood, I think for the most part my parents handled things really well, especially in comparison to some of my friend's parents.
freckleface2727
you know what, what you've both said here today Really makes sense.
I think I will try really hard to not try so hard, if you know what I mean?
she doesn't do drugs, isn't having sex, etct etc (she is only 12 but in this world I've seen it happen already) so maybe I need to just chill a little?


the mr & I went out & about running errands this afternoon & let her stay home again, and when the doorbell rang she did call me, and only looked out the window upstairs after I told her it was ok. (we've had a problem w/ door to door people lately & our door doesn't have a peephole).
she's a good kid. does Occassionally listen to us.

chill mama chill. I'm going to tell the mr to please remind me of this next time we have a skirmish. it's summer, she's in puberty, and I think maybe I've forgotten just how confusing and emotional that time can be.

and polly? kids or no, if it's not Your kid, it's a lot easier to be objective. I appreciate your input. (I meant that genuinely, not sarcastically.) please post w/us whenever you want.

have I said lately how much I luv you all here?
(((((((thankyou))))))
berenguela
tyger and polly, I agree with so much of what you say. My parents were really lenient with us, gave us lots of freedom but also had *huge* expectations on us that we would behave, not do anything to make them ashamed, etc. and it really worked. We were both pretty good as teens and saved our experimenting until we were old enough to do it.
sillygrrl13
Staggering by, throwing kisses to Mando & Freckle. Look who's back from the dead! Love you..
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