You make me loonie
But I guess I have to keep ya
If you've been reading the Zoo for a while you know that I seldom play very many memes here. Most of that finds it's way over to The Bowl. But today there was one that I couldn't resist. Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks and Pizza are the host of Tuesday Tribute. It's a weekly opportunity to bow to someone or something other than our ginormous egos.
This is my first time playing along but I have read quite a few of the tributes in the past. Let's see if I can do the meme justice. My Tribute to "Normal."
It's my first day in two weeks without someone else's child in my house. I mean it! I even had surprise children yesterday. There's nothing like having someone else's children in your house to make you grateful for your own children. In case you missed it you can revisit my experience from last week at Mom Tip #66 (appropriate number, don't you think?).
So here are a few of my child related gratitudes.
I am grateful that Marmoset stopped stripping when she came to her diaper. Especially when I realized its contents. (Scratch that - I changed her and now she's decided to be naked.)
I am grateful that we have no where to be today since Rhino decided to wear Steeler's shorts with a burgundy sweatshirt. (And Marmie is naked. Not good for public outings. Wait, make that a double scratch. Rhino now has on camo pants with his burgundy sweatshirt.)
I am grateful that Orangutan didn't call my bluff this morning when I told her I would "come up there and get you!" Crashing the bunk beds was not on my list of things to do today. (Nor was staring at a naked toddler or a clashing 4 year old.)
I am grateful that my children don't like milk on their cereal sometimes. Clean up is so much easier when it only requires a vacuum. (And a naked Marmoset won't need a bath.)
I am grateful that my dog doesn't care what he eats sometimes. (Did he really just cover his eyes?)
I am extremely grateful for the secret stash of mini chocolate chips in the top of the freezer and the Belevedere on top of the fridge. Oh wait. That has nothing to do with my children. Well, not directly anyway.
This looks like a cool way to party!
Because I know you all did exactly what I asked and crossed everything this morning so that you looked a little like this...
Looks painful doesn't it? Like Gumby and Smurfette had a little one. Kinda freaky really. Those chicks on the bottom really got a bum rap. What am I supposed to be talking about? Because I'm pretty sure it's not Gumby.
Oh yeah! You want to know if Rhino got pulled in the lottery! I called the school and Ms. Debbie the secretary answered the phone. I gave her my name and told her that I wanted to check the PreK list. She asked me to hold and then immediately said, "Oh wait! You're Tucker's mom?"
Deep breath before I said yes. Holding for a split second before she answered with...
Tension's killing you isn't it? It's this little thing I'm working on called plot development. You're supposed to create tense situations that keep your readers craving the answer to the conflict. Is it working?
"Sure, he's in! I hope we made your weekend!"
Are you kidding me? It took me a full 20 minutes to stop dancing long enough to realize that I was supposed to be on my way to pick O up.
So YES! We are in! Thank the Lord because with this week's track record, if I had to make two school stops on the way in the morning we would be late every single day of the year.
At first he wasn't thrilled because he thought O would be mad that he was going to school with her. O assured him that she was really excited because she would be able to look out for him and maybe she would get to see him in the cafeteria at lunch and she would make sure he found me in the car rider line. You know, take care of all that really important stuff. Now he feels better and he is ready to start getting ready for school.
The question now is how am I going to feel in August when it all really happens?
**Editorial Note: While I understand that not ALL only children or children of divorced parents have issues with boundaries, the child in question is both. If your child fits one of those molds and does not fit my issue - a million kudos to you for being a rocking parent. If your child is neither and fits my issue - you need a swift kick in the rear.**
For the love of all things holy fellow parents, set some boundaries for your children. Not all behavior is acceptable.
Let's talk about this. If I walked into your home, strolled into one of your bedrooms, opened a dresser drawer and threw the contents all over the room, would it be acceptable? If I grabbed your purse or wallet and proceeded to distribute the contents to the four winds, would it be allowed? What if I pooped in the middle of your living room floor and then bit you on the leg?
The good news for you is that I don't behave like that. Would you like to know why? Because my parents taught me from a very young age that not only is it wrong in my own house, but it is even more rude, devestating and embarassing in someone else's. Can I share a little news flash with you? My children will not be doing it in your house if they come to visit. Would you like to know why? Because I have taught them that it is completely wrong to act that way in our house and incredibly rude, devestating and embarassing in someone else's house.
I have been spending time with a child who apparently has not been taught these things. This child happens to be an only child and the product of a newly divorced home. While I understand that both parents feel like they should allow a little leniency to "make up for their issues" I don't condone it. You want to make it up to her? Teach her to say please and thank you instead of "gimmee" and "I want." Teach her to share - not snatch. Teach her to wait her turn instead of bulldozing everyone out of her way. Teach her that destroying someone else's property is hurtful and rude.
But let me give you one more tip. Back your boundaries up. If you are setting boundaries, reinforce them when they are broken. Should my children ever lose their minds in any of the forementioned ways while we are in another person's home, you can bet your eardrums that I will be tip toeing on the fine line of violating the Geneva Convention. I will knock somebody's butt OFF!
And before you jump on me for that one, let me tell you something else. If you don't want to see me discipline my child (which I try not to do in public), don't give me the stink eye when my child is pouring a strawberry milkshake down the back of your shirt in a restaurant.
Should I have to take care of an issue in public (usually Target or the grocery store), you will see me get about two inches from my child's face. I will put my hands on either side of their face and mine so that they can't look anywhere but into my eyes. I will have a very quiet conversation that you will probably never hear and we will be done. If we aren't done, you will see a very hasty trip either to the restroom or to our vehicle.
I have three children. I do the same thing with all three. They know what is expected and they play by my rules. You know why? Because I'm the big person. I'm the adult and respect is a way of life in our house.
As long as I'm on a roll, let's cover one more base shall we? Chores. It is completely acceptable for you to ask your children to do chores. Quite honestly it is more than acceptable in my book. Someone looked at me cross eyed the other day when I mentioned to the exhibits that it was time to gather their laundry off of my bed and put it away. Yes, my five year old, four year old and even the two year old put their own laundry away. They also feed the dog, clean their rooms, bring me their dirty laundry, clean up their playroom and clear their dishes from the table. Yes, I help them with some of those things but they can do them on their own.
In my humble opionion, part of the problem with society is that people expect to be waited on hand and foot. Also part of that opinion is that the reason they expect it is because their parents never taught them personal responsibility or work ethic.
I have to go now. I just kicked a hole in the side of my soap box and if I plan to spout again anytime soon, I have to get my slaves to work fixing it.
Posted by Sarah at 1:14 PM
I wrote this last night before I went to bed and I was revisiting in hopes that I had a better perspective. I don't. Did I mention that I lost the keys to my van at some point in all the chaos last evening? Did I mention that I searched all morning only to realize that I left them in my hooded sweatshirt which was going in the laundry? I should have known it wasn't going to be a much better day.
So Rhino's BFF didn't come today after all because he's under the weather. But Pal is back. Stab me in the ears. Another cleaning out of the fireplace. More pinching and scratching. There's a Mom Tip in this. I'll be back when I can tip and not rant.
Apparently you really can stave off panic with panic. That preemtive strike I attempted earlier worked. Three of my spares exhibits won't be coming this afternoon. They will all be here all day Saturday but I can prepare for that. Of course Saturday we're supposed to be experiencing some severe weather but there is always my pal playdough, movie party and nap.
Maybe I should freak out on people more often.
Posted by Sarah at 3:06 PM
This little guy is getting ready to go to school?
I'm sure it comes as no surprise when I tell you that The Zoo has been impacted by the recent upheaval in the economy. So we've been doing what all of America has been doing - looking for ways to cut back in our spending. We'll today we went for the gold.
The Zookeeper took a few hours this afternoon to decompress and ended up buying a set of hair clippers complete with scissors, guards, combs and an instruction booklet. That's right Zoobies! The Rhino was in need of a haircut and while the $18 dollars I spent on the clippers would have covered the haircut at Snip-it's I was approaching this like an investment. If I was investing in entertainment, aggravation, and disaster, my return has been the best ever.
Let's talk entertainment. L.M. Lion was fancying himself a barber today so he put Rhino on one of the bistro chairs and got down to business. Surprisingly the back of the neck and the beginning stages went fairly well. But then it was time to head for the ears.
"Bud! You can't put your hands there!"
"Buddy! I have to be able to see your ears if I'm not going to cut them off."
"No! I didn't mean I was going to cut your ears off. I just don't want to cut you."
"I did NOT cut you!"
"Be still; I'm almost done."
"Well, crap. I messed that up, didn't I?"
Then (in mid-cleanup)..."If we can skip taking Rhino to the salon, do you think we could do the dog too?!" There was a little too much enthusiasm in that question and the next thing I knew the dog was in the hot seat. At least it was a much quieter encounter, but it WAS a two man job.That's not snow on my sweatshirt and sweatpants.
The economics work out pretty well if we can master the technique. Clippers? $18. Haircut at salon for Rhino? $18 + tip. Grooming for Security Dog? $40 + tip.
In search of more Wordless Wednesdays? Head over to MomDot and peruse some folks with more camera talent than me.