You Can’t Have Chicken Salad Without The Chicken Sh*t!

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One of my previous employers used to always say…”You know that white stuff on top of chicken sh*t? It’s still chicken sh*t.” I always laughed at this because we all try to make things different and/or better than what they are. Below is my effort….

It’s not that I don’t understand limiting and monitoring my children’s Internet/Technology time…I totally get it. Really, I do. They shouldn’t have free range with violent video games, R rated YouTube videos or unlimited TV time. These can cause all sorts of issues, such as behavior problems and unhealthy views of our world today.

However, quiet comes at a price. Technology keeps them quiet, therefore I get quiet. Seriously, I was had at quiet. And this blog is about survival, so let’s beef up our excuses for this latest parenting faux pas.

And although Quiet is the number one reason (read, excuse), there are others that should be pointed out. For example, if we didn’t allow our children free rein in technology, who would help us program our smartphones or tell us how to download apps? I would never have known about the search and programmable features of our TV without my boys. Those functions would never have occurred to me. If what I wanted to watch, wasn’t on, then that would have been the end of it for me. Now….I have the luxury of telling my boys what I want to watch and then they TELL me when I can. Irony….yes.

The World Wide Web has definitely sparked some much-needed conversations in our house. For example, I didn’t have to tell them Santa didn’t exist, where babies come from or what’s happening in the world today. My 10-year-old knew more about the election than I did. He tells me when there are wars or strife around the world. He tells me where our country stands on certain issues. He told me that Hitler only had one nut. He also keeps his younger brother informed of all of this needed knowledge. All I have to do is be ready to answer their questions, as honestly as I can. My boys and I have had many in-depth conversations about religion, politics, sex, evil, child abuse, zombie apocalypse and war. When my boys want something, I get a link to it and they discuss the reviews of that product in-depth with me. I mean, even I didn’t know that you could make a cake in a jar or grow potatoes in a bag….or….

Technology increases knowledge. Technology provides every imaginable resource under the Sun to help with any imaginable topic. Your kids need help with typing, history, science, Gospel, geography/cultures, astronomy, languages, etc….just Ask Google. We, as parents, practice this daily, if not hourly. So why should our kids be at a disadvantage that we don’t subscribe to ourselves? If my kids are studying Amsterdam, then it’s ok if they know what the Red Light District is, for it’s as part of Amsterdam as Anne Franke’s hideout. Then, it’s my job to point out the evils and immorality of that neighborhood.  If my kids are studying war, it’s ok if they get a glimpse of the realities of it. As a parent, I don’t check out or even take a backseat; just more of a co-pilot role. My boys have learned to use their heads to formulate strategies in their violent war Xbox games. My boys know that Abraham Lincoln didn’t hunt zombies. We actually talk about the inconsistencies of history and the Art of War.

'Don't watch too much TV, children. It'll give you rectangular eyes.'

Technology won’t fry their brain. Their eyes won’t literally cross from watching the TV too close. Yes, the parents need to be there to stalk what their children are doing. Yes, parents need to be available and ready to ensure their child’s safety. However, participating in technology is no different that your children participating in real life.

Did I mention the quiet?

 

 

A Burr In My Saddle!

So there are lots and lots….and lots of things that piss me off. The biggest one centers around being Middle-Class. So, in order to allow me to vent…in depth….I have decided to focus a series of blog posts on “Middle-Class Misconceptions” and what I think about those that believe them.

First…..and perhaps the biggest misconception that my class deals with is:

We work, therefore we have money.

In an effort to rid the world of this biggest type of stupid, all Middle-Class people should be given a bag-limit of throat punches.  Say, an introductory rate of 25 throat punches…per month, with roll-over throat punches. However, if you do not use up your tags…then you subject yourself to be throat punched by another member of our club, which will not count against them.

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Membership is free. Just produced your debt to income ratio and a picture of your empty fridge to be accepted.

That is all.

Spirits to Spirits

This morning, I awoke to  a dear friend of mine sending me a FB meme/video on “Mummy needs a drink.” I laughed and sent her my love for understanding my life (as she does with her own brood) and then set about my day.

Then….I needed a drink. Why?

  1. Because one of my boys couldn’t find the loaf of bread that I left for him on the counter. Not a hidden counter in the garage or a neighbor’s house, but our kitchen counter.
  2. Because my kids demanded a caffeine drink at the restaurant for their weekly lunch. Is today their birthday? No. Is today the day their dog died? No. Therefore, No. Water.
  3. Because my kids asked me what a period was.
  4. Because one of my kids used my tampon as a parachute for his toy soldier. Again.
  5. Because my youngest couldn’t find his shoes…..that were by the door….where he stood….. Which slowed us all down to sloths on Ambien…..
  6. Because they asked, “Why?”
  7. Because I had to get groceries….with them.
  8. Because I homeschool and they have trouble with their ABCs on Fridays.
  9. Because its Friday, and they are bored.
  10. Because my kids are not allowing me to be the mother that I had planned on being.

Every so often, I research ‘normal’ levels of alcoholism, just to keep me on my toes. However, I don’t live in Europe, where the levels are much more akin to REAL LIFE. I am born and bred a Puritan…..well, whatever. I have kids. I should have a handicap.

 

 

Words You May Never Have Uttered…

You may need a passport to enter another country, but you just need an open mind and some gas to reach the South. However, you may experience the same culture shock that you would endure in the Congo or African Sahara – we have similar language barriers and mating habits. You will certainly encounter those that think you should just turn around and head back where you came from. But…just maybe, if you are in the right frame of mind, you will find us just as fascinating as the Omish, the Cherokee, New Yorkers or the Mormons.

The single defining characteristic of any foreign culture is language and for real, the Southern language should count for a language in college prep. For example:

Befuddled. Definition: confused with a hint of ignorance to the reasoning that X topic is even being discussed. Like…why do you have to discuss ear wax when you could instead discuss the ramifications of Billy Bob thinking that he could fix the leak in his house with anything other than duct tape? This word MUST accompany the gesture of scratching your head at least one time during the conversation.

Flabbergasted. Definition: shocked with a hint of anger. You may hear this when a redneck stubs his toe and blames the wife for placing the incriminating obstacle in his path. Apparently, the wife thinks that if something is static for 50 years, her husband should learn to walk around it. Whatever!

Spirits. In the south, we refer to all alcoholic beverages as ‘spirits’ because it lifts our spirits to partake. Very simple. However, southerners don’t get the whole wine connoisseur mess….we make our own wine from the fruit that God gave us…right here in our backyards. The idea that ‘wine tastings’ happen, definitely befuddle us.

Tattoos. We all run into people and ask them about their tattoos and some get very upset if we insinuate that they had a personal experience with image that they later marked themselves with because they just get tattoos. BUT, in the South, our tattoos mean something. Period. Most may say MOM, some may say F-Obama, but they all mean something to us that will still mean it tomorrow (unless we were drunk.)

Mountains. Some may believe that this is a geographical distinction or even a place where they “vacation.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘Mountains’ is a way of life. It’s a religion. It’s a people.

Helldamn. Although Webster does not recognize this as a compound word, it is the only compound word that can succinctly describe something that went wrong. This something could have been intentional, stupid or just plain fate.

Waterlogged. Definition: a state of being after too many hours in the water. In the olden days, logs were transported via the rivers and they stayed in these rivers for quite some time before they reached their destination. See, our words make sense to us!

Church. Definition: The single reason to defuse any argument under the sun. This word is synonymous with the Good Book, the people attending or the very argument that you can’t win. Church is the end all, be-all in the South. You don’t wear jeans to church….ever….under any circumstances. TV Shows do not have any place in a Southern Church – no divorce, no Modern Family, no Law & Order, no Teletubbies.  Criminal Minds and other murder shows would be acceptable.

Caddywompus. Definition: describes when something is askew or off-centered. For example, I have this retarded tree in my yard that has limbs that are caddywompus and drives me to the brink of a misdemeanor. I would include a picture, but I don’t want to ensue riots, because we don’t have the parking space.

Oh Fresh Hell. Definition: A new ‘alternative’ way of thinking, acting or being. A southern woman might exclaim this after seeing her teenager come downstairs in all black attire and make-up or maybe hearing her son exclaim about the newest way to talk to his girlfriend. ‘Oh Fresh Hell’ may be timeless, but the shit it explains is not – just grab a homemade wine, get flabbergasted, drag them to church in the mountains and scream a Helldamn to those that are caddywompus.

 

This post is brought to you by the my personal friends on Facebook! I hope you enjoyed and please let me know if you have some Southern Terms that weren’t included!

 

I Am As Nervous As A Long Tail Cat In A Room Full Of Rocking Chairs.

So a few months ago my Facebook news feed was overrun with pictures and celebrations of little angels receiving numerous school awards. This week, it’s overrun with first day of school pictures. Facebook has led us to a point that we broadcast every praise bestowed upon us or our little petite ya-yas. We are a homeschooling family and  I just want my homeschooled kids to get their due. Since by May, I am ready to eat my young and could care less about celebrating, I’ve decided to start the year off with a clean slate and award Expectations. This is apropos since we started our school three weeks ago. The very first Monday was a teacher workday…..the first Thursday was a field trip……Friday was a half day….. Yet, another reason to do this now. So bear with me as I celebrate the ‘potential’ of my kiddos. We will stick to public school awards….Presidential, Achievement, Attendance and Overall. Ready?

As far as Presidential Expectation, I have decided that my 5th grader be awarded the Clinton Award. Regardless of evidence, he is always innocent and will only concede an ounce of guilt. My 3rd grader deserves what I shall deem the Watergate Award. He won’t know what happened to his work…won’t remember any conversations that took place during this school year, nor will he admit his own name.

As far as Achievement Expectation, I would like to celebrate my oldest with everything I have got! He is conscientious….persistent and ready to fill out whatever box I throw at him. He will absolutely achieve whatever goals that he sets for himself. Now…about the goals that I set for him:

  1. Putting laundry actually inside the hamper.
  2. Putting his dirty dishes actually in the sink.
  3. Finishing his homework on time.

In light of these goals, I give him…..a 5 out of 10.

For these same goals, plus basic everyday work, I hereby award my youngest with the infamous “Get Out Of Bed” each morning award!

English Expectations: they shall speak the language. They shall understand the language when its suits them. On certain days, they may even correctly define a noun and verb. I hereby award both boys this distinction.

Attendance Expectation. Let us just go ahead and call this award what it is….the Pulse Expectation. In public school, if they show up, they get a mark. In homeschool, we have much more room to move. I don’t mind counting field trips but I refuse to count a day that every participant is comatose. So for our school, both boys shall win the Pulse Expectation. And to add my expectation…thats 3 out of 5 days of school work that they ACTUALLY complete to the best of their ability.

Overall……let’s stop with the rear.

Speaking of rear, allow me to offer their rewards for the entire school year. My 3rd grader shall receive, with all the dignity and pride that comes along with, the Rear of the Year Expectation. If you need a description of this achievement, please look in Wikipedia for a Person that could give two shits about school.
Now my 5th grader has his own distinction. He shall be proud to receive the Mother Theresa Award, because he cares. He cares about his school; he cares about my sanity; and he cares about what others think.

Soooooo…..I’m excited that my boys will meet my wildest expectations for this school year. Wildest being…..they will participate, learn something and not hate me for the rest of their lives!

What are your expectations this year for your young ones?

That Dog Won’t Hunt

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It’s that time of year when us homeschooling moms sit down with our computers, laptops, paper, pencils, laminators, sticky notes, highlighters, etc and plan a new year. We do research, we poll our friends, we beg guidance from strangers, and we contemplate our sanity for pursuing yet another year. We design lesson plans, calendars and other fun graphics to keep us on task during the year. We think of fun ideas to keep our children engaged. We consider including electives, such as other languages, botany, volunteer work, musical instruments. We plan 5, 000 play dates.  We find determination to deliver curriculum, schedules and discipline without quarter. All while, classical music will be playing in the background. Perhaps, we designate a classroom space and plan to set our alarms. Perhaps, we feel confident that our children will master and surpass their weakest subjects. Perhaps….the house will also be cleaned and a healthy, nutritious meal will be provided three times a day. While we are at it, we will just go ahead and send hubby with a nice, packed, nutritious lunch too.

We finalize our plans. We tell our friends our plans. We tell our children about the New Order. We tell ourselves that this year…will be different.

Why in the HELL do we do this to ourselves?? Can we just not do it and say we did? Why must we set ourselves up for this public failure?

It’s akin to going on a diet. That dog won’t hunt!!!! It might start heading to the woods and hell, it might even bark – but it ain’t gonna hunt.

I truly think we would all be better off by just opening the different subject books that are required by law and doing one lesson after another. Expectations make everything worse. Period.

Nothing gets my goat more than when I have spent hours and hours coming up with a creative game or lesson for my boys and we have an all out meltdown within two minutes tops. Then I have to take time out of my schedule to scream at them for not appreciating MY efforts, shame them for not respecting the LAW and provide them directions to the nearest elementary school. All this is followed by the music of screaming and slamming doors and then I’m the only one left listening to classical music (which I don’t even like.).

For real. Just join a program or a co-op and pay them to deliver everything outside of your realities. They will encourage you to do more…but hey…they won’t know any better. You can Facebook your supposed successes all year long. Join the droves of people who are not who they POST to be!

But alas…..I’ll do it all again this year and hope for different results. Wait….where have I heard that before?? lol

?Einstein

 

 

Parenting in Review

Today, I have been working on my next eBook, Mountain Notes to Parenting, and so I have been reviewing some of my prior posts on parenting. I came across this post and laughed all over again – especially, since it’s that time of year again for our family vacation!

Lord Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise is definitely worth a second read and maybe it will spark an extra prayer for us, as we try this again. I think it will definitely make the cut for my next book.

I am having a hard time, picking out my top ten tips to surviving parenting. Fortunately, I have some new ones to add, though. Which was your favorite?