Thursday, March 27, 2008

80 children

80 children sat on the floor on a very large rug. In the middle of the rug was a stack of blank paper and a box of crayons. Well, two boxes of 64... because there were 80 children.

One child only wanted to color in blues. Another one wanted stencils and tempura paint because they didn't want the responsibility of a blank piece of paper (too much imagination required). Another child wanted to peel the paper off all the crayons. Yet another wanted to break the crayons, complain that they were broken, and demand new ones. Some kid just started yelling because they wanted control of the boxes of crayons, and no one would give the kid the boxes. Pretty soon 80 kids were crying and whining and generally making so much noise that the crayons and the pieces of paper seemed to be the entire problem.

Ironically, they'd be the solution if the 80 kids would just shut up and do something productive... like start drawing and coloring.

No one's making these 80 kids even sit in this room. No one's telling them who they can and can't color with, and no one's telling them they can't color by themselves.

Seems that one kid colored on another kids jeans and won't apologize for it. The kid that got colored on, hit the first kid in the face, and he was told to apologize and get over it. That first kid? Some adult gave him a new piece of paper and some crayons and used one of those pacifying voices that says "now Johnny, you know you shouldn't have done that" and then turned their attention back to the book they were reading when all the kids were still quietly coloring.

But that kid with the color on his pants? He's still pretty pissed. Pretty soon he's whined to the kid next to him, and everyone else who would listen. An inadvertent game of telephone was started. That other kid? He overheard his name mentioned and started talking to his friends as well. Now we've got an "us vs. them" situation with two groups of kids, and a third group of kids has returned to coloring quietly, too afraid or simply uninterested in choosing sides, and just wanting to stay out of the way when the crayons start getting thrown.

There are 3 adults overseeing this group. They are tired, bored of whining about crayons, and sick of trying to get anyone to do anything. I think they'd medicate all 80 kids with Ritalin if they could.

The stupid thing is that when that one kid colored on another kid's pants... that kid should've been dealt with better. But you know, he was the child of a wealthy parent, so he wasn't gonna get really dealt with. That other kid... the one with color on his pants... his dad isn't so wealthy and respected in the community. So he's told to act right and fly straight, despite the fact that it's HIS pants with crayon all over them.

That kid asked for help from the adults. He asked for the adults to make it right, make the rich kid apologize. The adults said that it was the rich kid's responsibility to apologize if he wanted to. Well, that just pissed off the kid with the crayon on his pants even more. Even his dad got pissed. Now most people know about the crayon incident, and even if the kids still color together on that rug, now some are wary of getting their pants colored on and others are afraid there's nothing they can do if it happens, and they don't trust the adults to take care of them. The adults don't really care that they aren't trusted; at least, they don't do anything to change the perception. For example, that rich kid still hasn't had to apologize, even though he's managed to draw on that poor kid's shoes, his paper, and even tore one of the kids drawings in two and laughed about it.

Many of you will find this amusing because we've all heard of kids acting like this. Some will think that no one in their right mind would put 80 kids under the supervision of 3 adults. Fear not, this is just a parable and an analogy for 80 adults and 3 leaders.

Quite frankly, I think that some adults need to quit being kids already.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tattoos and eggs

There is nothing like going to a tattoo event. The ink displayed, the artwork displayed, the artists drumming up interest and business.... It's awesome. You can get body parts pierced and/or tattooed. You can buy a new tee shirt; two for $30. You can get a new purse.

What's even better than a tattoo event is dragging three small children to a tattoo event. They LOVE wandering up and down isles, being scared out of their minds by guys getting their heads tattoed and girls with pierced rings up their calves with laces running through them.

Even though the oldest of the young kids (8) was particularly vocal about her dislike for all things inked or pierced, there was hope in the form of an Easter Egg hunt. Because I always think of going to a tattoo event for my Easter Egg hunts, don't you?

So begrudgingly I feigned enthusiasm at the egg hunt, as it was better than a whining child belittling all things that did not interest her. And then, wouldn't you know it, she whined about the hunt, citing all its faults, adding up to "boring". Sheesh. Some people simply cannot be pleased.

I wrangled the three kids for a bit, allowing my partner in crime to peruse the tattoo parlors in search of one that was "close" and "good" -- subjective as that is. We ended up at the car drinking mango juice and snacking on pretzels, as the acres and acres of green grass wasn't entertaining enough either. Kids these days....

(While some of you wonder if this one is fiction or fact, ask yourselves... could I make this stuff up?)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

sand in your face

"Quit throwing sand or you're in time out" said the distracted mother to her young daughter, in the "I don't really mean it cuz I'm busy talking to my friend here" voice.

The young daughter was playing with what I assume were her older siblings and the child or children of the other woman, but I can't be sure. My son joined them for some good sand piling. He loves building sand castles.

I had the distinct pleasure of eavesdropping. Well, not so much pleasure, but those two women were loud enough that I'd have to abandon my child and the playground altogether to not hear them.

They discussed how much they hated "those other women" who "are quick to discipline everyone else's kids, but never bother correcting their own", and that little girl threw two fists of sand in my son's face. He laughed and threw some back.

And I called him out on it with a stern -- and loud -- "No" in my "and if you don't think I mean it mister... just push me" voice.

They started citing examples, incidents, and a long list of offended parties. That little girl threw sand again. My son retaliated and I reiterated that I'd had enough of it. He said, with predictable child candor "But Mommy, that little girl threw sand at me". I replied with absolute certainty that I was loud enough to be heard by the mother of the child, "I know she threw sand at you, but I told YOU not to throw sand."

The mother of the child did nothing, said nothing about the sand, and kept right on with her list of offenses made against her in the name of parents who do not discipline their children.

It happened a third time. I called my son to me, and informed him we were leaving. He asked "Why Mommy? She threw sand at me..." to which I replied, "Yes, I know honey, but I told you not to throw sand at her, and you disobeyed me. We are leaving because you did not quit throwing sand when I told you to."

To the best of my knowledge, that mother did nothing.

To add, she only said something in the first place because one of her own kids told on that little girl when the sand throwing started. It seemed to me like she was there to talk, and the kids were there to watch each other.

Oh, the inordinate amount of things I wanted to say to her, given her topic of whine at that moment. The things I wanted to say to that little girl, including "go sit by your mom until she finally asks you why you're there, then tell her because you disobeyed her and threw sand anyway and now you're in time out like she said you'd be."

But I have no patience for people that speak out of both sides of their mouth, and my temper is not always the most rational one. So I did what I had complete control of. I took my child, and we removed ourselves from the situation before I said something I'd regret.

As we left and my son continued to plead his case that he had not started it, I educated him on the rules about minding me and participating in things he knows he will get in trouble for, even if he simply follows along. He's young. I'm sure we'll have this conversation many times over the next 15 years. Maybe even longer.

No, I am not a perfect mom. I'm just trying to raise my kid with the attributes I want him to have.. like honor, manners, common sense, kindness, and a real sense of cause vs. effect -- including responsibility for his actions.

For those that think I'm too harsh as it is for making my son leave the park for disobeying me... well, be glad I'm not your mom. For mothers (and fathers) out there that think empty threats are a way to raise your child... you're idiots. I can't wait to listen to all the horror stories by parents like you when your kid is a teenager and has long since figured out that you don't mean one word you say, and you don't do one thing you say you'll do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter

It's Easter week. Good Friday is fast approaching, followed by Easter Sunday and daylight services and lilies and resurrection and bunnies, chocolates, eggs... kids in clothes they hate and family photos that punish everyone involved if so much as one person doesn't want to be there.

a great link for the origins of Easter from various religious perspectives
.
pagan origins
Ishtar

There are so very many sites dedicated to debunking the religious myths about Easter and its origins, that I might as well just name the blog "devil's advocate to religious ceremonies by holiday: Easter -- a guide in links" and call it a day.

But that would bore all my lovely fans that come here to read my wit, my insight, and ponder my jaded perspective.

Easter is no different for me than Valentine's Day. It's a great opportunity to sell chocolate, expensive Sunday clothes that girls will wear on Sundays and boys will wear under duress, and it's a date on the calendar that makes it okay to wear white shoes again.

Granted, it gives the C&E Christians a purpose for being C&E Christians (Christmas and Easter, for those of you that aren't aware of the practice of certain peoples of entering a church building on only two events a year... that being the already mentioned holidays).

And it gives grandparents everywhere the excuse to jack up their grandkids on even more chocolate than the parents bought. And where would we all be without chocolate ears to bite off every year. Well, that last one is pretty sarcastic, as I don't remember the last time I bit ears off of a chocolate rabbit, but I must've been in junior high or before.

It amazes me that the same people that bitch about the state of the economy follow with news bites about the chocolate industry and holiday sales. Maybe we should add a few more holidays that we could promote to keep the spenders spending. I suggest "Guy Day" where women buy the men in their lives tools and beer as a thank you for birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day. Or how about "Friend Day" where we splurge on the one person that's best kept our secrets, covered our ass, partied with us, and lied for us. I like "Disposable Day" where disposable crap we've been hanging on to for far too long gets replaced -- like cars, appliances, and bad relationships.

But back to Easter, and a side note about it. Did you realize that the Catholic church changed St. Patrick's Day this year to March 15th because the 17th was a holy Monday as part of Easter week?

Ya know, now that I'm thinking about it, I should go support the economy and buy some Peeps. If I don't do my part, the stock market may be adversely affected.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Joy

My heart broke twice this week. Not the "that really hurt me" heartbreak, the "I lost 9 pounds in 4 days" kind of heartbreak. The kind that wrecks the body, the kind that makes a person gag when food hits their tongue, let alone gets swallowed. The kind that there is no absolution from.

Somewhere in all of this, I'm starting to find me. I'm starting to identify myself as an individual, not part of a larger puzzle. There's joy in realizing that anything that causes unhappiness or discomfort isn't worth holding on to. There's joy in realizing that I may be heartbroken, but I am not broken in spirit.

I'm digging real deep to find this joy. But I tell ya, it's there. It's not big yet, but it's there. It doesn't make the nausea go away, or food more tolerable, but it's a start. Pain and heartbreak isn't unique anyway; it's a universal human emotion. Not wallowing in self pity is a place for me to start. There's no words that another human could say to me that would diminish my pain nor heal my heart. It's just something that will take time and personal strength. Well, no one can give me personal strength more successfully than me.

My quest is to find the best me there is and give that me to the world, without fear that I may get my heart beaten up or broken again. I cannot control someone else's capacity for giving of themselves; only my own.

Now as for the human emotions of the heartbreak, I'm going to go curl up in a ball and wait for the nausea to subside again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

avoiding tags, labels, and links

I'm usually pretty good about avoiding links in my blogs. It's by choice. But to speak of something that is outside my own world or mind, I often feel like I need to link. It's a credit thing. Ya know, avoiding plagiarism, building empirical evidence to make a case, and the like.

But sometimes I just can't help myself with my odd sense of humor. Sometimes I just have to be weird. Occasionally I have to be quirky, eclectic, and full of piss and vinegar -- though some say women can't be, to which I say I have a 20 oz bottle of water and some apple vinegar. What else will I be full of in a couple of hours?

As for tagging my own blogs, well, that's another thing. When people start begging me to do so because they want to read all my wit and charm, I might. Or when I get so bored with every other aspect of my life that I feel like taking the time to do a thorough job on it.



*note: I would've added a link to a photo of a dog begging, but my search pulled up lots of commercial stock photography or free clip-art sites that wanted me to put more effort into registering than I put into this blog. And really, why would I do that if I won't do tags?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I've gotta start blogging in my sleep

I had the most awesomely terrible dream last night. It involved big waves, massive flooding, and some guy surfing right into my house through my window that he opened when the waves flung him up against it. Then he grabbed one of my kayak paddles and ran out the front door to do it all again (presumably not through my window though).

When the water rose high enough to submerge the apt I was living in, I was happy to see that the seals around the windows kept the water out. Then I started watching sea otters swim by. It was quite odd. And I'm still not sure how all that water got back out again after the surfer came through the window the first time.

Prior to all of this, however, I had a great idea for a blog. It was part rant, part soap box, part statement of common sense. I know, how dare I. Don' t worry, the downside of not blogging in my sleep is that the good ones like that get forgotten. Apparently in favor of sea otters and strangers stealing my kayak paddles.