Is Binge TV Watching a Sin?

You know you’ve done it.  You know that you’ve had a friend suggest that you watch a show because they know that you will like it.  For whatever reason, you didn’t watch it the first time it was on and thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Xfinity, Amazon Prime, whatever…you can stream it and just binge on it.  If you have an addictive personality, it can be very dangerous.

Supernatural is my latest binge fest.  I know it’s not one of the “hot” shows right now but you know what.  I don’t care.  I knew five minutes in that I was going to be sucked in hook, line, and sinker.

supernatural

Here’s how it went down:

Stage 1: Ok, it’s kind of like X-Files.  I dig this.  I love the X-Files. They are like funny Mulder and Scully and brothers.  Cool.  I like it a lot.  Oh look, they even make references to X-Files.  Awesome.

Stage 2: Tragic back-story, made even more tragic by the fact that they are somewhat beautiful yet broken.  Ok – fangirling may be commencing….

Stage 3: First season ends with a cliffhanger…nope…click right into the season 2 premiere – tears may have been shed.

Stage 4: Even more references to other wonderful occult shows start to make their way into the stories.  Fantastic.  Even better – actors from said occult shows begin to make appearances.  Or “actresses” who meet their demise and I may have actually cheered a little when that one happened…

supernatural_paris_hilton3

Stage 5: Comedic Relief.  These episodes are amazing.  You will never hear “Eye of the Tiger” and keep a straight face again.  Then there’s the “Changing Channels” episode…

Stage 6: Angels. That is all. Just Angels.

Castiel_(supernatural)

Stage 7: Must keep watching.  Cannot stop watching.  #TeamFreeWill.

Stage 8: Imdb’s recent searches shows the tv show, the actors in the tv show, shows that the actors have been in other than said tv show.  Internet searches may have been done for GIFs that were created because while stalking your other fandoms (::Cough,cough::Doctor Who::cough::Cough::Sherlock::Cough::cough) you couldn’t help but see them and wonder what they meant.  Now, you know them all…

It’s a slippery slope, but one I will gladly slide down.  I cannot get enough of it.  It’s like putting your life on hold to watch all the episodes.  Each one, pushing you deeper down the rabbit hole, afraid for when it’s going to end because you know you’re going to get depressed when it’s over, the same way you get depressed when a series of books you love ends.

As my binging continues, I will just keep reveling in the sheer entertainment value of it.  Guilty pleasure you say?  Maybe.  It’s fine.  We all have them.  Mine just happens to one of biblical proportions.

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TV This Year is Tough

We are well into the Fall TV schedule and most of the new shows have started.  Now it’s time to weed out the ones that aren’t really living up to expectations.

My Sunday line-up is pretty solid.  Once Upon a Time is pretty good so far this season.  I had to come to terms with the fact that Peter Pan is in fact a big, bad meanie – something my inner child just does not want to accept still, but let’s face it.  He is.  He steals the souls of children to continue to stay young.  It’s pretty awful.  I do feel that there is a lot going on though and I hope that they can make it flow a little better and not get lost with all the different story lines.  It get too confusing.

Homeland is back and is as crazy as ever.  I cannot handle Dana though.  I’m done with her.  I don’t really care about her so whenever she shows up on the screen, I’m indifferent and find myself checking Facebook or something, anything, to avoid listening to her whine.

homeland

Monday isn’t too bad either.  The Voice is back and even though I did like Shakira more, Christina seems to be a little better than the past seasons.  Cee-Lo is just as wacky but that’s ok.  We all know everyone watches for Blake and Adam.

Agents of Shield was a complete and utter let down for me.  I had such high hopes for this show. Coulson was the best and yet here he is surrounded by the caricatures of CIA/Spy characters.  Ming-Na is such a good actress but she plays Melinda May so hard, there’s so little emotion and even though you know there’s some kind of back story, it’s hard to care because she’s just so hard.  Then there’s the mole who works for the Red Tide or whatever the bad guy group is called (see I don’t even remember the name of the bad guys!) and that seems pretty predictable.  It’s sad.  I was hoping this would be the hit of the season!

agents of shield

Castle is changing gears and the jury is still out as to whether or not it has jumped the shark.  I mean, I love that Castle and Beckett are taking things to the next step, I miss the dynamic of them working in the precinct.  Hopefully this will turn around.

Sleepy Hollow, however, is pretty good.  Being an English major, I have read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  This is nothing like the story I read.  It’s like they mashed up Rip van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow with the American Revolution and threw in a few Salem witches and bam!  There’s the TV show.  Oh yeah – and sprinkle on some of the supernatural like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It’s good though.  I like it.

Sleepy Hollow on Fox

Sleepy Hollow on Fox

Tuesday is the night from hell.  Literally.  The CW is home to my guilty pleasures.  The Originals picks up some of the characters from The Vampire Diaries and moves them to New Orleans where we all know vampires swarm like rats and live lavishly like Lestat. Since I was hooked on the Vampire Diaries, this was going to clearly hook me since it was full of established characters.

The Voice night two – still good.

Supernatural.  Oh Supernatural.  I was hooked on you late in the game.  I wish I had started watching you years ago.  Then I wouldn’t have had to binge on the past 8 seasons.  I am not completely caught up but I am DVRing this season so that when I’m done ignoring the rest of my life and have watched the first 8 seasons I can continue on without interruption.

Then at 10…man…the juggling…Chicago Fire complete with its hot eye candy; Person of Interest with my crazy team of players tracking numbers; and of course Sons.  Sons of Anarchy is intense this season.  Wait, it’s intense every season.  I cannot get enough of these murderers on bikes.  The tragedy of their flawed lives, the violence of a lifestyle choice that they willingly would die for themselves…it’s such an amazing show.

I feel like I seriously could go through every night of the week, but then I realize that I watch WAAAAAY too much television and you might think that I have no life.  Wait, you might be right…oh well.  I like TV.  I’m not ashamed.  I like a good story and right now, there are so many good stories on TV it’s hard to not watch.  It’s a nice way to unwind and if you can find a show that really entertains you then go for it.

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Lunchbox

Back in August, we were back to school shopping.  The Daughter was beginning pre-k and she needed a new lunch box.  As we looked at the options, the Husband pointed out the My Little Pony lunchbox, the Doc McStuffins lunchbox, and the Hello Kitty lunchbox.  Each one was met with a very excited “Yay!”

That is until she turned her head slightly to the right.

She saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunchbox.

tmnt-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles

She saw it and that was all she wanted.  I figured, what the hell.

The Husband, however, was a little nervous.  He kept asking if she was sure she wanted that one and didn’t want the Ponies or the Doc lunch box.  She kept answering him with a very confident, nope.  I told him it was just a lunch box and if she liked it, she liked it.  He watches the cartoon with her every weekend.  I just laugh because I remember as a kid watching it with my brothers back in the 80s when it first came out.

The Husband said he was worried one of the boys might mistake it for their lunch box.  I told him I would fix that.  When we got home, I asked her who her favorite Turtle was and she told me that it was Donnie (that was just that day) so I went to my sewing box and found some purple embroidery thread and then sewed her name into the side of the lunch box, which was no easy feat considering I didn’t want to puncture the lining.

The first day of school, the Daughter walked in proud as a peacock with her new Turtles lunch box and was a hit with not only the boys but some of the girls too.

I tell this story, because today, I read an article on a “mommy site” that talked about a girl who was almost in tears when she saw two books titled “How to Survive (Almost) Anything.”  It wasn’t the book itself that made her feel the need to cry, but rather the fact that there was one for girls and one for boys.

The one for boys, as the article continued on, contained things like “How to Survive a Canoe Trip.”  The one for girls had things like “How to Survive a Slumber Party.” The stark difference in the books made the little girl feel sad, to put it mildly.

As I read, I couldn’t help but think about the lunch box.  It was funny how something that was deemed a “boy” toy would make the Husband feel uncomfortable, for lack of a better word.  Having grown up with three brothers, I thought nothing of it.  I played with He-Man and Ninja Turtles as well as My Little Pony and Barbie.

Going back to the article, I read the comments with the article and found that I agreed with the comments that said they would have bought both books and allowed the daughter to read both.  I would have done the same.

I think that while the publisher was wrong for publishing those books because let’s face it, they are pretty damn sexist, it’s up to the parent to then take that negative and turn it around.  First, I probably wouldn’t buy the books because I would have been ticked off that they were so drastically different and I wouldn’t have wanted to pay them and let them think that I was ok with these books as presented.  Second, if the Daughter happened to come across them in the library or something like that, I would use that opportunity to point out how yes, learning to survive a sleepover may be something she might want to learn, learning how to survive a camping trip might be just as important (and probably more fun).

I do this all the time with the daughter because I want her to know that, to quote Annie Get Your Gun, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”  Well maybe not better, but at least as good as…but let’s be honest, hopefully better.

 

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Up Past Bedtime

It’s Friday.

It’s been a long week.

My eyes hate me right now.

I think my bed is calling my name…

The sad thing is I want to write in this over-tired-i-feel-drunk-i am-so-tired state.  Interesting things happen when I pick up where I left off when I am this tired.

Bed is going to win.

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Anniversary Traditions

October 3, 2009 started out like a scene from Monsoon Wedding.  It poured.  We’re talking record downpours.  Something like an inch of rain in 1 hour kind of downpour. Apparently Mother Nature missed the memo that it was my wedding day and we were supposed to have an outdoor wedding.  Bitch.

The wedding was moved indoors without a problem but still.  It meant that the very nice gardens I had envisioned my wedding pictures in were out of the question.  The Irish say that rain on your wedding day is good luck.  We had a morning wedding with a lovely brunch (I love brunch and it was fun to have a morning wedding).  It was good. I figured it was good luck that the seafood crepes were so good…we still talk about how great those seafood crepes were…at least I do.  They were amazing and almost made up for the indoor switch.

The king of breakfast foods.

The king of breakfast foods.

However, after the party ended somewhat early in the afternoon, the Husband and I had a night off without the Daughter who was nine months old at the time. As we sat in the ridiculously large Presidential Suite (a gift from my Father-in-law and Step-Mother-in-Law), we realized that we didn’t expect we would be hungry by dinner time.  We quickly decided that we should hit up one of our favorite spots, the British Beer Company.

The Husband devoured a Buffalo Chicken pizza and I enjoyed a wonderful Wensleydale Cheeseburger.  Sadly, the burger is no longer on the menu. It was a sad day when that happened.  But, I digress.  We had a nice dinner, a beer, and then returned to the Presidential suite that was complete with its own sauna.

The next year, when the anniversary rolled around, we ended up looking at each other and saying, let’s just hit up the BBC again.  We had the same thing plus Pumpkin beers.  It was good.

Last year, we did not have the BBC but we did end up with burgers and milkshakes in Las Vegas (because the week before our trip, we needed to replace the ENTIRE exhaust system in one of the cars and it wiped out all our vacation savings…le sigh).

This year though, since we had no babysitter for the actual night of our anniversary and the Husband still had to work tomorrow, the three of just went to the BBC.  Once again, the Husband ordered his Buffalo Chicken pizza.  I ordered a delicious pumpkin beer.  The Daughter decided that orecchiette is better than penne.  It was a pretty low-key but sometimes that’s good.

Can I buy this in the stores?

Can I buy this in the stores?

Every year since the downpour of a wedding, we have been lucky with gorgeous October days to celebrate the day we stood up and said, yep, I’ll stick it out with this one.  Today was in the 70s and it was sunny and beautiful.  It’s funny how the weather on our wedding day makes me think that it was like a sign.  There will be storms, but the sun will come out, just like it did on our wedding day.  There will be days when it pours, but the next day will be beautiful.  Then there will be a string of sunny days, where everything feels perfect.

Today was one of those days.

62172_476316555375_711236_n

 

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And Who Are You?

Tonight, I finally began making the Daughter’s Halloween costume.  For the last two months she has asked to be Raven from Teen Titans Go!

T-E-E-N T-I-T-A-N-S...Teen Titans! Let's Go!

T-E-E-N T-I-T-A-N-S…Teen Titans! Let’s Go!

So, like many people, you are probably wondering, dear reader, who the heck is Raven?  If you already know, you are automatically cool in my book; if not, don’t worry, I will gladly explain.  Raven is the one in the above pic, floating on the left, in the purple cape.  Her comic book hero story is kind of dark.  She’s the daughter of a demon.  Her mother was part of a weird nonviolent cult that existed on another dimension…you can read all about it here, but I warn you, it’s really intense.

I first learned about Raven though, by watching this rather hysterical reboot of the series, Teen Titans. The one liners, the story lines…I have to admit, I laugh more than the daughter.  I mean who can resist an entire episode devoted to a Meatball Party!  Then of course, there is the love of the desert commonly known as Pie…”When I say yummy, you say pie.  Yummy!…..Yummy!…..”   Honestly, I really find it quite amusing.  Though, when you read the reviews, the hardcore fans do not like this reboot.  Oh well.  You can’t win them all.

At any rate, the Daughter loves Raven.  I have to admit, she’s kind of my favorite, too.  Sometimes, it is a toss up between her and Cyborg though – he’s pretty hilarious. Raven is often pessimistic, not easily amused, and sometimes just feels like a downer on the team.  Doesn’t matter, she’s still pretty awesome.  When they have a Girls’ Night Out, she certainly brings enough of “the Craaaaazy” with her and surfs on a building and thus proves that a Girls’ Night Out tops a Boys’ Night Out any day of the week, despite what the Boys may say.  Raven has more common sense and keeps the team grounded.  She tries to reign in the nonsense and the egos when they get out of hand.  She’s just pretty cool.

Building surfing

I was a little wary at first to let the Daughter watch because of the “violence” that sometimes happens but you know what, the more I watch, the more I’m ok with it.  Raven is confident in who she is.  She has friends that she ultimately cares about and who care about her too.  She loves Pretty Prancing Ponies (the MLP of the Teen Titans’ world).  She can move through dimensions. She can cast spells.  She can fly.  She’s pretty awesome.

Raven and Pretty Prancing Ponies

I think that even though most people will have no idea what the Daughter is trick-or-treating as, she will be happy and that’s the real magic of Halloween.  Having the costume you’ve always dreamed of, pretending to be something you love, and of course getting candy for it!

Tonight, the leotard and the red belt are done.  Tomorrow night, I am going to try to attempt the cloak.  Hopefully, it will be an easy project.  I am still a little torn on how to do the boot and wrist covers, but I’m sure I will figure it out.  Either way, it’s going to be a pretty kick-ass costume and I kind of wish I could dress up as Raven too.

This post is part of the October NaBloPoMo.  Check out the other awesome bloggers who are having fun writing their little hearts out this month. 

 

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October – The Best Month of the Year!

October 1st is pretty much done.  I have decided that I am going to give NaBloPoMo another go.  Next month is NaNoWriMo (which by the way, every time I write either of those I feel like I’m taunting you with the age old “na na na boo boo” and I promise I’m not) which means I’m going to be submitting myself to the annual masochistic ritual of trying to write a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days.  It’s something I actually look forward to every year since I discovered it.  This year will be my third year and hopefully my second win.

It’s probably my most favorite thing about Fall.  October is prep month – outlines, character sketches, tons of post it notes and journals filled with questions and ideas.  I love it.  Until I start writing that is.  Then I hate it and totally start from scratch.

Le sigh.

At least I know that my Caramel Vanilla Creme coffee will keep me adequately caffeinated as I attempt to work my way through both this month of “warm up” and next month’s actual writing blitz.

My fuel.

For those  who don’t know about either of these two writing events, I know I have written about them in the past but I will gladly re-cap because if you want to join, you should.  The more the merrier!  I also know that I enjoy the personal challenge of trying to accomplish something that I truly enjoy doing.  Yes, it really is all about me.

Let’s start with NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month.  It started out as just one month of posting a blog post every day for an entire month but us bloggers, we liked it so much that the creators of the great idea decided it do it every month.  You can read more about it here and sign up for it today!  If not this month, come back another month and give it a go.  It’s not monitored.  It’s kind of a personal goal and I can say that the first month I actually did it, I felt pretty awesome.  At first you think, 30 days (or 31 in this month’s case) is nothing.  You start out strong and the first week goes by no problem.  You move into the second week and you’re like ok, this is still working out.  Then the third week, you find that the prompts are pretty vital to creating new content because you start to feel a little narcissistic. By the fourth week, the end of the month can’t come soon enough.  I was amazed that those were the emotions I went through.  I hope that this month is going to be a little different.  I know some people plan out their content.  I usually don’t do that because every day, I feel something different and that affects what I feel like writing about.  We’ll see how I feel about this plan as the month goes by.

In November, NaNoWriMo begins.  National Novel Writing Month is simply 50,000 words in 30 days.  It averages to about 1700 words a day.  It’s not that bad if you have a good plan and stick with it.  There is no editing.  There is no revising. It is just getting words on paper, or on virtual paper if you will.  I love it.  I don’t love the months after where you have go through and reconcile things that you wrote down on page 38 with something you wrote on page 155.  That is not fun.  That is when you wish you had a real editor to help make sure that you have good continuity and didn’t miss one small word that you changed on one page but forgot to change on another and it ends up changing the whole meaning of everything.  I’m still working on last year’s NaNo novel’s revisions.  It’s taking some time because as I was revising one chapter, I realized that I needed an important piece of the puzzle changed.  That then led to three new chapters being added.  Nothing wrong with that, just a part of the process.  Did I mention that I love it.  I’m almost to the point where I’m going to need some friendly “proofreaders” to go through and just read it for me and point out any issues.  Just something to keep in mind.

That's how November will feel...

That’s how November will feel…

So yes, Fall is wonderful for apple picking, pumpkin picking, Halloween (the greatest holiday ever), cool days, crisp blue skies, sweaters, frosty mornings, warm cups of coffee…it’s really the perfect time to sit down and start writing.  But in my case, it’s time to start seriously writing.  I cannot wait!

This post is part of the October NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is Fall (how apropos).  Check out the other great blogs participating in this month’s blogging blitz.  

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Brainwashing?

As I went through my nightly news round-up, I stumbled upon an interesting article on the Huffington Post.  A complete and total aside – I have to admit that lately, the bias on the Huffington Post has started to really irk me.  It’s so biased that it’s hard to tell if the news is reliable.  I miss the days of unbiased journalism and I know that my award-winning journalist grandfather is rolling in his grave, but that’s another story for another time I suppose.

At any rate, I saw this article and I read it and was relieved that there was a mother out there who knew what it was like to have young children in church.  At first, I was brought back to that day when the old man yelled at me in church for letting my kid color on the offertory envelopes that are left in the pews for visitors.  It was keeping her quiet and as one of the former high school kids who used to open said envelopes, I wouldn’t have cared to come across an envelope colored by a kid.  It was nice to see this article almost giving some comfort that there were others out there who had the same moments of embarrassment when bringing kids to church. Most recently, my moment of embarrassment came in the form of my daughter critiquing a girl in the children’s choir who had just completed a solo by saying “that sounded horrible.”  If I could have shrank down to the size of a fly and fly right out of that church, I would have.

This article showed me, however, that I’m not alone.  There are other mothers and fathers who do the same thing every week.  These parents bring their children as their parents brought them when they were children.  It was reassuring.

Then I read the comments.

Man – people harbor such hatred of organized religion.  The insults that hurled on those comments were just uncalled for.  At one point, someone said that parents were brainwashing their children and teaching them to not think for themselves.  I suppose that is when I really got annoyed.

You see, I was raised Catholic.  One of the reasons I chose my undergrad college was mainly because it was a Catholic college and I knew that it was going to offer what I needed.  Yes, there were a lot of things over the years that caused me to question.  The sex abuse scandal.  The treatment of women in the church.  Some of the rules the church abides by were just nonsensical to me.  For a while, I stopped going to church altogether.  It just didn’t feel right.  Everything I had grown up knowing had been severely shaken and every time I stepped into a church I didn’t feel like I was being true to myself.  However, during all that time, I didn’t stop believing in God and still had faith in the things I was taught as a child.

I remember one day, when I was making my daughter’s baby quilt with my aunt who was dying from cervical cancer, we started talking about our faith.  She knew that I had stopped going to church.  She knew that I had some issues.  I let her know that I was going to baptize the Daughter.  I could almost instantly see the relief in her face as I finished the sentence.  We then had an amazing conversation about faith.  I asked her how she could reconcile being a Catholic and not finding some questions about it all, because by definition of the pope at the time (I believe it was the Nazi Pope – sorry I have no love for Benedict…) meant accepting EVERY tenant of the doctrine, including the ones that almost contradicted the teachings of Christ.  I believe the term “cafeteria Catholic” has been used to describe people who pick and choose which parts of the Catholic doctrine they want to follow and practice.

She surprised me with her answer, surprised me in a good way.  She said that we should question it.  We have our faith and the belief that everything happens for reasons we may not always understand and we have our belief in His love.  But we can question the teachings and the interpretations.  There is always room to better ourselves and if we don’t ask the questions we’ll never be able to get to a better understanding of the whole picture.  Religion is just a piece. Faith is the bigger picture.

I remember driving home that day thinking about what she had said.  The Husband doesn’t practice any religion.  He says he believes in God but just doesn’t want to be brainwashed.  Some of the comments on that HuffPost article reminded me of things the husband has said.  I don’t care though.  Tomorrow morning, the Daughter and I will go to church and we’ll say our prayers and sing the hymns.

hands praying

I know that I cannot force her to believe anything.  All I can do is introduce her to what I believe and then I will take a page from my mother’s play book.  You see, when Catholics get confirmed, they are finally seen as adults in the church (that’s the basic explanation of that sacrament).  Only those who truly accept the teachings of the church should be confirmed, though lots of kids do it just to appease their parents.  My mother, however, took each of us aside when we came to that year and told us that while she had hoped we would get confirmed, if there were any other religions we might want to look into before we made that choice, she would help us find out information.  I didn’t take her up on the offer, but Brother 2 did.  My mother followed through with the offer.  She got him information on eastern religions and offered to help find someone for him to talk to if he wanted.  I thought it was cool that my mother offered to do that and actually did it when one of us asked.

We were not taught to blindly follow.  Maybe we are an exception.  Maybe we grew up in a more liberal minded home.  I know that even though I hope that the daughter accepts what I’m currently exposing her to, I know that I cannot force faith upon her.  She must come to it on her own.  I will answer any question she may have along the way though.  And I pray that she asks questions.  How else can she learn to think for herself and make an informed decision on her own.  Oh yeah, and to the comments that thank the people for raising their kids to be scientists…I hope my child can achieve her dream of becoming a doctor and still have faith in something.

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When the Kids Don’t Always Play Nice

The other day, as I was reading through the blogs I follow and so often read (but lately have been lurking rather than commenting – sorry folks!), I read a post that talked about making meaningful friendships as an adult by Emily at Nap Time is My Time.  In her post, she talked about how she plans on trying to connect.  It’s funny because in an earlier post on her blog (which you really should check out for some of the crafting ideas alone!), she talked about how it is frustrating and the whole “why me” mentality that sometimes befalls us when we find ourselves on the outs with people we thought were becoming friends.

It got me to thinking because recently I had my first instance of “I’m not sure our kids are really friends” and I found myself kind of hurt by it all.  The daughter made a friend at the playground a few months ago.  Her mom and I started chatting and seemingly hit it off.  We had a few out of the home play dates and things seemed to go well.  Then we went to their house one day and the Daughter was beyond excited.  She got to see where her new friend lived, saw all the toys the new friend had that she didn’t, and then did a thing that a lot of four-year olds do and got a little territorial, despite the fact she wasn’t in her own house.  I found myself somewhat floundering.  I was trying to gently explain that it was her friend’s house and her toys and she couldn’t tell her friend what she could play with in her own house.  It was awkward.  We stayed a little while longer but when it was clear that they were not playing together, rather fighting together, we left.

I was well aware that my child was not exactly behaving well on this play date but it was one of those things where you kind of wanted to see if she could work it out on her own, like they try to do at pre-school.  But on the other hand, there were times where a little guidance was needed.  It was also possible that the play date was running a little longer than it should have, but I’ll chalk that one up to my fault.

After that fateful day, we didn’t hear from them for almost a month.  I began to wonder what if I had done something wrong and that was the cause of the radio silence.  Then we got an invite for another play date.  Things started out ok until the Daughter felt like her friend was ignoring her and playing more with the other kids at the playground.  Then all hell broke loose.  The crying, the whining, the fighting, it just imploded.  I forget the exact comment I made but the other mother said something along the lines of yeah, I didn’t know how to bring this up but The Daughter is a little bossy and it made the friend not want to play with her.  They decided to give the Daughter another chance though.  She also explained that there were other reasons we hadn’t heard from them in the month but I guess that was big factor (at least that was how it registered in my brain).

By Luis Argerich from Buenos Aires, Argentina (SWING SWing Swing swing) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Luis Argerich from Buenos Aires, Argentina (SWING SWing Swing swing) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It was weird, the emotions that I ranged through, as I sat and listened.  At first I thought it might be a reflection of me as a mother.  Then I thought there was something wrong with the Daughter.  Then I didn’t know what to think.  It was just one of those moments I probably took personally and maybe shouldn’t have?  Who knows.  As the play date went on, the kids clearly were not enjoying each other’s company and when we said it was time to leave, the Daughter broke down into a meltdown of epic proportions and I watched as the friend and her mom made a quick exit.  They texted me later to see if the Daughter was ok (which she was, she just didn’t want to leave the playground and was probably a little tired hence the extra drama).  I just felt weird though.  My kid made quite the scene at the playground – I could feel all the other mothers’ eyes staring.  One even tried to offer a sympathetic word, but it just was one of those moments where my head was swimming from the conversation, my child was clearly upset, and I just didn’t know which end was up.

I thought I was making a friend but if the daughters don’t get along, then can that friendship work?  I know that both are only young children and both have very clear ideas of what they want and when they want it.  In that sense they are both very similar.  However, is that really the only reason for the playground blues?  Is there more to it and does it involve the moms too?  I just know that it was not pleasant and I found myself wondering if I would ever have a close group of local friends with (or without) kids that I could go out with or have over or make plans to just drop by for coffee?

One thing that came from this whole thing was actually a glorious epiphany.  I realized that it was ok.  It was ok that this may not work out.  If it does, that would be great, but if it doesn’t it will be ok.  The Daughter may have to learn the hard way that being bossy isn’t the way to make friends. So be it.  But on the other hand, knowing what you want and learning how to express that in a positive way, that is a skill that every person should possess.  I just need to figure out how to teach that balance.  I know with age, it will come. I also know that as I get more involved with school activities, and going back to school myself, I will hopefully make those connections a little closer to home.

I know I do have a good, nay – amazingly fantastic, group of friends that I can at least call to talk to and hopefully someday, we might all live a little closer to each other so we can go drink bucketfuls of margaritas when things like this happen.

By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

If you haven’t noticed, it’s September.  You probably knew that though, by seeing the countless photos and posts about children going back to school accompanied by the photo of them standing, waiting for the bus.  This year, I did not take a picture of the Daughter’s first day of pre-K.  I don’t know if it counts.  God knows I have a million pictures of her and it’s not like she has stopped going to school.  She’s been going all summer long because I work.  I guess that’s why for me it wasn’t a huge deal that she was starting pre-K, aka preschool.

Preschool

It wasn’t a big deal until I realized that she was not going to be home during the day with me unless it was a vacation day or a sick day or I kept her out of school for the day.  Then, I oddly became overwhelmed with emotion.

When she was a baby, I missed her  while I was working  full-time but now that she can have conversations with me and we can do fun things together and we have had almost four years of me working part-time from home, I feel a little sad.  I know that this is a very important thing for her to go to and I know that she benefits greatly from being around her friends.  I just didn’t realize how fast these years would go by.  Yeah, it’s a little cliché – childhood going by in the blink of an eye, but it oddly does.

Now, I find myself realizing that we are at the very beginning of her official education, because honestly, pre-k is now what I grew up knowing kindergarten to be.  I am excited and anxious for my child all at once. I don’t want her to feel overwhelmed but I want her to do her best.  I loved school. I want to make sure she loved school.  I want her to think of school as a fun place to go and as a place full of adventures.  I want her to grow her brain, learn to think for herself, and realize that the world is amazing, full of amazing people and amazing things.

The funny thing is that I am realizing that I am now forced to really figure out more about myself.  I now have free time.  What do I do with that free time?  Going back for my Master’s degree is calling me.  Every day, I find myself searching through various programs, looking at course catalogs, and dreaming about back-to-school supplies.  I realize that I am on the precipice of a major life change.  Many women face this issue and I don’t know that they talk about it much. I  know that it does make it into the news but sometimes I don’t always feel I relate to those women.  I don’t think I’m “leaning in”  though I have to admit, I have not read the book.  Maybe I should?  I just know that I want to be around for my daughter and be able to be at school plays and take her to whatever extra-curricular activity she ends up selecting and at the same time, I want to have a career, something I love and am good at doing so that I feel like I am not wasting away.  I need to think and use my brain.  God gave it to me, I had better use it lest I have to answer for not using it.  I need to be engaged but I want to be able to be around for the Daughter whenever she needs me.  Yes, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

image credit: http://tidymom.net/2012/chocolate-frosted-yellow-cake/

mmmmmmmmmmmm….cake….
image credit: http://tidymom.net/2012/chocolate-frosted-yellow-cake/

What changes do I have to make to be able to do that?  I think step one is finding where to go to school and what exactly to study.  Meanwhile, I’m going to figure out where to place the preschool art gallery that will be slowly adding pieces over the next year. And I may just enjoy a day or two of not having to watch Super Why! or Bubble Guppies.

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Filed under Family, Tales of Parenthood