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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #42391

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    I do take away story time. As in, Mira has a choice in when she goes to bed. If she goes to bed early, she gets basically unlimited # of books/stories (usually, up to 3 of each). The later she chooses to go to bed, the fewer books/stories she gets. If she goes to bed after 10, there are no books or stories, because it really is just too late. Stories are a huge incentive for her to go to bed at a reasonable hour, about the only one.
    We do this too, but I see it as a natural consequence, which is not the same as a reward/punishment. Just last night she wanted to stay out later to play even though we told her it was time to get ready for bed. All I had to say was "If you don't come in now, we won't have time to read as many stories," and she hopped down from her slide and came inside.
    But I never take stories away as punishment for something else, nor did I with dd1. That routine was precious and it didn't matter what she'd done earlier in the day - it was our time to reconnect. I rarely took things away anyway, though. I was and am a lot like Bridget - I prefer discussion and compromise whenever possible, and I like to give my kids agency on the things that are not health or safety necessities.

    It's funny about parents and idyllic childhoods. Mine was pretty good, and I always felt sure my parents loved me, even though my mom and I struggled some. I always felt like they knew what they were doing, and were doing the right thing, and that whatever was wrong was my fault. When I became an adult and saw my parents and my childhood/teenage years through clearer eyes, however, I could see that hadn't always been true. They were kinda messed up, and still are. Some of the things I thought my mom taught me well, I'm learning that I actually do not want to emulate. At the same time, though, as a parent myself, I feel for my parents. It's hard. Life itself is hard and dang, I sure don't know the answers and now I realize they didn't either. They did their best, messed me up a little, and I'm trying to do my best and only mess my kids up a little too (in my own way).
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  2. #42392

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    Suja, hopefully the parents will understand and ask her back. We have a little friend who always has a massive freak-out when it's time to go home, and really it's flattering that he enjoys his time here so much that he's disappointed/sad/angry to leave. I'd never think it a reason not to have him back. Noe just knows to expect it now.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  3. #42393
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    If anybody will understand, they will. They really are quite nice. I have to watch my 'taking the lord's name in vain' type of words, but otherwise, we're very much on the same wavelength, and share the same parenting philosophy. We're also both around the same age, I think, which makes us different from most of the other parents of 3 year olds in the classroom.

    I do want to reciprocate, however. My issue *always* is what to feed people. The parents will happily eat Indian food. The kids, not so much. So no idea how to do something like that, without making it a massive amount of work for me. Also, I over think *everything*, in case you couldn't tell.

  4. #42394

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    When we're having kids over whose food tastes I don't know, I just make sure to have plates of crackers or pitas, cheese and fruits/veggies. That way, they can pick and choose what they'll eat from what the grownups are having, and fill in from the cheese/fruit so they don't starve. If I'm making a big actual meal, I'll often have some pasta available for the kids too. Usually homemade mac and cheese. But honestly, bread, cheese and fruit/veggies is probably plenty and very easy to have on hand.

    Glad you like the parents -- it can be so hard to find someone you're on the same wavelength with! I hope they do want to reciprocate with you soon.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  5. #42395
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    That's a good idea! That's easy enough, especially if I just buy that stuff instead of prepping everything myself. I like having lazy options. The kids are away until August, so there will be plenty of time to think this through.

    The funny thing is, we've been hanging out in the parking lot, and letting the kids play there, after we pick them up. Apparently, Mira's teacher has taken to calling them parking lot play dates. I just found out on Friday.

  6. #42396

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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    This is true. One of the most painful lessons I had to learn as a mother of older children was that no matter what I did, I was a complete and utter disappointment to my kids at various points in their life. There's no perfection, and the teens don't appreciate any sacrifice, worry, or heartache.
    What an insightful and poignant observation, mama. I will definitely write that one to my mental hard drive.

    Heh. I said hard drive.

    ====

    L, that encounter with the woman in the park was intense. How lucky she was that you were there. I hope she'll have the opportunity to thank you and maybe have a playdate again.

  7. #42397

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    Ash/Suja - in my twisted mommy logic, a massive tantrum at the end of a playdate is a sign of success, at least where the get-together was concerned. At least it means your child enjoyed him/herself. :} And maybe it just means the child needs more time to transition away from the next playdate. In B's mind, going over to S's house is the end-all, be-all. It took me at least 6 playdates to figure out that B needed to have a pointed talking-to before we even went into the house about how he was expected to behave when it was time to go home. Sometimes a pre-emptive warning, followed by a reminder during the actual prying-away process ("remember what we talked about?") is all it takes to earn their cooperation.

    I am so terrible when it comes to offering little children food. I always assume every child runs on fumes the way B does. It was eye-opening the night I looked after Surfer Mama's two boys and they literally consumed 1000 calories each during the 2.5 hours they were in my house.

    B's newest little playmate is an adorable little 3.5 year old named Ramona, who lives down the hill a ways - just close enough for them to barely make out each other's bedroom windows. They played "let's signal each other with our lights" the other night. It was so cute, how intent B was when he was looking out for her signal. If we stick around the neighborhood in that house, I can imagine them coming up with all sorts of secret codes and ways of slipping hidden messages under mommies' noses to each other as they get older.

    =============

    Quick question on totally different topic. (Talkin' about love.): Have you ever felt like you might get so "lost" in another person/crazy in love that it made you not even want to pursue a relationship with him/her? That was something that was said by someone recently, and the concept of it was so foreign to me that it just sounded like complete B.S. But then I began to wonder if I'm just too unsentimental and unfeeling to even be able to relate to the idea. Thoughts?

  8. #42398
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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    =============

    Quick question on totally different topic. (Talkin' about love.): Have you ever felt like you might get so "lost" in another person/crazy in love that it made you not even want to pursue a relationship with him/her? That was something that was said by someone recently, and the concept of it was so foreign to me that it just sounded like complete B.S. But then I began to wonder if I'm just too unsentimental and unfeeling to even be able to relate to the idea. Thoughts?
    I can't say I've ever experienced anything like it. My brain cannot compute.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  9. #42399
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    Myles, I did give her the usual 10 minute, 5 minute, and 2 minute warnings. She used to do the same thing when we went to SIL's house, and I had to talk to her ahead of time, but that was so long ago, I had not even considered the possibility of it happening. If there is another play date, there will be talks. Lots of talks.

    Yeah, the love stuff sounds like total BS to me too. Was it something a guy said?

  10. #42400

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    Sounds like BS to me too. Like an excuse - Oh, I like you too much to date you.
    Nah.

    I mean, I think if a person really feels that way, and i guess it's possible, it would still be a red flag because they probably have some issues that would be a mess to deal with later on. Commitment and intimacy stuff.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  11. #42401
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    Sounds like BS to me too. Like an excuse - Oh, I like you too much to date you.
    Nah.

    I mean, I think if a person really feels that way, and i guess it's possible, it would still be a red flag because they probably have some issues that would be a mess to deal with later on. Commitment and intimacy stuff.
    Agreed. Definitely commitment issues, at the very least.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  12. #42402

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    Yeah, Suja. I'm pretty sure you can guess by whom. That's all taken care of by the way, as of last week. The "lost in you" stuff was said in context of one of his pointless, multiple post-game analyses. It was very hard to get him off the topic of "if only I'd..." and confront him with the fact that even if "he had...", he and I wouldn't have worked out... for starters because I wouldn't have trusted him, particularly given his untrustworthy behavior around me. I took a good hard look at my own behavior on the subject and I had to admit some ugly truths to myself - like how I was enjoying the attention and wasn't completely unaffected by the guy's overtures - despite the fact that every logical bone in my head was saying I couldn't possibly feel anything for someone so selfish, inconsiderate and not a little creepy. And while it was hard to disclose everything, I shared more and more with Steve and eventually shared all of it, as I was feeling a karmic weight from keeping anything from him. (One of Steve's memorable responses: "You're not just trying to make me jealous, are you?" Ha!)

    I learned a few things about myself, or at least reinforced a few things I already knew. Like, for starters, I will always feel awful if I'm lying to myself. I did keep trying to find ways to rationalize keeping him around as a friend. Every time I thought I'd made a truce with the idea of staying even in distant in contact, the feeling that "something's not right" would gnaw at me. It's kind of nice to know that my conscience won't shut up until it's satisfied that I'm heeding it. I also realized that I have a weird need to never seem upset about anything - I mean, at times when it would have been appropriate for me to get angry at him, I played it cool because I think I prefer to look dismissive and able to shrug things off. I don't know, I guess I feel reluctant to show I'm bothered because, to me, that's a sign that someone got to you. I mean, to be honest, even my brief kiss-off letter was signed "Warmly, M."

    Another thing that came out of this - it was actually moreso out of our discussions about emotionally abusive relationships - was that I realized I had been in a relationship with an abuser - not this particular guy, but someone waaaaaay more effed up quite a few years before him. In some ways, the recent guy reminded me of the guy from my past, like something about the way he was so forceful with pushing his own version of reality onto me, and also his utter lack of self-scrutiny while proclaiming how self-aware he was. I think a part of me was keeping him around so I could work through some older hurtful events as well.

    In the end, I found myself writing this (to no one in particular):

    A new favorite word in my personal lexicon is "bu]]s#i++y".

    Besides its obvious meaning (of or having to do with bu]]s#i+), "bu]]s#i++y" is:
    • choosing to overcomplicate
    • being willfully ignorant of obvious truths
    • inviting unnecessary drama/suffering into one's life
    • getting attached to falsely significant outcomes
    • not following one's own moral compass
    I was being the queen of bu]]s#i++y where this was concerned.

    The one positive thing that came out of it all is that I realized that I am still a writer, as much as I thought I'd hung that hat up out of disappointment in my abilities. The guy and I had a writerly bond. DH is encouraging me to find myself an outlet for it again. When DH & I first moved in together, I had a column in the local magazine. He says I should at least find myself a writer's group.

    (Ironically, I've written over 121 pages for the current job in the last couple weeks, but somehow system design and business rationale are not stirring my oatmeal in quite the right way.)

    Aaaaand enough about me.
    Last edited by demigraf; 07-02-2013 at 05:20 PM.

  13. #42403
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    Kinda figured it was him. Would be scary if there were two guys out there, capable of the same sort of horse puckey.

  14. #42404

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    Oh, geez. Really?
    This guy.

    How great that you learned some things about yourself, though. And yay! on getting back into writing. I think it'll be a really good creative outlet for you.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  15. #42405

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    I know we're a bit past the conversation now, but I agree if you run out of time that is a legit reason to not read the books. We used to skip the book or only read a page or so if we got home late. But saying "you get no book because you argued about such and such" that was like, majorly fit-inducing and when I think about it, not really fair. Thing is he doesn't have a lot that he plays with that I can take away. It would be pretty hard to remove all his zillions of Legos and the table. We did get him a new xbox game called Skylanders that he absolutely loves that we can probably use as a reward type thing.

  16. #42406

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    Speaking of rewards, B just took a bite of the chicken soup I made and said: "Yum! Thanks for making it!"

    Me: "What a nice thing to say. You're welcome, honey."

    B (beatific smile): "I love you."

    Man, I so wanted to buy the kid a pony just then.

  17. #42407

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    Mylah, I love your self awareness, if not even envy it. It's a great in a person. That guy has watched too many movies to say some stupid sh!t like that.

    I wanted to say that certain natural consequences are only logical. I was over using it. For all my gentle ways, it was nothing short of trying to control them by dangling things they love over their heads. That is just not nice, even if I am saying it nicely.. Soooo stuck in a rut, I was. And glad to be out of it.

    The weather has been amazing! Cool nights and mild days.

  18. #42408

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    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    Speaking of rewards, B just took a bite of the chicken soup I made and said: "Yum! Thanks for making it!"

    Me: "What a nice thing to say. You're welcome, honey."

    B (beatific smile): "I love you."

    Man, I so wanted to buy the kid a pony just then.

  19. #42409
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    We've having the exact opposite kind of night here. Conner got it in his head he wanted this certain game that cost $, and I won't buy it. He's been melting down for 3+ hours now. One of the things he did was grab his computer (it's an all-in-one desktop) and shake it so hard, it was rocking back and forth and nearly tipped over. I completely turned it off and told him he couldn't be on it at all for the rest of his visit with me (that's just tonight).

    I just want to I'm totally at a loss.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  20. #42410
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    Don't be so hard on yourself, Chrissy. I think that the punishment fits the crime, so to speak. I have told Mira that if she cannot treat her things with respect, then they will go to someone that will.

  21. #42411
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    Thanks Suja. It's not really the taking away of the computer that had me upset. It was the length and intensity of the meltdown. He just wore me out.

    But we had some cuddle/talk time just before bed and I think we both felt better for it. The poor guy wet while sleeping though, so something's going on. He's rarely ever done that. I'm becoming concerned.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  22. #42412
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    M, I had a huge smile on my face reading your bit of realization regarding him.

    Suja I would not, not invite M over for another play date because of a melt down when leaving. I think that is a pretty normal kid reaction. Well, heck, I know some adults who throw a fit when they have to stop doing something fun

    Chrissy, I have no enlightening words and I'm not qualified to offer any You are an awesome mom

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  23. #42413
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    Kate, while it would be hard to put the legos/lego table away, could you just say that it's not allowed to be played with that day? Or for two hours and set a timer or whatever fits the bill?

    Awww so sweet of B! But no pony huh?

    Poor Conner. I hope it was just one of those crabby days for him and not something bigger.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  24. #42414
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    Chrissy, Mira recently had an entire DAY that was like that. Just one tantrum after the other (sometimes going back to whatever she was tantruming about previously), and on and on and on. I ended up putting her to bed early, because I couldn't deal with it any more, and that seemed to fix it. Maybe there is something going on that he cannot articulate fully - he is extra tired, sleepy, hungry, something like that.

  25. #42415

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    Or maybe Connor was having a "growing day". That's what we call it in my house when B seems to be followed around by a storm cloud for no apparent reason. "Oh, you're frustrated? Not sure why? Maybe you're having another growing day. We'll measure you when you wake up tomorrow."

    Anyway, hope you got some rest, Chrissy.

  26. #42416

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    (I'm sorry I misspelled Conner.)

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  28. #42418
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    Perhaps, to play devil's advocate, atheists are more willing to cohabitate than Christians.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  29. #42419
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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    Perhaps, to play devil's advocate, atheists are more willing to cohabitate than Christians.
    Absolutely! But it doesn't explain the rest (education and crime).

  30. #42420
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Absolutely! But it doesn't explain the rest (education and crime).
    True.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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