Spectrum Parenting: What I Do the Same

June 1 2012 042One interesting thing with this Spectrum Parenting (having kids from one end to the other) is how much things changed from when I was expecting-raising Gorgeous Gal to when Little Sir came along (17 years later).

The pregnancy was pretty much the same. Which is to say, Awful.

I am not a cheerful glowing pregnant lady. If you didn’t get a precious baby at the end, I would reject the whole thing. There could be no incentive- other than a baby- to make me think nine months of nausea, pain, alien occupation is worth it.

However, there were a lot of new ideas and products for the baby. And new ideas about raising kids to make them turn out exactly like you planned (see this post on what I think of that). Here is what I do the same:

Words Will Never Hurt Me: I do not believe it warps a child to hear the words “no”, “stop”, or “bad”. “You are driving me crazy” is simply demonstrating good communication. Euphemisms are confusing. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Including “yes”, “no problem”, and “good”. And the best: “I love you.”

And I Use Novocaine at the Dentist Too: I do not believe using pain relief during childbirth is wrong. My Grandmothers were put to sleep and woke up holding their babies. I’m not sure why this had to change. Seems wonderful to me. I actually had a better birth experience with Gorgeous Gal and the protocol than I did with Little Sir. And I didn’t use all that was available, but I do not feel less noble for accepting some relief from what- no matter what they give you- is going to be intensely painful.

You Helped Make the Mess: I am not a neat freak, but I don’t like chaos either. My kids help clean. And from young ages they help. Little Sir helped with the pets beginning at 2. Gorgeous Gal was helping fold laundry at 4. It’s not a labor camp, but I see no reason we can’t all pitch in as much as we are able to keep things from getting out of hand.

God Bless Your Heart: When I had Gorgeous Gal, a lot of my motherly wisdom came from my Grandmothers. That is to say, it was not the most modern. And it worked. Gorgeous Gal lived and the scars barely show. She is thriving. So when I started to get all this advice about Little Sir- when to start solids, how long to breast feed, potty training, etc. I was able to nod and say thank you and move on. In the South, a polite way to deflect unwelcome intrusive advice is to just smile and say, “God bless your heart.”

There are some things I am doing differently. If there is one relationship that proves change is constant- it is parenting.¬† But that is next week’s post. ;)


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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- REFUSE

I live in a community where recycling is mandatory. I also live in a community where if you didn’t recycle (rules or no), you’d be horesewhipped out of town. I mean, there’s peace, love and tolerance, but not for filling the dump with recycables.

And I am all for it.

When I go somewhere that doesn’t mandate it or, worse, even have recycling, I am shocked. Not to the point of horsewhipping, but yes, shocked.

I am also thrifty. So I like the reuse part because it just makes sense. Or if I was trying to be cute, cents. I save jars for things and coffee cans and just like to find purposes for junk others might throw away. I’m also saving wine corks and should be able to build a yacht in my retirement.

But this has been known to backfire on me so badly, I question the whole validity of my efforts.

One time, I tried to refurbish a thrift store mirror. The mirror was 10.00. Then the paint I needed was about 15.00 and then I spilled some on the shirt I was wearing and the rug. So by the time I finished the mirror (which looked amazing until it fell off the wall and broke), I did not save one single thing and wasted so much more.

I drug an old stove home and was so excited to save it from the dump. Except that is where it went because I neglected to measure the house and it would not fit through the door. DH drew the line at removing the walls to accommodate the stove.

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The adorable Standard Poodle (aka Paris).

I even got a “used” pet- a 10 year old dog. What a good thing. Well, turns out he has a major health problem and what I did was sign us up for some early heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong, he’s wonderful, but even the vet shook his head. “Next time, get a puppy.”

So I am trying again with a swimsuit. I wanted something vintage-looking. But “vintage inspired” was over a 100.00! So I found a real vintage one on ebay. I am excited because with free shipping I feel very “green” and so thrifty.

But given my history…this could go very wrong.


UPDATE: The suit arrived and I love it! Whew!

Posted in Laughter, My Life | 1 Comment

I Am Not 39

I have a birthday approaching and I am considering  turning my real age.

I posted that on Facebook and someone so wisely, concisely asked, “Why?”

And so, I thought: BLOG POST!

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The second time I turned 39.

Well, I stayed 39 because I got tired of what numbers seem to mean to people. There was all this MEANING or PRECONCEPTION or EXPECTATION attached to certain ages. And most of the meanings seemed to be things I should not do anymore, care about anymore, let bother me anymore.

Here is a small sampling: You should be married by now…Done having children by now…stop worrying by now…settled…done with that writing thing…stop expecting life to be fair…not getting tattoos…thin by now…giving up being thin…and the beat goes on.

And I didn’t like it.

So, I stopped.

I actually stopped a few times. I turned 30 twice. It was so easy. What happened is people didn’t remember I had turned 30 the year before so when they planned a big party for 30 when I was really 31, I didn’t want to be RUDE. I have not had many birthday parties in adulthood and wasn’t about to miss a great 30th just because I wasn’t actually 30. Details be damned.

Then I stayed 35 for a while. And then I just sort of appeared at 39. The next year I had a dinner with just a few people (DH is not a party planner) and a new dress, but I stayed 39 because everything about the idea of A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY bothered me.



THE BIG 4-0.


But I’ve been 39 a while and it seems a little ridiculous. If I don’t figure something out, my daughter will be in her 30s before I leave mine.

(One option is to stop celebrating birthdays altogether, but the idea that I am going to give up cake, ice cream, and presents is more ridiculous than staying 39.)

So maybe, this year, I’ll turn my real age.

Or maybe I’ll just stop being 39.

Q: How old are you?

A: I’m not 39.

Posted in Laughter, My Life | Tagged , , | 1 Comment