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Saturday, July 31, 2010

flower girl or princess? the debate has begun.

I've been trying to explain to my 5yr old that her aunt's wedding, coming up here in a little over a month, is an occasion to celebrate many things. First and foremost, it's to celebrate the married union between Aunt and Uncle. It's a celebration of love, and life, the future, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. She, Ms. Flowergirl in this said wedding, does not.

She insists it's a chance to show everyone she's a princess, and she's expecting princess treatment, too. Now, I know your instincts will be to respond with a version of "Oh, how cute! She's only five, and she'll get her role when she gets there" but I'm pretty sure you're underestimating the power of this girl. She is quite controlled and impressively mature in her perspective and when she says she's a princess at the wedding, she means A PRINCESS. She doesn't want the cute/slightly dismissive pats on the head topped with the occassional "Aren't you a pretty princess!" Nope. I'm pretty sure she's expecting her own makeup artist and dressing room.

Sooooo.... I'm working on a new approach to her understanding it's a day she's a part of, not her day. Because I am unwilling to share Aunt's day with a 5 yr old who stomps around with tears and screams about how no one is listening to what she wants. Unwilling.

Ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Keepin' On The Sunny Side of Life

My daughter chose to have an arm-wrestling styled match against her father when tooth brushing commenced tonight. It was the age-old, "quiet down, brush your teeth, don't wake the baby, and get into bed" struggle we all have often during the bedtime hours. Tonight, Daughter chose to end the tooth brushing fiasco with a simple slam of the door, thus waking Baby #3. Not the best idea.

Now she's in bed, sniffling, because her choice landed her a play date-free afternoon tomorrow instead of what was sure to be one glorious playdate with her bestie, Seb. Pick your battles, I told her softly in my mind as I watched it all go down.

Then I took a step back and thought about that statement, Pick Your Battles. We all pick our battles on a daily basis... eat the ricotta-stuffed french toast battle, then guiltily extra-exercise to win the fitness war. Pick the "don't talk back to your mother" battles only to later ignore blanketed "You Don't Understand Me" statements during the tween war years.

Today I picked a battle with a blog that fed us food for thought based on whether or not parents who kiss their children are innocently doing wrong. It's a battle that I am quite comfortable having, but it's not one that needs to be held. I'm strong in my convictions as I said, and I'm sure that was present in my response to this said blog. Often the devils advocate in discussions with friends, I understand the compelling nature to write up an article such as this. Heck, I almost respect that compelling nature simply  by existing. Still, I didn't need to pick that battle. Why, when by existence alone, did the article ultimately ooze out what me and 50+ compelled commenters later said...

I vow to, in the future, better pick my battles, because no one likes a smart a**. And that, my friends, is what I became when I pointed out the flaws in that post. Someone who simply took hefty notice of the obvious. None too clever on my part, now was it?

She's At It Again, this blogger, and this time it's personal!

Ok, I'm officially stating there's a small chance I enjoy debate and that I have an easy button you can push when I feel compelled to argue.

But I also feel Ms. Jeanne Sager might exist solely to irritate the, um, Heck, out of me with her blogs.

Her newest attack is on parents who kiss their kiddos to, say, bid them goodnight on the lips. Not joking. See it here.

At least this blog had a small fragrance of thoughtful exchange floating around in it (unlike her recent bemoaning of Pregnancy Parking. See my response/Blog War here.) Seriously though, I once again have to claim BLOG WAR!

Now look. I don't make out with my children. I don't kiss them a million times a day. I don't sit around all day with Daddy making out. And I surely do not presume my 5yr old daughter is a 'sexual harasser,' nor do I believe society to think she is one strictly because she's comfortable getting kisses from her parents.

Ms. Sager quotes out of the book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination, the following blurb:
'She [author Dr. Charlotte Resnick] gives the example of a 6-year-old girl kissed on the lips by her father. It's completely innocent on both sides, but when the girl goes to school and tries to kiss her classmates on the lips -- equally innocently -- she's placed in the role of "sexual harasser."'

This lady is freaking nuts. Not the author of the aforementioned book, Charlotte Resnick. I mean Jeanne Sager - author of a blog that is reviewed by a bazillion folks and who can write both opinion blogs and opinion/"I'm just sayin' " blogs... the one who also picked this additional quote she's pulled from the book:

' "As a child gets to 4 or 5 or 6 and their sexual awareness comes about (and some kids have an awareness earlier -- as when we notice they start masturbating at 2 or 3 sometimes -- they just discover their private parts and it feels good), the kiss on the lips can be stimulating to them," Reznick explains.'

Ugh. I feel a lifetime of counseling might be a mighty good gift for someone that finds kids to be such easy prey ... hmmm?

I'd like to state for the record that my soon to be 6yr-old kindergarten-aged daughter will get kisses from me and her father any time she'd like. And it's my humble opinion that I'm perfectly in the A-OK club upon my refusal to see it as the gateway drug to her becoming a socially labeled sexual harasser.

I'd also like to state for the record that those who find it convenient and further - preemptively okay to ask an entire society to fear kindergartners as potential sexual harassers are in my opinion, idiots. Contest all you will, and yes, I understand there are exceptions to every rule. However, I take serious issue with this theory that a kid who can't even read is at-risk for emotional and social harm in this scenario. Instead, I find this post to be harmful to the entire community who had the unfortunate circumstance of reading it and suddenly thinking that this fear-mongering idea is plausible. Please do not try to disconnect what little human connection is left in a much-too-fast-paced world and try to muddle it up with that "dirty" word sex. Sickos. Instead, find a way to solve more important issues, like cancer or world peace or how I'm supposed to keep a clean home with five people in it, yes?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Throw the Baby Out With The Bath Water

Can I just say, ewwww?

I mean, I get that it's just a saying. I get that it's an idiom and that (boy am I assuming...) no one actually threw a baby out with their bath water one day.

Courtesy of good ole Wikipedia, Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water has history and depth I still cannot connect with.

Am I alone in this? Or is it as gross as I keep trying to avoid thinking it is?

Just a thought on a Monday night....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pregnancy Parking is Overrated??? I do apologize, BUT I contest!

Ever been pregnant, or are currently pregnant, and feel like getting irritated. Great! Read THIS!

Now I'm quite certain this Jeanne Sager has children and is likely a lovely gal. But I have to simply call BS on this one.

As a mother of three, and through none of which did I EVER come across Pregnancy Parking, I'm in awe that Ms. Sager feels compelled to toss out the idea that we should rid what little efforts are being offered here to those bustling about with an additional 40 lbs+ on their frontside just because she's irritated no one is stepping up to help her now! As if being a mom of womb-liberated children is suddenly so much harder. Oh BS! Stop whining!

I do agree that it sure would be nice if stores didn't try harder to appeal to my kids than to me, but I chose to bring them there. And SURE, wouldn't it be lovely if they had special ways to make being a parent-slash-shopper easier, but really? Pick on the gal who can't hold her pee for more than 2 min? Come on, lady! A little compassion, please.

May I also rant about how many shoppers have children, mostly in tow with them? This makes the nice soul's life behind us w/out kids (and w/out the economy sized package of paper plates, wipies, bubbles, etc.) suck much worse than those of us who, intentionally or by accident, now have children. We parents ARE the majority here, thus making a 'Parents Only' lane pretty much what we see and deal with everyday.

Instead, I offer Ms. Sager a new idea. How's about a "Mom Got A Sitter So Get The Heck Outta My Way" line. Now THAT'S an idea I can get behind. Yes, I've taken the time and effort to spend $6 on my (and my community's) sanity so I can fly through a store and get only what I choose to get. I won't be convinced of extra fudgescicles, or hot dogs, or two watermelons so the kids won't fight over them. And I don't really want to spend my time waiting on the poor mom who is struggling with her kids to be patient because they are waiting on another family's full cart to get checked through. I wanna FLY ON THROUGH!

(To her credit, she did ask our American society to consider more supportive avenues when coddling us mothers, i.e. adequate maternity leaves and pumping stations.)

So thanks, Ms. Sager, for giving me a reason to think this idea through. And if you ever eradicate the Pregnancy Parking in your town, coulda send it over to mine? Because I sure as heck would love that for all of my ladies who are waddling around right now!

Kids + Curry = YUMMY?

Those who've been reading my blog know that we've welcomed our newest addition to our family this month!

Ladies, gents, and children, please welcome back, Our New Grill.

As crazy as it sounds, I am SO tired of grilled food. We've grilled steaks, dogs, burgers, tenderloins, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, sausages, corn, carrots, heck - I even grilled apricots for dessert one night.

 So tonight I will make curry. I will make a curry the ENTIRE family will love! Don't believe the kids will love it? Can't imagine what I will do to make this possible? Here's how!

Photo credit: Gulfnews

What you will need:

~ Red Curry Paste (super small jar - you only use a touch)
~ Fish sauce (easy to find, gross to think about)
~ Brown Sugar
~ 1-2 cans of coconut milk
~ Your choice of veggies (I use green beans, tiny shitake mushrooms, celery, carrots, garlic, green/red peppers, 1-2 parboiled potatoes, broccoli, white or yellow onion)
~ Meat (chicken, tofu or pork go extra well!)

What you will do:
Get Your Children Into The Kitchen!!! Call them in! Have them peel the carrots, carefully fill the pot of water for below, snap the beans' ends, open cans of coconut milk, anything! Just get them involved. Their perspective will make this dish the best it can be! And remember - they are your #1 taste testers!

Heat a pot of water separately from anything else. Boil your boneless chicken or pork for 8-12 min. until cooked. Drain and set aside. Sounds odd, but this will help your meat retain it's supple texture and thus will be more apt to absorbing the yummy curry flavors! ALSO - make a small pot of rice, but DON'T FORGET ABOUT IT! You don't want burnt rice. Yuck.
In a large pan, saute your veggies starting with your hardest veggies first. For me the order was broccoli, carrots, potatoes, celery, green peppers, onion, garlic and so forth. TIP: I often, and it's normally encouraged, to saute the onion and garlic first. But here I want these flavors to pop, so I am waiting until the end. Saute all veggies until soft.
Carefully pull your veggies out of the pan and set aside. In the same veggie pan, turn heat to low-medium. Add 1 1/2 tsp of curry sauce to 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 full can of coconut milk. Wisk well until fully mixed. Now, some like it sweeter, some saltier... I prefer creamier, so I generally add the coagulated part of an additional can of coconut milk.
Play around, see what you like! For sweeter, more brown sugar, for saltier, a little more fish sauce. But taste, taste, taste, because they all balance each other out, so consider this a chemistry experiment and get mixing! Don't forget to add your veggies and meat back into your curry sauce and let simmer for 5-12 minutes with a lid on...
This is a great time to prepare your plates with rice and a small salad. Top with your Curry and you are set to go! Bon Apetit!