Sunday, July 19

Dogs Can't Hear Those Notes

More in a Series of Helpful Observations

1. Bite not thine own fingernails should ye desire a different result for thy off-spring. (Oopsie.)

2. Remove ammunition from The Thrower, yea, in haste shall ye thwart his lust for mayhem. Heed not silly childhood behavior 'experts' who exhaust themselves with much advice about how to carefully explain to the child there are different kinds of throwing. The child is not stupid. He likes to throw.

3. Bite The Biter an eye for an eye. But ~ bite not the biter if it is not thine own child.

4. Employ the new babysitter with confidence. However, see that ye dismiss not thy eldest daughter's report when thou return. Thou mayest learn how one babysitter forthwith turned into "two", and they both spent much time on the phone, and used the F word to the children, and so forth. (thanks, Bi!)

5. Indulge not The Backwards-hurler into space; of such is sure calamity.

Rather seize the human cannon in mid-air, and squeeze it close. Let not go until the child responds to thy request for calm. Then apply something interesting to do immediately, distracting the child. Should it rise up and begin flinging itself again, intercept exactly the same as before. Now give warning that yonder bed await it should there be a repeat of the behavior. Do not relent. Never surrender.

6. Pretend marvelous surprise should ye hear children express in public what others piously assume is forbidden in thy home, perchance thy performance save thee.

7. Be wise, and know there are circumstances wherein the young child's natural discernment is absolutely correct:

a. Should thy little 6 year old son observe the school bus driver is mean and exerciseth much unrighteous dominion, and he say to her, "Thou Big Fat Meatball", be not angry with him, but investigate the matter. Behold, ye shall find many reliable witnesses who doth validate the driver is cruel and derelict in her duty to very young children. Protest ye the write-up given thy little son, for his assessment was indeed accurate every whit.

b. Likewise, be ye diligent when young, second-year school teacher giveth thy same little son naught but red marks all over every single paper. Yea, he doth return from class utterly demoralized. Ye shall privately remind the teacher this child has skipped Kindergarten, and has not the full school year of penmanship practice as do the other children in his 1st grade class. Ask her to mark her own records, but mark not his paper so extreme, as it doth defeat him greatly. When the pretty, fashionable young teacher receive thy words with much anger and crazy left-field emotion, ignore her. Watch only for thy son's papers returning home less marked with red, and his smiling countenance. (good boy, James!)

8. Be ye in the habit of saying often, "I'm so glad I saw that!" For verily, there are many little things in a day that do amuse and surprise, yea, enough that ye may all be filled with merriment if even for a small moment. Thy children will be quick to share with thee, and laugh much. Yea, they will be funny.

Likewise, start ye now a list posted in the house wherein all may write funny things observed or heard. Not only be ye sharing humor, but ye shall encourage awareness of legitimate language.

For example: from beautiful "Singing Bee" show hostess last week: "Well sang!" or from a Fox News reporter on the Gaza border: "...the two sides collashed!" or from a hostess on "Ramsey's Kitchen": "Mike likes to presentate his food."

Especially entertaining (or frightening) are comments ye shall find sadly posted for the world to see on blogs/news stories of all types: "I am in aw of your ignorance..." by 'Staricka'.


Tuesday, July 14

Poignant REVENGE

What goes around, comes around.

We dearly love our two boys become men. They are both Eagle Scouts. They are married to beautiful, wonderful young ladies. They are both now fathers of the most amazing, sheer-genius little boy, and the most darling, adorable little girl, respectively. They own their own fully stocked tool chests, they each have a nice barbecue grill, and are lucky enough to have some very nice furniture pieces to make their homes a welcoming haven for their growing little families.

Their wives have decorated carefully. They have beautifully framed family portraits in attractive wall displays. These two cherished daughters-in-law are, I believe, quite unaware of a dark portent that looms ominously over their domestic tranquility.

So far, they have been spared. Spared from a justified threat their husband's father issued many years ago ~ when he promised to visit his boys at their homes some day after they were married and do the following:

1. Show up at 3 AM without a house key and tap on their bedroom window.
2. Help himself to their fridge and drink milk straight from the carton.
3. Use the 'facility' without benefit of a closed door. Wave cheerfully if discovered.
4. Sneak plates and bowls of fossilized, half-eaten food under their bed, under their dresser, and in the folds of clothing in the hamper.
5. Ask for money.
6. Ask to borrow the car.
7. Bring it back late and the gas tank empty.
8. Exhibit liberality in a variety of natural functions, in public.
9. Put his feet up on the furniture, jump on the furniture, and jump some more.
10. Leave smelly shoes and socks and skateboards just inside the front door, or the back door, or both.
11. Call from somewhere else and ask them to bring him something he "forgot".
12. Take the last can of coke and leave the empty box in the fridge.
13. Have a hysterical fit or start a fight as soon as they are speaking to someone on the phone.
14. Announce at about 9 PM that a poster board is needed and a term project is due tomorrow morning.
15. Call from somewhere else - very late - and explain about the ticket over the phone.
16. Show up for a visit and disappear somewhere in the house; be found dead asleep.
17. Arrive at an important event where they must introduce him, wearing something really super wrinkly.
18. Leave something unlocked or open all night.
19. Come for a family birthday party without a gift, turn on the t.v. or begin a video game, and stare at it for hours until their wives start to say, "Can't you get your dad out of here?!"
20. (Fill in the blank - please!)

Saturday, July 11

The Profundity of Motherhood III

1. Be ye not vexed with accidental spills ~ join the club. Messes validate thy motherhood.

2. Gird up thy loins, and hark ye; for verily, it is written: at some time all of thy children will destroy something of value to you.
Take ye especial care ye leave not the hack saw within reach of thy little boy. See that ye apologize to thy son all the days of his life for thy anger at the moment ye discovered his handiwork upon the face of thy brand new furniture, yea, upon no less than 5 pieces of furniture. Acknowledge liberally ye would happily deny all the furniture in the world for the chance to relive that one moment again with thy little son, when ye ought to have embraced him, and thanked him for "helping" you, because indeed he observed you using the saw and thought to do him likewise. Yea, ye will feel bitter remorse for frightening all the children with your great and terrible rage, yea, a day when ye lost control and failed thy calling. (I love you James - sorry Bi - thanks for crawling back in through your bedroom window to get baby
something to play with)

3. Celebrate the ordinary as if it were not; seek opportunity to have fun with that which is fundamental - and blessed be thy house and the happiness thereof.

4. If ye be not Organized, honor those that are - perchance they might visit thee and teach thee how to be so. Once having obtained, teach thy children how to organize, that their days may be free from needless searching but never finding, and their hearts devoid of anxiety.

5. Dismiss not the book thy child recommends to thee. But read the book, and thy life will be greatly rewarded. Thy children shall observe how ye do value their estimation in so much that ye do willingly read their 3rd grade book or their Junior in high school book. Ye may consider, 'Ah, I am monitoring what my child is learning,' however, in this ye do err. Ye should endeavor to read the book for no other reason than thy child hath requested it of thee. For in this wise, ye do share and share alike in the unabashed Joy of Discovery. In truth, these 'discoveries' will also be thy favorites, and will be anchors of little events which bonded you together.

6. Fret not when ye perceive thy child is frightened of a new experience that ye know is beneficial to them. Be patient, stay afar off. Take care to observe how other children in the same activity are responding. Be ye reasoning as an unbiased observer, and slow to assume it is too troubling for them to conquer.

7. If ye propose a family picnic, and the fruit of thy womb object with obnoxious noise and grotesque facial expression, carry on. Busy thy children in preparation, do ye not labour alone. Once ye are arrived at the park, and thy table is spread, they who once lamented will see fit to rejoice. Apply this principle to other experiences thy family may initially protest. Heed not the party-pooper, for they shall have their reward.

8. Seek not every whim and fancy of new baby accessory or popular toy. While much is cute, shockingly color-coordinated and seemingly desirable, behold, ye are sorely deceived. Surely it is wisdom ye do without much unnecessary purchasing of cumbersome products which do not reward thee for more than a few weeks, or products which are obviously ridiculous! If ye must obtain, be not disdainful of thrift shop fare. Or, if ye may borrow of another, so much the better.

9. Covet not the giant, SUV-like stroller. This behemoth is difficult to maneuver in a crowd, requireth the strength of Atlas to heft, and verily defeats the very purpose of being mobile with the young child! Seek ye instead a humble umbrella stroller, one with shade above, and storage below. Behold, it is exceedingly light and easy to wield. Yea, it doth accompany thee in the blink of an eye. It doth hold all thy necessities, and ye need not more than this. Honest.

10. Exhaust not thyself in yelling at thy second son to stop leaping like a monkey off furniture immediately after dinner every cursed night ~ save thy breath and leave him to his folly. It shall come to pass that one day he leap not far enough and break a toe. Behold, his passion for playing "lava" hath been completely healed and ye are free from his manic, frenetic episodes. (love you, Leiland!)

11. Beware the Ant Farm birthday present. It's brightly colored plastic pieces and silky white
sand are lovely, and the 2 week wait for live ants to be shipped from Hurricane, Utah, doth fill all with delicious anticipation. Hark ye; whilst the directions seem simple enough, and thy son followeth them with exactness, behold - all will go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds. Yea, the ants doth awake from their sleep with much energy, in so much that they fail to enter the container as promised, but do gush out and run quickly across the dining room table. "Fear not!" you say, believing the ants will stop at the table's edge, and ye can hope to retrieve them with cups and paper. Sadly, in this ye do err. The ants heed not the edge of the table, and do plummet to the extra long shag carpet below. With truly fierce screaming and hopping about, ye do fetch the vacuum, and such is the slaughter of more than half the colony. (sorry, Leiland)

12. Think not that thy children will suffer if they receive not their own bedroom, fully decorated and generously appointed with glorious things. Consider Rachel, how she had nought but a pack n'play for her bed in her brother's closet. Yea, she did lie down each night and gaze up at her brother's shirts hanging above her. In the morning, she did press her face against the mesh sides of her pen, and wait for the boys to arise. If they fetch her not, she did reach up and play happily with the hems of the shirts. Later, when she mastered escaping from the pen, she would wait patiently inches from Robin's or Asia's faces in the other room until such time as they did awake much afrighted.

13. Be ye welcoming to pets. There is an irreplaceable companionship between child and animal. If ye be adverse to noise or mess or anything that to thee justifies denying a pet, REPENT. Even a goldfish may teach thy child many valuable lessons in love and life. Complain not should they forget to feed the pet or do other duties assigned, but encourage them to empathize. Feed not the child until they feed their pet. Hide not the inevitable encounter with death fearing it too painful for the child; but send the children to find a box suitable for the deceased, to decorate it, and prepare it with care. Say ye appropriate thoughts at the grave site, and pray ye and sing together. For verily, in the Resurrection ye shall again see all that once lived with thee and shared thy house with thee, and thy joy will be great.

14. Be not dismayed if the children slog in the irrigation; no matter how terrible the deep mud thereof, or the mud thickly oozing through hair, into ears and slathered upon clothing and flinging mightily through the air. Just see that ye prepare a way they might hose themselves off before entering the house.

15. Embrace the making of Chore Lists. Yea, prepare ye several different methods. Write upon popsicle sticks, or colored index cards, or print out from thy computer. Offer fun options, like "Choose ye the chore music", or "Ye are in charge of the snack during a break that all may share and be refreshed". If ye have exceedingly tedious chores, such as the matching of socks from yon giant sock basket, render the task less odious by declaring, "Match ye as many socks as possible in 6 minutes. Set ye the timer." Consider the littler children who cannot accomplish what older children can; give ye only 3 or 4 sticks to choose for them. Tell the older children they must take 6 or more sticks. If they be working from a list, have them mark off each task as they go. Draw or paste ye funny pictures of what needs doing instead of writing it. Construct the chore directions in rhyme, or in a rhyme they must find words to complete. It is no crime to exact performance from thy offspring. Ignore protests. Yea, even do ye ignore their rolling eyes many years hence. Eventually, it shall come to pass one fine day that thy children suddenly realize they know how to do things, yea, and there is a reason WHY.

16. Welcome young chefs into thy kitchen. Listen not to the many mothers who protect the kitchen as if it were a polished sanctuary unto themselves, and deny the child inclusion therein. Behold, they are foolish. They have no experience tasting excellent brownies made by a child. They can have no reward in pancakes or cupcakes or cookies or spaghetti or burritos or even shish-kabobs prepared by very young children. They have not the fun of trying to fish out the errant egg shell from batter, or watching the egg slide down the cupboard in an attempted escape!
Be not jealous should a child display talent beyond thine own; rather, rejoice with them in their accomplishment! For behold, it is a skill ye righteously desire they obtain. Even so shall ye assign them turns planning a menu, shopping and cooking meals during the Summer. If there be a massive mess to clean up; thrust ye all into the fray - making scrubbing a festive toil set to popular music.

Saturday, July 4

The Profundity of Motherhood II

1. Suffer not the pouter. Require the pouty face to be washed-off, yea, even with pure water, and the pouter removed to their room until such time as a cheerful countenance may emerge.

2. Tolerate not the clinger, the noodle-spine, the child that clasps fiercely to thy person. Such will be grossly impaired in maturity and self-confidence. Beware lest ye feel to emotionally say, 'Behold how my child doth need me!' for verily, this is a great lie. Be ye therefore not deceived. Rather, defend thy child's right to maturity by quitting them the behavior forthwith. Speak unemotionally. Direct them to a new activity, yea, with firmness and a pleasant expression.

3. Baby-talk not. Implore not. Explain not excessively anything. Simply do ye. Know ye not that a 3 year old is not biologically capable of rational thought?

4. Apologize freely to thy children if ye do error in judgement, or if ye mistake in displaying sinful anger against them. Beware pride, lest ye destroy trust.

5. Resolve early to deny children all requests for drinks of water and potty visits during Church. Ply them not with abundant foodstuffs, making worship a picnic. Take ye crawling babies not out to the foyer, lest all the children see that worship time is frolic time. Be ye assured that little children can learn to sit quietly; ask ye rather, 'Do I have resolve?'

6. Praise the helper, the obedient, the creative, the patient, the careful, the thoughtful, the cheerful, the story-teller, the funny-bone, of such is the Kingdom of Joy.

7. Tolerate not one whit the unworthy interrupter, the back-talker, the mom-hitter; verily, of such later is an exceedingly sullen, ungrateful teen with a driver's license.

8. Be ye not intimidated to quiet the chatterer, as it is not healthy for such to prattle thoughtlessly. Teach ye instead the intrinsic value of communication, what it is - and what it is not.

9. If ye be awake with the baby who seemeth uncomforted, think not ~ 'I suffer!' Rather, proclaim lustily to thyself, 'I be up and doing!' thereby devoting thyself to the baby until such a time as it sleepeth at last. Wherefore ye are then happily surprised, and rewarded with returning to thy repose.

10. Study ye development charts for age appropriate behaviors, lest ye be traumatized by giving too many choices to young children assuming this is progressive. Yea, ye do mistake. Offer ye only 2 options, yea, ye shall indeed encourage self-confidence.

11. Resist the flattering, seductive whisper of yon video and computer games. Indeed, ye shall ignore labels on such that hollowly claim "educational". For behold, it ever has been since the world was, that nothing replaceth pencil or scissors in hand; yea, there is naught from a video game which may be displayed on the fridge or mailed to Grandma.

12. Choose ye instead crosswords, word-searches, mazes, follow the dot activities and picture
stories from free internet downloads. Be not afrighted of markers, paints, glue, beads, mosaics with seeds, macaroni necklaces, clay and all manner of creative medium. Thankfully, even very little children do quickly master rules and guides for use of the same. Likewise, they do also learn to respect the common crayola, taking care to break it not. (Avoid ye the incompetent glue stick; for it doth not deliver, yea, it hath not any lasting stick. Revile also against the dollar store tray of cake watercolors - for they do mock the young artist, being made in China, and are utterly incapable of transmitting color).
Prepare ye a place of order wherein the children may have access to common drawing utensils and papers of every description. And it shall come to pass; thy reward will be great, yea, even nigh unto rejoicing with the Angels because thy children do entertain themselves with great industry, small-muscle coordination, originality and cognitive skill! Yea, they do blossom.

13. Think not that discipline stifles the child, nay, it frees the spirit to understand proper limits. Be bold and consistent, yet mild in voice. Bow not to demands, but teach ye respect for you and the sacred family rules. Consider ye this quest equal to thy desire to keep them physically safe; ye would not allow a ride without yon car seat! Neither shall ye allow undisciplined character development, yea, which thing is far more dangerous.

14. The Play Pen: Heed not modern mother-speak about the criminality of said device, they know not what they do. Be not adverse to the Holy Play Pen, for behold, in truth it is thy Salvation and thy Rock ~ wherein a child temporarily is safe and happy while with toxic chemicals thou scrubbest the bathroom, or while thou weed the garden or labour over hot stove. Behold, see also how thou mayest go potty without an audience! Sayeth I more ~ ?

15. Always assume the child is Capable. Trust ye that children are Smart. Verily, verily, I say unto you: exceedingly more damage is done when ability is decided for the child, rather than offering him the opportunity to let his Light So Shine. Coddle not, nor shall ye play the constant protector; lest unwisely ye stifle and kill the genius within.

16. Remember, O Remember, mother's role is to nurture the emergence of a functioning, creative adult. Wherefore, ye have no need for the perpetual child. Alas ~ of such we have enough, and Wo unto us! Wo unto society for the misguided mother who mistaketh childish dependence as proof of love for her; she doth cheat herself and her child of the productive future they deserve.
Serve the young child as ye ought, but piously refrain from creating the "velcro" child. For the same is not cute nor shy clutching behind thy skirts, avoiding normal social behaviors and demanding constant contact with thy person. Behold, the child is thwarted, and ought to be firmly encouraged to accept a calm separation from thee. Ye need not linger, for ye do not sooth the child by doing so, rather, ye do expertly confirm that separation from you is greatly lamentable. Ye do cultivate fear and insecurity by your much soothing. Neither shall ye sneak thyself away, lest ye teach the child betrayal. Rather, say ye lovingly, "I go now, but I will return." If the child cry - this is no calamity. No child ever died from crying. Go ye in peace.