Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Entries from May 1, 2010 - June 1, 2010

Entries from May 1, 2010 - June 1, 2010


What Was Your Favorite Happy Meal Toy?

Strollerderby reported recently that "The five-member board of Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in Silicon Valley voted 3 to 2 in favor of prohibiting fast food restaurants from offering prizes and toys that lure children into ordering high-calorie, high-sodium, high-fat meals."

It would seem that Happy Meals have the power to override parental authority, causing children to slip away from all adult supervision and place themselves in a dangerous situation involving tasty fats and carbs. You can almost picture the Hamburglar stalking unsuspecting children in a park while their disengaged parents carelessly chat amongst themselves, asking the children to help him look for his lost puppy, when all the while planning to slip them some salted French fries.

I loved taking my kids from time to time to get Happy Meals, or the other equivalent fast food. If the toy series was really good, we might go once a week. When my kids were of Happy Meal age, the meals were a buck or so apiece. A meal they would eat, time on the playground, and then home for an hour or so to play with the toy - at the time this seemed like a peace and quiet bargain. Our very favorite toys were the ones from the Sky Kids movies. The Beanie baby's were also a big hit, as were the Hot Wheels and mini Barbies.

Did we eat fast food a lot? When they were little, probably for lunch weekly. I will leave the reader to decide if that was a lot or not. Was a free toy part of what lured me to that weekly purchase. Yes, provided the toy had play value and wasn't tied to a movie the kids were not allowed to see.

What was your favorite Happy Meal or the equalivent toy?

Do you think your local goverment should be supervising how resturants market their products?


Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Lawn Chair Drill Teams

I read Monica Ferris' book Blackwork (which is a needlecraft mystery, not a spy novel as I thought when I plucked it off the new book shelf at the library. Very good mystery by the way). There is a character in the book who is organizing the town's Halloween parade. One of the groups in the parade is a lawn chair marching drill team.

I thought a lawn chair matching drill team was just an amazing piece of creative writing. Up there with all flavored jelly beans from the Harry Potter books. I mean who would think of people using lawn chairs instead of fake guns while marching in formation.

Than I thought: what if this is real? I turned to that fount of truth for the modern woman - YouTube . Sure enough, there are lawn chair drill teams!! The couple of videos that I watched had teams that were pretty good!

Come across any truth that was stranger than fiction recently?


Parenting Teens: Mom My Computer Died

Let's see, Skyler's computer died (probably from overuse). She had a Latin exam, a history final and a 5 page research paper due last week. Did I mention her computer died. The computer that her research and a draft of her paper were on.

Skyler had 3 big assigments due by email, all within a 48 hour period. We have a desk top computer that is a good 12 years old and will chug away slooooowwwwly at any task, and if she had any one assignment due, chug away she would. Guess who lost access to her laptop for the week? One hint (or two): it wasn't the college student home for the summer, nor the main bread winner in the family.

It was a weird week. I posted retrospectives of older posts (which actually I enjoyed doing). I enjoy what I write in the same manner that I enjoy what I cook. I did the e-drops early in the morning so that my laptop was available for Skyler's use the rest of the day and night. I do have an ITouch, so keeping up with Facebook and e-mail wasn't a problem.

I just missed my laptop. It is a tool like some of my expensive pots (which I keep under my bed). They are mine, I am fussy about taking care of them. They have to be hand washed and dried right away and nary a metal utensil is to come near them. "Don't use them without my expressed permission." I take good care of my tools so they last.

I let Skyler use my laptop Friday after her assignments were e-mailed, because she was helping a friend raise money for City Up Rising, which is a cool story, one I hope she will write a post about.

Saturday I reclaimed my laptop. The child was gracious, but unhappy. My husband mentioned buying a new desktop. I think he best hop to it or he will have to listen to the college kid complain about her sister sneaking her laptop. Me, I am planning to carry mine around in one of those baby slings to protect it from unpermitted usage.

Do you share your laptop?


Parenting Semi-Adults: The Talk: A Second Cup Retrospective

First published 7/28/10 (female verison). Adapted for the next semi-adult (male verison) living in our home. The more things change the more they stay the same.......

If you think The Talk is going to be about sex, remember that by definition a semi-adult is at least 18 years of age. If by age18 you are not having an ongoing rapport with your child about all aspects of sexuality, either you are raising your family in one of the subcultures of American society in which sex and sexuality belong in marriage and you don’t need that rapport yet, or you are a fool.

The topic for The Talk we are having with our semi-adult child who resides in our home is: How do adults live together under one roof. To be accurate it is Talks, not Talk. His father and I have been living together under one roof for 25 years. It took a while for us to figure how to live happily together. Occasionally we still hit a bump (when he removed the 13 year olds Friday night bedtime, without a word to me, was a recent minor bump). It is to be expected that it will take a while for him also. The trouble is while he is learning how to live like an adult with other adults, we have to endure the process.

Take money. This is a very hard concept for out semi-adult to grasp; the Bank of MOM is closed. We expect that if we loan you money, you will pay us back…first. Before you buy chicken, protein powder or shaving cream (please buy deodorant before you pay us back), and before you go to the movies. We are very glad you tithe, but you still need to pay us back. It should be noted that when I borrow money from you, I always pay you back - usually before you have to come hunting for your money.

Take caring for shared spaces: The counter fairy (a relative of the tooth fairy, takes dishes off counters instead of teeth from under pillows) has retired. You use the kitchen to make a second dinner at 3 am, you clean it up. I do not complain about having no milk, cereal or patience, because I know how to live with other adults and you will have triplets someday.

Take respecting the schedule of others: I do the family’s wash on Monday and Tuesdays. My house, my schedule - on this one, my way. We have four people getting out of the house in the morning and one shower: you cannot decide to change your shower time without consulting anyone else, and you don’t get to wake me up if dad has cut into your shower time by less than 7 minutes. Living with other adults is not always fair.

Take “borrowing” others possessions: Adults do not take items from other people’s bedrooms without permission. You don’t borrow your father's socks without asking. Neither your father nor I ”borrow” from you or your siblings, without asking first. The exception: Flip-flops left next to the shoebox, instead of in it, can be borrowed at will.

The Talks generally go well. Occasionally we get rolled eyes, (you can’t tell another adult not to roll his eyes at you) huffy behavior or childish tantrums. The message usually doesn’t sink in the first time. There is still a bit of teen selfishness and listening for loopholes in our semi-adult. There is still a bit of 'I’m the parent, do it my way' in how we communicate with our resident semi-adult.

We are all still learning.

How do you enjoy living with your semi-adults?


Parenting Teens: Senioritis: A Second Cup Retrospective

First posted May 23, 2008

The AMA doesn’t recognize Senioritis as a legitimate seasonal affliction. This esteemed body doesn’t recognize the effect of sugar ingestion on children’s behavior either. As any preschool parent can testify, too much sugar leads to a hyper kid. As any parent with a teenager can testify, second semester senior year leads to Senioritis.

The symptoms of Senioritis are many and varied. Among the most reported symptoms are the desire to sleep through first period, either in school or at home. The delusional belief that upon acceptance to a college for the fall semester, grades are no longer of any importance. That $682.00 is a reasonable price to pay for a gold plated ring with an ersatz gemlike stone.

An interesting variation of Senioritis is Prom Complex. The prom becomes fixated in the minds of those with this affliction as the most significant event in the whole of human existence. The symptoms present themselves differently in males and females. In females there develops an obsession with finding the perfect prom dress. This relentless inner drive may lead to marathon shopping sprees. Malnutrition, fatigue and poor taste are dangers to be watched for. In males, the obsession is finding the hottest date. Treating others unkindly and a lack of good judgment are common for those males experiencing Prom Complex.

There is an oft-reported complication in sufferers of Senioritis over the age of 18. Adultition: the erroneous belief that because the afflicted ones are 18, their parents no longer have any say over how the afflicted conducts their life.

The treatment of Senioritis, while onerous, is of short duration. There is not much that can be done to treat the afflicted seniors. They know it all already. Caretakers, usually parents, are advised to pick their battles, hold on to their tempers, their credit cards, and their sense of the absurd. If morally acceptable, a glass of wine now and then for the caretaker is advisable.

The affliction usually runs it course by graduation.

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