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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kindergarten or College?

Is it really that hard to decide where to put your child for kindergarten? I will answer that for you, YES! The competition is unbelievable, the pressure is unbareable, the parents are relentless, the schools are full, the kids are competitive. What is it that is driving this force? Americans wanting their kids to be the smartest with the best jobs and support them at a ripe old age of 40. My son already has more money for college then I had saved my entire life. I didn't put it there for him, it's his grandparents that did it. My grandma opened a fund for me but we never received it because we only got the money if we died. I thought it was a college fund but it turned out later that she was putting money towards life insurance in case we died. What would we need money for after we were dead? I don't get it!

Okay back to the kindergarten stuff. We have talked to parents that are holding their children back a year from kindergarten hoping that socially they will be ready and smarter because they will be older. We have others like us who feel that its better to put them in a little early in case anything happens and they have to miss some school or stay back a year for whatever reason. We don't want our son to be 20 and graduating high school. These conversations go on daily around the neighborhood, "Should we put them in school, Should we hold them back?"

I for one am tired of the entire thing. The home schooling is sounding better everyday. If I was a little smarter and could find my way around town then I might actually decide to teach him myself. I don't think at this point that I even trust my education growing up. I wish my grandma would have turned in that life insurance policy for some college funds and I might have been able attend a college other than Chico State.

Who peed in the trash?

I woke up to the site of pee in the upstairs garbage can in my bathroom this morning. I wondered if it possibly could be something else but sitting on the toilet myself and staring at the floor there was no question in my mind that it for sure was urine. I quickly started to think about why someone would decide to pee in the trash and especially since the trash can was a wicker basket that would just drip on to the floor. I would hope that my husband had better judgement then that and then my four year old walked in and spilled the beans. He said something to this affect, "Mama, I peed in your garbage can this morning." He said it with great pride as though he had done something that I would be really proud of. I was so furious and wondered what could have possibly went through his little mind to make him do such a thing so I asked him. "Why would you pee in the garbage can". He laughed and said that he really didn't know but he just did it. I calmly yelled, "YOU NEVER PEE IN THE GARBAGE. WE ONLY PEE IN THE TOILET". I think he understood as I went to get a towel to clean up the mess on the floor. The garbage can is now sitting in the backyard waiting to be washed out. I hope my next one is a girl because for the life of me, I never remember having the ability to squat over a garbage can and pee. I can't take much more of this "boy fun".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Big Mouth

It really gets hard to control things once your child is old enough to make comments on their own. I find that my son is very verbal and likes to let me know "out loud" when he notices something about someone else. It's usually an uncomfortable situation for my husband and I because kids can be brutally honest and don't really get the concept at this age of "what is socially appropriate and what isn't".

So here are the things that I find really hard to ignore with a four year old:

1. I was dropping off my son at daycare and he told the nice little girl who said Hi to him that morning that he hated her. It wouldn't have been so bad but the dad asked me what he said. I told him that he's going through a stage where he really doesn't like girls. My son then tells him that he isn't and that he just hates her!

2. When I take my son to the bathroom now he gives me a blow by blow of what is happening in the restroom as though it's a sporting event. "Mom, my pee pee is not going down and the pee isn't coming. Oh, here is comes and did you hear that fart." "Mom, do you fart like that." Oh man look in the potty at my poop. It's HUGE and stinky, do you like it stinky mama." That was the biggest poop ever. Just like you and Papa, huh mama? You have big poop, right? Mama, can you wipe my butt? No not like that, it's too hard. My butt is hurting now, can you get some water and put it on my butt? MAMA, you go pee now...do you have to poop?" Don't use this bathroom, go into the other bathroom".

3. My son is now taking notice to the differences in other people. "Mama, why is that man so little?" "Lets go talk to that little man, he looks like the little people on TV" or when he eats something that makes him full, "Mama, look at my belly, it's as big as grandpa's belly". This is usually right in front of the person. Like when he told his other grandpa, "Poppy, your belly is as big as my other grandpa's" or when he told my mom, "I don't love you as much as I love grandpa".

4. He also LOVES to talk to strangers. We had the discussion about what a stranger is but my son believes that once you talk to someone they aren't really a stranger anymore. He has a point but not exactly what I want him to argue about. Like when a man in the grocery store said hi to him and he said back to the man, "Mama and I are going home because my papa is out flying and we are going to make dinner and do you want to come over for dinner". OMG! Then there was the time that he told some random elderly person that he was really old. He even blurts out things like, "Mama, I just farted and I might have pooped a little too."

5. At birthday parties he likes to be really honest and yell out things like, "Mama, does this birthday party have any cake?" or things like, "When is the party going to start" and then I have to inform him that it already did. He also tells people if he's not having fun or that the party isn't quite up to what he was expecting. He also rates the presents and tells the kids if he thinks something that they received wasn't very cool.

6. My son just recently started answering the phone for us which you would think would be great. It's not because no matter what you're doing or who you don't want to talk to...your kids will tell them the truth. "Oh my mama, is right here but she says she doesn't want to talk to you right now." Oh the last time that he answered the phone I told him that I was going to the bathroom and that I couldn't come to the phone when it rang. He proceeded to answer the phone anway and I could hear him telling the person on the other end of the phone this, "My mama is pooping right now so she can't come to the phone. Do you want to wait for her to stop pooping." I thought that I was going to die and prayed that the person on the other end of the phone was either my parents or my husbands. He came into the bathroom and handed me the phone and I did what anyone who was using the restroom at the time would do, I hung up! I later found out it was a headhunter...needless to say that I didn't get that job either. I'm destined to be a stay at home mom forever!

Play Dates

I have to say as a thirty something mom...I don't really get the play date thing. When I was a kid and you wanted to play with someone you just went to the house, rang the door bell and asked the kid if they wanted to play. They would make a decision and then you went outside in the front yard and played chase or ball or something that kept the two of you entertained long enough before your parents called your name and you had to come inside. Now I get that at four it's young to have a child outside these days without supervision BUT I still don't get the scheduling of the play dates. It's a big thing around here. You have to be penciled in and the parent checks to be sure that its an okay time for them and then work around nap time and daycare and snack time and quiet time and I don't know what else people can possibly come up with. Oh yeah, there is also family time where the kid has to spend the entire day with just his brothers and sisters ...I bet they think that is fun since they do that every day of the week. Parents should re-evaluate these times, well that is my opinion. The only other "time" that my son gets besides his scheduled daycare, bedtime and 3 meals of the day is - time out time when he can't seem to get his act together.

I once had a play date for my son and his little girlfriend that he likes to play with came over to play some games. We scheduled it because my son was in a full body cast from falling and breaking his femur bone and since he couldn't go to the park to play, we did the usual schedule a play date thing. The little girl came to our house and she brought a game to play. They were both three at the time and just weeks apart. Everything seemed to be going fine until they got into an argument when the game broke and the elephants head wouldn't push down anymore. They both tried to push the head and started to grab at the toy. The mom frantically started to push down the head as well and discovered it was broken. She could sense the kids frustration and paniced as she started to once again get the head down and ease the tension of the play date. This didn't happen and the little girl grabbed the elephant from my son. He couldn't move being in a body cast and laying on the couch so he did the next thing he could to get everyones attention and he clocked her right in the mouth. I of course couldn't believe it and react poorly to uncomfortable situations so I laughed. The other mom didn't and was really upset by it all and the play date ended ubruptly with the mom calling out as she left, "this had to be the worst play date in history". I did however, scold my son for hitting his friend and we called her house before once she left to leave an appology on the answering machine. We have scheduled play dates since but we usually go out to the park.

I think that I have the play date thing worked out now that my son is four. I take him to the park and wait for kids to show up and then they play. It's easy enough for me and we don't have to schedule anything in a calendar and we don't have to listen to another mom tell us how we interupted the much needed family time. It's just about going to the park for a quick game of chase and some bike rides around the circle. When I hear the other children start to whine about snack time then we pack up our stuff head back to our house for some TV time for my son and quiet time for mom. It's great to know that in the end, the parents control what time it is. I know that the day will soon come that all of this ends but for now, I'm enjoying my time!

Do they ever really get potty trained?

Okay so I have to say that the potty training really never stops OR should I say the accidents never really stop. My son tells me almost weekly that he thinks he had a little accident in his pants. I'm always thinking that he's four and these things happen but then he tells me that he needs to "haul butt" to the bathroom and before he gets his pants down he blows out all over the floor and on my nice white toilet seat. Why does this happen? Well, I have come to the conclusion after hanging out with many of my mom friends that boys like to hold things until its too late. They prefer playing over taking care of business and I have to say that my husband still likes to wait up until we are going to leave to go somewhere before he announces that he has to sit on the throne. It wouldn't be so bad if he was as quick as me and just got in and got out BUT noooooo, he has to stay on that throne for at least 20 minutes to 1/2 hour before he feels complete. Why is that I wonder? Hmmmm, maybe it's his alone time but regardless I have to say that it sure irritates me when I'm the one waiting by the door with my purse in hand. This is why I feel my son never really grasped the concept of proper potty etiquette. You can't wait until the last minute to go because accidents will happen.

So this brings me to our recent bike ride where he wanted to take his bike up to town for a hot chocolate and whatever else he could beg me to buy in the sugar department. We went to the local bakery and I let him pick out his goods and of course he didn't eat any of them. I ended up eating all of it as usual and the reason why having kids puts weight on you and not off you...don't listen to the mom's who tell you chasing kids will get the weight off- LIES!

On our way home from our bike ride I always remember to tell my son to stop at all the street corners and not to venture out in the street on his own. This time was different, he turned to me and said, "Mom, we need to haul butt home and no stopping along the way for streets. I have to poop and it's coming NOW". I didn't argue with my 4 year old and we quickly jumped on our bikes and started to ride. Every corner my son yelled, "Can I go into the street?" I would check and let him ride across because I was probably more scared of the accident about to happen then he was. I would be the one of course to clean everything up.

We finally made it home and just as I expected...he pulled down his pants and right before he hit the toilet the explosion happened all over the floor and all over the bathroom seat. It was off to the bath for another clean up and quick refresher on not waiting too long to go.

I have a feeling that I will be cleaning up poop for a long time! Ahhhh, pooping and parenting go together like a hand in a glove!