Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Clark Kent?

Now all she needs is a telephone booth, leotard, tights, and a cape.

My sister took the girls to see Monsters vs. Aliens, the latest computer animated movie from Dreamworks, on Saturday. Since then, Simone walks around the house wearing her fenced 3-D glasses like she's waiting for the moment when objects will begin to lung into her lap with startling effect. Now, if I can just get her to stop talking to the Jell-O mold!

General Observation....

Common sense is a lot like jelly. When you don't have much of it, make it spread.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Robert's 5th Birthday Party

Sadia and Simone attended Robert's 5th birthday party today. It was a themed party, and I must say that my friends' creativity with birthday party planning never disappoints. For instance, I would have never in a million light years thought to put electrical tape and water logs together to create "lightsabers".

My thoughts after today's droid attack is a mixed bag. On the one hand it's fun to watch our kids growing up together, but on the other hand I am regretting my diligence at pushing my children to crawl, walk, and talk. They really are growing up so quickly, and it seems like the days when Cheerios and velcroed pink bows have faded into a galaxy far, far, away...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Darn You, Burger King Drive Thru!!!

Few things are more disappointing than making a pit stop at a local drive thru in anticipation of an ice cold carbonated beverage, only to take that first swig of coke while driving off, and discover that your drink is flat!!!! It plum knocks the fizz right out o' ya!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I teach 6th grade. I think that it's safe to say that I've seen my fair share of disagreements. In the good, the bad, and the ugly, ranging from who gets to use the scissors first, to who's idea to use for a group project, to who knocked the basketball out of bounds, there is one conflict resolution strategy that has stood the test of time: Rock-Paper-Scissors.

Despite the circumstance, and no matter how married students are to their positions, ultimately there is no disputing a best of 3 R-P-S tournament. It's like the game wields some magical influence over the irrational thinking that fuels playground conflicts. So, where once deep rifts in childhood friendships teemed, now harmony abounds. It's quick. It's simple. It's random. It's fair.

Why can't more adults be as practical about problem solving. While I wouldn't base the fate of a country on the outcome of a Roshambo game, imagine what would happen if March Madness Bracketologists sat down for a little tournament play before the one-and-done frenzy that determines the best college basketball team in the nation? Just think about the untapped potential we could harness and time we'd save if we could be more elementary in our decision making!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Give Politicians Pink Slips, Not Teachers!

Teachers rallied at the corner of Harbor and Chapman of Fullerton this afternoon for solidarity. With the adopted State budget cuts, termination notices will be sent to teachers on Friday, March 13th. Teachers, administrators, parents, and students showed up in support donning our pink and black. Our presence was felt, and our voices were heard. I was encouraged by all of the support, and especially touched by the rally poster that read: TERMINATED with images of the eight permanent teachers (fellow co-workers) who were pink-slipped on Wednesday. These are the faces of education. These are faces of State budget cuts. Here's what you can do to help. Stand up for our schools and Pink Friday, March 13th.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Stay-at-Home Mom Just a Butt on a Log

When I came across this newspaper clipping from the Washington Post's "Tell Me About It" column..., well what can I say... I wanted to both roll my eyes in perturbation, and thrust my fist clinched arm in a downward "YES!" gesture signaling a victory for all moms everywhere. I'll refrain from commenting, and leave that up to all of the quick witted mommys in the blogosphere.

****** Begin Copied and Pasted Dear Carolyn Question******
Dear Carolyn: [My] Best friend has [a] child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.
***** End Copied and Pasted Dear Carolyn Question*****

Hang on a sec. Cool your jets, and read on for Carolyn's response to Little Ms. Child-free Tacoma Washington.

*****Begin Carolyn's Reponse to Tacoma Washington *****

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

********** End Carolyn's Response to Tacoma Washington*********

I don't know about you, but I have lots of child-free friends that get it. So, either she is actually a husband trying to figure out what his wife does all day, or the letter writer is not on the level.


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