Friday, May 8, 2009

Crazy Ideas in Honor of Mothers Day

A hundred years ago and back when I was child-free (not child-less, big distinction) and when I cared about my appearance, I held more than a few opinions on parenting. Idea's about how I would raise kids if I ever had any, which I wasn't going to, so that made it way easier to have the opinions. Judgements about the behavior of children and how it reflected on that child's parents. Theories about discipline. Certain of what to do, indeed what I would do, were my child to refuse to eat foods in any color other than beige. Just as a random example.

So here, in honor of Mothers Day, I thought I would share one of my better great ideas. From my child- free days.

When I was in grade school, well, let's just say, things did not go well. I had raging, I mean crazy extreme ADD (not a stitch of an H in me anywhere). Remember that over 100 years ago, there was only a hyperactive attention deficit and it was only in boys. So there was no chance of being diagnosed but I can clearly look back and see the signs, grenades blowing up, whatever.

The other clear thing I remember about school is the insane lack of school that occurs on any day. You have your lunch and recess and PE and music and art and those are all great things but they are not academic. Academic teaching and academic learning took up about 3 to 4 hours of an 8 hour day. And of the 3-4 hours, well, about half of that was repetition and practice. So I hated all that. I could learn stuff quick and have the assignment figured out before the teacher had finished giving the directions. But I gave up even trying to get good grades in high school, and barely squeaked out to college.

So that's a little background. Now, if I were to be a nice person I might warn you to set down your coffee. Unless your computer is brown (and, ew, if it is!).

I totally was going to homeschool my kids. (Remember, I was not having any.) My plan was to let them take in a year or two of elementary school for the socialization and homeschool the rest of the time. I could knock back a few hours of academics and then spend days at the museums with the art, instead of staring at a book of art. (I apparently was not going to be living here in the north woods with nary a museum or an 'art' for hundreds of miles). (Life size cutouts of Brett Farve are not art). Far more educating will happen by experiencing! That was my bright idea!

I believe the predominant error in my thinking process was failing to consider what the children in my home school might be doing. Since I was not going to be dragging them around in stupid car seats all day whining and annoying me all day with their needs. And they would be such an enormous pain in my ass at the museum! I sort of pictured myself as the home school teacher, a clean organized environment (obviously home school would not be taking place in my house) and some chairs by a table. Lots of clean stuff. I vaguely pictured myself as a child sitting cooperatively. Learning or drawing or something. Quietly. Not bothering anyone with stupid questions or an attempt to explore a concept, that's for sure.

Well, let me tell you folks. Genea was here for just over a month before I started hunting down 4 year old kindergartens. ACK! I shit you not. At the time it was voluntary in the state of Wisconsin. A school district could choose to offer it or not. Believe me when I tell you that I seriously considered both moving, and lying about our location after I discovered we did not have it in our county. But it would be up and running the very next year. Jackasses! Could they have done that on purpose?

So now Genea goes to kindergarten. Last summer she went to the pre-k summer school. Both girls will be attending the $10.00 7 week summer school sessions this year. Teena will be on her way to 4 year old kindergarten in the fall and Genea to first grade. Did you know they feed them at school these days? So I don't have to make lunch either!

So here is the challenge. Post your own best parenting idea from before any of the little buggers followed you home or moved out of your body. You can link back to me if you want ( I am not going to shamelessly dig for visitors! Even though I want too lol!) or in some way let me know about your story. You can tell your story in comments if you want. C'mon! I went first!


  1. I had so many ideals that I could never post them all but the most stellar one was:

    My kid was never going to throw a tantrum in public. AAA Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mine involved homeschooling too, I think. I just remember have many visions of my children and I laying in the fields, picking animals out of clouds, blowing dandelions and making wishes, learning etiquette in nice restaurants, having intellectual discussions about art in museums, and taking all forms of public transportation just for the experience. For some reason, these visions all had tunes from The Sound of Music in the background...mostly my children would NEVER embarrass or disrespect me. Damn, seems marriage wasn't the only thing I thought would be like the fairytales. ;)

  3. I did a post . . .

  4. As a single woman, I told some friends "The reason he is whining is because you give in. If you'd just stand your ground he'll stop whining."

    We have a son who we adopted at 19 months. He was a whiner. I never give in.

    He's 14.

    He's still whining.

  5. I always judged those moms in the restaurants and stores who couldnt "tame" their kids...I always said to those I was with....I will NEVER let my child get away with that.....with Jason, we had tantrums in the middle of Times Square when we lived there, on the subways, in the restaurants, etc... I dont judge moms anymore!!

  6. Girl, you just crack me up. i just summed up a much needed belly laugh. and it may seem silly to you, but i thought the funniest line just might have been, "Lots of clean stuff". Cause there for sure was going to be lots of clean stuff for me and my kids. and fun stuff, too. and no yelling. and complete understanding. and nothing but peace, joy and love. i was an idiot.

    I'm ashamed to say, when my first adoption blessing came to me, I sort of felt the need to explain to everyone that I had not raised this spitting, biting, screaming child. I could very easily feel the scrutinizing eyes. Cause everyone else obviously never had any trouble controlling THEIR kids. eye-yi-yi. I wanted to scream at everyone, "Have mercy! She's been abused! ...... and now I'm being abused!" humph.

  7. I love you, Essie because you're so honest. I will have to come up with a post because I full intended to have 10 KIDS, and when I was a preschool teacher, I took notes on what kinds of kids NOT to have. Ugggh. Pride goes before the fall. :)

    BTW, so you really don't consider the Packer Hall of Fame a worthy institution of fine art? Huh.

  8. OK, so I just wrote a post and put a link in it to your post. So, being the tech-savvy (NOT) person I am, is there anything else I should do? Should there be a link under your post saying "links to this post?" Or do I have to do that myself?

    Any help?

  9. HAAAAA HA ha ha, I love these stories!
    I would absolutely take any tantrumming child OUT of the store immediately and take said child HOME. Never would I put some horrid Barbie lip gloss in the cart just to keep a kid quiet and sneak it out later in the shoe aisle.
    I have to say though, 12 years of whining, that scares me.
    (and I am not currently threatening my child with big trouble if she pees in her undies while watching tv because we do not use meaningless empty threats with children and certainly not in regards to peeing we should be encouraging about the potty) (sigh).

  10. Jen I had not thought about linking, er, not sure I know how, I am going to try though.
    The Packer Museum is indeed a fine institution of gloriousity in sculpture and.... oh hell, no, not art.

  11. Oh man I have just spent the past hour and a half staring at incomprehensible code and "help" topics and instructions that are USELESS
    If anyone knows how to back link please tell me!!!!!!!

  12. ok so i am late to the party but i still want to share ..i may blog it too just as i don't think anyone will go back here and look!
    So when i would see kids with messy hair, food on their little faces, or worst of all evils a bit of SNOT running down their face (or the remince of it wiped across it) i would be horrifide and think that the mother is so lazy. How can you let your kid walk around like that....
    I am here today to tell you that, i do let my kid walk around like that...i think partly due to the fact that when you've washed their face for the 10th time that morning you give up, but also i can't always be arsed...yes i am a lazy mum. Kids are messy even my non-messy kid (she's a neat freak) gets food and stuff over her face, and in her hair. I am also a mother that now says What is that in you hair...which were always my mothers words to me.

  13. Hi Essie, I have been looking for your blog...when you have commented on mine it didn't link back here, but anyway I am glad I found you.
    I wasn't planning on having any kids. I was planning on having a career. I have entertained various fantasies revolving around child rearing over the years since I realized that ummm, no career, lots of kids. Basically all of my kids are crazy though, so my plans have never worked out. I do spend too much money on pretty, all- natural, artsy kid stuff, but my ADD prevents me from ever using much of it. Every now and then we do have a sort of picture perfect moment and I try to get a photograph and then erase the rest of the day from my mind.

  14. Paula, I despise snot. I can handle just about any other disgusting bodily goober. UGH I am going to hurl just thinking about it.

  15. Hi Ginney- I am happy you kept looking, I checked and I had my profile turned off. Duh! Switched it back now.
    I buy lots of cutesy art projects that sit in a corner because my kids are too bratty to share, or work together, or knock over the paint or whatever. I've been sending them outside a LOT lately!


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