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Archive for January, 2010

Talking so much it hurts

Frequently, I’ll have a sore throat by about two o’clock.  For awhile I thought that maybe I had some kind of chronic sore throat disease, like morning sickness but more like afternoon throat.  It turns out, I talk non-stop for most of the day.  I contribute most of the talking to reading aloud to the kids.  I read to my kids alot. I chose a heavily literature based curriculum, and I have five kids, which means that a majority of my day consists of reading and talking.

Today, I was reading to Mike from Understood Betsy.  It’s a little bit boring and a tad bit over his head.  We’re plugging along though.  Today as I read..

…full of excitement, looking over their shoulders at nothing and pressing their hands over their mouths to keep back the giggles.  There was, of course, no reason on earth why they should giggle, which is, of couse, the reason why they did.  If you’ve ever been a little girl you know about that.

Mike:  Well I’ve never been a girl, so I don’t know about that.  Why do girls giggle so much?

Me:      I’m not sure.  It’s just something girls do.

Mike:   Keep reading, maybe we’ll find out.

We never did find out.  And soon after he lost interest with the reasoning why girls giggle, but I was glad for his question.

I’m not always sure they are listening.  Despite my amazing read aloud skills (they are quite impressive),  I get sick of the sound of my voice, so I can only imagine how the kids feel.

I try to intrest them with different voices and dramatic flair.   I am rather sneaky at trying to catch them day dreaming.  I have been known to throw in some nonsense  “and Alexander the Great Conquered Egypt and was abducted by aliens.  It was the first confirmed alien abduction.  He was returned with an extra arm” and wait for someone to catch it.  Sometimes I’ll stop midsentence and ask for a recap.  Surprisingly, more often than not, they are listening.

Hopefully, the daily sore throat will pay off when they remember that Alexander the Great was abducted by aliens conquered Persia.

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I’ve spent the last month contemplating writing.  I’ve been trying to decide what I want this blog to be.  Is it purely the anecdotal blog, a random collection of all of the funny things my kids say.  Or maybe just a chronological collection of all the random events of our lives, something to prove that we didn’t waste our days.  Or is this the place that I come to be brutally honest.  It seems superficial to talk about all of the happy toddler moments without interspersing some of the terrible moments associated with being the parent of an almost teen daughter.  After a month of wrestling with this, I’m not quite sure.  I’m not quite sure where the line is drawn between private thought and public sharing.  How much am I willing to let you into my life?

Right now, I’m struggling.  I am confident in saying that I’m an completely adequate mother to an under five kid.  I’m fairly certain that I’m doing a good job with the under ten crowd.  I am fairly certain that I am unprepared for teenagedom.  I’m not sure if we’ll both survive.

We live in a world that it’s hard to parent.  The line between right and wrong, moral and immoral, keep getting pushed and blurred.  I look around and it’s hard to find the line.  Things that weren’t morally acceptable a generation ago, are completely the norm.  47% of high schoolers have been sexually active*.  I just saw an article that teen pregnancy is on the upswing again.  Our divorce rate hovers around 50%.  People live together, babies are born out of wedlock, it just goes on and on.  It’s hard to draw the line.  We are continually shoved to put ourselves, our wants, our needs, before anything else.  We live in a compulsive nation that just wants everything our way, all the time, right now.  It’s a scary world to navigate as an adult, let alone an impressionable kid.

More often than not, I feel like a lone ship navigating treacherous waters. I really wonder what the heck is wrong with some people.

Why does every one seem to think it’s okay to let young adolescents date?  Why do we let them play with some very adult emotions, activities, and complications?  All the while they are hindered by raging hormones and emotional immaturity.  Thanks for taking that line and blurring it so much that it practically erases all the other lines.

Call me prude, but I’m not going to give my 12-year-old permission to kiss a boy because I want to “keep open the line of communication”.  I actually had this conversation with a mom.  I’d like to thank her for blurring the line.

I hate having to censor reading material.  But when did everyone seem to think it’s okay to write about teen sex and call it teen fiction.  I’m not talking crushes and innocent feelings interspersed with morality.  I’m talking lust and explicit material all with little to no repercussions, and a happy ending to boot.  When did that become okay?  How the heck does my kid keeping finding this crap?  Thank you for blurring the line.

For now, I’m drawing my own lines.  Of course, my kid thinks that my line is so far away from the real line, she may actually die because of my irrational over-protectiveness.  It’s a good thing I’m the parent and get to draw the line wherever I want to draw it.

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