Sunday, November 29, 2009

Potayto, Potahto

Backstory:  As we are unpacking from our trip to Best Namma Ever!'s house in St. Louis for the Thanksgiving holiday, Urban Dad is holding a pair of socks in his hand that he has just removed from his luggage.  I am gathering things up to start a load of laundry.

Me:  Dirty socks?

Him:  What? (distracted, looking through his bag)

Me:  Dirty socks?

Him:  (looking at me and brightening)  Uh.... Yeah!  Sure!!  Okay!!

I look puzzled at his enthusiasm and hold out my hand to gesture for the socks.

Him:  Oh.... Dirty SOCKS(looks disappointed and hands them over)  I thought you said "dirty..." well, nevermind.....

We all hear what we want to hear, don't we? 

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Lazy Excuse for a Post

Yeah, it's not really a post today, but I love the new show Community. And at the end each week, Abed & Troy do some goofy antic in the library as the credits go by. I'm fond of this one because it's the kind of dumb-sh*t thing that I would get caught doing.....
(except to you, of course!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

THE Pink Power Ranger

As you all may know, I refer to my police-officer little sister as Pink Power Ranger here on this blog.

Meet one of her sisters.

Kimberly Munley, the civilian police officer who shot the Fort Hood gunman, sustaining wounds of her own during the confrontation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

For June Cleaver A6P & Smook

June Cleaver After A Six-Pack and Smook, the two people most responsible for corrupting my otherwise intelligent, mature, dismissive adult self....

Nature Calling

The picture over there is the view from my bed.  Ok, Urban Dad's side of the bed.  Y'see, our Urban Apartment two-flat was built in the 1920's, so you can forget an ensuite bathroom.  This is what serves the top floor. (we expanded a few years ago into the basement, but that's another post)

Now my point... because I usually get around to one...

Urban Kid 1 is now 6yo.  Therefore, she is old enough now that we don't have to be concerned about her trips to the bathroom at night.  She used to come to our doorway and whisper as loudly as one can while still whispering, "I have to go to the bathroom!"  Since Urban Dad's side is closer, he would gallantly leap out of bed and escort her to her task.

Now that she no longer needs even an escort, she just goes in on her own.  Somewhere in my sub-conscious, I hear the clunk of the lid flipping up, then check back out until the ker-flush at the end, followed by a loud plunk of the lid flipping back down and the squirt of hand sanitizer.

So I gently suggested to Urban Kid 1 that just in the middle of the night, she could skip the ker-flush and head quietly back to bed like a big girl does.  She adamently nodded her head in all of her First Born eagerness to please and all excited to do just as a big girl does.

Fast forward to the next time she has a nocturnal call of nature:

I hear the clunk of the lid flipping up and fade back to sleep.  Next is the clunk of the lid flipping down and squirt of the hand sanitizer. I'm fading from semi-conscious back into dead asleep during the moments of silence after this.  Little did I know that Urban Kid 1 did not go straight back to her bedroom.  She was hovering in our doorway, taking a deep breath before announcing in her loudest possible whisper that isn't really that much of a whisper:

"I didn't flush the toilet because I didn't want to wake anyone up!!!" 

This has gone on for months now.

I want to point out the lack of logic of the announcement, but Urban Dad keeps holding me back. 

"She's trying to be nice.  It's sweet!"
"But she's waking us up!"
"So what? It's cute."
"Not as cute as me sleeping."

And so we go on. 

I'm often warned about wishing these years away.  I certainly see the charm in them, don't  get me wrong.  Lord knows that I'm aware that in about ten years both of the Urban Kids could very well hate me. 

But I'm also kind of looking forward to a time when I am only concerned with my own trips to the bathroom!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Because It's Sunday Night...

and so I have school tomorrow on my mind...

I recently was on the receiving end of two comments about homeschooling:

Scenario #1:

"You're not like a typical homeschool mom."

This was meant as a compliment by a very nice young woman.  But I was left wondering...


What exactly are her expectations of a homeschool mom?  Was her intent to say that I exceed them somehow?
How many homeschool moms has she encountered? 
Were they enough for her to make an assumption about an entire group? 
Would she say something like this about any other group?  For example, "you're not like a typical gay man?" or "you're not like a typical white woman?"
Just about everyone to whom I mention our educational decision for our kids responds that they know someone who has done or is doing this, so are we all that "fringe" anymore?   (more on that topic here)

Scenario #2:

There's a public school at the end of our block.  On the weekends, the neighborhood kids often play there, whether they attend the school or not.  One particular mom asked the inevitable question that follows, "How old is Urban Kid 1?" after learning that she is six:  "Where does she go to school?  Here at the Neighborhood School?"  Upon my truthful and cheerful reply, she emphatically shared that some people who homeschool "really offend" her.  She expanded on it having to do with the teaching of creation theories.  And then repeated how "really and truly offended" she was on the topic.

She then turned her back on me, not really interested in hearing my response.

Ok, seriously lady?  That offends you?  Frankly, my own plan for that particular topic is to teach Darwin's thoughts on it for Science and the other schools of thought on the topic under the umbrella of Philosophy.  I do not plan to teach the Urban Kids that either school of thought is offensive. 

Frankly, since becoming a parent, and especially since exploring educational options, I have come to the heartfelt conclusion that your children are yours to raise.  Outside of doing the obvious abuses of them (because that is actually offensive), parents should be allowed to raise their kids any way they want.  You want to go up to the top of a mountain, pour purple ink all over yourselves and chant at the moon?  Knock yourself out.  Don't get me wrong -- it's highly unlikely that your kids will be having too many playdates with the Urban Kids -- but as a parent, if you're otherwise stable and that's your idea of recreation, then it's your right to go right ahead.  I'll be left scratching my head, but I won't work myself up to being "offended" about it.

This decision is proving to be the best option for our family at this stage of life.  It matches with our educational goals and our values.  (while religion was not an overwhelming factor in the decision, values definitely were; you could say they're related, but let's actually meet in person for coffee for that chat, shall we? i promise to not get offended.)

Ok, back on track --

I would not expect that this decision would be the best option for your family.  I would enthusiastically share what I've learned and send you in various directions for your own research, but never in a million years would I be offended at whatever decision you might make for your kids.

Urban Kid 1 socializes -- yes, folks, she spends time with other children, is invited to birthday parties and play dates, etc -- with kids from all over the spectrum of life.  She lives in a neighborhood known for its gay population.  She is buddies with a neighborhood kid who goes to a $21,000 a year private school instead of the one at the end of our block.  She is buddies with a kid who goes to a tiny Catholic school instead of the one at the end of our block.  She is buddies with a couple of kids who go to the public school in the next neighborhood.  Another buddy attends a Montessori school all the way in Evanston instead of the neighborhood school!  She is buddies with kids of various religions, ethnicities and incomes.  Most of the parents of Urban Kid's buddies have diametrically opposing political views as our own (some assume that we agree because we are too polite to delve into what could be an "offensive" argument, but that's a different post).  Urban Dad stands in front of students who are quite literally from all over the world; we make it a point to get the Urban Kids up there to hang out.

And for the most part, we're a private bunch.  We wake up each day and go about our business.  We practice good manners when we leave the house.  We get out and about and do fun activities and make friends.  We don't assume that others are offensive because they're going about things in a way that would not work for us.

I figure that we're all shooting for the same basic goals, and that we're all finding our own roads to getting there, be they stereotypical or not.  And that this is cool -- not offensive.

Perhaps I'm over-reacting.  I'm certainly giving it more time than it all deserves.  It just all gave me a bit of pause.

Viva la difference.