Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moments to Remember

I've been stressing myself out recently. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about 2011 and how its, already, a quarter of the way over, and how this should be that or that should be this, etc. Trying to be the optimist, I like looking to fill my crazy mind/world with joyous memories. Yesterday, while I was stressing about something super trivial, I am sure, I joined Scout (19 months) at his table as he colored. I grabbed a crayon and joined him.
Together, we colored backyardigans, trees, and even part of the table. We traded colors, we scribbled, we laughed. It felt good. It felt relaxed.
As Lil' Nugget and I bonded over Pablo, purples, greens and oranges, I watched his eyes focus and his head tilt. I watched his little hands manipulate crayons as he continuously looked at my hands for guidance. I watched his little 19 month old body sit in a chair, calmly, learning about the world around him.
I paused to realize that we were having a treasured momma-baby moment. That in this moment, what would look to any bystander to be a "normal" activity, was, actually, something to treasure. We were connecting more than we do during our morning snuggles or our late night snacks.. We were delighting in each other in the most simple yet amazing way.
Not wanting to break his focus, or the magic of the moment, I went back to my coloring. Realizing, of course, that this was a moment to be thankful for. Sure, we'd had first steps, first words and our first day of Mom's Day Out. Our family took a trip this year. My husband and I celebrated 4 years of existing together, more good than bad :)
All of those moments were moments to be thankful for as well. Of course.
But the moments that are uncelebrated and often missed: they're the ones to appreciate and hold onto FOREVER and EVER.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Part of the meaning of life is simply being HAPPY. I suppose it means looking at ourself as a good person? I am sure most of us have been taught that if we do something wrong, we’ll pay a price or suffer, right? Maybe we don't literally "pay" the price and just end up having to handle the consequences of our actions and words. What happens to us because of what we say or do, is up to us RIGHT ? I think it is, WE have power over what we say and do. What if you slip and you are not paying attention to what you are doing and accidentally place your palm on a hot burner; you will get burned. The burn is not a punishment; it is a natural consequence of putting your palm in the wrong place. So what about hurting others? Are we just being human?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life in the play area today

I show up at a play area to meet up with a friend. The friend is great. The other family in the play area is not. A boy about five years old knocks over my lil' nugget. Twice. I could see that his newest sibling had just began to move. S took out his frustration on other little guys when NM began to move around and get into his stuff. Now, S was more the unwilling-to-share, not the make-them-cry-by-slamming-your-body-into-them-type but still. It happens.Both times I say: Sweetie, you need to be careful . (Thinking "little asshole")But the boy is already walking away.And his parents — both of whom are there — NEVER SAY A WORD. Even as my happy go lucky guys comes to me crying. I know that by the third time, I will have to call the parents out. Or glare at them. Or smack them up-side the head. But after visualizing the painful argument (I have done this before) with them over their son’s intentions. I follow Scout everywhere and move to keep him safe when the boy is within a few feet of him. Oh, and I glared at that family like they are animal abusers!!!! Of course, now, I can’t talk to my friend or enjoy my Route 44 HH Ice Tea. I can’t play with my son. Because I have to protect him from the boy who decided that picking on others was okay. And his parents who are too busy to care. When the spawn family finally leaves, I’m so excited that I consider throwing them a party except it would keep them in the same vicinity as us. After we leave the play area, I tell Scout that the boy was wrong for hurting him and not apologizing (he probably does not know what I am saying). And I offer an apology of my own for not knowing how to handle the situation. He could care less, he is already car seat dancing to PINK. But I’m still thinking of it a week later.Part of me hopes that mom reads my blog (she won't, my own friends don't really read it.) Because I want her to know how much she sucked that day.Part of me hopes that next time I can turn to the parents and calmly say: I need you to speak to your son or keep him away from my lil' nugget NOW!~ Most of me hopes that I never run into parents like that again.I understand that we all have bad days and ugly moments. But I’m having a hard time being okay with this. Because I don’t think that we have the right to have our bad days spill into other people’s days.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don't mess with my little nugget Mr. and Mrs. Media!

Now that I am kicking major butt again (TOOT, TOOT MY OWN HORN!!!!) and on my second full month at the gym, I am reading books I have collected over the past year or two. My latest victory was Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertsing by Susan Linn and I’m so glad I actually read it!!!!It basically highlights the insanity of corporate marketing to children and just how pervasive it is in our country. It is shocking to learn that the U.S. is one of only a handful of countries in the world that does NOT have laws against direct advertising to children. Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission who deregulated childrens TV in 1984 and basically gave advertisers the green light to barrage our children to buy, buy, and buy MORE!Linn makes a strong case in the book that marketing and advertising to children is NEVER be in their best interest. She makes her case that children are conditioned to be consumers from the time they are infants and every brand is competing for our kids to be the life-time customer they want. Linn shares over and over how marketing to children is only in the interest of the marketing agencies and corporations that directly profit from this 15 billion dollar industry. It is NEVER in the best interest of children. NEVER.Many people will say it’s the parents job to counter the affect of ads on kids and that parents must be involved in preventing the exploitation of children through ads. People complain that if we parents weren’t just so indulgent our children would have a sense of responsibility as consumers. Yet, time and time again, Linn argues that we parents are up against media and marketing 24/7 and an industry that spends more advertising to children than it does adults. In the chapter discussing the “Nag Factor” and other devious plans advertisers use to get children to undermine our parental authority….our children are actually taught whining skills to us to buy the products and help secure for brands for that “cradle to grave brand loyalty”. This is so terrible but has become so effective, ugh....The book explains really well how children are marketed to EVERYWHERE–from at home, to school, sports fields, magazines, the Internet, playgrounds, on the street....The book does include many recommendations of what YOU can do to make changes. I appreciated how Linn broke this section down into practical recommendations for people like me!After reading this book and a few others, I’m on board and ready to do my part. It will become part of my social mission to protect my little nugget from this :)