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December 2017 in Pictures

Christmas is a force to be reckoned with. It rolls up on you like some sort of stealth vehicle running on joyful intentions with wicked time constraints. Here’s my thus far pictures to prove that we’re moving right along through the season. And my story is that this Christmas, I was more proactive than ever before so that I can be more present when those wrapped presents are being torn asunder.

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

 

Enjoy your Holiday Happenings wherever and whoever you are!

The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on Shalavee.com

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on shalavee.com

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on Shalavee.com

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on shalavee.com

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on Shalavee.com

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are?

My daughter is just starting elementary school now in Pre-K. I am again besieged by notifications and permission slips galore just like back when Eamon was in Kindergarten and there was “homework”. See my recent repost of my piece Kindergarten Homework here. All sorts of good intentions being bantered back and forth between educator and parent about how to best raise/educate our kids.

Within a hunk of papers distributed by the school this week, a subscription newsletter from a parents-institute, I read this headline:

“Parents Must Encourage their Children to Develop Self-respect”

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

( I immediately thought, Well yes, and what about those parents who already see educators as bossy jackasses thinking, “you can’t tell me what I must do with my kids because I’m not going to be bossed by smartass educational type people”. Shut that down.)

Of course I knew it was well-meant and read further. Essentially, children who are disrespectful don’t have any self-respect. Sometimes that’s what hides behind lack of respect for authorities. If we don’t value ourselves, we’re certainly not valuing others. And eventually the justice system needs to show us our worth. This is what the article said self-respect came down to being composed of.

Self-respect comes from:

Competence – Being good at things makes your kid feel good. Children need lots of opportunities to master skills and feel good about themselves while they do. New skills from sports to art to chores can give them a chance to like themselves while they master those skills. And no one standing over them telling what a bad job they did either.

Accomplishments – They need their progress seen and noted.By everyone but mostly by parents. See above.

Confidence – This can be about pointing out how all the work paid off and acceptance that sometimes we falter to succeed. Mistakes can be learned from and we need to know we can rely on ourselves to make things happen.

Freedom – Allow kids to be independent and make their own age-appropriate choices. Let them chose when things can be done and how sometimes. Showing them you trust them makes them trust them.

Support – Accept your children for who and what they are. Let them belong to the family instead of having to fit into your vision of what they should be. Ask them about their day. Listen and witness their answers and help solve their problems if they ask for it.

Imitation – Be the person you want them to model themselves after. They will do as you do. So if you have low self-esteem and anxiety issues, they will too. Be kind to yourself and stand firm for them with their demands as well so that they may see what standing firm looks like.

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

Invisible sword fighting

If you paid attention to even most of these, you’d have a pretty great kid. Personally, I got lost between the family cracks and did not have most of these attentions paid me but yes, I’m paying them to my kids. And then I thought, what kind of parents are we to ourselves? I feel like I can tend to be on the side of almost abusive self-parenting if I allow me to continue to berate and judge myself for the myriad of things I seem to do “wrong”.

What if we took these steps above and applied them to ourselves, which is truly necessary if we are actually parents because our kids do as we do, not as we say. What kind of parents do we want to be to ourselves? Compassionate and kind or judgemental and punitive?  Just like these children, we go out into the society and make our own contributions based on our self-worth and respect so shouldn’t we give ourselves these gifts as well to give us an edge up on our lives? I could use with a little more self-respect in my world, couldn’t you?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Be Willing To Let Life Teach Them

As parents, we have a lot of damage control to manage. We expect that our children will be teased so we try to give them un-teasable names. We imagine they’ll be injured by the coffee table so we choose to have a round coffee table. We see the food struggle coming and so we make their meal choices simple so they’ll eat. But for all our parental controlling, do we consider the benefits of seeing the disasters and circumstances through to their not so perfect endings? Because there’s a lot to be learned by this practice occasionally.Be Willing to Let Life Teach Them on Shalavee.com

I remember reading in one of my parenting help books that if you have a problem with a kid who whines for the candy at the check out line in the grocery store, you need to set up a sting operation. Knowing they’ll behave this way, you say to them ahead of time as your headed to the store in need of pretend items, “we will leave if you pull this behavior stunt”. Then you go into the store grabbing this pretended needed item and when they act like they were told not to, you ask the cashier to please put the item back and you leave immediately and calmly. You are hedging bets for your future reliability. You are letting that child know he/she is not in charge. This is a very good example of how to reestablish your authority but sometimes you need to go all out the other way and let it go.

I spoke with a woman who was fretting about her son’s dental hygiene. She said he refused to take care of his teeth. And someone said, just wait until he wants to have a girlfriend. He’ll change that tune really quickly because no one wants to kiss someone with a skanky funk mouth. He was probably suffering a little from “if you tell me to do it then I don’t wanna”but there’s a point when, as a mother, you have to let lessons be learned. There’s always the free dental services at the Dental School when he has future dental health problems. Sadly, the only person he’s punking out against is himself.Be Willing to Let Life Teach Them on Shalavee.com

l took my daughter into the bathroom last night and she refused to go to the potty when I asked her. The old “I don’t have to” but “I really don’t want to be told what to do” trick. And sure enough, there was a wet bed four hours later. I knew what the circumstances were going to be but we have been pull-up free for a week and I know she has to go all the way out and feel the discomfort to learn. Sometimes we have to see our way through to the real worse case scenario, the “what if” so that the lesson can be learned the “hard way”. Because life is a better teacher than we can ever be.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

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25 Year-Old Crazy Brain

At our dinner party the other night I asked my friends what it was that they remembered having the crazy notion to do and suddenly doing at the age of 25? Three of us said we had gotten married. Because I have noticed recently that there’s definitely a switch that gets thrown developmentally in a 25 year-old and it’s a kind of crazy entitlement switch. As in “I’m a grown-up now and I can do all of those things I want to and you’ve told me not to do. All those things that society would frown upon because it’s my decision to make and I’ll show all of them it’ll be different for me. “ Yeah I remember it well.

I think we are all prone to have that psycho toddler punk out attitude. “If you tell me to do it I’m not gonna do it.” And it’s equally annoying counterpart, “If you tell me not to than I’m so gonna do it.” We parents still have to remind ourselves the rules of reverse psychology. If you don’t like the new boyfriend than you need to be overly friendly about him and invite him over for dinner and kill him with kindness. And you’ll be surprised how unglamorous he’ll become to your daughter.25 year-old crazy brain on Shalavee.com

My hope is that my daughter’s testing of me has resulted in my passing by this time and she’ll actually choose companionship for the measure of it’s worth. Is he nice and attentive? Does he make her laugh or understand her quirks or sadness ? My hope for her is to value her worth by her own standards and not by mine or anyone else’s. And when it comes time to give herself away to anyone for any reason, she’ll be doing it not out of spite, fear, a dare, or convenience, but because this choice is a part of a plan she sees for her future value. And only she will know what that is.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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