Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just For Today

Just for today, I'm going to be a better person.

Just for today, I'm going to forgive the people that couldn't be patient for me. Clearly they had a reason.

Just for today, I'm going to remember that there's always a reason for why people do what they do.

Just for today, I'm going to smile when I want to frown.

Just for today, I'm going to let people go before me. I need to work on my patience.

Just for today, I'm going to look for the joy in things people do that might annoy me.

Just for today, I'm going to enjoy taking some time for me instead of feeling guilty about it.

Just for today, I'm going to avoid saying anything mean or negative.

Just for today, I'm going to try a new way of getting the outcome that I want.

Just for today, I'm going to demonstrate what I think is the right choice and hope to be observed.

Just for today, I'm going to remember that everyone has a story, and some are much sadder than mine.

Just for today, I'm going to trust that everything will be ok.

Just for today, I'm going to be a better person.

And then maybe for tomorrow, too.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Open Letter To Daycare Parents At Dropoff and Pickup

I know. Daycare dropoffs and pickups kind of suck. They're noisy, crowded, rushed, and always seem to take eleventy times as long as they ought to.

But pulease...they would go so much more smoothly if we could all just agree to the following rules:

  1. Park your vehicle somewhat better than if it was being parked by a drunken, blind monkey. Only one spot, and actually in it.
  2. While close parking is in short supply, try not to double park, box others in, or simply create a spot in some random place in the lot. Just circle the lot or park further away that day. It's not really the end of the world.
  3. Don't toss your sloppy shoes or boots on top of someone else's. Or inside them.
  4. While we're on that topic, how's about you actually read the signs posted everywhere about removing dirty shoes and remove yours?
  5. If another parent is talking to the teacher, or an admin, model good, patient behaviour for your child and please wait your turn.
  6. Do your best to herd your turtles, or cheetahs, or drunken, blind monkeys carefully. Especially around the poor parents struggling with bucket car seats, 400 backpacks, blankets, and puffy snowsuited short people. They can't always see your kids from under the mountain they are carrying.
  7. In the parking lot, hold their hands. Do not assume we can all see your kids. We're all a little self absorbed, late, and probably trying to tune out crying or tantruming for a granola bar.
  8. If you have only one child, or older children, consider that perhaps someone else might appreciate rock star parking a little bit more. Let the parents of infants, multiples, etc. take the closer spots since it likely will be way easier for you to walk for two extra minutes.
  9. Holding doors for the other moms and dads is a very nice thing to do in general. But please don't hold open the doors for kids unless you can see their family is all coming. Some of us are unable to grasp the concept of staying with a group and insist on forging ahead.
  10. If someone chooses to use the elevator instead of the stairs, please spare them your judgement. Possibly they have an invisible injury, they have already been up and down several times, or they promised an elevator ride as a bribe to someone. Whatever their reason, it isn't your business. There is an elevator, it's there to be used.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mommy Halo

I recently read this article and it caused me to do some thinking.

I adore my kids. I'm in awe of them most days - their intellectual and emotional intelligence, their humour, even their rebellion (sometimes). But I am under no delusion that they are angels. Sometimes, sure, but always? Definitely not.

So to consider storming into schools and teams and employers, ready to throw down and defend them at all costs, negotiate better grades, force teachers into allowing abysmal behaviour from them is just not a possibility for me. I just could not do that. I would not.

Here's an example. B1 is 4 and a half years old. He goes full time to a large daycare centre. Sometimes he comes home and tells me that some kid or another hit him, or pushed him, or kicked him, or whatever. I was hearing this a lot for a few weeks, and I finally asked him what he was doing right before this happened. Turns out my little angel had more than a little demon in him. "Well, I was bugging him about his pink snow pants, then he pushed me," or "I was just practicing my kung fu moves, and then he hit me," or "Me and S told her she couldn't play with us, and she came and bit us." Uhhhh huh. Well, that is a very different story, my friend. And it's a story for which I have exactly ZERO sympathy. If you want to act like a jerk, don't come to me looking for an attorney.

If my kids are ever legitimately being bullied by someone, damn straight I will come and work to fix that. But in those kids-will-be-kids situations where they are dishing it out as much as they're taking it, I will only coach them that they need to look at their own behaviour before they can complain about someone else's.

And that's why I rarely take what my kids report at face value. I have asked before about certain conflicts, but I trust that the teachers/ECEs/caregivers know way more about it than I do, since they're, you know, THERE.

To the parents out there who defend first and ask questions later, or never, shame on you! You are not helping your children grow into well adjusted humans who make smart choices at all. You're just making things easy for them and teaching them they don't have to try.