Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babies are NEVER "bad"....

Ok, so the title is a itty bitty bit misleading. Of course, babies/children ARE in fact sometimes "bad". But, I don't think it is appropriate to tell a young child OVER and OVER and OVER that they are. I think that it should be extremely limited, and maybe even eliminated. If a young child is told that they are bad repeatedly then they BECOME that stereotype already being engraved upon them. They believe that they are...whether they are or NOT.

Research has shown this to be true. Classrooms divided into treated-like-they-will-succeed and treated-like-they-will-fail DO JUST THAT. If a child is shown the letter (A) over and over before a test, they are much more likely to make an (A). Similarly, if a child is shown (F)s over and over before a test, they are MUCH more likely to fail.

I recently had a run-in with my son's karate coach about this issue. My son is 3, and YES, he can be a handful. He doesn't have a HUGE attention span, and he definitely hasn't mastered following instructions 100% of the time. These are all pretty much standard for a 3yr old.

Now, I am ALL for discipline. I think children NEED to be molded at a young age. Otherwise, they are given a shaky foundation for life. HOWEVER, there is a difference between construction and demolition.

I cannot imagine telling young children that you are going to QUIT your job, b/c they didn't "behave" the way you wished that day. I cannot imagine telling 3 to 5 year olds that they don't deserve their participation stickers almost EVERYTIME they come to class. And mostly, I cannot FATHOM trying to teach without a TON of positive reinforcement. This person actually punished 3yr-olds as a team (In other words, if one messed up they all were punished).

Ok...so...I was accused as the PROBLEM, simply based on the fact that he has over 20-something years of experience. Well, my response to that...Years do not necessarily make a person. There are a LOT of old people in this world who do not know their head from their behinds...AND...There are a lot of really young people in this world who are wise WAY beyond their years. I don't think age/years makes a person perfect, wise, or immune to learning. If you claim years or age as a reason not to listen, learn, and grow, I would accuse the opposite.

I started realizing the effects were not just my parental imagination when Aden began dropping his head and calling himself "bad" at home, and then quoting this "coach's" descriptions of his mislabeled deviance. (It broke my heart).

Unfortunately, Aden loved going to this OVERLY PAID instruction, and I had to explain to him that it wasn't his fault. A 3yr-old cannot determine an adult's mistakes. They are taught to obey and respect, and they don't really have to ability to discern something on that level. They think if someone tells them they are bad...Then, they must be.

Needless to say, we no longer go to this coach anymore, and I will NOT go back. Why can't the world be full of nice and respectful people who want the best for everyone? Even if Aden IS bad (which is a perceptual term, and it seems that he IS in this coach's perceptions), what exactly IS bad at 3, and should we really be telling a 3 year old that over and over?

I know, I know. I ask too much :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sugar and Spice Can Be Kinda Nice

I suppose being female isn't ALL bad:

I mean, I will admit that I do rather enjoy choosing a style and color for my hair, the satisfaction of viewing my carefully glossed and French-manicured toes, deciding heels versus flats with my ensemble for the day, getting an occasional door opened on my behalf, and even my societal right to be an emotional wreck on occasion.

But, I do get tired of all of the hassle. I expect myself to look presentable, all whilst trying to accomplish the daily routine of woman-ness with a screaming tot. It now only takes me 30min to complete my transformation. At one time, it took at least an hour-and-a-half to prepare myself for the world. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to spend, nor do I choose to donate that much of my life to the beauty gods.

Washing, exfoliating, creams, and powders…shaving, and covering, and plucking, and modifying; it is simply exhausting. The number of steps that must occur before I exit the comfort of my humble abode is ridiculous. And, what is even more frustrating is that I then, after all my diligence, still feel completely inferior to my idolizations.

I tote. I clean. I cook. I BREATHE. I buy. I read. I learn. I cuddle. I lift. I coax. I discipline. I laugh. I watch. I listen. I give…

But…I get.

There are some traditional female complaints that do have some up-points. For instance: I did not enjoy the ails of pregnancy, but as horrible as I felt, and despite the bodily morph, I DID get to experience it. I HATE PMS with a passion, however I do get that excuse to cry and moan and whine if I need to on a monthly basis. I feel like crap about the way I have to throw myself together, but it is particularly nice when I DO have the time to make myself feel feminine. I adore being able to yackity-yack about the meaningless. I like my insecurities being filled by a warm embrace. And, more than anything, I really LOVE being a mommy.

Since I have to hide my sentiment when Bambi’s mother gets shot or when the old man in “UP” loses his lifetime partner, I cannot imagine having to be a man. I would totally suck at it.

Sure, I can put on a HARD exterior: bury pain, rough around, and let my inner masculinity shine. BUT, at the end of the day, I guess I actually like my girly hassle. I prefer my constant quests toward beautification. I enjoy hearing, “I want mommy”, after a scratched up knee. I like being the hug-giver. I do get to be the sensitive one.

I have to remind myself that it is pretty cool to be a girl. Or, maybe I'm just an optimist, and I am trying to see the glass half-full, seeing as I don't really have much of a choice.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't ask, we'll ask, and don't tell, we'll tell???

TALK about backtrack. I'm not usually one to offer my opinion on matters of a political nature, but I just cannot fathom being discharged from the United States Army based on sexual orientation in 2010?!

The Associated Press reports that the "don't ask don't tell" policy has been temporarily suspended. Now, I'm not much of a military gal, and I am not familiar with much associated with the military, but tell me again HOW does an openly gay person pose a threat to national security?

The Pentagon has stated that they want to "hear from gay troops" as they are conducting a current research study to determine how best to lift the ban. There is only one problem....


Okay, so I'm not a genius by any means, but this seems to be a tad bit contradictory. And, to make matters worse, a senior service official interviewed 3 openly gay persons. Well, on Thursday he "thought" their was a moratorium on dismissals while these interviews were taking place....

BUT...once again...OOOPsie. Apparently, he had to retract that statement. There is not, nor will there ever be (according to the Defense Secretary), such a bind on dismissals for being gay. He says he won't reveal their identities or discharge them at this time...hmmm.

The official then goes on to say that he PROBABLY should have told these these 3 suckers that they were breaking the law and their conversations couldn't necessarily be kept confidential.

I mean, really?!! Seriously!? Some one is pulling a late April Fool's joke, right?!

Nope. Good ol' U.S. of A. (sigh). To date, about 13 THOUSAND people have been discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" law, some ousted because of open admissions to being gay...and others when they did not make their sexuality apparent.

Maybe the Army has a reason for this law that I do not understand? I wouldn't mind an explanation, because I feel like my current opinion is that we are not as keen on humanity as I had once thought. And, regardless of WHAT the Army decides on the stupid law, shouldn't the gay people that DO keep their mouths shut (as ordered) be protected when SPECIFICALLY ASKED to speak?? ESPECIALLY when RESEARCH is involved?!

Anyone educated in the realm of research is drilled on the importance of confidentiality in studies of this nature. Why on EARTH would, in of all places, the US Army not adhere to these standards? GOOD grief.

And, that is all I have to say about that. (I felt a Forest Gump quotation would be quite appropriate).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Too close for comfort

I have come to find that we all seem to have someone who we are inevitably close to, whom we must spend regular time with, and who drives us completely crazy. This might be a friend, co-worker, family member, etc.

This person sometimes is wrapped in a all-too-kind packaging. They seem sincere and gentile, but are hiding a secret that they might not even know that they have. This person's introduction to another is truly an unexpected "surprise": like a tornado on a sunny springtime day, poo on your shoe after walking through lush grass, or a laugh that produces cola through your nose.

Others of these sort do not hide their B.S. at all. Many times, they give a boastful distaste, hiding a smile under a frown no matter the occasion. Most of the time they are genuinely pleased by the sourness of themselves.

We often wish to confront this particular person about whatever it is that bothers us. Well, much to my expectations, these confrontations never go too productively.

Then their is you (i.e. me), who is too determined (hard-headed) to not contribute to the possible eradication of the bothersome quality or tendency. You attempt to talk openly, honestly, and respectfully to this person. You try to sneak in the negative with a sugar-coated menagerie of compliments and distractions.

So, what happens you ask? Well, one of two things: Either the sugar coating is peeled into a heap and ONLY the pursecutory nature of the discussion is completely highlighted, distracting the content into a hard-iron defense of momentous proportion. OR, the person is too oblivious to even notice the implications at all.

Personally, I prefer oblivion to the "turn-around". The turn-around is when you are then attacked and caught completely off-guard. The discussion is NO longer about the intended, but is now transfered into the criticization of you, leading to full-out list of all the wrongs you have personally performed for the entire duration of your lifespan.

So, what is my methodology for this sort of unresolved issue, you ask? (We all have our own techniques, please feel free to leave yours in the comment section below). It is very simple: RETREAT!! The behavior probably isn't going to change, despite any best efforts.

My personal procedure is to give them my best cheesy smiled, puppy dog-eyed face, and closed body-language stance, especially when meeting unexpectedly. I MUST groan to myself in order to eliminate some of the mental combustion. Then, I avoid them as much as possible, and I deal utterly and completely with whatever it is that drives me crazy. In other words, this is NO solution at all. I basically tuck my tail and run, leaving myself at the beginning of where I started---full circle.
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So, when I get a chesire cat kind of smile, I can't help but wonder...Am I the ONE? And, are we ALL the ONE to somebody? Wouldn't that make the masses SO much easier to tolerate, if we knew with certainty that we all were that ONE? I mean, to me (and you might very appropriately refer to me as facetious), it makes having to deal a little easier when I know someone else has to deal with me :)

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